(excerpt taken from a CryptoCurrency Series in the Japanese business journal, Nikkei Business, written by Hikaru Nagano, this section translated by Marie Clapsaddle)



From the point of view of preference for market competition, small government, deregulation, and tax cuts, it (libertarianism) looks like a conservative faction.  In fact, there are many libertarians that support Republicans.

However, though the emphasis is on competition in terms of economics, their tolerance for immigration and LGBTQ (sexual minorities) is close to that of liberals.  In terms of individual rights and government authority, they oppose gun control and the public health insurance system, and are running counter to liberals.

If we read their political thoughts, there is respect for economic and individual freedom. “As a result, they are economically conservative and socially liberal,” says Keisuke Watanabe, a professor of Keio University, who is familiar with libertarians.  In Silicon Valley, there is a strong affinity with the idea of ​​respecting economic and individual freedoms, and there are many libertarian entrepreneurs.

Regardless of whether they support the Republican Party or the Democratic Party, all libertarians have the same attitude of rejecting things that lead to “big government” such as arms build-up and social security.  There are many libertarians who disagree with the MMT (Modern Monetary Theory), which leads to the expansion of government authority.

Sorens called for libertarians to move in order to bring about libertarian policies through the strength of numbers.  In the US, if a state is strong but small, it is not so difficult to elect members to the state legislature and cause libertarian thought to be reflected in state policies.

Another aim is to intensify competition between states.  If a state's taxes and restrictions on corporate activities and people's activities are reduced, many people will move.  If that happens, other states will try to avoid excessive taxation and regulation and make efforts to provide better service.  As a result, libertarian thought spreads throughout.

“The competition to compete for taxpayers is beneficial because the government will be more focused on the needs of taxpayers. If you can choose your own government, the government will inevitably have to serve the people who chose it.  It should be a service provider like a company,"  Sorens says.

The FSP (Free State Project) chose New Hampshire because it is a small state of about 1.3 million people with few regulations on corporate and daily activities. There is no income, consumption, or inheritance tax, so the tax burden is light. In the state, it is possible to carry guns (open carry) and there is no requirement to purchase auto insurance or use seat belts.  There is no need to pay tax when exchanging virtual currency such as bitcoin.

New Hampshire was the first state to become independent, six months before the American Declaration of Independence. The state motto is “Live Free or Die.”  It seems an appropriate place for libertarians to migrate.

It has been nearly 20 years since Sorens called for migration.  So far about 3,000 people have actually moved.  There are 24,000 people who have agreed to move within 5 years (migration is not compulsory).  “This is the best way to grow a community that understands the concept of Taxation is Theft,” says former defense attorney Carla Gericke, who moved 10 years ago.

Because the FSP is not like a commune, participants live scattered about all over the state.  In a libertarian-like way, they respect the freedom and wishes of each person while they pursue freedom in their own area.


Nikkei Business article photos


Photo Descriptions

① Bitcoin money changer at a restaurant in New Hampshire.  (2) The right to own a gun is extremely important for libertarians who value personal freedom.  ③ ~ ⑥ A farm run by a relocated libertarian.  The morning market held on weekends sells agricultural products produced on the farm, such as maple syrup.  ⑦ Jason Sorens who proposed the FSP.  He insists that intensifying competition among state governments will improve the quality of administrative services (Photos: Retsu Motoyoshi)