I took a break from my life of tireless activism in the Free State to visit my former home of Arizona. I was soon reminded of why I left, why I went Galt.
People the world over remain preoccupied with survival. With finances. With hobbies and fulfillment. And, most importantly, with the eternal quest for meaning. An unlucky few of us see the world as it is, in a state of slavery and oppression. Yet, we are powerless to change that unfortunate human condition. And so we are forced to live out our constant quest for fulfillment, only with the added weight of knowing the world to be fallen.
That was me most of my young professional life, only I lacked the realism to give up on the world. When all my aspirations for success in love and labor fell away, all I had left were dreams of a better tomorrow. Instead of attempting one last futile grasp at what I had lost, I made a desperate search for the frontlines of liberty, to spend what was left of my life in service to a mad dream.
How did that desperate stand pan out? The best way to judge that is to see what happened when I tried to step back into my old life.
The short version is that I couldn’t go back. Too much had changed, and it saddened me to see old friends and colleagues in the same jaded scramble for a better version of nothing special. Never before was the distinction between existing and living so clear, and I was grateful to be a member of the second category.
The truth is, some elements of New Hampshire are an idea boom town. People with radical ways of thinking and even more radical passion are moving from across the world to the one place humanity can make a stand for a bright future. While the rest of the world remains preoccupied with making its jail cells more comfortable, in the Free State people are clawing an escape tunnel out of the very granite. What I experienced by visiting my former home was hope withdrawal.
And as I write this I’m returning to my new home, and will barely have set foot on New Hampshire soil before I rejoin my activist brethren in the struggle against oppression.
Back to the frontlines.
Joël Valenzuela is the editor of The Desert Lynx.
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LiNK’s Esther Gives a Presentation at the KAC
After being able to give four separate presentations at Keene High School, Liberty in North Korea‘s Northeast Nomads dropped by the Keene Activist Center on Saturday afternoon and had a good session presenting to local liberty activists. Their message was focusing on the “Jangmadang Generation”, the millennials who have grown up to understand how the marketplace means freedom. Jangmadang means “market grounds”. It is the market that has provided, illegally, for the feeding and education of the North Korean people after the government-provided famine of the 1990s.
It was during the famine that people learned to take care of themselves and to no longer rely on the state, as relying on the state was leading to starvation.
Today, the underground market in North Korea is smuggling in laptops, USB drives, and other media to help expand the minds of the North Korean people.
The hat was passed after the presentation and they received cash support from the attendees. Though LiNK is not yet accepting Bitcoin, hopefully they will soon. Thanks to Esther (pictured), James, and Tiffany for their dedication to human freedom!
I look forward to participating in what will be the second annual Keenevention this weekend. The forum taking place at the Best Western Plus Sovereign Hotel on Winchester Street will feature panels and speeches by New Hampshire’s activist community. In addition to a panel focusing on Direct Action that I will be hosting on Sunday, I was also asked to speak on Saturday’s media panel by organizer Mark Edge. When I agreed, I was not informed who else would be on the panel, though I expected that organizers would only select participants of honorable reputation when showcasing the most effective activists that New Hampshire offers.
While there is certainly a need for diversity of perspective within the activist community, there are standards that a reasonable person would expect individuals would hold each other to if we wish to make any sort of collective impact. As a peace activist, anyone who directly advocated or applauds the use of violence can be objectively classified as having beliefs counter to my own. For myself, I am wasting my most valuable asset, my time, if I support those working against my interests, those who are promoting ideas that are the opposite of my own.
It was once consensus within the libertarian and anarchist community of greater Keene that embracing peace was equally imperative to embracing ideas of social liberty. For whatever reason over the past year or so, that sentiment has changed as some formerly positive spirits have darkened amidst of heightened wave of reactionary opposition. (more…)
Local independent newsman and viral video sensation Jared Goodell sent a press release a few days ago announcing his decision to not file suit against Pumpkin Fest organizer Ruth Sterling, despite being approached by multiple attorneys with offers. Good on Jared for dropping the matter rather than continuing conflict with the poor, exasperated lady.
Ruth Sterling has already faced consequences for her aggression. Here’s one of her memes by Bill Walsh on Facebook. lol!
Rather than grandstanding with a lawsuit, Jared instead uses the opportunity to remind us of the value of freedom of speech and of the press:
From the moment that Ms. Sterling came onto the live TV set during the Pumpkin Festival, I cited the First Amendment of the Constitution of The United States and my right to report on the violence occurring at the Pumpkin Festival. Ms. Sterling’s threats to “pull the plug” on my report seriously undermined Freedom of the Press.
Since the founding of this country, town commons across the United States have served as the place where any person could share their opinions and views. From soapboxes to gazebos, TV cameras and reporters, all viewpoints were accepted without prejudice at this sacred community gathering point. I find it fitting that last Saturday, the First Amendment was tested in Keene’s downtown common.
If there is any lesson to be learned from this video (more…)
There’s a restaurant in Keene called The Stage. But there’s no stage quite like the one that sits adjacent to it: Keene Central Square. Made famous by dozens of courageous arrests, Central Square plays host to the most bizarre encounters ever to be imagined.
In this video, activist and FreeKeene.com blogger Garret Ean records as he and members of the group “Stop Free Keene!!!” are locked in a never-ending chalk-removal battle. Some people are chalking while others are removing the chalk with water.
Local cop (and occasional persecutor for ‘the State’) Jason Short arrives and asks if there is a problem. Immediately the cries come from both sides, like children reacting to daddy coming home and finding siblings fighting.
“We are just trying to clean up the park, and these mean people keep making it dirty!”
“They sprayed water on me! Don’t we have a right to the first amendment?”
“Yes, yes, calm down children. Behave. You’re both right. Now just get along, will you?”
“Don’t tell us what to do!”
One girl with bleached and fading pink hair faces a much taller Jason Short as if confronting a bully, and then, teary-eyed, dramatically walks away. Hamming it up.
Crass comedian Christopher Cantwell has made the move back to New Hampshire, though this time not as part of the Free State Project. Chris is one of a handful of people to be kicked out of the FSP in over a decade. However, he is still a believer in the idea of moving liberty-oriented people to the same place so we can be more free together, and he knows that NH is the place to be to be around others who care about freedom. So, he’s back, having left New York, ostensibly for good this time.
I wrote this editorial when he left originally, explaining what went wrong with his first stay in NH.
Many of the personal issues that Chris has, including anger, are still present. However, he has gotten his drinking under control, which I am happy to see. Many within the liberty movement are very understandably upset with Chris over various things he’s said over the years. Many wonder why I’m so friendly to him.
The reason I’m friendly to Chris, despite the bridges he’s burned in the liberty community, is the same reason I’m friendly to the police. I want to communicate the ideas of peace and liberty to others, even with those I disagree, and yelling or being mean doesn’t build bridges. I want to be forgiving and model peaceful evolution. (more…)