If you don’t have a subscription to TNR the article about libertarian humans vs. black bears acting like libertarians may be worth one of your free reads. (Caveat: Unless you don’t want to read about pets being eaten by bears or people being mauled by bears or libertarian swine trying to solve the bear problem with guns.)
Anyway, there were these libertarian assholes. And they had a dream. Which became a PLN that was as coherent as a dream.
This is the so-called Free Town Project, a venture wherein a group of libertarian activists attempted to take over a tiny New Hampshire town, Grafton, and transform it into a haven for libertarian ideals—part social experiment, part beacon to the faithful, Galt’s Gulch meets the New Jerusalem. These people had found one another largely over the internet, posting manifestos and engaging in utopian daydreaming on online message boards.
What, I say, what could possibly go wrong?
For inspirations, they drew upon precedents from fiction (Ayn Rand loomed large) as well as from real life, most notably a series of micro-nation projects ventured in the Pacific and Caribbean during the 1970s and 1980s.
Reading to the end of the story – very important. Pity no one involved read the best comic strip that wasn’t done by Walt Kelly.
But I think this was the first concrete sign of very bad things to come.
The people who joined the Free Town Project in its first five years were, as he describes, “free radicals”—men with “either too much money or not enough,” with either capital to burn or nothing to lose.
Because what every society really needs to function is a bunch of grown men whose idea of Bold Individualism involves bumbling around shouting about their freedumbs. Have I mentioned that libertarians are assholes? Well, they are.
But then came ursus americanus, the black bear. Lots and lots of bears. Bears that were probably drawn to the town by the smell of poor sanitation, but I like to think the word went out to the woodland creatures: Psst! There’s a bunch of libertarian humans over there. Go fuck with them.
The black bears in Grafton were not like other black bears. Singularly “bold,” they started hanging out in yards and on patios in broad daylight. Most bears avoid loud noises; these casually ignored the efforts of Graftonites to run them off.
OK, I admit when I heard there was an article about another serious attempt to Go Galt, I knew it would end in tears, but I would not have guessed that a massive invasion of black bears would be the tipping point.
Maybe next time it will be moose.
Anyway, I was delighted to find the article is about an entire book that covers the case of the libertarian assholes and bears who imitated them, and look forward to reading it on my next camping trip. Needless to say, I will make sure I don’t do anything to attract bears.