Last modified on June 1, 2021, at 19:19

Essay: Free States Movement

Free state has two common meanings. One is the older meaning in the Antebellum period where a free state was a state where slavery was outlawed.

The second meaning of Free state refers to the American Free States Movement. This is a newer and more common meaning in use since the late 1970s in America among libertarians, conservatives, conservative Christians, patriots, and preppers-survivalist]]s.

Modern "Free States" in the USA

See also: Free states

A modern Free state in the USA can be defined by what it is not, more than what it is.

A free state is not:

List of Free States

The Free States Movement is picking up steam.

The Free States Movement is picking up steam.

Qualities of the Free States

A free state suggests:

Unfree State List

See also Most liberal American cities

The list of Unfree states - Nanny States was established by polling readers/listeners of conservative blogs, conservative podcasts, conservative websites, conservative forums, libertarian blogs, preparedness blogs, and gun blogs.[1]

Below is the list with some of their gun grabbing Constitution violating liberal Democrat elitist politicians[2][3][4]










New Jersey

New York


  • Oregon - Ron Wyden
    • Portland, Oregon was ranked #3 most liberal city in America.[9]
    • Of the 36 counties in Oregon, only 7 generally vote along a liberal ideological line. Those counties are located in and around the larger metropolitan areas of Oregon, namely Portland, Salem, and Eugene. Rural Oregon remains relatively conservative and is likely one of the reasons Eastern Oregon is named as part of the American Redoubt.[10]

Rhode Island


Washington State

Summary of the Unfree States

"The East Coast and West Coast (Left Coast) had the most liberal states including Vermont, Massachusetts, Delaware, New York, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Maine, California and New Jersey." [12]

Other unfree geographic entities

Washington D.C.

Anything by a Big City in an Unfree State

Alex Barron suggests the following, "There are many people who write me who suggest that they cannot move to JWR’s perfect self-sufficient remote, defensible homestead. The reasons are often similar, money and wife issues. My recommendation to them is often similar. Think of moving to a small town or even the “big city” in a red state. It is my opinion that conservative more traditional leaning states with balanced budgets and a “leave me alone” style will weather what comes next better than many more progressive, heavily indebted, people are used to a safety net from cradle to grave mentality. Would you rather be in Los Angeles or Boise when a significant economic downturn starts? BTW, the first time I visited Boise I thought “where is the city.” Then when we went out to drink later own, I was like, when do we get downtown? They were like, you are “downtown.” Boise doesn’t qualify as a suburb of a major city like Chicago, but it is one of the fastest growing cities in the West. When Idaho, Montana or Wyoming says “big city” it is not what first comes to mind."[15]

California in Not a Free State

Alex Barron reports, "In many parts of California people are paying more than $1,000 a month in property tax and what they call Mello-roos. Mello-roos is some form of supplemental tax for things like fire departments and police services. You know what you think your tax dollars already cover. That is $12,000 a year, every year for the privilege of owning property in the state. Many red states have much lower property taxes."[16]

Walking to Freedom Project

Walking to Freedom is an initiative created by libertarian survivalist podcaster Jack Spirko (The Survival Podcast) where citizens are encouraged to pull up stakes and to move to a more open and free state—to vote with their feet. States are broken down into two categories, the "naughty list and all the rest. People moving out of oppressive states are asked to post a "goodbye letter" addressed to the state and state government officials regarding their decision to move out of their state. On the website's ( Forum groups for the "non-naughty" states are used to welcome people considering or actually moving to that state.


2015 Porcfest in New Hampshire

For a few years Jack Spirko worked with and supported The Free State Project of New Hampshire ( Spirko says, "While it is not in the cards for me to move to New Hampshire the concept to me is the hallmark of a republic. Individual member states band together to form a Federal Republic of States. In our case we call this 'The United States of America'. Citizens have freedom of movement from state to state and the citizen is seen as the most sovereign entity with the most rights, next in the chain is the sovereignty of the member states and at the bottom of the sovereignty chain is the Federal government.

He continues, "Much of this system is broken today, the Federal government is filling many roles it isn't supposed to fill (see Tenth Amendment). State governments then fail to stand up for their citizens or worse they often pile on more big government Nanny state restrictions and encumbrances upon liberty. There is one component of the system though that is still functioning, movement between the states. The final act of a citizen voting in a republic is to vote with their feet. While I love the work being done in New Hampshire, I realized like me there were many people who just can't for one reason or another move there. What dawned on me then though was if we simply create an exodus from the 5-10 worst states it does many things.

  1. "It sends a message to ALL state governments, your citizens understand a republic and their power and are damn well willing to use it. Oppress your citizens and your most valuable producers (citizens and companies) will leave for a better environment." (See Atlas Shrugged's Galt's Gulch)
  2. "States with more liberty like Idaho, New Hampshire, Wyoming, Montana, Texas, Arizona, etc. will attract more liberty oriented individuals. Not for the purpose of transforming their new home states states but to at minimum hold the line and prevent said states from becoming less libertarian."
  3. "It makes the entire movement far larger then just The Free State Project or other groups like Free State Wyoming or the American Redoubt movement. By gaining maximum exposure and reach, Walking To Freedom, is a rising tide that will float all boats. It will actually bring more people to states like Wyoming and New Hampshire by fostering competition among the member states."
  4. "Most current oppression in the US is actually at the Federal level. There are a handful of states that go above and beyond that, it is easier to target those 5-10 on the 'naughty list' and let the other 40-45 states make their case as to why you should move there, then it is to try to get anyone upset with their state to choose a single option as a way out."
  5. "Freedom is highly personal. To some tax freedom is the main concern, others are more concerned with freedom over types of housing, some with freedom to keep and bear arms yet others simply want what I call 'operational freedom'. Operational freedom is simply the freedom to conduct business. Many entrepreneurs are less concerned with the overall tax rates and more concerned with the permits, licenses, fees, hoops one must jump though just to open the doors."
  6. "By fostering competition among all the states not on the 'naughty list' we have a much larger influence. It brings public awareness to the issue and starts making many states that are at the far end or middle of the spectrum to start thinking about the consequences of being on the naughty list or having the list grow just because they have encouraged us to do so. Yes the list can get bigger in time if necessary. We use 'disapproval voting' to establish the list."

Spirko elaborates:

"When I consider all of the above it is clear to me that Walking To Freedom is a true manifestation of the principle of a republic. Sure many states may not make the 'naughty list' that many of us feel should. We can only hand out so many demerits you know but, the other side is those states will find that far less citizens choose them as a place to move to. I am quite sure in time that this movement will result in tens of thousands of 'goodbye letters' to state and local officials. While that is half of the equation, I wonder how the Chamber of Commerce of say a state at the bottom of the receiving end will feel if they see hundreds or even thousands choosing state relatively close to them."[17]

Spirko also wants to help with yet another problem:

"I have constantly heard in this debate how citizens of State X leave and move to State Y due to being fed up. Yet they turn around and then try to turn State Y into the very State X they just left behind" For example, retiring Californians moved to formerly conservative Oregon and turned it into a liberal Nanny state just like California. "Perhaps if citizens were to move for more than one reason this would be mitigated? By fostering conversations between movers and for lack of a better term stayers (perhaps recruiters) those who are fed up can find a state that is most closely aligned with who they are."

It is often the case that a person will move over a fiscal issue but not agree with a social issue where they land. The state where they moved to may resent them and feel they are trying to turn where they moved to into the place they just left behind. The reality though is different, they likely have no desire to increase taxes they just want more social freedom, they don't necessary want you to pay for it. If such a citizen were able to find both more fiscal freedom and more social freedom, likely they and their new neighbors would be more happy. In the end we all must learn to get along but good match making is a great place to start.

The key is either way, the oppressive state loses a producer and are denied the opportunity to tax them and denied the privilege of having them conduct business and participate in commerce within their state. Did you get that word? Privilege! Yes the states should understand when citizens have freedom of movement, the presence of a productive member or society in that state is a state's privilege not a states right.

In the end I feel our members will agree that it is relatively easy to identify the 5 or so worse offenders when it comes to liberty. The states that are just a few shades above them are not something I feel we need to be very worried about. Likely free states are going to attract quite a few of their citizens anyway. The key is to zero in on a small naughty list and give the citizens of those states a message, your fellow Americans would love to have you as neighbors. We all have some unique things to offer, each state has pluses and minuses but flatly about 40 of us look like entirely different nations then the 5-6 at the very bottom.

For instance I have no desire to return to my home state of Pennsylvania, it has fallen too far for my taste from the ideals of our founders. Yet if I compare Pennsylvania to New Jersey it is like Comparing East and West Germany during the Cold War. I mean if you are a freedom loving citizen of New Jersey I would love to have you in Texas and I am sure the folks in New Hampshire would as well, but to be blunt the Delaware river isn't the Berlin wall! Escape is easy and not far away. If Pennsylvania is as far as you can manage it is still a move away from one of the most oppressive governments in the nation. A state where you can't even have a unloaded and cased gun locked in your trunk without being considered a felon. For that matter New Jersey is a state that won't even let you pump your own gas.

In the end though liberty is personal, it can only really be defined at the individual level. Yet when some governments encroach too far measures must be taken. Our Founding Fathers knew all governments do this, they founded a republic so the citizenry would have many options. You can vote with dollars and do business with companies you agree with. You can vote with a ballot and elect your leaders. When you serve on a jury you have a final check on unjust law and a jury can indeed nullify such a law with a simple vote of not guilty. The ultimate vote though is simply walking away. The states on the naughty list are already by and large on the verge of fiscal crisis if not all out bankruptcy, they can't afford to have their most productive citizens leave. Yet they should all be warned that the citizens well, they can by and large very well afford to leave. Not only can they afford to but they can often increase their quality of life by doing so. In other words they need you a hell of a lot less then you need them.

The vision of Walking to Freedom is simple, to encourage tens or even hundreds of thousands of citizens to simply walk away from the most oppressive and fiscally irresponsible states in the union. To allow them to find the best new home, to find friends, jobs, churches, communities, etc that will welcome them with open arms. Many people feel moving is too hard to accomplish, we simply want to show them that it is far more difficult to live in oppression and abuse than to rent a U-haul and make some new friends.

Once the naughty list is established we will move into action. All the naughty list states will have a dedicated 'goodbye letter' board. Where we encourage all of their citizens to leave a letter to their governor, state and federal reps, local officials and local news outlets telling them why they are leaving and what is being lost by their exodus. All other states will get a board where their citizens, officials, chambers of commerce etc. may freely make a case as to why their state is a good choice. Those looking to move can discuss what different states have to offer, job availability, local communities, finding housing, etc.

If you are an official in a state on the naughty list be warned. This movement may seem like the vision of one "redneck in Texas" to you, but this red neck isn't alone. He is also smart enough to know this is bigger then himself or his state of Texas. As much as I want my fellow Americans to join me in the Lone Star State, I want them to leave behind oppression even more. If I could throw a level that moved 5 million productive freedom loving people out of the five most oppressive states tomorrow and Texas wouldn't get a single one of them, I would do it at once.

In summary I always say a fight for liberty anywhere is a fight for liberty everywhere. While that is true it is also a fact that when oppression is sufficient, everywhere but where you are is better. For those on the 'naughty list' that is the choice you have given to your citizenry, we simply aim to help them make the best choice for them and assist them with their walk to liberty. Simply put for those states on the list, this isn't something we did to you, it is something you have done to yourselves, we are just shining a light on it."[18]

Bibliography - Further Reading

  • Skousen, Joel, Strategic Relocation - North American Guide to Safe Places. 3rd Edition Perfect Paperback, 2011, ISBN-10: 1568612621, ISBN-13: 978-1568612621


  1. Accessed March 28, 2014
  2. Accessed March 29, 2014
  3. List of the richest American politicians. Wikipedia. Retrieved on March 29, 2014.
  4. List of current members of the United States Congress by wealth. Wikipedia. Retrieved on March 29, 2014.
  5. Phil Reiff, Director of the Bay Area Center for Voting Research says, "While there are a few liberal cities without large African American populations, these wind up being the exceptions. College towns like Berkeley and Cambridge have modest black populations but remain bastions of upper middle-class, white, intellectual liberalism." "The list of Americas most liberal cities is dominated by cities with large African American populations that are concentrated in the Northeast, Midwest and California. Conversely, the study found that the staunchest conservative cities are clustered in the South and interior West and have extremely low numbers of African American residents." "Bay Area Center for Voting Research (BACVR) ranks the political leanings of every American city and finds that Detroit, Michigan is the most liberal and Provo, Utah the most conservative." "The Bay Area Center for Voting Research is a nonpartisan" ('liberal') "think tank based in Berkeley, California. A full copy of the report and the complete list of rankings for all 237 cities are available at" 2005 study rankings on liberal and conservative cities. Posted Oct 27, 2014. Accessed March 18, 2015
  6. "Middle School Kids Taken To Hear Louis Farrakhan Call For Violence Against The 'Crackers'" Ben Shapiro's Truth Revolt. "Administrator at Booker T. Washington Middle School in Baltimore, Maryland, took forty young teenage students as young as eleven-years-old to the 2nd Annual Black United Summit International (BUSI) conference where they heard bigoted purveyor of hatred Louis Farrakhan reference white people as "crackers” and a call for “retaliation” for Michael Brown's death. When asked by Clark why the children were taken to this conference, Anthony Pena, the Middle School administrator who took the forty students between the ages of 11 and 15 to the conference, said, "At the end of the day… it’s about how we connect to our youth and help develop them to become our future.”" (See Public school values). Accessed January 5, 2015
  7. Accessed March 29, 2014
  8. 2005 study rankings on liberal and conservative cities. Posted Oct 27, 2014. Accessed March 18, 2015
  9. 2005 study rankings on liberal and conservative cities. Posted Oct 27, 2014. Accessed March 18, 2015
  11. Two hundred thousand for Vermont A movement to make Vermont a red state
  12. Accessed March 28, 2014
  13. "In the wake of tragic shootings in Newtown and Aurora, the anti-gun lobby has launched a campaign of lies, distortion, misrepresentation, and emotional manipulation that is breathtaking in its vitriol and its denial of basic facts. Their goal is to take away our Second Amendment rights and then disarm law-abiding Americans. Emily Miller tells her personal story of how being a single, female victim of a home invasion drove her to try to obtain a legally registered gun in Washington, D.C. The narrative—sometimes shocking, other times hilarious in its absurdity—gives the reader a real life understanding of how gun-control laws only make it more difficult for honest, law-abiding people to get guns, while violent crime continues to rise. Using facts and newly uncovered research, Miller exposes the schemes politicians on Capitol Hill, in the White House, and around the country are using to deny people their Second Amendment rights. She exposes the myths that gun grabbers and liberal media use to get new laws passed that infringe on our right to keep and bear arms. The gun rights debate isn’t just about firearms. It’s about protecting a fundamental right that is enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. It’s about politicians who lie, manipulate, and outright break existing laws to get what they want. It’s about President Obama wanting a bigger federal government to control you. Not just your guns—you. The fight for gun rights is the fight for freedom. Emily Miller says stand up and fight back now because your Second Amendment will only be the first to go." Emily Gets Her Gun, But Obama Wants to Take Yours on Accessed March 10, 2015
  14. Scarry, Eddie, POLITICS This Newswoman Got a Gun For Protection…Even Though Her Gun-Carrying Dad Didn’t Want Her To, The Blaze, Published September 18, 2013. Accessed March 10, 2015
  15. Barron, Alex, "Orofino, Idaho #prepper #homesteading". Idaho, American Redoubt Charles Carroll Society Podcast
  16. Barron, Alex, "The advantageous of a modern (neo) homestead #prepper #homesteading". Idaho, American Redoubt Charles Carroll Society Podcast, Published January 21, 2015. Accessed January 23, 2015
  17. Accessed January 17, 2014
  18. Accessed January 17, 2014