Ran across this article “The prickly problem of a New England secessionist utopia” by Emily Cataneo at The Baffler about PorcFest 2018.
Some of those Free Staters just want New Hampshire to become more libertarian, but others, including the Foundation for New Hampshire Independence, want the state to become its own country. Carla Gericke, president of the FNHI, is a friendly-faced middle-aged woman who wears sensible shoes and carries a vape. She and her fellow secessionists have a strong vision for what the country of New Hampshire could become. The Yankee Hong Kong. A land of German-style autobahns with no speed limits. Gambling halls like Monaco’s. Cafes like Amsterdam’s. “Granite State of Mind,” the YouTube parody of Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind,” could be its national anthem.
Gericke, who grew up in South Africa and moved to New Hampshire in 2008, after a pit stop in Silicon Valley, says that she came to libertarianism from the left. Part of her presentation during the roundtable involves strategies for seducing leftists to the libertarian movement.
“I wouldn’t approach it as libertarianism. I would approach it as localism when talking to your neighbors,” says Gericke. She adds, “The federal government is an abusive partner,” she says.“They beat us, they steal our stuff and lock us up. And then they say, you can’t get divorced. I feel like that argument does work well in the social justice warrior crowds. Everyone understands divorce. Everyone understands people getting hurt.”
Part of that engagement with the left, says Gericke, involves invoking the discontent and fear surrounding our new president. She calls Donald Trump the “gift that’s gonna keep on giving” for countercultural and secessionist movements like hers.
“Suddenly the leftist states are talking secession,” she says. “When we say it, it’s like, you’re a militia, you’re crazy white people in New Hampshire. But when the left says it, it’s palatable.”
Why, asks an audience member, would the United States government just let New Hampshire go?
“Good question,” Gericke says. “In the end, they wouldn’t have a say. Are they going to roll the tanks in?”
Read more about the independence movement, the Free State Project, and PorcFest at THE BAFFLER.