Connoisseur Club - London - £5, vintage casino chip

The Libertarian Society that Was.

For one week every year in the town of Lancaster, New Hampshire, something truly remarkable happens. Libertarians of all stripes and shades travel from around the world, from Mexico to Canada, from Australia to Great Britain, and create the society that they want to see. It is called the Porcupine Freedom Festival, or Porcfest for short.
There are no cops, there are no rulers, and the only laws that exist are the laws that exist between men as they deal with each other as equals. Gadsden flags ("Don't Tread on Me") and Market Anarchist flags (gold and black bisected) were waved instead of the usual Red White and Blue. Almost one in every three men had a sidearm strapped to their legs. People were excited about Bitcoin as a currency, and hopeful for the future.
I arrived on Wednesday night at around 11:30, and I did not have a campsite. I drove up and parked along the side of a path, and walked down a hill where I saw a large collection of party-goers hanging out in the rain beside a campfire. I walked down and met up with a friend of mine from London, named Harold. He stared at me for a second before drunkenly hugging me and making sure that I was provided with a beer. He then introduced me to his group of friends.
"This is Edward Snowden, everybody," he declared to those he was talking with. They laughed. I suppose I do bear some resemblance to the famed whistleblower, but I doubt my accomplishments will hold much light in comparison. Still, it wasn't the worst nickname I have been given.
Harold then led me to Jonathon, who is a man from French-Canada. Both of them had visited me at my house earlier in the week
I had loaned Harold one of my tents earlier in the week when he, along with Jonathon, had visited my house on their way to New Hampshire. They were being given rides by our friend Phillip, who was attending with his wife and his two daughters. While Phillip had opted for a hotel, they had opted for a campsite.
The tent that I had loaned him was apparently flooded. As such, Harold asked if he could sleep in my car. Jonathon, on the other hand, had brought his own setup, and it was very dry, and didn't need to use my vehicle for such things. I consented, and we decided to see if any food was available this late at night.
We found a vendor in a tent selling ice-cream. They accepted Bitcoin. I decided to try their ice cream, which they assured was made without the permission or license of the state. It was delicious and did not kill me.
We then wandered by to the fire with our ice cream. There was a man in nothing but a loincloth sitting on a picnic table, and he seemed to be selling moonshine. There were a few young men enjoying some cannibis. There was no more beer. I decided to go to bed.
The next morning, I met a man and a woman who were sitting on top of a large boulder that I'd apparently parked next to. They were watching the sunset, and I was told that if you sat on that rock, you'd have an amazing view. I took their word for it before I took a waddle around the campsite. It amazed me the sheer number of men walking around with all manner of firearms. The most common were hip-holstered openly carried pistols, but there were also several men wielding shotguns and semi-automatic (assumedly) sporting rifles. There was also a tent that I found with a class on constructing an AR-15. The class was 700 dollars. You kept the AR-15 you had built when the class was over.
The amount of vendors that were operating was also pretty interesting. There were hot-dog vendors, a bacon-pancake vendor, vegan and paleo specific foods, raw honey, and even entire bars and saloons with a wide assortment of strange spirits.
Other businesses included gold and silver trade, a Bitcoin ATM, blueprints for automatic weapons, unlicensed tattoo parlors, unlicensed casinos, and even a strip-club called the Thunderdome (I would give you the scoop on the happenings in there, but I abstained; those who did not inform me that I did not miss out on much).
We went on a beer run and headed away from the campsite past another campsite (one with a Christmas theme) and into the town of Jefferson. Even though it was less than 5 miles away from the campsite, few here seemed to know what Porcfest was. When told that Libertarians really liked New Hampshire, one local resident replied, "Why? There's nothing here."
Their pizza was good, their cigarettes (what Jonathon called "Darts") were cheap, and their alcohol was about what you'd expect at a gas station.
I spent that day talking with Jonathon, the Canadian man who I loaned my bed eariler in the week. He was 19 years old, and had been all over the world. He was well-travelled, and had spent his adult life so far travelling the world. He paid for this with undefined Bitcoin-related riches, no doubt an early investor.
Harold was a man in London who is an organizer for a Libertarian club and also heads the Anarcho-Capitalist Steam group, with over 800 members.
We did Karaoke that night, and though most of the singers were about what you expect at a Karaoke event (with me butchering Tainted Love by Soft Cell), Phillip from Ohio blew the crowds away with his rendition of Frank Sinatra's hit My Way, which spoke to the hearts of the freedom-loving crowd. Phillip was classically trained and had attended 4 years of voice school, and I sympathized with the act that followed his. The event was not a contest, but he won it anyway.
On Friday morning, I woke up early with Jonathon and Harold and we attended a safety brief for the range. A local gun range had agreed to allow us to shoot on their range, and an NRA instructor gave the classic safety rules to everyone, just in case they weren't aware of them previously. We then drove in a caravan over to the range, and were treated to a wide selection of highly powerful automatic weapons. For 25 dollars, you could get a 30 round magazine of 5.56 or 7.62 and safely fire it at a paper target through an M16 or an AK-47. I decided to skip that and fire a .50 caliber Desert Eagle.
It takes a lot to impress me when it comes to firearms, I've fired my fair share of fully-automatic weapons when I was in the infantry. From Ma Deuces to Saws, I've fired a lot of weapons. The Desert Eagle was, by far, the most absurdly over-powered. Needless to say, I'd like to own one.
.22 ammunition was free to shoot, so after firing the Deagle as it's called in the Counter Strike community, I went up and went plinking with a variety of .22 caliber rifles and pistols while my friends went crazy with M16s.
A gay dance party was held on Thursday night at the camp-site. I was told by one persona attending that it was easy to tell the gay people from the straight people there.
"The gay people are dressed normally," I was told.
I bought a cookie from a pair of sisters who were no older than 6 years. It was delicious, but 1 dollar for a cookie is a bit expensive in retrospect. Who can say no to kids selling cookies? Certainly not many of the people there. Even those who ate Paleo would taste a cookie if a 6 year old tried to sell it to them.
The Paleo diet is very interesting, as many of the people at this event would eat only paleo food. The diet of low-grain and primitive blueprints doesn't, on the surface, have anything in common with Libertarian philosophy or politics, so why was it that they were in such showing at the event? I may never know. Another oddity was the amount of Libertarians with beards. I do not refer to your typical goatee, but I instead talk of fully-blown lumberjack beards. Perhaps it's the fashion in New Hampshire, it'd certainly be in keeping with their reputation.
I took Jonathon and a man who runs a video-blog (Lengthyournarther on YouTube, but let's call him Steve) out to lunch. The wings had something to be desired, and the pizza seemed manufactured, but then again, Western New York sets the bar high in this regard, and I consider myself a connoisseur in this respect. When we got the bill, Steve decided to pay for his share with a 1 troy-ounce silver coin with a buffalo on it. Silver was regarded as acceptable all across Porcfest, but in the town of Lancaster, it wasn't as readily accepted. I, however, do accept Silver as a method of payment, and was more than willing to pay on his behalf for the shiny coin. Gold was also completely acceptable in Agora Valley (one name for the campsite), but neither of these were nearly as popular as Bitcoin. Everything was for sale if you had bitcoin, from guns to poker-chips to sex. There was a bitcoin ATM machine, and bitcoin stickers, and bitcoin shirts. I got a free shirt from a 12 year old that ran a booth. He surveyed me on my experience with bitcoin, and provided me a knife, an umbrella, a t-shirt, along with other goodies. It was, by any metric, a completely fair trade for me.
On the last night, I was getting rather tired. Too much alcohol and not enough sleep will get any man, and if you combine sunburn with these you get a man who is quite tuckered out. I attended a few folk-music concerts, saw a man get an entire tent hopping as a one-man band, and saw a large wooden porcupine get lit up in a bonfire. I went to bed early before my eyesockets got too heavy.
When I woke up on Sunday Morning, however, it was all gone. The booths were getting packed up, many people had already left, and people were wandering around cleaning up after themselves. I said goodbye to my friends, and after packing up my things, I began the long ride home.
At first, I was feeling rather somber for the fact that I would have to return to New York, a land of statism and silliness. The thought of leaving New Hampshire, where seat-belts are considered optional, was pretty depressing, but then I remembered some wisdom passed by Dr. Suess.
"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened".
Just over three days I spent in New Hampshire, partying and rallying with all manner of free people. That was enough to render me completely exhausted, but a younger man might want a bit more. For one week, in the tiny town of Lancaster, in Coos (pronounced "Koo-Ah-s") County New Hampshire, a Libertarian society existed. It was amazing due to what I saw, but also the things I didn't. It was liberating with what I could do, and also what I didn't have to do. It was amazing to be accepted as an individual, while being part of a larger group. It gave me a glimpse of what a Libertarian society could be, and hopefully, what such a society will be.
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