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Author Topic: Frequently asked questions about FSW  (Read 5040 times)


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Frequently asked questions about FSW
« on: June 24, 2012, 01:12:13 pm »

Who started FSW, and who are the leaders?
Author Boston T. Party (aka Kenneth W. Royce) founded the FSW in order to provide western freestaters with a Wyoming alternative.  Boston has purposely set up the FSW as a very informal group without leaders, and without a "cult of personality" ethos.  The FSW exists as a sort of glue for Wyoming-minded freestaters.

What is the goal of Free State Wyoming?
To encourage, assist, and reward the migration of liberty-minded Americans to Wyoming in order to maintain and further its relative laissez-faire Western culture; to eventually enjoy a haven for those Americans who desire not to live as, or under, government supremacists.

The FSW is merely an ad hoc group of people who are a) interested in living free/freer lives, and b) would like to do so in Wyoming as good neighbors with the locals.

The FSW is not a political organization, and we have no formal agenda.  Our members stand for free trade, political liberty, and voluntary cooperation--that's all.  However broad an umbrella that may seem, it is one which covers many different members and viewpoints.  Some are religious, some are not.  Some are Republicans, most are libertarians.  There are probably even a few Democrats.

The FSW will not endorse political efforts, as such has never been the FSW's task.  Once FSWers are in Wyoming, the FSW has largely done its job and it is up to individuals to work for freedom as they see fit.  They are welcome to begin their own networks and groups for such purposes.

Why Wyoming?
Wyoming was selected for many reasons including its existing culture of freedom; its low population; and its business-friendly laws. Click here for a detailed analysis.

Wyoming does not need improving.
That notwithstanding, its western culture of freedom deserves to be maintained by folks who understand how special Wyoming is.  Many FSWers have seen states such as Colorado, Oregon, etc. become tainted by the influx of statists from liberal metropolitan areas, and we don't want to see that happen to Wyoming.

Wyoming is currently on a trend of more government control, more tax-funded programs, more dependence by some citizens, less freedom generally. It is no different than any other state in this respect, except that it seems to be moving a bit slower than most that way. It would be thrilling to be able just to halt that trend, never mind "improving" it. But we think almost anybody can think of ways they'd like to be more free, than what is already available in Wyoming. Perhaps they dislike having to get government permission to defend their families ("Alaska carry"). Or they don't like paying outrageous auto licensing fees, or wish the state sales tax was knocked back down to 3% (bumped to 4% in the early '90's as a "temporary" measure). Or maybe they think their county doesn't need that extra 1% or 2% sales tax for their slush fund. Or maybe they don't like the local sheriff helping BATFE to raid local homes, as happened in Sublette County not so long ago. We agree with these positions, and we'd like to see them happen.

Who may join the Free State Wyoming?
According to the FSW Statement of Intent, those who formally reject fraud, theft, and aggression as political and social expedients, and who desire to relocate to Wyoming as good neighbors for the peaceable goals of political liberty, free trade, and voluntary cooperation.  The FSW is open to people of all races.  Libertarianism is color blind.  Hard-working, ethical, non-encroaching people of all races and walks of life are welcome.

(NOTE: There is a time frame incumbent upon members, fully explained in the SofI. Those who cannot commit to moving within 7 years are welcome to lend a hand as "FSW Associates." Those who generically support the goals of the FSW but cannot directly participate are welcome as "FSW Friends.")

There are really only Two Rules of Life:

1) Do all you have agreed to do.

2) Do not encroach on other persons or their property.

Such is the basis of all Natural Law, and is agreed upon by nearly all religions of the world. The Two Rules were the original basis for the the United States of America, which attracted global immigration to these shores by millions who risked their lives to live under such principles. If this appeals to you, then Wyoming could be your next home.

But really, what kind of people are you looking for?
Folks who will honor their agreements, work hard, don't trouble their neighbors, and get along. It's really that simple.

There is one other proviso in our Statement of Intent: that members be of "demonstrably ethical character." FSW founder Boston T. Party believes the clause vital. As Benjamin Franklin once wrote:

"Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt, they have more need of masters."

Samuel Adams wrote:

"Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt."

Several prospective members have mildly objected to the clause "demonstrably ethical character" (though without much force of reason). Allegedly it smacked of puritanicalism or religiosity. (Interestingly enough, those who complained most about that clause were generaly the most fractious, rude, and cantankerous.)

In short, honoring one's agreements and not encroaching goes far?very far?but it does not quite embrace the entire issue. The FSW seeks people who are civil. Libertarian types are usually highly individualistic, though too often strident, dismissive, and uncordial. If we contemplate being neighbors, then civility and virtue are clearly vital traits to be sought and cultivated.

Well, what about atheists or people who aren't Christian? The FSW founder Boston T. Party is a Christian, and the governor in his novel Mol?n Lab?!  is a Christian. Doesn't the FSW have a strong religious tone to it?

No, although some very devout and touchy atheists would like to believe so (even though Mol?n Lab?!  contained nothing about any Christian migration of newcomers). Kenneth Royce (Boston T. Party) founded a movement open to people of all religious faiths, including agnostics and atheists. In his experience, the sole fact that one is a Christian is no guarantee that they will be a good neighbor, any more than one's atheism guarantees that they will not.

If Boston were so religiously intolerant, then he would not have (as he does) many atheists amongst his good friends or his FSW staff. Even though many Americans differ in their fundamental beliefs, such does not have to foment their political oppression of each other. What you do on your Sunday mornings is your business: go to church if you like, or buy a six-pack and go fishing. Or both.

We in the FSW respect each other's beliefs, even if we don't necessarily share them. The Wyoming path is wide enough for many different kinds of travelers.

Is FSW secessionist like some organizations?
Secession is a political aim, and as has already been explained, the FSW is not a political organization.
We advocate utterly no political policies, including secession.

Is the FSW linked to those Montana "Freeman"?
Absolutely not.  We're nothing like and we've nothing to do the properly-jailed "Freemen" who cheated local businesses with their phony checks.  None of us in the FSW think that fraud is ever cute or justifiable.

Do any of your people intend to run for office?
Probably. Especially where current public officials are hostile to freedom and do not respect the sovereignty of their citizens--but candidates would have to sell themselves and their ideas to their neighbors--just as any other candidate.

However, by and large, most of us have no desire to become a member of the "ruling class". We just want to be left alone to live our own lives as we wish.

What political party, if any, do FSWers favor?
Whatever parties have renounced fraud, coercion, and aggression.  It's a very short list.

Who do you consider to be the "bad guys" in the state?
Whoever embraces and practices fraud, coercion, and aggression is a "bad guy" in any state or country.  Those who feel it is their duty to interfere with citizens who are doing no harm to others, or who promote government "solutions" over private ways of dealing with issues.

I read that FSW Members are big on gun ownership and shooting. Is such preoccupation with firearms really all that necessary?
Yes. The FSW is firmly defends a vigorous shooting culture as a necessary foundation of a free society. We actively nurture the concept of citizen rifleman, the backbone of a nation's defense which also daily reinforces our individual responsibility and resolve to remain free.

"Arms are the only true badges of liberty. The possession of arms is the distinction of a free man from a slave."
     ?Andrew Fletcher, A Discourse of Government with relation to Militias (1698), p.47

"The unarmed man is not just defenseless, he is also contemptible."
     ? Machiavelli

"Pick up a rifle and you change instantly from a subject to a citizen."
     ? Jeff Cooper, The Art of The Rifle

We in the FSW are Westerners. We believe devoutly in being armed. We do not surrender our personal weapons?anywhere, anytime. To do so would place ourselves in the physical powers of strangers whose intentions and mercies can never be known to us in advance.

When others seek to deny us the means of defending our lives, why should we allow them the power to do so? We are peaceable folks, and do not aggress on others. We do not trust those who do not trust us?who seek our unilateral disarmament in the name of "public safety" (even though the rural West has the lowest crime rate in the nation).

From history, we know very well what happens to unarmed citizens. First, they are transformed into subjects. Then, over time, into slaves. This will not happen in Wyoming.

If such talk seems "radical" to you, then please don't come here. It's not your kind of place. However, if this resonates with your vision of local liberty, then get in touch with us. Come out and see what we're all about. And bring something to shoot!

Well, doesn't that just make you a militia group?

No.  While many FSWers are gunowners and active shooters, we engage in no
"militia training" or activities.  Yes, we love to shoot, but most likely so do you.
Nobody in the FSW is creating a "compound"--much less picking a fight with authorities.

What about the cold and the wind? Isn't Wyoming just some bitter tundra? That would explain why only 500,000 people live there.
Regarding weather vs. population, North Dakota is much colder and windier than Wyoming, yet has 28% more people. Wyoming has the second highest mean elevation, after Colorado. Much of Wyoming is cold, and much of that windy (especially in the east). Still, Wyoming weather is not brutal.

If you already live in snow country, you won't find Wyoming any big deal. It's not Florida, but if living free is more important than tropical temperatures, you'll enjoy Wyoming. Besides, the FSW is a pioneering movement, and it requires a bit of hardiness from its members! Softees can stay home in SoCal, Palm Beach, Tuscon, etc.

For the FSW, Boston has focused on three counties with comparatively pleasant weather: Crook, Weston, and Hot Springs. All three have reasonable winters.

Are the Wyoming locals and county governments aware of the FSW?

Yes, because we are acting fully in the open, with a public website and forum.
Also, Boston has an Open Letter to Wyoming Locals at:

Are people actually buying property and moving to Wyoming through the FSW?

You bet! Though the FSW was founded in early 2004, folks have moved to several counties, particularly Crook and Weston.  FSWers are moving to Wyoming nearly every month now.  They like Wyoming, and their neighbors like them!   The below quote nicely sums up what I had in mind writing Mol?n Lab?!

The story in my mind is nothing but a hope; the text of the story is the tool I created in order to make that hope a reality.  The story itself, the true story, is the one that the audience members create in their minds, guided and shaped by my text, but then transformed, elucidated, expanded, edited, and clarified by their own experience, their own desires, their own hopes and fears.
     -- Orson Scott Card, Ender's Game, p.xxv

How can I learn more about Wyoming and the Free State Wyoming effort?
    * Visit thoroughly; bookmark it and come back for our regular updates.
    * Visit this forum regularly; bookmark it and come back and get involved in the discussions.
    * Take advantage of the resources listed on our Wyoming Links and Freedom Links pages.
The lust to control the lives and property of others is the root of all evil.
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