The Corner

Politics & Policy

Free State of Haymaker

Kyle Peterson has a report in today’s Wall Street Journal on the Free State Project, which proposes to build a kind of homeland for Hayekians by encouraging libertarians to migrate to New Hampshire and transform the Granite State into what one true believer calls “a Yankee Hong Kong, or a Yankee Switzerland.” A few thousand people apparently have made the move and more may be on the way. As it happens, earlier today I finished reading Haymaker, a novel published last year by Adam Schuitema. The story describes a small-scale version of the Free State Project, as libertarians flock to the fictitious town of Haymaker in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The newcomers clash with the locals over everything from city elections to snowmobile races. “It’s a free country,” says one character, a native of Haymaker. “They want a free country. I like a free country. Who knows? Maybe I’m one of them. Maybe not. Probably not. But maybe I am.” I suspect that sums up the way a lot of people think about libertarianism. Haymaker is an entertaining book for people who like a little politics in their fiction.

John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.


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