Sunday, February 20, 2005


I got the following email message (Subject: Blogger Contest: get published in national Objectivist newsletter, dated 02/20/05) from Eugenia I. Gorlin:

Dear Objectivist blogger,

As you may or may not have already heard, a group of dedicated Objectivist students is collaborating on a new project to start a national campus Objectivist newsletter. The publication will be targeted largely toward honest, receptive college students not familiar with Ayn Rand's philosophy. The founders of this newsletter, currently proceeding under the working title _The Undercurrent_, view this as a sorely needed and enormously valuable project in spreading Ayn Rand's ideas. Our articles will apply Objectivist philosophy to specific issues, spanning not only politics but also cultural and aesthetic topics of interest to our readers. Given the critical state of today's culture, engulfed as it has become by the relativist-left/religious-right dichotomy, we want to emphasize the connection between reason and values on as wide a scale as possible.

We currently have a knowledgeable and enthusiastic staff on board for the project, including a number of past and current OAC students and campus club leaders. Work on our first issue is well underway. What we need most now are excellent writers with a thorough background in Objectivism, and an ability to apply Ayn Rand's ideas to specific issues in a fresh, layman-friendly, inductive way.

That is where you, the dedicated Objectivist blogger, come in. As part of our initiative to recruit highly competent writers, we are launching a Blogger Contest to solicit one of the most crucial articles for our first issue. Your prize will be, not only free publicity, but the honor of getting published in a promising new Objectivist campus newsletter.

Your assignment is as follows: Write an op-ed style piece, approximately 700-1000 words in length, of the sort we affectionately refer to as a "suck-in-the-right-and-spit-them-out" article.

In other words, attack a position--either political or cultural--held by the left (such as political correctness, or social security, or federally funded abortions, etc.), thus attracting the right; then identify the fundamental error behind the position (such as altruism, statism, etc.), which the left and the right ultimately share in common (e.g., both advocate limiting our freedom--the left, by using federal tax money for abortions, the right by denying a woman's right to *have* abortions); thus revealing that our position is fundamentally opposed to both camps. When necessary, articles should show evidence of thorough factual research.

The deadline for submissions is February 28th, giving you a little over a week. Should you need extra time, please let us know as soon as possible, and we will try to accommodate. Our main goal is to encourage you to contribute--so please let nothing stand in your way!

Please e-mail all submissions to this address (eugenia.gorlin AT as Word document attachments.

Whether or not your submission is published, you may, of course, post it to your blog. Finally, whether or not you submit an entry, we would highly appreciate your posting an announcement about the contest and the newsletter project, including our ongoing search for quality contributors. (If you wish, you may quote the message in this e-mail verbatim.) This will ensure that word gets out, and that we get first-rate submissions for our critical first issue.

We hope this will be the first in a series of such contests--but that will depend largely on the active participation of our contributors.

Thank you, and we look forward to reading your entries!


_The Undercurrent_ staff

UPDATE 03/15/05:
Read Gus Van Horn's column, A Bipartisan Crime.