"You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will. War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it; and those who brought war into our country deserve all the curses and maledictions a people can pour out." - William Tecumseh Sherman

Name: The General
Location: Sacramento, California, United States


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Sunday, February 20, 2005
  Writing Competition
I received the following invitation via email to compete in an Objectivist writing competition:
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@tufts.edu) 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
After peeking around the internet, I found the following article on the club in question. Hopefully I'll have time to write an entry for submission; if so, I'll post it here.

Update: The Undercurrent is not being sponsored by the club I linked to above. Here is the clarification, which I received via email:
the project is being launched by a group of past and current OAC
students and club leaders from around the country (including University of
Illinois, UChicago, and other places). We intend for this newsletter to be an
ongoing national project that outlives the often fleeting campus clubs that
sprout up around the country and die when its active members graduate. Though
campus clubs will play a central role as distributors and local sponsors, _The
Undercurrent_ as such is not affiliated with any particular club.
My apologies to Gena and the staff for my misunderstanding.

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