The Rational Argumentator's 

Second Anniversary Manifesto

G. Stolyarov II
Issue XXVI - August 31, 2004
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A sample image Radical cultural changes do not happen overnight. They do not happen over a mere two years, either. However, during two years, radical progress toward cultural change can be made, and indeed, from August 31, 2002, to today, the Internet has witnessed the emergence of a citadel of Reason, The Rational Argumentator.

            All cultural fenomena have their root cause in filosofy, and, to bring about change, filosofical reform and innovation must be carried out first and foremost. There is demand for such a new, systematic, rational approach to all areas of life, and this demand rises with each passing year. In reflection of this, in its first year of existence, TRA had attracted 8135 visits. However, in the past year, it has seen this number rise by a factor of 2.48, as its pages were frequented 20174 times. During its lifetime, TRA has received 28309 visits. This is an impressive increase, brought about by a combination tactic of establishing external links to TRA, submitting TRA articles to other journals and forums, and simply having the quantity and profundity of content needed to intrigue visitors directly. Since its first anniversary, TRA has published 123 features in 9 issues. Its list of readers subscribed to receive regular updates has risen to 63, which, of course, is only a small fraction of all those who view The Rational Argumentator on a frequent basis. Additionally The Rational Argumentator has originated multiple closely affiliated endeavors, which are devoted to a particular field of the quest for the New Renaissance, including Mr. Stolyarov’s Gallery of Rational Art, TRA’s Online Store, and the Chicago Methuselah Foundation Fund.

            Moreover, TRA has secured an abundance of contributions from numerous rational thinkers, including Dr. Gary M. Galles, Jonathan Rick, Michael Miller, Christopher Schlegel, and the scholars of the Ayn Rand Institute, whose works appear on its pages on a regular basis. This, coupled, with many other serendipitous discoveries and submissions, along with Mr. Stolyarov’s own unrelenting output, ensures that The Rational Argumentator’s fount of wisdom shall not run dry for as far into the future as rational foresight allows one to predict.

            TRA’s Anniversary Manifesto had presented the following as its goal for the past year: “We anticipate that the second year of The Rational Argumentator shall be even more abundant than the first, and shall serve as the origin for an ever widening ideological network that will rightly reward all of its participants.” On all counts, this objective has been met. As befits a nexus of rational thinkers, however, TRA must now turn its gaze to the future. Its accomplishments and expansions thus far are a mere beginning, the establishment of the living ideological foundation from which cultural changes shall spring in every conceivable area of human endeavor: the elimination of government regulation in the economy, the fall of post-modernism in the arts, the defeat of aging in the sciences, and the glorious restoration of intellectualism, humanism, complexity, logic, and system in all forms of discourse. To achieve these colossal aims, fortunately, we are not alone.

            Despite vast progress in the proliferation of rational ideas, the defenders of liberty and reason remain fragmented and often pitted against each other by minute disagreements and petty personal rivalries. Libertarians spar with conservatives, atheists smear deists and agnostics, and, worst of all, Objectivists seem to be the most willing of all to lunge at each other’s throats given the first indication of either stylistic or ideological dissent on any issue. Absent from these time-gobbling feuds is the recognition that one is targeting potential allies, not foes, as the objects of one’s vitriol and denunciation. No massive ideological offensive against today’s entrenched sources of arbitrary government power, cultural nihilism, and anti-scientific luddism can occur so long as the self-proclaimed advocates of Reason view differences on the issue of abortion as more substantial than differences on the issue of economic regulation, or, worse, attempt to transform the broad pro-liberty constituency into a cult into which acceptance is determined by a select few, on the basis of “passion,” “zeal,” or agreement with the peculiar quirks of the self-proclaimed cult leaders.

            The Rational Argumentator recognizes that a broad ideological movement must remain precisely that, and, at the moment that exclusionism and infighting set in, the greater goal of cultural change is extinguished. TRA also affirms the importance of bringing to the forefront of the public’s attention certain issues and arguments, even if TRA’s editorial staff may not necessarily agree with them. Debate and discussion in a free market of ideas, especially when performed in a civil, systematic, and honest manner, is the primary vehicle for the spread of intellectual innovation, and TRA will not permit ideological purism and orthodoxy to crush this vehicle and put its gears behind a museum-case, not to be touched, utilized, or modified.

            For this purpose, The Rational Argumentator encourages its readers to submit… anything that they consider to have some intellectual worth in examining. Our publication process is non-dogmatic and absolutely devoid of subjective and emotional considerations; we will not blacklist writers for lack of “passion,” nor will we insist on a particular stylistic norm. Pieces can be of any length, on any subject (in good taste), and defending any of a broad range of positions, so long as such views have some value to the eventual downfall of the anti-rational cultural status quo. Issues of “experience,” “reputation,” and “personality” are also irrelevant, so long as one’s work has valuable content. We only wish that our authors, debaters, and readers always be prepared for a profound and sincere intellectual challenge!

            In the broad movement for cultural change, if it is to become successful, there will be no hierarchies, no constraining rituals, no obligations to any collective, and, most importantly, no authority beyond each individual’s own mind. All interactions will be between independent traders for mutual benefit, without intimidation, ostracism, or vulgarity. It is for this vision that The Rational Argumentator stands. It shall continue to champion it in the coming year. May it attract ever more attention, material, discovery, and innovation!

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This TRA feature has been edited in accordance with TRA Statement of Policy.

Click here to return to TRA's Issue XXVI Index.

Learn about Mr. Stolyarov's novel, Eden against the Colossus, here.

Read Mr. Stolyarov's comprehensive treatise, A Rational Cosmology, explicating such terms as the universe, matter, space, time, sound, light, life, consciousness, and volition, here.

Read Mr. Stolyarov's four-act play, Implied Consent, a futuristic intellectual drama on the sanctity of human life, here.