What's In It For You?

Here's what readers, conference attendees, writers, and donors say ...

Below are comments from TOS readers. We'd love to add your comments too! Please email them to [email protected].

This is Aravind and Shruti. We are students of the Objectivist Academic Centre, and we are currently doing our Masters in Philosophy at the University of Bristol. We are writing this mail to express our profound gratitude to you for sending copies of The Objective Standard to the Ayn Rand Conference in Prague. We had been following various articles of the journal for a long time, but had not yet procured a full issue. We got one copy each at the conference, and we absolutely love it! The middle-of-the-range articles are invaluable in the knowledge they provide, and nourish a deep spiritual need of ours. It sets an objectively great standard for researching, analysing and writing, and demonstrates the necessity of a rational philosophy in decoding issues in several fields. We want to add that we love the advertisements too, and find them delightfully valuable. We will henceforth attempt to procure the digital versions of the other volumes of the journal, from 2006 to 2018, through Kindle or The Objective Standard website, as it is a product that gives us immense pleasure and value. Owning the physical copies of The Objective Standard that we have feels much like owning artifacts from Galt’s Gulch. We love it. Thank you very much for your work, and we look forward to reading more of The Objective Standard. —Aravind & Shruti

Thank you TOS for being a shining beacon of reason and objectivity. You bring so much value to my life! —Dan

The Objective Standard is my favorite organization in the world. Full Stop. The scope of its intellectual commentary is tremendous, and its precision, depth, rigor, layman accessibility, and selection of important and motivational topics are second to none. —Mark

The Objective Standard is a fountain of clarity in an otherwise murky world. —Martin

The Objective Standard represents the best of Objectivism: an undiluted commitment to reason, communicated with a rational temper and benevolence. —Carl

It’s wonderful to get The Objective Standard in the mail and online. I always recommend your articles and The Standard to anyone even slightly interested. It has the power to change lives. —Becky

What a thrill to read clear integrations of Objectivism with all of the subjects I love from History to Education to Physics. Congratulations on being the finest Objectivist periodical since The Ayn Rand Letter both in range and in clarity. —Tom

TOS’s articles are clear as water, well structured, and very, very deep. You are giving us intellectual tools to fight the battle for freedom. Please know that you are helping readers all around the world with your contributions. —Eduardo

I just want to say how thankful I am for your publication. . . . The articles have enhanced my understanding of Objectivism and its practical applications, my ability to love life, and my ability to debate in terms of fundamentals. —Kristian

I consider TOS the finest Objectivist publication I've seen since I first became interested in the philosophy as a teenager—which makes TOS the best Objectivist publication in a half-century! —Roy

Thank you, and all your other great writers, for elucidating important ideas, bringing historical characters to life, and generally helping to make my life more enjoyable and productive. —Jack

An indispensable pillar of my development in Objectivism. Thank you! —Andrew

I really enjoy TOS and find great inspiration, especially in your uncovering forgotten or underappreciated books and heroic historical figures. Great fuel for the mind! —Molly

What a glittering gem in a world starved of clarity in ideas and thinking. —Doug

I was a subscriber to The Objectivist Forum and The Intellectual Activist, and you have far surpassed them both, in my opinion. I hope that you are able to continue to publish long into the future. —Bradley

TOS continues to be the best-ever Objectivist periodical. Thank you for the good thinking, and for all the wonderful, useful, productive, enjoyable things that come as a result of it. —Dan

Thank you for all your continued work on this soul-rejuvenating journal and website! One of a kind! —Paul

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TOS has really stretched my ability to reason over the years, and I believe that has helped me to be a better person than I would otherwise have been. And I'm sure I'm not alone in that. —Jonathan

TOS is the best journal out there, with the most important mission there is. Thanks for all you do! —Tom

I love this journal! Thank you so much for all the wonderful writing. —Margaret

I've subscribed to The Objective Standard right from Vol.I, No. 1, and I treasure their voices! Surely among the most rational and wide-ranging minds on the planet! —Eric

Nothing gives me more selfish pleasure than supporting my values—and The Objective Standard is one of my favorites. I look forward to every issue. —Frank

Your publication is avidly anticipated by me. Every issue brings deeper understanding and clarity about so many issues. —Bill

As someone who is new to Objectivism, it is great to have a media source that tells it like it is, and more importantly, gives the reader the necessary information to come to logical, objective conclusions. —Byron

TOS is the long-awaited means to tie theory and practice together. The quality of writing is by far the best. Thank you. —Bob

The Objective Standard is a great publication—the only one I am aware of that discusses important philosophical issues with amazing depth and clarity and in a way that is accessible to people who don't have academic experience in philosophy. I enjoy reading it very much and am grateful for your work! —Boris

This is one of the best magazines out there that stands in defense of all that is beautiful about human civilization. On the rare occasions that I disagree with a certain article, there is still much to think about. Thank you! —Ketan

TOS is essential to me maintaining my sanity, not to mention hope for a better world. —John

Simply edifying. —Jatan

This is the only magazine I read cover-to-cover. No other offers as much thought and value. —Dwayne

An invaluable philosophical magazine of clarity and integrity. —Jeff

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A rare voice of and for reason in a world that is sliding into an altruist/collectivist abyss. —Doug

TOS is one of the few publications I read cover to cover. I greatly appreciate your contributions to civil and reasonable discourse. —Hugh

TOS represents the best of Objectivism and is an exemplar of how we should communicate our ideas to others. —Carl

I hate to reach the end of every issue. —Dwayne

I have read many of the Objectivist publications over the years and although they were all of high quality, yours is clearly the best. —Mike

TOS is the best value, by far, per dollar in the fight for freedom. —Raymond

I have found literally every article be a compelling read. The content is rich and varied and weighty, but it is also readable by anyone who is intellectually curious, whether Objectivist or non-Objectivist. Bringing these elements together so well is a great accomplishment. —David

I appreciate your relentless commitment to reason and excellence. I don't know of an equivalent publication anywhere, and it means a great deal to me that not only are the articles first rate, but the format and editing are outstanding as well. . . . You have taken Objectivist publishing to the next level. —Brent

The Objective Standard continues to be an irreplaceable source for objective thought regarding issues of our time. —Paul

I’ve been a subscriber since the beginning, but have failed to tell you how much I appreciate all that you do. I just received the print Winter Edition, and read ‘Doors of Daring.’ Among its many other virtues, TOS is an inspiration. So, thanks for daring. —Michael

Your work is outstanding, even when compared with Ayn Rand's decade-long monthly journals of which I have every single copy. Best premises. —Dick

The Objective Standard is the most interesting and inspiring journal in America today. Unlike its competitors, TOS is not a journal of opinion; it is a journal that strives for nothing less than the truth, and it is changing America’s cultural landscape. —Bradley

The Objective Standard provides a regular source of provocative and informative content on the crucial issues of the day. Nowhere else can I find such high quality analysis of so wide a range of ideas—from art to politics to foreign affairs, from movies to health care to psychology and beyond. —Eric

The Objective Standard is outstanding. It rivals The Ayn Rand Letter, The Objectivist Newsletter, and The Objectivist. I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to receive such a jewel in our age of mostly unreason. —Dick

No one else generates consistently quality content like TOS. —Josh

Thank you and the staff of The Objective Standard for always providing a rational worldview to counteract the insanities of our time. Boy do we need it. —Jim

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Below are various testimonials from TOS-Con attendees. If you attended a TOS-Con, we'd love to add your comments to the page! Please email them to [email protected].

TOS-Con 2018 and 2019 have been two of the most important events in my life to date. The most tangible result of these conferences in my life has been the creation of my own business. I was able to start the business as a direct result of the energy, self-esteem, and will that I gained largely from your conference in 2018. TOS-Con is an event filled with breathtaking intellectual and aesthetic revelations that is attended by a group of rational, benevolent, and energetic people who love to share their optimism and positivity. It is a place for construction and for creativity. It is a place where everyone looks to find the best within themselves and within each other, and to celebrate that. As a result of this, I leave each conference feeling supercharged with energy and ideas which I am able to implement in my own life to make it consistently better. Thanks to TOS-Con I also have a new network of friends from around the country. The price paid to attend this conference is the single best investment I have ever made in myself, and one I will continue to make year after year. Thank you sincerely for having the strength of purpose to create this conference. —Steven

A year ago, my life was a mess. I had no sense of direction, didn’t know what I wanted, and my mind was in chaos. Not only did I not know how to solve it, everything I tried ended up making it worse. Even though I had read Anthem a few years before, I managed to miss the entire point of the book. I became focused on the dystopia and on the political aspects of the novel, and somehow missed the topics of individualism and egoism. When you [Jon Hersey] introduced me to TOS and encouraged me to travel to the conference in Richmond last year, you practically led me to what I had been looking for my entire life. From opening my eyes to the rest of the philosophy, to introducing me to the most inspiring people I’ve ever met, TOS-Con taught me how to love life for the first time. One year later, after having the privilege to travel to Park City, I realized that the impact Objectivism has had in my life is greater than I ever thought. I am a better person—more productive, more assertive, and with a better defined life framework. But most importantly, I can say I am happy for the first time in my life. —Juan

The aspect of TOS-Con that I found most valuable was the emphasis throughout the event on anti-dogma. I’m aware of the stereotype of Objectivists as dogmatic and cultish, which is why I was pleased to hear Craig Biddle on the first day talk about intellectual independence and rejecting all dogma, including any dogma within the Objectivist movement. It made me feel welcomed and comfortable asking questions. —Anthony

TOS-Con was actually better than advertised: it was the most life-enhancing conference imaginable. I came away feeling positively buoyant. And as I thought about the wit and wisdom you and the other speakers provided, I realized that I had come away not only smarter and happier, but a clearer thinker and, quite literally, a better person. Thank you for making that happen. —Dan

The intellectual development I experienced is immeasurable. —Oscar

Traveling home, I couldn’t stop thinking about all of the ideas I heard and people I met . . . Speaking with so many passionate individuals and listening to so many different talks really inspired me to reflect on how I live my life and how I want to live it, and to put more work into my aspirations. I’m so grateful for the experience. Thank you! —Kenna

Alex Epstein’s talk on communication was a favorite because of my specific interest in that subject, but I enjoyed Robin Field’s performance the most. I’ll remember his powerful story about his introduction to Atlas Shrugged for the rest of my life. —Mike

I loved that the speakers were around and available for informal chats. Whether that was intentional or not, it was very valuable. —Ryan

The integration of the presentations was fantastic! They all had a common thread. The very actionable lectures on taking ownership of your career and finances were extremely valuable to me. —Celeste

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I’m sure your inbox is flooded with similar messages, but I just wanted to say once more, TOS-Con was phenomenal, and I am overjoyed that I got to experience it! Ten minutes into Craig’s talk on Friday morning, I knew I was in for something amazing. All the speakers spoke at a level that was challenging yet very approachable and understandable for someone like me, someone pretty new to Objectivism. It was delightful! I was also blown away by how kind and thoughtful the attendees were. I learned not just a ton about the application of Objectivism and human flourishing, but also picked up a bunch of soft skills and inspiration from interacting with the awesome people that came. Thank you so much for all the work you put in to make that happen. I can’t wait for next year!!! —Leisa

The speakers, your staff, the hotel, and the locale made TOS-Con much more than a typical conference. You created an atmosphere of intellectual curiosity and rational inquiry in a relaxed, socially-engaged, fun environment. My only disappointment was that it ended. —Ed

Excellent relaxed pace. I really liked the approach of choosing an important theme, and building the conference around it. It was a wonderful experience. I got a lot of great ideas for improving my business and spreading Objectivism. —Stephanie

I loved the mixture of ages, the interaction among participants, and the great Q&A sessions at the end of each talk. I also loved that every session related to the overarching theme. It was like a concerto that built to a climax at the end. Thank you for such a rewarding experience. —Terry

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Every talk was intellectually exhilarating. I had a great time and made the most of it. I attended every talk (didn’t miss a single one), met amazing people, made great memories, and am leaving feeling very inspired and energized. —Julian

The topics wove together to make a fascinating tapestry of ideas that were practical and immediately applicable. Thanks for all the soul fuel! —John

This conference has changed the way I think about the world around me. This is my first conference and will go down as one of my life-changing experiences. —Lauren

I love your focus on making philosophy practical and applicable. —Jen

I wasn’t a big believer in the power of poetry or movies, but after Lisa VanDamme’s talk, I was blown away. I could not believe such poetry could have as much power as a full novel in some cases. I applied this new integration to watching Green Book for the first time and finally understood how movies can fuel the soul. I realized that consuming art wasn’t a waste of time, detracting away from productive work, but fuel to work more productively. —Chetan

The people at this conference are so much more approachable than [other conferences]. Age and previous association didn’t delineate who one would usually talk to. —Brian

I loved that all the speakers were so articulate, and all had their philosophy so beautifully integrated into their lives and professions. —Dan

This conference has dispelled the stereotype that Objectivists are a bunch of stuck-in-the-muds. —William

I found great value in how TOS-Con demonstrates applying philosophy to concretes, things specifically relevant to how I live my life. —Randy

I was surprised and delighted by the richness of material and virtuosity of delivery, which has afforded me much that is fresh, vital, and challenging to pursue. —Stephen

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Whenever a young writer asks me how to improve, one of my top recommendations is “Find a good editor to give you feedback”—followed by “This is very hard to do, because most really good editors won’t be available to you.” Fortunately, if you are a promising writer and want to get a lot better, you have a great option in trying to write for The Objective Standard, edited by my friend Craig Biddle. Craig helped me a lot with my writing early in my career when I needed it the most. He would kindly but firmly point out when my arguments were half-baked, my sentences were sloppy, or my theme was conflicted. Like any good editor, he was always a strong advocate for the audience, telling me when my writing was clear and motivating—and when it was not. Also, just as importantly, Craig was a great source of encouragement to me early in my career. He always supplemented any criticism of my writing with a general enthusiasm about my potential. This is particularly valuable early on, when writing is hard and encouragement is scarce. I hope that more young writers take advantage of the opportunity to write for The Objective Standard—and that supporters of TOS are aware of the contribution they’re making to a new generation of compelling Objectivist writers. —Alex Epstein

When I first submitted an article to TOS, I had been writing for a local magazine for a couple of years, was an editor there, and worked full-time as a copy editor elsewhere. But, despite my experience and ambition, I was in fact still very green. I had a general understanding that clarity is king, but looking back, I think I probably spent more time looking for the most colorful way of putting a point than I did the clearest. Like many of the writers I’ve worked with since, I was more interested in “style” and sounding “smart” than I was in offering readers helpful ideas and inspiring stories. Needless to say, Craig ripped my writing apart—and if that were all, I may have walked away dejected or resolute that my vices were actually virtues. But then he showed me—patiently, with a surgeon’s touch—how to put my ideas back together into a sensible whole. He did this not once or twice, but scores of times: so many in fact that I began to hear his criticisms before even showing him my work. That is, until I internalized the principles of clear communication that he taught me and began to apply them in my own editing. Craig is like no teacher I’ve ever known. He can be incredibly demanding, but his demands are never arbitrary, and they are always aimed at one thing: crystal-clear thinking that anyone can understand and make use of to better his life. I make no claims to being a great writer or editor. But I would not have a tenth the ability I do now without Craig Biddle. I love to share what I’ve learned from him with other writers, and I know of no better means of becoming a clearer thinker and communicator than by writing for TOS on a regular basis. —Jon Hersey

I've been writing for a living for a long time, and I've always heavily emphasized the importance of constant progress—of always striving to be at least a little better at your craft today than you were yesterday. But I almost always work alone, and there's only so much you can do to improve your own writing when you're flying solo. Since joining the TOS team, the speed at which my writing improves has increased dramatically. Craig and Jon have backgrounds and perspectives on writing different from my own, but we all share the same understanding of the essential elements of good writing. Integrating parts of their approaches with my own has made my writing noticeably stronger and easier within the last year. I've worked with hundreds of other writers and editors throughout my career. I can think of exactly one other person among them who showcases levels of skill and dedication remotely comparable to those I've seen in Craig and Jon. Improving your writing quickly and dramatically takes a lot of work, but if you're serious about doing it, there's no better way than by writing for TOS. —Tim White

Interested in writing for TOS? Here's what you need to know.

Here are comments from people who support TOS with contributions over and above their subscription. If you are a donor, we'd love to add your thoughts here as well! Please email them to [email protected].

We have been continually impressed with the content of The Objective Standard, both in print and online. The clarity of thought and reasoned debate is inspiring and encouraging. Please accept the enclosed donation as our way of supporting the efforts of keeping a bright light burning in an all too often dimly lit world. —Chris and Lydia

I contribute with pleasure and will continue to do so. The Objective Standard is a great publication—the only one I am aware of that discusses important philosophical issues with amazing depth and clarity and in a way that is accessible to people who don't have academic experience in philosophy. I enjoy reading it very much and am grateful for your work. —Boris

Nothing gives me more selfish pleasure than supporting my values—and The Objective Standard is one of my favorites. —Frank

Your publication is of great value to me, and I will contribute as I can. —Judy

Your endeavors are very easy to support. What could be better than supporting great efforts in favor of the values we share? You guys are terrific. —Dan

It’s in my personal and selfish interest to support TOS even if I don’t expect Objectivism to win the war in my lifetime. I want to have the satisfaction that I lived the fight and fought well. TOS gives me the ammunition like no other source. —Kapil

This donation comes incredibly short of matching the value I receive from TOS, but, alas, it is all I can give right now. — Timothy

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I’ve been reading your work for years and have thoroughly appreciated it, but I decided it was finally time to get off my butt and put my money where my mouth is! —Chris

The Objective Standard combines the highest level of quality with the deepest level of philosophical analysis. That’s why I support it. —Craig

You are doing very important work, which I am happy to support. I have been enjoying my subscription immensely, and can’t wait to read the next issue. —Genie

TOS is the best value, by far, per dollar in the fight for freedom. —Ray

Very happy to help . . . it is but a small down payment on all the value I receive from your work. —John

Money well spent. Where would we be without men such as you who do the heavy lifting in the fight against the statists? In dire straights, I think. —David

Your articles, videos, and TOS are very well done and I suspect fill a big gap in the promulgation of Objectivism. And with a 25-year-old daughter, this is a very ‘practical’ and selfish donation. —James

I am very pleased to witness TOS continuing to provide an excellent product, and improve with every passing year. It is an honor to be a part of that success. —Brent

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It is my pleasure to donate to TOS. As a long-time Objectivist, I’ve seen Objectivist magazines and brochures come and go. Yours, happily, is still very much alive—and its quality is of the highest rank. Although I know I will not live to see cultural change blossom fully in my lifetime, I am with my donations "fighting for the future”—the future of my children and grandchildren and their progeny. —Bill

The world is a better place because of TOS, and I am happy to help. Thank you for what you are doing. —Brad

The work you do is more important than ever, given the sad state of our culture. I am happy to help in any way I can. —Genie

I'm busy working on my retirement and not terribly active as a promoter of freedom these days; but fortunately one of the things I can do from time to time is assist active organizations with their funding. I think of it as an investment in my future and the future of my children. Keep up the good work, and I'll help when I can. —Rick

Thank you for everything that you all do at The Objective Standard. The video shorts that TOS has posted to YouTube are excellent. Especially the ones where you answer questions from individuals. These have been very helpful to me, and I hope you continue to produce them. As a business owner and proud capitalist, I support the same goals you do and am very happy to be of some small help in spreading the words of reason. —Lee

My experience with book publishing has made me aware of the terrible economics of most publishing efforts, so I’m happy to help keep a very valuable Objectivist publication in operation. —Pete

Help TOS fight for your values, and make a donation today.

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