Editor's Notes


So many readers have commented on the graphics of REASON that I thought it time to mention their origin. Those dozen or so subscribers who began with the very first issue will recognize the great distance REASON has traversed graphically, from a poorly mimeographed sheet to its (moderately) well-designed present format. Much of the philosophical credit for the improvement should go to a graphic designer named Ruth Gesheker, whom I met just after I released the first issue. A student of what is best called Swiss Design (or, perhaps, the MIT style), she showed me that one needn't clutter a page to attract attention; indeed, that the best read messages are those most cryptic and considerate of man's visual needs. Not long after this brief series of lessons, she was accepted at one of the best design schools and moved off to Basil, Switzerland, so she can't be blamed for my subsequent errors, but only for whatever aspects of the design that turned out well. Since the first issue, art direction and design (though not art work execution) has been my responsibility. Another person who has aided significantly is Derek Kittridge, advising me on art preparation and even drawing some of the graphics. (Fly the frenzied skies was his execution; more of his work is slated for appearance in coming issues.) Hopefully, each succeeding issue will show improvement, more illustrations and more inventive layouts. Thanks for the compliments.

For the first time, I've managed to bring together in a single issue almost all the components that I want REASON to consist of: strictly philosophical essays, articles of interest mainly to libertarians and Objectivists, and articles of general interest. Our aim is to make the articles of each gender so outstanding that those interested in only one gender will subscribe, even though their interest occupies only 1/3 of the magazine. Other attractive features include cartoons, the Editor's Notes, reader's forum, and certain upcoming surprises. Basically, then, REASON has become close to what I planned when I began two years ago. Except for circulation. I'd like to hear from readers with ideas on building circulation, or who might be interested in affording financial support.

Notice our staff has grown. Cheri Litzenberger, Tibor Machan, and Robert Poole have become contributing editors. Kay Van Dyke assists in production. The publisher's tasks have been taken over by Mark Frazier, a 17-year old senior at Winchester (Mass.), while I have relegated myself to strictly editorial endeavors. Towards completing my staff, I need a contributing editor strong on economics and correspondents to informally contribute clippings and observations for the editor's notes.

Our laissez-faire buttons are still on sale—4/$1, 25/$4.50, 100/$13. Minimum order: $1.00; send cash on all orders less than $4.50. Address correspondence to REASON.

The Freeman plans to use Robert Poole's article on the oceans and ownership shortly. You should see it there in several months.

A new group has been formed: Wayne State Committee Against Student Terrorism, Box 05152, Detroit, Michigan 48205 (tel: 832-1175).

The New York Times reports that Kathy Boudin, weatherwoman, was disappointed in Russia's young radicals. "Their solution," she said with distaste, "is a free market economy in which money translates people's wishes…" Perhaps readers who have recently toured Russia or the Eastern European Socialist countries could drop us a note containing their observations concerning what seems to be a rapidly growing movement against totalitarianism in those states.

A magazine called Ignition began publication this April. Dedicated to improving the efficiency of social change, Ignition is edited monthly by Robert G. Gifford at 1547 High Street, Denver, Colorado 80218. Send for samples.

"Save the children. Sell the schools" will be the headline of the next button I design. The (preliminary) artwork for the button appears with this month's editorial on education. Any group planning a 'sell the public schools' campaign can purchase the final art for a small fee (which they can then take to a button maker). In fact, most of the artwork that appears in REASON, as well as articles, is probably available at some price. Write to the editor for details.

The letters forum, as can be seen, is becoming a success. In this and future issues I'll try to introduce at least one new topic so as to keep things interesting. Readers who wish to throw out a topic for consideration are welcome to do so. David Myers does so in this issue in his letter on libertarian designation. The question is, when speaking to the general public, does the libertarian call himself a right-winger, a left-winger, or does he claim to be literally outside the political spectrum, rejecting the power trips of both the (so-called) left and right wings? Does he, like Karl Hess, in his Playboy article, seek to be identified as an anti-political activist? Does he agree with Robert Lefevre that left and right wings are attached to the same bird of prey—the state? The question is not unimportant; just the opposite. It is the first of many such questions, ones that must be answered if rational men are to succeed in converting this society. Please refer to the centerfold, and keep those cards and letters coming.

Additional copies of the center spread are available at no charge.

This issue, properly, should be listed as No 5/6 (Jan/Feb) because of its extended size. The next issue will be devoted to ecology and may appear on a limited number of newsstands. Those who wish to purchase bulk orders in advance should contact the editor.

Wanted: an accomplished writer to write features and editorials. Exciting and satisfying work.