Editorial: Why we need a Rational Standard
2015 was a year of safe spaces, speech police, poo-throwing, petulant protests and a complete disregard for basic economics. It was also a year of hate, as many of us lost friends to a collectivist agenda. With journalism collapsing to such a degree that tabloids contain as much substance as the daily paper, socialism and Marxism coming back into fashion and facts being rejected as a ‘white conspiracy’, it is up to those with sense to defend the semblance of reason that we still hold dear.
In order to do this, we need to maintain a rational standard. We have to identify principles that are the result of tried and tested reasoning, defend those principles and allow them to develop intellectually rather than as a result of fashion trends and feelings. Logical reasoning is, objectively, how society’s problems are solved; indeed, emotional ‘reasoning’, such as the kind we are seeing in South African civil society and government policy documentation nowadays, has only exacerbated problems and caused widespread resentment.
Journalism in South Africa is in crisis. The vast majority of news and commentary sites have taken a dip in quality and even those maintaining well-written pieces only adhere to one ideological strain. It has become increasingly common to see editors, who are supposed to maintain a rational standard and ensure all publicised views are logically-informed, liberally allow the commentariat to say what they want, adhering to no sense of reason. While we believe, strongly, that people should be able to say whatever pleases them, we do not think it is responsible nor ethical for editors to entertain and host such fallacious diatribes. For South Africa to maintain robust and vibrant journalism, there needs to be an alternative to the dominant narrative. This means more competition between commentators and less proverbial head nodding.
A rational standard needs to be set in order to maintain an appropriate quality in journalism and to defend the free market of ideas. Only then can we have a proper discussion, where all sides are presented rationally without fear or favour.
This site does not pretend to be unbiased. A lack of bias is impossible in the world that we live. We know this logically, and embrace it as part of reality. What this site aims to do is present an alternative to the narratives presented by other commentators. We do not lie, we check our facts, and we may make human errors, but keep in mind that everything we say will be from the mouths of individuals with beliefs as strong as yours. Thus, we will not be unbiased, but we will tell the truth.
Bias is a naturally-occurring phenomenon in human behaviour. We all prefer certain things, and this preference is never uniform from one individual to another. The subjective nature of value, a first principle in economics that is also widely ignored by the commentariat, tells us this as well.
What we prefer at the Rational Standard is freedom: to do, say, think, and interact with one another, and with property, as we, individually, see fit. We have a freedom bias, with liberty being the guiding value for our authors. Every government decision, intellectualist rhetoric, and demands from civil society will be measured against ‘how will this affect the ability of individual South Africans to make their own decisions?’ We are not unbiased; indeed, we are very biased. What you can expect from us is not a fallacious ‘objective’ analysis of current events, but a rigorous defence of your individuality, and your freedom.
Established sites have left a gap. Comment sections have become censored. Editors have become ideologues of the left. The rational standard has been disregarded. As the Rational Standard, we seek to remedy this. We have a menagerie of veteran writers of alternative news and commentary. We are independent. We aren’t threatened by the whims of the state or the proletariat. We are committed to one simple goal: to provide a rational, free, alternative to a media so tenuously committed to the truth.
We want your voice to help with this goal. South Africa, and the world, stands on the brink, where freedom becomes but a passing fancy. We here at the Rational Standard do not have such a flippant relationship with freedom. Many have died for it, many have fought for it. We will speak for it, and the rest will come later.