by Stephen Sims

I feel that this, our production, is in need of an introduction. This is not a venue for irrationality, bigoted politics, or anything else of that nature. This is a place for students who do not have the opportunity or the reason to write to do so. This journal exists for the practical purpose of making us better writers. Of course, ideas will be appreciated, thought-provoking things will be written, and writers will engage one another on issues, but all for the sake of perfecting the writer’s art. Hence the name of this journal is artifex, to signify that it is focusing on the writer as a craftsman, that is, a producer of written things.

Thus I ask all of you who contribute to this work be regular and faithful producers. There will be days when you do not feel like writing, days when the creative wheels are not spinning, when you want to do nothing. However, I believe that if you write during these times, you will become exponentially better at our art. The point is to write something, not something brilliant or prodigious, but rather to simply put down on paper a thought, backed up with reasonable arguments, and maybe even some text. The writer is like any other craftsman. He must practice and perfect his art, even if sometimes his productions are not as good as he would like them. Continual application will make straight what was crooked.

We are the inheritors and keepers of the Western culture. This may be a hackneyed phrase, but that shouldn’t give us pause. There are few people who know the history and values of the West, and furthermore know the principles on which the values stand. As young people at universities are taught to hate themselves, the past of their people, and everything their forefathers held dear, the battle will only grow fiercer and more desperate. Since there are so few of us, and our culture is under such vicious attack, I believe it behooves us as young men of reasonable intelligence, to develop ourselves such that we may try and save our heritage and culture, that is, the culture of Christendom. We cannot let the role of writer and lettered man fall to those who hate what we guard and cherish. Therefore, I believe we should write, and write more than the school says we must.

We must develop the art of writing and of debating, so that we can be effective contributors to the battle in the future. We must do this if whether we go to graduate school to pursue higher education, or if we go to school to pursue a professional career, or if we are mere laborers at a construction site. We are being given the skills by our school to analyze texts and thinks for ourselves, and we should try to guide our fellow men away from the errors of radical progressive thought, progress for the sake of progress.

So here, I propose that we develop our writing abilities as well as we are able. Write to become more eloquent, write so that it becomes easier to do so, write to provoke discussion, write because it is a worthy thing to do.

Thomas Aquinas College
November 2008