Summer 2020 Contest

Summer Contest 2020

What is the problem and why?

Pandemics, polarization, police and, oh man, murder hornets! 2020 has been a hell of a ride.

But, what’s the problem?

Recent global events have brought to the forefront of our minds a variety of problems, ranging from psychological to international. We’re interested in your opinion, perspective, and argument — do you believe there is a societal problem? A systemic problem? A leadership problem? Do you believe we’re a hateful species? We’re destined to form in-groups and out-groups? We’re capable of collectively addressing problems and rectifying wrongs? Do you believe a country is to blame? A political perspective has run amok? Ideologies have created a divide?

Alternatively, maybe you believe there isn’t a problem. In a similar vein to Steven Pinker’s Enlightenment Now argument, maybe you believe that the events witnessed today are the result of reason, science, and greater access to data. Do the tragic headlines play to our psychological biases, tribalism, authoritarianism, magical thinking, or desire to demonize, making us believe there are greater problems in human society today when really we’ve progressed far greater than we can see? 

The Abstract Elephant Magazine tasks you with answering the following question:

If there is a problem, what is it? Why is this the problem? What is the relationship between this problem and our human condition (e.g. does our human condition cause this problem? How can we work to solve this problem?)? Interpret these questions however you see fit. All levels of analysis are encouraged: individual, societal, national, international. Your answer can be as broad or as specific as you like, as long as you provide a decent explanation and argument.

We do not discriminate against political opinion, belief, or perspective. All are welcome as long as a decent argument is made. 

By submitting with us, the author gives The Abstract Elephant Magazine LLC the right to publish the work on https://abstractelephant.com/ (i.e. first electronic rights) and the right to archive it indefinitely on our website (i.e. archival rights). 


Summer 2020 Contest Winners

Safer At Home

Africa’s Socialist Legacies: Why Americans Should be Wary of ‘Revolutionaries’

Selfish People Make The World Go Round

Scarred (The Vicious Cycle)

The Subtle Appeal



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