Bruin Political Review is the University of California, Los Angeles’ student-run, nonpartisan political journal. The review was founded in the summer of 2020 by five UCLA students, who realized that the university lacked a forum for students to engage with politics in a scholarly, analytical manner. As the number 1 ranked public university in the nation, UCLA was one of the few schools ranked in the top 50 that did not have a political review.
The Bruin Political Review publishes a quarterly journal that consists of articles split into two sections: US and world politics. The goal of the journal is to give writers and editors the opportunity to dive into political issues they are interested in, improve their writing skills, and elevate the political discourse on campus.
A Message from the Founder
Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza stated, “The highest activity a human being can attain is learning for understanding, because to understand is to be free.”
This quote appears to be perfectly describing the problems I, along with many of my fellow classmates and friends, have been experiencing on college campuses across the country.
Group based ideologies that limit freedom of thought and degrade public discourse by irrationally inserting fear within opposing sides have destroyed the intellectual playground that college is intended to be. Instead of allowing students to generate opinions on their own, professors across the country are inserting their own political beliefs into course materials in a way that forces students to disband their intuitions and align with what they are told. Furthermore, the growing partisan divide in the country has limited the opportunity for students to feel individualistic in their beliefs. Without the proper forum to express them, young adults are being forced to identify with two camps, or not express their beliefs at all. Students are not “learning to understand,” but rather learning subjective information provided to them. Spinoza would hardly consider us free.
This is the purpose of the Bruin Political Review: an opportunity for students to struggle internally with their own personal beliefs on issues of their choice, and ultimately come to reasoned, researched, and well supported conclusions about them. The writers have the free will to express their own opinions, but are given the chance to do so in a thorough and thoughtful manner. This is not the place for catchy headlines that simplify nuanced issues and destroy any chance at meaningful debate about complex problems within American society. This is a place for real conversations to be generated, and true political discourse to be developed.
In The Social Contract, Jean Jacques Rousseau wrote that “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains.” Today, this idea remains true. The chains are hypothetical, binding people only by limiting their ability to think for themselves and reflect upon the world around them. People are prevented from synthesizing their life experiences to come to purposeful conclusions about the society they live in, ultimately leading to more partisanship and less progress.
Before I finish, I will leave you with these words:
“If men are to be precluded from offering their sentiments on a matter, which may involve the most serious and alarming consequences that can invite the consideration of mankind, reason is of no use to us; the freedom of speech may be taken away, and dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep, to the slaughter.” -George Washington, first U.S. president
Hopefully, the Bruin Political Review can make a difference, small as it may be, in promoting a meaningful political dialogue that is at the core of our country’s values of liberty, freedom, and justice.
Founder, Bruin Political Review
Editor in ChiefShreya Kollipara
Managing EditorRyan Silverstein
Web DeveloperAaron Minkov
Director of OperationsJack Barber
Director of FinanceKari Zimmerman
Director of EventsSarah Hobson
Senior EditorsAllie Burns
Senior EditorsSydney Stuckmann
Jee Keat Wah