About Us

On The Ideal State is a podcast and essay series dedicated to liberty and justice in the twenty-first century.


Our interviews are academics, statesmen, experts, and other modern-day philosopher-kings and philosopher-queens who can contribute unique and diverse viewpoints to our audience. If you fit the preceding description and would like to be interviewed, contact us.


Our essays are crowdsourced thought pieces from ordinary people and students from across the nation.  In addition, we happily republish pieces from leading academics in order to help guide our content's overall direction. To submit an essay, click here.

Our People


Samuel Oshay - Founder & Editor-in-Chief

Samuel Oshay is a student and an award-winning entrepreneur living in the San Francisco Bay Area. His primary professional interests are economics and computer science. In his spare time, he is an actor, singer, and guitarist. His first studio album, A Random Walk Down Main Street, will be available in July of 2016.


Maxwell Sahlins - Editor & Interview Coordinator

Maxwell Sahlins is a high school student living in Berkeley, California. His chief interests are in medicine and health education; he explores these passions by working at Libraries Without Borders, a French non-profit that aims to address structural and intergenerational poverty through innovative educational techniques.


Ashkan Vafai - Editor & Contributing Essayist

Ashkan Vafai is a student in Oakland, California. He chief interests are in economics, corporate law, and physics. As an Iranian-American, fluent in Farsi, he frequently travels to the Middle East, where he has participated in and recorded major political events, most notably the Green Revolution.