A New Edition of Preserving Democracy

Back when my company, Energion Publications, was preparing to release Preserving Democracy in hardcover, I wrote a post, On Publishing a Conservative Book. Those who read this blog, for example, the tag line in the header, will realize that I do not call myself conservative.

Which leads me to a digression about labels. In Preserving Demcracy, page 188 (of the new, expanded, paperback edition), beginning a section titled “Political Labels” Elgin says, “Before moving on, let me say a few words in defense of labels….” I could say something similar. Language would be impossible without the use of labels; one might say language is labels.

The problem comes in when we are using labels in debate. In one discussion in an online forum I recall being labeled a fundamentalist Christian and an atheist, both with regard to the very same post, a post which was not more than half a dozen paragraphs long. One of the great ways we have of making debate useless is the shifting of labels. “Liberal” has changed meaning, and so has “conservative.” I don’t have a problem with words changing meaning. There’s no point. They will change. But we need to watch out both for the normal drifts in meaning and the intentional manipulation of labels.

I don’t wish to repeat myself regarding publishing books with which I may not agree. It’s also a bit unfair to Preserving Democracy. It’s just that questions regarding what I have said and written come up much more frequently with regard to this book than of any other I have published. I suppose, as I’ve said before, that this results from my company being owned by one person, so that people think it’s my personal propaganda arm.

And of course I do get to decide what I will publish, but I chose from the start to seek out a range of views and publish them. I want books that express a strong point of view, provide support for that view, and invite further discussion. I’m not interested either in publishing only books that take a particular view, and I’m not interested in publishing books that appear ashamed to show their true colors.

Go back and read my previous post. Take a look through this blog. Most of what I’ve written on politics is right here. I’ve never written a political book, but I am pretty free with my opinions. Then consider taking a look at Preserving Democracy.

I enjoyed editing it; I hope you’ll enjoy reading it, whether you nod your head all the way through, or get ready to write annoyed blog posts or letters to the author.

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