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I presume that you’ve all received invitations to read what I’ve been publishing lately, haven’t you? Perhaps several times, even? If not, let me know right away. Everyone who contributed to my book campaign should be on my mailing list, but it’s possible your e-mail filters are rejecting my newsletters as spam, or that somehow I’ve accidentally deleted your address. It might help if I send the newsletters from a different address, so be sure to let me know. If you didn’t contribute, but want to be on the mailing list, just send me your address through the contact form on my website.
For those of you who are new to Ricochet, may I invite you? Please have a look, if you think it would be interesting, at the collection of essays I’ve been publishing recently the decline of liberal democracy in the West and the rise of the new Caesarism. When I’ve finished published them all online, I’ll be bringing out a print copy—these essays are chapters of a book. This is a crowdfunded projected of two years, now, one that would have been impossible without the support of Ricochet’s readers. It’s a tremendous tribute to Ricochet, and to its culture of civility and curiosity, that so many of you have not only sponsored the research and writing of a book, but a book full of ideas with which many of you, I know, don’t agree. These are the small things that make me hopeful for freedom of expression and the quality of American political discourse.
As for the latter: I’ve received a number of contributions to the campaign recently from people saying, “I may not agree with everything you say on social media, but I appreciate that you’re polite.” It’s notable that people say this. I think it’s my Ricochet background. I always smile and think, “Yes, that’s the Ricochet Finishing School effect.” In an upcoming essay about political polarization, I’ll be writing about lessons I learned from editing Ricochet—both about how the Internet and other new media technologies have accelerated the process of polarization, but also how to reduce polarization by adhering to a Code of Conduct everywhere on the Internet. I think everyone here will be interested in it.
If you’re just tuning in, or if you didn’t receive the newsletters, and you want to see the whole archive, you can find all the essays in reverse chronological order, here.
I was thinking that perhaps for Ricochet members who contributed to the book, I could do a private Q&A about these essays. Or a Reddit style AMA, even. Would anyone enjoy that? If so, when would be the best time to do it? Perhaps on a Sunday afternoon? Let me know if that interests you. (I could also do a podcast, if any of you would like to interview me about what I’ve been writing.)
For now, liberal democracy needs more saving, so I’m going to get back to work. I’m looking forward to hearing all your comments and questions. (Oh, by the way: I haven’t figured out how to enable comments on the newsletter. I think it’s a feature for paid subscribers, but the newsletter is free, so I can’t enable it. I’ll see if I can sort that out. For now, just leave your comments here. I may take a few days to read them all and reply, but I definitely will.)