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What Is Liberty Island?

Welcome to the new counterculture.

by
David S. Bernstein

Bio

June 20, 2014 - 3:36 pm
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We’ve been asked to write a brief introduction to Liberty Island, which we have described as a “publisher of fiction, pop culture, and other fun stuff for conservatives, libertarians, and contrarians.”

Which raises an interesting question: A generation ago, would we have needed a conservative fiction publisher?

I think not. Until recently, there was a shared American culture that we all enjoyed irrespective of political differences. Did that culture often tilt to the left? Sure, especially in Hollywood. But at the same time it included talented conservative authors, screenwriters, and other creatives.

It’s only in the last couple of decades that leftist orthodoxy has become so fevered among the cultural elite that to be conservative doesn’t just mark you as different in these circles—it places a target on your back. Liberals who once believed in free speech, freedom of conscience, and open discussion have been replaced by a new generation for whom Stalinist tactics are the first recourse.

“Shut up!” they explain. And if you don’t quietly slink away, they don’t hesitate to sic the mob on you to make sure you are silenced. You will be blocked from speaking on campus. Your book will be drowned with negative reviews on Amazon. Your employer will be boycotted until you are fired.

Conservatives (and independents who refuse to be silenced) didn’t ask for a culture war. But for too long we’ve ceded the battlefield to new left commissars for whom the culture is the only fight that matters. Because their goal is not to win elections; it is to stamp out, utterly and completely, thoughts and ideas with which they disagree.

We’ve had enough.

That’s why we launched Liberty Island. We’re a couple of refugees from Big Publishing who realize that while the powers-that-be may grudgingly permit big name conservatives like Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck to make them millions of dollars in profits by leveraging their powerful media platforms, they will never open up to unknown, first-time fiction writers who don’t toe the liberal line.

But Liberty Island is not a place for strident polemics (like this one). Rather it is what we like to call an “outrage free zone” — an imaginative playground where brilliant and creative people can test their ideas without being harassed or threatened by the new breed of “community activists” who police thought and speech in the media. No feminist professors, angry LBGT activists, or race-baiting hucksters will ever determine what we publish.

How far will we go? Test our limits! Will we publish a pro-life ghost story or a fairy tale written in ebonics? We already have! What’s more we are completely non-sectarian. You can be any kind of conservative you want. We apply no litmus test and don’t require your work to reflect any particular line or view. Your work doesn’t even have to be explicitly “conservative” (though we’d love it if it is). If you’re a good writer, at any stage or level of development — whether a beginner or an established author with a following — you’ll find a home on Liberty Island.

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Top Rated Comments   
Sounds to me like "Atlas Shrugged". The movies are prophetic, the first one was made just a few years ago. It seemed to some to be over the top. Re-watch the movie today, the outrageous fake news reports now sound like "old news". Obama is following the script of the movie perfectly.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Be sure and read "On The Trail Of The Loathsome Swine" at Liberty Island...best story I've read in years
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
I wish you all the best. I have zero talent but I still have a little money.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (6)
All Comments   (6)
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I'm reluctant to equate the current left-liberal / politically correct campaign to silence competing opinions with the behavior of publishers of fiction. Since World War II at least, the major publishing houses have been politically aware, and largely have "stayed within the lines" of majoritarian / orthodox political opinion. There were always mavericks -- Bennett Cerf's Random House took some chances, among which was Atlas Shrugged -- but the pattern of major publishers eschewing, if not shunning, contrarian viewpoints expressed in fiction has been strong for sixty or seventy years.

It's difficult to explain, to be sure, especially given that conservatives are demonstrably more enthusiastic readers than liberals. Nevertheless, like the Supreme Court, the major players of Pub World have long been devoted followers of the election returns, which is why the emergence of print-on-demand and electronic publication are such vital supports to the health of fiction publishing and marketing in these United States.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Fran, you are certainly correct about the history of conservative marginalization in publishing. It does seem however to have gotten worse over the past decade, especially as big publishers create separate non-fiction imprints for their conservative authors--as if they worry that conservative books will somehow taint the others by association (and I say this as someone who once worked for the first of these imprints). One of the reasons we started LI was because we saw successful conservative non-fiction authors getting their novels rejected out of hand, something that I don't think would have happened 30 years ago. But perhaps I'm naive about that.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
The beloved NYT right now is ignoring Dinesh D'souza's book but hyping Hildabeast's.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sounds to me like "Atlas Shrugged". The movies are prophetic, the first one was made just a few years ago. It seemed to some to be over the top. Re-watch the movie today, the outrageous fake news reports now sound like "old news". Obama is following the script of the movie perfectly.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Be sure and read "On The Trail Of The Loathsome Swine" at Liberty Island...best story I've read in years
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
I wish you all the best. I have zero talent but I still have a little money.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
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