Presenting the book “Stillbirth”

(Transcript of the video)

Greetings everyone. My name is David Rand. I am an atheist and secular activist in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and I would like to introduce my new book:

Stillbirth, The Failure of Secularism in the English-Speaking World

The book is an introduction to the issue of secularism, with emphasis on various implementations of secularism—some more successful than others—in key English- and French-speaking countries. The book deals especially with the United States, Great Britain, France, and Canada and gives a brief overview of the development—or the failure—of secularism in those countries.

The most important theme of the book is the distinction between two approaches to secularism: Lockean secularism (or pseudosecularism) in the English-speaking world and republican secularism in the French-speaking world. Faced with these two models, I am certainly not neutral. The republican model is clearly superior and preferable, and I endeavour to explain why in some detail.

I pay particular attention to developments in Quebec, but not just because that is where I live. Quebec is important because it is here that the two models confront each other and where the partisans of these models compete. As I state in the book, the future of secularism—if indeed it has a future—may very well be decided here in Quebec and in Canada.

A secondary, but also significant, theme of the book is how the abandonment of universalism and related Enlightenment values in recent years has worsened the situation and greatly impeded the fight for secularism. Much of what used to be called the political left has been corrupted by various anti-Enlightenment ideologies, such as postmodernism, intersectionality, cultural relativism, and related issues, with the result that those who espouse these ideas are no long on the left. They have abandoned the very values which define what the left is, in my estimation. I call them the post-left. Probably the worst consequence of post-leftism is the conflation of race and religion, leading to neglecting the all-important issue of freedom of conscience.

I consider the Enlightenment to be arguably the greatest achievement of European civilization. The work of Enlightenment philosophers was European civilization engaging in constructive self-criticism, weeding out the religious obscurantism and tribalism of the past and promoting objectivity, reason and universal principles. The post-left, however, has taken that self-criticism to ridiculous and destructive extremes, demonizing European civilization and rejecting the Enlightenment itself. The result is a strong tendency towards nonsense and nihilism.

The book also deals with a number of associated issues, such as the relationship between religion and violence, between religion and morality and between monotheism and totalitarianism. It also discusses the connections between atheism and secularism and between secularism and State atheism. These are three different issues of course, but they are not completely unrelated as they overlap to some extent.

The book “Stillbirth” consists of about 250 pages, with a detailed table of contents, a Foreword by my Polish friend and colleague Nina Sankari, a lexicon and a bibliography. The paperback version also contains an index (not included in the eBook because it is not necessary, you can just do a search in the eBook). The lexicon is particularly useful as I have endeavoured to be as clear and accurate as possible when using various terms and expressions. Even if you disagree with my ideas or my definitions, the book should at least give you a clear explanation of what you are disagreeing with and may help you to clarify your own ideas.

“Stillbirth” is available in both eBook and paperback versions. For further information or to order it, point your web browser at slash stillbirth, or visit and search for author “David Rand” and the title “Stillbirth.”