Fantasy allows you to shine a different kind of light on human beings. I believe the only valid use of fantasy is to illustrate important human themes. Magic in my novels is used in three ways: the simplest is as a metaphor for technology. A good example is a magic carpet. There's no magic carpet in my novels, but if someone needs to travel a great distance, they could use a magic carpet, while in a contemporary novel they'd use a car. The second way, and I think the most important, is as a metaphor for individuality and individual ability. The mediocre world doesn't want individuals to rise above what everyone else is doing. The third way I use magic is as a metaphor for coming out of an age of mysticism into a Renaissance. So, in a way it's the struggle between the Dark Ages and the Renaissance. … I never allow my characters to use magic to solve their problems. Some of their peripheral problems are solved through their magical abilities, but it's couched in terms of overcoming those problems in a thinking way. The major conflicts in the books are always solved through human intellect, through thinking out the problem and coming up with a solution. It's never "I'll just wave my magic wand over the bad guys and have them all fall down dead!"
People use democracy as a free-floating abstraction disconnected from reality. Democracy in and of itself is not necessarily good. Gang rape, after all, is democracy in action.
All men have the right to live their own life. Democracy must be rooted in a rational philosophy that first and foremost recognizes the right of an individual. A few million Imperial Order men screaming for the lives of a much smaller number of people in the New World may win a democratic vote, but it does not give them the right to those lives, or make their calls for such killing right. Democracy is not a synonym for justice or for freedom. Democracy is not a sacred right sanctifying mob rule. Democracy is a principle that is subordinate to the inalienable rights of the individual.