About Brownstone Institute

The Brownstone Institute for Social and Economic Research is a nonprofit organization founded May 2021 (501c3 applied). Its vision is of a society that places the highest value on the voluntary interaction of individuals and groups while minimizing the use of violence and force including  that which is exercised by public authority. This vision is that of the Enlightenment that elevated learning, science, progress, and universal rights to the forefront of public life, and is newly threatened by ideologies and systems that would take the world back before the triumph of the ideal of freedom. 

The motive force of Brownstone Institute is the global crisis created by policy responses to the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020. That trauma revealed a fundamental misunderstanding alive in all countries around the world today, a willingness on the part of the public and officials to forego freedom and fundamental human rights in the name of managing a public health crisis, which was not in fact managed well in most countries. The consequences were devastating and will live in infamy. 

The policy response was a failed experiment in full social and economic control in most nations. And yet the lockdowns are also widely considered a template of what is possible. 

It’s not just about this one crisis but past ones and the next ones too. The lesson concerns the desperate need for a new outlook that rejects the rights of the legally privileged few to rule over the many under any pretext.  

The name Brownstone is from the malleable but long-lasting building stone (also called “Freestone”) used so commonly in 19th-century American cities, preferred for its beauty, practicality, and strength. The Brownstone Institute regards the great task of our times as rebuilding the foundation of liberalism as classically understood, including core values of human rights and freedom as non-negotiables for an enlightened society.

Our Mission

The mission of the Brownstone Institute – which is, in many ways, the spiritual child of the Great Barrington Declaration – is constructively to come to terms with what happened, understand why, discover and explain alternative paths, and prevent such events from happening again. Lockdowns have set a precedent in the modern world and without accountability, social and economic institutions will be shattered once again. Brownstone Institute is essential in preventing the recurrence of lockdowns by holding decision makers intellectually to account. In addition, the Brownstone Institute hopes to shed light on a path to recovery from the devastating collateral damage, while providing a vision for a different way to think about freedom, security, and public life.

Brownstone Institute looks to influence a post-lockdown world by generating new ideas in public health, scientific discourse, economics, and social theory. It hopes to enlighten and mobilize public life to defend and promote the liberty that is critical for an enlightened society from which everyone benefits. The purpose is to point the way toward a better understanding of essential freedoms – including intellectual freedom and free speech – and the proper means to preserve essential rights even in times of crisis.

The world needs the Brownstone Institute now to prevent the next “snap” lockdown and make the case for an open and free society. The idea is to correct and compete with the mainstream media and take on the technocratic disease managers, or anyone else who believes rights and liberties can be violated, at the discretion of political leaders, to central plans.

The research and content of the institute are sophisticated but accessible. Operationally, Brownstone’s mode is no fluff in the budget, no bureaucrats, no cronies, only a highly competent small team working to change the world. It will have media reach and call on scientists, intellectuals, and others who are dedicated to this task.

The Brownstone Institute is not about partisan attachments or exclusionary ideological labels. 

Our content is neither left nor right, though our contributors have their own views. As an institution, Brownstone celebrates democratic institutions, freedom as the path to scientific progress, a trustworthy system of public health, a vibrant culture, and economic prosperity. We also share a concern for all members of society, including the poor and the working class. In accordance with these ideals, we publish a wide variety of perspectives and viewpoints, including contradictory views by different authors.

Senior Scholars

Jayanta Bhattacharya, Stanford University
Donald Boudreaux, George Mason University
Gigi Foster, University of New South Wales
George Gilder, Author
Martin Kulldorff, Harvard University  
John Tamny, Author

Founder and President

Jeffrey Tucker, Author/Editor

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