Are you an optimist or pessimistic? There is a strong case to make for both.
On the pessimistic side, the forces that gave us lockdowns, mandates, and liberty-wrecking measures all over the world show no signs of relenting. The wreckage – economic, cultural, social – are all around us. Even as students are still being masked and mandated, while dealing with quarantines and cancellations, the people who did this to us are already planning the next “pandemic response.” Or fill in some other emergency.
On the optimistic side, the resistance is growing enormously all over the world, and in the U.S. in particular. After nearly two years of complete life upheaval that ruined so much of what we had taken for granted, we are surrounded by signs of enlightenment, protest, and change. There is every reason to suspect a major backlash is coming or is already here. Let us hope it ends well (it hasn’t always in such times).
Also on the optimistic side, People have found workarounds to censorship to discover alternative points of view. Brownstone Institute is thriving. Our determination letter arrived (finally) and we are an official 501c3, which means we can build a permanent presence and you can support this work with a tax-deductible donation. It means a boost to Brownstone’s sustainability and longevity, not as an end itself but as a means to pursue the mission.
G.K. Chesterton said that he did not like the language of optimism and pessimism because it implies that history is on some kind of trajectory that is outside our control. The truth is that we can make a difference. History is nothing but what we make of it, and that depends not on mere observation but on what we believe and what we do about what we believe.
For him, the truly relevant distinction is between the sin of despair and the virtue of hope. And truly, when you think about what has happened to societies in the last year, it seemed as if a vast ruling class did everything possible to take away hope and replace it with the emotions that lead to powerlessness: fear, despondency, and despair.
We all know people today who fell prey to this. It is completely understandable. And tragically so. Most people had no idea that government possessed such power, much less the willingness to use it so destructively. We did not know that so many of our fellow citizens would go along, or that so many once-respected intellectual and media figures would stand by and say nothing or even step up to cheer as businesses were wrecked, schools and churches were closed, and travel blocked. They not only locked us in our residences; they told us how many people could inhabit any one space at a time.
These policies were shocking, and fed what we see all around us: a demoralization and even nihilism that is not consistent with the good life.
Brownstone Institute was founded to fight that outlook, and do so with the determination to set history back on a right course: to progress, health, prosperity, rights, and freedoms. Its purpose is to come to terms with what happened and to rebuild on a new foundation that secures rights and liberties.
Most of the focus of course has been on public health and the scientific basis for that, in contrast to the pseudo-science that drove the pandemic response. But it is ultimately about more than that. It is about the kind of lives we want to live and the societies we want to inhabit. It is about rediscovering a source of true meaning and recovering from the trauma that was visited upon us.
We are so honored to give voice to the best, most accurate, and most inspirational material focused on the most important topics of our day. We don’t often talk about the influence and reach of our work but it is impressive.
Only having opened our doors on August 1, 2021, we’ve served more than a million page views per month. That is growing dramatically. We are close to being ranked among the top 25,000 websites in the world (and there are 2 billion of them!). We’ve reached every country in the world. In terms of influence, our reach is beyond that of The Nation magazine, which has a century-old tradition but came out solidly for lockdowns, much to their disgrace.
In terms of Brownstone’s research, it has been essential (and often cited) in court cases throughout the country. We kept track of the best and most recent science on matters such as lockdowns, masking, school closures, church shutdowns, natural immunity, vaccine mandates, business conditions of the recovery, and so on, thus making it easier for attorneys and judges to clearly see the catastrophes all around us that resulted from egregious policies.
The growth has been phenomenal, so much so that our operations have barely been able to keep up. The book we published this year – The Great Covid Panic – hit just in time, and several more are planned. There are events to plan, scholars to support in their time of need, and technologies to deploy if only to continue winning in the race for influence. None of this should be necessary but this is what our times call us to do.
There should never be idleness when civilization itself is threatened.
If you have supported Brownstone with a gift in the past, you should know that your past support is now retroactively tax deductible. And your gift today is the same. We are a nonprofit charity with big dreams. The driving goal is the creation of a serious and long-lasting sanctuary for ideas, a safe haven for the ideals of the enlightenment. This is not the first emergency we’ve faced. It is far from the last.
There were too few voices of sanity over the last year. Too many were caught by surprise. They lost their nerve to speak when it mattered most. This can never happen again. Your gift to Brownstone in support of our mission helps assure the continuation of the ideals that built civilization. Our pledge is to be that voice – we hope one among many – in the years ahead, regardless of the smears, attacks, and cancellations.
Will you consider your most generous donation? Thank you so very much for your support so far. We hope to look forward to many years ahead.