Two years ago, Brownstone Institute was not yet public but we were working like crazy in the background to prepare. The driving motivation was the “change in the matrix” from March 2020 onward. The silence about the lockdowns – a form of totalitarian control – from academia, media, and other influencers was deafening.
That continued with masking and vaccine mandates. The dishonesty was overwhelming. As with war, the casualties and collateral damage were everywhere.
What would Brownstone do? Publish, certainly. Run a website with great articles no one else would touch, absolutely. Hold events, of course. But gradually in those days, it became clear that our mission had to be broader and more ambitious. Too many great minds were being purged from corporations, government, academia, media, and think tanks.
Those who might have spoken out saw what happened to others and they fell silent. The purge was on. It’s not an entirely unusual phenomenon, as brutal as it is. We saw it in interwar Europe. It happened during the religious wars. Going back in time, the fall of Rome and the ensuing chaos inspired the creation of sanctuaries for ideas around Europe.
We perhaps never imagined such a thing would happen in 21st-century America and the world but here we were. Some of the greatest thinkers and writers of our time were being silenced and shut down, losing income, social networks, and career prospects.
Thus did it become clear to us at the time what would consume our energies. We would become a sanctuary for ideas. We count on the goodness and generosity of donors to make it possible. We would reject the old non-profit of building our bureaucracy (we only have three actual employees) in favor of actually doing good for others, as strange as that sounds in our time.
That most of Brownstone’s resources and energies are spent on this part of our mission is not well known. People mostly think of Brownstone as a place to get great articles on the crisis of our time. And that’s fine. But because you are a regular site reader, we count you as a special friend who can understand that there is far more to it than that.
The best of thought these days come from thinkers who are unafraid to tell the truth. But that penchant also makes them outcasts in academia and mainstream media. Have you noticed how many of the true prophets of our time are emeritus professors, retired reporters, ex-officials, escaped executives, or Substackers? This is for a reason. They are excluded by official culture. But that also allows them to speak their minds.
We simply cannot allow this to happen and we’ve worked to do our part to provide support and publishing opportunities for such thinkers. We cannot save the world but we can do our part. Of course the need for this service – we call it our Fellows program – far outstretches our existing resources. Every few days, we encounter a new case that needs help but we have to delay and make due with what is there.
Now you know why we never fail to ask for your support. It’s because of the vast need, the moral obligation to do what we can, and the passion not to sit by and do nothing as civilization itself unravels. Quite simply, it is the job of our lives to act in every way we can. So please join us in this mighty undertaking, this work of hope.
It’s not true that we are powerless. We’ve seen over these two years the difference that one idealistic institution can make. Thank you for your support!
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