Brownstone » Articles for Robin Koerner

Robin Koerner

Robin Koerner is a British-born citizen of the USA, who currently serves as Academic Dean of the John Locke Institute. He holds graduate degrees in both Physics and the Philosophy of Science from the University of Cambridge (U.K.).

The Unvaccinated

How the “Unvaccinated” Got It Right

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The continued insistence on rolling out the “vaccine” to the entire population when the data revealed that those with no comorbidities were at low risk of severe illness or death from COVID was therefore immoral and ascientific on its face. The argument that reduced transmission from the non-vulnerable to the vulnerable as a result of mass “vaccination” could only stand if the long-term safety of the “vaccine” had been established, which it had not.


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morality, virtue, and courage

The Shift from Personal to Positional Morality

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Moral courage is risky: it has a price, which is why it is called courage. As Aristotle famously declared, “Courage is the first virtue because it makes all other virtues possible.” If that is true, and it is, then the power to reverse attempts to remake Western society into one devoid of the fundamental moral values that enable all individuals to thrive peacefully lies ultimately – and only – within each individual. 


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nothing to hide

Do You Really Have Nothing to Hide?

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My government, which exists to protect me, arbitrarily removes rights and privileges from people based on false information that it generates. Sometimes they do it indiscriminately (such as during the pandemic); sometimes they pick their targets (such as what happened to me at the airport). 


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ideological possession

Ideological Possession Is the Real Pandemic

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Although pandemics of ideological possession can be fatal to entire societies, the disease provides immediate benefits to each afflicted individual, such as intellectual certainty and stability, feelings of moral superiority, an apparent simplification of life’s difficult decisions and questions, avoidance of true moral responsibility, and a sense of belonging among others similarly afflicted. All of these tend to prevent self-treatment. 


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Is China preparing for war?

Is China Preparing for War?

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The long-run power disparity between Taiwan and China is so great that Taiwan simply has no realistic prospect of defending itself against a patient and determined China. And if Chinese history and politics teach anything at all, it is that the authoritarian Chinese can be patient.


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limited information

The “Limited Information” Claim Damns Them

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The most basic duty of policy-makers is the honest consideration of all reasonably available information that bears on the consequences of their actions – and in so doing, to take care in some proportion to the potential (let alone, the predicted) magnitude of the consequences of those actions. It is the duty of due diligence. Almost all American officials were derelict in that duty.


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Service and Restraint: Lost Principles of Governance 

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The Queen acted always with great restraint, and never upon others in a way unconsented to, whatever her own views were. Modern politics, driven by the Administrative State, is based on an opposite principle, felt even more deeply and widely than usual in recent times: it regards itself as able to do exactly as it chooses to anyone it chooses, based entirely on its own immediate view of a prevailing situation. 


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How Signaling Turns Virtue Into Vice

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The moral problem here is that, regardless of intent, a participant in a declarative fad is knowingly and personally benefiting from an injustice without doing anything to put right the wrong from which that personal benefit is being extracted. To do so is to benefit slightly from the very injustice at issue without providing at least as much benefit to anyone else.


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How Proximity Makes Progressives

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Trust in government and its ability to solve problems has always tended to be higher in more urban areas. Government solutions tend to constrain individual action, and this too tends to be tolerated more in more populated areas. Across cultures and times, areas of higher population density have been associated with more politically and culturally progressive attitudes, manifested in a greater willingness to trust governmental power and to follow its lead.


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Twitter Demanded that I Tell a Lie

Twitter Demanded that I Tell a Lie

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In my lifetime, society has been sufficiently remade to make me one of the marginals. Millions of people celebrate that. If they did not, we could not be here. I think I am going to start using that expression – one of the marginals – and using it, if you’ll excuse me, with just a little dash of moral pride.


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