Brownstone Institute brings you the best writings on issues of public health, scientific discourse, economics, social theory and more.
Our Last Innocent Moment
by Julie Ponesse, PhD
If there can possibly be anything good to come out of the horrors of the last three years, it is this: some of us, at least, have been shaken awake. We now know that we are under attack. We are under attack not so much for the particular things we say or do but simply for wanting to be free, for wanting to be able to think through our lives, and for wanting our lives to be the products of our own choices.
Whatever happened over the last few years, we have been fundamentally changed by it. There’s no reclaiming the innocence we lost. Life is more serious now. Our obligations are more weighty, or just more apparent. There are certain truths we came to see that can never be unseen. And everything is so much more complicated than we thought.
This is a dark time for humanity. But darkness always creates the greatest opportunities for growth and self-awareness, and for us to intentionally remake ourselves for the better. The moment is upon us. We can’t reclaim the innocence we lost in 2020, but we can use our experiences to remake a more innocent world for ourselves and for our children. We can, I dare say, create something even greater.
Whatever you’ve been through over the last four years, whatever you left unsaid and undone, whatever you’ve lost, and however it changed you, this book is for you.
Our Enemy, the Government: How Covid Enabled the Expansion and Abuse of State Power
by Ramesh Thakur
Among the most shocking developments as the pandemic dragged on for more than two years was the degree of coercion and force used by some of the best known champions of democracy. The boundary between liberal democracy and draconian dictatorship proved to be virus thin. Tools of repression like unleashing heavily armed cops on peacefully protesting citizens, once the identifying traits of fascists, communists, and tin-pot despots, became uncomfortably familiar on the streets of Western democracies.
Interventions rooted in panic, driven by political machinations, and using all the levers of state power to terrify citizens and muzzle critics in the end needlessly killed massive numbers of the most vulnerable, while putting the vast low-risk majority under house arrest. The benefits were questionable but the harms are increasingly obvious, revalidating Lord Acton’s dictum that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
The Treason of the Experts: Covid and the Credentialed Class
by Thomas Harrington
This is one man’s chronicle, at times indignant and at others reflective, of an extraordinary moment in the history of the world, a moment of crisis whose eventual resolution will have far-reaching consequences for our children and their children.
It’s to the eternal disgrace of so many elites in the political, economic, cultural, and academic world that so many participated in the “great reset” and, further, that so many who did not participate remained silent even as essential social, market, and cultural functioning was systematically dismantled by force with the full participation of the commanding heights of society.
Privileged people, whose educational background putatively provided them with greater critical thinking skills than most, and hence an enhanced ability to see through the barrage of propaganda, fell immediately and massively into line.
Fear of a Microbial Planet: How a Germophobic Safety Culture Makes Us Less Safe
by Steve Templeton
Fear of a Microbial Planet, a wonderfully accessible book on the Covid era published by Brownstone institute, offers desperately needed clarity and science on the organization and management of individual social life in the presence of pathogenic infection. It can be read as a definitive answer to expert arrogance, political overreach, and population panic.
For three years following the arrival of the virus that causes Covid, the dominant response from governments and the public has been to be afraid and stay far away through any means possible. This has further mutated into a population-wide germophobia that is actually being promoted by elite opinion.
Steve Templeton, Senior Scholar at Brownstone Institute and Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at Indiana University School of Medicine – Terre Haute, argues that this response is primitive, unscientific, and ultimately contrary to individual and public health.
Blindsight is 2020: Reflections on Covid Policies from Dissident Scientists, Philosophers, Artists, and More
by Gabrielle Bauer
Did the Covid-19 lockdowns and mandates serve society’s best interests? Science alone can’t answer the question. Philosophers have important things to say about it. So do psychologists, economists, novelists, and lawyers.
The 46 thinkers showcased in this book, drawn from a variety of disciplines and political persuasions, agree on one thing: the policies crossed the line and the world lost its way. Some are internationally famous, others merely brilliant. Together, they hone in on the social and ethical breaches of the Covid era, such as emotional manipulation, disregard for civil liberties, and a stubborn refusal to consider the harms of freezing society.
The author also recounts her own efforts to make sense of the Covid landscape, from Zoom psychotherapy to a visit to lockdown-free Sweden. The book challenges us to survey the damage of the Covid-19 policies from diverse angles, its voices offering fresh perspectives on the greatest social upheaval in modern history.
The Great Covid Panic
by Gigi Foster, Paul Frijters, Michael Baker
How to make sense of the astonishing upheaval of Spring 2020 and following? Normal life – in which expected rights and freedoms were taken for granted – came to be replaced by a new society as managed by a medical/ruling elite that promised but failed to deliver virus mitigation, all in the name of public health. Meanwhile, we’ve lost so much of what we once had: travel freedoms, privacy, a democratic presumption of equality, commercial freedoms, and even the access to information portals. Something has gone very wrong.
To make sense of it all, the Brownstone Institute is pleased to announce the publication of The Great Covid Panic: What Happened, Why, and What To Do Next, by Paul Frijters, Gigi Foster, and Michael Baker. Combining rigorous scholarship with evocative and accessible prose, the book covers all the issues central to the pandemic and the disastrous policy response, a narrative as comprehensive as it is intellectually devastating. In short, this is THE book the world needs right now.
The Market Loves You
by Jeffrey Tucker
This book was written in the Before Times. Looking back through it, I’m reminded of what I cared about before the world fell apart with lockdowns, mandates, and the ensuing existential crisis of civilization itself.
I wondered at first if this book mattered anymore but now I’m sure it does. My theme is meaning. Not big meaning but meaning in small things. The meaning of everyday life. Finding friendship, mission, passion, and love in the course of working out one’s life in the framework of a commercial society, which should not be narrowly construed as only a way of paying bills but rather should be seen as the instantiation of a life well lived. We were not doing a good job of that, so my thinking was to inspire people to come to love what we take for granted.
Liberty or Lockdown
by Jeffrey Tucker
Jeffrey Tucker is well known as the author of many informative and beloved articles and books on the subject of human freedom. Now he’s turned his attention to the most shocking and widespread violation of human freedom in our times: the authoritarian lockdown of society on the pretense that it is necessary in the face of a novel virus.
Learning from the experts, Jeffrey Tucker has researched this subject from every angle. In this book, Tucker lays out the history, politics, economics, and science relevant to the coronavirus response. The result is clear: there is no justification for the lockdowns.
It’s liberty or lockdown. We have to choose.