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Covid and the Madness of Crowds

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Their singular obsession, emotional intensity, and size lead to crowds sometimes attaining great power and dictating directions that can change the course of history for a whole country, or even for the world. The inherent danger is that their obsession blinds them to everything else that matters in normal times.


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Segregation

Racial Segregation and Vaccine Passports: Ominous Parallels

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Today, you won’t find people in polite society who have kind things to say about the eugenic theory of social organization, at least not in public. But as vaccine passports and their disparate impact reveal, it turns out to be strangely easy to manufacture a public health excuse – drawing on the primal fear of infection and disease – to recreate what amounts to the same structure with an excuse that is different only in its details but not in its impact on the social order. 


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The Great Covid Panic, by Frijters, Foster, and Baker. Available Now.

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The Brownstone Institute is pleased to announce the impending 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. 


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Intellectual Courage Is as Essential as it Is Rare

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We’ve long misconstrued who precisely can be part of the intellectual battle. Everyone without exception can qualify as an intellectual provided he or she is willing to take ideas seriously. Anyone and everyone is entitled to be part of it. Those who feel the burden and the passion of ideas more intensely, in Mises’s view, have a greater obligation to thrust themselves into the battle, even when doing so can bring disdain and isolation from one’s fellows – and doing so most certainly will (which is why so many people who should have known better have fallen silent). 


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A Caste System Threatens the West

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The great turn from ancient political and economic structures into more modern ones was not only about property rights, commercial freedoms, and the participation of ever greater waves of people in public life. There was also an implicit epidemiological deal to which we agreed, what Sunetra Gupta describes as an endogenous social contract.


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They Considered and Rejected Pandemic Closures in 1957

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Newspaper reports at the time offer no record of widespread public event cancellations much less forced closures. Sometimes college and high school football games were postponed due to illness absences. Some conventions were cancelled by organizers. But that is all. 


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