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Ideas@TheCentre

Ideas@TheCentre brings you ammunition for conversations around the table.  3 short articles from CIS researchers emailed every Friday on the issues of the week.

  • Britain's Pauline Hanson moment

    17 Oct 2014

    Support for classical liberal ideas remains depressingly small in Britain. It is not Hayek the country is starting to embrace with its flirtation with UKIP – it is Hansonism. Read More

  • False conflation of classical liberalism

    26 Sep 2014

    Conflating conservatism, statism or — worse — blatant electoral politics with a principled philosophy of liberty almost 800 years old fails not only to recognise the real nature of liberalism... Read More

  • Liberty or licence

    18 Jul 2014

    John Stuart Mill thought that free individuals would chose to use their liberties to pursue higher pleasures rather than base, animal ones. Read More

  • Freedom to believe must mean freedom to practice

    04 Jul 2014

    The right to religious liberty is not an absolute right and must always be balanced against other rights and freedoms enjoyed by citizens of the liberal state. Read More

  • Thank you from the Executive Director

    27 Jun 2014

    As the financial year draws to a close, it's a great time to recognise the people whose support keeps CIS going. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to our End of Financial Year Appeal, donated during... Read More

  • Libertarianism, classical liberalism and the fair go

    20 Jun 2014

    There needs to be a cultural shift in Australia, where people look at the government with more scepticism than they do currently. Read More

  • The Snowden scandal is a hollow victory for Beijing

    21 Jun 2013

    The moral malaise at the heart of Washington’s intelligence apparatus seems mild when compared to Beijing’s use of surveillance. Read More

  • The moral case for a smaller state

    14 Jun 2013

    People need to be able to sort out their own problems, rather than having the state take this responsibility away from them. Read More

  • Why I work for a classical liberal think tank

    10 May 2013

    At the core of classical liberalism is the unwavering belief that the best chance humanity has to prosper is when people have the right to speak and act freely under the rule of law, governed by a small... Read More

  • Requiem for a reformer

    19 Apr 2013

    Thatcher’s people – and protestors – turn up in the thousands to farewell a giant of the twentieth century. Read More

  • What is a fair share?

    15 Mar 2013

    What does a fair share of tax actually mean? Read More

  • Civil disobedience demands courage of convictions

    11 Jan 2013

    Civil disobedience should be followed by a willingness to pay the penalty. Read More

  • Free to be fat

    15 Jun 2012

    The obese should pay for their obesity – through market rates, not government taxes, so that the healthy are not punished when they want to try a bacon sundae. Read More

  • Gay marriage, polygamy and the social order

    01 Jun 2012

    There are no good, logical arguments against allowing gay marriage. Read More

  • Tiger mothers and the social escalator

    13 Apr 2012

    Academic achievement relies more on the values and aspirations of fellow students, parents and teachers – not so much on the money spent on schooling. Read More

  • Whose business is it anyway

    16 Mar 2012

    There is no role for the state to intervene in negotiations with unions. Read More

  • Finkelstein: Murdoch’s new best friend?

    09 Mar 2012

    What was Finkelstein thinking? If the traditional media can’t adapt and catch up, it shouldn’t be the taxpayer’s problem. Read More

  • No end to certainty of state paternalism in Australia

    18 Nov 2011

    The insidious reliance on government paternalism is hobbling the responsible growth of the Australian nation and its people. Read More

  • Individualism does not mean being self-centred

    04 Nov 2011

    Individualism is not about being self-centred but about recognising that you are responsible for your own actions and how your life turns out. Read More

  • Occupy what?

    21 Oct 2011

    The Occupy movement’s message is slightly lost, but they still may have a point. Read More

  • For richer, for poorer

    07 Oct 2011

    The right needs to address the growing popular resentment about banks, big corporations, and rich individuals avoiding tax, receiving hand-outs, and deserting people at home by relocating overseas. Read More

  • Bolt tongue tied

    30 Sep 2011

    The Federal Court’s verdict in the Andrew Bolt case for racial discriminatory comments regarding Aboriginal people is an attack on freedom of speech. Read More

  • Buying spirit level bubbles

    09 Sep 2011

    In his new book When Prophecy Fails (released by the CIS), Peter Saunders writes a further rebuttal to Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett’s book, The Spirit Level. Read More

  • Rescue me

    02 Sep 2011

    Welfare statism effectively reduces elements of its citizenry to an enfeebled and dependent state, unable or unwilling to take responsibility for their own lives, actions and decisions. Read More

  • Missing the point with silly questions

    26 Aug 2011

    To properly evaluate income management we need to look beyond people’s perspectives of it and explore whether or not it is meeting its objectives. Read More

  • A man’s home is his castle

    19 Aug 2011

    The recent spat between miners and farmers happened because farmers’ property rights have not been clearly defined. Read More

  • Connect cyber with reality

    19 Aug 2011

    Suggestion of social media restrictions in the UK in times of turmoil. Read More

  • Stick it to ‘em

    12 Aug 2011

    Society’s lack of a moral compass led to the London riots. Read More

  • Media force for democracy

    12 Aug 2011

    The Government should release reports without the media having to request FOI. Read More

  • Say whatever you like

    05 Aug 2011

    Voltaire famously desired to defend with his life one’s right to say whatever one wants, even if he disagreed. That line is glibly trotted out to symbolise our supposedly enlightened attitude to freedom... Read More

  • Stepping in for Gillard

    29 Jul 2011

    President of the Czech Republic Vaclav Klaus visits the CIS, but Prime Minister Julia Gillard couldn’t find the time to welcome the head of the country to Australia. Read More

  • No free speech free zones

    22 Jul 2011

    How free are we really to say what we think? Read More

  • Back to 1643? Bob Brown and the press freedom time machine

    22 Jul 2011

    What agenda did Greens leader Bob Brown have for calling for greater media regulations? Surely, by now, we understand free speech and free press are necessities for a healthy democracy. Read More

  • Crooked coppers, repulsive reporters ... and hypocritical readers

    15 Jul 2011

    Distasteful News of the World practices cannot hide public’s appetite for salacious reading. Read More

  • Battery full? Save energy and remove charger from wall socket

    08 Jul 2011

    Religion seeks not so much to control as to strengthen communities by binding them to common sets of values, practices and beliefs. Read More

  • La rue to serfdom

    01 Jul 2011

    Suppressing free speech, however unpleasant, is a move towards authoritarianism and away from freedom. Read More

  • Principled politics and populist plebiscites

    24 Jun 2011

    Plebiscites and other forms of direct democracy result in worse, not better, politics. Read More

  • Another day, another ban

    24 Jun 2011

    Overzealous banning imperils Australia’s commitment to a free society. Read More

  • Polarisation in Indigenous Affairs

    06 May 2011

    Increasing polarization emerges in the aftermath of Larissa Behrendt’s tweet on Bess Price’s support of the NTI. Read More

  • Comparative costs of councillors

    21 Apr 2011

    The changing role of elected councillors may explain the proliferation in local government regulations and extra rates. Read More

  • Society in pyjamas

    15 Apr 2011

    On issues like this, I encounter the limits to my liberalism. Deep down, I think this is my business. This woman’s refusal to conform to one of the simplest, least demanding yet most basic of shared,... Read More

  • Reconsidering compulsory voting

    01 Apr 2011

    The case against compulsory voting is that people with little interest in public affairs are driven into the polling booths.  A good citizen – according to the classic liberal conception – should... Read More

  • The week at MPS: Pondering Smith, Ferguson, and national defence

    Jeremy Sammut | 15 Oct 2010

    The Mont Pelerin Society in Sydney demonstrated liberalism’s boundless spirit of inquiry into the human condition and the enduring relevance of liberal insights. Read More

  • Continuing the battle of ideas

    Greg Lindsay | 25 Jun 2010

    At the end of an extraordinary week in Australian politics, Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced a change in the way the federal government operates. For the sake of a free, just and prosperous Australia,... Read More

  • Publications

    1. What are we fighting for? Islamism and the threat to liberal values

      David Kilcullen | 12 Nov 2014 | Speeches

      Dr David Kilcullen's address for the 2014 John Bonython Lecture

    2. The Age of Endarkenment

      Brendan O'Neill, Nick Cater | 23 Oct 2014 | Occasional Papers

      Humans are wealthier, happier and more comfortable than any previous generation thanks to science and technology. So why... Read More...

    3. The Enlightenment Made Us

      Nick Cater | 23 Oct 2014 | Occasional Papers

      Nick Cater examines the Enlightenment ideals that helped shape our uniquely Australian culture, and asks whether the pragmatism... Read More...

    4. A Quartet of Freedoms: Freedom of Religion, Speech, Association and Conscience

      Jeremy Sammut, Peter Kurti, Robert Forsyth | 16 Oct 2014 | Occasional Papers

      An aggressive secular culture, combined with the diminished standing of religious organisations in Australia, is putting... Read More...

    5. Submission to the National Commission of Audit

      Alexander Philipatos, Jennifer Buckingham, Jeremy Sammut, Robert Carling, Simon Cowan, Stephen Kirchner, Trisha Jha | 01 Apr 2014 | TARGET30 Papers

      The federal government’s Commission of Audit (CoA) was established in 2013 to review the performance and role of government.... Read More...

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    Opinion & Commentary

    1. Personal freedom leads to economic freedom

      Greg Lindsay | 27 Oct 2014 | Australian Financial Review

      It is clear now that economic liberty has supported a massive global reduction of poverty, disease and other key factors. ... Read More

    2. A signpost away from state power

      Greg Lindsay | 07 May 2014 | The Australian Financial Review

      The Road to Serfdom did not turn out to be the expressway Hayek imagined when he published it 70 years ago.... Read More

    3. Feminism is not the exclusive preserve of the left

      Trisha Jha | 14 Apr 2014 | The Guardian

      Sexist stereotypes can only effectively be dealt with through free speech, free thought and exchange, and civil activism.... Read More

    4. Australia, a realisation of freedom

      Greg Lindsay | 06 Feb 2014 | The Australian Financial Review

      The intellectual drift towards modern statism and the allure of big government and centrally-planned, highly-regulated societies ... Read More

    5. Masses rapt in hippy values

      Benjamin Herscovitch | 22 Dec 2012 | The Canberra Times

      Christmas in Australia is drifting from tradition.... Read More

    View All

    Ideas@TheCentre

    1. Britain's Pauline Hanson moment

      Peter Saunders | 17 Oct 2014

      Support for classical liberal ideas remains depressingly small in Britain. It is not Hayek the country is starting to embrace ...

    2. False conflation of classical liberalism

      Cassandra Wilkinson | 26 Sep 2014

      Conflating conservatism, statism or — worse — blatant electoral politics with a principled philosophy of liberty ...

    3. Liberty or licence

      Peter Saunders | 18 Jul 2014

      John Stuart Mill thought that free individuals would chose to use their liberties to pursue higher pleasures rather than ...

    4. Freedom to believe must mean freedom to practice

      Peter Kurti | 04 Jul 2014

      The right to religious liberty is not an absolute right and must always be balanced against other rights and freedoms enjoyed ...

    5. Thank you from the Executive Director

      Greg Lindsay | 27 Jun 2014

      As the financial year draws to a close, it's a great time to recognise the people whose support keeps CIS going. Thank you ...

    View All