Cancel Culture – The Centre for Independent Studies

Cancel Culture

Cancel culture is the increasing practice of withdrawing support for (canceling) public figures and companies after they have done or said something opponents disagree with.

“Because we are all elements in other people’s landscapes, our experience—how we act, what we say, what traditions we observe—is also an ingredient in other people’s experience.  Thus I would submit: we do not even own exclusive title to ourselves.  I reject this hoarding, hostile, selfish relationship to ‘identity’.  Better that we all conduct our work and social lives in a spirit of sharing, generosity, exploration, curiosity, experimentation, and even willingness to fail in our sincere efforts to understand one another.” — Lionel Shriver, Creativity in an Age of Constraint

“Mature and advanced societies — liberal societies — take an attitude of ‘live and let live’ in such matters. It is one thing to be an advocate for your own interests; quite another to seek to attack, undermine and destroy someone else’s. Yet that is what the so-called ‘cancel culture’ seeks to achieve; and it is why the present circumstances of discourse are far from normal. In the pretence of wishing to shield vulnerable people from words that might wound or cause offence, they seek to render others terrified to utter the words at all.” — Simon Heffer, Moral Terrorism


Featured Publication


Cancelled! How ideological cleansing threatens Australia
Peter Kurti
17 August 2020 | AP13

‘Cancel culture’ campaigns in Australia are intended to erase elements of our history and to deny the record of those who helped found this country. The impulse to impose a revised interpretation of the past poses a danger that threatens to corrode civility, destroy civic…

Moral Terrorism
Simon Heffer
21 July 2020 | OP174

We find ourselves living in an age when a small but highly vocal, and zealous, minority are availing themselves of the power of social media, and of sections of the printed press, to seek to force their opinions and attitudes on everyone else. In normal…

Creativity in an Age of Constraint
Lionel Shriver
02 October 2019 | OP172

2019 John Bonython Lecture – Creativity in the Age of Constraint The proliferating dos and don’ts of political correctness, the predations of ‘gotcha’ identity politics and the hypersensitivities of the #MeToo movement are battering and boxing creativity. There is a danger in faithfully following this…

Corporate Virtue Signalling: How to Stop Big Business from Meddling in Politics
Jeremy Sammut
30 April 2019

CLICK HERE TO BUY HARDCOPY   Snowflake- A very sensitive person. Someone who is easily hurt or offended by the statements or actions of others. If you thought corporate virtue signalling peaked when 1300 Australian companies backed marriage equality, you had better think again. In…

Taking Back Control: Restoring Universalism in the Age of Identity Politics
Amanda Stoker
16 April 2019 | OP170

It can feel safer avoiding conversations on social issues that can be landmines at the best of times. But the longer those who believe in freedom and responsibility sit on the sidelines, the longer we give free rein for others to shape the debate. Where…

Media & Commentary

Beware the sinister dangers of cancel culture
Peter Kurti
23 August 2020 | Canberra Times

First they came for the cheese. Last month, Canadian company Saputo agreed to change the name of its Coon brand of cheese. Indigenous rights activist Stephen Hagan quickly claimed victory…

Cancel culture will divide us
Peter Kurti
20 August 2020 | Ideas@theCentre

One threat confronting Australia, in this year of threats, really does have the potential to divide us, one from another, and sow the seeds of civil discord. This threat comes…

Moral terror
Tom Switzer
23 July 2020 | Ideas@TheCentre

You know we live in a strange world when classical liberal think tanks, such as the Centre for Independent Studies, are forced to draw comfort from the statements of Noam…

Linguistic Humbug
Monica Wilkie
23 July 2020 | Ideas@TheCentre

The culture war — and its current battlefront ‘cancel culture’ —  is exacerbated because the opposing sides are not speaking the same language . Depending on your beliefs, cancel culture…

BLM’s inconvenient truth
Jacinta Nampijinpa Price
16 July 2020 | Ideas@TheCentre

The greatest failing of the Black Lives Matter movement in Australia, and a complete contradiction to their cause, is that it ignores the lives taken at the hands of other…