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


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 this…

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…

Curbing Corporate Social Responsibility: Preventing Politicisation – and Preserving Pluralism – in Australian Business
Jeremy Sammut
21 August 2018 | AP2

The unprecedented part that leading that Australian companies played in the same-sex marriage campaign in the name of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)  has led critics to argue that companies should “stick to their knitting” and not meddle in politically-contentious social debates.  CSR threatens to become…

John Howard: A Conversation on Culture
John Howard, Tom Switzer, Jeremy Sammut
26 July 2018 | OP166

Based on the remarks made by former Prime Minister John Howard at the launch of  The Centre for Independent Studies’ new Culture, Prosperity and Civil Society Program at the CIS’s Sydney office in July 2018 This  hour long ‘Conversation About Culture’ ranged over many of…

Media & Commentary

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…

In bed with Noam: The fight to say what you think makes strange bedfellows
Tom Switzer

You know we live in a strange world when people like me are forced to draw comfort from the statements of Noam Chomsky and Bernie Sanders supporter Zephyr Teachout. The…

Wrongthink will be spellchecked
Monica Wilkie
18 June 2020 | Ideas@theCentre

In response to the BLM movement, comedy, film and beer have been ‘cancelled’ due to their ‘problematic’ nature. The latest purge reveals how terrifyingly easy it is to use technology…