Ideas about Liberty

Ideas about liberty permeate all elements of CIS research. How much government and regulation does Australia need are questions that we address through our research and events program.

We believe in liberty; freedom of association, religion and speech; and the right to property.

The ideal we endorse is that a good society is one in which autonomous citizens are at liberty to order their affairs as they wish, and in which individuals have the capacity to take personal responsibility for their choices.

Featured Publication

Publications

I, Mechanical Pencil: Why a socialist economy can never work
Steven Kates
06 February 2019 | PP14

Socialism brings poverty and oppression. The ignorance of so many as to why only a market economy is capable of bringing prosperity and political freedom is a major problem. Too many believe a socialist utopia can be achieved if only the right people took the…

Why we should defend capitalism
Eugenie Joseph
28 November 2018 | PP12

Capitalism has become a controversial idea in recent years; yet economic markets and free enterprise are responsible for lifting millions of people out of abject poverty, improving the quality of life around the world, and creating shared prosperity. Capitalism has also proven effective at sustaining…

Have We All Gone Mad? The Snowflake Epidemic
Steven Schwartz, Lindsay Shepherd, Claire Lehmann, Tiffany Jenkins
22 November 2018 | OP168

University campuses throughout the West are in the grip of a troubling social phenomenon, now in danger of spreading beyond the ivy walls. Once bastions of intellectual rigour and freedom of thought, universities have become closed-minded and self-censoring, pandering to what appear from the outside…

Conflict vs Mistake: Academic cultures and explanatory conflict
Claire Lehmann
11 September 2018 | OP167

The 2018 Helen Hughes Lecture explains why and how universities are fuelling the corrosive identity politics phenomena that is sweeping western countries. With a mix of erudition and common sense, Claire Lehmann — the founder and editor-in-chief of renowned online magazine Quillette — unpacks complicated…

A Test of Maturity: The liberal case for action on religious freedom
Robert Forsyth
31 July 2018 | PP8

Australia has long enjoyed religious freedom in practice without robust legal protections. Such protections as there are, are found in anti-discrimination law, usually as exemptions. However freedom of religion remains vulnerable to accusations of prejudice, bigotry and discrimination when the views and practices of religious…

Media & Commentary

Why Socialism always fails
Steven Kates
15 March 2019 | Spectator

A recent Wall Street Journal editorial Who’s Afraid of Socialism laid out the case that much of the US Democratic platform met the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of socialism. In particular,…

Free speech vs hate speech
Monica Wilkie
15 March 2019 | Ideas@TheCentre

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres recently reaffirmed the UN’s commitment to stopping hate speech, expressing his concern at what he described as, “…a groundswell of xenophobia, racism and intolerance –…

Does Western Civilisation Have a Future?
Wolfgang Kasper
22 February 2019 | Ideas@TheCentre

Western civilisation, built on a foundation of individual freedom, rational, fact-based thinking and democracy, has been a major driver of progress around the world. Yet, the rules that constitute the…

At the end of the road to serfdom
Robert Carling
22 February 2019 | Ideas@TheCentre

Venezuela in social and economic collapse provides a contemporary case study of where socialism takes a country; but one too easily dismissed as a special case of gross mismanagement. A…

New CIS paper: Explaining economic reality for uni students
07 February 2019 | MEDIA RELEASE

Too many people, and particularly far too many tertiary students, are ignorant of the economic realities about free market, prosperity and political freedom, according to academic and author Dr Steven…