Classical Liberalism

Classical liberalism is a political philosophy that supports individual freedom, tolerance, markets, the rule of law, and an autonomous civil society. The CIS’s work in this area considers how this philosophy can offer alternate ways of looking at policy areas.

Publications

Does Western Civilisation Have a Future?
Wolfgang Kasper
19 February 2019 | PP17

The question, whether our civilisation has a future, will sound preposterous to many. Has Western civilisation not overcome many a crisis in its thousand-year history? Has it not — in its modern incarnation of individual freedom, the capitalist market economy and democratic control of government…

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…

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,…

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…

Sydney Uni's theatre of the absurd
Tom Switzer
01 November 2018 | AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW

For generations, the university has been a place designed as a crucible of debate and discussion. That means allowing free-thinking and the exchange of ideas in order to acquire knowledge…

Education system produces anti-capitalist millennials
Tom Switzer, Charles Jacobs
21 June 2018 | The Australian

Anyone over the age of 45 will have clear memories of the ecstatic reaction to the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989. The wall had been erected in…

New CIS Research: Ill-informed Millennials prefer socialism to capitalism
Tom Switzer, Charles Jacobs
20 June 2018 | MEDIA RELEASE

A majority of Australian Millennials have a favourable view of socialism as an ideology, a CIS/YouGov Galaxy poll has found. The number of Millennials who responded they viewed Socialism favourably…