Valuing debate

Pluralism of opinion is the defining characteristic of a liberal democracy. The ability to form one’s views independently and to express them freely is at the heart of our political processes. [...]

Should we have an absolute freedom of speech?

When everyone agrees with a proposition, you have to fear that it is meaningless. Freedom of speech is a case in point. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, signed by almost every country, guarantees freedom of expression. The problems are in the fine print because even the covenant limits the scope of this right. [...]

The Multi-layered Hayek

Friedrich August von Hayek was one of the intellectual giants of the 20th century. His contributions ranged from economics to philosophy, from law to psychology. In 1972, he won the Nobel Prize in Economics, and his ideas had great influence on politicians like Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. At an event hosted by The Centre for Independent Studies in 2008, four academics delivered an assessment of Hayek’s contributions to different fields of research and analysed their relevance to contemporary debates. This collection of essays demonstrates how much a source of inspiration Hayek’s works still are. [...]

Why world must take interest in our boom

It is appropriate for the society's international members to visit Australia. Its position of economic strength owes a lot to Hayekian ideas of freedom, competition and discovery. Australia remains one of the best case studies on the power of market-based reforms. [...]

Learning about Hayek the hard way

IN his masterpiece, The Road to Serfdom, Friedrich Hayek considered the follies of mistaken policies to conclude: "We shall not grow wiser before we learn that much that we have done was very foolish." If only Kevin Rudd heeded this advice, his much-televised apologies for the government's insulation fiasco and other policy blunders would be more credible. [...]

After the Wall: 20 years on

The liberation of East Germany from decades of totalitarian dictatorship was a blessing. The chance to unite the nation against much domestic resistance is an achievement for which Kohl deserves full credit. But the practical policies initiated by his government have turned a revolution for freedom into an evolution of the welfare state. Despite all the joys over the fall of the Wall, this was a missed opportunity of historic proportions. [...]

PM’s hero a neo-lib

Neo-liberalism is a far richer, more thoughtful concept than it is mostly perceived today. To those criticising neo-liberalism today, the answer may well be just that: we need more of this kind of neo-liberalism that sets a good framework for a free economy. What we would need less of is only the rhetorical abuse of neo-liberalism for political purposes. [...]

Neoliberalism: The Genesis of a Political Swearword

Neoliberalism is one of the most commonly used words in political debates. Despite this, the origins of neoliberalism are hardly known. Nor does there appear to be a generally accepted definition of the term. The original inventors of the word 'neoliberalism' had something completely different in mind. Their philosophy was a reasiong to the Great Depression of the 1930s. As such it was meant to show a 'Third way' between capitalism and socialism. Today's critics of neoliberalism have more in common with neoliberalism than they may think. [...]