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Articles on Political philosophy

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Anti-racism protesters clash with police and federal agents outside the Justice Center in Portland, Oregon in July. David Swanson/EPA

Is political violence ever justifiable?

A political philosopher on why denying the right to resistance poses a far greater threat to a society than embracing it.
19th-century philosopher John Stuart Mill was a leading thinker on free speech. London Stereoscopic Company

Explainer: what is free speech?

The concept of ‘free speech’ is devilishly difficult, and depends greatly on a person’s political and philosophical viewpoint.
Ricky Muir makes up his mind based on how he thinks the proposed policy will affect ordinary Australians like himself. AAP/Lukas Coch

The proposed Senate voting change will hurt Australian democracy

Australia’s political system would be better off with more ordinary people and fewer career party politicians in the Senate. It would thus be more representative of ordinary Australians, not less.
We might be ambivalent about taxation because it challenges our sense of ourselves as individuals – and we may not trust governments to spend it properly. Shutterstock

The politics of taxation – or how to convince people to part with their money

Many of us are happy for governments to increase spending on public services, but we don’t like the idea of higher taxes. There are some good reasons for this.
David Leyonhjelm is chairing the Senate inquiry into ‘Personal Choice and Community Impacts’. AAP/Sam Mooy

Is the minimal state a reasonable response to the nanny state?

We don’t know what will come out of the Senate inquiry into the ‘nanny state’, but we do have some idea about what Australia would look like based on libertarian principles.

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