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Free Thoughts Podcast

A show about libertarianism and the ideas that influence it. Hosted by Aaron Ross Powell and Trevor Burrus.

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Free Thoughts

How Mao Broke China (with Frank Dikötter)

featuring Trevor Burrus, Aaron Ross Powell, and Frank Dikötter on Oct 18, 2019

Frank Dikötter, an expert on Chinese communism, joins the show to talk about the nature of dictatorships. 

Free Thoughts

The Cato Institute at 40

featuring Peter Goettler, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Mar 10, 2017

Peter Goettler joins us this week to talk about his role at the Cato Institute, Cato’s history of 40 years of advancing liberty, and what’s next for public policy organizations more generally and for Cato specifically.

Free Thoughts

Lessons from the Anti-Federalists

featuring William J. Watkins, Jr., Trevor Burrus, and Aaron Ross Powell on Sep 15, 2017

William J. Watkins, Jr. joins us for a discussion on the Articles of Confederation and the ideas of the Anti-Federalists.

Free Thoughts

Did Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal Really Save America?

featuring Jim Powell, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Mar 23, 2015

Jim Powell joins us for a discussion on the New Deal policies of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Did the New Deal really pull America out of the Great Depression?

Free Thoughts

Liberty and the American Experience

featuring Jim Powell, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Nov 24, 2014

Jim Powell joins us for a discussion on how the tradition of liberty in the United States was established and how it subsequently flourished.

Free Thoughts

Arguments for Liberty: Kantianism

featuring Aaron Ross Powell, Grant Babcock, and Jason Kuznicki on Jan 6, 2017

Jason Kuznicki joins us to discuss the chapter he wrote on Immanuel Kant for our new book, Arguments for Liberty.

Free Thoughts

A Muslim Case for Liberty

featuring Mustafa Akyol, Aaron Ross Powell, and Adam Bates on Feb 24, 2017

Mustafa Akyol discusses Islam. Is there a Muslim case for liberty? How has Islam traditionally treated the principles of political liberalism?

Free Thoughts

Stories from Putin’s Economist

featuring Andrei Illarionov, Trevor Burrus, and Matthew Feeney on May 26, 2017

Andrei Illarionov tells us about growing up and studying economics in the Soviet Union, and working as an economic policy advisor to Vladimir Putin.

Free Thoughts

The Fate of the West

featuring Bill Emmott, Trevor Burrus, and Aaron Ross Powell on Aug 4, 2017

Bill Emmott joins us to talk about his new book, The Fate of the West: The Battle to Save the World’s Most Successful Political Idea.

Free Thoughts

From the Magna Carta to Brexit (with David Starkey)

featuring Aaron Ross Powell, Trevor Burrus, Ryan Bourne, & David Starkey on Oct 25, 2019

David Starkey explains the origins of the UK Parliament so that we can understand how it differs from the U.S. government. 

Free Thoughts

Finding Meaning in an Age of Individualism (with Clay Routledge)

featuring Aaron Ross Powell, Trevor Burrus, and Clay Routledge on Nov 1, 2019

Clay Routledge joined the show today to talk about how our society has become increasingly individualistic, and how we are still learning the consequences of that.

Free Thoughts

How to be Epicurean (with Catherine Wilson)

featuring Aaron Ross Powell, Paul Meany, and Catherine Wilson on Nov 22, 2019

Catherine Wilson teaches us that there is more to Epicureanism than eating, drinking, and being merry.

Free Thoughts

The War on Tobacco (with Jacob Grier)

featuring Trevor Burrus and Jacob Grier on Nov 15, 2019

Jacob Grier joins the show today to talk with Trevor about the American war on tobacco.

Free Thoughts

Becoming a Whistleblower (with Patrick Eddington)

featuring Trevor Burrus, Aaron Ross Powell, and Patrick G. Eddington on Dec 6, 2019

Patrick G. Eddington comes back to the show to talk about his time in the CIA from 1988 to 1996. 

Free Thoughts

Tyranny of Public Health (with Jacob Sullum)

featuring Trevor Burrus and Jacob Sullum on Dec 27, 2019

Jacob Sullum joins the show to talk about how drug prohibition actually creates more problems than if some controlled substances were made legal. 

Free Thoughts

The Politics of Science (with Terence Kealey)

featuring Trevor Burrus, Aaron Ross Powell, and Terence Kealey on Jan 10, 2020

Terence Kealey joins the show today to talk about how the government is nearly the single buyer of scientific research.

Free Thoughts

Why Liberalism Works (with Deirdre McCloskey)

featuring Aaron Ross Powell, Trevor Burrus, and Deirdre McCloskey on Nov 8, 2019

Deirdre McCloskey joins our show again to talk about her new book, Why Liberalism Works: How True Liberal Values Produce a Freer, More Equal, Prosperous World for All