Explore

Aaron Ross Powell

Aaron Ross Powell is Director and Editor of Libertarianism.org, a project of the Cato Institute. Libertarianism.org presents introductory material as well as new scholarship related to libertarian philosophy, theory, and history. He is also co-host of Libertarianism.org’s popular podcast, Free Thoughts. His writing has appeared in Liberty and The Cato Journal. He earned a JD from the University of Denver.

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

The Ideas of Friedrich Hayek

featuring Steven Horwitz, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Jun 8, 2015

Steven G. Horwitz joins us for a discussion on the life and ideas of one of the 20th century’s greatest intellectuals, Friedrich Hayek.

Free Thoughts

The Philosophical Foundations of the Constitution

featuring Roger Pilon, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Jun 17, 2016

Roger Pilon joins us to discuss the United States’s founding documents and the philosophy of the men that drafted them.

Free Thoughts

How Well Does the Constitution Protect Liberty?

featuring Sheldon Richman, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Feb 12, 2016

Sheldon Richman joins us to talk about the origins of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. Why are these documents venerated by many libertarians?

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

Is There a Purpose to History?

featuring Jason Kuznicki, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Jan 6, 2014

Jason Kuznicki joins us this week. What is the subject matter of history? How was it chosen?

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

Libertarianism and Christianity

featuring Doug Bandow, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Jul 21, 2014

Doug Bandow joins us to talk about the relationship between libertarianism and Chrisitanity.

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

Rothbard’s Ethics of Liberty, Part 1

featuring Aaron Ross Powell, Jason Kuznicki, and Grant Babcock on Oct 16, 2015

Jason Kuznicki, Grant Babcock, and Aaron Powell discuss the first part of Murray Rothbard’s book The Ethics of Liberty.

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

Free Thoughts

How the Right Lost Its Mind

featuring Charles J. Sykes, Trevor Burrus, and Aaron Ross Powell on Nov 24, 2017

Charles J. Sykes joins us this week for a discussion on the origins of the populist, pro-Trump Right.

Free Thoughts

What’s Okay to Buy and Sell?

featuring James Stacey Taylor, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Nov 25, 2013

James Stacey Taylor asks why it is that we seem to be comfortable with the idea of buying and selling some things, but not others.

Free Thoughts

When Markets Fail

featuring Peter Van Doren, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Dec 23, 2013

Peter Van Doren joins Aaron and Trevor to answer questions about market failure and the provision of public goods.

Free Thoughts

The Synthesis of Rights and Consequences

featuring Tom G. Palmer, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Feb 10, 2014

We discuss the two most common philosophical justifications for libertarianism: consequentialism and rights-based theories.