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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.

columns

State Thugs and the Purpose of Government

by Aaron Ross Powell on Aug 9, 2013

Big government makes it easy to forget what government’s for—and that allows state agents to get away with truly awful acts.

columns

How Not to Argue Against Libertarianism

by Aaron Ross Powell on Aug 15, 2013

Cogently attacking libertarianism means, at the very least, wrestling with what libertarians actually believe.

columns

The Inhumanity of Politics

by Aaron Ross Powell on Sep 26, 2013

Politics encourages us to dehumanize our opponents and, as a result, we dehumanize ourselves.

columns

What Politics Is

by Aaron Ross Powell on Oct 3, 2013

Politics is what you get when you add violence to discourse.

essays

The Humble Case for Liberty

by Aaron Ross Powell on Oct 17, 2013

The virtue of humility is found in recognizing our limits—and that humility ought to make us libertarians.

columns

“First, Do No Harm”

by Aaron Ross Powell on Nov 8, 2013

Libertarians get told we complain about government but never offer solutions. That’s not true—especially because limiting government often is the solution.

columns

Voting as a Moral Wrong

by Aaron Ross Powell on Nov 3, 2014

The democratic process can’t transform immoral acts into moral ones. Therefore, participating in elections entails signing your name to countless misdeeds.

columns

Politics is Destroying Your Soul

by Aaron Ross Powell on Jul 9, 2015

Politics doesn’t just make the world around us worse. It makes us worse, as well.

columns

False Promises and Uncertain Economic Truths

by Aaron Ross Powell on Feb 4, 2016

Markets are overwhelmingly good, but the results of market processes aren’t always good for everyone, in every instance. Pretending otherwise isn’t persuasive.

columns

What Kind of Libertarian Are You?

by Aaron Ross Powell on Mar 7, 2018

Libertarianism comes in many varieties. Here, Powell sets out his own off-the-beaten-path version, with intellectual roots among the Ancient Greeks.

columns

Buddhist Ethics Does Not Advocate State Action

by Aaron Ross Powell on May 9, 2019

Engaged buddhists too often lean progressive because they don’t understand the fundamental nature of the state that they rely on.    

Free Thoughts

Politics Makes Us Worse

featuring Trevor Burrus and Aaron Ross Powell on Mar 20, 2020

In the United States, nothing makes us hate each other quite like politics.