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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.

essays

Politics Makes Us Worse

by Aaron Ross Powell and Trevor Burrus on Sep 14, 2012

Increasing the sphere of politics leads to bad policy and increased vice.

columns

Some Very Good Reasons Not to Vote

by Aaron Ross Powell and Trevor Burrus on Nov 8, 2016

It’s not worth getting your hands dirty to do something so ineffective.

Building Tomorrow

How Online Games Shape Our Real Lives

featuring Paul Matzko, Will Duffield, and Aaron Ross Powell on Feb 7, 2019

Video games have extensive compelling narratives that gives the player a degree of agency that is not present in watching movies or reading books. 

Free Thoughts

Arguments for Liberty: Rawlsianism

featuring Kevin Vallier, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Jul 7, 2017

Kevin Vallier joins us to talk about his Arguments for Liberty chapter on the ethical system of John Rawls. Does Rawls have value for libertarians?

Free Thoughts

Arguments for Liberty: Utilitarianism

featuring Chris Freiman, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Aug 25, 2017

Christopher Freiman joins us to talk about his Arguments for Liberty chapter on utilitarianism. What’s the utilitarian argument for libertarianism?

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

Social Media’s Moral Panic (with Milton Mueller)

featuring Trevor Burrus, Aaron Ross Powell, and Milton Mueller on Aug 16, 2019

Milton Mueller joins us to discuss how social media is not a medical addiction that requires government intervention.

Free Thoughts

Objections to Libertarianism (with Eric Mack)

featuring Aaron Ross Powell, Trevor Burrus, and Eric Mack on May 10, 2019

Eric Mack joins our show again to talk about common objections to libertarianism by dissecting John Rawls viewpoint. 

Free Thoughts

Unbundling the State (with Jason Kuznicki)

featuring Aaron Ross Powell, Paul Matzko, and Jason Kuznicki on Apr 19, 2019

Jason Kuznicki discusses how the problem of political authority has evolved over time from a classical liberal perspective. 

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.

Building Tomorrow

The Brave New World of DNA Databases

featuring Paul Matzko, Matthew Feeney, and Aaron Ross Powell on Aug 16, 2018

This week we discuss the implications of law enforecement’s ability to access genetic information from DNA databases like Ancestry and 23&Me. 

Building Tomorrow

Debunking Overpopulation

featuring Paul Matzko, Aaron Ross Powell, and John Ibbitson on Apr 11, 2019

John Ibbitson joins our show to discuss how around mid-century our population will no longer be growing, but declining.