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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.

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. 

Free Thoughts

Rights and Radicalism

featuring Grant Babcock, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Sep 1, 2017

Grant Babcock joins us this week to talk about an essay he wrote in defense of natural rights-based libertarianism.

Free Thoughts

Listener Q&A: Where Are All the Libertarian Countries?

featuring David Boaz, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Sep 8, 2014

Aaron, Trevor, and David Boaz answer listener questions including the classic: “If libertarianism is so great, where are all the libertarian countries?”

Free Thoughts

The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge

featuring Matt Ridley, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Nov 27, 2015

Matt Ridley joins us to talk about his new book, The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge. How are new ideas adopted from the bottom up?

Free Thoughts

The Politics of Star Wars

featuring Ilya Somin, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Dec 18, 2015

Ilya Somin joins us to talk about the politics behind the galaxy’s most popular epic space fantasy franchise.

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

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

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

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

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

Free Thoughts

Celebrating 300

featuring Aaron Ross Powell, Trevor Burrus, and Nora Powell on Jul 19, 2019

Thank you for sticking with us through 300 episodes! Reminisce with us today as Nora Powell interviews Aaron and Trevor.