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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

Philosophy the Right Way

by Aaron Ross Powell on Mar 21, 2013

Libertarian philosophy is a “big tent” and we can learn much from philosophers we may disagree with.

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Paternalism and Barbarism

by Aaron Ross Powell on Mar 26, 2013

Powell argues against paternalism, demonstrating that it is little more than a way to impose your values on others.

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Recognizing the State for What It Is

by Aaron Ross Powell on Apr 4, 2013

We should never forget that the state is an institution for compelling people to act against their will.

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Libertarianism, Bill Maher, and False Dilemmas

by Aaron Ross Powell on Apr 12, 2013

Arguments against libertarianism often take the form of false dilemmas. Powell looks at why they’re so common and what libertarians can do about it.

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Libertarianism and Virtue

by Aaron Ross Powell on May 3, 2013

An introduction to virtue, the life well-lived, and the state’s role in the good life.

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Why the Government is So Often Vicious and Foolish

by Aaron Ross Powell on Jun 6, 2013

Government’s very nature attracts the vicious, corrupts the virtuous, and encourages foolish decisions—so we should limit its power as much as possible.

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No Man Is an Island (Not Even Libertarians)

by Aaron Ross Powell on Jul 18, 2013

Libertarians reject an expansive state. But this doesn’t mean they reject social bonds or the benefits of working with others to achieve common goals.

essays

Libertarian Theory: A Reading List

by Aaron Ross Powell on Nov 3, 2011

A selection of books to take readers beyond the basics of libertarianism and into the philosophy and economics that provide its foundations.

essays

Critics of Liberty: A Reading List

by Aaron Ross Powell on Nov 3, 2011

A guide to the books and essays containing the most powerful arguments against libertarianism.