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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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What Politics Is

by Aaron Ross Powell on Oct 3, 2013

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

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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.

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“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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Free Thoughts

Politics and Community

featuring Aaron Ross Powell and Trevor Burrus on Oct 22, 2013

Libertarians often get called “anti-community.” Aaron and Trevor explain why that’s wrong and why it leads to so many bad arguments against libertarianism.