Explore

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.

Free Thoughts

King Obama, King Trump: The Dangers of an Imperial Presidency

featuring Gene Healy, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Jan 20, 2017

Gene Healy joins us for a special Inauguration Day episode of Free Thoughts wherein we assess Barack Obama’s legacy as President of the United States.

Free Thoughts

Liberaltarianism and Trump

featuring Brink Lindsey, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Jan 27, 2017

Brink Lindsey joins us this week to talk about his idea for an alliance between liberals and libertarians in the age of Trump-style conservative populism.

Free Thoughts

Taking Government Un-Seriously

featuring Jeremy McLellan, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Feb 10, 2017

Jeremy McLellan joins us this week to talk about his brand of politics and comedy. Does humor have a place in changing people’s political beliefs?

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 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

Stuck in Political Nostalgia

featuring Yuval Levin, Trevor Burrus, and Aaron Ross Powell on Apr 7, 2017

Yuval Levin joins us to talk about political nostalgia and American individualism. Why do the political right and left both seem to be stuck yearning for the 1950s and early 60s?

Free Thoughts

How Much Should We Worry About ISIS?

featuring Emma Ashford, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Apr 14, 2017

Emma Ashford joins us this week to discuss the rise of the Islamic State. How is ISIS different from Al Qaeda and other terror groups? Does it pose an existential threat to the Western world?

Free Thoughts

Guantanamo Bay Is Still Open

featuring Andrew Turner, Aaron Ross Powell, and Adam Bates on Apr 21, 2017

Andrew Turner joins us to talk about his experience being stationed at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp in 2009 and 2010.

Free Thoughts

Why We’re Too Complacent

featuring Tyler Cowen, Trevor Burrus, and Aaron Ross Powell on May 5, 2017

This week, we talk about the slowing pace of innovation and growth in the US over the past few decades. Has American society become too complacent?

Free Thoughts

The True Causes of Mass Incarceration

featuring John Pfaff, Trevor Burrus, and Aaron Ross Powell on May 12, 2017

We talk about the United States’s unusually high rate of incarceration. How many Americans are in prison or in jail? What did they do to get there?

Free Thoughts

Nothing Is Secure

featuring Julian Sanchez, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on May 19, 2017

Julian Sanchez joins us to talk about online privacy in the era of mass data collection. What kind of data are we creating, and who’s watching us?

Free Thoughts

Private Schooling for Everyone

featuring Robert Luddy, Trevor Burrus, and Aaron Ross Powell on Jun 9, 2017

Robert Luddy joins us this week to talk about his ventures as the founder of several successful private schools in and around Raleigh, North Carolina. Could private education supplant public schooling?

Free Thoughts

Lessons from a Bank-Robbing Law Professor

featuring Shon Hopwood, Trevor Burrus, and Aaron Ross Powell on Jun 16, 2017

Shon Hopwood joins us this week to tell about his journey from bank robber to federal prisoner to U.S. Supreme Court practitioner and Georgetown law professor.

Free Thoughts

Liberalism 1.0

featuring Deirdre McCloskey, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Jun 30, 2017

Deirdre McCloskey has a few suggestions that she hopes will make libertarians more humane and empathetic. What sort of rhetorical tactics should libertarians use?

Free Thoughts

Who Elected Donald Trump?

featuring Emily Ekins, Trevor Burrus, and Aaron Ross Powell on Jul 14, 2017

Emily Ekins has identified five different types of voters that elected Donald Trump as president. Do these groups represent a big shift in American politics?

Free Thoughts

We Broke the First Rule of Fight Club

featuring William Irwin, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Jul 21, 2017

William Irwin joins us for a discussion about the novel Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk and the movie it inspired. Are consumer choices authentic choices?

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 (2017).

Free Thoughts

Close America’s Overseas Bases

featuring John Glaser, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Aug 11, 2017

John Glaser proposes a policy shift that would save money and make the United States safer: closing some or all of America’s 800 overseas military bases.