David Boaz, the executive vice president of the Cato Institute, sits down with Aaron and Trevor to talk generally about the libertarian philosophy, and answer the following questions: Is there one set of ideas called libertarianism, or is it more a collection of different schools of thought? If the latter, what binds them together? How long has libertarianism been around? And if libertarianism is so great, why is there no modern libertarian nation?
David Boaz is the executive vice president of the Cato Institute and has played a key role in both the Institute’s development and the growth of the American libertarian movement at large. Prior to joining Cato in 1981, he served as editor of New Guard magazine and executive director of the Council for a Competitive Economy.
In 1993, Boaz co-edited Market Liberalism: A Paradigm for the 21st Century with Edward H. Crane, president of the Cato Institute. His own work, Libertarianism: A Primer was published in 1997. That same year, The Libertarian Reader, which Boaz edited, was published. Boaz co-edited the 2003 Cato Handbook for Congress and the 2005 Cato Handbook on Policy. His book, The Politics of Freedom: Taking on The Left, The Right and Threats to Our Liberties, came out in 2008.
Boaz often appears in the media to discuss such issues as education choice, the growth of government, the ownership society, drug legalization, and the rise of libertarianism.
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.
Trevor Burrus is a research fellow at the Cato Institute’s Center for Constitutional Studies. His research interests include constitutional law, civil and criminal law, legal and political philosophy, and legal history. His work has appeared in the Vermont Law Review, the Syracuse Law Review, and the Jurist, as well as the Washington Times, Huffington Post, and the Daily Caller. He holds a BA in Philosophy from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a JD from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.