Free Thoughts from

Free Thoughts from

United Kingdom

A show about libertarianism and the ideas that influence it. Hosted by Aaron Ross Powell and Trevor Burrus.


Free Thoughts on Free Thoughts: 200 Episodes and Counting  

Our producer, Tess Terrible, interviews Aaron and Trevor for Free Thoughts’s 200th episode. How did Free Thoughts get started, and what have we learned along the way?

Close America's Overseas Bases  

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

The Fate of the West  

Bill Emmott joins us this week to talk about his new book, The Fate of the West: The Battle to Save the World’s Most Successful Political Idea (2017). Is the West in decline and if so, can we do anything about it?

Neoliberalism in the U.K.  

Sam Bowman joins us this week to talk about political trends in the United Kingdom and in Europe more broadly. What’s a neoliberal, and how is that different from American libertarianism?

We Broke the First Rule of Fight Club  

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

Who Elected Donald Trump?  

Emily Ekins has identified five different types of voters that elected Donald J. Trump the 45th President of the United States. Do these groups represent a big shift in American politics?

Arguments for Liberty: Rawlsianism  

Kevin Vallier joins us to talk about his Arguments for Liberty chapter on the ethical system of John Rawls. Does Rawls have value for libertarians?

Liberalism 1.0  

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

Markets in Everything?  

Jason Brennan and Peter Jaworski think that anything you’re allowed to do for free, you should be able to do for money. That means things like buying and selling kidneys, children, sex, grades; even waiting in line. Are they right?

Lessons from a Bank-Robbing Law Professor  

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

Private Schooling for Everyone  

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?

Is Liberalism in Danger?  

Jacob T. Levy says that the collapse of trust in institutional norms is what’s responsible for a new era of Trump-style authoritarian, “closed-society” populist politics here in America and around the globe.

Stories from Putin's Economist  

Andrei Illarionov joins us this week to tell us about growing up and studying economics in the Soviet Union, and about the years he spent as an economic policy advisor to Vladimir Putin.

Nothing Is Secure  

Julian Sanchez joins us this week for a discussion about online privacy in the era of mass data collection. When we’re online, what kind of data are we creating, and who’s watching us?

The True Causes of Mass Incarceration  

John Pfaff joins us this week to 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?

Why We're Too Complacent  

Tyler Cowen joins us this week to talk about the slowing pace of innovation and growth in the United States over the past few decades. Has American society become too complacent? What would a more dynamic society look like?

The War on Sex Work  

Elizabeth Nolan Brown joins us this week for a discussion about sex work. What’s the difference between sex trafficking and prostitution? How much sex trafficking is going on in the United States?

Introducing Liberty Chronicles, a New Podcast from  

We’re pleased to announce Liberty Chronicles, a new podcast from and the Cato Institute, hosted by Dr. Anthony Comegna.

Guantanamo Bay Is Still Open  

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

How Much Should We Worry About ISIS?  

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?

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