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Free Thoughts

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A weekly show about politics and liberty, featuring conversations with top scholars, philosophers, historians, economists, and public policy experts. Hosted by Aaron Ross Powell and Trevor Burrus.

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Latest Episodes

  • How Textiles Made the Modern World (with Virginia Postrel)
    April 16, 2021 at 4:00 am

    The story of humanity is the story of textiles -- as old as civilization itself. Since the first thread was spun, the need for textiles has driven technology, business, politics, and culture. Virginia Postrel joins the show to discuss how textiles are the most influential commodity in world history.What can the history of textiles teach us about innovation? See acast.com/privacy for privacy and […]

  • Fighting the Foreign Policy Establishment (with Justin Logan)
    April 9, 2021 at 4:00 am

    The foreign policy establishment in D.C. is stubborn. In fact, there is so much consensus about America's interests' abroad that it's rare that meaningful debate occurs. But, it shouldn't be like that. There should be room for realists and restrainers in foreign policy. Justin Logan comes back on the podcast to discuss how foreign policy should be regularly scrutinized because right now […]

  • Who Messed with Texas's Electricity (with Peter Van Doren)
    April 2, 2021 at 4:00 am

    Alternating current electricity systems require that demand equals supply in real-time. Any supply-demand imbalance must be remedied in minutes to avoid collapse of the system that would take weeks to repair. And the Texas system was very close to collapse. So why did the Texas blackouts occur when the weather was bitter cold?Could a free market electricity system work? What is the rate of return […]

  • Why It's OK to Want to Be Rich (with Jason Brennan)
    March 26, 2021 at 4:00 am

    In Jason Brennan's new book, Why It’s OK to Want to Be Rich, he shows that the moralizers have it backwards. He argues that, in general, the more money you make, the more you already do for others, and that even an average wage earner is productively “giving back” to society just by doing her job. In addition, wealth liberates us to have the best chance of leading a life that’s […]

  • Making Fun of Dictators (with Bassem Youseff)
    March 19, 2021 at 4:00 am

    Bassem Youseff joins the show to talk about his experience hosting the show, El-Bernameg (The Show), a satirical news program in Egypt, from 2011 to 2014. Youseff is often described as the Egyptian Jon Stewart because his program garnered over 40 million viewers. In 2013, Time named Youseff one of the 100 most influential people in the world.Why are dictators humorless? Do you think that America […]

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