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Free Thoughts

A News, Politics and History podcast
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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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Recent Episodes

Why is Populism So Popular?
There is no doubt that we are in a global tend of authoritarian populism. Tom Palmer joins the show today to discuss how populism comes in many kinds of poison. He points to our disorderly immigration system as one of the reasons that populist rhetoric thrives in the United States. As there is more havoc at the border, it is perceived as an invasion rather than a flaw in our system. Do you think that the Republican Party is the new Populist Party? What is populism? Is there a clear distinction between democracy and populism? What is the idea of the ‘loyal opposition’?Further Reading:Animal Farm, written by George OrwellThe Terrifying Rise of Authoritarian Populism, written by Tom G. PalmerThe Virtue of Nationalism, written by Yoram HazonyRelated Content:What’s Wrong with National Conservatism?, Free Thoughts PodcastVice in The Virtue of Nationalism, written by Akiva MalametIs Liberalism in Danger?, Free Thoughts Podcast
How the World's Poorest are Educating Themselves (with James Tooley)
While researching private schools in India for the World Bank, and worried he was doing little to help the poor, James Tooley wandered into the slums of Hyderabad’s Old City. Shocked to find it overflowing with tiny, parent-funded schools filled with energized students, he set out to discover if schools like these could help achieve universal education.Do private schools exist across the world in the poorest of areas? In third world countries, how do you find private schools? Are there low-cost private schools? How much does teacher engagement matter in education?Further Reading:The Beautiful Tree: A Personal Journey Into How the World’s Poorest People are Educating Themselves, written by James TooleyLow-Cost Schools Are Transforming Africa, written by Tom Vander ArkRelated Content:The Education Apocalypse: How It Happened and How to Survive It, Free Thoughts PodcastPrivate Lives and Public Education, written by Jason KuznickiThe State of State Education in America, Free Thoughts Podcast
What's Wrong with National Conservatism?
The National Conservatism Movement is trying to continue Trumpism long after Trump is out of the White House. Recently, they held a conference in D.C. in order to streamline their message. The keynote speakers were Tucker Carlson, John Bolton, Josh Hawley, Peter Thiel, and Yoram Hazony, whose speech announced that “today is our independence day”. In this episode, Aaron Ross Powell, Paul Matzko, Jason Kuznicki, & Matthew Feeney analyze Josh Hawley’s America’s Epicurean Liberalism by defining what it means to be an American. What is the religious angle to national conservatism? What civic virtues does Joshua Hawley value? What does it mean to be American? Should society have a purpose?Further Reading:America’s Epicurean Liberalism, written by Joshua D. HawleyPlanned Parenthood v. CaseyThe Man Behind National Conservatism, written by Daniel LubanRelated Content:Social Media’s Moral Panic (with Milton Mueller), Free Thoughts PodcastWhat Senator Hawley Gets Wrong about American Identity, written by Aaron Ross Powell
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Podcast Details
Oct 22nd, 2013
Latest Episode
Sep 6th, 2019
Release Period
No. of Episodes
Avg. Episode Length
About 1 hour

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