Jason Brennan, against democracy
Jason Brennan’s newest book challenges the widely held assumptions of scholars and laypeople alike concerning the justice and efficacy of democracy. Chapter 1 sets the stage by presenting a controversial thesis: “political liberty and participation are, on the whole, harmful” (p. 6). More specifically, Brennan argues that political participation is usually not valuable, that there is no right to vote or run for office, and that there is no necessary connection between democracy and justice. Brennan also says he will defend “epistocracy,” a system of rule by the knowledgeable (pp. 14–15). This can take several different forms, such as a restricted franchise or weighted voting. The final pages of the introductory chapter outline the many parts of the argument, each a chapter, which Brennan develops and defends his thesis.
Chapter 2 shows that voters are “ignorant, irrational, misinformed nationalists” (p. 23) Surveying more than 50 years’ worth of empirical political science and...
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