Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Against Democracy - by Jason Brennan

I laboured through the above book, of 245 pages, based on the proposition that 'Epistocracy', the rule by the better informed, could well be better than democracy. He didn't say it would be better as he readily admits it hasn't yet been tested.

He believes, and he is very un PC in his observations, that the general public/electorate are simply too stupid to vote and therefore shouldn't until they become better informed.

From my view point I've never believed democracy is perfect but like Churchill I strongly believe that 'it is the worse form of government except for all the alternatives'.

He takes a long time to offer his actual alternatives, which he does in the last 40 odd pages and to me he offers some very thin gruel.

First he suggests nobody should be able to vote until they have passed a test to assess their 'poitical knowledge'. Then he suggests, as an additional feature, that those who pass the test could carry more than one vote. So everybody gets one vote but those better informed individuals could get say 10 votes each. Finally he suggests that there could be an 'Epistocratic Council' of those who have passed the test who could then veto any piece of government's legislation.

It's not a book I recommend you read as I've told you the salient points here. 

For me the the only council we need is that of a sovereign people who under our fourth demand ' The People's consent' would, given certain criteria, be able to reject any piece of government legislation with which a clear majority disagree.

Epistocracy would I believe inevitably lead to something far worse than democracy as the 'elite' furthered their grip on our lives.

Who knows where they would stop?

Perhaps we would all be forced to become vegans.    

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