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Against Democracy #2019

Against Democracy Most people believe democracy is a uniquely just form of government They believe people have the right to an equal share of political power And they believe that political participation is good for us

  • Title: Against Democracy
  • Author: Jason Brennan
  • ISBN: 9780691162607
  • Page: 256
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Against Democracy By Jason Brennan, Most people believe democracy is a uniquely just form of government They believe people have the right to an equal share of political power And they believe that political participation is good for us it empowers us, helps us get what we want, and tends to make us smarter, virtuous, and caring for one another These are some of our most cherished ideas about dMost people believe democracy is a uniquely just form of government They believe people have the right to an equal share of political power And they believe that political participation is good for us it empowers us, helps us get what we want, and tends to make us smarter, virtuous, and caring for one another These are some of our most cherished ideas about democracy But, Jason Brennan says, they are all wrong.In this trenchant book, Brennan argues that democracy should be judged by its results and the results are not good enough Just as defendants have a right to a fair trial, citizens have a right to competent government But democracy is the rule of the ignorant and the irrational, and it all too often falls short Further, no one has a fundamental right to any share of political power, and exercising political power does most of us little good On the contrary, a wide range of social science research shows that political participation and democratic deliberation actually tend to make people worse irrational, biased, and mean Given this grim picture, Brennan argues that a new system of government epistocracy, the rule of the knowledgeable may be better than democracy, and that it s time to experiment and find out.A challenging critique of democracy and the first sustained defense of the rule of the knowledgeable, Against Democracy is essential reading for scholars and students of politics across the disciplines.

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      Published :2019-09-11T13:45:50+00:00

    1 thought on “Against Democracy

    1. Jason Brennan is The Man Who Was Born Yesterday His book is incisive, insightful, interesting, funny, and well informed It delivers a sound and compelling case that democracy is fatally flawed But everything he says in Against Democracy lacks depth, because he thinks that history began roughly twenty four hours ago So, while his analysis of democracy is good, his prescriptions are unbelievably shallow and poorly thought out, making the book very like a delicious looking piece of cake that is who [...]

    2. A fascinating discussion of whether democracy is unjust Brennan compares political decision making to jury deliberations, in which a decision is deemed unjust when the jury proceeds incompetently because they either ignored the facts or acted corruptly He argues that perhaps voting should be like driving, or becoming a judge, where certain levels of competence are required.I wish there had been focus on possible epistocracies governance by the competent , rather than only one chapter, but it m [...]

    3. Libertarianism is bullshit not to mention it s all bunk There That s something that needs to be said rather plainly before I go into specifics Now, don t think that I m just getting my angries out over not seeing the mystic truth of some particular cult and libertarianism is a cult I rate this book one star because libertarianism and Brennan s book is just a collection of bad ideas So, there are some fundamental assumptions that libertarianism makes that need to be addressed 1 Humans are NOT inh [...]

    4. Against Democracy, as the name suggests, is a devastating critique of democracy both in terms of the efficacy of real world democracies to provide competent government and the moral justifications for democracy precisely, universal suffrage as a moral right It is at its best when it challenges and debunks our cherished assumptions about and views of democracy I find the book less convincing when it comes to Brennan s proposed alternative epistocracy This is the rule of the knowers or precisely [...]

    5. First off, I can t remember the last time I actually enjoyed reading a work of analytic philosophy this much Brennan argues with a genuinely accessible clarity, not to mention humor, and he argues forcefully democratic institutions particularly in the US are instrumentally incompetent and corrupt, due to policies put in place by an electorate that is overwhelmingly ignorant, irrational and misinformed Terrifying statistic after terrifying statistic is cited His tentative for there is as yet no e [...]

    6. My first serious book on political science Must read in current times Perils of ignorance and the consequent incompetent rule of democracy Well crafted arguments Fun to learn how democracy works because it doesn t work.

    7. Plato s Republic Redux long live the Philosopher King Well, not quite But Jason Brennan makes a solid case for replacing democracy power of and by the people with epistocracy power of and by the most knowledgeable and competent Democracy, he argues, is dangerous It has significant flaws and drawbacks that endanger the rights and well being of the population, flaws and drawbacks that a properly established epistocracy could avoid Brennan isn t arguing that epistocracy would absolutely produce bet [...]

    8. Levels serious critiques at American democracy in particular though, as a work of political philosophy it clearly aims at democracy in general and proposes epistocracy as a replacement though what epistocracy means in practice is left loose, and how we get there from here is barely waved at.To really argue against this I d have to re read it But a first major objection would follow the outline that, while the criticisms are entirely valid in my experience, anyway and the merits of epistocratic g [...]

    9. I m not against the critique of democracy on account of the ignorance of voters But the writer is himself so ignorant about social scientific knowledge and he misses his own ignorance.1 There s not even a single mention of the ages old epistemological controversy over truth vs ideology The author is simply ignorant on the philosophy of social sciences or years of disputes in sociology of knowledge He has a very childish, positivist confidence the existence of some social scientific facts and tru [...]

    10. As promised, Brennan provides a strong almost devastating critique of democracy and the theories surrounding it It is a great read and Brennan is a witty writer, but after all the book appears to be unbalanced his defense and outline of epistocracy only makes up for tiny part of the book and incredibly repetitive certain statistics, thought experiments, and quotes appear 3 4 times throughout the 250 pages.

    11. Extremely interesting critique of democracy, though in my view falls short of proposing a coherent and feasible alternative.

    12. read Jason Brennan s book Against Democracy which argues for a epistocracy of informed citizens who have some enhances ability to make decisions for all of us, because essentially democratic rule as we know it, does not work and we re ruled by commoners who make bad decisions are uninformed.On face, Brennan s arguments have some good philosophical ground provide the reader with a solid case for why we d consider his thesis even if it s not plausible in today s political landscape in the west.Her [...]

    13. Some interesting aspects covered in this book and some good arguments made, others addressed and still others overcome It is no secret that democracy has its shortcomings the author acknowledges that it still may be the best form of political structuring Yet the epistocratic models he pushes us to try out don t really adhere to his conclusions on democracy But I think the most overlooked option for epistocratic selection is not the voting public, but those running for office It s a tall task to [...]

    14. Forceful book The author has a thesis and argues for it pretty heavily This makes the book very clear, but in some passages the author comes off as a bit biased Perhaps a bit focus on empirical data and a bit less on refuting pro democracy armchair political theory would have been good Overall I recommend reading this book.

    15. I ll admit that the 2016 presidential election and ensuing events really soured me on politics and the American experiment It s one thing for people to act in ways that are not in their best interest It s another when large groups of people simultaneously act in ways that are not in my best interest either Maybe there s something better than democracy out there Maybe this was a book I needed to read to blow of some steam Either way, Brennan s arguments for an epistocracy are fun and thought prov [...]

    16. So even tho I doubted the solidity in some of his arguments this is still an interesting thought experiment I was always of the idea that Democracy seriously is a flawed system, but that we cling to it because all of the alternatives are even worse But Brennans arguments for Epistocracy are worth thinking about, especially since he does cover and eradicates most of the objections I had to it after reading the first few chapters.Basically the majority of voters today are not only ignorant, but mi [...]

    17. The right to vote is a metaphorical badge of equality , J B writes, so it is a metaphysical displacement or make believe a philosophical mirage , not a fact, as equating soldiers with young lions, or women with fresh roses.J B argues that voters in the United States are divided in three big categories hobbits , hooligans , and vulcans Hobbits are mostly apathetic and ignorant about politics They lack strong, fixed opinions about most political issues Often they have no opinions at all They have [...]

    18. Brennan defends epistocracy in this book the idea that we better achieve justice by having knowledgeable people make decisions, instead of assuming that popular votes win out The thesis is something that I ve thought about since first reading John Stuart Mill political knowledge surveys seem to make it clear that newly credentialed citizens to this country understand its political system far better than many birthright citizens And Brennan makes a pretty thorough critique of the ways in which de [...]

    19. Reminds us of things we know but very often forget, or maybe never thought about A flawed book, but flawed in that it makes bold proposals that will take a very long to happen in some places and will never happen in others but then, many books are like that And of course, there are sentences in this book I ve have trimmed as an editor like the sentence where Brennan brags about his IAT results and terms I d have asked him to define what really constitutes basic social science knowledge , and whi [...]

    20. Democracy isn t defective, it s an endangered species And thinking like Brennan s is the reason why This book sounded interesting when the author was being interviewed on NPR But in the harsh glare of my bathroom light fixture, this thing smells worse than almost everything else in my bathroom.Several other reviewers have gone to great lengths to detail the many flaws in this books architecture, foundation, structure and plumbing I won t bother This book is the literary equivalent of a Russian d [...]

    21. Would you let anyone who want to do so don a white coat and operate on your body Probably not, but most people are perfectly happy when people with demonstrably very little knowledge about how a country works decide how their country should be run, albeit in a rather indirect manner.Brennan s argument is fairly simple Most people score lower than randomness when asked about fairly simple political questions For example a majority of US voters believe that the US foreign aid budget represents th [...]

    22. This is scholarly political philosophy, which means that it s interesting reading, but unlikely to ever be implemented, at least not in our lifetimes, since it would require a major overhaul of the Constitution An epistocracy, which Brennan argues for, is rule by the informed, knowledgeable, and competent, with the goal of achieving justice and happy lives for everyone Democracy will never achieve such goals, because it allows everyone to vote, and so long as that s the law of the land, we will [...]

    23. This topic is extremely interesting and it is nice to have your ideas challanged, I certainly have never thought about the alternatives to democracy presented in this book I have nothing to do with political theory in my everyday life Yet, it doesn t quite catch my interest in the way that I thought it would The book first presents a number of reasons why democracy in the sense of a single vote per adult is suboptimal, which are well argued for and backed by credible as far as I can tell It also [...]

    24. Jason may be a prophet considering recent political developments in the USA and other countries His case for restricted suffrage epistocracy is compelling given the nature of his evidence and related scenarios I was skeptical when I saw his interview with Steve Paiken on our provincial public television network TVO, but I take his arguments much seriously What most people consider to be just in democracy may in fact not really be so I plan to read of his work, and those who follow current worl [...]

    25. My notes from the book Trump s support in the early primaries came from low information voters.Trump won the nomination in part because the high information voters split their votes among the other nominees.Asking everyone to vote is like asking everyone to litter.John Stuart Mill we should institute the type of government that gets the best results.35% of voters are know nothings A man is no less a slave because he is allowed to choose a new master once in a term of years Herbert SpencerPolitic [...]

    26. Op zich een aardig boek, ware het niet dat de auteur nog al in herhaling valt.Geeft een wetenschappelijke onderbouwing voor de gedachte dat democratie misschien niet de beste vorm is Kiezers zijn te dom om te kunnen kiezen, maar dat wisten we al.Wat dan Ik was niet echt overtuigd Boek van David van Reybrouck tegen verkiezingen vond ik beter.

    27. I didn t necessarily agree with every argument put forward, but I have no complaints with the manner in which they were presented the book is well written, clear, and seems to deal with opposition arguments quite fairly I d like to spend a bit longer re reading this book carefully when I don t have deadlines looming.

    28. Not sure if I agree with all the author s libertarian background views to be fair they are just that, background views, and even strong statists can adhere to most of the arguments , but a great toolbox for discussing epistocracy and democracy nonetheless.

    29. Disappointing and narrow work that places great weight on political science and economics A People like us should rule.

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