Summary of The Right to Vote Should Be Restricted to Those with Knowledge


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The Right to Vote Should Be Restricted to Those with Knowledge summary
It’s been said that democracy is where any two idiots can outvote a genius. Should that change?


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Jason Brennan – a professor of strategy, economics, ethics, and public policy at Georgetown University – reflects on the benefits of limiting the right to vote to knowledgeable, well-informed people. He examines the inherent flaws of democracy and suggests “epistocracy” as an alternative. Brennan fails to address some of the disadvantages of the system he commends: Would people really accept the legitimacy of a government that they weren’t allowed to elect? Still, getAbstract recommends this provocative essay as food for thought for democracy enthusiasts and skeptics.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What flaws are inherent to a democratic system,
  • How “epistocracy” could mitigate these flaws and
  • What an epistocratic political system could look like.


Power in the hands of an elite leads to gains for a few at the top for which the rest must pay. Yet, if power is in the hands of the masses, individual input has less impact, and people “remain ignorant and misinformed.” Representative democracy mitigates this problem with checks and balances, independent...
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About the Author

Jason Brennan is an associate professor at Georgetown University and specializes in politics, philosophy and economics. He is the author of numerous books, among them Against Democracy.

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