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

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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.

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.



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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    A. John 7 months ago
    Who gets to lay out the standard of knowledge given that current systems are inherently corruptible (evil intent aside) due to the DNA corruption inherent in those devising it?

    Thus, how transparent and "true" could the process for this to ever occur be?
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    Marius Schober 1 year ago
    His idea is provocative but nevertheless, holds some truth. But how do the "elite" know the problems of the less educated society? How will you ensure empathy?