Vox.com: “Epistocracy: a political theorist’s case for letting only the informed vote”

Georgetown University political philosopher Jason Brennan author of Against Democracy

We know that an unfortunate side effect of democracy is that it incentivizes citizens to be ignorant, irrational, tribalistic, and to not use their votes in very serious ways. So this is an attempt to correct for that pathology while keeping what’s good about a democratic system.

We have to ask ourselves what we think government is actually for. Some people think it has the value a painting has, which is to say that it’s symbolic. In that view, you might think, “We should have democracy because it’s a way of civilizing and expressing the idea that all of us have equal value.”

There’s another way of looking at government, which is that it’s a tool, like a hammer, and the purpose of politics is to generate just and good outcomes, to generate efficiency and stability, and to avoid mistreating people. So if you think government is for that purpose, and I do, then you have to wonder if we should pick the form of government that best delivers the goods, whatever that might be.

I read this book when it first came out. Even if you do not agree with his solution of replacing democracy with an epistocracy, his critique of modern democracy is witheringly on point and worth a read by anyone who is interested in government, regardless of their political leanings.