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Against Democracy di [Brennan, Jason]
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Against Democracy Formato Kindle

5.0 su 5 stelle 1 recensione cliente

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Formato Kindle, 19 ago 2016
EUR 20,75

Lunghezza: 288 pagine Word Wise: Abilitato Lingua: Inglese

Descrizione prodotto


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, more virtuous, and more 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. Furthermore, 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—more 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.

Dettagli prodotto

  • Formato: Formato Kindle
  • Dimensioni file: 935 KB
  • Lunghezza stampa: 304
  • Editore: Princeton University Press (19 agosto 2016)
  • Venduto da: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Lingua: Inglese
  • ASIN: B01EGQA1W0
  • Da testo a voce: Abilitato
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  • Word Wise: Abilitato
  • Miglioramenti tipografici: Non abilitato
  • Media recensioni: 5.0 su 5 stelle 1 recensione cliente
  • Posizione nella classifica Bestseller di Amazon: #127.676 a pagamento nel Kindle Store (Visualizza i Top 100 a pagamento nella categoria Kindle Store)
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Formato: Copertina rigida Acquisto verificato
Un testo lucido e razionale dove, prove alla mano costitute da indagini sulla popolazione votante, si dimostra che la democrazia non funziona, danneggia la società , calpesta il diritto di avere un elettorato e dei governanti competenti e che il voto del singolo non conta effettivamente nulla. Chi vota in media è incompetente, ignorante e agisce in base a prediudizi culturali, sociologici e antropologici. L'autore suggerisce di provare un sistema epistocratico che potrebbe funzionare meglio. At last the holy cow of democracy is debunked.
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Le recensioni clienti più utili su (beta) (Potrebbero essere presenti recensioni del programma "Early Reviewer Rewards") 3.7 su 5 stelle 31 recensioni
70 di 76 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
4.0 su 5 stelle Crowdsourcing is not consent of the governed 16 agosto 2016
Di David Wineberg - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina rigida
The day after the Brexit referendum, the top internet search requests were for “benefits of EU membership”. This compactly explains Jason Brennan’s thesis in Against Democracy. Democracy is an operating system, nothing more. If you give it bad input…. His main argument boils down to governance being instrumental. If there is a better instrument than democracy, then we should use it and reap the benefits. Because in democracy, “knowledge and rationality do not pay, while ignorance and irrationality go unpunished”. A US senator is worth an average of $14 million, and a congressman $6 million. This is not even representative democracy; this is the Ruling Class. Democracy isn’t working. Brennan says the only thing democracy has going for it is that we haven’t found anything consistently better. Absolute power might corrupt absolutely, but so does politics. It seems to improve nothing. If you get voters away from politics, everything will improve.

He says there are three broad categories of voters, only one of which provides valid input. Hobbits know and are pleased to know nothing. Their input is worse than flipping a coin. Hooligans hold tightly to political positions despite the facts. Their votes are fixed and wasted. Vulcans analyze, are open to new sources and can convincingly take different sides. They seek correction so as not to appear in error.

Brennan’s solution is an epistocracy. The epistocracy is a collection of the brightest Vulcans. They have to pass a test: economics, immigration, environment – everything. Only they get to vote. It keeps politics away from the masses, and (in Brennan’s theory) leads to more effective government.

The main problem with epistocracy is visible today. The Supreme Court is made up of nine people: educated, bright, sharp, beyond politics (theoretically) or bribery. Yet they predictably come down on ideological sides every time. Most of them can stay home because we know how they’re going to vote. All we really need is to hear from the swing voter. This is epistocracy at work.

The other problem is that democracy was never intended to be the most efficacious system. It’s like the post office: never intended to be profitable, it was a service that united the country for the benefit of all. So with democracy; it gives voters the feeling of belonging and making a difference. Epistocracy addresses solutions democracy never intended to match. Brennan is right: the math for democracy doesn’t work. But it isn’t meant to.

There are two terrific reasons to read Against Democracy. Brennan is challenging. He attacks the sacred foundations fearlessly, logically and thoroughly. You are always on your toes looking for faults, loopholes and disagreement. And he is direct. I particularly like his critiques of other authorities. He just comes out and says they are wrong. And then he tells you why. It is not qualified with “I must take issue with” or “They might be missing a point here”. They are out and out wrong. That is refreshing from a philosopher.

The basic difficulty I have with Brennan’s quest is that it seeks truth. Voters don’t do that. They choose who they want, not what is correct or best. There is no analysis, no meeting of the minds, no informed decision. So yes, our democracy is mostly sham. Voters are not qualified to decide, and nothing they decide will affect the outcome anyway. It’s just an opiate. What’s wrong with Brennan’s whole thesis is that I might not want him in the epistocracy.

David Wineberg
1 di 1 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
4.0 su 5 stelle Devastating critique of democracy 23 maggio 2017
Di Shawn Klein - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina rigida Acquisto verificato
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 (more 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 more precisely, the idea that in some way voting or governing is restricted by some kind of test of knowledge. For example, you only get to vote if you can pass an exam like the citizenship test or everyone gets a vote, but people who can pass such an exam get extra votes. Brennan briefly discusses several possible ways epistocracy might work (and there are many), but without any actual full-blown epistocracies to look at, it is hard to get a feel for just what such a system would really look like and how such a system would actually work. This is hardly Brennan’s fault; there just aren’t any real-world examples to present.

He does discuss some of the epistocratic elements already in place (e.g. Supreme Court) and this helps make things clearer. Nevertheless, I think he might have spent more time fleshing out a few of the more promising alternatives in greater detail. After all, the discussion of epistocracy proper is only one chapter (I would assume Brennan is saving this for his next book.)

Without the more fleshed out alternatives, it is harder to evaluate them and compare them to democracy (which is what Brennan wants us to do). It also makes it harder to determine whether some of the objections raised against epistocracy are answered adequately. For example, I am not sure the demographic objection is satisfactorily met. This is the concern that epistocracy would, given the current demographic realities, disenfranchise individuals that are part of already disadvantaged groups. Brennan’s response boils down to the claim that since epistocracy should yield better policies (especially for such groups, who have been ill served by democracy), these individuals will be better off under epistocracy. This might be true but it sure doesn't seem like it would convince someone deeply concerned about this issue. Of course, that doesn’t show that Brennan is wrong, but it tugs at how deep the perceived value of voting is and that at least from a rhetorical point of view more work needs to be done.

Another practical concern is that Brennan never addresses how we get there from here. What is the realistic path to adopting his vision? If democracies are as incompetent as he convincingly argues, then how do we get democracies to change and implement epistocracy (peacefully)?

Another concern I have, and this runs through a lot of Brennan’s work that I have read, is that he has way more confidence in empirical social science than I tend to think is warranted. I am not denying the value of this science or its importance in making these kinds of arguments. Nevertheless, I think more humility and caution is needed when using it. The empirical data seems to me to be more limited in terms of scope and generalizability than Brennan seems to treat it. That said, he is explicitly cautious at times, just not as much as I think he needs to be.

I am sympathetic to Brennan’s arguments against democracy and for epistocracy. But I worry that's because I am not part of the groups that are disenfranchised by Brennan's proposals: my position in society is not likely to be affected. Would someone in those groups find the view as appealing? Probably not. But, then, such people aren't reading books like these I (and maybe that’s part of the problem).

As a realistic alternative, I don’t think epistocracy will win the day anytime soon. But I think the book has important value in the present forcing us to rethink the way see democracy and by making the case that more epistocratic elements need to be added or strengthened in our republic.
5.0 su 5 stelle HOT HOT HOT. His book is really outstanding too. :) 16 maggio 2017
Di Nancy Pace - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina rigida Acquisto verificato
This book is so well-worth reading, if you are interested in the political future of our country, whether or not you are a Libertarian or a political philosopher. Jason Brennan is a genius. (He’s also hot saith this seventy-year-old) and articulate, and charming. If the Libertarians want a winning candidate for President, they should keep all the fun and pithy parts of this book and repackage it to elect him. Hidden beneath his academic precision are his legitimate, softly-spoken condemnations of The Way Things Are (politically-speaking) which most of the American electorate would agree with and identify with! Jason for President?!

Mr. Brennan is no raving Jeremiah; his arguments are all elegantly reasoned and reasonable. In his polite, thorough way, he provides ample and convincing scholarly evidence that the American political process—as it is currently practiced—is highly undemocratic and highly unaccountable—and he tells us why. I admire him for his integrity and his commitment to and evident enthusiasm for open-minded, thorough, useful research.

I bought Against Democracy because I read elsewhere that it offered a strong argument that government should be judged based on its results. I am even more so convinced. (Mr. Brennan doesn’t mention China at all, but I was drawn to this book based on China’s comparative success in this area (i.e. producing satisfying results for its citizens. ) (China scores-80-95% citizen satisfaction with its government too. Interesting! I hope Mr. Brennan is curious about this reality, as I am, but I see no evidence yet.)

I am no economist nor researcher nor logician nor philosopher nor math whiz (Brennan is) but I love politics and have a lifelong interest in it, am an academic, and admit I cannot disagree with ANY of his thoughtful perspectives. (I’m also not a Hobbit nor a Hooligan—nor yet a Vulcan, I’m not numerical enough, otherwise yes. Maybe I’m a Troglodyte?)
3 di 3 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle Thought provoking 7 dicembre 2016
Di Jim Harbison - Pubblicato su
Formato: Formato Kindle Acquisto verificato
Though many of the premises of this book will cause those of us rooted in a democratic tradition to shudder at first blush, the author makes us think with his persuasive arguments. And he causes us to think more widely outside the box, even if our eventual view may still be that democracy is best. Be prepared to do some careful thinking and evaluation of where your democratic beliefs come from.
1 di 1 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
4.0 su 5 stelle Must Read for Political Theorists 24 gennaio 2017
Di Paul D. Long - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina rigida Acquisto verificato
An outstanding review of the historical and current defenses of democracies and the weakness to satisfy the principle of competency. Brennan offers a proposal for an epistocracy, a theory which advocates elimination of the voters who are ill-informed or not informed at all. Relying on the consequentialism of Mill he advocates a government which produces good policy based on the best available evidence. Only the "vulcans," the most rational and well-informed citizens will be the most influential in policy decisions.

This is a great read for those interested in the current attacks on the electoral system and other weaknesses of democracy. It is targeted for a learned individual and certainly those who have a grounding in Social Contract theory, Rawls' Theory of Justice, and other political theories.
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