Preface to the 2017 Paperback Edition vii Preface and Acknowledgments xv 1 Hobbits and Hooligans 1 2 Ignorant, Irrational, Misinformed Nationalists 23 3 Political Participation Corrupts 54 4 Politics Doesn't Empower You or Me 74 5 Politics Is Not a Poem 112 6 The Right to Competent Government 140 7 Is Democracy Competent? 172 8 The Rule of the Knowers 204 9 Civic Enemies 231 Notes 247 Bibliography 265 Index 279
Jason Brennan is the Flanagan Family Chair of Strategy, Economics, Ethics, and Public Policy at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University. He is the author of The Ethics of Voting (Princeton), and Why Not Capitalism?. He writes regularly for Bleeding Heart Libertarians, a blog.
One of Zocalo's 10 Favorite Books of 2016 "Brennan has a bright, pugilistic style, and he takes a sportsman's pleasure in upsetting pieties and demolishing weak logic. Voting rights may happen to signify human dignity to us, he writes, but corpse-eating once signified respect for the dead among the Fore tribe of Papua New Guinea. To him, our faith in the ennobling power of political debate is no more well grounded than the supposition that college fraternities build character."--Caleb Crain,New Yorker "A brash, well-argued diatribe against the democratic system. There is much to mull over in this brazen stab at the American electoral process... [I]n the current toxic partisan climate, Brennan's polemic is as worth weighing as any other."--Kirkus Reviews "A brash, well-argued diatribe against the democratic system. There is much to mull over in this brazen stab at the American electoral process... Sure to cause howls of disagreement, but in the current toxic partisan climate, Brennan's polemic is as worth weighing as any other."--Kirkus "Important."--Ilya Somin, Washington Post Volokh Conspiracy "Against Democracychallenges a basic precept that most people take for granted: the morality of democracy... Brennan presents a variety of strategies by which the quality of the electorate could be improved, while still keeping it large, and demographically representative... [A] powerful challenge to the conventional wisdom about democracy... [W]orth serious consideration."--Ilya Somin, Washington Post "Compelling... This is theory that skips, rather than plods."--Los Angeles Times "The book makes compelling reading for what is typically a dry area of discourse. This is theory that skips, rather than plods."--Molly Sauter, Los Angeles Times "Among the best works in political philosophy in recent memory."--Zachary Woodman, Students for Liberty "Challenging and insightful."--Alexander William Salter, Public Choice "Lucidly written in provocative, sometimes brash tones, it is especially useful for the undergraduate classroom."--Choice "Against Democracy seems scarily prescient today. Writing well before the twin shocks of the Brexit and the U.S. elections, the Georgetown political scientist makes a powerful case that popular democracy can be dangerous--and, provocatively, that irrational and incompetent voters should be excluded from democratic decision-making. The case for elitism in governance never read so well."--Zocalo Public Square "Meticulous [and] crisply written."--Tom Clark, Prospect "Mercilessly well-argued."--Niko Kolodny, Boston Review