March 3, 2012
SCIENCE: People Aren’t Smart Enough for Democracy to Flourish, Scientists Say. Of course, as Thomas Jefferson noted, if people aren’t smart enough to rule themselves, then who is smart enough to be a ruler?
But here’s the key bit:
Nagel concluded that democracies rarely or never elect the best leaders. Their advantage over dictatorships or other forms of government is merely that they “effectively prevent lower-than-average candidates from becoming leaders.”
That’s no small thing.
UPDATE: Reader Barbara Skolaut writes:
Your posting quoted the Nagel guy’s view about democracies: “they ‘effectively prevent lower-than-average candidates from becoming leaders.’”
Didn’t work in our last election, did it?
No system is perfect. And that closing seems to be catching on.