People aren’t smart: just look at the calibre of politicians that win the votes

I’m not alone in maintaining that democracy is not the best political system; just the best

system we have currently. And politicians who work within a democratic system do so knowing full well that it serves to give them a veneer of respectability, in a lifestyle of villainy.

Not so with common dictators, monarchists, personality cultists and theocrats. They dispense with the niceties of democracy because fear works better for them. You could say this lot are honest rogues.

However politicians don’t exist on their own. They need people. Preferably not so smart people.

Democracy...A Challenge

Now there’s a scientific study that confirms that people are not so smart when it comes to choosing the right candidates, and that’s why democracies invariably don’t elect the best leaders.

The democratic process relies on the assumption that citizens (the majority of them, at least) can recognize the best political candidate, or best policy idea, when they see it. But a growing body of research has revealed an unfortunate aspect of the human psyche that would seem to disprove this notion, and imply instead that democratic elections produce mediocre leadership and policies.

The research, led by David Dunning, a psychologist at Cornell University, shows that incompetent people are inherently unable to judge the competence of other people, or the quality of those people’s ideas. For example, if people lack expertise on tax reform, it is very difficult for them to identify the candidates who are actual experts. They simply lack the mental tools needed to make meaningful judgments. [People Aren’t Smart Enough for Democracy to Flourish, Scientists Say]

It all simply boils down to the unfortunate incidence of people giving/conceding power to politicians in ways they neither comprehend nor bother to take responsibility for. And that’s never a good thing.

I know; I live in South Africa, where this is amply demonstrated.

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One thought on “People aren’t smart: just look at the calibre of politicians that win the votes

  1. Pingback: People Aren’t Smart Enough for Democracy to Flourish, Scientists Say « Trutherator's Weblog

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