I’m currently writing Compulsory Voting: For and Against with Lisa Hill. After that, though, I’m doing another single-authored book. My working title when I sent the proposal to the publisher was The Politics of Voting: Competence and the Right to Rule, but that’s a bit boring. They’d like something more provocative.
Here are some of the general conclusions of the book:
- Democracy is not inherently just.
- For most people, the political liberties are not all that valuable.
- Exercising the political liberties in fact tends to corrupt us and tends to turn us into civic enemies.
- It is a vile, contemptible fact about human beings that we associate political power with dignity. Rawls and other philosophers who try to ground equal political liberties on these kinds of arguments are in fact valorizing human vice.
- We each have a right not to be subject to incompetent political decision-making or to political decisions made in bad faith. (Call this the Competence Principle.)
- Epistocracy is compatible with public reason liberalism.
- To comply with 5, we have a choice: We can greatly constrain the scope of government power, but stay democratic, or we can have a more expansive government, but must constrain democracy and partially replace it with an epistocracy.
I’m tempted to call the book Civic Enemies: A Theory of Democracy, or perhaps Civic Enemies with a different subtitle. Any suggestions? (If I use your suggestion, I’ll be sure to credit you.)