June 20, 2012 Exploring Liberty

The Problem of Political Ignorance

What happens in a democracy when voters are too ignorant to vote well about the things they vote about? How can we best counter this political ignorance?

Ilya Somin is a Professor of Law at the George Mason University School of Law, an Adjunct Fellow at the Cato Institute, and a regular contributor at The Volokh Conspiracy, a group law blog.

In this Exploring Liberty lecture, Somin introduces the theory of political ignorance, which posits that the majority of the electorate doesn’t have enough information to make fully-informed political decisions with the understanding that for most people this ignorance is perfectly rational. Somin counters several arguments that discount the effects of political ignorance and explains the implications of this idea on the movement for limited government.

Produced by Evan Banks.