Aaron Crofut's Reviews > Considerations on Representative Government

Considerations on Representative Government by John Stuart Mill
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's review
Oct 16, 2010

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bookshelves: political-theory-science
Read from November 16 to December 12, 2012

The first 8 chapters are well worth reading.

His thoughts on under what circumstances representative government can work is extremely simple, so simple that it is easy to dismiss as useful information, until you realize we are not meeting those criterion. They are 1) the people must be willing to accept such a government (we are); and 2) the people should be willing and able to do what is necessary for its preservation (we fail this). I rather like Mill's idea concerning suffrage, that those dependent on the taxes of others should be barred from voting until they are off the dole and that ignorant people should not be voting, but like Mill I recognize the extreme political and mechanical difficulty in actually implementing this.

We are ruled by fools because we are fools, and we are too damn foolish to know it.
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