more from John Stuart Mill

Single Idea 20505

[catalogued under 25. Society / D. Political Doctrines / 5. Democracy / c. Direct democracy]

Full Idea

At its best [direct democracy] is inexperience sitting in judgement on experience, ignorance on knowledge.

Gist of Idea

Direct democracy is inexperience judging experience, and ignorance judging knowledge


John Stuart Mill (Representative Government [1861], p.232), quoted by Jonathan Wolff - An Introduction to Political Philosophy (Rev) 4 'Representative'

Book Reference

Wolff,Jonathan: 'An Introduction to Political Philosophy (Rev)' [OUP 2006], p.95

A Reaction

Recent experiments have suggested that inexperienced people can become very good at making large decisions, if they are allowed to consult experts when they want to. See Van Reybrouck's 'Against Elections'.