Ignorance and inclusion, Mr Jefferson, might be good for democracy

Author: Assoc Prof. Lyn Carson, United States Study Centre, University of Sydney, 2009.

Abstract: Jefferson’s fears about the uneducated dragging down democracy into service of base desires, and its corollary that education is essential to protect it, is challenged in this paper.

The impracticality of doing so on the depth and scale required for the issues considered by our legislators demonstrates that the capacity of people to learn is better serviced by deliberative democratic processes which provide a forum within which a mini-public (a representative sample of the citizenry) can be educated for the purpose of finding common ground and decision making.


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