Political philosopher Jason Brennan on the case for epistocracy:

Here’s what I propose we do: Everyone can vote, even children. No one gets excluded. But when you vote, you do three things. 

First, you tell us what you want. You cast your vote for a politician, or for a party, or you take a position on a referendum, whatever it might be. Second, you tell us who you are. We get your demographic information, which is anonymously coded, because that stuff affects how you vote and what you support. 

And the third thing you do is take a quiz of very basic political knowledge. When we have those three bits of information, we can then statistically estimate what the public would have wanted if it was fully informed. 

There’s an intellectual habit, one very common to academics, at work in Brennan’s formulations that I’ve called attention to before, and you can get at it by noting his use of pronouns: We get your demographic information. You tell us what you want. You take the quiz, we administer and assess the quiz. We ask, you answer; you give us the information we require and we decide what to do with it, and how it should be interpreted. We’re running the experiment, you’re our experimental subject. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain! 

Which means, of course, that none of us will ever have our vote discounted. 

As I’ve noted in a slightly different (but not altogether different) context, “There is a kind of philosopher — an all too common kind of philosopher — who when considering such topics habitually identifies himself or herself with power.” It’s enough to make a Franz Fanon disciple out of me.