Democracy and Political Ignorance: Why Smaller Government Is Smarter

The Los Angeles Lawyers Chapter
Start : Friday, November 01, 2013 12:00 PM
End : Friday, November 01, 2013 01:30 PM

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McCormick & Schmick's
4th & Hope Streets
Los Angeles, CA 90071

Featured Speakers:
Ilya Somin



  • Ilya Somin, Professor of Law, George Mason University School of Law

At this luncheon event, Ilya Somin -- professor of law at George Mason University School of Law and Volokh Conspirator -- will discuss his new book, Democracy and Political Ignorance: Why Smaller Government Is Smarter (Stanford Law Books 2013).

One of the biggest problems with modern democracy is that most of the public is usually ignorant of politics and government. Often, many people understand that their votes are unlikely to change the outcome of an election and don't see the point in learning much about politics. This may be rational, but it creates a nation of people with little political knowledge and little ability to objectively evaluate what they do know.

In Democracy and Political Ignorance, Ilya Somin mines the depths of ignorance in America and reveals the extent to which it is a major problem for democracy. Somin weighs various options for solving this problem, arguing that political ignorance is best mitigated and its effects lessened by decentralizing and limiting government. Somin provocatively argues that people make better decisions when they choose what to purchase in the market or which state or local government to live under, than when they vote at the ballot box, because they have stronger incentives to acquire relevant information and to use it wisely. He also explains why widespread political ignorance strengthens the case for constitutional limits on government power, and for judicial review.

Registration details:

RSVP: Please send an email to if you wish to attend. One hour of MCLE credit will be offered.

The cost of the luncheon is $25. Public-interest lawyers, students, and law clerks may pay a discounted rate of $20.

Payment may be submitted in advance by mailing a check made payable to The Federalist Society to:
Andrew Pappas
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
333 South Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90071

Payment (check or cash only) will also be accepted at the door.

This event is being co-sponsored by the Libertarian Law Council.