Featuring Amir A. Nasr, Author, My Isl@m: How Fundamentalism Stole My Mind—and Doubt Freed My Soul (St. Martin’s Press, 2013); with comments by Suad Ad., Researcher, Arab Center for Scientific Research and Humane Studies, Morocco; moderated by Ian Vasquez, Director, Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, Cato Institute.
American leaders have cooperated with regimes around the world that are, to varying degrees, repressive or corrupt. Such cooperation is said to serve the national interest. But these partnerships also contravene the nation’s commitments to democratic governance, civil liberties, and free markets. In Perilous Partners, authors Ted Galen Carpenter and Malou Innocent provide a strategy for resolving the ethical dilemmas between interests and values faced by Washington.
The Cato Institute has released its 2014 Annual Report, which documents a dynamic year of growth and productivity. “Libertarianism is the philosophy of freedom,” Cato’s David Boaz writes in his book, The Libertarian Mind. “It is the indispensable framework for the future.” And as the new report demonstrates, the Cato Institute, thanks largely to the generosity of our Sponsors, is leading the charge to apply this framework across the policy spectrum.
Democracy and Political Ignorance: Why Smaller Government Is Smarter
Featuring the author Ilya Somin, Professor of Law, George Mason University; with comments by John Sides, Associate Professor of Political Science, George Washington University; moderated by John Samples, Director, Center for Representative Government, Cato Institute.
One of the biggest problems with modern democracy is that most of the public is usually ignorant of politics and government. 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. Ilya Somin examines political ignorance in America and the problems it poses for democracy. He looks at 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. Please join us for a lively discussion of this important new book.