I bought this litte boek, because I was intrigued by the provocative sub-title ("Why democracy does not lead to solidarity, prosperity and liberty, but to social conflict, runaway spending and a tyrannical government"). There's an eyecatcher!
Of course, criticizing democracy is not necessarily revolutionary. However, most criticism to democracy is directed at less fundamental issues than the ones addressed in this book (e.g. low election turn-outs, the underrepresentation of women and/or minorities, the role of campaign funding, etc.). Still, all these analyses share the basic premisse that the ideal of democracy is a noble one and democracy needs to be improved, rather than to be abolished.
I will not waste the limited time and space I have to summarize the whole book, and restrict myself to the core message (as I perceived it to be). The authors show very convincingly that voters erroneously value the right to be part of the decision-proces. In reality, however, the chance of actually having any decisive influence (even during the whole lifespan), is close to zero. Unaware of this, people are willing to pay a big price for their 'influence' (also unaware of this price!). That is, in return for theoretically infuencing millions of others, they allow these millions of others to influence every aspect of their own lives! This latter influence, sadly, is far from theoretical. Others determine our childrens education, whether or not we need to sacrifice our lives for the sake of war, the degree of our solidarity, etc.
After reading this book, I no longer believe that democracy is the best (or the least unappealing for that matter) political system. Rather, supporting democracy seems completely illogical and undefendable to any reader with an open mind. That makes this book a revolutionary one.
I was somewhat misguided by the small amount of pages and the 'easy', accessible style. This gives the impression that the political analysis is shallow and not to be taken too seriously. However, this little book offers more insight and indepth analysis than any other book on political philosophy that I know of.
This book is a must-read and an instant classic!