Preferences Are Not Transitive

This is the most pointless, nerdy thing imaginable, but I’m going to post it anyway. As you may know, Britain has basically three options when it comes to Brexit:

  • Remain: cancel the whole thing and stay in the EU.
  • May Deal: go ahead with Brexit on the terms negotiated by prime minister Theresa May.
  • No Deal: exit the EU with no deal at all in place.

A recent poll asked the British public what they thought about each of these options. Here’s how they responded:

Take a careful look at this:

  • Remain is preferred to the May Deal.
  • The May Deal is preferred to No Deal
  • But No Deal is preferred to Remain.

This is an example of a hoary old political science result: namely that preferences are not transitive. Even if you prefer A to B, and B to C, you might still prefer C to A. However, real-life examples of this are hard to find, and textbooks often have to resort to obviously clunky, made-up examples. But this one is real! Textbook authors everywhere will be eternally grateful to the British public for this.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

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