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Meritocracy Hippocracy

Thanks to software guru Ron Jeffries, I just discovered this article from “Sociation Today“: The Meritocracy Myth. In their piece, authors McNamee and Miller restate the oft espoused American dream as:

Getting ahead is ostensibly based on individual merit, which is generally viewed as a combination of factors including innate abilities, working hard, having the right attitude, and having high moral character and integrity.

They then attempt to prove that it’s a myth:

“..the really big money in America comes not from working at all but from owning, which requires no expenditure of effort, either physical or mental. In short, working hard is not in and of itself directly related to the amount of income and wealth that individuals have.”

Of course, being academics, McNamee and Miller are required to present income and wealth distribution statistics to bolster their case:

OK, so assume that they convinced “us” that the American dream has morphed into a ruse. What actions do McNamee and Miller propose to transform the myth into reality? They present these well-worn yawners:

But wait. Maybe we don’t want an ideally meritocratic society. As McNamee and Miller imply: Isn’t there a chance that the meritorious who’ve risen to the top of the income and wealth charts would develop a sense of righteous entitlement?  Wouldn’t they “look down” upon those who haven’t advanced in life based on merit?

Well, yeah – ego dominated humans will be humans. But wouldn’t a system based on merit be fairer than one that keeps privileged and meritless aristocrats entrenched in power and “looking down“? Don’t you think meritorious leaders would have a greater sense of humility and compassion than aristocratic, silver-spoon-fed leaders? At least the American dream would be alive and kicking. The hope of personally creating a better life would become a reality, and not remain just a mythical pipe dream.

All ideologies end up killing people. – Jean Goss

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