Meritocracy

Meritocracy (merit, from Latin mereō, and -cracy, from Ancient Greek κράτος kratos 'strength, power') is a political philosophy that holds that certain things, such as economic goods or power, should be vested in individuals on the basis of talent, effort, and achievement, rather than factors such as sexuality, race, gender, age, or wealth.[1] Advancement in such a system is based on performance, as measured through examination or demonstrated achievement. Although the concept of meritocracy has existed for centuries, the term itself was first created in 1958 by the sociologist Michael Young.[2] The Oxford English Dictionary shows the first use in 1956 and gives this citation. "1956 A. Fox in Socialist Comm. May 13/1 The ‘meritocracy’; the society in which the gifted, the smart, the energetic, the ambitious and the ruthless are carefully sifted out and helped towards their destined positions of dominance." Young's entry is listed as "1958 M. Young Rise of Meritocracy iv. 71 Before the meritocracy was fully established, age-stratification as a substitute for the hereditary order may have been necessary for the sake of social stability."

Definitions

Early definitions

The "most common definition of meritocracy conceptualizes merit in terms of tested competency and ability, and most likely, as measured by IQ or standardized achievement tests."[3] In government and other administrative systems, "meritocracy" refers to a system under which advancement within the system turns on "merits", like performance, intelligence, credentials, and education. These are often determined through evaluations or examinations.[2]

In a more general sense, meritocracy can refer to any form of evaluation based on achievement. Like "utilitarian" and "pragmatic", the word "meritocratic" has also developed a broader connotation, and is sometimes used to refer to any government run by "a ruling or influential class of educated or able people".[4]

This is in contrast to the original, condemnatory use of the term in 1958 by Michael Young in his work "The Rise of the Meritocracy", who was satirizing the ostensibly merit-based Tripartite System of education practiced in the United Kingdom at the time; he claimed that, in the Tripartite System, "merit is equated with intelligence-plus-effort, its possessors are identified at an early age and selected for appropriate intensive education, and there is an obsession with quantification, test-scoring, and qualifications."[5]

Meritocracy in its wider sense, may be any general act of judgment upon the basis of various demonstrated merits; such acts frequently are described in sociology and psychology. Supporters of meritocracy do not necessarily agree on the nature of "merit"; however, they do tend to agree that "merit" itself should be a primary consideration during evaluation. Thus, the merits may extend beyond intelligence and education to any mental or physical talent or to work ethic. As such meritocracy may be based on character or innate abilities. Meritocrats therefore reject evaluation on the basis of race, wealth, family circumstances, and similar criteria.

In rhetoric, the demonstration of one's merit regarding mastery of a particular subject is an essential task most directly related to the Aristotelian term Ethos. The equivalent Aristotelian conception of meritocracy is based upon aristocratic or oligarchical structures, rather than in the context of the modern state.[6][7]

More recent definitions

In the United States, the assassination of President James A. Garfield in 1881 prompted the replacement of the American Spoils System with a meritocracy. In 1883, The Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act was passed, stipulating government jobs should be awarded on the basis of merit through competitive exams, rather than ties to politicians or political affiliation.[8]

The most common form of meritocratic screening found today is the college degree. Higher education is an imperfect meritocratic screening system for various reasons, such as lack of uniform standards worldwide,[9][10] lack of scope (not all occupations and processes are included), and lack of access (some talented people never have an opportunity to participate because of the expense, most especially in developing countries).[11] Nonetheless, academic degrees serve some amount of meritocratic screening purpose in the absence of a more refined methodology. Education alone, however, does not constitute a complete system, as meritocracy must automatically confer power and authority, which a degree does not accomplish independently.

Etymology

Although the concept has existed for centuries, the term "meritocracy" is relatively new. It was used pejoratively by British politician and sociologist Michael Young in his 1958 satirical essay[2][12][13][14][15] The Rise of the Meritocracy, which pictured the United Kingdom under the rule of a government favouring intelligence and aptitude (merit) above all else, being the combination of the root of Latin origin "merit" (from "mereō" meaning "earn") and the Ancient Greek suffix "-cracy" (meaning "power", "rule").[16] (The purely Greek word is axiocracy (αξιοκρατία), from axios (αξιος, worthy) + "-cracy" (-κρατία, power).) In this book the term had distinctly negative connotations as Young questioned both the legitimacy of the selection process used to become a member of this elite and the outcomes of being ruled by such a narrowly defined group. The essay, written in the first person by a fictional historical narrator in 2034, interweaves history from the politics of pre- and post-war Britain with those of fictional future events in the short (1960 onward) and long term (2020 onward).[17]

The essay was based upon the tendency of the then-current governments, in their striving toward intelligence, to ignore shortcomings and upon the failure of education systems to utilize correctly the gifted and talented members within their societies.[18]

Young's fictional narrator explains that, on the one hand, the greatest contributor to society is not the "stolid mass" or majority, but the "creative minority" or members of the "restless elite".[19] On the other hand, he claims that there are casualties of progress whose influence is underestimated and that, from such stolid adherence to natural science and intelligence, arises arrogance and complacency.[19] This problem is encapsulated in the phrase "Every selection of one is a rejection of many".[19]

It was also used by Hannah Arendt in her essay "Crisis in Education",[20] which was written in 1958 and refers to the use of meritocracy in the English educational system. She too uses the term pejoratively. It was not until 1972 that Daniel Bell used the term positively.[21]

History

Ancient times: China

According to scholarly consensus, the earliest example of an administrative meritocracy, based on civil service examinations, dates back to Ancient China.[22][23][24][25][a] The concept originates, at least by the sixth century BC, when it was advocated by the Chinese philosopher Confucius, who "invented the notion that those who govern should do so because of merit, not of inherited status. This sets in motion the creation of the imperial examinations and bureaucracies open only to those who passed tests."[26]

As the Qin and Han dynasties developed a meritocratic system in order to maintain power over a large, sprawling empire, it became necessary for the government to maintain a complex network of officials.[27] Prospective officials could come from a rural background and government positions were not restricted to the nobility. Rank was determined by merit, through the civil service examinations, and education became the key for social mobility.[27] After the fall of the Han Dynasty, the nine-rank system was established during the Three Kingdoms period.

According to the Princeton Encyclopedia on American History:[28]

One of the oldest examples of a merit-based civil service system existed in the imperial bureaucracy of China. Tracing back to 200 B.C., the Han Dynasty adopted Confucianism as the basis of its political philosophy and structure, which included the revolutionary idea of replacing nobility of blood with one of virtue and honesty, and thereby calling for administrative appointments to be based solely on merit. This system allowed anyone who passed an examination to become a government officer, a position that would bring wealth and honor to the whole family. In part due to Chinese influence, the first European civil service did not originate in Europe, but rather in India by the British-run East India Company... company managers hired and promoted employees based on competitive examinations in order to prevent corruption and favoritism.

Both Plato and Aristotle advocated meritocracy, Plato in his The Republic, arguing that the wisest should rule, and hence the rulers should be philosopher kings.[29]

17th century: spread to Europe

The concept of meritocracy spread from China to British India during the seventeenth century, and then into continental Europe and the United States.[28] With the translation of Confucian texts during the Enlightenment, the concept of a meritocracy reached intellectuals in the West, who saw it as an alternative to the traditional ancient regime of Europe.[30] Voltaire and François Quesnay wrote favourably of the idea, with Voltaire claiming that the Chinese had "perfected moral science" and Quesnay advocating an economic and political system modeled after that of the Chinese.[30]

The first European power to implement a successful meritocratic civil service was the British Empire, in their administration of India: "company managers hired and promoted employees based on competitive examinations in order to prevent corruption and favoritism."[28] British colonial administrators advocated the spread of the system to the rest of the commonwealth, the most "persistent" of which was Thomas Taylor Meadows, Britain's consul in Guangzhou, China. Meadows successfully argued in his Desultory Notes on the Government and People of China, published in 1847, that "the long duration of the Chinese empire is solely and altogether owing to the good government which consists in the advancement of men of talent and merit only," and that the British must reform their civil service by making the institution meritocratic.[31] This practice later was adopted in the late nineteenth century by the British mainland, inspired by the "Chinese mandarin system".[32]

The British philosopher and polymath John Stuart Mill advocated meritocracy in his book, Considerations on Representative Government. His model was to give more votes to the more educated voter. His views are explained in Estlund (2003:57–58):

Mill's proposal of plural voting has two motives. One is to prevent one group or class of people from being able to control the political process even without having to give reasons in order to gain sufficient support. He calls this the problem of class legislation. Since the most numerous class is also at a lower level of education and social rank, this could be partly remedied by giving those at the higher ranks plural votes. A second, and equally prominent motive for plural voting is to avoid giving equal influence to each person without regard to their merit, intelligence, etc. He thinks that it is fundamentally important that political institutions embody, in their spirit, the recognition that some opinions are worth more than others. He does not say that this is a route to producing better political decisions, but it is hard to understand his argument, based on this second motive, in any other way.

So, if Aristotle is right that the deliberation is best if participants are numerous (and assuming for simplicity that the voters are the deliberators) then this is a reason for giving all or many citizens a vote, but this does not yet show that the wiser subset should not have, say, two or three; in that way something would be given both to the value of the diverse perspectives, and to the value of the greater wisdom of the few. This combination of the Platonic and Aristotelian points is part of what I think is so formidable about Mill's proposal of plural voting. It is also an advantage of his view that he proposes to privilege not the wise, but the educated. Even if we agreed that the wise should rule, there is a serious problem about how to identify them. This becomes especially important if a successful political justification must be generally acceptable to the ruled. In that case, privileging the wise would require not only their being so wise as to be better rulers, but also, and more demandingly, that their wisdom be something that can be agreed to by all reasonable citizens. I turn to this conception of justification below.

Mill's position has great plausibility: good education promotes the ability of citizens to rule more wisely. So, how can we deny that the educated subset would rule more wisely than others. But then why shouldn't they have more votes?

Estlund goes on to criticize Mill's education-based meritocracy on various grounds.

19th century

In the United States, the federal bureaucracy used the Spoils System from 1828 until the assassination of United States President James A. Garfield by a disappointed office seeker in 1881 proved its dangers. Two years later in 1883, the system of appointments to the United States Federal Bureaucracy was revamped by the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act, partially based on the British meritocratic civil service that had been established years earlier. The act stipulated that government jobs should be awarded on the basis of merit, through competitive exams, rather than ties to politicians or political affiliation. It also made it illegal to fire or demote government employees for political reasons.[8]

To enforce the merit system and the judicial system, the law also created the United States Civil Service Commission.[8] In the modern American meritocracy, the president may hand out only a certain number of jobs, which must be approved by the Senate.

Australia began establishing public universities in the 1850s with the goal of promoting meritocracy by providing advanced training and credentials. The educational system was set up to service urban males of middle-class background, but of diverse social and religious origins. It was increasingly extended to all graduates of the public school system, those of rural and regional background, and then to women and finally to ethnic minorities.[33] Both the middle classes and the working classes have promoted the ideal of meritocracy within a strong commitment to "mate-ship" and political equality.[34]

20th century to today

Singapore describes meritocracy as one of its official guiding principles for domestic public policy formulation, placing emphasis on academic credentials as objective measures of merit.[35]

There is criticism that, under this system, Singaporean society is being increasingly stratified and that an elite class is being created from a narrow segment of the population.[36] Singapore has a growing level of tutoring for children,[37] and top tutors are often paid better than school teachers.[37][38][39] Defendants recall the ancient Chinese proverb "Wealth does not pass three generations" (Chinese: 富不过三代), suggesting that the nepotism or cronyism of elitists eventually will be, and often are, replaced by those lower down the hierarchy.

Singaporean academics are continuously re-examining the application of meritocracy as an ideological tool and how it's stretched to encompass the ruling party's objectives. Professor Kenneth Paul Tan at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy asserts that "Meritocracy, in trying to 'isolate' merit by treating people with fundamentally unequal backgrounds as superficially the same, can be a practice that ignores and even conceals the real advantages and disadvantages that are unevenly distributed to different segments of an inherently unequal society, a practice that in fact perpetuates this fundamental inequality. In this way, those who are picked by meritocracy as having merit may already have enjoyed unfair advantages from the very beginning, ignored according to the principle of nondiscrimination."[40]

Meritocracy in the Singaporean context relates to the application of pragmatism as an ideological device which combines strict adherence to market principles without any aversion to social engineering and little propensity for classical social welfarism,[41] is further illustrated by Kenneth Paul Tan in subsequent articles:

There is a strong ideological quality in Singapore's pragmatism, and a strongly pragmatic quality in ideological negotiations within the dynamics of hegemony. In this complex relationship, the combination of ideological and pragmatic maneuvering over the decades has resulted in the historical dominance of government by the PAP in partnership with global capital whose interests have been advanced without much reservation.[42]

Within the Ecuadorian Ministry of Labor, the Ecuadorian Meritocracy Institute[43] was created under the technical advice of the Singaporean government.

Most contemporary political theorists, including John Rawls, reject the ideal of meritocracy.[44] However, in recent years, Thomas Mulligan has defended meritocracy.[45][46][47] He argues that a just society is one in which there is equal opportunity and people are judged on their merits.

Modern meritocratic movements

The Meritocracy Party

In 2007 an anonymous British group called The Meritocracy Party published its first manifesto, to which they have now added more than two million words on the subject (discussing Hegel, Rousseau, Charles Fourier, Henri de Saint-Simon, and various other philosophers, scientists, reformers, and revolutionaries). In summary, The Meritocracy Party wants to achieve the following:

  1. A world in which every child gets an equal chance to succeed in life.
  2. The abolishment of party politics.
  3. Only those with a relevant education and work experience should be allowed to vote, rather than just anyone who has reached the age of 18 or 21.
  4. The introduction of 100% inheritance tax, so that the super-rich can no longer pass on their wealth to a select few (their privileged children). This would mean the end of the elite dynasties and hereditary monarchy.
  5. A radically reformed educational system, based on the MBTI personality types, and insights from radical innovators such as Rudolf Steiner and Maria Montessori.
  6. To replace free market capitalism with social capitalism and to replace democracy with a fully transparent meritocratic republic, under a meritocratic constitution.
  7. The end of nepotism, cronyism, discrimination, privilege and unequal chances.

On their website The Meritocracy Party lists five meritocratic principles[48] and thirteen primary aims. The Meritocracy International is the host of all meritocratic political parties in the world and the place where these may be found by country of origin.[49]

Criticism

The term "meritocracy" was originally intended as a negative concept.[50] One of the primary concerns with meritocracy is the unclear definition of "merit".[51] What is considered as meritorious can differ with opinions as on which qualities are considered the most worthy, raising the question of which "merit" is the highest—or, in other words, which standard is the "best" standard. As the supposed effectiveness of a meritocracy is based on the supposed competence of its officials, this standard of merit cannot be arbitrary and has to also reflect the competencies required for their roles.

The reliability of the authority and system that assesses each individual's merit is another point of concern. As a meritocratic system relies on a standard of merit to measure and compare people against, the system by which this is done has to be reliable to ensure that their assessed merit accurately reflects their potential capabilities. Standardized testing, which reflects the meritocratic sorting process, has come under criticism for being rigid and unable to accurately assess many valuable qualities and potentials of students. Education theorist Bill Ayers, commenting on the limitations of standardized testing, writes that "Standardized tests can't measure initiative, creativity, imagination, conceptual thinking, curiosity, effort, irony, judgment, commitment, nuance, good will, ethical reflection, or a host of other valuable dispositions and attributes. What they can measure and count are isolated skills, specific facts and function, content knowledge, the least interesting and least significant aspects of learning."[52] Merit determined through the opinionated evaluations of teachers, while being able to assess the valuable qualities that cannot be assessed by standardized testing, are unreliable as the opinions, insights, biases, and standards of the teachers vary greatly. If the system of evaluation is corrupt, non-transparent, opinionated or misguided, decisions regarding who has the highest merit can be highly fallible.

The level of education required in order to become competitive in a meritocracy may also be costly, effectively limiting candidacy for a position of power to those with the means necessary to become educated. An example of this was Chinese student self-declared messiah, Hong Xiuquan, who despite ranking first in a preliminary, nationwide imperial examination, was unable to afford further education. As such, although he did try to study in private, Hong was ultimately noncompetitive in later examinations and unable to become a bureaucrat. This economic aspect of meritocracies has been said to continue nowadays in countries without free educations, with the Supreme Court of the United States, for example, consisting only of justices who attended Harvard or Yale and generally only considering clerkship candidates who attended a top-five university, while in the 1950s the two universities only accounted for around one fifth of the justices.[53] Even if free education were provided, the resources that the parents of a student are able to provide outside of the curriculum, such as tutoring, exam preparation, and financial support for living costs during higher education will influence the education the student attains and the student's social position in a meritocratic society. This limits the fairness and justness of any meritocratic system.

Another concern regards the principle of incompetence, or the "Peter Principle". As people rise in a meritocratic society through the social hierarchy through their demonstrated merit, they eventually reach, and become stuck, at a level too difficult for them to perform effectively; they are promoted to incompetence. This reduces the effectiveness of a meritocratic system, the supposed main practical benefit of which is the competence of those who run the society.

In his book Meritocratic Education and Social Worthlessness (Palgrave, 2012), the philosopher Khen Lampert argued that educational meritocracy is nothing but a post-modern version of social Darwinism. Its proponents argue that the theory justifies social inequality as being meritocratic. This social theory holds that Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection is a model, not only for the development of biological traits in a population, but also as an application for human social institutions—the existing social institutions being implicitly declared as normative. Social Darwinism shares its roots with early progressivism, and was most popular from the late nineteenth century to the end of World War II. Darwin only ventured to propound his theories in a biological sense, and it is other thinkers and theorists who have applied Darwin's model normatively to unequal endowments of human ambitions.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ This is the history of the meritocracy in the technical sense. The vaguer definition of a meritocracy as a "rule by intelligence" has been applied to many ancient Greek, Indian, Chinese, and Jewish thinkers and statesmen. For example, the Sanhedrin, the legislature of Ancient Israel and Kingdom of Judah, is sometimes called as an "intellectual meritocracy", in the sense that its members were drawn from religious scribes and not the aristocracy.[54] Appointment was self-perpetuating, however, and new members were chosen personally by existing members.[55] These are not meritocracies in the administrative sense, in which merit is determined objectively as a "tested competency or ability."[56]

References

  1. ^ "Definition of merit". Dictionary.com.
  2. ^ a b c Young, Michael (1958). The rise of the meritocracy, 1870-2033: An essay on education and inequality. London: Thames & Hudson. OCLC 3943639.
  3. ^ Levinson, David; Cookson, Peter W.; Sadovnik, Alan R. (2002). Education and Sociology: An Encyclopedia. Taylor & Francis. p. 436. most common definition of meritocracy conceptualizes merit in terms tested competency and power, and most likely as measured by IQ or standardized achievement tests
  4. ^ "Definition of Meritocracy". Oxford Dictionary. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 12 September 2011.
  5. ^ Fontana Dictionary of Modern Thought. Fontana Press. 1988. p. 521.
  6. ^ Aristot. Pol. 2.1261b
  7. ^ Aristotle, (351 BC) Politics. Book Three Part IV. (Jowett, B., Trans)
  8. ^ a b c "Civil Service Reform". Digital History. University of Houston. Retrieved 2016-02-19.
  9. ^ What's College For?: The Struggle To Define American Higher Education; Zachary Karabell; ISBN 978-0-465-09152-2
  10. ^ Journal of College Teaching & Learning – May 2008 Volume 5, Number 5 AACSB Accreditation
  11. ^ Furlong, Andy; Cartmel, Fred. Higher education and social justice. Maidenhead: Open University Press. ISBN 978-0-335-22362-6.
  12. ^ Young, Michael (29 June 2001). "Down with meritocracy: The man who coined the word four decades ago wishes Tony Blair would stop using it". The Guardian. London.
  13. ^ Ford, Boris (1992). The Cambridge cultural history of Britain. Cambridge University Press. p. 34. ISBN 978-0-521-42889-7.
  14. ^ Kamolnick, Paul (2005). The just meritocracy: IQ, class mobility, and American social policy. Westport CT: Praeger. p. 87. ISBN 978-0-275-97922-5.
  15. ^ Best, Shaun (2005). Understanding Social Divisions. London: Sage. p. 32. ISBN 978-0-7619-4296-2.
  16. ^ ""meritocracy" in the Online Etymology Dictionary". Retrieved 3 July 2013.
  17. ^ Young, Michael (1958). p. 11.
  18. ^ Young, Michael (1958). p. 13.
  19. ^ a b c Young, Michael (1958). p. 15.
  20. ^ "Crisis in Education" Archived 14 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine (p. 4).
  21. ^ Littler, Jo (20 March 2017). "Meritocracy: the great delusion that ingrains inequality". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  22. ^ Kazin, Edwards, and Rothman (2010), 142. One of the oldest examples of a merit-based civil service system existed in the imperial bureaucracy of China.
  23. ^ Tan, Chung; Geng, Yinzheng (2005). India and China: twenty centuries of civilization interaction and vibrations. University of Michigan Press. p. 128. China not only produced the world's first "bureaucracy", but also the world's first "meritocracy"
  24. ^ Konner, Melvin (2003). Unsettled: an anthropology of the Jews. Viking Compass. p. 217. China is the world's oldest meritocracy
  25. ^ Tucker, Mary Evelyn (2009). "Touching the Depths of Things: Cultivating Nature in East Asia". Ecology and the environment: perspectives from the humanities. Harvard Divinity School: 51. To staff these institutions, they created the oldest meritocracy in the world, in which government appointments were based on civil service examinations that drew on the values of the Confucian Classics
  26. ^ Sienkewicz, Thomas J. (2003). Encyclopedia of the Ancient World:. Salem Press. p. 434. Confucius invented the notion that those who govern should so because of merit and not inherited status, setting in motion the creation of the imperial examinations and bureaucracies open only to those who passed tests
  27. ^ a b Burbank and Cooper (2010), 51.
  28. ^ a b c Kazin, Edwards, and Rothman (2010), 142.
  29. ^ See Estlund (2003) for a summary and discussion.
  30. ^ a b Schwarz (1996), 229
  31. ^ Bodde,, Derke. "China: A Teaching Workbook". Columbia University.
  32. ^ Huddleston, Mark W. Boyer, William W.The higher civil service in the United States: quest for reform. (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1996), 9-10.
  33. ^ Julia Horne, and Geoffrey Sherington, "Extending the educational franchise: the social contract of Australia's public universities, 1850-1890," Paedagogica Historica (2010) 46#1 pp 207-227
  34. ^ Miriam Henry (1988). Understanding Schooling: An Introductory Sociology of Australian Education. Psychology Press. p. 81.
  35. ^ Speech by Singapore Ambassador to France, 28 August 2008. Archived 2 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  36. ^ Ngiam Tong Dow (28 October 2006). "Singapore's elites". Little Speck. Archived from the original on 1 November 2006.
  37. ^ a b "Growing trend of uplifting education business in Singapore". Free Library and Tuition. Retrieved 2016-10-25.
  38. ^ "$1 billion spent on tuition in one year". AsiaOne. Retrieved 2016-10-25.
  39. ^ "2015 Private Tuition Rates in Singapore | Epigami Blog". Epigami Blog. 2015-01-21. Retrieved 2016-10-25.
  40. ^ Tan, Kenneth Paul (January 2008). "Meritocracy and Elitism in a Global City: Ideological Shifts in Singapore". International Political Science Review. 29 (7–27). doi:10.1177/0192512107083445.
  41. ^ "Opinion | How Singapore is fixing its meritocracy". Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-09-14.
  42. ^ Tan, Kenneth Paul (9 Dec 2011). "The Ideology of Pragmatism: Neo-liberal Globalisation and Political Authoritarianism in Singapore". Journal of Contemporary Asia. 42 (1). doi:10.1080/00472336.2012.634644.
  43. ^ Web page of "Instituto Nacional de Meritocracia de Ecuador" , 12 March 2013.
  44. ^ Rawls, John (1999). A Theory of Justice. Harvard University Press. pp. 91–92.
  45. ^ Mulligan, Thomas (2018). Justice and the Meritocratic State. Routledge.
  46. ^ Mulligan, Thomas. "Plural Voting for the Twenty First Century". The Philosophical Quarterly.
  47. ^ Mulligan, Thomas (2018). "What's Wrong with Libertarianism: A Meritocratic Diagnosis". The Routledge Handbook of Libertarianism. Routledge.
  48. ^ Spartacus, Brother (2016-04-30). The Citizen Army. Lulu Press, Inc. ISBN 9781326642167.
  49. ^ Cite error: The named reference keran was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  50. ^ Fox, Margalit. "Michael Young, 86, Scholar; Coined, Mocked 'Meritocracy'". nytimes.com. NY Times. Retrieved 18 December 2016.
  51. ^ Arrow, Bowles and Durlauf. Meritocracy and Economic Inequality. Princeton, 1999.
  52. ^ To teach: the journey of a teacher, by William Ayers, Teachers College Press, 1993, ISBN 0-8077-3985-5, ISBN 978-0-8077-3985-3, pg. 116
  53. ^ "Death by Degrees". n+1. n+1 Foundation, Inc. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
  54. ^ Elazar, Daniel Judah (1985). The Jewish polity: Jewish political organization from Biblical times to the present. Indiana University Press. p. 127.
  55. ^ Novak, David (2005). The Jewish social contract: an essay in political theology. Princeton University Press. p. 134. The Sanhedrin were appointed by those who were members when there was a vacancy
  56. ^ Levinson, David; Cookson, Peter W.; Sadovnik, lan R. (2002). Education and sociology: an encyclopedia. Taylor & Francis. p. 436.

Further reading

  • Burbank, Jane and Cooper, Frederick. (2010). Empires in World History: Power and the Politics of Difference. Princeton: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-12708-5.
  • Estlund, David. (2003). Why Not Epistocracy?.
  • Kazin, Michael, Edwards, Rebecca, and Rothman, Adam. (2010). The Princeton Encyclopedia of American Political History Volume 2. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-12971-1.
  • Kett, Joseph F. Merit: The History of a Founding Ideal From the American Revolution to the Twenty-First Century. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2012. ISBN 978-0801451225
  • Lampert, Khen. Meritocratic Education and Social Worthlessness, Palgrave-Macmillan, UK, 24 December 2012,; ISBN 1137324880
  • Mulligan, Thomas. Justice and the Meritocratic State. New York: Routledge Press. ISBN 9781138283800.
  • Schwarz, Bill. (1996). The expansion of England: race, ethnicity and cultural history. Psychology Pres. ISBN 0-415-06025-7.
  • Ieva, Lorenzo. (2018). Fondamenti di meritocrazia. Rome: Europa edizioni. ISBN 978-88-9384-875-6.

External links

An Intelligent Person's Guide to Atheism

An Intelligent Person's Guide to Atheism is the first book by Daniel Harbour, an Oxford maths and philosophy graduate, who at the time of writing was working for a PhD in linguistics at MIT.

Civics

Civics derives from the French word civique, meaning citizen, and the Latin, civic, a garland of oak leaves worn about the head as a crown, given in reward of those who saved another citizen from death. Civics are the things people do affecting fellow citizens, especially when that relates to the maintenance of urban development. Civic education is the study of the theoretical, political and practical aspects of citizenship, as well as its rights and duties. It includes the study of civil law and civil code, and the study of government with attention to the role of citizens―as opposed to external factors―in the operation and oversight of government.

Culture of Singapore

The culture of Singapore is a combination of Asian and European cultures. Influenced by Malay, South Asian, East Asian, and Eurasian cultures, Singapore has been dubbed as a country where "East meets West", "Easy Asia" and "Garden city".

Elitism

Elitism is the belief or attitude that individuals who form an elite—a select group of people with a certain ancestry, intrinsic quality, high intellect, wealth, special skills, or experience—are more likely to be constructive to society as a whole, and therefore deserve influence or authority greater than that of others. In the United States, the term elitism often refers to the concentration of power in the Northeast Corridor and on the West Coast, where the typical American elite resides – journalists, lawyers, doctors, high-level civil servants, businesspeople, university lecturers, entrepreneurs, and financial advisors in the quaternary sector, often in established technological or political catchments of their higher education alma mater.Alternatively, the term elitism may be used to describe a situation in which power is concentrated in the hands of a limited number of people. Oppositions of elitism include anti-elitism, egalitarianism, populism and political theory of pluralism.

Elite theory is the sociological or political science analysis of elite influence in society: elite theorists regard pluralism as a utopian ideal. Elitism is closely related to social class and what sociologists call social stratification, which in the Anglo Saxon tradition have long been anchored in the "blue blood" claims of hereditary nobility. Members of the upper classes are sometimes known as the social elite. The term elitism is also sometimes used to denote situations in which a group of people claiming to possess high abilities or simply an in-group or cadre grant themselves extra privileges at the expense of others. This form of elitism may be described as discrimination.

Equal opportunity

Equal opportunity is a state of fairness in which job applicants are treated similarly, unhampered by artificial barriers or prejudices or preferences, except when particular distinctions can be explicitly justified. According to this often complex and contested concept, the intent is that the important jobs in an organization should go to the people who are most qualified – persons most likely to perform ably in a given task – and not go to persons for reasons deemed arbitrary or irrelevant, such as circumstances of birth, upbringing, having well-connected relatives or friends, religion, sex, ethnicity, race, caste, or involuntary personal attributes such as disability, age, gender identity, or sexual orientation.Chances for advancement should be open to everybody interested, such that they have "an equal chance to compete within the framework of goals and the structure of rules established". The idea is to remove arbitrariness from the selection process and base it on some "pre-agreed basis of fairness, with the assessment process being related to the type of position" and emphasizing procedural and legal means. Individuals should succeed or fail based on their own efforts and not extraneous circumstances such as having well-connected parents. It is opposed to nepotism and plays a role in whether a social structure is seen as legitimate. The concept is applicable in areas of public life in which benefits are earned and received such as employment and education, although it can apply to many other areas as well. Equal opportunity is central to the concept of meritocracy.

Guo Kan

Guo Kan or Kuo K'an (Chinese: 郭侃; pinyin: Guō Kǎn), (1217–1277) was a famous general of Han descent who served the Mongol Khans in their Western conquests and the conquest of China itself. He was descended from a lineage of Chinese generals. Both his father and grandfather had served the Khan, while his forefather Guo Ziyi, a famed general of the Tang Dynasty. He was not a senior Mongol commander but was in charge of Chinese artillery units under the Mongol Empire. He was one of the foreign legions that served the Mongol Empire, and some of the later conquests of the Mongols were done by armies under his command. The biography of this Han commander in the Yuan Shi ("History of Yuan") said that Guo Kan's presence struck so much fear in his foes that they called him the "Divine Man".

Iron law of oligarchy

The iron law of oligarchy is a political theory, first developed by the German sociologist Robert Michels in his 1911 book, Political Parties. It asserts that rule by an elite, or oligarchy, is inevitable as an "iron law" within any democratic organization as part of the "tactical and technical necessities" of organization.Michels's theory states that all complex organizations, regardless of how democratic they are when started, eventually develop into oligarchies. Michels observed that since no sufficiently large and complex organization can function purely as a direct democracy, power within an organization will always get delegated to individuals within that group, elected or otherwise.

Using anecdotes from political parties and trade unions struggling to operate democratically to build his argument in 1911, Michels addressed the application of this law to representative democracy, and stated: "Who says organization, says oligarchy." He went on to state that "Historical evolution mocks all the prophylactic measures that have been adopted for the prevention of oligarchy."According to Michels all organizations eventually come to be run by a "leadership class", who often function as paid administrators, executives, spokespersons or political strategists for the organization. Far from being "servants of the masses", Michels argues this "leadership class," rather than the organization's membership, will inevitably grow to dominate the organization's power structures. By controlling who has access to information, those in power can centralize their power successfully, often with little accountability, due to the apathy, indifference and non-participation most rank-and-file members have in relation to their organization's decision-making processes. Michels argues that democratic attempts to hold leadership positions accountable are prone to fail, since with power comes the ability to reward loyalty, the ability to control information about the organization, and the ability to control what procedures the organization follows when making decisions. All of these mechanisms can be used to strongly influence the outcome of any decisions made 'democratically' by members.Michels stated that the official goal of representative democracy of eliminating elite rule was impossible, that representative democracy is a façade legitimizing the rule of a particular elite, and that elite rule, which he refers to as oligarchy, is inevitable. Later Michels migrated to Italy and joined Benito Mussolini's Fascist Party, as he believed this was the next legitimate step of modern societies. The thesis became popular once more in post-war America with the publication of Union Democracy: The Internal Politics of the International Typographical Union (1956) and during the red scare brought about by McCarthyism.

Lost in the Meritocracy

Lost in the Meritocracy: The Undereducation of an Overachiever is a 2009 memoir by Walter Kirn. It describes his own trip through the American education system from rural Minnesota to Princeton University.The author also wrote an earlier essay under the same title for The Atlantic.The book was reviewed twice in the New York Times. The Times also listed it as a "notable book of 2009".Other reviews appeared in the Washington Post and Commentary Magazine, and the book was recommended on Time Magazine's "Short List of Things to Do".

Noocracy

Noocracy ( or ), or "aristocracy of the wise", as defined by Plato, is a social and political system that is "based on the priority of human mind", according to Vladimir Vernadsky. It was also further developed in the writings of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.

Social class in France

The modern social structure of France is complex, but generally similar to that of other European countries. Traditional social classes still have some presence, with a large bourgeoisie and especially petite bourgeoisie, and an unusually large proportion, for modern Europe, of farming smallholders. All these groups, and the remaining industrial working class, have considerable political power, which they are able to flex when required.

Bon chic bon genre is a term for fashionable people of good family ("bon genre"), especially in Paris. Graduates of the École nationale d'administration, or énarques predominate in the upper levels of government and many industries, along with graduates of the other Grandes écoles, specialized state-run institutes of tertiary education. However primary and secondary education is almost entirely at state schools, unlike say England, and a major engine of meritocracy. Cultural capital, a concept from France, is still considered an issue for the many French people in a process of social mobility.

The old french society was divided on the basis of 'etates' and they were as follows:

Clergy

Nobility

Common people

Social dominance theory

Social dominance theory (SDT) is a theory of intergroup relations that focuses on the maintenance and stability of group-based social hierarchies. According to the theory, group-based inequalities are maintained through three primary intergroup behaviors—specifically institutional discrimination, aggregated individual discrimination, and behavioral asymmetry. SDT proposes that widely shared cultural ideologies (i.e., legitimizing myths) provide the moral and intellectual justification for these intergroup behaviors.

There are two functional types of legitimizing myths: (1) hierarchy-enhancing and (2) hierarchy-attenuating legitimizing myths. Hierarchy-enhancing ideologies (e.g., racism or meritocracy) contribute to greater levels of group-based inequality. Hierarchy-attenuating ideologies (e.g., anarchism and feminism) contribute to greater levels of group-based equality. People endorse these different forms of ideologies based in part on their psychological orientation toward dominance and their desire for unequal group relations (i.e., their social dominance orientation; SDO). People who are higher on SDO tend to endorse hierarchy-enhancing ideologies, and people who are lower on SDO tend to endorse hierarchy-attenuating ideologies. SDT finally proposes that the relative counterbalancing of hierarchy-enhancing and -attenuating social forces stabilizes group-based inequality.

Social mobility

Social mobility is the movement of individuals, families, households, or other categories of people within or between social strata in a society. It is a change in social status relative to one's current social location within a given society.

Stratocracy

A stratocracy (from στρατός, stratos, "army" and κράτος, kratos, "dominion", "power") is a form of government headed by military chiefs. It is not the same as a military dictatorship or military junta where the military's political power is not enforced or even supported by other laws. Rather, stratocracy is a form of military government in which civil and military service are difficult to distinguish, where the state and the military are traditionally or constitutionally the same entity, and that government positions are always occupied by commissioned officers and military leaders.

Citizens with mandatory or voluntary military service, or veterans who have been honorably discharged, have the right to elect or govern. The military's administrative, judiciary, and/or legislature powers are supported by law, the constitution, and the society. A stratocracy is considered a form of meritocracy; it does not necessarily need to be autocratic or oligarchic by nature in order to preserve its right to rule.

Technocracy

Technocracy is a proposed system of governance in which decision-makers are selected on the basis of their expertise in a given area of responsibility, particularly with regard to scientific or technical knowledge. This system explicitly contrasts with the notion that elected representatives should be the primary decision-makers in government, though it does not necessarily imply eliminating elected representatives. Leadership skills for decision-makers are selected on the basis of specialized knowledge and performance, rather than political affiliations or parliamentary skills.The term technocracy was originally used to advocate the application of the scientific method to solving social problems. Concern could be given to sustainability within the resource base, instead of monetary profitability, so as to ensure continued operation of all social-industrial functions. In its most extreme sense technocracy is an entire government running as a technical or engineering problem and is mostly hypothetical. In more practical use, technocracy is any portion of a bureaucracy that is run by technologists. A government in which elected officials appoint experts and professionals to administer individual government functions and recommend legislation can be considered technocratic. Some uses of the word refer to a form of meritocracy, where the ablest are in charge, ostensibly without the influence of special interest groups.

The Apache Software Foundation

The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) is an American non-profit corporation (classified as a 501(c)(3) organization in the United States) to support Apache software projects, including the Apache HTTP Server. The ASF was formed from the Apache Group and incorporated on March 25, 1999.The Apache Software Foundation is a decentralized open source community of developers. The software they produce is distributed under the terms of the Apache License and is free and open-source software (FOSS). The Apache projects are characterized by a collaborative, consensus-based development process and an open and pragmatic software license. Each project is managed by a self-selected team of technical experts who are active contributors to the project. The ASF is a meritocracy, implying that membership of the foundation is granted only to volunteers who have actively contributed to Apache projects. The ASF is considered a second generation open-source organization, in that commercial support is provided without the risk of platform lock-in.

Among the ASF's objectives are: to provide legal protection to volunteers working on Apache projects; to prevent the Apache brand name from being used by other organizations without permission.

The ASF also holds several ApacheCon conferences each year, highlighting Apache projects and related technology.

The Rise of the Meritocracy

The Rise of the Meritocracy is a book by British sociologist and politician Michael Dunlop Young which was first published in 1958. It describes a dystopian society in a future United Kingdom in which intelligence and merit have become the central tenet of society, replacing previous divisions of social class and creating a society stratified between a merited power-holding elite and a disenfranchised underclass of the less merited. The essay satirised the Tripartite System of education that was being practised at the time. The book was rejected by the Fabian Society and then by 11 publishers before being accepted by Thames and Hudson.Meritocracy is the political philosophy in which political influence is assigned largely according to the intellectual talent and achievement of the individual. Michael Young coined the term, formed by combining the Latin root "mereō" and Ancient Greek suffix "cracy", in his essay to describe and ridicule such a society, the selective education system that was the Tripartite System, and the philosophy in general.The word was adopted into the English language with none of the negative connotations that Young intended it to have and was embraced by supporters of the philosophy. Young expressed his disappointment in the embrace of this word and philosophy by the Labour Party under Tony Blair in the Guardian in an article in 2001, where he states:

It is good sense to appoint individual people to jobs on their merit. It is the opposite when those who are judged to have merit of a particular kind harden into a new social class without room in it for others.Journalist and writer Paul Barker points out that “irony is a dangerous freight to carry” and suggests that in the 1960s and 70s it was read “as a simple attack on the rampant meritocrats”, whereas he suggests it should be read “as sociological analysis in the form of satire”.

Twilight of the Elites

Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy is a book written by MSNBC's Christopher Hayes, discussing examples of how meritocracy is exploited in modern America. He argues that there are many competing forces working within America that are causing the financial crisis, elite crisis, media crisis, and, what he sees as the most ominous problem facing the globe, the environmental global warming crisis.

Kirkus Reviews called the book "forcefully written" and "provocative". Aaron Swartz described the book as "compellingly readable, impossibly erudite, and—most stunningly of all—correct".The book has been reviewed by sources such as The New York Times, Rolling Stone, and Slate.

WRU League 1 East

The Welsh Rugby Union League 1 East (also called the SWALEC League 1 East for sponsorship reasons) is a rugby union league in Wales first implemented for the 1995/96 season. The league was formed in 2006 when the WRU divided the old Division One into two leagues, East and West

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