What do you think about Meritocracy

Discussion in 'Every Day Debating' started by JNK, Mar 5, 2013.

  1. JNK

    JNK King of tards

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    in case you don't know what it is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meritocracy

    It kinda has really great appeal to me... Giving people credit for what they're worth, and not letting morons rule us, as in democracy or some "chosen" people like in most other situations... However, I don't think it's possible... there would definitely be abuse, lies, etc. like usually in politics at the end wrong people would be deemed worthy. Actually, Singapore is thought to be the only current state, which is closest to being meritocratic. Never been there, so I cannot judge how much true is that... Any clue?
     
  2. kwlanford

    kwlanford Active Member

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    I think it is a silly word. For silly people. Now go away or I shall be forced to taunt you a secound time.
     
  3. JNK

    JNK King of tards

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  4. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    Meritocracy is a society which is led by successful individuals. It rivals with the class society (almost inevitably an oligocracy) or the plain society (like communism purports to be). Given the alternatives, I think it's the best idea thus far.

    When it comes to building a society, I think meritocracy is the way to go. Everyone is given equal chance to climb the ladder of success (if they so feel inclined), creating a competitive atmosphere, in which the cream, on the whole, tends to float to the top. There is two dangers, though. The first is that the cream, over time or generation, will make sure they stay there, leading to a class society. The other is that there's an immense group of people not being able to rise to the top which, regardless, need to be taken care of, without losing the incentive to climb aforementioned ladder or danger they will never be able to get there. Beyond that, I think a society with great upward (and, so, downward) mobility is the way to be competitive with other societies, and tends to be more successful.
     
  5. JNK

    JNK King of tards

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    That is my major concern, actually...
     
  6. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    One can argue that the class society is simply the result of a meritocracy that protected itself.

    That said also recall that in the past those of a "lower" standing where not just a lower class of citizen but a lower class of human person. Class, race and gender were all identified differences that could raise or lower your standing and this was was a proven "fact" about these differences that couldn't be changed (ie if you were lower class you would always be lower class no matter how much "luck" you'd have in furthering your finances).


    The core problem is that protection of ones own self gain is pretty much an instinctively driven desire for most people. And what protections you take (as part of a group) to protect your own standing also tends to rub off on those of a similar standing to yourself. Ergo even selfish moves to protect the individual can armour and protect latter individuals of a similar standing as well.


    Another argument to consider is that putting experts in charge is what we already have - we have expert politicians in charge who's job is politics. They are not bridge builders or scientists, they are politicians and their area of expertise is the political world - something that you can't remove from any form of governance (and certainly not from one reliant upon democratic or other forms of joint control).
     
  7. JNK

    JNK King of tards

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    nope not really! Historically it was more about power (damn even simply physical strength at the beginning). Which also agrees with your later statement about "lower class of human person". Higher class were always the winners. Not the smartest, the most skilled, etc. The conquerors!

    well I'm glad for you you feel that way... I somehow don't, however ;)
     
  8. Taliesyn

    Taliesyn It's a feral reality out there, kids.

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    The philosopher Alain de Botton brought out an excellent documentary and book (which I've not read) on meritocracy and how it can breed what he likes to call "status anxiety". The problem with a meritocracy (or indeed any kind of society) is this fear of not measuring up to others, and this fear driving people to disadvantage other people in order to get somewhere comparable in life. It was quite thought provoking really.

    Suffice to say, I'm not a fan of being in a society that is driven by only one dominant ideology, whether it be socialism, capitalism, meritocracy, theocracy, atheistic, etc. I believe a healthy society needs input from all peoples from all different walks of life so that it can truly benefit. Having the successful lording it over the unsuccessful (which have arbitrary definitions at best, as the definitions depend on who you ask) is no utopian ideal to me, just a fresh new potential nightmare. Most ideologies seem fair and workable until they are actually applied in the real world.
     
  9. Mububban

    Mububban Administrator Staff Member

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    Good in theory, but humans are always going to succumb to nepotism and self serving interests, as we'd rather protect ourselves than look out for The Greater Good.
     
  10. Emelie

    Emelie Queen of darkness

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    lol xD
     
  11. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    Ahh but you're missing the point, meritocracy is about merit but as a theory does not define the type of merit. Power as a show of physical strength or tactics in battle is a very reliable merit to have in ones leaders at those points in history when there were very active threats of other nations coming to conquer or raid yours.

    Today such a merit is of slightly less importance for many western nations who are more internally and internationally stable (the USA is currently unlikely to get a mass ground invasion of its states by anyone for example). As such the social structure is able to change so that the nature of highly positive merits to the society are changed.
     
  12. JNK

    JNK King of tards

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    well that's a point that is exactly what we have now, only successful are not necessarily smart... most successful are ppl like late Jobs or Gates... thieves :) or sporstamn, or lady gaga... that is sick
     
  13. Taliesyn

    Taliesyn It's a feral reality out there, kids.

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    That's a good point.
     
  14. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    To be fair history has shown time and again that these two factors are very rarely related to each other. Heck many very smart people in the past have been quite poor or even utterly ignored by the times that they lived in. I think that its also important that any meritocracy does not simply end up being the oldboys school effect for people with Dr. before their name. As such you simply replace one kind of class with yet another kind of class and introduce a new set of variable problems without actually solving the ones that you aimed to solve in the first place.

    Take the example of sports, whilst I don't want a footballer who only knows football to be in charge of my nations policies on economics it is an ideal candidate for running the nations sports programs or school sports setups etc.... Music and the arts are also valid areas and whilst Lady Gaga is not the most ideal candidate I can see the merit in having such present in a political engine where its appropriate (ergo someone has to look after the welfare and interests of the music and arts of a country).
     
  15. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    Interesting concern.

    The idea is that, as a society, you want to be led by the most suitable people around. I mean. Right? Both a (n ideologically) flat society and a class society might be led by the most suitable people, but that would be far less likely.

    Thank you for stating the libertarian assumption :)

    ... but you are going to have one anyway. There is no real way I am aware of to avoid have an ideology, and work from there. In fact, I would dread a society led by a man or group of individuals without a basic ideology.

    I'll try to make a rather weak point here. The best way to go about things is a liberal democracy, I'd kindly refer to Isaiah Berlin here. I think he said some interesting thing about having a democracy, and leaving the rest to the devices of politicians and political parties. That way, people could shift ideologies depending on zeitgeist and, in fact, what mess the previous government made. Sadly, he also stated that the liberal democracy is not a real ideology. And when people adhere to the ideology of a liberal democracy, it would self-defeating. Even though it actually is the best (or, as JFK would say: least bad) way to go about things. Sorry Nick...
     
  16. Taliesyn

    Taliesyn It's a feral reality out there, kids.

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    Another good point. It makes me think then that ideology can be a double edged sword, no matter how benign it might seem at first glance.
     
  17. JNK

    JNK King of tards

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    ah well ... as long as we aren't in a russian army, any ideology is kinda ok :D