Essay On Meritocracy

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Meritocracy is a philosophy or a political system in which merits determine the social status of each individual. According to the Harrap’s Chambers dictionary meritocracy is “a social system based on leadership by people of great talent or intelligence, rather than of wealth or noble birth.” Even if it is never stated, most Western countries nowadays are using this meritocratic system, including America. It can be opposed to the aristocracy which is a government only led by a small part of individuals who become the elite. It can also be opposed to nepotism—more relevant nowadays—which applies when people with authority use it to give favour their relatives or friends. This system seems to be promoted in many countries because it seems ideal. It spreads the idea that everyone can achieve their biggest desires if they try hard enough. However, this term was first used as a pejorative term. It was invented by the British sociologist, Michael Young in his satirical novel entitled The Rise of the Meritocracy published in 1958. It …show more content…
Indeed, it seems to be a utopian system not applicable to the American society because there are too many variables, for example where people were born, their origins, their family backgrounds. This idea of meritocracy joins the concept of the American dream that defends that everyone can achieve anything they want. Yet it can’t be denied that there is a part of luck and the inequality of opportunities play a role in this quest for success. A full and true equality would have to be obtained in order to have a real meritocracy. Believing in meritocracy seems to be naïve as the system seems corrupt by privileges for some only. Since Andrew Jackson, the system seems quite similar, as some have benefits and others still struggle to earn a decent living. Many social and economic elements need to be taken into consideration to achieve a real equality and make meritocracy

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