Is a Meritocratic Oligarchy Superior to a Democratic Republic?

Is a Meritocratic Oligarchy Superior to a Democratic Republic?

  • Yes

    Votes: 18 26.9%
  • No

    Votes: 41 61.2%
  • Other

    Votes: 8 11.9%

  • Total voters
    67

sculptingman

Ad Honorem
Oct 2009
3,664
San Diego
There is no such thing. You can not have an oligarchy that is meritocratic.

The two constructs are mutually diametric.

You can have oligarchs who might occasionally reward excellence and ability...

But by and large- Oligarchs will only reward the progeny of other oligarchs based upon wealth, influence, or lineage... which means MOST people will have positions without their having any merit...and, historically, the incompetent resent and undermine the competent to prevent their incompetence from being exposed.
 
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VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,733
Florania
There is no such thing. You can not have an oligarchy that is meritocratic.

The two constructs are mutually diametric.

You can have oligarchs who might occasionally reward excellence and ability...

But by and large- Oligarchs will only reward the progeny of other oligarchs based upon wealth, influence, or lineage... which means MOST people will have positions without their having any merit...and, historically, the incompetent resent and undermine the competent to prevent their incompetence from being exposed.
"Elites" often corrupt after an initial period of competence and chosen membership; they often corrupt due to extended membership,
complacence, debauchery.
Hence the importance of limited power and privileges.
 
Feb 2019
1,007
Serbia
The meritocratic oligarchy might be good when it forms, assuming that it's initially composed of people who have earned their influence and positions of power. However, in a generation or two the ''meritocracy'' falls down the drain as who decides what is merit are the people who rule, as such they likely promote their own family members and favourites over the people who are actually meritorious.

This system also sits at a high risk of corruption and arrogance with the ruling oligarchs being out of touch with their people.

Under a democratic republic I imagine that the people would have more freedom and that the system is less likely to fall to corruption as well as have a higher chance to generate better leaders. However elections are often glorified popularity contests won by people who have money and appeal to more people than their opponents, leading to rulers who are often unqualified to actually rule.

In conclusion: While the meritocratic oligarchy might be better in the first generation or two when the oligarchs presumably know what they're doing it goes downhill after it, I believe the democratic republic, with all its flaws, is better in the long run.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,360
Italy, Lago Maggiore
The meritocratic oligarchy might be good when it forms, assuming that it's initially composed of people who have earned their influence and positions of power. However, in a generation or two the ''meritocracy'' falls down the drain as who decides what is merit are the people who rule, as such they likely promote their own family members and favourites over the people who are actually meritorious.

This system also sits at a high risk of corruption and arrogance with the ruling oligarchs being out of touch with their people.

Under a democratic republic I imagine that the people would have more freedom and that the system is less likely to fall to corruption as well as have a higher chance to generate better leaders. However elections are often glorified popularity contests won by people who have money and appeal to more people than their opponents, leading to rulers who are often unqualified to actually rule.

In conclusion: While the meritocratic oligarchy might be better in the first generation or two when the oligarchs presumably know what they're doing it goes downhill after it, I believe the democratic republic, with all its flaws, is better in the long run.
Yes, we can say that there is a well higher statistical probability that a democratic Republic will be a better system than a meritocratic oligarchy. At least history tells this.

And actually the common criticism to democratic systems, that we elect not competent politicians, is simply out of context: an elected representative, professional politician or not, has to manage the policies of the country, for technical matters he / she will rely on experts. In other words the elected representative [and overall the chief of the government] gives a political orientation to the management of the country, but the technical activities to run the system are in the hands of officers, experts ...

Example:

today in Italy we are debating about reducing the usage of physical money. The politicians are deciding this, but I doubt that among them there are experts of electronic money systems. Technicians will write the executive decrees containing the technical features of the new devices which could, eventually, be introduced in addition to the already existing ones. And the idea to reduce circulating physical money has been suggested by experts to politicians who have decided to accept the suggestion.

Reality is that in a Republic the politician is required to be transparent, sincere, honest, reliable, realistic and correct ... not a genius.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,755
Yes, we can say that there is a well higher statistical probability that a democratic Republic will be a better system than a meritocratic oligarchy. At least history tells this.
Please provide that actual statistcis that this claim is based on?

Defing which societies conform to democratic republic or meritocratic oligharchy is harldy just cut and dried. And of course "better" is an subjective value judgement.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,360
Italy, Lago Maggiore
Please provide that actual statistcis that this claim is based on?

Defing which societies conform to democratic republic or meritocratic oligharchy is harldy just cut and dried. And of course "better" is an subjective value judgement.
US, Italy, France, Germany, Portugal, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Poland, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Iceland, Finland ... they are all democratic Republics. Can you make a list of meritocratic oligarchies?
 
Oct 2011
505
Croatia
No, because it will not stay meritocratic for long. In fact, almost all oligarchiest started off meritocratic, if we look far enough in the past... none stayed that way.
 

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,733
Florania
No, because it will not stay meritocratic for long. In fact, almost all oligarchiest started off meritocratic, if we look far enough in the past... none stayed that way.
Let's analyze how these elites became corrupted:
At the beginning, the elites consisted of people with proven abilities and skills; an example would be the royal family.
Later, in spite of emphasis on education and training, regression towards the mean usually happened, especially after a few generations.
A few reasons for regression towards the mean:
The descendants of elites usually did not face as many challenges as their predecessors; their growths were often limited.
Inbreeding was rampant among nobility and royal families.
The privileges often led to corruption and debauchery.
The current problem with democracy is that we often have candidates without proven administrative or managerial abilities.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,755
Let's analyze how these elites became corrupted:
At the beginning, the elites consisted of people with proven abilities and skills; an example would be the royal family.
The "Skills" and "abilities" for taking control may not be applicable to actually exercising that control either for the elite or society more generally.