- Jan 2011
Well "merit" is supposed to be measurable... For example in academia, it could be your test score, in sports, your performance (how man seconds for the 100 meter dash or how high you can jump etc...) , in the military, your tactical ability etc....Sure, it is not theoretically possible - my point is simply that in practice, "merit" is a bit subjective, and that the usual ways to get wealthy and powerful by "merit" (meaning what? Who decides what is meritorious? Is having a system where people get positions according to their scores on autistic standardized tests better than a feudal aristocracy? Why?) still end up with whoever passes all the tests and wins in a privileged position...
The real value is character, and that can come about in many ways, from many backgrounds - that is my main point. Proponents of meritocracy often tend to take a too narrow view of what "merit" means, I think
Meritocracy is supposed to be better for 2 reasons:
1- Society gets the "best " people for the job
2- Everyone theoretically gets a chance to be selected (as opposed to a system where you have to be "born right" to be eligible)
Why is meritocracy better ? Well imagine the surgeon who is going to operate on you, or the pilot who is going to fly the plane you are in, have been selected due to nepotism and have no real qualifications....Or do you prefer them to be properly selected , trained and tested before they are allowed to operate on you or fly your plane ?