Meritocracy is also a social state in which people are judged not by their appearence, name, gender, sex, or any other arbitrary standard, but only on their abilities and skills. Meritocracy is much more evident in internet-related jobs and in the technology fields. I'm not sure why this is so, but it is fairly obvious that it is true. Maybe geeks are so strange that people have learned more toleration for what is different than them. *grin*

It is the natural extension of all civil rights movements. Relating to the Black Civil Rights Movement in the United States, it would appear to me that during that time black people were fighting for their equality. Yet, they didn't want to be held above people of other races, they wanted to be held to the same standards as others. That is what equality is all about. All civil rights movements attempt to get other people to hold everybody to the same standards. If the same standards are used for everybody, then the only standards that can be used are those that specifically apply. In terms of a job, that means can this person do the job, and do the job well? Do they have the right attitude?

I would imagine that ideally every economy would be based on Meritocracy. Why hire somebody for a job who has no skills? Why not hire somebody for a job who is very qualified but maybe doesn't look the way you expect them to? Meritocracy does not mean that you have to like everybody, or that you have to be friends with everybody, but more that you respect people's individuality and judge them by their skills and abilities as applicable.
It is not clear from the above whether the author thinks that we actually live in an economic system based on meritocracy.
It is a fact, however, that many economic libertarians and market fundamentalists claim that we have, in Western democracies, a system of remuneration based on merit.
It is also assumed that we do have such economic system. The evidence for this is that the large disparities in income and accumulated wealth are not challenged as indicating possible misappropriation of income and wealth.
Meritocracy is a lie which says that, by and large, people get the remuneration for their work (or generally for their contribution to society) which reflects the value they create to be enjoyed by everyone else.

So, for example, what Bill Gates did for his 43 billon dollar wealth is many thousands of times more valuable than what a Prime Minister of Britain or the President of the United States does.

This is patently absurd. The truth is stated at 95% of the money is made by 5% of the people: "Salaries have nothing to do with how amazing your skills are- but they have everything to do with how many other people can, and are prepared to, do pretty much the same thing" evilandi.

Consider a system of social organization where everyone took a standardized test (perhaps related to their field of study, perhaps a general test). The people who scored the highest on that test were given positions of power. The people who scored lower became the peons. Is this desirable?

First, who decides what questions should be on these tests? Would it only be promoting people who are good at test taking? For example, people with good short term memories may be able to memorize lots of facts for a few days, but would later on show that they have poor judgment when making decisions.

Of course, no such test really exists to establish social organization on any wide scale. What happens in today's corporations is that people in power (supposedly there because they have demonstrated merit) choose their underlings based on their personal judgments of merit. When those at the top retire, die, or quit, then those they promoted based on merit replace them in their positions of power, and subsequently judge who else has enough merit to be promoted.

While this system may seem like meritocracy, it is the same excuse given by dictators for maintaining their current political structures. Those at the top of authoritarian governments claim they got there on the basis of merit and are therefore fit to judge who else has merit.

The ultimate question is, how is merit determined? Supporters of democracy would say that everyone should have equal say over what is considered good and what is considered bad. Therefore, even in the case of attempting to establish meritocracy, it ends up in a debate between the authoritarians and the democrats.

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