On Meritocracy

“You keep using that word”

McConlogue discovers what we imagine Southerland and his ilk already know: the real meritocracy isn’t one in which every person is judged equally, and any privileges or systemic disadvantages are swept out of the way. The meritocracy we have is one in which the illusion of merit is used to justify the neglect of those less fortunate. That meritocracy is deployed not in order to give everyone an equal opportunity to achieve, but to defend the preexisting structures of power.

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