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This article is awful[edit]

A meritocracy requires a level playing field so that one can be judged on ones merit. If there are large disparities in education, health, housing and access then there cannot be a meritocracy. If not everyone has access to same quality of education it is NOT a meritocracy. Libertarianism therefore is NOT a meritocracy its competitive but does not ensure equal access to quality education, etc. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:29, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

Which system of government gives equal opportunity to access education? --Zslevi (talk) 18:52, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Its not the system of government, its really how the government manages their budget
Agreed. Social Darwinism is totally irrelevant to the concept of a 'meritocracy'. As is most of this article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:42, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
"If not everyone has access to same quality of education it is NOT a meritocracy."
This is incorrect. Meritocracy is the concept of appointment by merit rather than other reasons. Meritocracy acknoledges that people differ in ability but makes no assumptions about the source or nature of the discrepancies in ability between people. Agalmic (talk) 19:06, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

Isn't the problem here that we are trying to be far too concrete? To me meritocracy is an abstract concept sort of like liberty. The important thing is the contrast to aristocracy, feudalism, etc. Like liberty it is not an achievable goal, but a reasonable aim. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:08, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

Too right, the article is terrible... I'll see if I can actually make some worthwhile contributions in the near future. No point in adding more "citation needed" flags, it smacks of OR anyway. (talk) 06:04, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

intelligence PLUS effort :vs: intelligence TIMES effort[edit]

I have big problems with merit being described as "intelligence PLUS effort" whereas in reality merit (or performance) is much better described by "intelligence TIMES effort" (or "talent TIMES effort" generalized to any occupation). To keep the argument close to the operators: if you have no talent at all (t near 0) you can spare as much effort as you want, there wont be success and if you dont invest any effort (e ~= 0) you can have arbitarily high talent, there also wont be success. So this point is closer modeled by the multiplication operator, than by the sum operator. Thus I dont see any reason for the sentence not to be fixed towards "TIMES".

If there is a rational and good argument against my reasoning, feel free to change it back, but please justify it here.

Either way smells of original research. A great deal of the foundation of this article exists without citation; a clear and accepted definition is needed.

Production and income have log-normal distrubtions. This suggests that they are the product of a number of "random factors". If production or income was determined by a sum of random variables, then income distributions would be normal, rather than the log-normal distributions observed. Agalmic (talk) 19:10, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

EDIT: (another person- I dont know how to add suggestions sorry)

Could the Vatican be considered this sort of government in some ways? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:30, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

See also - Contrast with[edit]

Hey stevie, I knowthey can be listed undr "see also", indeed they still are, but I think its helpful to point out that they arn't synonyms. Alot of people have no clue about a given subject, and pointing things out like that is pretty cool. Sam Spade (talk · contribs) 18:06, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I disagree, but I won't revert any longer. This is an unusual approach to See also. I haven't seen this in any other article. I see contrasting terms in many See also's that aren't distinguished and really don't need to be. — Stevie is the man! Talk | Contrib 18:29, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Sorry, I was trying to address you personally, but not trying to focus on you instead of the subject @ hand. Frankly, w this situation being all I have to go by, I'd have to say my impression of you is vaguely positive. Oh right, thats an ad hominem ;) Anywho, its not a big deal, I just like it my way better, and think its more informative. If you can find some obscure rule somewhere, I'll probably have to defer to the bureaucracy (or secretly edit the policy page whilst yer not looking XD but this isn't exactly a big issue for me either. The article could use some more content if your in anyway expert on the subject, BTW. I'm off to check the 1911 britannica! Cheers, Sam Spade (talk · contribs) 18:43, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I don't really see what's going on in the See also section; after all, none of the terms listed is a synonym of, and all should be contrasted with, "meritocracy". Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 20:11, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)

And that's generally true of See also items... they either contrast with the article term, or they're similar to the term, but not the same. — Stevie is the man! Talk | Contrib 22:24, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)
OK, I've changed the "See also" section, and while I was at it I tidied up the grammar and style. The section on Singapore reads rather like a propaganda piece; I removed one obviously PoV sentence, but it could probably do with a more extensive rewrite. Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 23:11, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Well, I couldn't really see that racialism was terribly relevant (especially as there was a link to race in the text). Why, though, did you revert my "s? I thought that they were preferred? Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 00:17, 1 Feb 2005 (UTC)

OK< recent edits have been fairly good, and since you both seem to dislike the "contrast with", and especially since I see your point about all the see also's being contrasts rather than synonyms, I surrender that particular. One thing tho: what this article really needs is more content, rather than more pruning. Pruning is cool, but I'd like to see a better explanation of what meritocracy really is, and perhaps some better examples of it. I'll see what I can do, cheers, Sam Spade (talk · contribs) 07:31, 1 Feb 2005 (UTC)
More content is always a good thing. Be bold.  :) — Stevie is the man! Talk | Contrib 08:05, 1 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Character quotes (") are preferred from what I've seen, and I've been editing for almost a year. — Stevie is the man! Talk | Contrib 08:05, 1 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Looking at the Wikipedia article on quotation marks, it uses neither... instead, throughout, it uses ‘ and “. Damn! I've been using " in all my articles and edits. Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 09:36, 1 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Removal of Ereinion's edits[edit]

The Summary as Ereinion had it was:

'''Meritocracy''' is a system of [[government]] which is strictly based solely on ones abilities
('''merit''') rather than by wealth or social position; “merit” means roughly ''intelligence plus

Most often, meritocracies are confused with [[aristocracy|aristocracies]], a system that morbidly caters to bias
and nepotism. A true Meritocracy acknowledges individual prowess and rewards it in kind, regardless of

Most systems of government contain some form of meritocratic elements; for instance, [[United States
Constitution|the constitution of the United States]] decrees that all men are created equal and that life,
liberty, and the persuit of happiness is not to be infringed upon. 

-- Sorry, but the U.S. Constitution says nothing about "all men are created equal," nor does it 
say that "life, liberty, and the pUrsuit of happiness is not to be infringed upon." 
That stuff is in the Declaration of Independence, which has nothing to do with U.S. 
Government, nor meritocracy. --

However, while this is elemental of a
meritocracy, it does not assure the recognition of, or the rewarding of, individual accomplishment.

Some would suggest that the [[military rank]]ing system is perhaps the closest to a pure meritocracy, however,
each military is limited by its government. Therefore, military services are better classified as
[[bureaucracies]], or as psuedo-meritocracies. Pure meritocracies, however, are virtually non-existent.

Aside from spelling and grammar, this introduces some emotional and very PoV claims, as well as inaccuracies (the characterisation of aristocracy in particular). I don't see anything here worth keeping, but if anyone else does, we could discuss it. Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 09:37, 2 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Excuse me? How was my chracterization of an aristocracy inaccurate? PoV has nothing to do with it, I didn't say anything that wasn't historically or contemporarily accurate. If you felt wording needed to be changed that's different. Having said that, I fail to see what attacking any spelling or grammatical errors accomplishes, or implying I have an emotional issue with the subject. This has nothing to do with the topic as a whole. Unless you're just trying to be foul, in which case you need to check your own PoV issues. I'm reverting it back until someone else can make a civil contribution -- UHC. EreinionFile:RAHSymbol.JPG 22:43, 2 Mar 2005 (UTC)

  1. Aristocracy: the term 'morbid' has no place here (it's not even clear what it means in this context, beyond being negative); it's not clear what you mean by aristocracy being biassed; the notion of nepotism makes no sense — aristocracies are generally hereditary.
  2. U.S. Constitition: the quotation has no relevance to meritocracy, except in so far as most meritocracies, but also many non-meritocratic systems, accept it.
  3. The military: there's no explanation as to why the 'limitation' by government has any effect on its meritocratic nature, nor any explanation as to why it should be counted bureacratic.
  4. What was removed (with no explanation) was pefectly adequate. It could doubtless be improved (what couldn't?), but this is no improvement. Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 22:58, 2 Mar 2005 (UTC)

It's not even up for debate. Either learn some amenities or don't contribute. It's just that simple. But, if you need help in learning this, please see Wikipedia:Civility. If you need help with it, I would be happy to explain it. Until then, I hope it teaches you something. EreinionFile:RAHSymbol.JPG 01:22, Mar 4, 2005 (UTC)

  1. I'm interested that you feel that heavy sarcasm counts as civility, but let it pass.
  2. I've given my reasons for reverting the article; you seem to have no relevant responses, so I assume that you now agree. Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 10:02, 4 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Han Fei Zi?[edit]

I'm surprised to find Han Fei Zi in the article. If I'm not mistaking, He was in favor of full power of the prince and refused the use of counsellors. gbog 4 July 2005 09:01 (UTC)

Cool it with the weird political agendas[edit]

Hi all. Meritocracy is one of the most important principles in all of human civilization, it deserves a better wikipedia entry than it has. Including Singapore but excluding Europe and America? What the hell is that about, come on, maybe you don't like the present leadership but really, these guys *invented* the meritocratic institutions of Constitutions (the US Constitution which someone evidently doesn't think belongs here, that's absurd, read it and the Federalist Papers then think about the possibility that is represents the first meritocratic government in recent history) and Democracy and the Free Market Capitalist System. Those who make best use of resources get the most resources? Ring a bell? It's Anglo. Capitalism, individual liberty, equality under the law. Thomas Jefferson? Adam Smith? John Stuart Mill? The Glorious Revolution of 1688? Hello dearies, I know history is boring but you have to read something of it before you are equipped to interact in the world.

Yet someone thought it was better to praise Singapore? Disneyland with the Death Penalty? A lot of people work very hard and honestly to create Wikipedia, so keep your weirdo political agendas out of it. The philosophy entries are ruined by this kind of immaturity, please don't ruin something as important as political entries that actually have real-world consequences.

I definitely agree with you about Meritocracy deserving a better article (we can help), but the United States and Europe (from what I understand; I can't speak too well for Europe) are mostly Democratic Republics. Meritocracies are based only on the idea that people should only hold a position if they deserve it based on criteria of merit. If you think about it, a meritocracy doesn't need democracy- you could just as easily have a test (as the Chinese did) to determine who fills which positions. As a side note, sorry if that was unintelligible, I have a hard time getting my point across sometimes.Robinson0120 10:09, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

Not only that, but the US constitution specifically recognises the equality of everyone..which is pretty much as far as you can get from a meritocracy. 16:53, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

MAde in USA, logically.

Meritocracies in history[edit]

Sorry, I'm not good at editing, but I just thought that an article on meritocracy should include references to the Ming dynasty and it's extensive civil service exams. As well as other past instances in Chinese history.

Yes, please help by adding content. I'll try to clean up after if need be :) Sam Spade 16:31, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

Hi, The following line at the head of the article is inaccurate: "Chapter Five of John Locke's Second Treatise on Government, which set out the virtues of a meritocracy, in which men rise by virtue, talent, and industry"

Chapter Five deals with Locke's famous "labour theory of property" according to which one may acquire property through labour alone. The chapter deals exclusively with this theory and not at all (not even a little) with the virtues of meritocracy as is being claimed.

Herbert Spencer[edit]

Shouldn't there be some mention of Herbert Spencer?

Yes, please add content regarding Herbert Spencer. He and social darwinism could have their own section. Sam Spade 16:31, 3 December 2005 (UTC)


The section on Singapore is not at all neutral, and makes several unverifiable claims on the political situation in Singapore. I notice that most of the offending changes were put in place by various anonymous contributors from Singapore. While Singapore is an interesting case for meritocracy since it is official policy there, this article should not become a political battleground. kaikaun 07:25, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

I also noticed the Singapore section is full of really shaky claims, and one of the citations listed is just a message posted on some board. Anyone can post any opinion on a message board, so I don't think that is at all adequate as a citation for the growing elitism as they claim. This article really needs some work! -nachosamurai 05:43, 1 February 2010

Plato and Democratic Centralism[edit]

He was into meritocracy also. He mentioned that only those able to lead (for him, the Philosopher) were fit to rule government.

Not only was plato into meritocracy but he also constructed a theoretical one. There are three types of individuals, those who are ruled by instinct, those ruled by emotion, and those ruled by logic, as plato put it. In the meritocracy those ruled by instinct should be the labourers, those ruled by emotion the policemen and firefighters etc. and those ruled by logic the governers. In order to prevent corruption he took into account greed, nepotism, and ignorance. To combat these, take these individuals out of the family while young and rise them as a commune and teach them all the philosophies you can. This was his basic idea of a meritocracy and once again I am not going to edit the main body until I can find my citations.

On a similar vein, Lenin preposeed a similar system in the formation of Democratic centralism, in which each rank within the party was elected only by those who have shown their worth to the rank immediately below, thus, though not a true meritocracy, Democratic centralism may be mentioned since it is designed in such a way as to sift out exemplary members of the party into higher office/council.

IdeArchos 04:30, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

Weasel words in British mouths??[edit]

British politicians, both on the left and the right, stress the importance of making Britain as meritocratic as possible. I am sure that most of the world's countries' politicians would say the same, though... The section needs to provide more information and not just what people stress... I believe it is not at all NPOV. --Francisco Valverde 19:19, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

Clarify description vs. rhetoric[edit]

There should be a clear distinction made between attempts, by whatever means, to achieve meritocratic ends and attempts to use the idea of meritocracy to justify manifestly un-meritocratic conditions. Most expressions of a Social Darwinist nature, for example, are merely apologetics for the status quo rather than genuine descriptions of the fair result of a meritocratic process.

Also, with limited resources and positions available in any society, competition is going to be a necessary aspect of any system that is not completely overcome by caste momentum. Again, the distinction between reality and rhetoric needs to be made, as real competition rests on some sort of parity between competitors while the struggle between unequals would only be called a "competition" by those wishing to disguise their unfair advantage.

Description of Youngs book[edit]

The article says: "In the book, this social system ultimately leads to a social revolution in which the masses overthrow the elite, who have become arrogant and disconnected from the feelings of the public." In the book, there is only hints of the revolution. The causes of the revolution (if indeed there is one) are much more complicated than described here.

Joseon Dynasty (Korean, 1392-1910)[edit]

A society high on Confucianist philosophy, seems almost like the schoolbook example of a meritocracy society to me.

The USA and Australia[edit]

Both of these countries need to be added to the section of "Meritocratic States". I will write something up and add it. Most of Europe is debatable and I don't know enough about it to write something without a POV. Admiral.Ackbar 14:17, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

Major Cleanup[edit]

This is really one of the worst political articles I have yet seen on Wikipedia. There were lots and lots and lots on personal opinions, unfounded assumptions and original "research", if it can even be called that. The section

"Wealth alone is seldom a good indicator of merit; but is often used as such by some people. Moreover, every responsible parent struggles to make and provide a better life for their children, passing on the benefits of their knowledge, social connections, and resources to ensure their childrens' success."

is only one example of the hogwash this article tried to pass of as encyclopedic. And that was only in the introduction!

Parts of article were also way too biased, making a huge effort to pass off the one or other kind of government as the one and only true way. Example given is the original authors opinion on egalitarianism:

"[...]utopian fantasies of societies where everything is assigned on a supposedly more equal footing.[...]"

I tried to remove everything that could not at least be assumed to be slightly based on known and researched facts. Some sections are much smaller now, but at least it is more concise and to the point. Lots of citations and references are still required, though. --TheOtherStephan 23:24, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

I completely disagree with this last edit. You should have requested for sources where they were needed, not completely erased other people's work. In particular when you selectively remove only positive points, which is highly suspicious. Apparently, your own political bias (obviously left-wing) is the cause behind such a hurry to remove everything that doesn't fit that particularly world view. This article is not perfect, but it certainly wasn't as bad as you are trying to portray. Again, it is evidently just your own political view trying to project its aversion to meritocracy on this article, all disgused as a critique against "POV". No, sir. I'm not buying this. Justice III 16:44, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

More than 90% of what I removed was part of the introduction, which was bloated beyond comprehension and full of completely irrelevant tidbits of facts and pseudo-facts, as well as repeating the few relevant parts over and over. Take as example the part about what "responsible parents" are supposed to do and how much wealth is an indicator of success. This stuff simply has no place in an encyclopedia, it belongs completely to the realm of "common sense" and you know how reliable that is. And what was said about the egalitarian characteristics of meritocratic governments ("allows for an end to distinctions based on such arbitrary things as sex, race or social connections.") can be found in "Origin of the term". There is no need to repeat in in the introduction. The introduction is supposed to be short, concise and to the point.
Also, even positive opinions need to be removed when there is no real grounding in sources and citations. Yes, I'm a deletionist and I'd rather completely remove obviously unreferences sections than have them stand for perhaps months, but that's not because of my own policial orientation. I have also deleted disparaging opinions by critics of meritocracies, there simply were far fewer to be found. The general tone of the article was pro-meritocracy. Frankly, I don't care either way. I was simply looking for historical precedents when I stumbled over this article.
[Edit]: Okay, maybe I should have left that bit about Thomas Jefferson. That's an oversight, really, I was originally planning to move it to a section about the US and add a "citations needed" flag (because there was none). I'm sorry about that, I'll fix it at once.--TheOtherStephan 23:02, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
I would like take this oportunity of cleaning up talk, to consider this: British politicians, both on the left and the right, stress the importance of making Britain as meritocratic as possible at the United Kingdom subsection. I don't believe it is at all encyclopaedic. What do you consider. I would just take it off... Francisco Valverde 22:09, 5 October 2006 (UTC)
I have finally deleted the British section. If anyone disagrees I would ask him to at least improve the section with more substantial information. It is not enought that some people "stress" a point --Francisco Valverde 18:57, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Request for comment on adding a section[edit]

I'd like to see a section on pitfalls of or objections to meritocracy. The article now has one paragraph that mentions the issue of dubiously valid measurements, but this is a point that could be developed much further and there may be other concerns, such as the tendency for a meritocratic class to perpetuate itself (highly-educated people, placed in positions of privilege, tend to have more highly-educated children, and so on). For neutrality's sake two separate sections such as "Proponents' arguments" and "Detractors' arguments" might be preferable.--7Kim 21:38, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Some arguments against Meritocracy can be found in an article by Amartya Sen —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:30, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

removed plato[edit]

The society covered in The Republic resembles more of a totalitarian aristocracy than a meritocracy-- for example, the Guardians pass down their power to rule as "philosopher kings" through their lineage. He makes clear that only a select few of the lower castes will be eligible for Guardianship. The non-Guardians are kept ignorant by force feeding them blatant lies about their intellectual capabilities from a young age. This is because Plato's philosophy in the Republic is that The Good is more important than Truth. Please avoid the blatant Original Research falsehood, Wikipedia Editors. Thank you, --Urthogie 10:46, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

Please re-read The Republic. Alexhard 18:52, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

What I read is my own business. The Republic doesn't describe a democracy. Instead of telling me what to (re)-read, how about you explain how a lineal aristocracy = meritocracy?--Urthogie 19:23, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
A democracy assumes equality, at least as far as politics is considered, while a meritocracy recognizes the inherent inequality between people, as does Plato in his Republic. You falsely state that the guardians pass the power through their lineage: Plato suggests the abolishment of the concept of family, that children never know their parents (and parents never know their children), and that they should be brought up collectively. Further, the merit exhibited by each person determined their position in society, while lineage played no role at all.
When he says that few that are offspring of the lower castes would be eligible for guardianship, he refers to the eugenics inherent in his society: couples were brought together depending on breeding criteria, thus Smarter/stronger/better parents would generally lead to better children, while less intelligent parents would lead to less intelligent children.
While I might agree on the "Totalitarian", it has nothing to do with the matter: a meritocracy is a meritocracy, whether it is totalitarian or not. As for the aristocracy you mention, I tend to disagree, as it usually carries with it:
- Monetary connotations, something that is totally out of the picture in the Republic as private property for the guardians is abolished.
- Hereditary connotations, which as explained above also have nothing to do with the Republic. Alexhard 20:11, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
The Republic has a (secret) eugenics program, so that even breeding is a meritocracy. —Jemmytc 19:35, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Lineage was the deciding factor in becoming a guardian. While this is obviously contradicted by the communal nature of the society, this is simply a contradiction that Plato never addresses.
  • Plato makes clear that only in rare cases would there be new guardians. Most of the time merit was to be suppressed with propaganda.--Urthogie 20:22, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
Plato's Republic is a meritocracy. He assumes that most people would have the aptitude that others of their caste would have. He did not propose supressing merit, that would undermine the entire concept of his Republic. For his time, Plato was radical in thinking that even the children of the most lowly parents could be elevated to leadership. The fact that he thought this would only happen rarely doesn't change this.--RLent (talk) 18:10, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

Eric S. Raymond?[edit]

Here's the list of individual proponents:

   * 3.1 Confucius
   * 3.2 Han Feizi
   * 3.3 Genghis Khan
   * 3.4 Napoleon
   * 3.5 Thomas Jefferson
   * 3.6 Eric S. Raymond

Somehow one of these people seems far less notable than the others. The section for him is relatively sparse and he isn't well-known or widely read outside of the FOSS community. I'm sure if someone wanted a modern proponent of meritocracy someone a little more qualified and recognized could be found.--Smilingman 20:43, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure any of these examples are very good, except perhaps Confucius and Feizi (I'm unfamiliar with both of them). Notable proponents of meritocracy should be theorists who argue that power should correlate with some form of capability, not merely leaders who take account of merit in assigning people to roles. Jefferson might be a good candidate, since he was at least a political theorist, but Jefferson was no meritocrat; he believed that representation within government was a God-granted natural Right, "inalienable" even in spite of total imbecility. The opinion that the voters, who (it is supposed) constitute the true power, should elect those with the most merit, is not really meritocracy. Plato, certainly; Jose Ortega y Gasset, perhaps; the Technocrats; generally, people who oppose democracy. (I'm not really familiar with many good examples.) Anyway, I say remove ESR at least; he is certainly not notable for his political opinions. —Jemmytc 19:31, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

Elements of meritocracy in other sytems[edit]

I think its worth mentioning. Might help prevent thing like those arguments of the U.S. constitution from wasting space..

Talmudic Judaism a meritocracy?[edit]

Rav Huna and Rav Chisda were known to be poor and were apointed leadership roles. When the later walked in thorny places would raise his garments, saying: "The breaches in my legs will heal of themselves but the breaches in my garments will not." (B. K. 91b) Rabbi Elezar ben Azariah was apointed because he was wise, rich, and the tenth in descent from Ezra. Explains the Talmud: "He is wise, so that if anyone puts a question to him he will be able to answer it. He is rich, so that if occasion arises for paying court to Caesar he will be able to do so. He is tenth in descent from Ezra, so that he has ancestral merit and he cannot curse him [See mention of Rabbi Akiva earlier to understand "he cannot curse him"]. " (B. 28B) Wealth was only took into consideration because of the Caeser's occupation. For these reasons I believe the during the Talmud times the Rabbis were a meritocracy. I guess you can mark the end of the Geonic period as the end of Jewish meritocracy. 17:13, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

A failure to see the forest for the trees[edit]

There is a two sentence long section on "Meritocracy Online," piddling along at the bottom of the page. This is very amusing to me since Wikipedia is itself a meritocracy online. Although it is a specific kind, a Meritocracy of Information. This very comments page is a Meritocracy of Information in action. Facts not rigorously supported or statements deemed lacking in merit are wiped away, the good rises to the top. Its really a brilliant idea. And it tickles me to death that no one has mentioned it here. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:45, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

A dubious claim, regarding WP; I don't think you'll find it supported in the literature! Although along the same lines one might point out science as a sort of meritocracy of information. —Jemmytc 19:18, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

WP is not meritocracy, afaik controversial matters are solved by reaching 'consensus' (ie have majority of interested editors agree) making it more like democracy, but oh well ;) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:00, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

Of course WP is a meritocracy. The rules are admins, who have in general demonstrated their ability. It is not mere consensus. Admins also intervene when there are situations where consensus cannot be found among mere editors. Deleet (talk) 04:04, 22 January 2013 (UTC)
Is there really any reason that there should be a separate section for meritocracy online? I don't think there's a section in the article for democracy that discusses websites such as "Hot or Not" because they involve a popular vote. It seems very unencyclopedic to me, and really doesn't add anything to the article. I think a section on civil service exams might be more appropriate for this article.Kevin Borland, Esq. (talk) 01:52, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

See Also[edit]

Why is there a link to Victim blaming? Is that vandalism, or does someone have a genuine reason for adding it? (talk) 17:18, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

The claim that a system of distributing privileges constitutes meritocracy is frequently labeled victim-blaming; in fact it is the canonical example. A meritocracy hypothesis is a just world hypothesis, which is not to say it's necessarily false. In any case the two are quite intimately related; the literature on victim blaming in the USA is in large part a literature on the claim of meritocracy. —Jemmytc 19:16, 24 December 2007 (UTC)


The statement in the lead that appointments in democracy are made based on the person's popularity is wrong. Democracy only specifies *who* makes the appointments - ultimately, it is the people (all members of the group). It does not specify what the people's choice is based on. Whether it is the candidate's popularity, his/her ability, morals, race, gender or anything else - that's up to the people. If, on the other hand, a king or dictator bases his appointment of a person on that person's popularity, that is still not democracy.-- (talk) 14:40, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

Popularity includes all of the other factors you mentioned. After an election, the government that comes into power is always the most popular (well-liked) one, simply because it received the most votes; the reasons for the popularity don't matter. If a dictator always bases his decisions on popularity, then the government is indeed very democratic because the people rule and the dictator has limited power. --Bowlhover 16:35, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
The word "popularity" does not convey the idea that someone is good for the job, and that's why the lead sentence can contrast it with meritocracy in the way it currently does. This is used to imply that democracy and competent rule are mutually exclusive, which is false (and expresses anti-demorcatic POV). And you are quite wrong about our hypothetical situation (which does have incomplete parallels in real life). The dictator does not have "limited power" and the people do not "rule" - the dictator rules and simply chooses to do things that the people likes. As long as it is his choice, as long as he may choose to stop doing that at any given moment, the people are not free. -- (talk) 22:00, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
I would agree that, as disturbing as it may sound to some, democracy is a political system fully driven by popularity. Popularity here is the right word because it supersedes the concept that one may freely choose based on rational arguments. In a democracy, one is free to choose based on rationality, but one also free to choose based on total irrational randomness. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cdemers (talkcontribs) 03:42, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
One may freely choose on whatever grounds. But that is not called "popularity", it's called a free choice by the nation/collective, which acts as the supreme master of its own fate (see also Popular sovereignty). The opposite of democracy is not meritocracy as the text currently implies; the opposite of democracy is authoritarianism, and it certainly doesn't need to be "meritocratic".-- (talk) 22:00, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
There are two things going on here; 1) the implication that democracy is opposite to meritocracy (agree with standing comments) 2) democracy is based upon popularity. The last statement simply appears to be true, considering all above arguments that are clearly supported by dictionaries like wiktionary: popularity

The quality or state of being popular; especially, the state of being esteemed by, or of being in favor with, the people at large; good will or favor proceeding from the people; as, the popularity of a law, statesman, or a book. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Catneven (talkcontribs) 12:14, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

Any monarchy, aristocracy, oligarchy, dictatorship, or totalitarian state can be "esteemed by, or in favour with, the people at large". A king can be adored by his people - this doesn't make monarchy a democracy.-- (talk) 20:25, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
The difference here is that the king just happens to be popular, but that's not the origin of his power to rule. In a democracy, popularity is explicitly (by means of a poll) measured in order to choose the leaders —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:13, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

A democratically elected government is not necessarily popular. They may be voted in as a "lesser of two evils" or beat two other parties by such a narrow margin, that their supporters are technically outnumbered by their detractors, but their detractors have split the vote enough for them to win. The comment in the article suggests they are voted for purely on the basis of how popular they are, but this makes an assumption on the motivation of voters. In the current London Mayoral elections, Greens will be voting for the labour candidate as their secondary vote, in part of a deal between Livingston and Sian Berry... Livingston isn't especially popular with the Greens, but he has made concessions to them, and is seen as a "lesser evil" than other candidates...

"The lesser of two evils" is still the most popular of "the evils". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:16, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

Lostsocks (talk) 18:22, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

In an effort to mediate the disagreement, I will change the lead to read "as may be in democracy". It is true that, as stated, democracy does not imply a popularity contest. It is also true that, through one mechanism or another, democracy very easily can become a popularity contest, particularly on smaller scales. If anyone has an objection, please say so. Llama (talk) 22:15, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

Popular is defined as "chosen by the people". Most popular=chosen by most people. Period. (talk) 15:37, 11 March 2017 (UTC).

know the truth..[edit]

If folks would accept the fact that the US is a republic and NOT a democracy, then this entire discussion would be moot. Populism IS democracy IS populism. Representative govt. allows freedom from tyranny IF the people aren't driven by an entitlement mentality rooted in socialistic ideals. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:43, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

COnfusing link[edit]

LInk at the beginning : Meritocracy is a system of a government to -cracy is confusing. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:25, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

Note on Singapore[edit]

Under Meritocracy#Meritocratic_states, P5726 added:

Defendents claim to the ancient trend of 'A family cannot be rich or poor for more than three generations', suggesting that elitists would eventually and often are replaced by those lower down the hierarchy with frequency. Indeed, many of the top political leaders in Singapore (and also China) tend to come from peasantry backgrounds)while modern peasants boast about their great ancestry.

I think that, if true, this should definitely be included; however there is no source provided. Could someone check this out and provide a reference or remove it *only* if references/sources cannot be found? TeamZissou (talk) 16:15, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

Meritocracy's Relationship with other "forms of government"[edit]

Perhaps there should be a section in this article regarding the overlap of meritocracy with other "forms of government." While in a purely idealogic sense, meritocracy means power is to be held by the most meritorious of individuals, whereas democracy means power is to be held by the most popular individuals, in practice, I think there is a great overlap. I think democracy seeks to empower those who are determined meritorious by a popular consensus. I'm not well read on this topic, but I'm sure there are some articles out there for sources. I think a discussion of this nature in the article would be a lot more meritorious than a discussion on multi-player role playing games.Kevin Borland, Esq. (talk) 02:03, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

This article misses the point[edit]

Young's vision of meritocracy was not primar[il]y that the ruling class monopolised access to merit or in any way distorted the path for "bright" people towards the top. His main criticism was that a class society based merit or IQ perhaps is marginally more acceptable and certainly more efficient than a class society based on blood. It still however remains a class society and sorting people after IQ is still sorting people, his argued against the idea that simply because someone has a high IQ he deserves an extremely privileged position in society. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:54, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

+1 - I have read Young's book and that's the argument he made with his book. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:34, 23 March 2009 (UTC)


His views on the organization of society were pretty close to the ones Plato proposes in The Republic..3 classes, with movement between them depending on each persons merit, the first class being the rules, the second the enforcers, and the third the mindless herd..He should get a section. (talk) 01:27, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

Deleted Sports[edit]

Deleted that section. "Rising to the top", i.e. being a star, being acknowledged as the best, is not an appointment - the star is still doing the same job. (talk) 15:47, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

I agree that in most sports there aren't proper appointments. But i think it deserves to be mentioned somewhere as *it is* a familiar example to everyone in the world of somewhere where meritocratic principles do uphold (academia more or less so too, but is an example outside most people's day-a-day life). Notice that the meritocratic principles only uphold for athletes, it's widely known that club managers are some kind of mafia in most popular sports.

Just consider about the athletes that go to Olympic games, they are chosen through tests, there is no appointment. Still, it is very meritocratic. Nuncanada (talk) 19:48, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

{{WikiProject Philosophy}}[edit]

Nowiki'd these templates at beginning of talk page. They are for articles, not talk pages, and they generate categories (talk pages should not be categorized).tooold (talk) 07:39, 8 March 2009 (UTC)


IMO Napoleon cannot be considered in any way to be a defender of meritocracy.

What can be considered meritocratic is the advancement within the French army after the French Revolution, from which Napoleon rose to the top as an outstanding general. From there he clearly sought to create a monarchy.

There wasn't a base to choose from when he rose to power, so he chose mostly those that had been uprising in the military along his side. But that's very arguable whether they had any merit in relation to the positions they were put into.

Nuncanada (talk) 20:21, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

Government has no business messing around in meritocracies.[edit]

I think that there is one thing that needs to be clarified-- a meritocracy does not consist in the government deciding who is meritorious and who is not. Government is not even in the picture. Meritocracy is very well described in Owen Wister's "The Virginian": to paraphrase, the world has two classes, the quality and the equality. Everyone has equal opportunity to improve themselves, and thereby find their niche in society. It is like the Bible's parable of the talents. In this parable, an employer goes on a long journey, entrusting three employees (servants) with sums of money; five talents (a denomination of money), two talents, and one talent. The servants with five and two talents invested these talents wisely, doubling the amount entrusted to them. The servant with merely one talent buried his out of fear. Each servant had equal opportunity to increase his money, and took advantage of that opportunity as they saw fit. This is meritocracy-- free opportunity. The government should NOT mess with trade, art, or anything else. The proper role of government is to ensure that no one's right to free opportunity is restricted. No subsidies, welfare programs, money for artists or scientists. Each person has the free use of their faculties. Or, as Wister puts it, we start out as "equality", and those who improve themselves rise to the level of "quality". No one is artificially held up or forced down; each finds his true place in society. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:47, 8 April 2009 (UTC)


If people who watch this page are also interested in how Wikipedia is governed, be sure to check out this: . Slrubenstein | Talk 13:28, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

Isn't wikipedia a meritocracy?[edit]

Perhaps you should mention in the article that wikipedia is a meritocracy.-- (talk) 14:29, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

HAHAHAH..Yeah, right, the meritocracy of MAYORITY!

WP has elements of a meritocracy - but I think it wold be too short to say 'WP is a meritocracy'ChristopheT (talk) 15:43, 3 February 2015 (UTC)


Aren't people's social ranks based on their performances and achievements in meritocracy? Aquitania (talk) 04:43, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

Rank is based on ability in a meritocracy. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:59, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

Robert Heinlein[edit]

I think that Heinlein should be included in the list of meritocracy proponents based off of his politics in the book Starship Troopers. He advocates a government where only the veterans are allowed the vote. Everyone had constitutional rights, but only those who had served in the military could vote or serve in office. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Estrill5766 (talkcontribs) 03:22, 11 February 2010 (UTC) I think you shouls shut the hell up!! Military meritocracy? Argh! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:33, 17 April 2010 (UTC)

I am a veteran myself, and that is clearly NOT an example of meritocracy. It's an arbitrary criteria.--RLent (talk) 19:26, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
an abstract idea or it's definition is not to be confused with the society that has that idea applied in it's ways of operation (among many other implementations and in combination with those). (talk) 15:55, 11 March 2017 (UTC).

PRC \ CCP[edit]

is undoubtedly a meritocracy at the very highest levels: the majority of the standing Politburo committee has been a scientist or engineer of some kind. If someone could find a source supporting this, that would be great. ---华钢琴49 (TALK) 19:39, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

Exhaustive re-haul[edit]

Firstly, I just have to say this. This article really does miss the point of the term "meritocracy" in the original context suggested by Michael Young. Although this term does relate to a type of selection for an oligarchy or aristocracy, it fails to take into account that the book itself is almost entirely derisive of the idea. Instead, it seems to continue as though "meritocracy" is defined by a philosophical or scientific treatise, rather than from a derisive essay. It needs a rewrite. J O R D A N [talk ] 17:53, 27 June 2010 (UTC)

Regarding the recent removal of the sections, and the sections to come. A lot of this article is simply extrapolating upon the idea of a meritocracy as a distinct political system rather than as a mechanism used for the foundation of an aristocracy. There's a lot of confusion over "virtue" and "merit" in this sense. Merit in the original sense was very clear by Young; IQ and aptitude, and the relevance of the education systems. In the sense mentioned in the article, any old reference mentioning "elect by virtue" or "elect the nobleman" is automatically assumed to be a meritocracy, as a distinct form of government, and immediately extrapolated upon. I'll rewrite whatever I can when I have free time. J O R D A N [talk ] 22:28, 28 June 2010 (UTC)
does this term "meritocracy" originate from the mentioned Michael Young? does the term meritocracy have a history? is it always unambiguously understood and used in the same meaning? does it have a definition in dictionary? just to start with. (talk) 16:04, 11 March 2017 (UTC).

Some not so NPOV in Criticism[edit]

While reading through this article I noticed that it all seems quite nice and encyclopedic until you reach the criticism section which reads like a rambling defense of meritocracy. Making bold claims such as "Meritocracy has been criticized as a myth which merely serves to justify the status quo" or "The opposite of meritocracy is not falsifiable at all" with nary a link or source in the whole paragraph. This reads quite contrary to most other criticism or reception sections in other articles. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:53, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

I've added a POV template to that section. I would also recommend to add more references to the article and remove the unsourced information.Drunt (talk) 17:43, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

I would suggest just deleting the Criticism section and writing a new one; as it stands now the article is stronger without it, since, as you say, it is just a few rambling sentences. A Criticism section is probably a good thing to have in this article, but the one it has now is useless and the article would be better off without it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:38, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

The problems are seeming to be rather persisting. The entire section claiming that, among other things, neuroscience proves that it is entirely out of your control is rather suspect--at best it is an oversimplification, at worst it is dishonest. Either way it needs vastly more citations, particularly since there are myriad factors involved in even something as simple as your work ethic. Even worse, the sole citation is for a single research paper (not a review) and not actually discussing work ethic but in fact how an individual chooses their goals--to master a skill, or to simply be better at it than others--and self-ratings as a measure. There is nothing that a psychologist would recognize as a measure of 'work ethic,' because that has really nothing to do with that. (talk) 04:16, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

I'd agree that sections of "Criticism" are problematic, especially "some studies have shown that even our motivation, work ethic, and conscientious drive is, in fact, outside of our control and can be affected by such arbitrary factors as birth order. Children who are first in birth order are more likely to be hard working.[43] Therefore, a system which rewards effort in this way is not completely just, because effort and hard work is not something we can claim complete credit for." To say the least this is complete BS because being born without legs is out of your control but lying the whole life in bed because of it is completely based on your effort and hard work.. Slaven0 (talk) 06:29, 15 February 2013 (UTC)

Call to "start from scratch"[edit]

Websters states:
Definition of MERITOCRACY
   1: a system in which the talented are chosen and moved ahead on the
      basis of their achievement 
   2: leadership selected on the basis of intellectual criteria 

Definition #1: If this definition is acceptable (is it?) then even drag racing is a meritocracy. There is nothing here limiting it to politics or sociology. Even Wikipedia assumes that this topic is in the realm of soc or the political arena. The world is actually full of these micro-meritocracies, like the Olympics, Civil Service Exam, etc. The current Wiki article only uses examples from the political arena. The suffix "ocracy" suggests a political-merit tie in, but Websters does not. To me meritocracy sounds like a form of government. I feel this should be settled as such; perhaps all other merit systems switched to a new definition ("merit system" is already taken, see the Wiki page!). How about merit process, or merit selection?

Either that or settle for a more sweeping definition, and remove meritocracy from the Sociology section? Or?

Definition #2: This is surprisingly restrictive; leadership requires a lot more than "intellectual criteria". What about moral fibre, mental and physical health, and on and on. Also this again does not clearly define meritocracy as political. Is this definition acceptable?

Additionally meritocracy (again as defined in Websters) does not imply altruism; the Nazis were a meritocracy, the most ruthless being the ones promoted. We need to define what constitutes merit.

I think these and other fuzzy areas are behind much of the talk page differences of opinion. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:13, 27 March 2011 (UTC)

I think you're essentially right. The word (like many words in natural language) has multiple senses. Its narrowest and most classical senses are in political science, government, and philosophy. But it also has broader figurative senses expanded from those core senses, referring (as Webster's says) to any system (in business management or anywhere else) where merit leads to promotion to higher authority, and incompetence leads to demotion. You're right that there has to be some reasonable boundary between the idea of meritocracy and the idea of survival of the fittest (which, as you pointed out, are analogous/similar). I'd say the basic distinction can be summed up as that survival of the fittest is a completely amoral concept (morality is simply not part of the definition; it's a separate dimension), whereas meritocracy includes a component of morality built in (only "good" kinds of survival-fitness "count" if you're applying the word "meritocracy", which is why Nazism, where ruthlessness was the "[anti]merit", doesn't count as an example; and drag racing (or any other sport) has no moral component in the respect that whether the blue team or the green team wins, it's not about [morality-connected] "merit" in the "meritocracy" sense; it's just about athletic prowess). The article contains some attempts at addressing the various senses, but I agree that it's been built by accretion and still reflects the hodge-podge factor. A better draft can probably be written. It's not a triage priority for me, so I won't be the one to do it, but if anyone feels they can do a good job, have at it. — ¾-10 22:47, 27 March 2011 (UTC)

Well said; forgive my hasty examples. Perhaps merit needs examination:

    Websters definition of MERIT:
 1a: (obsolete): reward or punishment due 
 1b: the qualities or actions that constitute the basis of one's 
 1c: a praiseworthy quality: virtue 
 1d: character or conduct deserving reward, honor, or esteem; 
     also: achievement
 2:  spiritual credit held to be earned by performance of righteous 
     acts and to ensure future benefits
 3a (plural): the substance of a legal case apart from matters of
    jurisdiction, procedure, or form 
 3b: individual significance or justification

I agree with an earlier post that merit is like liberty, more wishful thinking than scientific. Also it seems we want to add positives to merit, directing this into a productive goal, and brush aside any talk of [anti]merit as a valid goal. Also perhaps merit is a poor choice of words, one that we may never all agree on. However my "from scratch" call stands, this page needs the bottom line, which is out there somewhere. (talk) 14:47, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

Laurie Taylor's "criticism" is debatable.[edit]

I do not think Laurie Taylor was criticising meritocracy: she was saying that useless people have no excuses in a meritocracy. — Preceding unsigned comment added by BEPIK (talkcontribs) 23:35, 24 April 2011 (UTC)

I find it rather odd too. "Previously, at least, you could always just blame the class system." sounds a lot more like people looking for a scapegoat than a problem with any kind of system itself. I'm certain that a better quote can be put into its place. Removing. (talk) 23:40, 12 December 2014 (UTC)

Remove Taylor; leave education alone pleaz![edit]

Agree with above, Taylor (a HE, not a SHE by the way) has been an advocate of meritocracy. Quote is too ambiguous, confusing, and open to interpretation - hence removed.

Leave college alone. My original entry praising this most important meritocratic asset has been whittled away to one positive (opening) sentence and all other praise removed, and replaced with a torrent of criticism.

I am not defending college out of loyalty (I barely lasted one year there!) but even though lacking in formal education I very much respect the institution. I am well aware of its many limitations (I am obviously aware of the bigotry against the non-degreed) but none the less no discussion of meritocracy is complete without giving due credit to this most important institution. Larryzap (talk) 19:43, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

I agree that the mention of university education in the lede had been whittled down to all negative and no positive, which left the reader to find only a bias. The fact is that this screening method, despite major flaws, is often the only method in action, because corporations often rely on it to screen people rather than, say, spending their own money to vet people entirely on their own. I added the "however" back to the sentence. — ¾-10 01:46, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

Forms of meritocracy[edit]

I have moved the following new section to here until somebody finds some sources for it. I don't think it will really do to just unilaterally bung in this big chunk without providing any sources at all. -- Alarics (talk) 15:23, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

==Forms of Meritocracy==


Predictive meritocracy attempts to classify people based on the likelihood that some possess qualities that if nurtured will produce better results than the general populace. This type of meritocracy is based more on natural gift than other criteria.

The incentive for this method is to not waste resources on those who will not show improvement from investment.

Problems with this form include the delay until measurable results can be achieved, the difficulty in prediction in rapidly changing fields, and the tendency to simply reward gifted people irregardless of their subsequent societal contribution.

Skill based[edit]

Skill based meritocracy is based on the concept that more power and authority should be granted to those who amass skills than to those who lack them. This type of meritocracy is best illustrated by modern academia.

The incentive for this system is the belief that the skilled will provide more societal benefit than the non-skilled, and hence should be favored.

Problems with this form include encouraging credential collecting with little or nothing to show for them, and the tendency to reward skills that are frivolous or worthless simply because others do not possess them. Also this system often gives little regard to how the skills develop, and simply rewards the presence of them.

Results based[edit]

Results based meritocracy is based on power and authority dispensed to those who demonstrate superior problem solving skills. This system is typically indifferent to the reasons for this or the cost, it simply rewards those who succeed. This type of meritocracy is common in business and allied avocations.

The incentive for this idea is that the greatest benefit to our society comes from those who get tangible results during their lifetimes, as compared to those who should but never do.

Problems with this form include the inability to promote the potentially meritorious, especially at a young age, and the lack of review as to the reason for the success. This system typically gives promising humans no head start, and mandates they struggle alone until proven superior. It also tends to reward corrupt methods like plagiarism, intimidation and other dubious techniques.

Authority based[edit]

Authority meritocracy is based on the idea that those with proven merit require access to power and authority. In many systems power and authority are held by the privileged, with little or none rationed to those with known ability. It is held by many that abilities without commensurate power are of little value. Meritocracies based on authority address this by assuring that authority is in the hands of those who can best use it. Meritocracies that issue credentials and awards but lack authority reallocation are rarely effective.

Compensation based[edit]

Compensation meritocracy is based on the idea that those who are proven to have merit are entitled to personal compensation commensurate with their abilities, or that compensatory promises assure meritorious conduct. The need here is not as clear as an authority system, as authority in some measure is more important than compensation. There is some question as to the benefit of this, as there is currently no clear link between them. It is important to distinguish compensation from funding, as funding is required to provide an education and to provide tools to complete tasks. Compensation is only that which is in addition to this, and is mainly to provide incentive to contribute to society.

Altruistic based[edit]

An altruistic meritocracy is one in which preference is given to those who display a true desire to benefit humankind. This differs from systems like compensation in that it appeals to better human nature instead of human weaknesses and avarice. This system depends on merit appearing in sufficient quantities in the altruistic, and will neglect those with ability that require monetary or other encouragement.


Why is there a Sociology template here? Allens (talk) 14:18, 27 November 2011 (UTC)

'Meritocracy Party' sections removed[edit]

I removed the sections from this article about a so-called 'Meritocracy Party' founded in the UK in 2007, as it doesn't appear to be a notable organisation or have made any real impact as of yet. If anyone can show otherwise, this material can be restored. Robofish (talk) 21:01, 23 June 2013 (UTC)

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Note oddly narrow definition from dictionary.[edit]

Perhaps beginning with multiple definitions from a reliable dictionary. For instance, consulting Merriam-Webster's Online dictionary the first definition provided is at odds with the winding path the article goes on; the word *achievement* is used. I expect a discussion of POV achievement vs. entitlement would be equally on point as ancient Chinese bureaucracy. (talk) 15:21, 25 February 2016 (UTC)

Sociology U.S[edit] - --Anar déchaîné (talk) 16:48, 12 October 2016 (UTC)


M, according to the lede (marked as sourced by is: "is a political philosophy holding that power should be vested in individuals almost exclusively based on ability and talent.[1]"

Now the source tells the origin of the word is between 1955-60. IF that is true, this should be mentioned in the article. Even though the word may be relatively newly coined, the concept of leadership by those best able to lead, eg to keep up the existence of a group and make it thrive, is not new at all. basicly ALL forms of government throughout history claimed that this is what they do regardless of the techicalities of allocating power or selection of leaders.

The source makes no mention of political philosophy and also never says "almost exclusively". imho the source is not used correctly to back up that sentence in the lede, it can not stand for that.

i guess theres no division of opinions throughout history that power should be wested in those best suited to utilize it to the best outcome. the differences start when one tries to define what attributes make a person best suited and what outcome is the best.

M can be described in contradiction to systems that announce departure from merit (perhaps saying it is undefiniable, can be decided only in hindsight, or that its meaning differs from person to person as points of views differ).

theres no need to write without RELEVANT citations about M, because the article ends up as the opinion of the contributor. IF there are sources, eg a scolarly use of M, that can and should be covered by the article, nothing more.

IF no notable cases of the use of the M word can be found in scolarly literature, then M just stands for "to favor the capable", and in this case it should not have its own article in an encyclopedia, instead it should be covered in a dictionary entry. (talk) 18:41, 11 March 2017 (UTC).

I just saw that the article actually contains all points i was suggesting above. its well written in its current form. (talk) 00:32, 13 March 2017 (UTC).
theres just one point of view left untouched by the critical discussion of M, that is the question whether M is weighted with the efficiency of selection (eg the goal is to select the best educated persons available) in view or, with the social justice (eg the elimination of all social advantages and reducing the selection process to the natural born aptitude to acquire education). the first is obviously going to miss a lot of potential talents to social injusice, while the second seems impossible since it is obviously going against natural orientation of people who will try to pass on their descendants the benefits of the wealth acquired by themselves (eg pay for best tutors and education). probably some golden middle works best which opens the way for the debate about what constitutes this golden middle. (talk) 00:56, 13 March 2017 (UTC).

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