The Merits of Meritocracy

History Extra | 21 June 2021 | 0h 40m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Adrian Wooldridge about his book The Aristocracy of Talent: How Meritocracy Made the Modern World. Explores meritocracy’s role in forging the modern world, and weighs up the challenges and advantages of a system in which people are advanced solely on the basis of their talents.

2 thoughts on “The Merits of Meritocracy

  1. The principal merit on which the modern meritocracy is selected its ability to perform well on tests. The sort of intelligence that is a pre-requisite for that ability is indeed a virtue, but is only one of the virtues that is desirable for an élite.

    Helen Andrews has a good critique of the meritocracy and a proposal at

    1. Thanks. I agree that it is a good read, discussing the application of a meritocratic selection process to the UK civil service, and advocating that elites recognise that they are an elite and holds themselves to a high standard.

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