Friday, January 7, 2011

Meritocracy Better Than Aristocracy?

Chrystia Freeland observes that "today’s super-rich are... different from yesterday’s" in that they are "more hardworking and meritocratic, but less connected to the nations that granted them opportunity—and the countrymen they are leaving ever further behind" — "The Rise of the New Global Elites".

"For the super-elite," she notes, "a sense of meritocratic achievement can inspire high self-regard, and that self-regard—especially when compounded by their isolation among like-minded peers—can lead to obliviousness and indifference to the suffering of others."

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share


Blogger love the girls said...

There's nothing wrong with meritocracy per se, and if anything is a perfected form of aristocracy.

The error is in which merits are seen as superior to others.

A brilliant philosopher with bad will can teach, but will teach poorly because of that bad will. So that if he is judged solely on the merit of his brilliance, his choice as teacher will be a poor one because of what is not also considered to weight in the balance.

The same holds with the super elite. Their achievements leave much also to be desired.

4:01 AM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

Agreed. I believe it was John Adams who wrote of the "natural aristocracy."

Also, French Enlightenment thinkers like Voltaire,as despicable as they may have been in many regards, were influenced by the meritocracy they learned of in the Jesuit translations of Confucius. Indeed, the idea of "civil service exams" is one of the only areas of direct and unmistakable Chinese influence on Western civilization.

4:00 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.