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Meritocracy is the opium to the rich

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Kevin Palmer

By Kevin Palmer

Nathan Robinson in a March 14, 2019 article published in The Guardian, Meritocracy is a myth invented by the rich, stated, “The elite college admissions scandal in the U.S. is a reminder that wealth, not talent, is what determines the opportunities you have in life.”

Robinson explained, “It’s no secret that wealthy people will do nearly anything to get their kids into good schools. But this scandal only begins to reveal the lies that sustain the American idea of meritocracy. In reality, there can never be such a thing as a meritocracy, because there’s never going to be fully equal opportunity. As long as there are large wealth inequalities, there will be colossal differences in the opportunities that children have.”

Echoing the meritocracy myth, Richard V. Reeves in a March 13, 2019 Brookings Op-Ed, Dream stealers: How entrance into elite U.S. colleges is rigged in every way, stated, “The whole system is “rigged” in favor of more affluent parents.” This unearned favoritism mocks the American Dream.  The late comedian George Carlin said, “That’s why they call it the American Dream, because you have to be asleep to believe it.”

Nathan Robinson concludes, “The main function of the [meritocracy] concept is to assure elites that they deserve their position in life. It eases the “anxiety of affluence”, that nagging feeling that they might be the beneficiaries of the arbitrary “birth lottery” rather than the products of their own individual ingenuity and hard work.”

 

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