Opinion The dark side of meritocracy

06:30  23 october  2020
06:30  23 october  2020 Source:   washingtonexaminer.com

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Again, the system isn't purely meritocratic as things like inheritance etc play a huge role but the direction is obvious for the majority. But yeah, meritocracy ? I figured out this was not a meritocratic society pretty early in life. Don't forget about the psychopaths - they will short circuit merit every time.

The Rise of the Meritocracy is a book by British sociologist and politician Michael Dunlop Young which was first published in 1958. It describes a dystopian society in a future United Kingdom in which intelligence and merit have become the central tenet of society

Philosopher Michael Sandel has made a career of his “communitarian” critique of liberalism, especially as conceived by John Rawls in his famous defense of the liberal welfare state, A Theory of Justice. In Liberalism and the Limits of Justice, published in 1982, Sandel argued that Rawls’s version of liberalism, grounded in abstract, universal principles, was necessarily hostile to communal identity and values. Now, in The Tyranny of Merit, Sandel goes further, arguing that liberal societies give rise to a meritocratic ethos that undermines the public good.

a dining room table: LA.Darkside.jpg © Provided by Washington Examiner LA.Darkside.jpg a screenshot of a computer: The Tyranny of Merit: What's Become of the Common Good? by Michael Sandel. FSG, 288 pp., $28.00. © Provided by Washington Examiner The Tyranny of Merit: What's Become of the Common Good? by Michael Sandel. FSG, 288 pp., $28.00.

According to Sandel, members of liberal societies will tend to hold meritocratic attitudes that moralize success as a deserved reward for talent and hard work. This leads to “hubris among the successful, and resentment among the disadvantaged,” something that Sandel believes helps explain the resurgence of populist nationalism, including the election of President Trump. Merit, Sandel notes, seems to be the fairest way of distributing success. But he argues that even the aspects of merit that seem to be under our control, such as hard work and intelligence, depend to a large degree on good fortune. We’re lucky to be born smart, lucky to get a good education, and even lucky to develop the character to work hard. If these traits and capabilities are not the results of our actions or decisions, Sandel argues, then we don’t deserve to be rewarded for possessing them.

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A talk in English about the dark sides of meritocracy , a dystopian term that harm self-respect. " Meritocracy and the Erosion of Self-Respect" by Tsjalling

Paul first shows why meritocracy is integral to video-game design, narratives, and values. Games typically valorize skill and technique, and common video-game practices (such as leveling) build meritocratic thinking into the most basic premises. Video games are often assumed to have an even

Sandel is not the first to make this point. Liberal thinkers as different as Rawls and Friedrich Hayek have acknowledged it, but they have nonetheless argued that freedom and fairness demand some degree of meritocratic selection and reward. Sandel believes they have underestimated the extent of the problem.

Meritocracy, in Sandel’s view, is not merely unfair in the philosophical sense sketched above but actively corrosive of democratic life. Under meritocracy, the educational system is transformed from a tool for shaping citizens into a “sorting machine” for separating winners from losers. It rationalizes inequality as a function of merit even as, in practice, it bequeaths privilege from one generation to the next and leads the winners to look down on the losers as somehow deserving of their fate. Meritocracies also give a technocratic cast to public discourse, treating any dissent from the consensus of credentialed elites not as a matter of substantive disagreement about “competing conceptions of justice and the common good” but as an ignorant rejection of facts and science.

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A Seattle University professor contends in a new book that “toxic meritocracy ” in video games helps fuel the “ dark sides ” of gaming culture. The Toxic Meritocracy of Video Games: Why Gaming Culture is the Worst was recently published by Seattle University professor Christopher Paul

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According to Sandel, these problems cannot be solved through economic redistribution because they stem less from inequalities of material well-being than from inequalities of status. Beyond “redistributive justice,” we need a “contributive justice” that broadens opportunities for “satisfying and remunerative work” that wins “the social recognition and esteem that goes with producing what others need and value.” To accomplish this, Sandel argues, we need to alter what society esteems and values. Instead of valorizing economic growth and consumer preferences, we must emphasize the dignity of work and the establishment of a “good and just society.” By Sandel’s standard, the plumber is just as worthy of status and respect as the physician.

Sandel argues that there are two principal ways we can regulate what society esteems and values. The first is to establish an “equality of condition” in “intelligence and learning across all classes and vocations,” which would reinforce the civic function of work as a means to cultivating the virtues of citizenship, and so confer prestige as well. Doing so requires that we develop a civic education that teaches us how to deliberate about the common good, not just at prestigious universities but at community colleges, job training sites, and union halls. The second way is to use public policy to signal what society esteems and values. Reducing taxes on payroll and increasing them on capital gains would not only be a means of reducing economic inequality but of communicating what kind of work deserves social recognition. Sandel also suggests reducing the prestige of more selective universities (such as his employer, Harvard) by using a lottery to choose among qualified applicants.

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An avid gamer and sharp media critic explains meritocracy ’s negative contribution to video game culture—and what can be done about it. Video games have brought entertainment, education, and innovation to millions, but gaming also has its dark sides .

The Meritocracy Party. 7 September 2019 ·. "Approximately one third of billionaire wealth comes from inheritance. It is very hard to make the case for the economic utility of inherited wealth, and instead there is a strong case for the fact that it undermines social mobility and economic progress.

Sandel’s vision is a noble one. Unfortunately, it rests on the implausible premise that status is mostly a function of cultural forces, which can be changed as easily as our discourse, rather than the product of psychosocial forces with deep roots in biology. Consider why it is that being a physician is more prestigious than being a plumber. It is likely because being a physician requires a much greater investment of time and effort in education, makes greater demands on one’s intelligence, and involves making decisions that directly affect people’s lives. This is not to say that we are biologically hard-wired to esteem physicians, specifically: One can imagine a society that extends its highest respect to warriors or priests. But we probably are hard-wired to value occupations that require some form of excellence, whether physical or mental.

A deeper problem for Sandel’s argument is that status does not have to be “deserved” in order to be real. Many of the fundamental building blocks of status — intelligence, self-assertiveness, charm, beauty, social dominance — are clearly not deserved, but we value them anyway. Nobody believes that someone deserves to be beautiful, but we still grant beautiful people attention and admiration. Traits such as beauty and intelligence are real-world sources of power, and power naturally confers status. Professions that require such traits borrow their prestige from them.

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The Meritocracy (2007-2020): Tony Whalen, Wright Seneres, Travis Doyle, Douglas Pike. See more of The Meritocracy on Facebook.

In a meritocracy , the most qualified people for a job are selected for that job. In a do-ocracy, whoever does the job gets it, no matter how well they’re I interpret the BitchunSociety? as a combination of DoOcracy/ Meritocracy . DoOcracy: Folks earn whuffie by doing a good job at whatever work they

The psychology of power makes it unlikely that status can be redistributed within a society via taxes and lotteries or through civic education and public deliberation. But it is true that transcending the psychology of power is the proper goal and that education has an important role to play in it. In fact, transcending the psychology of power has been the central ethical focus of the Western religious and philosophical tradition for millennia. It’s just that for this tradition, transcendence means not the equal redistribution of status but the abandonment of the desire for status in favor of a disposition toward love. In this view, we conceive of work not, or not merely, as a means of achieving recognition from others but as a way of sublimating this desire into doing what we love. This view does not entirely abandon recognition, but it locates it in the way in which our work helps us to better recognize and understand ourselves.

It’s disappointing that a book about the importance of social status makes no attempt to think deeply about the psychology of status, what this psychology implies for the possibility of redistributing status, and whether such redistribution might conflict with liberal principles that ought not to be abandoned. It is probably hard, for example, to regulate status in societies that tolerate many differing conceptions of the good. We might be forced to create a command economy for ideas, in which freedom of discussion is heavily curtailed. This is not just an abstract concern, given the increasingly popular view that we must repair the status of the marginalized via heavy social sanctions for certain kinds of speech. If we are actually to introduce the question of status into public debate, these are questions that cannot be avoided.

Wes Alwan is co-host of The Partially Examined Life philosophy podcast and (sub)Text, a podcast about literature and film. Follow him on Twitter @wesalwan.

Tags: Books, Book Reviews, Philosophy, Education

Original Author: Wes Alwan

Original Location: The dark side of meritocracy

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This is interesting!