Left Behinds

The anti-andrewsullivan.com. Or, the Robin Hood (Maid Marian?) of bright pink Blogger blogs.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

What the Myth of Meritocracy has in Common with Scientology

Here's a cool interview with Lani Guinier, in which she discusses the right-wing myth of meritocracy.

I had no idea that the term was invented by a sci-fi author who used it ironically:

Michael Young, a British sociologist, created the term in 1958 when he wrote a science fiction novel called The Rise of Meritocracy. The book was a satire in which he depicted a society where people in power could legitimate their status using "merit" as the justificatory terminology and in which others could be determined not simply to have been poor or left out but to be deservingly disenfranchised.

So his satirical neologism is now used as justification for the exact phenomenon he was satirizing. To use an overused word, how Orwellian.

Tags:politics, meritocracy, sci fi, culture


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