Meritocracy Debate

I just want everyone to share their views on the implementation of intelligence-based meritocracy; and, once implemented, its policies and basically how it works.

I believe the meritocratic government should be more or less solely-intelligence based. No other factors, socioeconomic or otherwise, should interfere. The best, the smartest, the most capable should float to the top. Is this not the foundation of meritocracy? That the best should be able to succeed? And this brings me to my other fundamental tenet: equal opportunity for all. That way, we can test for intelligence in a scientific way: without bias from socioeconomic factors, like wealth or economic resources.

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I’m not sure if purely intelligence based meritocracy allows ‘equal opportunity for every child.’ eg. there are many smart people out there with university degrees, Honours Degrees and even Phd’s who lack the practical skills to fry an egg.

Yet again, there are business people at the top of their industries who left school with zero paper qualifications. And how would one measure merit in the arts/performing arts? eg. Punk rock is as good to one person as classical music is to another, and the creators of both much revered by their ‘fans,’ for lack of a better term. Thus intelligence and/or high I.Q. don’t always equate to merit, in government or outside of politics. However, I do get what you’re saying, we don’t want a bunch of idiots running the world either…

Surely our main goals at this stage are to level the playing fields and put an end to nepotism, cronyism, inherited wealth, the ‘old boy network’ etc… so that any child can get on the starting blocks alongside the privileged and they all begin at the same place?


I didn’t mean that meritocracy would necessarily result in equal opportunity. I meant that it’s a part of my vision of a meritocratic government.

We don’t need to measure merit in performing arts or anything like that. Simply guaranteeing equal opportunity will allow anyone who has the talent to blossom.

I agree with Sean, you cannot use a degree as a true barometer of merit. If you’re forking out 50+ grand a year and aren’t a total screw up they will give you a degree to show for it. You may not graduate at the top of your class or even succeed at what you have a degree in. I also have couple of concerns; voting rights and inheritance tax. There is a thread going about voting rights and whether it’s moral/just to restrict voting rights based on education. One can be just as ignorant and brainwashed with a degree as without. The inheritance tax also needs to be more clear.

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Education also does not always equal intelligence :grin:

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EternallyUnsatisfied, how do you personally define intelligence? and how would you suggest testing for it?

I agree with Sean and Nubreed in that its quite a difficult thing to put your finger on.

Also, not suggesting you are one of these people. but sometimes I see posts on here that talk about the most intelligent rising to the top and reason ruling everything etc and it makes me picture failed-utopia sci-fi films where the ‘intelligent’ and ‘rational’ are in control and things like emotions are banned and basic human nature and expression is supressed.

Just an example, I saw some guy had put a post on here a while ago about the ‘right to breed’ for goodness sake! You cant be going around telling people they don’t have a right to breed because they’re not intelligent enough or don’t have the ‘merit’! Its ridiculous, but from the view of that person it might be intelligent and rational because they have a deep understanding of DNA or whatever… Supervillains are always intelligent, it doesn’t make them good for society.

Again, I’m not by any means suggesting that you are one of these people EU, its just that wherever intelligence is suggested as a measurement of worth I find it very worrying because there is so much more to being human.

We need people who are intelligent to rise to positions of leadership, yes, But they also must be perceptive. moral, understanding etc. Unfortunately these qualities aren’t something you can do a simple test for.


Yes Rors - that vision absolutely creeps me out as well. Totally agree with the rest of what you’re saying.

It would help to outline specific policies and strategies a meritocratic government would be implementing-

Yes, most meritocrats will definitely be able to agree on putting multiple types of human talents/intelligence at the top of human priorities on this planet, and thus, those skills are most needed in a balanced fashion at the top, without any narrow analytical elite. I think that’s very straightforward and a given.

What’s on offer with any specific Meritocratic Government, however, should be clear from its general messaging, rather than something to worry about continually. If you focus on policies rather than values, you will make interesting progress. That’s how you’d be able to tell what the other person is thinking like. Watch some Labour MP interview videos, maybe.

You want the priority of valuing merit, hard work and talent to be at the core of meritocratic policies. So that’s obvious. So now, how would we come to agree on the best meritocratic policies for running a country? Through science and thorough discussion. There’s not any cause for concern here; this is all quite straightforward.

Anf if you are worried about a minority of secretive thinkers stealing away power for themselves – don’t you think we already live in such a world? Not to mention, such a thing would be out of your control. So why bring that negativity into this? Though it’s a valid concern and needs to be brought to light.

Personally, I think some fundamental policy ideas are the access to education and research (JSTOR); the access to human habitable housing, a fully funded social health service, access to a Living Wage, access to a reasonable level of cyber security and Internet privacy.

Funding is the next issue. The inheritance tax and a Robin Hood tax on all banking transactions (0.02% - 0.5%) seem like very fair ideas to fund all the basics of a more equal society for everyone (equality of opportunity, not outcome).

The big issues – wealth inequality & disparity, privatization vs. nationalized public services, the education/merit/voting system a Meritocratic Government would create.

Labour Manifesto - with details of new policies; some interesting insights to be found here.