@yogthos
89M

It’s a similar mechanic to religious indoctrination. People are brought up with these beliefs from the young age, and everybody in their community shares these beliefs. This creates a strong anchoring effect where people see their society as the normal state of things.

The myth of meritocracy also teaches people that they just have to work hard to be successful, and that those who are well off earned their place in society as opposed to simply being born lucky. This appeals to both the sense of fairness and the gambler mentality where everybody thinks they’re going to catch that lucky break one day and become successful.

Meritocracy is also used to scare people away from collectivism teaching them that others benefiting from their work are stealing from them, and that human society is a zero sum game where everybody is in direct competition with one another.

However, these ideas only have power when people’s lives are generally decent. This is why liberalism is mostly popular with the middle class. Marginalized people know that the system isn’t working for them through direct experience.

I think that the narrative is starting to unravel as huge numbers of people are having the rug pulled out from under them now. It’s getting harder and harder to believe in fantasies when the system completely abandons you while the rich are making money hand over fist.

If there is no Meritocracy, why put effort on things? What would determinate whatever someone is fit for a job or not? Most self made rich people had to work their skills and work a lot to get where they are now. Competition is also good because when there is no competition monopolies are created and the ones who get the monopoly get lazy and abusive. Generally what happens with the rich kids who get everything thanks to daddy is that they become irresponsible and many companies doesnt survive an administration run by the sons of the creators, that’s why some long running companies choose a CEO that had NOTHING to to with the founders’ family. They are chose by their merits. “The myth of meritocracy also teaches people that they just have to work hard to be successful” Yes you HAVE TO. What else are you expected to do in this life?

@yogthos
06M

The story that rich people had to work hard to become rich is just mythology in practice. Plenty of people work hard, and many of them much harder, than those who become rich. There is a ton of empirical research showing that luck is the dominant factor in success and you simply need to be average to succeed. This is an objective fact of the world we live in.

People predominantly become rich because they were born into the right families giving them access to free time, education, capital, and the necessary connections. This has nothing to do with their personal qualities. Meanwhile, they accumulate further wealth by exploiting the labor of the people working for them. Nobody works a billion times harder than another person.

The reason to put effort into things is generally because you enjoy doing something or have an interest in a particular subject. Putting effort into things simply to make money is frankly the most pathetic reason to do anything.

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/beautiful-minds/the-role-of-luck-in-life-success-is-far-greater-than-we-realized/

https://www.monbiot.com/2011/11/07/the-self-attribution-fallacy/

You cant buy food with “Enjoy” “Love” or “Passion”. You need to work hard in order to live. “Putting effort into things simply to make money is frankly the most pathetic reason to do anything.” That is VERY naive. If you dont wanna make money then go living a simple life in the woods in a self sustainable home. Now let me ask. What do you propose to replace Meritocracy in order to know if someone is fit for a job or a position? Or in order for society to work?

@yogthos
26M

Yes, we’re stuck living in a society where majority of the population is forced to work hard just to meet their basic needs. And my point was that we do not have any kind of meritocracy in practice. Meanwhile, I grew up in USSR and people were plenty motivated there to pursue passions other than making money. Scientists, engineers, and artists were universally admired and looked up to. The country made huge strides in technological progress the likes of which have never been seen under capitalism. USSR leapt from an agrarian society to a world super power while doing the brunt of the work in WW2. That society was far more of a meritocracy than any capitalist one that I’ve seen.

Well, im currently living in Venezuela. They destroyed the “Meritocracy” in public administration, just to be replaced with “Im friends with…” or “Im the son/brother/cousin/fourth cousin from the sister of the mother of…” and the result is that the public administration is filled with incompetent people, ive seen people who goes to “work” at 10pm 3 times a week (in a 9to5 job). And corruption is so rampant that some professions like “Policeman” are a joke, i dont mean that you can bribe them, i mean they ask you for the bribe and if you dont give it they beat you up. Im in Law school and even lawyers are having a bad time because now the judges get the job because of “connections” and many of them are incredibly under qualified (we are talking recently graduated people in positions that require at least 3 masters and 10 years of teaching). This country needs to get rid of the useless people and replace them with at least qualified professionals.

@yogthos
16M

I’m not following how this relates to my original point I’m afraid. Nobody is arguing that people shouldn’t be selected for work based on their competence and skill. The point I made was that according to empirical research business success is largely an indicator that an average person got lucky.

@schwartz
59M

We’ve been propagandized our entire lives.

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