(Video in English, subtitles in Spanish and Portuguese)
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A meritocratic society is a society in which if you have talent, energy and ability you rise to the top. Nothing should stop you. It’s a beautiful idea.
The problem is if you really believe in a society where those who deserve to get to the top get to the top. Also, by implication, and rather horribly you believe in a society where those who deserve to hit the bottom also hit the bottom and stay there.
In other words, your position in life comes to be seen as not accidental but worthy and deserved. And that makes failure that much more crushing.
Extract of the TED video “A kinder, gentler philosophy of success” available here: https://www.ted.com/talks/alain_de_botton_a_kinder_gentler_philosophy_of_success