Meritocracy was meant to describe those that rose and achieved on the basis of their own effort and talent rather than inherited advantages of family wealth and status. However, having achieved wealth and status on their own steam, the meritocrats then corner privilege for their children, again blocking advancement from below, and one entitled set replaces another. What are the ways to keep societies truly egalitarian? Or will meritocrats inevitably turn into aristocrats?
Described as ‘the world’s most relevant living philosopher’ (Newsweek), Michael J Sandel teaches political philosophy at Harvard University.