Photo by Sora Shimazaki

When it comes to the subject of socioeconomic change, the topic of the shortcomings of meritocracy always pops up in the fray.

Dennis Joiner, the author of Let the Playing Field Level the Playing Field, is aware of meritocracy. However, he focuses mainly on racism in America and how we, as people, can make societal transformation happen. Today, we’ll be tackling meritocracy and how it can affect minorities.

His book for curious mature minds is an excellent way for readers to learn about the socioeconomic challenges that our country faces. Meritocracy is one of those challenges, and while it sounds nice at first, it can be detrimental to everyone.

What is Meritocracy?

Meritocracy is a political system whereby economic benefits or political authority are bestowed onto specific individuals based on their aptitude and competence, as opposed to their wealth or social standing. In such a system, advancement is contingent on performance, as determined by testing or demonstrable success.

In other words, meritocracy is a society ruled by people selected based on merit. All facets of society frequently contest this. The concept is inextricably related to Western culture since it supports capitalism.

The roots of Britain and America’s moral and economic agenda are based on the notion that, with enough effort, anyone with talent and imagination can aspirationally achieve the highest level.

Even though it is idealistic and well-intentioned, the concept of meritocracy doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Time and its effects impact society, and regrettably, meritocracy ends up being a facade created to justify an unfair distribution of privilege.

The Impetus of Meritocracy’s Flaws

The causes of the problems with meritocracy are elitism and nepotism. Meritocracy serves as a guiding principle for human behavior throughout life. In our capitalist system, it is fed to us through education, hiring practices, and even professional advancement.

Dennis Joiner’s book for curious mature minds, Let the Playing Field Level the Playing Field, is aware of this. The notion that everybody gets an equal chance to succeed ignores the structural disparities created by a long history of classism and colonialism. This is where the shortcomings of meritocracy beings to show.

Let’s take the notion of equality of opportunity and education. The idea of educational equality is a fallacy in both America and Britain. Education quality and opportunities are significantly impacted by money. This makes understanding equity in contrast with equality.

Less well-funded schools generate fewer graduates and pupils with lower GPAs. Wealthy individuals spend a lot of money enrolling their kids in exclusive nurseries, schools, coaches, tutors, and music teachers. This ultimately means that kids from rich folks will do better than others regarding merits.

A World Made from the Shortcomings of Meritocracy Is Bad

If we ever want to create a dystopian world that looks like it’s from a novel, we only need to allow meritocracy to rule. A world in which meritocracy is used as an ideal is one that engineers and reproduces inequalities.

Since the wealthy can teach their kids in a way that no one else can, it exacerbates and perpetuates disparities because rich kids do better when people are judged on their own merits.

The unemployment gap between white and black New Yorkers is getting broader in New York alone. While the white unemployment rate decreased to 1.3 percent, the same could not be said for the black unemployment rate, which increased to 12.2 percent, according to The New York Times.

The reality of institutional racism is ever-present in both interview and education settings; it consistently denies the underprivileged opportunities.

How Can We Tip the Scales?

Our current unequal society cannot be concealed by a goal that ignores history or its repercussions. The shortcomings of meritocracy are too huge to ignore. So, the sole means to tip the scales is through empowerment. Dennis Joiner’s book for curious mature minds offers the education and empowerment that people need.

Visit Dennis Joiner’s website by clicking here to purchase a copy of Let the Playing Field Level the Playing Field today!