Meritocracy Quotes

Quotes tagged as "meritocracy" Showing 1-30 of 40
Winston S. Churchill
“The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”
Winston S. Churchill

H.L. Mencken
“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”
H.L. Mencken, On Politics: A Carnival of Buncombe

Chinua Achebe
“Age was respected among his people, but achievement was revered. As the elders said, if a child washed his hands he could eat with kings.”
Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart

“We live in a system that espouses merit, equality, and a level playing field, but exalts those with wealth, power, and celebrity, however gained.”
Derrick Bell, Ethical Ambition: Living a Life of Meaning and Worth

Harper Lee
“Thomas Jefferson once said that all men are created equal (...). There is a tendency (...) for certain people to use this phrase out of context, to satisfy all conditions. The most ridiculous example I can think of is that the people who run public education promote the stupid and idle along with the industrious-because all men are created equal, educators will gravely tell you, the children left behind suffer terrible feelings of inferiority. We know all men are not created equal in the sense some people would have us believe-some people are smarter than others, some people have more opportunity because they're born with it, some men make more money than others, some ladies make better cakes than others-some people are born gifted beyond the normal scope of most men.”
Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

“Self-actualization is what educated existence is all about. For members of the educated class, life is one long graduate school. When they die, God meets them at the gates of heaven, totes up how many fields of self-expression they have mastered, and then hands them a divine diploma and lets them in.”
David Brooks, Bobos in Paradise

Ayn Rand
“Fransisco, you're some kind of very high nobility, aren't you?" He answered, "Not yet. The reason my family has lasted for such a long time is that none of us has ever been permitted to think he is born a d'Anconia. We are expected to become one.”
Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

Robin DiAngelo
“Narratives of racial exceptionality obscure the reality of ongoing institutional white control while reinforcing ideologies of individualism and meritocracy. They also do whites a disservice by obscuring the white allies behind the scenes who worked hard and long to open the field. These allies could serve as much-needed role models for other whites.”
Robin DiAngelo, What Does It Mean to Be White?: Developing White Racial Literacy

“This myth of meritocracy and equal opportunities encourages individualism over collective action, because when people believe this myth, they obviously see no need for protest movements around particular classes or identities, such as the Women's Movement or the Civil Rights workplace, education or in their personal lives, they are more likely to blame themselves, rather than sexism, racism, class oppression or homophobia; concepts which in current society are often seen as out of date. This type of blame even applies to experiences of actual violence or harassment with too many people believing that it is their fault if they are sexually harassed in the workplace or at school, abused by a partner or are a victim of sexual violence. Our society encourages this view, and in turn, that keeps people isolated and alone, rather than providing them the opportunity to get involved in collective struggles against such common experiences.”
Finn Mackay

“Socialism is not a meritocracy. By definition it places increasingly confining restraints on those that succeed the most.”
A.E. Samaan

Plutarch
“They should live all together on an equal footing; merit to be their only road to eminence, and the disgrace of evil, and credit of worthy acts, their one measure of difference between man and man.”
Plutarch, Plutarch's Lives: Volume I

Natalia Marx
“With a blade at your throat, a well-connected uncle or a wealthy mother could not save you. Only you could save yourself.”
Natalia Marx, Fireheart

Max Weber
“The fortunate man is seldom satisfied with the fact of being fortunate, beyond this he needs to know that he has a right to his good fortune. He wants to be convinced he deserves it and above all that he deserves it in comparison with others. Good fortune, thus wants to be legitimate fortune.”
Max Weber

Christopher L. Hayes
“The Iron Law of Meritocracy states that eventually the inequality produced by a meritocratic system will grow large enough to subvert the mechanisms of mobility. Unequal outcomes make equal opportunity impossible….Those who are able to climb up the ladder will find ways to pull it up after them, or selectively lower it down to allow their friends, allies and kin to scramble up.”
Christopher L. Hayes, Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy

N.K. Jemisin
“It's not your status as an orogene that bothers them. It's that you haven't yet proven yourself.

(It is surprising how refreshing this feels. Being judged by what you do, and not what you are.)”
N.K. Jemisin, The Obelisk Gate

Paul Beatty
“And if an increasingly pluralistic America ever decides to commission a new motto, I’m open for business, because I’ve got a better one than E pluribus unum. Tu dormis, tu perdis . . . You snooze, you lose.”
Paul Beatty

“Meritocracy is a social arrangement like any other: it is a loose set of rules that can be adapted in order to obscure advantages, all the while justifying them on the basis of collective values. pg. 199”
Shamus Rahman Khan, Privilege: The Making of an Adolescent Elite at St. Paul's School

Frederick Winslow Taylor
“The search for better, for more competent men, from the presidents of our great companies down to our household servants, was never more vigorous than it is now. And more than ever before is the demand for competent men in excess of the supply.

What we are all looking for, however, is the readymade, competent man; the man whom some one else has trained. It is only when we fully realize that our duty, as well as our opportunity, lies in systematically cooperating to train and to make this competent man, instead of in hunting for a man whom some one else has trained, that we shall be on the road to national efficiency.

In the past the prevailing idea has been well expressed in the saying that “Captains of industry are born, not made”; and the theory has been that if one could get the right man, methods could be safely left to him. In the future it will be appreciated that our leaders must be trained right as well as born right, and that no great man can (with the old system of personal management) hope to compete with a number of ordinary men who have been properly organized so as efficiently to cooperate.

In the past the man has been first; in the future the system must be first. This in no sense, however, implies that great men are not needed. On the contrary, the first object of any good system must be that of developing first-class men; and under systematic management the best man rises to the top more certainly and more rapidly than ever before.”
Frederick Winslow Taylor, The Principles of Scientific Management

Charles Murray
“The average Harvard freshman in 1952 would have placed in the bottom 10 percent of the incoming class by 1960.”
Charles Murray, Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010

Miguel Reynolds Brandao
“SUSTAINABILITY EMPOWERS JUSTICE, SECURITY AND ULTIMATELY, HAPPINESS”
Miguel Reynolds Brandao, The Sustainable Organisation - a paradigm for a fairer society: Think about sustainability in an age of technological progress and rising inequality

Richard Dawkins
“I must at this point reiterate my strong objection to being asked to fill in forms in which I have to tick a box labelling my 'race' or 'ethnicity', and voice my strong support for Lewontin's statement that racial classification can be actively destructive of social and human relations - especially when people use racial classification as a way of treating people differently, whether through negative or positive discrimination. To tie a racial label to somebody is informative in the sense that it tells you more than one thing about them. It might reduce your uncertainty about the colour of their hair, the colour of their skin, the straightness of their hair, the shape of their eye, the shape of their nose and how tall they are. But there is no reason to suppose that it tells you anything about how well-qualified they are for a job. And even in the unlikely event that it did reduce your statistical uncertainty about their likely suitability for some particular job, it would still be wicked to use racial labels as a basis for discrimination when hiring somebody. Choose on the basis of ability, and if, having done so, you end up with an all-black sprinting team, so be it. You have not practised racial discrimination in arriving at this conclusion”
Richard Dawkins, The Ancestor's Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution

Richard Dawkins
“I must at this point reiterate my strong objection to being asked to fill in forms in which I have to tick a box labelling my 'race' or 'ethnicity', and voice my strong support for Lewontin's statement that racial classification can be actively destructive of social and human relations - especially when people use racial classification as a way of treating people differently, whether through negative or positive discrimination. To tie a racial label to somebody is informative in the sense that it tells you more than one thing about them. It might reduce your uncertainty about the colour of their hair, the colour of their skin, the straightness of their hair, the shape of their eye, the shape of their nose and how tall they are. But there is no reason to suppose that it tells you anything about how well-qualified they are for a job. And even in the unlikely event that it did reduce your statistical uncertainty about their likely suitability for some particular job, it would still be wicked to use racial labels as a basis for discrimination when hiring somebody. Choose on the basis of ability, and if, having done so, you end up with an all-black sprinting team, so be it. You have not practised racial discrimination in arriving at this conclusion... Discriminating against individuals purely on the basis of a group to which they belong is, I am inclined to think, always evil. There is near-universal agreement today that the apartheid laws of South Africa were evil. Positive discrimination in favour of 'minority' students on American campuses can fairly, in my opinion, be attacked on the same grounds as apartheid. Both treat people as representative of groups rather than as individuals in their own right. Positive discrimination is sometimes justified as redressing centuries of injustice. But how can it be just to pay back a single individual today for the wrongs done by long-dead members of a plural group to which he belongs?”
Richard Dawkins, The Ancestor's Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution

Miguel Reynolds Brandao
“STRATEGY, MERIT AND HARMONY CREATE SUSTAINABILITY!”
Miguel Reynolds Brandao, The Sustainable Organisation - a paradigm for a fairer society: Think about sustainability in an age of technological progress and rising inequality

Miguel Reynolds Brandao
“MERIT AND HARMONY PROMOTE MOBILISATION”
Miguel Reynolds Brandao, The Sustainable Organisation - a paradigm for a fairer society: Think about sustainability in an age of technological progress and rising inequality

Abhijit Naskar
“The problem with creating a political party is that, by the time you finish creating it, you forget why you created it in the first place. Then slogans replace action and manifestos replace motion. So, forget parties and take action to solve the issues of your society. Come together for a common cause, seek out a leader of merit and character, then act together. And when enough regions of a nation have enough non-partisan, acting leaders of merit and character, the entire democracy of that nation is bound to turn meritocratic. Then only will we witness the rise of true democracy - a democracy free from political authoritarianism - a democracy of the people, by the people, for the people.”
Abhijit Naskar, When Humans Unite: Making A World Without Borders

Abhijit Naskar
“Come together for a common cause, seek out a leader of merit and character, then act together. And when enough regions of a nation have enough non-partisan, acting leaders of merit and character, the entire democracy of that nation is bound to turn meritocratic.”
Abhijit Naskar, When Humans Unite: Making A World Without Borders

Abhijit Naskar
“In order to build a truly civilized society, we need, not democratic government, but meritocratic government.”
Abhijit Naskar, When Humans Unite: Making A World Without Borders

Abhijit Naskar
“Our predecessors around the world in the path of service and reform, made a huge progress by establishing democracy as a civilized alternative to the primitive practice of dictatorship. Now, we stand at yet another crossroads of societal progress, where we must replace our current merit-less and childish democracy with the civilized alternative of meritocratic democracy.”
Abhijit Naskar, When Humans Unite: Making A World Without Borders

“You're lucky you chose Houston. It's a true meritocracy here. I'm from Dallas, which is more closed. Houston is wide open. Here, you work hard, you succeed. It doesn't matter who your parents or grandparents were. Nearly all doors are open. If one isn't, you build your own door and march right through it.”
Marc Grossberg, The Best People: A Tale of Trials and Errors

Abhijit Naskar
“The four greatest threats to humanity are fundamentalism, nationalism, transhumanism and democracy.”
Abhijit Naskar

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