Political Ideology - Meritocracy

Originally created by !!  Ratio
6 years ago.

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Son_of_Leviathan
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Interesting! I've seen you in chat before, Ratio. Would you care to elaborate on what sort of Meritocracy you'd be interested in seeing?
Ratio
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Please note that it has been a very long time since I set this all, and ever since, my opinions have changed slightly is some facets, much in others, and not at all at what is left, that said...

Meritocracy is essentially that people get power, be it be in the form of voting or being upgraded to leading roles themselves, in accordance with their 'merit', what they are 'worth'. There is a lot of discussion on what 'merit' should entice, and views generally differ, so therefore, please don't treat me as some kind of 'guru' on meritocracy, if you can. Any way, as you probably have noticed, (almost) everyone in Western countries can vote and be voted on, within their respective political systems. However, you have probably noticed that not all of these people vote and develop opinions based on what is 'true', but rather what they 'think' or 'feel like' is true. This has resulted and still often results in leaders who depend more on rhetoric and charisma to get elected, and voters who only vote based on opinions with their roots in emotion rather than logic, or because certain people told them to... Our systems runs on irregular emotions, rather than logic. This results in leaders who stay in power because even though they mess up everything, they still get reelected because they know how to manipulate the masses, and voters who stay intellectually blind, yet retain voting power. There is no merit required, just being of age, and obeying the law.

Adherents of meritocracy generally seem to propose systems in which people of merit are directly put in power because of their merit, the merit often depending how much power exactly they get (person with 'merit -> leader), and others propose a system in which people of merit are the only ones with voting power, have 'stronger' voting power, or both (person with merit -> voter). I personally propose the second (with more merit -> more voting power), as with the first system people could 'fake' or 'forge' whatever merit required and stay in power for the rest of their term, which results in a counterproductive system with long terms, and an unstable system with short terms. However, with 'merit -> voter', it would take an entire mass of people, rather than an individual or a cabal to get such a person into power.

So that leaves what kind of 'merit' I would propose, which was perhaps the core of your question. I propose 'rationality'. Rationality dictates the ability of people to discern valid statements from invalid statements, and by extension, in theory, (as soundness of statements can change as more evidence is added or discredited,) sound statements from false statements. It allows people to see through empty rhetoric, and to distantiate their own preferences from the suggestions in others. In other words, it makes for the 'perfect voter'. The only problem, which sadly essentially turns it into a pipe dream for me is that it's hard to measure 'rationality'. No standardized 'RQ' (rational quotient) tests have been developed, nor are they, to my knowledge. But if they were available, I would see no reason not to implement such a system, but there is a catch.

We have gone too far with democracy, in my opinion. We are forever stuck in this system, as the only way to change it within most systems is either overthrowing the existing governments, risking whatever meritocratic cabal actually implementing dictatorship, and changing the constitution by somehow getting a large majority, (2/3 of the cabinet to change the Dutch constitution, for example,) which is probably practically impossible, as people do not want to give up their power, and democracy as it currently exists is seen as 'sacred' by what seems to be the overwhelming majority of the people, and criticizing it often gets one ridiculed, shunned, and turned into yet an other straw man to discredit those 'pesky anti-democratic, tyrannic heathens who need to get off their high horse and realize that the majority is always right', or at least, that's a sample of what I got thrown at me for publicly voicing my opinions on some places on the Internet. I fear we are stuck in the tyranny of the majority for a long time to come, or at least, until rationality and setting aside ones personal emotions becomes socially popular.

Fun fact: My avatar is based on the symbol of meritocracy, but with the hammer replaced with the 'R'. It stands for my handle, as well as my proposed definition of merit, 'rationality', as has been noted before.

Edit: An addendum: Obviously, those volunteering for election should also score sufficiently high on such a 'test', since otherwise it'd still be able for a majority with little voting power to pick for someone inadequate, which would effectively ruin the system. If there are only candidates who engage only in proper rational discourse, the masses might one day actually become more rational as a group themselves, and develop 'deeper' and 'elaborate' opinions. I have a dream...