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Meritocracy, and America’s Hierarchy of Ineptitude


I came across a new word the other day that truly epitomizes the nature of successful businesses, cities, and nations – meritology (sometimes referred to as meritocracy). It also represents, in its absence, the nexus of failure and collapse in all the above-mentioned entities. Meritology, at its core, is powerfully simplistic – it says, those who perform well, those who strive to learn, grow, work hard, and be more, will find their way toward the top of the food chain. In essence, merit is the result of these efforts and those who follow this path are rewarded.

Unfortunately, punished by some sort of self-inflicted guilt, which has been exploited by professional race-baiters, liberal America has refused to allow the process of meritocracy. Quite the opposite – we have chosen to raise up and promote those whose most striking characteristic by and large, is their lack of accomplishment. We have, somewhere along the line, decided that a history of underachievement is entirely the fault of achievers (regardless of the amount of money, time, effort, education, and extraordinary social attention lavished on a single cultural stratum). But this great social experiment is failing, and in its wake, it’s taking America with it, primarily because of the nature of meritology.

Whenever you place people in positions of control, out of any other reason than merit, you have already critically damaged the whole – whatever it may be – because these individuals will generally hire underlings who are less talented than themselves. Not being the perfect choice for the position to begin with (and most often insufficiently talented for the berth), they are intrinsically threatened by genuine intellect, so they inherently incorporate into their sphere those who are less capable than they are. As this process matures, what you end up with is a gradually decaying and eventually dysfunctional business, city, organization, or nation. In essence, what you generate with this process is a hierarchy of ineptitude, often based on graft and cultural nepotism. Detroit is a perfect example.

Over the last half-decade this situation has been brought to maturity by the hammering litany of racial inequity, and brainless white guilt. However, the power with which a message is delivered does not necessarily validate that message, and we mustn’t confuse merit with power. The group that shouts the loudest is not necessarily always the group who has merit or deserves recognition, especially when it comes to leadership positions. Merit is talent and determination exercised in conjunction with the hard-won elements of learning and knowledge (and tempered with common sense).  Power and intimidation are nothing more than a bull in a china shop – and they most often lead to shattered components instead of a viable, well-oiled whole.

The problem we have with this frantic leftist ideology wedged between guilt and empathy is that it centers its attention on the individual, not the system, and it is the system (the business, city, or nation) that provides succor for all. If you sacrifice the functionality of the whole to satisfy the temperament of some of the pieces, what you end up with is a broken machine. Ask the people who run The U.S. Postal Service, The Department of Energy, or our Welfare programs. Hell, ask our president.

The views and opinions expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the ownership and staff of The Polk County Pulse. Michael Reisig is a freelance writer and published author whose works are reproduced throughout the globe.