Meritocracy has become a leading social ideal. Politicians across the ideological spectrum continually return to the theme that the rewards of life – money, power, jobs, university admission – should be distributed according to skill and effort.
Under meritocracy, wealth and advantage are merit’s rightful compensation, not the fortuitous windfall of external events.
People who believe this are also likely to believe that other people’s misfortunes, like poverty and illness, are just as “deserved” as their own wealth and privilege. Those of us with chronic health conditions know better. Continue reading