Meritocracy (Latin for “power of the worthy”) is a management system in which economic goods and power are vested in people based on their talents, efforts, and achievements, regardless of financial wealth and social class.
This system implies the creation of initial conditions in society for gifted and hardworking people who will have an advantage in moving up the social ladder under conditions of free competition and will create a ruling elite at all levels of society.
This principle of social organization was first introduced in the philosophy of Confucianism, and the term itself comes from sociologist Michael Young’s 1958 satirical book The Rise of the Meritocracy.
Different societies at different historical stages were close to the realization of the meritocratic principle: medieval China, British India, Rhodesia. The elements of meritocracy in historical societies were: the introduction of an educational qualification or examination for government positions, the rejection of the hereditary principle of the distribution of positions.
Modern countries that officially implement meritocracy are Singapore, Ecuador, and partly the United States.
The criticism of meritocracy is based on the assumption that there is no universal way to identify the most significant abilities and that meritocracy leads to a society of inequality.