Word of the Day: Meritocracy

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Meritocracy (mĕr’ĭ-tŏk’rə-sē) is a system where the advancement of individuals is based on their performance and ability. American companies, for instance, are said to be more meritocratic than Italian ones, where nepotism (family connections) prevail.

Yet if you look beyond party politics at some of the things that have distinguished America—mobility, immigration, meritocracy, volunteerism—a more confusing image emerges: not so much one of division but of a centrifuge. (The Economist)

At the other end of the story, in both time and space, is Molly Munger, boomer, feminist lawyer in the era of Clinton, whose dedication to the meritocratic dream came unstuck in the Los Angeles riots of 1992. (NY Times)

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