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Basic Information

Meritocracy is a form of government where political power is based on proven ability. Usually, there will be exams and other tests before any given individual is granted more power, although at other times seniority is seen as the basis of merit.



Game and Story Use

  • Try to come up with all sorts of bizarre exams and tests of ability for your meritocracy - after all, ancient China based its exams for important offices on calligraphy. Possibilities might include:
    • Duels for a martial culture, with the most skilled warriors attaining the best positions.
    • Oral recitations of scripture - especially appropriate for highly religious societies.
    • Contests judged by the community, for a democratic meritocracy.1
  • Note that this has the potential to make for an extremely dystopic society as a functioning meritocracy is likely to require strong mechanisms for redistributing from the incompetent to the competent and, assuming a genetic component to competence as measured by the society in question, is likely to lead to strong, reinforcing stratification and little drive towards equality. The natural bent of a true meritocracy will be towards elitism.
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