more from John Charvet

Single Idea 22843

[catalogued under 25. Social Practice / B. Equalities / 4. Economic equality]

Full Idea

Inequality is worse in a meritocracy than in a stratified society, because everyone enjoys a formal equality of status and your position in the social order is due to your merit or lack of merit, so you have only yourself to blame for being at the bottom.

Gist of Idea

Inequalities are worse if they seem to be your fault, rather than social facts


John Charvet (Liberalism: the basics [2019], 10)

Book Reference

Charvet,John: 'Liberalism: the basics' [Routledge 2019], p.126

A Reaction

This is the simple point that it is worse to lack some good if you might have possessed it, rather than it being entirely out of reach. It also makes the false assumption that people are largely responsible for their merit or lack of it (ignoring luck).