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The majority of posts on this blog are devoted to criticism; that is, they are deployed against things; namely philosophies, political parties/movements and religious behaviours of which I oppose.

But a reader might justly ask “So what are you for politically?”. So let’s address this briefly.

Broadly speaking I support any political movement that abides by the principle of meritocracy.

A meritocracy is a social system in which people are allowed to prove themselves; to be all they can be, with everyone given a fair shot at success. The government does not aid or hinder them. Those who succeed either work harder or are more talented than those who don’t.

Your race doesn’t help you (as it might in an ethno-nationalist society). Your disability or poverty won’t promote you (as they might in an egalitarian welfare state). Your sex won’t aid you (as it might in a feminist or Islamic state). Your class won’t limit you (as it might in a Caste-based social system). Showy virtue, or memorising the Qur’an won’t aid you either (as it might Iran). In a meritocracy, you are not helped or hindered by the point you start from.

In a pure meritocracy, everyone has a chance to make it. And if you blow it. Tough.

Now, clearly we do not yet live in a meritocratic world. In fact, no one country has ever achieved this ideal completely. The nearest approximation the world has seen was perhaps the Thatcher regime in the 1980s.

Margaret Thatcher (motivated by libertarian urges) foisted an ethic of self-reliance on a rickety country, broken by decades of socialism. Despite the economic dynamism unleashed by this initiative, it proved massively unpopular with the population and fuelled a renaissance on the far-left and far-right.

That consensus of seemingly contradictory extremism is telling. Racism and socialism are both reactions to (and are rooted in a fear of) meritocracy. The greater the level of meritocracy in a society, the more the extremes of political thinking will intensify and expose their true anxieties.

A racist imagines a utopia in which his skin colour (not his talent) exalts him above others, thus defying meritocratic laws. A socialist imagines a society where everyone is equally poor, and thus free of meritocracy altogether. Both of these ideologies are designed to cheat in the competition of life. To sneak an edge; to get a head-start; to trip the leaders of the pack…

Meritocracy (without embellishment or compromise) is the only political cause worth pursuing.

D, LDN.

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