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Meritocracy is any social system that advances and rewards individuals on the bases of their abilities, talents, and efforts rather than their class, wealth, origins, or demographics. In a true meritocracy, the positions of highest power, status, and/or authority are achieved by the individuals of greatest merit. According to this meritocratic distributive principle, individuals advance in society and are rewarded economic and socially valued resources based solely upon their demonstrated or tested intelligence, competence, abilities, efforts, and performance; any other individual ascriptive characteristics are deemed irrelevant to succeed in a given task, position, or role.

The term meritocracy is also used to refer to those individuals whose successful achievement in society is based entirely on intelligence, competence, abilities, and talents. It also refers to leadership that ...

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