On Meritocracy

The Latin deservire means ‘to devote oneself to the service of.’ In Vulgar Latin, that came to mean ‘to merit by service.’ We need to revive that notion of “democratic merit.” Democratic merit would provide access to education to those who serve the goals and contribute to the conditions of a thriving democracy. It does what our current meritocracy fails to do: creates an incentive system that emphasizes not just the possession of individual talent and related personal success but also the ability to collaborate and the commitment to building a better society for more people.

Lani Guinier, "The Tyranny of Meritocracy" - http://chronicle.com/article/The-Tyranny-of-Meritocracy/150983/