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Spectator Books: is meritocracy a trap?

6 November 2019

6:03 PM

6 November 2019

6:03 PM

For this week’s books podcast, I’m joined by Daniel Markovits, the Guido Calabresi Professor of Law at Yale Law School. In his new book The Meritocracy Trap Daniel advances an argument that will seem startling to partisans of Left and Right alike: that meritocracy isn’t the solution to our social and political discontents, but the central part of the problem. Our notion that hard work and proven ability should be the route to wealth and success has, he says, created a miserable underclass and a comparably miserable overclass — and is responsible for a damaging and eventually unsustainable reorganisation of Western economies. Among other sophisticated questions, I ask him: how so? And: aren’t you sounding a bit like a Marxist, there, Mr Yale Professor?


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