The Ideology of Meritocracy, the Poor and Prison

John Clarke, former major organizer of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, had this to say rcently about meritocarcy, poverty and prison:

I’ve noted before that during the times I spent in jail it always struck me very strongly that the great bulk of the prisoners wouldn’t have been in there and certainly wouldn’t have had to stay there had they not been poor.

In terms of success and failure in this society, it’s also worth looking at the question from the other side of the class divide. If we take some obvious examples of those who have enjoyed the great advantages offered by wealth and the openings and connections that come with it, things immediately click into place.

Let’s take Justin Trudeau, Doug Ford, Elon Musk and King Charles. Imagine them being born into average income working class families and ask yourself whether they possess exceptional talents and qualities that would bring them fame and fortune. It seems fairly obvious that they are all living and breathing refutations of the notion of meritocracy.

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