Is The American Meritocracy Necessary? An Elite Selection Mechanism?

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How is the American meritocracy able to flourish as an elite selection mechanism when systems that serve the elite and disadvantage the majority non-elite are despised by the great majority of citizens? The answer, a simple one, is blindness. The elite selection mechanism could successfully hide behind the face of a meritocracy. Meritocratic systems are so highly regarded because they preach a value that is universally cherished, that prosperity is achieved by working hard. In the American Dream, the ultimate meritocratic ideal, success is not determined by ones origins but by how hard one works. This dream declares that all people, penniless or wealthy, have the opportunity to achieve upward mobility as long as they put their head down and work hard. The American Dream was created to serve all people. The American meritocracy was not.
When considering who the American meritocracy serves, its is imperative to reflect on how it was created. The modern meritocracy began forming in the early twentieth century with the rise of standardized testing. Headed by the Henry Chauncey and James Bryant Conant, a new method of determining social position was growing in the SAT. The SAT would work to dismantle the previous aristocratic structure of inheriting positions at elite institutions and open up opportunities for people to be placed based on their merit, their scholastic aptitude. Chauncey and Conant believed that improving the elite would improve society as a whole because the new

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