The Meritocracy Party campaigns to replace democracy with meritocracy. Democracy has become the single biggest obstacle to the rise of the most meritorious. In the USA, no matter your talents, you cannot become President unless you have access to vast wealth to fund your campaign. In Great Britain, social mobility - the opportunity to improve your social standing - has gone into reverse. If you are born into a poor family you are statistically almost certain to remain poor, regardless of your merits. If your parents are rich, you can start looking forward to a prosperous future, again regardless of your merits.
 

The Meritocracy Party seeks to remove the link between parental wealth and children's outcomes in life, and to eradicate nepotism and cronyism, the dual drivers of privilege. The Meritocracy Party is "viral". You don't need to join anything, seek anyone's permission, go to any meetings or pay any money. If you're broadly in tune with the meritocratic ethos, all you have to do is go out and spread the word.

 

 

 

 

 


 

The world can be changed: conversation by conversation amongst intelligent people.

 

*****

 

This site concentrates on the British political system, but the same arguments apply in every country. The idea is to have a Meritocracy Party in every country, all of which are affiliated to create the first global political Party. With global capital forcing down costs (people's pay) while increasing their own profits, only a global political response will suffice. Whatever country you are in, start building the meritocratic future. 


 

JOIN THE GLOBAL MERITOCRACY MOVEMENT

 

JOIN THE MERITOCRACY PARTY 


 

The Facts
 (Source: Superclass: The Global Power Elite and the World They Are Making by David Rothkopf.)
  1. The world is controlled by a global elite of approximately 6,000 people.
  2. 94% of them are men, and their average age is 60.
  3. 2% of the world's population own 50% of the world's wealth.
  4. 1,100 billionaires have double the assets of the world's poorest 2.5 billion people.
  5. The world's 50 largest financial institutions control a third of the world's assets.
  6. The world's 250 biggest companies generate sales of about a third of the world's GDP.
Very few of this super-rich elite are elected. Many have attended privileged schools, colleges and universities. Many belong to exclusive clubs and societies. Many inherited great wealth and many just happened to be present when great assets became available (as in the case of the 36 Russian oligarchs). Many have strong family and religious links. Many are close friends. They control practically everything worth controlling. They don't listen to us, and they don't care about us. So, the choice is simple. Let's do nothing and go through life like peasants bowing to feudal kings. Or let's stand up to the elite and take what is ours. It's time to replace the system that oppresses us. Democracy is the global elite's main instrument of political control of the masses - their brilliant trick to make us think they are ruling on our behalf. Meritocracy, the antidote to corrupt democracy, will eliminate nepotism and cronyism. It's time to change the world we live in. It's time for meritocracy.

Are you leading the best life of which you are capable?

The Five Tests

Are you about to take a big decision? How do you know it's the right one? Here are the five tests:
  1. The Eternal Recurrence Test - this thing you are about to do: if you had to watch yourself performing this action an infinite number of times, would you still go ahead? If so, do it. If not, don't.
  2. The Movie Of Your Life Test - this thing you are about to do: would you want it to be in the movie of your life, the scenes that show you at your very best? If so, do it. If not, don't.
  3. The Gravestone Test - this thing you are about to do: would you want it recorded on your gravestone after your death? If so, do it. If not, don't.
  4. The Mirror Test - this thing you are about to do: will you be able to look at yourself in the mirror afterwards and feel proud of what you have done? If so, do it. If not, don't.
  5. The Others Test - this thing you are about to do: will you be happy for others to know all about it? If so, do it. If not, don't.
If you obey these five tests, you will never perform any acts that you are ashamed of. You will never lie and cheat, you will never be a slave to others and you will never do pathetic, unworthy things. You will take pride in everything you do. You will be happy for others to know about your life. Your life will be the best it can be. Your life will be your personal masterpiece, sculpted by you to perfection.

In fact, there is really only one test: the first one, Eternal Recurrence. Are you proud enough of the thing you are about to do to wish it to be repeated endlessly? If so, you will be delighted for it to be in the movie of your life, you will be proud to have it recorded on your gravestone, you will be thrilled to look at yourself in the mirror afterwards, and you will be eager for the whole world to know what you have done. You will have complete self-respect and you will command the respect of everyone who knows you. You will be a person who has lived life absolutely on your own terms, and not slavishly and humiliatingly followed someone else's path.

All other tests - such as those of religion (e.g. the Ten Commandments), the laws of your society, the expectations of family and friends - are one hundred percent irrelevant. If you obey the Law of Eternal Recurrence, you are a person of merit. Welcome to the Meritocracy Party. You have found your true home.


The race you can never win (unless you're one of "us")


You're the fastest runner in the world and you take your place at the starting line for the most important race of your life. You look up the track and see some obese guy in a suit standing five metres from the finishing tape. You complain to the race organiser but he tells you to mind your own business and concentrate on your own race. You think it must be some bizarre joke and it will all get sorted out later. The starting pistol sounds and you set off, running faster than you ever have in your life. But no matter how fast you run, no matter how good you are, you'll never beat the fat man, puffing, panting and waddling his way to the finishing line.

Fattie wins the gold medal, and receives the adulation of the crowd. Two attractive blondes throw themselves at him. Everyone tells him how brilliant he is. He says he owes it all to God and his loving family who bought him a place at the best of schools and paid a million dollars to allow him to start five metres from the finishing line. The crowd cheers and demands that the winner's parents be allowed to stand on the podium alongside their brilliant son. A reporter asks father, mother and son what they think of the second-placed athlete who broke the world record but still lost. They all shrug and say in unison, 'Well, he's not a member of our family, so who cares.' The crowd, full of like-minded families, rises to acclaim them. 'If only we could all be like them,' they sigh. The world-record holder goes back to his housing project and dead end job. His colleagues tell him he's a loser, and turn their backs on him.

Welcome to the anti-meritocratic world, this world. What are you going to do about it? Will you stand back and watch while cronyism, nepotism, the old school tie, the private club, the right university, the right accent, the right background, the right secret society, the right religion, the right family, destroy merit so that their chosen ones can prosper at your expense. It's time to smash the conspiracy. Break up all the mechanisms that allow privileged groups within society to rig the system in their favour and penalise anyone who doesn't belong to their insidious cliques.

The Meritocracy Party seeks to ensure that everyone, as far as possible, starts the race of life from the same starting line. Then we'll see who the fastest runners really are; who deserves the medals, who should justly receive the acclaim and the rewards. At the moment, who you know (nepotism and cronyism) is vastly more important than what you know (merit). How often do we hear the mantra, 'Networking is the fastest way up the ladder.' Meritocracy will push this toxic ladder over. From now on, demonstrable talent, not your social connections, will be the fastest way to make progress in life.
*****
"Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness."
Pascal

"I doubt if a single individual could be found from the whole of mankind free from some form of insanity. The only difference is one of degree."
Erasmus

 "When I picture a perfect reader, I always picture a monster of courage and curiosity, also something supple, cunning, cautious, a born adventurer and discoverer."
Nietzsche



Is it possible for you to succeed in life?

Do you think you have a fair chance in life? Do you think that any opportunity is open to you, and you simply need enough talent to seize it? Think again. Society is organised around the systematic denial of equal opportunities to the vast majority of citizens. People from working class backgrounds are relentlessly discriminated against in order to provide enough scope for middle and upper class individuals to permanently secure all of the best jobs. The inept child of wealthy parents has drastically better life chances than the most talented child from a housing project.
 
The irony is that most working class people are accomplices in their own subjugation. They buy into the ludicrous myth that the only thing holding them back is themselves. They are presented with a few examples of working class people making good and they conclude that all is well with the system. They have a National Lottery mentality. 'It could be you,' runs the marketing slogan, and millions of working class people dutifully rush out to buy their tickets. It's beyond their comprehension that although it could be you, it's close to certain that it won't be you. Every week, they fall for the same trick. They're being taxed for their stupidity, for their escapist fantasies, for their inability to understand basic statistics. The powers-that-be don't maintain their dominance by being foolish. They deploy sophisticated, and not so sophisticated, psychological weapons to deceive the masses. Allowing a lucky few of the working class to succeed is one of their main strategies. It could be you, they whisper like Sirens. But, as with the Lottery, it won't be.

It's time to wake up. See the game for what it is. Understand what's really going on. The working class are like the helpless humans in The Matrix, imagining themselves free but in fact in the worst of prisons. The artificial intelligence that controlled The Matrix knew exactly what was required to delude its victims. For 'controller' in our society, read middle and upper classes. They are the puppet-masters, the illusionists, the grand deceivers.
 
Since the dawn of time there has been a global conspiracy, and its nature never changes. The conspirators are the rich and powerful and their aim, their only aim, is to maintain their wealth and power indefinitely. Only on the rarest occasions, when their hatred of the masses, their greed and contempt, have reached fantastic proportions (such as in France in 1789 and Russia in 1917), do they slip up. Are they on the cusp of slipping up again? The wealth of some individuals is obscene, and their conspicuous and arrogant spending a constant provocation that will in due course receive an appropriate response.
 
The Meritocracy Party promotes a single rule: that people should be judged entirely on their own merits and not those of their parents or any other individuals or groups with which they may be related or associated. The Family is the anti-meritocratic institution par excellence since it cares only about its own interests regardless of the objective merits of the family members. Parents of inept children will think they have done their job perfectly if they secure wonderful jobs and lifestyles for their unmeritorious offspring. Their 'accomplishment' is that they have massively damaged the interests of the state, they have ensured that incompetence is ingrained in society, and they have guaranteed all of the ills from which our nation surely suffers.
 
Regression to the Mean: How the Super Rich Defy Nature

Taller than average parents tend to have children shorter than they are. Shorter than average parents tend to have children taller than they are. Genius parents tend to have less intelligent offspring. Stupid parents tend to have more intelligent children. Gamblers enjoying fantastic winning streaks tend, in the long run, to lose their winnings. Gamblers, on terrible losing streaks, would, if they were able to continue playing, win back most of their losses. Welcome to the great stabilising force of nature: regression to the mean. Without it, we could breed freak populations of giants and dwarves, humans with the intelligence of gods and others with the intelligence of goldfish. 'Lucky' gamblers might win the wealth of nations, and losers, if they could stay in the game, run up national debts. Without regression to the mean, stable society would disintegrate.

Wherever you see regression to the mean seemingly being subverted, you know trouble is near. There's one element of our society in which regression to the mean is defied to a dizzying degree: wealth. The rich just keep getting richer, and nothing ever reins them back in. Equally, there are billions of poor people on earth who will never acquire any meaningful wealth. How can such an unfair distribution of wealth have come about? How can it be so ruthlessly sustained? It seems to defy all logic. Yet there's nothing mysterious about it.

In any fair, unrigged system regression to the mean will occur. When regression to the mean is seen not to operate you have certain proof that mechanisms have been put in place to prevent a fair outcome. Capitalist democracy, with the family at its core (for 'family' read nepotism and cronyism), is the precise vehicle in the West used to perpetuate unfairness. Meritocracy is the antidote. In a meritocratic society, every family will enjoy its day in the sun. Regression to the mean guarantees it. There will be no more great dynasties wielding their power, wealth and influence for centuries. Don't you want to have your chance, based on your merit?
 
If wealth could be equated with height then most of us would be the size of ants, while the super rich would be as high as mountains. Do you think that's healthy? As an ant, you wouldn't even be able to contemplate the size of the super rich. And they wouldn't notice if they stood on you and crushed you to death. And, in your heart, aren't you already aware that you're invisible to the super rich? They couldn't care less about you. As far as they're concerned, you don't exist. Just as we only notice ants when they crawl over our hand on a hot day, so it is with the super rich and us.
 
Never forget that they didn't get where they are by talent. They are the beneficiaries of a rigged system. You, by playing along with it, perpetuate it. A word to the wise - wise up, suckers!
 
Imagine a super-rich person going into a luxury restaurant. No one looks at him. No one acknowledges him. No one takes his jacket. No one shows him to his seat. No one offers him a drink. No one gives him a menu. No one serves him any food. If no one does anything for him, his wealth is meaningless. Wealth is an illusion that you choose to reify i.e. to make it solid, tangible. Wealth is nothing more than an arrangement between people. The essence of this arrangement is that poor people choose to accept that they are deficient in this imaginary substance (money). They acknowledge that the wealthy can supply it to them and they eagerly pursue it because then they will become less 'deficient'. Yet the whole system is merely an elaborate set of transactions in a fantasy currency. The arrangement can be broken at any time if sufficient numbers choose to opt out. The ancient Greek philosopher Diogenes, the most famous of the Cynics, held wealth in contempt. In a world of Diogenes's, the illusion of wealth would dissolve.
 
But the beneficiaries of the money arrangement - the wealthy - do everything in their power to maintain the illusion. They are the Wizards of Oz, and they aren't going to let anyone see behind the curtain. If you rejected their arrangement, they would be no different from you. So, don't blame anyone else for your poverty and their wealth. If you choose to sign up to an arrangement that guarantees you a subservient role, what right do you have to complain? The wealthy are right in concluding that you're a loser and a failure because only an idiot signs up be a slave when, at any time, he can choose liberty instead.

You should accept the money arrangement only if you get a fair slice of the pie. It's well known that the vast majority of assets in any country are controlled by a tiny percentage of the population. Why not eat from a different pie, where you get more than a few crumbs. Vote for the Meritocracy Party.
 
The Imaginary Economy

Jean Baudrillard in Simulacra and Simulation (1981) recounts a remarkable aspect of the economy of the former East Germany:

"What writer of science fiction would have 'imagined' this 'reality' of East German factories-simulacra, factories that reemploy all the unemployed to fill all the roles and all the posts in the traditional production process but don't produce anything, whose activity is consumed in a game of orders, of competition, of writing, of book-keeping, between one factory and another, within a vast network. All material production is redoubled in the void. One of these simulacra factories even 'really' failed, putting its unemployed out of work a second time."

But is this Alice-in-Wonderland situation so different from what we find in the much-vaunted economies of the contemporary West? It's well known that most employees rarely work for more than fifty percent of their working day. What are they doing for the rest of the time? Sure, they are at work but they aren't doing anything worthwhile - they're gossiping, fooling around, doing private stuff on the internet, phoning friends, having cups of coffee, clock watching, worrying about friends and family yada yada.

They are in the same situation as the East Germans, participants in an imaginary production process in which nothing is actually produced. They are paid, and in due course they go out and spend their earnings, and the economy duly flourishes. But doesn't the suspicion grow that it's the circulation of money that drives the economy rather than the performance of meaningful work?
 
Maybe the East Germans weren't crazy. Under the direction of good enough economists, freed from the constraints of communism, their imaginary economy might have succeeded. With good design, efficient technology, widespread robotic automation, effective computerisation, the vast majority of jobs most of us perform could probably be rendered obsolete. Yet with 'East German' simulated jobs, the economy could continue much as before without millions of people becoming unemployed. Since money is illusory (if people choose to reject the illusion it has no function at all), why shouldn't the economy be illusory too? A Nobel Prize in Economics for the first economist to work out the details of Baudrillard's simulated hyperreal economy - much better than the real thing.

In a sense, there's nothing other than economics. All of human behaviour can be reduced to basic buying and selling transactions. We're surrounded by people buying and selling love, sex, beauty, entertainment, fun, pleasure, marriage, parenthood, security, ideas, respectability, normality, spirituality, comfort, sympathy - whatever you can think of. Who's buying and who's selling and what price is to be paid is all that's at issue. This, of course, is the stock in trade of economics.

We're all shoppers, and we all have our own shop. But if we don't have much to sell, we won't be able to buy much. When all the bullshit's cleared away, isn't that the story of our lives? 

Football: A Classic Anti-meritocratic, Rigged Market

A huge amount of money has poured into English football in the last few years thanks to spectacular TV deals and huge corporate sponsorship. The paradox is that many clubs are massively indebted - how can a huge club like Leeds United almost go bankrupt? - and ticket prices are rising relentlessly for the fans, to the extent that many working class fans can no longer afford to attend matches.

In a 'sensible' market, the influx of money would lead to football clubs being debt free, and ticket prices being held constant, or even reduced, and better facilities being provided at stadiums i.e. clubs and fans would directly benefit from all of the money sloshing around. But that doesn't happen. Why not? Because football is a market rigged in favour of a tiny number of people in positions of power and influence: the players, agents, managers and executives. These individuals, the beneficiaries of an entirely rigged market where no one is allowed to interfere with their greed, can pay themselves practically all of the money that flows into football. Who's going to stop them? You?

When people are allowed to pay themselves any amount of money, they invariably do. Moreover, the big, powerful clubs such as Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool are allowed to take a bigger share of the sponsorship and TV deals, ensuring that only they can afford the best players, thus consolidating their elite positions.

Merit? You must be joking. This is a system based on privilege. There's no fair competition. In fact, there's no competition at all. The same teams win all of the trophies year after tedious year. Privilege kills competition, kills entertainment, kills merit. Many talented individuals can't break into teams - can't get a chance - because clubs want to buy success by signing established players. There must be thousands of players who would have made the grade if the system hadn't been so rigged. We get to watch a small group of pampered, extravagantly overpaid prima donnas instead of a large group of much less well paid individuals, their skills honed by ferocious competition.

The last thing the super-rich want is competition that threatens their ability to pay themselves whatever they like. That's why they make sure they deal with small groups of superstars. It's not that there aren't plenty of potential superstars out there: the system is only interested in identifying and using a lucky few, and to hell with the rest. It's time the football cartels were smashed to pieces, proper competition introduced and deserving young footballers given a fair chance.

Oh, if you want a few other examples of anti-meritocratic, rigged industries that use similar tactics to the football world look at TV, Hollywood, the beauty and fashion industry, 'art' (Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin style), Popular Music, Newspapers, Private Equity, Finance, Boardrooms. If agents/head hunters/talent spotters/middle men are involved in a particular industry, you can be certain you're dealing with a rigged system: the parasites would die if they didn't have fat carcasses to feed off.
 
'I'm worth a thousand BBC journalists,' jokes Jonathan Ross. Except we all know he's not joking. Certainly, a thousand BBC employees have had to be dismissed to scrape together the money to pay his salary. Does he care? Of course not. He's Jonathan Ross after all…TV personality extraordinaire, merely being paid his 'market rate'. A rate set by whom? Well, good question. The market? What's that? I mean, really. Not by the general public - take that as read - but by others who are beneficiaries of inflated and inappropriate market rates. It's one of the clearest symptoms of the anti-meritocratic society when the staggeringly untalented are paid a fortune and are allowed to believe, like the naked old Emperor, that they are fully clothed in the finest of garments. Has Jonathan Ross ever watched his own programmes? Obviously not. Even he, in his rare moments of truthfulness, might see a fat, middle-aged, bollock-naked man staring back at him. Even those derided thousand journalists aren't as much of a joke as Ross.
 
How to create a rigged, anti-meritocratic system? Simple. Kill competition. Choose a handful of 'superstars' and set their 'market rate' to whatever value the system can afford to pay. Whatever you do, don't flood the market with loads of talented individuals because then their market rate will collapse and you'll end up with lots of talented people performing at their best for much smaller remuneration. And that's no good at all, is it?
The Annual Domesday List
It should be possible to see whether our society is being systematically manipulated in favour of certain privileged groups. Every year, a list of the 100,000 highest paid individuals in Britain should be published for public scrutiny. Each person should be compelled to reveal a) which school they went to b) which university c) which religion they belong to d) if they belong to any secret societies and, if so, which ones e) any private clubs or organisations they belong to f) if they are related to, or are friends with, anyone else on the list. Of course, those with secrets to hide will not wish to participate in this exercise: secrecy is the best friend of those who wish to rig systems in their favour. In a truly meritocratic system, it would be impossible to find any patterns of bias in the Domesday List. At the moment, it's certain that huge distortions in favour of the beneficiaries of nepotism/cronyism would be uncovered.

AIMS
The Meritocracy Party aims to replace consumerism with high culture. We wish to place ideas above money, aesthetics above shopping, community over "I'm all right, Jack." Private property leads to private lives, dislocated communities, suspicion and competition between neighbours. We are not allies, we are enemies. How do we heal the rifts between us? We have to reduce the importance of the main focus of division between us: lust for money.


The Five Meritocratic Principles

NO NEPOTISM

1) It's not who your parents are, it's who you are.

NO CRONYISM

2) It's not what others can do for you, it's what you can do.

NO DISCRIMINATION

3) Sex, race, religion, age, background are irrelevant. Talent is everything.

EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES

4) You start from the same point as everyone else, and you go as far as your talents take you.

REWARDING MERIT

5) The highest rewards for the highest achievers.

Aims

1) To implement the five Meritocratic Principles.

2) To abolish the monarchy since it contradicts the first Meritocratic Principle. In a monarchy, the only thing that matter is the identity of your parents. In a meritocracy, your parents are irrelevant. The advent of meritocracy is accompanied by the automatic abolition of the monarchy. No meritocrat would seek the 'permission' of a monarch to govern.

3) To abolish the House of Lords (the House of Cronyism), which contradicts the second Meritocratic Principle since it's the product of patronage. In a properly constituted meritocratic system, there is no requirement for a second House.

4) To abolish Party Politics. Political parties are irrelevant in a meritocratic system. Parliament will be populated entirely by independent, meritocratic MPs with no set political affiliations (other than their commitment to meritocracy).

5) Each independent MP is selected on the basis of their merit relating to their field of expertise. So, the Chancellor of the Exchequer is selected from amongst practising economists (and will be elected only by other economists). The Secretary of State for Health will be someone who works in the health field (and is elected only by health workers); the Secretary for Defence will be from the armed forces; the Foreign Secretary a serving official in the Foreign Office; the Secretary of State for Education a serving teacher/headmaster/lecturer. In other words, MPs in the House of Commons won't represent a political party or a geographical constituency, but a particular field in which they have demonstrable experience, expertise and merit; and their constituents/voters will be people in the same field who can make an informed decision about their ability.

6) The Prime Minister will be elected by the MPs from amongst their number. Every five years, there will be a general election in which every MP has to seek the endorsement of their voters, or be replaced.

7) To abolish Cabinet Collective Responsibility. The principle that people should promote views with which they privately disagree is absurd and ipso facto brings politicians into disrepute. Why haven't they resigned if they disagree with a policy? How can they defend a position that they themselves don't believe in? If they publicly support a policy they privately reject, they are hypocrites.

8) Critiques of government policy will be provided by select committees of MPs. Special committees comprising scientists and philosophers may also be used, chosen because of their critical-thinking abilities and their expertise in challenging assumptions. Committees of artists, entrepreneurs and designers may also be called upon. Pressure groups will be given a prominent voice too since meritocracy welcomes close scrutiny.

9) To abolish the 'moralising' approach to politics (what's 'right' and what's 'wrong' - the politics of principle) in favour of the scientific method (what works and what doesn't - the politics of pragmatism).

10) To increase Inheritance Tax to 100%. No one should be able to posthumously transfer an advantage to another person of their choosing. The state should acquire all of the assets of the deceased and should reinvest them to advance the public good, particularly via education.

11) Education is the bedrock of merit, and should be accorded the highest importance in the meritocratic state. The current education system is a demonstrable failure and should be overhauled in every respect. Our education system is designed to produce shoppers (these being what capitalist democracies require to sustain their economic model). True education is the opposite of shopping. It liberates the mind, not the credit card.

12) To promote the ideas of the most radical, free-thinking, independently-minded philosophers e.g. Nietzsche, Baudrillard, Rousseau, Diogenes, Camus, the Situationist International.

13) To provide community-based alternatives to the family (based, for example, on the Kibbutz model) so that if a family fails, its members can be nurtured in a different, constructive and productive environment of psychological and educational well-being.

*****

In 1948, George Orwell wrote Nineteen Eighty-Four. Our "liberal" western democracy claims that it has prevented Orwell's chilling vision coming to pass. In fact, it has succeeded in producing something even worse. O'Brien himself, the malevolent antagonist, would have been proud of what our society has "achieved". Here's why…

1984 Through the Looking Glass

Remember Room 101? - it contains the worst thing in the world. I invented it myself. My finest work, perhaps. Yesterday we had Winston Smith in there. He was terrified of rats. Such a prole.

Winston Smith. A snivelling individual if ever there was one. And to think he imagined that I, O'Brien of the highest echelon of the Party, might enter into an alliance with him.

Today I've decided to subject myself to an experiment. I'm going into Room 101, this time to be on the receiving end. I already know what the worst thing in the world is for me: the society advocated by Winston Smith.

In I go, into a plain room with whitewashed walls. In a moment, the Incubus Drug - a gas that penetrates to the darkest corners of my mind where my profoundest terrors lurk - will be introduced into the air. It will gather my fears, intensify them, and bring them to life.

Here comes the gas. Already, I can visualise Winston Smith, smiling slyly at me. He will be my guide, just as Virgil was for Dante in The Inferno. I feel sick.

*****

The horror begins. We're standing in a carriage of a train that travels underground. We're both wearing pinstriped suits and carrying leather attaché cases. A crowd of similarly attired men is jostling us. I can't breathe. I feel a panic attack coming on. Mercifully, we alight before I faint. We push through a throng, trudge up a broken-down escalator and emerge into a crowded street near St Paul's Cathedral.

We enter a large glass building and sit down in an open-plan office full of…I can only describe them as human automatons. They're worse than the proles. Telescreens display endless arrays of numbers. Telephones ring incessantly. Machines bleep. The automatons shout and scream. They seem to do nothing but buy and sell, but only in a virtual sense: no actual goods ever materialise. These automatons don't do a single creative thing, just like our own proles.

All the while, Smith smiles at me…that same sly grin.

This nightmare continues for ten hours, and I thought we were cruel. Now I'm beginning to respect Winston and his kind.

We leave the building and again we descend into the crowded underground and perform our earlier journey in reverse. I imagine this is how the journey to Hell begins.

We exit at a mainline railway station and board a train. Again, I am jostled, forced to stand in stifling heat amongst a sweating, smelly horde who talk unceasingly about property prices and retail therapy (whatever that is). I'm breathless once more.

Winston is reading a newspaper. A cursory glance reveals that its authors would surely rise straight to the top of the Ministry of Truth. Every article is a Two Minutes Hate, not directed against an enemy power but some hapless individual or other. Everything they've printed is clearly false. In my society, the past is falsified to make it consistent with the present. In Winston's society, the present is falsified merely to provide entertainment.

I notice that many women are reading magazines that could easily have been produced by our Pornosec, while others have their faces buried in novels that, as I realised after peering at one that had been discarded, may well have been created by our novel-writing machines.

At last we escape from the train. Winston is still smiling. All around us are posters, but they don't proclaim the merits of Big Brother. Instead, they announce the alleged indispensability of soap powders and automobiles and a host of baubles and beads serving no purpose whatever. What's wrong with these people?

We reach a small terraced house that apparently costs a million pounds even though you can't swing a cat, and Winston invites me in. He switches on a telescreen and I watch a programme about the Thought Police. In Winston's society, they are known by the brilliant name of the Politically Correct. I wish I'd thought of that. They gibber in a language almost identical to Newspeak. They terrify even me. Some of them would appear to be members of the senior Anti-Sex League.

Next, a grey man appears and Winston announces that this is the Prime Minister. I am taking notes because I have never encountered such a fine exponent of doublethink. I have to force myself to think that way…it appears to come naturally to the leaders of Winston's society - the members of the Capitalist Democracy Party. This party is divided into three factions called Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat. I am unable to identify any way in which these factions differ. For all intents and purposes, this is a totalitarian regime.

The slogans of my Party are: War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength. The slogans of Winston's Party would appear to be: Ignorance is Freedom; Stupidity is Strength; Inequality is Equality; Hypocrisy is Justice; Delusion is Truth. An excellent set of slogans!

Winston's society has many Emmanuel Goldsteins. The people are expected to throw as much abuse at them as they can muster. The Enemy of the People now goes under various names: Osama bin Laden, the President of Iran, the President of North Korea etc. One Enemy of the People was called Saddam Hussein. They went to war with him over Weapons of Mass Destruction, which he told them he didn't have, and, indeed, he didn't. They, the proven liars, relentlessly called him a liar. How wonderful. A few years ago, one of the Goldsteins was called Gerry Adams and, in an attempt to mock him, they refused to broadcast his voice, but actors were allowed to do an impression of him and say precisely what he'd just said. How bizarre is that? I really am learning valuable lessons here.

Just as Oceania is always at war, so are Winston's nation and its allies. They call it the War on Terror. Marvellous. It's the perfect means to keep the citizens on a permanent war footing (allowing all sorts of civil liberties to be swept away) and in a perpetual state of fear from which only the Government can save them. Why didn't BB think of it?

Next, I see a telescreen programme about the unemployed. These are unpersons in Winston's society. It would be easy to find work for them all simply by reducing the number of hours worked by others. But the workers in Winston's society refuse to consent to this because they prefer that others should be redundant than that their pay packets should be diminished. It brings a lump to my throat.

As I watch more programmes, I discover so many amazing facts about Winston's society. There are more surveillance cameras than people. Even we haven't managed that. Diaries are freely available in Winston's society; but none of the citizens can write, and they're all so brainwashed by consumerism that they don't have any subversive thoughts to express anyway. There are no dissidents in Winston's society - there are only shoppers.

Winston's society has people called 'Spin Doctors' who are the equivalent of our senior officials in the Ministry of Truth. Not a word of truth ever passes their lips.

Yesterday, I told Winston that the Party required him to acknowledge that 2+2=5, and I had to torture him to make him see sense. Here, they agree without hesitation. I think that's because they can't count.

The leaders of Winston's society don't need to control the past or rewrite history - they just need to provide things for people to buy. The people know nothing about the past, and don't care. A "glamour model" was asked if Winston Churchill was a Prime Minister, a President, a King or a Rapper. She answered that he was the first black President of America! A supermodel mistook the leader of the Conservative Party for a plumber (I better not let Big Brother hear about that). All of our elaborate tactics never produced results as effective as these: complete ignorance of everything that has ever happened. We must copy the non-education system of this society. Of course, I mean education.

It wouldn't matter if all the clocks struck 13 in Winston's society because time has become irrelevant, and the citizens themselves are irrelevant. They're lower than the proles.

The gas wears off. I'm back in Room 101. Well, what a turn up for the books. Far from being Hell, Winston's society is a very Heaven, the realisation of all of Big Brother's principles. I shall have to seek out Winston at the Chestnut Tree bar and shake his hand. He was right all along and will be welcomed into the Inner Party immediately. We shall implement Capitalist Democracy without delay. It turns people into morons, and they aren't even bothered…as long as they can shop.

If you want a picture of the future, imagine a human with a pound sign stamped on his face and pushing a shopping trolley - forever.


*****

Here's how our modern society reflects Big Brother's totalitarianism:

Big Brother - Capitalist Liberal Democracy. (No mechanisms exist, in any practical sense, to replace this form of government. It is therefore totalitarian.)

Inner Party - the Upper Class/Super rich. (The state is designed to meet their needs.)

Outer Party - the Middle Class. (They aspire to rise to the Inner Party, and are terrified of being relegated to proles.)

Proles - the Working Class. (They aspire to rise to the Outer Party, and are terrified of being relegated to unpersons. They spend all of their leisure time trying to blot out the appalling lives they lead. Heavy users of alcohol, cigarettes and drugs. Excessive TV watchers, particularly of chat shows, soap operas, hospital and forensic dramas, detective shows etc).

Unpersons - the Under Class. (The state is reluctant to acknowledge their existence.)

Doublethink - People are so stupid that not even in principle would they be able to understand that they hold hosts of contradictory opinions. Orwell's warning  about doublethink has been realised in every regard.

Big Brother is watching you - CCTV cameras, GCHQ, MI5, MI6, Special Branch.

Newspeak - political correctness. (To "narrow the range of thought".)

Emmanuel Goldstein - any enemy identified by the Government, or by tabloid newspapers.

Pornosec - Tabloid newspapers.

Two Minutes Hate - front pages of tabloid newspapers.

Party Slogans - the outpourings of Spin Doctors.

Ministry of Truth - Spin Doctors/Tabloid newspapers.

Ministry of Love - MI5/MI6/Special Branch/CO19/Police. The police have killed more innocent people than Islamicists.

Ministry of Plenty - Shops, particularly supermarkets, particularly Tesco: give the people plenty of what they don't need.

Ministry of Peace - Ministry of Defence that continually engages in offensive wars.

Winston's Diary - all freethinkers are labelled "mad" and are relentlessly mocked by tabloid newspapers.


Oceania's perpetual war - the War on Terror.

Goldstein's Book - "free speech" and the possibility of producing new political movements (but in practice neither is there free speech nor any hope of overthrowing the tyranny of Capitalist Liberal Democracy).

Fiction Department - Tabloid newspapers; Government League Tables; Official Government statistics.


In 1984, the Party maintains power by keeping its citizens ignorant. Capitalist Liberal Democracy does exactly the same thing. It provides a hopeless State education system so that the privately educated Inner Party members can maintain indefinite control.

In 1984, a huge effort goes into controlling the past, present and future (to serve the Party's interests). Capitalist Liberal Democracy erases the past by avoiding teaching history in any meaningful way. It controls the future by placing its citizens in debt (Mortgages/Credit Cards). The proles had no chance in 1984, and they have no chance now.

What are the discernible objects of Capitalist Liberal Democracy?


1) To maintain the Inner Party in their positions of wealth and power.

2) To generate hordes of compliant consumers who love to shop till they drop, thus sustaining the wealth of the capitalists (who own the goods being sold). I shop therefore I am.


3) To promote consumerism as the greatest good. People are relegated to mere units of consumption. Your value in society is directly proportional to how much you can afford to consume.

4) To prevent anyone from becoming too intelligent. (The Cassius Principle - He thinks too much. Such men are dangerous.)

5) To reject philosophy, science, history and indeed all academic knowledge, except insofar as it supports consumerism and the production of consumer goods.

6) To keep the people permanently stupid/distracted/in a stupor/apprehensive, via dumbed down TV, cigarettes, alcohol, Tabloid newspapers, Hollywood movies, junk food, shops full of 'desirable' junk, texting, web surfing, social networking, personal debt, mortgages, credit cards, War on Terror.

WAKE UP!!! WAKE UP!!! WAKE UP!!! WAKE UP!!! WAKE UP!!!

Down with Big Brother, down with Capitalist Liberal Democracy.

There is only one escape route - Vote for the Meritocracy Party. 

The Meritocratic Manifesto  

In a sense, the Meritocratic Party has no manifesto other than to ensure that the country is governed by its most talented individuals. Those individuals shouldn't be constrained in any way. It's up to them how to govern, subject to the critical proviso that they can be periodically voted out if they do not command the confidence of the people.

What follows is one possible manifesto.


The Decline of Social Mobility

The last few years have seen a marked decline in social mobility in the UK, accompanied by an equally steep rise in the number of the super rich. The two trends are of course connected. Social mobility is directly proportional to the extent to which 'markets' (in the widest sense) are unrigged (read meritocratic markets). Social mobility declines when cronyism and nepotism are allowed to flourish. Cronyism and nepotism (drivers of rigged markets) allow the gilded few to pay themselves whatever they like (since there are no meritocratic mechanisms to increase competition and make inappropriate payments impossible). Hence we see the emergence of an increasingly large class of super rich - the extreme beneficiaries of cronyism and nepotism. Meritocracy is the antidote.

Inheritance Tax - How the Rich get the Poor to Cut their Own Throats

 

"All the goods of life united would not make a very happy man: but all the ills united would make a wretch indeed."
-- Hume

The vast majority of people will never pay inheritance tax. It's a tax on the exceptionally wealthy. Yet these stinking rich individuals have managed to convince ordinary people that they should be angry about inheritance tax. Either you admire their brilliance at psychological manipulation, or despair at the stupidity and gullibility of average people.

Some commentators ridiculously call it a tax on the dead. How can the dead be taxed? They're dead. It's asset disposal. Why shouldn't the state dispose of a dead person's assets as it sees fit? When a poor person dies, leaving a stinking mess behind, do the rich come round and clear up the garbage, or do they leave it to the state to perform the dirty work? Yet when there's anything worthwhile to be handed out then suddenly the rich are claiming it's none of the state's business. Funny, that. That's the trouble with the rich - they want the state to handle all the nasty stuff and they don't want to contribute a penny towards the cost. Selfish to the bitter end.

The rich like to believe that they make their money in some miraculous manner that's entirely independent of the state. Yet even if most of the rich have gone to private schools and make use of private health care, they still operate within a business and social environment constructed and maintained entirely by the state. The vast majority of their workforce will be state educated, and will rely on the NHS. The state pays for the army, the police, law and order, social services, community services. It maintains and improves the country's infrastructure. Yet somehow the rich expect us to believe that they make their wealth in a state-free environment, and owe nothing whatever to the state. In fact, they owe all of their wealth to the state. Without the business environment provided by the state, they wouldn't have earned a single penny. So why shouldn't the state take all of a person's wealth when he no longer needs it (by virtue of being dead). Why should people who didn't create the wealth (the family of the deceased) benefit in any way at all?

Some commentators call it a tax on parental love. How preposterous. How disgracefully arrogant. Don't poor parents love their children? The desire to abolish inheritance tax has nothing to do with parental love and everything to do with the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. It's about denying others a fair chance in life, about trying to establish a permanent, unassailable hegemony of rich families.

The Paris Hilton Phenomenon

Paris Hilton, an ill-educated, uncultured, barely literate bimbo, is an 'heiress' who will inherit a vast fortune. What sort of occupation is an 'heiress'. Such people wouldn't exist in a meritocracy. Those who wish to abolish inheritance tax want a million Paris Hiltons. Isn't one more than enough?

"The charm of fame is so great that we like every object to which it is attached, even death."

Pascal

 Oxbridge Blues - the Heart of the Anti-meritocratic Engine

Oxford and Cambridge claim to be our best universities. However, if you have ever attended either of these universities, you will be struck by the complete absence of any sense that you are in the midst of intellectual powerhouses, illuminating the nation with the quality of dazzling minds passing through their august and ancient colleges. No, what you are instantly aware of is the reek of privilege, the sight and sound of thousands of spoiled middle and upper class students much less concerned about the subjects they are studying than with their social networking opportunities. Oxford and Cambridge can barely be called universities at all. They are actually finishing schools for the children of the wealthy. They provide the environment in which massive transactions in cronyism and nepotism are conducted. All the best jobs are allocated here; not on the basis of merit, but on who has the right accent, the right background, has gone to the right school, is 'one of us'.

Oxbridge provides a disproportionate percentage of our political, legal, business, media, medical, art and science leadership. Let's not deceive ourselves. Oxbridge is the engine of anti-meritocracy. It is precisely here that the privileged carve up the top jobs amongst themselves and exclude everyone else. Nepotism and cronyism ooze out of every old brick in Oxbridge. Given the influence of these universities over British life, we are entitled to conclude that the myriad problems in the British way of life can be laid fairly and squarely at their door: every problem in Britain can trace its origins to the colleges of Oxbridge. Reform Oxbridge and our nation might stand a chance of a meritocratic future. Oxford and Cambridge universities will be amongst the first targets of the Meritocracy Party.

We now know that the vast majority of Oxbridge students come from a small number of elite independent schools. Funny, that. The Meritocracy Party has a simple method to smash Oxbridge cronyism while promoting the highest intellectual standards. All of the secondary schools in the UK will identify their five most meritorious final-year students and these will be offered their choice of the six 'top' UK universities, including Oxford and Cambridge. A 'merit panel' will be in charge of the admissions process. Oxbridge and the other top universities will have no say at all over which students will study there. Overnight, these universities will lose their connection with privilege. They will be an accurate reflection of the backgrounds of the whole country, and they will not be able to complain that they aren't getting access to the best students the country has to offer. They will become genuinely meritocratic institutions devoted solely to the pursuit of academic excellence.

A side effect of compelling the top universities to accept the top pupils from all of the country's secondary schools will be to deal a potentially fatal blow to private schools. These schools operate synergically with Oxbridge, and are joint conspirators in rigging the system. Break the connection between the two, and suddenly private schools have lost their raison d´être.

    Elite universities should have no connection with social networking for the children of the most privileged families in our society.

Rewarding Failure

Hey, I want a job where if I cock up totally I walk away with a fortune. How about being the manager of the England football team, for example? Catastrophic failure to qualify for Euro 2008? - no problem! - here's two and a half million pounds. Well, that's what they said to Steve McClaren.

What is it with the England job? Likelihood of failure? - very high. Guaranteed pay-off? - you bet. Does it never occur to anyone that if you incentivise failure, you make it much more likely? At the back of Maclaren's mind was always the thought: Oh well, even if they sack me, I'll be walking away with £2.5 m. I'm made for life. How lucky can I get? Wouldn't his attitude have been rather different if he thought he wouldn't be paid a penny if he failed?

Jose Mourinho leaves Chelsea with a 20 m severance package. Nice.

Charles Prince, the CEO of Citigroup Inc, recently 'resigned' after disastrous financial results (losses of approximately eleven billion dollars (!)). He walked away with his head bowed…under the substantial weight of a one hundred million dollars payoff.

Sorry?!…run that past me again!! Yes, that's right - penalty for financial meltdown is one hundred million dollars. Isn't that a financial meltdown by itself?? Mr Prince probably felt hard done by. After all, Stan O'Neal at Merrill Lynch generated losses of some twenty-seven billion dollars, and he was fondly waved goodbye with almost one hundred and sixty-one million dollars. Obviously, Mr Prince hadn't failed nearly spectacularly enough. If he'd enjoyed the same scale of disaster as Mr O'Neal he might have doubled his payoff. No doubt he'll bear that in mind next time!

The convicted media tycoon and notorious robber baron "Lord" Conrad Black must be supremely miffed at being banged up for his gangsterism. Given that he's spent his commercial life amongst fellow big business gangsters, why is he off to the clink while the others continue just as before?  These crooks are the Sun Kings of the 21st Century, upon whom the sun never sets, unfortunately.

 Nice work if you can get it, eh? And who are these people who do 'get it'? Well, they're not you and me, that's for sure. Back to nepotism and cronyism - the evil twins of anti-meritocracy.

Meritocracy's rules are very simple. Top rewards for top performance; no rewards at all for failure. When anyone walks away from inept performance with a bulging wallet, that's the clearest sign that you're living in an anti-meritocratic society. No meritocrat would ever wish to be paid extravagantly for failing. In fact, they wouldn't wish to be paid at all. They'd have it written into their employment contract near the very top that they'd get nothing if they were fired after demonstrable poor performance. If you don't insist on such a clause, you're not a meritocrat. It should be an industry standard. A meritocratic government would demand it. Greedy cartels of bosses mutually scratching each other's backs in the name of 'market forces' will be swept away for good. The only market those people have in mind is the unregulated, rigged market of nepotism and cronyism.

      Don't let any of the big bosses deceive you that they're in the meritocratic game. They don't know the meaning of meritocracy. When they and their fellow cronies engineer their contracts so that they profit just as much from failure as from success you know you're in the presence of carpetbaggers, charlatans and snake-oil salesmen. Their primary concern isn't their self-confidence in their own merit, but in designing their escape routes for when it all goes wrong. The contracts these people sign are the equivalent of pre-nuptial agreements where, before the marriage has even begun, its end is the focus of attention. Likelihood of such a marriage failing? - one hundred percent!

The Family: the Natural Enemy of the State

The great intractable problem of political philosophy, so deep-seated that many political philosophers have avoided any consideration of it, is the unbridgeable gap between the basic functional unit of the state (the family) and the state itself.

The aim of the state, most people would agree, is to serve the interests of all of its members - to treat them as fairly and equally as possible, to show no favouritism, and to do what is best for the population as a whole. The family, on the other hand, seeks to always serve the interests of its own members, to show blatant favouritism towards those members, to try to secure the best possible treatment for itself (and screw everyone else).

So the state's functional unit (the family) and the state itself are mutually incompatible. The Tory Party seeks to minimise the state and maximise the self-interested behaviour of families (all well and good for the successful families from which the Tories garner most of their support). 'Old' Labour sought to redistribute wealth and generate a more equitable society. The state, under Old Labour, was quite willing to dictate to the family. 'New' Labour has abandoned the Labour project and is now just an alternative Tory Party (with practically identical policies and outlook on life).

No state can ever be successful until it resolves the tension between family and state. The meritocratic state is a possible solution, providing the family buys into the concept of merit - that it's ultimately in everyone's best interests, including the family's - for everyone to promote the interests of the most meritorious individuals in society, regardless of which families and backgrounds they come from.

The Family: Dog Eat Dog

When David Cameron exhorts families to do their best for their children, what does he mean? What does he really mean? In a world of limited resources, anything that one person has is denied to another. There is cut-throat competition for the best jobs, houses, partners, schools, medical treatment. Who sponsors this dog-eat-dog world? Why, families, of course. When you do the best for your family, you are ensuring that another family fails in this zero sum game. You win: they lose. It's a simple as that. As Gore Vidal said, 'It is not enough to succeed. Others must fail.' That is the motto of the average family.

To do the best for your children is to do your worst for someone else's. People should bear that in mind next time they hear one of Cameron's simple family homilies. Do you really want to live in a society where other families are actively out to harm yours, to metaphorically slit your throat so that their children can prosper at the expense of yours?

Families should be doing what is best for the state, and that will also be precisely what is best for the family, assuming that the state is run by the most meritorious individuals: the best people the state has to offer.

A very simple question arises. What is the best conceivable state? Some might take the anarchists' stance and claim that we shouldn't have states at all, but anarchists run don't run any country on earth. We all live in states, and therefore we have to return to the question.

Can any state be better than the one run by its best people? Is it better for a state to be run by its richest citizens, or its poorest, or its most average? Quite simply, if the best people do not govern the state then it cannot be the best state. The rich would run the state to enhance their own wealth, and to hell with the poor. The poor wouldn't have a clue how to run a state. As for the most average, what do they know about anything except how to infect it with mediocrity? Their motto, that of cowards and sheep is: "It is better to fail conventionally than to succeed unconventionally." (Keynes).

We're crying out for those who know how to succeed unconventionally: the leaders of men, the best.

Community: An Alternative to the Nuclear Family

When a family fails, society often pays the penalty. The children are likely to end up poorly educated, with mental health issues, low self-esteem, and behavioural difficulties. They frequently become unemployable and prison fodder. Society pays out vast amounts on benefits to single parent families. Those children from disadvantaged homes who end up in state care usually have negative life outcomes.

The usual 'solution' proposed by politicians (especially Conservatives), is to promote 'family values', and to try to provide incentives to prop up the family via special treatment, including tax breaks. A ludicrous attempt to defend a failing institution, of course.

The age of the family is coming to an end. Family life is incompatible with the modern age. With so many choices available, with religious and social prohibitions regarding 'alternative' lifestyles no longer taken seriously, with women increasingly financially independent, all the main pillars that supported the nuclear family are collapsing. Nothing can be done to rebuild them. The way forward is to find a replacement for the family. The obvious choice is the community: groups of fifty to a hundred like-minded people with mutual respect for each other, a lot in common, a desire to help each other - to provide friendship, companionship, and a secure, loving, nurturing, supportive environment for every member of the community.

The Israeli Kibbutz provides a plausible starting point for the UK communal family model. Social isolation, millions living on their own, millions of struggling one-parent families, millions of conventional families doing their utmost to protect their own selfish interests is the shape of modern Britain. The community model would revolutionise the country and help solve many of our most glaring social ills.

Marriage

Marriage will be an endangered institution in a meritocratic society. The emphasis switches away from couples, families and groups to the individual: the new functional unit of the state. Marriage would then become simply a private arrangement between individuals. It wouldn't be acknowledged by the state, and certainly wouldn't attract any tax privileges or preferential treatment. The state must define itself as an entity populated by citizens, not by couples and families.

    The state should feel no compunction about removing children, or even adults, from unhealthy family environments. The individual's interests are paramount. The state has a duty to the individual, and none to the institution of marriage. The state cannot stand by and let families raise children badly so that they become a liability to the state.

The under class exists precisely because the state adopted a hands-off approach to the family and let it churn out poorly-educated, disruptive, unemployable individuals, sure to be a constant drain on the resources of the state. The state should apologise to those individuals for allowing their parents to ruin their lives, and should take all necessary measures to stop any more children being damaged in this way.

Religion: the Worst Form of Child Abuse?

Just as the family is fundamentally at odds with the state (since it seeks to put its own interests above those of the state), so is religion. Religion aims to promote its own inflexible agenda, which is not that of the state (unless the state happens to be a theocracy).

There are religious communities in Britain in which children are compelled to wear a certain style of clothes, eat certain foods and avoid others, shun children who do not belong to their religion, go to their own segregated schools, be taught material that is entirely contrary to science, and so on. They end up dysfunctional relative to the state and their neighbours. They are frequently hostile to the state, and resent and oppose any state interference. They are isolationist, anti-social, intolerant. Children brought up in these communities are marked for life. They will never recover from their upbringing. What right do parents have to destroy their children's lives in the name of their own personal religious beliefs?

This is child abuse of the very worst kind: denying a child any realistic hope of living according to the child's own values and desires. To strip those from a child is to metaphorically strip the child of its very life. And children brought up in this way almost never make a positive contribution to the state.

Why does the state tolerate it? The state cannot make any progress while its efforts are sabotaged by these two most insidious fifth columns: family and religion. Often, the very people who lead the state are family-oriented and profess religious beliefs. Is it any wonder the state doesn't work?

The state must assert its authority if it is ever to achieve the sort of society it wishes to build. It cannot succeed if it allows factions within the state to pursue separate and opposed agendas. In the immortal words of Rousseau, people should be 'forced to be free'.

This phrase often shocks people, but in fact it's the only game in town. Religious parents who brainwash their children are forcing them 'to be free' (in their conception of freedom). Families raising their children in non-state-sanctioned ways are also forcing them to be 'free' (again, according to their peculiar values). Why should they be allowed to do it, and the state denied the right when it's the state that will have to pick up the pieces when things go wrong?

Only the state can impose the uniform 'playing field' that's required to allow meritocracy to flourish. Only the state has the right to force anyone to be free. It has the right for the simple reason that it, and only it, seeks to promote the interests of all of its citizens. Families give their own interests paramount importance, regardless of the needs and merits of other families. Religions give their own beliefs paramount importance, even though they are usually entirely at odds with the beliefs of everyone else. To allow families and religions to dictate how children should be brought up amounts to a form of state suicide. People who are not supportive of the state cannot conceivably make a positive contribution to it, so ought to be excluded from it.

It's time for the state to draw up a formal social contract. You sign up or you don't. If you don't, you must leave the state because you have no right to be there.

 The Benefits of the State over the Family

Imagine I could offer you the choice between having your life irrevocably moulded by two average office workers or by hundreds of elite individuals with breathtaking talents. In the first case, of course, I'm referring to a typical family upbringing; in the second, the sort of upbringing a Meritocratic state would offer.

    Parents, on the whole, aren't greatly educated. They haven't, for one thing, attended classes on optimal strategies for raising children.

Disgruntled football fans like to chant, 'You don't know what you're doing,' if they think their team's manager isn't up to the job. Shouldn't the state chant the same thing at many parents? Parents, in a host of cases, are a catastrophe for their offspring. It actually amounts to state-sanctioned child abuse to allow such people to bring up children. And, in the end, it's the state that's forced to pick up the bill via crime, prisons, police, the welfare state, social workers, care homes, the judiciary, low productivity etc. Why bother with all of these costs of failure (to use management speak), when we could simply address the root cause and take children away from inept parents who don't know or care what they're doing?

The state can call on the skills of millions of remarkable individuals. It has at its disposal brilliant scientists, mathematicians, philosophers, engineers, economists, teachers, academics, psychologists, sociologists, surgeons, consultants, GPs, nurses, carers, artists, charismatic youth workers, child experts etc. It can use this vast pool of skill to bring children up in the best possible way - as creative, constructive, inspiring individuals who can make a full and dazzling contribution to the state. Why should children instead be condemned to the dreary boxed environment provided by the average family; to be raised by two untalented, bored and boring adults known as parents? It's crazy.

The Meritocratic state would like to send the vast majority of children to boarding schools, where they can escape the parental environment. Parents will have the burden of raising children removed from them, will have much more time to themselves (much more time to develop themselves?), and can be proud that they're doing the best possible thing for their children by turning them over to the experts.

Parents, it has to be admitted, have one vital function that the state can never hope to perform. Parents love their children in a way no one else could. This element has to be protected as far as possible, so children will be encouraged to spend as much time as possible with their families outside term time. They will have the best of both worlds: quality time, quality love with their families during the holidays, and a quality meritocratic education at boarding school away from their families during term time. The perfect formula.

If we could identify the 'most average' family in Britain (the median family) then half of Britain's families would be above this average, and half below. Now, if the 'most average' family were affluent, cultured, highly intelligent, disciplined, hard-working, then even the below average families might be of high calibre. However, if the 'most average' family are in fact poorly educated, ignorant of culture, obsessed with property prices and having multiple cars, dismissive of intellectuals, keen to binge drink at the weekend, keen watchers of soap operas and dumbed-down TV in general, greedy consumers of junk food, eager shoppers etc then what on earth might the below average families be like, especially those near the bottom of the range - the under class?

A simple question - in present-day Britain, does the 'most average' family resemble the former or the latter? Can anyone be in any doubt about the answer?

 Social Engineering

Ending the Housing Crisis (while simultaneously addressing the major cause of lack of Community)

The UK is a nation obsessed with houses, property prices, getting on the 'ladder'. This tells us a great deal about the values of the average UK citizen - materialistic, unintellectual (and anti-intellectual), trivial, unambitious, lacking in any kind of vision of greatness.

Houses, for most people in the UK, are small anti-social boxes, isolating them from their local communities, reinforcing a mindset of 'them' (out there) versus 'us' (in here). The same thing applies to cars - people cut themselves off from others and revel in putting themselves in a private little bubble where they can indulge their selfishness and ignore others. This is the attitude that leads to phenomena such as Global Warming - billions of selfish decisions by individuals (and states) leading to catastrophe for human civilisation; no ability to see the big picture ahead of short-term self-interest.

How to change this mindset? One of the easiest ways is to revolutionise the UK's housing policy. Instead of building boxes for families, we should turn to an entirely new model - community housing. This is based on existing well tried and tested examples - hotels, halls of residence for students, and retirement homes for the elderly. These are predicated on single, en-suite rooms, with residents having easy access to communal areas - e.g. a lounge, a dining room, a kitchen etc. They save a huge amount of space in comparison with traditional houses and, above all, they foster community living.

People, by having to live with many others, naturally have to pay more attention to others. People are no longer socially isolated if their family situation collapses. Crime would fall because a good, helpful community would inevitably address many of the social issues that lead to people embarking on criminal lifestyles in the first place. Criminals are frequently those who have acquired the belief, perhaps justified in many cases, that the rest of society is their enemy rather than their friend. They have no sense of community, and feel no compunction about committing offences against others. These factors would vanish if they were members of strong communities that stood up for them and protected their interests.

As always, the selfish, self-interested family is the root of all evil. Community must replace family. Communal living spaces must replace family boxes. We must escape from property prices and 'not in my back yard - nimby' considerations.

In the Middle Ages, community and the family were practically synonymous, but nowadays community and the family have next to nothing in common. (Neighbours barely acknowledge each other's existence.) One has to go. Which are you going to choose?  

Ants and the Elderly - Abolish Retirement

In the ant world, ants take more risks the older they get. Why isn't it the same in the human world? We should forget cosy retirement. There should be no pensions. The old should take more risks, not fewer. We have an increasingly ageing society. Great. All forms of discrimination against the elderly should be savagely penalised. People should work - and play - until failing health makes it impossible. It's not as though office jobs justify a long retirement in any case. Maybe coal miners deserved and needed a long retirement, but certainly not office workers. And who wants to retire anyway? It's one foot in the grave for most people.

The Incompetence of Privileged Institutions

"Probably the battle of Waterloo was won on the playing-fields of Eton, but the opening battles of all subsequent wars have been lost there."

-- George Orwell

"Success has always been the greatest liar."
-- Nietzsche

"One must push what is collapsing."
-- Nietzsche

All empires fall. Success creates complacency. Empires become arrogant. They lose the ability to criticise themselves, to see their inevitable flaws. They believe their own propaganda. The same is true of institutions. They are inept at self-renewal, re-energising themselves. They are never associated with radical change. How telling is Orwell's remark? - the very success of Eton becomes the cause of subsequent calamity.

If we wish to avoid the disaster of privileged institutions that have grown fat and tired, we must promote ferocious competition that pushes over anything that carries too much weight.

Meritocracy is the mechanism. It's a permanent challenge to privilege; the sword of Damocles hanging over the bloated, the smug, those wallowing in their own imagined success. The greater the competition, the greater the merit of the winners.

In the UK, a few institutions have become untouchable, and our nation has stagnated as a consequence. We never achieve anything great and inspirational. Privilege kills talent and vision. It seeks only to maintain itself in its decadent comfort.

There should be no sacred cows. Survival is not compulsory. Meritocracy will sweep away the incompetent institutions that are holding back the nation and its people.

The Charity Con

In a nation of appallingly selfish people who'd do anything to get ahead, there's an absolute need for TV charity shows like Children in Need. People who spend 364.5 days a year contemplating property prices, how they can get their children into the best schools at the expense of other children, and who they can shaft at work to get a promotion, need their half a day a year when they can pretend to be interested in the welfare of others. Pretend to be human, perhaps.

Charity events are the obscene means by which the uncharitable masses worship their shameless pretence of altruism. Such events are playgrounds for nauseating extraverts to inflict themselves like the worst bullies on hordes of introverts, forcing them to have 'fun'.

Vain, egomaniacal celebrities are permitted to feign that they have some interest in the lives of those less fortunate (as if!). And it's so good for their media profile, of course. Their publicists and agents never tire of telling them to get their faces in front of the dumb public, and these are the opportunities par excellence. And did you see the sales rocket of all those bands that took part inLive Aid? You can't manufacture 'selling' events as good as big charity shows (and isn't that the real purpose of charity?) Even debutantes (or whatever it is they call themselves nowadays), get in on the act with their swanky charity balls - the places where you must be seen if you're anyone.

God only knows what any of these events has to do with charity.

Next year, keep your collection cans and fancy dress costumes. Go out to Africa and actually do something charitable, or face the fact that you're totally selfish, and a hypocrite into the bargain.

Anything that's worthwhile should be funded by the State. If it's not worthwhile, it shouldn't be funded at all. So what's the point of charity?

 The Cult of the Professional (Charlatan/Bullshitter)

 "We live in a world where there is more and more information, and less and less meaning." -- Baudrillard

In his bookThe Cult of the Amateur, Andrew Keen lamented the opportunity the internet has afforded any Tom, Dick or Harry to place their thoughts, movies, music tracks, stories etc in the public arena. As more people access this free material, fewer pay the traditional content producers (newspapers, magazines, book publishers, film studios, record companies, TV and radio companies). Where will it all end? The collapse of civilisation? That appears to be Keen's hypothesis.

Keen is in no doubt that the amateur efforts that abound on the internet are rubbish. The commercial material, on the other hand, is held up as something of the highest calibre. Who is this guy kidding? He obviously hasn't watched many Hollywood movies, or much TV, or actually read any newspapers or magazines, or listened to the junk on the radio. Almost all commercial content is garbage to a quite extraordinary degree. And don't forget - people are actually being paid, often ridiculously well, to produce it.

The vast majority of people in the media got their jobs through nepotism and cronyism. They're not professional paragons: rather they're professional charlatans, bullshitters and ass lickers. They have no talent at all, apart from managing to get someone to pay them for producing junk.

Keen is a snob, a slavish worshipper of the myth of the "legitimate", "professional" expert when virtually no one, outside the world of academics (and scientists in particular), is worthy of that description.

The Independentused to be a good newspaper, until it became aviewspaper. Why should anyone pay to read the views of some commentator inThe Independentwhen he could just as easily freely read the blog of some person on the internet who may be much funnier, more controversial, more radical, more interesting, more intelligent - and a better writer? Newspaper commentators are simply bloggers who get paid: grandiose, self-deluded bloggers in other words.

Keen argues that the conventional producers of paid content are the gatekeepers to some Promised Land of standards, taste, and high quality. They filter good from bad, true from false. Yeah, right! All they do is promote their own agendas. Their "good" is nothing more than a reflection of their personal tastes. Their opinion that something is "good" doesn't render it so. Equally, their ideas of true and false are simply perspectives from the viewpoints that prove most advantageous to them.

Try reading Nietzsche if you want the "truth". Try reading Baudrillard. The last person you should go to is one of the chattering classes, one of the media gatekeepers.

Another obvious point to which Keen is astoundingly oblivious is that the internet merely reflects the culture that the "gatekeepers" created. The gatekeepers were the Frankensteins who gave life to the monster. If the gatekeepers had engineered an entirely different culture, one that lauds all the values that Keen claims to admire, then the internet would be a paradise.

That it isn't is thanks to no one but the gatekeepers who pursued a relentless agenda of producing dumbed down content to chase ratings and higher profits. It's old-fashioned justice that their monster has turned on them, and they surely deserve to perish. They chose to worship the Lowest Common Denominator, and they have reaped their moronic harvest. It's time to kill the spectacle. It's time for the Revolution.

Psychology, Design, Ergonomics

All Government projects should compulsorily involve psychologists, designers and experts in ergonomics. It's extraordinary the extent to which badly designed schemes are imposed on the public and on workforces (both private and public). Psychological, design and ergonomic considerations are usually given low priority, with the inevitable disastrous consequences. Cheap projects are frequently given the go-ahead, for reasons of cost alone, even though they are inevitably counter-productive. 

Devil's Advocate Department

A Government should at all times seek to challenge its own decisions. If it can address the objections of its sternest critics, its policies are more likely to be successful. The Government should actively seek out talented 'awkward squad' individuals to question Government policies.

The Devil's Advocate Department will be composed of philosophers, scientists, psychologists and mathematicians, with the specific remit of identifying flaws and inconsistencies in Government policies, and likely unintended consequences.

    As with scientific theories, policies become more robust the more they are challenged and subsequently refined. Far from being 'negative', doubts, suspicions, challenges, attempts to refute are all positive activities that should be actively encouraged.

The House of Commons or the House of Extraverts?

If you want to be an MP, what are the requirements? Well, you almost certainly have to belong to an established political party. So, freethinking, independently minded individuals can forget it. No outsiders, thank you very much: the in-crowd only. You will have to be chosen by the selection committee of your constituency party. So, you require a talent to get on well with tedious, local bureaucrats. No don't suffer fools gladly types, I'm afraid - those who'd have nothing but contempt for petty politickers.

To impress the selection committee you will have to be respectable, with a good job. You probably went to a nice school and a good university. You're likely to be married with a family. In other words, all interesting people, anyone who hasn't played 'the game', anyone who resists convention, can put away their application forms. Oh, and you probably have to be not too young and not too old, preferably quite presentable, probably not handicapped. You'll be superficially charming. You won't be outspoken or have any radical opinions. Mustn't upset Mr and Mrs Average, must we? In fact you should really be as similar to them as possible, but just a touch better.

If you clear all of these hurdles, what then? Well, you can start campaigning for election to the House of Commons. And to succeed at that you have to be a competent public speaker - but not too good because then you'd be unusual. You have to be happy to shake hands, kiss babies, visit hospitals, have your picture taken with the disabled, have a nice cuppa with the elderly. You must be a 'people person'. To sum it up: you have to be an extravert.

The entire process by which MPs end up in the House of Commons is a textbook case of how to strip out anyone different, anyone unconventional, anyone too talented. Above all, it's practically impossible for introverts to become MPs. What sort of political system is it that proclaims how fair and accessible it is, yet ruthlessly prevents many of its most meritorious citizens from having any reasonable chance of being elected?

Want to be an MP? Introverts need not apply. Geniuses need not apply. Heretics, hermits, visionaries, revolutionaries, misanthropes - don't even think about it. Perhaps the House of Commons should be renamed the House of the Commonplace, the House of the Trivial, the House of the Bland and the Banal. Above all, the House of Extraverts. But one day, hopefully soon, it will be the House of Merit.


"Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world."

-- Shelley 

"An army without culture is a dull-witted army, and a dull-witted army cannot defeat the enemy."

-- Mao Zedong

Napoleon once said that Britain was a nation of shopkeepers. These days, he'd describe it as a nation of shoppers. Our purpose in life, it seems, is to shop. Our education system churns out fresh, eager shoppers, keenly receptive to the latest advertising. Our status is determined by how much we can spend when we go to the shops. Permanent window-shoppers are the lowest of the low. Parliament exists to frame the laws in which we can maximise our shopping. The City handles the finances of our shopping trips. Can't afford it? - no worries - here's loads of credit. You can't afford that either, but who cares? Just keep spending, for God's sake. The economy will collapse if you don't. It's your duty to shop. Shopping - the categorical imperative, the basis of our modern morality. Why not replace humans with androids? They could shop 24/7. Perfect shopping machines that don't have to take any breaks. Commercial Britain - a nation with a clockwork heart. The nation's soul, such as it was, has expired.

    Can we resurrect Britain? Can Commercial Britain be replaced by Cultural Britain? Dedicated to art, science, knowledge, architecture, ideas, creativity, experimentation, adventure, beauty, aesthetics.

      The Meritocracy Party seeks to bring together the entire cultural community of the UK - scientists, philosophers, mathematicians, psychologists, academics, artists, designers, architects, writers - and to promote the idea that a society without culture is a desert. Can the cultural community of the UK become a power block to influence Government policy? Would the Government have any credibility if it were opposed by the cultural community? Imagine a Government unsupported by a single intellectual. Is such a Government possible? Wouldn't it be a laughing stock?

There's a bigger question - would a nation based on culture rather than commerce be more successful, more intelligent, more prosperous, freer, happier, healthier, more soulful? Would crime rates plummet? Could we practically scrap the welfare state? Would our town and cities be architectural wonders, our schools the envy of the world?

       Culture beats commerce hands down. So what's stopping us?

The Death of Art

Damien Hirst's Skull. What does it represent, this diamond skull that cost £14m to make (funded by a consortium) and was sold for £50m (to generate an agreed profit for the consortium)? Death by bling, the extermination of culture by celebrity, the elevation of commercialism to the supreme aim of art. When businessmen become artists there is no art.

Zamiatin said, 'There can be a real literature only when it produced by madmen, hermits, heretics, dreamers and sceptics and not by patient and well meaning officials.'

What would Zamiatin have thought of art being run by business consortia with the sole aim of generating a tidy profit? Art or capitalist consumerism? Is there any difference now? Where are the madmen, hermits and heretics?

Capitalist Consumerism is associated with Vulgarity, the Lowest Common Denominator, Dumbing Down, Celebrity Culture, 24/7 Shopping, Materialism, Tabloid Newspapers, Tittle Tattle, Malicious Gossip, Prurience, Reality TV, Soap Operas, Anti-Intellectualism, Illusion, Delusion, Lies.

Meritocracy is associated with Intelligence, Talent, Quality, Refinement, the Elevation of the Human Spirit, the Higher Self, Good Taste, Nobility, Honour, Integrity, Truth.

Which side are you on?

The Uncharming Circle - How Political Debate is Controlled  

The political debate in the media is controlled by a small number of individuals (no more than a hundred people, all of a similar ilk). They drive the agendas to which politicians (or rather the pathetic excuses for politicians we're forced to endure) respond. You know exactly who the small group of commentators are. You see them on TV, you hear them on the radio, you see their columns in the newspapers and 'political' magazines - I'm talking about the same people each time. They are everywhere, expressing their tiresome opinions over and over. No other opinions are heard. No outsiders are admitted. The debate is devoid of intellectual content. You will never hear any of these people mentioning the great political philosophers of history, just as you never hear politicians mentioning political philosophy (which you might naively consider their stock in trade).

Instead of hearing the great opinions of great thinkers, we're bombarded with the petty thoughts of intellectual pygmies. One prominent political programme refers constantly to Itchy and Scratchy. It's funny on The Simpsons - it's frightening on a political TV programme. The same programme regularly features such giants of the political scene as Peter Stringfellow (accompanied by pole dancers; free entry to Stringfellows for the presenter as a quid quo pro perhaps?). Is this what we've come to?

Vote for the Meritocracy Party and get rid of all of these idiots. Let's have proper intellectual engagement with proper intellectual ideas.

There are Two Sides to Every Story - Not

Often, when faced with a difficult issue, we may find that we lean 55% (ish) towards one view of the issue and 45% (ish) towards the diametrically opposite view. In other words, the answer is rarely obvious. Yet when people come down on one side or the other, they soon imagine that their decision is 100% correct. They have entirely forgotten that it was a marginal decision and there were strong arguments on both sides. They forget the powerful contrary arguments, and remember only the considerations that supported their decision. The truth - that there are two sides to every story - is replaced by the false certainty that there is only one right answer. Ambiguity is dispelled. Black and white replace grey. And therein lies most of the problems and disputes of the human race. When anyone puts forward any argument, they could just as easily, if they put their mind to it, endorse precisely the opposite position almost as convincingly. So why don't they?

Those who support the abolition of inheritance tax, for example, could probably find excellent reasons for raising inheritance tax to 100% for everyone i.e. no one can inherit anything. All resources accumulated by an individual are given to the state when the individual no longer requires them. That would be the ideal meritocratic outcome.

Yet people put so much effort into selectively marshalling the 'facts' in favour of a certain view and ignoring the other facts that point the opposite way. We're designed this way - it helps us to make decisions, and life is all about making decisions. But shouldn't we be concerned about making the right decisions, not the decisions that are most convenient for us.

Law of Neutrality

"All men's miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone."

-- Pascal

The Meritocracy Party promotes the Law of Neutrality. In a public space, what is the least objectionable, most neutral, behaviour for a person to display?  The answer is simple: no one could find fault with a person quietly walking along a street, minding his own business. The further a person's behaviour strays from this neutral behaviour, the more he will be in breach of the Law of Neutrality. Minor breaches are rude; major breaches should be subject to formal legal sanctions. So, what sorts of behaviour might constitute transgressions of neutrality?

1) Noise: A person yelling into a mobile phone, yelling to friends, carrying a pounding 'ghetto blaster', wearing a headset from which music is blaring out - these are all provocative, non-neutral behaviours.

2) Mobs: Large gangs of people swarming around, forcing people to get out of their way, shouting and screaming and fooling around - these are all provocative, non-neutral behaviours.

3) Intoxication: Drunks and drugged people behaving erratically, often with a threat of violence. Throwing up, urinating in public. Hysterical, uncontrolled behaviour.

4) Litter: People dumping their rubbish wherever they feel like it, often in the middle of the street. Similarly, discarding their used chewing gum and cigarette butts anywhere they please.

5)  Animals:  A person walking a dog, especially if it's not on a leash and muzzled. Many people hate dogs. Why should they be subjected to an unpleasant encounter with a barking, slobbering, aggressive dog because a dog owner is incapable of going for a walk on his own? Dog owners love their dogs - why do they imagine everyone else loves their dogs too?

6)  Bikes: A person on a bike in a pedestrian space is always a nuisance. At any moment, the cyclist could collide with a pedestrian, causing serious injury.

7) Street People: Beggars, Big Issue sellers, charity workers ("chuggers" - charity muggers), professional interviewers for marketing companies, fly-leaf distributors, religious preachers - these activities are all a serious breach of neutrality and should be banned.

The public space is for everyone. It's not for a few aggressive bullies and narcissists to seize and treat as their own private property, regardless of others. Places can be set up for dog owners, cyclists, party animals and so on - and they can do whatever they like there with others of their type - but they can't expect to get away with imposing their taste and behaviour on others whenever and wherever they want. Of course, the anarchists and libertarians will rail against us and brand us as sinister fascists and totalitarians, which rather reveals how much respect they have for the rights of others who don't want to be subject to their "personal freedom." 

The Patron Saint of the Greediest Industrialists

In Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand wrote a fictional account of what would happen if America's top industrialists went on strike. America's capitalist leaders love Rand because she portrayed them as brilliant, inspirational heroes, without whom the country would fall apart. How to reconcile Rand's paeans to these 'masters of the universe' with the adage that the graveyards are full of people who thought they were indispensable?

    The Meritocracy Party would welcome a strike by top industrialists. They would instantly be replaced by much cheaper, and vastly more talented, individuals. Who is it who promotes the myth that industrialists are indispensable? Well, the industrialists themselves, of course - and their cronies in the media. It's all part of the rigged system.

    CEOs have created a system whereby they can pay themselves any salary they like - and they like extremely large salaries, out of all proportion to their talents - and they 'justify' these exaggerated earnings on the back of the ludicrous claim that it's their market rate and talent moves where the money is. Why not test this hypothesis? Let them leave the country and go 'where the market takes them' and let's get new people in, chosen meritocratically.

    Hans Christian Andersen's fairytale The Emperor's New Clothes is one of the most instructive pieces of psychology ever written. Can an entire population be conned into seeing the stark naked (i.e. the supremely untalented) as fully clothed in the most stylish apparel (i.e. the abundantly talented). The answer is unquestionably yes. When are people going to look and see that these top industrialists are a joke? They're just ordinary people who have benefited from a rigged system. It would be facile to bring in new people to replace them. Headhunters will tell you it's almost impossible. Well, they have to justify their obscenely high commissions for identifying these unicorns, don't they? Succession planning doesn't come cheap because you have to find exactly the right type of crook, the perfect carpetbagger, the snake oil salesman par excellence. If you simply had to find a talented person deserving of the job, life would be so much easier.

David Cameron is an Old Etonian (and studied PPE at Oxford). His shadow front bench is jammed with Old Etonians (mostly Oxbridge, too). He says he's proud of his education (read cronyism) and his family (read nepotism). He will do anything for his family. Yeah, Dave, such as rig the system to ensure that they get the best treatment - treatment denied to others. You'll be happy to give your own children the same education that you enjoyed (that you're so proud of). How many other children in the UK can get their parents to lavish £23,000 a year school fees on them? It's not as if you want equal treatment, do you, Dave? Your family comes first. You approve of privilege. You promote it. You're proud of it. Not a meritocratic bone in your body. For the working classes to vote for you would well and truly be on a par with turkeys voting for Christmas.

Vote for the Meritocracy Party. Vote for an equal chance.

Membership Requirements

There are no requirements. The Meritocracy Party has no members. No one pays any subscriptions. There is no party organisation. It's a virtual party - a party of the mind - promoting the merits of intelligence and culture.

Anyone can join, but it's up to them to decide what it is they're joining. Particularly welcome are all of the country's intelligentsia and lovers of culture. 'Shoppers', Conservatives, Monarchists, Religious Fundamentalists, Freemasons etc. would be unlikely to be attracted to the Meritocracy Party.

You don't have to agree with all or most of the opinions expressed on this website. In fact, you definitely shouldn't. You should have your ideas, your own opinions, your own solutions to the ills of the nation. But you definitely shouldn't resemble the fascist trolls of Anonymous. We will utterly repudiate your actions.

Is Meritocracy Totalitarian?

Q. Can Plato, Rousseau and Hegel be portrayed as totalitarians?

A. Absolutely. Plato, Rousseau and Hegel have been attacked many times by commentators from all parts of the political spectrum. Many of the things they said can easily be twisted and misrepresented by their ideological enemies to depict them in the most sinister light. And exactly the same can be done in reverse. Advocates of Plato, Rousseau and Hegel can show how these three geniuses are humanity's greatest hope and how their enemies have delivered the appalling world we have today.

Politics is very simple. The question couldn't be stated more simply: who are the best people to be in charge?

Anarchists and libertarians are entirely opposed to rule by anyone. They hate the "Big State". They hate being told what to do by anyone. No nation in history has ever tried anarchy or libertarianism. There's a very simple reason for that. Anarchy and libertarianism are incompatible with nationhood, the State, government or even society itself. We already know what anarchy and libertarianism would be like in practice - the JUNGLE. Without rulers, all that would happen is that the law of the jungle would apply and the strongest would take over and make everyone else their slaves. The weak wouldn't stand a chance.

Anarchists and libertarians have all sorts of self-deluding arguments why this wouldn't happen. They have a touching belief that government itself causes people to become corrupt and if you remove government then everyone will be terribly nice to one another. In other words, they deny that human beings are animals who will resort to animal behaviour at the earliest opportunity. If you were extremely strong in a world with nothing to prevent you doing whatever you wanted, wouldn't you, or others like you, just go ahead and carry through the basic logic of that position and become kings amongst men? After all, who's going to stop you?

We find it intellectually nauseating that anarchists and libertarians spend so much time criticising other systems and seemingly none at all attempting to explain how on earth their own system would work without invoking a type of infinitely benevolent human being not known to exist anywhere on earth.      

Serious political thinkers spend little time contemplating anarchy and libertarianism since there's precious little to think about. These systems are 100% unworkable for anyone who doesn't want to take their chances in the jungle.

So, having left behind the supremely frivolous and naïve belief that human society can function without rulers, we return to the serious question of who should be in charge.

Here are the basic choices:

1)    The Dictator - the strongest person becomes the leader, and anyone who defies him must either kill him or perish. The most ancient societies were all ruled by dictators in one shape or another.  (Rule by a dictator and rule by a tyrant is typically the same thing.)

2)    The Dictator wanted to hand on his power to his children, so Monarchy came into being. The Monarch claimed that he was mandated by God to rule and that he had sacred blood that was passed onto his children who should therefore rule after him. Monarchies still exist in many countries even in the 21st century.

3)    Theocracy: a high priest, senior cleric or prophet rules directly in the name of God. Modern Iran is a theocracy and there have been several theocracies throughout history. However, prophets, high priests or popes usually work hand in hand with Monarchs.

4)    Oligarchy: rule by a cabal of powerful men. This was a common system in ancient Greece and various versions of it often crop up. 

5)    Plutocracy: rule by the rich. Plutocracy and oligarchy are often more or less the same.

6)    Democracy. In ancient Athens, this was rule by the people instead of rule by plutocratic oligarchies or tyrants. In modern democracies, democratic leaders are invariably rich and supported by plutocratic oligarchic groups, whose interests they serve without question. Democracy in the modern world is always linked to capitalism - a rich man's economic system.

7)    The Market. Sometimes, capitalism claims to be rule by the Market, which is a mysterious abstraction. (In practice, the market is just a collection of powerful plutocratic cartels).

8)    The "Party". A single Party such as the Communist or Nazi Party rules, and is always led by a "strong man" dictator figure. The "Party" is by definition totalitarian. No rival political parties are permitted.

Those are more or less all of the different political systems that have been tried by humanity, and all have been a dismal and proven failure.

Plato advocated "aristocratic" rule - rule by "the best". By that, Plato meant the most intelligent: philosopher kings. He envisaged brilliant rulers trained in how to rule in the best interests of all. His ruling elite lived on a communist basis. They had no private property, no private wealth and shared everything. Since they had no money, they couldn't be accused of ruling for their own financial benefit. Nowadays, aristocracy has been rebranded as meritocracy: rule by the most talented (which will usually mean the most intelligent).

Rousseau promoted the idea that the State should be dedicated to the advancement of the "General Will" - what is in the best interests of everyone. He was utterly opposed to any "particular" wills. For example, when a political party wins a democratic election, does it really rule in the interests of all, or is it in fact ruling in the partisan interests of the section of society that voted it into power? Plainly, all democratic parties rule according to the particular and not the general will.

In Hegel's view, citizens come to dialectical perfection through the institutions of the State. The idea that individuals left to their own devices can ever become "optimised" (self-actualised) is an absurdity.  Imagine a State without an education system. How would people become educated? Humanity would make no progress at all. It's only through institutions of civilisation and progress - education, health, law, transport, science and so on - that humanity advances.

So, when you put Plato, Rousseau and Hegel together it comes down to this:

The best rulers are the most intelligent. They are prohibited from being rich. They are painstakingly trained in the art and science of statecraft in order to rule in the best interests of all. Their aim is to maximise the potential of each and every citizen. That's the basis on which they will be judged. They will create perfect State institutions that will reflect the General Will. This is a system of "positive liberty" i.e. the State actively intervenes in people's lives in order to ensure that they become the best they can be. The opposite of positive liberty is of course negative liberty whereby the State leaves people to their own devices and has no vision of a perfect society and smart people. Modern capitalist democracies are negative liberty States. They take no interest at all in the quality of human beings. For example, they would never dream of banning sleazy, prurient tabloid newspapers that spread toxic and degrading gossip and appeal to everything that is worst in people for the sake of getting them to part with their money. A Meritocratic State WOULD ban such trash and everything else that corrodes the quality and best interests of humanity.

So, if you hate the idea of smart people running society; taking an interest in the quality of the human race; outlawing capitalist products if they are deemed contrary to the public good; attacking and destroying all systems of privilege, nepotism and cronyism; imposing 100% inheritance tax on people's estates, using widespread psychological profiling to ensure that people can readily find people on their own wavelength and avoid those who are not, and so on … then meritocracy is not for you. So you should go and find something else that is since only mentally ill people spend their time on websites where they are not wanted and where they have no constructive contribution to make.

It's very simple. Meritocracy is about turning humanity into a Society of Gods via the relentless exercise of the scientific method and the Hegelian dialectic. Meritocracy asserts that humanity can become perfect and create heaven on earth by allowing the smartest people - the greatest geniuses of the human race - to be in power and to use their reason to solve all problems. Look how far science has come by relentless application of the scientific method. Imagine similar methods being applied to every aspect of society in pursuit of ever-increasing perfection.

If that is not your vision too then you will certainly regard Meritocracy as a fascist and totalitarian system, but don't worry - you will never be subjected to Meritocratic rule. Meritocracy is only for those who want a perfect society, designed by reason. Only those who sign up to that vision can be part of it. Everyone else will be outside the State since if they were in the State they would simply sabotage it with their irrationality, negativity and obstructionism.

The aim of the Meritocratic State is to peacefully and by negotiation separate itself from anti-Meritocratic forces. We have no intention or desire to have non-Meritocrats in our State. We have no desire to be tyrants over those who oppose us, and by the same token we will never accept their tyranny over us. We will resist tyrannical anarchists or libertarians who seek to destroy the State in order to explore their own anti-intellectual theories of human nature. Meritocracy is about the highest human intelligence and quality.  

Meritocracy seeks to create the strongest, smartest, most creative, bold, adventurous, autonomous, independent, self-actualised, fulfilled, free and resourceful people in human history. We understand that many people are suspicious of State power and want to be left alone. That's no problem. The State can't work with people who are opposed to it, so you will never be part of it. Therefore, it will be necessary to divide countries into parts. Meritocracy supports the city-state structure exemplified by ancient Greece.  The meritocratic State will be one such city-state … and it's up to the opponents of meritocracy to set up their own city-states. Then we can all have what we want - with no groups being tyrants over any others. We are the greatest champions of freedom in human history, but we know that there is no such thing as freedom without rational rules and systems, with which everyone complies in their own rational interests. That's the message of Plato, Rousseau and Hegel.

The ultimate "free" system is the jungle - no formal rulers and no formal rules - but only an insane person, or a beast, would want to live there. Civilisation is about rules and institutions, and they necessarily impose constraints in the name of true freedom: which is living amongst your peers in the best way for all, not the best way for a few rich people or particular individuals. Your freedom is always linked to the freedom of others. Anarchists and libertarians have never grasped this. They think freedom is being able to do what they want to do in any circumstances regardless of others. That is a recipe for all out war between people.

We already know what anarchy and libertarianism offer. In the immortal words of Thomas Hobbes, "No arts, no letters, no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short."

"During the time men live without a common power to keep them all in awe, they are in that condition which is called war; and such a war as is of every man against every man." - Thomas Hobbes

"Covenants without the sword are but words and of no strength to secure a man at all." -- Thomas Hobbes

Meritocracy replaces the "Leviathan" (the great State force that Hobbes imagined as necessary to preserve society and civilisation) with a rational constitution. All rational people in a rational State will comply because it is the rational thing to do, and in the best interests of all (thus expressing the General Will). Irrational, subversive elements that oppose the General Will will be "forced to be free", to use Rousseau's chilling but pragmatic words, or they will be excluded from the State from the outset.

There is no easy answer to the problems of the world that will satisfy everyone. You must choose sides and, as soon as you do, you will be unpopular and have enemies. Making difficult choices is what life is all about. If you refuse to make those choices, you will never be truly alive.

The Ultimate Leap

"I am about to take my last voyage, a great leap in the dark." - Thomas Hobbes