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"The wise man must not be ordered but must order, and he must not obey another, but the less wise must obey him."

Meritocracy, or simply Merit, is an ideology based on the talent and effort on individuals instead of the individual's wealth and placement in the social class. The way of advancing in this system is by performance and achievement.


In Asia

Meritocracy was first used in China in the 6th century BCE when it was supported by Confucius. The Qin and Han dynasties used this system for power over their empires, it helped them keep their complex system of Chinese officials.

In the 13th century, the Mongol Empire was reliant on Meritocracy, where soldiers promote to a higher rank based on their merits. After the collapse of the Mongol Empire, Aristocracy, later replaced the current systems in the Yuan Dynasty and Ilkhanate. The other remainder Mongol states Golden Horde and Chagatai Khanate kept this system.

The Timurids used this system. Meritocracy over time would disappear in the steppes region. The Ming dynasty reused the Meritocracy system in military and administration.

In the 17th century, meritocracy spread outside of Asia into Europe and the United States. Great Britain implemented Meritocracy in British India as a civil service, making it the first European power to do so. Employees are promoted by their managers based on competitive examination in an attempt to avoid corruption and favoritism.

In the UK

Around 1847 Thomas Taylor Meadows made his Desultory Notes on the Government and People of China. Near the 19th Century, it had caught on and the "Chinese Mandarin System" was adopted.

John Stuart Mill also had a meritocratic idea when he wrote in Considerations on Representative Government, that some more educated voters should have been given more votes.

The term Meritocracy was coined by Michael Young in 1958 in the novel The Rise of the Meritocracy.

How to Draw

Flag of Meritocracy
  1. Draw a ball.
  2. Fill in with navy blue.
  3. Draw the meritocracy symbol in yellow.
  4. Draw in the eyes.
  5. Optional: Draw in the lorgnette.

You're done!

Color Name HEX RGB
Navy Blue #003785 0, 55, 133
Yellow #FED700 254, 215, 0




  • Aristocracy - The rule of the best? That sounds pretty great, but I feel like most who claim to be you are not particularly qualified...
    • - It's all his fault!!! Just trust me...
  • Social Darwinism - Well, you think that talented must be rule, and use practical, not theoretical tests? Great! But you are too violent.
  • Democracy - Better than its predecessors, but as a great man once said, "the people are retarded".
  • Welfarism - I can appreciate the need to work towards the common good, but how do we know if we're giving welfare to the deserving?
  • Xi Jinping Thought - Thank you for the Confucius institutes and such, but I suspect that you are just using me for your own gains rather than genuinely believing in Confucianism and meritocracy.
  • Combatocracy - We agree that skill is very important to the worth of an individual, but don't you think what you've got is a bit too brutal?
  • Mediocracy - You're getting a C.


  • Kakistocracy - An opponent averse to our ideas of the merited. And stop giving the title of “nerd”.
  • Kleptocracy - No bribes or favors, shut up and complete your test.
  • Ceremonial Monarchism - You're an insult to the institution of monarchy.
  • Caste System - People should have their worth decided by merit, not by a "caste" they were born into.
  • Maoism - Why do you despise me so badly that you started a cultural revolution to destroy me? Thank god you failed and I have made a return to China.

Further Information




“The Meritocracy Trap,” explained By Roge Karma





  1. While ideologies throughout history have used a meritocracy to decide their government (especially in China), the actual term was coined by Michael Young to satirize the dystopian nature of modern-day life.