The Book Club: is meritocracy a trap?

Nov 06, 05:36 PM
Daniel Markovits is the Guido Calabresi Professor of Law at Yale Law School. In his new book The Meritocracy Trap Daniel advances an argument that will seem startling to partisans of Left and Right alike: that meritocracy isn’t the solution to our social and political discontents, but the central part of the problem. Our notion that hard work and proven ability should be the route to wealth and success has, he says, created a miserable underclass and a comparably miserable overclass — and is responsible for a damaging and eventually unsustainable reorganisation of Western economies. Among other sophisticated questions, Sam asks him: how so? And: aren’t you sounding a bit like a Marxist, there, Mr Yale Professor?

The Book Club, what used to be known as Spectator Books, is a series of literary interviews and discussions on the latest releases in the world of publishing, from poetry through to physics. Presented by Sam Leith, The Spectator's Literary Editor. Hear past episodes of The Book Club here.