Meritocracy: Beyond Democracy – and Mobocracy!
Background from Wikipedia:
Meritocracy, in the first, most administrative sense, is a system of government or other administration (such as business administration) wherein appointments are made and responsibilities assigned to individuals based upon their "merits", namely intelligence, credentials and education, determined through evaluations or examinations.
Although meritocracy as a term is a relatively recent invention, the concept originates from the works of Han Feizi and Confucius, along with other Legalist and Confucian philosophers. The first meritocracy was implemented in the 2nd century BC, by the Han Dynasty, which introduced the world's first civil service exams evaluating the "merit" of officials.
1. Young, Michael (1958), Rise of the Meritocracy
2. Caasey, Wilson. Firsts: Origins of Everyday Things That Changed the World, Penguin Books, ISBN 9781592579242
Below are some excerpts from Osho Talks about meritocracy:
We Should Move from Party Politics to Pure Individuals
"Let the whole society be slowly divided into communes of creative people. There is no need for political parties in the world. Every individual should stand on his own merit. And people can choose. Why should there be a political party? There is no reason. If you need a finance minister, all the great experts you have in economics and finance can compete for it, and someone can be chosen for it. There is no need for any party. We should move from party politics to pure individuals – from democracy, from dictatorship, to meritocracy.
"Merit should be the only decisive point. And we have so many people of great merit – but they should not become part of a political party, they should not degrade themselves. To become part of a political party is below them – to beg for votes and promise you false things which they cannot fulfill. So only the third-class people, very mediocre people, become part of political parties; the best remain out."
Osho, Socrates Poisoned Again After 25 Centuries, Talk #11
I Am In Favor of Meritocracy
"I am in favor of meritocracy. A man who is himself uneducated becoming education minister of a country is simply hilarious. India has more than one hundred universities, one hundred vice-chancellors, hundreds of great scholars and experts, educationists; only they should be allowed to stand for a post which is going to be in the ministry for education."
Osho, Socrates Poisoned Again After 25 Centuries, Talk #8
Democracy Is Not the Highest Goal
"Democracy is not the highest goal. It is better than dictatorial regimes, it is better than monarchies, but it is not the end of the journey – because democracy basically means government by the people, of the people, for the people, but the people are retarded. So let us say: government by the retarded, for the retarded, of the retarded.
"Democracy cannot be the highest possibility man can attain. It is good in comparison to other forms of government that have preceded it, but not something that can succeed it. I call that meritocracy.
"I want a government by the people of merit.
"And merit is a very rare quality.
"As the situation is, all the geniuses of the world are outside governments. It is hilarious: those geniuses are needed in the government because they can give the best world to humanity, but they are servants of the retarded politicians. Now the scientists who are making nuclear weapons are in the service of people like Ronald Reagan. What merit has he got? What intelligence has he got? What is his contribution to the world? – those third-grade Hollywood cowboy films? But he will make the decision, and the geniuses will never be known; they will work almost anonymously."
Osho, From Bondage to Freedom, Talk #31
I Have My Own Idea of a Different Society
"I have my own idea of a different society. I call it meritocracy. It should not be state ownership, communism. It should not be a cunning, criminal, political system behind the masks of democracy."
Osho, The Last Testament, Vol. 2, Talk #21
How Can the Idea of Meritocracy Be Practically Realized?
How can the idea of meritocracy be practically realized?
"One thing is absolutely certain: The days of the politicians are over. They have done too well their job of being destructive, violent.
"They have come to a point where humanity has to decide either to die remaining with the politicians, to commit a global suicide, or to throw out the politicians and save humanity, civilization, culture, life.
"Nothing is favorable to the politician; and as each day passes his death comes closer. He himself is responsible. He improved the weapons which can bring death to the whole world to such a point that there is no way of going back. Either there will be an ultimate war – which means death to all and everything – or a total change in the whole structure of human society. I am calling that change, meritocracy.
"One thing – we have to drop the idea that every man, just because he is twenty-one, is capable of choosing who is the right person to decide the fate of nations. Age cannot be the decisive factor. We have to change the decisive factor; that is changing the very foundation.
"My suggestion is that only a person who is at least a matriculate should be able to vote. His age does not matter. And as I explain to you the whole thing, it will become easier. For the local government, matriculation will be the qualification for the voters. And graduation from a university, at least a bachelor’s degree, should be a necessary qualification for anybody running for election, for the candidates. A master’s degree should be a minimum qualification for the one who is running for mayor."
It Looks Utopian
"So meritocracy is a whole program of transforming the structure of society, the structure of government, the structure of education.
"It looks utopian. Who is going to do it? How is it going to happen? Hence the question – how are we going to make it a reality?"
"It is utopian, but the situation is such that within twenty years politicians will bring you to the brink of death. Then you will have to choose; and at that time, when you have to choose between death and meditation, I think you will choose meditation – you are not going to choose death."
All the Universities of the World Should Think Again
"I would like all the universities of the world to think again; just don’t go on conventionally honoring stupid, idiotic politicians with doctorates. In this way you are simply insulting yourself. In this way you are degrading the status of education.
"On the contrary, I would like all the universities – first of just one state – to call a convention of all the vice-chancellors and the eminent professors; of the eminent intelligentsia who may not be part of the university: painters, artists, poets, dancers, actors, musicians. It would include all kinds of people who have attained a certain eminence and have shown their caliber – excluding politicians completely.
"All the Nobel prize-winners should be invited – excluding the politicians again, because within these past few years a few politicians have managed to get Nobel prizes, and this has degraded the value of the Nobel prize.
"It has not added any value to the politician; he still remains in the gutter, and he will remain in the gutter because that’s where he belongs. He cannot live out of the gutter – he would die. And if you give him a Nobel prize he will drag the Nobel prize also into the gutter: of course wherever he lives he is going to take the Nobel prize, doctorates, and all kinds of degrees with him."
Every State Should Call a Convention of All the Intelligentsia
"Every state should call a convention of all the intelligentsia who are part of the universities or not part of the universities – writers, novelists, all dimensions of talents – and they should choose a delegation for the national convention. So from all the states a national convention meets and goes into details of how the meritocracy can work.
"From the national candidates there can be an international convention of all the universities of the world and the intelligentsia. This would be the first of its kind because never has the whole intelligentsia of the world come together to decide the fate of humanity.
"They should write the first constitution of the world. It will not be American, it will not be Indian, it will not be Chinese – it is going to be simply the constitution of the whole of humanity. There is no need for different kinds of laws. There is no need all human beings need the same kind of laws."
How Can You Choose a President by Election?
"How can you choose a president by election? How can you choose a governor by election? You are giving so much power to power – hungry people; with your own hands you are telling them to hang you! This is not democracy. In the name of democracy these people have been exploiting the masses.
"Just to make a distinction I am calling my system meritocracy. But merit for what? The merit is to serve and share. And once you have decided to shift the power from the politicians to the intelligentsia, everything is possible – everything becomes simple."
In the Future, Democracy Is Not Going to Last Long
"In the future, democracy is not going to last long, because the politician is already ignorant before the scientist; he is already in the hands of the scientist. The future belongs to the scientist, not to the politician.
"That means we will have to change the word democracy. I have a word for it: meritocracy.
"Merit will be the decisive factor. Not whether you can gather votes by canvassing all kinds of promises and hopes, but your merit, your real power in the scientific world will decide. And once government comes into the hands of the scientist, then everything is possible because I have called science, objective religion; and religion, subjective science."
Osho, From Ignorance to Innocence, Talk #15
Read more Osho topics from Highlights of Osho's World
To find more Osho Quotes on Meritocracy or any subject you might be interested in, you can visit the Osho Online Library. This free library contains over 225 Osho books which can be read or searched by keyword or phrases.