SINGAPORE (Nov 5): In 1957, while on a beach holiday in Wales, British sociologist and disillusioned Labour Party member Michael Young bumped into an old friend, who had started a publishing house. The following year, Thames & Hudson published The Rise of the Meritocracy, Young’s futuristic satire on the state of society in the UK. The thesis warned against allowing education to engineer a new social bifurcation — between the elites in power based on the notion of merit, and the disenfranchised masses of the less-merited.

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