The Tyranny of Merit: What’s Become of the Common Good?

The Tyranny of Merit: What’s Become of the Common Good?

These are dangerous times for democracy. We live in an age of winners and losers, where the odds are stacked in favour of the already fortunate. Stalled social mobility and entrenched inequality give the lie to the promise that "you can make it if you try". And the consequence is a brew of anger and frustration that has fuelled populist protest, with the triumph of Brexit and election of Donald Trump.

Michael J. Sandel argues that to overcome the polarized politics of our time, we must rethink the attitudes toward success and failure that have accompanied globalisation and rising inequality. Sandel highlights the hubris a meritocracy generates among the winners and the harsh judgement it imposes on those left behind. He offers an alternative way of thinking about success - more attentive to the role of luck in human affairs, more conducive to an ethic of humility, and more hospitable to a politics of the common good.

Title:The Tyranny of Merit: What’s Become of the Common Good?
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780241407608
Format Type:

    The Tyranny of Merit: What’s Become of the Common Good? Reviews

  • Clif Hostetler

    What could possibly be wrong with a political and social structure that allows citizens to rise to the level of wealth and prestige equivalent to their ability? Many politicians proudly proclaim that ...

  • David Wineberg

    “The more we think of ourselves as self-made and self-sufficient, the harder it is to learn gratitude and humility. And without these sentiments, it is hard to care for the common good.” This is t...

  • Ryan Boissonneault

    A meritocracy is a political system in which economic goods and political power are vested in individuals on the basis of talent, effort, and achievement, rather than on wealth, social class, or other...

  • Steve

    Professor Sandel asserts with this work that the American meritocracy is an illusion, one he adeptly parses, while providing important insight into our national political dynamics, specifically, the s...

  • Caroline

    Sandel argues that the shift to a meritocratic system, which seemed so just in comparison to inherited rights or other ‘systems,’ in fact has two critical flaws in its implementation. First, parti...

  • Nils

    Meritocracy has become toxic when merged with highly unequal pecuniary awards, which open up huge gaps in dignity, says Sandel. We need to develop a notion of "contributive justice" in which everyone ...

  • Paul

    A philosophical goldmine. This is the book I'm going to be giving to all my cerebral friends for Christmas this year. Political elites all over America NEED to understand this book.I grew up poor. Too...

  • Leah

    I loved this book. I think it is Sandel's best yet. He is one of the world's great philosophers for a mass audience so, as ever, the prose is clear and engaging. I devoured it in two sittings. I parti...

  • Dan Graser

    The past couple decades have seen an absurd divide in every facet of human interaction, especially in the United States. The sources of news, the ability to sort facts, the ideals of society, the role...

  • Kaveh

    Every single book authored by Michael Sandel has transformed the way I perceive the moral and political world around me and this book was no exception. To me, this book was the best analysis of the 20...