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Lulled by the celebritariat

Exactly 50 years ago Michael Young published his famous dystopia "The Rise of the Meritocracy." His son Toby argues that we never got the meritocratic educational elite predicted by his father, instead we got the celebrity class

By Toby Young   December 2008

Fifty years ago, the sociologist Michael Young—my father—published a book that, in his own words, gave him a minor claim to immortality. A dystopian satire in the same vein as 1984, it was an attempt to sound a warning bell about various social and political trends by describing a future in which they had come to fruition. It wasn’t as successful as Orwell’s book, but it did enjoy some afterlife thanks to a word my father coined to describe the new ruling class that would hold sway in this nightmarish future. It was called The Rise of the Meritocracy.


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