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The Myth Of Meritocracy; The Global Threat Of White Nationalism; March Madness

Pascal Walschots
Creative Commons
Yale University

We're outraged that wealthy parents illegally paid to get their kids into elite colleges they would otherwise not qualify to enter. Despite evidence to the contrary, we still want to believe that America is a meritocracy. It's not. And believing that it is might be bad for you.

The word ‘meritocracy’ was coined as a satirical slur by Michael Young, a British sociologist and politician, in his 1958 dystopic novel, The Rise of the Meritocracy, 1870–2033. The idea that luck, socioeconomic status, and environment were neutralized by grit and hard work made it easy to absolve ourselves of discriminatory policy and rising inequality -- until now.  

Also this hour: the global threat of white nationalism and the NCAA brackets. 


  • Matthew Stewart - Philosopher and the author of five books, most recently, Nature's God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic. He's a regular contributor to a variety of publications, including The Atlantic.
  • Judd Legum - Founder of "Popular Information," a new newsletter with original research and analysis into political news, and former founding editor-in-chief of ThinkProgress
  • Josh Levin - Editorial director at Slate, host of “Hang Up and Listen,” a weekly sports podcast with Stefan Fatsis, and the author of The Queen: The Forgotten Life Behind an American Myth. 

Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter. 

Colin McEnroe and Chion Wolf contributed to this show. 

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