ABSTRACT

A meritocracy, operating out of elite universities, liberal in its preferences, and technocratic in disposition, targets plutocracy, the upper strata of capital, both as a way to highlight economic inequality but also as a diversion from meritocratic control of major social institutions. But, by the end of the 20th century, organized labor was a dwindling political force, representing only 11 percent of American wage and salary workers, weakened by offshoring and adverse policies, such as state “right-to-work” legislation promoted by corporate interests like the American Legislative Exchange Council and the Chamber of Commerce. A hallmark of the 20th century, the training of professionals was promoted by their societies at colleges and universities, particularly public institutions of higher education in the US, which were largely autonomous of government.