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In Boston, new revelations emerged from a lawsuit that alleges Harvard systematically discriminates against Asian-Americans in its admissions process.These developments come from very different directions, but they indicate an assault on one of the foundations of modern society – meritocracy.Meritocracy is now an idea under siege. Let's remember when and how meritocracy became the organizing ideology of modern society. The New York challenge to meritocracy involves its selective high schools, which are a wonder of the modern public-education system. No matter how you organize society, there will be an elite.The Boston challenge is different, asking for genuine meritocracy. Meritocracy is under assault, but those who attack it should ask themselves: What would you replace it with? To select a society's elites, as Winston Churchill said of democracy, a meritocracy is the worst system – except for all the others.
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