Jobs had wealthy parents. Gates had upper middle class and socially connected parents. [they paid cash for Harvard].
From that footing, that level of success is possible.
Yes they worked hard to establish their businesses. But the “rags to riches” story as the standard american success story is rarely true.
They always have helping hands. Comrades that go to Harvard together are likely to help each other out as do the professors and admins. Other social clubs. Church affiliations. Political parties, etc.
This process is mirrored in the rap world for example. Lacking the white means of establishing footings in the music world, they built their own credibility networks and just like with Jobs and Gates and their networks, they each help each other out in their mutual successes.
Even in grade school where one would think the secular grading system would be a pure meritocracy, the teacher’s pets get better grades. If the teacher doesn’t like you, they often mark you with less.
To succeed you have to get the right people who are more powerful than you and above you in the food chain to like you and want you to succeed and so they pull you up.
But I’m open to examples of a functioning or once-upon-a-time functioning meritocracy.
Honestly I am. The civil service exams they once did in the USA up through the 70s were probably the closest thing we ever had to that kind of system but one of the reasons it was abandoned is BECAUSE it was being gamed despite appearing to be merit-based.
It’s a valid valid goal. Critical Race Theory is an important legal tool to assist in reworking systems so that they can BECOME a truly merit-based system and not just the apparition of one.
CRT isn’t abandoning meritocracy. On the contrary: it is working TOWARDS a meritocracy.
But it is a long process. We have pretended to have a meritocracy and patted ourselves on the back with that for decades — we being us white man. We wonder why all those other are complaining when clearly it works if they just put themselves into it like we did.
Hang on: What do you mean replaced by someone who can go no further?