The concept that if you're talented and you work hard you'll be successful and rewarded with what you've earned. Sure, there's a lot of people out there that have worked damn hard for their success and they have worked their way up from the bottom to the top. There's also a lot of people out there who haven't. There's a huge amount of successful people in the world who have got where they've got because of who they know and their pre existing status.
On top of that if you really think about the people that have worked hard and have achieved what they have through talent, they're not necessarily the best possible person for the job. Luck is a huge factor of success. Timing, location, circumstance and background are all hugely significant as well. Think of all the people in third world countries who haven't had the proper access to education. How do we know that they don't have the capability to create something astonishing or become something incredible? Does everyone in third world countries have inferior brains to ours? No of course they don't, but they have just so happened to be born into a society that's not as affluent or supportive as the western world's.
Even in western society opportunity isn't always fair and whilst success may come to someone who's worked hard and who's come from nothing they have still been lucky. There's still probably a whole selection of people who could potentially do the job better or who have more talent in their particular field than those who are above them, yet they go unnoticed. In the House of Commons the percentage of female politicians is currently 23% and the percentage of ethnic minority MPs is currently 4%. Are those statistics justified because white middle class men are just so greatly superior in the field? Of course they bloody aren't. The dissatisfaction of the public and the regularity of mistakes made by politicians says quite the opposite in fact.
So just how much meritocracy is there really?