Meritocracy is NOT the same as hierarchy. Not at all. This is a DANGEROUS misconception that I believe is born in the smothered hearts of people who are presently RAGING against society. (Suggestion: move out of the neighborhood...)

You DO NOT have ANY meritocracy in ANY hierarchy, whether that "-archy" is Monarchy, Oligarchy, Patriarchy or other. NONE. What you have instead is STASIS, static classes, static positions in society, static roles based NOT on what you are or can do, but on WHO you are, who you are related to, who you know, and other such arbitrary rubbish. From generation to generation, or group to group, you have the STATUS QUO. The appearance of stratification in hierarchies are nothing but appearances that have NOTHING AT ALL to do with the MERIT of the individual. I say "most often" because such systems are overthrown and what you get as a result is anarchy and slaughter. Lots of slaughter. Vengeance is sweet.

But here is the trick: meritocracies lead to stratification, and each "strata" that forms in the society AT ANY GIVEN TIME (important), COULD BE looked at as a hierarchy in a very loose way, the loosest of ways - so loose that it's not even a hierarchy - because it's an ever changing hierarchy, it's ALWAYS in motion and never the same. Not only from generation to generation but even within one lifetime, the strata changes. This is a MAJOR difference. This is also how the entire web of life works in real nature. The other is only the way nature is in the minds of those that either desire to make nature what it is not, or those just too stupid to understand the NOT-so-subtle difference.

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