The Introversive Political Meritocracy: A Political Possibility Beyond “The End of History”


The criticisms of the falsity of universal recognition carried out by leftists, led by Karl Max, and the queries of its desirability proposed by rightists, represented by Friedrich Nietzsche, raise challenges to Francis Fukuyama’s theory of “the end of history” from two opposite directions. At present, Chinese-style political meritocracy based on the party state is a political form that combines these left-wing and right-wing challenges and has the potential to move beyond “the end of history”. However, whether it can truly surpass “the end of history” depends on whether it can form a desirable and stable alternative political form under modern conditions. To this end, Chinese-style political meritocracy must respond positively to the three challenges it faces under modern conditions: the tension between “debichengwei” (one’s virtue must have a matching position, 德必称位) and moral universalism, the corrosion of social justice from the hierarchical social structure caused by “weibichenglu” (one’s position must have a matching salary, 位必称禄), and the threat of social indoctrination to individual autonomy. The “introversive political meritocracy” jointly shaped by “advocating morals for the public,” “arete based on altruism,” and “introversive self-cultivation” is a desirable political form that can successfully respond to these three challenges.

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    The “open access system” here and the “limited access system” below are borrowed from Weingast (2009: 28–51).


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Sun, G. The Introversive Political Meritocracy: A Political Possibility Beyond “The End of History”. Fudan J. Hum. Soc. Sci. 12, 569–585 (2019).

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  • The end of history
  • Political meritocracy
  • Modernity
  • Arete based on altruism
  • Introversive self-cultivation