This video providing a critical take on the underside of societies that are presumably based on "merit" has just been released by "The School of Life," a website created to promote emotional intelligence and other important things that are typically not taught in the formal process of education (see "about us").
"Meritocracy," the latest among the rapidly growing video collection on the website (and on its YouTube mirror site), argues that the notion that people rise to the top of the class structure based primarily on their individual effort and productivity is fundamentally flawed. if it is widely believed that only people themselves are accountable for their success, then that invariably leads to the conclusion that in those in the lower reaches of the class structure are in poverty due to their own individual failings. As the video states, meritocracy ignores the role of luck and happenstance in people's lives, but it might also note that class systems by their very nature invariably advantage some more than others, if nothing more than by the cultural and social capital accrued by virtue of family origins. One might also add of course that a recognition of the inevitable bias of class should not discourage attempts to extend greater opportunities to achieve, regardless of class background, race, sex, etc,.
Note: there are many other stratification-relevant videos at this site, including those on various theorists (Marx, Weber, Foucault, etc.) and problems of capitalism (e.g., status anxiety)..