There are negative feedback loops that ends up self-limiting certain effects. But there are positive feedback loops that amplify certain effects. Meritocracy can be self-reinforcing particularly in the manner merit is defined.
The merit defined at a point in time can become entrenched as those “merited” take on leading roles and define the meaning of merit for subsequent generations. At the same time, those with resources gained through “merit” can likewise use those resources to build up merit for their descendents.
The education system is being challenged and as we look to review our social compact, we need to think this hard. How much should one be rewarded for good luck or penalised by bad? And if merit can be passed on through generations, then is it still merit for an individual?