“And his analysis of “meritocracy” reveals the crude and misleading assumptions about creativity and intelligence upon which it rests.  Instead of the comforting rationale that merit breeds success and that the successful have merit, Chomsky suggests, a more rational approach would be to speculate that in our society “wealth and power tend to accrue to those who are ruthless, cunning, avaricious, self-seeking, lacking in sympathy and compassion, subservient to authority ans willing to abandon principle for material gain, and so on.” 

-James Peck – From the Introduction of the Chomsky Reader p.10


The quote may be suggesting a sort of ‘what they teach you in school’ versus what actually is type of situation.  There is no doubt for me that creativity and intelligence are rewarded in our society, but rather the extent to which they are actually lauded in society is the issue being raised.