I have to agree that academic achievement is not synonymous with hard work - occassionally you meet people who genuinly dont need to work that hard to succeed.
However, I do strongly think that what we consider to be intelligence is in many ways illusionary. I think that success has far more to do with your mental state and self belief than pure cognitive ability based on your genetic make-up. I dont mean this in a corny 'if you believe in yourself you can achieve anything' way - we are all limited in some way by our genes. What I mean is if you have been socially conditioned to value intellectualism and trained from an early age to use your brain towards that goal, then you will be far more likely to succeed than someone who has the same fundamental genetic make-up yet has not had these advantages.
My own personal academic experience is that my grades have got better and better (from an addmittedly mediocre start). My genes have remianed constant, the neurones and wiring in my brain consistant throughout, yet the way I am percieved my others has changed radically. This is because of a change in outlook, a new motivation and a belief in my own cognitive abilities.
With this in mind, it irritates me deeply when arrogant people flaunt their own achievements as a infallible indicator of their own genetic superiority. Firstly, as I have already explained - it is not. And secondly, why is it that our society seems to value natural ability over a good work ethic when they achieve the same end? The latter is a personal choice, the former completely out of our contol. Am I the only one who finds this illogical? It annoys me no end when people play down the amount of work they do to make themselves look more 'intelligent'. I found that ay my school being vocal about ambition or admitting to working hard was viewed as a manifestation of arrogance and I really dont understand why this should be the case.
To the people who view themselves as less 'intelligent' than the average LSE student - I would disregard any judgements based on a couple of grade differences. Academic success, in my opinon, is based a mixture on a work ethic (which has a social genesis) and luck as well as a certain degree of natural talent.
If we all got in to the LSE, presumably what we all have in common is a passion for intellectualism, rather than superior neurones or other such nonsense.