[VIDEO] Meritocracy: Capitalism’s #1 Myth to Control You

Meritocracy: a sweet lie we’re told to make capitalism seem fair. But is this lie actually sweet? Is meritocracy something good to strive for, or is it trash?


This video will:

1. Discuss how belief in meritocracy is used to manipulate us into supporting a system that’s against our interests

2. Present evidence that meritocracy is a myth

3. Argue that capitalists get rich not by merit but by owning assets, and profit gained from this is a form of theft

4. Make the case that meritocracy is not a desirable goal

5. Present a preferable alternative to meritocracy described by Kropotkin in The Conquest of Bread


Submitted by Lucky Black Cat on June 18, 2021



3 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by adri on June 20, 2021

Nice content. I imagine there's many different ways to tackle the argument that capitalism is a meritocracy. I was kind of reminded of the Tang dynasty, who were among the first to implement a sort of merit-based system with their competitive civil service exams. The fact anyone (excluding women and others) in theory could have studied (writing, Daoism, Confucianism etc.) hard enough to have a government position didn't really mean the mass of peasants (or poorer workers today) had the same resources as those already high on the social ladder. That there might have been a meritocracy or social mobility in Imperial China, for what little it was worth, also didn't really make the emperor's rule or "mandate of heaven" any more valid, kind of like capitalists' claims to the fruits of socialized labor. Much like Imperial China, modern global capitalism is also kind of premised on there existing workers who actually do stuff, rather than everyone just being parasitical millionaires or whatever.

Lucky Black Cat

3 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Lucky Black Cat on June 21, 2021

Interesting to consider the meritocracy issue in the context of the Tang Dynasty in Imperial China. And good point: even if there was a genuine meritocracy, it wouldn't justify rule by capital anymore than it justifies rule by an emperor.

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