We have been made to believe that a meritocratic society, in essence, is one which envelopes equality of opportunity. One where every little child who grows up with a dream can succeed in it, so long as they look in its face with indubitable diligence, irrespective to age, gender or heredity.
With Britain currently facing the ascent of neoliberalism, I can't help but wonder how worse off the working and lower classes are going to be on the back of it. Inequality is deepening rapidly as it is, though at the point of total privatization the oligarchy insists then a finer form of meritocracy shall prevail.
The thing is, though, how can a meritocracy exist in a country where inequality is ubiquitous? In 2017, shocking statistics were released: one in every 200 British citizens are homeless. That is 300,000+ sleeping rough in a country whose wealthiest 1% have as much as 55% of the poorest population combined.
Despite the gender Pay Gap legislation that was put forth last year, it has recently been reported that men without masters degrees are still being paid more than women with them.
On average, it was reported that black graduates are getting paid more than £4 less an hour than their white peers.
Despite the emergence of modern couples opting for cohabitation over marriage, unmarried cohabiting couples still do not have the same legal and financial rights as married couples. Granted, this is likely a ploy initiated by the government to revive the traditional nuclear image.
Then, of course, we have the small matter of the privately educated elite. Just 7% of children are being taught at private schools, massively increasing their chances of being recognized by prestigious universities worldwide. If we are playing a game of merit, the advantaged will most always triumph. This is not to say that those who are privately educated and succeed up the ladder do not deserve it, it's merely an observation that they will have the upper hand over those who can not afford the privilege.
To equilibrate this issue, wealth would be best distributed amongst the people so to elevate the quality of life, to truly provide for them the opportunity to thrive in the area that they aspire to achieve. In other words: give the affluent a little less and the poor a little bit more. Under a capitalist system, though? This is unthinkable. At the end of the day, meritocracy was a term ingeniously invented by the oligarchs to provide justification for the detestable division of economic and financial condition.
Having grown up proletarian has taught me many things: humility, courtesy and sensibility, to name a few. Mostly, though, it has woken me to the truth of the asperity that is faced on a daily basis by the people who least deserve it. Working laboriously with no reward, any over-time (that is never commended) goes straight into the taxman's pocket.
These people, for the most part, work so hard to keep a roof over their head, to provide for their children the best they humanly can: they do want better. They would love to go to university to achieve their childhood dreams but frankly, it is not an option. They cannot afford it.
This isn't fair, and we need to stand up and do something about it.