Thursday, 5 June 2014

Why green socialism is needed for true meritocracy to occur

Ladies and gentlemen, I did manage to do somewhat well in my psychology degree in the end, and will now give a piece on how green socialism can help ensure real meritocracy in society.

The reason for writing such a piece is this: by chance of birth, something we have no control over, I came from a middle-class background and all of the rest of my immediate family (my parents and brother) are university educated, which gave me unfair advantages in terms of life chances compared to children from poorer backgrounds whose parents lacked university education. Children who were privately educated (I was state educated) have the odds stacked even more in their favour, simply by chance of birth rather than real merit.

In the Independent, columnist James Bloodworth detailed how meritocracy is a myth and that 'the poor will always stay poor and the rich will always get richer'. What James does not mention is what is responsible for the failure of meritocracy in practice- the neoliberal capitalist system we live under.

The only 'merit' free-market capitalism ultimately recognises in the end is the ability to continue making money-not knowledge or anything else. It is the capitalist system which entrenches privilege and which is responsible for enormous wealth gaps in the USA and the UK (and elsewhere in the world), which are some of the most pro-free market nations in the world. By contrast, the traditionally social democratic (but still not socialist or explicitly green) nations of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden have better rates of social mobility and their wealth gaps are also better than those in the USA and the UK.

As Thomas Piketty pointed out, as wealth concentrates, so do opportunities, as has been shown particularly over the past 30 years.

Green socialism can achieve real meritocracy for all the following reasons. Firstly, a green and socialist society will ensure fair wealth distribution and a comparatively very strict pay ratio; secondly, a green and socialist society will make sure no one has to pay for higher education (or any stage of education for that matter); thirdly, a green and socialist society will make sure we have a sustainable economy, encouraging people to conserve resources, use them efficiently, and also act in a more empathetic manner towards each other, and finally, a green and socialist society will give more help towards people with disabilities by giving them the help they need to achieve their fullest potential. People with disabilities are the most disadvantaged people in society under capitalism,and they make up 10% of the population in the world.

Therefore, by voting Green,and electing more Green MPs, you can help ensure Britain can become truly meritocratic.


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