Meritocratic Capitalism, clipped to MeritCap and also called Market Meritocracy, is a fictional, economically centre-right ideology. It believes that believes capitalism and competitive markets are good, but passive wealth accumulation—such as inheritance, interest, and debt—isn't, and a system that has it can't be a free market. In a truly free market, one cannot be paid money simply for having money. Wealth must be earned by work and innovation, and the customer is king.
This ideology takes the economic system of Capitalism, with its competitive markets, and combines it with the principles of
Meritocracy. MeritCap is wacky/unrealistic because of its desire to abolish passive wealth accumulation (PWA) as a concept in society, which would require forgetting how basic modern finance works.
Meritocratic Capitalism strives for a free market economy where advantages and wealth cannot compound passively but instead require continuous innovation and competition to maintain a leading position in the market. It relies on the foundational belief that without PWA skewing the playing field, a free market would be able to naturally arbitrate itself such that only the businesses who give the best possible products and services for customers' money are allowed to thrive.
MeritCap aims to solve a fundamental problem in capitalism where market leaders only need to be innovative once or a few times in their early stage. Their passively accumulated wealth will then just compound to keep them on top of the market, no matter how awful their practices and services get from there. This can best be seen in real life with large corporations, who can afford to be terrible at delivering their services and products because they have enough passively accumulated wealth to act as a cushion against these failures and snuff competitors out. (And granted this, are still given massive government bailouts, which act as further cushions.)
Hence, PWA—which includes inheritance, interest, and debt—creates a system where wealthy people who have no idea how to run an effective business, or have stopped caring to deliver the things their businesses promised, can still stay on top of the market by using passively accumulated wealth to kill competitors, cripple the market, and disempower the customer. This results in a market held prisoner by weak businesses, while newer, more innovative competitors who can better serve customers are snuffed out by those at the top before they can even thrive.
Meritocratic Capitalism believes that any market which would allow for this outcome is not truly a free market. PWA is the worst enemy of both the customer and laborer. PWA is not deserved wealth, and must be abolished. The only rightful kind of wealth is that which you actively compete and innovate to obtain. This leads to a permanently free market where there is no safety net to keep weak businesses afloat.
To be wealthy, therefore, is to run competitive businesses that best serve one's customers. The moment one sits on one's wealth and stops prioritizing the customer, a true free market would kill this business in favor of a more competitive one. The rich class is only determined by their businesses' utility to wider society.
MeritCap also addresses the abuse of the common worker. It's well known that slave-like conditions kill business efficiency, but under pure capitalism, PWA allows the wealthy to treat their employees as expendable. After all, only a monopoly can run on dying slaves. However, without PWA as a cushion, the inefficiencies of slave labor would quickly kill a business. Improving worker conditions then becomes essential to be a competitive business.
Another major problem of pure capitalism is invented wealth. Invented wealth is a direct consequence of extrapolations made on the stock market with the clear purpose of maximizing PWA. In other words, one can get rich purely off of hype. With PWA abolished, invented wealth like this is exposed as the sham that it is, and a true free market won't tolerate it.
A Meritocratic Capitalist society can exist alongside a strong state. In fact, government regulations can be used to abolish PWA and legislate against those who aim to disrupt the free market. However, a strong state can also descend into tyranny or corporatocracy if it has weak institutions that can be easily undermined by authoritarians or populists.
MeritCap can just as well exist with a decentralized or even nonexistent state if the people in the society all abide by the principle of markets without PWA. But it would be best for there to be a state as a guarantor of this principle, since there's no certainty that people will follow it otherwise, and a stateless society could descend into tyranny by the PWA-hoarders (see: Anarcho-Capitalism).
Meritocratic Capitalism is incompatible with nationalism. Strong national boarders and/or isolationism is detrimental to free trade. MeritCap believes that markets should be set free from geopolitical squabbling, so that they may expand based on their own merits.
Meritocratic Capitalism can exist alongside religion. In fact, religions that are opposed to interest because they see it as usury (Islam) or gambling (Amish and Mennonites) are already halfway to being opposed to PWA anyway.
Culture and Diversity
Meritocratic Capitalism is variable on the cultural axis, but leans towards progressive. It believes that diversity is the best source of innovation. The free market is handicapped without diversity because possible founders of new, innovative businesses are hindered from pursuing entrepreneurship. MeritCap also views foreign cultures as sources of inspiration.
Meritocratic Capitalism strongly champions individualism. It believes that groupthink is the enemy of innovation. Imagine a business filled with people of similar backgrounds and mindsets, unable to think outside of established consensus. That's going to become stale quickly.
Technology and Progress
Meritocratic Capitalism believes that the free market and technology are intrinsically tied to each other, creating a positive feedback loop. The free market speeds up technological progress to meet human needs, while technological progress makes businesses better able to meet those needs.
MeritCap is generally polite and jolly, treating their competition in businesses with gregarious sportsmanship. They respect even their direct competitors if they think those people are innovative and hard-working. They view employees and customers as the foundation of their businesses, and the arbitrator of good practices in a free market. They're always searching for ways to improve and compete in the market, so they can often be seen observing others, trying to come up with ways to reduce costs or offer better products and services.
However, MeritCap gets agitated when faced with what they view as the "nepotistic upper class," who derive their fortune from PWA and engage in monopolistic/anti-competitive business practices. They are easily enraged when corporations which they view as "weak businesses" are bailed out by the government, because MeritCap thinks that bailouts unfairly hinder free market forces.
MeritCap can be quite critical of most other capitalists due to ideological differences. They won't hesitate to drag corporations and lobbyists on a regular basis for their "betrayal of the free market."
How to Draw
- Draw a ball.
- Fill it with pure yellow (#FFFF00).
- Draw the symbol for meritocracy in navy blue (#013884), with an added dollar sign symbolizing capitalism.
- Optional: add spectacles, a medal, and a top hat.
- Capitalism - I'm grateful for you dad, but passively accumulated wealth always makes your markets become stale eventually. Time for me to take over.
- Meritocracy - Great ideas on who should have influence and power in society; the only thing you're missing is the competitive free market!
- Market Socialism - Using markets to achieve the socialist change you want? Based. But you need to go further and just abolish PWA.
- Georgism, Distributism, Mutualism - All based in different ways, but we come from wildly contrasting places and have divergent ideas on how to have a free market.
- Neoliberalism - STOP WITH THE CORPORATE BAILOUTS! You're just rewarding anti-competitive business practices. Weak businesses MUST fail, no matter how big they are.
- Corpocracy - You're nothing but an utter SHAM.
- Anarcho-Capitalism - You're even worse of a sham.
- Libertarianism - "Individual liberties" huh? PWA will erode that for most people in time. What a joke, you're just Ancap Lite.
- Communists - How can you have innovation without markets? I don't like the nepotism in your party cliques either.
- Fascists - Creepy, racist, nepotistic. Just like the absence of biological diversity makes the gene pool stale and more vulnerable to extinction, so does the absence of cultural diversity make businesses stale and less able to adapt to changing markets.
- Monarchists, Aristocrats, Feudalists - Nepotism as the intended way of granting and transferring power? Restricting trade as a weapon in war? Gross.