Our notions of merit died in the pandemic

This is a time of reckoning for a lot of people whose mouths have frothed at the very mention of "redistribution of wealth". For a long time, what this phrase meant to them is that poor people will take their money. So they sided with those who had more money than them, under the impression that the direction in which money was flowing just and if they played their cards right, they might get to skinny dip in this unnatural upward-flowing river.

The part they didn't think about is what happens to those who can't afford what they can afford. It was an easy thing to ignore. People dying without food, medicine, and shelter was not something that happens to "people like us".

Now, for the first time in a long while, things have come to a point where "people like us" are dying without food, medicine, and shelter. For the first time, we can look at the phrase "redistribution of wealth" and see what it really means and why it is really important. For the first time, we don't get to hide behind facile arguments like "merit" and "hard work".

Because if merit and hard work decided who gets access to hospitals, oxygen, and medication, we would have to conclude that a lot of "people like us" are without merit. Life, education, and healthcare shouldn't be things one has to haggle for. These should be fundamental guarantees available to all human beings everywhere. We have to acknowledge that the system we live in is a broken one. It devalues human life and human dignity in favour of back massages for those willing to consume souls for power.

Our notions of merit are now little more than smoke rising from burning corpses by the roadside. All they have done is propel sociopaths into power and helped cowering opportunists climb the poisonous trees they planted. Wealth and its flow should no longer be allowed to be directed in meaningless directions so that a few make profits at the cost of the welfare of the many. The alternative is doom.

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