I am from a middle-class/slightly lower-middle class family, but I have no family issues whatsoever. I know that this is not the case for many, and I understand that family can be a source of great discontent.
For me, though, it’s simply not so. I love my family dearly, and I can say the same for my friends. I will never do anything to put them in harm’s way or to jeopardise their well-being. Many of my friends and family differ fundamentally from me in terms of philosophy and overall outlook on life. Some of them actively support the the things I oppose, but my ties to them are based on other grounds. We may have differences in ideology and on some deeper level we may not see eye to eye, but that cannot take from the fact that I do love them. They are available to help with personal issues that often stem from this ideology. As is clear with the story of Faust, searching for truth in life is a heavy burden; sometimes when I get to discuss these burdens with a handful of people, and they set aside their contempt for my views and just listen, it gives me reason to keep going down this path.
I do that because I do not think Meritocracy will jeopardise them in any way. It has a clean slate and fair chances for everyone. True, my friends and family will not benefit in life from monetary inheritance, but I think that’s a good thing: they won’t be handicapped, either. They will have complete freedom to become whatever it is within them to be; and as I see it, that is a lot.
Milton Friedman kept saying that the prospect of bequeathing money to family is such a great incentive to be productive. Well, anyone with enough reason and wisdom will know that an inheritance of money is a feeble attempt at a legacy. Money can corrupt and destroy families, too. The best values to leave behind are an honorable memory, sound teachings to your children, help in becoming all they can be by their own efforts, and something powerful enough to make sure none of them ever become “last men”. You can give them money, a stagnant pool that has nothing to offer but what it already is at face value, or you can give them drive, a flowing river that they can follow or shape to enrich their lives in more ways than I can mention.
I had a mentor once, and I had a heroine. Neither one of them ever gave me a single cent; but even now, long after they’re gone, I can go on my entire life without a single reward, on a path with nothing but opposition, just to fight for a cause that I know they would be proud of. I don’t even care whether they can see it or not. I can.
To me that is power. To me that is something money can never replace. Meritocracy will create a society like that: a society of mentors and heroes and heroines. And there will be no “last men”, because each new generation will have drive, without the worldwide corruption and all-encompassing lackluster that billions of dollars can bring. This is something I want to get through to anyone who values their own family enough to know that they need to value everyone else’s.