The current class system serves no real purpose other than to create a separation between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’. Aretecracy has removed the old class system and replaced it with a system which places people in classes they deserve to be in.
The removal of the upper class.
This one is pretty obvious. The super-rich are no longer welcome in our new society. To live this sort of lifestyle they will have to earn their way in to Meritocratic class.
The rebranding of the ‘Working and middle classes’
‘Working class’ is a little bit of a misnomer as it currently covers people both with and without jobs, in fact usually those who work hard enough to make great careers out of their jobs often end up joining the middle class, which also makes little sense.
I therefore propose amalgamating the working and middle classes into a single ‘Standard class’. This will be the vast majority of the population.
The quality of life within the Standard class will vary greatly, the difference in quality of life between those with the lowest and highest amounts of Grace in the Standard class will be dramatic and the Grace an individual earns directly impacts their income and living arrangements.
The creation of a “Meritocrat” class.
Being standard class will not be something to be ashamed or proud of, as being a part of that class will simply state that you can function as a normal member of society.
However human nature still needs something to aspire to, so I propose the creation of a class based on merit. To become a part of this class will be difficult. It will require you to accomplish something, which will be of great benefit to the future of mankind (e.g. inventing a great product, making a big stride in reducing carbon emissions etc.…) or being recognised by others as being worthy of merit. This can be done by simply being an exceptionally caring person.
You can also earn your way into that class through earning enough Grace, however this will take most people a significant amount of time, likely decades. Only the truly great will earn a place here.
Once you are a member of that class, you will receive a significantly larger allowance and have a legitimately higher social status. You will be allowed to choose from the finest properties available or you can have two smaller properties in order to have a holiday home (assuming both properties reside within the Aretecratic Union)
Being removed from the class will be caused by repeated bad behaviour or a discovery that your eligibility to join was not attained through your own merit (e.g. stealing credit for someone else’s work).
This means that people can still be rich, but those who attain this status will truly deserve it, as they will have contributed an exceptional amount to humanity.
The creation of a Toxic class.
There will always be people in this world who want to ruin it for the rest of us, I don’t want a system where freedom of speech is removed or that having certain viewpoints will be criminalised. People should be free to believe and say whatever they like.
Having said that, something needs to be done with people who are part of the ‘dark side’ of humanity. There will therefore be another class known as ‘Toxics’, these people will not be eligible to have children, they will never be given access to any desirable or high-Grace jobs and no matter how hard they work, they will never be provided with anything more than a subsistence living allowance. The best they can hope for is to make-up for their past transgressions and earn enough Grace to return to the Standard class.
Note: This is not going to become a ‘slave class’ (although they will be the people who end up doing the most undesirable jobs). People in this class will still never be subject to abuse and will be entitled to the same protections as any other class. In fact their standard of living will probably still be higher than that of the lower-working class in todays society.
Entering this class is probably going to be a one-way street for many people, as once you are a Toxic; you will stay there until you die unless you work tremendously hard to earn enough Grace to prove that you deserve to leave it. The reason for this is that I believe the only people to enter this class will deserve it and many of them won’t have any desire to better themselves. However those that do realise they’ve made a wrong turn in life should have the ability to correct their mistakes.
Thankfully nobody will enter this class who doesn’t deserve to be there, being classified, as a ‘Toxic’ will be similar to a criminal sentence. If you find yourself here, you either did something terrible or you bought your way here through many years of bad behaviour.
There will also be a sub-toxic class, anyone in this class has done something which would get either life imprisonment or the death penalty, 100% of the people in this class will either be in jail or will have served a considerable sentence. People who find themselves here will be sentenced to it, similar to a prison sentence. Until they have served their sentence they will never be eligible to earn Grace and regardless of if they have served an actual jail sentence or not, they will be kept segregated from normal society – possibly in some kind of penal colony or guarded community. Those who live long enough to serve their sentence will then enter the Toxic class.
Becoming a part of this class will be through repeated proof that this person is not safe to be around other people. Repeated violent offenders will make up the vast majority of this class.
The creation of a ‘Dependency’ class.
There is no escaping the need for a way to classify those who are dependent on other people. This class will consist of children and those who are handicapped to the point of dependency on others. This class will receive an additional allowance category from the government in order to keep them protected and comfortable. This will be accessible by either themselves or a nominated party.
The Dependency class is not the same as the other classes, it can be thought of as a secondary class, all adults will also have a primary class which will be either Standard, Toxic or Meritocratic.
Adult members of this class will be given a more thorough assessment when they apply to have children (For the sake of the child, it hast to be deemed that at least one of the parents is mentally/physically capable of raising a child).
Children will automatically leave the Dependency class and join the Standard class at the age of 18, at which point they will be provided with housing and encouraged to obtain employment or enter higher education. If a child does not wish to leave home at 18, they can defer leaving the Dependency class until any point before their 21st birthday. If for any reason they do not wish to leave home after this point then they may remain there provided they are not a lower class member than their parents.
Unlike the current class system, class mobility will be encouraged. Education will be provided freely to everyone in all classes and ‘back to work’ programs for those who want to work but struggle will also be provided without charge. There will also be many incentive schemes in place to encourage members of the Toxic class to better themselves and raise themselves out.
Different class members in one household
Every individual is different and its entirely possible that someone from one class may fall in love with (or be related to) someone in a different class. In these circumstances the household assignment will always fall towards the non-standard class member. Therefore if you are a standard class member who lives with a Meritocratic class member then you will be allowed to live in the meritocratic house assignment with them.
However if your partner is in the Toxic class then choosing to live with that person will mean also living in housing appropriate to the Toxic class. The one exception to this rule is caring for a member of the Dependency class who is also a Toxic. In this instance an assessment will be made to ensure that the Toxic dependent is not a danger to the local society, if so then an exemption will be granted and that person may continue to live in the home of the higher class member.
In the rare cases where a member of the Meritocratic class wishes to live with a member of the Toxic class then they will have to deal with living in Toxic class housing.
This may seem unfair to some, however the reason behind this is to attempt to rewire the minds of humanity to always aspire to be better people and I believe that in this system the people in the standard and meritocratic classes are legitimately better people and I want the toxic class to be something people could never wear as a badge of honour (like the UK’s ASBO system). People who enter the Toxic class are toxic to society and I believe that good people shouldn’t have to put up with them.
Of course none of this will affect each individuals allowance allotment and they still still be given the credits which correspond to their class.