This relentless focus on intersubjective, interpersonal relations between individual members of different classes completely overlooks the ways in which capitalism operates as a system of objective social relationships. As Ellen Meiksins Wood has argued, the universal market dependence that defines capitalism necessarily imposes certain imperatives on economic activity: competition, profit maximization, accumulation, productivity growth. Workers and capitalists alike are subject to the constraints of the market and are forced to comply with its demands in order to survive. They simply have no choice but to do so, regardless of their personal beliefs, attitudes, and values. Exploitation occurs not because owners and employers are prejudiced against workers but because the whip of competition constantly forces them to cut costs, intensify workers’ labor, and reduce wages. Even if prejudicial attitudes toward working-class people were eradicated tomorrow, class exploitation would still continue. What’s more, those attitudes would likely resurface because abusing and mistreating other human beings always requires a justification.
link this to meritocracy