Ratings do not require participants to have an initial amount of capital in order to utilize products. Currently, it is up to the provider of a product to offer the product for free, trial, or specified amount in terms of capital. The essential problems with this approach are that only few products are available to be releases as free or trial products (typically mostly software products, in contemporary terms), and when these products are released on a trial basis, there is a certain level of risk involved that the product will be essentially stolen and used beyond the trial period. The real world risk is actually very high in this case.
Why do we use capital and what is its function ion a capitalist system?
Capital is essentially used as a mechanism for consumers to rate the usefulness of certain products over others, and also used as a tool by the suppliers of products to rate the integrity or importance of certain consumers over others (although this may not be consciously realized in many cases). The latter mechanism is important because in order for a product to gain recognition, it must be put to good use and the consumer must be verified at some level to possess the knowledge and integrity to be able to correctly use the product. so that the product isn’t put to waste and the supplier can continue to sustainably build and supply the product. Also of consideration in the latter case are the effects of advertising and momentum of the product. If the initial consumers are not evaluated somehow to be in a position that can generate awareness about the product to a meaningful portion of the consumer population, then again the initial products go to waste before the supplier can generate enough resources to continue to build the product.
Awareness is important, so that we know which products are available to invest resources into. But, how can we verify the integrity of the product, so that we know which products to invest in? That would require a centralized system of evaluation. This is accomplished, to an extent, by the exchange of capital. The amount of capital the supplier has, and is making serves as proof that the product s desirable. But, capital alone is not enough to verify this with much integrity. Why is that? It is because capital does not carry any memory about what products it was exchanged for and to which suppliers. Suppliers can (and do) create an illusion of product integrity by presenting large sums of capital purportedly to be gained from consumers of the particular product they wish to promote. In the real world, with systems of credit, and other systems of monitoring capital exchange, we do have a certain level of memory involved in the exchange of capital (ie. what the capital is exchanged for, who it came from, and who it was given to, and the frequency of exchange for certain products, etc.)
So capital functions effectively as a rating system this way. Suppliers with more capital attributed to certain resources will get more attention from investors, and can spend more of that capital on generating advertisement material which are basically attempts to promote certain products.
However, there are many flaws to this system, including great overhead in monitoring capital exchange accurately and emulating the system of memory that basic capital does not have. Also, in the case of promotion, advertisement can be skewed and money can come from sources other than those that truly verify the importance or integrity of a product, like in the case of a supplier who already possesses a large initial sum of capital, and then uses that to promote products they want on the market, even though the products do not have true integrity (note: there are arguably many real world examples of this happening all the time). Also, there is less fluidity in the rating system, because there is a fixed “amount” of ratings that exist to be given out (basically corresponding to the amount of capital wealth available in the given system) and the capital can be owned by certain entities, and it is up to them (and in some cases centralized bodies or government) to allocate these ratings to what they wish. The ratings cannot be taken from the owners to redistribute to the places that rationally need them. And, also due to the lack of fluidity, certain consumers cannot obtain the products they want to evaluate because they need to have a certain amount of capital in order to exchange for products (as mentioned at the beginning of this essay).