The Instigator
RedAnarchist
Con (against)
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The Contender
Philocat
Pro (for)
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Capitalism (Reboot)

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Post Voting Period
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It's a Tie!
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/11/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 565 times Debate No: 68149
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (0)

 

RedAnarchist

Con

After some issues with our first go, we agreed to try again with this debate. As before, I will be arguing against Capitalism and hierarchy. The Capitalism I will be arguing against is regular Capitalism, that of which has not been edited, or "root Capitalism."

Format:
Round 1 -- Opening Statements/Settling of Positions and Acceptance
Round 2 -- Arguments
Round 3 -- Rebuttals
Round 4 -- Closing Statements/Summarizing Arguments and Final Thoughts

Rules:
1. No insulting (Ad Hominem)
2. Proper Grammar and Spelling is Appreciated
3. Keep the Debate on the Topic of Capitalism
4. Breaking Format (Without Proper Reason) Is Automatic Forfeit
5. Sources are considered credible not by popularity but by the logic and reason that they use.

Terms/Definitions:
1. Capitalism - An economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state.
2. Hierarchy - The process by which at least one person has authority over another person(s). This authority is not necessarily natural, but can be in certain instances.

I look forward to debating you and I hope you accept the terms.
Philocat

Pro

I accept my opponents definitions.

I will be arguing that capatalism is a more effective, pragmatic and workable economic model than its peers (namely socialism and, more specifically, communism).

Note that I am not arguing for extreme capatalism, I am arguing for moderate capatalism which can co-exist with publically funded healthcare, a welfare state and governmental prohibition of immoral practice.
Debate Round No. 1
RedAnarchist

Con

I'd like to thank you for accepting my debate.

1. Capitalism Is Contradictory To Itself

Capitalism is a very contradictory system. One major example being the supply and demand function. More specifically, how it affects the economy. Supply and demand change how the economy is performing, if demand is low for food, food supply increases and as does the population, then the supply of food goes down and the prices go up, causing mass starvation and poverty.

With all of it's contradictions, Capitalism will destroy itself. This was predicted by Karl Marx, and after 2008, it's started to show true. Capitalism contains its own destruction. In their chase for profits, businesses trade workers for machines. "The higher return on capital means that the share of profits rises and the share of wages falls, and soon the mass of the population isn't earning enough to buy the goods capitalism produces." - IQSquared

2. Capitalism Calls For Immoral Behavior

It can be argued that government intervention will prevent immoral behavior in a Capitalist society, but Capitalism will yet rely on famine and war to control the population. Not just this, but the above statement that supply and demand causes starvation and poverty is also immoral. Not just this, but you have to educate people to accept hierarchy, which then causes miniature hierarchies on a daily basis. To be more specific, bullying, assault, and even murder are direct results of poverty affecting the population.

3. Hierarchy Is Unnatural

Humans don't like to be oppressed, but if hierarchy were natural then surely we'd be okay with it, right? Not just that, but inequality actually causes many health problems, one of the more extreme outcomes being death. This proves that hierarchy, which is intrinsic to Capitalism, is entirely unnatural and that humans are much more altruistic.

4. Capitalism Benefits The...Benefited?

In Capitalism, there are always at least two classes: the working class and the rich. The rich are usually those who own the means of production privately, otherwise known as the capitalists. The working class are those who must sell their ability to work to live. Capitalism gives capital, which is usually currency, to the rich, and further widens the socioeconomical gap between the rich and the working class. E.G.: Person A owns 50 acres of farming land. Persons B, C, and D all own 15 acres of farming land. Person A has much more capital than persons B, C, and D, thus allowing for person A to make persons B, C, and D work for person A, granting person A more capital.

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Citations:
1.
http://www.equalitytrust.org.uk...
2. http://libcom.org...;
3.
http://inequality.org...
Philocat

Pro

Capitalism is a superior economic system for the following reasons:




Society

I argue that capitalism is conducive to a healthy society, this is for two reasons:

1. There is a large incentive to work hard and be successful.

2. The difficult jobs are paid highly compared to low-skilled jobs, this provides an incentive for people to train for the jobs that are a large asset to society.

In contrast, in a communist society there is no reason why someone should want to train to do a difficult job when they could get the same pay for doing an easier job. This leads to a shortage of people to do difficult jobs such as doctors or lawyers.




Economics

Capitalism is a remarkably self-regulating system.

The balance of supply and demand is efficiently maintained in a capitalist system. Let us say that product X is suddenly in demand; suppliers will rush to produce X due to the potential profits. Similarly, if product Y is no longer in demand then suppliers will cease production of it under threat of potential losses. This also avoids wasted resources that could be lost to the over-production resulting from failing to respond to falling demand.
Adapting to demand is much less efficient in a communist system as any potential profit to be made by meeting rising demand is dampened by state redistribution of wealth. And any losses that are suffered from failing to adapt to demand are softened by state economic support.

Moreover, the quality and affordability of products is regulated by capitalism. If a business is selling poor quality products or is guilty of overpricing then consumers will simply go elsewhere. This means that only sellers of good products at affordable prices survive, which is beneficial to a quality economy as well as the quality of life of consumers.

Finally, capitalism allows for significant economic growth. Retention of profits allows more money to be reinvested into the economy to generate more wealth. This can cause exponential growth.




Human nature

An economic system must be pragmatic in order to work, and a system can only be pragmatic if it is in accordance to human nature.
Capitalism is arguably the most suitable economic system considering human nature, as we fundamentally seek to accumulate resources (we evolved from hunter-gatherers (1)). Man is not suited to having the fruits of his labours taken away by the state and given to those who have worked less hard.

Capitalism is also a very free system of economics; anyone can achieve success simply by hard-work, perseverance and resourcefulness. There are no unassailable class barriers to achieving material wealth.
Freedom is embraced, which is beneficial because people can develop best when left to grow laissez-faire and allowed to make their own mistakes.

Evidence of the humanistic benefits of capitalism is that people in capitalist countries such as the USA are generally happier than those in socialist countries such as China (2).




Prevention of tyranny

First we must consider the actual role of government:

'The government runs the country. It has the responsibility for developing and implementing policy and for drafting laws. ' (3)

Essentially, the government is a law-making institution and is separate to the corporate world. If the economy is completely under the thumb of the state then they have a monopoly of power. They can tax businesses heavily just because they can get away with it (due to state centralisation). In capitalist countries the government's power is limited by the free market. This can prevent corruption and damaging economic policies; companies can simply move to other countries. In this way, the government is prevented from abusing its power.

Looking at other countries, socialist countries such as North Korea, the USSR and China all have/had very controlling governments, bordering on tyranny.




As this is my opening statement, I will refrain from responding to Con's arguments until the next round.




(1)http://www.journals.elsevier.com...
(2) http://www.parliament.uk...
(3) http://www.washingtonpost.com...
Debate Round No. 2
RedAnarchist

Con

Society

1. There is a large incentive to work hard and be successful.

In Capitalism, you're not given an incentive to work, you're forced to work. Those who can't work, even with the help of economic reforms supporting them, live in persistent poverty. The "incentive" you speak of actually encourages those with money and thus more greed to push their attempts for more capital to a higher point.

2. The difficult jobs are paid highly compared to low-skilled jobs, this provides an incentive for people to train for the jobs that are a large asset to society.

The amount of skill required for a job doesn't directly effect the pay one receives for working that job in Capitalism. For example, a C.E.O. who performs little to no labor and is at the top of a hierarchy receives more pay than, for example, someone who works on an assembly line. This laborer who works on the assembly line has to train themselves to memorize a pattern of assembling a product and they must do it as fast as they can. This laborer also, depending on the product being manufactured, is putting themselves in more danger compared to the C.E.O.

In contrast, in a communist society there is no reason why someone should want to train to do a difficult job when they could get the same pay for doing an easier job. This leads to a shortage of people to do difficult jobs such as doctors or lawyers.

In Communism, there is plenty of incentive. That incentive is also quite natural; to survive. Humans all have their dream jobs. Dream jobs are not usually correlated with the income associated with that job. In Communism, the incentive to be a doctor, for example, is to help people who are in need of medical help.

It should also be pointed out that in Communism, there is no currency, as currency leads to a class society. Communism instead uses trade based on utilitarianism.



Economics

Capitalism is a remarkably self-regulating system.

Capitalism relies on the government to systematically oppress the population into accepting Capitalism. This means that Capitalism cannot self-regulate as it requires a state as well.

The balance of supply and demand is efficiently maintained in a capitalist system. Let us say that product X is suddenly in demand; suppliers will rush to produce X due to the potential profits. Similarly, if product Y is no longer in demand then suppliers will cease production of it under threat of potential losses. This also avoids wasted resources that could be lost to the over-production resulting from failing to respond to falling demand.

While this is true, it also has an effect on the population. Using the same process of supply and demand, food demand will go down with a low population, and supply of food will go up. This means that the population will also rise dramatically. This leads to mass starvation and poverty, because the demand for food will spike too sharp for producers to match and food supply will drop dramatically causing the aforementioned starvation and poverty.

Adapting to demand is much less efficient in a communist system as any potential profit to be made by meeting rising demand is dampened by state redistribution of wealth. And any losses that are suffered from failing to adapt to demand are softened by state economic support.

What you are talking about here is State Capitalism. In Communism, there is no state, nor is there currency. With a lack of currency, no profit can be made because there's no supply and demand process either. The state can't own the means of production because there's no state to do so.

Moreover, the quality and affordability of products is regulated by capitalism. If a business is selling poor quality products or is guilty of overpricing then consumers will simply go elsewhere. This means that only sellers of good products at affordable prices survive, which is beneficial to a quality economy as well as the quality of life of consumers.

This paragraph proves that the people regulate the quality and affordability of products, not Capitalism. Capitalism is focused on the people making consumer choices, and thus not only relies on the state, but also the people. Therefore, Capitalism is not self-regulating, it relies on systematic oppression offered by a state and consumer choices.

Finally, capitalism allows for significant economic growth. Retention of profits allows more money to be reinvested into the economy to generate more wealth. This can cause exponential growth.

Communism is not concerned about economic growth, as Communism is focused on the people, not money.



Human Nature

An economic system must be pragmatic in order to work, and a system can only be pragmatic if it is in accordance to human nature.

Considering that currency and the Capitalist system in general has only been around for 200 years compared to the near 1,000,000 years of human existence(1) (or 6,000 if you're theist), it's only logical to think that Capitalism (or something similar to it) would have appeared much sooner to human creation/beginning if it pertains to human nature. But this is not the case, because humans have been observed to practice altruism. Altruism in humans negates the argument that humans are naturally greedy.

Capitalism is arguably the most suitable economic system considering human nature, as we fundamentally seek to accumulate resources (we evolved from hunter-gatherers (1)). Man is not suited to having the fruits of his labours taken away by the state and given to those who have worked less hard.

It's true that humans seek to accumulate resources, but keeping these resources to ourselves instead of sharing our resources with the others was not what happened. As hunter-gatherers, we would hunt and gather food and share it with the entirety of the community.

Communism doesn't take the resources that one person makes and gives it to someone else. What you make is yours. Of course, there will always be surplus, and that surplus is given to those who are incapable of creating their own goods. "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need."

Capitalism is also a very free system of economics; anyone can achieve success simply by hard-work, perseverance and resourcefulness. There are no unassailable class barriers to achieving material wealth.

This is what Capitalists say, but we don't ever see it happen. This is because you must have a sufficient amount of money to start a business, therefore those who are poor and thus no money to spare are left with a class barrier that prevents them from being an entrepeneur.

Freedom is embraced, which is beneficial because people can develop best when left to grow laissez-faire and allowed to make their own mistakes.

Laissez-faire Capitalism is the Capitalism in which the government doesn't intervene. Most notibly with working conditions. The early 1800s is the best example of laissez-faire Capitalism, with child labor, six day work weeks, and 14 hour work days(2).

Evidence of the humanistic benefits of capitalism is that people in capitalist countries such as the USA are generally happier than those in socialist countries such as China (2).

This is because the U.S. has many more Socialist reforms than China. China is State Capitalist, and also a dictatorship. That is why people are unhappy there, because China isn't Communist. Nor is Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam, etc.




Prevention of Tyranny

'The government runs the country. It has the responsibility for developing and implementing policy and for drafting laws.'

The government must also convince people that Capitalism is the way to go. This is why the modern day educational system has a fixed and inflexible agenda.

Essentially, the government is a law-making institution and is separate to the corporate world. If the economy is completely under the thumb of the state then they have a monopoly of power.

Yes and no; what you speak of is State Capitalism. However, the state is not completely separate from Capitalism, otherwise we would live in laissez-faire Capitalism under which the average lifespan in cities would be about 17(3).

They can tax businesses heavily just because they can get away with it (due to state centralisation). In capitalist countries the government's power is limited by the free market. This can prevent corruption and damaging economic policies; companies can simply move to other countries. In this way, the government is prevented from abusing its power.

Abuse of state power can't be stopped by something that relies on the state. Capitalism requires the state to limit corporate power to prevent monopolization of industries, such as the purified water industry.

Looking at other countries, socialist countries such as North Korea, the USSR and China all have/had very controlling governments, bordering on tyranny.

These State Capitalist countries are/were tyrannical by far. What you speak of is actually Authoritarian Socialism, not the Libertarian Socialism that we speak of. Authoritarian Socialism, as seen in the USSR, is often associated with Libertarian Socialism simply because these Authoritarian Socialist countries are under the name of Left-Libertarian ideologies. Maoists, for example, are actually statist. Stalinists as well. Notice that the leaders of these countries have ideologies named after them, instead of being simply Communist. This is because they aren't actually Communist.

Citations:
    1. Any highschool textbook.

    1. Again, any highschool textbook should mention early Capitalism.

    1. ^
Philocat

Pro

First I thank my opponent for his arguments; I will begin by briefly responding to his opening statement and then responding to his rebuttals.




'Capitalism Is Contradictory To Itself'

As my opponent refers to this point in his rebuttals, I will respond to it later in this round.

'Capitalism Calls For Immoral Behavior'

Not if there is proper government regulation to enforce moral behaviour.
In response to the point that you have to educate people to accept hierarchy and that this causes miniature hierarchies, I would argue that these hierarchies are not necessarily immoral so long as they are not abused. Hierarchy is not an immoral concept in and of itself; any bullying, murder or assault that may result from it is from abuse of hierarchy, but this happens in socialist countries as well.

'Hierarchy Is Unnatural'

I fundamentally dispute this premise. In pretty much every single human culture there is a hierarchy of some form or another. In primitive tribes there was always a chief and various levels of subordination. George Orwell's novel 'Animal Farm' portrayed very well just how unrealistic a non-hierarchal society is, as hierarchy is a part of human nature. (1)
Finally, my opponent presumes that alturism and hierarchy are mutually exclusive; this is an unwarranted assertion.

'Capitalism Benefits The...Benefited? '

The existence of people such as Li Ka-shing refutes this statement. Li fled China to Hong-Kong in 1940 with no capital at the age of 14 and eventually founded a business out of sheer hard-work and industriousness. He is now worth almost $32 billion (2).
Whilst it may be the case that capitalism generally favours the rich, we must consider the fact that the rich are rich generally due to hard-work and their own achievements. Rewarding this is not a bad thing.




I will now respond to my opponent's rebuttals.

'you're not given an incentive to work, you're forced to work.'

I never said that the incentive was to work, I said that the incentive was to work in difficult jobs such as doctors or lawyers.

'Those who can't work... live in persistent poverty'

This is, as it were, a necessary evil. If one could live fairly affluently without working then there would be little incentive to work; therefore it must be made more rewarding to work than not work.
Besides, it is possible to not work and not be in abject poverty with the help of a modest welfare state like what is in place in Britain.

'more greed to push [the rich's] attempts for more capital to a higher point.'

In a capitalist society, the best way to accumulate capital is to work harder. Therefore this greed would encourage people to work harder. This is not a bad thing.

'For example, a C.E.O... receives more pay than, for example, someone who works on an assembly line.'

This is because a CEO is a very difficult job. It may not be physically straining, but it is mentally straining.
I argue that there is a necessary correlation between difficulty of job and salary. For if a job is difficult then few people will want to do it, hence the salary is increased to incentivise people. If a job is easy then many people will want to do it, hence the salary is decreased so the business can minimse costs. This means that there is a general postive relationship between salary and job-difficulty.

'That incentive is also quite natural; to survive'

That is only an incentive to work full-stop. What is needed is an incentive to work in difficult jobs.

'Humans all have their dream jobs.'

Few jobs are 'dream jobs'. Maybe the classic ones such as 'fireman' or 'footballer', but most jobs such as 'chiropractic nurse' or 'financial consultant' are not considered to be peoples' 'dream job', so a monetary incentive is needed to get people to do these jobs. I would also argue that salary is a key factor in one deciding their 'dream job'.

'the incentive to be a doctor, for example, is to help people who are in need of medical help.'

I don't deny this, but society is always in need of doctors and it is not enough to just rely on the existential passion of particular individuals to fulfil the demand. There must be a pay-incentive to incite more people to become doctors otherwise there won't be enough. Besides, it is a lot easier to pay doctors more in order to attract more potential-doctors rather than attempt to inspire people to do a difficult job that is no more rewarding than an easier job.

'in Communism, there is no currency, as currency leads to a class society. Communism instead uses trade based on utilitarianism.'

A trade-based economy might have worked in an isolated community with limited resource variety; but it is impossible in our global market because we need currency to trade with other economies and faciliate small-scale business. The truth is that we have a huge variety of different resources these days. A trade-based economy could only work where only a small number of resources such as raw materials, weapons or clothes are produced.

'Capitalism cannot self-regulate as it requires a state as well.'

It can self-regulate insofar as the government allows it to; it still self-regulates because it does not require constant maintenance and state-intervention like a communist system would.

'food demand will go down with a low population, and supply of food will go up. '

Why would supply of food go up? If farmers see that there is decreasing demand then they will decrease their supply accordingly to avoid wastage.

'This means that the population will also rise dramatically. '

Increased supply of food will not increase the population, at least not directly or dramatically.

'demand for food will spike too sharp for producers to match '

Population increase is something that happens over generations; definitely not fast enough that producers can't keep up.

'With a lack of currency, no profit can be made because there's no supply and demand process either.'

Without a concept of supply and demand there would be huge wastage in some products and scarcity in others, as producers would not produce according to demand. For example they would produce a set amount of tractors even if there is no demand for tractors.

'people regulate the quality and affordability of products, not Capitalism'

Capitalism is the only economic system in which the people are able to regulate products. Capitalism does not regulate it, but it is a system that allows the people to do so.

'Therefore, Capitalism is not self-regulating, it relies on systematic oppression offered by a state and consumer choices.'

It is self-regulating given certain conditions; such as state and social approval. These are not difficult milestones to achieve as capitalism works well with both the state and society; as shown by the relative prosperity of capitalist countries throughout history.

'Communism is not concerned about economic growth, as Communism is focused on the people, not money.'

There is a significant correlation between the economic prosperity of one's country and one's happiness, so capitalism is helping people by helping the economy. (3)

'Considering that currency and the Capitalist system in general has only been around for 200 years compared to the near 1,000,000 years of human existence'

The human civilisation of thousands of years ago is very different to society today, and so economics has evolved accordingly. I would argue that capitalism was NOT the best economic system for a tribal society with little external trade and product-diversity. But today we need capitalism because of the nature of international trade and the huge variety of products that exist. Besides, currency has been around for more than 4000 years (4).

'But this is not the case, because humans have been observed to practice altruism.'

Altruism still works in a capitalist society; hence why pretty much all the major charities have been formed in capitalist countries.

'Altruism in humans negates the argument that humans are naturally greedy.'

Not really, I can be altruistic at times and greedy at others; the traits are not mutually exclusive when it comes to human nature.

'It's true that humans seek to accumulate resources, but keeping these resources to ourselves instead of sharing our resources with the others was not what happened.'

Capitalism still allows for sharing of resources, so long as it is not systematically forced.

'What you make is yours.'

In communism, what you make is taken from you and redistributed.

'those who are poor and thus no money to spare are left with a class barrier that prevents them from being an entrepeneur.'

In a capitalist society, bank loans exist for this very purpose.

'China isn't Communist. Nor is Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam, etc.'

Does this not beg the question of why no country is actually communist, considering it is supposedly such a good system?




'The government must also convince people that Capitalism is the way to go'

Not if the people are already convinced. Besides, there is no evidence that the education system is disproportionately promoting capitalism.

'However, the state is not completely separate from Capitalism,'

Agreed, but so long as the economic system is not totally under state-control then the state's power is curbed.

'Abuse of state power can't be stopped by something that relies on the state'

This would be the case if the state could forcibly disband capitalism. I doubt this could happen without some coup being carried out.

'This is because they aren't actually Communist.'

This brings me back to my earlier point. Surely the fact that no single country is actually communist is testimony to the fact that it is a poor and unworkable economic system?

I apologise for lack of clarification on some points, I am nearly out of characters.

(1) Orwell, George : 'Animal Farm'
(2) http://en.wikipedia.org...
(3) http://www.economist.com...
(4) http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 3
RedAnarchist

Con

To summarize my arguments, Capitalism has immoral practices, though through your arguments I have, at the least, considered how far government intervention can go to stop these immoral behaviors; laissez-faire Capitalism is not modern Capitalism, Capitalism is a highly contradictory system, and a very long list of other things that, to be perfectly honest, I'm too tired to list currently.

I would like to point out that, while Communism has not been practiced before, many other leftist ideologies have. For example, the Spanish Revolution, the EZLN, and New Harmony, Indiana are all examples of leftist ideologies in practice.

I thoroughly enjoyed debating this topic with you. May the people decide the winner :)
Philocat

Pro

Philocat forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Philocat 1 year ago
Philocat
Not my fault nobody bothered to vote.
Posted by bballcrook21 1 year ago
bballcrook21
Come on Philo, how could you tie a debate with this bimbo.
Posted by RedAnarchist 2 years ago
RedAnarchist
My citations on my rebuttal appear to have messed up. They should be numbered. I apologize.
No votes have been placed for this debate.