Capitalism does not require democracy.
This debate is open to anyone. N00b sniping is not a problem for me. I'll take on all comers.
First round is acceptance.
Second round is arguments.
Third round is counter-arguments and closing statement.
The debate topic is: Capitalism does not require democracy.
BOP will be shared.
Pro will argue that capitalism does not require democracy.
Con will argue that capitalism requires democracy.
I just wish to point out that everyone has different views on everything and therefore making debates possible, I do not believe that we should start fights or cause any type of stirred anger towards one another in this debate and would like to keep the comments as civilized as possible so that everyone can have a good time reading this and posting more comments for us to look at.
seeing as my opponent opened the floor for the debate, I will allow him to go first so that I may present my case afterwards and my rebuttal.
Good luck in the debate, and I hope this will be fun for the both of us!
I want to thank my opponent for taking part in this debate and welcome him to DDO.
First some objective definitions
Capitalism: “An economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market.”
Democracy: “a : government by the people; especially : rule of the majority; b : a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections.”
Authoritarian regimes: “are characterized by non-democratic central governments, lack of transparency, manipulation of the media, and active suppression of opposition and dissent. They are differentiated from totalitarian regimes—such as Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union under Stalin, China under Mao, and modern-day North Korea—that use an even more oppressive form of governance based on charismatic leadership and ideology.”
The reason I wanted to have this debate is because back in grad school there was a lot of talk about whether authoritarian countries like China, as they opened up to the global economy, would become more democratic over time. It used to be generally assumed that capitalism and democracy went hand in hand given that most advanced capitalist nations were also democracies (USA, England, France, Korea, Japan). There is another school of thought that perhaps China and other countries have found a non-democratic alternative to democratic capitalism as it exists in America and Europe. Some argue that this model is a better model to adopt by countries that have authoritarian traditions where democracy might be unworkable.
My position will argue that capitalism can and does exist without the need for democracy.
Nothing prevents an authoritarian regime from employing an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market.
There are several examples of countries that are doing just that by employing a capitalist system or parts of a capitalist system in combination with an authoritarian regime. Essentially these countries are cherry-picking the best elements of authoritarianism and capitalism. The result has been termed state capitalism.
This map is based on data from Freedom House, it shows political rights scores of different countries going from good (white) to bad (dark blue).
Though technically a democracy, Singapore is partly authoritarian. The reason is Singapore’s lack of freedom in the areas of free expression and assembly. Singapore shows the most successful example of an efficient, capitalist, free market state that arguably has not become fully democratic. However, one of the main pillars of Singapore is its very well developed rule of law and lack of corruption. Singapore’s rule of law ensures that free trade and enterprise can take place in a fair environment. By having the ability to resort to the courts system to solve their grievances businesses are allowed as much freedom as possible. It serves as a model of how a state can become very economically advanced without going all the way towards full democratic rights.
Japan had a two periods in which capitalism thrived in a non-democratic environment. One was the beginning of Japan’s modernization, known as the Meiji Period September (1868 through July 1912), and after a brief democratic movement during the Taisho period, came the Showa period (September 1868 through July 1912). The Showa and Meiji periods are examples of Japan successfully merging capitalism and free markets with authoritarian rule. Although the Showa period ended when the US won WW2 and imposed democracy on Japan, in principle, it serves as an example of capitalism without democracy.
Though Russia is technically a democracy, the behavior of the most recent presidents (Putin and Medvedev) has been more in line with a slide towards authoritarianism. There is ample evidence of vote rigging, persecution of the press, and placing opposition members in jail. Despite that Russia’s economy has nearly tripled since 1998, though Russia still has a lot of work to do in the area of economic freedoms, it could still be headed for some form of state capitalism, similar to China’s in the future.
Much like China, Vietnam has recently begun opening up their economy, but has done so without liberalizing their political system.
Because of its enormous size and population (5 times the population of the US), China presents the greatest challenge to the American economic and political model of democracy and capitalism. If China does not develop into a democracy it will become a pillar of authoritarian capitalism. It will also ensure that at least 1/6th of the world’s population lives under such a system. It will be a powerful example for developing countries struggling with maintaining democracy without adequate means.
Saudi Arabia remains the only Arab Nation where no national elections have ever taken place, since its creation. No political parties or national elections are permitted and according to The Economist's 2010 Democracy Index, the Saudi government is the seventh most authoritarian regime from among the 167 countries rated. Although primarily possessing an oil based economy, it has been moving towards free market capitalism in recent decades, without a significant shift towards democracy.
Nothing prevents an authoritarian government from employing elements of capitalism without granting full democratic rights. By ensuring low corruption and excellent rule of law an authoritarian government can create an environment of economic freedom and capitalist growth while ensuring firm control over the country’s political rights. Authoritarian capitalism presents an alternative to democratic capitalism.
Therefore the resolution is proven.
 Linz, Juan J. 2000, Authoritarian and Totalitarian Regimes.
 Binns, Peter (1986). "State Capitalism".
RoeJerk forfeited this round.
Looks like a forfeit. I extend all arguments.
RoeJerk forfeited this round.
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