The Instigator
Pro (for)
1 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

Capitalism does not require democracy.

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/7/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 7,273 times Debate No: 25044
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (30)
Votes (1)




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.


Thank you for making this debate and allowing me to debate with you sir.

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!
Debate Round No. 1


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.”[1]

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.”[2]

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.”[3]


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.[5] 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.

First argument:

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.

Second argument:

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.[6] The result has been termed state capitalism.[7]

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.[8] 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

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.[9] 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.

Vote pro!

[3] Linz, Juan J. 2000, Authoritarian and Totalitarian Regimes.

[7] Binns, Peter (1986). "State Capitalism".



RoeJerk forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


Looks like a forfeit. I extend all arguments.


RoeJerk forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
30 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by WMdebate 4 years ago
I agree with RoeJerk.
Posted by RoeJerk 4 years ago
I'm going to ask that we do not debate on the comments and try to persuade others to vote for one side to try to keep other's views from being swayed by other comments. If you would like to debate in the comments. all i ask is that you wait until the voting round. Thank you
Posted by 16kadams 4 years ago
Democracy is rule by the mob. Republic is rule by electors. Although we could be considered a democracy we are a different sub-set.

Republic means public matter -- the law.

Democracy means rule by the people (demos) -- rule by majority

The resolution is mainly in pros favor here.
Posted by WMdebate 4 years ago
Guys, I'm trying to fish here.
Posted by TheOrator 4 years ago
Haha, sorry about taking so long to post that :P
Anywho, sounds fairly simple. A dictator allows free market. Neither communism nor socialism are required for a dictatorship, simply a sole leader in charge with absolute authority. Whether or not he exercises that authority in the market is an unknown, so theoretically it could work.
Posted by Wallstreetatheist 4 years ago
Political Democracy actively acts against Capitalism. See the book Democracy: The God That Failed.
Posted by WMdebate 4 years ago
Well I have a lot of debates going... but my opponents are taking their sweet time, and one of them forfeited. Plus I'm getting quicker at posting my arguments. I'm game if you are. If you want I'll wait until the last day to post my arguments.
Posted by mark.marrocco 4 years ago
Yeah the posting periods max out at 3 days, which tends to be what everyone does anyways. lol Didn't you say you were busy too? I guess I could start that one before the other if you were ready now, or soon.

It's not in the official rules, that's why I said implicitly. I vaguely remember something in the rule video about it this that would be helpful though. lol It just seems that way from some of the debates I've looked at and voted on. It really depends on the type of debate, but it really seems like if you make a positive, counterintuitive claim, and don't state the BOP explicitly, then the BOP is implicitly on Pro. I guess it also depends on what kind of claims people make over the course of the debate about the BOP as well, because that might influence people.

I feel like I would be in this type of situation with my claim:

However, if you explicitly share the BOP with me, then it simplifies things and I'll just be Pro for my original claim.
Posted by WMdebate 4 years ago
Don't worry mark, I wasn't worried about you being upset so much as other people...

I could give you generous posting periods. You could let the arguments sit in the back of your head, focus on your other debates, and just post when you are ready.

I wouldn't mind sharing the BOP.

That thing about BOP really bugs me. I actually feel like if not stated BOP should be shared. First, because it's usually a tactic used by n00b snipers to take out newbies who post debates. Also, because all things considered if there is no rule and Con accepts, there's no reason to give Con an advantage based on an unstated custom of DDO. Last I checked "positive statements get the BOP" isn't in the official DDO rules.

Also, @thett3 shhhh don't scare away the fish!
Posted by mark.marrocco 4 years ago
Yes I did, but this isn't a debate! lol And yes, I've learned quickly. Also,

1) I don't get upset, even though my comments may seem incisive at times. I'm not a debater per se, just a self-proclaimed intellectual who enjoys the exercise of debating, and the friendly competition as well. I can't help it if it's the one place where I can vent my political rage. lol

2) I know I'm new, but you're a little newer, so the BOP, unless explicitly stated, usually does implicitly rest on the person making a positive claim, especially when it's counterintuitive.

3) The reason I'm wary about the exact resolution is because I already had a similar debate that I felt I lost because I didn't word the resolution as well as I could have, but it was generally the same idea. It was my first real debate I think:

4) If you want to really be a stickler about it I'll do it anyways. lol I just don't know if I'll have time yet, as I have some real life stuff going on and am waiting for darkkermit, who is also busy, to accept my debate "Humanity Should Abolish Money" which will be quite a challenge in itself. I would be combating two delusional mass beliefs about American society at once. Which I'm game for, but I don't want to give them up to an unfortunate forfeit situation.

5) I talked trash about the U.S. *government* specifically. I will not hesitate to do it again. The U.S. *people* are a different story, who deserve *less* criticism, but *not* none. (; lol
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Man-is-good 4 years ago
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct to Pro. Although in the past I would have conceded points for argumentation to Pro--especially with his demonstrations of countries with adulterated capitalist economies in not wholly democratic settings, Con never, however, made an argument to permit a fair comparison. In any ways, Pro wins due to Con's sudden....failure to communicate. ;)