The Instigator
cactusbin
Con (against)
Losing
6 Points
The Contender
RoyLatham
Pro (for)
Winning
58 Points

Capitalism in practice does more good than harm

Do you like this debate?NoYes+1
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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 11 votes the winner is...
RoyLatham
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/29/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 11,797 times Debate No: 11573
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (93)
Votes (11)

 

cactusbin

Con

I will let Pro go first, although I will provide definitions and burdens that are to be preferred.

Burden of the affirmative (pro):

To win the affirmative must prove that in practice (in the real world) (as opposed to 'in principle') capitalism does more good for people than it harms them. In other words, there are more advantages than disadvantages. NO ALTERNATIVE HAS TO BE GIVEN THIS IS SIMPLY ABOUT CAPITALISM (i.e. the argument "there is no good alternative" is not valid).

I will be giving definitions, and I politely ask that my opponent does not drag me into any stupid semantic debates.

I also ask that any claims made by either side be backed up by evidence from a credible source.

Capitalism:
an economic system based on private ownership of capital (Princeton Wordnet)

In Practice:
really, in effect. Not hypothetically (wiktionary)

Good:
having desirable or positive qualities especially those suitable for a thing specified (Princeton Wordnet)

Harm:
physical or mental damage (Merriam Webster)

The debate should go as follows:
R1
Aff - Capitalism Advantages

R2
Neg - Refutation of Advantages, list of Disadvantages
Aff - Refutation of disadvantages, defence of advantages

R2
Neg - Refutation of defence of advantages, defence of disadvantages
Aff - Refutation of defence of disadvantages, defence of advantages

R3
Neg - Impact Calculus
Aff - Impact Calculus

Impact calculus means comparing the aff advantages to the neg disadvantages, and determining which are more important/relevant/etc.

No new advantages or disadvantages should be brought up after the first round.

I assume the right to clarify rules if they should come into dispute (if you have a question about the rules before we begin simply ask them in the comments, don't take the debate and after I clarify the rules claim abuse...)

OVERVIEW FOR VOTERS:

*All claims without evidence from credible sources are assumed to be invalid.
*All advantages/disadvantges claimed after each side's first speech are assumed to be invalid.
*No alternative for capitalism will come into play in this debate. Providing/asking for/advocating for or against an alternative is a non-voting issue.
RoyLatham

Pro

Thanks to Con for initiating this debate. It's a good topic.

The advantages of capitalism are:

1. It increases the overall wealth of a society. The economic well-being of a populace is best measured by how many people are lifted above mere subsistence. Capitalism is best at doing that. The most economically prosperous economies, except for a few oil-rich authoritarian regimes and similar special situations, are the countries that have capitalist economies.

Data on per capita income http://www.success-and-culture.net... for 208 counties around the world reveals a strong correlation between how capitalist he country's economy is and how prosperous the country. The top 25 in income are Luxembourg, Bermuda, United States, Norway, Liechtenstein, Channel Islands,Switzerland, Denmark, Ireland, Iceland, Canada, Austria, San Marino, Cayman Islands, Belgium, Hong Kong, Japan, Netherlands, Monaco, Australia, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Finland, and Italy. There are some anomalies on the list; Monaco is a monarchy. Nonetheless, overall it is clear that the capitalist countries are the most prosperous. The socialist states and dictatorships are all well down on the list.

Lest this be attributed to coincidence or an accident of history, we have many good test cases for the economic effect of capitalism. East Germany and West Germany were comparable in all respects except for the economic system. West Germany prospered and East Germany did not.

North Korea can be compared to South Korea. "Four decades ago, GDP per capita was comparable with levels in the poorer countries of Africa and Asia. In 2004, South Korea joined the trillion dollar club of world economies, and currently is among the world's twenty largest economies." https://www.cia.gov... "North Korea, one of the world's most centrally directed and least open economies, faces chronic economic problems. Industrial capital stock is nearly beyond repair as a result of years of underinvestment and shortages of spare parts. ... Large-scale international food aid deliveries have allowed the people of North Korea to escape widespread starvation since famine threatened in 1995, but the population continues to suffer from prolonged malnutrition and poor living conditions." https://www.cia.gov... The GDP of South Korea is abut 35 times that of North Korea. [op. cit.]

India suffered for many years under democratic socialism, continually facing famine. Adopting a large measure of capitalism has dramatically improved the economy. China faced famine under communism, but has dramatically improved its economy as it has increasing moved towards free market economics. The pattern of prosperity under capitalism and poverty other systems has been repeated worldwide. Joshua Muravchik's book "Heaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism" carefully documents the failure of non-capitalist sytems during the 20th century. http://www.amazon.com...

Note in this context that disparity of wealth is not a disadvantage at all. The way to easily achieve equality of wealth is to reduce nearly everyone to an income near zero, as in North Korea and some African nations. Equality should never be a goal. We should seek to raise the overall standard of living.

2. Capitalism does not have to be "pure" to work well, which is a strong advantage. Each increment of capitalism produces an increase in prosperity. South Korea and Taiwan prospered for many years with a capitalist economic system and authoritarian social rule. China is now in that state of mixed authoritarianism and free markets. The European "social democraceis" tried public control of capital, but have largely backed off in favor of privatization. They impose a very heavy tax burden, but still do far better than they did under socialism.

The advantage is that capitalism actually works in practice. Socialists have to rationalize the abject failures of the dozens of attempts at socialism, democratic and undemocratic, that failed in the 20th century. The rationalization is that failure came as a result of not implementing some theoretically pure form of the system. Capitalism does not require such excuses. It works well in any dose, although better in large doses. North Korea is introducing capitalist-style "farmer's markets" to ease their chronic food shortages. http://www.ieas.or.kr...

3. Capitalism tends to put the most qualified people in charge, and it gets rid of the ones that do not measure up. The capitalist system rewards the merit of achieving economic efficiency. All other systems have, in practice, power and wealth determined by political obedience or family connections. North Korea has an upper class, determined by power transfer from father to son an by loyalty to the current dictator. China has an upper class determined by loyalty to the Communist Party. The ruling classes in North Korea and China, and they make a mess of it. China is moving away from centralized planning and control, with the result of greater prosperity. Capitalism has the advantage of justly rewarding economic competence.

In a capitalist society, wealth can be passed to future generations, either directly by inheritance or indirectly by bestowing better educational and other opportunities. That may seem unfair, but that mechanism is surprisingly ineffective. We know of famous rich families like the Rockefellers whose wealth persists for generations, but overall the effect is gone in the United States after two generations. The data are discussed at length in the book "The Bell Curve" by Charles Murray, concluding "intelligence level (cognitive class) is a better predictor of poverty than parents' socioeconomic class" http://en.wikipedia.org... There is controversy over whether American society provides more or less economic mobility than other capitalist societies, but clearly the advantage is with capitalist societies in general.

Capitalism allows people to succeed according to their ability.

4. Owning private property is a basic human right. Taking private property is theft, and theft is immoral. Article 17 of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights states, "(1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others. (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property." http://www.un.org... Con's definition of capitalism is "an economic system based on private ownership of capital." Not allowing private capital violates (1) and the state seizing capital violates (2). Therefore, an advantage of capitalism is that it honors and respects human rights. This is in sharp contradistinction to socialism, communism, monarchy, and despotism.

5. We previously demonstrated that capitalism can provide relative economic prosperity even when implemented under authoritarian rule. The examples included early South Korea and Taiwan, and present-day China. In practice, capitalism has the advantage of undermining authoritarian rule. That was demonstrated by the transitioning of South Korea and Taiwan to democracy. Capitalism is at work undermining the authoritarian rule of Russia and China. This comes about in large part because people who enjoy economic freedom come to desire other human right. Also, prosperity brought by capitalism tends to ad to better communications and more cultural exchange, so people better appreciate the importance of other human rights.

6. There is a joke, "Gravity is not just a good idea, it is THE LAW." The same applies to capitalism, including the time value of money and the laws of supply and demand. Like gravity, they are ignored only at great peril. The advantage of capitalism is that it conforms to the reality of inviolable economic laws.
Debate Round No. 1
cactusbin

Con

I would like to thank my opponent for accepting this debate.

Author qualifications or full text from the quotes available on request of my opponent.

REFUTATIONS:

///
It increases the overall wealth of a society
///

O: "The top 25 in income are ..."

Growth and improvement within the capitalist system only leads to greater disparity and destruction. (Ellen Meiksins Wood, The Origin of Capitalism 1999 p.118):

"Then there are the corollaries of "improvement" ... There is, ... a great disparity between the productive capacities of capitalism and the quality of life it delivers. The ethic of "improvement" ... is also the ethic of exploitation, poverty, homelessness ... irresponsible land use and environmental destruction"

O: "India suffered for many years under democratic socialism ..."

Can you provide me with some evidence as to this link between capitalism and improvement of the populace's well-being? Otherwise, simply linking to a book does nobody any good.

O: "The way to easily achieve equality of wealth is to reduce nearly everyone to an income near zero, as in North Korea and some African nations."

Just because there is no current good system to achieve equality doesn't mean none exists, again "No alternative for capitalism will come into play in this debate...".

O: "Equality should never be a goal."

Equality must be a goal to ensure that EVERYBODY gets their livelihood improved. Capitalistic growth FAILS to provide equality.

Douglas Fitzgerald Dowd, Capitalism and its Economics: A Critical History, 2000 p202:

"although the United States in the 1990s enjoyed its longest period ever of peacetime growth; at the most only the top 20 percent of its people benefited."

///
Capitalism does not have to be "pure" to work well
///

1) Capitalism will eventually collapse into a "pure" system. Capitalism is incapable of sharing power with alternative systems – it will simply assimilate the alternative. (DISAD 1)

Istvan Meszaros, Beyond Capital: Toward a Theory of Transition, 1995 p716:

"The fact that capital ... is compatible with 'improvements and correctives' only at the level of effects and consequences, but not at that of the system's foundations ... means that it cannot share power even in the short run with forces aiming to transcend it in the long run. ... For as long as capital remains the effective regulator of the social metabolism, the idea of 'equal contest' between capital and labour ... is bound to remain a mystification."

2) Economic reform can only occur after rejecting the capitalistic system (DISAD 1)

Chris Harman, Economics of the Madhouse, 1995, p99-101:

"But this alternative cannot come from working within the system, from accepting the insane logic of the market ...The [reform] can only come from fighting against the system and the disastrous effect its logic has on the lives of the mass of people."

O: "Capitalism tends to put the most qualified people in charge, and it gets rid of the ones that do not measure up."

1) Capitalism is not the same as democracy. (DISAD 3)

2) Capitalism hurts true democracy (DISAD 3)
A) See Smith 90 evidence: "Capitalism and democracy work in direct conflict"
B) Capitalism allows corporation owners to rule a country, causing WAR (DISAD 2)

Istvan Meszaros, Beyond Capital: Toward a Theory of Transition, 1995:

"The rise of the self-appointed representatives of big business and high finance to the top of the political decision-making. For so much is at stake that the traditional forms of an indirect (economic) control of policy-making must be abandoned in favour of a direct control of the commanding heights of politics by the spokesmen of monopoly capital.

...

The main point is that the institutions of capitalism is inherently violent and aggressive: they are built on the fundamental premise of "war is the normal method of expansion"."

C) Capitalism rigs democracy

Douglas Fitzgerald Dowd, Capitalism and its Economics: A Critical History, 2000 p208:

"Corruption now prevails in the United States and it has two dimensions. First, is the domination of election campaigns by raw money; second, is the less publicize important of lobbying ... "money talks" ... it now yells and stamps its feet – and allows business to get its way"

O: "All other systems have"

Again, just because there is no good alternative system, that isn't a good argument here: "No alternative for capitalism will come into play in this debate..."

O: "Capitalism allows people to succeed according to their ability."

1) Look to my Dowd 00 evidence: Capitalistic growth FAILS to provide equality. Equality must be a goal to ensure that EVERYBODY gets their livelihood improved. (DISAD 4)

2) Capitalism causes poverty (DISAD 4)

A) Capitalism is dooming the world to poverty

Douglas Fitzgerald Dowd, Capitalism and its Economics: A Critical History, 2000 p191-192:

"An upward shift of interest rates is not a matter of whether but when, and that this along will push stock prices down. That decline is more likely to be drastic than moderate

...

Nor is it of minor concern that both directly and indirectly the percentage of the population both deeply in debt and vulnerable to a stock market decline is considerably higher than ever."

B) Capitalism increases the income gap

Charles Handy, The Hungary Spirit; Beyond Capitalism: A Quest for Purpose in the Modern World, 1998 p12:

"What seems to be happening is that the markets for some products are now so huge that "the winner takes all" Top professionals can earn many multiples of the pay of people from the same stable, who are just not quite as well marketed ... but the material they deliver is no better in content or style than that which a host of less well-known experts could provide"

///
Property Rights
///

Capitalism is not the only system that allows property rights, and again "No alternative for capitalism will come into play in this debate. ...."

///
Capitalism can provide relative economic prosperity even when implemented under authoritarian rule.
///

1) Do you have any evidence for this point? If not, it is simply a baseless claim that voters SHOULD NOT TAKE INTO ACCOUNT: "All claims without evidence from credible sources are assumed to be invalid."

2) Capitalism leads to authoritarian regimes (DISAD 3)

Chris Harman, Economics of the Madhouse, 1995, p99-101:

"... world wars, the rise of Nazism, the collapse of democracy across most of Europe, and the victory of Stalinism, the death camps and the Gulag.
....
All this horror has its origins in the failure of market capitalism to provide even minimally satisfactory lives for the mass of people."

///
capitalism conforms to the reality of inviolable economic laws
///

This point is extremely vague and baseless, and thus invalid.

1.What are these 'economic laws'?
2.Is there any proof these 'economic laws' exist?
3.Is there any proof these 'economic laws' are 'inviolable'?
4.Why are they 'inviolable'?

DISADVANTAGES:

Disad 1: Capitalism is exclusive with all other economic systems

Disad 2: Capitalism causes human extinction

1) Capitalism causes WAR -> Nuclear Proliferation -> Nuclear War -> Extinction
A) Look at my Meszaris 95 card

B) War will escalate until it is NUCLEAR WAR, which will cause NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION, causing NUCLEAR WAR, causing EXTINCTION

Larry Seaquist, a contributor to nuclear deterrence strategy in the Pentagon [1]

2) See my Handy 00 card: "Capitalism KILLS the least productive members of society" - this will escalate until only the most 'productive' members of society remain.

3) Even if you don't buy human extinction, WAR is bad in and of itself.

Disad 3: Capitalism hurts democracy

Diad 4: Capitalism causes poverty

[1] http://www.larryseaquist....
RoyLatham

Pro

What are "advantages"?

Advantages and disadvantages do not exist independent of comparison to something. "Advantage" is defined as "1 : superiority of position or condition 2 : a factor or circumstance of benefit to its possessor " http://www.merriam-webster.com... Capitalism has advantages either with respect to all alternative economic systems or to not having capitalism.

Con's specified that we are talking only about capitalism as practiced, and only as proved by evidence. We cannot compare capitalism as practiced to systems not practiced, because there is no way to know how theoretical systems would actually be realized. For example, capitalism could be claimed to have disadvantages compared to rule by a benevolent omnipotent deity who materializes and rules the earth, but that comparison is ruled out as it never happened and we cannot know how it would work in practice. The advantages of capitalism exist with respect to all other systems, as given by data on the 208 countries of the world and history of past systems, and they exist with respect to all systems precluded by the definition of capitalism.

1. Ellen Wood is a Marxist and is not accepted by anyone other than Marxist ideologues=s as an authority on economics. Moreover, her opinion is only an abstract theory. Con insisted that evidence must be related to capitalism as actually practiced. Con must therefore show that in practice that Wood's claim that capitalism always produces a reduced quality of life is supported by observed data. I have shown the opposite, giving data derived from 208 countries and also all the examples known of capitalism versus non-capitalism on equal terms, such as East v. West Germany and North v. South Korea. Con must show that, for example, North has less exploitation, less poverty, less homelessness, and a better environment than South Korea, as Wood claims it must.

The evidence that India improved due to capitalism is that nothing else changed in India except the economic system. The specific policies and their effects are detailed in Friedman's "The Lexus and the Olive Tree." A good example is the state-owned auto manufacturer Hindustani Motors that given all market protection and all the advantages of socialism. It started about equal with Toyota, that was put under all the duress of free markets. What happened is typical of the fate of state-owned enterprises.

Con claims "Just because there is no current good system to achieve equality doesn't mean none exists, ..." It's true that a benevolent deity might descend at any moment. However, this debate can only compare capitalism as it exists to alternatives as they have existed. That's because Con insisted that comparison be based on evidence, and there is no evidence supporting dreamy theories.

Con claims, "Equality must be a goal to ensure that EVERYBODY gets their livelihood improved. Capitalistic growth FAILS to provide equality." But Con did not address my contrary argument at all, nor did he offer any evidence that his claim is true. Specifically, Con must argue why having everyone dirt poor is better than having some people moderately wealthy and others very wealthy. Why is the equality of poverty supposed to be better?

2. Where is Con's proof that "Capitalism will eventually collapse into a "pure" system." Where has it ever happened? Where is there an arguably irresistible trend to pure capitalism? The trends are the opposite. As societies get rich, they tend to want to spend money on wasteful state-run enterprises that redistribute wealth. That's certainly the case in the United States, Europe, and Japan. Con again quotes a Marxist theorist accepted by no one other than Marxists as an authority, and provides no real-world evidence.

Con then quotes Harman, a member of the Central Committee of the Socialist Workers Party, that markets are insane. In fact, it is perfectly sane and logical that prices adjust to the point where supply meets demand. What's insane are ideological ranting that are unrelated to what happens in the real world.

3. Con says, "Capitalism is not the same as democracy." Yes, that confirms my advantage (2). Democracy is a political system while capitalism is an economic system.

People succeed economically under capitalism because they bring useful goods and services to the market at better price or better quality than their competitors. The democracy is by consumers choosing how to spend their money. I have shown that capitalist free markets work with both democratic and undemocratic forms of government. Con again only offers Marxist theory. I provided data that shows that merit is rewarded under capitalism, and Con offered no evidence to the contrary.

Con again claims that capitalism offers no advantage over a materializing benevolent deity, or whatever other fairy tale an ideologue dreams up. That defies Con's condition that the debate must be based upon evidence. Con must prove that what ideologues theorize actually happens. For example, if it is true that capitalism causes war then capitalist countries ought to be continually warring all the time. Having allegedly war-prone capitalists on both sides ought to much more dangerous than one side. But history is the opposite. Europe, now capitalist, is more peaceful than ever in its past.

4. If follows from the definition of capitalism that it is the only system that allows property rights. Property rights are fundamental human rights. Therefore I claim that respecting human rights is an advantage of capitalism. Con argues that I cannot use the definition of capitalism to argue the advantages of capitalism. He makes the claim that "not capitalism" cannot be compared to "capitalism." That's nonsense. The human rights advantage is inherent in the definition.

5. I offered significant examples of capitalism leading to democracy. It is logical that people experiencing economic freedom will come to want other freedoms as well. Con again trots out Marxist theory that capitalism leads to authoritarian rule. He claims that Stalinism was the result of a failure of capitalism to provide "minimally satisfactory lives." When was there capitalism in Russia? The Czars were authoritarian depots imposing central rule. Stalinism was a product of the Communist takeover, not capitalist. Moreover, recent history shows clearly that capitalism provides more wealth to "the masses" than any alternative.

6. I gave two examples of economic laws, the time value of money and the laws of supply and demand. They are fundamental to every modern text, like Samuelson's authoritative "Economics" http://www.amazon.com... Muslims are forbidden from charging upfront interest, so they have other ways to recognize the time value of money:

"Modern banking and finance are based on the concept of money's time value. This value is considered a basic investment concept and also a basic element of conventional financial theory and, in return, is fully compatible with the conceptual system of economic science." Ahmad and Hassan: The Time Value of Money http://i-epistemology.net...

Throughout, Con has not cited a single observable fact. In the course of presenting the advantages, I have refuted all of Con's claimed disadvantages with facts. Con only claim as evidence Marxist theory as espoused by Marxist ideologues. That is no more evidence than "Hansel and Gretel" is evidence for the existence of witches. Con cites Marxist theory that confidently predicts that North Korea must be in every way a better place than South Korea. But is it?
Debate Round No. 2
cactusbin

Con

As per the rules of this debate, I will not offer any more arguments or defend my own. However, I did say in the last speech that I would post author qualifications or full text from the quote if they should come into contest.

AUTHOR QUALIFICATIONS:

My opponent makes out my authors to be some kind of crack-head Marxists. This is simply untrue, all of my authors are well respected in their area of discourse.

///
Marxism
///

Just because someone is a Marxist doesn't make them unreliable authors. Nothing in the rules prevented you from citing capitalism authors, they are just as valid. Thus simply saying my authors are unreliable because they are Marxist is a blatant ad-hominem.

///
Ellen Meiksins Wood
///

"Wood received a B.A. in Slavic languages from the University of California, Berkeley in 1962 and subsequently entered the graduate program in political science at the University of California, Los Angeles, from which she received the Ph.D. in 1970. From 1967 to 1996, she taught political science at Glendon College, York University in Toronto, Canada."

A quick google scholars search shows she has posted many articles even in peer-reviewed (not socialistic/marxist) journals.

http://scholar.google.com...

///
Istvan Meszaros
///

"Istv�n M�sz�ros is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Sussex. He held the Chair of Philosophy at Sussex for fifteen years and was earlier Professor of Philosophy and Social Science for four years at York University."

Again, many articles in peer-reviewed journals

http://scholar.google.com...

///
Chris Harmen
///

Again, articles...
http://scholar.google.com...

A quick google, google scholars, or wikipedia search on any of my authors reveals the same things.

Thus, any of his attacks that are simply "his author is bad" should be made invalid.

RULES:

Again, I cannot post any more arguments, but before everyone votes, I would like to remind everyone of the rules while they look over arguments.

*All claims without evidence from credible sources are assumed to be invalid.
*All advantages/disadvantges claimed after each side's first speech are assumed to be invalid.
*No alternative for capitalism will come into play in this debate. Providing/asking for/advocating for or against an alternative is a non-voting issue.

I would especially like to point out the third rule. I am not advocating any alternative. My opponent continually compares capitalistic nations with communist ones. I am not advocating communism. Saying that capitalism is better than communism is not refuting any of my points.

IMPACT CALCULUS:

///
Con: Capitalism is exclusive with all other economic systems
///

///
Con: Capitalism causes human extinction(/war)
///

My opponent only argues that it has not happened yet. That doesn't mean it will not happen, not really an attack at all. Flow this through the round.

///
Con: Capitalism hurts democracy
VS
Pro: Capitalism does not have to be "pure" to work well
///
He never really attacked my point that it hurts democracy, simply says "Yes, that confirms my advantage". But how does it support the advantages "Capitalism does not have to be 'pure' to work well"? Worker's councils are a perfect example of how a non-capitalist system works with democracy.

Since he agrees with my point, flow through that round that "capitalism hurts democracy".

///
Con: Capitalism causes poverty
VS
Pro: Capitalism increases the overall wealth of a society
///

It is obvious that my disadvantage outweighs his advantage. Simply look at the arguments presented and determine for yourself which are more valid.

///
Pro: Property Rights
///

See: Worker's Councils

///
Pro: Capitalism can provide relative economic prosperity even when implemented under authoritarian rule.
///

I've refuted this without any credible defense from my opponent, don't flow this through the round.

///
Pro: capitalism conforms to the reality of inviolable economic laws
///

While I believe I have refuted this, I think my disads outweigh on this.

I would like to thank my opponent for a good debate, but also remind him to (for the most part) not post any new arguments in the next round. Using old arguments, and argumentation in impact calculus is fine (unless you REALLY want to argue on author qualifications).
RoyLatham

Pro

I like this topic and thought it was an interesting debate. The main theme was comparing things that do exist to things that don't exist. It's surprising how often that theme arises in different contexts.

In this debate, Con apparently wanted to compare the merits airy-fairy Marxist theory, as preached by ideologues, to practical capitalism. When Con objected that I provided advantages by comparison to all existing alternatives, I challenged Con to explain how an "advantage" or "disadvantage" could be shown without a comparison. He did not respond. He continued to claim that a non-existent Marxist system offers advantages of universal prosperity, eternal peace, and total equality. Those are advantages with respect to what? Obviously, Con is using comparisons that he claims I am not supposed to use. Since Con's theoretical Marxism is "heaven on earth," he is is claiming it advantageous over any possible conceivable alternative.

That's silly and pointless, but in particular it violates Con's terms of debate that everything must be supported by evidence. He said, "I also ask that any claims made by either side be backed up by evidence from a credible source." Con did not reference a single real-world fact in the entire debate. He only offered ideological dogma that is contradicted by clear examples. For example, his quoted theory says that North Korea should be more prosperous than South Korea. I asked if it was. Con simply ignored all the facts and restated theory that predicts capitalism should be less prosperous. He didn't even claim that somehow North Korea didn't follow certain Marxist tenets; he insisted upon completely ignoring the real world altogether. Yet he insisted at he outset that only capitalism as practiced was admissible evidence.

Con argues that the Marxist ideologues he quotes have advanced degrees and published papers. That doesn't mean they are not ideologues. The success of an ideologue lies in rationalizing a theory against facts. For example, I called attention to one of Con's "experts" having attributed the rise of Stalinism to a failure of capitalism to provide prosperity. I asked Con to explain how that was possible, since there never was a capitalist system in Russia and Stalin rose out of Communism. As in every case when the real world contradicts Marxist theory, Con ignored the challenge.

People with Ph.D.'s publish papers despite their overarching bizarre theories. They do it by considering narrow subjects. A learned professor may believe that birds are strange visitors from another planet, but may nonetheless publish a fine paper on the nesting habits of the sage grouse. Con's Marxist theorists proclaim that capitalism always leads to poverty and oppression, that capitalism cannot coexist with any other system, and that capitalist countries are compelled to war. I gave examples disproving each of the claims (the Koreas and divided Germany, modern China, modern Europe). Con did not dispute the factual refutations of Marxist theory, he only reasserted that he was quoting authorities. If the facts prove an authority wrong, that alone is enough to prove they are not authorities. We know that Con's claimed authorities are ideologues because they make the ridiculous claims that only an ideologues make. Con offers no credible evidence, he only offers the unsupported opinions of others.

I challenged Con repeatedly to justify his assertion that economic equality ought to be the goal of economics rather than having everyone prosperous. Why is it better to have everyone dirt poor and equal rather than spread from moderately wealth to very wealthy? Pro never gave a reason, he just proclaimed it as true.

Capitalism is an economic system, not a political system. Consequently there are many example of it co-existing with various types of authoritarian and nanny-state political systems. Capitalism still produces prosperity insofar as free markets are allowed. Con attempted to equate "not a democratic system" with "opposed to democracy," an obvious error. I claimed that capitalism was a meritocracy and offered supporting data. Consumers vote on the merits by selecting the products thehoose to buy. Con only reasserted Marxist theory in response.

Con's definition of capitalism stated in was based on private capital. I quoted the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights that ownership of private property was a human right. Therefore any system that does not allow private capital is contrary to human rights. Con did not dispute that owning private property was a basic human right, nor did he dispute it was inherent in the definition of capitalism. He only claimed that his debate rules ruled out comparing capitalism to non-capitalism. I pointed this out that advantages only come from comparison, but he still had no response.

There are universal laws of economics. The two I cited were that money has time value and that market prices arise from supply meeting demand. These are so universally acknowledged they are in virtually every economic text, including the classic text by Samuelson I referenced. Capitalism explicitly acknowledges and takes advantage of the laws of economics. Alternatives to doing so are therefore unsuccessful. Con had no rebuttal beyond expressing perplexity at there being well-established laws of economics.

The calculus of advantages and disadvantages is simple. Capitalism actually exists and actually works to provide prosperity and to honor the human right to own property. It raises people out of poverty. People who enjoy property rights come to value other rights. Prosperity also brings contact with the rest of the world, and that undermines the lies that authoritarian regimes use to stay in power. All of Con's disadvantages are in comparison to a hypothetical Marxist state that doesn't exist, cannot exist, and whose elements are thoroughly disproved in the real world.

Con has not made his case. The resolution is affirmed.
Debate Round No. 3
93 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by tBoonePickens 7 years ago
tBoonePickens
Sorrow,
Communism is a utopic concept created by man. On paper, communism works great and seems to be the best system in the world...but as soon as you put it into practice with REAL people and REAL circumstances, it always goes to sh!t. When it is attempted, you get things like what happened in Cambodia, Russia, Cuba, etc. Or a fictional but apt example could be the Borg like in Star Trek NG.

Capitalism is more of a reflection of man; it's based more on what IS. It supports individual rights or natural rights. This along with our constitution is what has made America so great.
Posted by RoyLatham 7 years ago
RoyLatham
Sorrow, So all that is required for communism to work is a fundamental change in the nature of mankind? "Greed" channeled into producing goods and services more efficiently benefits everyone. Self-interest channeled into managing and controlling the lives of others through authoritarian rule is the alternative. Nothing stops you from starting non-profit enterprise, risking everything you own and working endless hours, and then giving all the profits, if you happen to succeed, to charity. No one will stop you.

You make the same mistake as Con, comparing something that does not and cannot exist to something that does exist and which functions quite well.
Posted by Sorrow 7 years ago
Sorrow
EDIT #2: Sorry, they actually are, ignore my first edit.
Posted by Sorrow 7 years ago
Sorrow
EDIT: Sorry, in communism goods are not controlled or regulated by the government, but by the people. My bad.
Posted by Sorrow 7 years ago
Sorrow
I think you guys are getting capitalism mixed up with communism. They are two polar opposites.
Capitalism favors economic progress through private ownership, meaning you can sell what you want at the price you want so long as its reasonable and people are paying for the goods.

Communism means your prices are regulated by the government. Communism essentially is the most ideal government, but in modern times and realistically that is not possible, because we will always have one f-ed up and greedy person to consume all the power.

Think of Napolean from Animal Farm.
Posted by tBoonePickens 7 years ago
tBoonePickens
Spelling/Grammar: Pro; difficult to follow Con.
Conduct: same
Arguments: Many of Pro's arguments were not properly countered by Con; some points simply ignored.
Sources: Pro had more with convincing sources & facts/statistics; Con sited sources with idealogical rhetoric and no supporting facts/statistics. Con never responded to this lack of facts/statistics.

Looks like it's another one for the Gipper!
Posted by bombmaniac 7 years ago
bombmaniac
i dont get that...you mean some animals are more sugar substitute than others?
Posted by InsertNameHere 7 years ago
InsertNameHere
Rocky, I remember Animal Farm! "Some animals are more equal than others".
Posted by FormAndTheFormless 7 years ago
FormAndTheFormless
Conduct:
I believe that both debaters portrayed good conduct.

Spelling/Grammar:
I voted for Pro because Con did not frame his arguments very well. Complete sentences were not used often and arguments sometimes consisted of "x+y=z" or "x->y->z" instead of rationally outlined posts. It was very difficult determining what Con was actually arguing.

Sources:
The arguments presented by Pro were generally supported with convincing sources, while Con often did not support his arguments with sources (and the few that he used were not convincing; Con's lack of supporting sources for his claims of the economic limitations of capitalism were lacking or entirely missing especially).

Arguments:
Pro's argument that the benefits of capitalism are more easily determinable when compared to non-capitalist nations was not properly countered by Con. Con did not properly explain the reasons for the failure of non-capitalist markets or why comparing the two was unfair, but instead claimed that it was somehow against the rules of the debate to do so. Pro's assertion that such comparisons were required in order to determine the benefits of capitalism was convincing; as were his arguments that conceptual justification for an economic system did not allow proper comparison against systems that have been established and are actually observable.
Posted by Puck 7 years ago
Puck
Nice job, RoyLatham.

@ Rockylightning, you voted because you agreed with Con's position?
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