The Instigator
evO
Pro (for)
Losing
6 Points
The Contender
wingnut2280
Con (against)
Winning
18 Points

Capitalistic ideology is bad

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/15/2007 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,707 times Debate No: 492
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (28)
Votes (8)

 

evO

Pro

Hello my name is Alex and I will be serving as the pro in this debate.

Capitalism is a bad ideology because it allows for individuals to turn our heads away from the pain and suffering of others only to further our own cause. Take Sub Saharan Africa for example. Millions of indigenous people are dying each year and large pharmaceutical companies are idly standing by watching them die of HIV/ AIDS when a surplus of ARVs are available to stop the mutation of the HIV virus. Giving away doses of free drugs to sub saharan africa will do nothing to these companies except take a few digits off their ten digit pay checks. Capitalism allows for the CEOs of these corporations to turn away from their morals and to function under the idea that they are only working for themselves. To preempt some arguments that may be said, even if one wins the fact that giving away free drugs may collapse an the company, the big pharma can at a minimum allow for these third world countries that reside is SSA (sub-saharan africa) to buy generic drugs that are 1/10 the cost from Brazil or India.

Capitalism is also inherently bad because empirically we can just see in the US that the wealth distribution is out of order. How come the majority of the working class gains the least amount of profit when they are the ones doing the most amount of work? People say that we can go from rags to riches, but this isn't quite the case. Can the immigrant who is barely able to pay his rent working at the local store for minimum wage study when hes working all day compared to people like me where my mom and dad provide for me support while i study and debate people online? Who will climb the economic ladder faster?

Remember that my burden to win this debate is only to prove that capitalistic ideology is bad and not that i have to prove that socialism is good or bad. I just believe that there is a better system out there other than this one where we mindlessly value inanimate ARV pills over people who are fathers and mothers .

can't wait for a response!
wingnut2280

Con

Let me start by saying that I, in no way, think that capitalism is perfect. That said, I think it is obvious that capitalism is good. I will begin by responding and than extrapolating on my own arguments.

First, you argue that capitalism allows businesses to commit moral atrocities. This is not a commentary on the economic system. Whether or not pharmaceutical companies donate large subsidies is not relevant to the companies being in a capitalist system. Maybe you could clarify your argument for me here, but it seems just as possible for any other company in any other system to ignore ethics. Also, capitalism allows these companies to make the kind of profit that make these kind of donations possible. Essentially, capitalism bears no weight of a CEO's ethical decisions as it doesn't attempt to solve these quandries. At the very least, it can be said that capitalism breeds the success that allows the mere possibility of these ethical disputes.

Next, the wealth distribution argument. The immigrant example you provide actually functions the other way. Yes, rich white kids like myself have distinct advantages compared to those in worse situations. Yet, it is because of capitalism that they have a chance at all. The fact that your immigrant even has the possibility to work, get an education, and move up the ladder is a direct result of capitalist progress.

Incentive is an important point to note here as well. In a non-capitalist system, what is the benefit of becoming a doctor, lawyer, business owner, when wealth distribution will nullify your hard work? The drive that profit provides is the only way to make progress effectively. Why go to school for a decade and become a doctor, when I could drop out and become a janitor (no disrespect) and make equal pay. The fact is, capitalism and the class distribution is necessary because society needs to make progress, society needs to have a reason to grow.

Also, you talk about class distribution as if it were a bad thing. The upper level of society gets a bad rap, but it is inherently proven that as they succeed, they take the lower classes with them. As rich people get richer, they spend money, innovate, and start businesses, providing those with crappy jobs better jobs and those with no jobs, employment. This is inherently proven.

In short, capitalism breeds opportunity incentive and progress. It bears no weight of the ethical attrocities some people chose to create. Also, it is important to note that the only reason those pharm companies and their pills exist is because capitalism and competition allowed them to be innovated. Without capitalism and competition, the economy would grow stagnant, devolving any chance of the successes we see in our country everyday.
Debate Round No. 1
evO

Pro

evO forfeited this round.
wingnut2280

Con

YOU OBVIOUSLY DON'T CARE ABOUT THE DEBATE!!!! Just kidding, I hate it when people do that. It sucks you got cut off.

Just reitterate my last post.

Also, remember that capitalism isn't responsible for the moral decisions of actors in it. These moral atrocities happen in every economic system, whether its socialism, capitalism or whatever. The actions of the people in the system is independent to the system itself.

The benefits of capitalism far outweigh any negatives. We get competition, the distribution of wealth and progress as a society. Money falls from the top, making it OK for us to have rich people. We need capitalism in order to innovate, create opportunity, and keep a functional economy. Thanks. Hope you get back for the next round.
Debate Round No. 2
evO

Pro

Hey sorry for not posting in time. I'm in finals week and I've been kind of been beat up by tests.

But to start this out, I'll be giving a overview on this debate than I'll give ya'll a line by line on his arguments.

We can see in our day to day lives that capitalism is bad. Just look to Africa. It is the way it is now because of our greed and capitalism. The only reason places like Sub-Saharan Africa are as dead as they today is because we continue to exploit them for their resources. Back in the colonial days, we exploited them for cheap labor to only further our need ignoring our morals. In the next generation we started to exploit them for raw materials such as coal, and in our current generations we are now exploiting them for diamonds. capitalism may seem good because the people like my opponent who only listen to the lies it spews will never learn the truth. If capitalism is the one that allowed for africa to become ravaged, than this is the same mentality of solving for killing with the knife that killed in the first place.

now lets go on to his actual points.

his first point is that our government has nothing to do with whether or not we are moral in our day to day, but this is simply not true. We are born and raised in a capitalistic society and we can see this in our education program. In capitalism, we are trained to listen to those higher than us just as we listen to our bosses in the office. We are also trained to obey a "higher" authority. This can obviously be seen when we attend high school. We have a set routine schedule in which we must attend school, and line up in a single file line or we get punished, just like in the corporate world. (I'm going off on a tangent so let me get back ^^!). My main point here is that once we are ejected into this society, we are born and raised with capitalistic ideals. We study hard so we can a good college so eventually we can get more money than other people and gain massive amounts of power. Just look at it this way, when a boss hires someone, he does not see him as a man who is honest or kind or gentle, but as a man or women who can make him BIG money. capitalism DOES allow us to commit moral atrocities because it simply justifies maximizing profits while minimizing costs. To the BIG CEOs, the blacks are only customers who will buy their pills, but since they can't cough up the cash, tough luck. My opponent than comes back around and tries to tell you you that capitalism is the only reason we can have charity. This argument is completely flawed. It is the fact of this so called "charity" that naturally establishes a higher being. By having this charity it assumes we are better than someone else and that we need to be "kind to them" because we are morally better. If we were all capitalistic and greedy, we would simply just give it to them and this word "charity" wouldn't even exist.

NOW lets go onto the BIG issue of incentives. This is basically the only argument my opponent has riding for him/her. My opponent basically says that only in a capitalistic society will we strive to obtain a better society because we naturally want to be better than others. This argument may seem logical but clearly isn't true. Remember, my opponent assumes that life is worth living as long as we have blood flowing through our veins. He cries for innovation so we can have better lives, but is it all really necessary? As long as we achieve ultimate happiness is that not enough? Could you not imagine a world in which people who wanted to become novelists wrote because it were there PASSION, not because they wanted money for it, and that people could take turns doing the dirty work? If people got sick, could a man who has a good heart and a passion for helping people not do it? People who naturally assume that if we couldn't earn money, everyone would just want to pick up trash. Personally, I would rather spend my days writing novels for free so the community could enjoy it rather than groveling around in the trash (not that theirs anything wrong with it). To sum up my incentive argument, I state that human life is not just blood flowing through a body, but about how much happiness one can achieve throughout ones life. If you are happy picking up trash for the rest of your life but sustaining yourself, fine. If you are happy writing novels like me than thats great. It is because we're ejected into this capitalistic society that we assume that our only incentive is money.

Now to summarize the debate,
remember in the beginning of the debate I give you the analogy of the big pharmaceutical companies denying the people in sub saharan africa pills. Remember the PREEMPT i give in my example that if Pharmaceutical companies really cared about the indiginous people but could not afford to lose their corporations, than they could always let the third world countries buy generics from Brazil or India. the fact that out of 35 BIG PHARMACEUTICAL companies, NOT ONE stood up to the challenge of giving the people in SSA free drugs, it only proves that they care about their inanimate pills than people that are mothers and fathers to needy children. Remember I just need to prove to the public that capitalistic ideology is bad, not that i need to give a counter ideology that will suit the world. I just believe that if we as human beings allow people to be ruthlessly murdered by HIV/AIDS while we hold the key to their survival in the surplus and the only thing we care about is that the CEO of the big pharma can have a new ferrari rather than save hundreds of thousands of lives, we as human beings as a race should not be allowed to live if we allow this kind of genocide in which we are all responsible for.

thanks! I hope i wasn't too wordy and I hope I uncovered some new outlooks on the world for ya'll!

^_^
evO!
wingnut2280

Con

As this has kind of been a makeshift debate, I'll attempt to reassert the arguments/responses from the entire thing.

In creating a state, people rely on others for certain goods and services that each provides. Soon, it becomes obvious that some tasks need to be performed. Society needs X number of farmers, X number of doctors and so on. It would be nice to think that these X's could be determined by passion, but it is not that simple. Human nature is not to simply pursue passion because pursuing passion does not correlate to a functioning society. If everyone were to pursue passion, countless necessary functions would go undone. The number of people who are passionate about collecting garbage and cleaning bathrooms certainly doesn't meet the demand society places on those tasks. There is no reason why people would perform undesirable tasks. I don't assume everyone would want to pick up trash. In fact its the opposite. No one would want to perform these undesirable duties if they have no reason or obligation to do so.

Human nature is to strive to happiness. On this we agree. There is more to people than a base survivalist mentality. Based on this is the concept of benefit and sacrifice. A garbageman is not going to sacrifice his time and resources in order to clean for the whole society when his needs are not met in turn. Here, the barter system develops. The garbageman exhanges his services for others that he requires. Money replaces the barter system out of efficiency. Money is not a bad thing intrinsically.

How do these function together? Well, people want to be happy. But, society makes these people abandon their passion proffesionally out of necessary survival and functionality. Therefore, people have to perform tasks they are not passionate about in order to be able to have the ability to do passionate or happy things. Since, we can both agree, people want to be happy. In order to be happy, the garbageman exchanges his services for money, which enables him to ensure his survival and then pursue this happiness. It is not a matter of greed, but pursuing this passion.

So, rather than being greedy, people are simply seeking this passion. Why can't they simply perform basic, uninnovated things that make them happy? Because, in order for a society to be functional, we have to ignore passion at first and ensure survival. Passion is great. We should all pursue our passion, but that is impossible in the face of societal necessity. The pursuit of passion does not allow us to survive. While a passionate life may outwiegh a suurvivalist one, survival is a prerequisite to the pursuit of passion.

Stemming from this, the garbageman is naturally going to want to maximize the results of his undesirable service so he can pursue the happiness. This is where the notion of greed develops. Capitalism doesn't breed greed, human nature does. People actually do want to be happy as much as they can be. The doctor you mentioned gets pleasure out of helping/curing people. That is his societal function, it just happens to cause his happiness. But, as for people who have to perform undesirable things as a societal function, happiness is an after effect. Meaning, we must perform our undesirable function in order to attain happiness. Therefore, maximizing our societal function (making money), allows us to maximize our happiness (human nature is to be happy). Money itself is not an objective, the happiness we get from money is. Your quantification of life is fulfilled in this principle. Life is "how much happiness one can achieve throughout ones life".

The Africa problem and profit hungry CEO's are not problems of capitalism, but rather human nature. People, for the most part, are egoists. They look out for themselves and make sure they can accrue lots of happiness. I agree, they shouldn't, we should help those people in Africa, CEO's shouldn't be greedy, but this is an undeniable fact of the way people (generally) are.

You may argue that capitalism facilitates this terrible nature of ours. Well, this is what makes capitalism a good ideology. The common problem with other ideologies is that they ignore this inherent lust for happiness that we all have. Capitalism facilitates and attempts to groom it into something productive. Capitalism is not the blind greedy hunt you make it out to be, but a free-market in which people are enabled to facilitate this raw search for happiness into a societally beneficial ambition.

Also, capitalism has its benefits. Competition through the free market and the innovation that competition breeds allow us, at the most basic level, to have more heppiness and live better in general. As I stated before, medicines and new technologies that incite more happiness and a better opportunity to live would not be around without innovation. This is not a matter of moral imperialism or whether or not the big bad U. S. should give to these whiney inferior Africans, it is a simple objective fact that innovation bred these things. These things make happiness and life more accessible and maximized. Whether we think we are morally superior is not the issue. The fact is these things exist because of capitalist innovation, devoid of any kind of moral quandry.

The fact is that these CEO's witholding resources that would save millions of lives is a result of poor human nature, not the capitalist system. Capitalism is good because it facilitates these terrible human tendencies into a societally beneficial institution. The mere fact that these things exist is because of capitalism. You can't equate all of the bad things that happen in a capitalist institution as faults of capitalism. That would be like saying "Priests are molesting kids. This ensures that the Catholic faith is bad." You can't draw a correlation just because two things are contemporaneous. The fact is, capitalism is good because it counteracts and facilitates our selfish, baser human nature into something good. The fact that capitalism appears to be a greed machine is due to human nature, not the institution itself. These African people are dying because the CEO's are ethically unsound, not because capitalism tells us or allows us to ignore others in the face of greed. Capitalism was born out of a collective spirit, not out of the bad reputation it has amongst popular opinion. Is the institution ideal of perfect? Obviously not. But that does not mean it is generally bad. Should we care? Yes. Do we? No. That is our fault, not the institution's.
Debate Round No. 3
28 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by clsmooth 9 years ago
clsmooth
TheSloth - Right. And they're not even close to capitalist right now. To the extent that the life of citizens have been improved, it has been by the movement towards capitalism. Where citizens still live in squalor and poverty, there is no capitalism.
Posted by clsmooth 9 years ago
clsmooth
Yes, except Communism never can exist. It was tried and failed. No one has ever allowed for real capitalism to be tried. Right now, elitist Socialists prevent real capitalism from taking place anywhere in the world, via impositions by the IMF and World Bank. For example, real money is outlawed. Real free trade cannot be achieved. The international monetary authorities, founded by Fabians, prevent this from happening. The goal of legitimate capitalists is to destroy these institutions, starting with the Federal Reserve. Without the Fed, the IMF and World Bank would crumble.

So if you want to argue about what someone like Alan Greenspan considers to be capitalism, then I'm with you. But the alternative is not Marxism -- it is true capitalism of the Ludwig von Mises variety. I encourage you to look him up and gain some perspective. Just look at how hostile the ruling class is to the presidential aspirations of Ron Paul, a disciple of Mises and advocate of real, legitimate capitalism.
Posted by TheSloth 9 years ago
TheSloth
Ummm...India didn't become anything close to capitalist until around 1991. You really appear to have no idea what you are talking about.
Posted by Vikuta 9 years ago
Vikuta
Okay, I ask again where does you "legitimate" capitalism exist? Is it similar to the communism that has never existed either?
Posted by clsmooth 9 years ago
clsmooth
Hahaha.. "Capitalist India" "by 1979" Have any more jokes?

The aristocracy opposed capitalism and actually favored Fabian Socialism. Fabian Socialists control the IMF, World Bank, UN, etc. They utilize these organs to maintain their power, just as feudalism empowered them.

There would be no "idle rich" or "leisure class" under legitimate capitalism.
Posted by Vikuta 9 years ago
Vikuta
The India figures are due to infant mortality rate, I'm not implying that they killed their own people. This figure is independent from the 147 million figure I used earlier.
Posted by Vikuta 9 years ago
Vikuta
Capitalist India has caused more deaths than in the entire history of communism everywhere since 1917 -- over 100 million deaths by 1979, tens of millions more since, in India alone.
Posted by Vikuta 9 years ago
Vikuta
Of course the aristocracy opposed it. It posed a threat to their power and influence. Just like the elite oppose socialism/communism. I'm glad that you oppose imperialism, but it seems to me that it is inextricable bound with the concept of capitalism.
Posted by clsmooth 9 years ago
clsmooth
Capitalism was bitterly opposed by the aristocracy and the original conservatives. Check your history. Living standards have gone up 100+-fold since the introduction of capitalism. Any true capitalist is against the IMF, the World Bank, imperialism, and the fiat money that funds it. But even this crude capitalism has killed far fewer people than Communism. In fact, the people would not even have been born if not for the limited capitalism of the West.
Posted by Vikuta 9 years ago
Vikuta
The third world is poor because of the corporatocracy's exploitation. The IMF and the World Bank are tools of the American corporatocracy. The policies dictated by the IMF and World bank benefit the American imperialists.

Laissez-faire capitalism leads to anti-competitive practices.

Perhaps your brand of capitalism may be non-violent but this does not coincide with reality. Capitalism has killed about 147 million people from 1500 to 1997.

Wingnut, the benefits of capitalism are obvious to you because your class keeps getting richer while the lower classes keep getting poorer.
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