The Instigator
Harlan
Con (against)
Losing
36 Points
The Contender
Phil
Pro (for)
Winning
67 Points

Capitolism

Do you like this debate?NoYes+1
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Vote Here
Con Tied Pro
Who did you agree with before the debate?
Who did you agree with after the debate?
Who had better conduct?
Who had better spelling and grammar?
Who made more convincing arguments?
Who used the most reliable sources?
Reasons for your voting decision
1,000 Characters Remaining
The voting period for this debate does not end.
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/19/2007 Category: Society
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,960 times Debate No: 17
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (14)
Votes (32)

 

Harlan

Con

Capitolism creates a tense society where everyone is working for self-promotion. All of our (American) society is based on someone trying to outdo someone else; someone trying to sell something to you; Someone trying to use you for a profit. They see you as a way to make money. Next time your outside in a city, take a look around. Theres billboards trying to use you to make a profit. Theres prople walking around with T-shirts that encourage you to give your money to certain large corporations. Why can't we all just break this tension and work together. When people hear "socialism" they think communists and Stalin and people waiting in line for bread. I am not a communist. I do not believe inmaking this a way of government, but instead a way of society. Big corporations do not have a sense of morality. They do not stop at making you give them your money. But what is money? its just imagined. At the beginning, we would just trade the goods that we wanted. eventually they made gold represent those goods. Eventually people just wanted gold. Eventually they made paper bills to represent gold. They took away the gold part so it was just paper bills. Everyone wanted paper bills. Now they have started using one's and zero's to represent paper bills, and the inevitable next step is to eliminate the paper bill part or at least make it vice versa. What then? Everyone will keep killing eachother over money except then it won't even be tangible; just one's and zero's.
Phil

Pro

Hello Harlan,

I'm very impressed with your debates thus far. Although misguided, you do write very well and it's clear you do a lot of thinking about the world around you. It is my hope that as you get older, you will start to think less with your emotions, and more with the intelligence with which God has blessed you. We have a long debate here, so instead of just go after all of your points at first, I'm going to explain why capitalism is the approach which leads to a higher standard of living to more people than any other approach regarding the economy and government. I use the "standard of living" because it is the clearest way to identify which economic approach works the best (apples to apples).

Before we as individuals begin to make broad statements, we should always look to the lessons of history. Our ancestors learned things the hard way, and we owe it to them to remember their successes and failures. In the case of capitalism versus other market approaches. It's a scary world when history is ignored and ideas like socialism and communism are still advocated. As I will prove during this debate, socialism does not work. The fact is that in socialism there is no room for advancement, and that is why crops die, bread goes unprepared, and people starve. In a socialistic society people have no incentive to work hard, no reason to innovate and create new products and services, because it won't improve their living standards. While the concept sounds nice (ie: everyone working for everyone else), it just does and cannot work.

Please don't misinterpret my argument against socialism as a statement that capitalism is perfect. Capitalism is certainly not perfect, but so far it's advantages far outweigh socialism and communism. In a capitalistic society like the USA, every man and woman has the same opportunity to succeed. More often than not a person's measure of success is the result of their hard work and innovation. Capitalistic societies are constantly creating new and better ways to do things, and this constantly elevates every person's standard of living. Isn't that the goal, to constantly improve the standard of living for all people, so we can all live better, happier lives? I for one think so. Yes, there are advertisements all around us. Yes, some corporations break the laws (although not nearly as many as Hollywood would have us believe). But the good far outweighs the bad. When comparing capitalism to socialism, it's not even a fight.
Debate Round No. 1
Harlan

Con

Hello, Phil, and thank you for accepting my challenge.

First, I would like to applaud your opening debate, which I can see was carefully constructed. I can see that I have a formidable opponent. Your technique of starting off the debate by criticizing my rationality of thought was very impressive.
I learned a lot of things this previous summer while staying in a kibbutz in Israel. It was a fantastic little community. It had dairy cows, fields of crop, fish, goats, a plastics factory, and a dining hall. Everyone was content. People had certain jobs in the kibbutz, and they all worked together. My dad's girlfriend had grown up in this Kibbutz, and she showed us a lot. She has lived in America for nine years, and visits Israel once a year. Everywhere we went with her in the Kibbutz, people would greet her; everyone knew each other. The kibbutz was incredibly self-sustaining. If you would like to look it up, it was kibbutz hazorea. They would probably survive for a long time, if they were shut off from the outside world. And I can assure you, it worked. It was not a government, it was just a society. It looked to be a very nice way of life. There were many benefits to staying in the kibbutz. You did not have to buy a car (the kibbutz lent you one). You got food for next to free. You get to go to very good schools and preschools, for free. The kids even stay, eat breakfast, and sleep in these schools sometimes. The kibbutz had bought an apartment in Jerusalem, to which any member could stay, if they were on vacation, or something. We drove a Kibbutz car to Jerusalem where we stayed in a Kibbutz Apartment room.
Phil

Pro

There is a monumental difference between what you experienced in Israel, and what appears to be your advocacy that we all live in socialism. The people you lived with CHOSE that type of communal lifestyle. It only works because each person chooses that way of life every day. However, forcing people into a socialistic lifestyle even on a minor scale fails every time it's tried. It's also very easy to understand why it fails. You need but watch one episode of survivor to learn that only a fraction of the population actually carries their weight. This naturally causes the workers to be angry with the lazy people.

What we're talking about here is an approach to the economy and form of government that works "the best" and for "the most" people; an approach that can be easily implemented, where people have liberty and freedom. What a great system we have in the USA. If you want to work hard, you can greatly improve your lifestyle. If you don't want to work hard, then you will most likely only have a moderate lifestyle. Let's allow people choose where and how they want to live. Let's not force them into a role in society. How would you like it if when you were born, the some bureaucrat decided that you are going to make shoes for the rest of your life because the government needs more shoe makers? That's the saddest thing I can think of, to be born with no freewill, no choices, and no means to change your lot in life.

The scary thing is what a socialistic form of government undoubtedly leads to…dictatorships. It's very easy to overpower a socialistic society, and it has been done many times throughout history. More often than not, it occurs because a large percentage of the population seeks freedom and liberty, which quickly disrupts the flow of things. In order to keep the powerful bureaucrats in power, they quickly take steps to control these outbreaks. The people quickly lose anything the government deems as threatening to their control, anything that might encourage freedom and liberty. Bans on religion, music, television, the arts, movies, free speech, and even free thought are put in place. More often than not these dictators will slaughter people by the masses in order to protect their rule. Look at the history of China, Russia, East Germany, North Korea, and even Iraq. Why would you want to put people at risk of such tyranny? If you have issues with capitalism, then try and fix them. But to strip us of our freedom just so you don't have to look at an advertisement is crazy. I'd much rather look at privately owned billboards on the freeway, than the barrel of a gun just because I might disagree with my government. Wouldn't you?
Debate Round No. 2
Harlan

Con

It appears, Phil, that you have drastically misinterpreted my argument. I never suggested forcing socialism upon people. In fact if you will look at my opening argument, it specifically says: "I do not believe in making this a way of government, but instead a way of society." I thoroughly agree that forcing this policy on people will make a messed up society. I very strongly believe in free market. I don't know where you got the idea that I was making a suggestion of something the government should do. I was making a hypothetical suggestion of a better way of thinking and living. I agree that some people's personalities are compatible with the un-selfish lifestyle of capitalism. I agree that the PEOPLE CONTROL THE SOCIETY, and not government.
A VOLUNTARY socialist society can work very well, even better than capitalism. And while it may be hard for the capitalist to conceive the socialist's motive in working, I can assure you that the work gets done efficiently. The capitalist cannot perceive why anyone would ever do anything that would not directly benefit themselves. I would like to stress that I am not a communist, but a Democratic Socialist. I believe in the power of the people. THIS DEBATE IS NOT ABOUT GOVERNMENT.
Phil

Pro

Hello Harlan,

In fairness you're referencing one half of a sentence you made in your opening argument. For the most part you tore capitalism a new one, so I'm trying to explain why you wouldn't want anything but capitalism.

I don't understand what you mean by "a way of society". If you mean, should groups of people be allowed to form socialistic communities within the borders of their capitalistic nation? I don't see why not, just as long as they pay their fair share (ie: property taxes, income taxes, etc).

If you're talking about replacing the current economic system with a socialistic system, then of course the government is going to be involved. You can't separate the two because like I pointed out, a vast majority of the people will not participate unless they're forced to do so.

If I'm way off base, please do a better job of explaining exactly what this argument it about.

~ Phil
Debate Round No. 3
Harlan

Con

Hello, it probably is good to clear this up if we will continue this debate.

The nature of my argument is not that of suggesting any course of action at all. It is merely that of pure speculation. I was merely speculating on which of these systems creates a better society. I was talking purely hypothetically, like: "wouldn't it be great if more people lead a socialistic lifestyle".

I can understand that you probably don't understand the use of this speculation, for in your eyes, the only way this could actually happen is if the government made people. My reply to this is: What does it look like I'm doing right now? I am making my small difference (or no difference, I'm doing my best) by trying to encourage other people that they should lead a more socialistic lifestyle. If you are looking for some kind of course of action to doing this, then that is the only thing I can do, morally.

I'm sorry if you were intending a more realistic debate, about action. I agree with you fully that we cannot force people to live in a socialist world.

I think that there is no argument (or not) that in a society with people wanting to live socialistically, things get done more efficiently, and people live happier lives, than in a capitalist society (if you can even call this battle a society) where every is killing each other for money.

I don't see how conflict can be more efficient than cooperation, but please share your own opinion.
Phil

Pro

I'm absolutely shocked that you think things are more efficient in a socialistic society. I suppose you're assuming that statement to be true only if the people in the socialistic community are there of their own free will. The whole socialistic community inside a capitalistic nation is such a silly concept. If you want to live in a socialistic community, then move to any on of the dozens of socialist countries. Of course, most socialist driven people would never do that because they don't want to leave the US for reasons that are directly tied to capitalism.

A thought about small socialistic communities, they don't always work. In fact, the real story of Thanksgiving, that is the story we aren't taught in school, explains why we have a capitalistic society. You can read the whole story from the link below, but to paraphrase... The pilgrims tried socialism, all of the crops died, and so they implemented capitalism, and everyone thrived. The story is very good, an I recommend you all read it.

http://www.nbizz.com...
Debate Round No. 4
Harlan

Con

I must make this very brief:

I don't really have much time right now, but I post this simply so this debate can conclude. I have enjoyed debating you, despite our misundertandings. Good job.

-Harlan
Phil

Pro

Thanks Harlan. I understand from where you're coming. I was young once too. The world can be a scary place, but I would tell you to rise to the challenge rather than give up and join a commune, or worse yet, be an advocate for government social programs. Any American with even a decent work ethic and good morals can do well in capitalism. For those Americans that are willing to risk much, work hard, and innovate, then the success (and their money) they have belongs to them, and not to those people who didn't take the risk and work hard. I heard this story on Dr. Laura, and I will close with it because it does a great job of explaining why it is socialism and communism that isn't fair.

A young girl comes home from school one day and tells her mom, "the government should give all of the poor people money so they can buy nicer homes." The mom thinks about it for a moment and then tells the child, "perhaps you should offer to share you A+ in math with the students that only got D's and F's." The daughter replies, "but I worked hard for my A+. Instead of watching tv, or playing all afternoon, I studied and did my homework. I worked really hard for my A+, and it wouldn't be fair to give it to the other students because they chose to play instead of study and work hard." As the girl's final words left her mouth, she realized why it wouldn't be fair to take money from those who had earned it, and give it to those who chose not to earn it.
Debate Round No. 5
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Harlan 9 years ago
Harlan
Yes, it was a very silly spelling error tht I made and I am sorry.
Posted by AREA 9 years ago
AREA
Capitalism may be competition.
But isn't "Capitolism" the religion of Capitals only found in Rome and D.C.?
Posted by Harlan 9 years ago
Harlan
Because Mcdonalds cheeseburgers are the perfect symvol of what capitalism is, and it is not the best products necessarily.
Posted by Harlan 9 years ago
Harlan
Are Mcdonalds cheeseburgers the "very best products"?
Posted by rkmcdaniel 9 years ago
rkmcdaniel
Capitolism=competition Competition=the very best products
Posted by Harlan 9 years ago
Harlan
Yes, I am 13 (though I am not sure whether that was rhetorical or not)

I respect your opinion favoring capitalism.
Posted by Harlan 9 years ago
Harlan
Phil, it is a little annoying when you treat me condescendingly, in order to assert your opinion.
Posted by Crystal 9 years ago
Crystal
Harlan, I have to ask are you really 13 years old? If you are I want to applaud your debating and analytical skills. At 13 years of age I could have never articulated my arguments so clearly. I look forward to reading your other debates.
That being said, I must side with Phil on this debate. Capitalism is the economy of growth and prosperity.
Posted by Phil 9 years ago
Phil
wryan...Your starting point is irrelevant. Just ask the millions of millionaires who started from nothing and worked their way up.
Posted by wryan 9 years ago
wryan
First of all, I agree with Phil.

(About the story at the end)
However, I would argue that how hard one works does not necissarily determine one's position in society. Sometimes your starting disadvantages are big enough that you cannot full overcome them.
32 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by FuzzyCatPotato 2 years ago
FuzzyCatPotato
HarlanPhilTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:23 
Vote Placed by NiamC 2 years ago
NiamC
HarlanPhilTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:00 
Vote Placed by tmar19652 3 years ago
tmar19652
HarlanPhilTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by PsyPhiGuy 7 years ago
PsyPhiGuy
HarlanPhilTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Vote Placed by Phil 8 years ago
Phil
HarlanPhilTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Vote Placed by ChevySdyme99 8 years ago
ChevySdyme99
HarlanPhilTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by C-Mach 9 years ago
C-Mach
HarlanPhilTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by griffinisright 9 years ago
griffinisright
HarlanPhilTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by gogott 9 years ago
gogott
HarlanPhilTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by Mdal 9 years ago
Mdal
HarlanPhilTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03