The Instigator
Con (against)
36 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
7 Points

Caramel's Ideal Society

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/8/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,006 times Debate No: 13594
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (36)
Votes (7)




I pointed out that Caramel isn't serious about his political ideology. He's never debated any of the competent defenders of capitalism. As a response, he said he's never received any debate challenges from me. This implies that he will take a debate if I challenge him.

The full resolution is that Caramel can't offer any uniquely anti-capitalist recommendations that will substantially improve the status quo. For example, both capitalists and Caramel dislike central banks, so he can use this argument, but it won't carry any weight on the resolution. He has to say things like "businesses should be illegal" or something.

As a brightline for "capitalism", I'll put forward the two principles of self ownership and use-rights. Essentially they mean the right to exclude other people from use of yourself or your property. So you can't rape me, and you can't break into my granary. These rights get fuzzy at the margins, but they can be clarified later.

Caramel has articulated his desire for societies of about 2000 people who all do their own farming and live by a tribal code of honor. I'll leave it to Caramel to elucidate this further...

What I expect to happen is one of the following

1) Caramel will unwittingly make capitalist arguments. For example, if he thinks everyone should VOLUNTARILY go into these tiny sustenance communes, that is within capitalist rights, and is therefore not anti-capitalist.

2) Caramel will make anti-capitalist arguments on pragmatic grounds, but fail to explain the incentives faced by actors moving to and in that system. For example, if he thinks that we should be forced to stop using currency, I'll ask you to consider the extreme danger of creating an organization powerful enough to ban currency, as well as the incentive of each individual actor to revert back to using currency as a superior means of trade.

I'll also run pure economic arguments against him depending on the issue. With currency, I might argue that economic calculation is impossible without prices etc.

At any rate, this is enough fluff. I'm trying to give Caramel as much of a heads up as possible (and to avoid being one of those guys who starts a round and says "ill wait for my opponent to startlol").

I don't have any contentions or points now, but I ask that Caramel organize his case as well as possible. Numbers, bullet points and so on...


"Essentially they mean the right to exclude other people from use of yourself or your property. So you can't rape me, and you can't break into my granary. These rights get fuzzy at the margins, but they can be clarified later."

(1) You define "use of yourself," obviously, as a set that includes rape, and you are likely conveying the point that physical abuse is prevented by capitalism. My definition of "use of yourself" would include wage labor. Under capitalism, when you accumulate more wealth, you have the automatic ability to control others in a remarkably efficient way. In fact it isn't a stretch to say that this is the very heart of the system; the goal is profit, which boils down to being able to make people do exactly what you want. So why would you say that the "brightline" of capitalism is the right to exclude others from using you?

(2) The implied point that physical abuse is prevented should be expanded by Con if that was his intentions.

(3) Theft is only a factor of property itself. Property by definition is the right to exclude others from using resources. If you don't exclude people from using resources, then how can something be stolen?. If someone possesses an item of value, they want to retain the ability to use that resource. Under capitalism, if someone wants this said ability, they must exclude others from using the resource somehow (because of property rights). In a cooperative system, there is much room for sharing of items (e.g., a boat, a trailer, or a lawn-mower) without the need to hoarde them. Also, since most all the same goods are available for free, there is little incentive to steal.

(4) Property must be backed by a governmental authority. Your brand of anarchism seems to be lacking in that I don't understand how you expect to enforce property rights. Would you use a blackwater-type institution? Hired guns?

My system revolves around cooperation. We should set up what are called "sustainable communities." The essence of sustainable communities is living within our means. It doesn't have to be necessarily "2,000 people" but vast
urban jungles are quite unsustainable in that they don't provide any of the opportunities smaller communities would. Important benefits of small communities:

(5) the ability to use non-motorized transportation to commute, or else a mass-transit system. "Small" communities don't necessarily have to be completely isolated in space, they just need to have all the major amenities provided locally. On the neighborhood scale, this means we have things like parks, grocery stores, and other local shops close by so that we don't have to cross town in an SUV to get a stick of butter. Unfortunately, capitalism dictates that the most profit can be derived from setting up centers of commerce. Mini-malls and other stores are all located in a concentrated fashion near each other so that they can absorb your business while you make your inevitable stops at other businesses. Unfortunately, and this will be a recurring theme, what's best for profit is not best for the people in
general. With centers of commerce, people are hard-pressed to do anything without a car... Why not set up neighborhoods so that most of the things you would need throughout the week are available locally? IOWs, let's break up the commercial zones that capitalism naturally creates and use a more mixed-zoning approach which cuts down on travel time for everyone. This reduces energy needs, pollution, and increases our own time. However, this is not conducive to turning a profit. You all might be a bit young to remember, but when I was younger it wasn't all about Wal-Mart. Before box stores became so popular (due to delivering low-quality disposable goods at a low [short-term] price), we used to have all sorts of little shops distributed throughout the neighborhoods. You can see these abandoned shops everywhere nowadays, because people are broke and need to save money and choose box stores over local shops. The shop-owners are now working the registers at box stores instead of running their businesses
locally within neighborhoods, and this is sad. There is a lot of "sadness" in capitalism of just this sort; I cannot address it wholly in the space provided but I would hope the reader would have the ability to extrapolate out how just about every product and service suffers the same fate under the current capitalist system.

(6) The scientific community, on the whole, has done its best to inundate us with as many studies and analyses as it can to show us that our practices are wholly unsustainable. For starters, our population is growing exponentially, while our food supply is growing geometrically. Since we are unable to cooperate to grow food under capitalism, we must rely on private businesses to provide it. This is why Americans enjoy 30,000,000 acres of lawns and pay for low-quality produce, picked green and force-ripened in transit to the marketplace (not to mention packed with hormones and pesticides like so much garnish?. Since it is cheapest to grow vast swaths of monoculture plants to achieve economies of scale, the invisible hand forces farmers to do so. These plots must be saturated with pesticides to
function (monocultures are notorious for disease, unlike natural forest settings where diversity prevents it), which affects our health (when we eat) and deposits these substances in the earth. Runoff from farms is
probably the single greatest non-point source of pollution due to fertilizer and pesticide use. In my system, cooperative gardens would be everywhere and replace big farms.

(7) Externalities are choking our future chances of survival, and we are likely headed for a future more resembling of "Mad Max" than of prosperity. Pollution is accumulating in our air and water, land-uses continue to degrade as we deforest and convert wetlands, biodiversity is being lost, our fresh water supplies are degrading (this is possibly the worst of the lot), dangerous toxic chemicals and heavy metals are accumulating in the environment (e.g., mercury and lead [I'll leave out the ones I can't pronounce]), global climate change is looming in the distance threatening hundreds of billions of damage (if not more), and generally speaking our natural resources are simply degrading on a daily basis, leaving much left for future communities.

Competitive systems cannot economically account for these externalities. For instance, some people put the true social cost (due to climate change) of a gallon of gas at anywhere from $20-$100. How is capitalism going to capture the externality and include it into the price to make sure we consume at the proper rate? Well, we could have the government step in and implement Pigovian taxes and subsidies, but who wants govt when you don't need it?

Sustainable communities produce everything they need within a relatively small area - say ten miles or so - making them unusually resilient in times of distress. These communities don't need government aid to be flown in in times of disaster because they are self-perpetuating. Because profit takes a seat and makes way for innovation, we can start implementing all of our high-tech sustainable technologies (wind, solar, geothermal) without profit-seeking companies selling cheap stuff to poor people and displacing clean tech out of the market.

(8) If you think capitalism=innovation, then read up on the electric car - we were 100% electric, complete with charging stations, 100 years ago in the US and somehow we still don't have the means to produce more than the Nissan Leaf in 2010? Auto companies have decided FOR US that we shall not have electric... Capitalism is a tourniquet on innovation, not a catalyst.

(9) Finally, I will address motivation. Con says people will not be motivated under my system - why not? We shall strive to be great, strive to be useful, strive to be honored, strive to be noticed and awarded for our deeds.
Debate Round No. 1



a) Pro thinks that capitalism conflicts with self ownership, because people who accumulate capital get the "automatic ability to control others".

This is a very superficial reading. Capital owners do not order others around as their slaves. Individuals contract with capital owners. It is difficult to see how people leaving farms during the industrial revolution were under the control of evil greedy capitalists.

Capitalism is restricted to negative rights of exclusion, not positive rights of control.

b) Pro asks "So why would you say that the "brightline" of capitalism is the right to exclude others from using you?"

It is the RIGHT to exclude others from using you. So people CAN use you and your property, if you give them permission. I don't know how this could have been confusing.


The right to be unabused is a negative right. It is beyond the scope of this debate to prove how such a right would be enforced. If it makes you happier, pretend a minarchist state is enforcing these rights.


a) Pro says property rights require exclusion, but doesn't explain what is wrong with this.

Private property has a key role in the production of goods and services. The only reason investment can go forward is because you expect to recoup your investment cost. So property rights stimulate investment.

Capital owners rent capital to people who haven't invested, spreading the blessings of technology and saving. Pro might complain that this is "usury", but wages are a lot higher if you can use expensive machines over your bare hands. The "profit" paid to evil capitalists is the payoff for investing. Without it, there would be much less machinery in society.

b) Pro advocates a cooperative system. He doesn't explain why this is anti-capitalist. I claim it isn't because people within capitalism can simply choose to waive their property rights. For example, the Amish are ultimate capitalists because they respect self ownership and the property rights of others.

c) Additionally, the common ownership stock is subject to a tragedy of the commons effect. People are averse to work, and would not see the full benefits of their labor because it would be split among the many.


This debate is not about the logistics of my ideal system. It is much simpler. I think Pro's politics is so useless that he cannot make ANY useful policy recommendations. He's dodging his BOP. See 3b) for why co-ops can be capitalist.


a) Pro wants things to be provided locally. Division of labor would suffer drastically. We could no longer manufacture computers or medicine at such a small scale. You need only look to isolated villages in the third world to see how much poverty this causes.

b) Pro thinks capitalism is bad because of profit. It should be clear from the Amish example that this is wrong. Only SOME people in capitalism seek profit, and their pursuits are largely harmless. People still regularly pursue higher ideals

c) Profit often has beneficial effects. For example, competition among profit seeking computer hardware companies has brought prices down to rock bottom. Pro will counter with negative externalities. See 7a)

d) Pro wants it so you can just walk half a mile to get groceries at ye ol' local grocery shop. But without prices for real estate, materials and construction, he can't possibly know the optimal space for a store or anything else. All economic resources are scarce, and will be wasted if they aren't allocated via a price mechanism.

He has in his mind a barren patch of land that is close to everyone's house where there should be a store. Well, you can still build one under capitalism, but if the economics aren't good, it means that other projects more urgently require resources.

e) Pro thinks that modern zoning is stupid. Modern zoning is controlled by governments, not by the market. The same way that McDonalds tries to put itself in the most convenient place possible, grocery stores and hospitals would easily do the same.

f) Pro thinks capitalism is sad because mom and pop stores go under. He's shifting standards here. Walmart is better for the masses, even if it is worse for some small time businesses. But Pro's whole case is that we should always prefer what is better for the collective, not any one individual.

g) Without the competition of a larger market, monopolization is much easier under Pro's system. So that's automatically worse for the masses. The only remedy to local monopolies will be violent public appropriation ending in a Tragedy of the Commons.

Obviously competition among many suppliers of goods and services is a good alternative to bloody business takeovers.


a) Pro thinks we can't cooperate to grow food under capitalism. There is no reasoning or source behind this claim.

b) He also claims that there are a lot of problems with our current agricultural practices, but again, this is largely monopolized by government for a few commercial farms.

As a counter example, take New Zealand. Their agricultural sector is unsubsidized and relatively unregulated. Apparently, people can cooperate to produce plenty of food.

c) For the economic logic, if the supply of food dwindles, its price gets bid up, raising profits in agriculture. The higher profits attract more investors who come in and increase food production. Particularly futures markets preempt temporary shortages of food.


a) Pro thinks that pollution is a big problem. Well, the same way that poisoning your water is against capitalism, so is the poisoning of air. Simply put, pollution is illegal under capitalism.

b) Pro thinks that small communities are very resilient in times of distress. He doesn't give any citations, claiming that "they produce all their own stuff". Well how productive are they without expensive machines? Output is probably pretty crappy. The initial American colonies suffered extreme starvation and poverty. Its the closest thing I can find to what Pro wants us to do...


Auto companies have wrecked the electric car through lobbying and use of patents, both of which are not capitalist because they use government to bully the private sector. Under capitalism, this kind of innovation would be allowed.


a) Even if we live in some magical Pro world people are selfless, so what? Capitalist rights can still exist, but just go unused. For example, if I build a swimming pool I can just choose to let everyone use it if I am virtuous and and honored or whatever Pro thinks. There isn't a fundamental conflict.

b) Property rights exist to deal with the asocial aspects of humanity. Most people who are economically related don't even know each other. I don't know who makes my food, clothes, computer, etc. They don't know me. There is no community between us, and yet we trade. This is only possible through prices and property rights.

== Conclusion Thus Far ==

The BOP for Pro is to offer "uniquely anti-capitalist recommendations that will substantially improve the status quo".

He only shows us an end-game where we are living in small communities. Is this anti-capitalist? Nope. He hasn't shown why people's rights need to be violated to transition to this system.

Is this a recommendation? Nope. "Small sustainable communities" is an outcome, not a recommendation.

Will this substantially improve the status quo? It would probably kill a lot of people. The only possible advantage he can claim is environmental. I don't see much point in environmentalism if most people are dead


1a. Con calls my interpretation of wage labor "superficial" because "capital owners do not order others around as their slaves."

While we are not technically slaves, it is certainly arguable that we endure slave-like conditions. In the middle ages, half of a serf's wage went to his landlord, and half to himself. It was a lot more flagrant in those days, but really what has changed?

"Capitalism is restricted to negative rights of exclusion, not positive rights of control."

That's great, but if we make a system where only negative rights of exclusion includes excluding someone from basic needs, then what does it matter?

1b. Con did a poor job rebutting my points. He does not address how easily people are used and controlled under capitalism other than to say they "gave permission..."

2. Con says that "you can't rape me" is based on his capitalistic principle, but is unwilling to argue how this problem pans out.

3a. "...Pro... doesn't explain why [exclusion is bad]"

The words "horde" and "steal" were your clues. IOWs income disparity and desperation to steal. It's sort of like if you're in the supermarket. There is no incentive for you to steal out of my cart (before we pay) because the items are equally accessible (free). However once you buy goods (assuming I cannot because of lack of purchasing power) I have the motive to steal from you. In this context one can see that much if not the vast majority of crime is actually promoted internally by capitalism.

"...but wages are a lot higher if you can use expensive machines over your bare hands... Without [capitalism], there would be much less machinery in society."

These statements contradict; you seem to say we use labor because the invisible hand guides us away from expensive machines but then you say capitalism gives us more machines.

If resources were more evenly distributed, expensive machines would look a whole lot more inviting since we are necessarily empowering the lower classes who have to make these goods (the people in general want less wage labor while the rich don't mind). Furthermore, doesn't it make some sense that the labor we use instead of the machines could have very well just gone into the machines themselves?

3b. "People can choose to waive their property rights [therefore capitalism is not counter-cooperative]"

Explaining why capitalism is counter-cooperative isn't necessary since it is built right into the economic theory of the system. Capitalism's efficiency is directly proportional to the amount of competition within each market. Capitalist economists understand that "perfect competition" is what the market strives for - that is, having enough firms offering enough different competing products in order to give us ample choice and power to choose.

3c. Con cites the tragedy of the commons to attack common ownership. The "tragedy" is not a potent force in cooperative systems; the theory specifically deals with people acting in their own self-interests. When everyone acts in their own interests, they neglect the pool of resources in favor of competing to their fullest abilities (as they must under capitalism less they perish to their competition). In a cooperative system, there is breathing room to coordinate with others sharing the same pool because you are not intensely competing with them.

4. "I think Pro's politics is so useless that he cannot make ANY useful policy recommendations."

In regards to what?

5a. "division of labor would suffer drastically"


"We could no longer manufacture computer or medicine at such a small scale."


Poverty in third world countries is due to inability to compete with rich countries who exploit them. We consume their resources because we cannot provide for ourselves. We have 5% of the world's population but consume 25% of the raw energy. In almost every conceivable category, we consume more than we produce (with the exception of garbage). We are using other countries' resources to keep us fat and rich through capitalistic exploitations by multinationals.

5b. Your Amish example did not "clearly" explain this. Your statistics for charity are interesting; the entire list combines to a little over $100B. The gross world product is over $65T as of 2007. So if the world's economy was $65, then total charities would be one penny. Wow, you really showed us some philanthropy there. Additionally, your chart says the US is 19th in line for % contributed. We get rich by hoarding what we have - this is not cooperation.

5c. Competition can breed innovation, but not as much as cooperation - where information is freely distributed and efforts to invent are combined instead of mutually excluded.

5d. A price mechanism is indeed an efficient way to decide the size of a supermarket, but it isn't a necessary condition for one. Planners can decide the size of a supermarket better than businessmen, in fact, because they take into account more than just costs of production and profit. They can decide the place to build based on environmental factors as well as economic ones. This includes transportation routes (and adjusting them if necessary), impacts to resources and sensitive ecological areas and projections of population growth and consumption. Con will complain about how we will lose the business savvy efficiency but think clearly about how much businessmen waste while creating these minuscule efficiencies: resources spent on profit, marketing, accounting, lawyers, insurance, security, taxes... And of course the fact that these businesses may not contribute to society at all (e.g., a whoopie-cushion factory).

5e. Capitalism underlies the gov't's zoning decisions, and businesses lobby to do whatever they want anyway. Furthermore, zoning is really only necessary to deal with capitalism.

5f. "Walmart is better for the masses"


5g. Monopolization is not bad unless it is competitive.

6a. Why don't you just look around. Why do we have 30,000,000 acres of lawns in the US and very few gardens? Why aren't there berries, grapes, and vegetables planted all throughout every single neighborhood in the US?

6b. I don't care about your distinctions between the govt and business. The govt is mostly businessmen and capitalists who are only there to facilitate the private sector in the first place. Capitalism requires police, lawyers, insurance, banks, marketing, profit, security, accountants... All these institutions are moot in my system - we save the resources by not having them.

The fact that you have to use an example thousands of miles away to show what the 300,000,000 people in this country "could" be doing under the system we are already using is evidence in itself we cannot do it, is it not?

6c. I know how the economics work but this doesn't stimulate neighborhood gardens. We don't need "investors" to grow a patch of zucchinis. Neighborhood property rights destroy our ability to grow, which prompts the "guerrilla gardening" movement.

7a. Making something illegal doesn't fix the problem. Addressing the underlying motives does.

7b. My argument is theoretical. If a community produces its own goods, it cant have supply chains cut off. Output will be less, of course - we aren't producing all the cheap goods we were before, so we don't need to have output as high. The freedom not to work menial labor is worth the offset in material goods anyway. You are a capitalist and measure your life in the amount of "stuff" you have so you cannot understand my argument.

American colonies are moot. They did not have the infrastructure or technology we possess. I might as well compare capitalism to some ancient bartering system...

8. Why do you think we created patents in the first place? Who does most of the lobbying? Blame the capitalist institutions for capitalism's failings...

9. This doesn't address my point at all.

9b. Trade is possible without money...
Debate Round No. 2



a) Pro tries to prove that we endure slave like conditions because lots of wealth gets transferred to the upper class. Source?� Regardless, inequality is not evidence for slavery.

The typical statist line is that the inequality is SO bad, that people are FORCED to work for a master, who becomes analogous to their slaveowner. In our current mixed economy, people's� caloric intake has actually been increasing over the years.� There is no reason to prefer Caramel's anarcho-primitivist society to the status quo.

Even if living conditions were very very poor, the sole criterion for slavery is the initiation of violence. Again, people who left sustenance farms for cities were not called by their masters. They chose dire poverty over extreme poverty. It sucks but they aren't slaves.

b) The right to stop other people from harming or stealing you is capitalist. See above for the "control" argument.

2) I don't have a BOP in this resolution, so I don't have to outline the best way to have capitalism. Pro's BOP is to show improvement over the status quo.


a) Pro thinks his example of theft shows that capitalism promotes crime. In the status quo, people don't regularly steal each other's groceries, probably because there are adequate alternatives and enforcement mechanisms for theft. No problem.

Pro misunderstands my point about machines. Investors buy machines so workers can be more productive. By raising the productivity of workers, real output and wages rise. Capitalists can't skim an infinite profit because of competition.

Pro thinks everything should be evenly distributed. This ignores the process by which capital was generated in the first place. Investors put up capital because they expected a profit. No profit, no capital to redistribute.

b) Pro thinks that capitalism means that everyone is in an ultra competitive rat race. But since capitalism is defined by negative rights, it entails no such thing. Again, the Amish are great capitalists. So are Bhuddist monks. Pro's whole case fails to be anti-capitalist.

c) Pro thinks that the Tragedy of the Commons is alleviated in coops because people act in each other's interest. Why would they do that? Some psychological argument from peer pressure no doubt. Regardless of any cultural brainwashing scheme Pro wants to advance, there is always an individual incentive to cheat on the system. He's advocating a society without any real checks and balances.

4) Pro has to make a policy recommendation that will substantially improve the status quo, as per the OP.


a) Division of labor would suffer drastically because each of Caramel's villages has to produce everything on its own. It can't specialize. The lowered productivity means there are fewer resources. A larger percentage of wealth must be consumed, leaving little for investment in things like medicine and technology.

It is true that many third world countries are exploited by western violence. But literally all of them? Are there no examples of successful, isolated communities? Probably not. Being isolated sucks.

b) The point is that capitalism doesn't automatically equal selfish cutthroat hording. Amish use their freedom to live humbly. Some people give to charity. Caramel's complaints only amount to wanting people to give more. Whether it is voluntary or under the point of a gun, he does not say.

c) Caramel thinks cooperation and competition are mutually exclusive. Clearly he has never heard of a corporate merger. A business in itself is an example of cooperation too. So you can have cooperation under capitalism. Competition, however, is ever necessary to motivate cooperation in the first place. Why hire a hundred people to design a better processor? Because AMD might do it first and Intel will lose out.

d) Caramel thinks that profit should be weighed along with environmental concerns. I already said that the environment that humans use is protected by capitalist property rights, so this point is moot.

He also thinks that profit seeking is unprofitable because you have to spend a lot of money on stuff he considers frivolous. You can see by the way I've phrased it that this can't be the case. The most profitable firms will minimize economic waste.

Basically, he thinks the system we have today can work without prices through "planners". Well the planner doesn't know anything. Without the price of resources, he can't know what consumers demand. He can't know how scarce resources are, or how expensive they are to get out of the ground. Its economic chaos.

�e) Caramel thinks that capitalism is the reason for government zoning decisions. It's difficult to see how restaurants and shopping centers benefit from the government forcing them to locate far away from people's houses... Regardless, this is classic leftist confusion with crony capitalism. Please use the definition of capitalism I specified in R1.
f) Walmart is better for the masses because it offers a wide array of goods at low low prices!

g) Monopolization is bad, because without competition, firms simply raise prices and reduce output. Monopoly is best broken through competition on an open market. Limiting the market to a local community will only make it easier to monopolize things.


a) There probably aren't a lot of gardens in people's lawns because they realize it's a waste of their time to grow their own food when they can just go to the supermarket.

b) He writes "I don't care about your distinctions between the govt and business. The govt is mostly businessmen and capitalists who are only there to facilitate the private sector in the first place". Obviously, the people in government are not capitalists because they initiate violence against other people. Pro should care about the distinction because he agreed to it when he joined this debate.

Regardless, he thinks his system saves money by not having police etc. See my previous comments about his system having no checks and balances.

New Zealand is (by accident) the only industrialized country without subsidies to domestic agriculture, so I kind of have to use it as an example of agro-capitalism. �

c) Pro seems to want to stimulate neighborhood gardens EVEN THOUGH there is already plenty of food. Why? Most people get paid a lot more at their job than they could earn by growing their own crops. It's a waste of time.


a) The motive to pollute another's property is more profit. It can be alleviated by actively reducing the profit of aggressive polluters.

b) Pro concedes that small towns won't be able to produce as much. Pro is right that his ideal towns are largely theoretical... see my citation about the poverty of American colonies, which he thinks doesn't apply because they didn't have technology. That's basically my point; that if we did go into small towns we wouldn't be able to produce technology.

He thinks it's an advantage because supply chains can't be cut off if you produce all your own stuff. Supply chains are not very often cut off in the status quo. Maybe electricity every once in a while.

He also thinks the free time makes it all worthwhile. But value is subjective, so I don't see how he could possibly know this.

�8) Patents were created by Royal courts as a way to grant political favors. Pro tries to blame government intervention on capitalists because they cause it. A profit-seeker is not a capitalist. A capitalist is someone who respects other's negative rights.


a) Extend. There isn't a fundamental conflict between Pro's society and capitalism. He hasn't explained why we can't go live in his villages voluntarily.

b) Pro says you don't need money to trade. My point was that money allows people who have no social bonds to trade, vastly enhancing our connectivity and division of labor.



i. Why would I need a source to show that the the rich are wealthy?
ii. We take in more calories, therefore we are not slaves?
iii. I said the wealthy have the automatic ability to control others. We are thus "slaves" to the whims of consumers.

Con elects himself authority over interpretation of the term, demanding that "the sole criterion for slavery is the initiation of violence." It would be foolish to believe him; "slavery" is not a technical term, it is a philosophically debatable one. If I am correct and people can function with much more freedom and equity, then we certainly would be considered slaves by future generations who gain an insight into true freedom: where the poor are not indentured servants to the trivial whims of wasteful consumers

1b. I think it is a bit crude to say capitalism is where our rights of not being harmed or stolen are derived. We are not free because of menial labor, mostly service and manufacturing-based, which necessitates menial positions of employment. Capitalism promotes massive waste which in turn requires extra efforts (by the working class) to create. Limiting production to simply high-quality products would cut both human and physical resources, but capitalism promotes cheap disposable goods at the expense of our (temporarily) abundant physical resources and our non-liberated public (human resources) - thus capitalism is inefficient and especially inequitable for the working class.

2. Con doesn't have BOP but has made a tactical error in bringing up an argument he cannot defend, which is more than adequately relevant to our discussion.

3aa. Capitalism promotes crime by
i. basing the system on greed, therefore promoting theft naturally.
ii. concentrating wealth away from the majority, creating a lower class of people who feel pressured to steal to survive.
iii. creating menial labor positions to fulfill wasteful consumer needs which creates a general feeling of angst towards productive labor. My system would reward frugality, while currently there is no taboo for being inordinately consumptive.

3ab. Machines are under produced in our current system because human labor is cheaper. Why buy an expensive machine when minimum wage will buy you a desperate worker?

3ac. Capital would be moot in a system with no currency, unless he is implying we simply would fail to utilize resources without capitalism.

3b. Just because Amish value the right to be left alone doesn't mean they are shining capitalists that prove my system is not "anti-capitalist," and I'm not sure what your point about monks is. Con keeps trying to link capitalism with the right not to be enslaved; my system does not promote slavery so this is moot. Territory would be preserved under my system.

3c. TOTC would be averted because personal interest is now not as dire; I don't have to struggle as hard to extract resources to stay afloat (vs. my competition who also draws on these resources). We also don't have to assign control over natural resources (e.g., you own a river or some fish) which is unnatural and outrageous. The community wishes, generally, to preserve the environment and this interest wins out because there is no strong counter-interest (unlike capitalism which promotes ruthless competition for profit). Checks and balances are moot when power is kept to a minimum.

4. Make a policy recommendation in an anarchist non-capitalist community? The only policy necessary is that any conflict of interests is handled democratically on a case-by-case basis.

5aa. This is overly simplistic; while we won't be able to specially mass-produce as much, we will offset this ability in many ways.
i. less hording of resources by the rich.
ii. less dedication of resources to whimsical endeavors (e.g., McDonald's, cheap plastic disposable crap, lawyers, insurance, banking, marketing, business, police, government in all its facets). The trade-off would be lopsided in favor of my system.
iii. less restrictions on freedom of information (no need for patents or to hide technology from competing firms).

5ab. Developed nations like the US and China send multinationals EVERYWHERE to plunder resources in every conceivable location. Also, these places lack infrastructure and technology that we already possess. Our communities would not be "isolated" - they would be independent. There is no reason they would be completely cut off from one another.

5b. Rich people horde wealth - in cars, boats, homes, bank accounts, etc. Very few rich (if any) give sizable proportions of their wealth to charity. There is no need to "give more" when they simply didn't receive as much to begin with.

5c. Why develop a new processor then hide all your achievements so that they are not duplicated? Why make every single processor-developer go through and make the same mistakes instead of just letting the mistake be identified? Science is mainly trial and error, and works best when info is shared - not horded.

5da. Capitalist protection of the environment? So you own the tuna fish in the ocean to protect them? Absurd!

5db. Profitable firms can only minimize waste that does not exist as externalities. The profit motive necessarily creates externalities and therefore waste - because profit replaces the goal of sustainability.

5dc. Con attempts to frame environmental planners in a dubious light. Comprehensive plans, created for communities by planning agencies, include scientific, economic, and social interests. Profit replaces these all with exploitation.

5e. the government wouldn't "force" shopping centers away from houses; once the profit-motive is removed, they would disperse back into the neighborhoods from which they came because of convenience. Planners would help the people figure out the most strategic locations for shops. This sounds ridiculous to most because you have to study environmental planning to realize the benefits of planning a community from the ground-up to maximize efficiency, instead of just dicing up parcels and selling/zoning them for profit like we do now.

5f. Walmart sells cheap stuff that must be produced continually, eating up non-renewable resources and human labor - not to mention the menial nature of its jobs.

5g. Con continually forgets there is no "prices" in my system and thus presents moot arguments based on profit. And lowering output is a noble goal (i.e., sustainability).

6a. ...and this is terrible because we could be saving these resources by efficiently growing more - that means more resources to spend on leisure or developing new medicines.

6b. If our govt are not capitalists, then what are they? If many govt officials are active then why distinguish?

6c. Why? Because home-grown food is more nutritious, better tasting, and less processed. They wouldn't need to
dedicate inordinate amounts of time to growing most produce - and they don't even have a chance to make that decision themselves right now because of time restraints (keeping consumers happy) and property limitations.

7a. How? More govt? How much resources are wasted paying them to make up for capitalism's short-comings?

7ba. Your tech point is irrelevant since we already possess the tech to survive better than the 13 colonies.

7bb. What about New Orleans? The supply chains were cut off because planners were not involved in the infrastructure. If planners had planned New Orleans, the first thing they would have said was "DON'T BUILD ON FLOODPLAINS." But profit dictated that they should. So even if its not directly to do with "supply chains," they still build sustainability comprehensively.

8. Those political favors were effective because of $. Only capitalism could create a haven for patents to exist.

9a. we can't live there voluntarily because our entire society is capitalist and all the land in the US is considered property and owned.

9b. $ is efficient for trade, but this is small consolation.
Debate Round No. 3


i,iii) Pro's got no source or reasoning to show that the masses are slaves because some people are rich
ii) An increase in calories indicates that we are not extorted like slaves. We live above bare sustenance.
iv) Pro says that slavery is philosophical rather than technical. If you adopt whatever rhetorical fuzzy concept of slavery Pro has, then the whole human condition is slavery no matter what because we always HAVE to do SOMETHING to stay alive (chew your food).

b) This sub point is meant to clarify capitalism as a system of negative rights. Regardless, waste is minimized through the price system.

2) Pro has still not shown improvement over the status quo.


i) Pro says capitalism is based on greed. This is a straw man. Capitalism is based on negative rights.
ii) Pro is subscribing to the iron law of wages. But as I've cited we live above sustenance.
iii) Pro thinks some consumer wants are wasteful. This is his subjective opinion. He says his system will reward "frugality", which is just another way to say "poverty".

This is the confusing thing about Pro, because he spends so much time complaining about how impoverished we are under capitalism, then turns around and says that consumers have too many resources to waste. Which is it? Are consumers too poor or too rich? It's a lose-lose for Pro.

"3ab") Pro says that machines are built because labor is cheap. Actually, its because labor is expensive. Why invest in a machine if you can hire a hundred workers for a penny? Because you can't. Wages are bid up, necessitating investment in machines to use labor more efficiently.

"3ac") I am saying you would fail to utilize resources properly without a price system and property rights.

b) The Amish are great capitalists because they leave others alone. Monks do the same. They aren't thieves or murderers. That makes them capitalists.

c) Pro says you don't have to use resources efficiently under his system because there is no competition. This is bad because there is no check on laziness. Resources are used to fill human needs. Reducing the rate at which human needs are met is anti-human.

Pro mentions the environment. Again, pollution is outlawed by well defined property rights.

4) Pro's big policy recommendation is to handle things democratically on a case by case basis.

i) He only spent one line on democracy. He didn't even explain why it was good. Here's my one line. "Democracy is stupid". Tie.

ii) Democracy can be exercised within capitalist rights. Clubs with democratic elections are capitalist if their membership is voluntary.

iii) Democracy is a might-makes-right argument. Something is immoral, popularity notwithstanding.


"5aa)" Pro tries to make the case that we'd actually be richer under his system because the net effects will be positive. How does he know this? He's got no sources anywhere.

i) Pro thinks the rich horde resources. But since the assets of the rich are mostly bound up in capital, they're putting their wealth to positive use.

ii) Pro thinks resources are wasted on McDonalds and stuff. This is his subjective opinion. The majority would probably vote against him anyway.

iii) No competition means there isn't incentive to use or generate information constructively in the first place.

"5ab)" Pro says his communities wouldn't be isolated, they would be independent. I'm confused, because Pro says everything should be produced locally. Pro has had 3 rounds to write big essays clarifying his positions, and he keeps changing his position.

b) Pro fails to rebut that capitalism does not automatically equal selfishness.

5c) Pro reiterates that companies should cooperate to share information once it has been discovered. He ignores that information is discovered BECAUSE it would yield advantage to the firm. More generally, Pro thinks that inventions and investment happen automatically, so property rights don't matter. False.

"5da)" I don't see the problem with owning fish any more than owning cows, chickens, or dogs.

"5db)" Pro says profit necessarily creates externalities. How do intel and AMD create externalities? Environmental externalities are illegal under capitalism.

"5dc)" Pro doesn't understand the economic calculation problem. If goods don't have prices, allocation will not only be arbitrary, it will be missing all the information about consumer demand, real world scarcity, opportunity cost, etc.

e) Pro thinks that without zoning, companies would move to more convenient locations. On their own. Without being forced. So that's capitalist…

f) Walmart sells stuff people want. No one would pay for products they weren't going to use.

g) Even without prices, monopolies can still screw you… Force you to give up more resources, or work longer hours for whatever they produce.

Pro also thinks that producing less is more efficient because its more sustainable. The only way to know if something is sustainable is through prices. A stable input and output price is sustainable.

a) Pro thinks we would have more time and resources if we all grew our own food. He has no source to back this up. If we did save time and money by growing our own food, people would already do it. Pro must be wrong.

b) If Pro is confused about what counts as capitalist, he can read the definition presented in the opening post.

c) Pro also says home grown food is better for you. Well, buy a multivitamin, and you'll still save a lot more time and money.


a) Pro asks me how I want to enforce capitalist laws. That's off topic. What counts is whether pro can succeed in being ANTI capitalist. If capitalism is impossible, fine. But the rules of capitalism still matter because it defines Pro's BOP.

"ba)" Any technological knowledge is useless accumulated capital. Many places in the world could access knowledge, but are unable to implement it. Caramel's villages would be so busy feeding and clothing themselves that they couldn't recreate a processor manufacturing facility just to churn out 2000 processors, or maybe only 1000 bc 1000 < 2000, which means 2000 is wasteful.

"bb)" I can't possibly address New Orleans. That is a debate in itself. WHAT ABOUT COMMUNIST CHINA?! Tie.

8) Again, there is a difference between profit seeking and capitalism. Bribes still occurred under communist Russia. WHAT ABOUT COMMUNIST RUSSIA?! Derp.

9) Money allows you to interact in an economy with millions of people who don't know each other. This is very good because division of labor on such a large scale is massively productive.

**Voting Points**

a) Pro's spiel is that capitalism = greed = bad. But capitalism is a system of negative rights. He hasn't shown need to violate self ownership or property. Under capitalism, people live in his type of village peacefully. The Amish and other primitivist groups already do.

b) Pro thinks small villages are superior to massively interconnected economies. I've shown that division of labor on a large scale makes the status quo much more productive than his utopia, which would become crippled from local monopolies, natural disasters, inability to implement technology, tragedy of the commons, and laziness.

Pro responds that the rich in the status quo horde so much wealth, that no matter how poor people are in his communities, they'd be richer than they are now. He has no source for this, and doesn't rebut that the rich invest most of their wealth in the capital structures that continue to make society so productive.

c) Pro has been incredibly inconsiderate during this debate. He's had THREE rounds to clarify his positions, and still brings up new arguments. He's turned around and claimed that his villages won't be "isolated" they'll be "independent". He just recently said the villages will be managed democratically. He flippantly brought up New Orleans with no source. This is borderline trolling.


Happy Thanksgiving.

Debate Round No. 4
36 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Sieben 6 years ago
Actually, I am an anarchist because I agree so strongly with the rule of law :]
Posted by Caramel 6 years ago
Lwerd - I didn't bother with the killing blow in the last round because I'm just not that interested in the procedural BS. I don't care about etiquette and my debating record is fried anyway.

This isn't just an exercise on lethargy; I am making a point. I'm not going to waste my time or yours making another long round just to say what I did and what he didn't. Shaving 8,000 characters off of this debate seemed like the appropriate thing to do in the interest of conciseness, particularly because I got an extra round in the beginning (Con didn't make a full round out of the first one). Furthermore, my system is based on efficiency. A lot of that efficiency comes from not doing things "just because" like we have to under capitalism. Under my system, you don't have to call the cops "just because" it's what everyone does when they are frightened or encounters a legal rub (e.g., auto collision). You don't have to buy insurance "just because" of capitalisitic externalities. You don't have to fail to garden the neighborhood "just because" all land is technically owned and off-limits to it. If anything is at the heart of my ideas for society then it is to abolish this "just because" attitude and I'll choose to stick to my principles instead of acquiesce to your ideas of what I should do just because I'm expected to.

As far as conduct goes, I'm not the one who had an emotional breakdown and started calling him a troll at the end, simply because we are having an intellectual discussion. That was uncalled for and if you guys don't see that then I guess that just goes to show where your own standards lie. My conduct was excellent and the only reason I got voted against was "just because" I am not supposed to let a round drop. I am more interested in the exchange and synthesis of ideas than playing by unnecessary rules - if I were interested in rules, then I wouldn't be much of an anarchist, would I?
Posted by Sieben 6 years ago
"Essentially the arguments vote came down to whether Caramel provided anti-capitalist recommendations that would improve the status quo. I believe he did, with Con's responses simply repeating irrelevant capitalist ideals."

My observations apply both to free markets, and the status quo.

Did you also not vote on the distinction between capitalist/anti-capitalist? Caramel never argued that we should violate negative rights.

Also, you're right. The level of discussion wasn't very high because I never got a re on most of the standard capitalist arguments.
Posted by Danielle 6 years ago
"Competition, however, is ever necessary to motivate cooperation in the first place." - Con

Yeah, IN A CAPITALIST SOCIETY lol. Bare assertion much?

While bad conduct, I understand Caramel's forfeit at the end. Essentially Con kept repeating capitalistic arguments and ideals when the whole point was that Pro's system would have an entire different set of values - property not being some of them. Here's an example:

"Division of labor would suffer drastically because each of Caramel's villages has to produce everything on its own. It can't specialize. The lowered productivity means there are fewer resources. A larger percentage of wealth must be consumed, leaving little for investment in things like medicine and technology."

There was no need to respond to this considering it ignored the framework for society that Caramel outlined. In his society, they don't care if there is lower productivity because they're not competing. There are non-profit incentives for people to be innovative. People wouldn't care about "losing investments" because it wouldn't mean anything in a society that did not value monetary wealth.

Sieben says "Property rights exist to deal with the asocial aspects of humanity" i.e. to be able to trade. Caramel says you could trade without an entity labeling it "property." A lot of other property questions were raised but I'll save that for another time...

Essentially the arguments vote came down to whether Caramel provided anti-capitalist recommendations that would improve the status quo. I believe he did, with Con's responses simply repeating irrelevant capitalist ideals. Con's main contention is that Pro's advocation DID fit within a capitalist framework. I don't know that it does, and I was hoping Pro would solidify the win in the final round, but ultimately I feel he didn't respond to Con's arguments sufficiently from a debating POV or refute that 1 main contention of Con's.
Posted by Sieben 6 years ago
"Abusing my votes? Where again?"

Votebombing is considered abuse on the website. That's why all the serious members don't do it.

"You come on days later and spam it saying I'm "vote bombing" and then just voting opposite of me (and not very precisely as you voted with me for bluesteel that destroys any argument you can make) without reading the debates. So whose abusing their votes again?"

Its a mistake, and I change it when pointed out to me. You on the other hand...
Posted by m93samman 6 years ago
just balancing the vote bomb
Posted by OrionsGambit 6 years ago
Abusing my votes? Where again? I read the debates, state my opinion, and leave. You come on days later and spam it saying I'm "vote bombing" and then just voting opposite of me (and not very precisely as you voted with me for bluesteel that destroys any argument you can make) without reading the debates. So whose abusing their votes again?
Posted by Sieben 6 years ago
Err, actually I already know that 99% of people disagree with me. I'm angry because you're abusing your votes.
Posted by OrionsGambit 6 years ago
Thank you for showing (again) you're just mad someone disagreed with you.
Posted by Sieben 6 years ago
So you really believed, before and after the match, that societies of 2000 people are the very best way to organize society? With division of labor? Give me a break.

And you also votebombed in the anarchy debate sans RFD. You didn't read the whole thing, and your votes in other debates and whatever pathetic RFDs you give there demonstrate you don't know how to judge.
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