The Instigator
musicsaveslives
Pro (for)
Losing
7 Points
The Contender
RoyLatham
Con (against)
Winning
25 Points

Communism in relevance to the American economic situation

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/24/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,128 times Debate No: 10941
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (6)
Votes (5)

 

musicsaveslives

Pro

This is my first debate on this website, so I apologize for any grammar or spelling errors. It is my opinion that Communism and Socialism can achieve the goal for societal relief we as Americans desire. As the economic pressures show no sign of relief, we continue to search for solutions in the places we have found problems in the past. It is my belief that Communism and more specifically Socialism can create an America and eventually a One would Community that can ease our economic problems.

The abolition of class separation would contribute to an American society dependent on the workers who control the amount of production. It must first be achieved that the working class understands the power of 'No' whilst considering governing forces. These of course are the forces that control the means of production. Through an economy of products solely built, managed and distributed by the common class worker, we can centralize our means of contribution. Eventually branching out with our international influence to create a border-less unified world wide economy. A market in which we do not depend on internal means of production controlled by the greedy capitalists of today. Instead we shall thrive upon world wide resources and create a world in which every job is rectified as important and 'note worthy'.

As for references to past and current "Communist 'Countries'", I understand their importance in a worldwide economy. Specifically in America. However it is important to approach this situation with an equal understanding. These countries never really had a Socialist or Communist government. Furthermore as a Capitalist country we continue the biased opinion and exploitation of Communism. We must recognize the the destruction of these 'dangerous' countries as nothing more than a way to make profit. After all war is about as profitable time as one country could be so lucky as to come across.
RoyLatham

Con

Welcome to debate.org. I will be interested to see the arguments you present.

I assume that the resolution we are debating is "Communism and socialism can achieve the goal for societal relief we as Americans desire." Pro didn't specify what be believes to be the relief Americans desire, but he made it clear that at least includes "ease our economic problems."

Pro does not explicitly define Communism or Socialism, so the standard dictionary definitions apply:

Communism: 1. a theory or system of social organization based on the holding of all property in common, actual ownership being ascribed to the community as a whole or to the state. 2. (often initial capital letter) a system of social organization in which all economic and social activity is controlled by a totalitarian state dominated by a single and self-perpetuating political party. http://dictionary.reference.com...

Socialism: 1. a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole. 2. procedure or practice in accordance with this theory.

Pro has initiated a long debate, five rounds. For this opening round I will present some of the general arguments against socialist and communist systems. For brevity, I'll use "Socialist" systems to mean the more general "socialist and communist."

1. Implementation of a Socialist system ends the right to own property. That is contrary to the US Constitution and there is no evidence that Americans seek seizure of their property as a "goal for relief." State ownership and suppression of individual choice is contrary to American tradition and ideals. Americans wan to own their laptops, cell phones, televisions, and pickup trucks. They do not want a collective, democratic or not, to decide what is best for them and make allocations accordingly.

2. Socialism has been tried in many forms and has always led to economic hardship. The comparison of North Korea and South Korea is a good example, because the cultural tradition were the same, but North Korean socialism brought economic disaster. East and West Germany is another good test case. The new nations of Africa that emerged during the Sixties tried a dozen forms of socialism, each producing economic disaster. India struggled under democratic socialism for decades, with famine the result. The turn to capitalism is bringing prosperity. Taiwan achieved great prosperity as a capitalist nation while China suffered under Communism. The more capitalism that China introduces, the more prosperous it becomes. All of this is well-documented in "Heaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism" by Joshua Muravchik http://www.amazon.com...

Every form of large-scale socialism has been tried and has failed. The idea that there is a miraculous formulation that will work is unsupported.

3. Socialism is supposed to abolish class differences, but in practice it always produces a ruling class and a subordinate worker class. This follows necessarily from the government owning everything and allocating all resources. A direct vote of the populace cannot be used to determine how many pencil sharpeners ought to be produced. It isn't practical to vote on the many millions of such economic decisions, and if it were accomplished, no one would know the correct number. The workers in the pencil sharpener factory don't know either, because it depends on the demand from outside the factory. Consequently, a gigantic controlling bureaucracy is essential, not optional. The state apparatus that controls everything is an inherent ruling class. This has appeared in every implementation of socialism. Free markets minimize the ruling class and the expense of supporting it.

4. In world markets, socialist countries cannot compete with capitalist ones. India and China could not compete as socialists, and are increasingly competitive as they become capitalist. Many examples are given by Thomas Friedman in his classic text, "The Lexus and the Olive Tree." Hindustani Motors and Toyota began in India and Japan, respectively, at about the same time. Hindustani Motors was given protection from free market and was planned by the government. Toyota was subject to free market competition. Toyota is the success story. There are numerous examples.

5. Pro calls for workers to manage production, claiming it would be efficient. Management is a technical specialty requiring considerable training and experience. Management must determine what consumers want and need, determine capital requirements, optimize production layout and logistics, and determine suppliers. Management must assess and manage risk. Ordinary workers do not have the skills needed to perform those essential tasks, and it is not reasonable to suppose they could acquire the skills while still doing their regular jobs.

6. Pro attributes many problems to "greed." However, "greed" is a pejorative way of expressing the human desire for security. Production workers are inherently no more or less greedy than managers or owners or anyone else. Everyone wants to maximize their security. In a capitalist system, greed is tempered automatically by market competition. A company that tries to charge too much is defeated by competition. It is an inherent defect of socialism that greed is left to the bureaucratic apparatus of the state to control. The greedy bureaucracy works for its own benefit, without the markets to stop it.

These points suffice for now. To make his case, Pro should present us with both (a) examples of socialist systems working well on a large scale, and (b) practical ways in which the universal past failures could have been avoided. So far, he has not given reasons why socialism can succeed. He has only given his opinion that it would.
Debate Round No. 1
musicsaveslives

Pro

Firstly, I apologize for the delay in my response. The best example of a successful Socialist system can be drawn from the Former Soviet Union. Through societal hardships instigated by the former czars and socioeconomic strains of a collapsing economy, the Socialist that would come to power improved the impoverished nations.

After the Russo-Japanese war. Russia was plagued with civil strife directly related to the unrest of its citizens. The slight progress that had taken a very long time to accomplish had been easily ruined. The workers rights had been abused and many people were starving. It took a 'radical' approach to accomplish re-empowering the nation. Many groups had placed their collective input into the situation and many attempts failed at reviving the fallen economy with its desolate people. An answer was needed and eventually found through Socialism. The rebuilding had begun. Though it took many years to accomplish, The Soviets had emerged with a booming economy and widespread involvement with other nations. Citizens rights had been held in favor through a redistribution of commodities. The goal was not focus on individual profit but to the needs of the entire peoples. Through a collective work force that prided itself on Natural Equality, the Soviet Union brought many countries out of the grasp of societal meltdown. Unfortunately the desires of an eccentric dictator continued to expand the separation of classes he had helped to destroy. Essentially though many people eventually died as a result of Stalin's doing, the Soviets economy stayed strong until outside forces fought for Capitalism and eventually carried in the collapse of the economy.

As far as an aversion to the hardships current and past Socialist governments have faced, it is hard to offer a complete solution without distorting previous efforts due mostly to my very limited knowledge of complete economic strategy. Non the less, I shall try my best to offer a foundation in which restructuring can take place. I shall base my strategies on the former Soviet Union as well.
First we must re-educate the population on what our movement is. This may take years. During which a restructuring of our wealth system must take place. This is the beginning for most Socialist/Communist societies during the transitional period. The integration of militant forces should be disabled. In previous Socialist countries, individuals have taken power through the use of force to destroy the current heads of state. This only perpetuates violence and eventually leads to the inevitable downfall of the economy. Selfish leadership has continued the dehumanization of their public. To prevent this we must stay vigilant in our keeping of democracy. Again re-education must take place.
The needs of the people must be taken into account. This in my very humble opinion is what many 'leaders' lacked in reference to continued success of Socialist countries. The means of production and nation wide finance cannot depend on local production. In a modern world the need to keep up with Capitalist trends is very important, the creation of a Socialist public in first world nations must take place. It is also important to refrain from outside influence. The arms race continued the thinking of two separate nations competing for world dominance. It split our world apart while momentarily causing the to economies to grow. Eventually leading to a collapse of both.

For the record, I think it not only unjustly presumptuous but offending to say that the common worker could not control the means of production in the modern industrial workplace. Many companies promote from within and educate the workers on management. It usually take someone with an understanding of the common worker as well as the knowledge of all aspects of production to successfully manage a project.

Con, the ball is in your court. I look forward to hearing from you.
RoyLatham

Con

Pro argues that Communist rule of Russia was an improvement over the rule of the Tsars. That would be relevant if the United States were suffering under the rule of Tsars. That is not our current situation. We do have Obama's tsars, but they are different.

1. I argued that having the government seize all private property is contrary to the US Constitution, and that there is no evidence that Americans seek seizure of their property as a "goal for relief." Pro made no counter argument, so the point stands. He seems to imply that the key to getting Americans to like authoritarian rule is to "re-educate the population on what our movement is." If a massive brainwashing effort achieves the goal of making authoritarian rule desirable, that would not meet the requirement of the resolution that Communism would fulfill our current desires. Our current desires do not include abandoning individual rights.

2. I argued that socialism has always led to economic hardship, especially in comparison to free market economies. I cited North vs. South Korea, East vs. West Germany, and the movement of India and China away from Socialism. The Capitalist alternative has in every case been dramatically more prosperous. How does Pro explain why capitalism is dramatically more successful in every case? He says, "it is hard to offer a complete solution without distorting previous efforts due mostly to my very limited knowledge of complete economic strategy." Fair enough, but if he doesn't know why Socialism has had such a uniform record of failure, he cannot rationally claim Socialism would succeed in the United States. Pro has the burden of proof to affirm the resolution that it would be successful, yet admits he does not know what the factors are that have resulted in uniform failure so far.

Pro also offers a partial explanation of the record of failure: "In previous Socialist countries, individuals have taken power through the use of force to destroy the current heads of state." This is untrue. The dozens of countries in Africa adopted socialism as soon as they were freed from colonial rule. India adopted socialism democratically some after independence. Most of the western European countries experimented with socialism democratically, and backed off as economic failure loomed; they subsequently retreated to heavily taxed capitalism. Socialism fails no matter how it is derived.

The factors that cause failure are well established: the establishment of a non-productive ruling bureaucracy, the inability of human planners to match the free market's ability to provide supplies equal to demands, and the gross incompetence of politically-determined management compared to competitive manager. Those failure mechanisms are inherent in Socialism; if they were removed, it would no longer be Socialism.

3. I pointed that Socialism necessarily establishes a ruling class. Pro did not contest the point. People do not want to be subjected to a ruling class, they want freedom.

4. I pointed out that Socialist countries cannot successfully compete with capitalist countries in world markets. Pro's only claimed example of success, the Soviet Union, never had competitive success beyond oil, gas, timber, and military hardware. The military hardware was sold to nations that the rest of the world would not deal with, so they had a protected market. Pro thus, so far, concedes the point that socialist countries cannot compete in free markets. Therefore Pro's claim that Socialism is necessary to compete in world markets clearly fails.

5. Pro claimed that workers can manage productive operation more efficiently than professional managers. I pointed out the large set of specialized skills needed for successful management, and that workers who spend their time on other tasks cannot be expected to learn the needed skills. Pro did not provide an argument as to how the needed skills could be acquired, nor did he argue that no special skills were needed. He merely claimed offensive "to say that the common worker could not control the means of production in the modern industrial workplace." It is not in the least offensive to say that specialized work requires elaborate, specialized skills. Would it be offensive to suggest that workers who have a full time job doing something else are not likely to succeed in being good doctors, lawyers, engineers, or scientists in their spare time? No, its a straightforward recognition of the difficulty of the jobs.

Pro points out that workers do rise through the ranks to become managers. Yes, it happens when a worker shows both the ability to manage and the desire to learn the skills. Progression in management is done on merit, with skills gradually learn over many years. We also get management expertise from university training. Neither of those mechanisms are part of the socialist scheme, whereby non-specialist workers get to vote on complex issues of finance, risk assessment, and marketing.

6. I pointed out that greed is really a desire for security. Capitalists achieve success by efficiency and meeting market needs. Socialists achieve security by joining the ruling class and milking the working people to benefit of bureaucratic elite. Pro did not offer an alternative explanation for the obvious emergence of non-productive ruling classes in every socialist country.

Pro claimed that Socialism has not been given a proper try. It has been amply tried, and every attempt met the definition of Socialism to which Pro agreed. The lesson of the Twentieth Century is that Socialism always fails.
Debate Round No. 2
musicsaveslives

Pro

The seizure of property by the government has occurred forcefully in the past. In a modern educated society, that is next to impossible. The seizure of private property by the government is contradictory to the foundation of socialism. In fact it would be a re distribution accomplished fairly by the votes of the educated society. Eventually abolishing the need and desire for a ruling government is a goal of socialists. The fact that it has happened proves that the examples Con gives of these governments are examples of harsh dictatorships using Socialism as a mere platform for election by revolutions fueled on the promise of equality. So it is impossible for them to be true socialists. The redistribution of wealth would allow all people to exist purely as equals. We are not speaking of rights dictated by a government. The birth given rights would only be amplified through a community of equals. We do indeed need a free market. It is not impossible to maintain a free market in a Socialist community, if anything it would be easier. Currently, capitalism allows governments to tax all businesses and people for the purchase of necessary items (food, clothing, fuel, etc.). The people would oversee the economy and allow an almost Utopian like society to build. With the distribution of funds generated by business, the economy would flourish. Creating a country of employed people who control their income without generating enough finance that the common worker struggles.

The thinking that Capitalism is more successful in these examples is simply an opinion. I lack a complete understanding, not an understanding entirely.
These economies were plagued by capitalists who built a following on ideals they never fully supported. Many countries had civil disagreements and quickly growing populations. This creates an environment of unrest. With the execution of actual Socialism, the greedy individuals who fight for only personal profit should have been removed from influence. That is reason one. The second being war. The countries had continually engaged in civil wars as well as international. War can be profitable but only momentarily. The economic hardships are similar to the ones America is feeling due to the current economic and social situation. The third being that these were either more conservative societies in the past or people of mismatched ideology. This is specifically the case of East and West Germany. The clashing of Nazism with Communism created a community at arms.

Con says that Socialism creates a ruling class and implies that Capitalism does not. With that I disagree. Do we not have leaders that control the rules and finances of this country in their favor regardless of the majority vote of citizens? I do how ever agree that politically minded management is not as effective. This though can be taken care off through the re education. Which refers to non biased teachings of Communism and Socialism. To be exact, that a successful Socialist community cannot be breed through revolution.

The desire to compete with other Capitalist countries would in fact discredit the Socialist movement. If everyone is to be equal, than competition of disagreeing economic strategies would in turn create a Capitalist frame.

Con is right in saying it requires specialized skills for management. It still remains that it is possible for the workers to attain the skills needed. A goal of Socialism is to create shorter working hours for the individual with higher wages. With this, the ones who would want the added responsibility, the time spent would be just as it is in a Capitalist county. Promotion from within occurs in current America. The necessary skills are learned through the workplace. Also as education would be free, the knowledge generated by citizens would help to contribute to workplace abilities. I am not stating that responsibilities be given to people who do not want them or are under qualified.
It is important to add that education is very important to the Socialist movement. Input from people uneducated on complex issues occurs in Capitalist countries and would in a Socialist America. After all it is the people who's decisions should be placed above the interests of governing forces. Often the decisions of management can be swayed easily the decisions of workers.

The claim that Socialists join the ruling class to milk the average worker is absurd. We are the working class. Capitalists however do profit off the exploitation and addictions of the middle class. They in turn are the ones who manage the economy. The ones who are well versed in deception and abuse of taxes. This continues the separation of the bureaucratic elite and the blue collar worker. This combats the view that Con has stated.

Con has said that the people do not want Socialism. That is not true however. The people want equality, more funding for education, lower taxes, true democracy, equal partnership through business and opportunity to continue with societal trends. Welcome to Socialism. Most of these Socialist countries were in fact countries that falsely claimed to be Communist countries. Socialism is the eventual goal achieved through Communism. The transfer to Socialism creates a brief economic hardship but then again Capitalism continues a troubled economy. To put it bluntly, Capitalism perpetuates the division of its people.
RoyLatham

Con

1. Pro provides a contradiction by way of explanation: "The seizure of private property by the government is contradictory to the foundation of socialism. In fact it would be a re distribution accomplished fairly by the votes of the educated society." The definition of Socialism requires that the government own everything. There are two possibilities, either each individual in the entire society will voluntarily turn over their personal property to the government, or if there are less than 100% who volunteer then those who do not comply must have their property seized. Pro admited that not everyone will voluntarily comply when he acknowledges it will be "by the votes of the educated society." If it were 100% voluntary compliance, there is no need to vote. The concept is to have the 51% take everything from the 49%. Moreover, the 51% must be ever vigilant against someone in the 49% ever possessing anything. Tyrannical rule must remain forever to prevent that from happening.

The concept of human rights is that there rights immune to majority rule. The majority is not allowed to enslave the minrity, even by a "fair" vote. Socialism cannot succeed without suppressing the people who do not want to conform, and who believe they can do better by themselves than under the control of the state. North Korea has spent more than fifty years "educating" it's people as to the virtues of socialism, but they still must keep hundreds of thousands imprisoned. Their "education" involves authoritarian suppression of free speech and every form of control, and it still doesn't approach the 100% level.

Pro insists that any state that is dictatorial it is not "true socialism." If so, Pro should demonstrate where in the definition, to which he agreed, it implies that dictatorial socialism is not socialism. The definition only asserts that the State owns everything. Moreover, clearly the only way that the State can own everything is to seize what individuals wish to keep. That can happen "democratically," by a majority repressing a minority by force, but it cannot happen while honoring the right to freedom.

Socialism can only be achieved by violation of the human rights now guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. Americans cannot abide that.

2. Pro offers "It is not impossible to maintain a free market in a Socialist community, if anything it would be easier." Pro should start by explaining how this is possible logically, and then give examples of how it has worked somewhere. The definition of Socialism is that the State owns everything. Free markets require that person or group A owns something of value and is willing to trade it for something of value owned by B. If the State owns everything there is no basis for A trading with B. Neither A nor B can sell something it does not own.

Beyond that, the primary reason for markets is the hope of gaining greater individual security. If the government guarantees that no matter how hard one works, there is no chance of being better than equal, then there will be no striving for improvement. In a free market, if A drives down his costs, he will be able to get more of B's goods. Under Socialism there is no reason to lower costs, because there is guaranteed to be no net gain. Economic progress also depends upon taking risks in the hope of getting rewards. By abolishing rewards, there is nothing but risk, and the best one can do is to avoid risk.

3. Pro asks, "Do we not have leaders that control the rules and finances of this country in their favor regardless of the majority vote of citizens?" We have a representative form of government, so there is indeed some isolation of leadership from direct democracy on the issues. However, the isolation is minor compared to Socialism which, by definition, must own everything and thereby control everything. Capitalism requires contracts and enforcement of contracts, and there are prohibitions against criminal activities. That does not imply a ruling elite comparable to the ruling bureaucracy necessary in a Socialist system, where apparatchiks make minutely detailed decisions over every aspect of economic life. Under capitalism, free markets weigh supply against demand without a ruling elite.

Besides, claiming that capitalism of some sort of elite, does not deny my claim that Socialism must have a ruling elite of its own. The Socialist ruling elite is based upon politics, not merit, and it is larger and more intrusive. Only Socialism claims not to have an elite,yet it always has the most extreme form.

4. I gave numerous examples of free market societies performing better than Socialist societies. Pro responds "The thinking that Capitalism is more successful in these examples is simply an opinion.." No, it is not remotely mere opinion. Per capita income in North Korea is $1700 while in South Korea it is $26,000. http://siakhenn.tripod.com... India and China had horrendous famines under Socialism, now they do not. It has taken decades for West Germany to rebuild the failed economy of East Germany. The saying is, "The most amazing achievement of Communism is that it made bad workers out of Germans."

Pro says of failed Socialist states, "These economies were plagued by capitalists who built a following on ideals they never fully supported. Many countries had civil disagreements and quickly growing populations." What disagreements within East Germany and North Korea? What capitalists? I have no idea what his point is.

Pro continues, "This creates an environment of unrest. With the execution of actual Socialism, the greedy individuals who fight for only personal profit should have been removed from influence." Indeed, repression of human rights, per "removed" is essential to the socialist state. In what aspect was that overlooked in East Germany, North Korea, or China? They promptly dispatched opposition.

5. Pro says, "Con is right in saying it requires specialized skills for management. It still remains that it is possible for the workers to attain the skills needed." So why stop at management? We have lots of high paid professions. Why don't we let workers try being surgeons or engineers in their spare time? The reason is that doing well at any profession is a full time job. In fact, mangers work many more hours than wage earners. "The latest Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index finds that small business owners today work an average of 52 hours per week. The majority, 57 percent work six days a week and more than 20 percent work all seven days." http://www.accountingweb.com...

Few wage earners want the responsibility of running a business. If they did want the responsibility, they would choose to start a business rather than be wage earners. They also do not want to work the hours required.

6. Pro contends that there is no Socialists elite that milks the system. There *must* be a huge bureaucracy that determines economic choices done automatically by free markets. How many pencil sharpeners will be manufacture this year? The glorious state Agency for Pencils and Sharpeners must decide. That agency must exist, yet it does not exist under capitalism. Therefore all of those bureaucrats milk the system. They exist only because of the system, exercise extraordinary power, and contribute no real value. Pro should explain in detail how his Socialism would weigh supply and demand.

Pro seems to have in mind a cult of idealists in which everything will be fine because everyone is a true believer. He claims that people will work long hours, take great risks, and sacrifice all for the sake of being no better than economically equal. The problem with finding examples of prosperous Socialist systems is that it never has happened and never will. It is contrary to human nature. A little socialism is bad, a little more is worse, and so forth. Pro has given no exception to that rule.
Debate Round No. 3
musicsaveslives

Pro

musicsaveslives forfeited this round.
RoyLatham

Con

Pro's case for socialism rests upon the notion that while a little bit of socialism is toxic, once it becomes universal it will suddenly become benign. The best example of socialism in practice that he can muster is that Communism was probably an improvement over the demented rule of the Tsars in Russia. The Soviet empire ultimately collapsed for economic reasons nonetheless. All experiments in socialism, whether a product of democracy, as in India and Africa, or of authoritarianism, as in East Germany and North Korea, have been economic failures. Socialism does not work incrementally, but capitalism does. A dose of free markets in China has, for example, brought extraordinary economic gains despite social repression and dictatorial rule. Increments of market freedom always produce increased prosperity, while increments of socialism produce economic losses.

Is it possible that total Socialism might succeed while incremental socialism fails at every step? No, it is not possible. The laws of nature and of economics are continuous.

We know why socialism fails. There has to be a huge non-productive bureaucracy charged with making millions of economic decisions that free markets produce automatically. That is inherently inefficient, and there is nothing in "ultimate" socialism that will make it efficient. Moreover, the bureaucracy necessarily becomes a ruling class. It isn't possible for the public to vote on how may pencil sharpeners to make, and if the public did vote on the issue they won't have a clue as to how to vote. Workers in the pencil sharpener factory don't know either; it is an issue of demand, not production. Consequently, success under socialism translates to becoming a member of the ruling class. In North Korea or anywhere else that socialism prevails, success lies in being a Party member or a government official. What might be productive talent is redirected to political scheming.

The success of free markets ultimately derives from human nature. People naturally seek to increase their security and will work towards that end. There s nothing in ultimate socialism that will change that. Deprived of legal market opportunities, black markets and political scheming are the only alternatives remaining.

A theory that does not work incrementally cannot be trusted to work ultimately. Let's suppose we found a brand new movement called "jabberwocky." The claimed properties of jabberwocky are that (1) every small step in the direction of total implementation produces economic hardship and loss of individual rights, and (2) when totally implemented it is incredibly wonderful -- no one will ever have to work at all and everyone will be completely happy. Jabberwocky is thus better than socialism because even socialists maintain that some work is necessary. The details of jabberwocky are unimportant, because we have already granted that they will involve economic hardship and loss of freedom. But it is ultimately better than socialism, according to its claims, so socialists should immediately jump on board.

The reasons we should reject jabberwocky are the same as those for rejecting socialism: it depends entirely upon an irrational act of faith. The laws of human nature and economics in the current world must be subject to a miraculous revision in the ultimate vision, so that everything that does not now work will work after the miraculous event.

The resolution is negated.
Debate Round No. 4
musicsaveslives

Pro

The fact that there have been no Socialist country's proves my point. The examples Con gives are examples of Communist governments. These governments in charge use Communism to achieve Utopian Socialism. This cannot work when violence is used and in fact completely contradicts any efforts towards socialism. Now with the abolition of American economic and credit system, we would no longer have societal standards of which to be led by. The focus is easing our economic woes. With Socialism, this happens. Our current financial crisis would only be helped by socialism, even if its not what the people want, that is not the debate here.

With Socialism, we can create a classless, non violent, non racist, equal border less society. It would destroy the need for money. This is the goal of Socialism.
RoyLatham

Con

Pro offered the resolution claiming that "Communism" would improve the "American economic situation." I challenged Pro to provide a good example of Socialism or Communism as an example, and he offered the Russian Revolution installing communism as being an improvement over Tsarist rule. By the end of the debate, he was claiming "that there have been no Socialist [countries] proves my point." At the start, the Soviet success was claimed to prove his point. By the end of our debate, the failure of all socialist experiments, including the Soviet one, was claimed to somehow prove his point.

Pro claimed that the violent origins of Communist regimes perpetually condemned them to authoritarianism. However, I repeatedly pointed to the many African nations that tried socialism after being freed from colonial rule, the lengthy experiment by India with democratic socialism, and the flirtations with democratic socialism of western European nations. Pro did not deny that I provided valid examples of democratic socialism that did not have violent origins, and he did not deny that all such experiments failed. Books like "Heaven on Earth" and "The Lexus and the Olive Tree" extensively document the experiments and the subsequent failures of socialism. Pro implies that socialism has not succeeded because non-violent democratic socialism has not been tried. That implication is false. It has been tried redundantly and it has uniformly failed.

I provided the reasons why socialism always fails: it defies the human instincts for personal freedom and security, and it requires a large non-productive bureaucracy to replace market forces. The bureaucracy always fails to make efficient allocations of resources due to lack of market knowledge, and the bureaucracy necessarily constitutes an elite ruling class. I challenged Pro to explain how the inherent defects might be avoided. Pro did not respond. I challenged Pro to explain, for example, how the level of production of a simple commodity like pencil sharpeners would be determined in his ideal socialism state. He did not respond even to the simplest challenge.

Pro's case reduces to one of pure faith, unsupported by either experience or reasons. He claims that socialism will produce a wonderful society, but he cannot explain why it has not in the past nor how its inherent cited flaws can be overcome. Pro seems to admit that people do not want to be stripped of property rights and made subject to the total economic control of the State. He says, "Our current financial crisis would only be helped by socialism, even if its not what the people want, that is not the debate here." Thus, socialism has never worked, no reasons are offered as to why it would work, and people do not want it. Yet Pro claims it should be adopted.

The resolution should be rejected.
Debate Round No. 5
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by TheSkeptic 7 years ago
TheSkeptic
But of course, that's just the stock Marxist response :P
Posted by TheSkeptic 7 years ago
TheSkeptic
I'm not sure if counterexamples of European countries implementing communism and failing would be a legitimate argument against communism - after all, Marx did argue that for the inevitable revolution to succeed it would take a global effort of workers to pull it off.
Posted by Puck 7 years ago
Puck
Anarcho-syndicalists try and solve the massive necessary socialist bureaucracy, though as far as I can tell, they just swap the State with unions, essentially creating the same.

Enjoying to read as usual, RoyLatham.
Posted by HazelMystic 7 years ago
HazelMystic
I agree with Con; I simply am not convinced that it meshes with human nature firstly. And secondly, I see nothing wrong with capitalism, some people might be unfortunate with circumstances, that's tough, but life is no paradise. I struggle alot in life myself, but that doesn't in any way entitle me to any sort of retribution...the universe doesn't give a f#@%. I have to make due on my own. I am strongly for free markets and capitalism. I want to start my own business, and I really don't want to pay higher taxes while the lazy are mollycoddled with government checks that I pay. No. Not on my watch.
Posted by J.Kenyon 7 years ago
J.Kenyon
I want wjmelements to take a crack at this one. He knows his commies pretty darn good ; )

I'd do it myself if I weren't so busy.
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Vote Placed by SaintNick 7 years ago
SaintNick
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Vote Placed by Procrastarian 7 years ago
Procrastarian
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Vote Placed by RoyLatham 7 years ago
RoyLatham
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Vote Placed by musicsaveslives 7 years ago
musicsaveslives
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Vote Placed by HazelMystic 7 years ago
HazelMystic
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