The Instigator
Pro (for)
1 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
3 Points

Communism is a better system than capitalism

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/30/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 922 times Debate No: 69190
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)




'a theory or system of social organization in which all property is owned by the community and each person contributes and receives according to their ability and needs.'
That is the definition we will be using (which admittedly leaves a lot to interpretation)
1st round will be acceptance.
You are not allowed to argue over semantics.
I'll be very interested to have this debate
Debate Round No. 1


Magikarpediem forfeited this round.


Since forfeiting is apparently a bad thing on I will just post something, although I don't really have time to do this debate due to exams coming up.
In the words of Bertrand Russell, "In relation to any political doctrine there are two questions to be asked: Are its theoretical tenets true? Is its practical policy likely to increase human happiness? For my part, I think the theoretical tenets of Communism are false, and I think its practical maxims are such as to produce an immeasurable increase of human misery."
Debate Round No. 2


I'm sorry I too had exams so I could answer the first round however seeming as we both did not really make an argument I think we can declare the first round void. Discarding ,of course, the quote by Bertrand Russell which I feel addressed more Marxism than communism. After all Russell was a self declared socialist.

I would like to first begin by first addressing once again the definition I provided as I believe it encompasses some of the greatest ideas in political thought we have, as a race, come up with. Democracy and meritocracy are both compatible with this definition and in fact the latter is in encouraged when it states 'each person contributes and receives according to their ability and need'. This is also addresses one of the weaknesses of a meritocracy, that it does not cater for those who may have some sort of mental/ physical disability.

I will now go on to discuss the issues with capitalism. Inequality in America has been and is on the rise(1)(2). The proclaimed utopia of capitalism seems to fail to cater to the poorest within its own system, this is endemic of the problem with capitalism: it rewards the rich and leaves the poor to fail by making the system so toxic that to prosper you have to undermine either social or human capital to achieve monetary gain. As shown by the capital triangle(3).

I will leave this debate short as I do not wish to set a precident of long answers seeming as we both as upcoming exams.
(1) - 2013
(2) - 2007-
these sources show an increase in inequality


The Nobel Prize winning economist Milton Friedman once said, "One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results." The result of communism has been to bring about the most brutal, tyrannical, undemocratic and unmeritocratic regimes in history. No argument seems to have been established to counter this fact, only a definition of communism has really been provided by the instigator.
In every instance when communism has been enacted its totalitarianism has been manifest. Communism has been shown to be an evil end, necessitating evil means for its achievement. The only way Marxian ideals can be materialised through peaceful means would be if individuals voluntarily donated their property to the state. For a communist revolution to work private property would have to be seized through force, as it was in Russia, China, Cambodia etc. In 1848 Marx and Engles, the fathers of communism, came to the same conclusion, saying that communist "ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions" and that "A revolution is certainly the most authoritarian thing there is; it is the act whereby one part of the population imposes its will upon the other part by means of rifles, bayonets and cannon". Force and brutality are necessary to achieve communism, Marx even said that "the workers" party must not only tolerate" actions of violence against "hated individuals...but must even give them direction." You say that communism is compatible with democracy but here it is clear that this transition between capitalism and communism would be the dictatorship of one social class over another not a peaceful movement toward equality and meritocracy.
The message of history is clear; tyranny is the only product of communism. After the seizure of power by the proletariat, Marx"s ideas begin to become more Leninist. Lenin believed the "Red Terror" was the only method of achieving communism, it was necessary, he believed, to crush the bourgeois by force, since naturally they would resist giving up private property. This resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands. This practice of bloody revolution inevitably lays fertile ground for any hungry, Machiavellian monster to seize power. The prospect of a country which adopts communism was summed up by Orwell in Nineteen Eighty-Four "If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face " forever." The existence of a system of naked brutality is not a contradiction of the principles of communism, but their natural outgrowth. While speaking of the presence of such brutality in communist states, George Riesman in his book Capitalism wrote, "It follows directly from socialism"s fundamental moral and political premise, which is that the individual does not exist as an end in himself, but as a means to the ends of "Society." Since Society is not an independent entity with a will and voice of its own, the alleged ends of Society are necessarily ends determined by the rulers of the state. This means that under socialism the individual is actually nothing more than a means to the ends of the rulers. It is difficult to imagine a system that could be more aristocratic."
Communism expects "from each according to his ability" but what exactly should the individual expect in return for the amount of work put in to society. One of the final goals of a communism is to create a classless state; this is done through "equal pay for equal working time." But the problem with this economic slogan, which Marx supported, is that it ignores the skill of the labour involved, for example a lorry driver working 40 hours a week should not be paid the same as a lawyer working 40 hours a week. It is illogical and has the economic effect of reducing the incentive to work. As John Stuart Mill said "It is the common error of Socialists to overlook the natural indolence of mankind; their tendency to be passive, to be the slaves of habit, to persist indefinitely in a course once chosen. Let them once attain any state of existence which they consider tolerable, and the danger to be apprehended is that they will thenceforth stagnate." Marx solved this problem by saying that "after the enslaving subordination of the individual to the division of labor, and therewith also the antithesis between mental and physical labour, has vanished;" labour would "become not only a means of life but life's prime want", in other words people would see work as an end rather than a means of acquiring wealth. They would work for the service of the state, humanities self-interested nature would somehow vanish, and a new socialist man would be born. The idea that individuals would end up working for the good community under a communist state is ridiculous. As Andy Rand put it "If service and self-sacrifice are a moral ideal, and if the "selfishness" of human nature prevents men from leaping into sacrificial furnaces, there is no reason - no reason that a mystic moralist could name - why a dictator should not push them in at the point of bayonets " for their own good, or the good of humanity, or the good of posterity, or the good of the latest bureaucrat"s latest five-year plan. There is no reason that they can name to oppose any atrocity. The value of a man"s life? His right to exist? His right to pursue his own happiness. These are concepts that belong to individualism and capitalism " to the antithesis of the altruist morality."
Communism does not work in practice and is also ridden with theoretical inconsistencies. Using economic planning as a substitute for market-based allocation of the factors of production would mean that even if a communist society could be realised without a dictatorship being established the economy would be extremely inefficient. The idea that a group of people would be able to coordinate the economy in terms of physical units without any need or use for financial-based calculation, is absurd yet this is what communist propose when they speak of a "planned economy".
The result of capitalism has been to produce the greatest engine of wealth creation ever devised. However there is inequality in the current system. But with if politicians choose the right economic policies this inequality can be minimised, while everyone grows richer. If we had a fair tax system, to tax capital at the same rate that we tax ordinary individuals, if we make people in the upper one percent pay their fair share of the taxes, social mobility could be restored. As Joseph Stiglitz tells us "A well-designed tax system can do more than just raise money"it can be used to improve economic efficiency and reduce inequality. Our current system does just the opposite. With a sensible reform of our domestic tax code, we can simultaneously raise money, improve the performance of the economy, and address some of our biggest social problems"not just inequality, but joblessness and looming environmental catastrophe.
The problem may not be with how markets should or do work, but with our political system, which has failed to ensure that markets are competitive, and has designed rules that sustain distorted markets in which corporations and the rich can (and unfortunately do) exploit everyone else. Capitalism can generate the wealth which can be used to support the less fortunate as long as the political system. The main question confronting us today is not really about capital in the 21st century. It is about democracy in the 21st century."
If we are to access political ideas based on their practical outcomes than communism cannot be said to be a better system than capitalism.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Magikarpediem 1 year ago
google definition of communism then come back to me :)
Posted by Idiosyncratic 1 year ago
First off, your definition of Communism is not accurate. In modern Communist nations, property is almost exclusively owned by the government. Maybe you should type in the definition for Communism at a common internet dictionary site like before making incorrect statements? Just saying...
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Overkill 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro's argument was well structured and easy to read (spelling & grammar). Conduct to Con due to Pro's forfeiture. Con's sources, although not reliable, were far more useful than the one's provided by Pro.