Communism v. Capitalism
Marx said exactly the same thing as western European nations took control of areas like Africa and South America. Marx and later Leon and Trotsky would make similar pronouncements about “western imperialism,” the claim being the west needed to expand to expand capital and since expansion would not go on until infinity, the colonial empires of westerns nations signal the inevitable collapse of capitalism. And while wrong as an economic forecast it is true open markets and trade are vital, although then open functioned as a synonym for taken by force. Marx’s theory of the elite and wealthy using their power and influence to accumulate money is an observation that Adam Smith made in Wealth of Nations:
“All for ourselves, and nothing for other people, seems, in every age of the world, to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind.”
Capitalism has problems, quite a few. All economic ideas and ideas in general are abstractions that breakdown when thrown into concrete reality. Capitalism at its worst today happens in place like the Congo, where multination mining and mineral corporations are too some degree complicit in the warfare and sectarian violence. It is irresponsible to hold capitalism accountable for all the crimes in the world. At the same time, capitalism has other less abhorrent qualities, namely its flexibility. Every western nation today, every wealthy industrialized country functions as a capitalist state—yes, even China despite the window dressing and claims of being a Communist state.
For round one then, the best argument in favor of capitalism over communism comes in the form of a question: If communism is preferable to capitalism why is and has capitalism been the dominate form of economic organization since the Industrial Revolution.* Communism at least as a historical phenomenon largely used the rhetoric of the people and nothing more. Communist regimes demonstrated certain tendencies. First, after Nicholas in Russia and Shang Kai Sheik in China, what happened? They became virtual totalitarian regimes, where dissent meant gulag or worse followed by the growth of a small cabal within the government that used the power of the state to further their own self-interest.
Thanks for the debate. I enjoy the economic arguments although I am not much on the theory part of economics. The theories get people worked up. I never take it seriously, the theorists tend to be great mathematical wizards or eloquent writers but in reality, it is mostly advertisement. And it is a rare occasion when the steak or burger on your plate looks like the photo shopped perfect piece of sizzling meat on the menu. I am a small businessman, which transformed me over time into an economic atheist—do not worship or pay homage to any economic god.
*For those who thought I lacked a sense of history I thought I should clarify on my choice of Industrial Revolution because a voter or reader might assume that capitalism did not exist in some form before. A solid and easily defendable argument might put the first international marker soon after the Black Death, when the Florentine City-States, under the helm of the Medici came to dominate the international banking and commerce. Anyway, thought the comment deserved an asterisk.
 Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations. Chapter IV, p. 448.
I mean no disrespect when I say this but another problem with Capitalism is the Military-Industrial Complex. The rich start a war then arm the army with what ever they need right after they start a company for that purpose ( Im not really sure now to explain this better but George Orwell did in his book 1984 ). If I am not mistaken you are the owner of a small construction company. What happens when big business comes to town and offers service in half the time with half the cost? People like you and me go out of business.
Communism has never been tried in its right form. What Marx wanted was Capitalism-----> Socialism------> Communism what has been done in the past was Capitalism--->Revolution---> Communism. The only countries that have been close were The Paris Commune ( which only failed because it had no time to raise an army big enough to fight the French) Poland (which is doing okay last time i checked) and Sweden (which has the highest standard of living/ happiness). Think of how many brilliant peoples works are undiscovered from lack of funding. Tesla is a perfect example he was one of the smartest people on the planet and died in debt. Then you have celebrities like Brittany Spears or the Kardashians who provide little to nothing for society. P.S. sorry for the late response I was very busy yesterday.
Thank you for the debate and courteous approach a debate that often devolves. You have raised many sensible objections; however, they rely on critiques of capitalism rather than an affirmative case for communism. I will focus on rebutting examples used.
My first example was Apples chargers. Now obviously my examples are just generalizations of the concept of big corporations in each industry. So what happens when Apple makes an "agreement" with other technology leaders (Google, Sony, Etc.) were they keep prices for products at the same high price and split the profits. A wise man once said " A union of the rich destroys the poor". Now bad products can happen anywhere but in a Capitalist society its some what incentivized for the rich.
With my other example of cancer I'm sorry I was unaware of the technical terms between doctors and pharmaceutical companies, but the same concept applies. Think about it how many fundraisers have you seen raising money for cancer research. When you donate to these funds your money it not going to CURING cancer it's to treating the symptoms of cancer (Even though most charities are scams). Like I said before why cure a man in a day when you can charge him every step of the way. I know a business's first duty is to make money but when do you draw the line between the well being of people and profit.
As for what you said at the end, yes it's true that no country has been truly Marxist (Besides the Paris Commune). Even in theory from a Centrist point of view Capitalism can lead to Fascism in the long run. But in the Marxist Theory from a Centrist point of view works out if done right.
I'm not sure how else I can go off of what my opponent said but by going deeper into Marxism but sadly the time restraint can not allow me to do that. This link should help http://en.wikipedia.org... . I would like to thank my opponent for a good debate that usually ends in a flame war.
Thanks to Pro, a good debate.
One overriding counterpoint introduced against capitalism as an economic system and philosophy is the potential to defect into fascism. Sheldon Wolin, a professor at Princeton, wrote an excellent book several years back on capitalism and fascism worth reading. However, even if such potential exist, historically capitalism changing into fascism is a rare event. With communism, history provides several test-case examples, all failures, and totalitarian in form and function. These cases (Soviet Union, Mao’s China, Fidel’s Cuba, Kim Jung-Un’s in North Korea, et cetera) provide clear examples of how no self-declared communist regime has proven compatible with democracy or sustained prosperity. In fact, every one relied on form of totalitarianism, control of populations, and repression beyond comparable examples under democratic government’s practices capitalism.
Communism as described in the writings of Karl Marx and in real-world application have always relied on the violent overthrow of governments. In fact, this was believed to be inevitable—violence that is. My opponent did not really address this issue, specifically the philosophical notion of violence embedded in communist texts. Whatever problems capitalism has it does not rely on violence as a prerequisite.
Capitalism admittedly has problems. Although adaptable, capable of accommodating a variety of mixed forms, so the US-version is less regulated than its European counterpart is. The European version has been molded to their political system, specifically their social welfare programs. Capitalism therefore has historically proven more beneficial and capable of adjusting as an economic philosophy.
Final Argument: Capitalism as Churchill said of Democracy: Capitalism is the worse form of economic organization, except for all the others that have been tried.
So even with a history of exploitation capitalism continues to produce products and innovations which have significantly changed the world for the better. Innovation and the ability to develop ideas in the economic marketplace is while difficult in general, it is nothing compared to individuals trying to create inventions, start business in say the Soviet Union under Stalin and in China under Mao.
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