The Instigator
Xie-Xijivuli
Con (against)
Winning
23 Points
The Contender
Comrade_Ulyanov
Pro (for)
Losing
11 Points

Communism

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/15/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,345 times Debate No: 11448
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (8)

 

Xie-Xijivuli

Con

Thanks for debating, Comrade_Ulyanov!

If my opponent disagrees with any of these following definitions, then let me know in this round and provide definitions you see fit. I will post my argument next round if there aren't any large objections.

In a few words, the chief reason communism cannot work is free will and human nature (although there are more reasons). The definitions relevant to this paper are listed below. All are taken from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary .

COMMUNISM:
a broad term to describe the idea generally promoting collectively owned and distributed land and property; not necessarily socially totalitarian. Fiscally far-left.

FREE WILL:
the tendency of the human species to be largely independent; a free choice or decision.

HUMAN NATURE:
the nature of humans; especially: the fundamental dispositions and traits of humans "Some say it is of human nature to sin."

I believe human nature consists of three main principles: The desire to achieve, individuality, and greed/envy. We see this from toddlers , especially the latter two, to adults.
Comrade_Ulyanov

Pro

Well, I will start with some quotes from your argument.

"The desire to achieve, individuality, and greed/envy"
I both agree, and disagree with you on this. All humans are naturally born with the desire to achieve, in some ways. But in modern times, Capitalism's leaders (Mostly Private Companies That Are Massive) control this. They can decide if one is to fail, or succeed. In Communism, all is equal in every way. No one needs to only have one career. One person can have the choice of which job to have. Although, one person can be a doctor in the morning, a company worker in the afternoon, a librarian in the evening, and a teacher at night. (Not in any order, only an example). This was true in most official Communist nations. Greed is not a natural ideal that most of us think it as. Off course, there is the aspect of wanting more food, for hunting, ect.

Next, I am going to clear up some facts about the:
RED TERROR

Lenin ordered the Red Terror was in response to the White Terror. The stated purpose of this campaign was struggle with counter-revolutionaries considered to be enemies of the people. Many Russian communists openly proclaimed that Red Terror was needed for extermination of entire social groups or former "ruling classes". Lenin planned the terror in advance. In 1908 he had written of "real, nation-wide terror, which reinvigorates the country". The Red Terror was not at random. This was in the era of the Russian Civil War (1917-1922) between the Whites (The Ones Still Loyal To The Czar) And the Reds (The Bolsheviks).

Leninism is the theory and practice of the dictatorship of the proletariat, led by a revolutionary vanguard party. Theoretically, Leninism comprises the political and socialist economic theories of Vladimir Lenin, developed from Marxism, and his interpretations of Marxist theory within the agrarian Russian Empire of that time. Leninism reversed Marx's order of economics over politics, allowing for a political revolution led by a vanguard party of professional revolutionaries. After the October Revolution, in 1917, Leninism was the ideological basis of Soviet socialism, specifically its Russian realisation in the Soviet Union.
As a political-science term Leninism entered common usage in 1922, only after infirmity ended Lenin's participation in governing the USSR. Two years later, in July 1924, at the fifth congress of the Communist International, Grigory Zinoviev popularized Leninism as a Marxist ideological term denoting "revolutionary".
After the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was established in 1922, its governing philosophy, Leninism, became the predominant branch of Marxism. In Russia, the theoretical descendants of Leninism are Stalinism and Trotskyism; at his death in 1924, Lenin's revolutionary comrades, Joseph Stalin and Leon Trotsky, were the leaders of the strongest ideological factions that emerged to assume command of the Communist Party in the USSR.
Ideologically, the Stalinists and the Trotskyists (like their namesakes), deny the philosophic and political legitimacy of the other, because each claims to be the true Leninist theory.
Debate Round No. 1
Xie-Xijivuli

Con

I will continue with my argument, as I see no major issues. I will assume my opponent agrees with my general definition of Communism; he did not explicitly say he disagreed. NOTE: This is a broad ad general argument. Not all of it may apply to you, for instance, number 3 or 4. I will narrow it as we get more specific.
_____
Reason it Cannot Work No. 1: Free Will & Human Nature

The communist ideology fails to take into account free will and human nature. In a communist ideal, all will work together as a well-oiled and productive machine. Of course, we see things such as this every day. Termites maintain their nests day in and day out. They work with great efficiency day in and day out, quite literally for the good of the mound.

This is not how humans function. You may disagree with my idea of human nature, but you cannot deny that every human being has at least a hint of self-respect and free will. Termites do not. It is because of this, we can't act like perfect, harmonious, machines.

Communism expects each and every one of the people to work together and to be willing to sacrifice for the good of the people. Communism requires that each and every worker lose their free will and affinity -- for with these, comes the desire to achieve above the rest, which is quite contradictory to standard communist ideals. It quite literally contradicts the ideas of nature and free will. It brazenly ignores these, and pretends that all are willing to sacrifice themselves, for the collective.

Since humans have free will, there cannot be a total communist state (in a popular majority as required by Marx), and therefore, it is an invalid way of doing things. There will always be rebels, those who refuse to work for the good of the community, and the larger that community is the larger the chance of those rebels. Thus, not every nation can be "truly" communist, and therefore, the "utopia" that communism seeks to attain is, alas, unattainable with more than about 1,000 people.

RICW No. 2: The Economic Issues

Say I have communist community that out of ‘Z' people total, there are 100 adult, able-bodied people. Twenty of us each work at a clothing factory, a food processor/farm, a housing builder, and medical care center/pharmaceuticals institute, and a police/fire station. We all manage to do our jobs and distribute our goods/services for the good of the community. With these five services/products, the people in Village X can live with a merely "OK" standard of living at best. They've got food, clothing, healthcare, housing, and protection. This all costs ‘Y' amount of manpower/labor/money per year.

Now, let us say I want to raise the standard of living significantly. Let us also say that I can create all of these products in one factory with twenty people (even though this isn't the case -- some would require less, and some would require many more, like the car). I would like to add to each household:
A car
A TV
Heating/Cooling systems
Indoor plumbing
Electricity
Now, in order to attain these, I would have to create more factories, laborers, etc. This would take a lot of time and effort, just for these five improvements, and you'd have to add each of the five improvements to, say, the fifty houses in my village.

So, in order to have the population live in a great standard of living, I'd need more of ‘Y', but with more of ‘Y' comes more ‘Z', which in turn requires more ‘Y' than it gives. It becomes endless loop that can only provide its people with the most basic of needs at best. With each new family comes a new house, which I'd have to give them the ten products/services, and the family becomes a giant collective debt machine -- they require more than they give for their labor input.

Thus, purely communist societies cannot enjoy a very good standard of living because of the severe limitations it involves, especially the larger ones.

RICW No. 3: "Fairness" and Natural Selection

I myself believe in evolution. If you don't, then this section probably doesn't have a lot of weight. I could explain why I believe in evolution, but that's another topic for another paper.

One of the main principles of Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution is called natural selection. Natural selection is basically the that the strongest of the species live on and the weakest die out. Economically, communism works against this in that it seeks to balance out the community in the most extreme sense, eliminate failure, and make society "fair."

Which brings me to fairness. The freedom to fail is perhaps one of the most important in a democratic society. While communism seeks to cushion failure (which is ultimately counter-productive, because failure breeds success and new inventions, ideas, and thoughts) capitalism embraces it as a natural part of any person's, economy's, or government's being.

You cannot be a communist, who believes in the good of the community, and a believer of evolution as a natural law -- for it concerns the surviving of the individual (NOT the survival of species in general).

RICW No. 4: Universal Requirements

Karl Marx clearly stated in his Manifesto that in order for communism to work, the whole globe would have to be one big collective. I've already touched upon how this is possible in RICW No. 2, but this is specifically to address those who say the Warsaw Pact would eventually become global and achieve the Marxist dream.

The seven non-Russian states were chiefly satellite states; the Soviets supported smaller states like Hungary, Poland, or Albania in a way a puppet-master props up his dolls. For instance, the Soviet-backed Komunistick� Strana Ceskoslovenska (Czechoslovakia Communist Party) overthrew the government in Czechoslovakia via coup d'�tat. The story is the same for most nations, such as Latvia, Belarus, or Lithuania. Insinuating that a utopia would be achieved with the Warsaw Pact is absurd; most of the nations joined forcibly. Therefore, the Warsaw Pact was not a harmonious alliance that was near creating a communist paradise on earth.

Recap/Summary:

1: It works against human nature, whereas capitalism utilizes it to better the individual who works. In almost every instance of a wealthy person, we have someone who somewhere along the line, worked hard to get their fortunes. (Except for lotteries. But who wins those?)
2: The standard of living in communism would be quite low, especially considering the population of the world. If all 6 billion+ of us were communist, our standard of living would be quite low, especially in comparison to the average capitalists'.
3: It violates the theories of Natural Selection/Evolution. If you believe in these two things, you cannot be communist.
4: There has never been a global communist society, nor has there ever been something close to one. It is unattainable.
Comrade_Ulyanov

Pro

"Termites maintain their nests day in and day out. They work with great efficiency day in and day out, quite literally for the good of the mound."
Thinking about this, most animals work under a Communistic State. For example: Ants live in large colonies ruled by one person, the queen. Lets say the queen is the government of the colony. The other ants are born with a certain job, and they will do this job and others throughout their lives and nothing changes. And the queen is the only power in the colony, like in a Communist nation where there is only one political party, normally the Communist of of [Nation Name]. And the ant colony works great and is slowly or quickly expands.

"There will always be rebels, those who refuse to work for the good of the community, and the larger that community is the larger the chance of those rebels."

Karl Marx's works where edited over time. For example, Vladimir Lenin edited Marx's work it benefit the revolution at the time. But, Marx did say that for a revolution to occur it needs a few things:
1. A modern nation.
2. A nation where the Capitalists are oppressing the working class.
I cannot remember the others at the time, but that is the basics. And he said, once the world have been turned into a Communist Utopia, then the government will slowly disappear until there is nothing. I believe Marx was trying to turn humanity back to it's old times, the natural times where humanity did not 'Control the Fate of the Planet'. It is sad how humans think this is their planet, when it is not. This is not our planet.

"Say I have communist community that out of ‘Z' people total, there are 100 adult, able-bodied people. Twenty of us each work at a clothing factory, a food processor/farm, a housing builder, and medical care center/pharmaceuticals institute, and a police/fire station. We all manage to do our jobs and distribute our goods/services for the good of the community. With these five services/products, the people in Village X can live with a merely "OK" standard of living at best. They've got food, clothing, healthcare, housing, and protection. This all costs ‘Y' amount of manpower/labor/money per year.

Now, let us say I want to raise the standard of living significantly. Let us also say that I can create all of these products in one factory with twenty people (even though this isn't the case -- some would require less, and some would require many more, like the car). I would like to add to each household:
A car
A TV
Heating/Cooling systems
Indoor plumbing
Electricity
Now, in order to attain these, I would have to create more factories, laborers, etc. This would take a lot of time and effort, just for these five improvements, and you'd have to add each of the five improvements to, say, the fifty houses in my village."

I can not even tell you how many times I've seen this. If you wanted to improve these, you'd need more people. And, if there is only 100 people in your village, why would they need a car? It would be such a small community, it would be unneeded. 100 people is a small community, they would need a lot more people to meet your needs. Unless you have technology, but where would you get that?

"...say the Warsaw Pact would eventually become global and achieve the Marxist dream."
If Russia did not fall, the Warsaw pact easy could have taken much of Europe, but if you wanted a world utopia, adding up all the Communists nations at the top of Communism's power, which contained many nations, including many nations in Africa, Europe, most of Asia, Oceania, Central America, South America, and North America. Communism was at the peek of its power in the 1970s-80s. Communism had spreed to almost every continent.
Debate Round No. 2
Xie-Xijivuli

Con

===
Thinking about this, most animals work under a Communistic State. For example: Ants live in large colonies ruled by one person, the queen. Lets say the queen is the government of the colony. The other ants are born with a certain job, and they will do this job and others throughout their lives and nothing changes. And the queen is the only power in the colony, like in a Communist nation where there is only one political party, normally the Communist of of [Nation Name]. And the ant colony works great and is slowly or quickly expands.
===

If you read the next paragraph of my argument, you'll know my answer to this: Termites aren't humans. Communism works for ants and the like because Communism demands total submission to the collective, which, as unintelligent, and unaspiring beings, the bugs can give. Total submission requires ignorance, stupidity, and a lack of knowledge. Ants and Termites collectively display this. Humans do not. Although YOU may wish to submit to authority (I'd guess you'd rather be in power, however) and be part of a grossly controlling government (like the queen ant), it is safe to say the general population of humans would not.

===
Karl Marx's works where edited over time. For example, Vladimir Lenin edited Marx's work it benefit the revolution at the time. But, Marx did say that for a revolution to occur it needs a few things:
1. A modern nation.
2. A nation where the Capitalists are oppressing the working class.
===

If my opponent holds these to be true, that is to say, that when these happen, there will be a communist revolution, then he is arguing against himself. Either there is not a nation where the workers are oppressed, and capitalism isn't the evil of all evils, or that there is a nation where workers are oppressed, but there hasn't been a popular revolution -- which would mean Marx is wrong.

Yes, there are communist nations. However, I think my opponent would agree that Laos, Vietnam, North Korea, etc. aren't true communists. If they are, that shows how useless communism is: the populations of those countries are destitute and poor, and have very few civil liberties.

===
I can not even tell you how many times I've seen this. If you wanted to improve these, you'd need more people. And, if there is only 100 people in your village, why would they need a car? It would be such a small community, it would be unneeded. 100 people is a small community, they would need a lot more people to meet your needs. Unless you have technology, but where would you get that?
===

I cannot help but feel my opponent is avoiding the argument. 100 people is simply a basic number I chose. Let's replace it with one million. You'd have one million able-bodied workers, but you'd have to supply a vast amount of basic goods Capitalism gives to a million people -- an impossibility, even with robots. Someone has to research nd make those Robots, which takes a massive amount of time and man hours.
____

I feel like my opponent did not accurately address all of my arguments in the second round, so extend them here. Thanks for reading, and thanks to Comrade_Ulyanov for debating!
Comrade_Ulyanov

Pro

Comrade_Ulyanov forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by ProHobo 6 years ago
ProHobo
Pro (Comrade) - failing to post (forfeit a round) is considered by some bad conduct.

Con (Xie) - while I agree, I thought a stronger argument could of been made and/or a better use of resources.
Posted by alto2osu 6 years ago
alto2osu
I glanced over this in the forums, but will now be sending myself the link to read it more closely to provide an RFD. From what I've read thus far, it appears to be a thorough debate, and one I'll enjoy reading. However, I have some bones to pick with Pro at this point over Darwinism and human nature. :)
Posted by Comrade_Ulyanov 6 years ago
Comrade_Ulyanov
Give me some credit. This was my first debate on this website.
Posted by Comrade_Ulyanov 6 years ago
Comrade_Ulyanov
-.-
I clicked ALL the wrong buttons when I voted.
Posted by Comrade_Ulyanov 6 years ago
Comrade_Ulyanov
I did not have time to post a reply in the 3rd Round. Sadly, that resulted in my removal from the debate.
Posted by FormAndTheFormless 6 years ago
FormAndTheFormless
Conduct:
"Although YOU may wish to submit to authority (I'd guess you'd rather be in power, however) and be part of a grossly controlling government (like the queen ant), it is safe to say the general population of humans would not."
The implication that the PRO fantasizes about obtaining a role of power in a Communist society seemed like an unnecessary and demeaning comment; I do not feel that it was necessary.
The PRO did not post in round 3; therefore I voted for neither PRO or CON (the PRO also ignored a large portion of the CON's argument when he did happen to reply).

Spelling/Grammar:
Both PRO and CON had good spelling and grammar.

Sources:
Neither debaters used any external sources.

Argument:
The counter-arguments made by CON in round 1 (and subsequent rounds) were not effectively asserted by the PRO.

The PRO failed to counter the CON's statement that it was outside of the nature of human beings to work with the same efficiency and selflessness of colonized insects; he instead chose to draw parallels between such insects and Communism instead of arguing against the CON's statement that such behavior contradicts the human will.

The PRO also did not assess the analogy used by the CON to explain the alleged superiority of Capitalist societies at producing goods that subsequently improve the standard of living. He instead argued that the small community of 100 would not even be capable of producing such supplies without stating how large of a community would actually be required to produce them for each of its citizen; thus either meeting or exceeding the average standard of living within Capitalist nations while upholding Communist principles (the equal sharing of property).

These are merely the two which I believe were most essential to the debate: there were other arguments made by the CON which I do not believe were adequately negated by the PRO (excluding the ones that were ignored).
Posted by Xie-Xijivuli 6 years ago
Xie-Xijivuli
Can't wait for the outcome!
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