The Instigator
ChrisF
Pro (for)
Winning
5 Points
The Contender
MarkDenbow
Con (against)
Losing
1 Points

Democracy and Socilism Are Compatable

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
ChrisF
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/14/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 981 times Debate No: 42336
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (14)
Votes (1)

 

ChrisF

Pro

A lot of people say that socialism and democracy are opposites, and that they can't exist together. Pro is that they aren't opposites, con is arguing that they are.

Round 1 is acceptance only.
Round 2 is opening statements.
Rounds 3 and 4 are rebuttals.
Round 5 is closing statements.

Thanks and good luck in advance to whoever accepts this
MarkDenbow

Con

Democracy is government by the people, of the people and for the people. Socialism is government by an elite ruling group and everyone else is subservient to that ruling group. Those two are polar opposites. How could they possibly be compatible?
Debate Round No. 1
ChrisF

Pro

Let me start out by giving the definitions of socialism and democracy.

Democracy: government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system. [1]

Socialism: 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]

From these definitions, you can tell what the two basically are. Democracy is a government in which the power belongs to the people, and either they (direct democracy) or representatives elected by the people (indirect democracy) make decisions for the community, in this case a nation. Socialism is a system of social organization that supports giving the ownership and control of industry, money, land, etc. to the community as a whole. Therefore, any nation where the community controls money, power, and land collectively, and where the people or their representatives make decisions, is both socialist and a democracy. How could a country be two things that are supposedly "polar opposites"?

In fact, there are many countries in the world that are socialist (although they don't necessarily consider themselves that) that might surprise you, especially the top 10. For one, China. Now before you jump and say how oppressive and tyrannical China is, wait for the rest of them. The other nine most socialist countries in the world are as follows (not necessarily in order):

*Denmark
*Finland
*The Netherlands
*Canada
*Sweden
*Norway
*Ireland
*New Zealand
*Belgium

Many of these countries are very successful, and all of the top ten (other than China) are democracies. Many Americans might be surprised to find that one of the most socialist countries in the world is just to the north.

[1] http://dictionary.reference.com...
[2] http://dictionary.reference.com...
[3] http://blog.peerform.com...
MarkDenbow

Con

First of all, when you say "democracy" I can only assume you're referring to the system we have in America; one which includes capitalism as a major component. And when you say democracy and socialism are compatible, I can also only assume you're saying that a socialistic type of government can coexist with our present system. That being said, one thing missing from your definition of democracy (at least America's form of democracy) is it's a system that entails private ownership of property. The reason I said they were polar opposites is because either the individual owns property or the community does. (Your cited definition of socialism mentions the community ownership of property, so the opposite of that is, of course, private ownership of property). You can't have both. Private ownership of property is a major component of our democracy, you can't leave out that aspect of the equation. The list of countries you mentioned are successful, yes, so if you're saying their form of government is democratic, fine, but it's not the same as our system, and therefore where's the debate?

I'm not here to debate the virtues and detriments of either system, but only if they are compatible. My assumption is basically this: you're saying that a system of socialism similar to any country on your list is compatible with our present American system. I'm saying they are intrinsically opposed to one another on the basis I have outlined above, and therefore are not compatible.
Debate Round No. 2
ChrisF

Pro

I never said I was referring to the American system of democracy, but even if I had been the two are compatible. It seems you are arguing that capitalism is the same as democracy, at least in America. So, time for another definition.

Capitalism: an economic system in which investment in and ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange of wealth is made and maintained chiefly by private individuals or corporations, especially as contrasted to cooperatively or state-owned means of wealth [1]

Nowhere in the definition of capitalism does it say anything about a government elected by the people. Similarly, the definition of democracy contains nothing about private ownership of property or wealth. By definition, socialism and capitalism are indeed opposites, but since neither is the same as democracy, neither is the opposite of it.

[1] http://dictionary.reference.com...
MarkDenbow

Con

You never said you weren't referring to the American system of democracy either, and thus my assumption. By your definition and criteria, it seems you started a debate about something that's a given, like saying about America that democracy and capitalism are compatible. Of course they are. There's no debate there. If you want to take the strict definition of democracy and socialism without defining any parameters, which do exist in the real world, then I guess I should concede the debate to you. I can't debate that the systems of the countries you cite don't work because everyone knows they do. When your definition of two things is so narrow that you can't lose, it doesn't make for a very interesting debate. Maybe a clearer description of what you wanted to debate about would've been helpful.
Debate Round No. 3
ChrisF

Pro

Believe it or not, there are plenty of people who wouldn't believe the two are compatible, regardless of what they actually are. Regardless, I was prepared to argue as well that socialism could work in America, although since I have about 5 minutes left I can't now, but maybe later. If the topic wasn't very clear, I apologize.
MarkDenbow

Con

Funny you should say that, I've been in a discussion with another member about that same subject. Could socialism work here in America? Maybe, probably but why would you want it? That's the discussion I want to have. We still have another round. So let's debate why you would want socialism over our present system. Or how you think it could work without completely changing our system into something unrecognizable.
Debate Round No. 4
ChrisF

Pro

ChrisF forfeited this round.
MarkDenbow

Con

I was looking forward to the next round, but I understand and I accept your forfeiture. Thank you for the opportunity to debate.
Debate Round No. 5
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by ChrisF 3 years ago
ChrisF
Sorry, I fell asleep writing my debate last night and time ran out. Besides there was only one round left anyways, not much of a debate. If you want we can try again?
Posted by MarkDenbow 3 years ago
MarkDenbow
Is this not an area to post comments? Besides, how did I insult you? Did I call you names? No. Did I say something derogatory about you personally? No. If you're upset because I insinuated you were a liberal, something you freely revealed in your profile anyway, then if I were you I'd rethink my position. In fact, I think I remember referring to you personally as, "our young friend." I have no beef with you as a person. I just have a problem with the tactics of the opposition.
Posted by ChrisF 3 years ago
ChrisF
Says a lot about a person when they go and insult their opponent in the comments. You've said two true things.
1) I'm 15
2) I'm from the east coast
Posted by MarkDenbow 3 years ago
MarkDenbow
I went and looked at ChrisF's profile to see who I was dealing with, and who do I find? A kid from the east coast all trained up and indoctrinated in the liberal rhetoric. 15 years on this earth is hardly sufficient time for one to really know what one believes or thinks. Liberals don't reproduce because they're either gay or they're aborting their babies, so they have to recruit. Our young friend here is apparently one of those recruits. Ahhh, the light comes on why he's so ardent about socialism. Say no more.
Posted by OtakuJordan 3 years ago
OtakuJordan
@ChrisF Sure.
Posted by MarkDenbow 3 years ago
MarkDenbow
funwiththoughts has the right idea. True socialism has no individual property rights. Socialism is more than just having extensive welfare systems. We have fairly extensive welfare systems here in America, but I don't believe we can be called socialist. Not yet anyway.
Posted by ChrisF 3 years ago
ChrisF
Actually they are. Most of them either have extensive welfare systems, or high government control over the economy, both of which are characteristics of a more socialist nation
Posted by funwiththoughts 3 years ago
funwiththoughts
Canada isn't socialist because there are still large corporations and private property rights, and the same goes for the rest of the countries on your list. A truly socialist nation would not have any private property, only government (North Korea and Cuba are the only two socialist nations in the world right now).
Posted by ChrisF 3 years ago
ChrisF
I will. Or maybe if not this something else?
Posted by OtakuJordan 3 years ago
OtakuJordan
Ah, too bad. Someone took it before me.

Challenge me to a debate on this topic when this one is over if you still want to argue it.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Beverlee 3 years ago
Beverlee
ChrisFMarkDenbowTied
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Total points awarded:51 
Reasons for voting decision: I awarded conduct to Con for Pro's forfeiture, and Sources and arguments to Pro. Con did not use sources, and did not formulate an argument to challenge Pro's contentions.