The Instigator
HippyActivist
Pro (for)
The Contender
Plato85
Con (against)

Democratic Socialism

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/22/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 weeks ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 333 times Debate No: 97287
Debate Rounds (5)
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Votes (0)

 

HippyActivist

Pro

Socialism has become a very frightening word to use in the U.S., particularly after the World Wars, the following government-subsidized anti-socialist propaganda, and it's magnification during the era of the cold war. There has no doubt been room enough in this hundred-year debate for a re-writing of history, ad-hominem attacks, circular reasoning, mis-definitions of socialism, and dare I say just plain falsehood.
Proponents of capitalism have attempted to jumble the fundamental definition of socialism as only being a "big-government" ideology; even claiming that the authoritarian "State-Capitalist" regimes reflect what socialism is. This is untrue. Socialism, by definition, represents control of the means of production by the population. The only egalitarian method for accomplishing this would be the "democratization" of the means of production by the people, and management of those means by individual corporations, including the legislation of egalitarianism by the state.
Secondly, there have been repeated attacks on socialist ideology by the very people who have wrongfully defined it. One simply cannot point to State-Capitalist regimes as being socialist, and then attack socialism on the basis of the unsuccess of those very regimes. In the existing examples of nations of the past that have, out of corruption, referred to themselves as "socialist", we do not have public controls over the means of production. We have only examples of government -control over those means, with poor representation within the public sphere. If we are to call government control over manufacturing and services "socialism", than we most certainly would look for extended and open representation of the common man in the work environment to have a seat in government affairs. This has not been the case.
State capitalism is therefore, or "should be" only the first step. In order to rearrange the sociopolitical structure, there must first be an attaining of state power by a "Socialist Party", before a redistribution of power can take place. And of course, this in itself, is a rebuttal of the myth that socialism requires the redistribution of wealth "full-scale". For the CEO of NASA to make the same salary as the man sweeping the floor in McDonald's is NOT an egalitarian concept. If the man sweeping the floors of McDonald's has the same political power, the same loud voice, and identical freedoms; THAT is egalitarianism, at it's absolute finest.
Plato85

Con

I'm not quite clear on what you're arguing. Please put your argument more concise.

Are you arguing that your idea of socialism, is a better society than our modern capitalist world?

And socialism to you means a democratic society, where everyone has equal pay AND equal power in the company?

Would a typical company work very well without a hirachy?

Are there any countries that fit this description? If not why not?
Debate Round No. 1
HippyActivist

Pro

Wikipedia defines socialism as:
"...a range of economic and social systems characterized by social ownership and democratic control of the means of production".
I am not therefore arguing for 'my idea' of socialism, but rather the established definitions of it from reliable sources.
I did not define socialism as representing both equal pay and equal power. In fact, the last sentence of my opening statement argued against this, stating as follows...
For the CEO of NASA to make the same salary as the man sweeping the floor in McDonald's is NOT an egalitarian concept.

I further did not intend to imply that corporations/business should not have a 'hierarchy'. I did however intend that politically speaking, the men at the top of any business should not have any more political or social power than the man sweeping the floor; certainly however, on the topic of the increasing wealth gap between the dominating, and oppressed social classes, I would certainly advocate that those who have reached a higher income bracket, should likewise be required to contribute by proportion to society.

And finally, no, there have not been examples of Democratic Socialism to date, regardless of the nominal status of the governing party as "Democratic Socialist". The French Revolution is a good example of this. The "socialist" party of France gained power, established "State Capitalism", (the 'state' is now the capitalist), and called it socialism. This caused Karl Marx to denounce the revolution, stating, "If anything is true, it is that I, myself, am not a Marxist".
The reason for lack of examples involves a couple of things, but the primary cause is simply "corruption". Once the party claiming to be "Socialist" gains power, corruption sets in, and the transition of power to the people ('society') never takes place.
In todays' context, this involves democratic checks and balances on power during the transition, and honest leadership of that transition.
Plato85

Con

You're not talking about a totalitarian government that owns all the companies (like the socialist party in France)

Are you talking about a capitalist country where people can buy and sell companies?

"...a range of economic and social systems characterized by social ownership and democratic control of the means of production".

What is Democratic control of the means of production. Is that like the way we regulate business in capitalist society? or are you talking about setting prices of goods and services, and dictating to companies how they should run?

What is social ownership, as opposed to government ownership, and share holders? Do you mean that the workers own the company they work for?

"the men at the top of any business should not have any more political or social power than the man sweeping the floor"

What do you mean by political and social power? Do you mean wealth and influence?
Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
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Debate Round No. 5
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