Does Marxism work in practice?
Debate Rounds (3)
Communism creates a lack of quality of life. A classless society is the same as a one-class society and because there is not enough capital to spread evenly across every person's life, everyone lives in poverty without any way to get out. In capitalism people have a way to get out of poverty: hard work and invention (both benefiting everyone). In communism the slacking off that results from "from each according to his ability to each according to his need" makes producing any goods and services impossible. It is natural for a human to see that and think, "all I have to do is lower my ability, so the government takes less from me, and raise my need so the government gives more to me". Pretty soon, there will be no goods and services because humans are, by nature, self-centered.
I believe that capitalism will not last if we are to become the best we can as a population. I believe that capitalism will have to die out if we are to flourish, though it was necessary for our evolution (societies evolution, not biological). I do not argue that capitalism is all bad, as I have said, it is 'needed' in order to set the right conditions for the emergence of the next stage. So I believe you think that capitalism is the best way and essentially the final, and most supreme, model for society. Or perhaps you think there should be evolutions, but you don't see them resembling Marxism at all. I have not read Karl Marx's work, but I am a believer in the classless society and I am ready for it. I mean I am sick of the ways of capitalism and I crave change. Anyone who believes the way we have it now is the best it can be, is incredibly short sighted. I hope this is your argument.
You say: "Capitalism promotes individual rights" Compared to the previous stage in our social development it does, that being feudalism. It allows for people who are not aristocrats to earn money and own business. Compared to a world where bloodline meant everything, it is much, much more free. However this right is now expected, nobody is (or should be) impressed by the right to make it rich if you can, that should be given. It seems to me that this is the only right that the capitalist culture alone, actually promotes. For business owners where almost like slave drivers when it first began, the conditions in the workhouses where horrific, and the workers little more than slaves. Also these businessmen (the product of capitalism) had slave plantations abroad, there is no great human rights festival coming from the capitalist economy. Do you think that these men would of lessened their profit, by improving the life of the workers, if it wasn't for government pressure? You see the same battle now, these organizations are always pushing the human/animal rights barriers to their limit. This is because a typical law of business is, the more cruel, the more profit. When profit is at the root of every business, cruelty is inevitable. I use the term 'cruelty' lightly, but not in all cases. For instance, lower pay=more profit. Less desirable conditions for animals=more profit. More flexibility with safety=more profit. Less good conditions for workers=more profit. The more cruel one can be to an animal or even human (cosmetic testing etc.)=more profit. The list goes on. So I understand how capitalism promoted the rights of individuals in the 1700's, but I don't agree that is sufficient in the modern world, also, in light of the examples above, capitalism is hardly a figure head for human rights.
You go on to say: "and economic growth" Well can you define economic growth? It is only relevant to the current system that is essentially fictitious. What is real success for human beings? Long lasting, healthy, regenerative. We want to live in a world of peace and diversity and in a world built to last. To flourish alongside nature, and not diminish our planet (our life giver), but to ensure the sustainability of our population for thousands of years to come. When my opponent is talking about 'economic growth' I assume he means GDP, or something of that nature. So lets look at the effects of capitalism on nature, our long term survival and the regeneration of our world (the life giver).
1.I assume the readers are aware of the ecology of the rainforests. They are more than 'important' they are essential. We are destroying them by 2 football fields a second (1). (capitalism, drive for profit.) (and my opponent cannot say that we actually need this wood, look at this quote about how much we throw away: "every three months, enough steel to reconstruct Manhattan, and enough wood to heat 5 million homes for 200 years"(1) So we do not need it, it is the capitalist system that creates needless waste, for instance look at this quote: "Americans represent 5% of the world"s population, but generate 30% of the world"s garbage." (2) so the capitalist system will destroy the world if not stopped.
2.drilling and oil spills.
3.polution from gasses.
These are all products of capitalism, for a society out for the good of society, would be more focused on environmentally regenerative technology. The drive for profit has resulted in this, like I say in my first paragraph, 'the more cruelty, the more profit.' In this case its-the more careless about the long term effects of the actions, and the effect on the world=the more profit. Its the same story throughout.
You say: "Men will invent things faster if they have a private incentive." Not true, pressure does not improve creativity. It can improve many things, but not abstract creativity. I ask the reader to ponder whether pressure makes them better at creative thinking, it might make them better at many things, but I believe that abstract creativity is an organic thought process not something that can be rushed. There is some science to back up this claim (3). I know you say "private incentive" and not "competition". But they are both the same thing, for the opposite of private incentive is collective incentive.
You say: "If you take a group of people and put them alone you create a society and will see quickly which people are better at what and worse at what" I ask the reader if this could not be achieved in a good education system? Could that be a good way of getting people to find their interests and abilities and nurture them? Another big mistake I think my opponent makes is to add to this, "it is natural". No. Did human groups survive by fighting amongst themselves? Other groups of humans yes, but within the society? To understand that we have lived in close knit groups of equal, collaborative peers for millions of years, its hard to accept that conflict and competition (between comrades) is 'natural.'
You say: "Communism creates a lack of quality of life" what is this based on? Bare in mind, we are talking about whether a Marxist society could work. And this conversation has nothing to do with Russia.
You say: "because there is not enough capital to spread evenly across every person's life, everyone lives in poverty without any way to get out" But surely this has nothing to do with the fact that there is one class? surely, 'capital' as you call it ('resources' I call it) has to do with our technology, environment and system. You say it like, if a society doesn't have inequality, it will have no resources. I don't agree with this.
You say: "In capitalism people have a way to get out of poverty" Yes, the poverty created by capitalism. For before all this, people lived of their farms and worked for themselves and their close neighbours, in return for their close neighbours work. Close-nit, happier communities. So capitalism creates poverty through the running dry of resources for the profit, so this point falls short.
You say: "In communism the slacking off that results from "from each according to his ability to each according to his need" makes producing any goods and services impossible. It is natural for a human to see that and think, "all I have to do is lower my ability, so the government takes less from me, and raise my need so the government gives more to me". Pretty soon, there will be no goods and services because humans are, by nature, self-centred." This is the big question, I think everyone knows capitalism is wrong in their heart of hearts, they can 'feel' that something is not right with the way we live, but this argument is the one barrier from this 'marxist' system taking over. I have 72 characters left, this will have to be done next round for it is paramount
The only alternative to leaving people alone economically is to not leave them alone. The only people that would step up and control his people's food, property, resources, and industry in Communist ways are evil, once again that has been proven in practice as well. You talk about the waste but, Communism does not eradicate that at all, it speeds it up. This is because the government decides who will get what, how much of it, and does not base it on the laws of supply and demand, it therefore cannot judge the most efficient way of rationing capital. The only that can do that is the free-market system, in which people have a good reason to efficiently decide how much of what thing they will produce and how much it will cost, the good reason is profit. If a government owns everything anyway, and there is not capitalism then there is no way for people to compete with the Communist government to drive down prices, the government has no incentive to do anything correctly.
You also said that the more an employer abuses his workers and does bad things the more he profits. How can that be if the workers will leave and find another job if they do not like that one (another thing people cannot do under Marxist Communism). Competition insures that people make the best products and provide the best jobs, for if they do not they will lose their workers and no one will buy their products. Under Marxist Communism, everyone works for the government and everyone buys government products, if they don't like their job then they deal with it because guess what? There is no competition and so the government (the only business) can do whatever they want.
You think that the Capitalist ideals that drive employers to pay their employees less than $15 an hour to flip patties at McDonalds is bad? Go Marxist and you will see what exploitation REALLY means.
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