The Instigator
Brock_Meyer
Con (against)
Winning
17 Points
The Contender
sk8jeff1
Pro (for)
Losing
12 Points

Free market capitalism makes people more materialistic

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
Brock_Meyer
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/11/2009 Category: Society
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,992 times Debate No: 8531
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (15)
Votes (5)

 

Brock_Meyer

Con

The resolution is as follows: Free market capitalism makes people more materialistic.

The resolution needs additional explanation and definition. "Free market capitalism" refers to a market of property rights voluntarily exchanged by the mutual consent of buyers and sellers, which is ultimately independent of third-party subsidization, taxation, regulation, or imposition of a single monetary system. The term "materialistic" refers to treatment of material possessions and wealth as higher values than non-material possessions.

For the purposes of discussion, "material possessions" and "wealth" shall be termed "exchangeable goods", which lies in contrast to "nonexchangeable goods" that are intangible and not capable of being traded. Examples of exchangeable goods include my microwave oven, my radio, and my furniture. Examples of non-exchangeable goods include my knowledge, my time, and my love.

The crystallization point for the discussion as a whole revolves around the relationship between economic conditions and the psychological drives that produce actions valuing exchangeable goods to the exclusion of nonexchangeable goods. In order to win, he or she who stands in favor of the resolution must prove that free market capitalism provides the conditions such that exchangeable goods are categorically of a higher value than nonexchangeable goods. He who stands opposed to the resolution must prove that free market capitalism does not provide the conditions under which individuals will naturally pursue exchangeable goods as ends in themselves, as that is the proposed definition of materialism.
sk8jeff1

Pro

Free Market Capitalism (hereinafter referred to as Capitalism) not only makes people more materialistic, but requires them to be so. In order for a Capitalist economy to exist, it must never cease to pursue the potential and idea of growth. There are two main methods a Capitalist economy can use in order to maintain growth, conquest related acquisitions and the consumption of material possessions.

In the following paragraphs I will first voice some of my reservations about the introduction. I will next demonstrate why a Capitalist economy must constantly pursue growth. I will then demonstrate why the consumption of exchangeable goods, as opposed to nonexchangeable goods best feeds a Capitalist economy. Then, using these premises, I will argue that the psychological drive that operates within a Capitalist economy must view exchangeable goods as categorically of a higher value than nonexchangeable goods.

First and foremost, I believe that the resolution in question, "Free market capitalism makes people more materialistic" is inherently and subtly prejudiced in favor of my opponent. While I do want to commend his efforts to diffuse the loaded nature of the word "materialistic", I do not believe he has gone far enough. I will absolutely accept my opponents definition of "material possessions" and "wealth" as exchangeable goods. I will not however, submit to his list, though it was in good faith, of "exchangeable goods." My opponent in his resolution inherently suggests that "materialistic" possessions are bad things, as he contrasts microwave ovens with knowledge and love. I would like to submit to the voters in this matter that exchangeable goods also include your house, your clothing and food.

I agree with my opponent that the crystallization point for this debate is that I must prove that exchangeable goods are categorically of a higher value than nonexchangeable goods. However, this agreement comes with a caveat. I further ask the voters to recognize that categorically does NOT mean exclusively. In the forthcoming paragraphs I will argue that as a matter of judging categories of exchangeable or nonexchangeable, Capitalist economies value exchangeable goods higher. This does not necessarily mean that an exchangeable good such as table is of higher value than a nonexchangeable good such as knowledge. I submit to the voters that the category of exchangeable goods, not each and every exchangeable good itself is necessary for Free Market Capitalism.

Let us first begin by discussing Capitalism as it is defined by my opponent. Capitalism "refers to a market of property rights voluntarily exchanged by the mutual consent of buyers and sellers, which is ultimately independent of third-party subsidization, taxation, regulation or imposition of a single monetary system." If possible I ask the voters to permit themselves to a temporary veil of ignorance. No country in the world today is presently acting in a way that represents this definition. This argument is only useful if we are willing to create an environment where this definition of Capitalism actually exists.

I ask the voters to picture yourself on a deserted island, a lawless island if you will. On this island are four other individuals very similar to yourself. On this island one of you is a skilled fisherman, one of you is a skilled carpenter, one of you is a skilled farmer, one of you is a skilled clothing maker and of you is a doctor. These individuals all trade products with one another so as to ensure each individuals own survival. This can go on for some period of time until one of two things happens. Either the first option, people begin to die off at which point the Capitalist lawless island ceases to exist. As soon as the people die, capitalism dies and the resolution at question here no longer applies. The other potential circumstance is that one of the five individuals on the island has offspring. At this point, there are five people working on the island while they are producing goods for six people. This growth in population necessitates the growth of exchangeable, materialistic if you will, goods.

Assume for a moment, that on this island each individual only needs 20 Utils to live. Therefore, prior to the population expansion, each person had to only produce 20 Utils to live. Now, after the birth of offspring, the economy as a whole must produce 120 Utils. Per person now, each worker must produce more exchangeable goods than they were asked to before. They must produce more food, more shelter, more medical care and more clothing. These exchangeable goods feed the Capitalist economy and continue to keep it growing. This is the inevitable and necessary result of Capitalism. As outlined before, a Capitalist economy will grow as previously demonstrated or it will cease to exist.

At this point the voter may be thinking, "okay, I will accept that the Capitalist economy will inevitably grow, but why must it grow by exchangeable goods instead of nonexchangeable goods?" Well, the answer to that question is quite simple. If you are on this hypothetical lawless island, the only place I know of that is currently in a state of Free Market Capitalism, nonexchangeable goods will not put a roof over your head or phone in your stomach. The category of exchangeable goods in this hypothetical includes, but admittedly is not limited to, the necessary items that will keep a human being alive, food, water and shelter. Some nonexchangeable goods are important, namely oxygen. I submit that since Oxygen is used non-exclusively that it is not valued higher by Capitalism. Oxygen, and other nonexchangeable goods, are valued highly by all individuals with lungs, not just Capitalist individuals.

Lastly, as I promised earlier, I argue that the psychological drive that produces actions valuing exchangeable goods as categorically of a higher value than nonexchangeable goods is inherently Capitalistic. Allow us again, just for a moment, to return to the lawless island. As soon as that first population expansion occurs, as inevitable to allow life and this debate to continue, the psychological drive of all parties continues. Each individual automatically acknowledges that the Island must produce more food, clothes and shelter or some people are going to go hungry and die. This change in psychology demands that the economy is going to grow by the harvest and consumption of more exchangeable goods.

Wherefore, I request the voters to rule in my favor as a Capitalist economy will continue to grow by the consumption of exchangeable goods, or it will cease to exist and this debate is futile. This consumption of exchangeable goods is, as defined by my opponent materialism. These exchangeable goods are the building blocks of life. Capitalism makes people psychologically more willing to make and obtain exchangeable as they require food, clothing and shelter.
Debate Round No. 1
Brock_Meyer

Con

Thank you to my opponent for accepting the debate.

"My opponent in his resolution inherently suggests that "materialistic" possessions are bad things..."

This contrast in category of goods was established with the intention of definition, and makes no appeal to the subjective values of the voter. There could very well be an ultra-materialistic voter who values microwaves more than love, and my contrast may have the opposite effect on that person than the one you classify as implying material possessions are "bad things".

"...one of the five individuals on the island has offspring... the economy as a whole must produce 120 Utils. Per person now, each worker must produce more exchangeable goods than they were asked to before."

Looking at individual players in a free market scenario, each worker is not required to produce more exchangeable goods. Let us say the farmer and the clothing maker have the child, thus creating a fifth player. The increase in the Utils from 20 per player (80 Utils) in the state of affairs A to 120 Utils in the state of affairs B does not entail the increase in the individual Utils of the doctor or the fisherman, who did not create the fifth player, unless the parents offer to trade more because of their responsibilities to the child. 20 Utils remains the number necessary for the survival of these two players; in other words, the introduction of the fifth player has not necessarily increased these two non-parents' demand for exchangeable goods (i.e. not made them more materialistic).

As for the farmer and the clothing maker, who produced the fifth child, their demand for exchangeable goods comes about because of the various non-exchangeable goods that emerge from raising a child (e.g. love, friendship, and so on). In other words, these two individuals have elected to take on expenditures in terms of exchangeable goods (e.g. doctor expenses for the child, fish as food for the child, and so on) to gain the benefits from the non-exchangeable goods mentioned previously. Because these people presumably did not create the fifth player simply to help with the farm or the clothes, they are anticipating the benefits of non-exchangeable goods despite the costs in terms of exchangeable goods for raising the child. Thus, while the total Utils necessary for keeping the economy alive has increased, the expansion of this economy has occurred because of non-material, non-exchangeable goods, which leads to my own arguments against the resolution.

Suppose that both exchangeable and non-exchangeable goods conform to diminishing marginal returns, which means that the increase in one kind of good will lead us to shift effort and time to the acquisition of the other kind of good. Diminishing marginal returns, a well-documented and intuitive economic concept, applies in the following way: if a person develops more wealth and acquires more goods in the form of physical property such that he can acquire additional exchangeable goods, then that individual will derive less and less marginal satisfaction from further additional exchangeable goods that he otherwise would. An advancing free market system will satisfy more and more of one's desires for exchangeable goods. Consequently, the marginal utility of exchangeable goods declines over time, while the marginal utility of non-exchangeable goods increases. In short, the greater satisfaction of demands for exchangeable goods on the part of the player lends a much greater marginal significance to the demands for the nonexchangeable goods. Instead of fostering "material" values, then, a growing free market economy does just the opposite.

With respect to my opponent's example of an anarcho-capitalist free market island, the starting point for the players in terms of their wealth is unspecified. They may have been stranded on the island recently and thus are trying to build a civilization; or they have been there for years. In the first scenario, the players are technically in a state of poverty, where "poverty" is "the state of having little or no money and few or no material possessions". In which case, the players are very focused on building wealth and materials to sustain their lives. In the second scenario, they have been on the island for a while and are relatively well established. They have the foundation of a productive society. I doubt this second scenario is what my opponent had in mind, because he seems to measure Utils strictly in terms of exchangeable goods, which are far more important than the alternative when one is in a state of poverty as implied in scenario one by various statements about life-sustaining material goods.

If we are to measure Utils strictly in terms of material possessions and regard the players as in a state of poverty, of course I will concede that demands for exchangeable goods will be high. This is characteristic of most people in poverty: a desire to get out of poverty by the acquisition of more material goods. Observe players in backward economies: they spend most time and effort trying to acquire material possessions. These are not the people who decry materialism, or who spend that same amount of time and effort seeking nonexchangeable goods by taking yoga classes or becoming vegan. Sensitivity to materialism comes from developed countries.

But as we move from scenario one to scenario two on the hypothetical island, where the foundations of a money-economy are laid down, the diminishing marginal returns of exchangeable goods step in and the demand goes from this kind of good to the non-exchangeable kind. The money-economy allows the farmer, the angler, and the clothing maker to generate wealth and keep that wealth from perishing. Therefore, it is no longer a matter of keeping the kids fed or building the house that is particularly important at present. People pursue non-material goods as a higher value.

If we pair these considerations with the fact that the freer an economy is, the more successful at producing wealth that economy will be(1), we realize this correlation means primarily one thing: as wealth in terms of exchangeable goods within an economy increases, the demand for non-exchangeable goods increases. The demand increases because the players in that economy value these non-exchangeable goods more highly than exchangeable ones; if that were not true, these players would never develop hobbies. But hobbies do develop when our basic material needs are met.

In sum, there is no force inherent to the free market making us value material goods more than the alternative. Denying this implies that human beings are not rational (i.e. capable of utility-maximizing decisions). Human happiness (or utility) is achieved through satisfying needs for both kinds of goods, and the free market gives one more freedom and inclination to pursue both kinds of goods.

*Source in Comments section.
sk8jeff1

Pro

With respect to the population expansion on our hypothetical island, I believe that there is no way to prove that the parents had off spring for non-exchangeable reasons. These parents may very well be lazy and thought that by adding one person to the family business of farming they could do less work. There is no evidence that in this lawless island they are raising the child for love, friendship or any other non-exchangeable goods. They very well may thought that, without the benefit of foresight, if they could produce more, they could sell more and then they could buy more widgets. Perhaps by having more widgets they are able to satisfy their desire for the "good life" by pursuing non-exchangeable goods such as friendship. However, it would be impossible to pursue these pleasurable non-exchangeable goods without first satisfying the need for exchangeable goods, such as food and shelter. This therefore, makes materialistic goods more categorically necessary and important in the pursuit of the good life. You cannot put the top piece on a pyramid without first building the necessary base. In this analogy, materialistic goods such as food, shelter, clothing and medical attention are the base and the stabilizing unit of the pyramid while knowledge and friendship are the top piece.

With respect to the fact that the island now requires 120 utils, whatever the reason might be, I argue that 120 Utils will need to be picked up by the other residents of the island in addition to the parents. Now that demand for exchangeable goods is 120 utils instead of 100 there is pressure on all of the island occupants. if the other islanders do not keep up with that demand by supplying more utils of food, shelter and medical service people are going to die. this would create a hostile environment where people would be unwilling to trade with one another. Any hindrance to trade would cause an "uncapitalistic" scenario where property rights are not exchanged, thereby not fitting the definition of free market capitalism as outlined previously. Therefore, in order to remain a free market capitalist society the suppliers must keep up with the demand or risk not being supplied with the things that they need to survive.

"But as we move from scenario one to scenario two on the hypothetical island, where the foundations of a money-economy are laid down, the diminishing marginal returns of exchangeable goods step in and the demand goes from this kind of good to the non-exchangeable kind."

As you conceded, in scenario one (where the occupants are freshly stranded on the island) exchangeable goods would be of a higher categorical value, I will address your perception of scenario two. I believe that in the above-quoted statement, which I took to represent your law of diminishing returns argument as a whole, you are getting away from the fundamental issue in this debate, whether exchangeable goods are of a categorically higher value than non-exchangeable goods. The above-quote appears to suggest that because the demand increases in non-exchangeable they are of a categorically higher value. I simply disagree with that. Just because demand has shifted there does not mean it is of a higher value. Only when the needs of exchangeable goods are met can one even attempt to satisfy this desire for non-exchangeable goods. Therefore if one can only pursue non-exchangeable goods when exchangeable goods are met then exchangeable goods are of a higher categorical value, which was my goal to prove in this debate.

I further disagree with your conclusion that, "in sum, there is no force inherent to the free market making us value material goods more than the alternative." I think that there absolutely is. Free Market Capitalist society as defined in the opening is the only economy that would force people to value material goods. In other forms of economy, the "government" or some other authority would provide a safety net or force people to trade with one another or any number of other policies that does not allow someone to go hungry and die. In this Free Market Capitalism, where no one is going to give you food, shelter or clothes unless you earn it, whether through trade or production, the value of material goods must be categorically higher or survival is doubtful. Therefore, if Capitalism does not promote a more materialistic society then it is an exercise in suicide.
Debate Round No. 2
Brock_Meyer

Con

"...this would create a hostile environment where people would be unwilling to trade with one another."

Not necessarily. Individuals can diversify the options they offer in terms of services to those they trade with. The angler can grow a garden, the farmer can go fishing in the evenings, and so on. In environments that are not as isolated as the hypothetical island, people can move and find additional trading partners.

The situation my opponent proposes, if I understand it correctly, is this: demand for goods increases on the island because of the additional trader. The claim is that a supplier must be able to "keep up" with the increased demand for efficient market equilibrium. However, I fail to see how a trader is compelled to increase supply simply because the demand has increased. The only way a supplier can be compelled to provide a service is if a government forces the supplier to do so under threat of force. Without force, the supplier is still exchanging property rights with the buyer, who is incidentally demanding more. Although additional opportunities exist, the supplier may very well decide not to exceed the previously given supply if he chooses not to produce any more than the original amount. The buyer cannot do anything about this. The players are still trading, albeit with a market inefficiency. If a government existed, this government could force the supplier to keep up in order to preserve the "welfare of the people". In that case (and only in that case) does the value for material goods increase. Incidentally, this is the opposite of what my opponent proposes.

Overall, the free market system does not depend upon all of the players being fed or receiving medical care. If it did, then those not being fed or receiving medical care would be said to have a monopoly on the goods they are selling (because if they stop producing, the economy falls apart, for no one can supply their good). Nevertheless, as Alan Greenspan et al. have argued, a coercive monopoly cannot form in a free market environment(1).

"you are getting away from the fundamental issue in this debate..."

I am not getting away from the fundamental issue; in fact, I am getting at the fundamental issue. In arguing a certain kind of good (exchangeable or non-exchangeable) is categorically a higher value than the other, the argument says that even after acquiring all that one would ever need or want in terms of exchangeable goods in the free market system, one still continues to generate exchangeable goods instead of pursuing non-exchangeable goods. This would make the former categorically of a higher value than the latter. My argument is that this is not the case: that diminishing marginal returns implies that, at some point, the value of the former trails off and the latter's value exceeds the former's. The free market does not provide the conditions such that people will continue, for as long as they can, seek exchangeable goods instead of non-exchangeable goods simply because the former are easier to attain in a free market environment. There is nothing inherent to the system such that this is the case categorically.

"Just because demand has shifted there does not mean it is of a higher value."

People naturally avoid buying products that will force them to forgo the consumption of something else they value more (by law of demand). If the demand for some good has shifted up, that necessarily entails that there are less things out in the world (alternatives) that they would rather consume. Therefore, a shift up in demand for a good implies that the value of that good to the player is higher.

"...if one can only pursue non-exchangeable goods when exchangeable goods are met then exchangeable goods are of a higher categorical value, which was my goal to prove in this debate."

This is a fundamentally mistaken view of value. Firstly, people do not value those things that are abundant and/or cheap. In a developed economy, the basic exchangeable goods that the players need (e.g. shelter, food, and so on) are not valued particularly highly, even if they are essential to human survival. That is why parents often complain to their children that they do not appreciate all that they have.

Moreover, value does not work like as a pyramid, with essentials on the bottom of the pyramid and "non-essentials" at the top. This view is wrong because: (a) essentials, when they are abundant, are not valued highly, and (b) at any one time, things are valued based on their utility-maximizing potential in comparison to alternatives. In other words, at any time, if one's needs are completely met, or perhaps an individual has all of the exchangeable goods he would ever need, exchangeable goods are not of a higher value (by diminishing marginal returns). This contradicts the argument that in a free market system, exchangeable goods are of a categorically higher value because there are clearly circumstances when non-exchangeable goods are of a higher value than the alternative.

"Free Market Capitalist society as defined in the opening is the only economy that would force people to value material goods."

The free market does not force anyone to value material goods any more than a large government. People under the most oppressive regimes of economic and political control value food, shelter, and so on in exactly the same way as those under the free market system: both groups are human beings, and both need these essentials as much as the other. If anything, as was argued above, it is an economic system in which a government is actively involved, compelling people to push their supply/demand either up or down, when exchangeable goods become a higher value for all players.

I believe this leads to one further point: what most consider to be "good" government intervention in an economy occurs when market inefficiencies arise. When there is a clog in the system, we expect the plumber (in this case, government) to step in and break the clog. When a clog occurs, exchangeable goods are of higher value, because players have less due to the overriding macroeconomic conditions. Consumers are not getting what they want (shortage) or the sellers are not receiving business (surplus). The degree to which a government moves to break the clog is inversely proportional to the freedom of the market. I have argued that increased government intervention leads consumers to value exchangeable goods more. It is only in a non-free market, where exchangeable goods are scarcer (than in the free market) that exchangeable goods are of a categorically higher value. Only when the government stops its interventions, and makes the market more free, are the economic conditions in place where the most players in an economic can pursue less necessary, non-exchangeable goods.

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(1) = http://www.nathanielbranden.com...
sk8jeff1

Pro

sk8jeff1 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Brock_Meyer

Con

Since, this is my last chance to post, I will say only that the voters should vote CON based on what I have argued in previous rounds. With that said, I defer to my opponent for final thoughts.
sk8jeff1

Pro

First and foremost, I want to truly express my gratitude to my opponent for allowing my missed round 3 to be inconsequential. Secondly, I want to thank my opponent for starting a very compelling debate topic. Lastly, my last argument will be brief as a thank you to my opponent for not placing me at a significant disadvantage.

"However, I fail to see how a trader is compelled to increase supply simply because the demand has increased. The only way a supplier can be compelled to provide a service is if a government forces the supplier to do so under threat of force."

My opponent asks you to believe, in this instance, that a government policy is the only thing that can force you into increasing or decreasing your supply. That is simply untrue. If demand is increased supply can increase for a variety of reasons within this free market capitalism island that we have invented, namely the following: 1) the supplier is greedy, 2) the supplier wants more exchangeable goods, 3) he has been forced into making more supply through some sort of threat of violence. I especially want to deal with this last suggestion. On this lawless island there is no government to protect you from your neighbor. Therefore if your neighbor wants more food, and you produce food, he might demand that you provide it. If not he might kill you. This, as my opponent apparently suggests, is not government, it is a contract between two people. You must do something or else something will happen.

In Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes argues that in the state of nature, "we will compete, violently compete, to secure the basic necessities of life and perhaps to make other material gains. (ii) we will challenge others and fight out of fear, so as to ensure our personal safety. (iii) we will seek reputation, both for its own sake and for its protective effects."(1) The state of nature, as demonstrated by our discussion here of the lawless island, is the best method for philosophizing about this perfect version of free market capitalism. As Thomas Hobbes points out, in this situation we will do whatever is necessary to obtain the exchangeable goods we all need and desire.

As I bring my argument to a conclusion, I ask you the voter to remember the opening argument. My opponent and I agreed that the crystallization point for this argument is whether Free Market Capitalism categorically values exchangeable goods or nonexchangeable goods with more value. I submit to you that without exchangeable goods in this Free Market Capitalism state of nature, survival is in question. Therefore, for a Free Market Capitalist entity to exist, it must inherently value the commodoties that keep us alive higher than those that do not. As a result of that conclusion I urge you to vote PRO.

I would like to sincerely thank my opponent for starting this debate. I would like to further take the time to thank the voters who have read this rather lengthy debate.

1. http://www.iep.utm.edu...
Debate Round No. 4
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by ilovgoogle 8 years ago
ilovgoogle
Using diminishing marginal return struck a chord. I think that really exemplified the topic at hand and you did a great job of showing how a free market economy embraces this term leading to people being more materialistic. Pro failed to directly refute this point.
Posted by Brock_Meyer 8 years ago
Brock_Meyer
Hey, hey no problem. You do what you have to do in order to acquire the exchangeable goods we all love and enjoy. Besides, it gave me a chance to catch up on my own occupational responsibilities.
Posted by sk8jeff1 8 years ago
sk8jeff1
Brock,

I'm sorry about missing round 3. I have been super busy at work lately pushing 14 hour days and i just forgot all about this.
Posted by feverish 8 years ago
feverish
Thanks for the cogent explanation Brock.

I think my own opinion would be that they are definitely related but probably not 100% aligned.

Inversely proportional? wow, I'll be interested to see how you argue that. Favourited.

Not quite sure how Poejoe got that impression below.
Posted by Brock_Meyer 8 years ago
Brock_Meyer
First of all, there is no "opening argument". There is the statement of the resolution, the definition of terms, and the statement of objectives (or, the crystallization point of the discussion). Secondly, nowhere in that opening statement is there any indication that CON believes either of those two quoted assertions (nor that those quoted assertions even exist).
Posted by PoeJoe 8 years ago
PoeJoe
The title of this debate is a little bit misleading. Reading CON's opening argument, we find out he believes that, "Free market capitalism makes people entirely materialistic," and that "People under free market capitalism will not have any unmaterialistic views."
Posted by Brock_Meyer 8 years ago
Brock_Meyer
Hey Feverish. Think in terms of two continua: one for economic freedom and one for materialism. The economic freedom continuum goes from communism --> free market capitalism, with something like the "mixed state" (like the one found in many European countries) in the middle. The materialism continuum goes from not materialistic to materialistic. Because "free market capitalism" is on the end of the economic freedom spectrum, anything other than free market capitalism (such as the "mixed state", communism, or socialism) is a valid reference point.

The common perception is that these two continua are aligned with one another: they sit on top of one another and, accordingly, materialism is directly proportional to the amount of economic freedom to be found in the marketplace. I wish to discuss with someone who (to whatever degree) agrees with this conception, and suggest that these two factors are not related, or possibly even inversely proportional to one another.
Posted by feverish 8 years ago
feverish
Hi Brock thanks for fixing that.
At the risk of seeming unbelievably awkward, just wondering:

"Free market capitalism makes people more materialistic"... than what?
Communism? protectionism? the natural human condition?
Posted by feverish 8 years ago
feverish
Hi Brock.
Really tempted to accept this debate as I definitely agree with the resolution.
Your emphasis on a "constant" concern worries me however, as I think this gives Con too much scope to make a semantics argument that would detract from an interesting debate.
I don't really understand why you have made this point about constancy rather than just sourcing a standard dictionary reference for materialism.

If I could define materialism in this debate I would definitely take it.
Thanks.
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