The Instigator
kasmic
Pro (for)
Winning
9 Points
The Contender
benko12345678
Con (against)
Losing
6 Points

Generally speaking socialism and communism are synonymous.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
kasmic
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/7/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,422 times Debate No: 62772
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (23)
Votes (4)

 

kasmic

Pro

Resolve: Generally speaking "socialism" and "communism" are synonymous.

Generally: "in a way that is not detailed or specific, in most cases." (1)
Synonymous: "having the same meaning."(2)

Round 1: acceptance
Round 2: arguments and rebuttals
Round 3: arguments and rebuttals
Round 4: Rebuttals and closing remarks (no new arguments)

(1) http://www.merriam-webster.com...
(2) http://www.merriam-webster.com...
benko12345678

Con

Alright. Thank you for starting the debate.
Debate Round No. 1
kasmic

Pro

Thank you for accepting the debate and good luck.

Socialist: "a person who believes in socialism" ": a member of a political party that supports socialism "(1)
Communist: "a person who believes in communism or is a member of a political party that supports communism"(2)

A:Defining Socialism: A brief overview

Socialism: "a way of organizing a society in which major industries are owned and controlled by the government rather than by individual people and companies."(3)

"True socialists advocate a completely classless society, where the government controls all means of production and distribution of goods. Socialists believe this control is necessary to eliminate competition among the people and put everyone on a level playing field. Socialism is also characterized by the absence of private property. The idea is that if everyone works, everyone will reap the same benefits and prosper equally. Therefore, everyone receives equal earnings, medical care and other necessities."(4)

Summary:

1: Classless society
2: Government Control of the means of production
3: Absence of private property
4: Equal earnings, medical care, and other necessities

B: Defining Communism: A brief overview

Communism: "a way of organizing a society in which the government owns the things that are used to make and transport products (such as land, oil, factories, ships, etc.) and there is no privately owned property."(5)

"Marx believed that a truly utopian society must be classless and stateless. (It should be noted that Marx died well before any of his theories were put to the test.) Marx's main idea was simple: Free the lower class from poverty and give the poor a fighting chance. How he believed it should be accomplished, however, was another story. In order to liberate the lower class, Marx believed that the government would have to control all means of production so that no one could outdo anyone else by making more money. Unfortunately, that proves to this day to be more difficult than he might have realized."(6)

"In the communist society that Marx described, the government has supreme authority through its total control of land and means of production. Because the government distributes land and property among the people, communism sets a standard of equality -- both economically and socially -- among its followers."(6)
Summary:

1: Classless society
2: Government control of the means of production
3: Absence of private property
4: Standard of equality " economically and socially

C: Generally synonymous.

It is clear when observing the definitions and summaries of communism and socialism that they are generally synonymous. (7)(8)

(1) http://www.merriam-webster.com...
(2) http://www.merriam-webster.com...
(3) http://www.merriam-webster.com...
(4) http://money.howstuffworks.com...
(5) http://www.merriam-webster.com...
(6) http://people.howstuffworks.com...
(7) http://www.thesaurus.com...
(8) http://www.thesaurus.com...
benko12345678

Con

Socialism and communism are both economic systems in which the public owns the means of production. The means of production include the raw materials and means of labor, such as machines and tools, used in production processes. Under both systems the state also engages in centralized planning; in a planned or command economy, business activities and resource allocation are controlled by the state, ostensibly for the greater good.[1]

Socialism advocates public ownership of property and natural resources rather than private ownership. The socialist system of government values cooperation over the competitiveness of a free market economy. Socialists believe that all people in society contribute to the production of goods and services and that those goods should be shared equally. This differs from the capitalist system in which individual efforts trump the collective and the free market determines the distribution of goods. Examples of socialist policies include a living wage, free higher education and universal health care. Advocates of socialism believe that capitalism creates vast inequality and that it ultimately leads to imperialism, a hyper-form of capitalism.[3]

The communist doctrine differs from the socialist worldview because communism calls not only for public ownership of property and natural resources, but also for the means of production of goods and services. Karl Marx argued that capitalism, with its strict adherence to free market principles, divided people because of competition. He believed communism was the solution. According to Marx, communism would give people a chance to develop into their very best. He concluded that communism was a natural progression from socialism and would occur in two stages. First, the working class would gain control of society and push the ownership class out. Second, society would evolve into a classless one without government. According to Britannica.com, Marx and Friedrich Engels defined communists in their "Communist Manifesto" as, "The most advanced and resolute section of the working class which parties every country, that section which pushes forward all others."[4]

Among the etymological source quotes in the Oxford English Dictionary you find:

"Forster Diary 11 May in T. W. Reid Life (1888) .... I learn that the great distinction between communism and socialism is that the latter believes in payment according to work done and the former does not".[5][6]

In other words, socialism is "...to each according to deed" as opposed to communism's "...to each according to need". Remuneration for labour-time is the essential characteristic of socialism (see Parecon, for e.g.). Or, as communists since the time of Malatesta and Kropotikin have called it, "the Wage System".
The primary difference between communism and socialism is, given that a classless society based on the wage system is impossible, is that the former, however difficult to achieve, is at least possible. Whereas socialism is not.
Forster is not the only source, by any means. It's in J.S.Mill's "Principles of Political Economy" for e.g.

Using definitions from thesauri is rather pointless, as the heories of Marxism are too complex to be defined in a few sentences. In order to understand both of these concepts, one must study deeper into socialist and communist theory.

References:
[1]http://classroom.synonym.com...
[3]http://www.britannica.com...
[4]http://www.britannica.com...
[5]http://writing.upenn.edu... (1.a.1848)
[6]http://struggle.ws...
Debate Round No. 2
kasmic

Pro

Rebuttal:

I acknowledge that there are differences between Communism and Socialism, Much like within Christianity there are differences between Baptists and Methodists. However, the differences are deep in the detail. Generally speaking they are synonymous.

The differences that my opponent has listed are few and far in-between. Notice my opponent did not contest any of the several things that Communism and Socialism have in common.

In Con's argument it says "Forster Diary 11 May in T. W. Reid Life (1888) .... I learn that the great distinction between communism and socialism is that the latter believes in payment according to work done and the former does not".[5][6]

So the "great" or largest distinction between communism and socialism is this one principle. Communism and socialism virtually have everything else in common.

Con says "Using definitions from thesauri is rather pointless,"

I ask how else would one determine if words or ideas are synonymous if not through a thesaurus?

His justification "as the theories of Marxism are too complex to be defined in a few sentences. In order to understand both of these concepts, one must study deeper into socialist and communist theory."

I agree that the theories of Marxism are complex. However, like any ideology they have been, and will continue to be summed up in a few sentences. I agree with Con that the only way to understand the differences between these two ideologies is to "study deeper." This is why the resolution reads that "generally speaking socialism and communism are synonymous."

I resubmit the definitions from round one.

Generally: "in a way that is not detailed or specific, in most cases."
Synonymous: "having the same meaning."

"In a way that is not detailed or specific," socialism and communism "have the same meaning."

The resolution stands.
benko12345678

Con

1.'I acknowledge that there are differences between Communism and Socialism, Much like within Christianity there are differences between Baptists and Methodists. However, the differences are deep in the detail. Generally speaking they are synonymous.'

The main difference there is that Baptists and Methodists are both subgroups of Christianity, what are Socialism and Communism subgroups of?

2.'The differences that my opponent has listed are few and far in-between. Notice my opponent did not contest any of the several things that Communism and Socialism have in common.'

Irrelevant what they have in common. Fascism and Socialism have some common elements as well, does that mean they are synonymous?

3. 'In Con's argument it says "Forster Diary 11 May in T. W. Reid Life (1888) .... I learn that the great distinction between communism and socialism is that the latter believes in payment according to work done and the former does not".[5][6]
So the "great" or largest distinction between communism and socialism is this one principle. Communism and socialism virtually have everything else in common.'

It's a MAJOR difference. That would be the same as saying:' Fascism and Socialism's major difference is that the former believes in extreme nationalism and socialism does not.' The core principle of socialism is the equality of outcome, which communism defies...

4. 'Con says "Using definitions from thesauri is rather pointless,"
I ask how else would one determine if words or ideas are synonymous if not through a thesaurus?
His justification "as the theories of Marxism are too complex to be defined in a few sentences. In order to understand both of these concepts, one must study deeper into socialist and communist theory."
I agree that the theories of Marxism are complex. However, like any ideology they have been, and will continue to be summed up in a few sentences. I agree with Con that the only way to understand the differences between these two ideologies is to "study deeper." This is why the resolution reads that "generally speaking socialism and communism are synonymous."

It's useless because different thesauri have different definition. This resolution stands on the basis of socialist theory in opposition to communist theory. The problem here is that this resolution is called 'Generally speaking socialism and communism are synonymous'
When it comes to complex and strict ideologies, generally synonymous would mean they do not oppose each other in any area (or oppose each other in very irrelevant areas). If they were truly synonymous they would have theses in addition to the already established ideology. Communism does not build upon socialism, communism opposes socialism in many of the main policies of socialism.
Debate Round No. 3
kasmic

Pro

Rebuttals:

Con says "The main difference there is that Baptists and Methodists are both subgroups of Christianity, what are Socialism and Communism subgroups of?"

Baptists and Methodists both derive from the Bible and Christ"s teachings. Communism and Socialism both derive from Marx and Friedrick Engles.

Con says in regard to what Communism and Socialism have in common" "Irrelevant what they have in common. Fascism and Socialism have some common elements as well, does that mean they are synonymous?"

It is highly relevant as the resolve is that they are synonymous. Fascism and Socialism have significantly less in common. The Core tenets of Socialism and Communism are identical.

Con says of using a thesauris

"It's useless because different thesauri have different definition. This resolution stands on the basis of socialist theory in opposition to communist theory. The problem here is that this resolution is called 'Generally speaking socialism and communism are synonymous'
When it comes to complex and strict ideologies, generally synonymous would mean they do not oppose each other in any area (or oppose each other in very irrelevant areas)"

We have already clearly defined what generally synonymous means in this debate. To "not oppose each other in any area" does not fit the definition.

Con says "If they were truly synonymous they would have theses in addition to the already established ideology. Communism does not build upon socialism, communism opposes socialism in many of the main policies of socialism."

Communism does build on socialism. The communist manifesto "briefly features their (Marx, Engels) ideas for how the capitalist society of the time would eventually be replaced by socialism, and then eventually communism."(1)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Concluding remarks:

First I would like to again thank Benko for accepting this debate.

Second I will summarize the core tenets of Socialism and Communism

Socialism: 1: Classless society 2: Government Control of the means of production 3: Absence of private property 4: Equal earnings, medical care, and other necessities

Communism: 1: Classless society 2: Government control of the means of production 3: Absence of private property 4: Standard of equality " economically and socially

Third I will conclude as I did in round 2

It is clear when observing the definitions and summaries of communism and socialism that they are generally synonymous.

The resolution stands! Vote Pro!

Thanks for reading!

(1) http://en.wikipedia.org...
benko12345678

Con

1. 'Con says "The main difference there is that Baptists and Methodists are both subgroups of Christianity, what are Socialism and Communism subgroups of?"
Baptists and Methodists both derive from the Bible and Christ"s teachings. Communism and Socialism both derive from Marx and Friedrick Engles.'

Alright, I admit, you are correct there, however, Baptists and Methodists are not generally synonymous, even if they're subgroups of a particular ideology, they have different beliefs and are therefore not generally synonymous. If you study Marxist theory, you will find that socialism is the first step in the transition to communism, it is not the same system. We could choose an example of an absolute monarchy going to a constitutional monarchy and eventually to a republic. The progression of thesis-antithesis-synthesis is the core component of marxist theory.

2.'Con says in regard to what Communism and Socialism have in common" "Irrelevant what they have in common. Fascism and Socialism have some common elements as well, does that mean they are synonymous?"
It is highly relevant as the resolve is that they are synonymous. Fascism and Socialism have significantly less in common. The Core tenets of Socialism and Communism are identical.'

They are not...as I explained before. Many core elements are replaced with more extreme policies.

3.'Con says of using a thesauris"It's useless because different thesauri have different definition. This resolution stands on the basis of socialist theory in opposition to communist theory. The problem here is that this resolution is called 'Generally speaking socialism and communism are synonymous'
When it comes to complex and strict ideologies, generally synonymous would mean they do not oppose each other in any area (or oppose each other in very irrelevant areas)"
We have already clearly defined what generally synonymous means in this debate. To "not oppose each other in any area" does not fit the definition.'

Read what I said in the brackets. Generally synonymous would mean they have very little disagreements and offgoings. Communism and socialism are different points in progression of thesis-antithesis-synthesis.

4.'Con says "If they were truly synonymous they would have theses in addition to the already established ideology. Communism does not build upon socialism, communism opposes socialism in many of the main policies of socialism."
Communism does build on socialism. The communist manifesto "briefly features their (Marx, Engels) ideas for how the capitalist society of the time would eventually be replaced by socialism, and then eventually communism."(1)'

Precisely! I've made this argument above. The fact that communism is the stage of a post-capitalist and post-socialist society furthers my point. A constitutional monarchy and a republic are not generally synonymous... That does not mean it builds on socialism, it means it succeedes socialism. Building upon socialism would mean having the exact same policies and adding a some that socialism does not include or includes very loosely.
Capitalism-socialism-communism.

5.'Concluding remarks:
First I would like to again thank Benko for accepting this debate.
Second I will summarize the core tenets of Socialism and Communism
Socialism: 1: Classless society 2: Government Control of the means of production 3: Absence of private property 4: Equal earnings, medical care, and other necessities
Communism: 1: Classless society 2: Government control of the means of production 3: Absence of private property 4: Standard of equality " economically and socially
Third I will conclude as I did in round 2
It is clear when observing the definitions and summaries of communism and socialism that they are generally synonymous.
The resolution stands! Vote Pro!
Thanks for reading!'

I would like to thank you for making it.
Socialism:
1.From each according to his ability, to each according to his contribution,
2.Emphasis on profit being distributed among the society or workforce to complement individual wages/salaries,
3.The means of production are owned by public enterprises or cooperatives,
4.Individuals are compensated based on the principle of individual contribution,
5.Production may variously be coordinated through either economic planning or markets.[1]

Communism:
1. From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs,
2.Free-access to the articles of consumption is made possible by advances in technology that allow for super-abundance,
3.The means of production are held in common, negating the concept of ownership in capital goods,
4.Production is organized to provide for human needs directly without any use for money,
5.Communism is predicated upon a condition of material abundance.[2]

The resolution is predicated around loose terms and double standards.
Vote con!

[1]http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2]http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 4
23 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by benko12345678 2 years ago
benko12345678
There, reported it
Posted by kasmic 2 years ago
kasmic
@Benko, feel free to "report" any votes that "are From a Fake Account, Vote Bomb,Lack of RFD,RFD Contains Hate Content, Impersonation or Misrepresentation,Insulting Other Member(s), Violence or Threats, or Other (please specify). Otherwise, just let people vote...
Posted by benko12345678 2 years ago
benko12345678
he did it again...
Posted by bladerunner060 2 years ago
bladerunner060
"I disagree with something you said" is not the same as "You're a piece of *****".
Posted by benko12345678 2 years ago
benko12345678
The problem was that pro did not refute one my core arguments and the voter claimed that I did not refute one of pro's arguments...
Posted by bladerunner060 2 years ago
bladerunner060
Incidentally though, as a final note: I don't generally read the comments until after I vote. Comments do not, as a general rule, affect scoring. The conduct in comments would have to be *particularly* and *egregiously* bad to warrant factoring it in to conduct.

However, calling a voter a "piece of ****" is beyond the pale and, though I don't think it QUITE rises to a level warranting a conduct award, Con is cautioned that it comes very very close. If it were something I knew I'd seen from Con before, I probably WOULD award conduct, since it's inappropriate and unfair to judges who have taken the time to vote on your debate. If you take issue with their REASONING, you can question that--but, at least in the comments, you didn't. You just insulted a voter, apparently *just* because you don't want to lower your win percentage, as though that should *in any way* factor into someone's vote. It should not, and it most certainly did not factor in to mine.
Posted by bladerunner060 2 years ago
bladerunner060
RFD 1/7:

I was asked to vote on this debate by Pro--being asked did not impact my vote.

Now, on to the RFD:

R1 was terms and acceptance. Of note is that Pro takes presumptive BoP here--there's never any indication to the contrary.

In R2, Pro gave his opening case.

He summarizes Communism and Socialism, and notes in his 4 point a difference between them, arguing that it's still "clear when observing the definitions and summaries ...that they are generally synonmous". He notes as sources thesauruses for this point, which note C and S as synonymous. I think this point should have been far more central to his case, but he does MAKE the point. That a fairly standard thesaurus source considers them synonymous is a pretty strong thing in Pro's favor, and I think he should have spent more time with it. That said, he noted it, and it does wind up being one of the strongest points in his favor in my opinion.
Posted by bladerunner060 2 years ago
bladerunner060
RFD 2/7:

Con uses R2 to open with his statement of what the terms mean, and argues that the payment for work done is the major difference between socialism and communism. He claims that using thesauri is "rather pointless", which is simply nonsensical. That's the entire point of the resolution, and of Pro's case. Not 'taking a comprehensive view of the two, they are truly synonymous', but rather "Generally speaking socialism and communism are synonymous."

In R3, Pro argues that he acknowledges differences between C and S, but that they're still "generally speaking" synonymous. He argues it's similar to Baptists and Methodists. This was an interesting choice, as I don't think that most would agree that those two are "generally synonymous".

Pro asserts that C and S "virtually have everything else in common" except for the difference that Con noted, which was really also noted by Pro (using different words) in R2. Pro asserts that the largest distinction between C and S is the one difference noted by Con, and he argues implicitly that that's an insufficient difference to negate the resolution.

He notes that Con's rebuttal to the thesaurus point is weak--I'm inclined to agree. You can't handwave away the thesaurus in this debate, given its nature.

Pro restates his R1 definitions, and this time actually plugs them into the resolution for us, saying that ""In a way that is not detailed or specific," socialism and communism "have the same meaning."
Posted by bladerunner060 2 years ago
bladerunner060
RFD 3/7:

(Should be appended to the post immediately following this one, I forgot to add it to the top)
Posted by bladerunner060 2 years ago
bladerunner060
Con opens the next round with an interesting complaint about the Baptist/Methodist analogy, claiming they're subgroups of Christianity, and asking what S and C are subgroups of (political ideologies, incidentally, is the answer--which Pro actually does not provide). This objection is not compelling, and the point is otherwise dropped.

A note on Con's R3 overall: It's not necessary to quote the entirety of Pro's round. Particularly when there's no formatting that solidly demarcates the response from the original statement.

Con claims that the similarities of S and C are "irrelevant", which is an absurd claim. They are *clearly* relevant. Whether they're *sufficient* is the question, and in answer to that Con makes the point that Fascism and Socialism have "some common elements as well", and argues that calling Communism and Socialism the same would be akin to saying that Fascism and Socialism are the same.

Con says that there is a major difference, and then says "The core principle of socialism is the equality of outcome, which communism defies..." In point of fact, from Con's arguments and definition, that seems to be the exact *opposite* of the case, since he has argued that the Wage System (wherein the outcome is different based on actions, or "to each according to the deed") is what Socialism has, as opposed to Communism. This, to me, rather harms Con's case. Because if the difference really is so great, I would have thought that Con wouldn't get it confused.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
9spaceking
kasmicbenko12345678Tied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: throughout the debate it seemed to me that con simply could not fully rebut pro, especially in that, pro's evidence of socialism and communism's definitions being incredibly similar, almost exactly the same, and having loads of elements together, and con could only show one big difference between S and C (that was still standing by the end of the debate). Pro mostly wins with a large amount of S and C being the same, and thus synonymous upon definition.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 2 years ago
bladerunner060
kasmicbenko12345678Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by debate_power 2 years ago
debate_power
kasmicbenko12345678Tied
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Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: Con effectively showed that communism and socialism were not the same thing, even though he acknowledged that both concepts had common origins. No matter how related the two concepts are, they are not the same. Con was able to show how communism elaborated on base socialism by indicating the public ownership of the means of production in addition to property. Conduct goes to Pro because of the comments section.
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
lannan13
kasmicbenko12345678Tied
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Total points awarded:23 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro wins sources by a 9-8 count. Both debaters agree that they are similar in some ways and have differences in others, but what I guess this debate boils down to is that wheather or not the have similiarities that make them to be classified as synonymous. Here I say Con won the arguments as he showed that Socialism is a transition period to Communism. Such a comparrision would be like saying that Lent and Easter are synonymous. If anyone wishes for me to clarify this RFD then I would be happy to.