The Instigator
TarVian
Con (against)
The Contender
n7
Pro (for)

Is communism better for America?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/13/2017 Category: Politics
Updated: 11 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 570 times Debate No: 99885
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
Votes (0)

 

TarVian

Con

Basic rules

1. Facts only, no semantics
2. 1st round is acceptance
2nd is argument
3rd-4th are rebuttals.
n7

Pro

I accept. I will defend communism and socialism as being better for America than whatever my opponnet will suggest (probably capitalism, but idk, maybe he'll argue for feudalism =P)

I will define communism as: A stateless, classless, moneyless society.

And socialism as: The social ownership over the means of production.
Debate Round No. 1
TarVian

Con

Thank you for accepting

And yes, I am arguing for capitalism, not feudalism. Capitalism is a great economic plan for the working class because of its simplicity. Communism has a huge dislike for the rich millionaires/billionaires because they help capitalism by taking their excess money and making jobs for the working class which helps the working class, making profit for the rich and the employees. Your statement about a 'classless society' in communism is false, there is still a ultra-rich class and a poverty in any communism. I will wait till the 3rd and 4th round to rebuttal your other flaws.
n7

Pro

I thank my opponent for challenging me to this debate. I will present my arguments for why switching to socialism/communism is better for America (or any other society for that matter).

Profit

I feel a powerful reason for accepting socialist/communist philosophies is due to the fact that it centers society around people. A huge aspect of capitalism is its focus on capital. That is to say, people start businesses in order to obtain as much profit for themselves as possible. The larger the business becomes the more and more they attempt to make a profit. This becomes the main focal point for society. This on face value seems absurd. Why should society be centered around some abstract notion of profits instead of around people themselves? It also doesn't take into account the possible consequences.

If you could make a dollar at the cost of someone's life, would you? I believe many would answer in the negative. So why should we set up a society that rewards such behavior? What if someone doesn't have the money for the means of life? Does their right to life just get thrown out the window? According to empirical evidence, it does.

Every four seconds, someone dies due to starvation. This is about 21,000 a day. Add that up, that's 7.6 million a year, most children [1]. The thing is, we produce enough food for about 10 billion people [2]. So why is it a problem? Because it isn't profitable to provide food for everyone.

8 million die due to water contamination, which is caused because “Rich nations are tending to maintain or increase their consumption of natural resources (WWF, 2010), but are exporting their footprints to producer, and typically, poorer, nations.” [3]. Again, this is because it is much profitable to shift their footprint to other nations.

3.5 million die because they cannot afford vaccines for treatable diseases [4][5].

This is roughly 19 million dead in only one year all because of the central focus of profit.

Capitalism cares naught for the “unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”. Capitalism is irrational because it centers itself around profit instead of actual people within society. This liens on the rights of life which all men are suppose to have according to the constitution. Only a system where production is socially owned, for people, can there be a rational society which respects the right of life.

Liberty

I hold that capitalism also cares naught for the liberty of most people. Another core feature of capitalism is private ownership over the means of production. That is, there exists products (my computer, tablet, glasses, ect) and there exists the means of producing those products. Socialism wants those means to be owned collectively, whereas capitalism wants them to be owned by a small minority of the population (called the 1%, bourgeoisie or whatever)

The problem here is that under the guise of advocating for “liberty” it's really only advocating for the liberty of the bourgeoisie.

The means of life are needed to live (obviously) and these cost money. How does one obtain money? You must work for the ones that have it. That is, you must sell your labor power. Since your labor power and yourself aren't separate, you must sell yourself to the ones with money. You must do whatever they say or face the consequences of losing your job. Bob Black put it this way:

"A worker is a part-time slave. The boss says when to show up, when to leave, and what to do in the meantime. He tells you how much work to do and how fast. He is free to carry his control to humiliating extremes, regulating, if he feels like it, the clothes you wear or how often you go to the bathroom. With a few exceptions he can fire you for any reason, or no reason. He has you spied on by snitches and supervisors, he amasses a dossier on every employee. Talking back is called ‘insubordination,’ just as if a worker is a naughty child, and it not only gets you fired, it disqualifies you for unemployment compensation...The demeaning system of domination I’ve described rules over half the waking hours of a majority of women and the vast majority of men for decades, for most of their lifespans. For certain purposes it’s not too misleading to call our system democracy or capitalism or — better still — industrialism, but its real names are factory fascism and office oligarchy. Anybody who says these people are ‘free’ is lying or stupid." [7]

This essentially is slavery. The bourgeoisie have nearly total control over the working class. Under socialism, the workplaces would be ran collectively. Those who are affected by decisions would be able to have a say, instead of being told to do so for the sake of profit.

Political freedom is also nearly nonexistent under capitalism. In order to run for elections, you need money. Again, who is it that has the most amount of money? Therefore, who is it who can strongly influence policies? It is demonstrated that the United States resembles an oligarchy more than anything [8]. It is the rich who control elections for their own profit, as is in their interests.

However, socialism seeks to set up a state ran totally by the workers with the intention of it withering away into statelessness [9]. Political power will rest with the masses, not in the hands of the few with money. It seeks “democracy, which for the first time becomes democracy for the poor, democracy for the people, and not democracy for the money-bags” [9].

If we truly care about the right to liberty, then we must disregard capitalism and institute socialism.

Exploitation

Capitalism robs the working class from the full value of their labor. Recall my description of the private ownership over the means of production. An individual person hires someone to work the means of production so he can make a profit. Yet, inspection of how they make a profit reveals something interesting.

Say a person produces $100 of value in a given day. The boss must make a profit for himself so he takes $80 from that and provides the worker with only $20 of wages for that day. Even though he worked harder than a mere $20 of wages, that's all he receives. This is literally the definition of exploitation.

1. use or utilization, especially for profit:

2. selfish utilization: [10]

He is being denied the full amount of value which he produced and is therefore being exploited. This is something which is systematic, as it follows from the nature of capitalism.

Socialism seeks to provide the worker with the full value of their labor by switching to a labor voucher system until products are in overabundance making currency obsolete.

The resolution is affirmed.

[1] http://www.poverty.com...
[2] http://www.nature.com...
[3] http://www.unwater.org...
[4] http://www.chop.edu...
[5] http://www.poverty.com...
[6] http://www.chop.edu...
[7] Bob Black. The Abolition of Work and other essays, p. 21
[8] https://www.cambridge.org...
[9] V.I. Lenin. The State and the Revolution https://www.marxists.org...
[10] http://www.dictionary.com...
Debate Round No. 2
TarVian

Con

People who make profit in most cases generally need other people to work jobs to get profit, people won't work for free, so when a job is done by this group of people, the profit is distributed based on the amount of work done. This distribution of the money is normally done by how many hours they work, the harder the people work, they could get promoted or get a raise. So this is helpful for the country because it gives people more reason to work, which helps grow the country, then makes profit for the country because the people are making more money.

Jamestown was a perfect example of how communism would work, the people were all given food equally. But there was a food shortage, why? Because they weren't farming, so John Smith set a rule, if you don't work, you don't eat. This gave the people reason to work, while in a communism you can not work a day in your life and still get the benefits. Now I am not saying that the people unable to work should starve, normally they are taken care of by family members or services given to them. Also your stats about the millions dying, while it is sad, but it is the starvation rate of the world, not America. Link [1]

Communism would not be good for the rights of the people because it does what all normal people in America hate, gives more power to the government. In a communism they control the money completely, I actually had a debate with someone who had that as a debate point. Socialism maybe, because it still in the control of the people to a slight degree, but I've never seen a socialist country that didn't lead to communism.

The left complaining about the '1%' is utterly stupid in my opinion, because the rich people are very helpful to America. When people get rich they will make businesses, which then create jobs for the middle and lower class, then they will get richer, raising people out of the lower class and raising the standard of living for the middle class, making profit for America. The left also thinks if the rich as super villains just because they are rich, if you worked a huge amount for hours and hours, got richer than a majority of America, then made a business, are you evil?

Under socialism the workplaces would NOT be run by the people, but by the government, because the government would control the flow of money, in order to do that you would need control of the jobs, simple as that.

Just because you can't run for POTUS or governor or a senator of your country, doesn't mean no political freedom. You can protest different beliefs (Yes, even communism), you can meet with certain political officials at events and talk with them directly.

You just described democracy as well, Political power does rest with the many, no matter how rich you are you still count as one vote, you remember when the rich celebrities were trying to convince America to vote Hillary, so many rich people tried, including the Avengers. Trump won, rich celebrities lost, shows that the people still have power.

I will not argue exploitation, because there is *some*. But socialism making money obsolete is bad! I ask you to explain this "labor voucher system"

The only link: http://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com...
n7

Pro

Getting rebuttals out of the way first. My opponent claims Capitalism is great because it's simple. He never explains how nor what is meant by simple. Even if it was, simple doesn't necessarily mean desirable. Hunter gatherer societies for example were pretty simple, yet it certainly isn't desirable for the masses today. He states communists dislike the rich because they make jobs. This is a total oversimplification of the reason why communists dislike the rich. The only reason capitalists create jobs is to make wealth for themselves, not because they want to help the working class. In doing so they rob the working class of the value which they create. I outlined this in my last round.

Also, since the the rich make their money from the work done by the working class, it will be within their interests to cut wages when they can. Or like what is happening now, export the jobs to third world countries to take advantage of low paid labor. This is clearly not within the interests of the working class.

He then states that there is an ultra-rich class and a lower class under communism. He provides no evidence for this whatsoever nor does it make sense. How can capital accumulate when the means of production are socially owned? Who would the wealth go up to? Furthermore, I find this argument a little ironic, since this is what happens under capitalism. If we think about it theoretically, the rich start a business to make money, as their business becomes successful they can start more and more businessess to make more and more money. The more money they have the more money they can make, since there's no stopping point, the rich can obtain a majority of the wealth. Since there isn't an infinite amount of wealth, this creates poverty among the lower classes. In theory capitalism over time creates an ultra-rich class and in practice this is what happened. Merely 8 men own as much wealth as half of the entire human race. [1]

Profit

Here, Con argues the profit motive is beneficial to society “because it gives people more reason to work”. He has not dealt with my main argument, nor has he demonstrated the profit motive brings about more good than harm.

Furthermore this is only arguing for a wage system. That is being paid for your work. This is totally separate from society being centered around making profit. People are still paid under socialism, indeed they would be paid the full value of their labor. Con mistakenly believes under capitalism “profit is distributed based on the amount of work done”. Again, he provides no reason to believe this and I specifically disproved this in my last section of my arguments. If a worker produces, $100 in value, he will not get that entire $100. The capitalist will take a majority of it and it's within their interests to try to take more and more. The argument is also empirically false.

If my opponent is correct, then when worker's productivity rises, so should wages. This isn't the case. Productivity of workers rose by 74% since 1970, yet wages have only increased by 11% [2]. Wages are independent of how hard someone works.

My opponent then brings up Jamestown for some reason. First off, he completely misunderstands Communism. It has nothing to do with benefits. Communism is a stateless and moneyless society where the means of production are collectively owned. Money becomes obsolete as the economy reaches post-scarcity. That is, overabundance of production. There would be no need to work much if at all, as things would be in overabundance. Communism has to come about after socialism. it cannot be established in a fixed area. Taking this into account, Jamestown couldn't have been communist. Neither is the concept of not working and still receiving benefits a principle within socialism. It's kinda ironic, as Con brings up the quote “ if you don't work, you don't eat”. Socialist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin called this a socialist principle. [3]

“The socialist principle, "He who does not work shall not eat", is already realized; the other socialist principle, "An equal amount of products for an equal amount of labor", is also already realized.”

Secondly, Jamestown held land in common only to realize profits faster [4]. Which contradicts socialism.

“[H]istorians dispute the characterization of the colony as a collectivist society. “To call it socialism is wildly inaccurate,” said Karen Ordahl Kupperman, a historian ... and the author of “The Jamestown Project.” “It was a contracted company, and everybody worked for the company. I mean, is Halliburton a socialist scheme?” [4]


Lastly, Con says that the starvation rates aren't in America. This is a misunderstanding of my argument. My argument has nothing to do with starvation in America, it has to do with showing the profit motive is irrational as it doesn't care about life. As well as showing that this contradicts America's founding principles. Con deals with neither of these points.

Con misses the entire point of the argument and goes to make irrelevant points such as Jamestown. The argument remains.

Liberty

Con states communism gives more power to the government. He provides again no evidence for this. It's definitely wrong since there is no state under communism. I'm not sure how the government obtains more power when it doesn't exist. Socialism is the state between communism and capitalism which has a worker's state. However the workers, not the state control the means of production. Anything the government does in the economy is under the control of the workers. I agree with the communist philosopher Engels that the workers should “safeguard itself against its own deputies and officials, by declaring them all, without exception, subject to recall at any time...." [5]. The workers would be over the state, the state wouldn't be over the workers. So, yes the workers would have freedom within their workplaces. This is necessary for the means of production to be socially owned. After all, if the state is over the workers, then the means of production aren't social, but merely capitalism with state ownership.

My opponent doesn't attack the claim that workers are subjugated to the bourgeoisie under capitalism.

He does dispute my points about political freedom. However he still misunderstands it. The argument has nothing to do with the fact that I can't run for office. The argument was that election campaigns cost money, therefore those who fund the politicians can influence their policies. You can meet them, however this means nothing when they're actually voting on proposals.

He claims the rich have one vote as everyone else. Again, the voting itself is irrelevant. The rich have heavy influence on the politicians, no matter who gets voted in they still are capitalists who are funded by capitalists. He points to rich celebrities, however celebrities aren't the ones who own the means of production. They are not the businessmen, they are merely rich workers. Therefore that point is irrelevant. Voting itself doesn't matter and celebrities aren't owners of the means of production.

He also doesn't deal with the study I linked which shows America isn't a democracy, but an oligarchy.

Con here misunderstands socialism and my argument on political freedom.

Exploitation

Con simply says he wont argue this point. Okay? Why? He also claims there is some exploitation. Yet, if we reread my argument I demonstrated that there isn't just some exploitation, capitalism itself is based on exploitation. This argument still hold until Con presents a rebuttal.


Con has misunderstood nearly all of my arguments. They still stand and Con's argument fails.


Sources.

[1] https://www.oxfam.org...
[2] http://www.epi.org...
[3] https://www.marxists.org...
[4] http://www.nytimes.com...
[5] https://www.marxists.org...

Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Avelvetnightmare 11 months ago
Avelvetnightmare
props to n7 for showing for defending communism
Posted by Avelvetnightmare 11 months ago
Avelvetnightmare
N7 is right. The guy who originally claimed Mao Zedong killed 60 Million people was anti-communist and of course the western world ate it up. Most people you see who live in these countries don't actually say that living in china or the USSR was hell
Posted by n7 11 months ago
n7
Lol, the number changes all the time. Do you have a citation on that?
Posted by JimShady 11 months ago
JimShady
60 million people died under Communist Russia. So when you say that Communism "centers society around people", you are correct if you mean killing people.
Posted by n7 11 months ago
n7
Can you specify what you mean by "2nd is for arguments"? Can I respond to your round 2 in my round 2? Or is the back and forth attack/defense strictly for rounds 3-4?
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