The Instigator
Leninist
Pro (for)
Losing
1 Points
The Contender
Kc1999
Con (against)
Winning
11 Points

Let history not be the only judge: an arguement for communism.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Kc1999
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/27/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,079 times Debate No: 43035
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (14)
Votes (2)

 

Leninist

Pro

The purpose of this debate like, like the many before it, is to argue the principles of communism and capitalism, and hell fascism if you got a mind for it. I will be arguing communisms case. As the title suggests, I will not be relying only on history to make my case and, I hope you will not simply quote stats about stalin and Mao at me, although I welcome you to include them, as I am more than capable of explaining then. I have no real mind for format. I would simply ask, first state your general position, as I shall, and then we shall get into justification in the rest of the debate. Thanks.
Kc1999

Con

The purpose of this debate? To argue on theft, slavery and injustice of this so called dream called communism. The dreams and aspiration of one man, who argued for the abolishing of private property, or theft, the need for workers to produce more to the lazy, or slavery, and the need for the common working man to take up arms on the "once and all evil class, called the bourgeoisie", or injustice. This debate will go nowhere if common terms are not defined: communism is defined as a classless stateless money-less community that would self organize itself. Therefore, we are not to use any totalitarian caricatures of "communism" in this debate, as many of them did not consider themselves communists (or in quite the same way, did not consider their state communist). We shall be relying on pure communist "facts", or in other words, lies written by Karl Marx and other of his so called "comrades". My position: communism destroys the aspiration of the working class, and seduces it into an unneeded unjust dream. As history will not be the judge of this, I shall rely on purely Marxist doctrines. Thanks.
Debate Round No. 1
Leninist

Pro

Leninist forfeited this round.
Kc1999

Con


From the flames of the industrial revolution arose communism, a force that would strike fear into every capitalist's dream. There were warnings; yes there were. The New Lanark, New Harmony in the United States, and the Shakers in New Lebanon. Of these, none of them were active revolutionaries, and they were just a shadow of things to come. The warnings were more than clear; true communism cannot sustain itself. The Owenite Communities (New Harmony and New Lanark), although initially strong, came out weak in the end. Living conditions were hell on earth, and worst. In the need to create a true communist society, a single family was placed in one room. However, when the flames of the words "the spectre of communism" came down Europe, whole societies became displaced. Where there were class exploitation, these theories were immediately assimilated into folklore culture. Peasants of Russia became blessed with the anarchy of Bukharin, Spaniards by the "idea" (Bukharin's Anarchy), and the French by Marxism. But soon, it became clear, clear the Marxism was lies written on a paper, and Anarchy is a failed ideology. Now, we must look at why.

Ignoring Article 17 of the Universal Declarations of Human Rights: How Vandal!
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is "a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations", and these rights must be respected. These rights are the basic human rights that we, humans, were entitled with. Declared soon after the end of World War II, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are an outline of what rights we have! Article 17 deals with private property in particular. It states:





      • (1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.





      • (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.





Whereas under Marxism:




      • private property is human self-estrangement







      • The abolition [Aufhebung] of private property is therefore the complete emancipation of all human senses and qualities






Lies! Blasphemy this is! The Universal Declaration of Human Rights prohibits this action that Communists ought to do, which is bring out the quality and creativity of the common man. I question his intellectual abilities: how will the abolition of private property, which is the only incentive for a worker to work, create a more creative quality based community! Although under capitalism, exploitation is inevitable, this debate is not about capitalism, it is about communism; whose ideology, as we see, are clearly exploiting human rights.

Marx, the man who claims to be representing the working class, is breaking it's back right now! Look at him and his supporters as they call upon the working man to unite on the cause of injustice! He and his supporters expect workers to work for the good of the society, and to work until their back break. Marx and his supporters cites private property as the reason for exploitation, but why so, he has yet convinced many skeptics.

Marxian "Equality"

Apart from this odd and unjustified need to abolish private property, that old bearded man also claims to make equality, by coercing everyone to equality. Marxists states that:




      • From each according to his ability, to each according to his need







      • The more the division of labor and the application of machinery extend, the more does competition extend among the workers, the more do their wages shrink together.








Lies, I say! The first quote simply means that everyone shall get paid equal, and the second simply means that division of labor completely led to the reduction of wages. Under communism, a proffessor will get paid as same as a worker putting parts together! Under communism, a miner would get the same wage as a man who works lazily in his bed.

It is for these reasons (and many others), I urge you, the readers to vote con for the upcoming ballot. Thank you for reading this, as this poll will reflect upon those who want true equality, and those who want Marx's model of wage slavery.
Debate Round No. 2
Leninist

Pro

Alright. So this is how it's gonna be then. Well you want this debate, I guess we'll have it. Ahem.

From the bondage and inequality that is capitalism arose communism. Within it was the hope of liberation and equality for all humankind, and the destruction of the system which perpetrated these offenses. Communistic thought came in many forms, but ultimately it was Marx who most ingeniously proposed communist theory in a way which multitudes could rally around. There were many glorious attempts. All have failed, for varying reasons, and we have learned from all of them. In small American Utopian communities, it was noted that the men really just seemed to want to sit around and philosophize, while the women and children worked. We now know you can't create a communist society of only intellectuals. Many worker owned co-ops in the US did quite well in the 19th century, but they could not compete with big business, displaying that eternal truth of capitalism that its not the best but the biggest and meanest that survive. Those communist nations in the twentieth century were sabotaged mainly by the fact that they were all heavily influenced by Soviet style communism, and the West was constantly trying to uproot them. Nothing like the constant threat of US invasion to make you paranoid.

Private property is one of the most misunderstood terms in the communist arsenal, much like the "middle class". In many countries, people think of private property as just stuff they own. So when we communists say "get rid of private property," people think "they want my stuff!" Completely untrue. We don't care about your stuff. Why would we? What we mean is private means of production. That just means factories and farms and the like. I shall allow Marx to make his point on the subject,
"We communists have been reproached with the desire of abolishing the right of personally acquiring property as the fruit of a man's own labor, which property is alleged to be the groundwork of all personal freedom, activity and independence.
Hard-won, self-acquired, self-earned property! ...
But does wage-labor create any property for the laborer? Not a bit. It creates capital, i.e., that kind of property which exploits wage -labor, and which cannot increase except upon condition of begetting a new supply of wage-labor for fresh exploitation. Property, in its present form, is based on the antagonism of capital and wage-labor."
Ah, the manifesto at its finest. Lets examine Marx's point here: if you accept that work actually creates nothing for the worker except his wage and capital (the worth of his production) than he is inevitably getting the short end of the stick from private property, because his wage is always lower (and usually much lower) than the capital. Is that not an easy example of the the word "exploitation"?

Now lets segue to wages. This is another often misunderstood area of communist thought. First, I might refer you to another saying of Marx's

"To each according to his contribution"

This is the pre-communist era statement by which we shall be equal in socialism. You receive equal to what you contribute. Who could ask for anything fairer than that? But the worker and professor you mention, do they not both contribute something vital for society? For without the worker, the professor would not even have a desk. But lets move to your quote,

"From each according to his ability, to each according to his need"

This refers to the communist epoch. This will only be put in effect when we have the capability to produce so much for society that we no longer need to do more than say "give all you can, take all you need". Money and wages shall be rendered useless. Now that is not to say communism is easy on slackers. The benefits and luxuries which we shall all enjoy shall never be "free", and those who try to take without contributing shall be dealt with.

Only communism can liberate humanity from its woes. Capitalism is brutal and inefficient, and will, with time, inevitably begin to collapse under its own contradictions. If we want a truly democratic system, we cannot allow tyrants to control the economy. If we want to be equal, we cannot allow huge portions of some demographics to wallow in poverty. If we want to be free, we must liberate ourselves from poverty and ignorance, chains which hold us down with more weight than any other. Only communism can do this.
Kc1999

Con

Rebuttals
Liberation under communism? Are you joking? Are you seriously joking? The only liberation under communism that anyone could feel is the liberation from their individual liberty; the liberation of the working class can only be followed by complete oppression, unneeded cleansing of an almost completely innocent class, and the back-breaking of the class the revolution ought to represent! This is the communist society soon after communism, and this shall always be the case: the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution was followed by two years of war, the Chinese Civil War which followed the period of unity between the Chinese people was followed by mass massacres of the Chinese population, and the Albanian Communist Regime established one of the most totalitarian regimes in the world, for the freedom of the working class. This is communist hypocrisy, the betrayal of the class they ought to represent.

Now, we must examine what the opponent's description of the capitalist mode of production: he says that "because his wage is always lower than the capital". This is a complete and utter lie about modern capitalism, but not neccesarily industrial capitalism in which Marx was so interested in. In many many countries, there are things called a minimum wage, and in case the opponent did not know, in the United States, it is in some places as high as $15 dollars per hour! An average worker produces $23 dollars worth of work. $8 dollars of profit. If we take it: he produces $23 dollars of work, takes $15 dollars for himself and generates $8 worth of profit for his employers. Is that a huge profit margin? Unlike industrial capitalism, modern capitalism has gotten much more humane and has proved to be a huge success. But again, our debate is not about capitalism, nor is it about socialism. It is about communism.



Communism is obsolete


Communism has been practiced; not the totalitarian caricature of it, but the true form of communism that Marx and Engels wanted, and it has led to society we have today. Today, human nature is immensely different from what it was before civilization. We were brought up with the need for a reward for every of our work, for a higher institution to organize ourselves, and we have the need to become more complex. Communism is a simple ideology, a simple and inefficient way of organizing the society. In my next paragraphs, I will demonstrate to you how communism lead us to governments and society right now, and why it would be inapplicable with current human society.

In early Christianity, Christian societies seemed to have practice a simple form of communism. According to the book On Politics by Alan Ryan (pg 207: The Justification for Private Property), they seemed to have put all their property on a pool table, and the inhabitants of that community would come and take what they needed: this practice is known as mutual aid, and is endorsed by the modern left, but much more by anarchists than communists. However, once institutions of worship were created, the need for private property grew. Churches soon grew by the need to expand and be bigger and better than many other churches. Soon, the Papacy arose: from taking things at the pool table to an enormous theological organization that claims to be the messengers and the direct sons of god shows the path of all communist society: private property is human nature. The opponent claims that communists do not care about our property, but yet Marxist doctrines show that they do: they care about the land we own, they care about our children, they care about where we live, and they care about how we live. Under communism, all land and property is held in common. Is that not theft to a point? That only propels my point: private property is human nature. In all attempted communist societies, there have been inequalities. People taking more than what they need is the exact reason for the rise of more powerful institutions, such as the case of the Papacy, and in other institutions too: the rise of the government itself can be seen as a development of primitive communism, where everything was held in common. In both Christian and Primitive communism, we can see one prime way: years of practicing mutual aid and/or communism cannot lead to a classless moneyless stateless community that Marx and Engels are advocating for. Years of practicing mutual aid and communism can only lead to the establishment of a government, of a state, and of a institution that could claim legitimacy over ruling. This makes communism totally obsolete in this world (it also makes it unsustainable), as it is a primitive way of organizing the society, and it lead to the governing systems that we have now. This makes in inapplicable to current human society, because through communism, we have led the world into the path of what it is now: governments and capitalism. We cannot reverse that trend. Humanity will never advance backwards, but would only advance forwards, forwards to the path of being more complex, not simpler. To the path of being more human, and less animal. To the path of being more civilized, and less barbaric. Is it not clear that communism was built for those who do not understand human society thoroughly, whose human nature aren't fully developed yet? Communism will only destroy humanity and it's innovation.


And it is for these reasons, and the reasons I have stated before, and many many more, I urge you to vote con for this debate, as communism is an ideology that would only destroy humanity, innovation and creativity. Thank you.

Debate Round No. 3
Leninist

Pro

I must to say I do like this debate.

Now then as to liberation, I will outline exactly how this works, why it didn't in China and Russia (not Albania as I am not familiar with its history) and finally how we can achieve it.

Firstly, the way we organize the control of the economy by the people is relatively simple if you are familiar with basic political hierarchies. Everything is organized into councils, of which there are four broad levels, factory, local, regional and national. The first level of councils are in factories and farms, and they run the day to day affairs of the unit. The council is DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED by the workers and they have full power of recall at all times. You do not even need to be a communist, you just need to show you can do the job to your fellow workers. From each factory council is elected a representative who goes to the local council. This wold correspond to a county or Parrish in size. They are in charge of the logistics and organization of their little region and handing out quotas to the factories. From the local council's ranks is elected a representative who goes to the regional council. It is basically a bigger local council with slightly more power, runs day to day affairs. Finally, from the regional council representatives are elected who go to the national council, which is the supreme organization unit of the economy. It calculates demand, national quotas for production, and other aspects of the economy. All of the levels are have power of recall of the level above it. This system ensures that the economy is organized in such a way that the workers have control over what the organizers do. If they don't like what is being done, they can change it.

Now then, this is pretty basic communist hierarchy, in fact it is very similar to what was done in the USSR. The obvious question is, why did it not work? Well, that requires us to really look at power in the USSR. You see, when the Bolsheviks took power they put restrictions on the system designed to make it so only people they could trust could vote (workers, communists), because most of the country was made up of uneducated peasants. That sounds bad, but I would remind all Americans that when our country was founded only white rich guys could vote, an even smaller percentage of the population than could vote in the USSR. But anyway, the restrictions the Bolsheviks had placed on the system were designed to be temporary, but they were there long enough for Stalin to use them to take power while it was severely centralized in the party. He then proceeded to install a highly immobile and loyal bureaucracy, rather than the democratic and fluid one that should have been there. Skip ahead fifty years and the Soviet Union is a bureaucratic mess on the verge of collapse, which it did.
China's problem was more that Mao had WAY too much power from the start and happened to be a complete idiot (he once had all the Chinese people go out and start killing birds because he thought they destroyed crops. turns out they eat locusts who do destroy crops. caused a massive famine. Most of his other ideas were just as bad).
So why would another attempt, say in the US or Britain, be different? Two things come to my mind. One: we are much better educated than either the Chinese or Russians were at the time of the revolutions, no need to restrict voting. Two: we love democracy. When the Russian revolution happened most Russian people did not give a crap about democracy, they just wanted someone who could get the job done (Heavy restrictions on my rights? But I get cheap vodka? Alright!), and they still do. Want proof? Surveys show that Stalin is viewed as one of the best Russian leaders of all time by the majority of Russians today. Even I go "wow, really guys?" when I hear that.
As for my statement about capital and wages, you have to understand that there is no way for a capitalist business to do it any other way. If the the boss paid the workers dollar for dollar what they produce he would have none left for himself. And its not a fair wage unless the worker make money equal to what they produce.
As for your stuff about Christianity, I think you are misinterpreting that religion's history. The papacy was created because the Romans decided they like the religion so much they we gonna make it the official one of their empire. Christianity needed a way to organize the converting of an entire empire (often violently) and so organized the papacy to control it all. I would look rather to the native Americans, who did live in a primitive communist society, and actually had a heavy influence on Marx's theories. The Iroquois in particular had an interesting hierarchical council democracy. They, like most natives, found materialism horrifying, and were destroyed.
Capitalism is a self destructive ideology. Selfishness may be the most effective motivator, but what does it motivate us to do? Starvation, poverty, these things are not changing. Even as segments of the population are raised out of poverty, in places like China, people in first world countries seem to be slipping down. Capitalism is an ideology which tells us that the profit is king. This justifies corporations like Monsanto to leave fields empty while there are still people starving across the world. It allows companies and banks to wreck the global economy and destroy lives and then not even be punished. It destroys the environment with oil spills and toxic emissions and then lets those responsible to pay their way out of trouble. You say that communism is unsustainable, I say you have no proof that it cannot work if we do it right, but I have two centuries of proof that capitalism has not, cannot, and will not work. Selfishness is the most effective motivator, but it is not a GOOD one, and it is not the only one.
Kc1999

Con

Yeh, Lenninist, we did have a tense and sensible debate.


Elections? What elections? The last time I checked, Mao kept talking about his "democratic dictatorship" [1], Lenin said that "Democracy is a bourgeisie phenomenom" [2], and Marx, simply, left no manuscripts on democracy. Although the opponent made a correct point, he is talking about Lenninism, not communism. Lenin thought that his advances in the Sovet state would lead to a communist one, and he at no point did think of his Soviet Russia to be communist at all. The topic of this debate: communism is not the same (albeit very similar) to Leninnism. (BTW I am not American) Another mistake that the opponent has made is that he completely ignored the Soviet Union before the New Economic Policy of 1917 implemented by Lenin. He completely ignored the amount of resistance that the peasants showed to the Soviet authority when their grain was taken away from them without any payment, and a rebelion almost ensured, if it wasn't for Lenin's New Economic Policies, which almost made the New Soviet Union a "Socialist Market Economy". Also, going back to the point on democracy, the Soviets were organized in that fashion, but the remnants of the parliamentary system lays straight in their faces. The Soviets were democratically elected, but then those Soviets were headed by the Bolsheviks, which in turn was headed by the Politburo (or the Political Bureau), and therefore, the Bolsheviks were the true masterminds behind the Soviets, coercing it to their will instead of the Soviet's. That is why "communism" gave way to Stalinism, because the Soviets weren't allowed to act independently but they had to act under the will of the Bolsheviks, which controlled the Soviets, not because the Bolshevik's reforms were designed to be temporary reforms (they were not: Lenin intended to keep it).

Therefore, there arises another question: should the "Western World" give in to communism? Yes, I have to agree with the opponent that the countries that experienced a communist influenced revolution did not care about democracy. Yes, I have to agree that the uneducated peasants of both countries (USSR and China) were not ready, but a new question arises: is the West suitable for a communist society? Let me remind the opponent and the reader that the "West" was founded on Private Property, Liberty and Freedom. The Rise of the Papacy was one example of the West's love for Private Property (the opponent seems to be misinterpreting the point of that argument. I tried to explain how the Papacy was created, not why the Papacy was created), with practices of mutual aids succumbing to the seizure of land and property by a supposedly "Holy Institution". Another example is that plethora of Western Philosophers who defend Private Property. From John Hobbes to Karl Marx's teacher, Hegel, defend private property (these are only some of those who defend private property) for various of reasons. John Hobbes states that "if we are to know what to trade, to use and to give to our children, we have to know what is ours". Hegel states that "we recognize that you own something not because of what it is, but you own it. For example, if I own a bike, I do not recognize it as yours because it is made with metal, but because you own it (although abstract, one must read more of his work to find out)" (Alan Ryan, On Politics). The West is a Liberty and private property loving place, and why would communism work in the west? The West does love democracy, but at the same time, it loves capitalism and embraces it. The Communist Revolution can only prosper in the shadows in the west. (BTW They voted Brezhev, a Socialist-Market Economy USSR leader that reigned in the Stagnation period, not Stalin)


As for wages, one has to understand this: a product is a product, and should be taken for what it is worth. It is worth $100 because a worker made it, a driver transported it, a CEO managed it, a designer designed it, and a merchant marketed it. If the opponent is highlighting that the worker is the only one who made the product and distrubuted, then his ideals are deeply flawed. A worker wouldn't be working if a designer hadn't been designing it, and a designer wouldn't have been designing it if the CEO was not paying him: the cycle goes on and on. This represents human nature to a certain point: we rely on each other to do jobs that we are incapable of doing. Capitalism divides labor so perfectly that it has avoided a massive social collapse many many times. And talking about fair wage, there is this thing called a minimum wage, have you not heard? Minimum wages are fair, and we should only discuss about raising or lowering it. This system called capitalism has benefitted and innovated the world more than socialism, and many socialists have recognized this. Therefore, as famous reformist socialsit Eduard Bernstein said, "We should take working men the way they are." We cannot reform the system that has proved effective. We should not change human nature. We must accept that class division will be with us until the day we die.


Many argue that capitalism is a self destructive system, but I say something different: capitalism fell and recovered more times than the amount of words a proffessor of philosophy would talk in all of his lectures combined. Capitalism fell during the Great Depression, during the 2008 Market Crash and many more times, and yet the system recovered. Communism fell once (it fell with the Berlin Wall), and never recovered. Communism itself is self-destructive: it creates tension in the working class, and creates power institutions that would place society under one a totalitarian, at most, and/or an authoritarian government of the proletariat, and a totalitarian state under Marxism is no longer a totalitarian state of the people. Selfishness is human nature: we have to accept it. Freedom is a dangerous motivator: it will kill.


In conclusion, communism violated human nature and human rights, is obsolete, and is unsustainable because of the need for private property and human selfishness. Modern communism has only killed; primitive communism gave way to society we have now. It is of the best human interests to move foward, and forget this old system called communism. Humankind can move foward, but it shall never move backwards; we can get more complex, but we can never get simpler. It is for these reasons, and the many more that I am unable to mention in this debate, is why I urge you, the reader to vote con is this debate. I would like to thank the host for hosting and participating in this wonderful and intense debate, and I would like to thank you all for reading my arguments. I apologize for any typing mistakes I may have, as English is not my first language, and have a nice day.










Citations:
[1] Quotations From Chairman Mao-Tse Tung, Published by Foreign Languages Presses, Beijing (Don't buy it, this version of the original book sucks)
[2] https://www.marxists.org...
Debate Round No. 4
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Kc1999 3 years ago
Kc1999
I've never been fond of them too, but I find them very useful. I'll post this on the forum Cheetah suggested.
Posted by Leninist 3 years ago
Leninist
Yeh i n hind sight I fear my lack of citations will cost me. I've never been very fond of them. I find they interrupt the flow of my writing.
Posted by Cheetah 3 years ago
Cheetah
This debate deserves more attention, I highly recommend one of you post this here:

http://www.debate.org...
Posted by Leninist 3 years ago
Leninist
And you kc1999.
Posted by Kc1999 3 years ago
Kc1999
Thanks for the good debate Leninist!
Posted by Leninist 3 years ago
Leninist
My pleasure.
Posted by Kc1999 3 years ago
Kc1999
Now this is getting fun. Thanks Lenninist for reconsidering!
Posted by Leninist 3 years ago
Leninist
Well, I guess I could do a copy paste from my other debate, although its not neccesarily formatted for this one. But OK.
Posted by Kc1999 3 years ago
Kc1999
Aww c'mon.
Posted by Leninist 3 years ago
Leninist
I've gotten into another communism debate "On balance, capitalism is superior to communism", so I think I am just gonna let this one go because I just don't want to bother with two debates. Thanks anyway.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by SPENCERJOYAGE14 3 years ago
SPENCERJOYAGE14
LeninistKc1999Tied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: This was a very challenging debate let's look at the different voting issues: I'll mark the agreements as a tie because I don't believe they have anything to do with a fair, unbiased vote. Conduct goes to Con because Pro forfeited. Spelling and grammar flows as a wash because you both made some mistakes. The Declaration of Human rights is a good source so sources to con. Arguments go to con because he made stronger arguments all together. Great debate, it was a good read.
Vote Placed by Cheetah 3 years ago
Cheetah
LeninistKc1999Tied
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Total points awarded:15 
Reasons for voting decision: Both sides show equal and adequate knowledge on the topic. However, some organisation could be used for rebuttals on both sides (+0). Con has made some thesis arguments that seem to be mocking some of Pro's arguments (+1, Pro). Spelling and grammar: Both sides exhibited equal and adequate use of syntax and diction (+0). Con cited his sources and kept them organised at the footnotes ? The Declaration of Human rights (+1, Con). For aforementioned reasons, Con had a better argument (+1, Con).