The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
3 Points

Libertarianism (Pro) vs. Socialism (Con)

Do you like this debate?NoYes+3
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/14/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,673 times Debate No: 85001
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (9)
Votes (1)




In this debate, I would like to have a fair and honest discussion about Libertarianism vs. Socialism, and which fits better with the idea of Western Liberalism, etc.
I will be defending Libertarianism from the "Pro" Stance.
First round acceptance and introduction only.


Sorry kasmic; you snooze, you lose. Good topics aren't that common around here.

I accept this debate. In the introduction I will not be presenting my case, rather I will establish a few personal interpretations which are, of course, open to debate.


It is necessary to define the terms "libertarianism" and "socialism", as the entire debate is directly focused on these two ideas. It is important to realize that there are multiple "flavors" of broad political stances like the ones being discussed and each player should have the right to choose to argue their favorite flavor.

According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, libertarianism is "a political philosophy that affirms the rights of individuals to liberty, to acquire, keep and hold their holdings, and considers the protection of individual rights the primary role of the state...". The ideals of small government and private property are considered key components of libertarianism.

Socialism is the political philosophy that there is social ownership of many or all resources, along with a democratic control of the means of production. The ideals of large democratic government and social ownership are considered key components of libertarianism.

Understood Rules

1. There are to be no forfeits without a valid excuse. Should a forfeit be necessary, it is that debater's obligation to pick up where they left off. Voters should not be sympathetic to forfeitures.

2. The last speech for each debater should not include any new arguments or evidence that implies a new argument. This speech is for summation and concluding purposes and can only include additional evidence supporting an already presented claim which was relevant to the discussion.

3. The Burden of Proof is shared. The winner of the debate shall be the debater who most effectively argues for their "side". Neither Pro or Con should be assumed correct at any point in the debate.

4. Voters should vote solely based upon the content of the debate. Outside opinions or personal convictions should not be part of the voting process.


I will be arguing that socialism is preferable to libertarianism on the grounds that the needs of society outweigh the desires of the individual.

I look forward to debating this issue.
Debate Round No. 1


I would like to thank Cobalt for accepting this argument, and constructing some fair ground rules. I hope our differing opinions do not prevent us from debating in a civil manner. Now onto my argument.

As my opponent has made clear, Socialism's principle value is the obliteration of the self in the name of the collective. Under socialism (and indeed under any collectivist ideology: communism, fascism, nazism, etc.) the highest virtue attainable, is to be a sacrificial animal for "the good of society". Now, there is nothing wrong with having a concern for your fellow man, but the very essence of human nature implies that many will go against the grain, and thus force will have to be used against those acting against the will of the collective. The massive slaughter associated with collectivism throughout history is not merely a byproduct of the ideology, but an absolute requirement for the protection and stability of the ideal. For the collectivist, an individual is either a tool or an obstacle in its pursuit for utopia, and thus completely expendable if need be. Individual rights not only are incompatible with a collectivist society, but an active threat to it.

Libertarianism , which is essentially the political incarnation of individualism, holds that the initiation of force against another individual for any reason other than defense of life, liberty, or property is profoundly immoral (this is knowns as "the Non-aggression principle"). Unlike under statism (socialism), the state is not given the authority to usurp the rights of individuals under any circumstances. Rights are seen as natural and absolute; something the state does not allow to us, but instead we are born with. The only legitimate function of the state is to ensure the protection of such rights, as nearly any other responsibility of the state would result in the infraction thereof. Unlike any form of collectivism (including social-democracy, and the more "moderate" forms of collectivism) every transaction is voluntary, and society is based upon mutual consent.

In short, Western Liberal ideals of absolute individual rights cannot coexist with the implementation of a socialist system. A socialist system is inherently based upon force, or the threat thereof. It is not a coincidence that every large instance of mass slaughter in the 20th century was committed in the name of societal good.


I apologize for my delay and will move immediately into arguments.

The opponent failed to present actual arguments for libertarianism and made only one implied argument again socialism. Rather, he summarized the two philosophies and did so incorrectly, at times. So I'll defend the implied argument against socialism, clarify what socialism is and make my case for socialism.

1. "Every large instance of mass slaughter in the 20th century was comitted in the name of societal good."

I have not tallied up each "mass slaughter" of the 1900's, but I'm sure my opponent's statement, while technically correct, is heavily misleading. Any time a government commits an act of violence, declares war, or does basically anything, it will claim that it is doing this for the good of its citizens. This is not a result of the type of political system the government utilizes, but rather a result of how a government is supposed to rationalize its decisions.

Most any type of government, from libertarianism to fascism, all claim to be the best kind of government for their citizens. When the U.S. dropped bombs on Japan, it claimed to do so for the good of Americans. When Hitler slaughtered millions of Jews, he claimed to do so for the good of Germans.

Upon this closer inspection, it is clear that this is not an argument against socialism at all, since any government would make the claim of "acting for societal good" in doing just about anything.

Clarification of Socialism

The particular brand of socialism that I am arguing for and defending here today is "democratic socialism". Under this government, it is not considered valuable for citizens to "obliterate their freedoms and individuality in the name of the collective." Far from it.

Rather, democratic socialists maintain that every member of society who can benefit society, should benefit society. The main form of property that democratic socialists concern themselves with is wealth -- generally monetary wealth. This is not uncommon in most socialist schemas, something most people are unaware of. It is under communism that property such as land, animals, etc. are considered to be commonly shared.

In democratic socialism, all members of society who can afford to share their wealth are expected to share some of that wealth. This is most commonly achieved in the form of taxation. This taxation is generally progressive, meaning that the more money an individual makes, the greater a percentage of his earnings will belong to the government.

A prime example of a democratic socialist today is Bernie Sanders. Even he has not suggested that a democratic socialist society should pay more taxes than has been seen in American history.

The Case for Democratic Socialism

1. The needs of society outweigh the needs of the individual.

We are all individuals, so we all have that part of us that believes the world should be a certain way and that we deserve certain things. While this is entirely natural, it does work against us when we try to make policy to reflect this egocentric mentality.

Society was created as a direct result of individuals who determined that they are stronger in a group. The nature of society has evolved as we have, but the general principle is basically the same: A group is more powerful than an individual.

This isn't a one way street however -- the more powerful, safe, profitable and secure the group, the more powerful, safe, profitable and secure the individual. Strengthening one individual does not significantly affect the group and, as such, does not significantly strengthen anyone else. But when you strengthen the group, all or most individuals are therefore strengthened too.

As such, the strength of society should be valued above the strength of an individual, as only through societal strength can we affect the most individual strength.


I am being called away to work, so I won't get to finish this thought. That is ok, as I've set up my framework and have given the opponent much to work with.

I look forward to the opponent's updated case.
Debate Round No. 2


I apologize for taking so long to post my reply. The weather here in the DC area makes internet connection unreliable at best. Now onto my argument.

I take issue with Con's assertion that a Libertarian government utilizes the same methods of collective coercion (e.g. "acting for the people") that a Fascist or Communist regime would during times it saw fit. To better explore this contrast, I'll use the United States from the years of 1776-1861 (roughly) as an example of a largely Libertarian form government, and Nazi Germany as its collective authoritarian antithesis. When the United States went to War during this period, it is true that the government usually claimed it was acting in the best interests of the nation--but there existed no agency by which the state could enforce this view upon others. There existed, at this time, no regular draft, and no laws by which Congress could declare those opposed to the war traitors. All individuals were, at this time, free to act within their own conscience. When Nazi Germany set upon conquering Europe, on the other hand, service in the military was an absolute requirement for all able bodied young men within the nation's borders. Not only this, but the state utilized considerable force against those who declared their intention to resist. My point is, it is not the mere action of claiming to do what is best for the collective that is immoral, but whether or not said collective (or the state claiming to represent it) may utilize force against those individuals who pose a threat to their agenda.

In addition, the assertion the Democratic Socialism is somehow justifiable because it only seeks to redistribute wealth, rather than all property is nonsensical; one's wealth is one's property. The murder of one person is not somehow made just when placed next to the murder of 100. The ideals behind both Democratic Socialism and Communism remain the same: individual property rights are expendable. The problem with taxing a millionaire at 90% while taxing somebody else 0% is problematic because it creates an arbitrary distinction. Philosophically, there is no reason to believe that the millionaire owns 'less' of his wealth once it reaches some imaginary bracket on a bureaucrat's stat sheet; and there is no reason to believe that it belongs 'more' to the government. All wealth is the result of an exertion of labor, and since one's labor belong's to the individual, the only rational assumption one can make about wealth is that it is the property of the individual. All Democratic Socialism does to distinguish itself from Soviet-style Communism is that it allows for the people to vote away another's property, instead of a Politburo of elites.

Libertarianism holds that all rights are absolute and undeniable. Under Libertarianism, the public may not 'vote away' the rights of the individual, because the individual's rights are innate; they do not belong to the collective. To deny this is to deny that the owner of oneself is oneself. It is to pledge fealty to a greater power, whether it be the Collective, the State or the Future--and to accept that any action taken upon your person may be done without consent. Socialism is the ideology of force, Libertarianism is the ideology of choice.


The Opponent's Case

1. The role of the government in a libertarian system.

The opponent correctly points out that the manner in which the government "acts on behalf of the people" is very different in a libertarian society than a fascist/communist society. The opponent then attempts to paint the libertarian government as if it has little to no actual authority. In reality, a libertarian government still necessarily has power over the people, as such power is needed to maintain life and security. A libertarian government still must make laws that not all members of society will agree with in order to maintain these libertarian ideals.

I won't speak much of fascist/communist governments, because that's not what I'm defending. Rather, I wish to highlight the fact that a socialist government has control over its people in ways similar to a libertarian government. It can be said that the difference between a socialist and libertarian government is the particular rights the government assumes each citizen is absolutely afforded (barring certain cases where such rights must be removed for the safety of the citizenry.)

The opponent states that "it is not the mere action of claiming to do what is best for the collective that is immoral, but whether or not ... the state ... may utilize force against those individuals who pose a threat to their agenda." If this is to be believed, then a libertarian government is just as "immoral" as a socialist government.

Consider that a libertarian government, in maintaining the security of its citizens, could, should and would implement a law similar to this: "It is illegal to murder another human being." If someone was to break that law, a libertarian government would be completely within its ideological rights to use force in order stop "those individuals who pose a threat to their agenda", or those who break the law. If the opponent argues that the government does not have this power, then he isn't vying for a libertarian government at all, but rather an anarchy.

A government must necessarily have power to govern.

2. The differences between democratic socialism and libertarianism.

The opponent next points out that wealth is considered property, which I never denied. Rather, I stated that wealth is generally the only type of property a democratic socialist government concerns itself with redistributing. Other property, be it physical, intellectual, etc. is generally left in control of whatever individual or individuals own said property.

I pointed this out in order to highlight the differences between socialism and more extreme forms of government and additionally to demonstrate that we are already living in a democratic socialist country. While the "extremeness" of the socialist impact on our country has changed in degree throughout time, there can be no doubt the the U.S. government has considerably involved itself in the redistribution of wealth (in the form of taxes.)

The opponent is wrong in the comparison between democratic socialism and communism in saying that "property rights are expendable". It is more accurate to say that in democratic socialism (DS from here on out), "some property rights are not guarenteed".

Pro is speaking as if a socialist government has the ability to "take away your rights", but this is not the case. In nature, we simply do not have rights at all. Without government, there is no entitiy that can give us basic rights. Only through government are we given rights and those rights are given by the government. A socialist government does not take rights away, it simply grants fewer rights than a libertarian government.

More rights is not an inherently good thing, either. A society in which everyone has the right to kill is easily considered worse off than a society that does not have that right. Similarly, democratic socialists believe that a society in which people have the right to hoard great wealth while others suffer is worse off than one in which that right is not granted.

3. Why tax some high, some low and some not at all; and why that's good.

The opponent is incorrect in his statement that "taxing a millionaire at 90% and somebody else at 0% is probematic because it creates an arbitrary distinction". This distinction is hardly arbitrary.

Any given person needs only a certain amount of wealth to survive. Add a little more to that wealth and that person can survive happily. Add a little more and they can afford luxuries. Once you get to a point, the addition of more wealth does help you become any more survivable or significantly more able to achieve and pursue happiness. This is the difference between a millionaire and a homeless person.

On average, a family of four needs about $58,000 per year in order to "get by". [1] This means that amount of money is needed to provide for basic needs such as shelter, food, and water; utilities like electricity, schooling, vehicles, efficiency items; and to pay taxes. At less than this amount, some need is not being met. At more than this amount, all needs are being met and the extra capital can be spent on luxury items.

Consider that if this "average family of four" wanted to buy a used car for, say, $6000, it would take about 10% of their yearly income to purchase. This is assuming the car is paid for upfront, as paying off a loan could hike that price up considerably more. Also note that this family needs all $58,000 in order to get by -- meaning they have little to nothing in savings.

Now consider a millionaire with some $5,000,000 saved who wanted to a new Lexus for $60,000. Even though this luxury vehicle costs 10 times more than the car the family of four needs, the millionaire needs to spend only 1.2% of his wealth in order to obtain this vehicle (which costs more than the family of four makes in an entire year.) Even though the millionaire is buying a luxury item, he is still paying 1/10th of what the family of four is paying, in terms of percentage of wealth.

The point here is that a family making $58,000 a year neeeds every bit of that money in order to make it. A millionaire needs only a small percentage of his wealth in order to both make it and live in luxury. This taxation distinction is not arbitrary -- it's heavily based upon need.

This level of need is determined by a democratic process, in which the wishes of the majority of the society are what determines the government's actions. This is important because it disallows anyone from becoming too powerful and taking advantage of others. It is impossible to take advantage of a majority under this system because the majority makes the rules.

4. Opponent's Conclusion

The opponent concludes by briefly going over what libertarianism is again. No real arguments are being made here, rather it is just an overview of what the opponent is supposed to be arguing for. He finishes with a remark that is more exposition than logic and which untruthfully illustrates the difference between socialism and libertarianism. Socialism is not an ideology of "hate" and libertarianism is not an ideology about "choice". Rather, socialism is about "them > me", whereas libertarianism is about "them < me".

Continuing my Case

1. The needs of society outweight the needs of the individual.

The opponent didn't really argue against this. There was a large amount of exposition and summarizing of what he believed both ideologies were, but he never actually demonstrated why we should believe the individual is more valuable than the society. So this point stands.

2. Socialism greatly increases average quality of life.

I will briefly mention a mathematical topic, but it should be easily understandable. It is about the diminishing returns of additional wealth.

Basically, each additional dollar of wealth one has, the less that dollar increases quality of life. This can be easily seen. A homeless man going from $0 -> $5 has his quality of life greatly increased, as he is now able to buy food. A middle class man whose wealth goes from $50,000 -> $50,005 does not have his quality of life greatly improved. There is little five additional dollars can offer that man that he cannot already afford.

Let's call the homeless man A and the middle-class man B. If you take five dollars away from B and give it to A, you've considerably increased A's quality of life while only marginally decreasing B's quality of life. This results in a net increase in overall quality of life.

On a national scale, when you redistribute wealth according to need, you dramatically increase the average quality of life. In doing this, you are disportionality lowering the quality of life for the rich, but the rich's quality of life is still higher than those who are less rich. Economically speaking, redistribution is an efficient way to allocate money. You want to spend each dollar in such a way that it has the most impact.

Under a libtertarian system, quality of life significantly lower than in a socialist system and it is biased towards the rich, in terms of future likelihood of quality of life. It is true that "the rich get richer" and that "you've got to have money to make money". We've seen historically that, as time goes on, the rich in the U.S. are only becoming richer while the poor are only becoming poorer. And one has to remember, the U.S. is already a semi-democratic socialist system. Under pure libertarianism, this wealth inequality would only be greater.


I have clarified the differences between libertarianism and socialism as well as demonstrated the errors in my opponent's exposition. I have shown that the needs of society are more valuable than the needs of the individual and that democratic socialism dramatically increases a society's average quality of life. I have additionally demonstrated that libertarianism would have the opposite effect, negatively impacting quality of life and setting up a scenario in which quality of life would only continue to decrease.

1 -
Debate Round No. 3


The Role of The Government in a Libertarian Society

My opponent is mistaken in his notion that an individual has a right to do absolutely anything in a Libertarian society. The definition of Libertarianism is “...the view that each person has the right to live his life in any way he chooses so long as he respects the equal rights of others”; as I have already made clear, these rights can be broadly defined under the umbrellas of Life, Liberty, and Property. To determine if an action would be considered illegal under a Libertarian system, ask yourself if it directly violates one or more of these three principles; then you’ll have your answer. Because the Libertarian philosophy holds autonomy in highest regard: that the owner of the individual is the individual himself, any law that seeks to restrict an action that does not violate the equal rights of others is interpreted as an outside power trying to enforce its will onto something that does not belong to them. To further expand upon this legal philosophy, here is a short rundown of actions, and their hypothetical legal status.
Status Violates
Murder: Illegal----------Life, Liberty, Property
Rape: Illegal-----------Liberty, Property
Burglary: Illegal-----------Property
Marijuana: Legal----------N/A
Gay Marriage: Legal------N/A

The Nature of Human Rights
My opponent’s argument that individual rights are not natural, but merely the property of a government that “allows” us them is a clear exhibition of the state-worship so prevalent on the progressive left. As Thomas Jefferson famously declared in The Declaration of Independence, “Man is endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights…” They are not a concept thought up by some foppish French philosophers in the 18th century, but rather a natural product of evolution, and man’s eventual realization of himself as a unique, autonomous individual. When we look at Nazi Germany, we do not say that the Jews had no right to be alive in the country simply by the fact that the government killed 6 million of them, but rather that the government was actively suppressing their right to life. It was a crime, regardless of what was on the German law books. Similarly, if a Democratic Socialist society confiscates the wealth of millions, it is not “granting fewer rights than a libertarian government”, because the wording implies that rights are the property of the state, free to be swept aside when convenient. The more accurate phrase to use when describing such a situation is that the Democratic Socialists are suppressing more.
While on the subject of wording, the claim that libertarians allow for people to “hoard great wealth”, while technically true, is heavily misleading. We do not profess that hoarding a great amount of wealth is a moral or desireable act, but recognize a man’s right to do as he pleases with his own property. It is very easy to frame any personal liberty as undesirable by presenting it from the angle of their sometimes ugly results. For example, “the right to be racist” sounds a lot worse that “the right to free speech”, but they are ultimately the same concept.

Forced Charity, and The Fallacy of “Need”

In order to illustrate his point that redistribution by force is permissible, my opponent presents a touching story about how the wants of the poor outweigh the rights of the rich. Not only does this present a misunderstanding of income mobility, and who the rich actually are, but adds yet another tally to his growing list of reasons to deny rights to thousands of people. As I said in my previous posting, the distinction between brackets of taxation is a complete arbitration by the sheer virtue of its assumption that an individual’s right to property grows weaker and weaker the higher up the ladder he gets. The very definition of rights is that they are absolute, and I stand by my original argument. My opponent attempted to counter this by saying that a certain family may live more comfortably if the rich man were to relinquish his property rights. Even if true, I fail to see how the prospect of potentially helping one person justifies the suppression of another’s freedoms. The logic used here is akin to saying that a bully should have his tongue cut out because it would possibly make his victim feel better. The only difference between these two scenarios is that the hypothetical family on the receiving end of the redistribution isn’t the victim of the man being stolen from, and thus the action is even less justifiable.

Capitalism and the Death of Poverty
In the comments (it wasn't pasting on here) is the average GDP Per Capita from approx. 1 A.D.-2000. Capitalism in its modern form has existed since around 1800, and as you can see it has had a tremendously positive impact on the wealth, and standard of living from people all around the world. The wealth earned and the presence of a Democratic Socialist does not seem to have any correlation, as Japan (a country without a European style welfare state) has recently surpassed Western Europe. In addition, places like Switzerland, Hong Kong, and Singapore, which are renowned for their very libertarian-like economies, easily compete with Western Europe as far a economics go, and are currently growing at a much faster rate.

The Tyranny of the Majority
Why Individuals Must Be Protected
My opponent has made the argument that “The needs of society outweigh the rights of the individual”. What he fails to understand, however, is that the collective (society) does not exist as an objective reality. The collective, rather is a group of individuals who all have the same equal rights. A group of 1000 individuals does not have any more rights than a group of two, nor is a group of two superior to one. To do so would be to fall into the trap of “tyranny of the majority” or mob rule. There is a reason why the United States was founded as a Republic rather than a Democracy, and it was to avoid a pure Democracy’s tendency to devolve into mob violence and persecution. The central prescription that prevents a Republic from falling down the path of absolute Democracy is the presence of individual rights. These rights are intended to protect the minority, and the individual is the smallest minority in existence. My opponent seems to already have advocated for the “voting away” of other’s rights, showing that his ideology or a limited respect for the republican system, and individual freedoms as a whole.


In this fourth round, I'll simply be correcting my opponent's misconceptions and solidifying my position in today's round. By the end of it all, the voters should be able to easily identify myself as the winner of this ideological debate regarding two much talked about political philosophies. For the sake of readability, I"ll be addressing the opponent's most recent speech according the the headers he presented.

The Role of The Government in a Libertarian Society

The opponent is mostly correct in everything mentioned in this point, but I believe he has misinterpretted my position. I am not claiming that libertarianism is a philosophy of government where every individual can do whatever they please. Rather, I was pointing out a certain role of the government. The opponent seemed to believe that a socialist government is somehow immoral because it can force some individuals to do certain things and have objective control over the citizenry. I was pointing out that even a libertarian government has the "last word" when it comes to conrol. If a citizen breaks the law, the government has the complete and utter ideological right to punish with force the citizen who broke the law.

The opponent has mentioned multiple times that socialism is an "ideology of force", all the while failing to realize that a libertarian government is just as justified in using force when it comes to people breaking the law of the land. I even brought up the contrast between libertarianism and anarchism, which identified the difference in government behavior between the two systems.

The Nature of Human Rights

Pro is attempting to argue that we have "natural rights" from an evolutionary perspective, but offers little logic or evidence to justify this claim.

The opponent will find it impossible to prove or even show it is likely that humans for some reason have "inallienable rights" that we simply have. One could claim that God gives these rights, but that is another debate -- and more importantly it is often agreed that there should be a separation of church and state.

This is a particularly important aspect of this debate, because if some rights are indeed inherently existent, the Pro side has more credibility. However, one cannot deny that we are simply animals. Sure, we are the most intelligent animals on the planet and we have utilized environmental resources more efficiently than any other species. But this does not suddenly give us a right to anything. While we may feel we have some right to life and while society may agree that it makes sense to value life, this is not an inherent truth -- rather it is a subjective value that people tend to support.

If the opponent can offer some objective source of rights, then he should win this argument. But he will find that utterly impossible, as there is no reasonable way to claim that humans have a right to anything. It is true that life is valuable to society, but that does not make it inherently right.

Considering this, we are left with the conclusion that "rights" are given by the government. It is a simple matter of social contract -- humans aquiesce to the government's demands in exchange for the benefits said government offers. In today's world, people often enter this social contract without choice, as a direct result of them being born into the country with said government.

So a government guarentees certain rights to its citizens. In libertarianism, "life, liberty and property" are offered rights. In socialism, "life and security" is offered. Neither system has inherently correct or true justified rights. Because of this, it is important (and the goal of this debate) that we determine which system is more desirable. The opponent seems only to be justifying his ideology based upon the incorrect notion that people have some natural right to property, which cannot be proven true, or even likely. On the other hand, I have given multiple economic and societal reasons as to why democratic socialism is a preferable system of governance.

Forced Charity and the Fallacy of "Need"

The opponent's entire argument here is based upon the previously defeated assumption that humans somehow have some special inherent right to property. As such, the point does not stand.

Beyond that, the header is highly misleading. The opponent seems to imply he will discuss some "fallacy of need", but fails to demonstrate how "need" is not a reasonable distinction between classes of people of different incomes. As I have already demonstrated, each additional dollar a person owns has diminishing returns in terms of quality of life. Understanding this, economists can determine tax brackets (as they already have) based upon this need.

The opponent cannot reasonably deny that one man could possibly need $5,000,000 in order to have a quality life and additionally the opponent could not possibly convince anyone that a homeless man, a poor family, or a disabled individual does not need wealth in order to have a decent quality of life.

There is no "fallacy of need". One only needs to possess a certain amount of wealth in order to live a sustainable, happy life. People who are not wealthy enough to meet that standard are no doubt in need. Democratic socialisms holds that people of extreme wealth have an obligation to the poor. This is not unreasonable; after all -- it is often the poor who are working in the factories owned by the rich.

Lastly, this redistribution is not "forced charity", because it is not charity at all. Charity is when you give from yourself somethint not demanded in order to help others. Under democratic socialism, there is no option to not give. Redisribution is not charity; it is a legally enforced civic duty to your fellow man.

Captalism and the Death of Poverty

Here the opponent attempts to imply that capitalism is not compatible with democratic socialism. This is patently false. A legally enforced redistribution does not destroy capitalism. When the riched are taxed highly, they still have plenty of money to fund ventures that bolster capitalism. Beyond that, democratic socialism does not concern itself with controlling industry. This would be unreasonable, as capitalism has proved itself time and time again.

There are mutliple modern-day democratic socialist countries that have stable economies, largely due to the capitalism that is allowed to take place there. The opponent seems to be confusing socialism with communism; a fatal mistake.

The Tyranny of the Majority; Why Individuals Must Be Protected

Here, the opponent again falls back upon his flawed argument that humans have some sort of natural rights granted by evolution. Under democratic socialism, all people in the society have the same rights granted by the government. They are more restrictive than what would be offered by a libertarian goverment, but I have already discussed why this is a good thing.

The opponent seeks to justify libertarianism based upon the prescription of how the U.S. was founded. While the U.S. is a good source to pull various statistics from (as I have done), we cannot forget that we are not arguing for Libertarianism vs Socialism in the US. We are arguing for the fundamental ideology itself. While pure democratic socialism is likely is not technically compatible with the ideals that the US was founded on, this is irrelevant.

I am clearly not arguing for a republic, but rather a democracy. If the majority decides that the land should be a certain way, that is how the land will turn out. The minority may often disagree with majority, but all that can be said is "tough luck". Democratic socialism holds that the country should be run based upon the will of the "average person", which is best determined based upon the majority.

The opponent finds this so disagreeable, again, because of his assumption that some rights are simply naturally existent. I have demonstrated that this cannot be proven or even reasonably suggested, so it is not a valid argument. Once one understands that, the merits of democratic socialism become clear.



The opponent has largely based his argument on the idea that natural rights exist. I have shown that the opponent cannot prove this to be true and that it is unreasonable to assume this is the case.

I have shown that democratic socialism creates a significant net benefit for society -- a fact which the opponent failed to refute. Rather than attempt to point out flaws in my economic argument, he fell back upon the "natural rights" argument.

You should vote Con because a) my position is the most reasonable, b) the opponent cannot prove his fundamental assumption that we have "natural rights, and c) there are great economic benefits to democratic socialism.

I look forward to the final round. I hope the opponent will attempt to objectively prove the natural existence of "inallienable rights", though I suspect he will find it truly impossible. I have yet to see a person prove this, and I've seen many, many debates and discussions on the issue.
Debate Round No. 4


JDiamond forfeited this round.


Victory by ff.
Debate Round No. 5
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by domfincrag 2 years ago
Libertarianism is just stupid. Im voting con.
Posted by JDiamond 2 years ago
I apologize for forfeiting the previous round, but as I stated before, the Internet connection where I live has been extremely unreliable as of late. So unreliable, that I am currently writing this from another town's library. I hope that the voters will take this into consideration, and consider the following as my final round.
My opponent has challenged me with 'proving' the objective reality of natural rights. While I would make the argument that these rights are self-evident, and that the mere existence of them as concepts argues strongly for their reality, I agree with him in that doing so in a purely objective manner would be akin to proving something as unknowable as the beginning of time. In reverse, I challenge my opponent to prove the existence of the collective as a single entity, a concept on which his entire argument relies.
Rather, I believe we should focus on the effect either assumption has on society. If I am correct, then the ideas of liberty, equality, and justice are guaranteed. Equality of opportunity, not of result, would be considered non-negotiable.
If my opponent is correct, than no individual has any power over himself. Rather, the state is God: an entity which may enforce its will upon the common person for any reason. This is not Progressivism, this is huge step backwards to the authoritarian nature of Feudalism. Since the main thesis of the debate was which ideology is most compatible with ideas of Western Liberalism: I believe the choice is clear.
Posted by Inort 2 years ago
I vote for Pro
Posted by kasmic 2 years ago
Posted by kasmic 2 years ago
Am I aloud to argue that the "libertarianism vs. Socialism" is a false dichotomy... because it is.
Posted by That1User 2 years ago
Interesting premise. I'd rather debate what is preferable to live in rather than what fits more into the idea of western liberalism though. Also, is this about what fits better into classical western liberalism or modern western liberalism?
Posted by UtherPenguin 2 years ago
Iso first round for acceptance or do I just go with my arguments?
Posted by OnlineMissionary197 2 years ago
Posted by canis 2 years ago
The World is what it can be.. The idea about it can be anything..
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by condeelmaster 2 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: This was a really even debate with both parties providing equally good arguments. What made Pro's arguments weaker was his forfeiting in last round. If Pro didn't forfeited the result could have been different...