The Instigator
qwarkinator
Pro (for)
Losing
31 Points
The Contender
Kleptin
Con (against)
Winning
56 Points

Liberty is maximized through Socialism not Capitalism

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/28/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,113 times Debate No: 2984
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (11)
Votes (20)

 

qwarkinator

Pro

I believe my statement is quite clear. The reasoning behind my argument is Capitalism restricts your freedom because of your economic status. Since your economic status is something you do not always have control over you have less liberty. In Socialism your are not trapped by your economic status because everything does not have a cost.

Keep in mind this is not a debate on systems of rule such as democracy or autocracy, just a debate on the economic systems themselves.

I will go into farther detail once someone has excepted my challenge.
Kleptin

Con

My opponent's argument is essentially that since things have a cost, you are not free to acquire those things which you cannot afford. While this is true, my opponent neglects the fact that in a socialist, central-planned economy, a similar restriction of freedom applies.

If my opponent is imagining a society where there are no prices, then a person could hypothetically take whatever he wanted, correct? This is a flawed assumption.

The problem with any economic system is infinite wants versus finite resources. Be it capitalism or socialism, people will always want MORE than society can provide. Thus, there must be a fair way to determine who gets how much.

Capitalism runs under the notion that everyone should get what they work for.

Socialism runs under the notion that everyone should get the same amount regardless.

If I were living under a socialist economy, I would never be able to own a private jet. However, in a capitalist economy, I could potentially own one if I saved enough money for it.

I would then say that the capitalist is more free because there exists the potential to get whatever he wants, whereas the socialist cannot control what he gets: How hard he works has nothing to do with how much he is rewarded.

As my opponent has only made an opening statement with that single point, I now invite my opponent to make a thorough post, in great detail, about his ideal socialist economy, the inherent flaws of capitalism, what both have to do with freedom, and to respond to my points.
Debate Round No. 1
qwarkinator

Pro

I agree if you lived in a society were everything was given away you would not be able to get everything you want and resources would run out, however, this is not what I intended to described. My opponent is describing Communism not Socialism. Therefore I cannot respond directly to the statements made by my opponent because they are based on the assumption that I was describing Communism.

Now I will describe in greater detail the flaws as I see them with Capitalism. One of the biggest flaws is the competition capitalism creates between companies. Most people would say this is the best part about Capitalism buyers can choose exactly what they want and if the do not like the goods being offered the can take their business to another company. This is true for a while; however, for something to be a competition you must have a winner and when a company completely takes over the market you no longer have the freedom to choose the products you buy. This can make for large price increases and less than impressive products. You may question if this is a valid argument, if so look no farther than the United States at the beginning of the twentieth century and standard oil. The flaws are obvious. In Socialism the government would have the ability to intervene and stop monopolies.

My next point is you have less liberty in Capitalism because you are controlled by your monetary status. You may say that you are not controlled by your economic status; you are given exactly what you earn if you work hard at your job. This is true to a degree; however, you do not always have control over what you spend money on, for example when you become ill. Therefore it is agreeable that you do not always have control over your monetary status. So when you desire to educate yourself to improve your economic status (which costs money in a true capitalist society), you are held prisoner by your current economic status which is something you cannot always control.
In Socialism the government can remove the costs that you do not have control over so you are not a victim of chance and the government can remove the costs of education so you can educate yourself according to ability and not your economic status.

In review Capitalism creates monopolies which inhibits the consumer's right to purchase the products he or she chooses. My last point is in capitalism you are held in check by your economic status, which prevents you from improving your credentials, in turn, you cannot find a better job to remove you from your current economic status. I believe I covered my case extensively I invite my opponent to challenge my statements and explain why he believes capitalism is a better system of economics.
Kleptin

Con

"I agree if you lived in a society were everything was given away you would not be able to get everything you want and resources would run out, however, this is not what I intended to described. My opponent is describing Communism not Socialism. Therefore I cannot respond directly to the statements made by my opponent because they are based on the assumption that I was describing Communism."

It doesn't matter whether I was describing Socialism, Communism, or Pastafarianism. Your initial argument had absolutely no substance so expecting me to mind-read what you mean without you saying it is nonsense. You could have at least explained where the difference between communism and socialism are and tried to explain why my points are void instead of wasting both my time and yours. Because of this little gimmick of yours, we're probably going to talk past each other because you have not properly defined Socialism, only mentioned that it isn't Capitalism.

"Now I will describe in greater detail the flaws as I see them with Capitalism. One of the biggest flaws is the competition capitalism creates between companies. Most people would say this is the best part about Capitalism buyers can choose exactly what they want and if the do not like the goods being offered the can take their business to another company. This is true for a while; however, for something to be a competition you must have a winner and when a company completely takes over the market you no longer have the freedom to choose the products you buy. This can make for large price increases and less than impressive products. You may question if this is a valid argument, if so look no farther than the United States at the beginning of the twentieth century and standard oil. The flaws are obvious. In Socialism the government would have the ability to intervene and stop monopolies."

Your thought is about half complete. In socialism, competition would not exist at all. The government itself would be the monopoly. You are also incorrect in saying that Capitalism requires a winner. Capitalism is a competition that never ends, much like evolution is an eternal process of bettering a species. Monopolies cannot exist forever, even without government intervention. There will always be alternatives to everything, even if it is not directly foreseeable. For example: A company with a monopoly on oil that is taking advantage of consumers will boost demand for natural fuels, or for solar powered appliances. When these things go on the market, oil companies lose profit and have to drop their prices in order to generate more demand.

Econ 101.

No monopoly can last forever.

"My next point is you have less liberty in Capitalism because you are controlled by your monetary status. You may say that you are not controlled by your economic status; you are given exactly what you earn if you work hard at your job. This is true to a degree; however, you do not always have control over what you spend money on, for example when you become ill. Therefore it is agreeable that you do not always have control over your monetary status. So when you desire to educate yourself to improve your economic status (which costs money in a true capitalist society), you are held prisoner by your current economic status which is something you cannot always control.
In Socialism the government can remove the costs that you do not have control over so you are not a victim of chance and the government can remove the costs of education so you can educate yourself according to ability and not your economic status."

Again, your thought is about half complete. In socialism, there are no costs at all. There's also no economic class. Therefore, you still have no control over your own life and the quality of your own life. Your argument against capitalism is very weak. The only examples you gave of things that limit freedom are things that prohibit your personal use of finances. Such as getting sick, which is a chance event and pretty much negligible. However, the capitalist would have the option and the choice to exert effort and be rewarded equally. In a socialist economy, there is nothing of the sort. You are robbed even of that little thing. No matter how hard you work, you still get the same. So freedom is actually limited.

"In review Capitalism creates monopolies which inhibits the consumer's right to purchase the products he or she chooses. My last point is in capitalism you are held in check by your economic status, which prevents you from improving your credentials, in turn, you cannot find a better job to remove you from your current economic status. I believe I covered my case extensively I invite my opponent to challenge my statements and explain why he believes capitalism is a better system of economics."

I have already responded to your argument about monopolies. And your assertion that capitalism holds your job and prevents improvement is a complete and total lie. Need I list the hundreds of thousands of success stories? Immigrants who came to America with nothing and now own successful businesses? Underdogs who struck it rich with a new idea and *capitalized* on it? Small businesses turning into big businesses? How about lower income students who study hard and become doctors or lawyers?

Instead, let's take a look at Socialism. All prices and production are controlled by a central figure. How do people get paid more? How do people get paid less? What happens when people get an idea or invent something?

Capitalist Joe, a poor shmuck, gets a new idea and borrows money from the bank, starts a business, and makes massive profit.

Socialist Bob, just as poor as Capitalist Joe, gets a new idea and can't capitalize off of it. The most he can do is turn it over to the central figure and benefit everyone equally.

Capitalist Joe starts to become a monopoly, but a competitor arises and the two in a fight for profit, make better products that consumers will want more, balancing quality and price.

Socialist Bob is still poor, although his life is a teeny bit better since his idea was used by the central figure for the benefit of all. There's no competition, so the benefit stays stagnant.

********

What's going to happen eventually? Realistically?

Humans are driven by greed to want more things, better things, to lead happier lives. With capitalism, you're forced to work for it. And those who work harder get more rewards.

With Socialism, everyone will get lazy. New ideas don't benefit you much, so people will stop thinking and stop caring. Why give a damn if I'm still getting the same benefits as everyone else?

My opponent would have us believe that a society in which everyone is equal is freedom. This is not the case. Individuality is freedom. Capitalism lets you exercise control over your life. Socialism robs you of it and passes it on to everyone else. Socialism is a myth, a fraud. It sounds good on paper but doesn't work anywhere, at any time, for any reason. It is completely flawed in principle.

People do not work at full capacity for the betterment of mankind. They work at full capacity for the betterment of themselves. Capitalism taps into that and uses it to fuel a market where EVERYONE wins. Socialism is too idealistic and is a system where everyone LOSES.

Any country that has attempted communism is in shambles, or is just recovering after implementing some capitalism in their systems.
Debate Round No. 2
qwarkinator

Pro

My opponent admits that capitalism creates monopolies, which causes economic oppression and loss of freedom. He argues that this is okay because monopolies will eventually be destroyed. This is very flawed logic; he is saying oppression is okay as long as it does not last long. So is it okay if Hitler killed six million Jews as long as the problem is eventually solved. You can see the problems with this logic.

Let me go on, the problem with capitalism is that it creates competition. This is an actual flaw with the theory of capitalism and not the practice of it. So no matter who practices capitalism it will never work because the very thing that drives it causes economic oppression.

To continue my opponent can only point at flaws in the practice of Socialism, he has yet to point out a flaw with actual theory. He says people take advantage of the system and have no reason to work that is a flaw with human nature not actually a flaw with the system of Socialism. He could say that the government has far too many rights and can take away your freedom and again this is a flaw of government and not the system of Socialism. Therefore he has yet to show me a flaw in the theory of Socialism he has only shown me flaws in the practice of it.

My opponent says "It sounds good on paper but doesn't work anywhere, at any time, for any reason." Last time I checked this debate is on paper/in theory. To cite examples of socialism from the real world would skew the accuracy of the debate, because of economic systems of this type are run by the government, therefore, the quality Socialism depends on the quality of government that runs it. I can cite examples of capitalism because the idea behind capitalism is the government does not need to step in, therefore, my results will not be skewed by the system of government running it.

My opponent also says "It is completely flawed in principle." He has yet to prove that is a fact. He has pointed out flaws in human nature and government not flaws in the actual theory.

I challenge my opponent to refute my argument and prove to me that capitalism is not flawed in principle and the socialism is. Until he can do that he cannot win the argument
Kleptin

Con

"My opponent admits that capitalism creates monopolies, which causes economic oppression and loss of freedom. He argues that this is okay because monopolies will eventually be destroyed. This is very flawed logic; he is saying oppression is okay as long as it does not last long. So is it okay if Hitler killed six million Jews as long as the problem is eventually solved. You can see the problems with this logic."

Strawman fallacy, appeal to Hitler fallacy.

I never said that oppression is okay as long as it doesn't last long. I'm saying that oppression doesn't exist because monopolies are always transitory things. If a monopoly develops, the free market automatically works harder against the monopoly by the force of the invisible hand. (Such as alternate fuel if oil companies form a monopoly).

As for your appeal to Hitler, it ties in with your deliberate misinterpretation of my argument. It has absolutely nothing to do with the debate and an appeal to Hitler is the best way to earn points with people because he is socially viewed as the prime evil.

"Let me go on, the problem with capitalism is that it creates competition. This is an actual flaw with the theory of capitalism and not the practice of it. So no matter who practices capitalism it will never work because the very thing that drives it causes economic oppression."

Wrong. You don't understand capitalism at all. Competition is not a bad thing nor does it lead to economic oppression. Competition leads to everyone getting the most out of what exists in the amount that they want it, divided among whoever deserves it the most. So no, the theory is not flawed.

"To continue my opponent can only point at flaws in the practice of Socialism, he has yet to point out a flaw with actual theory. He says people take advantage of the system and have no reason to work that is a flaw with human nature not actually a flaw with the system of Socialism. He could say that the government has far too many rights and can take away your freedom and again this is a flaw of government and not the system of Socialism. Therefore he has yet to show me a flaw in the theory of Socialism he has only shown me flaws in the practice of it."

No. The flaw in Socialist theory is that it is based on unrealistic assumptions. If I create an economy theory that says everyone can get everything they want at any time, there's a problem with the theory because infinite stuff doesn't exist. Same with socialism. People don't produce at peak capacity for no reason. There's no drive. I'm not poking at the practice. I'm poking at the theory as to how the practice of it will turn out.

"My opponent says "It sounds good on paper but doesn't work anywhere, at any time, for any reason." Last time I checked this debate is on paper/in theory. To cite examples of socialism from the real world would skew the accuracy of the debate, because of economic systems of this type are run by the government, therefore, the quality Socialism depends on the quality of government that runs it. I can cite examples of capitalism because the idea behind capitalism is the government does not need to step in, therefore, my results will not be skewed by the system of government running it."

Fine, I retract evidence of the massive failures of every nation that has tried to implement socialism. I replace it with the emphasis that good economic theories have to be both good on paper and applicable. Any country that strove for socialism messed up and is now striving for Capitalism. Every country that strove for Capitalism is now doing great in the world market. I now show generally that the PURSUIT of Capitalism is better than the PURSUIT of socialism.

"My opponent also says "It is completely flawed in principle." He has yet to prove that is a fact. He has pointed out flaws in human nature and government not flaws in the actual theory."

It is flawed in principle *because* it makes flawed assumptions about human nature. Socialism expects all humans to work their best for little to no reward. This is unrealistic.

"I challenge my opponent to refute my argument and prove to me that capitalism is not flawed in principle and the socialism is. Until he can do that he cannot win the argument"

On what basis are you challenging me to do anything? You haven't complied with any of the things I wanted you to do.

*******

My opponent has not even defined Socialism like I asked him to. Nor has he offered any argument as to why Socialism WOULD work in principle. In fact, I explained more about the way Socialism works than he did. My opponent doesn't even address all the points I made about the free market, the way prices and products affect each other, he only repeats his points ad nauseum.

My opponent's only argument was the monopoly. I have already argued several times that a monopoly would not be able to do any damage to a purely capitalist society because the free market would be able to strike back. My opponent ignored my example about oil monopolies easily being toppled over by solar energy or natural fuels.

I have also emphasized how Capitalists can earn and profit off of whatever they create directly, giving them the urge to be even more productive, whereas Socialists cannot. This means that they get little to no rewards for any amount of output. This means demand to work goes down. It is inherently flawed.

My opponent has absolutely failed to show that he even understands how either Capitalism OR Socialism works through his assumptions.
Debate Round No. 3
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Kleptin 9 years ago
Kleptin
To my opponent:

I can spend 30 minutes debunking all those points you have below, but I don't think that's productive. If you feel this is unsettled, do send me another debate request and let this one go.
Posted by qwarkinator 9 years ago
qwarkinator
I forget to say that new companies cannot enter the market because the will be bought out by the existing company. Standard Oil is a perfect example, you know history is the window into the future.
Posted by qwarkinator 9 years ago
qwarkinator
You assume that the government is evil and can do no good. What if the government is the people, what if everyone makes those decisions together, as a democracy. In addition I do not know exactly how I feel about public education, I agree it could be very dangerous depending on who controls what is being taught. I do not think there is a good way to teach no matter who sponsors the education, they are coming from some sort of angle and cannot give an unbiased opinion at some point you must trust someone to be honest in education. You also forgot to mention that Amtrak is a natural monopoly, which means the government puts regulations on the companies to prevent the economic oppression i described earlier.
Posted by DucoNihilum 9 years ago
DucoNihilum
Other companies have a lot of incentive to get the market, this isn't one huge company. The government is generally the one group that keeps monopolies together, not breaks them apart. Look at the government monopoly on public education, Amtrak, etc etc. I don't understand how you can talk about how evil monopolies are but then suggest every single industry become a government monopoly under socialism!
Posted by qwarkinator 9 years ago
qwarkinator
Oil monopolies would not be topple as you indicate. Companies are the ones that do research and development and if they have no reason to change why would they. The theory is flawed there you go are you happy. I also keep repeating myself because you did not address the points i made effectively. For example you insist that monopolies would go away but have no proof of it. In the US the government had to step in to prevent companies like standard oil from running wild. In addition you say socialism is flawed because of it makes assumptions about human nature, this is not flaw in the actual system this is a flaw in human nature. If humans were good and government remained uncorrupted there would be no problem with socialism. On the other hand capitalism is driven by competition which creates monopolies so no matter who runs it creates economic oppression.
Posted by shwayze 9 years ago
shwayze
seriously, if people hate this country so much and despise capitalism, why dont they just leave? we dont want them here anyways.
Posted by HandsOff 9 years ago
HandsOff
Lots of socialist countries out there to choose from if you like socialism? This country is all we capitalists have left. Please leave it alone.
Posted by shwayze 9 years ago
shwayze
i wonder whether the people in cuba and north korea think socialism is a greater institute of freedom than capitalism.
Posted by Patrick_Henry 9 years ago
Patrick_Henry
I hate when I agree with the premise but the debater for the premise does a terrible job of supporting their argument and I can't vote for them.
Posted by Yraelz 9 years ago
Yraelz
Kleptin go read the debate on You, Logical, and I being the same person. I think you will find it entertaining.
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