The Instigator
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7 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

Market Socialism

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/16/2014 Category: Economics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 965 times Debate No: 44098
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)




This is my first round! I will do my best to make this work, based on reading previous debates.


Market socialism should replace capitalism in countries with a free market economy.

Capitalism: "an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market" (Merriam-Webster)

Market socialism: "Market socialism refers to various economic systems where the means of production are publicly owned, managed, and administered and the market is utilized to distribute resources and economic output." (Princeton)

Free market economy: "a capitalistic economic system in which there is free competition and prices are determined by the interaction of supply and demand" (


1. There is 1 round for acceptance and 3 rounds for debate.
2. New arguments may not be made in the last round.
3. You have 72 hours (3 days) to reply.
4. Arguments must be <3,001 characters.
5. Pro has burden of proof.
6. This is the last rule.

Exited for my first debate here!
Market Socialism:
Free market economy:


Capitalism was born in the industrial revolution of England when the countries in Europe were in tight competition for being the leading power. England was the first to industrialize or take on capitalism. This change quickly gave them an edge over other countries and soon England became the superpower of Europe. At the height of their revolution they produced more, brought in more money, and had a stronger military than any other country on Earth at that time. The countries who maintained socialism or other systems similar where the government had much or some control quickly fall behind.

One of the dominating forces of capitalism is Laissez Faire. This means that economy will be regulated by the forces of supply and demand. When the consumers want something they invest their money into buying it. Then other companies begin to make the goods to make sure that they make money. When you allow the government to control the economic system you disrupt this cycle that keeps the economy going. Instead of allowing people who have spent their life learning about their profession to regulate how their job works you have another person who has gone to school to gain an entirely different skill set to make those decisions.

An instance of this happening is Solyndra. This company made solar panels and the U.S. government gave them $529 million. Even with $529 million worth of subsidies this company failed to succeed. Logically this should not happen. We would think that with that money how could they fail? What it comes down to is the consumers did not find this a product that was worth spending money on. The product did not work well enough to interest the minds of the American people meaning that it was doomed to fail.

This shows that when the government tries to take control of the economy they will not perform as well as the people as a whole. When taxpayer money given to the government to improve our lives gets thrown away because the government leaders are not entirely focused on business. They have to divide their attention among people's rights, national security, military decisions and as many would say increasing their chance of getting another term. How can we expect a group with that many responsibility to back the right businesses? We can't. We have to put the power of the economy in the hands of the people who can excel at their own areas of expertise and who will succeed or fail based on what the people want rather than who the government favors.
Debate Round No. 1


First, I'd like to thank my opponent, Moscow1941, for joining this debate. Now, I'll make my argument.


Despite in increase in quality of life, there are growing problems with capitalism. Forced evictions in third world countries involve corporations kicking people out of their homes to develop land. About 3 million people have been the victims of this since 2000 in Africa alone. [1] Capitalism is largely to blame for global warming, because there is no incentive for sustainable business practices when pollution is virtually free. [2]
Some companies even exploit forced labor with the help of oppressive governments, such as Nevsun in Eritrea and Nokia in the Congo. [3,4] One company even lead to the deaths of thousands of infants by deception related to baby food. [4] If you really want a horrible abuse from capitalism, look at factory farming.

The point is that capitalist corporations show little regard for the well-being of other people. We need an economic system that strong and stable but has more respect for ethics and positive and negative impacts, and I think we can find that in market socialism.

I propose that democratically run worker cooperatives take over the majority of the market. The government can act as a catalyst for this action, but it will not take total control of the economy, contrary to what my opponent believes. The economy will be controlled by the people, not the government or private companies. This system counts as market socialism. [5]

Worker cooperatives are characterized by a one-member, one-vote basis. Employees both own and manage a cooperative. While they may have management officials like CEOs, they should be elected. A cooperative does not have to have an egalitarian salary, though it may be economically beneficial to do so.

Worker cooperatives are at least as efficient, if not more efficient, than capitalist firms. [5] Workers tend to be more productive. But the best part is that wages and benefits appear to be higher, the jobs are more desirable, and during recessions, cooperatives thrive, relieving unemployment. [6] The evidence is overwhelming the cooperatives are superior to corporations.
In third world countries, cooperatives have the potential to be an important factor in poverty reduction. [7]

The nature of worker cooperatives indicate that they are more responsible organizations than corporations [5]. They tend to be more beneficial to the community they originate in and develop the economy in general. This is because they are controlled not by wealthy capitalists but by the workers who are affected by "externalities," the dark side of production. [6]
It is time to reject corporate aristocracy and move toward a more democratic system.

1. Amnesty International
2. The Nation
3. Human Rights Watch
4. The Value of Nothing - Raj Patel
5. Economic Democracy - David Schweickart
6. Iowa State Universiy
7.Encountering the Evidence... - Wanyama et al


I accept the debate.
Debate Round No. 2


I want to point explain to anyone observing this debate that the reason my opponent skipped the last round is because he accidentally made his case during round one, which was intended to be an acceptance round. This way, we have both had one turn to make our case before the end of turn 2.

We both have made arguments that a market socialist system will or will not improve the economy. However, my opponent's evidence was directed against state socialism, not the form of market socialism which I proposed. Again, I want to make it clear that my plan is NOT a government takeover of the economy - in involves worker cooperatives. On the other hand, I have cited evidence comparing capitalist firms and cooperative firms, and it seems to be that cooperative firms are better economically.

Here are some example of cooperatives that succeeded
-The plywood industry in the Pacific Northwest. Although the cooperatives have declined, when they were existent, they functioned as democratic management and increased employment. [8]
-Mondragon. This cooperative network in the Basque region appeared to be resilient during recession elsewhere in Spain. [5]
-Growth in the Yugoslavian economy between 1950 and 1975 was due largely to works self-management, and the standard of living was greatly increased. [5]
-Cooperatives in Argentina. Here, many companies that failed in the capitalist market were able to recover when they were reorganized as cooperatives. [9]

A multitude of abuses have been committed by companies. A Human Rights Watch publication reports conditions involving violence, intimidation, child labor, and other atrocities involving businesses that trade internationally. [10] Even in the US, "Employers have made employees work in conditions that are degrading or life threatening, for example, in US meat and poultry processing plants." In the third world, corporations have violated human rights in the name of profit. [11] Some example are:
-The oil spill in Nigeria,for which Shell failed to take responsibility
-Contamination of water in Latin America by a Canadian mining company
-Efforts to take over land that could displace over 20,000 by a Korean steel company

These are the downsides of Neoliberal trade. Evil corporations must be eliminated from the market. While these companies appear not to care about the well-being of people in poor countries, if the the third world saw an increase in the number of cooperatives in its economy, poverty would likely be further reduced and development would improve. [12]

There appears to be no good reason not to create a more democratic economy. My opponent has yet to identify any downsides.

9. Worker-Recovered Enterprises as Workers' Cooperatives - Vieta and Ruggeri
12. Co-operatives" role to fight poverty in developing countries


Moscow1941 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


It seems my opponent is not responding. I'll continue to wait and see if he responds to my argument.


Moscow1941 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Existent 2 years ago
No, go ahead and use your second round. I was supposed to go first so you could reply the best you could.
Posted by Moscow1941 2 years ago
This is my first debate too. Please count my argument as my round two posting. I will simply put pass down. I thought that I had already posted something there.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Hierocles 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: I will always vote for the side that did not forfeit any of her/his rounds.