The Instigator
LordDeclan
Pro (for)
Winning
8 Points
The Contender
RonPaulConservative
Con (against)
Losing
3 Points

Marxism is invariably superior to Capitalism

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
LordDeclan
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/23/2016 Category: Economics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 762 times Debate No: 98385
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
Votes (2)

 

LordDeclan

Pro

I have recently come to the firm conclusion, after reading several texts by Marx and Engels, that, despite the stigma surrounding communism in much of the West, it, at least in the Marxist form, is far superior to capitalism. Whilst I do not advocate any of the atrocities committed in, for example, the Soviet Union in the name of this cause, I feel that this is a perversion of the true message of Marxism, and that the pure form is an ideology that we should readily adopt.
I personally can see no reason to advocate a libertarian free market over libertarian collectivism. The Labour Theory of Value seemed to me a very poignant idea, and it is something that I have come to idolise as one of the great philosophical breakthroughs of history. The idea that labour is equitable to value seems to intrinsically make sense to me. I can see no reasons to continue the capitalist idea of pricing; to me now, it seems to be barely distinguishable from theft. It is exploitation in its purest form. The effort put into the production of goods should surely be represented by the worth of that good, rather than be overruled by a number invented for the simple purpose of "competition".
Something else that was important to me in Marxist writings was the belief that the system shapes your ideologies. This was particularly clear when seeing how capitalism creates " Commodity Fetishism". The giving of value to surplus produce is incredibly illogical, for if one has all the produce they need, surely any excess is wasted labour and therefore not inclusive of value. Our obsession with goods is quite clear, and thus I would agree on this front. Also in this idea of the system making ideologies we come across Marx's famous quote; "religion is the opium of the masses". This shows how both feudalism and capitalism cause the proletariat to create falsehoods that will relive their suffering, for they believe in a free future. This is manipulated by the aristocracy or capitalists, depending on who is the ruling class, to prevent any proletarians from desiring a better present. This type of manipulation is sadistic and evil to an inexcusable degree.
I have many other reasons to support Marxism over capitalism, however I will leave others for later rounds in order to avoid needless repetition. I would therefore ask that someone debate with me who cannot only advocate a capitalist system but also present flaws in a Marxist one (and vice-versa) in order to convince me wholeheartedly that capitalism is better than Marxism.
Also, in clarification, I am defining Marxism as ONLY based off texts written by Karl Marx and/or Frederick Engels. This avoids confusion with Stalinist perversions etcetera, which I obviously do not condone

Sources for Marxist Ideas:
The Principles of Communism
The Communist Manifesto
Das Kapital
RonPaulConservative

Con

What message? Karl Marx wanted everyone to vilently usurp the means of production from its rightful owners and give it to everyone else. This is called stealing, which is immoral. But let's talk communism, Capitalism is invariably superior to communism for 2 main reasons:
1. Capitalism has regard for the individual, and establishes respect for his property and his person- rather than regarding the work of others as public property simply because you need it, as in communism, capitalism gives ech individual rights over what he or she produces.
2. Capitalism accounts for human nature; peple will always serve their own separate intrests, this is a given, and this is why Capitalism accounts for the incentive to work by allowing those who produce to keep whatever they earn.
Debate Round No. 1
LordDeclan

Pro

Well my first issue must be with your choice of words in saying "violently usurp the means of production from its " rightful owners"". I would ask how the capitalist class has more "right" to the means of production than the bourgeois or proletarian classes? Did they not themselves have a violent revolution to seize them off the aristocracy in the overthrow of feudalism? Is this "immoral theft". I would be very interested to know what right you think the few have over the many to own all of the useful items in society without even using them themselves.
Your first point in favour of capitalism is, in my view, deeply flawed. Capitalism does not respect anyone's property; the very most essential items that every person needs are perpetually at stake. The threat of competition means that the market can seize your home, your food, and the clothes on your back, all in the name of liberty via free market. Communism views the work of the people as their own to give; it does not even force you to work. In fact, it advocates the freedom offered by choosing not to work. It simply says that if you choose not to work then you must provide for yourself. Therefore, it does not view the people's labour as public property. The final line in your first argument is ludicrous and hypocritical. As Marx points out in painstaking detail, capitalism causes alienation of the labourer, as in, alienation of the labourer from the products, alienation of the labourer from labouring, alienation of the labourer from other labourers and alienation of the labourer from gattungswesen, or "spirit essence". If you cannot understand that capitalism causes such alienation, and that the first and second types especially were in contradiction to your idea of " rights over what they produce", then I believe you simply can't comprehend what a right is. The only people with rights over production are those making surplus from it; the capitalists.
As to your second argument; can you then explain why there have been functioning communist societies found in pre-feudal and tribal communities for centuries? And can you explain away the theory of Mutual Aid and how it eclipses competition? (1). Also, in capitalism people don't keep what they earn-they are given useless trinkets and taught that they have value due to commodity fetishism, which is an ideology bred of capitalism. Also, one must consider that there are more incentives then material ones. Emotional incentives can be far more potent. Many people will work to be viewed in a certain way, provided they have a good standard of necessity materials. If you don't believe this then please explain Alexey Grigoryevich Stakhanov and the many others like him.(2).
As yet, you have failed to find a communist flaw that is either true or exclusive from capitalism. Your arguments in favour of capitalism have also appeared somewhat contradictory to fact. I hope you further enlighten me in your next round; I'm sure this is simply me misinterpreting your points.

(1) See: Mutual Aid, A Factor of Evolution
(2) https://www.google.co.uk...

And of course, once again, the main arguments are from
The Principles of Communism
The Communist Manifesto
Das Kapital
RonPaulConservative

Con

What are you talking about? Capitalists achieved their property by, through a voluntary exchange, purchasing it from someone else. They bought it with good money, and are therefore entitled to it- they invested good money into the construction factories, and are therefore entitled to those factories.

The market is merely the exchange of goods and services among individuals, it is a phenomenon, not a thing, and cannot seize your property in any way. Under Capitalism you can chose not to work, but unless you put something into the system, you aren't going to get anything out, and you will thus starve.

Capitalists invest money into more advanced means of production, and thereby allow other people to amplify the productive powers of their labor, the capitalist is thus entitled to a portion of what was produced with his factory- the workers benefited by him, and he is thereby entitled to a fee.

Debate Round No. 2
LordDeclan

Pro

I think your debate can be pretty much summed up in the words "what are you talking about?". At least, it appears you have either missed or misunderstood most of my points.
Please note a may use capitalization not to denote emotion or volume but simply for emphasis
Perhaps you missed me mentioning the bourgeois REVOLUTION? For that quite clearly shows, the capitalists took their wealth and power from the aristocracy in much the same way that Marx intended for the proletariat to take it from the bourgeois. So the words " voluntary exchange" are pretty hollow. Also, when they "purchase property from someone else" you mean they "purchase private property" from someone else. Personal property belongs to someone. Private property should not. You also seem to have forgotten that your Utopian free market doesn't exist. Most people don't start out life equally. Inheritance makes this even worse. Therefore, your claim that capitalists are in their place due to hard work and investment doesn't really ring true. The point about "buying the means of production" is moot because there is no right to put them up for sale in the first place.

I think it was quite clear I didn't mean the market broke down the front door, walked in with a big market grin on and stole stuff. It was a figure of speech, and your literalist pedantry only serves to prove you have no answer; you accept that the, and I'll be explicit here, CONDITIONS SURROUNDING HAVING A MARKET can cause people to suddenly lose everything through no fault of their own. Your statement "nothing in, nothing out" is also true of Marxism: "From EACH TO HIS ABILITY to each unto his need.".

As to your last point, this is true, he has done good work and deserves a fee. What he deserves though is what he NEEDS, and not PROFIT made by EXPLOITING workers. You are completely ignoring my very first debate point; please research the Labour Theory of Value.

You have one last chance to disprove my points now that I have (hopefully) made them clear enough for you to understand, unlike what was implied in the first sentence of your previous post. Good luck.

Sources same as before.
RonPaulConservative

Con

First of all, land owned by individuals today was never stolen from Feudal Lords, go back and read a history book, what happened was this thing called rule of law, and later the bubonic plague. Basically peasants moved away from Feudal manor economies, who were battling it out with eachother, and established their own property and farms. Most land today was actually achieved through homesteading, esspecialy in the Americas. The ancestors of those feudal lords still own those same plots of land today as they did then, or they sold it off somewhere along those lines.
Secondly, profit is not made by exploiting workers- what are you talking about? Profit is made by providing a quality good to the public at a reasonable price.
Thirdly, people can't just randomly "lose everything," maybe if their house gets hit by a meteor or catches on fire, but that's not the markets fault.
Fourthly, private property should belong to someone- you cannot make an arbitrary distinction between a, let's say, toothbrush, and a factory- both are things of value that someone produced or arned with the intent of bettering themselves.
Fithly, inhereitance is acheived by someone who earned a sum of money giving it to someone else because they are going to die- they should be able to do this. Bt regardless some people do have more opportunities than others, but those opportunities were created, not taken, and therefor this inequality has no har on others, and is honestly not a problem, as the opportunities produced do not diminish from those that already exist.
Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
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>Reported vote: Capitalistslave // Mod action: NOT Removed<

5 points to Pro (Arguments, Sources). Reasons for voting decision: NOTE: I will post only some of my RFD here, the rest of it, due to character limits, will be posted in comments on the debate. Pro's arguments were better in the following ways: 1) Their argument that the capitalists/bourgeosie do not have any more right to the means of production than workers made sense, and while con tried to refute this by claiming they paid for it, pro refuted it by bringing examples of how wealth can be inherited and people do not start off equally in life. Con then failed to rebut that. 2) Pro's argument that under capitalism, things are perpetually at stake, thus meaning that capitalism doesn't respect personal property, makes a lot of sense. Con rebutted this by saying the market does no such seizures, however this is something inevitable under capitalism, since if you can't pay bills for things, a capitalist will come along and seize your property for seeking pay back, this commonly-known fact makes con's rebuttal rather weak.

[*Reason for non-removal*] The voter goes to more than sufficient lengths to explain arguments by pointing to specific points made by both sides, and then does the same for sources, justifying why each source type was considered greater or lesser.
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Posted by Capitalistslave 1 year ago
Capitalistslave
RFD CONTINUED

Why pro's arguments were better(continued)
3) Con tried to argue that capitalism accounts for human nature, but pro rebutted successfully with that communist and communal societies have been around for ages, and also brought up the theory on Mutual Aid, which are convincing arguments that con failed to rebut later on.

Why pro had better sources:
1) Since con did not cite any sources, and pro cited primary sources, this one goes to pro. Since pro cited primary sources on the theory of communism, such as Das Kapital, and the communist manifesto, these would be more reliable than a secondary source since they can be subject to interpretation and human error. Primary sources are not subject to interpretation since they are the original source of the idea or thing. While I couldn't open the Google link pro offered, the fact they used primary sources in the beginning outweighs this. Since con didn't cite any sources, there is no source to compare pro's sources with.
Posted by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
*******************************************************************
>Reported vote: RyuuKyuzo// Mod action: Removed<

4 points to Pro (Conduct, S&G, Sources). Reasons for voting decision: This is a clear Pro win. Con put very little effort into his rounds, so conduct to Pro, and Con had several spelling and grammar issues. Most of the arguments came down to each debater just stating their opinion on the matter with little to back it up. Neither debater actually established that their ideology is "invariably superior" to the other in any objective sense, but Pro at least did use sources for his arguments, and so he gets points for that.

[*Reason for removal*] (1) Conduct is insufficiently explained. Unless the voter can explain how putting very little effort into his arguments suffices as an insult to his opponent or a violation of the rules of the debate, this point may not be awarded on this basis. (2) S&G is insufficiently explained. The voter is required to show that the errors of one of the debaters made their argument substantially more difficult to understand. That requires more than just stating that one side had "several" S&G issues. (3) Sources are insufficiently explained. The voter is required to do more than simply state that one side provided sources. It must be clear how those sources were reliable, not just asserted that they were.
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Posted by rogueone 1 year ago
rogueone
LordDeclan,
I noticed you left a comment on my debate about boy scouts and if you feel that way would strongly urge you to vote for me at the end of the debate.
Posted by LordDeclan 1 year ago
LordDeclan
It may be worth noting that in the final debate, Con's first points are very America-centric. Whilst the rule of law and bubonic plague did have an effect, the European countries undoubtedly had bourgeois revolutions against feudalism. For example, at the time of Marx, the German bourgeois was rebelling against their aristocracy in the unification of Germany. Also, very poignant is the French Revolution, and to a lesser extent the English Civil War. Therefore I believe his claim that the capitalise never, and to use his word "stole" their property off the aristocracy is false.
Posted by LordDeclan 1 year ago
LordDeclan
Thank you very much for your comment Thoguth, I hope you enjoy the debate!
Ragnar, whist I understand your point, I was simply trying to avoid the OBVIOUS instances where it went wrong to make a more worthwhile debate. For example, I would not make a debate looking at the failures of capitalism and simply talk about Germany in the Great Depression. Same principle here.
Posted by Ragnar 1 year ago
Ragnar
"Whilst I do not advocate any of the atrocities committed in, for example, the Soviet Union in the name of this cause, I feel that this is a perversion of the true message of Marxism, and that the pure form is an ideology that we should readily adopt."

The same could be said of Capitalism, with any flaws being attributed to a perversion of the true message of Capitalism, and that the pure form is an ideology that we should readily adopt.

This is a problem when you're speaking of conceptions but excluding the results.
Posted by Thoguth 1 year ago
Thoguth
I kind of want to debate the Con here, but I'm not sure at the moment. Making a comment so I don't forget about it for now.

I've read some Marx and he's intelligent and persuasive, but there are some flaws in his statements that hit hard blocks when they encounter reality. I think that Marxist views are worthwhile, especially in a society that values human lives as more than something with a dollar value... but at the same time, simple labor is not enough... more thoughts that I'll add if I engage debate-wise, but in any case thanks for proposing this. Wish you the best with it.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Capitalistslave 1 year ago
Capitalistslave
LordDeclanRonPaulConservativeTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: NOTE: I will post only some of my RFD here, the rest of it, due to character limits, will be posted in comments on the debate. Pro's arguments were better in the following ways: 1) Their argument that the capitalists/bourgeosie do not have any more right to the means of production than workers made sense, and while con tried to refute this by claiming they paid for it, pro refuted it by bringing examples of how wealth can be inherited and people do not start off equally in life. Con then failed to rebut that. 2) Pro's argument that under capitalism, things are perpetually at stake, thus meaning that capitalism doesn't respect personal property, makes a lot of sense. Con rebutted this by saying the market does no such seizures, however this is something inevitable under capitalism, since if you can't pay bills for things, a capitalist will come along and seize your property for seeking pay back, this commonly-known fact makes con's rebuttal rather weak.
Vote Placed by jo154676 1 year ago
jo154676
LordDeclanRonPaulConservativeTied
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Total points awarded:33 
Reasons for voting decision: Con made several spelling errors throughout the debate. Pro gets more reliable sources because con didnt use any. However pro never proved that communism was better and he had burden of proof.