The Instigator
lannan13
Pro (for)
Winning
3 Points
The Contender
Greg4586
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Resolved: A truely capitalistic system would be detrimental to slavery, even if it were permitted t

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
lannan13
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/11/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,769 times Debate No: 77942
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (28)
Votes (1)

 

lannan13

Pro

I'd like to thank Greg4586 for accepting ahead of time.

The full resolution is as follows. Resolved: A truely capitalistic system would be deteramental to the institution of slavery, even if it were permitted to exist.


Rules
First Round is Terms and defintions by Pro, Acceptance by Con.
Second Round is Constructive Arguments, NO REBUTTALS
Third Round is Rebuttals.
Forth Round is Rebuttals and conclusion.
No Semantics, the definitions provided are what is to be used in this debate.
No Trolling.
BOP is shared.
No K's.
If any of the above rules are violated, all 7 points go to the opposition.


Zarroette is banned from voting on this debate. If she votes it shall be concidered a votebomb and shall be removed as such.

Truely Capitalistic System (Milton Friedman Capitalism)- an economic system in which investment in and ownership of themeans of production, distribution, and exchange of wealth is made andmaintained chiefly by private individuals or corporations, especially ascontrasted to cooperatively or state-owned means of wealth, however, monopolies are forbidden to exist. (http://dictionary.reference.com...)

Detrimental- causing detriment, as loss or injury; damaging; harmful. (http://dictionary.reference.com...)

Slavery- the keeping of slaves as a practice or institution. (http://dictionary.reference.com...)

Note that slavery shall not be permitted to exspand across that of the pre-Civil War slave states. No new territory nor alternate world history shall occur for this other than that of the Civil War not happening. Slavery shall not be permitted to exspand into US territories that they gain (such as the Phillipeans and such).

*Disclaimer- this debate does not mean that I support the institution of Slavery nor supported. I condemn the notion of human bondage.*
Greg4586

Con

I accept, good luck and I hope we have a good debate.
Debate Round No. 1
lannan13

Pro

I'd like to thank Con for having the patients to wait for my response. Anyways let's get to the debate.

Contention 1: King Cotton and Slavery

During the 1800's and even before then Cotton was key to many early industries. The first known factories that were established were that of Texile mills to help produce clothing. The key ingrediant in it was between wool and cotton. We have all known wool to be itchy and hot if you wear it in the summer time, so cotton is actually softer and a lot cooler to wear. This was one of the main reasons as to why it was so popular to Brittish manufactures. [1] This brings us to a key issue here of the slave and cotton. First we have to look at the production of cotton. Leading up to the Civil War and even into it soil depleation became a huge issue. This was actually the same exact issue that plagued farmers in the Midwest during the dust bowl. [2] Cotton needs furtail soil and crop circulation in order to keep its growth healthy and this led to a key flaw in the economics of the time.


The Real Price of Owning a Slave in 2011 Dollars

Another key issue to look at here is that of the price of a slave. With soil depletion and falling prices mean less and less profit for the south. When we observe the above graph we can see that the prices of slaves would rise dramatically and continue to do so. Many have even gone as far to state that slavery would end itself by this price differential. Slaveholders wouldn't make enough profit and the value of holding a slave skyrockets it appears that soon it would be nearly impossible to own a slave. [4]



If we observe the chart above we can see that this backs the issue at the time. Not only was cotton issues causing price fall, but we were beginning to see prices fall dramatically. Why is this you may ask? It was based on over production. [3] At the time plantation owners had to make key profits in order to stay in business and in order to compete at the time. How was this achieved? By producing more and more cotton. This was done by more and more plantation holders and this caused overproduction of cotton which caused a price failure. With that mixed with the soil deplition issue we can see that it would only spell disaster for slavery.

Contention 2: Merchantilism and Capitalism

The first key issue here that we have to observe is that of merchantilism which was a key economic system in which the South was rooted in for a long time. Merchantilism is an economic system in which although capitalistic, it still has barriers to free trade. A key barrier to this system was that of tarrifs. As shown bellow. We can see how dangerous these tariffs were to cotton prices. we could see that many people would have a hard time in the North and South of purchasing these products due to the high increase of cotton prices. Another key economic crisis that would occur here is that of a retalitory tariff that many nations would tend to place on each other when a tariff was placed. This would rise prices even further. At this point we would have to see that the US would have to raise tariff prices high so that it may compete internally with that of Indian cotton. In a free economic system of that of Adam Smith's we would have to see that a truely Capitalistic system would have no tariffs and complete free trade. This would decimate cotton and other key US industries causing a call to end Slavery.







Another key issue we'd have to look at here was the Abolition movement in the British Empire. This was a key reason that Britan didn't get involved in the American Civil War was due to the Anti-Slavery movement that was occuring and that they were pushing for no support for nations that foster slavery. [5] This would cause a dramtic increase in tariffs on American Cotton or even an Embargo. Which, once again, would cripple the Slavery system in the United States. Indian cotton was key for Britian at this time so it was starting to ease the cotton pain and thus a decrease in demand for American cotton. [6] This would lead to an even further price drop in profits for platation owners. Not to mention that another key thing for production is incentive. Alexis De Tocqueville wrote in his book, Democracy in America, that when he observed America he saw slavery. He stated that slavery deprived the value of the product due to there being no incentive to produce well. This was seen in Soviet Russia. When Kolkoy, or collective farming, became the norm, farming fell dramatically and Russia began to starve. It wasn't until an incentive for the farmers became law that farming production exploded. Slaves have no incentive and thus they produce a bad product. Why trust American cotton why you are paying for some one who has done a better job, due to incentive, from India.




Sources
1. Beverly Lemire, Fashion’s Favourite: The Cotton Trade and the Consumer in Britain, 1660-1800 (Oxford: 1991).
2.
Craven, Avery O. Soil Exhaustion as a Factor in the Agricultural History of Virginia and Maryland, 1606–1860. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.
3. Stephen Yafa, Big Cotton: How a Humble Fiber Created Fortunes, Wrecked Civilizations, and Put America on the Map (NY: Viking, 2005).
4. Robert William Fogel, Without Consent or Contract: The Rise and Fall of American Slavery (New York: W. W. Norton, 1989), Chapter 3
5. Oldfield, John. "Brittish Anti-Slavery." BBC News. BBC, n.d. Web. 13 Aug. 2015.
6. Engl1101, Student: John Mays, and Instructor: Nathan Camp. “Maharaj Cotton” How the Death of “King Cotton” Led to Increased British Interests in India (n.d.): n. pag. Web. 13 Aug. 2015.

Greg4586

Con

I would like to thank Pro for creating this interesting and educational debate. I am honored to participate in it.

Framework: In this debate it is my job to prove that a system of true capitalism would benefit slavery. In this debate whether or whether not slavery is allowed is not a question, therefore this is a hypothetical argument of what would happen in a truly capitalist society where slavery is allowed. If I can prove that there would be more slavery in a capitalist system where slavery is allowed the resolution is negated and I win this debate.

Contention 1: Slavery throughout history

Throughout all of history slavery was and is used for manual labor from sex to resource collection. For the most part we are going to focus on resource collection, for it is the most relevant to this debate. Slaves would collect resources through dangerous and often deadly means. They did this to drive economies and drive trade. Many of the resources collected were through agriculture and mining.

They collected these resources, because there was a demand for those resources to drive the civilization. Without slaves the civilizations would not be able to thrive as well as they did. Decent evidence for this is you can see throughout history that the most successful civilizations throughout history were built on a foundation of slavery. The Roman Empire, The British Empire, The US and the list goes on.

If slavery was allowed it would increase because of capitalism's desire to drive the economy and to make profits soar at any cost. While not all corporations are bad many of them will abandon morals for the sake of profit. This can be seen in Cigarette and Tobacco companies when research proving smoking to be detrimental to health first starting coming out.
They did not care about their consumer and denied any evidence of the harms of smoking for the sake of saving their profits. If slavery were allowed corporations and companies would abandon morals for the sake of profit.

Slavery would exist in today's society because there is still a demand for physical labor. Because of slavery's mostly worldwide disapproval and ban forced slavery was replaced by waged slavery. If slavery were allowed and not looked down upon forced slavery would take waged slavery's place.

Contention 2: The nature of Capitalism

For better or for worse Capitalism is a system driven by profit. Maximizing profit is the lifeblood of capitalism. It is what allows successful, innovative ideas to be successful and for generally bad ideas to be put out of business. This has some pros and it has some cons, however that is not too relevant.

One of the cons to this is it drives companies and corporations to go to morally questionable lengths to make money. Despite a great amount of the public disagreeing with these practices they still remain widely done. Why? Because they make money. This can be seen with Apple's practice of buying from Foxconn, something you probably have heard a lot about. This shows that companies will sacrifice moral principles, but it doesn't matter because it makes money.

Despite having practices a great majority of the public would disagree with, Apple still remains an extremely popular company having a huge name in phone production. This proves that companies will abandon moral principles for the sake of profit. Even more than that the companies who have the lowest moral principles can go straight to the top of the corporate ladder because they make the most money. While some companies with strong moral principles will have positions of power the important point is that companies who have no such principles will also be at the top.

This means that because corporations will take up the institution of slavery if it were allowed to maximize profits. Therefore if this is true the resolution is negated and I should win this debate

Contention 3: Slavery will increase profits. Causing companies to adopt the institution.

(Disclaimer: I am speaking about this from an objective perspective and view this as a bad thing and am strongly against the institution of slavery.)

So far all of my arguments have hinged upon the assertion that slavery increases profit and drives the economy. So now I will take upon this contention to prove that. So as I stated before you will see throughout history that the civilizations that used slave labor ended up the most successful. This is some evidence, but in all fairness it is not concrete proof as there is still the possibility that it is correlation and not causation so I will take it upon myself to further provide evidence and reasoning.

1. Under Capitalism a slave is the perfect worker. A cheap payment that will lead to a lifetime of backbreaking work. There won't be any issues with unions or demanding pay raises. The slave owners will simply buy practically free labor and reap all of the benefits while giving none to the worker. That is the ideal worker under a capitalist system.

2. Slavery allows for production to skyrocket. While you need a high demand to make more profit that is not very hard to come by if you chose the right resources to produce. With high production you have the ability to drive your competitors out of business and have a larger grip on your market and get your brand well known by selling it to a large pool of customers. By doing this you can greatly increase profits giving your business huge potential.

3. For my third point I will refute some common points made saying that slavery does not increase profits.

A. Some say slavery decreases the quality of the product, therefore reducing profit. However, creating a lower quality product is not always going to be a lower profit than the status quo. Lower quality products sold at cheap prices is great for reaching out to lower income and younger customers. This can be seen with the corporation McDonald's. They produce low quality food at low prices and they are the largest fast food corporation in the world. If McDonald's had slave labor their production would shoot up even higher than it is now and give them the ability to make even more money.

B. Some will also say that slavery limits innovation by focusing on hard manual labor and not technology. This is a decent argument, but one fatal mistake they make is they leave out what happens after the resources are harvested. For example, miners can be used to harvest metals used in electronics to innovate technology.

Also, by creating all of these raw materials there is a lot more abundance to those resources which allows us to do more research with those resources.

Contention 4: Mercantilism is capitalist in nature and was responsible for enslavement of millions.

Mercantilism's logic can be briefly summed up by this. The greatest amount of money in the shortest amount of time at any cost.

Sound familiar? It should, because it is very similar to capitalism. There are a few differences, but the nature of the two economic systems are practically identical. Capitalism seeks to maximize profits and will often sacrifice moral principles to do so. Mercantilism seeks to do basically the same thing. The only key difference I see is Capitalism exists in a period of time with more advanced economic knowledge and technology.

Many historians agree that Mercantilism was one of the most devastating and heartless economic systems created. Mercantilism was a driving force in the colonial period and was the cause of the trans-atlantic slave trade. In other words a system with nature practically identical to Capitalism was responsible for one of the most brutal and racist slave trades
ever to exist. One can only logically confer that a system of true Capitalism will yield similar results if allowed to do so.

Onto you Pro

Sources in Comments.
Debate Round No. 2
lannan13

Pro

That response was quicker than I expected. Let's get down to some interesting rebuttals.

VIOLATION of RULES!

For my third point I will refute some common points made saying that slavery does not increase profits.

Last round my opponent offered refutation in his Opening arguments. This is rebuttals as seen in the rules.

First Round is Terms and definitions by Pro, Acceptance by Con.

Second Round is Constructive Arguments, NO REBUTTALS

Third Round is Rebuttals.

Fourth Round is Rebuttals and conclusion.

Already we can see that my opponent offered rebuttal and it didn't have to be my own argument. He refuted "commonly" argued points, which is still a violation. To further this he even offered a contention on mercantilism. Which outside of refuting my own argument there is no reason that he should have offered that argument? As a result of that all 7 points shall be forfeited by him. I will still continue the debate despite the violation.

Contention 1: Slavery throughout history

My opponent first claims that slaves would actually do the more deadly jobs; however, this is a false Howard Zinn like statement that history has told. Slaveholders actually didn’t want their slaves to do dangerous jobs on the basis of their value. As shown in my last round, slaves are worth quite a bit of money and if one dies draining a swamp or doing something else, then you just wasted $100s of $1,000s of dollars. Instead slaveholders would use indentured servants or also the most hated free race at the time which was the Irish. (It was the Chinese on the west coast). [1]

My opponent then goes on to say that the greatest empires of all time had slaves to do the most dangerous jobs, but once again this is false. Outside of the value of slaves we would actually have to look at many historical examples. The first being the Egyptians. They DID have slaves, except the slaves did not build the pyramids, the Egyptians did. [2] Next are many empires without them. We would have to look to the world’s largest ever empire, the Mongolian Empire. Though they didn’t have slaves, they maintained massive production from their civilization by a different sort of motivation known as “mowing.” Then there was the Austro-Hungry Empire, Russian Empire, the Ottoman Empire, Japanese Empire (pre-Korean invasion), etc… The list goes on and on. We can see that no matter what the empires without slaves can still get things done. While the nations with slaves do, but they fret over the loss of their own slaves to the point of not actually having slaves do the most dangerous jobs.

My opponent claims that Capitalism would increase slavery, but that is where he’s wrong. For this we would simply have to look England. In England, when they still had slavery there was a massive taxation on Corn (wheat) and soon after their abolition of the Corn Laws years later you saw a major anti-slavery movement in Britton which sprung off the ending of tariffs on Corn.

My opponent then goes and makes the case on tobacco and cigarette companies not caring, but this can be easily seen in the alcohol and weed industries. Post World War 1, there was a Constitutional Amendment passed to outlaw it. It was eventually repealed because of the demand for it, though people knew for the longest time that it’s bad for you. The same can be said about weed. There have been many studies done that show that it is bad for you yet people still do it, and want it legalized. (Though that’s a debate for another time)

Next, my opponent brings up the Communistic argument of wage slavery. We would have to remember that if this were the case, in order for these other companies to compete there must be a wage of some sort. Even if it were a dollar or so it would still be highly low. Many people during this time argued that it was wage slavery and even Karl Marx recognized this harm. This would have done nothing, but make the issue worse. [4] Not to mention that if this happens millions of jobs would be lost and soon millions would have to sell themselves into slavery in order to live. This wouldn’t occur in a first world society. (Second world society either, but they don’t count since this debate is about capitalism)

Contention 2 and 3: Capitalism and Profits.

I will be grouping these two arguments together here due to their similarities.

My opponent gives one, one, example of a wronging of “morals,” however if we just go and look at simple probability we can theoretically see the same is applicable to the other side. Meaning that in also accordance to the Theory of truly large numbers [5] that we see a large number of companies living “morally.” First, let’s dive into the Foxconn issue, shall we? Many of the allegations revolve around long working conditions, child labor, and even trouble on site. We have to look at simple laws of Microeconomics and see that all humans are rational creatures in their option choices and that they would ALWAYS choice the best option available. So with these bad conditions and terrible jobs we would have to see that the alternative is worse. So even making low wages at long hours is good money for them. We see low wages, but you have to remember that their prices and economic system is way different than that of our own and thus we have to conclude that Apple’s purchasing products from Foxconn is actually a good thing as it helps the average Taiwanese citizen. Not to mention that “morality” is subjective. This is true by simply seeing that despite us out lawing something doesn’t make it wrong everywhere else. This was seen when Obama went to Kenya to talk about Gay Marriage. [6]

I’m going to have to mix-up my opponent’s numbers and ABCs in order to get certain things across and addressed as we go here. Firstly, my opponent brings up the example of McDonald’s; they have been the nation’s leader in pushing for a $15 per hour wage. They have been cutting jobs and many reports that many of these jobs would be replaced by machines. Which would also replace a lot of slave labor as well and intern slavery would be driven out of business due to the increase in technology since slave masters rejected their slaves having any sort of knowledge. [7]

A huge issue my opponent is overlooking is a key issue that I brought up in my last round. That is Overproduction. Slavery has been known to lead to this. You saw it occur in coastal Virginia with tobacco in the colonial days and then it turned into a near dust bowl in the South after the Civil War from over production and soil depletion. The cost of the slave outweighed the profits and soon in order to stay in business you would have to sell slaves, but if people don’t have the money to buy it then you start to go under and can’t really do much. Businesses on the free market can easily lay off a worker and get back on track quickly. Or they could retool to something else. This is a key thing that free market capitalism is better at than a slave market. In a slave market there is no reason to innovate. I mean why should you get an upgrade for an animal*? The only innovation needed was that of the man who sought the cure to draftamania that was the “disease” of the brain that causes a slave to run away. His methods were brutal and near torture like. [8] There would be no innovation nor motivation, because the slave has no reason to produce more as they have no incentive. Thus it is greatly negated.

Since I'm running out of characters I can only define the difference between Capitalism and Mercantilism.

Mercantilism- the economic theory that trade generates wealth and is stimulated by the accumulation of profitable balances, which a government should encourage by means of protectionism.

also

is a system in which a country attempts to amass wealth through trade with other countries, exporting more than it imports and increasing stores of gold and precious metals. It is often considered an outdated system. [9]
Capitalism was defined at the beginning of the debate. The key difference is protectionionism.

Greg4586

Con

Violation of rules: I have discussed this with my opponent outside of this debate and he has decided to drop this argument so we may continue debating. Therefore, I would like to ask the judges to not account for Pro's demands for 7 points .
However, to be as fair as possible I would like to drop my rebuttals to commonly argued points. On the other hand, I will be keeping my mercantilism contention.

Now let's finish this debate.

Contention 1: King Cotton and Slavery

My opponent offers a lot of interesting facts that are definitely useful to know, but those facts do not prove that capitalism would be detrimental to slavery.

Some of the facts he offers are why cotton was so popular as a crop and some of the critical errors of the time.

Then Pro explains why this would be harmful to slavery, "When we observe the above graph we can see that the prices of slaves would rise dramatically and continue to do so. Many have even gone as far to state that slavery would end itself"

So once slavery stops being profitable, slavery stops being done. Pro claims part of the reason is overproduction. " This was done by more and more plantation holders and this caused overproduction of cotton which caused a price failure. With that mixed with the soil deplition issue we can see that it would only spell disaster for slavery."

So now let's ask the important question, does this mean that today if slavery was allowed under a system of capitalism would slavery be done.

The answer is no. This argument fails to prove that for a few different reasons.
1. The fall of slavery was caused by a few problems that are purely caused by very poor economic and agricultural practices. In the modern age this could easily be avoided.
2. This is a very historical argument and while it is good information to know a lot has changed in the past 100-200 years. We have developed new technology and more advanced practices, which could clearly change the outcome of slavery today.
3. Some of the ways this mistake could have been avoided would be by diversifying crops and/or markets. You could also produce livestock and minerals. This would solve both of the main issues highlighted by Pro. This would solve soil depletion by using crop rotation to help make a healthier soil. This would also solve for the issue of overproduction, because when you have diversified your business you have a few other markets to fall on. You also would make overproduction a much smaller problem because if you are diversified as oppose to not being diversified you are producing much less of a single resource and more of others. You also have the problem solving ability of switching markets while one market fails until said market recovers.

Contention 2: Mercantilism and Capitalism

" merchantilism which was a key economic system in which the South was rooted in for a long time" That is true, for those don't know mercantilism was an economic system formed slightly before the colonial period and was largely responsible for said period.

Pro states that Mercantilism has tariffs which was the problem with the system. Pro also admits that Mercantilism is a very capitalistic system. "Merchantilism is an economic system in which although capitalistic, it still has barriers to free trade. A key barrier to this system was that of tarrifs"

Pro then makes a large jump and asserts that without said tariffs cotton and other key industries would fail and with it slavery.

That just doesn't make any sense and it very contradictory to what Pro previously said. Just a few sentences before he was talking about how tariffs hurt the cotton industry and lowered the quantity of demand, for it increased the price while not increasing the amount of money the company got.

In fact, raising taxes always hurts the economy.( http://www.redstate.com... ) It's just a simple fact, therefore under a system of true capitalism with complete free trade there would be little to no tax and a flowing economy. This would do the opposite of decimate cotton and other industries and instead cause them to grow, therefore causing slavery to grow as well.

So onto the next argument. Pro gives a lot of information here, but a lot of it isn't relevant and does not improve his argument. However, some of his arguments were relevant and I will address them now.

Pro says that under slavery there is no incentive for slaves, therefore the produce they produce has a lower quality. He ended with the quote "Why trust American cotton why you are paying for some one who has done a better job, due to incentive, from India." Well let me answer that question. The same reason people buy lower quality products for a lower price as oppose to higher quality products at higher prices.

Pro's argument does not prove the resolution to be true for a few reasons.
1. The incentive of slaves will either be very close or the same to the incentive of those working in waged slavery. They are both working for survival and nothing more. Survival is one of the greatest motivators one can experience. The desire to live is the force that drove early humans to find food and keep living their difficult lives. If you are faced with a life or death situation believe me, you will do whatever you can to survive. Maybe, that's also what just makes slavery so brutal. They take advantage of and exploit the slaves very will to live and work them until the point where that will is gone.
2. Lower quality of product does not necessarily mean low profit. Lower quality products sold at cheap prices is great for reaching out to lower income and younger customers. This can be seen with the corporation McDonald's. They produce low quality food at low prices and they are the largest fast food corporation in the world. If McDonald's or similar corporations like Burger King, White Castle etc. had slave labor their production would shoot up even higher than it is now and give them the ability to make even more money.
3. Many customers are very low income and will buy the cheapest product regardless of the quality of the product. This would be especially useful for slave holders considering it would mostly be their job to produce common resources and products in bulk.
Debate Round No. 3
lannan13

Pro

I confirm what my opponent has sated in regards to the violation, so let us move on and finish this debate up.

Contention 1: King Cotton and Slavery

My opponent gives a huge "what if" moment, but what we have to realize is that we have to look at it chronilogically. If these issues would have caused a collapse in this industry then it would cease to exist and even my opponent has agreed with that point of mine. When we look at this issue specifically we have to look at the greatest issue on the market that he has dropped and that is of soil depletion. As I showed in my Contentions Round 2 and has been dropped by my important was that cotton growth the largest industry for Southern Slavery in the United States. The soil depletion had it on its way to another Dust Bowl across the south and luckily the war stopped it, but there was no war, so we can see that this would've force a lot of slaveholders out of business and most likely have ended the industry. [1] So we can see that it is hard to ague slavery in the 2000s if slavery cannot even make it out of the 1800s. My opponent then tries to counter this argument by stating that we can diversifiy crops and markets, but once again this wouldn't have happend. This is the same for the tobbacco crop in colonial America. In Virginia is desimate the costal areas forcing people to go inwards and it continued to happen. The same was beginning to be seen with the coton plantations as it was a key reason why Southerners pushed for more slave states as soil depletion continued to occur and they wouldn't give up their monoculitivation. [2]

Contention 2: Mercantilism and Capitalism.

My opponent is under the allusion that mercanilism is the same as True Capitalism. Although it is Capitalistic it is NOT true Capitialism due to the protectionism within the system. My opponent then tries to tackle the tariff argument, but goes about it the wrong way. The American Cotton system was entirely dependent upon tariffs as their own goods cannot nor could not compete against foreign nations and tariffs had to be placed on imports so the American Cotton and goods could effectively compete against foreign imports in order for their product to compete. If the tariff is removed then American cotton industries would be overwelmed and they would go under as many would purchase the cheaper cotton for their products. [3]

My opponent has competely dropped my argument in regards to this issue here. When we actually look at history we can se that since slaves were so valuable that the slaveholders wouldn't have them do the most dangerous jobs. For that they would give to the Irish or the Italians or whatever minority group they could get ahold of. [4] Not only that we can see that the general nature of each man is to live as easy as possible. [5] The working man has an incentive to continue his/her work as they actually get to go home to enjoy their time off and the get paid so that they may enjoy some leisure in life. The greatest reason as to why slaves aren't incentivized is that of leisure time. They don't get to enjoy life as a free man does. If this wasn't the case then why do you think that slaves continued to run for freedom. If they had it so good like the others, then why would they run? My opponent goes after the quality and quanitity argument. One of the key things here that you would have to look at is what is known as a Bumpy Platue. Escentially what this is and what it does is a simple price varriation over time. This graudally get's higher and higher prices to the point that we end up seeing prices like the $401 per gallon in Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. The soil depletion would skyrocket this. Though overproduction would create an overflow of cotton it can be seen that as the Great Southern Dust Bowl rolled on that cotton prices would skyrocket in the US as little to no production occurs. This would cause a collapse in the American economy and as well as the Global Economy (pending how independent Britian is with their cotton from India, but as I showed in previous rounds they should be well off).

It is for these reasons that slavery cannot have existed without mercanitlism and even then the system would have imploded sooner or latter. For that I thank you for your time and urge you to vote Pro.





Sources
1. Craven, Avery O. Soil Exhaustion as a Factor in the Agricultural History of Virginia and Maryland, 1606–1860. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.
2. Robert William Fogel, Without Consent or Contract: The Rise and Fall of American Slavery (New York: W. W. Norton, 1989), Chapter 3
3. The Wealth Of Nations, Book IV, Chapter III, Part II, p.495, para. c11
4. D'Souza, Dinesh. America: Imagine a World without Her. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.
5. The Wealth Of Nations, Book V, Chapter I, Part III, Article II, p. 760, para. f7.
Greg4586

Con

Ok, before I get started I would like to thank my opponent for this great debate. Now let's begin

Contention 4: Mercantilism

Now first I would like to state the fact that my opponent has completely dropped my 4th contention that talks about how capitalism is very similar to an economic system that was one of the most oppressive systems in all of history. That system is also responsible for the enslavement of millions, therefore it only makes sense that true capitalism would yield a similar result.

Pro completely concedes this and voters should vote on this, because concession is essentially agreement in terms of debate. Therefore, Con should win this debate.

Contention 1: Slavery throughout history

My opponent claims that slaves were not used for dangerous jobs throughout history. For some parts this is true, but let's look at how it would play out today.

Well according to a charity that has closely studied and watch modern slavery about 78% of slaves do manual, dangerous labor. The rest are mostly sex slaves. The average cost of a slave today is much much cheaper than it was in the past, the price is about 90 USD. This makes slaves cheap, disposable and absolutely allows them to profitably work at dangerous and labor intensive jobs. (http://www.freetheslaves.net...)

Considering these facts if slavery was allowed under a truly capitalistic system you can be 100% sure it would thrive.

Now let's move on.

"The first being the Egyptians. They DID have slaves, except the slaves did not build the pyramids" This is true, but I don't really see how this is relevant.

"Next are many empires without them. We would have to look to the world"s largest ever empire, the Mongolian Empire." The Mongolian Empire became so huge for a very unique reason. They had a very unique and very effective method of warfare which allowed them to become as successful as they were.

"Then there was the Austro-Hungry Empire, Russian Empire, the Ottoman Empire, Japanese Empire"
I don't see your point, because both the Japanese empire and the Ottoman empire had slaves. The empires who didn't have slaves usually didn't for a unique reason and the fact still stands that most of the most sucessful empires were rooted in slavery.

"My opponent then goes and makes the case on tobacco and cigarette companies not caring, but this can be easily seen in the alcohol and weed industries"
This just furthers my initial point that companies will sacrifice morals for profit.

"Next, my opponent brings up the Communistic argument of wage slavery." My argument was not communistic in the slightest. My only argument regarding waged slavery was it replaced slavery when it was outlawed, and will replace it if it is made legal and acceptable again. Pro does not refute this, but instead goes very off topic.

" these other companies to compete there must be a wage of some sort" You don't need to compete for employees if they are slaves.

My opponent then goes on to talk about how waged slavery is a good thing, because they offer a better situation to the people there.

Fair enough, but that doesn't change the fact that these companies are intentionally taking advantage of these people and putting them in conditions that literally strip many of them of the will to live. These corporations are raking billions off the backs of the starving and the desperate. Does it offer them some pay? Sure, but that doesn't change the fact that the practice is immoral in countless ways.

Contention 2 and 3: Capitalism and Profits.

The first argument my opponent makes is that there is no set "morals" and it is subjective.

This actually isn't true. Humans are born with set knowledge of what is right and what is wrong, what is good what is evil. Throughout all cultures and all races babies are born with set knowledge of what is fair and what is not. Ever hear "But I had that seat first!"? It's set knowledge of how the world works and if things are fair. My arguments that some companies are immoral are based on those basic human principles that people will naturally have.

Waged slavery and Foxconn violate those basic human principles. As a human being, we know that how the companies abuse and take advantage of them is naturally morally wrong.

" They have been cutting jobs and many reports that many of these jobs would be replaced by machines." The reason I brought up McDonalds was an example of how you can make billions off of low quality profits.

"slavery would be driven out of business due to the increase in technology" Well assuming that slaves lose their job to technology, what happens then? Well that's easy, they go to the factories and make those machines. What if that gets replaced? Then go mine the resources to make said machines.

My point is no matter how much technology we have there will always be a need for manual labor.

"A huge issue my opponent is overlooking is a key issue that I brought up in my last round. That is Overproduction. Slavery has been known to lead to this."
As I have stated before, the issues that arouse from overproduction are easily avoidable. With modern knowledge of economics and agriculture practices can easily be altered to avoid these issues.

" You saw it occur in coastal Virginia with tobacco in the colonial days and then it turned into a near dust bowl in the South after the Civil War from over production and soil depletion"
With modern knowledge of economics this can easily avoided by crop rotation and diversification.

I would like to stress the point that this debate is not about the past, but about a hypothetical present. If I can prove that this would happen today despite it not happening in the past, then I should win the debate.

"Since I'm running out of characters I can only define the difference between Capitalism and Mercantilism.

Mercantilism- the economic theory that trade generates wealth and is stimulated by the accumulation of profitable balances, which a government should encourage by means of protectionism."

I am aware that Capitalism and Mercantilism has some differences. My argument is that they are similar in nature and will result in similar outcomes if not regulated. I would also like to stress that my opponent has completely dropped this argument and in terms of debate concession is essentially agreement.

Conclusion: My opponent argues that slavery is unprofitable and would not be done today if it was allowed. But let me ask you this. If slavery is unprofitable why would there be 21-36 million slaves in the world today?

Many of Pro's arguments are refuted by the simple facts. He claims that slaves would not do the manual labor because they are too expensive, but that just simply isn't true. Estimates say that slaves cost about 90$ and 78% of slaves are used for intense, dangerous, manual labor. This is all done in a world where slavery is seen as illegal and unacceptable, just imagine a world where it's legal.

Slavery is profitable. You spent 90$ for a lifetime worker. That is equivalent to paying the federal minimum wage for 12.42 hours. A slave is free labor for years.

If you look at minimum wage workers vs. slavery the later is clearly more profitable.

Framework

As I clarified in the beginning of the debate if I can prove that in a truly capitalist world where slavery is allowed, there would be more slaves then where it is not allowed I should win the debate. I have down that and my opponent has failed to prove that I have not, therefore you should vote Con.

http://www.freetheslaves.net...
http://coursesa.matrix.msu.edu...
Thomas Nelson, "Slavery in Medieval Japan," Monumenta Nipponica 2004 59(4): 463-492
Debate Round No. 4
28 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by lannan13 1 year ago
lannan13
Well I thought it was self explanatory, mistake on my part, for it being permitted to exists would mean that if it lived past when it was abolished in the US timeline. I also thought that you would've gotten me on semantics and explained how it worked outside of the US and that would've probably won you the debate. I think you tried that, but my persistence on the matter probably made you swing back to US specifics.
Posted by Greg4586 1 year ago
Greg4586
Well that actually explains a lot. I kinda wish we clarified that early on though, because the resolution made it seem like we were talking about the present.
Posted by lannan13 1 year ago
lannan13
No Gregg, I was arguing that slavery in the past couldn't survive and would've died out.
Posted by lannan13 1 year ago
lannan13
No Gregg, I was arguing that slavery in the past couldn't survive and would've died out.
Posted by Greg4586 1 year ago
Greg4586
I can see why this debate would be very confusing. While I didn't directly state it my intention was to say that if we were under a truly capitalist society which allowed slavery there would be more slaves than there are today. Pro talked a lot of about this like slavery was strictly a thing of the past, but it still does exist today and that's the comparison I was trying to make.

Anyways thank you for the vote
Posted by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
RFD (Pt. 1):

Let's be clear right from the outset that I'm confused by this debate. I feel like a lot of specification for what was being debated was just plain missing.

To start, Con is the only one defining what the threshold for detrimental is. That should be Pro's job, and, as you'll see throughout this RFD, the difference in focus ends up putting some strain on the debate. I do go with Con's definition, which is:

"If I can prove that there would be more slavery in a capitalist system where slavery is allowed the resolution is negated"

In other words, detrimental appears to be that system where there are fewer slaves. Which brings me to my next problem.

Fewer than what?

I have a very big problem here. I don't see how I'm supposed to determine the incidence of more slavery under the capitalist system if I don't have something to compare it to that would, thus, have less slaves. Paradoxically, I get the closest thing to a comparable system under Pro's arguments, where he argues that the comparison is essentially between true capitalism and a system like the one that existed at the time, but lacking public outcry against slavery. It's a comparison to a hypothetical that gets very little elucidation (I get almost no idea of how long slavery would have lasted under such a system), though it's still the best I get. Con's arguments may have insinuated some alternative or set of alternatives, but he never actually presents me with one, and it's simply never clear what it is, let alone how that system works and what slavery looks like under that system.
Posted by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
(Pt. 2)

Now, you might be saying that the topic is about capitalism, so an alternative system is unnecessary. I agree, but under this framework, a comparison is necessary. Con could easily have argued that detrimental meant that slavery must thrive under capitalism, which means it must increase over time. He could have even done that under this framework, which would have made the comparison between time points instead of alternate systems. But I'm not seeing that, either.

Which brings me to a third problem: where are we in time? Pro is clearly arguing that, if true capitalism was implemented at some point during the U.S. history of slavery, slavery would have come to an end on its own. Con is clearly arguing that, if we took slavery and implemented it today, slavery would persist and flourish. Those are two different arguments, and not mutually exclusive. This creates the vast majority of the disagreement between the two debaters, as neither of you can seem to get on the same page.

What ends up determining which I choose is a look back to R1. Pro states this towards the end:

"Note that slavery shall not be permitted to exspand across that of the pre-Civil War slave states. No new territory nor alternate world history shall occur for this other than that of the Civil War not happening. Slavery shall not be permitted to exspand into US territories that they gain (such as the Phillipeans and such)."

To pick out the most important things:

1) "the Civil War [did] not happen". In other words, the world as it exists today did not happen. We can't transplant slavery into a world that wouldn't exist as is. That's re-enforced by Pro's specification that "no new territory nor alternate world history shall occur... other than [this]"
Posted by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
(Pt. 3)

2) "slavery shall not... expand [outside]... of the pre-Civil War slave states." I would essentially have to ignore this bit since there's no apparent restriction in the implementation of the slave trade coming from Con's view, nor would it be reasonable to do so considering that we're no longer separated based on their position on slavery pre-Civil War.

To be clear, this is still confusing as hell. On that basis, wouldn't there still be the little problem of secession? I think Pro's ignoring the fact that even this one single change dramatically affects history, particularly with regards to who Jefferson Davis decided to ally with. All of those chain reactions can have substantial effects on the slave trade, both within the U.S. and without. Maybe Pro was trying to get out of these as well by arguing that this change would essentially happen in a vacuum with no other resulting changes, but I feel like that would have been a very difficult stance to defend when we're talking about such a large scale change. Assuming that nothing happens as a result is grounds for assuming that nothing changes with regards to the slave trade as well.

But none of this conversation happens. Admittedly, it would have been worth Pro's time to actually restate this in R3 or R4, as it's very easy to miss this or forget about it as the debate progresses. That's not to mention that Con's stance on the temporal aspects of this debate are better supported by his framework, which he stated both in R2 and R4. If I hadn't revisited R1, and/or if I didn't make it paramount in my decision on this, I would have sided with Con and this debate would have likely been his.
Posted by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
(Pt. 4)

However, that's what I do. Since I'm siding with Pro on the temporal aspects of this debate, I'm necessarily dismissing roughly 50% of the debate as tangential. It doesn't matter what would happen today with regards to slavery, not if slavery as an institution had already burnt out as a result of being financially dismal back before 1900. Perhaps it would have restarted again, and perhaps I should care about the present day most of all, but if that's what I should do a) I need Con to make that clear to me, b) I need an argument somewhere that states how and why slavery as an institution would return from nothing to something, and c) I need to know that none of the effects on history will alter the status quo substantially. I might be able to assume b) and c) from Con's argument if I'm giving him a lot of rope, but that clarity " the line of argumentation that what matters most is what happens to slavery in the long term and that it's end in the short term would just be a speed bump " needed to be front and center in Con's argumentation.

It wasn't. And so I'm forced to buy the slimmed down alternate history of Pro, which is the only one that directly applies to this debate and was never really contradicted by Con. Hence, I vote Pro.
Posted by Greg4586 1 year ago
Greg4586
Good debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
lannan13Greg4586Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Given in comments.