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

[Short Debate]: This House Believes that Socialism is Superior to Capitalism

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Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 12/23/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,394 times Debate No: 67485
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (15)
Votes (1)




This is only a two-round debate, with a maximum of 5000 characters per round. There should be no rebuttals to points in the first round, but you can bring up your own definitions that may conflict with ones that I bring up, as well refute points that you expect to hear in the round. Voting will be on a "Select Winner" basis, with open voting.
We are debating RESOLVED: SOCIALISM, ON BALANCE, IS SUPERIOR TO CAPITALISM, with me standing PRO and my opponent standing CON.

  • SOCIALISM: a political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole. [1]
  • CAPITALISM: an economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state. [1]
  • SUPERIOR: higher in rank, status, or quality (we will be debating quality) [1]
  • ON BALANCE: with all things considered [1]

Contention One - Pure Capitalism Allows for the Abuse of Peoples and Society.
Back in the Progressive Era in the United States, (1890-1920 [2]), there were abuses by coorporations that are unimaginable today, all as an effect of having (nearly) pure capitalist ideas. By having absolute sovereignity from the government's codes and regulations, coorporations often abuses their workers by having: minimal wages, unsafe working conditions and massive unemployment. In 1911, a fire broke out at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, and ended up killing over 140 workers [3]. By allowing the companies that are in a "laissez faire" capitalist society to do whatever they want, it leads to the erosion of society. Also, during this same time frame (the Progressive Era), John D. Rockefeller was prosperous. By allowing him to accumulate over one sixty-fifth of the nation's gross domestic product and over $1.4B in that time's money [4], the United States Government is allowing the abuses of his coorporation to run rampant, since the average worker in the United States at this time only earned $8-$10 every week [5]. This breaks not only society as a whole, but the majority of the individuals that make it up.

Contention Two - Benefits (This is sort of a contention, but moreso a list of benefits of socialism)
  • Socialism frees people of wage slavery
  • Socialism would end poverty (if done correctly!)
  • Socialism would end monopolies and the tyrannic reign of coorporations
  • Socialism creates a sustainable society that can not only build, but can flourish for current generations and generations to come (unlike capitalism, which is meant for the now and does not care for posterity)
  • Socialism creates the idea of "we are all in this together, so we should all work!", while capitalism creates the idea of "I ought to just be good and make sure everyone else is bad at their job!"
  • Capitalism relies solely on the exploitation of nature, as well as others, while socialism is more geared toward community action (kind of previously mentioned in the above contention)
  • Socialism raises the level of education
  • Socialism allows for universal healthcare, which in turn allows for the Happiness Index of a nation to increase, and the nation to prosper [6]
Thanks for being interested in this debate, if you decide to go ahead and take up this debate! Good luck and have fun, hopefully we can exchange some really good points.

[1]: Google Definitions


I stand in negation of the resolution: Resolved: Socialism, On Balance, is superior to Capitalism.

For the sake of this debate, I will define Capitalism as: the economic system under which the ownership of goods and services are privately owned, and decisions concerning pricing, investments, and distribution are determined in a free market system, primarily on the basis of competition between businesses. [1]


Contention 1: Socialism in the past has never truly succeeded.
Capitalism is the only type of economic system that can truly succeed for long periods of time. Capitalism in countries like The United Kingdom, France, Spain, Etc. have been working since the mid 1700"s. Socialism is a relatively new concept when compared side by side to Capitalism. The big names in Socialism are Russia, China, and Cuba. All three of those countries have not been extremely successful in keeping a socialist economic system. Russia and China have only been socialist countries for around 60 years, where Capitalist countries have been around for thousands of years, and have been successful at it.

Contention 2: Secondly, capitalism is a better economic lifestyle because it limits the power of the government.
"In a socialistic economy, the government owns and controls almost everything, from the businesses to the means of production. Capitalism also has what is known as a free market economy, and with the free market economy come competition. Socialistic countries are the complete opposite, which means that their products are sold at prices set by the government and the idea of "individual or corporate profits" Some see the government controlling all the means of production and businesses as a wise and wonderful thing because they believe that being "divided from one another by inequalities of wealth" will give the power to control the economy to the most wealthy instead of to everyone, and they would rather the government control it instead of those elite and wealthy few. However, sometimes giving the government too much power and control can lead to communism. This is exactly what happened to Russia and several other countries. 'anytime, an individual will take advantage of the failing economy of a country and become a dictator, as Stalin did.

In Conclusion, Both capitalism and socialism have their high and low points, but on balance, a capitalistic economic structure is far more superior than a socialistic economic structure.

Debate Round No. 1


Hi, and thanks for such a quick reply! I'll go ahead and accept your definition of capitalism, since it's pretty similar to the one that I gave you. Keep in mind that this is the last round, so asking me questions won't really help, and new points shouldn't really be brought into play unless they refute the opponent's case! Alright, let's get into this.

  • My opponent has stated, "The big names in Socialism are Russia, China, and Cuba", while the Russia and Cuba parts of that statement are not true (China is technically Socialist). People in the modern era do not know the difference between Communist States and Socialist States, but that's okay! You are on the right track of thinking, however these nations have a much more extreme sense of Marxist Socialism so it is not true to say that they are, in essence, socialist. Here are some nations that are, indeed, Socialist: China (you are correct in saying China!), Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Canada, Sweden, Norway, Ireland, New Zealand, and Belgium [1]. Comparing these nations to the happiness index of the world says that the Capitalist Countries that you mentioned are behind that of socialist ones, [2].
  • My opponent has also said that socialist nations oftentimes do not work, but I would like to point out that many of the nations that I mentioned are working just fine, and are expected to actually grow in GDP faster than the United States.
  • My opponent has implied, in his second contention, that socialism oftentimes leads to dictatorships and authoritarian governments (such as the example of Stalin), but this is simply not the case. I'm thankful that he spelled out that too much power wasn't indeed socialism, rather communism, but the fact that he implied that socialism leads to this is wrong. If you look at the Netherlands, they are in fact a Kingdom with a socialist economic system. Now, the Netherlands is not leading into an economic recession, so it is not fair to say that a dictator will rise from the ashes of what you say will be left of all socialist nations [3].
  • I would also like to point out that my opponent only has one source for his entire case, so the validity of his information is sketchy.

For the reasons that I outlined in my case, as well as my refutations, vote PRO on RESOLVED: SOCIALISM, ON BALANCE, IS SUPERIOR TO CAPITALISM. Again, thanks to my opponent! I hope you had fun, since I did too!




My opponent stated that Russia and Cuba are not socialist countries, but in fact she is wrong. According to my source [1] , both Russia and Cuba are socialist countries.

Also, my opponent stated that a bunch of other countries that she felt were socialist. She was wrong in saying that. Only China, Russia, Cuba, Lao, and Vietnam are by definition socialist countries. I think where she went wrong was, she thought that those countries she listed were completely Socialist. She is wrong. Those countries have some aspects of their economic structure that are socialist, but are not completely socialist.

When my opponent attacked my second contention, she states that "when I implied that socialism leads to communism that I am wrong." My opponent has failed to look at current socialistic countries (examples: China, Russia, Cuba). The "President" of Russia, Vladimir Putin, is almost a dictator in some forms. I will define a dictator as a ruler with almost complete or total power over a country, typically one who has obtained power by force. Vladimir Putin has obtained power through sending his opponents to prison, and bribing citizens, considering he's one of the richest people in the world. Now onto China. China's "President", Xi Jinping, has obtained power through family [2]. He controls all of China's government with a board of members, who have little to no power over him. Now onto Cuba, which is COMPLETELY a communist and socialist state. Ra"l Castro, the leader of Cuba, has complete and utter power over every single aspect of his citizens. Cuba in 1940, was a socialistic state, but now since 1959, Cuba has become Communist [3]. The link between socialism and communism is strong, compelling, and consistent through the 3 examples above. Why would someone think that this wouldn't happen to the United States if we switched to a socialistic government?

Now to attack my opponents case:

In my opponents first contention she outlined the Triangle Factory fire. I would like to add, that this, although killed 140, happened a long long time ago. Working conditions have changed, the minimal wage she stated has also changed. She can't provide any new sources, which shows a lack of research on her part.

Also in her first contention she stated that Laissez-Faire approach to capitalism erodes society. According to multiple Psychologists no human likes to be told what to do. A socialistic economic system would only erode society more, because people would become upset and try to attack the government. Like what happened in Cuba. Cubans tried to overthrow the government due to its socialistic ties, and Fidel Castro KILLED every single one of them. The links between this are also strong, compelling, and consistent.

In her second contention she said: "wage slavery." Most of the time, this wage slavery is due to the lack of education in the low class wage workers. You can't blame this in capitalism. You have to blame this one society itself, for not forcing people to actually get an education.
She also said: "Monopolies and Tyrannic Reign." She must not be aware, that the United States does not allow monopolies to occur, and saying that monopolies are tyrannic is simply outrageous. Tyrannies are like dictators. So saying that corporations are dictators is outrageous.

My opponent has failed to provide legitimate sources, and up to date knowledge. Therefore, I urge that you stick to my up to date knowledge and Vote that on balance, socialism is NOT superior to capitalism.

Good luck.
Debate Round No. 2
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by gomergcc 2 years ago
"Finland is not socialist because production is not state owned." You do understand that it is under Communism were the state owns the means of production. Under full socialist economics the workers owns the rights to the means of production.

This is what left me unimpressed with both arguments. Both of you used examples of communism and called it socialism and used examples of socialism and called it communism. Both of you also failed to understand blended economies.

To Con don't get so focused on rebuttals. You still have to make a argument for you case in debates like this. While I didn't find you rebuttals very good for all I know you could have a really great argument in favor of capitalism.

Sorry I took so long for me to post this after voting, busy with the holidays and my own debates. I wanted to say more because I think you both could be really good debaters with some more experience. Also a tip for getting votes on this this site be way more aggressive. I have noticed debates with out it tend to only get one or two votes.
Posted by chrisjachimiak 2 years ago
Look at this link [1] . These are the 5 socialist states by YOUR definition that YOU provided in the first round. None of those examples are socialist by YOUR definition.
Canada: According to this link, Canada's socialist movement ended in 1939 [2]

Denmark: According to this link, Denmark's socialist movement ended in 1969 [3]

Finland: According to this link (1st Paragraph by Juha79) Finland is not socialist because production is not state owned. [4]

The Netherlands: I quote: "In 2007 the PvdA re-enters the coalition, now with Christian-democrats and the economically left-leaning but socially conservative ChristianUnion. The SP won an unprecedented 25 seats in the 2006 elections. Since 2004, GreenLeft has radically renewed its image and is now promoting itself as a left-liberal party, possibly breaking with its socialist roots." [5]

Norway: According to this link, Norway is not socialistic. [6]

Ireland: According to this like, Ireland has a socialist party, but is not socialist by your definition. [7]

Belgium: According to this link, Belgium has outlawed Socialism and has become capitalism. [8]

Considering that I proved ALL of her examples to be VOID you should vote Con in today's debate.

Posted by Lexus 2 years ago
I'd also just like to point out, this debate is not about the execution of socialism, rather that the idea of it is superior to that of capitalism. Execution helps, sure, but is not necessary for a PRO/CON case.
Posted by Lexus 2 years ago
@CON here are some more if you want: Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Canada, Sweden, Norway, Ireland, New Zealand, and Belgium. If I was a voter I'd vote for PRO since they have 9 vs 3.
Posted by chrisjachimiak 2 years ago
@con- you're failing to remember the definition of socialism which is: a political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole [1]. AS A WHOLE! As I said, they have some socialistic aspects, but as a whole they're not SOCIALISTIC.
Also, you had one example of where socialism "works." Even though your example is a fallacy due to the fact that by definition they're not socialistic. I had 3 examples of where socialism was a complete and utter failure. 3 against 1. If I was a voter I would choose 3 reliable accurate sources rather that 1 inaccurate source that falls void under your definition.
Posted by Lexus 2 years ago
@CON They may not have absolute socialism, but since Sweden's Government 70% of its GDP, I think it's safe to say that they are socialist. [1]
Posted by chrisjachimiak 2 years ago
@pro you stated though that your examples are socialistic. But, there economies as shown by @icyDinosaur are capitalistic. Socialism is only a type of economic structure. A country can't have a socialistic government. So therefore, your examples of economically socialist countries are void.
Posted by Lexus 2 years ago
@CON I'm just saying that declaring yourself one thing doesn't mean that you automatically are. The United States could declare ourself a monarchy right now, but that doesn't mean that we are. It also doesn't mean that /not/ declaring yourself something means that you absolutely 100% cannot be it.
Posted by chrisjachimiak 2 years ago
@lexus: I'm not seeing your like between socialist and being a republic?
Posted by Lexus 2 years ago
@CON I would just like to say that just because a state does declare that it is socialist doesn't mean that it isn't. Look at the Democratic Republic of the Congo, they claim to be a republic and, uh, no.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by gomergcc 2 years ago
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: Both sides don't understand the differences between socialism and communism definition. Leaving me almost calling it a tie but Con never gave an argument on why capitalism was better. Con only gave rebuttals for pros BoP and didn't give a case for there own BoP.