The Instigator
Classicalliberalism
Con (against)
Tied
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The Contender
augcaesarustus
Pro (for)
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Should the United States end capitalism, and adopt socialist/ communist economic policy?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/13/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 612 times Debate No: 86561
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
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Classicalliberalism

Con

With political insurgent, and admitted democratic-socialist Bernie Sanders gaining momentum in the Democratic presidential primary, socialist policies appear to be gaining acceptance in America, particularly among so called "millennials." According to Marx's theories of economic development within a society, socialism is an intermediary step on the path to communism, or as he referred to it "lower-stage communism." Historically, socialist and communist ideology has been anathema in American economics and politics, yet Senator Sanders' rise in popularity suggests this attitude is changing.

What is driving this change? What does this mean for the future of the United States? What are the potential consequences of a societal shift of this nature and magnitude?

I argue that it is ultimately harmful to American society to reject capitalism in favor of a more socialist model. I point to the spectacular tragedy currently unfolding in Venezuela; the move to a free market economy taking place in Vietnam; the abject poverty of citizens of North Korea; the monumental failure of Soviet Russia; and the shifting away from democratic-socialism and welfarism in the Scandinavian kingdoms - all as evidence that the socialist/ communist model of society, in any incarnation, is unsustainable at best, and brutally authoritarian at worst.

In contrast, I point to countries where free market capitalism has been allowed to flourish - the United States chief among them - as examples that, while not perfect, capitalism has produced more prosperity for more people than any other model tried.

With this in mind, I hold that socialist policies should be wholly rejected in America, and argue for the reaffirmation of free market capitalism as the defining feature economic policy in our society.
augcaesarustus

Pro

This is certainly an interesting topic to discuss.

I think your definition of socialism is correct and is also not accurate. The socialism practised in the Soviet Union is different with the socialist practised in Venezuela, which is in turn different to the socialism practised in Scandinavia.

To begin with the first point: "what's driving this change?" The best way I can answer this question is to draw your attention to history. Most of us would agree that the US was founded on a contradiction: on the one hand, the American Republic promoted peace, liberty and prosperity; and on the other hand it promoted discrimination, tyranny and poverty. This conflict has created a nation that is not entirely united or homogeneous in its beliefs and values. The social institutions of the US, in recent decades have been more inclusive, and have strengthened in order to protect the rights of minorities and of the dispossessed; but of course it's impossible to root out generations of institutional discrimination within a single lifetime.
So, when we talk about American capitalism, are we referring to the liberty, prosperity and peace enshrined in the values of the US? Or are we referring to the legacy of discrimination and poverty? I think it refers to both: that is to say that American capitalism has tinges of discrimination in its system. So, socialism is an attempt to correct these defects in American society by redistributing wealth, instituting affirmative action, etc.
The ideology of socialism was developed within the context of the industrial revolution. As we all well know the industrial revolution was poorly managed; it was left to its own devices and as a result it produced radical changes in social organization and labor. Karl Marx probably didn't believe at the time that the Government would ever use its coercive power to reign in capitalism, given that they were 'agents' of the bourgeoisie.

I think the implications for the United States are clear: if the US doesn't adopt 'socialist' policies its economy will not be sustainable in the long term. When I refer to socialism here, I'm not referring to Soviet socialism, but to Scandinavian socialism - the socialism that Bernie Sanders subscribes to. Whilst you are correct in asserting that Scandinavian countries have made changes to their 'social welfare' state; this is a far cry from advocating for the complete abolition or repeal of the system in those countries. I read an article the other day which stated that 'Norway has the highest unemployment rate for ten years, or something like that...' This so-called 'high rate' was 4%, compared with a 2.5% in the 'good times' of the economy. The fact that Norway is complaining about having an unemployment rate of 4% is indicative of what we called a 'first world problem.' And this is not taking in account that Norway has fully-subsidized university tuition fees, and a decent safety net for its citizens, and has one of the highest minimum wages in world.

Ultimately, I think Americans need to embrace an mixed economy, which consist of the best of both worlds: a strong, thriving capitalist economy that operates within a framework that promotes competition and ensures decent pay and working conditions.
Debate Round No. 1
Classicalliberalism

Con

Classicalliberalism forfeited this round.
augcaesarustus

Pro

augcaesarustus forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Classicalliberalism

Con

Classicalliberalism forfeited this round.
augcaesarustus

Pro

augcaesarustus forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Tricord 1 year ago
Tricord
Regarding the original question, I would make a few correction. First, we already have many socialist policies, many of them well supported.

The assertion that socialism and communism are the anathema of capitalism could be largely due to two basic factor- The US has sought and tried very hard to subvert all forms of communism and even socialism abroad, additionally, there has never been true communism. Even anarcho-socialism in the Spanish revolution was subverted by the west. My point being, it is impossible to extrapolate whether socialism or communism is in opposition to free-market capitalism, without wading deeply into propaganda and subversion. Additionally, the US already has a largely corporate socialism state whereby private losses are publicized to the tax payer.
Posted by OldJalopy 1 year ago
OldJalopy
I don't understand why this is framed as if a "command" economy versus a "free" economy is even a meaningful choice. Historically neither has been very successful when they go full tilt.
Posted by TheRealGod 1 year ago
TheRealGod
The country will still be capitalist, you can still make as much as you are able, taxes aren't being raised to 99% or something ridiculous like that.
Posted by DATXDUDE 1 year ago
DATXDUDE
i pl,agrise u. Wut ugun D0 b0ut i+?
Posted by DATXDUDE 1 year ago
DATXDUDE
With political insurgent, and admitted democratic-socialist Bernie Sanders gaining momentum in the Democratic presidential primary, socialist policies appear to be gaining acceptance in America, particularly among so called "millennials." According to Marx's theories of economic development within a society, socialism is an intermediary step on the path to communism, or as he referred to it "lower-stage communism." Historically, socialist and communist ideology has been anathema in American economics and politics, yet Senator Sanders' rise in popularity suggests this attitude is changing.

What is driving this change? What does this mean for the future of the United States? What are the potential consequences of a societal shift of this nature and magnitude?

I argue that it is ultimately harmful to American society to reject capitalism in favor of a more socialist model. I point to the spectacular tragedy currently unfolding in Venezuela; the move to a free market economy taking place in Vietnam; the abject poverty of citizens of North Korea; the monumental failure of Soviet Russia; and the shifting away from democratic-socialism and welfarism in the Scandinavian kingdoms - all as evidence that the socialist/ communist model of society, in any incarnation, is unsustainable at best, and brutally authoritarian at worst.

In contrast, I point to countries where free market capitalism has been allowed to flourish - the United States chief among them - as examples that, while not perfect, capitalism has produced more prosperity for more people than any other model tried.

With this in mind, I hold that socialist policies should be wholly rejected in America, and argue for the reaffirmation of free market capitalism as the defining feature economic policy in our society.
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