The Instigator
NKJVPrewrather
Con (against)
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The Contender
norfair345
Pro (for)
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0 Points

Should the government completely own the means of production?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/12/2018 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 week ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 94 times Debate No: 107912
Debate Rounds (3)
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NKJVPrewrather

Con

I will let pro go first, but suffice to say I'm not a socialist, or a capitalitalist. I support some social programs, but still want a free market to a certain extent. I guess you can call me a moderate social democrat.
norfair345

Pro

One of the greatest fears in any political system is the prospect of tyranny and despotism. This has been one of the largest drives for those that lobby and cry out for a smaller state. Privatisation, deregulation and the embrace of lasseiz-faire economics have led to the devolution and decentralisation of power from democratic institutions, towards expansive and unaccountable corporations.

Whilst, political decentralisation and business deregulation may seem like a progressive measure towards a free society, the opposite is true. Corporations such as Facebook, ATOS and primark have, in fact, undermined these liberal values which allegedly underpin the ideology of a smaller state.

Facebook is the largest distributor of news on the planet, 175million people log into the social networking giant each day. With the decline in print media, more and more people are turning towards Facebook to learn more about current events and stories. However, Facebook has been known to censor various news stories and political protest, such as the infamous Vietnam War photograph of a naked young girl fleeing her village which had been bombed by the US military, to the more recent censoring of coverage of the Myanmar ethnic cleansing.

Primark have always been known for their nefarious practising of outsourcing manufacturing jobs towards developing nations, where children as young as 5 are forced to working in sweatshops for long hours, at dismal rates.

ATOS is an example of the government "leasing out" a public service to a private conglomerate. ATOS' role is to assess whether the most vulnerable in our society fit the criteria to receive social support via the welfare state. In 2015 it was found that 2,380 people had died after ATOS had deemed them "fit for work" and denied them welfare.

A free market response to these atrocities would be to "vote with your dollar", "allow the invisible hand of the market hold these businesses to account". However, these corporations have such a chokehold over their respective sectors, that holding them to account by alternating to their competitors would have little effect. There is no credible alternative to Facebook due to its monopolistic hold on the press; working-class families will still shop at Primark, choosing to ignore their unethical practices. Whilst ATOS stopped performing Work Capability Assessments in 2015, they're still one of the richest companies with over "13bn in revenue.

As these companies exert such gargantuan influence over public life and cannot be held to account through market mechanisms, the answer is democratisation. Have a government of the people, for the people and by the people hold these industries to account. It is by doing this we will have a more open, transparent and free society.
Debate Round No. 1
NKJVPrewrather

Con

I support some social programs as a moderate, but a complete takeover means loss of individual liberty. There is plenty to fear in communist Cuba for example. When I start working with art and making money, I do not want the government to control my business.
norfair345

Pro

Nationalising and hence, democratising the means of production would actually give us greater freedom and liberty. Being owned, regulated and managed by a Representative government would allow us to truly hold these large corporations to account. As for your art, innovation and entrepreneurship will always be encouraged due to the freeing up of the market, by having the means of production under public ownership.
Debate Round No. 2
NKJVPrewrather

Con

Nationalising? What is that, hun? I do support a mixed government and economy as a centrist, but a complete takeover is unbalanced and dictatorial.
norfair345

Pro

Nationalisation refers to the state purchasing a certain industry, for it to run in the national interest. Whilst in history, this practise has been used by several abhorrent despots. The idea of the state having a monopoly over the means of production can be described as a democratic ideal which,provides positive freedom to citizens as I explained earlier.
Debate Round No. 3
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