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

Should we replace capitalism?

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/10/2015 Category: Economics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,868 times Debate No: 73257
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (14)
Votes (2)




Should we replace capitalism? Yes.

Here I define capitalism as a system of economic organization with two central principles:
1) Private ownership of property and the means of production (fields, factories, etc).
2) The accumulation of skill sets and financial capital (or money) where one dollar equals one vote in the marketplace and one unit of access to resources.

Given this definition and considering the current state of capitalist economies, I am arguing that we should replace capitalism for three reasons.

I) Private ownership of property and the means of production is deeply problematic both theoretically and in practice.
II) Capitalism does not work as well as proponents claim. Capitalism is not as efficient, natural, smoothly functioning, or liberating as is commonly supposed.
III) Viable alternative economic systems exist that promote economic and political liberty and autonomy. Alternative systems are also more effective at fulfilling human needs than capitalism is.

I hope to find an opponent soon and look forward to a lively debate!


To start off, I'd like to concede to the Pro's definition of Capitalism.
The value I will be upholding in today's debate is Prosperity.
My criterion, or way to achieve my value, is Property Rights.
My first contention is that Capitalism leads to Prosperity.
You can tie this to the Pro's I) Private ownership of property and the means of production is deeply problematic both theoretically and in practice.
a) Property rights
Property rights should be open to all, as stated in the Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Right to Pursue Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness." Although this is a long quote (, it shows that every person has Property rights, and they ought to be protected. Capitalism protects property rights. Furthermore, the purpose of Government is to protect the People, especially their property rights. If what you had wasn't yours, you'd be much better off living on a desolate island in the middle of the Pacific as the government could confiscate your property in the name of the 'common good'.
b) Motivation (ties to Pro's II) Capitalism does not work as well as proponents claim. Capitalism is not as efficient, natural, smoothly functioning, or liberating as is commonly supposed.)
As described above, we all (should) have property rights. If you have private property that you know won't be taken from you, you now have the desire to increase it and the assurance that nobody will take your property from you. This increase comes by work, which in turn leads to a boost of the economy. Furthermore, those who work hard will earn more, leading to more motivation. If the gov't gives you the same amount of money regardless of how hard you work, you will not be motivated to work hard (obviously).
Pro said in III) that other 'viable alternatives' promote autonomy. However, the Pro is contradicting himself. He is saying that 1)Private property rights are bad, and 2) Other 'viable alternatives' protect autonomy. However, Autonomy MUST include Human Rights, including PROPERTY RIGHTS, or else it is not Autonomy.

My opponent has brought forth no logic/examples to support his 3 arguments and I urge the voters to discount them as he has not proven them. Furthermore, he has brought forth no examples of 'viable alternatives'. I request the Pro to bring forth his best 'alternative'.
It is for all these reasons that I believe the Con warrants your ballot.
Thank you.
Debate Round No. 1


Here I will lay out my more detailed arguments against private property and capitalism. My beginning statement/challenge in round one was a thesis showing a logical progression from one point to the next without the complete supporting evidence which will follow.

Con's value (prosperity) is not consistent with his contention (capitalism leads to [presumably maximal?] prosperity). Capitalism may result in prosperity for some (this cannot be denied), but there are better systems for ensuring the prosperity of all. A second disagreement I have with Con is his claim that private property is necessary for human freedom. There are non-capitalist systems of property that respect personal possessions and individual ownership of goods. If a given property system protects the personal property of an individual, then it is sufficient for the individual's economic liberty. Furthermore, alternatives to capitalism need not come in the form of collective government ownership of resources. Finally, hard work and achievement can result from multiple economic systems; not just capitalism.

First, I will show why private property is a deeply problematic system that has negative effects on liberty and prosperity.

Private property’s issues become clear when we consider the nature of both our society’s material wealth and labor itself. Here, I will quote the Russian geographer and anarchist Peter Kropotkin.

"Science and industry, knowledge and application, discovery and practical realization leading to new discoveries, cunning of brain and of hand, toil of mind and muscle--all work together. Each discovery, each advance, each increase in the sum of human riches, owes its being to the physical and mental travail of the past and the present.

By what right then can any one whatever appropriate the least morsel of this immense whole and say--This is mine, not yours?" [1]

In other words, how much sense does it make to claim one part of a mass that nearly everyone has contributed to and take exclusive ownership of it?

An example of this would be a home. Think of everything that contributes to a home and its present value: a water-supply, electricity, metal parts, walls, appliances, a foundation, the surrounding community, roads to access the house, a habitable environment, and so on. If this is the case, who should the credit and ownership go to since many generations of people have directly and indirectly contributed to those various essential parts in innumerable ways? One person claiming strict private ownership over the home is individually appropriating what belongs to everyone in general and no one in particular.

Advocates of private property attempt to justify the system on a number of grounds when pressed. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy explains the most common line of argumentation.

The most common form of justificatory argument is consequentialist: people in general are better off when a given class of resources is governed by a private property regime than by any alternative system. Under private property ... the resources will be more wisely used, or used to satisfy a wider (and perhaps more varied) set of wants than under any alternative system, so that the overall enjoyment that humans derive from a given stock of resources will be increased.[2]

Notice that Con, here, has a similar argument. Private property leads to certain social goods (prosperity and liberty) that cannot be created in other systems and thus we ought to preserve private property. Examining how private ownership functions, however, demonstrates why it leads neither to maximal liberty nor prosperity.

When private owners are given maximal rights over a particular commodity, they control not only its use by themselves but also by others. This type of control makes good sense when dealing with personal items like a toothbrush or phone but becomes oppressive elsewhere. For example, private property grants workplace owners control over workers. This control is due to employers, by definition, owning the workplace and workers selling their labor to employers who purchase that labor and thus have control over it. Workers must make the choice to either rent themselves out for wages or sink into poverty, a situation of necessity which gives them little choice but to work under someone else. Oftentimes half (or more) of the waking hours of many workers are spent under the control of an employer or supervisor.

A question for Con: how is a system where a large number of individuals (in the US alone, the number of retail workers is over 4,600,000 not counting all other industries or countries [3]) are controlled by bosses, supervisors, and employers a maximally free one? Does economic regulation of the individual by market actors simply not count?
The matter becomes worse on a global scale. Survey data collected by Gallup in 2013 shows that across 142 countries, only about 13% of employees are engaged with their jobs. [4] Where is the beaming portrait of prosperity and choice here?

Furthermore, private property keeps many individuals away from resources they need. Absentee ownership of homes means that unused homes can remain unoccupied for months while those in need are kept away. Stores can be over-stocked with food while many lack food-security (which is a problem in the US [5]). An abundance of food is produced, but only those with capital can access it through private owners.

Fortunately, personal liberty and social prosperity can simultaneously be maximized by another system: personal property with community ownership of the means of production. This is a form of libertarian communism.

Personal property is ownership based on personal use. Your home, car, toothbrush, bed, and other items one uses everyday would be respected as personal property while the means of production could be used to provide well-being for everyone. Personal property is an intuitive system that addresses our sense of personal ownership while also freeing us from the mistakes and problems of private property. While respecting individual property based on use, personal property recognizes the irrationality of claiming exclusive private ownership over any part of a widely contributed to mass. With community decision-making that is inclusive and democratic and a focus on individual autonomy, libertarian communism is a better alternative to capitalism. Evolving technology also means that the total amount of labor required to produce an abundance of goods for all is constantly being reduced.

Second, capitalism is not the ideal or necessary to reward hard work and promote property maintenance.

Studies by Elinor Olstrom have demonstrated through counter-examples that even commons-based societies where all property is considered property of everyone in the community can manage that that property intelligently. [6] Labor is also difficult to pin a value on. How can one say that a teacher is more valuable than an agricultural worker, miner, or food distributor when they are all uniquely necessary to social well-being? In light of this reality, the wage system seems arbitrary at best. Regardless of economic systems, people have been inventive and hard-working throughout history. What suggests capitalism is the only framework for hard-work and productivity?

To conclude:

1) Capitalism does not lead to maximal freedom or prosperity
2) There are viable and better alternatives that do maximize freedom and prosperity
3) We ought to replace capitalism.




To start off this round, I would like to expose Pro's contradiction: In his first round, he stated that 'Private ownership of property and the means of production is deeply problematic both theoretically and in practice.', and then he said in his second round that it should be a economic liberty.
Before we dive in, the Pro has not brought forth any 'viable alternatives'. He is basically saying that we should replace capitalism, but he doesn't say with what. It's just as ridiculous as saying "I'm going to get on a boat and go somewhere." "Where?", you might ask. "Oh, nowhere in particular. I just want to go somewhere." If we don't have a plan (IMPORTANT), then we will not be sure what we replace capitalism with. Sure, we might replace it and get lucky with one of those seemingly awesome 'viable alternatives' (of which he has brought forward no plan or examples), or we might actually be heading for a communist society.
If you go and look back at my first speech, my value is consistent with my contention. There is no way to achieve utopian prosperity. Capitalism just (in my opinion) gets us the farthest.
Con said that 'there are better systems'. I'd like to remind the voters that he has brought forth NO EXAMPLES.
Sure, other economic systems may achieve hard work. However, capitalism is the best, as shown in my first round.

Pro said the private property is deeply problematic.
One should have private ownership at least of that which he has worked for, and that which he has bought with his own sustenance. If I worked for 100$, then a government official took that 100$ and said it was not mine, that would be unjust. This is much more harmful to Prosperity than Pro makes private property out to be. In short, private property better achieves prosperity than the lack of it. In fact, almost all things that are called private property have been worked for. Only a small fraction, which is called public property (such as libraries, parks, playgrounds, etc) has been contributed to by multiple people and their assets.
To take a look at the house example. Of course, many, many people contributed to build it. However, they were paid for their work. A house costs a lot of money (even to rent). This money goes to pay all those who contributed to the house. As you paid for it with your own money that you worked for, you basically exchanged the work that got you that much money for the house. (or work in the future if you had a loan). Therefore, the house is yours and can be called your private property. If you inherited it, it could be called a 'gift'. Of course, those who contributed to it could take pride in that. However, they no longer have a share in the house as they were paid for their share in the work.

Now let's take a look at the 'employer-employee' example. Contrary to Pro's assumption, employers do not own their employees. They give them directions that the employee has free will to choose or not to choose. If the employee chooses not to do what the employer instructed, he or she is likely to be fired. Employers have ownership of the workplace, but not of the employees, as the employees are their own private property, and not of the employer.

I believe I've answered one of Con's questions in this response: 'how is a system where a large number of individuals are controlled by bosses, supervisors, and employers a maximally free one? Does economic regulation of the individual by market actors simply not count?' Basically, the average person has a choice to work or not to work. If he doesn't work, he will starve as he has no income. If he works, he has a choice of working hard or sloppy. If he works sloppily, he is likely to be fired and is no better off than the unworking person. If he works hard, on the other hand, he reaps the benefits. He now has enough money to cover his basic needs and to cover some wants as well. Overall, one has free will to work or not to work.
Another solution to this problem is entrepreneurship. Basically, one can see what goods/services are in demand locally, as a nation, or worldwide. He can create a business to fill that need, creating more jobs in the process. Guess how Microsoft was started. Furthermore, on the Gallup poll that Pro brought up, it was globally. Most of the globe does not use capitalism. Many are not encouraged to work hard.
This solution above also answers another of Pro's disadvantages to Capitalism. If there is a demand for houses, why not start a housing program, that unused houses are lent out (by consent of the owner). Think of the company Uber. Someone recognized the need for certain things and devised a system where people can rent out cars, clothes, etc. Also, about overproduction of foods, yet lack of food-security, this is the purpose of food banks. Many stores donate food to those in need, as well as charity organizations. Of course, both of the above still happen, and nobody, not even the Pro, can fully fix that. I believe, however, that the best solution is Capitalism.

Now for Pro's second main argument.
Question for Pro: Should we pay the same wage to all workers (doctors, McDonald's burger flippers, athletes, etc) or underpay all workers regardless of diligence because labor is hard to pin a value on?
Also, I'd like to remind all voters that the Pro has brought forth no 'viable alternatives' that he talks so much about. I believe that Pro has not brought forth no evidence to show that capitalism is not the ideal/necessary to reward hard work and promote property maintenance.

It is for these reasons that I believe we should not replace capitalism and that I, the Con, warrants your vote.
Thank you.

Debate Round No. 2


Real-life examples of successful non-capitalist cooperative systems

Con has requested that I describe specific examples of what I propose.

I did name a specific system: libertarian communism with respect for personal property where the means of production are owned by the community. There are examples of systems nearly identical to this: the Zapatistas in Mexico are a libertarian Marxist group. The Zapatistas, who number over 100,000, have run their communities successfully with everyone being provided for and a democratic system of governance. Despite difficulties with supplies and opposition from the Mexican government, the Zapatistas are better off than they were before under a system of wealthy land-owners. [1] A second example is the Spanish city of Marinaleda, which is a libertarian socialist city that has no unemployment and democratically elects their mayor. The city operates under a system where each worker receives fair pay for their contributions and the city runs successfully with no poverty. Marinaledans do work hard and are productive. [2] A third example is a historical one described by George Orwell in his work Homage to Catalonia. Orwell describes the anarchist/communist occupation of Catalonia during the Spanish Civil War. Naturally, civil war is not ideal for any economy, but what is incredible is that this brief moment of living communism succeeded until it was stamped out by fascist military forces. Again, it's not a perfect example and there are a host of problems; but it is an intriguing description. [3] Nor are these examples all-encompassing, there are a numerous others of successful resistance to capitalism throughout the world. [4]

Perhaps more convincing are the seeds of libertarian anti-capitalism around the world. Co-housing has spread globally and has features such as shared gardens where communities grow fresh food for themselves. Co-housing communities (and many others) have also successfully built shared spaces where communal activity becomes a joy rather than a chore.[5] Libraries operate on a commons basis where anyone has access to whatever knowledge they require. Open-source technology has improved from both suggestions of and availability to all. People commit millions of hours each year to charity without a financial return for the common good. [6] Non-capitalist and voluntary cooperation is already a prominent feature of our world. In fact, capitalism is a relatively recent development in human history. [7]


Con has claimed that "utopian prosperity" is impossible.

I too reject the idea of utopia. Merely because there is well-being for all does not guarantee that every problem will immediately be worked out. Non-capitalist systems can be just as realistic as capitalist ones in their strengths and weaknesses. Instead, I am simply arguing that a system that produces well-being for all in a non-authoritarian manner is preferable to capitalism. I am not mistaken that the work of civilization is easy. Less necessary work, however, follows logically from the facts that labor previously wasted under capitalism will cease and production technology continually improves. This will also free up more time for us to develop our unique selves, unlike under capitalism where (as I have shown) most people across the world aren't engaged with their jobs.

But if utopian prosperity merely means that everyone in a society has material well-being, then it is not utopian or unrealistic at all. As I have shown thus far, it is quite possible for us to produce enough for everyone. The food waste from capitalist systems around the world alone is more than enough to feed the world's hungry. [8] Therefore, the value of prosperity is still not consistent with supporting capitalism.

Private property justified?

Con's arguments still do not suffice to show that private property results in maximal liberty or prosperity. Additionally, con's arguments also fail to show that my own are fallacious and presuppose that I am in favor of centralized government control of resources; I am explicitly opposed to government control. Instead, I am in favor of a system where a community with inclusive decision-making itself produces enough resources for everyone and respects the personal property of the individual.

The capitalist wage system is arbitrary, unjust, and coercive

To understand part of why this is, we ought to look first to the South Korean economist Ha-Joon Chang who gives us an example of where the wages of two workers are entirely different. An example cited by Chang is the comparison of two drivers: a bus driver in Sweden and India. The driver in India is paid only a small fraction of the wages of the Swedish driver, after adjusting for differences in the value of their respective currencies. Why? Because Sweden has immigration controls that restrict competition for jobs. Even though the Indian driver may have to dodge obstacles and thus is arguably a better driver, he is paid less because of political policy. It’s true that immigration control or the lack thereof isn’t central to capitalism, but prices, interest rates, and wages are all significantly determined by political decisions that have to be made one way or another. [9] How does this constitute a just, logical, and free system of growth and resource allocation?

Fundamentally, as I've stated previously it is impossible to value one form of labor over another. Where would society be without those workers who made the environments we live in habitable? Where would our buildings be without the manual laborers who made their bricks and metal parts? What about the agricultural laborers who ensure that we have food to eat? What about those who make sure that said food is available to the public? What of the thinkers who have, past and present, put together the body of knowledge that today gives us innumerable benefits? What of the miners who gather all of the metals needed for nearly everything in our material lives? What of the educators?

All labor is inextricably bound together in function, one form cannot be valued above or below the others. The most rational way of handling this fact is not through differentiated pay based on some arbitrary variable, but through well-being for all since nearly all contribute to society (and we can eliminate useless labor without capitalism). Equal access to resources is fair for all. The capitalist system richly rewards one type of worker (such as US corporate managers who are overpriced [10]) and allocates to another a small pittance.

I will quote con to make another point.

"...the average person has a choice to work or not work. If he doesn't work, he will starve as he has no income."

The choice to rent yourself out for arbitrary wages or starve is hardly a choice. A system where millions are controlled by others for half of their waking hours is not freedom. Also, the data I cited earlier showing worker disengagement surveyed employees living under capitalism.

Finally, though I can appreciate con's enthusiasm for helping others, capitalist efforts like charity have failed to eliminate economic suffering. As I explained in round two, private property keeps essential goods accessible only to those with capital.


4. See for ex
. Territories in Resistance: A Cartography of Latin American Social Movements
5. See for ex. Reinventing Community: Stories from the Walkways of Cohousing
7. Capitalism emerged only in Europe following feudalism:
9. 23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism, Things #1-3
10. 23 Things, Thing #14



Dantheawesome forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


As Con has yet to respond to any points I made last round, I will use this round to summarize my arguments thus far and give Con another chance to respond to any of them. I ask that you not penalize Con for missing the argument deadline as busyness can be constant and unpredictable.

Before I summarize my arguments, however. I will appeal to the reader and voter.

I am aware that many of you are in favor of capitalism from polls taken on this website. Consider, though, that I am not arguing here that capitalism should be immediately replaced. What I am saying is prescriptive: capitalism should, at some point, be replaced by another system of economic organization. Furthermore, I am not denying that capitalism has led to some improvements. Compared to past oppressive economic systems (feudalism, chattel slavery, etc), capitalism is a large step forward. Keep in mind that I am merely stating that capitalism ought to be replaced.

With that said, I will recap my arguments thus far.

1. Con claims that capitalism best protects property rights and promotes freedom.

There are several problems with the above argument. Basically, however, it is important to understand that "property rights" in this sense are being used interchangeably with the system of private property. One can, however, property rights without private property.

Private property is fundamentally flawed and not maximally free.

I will first show, once again, the fundamental flaw of private property. To again quote Peter Kropotkin,

"Science and industry, knowledge and application, discovery and practical realization leading to new discoveries, cunning of brain and of hand, toil of mind and muscle--all work together. Each discovery, each advance, each increase in the sum of human riches, owes its being to the physical and mental travail of the past and the present.

By what right then can any one whatever appropriate the least morsel of this immense whole and say--This is mine, not yours?" [1]

How can any single person take part of a mass nearly everyone, past and present, has contributed to and proclaim that it is exclusively theirs? The capitalist conception of labor compensation also suffers from a similar problem. As I will show later, the idea that wages give just compensation for social contribution is also problematic.

Aside from its problematic nature, private property is also not optimally free. To be precise, private property operates on two conditions: I) that the owner of a commodity has the right to use the commodity in a broad sense and II) that the owner of a commodity controls the commodity’s use by other persons.

For everyday objects like a bed, home, or toothbrush this is relatively straightforward and logical. When referring to sources of income in a capitalist system and the means of production (factories, fields, etc) it is oppressive. Millions of people around the world in capitalist economies work under a system of employers, bosses, or supervisors. Nor do many workers choose to work under someone else’s control, they must rent themselves out for wages or sink into poverty. A system of control by market bosses of millions of people who have little choice is hardly an optimally free system (see the Gallup and labor data I cited in Round 2). Important, too, is that a result of the private ownership of essential goods and their production processes is that only those with a certain amount of financial capital can access them. Hence, private property is one of the root causes of poverty.

Finally, alternatives exist to the interlocking systems of capitalism and private property. For the sake of summary, I will refer readers to I) libertarian communism with personal property described in Round 2, and II) examples of successful non-capitalist systems of cooperation given in Round 3.

2. Con claims that capitalism rewards hard work, encourages innovation, and can solve poverty.

Not all of this statement is false, certainly some people are motivated by profit to create new ideas, products, and services. What is also true, however, is that people have throughout history been inventive and exploratory creatures. Modern scientific insight was built on the backs of observations by innumerable individuals from non-capitalist societies. Islamic science, for example, has contributed a great deal historically towards the development today and that itself involved a re-examination of many Greco-Roman ideas and texts. [2] As I argued earlier in Round 3, there are a sufficient number of examples of voluntary cooperation both past and present.

I also pointed out in Round 3 how wages are significantly politically determined and are often arbitrary at best. One form of socially useful labor cannot be valued above another since they are all inextricably bound together in function. How can we value one form of useful work over another when they are all uniquely essential to the functioning of our society?

Another fact is that capitalism rewards a great deal of useless or even detrimental work. Not only is one rewarded for educating, mining, or theorizing but also for selling harmful products like fast-food, cigarettes, or energy drinks. In fact, capitalism rewards investors and owners even more for addicting people to products that they will buy all their lives. This is a moral problem when children are bombarded with hundreds of ads that convince them to beg their parents to purchase the seeds of an unhealthy adulthood that will result in an early death. Think of all the useless and harmful labor being directed towards better ends, thousands of hours spent contributing to the betterment of civilization instead of clicking away at corporate computers or marketing questionable products to the masses.

I have also cited the enormous waste of resources capitalism and consumerism encourage in Round 3. Around the world, 220 million tonnes of food is wasted because of consumer activity alone. [3] As I also pointed out just a few paragraphs ago, capitalism and private property are one of the root causes of poverty. Trying to solve poverty through the system that causes it, therefore, will not work.

From my arguments, I hope it has become clear why capitalism ought to be replaced for both moral and economical reasons.





Dantheawesome forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4


At this point in the debate, all of my points have been clearly laid out for all to see. Once again, I urge the reader to review both sides of the argument and vote on the question of whether capitalism should be replaced or not. My last post summarized my arguments neatly. I only hope that con responds this time around.


Dantheawesome forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by AlexAnCom 3 years ago

1) The reason we don't see many Marinaledas is because of the power the global state-capitalist system has. Many countries will not allow anti-capitalist rebellions within their borders. States have an interest in either 1) maintaining a capitalist system or 2) any system where they have control of resources because the modern state is a system of power and control. It also doesn't help that the IMF, World Bank, and other institutions bully many who decide to try and opt out of their system. Debt is effective at trapping countries and what happens when capitalist societies control the majority of resources globally?

2) Why is competition essential? In the natural world, cooperation within species is just as compelling as competition (which tends to be the norm mostly between species). Also, the four hour workday is hardly an illusion. During the late 19th century, Peter Kropotkin calculated (based on the needs of Russia) how much manpower it would take to supply enough for everyone. What he found was that five hours a day would be sufficient. Today, technology has increased in every area along with both the green and computing revolutions, this makes production even easier and less of a burden.

3) Though I'm not familiar with the Soviet Union in too much detail, I would argue that there was less choice within their authoritarian framework. Have any good reading on it?

4) Depends on the type of system. Authoritarian socialism and communism are both nonsense, that is why their libertarian forms are the only entirely rational reply to capitalism. We need to rid ourselves of economic and political masters altogether.

5) Communism has existed, especially in many kinship based societies. And I'm tired of small scale being an objection. Without monetary disagreements, a relatively non-coercive confederation or federation of autonomous communities will work.

6) Less workers needed = a labor surplus with less required work and more personal time
Posted by Tomasz 3 years ago
Marinelada is an interesting example. I believe that socialist experiments can work in groups of similarly-minded highly motivated individuals. They may have some successes, but they do not scale, because most people do not want experiments where they have to work hard. Why there are not hundreds of Marineladas?
Making something new requires either a genius or a lot of work. Rich societies built on toil of the industrous ancestors (like the US) or having lots of petrol (UAE) may discuss fewer working hours, but it's a road nowhere. You work less, your children will be less competitive. People in Central Eastern Europe (I was born in Czechoslovakia) have no other choice than to work more and better than the Western economies, otherwise we will never get to your economic level. 4 hours of work is an illusion and has nothing to do with socialism/capitalism discussion.
"In the US, the workers at least had some choice (even if it is problematic) of their employer and classes (though again problematic) were less rigid." Generalizations without enough knowledge. Even people in the USSR had some choice and could theoretically switch from factory jobs to intelligentsia and vice versa ;)
People are unhappy with their jobs because they want to do things their way and have to depend on other people, who are not the right leaders. It does not get any better in socialism.
Best socialism is in international organizations funded by taxes from the stonger economies.
Communism has never existed in a pure form.
Fewer workers are needed, so worker-run economy is not realistic.
Posted by AlexAnCom 3 years ago
Tomasz, I don't see why free agreement can't solve the problems of organization and labor.

I'll go ahead and address the elephant in the room: things no one wants to do; the unpleasant jobs. Why can't individuals agree to perform a particularly undesirable tasks so that the group benefits? Even better, why not have cycling responsibilities that way no one consistently has to perform an undesirable task? This is not even mentioning that work done for the betterment of a group will probably be much more satisfying than work done for minuscule wages under a boss or supervisor for years. Not to mention that tasks will be much easier when we no longer have wasted labor such as that used to sell, market, and produce harmful products and inferior ones. Heck, in our global economy (from data taken in 2013,, only 13% of employees are actually engaged with their jobs. Where's the happiness and choice there? There really is good evidence that we could provide for all with a much lighter burden of labor.

I would also wager that you and I would disagree over what socialism and communism mean. Historically, I would say, the US was more socialist (and even more communist) than the Soviet Union. This is because under the Soviet Union, workers were merely used as tools by the centralized state. In the US, the workers at least had some choice (even if it is problematic) of their employer and classes (though again problematic) were less rigid. If one defines the realization of socialism as a worker-run economy and communism as a stateless and classless society, then none of the self-identifying "communist" or "socialist" countries are what they identify as.

Finally, I would suggest checking out some of the examples of successful non-capitalist cooperation in my argument in round three.
Posted by Tomasz 3 years ago
"I would object to the idea that capitalism is the only system capable of catering to human nature and sensibilities. "
Any system (or even lack of system) which has ever been in power catered to some degree to human needs. People have various needs and are very adaptable if they have to adapt.
"Capitalism does draw on human instincts towards self-preservation but the consumerism it has birthed has largely had a negative impact on society. "
I agree, consumerism is unbearable sometimes, but it's easier for people to do something straightforwardly in order to buy a desiderable thing.
'that there should not be competition for the means of life"
if people do not compete, they become lazy and dothers have to cater for their means of life.
"capitalism can also draw out the worst in people , encouraging them at times to indulge themselves while denying others what they need"
Capitalism did not invent selfishness. Socialism had its post-war euphoria with happy songs and idealism, but 10-20 years later only the dignitaries pretended believing. Why? They wanted to have an easy life with excessive 3 hours work per day.
"If you think laziness will kill non-capitalist systems, I also have to disagree."
No, it was not killed by laziness, rather by thinking and seeing that people in the capitalist countries were better off and could buy better products. Systems are not stable.
"Right now, with our level of automation technology, a three hour work day is sufficient to provide more than enough for everyone."
Aplg, but it reminds me of the past futurism saying that in 2000 all of us would be spending holidays on the moon. Perhaps in ideal world you could achieve that, but once people work 3 hours, some of them will pretend work and others will have to work 5 hours to correct them and bring closer the even more ideal world. What incentives will have the administrators? Who will pick the best people for their right occupations?
Posted by AlexAnCom 3 years ago
Also, I'm curious Tomasz, what socialist society did you live in?
Posted by AlexAnCom 3 years ago
Again Tomasz, I would object to the idea that capitalism is the only system capable of catering to human nature and sensibilities. Capitalism does draw on human instincts towards self-preservation but the consumerism it has birthed has largely had a negative impact on society. Although there is plenty of cooperation in capitalist systems, I simply argue that there should not be competition for the means of life and that the positive aspects of private property can be found in other property systems. Furthermore, capitalism can also draw out the worst in people , encouraging them at times to indulge themselves while denying others what they need.

If you think laziness will kill non-capitalist systems, I also have to disagree. Right now, with our level of automation technology, a three hour work day is sufficient to provide more than enough for everyone. Not to mention all that wasted labor under capitalism that goes towards useless things like marketing for and producing harmful products.
Posted by Tomasz 3 years ago
Hi AlexAnCom,
thank you for your answer and summarizing the posible tactics.
I have lived in both capitalist and socialist systems.
Generally I like people and think that many of them are able to do wonderful things, but the social and economic structures and the human nature will never be ideal. Our problems are laziness and greed. Socialism must either treat by force or ignore these two vices which are incurable in the majority of people. I am afraid that no system will make people more empathetic and our society more fair. Capitalism is better suited to the dominant traits of the human nature and our group instincts. Sure, we should strive to reform it and reduce any injustice. Accepting our barriers made by laziness and greed could be the first step.
I applaud any cooperatives with people so dedicated to create and uphold for a LONG TIME something great enough to function in the market. Replacing capitalism can be a bloody goal unless the majority of people are able to take full responsibility for the more difficult, non-capitalist way of life and action.
Posted by AlexAnCom 3 years ago
Tomasz, there are a number of ways to do so. In fact, among anti-capitalist groups tactics is a major discussion.

One is through the political process. By gaining control of either local or national governments, a number of objectives can be achieved. One way to spread an alternative system is through creating non-capitalist communities and working to spread them throughout the United States. Right now, this is difficult due to laws favoring capitalism, but that could be changed with a bottom-up political movement. Another political method is gaining power on a national level, though those of us who have learned from the Soviet Union and other examples know how problematic that can be.

A second way to replace capitalism is through direct action. Workers can cooperate to seize the means of production without government intervention. This can take place through many different forms of worker solidarity including union organization, general strikes, etc. Unions can be a prickly subject; but I don't see a problem with them so long as they are run democratically. An interesting note, too, is that there is already a growing movement of cooperative businesses that are moving in the right direction. Another form of direct action, though not tenable in the US (not to mention ethically problematic), is what happened in Chiapas, Mexico which is rebellion. The Zapatista movement in Mexico took back land that had once belonged to them by force and kicked out both wealthy land owners and the Mexican government. Though they are a heavily armed group, they are libertarian Marxists and prefer peace.

Hope that helps!
Posted by Tomasz 3 years ago
you propose that capitalism is to be replaced? How do you intend to achieve that?
Posted by AlexAnCom 3 years ago
Jack_D, I posted a definition of capitalism that works for multiple ideologies on purpose. Capitalism is a varied system, but it does have necessary parts which are those I listed. It is better to define capitalism by it's necessary and essential components than by characteristics which are highly contested. I would also argue that much of Europe is essentially capitalist, just with a larger amount of state involvement. Capitalist markets, however, still constitute the core of European economies.

Defining capitalism by it's essential parts gives my criticism more applicability and soundness than if I criticized definitions of capitalism that are not agreed upon.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by m4j0rkus4n4g1 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture by Con cost him conduct, as well as attacking pro's opening statements as if they were arguments. Pro provided a variety of sources, backing up claims wherever need be. Con quotes the Declaration of Independence only and does not provide more sources to back up claims. As for the arguments, Pro attacks capitalism and undermines its very roots by dismissing the capitalist notion of property rights and ownership, and while these points are addressed by Con, Pro dominates in defense. Con is quick to challenge Pro to provide ways to replace capitalism, which Pro provides in the next round. However, this is not a contention, as the debate is about should we, not how. Both sides made good points, but Pro was organized, backed by sources, explained his points logically and defending them well. Con's forfeiture resulted in many of Pro's claims going unrefuted, and Con's contentions are mostly opinions, stated as such, and make a straw-man of non-capitalist systems.
Vote Placed by 8elB6U5THIqaSm5QhiNLVnRJA 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Full forfeit by Con in last 2 rounds. Con doesn't use paragraphing correctly not numer-listing correctly in R2 so S+G to Pro also. all of Pro's arguments remain unrefuted to the end whereas Pro addressed all of Con'#.