Socialism Is Not Necessarily Authoritarian
Debate Rounds (3)
Socialism: "A political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole."
Authoritarian: "Favoring or enforcing strict obedience to authority at the expense of personal freedom."
I treat authoritarian here to mean using physical and legal constraint upon the membership of society to enforce the following of a line. Of course all countries do this the US more severely than many, too an extant governance in and of itself even if it is governance by lot is authoritarian. Libertarians tend to seek a license for something or some freedom that current government imposes would like to impose upon them.
Any government may be seen as arbitrary from one point of view or another.
Communism differs other forms of government in that it cleaves to a model where concepts so basic as right or wrong, freedom of the individual, are seen as among the locii of class struggle. With the best communist intentions it becomes possible for one to be guilty of recidivism through ones decisions or actions. At worst it collapses into pure authoritarianism.
This is a consequence of it dialectic-materialist roots.
A couple of people in the comments made the point that it was somehow obvious that socialism is not necessarily authoritarian, the problem with this is that it isn't to many people. I often see arguments online where socialism is spoken of as if it is somehow a totalitarian ideology or this ridiculous new trend where the right wing is described as advocating "economic freedom". This is essentially my attempt to both counter this (in whatever limited way I can) and have something I can point people to when they accuse socialists of being authoritarian.
Communism is an ideology that really advocates one thing and that is the abolition of private property (to quote from the Communist Manifesto: "In this sense, the theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property.") however communism (once fully realized) also has other characteristic features those being:
Abolition of classes
Abolition of the state
Collectivization of the means of production, exchange and distribution
So my task is essentially to show that a collectivized society lacking property, a state or classes is not necessarily authoritarian. I am not going to argue that certain strains of communism (such as Leninism) have not produced horrific forms of tyranny but simply that this is not a property inherit to communism.
My challenge to con is to show that these 4 qualifiers of communism are authoritarian.
Authoritarianism In Non Communist Society
Those with considerable amounts of property have authority over those who do not. If you are paid to do something you are much more likely to do it even if it's something you would be very unlikely to do otherwise. This is almost the basis for many professions such as prostitution which are often considered to be demeaning.
This is also the basis for the entire wage system which I might expand on in the next argument if necessary.
Anti Authoritarian Communist Ideologies
There exist many forms of communism which it would be ridiculous to describe as authoritarian. Most (though not all) of these are forms of anarchist communism which seek to liberate humanity from both the oppression of an authoritarian state and an authoritarian capitalist corporate structure rather than impose any authoritarian structures on society.
Feyerabend forfeited this round.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Midnight1131 1 year ago
|Agreed with before the debate:||-||-||0 points|
|Agreed with after the debate:||-||-||0 points|
|Who had better conduct:||-||-||1 point|
|Had better spelling and grammar:||-||-||1 point|
|Made more convincing arguments:||-||-||3 points|
|Used the most reliable sources:||-||-||2 points|
|Total points awarded:||4||0|
Reasons for voting decision: FF. Arguments to Pro also because they gave a well thought out argument, delving into the ideology of communism, and also mentioning that there are forms of communism that can't be described as authoritarian. Con responds with a one sentence answer, saying that socialist gov't's refusal to return capital to the masses counts as authoritarianism, but Con failed to show why.
You are not eligible to vote on this debate
This debate has been configured to only allow voters who meet the requirements set by the debaters. This debate either has an Elo score requirement or is to be voted on by a select panel of judges.