The Instigator
Cherymenthol
Pro (for)
Losing
7 Points
The Contender
Grape
Con (against)
Winning
36 Points

Socialism is bad.

Do you like this debate?NoYes+6
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 10 votes the winner is...
Grape
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/25/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,765 times Debate No: 10953
Debate Rounds (1)
Comments (18)
Votes (10)

 

Cherymenthol

Pro

Whatever the specifics of the case in question, socialism always means overriding the free decisions of individuals and replacing that capacity for decision making with an overarching plan by the state. Taken far enough, this mode of thought won't just spell an end to opulent lunches. It will mean the end of what we all know as civilization itself. It would plunge us back to a primitive state of existence, living off hunting and gathering in a world with little art, music, leisure, or charity. Nor is any form of socialism capable of providing for the needs of the world's six billion people, so the population would shrink dramatically and quickly and in a manner that would make every human horror ever known seem mild by comparison. Nor is it possible to divorce socialism from totalitarianism, because if you are serious about ending private ownership of the means of production, you have to be serious about ending freedom and creativity too. You will have to make the whole of society, or what is left of it, into a prison. In short, the wish for socialism is a wish for unparalleled human evil. If we really understood this, no one would express casual support for it in polite company. It would be like saying, you know, there is really something to be said for malaria and typhoid and dropping atom bombs on millions of innocents.

Everything You Love You Owe to Capitalism
Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. - Mises Institute

I hereby stand in the Con position that Socialism in not a better means of achieving economic security than Capitalism.

I offer the following definitions for the round:

Economic security: the condition of having stable income or other resources to support a standard of living now and in the foreseeable future. It includes
- probable continued solvency
- predictability of the future cash flow of a person or other economic entity, such as a country
- employment security or job security
Economic security tends to include the broader effect of a society's production levels and monetary support for non-working citizens
(http://en.wikipedia.org......)

Capitalism: an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market
(http://www.merriam-webster.com......)

Socialism: a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done
(http://www.merriam-webster.com......)

=====================================================
Capitalism means Freedom

Many Americans are confused about what "capitalism" means. They think it means "what's going on in America today." The government takes your money and gives it to a big business like Halliburton; that's "capitalism" in the eyes of many people.

Capitalism means freedom. It means you get to decide what to do with what you earn and own. If you want to go into business and produce widgets and sell them to consumers, you're free to do so under capitalism. Under socialism, the government tells you what you will produce. Under capitalism, your neighbor is also free to make widgets and compete with you. As a consumer, I am free to buy from you or from your neighbor. You must compete with your neighbor to get my business. If your widgets are the highest quality and lowest price, you'll get my business. If your widgets are not as good as those made by your competitor, or cost more, you won't get my business. Under socialism, consumers have to buy everything from the government.

If you're a great American, you'll work harder and more efficiently, and eventually get my business.
If you're a lousy American -- if you're a whiner -- you'll ask the government to force me to buy your widgets rather than your competitor's, or you'll ask the government to impose a tariff, making your competitor's widgets more expensive and less competitive, or you'll ask the government to require your competitor to get a license to make widgets. Whiners are not capitalists, as that word is used on this website. Perhaps you're a "fascist," or some form of "socialist." But you're not a capitalist, no matter how big your business becomes.

A true capitalist believes in free competition and free markets, and does not seek to succeed by using government force or coercion.

=====================================================
Worldwide success can be attributed to Capitalism

Millions are alive, and living longer, because of medicine developed under capitalism. Without our enormous psychic energy, productivity and inventions, oil would still be lying under Saudi Arabia, undiscovered, unpumped and useless. Coffee, bananas, tin, sugar and other items of trade would have no markets. Capitalism has made the world rich, inventing riches other populations didn't know they had.

=====================================================
History has proven its past that socialism does not work.

In the case of extreme socialism with Joseph Stalin, he would put his farmers in a ditch, if they didn't give up their crops to be distrubuted evenly throughout Soviet Russia. Socialism does not fit the needs of people, Capitalism does. History has proven it's past, and Socialism without a doubt, does not work. As Franklin D. Roosevelt's famous saying goes:
"Capitalism is unequally divided riches while socialism is equally divided poverty."

=====================================================
Private property is essential to the human race.

The right to own property is central to man's existence. Private ownership of property (including land, businesses and goods) gives individuals security and a means to control their own affairs. Ownership brings responsibility and allows individuals to plan for the future so as to provide for themselves and their families. For example, owning a house, a business or some land makes it possible to borrow against that property so that individuals can invest for the future. The lack of private property rights in much of Africa makes such borrowing and investment impossible, and is one reason for the continent's lack of economic growth.

=====================================================
Socialism is bad because it is condescending, inefficient, and immoral.
=====================================================

While appealing to many people, socialism is wrong. As famed French economist Frederic Bastiat put it, "The [socialist] state is the great fictitious entity by which everyone seeks to live at the expense of everyone else."

To begin, socialism is bad because it is condescending. Socialism takes away the liberty to decide how you wish to spend your money; it presupposes you are not smart enough to decide what you need. Your income was yours, now it is the government's and it will provide for you what it thinks you need.

Further, socialism is inefficient because it makes economic calculation impossible. This fact is really common sense (thanks to an economist named Ludwig von Mises). With a central government owning all (or any) means of production and distribution there can be no competition, profits, losses, market prices, or market, for that matter

Finally, socialism is bad because it is immoral. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime." This amounts to nothing more than compulsory servitude.
(Source Sterling T. Terrell)
Grape

Con

I would like to thank my opponent for offering this issue of contention as the issue of socialism vs. capitalism is one that I have found to be of great interest. My opponent contends that socialism is 'bad' because it represents to overriding of free decisions of individuals by that state. He goes on to make accusations against the socialist system which I feel are alarmist and highly speculated. My contentions are thus as follows:

C1: There is no evidence that socialism cannot provide for the world's population. There is no evidence that it is impossible to divorce socialism from totalitarianism. I contend that a democratic socialist society would be highly favorable and functional as the common people, not the wealthy elite, would control both the government and economy. There is also solid evidence to demonstrate that capitalism cannot feed the world either. According to worldometers.info, tens of thousands of people are dying of hunger per year. While this doesn't indicate that socialism is the solution to this, it means capitalism certainly isn't the answer either. There is no reason to say, as my opponent has in his opening argument, that socialism is about ending freedom and creativity. This is not included anywhere in socialist ideology and my opponent has not explained why it logically follows.

C2: My opponents definition of socialism is simply incorrect from the source given. The primary definition of socialism given by Merriam-Webster is, "any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods." The definition provided by my opponent is a facet of Marxist thinking that does not represent a true socialist government. That fact that Marx considered this to be a transitory phase should demonstrate that it is not the form of government intended by socialists. To portray socialism as being this form of government is to misrepresent it and slant the argument.

C3-1: My opponent asserts that capitalism is a more free system than socialism and that capitalism directly leaders to freedom. The number of third world nations that are totalitarian and capitalist should serve as evidence to the contrary. Likewise, the government in socialism has an incentive to produce better goods at a cheaper price because the role of the government is to benefit the people. The government can sell at a lower price because it does not need to make a profit. Furthermore, a socialist government does not necessarily dictate who works in what job or whether or not people must buy certain goods.

C3-2: Under capitalism, business can be dominated by wealthy elites and massive corporations that restrict the ability of common people to compete. If I wish to open my own coffee shop, I will never be able to compete with Starbucks due to its vastly superior resources, even if my coffee is better. In a socialist government I would be able to work at a coffee show without fear of being driven out of business and losing my job. This increases freedom of employment.

C4: My opponent has said that a true capitalist believes in free competition and free markets. I disagree. A business under capitalism wants to increase its own profits and economic power. It would seek to eliminate free competition and free markets. During the Gilded Age in America, capitalist giants dominated business, establishing monopolies and crushing all competition. The government consistently came down on the side of big business and against the common people. This undemocratic support for the rich over the common many is extremely characteristic of capitalism, even in a democratic society.

C5: My opponent equates fascism with socialism, but a rudimentary understanding of political theory will show there is no connection. Control of the economy does not equate to social or political control.

C6: There is no cause and effect that shows that capitalism is solely responsible for the use of the world's nature resources or technological development. Medicine and technology have advanced for thousands of years without any connection to economic systems. Both Communist Russia and the capitalist US made great advances during the Cold War.

C7: The socialist systems used by nations such as the USSR under Stalin do not properly represent the goals of socialist ideology any more than the capitalism in Chile under Augusto Pinochet represents the goals of capitalist ideology. These systems have failed, which is something I would attribute to the totalitarian nature of the government and massive opposition by capitalist states. A democratic socialist society, which I believe is very possible, would function far better than the poor examples history has provided us.

C8: There is no way to prove that private property is essential to the human race. Even if it is, socialism does not necessary call for the abolition of private property. Socialism, as it would be more accurately explained, calls for government control of commerce.

C9: To refute the "condescending, inefficient, and immoral" claim. A socialist government would not propose to take away income and spend it on whatever it chooses. A socialist government, properly run, would allow people to buy from the government whatever they wanted based on their contribution to society. The fact that conventional economic theory is not a good fit for modelling socialist economies does not make socialism bad. As I have stated, the fact that large amounts of wealth are not going to the elite. According to Faireconomy.org, the wealthiest 1% of American owns as much wealth as the lower 90%. This is hardly a democratic system (a system that gives power to the people) and it is hardly fair. Last, socialism is not immoral because it takes from people and gives to others. People already take from themselves and give to others, but when that system of trade is allowed to run amok it rapidly becomes unfair as some people run off with all the wealth. Socialism regulates this exchange to insure such things do not happen.

C10: The view of socialism my opponent offers is alarmist and is entirely speculation. There is no reason to believe that socialism would reduce us to primitive societies. All of the vicious attacks my opponent has made against socialism are unfounded. Instead, there is great reason to believe that socialism can lead to a happier people. The world map of happiness (http://www.physorg.com...) shows little correlation between economic systems and happiness. Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Germany, and France are all extremely happy countries whose economies are functioning very well under a system that is moderately socialist. The issue here is not capitalism vs. socialism, but democracy vs. totalitarianism.

Conclusion: I do not personally believe the socialist system is far superior to that of the capitalist system. The success of many European nations under a moderate socialist system suggests to me that a mix of some capitalist and some socialist ideas would better society greatly. My opponent chooses to brand socialism by defining it only in it's most rigid and negative context without any consideration of its true values. Both socialist and capitalist thinkers have much to learn from one another if a truly fair economic system is to be developed and close minded attacks such as this are not conducive to that at all. I think votes will see that it is not necessary to support socialism to see that my opponent's resolution is far too absolutist to stand up the open minded scrutiny and that he has failed to defend it will information, instead using emotional appeal and wild exaggeration as his primary means of argument.

With that I am beginning to run out of characters and I seem to have said everything I need to.
Debate Round No. 1
18 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by tempus_erus 6 years ago
tempus_erus
your forgetting the EU though capitalistic and Japan are socialistic state and well they rich as ever,hunger down education is up. in a capitailistic society were we say we all equal is a farce when one makes more than the other has more support such as medical care. hell loke at EU and japan they are the worlds medical and economic helpers to most countires. the us how do they help oh ya make war, slaughter many innocent people in all the name of god but beleive or not thouh shall not kill command from god, americans convert people but leave them in muck and expect them to obey their masters.
Posted by KPAX 7 years ago
KPAX
RFD? REQUEST FOR DETAIL? I don't do emotocons. You just did not convince me and I found the other argument stronger. The part about better conduct is highly subjective so I threw the weight that way. I didn't run a grammar or spell check on either argument as I did find certain questionable usages and or typos and faults in both arguments, so the weight went against you.
I did not find either argument extraordinarily impressive. Fails was a bit more shrill and unoriginal so I guess that's RFD.
Neither debater held my interest that closely so I swung my weight for grapes, if you want me to admit to not being rigorous ok I wasn't.
Fail relies too heavily on the emotionalism and proselytizing of the argument with claims instead of demonstrating specifics. It is currently more fashion than substance to attack Socialism as a purely dogmatic antithesis to capitalism and embrace capitalism without question as if it were more than one of many economic configurations. Raising it to the exalted status of metaphysics in which it becomes a moral sojourn of righteousness unbound instead of an evolving changeable economic theory.
Capitalism is much more than Mises and much less than a metaphysical universal dogma. It's a sociological science not a hard science akin to biology or physics that must rely on universal laws of nature not the created laws of humans or would be gods.
Social welfare is a big part of what is good about capitalism and that alone led me to vote as I did. Far to many ignore the fact that Capitalism in any pure form never existed and never will exist. All nations live and function in a mixed economy and no state that lasts is strictly socialist or capitalist. The dogmatism of both these constructs blinds all too many advocates of purism.
Is this what you were looking for?
Still in all you all gave it a good go. Refine the argument and go again, try not to make it about good and evil. Being rather new here I may be out of line.
Posted by Cherymenthol 7 years ago
Cherymenthol
Got it Kinesis... I figured that out last night lol but its KPAX's vote that i am intrigued about.
Posted by Kinesis 7 years ago
Kinesis
Apparently, atheistman just votes all seven to who he thinks won. He doesn't go in for sissy grammar or conduct points.
Posted by Ore_Ele 7 years ago
Ore_Ele
you can correct your vote, you know.
Posted by Cherymenthol 7 years ago
Cherymenthol
KPAX would you care to provide an RFD?
Posted by InsertNameHere 7 years ago
InsertNameHere
oops. Disregard my vote. I accidently voted tie on everything. xD
Posted by Cherymenthol 7 years ago
Cherymenthol
Athiestman but i apologize this is not the first time you have voted all 7 points against me. I did a little research and from what I could gather I am beginning to assume you are a vote-bomber. I urge you to either leave an RFD, or I will be forced to report your actions. thank you for understanding.
Posted by Cherymenthol 7 years ago
Cherymenthol
Alright thanks Grape :) I hope others will follow with that vote change and we can do this debate later :).
Posted by Grape 7 years ago
Grape
Also, I had only one hour to respond which meant that beyond quick citations from sources that I could think of off the top of my head I could not do research. I understand it was a mistake and it did not hurt my debate in any way, but it did reduce the number of sources I was able to use. That said I still agree that neither of us was clearly better in terms of source usage.
10 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by VanShiZZle 7 years ago
VanShiZZle
CherymentholGrapeTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:40 
Vote Placed by mcc1789 7 years ago
mcc1789
CherymentholGrapeTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:05 
Vote Placed by musicsaveslives 7 years ago
musicsaveslives
CherymentholGrapeTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by KPAX 7 years ago
KPAX
CherymentholGrapeTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Vote Placed by InsertNameHere 7 years ago
InsertNameHere
CherymentholGrapeTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:00 
Vote Placed by atheistman 7 years ago
atheistman
CherymentholGrapeTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Vote Placed by Grape 7 years ago
Grape
CherymentholGrapeTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by Nails 7 years ago
Nails
CherymentholGrapeTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Vote Placed by Cherymenthol 7 years ago
Cherymenthol
CherymentholGrapeTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by Ore_Ele 7 years ago
Ore_Ele
CherymentholGrapeTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:04