The Instigator
Capitalistslave
Pro (for)
The Contender
RonPaulConservative
Con (against)

Socialism is better than your choice of an alternative economy

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/6/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 weeks ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 141 times Debate No: 96758
Debate Rounds (5)
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Capitalistslave

Pro

Please choose and mention the economic system you support in the first argument. We'll begin with opening statements, covering pros of your system, then we will move on to each other pointing out cons of the other person's system. Then we offer rebuttal, and so forth. Be sure to provide sources for any factual information(such as statistics) otherwise that which is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

l'll open up with stating that when I speak of socialism, I mean the definition as provided by wikipedia and it defines socialism as "a range of economic and social systems characterised by social ownership and democratic control of the means of production" https://en.wikipedia.org...
This definition of socialism comes closer to what Marx believed socialism to be.

Therefore any state/country which had/has state/government control of the means of production is NOT socialist unless that government is democratic, since if it is a democratic state, the state owning the means of production would mean it's also a democratic control of the means of production. Therefore, countries that are totalitarian or authoritarian in nature, such as the Soviet Union, Venezuela, China, North Korea, and others should NOT and can NOT be used as examples of socialist failures since they do not meet this definition of socialism. If you want to call what those countries had socialism, fine by me, but know that I am NOT talking about the type of "socialism" those countries had/have, so pointing out those countries will be futile.

Now, here is my opening argument about the pros of socialism:
Similar to how most people agree that monarchy or oligarchy is an illegitimate form of government, as they do not provide consent from the governed, so to is capitalism and other systems of economy. Socialism provides a means through which people can consent to being governed in an economic sense. Under socialism, workers control their own businesses. They have a say over the rules and regulations the business would have over them.

In addition to having a say over a business you work for, you are also compensated more under socialism. With socialism, a CEO or business owner would not be there to take majority of the money the company earns. Instead, this capital would be spread across the workers. Therefore, socialism benefits the majority in society, rather than an elite few.

Next, I will be talking about democratic businesses and how successful they are. Democratic businesses, which is one way in which socialism is achieved and is the type of socialism I will be mainly arguing for, are known as cooperatives. Cooperatives are actually, in many ways, more successful than traditional business models. For example, 80% of cooperatives survive the first 5 years of being in business, compared to 41% of the traditional business model. (Source: http://www.uk.coop... ) Now, while a cooperative is difficult to start, mainly because banks almost never lend to cooperatives and it's hard to find like-minded people in the same business as you to come to together and start a cooperative, when they are started, they do well enough to survive usually, as mentioned before. Since cooperatives are difficult to start up, and banks seem to hate them, this is, I believe, the primary reason why there are so few of them. That, and we all live primarily in capitalist economies that favor the traditional business model that is an oligarchy. (source: https://www.youtube.com... )

Now, transitioning to socialism in general: there is one example of a socialist nation that, by all means, was a socialist success. This nation was Yugoslavia under Josip Broz Tito. They had the highest standard of living of any Eastern European nation, and a GDP growth of greater than 5% for most of the years it was socialist(source: https://www.youtube.com... ). While it is true Yugoslavia fell eventually anyways, this was in large due to NATO and Reagan inciting a silent revolution in Yugoslavia to introduce and pressure them into taking a market economy.(see the previous listed source, as well as this one: http://www.globalresearch.ca... ) In fact:

"There is evidence that the US administration in liason with its allies took the decision in the early 1980s to destabilise and dismantle Yugoslavia.

The decision to destroy Yugoslavia as a country and carve it up into a number of small proxy states was taken by the Reagan adminstration in the early 1980s.

A "Secret Sensitive" National Security Decision Directive (NSDD 133) entitled "US Policy towards Yugoslavia." (Declassified) set the foreign policy framework for the destabilization of Yugoslavia"s model of market socialism and the establishment of a US sphere of influence in Southeastern Europe.

Yugoslavia was in many regards "an economic success story". In the two decades before 1980, annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth averaged 6.1 percent, medical care was free, the rate of literacy was 91 percent, and life expectancy was 72 years.

While NSDD 133 was in itself a somewhat innocous document, it provided legitimacy to the free market reforms. A series of covert intelligence operations were implemented, which consisted in creating and supporting secessionist paramilitary armies, first in Bosnia then in Kosovo.

These covert operations were combined with the destabilization of the Yugoslav economy. The application of strong economic medicine under the helm of the IMF and the World Bank ultimately led to the destruction of Yugoslavia"s industrial base, the demise of the workers" cooperative and the dramatic impoverishment of its population." ( http://www.globalresearch.ca... )

I do not have any other example of a socialist success and the primary reason for that is because just about every single socialist attempt was quickly shut down and overthrown by capitalist or totalitarian governments. (see above youtube link) Yugoslavia was one of the only socialist nations to survive more than a year, and it's a wonder no nation attacked their socialism before they decided to in the 1980s.

For me to argue more, I would need to know what economic system the opposition is arguing in favor of, so I'll end it here.
RonPaulConservative

Con

My choice of an alternative economy is market economics, as laid out by Adam Smith and Milton Friedman, Friedmanism. Unfortunately there are not many nations that practice this economic system, in fact there are only 2 that do today and 3 in all of world history, thos are Switzerland, Japan, and the United States during the 40's, 50', early 60's, and the Western United states from 1865 to the early 1900's.

This system has 3 charactaristics which distinct itself from other systems:
1. A respect for private property.
2. Competition in every trade, amongst many buisnesses.
3. A limited goveronment, there to ensure honest practice and the safety of establishments.
Debate Round No. 1
Capitalistslave

Pro

I suppose I shall address each of the points that my opponent claims to be positive about market economics.

1. Respect for private property
We do need to define what we mean by private property, if you mean where someone owns property for their own house, that can still take place under socialism. Communism has the complete abolition of all private property, whereas socialism only makes it that businesses are democratically controlled and worker-owned. So, if you mean private property as in privately-owned businesses, then yes, socialism gets rid of that form of private property as businesses would be owned by the workers. The reason why I would argue that this type of private property is detrimental to society, is because it grants someone to have a position above us in a sort of hierarchy. It gives certain people illegitimate power by giving one person control over capital while giving all the workers the shaft. It gives one person power to kick any one worker out for any reason, and abuse of power does and can happen under market economics.

2. Competition in every trade, amongst many businesses
While competition has resulted in a lot of advancement, it is also being detrimental to humanity. For example, there is a rising superbug bacteria problem due to the over-prescription of antibiotics. ( https://www.cdc.gov... ) Since pharmaceutical companies are competing with one another, instead of working together cooperatively, and they are controlled by one or a few people who are only interested in profit, they go for the short-term profit method of selling as many antibiotics as possible. Because it's more profitable to sell the antibiotics rather than try to come up with a solution to the rising superbug bacterial problem, it is exacerbating the problem since very few companies are wanting to spend the money to solve the problem until it's too late, since other companies are still selling antibiotics. ( go to after 9:58 is the relevant parts of this video: https://www.youtube.com... ) In addition, for the few companies that are trying to solve the problem, they are doing it alone rather than working with each other which means it will take longer to get it solved.

3. A limited government, there to ensure honest practice and the safety of establishments.
I have no objections to this. I'm what you call a libertarian socialist, so I believe in limited government, or even no government at all, as well. Socialism doesn't necessarily have big government.
RonPaulConservative

Con

RESPONSE
Private ownership includes both your household and the ability to own a place of production. Now, I'd like to point out that this socialism that my opponent talks about cannot be established or mantained without goveronment force. Without that the ownership of production will remain in the hands of whoever controls what at this moment. Enable to make this transition the goveronment would need to impliment violent force againsts its citizens, and usurp (steal) property and give it to another.

And if such an economy was established, and there were little or no goveronment as my opponent wants, then eventualy individualists such as myself will, sooner r later, decide to go form our own capitalist companies and be self-employed. These companies would be far more productive and efficient than those Socialist establishments and would hence drive them out of buisness, marking the end of Socialism. The only way to prevent this is with goveronment force.

I also want to point out a fallacy in my opponents response:
"While competition has resulted in a lot of advancement, it is also being detrimental to humanity. For example, there is a rising superbug bacteria problem due to the over-prescription of antibiotics. Since pharmaceutical companies are competing with one another, instead of working together cooperatively, and they are controlled by one or a few people who are only interested in profit, they go for the short-term profit method of selling as many antibiotics as possible. Because it's more profitable to sell the antibiotics rather than try to come up with a solution to the rising superbug bacterial problem, it is exacerbating the problem since very few companies are wanting to spend the money to solve the problem until it's too late, since other companies are still selling antibiotics."

Firstly, if competition, how can there a;lso be only 1 or 2 people in charge of the system. Secondly, these vaccines can only be dispensed into society if there is a demand for them. The company can only sell them if people are buying them, and if people are buying them then cooperation between 1 buisness and itself isn't going to change anything since people will simply make alternative antibiotics at home. The only way to prevent people from making these antibiotics is with goveronment force.

A HYPOTHETICAL SCENARIO
Say there were a city that followed the socialist model that my opponent is proposing, and there wre also another city that followed my capitalist structure. Under my proposition companies will cmpete and build more infarstructure and produce more goods at lower prices, employing more people, creating more wealth, and lowering the cost of living. This is because entrepenuers will have an incentive to produce more wealth and build moe infarstructure.

Whilst under the socialist model no one will build more infarstructure since everyone is a worker. These workers will most likely raise the cost of their goods to earn more money, rather than producing more stuff. A socialist economy is a stagnate economy since all of the factories and production are already built, and will not advance past their current state. It is basically putting more focus on equality than production.

EXAMINING THE RESULTS
In round 1 I gave the examples of Japan Switzerland and the United States during the 1940's-late 60's, the United States was the first country where its ordinary citizen had access to electricity and running water, Switzerland has the highest average wages in the world, at 6,500$ a month, and Japan has the longest life expectancy of any nation, which reflects their quality of living and quality/avalability of healthcare. {1}The GDP Per Capita in Switzerland is 80,000$, which is larger than any other nation.

{1}. http://data.worldbank.org...

Debate Round No. 2
Capitalistslave

Pro

My opponent says "that this socialism... cannot be established or ma[i]ntained without government force." However, this is only true if majority of people in a country are in favor of a market economy or some other non-socialist economy. If a majority is in favor of a socialist economy, then it will be very difficult for anyone to maintain private ownership of a company. For one, the people themselves can enforce the rules by rising up against anyone who tries to open up a privately-owned business. A militia can ensure that the society continues to be socialist. I admit, it takes a lot of conviction from the people themselves and activism on their part to maintain such a socialist economy. I concede that if majority of the people want a market economy, then there's no way to have socialism but through government force. Since I'm also an advocate of democracy, I have no problem with a society that majority want a market economy, that's their choice, but I think if people were educated on socialism, and if socialist attempts were allowed to continue without outside forces over-taking them, there would be more examples of socialist successes and more people would likely go to socialism.

I would like to address this next point made by my opponent: "Firstly, if competition, how can there also be only 1 or 2 people in charge of the system." When I said a few people are in charge, I meant a few people or one person is in charge of a single company. There are of course multiple pharmaceutical companies and plenty of competition. I apologize if that was not clear. In addition, my opponent stated that "The only way to prevent people from making these antibiotics is with government force. " However, I would argue that under a socialist economy where workers own the businesses and make the decisions, they would probably be more likely to vote for developing a solution to this problem. Perhaps not all of the cooperatives would do this, but I would say at least a few of them would come to realize the need for benefiting society, rather than themselves. When one or a few people control the company, they are more likely to do that which benefits themselves, but when workers are in control, they will do what benefits the workers which is more likely to benefit everyone since more people are involved in the process.

A hypothetical scenario:
Both of these below examples show that socialism doesn't just result in creating less wealth, less infrastructure, or raise the cost of living like you are claiming in this hypothetical scenario. While there are socialist nations where this has happened, I would argue it's not because they were socialist, but rather for other economic reasons depending on the nation. Socialism CAN succeed, and perhaps even compete with market economies.
Now, while these two countries do not have the precise socialism I'm advocating for, they do have forms of socialism.
1) Yugoslavia had averaged a GDP growth of 6.1% each year in the 1960s and 1970s ( http://www.globalresearch.ca... ) and the standard of living continually went up, eventually to make Yugoslavia have the highest standard of living of any eastern European country during that time. ( https://www.youtube.com... )
2) Bolivia, since having voted in a socialist party in 2006 and which has become more socialist, has had it's GDP soar from $8 billion to $33 billion ( http://data.worldbank.org... ) and has the fastest growing economy in Latin America. In addition, the extreme poverty levels went down from 38.2%, just before the socialists were elected, to 18.8%. While Bolivia is still a poor nation, it is improving widely under socialism. ( https://www.youtube.com... )

I do not have examples of countries that had libertarian/anarcho-socialism which succeeded because all of them were quickly taken over by a capitalist, authoritarian, or totalitarian country as was the case with the Free Territory of Ukraine during the Russian civil war, and Revolutionary Catalonia during the Spanish civil war. However, I may be able to use Catalonia as an example since they did last for about 3 years. During the time Catalonia existed, the standard of living of the average worker did in fact go up pretty significantly ( http://econfaculty.gmu.edu... ). I can't find anything else about other indicators of economic improvement for Catalonia unfortunately.
RonPaulConservative

Con

RESPONSES 1
"My opponent says "that this socialism... cannot be established or ma[i]ntained without government force." However, this is only true if majority of people in a country are in favor of a market economy or some other non-socialist economy. If a majority is in favor of a socialist economy, then it will be very difficult for anyone to maintain private ownership of a company. For one, the people themselves can enforce the rules by rising up against anyone who tries to open up a privately-owned business. A militia can ensure that the society continues to be socialist."


This would be no less than a tyrannical mob rule, if I want to produce my own goods and demand payment for them, the "general poplation" has no right to "rise up" against anything since I am not forcing anything on them. I would pose no threat to them by producing my own things. This is why I support the absolute right to gun ownership and the legalisation of machine guns and semi-automattics,. that way if such a mob tried to destroy my property I could defend myself.

"I admit, it takes a lot of conviction from the people themselves and activism on their part to maintain such a socialist economy. I concede that if majority of the people want a market economy, then there's no way to have socialism but through government force. Since I'm also an advocate of democracy, I have no problem with a society that majority want a market economy, that's their choice, but I think if people were educated on socialism, and if socialist attempts were allowed to continue without outside forces over-taking them, there would be more examples of socialist successes and more people would likely go to socialism."

If you want to go form a socilist factory or a socialist community, you can do that under a capitaist model, but you'll most likely go out of buisness due to innefficent production.

"I would like to address this next point made by my opponent: "Firstly, if competition, how can there also be only 1 or 2 people in charge of the system." When I said a few people are in charge, I meant a few people or one person is in charge of a single company. There are of course multiple pharmaceutical companies and plenty of competition. I apologize if that was not clear. In addition, my opponent stated that "The only way to prevent people from making these antibiotics is with government force. " However, I would argue that under a socialist economy where workers own the businesses and make the decisions, they would probably be more likely to vote for developing a solution to this problem. Perhaps not all of the cooperatives would do this, but I would say at least a few of them would come to realize the need for benefiting society, rather than themselves."

If all of the profits went to the workers, then the worlkers would make whatever decision they thought would best serve their intrests. So- same results, people serve their own private intrests,

"When one or a few people control the company, they are more likely to do that which benefits themselves, but when workers are in control, they will do what benefits the workers which is more likely to benefit everyone since more people are involved in the process."

No, the workers would make those same decisions since they would earn more money.


RESPONSES 2
There isn't much information about Yugoslavia, or its quality of living, but from what I can tell it was under the Soviet Bloc and whithin the Rubble Zone, which apparently used to be a big currency. Either way Yugoslavia wasn't such a great prospering economy, they mounted up huge sums of debt, always had a trade deficit which grew exponentially, and their economy didn't really grow that much long term when compared to cpitalist nations:


Boli
via isn't all that great either, their GDP per capita is only 3,095$, {1} compared to Switzerland, who's GDP Per Capita is 80,000$, the highest in the world.

{1}. http://data.worldbank.org...

Debate Round No. 3
Capitalistslave

Pro

"This would be no less than a tyrannical mob rule, if I want to produce my own goods and demand payment for them, the "general poplation" has no right to "rise up" against anything since I am not forcing anything on them. I would pose no threat to them by producing my own things. This is why I support the absolute right to gun ownership and the legalisation of machine guns and semi-automattics,. that way if such a mob tried to destroy my property I could defend myself. "

The thing is, how can you argue it is legitimate for someone to control the means of production over the workers? I view it as a tyranny for someone to control the means of production and subvert workers. What gives a person a right to piggyback off of workers, who are the ones who are actually doing things? Without the workers, there would be no profit. It's very much like how in feudalism, a baron or owner of a plantation would take from the peasants, when the peasants are the ones doing all the work and all the owner does is make decisions, which the workers/peasants themselves could easily do without someone above them. So, for a people to rise up against a business owner, it is very much like the American revolution, except instead of revolting against a tyrannical political monarchy, you're revolting against a tyrannical business monarchy/oligarchy. Can you really argue for why it is legitimate rule for one person to be at the top of a company, piggybacking off of other people's work and taking advantage of them?

"If you want to go form a socilist factory or a socialist community, you can do that under a capitaist model, but you'll most likely go out of buisness due to innefficent production. "
As I showed before, GDP, which is of course a measure of production, went up tremendously under two socialist examples. It's not necessarily the case production will become inefficient under socialism.

"If all of the profits went to the workers, then the worlkers would make whatever decision they thought would best serve their intrests. So- same results, people serve their own private intrests, "
That's true, but the difference between workers doing this and a business owner, is the workers are all part of the poor or middle classes. Since they are part of these classes, they would have more knowledge on what those classes want, and thus them going for their own interests would also be the interests of other poor people and middle class people. The rich are more likely to be able to afford a solution to the problem if the superbug issue escalated, so they are not interested in developing a solution for everybody so long as they can afford it. The workers would be interested in developing something that people of their class can afford, since it is in their interest to do so.

Yugoslavia's debt may have gone up during the last decade of its existence, but I would think it likely had to do with the embargo that the west had against Yugoslavia and the policies they set forward to destabilize Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia's debt didn't start rising rapidly, as you can see in your picture, until the mid-1970s. Then in the 1980s, NATO, the IMF, World Bank, and the US all worked together to introduce market economics to Yugoslavia as to try and cure the problem they started. ( http://www.globalresearch.ca... ) However, this mostly ruined the economies of the new countries that formed after Yugoslavia was dismantled. As you can see here, for most of the years after Yugoslavia split into several countries, these several countries have had a GDP growth rate of less than 5%, with the exception of https://www.google.com..., who had only a huge spike in GDP growth in the mid 1990s, but eventually settled down to below 5% GDP growth: ( https://www.google.com... https://www.google.com... )whereas it averaged 6.1% when Yugoslavia existed in the 1960s and 1970s(see previous source in the last round I provided for this number). So, in short, the debt raising didn't have to do with the socialist policies of Yugoslavia, but rather the policies capitalist nations and international organizations had towards Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia's debt was very small in the 1950s to early 1970s, yet they still had socialist policies at this time. To claim the socialist policies had to do with the debt, when they didn't have much debt earlier when they had socialist policies, seems to be false. Something changed in the 1970s, and that was the embargoes, and monetary policies the world bank and IMF had towards Yugoslavia.

The point I was making about Bolivia is not that their GDP per capita is great now, but rather that it is MUCH better than what is used to be under liberal policies. I acknowledged they are still a poor country, but a LOT has improved since they elected socialist leaders. Again, look at what I said previously for how it improved.
RonPaulConservative

Con

OWNERSHIP OVER THE MEANS OF PRODUCTION
Assuming we lived in a Socialist structure, I should be able to dith the collectivist workplace and produce my own stuff, and set the price for my own goods that I produced, and I wouldn't be "oppressing" anyone by doing that. Now in regards to your comparison to Feudalism, there is 1 massive diffrence between feudalism and capitalism; in feudalism the land is granted to lords and barons by a king, whilst in capitalism it is earned by hard work.
If I build a factory which doubles the productive powers of labor, then it would not be unfair to expect fromm the workers a portion of what more was added to their produce. Without that we would still have a middle ages leven means of production where every single person would have to be a farmer just to survive, as opposed to today where California alone produces enough food to feed the world.

BOLIVIA
Bolivia is a very small economy, so what you would call "massive growth," coould mean that the Bolivian government built 1 working factory a year. If your GDP is 100$, then earning an extra 10$ isn't considered "massive growth." Besides, Yugoslavia didn't grow that much:

Compare it to Japan, it's economy stagnated for 20 years after a very slow growth.

MORE NONSENSE
"The rich are more likely to be able to afford a solution to the problem if the superbug issue escalated, so they are not interested in developing a solution for everybody so long as they can afford it."

You seem to think that the corporations will only cater to the rich when developing drugs, but they actually make money off of selling them to everyone, or as many people as they can.



Debate Round No. 4
Capitalistslave

Pro

The problem is, the workers themselves could have decided to build that extra factory. There is literally no need for someone at the top to decide these things. (S)He's just there to make a profit off of other people's work. That's what I consider to be wrong under capitalism or market economics. Can you explain how the one at the top of a business isn't just making profit off of the other people's work, and how they are actually needed?

Bolivia:
Yes, I suppose that's true, but it was still more than what was going on when they had an economy closer to market economics. As for Yugoslavia, while they didn't grow as much as some countries like Germany or Japan, they did still grow at a good rate, 6.1% on average as I pointed out. That is much better than what the US and UK are currently growing at. Both are barely mustering 2% and throughout the past 30 years, it was rare they had above 6% growth. ( https://www.google.com... ) I would argue that the benefits of not having someone at the top of a business, taking profits away from the workers, outweigh the downsides. Sure, it may be the case that socialism causes good growth, but less growth potential than under capitalism, but capitalism and market economics seems to have a much larger variation. Some nations will grow at a very slow rate, while others boom and take off. Socialism looks like it would make it more steady(at a pretty good level of growth, rather than a small amount of growth or a large amount of growth) if we look at the examples of each socialist nations presented, and others. I would rather take the steady 5-6% growth than risk potentially having much less than that in order to try to have a booming economy. In addition, I would rather have options to work with other people who also own the company like I do, rather than work under someone who takes part of the profits of the company.

I didn't try to imply they would only seek after benefiting the wealthy, but rather that there is more incentive for workers to develop a solution than for a wealthy person at the top. Yes, that is one incentive for someone at the top to develop a solution: to sell to all levels of income, but the poor have that incentive too, but also have the incentive for themselves since they are poor or middle class themselves.
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