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

Socialism is morally superior to capitalism

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/7/2011 Category: Economics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,779 times Debate No: 16929
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)




the first round is just for acceptance and if you like brief opening statement. The second round is for contentions and laying out of cases. The third round is for critique and case building. The final round is for further critique and closing statements.


I accept and I would like to wish my opponent the best of luck. I will allow them to make their opening arguement.
Debate Round No. 1


The case I lay out will follow this basic format of contentions:

This case will for the purpose of clarity define agreed upon moral standards as: The set of values and beliefs that society, as a whole, deems morally right.
1.Our society has agreed upon moral standards
2.Capitalism inherently violates and disrespects these moral standards
3.Socialism does not inherently violate these moral standards.

1.This first contention will mostly serve the purpose of proving that moral standards do, indeed, exist in our society. For me to adequately defend the resolution, I must prove that moral standards even exist, first and foremost. If such proof is not offered, then clearly one cannot be morally superior. For the sake of this debate, I will not approach morals as absolutes, but rather as agreed upon standards by which our society seeks to function harmoniously. This approach ought not to be confused with utilitarian ethics because these standards have as much to do with promoting dignity and integrity of conscience as they do with societal utility. Our society, for example, discourages greed. Greed is considered a vice in western society and indeed throughout the world. The agreed upon moral standard is that greed is wrong. In a system of agreed moral standards, it is certainly possible to be greedy. The system of agreed moral standards is simply in existence as a way of judging if someone or some institution is behaving in an immoral fashion. Acting out of greed, therefore, is considered to be wrong. This fact is not at all dependent upon whether an individual feels that greed is ethical or unethical. Even from a standpoint of moral subjectivism, the fact that moral standards do exist is undeniable. Any argument from my opponent on this contention would automatically fall within the parameters of the is/ought fallacy, because these standards do exist, quite independently of whether or not a given individual feels that they are wrong or perhaps flawed.
2.Capitalism necessarily violates certain moral standards and must thus be defined as immoral. This, once again, is independent of subjective valuations on the subject of morality. Whether or not the morals that capitalism violates ought to be seen as wrong is quite beside the point. The debate has nothing to do with ought. The debate has everything to do with the moral standards in place in society. If a system of economics inherently violates these standards, then it is inherently immoral, quite apart from a given individual's valuation of its potential morality. That being said, capitalism violates agreed moral standards in terms of greed, fairness, equality and a host of other standards. For the sake of argument, I will focus on these three. Greed is used for capitalism to function properly. This is not disputed by capitalist authors and advocates. Capitalism seeks to use a vice to create an efficient system. Whether the system is efficient or not is irrelevant. If greed is being used, and is against agreed upon moral standards then we have a moral failing or immorality in capitalism. Being fair is another agreed upon moral standard. Capitalism is inherently unfair, because it seeks to reward those higher who bring in more monetary gain. Fairness is an agreed upon moral standard, yet capitalism promotes certain participants to be compensated and rewarded higher than other participants in a market economy. Whether or not this is the most efficient way of maintaining an economy, is once again irrelevant. If we have set up moral standards, then anything that breaks with those standards is immoral or has a moral failing, even if we do not have moral problem with it. Societal moral inconsistency has no bearing on the standards initially created. Equality of opportunity and means is another moral standard which our society gives every appearance of holding. Our society values the ability of everyone to be able to have the same chances as everyone else. While capitalism seeks to advertise itself this way, the facts show a very different story. In capitalism certain participants are necessarily born into a situation of greater economic fortune. The rest of market participatory life will necessarily tell a story of greater economic advantage both in terms of means and opportunity than other market participants. This is inequitable. Furthermore, natural skills and abilities put some at an advantage over others. While this is certainly not a moral failing on their part, it is a moral failing of capitalism because those who are not in possession of such abilities and skills are not on an equal level of economic advancement.
3.Socialism does not inherently violate agreed upon moral standards. The moral standards that capitalism violates are discouraged in the vision of socialist society. Many individuals claim that socialist ethics and morals are actually the wrong ones. This is, however, irrelevant. Socialism does not violate the standards we have agreed upon. Socialism discourages a greedy outlook and indeed, does not allow for greed to be used in participation in the economy. Socialism promotes fairness, even at the expense of powerhouse efficiency. Socialism seeks for everyone to be compensated and rewarded fairly no matter what. Finally, socialism promotes equality by necessity. No one from birth is given advantage in terms of economic advancement. While the natural advantages of some are not eliminated, they are not translated into greater economic gain than others and thus socialism inherently adheres to the moral standard of equity or equality.

Summation: This case lays out, in a very simple groundwork, the idea of moral standards, how capitalism violates them and how socialism does not. This case makes no subjective valuation of what morals ought to look like. Rather, this case derives moral standards from what can positively be determined from rhetoric used in society. Such rhetoric promotes fairness, equality etc. These are inherently disrespected by capitalism, but promoted by socialism. This case makes no claim as to the objective rightness of agreed upon standards in an abstract sense, but merely recognizes their existence and thus what economic system most closely adheres to them. I urge a vote for the pro side of the debate, as it is the only side that is able to uphold the moral standards that exist in a state of objectivity within our society.
Closing clarifications: I believe the only necessary closing clarification is to say that an advocate for capitalism might seek to show that certain "rights" are more respected by capitalism than socialism. Two notes on that subject:
1.How these rights are more upheld must be conclusively demonstrated
2.Secondly, and more importantly, rights do not fall into the categorization of morals. Morals are seeking to address moral and ethical behavior, the right to property, for instance, has no place in a debate on the issue of morality and moral standards. While some consider it to be a right, it does not fall into a category of agreed upon moral standards.

1. John Stuart Mill- Utilitarian theory
2. Adam Smith- Wealth of Nations
3. Karl Marx- Capital
And others. More specific sources to come during the critique phase.



C1: First off, I can not deny that greed plays a part in capitalism. Capitalism has some moral wrongs to it, but I will be proving that socialism is worse and therefore is not morally superior to capitalism.

Concerning fairness, I would like to as my opponent and the voters a question. If someone does more work then another person, and then gets the same wage how is this fair? Capitalism rewards each person according to the work that they have done. If someone has worked very hard then they get rewarded for their hard work, if someone is lazy then they are also rewarded accordingly. This is fair.

Concerning equality, Each person has the same opportunity. Each person is going to have to work hard in order to succeed in life. If your a rich spoiled kid then your going to still have to work really hard to make sure the means of getting this wealth is taken care of. If you are a farmer then you are going to have work equally hard to get the wealth that you deserve. Everyone has equal rights to free enterprise. If I want to start a shoe company then I have the same right to own a run the business as the owner of McDonald's. Everybody has there own talents, and it is up to them on how to use them and they will be rewarded according to the work they perform.

C3: I totally disagree with my opponent's third contention. Socialism encourages envy, which is agreed upon as immoral. In socialism the poor people are encouraged to envy the wealth of the richer people who worked harder then they. Socialism also is immoral in terms of theft. Under socialism a ruling class of intellectuals, bureaucrats and social planners decide what people want or what is good for society and then use the coercive power of the State to regulate, tax, and redistribute the wealth of those who work for a living. In other words, Socialism is legalized theft! Socialism also encourages sloth. In socialism each person is rewarded the same amount no matter how much he works. So if a guy works more then another guy he still gets the same amount as the other guy. Therefore, socialism rewards sloth.

In Conclusion,

Capitalism is fair.

Capitalism supports equality.

Socialism encourages envy.

Socialism is a form of theft.

Socialism rewards sloth

Vote Con!

Sources :
Debate Round No. 2


Parametric forfeited this round.


My opponent seems to have forfeited the third round, so i will just lay out my case.

The only thing immoral about capitalism is greed, I have made it perfectly clear the other to charges were invalid. However, socialism clearly is not fair to the people who work harder than others, the redistribution of wealth is a system of organized legalized theft, and socialism encourages sloth by rewarding others for less work.

In conclusion, capitalism is in fact morally superior to socialism.

Vote Con!
Debate Round No. 3


Parametric forfeited this round.


Deathbeforedishonour forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by larztheloser 7 years ago
Con, your case "concerning equality" does not concern equality (everyone equally rewarded) but equity (everyone fairly rewarded). Not a very important note, it just annoys me when people get minor vocab wrong. Good first round for both teams.
Posted by Parametric 7 years ago
My writing is quite monotonous.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 7 years ago
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: Unfortunate, Pro was laying out a strong case.