The Instigator
clayrobinsonca
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
SPF
Pro (for)
Winning
7 Points

Socialism

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
SPF
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/24/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 404 times Debate No: 80067
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (1)

 

clayrobinsonca

Con

"A Bill of Rights is what the people are entitled to against every government, and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inference," Thomas Jefferson once said. We, as people under the Constitution of the United States, hold these to be our unalienable rights. As of now, they're in jeopardy to what is known as socialism, the sugar-coated 'equal society' that may strip us of those fundamental rights. From my point of view, I believe a socialistic society would not function properly and even more so, would cause an economic fallout. I know I wouldn't want my rights taken away and decisions made for me, but now that is up to you to decide as you listen to my following statements.
We all know hard work comes with rewards such as satisfaction, and perhaps a paycheck. When you work hard in life, you reap its benefits, but under socialism, there will be no rewards for hard work. For example, if one man works all day and another man only works a half of a day, under socialism, they will both get paid the same wage. This creates an environment in which people begin to feel entitled to things for minimal to no work, making it unfair to those who work harder. In return, these people who continue to give 100% will then give up like the others, leading to a degrading society, for a lack of better words, we will turn into losers. Was this the dream of America, the land of the innovators, the land of the people who change the world? Socialism will take that away, will take America's heart and soul away.
Going back to the topic of destroying innovation, without the great American inventors that make this country great, we would be nothing. America did great things, we built the locomotive, the plane, invented the computer, pushed limits and then some. When we begin to spread the wealth too evenly, we kill innovation because everyone strives to do great things, not because it benefits those around them, but also the fame and wealth that comes with it. We look up to innovators, many young people wanting to become like one of them as they grow older. Socialism is a dream killer, innovation crusher because nobody will strive to be any better because 'they are already like everyone else'. A great example of this is giving everyone in the class the class average grade. The students who would have most likely failed the class would love the idea, but those who worked hard and put in the effort would be upset. Socialism is the Bermuda grass of innovation, day by day, little by little, it will eventually choke ideas and dreams out.
People who speak for and promote this idea may say that socialism creates and equal society in which nobody is higher than another and nobody will ever go hungry and underdressed again. That statement may lure many of you in because of the benefits. Don't let itqu fool you, that's just the beautiful surface that covers the dark, dull life that lies underneath. Honestly, these benefits sound great, but I know enough that everyone in the United States has the equal opportunity to do this themselves. That's what makes this country great, why many others are envious of us. The people who see that don't seem to be equal and not well fed, don't be fooled by many of them. I know we should care and do something, but we can't fix them, we can only fix ourselves. The best thing to do with the hungry people is to empathize with them, not sympathize. Help them on their feet again, but from then on, then it's their responsibility to get a job and maintain a steady paycheck to supply for themselves. They eventually can better themselves and climb higher in the world, because that's what America is and that is what Americans do. Socialism sounds sincere, but undermines hard work, and takes away equal opportunity, America's most prized privilege.
Abraham Lincoln once said, "America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves." I could not agree more. America has been a leader of the world for many years and deserves to continue as the world leader. Implementing socialism would be the death of us, it will destroy us. I don't think any of you out there want that because, after so much that America has been through and overcome, I wouldn't want to see it go down. I have a message for you listening right now, become America's next leader, innovate new ideas, strive to become better than what you are right now, and most importantly, don't let socialism get in your head and shoved down your throat, fight for your freedom, your forefathers did.
SPF

Pro

What is Socialism? My opponent's burden is to define the resolution in the first round, but since he hasn't done this, I'll define it for him. Socialism, traditionally, is a system where the means of production (workplaces) are owned and controlled by the workers. Before Lenin, almost all Socialists, from the Marxists to the Anarchists, and the Social Democrats as well, believed in Democracy. In fact, they believed in a system which is more democratic than Capitalism. They wanted a system which was both politically, and economically democratic. Economic democracy means that a workplace is democratically governed by the people who work in that workplace. A good example of this would be the worker cooperative. Worker cooperatives are democratically run and owned by all of the workers. A traditionally socialist economy would be composed of these worker cooperatives. I advocate a system of market socialism. In this system, there would still be markets, but instead of having Capitalist firms competing in the marketplace, Socialist firms, or worker cooperatives would function in this way. To be completely clear about this, worker cooperatives are BUSINESSES. Government would not need to grow any larger to create this Socialist system. All that would need to happen, where the government is concerned, would be a change in how the government spends it's money. We currently spend over a hundred billion dollars a year on Federal corporate subsidies, and 80 billion dollars a year on local, municipal, and statewide corporate subsidies. If the money which is spent on corporate subsidies get's reallocated to creating worker cooperatives, than in a decade or two you will see the socialization of the economy.
Now, with this in mind, let us turn to my opponent's arguments.
"'A Bill of Rights is what the people are entitled to against every government, and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inference,' Thomas Jefferson once said. We, as people under the Constitution of the United States, hold these to be our unalienable rights. As of now, they're in jeopardy to what is known as socialism,..." I'm a socialist. I value liberty. Thomas Jefferson's friend Thomas Paine had some fairly socialistic ideas in his 1795 pamphlet, Agrarian Justice. More social democratic than socialistic in the sense that is defined here. Nevertheless, in the socialist society which I described, our Bill of Rights will remain intact. Our Constitution will remain intact. The government wouldn't necessarily be any larger than it is today. The only change which is necessary to make an economy socialist, under my definition, would be a transition from corporations to worker cooperatives.
"We all know hard work comes with rewards such as satisfaction, and perhaps a paycheck. When you work hard in life, you reap its benefits, but under socialism, there will be no rewards for hard work."
On the contrary, there are greater rewards for hard work under socialism than there are under Capitalism. As I will prove in my first contention, Capitalism exploits workers. In order to make a profit, Capitalist businesses pay workers less money to make a larger profit. In Socialist businesses, workers democratically determine their own wages, AND even more importantly, they own the profits. This means that workers are paid their true value.
"For example, if one man works all day and another man only works half of a day under socialism, they will both get paid the same wage." Well, no. We're speaking about HOURLY wages. In a worker cooperative where the wages are the same for everyone, those who work fewer HOURS make less money. By the way, socialism isn't necessarily complete economic equality. It is economic democracy. In some worker cooperatives, workers vote for differentiated pay scales. Differences are much smaller though. In Mondragon, for example, the highest paid employees make 8 times more than the lowest paid employees. Your average corporation pays its CEO 350 times more than it's lowest paid employees.
" When we begin to spread the wealth too evenly, we kill innovation because everyone strives to do great things, not because it benefits those around them, but also the fame and wealth that comes with it. We look up to innovators, many young people wanting to become like one of them as they grow older. "
Okay, first of all, people will be voting on their own remuneration. Working people, including inventors, will not only decide their wages; they will own the profits. Furthermore, the urge to discover, and the urge to invent is part of human nature. Scientists enjoy working in labs. They work because they enjoy their work, and because they can be comfortably paid. They don't need to become fantastically wealthy.
I don't have enough room for all of my contentions. Regarding my point about exploitation, average American pay has gone up 113% since 1948. Productivity went up 254% in that time. Irrefutable proof.
Debate Round No. 1
clayrobinsonca

Con

It appears socialism has been defined wrong in my opponent's rebuttal. "An economic and political system based on public or collective ownership of the means of production. Socialism emphasizes equality rather than achievement, and values workers by the amount of time they put in rather than by the amount of value they produce. It also makes individuals dependent on the state for everything from food to health care. China, Vietnam and Cuba are examples of modern-day socialist societies. Twentieth-century socialist governments were overthrown in Czechoslovakia, East Germany and the U.S.S.R." I must agree there are many benefits. but the disadvantages outweigh the advantages. Undermining achievement needs to be the last thing we do, an example of undermining achievement is Common Core State Standards. These new standards that have been implemented are destroying achievement. When students can explain what they are trying to say and we shove it down their throats saying, "There are no wrong answers." They are going to have a rude awakening when they go into the workforce. This leads a straight line back to socialism, the destructive society. "The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples' money."
SPF

Pro

I forgot to thank my opponent for starting this debate. I think that we're having a good time.
There are many problems with my opponents definition. However even my opponent defines socialism as "An economic and political system based on public or collective ownership of the means of production. " Note the term, "or collective." Worker cooperatives collectively own and control the means of production. Hence the system which I described fits within this definition. There are other parts of this definition which must be jettisoned if we want to talk about socialism in the traditional sense of the word. "It also makes individuals dependent on the state for everything from food to healthcare." That only applies to a system of public ownership and control, not a system of collective ownership and control. Therefore, my opponent's definition is contradicting itself. Furthermore, there are many different types of socialists. Granted, many socialists have wanted to expand the state, but many socialists have wanted to dismantle the state. I'm not arguing for either alternative. I'm merely arguing for collective, or cooperative ownership of the means of production, and democratic control. "China, Vietnam, and Cuba... Czechoslovakia, East Germany, and the U.S.S.R."
The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was as Republican as it was Socialist. The names are deceptive. The U.S.S.R. should have been called the Empire of Statist Dictatorships. You see, during the Russian Revolution in 1917, there was, at first, a potential for the development of true socialism. Worker's Councils were enabling Russian workers to democratically own and control the means of production. As I pointed out in round 1, worker ownership and control of the means of production is what socialists have traditionally advocated. However, by 1921, Lenin dismantled the worker's councils. Lenin himself said that Russia was not ready for socialism. The Bolshevik Party would keep the country ready for socialism, waiting until revolutions in more advanced societies. The Soviet model was not socialist since it didn't have worker's control of the means of production. The same could be said of China, Vietnam, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, and East Germany. None of these countries were ever socialist. It is easy for my opponent to argue against a straw man and to list all of the countries which called themselves socialist without actually being socialist. However, I think it would be far more productive for my opponent to argue against socialism as I defined it. This is, after all, a more traditional conception of socialism. Worker control and ownership is advocated by a wide range of Socialists, from Democratic Socialists to Anarchists to Council Communists/ Left-Marxists. Even if we go with my opponent's definition, the words "collective ownership" allow for an economy of worker cooperatives.
I didn't have any space to present my contentions in Round 1. Now I do have space. I'm sorry that I wasn't able to put this in the first round, but since we aren't in the last round, it's okay to present contentions.
Contention 1: Capitalism exploits workers; Socialism pays workers fairly. In order to make a profit, a Capitalist firm must spend less money than it makes. Moreover, the cost of producing and selling a product must be lower than the price of that product. I think we can all agree with that. This means that the people who produce and sell a product must be paid less money than the revenue which they generate through their labor. In other words, workers must be exploited if corporations are going to make any profit. This is basic logic, but maybe you still aren't convinced. If not, then I implore you to look at the numbers. Since 1948 average American pay went up 113% which sounds great until you learn that average productivity went up 254%. People are being paid less than half of what they produce. Socialism is more fair because when a worker cooperative spends less money than it makes, the profit goes back to the people who produced it -- the workers. Not only are wages voted on, but the excess revenue people produce goes to the people who produce it.
Contention 2: Capitalism undermines democracy; Socialism strengthens democracy.
In our Capitalist society, corporations and the individuals who get rich thanks to corporations have such a disproportionate amount of wealth that they can buy disproportionate amounts of political power. A Princeton study shows how damaging this is for democracy. "A proposed policy change with low support among economically elite Americans (one-out-of-five in favour) is adopted only about 18% of the time," they write, "while a proposed change with high support (four-out-of-five in favour) is adopted about 45% of the time." Under the type of Socialism I describe, democratic institutions are not only left in place, they are strengthened because you no longer have economic elites dominating Washington D.C. Sources for stats in round 3.
Debate Round No. 2
clayrobinsonca

Con

clayrobinsonca forfeited this round.
SPF

Pro

So what happened during this debate? In round 1, my opponent made the three following arguments:
1. Socialism endangers the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
2. Under Socialism, there will be no rewards for hard work.
3. Socialism kills innovation.
In round 1, I made the following rebuttals:
1. Socialism is achieved through worker cooperatives, not big government, therefore the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are not in danger.
2. a. Not all worker cooperatives have equal wages.
b. Worker cooperatives with equal wages will still pay by the hour. Therefore those who work longer will get better paid.
3. a. Workers, including inventors, will own the profits and democratically determine their wages.
b. Discovery and innovation are both part of human nature. Scientists enjoy their work.
After I made these rebuttals, I only barely had enough space to begin making my argument, so I posted a stat about the pay - productivity gap.
Round 2 (My opponent):
1. Redefines socialism
a. "public or COLLECTIVE ownership of the means of production".
b. Complete dependence on government.
c. Models include U.S.S.R., East Germany, etc.
2. Concedes that socialism has its benefits.
3. Rambles about Common Core Standards
4. Drops point about Innovation.
My response:
1. a. My definition is better, but even if we accept your definition, "collective" ownership allows for a Socialist Market economy of worker cooperatives.
b. Opposition's definition contradicts itself because if there is collective (worker cooperative) ownership rather than public ownership than people won't depend on the government for everything.
c. U.S.S.R, East Germany, China etc. are/were not socialist.
2. Capitalism is exploitative, Socialism is fair.
a. In order to make a profit, you need to spend less money than you make.
b. Statistic.
3. Capitalism undermines democracy, Socialism (the type I've described) strengthens democracy.
Round 3:
My opponent forfeited. By not speaking, my opponent didn't defend his two remaining points against my (if I may say) strong rebuttals. All of his arguments were dropped. No attempt was made to rebut my contentions, and therefore, regardless of who you agree with, you'll have to admit that this is the final score:
Pro: 2 contentions
Con: 0 contentions.
In other words, you must vote pro.
I didn't have enough space to post my sources in my previous rounds, but now I do have enough space, and so I will.
1. Pay went up 113%; productivity went up 254%. http://www.epi.org...
2. Princeton study shows that when 4/5ths of our elite wants a policy, they get that policy 45% of the time. When only 1/5th of our elite wants a policy, the policy is only enacted 18% of the time. http://www.bbc.com...
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by SPF 1 year ago
SPF
In Round 3, I forgot to thank clayrobinsonca for giving me the opportunity of debating. Thank you.
Posted by SPF 1 year ago
SPF
Somehow the red flag near, "report this debate" is taking on a new meaning now...
Posted by Jonbonbon 1 year ago
Jonbonbon
Harry, believe it or not but there are people who believe things besides you. We have plenty of socialists, and if you're going to use a debate site, you need to learn to respect someone else's belief even if you don't agree with it.
Posted by harrytruman 1 year ago
harrytruman
how do you expect someone to defend socialism?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Topher1989 1 year ago
Topher1989
clayrobinsoncaSPFTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Con forfeited a round. Con sided with Con.