Debate Rounds (3)
Sure why not.
I will be defending a range of policies that are considered to be, in the collequial sense, socialistic. For example, public transit, universal health insurance, heavy welfare policies, redistribution, et cetera. If my opponent desires, I will defend public owership of the means of production.
1. That is not an argument against socialism, as socialism is simply public control of the means of production. For instance, in a socialist factory, the workers control the operations of the factory. In a socialist mine, the miners control the operations of the mine. Money still exists, and while in a socialist society someone who doesn't work certainly won't die, or suffer unduly, they will have a lower quality of life than someone who does work.
Indeed, this is an argument for socialism. In more economically equal countries, as there is greater social mobility, there is a greater incentive to work: You are more likely to advance.
2. Con provides no support for why we should believe him--the farming collectives in the Soviet Union did fail, but given that they were imposed by a dictator of questionable stability without popular support behind the initiative, were met with actual violence, tried to enforce atheism, and were not voluntary, we might suspect that, perhaps, the failure was at least in part due to those factors.
Moreover, collectively owned farms can be run by a very small number of people. Is Con suggesting that it is impossible for a group of people to collectively run an economic enterprise?
In case it isn't obvious, Con is strawmanning based on the American conservative definition of socialism, which is anything they don't like. Socialism could work in the form of individual city-states, for instance. A co-op is socialist.
Moreover, socialism by definition is not a small elite planning the economy of a whole nation. It is the entire population deciding the economy.
Con gives no reason why we should think it impossible for people ot use information for a whole economy. It's complicated, sure, but is it so complicated that we can't think about it rationally at all?
There is competition between businesses in socialism. Evidently Con has never heard of market socialism (http://en.wikipedia.org...). Again, in socialism means of production are collectively owned (though not all of them, people can own hammers and whatnot)--not the finished products. That means I can't own a mine privately, but I can own something that sells mining machinery privately.
1. It's not unpopularity, it is his cruelty. Big difference.
2. Of course they did, they were dealing with the fact that they were recovering from World War 2, were still pretty tyrannical, and had the aftershocks of tyrannical leaders. Also most of Russia was dirt-poor and they really couldn't manage it effectively--not because of socialism, but because of the faults of the leaders themselves (not to mention that Russia is flat-out huge; socialism becomes less effective when applied to larger and larger areas).
3. See point regarding market socialism.
4. Indeed they are combined local trends, so who better to analyze them than an entity with the ability to get the trends from local places? Economic trends aren't something that some old dude says, "Why, in my day this only cost a nickel!"
5. Which is why individual details are not left to the fedreal bureacracy, but smaller bureacracies. The government sets things like minimum wage, environmental standards, et cetera. The workers in the factory decide how much to produce and most of the business decisions.
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