Speed Debate: Communism
Debate Rounds (5)
Here is how the rounds will go down:
Round 1: Opening Statements Only (No Arguments)
Round 2: Opening Arguments Only (No Rebuttals)
Round 3: Rebuttals
Round 4: Closing Arguments (No Rebuttals)
Round 5: Rebuttals and Closing Statements
Please, accept this challenge today before 4:00 pm EST. Violation of this rule is also subject to loss of the debate. If no one answers today, I will update this tomorrow. If you have any questions, please ask them in the first round.
This debate is on whether or not communism is a good economics system. I believe that communism is detrimental to the citizens of countries where communism is implemented.
I suppose I should give a definition for Communism. In this debate, communism refers to an economic system where the government has total control over how businesses run and how workers get paid. The businesses are run by the government and the workers are paid the same amount.
In Communism, the limitations of businesses are very strict. They only can be owned by the government in most cases. Production is controlled by the government, and all the workers are allotted the same amount of money. This creates a class-less society. The downfall is that there is very little room for individuality. And if some people want to receive more recognition for their work, such as for engineering something life-changing, they won't really be able to.
The fact of always getting the same amount of money means that many people may be lazy at their job, and they will still be paid. This was a tragic case in Europe during the Cold War. Granted, every communist country is different and this will not necessarily always happen. However, there is less work incentive for the workers.
The entrepreneurship spirit is largely diminished, almost nonexistent, in communist states. The entrepreneurship spirit is important on a vital level for building a government's economy.
Basically, my main point here is that businesses don't tend to run very well in communist governments. I have more to say on the matter, but I will wait for you to post an argument.
Like I said, this is mostly an experiment, and I am not extremely knowledgeable on the matter, but I don't like the communist system. On the other hand, I also am not entirely sure I like capitalism either.
A Few Misconceptions Debunked
Communism is not what most people think it is. Communism was not enacted under the USSR and no attempt to enact it was made after 1921 when the only community to have ever achieved communism (other than Catalonia in 1936) in a modern industrial society was destroyed by the USSR.
Communism does not mean a totalitarian state quite the contrary in fact the communism envisioned by Marx is a stateless anarchist society, this is why no state can claim to be communism because if that state was communist it would not exist.
Many people claim that communism can never work, the simple response to this is that it has, it has worked in Catalonia in the 1930s and it has worked in Ukraine from 1918 to 1921. Communism is also shown in almost every hunter-gather people, the best examples of this are found in the polar regions of Canada, Scandinavia and Russia.
What Communism Is
Communism is an economic system in which the participants of the community own the means of production and each worker works not for the benefit of themselves but of the community as a whole. In communism the resources are allocated through workplace democracy (in the anarchist tradition I follow this democracy works through consensus democracy though other traditions do this differently).
Under collective governance the output of the workers is increased, this is a fairly moderate but still existent.
Under communism resources can be more efficiently allocated as unlike with other systems wealth does not get squirreled away and placed in off shore bank accounts. There is also no reason to take longer with projects for financial gain and it has been shown that in a self managed workplace creativity in solution creation increases also increasing productivity.
Under practically any other system wealth is extracted from the workers via a surplus. This means that the worker spends a certain amount of time working when they do not receive the benefits from that work. In other words under a non-communist system if you do not own the means of production then you must spend time working while not being paid. People are also forced into waged jobs because under any other system (except some non-communist socialist ones) you have no other option.
*Disclaimer: Because I used the word slavery does not mean I am comparing capitalism to slavery.
When the workers truly do want to support the community, then it works, but when they don't, it fails horribly. Think of what happened in Europe with all the starvation and poor life. I am not saying that community-mind, for lack of a better term, can't be accomplished, but I'm saying that it can be very difficult when not dealing with just a small amount of people without being very strict, which is a downfall.
This is true, but without the spirit of competition, there is not much incentive to work hard. Just work enough, get your pay, and repeat. Again, I am not saying that the workers can't all be motivated to work for the community, but it can be very hard with many people, which is what a government wants, usually.
I'm not sure I understand what point you are making. Actually, I have no idea what you are saying. I know this looks bad on me, but I have no clue. Are you talking about the hard work needed to get pay? Even in Communism, if you want to have a successful business system, you need to have hard workers. The workers will need to work hard to contribute well to the community.
My point here is that with many people, it is very hard to create a "community feeling", again for lack of a better term. You can try enforcing it with very strict dictator-like rulership, but that has many, many downsides on its own.
Your arguments do work (to a greater or lesser extent) against the system which was the case under the USSR, Maoist China eastern Europe and a range of other states. The problem is that these states worked under a system of ultra totalitarian state capitalism. That being a system where the means of production are owned by the state not by the workers, this system is also known as Marxism - Leninism (despite not having anything to do with Marx) or simply Leninism.
Also entrepreneurship can actually exist under communism the difference is that under communism entrepreneurship (while it can still in theory be individually oriented) is resourced by the community as a whole.
In conclusion you are arguing against a system of capitalism called Marxism - Leninism not communism.
Now you do make a few reasonable points against some of what I said and I will address them now.
"When the workers truly do want to support the community, then it works, but when they don't, it fails horribly. Think of what happened in Europe with all the starvation and poor life. I am not saying that community-mind, for lack of a better term, can't be accomplished, but I'm saying that it can be very difficult when not dealing with just a small amount of people without being very strict, which is a downfall."
Now where communism has been enacted it's worked quite well and this simply hasn't been the case. There are in theory ways of getting people to work if necessary but under communism in Catalonia and the Ukraine these were never necessary because when people are working for their families and communities especially with the increased feeling of community fostered by communism they tend to work just as hard as they do under the capitalist system.
"This is true, but without the spirit of competition, there is not much incentive to work hard. Just work enough, get your pay, and repeat. Again, I am not saying that the workers can't all be motivated to work for the community, but it can be very hard with many people, which is what a government wants, usually."
There is now pay under communism, we reject money as an institution. And we see competition as only important when it actually helps people which it has shown not to do and we feel communism works much better for this.
"I'm not sure I understand what point you are making. Actually, I have no idea what you are saying. I know this looks bad on me, but I have no clue. Are you talking about the hard work needed to get pay? Even in Communism, if you want to have a successful business system, you need to have hard workers. The workers will need to work hard to contribute well to the community."
I may not have explained this very well (partly due to lack of time xD) anyway I'll simply say that under a non communism system you must work for a certain amount of time without being paid to produce surplus value.
Now community feelings are generally built up under communism due to the system of communism itself and this was shown in communist Catalonia during the revolution there.
I don't know what to do here. I guess I should continue arguing? ...?
That wasn't my entire argument, but I feel as if you might reject my other points, too, because of our disagreement. So, I guess, I am seceding?
I realize that it's my fault you didn't see my definition at first, and I willingly take full blame for that. But here I am at less than eight minutes left and wondering if it's really worth it to continue with my original points.
So... yeah. I'm interested to see how the voting will turn out.
My points of the benefits of communism still stand that being that it increases productivity and efficiency as well as providing a much more democratic (as in a commune everything must be decided through direct democracy) and freer system where the lack of poverty massively reduces anti social behaviour and creates a better world for all (even the bourgeoisie).
And now I"ve seen your most recent argument I"ll address that. I did see your definition but I disagree with it as it is not at all representative of what communism actually is, you merely reflect the opinion of the soviet government which liked to portray itself as friendly towards the workers.
Speaking of something completely off-topic, have you heard Imagine Dragons' new album, Smoke + Mirrors? It's multi-genre, and I really like it.
BTW communism is a difficult thing to argue about simply because it's so different from the current system that it seems alien and most people don't understand it so don't feel bad for a while I didn't understand communism (this probably shows in some of my previous debates xD).
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by TheJuniorVarsityNovice 1 year ago
|Who won the debate:||-|
Reasons for voting decision: Con has basically conceeded the entire round and even if he hasnt he has not responded to major points that Pro made. That being said silence is compliance in debate and you agree with his points. Over all however I found Pro's points more in depth and logical, citing real life examples while con simply makes a few analytical ideas which seem generic. Overall I had fun reading, good debate guys
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