The Instigator
Conspiracyrisk
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
A341
Pro (for)
Winning
7 Points

Speed Debate: Communism

Do you like this debate?NoYes+1
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
A341
Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 2/22/2015 Category: Economics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,168 times Debate No: 70504
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (15)
Votes (1)

 

Conspiracyrisk

Con

I am starting my own thing called speed debating (yes, a parody of speed dating.) We will each only have fifteen minutes to post an argument for each round. If you forfeit any round without a good excuse, you will lose. Voters, please keep this rule in mind. Contender, you may put your excuse in the comments. If I accept it, I will say so in my argument, or the comments if the debate has finished.

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.
A341

Pro

I accept, this should be interesting.
Debate Round No. 1
Conspiracyrisk

Con

Thank you. This debate is more or less of an experiment.

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.
A341

Pro

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).

Productivity Benefit

Under collective governance the output of the workers is increased, this is a fairly moderate but still existent.

Efficiency

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.

Wage Slavery*

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.
Debate Round No. 2
Conspiracyrisk

Con

I'm not sure if what you are talking about defies the definition I gave, but I'll just assume it doesn't because I have such little time.

Productivity Benefit
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.

Efficiency
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.

Wage Slavery
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.
A341

Pro

Now more or less your entire argument was based on a straw man which I debunked (despite not knowing you were going to claim this should I add) in the last argument. That being that communism is somehow totalitarian control over businesses, this is simply flat out wrong. You could say that this is the definition for this debate but this is still not an argument, I could create a debate saying that the minimum wage should be higher and define minimum wage and the height of doors and despite that being the definition for the debate it would still be flat out wrong.

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.
Debate Round No. 3
Conspiracyrisk

Con

I'm getting confused here. You more or less have denied my definition for the debate, although I did add it on my first argument.

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.
A341

Pro

So in conclusion you have not addressed communism but rather state capitalism. This is understandable because most Leninist regimes liked to call themselves communist despite having the least communist principles it is possible to imagine but in reality communism is very different from what you think it is.

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.
Debate Round No. 4
Conspiracyrisk

Con

Well, in that case, there's nothing left to say now.

Speaking of something completely off-topic, have you heard Imagine Dragons' new album, Smoke + Mirrors? It's multi-genre, and I really like it.
A341

Pro

Lol, no I I haven't seen it, I'll go check it out, I liked some of their previous work.

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).
Debate Round No. 5
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by A341 2 years ago
A341
One of the principles of communism is the abolition of private property (though most communist systems respect individual property).

The abolition of private is necessary for communism but not sufficient in itself to call a system communist, this is the same for workplace democracy, communalization and collectivism. The definition I gave of communism is a very broad overview of what communists (including myself) believe.

I am aware Marx was not an anarchist and I even briefly mentioned a distinction between Marxists and anarchists. What I meant in that was that the ultimate view of a communist society that more or less all communists share is most associated with anarchism.

I should add that I did get a few things wrong and I could have made a few things clearer, the fact that I had only 15 mins to write each response was the reason for this.

And no I do not pretend to be a Marxist, I am not a Marxist and I struggle to see how you came to the conclusion I was pretending to be from that debate.

I also stand by the point that the post 1921 USSR cannot be considered communist.
Posted by P.Ellis 2 years ago
P.Ellis
unfortunately neither of them fully understand communism.
pro made the typical mistake that right wingers use, assuming all communism is marxist-leninist, like that which was instated by Stalin in the Soviet Union, and consequently the most popular form of communism.
con made the mistake of saying the Soviet Union was NOT communist. It was. It was just a particular type of communism.

communism does not mean everybody is equal, it means the ABOLITION OF PRIVATE PROPERTY. people do not understand this, instead thinking it as the romantic communism set forward by writers like George Orwell. Also, Orwell, a massive critic of the Soviet Union but who was himself a communist, made everyone get a very negative view of Marxist-Leninism, some of which is justifiable, but some is also bias.

As Karl Marx writes in the communist manifesto, communism does not mean nobody works, if such a preposterous idea was true, then borgouise society would have broken down long ago, as the ones who have don't work, and those who work do not have.

Of course businesses don't work well, they are counter communism :)

Actually Eastern Europe is a bad example for failed communist economy, as it actually was quite prominent, although the "temporary" capitalism Lenin instated was never stopped and his dream of wealth distribution never really came true...

Marx was never an anarchist, there is anarchy-communism, but that wasn't Marx.

There must be made the distinction between Nationalisation and Socialisation, the latter being communist, the former being National Socialist (NAZI)

Despite being under understood by an Anarcho-Synidaclist pretending to be a Marxist, and someone fooled by Right Wing anti-Marxist-Leninist propaganda, meant, although the debate had some merit to it, it did not fully do justice to studying Communism as its true ideal, and unfortunately the USSR has been a little bit victimised in this debate, one arguing it wasn't even communist, and both that it w
Posted by Conspiracyrisk 2 years ago
Conspiracyrisk
I will definitely check those out. Thank you.
Posted by A341 2 years ago
A341
Well we'll find out who people thought won with the voting BTW I suggest you may like to read up on communism a bit, you may find it very interesting

I suggest

http://youthdebates.org...
http://youthdebates.org...

You also may like the website those resources are on (hint hint xD)
Posted by Conspiracyrisk 2 years ago
Conspiracyrisk
This debate was an experiment, and I saw my results. I have to say, I'm actually kind of happy with them, even if I lost. Or did I? Actually, it was more of a tie.

I will do this again, but on something I know more about.
Posted by A341 2 years ago
A341
Well thanks for that debate, interesting and very entertaining format.
Posted by A341 2 years ago
A341
Are you finishing the debate or do you want to do the final round? Either is fine with me.
Posted by A341 2 years ago
A341
I should say that I dispute your definition.
Posted by Conspiracyrisk 2 years ago
Conspiracyrisk
You're welcome. Believe it or not, I don't really care if I lose this one.
Posted by A341 2 years ago
A341
BTW I forgot to thank you for creating the debate as I was too busy cranking out an argument, sorry about that and thanks.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by TheJuniorVarsityNovice 2 years ago
TheJuniorVarsityNovice
ConspiracyriskA341
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
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