The Instigator
ojcruz
Pro (for)
Winning
12 Points
The Contender
The_Intelligence
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Technology will make capitalism obsolete

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
ojcruz
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/24/2015 Category: Economics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,160 times Debate No: 70601
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (4)

 

ojcruz

Pro

Capitalism in its many variant forms is a jobs based structure. This requires people to engage in regular chores in exchange for access to resources. Technology will prove adversarial to such a construct through increased and personalized means of production and automation.

Since the industrial revolution, technological advancement has streamlined and increased our means of production. This, because technology, defined here as the application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes, by its very nature, facilitates and enhances human endeavor.

Logically, as means of production continue to increase, and automation becomes more and more a reality, it would be reasonable to expect a time when all resources essential to survival could become ubiquitous, their distribution efficient and the efforts required to maintain such a production minimal.

This, of course, would encounter resistance from any jobs based economic model. Firstly, a capitalist system would find distribution problematic. It is after all a supply and demand system. If supply (access, really) of a particular resource becomes universal, monetizing it becomes impossible. Controlling supply by limiting production, raising costs and discarding or appropriating resources then becomes common place. It is counterintuitive to withhold resources from a population which needs them but it is the only way in which a supply and demand market can perpetuate itself when the means of production threaten to make all essential resources readily available to all.

As such, as technology improves, capitalism will work more and more against the well being of the population by withholding resources.
The_Intelligence

Con

First, a definition of Capitalism, from Dictionary.com
"an economic system in which investment in and ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange of wealth is made and maintained chiefly by private individuals or corporations, especially as contrasted to cooperatively or state-owned means of wealth. "
http://dictionary.reference.com...
I think that this is a fairly reasonable definition of Capitalism, simply stating that property is owned and controlled by Private actors and not the Government. This will be crucial to my future arguments.

Secondly, to address the final sentence of the first paragraph- It is quite unfounded to suggest simply that the advancement of 'technology' will somehow displace capitalism, for not only has your description of such technology been exceedingly vague, but you have shown a disregard for the sum of technological advance thus far in human history. Empirics show the contrary. The technological advancement of mankind has historically lead to market booms, as new technology opens new markets to competition and increases efficiency. Not once has this been adversarial to Capitalism in any more than retort.

I have two responses to your universal access argument 1. In the US, there is near-universal access to potable water, the government provides all homeowners 'Tap' water, yet not only are there companies that provide bottled water, but they make a killing doing so. 2. Monitization and liquidation of assets is not required for a capitalist society. Simply private, or, individual ownership of them.

What you've actually proven is that large organizations, and collective control ( Large, multinational corporations, Socialism, and perhaps the state itself ) as a way of administration will become obsolete with the rise in individual access to resources. Capitalism is unique in this regard as it can break down fully to the individual. The strengthening of the individual does not prove adversarial to capitalist society, merely does it alter it's process.
Debate Round No. 1
ojcruz

Pro

To your definition:

"an economic system in which investment in and ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange of wealth is made and maintained chiefly by private individuals or corporations, especially as contrasted to cooperatively or state-owned means of wealth. "

You say that this is "simply stating that property is owned and controlled by Private actors and not the Government." and that "This will be crucial to my future arguments." Of course the problem is that your definition is is in fact stating quite a bit more. It clearly states exchange of wealth is a fundamental component to capitalism.

Let's look at some other definitions
Google:
an economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners FOR PROFIT, rather than by the state.

Merriam-Webster:
an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by COMPETITION IN A FREE MARKET

And a definition for economic system:
An economic system is a system of production and EXCHANGE OF GOODS AND SERVICES as well as allocation of resources in a society. - Wikipedia

Individuals with control over private property do not on that fact alone constitute a capitalist economy by any of the definitions stated above. All of these mention wealth exchange in some form or another. Wealth exchange is a key component.

You base your arguments on only a portion of your own definition and do not account for the rest in any way. Your argument is flawed.

As per my definition of technology, it comes from Merriam-Webster dictionary which also states the following:
the use of science in industry, engineering, etc., to invent useful things or to solve problems.

Ultimately, technology is very broad term that can apply to spaceships and pencils alike. As such, the definition will never refer to any specific piece of equipment or the en vogue usage which refers mostly to electronics. The term is used in its broadest sense because the technology that is being referenced is not simply one piece of new machinery but many different emerging technologies across many different fields and industries. I will name a few, though of course, a list of all currently emerging technologies would be far to large to fit in this debate.

Self Reproducing Robots:
http://www.news.cornell.edu...
This particular technology is vital for automation

Fruit picking robot
https://www.youtube.com...
Agricultural automation

Vertical Farming:
https://www.youtube.com...
The benefits of vertical farming range from efficient space usage to accessibility (farms inside cities) etc... (more info on the video)

Indoor farming:
http://www.gereports.com...
Farming that is independent of weather.

Machine that makes water out of humidity
http://www.islandsky.com...
Access to resources

Driverless Cars
http://www.driverless-future.com...
Automation

Automated 24 hour House construction
http://www.contourcrafting.org...
Access to housing.

3D Printing
http://www.newyorker.com...
Personalized resource creation

These are simply a few of the technologies I am referring to. There potential lies in satisfying basic necessities (food, water, shelter, transportation) permanently in an automated self sustained way. Now imagine the same situation happening in education, transportation, food, water, shelter, sanitation, health care where technology allows for universal self maintaining access to resources in all those areas. This is where technology is headed. This is the technology I am referencing.

The Disregarding the Sum of Technological Advance argument

Your argument in this point makes a false generalization. It assumes that since what I am proposing has not happened, that it clearly will not. This is wrong.

Picture pouring water into a glass very slowly. Your logic would allow for the argument that the water will never spill no matter how much we pour in because it never has spilled before. Of course this is wrong. We simply have not reached the tipping point. The history of technology has been one of increments. It is precisely because I understand its history as a build up and not as mere isolated inventions that I see what it has been leading up to. Never in the history of technology had we ever been actively working to create self repairing, self replicating machinery that can carry out complex tasks in our behalf using clean renewable energy. These are unprecedented circumstances.

Not once has this been adversarial to Capitalism in any form

Interesting. I am not claiming that technology will hinder capitalism. The exact opposite is the situation. Capitalism will end up hindering that which our technologies can do for us. Capitalism is being made obsolete precisely because, in the face of universal access, it becomes a hindrance to quality of life. A perfect example lies on your very statements concerning potable water.

Tap Water in the US
It is perfectly true that the government provides tap water to almost all households in America. It should be noted that it is the government that has made water accessible. Not private industry. Moreover, the rise of bottled water is due largely to the unsafe water scare.

Here is Fox News (a for profit news outlet) telling us that we shouldn't just drink tap water:
http://www.foxnews.com...

Here is some information showing that it is in fact perfectly safe to drink tap water
http://www.mayoclinic.org...

There used to be drinking fountains in many public establishments. This is precisely my point. Water is perfectly abundant and readily accessible but capitalist interests require profitable goods exchange and so people were repeatedly told that bottled water is cleaner.

Misinformation accounts for a great percentage of bottle water sales. Misinformation that stems from a capitalist endeavor (profitable wealth exchange) which is perfectly unnecessary. Capitalist endeavors to restrict access to a near-universal resource are collectively detrimental. How does society benefit from not having universal access to water anymore?

Also here is Nestle CEO saying we should privatize water
https://www.youtube.com...

Bottled water is an artificial necessity (as you said, we already have water) meant to sustain the capitalist need for profitable exchange. We stand to lose access to drinkable water because of capitalist interests.

"Monetization and liquidation are not necessary in capitalism."

This is wrong. Again, your own definition talks about exchange of wealth. There is no capitalism without exchange of privately owned goods. It is not enough to own them. Exchange is part of what makes it an economic system. These exchanges are intended to be advantageous (for profit) to the exchange participants.

On your final paragraph:

You've missed the point. It is not simply that large corporations will become obsolete. Access to all essential resources makes individualist exchanges for profit and resource appropriation unnecessary. When supply is ubiquitous, there is no sense in appropriating it. This is not to say that some people will not attempt to sell you water when you already have it, only to say that it will become increasingly pointless and detrimental to do so.

"Capitalism is unique in this regard as it can break down fully to the individual."
No. It cannot. It requires exchange of wealth and therefore group interaction is vital to it.

Capitalist endeavor will not crash because of technology. It will be made useless by it.
The_Intelligence

Con

The_Intelligence forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
ojcruz

Pro

My opponent failed to respond to my previous argument and any and all arguments raised towards my discourse have been addressed. As such, my original argument still stands.

Any attempt to complete a third round by introducing new arguments could easily be viewed as a cheap tactic to avoid my response.
The_Intelligence

Con

The_Intelligence forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Raisor 2 years ago
Raisor
Pro wins that capitalism is labor-driven exchange of resources.

Pro provides many examples of how technology will eliminate the need for labor to sustain an economy. Pro successfully rebuts Con's artificial scarcity and emerging markets points.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
lannan13
ojcruzThe_IntelligenceTied
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Vote Placed by Raisor 2 years ago
Raisor
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Vote Placed by Ragnar 2 years ago
Ragnar
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imabench
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