The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
7 Points

The Institution of Socialism

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/19/2014 Category: Economics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,112 times Debate No: 52922
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (7)
Votes (2)




Socialism is an institution I support for the most part. In this debate, I will argue in favor it, while my opponent will argue against it. I hope for a rational, mature, logical debate. I do not want propaganda to be involved in here. I want facts. This debate will follow a specific structure:

Round One: My opponent will accept this debate and will state his or her stance.
Round Two: My opponent and I will state our main arguments. We will explain our reasoning in depth and we will use plenty of sources to prove our claims.
Round Three:
My opponent and I will offer rebuttals and we will strengthen our previous argument by stating supporting arguments.
Round Four:
My opponent and I will offer final arguments and further rebuttal.
Round Five:
Final rebuttals will be made and my opponent and I wll offer conclusion paragraphs.

The rules of the debate are the following:

1. All sources will be cited using the MLA format.
2. Proper spelling and grammar will be used.
3. There will be no forfeiting.

I now allow this debate to commence.


Many Thanks to My Opponent, Judges and all others who may read this debate!

"In different places over the years I have had to prove that socialism, which to many western thinkers is a sort of kingdom of justice, was in fact full of coercion, of bureaucratic greed and corruption and avarice, and consistent within itself that socialism cannot be implemented without the aid of coercion." -ALEXANDER SOLZHENITSYN, Author of Gulag Archipelago

Before we begin, some technical stuff...

Pursuant to PRO's stipulated structure, I will use this round to state precisely what negating this debate requires of me to win. I must only argue against the resolution, meaning that (1) I do not need to argue a counter plan -i.e. in favor of something other than socialism, (2) my burden is only argue against socialism and (3) similarly, if my opponent fails to meet his BOP (i.e. affirm socialism), then I have also won.

ATTN. Judges: I will not use MLA citations, which PRO has agreed to in comments prior to my accepting this debate. Therefore, I should not be penalized in any way for not using MLA citation format. PRO's participation in this debate from this point on indicates his acknowledgement and acceptance of these terms.

Right, then! Let's begin!
Debate Round No. 1


I would like to begin by thanking my opponent, YYW, for accepting this debate. As already mentioned, I allow my opponent to use Chicago citations instead of MLA. I, however, will utilize MLA in this debate. I will now define the term 'Socialism', which has been misinterpreted for a while now. People assume that Socialism is a bad economic philoshopy, but they fail to see the sincere goodness of a Socialist belief. Socialism is, according to, "[f]rom each according to his ability, to each according to his contribution. Emphasis on profit being distributed among the society or workforce to complement individual wages/salaries." I would like to assure my opponent as well as the viewers that I am not a Socialist. However, a few elements of the philosophy have found their way into my personal political and economic ideology and I see both the pros and cons of it. However, Socialism is a great idea. I will prove so in this debate. I will not begin my argument immediately by saying why I support Socialism. I will begin by stating a brief history of the ideology, then I will go in depth about the values and policies of it, and then I will explain my reasoning. Without further ado, I allow this debate to commence.

Main Argument
Origin of Socialism/Marxism
The notion of Socialism began in the French Revolution of 1789 and was brought about due to Industrial Revolution, but elements found within the philosphy have existed since ancient times. During the French Revolution of 1789, Karl Marx and Frederick Engels promoted the notion of Socialism, an ideology founded upon economic opportunity, social justice, and liberty. This notion spread around Europe and Asia, primarily France, Russia, and Germany. In time, the Socialist movement grew to become the Socialism we know today.

Policies and Values
According to Wikipedia, "Socialism is a social and economic system characterised by social ownership of the means of production and co-operative management of the economy, as well as a political theory and movement that aims at the establishment of such a system."
"A socialist economic system is based on the organisational precept of production for use, meaning the production of goods and services to directly satisfy economic demand and human needs where objects are valued based on their use-value or utility, as opposed to being structured upon the accumulation of capital and production for profit. In the traditional conception of a socialist economy, coordination, accounting and valuation would be performed in kind (using physical quantities), by a common physical magnitude, or by a direct measure of labour-time in place of financial calculation. On distribution of output there has been two proposals, one which is based on the principle of to each according to his contribution and another on the principle of from each according to his ability, to each according to his need. The exact methods of resource allocation and valuation are the subject of debate within the broader socialist calculation debate."

Why I Support Socialism
Socialism has been painted as something it is not. People assume that it is a negative economic and governmental philosphy. However, they are wrong. They cannot see the genuine goodness within the ideology. Socialism has had a history of going too far. I am not a supporter of that, obviously. However, Socialism in its core is a great idea. In the rounds to come, I will expand on my point. But for now, I believe I have made my case.

MLA Citations
"Capitalism vs Socialism." - Difference and Comparison., n.d. Web. 19 Apr. 2014. <;.

"History of socialism." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 19 Apr. 2014. <;.


In this round, I'm only going to offer arguments against socialism, generally, pursuant to PRO's stipulated structure. I'll rebut his specific arguments in subsequent rounds.

Criticisms of socialism generally exist, more or less on two levels: economic viability and the costs of socialism's implementation as a form of economic organization. Right now, I'm going to (1) talk about the problems with centralized planning, (2) explain how publicly owned means of production hinder if not completely hamper market incentives for technological improvement and preclude individual's pursuit of prosperity and (3) explore the implications of socialism's implementation on a political level. I'll conclude with a quote from Nietzshe...

1. Centralized Economic Planning Renders Actual Economic Calculation Impossible.

Ludwig von Mieses introduced the "economic calculation problem" in his seminal essay "Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth" which Friedrich Hayek would later interrogate socialism's permissibility for rationally distributing resources. Unlike in a free market where cost is assigned and resources are distributed on the basis of individual choices with limited resources, both argued that because socialism arbitrarily assigns the prices of goods based on factors divested from individual choice, goods and services could never be rationally distributed within a socialist economic order.

Socialist pricing schemes, Mises argued, could never be viable as pricing schemes because in socialist economies, governments rather than individuals owned the means to produce goods, and capital goods could not be priced. The implication, then, is that socialism could not efficiently allocate resources. This is because, goods and services are neither equally desired nor needed by all people and individual consumption of goods varies whether holding for 'need' or not. (1) In the absence of a functioning pricing scheme, demand cannot be known and resources cannot be efficiently allocated. (2) Likewise, as Hans-Herman Hoppe argued, but for a coherent pricing scheme and by implication a means of knowing demand, there is equally no viable way to determine where and how labor should be allocated in the production of goods. (3) So, because a socialist economy cannot perform the economic calculation of how to allocate resources in a way that they are utilized, socialism fails of necessity.

2. Publicly Owned Means of Production Hinder if not Completely Hamper Market Incentives for Technological Improvement and Preclude Individual Prosperity

Milton Friedman's criticism of socialism resonates in his tracing the impact of state owned means of production on competition and technological innovation. (4) Competition, Friedman argues, is the guarantor of innovation because profits (the market incentive to create) are allocated to those who produce the product most consistent with consumer demand. Thus, producers have an incentive to create not only the best product possible, but to do so in the most efficient way. In the absence of competition, rewards are not allocated on the basis of demand at the cost of innovation and technological improvement.

By implication, where the means of production are state-owned and prices are set not by demand but by central management, the state has no profit incentive to innovate or produce consumer goods. Likewise, where economic rewards are not distributed on the basis of free market enterprise but on the basis of state regulation, individual's have no incentive to produce where they do not compete with others in a labor market. Returning to Hoppe, under this scheme, both individual and aggregate economic prosperity suffer, accordingly, under a socialist economic order. On both individual and aggregate economic levels, competition is nonexistent because there are no incentives to compete, which abrogates economic productivity and translates into reduced opportunities to pursue prosperity for individuals, and produces a state of perpetual stagnation for economies. (3)

3. Political Implications of Socialism's Implementation

To the extent that the state and only the state can own/manage the means of production, political and moral costs follow. In The Road to Serfdom, Hayek "warned of the danger of tyranny that inevitably results from government control of economic decision-making through central planning. His message was clear: Nazism and fascism were not the only threats to liberty." (5) Socialism's enforcement mechanism, in order to actually control capital and distribute goods produced requires an exorbitant degree of coercion which invariably comes at the expense of economic and political rights and liberties, Hayek contended. While ostensibly a means to equality, "restraint and servitude" are the means by which centrally planned economies allocate resources, and individual's opportunity to contract their labor, exchange goods and pursue prosperity are abrogated.

Some final Remarks for this Round:

Socialism, as an institution, is predicated on illusory aims and tantalizing, but deceiving ideals. Nietzsche wrote that "Socialism is the visionary younger brother of an almost decrepit despotism, whose heir it wants to be. Thus its efforts are reactionary in the deepest sense. For it desires a wealth of executive power, as only despotism had it; indeed, it outdoes everything in the past by striving for the downright destruction of the individual, which it sees as an unjustified luxury of nature, and which it intends to improve into an expedient organ of the community. Socialism crops up in the vicinity of all excessive displays of power because of its relation to it... it desires....the Caesarean power state of this century....the like of which has never existed, [and therefore] it can only hope to exist here and there for short periods of time by means of the most extreme terrorism....Socialism can serve as a rather brutal and forceful way to teach the danger of all accumulations of state power, and to that extent instill one with distrust of the state itself. When its rough voice chimes in with the battle cry "As much state as possible," it will at first make the cry noisier than ever; but soon the opposite cry will be heard with strength the greater: "As little state as possible."" (6)

Many thanks, once more, to my opponent, judges and all potential readers. I'll await my opponent's response in the following round.

(1) von Mises, Ludwig. "Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth." originally "Die Wirtschaftsrechnung im sozialistischen Gemeinwesen" in the Archiv fur Sozialwissenschaften, vol. 47 (1920)
(2) Hayek, Friedrich. Collectivist Economic Planning. (1935)
(3) Hoppe, Hans-Hermann. A Theory of Socialism and Capitalism. (1990)
(4) Friedman, Milton & Rose. Free to Chose. (1980)
(5) Ebling, Richard. "Friedrich A. Hayek: A Centenary Appreciation." Foundation for Economics Education.
(6) Nietzsche, Friedrich. "Human, All Too Human." The Nietzsche Reader. Blackwell, 2006. pp. 185-186
Debate Round No. 2


Forfeiture is inexcusable, so I take the time now to announce I will be offline for quite some time. Voters and my opponent, please do not count this against me. I must prioritize; there are more important things than I have to devote more time to school and personal projects of mine. I urge my opponent to rebut and refute my argument, but I will eventually return and write an intense, distinct rebuttal. Again, please forgive me and continue the debate without me. I assure you, I will be available again by the beginning of round four.


I'll reserve rebuttals until the subsequent round to provide for equal character space between my opponent and myself.
Debate Round No. 3


It is most unfortunate that I cannot finish this debate. I have many other things to prioritize, including school and personal projects. I sincerely apologize.


My opponent included neither new arguments which relate to the resolution nor rebuttals to the arguments that I made. So, in the interest of equitable character space, I'll leave this round intentionally blank. Will PRO will make a reappearance in the next round? Time will tell.

Peace out...
Debate Round No. 4


I must concede. I urge the voters to vote for my opponent.



Peace and love,

Debate Round No. 5
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by YYW 2 years ago
I hate it.
Posted by bossyburrito 2 years ago
What's wrong with MLA?
Posted by WilliamsP 2 years ago
Okay, I allow you to use Chicago if you wish.
Posted by YYW 2 years ago

I'm not doing MLA's. That's not negotiable.
Posted by WilliamsP 2 years ago
I will only accept MLA citations. Honestly, YYW, you can find MLA citation creators online. It is not that hard.
Posted by YYW 2 years ago
I'll be happy to take this, and I'll be happy to use Chicago citations on the condition that this 10k characters per round, but I'm not using MLA. I hate MLA, and I haven't used it since high school.
Posted by ManofFewWords 2 years ago
Okay, let's do it.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by bsh1 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Concession = Con win. Thanks to Pro for not simply forfeiting, but posting his much more polite.
Vote Placed by Ore_Ele 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Concession by Pro. Though the concession was due to external factors, not the debate itself. If you guys get the opportunity to repeat, let me know.