The Instigator
lessthanhonorable
Pro (for)
Losing
7 Points
The Contender
Danielle
Con (against)
Winning
45 Points

The United Socialist Dictatorship of America

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 8 votes the winner is...
Danielle
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/12/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,767 times Debate No: 13138
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (10)
Votes (8)

 

lessthanhonorable

Pro

This once free and prosperous nation is moving quite rapidly every day towards complete socialism and bankruptcy/chaos. Barack Obama my friends, is not change.. He has proven to be either (economically speaking) a fool, or, a genius in the construction of a new socialist/communist USA. I'm not going to go as far as to say he is 100% to blame, because it seems to be that a majority of people have absolutely no grasp on economics; be it a political analyst on CNN or FOX, a college professor, or even the young college student struggling to find the truth. People need to stop thinking that they are intelligent by simply stating "greed is bad", and that we should steal from the rich and give to the poor. ITS FOOLISH. come at me.
Danielle

Con

Based on the resolution, my opponent presumably has to prove that we either live in a socialist dictatorship under Barack Obama (as was implied), or that we're rapidly heading in that direction (also implied).

Pro will have a hard time proving either one of these things. Barack Obama is not a socialist; he's simply very (economically) liberal. Ron Paul clarifies and agrees that he's not a socialist - he's a "corporatist" which he defines as caring for corporations that inevitably run the country [1].

While that's how a libertarian Republican considers Obama, even socialists agree that Obama is far from a comrade to their cause. "Socialists understand him more as a hedge-fund Democrat -- one of a generation of neoliberal politicians firmly committed to free-market policies" [2].

For one thing, Obama's administration is avoiding structural changes to the financial system. Regarding ObamaCare, it would give private health insurance companies license to systematically underinsure policyholders while cashing in on the moral currency of universal coverage. Socialists note that even regarding the issue of war, socialist foreign policy would call for the immediate removal of all troops. It would seek to follow the proposal made recently by an Afghan parliamentarian, which called for the United States to send 30,000 scholars or engineers instead of more fighting forces [2].

In short, most of Obama's policies lean away from socialism. Socialists for one want to inhibit the power of corporations; Ron Paul noted that Obama and his policies does the opposite. I'm wondering how much my opponent really knows about socialism considering he criticizes and undermines the intelligence of others who do not agree with him. It's fairly obvious to anyone whose actually read Marx or other socialist propaganda that Obama is not at that level, and ignorant Republicans just have to keep repeating that falsity because they're desperate for attention and votes. It doesn't make it true.

Next, we can wonder if the United States is really headed toward a dictatorship. Well, a dictatorship is defined as an autocratic form of government in which the government is ruled by an individual, the dictator [3]. However, the U.S. Constitution - what we use to govern our society, including under Obama - very blatantly negates this concept. We have a system of checks and balances that negates the idea of a single ruler government. For instance, the legislative branch of our government can check on the executive (President), and impeach him, put him on trial, may override presidential votes, etc. [4].

So, if our legislative branch consists of members of the House and Senate [5], which amounts to 435 House members plus 100 Senate members, that's 535 people who have the power to challenge the "dictator" Obama's authority meaning he's not a dictator at all.

In conclusion, Obama's not a dictator or a socialist. The resolution is negated.

[1] http://blogs.wsj.com...
[2] http://www.washingtonpost.com...
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[4] http://www.usconstitution.net...
[5] http://www.whitehouse.gov...
Debate Round No. 1
lessthanhonorable

Pro

First off id like to express my sorrow to my opponent for she clearly does not understand the definition of any form of Socialism other than Marxian Socialism. Id like to thank her though,for making quite the effort in trying to debate this controversial yet paramount issue at hand. I would also like to clarify that Barack Obama is not the ONLY president to act in a way that could be considered socialist.

Con states Barack Obama is not a socialist, and that he is "(economically) liberal". Lets take a moment to see if this statement has any validity.

Barack Obama Has repeatedly claimed that citizens have a "right" for health care. The USA socialist party also states that same "right". [1]

The Socialist Party USA calls for unions to be recognized without a secret ballot, as does Obama. [1]

Obama Trained ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) workers to allow unqualified people in large numbers to have secure mortgages which led to the collapse in housing and home financing industries.[1]

Obama worked in Chicago for years along with Bill Ayers, to funnel more than $50 million to anti-capitalist education projects. Bill Ayers also traveled to Venezeula to speak at Huge Chavez's Education Forum where he praised the "Bolivarian Revoultion and the profound reforms in education made by Hugo Chavez." "The Socialist Party USA believes that "capitalism is fundamentally incompatible" with socialism." One could question, how does a Non-socialist end up agreeing and worki with someone who goes to socialist rallies in Venezeula?[1]

Identical to The Socialist Party USA, Obama believes in open borders and has marched with illegal aliens in Chicago in support of "comprehensive" immigration reform.

Con stated: "Barack Obama is not a socialist; he's simply very (economically) liberal." Obama has promised to increase taxes for the rich and "redistribute" wealth to the poor. (Read that twice if necessary). Heres Barack's exact words on this issue: "It's not that I want to punish your success. I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you, that they've got a chance for success too. My attitude is that if the economy's good for folks from the bottom up, it's gonna be good for everybody. I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody."

There is a reason why 55% of Americans believe Barack is infact, socialist.

We could take a quick look at where Obama comes from.
Baracks dad, a communist. His mother a communist sympathizer, his mentor? His name was Frank Marshall Davis, a communist Poet. [2]

"College & Church

*Admittedly sought out ‘Marxist' professors
*Admittedly attended ‘socialist conferences'
*Began attending a Marxist church – led by pastor Jeremiah Wright (attended for 20 years)"[2]

[1]http://www.wnd.com...
[2]http://deanesmay.com...
Danielle

Con

Pro begins with ad hominem attacks and insulting my intelligence. This speaks volumes about Pro's character and inability to win an argument without resorting to insults. Classy.

However, Pro's first jab in R2 is insinuating (with no proof, evidence or justification) that I do not know any other type of socialism outside of Marxian Socialism. You'll notice that Pro never included any other definition or example of socialism, making this a moot point.

For Pro's first argument, he challenges the assertion that Obama is an economimc liberal. He brings up the point that Obama has cited a "right" to health care, and notes that other socialists agree with this statement. Not only is this a horrible argument, but it commits a logical fallacy.

First let's observe how this contention has absolutely no relevance. Suppose Pro supports the legalization of marijuana, and he is a libertarian. Suppose I also support the legalization of marijuana, but I am a liberal. Supporting marijuana legalization is both a libertarian and liberal position [1, 2]. Therefore, simply proving that Obama and the socialist party agree on a certain issue(s) in no way proves that they belong to the same party or adhere to the same ideology. This is common sense.

For those, like Pro, who cannot understand this poor analogy, we can look to logic for an explanation as to how Pro's reasoning is fallacious. He commits the affirming the consequence fallacy: the antecedent in an indicative conditional is claimed to be true because the consequent is true; if A, then B; B, therefore A.

A) Someone is a socialist
B) Someone thinks health care is a right

In short, noting that both Obama and socialists view health care as a right does not prove in any way that Obama is, in fact, a socialist. In fact, Pro's other notations hold little weight as well. It's common knowledge that certain beliefs for different ideologies overlap; however, that does NOT make the ideologies identical or synonomous. For instance, both a libertarian and a conservative would advocate laws that cut taxes. Both republicans and democrats supported the government bail outs. Pro points out Obama's stance on comprehensive immigration reform. However, it's fairly obvious that this is a LIBERAL position [3] -- Politicians like Ted Kennedy (D), Robert Menendez (D) and Janet Napolitano (D) all advocate the same thing... as democrats, not socialists.

Again, comparing similarities between two parties -- the only evidence Pro has offered thus far -- do NOT make two parties equal.

Considering Pro has given us no other parameters for defining socialism, I think he'd agree to several key points about the ideology. There are certain principles that are common to all forms of socialism:

1. The abolition of private property
2. The elimination of social and economic classes
3. Production according to ability, and distribution according to need

Essentially socialists seek to eliminate the capitalist form of distribution [4].

Obama seeks to REGULATE capitalism - not ELIMINATE capitalism.

Overall, Obama will not set up a government agency to plan the economy. He will not require businesses to meet targets for production. He will not outlaw profit. He will not put workers in charge of companies (unless it is negotiated between unions and management). In short, *the government will not run the economy.* Therefore just because Obama seeks to have more regulation, higher taxes and greater protection of unions does NOT indicate in any way a socialist system [5]. Instead, it represents a very left-leaning economic ideology that espouses sociocapitalism [6].

Again, Pro's "proof" that Obama is a socialist is the fact that he wants to redistribute wealth by advocating a progressive tax system. This of course is a moot point when you consider the reality that *nearly every Democrat/liberal* advocates the same thing. Obama is not the only democrat pushing for this redistribution of wealth or health care bill (and many before him have implemented the same ideals). Does this make all democrats socialist, or all liberals socialist? Obviously not.

Next, Pro points out that 55% of Americans believe that Obama is a socialist. This is another fallacious argument (argumentum ad populum) -- just because a majority of people believe something does not make it true. Nearly 1 in 5 Americans also think that Obama is a Muslim [7]; however, he is not. Again just because people believe something does not make it true. Consider the fact that you've got right wing talking heads all over Fox News blabbing on about how Obama's the Muslim socialist -- of COURSE people are going to believe such nonsense when people keep making these false accusations and comparisons to socialism that have no merit (like the ones we've seen so far, proving nothing of the sort).

Pro's final argument is that Obama must be a socialist because his father was a communist, and his mother sympathized with communists. First, Pro has committed the genetic fallacy: where a conclusion is suggested based solely on something or someone's origin rather than its current meaning or context. Second, I'd like to point out that Pro's very own source notes that Obama's father abandoned him when he was just 2 years old. As such, it is completely illogical to deduce that the political ideology advocated by Obama's father had any impact on his son whatsoever considering they did not have a relationship.

Third, it's pretty obvious that what his mother "sympathized with" is not necessarily what Obama either (a) believes, or (b) enacts into legislation as a politician. My mother's fairly conservative, my step-father is a libertarian and my father is a liberal... yet I am neither of those three things. Finally, even if Obama's mother's affiliation was pertinent, communism =/= socialism making this an entirely moot point with no relevance.

On a final note, consider the fact that socialism seeks to eliminate private property and companies - not revive them. On the contrary, Obama was in favor of bailing out the big 3 car companies, investing in infrastructure, and regarding health care implementing a public *option* not public *mandate.* His policies are directed at rescuing companies, revitalizing the capitalist economy, helping families and small businesses, and creating competition. These are all things actual socialists would cringe at.

-- CONCLUSION --

Pro has offered four arguments in favor of Obama being a socialist:

A) Obama agrees with socialists on some issues

----> I've pointed out how this is irrelevant; it doesn't make them synonymous, and they're different in many ways

B) Obama advocates wealth distribution via tax cuts and other social programs

----> I mentioned how this doesn't prove a thing; most liberals agree with Obama's policies as did most liberals before him

C) Many people believe Obama is a socialist

----> So? Most people still believe in creationism too. People believe a lot of stupid things that aren't true.

D) Obama's parents may have been communist

----> I highly doubt I'm the only one who sees that this has nothing to do with anything.

As you can see, Pro has not proven in any way whatsoever that Obama is a socialist. Furthermore, he completely failed to make an argument as to how the United States could possibly be a dictatorship (which is actually what the resolution states, a.k.a. what he should be trying to prove). On the other hand, I have explained exactly why Obama is not a socialist, and proven how the U.S. is not - and under our current system could not - be a dictatorship.

Resolution negated. Thank you.

[1] http://tinyurl.com...
[2] http://tinyurl.com...
[3] http://tinyurl.com...
[4] http://tinyurl.com...
[5] http://tinyurl.com...
[6] http://tinyurl.com...
[7] http://tinyurl.com...
Debate Round No. 2
lessthanhonorable

Pro

lessthanhonorable forfeited this round.
Danielle

Con

Please extend my arguments. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 3
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Danielle 7 years ago
Danielle
m93, I know. It was a low blow but the first thing that came to my mind :| I apologize if I offended you (or anyone).
Posted by Esuric 7 years ago
Esuric
"Can your bias be any more evident, Esuric?"

My alleged bias does not change the fact that your argumentation is weak.

"Frankly I'm not paying attention to anything you're saying here. First of all, I'm not debating you, so making arguments against me in the comments section is abusive and irrelevant."

So don't be surprised by my vote (I'll explain more after round 3).

"You also completely glossed over every single one of Pro's fallacies (and there were A LOT), as you continue to not challenge anything he has said despite me proving in the debate itself how his reasoning is poor."

The weakness of his arguments are glaringly obvious.

"If you want to debate me on whether or not Obama is a socialist"

How does one prove that president Obama is a socialist? Just out of curiosity.

"Also, what does and does not encompass socialism has generated a slew of debates over the years."

The Fact that (a) socialism predates Marx and (b) that the "capitalist mode of production" is entirely a Maxian concept is not, in anyway, debatable.

"your broad description can apply to a lot of ideologies."

There are many ideologies that form socialism. There were 4 internationals for a reason.

"You guys are such pansys who need groupies to win arguments. Waaah."

Don't be so emotional.
Posted by m93samman 7 years ago
m93samman
@theLwerd: The only problem I have on your side is the sarcastic remark about creationism; that's not exactly how a reputable debater would take it. But aside from that... ouch. Pro you're getting an@l-pounded by a steel-tipped lead pole
Posted by Danielle 7 years ago
Danielle
"Obama must be a socialist because his dad, who left (and abandoned) him when he was 2 years old, was a communist! And his mother was sympathetic toward communism! So duhhh Obama must be a SOCIALIST! Half of America agrees!"

But yet you attack the way I've described socialism.

Lol.
Posted by Danielle 7 years ago
Danielle
Can your bias be any more evident, Esuric?

Frankly I'm not paying attention to anything you're saying here. First of all, I'm not debating you, so making arguments against me in the comments section is abusive and irrelevant. I'm not going to waste the time or energy responding to you here. If you want to debate me on whether or not Obama is a socialist, send me a challenge instead of babysitting your friend and holding his hand and walking him through this (although I could see why you think he probably needs help at this point).

Second, I like how you address my "appeal to authority" from R1 but completely gloss over the fact that Pro's R1 had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the resolution. Considering you try to make yourself sound well-versed in debate, this should be the first thing that jumps out at any debater (after all, that was my first thought as well as the first person who commented in the comments section).

You also completely glossed over every single one of Pro's fallacies (and there were A LOT), as you continue to not challenge anything he has said despite me proving in the debate itself how his reasoning is poor. You have made no criticisms of my opponent's horrible arguments and him ignoring the resolution all-together, which is what is really laughable here.

If your friend wants to challenge socialism in the debate, he can do so. Of course introducing that in the third round would be abusive (but hey, fugg it, Pro could obviously do no wrong). Also, what does and does not encompass socialism has generated a slew of debates over the years. There is no unified meaning of socialism; your broad description can apply to a lot of ideologies.

You guys are such pansys who need groupies to win arguments. Waaah.

I'm fairly confident the debate speaks for itself.

Have fun arguing with yourself in the comments section, and v-bombing this debate when it's over.
Posted by Esuric 7 years ago
Esuric
"There are certain principles that are common to all forms of socialism:

1. The abolition of private property
2. The elimination of social and economic classes
3. Production according to ability, and distribution according to need

Essentially socialists seek to eliminate the capitalist form of distribution [4]."

This is completely false, and your source is laughable. You, like Dr. Paul in the previous quote, conflate Marxian socialism with socialism in the broader sense. The "capitalist mode of production and distribution" is entirely a Marxian concept (the term Capitalism was first introduced by Marx as a pejorative). The common principle of socialism, the underlying dogma, is the belief that society is something in itself, rather than the compilation of various individuals. It does not respect individual rights (property rights), and places the "needs of society" above the needs of individuals.
Posted by TheAtheistAllegiance 7 years ago
TheAtheistAllegiance
Esuric:

Honest question - In what particular college course did you learn the different political and economic ideologies? Was it political science, economics, or perhaps both..?
Posted by LaissezFaire 7 years ago
LaissezFaire
We're becoming a "new" socialist/communist USA? This country has been on the road to socialism since 1789.
Posted by Esuric 7 years ago
Esuric
"Pro will have a hard time proving either one of these things. Barack Obama is not a socialist; he's simply very (economically) liberal. Ron Paul clarifies and agrees that he's not a socialist - he's a "corporatist" which he defines as caring for corporations that inevitably run the country [1]."

Unfortunately for Dr. Paul, this statement is so clumsy that it is essentially void of all meaning. It fundamentally conflates the term "socialism," which is extremely vague and general, with a particular type of socialism, namely Marxian socialism. Additionally, it (a) entirely misapprehends the true definition of "corporatism," and (b) conflates it with "fascism." Corporatism is not, as you and Dr. Paul imply, a political system characterized by the rule of corporations or large firms that are given special legal privileges. It is a form of organization (social or political) that is comprised of different components or corporate groups (usually with varying interests) that ultimately form a unified body, and is closely related to the sociological concept of structural functionalism. Fascism (or National Socialism) is, therefore, a corporatist system (because it is characterized by the allegiance of different corporate bodies, namely military, agricultural, labor, business and religious organizations), but not all corporatist systems/organizations are fascist.

Thus, one can say, with absolute confidence, that individual "x" may be both a corporatist and a socialist. I must, therefore, dismiss this statement as a meaningless appeal to authority.
Posted by Chrysippus 7 years ago
Chrysippus
rant =/= debate
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