The Instigator
Meirbek
Con (against)
Losing
2 Points
The Contender
yernar
Pro (for)
Winning
3 Points

This house believes that Capitalism is better than Socialism

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
yernar
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/24/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 815 times Debate No: 41138
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (0)
Votes (1)

 

Meirbek

Con

Socialism has a number of theoretical benefits, based on the idea of social equality and justice. Advantages of socialism relating to social equality include a focus on reducing wealth disparities, unemployment and inflation (through price controls). Advantages of socialism related to economic planning include an ability to make good use of land, labor and resources, as well as avoiding excess or insufficient production. Additional benefits of Socialism: Nationalization of key industries, redistribution of wealth, social security schemes, minimum wages, employment protection and trade union recognition rights.
yernar

Pro

Many people believe that capitalism is the best mode for the country, as it brings an invaluable benefit for the economy. Economic freedom helps political freedom. If governments own the means of production and set prices, it invariably leads to a powerful state and creates a large bureaucracy which may extend into other areas of life. There are no better alternatives. As Winston Churchill, ""It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried." A similar statement could apply to capitalism.
Debate Round No. 1
Meirbek

Con

The gap between poor and rich countries has never been as great as it is today, Warren Buffet's wealth was estimated to be a net worth of approximately US$62 billion in 2008 [1], this while one in seven people on earth goes to bed hungry every night and 6.54 million children die of starvation and malnutrition every year [2]. The absurd inequality between people's wages is because of the capitalist system, since the capitalist's only aim is to generate profit there is no reason to keep anything other than a minimum wage for the workers. In a globalized world, rich countries can outsource industries to poorer countries where workers will not expect so high a wage. The lower the wages a capitalist can pay to the labourers, the more profit he can generate. A capitalist does not care whether his labourers' living standards are good, acceptable or bad (although he does want to maintain a level where the labourers will not die or rebel), as long as they deliver the work for the lowest wage possible [3]. Therefore a company CEO can gain an absurd amount of money since he will reap all the profit made from all the labourers in his company while the lowest worker in the hierarchy will only earn enough to survive. The ordinary worker does not have a free choice whether he wants to work or not since he is at such an inferior bargaining position that he has to accept the capitalist's offer in order to survive.
According to socialism this inequality is atrocious, it can by no means be justifiable that an ordinary labourer who works equally as hard, or harder than a CEO should struggle for his survival while the CEO lives in unimaginable luxury. In socialism, production and wages are directed to human needs, there is consequently no need to maximise profit and thus this gross inequality would be evened [4].
[1] The World's Billionaires: #1 Warren Buffett. (2008, March). Forbes.
[2] Hunger. (2011). World Food Programme. Retrieved June 7, 2011
[3] Engels, Frederick. (2005). The principles of Communism. Marxist Internet Archive. Retrieved June 7, 2011
[4] Marx, K. (n.d.). Critique of the Gotha Programme: I. Marxist Internet Archive.
yernar

Pro

A free market gives the power to the people to choose and decide what products and services should be offered to them. If many people want the same thing the demand will be higher and it will be profitable to offer them on the market since it will sell, therefore the people are in command of what products are being offered to them through their own want. The market is thus decided upon what people need and therefore there will be no excess products or services offered e.g. let us presume that many people want to see high quality basketball, a person like Michael Jordan who has a talent for basketball and has honed his basketball skills would in this case be much in demand. People are ready to pay for the service he offers (excellent basketball) and consequently his high wage will be justified. On the other hand a mediocre basketball player would not be paid at all since there is no demand to see mediocre basketball, his service does not have an attraction on the market and will thus be eliminated (1), (2). This is all part of what could be called a "dynamic capitalist system" which values individuality , rewards ability and risk-taking.

(1)-Adam Smith. (n.d.). The concise Encyclopedia of Economics. Retrieved June 20, 2011
(2)- Nozick, R. (1974). Anarchy State and Utopia (pp. 54-56, 137-42). Basic Books.
Debate Round No. 2
Meirbek

Con

Capitalism always acts on the cost of nature and its ecological balance. With its imperative to constantly expand profitability, it exposes ecosystems to destabilizing pollutants, fragments habitats that have evolved over time to allow the flourishing of organisms, squanders resources, and reduces nature to the exchangeability required for the accumulation of capital. Socialism requires self-determination, community, and a meaningful existence. Capital reduces the majority of the world's people to a mere reservoir of labor power while discarding much of the remainder as useless. The present capitalist system cannot regulate, much less overcome, the crises it has set going. It cannot solve the ecological crisis (e.g. global warming) because to do so requires setting limits upon accumulation
yernar

Pro

In practice capitalism and environmentalism do not necessarily have to clash with each other as can been proved by small enterprises that can directly implement green criteria by, for example, using renewable energy sources, avoiding toxic chemicals, repairing or recycling used products, and minimizing reliance on long-distance shipment for either supplies or sales. Because the free market is directed ultimately by its consumers if the consumers demand more eco-friendly products the suppliers will also increase its efforts to be eco-friendly, thus the two of them don't have to be incompatible. Here are a few suggestions of how capitalism and environmentalism could go hand in hand: I- energy-saving and other cost-cutting measures are advantageous to companies; II- compliance with whatever regulations may be enforced by a government to avoid fines III- maintaining good public relations with consumers involves having an eco-friendly policy. (1)

(1) Wallis, V. (2010). Beyond "Green Capitalism." The Monthly Review. Retrieved 2011
Debate Round No. 3
Meirbek

Con

'Credit bubbles' and resultant credit crunches (financial crisis) are inherent in the capitalist system. The economy undergoes a crisis whenever productive economic sectors begin to undergo a slowdown resulting in falls in profits. The recent crisis was caused due to the fact that there was an inflated investment in real estates. It was invested in with the purpose of keeping up profits which lead to a rise in the price of properties. Because of the increased price in property many people took out loans on their house and bought goods for the credit, thinking they could easily pay back their loans since their house would be more valuable at sale. However, since the rise of price was fabricated and not corresponding to an actual need (it was a bubble), house prices had to invariably go down at some point. When the prices eventually went down people could no longer afford to pay back what they had bought on their loaned houses and the installed payments were the trigger of the financial crisis. It could perhaps be said that the economy was surviving on money which did not exist (thereof the name 'credit bubble'). The result was that there were countless goods which no one could buy because no one could afford to pay for them, in turn this lead to a stagnation in the economy and hence to a crisis. A socialist system would not produce overconsumption since its aim is not profit but human needs, it would not have a reason to fabricate an investment for the sake of keeping up the profits and would therefore not cause a capitalist crisis[1].
[1] Roberts, M. (2008). The credit crunch - one year on. In Defence of Marxism. Retrieved June 7, 2011
yernar

Pro

The right to own property is central to man's existence since it ensures him of his independence of survival. It provides a means to sustain himself without relying on others inasmuch as he has control over a property and can make a living from it. However in order to acquire property the person must gain it from his own labour, if he takes the fruit of someone else's labour without consent that would be plain stealth. However, this is not the only requirement which must be fulfilled in order to gain property: imagine a scenario where I pour out tomato juice into the ocean, I have mixed my own labour with nature and made an "own" creation, but could it be said that the ocean is my property? Most people would certainly say no and therefore one of the following two provisos must also be met before one can fully acquire property:
1. It does not impact on others chance of survival/ comfort of life
2. Leaves the others better off than before.
Let us presume that we have a wasteland which generates very little harvest since it is uncultivated. If I privatise and cultivate a bit of this land it will generate more harvest since I have put work effort in it. Presuming that the privatisation does not leave the others worse off than before e.g. there is plenty of other wasteland they can cultivate on their own and does thus not harm anyone else's opportunities/chances to cultivate their own land, privatisation is allowed for the individual good. Alternately, others are better off if they do not have the skill to cultivate land themselves and can lease their labour working on my privatized land, they would win on the deal since the wage I pay them would be better than what they would have gained on their own. (1), (2)

(1) Locke, J. (n.d.). Chapter. V. Of Property. Constitution Society. Retrieved June 7, 2011

(2) Nozick, R. (1974). Anarchy State and Utopia (pp. 54-56, 137-42). Basic Books.
Debate Round No. 4
Meirbek

Con

Under capitalism property is privatised under the presumption that it will not harm anyone or even that it will benefit everyone. This is not the case and what actually takes place is that property becomes concentrated into the hands of a relatively few well-off people leaving the rest more or less without property. The capitalist's bargaining position is far superior in comparison to the worker's (since he is a capitalist) and he can use it as an advantage in order to concentrate wealth for himself. If the capitalist has everything and the worker nothing it leaves the worker with nothing more than the mercy of the rich for work, charity, etc. Even if the capitalist offers the worker a salary on which he can survive (in comparison to unemployment a salary on which he can survive "makes him better off') it is a forced contract out of necessity from the worker's part [1], [2]. Consequently private ownership is by no means on par with the possibilities of owning goods in common and is thus contradictory to the capitalists premise of not harming others [3]. Capitalism makes the majority more dependent on a minority than they would have been if property were shared.
[1] Marx, K. (2010). On The Jewish Question. Marxist Internet Archive. Retrieved March 17, 2011
[2] Marx, K. (2009b). A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy - Preface. Marxist Internet Archive. Retrieved March 19, 2011
[3] Cohen, G. A. (2008). Robert Nozick and Wilt Chamberlain: How Patterns Preserve Liberty. Erkenntnis (1975-), Vol. 11.
yernar

Pro

The Western democratic capitalist system protects individual's rights and liberties through freedom from of interference by other people. Mature adult citizens are believed to have the capacity to choose what kind of life they want to lead and create their own future without paternalistic coercion from the state (Berlin, 1958). The capitalist society's ideals could perhaps be best exemplified with the American dream where everyone has an initial equal opportunity to reach their full potential, each individual being choosing their own path free from external coercion,. James Truslow Adams defines the American Dream as the following in 1931 "life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement" (1). The current President of United Stated Barack Obama is a typical example of a person who has achieved the American dream. Barack Obama did not start his life with a traditional "fortunate circumstance" previous presidents had enjoyed (e.g. George Bush). Nevertheless he succeeded in transcending his social class, his race etc. and became the president of United States. (2). Thus capitalism provides everyone with a fair chance to reach great achievements in their life if they seize the opportunities.

(1) James Truslow Adams papers, 1918-1949. (n.d.). Columbia University Library. Retrieved June 7, 2011
(2) Barack Obama is the American Dream writ large. (2008). Mirror. Retrieved June 7, 2011
Debate Round No. 5
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by EndarkenedRationalist 3 years ago
EndarkenedRationalist
MeirbekyernarTied
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Total points awarded:23 
Reasons for voting decision: Both sides has equal conduct and grammar. Argument was much trickier. Ultimately, I gave it to PRO because while CON provided numerous arguments, he never refuted PRO'S claims and counterpoints, instead introducing a new argument each round. It would have worked better if CON had consolidated his points in one round and spent subsequent rounds refuting his opponent and rebuilding his case. CON had more reliable sources (Marx has to be considered reliable in a debate about socialism or communism, and if we're Locke as reliable, then we also have to count Marx as reliable).