The Instigator
1Historygenius
Con (against)
Winning
12 Points
The Contender
Legitdebater
Pro (for)
Losing
10 Points

Vietnam is a Communist Country

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
1Historygenius
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/6/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,969 times Debate No: 32157
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (17)
Votes (5)

 

1Historygenius

Con

My opponent commented in a debate that Vietnam is a communist country. I disagree, so lets debate it, I argue that Vietnam is not a communist country and my opponent must argue that it is.

No trolling or semantics. Round 1 is for acceptance only.
Legitdebater

Pro

I will gladly accept this debate. As Pro, I will provide evidence on how Vietnam is still a communist country, while Con must provide evidence on how it has a different political structure.

But before I begin, I must define communism so my opponent and I are "on the same page."


I will define communism as a totalitarian system of government in which a single party controls state-owned means of production. This definition comes from the Merriam Webster dictionary, and is valid for this debate. If Con has any objections, he must do so in the comments section.

I hope for an excellent debate!



Sources:http://www.merriam-webster.com...

Debate Round No. 1
1Historygenius

Con

My Arguments

I. Doi Moi Reforms

The Doi Moi Reforms occured to help bring economic growth to Vietnam. These reforms allowed private industry to be established along with state-operated industries. This is called a Socialist-oriented economy. As explained here:

"The Doi Moi economic reforms were initiated by the Communist Party of Vietnam in 1986 during the 6th National Congress of the party. These reforms allowed for private ownership of small enterprises alongside state-run and collectively-owned enterprises. Additionally, these reforms also introduced a greater role for market forces for coordinating economic activity between enterprises and government agencies." [1]

Because of these reforms, Vietnam is no longer a communist country because it does not have totalitarian control over all industries.

II. Free Market Index

The Heritage Foundation, as we know, has its free market index. If Vietnam was truly a totalitarian communist country where a single party controls all the industry, then we are expecting it to be in the "Repressed" category. However, Vietnam is not, its in the "Mostly Unfree" category. Its overall score is 51.0 and the world rank is 140. When we look at Vietnam, we see a mostly unfree economy, not a repressed one.

Taxes is not high, the top rate is 35% and the corporate rate is 25%. Limited government gives Vietnam a 72.4 and a 75.6.

For regulatory efficiency, the Vietnamese government has allowed an increase in the private sector. Because of this rise in business freedom, Vietnam is not communist. According the index on Vietnam's market:

"The financial sector continues to expand, with capital markets evolving. Directed lending by state-owned commercial banks has been scaled back in recent years." [2]

As we can see here, Vietnam is not repressed, its just mostly unfree and is therefore not a communist country, but is a socialist-oriented one.

Sources

1. http://en.wikipedia.org...
2. http://www.heritage.org...


Legitdebater

Pro

Before I state my contentions, I will first clash with my most worthy opponent.

Doi Moi Reforms
My opponent claims the Doi Moi reforms helped bring economic growth to Vietnam. This may be true, but this occured because they were on a brink of economic collapse and wanted to save their economy and decided to make it more "open."This change makes them a bit more capitilistic, however, they are still a communist country. If a country still has a single party communist government who cannot be replaced, they are not capitilist but communist.

Free Market Index
My opponent claims that Vietnam should not be classified as a "repressed" country but a "mostly unfree" country. If this is the case, they are still a "mostly unfree" communist country that has an ounce of capitilism only to save their economy.Con thinks Vietnam is just a more socialist-oriented country, but they still have a single-state communist government which proves pro wrong. Con thinks Vietnam is "mostly unfree" but what that means is that it it is still communist, but is slightly weaker than 40 years ago.

1.Vietnam still has a Communist Government
Vietnam has a one party communist state that rules the country. It's pretty obvious that you can't disagree that Vietnam is communist when their federal government is still communist. Despite pursuing economic reform, the ruling Communist Party shows little willingness to give up its monopoly on political power. Economically, the government still controls a good chunk of State production, just not as much as 40 years ago Vietnam. The government still suppresses political dissent and religious freedom, so we can see it is very much communist.

2. People are still oppressed
People can still not express political dissent in Vietnam. Vietnamese citizens are still not able to protest against the communist government. My dad, as a Vietnamese citizen 40 years ago, said that if you continuously protested against the Communist govermemt, you would be jailed or executed. Times may have changed since then, but citizens cannot express political dissent. Vietnamese citizens still have very little freedom, which proves they are still communist.

My Question: If Vietnam has a communist government, how can you claim they are not a communist country?

Sources:
http://www.globalasia.org...
http://www.bbc.co.uk...

My dad( as a former Vietnamese citizen)



Debate Round No. 2
1Historygenius

Con

My Arguments

I. Doi Moi Reforms

Officially, Vietnam's economy is a socialist-oriented economy, not a communist economy. The definition of the debate says:

"....a totalitarian system of government in which a single party controls state-owned means of production."

However, Vietnam is not in a totalitarian system since totalitarianism is described as:

"the political concept that the citizen should be totally subject to an absolute state authority" [1]

The citizens are not totally subject to an abseloute state authority, thay have rights to build their own businesses and choose what they want to buy from state-owned businesses and private businesses. Wikipedia describes Vietnam's economy as:

"The economy of Vietnam is a developing planned economy and market economy. Since the mid-1980s, through the "ĐN93;i MN99;i" reform period, Vietnam has made a shift from a highly centralized planned economy to a socialist-oriented market economy which use both directive and indicative planning. Over that period, the economy has experienced rapid growth. Nowadays, Vietnam is in a period of being integrated into the global economy." [2]

Vietnam cannot possibly have a communist system.

II. Free Market Index

My opponent says that I claimed Vietnam should not be "repressed" and this is correct. That is because it has been proven that Vietnam is not a "repressed" nation, but one with more freedom than a "repressed" nation. The 2013 Free Market Index simply calculates were a nation stand based on how free its market is. Vietnam is far from a communist nation and, like I said before, is more socialist-oriented. Even Wikipedia acknowledges that it has both a planned economy and market economy, meaning its not communist as it does have some capitalist virtues and is in a sense, going through a form of privatization. Vietnam did most notably increase its business freedom this year. [3]

My Refutations

I. Vietnam's Communist Government

The Communist Party does rule over Vietnam, but recently they have been allowing independent candidates to run. This proves that Vietnam is slowly moving to Democracy. Currently, the Communists hold 458 seats while there are 42 indepedent seats in the government. Surely, a communist government does not hold elections.

Like I said, the government in Vietnam is no longer totalitarian nor does it contol all means of production meaning the Communist Party in Vietnam could be considered communist-in-name-only.

II. People are still Oppressed

My opponent has only dicussed the media part Vietnam, saying that there is censorship and this makes the country communist, but let's look at what's discussed before. The people can start their own businesses and buy from private ones rather than state ones. They also have a choice to vote, even if there is just one party.

Conclusion

I have proven that Vietnam's economy does not make it a communist state. In addition, citizens have the right to vote and elections are held. Vietnam is not totalitarian and it is socialist-oriented economy meaning that the state has influence and some control, but there is a rising presence of private businesses.

Sources

1. http://www.merriam-webster.com...
2. http://en.wikipedia.org...
3. http://www.heritage.org...
Legitdebater

Pro

Doi Moi Reforms
My opponent claims Vietnam has more of a socialist-oriented economy, however, Vietnam is still heavily in debt because of state-owned companies and banks going bankrupt. This proves they are still communist because the majority of their business' and banks are state-owned. Many people are still unhappy from their failed communist economy and are turning mutinous.

Free Market Index
My opponent claims that Vietnam is not "repressed" but extremely unfree. This proves that communism is still in Vietnam, because if they were socialist-oriented, they would have way more freedom than they have now. As I mentioned in my second contention, they are still oppressed with state-police officers roaming Vietnam. My opponent claims that even Wikipedia knows that it's economy is socialist-oriented, but Wikipedia isn't the most reliable source as claimed by many proffesors. If Vietnam was truly socialist-oriented, why is their economy bankrupt from state-owned banks and business'.

Vietnam's Communist Governemt
Con says that the Communist party does not rule Vietnam. This isn't true since the Communist Party is in full control of Vietnam and in fact holds a political monopoly. We can obviously see, that the Communist Party is in full control of Vietnam and has 92% of the seats.

People are still oppressed
As I stated in my refutations, armed policemen roam Vietnam and uphold communist ways. These policemen stand in front of portraits of Ho Chi Minh, which shows they respect the countrie's communist ideals and government. Surely they are still communist if they censor people in the media, uphold communist ideals, and honour communist presidents.

Conclusion:My opponent claims that because of their economy being slightly more free than 40 years ago, they are socialist-oriented. Canada has Universal Healthcare which is a socialist ideal, so do we automatically assume that Canada is a socialist country. No, we don't, there are many aspects of communism and Pro has only proved that their economy is slighly more free than 40 years ago. Great, but Vietnam's government holds a monopoly and is still in full control of Vietnam's government.

Sources:http://www.globalpost.com...
http://yaleglobal.yale.edu...

Debate Round No. 3
1Historygenius

Con

My Arguments

I. Doi Moi Reforms

"My opponent claims Vietnam has more of a socialist-oriented economy, however, Vietnam is still heavily in debt because of state-owned companies and banks going bankrupt. This proves they are still communist because the majority of their business' and banks are state-owned. Many people are still unhappy from their failed communist economy and are turning mutinous."

Just because the majority of the banks and businesses are state-owned does not make Vietnam a communist country. Why? Because the nation is not totalitarian. The government does not have total control of their economy. The Vietnamese people were unhappy with the communist economic system and that's why the government switched to a socialist-oriented economy. Vietnam is somewhat going through a time of privatization not seen since Margaret Thatcher was prime minister of the United Kingdom.

II. Free Market Index

"My opponent claims that Vietnam is not "repressed" but extremely unfree. This proves that communism is still in Vietnam, because if they were socialist-oriented, they would have way more freedom than they have now. As I mentioned in my second contention, they are still oppressed with state-police officers roaming Vietnam. My opponent claims that even Wikipedia knows that it's economy is socialist-oriented, but Wikipedia isn't the most reliable source as claimed by many proffesors. If Vietnam was truly socialist-oriented, why is their economy bankrupt from state-owned banks and business'."

Repressed and extremely unfree is the same. We are looking at mostly unfree meaning that it has some key freedoms in it despite large government control. Because Vietnam has these freedoms, it is not totalitarian because it does not have total control. My opponent then mentioned state-police officers, but this does little to explain how Vietnam is communist. That would be like saying Houston, Texas is communist because it has a police force. My opponent then says that Wikipedia is not a reliable force (this has been proven false by a previous debate on the subject and thus many people use Wikipedia in their debates), but I have many other sources to back Wikipedia. [1,2]

Now read this:

"Since the consolidation of independence and the attempt to build a new society, the Vietnamese nationalists have transformed the society from a poor, underdeveloped state to an integrated, self-reliant economy whose rapid transformation points to the positive possibilities from socialist planning. However, since 1986 when the leaders opened up to Western investors, the Vietnamese economy has been socialist in form but capitalist in content. Over the past two decades the Vietnamese leadership have steered a path similar to that of China, focusing on economic growth. In this period Vietnam recorded sustained GDP (gross domestic product) ’growth’ of 7–8 per cent, making it second in the region after China. Forecasters have observed the trajectory of the Vietnamese ‘socialist-oriented market economy’, and it is estimated that in the next 15 years Vietnam will be in the top tier of the twenty leading economies in the world." [1]

My Refutations

III. Vietnam's Communist Government

"Con says that the Communist party does not rule Vietnam. This isn't true since the Communist Party is in full control of Vietnam and in fact holds a political monopoly. We can obviously see, that the Communist Party is in full control of Vietnam and has 92% of the seats."

I said that the Communist Party does rule over Vietnam. The fact that it allows independent candidates to run shows that there is growing democracy and is no longer totalitarian. That would be liked saying that the Republicans would have full control with 92% of Congress and the presidency. This is false because the power is to the American people, just like in how Vietnam the power is to the Vietnamese people because they can vote.

IV. People are still Oppressed

Having police officers stand in front of a piece of artwork does not make the people oppressed. At Arlington National Cemetery, there are guards protecting John F. Kennedy's tomb, but that does not make it oppressed. My opponent is only looking at the media, but nothing else. As I have proven, Vietnam has several capitalist aspects to it.

Conclusion

I have proven that vietnam is a socialist-oriented economy. This means it has some capitalist aspects despite state-owned businesses run by the government. Canada has been proven to be more free market capitalist based on the Heritage Foundation's index. The people can vote for their representatives. Because of this, Vietnam is not totalitarian because it does not hold total control and therefore is not a communist nation based on the definition being used.

Sources

1. Newman, Andy. "VIETNAM: A SOCIALIST ORIENTED MARKET ECONOMY" Socialist Unity. N.p., 14 Sept. 2010. Web.
2. "Socialist-oriented Market Economy: Concept and Development Solution." Embassy of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, 11 Nov. 2003. Web.

Legitdebater

Pro

My Final Refutations

Doi Moi Reforms
Con states that just because the majority of businesses and banks are state-owned does not make Vietnam a communist country. This proves that communism still has a stronghold on their economy and that it really insn't that socialist-oriented.

Read this:
Aspirant members of the middle class have seen their savings wiped out by speculative investments gone wrong. State-owned companies are bloated, bankrupt and heavily indebted to state-owned banks. Land clearance for commercial development has been managed so ruthlessly that farmers, long a bulwark of the regime, are turning mutinous. Confidence in the party's economic management has been severely shaken. (1)

The reason why people have turned mutinous is because they are still unhappy with the how the communist party still doesn't allow the people the right economic freedom. Therefore, their economy is absolutely communist and that it is still far from socialist-oriented.

Free Market Index
My opponent claims that Vietnam is just mostly unfree, with state-police officers just like anybody i.e. Houston, Texas. I strongly disagree with this point, as we can look at this. According to YaleGlobal, "Younger Vietnamese not only loathe corrupt cops, venal officials and mindless propaganda; many also can imagine a world without them." The people are still far from free and in one recent case, Vietnam followed China’s hard line policy on dissidence by arresting blogger Cu Huy Ha Vu in 2010 for expressing political dissent. Like I mentioned before, the country is still very similar to when it first became a communist country. In Texas, at least you're allowed to express disatisfaction with your government without getting arrested by corrupt state-police officers.

Contentions

Vietnam's Communist Government
As I mentioned before, the Communist Party has a political monopoly that oppresses the people. Vietnam really isn't a democracy since the Communist Party will always be in power since you cannot express political dissent or argue against them. They will continue to rule the people with corrupt state police officers unless someone starts a revolution (good thing I'm not in Vietnam right now, they'd probably arrest me like they did to Cu Huy Ha Vu.) We can obviously see that they're not giving power to the Vietnamese people and that the party is still in full control. The only reason why the idependent party is running is so it seems like Vietnam is giving power to the people. If so many people are against communism, why isn't the independent party in? (Corruption)

People are still Oppressed
In my refutations, I claimed that the state police officers are corrupt and arrest people that express strong disatisfaction. Guards standing by John F. Kennedy's are nothing like the intimidating state police officers constantly roaming around and arresting people who are expressing political dissent. Therefore, they are still oppressed considering that they're censored in the media, arrested for expressing politcal dissent, and are ruled by corrupt state police officers.

Conclusion
Con only pointed out that their economy is slightly more free than 40 years ago. I mentioned in the first round, that he had to prove that they had a different politcal structure which he didn't prove very well. They are obviously still communist since their party rules Vietnam and is oppresive to people and still has a communist economy that is barely more free than 40 years ago. I urge voters to vote Pro. It was a pleasure debating 1historygenious.

Sources:
1.http://yaleglobal.yale.edu...



Debate Round No. 4
17 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by LibertarianWithAVoice 3 years ago
LibertarianWithAVoice
@Reni-1_3 Your comment in the vote section is backwards. He is saying his IPhone is not PC because it has a variant. Vietnam is not a communist country because it allows privately owned business.
Posted by 4saken 3 years ago
4saken
Four days have passed but Legitdebater still hasn't accepted my challenge (http://www.debate.org...). I am disappointed.
I will take that he has withdrawn the protest against my vote then.
Posted by 4saken 3 years ago
4saken
I've sent you the challenge for the debate of this matter. Please accept :)
Posted by Legitdebater 3 years ago
Legitdebater
By that logic, my dad was just as good of a source as wikipedia, considering anyone can post stuff on wikipedia, and that it's writing about stuff that's happening in a another nation on the other side of the, it's just as good as a source as Vietnamese citizen who actually witnessed an event.
Posted by Legitdebater 3 years ago
Legitdebater
By the way, if you claim my dad wasn't the best source, neither is wikipedia. As Harvard University states, when you're doing academic research, you should be extremely cautious about using Wikipedia.

As its own disclaimer states, information on Wikipedia is contributed by anyone who wants to post material, and the expertise of the posters is not taken into consideration. Users may be reading information that is outdated or that has been posted by someone who is not an expert in the field or by someone who wishes to provide misinformation. (Case in point: Four years ago, an Expos student who was writing a paper about the limitations of Wikipedia posted a fictional entry for himself, stating that he was the mayor of a small town in China. Four years later, if you type in his name, or if you do a subject search on Wikipedia for mayors of towns in China, you will still find this fictional entry.) Some information on Wikipedia may well be accurate, but because experts do not review the site's entries, there is a considerable risk in relying on this source for your essays.
Posted by Legitdebater 3 years ago
Legitdebater
My opponent didn't have any problems with my dad as witness counting as a source so I really don't care what one person thinks.
Posted by Legitdebater 3 years ago
Legitdebater
Who's to say what does or doesn't count as a source for a debate?
Posted by Legitdebater 3 years ago
Legitdebater
I claimed that times may have changed since then, but proved they were still oppressive now by proving that they arrest people for expressing political dissent. Therefore, I made the connection that communism in Vietnam from 40 years ago was similar to modern day since it's proven that they still arrest people for expressing political dissent and are oppressive.
Posted by 4saken 3 years ago
4saken
Lawyers do not claim what the witness saw. The witness has to come to court to say his testimony. Do you really believe that saying someone you know witness something counts as a source for a debate? If that's the case, we can have a debate about this matter :)

Moreover, even if we accept your father as a legitimacy source, you said he was a Vietnamese citizen 40 years ago. How could he be counted as a witness for what is happening now?
Posted by Legitdebater 3 years ago
Legitdebater
No one else had a problem with my dad's legitimacy as a witness except for you 4saken.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by Subutai 3 years ago
Subutai
1HistorygeniusLegitdebaterTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Con wins because he proved that Vietnam is socialist, not communist. Vietnam is not a totalitarian state as pro imagines. Almost all of his claims there are greatly exaggerated. Con wins because the economic freedom index puts non-communist countries behind Vietnam, which is not indicative of a communist regime. While there is tight state control, there is not a giant police state like pro imagines.
Vote Placed by dragonb95 3 years ago
dragonb95
1HistorygeniusLegitdebaterTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con took a very hard side here and was unable to uphold the claim that Vietnam is not communist. It is, in fact a communist country. Also, con used wikipedia as a source so pro gets it in that category.
Vote Placed by 4saken 3 years ago
4saken
1HistorygeniusLegitdebaterTied
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Reasons for voting decision: See the comments
Vote Placed by xXCryptoXx 3 years ago
xXCryptoXx
1HistorygeniusLegitdebaterTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con wins the debate with this: Officially, Vietnam's economy is a socialist-oriented economy, not a communist economy. The definition of the debate says: "....a totalitarian system of government in which a single party controls state-owned means of production." However, Vietnam is not in a totalitarian system since totalitarianism is described as: "the political concept that the citizen should be totally subject to an absolute state authority" [1]
Vote Placed by Reni-1_3 3 years ago
Reni-1_3
1HistorygeniusLegitdebaterTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Interesting debate. Better arguments because Con states in each round that because Vietnam is semi free it is not communist. That statement is invalid, it's like saying Iphone's have a computer interface, therefore they are actually a PC. any phone IS a computer, but cannot be called PC's because they are a very distinct variation of that technology. Also in round 2 Con's "mostly unfree and is therefore not a communist country", MOSTLY UNFREE states the state is not fully free, and has mostly communists aspects of government. Resources because Wikipedia is not a reliable source, especially when it comes down to nations on the other side of the world.