The Instigator
kukupser
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Puck
Con (against)
Winning
14 Points

What's wrong with socialism?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Puck
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/8/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,091 times Debate No: 7286
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (2)

 

kukupser

Pro

This is a question I have been thinking about for a while: What's so bad about socialism?

In wikipedia, socialism is defined as "Socialism refers to a broad set of economic theories of social organization advocating public or state ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods, and a society characterized by equal opportunities for all individuals..." Who wouldn't want that? This basically means that everybody gets the basic necesseties of life, including a home and food. Nobody is being limited or held back by the government, just giving everybody equal opportunities. And although a proletarian revolution to make a classless society is a little extreme, at least closing the gap between the classes in society (rich, middle-classed and poor, basically) seems appropriate. Why should a few men and women have so much power and money in their hands while people starve on the streets? In most socialist countries in Europe, universities are free. "Universities in Germany are part of the free state education system," providing you are a good enough student. Who wouldn't want free university if they took it seriously? Although I am strongly opposed to big brother cameras all over countries and under complete government watch, I do think the government should expand more, no Wal-Marts, no private news companies and NO 10 BILLION DOLLAR CELEBRITIES! Why should they have million dollar cars and houses with two indoor pools, an outdoor pool and three hot tubs when there are people who can hardly afford their monthly bills?

To sum up my arguement: why are people so conservative and favour capitalism as to socialism, where everybody is equal and has the same opportunities and goals and everybody is given the means to acheive them?

I look forward to my opponents debate and his views in this topic.

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http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
Puck

Con

"Socialism refers to a broad set of economic theories of social organization advocating public or state ownership and administration of [land], the means of production and distribution of goods, and a society characterized by equal opportunities for all individuals..."

If by characterised you mean the steady progression to a lowest denominator - then yes - equal opportunity when the only opportunities are just above the level of starvation or death, really doesn't mean much at all..

"This basically means that everybody gets the basic necesseties of life, including a home and food."

For the time it takes to finish looting those who are producers, at which point the system barely exists above basic subsistence farming. See, oh, North Korea.

"Nobody is being limited or held back by the government, just giving everybody equal opportunities."

Here we have the first big problem. Everyone is held back under socialism. That's its form of core tenants. Individual rights are not recognised - that is your life, your property, your freedom are no longer your own they are tools of state. The individual is subordinate to the whims of whoever is in power to the needs of a collective.

That means no one will strive to be the best, or even better than average, there is simply null incentive. Free riding is a virtue. The needy are the standard by which decisions are made. When the current arbitrary level of need is met another lowest denominator is formed - sacrifice is made to that level of need, from the next tier down of productivity (having destroyed all wealth from the top to its destruction) and so on it goes.

"And although a proletarian revolution to make a classless society is a little extreme, at least closing the gap between the classes in society (rich, middle-classed and poor, basically) seems appropriate."

By which you mean let's steal from those who bother to be productive and make them in essence slaves to the needs of those who do not. This is the core of socialism - fluffy intentions aside. By penalising those who produce the wealth you destroy the capability to continue to produce wealth. What incentive is there to run a business where the profits are not yours, when the very virtues that make productivity and wealth possible are condemned, penalised, and destroyed?

What does state run production mean? Well it means an attempt to bypass basic economic supply and demand. The state sets an artificial supply, which is only valid until the demand for it ceases, at which point you have a factory producing goods that few want without the necessary capital to transform it, or create new enterprise. Without the minds of men willing to invest in new production - you destroy the possibility of maintaining a semblance of economic superiority. Read up on Jewish Kibbutzes for a good example of how this occurs.

"Why should a few men and women have so much power and money in their hands while people starve on the streets?"

Why is theft not ok you mean? You are advocating this after all. If you want people to steal simply tell the hungry to go into a shop and take what they want. There is no difference in intent at all. If an individual wishes to help anyone other as they see fit, then that's fine. Advocating theft under the sleight of hand of common rhetoric in the form of appeals to emotion is not. The money those people have, they earned through investment, use of their abilities etc. Why should productivity be punished? Why should one person be slave to another simply because they are successful at a given venture?

"In most socialist countries in Europe, universities are free. "Universities in Germany are part of the free state education system," providing you are a good enough student. Who wouldn't want free university if they took it seriously?"

Free only in the sense that it's not entirely paid for by the student. It is costed though - and paid through taxes. Which means it's not free at all - just that current policy has it that it's something to be paid for through the appropriation of funds via taxes i.e. the cost of education is fostered on the other citizens. Note Germany is not a socialist country. It has a mixed economy.
http://educatinggermany.7doves.com...

"Although I am strongly opposed to big brother cameras all over countries and under complete government watch, I do think the government should expand more, no Wal-Marts, no private news companies and NO 10 BILLION DOLLAR CELEBRITIES! "

Sort of contradicts your assertion that no one will be limited under socialism. :)

"Why should they have million dollar cars and houses with two indoor pools, an outdoor pool and three hot tubs when there are people who can hardly afford their monthly bills?"

One party earned the money to spend on such things, the other party did not. Another's need is not a sole valid reference for action. Itis not a valid excuse to violate another's rights.

"To sum up my arguement: why are people so conservative and favour capitalism as to socialism"

Capitalism is the only valid economic system compliant with the recognition of individual rights. Socialism - statism in general is designed to gradually erode and remove them all together. Capitalism produces, maintains and increases wealth, thereby the standard of living for all. Socialism is the reverse.

"where everybody is equal and has the same opportunities and goals and everybody is given the means to acheive them?"

Given, not earned, being the issue - given from those who are capable, given to the requisite non ending needy. A free rider is the most virtuous person under your proposed system. A system that will decrease the availability and quality of any facet it offers. 'Means to achieve' is only compliant, only has meaning under capitalism, as achievement and personal freedom is destroyed under socialism - that is the goal for production, to be productive is not there.
Debate Round No. 1
kukupser

Pro

kukupser forfeited this round.
Puck

Con

Due to time constraints, my opponents R2 argument was posted via message, and is available via comments section.

"The point of socialism is to increase the quality of living for all..."

Incorrect - the standard of living raises par course the wealth of the nation; compare living standards pre and post Industrial revolution. Socialism is a system that systematically destroys sources of wealth - property rights are voided under socialism, you work not for yourself, production is wholly for a common pool and then distributed, regardless of level of input, meaning profits from ventures cannot be used to maintain their profitibality, nor for the continous cycle of new ones.

"As the country began to grow and prosper further, the "lowest denominator" would have a higher wage and better house and so forth."

Problem being it simply doesn't produce consistent wealth, it consumes it.

"North Korea is currently under the control of a dictator..."

You are attempting to define with non essentials and offer no alternative as to how a system would operate other than it does in North Korea - which uses the exact same principles you propose. Elected or dictatorial, the form of government is not an attribute per se of socialism, it is merely the form used to maintain it. Pay attention to your definition - political system is not a detailed requisite, i.e. non essential component.

"It seems you have confused socialism with a more extreme political ideaology, communism."

Until you provide a valid discernment between the two then no. Communism is an expression of socialism, vice versa.

Socialism is a "political-economic philosophy that is based on a democratically cooperative society in which the means and production and distribution are owned by the people."

Changing the agreed definition halfway through the debate is not really a good idea, but it's no issue. :) Again, the political system is not a component of socialism, it's merely the method of distribution, and more likely just the way it first gets implemented. Type of government is irrelevant to the core of ownership and control of means of production, capital, land etc. A democratic *controls* production different to a non democratic? No.

"Unions have won the rights to minimum wages and two week holidays, among other things, that you enjoy so much"

There is no such thing as a right to minimum wage. Minimum wage laws destroy capital investment, job opportunities, job growth, business growth.

"Also, socialism is a DEMOCRACY, not a dictatorship or a totalitarianistic state."

Political system is a non essential - you fail to detail how it changes absolutely anything.

"So your freedom is not owned by the state, as my opponent would have you beleive."

Under socialism, there are no property rights. Collective remember.

"If people are given a home, a job and a stable wage, they wouldn't be "free riding""

Given a home is not free riding? Strange definition you have. Home built by whom? Unpaid workers. Paid for by whom, where are all these free houses coming from? Those that produce wealth to pay for the materials, not those who have been given the home. That's free riding. What happens when there is not enough money to spend on new homes from the collective pool? They don't get built, older buildings are the norm, standards ever decrease.

"And the only reason a person is down so low in society is because their opportunities were stolen by capitalists..."

How does one steal an opportunity? It's clearly nonsensical. If someoene has a better set of attributes related to the requirements of a job they tend to be the ones to get it. What does that mean? A competition for skill acquirement, which means the level of ability rises, the use of ability rises, productive worth is higher, more profit is possible. Under capitalism it's in the business' best interest to hire the best suited person for whatever available job.

Under your system the reverse is true - there is no drive for skill acquirement there is simply position fulfillment per quota. There is no competitive drive for profit because profit is inherent in the productive value of the constituent employers and the capital investment of the owners. Since profit from a business doesn't remain to maintain and grow a business it simply fails.

"Hence the name capitalist."

capitale: "stock, property" the condition of having capital

"How is that stealing? It is merely taking back what was stolen from the people"

That makes it right? No. Also contradiction, stealing is not taking what was not their property?

Under your system, those who earn income are removed of that income, those who ran at a profit are now not. If you wanted to enact socialism, that requires the seizure of all current private worth, wealth, land, capital, investment, infrastructure etc. Not theft?

"which is the money they were screwed out of when they were working at the wealthy businesses for sub par wages."

They are more than welcome to try elsewhere, or gain requisite skills to be more competitive in a job market and thereby earn more money. Minimum wages cover on the whole low skill base jobs. If no one was willing to clean toilets for X wage, the wage for it would increase.

"I don't think taking back what is yours is theft, because as I said before, that money in those rich hands is ours."

You didn't earn it so no. You didn't provide the capital for the business to be available, so no. You didn't invest in building the infrastructure, so no. You didn't create the source of the job, so no.

"and to me, it seems you are advocating corruption, greed..."

It's frankly a farce to think you are owed all of a companies property because you are an employee. What is going to happen when it's realised free looting is now endorsed?

"That's another point that is positive, although you may pay higher taxes, you are getting that money back in other forms"

Those that benefit most from tax, are those that don't pay taxes. Those that can afford better education, health care etc. pay for it. Taxes are a form of theft.

"As said before, theft from the common worker is an abuse of the worker's rights"

Employees enter an agreement with an employer. It's not forced. Only if they violate a contract or law is there any issue

"Well it seems to me that recognizing individual rights is a key point in capitalism, and abusing those rights is another."

How?

"Socialism builds off of the people's wants and needs, not erodes them."

You can't build from that sort of need, which requires *only* to be taken from others and socialism always requires a needy class.

"Capitalism OVER-produces"

No. If a company over produces they run at a loss. It's bad for business.

"(this can cause reccessions and depressions, it can maintain wealth for a certain amount of time until a recession hits"

I'm assuming you are trying to describe inflation caused in part from the use of government subsidies - i.e. advocacy of one product over another - artificially raising wages, printing money causes the same (all governmentt action), which leads to devaluing the economy. Under capitalism price is set at the market value. Supply and demand.

"and increases wealth of the heartless people willing to backstab others"

Capitalsim does not promote 'backstabbing' - Individuals are free to deal with one another or not, per individual judgments, and interests. They can deal with one another via contractual agreement, by voluntary choice to mutual benefit. Not theft, not fraud.

"Socialism is a positive ideology that is not a dictatorship"

I never defined it as such.

Jewish kibbutz:
http://www.nytimes.com...
http://www.accessmylibrary.com...
http://www.boston.com...
Debate Round No. 2
kukupser

Pro

kukupser forfeited this round.
Puck

Con

Forfeits do not make rebuttals. A is A. :P

http://mises.org...

Read that if you become bored sometime. Also..

http://mises.org...
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by RoyLatham 7 years ago
RoyLatham
Con had better arguments because they recognized reality. Pro cited ideals and ignored the realities of accomplishing them. the realities have been amply demonstrated.
Posted by kukupser 7 years ago
kukupser
Ok so as I was typing this rebuttal, the start of round two, my time expired. This is unfortunate as it took a while to write and so i have posted it in the comments page and my opponent and the voters can choose whether to ignore this post or not. The rebuttal was split into three parts as it would not fit into one message so reading it may be a little awkward. I thank the readers and opponent if they accept this rebuttal as a valid one.
Posted by kukupser 7 years ago
kukupser
Capitalism OVER-produces (this can cause reccessions and depressions, it can maintain wealth for a certain amount of time until a recession hits (usually every 15 years, give or take) and increases wealth of the heartless people willing to backstab others and. Socialism is the reverse.

"A free rider is the most virtuous person under your proposed system."

Again, this "free riding" business has been sorted out.

Socialism is a positive ideology that is not a dictatorship as people say, it is based on the cooperation and trust of the people with their government.
Posted by kukupser 7 years ago
kukupser
prosperous, thus raising every citizen's quality of life. And the only reason a person is down so low in society is because their opportunities were stolen by capitalists, who capitalize on any opportunity to make money, no matter the outcome of their surroundings. Hence the name capitalist.

"By which you mean let's steal from those who bother to be productive and make them in essence slaves to the needs of those who do not."

How is that stealing? It is merely taking back what was stolen from the people, which is the money they were screwed out of when they were working at the wealthy businesses for sub par wages.

"Why is theft not ok you mean? You are advocating this after all."

I don't think taking back what is yours is theft, because as I said before, that money in those rich hands is ours, and to me, it seems you are advocating corruption, greed, taking advantage of others and doing anything possible to hold on to money that isn't yours.

"It is costed though - and paid through taxes."

That's another point that is positive, although you may pay higher taxes, you are getting that money back in other forms, maybe not a university, but medicare when you break your leg, lower car insurances and cell phone bills, etc...

"Itis not a valid excuse to violate another's rights."

As said before, theft from the common worker is an abuse of the worker's rights, and that's why unions are in place, to try and combat the abuse in the workplace.

"Capitalism is the only valid economic system compliant with the recognition of individual rights. Socialism - statism in general is designed to gradually erode and remove them all together. Capitalism produces, maintains and increases wealth, thereby the standard of living for all. Socialism is the reverse"

Well it seems to me that recognizing individual rights is a key point in capitalism, and abusing those rights is another. Socialism builds off of the people's wants and needs, not erodes them.
Posted by kukupser 7 years ago
kukupser
"If by characterised you mean the steady progression to a lowest denominator - then yes - equal opportunity when the only opportunities are just above the level of starvation or death, really doesn't mean much at all.."

The point of socialism is to increase the quality of living for all people, so even if the "Lowest denominator" theory was true, the lowest denominator wouldn't be all that low because the standards for living would be raised. As the country began to grow and prosper further, the "lowest denominator" would have a higher wage and better house and so forth.

"For the time it takes to finish looting those who are producers, at which point the system barely exists above basic subsistence farming. See, oh, North Korea."

North Korea is currently under the control of a dictator, who uses the country as his own personal playground. This condition of the country is not the fault of socialism, but of poor and corrupt leadership.

"Everyone is held back under socialism. That's its form of core tenants. Individual rights are not recognised - that is your life, your property, your freedom are no longer your own they are tools of state. The individual is subordinate to the whims of whoever is in power to the needs of a collective."

It seems you have confused socialism with a more extreme political ideaology, communism. Socialism is a "political-economic philosophy that is based on a democratically cooperative society in which the means and production and distribution are owned by the people." Unions have won the rights to minimum wages and two week holidays, among other things, that you enjoy so much. Also, socialism is a DEMOCRACY, not a dictatorship or a totalitarianistic state. So your freedom is not owned by the state, as my opponent would have you beleive. If people are given a home, a job and a stable wage, they wouldn't be "free riding", they would become an active part of their country and aid in building their country to make it even more
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by s0m31john 7 years ago
s0m31john
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Vote Placed by RoyLatham 7 years ago
RoyLatham
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