The Instigator
phosphatarian
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Numidious
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

capitalism

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Post Voting Period
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It's a Tie!
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/1/2012 Category: Economics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,190 times Debate No: 24520
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (12)
Votes (0)

 

phosphatarian

Con

the monetary system is capitalism's Achilles heel. that is because a monetary based economy can not last forever. computers and machines are taking over more and more jobs. it is estimated that in the coming years, human labor will no longer be necessary as robotics advance. if our jobs are being eliminated by machines then the monetary system will become obsolete because no one will make money in order to buy stuff. so we need to start moving away from a monetary based economy, otherwise we will suffer more unemployment until we destroy our society. according to physicist Michio Kaku, when scientists look for life outside of earth, they are looking for 3 different types of civilizations. they are called type 1,2 and 3 civilizations. however, we do not fit in this scale because we are not yet considered a civilization. our type of society is closer to a primitive cave man type of society than is to an advanced civilization. you could almost say that we are not yet civil enough to call ourselves a civilization, seeing as we still play by the same dog eat dog rules of the animal kingdom. the problem is that the transition from our society to a type 1 civilization is the most difficult because it requires us to work together for the common good rather than working for personal gain alone. in order for this transition to work, the power would have to be equally distributed to everyone rather than it being concentrated in the hands of a few as it is now. this scares the elite and may cause us to destroy ourselves before we can make the transition. this is why scientists believe that we havent discovered alien civilizations even though the math says we should have. so it may have been nearly impossible for alien cultures to make the transition, and in the process, they ended up destroying themselves before they could make the transition. but, we have no choice but to try to make the transition, because the advancements of mechanical labor are quickly rendering human labor obsolete. the sooner we start making the transition, the less suffering we will endure, and the better chance we have of avoiding the destruction of our species. and if we are able to make the transition from a monetary based economy, we will see a standard of living unlike any in our entire history.
Numidious

Pro

First of all, hello, and I look forward to a good debate! I'd like to see something better than capitalism arise, whatever that may be, but for now I'll play the devil's advocate.

We had better define some terms first...

Capitalism - Where individuals and corporations are in control of the means of production and distribution of wealth, or capital, and where capital (in the form of goods or money) may be invested in such corporations or producers and distributors if one so wishes.

Although no state exists where everything is controlled by individuals or corporations, I shall assume that the instigator is referring to those parts of first world democracies that are, in fact, capitalist. In America, this would be best exemplified in steel companies or textiles industry. I shall also refrain from using the state in any way to mend capitalism.

The instigator makes a vital and truthful point, that the rapid increase in technological advance has caused layoffs of workers. However, this fails to take into account one of the main factors that drives economics - ideas and thought. These are critically important, and occupy humans generally, technology thus does not replace us, but makes us more productive.

Think of it this way - those workers that are laid off from producing steel will not suddenly become idle. They may be engaged in programming those machines that have replaced them, repairing those machines etc. And if all those jobs are taken, even GREATER amounts of machines will be produced by the displaced who may begin their own businesses or learn to keep up in terms of programming. This may seem ridiculous, as you might suggest that not everyone can design/produce/program more of these machines, but as the necessity for education grows, education will grow. This is evident in the west, where an individual often must know how to use a computer than a job.

Thus innovation merely increases the output of humanity as a whole in terms of GDP per capita, as it increases the productivity of the individual. A programmer who works on ten machines is more productive than an individual who works at a manufacturing line. The manufacturing line, as a matter of fact, was more productive than merely making things step - by - step, but the key thing here is that those who had at one time worked step-by-step now work on manufacturing lines - competing (which is important in true capitalism) and thus keeping up with others.

Thus mechanisms created by humans, as they have done in the past, will inevitably raise our standard of living on a capitalist basis rather than lower it.

There is a lot to talk about in terms of whether capitalism is beneficial or not to the human species, and whether is will be or has been, so, since capitalism is the status quo, I will defend it rather than advance it, also because there is nothing to compare capitalism to suggested in the title, making it difficult to debate it's pros or cons.

I await your response.
Debate Round No. 1
phosphatarian

Con

computers are becoming more intelligent and are estimated to become as smart as humans eventually. as this process continues, all labor sectors will be taken over by intelligent machines. the idea that we will still need people to fix the machines is flawed because as time goes on, machines will be able to fix themselves and other machines. also, your idea that technology only makes us more productive proves my point that machines will eliminate the need for human labor because some day machines will be able to do anything humans can except more efficiently and machines wont require breaks. this could be a great thing on one hand because humans will be freed from labor but as the transition from a capitalist society to an equal society without social classes continues, more conflict between social classes is likely to occur. so to your idea that mechanisms will raise our standard of living rather than lower it, i would agree, as long as we move away from a monetary economy without destroying ourselves. either way, we have no choice but to continue the transition because technology wont wait for us and the longer we wait, the harder the transition will be.
if we make the transition, scientists predict a coming age of abundance. in this future civilization, humans have almost mastered science and are able to do things considered unimaginable by today's standards. no one goes hungry and we have everything we need because, machines are basically free slave labor producing all of our goods. i saw an episode of star trek once where a person from the past comes aboard the space ship and asks how they got the funding and resources to build something of that scale. the captain informed her that they dont use money anymore and that the old system almost destroyed their civilization. it may be scifi, but it is a good insight and a prediction that many people are beginning to recognize.
i would like to make it clear that i am not attacking the ethics or past effectiveness of any individual economic ideology that may be construed into a sub category of capitalism such as corporatism, socialism, or communism, i am arguing that no form of capitalism involving a monetary trade system will be able to survive through future technological advancements.
Numidious

Pro

Sorry, I thought that you were referring to pure capitalism! I was thinking that this one was going to be more difficult to debate. Monetarism is much easier to debate because money is nothing but a representation of capital. The fact that money exists, however, still necessitates private property if not the capitalist mode of production.

I would contend here that monetarism certainly can survive, and I would go further to say that it will remain necessary in the future. Money has existed since early times and among various societies (including the Soviet Union) for the simple reason that it is easy and easier to handle and, in fact, to distribute evenly! There are various solutions to the problem of workers, (that is, the people who don't do the inventing and aren't interested anyhow) being laid off. Remember, capitalism, referring to ownership of private property, will still exist for several reasons.

A) Machines cannot own themselves, they will thus be capital and private property.
B) No machine in the foreseeable future, or perhaps ever, will be able to create ideas of it's own.
C) People are inherently greedy, and that greed must be channelled correctly.

SOCIAL CREDIT

This was a large movement here in Canada a couple of decades ago. The idea of social credit was that wealth would be redistributed via capital gains and income taxes DIRECTLY to individuals. This way, there would be minimal bureaucracy AND maximum freedom. This social credit system originally pertained to the fact that workers' productivity was not paid to them in their wages, but it will work here. The amount of money would steadily increase and that money would be paid for whatever those workers needed, not ONLY solving poverty, wage slavery etc. but ALSO giving workers some incentive to earn more money via creativity etc., even though they will not have to.

Therefore the inventors and owners of businesses get money, but that money is channelled right back to the people, who will use it to consume the goods that those owners of businesses etc. produce. Innovation and competition remain, and you can live a bohemian life if you want, but there is still incentive to be richer.

STATE SOCIALISM

This is Soviet "Communism". Under this system, the state controls virtually all means of production via nationalization, and thus workers are employed by the state, regardless of whether it needs them or not. The evident tyranny involved here could be pacified by direct democracy, i.e. voting for an individual to own a certain government organization. Workers would become part of an organization, and would be paid accordingly. Workers are paid, but obviously will buy back from the state. Workers could be paid in various ways, one way could be that they obtain more money for ways they find of contributing to the overall welfare of the state. Thus Einstein is paid better than Joe Bloggs but at the same time Joe Bloggs will never be out of work, whether needed or not.

See comment
Debate Round No. 2
phosphatarian

Con

1. im referring to all types of caitalism.
2. you are obviously having a difficult time debating, seeing as you have made all of these claims in round 2 but you have not given any reasons or basis for why you believe it. in a sense you havent even been debating, you have just been stating your opinion and arrogantly expecting people to just have faith in what you say.
3. you act like society couldnt work without money but there are cultures and societies in the the past and present that dont use money at all. you even said yourself in the comments that you are in favor of a barter economy which still wouldnt work in a future civilization but it shows your hypocrisy.
4. the soviet union has nothing to do with what im talking about. you are using old conventional thinking.
5. a) society can own the machines in the future, it doesnt have to be individual ownership.
b) your claim that machines wont have creativity has no basis and therefore should be dismissed. many scientists disagree with you. there is a growing awareness of something called the technological singularity that is predicted. russia has even started a congressional committee dedicated to figuring out ways to deal with the impact that the singularity will have on society. its called russia 2045.
c) it doesnt matter what anyone thinks about the ethics of greed. there is no choice, either we adapt and have a great standard of living, or we ignore the fact that machines will eventually be able to take over our jobs leaving us poor which will probably lead to more conflict, if not the demise of our species.
6. once again, my argument isnt about the ethics of wage slavery or any of that, we simply have no choice. technology is rendering money obsolete.
7. incentives to be rich are cute ideas but it holds back technological advancement. that is why computer operating systems like windows always release updated versions of heir software that we must buy, rather than making it open source so that individuals can improve on it and share it for free. the internet is one of the first examples of how innovation is eliminating capitalism with things like media and software pirating and open source web browsers just to name a couple.
Numidious

Pro

Numidious forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
phosphatarian

Con

phosphatarian forfeited this round.
Numidious

Pro

I suppose I had better restate a few things I said in the comments...

"I'll respond to #s one and two first. Firstly, you incorrectly define capitalism as monetarism entirely. This is incorrect as "capitalism" necessitates investing, and this does not have to occur even if monetarism exists - i.e. the state pays you and you buy from the state, like in Soviet Russia.

Points a, b, and c were used to explain the ensuing methods of correcting capitalism. You said capitalism could not work in the future, I pointed out how I thought it could - I didn't "arrogantly expect everyone to believe" me, I stated how these systems would rectify (and thus maintain) capitalism.

Currency as an invention is useful because it is a good representation of capital. There are no industrialized nations that exist today that do not utilize this useful invention, and to say that it might work does not mean that it WILL work and be used in future.

As for society owning machines, this (and once more, I'm playing the devil's advocate) will not work because individuals are greedy and this drives competition, and thus progress - see points a, b, and c.

As for the singularity there is no credible proof that it will happen and even if machines did become conscious at some point they would still be property and those in possession of the machines would still be greedy, and that goes for anyone from individuals to the state to society. There is no reason to eliminate monetarism or capitalism because machines have become more advanced - capitalism merely has to be rectified using one of the methods I suggested, and it seems much more plausible that this will happen than that monetarism will be eliminated altogether and replaced by anarcho - syndicalism.

As for operating systems, microsoft and apple wouldn't even have been developed if not for greed - they were both begun as small businesses and for capitalist purposes.

What I am basically saying here is that monetarism can be maintained (and will be maintained) through various methods, mostly using government, as it always has. The methods (summarized above) would mean that money would still exist, in fact, under social credit, capitalism and investment would still exist, and society would not collapse.

I'll repeat the solution I listed that will fix both capitalism and monetarism.

SOCIAL CREDIT

Companies control the robots, employ as few employees as necessary, everything (including individual enterprise) continues as normal, only businesses pay 90% corporate tax or something along those lines (remember, they're still making bundles of money off of selling products/services) and this money is redistributed directly to the people, who pay for services/products etc. This way private enterprise remains, individuals still have to be economical and pay for what they get and incentive remains.

If incentives hold back advancement, why does our capitalist/incentive based system work?
Debate Round No. 4
phosphatarian

Con

you shouldnt get caught up on labels because your idea of capitalism could be entirely different from someone elses. for instance you are arguing for capitalism while offering up solutions that most people would consider to be socialist and that doesnt really help an argument for capitalism. this doesnt surprise me because not only do you call yourself a socialist on your profile but you have told me that you agree with my side in the comments and you keep saying that you are just playing devils advocate.

currency is useful if people are wage earners, but if machines take over all the jobs, then there will be no wage earners so the system must change from the current economy.

obviously all industrialized nations use currency, technology isnt advanced enough for the economic transition.

the fact that there are greedy people with money is the reason we might end up destroying ourselves rather than making the transition. either way, there will be no room for wage earning jobs when machines advance. the proof for a technological singularity is all around you. your average person or even poor people today have a better standard of living than royalty did in the middle ages due to innovations. if you went back a hundered yrs ago, many people wouldnt believe that people would be walking around with a wireless cell phone getting on the internet, so you cant just underestimate technology by claiming that this stuff isnt possible.

i know that greed played a role in microsofts development, but once innovators achieve success, they tend to play money games a lot with their products. you must understand that im not claiming that capitalism isnt working, im saying that its time is coming to an end because of human advancements. so our success is putting us out of work and no work doesnt mix with capitalism.

in conslusion, i want to stress that i am not against capitalism as my opponet who advocates socialism seems to be. i am only stating that humans are evolving and that our system will evolve with us. this isnt something i nessecarily want, but there is no choice. i know that a lot of people will just vote based on pre concieved notions but i dont think you can vote for someone who tells their opponet that they agree with them and still have a clear conscious. please help me by voting for con. even if you disagree with me, atleast recognize that my opponet made no points, and gave no reasons for his opinions.

thank you.
Numidious

Pro

Social Credit is certainly not socialist! It's one of the many ideas put forward by capitalists in order to rectify what is wrong with pure capitalism! The fact that I am playing the devil's advocate in this debate does not change the quality of my debating in any way - I encourage you to do the same.

You really shouldn't say you're not against capitalism when that's what we're debating... But I'll assume that you originally intended to debate the following...

Capitalism - an economic system in which investment in and ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange of wealth is made and maintained chiefly by private individuals or corporations, especially as contrasted to cooperatively or state-owned means of wealth.

rather than currency, which is entirely different. The above certainly does not preclude government intervention in order to rectify it, as you agreed earlier in the debate, allowing me to mention how capitalism will be solved in future.

I'm not saying that robots becoming creators of inventions and such is impossible, but I think that the Social Credit system of taxing and redistributing wealth whilst maintaining capitalism and private enterprise will be the solution used rather than the much more radical one of ending capitalism altogether. Money games allocate resources better and thus move the economy forward.

Nice dramatic ending, by the way, but it is incorrect to say I made no points. The following points I made will be summarized here...

Con - Capitalism doesn't work because machines will take all the jobs
Pro - Machines must still be owned by people, programmers will still be needed, private enterprise will merely expand and we'll become more productive.
Con - But what happens when machines even make themselves and program themselves? I didn't say you had to go for pure libertarian capitalism, only the use of capital.
Pro - Alright, in the far future wealth could be redistributed directly to the people, people who want advancement can own businesses, people will still be needed for ideas but mostly people will live off government distributed money, private property, investment etc. will still exist however.
Con - Money hasn't always been used
Pro - But in industrialized societies it is

and from there we kind of got off topic. But, although I am playing the devil's advocate and I don't think that changes the strength of my points in any way, I think that pro should probably have answered my rectifications for capitalism and gone deeper into the definition of capitalism itself. Is capitalism currency? Investment?

I enjoyed the debate and thought that the opposition had good ideals and thoughts in mind, although towards the end I thought that their argument became weaker.

Regardless, I thank the opposition for an excellent debate, and hope that voters vote with me for the strength of my debate rather than be biased by my actual opinions.
Debate Round No. 5
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Numidious 4 years ago
Numidious
I'm enjoying playing the devil's advocate here... Not often I defend capitalism or even debate monetarism.
Posted by phosphatarian 4 years ago
phosphatarian
Ok well I didn't post a response.
Posted by Numidious 4 years ago
Numidious
If I don't respond for a round, then that round is forfeited. I did not necessarily know when I left that I would certainly be leaving the debate. As for my profile ideology, I have none specifically. I don't think I know the answer - maybe I would have said I supported Social Credit if it had been there.

I'll respond to #s one and two here. Firstly, you incorrectly define capitalism as monetarism entirely. This is incorrect as "capitalism" necessitates investing, and this does not have to occur even if monetarism exists - i.e. the state pays you and you buy from the state, like in Soviet Russia.

Points a, b, and c were used to explain the ensuing methods of correcting capitalism. You said capitalism could not work in the future, I pointed out how I thought it could - I didn't "arrogantly expect everyone to believe" me, I stated how these systems would rectify (and thus maintain) capitalism.

I agree with your side of the debate but I think you'll have to criticize my rectifications of capitalism if we're to move forward...

I'll respond when my next round comes up anyway.
Posted by phosphatarian 4 years ago
phosphatarian
you started a debate knowing you would be leaving? what happens if you dont respond a round? im new to this site. also, did you change your profile ideology since the debate started? ill respond to your argument when i get more time.
Posted by Numidious 4 years ago
Numidious
There are five rounds so we'll have plenty of time to continue.
Posted by Numidious 4 years ago
Numidious
Thank you, this is interesting. Unfortunately I am going to be away for three days, so I may not be able to commence the debate. You needn't respond twice to anything I have said - I'll be back!
Posted by phosphatarian 4 years ago
phosphatarian
thanks for viewing the debate everyone and thanks to my opponent for accepting my challenge to my first debate here.
Posted by Numidious 4 years ago
Numidious
Anyhow, the argument is for or against what I presume to be the modern form of capitalism. I enjoy playing the devil's advocate, so I shall presently debate in support of modern capitalism.
Posted by Numidious 4 years ago
Numidious
Well, in a small scale society I think a barter system wouldn't be such a bad idea - it would be true capitalism as competition would be involved rather than corporate capitalism, which I find to be monopolizing and at times almost monarchical. A lot of economics, in my opinion, does deal with the specific society that you are dealing with and how it works. Planned capitalism is where capitalists are in control of the production but government has a say in terms of how resources are allocated, in terms of infrastructure etc. Incidentally planned capitalism, or socialstic capitalism, is the only form of government that has ever really existed and worked well. Ancient Rome was substained by public works and private enterprise.

At the same time there is not reason that, in a newly developing society, co-operative syndicates couldn't be formed that would trade and barter with one another whilst controlling those resources.

But for the sake of this debate, I'll assume that we're talking about the 21st century first world, and I'll support planned capitalism. This doesn't mean that co-operative enterprise cannot exist within that, though.
Posted by nyyfan 4 years ago
nyyfan
What do you suggest, because I'm guessing it isn't a barter system you are after?
No votes have been placed for this debate.