The Instigator
Pro (for)
The Contender
Con (against)

Anarcho-capitalism would turn into anarcho-communism or socialism given enough time

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Debate Round Forfeited
victordr has forfeited round #4.
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/15/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 548 times Debate No: 98083
Debate Rounds (4)
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Con may begin their argument in round 1 if they so wish, but if they do, they must waive round 4 and say something like "I'm waiving this round as agreed upon" since I am not using round 1 for debate. This is to keep the amount of rounds used for debate even.

Otherwise, begin your argument in round 2 after I've done so.

Debate structure will be this:
Round 1: Acceptance
Round 2: Main argument
Round 3: Rebuttals
Round 4: Conclusion/reasons why you believe you won
If my opponent uses round 1 for main argument, it would be the same thing but move everything up a round, delete acceptance, and round 4 is the waiving of the round.

All mainstream definitions of socialism and capitalism will be accepted.


As agreed, I will only accept in the first round.
Debate Round No. 1


Capitalism is typically defined as "private ownership of the means of production". It is my opinion that the state is necessary to protect the private ownership of the means of production, because it makes sense.

If we have an anarchist capitalist society, who exactly is going to protect a business owner's business? It has to be the business owner themselves typically, or perhaps a privately-run police force that they hired. Without the state however, there is no limit on what weaponry citizens can use. As it is today, there are limits put out there by the government on what a citizen can and can't use, for example in most states it's illegal to have a fully-operational tank. While you can own a tank, the weapons system has to be offline. In an anarcho-capitalist society there is no such law.

Plus, even if the business owner has a privately-run police force, it's not like that police force has authority to lock people up in jail or prison, as there is no state to make such laws.

So, what I'm getting at is the workers would eventually take the business from the business owners. There are more workers than there are business owners, so the workers have numbers on their side. In addition, since there would be no limit on weaponry, they would also have an even playing field in terms of that, since they could in theory get access to weapons military has, and they don't necessarily have to buy any, just steal some since there is no state to protect private property. If the arms factory has a police force, well, all you have to do is sneak past them and get to the tanks, and then you'd likely win against that police force.

So, a state is absolutely necessary to maintain capitalism, as the state protects private property. If you get rid of them, who protects private property now? There's no reason why the workers would willingly work for a company any more since, why would they do that when they could get more money if they owned the company themselves and made it worker-controlled? The business owner only takes a percentage of the profits, which could be going to the workers if there was no single business owner. Plus, workers would probably not want to submit themselves to working under a business owner who controls an aspect of their lives. The only reason workers do today is because of the state gets in the way.

The state has done several things to also make it worthwhile for workers to work under someone, such as a minimum wage, requirement for some jobs to offer health insurance plans, basic environmental regulations, safety regulations, etc. However, if you get rid of the state, all of those incentives for workers to work under someone go away. Just look at what the 1800s were like: terrible working conditions, hardly any pay, terrible safety conditions(need I bring up the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire?) etc. Those are the conditions business owners would make the workers work under since it's more profitable to do so(as it takes more money to give workers a livable wage, to make sure safety is a priority and to regulate oneself's own business). Such conditions like that would only last so long before workers would rise up, and without a state to make minimum wage laws, regulations on the business, or even a state to protect the business owners private property rights etc they have to do it themselves and force the employer to comply or else get rid of the employer completely and take control of the business themselves, which would result in an anarcho-communist society or a libertarian socialist one.

While someone may be able to argue that a privately-run police force would protect business owner's rights, who protects the business owner of the privately run police force's rights? Why wouldn't the workers of the privately run police force also rise up against the owner of the police force? Again, there's no state to make sure the workers of that police force have good working conditions, a minimum wage, etc, so it would again default to what the 1800s were like and eventually the police would rise up against the police business owner, thus the police workers would see a reason why all businesses should be structured in a way where the workers own the business, and probably wouldn't defend other business owners, and they may even help the workers of that business instead.


I agree with the following parts so they are taken out of the debate:
Some people will accumulate more.
There will be private armies.
Some people will have almost nothing/will live in terrible conditions.

What pro fails to consider is that wealth will need lees people to generate and protect with the development of technology. Robots will help the wealthy create more wealth and to protect it.

Two consequences arise from this: (i) there will be few and highly specialized workers that could rebel, (ii) there would be 0 interest to attack people who have nothing.

From these consequences, it follows that: there would be few people to rebel or they would have little real power.

1. Few and highly specialized workers

To run all the technology, the wealthy will need highly specialized workers that will be relatively well paid. They have 3 reasons not to rebel: (i) small numbers, (ii) small chances of success and (iii) a lot to lose.

First, it was established that few workers would be needed because of the advancement of technology. This happened with the industrial revolution and it is happening again at a larger scale now [1].

Second, because of small numbers and well guarded wealth, any rebellion will have minuscule chances of success. This is why even with a strong state we have fewer unions and the CEOs reign supreme. The rich have nothing to fear from the workers (military or otherwise).

Third, by computing success rate with what they stand to lose (well paid job) the workers will not want to rebel.

2. Poor people no longer have any power

Because of brute force, scarcity, disease and disinformation, poor people will have neither the will, nor the means to rebel.

3. Rich people have no interest to create a strong state

The rich have sufficient workers and technology to guard their wealth. They would have no interest to create a strong state.

From (i), (ii) and (iii), it follows that in anarcho-capitalism nobody has the will or the means to create a strong state. The motion is rejected.


Debate Round No. 2


My opponent's entire argument hinges on the idea that technology is replacing jobs and thus causing very few workers who would be able to rebel.

Interestingly enough, my opponent ignored an article that was linked to in the article they used as a source. In fact, my opponent ignored all available evidence that suggests the contrary of what my opponent is arguing for, which is a cherry-picking fallacy[1]. In the article that my opponent chose to ignore, it points out that the idea that technology gets rid of jobs is malarchy. It shows a graph of the unemployment rate in the United Kingdom, and shows when new technologies came out. There is no correlation between the unemployment rate and the technologies coming out over the past several decades,[2] which if technology was causing unemployment, there would be correlation. In addition, they point out that employers don't have an interest in only staying small, they always want to grow their business. While robots can replace some jobs, they can't replace all jobs and some people would still be needed. Thus, the company would expand because productivity is up from having more robots, and that then creates more jobs. [2]

The article that my opponent linked to has many issues with it because it doesn't establish causation and ignores evidence to the contrary, which is again a cherry-picking fallacy, but this time on the part of the writers of that article. First, it makes a quick assumption that because the unemployment rate is higher than it should be right now, that it's because of technology. However, it provides no direct causation, and ignores the fact that there can be other reasons why the unemployment rate is staying higher than it should be. Then, it ignores the fact that technology creates new jobs, such as when it claimed that "some 47% of present jobs in the US could be computerized in the next 10 to 20 years, according to an Oxford University study published in 2013." They ignore the jobs that would be created by computerization, which could be equal to or greater than the jobs lost by computerization.

In addition my opponent claimed that the industrial revolution resulted in the loss of jobs, but this is also a deceptive claim. While it is true that certain jobs were no longer needed and those jobs were lost, other careers went up in demand. In fact in a study by economists at the consultancy Deloitte, they examined the number of jobs that have been lost since 140 years ago due to technology, and the jobs created by technology. The jobs created by technology outnumbered the jobs lost by technology. [3]

All technology does is change which jobs people do, it doesn't get rid of the total number of available jobs. It gets rid of the undesirable jobs and produces more desirable jobs.

While I could have argued that technology only creates jobs and presented only evidence of that, that would also have been fallacious. The truth is a combination of the two: it destroys some jobs, and creates other jobs. It just so happens that it creates other jobs at a higher rate than it destroys the old jobs, however.

Next, my opponent argued that business owners would pay the few workers out there very well. But what evidence is there to suggest this? History shows that business owners will pay the minimum amount necessary to their workers, in order to keep as much of the profits as they can possibly keep for themselves. Again, just look at the 1800s when wages were terrible, working conditions were terrible, etc. The only reason these conditions are better is because the government set a minimum wage and many business regulations. The business owners wouldn't fix these problems, otherwise they would have done it some time in the hundreds of years we had capitalism without any government interference, but they didn't. History is not on my opponent's side. Also, if the scenario my opponent suggested is true, then the workers can't do anything about the business owner paying them so little or not providing a safe work environment, because there would be a high unemployment rate and plenty of people to replace them with who'd be desperate enough to work the lower pay and go through an unsafe work environment in order to survive to buy food. Eventually, those people may also demand a higher pay, but without the government, the business owner can then just fire them again and hire new people desperate enough to work for them.

Finally, my opponent argued that the rich have no interest to create a strong state, but this is also not true. First, my opponent said "The rich have sufficient workers and technology to guard their wealth." But the workers are not reliable to guard their wealth, as workers can strike, or even overthrow the business owner. You would have to explain how technology guards wealth though, I don't see how it does. At any rate, the rich would be interested in a strong state because it's often the state that bails out the rich companies instead of letting them fail(no business owner wants to fail, so they would want a state to bail them out), why wouldn't a wealthy person be in favor of a state that won't let them fail?. It's the state that guarantees them to have private property as well and protects it.

Now, if what my opponent argued for was true, it doesn't exactly change anything. If technology was to cause a sharp increase in unemployment as my opponent implied, then there would also be a decline in business owners because they can't find people to sell their product to, since no one, or very few, would have a job earning money to buy their products. Thus, many more would go out of business. It's simple economics: if there is no one to buy your product, you go out of business. If all business owners did somehow replace all or most of the jobs with robots, then no one or very few people would be able to buy the business owner's products, and the businesses would die. Since the businesses would die, that means there's no more private ownership of the means of production, and capitalism is destroyed once more. So, even if what my opponent suggested was true(which as I pointed out it doesn't seem to be true), it would still result in the destruction of capitalism and the remnants of civilization would probably establish a non-capitalist society, one that is more worker-oriented in order to avoid that happening again.



Pro offers an interesting point concerning the so called creation of jobs. However his point ignores the idea that (i) money is totally irrelevant, (ii) wealth concentrates, (iii) new "jobs" are irrelevant for our debate and (iv) technology assures both wealth and security for the rich. In the end power created by technology and resources prevents any Marxist revolution.

I.Money is irrelevant
Pro states that the rich will "need" the poor to sell them goods so they can in turn obtain money. This is a basic misconception about money: that they are good to have per se. Actually it is important what you can buy with the said money. 1000 Botswana Pula is only 92.54 $.
In the extreme, if one person has the last bowl of rice and the rest of the world has all the money, the money is worthless and the price for the last bowl of rice is infinity. Therefore, having all/almost all the resources, the rich don't need to sell anything to the poor because their money will become worthless.

II.Wealth concentrates
We both agreed that wealth concentrates and that people will tend to live miserably (this being at the core of Pros argument for revolt). By accepting that wealth concentrates in the long run Pro is accepting that resources and not money (see argument above) go mainly to the rich.
The supposed revolt of the poor can't take place with total lack of resources. If Pro were right, all failed states would be egalitarian. In fact, failed states have few rich people and a majority that have nothing. This shows that once a certain level of resources is reached, it is self sufficient and can be protected.

III.New "jobs" are irrelevant for our discussion
While it is true that technology creates new jobs, they are not relevant for our discussion. Facebook needs fewer skilled workers to create wealth than a car factory. The so called "new jobs" like social media expert or blogger do not involve transfer of wealth to workers. Any money received by a "new job" is less than what traditional direct jobs receive and will not offset the concentration of wealth in the hands of the rich.

IV.Technology assures both wealth and security for the rich
Theoretically speaking you would need 1000 spear-men to guard your domain. Then 100 archers would be sufficient. 10 men with machine-guns would then be sufficient to guard an estate. In the end, with surveillance and some drones, no humans would be needed.
The same goes for the factory, for the finances and for storing the resources. Automation first reduces the number of people needed and then it eliminates them altogether. Any other jobs created are not relevant for the creation of wealth and will not prevent its concentration.

Robots don't have unions and don't rebel. They only break down and they can be repaired by other robots or replaced. No workers needed. Maybe the robots would raise against their masters, but this is a topic for another debate. The motion should be dismissed.
Debate Round No. 3


As I stated, this round will be used for conclusion and reasons why you won. We can restate arguments here but no new arguments.

To restate what I have stated:
1) Business owners will not have people protecting their private property rights under an anarchist society, which can lead to people taking it by force.
2) The state has done things to make it worthwhile for business owners to maintain a state, such as bail them out when they fail. They have also done things worthwhile for the poor, such as minimum wage, safety regulations, evironmental regulations, etc. Without it, it's more likely the poor will revolt.
3) Robots will not replace all jobs like my opponent stated, and I provided facts showing this
4) I attacked my opponent for using a cherry-picking fallacy, as well as their article for using it as well.
5) I refuted the claim that my opponent made that the industrial revolution resulted in the loss of jobs
6) I refuted the claim that my opponent made that wages will go up under capitalism, since they were generally terrible in the 1800s and didn't really start going up until the government stepped in
7) I argued that the points in round 2 which my opponent offered would actually result in the destruction of capitalism because if technology did replace all jobs, then there would be no one to buy the products of the rich(as they no longer have jobs) and the rich would have their businesses go out of business.

I believe that I have won this debate because I brought up logical points because right now, the only thing protecting private property rights is the state, and if we removed it, there would be no one to protect them. I also refuted all of the claims my opponent made in round 2, which my opponent didn't counter most of these points in round 3. The basis of my opponent's argument in round 2 would still result in the destruction of capitalism as I pointed out. My opponent claims that money and jobs were irrelevant in round 3, even though they brought it up to begin with in round 2, so according to them, their points in round 2 were irrelevant. My opponent claimed that there would be no resources that the poor own, but this is simply a weak argument since there are resources the poor gets today. Even if they didn't have resources, they can steal them(there's no way to guarantee that they won't be stolen)
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Debate Round No. 4
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