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Most big cities in Northern Europe and the Americas are not really cities but a commercial cesspool

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/5/2013 Category: Places-Travel
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,184 times Debate No: 38402
Debate Rounds (5)
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I think most big cities in those areas are not true cities, but a giant commercial cesspool. Mind you the architecture is impressive, but it's not charming.


Here is a definition of city found on The Free Dictionary:

1. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) any large town or populous place

Yes, there is much advertising and commercialism done in big cities. But that is because of the large population, not the effect of it. Cities build up after a long period of time, due to several reasons. Once these areas are populated, companies advertise and commercialize within these borders; there's nothing wrong with this, because it's called capitalism.

But middle and smaller-sized towns utilize advertising as well, but on a much smaller scale. Everywhere you look, there are businesses; the difference is that these companies are larger in bigger cities than smaller.

Commercialism is found in virtually every civilized place. Small-town car dealers advertise their honesty and 'how well their cars run'. Restaurants in medium-sized towns put up billboards, hand out flyers, etc. to try to get people to come in and have a taste of their food. And companies in large cities advertise on much larger scales.

Large cities are not commercial cesspools. Virtually every town, no matter how big or small, has some form of commercialism; the amount of commercialism, though, is factored by the population. Large cities are no more commercial cesspools than any other town on the face of the Earth.
Debate Round No. 1


OK, sorry I think what I meant to say was cities in Northern Europe and North America in general, regardless of size. But yeah, since the tragedy of imperialism and commercialism as a result happened in Denmark, England, Sweden, and later North America, cities in all of those countries tend to not be cities with culture (though that's a subjective term), like cities in Spain, France, India, China.


Is you argument that commercialism is bad for cities - because, in my opinion, it isn't. Commercialism is just a way to allow companies to maximize profits, which - in turn - boosts the economy. If this is your argument, I am against it.
But as I said, a largely-populated city wasn't created through commercialism. It was created through natural factors, like its vicinity to a water supply. After a large-enough population has moved in, commercialism takes place.
Cities of all sorts utilize commercialism; I wouldn't call it a cesspool, however. It is factored by the population.
Debate Round No. 2


Actually I'm not saying commercialism is bad. Innovation is good. Cars, electricity, medicine. What I am trying to say is that a good majority of corporatism is sorta rooted in imperialism, from the empires like England, Denmark and Sweden. Many companies such as IKEA, from Sweden, can sorta be the modern day Swedish East India Company (since Sweden did try to conquer India, but wasn't successful at it as say England). To me a majority of the elitist, yes I say elitist, big cities, tend to have that commercial cesspool quality. Corruption. Whatnot.

I mean come, a city like Atlanta, New York, Bristol or a city in Denmark has nothing on a city like Paris or Rome or Beijing or Tokyo.

In a way, while corporatism isn't bad in and of itself, some companies have deep roots in imperialism.


It sounds like, to me, that you are basing your argument off of assumption rather than fact. Your argument is also flawed by the use of stereotypes. Let me explain.

Here is a definition of imperialism found on The Free Dictionary:

The policy of extending a nation's authority by territorial acquisition or by the establishment of economic and political hegemony over other nations.

I can see what you trying to get at with comparing imperialism and commercialism. However, there is a better word for it. It's called capitalism:

An economic system in which the means of production and distribution are privately or corporately owned and development is proportionate to the accumulation and reinvestment of profits gained in a free market.

Companies are simply trying to maximize profits and extend their influence in the business world. This isn't corrupt; this is simply what companies do. Sure, some companies will cheat and lie and break the rules of business, but you can't say that this is the majority. You can't say a majority of people are corrupt, you can't say a majority of governments are corrupt, and you certainly cannot say that a majority of companies are corrupt. I think this is where you made an assumption.

Now, I don't understand why you have limited our argument to North America and Northern Europe; companies around the world try the same tactics to try to maximize profits. Sure, some cities have more advertising than others - but that has to do with the economic situation. Take Beijing for example. It's in China - a communist nation. Of course their aren't going to be as many adverts, because the government owns everything!

And Tokyo has just as much advertising as New York; I don't know where you got this from.

Paris and Rome; the companies there utilize the same tactics as IKEA and other such companies.

So, to me, your argument is based off of a hunch. Just because some companies are more successful than others does not mean that it is imperialistic - it means they are doing what business just naturally does: maximize profits. It has been doing that since the dawn of time, and will continue to do that. It is not corrupt; it's natural. At least, a MAJORITY of companies are not corrupt.

I also want to address the fact that you called big cities 'elitist'. I don't know where you live, but I live real close to Atlanta. Let me say that some people in that city are rich, and could be put into the category of 'elitist' - however, there are a lot more low and middle-income people living within the city. A MAJORITY of the city is not elitist; it is just those who live in the high-rises that can be described this way.
Debate Round No. 3


I'm not talking about capitalism. I'm talking about imperialism. Competition is healthy. And commercialism isn't bad. But like I said, success is good. What I'm saying is some companies can be corrupt though. And some big cities, and countries in general tend to have elitist nature to them. Also some building projects are funded, not by people, but by bureaucrats trying to show off. MetroTech in Brooklyn is a nice example of our tax dollars being put to waste.
Some companies, you can't deny, have the same nature of the East India Companies.


This debate is very confusing. However, I will try my best to reason with you.

I beleive that you are basing your 'elitest' comments based on stereotypes rather than actual fact. Take Sweden, as you've mentioned, as an example. Yes, in the States we have an image of elitism in our minds - but the fact is that a mjority of people in that nation are not elitists but are regular people. The same is for cities - like New York - and people of diffrent groups. Your ideas of elitism are based off of stereotypes.

Okay, let's look at how you refered to MetroTech as being funded corruptly. The decision to grant money to establish that foundation had to be decided by some form of legistalitve meeting - like a local, state, or national congress - since it involves tax money. These bureaucrats you are reffering to had to apply for this grant.

Now, they obviously passed and funded the grant. As much as you might hate the idea of your tax money being spent on this, the government sees a purpose for it; they must have some reason to approve it. And, seeing as how these congressional leaders were elected by the people, it isn't corruption - it is simply a matter of opinion.

Confusing, I know - but what I'm trying to point out is that these folks that approved the grant were elected by the people for their wisdom, their ideals, and how they would vote on certain issues. Since this congress is a representaion of what the people want, it is not corrupt. It is fair. You might not like the idea, but others may see a purpose behind it. You are basing your argument on opinion.

Now, the East India Companies were obviously not a decision made by a represantion of the people; they were decided on by members of a royal family. Although tax money went into these projects, the people had no say in what they wanted. This is why you cannot compare modern commercialism to the East India Companies or even imperialism.

And SOME companies can be corrupt, but all are not. Not ALL governments are corrupt, not ALL people are corrupt. And not ALL companies are corrupt. SOME will lie and cheat and steal, but this isn't the majority; a majority of companies do what's right. A majority of companies extend their influence and maximize profits in ways that aren't corrupt, but are rather related to capitalism.

Your argument is based on sterotype and opinion.
Debate Round No. 4


Fair enough. I end my discussion.


I end my discussion as well. Let the voters decide who REALLY won this debate.
Debate Round No. 5
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1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: It's Pro's job as instigator to write a clear resolution and then prove the resolution is correct. Pro kept trying to define what he meant, but never succeeded. It's not plausible that, say, New York is not a "real city." Pro's examples didn't help. Tokyo is known for both commercialism and gigantic public building projects, but Pro puts that in the opposite category. It's not possible to prove something that's undefined. Arguments to Con.