Instigator
Points: 7

Capitalism is the superior ideology to socialism

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After 1 vote the winner is ...
CARay
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Economics
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Points: 3
Description
A debate on whether capitalism is a superior ideology to socialism
Round 1
Published:
For this debate I intend to measure Socialism by metrics that can be empirically evaluated. Not emotional and knee-jerk biases against the globally dominant ideology of capitalism. I will also mention as a preface that the bulk of my arguments are intended against the original ideology of socialism, not modern socialism which is a heavily watered-down variant of the ideology that is combined with capitalism. I assert that “modern socialism” is not true socialism as it is not what Marx and Engels intended, although I do not count this an exoneration from its true socialist roots and the flaws that modern socialism inherits from the pure ideology.

The first metric I will apply is that of longevity and economic vitality. Socialist states are not prevalent in today’s world. And many modern states that claim to be “socialist” are economically turbulent at best, which of course results in them being socially turbulent as well—a well-cited example could be Venezuela. Also, most modern socialist states incorporate capitalist elements into their economies, one example could be China. Socialism is historically proven to fail, collapse, or—either to prevent its own total demise, or find a path to power through democratic means—interlace with capitalist economic apparatuses, subsequently becoming a bastardized and “cherry-picked” ideology that is not “pure” socialism and is part capitalism anyway, and therefore not the “pure” socialism of Marx and Engels and an ideology that is perpetually at the mercy of the global economic winds of capitalism—ultimately rendering it the inferior ideology.

The second metric is social order. One of the most common arguments against capitalism is that capitalism has resulted in the displacement and death of people. This is true. However, so has socialism—I would argue that socialism has done so to a far more heinous degree. The three bloodiest leaders in history: Mao, Stalin and Hitler were all socialists. Very disturbing, a large proportion of the deaths attributed to these leaders were their own citizens (with the exception of Hitler if we assume that people living under Nazi occupation were not citizens of the Third Reich). Both ideologies have blood on their hands, this is indisputable; but it seems to me, at least, that socialism is blood soaked than capitalism. The colour that socialism invokes on its flags and in its general symbolism is well chosen. Historically speaking, “pure socialist” parties seem to require totalitarian political practises to maintain themselves in power, often following a bloody revolution. This, of course, means that socialism often finds itself being antithetical to democracy, freedom of speech, and civil liberties, which in turns leads to revolutions, or counter-revolutions, that tear the ideology from power, an example of this is what happened across the Eastern Bloc in the eighties and early nineties.

All in all, socialism is a system that, subjectively, may look good on paper, but is historically proven to be impossible to implement without the curtailment of civil liberties and impossible to sustain long-term without capitalist invocation.

Published:
For this debate I intend to measure Socialism by metrics that can be empirically evaluated. Not emotional and knee-jerk biases against the globally dominant ideology of capitalism.
I can agree to that, just make sure you don't resort to similar biases against the highly misunderstood and yet to be tested theory of socialism.

I will also mention as a preface that the bulk of my arguments are intended against the original ideology of socialism, not modern socialism which is a heavily watered-down variant of the ideology that is combined with capitalism. I assert that “modern socialism” is not true socialism as it is not what Marx and Engels intended, although I do not count this an exoneration from its true socialist roots and the flaws that modern socialism inherits from the pure ideology.
Very good, you seem to have some actual understanding of what Socialism is.

The first metric I will apply is that of longevity and economic vitality. Socialist states are not prevalent in today’s world. And many modern states that claim to be “socialist” are economically turbulent at best, which of course results in them being socially turbulent as well—a well-cited example could be Venezuela
You just got finished claiming that you would not conflate "modern" socialism( semi-capitalist with the state owning most of the means of production) with "real" socialism (collective ownership of the means of production). Now you are using a "modern" socialist country as an example of why "real" socialism is economically unstable. Real Socialism, much like a true capitalist free market, has never actually existed on earth.

 Also, most modern socialist states incorporate capitalist elements into their economies, one example could be China.
China is less Socialist than the USA. They are very, very capitalist in practice despite their claims that they are Communist and they have less social programs than the US plus they have a centralized economy which is often mistaken for Socialism but is in fact the exact opposite of Socialism.

or find a path to power through democratic means
 Real Socialism is by definition democratic, because it's all about community based decision making and equality.

the “pure” socialism of Marx and Engels and an ideology that is perpetually at the mercy of the global economic winds of capitalism—ultimately rendering it the inferior ideology.
There was a time when the exact same kind of argument could be made about Capitalism's relationship to Monarchy/Feudalism. Socialism is the next step and when the true Socialism comes it will render Capitalism obsolete just as Capitalism rendered Monarchy obsolete.

One of the most common arguments against capitalism is that capitalism has resulted in the displacement and death of people. This is true. However, so has socialism
But it's not real Socialism though, remember?


 "The three bloodiest leaders in history: Mao, Stalin and Hitler were all socialists."

Actually they where fascists, which is literally the precise opposite of Socialism. They had a mostly centralized economy and a stratified society whereas socialism has a collectivized economy and an egalitarian society.

Historically speaking, “pure socialist” parties seem to require totalitarian political practises to maintain themselves in power, often following a bloody revolution. This, of course, means that socialism often finds itself being antithetical to democracy, freedom of speech, and civil liberties
Looks like I was wrong, you have no idea what Socialism even is. Everything you said is propaganda mate, you should question why your Capitalist and authority-loving society wants you to think these things about a system based on stopping the upper class from taking advantage of you.



Round 2
Published:
Thanks for you for your response, I see little reason to respond to the first two points you made.

Let’s get something out of the way; in my opening paragraph I said: “the bulk of my arguments are intended against the original ideology of socialism, not modern socialism which is a heavily watered-down variant of the ideology that is combined with capitalism. I assert that “modern socialism” is not true socialism as it is not what Marx and Engels intended, although I do not count this an exoneration from its true socialist roots and the flaws that modern socialism inherits from the pure ideology.” Nowhere in that passage do I say that I won’t be going after modern socialism as well—I am simply observing that modern socialism is distinct from true socialism, but still a variant of socialism nevertheless, merely a less concentrated version: “heavily watered-down variant of the ideology”. And the last sentence in my opening paragraph clearly states that I do not count modern socialism as being exonerated from true socialism, meaning I see it as just as culpable as true socialism, seeing as it inherits a flawed outlook. When I say the bulk of my arguments are intended against the original ideology of socialism I am just remarking that when crafting my arguments I was focused, mainly, on real socialism, but I am not excluding other variants of the ideology as per the emphatic last clause in that quote. In fact, I am virtually forced to apply most of the arguments to the variants of socialism that have actually existed for the simple fact that they, unlike “real socialism” can be empirically analysed. Based on this, your counter argument to my point about socialism resulting in the death and displacement of numerous peoples—that it was not “real socialism” is simply invalid. I’m criticising all variants of socialism—all ideologies that present themselves as socialism and are derived from the core ideology. And the same goes for your separate counter point in reference to what I said about Venezuela, however I will add that by your own admission “true socialism” has never existed, therefore I can only utilise watered-down variants of the ideology to illustrate my point regarding the mother ideology. And just because the true ideology has never been achieved does not mean that it is above reproach.

I understand that given the crushing weight of multiple historical precedents against socialism, your best chance for this debate and to absolve the ideology from a moral standpoint is to claim that “socialism just hasn’t been done right yet”, but that, my friend, is a weak counter argument. For one, it’s been attempted in many forms, and has never flourished into the “real” thing. That in itself casts aspersions on whether true socialism can ever be achieved, which makes it an inferior ideology to capitalism if it’s only chance to implemented is with some form of capitalist economic framework scaffolding it. And you say that “true capitalist” free market economies have never existed, what is your proof of this? There are some that would say they do. Also, I must ask, how many more people must die in the name of the ideology before socialism is done right? And what of all the millions whom have already been killed or displaced in the name of socialism? Is everyone who has died because of socialism: in gulags, through economic failure, etc, men, women, children, are they all merely acceptable losses for you in the grand experiment to achieve a socialist utopia? And what of people who disagree with socialism? Are you happy for those people to be eradicated in the name of your ideology?

Your point about China being less socialist than the U.S.A. only reinforces my own argument about Socialism having no long-term longevity and relying on Capitalist sustentation. Modern day China is very Capitalist, yes, however, China not too long ago, during reign of Mao, was not. The fact that a communist country would make the transition from a socialist economy complete with collectivisation to a capitalist one says nothing for the merits of socialism, and everything for the merits of capitalism. And I address your claim that Mao is not representative of Socialism two paragraphs down.
In counter to the point you make about true socialism being synonymous with democracy: on paper it may be, but as you yourself have said true socialism has never been achieved, so it is impossible to analyse empirically, we can only speculate. However, true socialism, naively, tends to assume the best of human nature—there are many that would argue that the level of harmonious co-operation required for true socialism is unfeasible. The variants of socialism that have come to fruition are often antithetical to democracy, at least at the national level.

Your point about capitalism, monarchy and feudalism… Can you elaborate on this further, please, and provide an historical precedent? It does not seem that capitalism has not rendered monarchy or feudalism obsolete, Saudi Arabia is one example of a capitalist country with an absolute monarchy and feudal structure and there are numerous states in Europe that have capitalist economies and constitutional monarchies. Also, when you assert socialism is the next step after capitalism, what is your rationale and historical precedent for this? The relationship between monarchy/feudalism and capitalism does not suffice as a precedent for this point. What you say about socialism being the next step after capitalism is effectively just baseless conjecture; and citing/paraphrasing Marx, saying that the workers of the world will unite and overthrow capitalism is not a self-sufficient evidence.

You claim that Mao, Stalin and Hitler were all fascists, but if that were so then why would they refer to themselves as socialists? If these men were fascists then why would not title and style themselves as such, like Mussolini did? I understand why you would desperately want to distance your ideology from the three biggest monsters in history, but it doesn’t wash: Hitler—leader of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, Joseph Stalin—General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Mao Zedong—Chairman of the Communist Party of China.

Also, on this point regarding collectivisation, the Soviet Union under Stalin heavily enforced a mandatory policy of collectivisation in 1927; the policy is widely blamed by academics for the Russian famine of 1930. Chairman Mao’s Great Leap Forward, that began in 1958, saw enforced agricultural collectivisation too, a policy that is widely blamed by academics for the Great Chinese Famine between 1959 and 1961. You see the pattern emerging here. From my research, I can’t find collectivism being put into practise in the economy of the Third Reich, however, the Nazi government was far more concerned with establishing a war economy, as opposed to “investing” in the civilian economy. If the Third Reich had survived, or god forbid, won WW2 it would not surprise me if they would have pursued such a policy. Especially since the Soviets and the Chinese Communists employed these policies when they had a fair amount of relative geopolitical and military security—the Third Reich, up until the outbreak of WW2 was constantly rearming and expanding its armed forces.

As you can see this economic policy of collectivism that you yourself describe as being indicative of “true socialism” failed and led to starvation. A microcosm of socialist failings. Regarding what you say about egalitarianism, each of the three governments described here had egalitarian policies written into their ethos, manifestos and laws in varying capacities. They may not have come to fruition in actual practise for reasons that are myriad, but the groundwork for them was there.
Your last “point” if I can call it that, isn’t much of a point. More of a knee-jerk conjecture to everything I said—the very same kind of knee-jerk reaction you agreed not to measure an ideology by in the first point you responded to. I can just as easily claim “oh you have no idea what capitalism is, you’re misinformed, you only follow socialism because you desperately want to disassociate yourself from mainstream society because you’re intellectually and/or socially insecure, yadda yadda yadda”, but I’ll be the adult here and chose not to. Let’s keep things empirical, please?

Forfeited
Round 3
Published:
Waiting for your rebuttal to my last set of arguments, sir/madam.
Forfeited
Round 4
Published:
Still waiting…
 
“What's the face of a coward? The back of his head as he runs from the battle” – Frank Underwood, House of Cards

Forfeited
Round 5
Published:
….
 
I hope my opponent and all readers are well

Forfeited
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#1
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
Watch how the Communist concedes to the Capitalist, watch the scum know their place understand what a stupid ideology it is to think we can ever all be equal. Winning a debate makes you unequal to the loser and in this debate Con shames Socialism and his entire crew of hypocrites by forfeiting every single Round whereas Pro explains that not only does Capitalism naturally evolve FROM socialism in nations as they succeed but that Socialism is defunct inherently.