Hello everyone. Thanks first to my opponent for accepting this debate, it should be an interesting one.
My case is simple, that communism is inevitable. Before I explain why I'll take the time to set the definitions integral to this debate. The first term, inevitable, is pretty simple to define: unavoidable or certain to happen eventually or by some point. The other term, communism, is a bit more general and difficult to define. There are a lot of definitions of communism and sections of it that twist and turn words that make it more complicated so for the purposes of this debate we'll stick with the standard Marxist definition, that is: a society in which all property is publicly owned and each person works and is paid according to their abilities and need.
To make this easier to follow along my argument is essentially going to boil down into three points:
- That capitalism is unsustainable
- That more and more people are pushed into impoverishment over time
- That when the impoverished become the majority, communism is necessarily established via a revolt
Let's start with the first point, that capitalism is unsustainable. Well, capitalism is inherently an unstable system. This isn't very difficult to understand because all we have to do to realize this is think about what capitalism is and how it works. Capitalism is, essentially, based upon business cycles, that is a cycle or series of cycles of economic expansion and contraction. For everyone who isn't familiar please see a rough depiction of a business cycle below:
Essentially, capitalism has up points and down points because of the very nature of the system. When capitalism goes through a down point(a recession) the labor movement becomes stronger, that is the need for things like social programs and unionization. This is because the system of capitalism is no longer able to support these more underprivileged individuals, the 'working poor', during these down points. This is not even to mention the fact that those who are impoverished, stay impoverished under capitalism. Don't believe me? Think again about what capitalism is. A trade of goods and services. If you are impoverished what do you have to trade? Obviously, it is not quite as black and white as this but you get the idea, this will be important later.
So now we have established that capitalism, because it is unstable and because of its nature, is not really ever capable of supporting the impoverishment and at the points when it crashes, due to business cycles, is not able to support even more people, usually referred to as the working poor. Precisely at these points, things like social programs and public ownership becomes more necessary to help out these people. With this, we can establish that one does not become a communist by choice but by necessity. You don't become a communist because you think it's cool or interesting, rather you become a communist because it is the only system in which you can survive. At a certain point, as we have established, capitalism is no longer able to support you, so you become a communist.
Capitalism, ironically, accelerates this number of people who are forced to advocate for things like communist and public ownership through its polarizing of wealth inequality. If capitalism was left to its own devices, the type of wealth inequality we see now(which is already pretty severe) would be nothing to what we would see in a generation or two alone. The only reason it doesn't crash immediately is because of things like social programs. However, these can only slow down the inevitable - which is the crash of capitalism and its replacement with communism. Capitalism eventually will impoverish more and more people who it won't be able to support. Things like AI will vastly expedite this process through the mass unemployment they will cause. Over time, even if it is a long time, more and more will lose jobs, wealth inequality will continue to polarize, and thus the number of people who are unsupported the capitalist system will increase.
Precisely when the number of people unsupported, or rather exploited, by capitalism(that is the impoverished and the working poor) become the majority, they will revolt against the minority thus establishing a communist regime. Revolt is similarly inevitable as, in the words of Marx, when "you have nothing to lost but your chains", all you can do is revolt. That is the only and single choice that you are able to make in that situation. This point requires no economic or technical explanation, only common sense. Why do you think slaves stood up to their masters, why do employees stand up to their bosses? When you are in that situation there is nothing you can do but to revolt and establish a better one, by the definition of the relationship you are incapable of doing anything except revolting, which is clear through a plethora of relationships and times throughout history as well.
- Capitalism is based on business cycles, which makes it unstable by nature. Precisely when the market crashes things like social programs and public ownership becomes more necessary to support the people that the system just displaced. This makes these things(social programs and public ownership) a necessity for the exploited because the system that has exploited them is incapable of supporting them.
- Over time, whether through losing your job to AI, becoming impoverished due to a market crash or because your corporation had to fire all of their employees due to the most minor change in stock, more and more people will be forced to become a communist out of necessity. That is, they have reached a point where capitalism is no longer able to support them whatsoever and they are totally exploited for whatever minor labor they are able to offer.
- Precisely when this group of people becomes the majority, they will revolt against the minority exploiting them and establish a communist system. This revolt too is unavoidable as when you are in such a point of destitution your singular and only choice for life is to revolt.
Thanks for reading everyone, I look forward to the next round. Vote PRO!
Return To Top | Posted:
2019-03-29 00:16:07| Speak Round
What a creative position! This should be an interesting debate.
My opponent's argument can be oversimplified as follows:
- Capitalism leads to wealth inequality ->
- Wealth inequality leads to reliance on social programs ->
- Social programs somehow collapse capitalism -> WWIII-> communism
This is a "slippery slope" argument. You're jumping to extremes without examining the in-betweens.
Every country uses some social programs to buffer times of economic hardship, that doesn't make them communist. Just because a car has airbags does not mean the car is guaranteed to crash. Every country experiences wealth inequality, regardless of their political system. Variability in the economy does not automatically mean the economy will crash to the point of no return. Wealth inequality does not always result in worldwide revolt against capitalism. This is a waterslide of slippery-slope assumptions.
The benefits of capitalism. There's a reason almost all first world countries have switched to capitalism - it works.
- Capitalism incentivizes innovation, rewards entrepreneurship and free thinking. Free trade produces economic efficiency leading to more specialization, leading to more innovation. Communism does not reward innovation, entrepreneurship, and does not optimize the economy.
- Capitalism is sustainable. Modern capitalism came out of the Renaissance age. We've modified it since then but the basic premise of a controlled free-market has been the working model for centuries. The economy has gone through hundreds of ups and downs in that time, why do you think it will all-of-a-sudden crash now?
- Capitalist governments are less prone to corruption. Throughout history, communism has always resulted in mass corruption (e.g. The Soviet Union). This is because communism puts too much power in the hands of too few people. I would argue that corruption is a much larger factor in economic destabilization than anything else.
Every country has wealth inequality, regardless of their political system. This is a symptom of society, not capitalism. For example, look at the massive wealth inequality in communist Russia . This paper studied the wealth inequality in China, Russia, and the USA; based on income percentiles, land ownership, and other parameters. They concluded:
"The dramatic economic transformation in Russia and China have resulted in substantial increases in inequality."
My opponent also believes that inequality is inevitable. The researchers above disagree: "The rise in inequality is not inevitable and points to the importance of policies, institutions, and ideology in shaping inequality."
My opponent believes that "Communism is necessarily established via a revolt"; "The majority, will revolt against the minority thus establishing a communist regime."
Why is communism the only result of a revolution? People don't revolt against ideologies like capitalism; they revolt against people. Historically, most revolutions lead to the exact same political ideology with a different guy in charge. What makes you think that revolution automatically leads to communism?
Thanks all for reading!
Return To Top | Posted:
2019-03-29 18:06:56| Speak Round
Ok, so my opponent has a few main problems in his rebuttal. The first of which is that he doesn't seem to understand what I'm arguing. By listing the "benefits of capitalism", CON has illustrated to me that he doesn't understand my position. My position has nothing to do with communism being better than capitalism or vice versa, my point is simply that communism is inevitable and will have to happen eventually by necessity.
On that same note, CON also claims that capitalism is sustainable. Despite the fact that CON admits only one sentence later that capitalism has been changed and modified over the years, this still demonstrates another misunderstanding of my argument. My point was that capitalism is an unstable system because it is based upon business cycles(see picture from previous round). Based upon that, saying capitalism is sustainable because it's still around today isn't a valid rebuttal. My point is that capitalism is inherently unstable and that will cause it to have effects(like polarization of wealth inequality and displacement of more people into poverty) that will prevent it from being sustainable forever. Other than that, it's just simple logic that an unstable system will not be sustainable forever.
Additionally, my opponent goes on to argue about how every country experiences wealth inequality despite their economic system and cites Russia as an example. This demonstrates firstly that CON doesn't really understand what communism is or the definition I set for in my first round as well as the simple fact that no socialist/communist today would ever argue that real socialism/communism has ever been tried/instituted in any society yet that we've seen. So again, communism(according to Marx) refers to the complete public ownership of all things by the society and where people are paid according to their need. Capitalism and Russia are more capitalism on steroids than public markets. Hopefully, that clears that one up, let me know if I should elaborate more.
The last major problem with my opponent's argument is that in his summary of my argument he says that "social programs somehow collapse capitalism -> WWIII-> communism". Please go back and reread my argument. This could not be farther from what my actual point was. Instability of capitalism because of recessions via business waves make things like social programs necessary, this was a sort of proof for communism being necessary and thus inevitable.
On the revolt thing, I again don't think you understood my point. My position that when the majority of people are impoverished they will always revolt against the minority oppressing them because that is their only option, thus establishing communism. People revolting against other people doesn't really have anything to do with this.
Sorry for this short winded response and for not being able to get to everything, I got to this on short time. I'd be happy to elaborate more next round. Vote PRO!
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2019-04-01 15:45:30| Speak Round
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2019-04-08 11:22:01| Speak Round