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Talk:Debate: Capitalism vs socialism

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Dav1id (Talk | contribs)
(A stronger case for socialism.)
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Jambaugh (Talk | contribs)

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 +==Re: Of Plymouth Colony==
 +The citation is '''not fiction'''. Its not a novel but rather the historic account of the actual colony as written by its governor.
 +One really really really should read the thing, at least do a quick google before commenting.
 +[ wikipedia article on ''Of Plymouth Plantation'']
 +[ Google Books Full Text]
 +(The mistake is partly my fault for not properly citing my reference.)
 +Regards [[User:Jambaugh|jambaugh]] 08:50, 11 January 2010 (CST)
==Issues with the debate question== ==Issues with the debate question==

Revision as of 14:50, 11 January 2010

Re: Of Plymouth Colony

The citation is not fiction. Its not a novel but rather the historic account of the actual colony as written by its governor. One really really really should read the thing, at least do a quick google before commenting.

wikipedia article on Of Plymouth Plantation

Google Books Full Text

(The mistake is partly my fault for not properly citing my reference.)

Regards jambaugh 08:50, 11 January 2010 (CST)

Issues with the debate question

There is no answer to that question, because it is too broad. Superior in what way?

Also, it is necessary to define socialism apropriatelly. Marx's socialism is not today´s socialism. It has changed, as Marx´s contemporary capitalism is not the capitalism that exist today.

IMHO, socialism today looks for social justice, not for a passage to stateless communism. It wants to create a society where everyone has equal rights, regardless of accidental, superficial differences, like family, color, possessions, creativity, intelligence, strenght, etc. and rely on the State to secure those rights.

Finally, it is possible to have a capitalist economy and a socialist society, one limiting the excesses of the other.

What we cant have any longer, is a society run by money, where rights are proportional to wealth. That is what socialism, today, seeks to abolish.

Point well taken Peiri. But, the appropriate bounds of the debate can be found through argumentation. For example, the argument could be presented: Socialism leads to stateless communism. The counter-argument could be, modern socialism focuses on social justice, not creating a form of government on par with "stateless communism". The subquestion sections enable this break-down. So, a subquestion could be written "Communism: Does socialism lead to stateless communism?" The broader point is that we define the appropriate direction of the debate through argumentation. -- Brooks Lindsay 14:14, 12 January 2008 (CST)

A stronger case for socialism.


I have never contributed to any wiki before, but I felt that socialism was being short-changed on your site, so I would like to add some of my own arguments. They are not in the form of a formal debate, but I hope that is ok.

Socialism need not preclude private property. It would set limits on the size of private estates, however.

The price mechanism is claimed to be an efficient method to determine to whom the goods and services should be distributed. But price is determined by supply and demand, and demand is created only by those who have the funds to pay for those goods and services. So a plutocrat with a multi-billion dollar fortune can create much more demand than a million people living in an urban slum. Does that seem "efficient" to you? Besides, socialism can use the price mechanism too; it would just make certain that wealth is much more widely distributed so that all the people can create demand - not just the wealthy plutocrats.

Capitalism claims that incentive is a major factor in economic growth, but under capitalism, all the "incentive" is given to the owners and the senior managers of massive corporations, while hundreds of millions of workers are paid the lowest possible wages that the law and the market will bear. Under socialism, the workers would receive relatively higher wages, giving the hundreds of millions of workers more incentive.

An common argument against socialism states that it grants too much power to government. However, the fear of government in our age of democracy is (somewhat) misplaced. The real fear is power concentrated in the hands of the few, and that is what we have under capitalism. Plutocrats have amassed such fortunes that they undermine democratic institutions. They purchase the media and present only their own views to the public. Their substantial financial contributions to political candidates essentially guarantee that only the candidates of their choosing have any chance of winning an election. Moreover, they hire lobbyists to campaign for their preferred legislation. We have more reason to fear capitalism than socialism in this matter.

Capitalism will never solve social problems, because it has no intention of doing so. The only purpose of capitalism is to provide ever-larger profits to the owners of production. If there is no profit to be had in feeding the hungry or providing shelter for the homeless, then so be it.

The large middle-class societies we see today in North America and in Western Europe did not arise because of capitalism, but in spite of it. 100 years ago, workers sacrificed everything, sometimes even their lives, in the attempt to improve their situation, and the wealthy plutocrats, with the support of the government behind them, fought back viciously. In the end, however, workers won some concessions, leading to the growth of labor unions and social programs. It was these victories that created the large middle classes we have today. But the plutocrats have never accepted these victories of the workers, and today are successfully rolling back many of the gains made in the past.

A common misconception is that the great wealth we see around us today was the direct result of capitalism, but it was actually a combination of factors that has led to our great wealth. The achievements of science that have led directly to our advanced technology was a major factor. The invention of money and the rule of law were major factors.

In fact, the benefits of free market systems and competition have been largely removed from the US economy, at least, which has become a collection of ever-larger corporations that are now "too big to fail."


David McNeely

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