CreateDebate


Debate Info

160
161
Socialism Capitalism
Debate Score:321
Arguments:222
Total Votes:367
More Stats

Argument Ratio

side graph
 
 Socialism (118)
 
 Capitalism (97)

Debate Creator

kozlov(1755) pic



Socialism vs. Capitalism

Philosophy:

Capitalism: Capital (or the "means of production") is owned, operated, and traded for the purpose of generating profits for private owners or shareholders. Emphasis on individual profit rather than on workers or society as a whole

Socialism:  From each according to his ability, to each according to his contribution. Emphasis on profit being distributed among the society or workforce in addition to receiving a wage.    

Source: http://www.diffen.com/difference/Capitalism_vs_Socialism

 

Socialism

Side Score: 160
VS.

Capitalism

Side Score: 161
2 points

Ideally socialism would be able to guarantee living standards which promote creativity, invention, and the progression of humanity. With basic needs meant individuals would be able to contribute to society according to their strengths instead of being forced to contribute according to survival.

Capitalism after only a couple of generations at its best only can act as a replacement for darwin-type survival, where instead of survival depending on speed, strength, and brains, it depends on your parents' means, and if they pass money and property down to you.

These are sort of the extreme conclusions of each theory.

So ideally, socialism is a better system for humanity, and I fully expect some form of it will need to be adopted at some point in our evolution.

Our brains aren't there yet though.

We are too greedy, lazy, and corruptible for a socialist society to last.

We seem to do best when we use the competitive nature of capitalism, with social strategies that ensure the rich are not able to stifle all opportunity for the rest of humanity through the influence that comes from money.

We need balance in all things at this point. Money against the power of representation, rights against special interests, media against government, social economic provisions against capitalist incentive; all butting heads to ensure an extreme doesn't allow for the few to lord over the many--which has been the case through most of human history, and still is for the majority of humans outside of westernized societies, by the way.

Side: Socialism
3 points

I pretty much agree with every point you made. What scares me is the continuing presence of free-market ideology (read extreme capitalism) in academia. Extreme ideologies are always bad. always.

With that said. The goal of socialism is beautiful and poetic. The goal of capitalism is cold and calculating. Social attempts to harness our better, more moral instincts- love of our fellow man. Capitalism makes a general rule of one of our most base- personal greed. For that reason, I choose socialism.

Side: Socialism
copycat042(166) Disputed
1 point

The goal of socialism is beautiful and poetic.

The effect of socialism is poverty.

The goal of capitalism is cold and calculating.

The effect of capitalism is a higher standard of living for everyone in the society.

Capitalism makes a general rule of one of our most base- personal greed.

Capitalism has each of us competing to fulfil the needs of our fellow man. Whoever does this the best, prospers the most.

Side: Capitalism

I pretty much agree with every point you made. What scares me is the continuing presence of free-market ideology (read extreme capitalism) in academia. Extreme ideologies are always bad. always.

With that said. The goal of socialism is beautiful and poetic. The goal of capitalism is cold and calculating. Social attempts to harness our better, more moral instincts- love of our fellow man. Capitalism makes a general rule of one of our most base- personal greed. For that reason, I choose socialism.

This is excellently put. Capitalism nurtures and stimulates the irrational, emotional side of the brain. The part which gets excited when you receive a pay cheque. Socialism is an attempt to rationalise society.

Side: Socialism
3 points

Socialism has failed repeatedly, yet you fully expect some form of it will need to be adopted at some point.

Basically, the only way humans can function in social cooperation is through act of violence and the threat of violence, this is what socialism is.

As for the few to lord over the many, history has shown government was the clear culprit.

Side: Capitalism
iamdavidh(4856) Disputed
4 points

You're not very good at actually reading arguments. You cling to a point in your head and just kind of go back to your playbook from there.

I'm pretty clear that something in human nature would need to change in order for socialism to work, and that humans aren't there yet. We are headed there though. At some point, 10,000 years, 100,000 years, a blink of the eye in terms of this planets existence, we should get to the point where socialism can work without violence.

And at that point it is more beneficial than capitalism...

And what's with these fucking downvotes douche?

Side: Socialism
kozlov(1755) Disputed
2 points

How has Capitalism fared in Latin America? South America? Africa? It has failed.

Side: Socialism
Frankbbg(53) Disputed
1 point

Ideally socialism would be able to guarantee living standards which promote creativity, invention, and the progression of humanity. With basic needs meant individuals would be able to contribute to society according to their strengths instead of being forced to contribute according to survival.

Ideally, but not in reality.

Capitalism after only a couple of generations at its best only can act as a replacement for darwin-type survival, where instead of survival depending on speed, strength, and brains, it depends on your parents' means, and if they pass money and property down to you.

Actually no, it does not depend on your parent's means. In a capitalist society, if you work hard, you will get paid well. Whether you parents pass things down to you or not, you can either become poor (by making bad life choices), Middle Class (by making good life choices but not necessarily wanting to go the distance to get rich), or rich (by making good life choices and going the extra mile to climb up the ranks and get paid more and more money as you go). I can list multiple examples of people who grew up poor but became rich:

1. Guy Laliberté

founded Cirque du Soleil

2. Alan Gerry

kickstarted a TV network that went on to become Cablevision

3. Kenny Troutt

the founder of Excel Communications

4. Mohed Altrad

Montpellier rugby club president and Entrepreneur of the Year

5. Howard Schultz

Starbucks founder

The list could keep going on. But I don't need any more examples, I have proven my point.

These are sort of the extreme conclusions of each theory.

I know that, and still, it can be disputable.

So ideally, socialism is a better system for humanity, and I fully expect some form of it will need to be adopted at some point in our evolution.

Our brains aren't there yet though.

Our brains will never get there because nobody is and will ever be perfect.

We are too greedy, lazy, and corruptible for a socialist society to last.

We seem to do best when we use the competitive nature of capitalism, with social strategies that ensure the rich are not able to stifle all opportunity for the rest of humanity through the influence that comes from money.

I totally agree. This is why socialist societies fail all over the world.

We seem to do best when we use the competitive nature of capitalism, with social strategies that ensure the rich are not able to stifle all opportunity for the rest of humanity through the influence that comes from money.

I am going to again agree with this statement.

We need balance in all things at this point. Money against the power of representation, rights against special interests, media against government, social economic provisions against capitalist incentive; all butting heads to ensure an extreme doesn't allow for the few to lord over the many--which has been the case through most of human history, and still is for the majority of humans outside of westernized societies, by the way.

So you mean like each thing has a check so that there are no loopholes in anything?

Side: Capitalism
1 point

Ideally, but not in reality.

Feudalists said exactly the same before society moved to capitalism. Monarchists said the same before society moved to feudalism. It is a fallacy to claim something doesn't work if the reason it doesn't work is that the status quo is entrenched in one particular way of life. Take a team of 11 soccer players and give them each a stick. Throw a ball in there. Does hockey now not work "in reality"?

if you work hard, you will get paid well.

Another pernicious myth. My old man got up at 5 am every morning for his entire life and climbed up poles all day to fix telephone lines. Now he lives off a state pension.

or rich (by making good life choices and going the extra mile to climb up the ranks and get paid more and more money as you go).

People do not get rich by working hard. This is the most damaging and false myth about capitalism. They get rich by taking advantage of the people who are working hard.

Side: Socialism
1 point

I can list multiple examples of people who grew up poor but became rich:

Thanks for the list. Can you spot what all these people have in common?

None of them got rich by working a job.

Side: Socialism
2 points

Where's the "they're both fucking awful" option?

Oh well, I suppose that socialism is preferred, but capitalism is more realistic in our society.

Side: Socialism
2 points

Socialism is the best way for democracy to evolve.      

Side: Socialism
2 points

People need to realize that Socialism is not a dirty word. People also need to realize that the American govt. is not Socialist.

Side: Socialism
1 point

I don't realise why people in America always freak when they hear the word socialism or communism. You don't see Castro hiding under his bed covers at the thought of a possible new wave of capitalist ideology! Although I think his bed is where he's going to stay now..!

Side: Socialism
1 point

Notice countries with a degree of socialism in their government tend to fair better than other countries? This is no coincidence, when society benefits as a whole, the country does better. This is good for everyone. This being said, socialism must be executed properly.

Side: Socialism
1 point

What does a degree of socialism mean in their government? All government is socialism when referring to economically due to its redistribution.

Side: Capitalism
kozlov(1755) Disputed
2 points

In essence, a degree of Socialism would mean influence by Socialists in Government.

Also, all government speaking in economic terms, is not Socialism. What about a very small free market government? You are incorrect

I strongly recommend that you read a bit of literature on Socialism, you may think differently.

Side: Socialism
1 point

Socialism definitely fares better for the society.Unlike animals human beings are characterized by the quality of labour. Animals perform repetitive, cyclic work which is compelled by natural instincts. But human labour begins with conceptualization and ends with execution and involves satisfaction and identification with your labour. But capitalism has alienated man from the activity of labour. This commodification of everything along with one's labour has made it impossible for humans to identify, satisfy, enjoy and associate with work. Thus capitalism has made humans detest labour. No wonder students no longer want to go to schools longing for holidays and workers hate to be confined to their cubicles.

Also, capitalism leads to the inevitable domination of economic development over other forms of development. Eventually progress gets reduced to statistics and numbers. Thus human predicament fades in the background which is evident in the occupy wall street movements and low human rights concern in countries with apparent economic development.

Side: Socialism

Hmm well to much capitalism ends in corporatism. To much socialism ends in a totalitarian dictatorship. Whats option three?

Side: Socialism
copycat042(166) Disputed
1 point

Capitalism with strong constitutional restrictions on government being able to treat market actors differently.

Side: Capitalism
Sokami(82) Disputed
1 point

what if its a socialism with a democracy? not all socialist governments have to be dictatorships, and the converse it true as well, not all capitalist governments have to be democracies. its just that people for some reason have it in their minds that communism = dictatorship which is absolutely not true because it contradicts definitions. i will say though that a capitalist government can very easily evolve into a corporate democracy which is a very bad form of government because it already has the backbone to stem this kind of government in the first place, however based on extensive research it would likely be difficult for a socialist democracy to evolve into a dictatorship in a relatively short time period.

Side: Socialism
Sokami(82) Disputed
1 point

sorry accidently posted twice sorry accidently posted twice

Side: Socialism
1 point

Socialism is democracy in it's highest form. It is when democracy enters the workplace. With capitalism, democracy can never fully develop.

Side: Socialism
warrior(1854) Disputed Banned
1 point

Yes because nothing says democracy like one party systems and the execution of political dissidents.

Side: Capitalism
kozlov(1755) Disputed
1 point

Please do not confuse Totalitarian Communism with Democratic Socialism.

Side: Socialism
1 point

A better title would be Growth vs. Decay.

Side: Socialism
1 point

socialism is a very good system as it gets the best of both worlds. while not being extreme one way or the other. its a peoples system and its a business's system simultaneously without giving the business too much power to interfere unecessarily into peoples lives. when the people need support the can get it, while at the same time enjoy a modern and healthy lifestyle. look at Sweden, they enjoy one of the best health care systems in the world, esspecially considering its free, and they are some of the happiest people in the world as statistics would show. despite the high tax rate, because things are not inflated the people their can afford everything your average american can afford. a full on capitalism is all about business and people tend to forget about the actual people side of society. in a socialism both the people and economics are tended to without making anyone go into poverty, and if someone were to somehow take an economic tumble, they have very good support systems to get them back up and running in no time. there is so much more i could get into, but many of my comrades below me have listed all of the other necessary reasons why its a better system below me

Side: Socialism
1 point

Socialism and democracy go hand-in-hand. Socialism is bringing democracy into the work place. This is a positive thing.

Side: Socialism
warrior(1854) Disputed Banned
1 point

Yes comrade firing squads and gulags are good for democracy. Don't question the government or think for yourself such things are bad for democracy. Democracy is where everyone who agrees with the communist party has the right to make there voices heard. Democracy is where Those who do not agree with the communist party have the right to chose between working for free until they die or dieing

Side: Capitalism
kozlov(1755) Disputed
1 point

Your understanding of Socialism is truly archaic. If you are attempting to say that the USSR was Socialist, then you are incorrect. Socialism is Democracy. I highly suggest you read the information provided below.

http://www.diffen.com/difference/Communism_vs_Socialism

Side: Socialism
1 point

Socialism is an economic system characterised by social ownership of the means of production and co-operative management of the economy, and a political philosophy advocating such a system.

Side: Socialism
1 point

Social democracy, historically a movement that aimed to build socialism through elections and parliamentary means.

Side: Socialism
1 point

Democratic socialism, a group of political movements that aim to build socialism from grassroots-level organizations through either reformist or revolutionary means

Side: Socialism
1 point

Pure Capitalism would probably work, but it will always degenerate into a heightened class system.

Socialism, however, ensures that the workers are not abused.

Side: Socialism
1 point

I wish people on this debate would know what they were talking about. We are talking about pure Socialism. Not totalitarian communism.

Side: Socialism
1 point

Much better, this way you don't get as many greedy bastards with millions stacked up in offshore accounts whilst the poor are freezing to death in the winter.

Side: Socialism
1 point

Apart from Jimmy Carr, I can forgive him :L

Side: Socialism

With all the talk of socialism meaning immediate tyranny, i feel i must ask:

Has anyone here considered that perhaps the tyranny would be necessary to instill the ideas into FUTURE generations? Perhaps one or two generations would have to suffer to make the lives of the rest of humanity's existence better?

Things always get worse before they get better. That's the way it always seems to work. Revolution is a dangerous and bloody, wholly unlikeable business, but the people who lead revolutions know that they are sacrificing their comfort to improve the lives of the people who come after them.

I can see that the general consensus here is: Socialism is good, but unworkable currently.

Cool.

But, i can recall from my history texts that unfavorable conditions are the conditions under which the most famous and celebrated revolutions in history were enacted. The French Revolution, the American Revolution. the list goes on.

Sure, our generation may never be able to take all the ideals of socialism into our societies, but the generation that has yet to be born can. Why? Because they can be taught differently. They can be taught that what they love to do matters. They can be taught to be kind, not unscrupulous. They can be taught to be responsible for the sake of their fellows rather than to be responsible for the sake of a continued paycheque.

In short, that generation could be taught that PEOPLE matter more than MONEY

In that idea lies the basis of socialism and in that idea, lies a better tomorrow.

Side: Socialism

It would seem to me that precisely the system that fails horribly in the hands of the human can be a standard for some species to avoid the lethal properties of the mutation of intelligence. They would be more likely live on to convert all matter in the universe into energy until the big rip.

Side: Socialism
1 point

socialism helps people capitalism screws people and is only good for a small percentage of the people

Side: Socialism
1 point

A truly capitalistic system only benefits the wealthy, because the people who runs and have stakes in cooperations and political institutions only looks out for their own interests. We have seen numerous examples of this, where the latest, is a story that concluded that the richest people have billions after billions in foreign accounts on the grounds that they do not have to pay taxes from these amounts. However, the people who owns the billions, normally grew up in states where they benefitted from the community of the state. Therefore, it would be only natural that they gave something back to those, who helped them become succesful.

This argument is also in concert with the argument about globalization. There is no such thing as being loyal and proud of ones own state anymore, as people see themselves as people of the world. This results in that everyone who have means, choose to entertain themselves internationally and as all scholars from studies such as International Studies and International Relations will inform you the international system is basically anarchic. People can do as they please, because there unfortunately is not a international regime or organization that have the power to enforce laws internationally yet. Therefore, I will not support capitalism, even though the idea is great if you perceive it nationally.

Side: Socialism
1 point

The only plausible, even FAIR argument for capitalism is that everyone is given an equal chance to make money, it just depends on their effort on how much they pursue it. IF this was true, I'd completely agree.

But as a wise man once said, "it's not."

In today's world, there is no "equal opportunity."

There is no "fairness," there is no equal start to finish.

As a previous debater said, where you start in life, is where your parents left off.

If your parents left off in a bad neighborhood, that's where you start. If they left off poor, with nothing to their names, that's where you're beginning. This, compared to someone being born into millions isn't equal opportunity to wealth. It's the opposite.

Even the gov't programs to assist the "less fortunate" widen the gap. What is "fair" about government assistance? Affirmative action, for example. Does creating an easier entry for minorities send a message of fairness? If someone is hiring, and they have to resumes, exactly the same sitting in front of them, but there's only one difference:

Subject A: Graduated from Berkley University on a full-ride academic scholarship.

Subject B: Graduated from Berkley University on a full-ride Affirmative Action scholarship.

The person would pick A. Any assistance makes the unfairness more unfair, and the handicap worse. No matter what the case, under current capitalist circumstances, the rich get richer over the poor getting poorer. That is why I agree with Albert Einstein is support of socialism, because capitalism is a fractured system.

Side: Socialism
1 point

To be specific, I prefer democratic socialism. .

Side: Socialism
1 point

I'm not sure exactly how this works, but it just screams 'Murica. I support.

I sound like every other American.. ever.

Side: Socialism
1 point

Socialism and capitalism are not incompatible. Depending on what we define as capitalism and socialism the best political model is a mix like social democracy, social liberalismo, free market socialism, liberal socialism, the nordic model and so on.

Side: Socialism
13 points

In lamens terms (assuming government corruption wasn't real):

Capitalism is economic liberty.

Socialism is economic security.

"Those willing to give up liberty for security deserve neither and will lose both" - Benjamin Franklin

Side: Capitalism
kozlov(1755) Disputed
10 points

Socialism does not give up economic liberty. It ensures it. In capitalism, the average working class man must sell himself to those who control the means of production. This is not economic liberty. In Socialism, the means of production are controlled with the workers in mind. This ensures that everyone prospers.

"More socialism means more democracy, openness and collectivism in everyday life."

-Mikhail Gorbachev

Side: Socialism
10 points

Socialism does not give up economic liberty. It ensures it.

When you are told who to give the check to for what service, you don't have economic liberty. When you can't choose between health care providers because the government monopolized it, you don't have economic liberty. When you are forced to fund government projects that you don't agree with or would rather have the market handle, you don't have economic liberty.

In capitalism, the average working class man must sell himself to those who control the means of production. This is not economic liberty.

You don't "Sell" yourself, you voluntarily agree to do a service in return for money and/or benefits. You have the right to start up your own business at any time or you could work for someone else's business and get some of their profit and climb your way higher in the company.

Liberty =/= guaranteed happiness and job satisfaction

Liberty = the ability of individuals to have control over their own actions

In Socialism, the means of production are controlled with the workers in mind.

Actually no, all means of production are owned by the government.

This ensures that everyone prospers.

No, it ensure the government will have a monopoly, you have to pay for their goods and services because 1. they are the only provider and 2. if you don't they can take legal action against you.

Side: Capitalism
warrior(1854) Banned
3 points

Amen good sir mr Franklin would be proud. In these hard times we should look to the words of our founders.

Side: Capitalism
Roblovesargu(61) Disputed
2 points

No we shouldn't. Why would you ever look to 1776 on answers on anything. If your car broke down, would you think " I wonder what Benjamin Franklin would do here". We've learned a lot, leave the past were it is.

Side: Socialism
3 points

How is information about demand communicated to producers in a socialist society?

How is capital for building new projects/factories raised?

Who decides what projects get built and how?

Side: Capitalism
kozlov(1755) Disputed
1 point

How is information about demand communicated to producers in a socialist society?

In Socialist countries, there is still a supply and demand, it is just more regulated. Central planning also looks at what people need and to an extent, what people want. This information is passed on to producers.

How is capital for building new projects/factories raised?

Through trade, hard currency is earned. i.e. Oil for Gold. This gives the currency value. Taxes are then collected and the government can pay for projects.

Who decides what projects get built and how?

The workers, central planning organization, or government. This depends on the type of Socialism.

Side: Socialism
copycat042(166) Disputed
4 points

Central planning also looks at what people need and to an extent, what people want.

How do they know?

How is this calculated?

This information is passed on to producers.

how?

How would a new type of product, such as an iPhone, be invented and produced under socialism?

Side: Capitalism

How is information about demand communicated to producers in a socialist society?

How is capital for building new projects/factories raised?

Who decides what projects get built and how?

Who bakes the cake that you want to have while you eat it too? Who pays for a free lunch?

Side: Capitalism
warrior(1854) Banned
3 points

10 people on this page are completely delusional and have no knowledge of history or how economy's function

Side: Capitalism
Watari(70) Disputed
2 points

This coming from someone who is a brony. Capitalism does not work. You are an insult to Soviet Equestria.

Side: Socialism
warrior(1854) Disputed Banned
2 points

Soviet equestria is a joke. No seriously it was created as a joke.

The equestria in the show most closely resembles a theocracy with a capitalist economy. This is shown by the fact that the rulers are seen as gods. And that privet ownership of both business and property is common in fact film and flam could be described as free enterprise antruponures.

Side: Capitalism
warrior(1854) Banned
2 points

a socialist policy is abhorrent to the British ideas of freedom. Socialism is inseparably interwoven with totalitarianism and the object worship of the state. It will prescribe for every one where they are to work, what they are to work at, where they may go and what they may say. Socialism is an attack on the right to breathe freely. No socialist system can be established without a political police. They would have to fall back on some form of Gestapo, no doubt very humanely directed in the first instance.

-Winston Churchll

A very wiseman indeed.

Side: Capitalism
TimelordROOK(94) Disputed
1 point

And, sixty years later, we see britain and the rest of europe, for the most part, surviving on a growing socialist ideal.

Wisdom is not dictated by what you say, but the way you say it.

He was speaking out politically, against the obvious threat of the National Socialists. When the Nazis were growing in power, of COURSE he would say that socialism can't work and is against freedom.

If he'd come out to the British people and said "You know, in theory, socialism makes the world a better place." there would have been more Nazi sympathizers in Britain. They were fighting a war, of COURSE they denounced the other side. -_- love it when people take things out of historical context.

Side: Socialism
1 point

And, sixty years later, we see britain and the rest of europe, for the most part, surviving on a growing socialist ideal.

The extent to which a nation thrives, not just survives, correlates with the extent to which it adopts capitalistic policies. China isn't a communist nation, it is increasingly capitalistic, which is why it is on the rise. It's also why they lectured the US on Capitalistic methods. As Capitalistic nations adopt Socialism, they economically decline. It happens every time though not all at once. The fact that it happens slowly is the reason socialists always look and say "see? it's working!"...No it isn't.

Side: Capitalism
1 point

Some forms of socialism mean the lack of authority established by police or other violence. The Spanish revolution is an example of this.

Side: Socialism
warrior(1854) Banned
2 points

My main problem with socialism is that its only 2 degrees right of full on communism government control hurts the abilities of companies to operate efficiently as dose bringing democracy into the office it's not nessisary because if you don't like your job you can just quit unlike governments. Not to mention haw cumbersome socialist programs are welfare, Medicare, Medicaid, public education, these are all examples of overfunded underperforming socialist programs that are dragging our country deeper and deeper int to debt and making our taxes increase more and more. Socialism give the government too much power and control over the economy and by extension society. So bottom line is a capitalist is some one who wants to be employed a socialist is some one who wants to be enslaved

Side: Capitalism
TimelordROOK(94) Disputed
1 point

employment IS slavery.

You work for less money than your work is worth so your employer can make a profit.

Also, so, somebody who works minimum wage and has to pay bills and rent, can quit their job if they don't like it? No, they can't. They lose their home, they lose their livelihoods because they didn't want to do something they didn't like. Now doesn't that sound like slavery? Oh, and did i mention being perpetually underpaid? Oh yes, i think i did.

Oh and let's talk about minimum wage.

Where would that be without unions (democracy in the workplace) and socialist laws.

Oh yes, right.

NON EXISTENT.

We'd be working for pennies because the rich don't care about the poor. Human procreate, there will always be workers, why should the ones who have all the luxuries care if a few die of starvation every couple weeks. They didn't before those laws came into place and they still wouldn't, if the laws didn't exist.

If we abolished those laws tomorrow, you can bet your next rent payment isn't being made, you won't have groceries and you won't get to debate with us anymore because your wages would drop from 10.50 an hour (where I live) to all of 50c, the wage of asian child labourers. but guess what, after 8 hours of work a day, you come home with four dollars. Minus taxes? 3 dollars. what good meal could you provide for your family while you paid your housing bills on that wage.

Capitalism, if left unchecked, takes advantage of the worker if not by definition, then in practice.

Socialism and by extention, communism empowers the worker by making them an integral part of the means of production. They are no longer a tool, they are a partner.

Side: Socialism
1 point

Capitalism is good for those who can benefit from it, but creates poverty for those who don't. People talk freedom of market, but what good is that freedom if one can't afford it. If their argument is that (everyone) can make it by not being lazy then they contradicted themselves because that's socialism. Capitalism is a perpetual big fish eat smaller fish until smaller fish says no more, that's how capitalism will always lead to civil strife in any society where one gains the most. Greed perpetuates greed.

Side: Socialism
Frankbbg(53) Disputed
0 points

"Employment IS slavery"

If employment is slavery, then the definition of "slavery" for many progressives is nothing more than a bad workplace. Amazon takes ongoing heat for its work environment, with opponents like Business Insider calling it a “slave camp.”

But this comparison mistakes the fundamental nature of coercion.

Many leftists, such as left-libertarian Susan Webber at Naked Capitalism, argue that we must work in order to live and that therefore work is coercive. If you must do X to live, then surely whoever controls your ability to do X is coercing you.

The problem with this argument is that the state of nature is not a Rousseauian paradise, but a brutal place where most die. The state of nature involves poverty and endless drudgery to catch, kill, and cook whatever food one can to stay alive. The workday is every waking moment, and the pay is little more than an occasional meal.

There’s nothing stopping people from living this way in the modern world — say, off the grid — but the beauty of capitalism is that it offers us a way out of this wretched existence. When a company offers a man a job, they are not saying, “work or die!” the way a slaver does; they are promising him that, if he helps them to succeed, they will give him money to improve his life.

Professors Bertram, Gourevitch, and Robin at Crooked Timber make another argument: that the workplace is coercive by virtue of an unequal power balance. Employers can, after all, fire employees if they don’t do X. But this mistakes the nature of work and ignores the power of employees.

Coercion, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is, “The practice of persuading someone to do something by using force or threats.” It involves a threat to harm someone if they don’t do X. In a prison or slave camp, prisoners can be beaten or killed for not complying with orders.

This is fundamentally different from the promise of an employer like Amazon, which is to engage in a relationship with workers so long as that relationship is mutually beneficial. As long as the employee performs good work, Amazon will continue to help him improve his life. If the employee no longer provides value to Amazon, then Amazon is under no obligation to continue to help him.

Refusing to continue helping someone is fundamentally different from the use of “force or threats” inherent in coercion. A slaver’s whip makes a person’s status quo worse if he doesn’t do as he’s told. An employer’s continued payments make one’s status quo better if he does as he’s asked.

Admittedly, being fired can leave former employees in a tough spot, and that’s more true if they’re fired without warning. Amazon’s harsh work conditions, combined with the specter of being suddenly let go if we don’t perform every day, don’t constitute a job most of us would choose. But equating this with a slave camp does employees a disservice by denying their agency.

The comparison ignores the power of employees. They can leave a company whenever they want, and wielding that power can leave their former employers in a bind. In a small company or a busy firm, an employee who quits can leave the company without the manpower to meet its obligations. If an accountant suddenly quits H&R Block during tax season, he'll leave their franchise struggling to make up lost ground.

Even in a big firm like Amazon, employees who leave suddenly cost their bosses money. According to the liberal-leaning Center for American Progress, the turnover costs for employees earning under $50,000 per year averages 20 percent of that employee's annual salary. These costs incentivize employers to retain staff and grants bargaining power to employees.

Such language also ignores the fact that people tend to find jobs that represent their best option.

This is true of Amazon’s “fulfillment centers,” which took a lot of heat in 2013. But as The Guardian notes, Amazon builds these centers in, “places of high unemployment and low economic opportunities.” Workers who otherwise wouldn’t find a job flock to Amazon, knowing that it may not be perfect but that it beats their baseline — unemployment. It’s also true of Amazon’s white-collar workers who just happen to be the subject of the latest controversy.

Amazon has, “one of the most rigorous hiring processes in America,” according to Business to Community, and those hired could find jobs at most other tech companies. But they choose to work at Amazon. Rather than considering that these men and women may choose to work at Amazon for a reason, progressives deride their choices and their agency with talk of coercion.

The issue of coercion is important to understand because it’s the central difference between government and the private sector. If you don’t do X, the government can punish you: it can take away your savings, throw you in jail, even shoot you. That’s true coercion. By contrast, if an employer asks you to do X, she can’t threaten you; all she can do if you say no is refuse to keep giving you money.

This difference highlights the essential freedom of the market. In any market-based relationship, one party can leave and the other party can do them no harm. This is a freedom that is noticeably lacking in our interactions with the government.

"Also, so, somebody who works minimum wage and has to pay bills and rent, can quit their job if they don't like it? No, they can't. They lose their home, they lose their livelihoods because they didn't want to do something they didn't like. Now doesn't that sound like slavery?"

Yes, in this situation quitting your job would mean that you lose your home. This is where you just have to stick it out until you find somewhere better to work. Someone who works minimum wage that has a home is either someone that is just getting out of college or they were not accepted in many other jobs. Generally, people are going to get a job that pays more than minimum wage so that they can quit if they want and not have that much financial conflict. Even if they do have financial conflict, this is not a problem since they probably left their job for good reasons such as:

1. Harassment

2. Lack of Payment

3. Change in Job Duties

4. Discrimination

5. Unsafe Work Conditions

If you leave your job for a good reason, you get unemployment benefits. Unemployment benefits are intended to bridge the gap between one job and the next, providing workers with monetary payments until they find a new job. If you do not like your job, then why did you choose to get employed in the first place? Those people should have done their own research on the job instead of just winging it. So it is then their own fault for not doing sufficient research on the job first. Those people will just have to stick it out until they are able to find a better job.

Side: Capitalism
2 points

Capitalism is superior to any other economic system. When it is the people calling the shots it always works out better than the government having control. The people can decide what to do for their business and the rest of the population can decide whether or not they will support it by buying their product or service. It is a beautiful system.

Side: Capitalism
bronson55(18) Clarified
2 points

This way the true needs of the people are met through the people instead of what the government deems as the needs of the people being met by the government.

Side: Socialism
bronson55(18) Clarified
1 point

I am on the capitalist side I have know idea why it says socialist under the clarified portion.

Side: Socialism
warrior(1854) Banned
1 point

people (lazy people) like to rant on about how capitalism is unfair and socialism makes everyone equal. but hears the problem with those arguments as i see them. in a capitalist society you are free to persue what ever carrer you chose and reep the benifits of your labore you get what you earn. and as for the whole equlization factore behind socialism it dose make veryone equal that is true but it dose that by makeing everyone slaves you see a socialist system requires a large amount of government controle in order to acomplish its goals and very offten gives way to full on comunisam wich is one of the most oppresive forms of government yet invented.

Side: Capitalism
TimelordROOK(94) Disputed
2 points

You're wrong. When Capitalists rule Communist states (i.e. Joseph Stalin) Communism can not work. When a true COMMUNIST rules a communist state, it is the last step before true social freedom. You see, a communist government is made to be the last staging area for a completely free gift economy, what some refer to as a social utopia. A place where anyone can do anything. Artists make art, Doctors help people, Mechanics fix machines. Believe it or not, most "lazy people" who despise capitalism only see the fundamental flaws of the system and see the ultimate irrelevance of their contributions to a capitalist society. You can not put others before yourself, as any civilized person's moral code states, and be successful in a capitalist state. at some point, no matter your intentions, you WILL have to ruin someone else's chances of pursuing their goals. They say it's lonely at the top, but that is because you have to put yourself up there on a pyramid of your peers.

You see capitalism as "free" because you've been conditioned to believe it. Capitalism is ruled by Big Business and Big Business is oppressive. You may not see it on the television, but every day, somebody, somewhere in a capitalist state had their dreams ruined because someone else took advantage of them to further their own cause.

Capitalism prefers the "I" to the "we"

The fact of the matter is, a man only has limited time on this planet to make a difference.

A man who dies poor and a man who dies rich always have something in common, they're both dead and alone.

Capitalism values the dollar sign over personal discovery and integrity. The more dollars you have, the more amoral you can be, simply because you had to be that amoral to get all of that money.

You see, humanity started out with a gift economy and eventually, we will end up back in one. as with all things in the universe, it is a cycle.

Side: Socialism
warrior(1854) Disputed Banned
2 points

"capitalism prefers the I to the we" and communism prefers the government to every thing els. Think of it this way Capitalism is a bunch of people screwing each other over to get to the top. Where as Communism is on man screwing the entire country over to get to the top. Look at every communist regime that has ever existed. The Bolsheviks ( later called the soviets) in Russia, the "People's" republic of china, Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, castro and Che and there murderous band of utopeits in Cuba, and of course who can for get that ever happy paradise known as north Korea. Tell me has there ever been a communist regime that came to power and DIDN'T immedeitly commit mass genocide?

Side: Capitalism
warrior(1854) Disputed Banned
1 point

Oh and I forgot north Vietnam nice folks those Vietcong especially.

Side: Capitalism
1 point

when you are are in socialism means are of production are equally shared so hard work of others will go to waste

Side: Capitalism
1 point

Capitalism is the way to go, but there should be more opportunities for impoverished children. There needs to be ways to get everyone a high quality education in America which we currently don't have. People should have equal opportunities but the right to choose what should be done during their lifetime.

Side: Capitalism
1 point

I'm 57 years old. We were taught in HS that socialism is the stepping stone to communism. This needs to be taught in schools today.

Remember USSR stands for United Soviet SOCIALIST Republics.

Side: Capitalism
1 point

Capitalism, no ideals but a fact of life. Some people are smarter, faster and better than others and they will prosper but while they do, they need the help of others and that increases employment but in Socialism the state does not allow that but loves to control everything and hates the idea of flat tax. Socialistic states only succeed in countries where almost everyone is educated and has a good background. ex. Switzerland.

Side: Capitalism

To be fair, Switzerland is successful not because of educated socialists, but because of a huge capitalistic international banking industry that is centered there.

Side: Capitalism
1 point

Neither

But closer to Capitalism than Socialism

In the USA we are not capitalist, we are free market. We have anti Trust laws that break up monopolies.

Sometimes, especially in our current environment, there is an unfair over correction that is harmful to a business owner. They aren’t big enough to sustain it, but are forced into loosing their businesses because of “a war on capitalism” Like the raisin farmer in California. I believe he won in the Supreme Court, but he didn’t deserve the cost he incurred to stay alive.

These are the people that need protection from this society we are becoming!

http://www.forbes.com/sites/danielfisher/2015/06/22/supreme-court-extends-fifth-amendment-to-raisins/#3f7e9e126f75

I hate to say, I’m not name calling. But that’s just stupid!But if we think its true then it must be. Regardless of history of facts and even the blatant manipulations in our society today.

But keep in mind, without these businesses we'd be far behind in the progress we know and enjoy today. And also they employed much of the population of the day. Although, we did need corrections to improve working conditions, increase safety, and pay higher wages. But the beauty of America isn’t that we were perfect. But the systems we have to correct greed when greed doesn’t correct itself!

We are a land of equal opportunity

Anyone can take an idea and create a successful business, and charge "what the market will bare" and make a living and/or gain wealth.

Many have overcome obstacles for the successes they achieve, with risk.

And as far as inheritance and the hand me down wealth - inheritance tax is probably the highest proportional tax in our society. So if you consider "fair share" we accumulate wealth to provide a better life for our families and to pass to our children.

The starting point, or tipping point varies of both failure and success in over generations. And sometimes it continues as it is for generations without change.

American success is built on ideas, enterprise, risk, and the wants and perceived needs of the general market.

An Informative History Lesson on Capitalism

https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/us-history/history-survey/us-history-survey/v/20th-century-capitalism-and-regulation-in-the-united-states

Many through our history are "capitalist" but not many did so without loss, even bankruptcy.

Here is a Capitalist Parade – And while your at it look at the giving back some of these people did. Do you think that would happen in the USSR or Denmark or Turkey?

Milton Hershey – Drooped out of school, he was a poor student. Apprenticed for 4 years then - after two failed attempts, he set up the Lancaster Caramel Co. sold it then made the worlds largest Choc factory – then built a community and a home and school for children.

Walt Disney - fired by a newspaper editor because, "he lacked imagination and had no good ideas, started a number of businesses that didn't last too long and ended with bankruptcy and failure

Henry Ford – businesses failed and left him broke five times

R H Macy - Macy started seven failed business before finally hitting big with his store in New York City

F W Woolworth - Before starting his own business, young Woolworth worked at a dry goods store and was not allowed to wait on customers because his boss said he lacked the sense needed to do so. I guess he said F... YOU, and opened his own store, followed by successful chains of stores!

Good ole Colonel Sanders and his Fried Chicken - rejected 1,009 times before a restaurant accepted it

Albert Einstein - teachers and parents to think he was mentally handicapped

Thomas Edison - teachers told Edison he was "too stupid to learn anything

Sidney Poitier brutally rejected by American Negro Theater for his heavy Bohamian accent

Others with similar stories - H J Heinz - Emily Dickinson - Lucille Ball - P T Barnum - Fred Astaire - Jerry Seinfeld

http://www.onlinecollege.org/2010/02/16/ 50-famously-successful-people-who-failed-at-first/

And African Americans – Successful in the face of adversity

http://www.theroot.com/photos/2010/02/black businesshistoryanentrepreneurialtimeline.html

Like anything in the social front, with twisting, and media led head hunting, and the public's eagerness to follow without knowledge. Capitalism is redefined, then accepted for whatever they want.

Like the urban racial legends believed with a fury, that Democrats and Republicans switched places. So those Republicans who believed in Civil rights and paid for it putting their money and their lives where their heart was on the matter, are NOW called White Supremacists, while Democrats who were always white supremacists (and also some Black slave owners also) are hailed as civil rights heroes!

Teddy Roosevelt broke up the capitalist in the early 1900's. And it needed to be broken. They built great industry. We are where we are because of them. It was corrected, they kept the wealth they made, but the monopoly was broken and out of 1 came many oil and gas companies, for competitive free market competition. .

https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/us-history/history-survey/us-history-survey/v/20th-century-capitalism-and-regulation-in-the-united-states

Supporting Evidence: Capitalism in History (www.khanacademy.org)
Side: Capitalism
1 point

Note: Short post explanation--can be expanded upon later

One of the main problems with Socialism is that it is founded on an idea which is false--namely, that there are legions of super-compassionate people out there always trying to look out for one another. Overwhelmingly, the "compassion" is a veneer to cover envy, jealousy, hatred of the successful, self-loathing, etc. Then, you are often expecting others to make it their mission to "save"/"help" people that are not seriously trying to help themselves, and would gladly/eagerly f*ck you over if given the opportunity (i.e. "I scratch your back but you never scratch mine").

Capitalism has built into the idea that there are various types of people in the world--as well as a philosophy of 'good & evil' that tugs at humanities core (inside all of us). To visualize; imagine a mountain that scales so high up the summit is out of view. Various groups emerge, by nature; (a) Those who stay on the ground (b) people who climb at a leisurely pace (c) people who climb as fast and high as possible. Inside each camp, there are (1) fans, who cheer on and encourage those climbing up (2) the "foot pullers", who discourage and try to knock them off 'the path'. "Foot pullers" is where the problem comes in, and there are many different strategies to go about it. (i) the direct approach (ii) "concern" for the others safety. Capitalism is founded on the idea of the imagery provided--which I think is a much more accurate view of "human nature". Not that 'Capitalism' is necessarily the optimal route/solution, indefinitely--though it is superior to forcing "mountain climbers/sprinters" etc. to come back down to a "safe" height, for the sake of those who deeply, 'secretly' hope that they will fall to their death, rather than "concern for everyone's safety".

Side: Capitalism
1 point

One of the main problems with Socialism is that it is founded on an idea which is false--namely, that there are legions of super-compassionate people out there always trying to look out for one another.

Obviously you know so little about socialism that you somehow believe it's a theory of psychology instead of a theory of economics. Your straw man argumentation is boring and stupid because your understanding of what socialism is could probably be written on the back of a stamp.

Side: Socialism
1 point

@Conservanazi

By all means, enlighten me.

Also, where do you think you fall in that vision?

Side: Socialism
1 point

I will like someone, ANYONE, to tell me Socialism works. Any country. Name it.

Side: Capitalism
LordYLovesYo(37) Disputed
1 point

I don't have to. i know, what my rights are. i have the right to live, and i need healthcare, to live. my body, my choice.

Side: Socialism

Capitalism is the best economic system because it provides more options. Socialism just takes away options. Today, socialism is the "in" thing. Unfortunately, ignorance of the basic concepts of economics has invaded the progressive dialogue.

Let's start with a simple question: Is capitalism an economic system or a philosophy? Is capitalism anything more than just a principle? According to Webster's dictionary, an "economy" is defined as: the process or system by which goods and services are produced, sold, and bought in a country or region. Let us look at one of the most progressive slogans today: "In the real economy, socialism is not an option." Assuming that current practice is nothing more than an evolving "real economy," the premise is sound. The poster, however, does not distinguish between the "real economy" and economic theory. In fact, it is the very fact that the poster addresses "the real economy", that brings into serious question the validity of the poster's claims. The libertarian revolutionary Charles Edward Russell stated: "Whenever you lay down this arbitrary line demarcating the proper realm of government and the proper sphere of private individuals, you establish a maximum and a minimum wage." [1]

The idea that government has no business in the economic world makes little sense in light of Russell's words. When the phrase "real economy" is separated from the actual economic system of "capitalism," the phrase becomes meaningless. This does not mean that libertarianism is "the real thing." It does mean that the concept of capitalism, the economic system and not philosophical idealism, deserves to be in the discussion. If the poster had noted the line separating the government and "the real economy," it might have spared the rest of us from considering the validity of the rest of the poster's accusations.

Yet, the poster makes a salient point, in general, the socialist vision is a threat to anyone who questions the effectiveness of government. In fact, the "real economy" is the perfect microcosm of the progressive state in general. The government bureaucrat, the progressive manager, the liberal public official is always concerned with "the real economy." In the progressive paradigm, it is "the real economy" that dictates what is morally correct. The capitalist "real economy" dictates only how to produce the most amount of value under the least cost, and how to make a profit. While the capitalist model is critical, it is not the answer.

When the problem is formulated like the question Is socialism better, than capitalism?, the answer usually spells disaster. When Marx and Lenin asked what capitalism was they resorted to the very definition of capitalism, the theory that because the wealthy were dominating the economic system, it was no longer capitalism, but "the antithesis of (capitalism)." By so doing, they automatically set the economic system against its own definition.

The socialist scheme of "them and us" is nothing more than application of the Socialist's "theories of class contradiction". Through the application of the socialists' class theory, capitalists are defined against the people. The "capitalist class", in its attempt to accumulate capital and create profit, is presented as an unsympathetic aggressor against the common people. Even in the case of socialism, the elite, the "vanguard of the proletariat", will be attracted to socialism as a way of life. The socialist goal of control of the economy, will become confused with the common man's thirst for independence. In the end, the socialist system will turn into nothing more than the "vanguard of the proletariat."

In a capitalist system, the masses of people are free to pursue their dreams. In such a system, each is encouraged to strive for greater economic freedom. Due to the accumulation of capital, trade increases and production increases. As production increases, so do the living circumstances of the common people. Supply and demand dictates pricing. Competition creates the most economical means of production. Increased production allows the common people to buy more goods at a lower price. Increased production makes the producer more efficient and productive. As the people become more self-sufficient, the capitalist system rewards them with higher standards of living. As the average citizen gains greater economic knowledge, he develops a feeling of independence. His quest for economic freedom, leads him to embrace all the goods and services of capitalism. As a result, the "real economy" becomes reality. Under the capitalist system, the common people have a better chance to achieve their dreams. Capitalism is the best economic system.

Side: Capitalism
-6 points
1 point

This is a quote from 1930, spoken by a rising german politician called Adolf Hitler.

Who just happened to be the biggest liar in political history. Well, until idiots like you emerged that is.

In 1930, the contention that fascism had emerged out of socialism was accepted across the board.

What a spectacularly massive falsehood. Your claim is not merely false: it is absolutely preposterous. It was completely understood that Adolf Hitler was lying in order to appeal to Communist voters who he believed -- correctly -- could help win the Nazis power if enough of them believed his lies about having socialist sympathies. See:-

I met Hitler not in his headquarters, the Brown House in Munich, but in a private home - the dwelling of a former admiral of the German Navy. We discussed the fate of Germany over the teacups.

"Why," I asked Hitler, "do you call yourself a National Socialist, since your party programme is the very antithesis of that commonly accredited to socialism?"

(Interview with The Guardian, George Sylvester Viereck, 1923)

https://www.theguardian.com/theguardian/ 2007/sep/17/greatinterviews1

Of course, there are various other factors besides this which contribute in illustrating that you have an understanding of history which is literally arse-end backwards, including -- though not exclusively -- the fact that Hitler had all the left wingers in his party murdered.

Side: Socialism
DisputedByMe(34) Disputed
1 point

What a spectacularly massive falsehood. Your claim is not merely false: it is absolutely preposterous. It was completely understood that Adolf Hitler was lying in order to appeal to Communist voters who he believed -- correctly -- could help win the Nazis power if enough of them believed his lies about having socialist sympathies.

How can you be so excessively incompetent that you completely misunderstand that the man who said the word 'communism' certainly wasn't a socialist? The fact that Hitler was vocal about his contempt for 'socialists', and all the people that said so, is all the evidence you need to start beating yourself on the head. He was clear that he wanted to be in control of the businesses that he wanted and believed that the businesses that the public had were run too much by speculators who were taking advantage of the public's losses. All the effects that you attribute to socialism, such as the super-sized markets and huge amounts of overheads that we now witness every day in banking, supermarkets, and utility businesses; these are highly a result of nothing more than greed and the demand to make money out of other people's problems. You do not see any governments enforcing fair competition in these sectors, do you? It just comes down to good people with ethics and morals, and making sacrifices where necessary for the common good.

Of course, there are various other factors besides this which contribute in illustrating that you have an understanding of history which is literally arse-end backwards, including -- though not exclusively -- the fact that Hitler had all the left wingers in his party murdered.

dumb much...? Are you seriously suggesting that 33 million men, women and children were murdered at the hands of a man who only killed 'Left wingers'? again, I argue that none of the left wingers were murdered, so don't begin to tell me about the murders of the right wingers. All the deaths that occured were deaths due to horrific wars fought by nazis over territory. And had the left remained in power, history would have been different in many more aspects other than left wingers being killed.

Side: Capitalism