• The forum will be going down at about 3:30PM EST to fix logout issues. We should be down less than 20 mins.

  • This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every person's position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!
  • Welcome to our archives. No new posts are allowed here.

Debate: Politicomind vs Feela: Is American Capitalism Good or Evil?

politicomind

New member
Joined
Jan 19, 2007
Messages
40
Reaction score
2
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
Feela, I ask you to agree to the following terms:

1 opening statement each
5 body posts each
1 closing argument each

The set up is that each makes one post then waits for the other to make a response. As much as three days are permitted between each post.

At the end I invite you to reverse debate me on the same subject matter.

The debate shall be judged by three judges who will shall pick, to judge us each on these areas

relevancy
style
countering
persuasiveness

The entire process will work like this

1 Your opening statement
2 my opening statement

3 your 1st body post and counter
4 my 1st body post and counter

5 your 2nd body post and counter
6 my 2nd body post and counter

7 your 3rd body post and counter
8 my 3rd body post and counter

9 your 4th body post and counter
10 my 4 th body post and counter

11 your 5th body post and counter
12 my 5th body post and counter

13 your closting statement
14 my closing statement

This is no minimum length and there is a maximum of 2500 words.

submit to me in the closing your nominations for three judges.
I will submit in my closing three nominations for judges.

If you agree to these terms, simply make your opening argument and we may begin.

Feela takes the position that American Capitalism is inherently evil
Politicomind takes the position that American Capitalism is inherently good
 

Feela

Banned
Joined
Nov 22, 2006
Messages
604
Reaction score
20
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian
As I said in a PM,I have no real experience at this kind of thing and you unfortunately picked a time when my leisure time will be quite restricted,but I will do my best if you bear with me,although I don't think I can make my first statement for at least 48 hours.

And I really have no idea who the judges could be,I will try and find some libertarian socialist posters.
 

Feela

Banned
Joined
Nov 22, 2006
Messages
604
Reaction score
20
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian
Btw Politicomind can we change the topic to western capitalism in general,as I'm not an american and am not always 100% on US issues.
 

politicomind

New member
Joined
Jan 19, 2007
Messages
40
Reaction score
2
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
Sure Western Capitalism is fine, which western capitalistic system are you most familiar with????
 

Feela

Banned
Joined
Nov 22, 2006
Messages
604
Reaction score
20
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian
Sure Western Capitalism is fine, which western capitalistic system are you most familiar with????
British, I'm Scottish(Well 1/2,I also 1/4 Irish and 1/4 Cornish.),but western capitalism is pretty homogenous,even the often mischaracterized Sweden and america are very similar when you get past the bs.
 

Feela

Banned
Joined
Nov 22, 2006
Messages
604
Reaction score
20
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian
My Opening statement.

In this debate it will be my position that capitalism is unjust, unhealthy, authoritarian/statist and far from the best possible system that humanity can enter upon in order to satisfy its needs and desires.

The distinguishing features of actually existing capitalism.

To start my opening statement and my argument as a whole I feel it is necessary to point out the distinguishing features of the actually existing capitalism I will be critiquing.

Capitalism is a commodity producing , largely market system, where the means of production have been appropriated in the hands of an elite minority by the state, which maintains this regime. So the majority of people lack access to the means of production without agreeing to work for one the minority elite ie the capitalists.It is important to note capitalism was never and is not a free market and is not based on any reasonably legititimate property rights and despite the anti-state claims of some apologists, it is so riddled with state intervention as to be inconceivable without.



I intend to use the five body posts in order to give my five distinct, main arguments against capitalism.

Argument one:primitive accumulation.

First off I will the historical argument of primitive accumulation to show how capitalism developed out of feudal society and how it was not an natural outgrowth of a market system,as Karl Marx wrote.

"Nature does not produce on the one side owners of money and commodities and on the other men possessing nothing but their own labour power"

I will therefore show how it was born largely due to massive state coercion, violence and fraud needed in order separate most from their means of production, and therefore capitalism lies on an unjust basis.

I will be using the sources of historians and radical writers.As has been said the facts of primitive accumulation are largely beyond debate.

Here are some preliminary sources on this.(I will also be using the work of historians like the Hammonds,Edward Thompson and others.)

F.8 What role did the state take in the creation of capitalism?
Chapter Four--Primitive Accumulation and the Rise of Capitalism
Oppenheimer, The State (1922): The Online Library of Liberty
Our Enemy, The State by Albert J. Nock, Introduction


Argument Two: The ongoing and massive state intervention necessary to keep capitalism afloat.

Then I intend to show the later, ongoing and increasing state intervention that has marked capitalism and is necessary to keep it alive.

I will show that the capitalists use state intervention to maintain their privilege, to keep the majority without access to the means of production and to help solve crisis tendencies within capitalism such as the chronic tendency to overaccumulation of capital as well as the legimitation crises caused by the disruptive nation of capitalism.

I will also attempt to show the extra problems caused by this intervention, which often necessitates even more intervention as well as the different approaches used by different factions in the capitalist classes.

I will generally be relying heavily on Mutualist and free market socialist analysis in this argument as well as of that of the New left and the left-libertarians like Karl Hess.

Here are some preliminary sources for this argument.(It should be noted that the left-libertarians tend to use capitalism to mean completely free markets rather than the actually existing variety.)

The Iron Fist Behind the Invisible Hand
http://mises.org/journals/jls/15_3/15_3_3.pdf
Roy Childs - Big Business and the Rise of American Statism
Our Enemy, The State by Albert J. Nock, Introduction

Argument three: The social process of production and unearned income from property.

Thirdly I intend to show how production is in reality a social process and how in reality labour is the only true productive human activity and therefore that income on property is unearned income, that comes through coercive social relations and not through any productive contribution made by the onwer of property, particularly in light of the two previous arguments about how this property was created and maintained.

I will mainly use the general and time honoured socialist, anarchist and radical arguments here.

Here are some preliminary sources.

C.2 Why is capitalism exploitative?
The Labor Theory of Value - A FAQ
Thorstein Veblen Linkpage
THE CONQUEST OF BREAD

Argument four: Capitalism causes alienation and is emotionally, psychologically and socially damaging.

In my fourth argument I will attempt to show that capitalism is damaging to people in many ways, including psychologically, emotionally and socially.
I will show ways in this damage occurs and what its consequences are.

I will use the arguments of many anarchists, socialists, Marxians and other Radicals.

Here are some preliminary sources on it.

Thorstein Veblen Linkpage
Erich Fromm: freedom and alienation, and loving and being, in education
I. Origins of the Concept of Alienation
B.1 Why are anarchists against authority and hierarchy?

Argument five: The alternative(s); what libertarian socialism can offer.

In my final argument I will attempt to show just what humanity could really archive in a libertarian socialist system, where it is completely emancipated from its chains and the human spirit is free to satisfy all its basic needs as well as its higher desires using free agreement.

I will use the the works, ideas and insights of many libertarian socialists and anarchists for this arguments.

Here are some preliminary sources.

Section I - What would an anarchist society look like?
Kropotkin Archive
Godwin Archive
Proudhon Archive
Benjamin Tucker -- Anarchy Archives

To End.

And in my closing statement I will thread all these arguments together together to create a compelling denunciation of capitalism that highlights its unjust and coercive origins, the coercion used to maintain it, the negative effects it has on most of the people subjected to it and the alternatives that offer so much more.
 

politicomind

New member
Joined
Jan 19, 2007
Messages
40
Reaction score
2
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
PoliticoMind's Opening Post

Capitalism its self has forged the Greatest Nation in History

The way to measure an economic system is to witness its success as others fail. The fact that capitalism succeeds while other forms of economic systems have failed proves its superiority over those other forms.

The byproduct of capitalism is an increased amount of political and social freedom. As an nation becomes more prosperous and more financially healthy from a capitalistic system, the more its citizens are afforded free time to venture into the other arenas of life. Excess productivity created by capitalism affords time for one to invest himself in the arts, sciences, politics, or even simply on-line debate boards.

Capitalism thrives because it is superior. Those that claim that capitalism is evil are merely the poor players within the system. Those that do not have the talent, will power, gusto, intelligence or work ethic to succeed in a capitalistic system naturally come to despise the system which placed the mirror up to their inferiority. To despise capitalism is to admit that one cannot succeed within that system. No man that has climbed the ladder of success, no man that has made his way in the world, ever stands up to loathe that system. Yet, those that cannot rise up, feel they are mediocre, and that they will never reach the heights of success obviously, then, come to develop unsavory sentiments of the structure with casts a shadown upon them.

The supremacy of capitalism is proven by the fact that no other system can even come close to rivalling its powerhouse physique.
 

Feela

Banned
Joined
Nov 22, 2006
Messages
604
Reaction score
20
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian
The way to measure an economic system is to witness its success as others fail. The fact that capitalism succeeds while other forms of economic systems have failed proves its superiority over those other forms.
Capitalism arose out of the fall of other systems of production and has been
used and transformed by the elites as they have seen fit, it is still useful for them and will stay around until it becomes a burden on the elites or the people change the system.
The byproduct of capitalism is an increased amount of political and social freedom.
This is true, one reason capitalism has been thrived is because it gives this or rather appears to.
In capitalism the exploitation and political control of the elite control of the elites is less obvious as is their position as a class, this gives them some added legitimacy in the minds of the masses particularly when added to their use of propaganda, but this comes at a price ,they have to give some measure of political power to the masses although they limit this as much as possible and they even have to give the masses some very limited opportunities to rise to their heights, again this is as limited and taxed as possible ie the market is extremely biased against small businesses(and gov't regulations make this even worse.) and these businesses need to take out loans and pay interest which is basically tribute to the elites for use of their accumulated capital.
Hence there is some very small risk a new man rising to become a member of the elites but this is limited and even if they do make it, they will have had to pay tribute in the form of interest anyway.

In fuedalism for example the position of the elites was more entrenched and their power and exploitation simpler(ie they didn't have to rely on the market.)but it was also more openly coercive, capitalism is less open about its exploitation but the elite are a little less stable in thier position.

As an nation becomes more prosperous and more financially healthy from a capitalistic system, the more its citizens are afforded free time to venture into the other arenas of life. Excess productivity created by capitalism affords time for one to invest himself in the arts, sciences, politics, or even simply on-line debate boards.
The political and social freedom capitalism affords to the masses is only given extremely grudgingly in exchange for legimitacy and it is limited by deception and propaganda as much as possible.
Hence alot people believe that voting for a few politicians, in a centralised system where you have little control over their actions until the next election, is the height of freedom and democracy.

Capitalism thrives because it is superior.
Of course, it is the system the ruling classes feel is most beneficial to their interests now, I do not disagree.
Those that claim that capitalism is evil are merely the poor players within the system.
To mention a few names, Kropotkin was a prince, Bakunin an aristocrat, Engels a factory owner, Marx was middle class.
Those that do not have the talent, will power, gusto, intelligence or work ethic to succeed in a capitalistic system naturally come to despise the system which placed the mirror up to their inferiority. To despise capitalism is to admit that one cannot succeed within that system.
Naturally. But as unlike you are suggesting the poor and average people are not their because of lack of work ethic or talent. As Kropotkin said, in captialism those who do the most work seem to get paid the least.
Except for the very, very few people are are either poor or rich because of what their parents where and because of social situations in their lives.
Hence the middle class increased in the 40s,50s and 60s because of corporate liberal polices that increased aggregate demand and the middle class shrank there after due to neoliberal policies aimed at increasing the accumulation of capital in the hands of the rich.
No man that has climbed the ladder of success, no man that has made his way in the world, ever stands up to loathe that system.
Again Kropotkin was an aristocrat, Engels a welathly capitalist etc etc.
Yet, those that cannot rise up, feel they are mediocre, and that they will never reach the heights of success obviously, then, come to develop unsavory sentiments of the structure with casts a shadown upon them.
Unfortunately most don't they internalise the injust of the capitalist system onto themselves and feel that there situation is a personal failing instead of seeing the truth of the system. This often leads them into what Veblen called "The treadmillm of consumerism." where they try and buy their way to happiness and believe their financial worth is their personal worth.

The supremacy of capitalism is proven by the fact that no other system can even come close to rivalling its powerhouse physique.
It has been very successful due to the partnership of the capitalists and the state, I do disagree here.
 
Top Bottom