frame
Howdy Debater!
Sign In Register


Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Is Capitalism Evil?

LogicLogic 213 Pts
It has killed nearly 8 Million people, If not more already. So what do you think?
ale5luzerjoecavalrySilverishGoldNova
  1. Is Capitalism Evil?24 votes
    1. Obviously.
      20.83%
    2. Not even close.
      79.17%

Comments

  • agsragsr 441 PtsPremium Member
    Premium Member
    Maybe if someone lives in north korea
    Live Long and Prosper
  • inc4tinc4t 124 Pts
    many people don't fully appreciate notions such as capitalism, freedom of speech, and other costructs we take for granted.  
    Alternative to capitalism is socialism/communism, and while it offers promises of utopian society, it just doesnt work as we have seen with many examples in World History.  
    The notion of capitalism encourages people to do their best, which drives progress.
  • Capitalism isn't good or evil by itself. It depends who is in the capitalist society. If it is full of charitable billionares who help out the poor and middle class, then it becomes good. If it is full of greedy billionares, then for sure would be used for bad.





    aarongAlwaysCorrect
  • agsragsr 441 PtsPremium Member
    Premium Member
    @CrispyMcnuggets, I agree.  many of US billionaires make a deliverate effort to donate much of their established wealth to charity - Gates, Buffet, etc.
    The most important feature of capitalism is that it ensures meritocracy, creativity, and hard work.  With other systems, people rely on someone else to carry them - and everyone loses.
    Live Long and Prosper
  • Capitalism is not evil at all.
  • ale5ale5 111 PtsPremium Member
    Premium Member
    The key benefit in capitalism is right to pursue happiness  - a right many of us take for granted, but its actually really special.  Knowing that you can make it big if you are takented and willing to work hard is not something one expects outside of capitalism.

    It's kind of fun to do the impossible
    - Walt Disney
  • Capitalism is an economic system. the theory is based on complete freedom of the individual, allowing for both good and evil to manifest by chance depending on the government, country, etc; but the inherent economic system is not evil. communism on the other hand restricts individual freedoms, which in my opinion is an evil thing to do
    ale5
  • inc4tinc4t 124 Pts
    @melanielust, I agree on your point argument for capitalism not evil. I would say that communism is probably not evil, but misguided.
  • CovenyCoveny 140 Pts
    Capitalism, or any other economic system for that matter, can't be evil as it's got no morals... it's not a person. There could be evil people within capitalism, but there could be evil people in any economic system. It's like trying to say any inanimate object is evil, it's just not possible because inanimate objects don't do actions, or morals, or malevolent etc.
    SilverishGoldNova
  • It's a system that promotes people to seek after one's own profit rather than doing what is good for the most amount of people possible. It puts some people in a hierarchy at the  top of a business and subjects people to a owner.
    aarong
  • I'm sorry, but where exactly are you getting the 8 million death count statistic from? I do not think that statistic is accurate, and even if it is, it is nothing compared to the death counts associated, with Stalin and Mao, who are communist leaders. 

  • LogicLogic 213 Pts
    @henroybaggins Those 8 million-10 million are african children that can't have food.  Search for a video by hamza tzortzis he talks about this. I can't remember the name sorry. Just search : Hamza tzortzis on capitalism 
  • But why do people immediately jump to CAPITALISM to blame for everything? There are millions of other factors that could contribute to people dying if they live in a capitalist society. If the government is a dictatorship, for example, and they directly starve people and steal resources from citizens - such is the case in many African nations.
    islander507
  • LogicLogic 213 Pts
    @melanielust  I'm not jumping to attack capitalism. But from what you just said i can smell some hypocrisy.  You blame communism for the poor communist societies, While saying capitalism isn't fully to blame for poor societies. 
  • luzerluzer 3 Pts
    Communism promotes non-equal opportunities and in some cases is led by a dictator. Although, it can be beneficial for some if not all classes.
    agsr
  • @Logic That's an excellent point, one I have considered before. I wasn't talking about necessarily being poor - I was talking about death tolls. Under capitalism there have been no structured genocides/democides carried out by the capitalistic government, whereas in communist societies there has almost always been a government that intends to hurt its people - genocide, starvation, you name it, by the theory of communism itself, people are just more likely to be worse off.

    In capitalist societies, there is disease, suicide, car accidents, murder, malnutrition, etc...those are all so many factors that aren't directly the result of the economic system in place. How could a truly free market affect those people dying when it could be literally anything else?

    In communist societies, there is also disease, suicide, etcetera - but there is also greater room for that government control which might allow for intentional mass killings. That is the difference, and every single long-term attempt at communism in history has proven it as such.
    agsrLogicale5AlwaysCorrect
  • LogicLogic 213 Pts
    I agree with most of your points here. But i really do think if there could be a strong communist leader, Unlike fools like stalin, There could be a pretty good communist society. 
  • CYDdhartaCYDdharta 201 Pts
    @Logic Doesn't that, by necessity, mean that a communist party is only as strong as it's leader?  What happens when that leader can no longer perform the required duties?  That wouldn't seem to be the recipe for a lasting society.
    melanielust
  • @Logic That's an excellent point, one I have considered before. I wasn't talking about necessarily being poor - I was talking about death tolls. Under capitalism there have been no structured genocides/democides carried out by the capitalistic government, whereas in communist societies there has almost always been a government that intends to hurt its people - genocide, starvation, you name it, by the theory of communism itself, people are just more likely to be worse off.

    In capitalist societies, there is disease, suicide, car accidents, murder, malnutrition, etc...those are all so many factors that aren't directly the result of the economic system in place. How could a truly free market affect those people dying when it could be literally anything else?

    In communist societies, there is also disease, suicide, etcetera - but there is also greater room for that government control which might allow for intentional mass killings. That is the difference, and every single long-term attempt at communism in history has proven it as such.

    This is objectively wrong. Some capitalist states have carried out genocides and ethnic cleansing and some "Communist states" have not. Take Chile in the 70's as an example. Allende, a socialist president, was democratically elected and started to institute socialist reforms. With the help of the CIA he was overthrown a few years later and a military dictatorship pushing free-market Capitalism was installed with the USA's blessing. Guess which one had dissidents being rounded up and tortured, never to be seen again or executed en masse in football stadiums. It was the Capitalist one.

    Also how can things like malnutrition not be down to Capitalism? Capitalism is the method by which goods are allocated, with a focus on maximising profits. Malnutrition occurs when enough food has not been allocated to a person to keep them healthy. If maximising profits means exporting food to wealthy countries where it will go to waste or help people live lifestyles where they eat way more than is necessary but people in the developing world starve and die, which is what happens, then that is a direct cause of the competitive and profit-maximising nature of Capitalism.

    Any economic system can be governed by a dictator or a genocidal mass-murder, but it's only in Capitalism that the mass deaths are intrinsic to the very nature of the system. Millions of people will starve this year or die from preventable diseases not because we cannot help them, but because it is not profitable to allocate resources in a manner that will stop them from dying. There si no evil genius masterminding it, it's simply the nature of the system. The overall bodycount from Capitalism exceeds the collective bodycount of all the Soviet and Chinese dictators combined.
  • Capitalism isn't good or evil by itself. It depends who is in the capitalist society. If it is full of charitable billionares who help out the poor and middle class, then it becomes good. If it is full of greedy billionares, then for sure would be used for bad.





    If you accept Surplus Valus and all that this entails, then it isn't possible for this to work and so this argument would hold no sway with a communist or some forms of capitalist.

    I'd recommend this video:  which helps explain the concept.

    Basically if you view Capitalism as inherently parasitical, with the capitalist using his command of the means of production to profit from the labour of others, then all a billionaire is doing is relieving a small fraction of the harm and inequality that he caused in the process of accumulating his money in the first place. The net effect is still detrimental.
  • Logic said:
    It has killed nearly 8 Million people, If not more already. So what do you think?
    How has Capitalism killed 8 million people? Just want to know.
  • @DavidDebates

    Capitalism is the system used to create and allocate commodities.

    It allocates resources in a way which cause millions of people each year, disproportionately children, to die from malnutrition and preventable disease. This is because the primary motivation for Capitalism, profit for the investors, incentives those actions. If it is possible to pay workers in Sub-saharan African countries tiny wages that put them below the world poverty level, why not do so? If they can't then afford to purchase medicine, why provide it? If this means it is more profitable to sell food in Western countries, why bother making sure they have enough to eat?

    The same drives which are often lauded as creating efficiency also result in millions of deaths. Also FYI the world produces enough food to feed everyone so that isn't an excuse.
  • @AlwaysCorrect

    I know that. My problem is if it actually is Capitalism that is causing that starvation. I know for a fact that extreme socialism and extreme anarchy cause strife: examples would be the ancient world for anarchy and the USSR for extreme socialism. One can clearly show that a result of the policies passed through the USSR was starvation (Stalin's Five Year Plan caused massive starvation: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_famine_of_1932–33). Where are those policies seen in Capitalism? As far as I can see, Capitalism has extended the human lifespan, improved the way of living, and created policies that protect others (A good read about how Capitalism has affected family life here: https://fee.org/articles/capitalism-and-the-family/). The reason that those other countries fall into the poverty level as you state is because of weak executive governments. If criminals or exploiters do not fear the law, they will break it. I'd say we need to focus on assisting or helping those countries build a stronger government, as that's the reason their citizens are taken advantage of, not Capitalism.

    I completely agree with John Locke's sentiment about government. Government is a necessary evil because of evil. If your government is not strong and cannot protect its citizens, they will suffer. There's a big difference between strong government and big government.
  • AlwaysCorrectAlwaysCorrect 156 Pts
    edited June 26
    @DavidDebates

    I'm not sure how anything you've said relates to my point as you don't seem to have engaged with it at all.

    If someone is not getting paid enough to afford the essentials necessary to live, that is a fault of the system of supply and demand - which is Capitalism. About a billion people live in extreme poverty, struggling to afford enough to live. Sometimes that struggle fails - often for their children who are less able to cope with deprivation than a grown adult. There is no big bad dictator starving the people, it is a structural issue with Capitalism itself.

    If it is more profitable to sell malarial medicine at a rate which makes it affordable for many of the people who need it and causes masses of excess deaths, Capitalism incentives not selling the product and allowing the people to die. It's the flip side of the same coin that Capitalist proponents talk about when they try and laud the efficiencies it creates. There's no need for fanciful tales of criminals and exploiters stealing the food out of millions of mouths.

    To deal with a few of your points, incidental as I find them

    Stalin

    You've used the example that the same kind of results occurred under Stalin, except that Capitalism is worse because it causes more deaths and does so constantly. That is not a good comparison to make on your part.

    Capitalist improvements

    Capitalism has made many improvements (as have other economic systems), but these improvements are not equally distributed and it allocates resources in a way which still causes millions to needlessly die each year. An overall improvement when looking at the population as a whole is not mutually exclusive with mass deaths for a specific deprived sub-set of the population. Are you saying you think the benefits to you and others in Western nations make the needless deaths of millions of others in poor countries each year okay?

    The rest about governments being weak and bad seems completely random and not related to the conversation at hand, not based on anything other than ideology.
  • @AlwaysCorrect

    I think I have responded to your original rebuttal, I just may not have been clear enough. I'll attempt to clarify my position and how it counters your rebuttal.

    I can state that Communism, or extreme socialism, kills others. The reason I am able to make this argument is because I am able to find a example of a policy enacted as a result of that political ideology that caused this. The example I used is the Five Year Plan enacted by Stalin. You can find it here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_famine_of_1932–33#sthash.a5clldSD.dpuf

    If you would like to state that Capitalism kills others, then follow the same pattern. Purely spitballing ideas isn't going to prove anything.

    Also, the idea that "we have enough food to feed everyone, therefore everyone should be fed" doesn't work. This has nothing to do with a fault in Capitalism, instead, it has everything to do with either pride or weak governments. I'll show you a hypothetical to explain my reasoning.

    Suppose I was in an office, and then I was locked inside the office by a cruel man (perhaps my boss, if you'd like). If I starved to death, would you say that the door is at fault because it was able to be manipulated by someone with evil intentions? Or would you say that the cruel man is at fault because he took advantage of the lock on the door, even though it should and can be used for good?

    Saying that Capitalism is a fault for starvation is just like stating that the door is at fault, whereas the truth of the situation is that weak governments allow people with bad intentions to misuse Capitalism, but if those government would be stronger (i.e. if a police officer arrested the cruel man and let me out of my newly made prison) these problems would cease to exist. Not so with other political systems.

    Criminals and profit exploiters are bad, obviously. But they would be stopped by a government that is strong enough, especially if that government was Capitalist. Capitalism has a way of policing itself though transparency, and a government that protects the rights of its citizens (life, liberty, and property as shown by Locke) would eliminate any exploitation you claim to be a fault of Capitalism.

    If this still doesn't respond to your points, I apologize. I may be missing your argument.
  • @DavidDebates

    Before I can respond in depth, you need to decide which of your two diametrically opposed arguments you actually support or give some rationale as to why they aren't completely contradictory.

    - At the start of your post you make the claim that deaths due to the misallocation of commodities due at least in part to the government are completely and totally the fault of the economic system this happens under.

    - At the end of your post you make the claim that deaths due to the misallocation of commodities due at least in part to the government are in no way at all the fault of the economic system this happens under.

    These are completely contradictory positions and there seems to be no actual rationale for it beyond the self-serving basis of blaming everything on communism and white-washing everything for capitalism is the outcome you want. If you can clarify your position, I'll respond.
  • @AlwaysCorrect

    My point is obviously not to contradict myself, so I blame myself for not being clear enough in my argument. Allow me to clear it up.

    The problem is not with the political ideology (Capitalism), the problem is that the governments backing it aren't strong enough. 

    If the government that is Capitalist is strong enough, people's rights would be protected. If the government that is Capitalist is weak, exploiters and criminals will take advantage of the government.

    Does this clear up my argument for you to respond to it? Or do you still need me to explain it further?
  • @DavidDebates

    That doesn't explain it, because the exact same argument can apply to the "Communist" states like the USSR and in fact would really apply to them more so.

    You can either handwave away famine for both sides or you can castigate both sides. What you can't do is treat both sides differently without a clear reason, else that is hypocrisy.
  • @AlwaysCorrect

    Why not? I think I've shown that intrinsic policies created by the political ideology of Communism created famines. Where are those intrinsic policies created by Capitalism?

    The exact same argument doesn't work for Communism, as seen above.
  • AlwaysCorrectAlwaysCorrect 156 Pts
    edited June 27
    @DavidDebates

    But you haven't shown that, you've said that without showing how any why. 

    In both of your explanations the famine is caused by bad governance, but somehow when bad governance happens it's 100% Communisms fault in a "Communist" country and 0% Capitalism's fault in a Capitalist country. You have given no explanation for why, besides it suiting you to blame the economic system you dislike and white-wash the system you like.

    In 1932-33 there was severe famine in the Soviet Union following a drought caused by Stalin's policies and the weak  governance at the time. So some questions for you. Was there famine in the Soviet Union in 1949? What about 1963? Or 1972? Or 1981?

    The answer is no, no, no and no.1963 is notable because there was a drought but the government made efforts to make sure it didn't cause a famine. The Holdomor wasn't the normal state of affairs and famines didn't continue after the 1930s so it seems the Soviet Union meet your criteria for something that was caused by bad governance and is not representative of an intrinsic flaw in the economic system.

    On the other hand, can you name a single day in the entire history of Capitalism where goods weren't allocated in a way which leaves people in the poorer countries dying of starvation and preventable disease? Well, can you?

    Of the two, it seems that trying to use your argument it is Communism which shows itself as having famine caused by temporary poor governance while with Capitalism it's a permanent and intrinsic problem. Of course that's getting deeper into it then I wanted, as your argument is still contradictory and I don't even believe the argument myself - it's just a convenient way to show that you're incorrect.
  • No, in most cases it proves to award the person or people who earned what they have or are self made.
    love2debate
  • Actually, the more free-market a country is the more your success is likely to be determined by the wealth of the family you have the luck to be born into:



    This stands to reason, because of course someone born into wealth is going to have far more advantages than someone who is born into poverty.
  • edited June 29
    An economic system alone doesnt kill people. There can be evil in any government regardless of its economic system
    AlwaysCorrectErfisflat
  • @SilverishGoldNova, i agree. Although communism is closely correlated with dictatorship and power abuse
  • No, capitalism is not evil. It -

    Allows people who work hard to climb the ladder and earn more
    Punishes people who don't work
    Gives the people more options for everything


  • @SnakesOfferingApples

    But it doesn't.

    Capitalism is based around people with Capital (money, land, etc) being able to use their money to accumulate profit from their ownership of the means of production rather than their own labour or hard work.

    Please explain how the son of a billionaire who is born with masses of money and doesn't work a day in their life is punished if they don;t work.
  • edited July 5
    @AlwaysCorrect Who are you to say how the billionaire uses his hard earned money, is it immoral if someone who makes a lot of money gives it to whoever he sees fit? I think that because the money isn't earned by merit, people despise inheritance. But it is just, because usually for anything to be passed on to anyone there has to be a legal statement and after there is a pretty significant tax.

    And also, it might take time for the billionaire to be punished, but if they don't work they will not expand their wealth, and that money will fade away, and faster than you might think if you see how they live their lives. 

    Capitalism isn't evil, it catches up with people who don't pull their weight sooner or later. It's not perfect, but nothing is.

    EDIT - You might ask, Well what if they abandon their luxury life? Then they won't have to work for the rest of their life. Although trivial, I'm going to say that could happen for the sake of argument, not being able to live a luxury lifestyle anymore is punishment for someone who could attain it if they worked.
  • @SnakesOfferingApples

    Your reply is a non sequiter.

    You gave rationales of why Capitalism is not evil. I picked apart the simplest one, although the other two aren't much better.

    "Allows people who work hard to climb the ladder and earn more" - So does every economic system. Even feudalism allowed people to do better by working hard. Your statement doesn't mean anything. If you want to ask "How much is success based on working hard" then that's a different story, but that involves actual critical analysis.

    "Gives the people more options for everything" - We've given examples of this thread of millions of people dying needlessly each year because Capitalism doesn't give them the basic necessities required to live. "More options" doesn't matter. What those options are and how many are actually accessible to different people matters.

    I chose to respond to "Punishes people who don't work" because it is the most obviously incorrect. We know it isn't right.

    Your reply here also shows some mistakes over the very basics of Capitalism. The entire basis of Capitalism is based around the fact that the means of production can be owned and that Capitalists can accrue profits without themselves working by profiting from those who do work but aren't rich enough to afford the means of production. A billionaire doesn't have their money stored in cold coins in a vault like Scrooge McDuck, they use it to purchase ownership in various businesses and accrue profit by paying people to work - but paying the people less than the value of the work they actually do - accruing surplus value in the process. They stay rich without needing to work.

    Now you can say "But what if by happenstance their diversified portfolio of stocks all happen to collapse!". But that is incredibly unlikely and if you consider those type of scenarios then you run into the much much much much more frequent problem of people not actually being rewarded for their hard work with your first point.


  • edited July 6
    @AlwaysCorrect


    "Your reply is a non-sequitur."

    If you're going to claim that my logic is off, provide proof, explain why my logic is off. Otherwise, it's just an allegation. Ironically enough, you create a non- sequitur, by just claiming my logic is off without showing your work.

    "So does every economic system"
    Sure, but capitalism does it the best, in the feudalism example you provided, you would have never seen a field worker or peasant become an emperor or daimyo in Feudal Japan unless they broke off the system and did it by force,  social status was everything. And it certainly doesn't happen in communism or socialism since the wealth is supposedly "mutually shared".  Most self-made millionaires are in America, in a capitalist society. 

    http://www.businessinsider.com/richest-people-in-the-world-2015-4 ;
     
    "We've given examples of this thread of millions of people dying needlessly each year because Capitalism doesn't give them the basic necessities required to live. "More options" doesn't matter. What those options are and how many are actually accessible to different people matters." 

    So has socialism and communism, (I assume those are your alternatives, forgive me if I'm wrong), socialism and communism have been associated with corruption all throughout history. While capitalist societies have thrived. The U.S free-market allows people to thrive regardless of their background.  Most people who have become rich, did so on their own. (Source below) 
    And yes, more options do matter, because that can lower prices for products. I'm taking a college class on business fundamentals even though I am a freshman, and it's simple economics, as competition goes up, prices go down. So there you go, accessibility of products for the poor.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/richest-people-in-the-world-2015-4 ;


    "I chose to respond to "Punishes people who don't work" because it is the most obviously incorrect. We know it isn't right"

    No, it is correct, many economists know that inheritance isn't someone's saving grace. It takes too long to attain, you don't know how much you are going to get, and it has many restrictions. 
    Capitalism forces people on top, to try and maintain their status, and that's good. Capitalism is "Prove you contribute, and you thrive." Socialism is " You are alive, here are your rewards"

    The need to contribute is what creates a functioning society full of people that work.

    http://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/0212/dont-count-on-an-inheritance.aspx

    "The entire basis of Capitalism is based around the fact that the means of production can be owned and that Capitalists can accrue profits without themselves working by profiting from those who do work but aren't rich enough to afford the means of production. A billionaire doesn't have their money stored in cold coins in a vault like Scrooge McDuck, they use it to purchase ownership in various businesses and accrue profit by paying people to work - but paying the people less than the value of the work they actually do - accruing surplus value in the process. They stay rich without needing to work."

    You are making assumptions, not every business man underpays their workers (it's against the law BTW), also the businesses they create have to have a foundation, they weren't always multi-million dollar companies. In fact, most people as you've seen before started from the ground up. Finally, these companies need someone to manage them, a CEO of sorts.  If I built a company, and my son inherits it as you said is what happens, then he has to maintain it. Otherwise, if he doesn't, he falls from luxury.

    As you can see I supported my claims with evidence, capitalism is not perfect, but historically it works better than other options.

Sign In or Register to comment.

Back To Top

Debate Anything on DebateIsland.com

| The Best Online Debate Experience!
2017 DebateIsland.com, All rights reserved. DebateIsland.com | The Best Online Debate Experience! Debate topics you care about in a friendly and fun way. Come try us out now. We are totally free!

Contact us

customerservice@debateisland.com
Awesome Debates
Terms of Service

Get In Touch