Why is it so difficult to debate with socialists? Request everyday arguments like principles.
I wanted some inputs from you on how to debate the socialists. What are those basic 7 or 8 or 10 or 13 points where they always go wrong. Something like principles which could be abstracted. For example they always go wrong in assuming that things can be planned which can be squashed by speaking to them of disasters, diseases which come unplanned. Of course they still argue that "govt can make allocation" but immediately they know (and they also know that their audience knows) that they have started treading on thin ice. One more thing for example which I have used to great effect is that against "surplus value". After allowing them to speak I just say "what if the product is not bought" and then they go silent and start saying how is it possible (it is easy to counter that with day to day examples) and then they say they will produce different products (at which time you can ask what happens to the redundant machinery) and then who pays for that. Finally you could squash the surplus value argument.
Please understand that I come from a so called developing country (India) and would like to have these as a ready reckoner to answer socialism. Something like common fallacies of socialism and communism and how they can be countered. Thanks in advance.
Adam Boyler commented
Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.
Jason Wipf commented
Good question Anantara. You could go blue in the face and debate this with socialist and communists doing a tit for tat back and forth about the pros and cons of the various systems. 4hrs later neither side has budged. Sound familiar?
To get to the bottom line of these debates do these 2 things. 1. Define what you want for yourself and a country. "I want a country where I am safe from invasion, have faith in the judicial system, be economically stable and have a large amount of freedoms to direct my own destiny" Hard to argue that huh? Any rational person will agree with you and want the same basic things. 2. Point out that man has been experimenting with governance ever since the dawn of man. Then ask the Socialist/Communist of any civilization in known human history that has for at least 3 generations (about 100yrs) maintained our "definition" of an ideal country; Military security with out being conquered by an outside force or taken over internally by tyranny, has had Economic stability (strong economy, jobs and low debt), a fair justice system, high amounts of freedom and then just for good measure against bias, a country where more people are trying to get into the country than trying to flee. That last part is important. A proud Communist will cringe on that last point.
You will likely be met with alot of thinking and silence. No country is perfect but the only one that comes close to that definition is America. They might site a few empires of past but many fell from our definition by the onset of socialist ideologies that valued distribution of wealth and big government that ultimately spelled their demise. When they start calling you names, getting mad or siting some book, you know you have won. At this point they have either awakened to the truth or will do nothing but spout Marxist inspired quotes at you in anger and desperation. So just put on a smile and walk away.
Thanks Anantara. That's an interesting idea. I'm going to move this one to our forum for suggesting new sections of the Everyday Economics course, as its a bit outside the scope of the "Trade and Prosperity" section.