The Capitalism Debate…

capitalism

On Thursday 23rd October 2008, the Phil debated the motion ‘That This Hoiuse Believes That Capitalism is the only basis for a stable society”. A paper on the subject was presented by the socitey’s schools convenor, Ciara Finlay, who argued in favour of the motion and opened a lively debated featuring guests from all over the world with various colourful viewpoints. She was quickly followed by Robin Hahnel, Professor of Economics at American University in Washington DC, who spoke in favour of “21st centruy socialism” and compared capitalism to “a manic-depressive patient”.

Jacob Arfwedson, research fellow of the Stockholm Network, conceded that the current financial crisis made it a difficult time to defend capitalism, but nevertheless did his best. He was followed by student speaker Emma Regan (Phil MC), who spoke about how she believed it was possible to achieve utopia without capitalism.

First year BESS student Cathal Dunne made his maiden speech in defence of the capitalist system, and was rebutted by Mick Murphy, Socialist Party councillor for Dublin South-West. Lars Feld, of the University of Heidelberg, also defended our current system. Our final guest, David Nielsen, was the last speaker in favour of a socialist system. He was followed by Jonathan Wyse (Debates Convenor), before Ciara Finlay responded to the debate, concluding that capitalism was still a superior system.

The vote of thanks to Ciara for her paper was resoundingly passed, while the vote on the motion itself was mixed, with those in favour of capitalism narrowly winning out.

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