Student organizations to clash on capitalism, socialism



Talon Delaney

Polarizing views will clash Tuesday when Iowa State student organizations Turning Point USA (TPUSA) and Young Democratic Socialists (YDS) debate seemingly opposite political-economical philosophies at 6:30 p.m. in Physics Hall.

Both groups believe students should become more socially involved in political and economic issues. They hope this debate will serve to educate curious parties and start conversations.

Ben Whittington, freshman in political science and debater for TPUSA, believes the debate will “entertain and enlighten” Iowa State students.

“This debate is for the people in the middle,” Whittington said. “I think our ideas will get prominence after students are duly informed of our side.”

Whittington said TPUSA believes freedom of speech and free market capitalism are intertwined, and government should be greatly limited in its economic power.

David Filip, senior in statistics and member of YDS, insists that students could stand to know more about economic alternatives to capitalism. He and YDS believe socialism has become a dirty word in American pop culture, and they wish to end that.

“This failing economic system needs to be changed,” Filip said. “Students need to be exposed to new ideas.”

Democratic socialism has gained popularity largely because of the running platform of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Sanders sought “to address the obscene levels of wealth and income inequality,” according to

TPUSA agrees that politics and economics should stop being taboo social subjects, but that’s where their concurrency with YDS begins and ends. Both groups vehemently disagree on policy and the direction America should take moving forward.

“Socialism reformation will probably destabilize the whole world,” Ahsas Bermudez, junior in chemical engineering and member of TPUSA, said.

Rosie Cook, sophomore in pre-business and YDS debater, hopes the debate will help “de-stigmatize” inaccurate preconceptions about socialism.

“Under capitalism, unemployable people aren’t taken care of … and people are doomed simply by lack of opportunity,” Cook said. “[Socialism] is about making sure everyone has a voice in power.”

Whittington, however, disagrees.

“Socialism is inherently a selfish ideology,” Whittington said. “It pretty much assumes ‘I exist, so give me stuff.’ It’s good to help people, but not at another’s expense.”

Cook and Filip argue that the principles of capitalism are destabilizing the world. Global hunger, for instance, is something YDS believes could be dealt with if financial profits weren’t as high a priority.

“This is a condition created by capitalism,” Filip said. He believes the United States already has the resources to help people suffering from starvation but won’t do so as long as there’s no capital gain.

The debate will put three members of YDS against three members of TPUSA in room 0003 of Physics Hall on Tuesday. All students, whether they are left leaning, right leaning or somewhere in the middle, are encouraged to attend.