The Instigator
socratesone
Pro (for)
Losing
1 Points
The Contender
imabench
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

All Governments are Criminal Organizations

Do you like this debate?NoYes+1
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
imabench
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/5/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,017 times Debate No: 22592
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (16)
Votes (1)

 

socratesone

Pro

PLEASE READ THE ARGUMENT BEFORE ACCEPTING THIS DEBATE.

This argument contains definitions which clarify my position. If you provide an example of a corporation, agency, institution or other body which does not meet the below criteria (ei, at least one of the three attributes listed are not present), or define "crime" as excplicitly including "arbitrary exemptions" (ie, a "law" that allows the state to violate other laws), then you are arguing against a straw man, EVEN IF such institution is accepted as a "government" using OTHER CRITERIA.

When I am using the word "government", I am describing any number of institutions, with variations in size, scope, complexity, culture, laws, and location. However, I assert that all of these institutions have very specific characteristics in common, which I will sum up into three behavioral attributes:
  1. The creation of Laws and Law enforcement.
  2. The claim of monopoly rights over a geographic area.
  3. The collection of taxes.
While there are many variations of structure and organization of such institutions, I will use these attributes to define government. Something labeled a "government" may not meet this criteria, and is therefor exempt from this .

I define "Criminal Organization" as any organization which inherently commits crimes. Here, "crime" means a violation of applicable criminal law (if applied consistently to all moral actors regardless of arbitrary exemptions giving members of that organization the exclusive right to commit such crime).

I contend that it is axiomatic - that the very same attributes which I here use to define a government are crimes, even within the scope of the very same laws that same government provides and enforces, and that arbitrary excemptions are necessary to cover up this obvious inconsistency.
imabench

Con

I accept this debate and will argue that not all governments are criminal organizations. I will be doing this by justifying what it is governments are actually meant to do and give examples of governments that are 100% NOT criminal organizations as defined by the Pro.



Debate Round No. 1
socratesone

Pro

I will be using the term "corporation" to refer to organizations and institutions which may or may not meet the criteria of "government", as the term "corporation" literally means a "body of people". This can include any type of corporation - municipalities, nation-states, for-profit, non-profit, state-chartered, etc... (ie, all governments are corporations, but not all corporations are governments). This is to more easily compare institutions which do not meet the definitions above, and to clearly demonstrate the myth of legitimacy, and the problem with arbitrary exemptions. Also, If you have an example of a corporation which meets the criteria provided, please provide these examples in the early rounds, so that I may address them. At the very least, I would request that no examples be provided in the last round, as that would not leave me the opportunity to address anything I find to be incorrect.

Please do not confuse "society" with "government". Before I begin, I would like to state that I accept the necessity of society, community, and of many of the services that these corporations labeled as "government" provide.

If a corporation issues a "law", it is making a rule and promoting the obedience of that rule with "law enforcement" (both attributes are listed in the definition of government that we have accepted for this debate). Law enforcement is the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of the goal of obedience.

The contradiction and arbitrary exemption:
The use of violence an intimidation, without arbitrary exemptions, is the core principle behind criminal law. To prove the statement "All Governments are Criminal Institutions" to be wrong, you must find a government which does not have laws prohibiting violence and aggression.

If a corporation claims a "monopoly right over a geographic area", it is claiming that, on some level, it "owns" the land, and, if you move past a claimed boundary on the earth, the corporation claims the "right" to use the above-mentioned violence and intimidation in the pursuit of its goals. We can also not call being born into a geographical area as "consent" or acceptance of the legitimacy of that claim any more than being born into slavery is consent to being a slave.

The contradiction and arbitrary exemption:
Claiming a monopoly right is inherently an exemption. It is the statement that the corporation can engage in X, but any other corporation who engages in X on their "turf" is subject to the same violence and intimidation described earlier. To prove the statement "All Governments are Criminal Institutions" to be wrong, you must find a government which does not have laws prohibiting violence and aggression, racketeering, or uphold the property rights of individuals.

If a corporation collects "taxes", we must assume that it is not voluntary. Any "voluntary" payment of services would simply be called a payment, and any "voluntary" contribution to society would simply be called "charity". Taxation is based exclusively on where you reside or do business, ie, if you reside or do business within the geographic area that the institution claim, this amounts to "tacit consent" (ie, not consensual) to pay for products and services. We can not accept this as "voluntary" because people choose to stay in that geographic region any more than we can accept the Mafia's collection of "protection money" as voluntary simply because a shopkeeper chooses not to move out of the neighborhood.

The contradiction and arbitrary exemption:
To take, under threat of force, the product of somebody else's labor, against their consent is "theft". To prove the statement "All Governments are Criminal Institutions" to be wrong, you must find a government which does not have laws prohibiting theft.

The myth of legitimacy and the paradox of exemption:
The core difference between 'government' corporations and other corporations is the idea that these claims are somehow "legitimate", ie, that other corporations can not do these things without being in violation of the law, but institutions which are perceived as 'legitimate", or labeled as "government", can do these things without being in violation of the law. The myth of "legitimacy" is itself an example of "arbitrary exemptions".

In essence, it is a matter of faith. You either believe that a corporation has the legitimate right to use violence against you or you do not. You either believe that a corporation has the legitimate right to take the product of your labor against your will or you do not. You either believe that a corporation has a legitimate claim to a geographical area or you do not, but the claim itself does not make it true, and the fact that this belief is held by so many also does not make it true (democracy itself is an appeal to the ad populum fallacy).

In fact, faith is REQUIRED to accept such corporations as legitimate, because, as I have demonstrated, the attributes of these corporations are inherently inconsistent (ie, self-contradictory), and a concept must, at the very least, be internally consistent for it to qualify as 'legitimate'.
imabench

Con

" Law enforcement is the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of the goal of obedience. "
I disagree, law enforcement coming from the government comes in the forms of fines, penalties, and maybe an arrest if the crimes are severe enough. Not through intimidation and violence.... This then dismisses the next argument about contradiction and arbitrary exemption since law enforcement doesnt come from violence and intimidation.

" if you move past a claimed boundary on the earth, the corporation claims the "right" to use the above-mentioned violence and intimidation in the pursuit of its goals."
You are allowed to move beyond boundaries between governments though, they are called passports and it happens all the time.

"We can also not call being born into a geographical area as "consent" or acceptance of the legitimacy of that claim any more than being born into slavery is consent to being a slave."
But if you dont like your country youre allowed to leave it. You cannot legally leave slavery

People dont voluntarily pay taxes but people do understand that the government has the right to collect taxes and use those taxes to pay for services to help the people. So taxes may be involuntary, but they are a necessary evil because people know that without taxes the government wouldnt function.

"The core difference between 'government' corporations and other corporations is the idea that these claims are somehow "legitimate", ie, that other corporations can not do these things without being in violation of the law, but institutions which are perceived as 'legitimate", or labeled as "government", can do these things without being in violation of the law."

If government corporations mess up they are liable to laws though, they most certainly are not immune. There are laws to regulate government agencies to keep their power in check at a certain amount or laws to maintain how ethical their actions are.

Governments uphold laws in ways such that the unalienable rights of people are not violated and government corporations that do break laws are liable to penalties because the government is not all powerful and immune. That being said all governments are NOT criminal organizations because governments are liable to the laws they pass, they do not use intimidation and violence as law enforcement, and because things such as taxes are involuntary but are accepted as necessary evils by people.

Now then here are a list of governments that are not criminal organizations.
The Monarchy in Narnia
The government of Panem (Hunger Games)
The Ministry of Magic (Harry Potter)
The Volturi (Twilight)
The government of Danistann (Nationstates.org)

Those governments are not criminal organizations because even though they create laws and enforce them, have rights over a region, and collect taxes, they are fictional governments and thus are not criminal organizations even though they count as governments.
Debate Round No. 2
socratesone

Pro

"law enforcement coming from the government comes in the forms of fines, penalties, and maybe an arrest if the crimes are severe enough."
There are many different forms of "punishment" for non-obedience, up to and including being shot. The violence, however, tends to show itself clearly only when the other intimidation techniques don't achieve the objective of your obedience.

In the US, for instance, you may get a fine, but that fine is essentially an extortion notice, and is itself an act of intimidation. You must pay, or else. If you do not pay that fine, they can increase the intimidation. For instance, they can send you a court date, which is to say, they can demand that you appear before them. If you do not show up, they can issue a warrant for your arrest, which is to say, they create a document which "authorizes" somebody to abduct you against your will. Even that is nice language meant to play down what actually happens, as the truth, at least in the US, is that men with guns come to your house, tie you up in metal shackles, throw you in a vehicle, many times a windowless van, and toss you in a cage that is famous for being a place where you will be beaten and raped*.

If you defend yourself from this horrific threat of abduction and prison rape, you will be shot - murdered, slaughtered, executed, put down like a pig, and the only "crimes" you committed were disobedience and self-defense.

"law enforcement doesn't come from violence and intimidation"
Law enforcement IS violence and intimidation, and it is explicitly so. There are plenty of justifications for this violence and intimidation, (ie, claiming that it is a "necessary evil"), but saying they have nothing to do with each other is like saying war has nothing to do with killing people. Not only is it not true, it is the exact opposite of truth.

"You are allowed to move beyond boundaries between governments though, they are called passports and it happens all the time. "
You are contradicting yourself. If I am required to ask permission to do something (passport), then, ipso-facto, I am not "allowed" to do it. The idea that I would be "allowed" to move beyond those borders with permission implicitly asserts that the corporation has the right to deny me access, which is the exact opposite of me being "allowed" to cross those borders.

Let's say you didn't even need a passport, and you could just freely move across borders - that is irrelevant to the question of how the corporation behaves within those borders. Building walls and having checkpoints on the borders is just one more example of criminal behavior on the part of these corporations. Much like "taxation", it is something that, if you or I attempted to do to a third party, it would immediately be recognized as criminal behavior.

"So taxes may be involuntary, but they are a necessary evil"
Whether you believe it is "necessary" is irrelevant. It has been argued that the black market is "necessary", as well, but that is irrelevant to whether it is criminal. Slavery was once thought of as a "necessary evil", but that doesn't change the nature of slavery.

Also, you forget that it is not "the people" government spends money on, as there is no such thing as 'the people". The government takes money from SOME people and uses it to benefit OTHER people. The size of the groups involved are irrelevant. For instance, not all people agree with you that taxes are "accepted as necessary evils".

Even if that money was spent to improve society, and that 99.99% of the population approves of the spending, it is still a violation of the law unless we allow for an exemption - you even admit this yourself by calling taxation a necessary "evil". What is "evil" about being consistent with our values and rules? For us to consider it "evil", it must be a violation of our value system.

" That being said all governments are NOT criminal organizations because governments are liable to the laws they pass"
...except the ones that have exemptions that allow them to violate the law, which, I still maintain, is all of them. I freely acknowledge that government agencies and individuals working for government are subject to some of the laws that the rest of us are. However, a criminal is still a criminal if he breaks even one criminal law, regardless of how many laws he obeys. If that criminal could decide what the laws are, there is no reason for him to give himself an exemption for laws he doesn't want to violate - just the ones preventing stealing, intimidation, racketeering, etc... just like governments do.

"Those governments are not criminal organizations because even though they create laws and enforce them, have rights over a region, and collect taxes, they are fictional governments and thus are not criminal organizations even though they count as governments."
There are many fictional crime families out there. To the extent that they are fictional, their crimes are fictional, but that doesn't change the fact that they are criminal.

What you are essentially saying:
In order to argue your case, you have done the following:
  • Claimed that law enforcement (law enFORCEment) has nothing to do with force, violence, or intimidation, even though the exact opposite is demonstrably true.
  • Claimed that taxation is a "special case" because "the people" (ie, you, and people who agree with you) consider it a 'necessary evil'. In other words, it is exempt from our standards and is "legal" even though it violates other laws - exactly my point.
  • Used fictional (FICTIONAL!) governments as examples of governments which are not criminal (even though they still are criminal as fictional governments).

In short, you have produced no compelling reasons to dismiss my arguments.

* http://reason.com...

imabench

Con

imabench forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
socratesone

Pro

When the world was confronted with the observations of Copernicus, and the theories of a heliocentric solar system, it was a dramatic shock to the existing world view that the entire world would be fundamentally different than what people had accepted for centuries.

When the world was confronted with the protestant movement, it was a dramatic charge that the "one true faith" could be called into question, that alternatives to such a ubiquitous and powerful institution could be created simply by asking those questions, and formulating alternative answers.

When the world was confronted with abolitionists, it was a dramatic realization that slavery was wrong, yet some stuck to their existing perceptions, and ignored the obvious immorality of the institution.

When the world was confronted with the woman's suffrage movement, it was a dramatic and scary thought to some that women be given the same rights as men.

When the world was confronted with such scientific breakthroughs as the theory of evolution, or Einstein's theory of relativity, it was a dramatic paradigm shift, which left many people dazed and confused.

Yet, we all accept that these things were correct, and the dominant paradigms of the time were wrong. We all accept that truth marches on, and that the future MUST, as well, be filled with surprising revelations about the ideas and institutions we take for granted.

Is it really hard to accept that the next to be called into question is the dominant institution of our day? Is it really that far of a stretch to think that institutions (governments) which killed nearly 300 million people in the 20th century may not be rational? Is it really hard to accept that using an institution which steals nearly half the nation's income is not a good strategy for protecting property rights? Is it hard to figure out that the more soldiers "fight for our freedom", the less freedom we actually have, as measured by the massive amount of legislation coming out of Washington, from SOPA and PIPA to the NDAA and the Patriot Act?

We can either choose to be on the right side of history, or we can choose to indulge in the delusion that the status quo is always correct - a delusion that, history has shown, will almost always be wrong.


imabench

Con

First off I apologize for FF the last round

Ill refute the Pro's points from round 3 then challenge his views in round 4

"at least in the US, is that men with guns come to your house, tie you up in metal shackles, throw you in a vehicle, many times a windowless van, and toss you in a cage that isfamousfor being a place where you will be beaten and raped"
You like to put a dark spin on things huh? First off a law is a law and if you break it then that is your own damn fault not the governments. That being said people who are arrested still have rights, they can still have attorneys, they have the right to remain silent, they are not slabs of meat like you think they are for some reason. Governments acknowledge that people are people, criminal organizations dont because criminal organizations dont give people rights.

"Law enforcement IS violence and intimidation"
Yeah if asking nicely and giving you an option to choose youre own fate is counted as violence

"The idea that I would be "allowed" to move beyond those borders with permission implicitly asserts that the corporation has the right to deny me access, which is the exact opposite of me being "allowed" to cross those borders."
The reason they can deny you access is if youre a smuggler or a criminal or someone wanted for committing a crime. If youre not a criminal or a smuggler then youre allowed to go around anywhere.

"Also, you forget that it is not "the people" government spends money on, as there is no such thing as 'the people"."
You really are a close minded anarchist huh...

Here's the thing, If you were born in a hospital, been to a hospital, seen a dentist, or gone to a school, then the government has spent money on you.... So the government does spend money on EVERYONE

"...except the ones that have exemptions that allow them to violate the law, which, I still maintain, is all of them."
You still havent given any proof that this is close to being true. For ALL governments to be criminal organizations you must prove that all governments are criminal organizations. You cannot assume that just because 1 might qualify that all others do qualify.

"There are many fictional crime families out there. To the extent that they are fictional, their crimes are fictional, but that doesn't change the fact that they are criminal. "
Im not talking about fictional crime families, im talking about fictional governments. You said all governments are criminal organizations, I named several that are not criminal organizations, you have yet to give proof that they are indeed criminal organizations.

"Claimed that law enforcement (law enFORCEment) has nothing to do with force, violence, or intimidation, even though the exact opposite is demonstrably true."
Law enforcement still acknowledges that people have rights, that law enforcement is limited in how they treat people, and that law enforcement lives by codes and laws that they have to obey. Things like the Miranda rights are codes that law enforcement have to work by. Criminal organizations do not have these codes and thus are not criminal organizations.

"Claim that taxation is a "special case" because "the people" (ie, you, and people who agree with you) consider it a 'necessary evil'."
Yeah, I agree with this, for a government to work it needs taxes which can come from tariffs, excise taxes, or the most common form, income taxes.

"Used fictional (FICTIONAL!) governments as examples of governments which are not criminal"
Im allowed to use fictional governments to prove you wrong, and you have still not offered evidence showing that each and every one of these are criminal organizations.

"Is it really hard to accept that the next to be called into question is the dominant institution of our day?"
Well to accept something that challenges the norm, you need proof that shows you are correct, you havent offered any tangible evidence or examples of how all governments are criminal organizations.

" Is it really that far of a stretch to think that institutions (governments) which killed nearly 300 million people in the 20th century may not be rational?"
Nobody is here to say that governments are rational 100% of the time, but you are certainly the only one here who thinks that American intervention in WWII makes America a criminal organization.

"Is it really hard to accept that using an institution which steals nearly half the nation's income is not a good strategy for protecting property rights?"
Half of the people in the US doesnt even pay taxes and the half that does is taxed by less than 40% 99% of the time so re-evaluate your math and then when you realize that the government uses a good majority of that to help us live better lives, you might start singing a different tune

"Is it hard to figure out that the more soldiers "fight for our freedom", the less freedom we actually have,"
Yes because had we not fought the Revolutionary War we would all be somehow MORE free

"as measured by the massive amount of legislation coming out of Washington, from SOPA and PIPA to the NDAA and the Patriot Act?"
You mean those things that were vetoed, amended numerous times, vetoed again, struck down, limited, and applied only to potential terrorists? I thought so

"We can either choose to be on the right side of history, or we can choose to indulge in the delusion that the status quo is always correct - a delusion that, history has shown, will almost always be wrong."
Ill call Bullsh*t on that out of all the other ridiculous arguments youve made. According to the Pro all forms of anarchy are better than any form of government. So lets compare governments to Anarchies

Governments give people rights, Anarchies dont
Governments acknowledge people's property rights, Anarchies dont
Governments provide services to its people, Anarchies dont
Governments puts criminals, murderers, and rapists in jail, Anarchies dont
Governments fund jails to keep criminals in, Anarchies dont
Governments acknowledge the right to bear arms, Anarchies dont

Let me summarize this whole moshpit of a debate. Pro is a die hard anarchist who probably believes that making your kid go to school counts as child abuse and absolutely refuses to acknowledge anything good the government has ever done. I am arguing that since governments provide services to people, give rights to people, protect and acknowledge people's rights, repeal laws that are found to be unjust, give rights to people even when they are criminals, and passes laws that benefit people when they do not benefit the government.

Governments are not criminal organizations, and by extension just because one government crosses the line one time that certainly does not mean that all governments are somehow all criminal organizations because the Pro has still yet to offer evidence of just how each and every last government is a criminal organization. Fictional or not
Debate Round No. 4
socratesone

Pro

For this round, will simply test con's arguments out by using the same arguments for a known criminal institution as a baseline - the question is "does the same line of argument justify the actions of the mafia?". Since we know the actions of the mafia are not justifible or legitimate, we can assume any argument which justfies or legitimizes the criminal actions of the mafia are not valid. For this thought experiment, I will assume that the mob boss makes sizable donations to the orphanage he was raised in. Think of the orphans

"First off a law is a law and if you break it then that is your own damn fault not the governments."
First off a mob boss's rules are the rules and if you break it then that is your own damn fault not the mafia's. You must first assume that the rules are legitimate before you can assume that the violence used to enforce those rules is justified. This is circular reasoning.

"criminal organizations dont give people rights"
Neither do governments. When a government "gives" you a right, it is simply establishing that it can not legally violate that particular "right", buy any right that isn't codified is on the table, hence the state violating your property rights and rights of movement.

'Yeah if asking nicely and giving you an option to choose youre own fate is counted as violence'
If the mafia asks you nicely and gives you an option to choose whether you pay protection, aren't you choosing you're own fate? If I point a gun to your head and demand your wallet, and you give it to me, I'm giving you a choice, right? If you give it to me and I don't shoot you, is it then OK? It's not a "violent" or "coercive" act if I don't shoot you?

"The reason they can deny you access is if youre a smuggler or a criminal or someone wanted for committing a crime. If youre not a criminal or a smuggler then youre allowed to go around anywhere."
Stating a motivation is not justification for the act they are motivated to do, even if that motivation is "good". The reason the mob can kick you out of the ciy is if you're a trouble-maker. If you don't make any trouble, and keep your nose clean, you don't got nothing to worry about.

"You cannot assume that [all governments are criminal organizations] just because 1 might qualify that all others do qualify."
Like I said before, based on the definition of 'crime', exluding any exeptions, all governments, as defined in this argument, are, de-facto, criminal organizations. It is axiomatic, like saying "all apples are fruits", and defining an apple as a "fruit which grows on an apple tree". The criteria for criminality explicitly includes the qualities specifically defined in government.


"You have yet to give proof that they are indeed criminal organizations."
If these fictional governments have fictional laws which are enforced with fictional law enforcement and claim a monopoly over fictional geographic regions and collect fictional taxes, then they are fictional criminal organizations, unless you define "crime" as "not crime" or "not crime when fictional governments do it".

"Law enforcement still acknowledges that people have rights, that law enforcement is limited in how they treat people, and that law enforcement lives by codes and laws that they have to obey."
The mob knows that people deserve respect, and there are certain things that they just won't do. You treat them right, and they'll treat you right. There's even "honor among theves".

"for a government to work it needs taxes"
For a extortion racket to work, we need to collect the protection money. Think of the orphans.

"you have still not offered evidence showing that each and every one of these are criminal organizations. "
You are shifting the onus. In essence, you are stating that I must deliver an infinite number of counter-arguments to these examples. You are doing this because, I suspect, you don't understand the axiomatic nature of my argument. My argument works with all possible governments in all possible universes, as long as they meet the criteria.

You have asserted several times that I have offered "no proof" that governments are criminal organizations. To say this is to miss the point etirely. If I say that all apples are fruits and define apple as a fruit, then, yes, ALL apples are fruits, definately and definitively. You are saying that there are fictional apples, and put the onus on me to prove that all fictional apples are fruits, when you ignore the definition of "apple" stated to avoid exactly that kind of confusion.

The rest of your argument is a repetition of the same points - "yeah, but...". Yeah, but governments pay for good things. Yeah, but governments punish bad people. Yeah, but governments give us free goodies. Yeah, but governments protect us from evil warlords. This may all be entirely true, but it is also irrelevant, as I am not saying that providing these services is a criminal act any more than the mob boss giving money to an orphanage is a criminal act. It's not what they do with their money and power (most of the time), it's how they get the money, and how they keep their power.

You also choose to argue against some of my rhetorical statements I made during the round you forfieted. I could engage in those extraneous argument, but it would take too long and detract from the point.

Your final diatribe against anarchism is an ad hominum attack. Yes, I'm an "anarchist" because I don't believe in morally justifiable INITIATIONS of force. Just calling me an "anarchist" is a de-facto straw man since you obviously have a misunderstanding of my position, so can not possibly address my arguments which defend them. I could be a satanist, child-molesting drug-dealing murderous psychopath, but that wouldn't change the substance of my argument.

"Governments give people rights"
Rights are "unalienable". They do not come from government. Government, if anything. codifies and (alegedly) protects some rights at the expense of violation other rights".

"Governments acknowledge people's property rights"
Government can not protect your property by taking it by force.

"Governments provide services to its people"
Not nearly as many services as the free market does.

"Governments puts criminals, murderers, and rapists in jail"
Success rate is about 10% in the US. US government also murders people in brutal wars, and uses the fear of rape to gain your obedience.

"Governments fund jails to keep criminals in"
It also defines what a "criminal" is, and can put you in jail for not obeying it.

"Governments acknowledge the right to bear arms, Anarchies dont"
That is the exact opposite of the truth, much like many other things you've said.
Here's the thing, If you were born in a hospital, been to a hospital, seen a dentist, or gone to a school, then the government has spent money on you.... So the government does spend money on EVERYONE
imabench

Con

Pros comparisons of governments and the Mafia

- Ability to make laws -
" mob boss's rules are the rules and if you break it then that is your own damn fault not the mafia's."
But people dont recognize the Mafia Boss as the legitimate law maker of their land, people on the other hand do recognize governments as legit law makers, meaning that governments are not criminal organizations since they are legally recognized by the people as the lawmakers.

- Rights given to people -
"Neither do governments. When a government "gives" you a right, it is simply establishing that it can not legally violate that particular "right""
Ok then allow me to rephrase. Governments establish that it cannot violate the rights of people. The Mafia does not do that. Therefore a government is not a criminal organization since it establishes that a persons rights cannot be violated.

- Consequences for violating laws -
" If you give it to me and I don't shoot you, is it then OK?"
Youve made the correct choice in that scenario, however as stated above, the Government can only give you choices for punishment that do not violate a persons established right, the Mafia doesnt do that. Therefore a government is not a criminal organization since it can only give punishments that do not infringe on a persons rights.

- Crossing state lines -
"the mob can kick you out of the ciy is if you're a trouble-maker"
But as established before, the mafia isnt the recognized authority of the land and are not the official lawmakers of the land. So once again Governments are not criminal organizations becasue they are recognized as the rightful lawmakers of the land.

- Law enforcement does not infringe on peoples rights -
" You treat them right, and they'll treat you right."
Pro has completely ignored my argument on this one which was about the limits of authority a government can use against common criminals. A government cannot use extreme measures of force because peoples rights defend from that, however to criminal organizations rights dont mean anything and there is an unlimited range of force they can use. Therefore Governments are not criminal organizations since the range of force a government can use against its people through law enforcement is limited, whereas for criminal organizations, it is not.

- Legitimacy to collect taxes -
"For a extortion racket to work, we need to collect the protection money"
Once again, people dont recognize the mafia as the legal entity that can collect taxes, the government though is. Therefore governments arent criminal organizations since people recognize governments to have the power to collect taxes legally, but criminal organizations do not.

========================================================================================================================================================

Governments vs Anarchies

- Governments give people rights -
"Rights are "unalienable". They do not come from government. Government, if anything. codifies and (alegedly) protects some rights...."
Ok then, Governments legally recognize and codify a persons rights, anarchies do not.

- Governments acknowledge property rights -
"Government cant protect your property by taking it by force."
Governments are not allowed to take ones property without violating the persons rights, anarchies dont do that

- Governments provide services to its people -
"Not nearly as many services as the free market does."
Pro concedes that anarchies dont give people services.

- Governments puts criminals, murderers, and rapists in jail -
"US government also murders people in brutal wars, and uses the fear of rape to gain your obedience."
Pro ignores and concedes that governments can imprison criminals, anarhcies dont do that

- Governments fund jails to keep criminals in -
"It also defines what a "criminal" is, and can put you in jail for not obeying it."
Yeah, because it is legally allowed to do that because people legitimize the government's right to determine what a criminal is whether they agree with their choices are not. Thus this point is conceded too.

- Governments respect the right to bear arms -
"That is the exact opposite of the truth, much like many other things you've said."
Anarchies are any areas of land under no government rule, therefore anarchies dont recognize any rights of people. This means that anarchies dont recognize the right to bear arms.

"Here's the thing, If you were born in a hospital, been to a hospital, seen a dentist, or gone to a school, then the government has spent money on you.... So the government does spend money on EVERYONE"
I dont know why the Pro is repeating my arguments I used against him to prove him wrong.... The point of this is that governments use their income to benefit the people whereas criminal organizations do not do that. Conceded by the Pro.

========================================================================================================================================================

If one, then all?

"fictional governments have fictional laws which are enforced with fictional law enforcement and claim a monopoly over fictional geographic regions and collect fictional taxes, then they are fictional criminal organizations, "
But they have the legal right to do that, much like the ones in real life, since people acknowledge that they have the authority and legal right to do this.

"The criteria for criminality explicitly includes the qualities specifically defined in government."
Criminal activity is any activity that violates the laws that prohibit such activity.
http://dictionary.reference.com...

Governments are the rightful lawmakers of a region, criminal activity is activity that violates the laws of the state, not the laws an individual sets. Governments cant be criminal organizations since their own actions are limited and cannot violate people rights to an unlimited extent without having to compensate those whose rights have been unintentionally infringed

========================================================================================================================================================

So to summarize this debate,
Governments legally codify and recognize people's rights. Criminal organizations do not
Governments are the legally recognized law makers of the land, recognized by the people. Criminal organizations are not
Governments use funds to benefit their own people. Criminal organizations do not
Governments are limited by how much force they can use against a person. Criminal organizations are not
Governments are the legally recognized lawmakers of a land. Criminal organizations are not.

I thank the Pro for an interesting debate and I really thank the voters who somehow read all of this and didnt lose their minds for reading :D
Debate Round No. 5
16 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by BeeFree 3 years ago
BeeFree
And the criminals have it! Of course, the criminals who support the government outnumber the honest folk who just want to trade peacefully with each other. When will honest people rise up against this rampant armed robbery by "governments"?
Posted by socratesone 4 years ago
socratesone
I realize that what I'm saying might sound strange to you, and I fully recognize that the onus is on my to show the problems with statism.

You keep assuming that there is "the" law, as if there can be and is only one governing body over an area, and that governing body is legitimate by the fact itself. I realize that this is the status quo - the dominant paradigm of our day, but is there any rational reason for accepting this? As you said "that's all you got" there's nothing of substance there. It is accepted because it is accepted.

I wasn't trying to say that "rightful lawmaker" was a religious reference. I was trying to use religion as an example of an issue that is subjective - that's the issue here, subjectivity. For instance, there have been, in the past, many times when more than one competing government claimed legitimacy over a region. Foreign occupations come to mind. If you lived there, how would you know which one was the "true" state? After all, your criteria that it was "the law" applied to both of them. Your criteria that was "viewed as the legitimate government by the people" is true, too, as different people believe different things.

At the end of the day, it's about who wins in a contest of brute force - violence. That is what a government actually is, whether we want to admit it or not.

"Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."
- George Washington.
Posted by imabench 4 years ago
imabench
to answer your question "If I don't recognize them as legitimate, what are my options, other than giving up everything I've worked for all of my life (home, family, business)?"

Then you dont have an option because they are the legitimate government, I dont know what else to say beside emigrate. Thats all i got

as for rightful lawmaker that wasnt a religious reference that was meant to mean that the US is the legit lawmaker in the United States
Posted by socratesone 4 years ago
socratesone
You're assuming that the state is "recognized" as the rightful lawmakers. Does anyone have a choice in the matter? If I don't recognize them as legitimate, what are my options, other than giving up everything I've worked for all of my life (home, family, business)? Also, what reason is there to believe that such a thing as a "rightful lawmaker" exists at all? It's like religion - there is only "one true faith", but what if you don't believe in that God? The church doesn't decide reality, no matter how many people believe it. At one time, the church dominated areas geographically - there could be no other competing church, just like we have now with the state.

You also assume that the state recognizes people's rights. Sometimes it does, and sometimes it does not. It picks an chooses which rights to recognize and which to violate. You have the right to keep the product of your labor, don't you? The state violates that right through taxation. Don't you have the right to decide for yourself what to do with your life? The state violates that right with every command it gives you, and there are quite a few of them. Don't you have the right to decide what you do with your own body? The state violates that right with prohibition laws.
Posted by imabench 4 years ago
imabench
It still doesnt recognize peoples rights or is recognized as the rightful lawmakers of the land for starters
Posted by socratesone 4 years ago
socratesone
Why not?
Posted by imabench 4 years ago
imabench
Would the mafia be a legitimate organization if they allowed people to vote for the mob boss

Not at all
Posted by socratesone 4 years ago
socratesone
That was fun. I feel like the debate is unfinished, however.

I will say one thing - "people" don't accept the state as legitimate. Some people do, while others do not. Remember, also, that people are forced to accept the state - they really aren't given much of a choice, other than voting. Would the mafia be a legitimate organization if they allowed people to vote for the mob boss?
Posted by imabench 4 years ago
imabench
Sh*t i was almost done too
Posted by socratesone 4 years ago
socratesone
I'm looking forward to it.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Nur-Ab-Sal 4 years ago
Nur-Ab-Sal
socratesoneimabenchTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: I give pro conduct for Con's Round 3 forfeit, but I give Con convincing arguments because in the end he was able to refute Pro's claims by pointing out the differences between a sovereign government and a criminal organization