The Instigator
WilliamsP
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
jamccartney
Con (against)
Winning
4 Points

Aristocracy

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
jamccartney
Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/22/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,963 times Debate No: 55204
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)

 

WilliamsP

Pro

I challenge jamccartney to debate the issue of Aristocracy. Just for clarification, I am most certainly not an Aristocrat, but I do have good reasons to support Aristocracy, primarily the specific forms Meritocracy and Geniocracy. I will be on the Pro side of this debate.

Round One: Acceptance.
Round Two: Main arguments, no rebuttals.
Round Three: Rebuttals (only refuting main aguments).
Round Four: Counter-rebuttals and conclusion.

Rules:
1. All sources will be cited. All formats are acceptable.
2. Forfeiture will result in the loss of 'conduct' points, unless the other debater does that as well or is in any way disrespectful.
3. Proper spelling and grammar will be used. A few occasional errors, however, are acceptable.

I look forward to this debate with jamccartney.
jamccartney

Con

Introduction

I am happy to debate this topic with WilliamsP and will be arguing the point that an Aristocracy is not a good idea. I will be using the following definition:

A government by the best individuals or by a small privileged class

I look forward to this debate.


Works Cited

"Aristocracy." Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 22 May 2014. <http://www.merriam-webster.com...;
Debate Round No. 1
WilliamsP

Pro

Introduction
I would like to begin by thanking my opponent for accepting the debate, which I truly look forward to. I originally intended to define Aristocracy, but I see my opponent has already done so. However, I will define a few additional terms, such as the individual forms of Aristocracy, some of which I support more than the traditional Aristocracy.

Definitions
I will use Wikipedia for these definitions. Please do not count this against me. I tried both Merriam-Webster and Dictionary.com, but they could not find definitions for these terms. I do not know why. I do not particularly like Wikipedia and I will avoid using it whenever I can, but I will use it if I must. In this case, I must. However, Wikipedia does cite its sources, so I will cite them instead of citing Wikipedia.

Geniocracy - “the framework for a system of government which was first proposed by Raël (leader of the International Raëlian Movement) in 1977 and which advocates problem-solving and creative intelligence as criteria for regional governance.”[1]

Meritocracy – “a political philosophy which holds that power should be vested in individuals according to "merit". Advancement in such a system is based on intellectual talent measured through examination and/or demonstrated achievement in the field where it is implemented.” [2]

I would like to share the following: "The concept evolved in Ancient Greece, whereby a council of leading citizens was commonly empowered and contrasted with direct democracy, in which a council of male citizens was appointed as the "senate" of a city state or other political unit. The Greeks did not like the concept of monarchy, and as their democratic system fell, aristocracy was upheld." [3]

The above definitions may not seem relevant to this topic at first, but they actually are. The two can – but not automatically are – forms of Aristocracy. There can be a Geniocratic Aristocracy or Meritocratic Aristocracy. The concepts work.

Arguments

Benefits of Aristocracy
Simply for clarification, Aristocracy and Dictatorship are not the same. I am going to primarily argue from opinion in this section, but they will certainly be supported by facts. According to my Merriam-Webster's definition, an Aristocracy is "a government by the best individuals or by a small privileged class," which my opponent has provided and I fully accept. I am primarily going to argue about the best individuals, not necessarily the privileged.
As an Aristocracy is a government of the best or privileged, the people who are running that government are surely worthy and they surely know what they are doing. An Aristocracy will surely succeed due to the "best" and "privileged" people in office. Why would they be chosen to run the government if they were not worthy? Tell me that.

Geniocracy and Meritocracy
Geniocracy and Meritocracy would be effective forms of government. My opponent himself supports Geniocracy (http://www.debate.org...) He himself said in his debate, "As you can see, there is a direct correlation between great leadership and intelligence. Not only that, but there is also a correlation between responsibility and intelligence, common sense and intelligence, and logic and intelligence. One cannot simply deny that they would rather be led by an intelligent person than an unintelligent person. It is simple logic that the more intelligent, the more likely you are to be great. Honestly, a person with an IQ of 60 would make a bad president, congressman, or leader of any kind. A person with an IQ of 160 would make a great president. To me, this seems obvious. I wish for my opponent to tell me why this is not obvious to him and why he does not support a more fair system of government and law." My opponent himself supports Geniocracy. We both had a discussion personally - we are friends not only online, but also personally - and we discussed the issue of Meritocracy. He said he would support it.
May I ask, how would these two forms of government not be beneficial? If you need for me to go more in depth, I will gladly do so.

Comparing Democracy and Aristocracy
I would like to devote a part of my argument to comparing Democracy and Aristocracy. Dictionary.com provides the following definition for Democracy:
"[G]overnment by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the peopleand exercised
directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system." [4] Most Americans tend to assume that Democracy/Republic is the best form of government, but I refuse to believe that. I do believe that people should exercise their rights through representative government, but what if that is simply not the best choice? Often, people choose the wrong leaders, who will eventually corrupt the nation - there are plenty of examples here in the United States - but there may be people devoted to public service, serving in an Aristocracy, that will drive the nation to prosperity. Consider that. Democracy is full of risks and the people themselves will have caused that. Aristocracy has less risks. The people will still have a voice, but that voice will not be as loud as in a Democracy.

Conclusion
I believe I have shown how Aristocracy is beneficial.I hope that my opponent and the voters recognize that it does have crucial benefits.

Works Cited
1. Raël, Geniocracy. Nova Distribution, 2008.
2. "Definition of merit - attribute, positive aspect and score (British & World English)".British & World English. Oxford Dictionaries. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
3. http://en.wikipedia.org...
4. http://dictionary.reference.com...

jamccartney

Con

Introduction

I would like to begin by thanking WilliamsP for giving me his arguments. As this is only the round for arguments, I will not give rebuttals.

Arguments

An Aristocracy is a government run by the best individuals or by a small privileged class. In an Aristocracy, if someone is born into a wealthy family, they have power, whether or not they are fit to rule. Furthermore, if someone is born into a poor family, they have no power, whether or not they are fit to rule.
There is also no voting involved in an Aristocracy. Citizens to not have the freedom to have a say in government. Very few citizens have any power whatsoever. Because of this, in an Aristocracy, the majority of citizens have no freedom.
Wealth does not mean good leadership. Wealth simply means you have privileges. Even though one has money, it does not mean they would make a good leader. In many cases, it means they were born into a rich family. There could be rich idiots and poor geniuses. An Aristocracy is also anti-Democratic, one of the best forms of government in my opinion. All citizens have equal power to choose what goes on in their government. This is called freedom. In an Aristocracy, there is no freedom.

In the past, countries with an Aristocracy have always failed. Let's look at Russia for example. In 1917, the country, which consisted of a lot of poor people and very few rich people, was run by the rich. The poor people, who were fed up of having no power or freedom, revolted, getting rid of tsarist Russia and forming the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
This is a simple concept to grasp: People do not like to be suppressed. Freedom is incredibly important to people. When they do not have freedom; when they do not have a say in their government, they revolt. They become unhappy and make a change. This is the simple logic that governs all of humanity. Russia had another revolution in 1991. When the Soviet Union fell, the people were unhappy with it and wanted something new.

An Aristocracy is risky. Yes, a Democracy and a Republic is also risky, but at least the people can choose. In an Aristocracy, it is only the wealthy who have control. The wealthy man could be a genius, but he could also be an idiot, whereas in a Democracy or Republic, the people can decide for themselves whether or not the individual they are voting for is a good choice or not. They have the choice. It is all about choice. Freedom is a beautiful concept. Freedom is a great thing to have. When one does not have freedom, there is no point of living. Why live if there is nothing to live for? A Democracy allows this to happen, while an Aristocracy does not.

Conclusion

I believe I have sufficiently shown that an Aristocracy is not a good system of government to have in a country. I have shown that an Aristocracy is a limit of certain freedoms and that is always ends in disaster. I know my opponent supports freedom. I also want to point out to him and chapter fourteen of The New World Manifesto states that freedom is key. My opponent cannot deny that freedom is important. I patiently await my opponent's arguents.


Works Cited

"Aristocracy." Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 22 May 2014. .;
Encyclopedia Britannica. Russian Revolution of 1917, 2014. Web. May 25 2014.
Debate Round No. 2
WilliamsP

Pro

Introduction
I thank my opponent for his arguments. I believe he made a satisfactory case against Aristocracy, but it ultimately can be refuted.

Rebuttals

I will now analyze and refute my opponent's argument. He begins his arguments by stating, "[i]n an Aristocracy, if someone is born into a wealthy family, they have power, whether or not they are fit to rule. Furthermore, if someone is born into a poor family, they have no power, whether or not they are fit to rule." This is true to a certain extent. An Aristocracy is not necessarily run by the wealthy. It may be ruled by the best. This is the definition my opponent himself gave. The statement he made is not necessarily untrue, but it is not automatically fully accurate either.

"There is also no voting involved in an Aristocracy. Citizens to not have the freedom to have a say in government. Very few citizens have any power whatsoever. Because of this, in an Aristocracy, the majority of citizens have no freedom." I would like to ask my opponent, what is freedom? Seriously, what is its definition? Is it even defined? I will define it for you. Merriam-Webster defines "freedom" as, "the quality or state of being free." The citizens of an Aristocratic government are not necessarily in bondage, are they? They are not necessarily being treated unfairly, or are they? I believe in democracy. I truly do. However, my opponent needs to accept the fact that an Aristocracy has certain positive aspects. In a democracy, we elect leaders that will eventually corrupt our nation, while leaders in an Aristocracy are the best possible leaders. I would like to ask my opponent this question: Which is more corrupt; hundreds of members of Congress endlessly debating, or a few aristocratic leaders coming to an agreement?

"Wealth simply means you have privileges. Even though one has money, it does not mean they would make a good leader." This does not correspond with my opponent's definition of Aristocracy. He said it was "a government run by the best individuals or by a small privileged class." That definition says NOTHING of wealthiness. The statement itself is true, but it does not fully relate to this debate.

"An Aristocracy is also anti-Democratic, one of the best forms of government in my opinion." I somewhat agree with this statement, but it is only a matter of opinion, not supported by facts. Or, at least, my opponent neglected to mention these facts.

"All citizens have equal power to choose what goes on in their government. This is called freedom." This does not correspond with the definition of "freedom" I provided.

"In the past, countries with an Aristocracy have always failed." There is no evidence of this. Of course, my opponent provides an example of how aristocratic Russia fell, but that was just one of the many aristocratic nations. My opponent has to provide further examples for this point to be valid.

"Let's look at Russia for example. In 1917, the country, which consisted of a lot of poor people and very few rich people, was run by the rich. The poor people, who were fed up of having no power or freedom, revolted, getting rid of tsarist Russia and forming the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics." As this is history, I grant my opponent this argument. However, this does not prove that Aristocracy is always bad.

"This is a simple concept to grasp: People do not like to be suppressed. Freedom is incredibly important to people. When they do not have freedom; when they do not have a say in their government, they revolt. They become unhappy and make a change. This is the simple logic that governs all of humanity. Russia had another revolution in 1991. When the Soviet Union fell, the people were unhappy with it and wanted something new." Of course, there is an example of this in history. One of the main reasons for the thirteen British colonies revolting against Britain was "taxation without representation." Of course, this was very wrong and the Americans made the right decision. However, Aristocracy can work. I have shown so in my arguments.

"An Aristocracy is risky. Yes, a Democracy and a Republic is also risky, but at least the people can choose. In an Aristocracy, it is only the wealthy who have control." My opponent has shown only one example of how wealthy people were in control of an Aristocracy.

"The wealthy man could be a genius, but he could also be an idiot, whereas in a Democracy or Republic, the people can decide for themselves whether or not the individual they are voting for is a good choice or not. They have the choice. It is all about choice. Freedom is a beautiful concept. Freedom is a great thing to have. When one does not have freedom, there is no point of living. Why live if there is nothing to live for? A Democracy allows this to happen, while an Aristocracy does not." I essentially refuted this already through my rebuttals and points made in my arguments.

"I believe I have sufficiently shown that an Aristocracy is not a good system of government to have in a country. I have shown that an Aristocracy is a limit of certain freedoms and that is always ends in disaster. I know my opponent supports freedom. I also want to point out to him and chapter fourteen of The New World Manifesto states that freedom is key. My opponent cannot deny that freedom is important. I patiently await my opponent's arguents." In my personal opinion, my opponent's argument was weak, but that is ultimately decided by the voters. Also, may I ask, what is this The New World Manifesto you speak of? I am unaware of what it is.

Conclusion
Again, I wish to discuss the definition of Aristocracy. My opponent provided the definition, "A government by the best individuals or by a small privileged class." My opponent has continiously spoken of how Aristocracy is about the wealthy. This is not necessarily false, but it is somewhat unfounded. He never showed how Aristocracy is always about the rich. He provided the fact that Aristocracy regards the best or privileged. I see an issue with this.
I discussed the two variants of Aristocracy, Geniocracy and Meritocracy. My opponent has not even spoken about these two forms at all. I would like for my opponent to consider what I have provided.


Works Cited
1. http://www.merriam-webster.com...
jamccartney

Con

Introduction

I would like to begin by thanking WilliamsP for giving me his rebuttals. As there is a lot to cover, I will get started.
However, I would like to state that my arguments will not be very long. I have many obligations, as I am finishing finals and essays for school. If I had more time, my arguments would be much better. I appoligize.

Rebuttals

"As an Aristocracy is a government of the best or privileged, the people who are running that government are surely worthy and they surely know what they are doing. An Aristocracy will surely succeed due to the "best" and "privileged" people in office. Why would they be chosen to run the government if they were not worthy? Tell me that."

Allow me to show the full definition of the word 'Aristocracy'. It seems that when I gave the definition in round 1, by opponent did not do the research on his own by looking at the source I cited, as most debaters should get into the habit of doing.

the highest social class in some countries : the people who have special titles (such as duke and duchess ), who typically own land, and who traditionally have more money and power than the other people in a society

Looking at this definition, one can see that in an Aristocracy, people do not pick who leads this. It is not a democracy. It appears that my opponent does not entirely know what an Aristocracy is. If he knew, he would not have asked about why people would choose people that are not worthy. It is quite unfortunate that this has occurred, for it means a loss for my opponent. He seems to have failed to research what an Aristocracy actually is.

"Geniocracy and Meritocracy would be effective forms of government. My opponent himself supports Geniocracy ... He himself said in his debate, "As you can see, there is a direct correlation between great leadership and intelligence. Not only that, but there is also a correlation between responsibility and intelligence, common sense and intelligence, and logic and intelligence"

An Aristocracy and a Geniocracy are very different. In an Aristocracy, wealthy land owners have power, whether they are intelligent or not. In a Geniocracy, intelligent people have power, whether they are wealthy or not. I do not see why my opponent is making an impossible conparison.

"I would like to devote a part of my argument to comparing Democracy and Aristocracy. Dictionary.com provides the following definition for Democracy:
"[G]overnment by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the peopleandexercised
directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system." [4] Most Americans tend to assume that Democracy/Republic is the best form of government, but I refuse to believe that. I do believe that people should exercise their rights through representative government, but what if that is simply not the best choice?"

It's certainly a better choice than allowing the wealthy, lazy people leading. I would prefer to have a say in my government. In an Aristocracy, the only way to make a change is to rebel, which is what happened in Russia in 1917.


Conclusion

As this is all the arguments my opponent made, I have nothing more to refute. I await my opponent's rebuttals of my rebuttals. Following that, I will get to refuting his rebuttals. Again, I appoligize for not making my arguments as long as I could. This will not occur in the future. I patiently await his rebuttals.



Works Cited

1. http://www.merriam-webster.com...
Debate Round No. 3
WilliamsP

Pro

Introduction
I thank jamccartney for his rebuttals. I find them to be extremely short, but as he has other obligations, I understand. I will now refute his statements, defend my argument, and conclude this debate. As my opponent has not provided many rebuttals, I cannot write too much. Therefore, this entry will be short as well.

Counter-Rebuttals
I would like to analyze the definition of Aristocracy my opponent provided.

the highest social class in some countries : the people who have special titles (such as duke and duchess ), who typically own land, and who traditionally have more money and power than the other people in a society

This definition is accurate,
but it does not help my opponent very much. There are certain key words that slightly change the meaning: The words "typically" and "traditionally" are not synonyms for "always." This definition does notshow that an Aristocracy is always run by the wealthy.

"Looking at this definition, one can see that in an Aristocracy, people do not pick who leads this. It is not a democracy. It appears that my opponent does not entirely know what an Aristocracy is. If he knew, he would not have asked about why people would choose people that are not worthy. It is quite unfortunate that this has occurred, for it means a loss for my opponent. He seems to have failed to research what an Aristocracy actually is."

Perhaps I used the wrong wording. I am fully aware of what an Aristocracy is - more than my opponent, I believe - and I know the leaders are not chosen. I simply used the wrong wording in my statements.


"An Aristocracy and a Geniocracy are very different. In an Aristocracy, wealthy land owners have power, whether they are intelligent or not. In a Geniocracy, intelligent people have power, whether they are wealthy or not. I do not see why my opponent is making an impossible conparison."

My opponent has not done sufficient research. If he had researched more extensively than he has done, he would have seen that Geniocracy and Meritocracy are variants of Aristocracy. Does my opponent not understand what the word 'variant' means? I shall define it for him.


different in some way from others of the same kind

As I look through this debate, I notice that a major disagreement between my opponent and I is definitions. I accept his definitions, but I have analyzed them and interpreted them correctly. I urge my opponent to do more extensive research.


Regarding Democracy, my opponent says this: "It's certainly a better choice than allowing the wealthy, lazy people leading. I would prefer to have a say in my government. In an Aristocracy, the only way to make a change is to rebel, which is what happened in Russia in 1917." In the second round, I quickly talked about Ancient Greece. It had direct democracy. Their democracy began to fall, they did not quite enjoy the system of monarchy, so they decided to decreed an Aristocracy. It worked.

In history, there are plenty of examples of failures and successes. Russia's aristocratic government failed, but Greece's did not. Aristocracy has variants, some of which are excellent forms of government. Democracy has certain risks Aristocracy does not have. I am not an Aristocrat and I never will be, but I have reasons - good reasons, for that matter - to support Aristocracy.

I thank jamccartney for choosing to debate this topic with me. It has been enjoyable. I believe he has misunderstood me, but I must admit that some of his arguments are splendid. The only way, though, how I will be convinced that Aristocracy is a negative thing is that my opponent provides miraculous counter-rebuttals, I lose this debate, and all the evidence against it is placed before me.

Works Cited

1. http://www.merriam-webster.com...


jamccartney

Con

Introduction

I would like to begin by thanking my opponent for responding and giving me his rebuttals. Because I have much more time, I will make my rebuttals much longer.

Rebuttals

First, WilliamsP begin by talking about my definition.

"This definition is accurate, but it does not help my opponent very much. There are certain key words that slightly change the meaning: The words "typically" and "traditionally" are not synonyms for "always." This definition does notshow that an Aristocracy is always run by the wealthy."

I have never heard of an Aristocracy not run by the wealthy. I wish there were another round so my opponent could give me an example. I happen to know a lot about history, but I have never heard of this.

"Perhaps I used the wrong wording. I am fully aware of what an Aristocracy is - more than my opponent, I believe - and I know the leaders are not chosen. I simply used the wrong wording in my statements."

I do not think he simply "used the wrong wording". If he truly did, he did it so many times, he should have noticed it as some point.

"Regarding Democracy, my opponent says this: "It's certainly a better choice than allowing the wealthy, lazy people leading. I would prefer to have a say in my government. In an Aristocracy, the only way to make a change is to rebel, which is what happened in Russia in 1917." In the second round, I quickly talked about Ancient Greece. It had direct democracy. Their democracy began to fall, they did not quite enjoy the system of monarchy, so they decided to decreed an Aristocracy. It worked."

Did it work? Today, the Hellinic Republic is not an Aristocracy, but a Unitary Parliamentary Constitutional Republic. I think that means the Aristocratic government failed and my opponent was wrong.

"In history, there are plenty of examples of failures and successes. Russia's aristocratic government failed, but Greece's did not."

Yes, it did fail. I just proved that.

Conclusion

In conclusion, I believe I have shown that an Aristocracy is not a good form of government. I hope my opponent and the voters see my point. I have enjoyed this debate and hope to win. I will now leave the debate in the hands of the voters.


Works Cited

1. http://www.greece.com...
2. https://www.cia.gov...
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Cobo 2 years ago
Cobo
Commenting to vote
Posted by WilliamsP 2 years ago
WilliamsP
Debate.org once again neglected to work properly; it made a phrase from my argument a small font.
Posted by WilliamsP 2 years ago
WilliamsP
I will post my arguments at some point tomorrow. I am very, very busy today.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Cobo 2 years ago
Cobo
WilliamsPjamccartneyTied
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:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Great Topic. It's rare to find a topic to vote on that doesn't deal with religion or such. This topic is such a breath of fresh air. Now on to the debate. Pro's initial arguments were horrible. YOU CAN NOT QUOTE your opponent from a past debate, due to the fact they might have been debating for a different side. That loses the conduct point immediately. Pro's three starting arguments were dropped by both sides, but that is good cause they were atrocious. Also for both sides, do not define important things mid-debate because the prior rounds did not apply by that definition so you can't really hold you opponent to that. Con's arguments were great but due to his time constraints he could not flesh out his arguments. Pro lost the argument point once he agree with con that there was never a successful aristocracy. All other side arguments really don't matter.