The Instigator
saaaaafiyah
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
BrendanD19
Con (against)
Winning
7 Points

Authoritarianism is better than corrupted democracy

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
BrendanD19
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/7/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 11 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 339 times Debate No: 83564
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)

 

saaaaafiyah

Pro

I'm going to prove that authoritarianism is better than corrupted democracy.

CON: Is going to prove that corrupted democracy is better than authoritarianism.

RULES:
I further specified for each round whether it's possible to make rebuttals and/or arguments, since it seemed like there was a misunderstanding in the rules during the original debate.

1) First round: Acceptance.
2) Second round: Argument presentation. NO REBUTTALS. This means Con can only introduce arguments - without responses to Pro's arguments.
3) Third round: Rebuttals of round 2 + Arguments.
4) Fourth round: Rebuttals of round 3. NO ARGUMENTS.
5) Fifth round: Conclusions. NO REBUTTALS OR ARGUMENTS.

The first round, I'm going to re-post the same arguments from the original debate without adding any or editing.

- Both Pro and Con can use logical and/or historical arguments to prove their point.
- BoP on Pro.
BrendanD19

Con

I accept these conditions (as I did with the previous debate)
I do thank you for the clarification on the second round.
Debate Round No. 1
saaaaafiyah

Pro

First of all, we have to consider the definition of democracy.
Nowadays, democracy is either seen by the vast majority of people as the panacea for all evils and a necessity for all modern, developped States, or as the "lesser evil" - to the point where the word democracy is so often associated with tolerance, freedom and equality, that they've almost become synonyms.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, democracy is "A system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives."

(http://www.oxforddictionaries.com......)

According to The Marriam-Webster Dictionary, "Democracy is further defined as
(a:) government by the people; especially: rule of the majority
(b:) a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections."

(http://www.merriam-webster.com......)


First argument: Democracy per se is contradictory.
Actually, democracy cannot guarantee the (majority of the) population the freedom of choosing who represents them, since it is evident that it contains many contradictions.


Although many examples could be made, I chose two of the strongest ones.


First example: Condorcet in his famous voting paradox shows how this (a system of voting that guarantees equality and fairness) is mathematically impossible, since the collective preferences can be cyclic and, therefore, not transitive. Simply put, this means that majority wishes can literally be in conflict with each other.

Suppose we have three candidates (A, B and C) and three voters (Citizen 1, Citizen 2, Citizen 3).
Citizen 1, 2 and 3 can either represent each one person, or a group of X number.

The following are the preferences of Citizen 1, 2 and 3:

First preference

Second preference

Third preference

Citizen 1

A

B

C

Citizen 2

B

C

A

Citizen 3

C

A

B



If there was an election, it is evident that A, B and C would all receive one vote as first preference, one for second preference and another one for third preference. This way, we would obtain the same number of votes and no winner could be chosen.

K. Arrow also illustrated how this cannot but occur in any form of government with the following characteristics: non-dictatorship, universality, non-imposition, independence of irrelevant alternatives, and monotonicity (Arrow's impossibility theorem).

From the conclusion Arrow obtained from his analysis, we can understand that, in order for there to be a coherent, linear social order, the government has to be dictatorial.

Sources:
https://en.wikipedia.org......
https://en.wikipedia.org......
http://plato.stanford.edu......

Second example: An undeniable internal paradox of democracy is that, when there is a strong contrast between general well-being and the wish of the majority, the government has to either be inefficient or liberal.

If, for example, the majority of the population wished for an anti-democratic form of government, democracy would cease to exist. And if the government were to oppose, democracy would also cease to exist, since this would go against the wish of the majority.

Now, even if some laws were made to prevent this from happening, it would mean to exclude a vast part of the population, if not all or the majority, from voting and expressing their own opinion and wishes. Therefore once again, even in such a case, democracy would cease to exist.


Second argument: In an authoritarian form of government, those who take power are less likely to be corrupted than in a democratic form of government.

This is because, in the first case, the one who takes power will feel like the responsibility to rule justly is solely in their hands. Compared to when a person is elected in a democracy, the pressure to "do a good job" would be far greater. (Plus, we have to remember that a dictator's survival depends on the economic success of the country, which depends on how just and fair their decisions are.)

A valid example of this theory, among the many, is Cincinnatus, who, in Ancient Rome, was dictator twice. In times of deep political crisis, or during war times, Romans used to have a dictator who would only rule for a limited period of time. When Cincinnatus became dictator, he did such a great job that the people of Rome asked him to keep ruling; but he refused, saying he had already done his job and now it was time for him to pull back.

The same example could be made for a large number of monarchs throughout history: it is enough to take a look at benevolent or enlightened absolutism (1700-1800) or cases of the so-called benevolent dictatorship (e.g. King Abdullah II).

This also shows how authoritarianism, if applied properly, can benefit the State itself and the population, which takes us to the third argument.

Sources:
https://en.wikipedia.org......
https://en.wikipedia.org......
https://en.wikipedia.org......



Third argument: Authoritarian forms of government such as dictatorships can control both human and economical development better than democracies, also thanks to straightforward decision-making

Dictatorships can guarantee better economical welfare, education and health systems to the population, simply because they can decide how distribute funding, supplies and resources in general in every sector, they are able to manage the institutional and legal systems and can consequently implement laws that are needed to solve problems rather quickly; moreover, they can determine, among the other things, salaries and places of employment - all of this in a way democracies cannot. Economical development is greatly encouraged thanks to the ability of quick, efficient decision-making. Dictatorships have the possibility to establish a pro-investment framework that could otherwise encounter many obstacles in democracies (like oppositions from parties).

"A government, no matter which kind, can surely make good or bad decisions. But there are things that can stifle, dilute and postpone any good idea. It will have a tendency to get better in direct relation to the quality and merits of people thinking about it. In some instances the ideas have to be implemented swiftly." (http://debatewise.org......)

"Once established, this institutional framework motivates Foreign Direct Investments, which increases the demand of labor and other internal supplies which creates a virtuous circle towards significant and homogeneous income growth, which is directly linked to the development of societies."
(http://debatewise.org......)

A striking example of this is the "Spanish Miracle", from 1959 to 1974, thanks to and under the dictatorship of Francisco Franco(https://en.wikipedia.org......; http://countrystudies.us......), or also Cuba, a modern dictatorship with one of the beast healthcare systems in the world (The Economist, ‘Reshoring manufacturing: Coming Home’, 19 January 2013,http://www.economist.com......) and Shanghai, in 2009, came first in the PISA* test; Korea was second and Finland got third place.
(http://www.oecd.org......)



* PISA: Programme for International Student Assessment, "triennial international survey which aims to evaluate education systems worldwide by testing the skills and knowledge of 15-year-old students. To date, students representing more than 70 economies have participated in the assessment." (http://www.oecd.org......)
BrendanD19

Con

In this debate I will contend 3 main points, in additon to showing the fallacy of the affimative's contentions, which as per the rule will be done in the next round and the following rounds.
While there is no perfect form of government
First however we must first define authoritarianism.
Authoritarianism is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as
  1. The enforcement or advocacy of strictobedience to authority at the expense of personal freedom.
  2. Lack of concern for the wishes or opinions of others; dictatorial

First Arugment: Human Rights
Human rights are basic, guarunteed and inalienable rights that are required for human dignity.
Only in Democratic state can human rights be valued and respected. This is because one cannot exist without the other. Democracy cannot be defined without human rights. Human rights can be protected effectively only in a democratic state.
Article 21(3) of the Universal Delcaration of Human Rights states
“The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.”

The right to participate in genuine elections is the basis of democracy, along with other basic human rights, are necessary for the existence of democracy, and only under a Democratic system can other rights be defended. The right to meaningful work can only be defended when a workers can have a say in how their government runs, and only in democracy can that happen. Even in a corrupt democracy, there is still greater protection of Human rights than would exist under a dictatorial regime
Under such regimes, human rights are disregarded and suppressed. This is because human rights cannot exist intthese The rule of law is inherently nonexistent in Authroitarian regimes, because the authorities are placed above the law, genuine elections cannot occur because the authorities will controll the entire process including who votes and who can run, and if the authroities can assing summary punishments to citizens based soley on accusations, the right to due process does not exist. All of these are trademarks of authoritarianism.
http://www.un.org...
http://www.idea.int...
http://www.detentionwatchnetwork.org...
http://www.scottishhumanrights.com...
http://www.gazette.net...
Second Argument: Checks on Power
Democracy is the only known system of government in which there is a built in mechanism to regulate the power of the government. Elections allow citizens to have a say in their government, and when a government becomes overbearing, ineffective, or too powerful, the democratic process serves to allow citizens to a) voice their discontent with the government, and to b) replace the current government. Thomas Jefferson said "...whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government..." Only in democratic systems of governement can this be done through regular, peaceful and legal means.
In Authoritarian states there is no mechanism such as this. History has shown that the only way to abolish such governments is through reovlution and the complete abolition of the system, rather than just the disolution of the government.

http://www.ait.org.tw...
http://www.parstimes.com...
http://www.democracy-building.info...
http://democracyweb.org...


Third Argument: Legitimacy
In his Two Treatise of Government John Locke stipulates that the only legitimate government is one which derives its authority from the consent of the governed. Only democracy provides this legitimacy While it can be argued that dictatorship can be elected, taking power democratically does not guaruntee legitimacy. Once democracy is abolished, legitimacy can no longer exist because never in history have the people voted to abolish democracy. Legitimacy is important as any illegitimate government must be abolished and replaced.

http://www.justiceharvard.org...
http://pegasus.cc.ucf.edu...

I will respond to the Pro's arguments in the third round
Debate Round No. 2
saaaaafiyah

Pro

saaaaafiyah forfeited this round.
BrendanD19

Con

The Pro has previously stated he has very limited time due to final exams, so I will ask that his forfeiture of this round not be held against the pro in voting decisions.
I will not make any new arguments as a favor to the pro, and simply respond to his arguments.

Response to Pro's First Argument
this argument is based on two examples. First the Condorcet paradox. This paradox does not actually support his argument as this argument is a mathematical argument for a different voting system, not a philosophical argument or a political argument against democracy as a whole. This argument has no weight in this debate.

Response to Second Argument
In authoritarian systems the chances of corruption is absolutely higher because of the old adage, "Power corrupts, and absolute Power corrupts absolutely."
Power is inherently corrupting and in authoritarian states this is only exacerbated. And numerous examples throughout history have proved this.
The Pro cites Cincinnatus as an example for his case, however Cincinnatus was only dictator for less than two days and never handled more tasks than the one he was appointed to deal with. This system of dictators in times of emergency used in Rome also resulted in absolute power, as the last man who held this title was named Julius Caesar, who never relinquished power after he was appointed and became dictator for life.
Other examples include Mobutu Sese Seko in Zaire. Mobutu is widely considered the "archetypal African Dictator" and was extremley corrupt. Durring his rule he embezzeled billions of dollars and he is a prime example of how Autocracies very easily become Kleptocracies.
Further examples of thsi include Suharto of Indonesia, Slobadan Milosivic of Serbia, Jean-Claude Duvalier of Hati and Ferdinand Marcos of the Philipines.
And the Pros example of King Abdullah is infact false, because according to Transperency International, Jordan's score on corruption has been increasing, and the country has become increasingly corrupt under his rule.
And the Pro cites the concept of the "beneovolent dictator" however this is frankly a myth. this leads me directly into...
http://www.phrases.org.uk...
http://www.theguardian.com...
http://www.theguardian.com...
http://www.transparency.org...

Response to Third Argument
The idea that Autocracies perform better than Democracies economically is only based on anecdotal evidence and is not representative of a trend. A study form the Center for International Private Enterprise found that "there is no concrete evidence that autocracies outperform democracies across the board."
The study also found that strong institutions and democratic governance are also necessary for the long term economic sustainability and future investment. So while Dictatorships may be beneficial in the short term, in the long run, only democracies can bring economic prosperity.
In fact there are numerous examples of dictatorships having a detrimental impact on the economy. In Zimbabwe, the USSR, Burma, Zaire, Iraq, Honduras, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, Bolivia, Indonesia, El Salvador, and Tanzania, dictators have severly damaged the national economy, or ruined the economy altogether.


http://www.cipe.org...;
http://www.cipe.org...;
Debate Round No. 3
saaaaafiyah

Pro

saaaaafiyah forfeited this round.
BrendanD19

Con

Extend all arguments
Debate Round No. 4
saaaaafiyah

Pro

saaaaafiyah forfeited this round.
BrendanD19

Con

As I think it is clear saaaaafiyah has forfeited, extend all my arguments and Vote Con
Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by gordonjames 11 months ago
gordonjames
You have neglected to define BETTER!

Better for what outcome?

Better for what people?

Better by what measure?

Lets say I think Authoritarian rule is better for some aspect of the economy. (say GDP)
- This part can be tested by measuring GDP to see if it increases or decreases after switching to or from an authoritarian government.
- All other measures (like personal happiness) are irrelevant to this because we have defined it as better for GDP growth.

No one really clarified "better by what measure"
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by gordonjames 11 months ago
gordonjames
saaaaafiyahBrendanD19Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
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Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Poorly defined debate. Pro did not really show up. Con did a great job recognizing that the voting system paradox was irrelevant.