The Instigator
Yarely
Con (against)
Winning
20 Points
The Contender
RationalMadman
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

Ayn Rand's argument against the Native Americans and her concept of rights

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
Yarely
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/17/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 6,780 times Debate No: 28352
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (5)

 

Yarely

Con

I am arguing against Ayn Rand's concept of rights and what she thought about the Native Americans.

I believe that her thoughts about Native Americans is based on ignorance. I also believe that her entire philosophy and thoughts about Native Americans completely contradict each other.
Pro will be arguing for Ayn Rand's thoughts about the white settlers being completely justified in taking over the land of the Native Americans. Pro will also be arguing for Ayn Rand's concept of rights according to this case

Quote:

"[The Native Americans] didn't have any rights to the land and there was no reason for anyone to grant them rights which they had not conceived and were not using.... What was it they were fighting for, if they opposed white men on this continent? For their wish to continue a primitive existence, their "right" to keep part of the earth untouched, unused and not even as property, just keep everybody out so that you will live practically like an animal, or maybe a few caves above it. Any white person who brought the element of civilization had the right to take over this continent." * Source: "Q and A session following her Address To The Graduating Class Of The United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, March 6, 1974"

"Now, I don't care to discuss the alleged complaints American Indians have against this country. I believe, with good reason, the most unsympathetic Hollywood portrayal of Indians and what they did to the white man. They had no right to a country merely because they were born here and then acted like savages. The white man did not conquer this country. And you're a racist if you object, because it means you believe that certain men are entitled to something because of their race. You believe that if someone is born in a magnificent country and doesn't know what to do with it, he still has a property right to it. He does not. Since the Indians did not have the concept of property or property rights--they didn't have a settled society, they had predominantly nomadic tribal "cultures"--they didn't have rights to the land, and there was no reason for anyone to grant them rights that they had not conceived of and were not using. It's wrong to attack a country that respects (or even tries to respect) individual rights. If you do, you're an aggressor and are morally wrong. But if a "country" does not protect rights--if a group of tribesmen are the slaves of their tribal chief--why should you respect the "rights" that they don't have or respect? The same is true for a dictatorship. The citizens in it have individual rights, but the country has no rights and so anyone has the right to invade it, because rights are not recognized in that country; and no individual or country can have its cake and eat it too--that is, you can't claim one should respect the "rights" of Indians, when they had no concept of rights and no respect for rights. But let's suppose they were all beautifully innocent savages--which they certainly were not. What were they fighting for, in opposing the white man on this continent? For their wish to continue a primitive existnece; for their "right" to keep part of the earth untouched--to keep everybody out so they could live like animals or cavemen. Any European who brought with him an element of civilization had the right to take over this continent, and it's great that some of them did. The racist Indians today--those who condemn America--do not respect individual rights."

RationalMadman

Pro

I accept but since you are the instigator and I am the contender (i speak second) I need to first understand your case against it.
Debate Round No. 1
Yarely

Con

The Native American people were wronged in many ways over hundreds of years. Their homes have been stripped from them from under their feet, their culture has crumbled under their noses, the blood of the millions of their fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, cousins, the people have been degraded and wronged for thousands of years for the simple reason that the Pilgrims wanted wealth and to achieve that they started off an ongoing genocide.

It is not far fetched to compare this genocide to the Holocaust since the Holocaust had 6 million killed while the Native American genocide had much more indigenous people killed.
http://rationalwiki.org...


And how this topic of the genocide from the Pilgrims is completely ignored by Ayn Rand's arguments is definitely not surprising since hundreds of years have blurred that part of history.
Hundreds of years have blurred the meanings of things and has led children to believe, as they are taught this in school, the Pilgrims were friendly and the Native Americans got along with them just find and the Native Americans weren't massacred, raped, degraded, sometimes forced to conform to "civilized" society, and stripped of their homelands for hundreds of years only keeping small quantities of land and watching in horror as their civilization is crumbling to pieces.

The fact that Ayn Rand says absolutely nothing about this atrocity is extremely significant.
One fatal flaw in her argument is that she says that because the Native Americans did not have "legal" property (why would they if they lived in sovereignty away from society ?) that they had no right to a land they were bred in, raised in, bathed in, slept in, played in, loved in, laughed in, cried in, hunted in, ate in, and the land that their culture survived in.

She claims that they had no "rights" to begin with so their "rights" weren't violated when they were massacred. Why would any group of people be massacred then if they had no rights to the land or any reason to be massacred (such as that they were going to fight for the land they had a right in)? Wouldn't that be useless?
She also seems to ignore this fact as well

Tribal Sovereignty
http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com...

"Tribal sovereignty refers to the fact that each tribe has the inherent right to govern itself. Before Europeans came to North America, Native American tribes conducted their own affairs and needed no outside source to legitimate their powers or actions. When the various European powers did arrive, however, they claimed dominion over the lands that they found, thus violating the sovereignty of the tribes who already were living there." (West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.)

The Native Americans although not having "legal property rights" (I still don't get why they would need them since they were living in independence from outside civilization. This just seems like an excuse to justify the White pilgrims), had tribal sovereignty that was not only violated, but massacred.
Many at a time in history were forced to civilize, become Christians, and become more "American"
The White settlers only cared about wealth, power, and land and since the Native Americans were protecting their land, they decided to massacre them
Rebuttals
"[The Native Americans] didn't have any rights to the land..."
They were definitely using the land as their home. This is more important that using it as property
"What was it they were fighting for, if they opposed white men on this continent? For their wish to continue a primitive existence, their "right" to keep part of the earth untouched, unused and not even as property..."
She says that the land was "untouched" and "unused" because it wasn't used as property. There is a difference between property and possession. Possession means that they were using it (which they were since they used it as their home and used all of the resources there) and property just means that you legally "own" it. So you don't even have to use property. So her definition of property is also blurry.

"Now, I don't care to discuss the alleged complaints American Indians have against this country. I believe, with good reason, the most unsympathetic Hollywood portrayal of Indians and what they did to the white man.

I don't see how "unsympathetic Hollywood portrayal of Indians" is accurate.
And I also am not shocked that she "doesn't care to discuss the alleged complaints"

"They had no right to a country merely because they were born here and then acted like savages. The white man did not conquer this country. And you're a racist if you object, because it means you believe that certain men are entitled to something because of their race. You believe that if someone is born in a magnificent country and doesn't know what to do with it, he still has a property right to it. He does not. Since the Indians did not have the concept of property or property rights--they didn't have a settled society, they had predominantly nomadic tribal "cultures"--they didn't have rights to the land, and there was no reason for anyone to grant them rights that they had not conceived of and were not using."

The white man did not conquer this country by killing the people that lived there? That seems strange.
I do not believe that the American Indians were entitled to it because of their race and almost nobody who defends them does, but we defend them by recognizing that their Tribal Sovereignty was violated and their culture was massacred for years all for power. Also the Wampanoag Indians, which were the Indians that participated in the Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims, had a party nomadic, party sedentary culture.
http://www.bigorrin.org...

It's wrong to attack a country that respects (or even tries to respect) individual rights. If you do, you're an aggressor and are morally wrong. But if a "country" does not protect rights--if a group of tribesmen are the slaves of their tribal chief--why should you respect the "rights" that they don't have or respect....

Here she says that it's wrong to attack a country who respects individual rights. The American Indians definitely had a strong sense of rights if they protected their land so strongly. If they didn't protect their own rights, they would of just let the Pilgrims take over. But the Pilgrims had to massacre the Indians for the land which meant that they had to violate the Indians' rights to the land in order to obtain it. Where did she hear that tribesmen are slaves of their tribal chief? The Wampanoag Indians cooperated in a self-sufficient manner where the man would hunt and the woman would gather.

"What were they fighting for, in opposing the white man on this continent? For their wish to continue a primitive existence; for their "right" to keep part of the earth untouched--to keep everybody out so they could live like animals or cavemen. Any European who brought with him an element of civilization had the right to take over this continent, and it's great that some of them did. The racist Indians today--those who condemn America--do not respect individual rights."

Yes they fought to continue their own primitive existence among their tribe. They fought for their freedom to live in Tribal Sovereignty without white men forcing them to conform to "civilization." They fought for their homes that were taken away from them for their own profit. They fought for their culture to thrive and to survive amongst society and the government constantly oppressing them, since the American Indians didn't prove to be "beneficial" to their society, or help serve their interests.
She says that they do not respect individual rights while ignoring the fact that for hundreds of years the individual rights of Indians were violated.
If America has not respected the Indians' individual rights, that America deserves to be condemned

RationalMadman

Pro

Your pack of animals, namely humans, and the white man's pack had a war. You lost. I do not see the issue. If I fight an opponent and they cut off my hand and I scream in pain and beg them to stop they will not stop. They might even rape me anally, it is purely their decision to make, just like if I managed to tie you up and drug you, I could potentially do anything to you.

Life is cruel, natural selection is paramount to make our species flourish as the dominant one on the planet. We must eliminate the primitive for the more advanced again and again until perfection is achieved, since perfection is impossible this will go until the world ends (or beyond it if we somehow escape to another inhabitable region of space).
Debate Round No. 2
Yarely

Con

Are you using "Social Darwinism" as a basis for your argument?

Social Darwinism was an excuse used in the 20th century to kill millions of people out of prejudice in order to "succeed with the advancement of human beings"

These excuses have nothing to do with biological evolution which by the way, takes millions of years.

Human are different from animals by the simple fact that we can rationalize and attempt to cooperate in an equal society whereas other animals do not.
In fact, this kind of reasoning is unique to humanity and is what seperates humans from other animals

Which is why people say you've lost your humanity when you no longer care about the welfare of other human beings.

Social Darwinism has been used to justify Nazism, scientific racism, imperialism, and Fascism and all other ideologies that base their beliefs in prejudice, but justify it by "Social Darwinism"

Social Darwinism has no real scientific grounds either to be legitimate, since biological evolution take millions of years.

Social Darwinism is one of the most dangerous and misused ideas ever conceived
If Social Darwinism had legitimacy, the "inferior species" would of died out on their own instead of been murdered in millions for the "advancement of the species". (Which btw is the opposite of 'natural.')

Native Americans are still alive and well so I don't consider them to be "inferior species"
Plus the fact that the idea of superiority is extremely relative, is also a downfall to the idea of Social Darwinism

I don't know if you're trolling or serious because the fact that you have just about justified every genocide that has happened in history for the false idea of the advancement of human species is very bewildering to say the least

Btw I'm not Native American, I am White.
RationalMadman

Pro

Unless you can prove your morality as a means of denying any justificaiton for civilisation and advancement of human race then you lose this debate.
Debate Round No. 3
Yarely

Con

So it was neccesary to kill all those people to "advance?"
There was civilization in Europe already, why would they need to civilize every country? Civilization wouldn't have died out in Europe just because there wasn't civilization in America

What's wrong with leaving them alone? The pilgrims could've went back to Europe if they wanted civilization.
The White man basically wiped out millions of Native Americans for land and resources that were not rightfully theres, just to fulfill their idea of what they wanted a country that wasn't theirs, to be like
Society wouldn't have suffered from a slowing of "advancement" just because one country is not what they call "civilized"

And once again, if the American Indians were so inferior, they would've died out by themselves

Honestly if they wanted civilization they didn't have to force a completely different country of people who were minding their own business, living their own lives to conform into their idea of what they think is right

That is extremely intrusive and atrocious

And the fact that you seem to imply that the "Advancement" of civilization is more important than the rights of people is quite tragic

People are not ipod bugs that you have to get rid of in order for the ipod to work....People are complex, beautiful creatures who all have a strong sense of emotions and each have individual things they believe in strongly.
They have senses of dignity and deserve to be treated with respect

The American Indians were not "problems" or "burdens" of society since they bothered absolutely nobody with their lifestyle. They only had a piece of land that was their homes that they wanted to hang on to. What bothered the Pilgrims, was that the Indians had land that the Pilgrims did not own and land that wasn't used for things that they envisioned

So they wrongly intruded on land that wasn't rightfully theirs, massacred people for profit, and oppressed them for hundreds of years for their own self-interests

It's not right and it definitely does not justify "advancement" since "advancement" didn't have to occur at that specific land that wasn't rightfully theirs
RationalMadman

Pro

The Con has provided two 'substantial' arguments throughout the debate:

1) The Europeans didn't have to invade the Americas and displace the Native Americans
2) They could have done it in a far less brutal manner

I shall now address both her contentions before concluding my piece.

1) The Europeans didn't have to invade the Americas but this does in no way prove, to even the slightest degree, that they shouldn't do it anyway (considering their nation went on to be a world superpower of the 21st Century it's quite justifiable in the modern sense).

2) If they had done it in a far less brutal manner the primitive Natives would have for sure shot with bows and arrows and spears at the white men because they were, by nature, very aggressive as a culture, known to skin animals alive and what not.

Now onto my conclusion...

The Europeans had the gun, they had the resources to build a successful nation and the native Americans stood in their way. The native Americans were brutal to the white men (often scalping them) whereas the white men killed with merciful shots to head and heart to make quick deaths.

I don't really have much more to say because all Ayn Rand's speech does is say that the native Americans should shut up and get over it and unfortunately this is true.

Thanks for the debate.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by reedjounal 3 years ago
reedjounal
To the last address defending Ayn Rand and her view points on the Native American genocide, and yes it was a genocide comparing it to the estimated figure of deaths in the holocaust, six million to an estimated 50 to 100 million Native Americans that were killed, I abhor your ignorance. The level of ignorance in your statement truly shows the mistrust and misunderstanding of the American Indian and his place in society. Rand's point of view is no different, made up of social prejudice, ignorance and perhaps some racist elements, her claims that the Native American were savages that didn't respect rights nor have rights is a completely ridiculous thing to say. Native Americans had their own customs and traditions of governing that based on principles of equality and justice, no man was slave under native governing. Further more on a legal standpoint these Indigenous People had rights the land as was previously stated. To your point that the excessive violence and use of force was a must to maintain control, disregarding the moral obligations of the situation itself, is very ignorant. Of course they would retaliate against an oppressive colonization, any people would, and saying that Europeans were merciful or humane in the slaughtering of the Native American just shows how little you know of what happened. Europeans used any method that would work including the burning of villages, and spreading eastern illnesses that wiped out entire populations since Native Americans had no previous contact with such illnesses they had now immune defence. And finally, on your point of Natives Americans scalping European, Europeans started scalping... they collected them as evidence of their work since killing Native Americans was encouraged and even rewarded. So to your ignorance I retort with facts, not pseudo-science ideologies to defend my point of view.
Joel Renaud
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by 1Devilsadvocate 4 years ago
1Devilsadvocate
YarelyRationalMadmanTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct & MCA to con, since pro provided no arguments until the final round.
Vote Placed by rross 4 years ago
rross
YarelyRationalMadmanTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con argued better. Because of the way it was framed, I thought Pro had a much harder position to argue. Still, he didn't seem to even really try, which is why I did conduct against him.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 4 years ago
RoyLatham
YarelyRationalMadmanTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro basically failed to show up for the debate, making no substantial arguments until the last round. New arguments in the last round must be ignored, because the opponent cannot respond. There was the potential for a very good debate on the property rights of nomadic people. Also, Native American tribes had widely varying views of rights. It didn't happen.
Vote Placed by Ore_Ele 4 years ago
Ore_Ele
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct to Con for Pro not providing any arguments until the final round. And since the main arguments were presented in that last round, they were not weighed in to the arguments part of the points.
Vote Placed by Microsuck 4 years ago
Microsuck
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Reasons for voting decision: Con actually made an argument