The Instigator
thett3
Pro (for)
Winning
13 Points
The Contender
royalpaladin
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

DDO OT Final: US hegemony is desirable.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
thett3
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/20/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 8,531 times Debate No: 29400
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (50)
Votes (4)

 

thett3

Pro

Thanks to my opponent for accepting.

To clear up a few general facts before the debate starts. My opponent agrees to these things when she accepts:

-Hegemony in this debate means over all dominance economically, militarily, and culturally. It does not mean that the US has ultimate power or can do whatever it wants, but rather that the extent of its power is of a far greater scope than other nations.

-In the status quo, the US has hegemony.

-Desirable entails a real world application--that is, to affirm or negate we need explanatory analysis of how the change in the status quo (US hegemony) would effect the world.

Standard rules apply. No silly semantics, shared burden of proof, no new arguments in the last round. My opponent can refute my case in her opening round if she wishes, but does so at her own risk given the shared burden of proof.
royalpaladin

Con

I accept my opponent's terms. Good luck!
Debate Round No. 1
thett3

Pro

Thanks to my friend Royal for accepting.

Framework

We have to view the resolution from a realistic viewpoint--we live in a world of aggressive nation-states, and no wrangling about the word desirable is going to change that fact. The only issue is the real-world effects of US hegemony. My opponent will try to bring up many examples of vile or destructive things the US has done, but unless she offer some explanatory analysis on how some real-world alternative would be superior, she loses the debate.


I. A change in polarity would be destructive.


Multipolarity is the situation in which multiple states have nearly equal power/influence and no nation has hegemony; historical examples of this would be the Pre-WWI and Pre-WWII worlds. Currently the world is in a state of unipolarity after the collapse of the USSR with the US being the undisputed hegemon, no nation even nearing it in military spending/power or cultural influence[1][2][3], the US spending nearly 5 times more than the closest nation (China) and having a much larger GDP than everyone else. Thus, the collapse of US leaves a power vacuum, as Niall Ferguson explains[4]: "If the United States retreats from its hegemonic role, who would supplant it? Not Europe, not China, not the Muslim world—and certainly not the United Nations. Unfortunately, the alternative to a single superpower is not a multilateral utopia, but the anarchic nightmare of a new Dark Age." This evidence shows that without US hegemony and no one to fill in the vacuum, the world collapses into a polar nightmare--with no nation to promote its interests by ensuring regional stability, the entire world order falls apart.

Indeed, the use of force by the US is often enough to quickly crush regional conflicts, the Persian Gulf war being a typical example, and we can see empirically that periods of bipolarity (such as the proxy conflicts defining the cold war) or multipolarity (like pre-WWI) are more prone to warfare, and the conflicts are of a much more elevated nature compared to periods of unipolarity (like that status quo, or Post-Napoleon to pre-WWI). Thus in the world of nation states, the empirical evidence overwhelmingly indicates that having a hegemon is desirable. Moreover, in the volatile and dangerously equipped world of today, a breakdown of the Pax-Americana would be devastating. As Alexi Arbotav[5] explains: "A multipolar world...is a world of an expanding Nuclear Club. While Russia and the West continue to argue with each other, states that are capable of developing nuclear weapons of their own will jump at the opportunity. The probability of nuclear weapons being used in a regional conflict will increase significantly." Instability and warfare are the natural results of the breakdown of the national hierarchy.

Further, there is simply no nation capable of taking the place of the United States, and thus the world would collapse into multipolarity with various great powers grappling for regional influence. Surely the uncountable dead from the World Wars, the warring states period, and the Napoleonic wars tell us that these situations are bad, and the widespread possession of nuclear weapons (especially among two of the most likely to attempt to succeed the US, China and Russia) could easily lead mankind into a nuclear holocaust. At the very least, regional conflicts will intensify--how could they do anything else? With the sudden disappearance of the US other aggressive states would seize upon their chance to gain regional hegemony and secure their interests, and warfare would ensue. To name just two examples, the collapse of US heg. would likely cause a nuclear arms race between Saudi Arabia and Iran[6], and without US support much of the Arab world would attack Israel, who's well trained and equipped military would be able to resist (or win) for quite some time, causing perpetual warfare in the already violent region.It has been established that a global hegemon is necessary, and that there is no country other than the US capable of taking on such a role, so you can already affirm without looking at specific US policies. To negate is to cause perpetual war and death.

I already anticipate my opponent making some critiques on the status quo or the concept of the nation-state itself, but understand that until she gives an alternative that has a legitimate chance of being implemented, we stick to the status quo.


II. US policies are beneficial.

A. Democracy and Egalitarianism

The US has been, particuraly compared to other historical examples, a benevolent power on the world stage. While there is no doubt that the US intervenes for interests other than democracy promotion, the US has a rich tradition of overthrowing dictatorships and replacing them with democracies whenever feasible (from Germany to Iraq). Moreover, the US has not ever committed genocide against weaker people during its tenure as the hegemon (compare this to other great powers which have committed genocides against their own peoples[7][8]).

Much of this can be explained by the multicultural nature of the US, Lt. Col. Dave Grossman[9] writes about American culture: "This egalitarian tendency to mingle with and accept, admire, and even love another culture is an American strong-point. Because of it America was able to turn occupied Germany and Japan from defeated enemies to friends and allies." Unlike previous hegemons who ruthlessly exploited everyone else for strategic and economic advantage, the US does these things minimalistically, and when it does its policies often benefit the other country. The unique egalitarianism and multicultural state of the US prevents most Americans from looking on other nations as countries full of subhuman animals, allowing the US to transform devastated oppressive states into economic power-houses.

No doubt the US is imperfect and has performed many inexcusable actions, but over all it benefits the world.Indeed, simple glances at East vs. West Germany, North vs. South Korea, or British India to Latin America provide compelling cases by themselves for US hegemony over that of other nations.

B. Free Trade and peace

The US has taken steps to encourage free trade. Franz-Gady explains[10]:"...the United States has been seen as a champion of free trade. In part due to its industrial supremacy and the onset of the Cold War, the U.S. government was one of the most consistent proponents of reduced tariff barriers and free trade in the last sixty years and helped to establish the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and later, the World Trade Organization."

Gady goes on to explain that free trade maximized the encouragement of peace due to larger economic interests between nations. For example, due to trade China would not want to destroy the US because doing so would ruin their foreign exchange reserves and a critical export market, and the US would not want China to collapse because then it would lose its comparative advantage and be forced to produce other goods here. Moreover, free trade is good because it allows for maximum economic exchange and hence wealth creation between countries, raising the standard of living everywhere. I seriously doubt my opponent will question the economic value of free trade given that protectionism, in the words of Murray Rothbard, is simply "dangerous nonsense".


The resolution is clearly affirmed. Due to the fact that the world is, and will continue to be composed of nation states with different interests, a global hegemon is needed to keep global stability, and the US is the only nation capable of providing this. Even nonwithstanding the fact that US policies are generally benevolent, you affirm given the devastating effects of multipolarity.

I greatly anticipate my opponents round.


Sources:http://www.debate.org...
royalpaladin

Con

Presume Neg
My opponent never specified to whom US hegemony has to be desirable, so we must examine its effects on the world as a whole. If my opponent cannot show that 50.00...01% of the world’s population desires US hegemony, presume neg. because he fails to fulfill his burden. Given that most people in the US don’t care about international affairs [1], it’s safe to assume that this is applies to most other people. Also, in recent years, the percentage of impoverished people has risen dramatically [2], and most people are impoverished. The poor tend to vote less/be less politically active than the rich [3] because politics does little to aid them and they are struggling to survive, so they are likely apathetic on this issue. Thirdly, most people who do care would prefer that their nations be the world’s hegemon because it would increase their economic and political capital by massive rates. So, most people either do not care if the US is hegemon, meaning it is not desirable for them, or want their own nation to be hegemon, meaning it is not desirable. You can presume neg based on this analysis unless he proves that people are not short-sighted, self-interested creatures who want power for themselves and/or the poor do not struggle to survive.

Economy
US heg drains the economy and deprives the populace of money that could be spent on it . Lind writes, “Since the end of the Cold War, the U.S. has mindlessly sought to fill every power vacuum from the Balkans to the Persian Gulf to Central Asia, while spending far less on the military than it did in the Cold War. The U.S. has gone into debt to finance the Iraq and Afghan wars. You don't have to be a grand strategist to figure out that extending territorial commitments without commensurately expanding funding and troop levels is a formula for strategic and perhaps national bankruptcy. t Obama reflected the preferences of America's policy elite. Its members would gladly cut Social Security and Medicare in order to pay for bases and "nation-building" abroad. The impact is that heg isn’t even desirable for US citizens because the hard-earned money that they give to the gov. to help them is being spent on foreigners. If that money was invested in us instead, we could prosper and invest more in the economy. Eland agrees that heg is bankrupting the US. “The U.S. Empire helped cause the meltdown in the first place. War has a history of causing financial and economic calamities. It does so directly by almost always causing inflation. During wartime, governments usually commandeer resources from the private sector into the government realm to fund the fighting. This action leaves shortages of resources to make consumer goods and their components, therefore pushing prices up. Governments often times print money to fund the war, thus adding to the amount of money chasing the smaller number of consumer goods. Such “make-believe” wealth has funded many U.S. wars.We have seen that war ultimately causes the creation of both economic problems and nefarious government financial institutions that cause those difficulties. And of course, the modern day U.S. Empire also creates such economic maladies and wars that allow those institutions to wreak havoc on the economy.The Fed caused the current collapse in the real estate credit market, which has led to a more general global financial and economic meltdown, by earlier flooding the market with excess credit. That money went into real estate, thus creating an artificial bubble that eventually came crashing down in 2008. But what caused the Fed to vastly expand credit? To prevent a potential economic calamity after 9/11 and soothe jitters surrounding the risky and unneeded U.S. invasion of Iraq, Fed Chairman AlanGreenspan began a series of interest rate cuts that vastly increased the money supply. The interest rate cuts culminated in the extraordinary policy of lowering the federal funds rateMuch of this excess money ended up creating the real estate bubble that eventually caused the meltdown.So the causal arrow goes from these imperial behaviors—and blowback there from—to increases in the money supply to prevent related economic slowdown, which in turn caused even worse eventual financial and economic calamities. These may be indirect effects of empire, but they cannot be ignored. Get rid of the overseas empire because we can no longer afford it, especially when it is partly responsible for the economic distress that is making us poorer.”

Safety
US heg is bad for the people because states that become too powerful case other states to ally against it. Layne writes, “When a state becomes too powerful, it frightens others; in self-defense, they seek to offset and contain those great powers that aspire to primacy. And the ironclad lesson of history is clear: states that bid for hegemony (primacy) invariably fail.As Henry A. Kissinger has said, "hegemonic empires almost automatically elicit universal resistance, which is why all such claimants have sooner or later exhausted themselves."34Indeed, the history of modern international politics is strewn with the geopolitical wreckage of states that bid unsuccesfully for primacy: The Hapsburg Empire under Charles V, France under Louis XI V and Napoleon, Victorian Britain, Germany under Hitler. By pursuing a strategy of primacy, the United States today risks the same fate that has befallen other great powers that have striven to dominate the international political system.” There are two impacts. First, US heg increases conflicts. Gholz writes, “Selective engagers overstate the effect of U.S. military presence as a positive force for great power peace.Engagement may actually increase the likelihood of conflict.Although distant great power wars are bad for America, the only sure path to ruin is to step in the middle of a faraway fight. There is little reason to believe that withdrawal from Europe or Asia would lead to deterrence failures. With or without a forward U.S. presence, America’s major allies have sufficient military strength to deter any potential aggressors. d The danger of spirals leading to war in East Asia is remote. Asia, is blessed with inherent defensive advantages. Japan and Taiwan are islands, which makes them very difficult to invade. China has a long land border with Russia, but enjoys the protection of the East China Sea, The expanse of Siberia gives Russia, strategic depth. South Korea benefits from mountainous terrain wThe prospect for spirals is greater in Europe, but continued U.S. engagement does not reduce that danger; rather, it exacerbates the risk.” Second, interference abroad results in terrorism, which destroys the lives of our citizens.Layne writes, “Terrorism really is a form of asymmetric warfare waged against the United States by groups that lack the military wherewithal to slug it out with the United States toe-to-toe. 9/11 was a violent counter reaction to America’s geopolitical—and cultural—primacy. As Richard K. Betts presciently observed in a 1998 Foreign Affairs article, “It is hardly likely that Middle Eastern radicals would be hatching schemes like the destruction of the World Trade Center if the United States had not been identified so long as the mainstay of Israel, the shah of Iran, and conservative Arab regimes and the source of a cultural assault on Islam.” U.S. primacy fuels terrorist groups like al Qaeda and fans Islamic fundamentalism, which is a form of “blowback” against America’s preponderance and its world role. As long as the United States uses its global primacy to impose its imperial sway on regions like the Persian Gulf, it will be the target of politically motivated terrorist groups like al Qaeda.”

Sources: http://www.debate.org...
Debate Round No. 2
thett3

Pro

I'll respond to my opponents case.

General critiques

My opponent fails to offer up any real world alternative to US hegemony. This forces us to entirely disregard her case. I'm not trying to be cheap and get a free win, but it's literally impossible to weigh the desirability of US hegemony without a competing alternative. Saying "the US is bad" isnt enough to negate if all the other alternatives are even worse. Indeed, Cons arguments almost entirely lack explanatory analysis,it seems as if she basically just copy/pasted a bunch of "heg bad" cards without explaining how this negates the resolution and offers no over-arching view of foreign policy/relations. Note also that her arguments make no response to economic and cultural hegemony, only military aspects, and few if any of her impacts are outside of the US.


Presume neg

Con makes an abusive and unfair argument, apparently hoping the debate will boil down to the word "desirable". She argues that since I havent shown over 50% of the world wants US hegemony it isnt desirable, but the problem is that:

A. She agreed to not make the debate about semantics

B. The opening round which she accepted said that desirability is to be weighed by real world implications, so we have to look at the effect the US has on the world.

C. Even if she was rght, finding a stat on this would be difficult. Still, the approval of US leadership is within the margin of error to meet her ridiculous burden[1], and tops by nearly double digits any other major power.

Her entire analysis is useless and counter-intuitive to the purpose of the debate, hopefully this issue can be put to bed and we can debate the topic instead of what desirable means.


Economy

I have multiple responses.

First, TURN: US hegemony aids the spread of free trade, aiding the global economy.

Second, wars being expensive isnt an argument unless it's compared to some kind of alternative (like the economic effects of not going to war/having no hegemon). Even the poorly managed fiscal nightmares of Iraq and Afghanistan under the two most fiscally irresponsible presidents ever (Bush II and Obama) failed to crash the economy. Defense spending constitutes only 19% of the federal budget[2] and is easily outweighed by entitlement spending in costs.

Third, this is an argument against the manner some wars are conducted, not US hegemony as a whole. We can see from examples such as the Persian gulf war that hegemonic war doesnt have to be very financially strenuous.

Fourth, this is a US specific impact, what's the impact this has on everyone else?

Fifth, Con doesnt quantify into real world terms how much the effects on the economy are. How are we to weigh her argument if we dont know what the true costs are?

Sixth, there's no warrant on this being specifically a problem with US hegemony. Con doesnt explain how negative effects on economies from war spending wont happen if another country gets hegemony/in a state of multipolarity.

Seventh, TURN: Her Eland card specifically says: "During wartime, governments usually commandeer resources from the private sector into the government realm to fund the fighting. This action leaves shortages of resources to make consumer goods and their components, therefore pushing prices up." However, the government commandeering of resources is the worst in a state of total war, when virtually every available resource is taken up for the war effort[3](note the huge spikes during the two world wars), yet total wars only occur during periods of multipolarity thus affirming that US hegemony is good. Military spending as a proportion of the GDP has actually declined since the Soviet Union collapsed and the US gained total hegemony.

Eighth, this is an argument against fed policy and poorly managed resources, not hegemony. Robert Hetzel, a senior economist at Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond explains[4] that the recession only turned very bad when the fed started intervening in the economy, specifically after the housing bubble and then proceeded to do nothing, making the recession bad. Indeed her only evidence doesnt establish a casual relationship between war and bad fed policies, it names a single data point. Moreover this doesnt at all outweigh, and other nations have central banks that screwed up during the recession[4] so the problem isnt unique to the US.

Ninth, TURN: The US often creates allies who become economic powerhouses when it intervenes. The positive economic effects of US trade with South Korea, West Germany, and Japan are incalcuable. Compare this to countries the US let slip from its hegemony, hermit North Korea, East Germany, China which has only recently opened up to the US, and the Eastern bloc. It's pretty obvious which countries contributed more to the world economy when they werent under US hegemony (note that China only became an economic powerhouse when it left Soviet hegemony).


Blowback

First, Con asserts that other states are going to ally against the US because they hate it. This is an incredibly simplistic view of foreign relations. First look the to fact that most people prefer to US to the alternatives and second that the US has been the only superpower for over 20 years with no coalition of nations forming against it. The fact is that the US is a benevolent power on the world stage, and most nations recognize this.

Secondly TURN: She argues: "the history of modern international politics is strewn with the geopolitical wreckage of states that bid unsuccesfully for primacy", thus we should prefer the status quo of US primacy since it avoids the inevitable power struggle. The US already has primacy. Moreover, most her examples arent examples of unipolar systems but rather multi or bipolar situations. The Hapsburg empire was rivaled by France and the Ottoman empire, France was rivaled by England and Prussia, TURN: Victorian Englands hegemony was a period of peace until it lost its hegemony to Germany and Austria, casuing WWI, and the Third Reich was challenged by the Russians, Britian, and the US.

Third, her blowback impact isnt unique to the US and she doesnt try to weigh it. What is the negative effect over all of blowback? Moreover, you can turn this argument against her since US culture tends to be less dominating and supremacistic than ther cultures, minimizing blowback that would occur. Blowback is almost certain to occur during any war/occupation, Con must show why this blowback is particuarly worse against the US.

Fourth, Con has no warrant on US hegemony escalating/causing conflicts, her evidence literally just asserts it. If this is true, she has to explain the lack of major wars during the decades of unrivaled US hegemony. I dont understand what shes arguing here, saying that Europe doesnt need US help and Asia has good defensive terrain has nothing to do with US hegemony.

Fifth, this is really easily outweighed by collapse into multipolarity. Even if you buy this argument, the resolution isnt "US hegemony is perfect", we just have to weigh the Pro's and Con's of each side.

Sixth, this entire argument is cherry picking. Rather than assess the actual effects of US policies, Con gives specific examples of terrorism but the problem is that she doesnt say how this could be solved so we have no way of evaluating whether or not this impact is a necessary evil or not.

Seventh, its unlikely that terrorism is the result of US intervention. Osama Bin Laden wasnt foolish enough to think that the US would not intervene more in the middle east after being attacked. TURN: Greater US hegemony over the middle east has led to the extermination of most al queda leaders and greater intelligence helping it prevent more terrorism.


The resolution is clearly affirmed.

Sources:

http://www.debate.org...

royalpaladin

Con

My opponent agreed that I could attack his case in this round and defend mine in the next round. Before I do that, I just want to clear up one thing. Desirability is about what is ideal, not what is the “best” of all bad alternatives. If my mom tells me that I have to pick between chocolate and vanilla ice cream and I dislike both of them but like chocolate slightly more, neither is desirable. If I dislike all ice cream flavors and am given a choice between all of them, this principle still applies.

I also think that it’s unfair for me to have to defend an alternative because there is literally no way to measure the impacts of another country taking power or of a multipolar state. That creates an evidence skew against me that basically gives my opponent the win for free. That really isn’t fair or conductive to the spirit of debate. I expect my opponent will not accept this though, so whatever, I guess . . .

Multipolarity
I think the important thing to note here is that he has not proven that no nation could replace the US if it were no longer the hegemon. The only thing that he has to “prove” this is the Ferguson card, which is just a bare assertion and not an analytic. Since BOP is equal, he has to actually prove that nobody could take over for the US if he wants to access his impacts.

The only thing that he has that is close to this is that we spend most on the military and have the most cultural influence. Turn the first because it’s a massive drain on spending-maintaining the military in order to have that type of empire is extremely expensive and is a drain on the economy. The second is just blatantly false. Most nations are either socialist or traditional conservative; there is basically no other nation like the United States. In fact, the US is becoming more socialist, which suggests that socialist states have more cultural influence than the US does. By his own definition, the US does not have cultural hegemony.

Third, I would note that multipolarity is preferable to US hegemony. Multipolarity leads to less conflict because it forces states to cooperate with one another and deal with one another on a substantive level and respect each other’s concerns. Hegemony allows the hegemon’s allies to use their position of power to run roughshod over the other states that they are dealing with and thus sparks violent confrontation and breeds resentment. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a great example of this.

Fourth, multipolarity is inevitable. The World Bank estimates that by 2025, the US will no longer have economic hegemony and six other powers will emerge to join it as an economic hegemon. (http://blogs.worldbank.org...)The rise of other nations and the economic decline of the United States.means that the US has to think about how it will conduct itself. We can continue to attempt to have hegemonic status and alienate everyone, or we can cooperate and ease the transition in the multipolar world. If we ease the transition, there will be a basis for cooperation. If not, there will not be.

Fifth, he assumes that no other nation can stop regional conflicts. The fact of the matter is that plenty of other nations have stopped conflicts, and he has provided no evidence that conclusively proves that another hegemon could not or would not stop conflicts. He also has no evidence that the UN cannot stop conflicts. Given that the UN has stopped regional conflicts in the past, there is no reason to think that this impact is unique. In fact, the US does not stop every conflict. It only stops the conflicts it wants to. It did not stop the genocide in India in 84, the genocide in Rwanda, etc. Perhaps if the US loses its influence, other genocidal conflicts in areas it has no interest in will be stopped by the international community.

Sixth, even if you don’t buy any of this, turn the idea of the US stopping conflicts. This is bad because it allows other states to spend less on the military and swindle US citizens into taking care of their problems for them. It’s destructive to the economy and gives us a bad image while also letting the rest of the world free-ride.

Seventh, turn the Israel example. The US is perpetuating the violent conflict by blocking Palestinian statehood, which the rest of the world seems to approve of according to the UN recognition of Palestine as a non-member state. If the US was not blocking this, the UN might be able to resolve the conflict without costing the lives of thousands on both sides.

Democracy
First, cross-apply the socialism argument from above. The US is not egalitarian in any sense-it has horribly discriminatory practices, has committed genocide and apartheid in the past, invades other nations to take resources, builds bases in nations like Japan and Germany and then commits atrocities against them without punishment (thus fueling terror), etc. What is softening the world is socialism, not the US’s egalitarianism. The US often hinders progress when it overthrows democratically elected governments like those in Nicaragua and replaces them with fascist dictators and/or supports people like Pinochet.

Second, even if this is true, the US’s role as hegemon is actually hindering the full spread of democracy. Blowback against the US makes democracy and western ideology less attractive to foreigners, so they are less willing to become like the US. If the US showed that it was willing to cooperate and be egalitarian in practice and not just in name, perhaps it would be able to spread its influence.

Third, this is nonunique because he has no proof that the new hegemon will conduct genocide and that genocide will increase in a multipolar world (especially considering that the US has blocked aid to people being harmed by genocide within the past two decades)

Trade
Turn the claim that free trade is good for everybody. If that’s the case, it will happen in a multipolar world and if there is a new hegemon like China. It’s absurd to believe that the nations will act against their interests if they gain power, so this impact is nonunique.

On top of this, multipolarity would bolster trade further. According to the World Bank, “A more multipolar global economy will, on balance, be positive for developing countries as a whole—though not necessarily for each of them individually. Growth spillovers—flowing from trade, finance, migration, and technology channels— will induce technological transfer, spur demand for exports, and improve the terms of trade in developing countries as well as enable them to develop their domestic agricultural and manufacturing industries. For example, since 1990, bilateral trade f lows between the least developed countries (LDCs) and the major emerging economies have increased threefold; trade wiThemerging economies now accounts for a greater share of LDCs‘ bilateral trade flows than their trade with major advanced economies. Moreover, a more diff use distribution of global growth will also create new external growth drivers, meaning that idiosyncratic shocks in individual growth pole economies will have less impact on the volatility of external demand in those countries than at present. This characteristic was evident in the aftermath of the 2008–09 financial crisis, when cross-border M&A originating in emerging economies accounted for more than a quarter of the value of all deals in 2009 and 2010. Greater multipolarity could also have a tangible effect on patterns of foreign aid, as increased aid disbursements by emerging economies push official development assistance to even greater shares of gross national income in LDCs.”
Debate Round No. 3
thett3

Pro

Thanks to Royal for the debate. I will defend my case and explain why an Aff ballot is in order.

My opponent for whatever reason wanted much of he debate to center around the word "desirable" and burdens. Royal writes: "Desirability is about what is ideal, not what is the “best” of all bad alternatives...I also think that it’s unfair for me to have to defend an alternative because there is literally no way to measure the impacts of another country taking power or of a multipolar state."

First of all, like the very first round explained desirability is decided by real world application. Desirable is whichever option brings us closer to the ideals we would like to achieve since true perfection is impossible. My opponent and I (thankfully) avoided the values debate, but it should be pretty clear that policies saving lives and promoting economic strength are desirable. Judge the debate on the effects of hegemony. Secondly, her argument regarding her burden is silly. There are lots of arguments in favor of multipolarity, it isnt my fault she chose not to run those arguments. Sure we can never know for certain what the effects of a new hegemon/apolarity would be, but we can speculate with a high degree of certainty. Recall that few if any of her arguments apply specifically to the US and none advocate a competing worldview--they just pick apart perceived weaknesses in US policy with no broad anaysis.

I apologize to the readers and voters for having too much of the debate about what desirable means.


Multipolarity

Royal makes the silly argument that I havent proven that no country could replace the US claiming it was just asserted. Nevermind the fact that she hasnt shown my argument to be false (because it isnt--she cant just say "well Thett MIGHT be wrong" she must prove so), military experts know that the US could annihiliate virtually any other country in a war, including its nearest rival China[1] who's military is 20 years behind the US[2]. She tries to turn this argument, but she again shows no economic impact of military spending and doesnt weigh this against the alternative, and doesnt prove that the US could not have hegemony with lower spending--military spending has declined 5% so far in 2013[3] with no adverse hegemonic effects. Refer also to the empirical fact that military spending has *declined* since the US has solidified its hegemony over the soviets. Her argument about socialism is silly given that US tax rates are the lower now than they have been in nearly 30 years[4] and even the "socialist" policies of Obama, namely healthcare, force citizens to purchase insurance from *private* companies and doesnt seem to understand that the widespread export of US media, companies, and values (like democracy) represent cultural hegemony.

She tries to argue that multipolarity is good. First, extend the Arbotav evidence which explains that without a hegemon to put its foot down and each nation having a viable chance of regional hegemony, conflcits including nuclear ones will increase. In fact, Royal makes virtually no response to any of my analysis on this point so you can literally extend it all. Her concession here leads to an Aff ballot--a vast increase in the probability of nuclear war follows multipolarity. Her only argument is that a hegemons allies will use their power to be abusive to other countries: A. This is not a US specific impact, B. This still occurs in a multipolar system, as the great powers will abuse weaker nations more in order to gain hegemony, a typical example would be the scramble for Africa in the late 1800s. The US does exploit nations in rare circumstances, but these are isolated incidents that happen in much lower frequency than they did in multipolar systems. C. She doesnt weigh this at all. Nuclear war and perpetual conflict is a far greater impact.

She then argues that multipolarity is inevitable. First, this has no relation to its current desirability. Her only argument is that the US should give up hegemony so that it can "ease the transition" with no plan or explanation as to how to do so, and no impact. Second, actually read her evidence please. It specifically refers to an economic trend of growing GDP in other nations that they forsee CONTINUING to at least 2025. The word hegemony is not even used, all this shows is that other nations have economic power too. Recall that hegemony is over all power, and she agreed that we're talking about the status quo where the US has hegemony. She gains literally no ground here.

Her arguments about other countries stopping conflicts shows a misunderstanding of the argument. Other nations definitionally have a lesser ability to solve conflicts because they dont have hegemony--their soft and hard power is weaker. The UN only intervenes successfully with American backing and just because the US doesnt solve every conflict doesnt mean it doesnt solve many more than other cocuntries would be able to. Recall also the (dropped) analysis that the power vacuum would cause an increase in conflicts. Her only actual argument is that the US is stopping Palestine from being recognized as a state--as if statehood would end the millenium old conflict between Jews and Muslims; plus this isnt impacted.


Democracy

Royal totally drops the unique character of the US and the historical comittment to democracy over autocracy. Her only argument is the historical wrongs the US committed--as if these things still apply to a nation with a black president thats rapidly approaching minority-majority status. When I say egalitarianism I was referring to the equal status of all under the law, a cause the US has done much to further with its cultural hegemony and democracy promotion. Royal gives literally a single legitimate example, but I can concede that that was a dumb decision without undemrining the fact that the general trend of US intervention is strongly democratic. Royal also simply asserts that US hegemony makes western ideology look bad, apparently unaware of the vast liberalization of the eastern bloc and Asia that occurred after the US gained hegemony and doesnt quantify this at all. Moreover she argues that I havent proven that other hegemons will commit genocide, except that I never claimed to prove that they WOULD. My argument was that the countries most likely to take over after the US have committed genocide in recent history and have less accepting cultures than the US so the *probability* of a genocide/exploitation increases.

There is simply absolutely no substance behind her arguments here. Prefer the analysis of actual historical facts I offer to her unsourced conjecture.

Trade

My opponent again misunderstands the nature of the argument because she doesnt understand WHY nations engage in protectionist policies. They do so to protect their industries against foreign competitors and to secure economic advantage over other nations. This would obvously increase with no hegemon. The huge positive effects of free trade come in the long term, and thus are better realized when you have a hegemon encouraging free trade like the US. Compare this to other potential hegemons like China who have huge protectionist policies[5]. Royal also drops the peace impact from this point, so extend that.

Her worldbank evidence is irrelevant because A. She doesnt explain it, its completely non-responsive to the argument and B. It isnt referring to multipolarity in the sense of international relations, and it only mentions developing countries, not everyone else.


You have a clear path to affirmation. My arguments can all be cleanly extended and are of far greater impact than my opponents are. I have come full circle with my argument,I have demonstrated the necessity in the status quo for a hegemon and why the US is the best and only nation to fill that. Thus you affirm.

Thanks again to Royal for the debate

Sources:


http://www.debate.org...;
royalpaladin

Con

I will defend my case
Framework
In response the desirability analysis, he claims that what is desirable is what bring us closest to our ideals. That is simply not the case. You can extend the ice cream example, which demonstrates that desirability is only about the ideal. Desirability does not extend to steps that we take to achieve that ideal because those are not the end goal and have no importance to us in themselves; they are merely a means to an end.

Nevertheless, I offered the notion of multipolarity. and you can weigh the impacts of US heg on US citizens as to whether or not it is desirable.

Desirable
Approval of the US leadership is not equivalent to liking US hegemon or preferring it over their own hegemony. He has provided no link or warrant for this. I might approve of my class president’s work, but that does not mean I would prefer that he be the class president over me. Second, you can turn the Gallup poll because it explicitly states in the source that he provided that the leadership approval has soared under Obama, and Obama has generally (not in all cases, but generally), taken a humble, slightly less imperialistic and hegemonic approach, as when he evacuated the troops from Iraq. This means that the rest of the world wants us to be less hegemonic. The point flows Con.

Economy
1. He never proved that other countries would not promote free trade. He says that they do protectionism to obtain economic dominance over other countries, but that does not make sense because if trade is necessary in order actually get goods out of the country and expand on wealth, it’s not in their interest to do it. Also, if he’s admitting that nobody listens to the US when it supports trade, then he loses this argument entirely.

2. He says that I need to provide an alternative to the wasteful wars. Ok, I’ll give one: don’t spend the money. Slash it from the budget or invest it in the US economy. The Iraq War cost the US 1 trillion dollars and was entirely unproductive. It did nothing to help the economy; it only tanked it. Hegemony relies on wasteful spending. Clearly not spending the money would be superior to wasting it.

3. He says that this is only an argument against the wars, and not heg. That’s actually not true. The cards I referenced discussed the impact on spending necessary to maintain the American Empire-they clearly referenced hegemony and not just the wars.

4. He says this impact is US specific. So what? I already demonstrated that other people don’t find US heg desirable, so now I just have to prove that it is not desirable to US citizens either.Plus, this debate about US heg, not Chinese heg or whatever. It’s ok for me to reference the drain on the US for that reason.

5. He says that I don’t quantify the impact on the economy. I don’t have to do this-I just have to prove that it is detrimental. Surely as a free market advocate, my opponent agrees that wasteful government spending is detrimental.

6. He says that this is a US specific impact again. Again, so what? The alternative is that the US won’t spend the money and the economy improves. I don’t need to quantify this and compare it to Chinese military heg. That’s ridiculously unfair and impossible to expect me to do.

7. He says that total wars are more common in multipolar worlds and then tries to turn the Eland card. He provided no warrant for this assertion (please check his source for proof if you do not believe me-it does not mention this at all). He has no proof, whereas I have proof that the US gov. did commandeer our resources to maintain its hegemony. In fact, there were definitely total wars during periods of British hegemony and French Hegemony (Napoleonic wars come to mind as an example), so his argument is false anyways. That should take out the attempted turn.

8. He says that this is an argument against poorly managed resources, not heg. No, the card very clearly is about how the maintenance of heg leads to a drain on the economy. In fact, it seems to posit that heg itself is a poor waste of resources. He also quotes a card that says that the economy collapsed because of the Fed, but the card just flows to my side because it doesn’t explain why the Fed interfered. My card also agrees that the Fed interfered, but notes that they did it to maintain the empire, so his carded attack doesn’t do much.

9. He says that the US makes countries it dominates powerhouses. Um, no, the USSR was a pretty solid economic nation, and China became an economic powerhouse and it has not been dominated by the US since it overthrew US/European imperialism. The US is not necessary to create powerhouses. Also, it is bad to pump our tax money into other countries and make them competitors.

Blowback
1. He says they prefer the US. I already dealt with this argument in the Desirable section. They don’t prefer the US, they like Obama because he is less hegemonic,so turn this back. He says that no other nations have risen against the US. Um, no, that’s not true. Just a few days ago, North Korea threatened to bomb the US and several nations, like Iran, have been classified by our own State Department as state sponsors of anti-US terrorism.
2. He says prefer US b/c no power struggle. He’s ignoring the fact that states don’t stop struggling for power just because there is a hegemon; in fact, they continue to struggle against the heg. That’s what the terrorism cards prove. During the Napoleonic wars, all of Europe allied against France even though it was the hegemon. Power struggle does not evaporate just because there is a hegemon, it just focuses it on one major target.
3. He then says that it isn’t unique. Again, it doesn’t matter. We’re discussing US heg, not Chinese heg. This is harmful to US citizens, and it isn’t fair to put ridiculous burdens like this on me as he’s been doing throughout the whole debate. He also says that the US is less dominating? Not true at all-we invade many, many nations, covertly overthrow their governments, fund fascist dictators like Pinochet, and put military bases on their lands to cow them into submission (and also let our soldiers get away with rape and murder). The US gov. also openly contracts private companies that are involved in human trafficking-a very despicable and dominating act.
4. He says that there are few major wars since US heg has occured. No, there have been fewer wars since the end of WWII because of the creation of the atom bomb. This is confounding. It’s also undisputed that the US has engaged in the most wars since the end of WWII in order to maintain dominance in many areas. If the US was not hegemon, it would not be doing this.
5. He says that this is outweighed by the impacts of multipolarity. I invite you to judge the truth of this. Where are the terrorist acts against non-hegemonic countries that do not dominate others? Is Al Qaeda bombing Mexico? Canada? Switzerland? Nope.
6. He says that I’m not giving ways this could be solved. Actually, I think I did this pretty clearly-end US heg. US dominance is causing the blowback that results in aysmmetric warfare (terrorism). Ending US dominance ends the problem against US citizens and lets us choose not pay for people to kill us.
7. He says that Osama didn’t think that the US would interfere less in the middle east. That wasn’t the point. He wasn’t trying to stop the US. He was trying to get revenge-that’s what the card is about. He also says that we’ve killed terrorist leaders. Sure, but we’ve also killed civilians and made more terrorism with our policies. Terrorism has been on the rise since the war on terror began.
Debate Round No. 4
50 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by babyy 4 years ago
babyy
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Posted by wrichcirw 4 years ago
wrichcirw
Royal: "You seem to be assuming that there will be no backlash against hegemons. I provided historical and analytical evidence as to why this is false."

PRO: "Moreover, most her examples arent examples of unipolar systems but rather multi or bipolar situations. The Hapsburg empire was rivaled by France and the Ottoman empire, France was rivaled by England and Prussia, TURN: Victorian Englands hegemony was a period of peace until it lost its hegemony to Germany and Austria, casuing WWI, and the Third Reich was challenged by the Russians, Britian, and the US."

I rest my case. I may quibble with PRO about the state of hegemony in some of these countries, but in the end I thought PRO's argument was stronger in this regard. In Hitler's case, had he not invaded Russia, he would arguably only had credible British resistance to contend with...same with Napoleon. These were regional hegemonies, and their authority was unquestioned until they ceded hegemonic powers in disastrous conflicts with Russia, a country with an extremely high level of pain tolerance.
Posted by wrichcirw 4 years ago
wrichcirw
Also keep in mind that in a multipolar political universe, "backlash" occurs all the time, arguably a LOT MORE than in a unipolar political universe.
Posted by wrichcirw 4 years ago
wrichcirw
Hitler made a similar mistake...history does indeed repeat itself.
Posted by wrichcirw 4 years ago
wrichcirw
Royal: "Right, so that's why all of Europe attacked Napoleon then-they didn't recognize that he was controlling all of their countries."

HAD NAPOLEON NOT ATTACKED RUSSIA, and kept its hegemony, no other country, including Russia, would have dared attack Napoleon.
Posted by thett3 4 years ago
thett3
the plot thickens, as Royal reveals her long held secret that I am in fact male, followed up by vmpire disputing the issue. What is my true gender the world may never know
Posted by vmpire321 4 years ago
vmpire321
thett's a girl.
Posted by royalpaladin 4 years ago
royalpaladin
Right, so that's why all of Europe attacked Napoleon then-they didn't recognize that he was controlling all of their countries.

You seem to be assuming that there will be no backlash against hegemons. I provided historical and analytical evidence as to why this is false.

I think I lost the debate, but not for the "gaps of reasoning" that you're claiming.
Posted by royalpaladin 4 years ago
royalpaladin
thett is not a female. He changed his listed gender for "gender swap" week and never changed it back.
Posted by wrichcirw 4 years ago
wrichcirw
My point #17 (emphasis mine):

17) CON: "The rise of other nations and the economic decline of the United States.means that the US has to think about how it will conduct itself. We can continue to ATTEMPT TO HAVE HEGEMONIC STATUS and alienate everyone, or we can cooperate and ease the transition in the multipolar world. If we ease the transition, there will be a basis for cooperation. If not, there will not be. " This is very true. Not sure if this is relevant to the resolution, though.

Again, to "attempt to have hegemonic status" in my mind means that one does not recognize a current hegemony. I found the lack of a solid position on a round #1 stipulation to be exasperating.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Double_R 4 years ago
Double_R
thett3royalpaladinTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: This debate would have benefited from more summary analysis. It was difficult to follow the main point of either side, but Pros case was superior in this regard. Pros point about the US being the most benevolent power on the world stage was convincing and I saw no argument from Con which adequately refuted it. Con claims that the debate should be judged by how the world feels about US hegemony and spent most of the debate attacking the US. Without offering a clear competing vision of what the world would look like without US hegemony I see no way that Cons arguments could succeed in negating Pros case. Con claims that this is an unfair burden but Pros "real world application" definition made clear that the ignorance or blind emotion of others was not a valid argument, which is basically what Cons argument on this came down to. Cons multipolarity argument might have sufficed if she continued with it but for some reason she dropped it entirely in R4. SG to Pro for Cons R2.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 4 years ago
RoyLatham
thett3royalpaladinTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: It is up to the readers of the debate to decide which set of advantages and disadvantages is more "desirable." Con's formatting, particularly in R2, was such a mess as to interfere with reading the debate. Both sides putting sources in an external file violates the character limits on the debate, but Con additionally failed to make numbered references to tie source to claims. Con's basic argument was that there would be less conflict if the U.S. did not fight terrorism, et al. That argument fails based upon the evidence that terrorists and dictators seek domination of others. The evidence from world history is most convincing.
Vote Placed by wrichcirw 4 years ago
wrichcirw
thett3royalpaladinTied
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Reasons for voting decision: see comments...staying out of this one.
Vote Placed by Raisor 4 years ago
Raisor
thett3royalpaladinTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Long RFD in comments.