The Instigator
akaQ
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Raymond_Reddington
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Democracy is no longer the best form of government.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/23/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 980 times Debate No: 53192
Debate Rounds (3)
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akaQ

Pro

Welcome to whomever accepts my argument.

I am arguing against democracy (Pro), and my competitor will argue for democracy (Con). In the first round, we will offer our initial opening opinions; second round we will offer rebuttals; third round we will address the rebuttals and wrap up our arguments.

In my writing class, we have an assignment to choose a stance on a topic of our choosing, and give claims and warrants to support our ideals. The topic I have chosen is the fault of democracy in today's society. From this debate, I intend on getting some practice, while also hearing out the other side of the argument.

I probably won't have the time to search for sources, as I am currently sitting in study hall, so it would be much appreciated if we use our prior knowledge and intuition to support our points! Also, this is my first debate, so welcome me to the website!

I will now offer my claim.

No one can deny the integrity of the Greek, Roman, and early United States governments (to give a few examples). Any form of democracy is fair and true, as it is of course the people making decisions for themselves, instead of someone higher up telling them what is right and wrong. And I would first like to say that I do not believe that democracy is bad at all. But I do believe that there is a better option!

Over the years, the word "dictator" has turned into something that puts a sour taste in the mouths of free peoples. Hitler, Franco, Mussolini, all have put a skewed definition on the word, and for the sake of my argument I would like Con to consider the true definition of "dictator": A person exercising absolute power, especially a ruler who has absolute, unrestricted control in a government without hereditary succession.

As you can see, nowhere in this definition does it say anything of a malicious attitude towards the people under a dictator's control, and because of this it should be understood that there CAN be such a thing as a GOOD dictator. In fact, we have a word for this: benevolent dictatorship.

In a benevolent dictatorship, a single person exercises complete sovereignty over a state, but he does so for the greater good of the people. All of his decisions are for the betterment of his country, rather than oppressing it as fascist leaders have done. If indeed there is a person capable of leading his state with complete authority while making decisions solely to benefit his people, a benevolent dictatorship would be more effective than a traditional democracy.

There are a few key advantages to this form of government. Most prominent is that the decisions of an intelligent, measured, mature man with leadership capabilities and the desire to help his people would be better than the decisions of the people in a democracy. As of late, it seems that decisions are hard to come by in a democracy. Nations are always split on topics, and often it's not even because of what people believe, but of what people think they should believe. The number of voters who are completely ignorant of political topics is frightening. For example, if a person KNOWS that a democrat will vote in favor of legalizing gay marriage, and that's all he knows of the issues, then he will vote for this candidate (assuming he is pro-gay marriage). Even if he is against socialism and deficit spending, he doesn't know that the person he is voting for is in favor of them. The biggest flaw of democracy is that people do not know how to vote for themselves.

Another flaw is something I briefly mentioned above: The indecision and time it takes to cast a vote is damaging. I will use the United States as an example. Inside the democracy of the U.S. there is a chasm between two different voting parties. Both sides tend to take completely polar stances on topics with very few sitting in between. To make it even worse, neither the democratic or republican party have an upper hand. Split almost 50/50, America is showing a recent trend of not being able to get things done in legislation.

A third flaw is wrongdoing on the part of representatives. There is only one thing that congressman care about: getting voted into or back into their chair. While campaigning, and while serving, they will do absolutely anything possible to either keep themselves, or their majority in office, even if it is at the expense of the people that they are supposed to be serving.

With a dedicated benevolent dictator, no such problems would occur. If the dictator stays true to the meaning of his position, he will only do what is best. Decisions would be made as soon as his signature is writ, there would be no split indecision or fighting between parties, and there would be no ignorance clouding the integrity of democracy.

After calculating the faults and strengths of each government, it is my belief that a form of benevolent dictatorship would be better than a democracy for any state, nation, or world.

After reading my argument, I expect the respondent to address the reasons why democracy remains the best form of government in today's society, and why it is better than the benevolent dictatorship that I have proposed in my opening statement.

Good luck and I look forward to hearing from you!
Raymond_Reddington

Con

Your title is "democracy is no longer the best form of government". This acknowledges that democracy was the status quo as the best type of government. Therefore you have the burden of proof to assert that democracy is no longer the superior form of government. This means that it is my job to cast a reasonable amount of doubt on your claims. The type of government you proposed that was "better" than democracy was a benevolent dictatorship. I will start by pointing out that this is not a type of government. Government- The organization, machinery, or agency through which a political unit exercises authority and performs functions and which is usually classified according to the distribution of power within it [merriam-webster] Calling a dictatorship benevolent is simply a way of describing the dictatorship. In this context benevolent is just an adjective. The same can be done for other governments for example a benevolent democracy a malicious theocracy a benevolent monarchy. The difference is as leaders die and are replace the type of government stays the same (democracy dictatorship monarchy theocracy) but the adjective used to describe the current regime is subject to change (benevolent or malicious) because these are not types of government.

On to the rest, the goal of any government is to be fair and just or benevolent. Democracy places the power in the hands of the people because of the assumption that the majority of people will be benevolent and since the majority rules in democracy, the government will be benevolent. However in the case of a dictatorship it is a toss up as to whether the one man in charge will be benevolent or malicious. I challenge you to look up the innumerable deaths and tragedies caused by malicious dictators and tell me if a dictatorship is worth the risk of the man possibly being malevolent.

Another fault of dictatorships of any kind is you cannot insure that a "benevolent" dictatorship will not change. Even good people have been known to eventually turn evil. When there is this much risk involved in any type of government it cannot be reliable.

In conclusion it is absurd to believe that a dictatorship is a better form of government than democracy. I do understand how you misinterpreted the "benevolent" dictatorship though. It was no fault of your own it's just worded pretty ambiguously.

Vote Con
Debate Round No. 1
akaQ

Pro

I would first like to address your complaints on my title. I should have been more specific; what I meant to say was that democracy is no longer the best form of government in my mind. For the first 99% of my life it was my belief that democracy was what was right, as I just assumed that any type of authoritarian government would be malicious (the ignorance of us Americans).

As I said in my opening statement, I also believe that democracy is a very fair form of government, as the people can in theory make all decisions for themselves. But in reality these people are only voting in people who will then vote for themselves or their seat, not for the betterment of the country. In short, democracy is fair, but not necessarily good for the people. Understand?

As for you stating that a benevolent dictatorship is not a form of government, you are right. It is however a THEORETICAL form of government. A simple Google search will affirm this statement. I mentioned a couple of times that for the sake of the argument you should assume the things that I was saying were true.

Since a benevolent dictatorship is theoretical, so too is the integrity of the dictator. If we assume that this would ONLY be for the betterment of the people, we must also assume that the dictator will not change from doing what is best for his country to burning religious minorities alive in death camps, as I believe you are hinting at.

I must apologize for one thing: your points of a benevolent dictatorship not being able to hold true to it's name probably stem from me not being informative enough in my opening statement. In my own mind, there would have to be some form of checks and balances for the sovereign; not enough to restrict his ability to lead his people, but enough make sure that he does not get out of hand. Perhaps there could be a partisan council who votes on the dictator's decisions. As the council would be in support of the dictator, they would seldom vote against him, allowing him to swiftly provide lawmaking for his state. But if he were to make a move that is too drastic, the council would be able to shoot it down, and vote on whether the integrity of the dictator is still strong.

In one of your arguments, you state that because democracy places the power in the hands of the people and the majority of the people are benevolent, then the assumption would have to be made that the government would also be benevolent. This is not true. How many politicians have promised to do a million things, but as soon as they get comfortable in their Washington chair they digress? They've already been voted in, why would they strain themselves to get their job done? They don't need to hold their promises to get voted in again; all they need is the stupid minds of the average human to believe their recycled lies.

I am not trying to pretend that there is perfect form of government. In practice, they all have severe downfalls. However, I cannot offer up an argument against the theoretical benevolent dictatorship. If you assume for the sake of my argument as I assumed for yours, I believe that you will better understand.

If a benevolent oligarchy is easier for you to understand, then you can think of this instead. However; the indecision factor should always be considered if a group of people are making decisions.

In your rebuttal, I look forward to hearing your direct challenges and opposition to my statements.
Raymond_Reddington

Con

I will let you know aKaQ that your (not so subtle) attempt to change the topic of this debate have not gone unnoticed. The topic is "Democracy is no longer the best form of government" and no matter how much you need this to change for the sake of your argument, it will not! You first attempted to change it when you said "what I meant to say was that democracy is no longer the best form of government in my mind." You must be crazy if you think I'm willing to debate what is in your mind. Next you tried to say "As for you stating that a benevolent dictatorship is not a form of government, you are right. It is however a THEORETICAL form of government." If you wanted to discuss theoretical governments you probably should have mentioned that in your topic. You also forgot to mention both these changes in your opening statement for some reason. It would be disrupting the integrity of this web site if we were to allow you to change your topic in the second round. We will stick with the original topic which is clearly spoken from a practical (not theoretical) standpoint. I will still refute your arguments that are from a theoretical standpoint (for the fun of it) but I expect voters to recognize your change in topic and disregard all of your points that are theoretical.

Reminder: the burden of proof is on pro for this one. (see my round 1 statement)

I will now discredit all of your "refutations"
You say that "
Since a benevolent dictatorship is theoretical, so too is the integrity of the dictator."... "we must also assume that the dictator will not change from doing what is best for his country"
This is very circular logic. You are basically saying that since the benevolent dictatorship is theoretical then the benevolence of the dictator is also theoretical and can not change. Wrong! The dictatorship being benevolent is a result of the dictator being benevolent, not the other way around. Therefore the benevolent dictatorship is subject to change meaning that with any kind of dictatorship, benevolent or not, you run the risk of it switching to a worse dictatorship.

Next is your whole idea of checks and balances. According to Merriam-Webster the definition of a dictatorship is this-
rule by a dictator : rule, control, or leadership by one person with total power. Add a system of checks and balances would contradict this definition and it would not be a dictatorship!

You next insult democracy and say
"In one of your arguments, you state that because democracy places the power in the hands of the people and the majority of the people are benevolent, then the assumption would have to be made that the government would also be benevolent. This is not true. How many politicians have promised to do a million things, but as soon as they get comfortable in their Washington chair they digress? They've already been voted in, why would they strain themselves to get their job done? They don't need to hold their promises to get voted in again; all they need is the stupid minds of the average human to believe their recycled lies." If you set up a system of checks and balances in your "dictatorship" would you not be running the same risk? How can you guarantee the integrity of the checks and balances?

As for the benevolent oligarchy comment that is completely your opinion with no evidence whatsoever to support it and does not even merit a response.

Honestly it sounds like you just despise democracy. You even insult everyday Americans when you say politicians "
don't need to hold their promises to get voted in again; all they need is the stupid minds of the average human to believe their recycled lies." Have a little faith in your fellow Americans! After all you are debating on a popular website devoted to people educating themselves and having intense theological, philosophical, and political debates. Maybe spend a little less time insulting your fellow Americans and devote some energy to forming a coherent, logical, and successful argument for your final round.

Thanks to all voters and back to you pro
Debate Round No. 2
akaQ

Pro

It is not encouraging that my opponent likes to spend half of his second round attacking my motives, rather than my warrants.

I will assure that you that my arguments shifted in order to address the things that you were saying, as they should in every good debate. If you offer up an argument, you should expect me to offer a counter-argument, and not to calmly accept yours as the truth. My beliefs did not change between the first and second rounds; I only offered you the information that you asked for.

As for you continuously attacking the legitimacy of my argument, I will AGAIN state that the solution that I have claimed is theoretical; it is a thought process to be pondered. I have said many times that I am not against democracy, and that I simply believe that there is a better way. Your claims that I am anti-American and anti-Democracy are ludicrous.

Since you attacked my logic, I will do that same for you. By you stating that you cannot argue what is in my mind, you are stating that you can never partake in any debate of any kind. In an argument, the two sides are ALWAYS debating what is in the other person's mind. In addition, you saying that you cannot argue what is in my mind is not only illogical, but it is a lie. For two rounds now you have indeed argued against my thoughts.

It seems that you are determined to not view my arguments as theoretical, but to view them only as they would be practiced in the real world. I boldly accept this challenge. It is not at all impossible to have a single person who will never lose integrity in the face of power. I believe it is much more likely to find a person with such a character than it is to vote in thousands of people and to expect all of them to hold true to their word. And if you do still seem to think it is impossible, all you need to do is look at history. Was Charlemagne ever corrupted? He ruled with absolute sovereignty and absolute success.

In one of your arguments, you attack my reasoning again saying that a benevolent dictatorship cannot be benevolent without a benevolent dictator, not the other way around. I was not wrong. Simply put: If there is a benevolent dictatorship, then there is a benevolent dictator. If there is a dictatorship, then there is a dictator. If there is a malicious dictatorship, then there is a malicious dictator. In this case circular reasoning is not a fallacy, it is the absolute truth.

In my second round argument, I offered an idea for a system of checks and balances. This was merely a response to a question that you raised in your first argument. I tried my best to get the point across that the council that I explained in my example would be working for the dictator, and they would only be against his decisions if they questioned the benevolence of the government. I suppose that you either did not accept this as reliable or you did not understand it. If it is the former, to assume that one person can rule a country by himself is ridiculous. Even in dictatorships, there are still subordinates who can make decisions by themselves, unless said otherwise by the dictator.

Your next argument is about "my system of checks and balances" being the same as the current system of corrupt and lazy politicians who go back on their words. This is hard to argue, as it does not really make much sense in this debate. Politicians are being voted in by the people, and the council in my proposed dictatorship would obviously not be. They would have no agenda to uphold as they wouldn't have to campaign with empty promises. They would simply be saying yay or nay to their leader, who picked them to represent him. As for your question on the integrity of the checks and balances, this would indeed be at stake. However; with a group of voting people under the supervision of a dictator, the chance of complete digression would be slim. If one member seems to be slipping under the weight of power, we would have to assume that he would be replaced.

The benevolent oligarchy sample that I used in the second round was simply to help you better understand what I was trying to say, as it seems your mind is having a great difficulty wrapping around my thoughts. It was offered as a counter claim possibility, which I believe any well structured argument should have.

As for your final argument against my insults of today's humans, I should barely even be acknowledging this as it is hardly legitimate. You and I both know that a very large portion of people have no interest in intelligence or the pursuit of intelligence. Many people in today's society even think that it is cool to be dumb! By me saying this, I was only attacking those who are easily swayed by a democratic government's politicians, and you should not confuse it with the members of this website. I am very new to debate.org, but from what I have seen so far, it is a hub of intelligence and understanding, dedicated to the goal of acquiring knowledge and forming opinions. I was only making an example of how politicians use people who we all know to be, how shall we say it...not the sharpest tools in the shed.

In finality, I believe I have fully scoped the lengths of MY beliefs, but I am still yet to witness any serious effort on your part to promote YOUR beliefs. All I have seen thus far is attacks on my own personality and motives, as well as direct challenges to parts of my argument that I have already explained. Since you insist on petty, disabling, and incoherent assertions against ME rather than providing strong warrants for your OWN claim, all in order to garner more votes, I will have to assume that in real life you are a politician!
Raymond_Reddington

Con

Rebuttals.
Your claim: "It is not at all impossible to have a single person who will never lose integrity in the face of power. I believe it is much more likely to find a person with such a character than it is to vote in thousands of people and to expect all of them to hold true to their word."
Rebuttal: its possibility is not in question. The likelihood is. It would be impossible to guarantee somebody would never lose integrity in the face of power. In fact here is an article explaining why a benevolent dictatorship is impractical (http://www.compareafrique.com...). It argues that any kind of dictatorship that ignores the simple truth that power corrupts people. Even good people are at risk.

Your claim: " Simply put: If there is a benevolent dictatorship, then there is a benevolent dictator. If there is a dictatorship, then there is a dictator. If there is a malicious dictatorship, then there is a malicious dictator. In this case circular reasoning is not a fallacy, it is the absolute truth."
Rebuttal: So basically your logic is that in a benevolent dictatorship, if the dictator suddenly turns evil, it would cease to be a benevolent dictatorship and therefore the wrongdoing is not the fault of the benevolent dictatorship, but the newly created malevolent dictatorship. Fine let's run with that. Assuming this logic is correct wouldn't the risk that was present during a benevolent dictatorship of it changing to something worse anytime in the near future, wouldn't this risk alone make a benevolent dictatorship a dangerous political system to rely on? Certainly more dangerous than a democracy.

Your claim: "In my second round argument, I offered an idea for a system of checks and balances. This was merely a response to a question that you raised in your first argument. I tried my best to get the point across that the council that I explained in my example would be working for the dictator, and they would only be against his decisions if they questioned the benevolence of the government"Rebuttal: Interesting claim but I'm not sure how you could insure their integrity or even ability to restrict the dictator given they would be working for the dictator. I also am not sure how you could insure this without voting in the council. You said "Your next argument is about "my system of checks and balances" being the same as the current system of corrupt and lazy politicians who go back on their words. This is hard to argue, as it does not really make much sense in this debate. Politicians are being voted in by the people, and the council in my proposed dictatorship would obviously not be. You then said "They would simply be saying yay or nay to their leader, who picked them to represent him." So basically the people who are supposed to be the checks and balances for the dictator were selected by him? Good luck with that.

Final Rebuttal- this one should be fun...
Throughout your argument you have made several claims about me...

"Your claims that I am anti-American and anti-Democracy"

“It seems your mind is having a great difficulty wrapping around my thoughts."

"I am still yet to witness any serious effort on your part to promote YOUR beliefs. All

have seen thus far is attacks on my own personality and motives, as well as direct challenges to parts of my argument that I have already explained. Since you insist on petty, disabling, and incoherent assertions against ME rather than providing strong warrants for your OWN claim, all in order to garner more votes, I will have to assume that in real life you are a politician!"

I never claimed you were anti American or democracy. I promise you I fully comprehend your arguments. I have spent the last two rounds explaining to you my beliefs and the clear faults in yours. As to my direct challenges to your argument that is how a debate works. It is up to the voters whether my assertions are coherent or not and I have never challenged you, simply your claim that Democracy is no longer superior. I am attempting to garner votes as that is how you win a debate. I am not, nor have I ever been a politician. Your claims are unfounded and desperate attempts to salvage your argument.

While I have not attacked anyone in my argument you have extensively.

“There is only one thing that congressman care about: getting voted into or back into their chair. While campaigning, and while serving, they will do absolutely anything possible to either keep themselves, or their majority in office, even if it is at the expense of the people that they are supposed to be serving.""Ignorance of us Americans"“In reality these people are only voting in people who will then vote for themselves or their seat, not for the betterment of the country. In short, democracy is fair, but not necessarily good for the people. Understand?""How many politicians have promised to do a million things, but as soon as they get comfortable in their Washington chair they digress? They've already been voted in, why would they strain themselves to get their job done? They don't need to hold their promises to get voted in again; all they need is the stupid minds of the average human to believe their recycled lies."

Summary: Your arguments do not stand and your logic is nonexistent.

By the way congratulations on your first debate and welcome to the website!


Debate Round No. 3
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