The Instigator
Lordknukle
Con (against)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
airmax1227
Pro (for)
Winning
20 Points

Democracy vs Totalitarianism

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
airmax1227
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/21/2011 Category: Society
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 19,600 times Debate No: 18417
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (7)
Votes (6)

 

Lordknukle

Con

I will be arguing for Totalitarianism. (con)
My opponent will be arguing for Democracy. (pro)

Totalitariansm: dictatorship: a form of government in which the ruler is an absolute dictator (not restricted by a constitution or laws or opposition etc.)
http://www.google.ca...

Democracy:
A system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives.
http://www.google.ca...

Rules:
Round 1: Acceptance (no arguments)
Round 2: BOP
Round 3: Clash
Round 4: Clash/Conclusion


No trolls or very experienced debaters please.
airmax1227

Pro

Accepted.
Debate Round No. 1
Lordknukle

Con

I thank my opponent for agreeing to this debate. I will start by providing the BOP. My opponent provides the BOP next round.

Efficiency of Decisions


One of the biggest advantages of totalitarianism is the fact that decisions can be made with in a split second. The one ruler holds all the power. If he wants to make a decision, he can do it with the snap of his fingers. Big decisions within a democratic system take a very long time. For example, lets take the recent debt ceiling crisis in the U.S. It took months and months of deliberating by the congressmen and women. However, in a totalitarian system, it would have been able to be raised with the snap of a finger by the dictator.(1) Huge decisions that are threatening to national security cannot wait. However, a democratic system forces them to wait.

Economy

First, I would like to point out something. Over the past few thousands years, there have been very few if none democratic systems with a planned economy. However, many totalitarian states were planned economies (Nazi Germany). Also, most democratic systems so far have been free-market. Therefore, we can safely assume that democracy doesn't imply planned economy and implies free-market while totalitarianism does in fact imply planned economy.

The economy of countries like Nazi Germany flourished under totalitarian rule. One of the main reasons for this is that a planned economy is safer. It is theoretically better than a free market economy. A planned economy is controlled by the state. It is better for the country as a whole. On the other hand, a free market economy can flourish, but can also plummet beyond conceivable depths (Great Depression). Therefore, a planned economy (totalitarianism) is better in the long run.

Human Rights

I know my opponent will bring up this argument so I might as well counteract it now. Many people take human rights for granted. They assume that they have been around forever and will stay forever. However, none of those assumptions are true. Human rights are actually a relatively new idea. Less than 100 years ago, women were not allowed to vote. Lets assume that human rights began when women became eligible to vote. That is about 1920. So, therefore we have had human rights for about 91 years. What many people fail to recognize, is that there were no human rights in the way that we see them in any country before 1920. That is thousands and thousands of years without the freedom of choice, opinion, speech, or voting. I am not saying whether human rights is right or wrong. However in the eyes of history, human rights are not considered correct.


Conclusion
A totalitarian system is better because:
a. Decisions that can be the difference between life and death of a society are made faster
b. A planned economy (totalitarianism) is better than a free market society
c. Human rights are not necessarily considered correct









(1)http://en.wikipedia.org...
airmax1227

Pro

I would like to thank my opponent for this debate.

In this round I will outline the benefits of Democracy and refute my opponents assertion in the next round.

Efficiency of decisions

While democracy on a large scale does not lend itself to quick change and mobility, it does ensure a greater likelihood of popular support. This in itself tends to lead to a more content society, unlikely to revolt against the government. Thus the stability of Democracy is its most important attribute.

While the US federal design of a Democratic-Republic does have its flaws, the smaller scale state level governments and councils act more efficiently. Though the design does make governing slower, it provides a greater likelihood of having popular acceptance.

When it comes to national security a much faster system is often employed, whereby an executive elected for a limited term can specifically employ the military to carry out secretive and immediate actions without congressional approval. While this system is slower due to the eventual accountability of this executive, it has managed to maintain societies that generally feel safe.

Economy

Major impacts on modern economies largely come from large-scale investment, speculation on commodities, or other globally connected influences that have variable effects. One of the greatest ways to ensure the prosperity of any country is to provide a secure location for investors and entrepreneurs to put their money.

Since Democracy provides the greatest stability for society and market conditions, it also tends to lead to the most prosperous and stable economy over the longest period of time. [1][2]

Human rights

One of the most important aspects to maintaining a stable modern populace is the general perception of liberty. Since a Democratic system inherently provides much of what is considered a modern ‘right', it is the greatest available system to ensure such rights, and thus provide long-term stability. [3]

Conclusion

A Democratic system is better because:

a. Long term stability
b. Free market democracy leads to freedom and prosperity for the greatest number of people
c. Liberty allows for a happier, more productive and stable society.

[1] http://www.timesonline.co.uk...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...(nominal)
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 2
Lordknukle

Con

Efficiency of Decisions

My opponent keeps talking about populous support. However, that really doesn't matter in a totalitarian state. The only time it matters is during your rise to power. After that, you can be as unpopular as you want. It doesn't matter if the common person likes you or not, all that matters is the military. Totalitarian leaders give special things to the military. Whether it be more food or more money, you need the army to be on your side. Some of the biggest totalitarian leaders (Stalin and Hitler) managed to keep army and populous support. In a true totalitarian state, the army will turn on their own people. Take the USSR under Stalin; the army killed and deported over 20 million of its own people.

Economy

"Since Democracy provides the greatest stability for society and market conditions, it also tends to lead to the most prosperous and stable economy over the longest period of time. [1][2]"


Greatest stability? Yeah right. In the U.S. from 1950, there were 10 huge recessions and many smaller ones(1). Yes, an economy can flourish. But it will also plummet. However, a planned economy will stay stable for a very long time.

Human Rights

"One of the most important aspects to maintaining a stable modern populace is the general perception of liberty. Since a Democratic system inherently provides much of what is considered a modern ‘right', it is the greatest available system to ensure such rights, and thus provide long-term stability. [3]"

How will it matter to the state if people are treated poorly? It won't. The only people that you need to treat well is the army. Therefore, you can maintain order. Rights will not make a society better. They might in fact do the opposite.


Conclusion

I believe that I have effectively negated all of my opponents arguments. Vote CON

(1) http://en.wikipedia.org...


airmax1227

Pro

I would once again like to thank my opponent for this debate.

In this round I will refute my opponent's opening outline, as well as refute his points regarding my opening round.

Efficiency of decisions
--"One of the biggest advantages of totalitarianism is the fact that decisions can be made with in a split second"--
My opponent and I agree on this. One of the greatest drawbacks of U.S. style federal democracy is the slow pace of its governance.

--"For example, lets take the recent debt ceiling crisis in the U.S. It took months and months of deliberating"--
--"In a totalitarian system, it would have been able to be raised with the snap of a finger by the dictator"--

My opponent is correct regarding the speed of governance in Totalitarianism, however his example here isn't applicable. The U.S. is in many ways unique in its ability to rack up debt, this is due to the international perception of economic stability, thus the value in its economic ‘futures', with specific comparisons to other world economies.

There would be no reason for a Totalitarian government to willingly apply so much debt to its economy (as much of our debt remains ‘voter placation'). In fact the only other nation with a conceptual ‘debt ceiling' is Denmark, a western democracy. [1]

A totalitarian government wouldn't need to raise its debt ceiling to continue to pay for Medicaid and unemployment's benefits, as the dictator would likely allow their citizens to starve, and blame it on a regional minority.

Economy
--"…Many totalitarian states were planned economies"--
I'm going to have to insist that my opponent give more examples of these ‘planned economies' so I can adequately refute their efficiency or relevance. The one example my opponent does provides cites Nazi Germany.
--"…Democracy doesn't imply planned economy and implies free-market"--

My opponent needs to provide a greater illustration of the value of a ‘planned economy'. Most of the world's most stable and thriving economies over the past 50 years have been ‘democratically managed', a system that has brought more prosperity to a greater number people.

To my opponent's example of Nazi Germany, I will concede that Germany did in fact have a thriving economy under totalitarianism. This isn't an endorsement for totalitarianism as much as acknowledgement of the ability of war to benefit a country financially.

Should my opponent concede that Germany's economy would stay stable if Germany remained at a perpetual state of war, then I would have to admit to the merit of this example of ‘successful economic totalitarianism'. However, it is doubtful that my opponent is suggesting such a thing, and when the war ended, either by Germany winning or losing, the war machine based economy would flounder.

This is what occurred, and both the people and the dictator suffered. A democratic Germany has created a stable, prosperous economy that serves a greater number of people. This government seems unlikely to be toppled or militarily defeated any time soon.

Human Rights
My opponent and I mostly agree on this. Western ideals of ‘human rights' are indeed not embraced everywhere and are a fairly new social construct.

That said a large portion of the world has been living with some very specific ‘rights' for a while. Residents of the U.S. and Europe (among others) have enjoyed a level of liberty that if taken away, would lead to an extreme amount of social disorder. Under such circumstances, it is likely that any government responsible for this would be overthrown.
This can be taken a step further as we see people who have been living under these types of totalitarian governments, revolting against their leaders. This speaks directly to my most important argument regarding stability. How stable are Egypt? Yemen? Syria? Jordan? Libya? These dictatorships were rolling along quite nicely, and now are awash in citizen discontent and violence.

--"…In the eyes of history, human rights are not considered correct.--

My opponent is correct about the ‘newness' of ‘human rights'. However, for the people who have enjoyed living with them, and those who have seen what ‘rights' they could have, the governments of these people are going to have a harder and harder time convincing their populace that they should be without it.

These dictators will naturally attempt to maintain stability by pointing to external things (blaming the Jews, the West, regional minorities) or simply using cash to placate their citizens for a while. [2]

I will now respond to my opponent's rebuttal.

Efficiency of decisions
"My opponent keeps talking about populous support. However, that really doesn't matter in a totalitarian state."
When popular support is low enough it doesn't matter what type of government it is. History shows that all people have an eventual breaking point.

The recent dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak (who was western backed due to his ability to maintain stability, 1981-2011) was overthrown when his ‘populous support' was finally lost.
Egypt, now a military dictatorship, will likely hang the former dictator and elect another leader, who will also likely be hung if he hangs on to power too long and loses popular support. [3]

The same is true of Libya and possibly Bashar Assad and Ali Abdul Saleh [4], of Syria and Yemen respectively.
While the people of the latter countries may not be successful in removing their dictators, the stability of these societies is suffering, as a direct consequence of the lack of response to the people's demands.
Economy

--"Greatest stability? Yeah right. In the U.S. from 1950, there were 10 huge recessions and many smaller ones. Yes, an economy can flourish. But it will also plummet. However, a planned economy will stay stable for a very long time.--

No government is perfect and no economy will remain constant over a long period of time. While things like the great depression and other major recessions are part of the draw back of the free market, many modern influences reduce the consequence for such inevitabilities.

Most democracies contain social safety nets. These help the people during tough economic times, and while the people may face difficulties, it doesn't come close to what my opponent endorses.

Under the totalitarian economy of North Korea, mass starvation is the norm. In the totalitarian economy under Stalin, (whom my opponent cites as an endorsement of totalitarianism) he allowed his citizens to starve as a matter of policy. Under these systems, a depression or a dozens recessions, would have very little effect on people who already have very little. [5]
Again, I would like to ask my opponent to give me examples of these ‘planned economies'.

Human Rights
"How will it matter to the state if people are treated poorly? It won't. The only people that you need to treat well is the army. Therefore, you can maintain order. Rights will not make a society better. They might in fact do the opposite."

I believe I have addressed this earlier. I will simply add that given the examples we are seeing today, if a dictator would like to stay in power, he must concede some of his people's demands or be eventually overthrown by his populace or opportunistic outside influence.

Egypt is an example of this. On the other side, the Syrian military is still mostly sympathetic to the control of its dictator. Only time will tell how long that will last. Clearly the less people feel they are being oppressed, the less likely they are to over-throw their perceived oppressor. [6]

Resolution negated.
Vote Pro.

[1] http://marketplace.publicradio.org...
[2] http://www.aolnews.com...
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[4] http://www.dw-world.de...
[5] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[6] http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 3
Lordknukle

Con

Lordknukle forfeited this round.
airmax1227

Pro

Extend argument.
Vote Pro.
And have a nice day.
Debate Round No. 4
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Ore_Ele 5 years ago
Ore_Ele
I would have split 3-3 (with arguments to knuckle for reason's listed) but because he forfeited, all the points he would have received get tossed. Airmax would have received 3 points (sources and conduct for not forfeiting) and gets to keep them.
Posted by Lordknukle 5 years ago
Lordknukle
Personally, I don't care.
But the terms say to provide a BOP. So write your arguement.
Posted by airmax1227 5 years ago
airmax1227
Lordknukle:

Can you clarify for me whether you would like me to refute your round 2 or just outline my overall argument for this round?
Posted by Lordknukle 5 years ago
Lordknukle
infra, u are a troll
Posted by Ore_Ele 5 years ago
Ore_Ele
One who does not take the debate seriously.
Posted by InfraRedEd 5 years ago
InfraRedEd
What is a troll?
Posted by Ore_Ele 5 years ago
Ore_Ele
Hopefully this will be a good debate.
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by kohai 5 years ago
kohai
Lordknukleairmax1227Tied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit
Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
Lordknukleairmax1227Tied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro's round 3 argument addressed everything and his rebuttal showing that the problems of the US government are independent of democracy and his mention of how a democratic Germany prospered negated most of Pro's arguments. Now Con had some very strong arguments initially and it would have been interesting to see how he would have responded to Con's rebuttal. Clear Con win on efficiency of decision making, Pro wins all other points especially human rights. RFD obvious due to FF.
Vote Placed by dappleshade 5 years ago
dappleshade
Lordknukleairmax1227Tied
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Total points awarded:34 
Reasons for voting decision: Both systems of government have pros and cons. However, Con's forfeit led to his defeat.
Vote Placed by Sketchy 5 years ago
Sketchy
Lordknukleairmax1227Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit and abundance of sources led to a Pro victory imo. Con had some good points, but his forfeit really led to his defeat.
Vote Placed by Ore_Ele 5 years ago
Ore_Ele
Lordknukleairmax1227Tied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit. Without the forfeit, I'd have to say that knuckle was winning. He showed that the tot gov is faster to act. While airmax showed that slow consideration is more popular (this should have been majorly attacked as moving slowly was very unpopular and it is an appeal to popularity), that does not refute it. In regards to the economy, air max said nothing about the recessions, even though knuckle grossly exaggerated, and wouldn't refute Germany's economy. For rights, I don't value them.
Vote Placed by BlackVoid 5 years ago
BlackVoid
Lordknukleairmax1227Tied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Fo'fit