Government is necessary to ensure freedoms
Debate Rounds (5)
First Round: Acceptance
Second Round: Opening arguments
Third Round and Fourth Round: Rebuttals to opposing arguments
Fifth Round: Closing arguments.
Foul language, trolling, bigotry, insults, attacks, threats or disrespect toward a debator will result in automatic forfeiture.
Upon acceptance to the debate, I will start the opening arguments.
Premise: Government is necessary to ensure a space where freedoms can be exercised, honored, and defended.
I know that many people think that the government ensure freedoms by it's laws. The problem here is that the reality is far different. Laws just cut out our possibilities of choice, they diminish our freedom. This doesn't mean that I want an estate of chaos. What I want is a world in which you don't have to obey the government, I want a world in which the limit of our freedom isn't the law but just the freedom of the others.
One of the greatest influences of the Enlightenment period was the idea of a government established by the people that would work by proxy--individuals would be elected to be the voice of the populace, and ultimately advocate for the well being of the individual. This form of governance was based on the idea of individual liberty, in that the individual had ownership of itself and possessed inalienable rights that could not be compromised by any other individual or that any person to be owned by a monarch or lord. liberty, right to autonomy, right to self-determination were the bulwark that defended the individual from subjugation from its own government.
Of course, any power given can be coerced, and to be terse, I do not wish to argue the instances in our history where government has violated human rights. Rather, I argue that in the absence of a government that honors and defends the liberties of the individual, a power can and will arise that will take away any and every freedom inherent in man; more so than any government that honors and defends freedom can.
This was not secret to influential thinkers such as Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Payne. The British Colonies had to defend their right to be free from the Monarchy because the legitimacy of their schism with England would not be recognized without a fight.
As it was then is still true today. Even in the post-colonial, post-WWII era where secularism and human rights have spread to other nations and have adopted the tenets of liberty into their own government, if it were not for such governments to defend and honor the rights of its people, there would threats, both domestic and foreign, that would threaten the human rights. In areas of the Middle East, such as Iraq and Syria where no legitmate governments have been formed to lead and defend their people, Islamic exteremists have taken over and threaten to restore the caliphate and govern it based on a book where it is right to murder someone who is not a muslim, ie. not a believer. A government has more power and influence and any one individual to combat any power that is willing to violate human rights.
I don't disagree with what you said about the governments that defended rights. But they don't defend the complete freedom. Like Rousseau said we have sold our liberty for the sake of having a government which guaranteed our rights of security and personal property.
Also I feel that the problem in the Middle east isn't as you describe It. First, Muslims have governments and are those who create problems: they start wars, they kill people, and so on. Secondly, Middle east has another problem: religion. Is religion that causes the violence in those countries. That being said, we can't forget that governments are the first ones to support religions, despite their violence. It isn't a government the one who will destroy religion, because religions cause financial benefit, even more this violent religions.*
*Note: I know this isn't the topic and that's why I won't talk much. You are saying that the Quran is " a book where it is right to murder someone". I'm not a Muslim but I know that that statement is full of hate and prejudice. An argument cannot have as a premise such a prejudicial sentence, which could offend lots of people.
As I mentioned prior, I do not wish to point out instances in history where government has violated basic human rights. What I am arguing is, is in the absence of government that honors and defends the rights of the people, a society is left vulnerable to being overcome by a domestic or foreign power. the government allows for the organization, mobility, and funding to invest in defense and justice system that ensures freedoms are honored and defended.
Even in the instance of no government (anarchy), it would be very difficult to organize, for example in the US, a nation of 300 million people, to work collectively to defend and honor freedoms with out some form of central leadership. Would you would have, instead, would be a fractured system of groups, which each group having their own method of defense that wouldn't be near as effective and efficient as an organized, funded, military. Who would fund their artillery? or planes, ships, tanks? These groups would not have the enough funds, even combined, to have a fully armed military. Especially in a world of national governments who have the power and means to not only defend, but invade its neighbors. This anarchic society would be vulnerable, at least more vulnerable than a nation with a central leadership, to invasion by foreign powers, or taken over by a domestic power.
We can see that in a reality without a government to defend freedom and ensure justice, everything from wrongful death by a drunk driver to foreign invasion would become trivial.
As far as the Middle East is concerned, yes, it has been littered with Authoritative regimes who murdered their people or subjugated them to poverty with little resources to mitigate the situation. Now with the western powers toppling those regimes, a power vacuum is created that must be filled. And the options are clear: another totalitarian dictatorship, a republic, or anarchy. I think we know what the "lesser of the three evils" will be.
" a fractured system of groups, which each group having their own method of defense that wouldn't be near as effective and efficient as an organized, funded, military."
The problem with this is that you assume that people with no government will try to mimic the military methods of governments. That's not true. Governments created military and wars. With no government there is no war. With no government there would be nobody to engage in a war, so no one would need to defend from wars.
" it would be very difficult to organize, for example in the US, a nation of 300 million people, to work collectively to defend and honor freedoms with out some form of central leadership."
In an anarchic system people won't defend their freedoms with violence, but with tolerance ant with the understanding that the only limit to my freedom is your freedom. People won't be controlled by a supreme power, instead they will decide for themselves discussing and arguing.
"This anarchic society would be vulnerable, at least more vulnerable than a nation with a central leadership, to invasion by foreign powers, or taken over by a domestic power."
is true that if one society becomes anarchic but the ones around it don't, they will be vulnerable to attacks. But attacks from who? Attacks from governments. As you see the ones who are causing problems are the governments, and you are saying it. But if not only one society changes, if all the globe becomes anarchic, this problem wouldn't exist.
You are worried that foreign invasion would become trivial but you don't see that foreign invasions have an origin in governments. Are governments who perform foreign invasions, not individuals. As you can see, without governments, we would be safer. Our freedoms won't need defence because they won't be attacked.
Lastly, as far as I'm concerned, conflicts in Middle East were fomented by those you say are "saving" the Middle East, the "western powers". They financed this regimens and the wars between each other because conflicts need weapons and they sell them. As far as I know this conflicts won't stop, the " power vacuum" won't be filled because if that happens the "western powers" won't be allowed to get richer selling guns and robbing and killing. Also the war against Middle East "terrorist" makes them look like heroes, so this will never end.
Wars have been around since tribalism, and is a false assumption to think that wars and military are solely a construct of government. The art of fighting and wars are characteristics that humans possess, and are characteristic of government regimes because they are made up of humans. This desire of war is a survival strategy: aggress or be aggressed.
The Mongolian Empire was formed by the combination of tribes as one people, which afford them the strength and influence they could not have achieved as individual tribes. For this ability to organize, and in this case, pay allegiance to Genghis Khan as their leader, they were able to build the greatest empire the world has ever seen, stretching from Iran to Korea.
ISIS, or the Islamic State, has no central government, only a network of leaders, and have successfully invaded cities and murdered otherwise innocent, peace loving people; their own people I might add. It is easy to conclude that wars are not the result of government, they have existed before governments were conceived.
As far as the argument of anarchy, obviously there wouldn't be worry of being aggressed within a totally cooperative society. But what about "the other guys?" What about those that don't want to be cooperative, and find it most beneficial to them for your total submission. It doesn't have to be a government that aggresses, it can be a mob, a sect, a tribe, a band of thieves--literally anyone who opposes you.
"You are worried that foreign invasion would become trivial but you don't see that foreign invasions have an origin in governments. Are governments who perform foreign invasions, not individuals. As you can see, without governments, we would be safer. Our freedoms won't need defence because they won't be attacked."
With the Mongolian Empire and ISIS, governments are not the only ones who perform invasions. Again, warfare has been around before the idea of government was conceived. It is naive to think that the world will one day dismantle all its armies and governments an brace a anarchic societal construct. For the entire world to volunteer this may be the ONLY this can come about, but I prefer to a bit more pragmatic. It won't happen. And if it does, it won't last. Because some one, some group, will be dissatisfied and will opt to aggress their opponents. What you are essential advocating is 100% freedom for 100% vulnerability. It is not sustainable. What will you think, then, after all your freedom has been robbed from you, and you toil under complete servitude? Freedom will always need defending because there will always be an evil that would rather take it from you. Without a government to defend and uphold your human rights, they become trivial.
"Wars have been around since tribalism, and is a false assumption to think that wars and military are solely a construct of government."
It was in the years of the Egyptians and Sumers that armies appeared. Sumers were the first to begin a war in the whole history. I quote A Short History of War by RICHARD A. GABRIEL: "These early societies produced the first examples of state-governing institutions, initially as centralized chiefdoms and later as monarchies.(...) The development of central state institutions and a supporting administrative apparatus inevitably gave form and stability to
As you can see war is an invention of civilizations, and civilizations were guided by governments. Ergo, governments invented wars.
"The art of fighting and wars are characteristics that humans possess"
Actually, according to some studies this is completely false. Read the studies by Douglas Fry (https://www.uab.edu...)
Some words on Genghis Khan: if your ideal of leadership is someone who killed ruthlessly, committing lots of mass assassinations, raping and robbing everywhere He went, you are missing the point.
"the Islamic State, has no central government"
I quote the definition " Islamic state is a type of government(...)".
" only a network of leaders"
ISIS is lead by one supreme leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. As you can see in the next picture ISIS is an organized government.
As you see governments are responsible for wars and without them we could feel safe and free.
And about "the other guys?" I'm not concerned about them. Mobs, and that kind of groups, are minorities who confront the law, the government. Without a government it wouldn't have sense for them to exist.
Anyway I agree that there will always be someone who doesn't want to cooperate. I don't think they will be, as you said, "anyone who opposes you". Instead it will be anyone who opposes us. That "us", the vast majority of society can handle easily with one rebel. Society itself will isolate and terminate guys like that. Nowadays it does the same with other minorities, why wouldn't it apply to "the other guys" minority?
To sum up:
Your argument about government being the only one able to defend our right, and that without governments we are vulnerable in wars was already debunked. The kinds of things that PRO says governments defends us from are things it has created: wars.
Don't get confused, if I advocate 100% freedom for 100% vulnerability, you advocate 0% freedom for 50% vulnerability.
For the last round I will state my closing arguments:
In the history of human civilization, the only real bulwark for individual liberty has been a government, appointed by its populace, to advocate for its people's freedoms. Such a government that honors and upholds freedom of the individual created a space where freedoms can be exercised and without such a government, the freedoms of society would be vulnerable to aggression.
Of course such a power, to effectively uphold and defend freedom, must exist only to serve its those it governs, and not an individual or group of individuals who hold the power, and it must be the goal of such a government to maximize freedoms, as well as defend the freedoms of the individual. Such responsibility could not be properly executed without a high level of organization and efficiency that a modern government can possess. The government allows for laws to protect its citizens within, and allows for an armed force to protect its citizens outside its borders. Without such defenses, we would be subject to the whims of every entity of aggression that does not value cooperation and peace, much less human life.
As long as hostility exists between us, there will always be need for a power to defend freedoms. That need can only be met through a government to which its goal is to defend and uphold freedoms of the individual.
Finally, I will make a revision of my arguments and some closing reflections.
If we go back in time we will reach a time where all men were equal, where all individuals had the same rights. They had complete freedom. People did their work, exchanged what they had to spare for what they needed, They did what they wanted and no one told them what was right or wrong, Anyway, earth wasn't in chaos. People respected each other and each others rights. If you are still confused this time is called Neolithic, the time between savagery and civilizations. People had full freedom. There wasn't laws that limited them, neither a government that controlled them. But then this time ended. People sold their freedom to obtain safety to the governments.
First of all, I must point out that most of activities performed by the government are against freedom. Regulations, controls, taxes, prohibitions, orders, commandments, and so on, and so on. Government limits our freedom of choice, of thinking and acting. Then is insane to think that we need a government to ensure our freedom.
Secondly, governments create aggressions to freedom. PRO argued that government is needed to ensure freedoms because is the only one who can defend freedom from outside hostility. But, as I have proved before, that outside hostility comes from another government. This shows that governments don't do anything but attempting against freedom, which reinforces my position.
Finally, let's not fall in the assumption that not having a government produces chaos and vulnerability. Like Kant said in Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View,anarchy consist of "Freedom without Force". Governments violate autonomy, anarchy protects the free autonomy of the individuals. As Robert Paul Wolff has argued" since 'the state is authority, the right to rule', anarchism which rejects the State is the only political doctrine consistent with autonomy in which the individual alone is the judge of his moral constraints."
To conclude, governments don't protect freedoms, they violate them and work against them. That being said, I believe that no government is needed to ensure freedom. Instead, the education of the masses, the mutual dialogue, and the respect for others' freedoms, does ensure and foment freedom.
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