The Instigator
mongeese
Con (against)
Losing
13 Points
The Contender
Volkov
Pro (for)
Winning
46 Points

If Texas were to threaten to secede from the Union...

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/19/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 5,964 times Debate No: 10525
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (27)
Votes (13)

 

mongeese

Con

If Texas, as a majority, were to threaten to secede from the Union if its demands were not met, basic freedom would, on balance, be violated more than granted.

Texas - http://en.wikipedia.org...

As a majority - this assumes that a majority of Texans support the threatening

Threaten to secede - establish itself as a separate country upon certain conditions being met

The Union - http://en.wikipedia.org...

If its demands are not met - if the United States Federal Government does not do as Texas demands the United States Federal Government must do

Basic freedom - the freedom to do what one wants with their property that does not violate another's right to their own property

On balance - for the most part, in general

Be violated - be suppressed from being expressed

Be granted - be given as opposed to being violated

These definitions are directly representing the resolution, and may not be changed without changing the resolution itself, which may not be changed at all.

Burden of proof is to be shared equally.

The basic scenario:

The Democrat-run White House attempts to pass some drastic measure such as Cap 'n' Trade or a Public Option, with the intent of having nationwide effects. Texas demands that these bills have no direct legislation within Texas borders (something like the Ordinance of Nullification http://en.wikipedia.org...), and if the bill were still passed to have effect in Texas without Texas being allowed to nullify it within its own borders, Texas would secede completely from the United States.

My position is that Texas seceding would bring great freedom to Texans who expressed a lack of content with United States law.

My opponent has expressed concern that this would violate freedom. I would like him to express those concerns here. Volkov, good luck.
Volkov

Pro

I thank Mongeese for creating this debate, which is an offshoot of a conversation we were having on eachother's profiles.

I accept the definitions my opponent laid out.
________________________________________________________

The resolution in question is a tricky one to understand at first. Indeed, it would seem to most that a Texas which is attempting to defend its own state rights is on the side of integrity of individuality, and self-determination. What is more freedom-bound than that?

Well, mainly the *intent*, and the *result*. Remember that we are not talking about the actual secession of the state of Texas - we're talking about the threat of secession being used in order to counteract legislation that the government of Texas deems undesirable. In my opponents example, this legislation includes things like cap-and-trade or the public option. (While these examples of legislation themselves have talk of an opt out clause for states [1][2], we'll ignore that for the sake of argument.)

With this debate, I will prove that the threat of secession by Texas is indeed more harmful to freedom, than it is conducive, not only for the people of Texas, but for the population of the United States in general.

Argument #1: Intent

The resolution is about the state of Texas threatening to secede from the United States of America, possibly over legislation that is perceived to harm Texan interests, possibly because of who is in power in the White House, possibly for special treatment. The reasons are many, but they do not include reasons such as pure populist will against being in the US any longer. This is because in order for the resolution to be fulfilled, it must be a *threat* of secession, on the part of the Texan government (as the state government is the official representative of Texas), in order for something specific to be gained - a change in policy, a new head of state, whatever. And, if it is a threat, it is meant to be a stated intent of harm against another party[3], in this case the other party being the United States government.

While I will not complain about the usage of threats in the political sphere, it is clear that such threats are a menace against continued stability, and continued freedom. Threats such as the one being discussed limit the ability of one party to reasonably exercise its own power, not only because it threatens any peaceful and co-operative means of arbitration by breaking down order, but because it backs a party into a corner with no way out except to give in and accept the demands placed upon them, or have the threat acted upon by the other party.

There is, truly, no way to argue against that simple fact. Threats limit the ability to act, to compromise, and to push forward peacefully. By threatening secession, the government of Texas has the direct *intent* to cut off the ability of the US government to exercise its freedom. That is far cry from allowing the US government to 'express' itself.

My opponent may counter this with his definition of 'freedom' noted earlier; in advanced, I would like to note that the United States has jurisdiction over Texas by virtue of its powers[4] and precedent[5]. While the threat of secession is by all means legal and proper, it is clear by legal standards that the US federal government, which does have jurisdiction over the state of Texas in many different ways, including judicial and political, the intent of the threat limits the federal government's ability to exercise its freedom over its property - directly falling under my opponent's definition.

Argument #2: Result

But barring the intent of the threat, what would be the result? To begin, it would help to look at a striking example of the use of the threat of secession upon a country's domestic freedom.

I won't get too far into the history, but the province of Quebec in Canada has always had a large influence. The question, of course, is why that is. There are obvious reasons; founding member of Confederation, long roots in the country, second-largest population and large economy. But, there are some other reasons as well.

Since the 1960's, Quebec has had a very prevalent separatist movement. This culminated in two referendums on separation (1980[6] and 1995[7]) and a political party on the federal level which has often held the balance of power in minority parliaments. But it has also resulted in some other, sometimes nefarious and less-than-freedom-promoting situations, for populations both within and outside of Quebec.

For example; as a result of the threat of secession, Quebec receives an undue amount of attention from the federal government at the expense of other provinces and powers. This was strikingly noticeable with the Charlottetown Accord[8], which sought to codify Quebec's status as a 'distinct society' within Canada, as well as giving the province powers over other various elements that were either exercised by the federal government, or not given to other provinces.

Before Charlottetown, and in fact the cause of it, the Meech Lake Accords had a similar, albeit more disastrous outcome. An agreement meant to appease the threat of secession by Quebec separatists had the opposite effect, propelling separatists to become even more determined, at the expense of greater provincial rights and the signing of the repatriated Canadian Constitution.[9]

To delve even further, and with a more recent example, the current government of Canada, under Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper, granted Quebec its own delegation to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, something that no other province has ever been given.[10] This served to appease Quebec and avoid bringing up yet another sore point, all due to the threat of secession.

Clearly, there is something amiss here. By using the threat of secession - no, by its presence, even - Quebec has successfully blocked progress and freedom. By the threat of secession, Quebec has managed to:

a) cause the collapse of two referendums designed to either give more powers of control over property (freedom, by my opponent's definition) to all provinces, or to itself, and the citizens of these jurisdictions

b) hold sway over the fate of an entire country (and the 23 million citizens which live outside of Quebec's borders) through the inordinate amount of attention placed upon it by holding hostage the federal government, and through referendums that, while completely legal, would have force drastic changes upon the country in its entirety

Clearly, the threat of secession has severely damaged the ability of freedom to flourish in Canada. In fact, I can give three other examples if need be - Kosovo, Scotland, and Belgium - so I am not at a loss of situations to make my case.

Given these results, there is a clear precedent for my argument: the threat of secession lessens the ability of freedom to flourish. There is no evidence my opponent can provide to prove that the results will not be similar, nor can he deny the effectiveness of control that the threat of secession can exercise over political entities. And if he wishes to make a case over individual freedom, dare I say the obvious: what happens on a political level affects individuals.

Now, to note, I have not necessarily condemned these actions. As any good political junky, I live and breathe this stuff. But there is no way in the world that I would say that these situations are conducive to freedom - they aren't.

Possibly in the long run, freedom greater than what individuals and political entities had under the former regime may flourish, but remember - we aren't talking about what happens if a region secedes. We're talking about the simple threat of secession, and its effects upon freedom. As I have shown, the threat of secession is in now way conducive to freedom, for any and all parties involved.

Thank you, and vote PRO.
Debate Round No. 1
mongeese

Con

I would like to thank Volkov again for accepting this debate.

1. Intent

My opponent describes a threat as something with the intention of harm. However, this wouldn't be like the threat of attacking a person, but more like the threat of leaving someone or something if they don't treat you nicer [1]. Just want to get the analogies straight and all.

"Threats limit the ability to act, to compromise, and to push forward peacefully."
Incorrect. Threats reveal problems in government that require compromise. For example, the government can act on Texas' threat by either agreeing, disagreeing, or compromising. Texas can then either secede, agree to compromise, or simply stay in the Union. The threat doesn't limit the Union's options at all. Sure, secession could, but that's a different story for now. The point is, the Union can still negotiate with Texas. The Union can act, compromise, and push forwards peacefully through compromise, if it chooses to. Hence, freedom.

"By threatening secession, the government of Texas has the direct *intent* to cut off the ability of the US government to exercise its freedom."
My opponent calls the Union's power over Texas "freedom." However, freedom is defined as "the freedom to do what one wants with their property that DOES NOT VIOLATE another's right to their own property." I contend that if Texas does not wish for the Union to hold power over Texas, then the Union's controlling Texas would violate the rights of Texans who no longer consent to the Union, which "derives its just powers from the consent of the governed" [2]. No consent, no just powers. Therefore, the Union's power over Texas cannot be considered "basic freedom." In fact, if the Union were to continue to excursive powers over Texas without consent, it would be violating the basic freedom of the Texans, so this threat is used to preserve the basic freedoms of Texas.

"Threats such as the one being discussed limit the ability of one party to reasonably exercise its own power, not only because it threatens any peaceful and co-operative means of arbitration by breaking down order, but because it backs a party into a corner with no way out except to give in and accept the demands placed upon them, or have the threat acted upon by the other party."
Actually, given that the threat itself is justified, as if the people of Texas no longer consent to the Union's power over Texas, then the Union has no rightful power over Texas, the Union is in the corner that it has always been in. If they want to keep a state in the Union, then they have to make sure that the state would rather be in the Union than not. If Texas decides that it would actually rather be a separate country the way things are going, it could just secede outright, but instead it gives the Union the option to keep Texas, given that it compensates for what Texas deems as a loss of freedom. The Union has as much freedom as it has always had; it just has to put that freedom into effect. Note that the Union, in this case, would never have had the freedom to both keep Texas and enact legislation against Texas, as that would not be basic freedom in the slightest.

"My opponent may counter this with his definition of 'freedom' noted earlier; in advanced, I would like to note that the United States has jurisdiction over Texas by virtue of its powers and precedent."
I would like to note that my opponent's source speaks nothing of "virtue of its powers." However, the Constitution does give the Union "supreme law of the land." However, if Texas secedes from the Union, Texas would no longer be a state, but a nation, and therefore, the clause would have no effect. Additionally, if the power is taken to mean that Texas cannot secede at all, but must instead accept whatever tyranny is dealt to it, then this is a major blow to the basic freedom of Texans. This would also violate our Declaration of Independence, which explicitly states that government "derives its just powers from the consent of the governed" [2].
By my opponent's precedent, it's basically the idea that because a powerful member of the Union decided to declare the Union's federal powers to trump states rights, the Union fairly trumps state rights without denying basic freedom. The result of the case is hardly surprising, given the bias of a Union member in increasing Union power. However, this also violates the Declaration of Independence for the same reason.

"[T]he intent of the threat limits the federal government's ability to exercise its freedom over its property - directly falling under my opponent's definition."
The federal government's exercise of its freedom would conflict with the Texan's basic freedom. Additionally, any "freedom" held by the Union would be transferred to the Texas government or the Texans themselves, therefore granting just as much as violating.

2. Result

My opponent talks about how Quebec negotiated many rights for itself through secession. However, we have to look at Canada's decisions. It had the complete freedom to (A) let Quebec be, or (B) keep Quebec, and give Quebec certain rights. Quebec did not have to give Canada (B), but it did anyway. Canada should have been glad to have a second option. Obviously, Canada decided that keeping Quebec in Canada was so important that (B) would be a better choice than (A). Now, because Quebec gave Canada a choice between (A) and (B), this would be freedom for Canada. The only way for this not to be freedom would be for Canada to have an unalienable right to control Quebec. For the most part, Canada's policies are irrelevant, but in the United States, by the American principles of government "deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed" [2], the Union has no intrinsic power over Texas without consent. It would be a huge violation of basic freedom for the Union to enslave an entire state.

My opponent says that Quebec has blocked progress and freedom. However, Canada as a whole had the freedom not to give in to Quebec's demands, and gave in by their own terms, so no freedom was violated at all. The other provinces decided that Quebec was important to Canada to hold on to it for such costs.

My opponent describes Quebec's actions as "holding hostage the federal government." However, no definition of "hostage" [3] could fulfill this statement. It would be more fitting to use 1a and say that Quebec is holding itself hostage, saying that it will secede itself if demands are not met. Holding one's self hostage in no way violates basic freedom.

Conclusion:

As I have shown, by the American principles expressed in the Declaration of Independence [2], Texas has the right to secede from the Union, and the Union's power over Texas is not a basic freedom. However, instead of outright practicing its right to secede, Texas would given the Union an option (freedom): (A) let go of Texas, or (B) don't enact legislation in Texas deemed harmful by Texans, and keep Texas. Options in no way violate freedom, and if Texas wants to secede, then not trying to secede would violate the basic freedoms of the people being forced into legislation passed by the Union. The Union has the freedom to make the better choice as deemed by the Union.

In no way does such a threat violate basic freedom any more than it grants basic freedom, and it immediately grants Texans the freedom to not be restricted by anti-freedom laws such as Cap 'n' Trade.

Thank you, and vote CON.

With that, good luck, Volkov.

1. http://www.pcworld.com...
2. http://www.ushistory.org...
3. http://www.merriam-webster.com...
Volkov

Pro

I thank mongeese for a quick response.

1. Intent

"The Union can act, compromise, and push forwards peacefully through compromise, if it chooses to. Hence, freedom."

This is a statement that is inherently incorrect. What my opponent has essentially described is this: because the threat exposes issues, the federal government has the ability to compromise, or not, and that is freedom.

Well, that is not freedom. Thomas Jefferson said it best: "What is freedom? Freedom is the right to choose: the right to create for oneself the alternatives of choice. Without the possibility of choice and the exercise of choice a man is not a man but a member, an instrument, a thing."[1]

By purposely limiting the federal government's choices to either "my way" or "the highway," the threat of secession on the part of Texas takes away the freedom of the US government to choose its own compromises and its own actions according to its own wishes. If my opponent believes this is conducive to 'freedom,' then my opponent should consider a change in ideology.

"if the Union were to continue to excursive powers over Texas without consent, it would be violating the basic freedom of the Texans,"

But the Union does have this consent until the act of secession occurs. Remember, once again - we're talking about the *threat* of secession, not the *act* secession of the state. If the voters of Texas so chose to secede, that is different; but as I noted, the threat of secession does not come from the individual citizens, but from the official and elected representatives of those citizens, also known as the Texas state government. This is an argument about politics and political entities, and to bring in the whims of individual Texans is to ignore the fundamental facts about this case, and play to populism.

"... so this threat is used to preserve the basic freedoms of Texas."

The powers of the state of Texas are as mandated within the Constitution and with negotiations with the federal government. While Texas may feel entitled to its own decisions in certain aspects of policy, it doesn't actually have any power in certain regards. So to say that the "basic freedoms of Texas" are preserved by using the threat of secession over policies that Texas has no control over in the first place, you're committing something akin to squatting[2].

And of course, when you squat, you are not attempting to preserve your own legal property - you're attempting to control another's. By using the threat of secession to veto legislation created by the White House which has full legal and property rights over it, Texas is trying to bind the federal government's exercise of freedom over its own property.

"Actually, given that the threat itself is justified, as if the people of Texas no longer consent to the Union's power over Texas, then the Union has no rightful power over Texas, the Union is in the corner that it has always been in."

The threat being justified is not any more conducive to peace and freedom than if it weren't justified. A threat is a threat is a threat - justified or not, the intent is clear, and that intent is to bind the other party in a way as to limit the choices to "my way" or "the highway."

And precedent against freedom is not an argument for freedom, so my opponent saying that the federal government being in "the corner that it always has been in," is pointless.

"Note that the Union, in this case, would never have had the freedom to both keep Texas and enact legislation against Texas, as that would not be basic freedom in the slightest."

Incorrect. The Union has every power as mandated in the Constitution to enact legislation *over* - not against, as the US enacting legislation against Texas is an odd suggestion - the stated of Texas. The federal government would simply be exercising its right over its property.

"The federal government's exercise of its freedom would conflict with the Texan's basic freedom. Additionally, any "freedom" held by the Union would be transferred to the Texas government or the Texans themselves, therefore granting just as much as violating."

Here my opponent again forgets that we are talking about the *threat* of secession, and not the *act* of secession. And so long as the federal government does not step over clear boundaries with regards to federal power vs. state power, then there is no reason for Texas to secede. As my opponent admitted, the federal government does have supreme authority over the land - authority which includes enacting legislation with or without a state opt-out clause.

So yeah, sure, the *act* of secession may give Texas - note 'may' - more freedom in regards to its own political power. But, the *threat* of secession is meant to bind the federal government in such a way as to force the federal government to cede its mandated powers - its 'property'. That isn't freedom.

2. Result

"It would be a huge violation of basic freedom for the Union to enslave an entire state."

Once again, we come back to this point - this is about the *threat* of secession, not the *act*. I don't know why my opponent keeps falling into this trap, since he himself earlier stated that secession was a "... different story for now."

Now, my opponent tries to explain away my example of the quagmire of Quebec by explaining that indeed, Canada should b grateful that they had the ability to choose (a) and (b) as options. But as I noted earlier, this is not really 'freedom' in any sense of the word; freedom is the ability for self-decision, and not the ability to choose (a) or (b) from your opponent's hand.

In all honesty, this is proof of my argument anyways. My opponent has noted that the options are binding (by limiting it to (a) or (b), he has noted that the threat of secession is the cause of this, and he freely (real freedom, since this choice was of his own making, and not mine) admits this while in contradiction to earlier ("The threat doesn't limit the Union's options at all") and later ("The Union has the freedom to make the better choice as deemed by the Union") statements. So, there is no more reason to dwell on this.

"My opponent describes Quebec's actions as "holding hostage the federal government." However, no definition of "hostage" [3] could fulfill this statement. It would be more fitting to use 1a and say that Quebec is holding itself hostage, saying that it will secede itself if demands are not met. Holding one's self hostage in no way violates basic freedom."

My opponent is partially correct; Quebec, or in this case Texas, are holding 'themselves' hostage. And indeed, holding yourself hostage is an act of your own making, and of real freedom. You will get no argument from me there.

But what my opponent fails to take into account is *why* someone would hold themselves hostage. It indeed is the same reason why someone would hold another person hostage - for demands to be met.

As evident by this video[3], a person can indeed hold themselves hostage, and others will attempt to stop them. In this specific case, I do not know if this man had demands in order for him to put down the knife - but this case did[4]. A student at a culinary school in Britain failed a test, and threatened to kill himself if he were not allowed to retake it. Police were called in, and it ended peacefully, but the point is clear - individuals can hold themselves hostage in order for demands to be made.

Similarly, political entities can do the same. By threatening secession, Texas would "hold itself hostage," in order for demands to be met from the federal government. There is no difference in this situation, as there is with the culinary school situation.

__________________

I thank mongeese for this debate so far, and I look forward to Round 3!

Sources in comments.
Debate Round No. 2
mongeese

Con

Thank you for your quick response, as well, Volkov.

My opponent criticizes the act of Texas giving the Union choices as opposed to none, called "my way" (the Union agreeing to Texas' or "the highway" (Texas seceding). However, he acts as if there is a third just choice that Texas denies the Union, which I will call "the Union's way." This would mean Texas staying with the Union and being forced to abide by all tyranny passed by the Union to Texas. However, for this choice to be just, Texans would have to consent to such tyranny; in this case, they don't. Texas has essentially eliminated the option that requires consent from both sides, because they no longer consent. However, Texas leaves the other two sides, one requiring only Texas' consent (Texas seceding) and the other requiring consent from both parties (Texas staying with less restriction than otherwise). Because the Texans do not consent, the Union wouldn't even deserve the third choice, and so it is rightfully abolished. My opponent calls the Union's sudden inability to impose what Texans dub tyranny upon Texans without the consent of the governed Texans deprivation of freedom. This doesn't match up with the definition in any case, as it would violate the rights of Texans to do what they want with their own property outside of the wishes of the tyrannical Union.

To conclude this point, the Union still has the freedom to make any choice that either has consent from Texas or does not require consent from Texas, and those would really be the only choices the Union should be allowed to make, so there's no deprivation of deserved choices here.

My opponent says, "The threat of secession does not come from the individual citizens, but from the official and elected representatives of those citizens..." However, according to the resolution's clarifications in Round 1, "this assumes that a majority of Texans support the threatening." Therefore, "the whims of individual Texans" have already been brought in, despite what my opponent claims. Basically, the voters have voted to say, "We're going to secede, Union, but we won't if you stop imposing tyranny on us." How can that violate freedom?
Note that if my opponent brings up a different interpretation of what the voters are saying, then we're getting into semantics, and there's no way that that can affect the freedom involved in this event.

My opponent cites "negotiations with the federal government" as a mandate for the powers of Texas. However, this would be a negotiation, in which Texans are claiming their basic freedoms where they have been lost to tyranny, and saying, "We'll still let you have some control over Texas, but if that's still not okay with you, we're out of here!"
Now, Texas has control of Union policies through its power to secede. It's the check to make sure that the Union's power doesn't get out of hand and start to destroy personal freedom.

My opponent assumes Texans and their land to be property of the federal government. However, people are not property, and government does not own the land of Texas. If it does, then the basic freedoms of Texans are already being violated, and secession would re-grant these basic freedoms.

"The threat being justified is not any more conducive to peace and freedom than if it weren't justified. A threat is a threat is a threat - justified or not, the intent is clear, and that intent is to bind the other party in a way as to limit the choices to 'my way' or 'the highway.'"
Let's go back to the YouTube example I sourced in Round 2. YouTube has the options of keeping the YouTubers or the in-video ads. The threat only takes away the option of having both the YouTubers and the ads, something that the YouTubers do not consent to in the slightest. Such an option would be unjust tyranny. The threat of secession, in this way, only deprives the Union of the option it shouldn't have in the first place: the option of tyranny.

My opponent cites the supreme authority of the federal government. However, this supreme authority is what violates the basic rights of Texans, and therefore justifies succession. As my opponent seems to be operating under the premise that anything that can be done legally does not violate basic freedoms, (otherwise, he'd have to morally justify the Union's supreme authority, which I have already shown to contradict the Declaration of Independence, the American government's main source of political morality), then the mere fact that threatening secession is legal means that no basic freedoms are violated.

"But, the *threat* of secession is meant to bind the federal government in such a way as to force the federal government to cede its mandated powers - its 'property'."
So, Texas tells the Union that it may no longer force Texas to do what the Union wants, and can no longer use its mandates powers of tyranny to enact tyranny upon the people of Texas and their property. Remember, the Union never even deserved the one choice that it here loses.

Now, my opponent claims that the act of seceding would actually give the Union more liberty than the threat itself. In that case, if the Union wants to maximize its own freedom, then all it has to do is say, "Don't threaten to secede; we feel that your decision to give us an alternative choice deprives us of our basic freedom, so we absolutely refuse to meet your demands. Take away our diplomatic option and JUST SECEDE." And the absolute, unrestrained freedom to have freedom might as well be freedom.

2. Result

My opponent says that Quebec forces Canada's hand to choice either (A) or (B). However, this is only done by removing (C), keeping Quebec and having legislation over Quebec without consent from Quebec. The very idea that this choice is necessary for freedom is insane. (C) is quite simply tyranny, and Quebec has every right to maximize its own freedom by removing tyranny from its borders. It's the option that should not exist, so really, (A) and (B) are the only choices that Canada ever deserved to have, and Quebec chose not to take away from Canada any options deserved by Canada, so it really maximizes freedom.

My opponent criticizes the holding of oneself hostage as a means for demands to be met. He claims that this is no different from the culinary school example. However, that's all the ammo that my opponent has: that it is an attempt to have demands met. The culinary student obviously decided that he would no longer consent to being alive while he cannot continue to be a part of the school. He therefore decided that he would either kill himself or continue to be a part of the school. He could have killed himself outright. However, he instead made a threat, giving the school an option to keep him alive. Instead of letting him die or giving him another go, however, the school had the police brought in to Taser the poor man and force him to remain alive, but still without a culinary degree, which is in fact a complete and total war against freedom. And my opponent has the nerve to call this "end[ing] peacefully." The main point is that the school had more freedom in having the choice, and there should not have been an Option C, because the man did not want to live without his culinary degree, and forcing him to do so absolutely violated his own basic freedom.

In conclusion, my opponent is trying to criticize Texas for depriving the Union of its third option, the option of continuing to impose tyranny on Texans despite their own wishes. However, such a choice is anti-freedom, as Texas would no longer consent to the Union's actions, and the Union would therefore not have just powers to exercise on Texas, and the third option would thus no longer exist. I have already shown the threat to give more freedom than the act, which my opponent seems to agree to grant freedom. In conclusion, the resolution merely eliminates tyranny.

Thanks for the debate, Volkov. Hopefully, I've opened your eyes to freedom.
Volkov

Pro

I thank mongeese for this last round, and wish him luck in the voting period.

"To conclude this point, the Union still has the freedom to make any choice that either has consent from Texas or does not require consent from Texas, and those would really be the only choices the Union should be allowed to make, so there's no deprivation of deserved choices here."

What he has essentially admitted to doing is somewhat similar to 'checking'[1] in the game of chess. To be as descriptive as possible, he has said that Texas moving to cut off the choice of the federal government to 'enforce tyranny,' whatever that means, is not a deprivation of choice and therefore not an attack on freedom. Yet, would anyone dare say that when you 'check' in chess, you are not blocking off a path for your opponent, restricting his movement, and cramping his freedom? No, of course not; it is a conscious act to bind freedom in order to attain a desired outcome. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

My opponent's other point is that is the people of Texas consent to it, it would therefore be a freedom-quashing move on the part of the federal government is they moved to, 'enforce tyranny.' There is a major flaw with this though, because how can the people of Texas consent to secession, yet use it as a threat?

The way secession works is that once you have the vote, you have separation. Having the 'consent' is akin to having the 'act,' and once again, we are not talking about the act of secession, but the *threat*. The threat of secession is having the climate about that you would ask for the consent (and it helps that there is polling which backs that decision) unless demands are met. There is a big difference between the concepts.

You cannot simply have the vote, and then say "well, we won't separate if you do this" - these kinds of votes are absolute and non-negotiable. If you get 60% of your population to say they want to secede, you aren't going to stop halfway if you value your job. So, this is simply negligible to the argument and the resolution.

"Now, Texas has control of Union policies through its power to secede. It's the check to make sure that the Union's power doesn't get out of hand and start to destroy personal freedom."

My opponent is again incorrect with his statements. What this 'check' amounts to is the deprivation of property rights for the federal government; they are mandated, legally and with binding documents, as I have shown, to have control over certain aspects of legislation, taxation, and property. In exchange, Texas has certain influences given to them within the federal legislatures, have their own state rights that the federal government cannot trample unless they wish to inflict the wrath of the Supreme Court. Texas also has the right to secession - but that doesn't mean the *threat* of secession is legal, or peaceful, or conducive to freedom, especially in regards to what my opponent has alluded its purpose to be - to stop "enforcing tyranny," his buzzwords which truly mean "to stop the Union from exercising its rights." It is truly ironic, when you think about it.

"The threat of secession, in this way, only deprives the Union of the option it shouldn't have in the first place: the option of tyranny."

My opponent has just contradicted himself. He says that YouTube putting in the ads on videos created by YouTube users (YouTubers) is not something that YouTubers have consented to in the slightest, and that it is tyrannical.

Not only do YouTubers agree to the advertisements (as noted in YouTube's privacy policy[2], which is agreed to when users accept the Terms of Service[3]), the YouTube website itself is property of Google, which owns the domain and all within that enables videos to be uploaded, and seen. To say that YouTube putting in advertisements on their own property with the consent of the users is 'tyrannical,' is essentially contradicting my opponent's own belief that property is sacrosanct.

Translate that to the resolution, what my opponent is saying is that the federal government enforcing legislation over Texas, whereby the Texas government, the official representative of the citizens of Texas, has agreed to the terms of that ability for the federal government, is 'tyrannical'. He is calling the exercise of freedom on property 'tyrannical'. I'm possibly the most liberal guy on this website and I wouldn't dare call property 'tyrannical'.

"Remember, the Union never even deserved the one choice that it here loses."

My opponent peddles notions of "political morality" and what or what the federal government doesn't "deserve." Such notions are either misplaced or subjective, or both.

As I noted earlier, the federal government gains its authorities through the mutual exchange of rights and privileges with the states - feds get power of overriding legislation, states get representation and chance to directly influence that legislation. So to say that the federal government doesn't "deserve" its rights, or that the overriding authority is against the government's "political morality," is to essentially say that Texas does not deserve these rights either. Because if the federal government doesn't get its rights, then there is no reason why Texas should have its own. No mutual recognition means no recognition at all.

"The main point is that the school had more freedom in having the choice, and there should not have been an Option C, because the man did not want to live without his culinary degree, and forcing him to do so absolutely violated his own basic freedom."

I believe I can sum up my opponent's argument with this, which is pretty absurd when you think about it.

Think of it this way; my opponent is correct in saying that Option 'C' exists, and that yes, the police officers took that option which does destroy the man's choice of freedom. But my opponent purposefully ignores the other side of the story, the culinary school, in an attempt to route the argument.

Now, my opponent says that the culinary school had more 'freedom' in choice, but this is absolutely untrue. My opponent is well aware of property rights, and he ignored my point that the student, the one who was threatening to kill himself, bound the culinary school's rights to exercise that property, aka. the diploma, with that threat, unless demands were met.

Essentially what the threat did was bind the culinary school into too few options; give the man his diploma, despite his failure; let him kill himself on their property; call police and get them to stop him. That is very far from being conducive to freedom.

Equally, the student himself had his freedom taken away by his own self - he backed himself into his own corner, giving himself few options out of the situation. In the attempt to curb the rights of the school, he destroyed his own. And in all honesty, that is one of the cornerstones of Western society - your rights are sacrosanct until you bind the rights of others.
______________

My opponent can scream all he wants about the 'tyrannical' federal government, but in the end the threat of secession is simply two things:

1. Intent to bind the rights of others by force, threatening an action unless demands are met
2. Resulting in the destruction of compromise and rights for both sides of an argument, forcing options to be limited for both sides, until the breaking point occurs

Neither is conducive to freedom; neither is respectful of rights; neither is acceptable. My opponent claims that secession is the best way to promote freedom - I have shown that it is not. For nothing that destroys and binds such as a threat of this kind does is anywhere close to the freedom that I do believe my opponent sincerely wishes to emulate.

Once again, I thank Mongeese for this interesting debate, which I hope he'll discuss in the future with others, and possibly myself, again.

Sources in comments. Thank you, and vote PRO
Debate Round No. 3
27 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
I loved this debate. Each round, the tide turned 180 degrees. Ultimately, the debate would go to the last person to speak, because he successfully refuted all of the former's points, despite:
-Not refuting that humans are property
-Essentially arguing that governments have a freedom to do as they wish to their citizens
-Arguing around the fact that the Texan majority was approving of the threat, and not the act, of secession
These points were major in context to the resolution at large. Mongeese effectively dropped the points about past examples in which threatening to secede lead to violence and then worse oppression (though Volkov didn't really bring this up again). Another factor I weighed was that the debate specifically granted the concession that whatever act was being threatened against was an invasion of freedom.

Overall, Volkov had the winning end at the conclusion of the debate, but because of these key factors, the arguments category is tied.
I'm voting on Volkov's earlier rational, giving conduct, grammar, and sources to the TIED.

And that leaves me as an entirely tied vote, which is sad, considering that it took the better part of an hour to read that debate.
Posted by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
RR, how about the Thirteenth Amendment?
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 7 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
If I could vote, it would have been for Volkov. Countering Volkov's arguments would have required a defense of a coherent theory of property that excluded the Federal Government from having Texas as property. No such theory was explicated or defended.
Posted by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
Everybody has. Multiple times.
Posted by Volkov 7 years ago
Volkov
Don't ask me, pal. Tell Phil to put in a system where we can see the votes.
Posted by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
Where'd that seven-point vote come from?
Posted by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
My RFD is much the same, except I think I turned Volkov's Comment sources more often than he did at times. And then there's the fact that they're Comment sources.

Yes, it was a good debate.
Posted by Volkov 7 years ago
Volkov
I should RFD myself:

B&A: PRO, obviously. xD
Conduct: Tied; we were both gentlemen.
S&G: Tied; no major mistakes on either side.
Arguments: PRO; though I may be biased, I stuck to the resolution and argued effectively against my opponent, not that mongeese didn't put up a hell of a fight for me.
Sources: Tied; though I had more sources, I collapsed and used wiki, which I demote myself for.

Good debate mongeese, we should do it again sometime.
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Vote Placed by Rhetorical-Disaster 6 years ago
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Vote Placed by GeorgeCarlinWorshipper 7 years ago
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