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The Contender
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4 Points

Is prolonged empire a good thing?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/12/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 796 times Debate No: 31234
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)




I personally am in favor of empire, but I would like to hear the opinions of others and what they think. Please realize that empires aren't inherently malevolent, can be any form of government (aside from things like anarchy), and still exist in the modern day. For example some modern day empires would be China, Russia, the U.S.A., and Brazil. Other than that, I am interested in what you have to say.


Can you describe how an empire is realized without malevolence, and how that realization allows for a diversity of governments?

I have plenty to say on the matter, but proper debate form involves the affirmative arguing comprehensively first. Otherwise, it's being provocatively passive-aggressive in shifting burden of proof onto the negative.
Debate Round No. 1


Forgive me for not being forward and precise enough with my forthcoming. It is only my first day using this sight and I am still figuring out how things work here. Furthermore, it should be noted that I am not willing to devote serious amounts of time and energy to my arguments. I am doing this solely for the purpose of leisure and as a hobby, so I suggest that you approach in a similar mannerism.

As for how an empire allows for diversity of governments, it functions in the same way a smaller country would. The only difference between an empire and a state is found within the size and power of the two, with the imperial establishment having the greater of both.

Now to begin. I believe that an Imperial structure is a good thing for three main reasons:

I: A large imperial state with an effective government has more power than a smaller state would, and therefore a greater capability to move around resources and improve life for it's occupants.

II: A large imperial state with an effective government can better insure the safety and well-being of it's occupants and effectively combat any outside threats better than a smaller sovereignty would be able to.

III: A large imperial state with an effective government is capable of reaching beyond it's borders and influencing an international community to fit it's needs and wants in a beneficial way, thus improving conditions for it's occupants.

Thank you for your consideration, and I await your response.


As long as you adhere to discourse ethics from here on out, we should be fine. Your apology's accepted as well as your casual tone.

The problem with your depiction of empire is it ignores the militant nature of colonization. Empires lack cultural solidarity. Instead, they simply expound culture abroad, expecting foreigners to conform to authority.

In turn, yes, empires become large and resourceful, but they are not necessarily bureaucratically efficient. There is a lack of customs among empires which inhibits people from communicating clearly. There is also a breakdown of domestic pedigree within empires due to the culture of militancy. Generations do not benefit from the handing down of legacies from one to the next. Instead, descendents are simply expected to walk in the steps of their ancestors in proving their mettle in combat. This becomes especially problematic as the frontier for colonization closes off. Future generations lack opportunities to campaign.

In turn, empires break down from the inside out. Future generations become bored, and they spur rivalries just to have something to do and strive for social status. This further alienates foreign populations which aren't responsibly governed over, or are possibly used as rival combatants. They are also strained to provide resources for rivalries which they can't relate with, becoming restless in the process.

Debate Round No. 2


To begin with, if an empire fails beuratically, it fails overall. Once the governing body of an empire cannot effectively controll the far corners of it's realms the empire begins to collapse, and ceases to exist as an empire, or exist at all. This happens in two cenarios; right before the downfall of a longlasting empire such as Rome, or throughout the creation and existance of an empire that is predominantly a military establishment, such as the Mongolian Empire, or later, the Khanates. Both of these examples did not last long in such a condition, and therefore cannot be considered prolonged empire.

As for the militarial tendencies of empires, these cannot be denied. Personally I cannot remember any empire that has existed and maintained it's status as an imperial governance on pacifistic principals. However I believe that the militant nature of a long-lasting empire is made up for by the internal conditions of the establishment. The safety and prosperity of it's citezens is almost undeniable. On the subject of newly aquired citezens, although often considered second rate, or even massacred at times, in most cases the majority will often be able to aquire positions within society after a time, and if not them, then their descendants.

Finally, because of the peace, stability, and prosperity within the nation, technology and idealogies are allowed to advance at an excellerated rate, further benefiting not only the empire itself and it's citezens, but also the rest of the world as the new technology and ideas are leaked out beyond the borders of the establishment.


I'm glad we can agree on bureaucracy and militancy.

Can you explain why safety requires colonizing foreign peoples, and why foreign peoples deserve to have to wait over time before assimilating into their new empire? They could just as well be prosperous within their own homeland.

Technology and ideology indeed get exchanged through cultural diffusion, but I'm not sure why that's a good thing either. That allows for reverse engineering such that intellectual property gets ignored. Instead, the heritage of intelligence becomes enslaved just so foreigners can achieve prosperity. It's a self-depreciating ideal that ignores how creative thinkers and problem solvers deserve credit for their achievements.

There's also no guarantee that exchanging ideas will necessarily lead to accelerated advancement either. Sometimes, ideas are incompatible with one another, and leads to conflict, not cooperation. This conflict, again, ignores those who deserve credit for their achievements. Instead, it forces them to defend themselves.
Debate Round No. 3


I am not here to defend the notions of ancient imperial estates, and therefor will not. I agree that it is not exactly the best to treat foreign subjects as second class citezens, but it happened, and I suggest that you ask someone with an empire to control to change their protocol. not me. Furthermore, this is not always the case. Many empires, such as ancient Persia treated recently assimilated peoples with the utmost respect. I simply stated that the potential pros outweighed the potential cons.

As for technology and ideology diffusion, this is generally considered a good thing for several reasons. To start with, superior technologies will always advance the current state of the human race unless they are doomsday weapons such as atom bombs.However even atom bombs have potential practical uses for benefit. They are the best option we currently have at our disposal to deflect large incoming elestial bodies. But that is aside from the point. Although I do agree that the creator of a technology should deserve credit and reward for their creation, it is my personal belief that a water purifier is more important thatn whoever invented it. And even though resourceful inventors are sometimes discredited for their work, often times they are not and do recieve their just dues.

On the subject of ideology, although it sometimes leads to conflict, this conflit is often short lived in the grand scheme of things, and saying that new ideas, concepts and philosophies that have the potential to be far superior to their predassesors are bad things is demenially short sighted.

So to recap, I believe that empire is a good thing because it allows for a safer, more comfortable existance for the majority of it's occupants, and allows for faster technological and ideological advancement than smaller states would usually allow for.

Thank you for your time and consideration, and it's been a good argument.

Best of wishes, Eric Scott.


Thank you for finishing this debate with me.

That said, I must insist that you didn't address my point on safety. Originally, you said, "However I believe that the militant nature of a long-lasting empire is made up for by the internal conditions of the establishment. The safety and prosperity of it's citezens is almost undeniable." You did not explain how this necessitates colonization of foreign peoples.

You also brutally asserted "superior technologies will always advance the current state of the human race". This is not necessarily true. Technology can backfire by alienating people from one another as I said before about reverse engineering and intellectual property. People become spoiled when they don't psychologically identify with the design, manufacturing, and distribution of technology. Instead of designing, manufacturing, and distributing it themselves, they simply intimidate and humiliate other people into doing it for them. To use your example, a water purifier does not exist without an inventor. It's the people who make achievements happen. The achievement is just an end from a means.

Likewise, I'm not sure you're appreciating what "conflict" really means. Short lived conflict can be detrimental to someone, somewhere. It sounds like you're saying the quality of personhood is less than the quantity of people helped. I would like to remind you that quality comes before quantity. You can't count something if you don't have something to count. Likewise, the number of people helped doesn't matter if the individuality of who people are isn't respected. Individuals are caught up in conflicts, and no matter how small, their lives become ruined.

Finally, you said that faster advancement is a good thing. I must disagree with that. Life is about enjoying ourselves over time, and sometimes, this means taking our time slowly in order to soak in the details. This doesn't mean that fast advancement is necessarily bad since we do want to solve problems some times. However, everything in life isn't a problem. When we arrive at a solution, we should relish in the spoils of victory instead of simply burning through them as fast as possible.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Daktoria 4 years ago
That's OK. You did a fine job. :-)

Sincerely, Mike
Posted by Scoeri 4 years ago
I think you win. Good argument, and I admit that I got a bit sloppy at the end. Hopefully I'll do better next time.

Also, I'm not sure if anyone will vote. I accidentally made the voting reasoning 8,000 characters. Oops.

- Sincerely, Eric Scott
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by rross 4 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Welcome to the site, Pro. This is an interesting topic, and Pro raised some good points. However, even a little bit of evidence would go a long way with a topic like this. Saying things like, "the safety and prosperity of it's citezens is almost undeniable" is not really convincing on its own. Con's rebuttal was thorough, and many of his arguments were conceded by Pro who even went on to concede in the comments.