The Instigator
NinoK
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
socialpinko
Con (against)
Winning
8 Points

Is society a reflection of the government?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
socialpinko
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/28/2012 Category: Society
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,269 times Debate No: 26651
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (2)

 

NinoK

Pro

Yes, the government dictates what we do and cant do.
socialpinko

Con

Government (the State): the system by which a nation, state, or community is governed. This could refer to local, federal, or state governments depending on what part of society we're referring to. For the purposes of this debate I'll assume we take society to be meant in the sense of a nation-State.


===Arguments===


Pro's argument stems from the fact that governing bodies dictate laws regarding what people can and cannot do. Thus, somehow society as a whole exists in the way it does owing to the actions of government. The problem with this line of reasoning though is threefold: (a) government is not the only institution that dictates how people act in a society, (b) many aspects of society have existed prior to the existence of various governments, and (c) society itself is usually generated spontaneously as opposed to by fiat legislation.


Dictating Institutions.


Governments are only a single type of institution which dictates the behavior of others. In order to say that society is a reflection of government, it would appear that at the very least the majority of societal norms and behaviors would have to be brought about by government fiat. But consider other dictating institutions which usually co-exist with government.


Religion (Christianity, paganism), secular cultural norms (looking others in the eye, generally keeping one's promises), and markets (utilizing neoclassical incentives) are all also institutions which dictate how people act owing to unique incentives. While a government might force behavior by threat of force or fine, religion does the same by threat of cosmic punishment, secular cultural norms by threat of social ostracizing, and markets by threat of loss of monetary utility. Of course there are generally cross-overs, religion and markets generally also converge with social norms.


Behavior Prior to States.


A good portion of behavior in society also exists prior to both the original formation of States as well as prior to the existence of currently existent States. Research in the fields of social anthropology supports this notion. For instance, evolution has generally favored certain traits which dictate how we act. The concept of reciprocal evolution is among the most supported trait out of this set[1]. We are on balance generous to others even when there doesn't appear to be any net monetary or social reward. Therefore, even before the formation of States, certain behavior existed and was dictated by evolution. We can also clearly see how reciprocity has affected society, with the general focus on helping others in social norms and the wide-spread existence of charitable institutions across borders.


Spontaneity vs. Fiat Legislation.


The over-arching social structures in a given society are in most cases generated by spontaneous evolution rather than by direct, focused government intervention[2]. There are two lines of evidence I wish to bring up here, (1) being that looking at *why* people do things (including lobbying for government actions) by simply looking at fiat legislation leads to infinite regress (why do people lobby for the things they do?-- societal norms and incentive structures) and (2) from the fact that spontaneous selection of advantageous traits seems to apply just as well to communities (sets of individuals) as it does to species i.e., societies that exhibit favorable traits like prohibiting acts like murder and theft generally last longer as opposed to societies existing under anarchy (in the vulgar sense).


===Sources===


[1] "Evolution of direct reciprocity under uncertainty can explain human generosity in one-shot encounters" (http://www.pnas.org...)
[2] http://oll.libertyfund.org...
Debate Round No. 1
NinoK

Pro

Government provokes many vices through the idiom, "MONKEY SEE, MONKEY DO."
The state is the agitator. It promotes the idea that aggressively stealing property through taxation and expropriation is right.The state always initiates aggression by the compulsory monopoly on its use of force either domestic or foreign.
The state is the sole reason for crony capitalism or corporatism through their coercive powers to benefit some businesses and individuals at the expense of others.The state creates public and natural monopolies while condemning the nonexistent of private monopolies.
socialpinko

Con

Pro's claims aren't incompatible with my argument, nor do they go very far at all in proving the resolution. If the resolution was "The State is bad" then his R2 arguments would be relevant. This debate is descriptive of what society is reflective of, not whether the State is good. Extend refutations.
Debate Round No. 2
NinoK

Pro

NinoK forfeited this round.
socialpinko

Con

Extend refutation. Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by emospongebob527 4 years ago
emospongebob527
Dammit Spinko, I was going to accept this.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Smithereens 4 years ago
Smithereens
NinoKsocialpinkoTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: I don't require any justification, the debate speaks for itself.
Vote Placed by emospongebob527 4 years ago
emospongebob527
NinoKsocialpinkoTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: FF + Inability to produce coherent argumentation.