The Instigator
UtherPenguin
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Bob13
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

It is better for a leader to be more feared than loved.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/3/2016 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 10 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,061 times Debate No: 93121
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (14)
Votes (0)

 

UtherPenguin

Pro

Full resolution:

"In a situation where both virutes are incompatible: it is better for a leader to be more feared than loved."

Rules
-BoP is shared, as Pro must prove it is better to be feared as a leader, Con must equally prove that it is better to be loved as a leader.
-If you're intrested in the debate, be sure to comment below
-Be civil and follow the format.

Format:
Round 1: Acceptance
Round 2: Opening Cases
Round 3: Rebuttals
Round 4: Closing Arguments/ Counter-rebuttals

Terms:

Leader: One wholeads or commands a group, organization, or country.
Loved: Held by strong compassion or admiration
Feared: Held by fear, anxiety or dread.
Better: Comparitivly good or well
Bob13

Con

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
UtherPenguin

Pro

Unfortunately, due to outside factors (and what appears to be a glitch on my computer), I will be unable to post my arguments this round. I would like to pass this round and make up for my absence at round three. Apologies for the inconvenience, I'd like to request Con to continue with his arguments this round, I'll be sure to catch up next round/

Apologies for the inconvenience.
Bob13

Con

Contention #1: Leaders who are loved are less likely to be overthrown or assassinated.

No one wants to overthrow a leader they love. If a leader is feared, he is most likely hated as well, and rebellions will always happen eventually. Historical examples include:
Pre-revolutionary France King Louis XVI was hated by nearly all of his subjects who suffered from his oppression (use of fear). He was overthrown and executed.
British Empire The British government used fear and oppressed people in their colonies. This led to successful rebellions in the United States and India.
World War II Hitler came into power by making the German people love him. On the other hand, Mussolini was overthrown because he tried to use fear to secure his position.

Contention #2: Leaders who are loved make more allies.

Most countries won't support someone who they're afraid of. This is why people like Napoleon and Hitler always fail. In both instances, there were many more countries fighting against them than they had on their side.

Contention #3: In a democracy, leaders who are feared aren't re-elected.

A leader without power doesn't create much fear. People don't want someone they fear to be in power, so they won't vote for them.
Debate Round No. 2
UtherPenguin

Pro

Apologies to Con for my absences in the previous round, as promised, this round will primarily be my opening case.


My case will simply use only one argument to justify my position. So without further ado:



Fear established dominance


While seemingly obvious at first, it is of the utmost importance that a leader and subordinate first understand the necessary component of their positions on a hierarchy, that being, to lead and follow respectively. Failure for a follower to be subordinate is an fundamental blow to the competence of a leader. Failure for a leader to actually lead is nothing short of damning to any form of legitimacy.


This is important, as the implications of a leader who rules by love and love alone can speak volumes on both their legitimacy to lead and the competence in doing so.


Any relationship that fundamentally built upon a specific sentiment, either of fear or love, admiration or hate, can only sustain itself with consistent validation and reaffirmation of this emotion. In short, it is difficult to dislike a person for a long period of time if the one who is held at contempt does little to validate that feeling. While the distaste may still exist for that individual, it will inevitably wane.


Similarly, for a leader to maintain his position, he must act in a matter that validates the basis of his or her power. For a relationship built on love, the leader must act in a matter that warrants love or admiration, for a relationship built upon fear, they must also act consistently in a matter that validates that sentiment.


To maintain the love of the followers and the people, a leader would have to act in accordance to the current wants of the followers, regardless of practicality. In short, a loved leader would consistently need to appease his people in order to maintain power. If said leader must act in practicality yet pragmatic need contradict that wants of the masses , then said leader would simply be forced to appease the masses, because failure in doing so would be an affront to the very basis of his power.


Take for example, the gift politics of North Korea [1]:


A method from which leader Kim Jong Il used to receive favour of government officials was via “gift politics”, in other words, lavish bribery to bureaucrats and officials and “explemary citizens” to maintain a sense of admiration for the “Supreme Leader”. [2]


For a leader like Kim Jong Il, such a policy would not have been a problem as he had firmly planted himself as a strong and undisputed leader of North Korea.


With his death and succession to his son Kim Jong Un, a general undercurrent lay in the North Korean government and abroad that Kim Jong Un was an incapable leader. As Washington Post journalist David Ignatius writes, “Kim Jong Un is a weak leader in every respect but one.” [3]


By depending heavily on bribes, and more so then his predecessor, Kim Jong Un is in a position from which he will have to appease officials as a source of legitimizing his power, forcing him in a constant position of appeasing those who should be following him as a leader.


To a leader who is in a constant state of appeasement, making progressively larger and larger concessions to subordinates and followers runs the risk of losing legitimacy all together, as it eventually results in a weak leader who cannot lead from fear of the masses. Thus, to rule by love and love alone puts strongly into question the whether said ruler is legitimate in occupying their position.


A leader thusly, who rules by fear alone, is far less likely to come across the same problem. In fact, the opposite is likely to occur.


Maintaining a relationship built on fear does not require the same constant need for revalidation as love. The person who is feared may not be entirely justified in being feared, but is feared nonetheless. A person in a state of fear is far more likely to exaggerate the danger or the threat that said source of dread may actually impose. Fear is easily exaggerated and far easier to provoke than love. Thusly, the feared one does not have to worry nearly as much about constant validation of one’s personal dread.


In fear, a person is far more malleable to orders and persuasion, the ever present dread of pain creates a need for obedience, to alleviate the threat of fear. Discipline is formed as a result of fear, a fear of punishment and the authority of the leader. Discipline is inevitably conducive to loyalty, for a person who is disciplined, is less likely to betray or defect. As loyalty was instilled in them by fear, Love may invoke a more genuine, sincere form of loyalty. But rarely can one be disciplined by love alone.


It is in a state of fear that the subordinate is in constant need to appease the leader to alleviate the threat and it is not the leader who is forced to appease the subordinate. The follower will know there place, and the leader will know his duty.


Fear is at the very core of a leader’s competence to lead and their legitimacy to power. For one cannot guide a horse by carrots alone, discipline is required, the stick is need but far more importantly is the fear of the stick to drive the horse.


This is why, it is ultimately far more important for a leader to be more loved than feared.


I rest my case. On to you Con ;)



Sources:



  1. 1. http://thediplomat.com...

  2. 2. http://www.atimes.com...

  3. 3. https://www.washingtonpost.com...

Bob13

Con

"If said leader must act in practicality yet pragmatic need contradict that wants of the masses , then said leader would simply be forced to appease the masses, because failure in doing so would be an affront to the very basis of his power."

That is true.

"A method from which leader Kim Jong Il used to receive favour of government officials was via 'gift politics', in other words, lavish bribery to bureaucrats and officials and 'explemary citizens' to maintain a sense of admiration for the 'Supreme Leader'."

Leaders don't have to do that to be loved. Most leaders who are loved maintain their popularity by accomplishing great things that please their subjects. That's how Hitler maintained his power, as did many other monarchs and dictators.

I believe that this refutes your argument, which rests on the assumption that bribery is the only way for a leader to be loved.

I await your rebuttal.
Debate Round No. 3
UtherPenguin

Pro

R1: Loyalty

In Contention 1 Con argues that leaders who are loved are “less likely of being overthrown or assassinated”, whilst citing the fall of the French Monarchy and the overthrow of Benito Mussolini.

The problems with this argument are as followed:

-The collapse of the French Monarchy was not the result of a leader that was too cruel or too heavily feared, it simply came from incompetence. This fails as a strong example because it was due to Louis XVII’s incompetence as a leader that he failed to maintain any fear or love as king. It was this lack of fear that the French people had of him that incentivized the storming of Bastille and eventually Versailles [1]

The same can be said for previous examples of this kind, like the British Empire.

Sources:

  1. 1. https://www.mtholyoke.edu...

R2 Alliances.

“Most countries won't support someone who they're afraid of. This is why people like Napoleon and Hitler always fail. In both instances, there were many more countries fighting against them than they had on their side.”

Alliances are made, not on the basis of personal sentiment between leaders, but on simple necessity. If country A seeks to oppose country X then country will have to be allied with, regardless of personal distaste or lack thereof.

This can be seen in the outbreak of WW2, the Kaiser of Germany, Wilhelm II was not only cousins with the Tsar of his enemy country Russia, but was also childhood friends with said Tsar.[1]

It is also important to add that the subject of the debate is exclusive to whether leaders should be loved or feared, and not nation states.

Sources:

  1. 1. https://en.wikipedia.org...

R3: Concession

In the previous round, pro concedes to what is essentially the basis of my opening argument. That being, a leader who is solely loved tend to fall into a cycle of appeasing their subordinates. To concede to such a point that was essential to my argument would not be so far from conceding to the entire argument in general. As seen below, my opponent has clearly agreed on such a premise

“[My argument]’If said leader must act in practicality yet pragmatic need contradict that wants of the masses , then said leader would simply be forced to appease the masses, because failure in doing so would be an affront to the very basis of his power.’

[Con]That is true.”

R4: Bribery

This last rebuttal will be a refutation of my opponent’s last rebuttal. In short, Con misrepresents the argument I had proposed. As I had argued that the root of Kim Jong Un’s incompetence as a leader is in his failure to invoke fear within his government and the populace, and that by “gift politics” he fails to sufficiently maintain legitimacy as leader. Con goes to state:

Leaders don't have to do that to be loved. Most leaders who are loved maintain their popularity by accomplishing great things that please their subjects. That's how Hitler maintained his power, as did many other monarchs and dictators I believe that this refutes your argument, which rests on the assumption that bribery is the only way for a leader to be loved.”

However, never did I actually state bribery as the only means of siring affection. I only stated that bribery, despite ethical muddiness of the method, was just one primary means that the Kim Dynasty seeked to maintain loyalty from their people. In short, Con has clearly misrepresented my argument.

Conclusion:

A leader who is feared amongst his or her subjects is legitimate because the subjects fear their leader, thus, a leader who is not feared in the least but, regardless of sentimentality, simply fails to be legitimate as a leader. Because discipline is strongly conductive to a punishment-reward based system of governance, to have no fear of punishment in the minds of one’s subjects or workers simply gives no base incentive to obey.

A leader who is feared thusly bears the benefits of legitimacy and discipline from all under him, to lack any fear even if loved equates to an eventual loss of all order, legitimacy and discipline. This is why, ultimately, it is better for a leader to be more feared than loved.

That concludes my side of the debate. All thanks to Con for accepting the debate.

Vote Pro.

Bob13

Con

"The same can be said for previous examples of this kind, like the British Empire."

The British Empire maintained their power through fear. America had its revolution because they lost that fear, which proves how fear doesn't work forever. [1] You also didn't address Mussolini.

"If country A seeks to oppose country X then country will have to be allied with, regardless of personal distaste or lack thereof."

That's my point. Country A could be afraid of country X and he would ally with other countries to fight country X. Wars are often started out of fear.

"I only stated that bribery, despite ethical muddiness of the method, was just one primary means that the Kim Dynasty seeked to maintain loyalty from their people."

Exactly. There are better ways for a leader to be loved, such as helping the country's economy, protecting its citizens, etc.

Conclusion

Fear leads to hate, which leads to rebellions and alliances of enemies, which leads to a leader's fall. Love maintains power, pleases the people, and removes the necessity for enemies to be allied against a country.

[1] http://www.britishempire.co.uk...

Debate Round No. 4
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by UtherPenguin 10 months ago
UtherPenguin
Should be posted by today I can assure you.
Posted by Bob13 10 months ago
Bob13
I would appreciate it if you could post your argument as soon as possible. I won't have access to my computer next week.
Posted by Amedexyius 10 months ago
Amedexyius
I'm leaving a comment because of my expectations for this controversial topic.
Posted by Matthieux 11 months ago
Matthieux
I think that a leader needs to be more loved than feared because if they are more feared than no one will trust him if they were loved they would be trusted cared for and more people that trust him more people on his side and are loyal.
Posted by Blade-of-Truth 11 months ago
Blade-of-Truth
Nice, I'm assuming you've read The Prince? Either way, I'll be following this one with pleasant anticipation.
Posted by OvertlyZelaous 11 months ago
OvertlyZelaous
I accept for the con side (love and respect), and am willing to debate. Thank you!
Posted by Stensson 11 months ago
Stensson
The only semantic I was interested in - "better" provides no real clarity. What is "comparitively good or well"?

Is it better for the leader himself?
Does it provide a more effective outcome as a whole? (as in it helps the leader reach his wish)

Neither of those questions can be answered objectively - some leaders(read: people) thrive on fear, some on love. What is the nature of the desired outcome, what is the leader trying to accomplish?
Different purposes require different measures. For examples going to war, being a loved leader is probably better thanks to the raised morale of your men. In other instances the fear factor might be more valuable.
Posted by randomsage 11 months ago
randomsage
I'm interested in debating for love and respect being a strong force to use a leader but my account is too noob for this one.

@Masonh928
The argument depends on the rules, otherwise it's just a speculation argument with different ideas. There are other ways to counter it but the rules are made.
Posted by PowerPikachu21 11 months ago
PowerPikachu21
I'm interested in how this debate will go, but I won't accept. I'll definitely watch this, however.
Posted by imperialchimp 11 months ago
imperialchimp
It's better to be respected. Love comes and goes, which is why it isn't very safe. Fear will allow you to govern better but you will lose much loyalty. Both love and fear have their own problems, but fear is safer. Respect is a combination of both, and Machiavelli did say being both feared and love would be wonderful, but difficult to achieve.
No votes have been placed for this debate.