The Instigator
Sky_ace25
Pro (for)
Losing
22 Points
The Contender
wjmelements
Con (against)
Winning
44 Points

It's better for a government to keep its citizens in a state of fear.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 13 votes the winner is...
wjmelements
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/29/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,281 times Debate No: 10607
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (19)
Votes (13)

 

Sky_ace25

Pro

Hello People,

I am arguing for the justification that a government has more to benefit from keeping its citizens in a state of fear.

By state of fear it is to be meant a state in which the citizens have a phobia of some foreign entity that would be promoted either through force or propaganda by a sovereign body.

My contentions for this are as follows:

C1: It ensures loyalty.
When people have a fear of something they are more likely to put their protection to a higher power and in this case the government would have the loyalty of its people, because they would rely on their government in a mutual trust that they would be protected by the government in exchange for loyalty. Thus by keeping its citizens in a state of fear you prevent disloyalty and raging anarchy which would just lead to the loss of human life and human character; again accomplishing this because people have a need for a higher protective force, the government. They would rather accept the protection and show loyalty too the government, than risk being harmed or damaged by the foreign entity.

C2: It promotes relationships at the community level.

When people are threatened they have a tendency to rely on each other and when they have a fear of a foreign force they are more likely to group together in a close community bond. An example of this would be when a registered sex predator moves into a neighborhood and the neighborhood watch tightens their look out on him/her to ensure the safety of the neighborhood. When people are in a fear they have to work in a community setting together rather than all work for their own individual interests. This leads the communities to grow new bonds and to strengthen their inner character to ensure the protection of all to the foreign entity.

In conclusion, it's justified for a government to keep its citizens in a state of fear, because people bond and show loyalty to ensure their individual rights are protected thus they grow together.
wjmelements

Con

I would like to thank Sky_ace25 for this debate and welcome him to Debate.org.

I negate, that "It's better for a government to keep its citizens in a state of fear".

==REBUTTALS==
--Loyalty--
When people have a fear, they become dependent on a higher entity. There is no way to guarantee that entity will be government. In fact, they probably will not. Fear, as an irrational actor, also can make people irrational. More people than not will turn to religion (or another promising faction) instead of government because religion can promise the same protection, and (assuming that the fear is generated by a facade) have the same effect. Religion can use propaganda in the same way as the government, and can use public fear to gain power. Religion can then be used to motivate a force to overthrow the government, so that the religious leaders can gain power.

--Community--
In the same manner as stated above, community can be used against government as a tool of other agencies.

--Conclusion--
A government interested in staying in power takes a huge risk of relacement by creating fear.

==The Negative Case==
Staying in power should not be the goal of government action. Even if manufacturing an external evil kept a government in control, is the government in control worth having? It is corrupt in that it has deliberately falsified information. It is abusive in that it has used unnecessary violence. It has become destructive to its own purpose, to protect individual rights. Such a government is best overthrown and replaced with a more righteous one.

Loyalty can be better achieved through non-corrupt means. Efficiency and righteous action can keep a people's faith in their government. Patriotism can be manufactured through propaganda that does not consist of lies.

==Conclusion==
Fear (as defined before) is a blunt, ineffective, immoral, and unnecessary tool for an ideal society.

I now yield to the affirmative.
Debate Round No. 1
Sky_ace25

Pro

Thank you for the warm welcome. =]

_Refuting the Refutes_
My opponent states that their is no way to guarantee that the entity will be a government that people will turn too. He points out religion as another possible alternative. In the United States the majority of the population still self-identify as Christians, however we are a very stable nation (Failed State Index 2009). Thus we have religion incorporated into our society in a peaceful way and yet we do not have revolt against our government.

Further more whatever faction people may turn too would probably in one way or another have some form of government ties, and even if it didn't this does not mean that a government would be un-able to find a means to gain either control or an influence in this faction. In order for a government to enforce a universal state of fear of a FOREIGN entity then it is to be presumed it must have a monopoly on power/media. Thus it's not unlikely that any faction could not in same way have power or influence by the gov. Because his argument has been refuted my community argument stands strong. (Round 1)

Refuting his case_
Staying in power must be the goal of a government, because if they lose their power they are no longer able to rule over a sovereign people. My opponent says it is justified to replace a corrupt gov. with a more righteous one, however if the government is not going to take steps to enforce its rule it is basically a puppet government with no sovereign power and thus we are just in a state of anarchy or a state of easy government abuse.

Further more a phobia doesn't necessarily have to be false, their can be rational phobias, used by the state to get concessions. (Ex: Airport security to prevent terror attacks). My opponent constantly states that their are better ways, however he does not offer one alternative. Thus my case stands strong because my opponent claims fear is ineffective, but he offers no alternative and he has been refuted.
wjmelements

Con

I would like to thank my opponent for his quick rebuttal.

=Rebuttals=
My opponent has pointed to the United States as a counter-example to my rebuttal; however, the large majority of Americans are not in danger of a foreign entity (except on airplanes, but that danger is minuscule). The United States has a secure population and is not a valid counter-example.

The Internal Rebellion Faction is not required to have government ties. A monopoly on power and media is not necessary to exaggerate a danger. Danger has been exaggerated by all sorts of propaganda agencies, such as the Daisy Girl ad seen above, without such a monopoly. There is no reason to believe that no organization would be able to rise up with fear mongering and then use its power to take charge.

The community argument relies thoroughly on the rebuttal of my objection, and so it shall be considered only in application.

==The Negative Case==
A government that sacrifices its purpose for its position is no better than a lying politician. The "steps to enforce its rule" are unnecessary unless a government is abusive. The United States, for example, has stayed in power for hundreds of years without manufacturing a non-existent foreign enemy. Nazi Germany, on the other hand, needed to create an enemy, the Jews, to justify its misbehaviour. The United States is not an anarchy, and so my opponent's rebuttal to my case is moot.

My opponent asks for an example of a righteous government tool for staying in power. Examples include the promotion of the system of checks and balances system (in the public school system) and the election system.

My opponent also clarifies that the fear doesn't have to be of a non-existent entity, but my objections are still valid, as the resolution implies with the word "keep" that action would ensue with or without the existence of a true threat. This implies over-exaggeration and falsification.

I now yield to PRO.
Debate Round No. 2
Sky_ace25

Pro

I'd like to thank my opponent for a good debate.
Refuting the Refute

1. I'd like to point out here that my opponent has agreed to my example of a justifiable fear of terrorism on planes which I will address later.

2. We are not debating is fear immoral; we are debating fear used by the government. The Daisy Ad was by an independent party and thus the government is not enforcing a state of fear. My opponent is arguing about propaganda agencies, however if they are enforcing their own fear then it is not the government deciding to keep its citizens in a state of fear; it is the independent agency; thus this is off topic. If the government agrees with the agency then obviously they are the ones in control of power because they are still the making rational choices and thus the government still has complete control.

My opponent is arguing that the U.S. has stayed in power without utilizing a fear, however he agrees to the justification that their is a fear of terrorism on planes (first paragraph R2) thus he is contradicting himself here. The airport security system is enforced by multiple governments in the world and thus we accept that their is a fear of terror threats on a plane. We are not debating here the level of "fear" or the level of threat. I only have to prove that their is a fear imposed that led to good results.

My opponent admits their is a fear of danger on planes and thus he has basically admitted that their is a justifiable reason that the government can keep its citizens in a state of fear; because they want to enforce airplane security. Further more; should we stop airport security because we have no proof as of now somebody might have a bomb on a plane?

The chief reason for voting for the Pro is that:

My first contention stands strong because my opponent has not proved that their is any other faction that the people may turn too that does not have government ties. Also, a real world application of the resolution has been justified
wjmelements

Con

==Refuting the Affirmative Case==
My opponent has conceded that independent agencies are capable of producing propaganda outside of government control, and so my objection regarding the potential overthrow of the government is conceded.

My opponent also concedes that the large majority of Americans are not in a state of fear. He mostly attacks the exception regarding plains, which, as I have already pointed out, is minuscule and largely irrelevant. Americans are, quite simply, not living in a state of fear, and their government is entirely stable.

My opponent is also trying to argue that the airline industry is safer because of fear of terrorists. This is not the case. The fear itself is not the cause of the safety; the careful inspection of passengers allows the safety Americans enjoy.

My opponent asks if we should stop airport security. This is a straw-man claim, and, quite frankly, absurd. Americans are not afraid of flying in airplanes, and the government doesn't hijack planes or spread propaganda to make us afraid. Further, it is not even necessary for Americans to be afraid of airplanes in order for airport security to be successful.

My opponent has only attacked the airplane industry, and in doing this, has conceded:
-Governments that make the citizenry live in fear are best overthrown.
-"Steps to enforce rule" are not necessary in a non-corrupt government.
-It is plausible for governments to be promoted without manufacturing fear.

So, the resolution, that "It's better for a government to keep its citizens in a state of fear", is negated, on bluntness, in-necessity, and immorality. It fails at its purpose. Both the people and the government are better off without such a policy. The resolution is negated.

VOTE CON.
Debate Round No. 3
19 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by SexyLatina 7 years ago
SexyLatina
Word, y'all.
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
Say what now?
Posted by Sky_ace25 7 years ago
Sky_ace25
Say what now?
Posted by SexyLatina 7 years ago
SexyLatina
I was expecting something like Papa Monzano from the Island of San Lorenzo, home of Bokononism. I was disappointed! I abstain from voting.
Posted by lsiberian 7 years ago
lsiberian
Religion being brought up was a very unconvincing argument. There are numerous historical examples the Con could have used that would have been far more convincing IMO.
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
"A government should keep its citizens in a state of Texas."
10/10
Posted by Nails 7 years ago
Nails
A government should keep its citizens in a state of Texas.
Posted by RoyLatham 7 years ago
RoyLatham
Obama was the first Democrat to win more than 50% the vote since Carter in 1976. Clinton won with only 43% of the total vote in 1992.

If the popular vote were used rather than the electoral college, campaign strategies would change significantly, with small states being ignored and large states more contested. For example, Republicans now usually write off California and just let the Democrats win big; tey go after midwestern states instead. It's not true that past elections outcomes can be predicted based upon the existing vote counts differently.

The present debate hinges on whether "good for the government" means "effective in keeping the leadership in power" or "good for proper governing of the people." It helps keeps authoritarian rulers in power, e.g., North Korea, but it aids authoritarian rule. I think Con made the the case that "good for proper governing" is the more reasonable interpretation. This key issue could have been avoided with a clearer resolution and opening statement.

A bug in ddo software cuts off the last few characters of a post when you are at the limit. It's always been that way. It seems safe to always leave 40 characters remaining to avoid being truncated.
Posted by Sky_ace25 7 years ago
Sky_ace25
Yet, whenever Obama comes out to speak the Dow goes down even further? I assume of course that's because of the previous administration. Further more the whole point of the electoral college is to prevent tyranny of the majority so rights aren't oppressed on. I assume of course you don't understand the higher concepts that America was founded on.

Further more, is Obama's poll ratings down? Yes...Honestly no matter how bad Bush was you can't deny he won the popular vote in 2004. Yes mr "horrible, suckish, loser" Bush..won the popular vote for a SECOND presidency. Further more, history is going to show that no matter what errors Bush had; the Obama administration will easily cover them up with how bad they are doing. Let me not also reference how many times the Obama administration have utilized past Bush administration ideals and policies enacted in the past.

Finally,...no matter how bad Bush was; when he wanted something passed in congress he got it past. Obama can't do that at all...and really no matter what argument you make; whether im crazy or stupid. Obama has not improved our economy, Obama's approval ratings are worst than Bush's was at the same amount of days into the presidency, Obama is a complete puppet without all his speech writers, advisers, and tele-prompters. History has shown that the advisers almost always had the biggest influence in the government setting. Thus we see that the real people in control are the advisors to Obama, because frankly that man is clueless. Of course you're going to say so what I'm a conservative B.s.er

Fine go ahead and say it, I'll just sit back and watch as the approval ratings continue on in free-fall.
Posted by BigV 7 years ago
BigV
Fortunely for US....the liberals are the majority, and have been for 20 years +. IIRC, 4 of the last 5 of the popular Presidential vote has been won by the liberals. It's ODD that consevitives believe they are the voice of the country considering the party has only won one popular election for the Presidential election in the last 20 years? (92 96 - Clinton, 2000 - Gore, 2004 - Bush, 2008 -Obama). Wow, simple math that only citizens with higher education understand.

Not to bash the previous administration too much, history will show the previous administration lead the US.....OUR country into the dire economics straites that ALMOST lead us into a depression. Please let know if why that is not true.
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