Monarchy and Democracy
The purpose of this debate will be an attempt by me to defend Hoppes thesis in the book Democracy: The God that Failed regarding Monarchy and Democracy; that is that Monarchy is an inherently superior system than Democracy, a position contrary to my own beliefs.
The burden of proof is shared. My Opponent acknowledges that they will have to present a case in affirmation of democracy themselves, merely trying to refute my arguments is an automatic forfeit. Round one is for acceptance. I made it five rounds in case of an accidental forfeiture of a round by myself (I have a lot coming up in the near future). If there are no forfiets, round 5 will just be a round without debating. Atempting to argue in round 5 (if it serves its original purpose as an extra round) will warrant an auto-loss of the debate. I would very much appreciate it if my Opponent waits as long as possible to post their acceptance round. The debate is structured so that each debater gets an equal amount of space to argue. That is, if I forfeit a round my opponent can either choose to not argue that round, or not argue round 5. They cannot argue in both.
We will be using Hoppes definitions: Monarchy is privately owned government ultimately ruled by one individual who generally gained his status via the position of his birth. Dictators in the modern sense who sieze power without respect to private property, law and order, or social facilitation (as has been the general trend for autocrats in modern times) are not considered Monarchs. Monarchs pass on their kingdom to their heir after they die, and a kings kingdom is his personal property.
Democracy is government owned publically. Leaders are chosen directly by the people, or decisions are made directly by the people (my opponent must choose to defend either representative democracy (Republic) or direct democracy), and decisions are made on the basis or majority rules be it a vote in Congress, a public referrendum, ect.
The Resolution is referring to rule of large territories in nation-states, advancing an argument such as democracy is better for a small town, or monarchy is better for family units or tribes leads to an auto-loss.
Voters on this debate will refrain from voting on Sources, conduct, or spelling/grammar unless I forfeit a round in which case the conduct vote is given to my Opponent. Any points given other than those in the "argument" category will be considered votebombs.
Thank you FourTrouble, for your acceptance! This will be pretty straight-foward, I'm presenting my case.
C1: Foreign Relations
War in the modern sense is perhaps the most economically destructive of all Human activities, because it forces nations to use resources for the sole purpose of destroying another nations resources and people thus leading to resource depletion and impovershiment. It is best to entirely avoid warfare. Since a Kings kingdom is his personal property,he therefore will, as is the nature of mankind, generally avoid actions that lower the value of his property. A king will tend to avoid unprofitable or particularly destructive wars in order to maximize his wealth. Further, under Monarchy war is a contest between two men, not two nations and the conflicts tend to be of a more personal nature, and are to be funded by a Kings personal finances and military. Old fashioned wars consisted of strategic battles between armies, with a clear distinction between combatants and non-combbatants; a King will not want his military to destroy the enemies resources lest they become his resources, and the economic destruction of warare is systematically reduced. Further, since soldiers are expensive to train and equip, large battles and slaughter will tend to be avoided.
Conversly, wars conducted by democratic powers tend to be total wars, where the war affects the enitre population in one way or another. Wars are no longer funded by a soveirgns personal wealth, but rather by tax payer dollars. The distinction between combatants and non-combatants is blurred, and modern wars have seen unprecendented destruction of innocent life [3, 4, 5] with civilians often being actual military targets. Modern wars are based off of ideological or ethnic differences between peoples as opposed to personal ones between rulers. This helps explain the modern phenomenom of nations violating the rights of their own populace during wartime [8,9]. Soldiers are no longer valuable tools, but instead cheaply conscripted peasants to be thrown away. Most importantly, democratic rulers are not fighting wars for profit, but rather for ideology and thus will not hesitate to destroy territories, economies, and peoples[10,13], and will not rest until their enemies are totally defeated regardless of the consequences[11, 12].
For the reasons elaborated above, Monarchs will prefer to solve disputes with diplomacy. Unlike Democracies, a Monarch has the option of marrying a Prince or Princess to a family member of another ruler, sealing their alliance with shared blood. Monarchs will be less likely to break treaties when their own families are at risk of retribution, unlike Democracies who suffer no consequences from violating treaties with weaker nations . Further, since Monarchs hold their position for life, an incompetent or abusive Monarch runs the risk of being assassinated by either a member of his own family or a member of the populace. Since Democratic rulers have limited terms, they are rarely assassinated and thus allowed to destroy their nation during their term.
In democracies, representatives or presidents who cause economic destruction are not held accountable for their actions, and thus have no incentive to not run their countries economy into the ground. Hoppe (47-48) writes:
"..the caretaker of a publically owned government will try and maximize not total governmental wealth (capital values and current income) but current income (regardless, and at the expense of capital values). Indeed, even if the caretaker wishes to act differently, he cannot, for as public property governmental resources are unsaleable, and without market prices economic calculation is impossible. Accordingly, it must be regarded as unavoidable that public government ownership will result in continual capital consumption.....a caretaker will quickly use up as much of the governments resources as possible, for what he does not consume now, he may never be able to consume."
In a Monarchy, Monarchs can literally go bankrupt, and be forced to liquidate governmental assets. Compare this to economically destructive politicians who generally recieve capital after their rule has expired, even if they destroyed a nations economy.
There can be no doubt that taxation (governmetal theft) has increased massively during the democratic age, from around 5% to often over 40%. As explained above, publicly owned governments cannot effectively allocate resources, so this money is litrally thrown away. The explanation behind this phenomenom is that under democracy, subjects erroneously believe that officials are their agents, and that they themselves might be in charge of their government one day. The result is that unlike Monarchy, where every action from the Royal family is viewed as a dangerous act of exploitation, democratic subjects often embrace large and powerful governments. See more on this in C3.
C. Fiat Money
Monarchs never managed to switch to fiat money, and never truly gained control of their entire nations economy. Royal mints created coins, certainly but the material they were created from always had to be something of legitimately recognized value. The single handed control of a nations money supply was rightly viewed as too dangerous for anyone to wield. Compare that to to the modern day, where the USD, widely considered one of the most stable currencies, loses 2-6% of it's value every year.
Since a king is interested in maximizing wealth, he will take steps to rid his kingdom of unproductive people. Under democracy, the situation is reversed. A productive individual has the same voice as a bum, and thus many votes are garnered by catering to the lowest rungs of society. A systematic incentive towards non production is thus created.
C3: Public relations
Thomas Jefferson apty stated: "Democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where 51% can vote away the rights of the other 49%". It was for this reason that Jefferson, along with his fellow founders, took strict steps to defend against the mob in the U.S. Constitution. Unfortunately, the idea of a constitutionally limited government is nothing but an idealistic fantasy. Hoppe writes (contrasting the founders time with the present day):
"Two-hundred years later, matters have changed dramatically. Now, year in and year out the American government expropriates more than 40% of the incomes of private producers, making even the burden on slaves and serfs seem moderate in comparison. Gold and Silver have been replaced by government manufactured paper...the meaning of private property, once seemingly clear and fixed, has become obscure, flexible, and fluid...every detail of private life, property, trade, and contract is regulated and reregulated by ever higher mountais of paper laws...the committment to free trade and non-intervensionism has given way to a policy of protectionism, militarism, and imperialism."
Under majority rule, respect for law and order has declined, and rights are now often viewed as government given privileges as opposed to immutable values.
Under Monarchy, a king is not chosen,he is born into his position. This does not ensure that he will be a good ruler, but it certainly does not prohibit it. Under democracy however, the only people who can gain power are those skilled in lying, manipulation, and false promises. This ensures that only the corrupt will rise to power.
C. Law & Order
A Kings special powers rest upon the publics view of his right to use them as legitimate. A Monarch will thus do all in his power to uphold the rules of old, and respect for the law, for if he does not respect the natural (IE Moral) law, why should his subjects respect his laws? This helps to explain why the most of human rights violations such as genocide did not occur as much under Monarchy.
I agree (or at the very least, do not need to disagree) with almost—read that again, almost—every argument Pro attempts to make in Round 2. In fact, the primary site of contest in my argument will be the "inherent superiority" of a naturally undesignated "absolute authority," i.e., a "head-of-state" who derives his power from a "social contract" made by the "people," as opposed to a naturally pre-determined "absolute authority" who derives his power from a natural right given by birth. Pro argues in favor of the "pre-determined" absolute authority of a Monarchy, whereas I will argue for the ad hoc absolute authority determined by the formal legalism of a Democracy. Let me flesh some of this out.
Pro begins the debate with Hoppe, I will end it (I hope) with Hobbes. Hobbes has, more often than not, been associated with a Monarchic system. I argue that if read correctly, Hobbes is in fact the liberal philosopher par excellence, and that his position does not exclude Democracy (in the form of a Republic).
Hobbes begins, as all liberals do, with the insight that values and desires are plural and therefore the source of conflict. Hobbes reasons that since "some men's thoughts run one way, some another" (135) and no man is a God, no one person is authorized by "nature" to "judge" his fellows.
At this point, however, Hobbes departs from the rest of the liberal tradition (Locke, Kant, Mill, Rawls, etc.), arguing that the fact of equality does not mean the best government is the least government—a structure of minimal constraint that leaves equal men equally free to pursue their equally authorized or unauthorized visions. Hobbes concludes exactly the reverse: because equality of right and ability breeds "equality of hope in the attaining of our Ends" and because each man's ends are naturally to be preferred to his rival's, the two will inevitably "become enemies," and in the absence of a neutral arbiter they will "endeavor to destroy, or subdue one an other" (184).
In short, Hobbes argues that if a "plurality of voices" is left to itself, there will be no mechanism left in "nature" to end conflict. Furthermore, Hobbes notes that the "Fundamental Law of nature" is that "every man, ought to endeavour Peace" (190). Because "nature" itself has no way to end "perpetuall war" (266), Hobbes proposes as a solution, to generate a "social contract," the "artificial mechanism" of a "common Power to keep them all in awe" (185), to "conferre all . . . power and strength upon one Man, or upon one Assembly of men . . . and therein to submit their Wills, every one to his Will, and their Judgements to his judgment" (227).
As such, the material operations of government are no different than in a Monarchy, but the formal system by which a person is invested with absolute power is. For Hobbes, every man surrenders their natural rights precisely because no one's view can be demonstrated to be absolutely right (and also because everyone prefers his own view and believes it to be true). And it is precisely because there is no principled way of adjudicating disputes between opposing orthodoxies, Hobbes tells us, that someone occupy the position of absolute authority.
I argue, then, that for the "ruling of nation-states," a Hobbesian "representative democracy," a Democracy in which the "people" choose one person to represent them in a position of absolute authority, is "inherently superior" to a Monarchic system. I also note, the operative terms for the way I frame the debate are my opponent's, not mine; so I assume no problem with the frame.
Why is a Hobbesian Republic superior to a Monarchy? The answer is blindingly obvious: the underlying assumption of a Monarchic system is that some person is "naturally" in a position of "absolute authority," a position determined by heredity. Not only is the assumption false – no person can be proven to "naturally" be in such a position, but heredity, as a formal measure or principle for determining "absolute authority," makes no substantive claims for the superiority of that ruler. However you look at it, the Monarch has no claim to be a superior ruler as result of heredity.
On the other hand, the twin premises animating Hobbes's position—first, that we live in a world of plural orthodoxies (a descriptive fact about our reality), and, second, that we lack an independent measure for assessing these orthodoxies (also a descriptive fact)—these premises do suggest a "substantive" claim of superiority over "heredity" as a procedural system for determining "absolute authority." It could be asked, why? Because an authority chosen by people (or the formal legal framework instituted by said people) will more closely resemble the plural and always changing will and interests of the people.
The difference is, in Hobbes's scheme, the operation of power is acknowledged and agreed to by all parties, each of whom can then be said to have authorized, in an original act of contract, "all the Soveraigne doth" (232); in the other, the operation of power—the imposition even on those who reject it of a political agenda that the Monarch favors—is performed under cover of heredity, a find-sounding abstraction that, in the end, is empty and meaningless.
In one case, people are given a choice—perpetual war or a limitation on your desires; in the other, they are given no choice (not even a hearing) and told that if they do not assent, they will be ruled anyway because they will be in conflict with a "higher order," where "highest order" is nothing more than an empty procedure of heredity. It's not hard to see that the person invested with absolute authority by a social contract is probably going to be a better ruler, that is, a ruler who acts according to the desires, will, and interests of the people he/she represents. What these desires are, of course, is assumed to be plural and constantly changing.
My Response to Pro's Arguments:
First, by replacing "King" with "Sovereign," I will simply agree with most of Pro's claims. In the space I have left, I will disagree with as many of Pro's claims (because they are simply wrong for both our cases) as the space allows, and will address the rest of Pro's points in the next round.
Pro writes, "Wars are no longer funded by a soveirgns personal wealth, but rather by tax payer dollars."
There is no reason to assume taxation as necessary in a Republic headed by a "sovereign" or the lack of taxation in a Monarchy.
Pro writes, "democratic rulers are not fighting wars for profit, but rather for ideology and thus will not hesitate to destroy territories, economies, and peoples."
There is no reason to assume that a "King" or "Sovereign" will not wage war in the name of "ideology," and no reason to assume that "democratic rulers" will not wage war for the sake of "profit." Pro makes a distinction between democratic rulers and sovereign, and suggests that certain things (war for profit, war for ideology) are exclusive to one of them. On the contrary, there is no reason to limit either kind of ruler to one of these – both can wage war for either purpose.
Pro writes, "since Monarchs hold their position for life, an incompetent or abusive Monarch runs the risk of being assassinated by either a member of his own family or a member of the populace. Since Democratic rulers have limited terms, they are rarely assassinated."
A Monarchic system does not account for an "incompetent or abusive Monarch" by introducing assassination as a legal term; assassination is treason, and thus to assassinate the Monarch is to betray the system itself, admitting that it is not "superior" to another form of government.
Also, Pro argues that assassination, as a legally impermissible action, is a better form of political change than one that a legal system can account for, i.e. "limited terms." Pro makes my case for me: Democratic legal systems account for actions Monarchic ones do not.
First, I must point out that my opponent is under the misguided assumption that I advocate authoritarianism from a King; while in fact the opposite is true. One of my fundamental points of contention is that Princely rulers are, on balance, less oppressive and omnipresent in their subjects lives than Democracies are today. Cons attempted turn is thus flawed.
Secondly, my opponent is skewing the burden of proof (which has already been acknowledged to be shared). By his advocation of a system that (to my knowledge) has yet to be implemented, he must only defend his governmental system from theoretical objections, not practical objections that come from such a systems implementation. By defending a system that has been previously been used (monarchy) I must defend mine from both practical AND theoretical objections. Such a burden is unequal, and violates the rules of the debate.
Third, my opponent is not advocating a democracy in any true form. The Democracy Index (which is the standard for measuring how democratic states are) uses the following criteria to assess democracy: electoral process and pluralism, civil liberties, functioning of government, political participation and political culture. Most significant are those in bold, where his system is in clear violation of these democratic ideals. For one, a lack of elections is considered undemocratic, consider that North Korea, perhaps the nation closest to his ideal, is ranked at dead last for democracy. Even modern monarchies are more democratic. A lack of voting obviously violates political participation, and civil liberties under the Hobbesian ideal he's arguing for are practically non-existent.
The Hobbesian system fails to meet Hoppes criteria as well. Clearly, voting is implied. It was also stated clearly that my opponent had to defend a representative or direct democracy. His system, despite his rhetoric, is fundamentally NOT a representative democracy. For one, in representative democracies elected representatives from an "independent ruling body (for an election period) charged with the responsibility of acting in the people's interest" which is not present in my opponents argument.
Thus, for the reasons elaborated on above, I feel justified in implementing an entire case turn on my opponent: what he is advoacting is much more similar to an oppressive elective monarchy, which have historically existed than it is to a democracy. Any advantages he seems to have flow to my side.
My opponent only argued one principle inherent advantage to his system over mine, and that is that:
"no person can be proven to "naturally" be in such a position, but heredity, as a formal measure or principle for determining "absolute authority," makes no substantive claims for the superiority of that ruler....an authority chosen by people (or the formal legal framework instituted by said people) will more closely resemble the plural and always changing will and interests of the people."
First off, Turn: refer to my case--election by "the people" ensures corruption. I fully agree that heredity is not a legitimate way to measure ability, however that does not make coming into power by popular election any better. Getting elected in a democracy rests in telling lies to the mob (always insane) in order to satisfy their desires. Coming to power in a monarchy rests in where a person is born. While monarchs are generally sane, mobs are always incompotent and insane. Thus while heredity may be an innaccurate way to measure ability, it does not preclude that the King might be a good ruler, or a god person. Democratic elections however, DO prevent this.
Secondly, he hasn't argued any impact. Why is reflecting the "will and interests of the people", good? Again, satisfying the mob is not nessecarily good, we can see all too clearly the il-liberal results that come from democratic "progression". How have we fared from departing the monarchial age, and entering the demoratic one? Over one billion people dead, killed by their governments or fighting for their governments in the 20th century (age of democracy). Wars are now ideological conflicts, and genocides are now far more common because the prejudgices and ignorance of "the people" seeps into legistlation.
You can therefore see that my opponent has no grounds to claim that his "Hobbesian democracy" is superior to Monarchy.
I'll deconstruct what Hoppe calls "Hobbesian myth" anyway. The idea that we need a strong government to "keep us in line" is fundamentally flawed. For one, the idea of "collective security" where the government takes care of us inherently fails. To be sure, no sane individual would sign a contract giving his servicer (in this case providing the service of protection) giving the servicer the unilateral power to not only decide how much he will pay for the service, AND the quality of said service. Indeed, the collective defense experiment has failed anyway: just look at the U.S. for an example. Hoppe writes:
"In short, the more the state has increased its expenditures on 'social' security and 'public' safety, the more our private property rights have been eroded, the more our property has been expropriated, confiscated, destroyed, or depreciated, and the more we have been deprived of the very foundation of all protection: economic independence, financial strength, and personal wealth."
It's economic law that once a single entity gains a monopoly of a good/service, the price of that good will rise, and its quality will fall. The same can be said for security, which explains the continual decline in freedom that we've experienced under democracy. Further, one cannot opt out of the governmental social contract, and are physically harmed when they try, take for example the US civil war which gave the U.S. "has the distinction of having had a government that declared war against a large portion of its own population and engaged in the wanton murder of hundreds of thousands of its own citizens".
The collective security myth is nothing but an idyllic fantasy.
My Opponent also attempts to justify his unject governmental form with the ssocial contract theory, writing: " Hobbes proposes as a solution, to generate a "social contract," the "artificial mechanism" of a "common Power to keep them all in awe" (185), to "conferre all . . . power and strength upon one Man, or upon one Assembly of men . . . and therein to submit their Wills, every one to his Will, and their Judgements to his judgment" "
The social contract theory, quite simply, is a failure. For one thing, a contract is a voluntary agreement between two parties, so unless the contract is amended for each citizen (will not happen.), than forcing someone into a "contract" is a contradiction of terms, and fundamentally unjust. Recall that in order to assess the legitimacy of the social contract theory, we need to look at places where such a "contract" is already implemented. You can see from my round two that these limitied governments are impossible.
My opponent did not adequetly address any of my arguments (although he was not obligated to do so in round 2), but I will answer his attacks with my remaining characters (~800).
My opponent makes objections that are proven empirically false in my case. So extend empirics, this overrides his analytics. Secondly, he again argues that there is "no reason" to believe my war argument, but has not disputed the logic or empirics. Obviously monarchs can fight for ideals, but considering self interest they are less liekly to.
His only response to this argument is a condemnation of assassination and an attempted turn. The fact of the matter is that ineffective monarchs are more likely to be disposed of than ineffective democrats, and he made no reply to this impact. It makes monarchy superior if ineffective rulers are taken out, instead of left to ruin their country. His objection is not impactful enough to negate this.
This is a debate about which system of government is "inherently superior," Monarchy or Democracy. That said, it is not hard to see that the debate is a non-starter. Epistemologically, the vocabularies, premises, and arguments of Monarchic systems of thought and Democratic systems of thought are on a par, each one an orthodoxy to itself, fully equipped with dogma, criteria for evidence, founding texts, exemplary achievements (practically and theoretically), heroes, villains, goals, agendas, and all the rest.
If someone believes in the premises of a Monarchic system of thought prior to this debate, then they will conclude that Pro is correct. On the other hand, if someone believes the premises of Democratic systems of thought, then they will conclude I am correct. No mechanism exists (and this is one of the great insights of Hobbes) for adjudicating between two competing orthodoxies, and in this case, the orthodoxies are Monarchy vs. Democracy. It's the same problem between two religious systems of thought, say, between Christianity and Judaism – one puts its faith in Jesus, the other does not. It is a fundamental disagreement, and there is no way to determine which one is more correct than the other.
So, again, I repeat my claim that the debate is a non-starter, epistemology-wise. Pro cannot demonstrate that Monarchy is an "inherently superior" system of thought to Democracy. That said, my burden as Con is to argue against Pro's resolution. Pro argues that "Monarchy is an inherently superior system of thought to Democracy," so I am arguing that that is NOT the case. As such, I am able to make my case by simply noting that there is no epistemological mechanism for determining that Monarchy IS "inherently superior." If Pro cannot provide such an epistemological mechanism, which I claim Pro cannot, then the debate is over, Pro has lost.
Response to Pro's Claims:
In his first paragraph, Con argues that I am under the "misguided assumption" that Pro advocates "authoritarianism," and that on the contrary, Pro believes "Princely rulers" are "less oppressive" than Democracies. "Authoritarianism" has nothing to do with oppression; authority denotes how much power a ruler has over subjects, not the degree to which that ruler chooses to oppress, constrain, or in any other way limit the civil liberties of subjects. Pro's conflation of "authority" and "oppression" is flawed, as is the conclusion of his argument that I am "misguided."
Pro argues I "skew" the burden of proof by advocating a system that "has yet to be implemented." But this has nothing to do with the burden of proof, which is arguing which "system" is "inherently superior," which is a purely theoretical issue, not a practical issue. The key term here is "inherent," which means that the system is superior not because it has been proven to be superior historically, but because theoretically, it makes reasonable sense that it would be superior were it implemented. As such, I have not violated the rules of the debate, and again Pro's argument and conclusions are flawed.
Pro argues that I am not "advocating a democracy in any true form," because according to Pro, my Hobbesian Republic does not include an "electoral process," "civil liberties," and "political participation." Pro has completely misunderstood my argument, however, as nowhere in my formulation of a Hobbesian Republic have I excluded any of these ideals. On the contrary, they are the very premises I used in my argument to establish the "absolute authority" of the "head-of-state" that will preside over the Republic. Pro has misrepresented my position, and again, is simply wrong.
Pro claims that my system is not a "representative" democracy, but is actually an "oppressive elective monarchy." Nonetheless, Pro provides no argument to support his claim other than the historical reality of "oppressive elective monarchy." As I argued above, Pro misunderstands my position, and that is the reason he conflates my system with an "oppressive elective monarchy." To this I say, so what? There is no reason a "representative democracy" cannot also be an "oppressive elective monarchy," making Pro's argument a non-starter. Furthermore, these are two very different systems, something Pro would realize with a better understanding of what a Hobbesian Republic is (monarchies have Kings, Republics have absolute authorities). The difference is in the way power is invested in the ruler epistemically. Thus, I dismiss his claim until an argument (not a conflation of two DIFFERENT systems) is provided that suggests a Hobbessian Republic is not a representative democracy.
Pro argues that "elections" prevent a good ruler because "mobs are always incompetent and insane." What are mobs composed of? Persons. What is a Monarch? A person. Is there any difference between a Monarch as person and the persons in a mob? Not that I know of. Given Pro's own premises, we can conclude Monarch's are "incompetent and insane." Further, "elections" derive their value from the will/interests of the subjects; heredity, however, is an empty formalism divorced from the will/interests of subjects.
Pro attempts to dismiss democracies because of historical results; to this I say, so what? This debate is a theoretical debate about which system is "inherently superior," not a debate about which system has fared better historically. Pro's recourse to history has no place in this debate, unless it is to make a theoretical point, not a point about history.
Pro argues that the idea of "collective security" "inherently fails." Pro argues that, because it is "economic law that once a single entity gains a monopoly of a good," the "quality will fall." As "economic law," this has nothing to do with "security." Pro attempts to translate this law into "security," by arguing that when a "single entity," the "sovereign," gains authority, "security will fail." As you can see, however, the translation from "economic law" to "security law" makes no sense, and has no justification other than Pro's whimsy.
Pro invokes Hoppe, but this is also a non-starter as Hoppe traffics in very different premises than Hobbes. The point is irrelevant: given the premises provided by Hobbes, "collective security" is an inherently coherent idea, and the conclusion a logical inevitability of Hobbes's premises. Pro has not shown otehrwise.
Pro argues against "social contract theory" because it is a "contract" between "two parties," and therefore, "unless the contract is amended for each citizen," it is "forcing someone into a contract." At no point does Hobbes say anything about "forcing" someone into a contract. Pro clearly does not understand what "two parties" admits. I will clarify that next round if Pro does not. Until then, I conclude Pro's argument is weak and imprecise; Pro assumes involuntary agreement when neither myself nor Hobbes say anything about involuntary agreement.
On the issue of "assassination," Pro completely misses my point. Assasination of a King is treason, and as such, is outside the legal framework of a Monarchic system. By attempting to incorporate "assassination" as part of the system, Pro is talking about a different system, a system in which assassination is assumed as a legal action. Pro is thereby admitting the failure of a Monarchic system to institute social change legally, and therefore the inferiority of Monarchic systems in general. The issue is not the effect of assassination, but the fact that Pro has made recourse to a legality outside the Monarchic system to justify the system. In doings so, Pro betrays his own case, as he admits the inadequacy of a Monarchic system to legally account for an action that Pro argues is central to the system. That is just bad reasoning.
thett3 forfeited this round.
I thank my opponent for intellectually engaging me in this debate :). I'll respond to my opponents most recent rebuttal, then give key voters.
My opponent brings up a new argument that I've already lost this debate because I've never given a weighing mechanism for comparing democratic and monarchic schools of thout, but unfortunately this argument fails to advance when one takes a look at the debate--I already did establish a mechanism to evauluate the systems with; the historical effects of their implementation, and the principle of private vs. public government. This could just as easily be turned against him anyway, my opponent claims that solving this competition is imppossible because there is a fundamental disagreement, and then tells us to prefer Hobbes. Yet, there is also a fundamental disagreement between a Hobbesian republic and a Monarchy--that is, after all, the entire basis of this debate.
My Opponent drops my accusation of skewing the BOP, by merely stating that the debate is a purely theoretical issue, well perhaps I was mistaken but I was under the assumption that we could only evaluate a systems inherent merits if we look to the implementation of that system after all, inherent means: "involved in the constitution or essential character of something". He drops the most important part though, which is that I do have to defend my system from practical historical objections, and he does not. Unequal BOP= Con loses.
Con completely drops the Democracy Index evidence showing that his convoluted idea of a democracy is anything but, remember that fundamentally democracy is the rule of the people (which is why direct democracy is sometimes referred to as pure democracy) and thus he's not actually advocating democracy..the purpose of this debate. He essentially drops my turn, elective monarchies have historically existed and are basically his system. The only difference is rhetoric, he only offers the distinction of "monarchies have Kings, Republics have absolute authorities". Using Cons logic, Shahs, Emperors, Grand Dukes, and Pharaohs are not Monarchs, but instead "absolute authorities" because they aren't called king. The fact of the matter is that Con hasn't explained any fundamental difference, only a semantic one, between a Hobbesian Republic and an Elective Monarchy and thus has already lost his advocacy.
Con brings up a good point in saying that Monarchs are, after all, people and thus subject to the same harms that mobs are. The problem with his logic is that he doesn't take into account self interest and deindividuation. For self interest, you can look to all three of my contentions, 2 and 3 in particular which have gone undisputed throughout the entire round. Deindividuation is basically where individuals in mobs are more likely to do irrational things because they are anonymous and do not have to face social consequences for their actions. Thus individuals voting in Mobs are more likely to act on irrational and biggotted impulses. Since politicians require the support of the mob to stay in power, they will satisfy the bigotry and ignorance of the mob. I gave historical examples of this, all of which he dropped.
Con says "so what?" to the historical effects of democracy, essentially conceding the debate. If I said that socialism is inherently better than capitalism, it would be perfectly justified to bring up socialisms failed track record to show its inherent flaws. He seems to confuse inherent with theoretical, when they obviously are not synonyms.
Con drops my attack on collective security by simply dismissing it as an Economic law that has "nothing to do with 'security'". However it does! Anything that has a cost is related to economics, and a governmental monopoly on justice/security applies to this! I cited Hoppe to show that our rights have continually deteriorated and he made no response. So the dropped empirics prove my point.
Con also drops my attack on the social contract theory. A contract has to be voluntary, or else it is, by defintion, not a contract. He concedes that Hobbes government is involuntary, which obviously makes it not a contract. As U.S. history shows, constitutionally limitied governments are an idealistic fantasy.
His only attacks on my arguments fall. He tries to turn the assasination argument, but the point remains that it's better to be rid of a dangerous and incompetent ruler, rather than have them serve continually, as democratically elected officials often do. I never argued that assassination was "central to the system", but rather my point was that one way or another, dangerous monarchs get taken out. Nowhere was it said that assassination was a legal action--Con is just attacking a strawman at this point.
He drops my response to his rebuttal on the war argument.
1. My case was almost entirely dropped. Whether you personally believe my arguments or not, Con has conceded that: Monarchs will avoid unprofitable wars, wars between monarchs are less brutal and deadly, monarchs can marry their family to other rulers to avoid war, monarchs are less likely to break treaties, monarchs will not rack up huge amounts of "public debt" , democrats cannot manage an economy, monarchs implement less taxes, monarchs don't change to fiat money and rob their populace via inflation, monarchs rid their territory of non roducing people and democracy creates an incentive towards non production, democracies are more tyrannical than monarchies, democratic officials are corrupt by nature, and that a King will uphold the rule of law because he has to maintain his legitimacy.
So, you can garner from this debate that Monarchy= Less war destruction, better ciplomacy, better economies, less taxes, less "public debt", less inflation, less tyranny, and more law and order. My opponent has yet to even explain a single real world benefit from his system, and has no impact anywhere near enough to outweigh these conceded impacts.
2. Con has no offense. He's advocating an elective Monarchy, so any advantages flow to my side. He dropped the democrac index card, and the logic behind his system not being an actual democracy (even the WORD democracy is contrary to his system. Demo- Greek root for people, Cracy- root for government). Thus he has established absolutely no advocacy, and has lost the debate.
3. He hasn't advocated his system in any historical form, and ths skews the burden of proof. I had to defend monarchy from historic attacks, but he hasn't had to defend Hobbesian democracy from historic attacks because it's never been implemented. This violates the shared burden of proof and makes him lose the debate.
I have proven multiple advantages from a monarchial system, my opponent has not proven one single benefit to his other than that his sovereign follows the "Will of the people"--a non-existent advantage that has been turned. He has conceded to most of my arguments, and therefore you must vote Pro.
Thanks to my opponent for his participation, I'm extremely greatful to have the chance to debate him, I can tell he will soon become one of the top debaters on this site.
In this round, I’ll try presenting my position as clearly as possible. The arguments I make are difficult to follow, so I ask just stick with me, and figure out what I’m saying, before judging the debate.
A great deal of the argumentation in this debate depends on the meaning we ascribe to “inherent.”
This is the fundamental disagreement: Pro argues an “inherent” thing includes things external to it, whereas I argue “inherent” excludes the external and refers solely to the thing in and of itself.
According to the standard definition Pro provides, inherent means “involved in the constitution or essential character of something.” I agree with this definition. To me, this definition clearly implies a distinction between “essence” and “existence.” I argue, then, that my definition of "inherent" is more consistent with the accepted definition, which refers to the “essence” of the thing.
Pro’s definition includes not only essence but also the thing’s actual existence. The problem with Pro’s definition, however, is that then the word is empty: it includes everything, both the essence and existence.
As such, my understanding of “inherent” is the correct one.
Moving on. I argue that the “essence” of a political system excludes history. Historical implementation refers to a political system's “existence,” not its “essence.” Thus, to make sense of a system “inherently” is to theorize it, in and of itself, without recourse to its historical and material instantiations.
I therefore extend my previous argument that the debate is about political theory, not political history, and proceed to my conclusions with these premises in mind.
Pro claims I skew the BOP in my favor because Pro must defend his system on historical grounds. That is false. I challenge Pro or any reader to find a single “practical historical objection” I make to Pro’s case. There are none because I make none, and therefore, at no point have I forced Pro to defend Monarchy on historical grounds.
Neither of us is obligated to defend against historical objections. BOP is shared.
But, if Pro insists on history as inherent to Monarchy (which he explicitly does), then Pro skews the BOP in his favor because Pro demands a Hobbesian Republic defend itself on grounds that are not inherent to it (namely, historical grounds).
This is a very important point. If Pro thinks history is inherent to Monarchy, Pro also demands I defend my system on grounds that are not inherent. Pro himself states that my system has no historical grounds; history is not inherent to my system. Thus, Pro has skewed BOP: Pro requires my system defend itself on grounds not dictated by the resolution. Indeed, nothing expressed in Round 1 requires my system have historical evidence.
To keep the BOP from being skewed, Pro must disregard all historical evidence, or Pro must concede the debate.
Furthermore, the only way Pro can accept historical evidence is if it is not inherent, in which case it is irrelevant anyway, since the debate is explicitly about "inherent superiority." This is the first of many catch-22s that Pro runs into in his argumentation.
To refute my argument, Pro proffers two ways to epistemically evaluate systems: “historical effects of their implementation, and the principle of private vs. public government.”
The first, as I have argued, is irrelevant. If Pro accepts it, Pro concedes the debate.
The second sounds stronger, but it is just as deceptive. It is deceptive because “private vs. public” government is the subject of the debate, not some universal principle determining one system’s epistemological superiority to another. Pro never clarifies what this principle actually is, and that is precisely the point of my argument: that no such principle could ever be given or defined.
Why does this matter? Because Pro has to prove “inherent superiority,” whereas I simply must negate it. By showing that there is no way, epistemology-wise, to adjudicate between two political systems, I negate the possibility of proving “inherent superiority,” thereby also negating Pro’s entire case.
Because Pro’s only response to my argument is to provide two epistemical mechanisms, both of which Pro cannot accept without also conceding the debate, Pro thus concedes this argument, and with it, the debate.
I want readers to recognize the the catch-22 Pro has created: if Pro argues through inherent "historical evidence," Pro concedes the debate by skewing the BOP. If Pro argues through non-inherent "historical evidence," Pro's argument is irrelevant. And if Pro does not argue through "historical evidence," Pro admits the impossibility of a definitive epistemological judgment, and also concedes the debate. Con's arguments are contradictory; it is a lose/lose situation in which either argument leads to the negation of the resolution.
Democracy Index and Elective Monarchy
As I explained in two previous rounds, Pro uses a legality not admitted within a Monarchic system. By presenting assassination as a factor that makes Monarchy better than Democracy, Pro concedes that on this point, Democracy is superior. This is because Pro implies that Monarchy has no "inherent" mechanism for political change; only "assasination," a legality outside the system, can produce political revolution.
Pro claims I dropped his entire case. No, I did not concede to any of Pro’s case because I did not have to: 1) history was not a relevant factor in this debate; and 2) by showing that the operations of power in a Hobbesian Republic parallels Monarchy exactly, Pro's points are either irrelevant (because my system has their benefit too) or inherently flawed (a gap in superiority is impossible and contradictory if the systems operate the same). Pro never questioned my claim that Hobbesian Republic does in fact operate the same as Monarchy. The claim thus holds.
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