The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
4 Points

Oppressive government is more desirable than no government.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/12/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,949 times Debate No: 60387
Debate Rounds (5)
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This is a "Lincoln-Douglas" debate; each opponent must have a value and criterion, followed by contentions. Round One is for acceptance and declaring which side you would like to debate: 'oppressive government' or 'no government.' Please excuse the side has declared I am; it would not let me proceed with the debate without picking a side. Round Two is for opening arguments only. Round Three is for rebuttals and strengthening your case. Next, Round 4 consists of more rebuttals. And finally, Round 5 is for conclusions only; no rebuttals. With that, I look forward to a wonderful debate.


I will accept the true con position of no government being more desirable than an oppressive one. However, I would like to formalize definitions; by government are we talking about a State (monopoly of law and legitimate force in a territorial area) or such government as, say, a homeowner's association. I'll argue con for either, but will hope Pro clarifies in his opening statement. I look forward to this debate regardless and wish Pro luck.
Debate Round No. 1


I would first like to thank my opponent for accepting this debate. Sorry for the late response; I was on a camping trip.

I affirm the resolution: Oppressive government is more desirable than no government.

To clarify the resolution, I will provide the following definitions:

An "oppressive government" is one that actively works to harm the natural rights of its citizens. Please note that a lazy government that is merely incompetent at performing its duties does not qualify as an oppressive government.

"No government" is the absence of a formal institution that acts as a third body which is outside of the populace; however, it may be made up of members from that populace.

Lastly, when the resolution states "more desirable," I believe it is the people whose desire we are discussing. For a given people, is an oppressive government more desirable than no government? I believe that is the question my opponent and I must answer.

In this debate, I value societal welfare since we are discussing whether an oppressive government is more desirable than no government for a given society. We are debating which scenario would better benefit a society.

Therefore, my criterion is utilitarianism. Utilitarianism is the doctrine that actions are right if they benefit the majority of a society. This develops societal welfare because society should be based upon the interest of the most people within it. Hence it is the underlying criterion for the debate.

Contention One: Government is needed to create order in a society.
Although an oppressive government harms the natural rights of its citizens, people still feel somewhat safe and secure because they know who"s in charge, and they are aware of laws that prevent people from doing anything they want with them, such as murdering them for their assets. However, in the absence of government, people naturally feel they cannot trust others and thus they fend for themselves by acquiring limited resources at the expense of others. As John Mearsheimer states, "anarchy leads to uncertainty about other"s intentions and fear about one"s survival." With no government, people don"t know who to trust but themselves. This leads to a competition that relies on the concept of the survival-of-the-fittest, and such a competition will result in multiple groups in a society fighting each other for resources and power. According to Thomas Hobbes, this could potentially lead to a civil war: "man in the state of nature seeks nothing but his own selfish pleasure, but such individualism naturally leads to a war...The State determines what is just and unjust..." As stated in the excerpt, when people are unaware of who"s in charge and what laws exist, they don"t know who to depend on; they can only trust themselves. On the other hand, an oppressive government can at least efface such fear and societal dysfunction by declaring power and making the public aware of what actions are "right" and "wrong," even if those dictations are not always justified. This theory of humans becoming deplorable in the absence of government has even been proven by countries that have recently faced anarchy. According to the New York Times, "For weeks, rival Libyan militias had been pounding one another"s positions with artillery, mortar rounds and rockets in a desperate fight to control the international airport in the capital, Tripoli." After overthrowing Gaddafi"s oppressive regime, Libya did not become a lawless yet peaceful utopia, but instead another civil war erupted. People fought each other in order to acquire power and resources (in this case, Tripoli"s international airport), and they did this because survival-of-the-fittest is something that is hardwired into all animals, including humans. And in the absence of government, there is no bulwark against this human failing. Thus, an oppressive government is more desirable for a society because at least it can channel order, even if it is at the expense of some of the people"s basic rights (ie. Freedom of Religion, Freedom of the Press, etc.) On the contrary, no government results in chaos which does not create societal welfare since the majority of the population are negatively impacted by the fighting.

Contention Two: Government is needed to provide public services.
Subpoint A: Properly distributing standard resources.
Main services that only a government can provide include law enforcement, social services (roads, education, health care, etc.), and distribution of money supply. These three services cannot be provided in a society run by anarchy because self-interests would be prioritized. As John Mearsheimer states, "Without a sovereign, surplus goods are obtained by those most powerful." This is a result of the survival-of-the-fittest concept, stated in my first contention; those able to have a more victorious stance in the competition end up with excessive goods and services, while the rest of the population is deprived. Sharing these resources with those less fortunate would not occur because as stated in my first contention, people would be too busy fighting for the surplus goods and services. Thus, it is up to a government to properly allocate these resources. Oppressive governments can more easily subordinate individual liberty to the pursuit of public services and, as a result, uphold them in even the most difficult of instances and in the face of tons of opposition. This upholds by my criterion, utilitarianism, since the majority of the population benefits from the proper distribution of resources. As a result of the majority benefitting, societal welfare is fulfilled.
Subpoint B: Protecting the society from foreign threats.
As stated in my first contention, in the absence of government, chaos will ensue since different groups of people are fighting each other in order to acquire resources and power. If different people of a society are fighting each other, this makes the entire society more vulnerable to foreign attacks, such as invasion. This is precisely the problem that occurred in India two hundred years ago: "British control of India was largely brought about by the fall of the Mogul Empire and the subsequent division of India." As stated by the excerpt, different empires within India were too busy fighting each other in order to acquire the entire state of India. As a result, the British could easily enter India and make alliances with several groups in order to conquer the entire country for its resources. If India had a federal government, this procedure would not have been nearly as simple since the country could unitedly build a strong defense. An oppressive government can properly defend its society as well since its incentive is to not allow a foreign state to steal its power. Not only can an oppressive government defend itself from invasions, but also the exploitation of its resources. With an oppressive government in charge, foreigners cannot simply enter the country and freely take away its resources; certain regulations would be enacted. On the other hand, an anarchy would enable foreigners to simply join the civil war. This is a problem Libya currently faces: "The al-Qaeda clandestine network may also be utilizing tribal and ethnic divides to gain access to artillery, especially southern Libya." As stated, foreign groups are able to obtain some of Libya"s goods since there is no federal government to stop them. Invasion and exploitation damage the welfare of any society, thereby violating the value of this debate.

I now await my opponent's opening statement.



Thank you, Pro, for a well written opening statement. And no need to apologize; we all have lives outside of DDO, and the post was written within the time limit.

In this debate, the argument is on which is better, an oppressive government or no government at all. I shall presume by oppressive government, we mean a state, a territorial monopoly on law and coercive force, with an oppressive state being one that is blatantly attacking the rights of the citizens within the territory and anarchy being the lack of a state in a given area. I am to argue that anarchy is better than an oppressive state, but I shall start by trying to give the benefits of anarchy by themselves before introducing comparisons between anarchy and an oppressive state next round.

My criterion shall also be utility based, however it is based on the utility of individuals within an area, not on a mass utility aggregate of people living in an area.

My defense of anarchy as a socio-political system is two-fold; the natural order that arises in anarchy is more in keeping with the wishes of all the people, and the peaceful order that comes in between disparate groups when neither can be considered a ruling group, as well as the peace between individuals.

The natural order that is observed in different anarchic cultures is polycentric law, which is law based on the decision of judges by a case-by-case basis, ruling in favor of what the people considered just. This form of polycentric law lasts today in Somalia with their common, polycentric law the xeer (heer), and lasted at least 1000 years in Ireland from 600 CE (when christian monks landed) to 1640 CE when Oliver Cromwell finally conquered the Irish. The Irish law was the filid, and it was brought about by private judges separate from the political bodies that existed. Justice was done primarily by a system of sureties and restitution; all crimes were debts owed to the victim, whether it was a late payment, a theft, an assault, even a murder (the xeer deals with most crimes this way as well). The sureties in Ireland were based on either what an individual himself could pledge or one other"s pledging their assurance of the debtor"s ability, and staking their property on it. In the case of a poor man claiming a richer man did him injustice, there was a custom to bring him to judgement court or else to be considered outlaw by the community, which would mean a loss of all legal status and rights. [1]

The xeer had slightly different methods; its more kinship oriented polycentric law is based around the decisions of clan elders, oday, who are elected by family members for their impartiality. When dealing with other clans, because of reasons of peace and commerce and the non-geographical nature of the clans (in many places they overlap), the odays attempt to be impartial; if they are not unanimous, they ask a third-party oday to step in who shan"t benefit from a decision either way (other than increasing his reputation for impartiality). The xeer does have a death-sentence for highly dangerous people, and also has non-state police; however, if a person acting as a policeman or oday is convicted of a crime, their clan pays twice the price of the crime. [2]

Those two examples show that law can be administered in a non-arbitrary way that is considered just by all people involved. Now, I shall move on to another point; peace between individuals and between groups (by extension).

Human"s are both self-centered and social animals; even charitable humans do so because they want to be helpful in some way, a want that is self-centered in nature (feeling good is a self-centered, and admirable, one of these reasons). Without the coercive power of state-ship, all humans have to cooperate if they are to maintain sanity, let alone a more productive life from the division of labor or communal efforts. It is a desire among humans to feel the praise of the group, as stated by Maslow when he created his hierarchy of needs (not a true hierarchy, but still a true list of needs). [3]

The desire to be liked and the self-centered way humans view the world means that, without a state, the only legitimate way to gain wealth is in a way that does not infringe upon others. Even if considering a more communal association of individuals, those that hurt the group would be outcasts seeking to be back in the good graces of the group (or sociopaths that quickly get left out). It may be true that, with small groups, this would lead to a great deal of conformity (you are either in or out, as those who went to school with a very small group for a period of time may tell you), but as the body of people gets larger, and people can effectively choose friends from hundreds or more people, Dunbar"s number appears; it is a phenomena discovered first in anthropology and transferred to sociology stating that people can only maintain between 150-250 relationships at any given time. [4] With this in mind, people choose friends based on what they like, believe, etc. However, the overall ideas of justice remain secure because 1. You want other groups to respect your autonomy and 2. You will not accept another group"s willingness to break the frame of order. As such, the diversification of friends and support groups leads to even greater degrees of peace, prosperity, and order, as stated by Emile Durkheim in contrast to the Weber or Marxist interpretations that the haves must always be coercing the have-nots be fact of having. [5].

So, anarchy is possible of maintaining peace by itself as well as providing a means of physiological and social means without a group "above" the rest, and thus an opportunity at higher functions can exist; while this does not by itself make it the best system ever, it does show its validity and does show that, for individuals, under a scale of utility in which each human seeks to maximize happiness, anarchy is a more plausible way for each individual to attain greater utility maximization than an oppressive state that no longer even tries to protect rights, but actually ends them, and thus the better option. I await Pro"s response.

Debate Round No. 2


I too would like to acknowledge my opponent"s well-written opening statement. In the course of this argument, I will first go over each of my opponent"s contentions and then further strengthen my case.

Even though my opponent has not explicitly stated his value, he stated that his criterion is utilitarianism; therefore, I shall assume that he too values societal welfare. Thus, whoever better upholds societal welfare by meeting the conditions of utilitarianism wins this debate.

My opponent's first contention states how in the absence of government, polycentric law can act as a legal system. However, polycentric law does not effectively fulfill the main purpose of laws, which is to create order in a society; "The Somali Civil War is an ongoing civil war taking place in Somalia between various armed rebel groups." Despite the existence of polycentric law in Somalia, different groups of people are still constantly fighting for power and resources. This is because polycentric law does not deal with war crimes, but merely crimes between individuals, such as murder, rape and theft. The reason war crimes are not properly dealt with in Somalia, for example, is because the various parties realize that this system is their only form of cooperation. Accusing parties for their violent aggression in the civil war would immediately break this collaboration, and thus the fragile system would collapse. Thus, even though polycentric law may do an excellent job of providing justice for those who commit murder, rape or theft, civil war will continue nevertheless. This proves that polycentric law is less desirable than an oppressive government, because at least an oppressive government can declare power through the use of its military, which would provide order in a society and not chaos. Secondly, my opponent seems to forget that laws and justice are not the only things that allow a society to function; public services are also imperative. Polycentric law cannot provide public services because that is not the purpose of the system; the system is merely a way of providing justice for those who commit certain crimes. Thus, even with polycentric law, most of the society is deprived of resources since there is no government to properly allocate these resources and social services, such as education and healthcare. As a result of the deprivation of certain resources and services, most of the population becomes uneducated and faces much poverty. On the other hand, an oppressive government has an incentive to prevent its governed society from collapsing both socially and economically, and as a result, they will properly distribute resources and provide the necessary services (e.g. education) to get the country"s economy running.

Next, my opponent"s second contention states how in the absence of government, humans will naturally cooperate. However, the example my opponent provided himself contradicts this theory. "The Somali Civil War is an ongoing civil war taking place in Somalia between various armed rebel groups." A peaceful anarchy is simply not possible because though humans will naturally form alliances, these various alliances will fight each other because there is a limited supply of resources and there is no government to take charge and distribute these resources accordingly. It is simply human nature to try to obtain power and resources when you realize others may do so too. Not only does Somalia prove the societal dysfunction that results from anarchy, but my earlier example of Libya does too. An oppressive government, however, can prevent such societal dysfunction through the use of its authoritarian power. Societal order benefits the majority of the society, therefore allowing societal welfare.

I now await my opponent"s rebuttal.



Thank you Pro for your swift response. I shall attend Pro"s points in both his opening and rebuttal.

First, Pro states that an oppressive government creates order in society. One of his first pieces supporting this contention is a quote from John Mearsheimer; "anarchy leads to uncertainty about other"s intentions and fear about one"s survival." Pro then states "With no government, people don"t know who to trust but themselves." Historically, this has not been the case; two of the most major examples of people not knowing who to trust in the 20th century alone is with Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia, two of the largest contenders for totalitarian state of the century. [1][2] And it should not be forgotten that Mao Tse-Tung greatly damaged bonds of trust in China when his 100 Flowers campaign mutated into the Cultural Revolution, a period of encouraged free speech followed by a mass political cleansing. [3] The rampant patriotism combined with the strengthened Sedition Acts in the U.S. also led to imprisonment [4]. Indeed, if anything an oppressive state creates an aura of distrust; a reader can truly understand the fear Winston (from 1984) feels in not knowing if this person or that person is trustworthy, and a moment of bad judgement turns the novel a different direction.

Next, Pro uses a quote from Hobbes; "man in the state of nature seeks nothing but his own selfish pleasure, but such individualism naturally leads to a war...The State determines what is just and unjust..." The problem here is that the oppressive state is in a constant state of war with the people; such people may be conquered at the present, but a single rebellious individual left in the public can spark an uprising. Second, part of the selfish nature of man is to have esteem among others; when there is no "legitimate" means to use force for your ends, you are considered a problem-maker and quickly made an outcast should you try to, say, force someone at gunpoint to buy a homeless man a cheeseburger. Third, the state is made of people; the people in the State, with a monopoly on making law, will obviously make laws that favor themselves over others, as follows their selfish nature. The advantage of polycentric law should be evident; it follows the will of the vast majority, so less effort is needed maintaining it as opposed to an oppressive state. There is no legitimate means to initiate aggression, thus you may not be a judge or police officer and be free of the law (while I do not know about Filid law in this case, the xeer doubles the penalties committed by judges and police).

After those quotes, my opponent tries to equate civil war with a stateless order; however, a civil war is precisely a conflict to gain control of a state; so long as Libyans feel a State must exist, then several factions will fight to make sure they do not become the subjects of the next regime. Given the nature of many African states, it would be foolish, in an environment where people believe a State to be necessary, to not be in a faction; the root problem in Libya is the perceived need of a State. The Irish and (prior to the U.N.) the Somalis saw no need for one.

Since we are on that point; Somalia"s problems are caused by the U.N. The U.N. offered military and economic aid to whichever clan may bring democracy to the region; like our Libyan example, as well as others [5], there is a need to fight in the war merely to not be a loser. Also, as Pro"s own source states, the civil war became a clan issue, only sustained with States wanting some form of puppet in control. Most somalis still resist, as the current state still begs for more and more outside help to control its claim; Somalia will be in chaos so long as a state is deemed possible.[6]

Now, on to things besides order; so called public utilities. Pro states that in anarchy, the rich and powerful will be able to hoard all the resources. How is this person able to be rich and powerful to begin with? Is he his own doctor, farmer, general, architect? Unless this person has traits that put him above the ken of mere humans, he is cooperating with others to gain his wealth. That, or he is a head of State and is living off taxes. Even then, with a multitude of armed thugs holding his reign; are they all loyal? Will not one of them pull a Stalin-style rise to the top and kill the current top dog?

Further, why would an oppressive state distribute resources properly? Nazi germany rationed resources to primarily help the soldiery, making POW"s and interred Jews and Slavs the victims of starvation. The Soviet"s proved themselves no better with the Holodomor in the Ukraine,[7] and Mao"s Great Leap Forward in China led to massive starvations of the Chinese.[8] The xeer in Somalia tries to help the less fortunate in their common law on provisions for common watering areas; where polycentric law attempts to realize the realities of an area and benefit as many people as possible, the totalitarian law actually hurts its citizens!

Pro moves on to defense; he states the disarray of India as a reason for it being conquered with relative ease by the British. The british conquered India by co-opting the existing Brahmin order that existed before-hand; compare this to Ireland, who spent centuries resisting Britain, and continues to strive for the liberation of the tiniest piece of land on the isle. So, a foreign invader smaller than an oppressive state can win by taking the command centers; with anarchy, a larger neighbor can fight for centuries before the citizenry is conquered, and even then just temporarily.

Pro argues that the State worries about another state taking its citizenry and resources. However, the primary use of resources in an oppressive government is to oppress; the food is primarily for the oppressors, the best shelter is for the oppressors, and defensive resources are used for the oppressors. A look at a North Korean peasant and a soldier [10][11] should tell all there is about where these resources are diverted in oppressive states.

Lastly, Pro mentions foreign troops joining civil wars. First, these are wars to capture the state, hence not "no state". Second, states have hired foreign help before; they have also put in place puppet governments (like South Vietnam) to do their bidding, and work to form coalitions like the one that occupied and attempted to rebuild 2003 Iraq.

At best my opponent has given arguments of "you too," and yet the States do these crimes with greater frequency and scale than anarchy has, if and when it has. Further, Pro"s one example of anarchy gone wrong is Somalia, ignoring that societal welfare has improved relative their nearest neighbors, and that the example is a strike against his own case because the U.N. offer of aid to the clan that creates democracy heavily incentivized enough factions to try for a state, meaning others would have to join and avoid becoming subjects, thus showing that the formation of a state, rather than the non-existence of one, is bad. I await Pro"s reply.

Debate Round No. 3


First, I would like to acknowledge my opponent"s well-written, detailed response. I will now attack my opponent's points whilst defending my case.

My first contention does not imply that people who are governed by an oppressive state love their government and do not want to change it at all; rather, the contention states how people can at least depend on an oppressive government for basic societal welfare even if some of their natural rights are not recognized. They can rely on their government to channel order and not allow various tribes to discharge weapons near their house, while their children are playing in the backyard. They can rely on their government to provide public services and prevent foreign threats from entering their country. Ensuring these basic traits are fulfilled must be prioritized over the recognition of all natural rights because without these traits, human rights are meaningless due to the constant fighting that will inevitably erupt. In the absence of government, people have no one to depend on for the security of their society. I have even provided three examples that support this theory: Libya, Somalia, and India. In response to all the examples my opponent has provided, having no government would have been a much less desirable alternative. At least in Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia, there wasn"t a civil war nor absolute chaos, people still had access to education, healthcare, energy, etc., and furthermore, there was no fear the enemy state would invade. People in Germany did not want the Soviet Union to overcome their state because they knew the result would be massive discrimination (which it was). They were relieved that Germany happened to have a powerful military that was strongly incentivized to not allow Russia to invade. This theory applies to the other examples my opponent provided. Although people were displeased by the fact that some of their natural rights were not recognized, they were still relieved that basic societal welfare would prevail nevertheless. Having no government would demolish societal welfare, cause complete chaos, and thus the recognition of the peoples" natural rights would be the least of their worries.

In response to my opponent's second point, firstly, small, occasional fights between the state and its people is much more desirable than an extremely long and violent civil war between various groups. At least when the state fights with its people, there is still a sense of order because everyone is not waging war on each other, but instead, small riots occasionally form. Furthermore, public services still exist and the state is still properly defended from foreign threats. My opponent may make the argument of possible uprisings, but we must keep in mind, uprisings do not happen everyday. Oppressive governments such as the Soviet Union, Libya, Iraq, Egypt, etc. have lasted for many decades, and compared to anarchies such as Somalia and the post-revolutionary Libya, the civil discourse in those nations was not even remotely close. Groups, such as the Al-Shabaab, are fighting for power everyday. On the contrary, Iran, for example, rarely has violent groups like the Al-Shabaab violently demanding power and land. Next, my opponent seems to assume that laws provided by the system of polycentric law are not biased at all. This is not necessarily true. Laws could easily be made that favor groups most powerful. Furthermore, polycentric law simply cannot substitute for an oppressive government because the system does not provide essential defense against foreign threats, nor does it tax citizens in order to better the welfare of the society through the provision of basic goods and services, nor does it have the power to completely stop a civil war. These are traits that an oppressive government can do, thus making it more desirable.

My opponent's third point clearly lists populations that want a government, and one population that did not want a government. Since all states, except for the Irish example my opponent provided, want a government, this proves that the majority of anarchies strive to form a government and thus civil war is inevitable. In order to avoid such chaos, any government, even an oppressive one, is desirable.

In response to my opponent"s fourth point, the U.N. may have aggravated Somalia"s civil war, but it certainly was not the sole cause of the violence. "opposition factions failed to fill the power vacuum...They also failed to reach a negotiated settlement. As a result, the factions kept fighting against each other...Most of the major factions have been fighting for domination, while smaller ones have been fighting for survival." The excerpt clearly describes how various groups of people fought when there was no government to prevent such violence.

To answer my opponent's question in his fifth point, certain groups become excessively wealthy and resourceful simply because they are more powerful. "In Somalia, different clans contest over resources such as water, livestock and grazing land." In the absence of government, there is no one to properly distribute these resources since these resources are constantly being fought for.

In response to my opponent's sixth point, of course, an oppressive government will not perfectly allocate resources; they may be greedy and/or discriminative. However, an oppressive government will still be somewhat reasonable when distributing basic resources because they are incentivized to prevent a socioeconomic gulf, wherein the rich get richer, while the poor (nearly the entire population) stay the same or become poorer. This would destroy the economy, thus impoverishing the people, which thereby results in an oppressive government unable to obtain sufficient taxes to provide spoiled lives for the oppressive government"s leaders and the leaders" friends/family. Furthermore, Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia still provided water, energy, health care, etc. to the general population. The majority of an anarchy, however, would not benefit from these essentials. My opponent states how the xeer does a better job of distributing resources to the poor; this is simply not true. The xeer does not have enough resources to distribute to the entire population, since powerful groups, such as the Al-Shabaab, hog up most of the resources.

In response to my opponent"s seventh point, Ireland"s war with Britain could have been prevented if they had had a government in the first place. Likewise, the probability of India being invaded would be significantly lower if they had a proper government to threaten any prospective invaders. My opponent may make the argument that Britain would have attacked India anyways due to their abundance of resources, however this assumption can be overthrown if we look at China. Countries did not want an all out war with Ancient China since they knew the empire had an incredibly powerful defense. Furthermore, Ireland is one country that accepted the existence of its anarchy. Other countries run by anarchy, such as Somalia and Libya would be too busy fighting themselves to actually protect themselves from foreign threats. I have even proven this theory in my early argument, with Al-Qaeda members teaming up with Libyan clans in order to gain more power. An oppressive government would not allow such groups to enter their country and threaten their power.

I have already refuted my opponent's eighth point, wherein an oppressive government is incentivized to prevent a socioeconomic gulf.

My opponent's ninth point has been refuted as well; anarchies naturally want to form a government, and as a result chaos in a society ensues, during which public services and proper protection from foreign threats are inexistent.

I now await my opponent's second rebuttal.



Thank you Pro, this debate has been stimulating and enjoyable, and your latest response has been additive to that experience. My opponent"s rebuttals essentially take 4 forms; oppressive governments are better at defending from foreign invasions, oppressive governments are more peaceful than stateless territories, utilities are better provided in an oppressive government, and socio-economic inequalities are corrected in oppressive governments. I shall refute these points and make clear that between no state or the total state, the average person would be best off in a case of no state.

First, Pro contends that foreign invasions are stopped by oppressive states while anarchy does not repel foreign invasion. He uses Nazi Germany in an attempt to show why people would give up rights, argues that China did better than India because of it"s central state, and stated Ireland would not have had to fight at all if it had a central state. First, Ancient China had a war with the Moguls, that they lost. Second, just because a single attacker may be dissuaded does not mean all attacks will be forever dissuaded; an Alliance of state militaries took down Nazi Germany, and while no single european (or american) power has yet to enter single state v. state conflict with China (the closest perhaps being America"s and China"s proxy war in Korea), many european powers and the U.S. were able to practically partition the country to itself so long as the Chinese emperor maintained his new-found subservient nature to the europeans. Third, the concentration of the command structure in oppressive states means that the sacrifice of the rest of the territory is always preferable to the sacrifice of the capital; an Anarchic Ireland where Dublin was taken by the British is just Anarchic Ireland and the Resistance of Dublin, while a Nazi Germany without Berlin is a failure. Hence, where the Irish could afford the loss of many battles and still maintain more control over themselves than a conquerer, the Germans had to sacrifice a lot of men and a lot of ground to keep foreigners as far from a single point on the map as possible for as long as possible.

Next, that oppressive governments are more peaceful. If that is true, then the "rarity" of Libya (where multiple groups claim to be the state and have people believing their side to be the "one true state.") shows just how much violence is actually repressed in oppressive states. This is not because of human nature itself, but because of the nature of oppressive states; the need to control means attempting to bring more and more people of disparate beliefs into a single belief system (the oppressive state). Oppressive states take formerly Heterogeneous populations (the Prussian states, the Iraqi partition after the British left, Libya after the French) and attempt to create single populations out of them. The loss of this oppressive state would be similar to the dead body of Jesus being found during one of the Crusades; order in oppressive societies is based on a single entity surviving. In contrast, Anarchy requires nothing more than an attitude of "do not aggress" and "take no aggression (and if you must, then not forever)." Indeed, where clans are in agreement on this issue (and agreeing tot he xeer), Somalia is relatively peaceful.[1]

Pro contends that utilities are better provided in oppressive governments and that these things are more important than mere human rights. Well, obviously Pro would be wrong to state this as an absolute, as North Korea, China, and the Ukraine under the USSR all prove that not every oppressive government does great. Further, as Pro again neglects to address from CR2 and CR3, and is being re-addressed now, is that Somalia has done better in statelessness than its neighbors in the Horn and in West Africa and compared to it"s time under the Barre Regime. Perhaps a follow up debate on economics would be better at addressing this point, but following from my opening arguments, if the human rights to esteem, food, security from thugs that will imprison you for saying something they don"t like, are not met, then no healthy life can be found.

Lastly, Pro wants to argue that the Oppressive State is better for equality, and that equality is better for economic reasons and reasons of peace. It is far too late in the debate to bring in economics, so I shall focus on reasons of peace. It follows, according to Pro, that inequality will make people envious and create conflict. In essence, the Marxian social class theory. First it should be noted that there are many inequalities that go without much issue every day in all societies; doctors have, besides wealth, an aura of respectability granted by their knowledge. Athletes are respected monetarily and otherwise for their unequal superiority in their physical bodies and performances. Most "inequalities" stem from work. Even in the case of someone inheriting wealth, someone worked first to create that wealth. Essentially, inequalities are generally just differences; as Durkheim stated (and I referenced in CR2), these inequalities actually help with social cohesion. Rather, what the oppressive state does is engage in a far worse inequality, the inequality of power over others that results not from legitimate trade but by demanding all one has to justify existence.

I too would like to bring Somalia in on the discussion of foreigners; according to Pro"s opening post, an oppressive government is a government that directly fights against the rights of its people. Both the Barre regime and the TNG of Somalia fulfill this requirement. Pro has stated that the civil war in Somalia is primarily a local affair from competition of resources and the power vacuum no one could fill; however, most resource conflicts are occurring now because of Barre"s land-grants to allied clans, especially true in the North where Barre transported allies to weaken the northern power base, relying on the foreign Ethiopians to "help" put their mutual rivals in place. And now that war is occurring over what used to be common watering holes, Pro wants to blame anarchy for fighting over the chaotic mess left by the oppressive state! And the TNG asking for foreign relief to subjugate "it"s" people is not yet refuted.

Miscellaneous Notifications: "All states want a government." This was in reference to Somalia and Libya. A state is a territorial monopoly; just because some Somalians want a state does not mean all Somalis want a state, nor does it mean that, even if all Libyans want a state, all Libyan"s want the same state.
Also, my opponent claimed polycentric law can be made by the powerful like legislatures do in states. Allow me to reiterate that polycentric law is little more than case law; multiple judges make multiple decisions, and those not in line with what the people consider just are ignored. Hence, the law cannot be made to favor a group; it is either considered a "just discovery" of an eternal law, or it is the act of a rogue oday.

I look forward to our closing rounds.

Debate Round No. 4


inevitable_winner forfeited this round.


Voting audience, our debate has been about whether, for a group of people within a given area, the would be better off under an oppressive state or in anarchy. This debate has focused on defense from invasions, public utilities, the social cohesion of society, and on a degree of equality. A heavy center was Somalia.

In terms of defense from invasions, Pro brought up the point of India being quickly taken because it was not a centralized state. I argued that the existence of a state order was the reason for ease, considering the anarchic Irish lasted centuries longer against a common enemy to the Indians. They lasted so long because of a lack of command centers. Pro brought up Ancient China as an example of a State no one wanted to attack; I brought the Mongols up, as well as pointing out the splitting of China by European powers. Further, I pointed out how Nazi Germany gave up on most all the rest of Germany to keep the capital intact, whilst an Anarchic Ireland without Dublin was not so different from an anarchic Ireland with Dublin. Pro also attempted to skirt a large, overriding issue; an oppressive State is at all times an invasive force against the people it rules.

In terms of public utilities, Pro has argued that the State needs to properly allocate resources to prevent the strong from oppressing the weak. I pointed out that the primary use of resources under oppressive regimes is to oppress, and provided several examples of disastrous government misallocation. I also pointed out that it is more than a little difficult to be a "might is right" wealthy person in a society that values peace and reduces your wealth for every crime you can be prosecuted with, and pointed out that no person survives without cooperating with some people, unless of course people believe they have a legitimate right to another's service and/or goods.

In terms of social cohesion, Pro believed a centralized monopoly on law is necessary. I argued that polycentric law was better in that it was decentralized but conforming to the will of the people within a given area. Pro stated it could not end civil war; I pointed out that Civil War is a departure from Polycentric law and towards a State. Pro attempted to drive the Civil War point almost to the point of dullness, but this again neglects the nature of the oppressive government as constant invaders of the people. An earlier point by Pro was that people do not know who to trust without a central government; I readily pointed out Nazi Germany, China, and the Soviet Union.

Pro brought up equality, stating it was better for economic wealth and social cohesion. I pointed out that not all inequalities are inherently unjust, such as athletes and doctors, who each spend time on different specialties, gaining wealth and esteem from society. I also pointed out that an oppressive state creates the largest kind of inequality in power (and, concurrently, wealth) over others, and that this inequality was the most dangerous to a society. Further, I pointed out that just inequalities actually work to make society more cohesive a la Durkheim and his theory of the division of labor in society.

A large focal point has been Somalia. I argued that the common law, the xeer, was of better use to Somalia than the governments they have overthrown or are currently fighting. Pro claimed the civil war made all points moot, where I pointed out that the Somalia civil war showed aggression towards foreign intervention, as well as invasions done under the Barre regime. I also claimed that the largest cause of full-on war was the U.N. offer of troops and aid to whomever brought democracy to Somalia. Pro stated that the war was domestic in origin; while with one group (the remnants of Barre's regime) that is possible, most other conflicts were little more than attempts to return to an ex ante state before the barre regime had caused so much chaos. Lastly, I pointed out that the TNG was acting as an oppressive State, and that it constantly asks for foreign intervention to help it, while continuing to cause chaos and disrupt rights, social cohesion, exacerbate inequality, and essentially help foreigners invade.

The debate could well have been formed under this question; are rights necessary for a healthy society, or are they merely nice amenities? Going back to CR2, security in rights is the foundation of order, not the child of it; an oppressive government cares not for security in rights because it is little more than robbers and bullies.

Pro, this has been an enjoyable debate, and I believe I have improved my own skills regardless of the outcome. Thank you. As for the voting audience, the choice is yours with ample information from both sides; please make your decisions just and your reasons clear, and thank you all for the time it has taken to read this debate and any time you may spend on a vote and RFD.
Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Wylted 3 years ago
Message me when it's time to vote on this.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct, obviously, for the forfeit. As to arguments: Con successfully showed that an oppressive government was worse than no government, and sucessfully rebutted Pro's arguments about anarchy with his rebuttal the the major problems stemmed from an original oppressive/rights violating government. While the forfeit is not WHY he lost, I wonder if he might have been able to draw things together if he'd had a solid conclusion; Con certainly helped his case with his own. I'm actually quite impressed with both sides in this one, but the winner seemed pretty clear might almost say it was...(forgive the snark) inevitable? Anyway, arguments to Con, and conduct; all other categories seemed equal enough. As always, happy to clarify this RFD.