The Instigator
anthony97
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The Contender
Nougatrocity
Pro (for)
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Political Power is all about dominating

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/18/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 953 times Debate No: 21234
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (1)
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anthony97

Con

Hi this is my first debate, do don't expect me to do very good :-). Also, I have this debate topic for a school assignment at school, and Im stuck on it, so I'm practicing here to see what sort of topics etc. will come up. Good luck!!

Political Power is not all about domination. First, to define domination, I believe it to mean being stronger and in control. This is not the main principle in political power. In my opinion, political power is all about influence. To be a successful politician, you need influence, not domination. If you have influence, you can convey your ideas and beliefs to a broader audience and persuade a greater number of people to agree with you. Being dominant is a part of political power, but I submit that it is not the entire part.
Nougatrocity

Pro

Hi Anthony. This will be my first debate too, so we share that footing. It should be a good way for us both to get our feet wet here. Good luck to you as well!

I have made a couple of attempts to write this response, but I keep getting tripped up on definitions. (I may have accepted the challenge too quickly.) Can you define "political power" and "dominating" more clearly? Specifically, what you mean by dominating in a political context. Also, the phrase "all about" in your opening question requires clarification.

Despite this lack of clarity, I will do my best to offer an argument in round 1.
Your description of influence is just a facet of the domination required to hold and exercise political power. Mere influence over constituents or subjects is not sufficient. Influence can get a US Congressman elected term after term, but this does little to grant him political power beyond that of his vote. One who wishes for true political power will need to survey the metaphorical battlefield for anything that could lead her to advantage or disadvantage, and exploit any available opportunity. Murder, sex, blackmail, exile - all have been effectively used as political tools whether considered political or not, or even legal or not, or moral or not! The metaphorical battlefield is reality itself, and is so vast that only those able to achieve enough dominance over the field, over events, and over other contenders will succeed. Others will find themselves voted out, fired, killed, exiled, or rendered ineffectual.
Debate Round No. 1
anthony97

Con

Sorry!! I guess I caught up on trying to finish my argument that I didn't define the topic clear enough! 'Political power' refers to government authorisation and having influence and power within the government and different classes. 'All about' I assumed was self explanatory, but it means that it is completely based on, or completely about. In this case, it'd mean that dominating is the biggest part of political power. 'Dominating' by definition, means having a commanding control over and being the most important or conspicuous person or thing. So to rewrite the topic with clear definitions, it is 'Government authorisation and having influence and power within the government and different classes is completely based on having a commanding control over and being the most important person or thing.' Also, I'm pretty sure I'll lose this debate, because I can't seem to think of a counter argument to top yours! I'll try though.

Again, a politician does not need to be dominant in order to gain political power. He just needs influence. Influence is the capacity to have an effect on a character, or multiple characters, such as an entire country. Sure, the politician can dominate over all opposition in this battlefield of politics you refer to, but dominance alone will not make him very successful. The politician needs influence! If he can effectively influence his audience into believing every word and argument he says, he has already won the battle! Take the Russian Revolution for example. Leon Trotsky and Joseph Stalin were constantly battling for power over the Soviets, but they never seemed to agree on anything when it mattered! If one wanted to put more money into education, the other would demand it go to health! Despite the constant arguing, Trotsky always seemed to win most arguments. Why you might ask? Because he had influence! Stalin was a ruthless leader, who fought political battles with his dominance and mental strength, but that didn't matter because Trotsky had more influence, and could persuade a much larger audience into agreeing with him. Over time, Stalin saw him as a threat (which he was, as he had influence and not dominance) and had him removed from power and exiled from Russia. I could go on, but I think you see my point as to how Influence was necessary and domination was not.
Nougatrocity

Pro

No worries! Apparently topics can be pretty tricky - which we're learning the hard way, but I think the hard way will be effective in this case. :)

The rewritten resolution is "Governmental authorisation and having influence and power within the government and different classes is completely based on having a commanding control over and being the most important person or thing." The phrase "most important" requires some further clarification.

In the interest of clarification for rounds 3-5, I propose a review of the rise and rule of Empress Wu Zetian. I offer a very condensed account in the form of her notes from the game Civilization V.
http://civilopedia5.com...
What roles do you belief influence and dominance play in the events as outlined by the link? I will answer this question myself in my own R3. I'm not citing any of this as a source and we should avoid centering our debate here. My thinking here is that we can get a more concrete idea of what we mean by "influence" or "dominance" to better inform the already-existing debate.


For Round 2, accepting the original resolution (I can't agree to your revision until "most important" is clarified):
I do not believe that your R2 refutes the points I raised in R1. To condense my points:
-Influence is a facet of domination (therefore not an alternative to it)
-Influence alone is insufficient to achieve power
-Without dominance, even an influential actor can lose their power or more to another actor seeking power

If you agree that my points above were made clear in my R1, then your R2 not only fails to disprove any of them, it actually supports 2 of the above points.

-Influence alone is insufficient to achieve power
You present the example of Trotsky as a man who gained power through influence alone. He maintained some level of influence throughout his life, however. Despite this, he was without governmental or political power in the last decade of his life.

-Without dominance, even an influential actor can lose their power or more to another actor seeking power
Trotksy was exiled and assassinated while maintaining influence, but not dominance.


I've made and implied a lot of requests of you for next round, so to sum them up:
Clarify "most important" in your revised resolution.
Relate "influence" and "dominance" to some examples from the Wu Zetian bio.
Affirm or reject my brief restatement of R1
Respond to the meat of my R2
Debate Round No. 2
anthony97

Con

anthony97 forfeited this round.
Nougatrocity

Pro

Nougatrocity forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
anthony97

Con

anthony97 forfeited this round.
Nougatrocity

Pro

Nougatrocity forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
anthony97

Con

anthony97 forfeited this round.
Nougatrocity

Pro

Nougatrocity forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Volkov 5 years ago
Volkov
Some advice....

Your definitions are a bit off. Influence is a noun, and "dominating" is a verb, in the simplest way to put it. The best way to say it would "influencing" vs. "dominating."

But that still doesn't make sense. What do you mean by "dominating"? Do you mean the consolidation of power to one person/group, and that group using their unassailable power to control the process? Because that's the only thing I can think of... you don't really clarify that, or what "influencing" is supposed to mean. Clarify these things and then come back with this debate.
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