The Instigator
Nails
Pro (for)
Winning
26 Points
The Contender
Korashk
Con (against)
Losing
1 Points

Promoting world wide democratic principles should be a higher priority than promoting sovereignty.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/5/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,129 times Debate No: 11339
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (4)

 

Nails

Pro

** "There is a definition [of sovereignty] of which most subsequent definitions are a variant: supreme authority within a territory.

This definition highlights an important aspect of the concept. A holder of sovereignty possesses authority. Authority is "the right to command and be obeyed." But if sovereignty is a matter of authority, it is not a matter of mere authority, but of supreme authority. The holder of sovereignty is superior to all authorities under its purview.

A final ingredient of sovereignty is territoriality. It defines membership in a way that may not correspond with identity. The borders of a sovereign state may not at all circumscribe a "people" or a "nation," and it is rather by simple virtue of their location that people belong to a state and fall under the authority of its ruler." **[1]

** "'democracy' refers to group decision making characterized by equality among the participants. First, democracy concerns decisions that are made for groups and that are binding on all the members of the group. Second, this definition cover[s] different kinds of groups that may be called democratic. So there can be democracy in families, voluntary organizations, economic firms, as well as states and transnational organizations. Third, the equality required by the definition of democracy may be more or less deep. It may be the mere formal equality of one-person one-vote or it may be more robust, including equality in the processes of deliberation and coalition building." **[2]

First, democracy benefits the collective.

** "Strategically, democracy forces decision-makers to take into account the rights of most people in society. Since democracy gives some political power to each, more people are taken into account than under aristocracy or monarchy. "No substantial famine has ever occurred in any country with a democratic form of government and a free press". The basis of this is that politicians in a democracy have incentives to respond to the expressions of needs of the poor." **[2]

Second, democracy benefits the individual.

** "Many endorse democracy on the basis that democracy has beneficial effects on character. Democracy tends to make people stand up for themselves more than other forms of rule because it makes collective decisions depend on them more than monarchy or aristocracy do. Hence, in democratic societies individuals are encouraged to be more autonomous. Democracy [also] tends to get people to think carefully and rationally more than other forms of rule because it makes a difference whether they do or not. Finally, democracy tends to enhance the moral qualities of citizens. When they participate in making decisions, they have to listen to others, they are called upon to justify themselves to others and they are forced to think in part in terms of the interests of others. When people find themselves in this circumstance, they come to think in terms of the common good. Hence, democratic processes tend to enhance the autonomy, rationality and morality of participants." **[2]

Sovereignty (and at its roots, territoriality), on the other hand, assigns meaningless power based on morally arbitrary and human-created borders.

This has negative real-world implications.

** "A major component of state sovereignty is non-intervention in a state's internal affairs. This explains why the international community responded so forcefully against Saddam Hussein when he conquered Kuwait but did not intervene when he killed thousands of his citizens with poison gas. The Gulf war punished Iraq's international misbehavior, but internal genocide was mostly ignored, as it was perceived to be a domestic matter." **[3]

[1] http://plato.stanford.edu...

[2] http://plato.stanford.edu...

[3] Gillespie, Thomas R. "Unwanted Responsibility: Humanitarian Military Intervention to Advance Human Rights." Peace and Change, Vol. 18 No. 3, July 1993, pp. 219-246
Korashk

Con

I thank Nails for his arguments and wish us both good fortune in the tournament.

Arguments:

Sovereignty as a principle does not instantly equate bad. It simply means that some group has lawmaking authority. For example, America has popular sovereignty [!] which basically means that the government is controlled by the people, while the people do not directly have lawmaking authority they have some semblance of control over those that do have this authority. These people could not remain in power without the population's consent. This is in effect both sovereignty and a type of democracy. Sovereignty is only a bad thing when abused by those in power. Examples of these would be Cuba and North Korea, no one will argue that these countries are overall good ones.
~

A nation where sovereignty is given to a small group or individual benefits a country in times of crisis. It does this by making it so that when decisions need to be made in regards to things such as the security of that nation internal dissent is not a factor that can effect decisions. For example, a neighboring country has been threatening to invade your country for years. Ever since these threats started people have taken both sides of the issue, those that would support military action in the event of an attack and those that would prefer a diplomatic solution be pursued in the event of an attack. In a democracy this might pose a problem when the neighbors come knocking. However, a nation with sovereignty can choose the course of action that is believed to be most beneficial without dissenting opinions being factored.
~

I will post my rebuttals and strengthen my arguments in following rounds as I do not have much time other than this to structure an argument.

[!] http://tinyurl.com...
Debate Round No. 1
Nails

Pro

My opponent has said in his last speech that "Sovereignty as a principle does not instantly equate bad. It simply means that some group has lawmaking authority."

This definition that CON has given leaves out a key part of sovereignty. The sovereign does not simply have authority, they have SUPREME authority. Sovereignty does not simply entail having some say in goings-on, but having the FINAL say. This is a preferable definition for 2 reasons.

(1) CON never gives any source for this definition. This seems to be directly from his head. Given that CON is a participant in this debate in which the definition of sovereignty is crucial and disputed AND this debate is part of a larger debate tournament[1], CON can hardly be considered an unbiased source. Beyond this, CON has no qualifications in this area of expertise. I'm giving a definition from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy a respected and unbiased (and, thus, far superior) source.

(2) CON's definition does not allow for any meaningful debate since democratic principles and sovereignty would never realistically come into conflict. Insofar as the country promoting democratic principles doesn't oust the entire government and claim complete authority over the law in doing so, the country's "sovereignty" hasn't been violated since they still retain some sort of lawmaking authority. Properly, this debate is a question of whether one nation can violate another's supreme authority and final say in its own domain to promote democracy therein.
~

"Sovereignty is only a bad thing when abused by those in power."

CON is conceding that sovereignty is in no way intrinsically valuable and is only good when in the hands of a virtuous government. If so, why should it be defended? If we are trying to promote a different set of values in a particular country, that would imply that they are not currently using their sovereignty properly (ie. abusing it) in which case it is a bad thing and shouldn't be defended.
~

"A nation where sovereignty is given to a small group or individual benefits a country in times of crisis. It does this by making it so that when decisions need to be made in regards to things such as the security of that nation internal dissent is not a factor that can effect decisions.... In a democracy this might pose a problem when the neighbors come knocking."

First, my opponent never explains why "this might pose a problem" in democracies. One can look simply to the example of America which gives its representatives, namely our Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, the President, the ability to make decisive executive decisions such as declaring war in times of crisis.[2] There is no reason a democracy would be hindered in any way.

Second, you can refer to the uncontested definition of democracy I give that "[democracy] cover[s] different kinds of groups that may be called democratic. So there can be democracy in families, voluntary organizations, economic firms, as well as states and transnational organizations."[3] One needs not force a complete governmental shift from autocracy to democracy in order to promote democratic principles. It can be as simple as promoting democratic ideals and the concept of equality on an individual basis.

Third, the (again uncontested) first argument I made in favor of democracy applies equally strong in this instance. "Strategically, democracy forces decision-makers to take into account the rights of most people in society."[4] EVEN IF decision-making takes longer in a democracy, the leaders will not be mobilizing armies willy-nilly nor making rash decisions, preferable to unrepresentative sovereign tyrants leading the country during a crisis.

[1] http://www.debate.org...

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...

[3] http://plato.stanford.edu...

[4] http://plato.stanford.edu...
Korashk

Con

I concede the debate to my opponent.
Debate Round No. 2
Nails

Pro

Since CON has CONceded the debate, PRO PROcedes to round 2 of the tournament: http://www.debate.org...
Korashk

Con

I concede the debate to my opponent.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Nails 6 years ago
Nails
Rockylightning, mind explaining why you voted in grammar the way you did?
Posted by Korashk 6 years ago
Korashk
Concede - to make concession : yield,

I conceded because this was a tournament topic and I honestly do not have an interest in the given debate topic. This is why I probably won't be participating in an more inter-site tournaments. Also, I shouldn't have any points.
Posted by Rockylightning 6 years ago
Rockylightning
first of all, why did kor. concede?
for future reference, what does that imply, to concede
Posted by Nails 6 years ago
Nails
I abbreviated the 5 quotes to meet the character limit. This was only to make the sources more concise; the meaning conveyed was in no way changed. The full texts can be found at the listed source. Since the last one does not have a link and might be hard to find online, the full paragraph is as follows:

"A major component of the traditional doctrine of state sovereignty is the principle of non-intervention in a state's internal affairs. Before the advent of the United Nations "human rights regime," "what went on within one state's own borders was effectively no one else's affair." Resistance to diminution of this principle explains in part why, for example, the international community responded so forcefully against Saddam Hussein when he conquered Kuwait but did not intervene in the past when he killed thousands of his citizens with poison gas. This propensity also helps explain why the international response to the post-Gulf war domestic repression of Iraqi Kurds and Shia Muslims was so hesitant. The Gulf war "U.N. coalition" punished Iraq's international misbehavior, but internal genocide was mostly ignored, as it was perceived to be a domestic matter."
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Nails 6 years ago
Nails
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Vote Placed by Rockylightning 6 years ago
Rockylightning
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Vote Placed by Johnicle 6 years ago
Johnicle
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Vote Placed by Korashk 6 years ago
Korashk
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