The Instigator
KingDebater369
Con (against)
Losing
2 Points
The Contender
baus
Pro (for)
Winning
7 Points

Resolved: On balance, violence is a just response to political oppression

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
baus
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/25/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,787 times Debate No: 55396
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (18)
Votes (2)

 

KingDebater369

Con

This was the topic for the LD nationals in 2007. I thought it would be fun to debate.
Rounds will go as follows:

Round 1: con states rules
Round 1: Pro presents his arguments

Round 2: Con presents his arguments and rebuts to pro's case
Round 2: Pro rebuts to con's case

Round 3: Con rebuts
Round 3: Pro rebuts

10,000 character limit. 3 days to post argument (per round)
baus

Pro

The very nature of political oppression means that any non-violent means of the oppressed gaining the upper hand over the oppressor has been shut down.

Thus, the only two options left for the oppressed are to physically overthrow the oppressor (which insinuates violence) or to accept the oppression and make peace with the oppressor.

The question is if, on balance, violence is a just response to political oppression and I am yet to see a reason why it wouldn't be.
Debate Round No. 1
KingDebater369

Con

Because I agree with Martin Luther King Jr. that violence is not the answer, I negate the resolution, "Resolved: On balance, violence is a just response to political oppression."

Since the resolution says "violence is a justresponse to political oppression", if I prove that violence is unjust, I win this debate.

Justice is defined as "giving each their due"

If something is creating unneccassary suffering, then it is unjust. So if I prove that violence is creating unneccassary suffering then i also have proven that it is unjust, and I will win this debate

Violent revolutions produce unneccassary suffering because there is always a non-violent alternative.

Contention 1: Non-Violence often gives the revolution more power and popularity.
A.) The Orange revolution in Ukraine was handled in a non-violent manner. Soldiers, if faced with violent methods, would most definately shoot at their targets. However, due to the non-violence acts used, they were faced with a moral dillema. The soldiers were persuaded by the non-violent protesters, and they overthrew an illegitamtely elected leader.
a) Violence however, would have simply escalated the problem, and would have brought upon more injuries and casualties

Contention 2: In recent history, a vast majority of successful rebellions have been non-violentA) Peter Acroman and Jack Duvall explain: "In 50 of 67 transitions from authoritirianisum in the past 35 years, according to a recent study by freedom house, it was not violent rebellion, but rather non-violent civic resistence that was a pivotal force"

Contention 3: violent revolutionaries are outclassedA)Once again, Peter Acroman and Jack Duvall explain: "because of the nature of the stake, violent revolution is unlikely to succeed. In a contest of violence against violence, the superiority of the government has always been absolute people who choose guns and bombs as the way to rise up will find that the regimes they attack will have far more experience in such context."
a)This means that violent revolutions wil not be successful
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________
I'm not providing an alternative. I'm providing an alternative that doesn't have to harm people. If we have to choose violence or non-violence we must always choose the latter, because if we don't then we would be unnecesarily harming the rights of people.

My opponent is trying to say that it is necessary to use violent revolution because it is the only response left, but that does not prove that it is justified.

For example, we can agree that sometimes killing is neccessary, but we never say that killing is justified. In self defense (or in this case under oppression) it might be neccessary, but that doesn't mean it's justified. The conclusion then, is that killing is permissible [definition of permissible -Permitted; allowed].

For example, If someone were assaulted on the street they are commiting a permissible act when they try to hit their assaulter back, but that doesn't mean hitting people is justified. It means that it's permissible in certain situations.

In the same way, violent revolution is permissible, so even if my opponent is winning every argument, he's not proving the burden of the reolution.He's proving that violence is permissible in certain situations, but not that it's justified.
.
Furthermore, if we know that violent revolution is going to produce harms, than know that its notjustified.

Revolution is justified, but violent revolution is not. We can always use non-violence, so you always prefer the negative.


**Good luck trying to win the debate. Because, I believe you have already lost!** Vote CON!
baus

Pro

Contention 1: Non-Violence often gives the revolution more power and popularity.

Rebuttal 1: My opponent uses an example of a non-violent revolution that occurred in Ukraine. Well, guess why it worked so well? Why do you think the soldiers were there to begin with? It occurred amongst very violent protests surrounding it [http://www.foreignaffairs.com...]. In fact, the only reason that the non-violent protesters were greeted with open arms was because the soldiers could finally relax for a bit not having to look out for any violent protesters for a while. In essence, the violent protesters helped the non-violent ones get their point across because if no one had used violence, the non-violent ones wouldn't have seemed as angelic as they did. Thus, the apparent benevolence of the protesters was merely in contrast to the alternative that was being constantly thrown in the face of the soldiers.

Contention 2: In recent history, a vast majority of successful rebellions have been non-violent. Peter Acroman and Jack Duvall explain: "In 50 of 67 transitions from authoritarianism in the past 35 years, according to a recent study by freedom house, it was not violent rebellion, but rather non-violent civic resistance that was a pivotal force".

Rebuttal: This doesn't have anything to do with whether or not violence is a just response to oppression, only that in certain cases of rebellion, the non-violent form of it can work.

Contention 3: Violent revolutionaries are outclassed. Once again, Peter Acroman and Jack Duvall explain: "because of the nature of the stake, violent revolution is unlikely to succeed. In a contest of violence against violence, the superiority of the government has always been absolute people who choose guns and bombs as the way to rise up will find that the regimes they attack will have far more experience in such context."

Rebuttal: Peter Acroman and Jack Duvall are not gospel truth and can be incorrect. Also, the fact that the violent protesters are outclassed only assists the non-violent ones form seeming angelic in comparison. It's called sacrifice in a chess match. You sacrifice the violent ones to make the non-violent ones get into far better positions of power and influence than they ever would have if the violent ones weren't there to compare them with.

I shall now rebut the opening to Con's argument:

My opponent claims that Justice is defined as "giving each their due"

He then goes onto state that if something creates unnecessary suffering, then it is unjust.

He neither offers a basis to asses the necessity of suffering nor is he capable of proving that people suffer from violence to begin with. What is apparent, however, is that the very nature of oppression makes the oppressed suffer unnecessarily and thus oppression is unjustified. Thus if i justice is defined as giving each their due then if the unjust oppressor is continuing to oppress the 'due' thing to give them is an equally unjust counter-attack. Inf act it would be unjust to be non-violent in return as this would not be giving them their due and would be underpaying them the suffering that they are most certainly 'due'.

Now I shall rebut the latter case of Con:

"Revolution is justified, but violent revolution is not. We can always use non-violence, so you always prefer the negative."

He never explains why non-violence is preferable to violence at all. In fact, Con's definition of justice is 'giving each their due' and this indicates that being non-violent is not giving the oppressor the amount of pain that they are due. Underpayment is just as unjust as overpayment.
Debate Round No. 2
KingDebater369

Con

My opponent talks about my opening statement. My opening statement is an important part of my argument, and I understand what he's trying to say, so I will go into MUCH more detail about my opening argument, and what I was trying to say:

Justice: Giving each their due

All humans are fundamentally due basic rights and liberties, the clearest which being the freedom from unjustified harm. We would never condone that an innocent person be subjugated to a violation for freedom's just as we would object to excessive sanctions meted out for petty crimes. Humans are intrinsically due dignity and respect. This is why it is permissible for me to use violence to fend off a dangerous mugger,but i'm not justified in torturing her after she has been subdued. By causing unnecessary harm I have fundamentally disrespected the rights and humanity of the personal attack. Respect for individuals thus requires that we attempt, as much as is humanely possible to refrain from bringing about unnecessary suffering. Thus, in order to achieve justice, we must prevent unnecessary suffering. Thus, in order to be unjust, we must have unnecessary suffering. Violent revolutions produce unnecessary suffering because of the existence of non-violent alternatives.

Contention 1:
The violent protesters tried to get their point across and it DIDN"T work. But when the non-violent protesters were there they succeeded. And my opponent is trying to tell me that the soldiers helped the non-violent revolution because it was "in contrast to the alternative that was being constantly thrown at the face of soldiers"? Well of course. The violent protester tired to get their point across and the soldiers saw no choice but to actually fire. Once they realized that there was another wave of non-violent protesters, their benevolence to the protesters was indeed a contrast to the alternatives that were being used. The soldiers sided with the non-violent protesters and didn't side with the violent ones, so I am not able to clearly see what type of an argument my opponent is making here.

Contention 2:
Regarding my second contention, pro states that it doesn't have anything to do with weather non-violence is justified. The thing is that soldiers are just regular people. So when they are shot at (or any violent method is used against them), their natural inclination is to shoot back. But non-violence presents the military a moral dilemma. This particular non violent protest has prevented any unnecessary suffering from occurring. Once again, if it prevents unnecessary suffering it is just.(if there was violence, surely some harm would have come out of it).

Contention 3:
Once again, non-violence poses the oppressors with a moral dilemma. If someone tried to attack the government, then the natural inclination is the fight back, and get him under control. However,, when a large protest involves nothing but words, the oppress is forced to revise his ideas.

Regarding my last statement: "Revolution is justified, but violent revolution is not. We can always use non-violence, so you always prefer the negative."

Ok, so first I think we both agree that a revolution is justified. Would you rather have peace or brutality and harms in order to pursue the revolution? You always choose non-violence because it doesn't harm people in the process. If we have to choose between the harming of lives and creating unnecessary suffering or peaceful protests and the prevention of unnecessary suffering, we should always choose the latter.

In the end, my opponent should not win, simply because he has not proven why violence is a just response. He has simply rebutted to my case, and stated that violence is the only way to negotiate with a government, but that does NOT prove why it is just. I have proven clearly why it is unjust, so you should VOTE CON!
baus

Pro

I shall now examine Con's case bit-by-bit and shall do it in the following manner:

CA = Con's argument
CD = Con's defense
CR = Con's rebuttal

The same is flipped for Pro with PA, PD and PR respectively.

#1
CA: All humans are fundamentally due basic rights and liberties, the clearest which being the freedom from unjustified harm.
PR: Oppression is an unjustified harm and so if someone does this to you, you should 'give them their due' and give them harm back.
CD: Humans are intrinsically due dignity and respect. This is why it is permissible for me to use violence to fend off a dangerous mugger,but I'm not justified in torturing her after she has been subdued.
PD: Humans are not intrinsically due and Con has failed to prove this throughout the debate. If they are due dignity and respect then maybe Con should realize that torturing those who have committed crimes is actually how oppression works, not how fighting it works. Fighting oppression is much more analogous to the mugger scenario where you are preventing one who is doing wrong from doing any more wrong.

#2
PA: Oppression = violence against it.
CR: We would never condone that an innocent person be subjugated to a violation for freedom's just as we would object to excessive sanctions meted out for petty crimes.
PD: You have actually supported my argument. You first stated that the innocent should not be subjugated to violence any more or less than excessive sanctions should be dished out for petty mes. the former is violence, the latter is oppression.

#3
CA: By causing unnecessary harm I have fundamentally disrespected the rights and humanity of the personal attack.
PR: Oppression is unnecessary harm and thus the same applies to the rights of the victims of it.
CD: Thus, in order to achieve justice, we must prevent unnecessary suffering. Thus, in order to be unjust, we must have unnecessary suffering. Violent revolutions produce unnecessary suffering because of the existence of non-violent alternatives.
PD: I already proved how non-violent alternatives are impossible if there are not violent revolutions on the side of them. Non-violent revolutions only work because the violent revolutionaries become a common enemy of the non-violent protesters and the oppressors. This is actually how chess works, you sacrifice the pawn (violent protestor) that the bishop (non-violent protestor) can have a smooth entry to infiltrate the opposition. There has never, throughout history, been a non-violent oppression that succeeded without the common enemy of violent protestors being present at the time. Even the Ukrainian protest, supplied by Con, supports this claim of mine.

#4
CA: The violent protesters tried to get their point across and it DIDN"T work. But when the non-violent protesters were there they succeeded.
PR: the violent protesters hadn't been a common enemy,t he soldiers would never had seen reason to have mercy on the non-violent protesters. Instead, due to the existence of violent protesters, the soldiers now had reason to think "at least they aren't like the violent ones" and have mercy on them. As I stated in PD#3, there has never once been a successful non-violent revolution without violent protesters being present as a prevalent common enemy throughout.

#5
CA: Non-violence presents the military a moral dilemma. This particular non violent protest has prevented any unnecessary suffering from occurring. Once again, if it prevents unnecessary suffering it is just.
PR: Oppression is unnecessary suffering, thus violent revolution to it is just. Soldiers are there to follow the orders of their superiors, they are not taught to question it on moral grounds. If their orders are to shoot unarmed protesters, they will do it without question (and have indeed done so throughout history).
Examples:
(1) Kent State massacre https://en.wikipedia.org...
(2) Bloody Sunday https://en.wikipedia.org...
(3) Troops killed six unarmed people in temple during Thai 'Red Shirt' protests, court rules http://www.independent.co.uk...
(4) Israeli troops kill unarmed Palestinian protesters on borders https://www.wsws.org...
That's not even half of it.

#6
CA: Ok, so first I think we both agree that a revolution is justified. Would you rather have peace or brutality and harms in order to pursue the revolution?
PR: A violent one.
PD: A non-violent one cannot work without a violent one at the side and has never done so throughout mankind's entire recorded history.

#7
CA: You always choose non-violence because it doesn't harm people in the process.
PR: You can only choose that if there is a violent one posing a greater threat at the time. Otherwise the non-violent one is completely ignored.

#8
CA: In the end, my opponent should not win, simply because he has not proven why violence is a just response.
PR: In the end, my opponent should not win, simply because he has not proven why non-violence is a viable response without a violent one supporting its cause.

#9
CA: You should VOTE CON!
PR: Please oppress this young man's right to use caps lock.
Debate Round No. 3
18 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by KingDebater369 3 years ago
KingDebater369
lol - yeah totally forgot about htis. Don't worry - I have 1 hour and 47 minutes left. that should be plenty of time.
Posted by baus 3 years ago
baus
You have 5 hours left to post your R3 debate.
Posted by KingDebater369 3 years ago
KingDebater369
I didn't need to know that... But ok lol.
Posted by baus 3 years ago
baus
I like to start my sex slowly and go hard towards the end.

I debate like I shag.
Posted by KingDebater369 3 years ago
KingDebater369
@Baus Dude when I saw your first argument, I thought this was going to be the easiest debate ever... Then I saw the second argument. lol ok this is going to be fun!
Posted by KingDebater369 3 years ago
KingDebater369
Ok. I'll do that.
Posted by KingDebater369 3 years ago
KingDebater369
ha ha. I can't even tell if that's sarcasm
Posted by whiteflame 3 years ago
whiteflame
That does sound good. We can certainly give it a shot.
Posted by baus 3 years ago
baus
I'm sure you do.
Posted by KingDebater369 3 years ago
KingDebater369
good luck baus. I have a very strong argument that is nearly impossible to refute. lol
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by FuzzyCatPotato 3 years ago
FuzzyCatPotato
KingDebater369bausTied
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Total points awarded:24 
Reasons for voting decision: "authoritirianisum" = S&G to Pro. Pro systematically took apart the majority of Con's arguments = CA to Pro. However, Pro used only anecdotal evidence, Con had a study of rebellion = sources to Con.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 3 years ago
whiteflame
KingDebater369bausTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: This is an interesting debate, but it suffers from much the same vagueness I've seen in many LD rounds. The definition for justice becomes the major problem in the debate, and something that Con struggles to rectify throughout without success. By the end, I'm finding it difficult to separate what is just from what is necessary from a utilitarian perspective, and that's not the debate Con wanted to have, since there will always be instances where revolutions are pushed to take lives and fight back, but are they just in doing so? Con tells me they aren't, but then tells me that the reason is mainly because other options exist, rather than sticking with his initial point that killing is never just. I need to see responses to the points Pro is making about retributive justice, and I don't. Pro's case is incomplete as well, not quite examining the "justice" behind allowing oppression when one could take up arms to end it, but he goes far enough to get my vote.