The Instigator
Mangani
Con (against)
Winning
19 Points
The Contender
Ragnar_Rahl
Pro (for)
Losing
11 Points

Slavery and oppression of blacks violates the same moral rules as oppression of businessmen

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
Mangani
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/15/2009 Category: Society
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 9,242 times Debate No: 6525
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (28)
Votes (5)

 

Mangani

Con

This debate is regarding RR's stated position that what he considers oppression of businessmen somehow compares rationally to the slavery and systematic historical oppression of blacks in America. He has asked that we use the definition "violates the same moral rules". I will accept that definition, but my arguments in R1 will stand.

He has made the following comparisons stating that both have been:

1. Stripped of their culture
2. Robbed from their homes
3. Separated from their children (families)
4. Smuggled on slave ships
5. Sold to "owners"
6. Beat and tortured
7. Raped
8. Made to forget their given names (given slave names)
9. Systematically Dehumanized

He also denied that blacks in America were forced into apartheid, and that all this has anything to do with their race.(http://www.debate.org...)- note: page number may change due to additional comments, but they are there nonetheless.

I contend that any comparison between the slavery and oppression of blacks in America with that of businessmen is offensive to the struggles faced by blacks, the battles fought, and the progress reached by America as a whole. Businessmen have never been stripped of their culture, robbed from their homes, etc. (see 1-9) in any way comparable with the plight of Africans in the 15th-19th centuries, nor with the systematic oppression experienced by blacks in America in the 20th (and to some extent the 21st) century.

I will leave it to my opponent to make the comparisons, and I will present the differences. I hope the readers are disgusted by the comparisons, and even offended. If you feel the comparison is even so much as unmerited, let alone deeply offensive, Con wins the debate.

1. Stripped of their culture
Africans were not allowed to maintain their religion, their language, their traditions, or their diets. They were forced to worship as their slave owners, speak English, Spanish, French or other European languages, were forced to live as their slave owners wished, and were forced to eat foods that their owners would not consume like pig's intestines and other foods which at the time were undesirable.

2. Robbed from their homes
Africans were taken from their homes en masse by force. They were not given options, nor a way to get out of slavery. They were not asked to come, nor given any options of where to be taken. They were literally robbed from their homes.

3. Separated from their children and families
When Africans were robbed, they were not categorized or identified in family groups. They were often sold as individuals and separated from their children and families. In fact, when they were born into slavery, their children were often taken and sold to other owners never to be seen or heard from again from family members. (http://www.americanslavesfoundation.org...)(http://www.terryhowcott.com...)

4. Smuggled on slave ships
(http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com...)
Many slaves never even made it to their destinations as they died at sea, or were thrown overboard.

5. Sold to "owners"
(http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk...)
These owners treated slaves as if they were their property, and slaves had no rights whatsoever. They were not citizens, nor were they protected by the law.

6. Beat and tortured
http://www.maafa.org... ; http://www.maafa.org... ; http://www.maafa.org... ; http://www.maafa.org... ; http://www.maafa.org... (feel free to explore www.maafa.org for more examples)

7. Raped
(http://www.etymonline.com...)
Having no protection under the law, slaves who "belonged" to whites could be raped and beat with no consequences.

8. Made to forget their given names
http://theoldentimes.com... ; http://www.next1000.com...
African slaves were given new names and made to respond to those names by their "masters". Slaves were forced to take the surname of their owner, and thus losing knowledge of their lineage and genealogy.

9. Systematically Dehumanized
Blacks in America have been systematically stripped of their sense of self worth. They were first put through the first 8 points I listed, and after slavery were put through Jim Crow laws which kept them from enjoying the rights most other humans in the US enjoyed. (http://www.jimcrowhistory.org...) Blacks who violated these laws were lynched, beaten, dragged through the streets, hung, etc. etc. etc. In 1856, the highest court in the land said in the Dredd Scott case that the black man "had no rights which a white man was bound to respect; and that the Negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit."

I could go on, and on, and on, but I must let my opponent present his arguments. I hope he is brave enough to defend his statements by accepting this debate. Hopefully he will not attempt to make this a semantic debate which attempts to manipulate the reader into thinking this is not "really" what he meant.

Thank you.
Ragnar_Rahl

Pro

To start with, I must note that I did not in fact claim that businessmen had been regularly physically beat and tortured, or made to forget their names, or "smuggled on slave ships.". I stated the opposite, by replying, when you listed those issues, "difference in degree and not in kind," acknowledging the difference as existing, simply not relevant to the discussion.

I also never denied that the past slavery of blacks had anything to do with race, I think you misinterpreted when I was stating that the ESSENCE of slavery ignores race, the term slavery is applicable regardless of whether race is the reason for slavery.

Whether a comparison offends anyone is, frankly, irrelevant to the debate. Suffering is not a commodity, to be haggled over in weights like old gold coins. It is something to be destroyed.

Also, I'd like to amend the matter on apartheid (enforced separation of groups). Specifically, I would not claim it was totally lacking, simply that the attempts at it had very minimal success. It's rather like Prohibition in this sense-- still wrong, it just didn't accomplish much. The societal arrangements by which blacks and whites had always, regardless of the power difference, interacted in their daily lives, trumped legal attempts at changing them.

1. Stripped of their culture
The culture of business is one where productive success is the highest virtue. According to the ruling in United States v. Alcoa (and it was practiced well before then), it is a crime, and the government WILL place anyone attempting to practice it beyond a certain point in a cage (prison). Imprisoning people for practicing the essence of their culture strips them of their culture. Of course, the effects of such "Antitrust laws," since society is dependent on business, affected the whole of society, but that doesn't alter their target. The effect was a massive contribution to the Great Depression, after which point Roosevelt decided to get rid of the charade and just nationalize everything.

"
2. Robbed from their homes"
Imprisoning someone takes them from their homes. If they have harmed no one, it is an initiation of force, and therefore you are robbing them from their homes.

"
3. Separated from their children and families"
Prison separates people from their children and families, pretty simple here :).

"
4. Smuggled on slave ships"
The slave trade ended in 1808. Unless you also wish to claim that slavery ended in 1808, I rather think you should especially concede that this is definitely not a necessary condition to the question of whether slavery occurred :).

"
5. Sold to "owners""
The government has, from the very beginning right up to this day claimed to own businessmen, though not in so many words. Business being what it is, they claim in it the form of a share rather than the whole-- this share has varied from nominal rates in the 19th century, to a peak of NINETY PERCENT in the middle of the 20th, to an insanely complex to calculate amount today. Nominally, it claims on average, 18% of a person's income as the dividends for it's ownership share, but businessmen have higher incomes and the tax rates are thus higher for them. But, when you take into account thousands of regulations, which also claim ownership of income but destroy it before it can be calculated instead of taking it for their own use, the ownership share has to be significantly higher.

Now, as for whether they sell this ownership share, that's where campaign finance comes in. Congressmen regularly sell complex derivatives on the income from their human property in the form of government programs, both for campaign finance (typically selling it BACK to some other businesses-- just like with how black slavery there were also black slaveowners, there are businessmen who purchase ownership shares in other businessmen too), and for votes from voting blocs.

The fact that you're selling a derivative on credit doesn't change the fact that credit is your product, and it is the same with derivatives of the ownership of human beings.

"6. Beat and tortured"
Black slaves were beat and tortured because that was what the slaveowners at the time thought would be the best method of obtaining a return on their investment in their chattel. The slaveowners of business are more sophisticated, and resort to other methods, resulting in a far greater return on investment.

"
7. Raped"
This is reserved by the government largely for a specific kind of businessman, the drug dealer. Since they regard drug dealing as a greater offense from their chattel than most other things, they punish it more severely, by placing them in prisons where rape is encouraged by the very nature of the place. They officially wash their hands of the matter, just like most owners of blacks hired someone else to do the whipping rather than get blood on their own hands, but the fact remains that they are the first cause of it.

"
8. Made to forget their given names
African slaves were given new names and made to respond to those names by their "masters"."
The government now has ownership claims on too many people to practically make up new names for them all. A cost-cutting measure. As such, it instead gives them new numbers to treat as names, and requires them to respond to those. It figures if it also lets the slaves in question keep their old names too, they will resist less.

"9. Systematically Dehumanized"
The claim of ownership in another human being is itself so dehumanizing that other matters are frankly irrelevant once that has been established, given that ownership is by it's very nature a condition that can only rightfully be applied BY, not TO, a human. Nevertheless, the government regularly encourages various mobs to shout out what kind of nonhuman monsters they think businessmen are, and regularly uses it's less defined laws to call up show trials damning the businessmen for daring to be what they are, though it usually stops short of the death penalty (lynching) for practical reasons (It does not do so in most other countries, which is why most other countries do not get as high a return on investment on their ownership shares in businessmen).

The fundamental moral rules violated by both cases are the rights to liberty and property, both of which are consequences of the right to life-- so long as you respect that others own themselves and what they have created until such time as you voluntarily give either up, you are to be treated as you own yourself and what you have created until such time as you voluntarily give either up. These cannot be violated except by the initiation of force, and the initiation of force necessarily violates them. Force has been initiated in both scenarios, against the blacks, and against the businessmen.
Debate Round No. 1
Mangani

Con

My opponent claims that he did not state that businessmen were beat and tortured, made to forget their names, or smuggled on slave ships. He claims my stating this is irrelevant to the discussion. I contend it is very relevant to violating "the same moral rules" in either case. The same moral rules could not possibly have been violated if one groups, as he says, suffered to a different degree as well as kind of slavery and oppression, if you can even define his examples as slavery and oppression which I contend you cannot without emotionally sympathizing with businessmen. I will elaborate a little later.

He claims that he "never denied that the past slavery of blacks had anything to do with race". The fact is I made the statement that blacks were "systematically enslaved and oppressed BECAUSE of the color of their skin", and his response was "slavery is not defined solely in terms of race". He is either confused about the point I was making, or confused about the point he is making. If one group was systematically enslaved and oppressed because of their race, and the other was not then there can't possibly be a comparison. Businessmen are amongst the most successful men in America. The top five wealthiest Americans, let alone the Forbes 400, are all businessmen/women. (http://www.forbes.com...)
Ask these 400 Americans, or the other top 5% of Americans if they feel enslaved and/or oppressed. I am sure you will find a few who would use these terms, but if you ask them if they would, in any way, compare themselves to black slaves, or black citizens up until recently (and to some degree, even today) I am sure you will find very few who would find the question rational. Indeed finding a few, or even a few hundred who make this claim in no way makes this point valid, as the alternative to this comparison is asking millions of slaves and descendants of slaves if they, in any way, identify their plight with that of American businessmen.

My opponent claims that whether or not you are offended is irrelevant to the debate. He claims that suffering is not a commodity to be haggled, yet his comparison is one completely based on emotion, and sympathy with businessmen, and not on fact. The term slavery as applied to African slaves in no way is equal or comparable with the term slavery as he uses it with businessmen. You cannot objectively state that American businessmen are slaves. To make this statement is to do so with emotional, financial, or philosophical attachment to businessmen, or from the point of view of a businessman who has had a bad experience. Offense is also based on emotion, but one can also be rationally offended by this comparison. It is also part of my premise, and he knew this prior to acceptance of my debate. It appears my opponent concedes the point that the comparison is, as I stated in my R1 argument, "offensive to the struggles faced by blacks, the battles fought, and the progress reached by America as a whole". I stated that I hoped the readers were "disgusted and offended" by the comparison, and because he is asking you to emotionally sympathize with businessmen rather than looking at the comparison rationally through literal definitions, I am obviously going to ask you to sympathize with African slaves and their descendants.

My opponent first claimed that apartheid was non-existent in the US. He said "this is not South Africa". He now defines apartheid as "enforced separation of groups". Rather than simply conceding the point based on my example of Jim Crow laws which "enforced separation of" blacks and whites, he attempts to water it down. The fact is that apartheid was so rampant, so deeply rooted, and so important to whites that when blacks began to fight back they were lynched, murdered, tortured, and millions of whites joined the Ku Klux Klan at one point in support of apartheid. Martin Luther King, JR, one of the men who fought to end apartheid in the US was assassinated due to his defiance of this deeply rooted tradition. The societal arrangements of blacks and whites were hardly as my opponent claims, and in fact, the societal arrangements defied the law- in some cases up until the 20th century. (http://en.wikipedia.org...)- NOTE: I have used a Wikipedia source because it cites multiple sources that I have confirmed. Before you discredit this Wikipedia article, please make sure you verify the veracity of the statements, and the reliability of it's own sources as I have. Thank you.

1. "Business" is not a culture as compared with that of African slaves. The African slaves lost the cultures of their forefathers against their will, and without remedy. The comparison is, again, based on emotional attachment to businessmen, and emotional detachment to African slaves. The stripping of cultures in this case cannot be literally, and therefore not logically, compared.

2. Being imprisoned is not being "robbed" from your home. Many imprisoned businessmen have committed crimes, while African slaves owed no debts to those who robbed them from their homes. Committing a crime indebts you to society, often in the form of a prison sentence. The comparison is illogical and irrational.

3. African slaves had no part in being separated from their children and families. The children of businessmen have not been sold to other families, nor have their spouses. If my opponent intends to claim that "some" businessmen are not guilty of the crimes for which they have been imprioned, he must show how that compares to ALL African slaves being liable to being separated from their children and families without any rights or remedy, and with limited opportunity to ever reunite with their families. (In R1 I posted a source which still seeks to reunite families divided during the slave trade).

4. My opponent claims that being smuggled on slave ships is irrelevant due to when the slave trade ended. In 1860, Timothy Meaher- a businessman, of all things- sent the last American slave ship from Nigeria and Benin to Alabama (http://www.sylvianediouf.com...). Though I don't know what his point is in his timeline, I just wanted to point that out. Many nations around the world have apologized for the effect the slave trade has had on blacks. The method of how they were captured and transported, and it's cruelty and inhumaneness is definitely relevant to a comparison of slavery and oppression between two groups.

5. Businessmen have rights, and slaves do not. Businessmen are afforded every right under the US Constitution, while the Supreme Court once declared blacks as sub-human (please see my R1 reference) though not in those exact words. Also, please see my reference to the Forbes 400.

6. My opponent attempts to justify why African slaves were beat and tortured, and compares this to methods to enhance production in today's business. There is no evidence that beating and torturing slaves enhanced production, and the beatings and torture of blacks has not been limited to slavery. Please see my R1 sources on this issue.

7. My opponent attempts to compare the acts of criminals against criminals with the rape of innocent women. The comparison is irrational.

8. Businessmen have a choice to work for the companies for which they work, and they have a choice to not work at all. The "plight" of the businessman, and his being "numbered" is based on the businessman himself making money. Slaves were made to forget who they were for the sole benefit of their owners- all of which happened to be businessmen/women. My opponent concedes that the comparison is not literal, and only figurative- relying, again, on an emotional attachment to businessmen.

9. To claim that any of the Forbes 400 are dehumanized in any way as African slaves is irrational. I have run out of room, and I await my opponent's response.

Thank you.
Ragnar_Rahl

Pro

"My opponent claims that he did not state that businessmen were beat and tortured, made to forget their names, or smuggled on slave ships. He claims my stating this is irrelevant to the discussion. I contend it is very relevant to violating "the same moral rules" in either case."
I cited the relevant rules: they are violated for both businessmen and black slaves regardless of these differences. You're focusing on the nonessential.

"The same moral rules could not possibly have been violated if one groups, as he says, suffered to a different degree as well as kind of slavery and oppression, if you can even define his examples as slavery and oppression which I contend you cannot without emotionally sympathizing with businessmen"
I did not once ask for emotional sympathy. It is you, by appealing to "offensiveness," who wishes to cloud this discussion with emotion. I ask for conceptual thought.
It is entirely possible for the same rules to be violated by different degrees of things, and even different kinds if the difference in kind is nonessential to the definition. Just as it is possible to steal from someone by taking their car or taking their wallet. Same rule, different action :).

"
He claims that he "never denied that the past slavery of blacks had anything to do with race". The fact is I made the statement that blacks were "systematically enslaved and oppressed BECAUSE of the color of their skin", and his response was "slavery is not defined solely in terms of race"."
This is because it isn't. Race is a nonessential aspect of slavery. It was relevant in the slavery of Blacks in early America, but it certainly wasn't relevant, in, say, the Roman institution of slavery-- and it needn't in the case of business.

"If one group was systematically enslaved and oppressed because of their race, and the other was not then there can't possibly be a comparison."
So if one person gets murdered because they look funny, and another person gets murdered for political reasons, there is no grounds for comparison?
Methinks the murder to be a grounds for comparison... or, in our case, the initiation of force :).

"Businessmen are amongst the most successful men in America. The top five wealthiest Americans, let alone the Forbes 400, are all businessmen/women. (http://www.forbes.com......)"
That measures, more or less the wealth they CREATE , not the wealth they CONTROL. And is therefore an argument for treating them better, not an argument that they aren't enslaved.
The top five wealthiest americans in terms of wealth CONTROLLED are all but certainly high-level government employees, due to the sheer amount of wealth controlled by the federal bureaucracy.

"Ask these 400 Americans, or the other top 5% of Americans if they feel enslaved and/or oppressed. "
It doesn't matter what they "feel" like. Their perceptions do not create reality.

"
My opponent claims that whether or not you are offended is irrelevant to the debate. He claims that suffering is not a commodity to be haggled, yet his comparison is one completely based on emotion, and sympathy with businessmen, and not on fact."
Apparently you haven't read it, it is based on the fact of initiation of force. :).

"The fact is that apartheid was so rampant, so deeply rooted, and so important to whites that when blacks began to fight back they were lynched, murdered, tortured, and millions of whites joined the Ku Klux Klan at one point in support of apartheid."
If you lynch someone, you can hardly claim to be "separated" from them. The Ku Klux Klan were not consistent segregationists, they were consistent in their seeking of oppression in the context of a mix of both segregation and integration.

"
1. "Business" is not a culture as compared with that of African slaves."
Culture: Way of life.
Everything people do, is a part of a "culture". EVERYTHING.

"

2. Being imprisoned is not being "robbed" from your home. Many imprisoned businessmen have committed crimes, while African slaves owed no debts to those who robbed them from their homes. Committing a crime indebts you to society, often in the form of a prison sentence."
African slaves committed the "Crimes" of running, resisting, trying to escape, pissing off tribal elders, or just plain being black where it was declared the law by the highest powers that slavery was the punishment for being black and not helping engage other slaves.
These laws were, of course, not just, neither are the laws outlawing business practices.
Further, "society" is not capable of holding debts.

"
3. African slaves had no part in being separated from their children and families. The children of businessmen have not been sold to other families, nor have their spouses."
Shares in them usually have, with the exception of stay-at-home spouses :).

"The method of how they were captured and transported, and it's cruelty and inhumaneness is definitely relevant to a comparison of slavery and oppression between two groups."
It's not relevant when the fundamental question of that comparison is not the degree or cruelty but the applicability of the terms at all.

"
5. Businessmen have rights, and slaves do not. Businessmen are afforded every right under the US Constitution, while the Supreme Court once declared blacks as sub-human (please see my R1 reference) though not in those exact words."
Laws =/= rights. Rights = life, liberty, and property, those negative obligations toward an innocent one observes to see similar benefits toward themselves. The constitution lists PRIVILEGES the government gives businessmen, much like many slaveowners frequently gave their slaves "privileges" for good service.
And by the way, Businessmen are not afforded even every privilege (that the US constitution misleadingly refers to as rights) in the constitution. The protection from ex post facto laws ended in 1890 with the Sherman antitrust act, which is continually redefined and then retroactively applied in court. They are frequently subject to federal government inquiries into non-interstate commerce. Etc.

"
6. My opponent attempts to justify why African slaves were beat and tortured, and compares this to methods to enhance production in today's business. There is no evidence that beating and torturing slaves enhanced production"
You misunderstood the point. They THOUGHT it enhanced production. The government now knows better, and treats it's slaves accordingly.

"
7. My opponent attempts to compare the acts of criminals against criminals with the rape of innocent women."
The acts of criminals against those whose "Crime" arose, not out of the violation of the rights of others, but simply a violation of bureaucratic whim. Just as those innocent women were "guilty" of the crime of violating the whims slaveowners had about what race you can be. Neither law is justified, and therefore neither crime is an excuse.

"
8. Businessmen have a choice to work for the companies for which they work, and they have a choice to not work at all."
And slaveowners had a choice not to work at all too. Both choices results in death. They may have the choice between companies, just as slaves had a choice whether to favor their left hand or their right in picking cotton-- a difference in degree, but since neither choice avoids the taxes which are being discussed, neither choice is relevant to the discussion.

"The "plight" of the businessman, and his being "numbered" is based on the businessman himself making money."
No, actually, being NUMBERED is based on the government making money off the businessman, it's called the social security number. The government might give back a small portion, just as the slaveowners "gave back" a small portion in the form of food, but neither changes the fact that the takings in the first place were involuntary. It remains beneficial solely to the government and it's allies.

The point about the initiation of force, which is fundament
Debate Round No. 2
Mangani

Con

My opponent states that he "cited the relevant rules" for this debate. I contend that the relevant rules are subjective, and the reader must make a decision for his/herself. Moral rules are either individual, or social, and my opponent's position is a position that cannot be universally taken simply because he says the rules are the same. To ascribe a definition of slavery and oppression to the status of businessmen in America is a subjective position, and not a universally rational one. It is not common sense that businessmen are "enslaved and oppressed" to any degree, yet it is common sense that the African slaves were enslaved, and that their descendants have been oppressed. My opponent claims I am focusing on the "non-essentials", but they are non-essential to his argument alone because he wishes you to make a comparison. Of course any differences, in his view, are non-essential.

My opponent has provided only one example of how businessmen are enslaved and oppressed in his citing of the 1964 Supreme Court decision of United States vs. Alcoa. Alcoa is currently the world's third largest producer of aluminum. Though I won't get into a debate about the case, I will point out that the disparity caused to blacks in America as a result of slavery is in no way comparable to the success Alcoa (and other businesses) has achieved despite my opponent's perceived enslavement and oppression. Furthermore, Alcoa is neither an individual nor is it as a business representative of all businesses and businessmen, while nearly all African-Americans, and blacks in both North and South America, for that matter, are descendants of African slaves.

My opponent claims to not have asked for emotional sympathy. I contend that is exactly what he is asking for. My opponent's conclusion is purely political in nature, and it requires that one sympathize with businessmen in order to make the comparison "businessmen are enslaved and oppressed as were the blacks". We are not debating simply whether or not businessmen are enslaved and oppressed to some degree- a preposition which cannot be taken literally, rather, can this comparison rationally be made through figurative reasoning. It is my opponent who first make the comparison. He did not simply state "businessmen are enslaved and oppressed", rather that as blacks were enslaved and oppressed in the past, so are businessmen today. When one takes a visual, or figurative metaphorical cue, or when one is asked to do so, whether or not we have experienced the metaphor being used we are being asked to make an emotional decision based on the picture brought into mind. It is my opponent's view that a similar picture can be painted- only with less prominent colors (less degree). I contend that the picture is not similar at all, and the similarities would be abstract at best. My opponent admits this in stating that he asks for "conceptual thought". He claims that a difference in kind is non-essential to the definition, but if it were non-essential to "conceptual thought" OR figurative reasoning, he wouldn't make the comparison in the first place. His comparison of stealing a car or wallet from someone uses a clear definition of stealing, and clear consequences based on the degree. A comparison in this case requires no conceptual thought whatsoever. The claim that it is the "same rule, different action" is irrational at different levels. Legally, stealing a car is grand larceny, while stealing a wallet may range from petty theft or pickpocketing, to assault and robbery. Different actions, different degrees, and different situations all contribute to the societal penalties. Every aspect of each situation is considered when making a moral judgment. My opponent asks us to ignore degree, and that makes everything else non-essential.

My opponent claims that race is non-essential to the aspect of slavery. I contend it is not when requiring figurative reasoning and conceptual thought. The same as with the wallet and the car, slavery in Rome can be compared with slavery in America. This does not take conceptual thought for many reasons. This is a clear difference in degree with race contributing to the degree. Businessmen and African slaves? My opponent admits this in fact does take conceptual thought. In this statement he also attempts to transform the entity being compared. It is no longer businessmen or individuals, rather business itself.

My opponent next makes a comparison of murder. One person is murdered because they look funny, the other for political reasons. Again, no conceptual thinking has to be done. No figurative reasoning. No emotional attachment is necessary to rationally state that someone was murdered.

Now my opponent states that the Forbes 400 "create" wealth, but don't "control" wealth. This is a philosophical statement, and cannot be rationally made in a literal comparison to African slaves. My opponent's argument would make it seem that the Forbes 400 do not have the freedom to spend the wealth they create, move around the world as they please, establish businesses with this wealth, etc. etc. What freedoms did the slaves control over the wealth they created? None.

My opponent claims that it does not matter what the businessmen feel like, and that perceptions do not create reality. Yet it is the perception of slavery that he is trying to attribute to businessmen in the first place, and that is why he is asking for "conceptual thought". If we consider how the slaves felt, and whether or not they "tasted" any bit of freedom, and ask the Forbes 400 to compare themselves so that we may think conceptually of their plight, their feelings would in fact matter.

My opponent now claims that his claim is based on initiation of force. He has not given factual examples of mass initiation of force by the government against businessmen. I have provided many sources demonstrating initiation of force against the African slaves.

My opponent attempts to engage in witty semantic discourse regarding apartheid and segregation. Wittiness aside, he concedes my point.

The rest of my opponent's arguments do not really respond to my 2nd round arguments. Nearly every statement requires "conceptual thought". He then attempts to make the debate about initiation of force, going so far as to compare the bureaucratic whim of government and the criminal innocence of imprisoned criminals to the whims of slaveowners and the "guiltiness" of raped women. He claims that neither "law" is justified and that neither crime is an excuse. The law he claims is not justified in the case of the businessmen put them in jail in the first place. They had the right to not commit the crime that put them in jail. In the context of these statements we are talking about drug traffickers. I don't know how many innocent drug traffickers my opponent has known, but I have known many who contribute to the detriment of many societies. If the societal crime of trafficking cocaine can be compared with the innocence of being an African woman, then my opponent's argument definitely requires conceptual thought. Now, I am known by many to "think outside the box", but this is asking us to completely lose our senses.

My opponent then attempts to compare the choices of a businessman with the choices of a slave. He claims that the choice between companies is akin to the choice between which hand to pick cotton with. Again, this requires a ridiculous amount of conceptual thought. Especially when we consider that if the laws in America are so detrimental to businessmen, they have the right to band together in blocs and fight these laws. They can pay off legislators (as many do), and they can even establish businesses in tax sheltering countries (as many also do). What choices did slaves have? Oh, I forgot- they could choose which hand to pick cotton with...
Ragnar_Rahl

Pro

"My opponent states that he "cited the relevant rules" for this debate. I contend that the relevant rules are subjective, and the reader must make a decision for his/herself."
Whether morality is subjective is not at issue here. My point is that the rules I named are violated by both. Both have initiation of force against them and their property. The situations violate the same rules, regardless of the truth of those rules, the truth and scope of those rules is a matter for another debate :).

"Moral rules are either individual, or social, and my opponent's position is a position that cannot be universally taken simply because he says the rules are the same."
X violates A and B. Y violates A and B. X and Y violate the same rules, A and B.
This is pretty basic logic, it's the same thing that gives us the commutative property in math :). Logic is universal.

"To ascribe a definition of slavery and oppression to the status of businessmen in America is a subjective position, and not a universally rational one."
If you insert a set of facts into a definition, it is indeed universally the rational choice to state "X meets the definition here" if "x" actually meets the definition.

"It is not common sense that businessmen are "enslaved and oppressed" to any degree, yet it is common sense that the African slaves were enslaved, and that their descendants have been oppressed."
"Common sense" is a phrase which has no specific meaning, and was never intended to have specific meaning, it simply has the property of hiding the specific meaning "Hello, I am attempting to make an ad populum fallacy, so I will use the words 'common' and 'sense' to pretend that it's not really a fallacy."

"My opponent claims I am focusing on the "non-essentials", but they are non-essential to his argument alone because he wishes you to make a comparison. Of course any differences, in his view, are non-essential."
Any differences which do not alter whether the rules cited are violated are non-essential to the resolution. :).

"I will point out that the disparity caused to blacks in America as a result of slavery is in no way comparable to the success Alcoa (and other businesses) has achieved despite my opponent's perceived enslavement and oppression"
The fact that one party is more capable of overcoming oppression than the other is not testament to a difference in treatment, but to a difference in the parties. Whereas the fact that force was initiated against them and their property, the rules in question here, is testament to a similarity in treatment-- the only similarity needed to prove the resolution.

"Furthermore, Alcoa is neither an individual nor is it as a business representative of all businesses and businessmen"
The case of Alcoa is a US Supreme Court precedent. By this country's standards of jurisprudence, Alcoa is legally representative of the treatment given to ALL businessmen in the United States.

"My opponent claims to not have asked for emotional sympathy. I contend that is exactly what he is asking for. My opponent's conclusion is purely political in nature,"
All evaluations of "slavery" are political in nature. Slavery is a political concept, i.e., a concept relating to the actions of people toward each other (in the philosophical definition of slavery), and one relating to the forcible actions of people towards each other (the refinement from common usage for government purposes, government being the agency which exists for the purpose of being the most powerful force.)
None of this, however, requires "emotions" from any voters.

"and it requires that one sympathize with businessmen in order to make the comparison "businessmen are enslaved and oppressed as were the blacks"."
Incorrect. It is entirely possible to be pro-slavery, many people have been throughout history. Therefore, recognizing that something is slavery does not ipso facto require that one sympathizes with them. It may morally require it, but that is something else entirely, and moral requirements are often ignored.

"". We are not debating simply whether or not businessmen are enslaved and oppressed to some degree"
We are debating whether the rules that forbid slavery and oppression, the "Same moral rules" of the resolution, are violated by both cases. To any degree but zero, i.e. "some degree."

"It is my opponent who first make the comparison. He did not simply state "businessmen are enslaved and oppressed", rather that as blacks were enslaved and oppressed in the past, so are businessmen today. When one takes a visual, or figurative metaphorical cue, or when one is asked to do so, whether or not we have experienced the metaphor being used we are being asked to make an emotional decision based on the picture brought into mind."
Metaphors do not require emotion, they require conceptualization.

"t is my opponent's view that a similar picture can be painted- only with less prominent colors (less degree). I contend that the picture is not similar at all, and the similarities would be abstract at best"
Moral rules are ABSTRACT. ABSTRACT similarities are what is needed. "At best" I've just won. lol.

"My opponent admits this in stating that he asks for "conceptual thought". He claims that a difference in kind is non-essential to the definition"
A difference in kind OTHER than the "kind" referred to by the definition. You're dropping the proper intellectual context of that statement.

"A comparison in this case requires no conceptual thought whatsoever. The claim that it is the "same rule, different action" is irrational at different levels. Legally, stealing a car is grand larceny, while stealing a wallet may range from petty theft or pickpocketing, to assault and robbery."
Yet all fall under the concept "theft," all violate the rule "don't steal," derived from the right to property.

"Every aspect of each situation is considered when making a moral judgment."
Oh? Is the number of rotations per minute of the nearest oxygen atom considered when making the judgment of whether to kill someone two yards from the oxygen atom in question?

Obviously, some aspects are considered and some are not.

"
My opponent claims that race is non-essential to the aspect of slavery. I contend it is not when requiring figurative reasoning and conceptual thought."
You contend, in other words, that the Roman slaves were not slaves, the Aztecan slaves were not slaves, etc. This clearly ignores the definition of slavery :).

"The same as with the wallet and the car, slavery in Rome can be compared with slavery in America. This does not take conceptual thought for many reasons."
Slavery is a concept, as far as creatures at the perceptual level are considered, it does not exist, they can't conceive of "coercion" without first learning to conceive. Comparing two instances of it's application necessarily requires conceptual thought.

"This is a clear difference in degree with race contributing to the degree."
Difference in degree do not affect whether a moral rule is violated, moral rules refer to kinds of actions in certain contexts, implicitly on the premise of kinds of consequences resulting from taking those actions in those concepts, not knowing how long or how hard those consequences will come.

"It is no longer businessmen or individuals, rather business itself.
"
Business is a sum total of businessmen. The latter only has meaning in terms of the former.

"My opponent next makes a comparison of murder. One person is murdered because they look funny, the other for political reasons. Again, no conceptual thinking has to be done. ... to rationally state that someone was murdered."
Murder is a concept. Rationality is the ability to process concepts. This should be basic :).

TBC
Debate Round No. 3
Mangani

Con

" My point is that the rules I named are violated by both. Both have initiation of force against them and their property. The situations violate the same rules, regardless of the truth of those rules, the truth and scope of those rules is a matter for another debate....X violates A and B. Y violates A and B. X and Y violate the same rules, A and B.
This is pretty basic logic, it's the same thing that gives us the commutative property in math :). Logic is universal....If you insert a set of facts into a definition, it is indeed universally the rational choice to state "X meets the definition here" if "x" actually meets the definition."
-This is a rather manipulative statement that wouldn't allow for differences in anything anyone stated was not different. You rely on complete ambiguity. The initiation of force does not equal slavery, and does not equal oppression. For example, the Nazis were not guilty of initiation of force against the United States, but the government felt the moral imperative to put it's military to good use and initiate force against their tyranny. Placing a pedophile guilty of viewing online kiddie porn is an initiation of force. When the CEO of Tyco robbed millions from investors and employees, he did not initiate any force onto his employees- one of which I was. When the government "initiated force" against this thief, how is that "similar" to pirates storming huts in Benin and taking entire families of blacks, stacking them into slave ships, and selling them into slavery?

My opponent claims his premise is this:

Businessmen and free Africans are people. People= A
Initiation of force for any reason= B
Slavery= C

Or A+B=C

He claims this is simple logic... however "businessmen" does not equal "people" in the same way "Africans" equals people. Businessman is the description of the function of a person within a society, while "African" is the description of the society a person came from. A businessman cannot come from the continent of "Business", and an African cannot perform the job of "Africa". Therefore "businessmen" cannot equal A, rather some function of A requiring some other equation.

On that same note, the initiation of force for any reason cannot be a variable when seaking the conclusion of C. Initiation of force to arrest a non-violent criminal, for example, does not equal slavery, but it doesn't even equal initiation of force for the purpose of enslaving someone, which is what my opponent is trying to claim. He is trying to make the moral argument that the same moral rules are violated in initiation of force for slavery, and the initiation of force absent any veriables. But if we add these very significant variables:

A= African people
B= Businessmen (African, Norwegian, who cares...)
C= Initiation of force to hurt someone
D= Initiation of force to prevent someone from cheating, hurting, or exploiting others
E= Sending someone to Prison for a crime
F= Snatching someone from their homes to enslave them

A+C= F, and B+D=E. If my opponent claims that D=C, he must show how this is true. He has not even given examples of how businessmen have been systematic victims of C, rather he has simply stated so. I have shown many examples of how blacks have been victims of C. My opponent has shifted in the definition of B, while A has remained constant. My opponent has even attempted to manipulate the definition of E, but without showing how his hypothesis is systematically true. Logic may be universal in math, but not in morality. If morality itself is subjective, then so are the rules. My opponent tries to manipulate the rules to reflect his view, and I manipulate them to reflect my view. My view is that the same moral rules do not apply. My opponent's view is that the same moral rules DO apply, but as of now he has refused to give us examples of HOW they apply.

""Common sense" is a phrase which has no specific meaning, and was never intended to have specific meaning..."
-Now my opponent seems to contradict himself. On the one hand, logic is universal, but on the other hand, "common sense" has no specific meaning. A semantic debate is not necessary for the readers to understand my statement of common sense within the context, even if my opponent would like to distract us all with one.

"The fact that one party is more capable of overcoming oppression than the other is not testament to a difference in treatment"
-My opponent seems confused, and it is his confusion that leads to these irrational deductions. Alcoa not only does not equal to "black people", but the "oppression" experienced by Alcoa cannot be defined as such- a point you have failed to make through examples, definition, or otherwise, and "overcoming oppression" is subjective. Disparity is not caused by blacks not overcoming oppression, and you must lack all common sense to realize that blacks just recently achieved all the rights in this society (say 1964) that whites had for at least 300 years prior. Add to that the fact that white's weatlh was supplemented by the slavery of blacks (like that of the McCain family), while the blacks who came out of slavery started with nothing. If "logic is universal", then we must use logic in all cases. My opponent has failed to do so.

"The case of Alcoa is a US Supreme Court precedent. By this country's standards of jurisprudence, Alcoa is legally representative of the treatment given to ALL businessmen in the United States"
-That is a logical deductive fallacy. What of the businessmen and businesses that benefitted by Alcoa's de-monopolization? Are we not to take "all businessmen" into consideration? Or only those you've sided with? Not only that- Alcoa was never forced into divesture: "In 1947, Alcoa made the argument to the court that there were two effective new entrants into the aluminum market – Reynolds and Kaiser – as a result of demobilization after the war and the government's divestiture of defense plants. In other words, the problem had solved itself and no judicial action would be required. On this basis, the district court judge ruled against divestiture in 1950, but the court retained jurisdiction over the case for five years, so that it could look over Alcoa's shoulder and ensure that there was no re-monopolization."

Reynold's became the second largest aluminum company in the United States, and the third largest in the world until it was acquired by Alcoa in 2000. How is this oppression and slavery?!?!?!

My opponent then makes some interesting statements. All seeming to attempt to manipulate the readers from thinking logically and rationally. He makes statements such as "murder is a concept", etc. Yes, words are concepts. They do not actually embody the objects or ideas they are meant to represent. We can argue semantics all day, and that is the way of one who feels he is not adequately making his point. What we must remember is that my opponent made the comparison, and he did so with the intent of getting us to "conceptually picture" businessmen enslaved and oppressed by the US Government in the fashion Africans were enslaved and oppressed. If his arguments are true, he would have never made the comparison because he could have simply said "Businessmen have experienced an unfair, and seamingly oppressive initiation of force from the US Government". He did not make that statement, rather he has tried to literally compare the enslavement of businessmen. He has asked us to "think conceptually". He has made several comparisons of what he deems "relevant aspects". He has been contradictory in his comparison, his rules for logic and morality, and even his semantics.

Businessmen have not been oppressed. They have not been enslaved. There has been no initiation of force against businessmen. We can have a debate about the fairness of American laws another day, but in the meantime, businessmen have a choice. Blacks had no rights in their slavery and oppression. Thank you
Ragnar_Rahl

Pro

"
-This is a rather manipulative statement that wouldn't allow for differences in anything anyone stated was not different. "
Incorrect, that cannot be rationally derived from what you quoted.

"You rely on complete ambiguity. The initiation of force does not equal slavery, and does not equal oppression."
That wasn't the claim, the claim was they violate the same rules :).

"For example, the Nazis were not guilty of initiation of force against the United States"
They were guilty of initiation of force against the Jews. It's the fact that force was initiated that makes a response retaliatory, not the intended target of the force.

", but the government felt the moral imperative to put it's military to good use and initiate force against their tyranny"
A definitely false statement. If the decisions of the United States World War II had anything to do with a "moral imperative," they would have been directed against the Soviets too, instead of allied with them, the initial part already having been addressed :)/

"Placing a pedophile guilty of viewing online kiddie porn is an initiation of force."
Correct, unless the kiddie porn was produced using force, in which case the pedophile is an accomplice in the matter-- one who willingly participates in an act is guilty of it even if their role in the act is not as it's focus.

"When the CEO of Tyco robbed millions from investors and employees, he did not initiate any force onto his employees- one of which I was."
Robbery is an act of force, but we'd need more context to know whether the "robbery" statement is accurate.

"
He claims this is simple logic... however "businessmen" does not equal "people" in the same way "Africans" equals people. Businessman is the description of the function of a person within a society, while "African" is the description of the society a person came from."
Which is wholly irrelevant to the question of whether each class contains human beings.

"
On that same note, the initiation of force for any reason cannot be a variable when seaking the conclusion of C. Initiation of force to arrest a non-violent criminal, for example, does not equal slavery,"
It does unless the non-violent criminal still initiated force (fraud and burglary are both nonviolent, but both initiate force against someone's property, the former case having made sure themselves that such thing WOULD be the property of another before stealing it.

"
D= Initiation of force to prevent someone from cheating, hurting, or exploiting others"
In other words, if I murder you, I have prevented all potential crimes you can commit.
Note that all your letters are irrelevant, the rule in question was a BLANKET RULE against initiating force.

How is that not harmful?
If you add in KNOWLEDGE that they intend to harm someone else, then they have already initiated force, just not finished it yet. Retaliation doesn't have to wait until something is a fait accompli, just until it is proven that the initiation occurred.

"If my opponent claims that D=C, he must show how this is true."
See above.

"Logic may be universal in math, but not in morality."
Logic is universal for anything which is true. If your form of morality excludes it, then it is untrue.

". If morality itself is subjective, then so are the rules."
If all morality is "subjective," with no real elements, then all moral rules are the same, ipso facto, by virtue of nonexistence, and the resolution is proven.

"-Now my opponent seems to contradict himself. On the one hand, logic is universal, but on the other hand, "common sense" has no specific meaning."
Logic=/= common sense. Logic is a system derived from the law of identity. Common sense is whatever people want it to be, it is an appeal to the ad hominem fallacy without even bothering to prove the populum part.

"
-My opponent seems confused, and it is his confusion that leads to these irrational deductions. Alcoa not only does not equal to "black people", but the "oppression" experienced by Alcoa cannot be defined as such- a point you have failed to make through examples, definition, or otherwise, and "overcoming oppression" is subjective."
I think it's clear that my definition of oppression is initiation of force, the two are interchangeable.
"Alcoa" and "Black people" are both classes of human beings which do not automatically indicate initiation of force by them, as such, they are both classes in which parties have rights, this is the only relevant form of equality they need.

"Disparity is not caused by blacks not overcoming oppression"
Disparity is jointly caused by oppression and the failure to overcome it. If they overcome it, obviously, the disparity resulting from it does not exist. Both causal conditions are necessary.

"Add to that the fact that white's weatlh was supplemented by the slavery of blacks (like that of the McCain family), while the blacks who came out of slavery started with nothing."
What an utterly ambigous collective. There are many, many whites whose wealth was not supplemented by slavery, and many, many blacks who have inherited money.

"If "logic is universal", then we must use logic in all cases. My opponent has failed to do so."
Which, you have not demonstrated :).

"
-That is a logical deductive fallacy. What of the businessmen and businesses that benefitted by Alcoa's de-monopolization? "
They have not yet violated the edicts given by their masters.
And "logical deductive" is not the name of a fallacy.

"Or only those you've sided with? Not only that- Alcoa was never forced into divesture: "In 1947, Alcoa made the argument to the court that there were two effective new entrants into the aluminum market – Reynolds and Kaiser – as a result of demobilization after the war and the government's divestiture of defense plants. In other words, the problem had solved itself and no judicial action would be required. On this basis, the district court judge ruled against divestiture in 1950, but the court retained jurisdiction over the case for five years, so that it could look over Alcoa's shoulder and ensure that there was no re-monopolization."
"Massa! Massa! I didn't really do it!--" Does not change the nature of the source of the rules in the first place.

"
Reynold's became the second largest aluminum company in the United States, and the third largest in the world until it was acquired by Alcoa in 2000. How is this oppression and slavery?!?!?!"
The assertion of ownership by the government that lead to Alcoa having to bow and scrape before a court in the first place, and still leads to Alcoa's continued payment of dividends from the government's ownership share in the life of every last shareholder into the US treasury.

"
My opponent then makes some interesting statements. All seeming to attempt to manipulate the readers from thinking logically and rationally. He makes statements such as "murder is a concept", etc. Yes, words are concepts. They do not actually embody the objects or ideas they are meant to represent."
I was not treating them as reified, I was treating them as concepts because ALL DEBATES REQUIRE CONCEPTS.

"We can argue semantics all day,"
ALL DEBATES REQUIRE SEMANTICS, i.e., applying meanings to words.

"he could have simply said "Businessmen have experienced an unfair, and seamingly oppressive initiation of force from the US Government". He did not make that statement,"
I have repeatedly made that statement, with the exception of the words "unfair and seemingly" because "unfair" has about as much meaning as "common sense" and "seemingly" has bad implications.

"rather he has tried to literally compare the enslavement of businessmen."
Yes, LITERALLY COMPARE. Because, I don't know, demonstrating that they compare by violating LITERALLY THE SAME moral rules, kind of furthers the resolution don'tcha think?
Debate Round No. 4
Mangani

Con

My opponent seems to have abandoned his original claim. He now states that this debate is not about whether businessmen are enslaved and oppressed, as he originally stated. He now says "there was an initiation of force" against them, and that the parameters related to the initiation of force are irrelevant in comparing this initiation of force to slavery and oppression of blacks. It seems from his new argument that he is implying he never made that statement. Let's review his points:

"the ESSENCE of slavery ignores race, the term slavery is applicable regardless of whether race is the reason for slavery"
"Suffering is not a commodity, to be haggled over in weights like old gold coins. It is something to be destroyed."
-Here, he is clearly likening the "initiation of force" against businessmen as "slavery" and "suffering", not simply an unambiguous definition of "initiation of force".

"According to the ruling in United States v. Alcoa (and it was practiced well before then), it is a crime, and the government WILL place anyone attempting to practice it beyond a certain point in a cage (prison)."
-Here he clearly shows how he intended to prove his point on initiation of force by imprisonment using the case of US vs. Alcoa. Alcoa won that decision, and "prison" was never an option for the government. The proposition was merely to force Alcoa to divest itself of a new acquisition which seemingly put it in a position to monopolize the industry. The case of monopolization was proven wrong (and had been dismissed by the Supreme Court and sent to a lower court already), and Alcoa eventually acquired the companies who's existence helped it win the case in the first place. Alcoa is now much more competitive than it was at the time of the ruling, and never faced "imprisonment" as my opponent suggested. My opponent went so far as to suggest that the ruling of US vs. Alcoa had an effect on the Great Depression: "The effect was a massive contribution to the Great Depression, after which point Roosevelt decided to get rid of the charade and just nationalize everything", but later concedes that Alcoa won this ruling, and changed his comments to "The assertion of ownership by the government that lead to Alcoa having to bow and scrape before a court in the first place, and still leads to Alcoa's continued payment of dividends from the government's ownership share in the life of every last shareholder into the US treasury". Alcoa did not "bow and scrape". They proved their point, and won. This case had no negative effect on the US economy as my opponent suggested, and no one at Alcoa was ever threated with imprisonment, let alone imprisoned as my opponent also claimed.

So, as for my opponent's comparisons which have always been the essence of this debate (please see Round 1):

1. Businessmen have not been stripped of their culture. They operate within the culture of Capitalism which has rules and regulations designed to protect the individual, and the fundamentals of capitalism- the right to individual ownership. If the rules and regulations are excessive, that is another debate. In fact, some of these rules and regulations helped free the slaves from the tyranny of businessmen in the first place. It was businessmen who took, sold, traded, and used slaves. The fact at hand is that they operate within the culture created by the freedoms of the government and country my opponent claims to be stripping them of that very culture. This same government and country never offered the African slaves the opportunity to practice their own culture. They were stripped of this culture, and forced to forget it.

2. My opponent has failed to show how businessmen have been systematically robbed from their homes as African slaves were. He has failed to even make the comparison through "imprisonment" as he suggested in R1.

3. My opponent has failed to show how systematic imprisonment of businessmen has separated them from their children and families as it occurred with the African slaves.

4. My opponent made a claim about the slave trade ending in 1808 which I proved to be incorrect, and irrelevant to a comparison. He claims that the method of enslavement has nothing to do with a comparison of moral rules, but I affirm that it does. The slaveowners violated one set of moral rules that were not criminal in their time and society, but the pirates who stole the slaves (especially after 1808) violated those moral rules, as well as the laws barring them from continuing the slave trade.

5. My opponent has failed to show how the government owns businessmen. He has made veiled remarks about taxes, but has not demonstrated their exclusivity toward harming businessmen as a culture, race, or group of people. This government is of the people, by the people, and for the people, and taxation helps to run the government. If businessmen are "conceptually" slaves to this system, we are all, and we are all responsible for establishing and continuing this system as it is we who choose our government. African slaves did not have this option, nor did they have the pride to say "I am a slave of 'so and so'". I can say I am proud to pay my taxes and be a productive member of this society, as can a hundred million other citizens.

6. My opponent has failed to show how businessmen were beat and tortured, or how that even compares to his comparison based on maximizing investment. The investment is by businessmen, and the "productive staff" are their employees, just as the slaveowners were businessmen and the slaves were their exploited employees. My opponent's claim has never been that "employees" are enslaved and oppressed at some businesses, rather that BUSINESSMEN are systematically enslaved and oppressed as were the African slaves.

7. My opponent has failed to show how the rape of innocent women somehow compares to the rape of guilty men by other guilty men. He later changed his claim to "innocent men" being imprisoned, and so "neither law can be justified". What law? My opponent has left this ambiguous because he cannot justify the comparison.

8. My opponent has failed to show how businessmen have been forced to forget their given names. He has shown how employees of a business are given an employee number, and how citizens are given a social security number, but neither is related simply to businessmen because they are businessmen. It is businessmen who force the assignment of an employee number in the first place.

9. My opponent has compared businessmen having to go to court with African slaves and their descendants being systematically dehumanized. I provided a ruling by the Supreme Court stating that a black man was not privy to the rights of a white man, and that he is bound to his whim by duty. My opponent has not shown how going to court has anything to do with being a businessman. He made suggestions of "mobs shouting" and being encouraged by the government, but has shown no examples. Indeed preventing them from doing so would be a violation of the mob's free speech, but I don't see how that compares to stripping humans (African slaves) of the right to life, liberty, and the persuit of happiness.

My opponent originally claimed "The fundamental moral rules violated by both cases are the rights to liberty and property, both of which are consequences of the right to life". He has failed to prove this point. He conceded this point by changing his argument to "I meant simply the initiation of force". He says "These cannot be violated except by the initiation of force, and the initiation of force necessarily violates them". Businessmen have no inherent right to practice business imparted on them by the right to life. Business is bound by the government in which the business is operated. The right to life, liberty, and property were never afforded to African slaves, but businessmen CHOSE to practice business, and in so doing, chose the rules they operate under.
Ragnar_Rahl

Pro

"My opponent seems to have abandoned his original claim. He now states that this debate is not about whether businessmen are enslaved and oppressed, as he originally stated. He now says "there was an initiation of force" against them,"
Oppression= initiation of force.
Slavery =claim of ownership in another human being without their permission. The essence of taxes.

:)

"Here, he is clearly likening the "initiation of force" against businessmen as "slavery" and "suffering", not simply an unambiguous definition of "initiation of force".
"
The initiation of force causes suffering. :)

"
-Here he clearly shows how he intended to prove his point on initiation of force by imprisonment using the case of US vs. Alcoa. Alcoa won that decision"
Time for a history lesson, no it didn't:

http://blogs.wsj.com...

"and "prison" was never an option for the government."
Try resisting the ruling and see what happens.

EVERY government action implies prison or death as the final consequence of disobedience. Without that, the government has no power.

"but later concedes that Alcoa won this ruling, and changed his comments to "The assertion of ownership by the government that lead to Alcoa having to bow and scrape before a court in the first place, and still leads to Alcoa's continued payment of dividends from the government's ownership share in the life of every last shareholder into the US treasury"."
I'd taken your lies for granted, sorry :).

"1. Businessmen have not been stripped of their culture. They operate within the culture of Capitalism"
Capitalism has never existed anywhere. They operate within the government-imposed culture of Keynesianism.

"which has rules and regulations designed to protect the individual, and the fundamentals of capitalism- the right to individual ownership"
Capitalism would. The actual rules that do exist are designed to attack the individual and the right to individual ownership.

"In fact, some of these rules and regulations helped free the slaves from the tyranny of businessmen in the first place. It was businessmen who took, sold, traded, and used slaves."
Feudal lords, which is in essence what the slaveowners were =/= productive businessmen. To be a "businessman" is to organize willing workers to provide products at a profit.

"
2. My opponent has failed to show how businessmen have been systematically robbed from their homes as African slaves were. He has failed to even make the comparison through "imprisonment" as he suggested in R1."
This is completely nonessential, nevertheless, it is common practice to send men to prison for tax evasion-- i.e, denying that the government's ownership share in them is valid :).

"
3. My opponent has failed to show how systematic imprisonment of businessmen has separated them from their children and families as it occurred with the African slaves."
Prison tends to do that to such an extent it's really rather pointless to show. They don't imprison the children and families WITH them after all. :)

"He claims that the method of enslavement has nothing to do with a comparison of moral rules, but I affirm that it does. The slaveowners violated one set of moral rules that were not criminal in their time and society, but the pirates who stole the slaves (especially after 1808) violated those moral rules, as well as the laws barring them from continuing the slave trade."
You're focusing on the law to prove moral comparisons, this is invalid. Law=/= morality.

"
5. My opponent has failed to show how the government owns businessmen. He has made veiled remarks about taxes"
Nothing veiled. Taxation is the claim of dividends for a certain percentage ownership share in the individual. Demanding payment for that which you do not own is nonsensical, therefore, the claim of right to such payment is a claim of ownership.

"This government is of the people, by the people, and for the people,"
Ambiguous collective fallacy.

"and taxation helps to run the government"
And picking cotton helps run a plantation.

"If businessmen are "conceptually" slaves to this system, we are all, and we are all responsible for establishing and continuing this system as it is we who choose our government."
Ambiguous collective fallacy again.

"African slaves did not have this option, nor did they have the pride to say "I am a slave of 'so and so'". I can say I am proud to pay my taxes and be a productive member of this society, as can a hundred million other citizens."
Many slaves in fact have prided themselves on good service, even the African ones.

The fact of pride for some individuals does not alter the fact of slavery.

"
6. My opponent has failed to show how businessmen were beat and tortured"
I never attempted to. It's nonessential.

"
7. My opponent has failed to show how the rape of innocent women somehow compares to the rape of guilty men by other guilty men. He later changed his claim to "innocent men" being imprisoned, and so "neither law can be justified". What law?"
These women were guilty of not escaping their masters when the law stated that they were owned and could do nothing but what the master said, just like the businessmen were guilty of not escaping the government when the law stated they could do nothing but what the government said. Neither law is justified, no law is justified which forbids anything other than a violation of rights. The "guilt" of doing business with willing people to earn one's supper is no more valid an excuse than the "guilt" of being black. Both were punishable by law however :).

"
8. My opponent has failed to show how businessmen have been forced to forget their given names. He has shown how employees of a business are given an employee number, and how citizens are given a social security number, but neither is related simply to businessmen because they are businessmen. It is businessmen who force the assignment of an employee number in the first place."
A businessman cannot force you to become their employee, you can work for someone else or yourself, with no limits on your production in any of these arrangements except those imposed by nature.
A government, however, forces you to work for them or not at all, i.e., to work for them or die from not having any means to feed oneself. One can choose a different tyrannical government, but one cannot choose to strike out on one's own in this regard, there is no place to do so.
It is, by the way, impossible to force someone to forget something except by means of brain damage, which was not in fact common practice among Southern slaveowners to my knowledge :).

"My opponent has not shown how going to court has anything to do with being a businessman. He made suggestions of "mobs shouting" and being encouraged by the government, but has shown no examples."
It's known as an election-- a mob consisting of the majority of the people, shouting for what they want to be stolen from the businessmen next.

"Indeed preventing them from doing so would be a violation of the mob's free speech"
But failing to listen would not :).

"
My opponent originally claimed "The fundamental moral rules violated by both cases are the rights to liberty and property, both of which are consequences of the right to life". He has failed to prove this point. He conceded this point by changing his argument to "I meant simply the initiation of force"."
This is not a change. These rules are different phrasings of the same reality. The initiation of force necessarily equates to the violation of one of these rights, and vice versa.
Debate Round No. 5
28 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 8 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
"You think you are above everyone else"

Does not follow.

Now if I complained about other people breaking rules that aren't mentioned in the first round, THAT would be thinking I was above everyone else :)
Posted by Mangani 8 years ago
Mangani
You think you are above everyone else, so your practices are predictable... however, you are not. Common practice amongst respectable members is to adjust their arguments according to the character limit. If you cannot handle that, it is common courtesy to request an extension in the comments section. You did not. Your argument extensions in the comments section are invalid.
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 8 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
Not when it's common practice... which it is.

Those are technical limits, not binding rules, the former demands circumvention if one knows how :)
Posted by Mangani 8 years ago
Mangani
The rules are specified in the character limit. Your assumption is irrational.
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 8 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
Should I also ask if certain words are allowed?

Vale tudo is and always has been my presumption unless rules are specified in the challenge.
Posted by Mangani 8 years ago
Mangani
Just as adding an argument after the voting period has lapsed, your arguments beyond your character limit do not mean a thing unless agreed upon by both parties. The debate presenter sets the rules for the debate, and in setting a character limit, the selection section clearly states:

Argument Max

What is the maximum number of characters allowed to be typed for each argument in each round?

If you had asked them to be allowed, rather than assume and be condescending about it that would be a different story, but I clearly did not even read your arguments in the comments section until the debate was over.
Posted by Mangani 8 years ago
Mangani
I never addressed any of your statements in the comments section as if they were part of the debate, and if you assume they will be accepted without even mentioning it within the debate that is bad form... but then, I don't expect much from you...
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 8 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
Now granted, if you'd set it to something other than the maximum this would be different :)
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 8 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
A character limit exists to prevent computers from uploading unholy amounts of text to damage servers. Until the administrator says otherwise, there is no reason to believe it exists for any other purpose.
Posted by Mangani 8 years ago
Mangani
That's the whole point of a character limit. That's like saying there's no rule on exceeding a time limit in a timed debate...
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by NYCDiesel 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by JBlake 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by jjmd280 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by Mangani 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by s0m31john 8 years ago
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