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Tournament III: On balance, living in a society of anarchy is better than living under a dictator

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/3/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,423 times Debate No: 14236
Debate Rounds (4)
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Tournament III: On balance, living in a society of anarchy is better than living under a dictatorship.

>> Ambiguous definitions >>
Anarchy – The lack of a government or its institutions.

Dictatorship – An autocratic authoritarian rule.

Arguments come in round 2. Best of Luck.


I accept the challenge. A special thanks to Johnicle for organizing this tournament and to the judges. A reminder that only judges may vote on these tournaments, so please refrain from voting unless your a judge.

I accept the definitions. Hopefully we will not run into a semantic debate. If the ambiguous definitions are a problem, I believe we should use the comment sections to sort it out.

Good luck to my opponent. I luck forward to it.
Debate Round No. 1


Tournament III: On balance, living in a society of anarchy is better than living under a dictator

It need not be said, the rule of a dictator and his cabinet is despotic harsh and rule. History shows dictators and their subordinates committing the worst acts in human history, Qey Shibir, the red terror, the Khmer rouge, the Nazis. My argument is to defend a lesser of two evils, anarchy.

Anarchy is the lack of any "real" government, a place where the people live under their own intrinsic interests. The opposition in this case is dictatorship, the autocratic rule under one man. The bare argument in this case is which better supports human happiness, citizen utility.

Now, when based solely on history and the present states there are very district differences in dictatorship and anarchy. In anarchies there are high crime rates and levels civil disorder, to cite known anarchies: Post colonial Somalia and the French first republic. It is true then that the "life of man is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short" but given the alternative, dictatorship, it begins to beckon a lighter perspective. Dictatorships have resulted many well known events of the last Century - the Holocaust, Pol Pot's killing fields and the red terror just to name a few. The tyranny of a dictator is no new event, dictators, to go back to the days of true monarchy, also had other terrors lost to pages of history: the Ottoman Sultans Devshirme hunts, Nero's mass murders and Cromwellian ethnic cleansing of the Irish. Even Aristotle, a man who lived over two millennia ago, who first wrote about the concept of the dictator, the Aesymnetes, tied it to tyranny.

In theoretical terms and after taking into account the utility of every individual citizen ante dictatorship, anarchism proves to be favourable. In both systems an 'enemy' exists, in anarchy it's your fellow man's interests, in dictatorship it is the state's will. In anarchy the worst that could happen is your neighbour killing you for property rights, in a dictatorship it is the iron fist of the ministry of interior. Given the great difference in power and influence the lesser is to be favoured of the greater.

Somalia -
France - Journal of the Terror – Jean Baptiste Clery
Holocaust -
Cambodia -


*Dictatorships are not responsible for horrendous acts*
Pro claims that dictators have caused the worst acts in human history. He cites many examples of dictatorship’s atrocities. However, regardless of governmental system, horrid crimes against humanities have always existed throughout history. Democracies, like dictatorships, can also commit horrendous acts. The United States allowed slavery until 1865 and almost completely wiped out the Native American population. Democratic European nations exploited the resources of Africa and other areas. The overthrow of a monarchy and establishment of a republic caused the Rwandan Genocide, killing a million [1]. Anti-Semitism and the doctrine that some races were superior to other races was the main cause of the holocaust, not because Nazi Germany was under a dictatorship.
Not all dictatorships are responsible for horrendous acts either. Josip Tito[2] and Anwar El Sadat[3] were dictatorships but were not responsible for horrendous acts. Anwar El Sadat was even awarded a peace prize.
There is no reason to believe why horrendous acts are more likely to occur in dictatorships then in anarchy. If, an anarchic society is racist against blacks, there’s no reason to believe why blacks would not die in a genocide caused by the masses.


*Anarchy is intrinsically evil*

In anarchy, there is a strong incentive to commit selfish acts that harm others. One can kill, rape, or steal without any consequence. While governed, one would be punished for these actions, in anarchy you will not. There would be no incentive to be productive since your wealth can easily be stolen. There is no incentive to be kind, since only selfish actions are awarded in anarchy.
In anarchy, if businesses do exist, then market failures would be rampant. Businesses would literally kill the competition in order to stay noncompetitive. Polluting the environment with toxic chemicals would be the norm. The poor would not be able to afford an education. An anarchist society would suffer the tragedy of the commons.
Historic evidence has shown that anarchy is evil. During police strikes, and Katrina, loitering was at an all time high. The dangers of anarchy are so prevalent, that police officers are virtually the only form of labor that cannot strike.
During Somalia from 1991-2006, it was a horrendous time. During this time, Somalia had the highest mortality rate in the world. Adult literacy ratings declined to only 17%. It had no access to drinking water and violence was at an all time high.

Debate Round No. 2


Due to an error with the new formatting system only half of my opponent’s argument was posted. I would have allowed him to show/send me the rest but due to my own time restraints and commitments cannot do so.
>>“Democracies, like dictatorships, can also commit horrendous acts[?]”<<
The ill of slavery existed in ‘the constitutional republic of the United States’ given the lack of suffrage to Negros and women the very notion that 19th Century America is a democracy by modern standards is absurd.

>Genocide of the native populations
The vast majority of the populations(95%) of the new world were exterminated by influenza and smallpox[1]. The rest died from the decades of the wild west, a terror caused by man, not a systematic cleansing directly caused by democracy.

>Europeans exploitation of African resources.
Can you be more specific? I find this notion quite vague; do you mean colonialism? If so colonialism was initiated in the 18th Century. A time where most colonial empires, the French Second Republic and the United Provinces, (+exception:United Kingdom) were all absolute monarchies, despotic dictatorships.

>>Other Notes<<
- According to Con the transition to a republic caused the Rwandan genocide. Sadly his cite reference was missing. Anyone with familiarity with Rwanda knows that the genocide was caused by the long standing hatred between the Hutu ‘subordinate race’ and Tutsi ‘elite race’, a hatred initiated by King Rwabugiri almost 400 years ago.[2][3] The lack of a Hutu reprehensive or a Parliament system and the existence of an authoritarian ministry of interior led to the Rwandan genocide.
- Con also thinks that the Holocaust was caused by ‘Anti Semitism’ and fascist ideas. This was the primary reason however it is worth noting that although most Germans up until 1951 did support Nazism and the Nazi party, the social reforms and final solution where all ideas created within a authoritarian system of politics with the idea ultimately cognitioned by the Ein Furher himself.
- Anwar El Sadat is no more a dictator than Juan Carlos, remember that Sadat reintroduced democracy to Egypt. [4]

Con’s conclusion to his rebuttals has one terrible assumption. Con believes that anarchy has the social infrastructure to commit crimes against humanity. Anarchy’s greatest evil is also its greatest regulator. The lawlessness and lack of a body politics destroys a state’s ability to persecute at such a scale. I repeat: “Given the great difference in power and influence the lesser is to be favoured over the greater.”


Con’s argument takes the conservative belief that people’s actions are motivated only by their hedonistic, individual aversions. He thinks that people are wholly egotistic and care only for their own ends. This absurd, humans have lived for centuries without central government. The human psyche knows that it requires co operation with fellow competitors to achieve greater goals. Many in ecology and anthropology even go as far as to say that collectivism and herd mentalities are genetic and define us as a species.

Con also talks about how markets will cease to exist after the removal of the entities created by law: Intellectual property, policing and trade institutions. Modern markets started with co-operating merchant societies. These societies which existed in the free market, before tax and the state interference, virtual anarchies. Over time these groups changed and devolved; usury, banks and fiscal solicitors came about. It wasn’t until the industrial revolution and the invention of mass production did these merchant groups become dependent on the affairs of the state. A basic system of trade exists in the most undeveloped places on earth, nomads in both the Arctic and Kalahari trade with other tribes. Somalia, although lacking any real government has cities and classes. Even with civil unrest people are much better off than in the mass graves, slave armies and purges often seen in dictatorships.

[1] - Book: Guns, Germs and Steel,
[2] -
[3] - Report this Argument


*Security is an important need*

Besides the essentials for survival, security is the greatest need of humans. Security cannot be provided in anarchy. However, as long as one abides by the laws in a dictatorship, security exists in a dictatorship.

*Dictatorships are not responsible for human atrocities*

It is pointless to debate whether the US government was a democracy. It was not a dictatorship that enforced the ownership of people
>Genocide of the native populations
Smallpox was inflicted on the native populations, as a form of biological warfare. Wikipedia writes:
"The first, during a parley at Fort Pitt on June 24, 1763, Ecuyer gave representatives of the besieging Delawares two blankets and a handkerchief that had been exposed to smallpox, hoping to spread the disease to the Natives in order to end the siege"[1]
>European exploitation of African resources
Yes, I was referring to colonization. Colonization continued and expanded until the 20th century. European countries had either limited monarchy or their monarchy completely removed during the time frame.
>Rwandian Genocide
I am uninterested in the details of what caused the genocide. What's more important is that it occurred without a dictatorship to cause these killings.
It is very likely that the holocaust could have occurred even without a dictatorship. Still,
>Anwar El Sadat and Juan Carlos were dictators
This source is not marked. These leaders were certainly dictators, just benevolent. They were unelected and had complete control of their government, thus dictators.

*Anarchy is intrinsically evil*

While it is true that most people are cooperative, there will always exist others that will choose to defect in order to improve their life. Sociopaths do exist in the world. Without a systematic way to punish these defectors, cheating will become positively reinforced. People will more likely to cheat if their peers do it. A study was done on cheating. In a study done at Duke, test subjects self-reported how many questions he or she answered on a test and received a monetary prize for each correct answer. It was discovered that if a cheating actor answered all the questions, then others were more likely to cheat.[2] Thus cheating is self-reinforcing, and even those born with a conscious would become uncooperative in an anarchy society.

It should also be worth noting that social dynamics consist of in-group and out-groups. In-groups are those we have social relationships and are more likely to have high respect for, while we are more likely to be hostile towards out-groups. It turns out, that the maximum amount of social relationships that can be maintain until social cohesiveness breaks down is 150.[2] This number is only stable if there is strong external pressure to remain together.

A modern society cannot remain competitive with only 150 people. Due to economics of scales, some businesses require thousands of employees to remain competitive. A tribe of 150 can easily be taken over by even the most primitive military.

PRO states that with have lived for centuries without a government. This is just false. Humans have always lived with government. Even tribal societies have tribal council and a tribal leader, which is a form of government. Even primates have a form of government. Primate societies have a dominance hierarchy with a top leader, the alpha male. Members defer to their rule.[3][1][2][3][4]
Debate Round No. 3


Zetsubou forfeited this round.


Con has forfeited which is unfortunate. Not sure how this should be judged.
Debate Round No. 4
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by darkkermit 6 years ago
i'm not going to put an effort to a final conclusion if my opponent has already forfeited.
Posted by Zetsubou 6 years ago
You really shouldn't have forfeited the last round, Dude. You had a chance to consolidate a topic where the pre-bias was on my side.
Posted by Zetsubou 6 years ago
I couldn't finish it, sorry. "A view from a Bridge" is a harder play to write about than I had initially thought.
Posted by Grape 6 years ago
"During police strikes, and Katrina, loitering was at an all time high."

Lol, loitering. Oh noes!

Con, I think you may have meant to say "looting." :)
Posted by Zetsubou 6 years ago
If a dictator introduces democracy he is no longer a dictator, he becomes nothing but a state legislature.
Posted by Grape 6 years ago
I am interested in any tournament, yes.
Posted by darkkermit 6 years ago
Grape vs. J.Kenyon would be epic. Battle of the undefeated.
Posted by J.Kenyon 6 years ago
"Is this a real tournament? How come I never hear about tournaments?"

If we can get enough people to participate, we're going to hold an invitational tournament for the site's top debaters. I take it you're interested?
Posted by Grape 6 years ago
Is this a real tournament? How come I never hear about tournaments?
Posted by Zetsubou 6 years ago
I've had to review this for 40 minutes to get it to post most my full argument.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by TUF 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Via forfeit