The Instigator
CiRrK
Pro (for)
Winning
9 Points
The Contender
mark.marrocco
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

U.S. Primacy is globally desirable.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
CiRrK
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/14/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,479 times Debate No: 24677
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (39)
Votes (3)

 

CiRrK

Pro

Resolved: U.S. Primacy is globally desirable.

Definitions

U.S. Primacy: the fact that the U.S. can intervene if it desires and dominates multilateral and/or international organizations.

Desirable
: implying a more advantageous end state



Rules

1. Drops are concessions

2. No new arguments in the last round

3. No semantics or trolling

4. Forfeit(s) will result in a loss

*Rd. 1 is for acceptance. Rd. 2 will being argumentation

**Do not accept this unless you are going to take the debate seriously.




mark.marrocco

Con

Well, I accept the challenge, and I believe me and CiRrk have agreed upon the resolution he originally proposed, but to make it clear to the audience, "globally desirable" here implies "generally desirable" and not "desired globally."

I accept all other definitions and conditions, and look forward to Pro's opening arguments.

Debate Round No. 1
CiRrK

Pro

Pro Case

C1: U.S. Primacy maximizes the spread of democracy [1]

Kagan writes, “History shows that the distribution of world power at the top affects the course of smaller and weaker nations across the globe.”

With the fall of the Nazis, Italian Fascists and Imperial Japanese the world saw an exponential rate of growth from authoritarian type regimes to democratic types regimes, accounting for about 40% of the world’s governments. However, this was short lived with the emergence of the U.S.S.R. as a bipolar power-player on the international stage. The growth of democracy was halted and even reversed with a dozen or so democracies returning to authoritarian type regimes. This coupled with the expansion of Communism in Latin America, Africa and Asia led the world to be a solid bloc between democracy and totalitarianism.

However, between the 1970s and 1990s, with a decrease in soviet influence, the number of democracies increased to 120, well over half the world’s nation population. This is commonly referred to as the 3rd wave of democracy. The common dominator in this rapid expansion of democracy is U.S. primacy. Detractors will say that democracy is either inevitable or the result of different variables such as economic growth, however this is historically not the case because with each previous cycle of democracy there has always been a reverse wave: Ancient Greece, Rome and Venice turned into monarchies; the democratic revolutions of the 1800s were easily suppressed by the dominant autocracies; democracies of the early 20th Century hit a reverse wave with the emergence of fascist-authoritarianism; democracies of the 1960s and 70s was hit with a reverse wave; synonymously, the period of the two largest periods of growth in GDP and other economic variables was correlated to the expansion of authoritarianism.

U.S. Primacy was necessary for this 3rd and continuing wave of democracy: in the 1970s and onward the U.S. reversed its policy of aiding dictatorships financially and militarily which was critical for regime survival; the U.S. compelled the international order to protect human rights in the Eastern bloc and other Soviet satellite states; Carter promoted democracy in the Dominican Republic and Reagan in Granada; the U.S. prevented military coups in Honduras, Bolivia, El Salvador, Peru and South Korea; the U.S. influence on governments such as Poland, Chile, Portugal and Taiwan gave the edge necessary for democratic victory. The list goes on, but I will stop here.

Impact 1: Democratic Peace Theory [2]

In short the democratic peace theory states that democracies rarely if ever go to war with each other. Two internal links are isolated:

(1) Ideological. Democracies have ideological ties to one another which make them more willing to enter into agreements and alliances. Liberal ideologies which pervade democracies make these nations more susceptible to negotiations, alliances and agreements which make it very difficult to go to war.

(2) Structural. The structure of governments within democracies make it difficult to go to war. For example, public opinion would be a main hindering factor for war. The majority of a public wouldn't be open to war as easily unless clear evidence was given for its need.

But, statistically democracies have much lower rates of war than autocracies do, so even if the democratic peace theory isn’t 100% correct, it is better to have democracies than autocracies. Between 1900 and 1980 there were 0 wars between democracies; between democracies and authoritarian or totalitarian regimes there was a casualty rate of 1,570,000; between authoritarian/totalitarian and authoritarian/totalitarian there was a casualty rate of 4,224,422. Thus, Rummel concludes two points: (1) democracies do not go to war and (2) democracies, if they must fight against authoritarianism, the rate of casualties are significantly lower than that of wars between authoritarian regimes which means democracies have a lower intensity rate of war.

Impact 2: Democide [2]

Rummel concludes from his findings that democracies are much more unlikely to commit democide (genocide, political killings, etc) than authoritarian or totalitarian governments. Thus, the best way to prevent atrocities is to promote democracy. According to Rummel, 99% of the world’s democides are caused by authoritarian and totalitarian regimes.

C2: U.S. Primacy maximizes the spread of free trade [1] [3]

There have been two periods of history with a profound global expansion of free trade: the Pax Britannica in the 19th Century and the Pax Americana in the late 20th Century continuing into the 21st Century. Olson tells us that democracies are much more likely to have free trade agreements and policies especially with the help of the US. This is true because democracies have a vested interest in exporting and importing goods more freely as a way to increase the flow of capital within society. As opposed to autocracies or authoritarian regimes, democracies are much more receptive of other nations, especially other democracies. This is analogous to the ideological factor within the democratic peace treaty. Since democracies tend to be commercial democracies, trade agreements and free trade are accepted by interacting nations. Kagan goes further to say that the U.S. and Britain were prime hegemons for free trade because both were commercial republics and both were sea powers. Britian and the U.S. are both “islands” and both isolated and thereby needed to control the sea to protect its trading ventures.

Olson goes further in saying that free trade is good because it reduces the risk of great recessions, spurs innovation, expands capital flow, creates lower prices, increasing the variety of goods and increases productivity. His studies demonstrate that nations with free trade tend to be wealthier in comparison to nations with protectionism, e.g. the Asian Tigers and also that empirically nations with free trade have shorter lasing recessions.

C3: What’s the Alternative?

China [1]

At this moment, if the U.S. lost its primacy the nation to fill the power vacuum would be China. This is true because of China’s economic bubble growth and its rapid expansion of its military and military related technology. As implied by the expansion of democracy correlating with U.S. power perception, the opposite is true: as democratic powers collapse, autocratic and authoritarian regimes take control. This can be historically seen from the emergence of fascist governments in the early 20th Century and subsequently the expansion of communism in the mid and late 20th Century. According to Kagan, a perceptual decrease has led to this occurring already: China increasing its influence in Africa by propping up dictators in exchange for raw materials, China’s support of the Iranian regime in exchange for oil and China’s support of weak communist nations in Asia such as North Korea, Vietnam and Laos. If the U.S. loses primacy the result will most likely be a rapid retroaction of the Arab Spring, the collapse of democratic movements in the post-U.S.S.R. states and pretty much no chance for democracy in Africa.

As China’s past openness to free market policies have created a huge expansion of GDP without benefiting the majority of Chinese citizens the threat of regime collapse increases. As such, China is starting to close sectors of its economy to benefit the lower and middle classes. Kagan writes, “For as it happens, both China and India are increasing their naval capabilities. This has produced not greater security but a growing strategic competition between them in the Indian Ocean…and the South China Sea…China is trying to use its growing naval power not to open but to close international waters…They have already begun closing some sectors to foreign competition and are likely to close others in the future.”

[1] Kagan. The World America Made.

[2] Rummel. Power Kills: Democracy as a Method of Nonviolence.

[3] Olson. The Logic of Collective Action.



mark.marrocco

Con

Pro Case

C1: "U.S. Primacy maximizes the spread of Democracy."

Pro starts off this argument with a descriptive historical account of emergent democracies, however, most of this fails to support the contention by offering any explanation of how U.S. primacy played/plays a role in the spread of democracy.

There are two, possibly three, exceptions. The first is the claim that "The common denominator... is U.S. Primacy." Standing alone, this is unwarranted.

The second, and most ambiguous, is "Detractors... expansion of authoritarianism." Besides being some type of pre-emptive red herring/strawman, how is this supposed to support the contention at all? The fact that democracy tends to regress back toward autocracy actually opposes the idea that trying to spread it can be effective in the long run, especially by the U.S., which itself mirrors Rome in many ways.

The last is that "U.S. primacy was necessary... wave of democracy." This claim is ostensibly supported by several reasons presented by Pro. However, the first such reason is demonstrably false. The U.S. never "reversed" support for autocratic leaders in general, and in fact continues to support such figures. [1][2][3] The rest of the reasons provided, besides being rather ambiguous statements, fail to elucidate how the U.S. accomplished these alleged actions (e.g. "promoted democracy" or "gave the edge necessary"), and more importantly,
why they necessitated "Democracy's 3rd Wave" at all.

Impact 1: While much of this is misleading because a war is a war no matter who is fighting in it, and civilian victims are always still victims, it doesn't matter because this isn't relevant. I don't think there's much of a debate over whether democracy is more desirable than autocracy, especially in the context of this debate. The resolution Pro needs to affirm, and this specific contention, regards the means to achieving desirable ends, and not the ends in themselves. Pro is arguing here that democracy is good, without establishing any causal connection between U.S. Primacy and global democracy.

Impact 2: Same goes here as in impact 1.

C2: "U.S. Primacy maximizes the spread of free trade."

Much like he did in C1, Pro seems to be arguing here for what he perceives to be a desirable end (free trade), rather than the means he believes will achieve it (U.S. Primacy.) Again, the argument isn't over whether free trade is good (although that is more controversial than whether democracy is good), it's about whether U.S. Primacy achieves desirable ends. Pro offers little to no support for this proposition in this contention. At best, he has presented one or two appeals to authority without offering his own arguments or explanations with; "Olson tells us... help of U.S." and "Kagan goes further... were sea powers." So, again, Pro has argued for an end that he assumes to be produced by the means, without justifying that assumption in any substantial way.

C3: "What's the Alternative?"

First and foremost, this is an appeal to an unlikely possibility. The U.S. isn't likely to lose it's primacy to anyone anytime soon, not even China. U.S. military spending far exceeds even that of China's distant second. [4] And the Chinese Defense Minister said last year that there was a 20 year gap in U.S. and Chinese military technology. [5] All that aside, Pro makes more unsubstantiated &/or irrelevant claims here. Firstly, "As implied by... regimes take control." Pro hasn't established the alleged correlation suffiently that he can use it as evidence yet (maybe his authors did, but besides being another straightforward appeal to authority, I can't even access those sources.) Secondly, "This can be seen... late 20th century." This fails to elucidate any explanation for the preceding claim, as both its wording and implicature is ambigous. Moreover, it's inconsistent, as those fascist/communist powers were rising in power at the same time the U.S. itself was industrializing and building its superpower status. Thirdly, "According to Kagan... Laos." While, yet again, Pro hasn't actually provided his own arguments to support this, none of it is sufficient to demonstrate that China is gaining any ground on U.S. primacy or, more importantly to the resolution, why that would be undesirable. Lastly, "If the U.S. loses primacy... in Africa." This is nothing other than a list of unwarranted claims. Where is the argument or evidence to support any of them?

Con Case

C1: The World Wants the U.S. to Stop Intervening.

World opinion polls
show that the world's public (and the American public!) rejects the role of the U.S. as world leader, and especially thinks that the U.S. plays "policeman" more than it should (i.e. that it's primacy is undesirable.)[6][7][8] Hypothetically, even if the world opinion is wrong, and U.S. primacy is the best means to the most desirable ends, forcing it down their throats is inconsistent with democracy itself. So then, even if the resultant end of U.S. primacy was more democracy in the world, then the means used would still be, even within the U.S. itself, categorically undemocratic.

C2: The U.S. is a Poor Leader for Human Rights & Democracy.

Human Rights Violations:

I'm running out of room to put in all of the relevant examples in this round, but some of only the most recent ones include the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo bay, high official-approved drone-killings of civilians, a very large amount of civilians killed &/or displaced in Iraq & Afganistan by U.S. bombs, and inhumane (& unconstitutional) political killings & detainments without trials. If these don't speak for themselves morally, legally it can't be ignored that the U.S. has violated 10 out of the 30 articles of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, including the prohibition against “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”[9][10]

Democracy Deficit:

Again, I can elaborate further as we go, but according to the Harvard Law & Policy Review, the "unseemly and often corrupting role played by money in our electoral processes," the "reliability of counting the votes," and "partisan gerrymandering" are just some of the factors contributing to a deficiency in U.S. democracy that does actually exist, and thus is a low standard to project onto other nations.[11]

C3: Blowback. [12]

First of all, it should be intuitively obvious to the modern human being that the cliche "violence begets violence" isn't just a cliche, but an existential truth. This can be empirically observed through "everyday" human behavior and world military history. Moreover, U.S. foreign policy, over the past 50 years (at least), has actually caused more problems than it has claimed to fight or solve, and many are the selfsame problems. Including the "threat" of Iran, the Iraq wars, and the events of September 11th, 2001.

[1]http://wais.stanford.edu...
[2]http://www.bbc.co.uk...

[3]http://www.foreignpolicy.com...
[4]http://www.globalissues.org...
[5]http://www.defensenews.com...
[6]http://www.worldpublicopinion.org...=
[7]http://www.worldpublicopinion.org...=
[8]http://www.people-press.org...
[9]http://www.nytimes.com...
[10]http://www.washingtonpost.com...
[11]http://hlpronline.com...
[12]
http://www.thenation.com...#


Debate Round No. 2
CiRrK

Pro

C1: U.S. Primacy maximizes the spread of Democracy [1]

Mark argues that I have not provided an analytic as to why it’s true that U.S. Primacy has been vital in the spread of democracy. Ignoring the fact that Mark and drops and concedes the empirics, which I will get to later I will expound on the international systematic reasons as to why this is correct.

As implied by the Kagan quote I offered in the first round, “History shows that the distribution of world power at the top affects the course of smaller and weaker nations across the globe,” the analytic is pretty simple compared to all the empirics I’ve provided. The analytic is that when hegemons arise on the international stage, by demand or by choice, the hegemon directly and indirectly influences the actions of smaller nations throughout the globe. The United States, being the hegemon, has the economic and military prowess that no other nation can even compare to and as such the U.S. can wield this to alter global events. A recent example would be the intervention in Libya where the National Liberation Army (NLA) was at an retroacting unbalanced standstill with Qaddafi forces. It was only after U.S. and European intervention which gave the rebels the edge necessary to topple the Qaddafi regime.. Through the use of both hard power and soft power the U.S. has been able to push the scale in favor of democracy. In terms of soft power, just the fact that the U.S. can aid if necessary and use its diplomatic strength gives democracy an edge. Since the U.S. is the sole universal hegemon in the globe authoritarian regimes are kept mostly isolated diplomatically, sanctioned economically and even toppled militarily.

Now onto the empirics, Mark made the fatal error of dropping the historical empirics I provided last round. Due to U.S. influence or intervention: “…the U.S. compelled the international order to protect human rights in the Eastern bloc and other Soviet satellite states; Carter promoted democracy in the Dominican Republic and Reagan in Granada; the U.S. prevented military coups in Honduras, Bolivia, El Salvador, Peru and South Korea; the U.S. influence on governments such as Poland, Chile, Portugal and Taiwan gave the edge necessary for democratic victory.” In total as explained by Kagan when Soviet power declined and U.S. was projected as the sole hegemon democratic movements sprung up motivated by the U.S. power projection, leading to more than half the world’s nations turning to democracy. This is the result of direct U.S. intervention, an optimistic internal democratic movement gaining momentum from a strengthened U.S. or the fear of communist and authoritarian regimes losing favor of the hegemon.

Mark argues further that my common denominator argument is unwarranted, though the response I gave should suffice for warrants and the dropped empirics. But to respond further, as noted by Kagan, as evidenced by historical analysis the division of the world’s governance always resembles that of the division of power.

Mark argues thirdly that my counter-argument is a strawman or red herring. It’s not. The argument was not meant to explain my opponent’s position or set up an argument for him, but rather to preempt potential arguments.

But that being said, in light of the analytic and empirics I’ve provided Mark really should offer a counter-interpretation because as will be seen soon Mark entirely concedes the impacts. Since he concedes the impacts as long as I win the fact that U.S. influence has spread democracy (which at this point is unavoidable due to the conceded empirics) then I win the link to the impacts.

Mark tells us that my claim that the U.S. reversed its policy on authoritarian regimes is false. Well, his argument is false. If you refer to my argument I indicated at after the 1970s the U.S., on balance, supported democracies and not authoritarian regimes. Kagan did an analysis and explains that after 1970, with the deteriorating power of the U.S.S.R., the United States gave support 2:1 in support of democracies in the early 70s, then to 4:1, then to 5:1. As time moves away from the 1970s starting point, the ratio increases in favor of democracies. Also, most of his sources give examples starting from the 1930s and most in the 1960s and early 70s.

Impact 1: DPT

Mark concedes that democracy is more desirable than autocracy, and never once addresses the Rummel analysis that no democracy has gone to war in the last 100 years.


Impact 2: Democide

He concedes impact 2



C2: U.S. Primacy maximizes the spread of free trade

Marks only response is that I appeal to authority. Unfortunately for him this isn’t an appeal to authority because I provide the analytics and empirics that Kagan uses to arrive as his conclusions, both of which you drop and concede. An appeal to authority would be if I said “Kagan says it, so believe it.” The first dropped analytic is that free trade is maximized by naval powers because it opens trade routes for these countries to ship their goods. The dropped empiric is that the two periods of greatest free trade is that of the Pax Americana and Pax Britannica, which in light of the analytic makes sense. Moreover, he drops the warrants provided by Olson which indicate that free trade increases the overall base of commerce which leads to increased productivity and an expansion of goods. He drops the empiric that on average an analysis of free trade nations, e.g. Asian Tigers, against protectionist nations demonstrates that nations have longer recessions. Since empirically the U.S. has expanded free trade since the 1970s (dropped empirics) U.S. primacy is overall desirable.



C3: What's the Alternative?

Mark misunderstands my argument, and he argues that China is nowhere near the U.S.. This is true but very irrelevant. The argument is that if my opponent’s advocacy is correct, and U.S. primacy is undesirable a U.S. voluntary withdrawal from the international stage would create a power vacuum. Even though China isn’t near the U.S. power in the status quo, China as evidenced by its belligerent actions in its own sphere of influence would be the most likely agent in filling the vacuum. Again Mark says I appeal to authority but refer to my response above. As such, extend the arguments that China is acting protectionist and belligerent and has promoted autocracies throughout the world, especially in its sphere of influence.


Con Case

C1/2: Intervention and Democracy

This argument has no impact. As explained aptly by Mark himself there is no link to what people want and the desirability of that act. His undemocratic argument is irrelevant because regardless of the U.S. acting democratic or not, it is still promoting democracy globally. Unless these arguments can delink the empirics and analytics I provided in my own case, they don’t matter.


C3: Blowback [2]

Mark makes the cliché argument of blowback, which is essentially that the U.S. causes problems to itself through intervention. On terrorism this is false. An analysis by Rubin demonstrates that there is a huge disconnect between the state goals of terrorist groups and their actions. For example, Osama told us after 9/11 that terrorism is necessary to rid the Middle East of U.S. intervention, but Rubin explains that Osama knows terrorism would not rid the Middle East of the U.S. but actually increase U.S. presence, as evidenced by invasion of Afghanistan. Rubin goes on further to explain that from all the terror attacks prior to 9/11 the U.S. never shows signs of withdrawal. However, on the converse, it is only when there is stability that the U.S. withdraws, which then leads to more terror attacks. Thus, Rubin concludes that the blow back argument doesn’t make logical sense when compared to historical facts. But moreover, my opponent needs to weigh this argument. [2]


[1] Kagan. The World America Made.

[2] Rubin. The Real Roots of Arab Anti-Americanism

mark.marrocco

Con

Pro Case

C1: For reasons that will become apparent, I'm going to address this backwards. First, I do not believe I dropped the impacts whatsoever, as I specifically labeled them and addressed their relevance, and in the case of the first its misleadingness, in C1 of Pro Case in R2. Secondly, in the case of the "empirics," I specifically addressed them with criticisms that have yet to be answered for in C1 of Pro Case, paragraph four. What I did concede, I admit, is the "analytic:" "History shows that the distribution of world power at the top affects the course of smaller and weaker nations across the globe."

That being said, I would point out that what this "theory" establishes is nothing new in the least. In other words, it might be written as "World powers are powerful." The definition of power entails influence and effect, so claiming that they can produce either or both is redundant. That the U.S. has influence as a superpower is unquestionable. How they use that influence isn't, and is far more relevant to this debate. The only connection Pro has established between U.S. hegemony and the spread of Democracy are the "empirics" he is trying very hard to lawyer me out of, but in fact I have addressed them, and will again point out that they (almost) all commit fallacies of ambiguity (e.g. "compelled the international order" and "influence on governments") and are unsupported by any accessible (i.e. verifiable) evidence. Therefore they still fail to demonstrate that the U.S. spreads democracy at all, how it does if it does, and to what standards Kagan even holds himself to when applying the word "democracy."

Pro continues this trend in R3, when he makes more such claims as "The United States, being the hegemon... even toppled militarily," and "In total as explained by Kagan... losing favor of the hegemon." In the first example from R3, the ambiguity fallacies (e.g. "alter global events" and "retroacted unbalanced standstill" and "push the scale... democracy") combined with the lack of (verifiable) evidence of causality leaves this contention, as of yet, unsubstantiated. The second example from R3 is equally ambiguous, and also begs the question (i.e. claims U.S. intervention promotes democracy because U.S. intervention promotes democracy), so it too does little, either rationally or empirically, to support the contention.

The one exception is the unambiguous statement that the U.S. "reversed" its support for dictators, which Pro has claimed ad hoc in R3 that he actually stated that the U.S. "on balance" reversed this policy. That, combined with the "statistics" Pro supported and my own evidence, raises more questions than it answers. Such as: why did the U.S. ever support such figures? and, more importantly, why do they continue to do so at all? and finally, how is supporting some dictators while removing others in the name of "democracy" logically consistent?

The truth is that it isn't consistent, which leads to my alternate interpretation. In the first place, the success of efforts to intentionally spread "democracy" in the long-term is, if not impossible due to regression back to autocracy (which Pro himself admitted it does) and instability caused by conflict, very improbable.[1] Particularly in the Middle Eastern region, where the goal has clearly never actually been to promote democracy or liberate the Arab people, or any other people for that matter, but only to protect U.S.-linked corporate/industrial interests (e.g. oil), and to maintain "stability" (i.e. control) in the region.[2][3] This can easily be seen from U.S. support of ruthless dictators in post-soviet states such as Uzbekistan where prisoners have been boiled to death and protesters shot in the street, the oppressive monarchy of Saudi Arabia that is particularly harsh on women and non-Muslims (naturally they have 1/5 of the world's oil reserves), and other autocracies in the region as well as in Africa.[4] This combined with recent U.S. involvement in an attempted coup of the democratically-elected Hugo Chávez of Venezuela (which itself has a large reserve of oil that, unfortunately for U.S. corporate interests, is nationalized), which was quelled by a popular uprising against the anti-Chávez forces, demonstrates that the U.S. policy of "promoting democracy" isn't just ineffective and unsustainable, but nothing more than a catchphrase used as a pretext for indiscriminately promoting U.S. corporate, industrial, & military interests.[5][6]

Impact 1: The DPT is a set of statistical data that has several interpretations based on vague definitions of concepts such as "democracy" and war. However, the most important point here is that Pro made a subtle shift from R2-R3 when he changed "democracies rarely, if ever, go to war with each other" (which is debatable), to "no democracy has gone to war in the last 100 years." Which is historically false. The U.S. itself has been in several major wars and at least a dozen minor conflicts in that timeframe.

Impact 2: I concede that democracies tend to commit less democide.

C2: Here, asides from the fact that an appeal to authority's "so believe it" element doesn't actually have to be stated, it can be implied, I will concede for the sake of argument the contention that U.S. supremacy promotes "free trade" and even the specific warrants mentioned by Pro. However, I will point out that, in impact, the desirability of global free trade is a subject of much controversy, and may actually promote economic disparity between nations, and classes within nations, which may result in much suffering for most of the population, along with threats to the environment and national sovereignty, weighing directly against Olson's abstract warrants.[7]

C3: I concede the belligerence and autocracy, but they weigh directly against similar U.S. actions. As for the protectionism, it only goes against Western economic powers, as China has signed a free trade agreement with asian states that covers nearly 30% of the world population. Also, increased aggression against China, which Pro's position would eventually result in, would undoubtedly lead to either a Cold War or World War type conflict.[8]

Con Case

C1: First, the very foundation of democracy is that there is a link to what is desirable and what the people want. Secondly, my point was hypothetical, I argue that it is a logical self-contradiction to promote "democracy" while ignoring majority opinion. It robs the word democracy of its original meaning, and leaves it as an empty catchphrase that can be used to promote whatever interests its alleged proponents want.

C2: Pro deftly avoids, and thus concedes, that the U.S. itself is both democratically deficient, and a moral and legal human rights violator.

C3: The weight lies in lives lost in past and potential instances of consequent reactions(R2). Bin Laden also dared the U.S. to come to him.[9] He knew increased U.S. presence=increased recruiting base for extremists.[10] Rubin tries to account for reality with pure rhetoric.

[1]http://www.foreignpolicy.com...

[2]http://www.brookings.edu...
[3]http://www.britannica.com...
[4]http://www.foreignpolicy.com...
[5]http://www.guardian.co.uk...
[6]http://www.nytimes.com...
[7]http://www.google.com...
[8]http://www.economist.com...
[9]http://www.fas.org...
[10]http://www.thedailybeast.com...
Debate Round No. 3
CiRrK

Pro

Pro Case

C1: U.S. and Democracies

My opponent admits that he concedes the analytic of effect and influence that the U.S. has over weaker and smaller nations. He argues however that he does not concede the empirics that I provided in the first round. Essentially his argument is that he did respond to the empirics, that they are ambiguous and that they are unverifiable:

First, on the claim that he responded to the empirics. I have looked back to the first round and still do not see any direct refutations of any of the empirics provided. I ask if I missed this that Mark copy and paste into the last round what direct responses he made to:

“…the U.S. compelled the international order to protect human rights in the Eastern bloc and other Soviet satellite states; Carter promoted democracy in the Dominican Republic and Reagan in Granada; the U.S. prevented military coups in Honduras, Bolivia, El Salvador, Peru and South Korea; the U.S. influence on governments such as Poland, Chile, Portugal and Taiwan gave the edge necessary for democratic victory.”

The only close response, but doesn’t respond to the substance of the empirics is the ambiguity claim. If Mark wanted to directly refute the empirics provided, which he has not, all he needed to do what say for example “Carter’s intervention in the Dominican Republic was bad” or “70% of the time the democracy was unstable.” However he neither made a substance claim nor a counter-empirical claim. The ambiguity argument does not cut it as an argument since it doesn’t respond to the substance. I could easily have said all of Mark’s contentions were ambiguous because all of them were essentially just rambled off premises. For example:

“Again, I can elaborate further as we go, but according to the Harvard Law & Policy Review, the "unseemly and often corrupting role played by money in our electoral processes," the "reliability of counting the votes," and "partisan gerrymandering" are just some of the factors contributing to a deficiency in U.S. democracy.”

I guess my opponent is being too ambiguous for a debate by not clearly explaining all of the examples of background corruption and how the corruption that existed in our electoral process took place.

The source argument also doesn’t cut it because as accepted on DDO essays, peer-reviewed journals and books are seen as legitimate sources. If my opponent wants me to email him a scanned copy of The World America Made I would be glad to share the wealth.

Note: Mark drops this analysis in his last round: “Kagan did an analysis and explains that after 1970, with the deteriorating power of the U.S.S.R., the United States gave support 2:1 in support of democracies in the early 70s, then to 4:1, then to 5:1. As time moves away from the 1970s starting point, the ratio increases in favor of democracies.” He concedes it but asks irrelevant questions such as why do we support autocracies and is it logically consistent? 1) It doesn’t matter and 2) it doesn’t matter. Why? Because as long as the U.S. promotes more democracy then the U.S. is linking into the benefits in the impacts. But if you want a short answer: The U.S. must balance long term and short term advantages. Autocracies were beneficial against the U.S.S.R., and now they are not.

My opponent finally offers an alternate interpretation, though not really complete:

His first claim is that democracies regress to autocracy. This is true though it has not happened in the 3rd Wave compared to the 1st and 2nd. On balance the 3rd Wave is continuing towards democratic movements even in the Middle East, like the Arab Spring. The problem with my opponent’s source is that it is a 2004 source which was the height of the IR popculture notion that the Middle East won’t accept democracy – well before the beginning of the Arab Spring and the rapid decrease of sectarian violence in Iraq. At this point his argument is outdated. Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and now Syria are all undergoing democratic transformations.

His second claim is about industrial interests. Even if this were true, the consequence of our interests is to promote democracy. But its not true because 1) we haven’t made any oil money from Iraq and 2) there would be no point in using our resources to nation build when we could easily just siphon and control key resources areas of the Middle East.

His third claim about Hugo Chaevz is just completely wrong. Chavez is essentially a dictator-for-life who controls the media and the elections boards. Even though I cannot use new evidence I think this point is relatively well-known.

Fourth, his counter-interpretation isn’t a counter-interpretation: it does not give an alternative account of the 3rd Wave of Democracy excluding U.S. influence, intervention and aid.


Impact 1: DPT

He hasn’t substantively contested DPT, it can go extended. .

Impact 2: Democide

He concedes it but says "tends" - either way he doesnt refute the Rummel evidence.

C2: Free Trade

He concedes free trade in his last round, but says it’s a controversial debate and offers evidence to the contrary of Olson. Unfortunately it’s too late for that since he substantively dropped Olson from the very beginning. However the evidence is misleading because it attributes the problems of 3rd world countries to free trade without mentioning that the internal economic degradation in these countries started before the advancement of free trade and when African and Middle Eastern nations followed the protectionist-safety policies rather than the route of the Asian Tigers with free trade.



C3: Alternative: China

Mark’s only argument against Chinese autocratic expansion in Africa, the Middle East and Asia is that it will eventually conflict with U.S. interests and potentially a war. Nowhere in his source does it reveal this, but from an analytic standpoint refer to his previous argument that China isn’t even close to the U.S.. Remember the argument is that a voluntary withdrawal from the world stage makes a power vacuum which China would fill. If the U.S. doesn’t withdraw (i.e. voting Pro) then China could not compete with us on the international level, which means no conflict.



Con Case

C1/C2/C3:

First, prefer the actual to the rhetorical. Just because the U.S. sometimes acts undemocratic does not mean it hasn’t promoted democracy. You must demonstrate an impact.

Second, sometimes the U.S. must do undemocratic means to attain a democratic end. For example, Guantanamo and strong anti-terror efforts actual benefits genuine democratic movements in the Middle East by preventing infiltration by jihadists.

Third, the source for Osama bin Laden was a redirect to the protectionist evidence. Since I cant respond you must ignore this argument.

Fourth, the last source provided only talks about the risk of home-grown terrorism not that it was a plan by jihadists in the Middle East from the beginning. Thus extend the Rubin analysis that terrorism would exist regardless of U.S. action which means it isn’t blowback due to U.S. primacy.

Voters

1) Even assuming I dont win the link to democratic advantage, I automatically win the link to preventing more autocracy. He essentially concedes the China argument (excluding the link to protectionism) which means U.S. primacy is critical to hinder Chinese expansionism and influence. This argument makes a link to DPT and democide because the more autocracies there are the higher chance for war and democide.

2) More democracy. The analytic of world power and the essentially conceded empirics is enough to link back to the impacts of DPT and democide. Aside from my opponent's rough attempt to refute it we know that: 1) the U.S. has intervened more to promote democracy and prevent autocracy (5:1). 2) The U.S. has succeeded (refer to list of nations).

mark.marrocco

Con

Pro Case:

Preface: First, I would like to point out that nowhere in the conditions was a "drop" defined as a "direct refutation," as a refutation implies disproving the substance (as opposed to the structure) of the opponent's argument, and as we will see, the ambiguous phrasing of my opponent's relevant points ("empirics"), along with the inaccessability of his evidence (until now), had forced me into a position to be incapable of "refuting" his evidence. As such, I have operated on the assumption that any counter-argument, including those of logical structure, would continue the debate over specific points.

C1: Yes, I have admitted that the U.S. has great influence on the world, especially over smaller and weaker nations, but that in and of itself is a neutral statement, it in no way demonstrates the desirability of that impact. The positive desirability is contesed by Pro mainly by what he has termed his "empirics." These, I have argued throughout, have been ambiguous claims that have failed to elucidate how the U.S. allegedly accomplished them, and what actual impact they may or may not have had in the general promotion of "democracy." Which in itself, I will mention as I did last round, is a standard that has been consistently, and conveniently, undefined by both the evidence from Kagan and Pro's arguments.

In response to Pro's claim that I didn't respond to the substance of the "empirics" in my ambiguity claims, I will point out that the ambiguity claims themselves were meant to demonstrate that the substance of Pro's "empiric" claims were unelucidated throughout the debate. As Pro's only method of defense against those claims has been to continually claim that I have dropped them, when in fact I haven't, he has ultimately failed to elaborate on the specifics of what they accomplished and how, and thus failed to establish any true correlative, let alone causal, link to the impacts.

As evidence, I will quote my counter-arguments in response to these claims, as requested, from both relevant rounds:

R2: "The last is that 'U.S. primacy was necessary... wave of democracy.' This claim is ostensibly supported by several reasons presented by Pro. However, the first such reason is demonstrably false. The U.S. never 'reversed' support for autocratic leaders in general, and in fact continues to support such figures. [1][2][3] The rest of the reasons provided, besides being rather ambiguous statements, fail to elucidate how the U.S. accomplished these alleged actions (e.g. 'promoted democracy' or 'gave the edge necessary'), and more importantly, why they necessitated 'Democracy's 3rd Wave' at all."

R3: "That the U.S. has influence as a superpower is unquestionable. How they use that influence isn't, and is far more relevant to this debate. The only connection Pro has established between U.S. hegemony and the spread of Democracy are the "empirics" he is trying very hard to lawyer me out of, but in fact I have addressed them, and will again point out that they (almost) all commit fallacies of ambiguity (e.g. 'compelled the international order' and 'influence on governments') and are unsupported by any accessible (i.e. verifiable) evidence. Therefore they still fail to demonstrate that the U.S. spreads democracy at all, how it does if it does, and to what standards Kagan even holds himself to when applying the word 'democracy.'"

As for my own arguments being ambiguous, I think the voters will disagree when they read them, but that is up to them. As for them being "rambled off premises," the specific example given by Pro to support that notion is simply a case of me drawing a conclusion from evidence that is easily accessible to both Pro and the voters. I would also like to point out that an argument is, by definition, a logical extension of premises supported by evidence.

Pro is right that the inaccessibility of the evidence should not count against his case, but his continual failure to elaborate upon the details of how they were accomplished and what they entailed should.

I, again, did not drop or concede the point about U.S.-supported autocracies because I directly addressed it in R3, C1, P4. Furthermore, my questions were relevant as pro's own argument against them demonstrates, because the idea of the U.S. promoting "democracy" and supporting any autocracies at the same time is logically incoherent, especially when such governments are "useful" to U.S. interests as my own evidence has demonstrated. This, along with the vague supporting evidence pro has given to support the link between the U.S. and democracy, the conceded point about democratic regression to autocracy, and the two arguments he makes against my own interpretation of the real intentions of the U.S. hegemony that are nothing more than unsubstantiated claims, it should suffice to say that, at best, U.S. primacy and democracy are lowly correlated, and the 1st impact of most democracies not going to war is offset by the U.S. itself going to many wars, which is a point I made that Pro never responded to.

And finally, Pro makes a mistake regarding my evidence against the feasibility of spreading democracy. In the first place, the first source, and my own argument, didn't address the Middle East directly, it was a criticism of the self-contradictions in the idea of trying to spread democracy by force, in general. Secondly, the second 2007 source did address the Middle East, but pointed out that the people of the Middle East (as no people would) didn't want to have to be invaded and bombed in order to have a Western-approved democracy installed. And as Pro sensibly notices, the Arab Spring is promoting democracy, however that is a bottom-up movement of the consciousness of those nation's own people, and not a result of outside interference by the U.S. (they're protesting in some of the U.S. ally-nations I've mentioned...)

Claiming I'm simply wrong about Hugo Chavez will have to weigh against my previous evidence and arguments.

C2: I didn't drop Olson and Pro's final argument is that Free Trade doesn't cause or worsen disparity because it sometimes already exists. It can always be made worse.

C3: Perhaps China couldn't win, but Pro's own evidence shows that they are trying to compete, and thus Pro's position would eventually result in conflict between the world's largest powers.

Con Case:

C1/C2/C3:

I agree that you should prefer the actual to the rhetorical. That being said, my own unanswered criticisms of Pro's arguments combined with my own case, which Pro has vaguely criticized and done little to refute or even counter, should suffice to show that U.S. primacy is actually, as opposed to rhetorically, disconnected from the impacts claimed in Pro's case. And even if they are partially correlated, the negative impacts I have demonstrated directly weigh against them, and in some cases outweigh them.

Pro's final argument for the undemocratic promotion of democracy is another logical paradox.

The human right's violations that pro concedes directly weigh against the alleged decrease in democide (2nd impact), because after all they fit the definition of democide.

Pro's final infiltration argument is new, and unsubstantiated.

I have checked my source (#9) and it's still a valid link, so Pro must have mistakenly clicked #8. I ask the voters to check for themselves and let me know.

Pro misunderstands the concept of blowback and never contested the fact that it was a large causal factor in creating the Iran threat, most of the Iraq conflicts, and the September 11th attacks. It doesn't matter when or where the terrorism starts, the point is, as the evidence demonstrates, that U.S. interference in the Middle East increases "terrorism" and therefore increases asymmetric warfare, weighing against, along with the constant historical warfare the U.S. involved itself in, the claims of the Democratic Peace Theory. Finally, ask whether competing with China for world domination is worth the risk of another World War.



Debate Round No. 4
39 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Kinesis 4 years ago
Kinesis
Pfft, I had this bookmarked to look at later. Stupid voting time limits.
Posted by mark.marrocco 4 years ago
mark.marrocco
Well they didn't make it to this party in time for me apparently. lol
Posted by CiRrK 4 years ago
CiRrK
Actually, theres a bias towards nonintervention and US global withdrawal. The site's most active members are usually anarchist or libertarian
Posted by mark.marrocco 4 years ago
mark.marrocco
Yeah we both messed up and didn't catch the fact that the voting period was only 3 days, but thanks FT that would be greats anyways. Congrats, CiRrK, I don't think it was ever probable that I was going to win arguing against the U.S. lol
Posted by FourTrouble 4 years ago
FourTrouble
I don't think I'll have time to read through it and vote before the time is up, but I will definitely give you guys a post-voting time RFD when I have a chance to go through the debate.
Posted by mark.marrocco 4 years ago
mark.marrocco
Thanks Thett, now that was an RFD that explained itself. I personally think to avoid having *any* hegemony that can dominate the world at the expense of other nations we need a supranational organization to moderate. Like the U.N. but much better in every way. I didn't have much room to debate free trade anymore than I did, so I hoped my evidence would hold up. Frankly I don't know much about economics, besides the basic supply and demand dynamic.
Posted by CiRrK 4 years ago
CiRrK
Interesting analysis, thx Thett. I was actually going to have another alternative being apolarity if China did not enter the vacuum, but I didnt have room.
Posted by thett3 4 years ago
thett3
Con loses when he concedes free trade promotion. Pro shows how Free trade is good with olson (although it was much too short of an analysis), Con basically just says that free trade might not be good, but Pro gave specific (albeit underdeveloped) reasons as to why its good--so I'll prefer the analysis to the speculation.

Until then, the debate was pretty close. Con should have spent more time refuting the DPT..he makes a pretty good point that what qualifies as a democracy or as a war is subjective, but this isn't enough to negate the fact empirically observable fact that democracies *do* go to war with each other less often, but the real question is if democracy is the reason for that, or because of other factors like nuclear weapons, economic ties, ect ect. So democratic peace might be another reason to vote Pro, but not a really strong one. The China point was a big one and probably would have been my decision point if the free trade thing had not come up. The fact is, the US has such enormous power on the world stage that it's hard to even imagine the world without it, but the power vaccuum would be absolutely incredible. I actually *dont* buy that China would take over, Con brings up a good point about how they are far less advanced than the US. However, they are the most likely candidate to take over in the case of a US withdraw as the only country even remotely threatening to the US. There is a huge realm of possibilities as to what would happen with a US withdraw, the most likely in my opinion being multiple coalitions competing for power, but the only real alternative given was China. All the failings of the US con outlined in his case would only be exemplified by China.

Cons case basically argued against the resolution that the US was good, but the fact is when comparing US heg. to the alternatives, we have to take the lesser of two evils. The free trade impact along with the china alternative leads to a Pro win.

Good debate from both sides
Posted by mark.marrocco 4 years ago
mark.marrocco
Alright Roy, I see where you're coming from on the China contention, but would you care to elaborate on what "sweeping anti-U.S." claims I made without supporting them? I was under the impression I was as specific as I could've been while parrying off CiRrK's concession claims. I even had evidence to support most of them, so I thought.
Posted by Frederick53 4 years ago
Frederick53
Yes CiRrK, and it's my bad for forgetting about it. I'd gladly accept the debate now.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by thett3 4 years ago
thett3
CiRrKmark.marroccoTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Comments
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 4 years ago
RoyLatham
CiRrKmark.marroccoTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con did not support the sweeping anti-U.S. claims he made. Con depended upon China not claiming primacy quickly, but if the U.S. ceded primacy a the resolution implies should happen, they would rise quickly by default. Pro: don't use names, it's "Con" or "my opponent."
Vote Placed by acvavra 4 years ago
acvavra
CiRrKmark.marroccoTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro made arguments that Con didn't fully answer.