The Instigator
Pro (for)
7 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
14 Points

Vigilantism is justified when the government fails to enforce the law -- strictly LD

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/19/2009 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 8,844 times Debate No: 8354
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (17)
Votes (3)




sorry formating got screwed up a little.
I affirm. Resolved, vigilantism is justified when the government has failed to enforce the law.

Black's Law dictionary defines vigilantism: The act of a citizen who takes the law into his or her own hands by apprehending and punishing suspected criminals.

For clarity I observe that we must interpret the resolution as the government in a general breakdown because the words THE LAW in the resolution imply the general body of law and a government that has failed to enforce that large a segment of law must be in breakdown.

The value premise is justice as implied by the resolution.

The value criterion is maximizing government efficacy. This criterion means we are looking to who can best restore or improve government. This is links to justice because a government can effectively stop anarchy. Gregory Kavka explains the harms of an anarchy, "…[W]ithout…common power over them …[people] are in a state of war [...] Lacking a system of law enforcement, they cannot expect potential attackers to be effectively deterred by fear of counter-violence. …Nor can one expect potential attackers-whose altruism is…limited-to refrain from attack…Thus, each person…. must fear…others who may attack for…three reasons. First, glory seekers …attack simply because they enjoy conquest. Second, competitors may attack to remove…an obstacle to ….their desires. Third…even "moderate" people… may attack to remove one as a potential…threat" End quote. Anarchy has the greatest possible harms and I limit it through government efficacy.

My first contention is that fear of vigilantes gives the government incentive to enforce law. A government needs to quell vigilantism because it is a threat to the government's monopoly on force which is the basis of its power.

Daniel Nina affirms, "…normative concepts of community…impact on…the…elements of the state: that of its…sovereign functions to guarantee a[n]… order. The role of the state embodies the protection of its…monopoly on the use of violence. It is…the monopoly on the use of violence where vigilantism clashes with the sovereign powers of the state… Vigilantism appropriates state functions in a way that creates a parallel sovereign power…". Daniel Nina Published in African Security Review Vol 9 No 1, 2000 END QUOTE. Vigilantism constitutes a violation of the government monopoly on force, which is the ultimate incentive for a government to respond to vigilantism.

And Peter Sederberg and Jon Rosenbaum show how the governments will deal with vigilantism, quote "In order to stabilize a situation [with] vigilante…violence…a regime may address some of the underlying causes of the…challenges, in an attempt to mollify some of these latter groups without seriously threatening the established groups" Rosenbaum, H. John and Peter C Sederberg. "Vigilantism: An Analysis of Establishment Violence." Vigilante Politics. H. John Rosenbaum and Peter C. Sederberg, ed.. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1976 End quote.

In summary, vigilantism spurs government reform. This is because governments have a need to quell vigilantism as it violates the monopoly on force so they will stop it by addressing the underlying causes. In this case, actually prosecuting the criminals as vigilantes became vigilantes since the government was not prosecuting criminals.

Thus the impacts are twofold:

FIRSTLY: The government will be forced to prosecuting crimes again and become an effective sovereign.

SECONDLY: The initial complaint against the government, that they were not dealing with crime, is now solved so government regains obedience.

My second contention is that vigilantism stops corruption in government. These government corrupt officials are hard to prosecute because:
1) Officials like the president or governor have immunity from prosecution.

2) Government officials can get out of prosecution since they would have to be prosecuted by the government which they have influence in.

3) The people who would have to stop them are part of the government and wouldn't expose officials as corrupt since it would humiliate their establishment. Vigilantism solves for this inability to stop corrupt officials because vigilantes are not part of the government so they won't be influenced by the politics or be worried about embarrassment. The costs of the corruption vigilantism halts are twofold:

FIRSTLY: In today's world being known as corrupt ruins a countries reputation.

Ambassador Sue M. Cobb at the meeting of the American Chamber of Commerce spoke, "Once corruption is associated with a certain person, company, government, or country, it is difficult to shed the stigma. Think about this: Standard and Poor's gives investors a 50 to 100 percent chance of losing their entire investment within five years in countries with corruption. Would you invest in a company or a country that is rumored or known to be corrupt? Would you knowingly associate yourself with a person tainted by corruption? I would not and I suspect you would not."END QUOTE.

The stigma that being corrupt casts on a country stops it from ever having real international relation with other countries, so they can never get investments for public works, or get diplomatic recognition and allies which are necessary.

Secondly: Corruption plunges a country into poverty. Axel Dreher and Thomas Herzfeld write "…[M]ore than US$ 1 trillion is paid in bribes each year and that countries that tackle corruption…. could increase…income… by 400 percent…. Based on a sample on approximately 100 countries covering five different time periods… losses due to corruption…. been increasing in transition economies…[for example] Guinea-Bissau is the world's most corrupt country with a loss of almost 70 percent of its potential GDP." The Economic Costs of Corruption: A Survey and New Evidence Axel Dreher and Thomas Herzfeld June 2005

Corruption especially in countries that are in a bad state as in the resolution, decimate income leading to a country in poverty and decreasing the tax revenue the government desperately needs.
And an additional impact of poverty, impacting back to the utilitarian underpinnings of my vc is that poverty leads to massive death:
Kangas 1996
[Steve, outspoken political scientist, "Myth: Poor people and minorities are committing the most crime." online @]

Poverty also kills. The American Journal of Epidemiology reports that "a vast body of evidence has shown consistently that those in the lower classes have higher mortality, morbidity, and disability rates." (19) This is because the poor suffer more polluted, stressful and unsafe work and living environments; they have less preventative health care, less post-health care, less education about safety and health issues, less nutritious meals, less creature comforts like heating or air-conditioning, less recreational opportunities, less tools to ease their standard of living, less isolation from sick and infected people, and less contact with people who could direct them to solutions….

Some might object that America's poor are significantly richer than the poor of other countries. However, researchers have discovered that it is not only absolute poverty that kills, but relative poverty as well! Drs. Bruce Kennedy, Ichiro Kawachi and Deborah Prothrow-Stith conducted a study at the Harvard School of Public Health that found that the gap between the rich and the poor matters. "We found that mortality was strongly related to inequality in the distribution of income, but not to the median income or per capita income of a state," says Kennedy. (22) States with the most income inequality had higher death rates of heart disease, cancer, homicide, tuberculosis, pneumonia and high blood pressure."


I thank my opponent for bringing this topic to the floor. I will ask that, because of the character lengths allowed in each round, that my opponent allow me to use this round to post only my negative advocacy, and save all rebuttals for the other two rounds. There's not really a way for me to fit a carded LDV case and responses to his case in the same round. :)

Value: Human Rights. When we think of human rights, we default to the same general definition: life, liberty, and security (assuming we use rights established by the United Nations). These, however, are far more complex than 3 simple words. Not only is life guaranteed, but so is its quality. Liberty is certainly a highly intricate concept, and must be carefully established to protect all, without prejudice. And, security isn't just safety from immediate harm. Stability is also expected in a fair society. The negative will show that none of these things may ever be achieved or even maintained by the act of vigilantism.

Criterion: A Stabilized System of Justice. Though the negative case will advocate revolution as a way to end the reign of inept or corrupt governments, the negative's ultimate goal is to establish a stable, centralized, equitable judicial system. This, as the negative will prove, is the only way to maximize both justice and human rights, something the affirmative can never do.

Contention 1: Vigilantism simply entrenches the problems within a given state, and can never solve any of the problems that spawned its necessity.

Though vigilantism, like communism, has its foundations in noble intentions, rarely does it have the capacity to solve the problems within a state that keep that state from effectively enforcing its laws. In fact, in the following cost-benefit analysis, vigilantism clearly and irrevocably erodes justice, and in fact leads to more instability and rights violations.

A. Vigilantism leads to no systemic change within government. Vigilantism, no matter what definition we operate under, is not interested in anything more than a band-aid solution to governmental problems. If a state is failing to enforce its laws, there is clearly a reason for doing so, and an inept government is not always the cause. That is the worst of causes. Failure to enforce could stem from a lack of resources and support. In fact, in first world countries, the chances of non-enforcement being due to infrastructural or resource-based concerns is highly likely. Vigilantism throws this legitimate government into chaos, rather than simply fixing the root problem at hand. In states in which the government is unadulteratedly corrupt or inept, vigilantism is not only useless, but it is dangerous to all involved. The affirmative world refuses to examine the government, but simply prescribes what amounts to anarchical, despotic justice fueled by revenge and impatience.

B. Vigilante groups are more likely to violate human rights than procedurally established justice systems. Logically, the nature of an impromptu vigilante or vigilante group is highly volatile. Unlike a government-established system of justice, vigilante justice is motivated by revenge. Vigilantes have no way to establish checks or maximize objectivity within the judicial process. This is not to say that a government cannot be volatile or establish unjust laws. That is patently undefendable. However, it is clear that a group of vigilantes are far more likely to violate the rights of offenders, as they are human beings as well, because of their motivation and lack of infrastructure or legal authority.

C.Vigilante groups are susceptible to infighting and corruption. As seen in countries like Nigeria, vigilante groups do not arise in singles. Multiple groups per community form, and those groups are often polarized by ethnicity or religion. As has been seen countless times, because of the lack of organization and the penchant for blind revenge, will turn on each other. Higazi elaborates:

"There was a general shift or extension from vigilance against criminality to vigilance against attacks by opposing groups or militias defining themselves in religious or ethnic terms…Hence, vigilantism…appears not only to have increased but also to have been transformed."

In other words, not only does fighting between the factions occur, but the fighting then increases the number of vigilantes within a community. This quickly spreads out what used to be a state monopoly on violence and punishment, which immediately destabilizes a country. Furthermore, it allows the already corrupt state to eliminate any insurgency using its own vigilante mechanisms. Higazi continues:

"There is strong evidence that some elites in government and the military helped arm militias, and even after the violence ethnic and religious leaders continued to lobby for the political support of sectional interests, with divisive repercussions."

It is thus concluded that vigilantism does nothing more than entrench a corrupt and abusive government by eliminating competitive, sectional insurgency groups that would otherwise be able to unite and overthrow an oppressive regime.

D. The only solution to states with corrupt or inept justice systems is revolution. If we exclude first world, democratically-minded governments, which can most likely be aided by resource or infrastructural repair, rather than vigilantes, we come to governments that are most likely highly corrupt or inept. As has been evidenced above, insurgent or revolutionary groups would be entirely more successful in checking poor governments if vigilantism did not occur. Revolutions can only gain momentum through unity, and vigilantism only divides. Not only that, but vigilantism simply works within the existing system to seek justice; it does nothing to renovate or change the system itself, which is the foundation of the problem in the first place. Only violent revolution can destroy a nonfunctional system. Rosenfeld elaborates:

"Violent revolution effectively simplifies the work of justice by marking a sharp rupture between ancient and nouveau regime by providing a murky interim period fit for settling old accounts and dismantling old power structures that stand in the way of the new order…"


I do find it crucial to address the resolutional analysis at the top of the affirmative's case before closing out the round. On his "gov't breakdown" framework argument:

This analysis is clearly not a necessary assumption within the resolution. Take, for example, vigilantes within the United States. The self-proclaimed "minute-men" patrol the US-Mexico border, enforcing immigration regulations in the stead of the proper authorities, but the US government is clearly not in a state of chaos or breakdown. The affirmative is required to wholly affirm, and this must encompass multiple types of systems. No "large segment" is implied or stated. Don't allow the affirmative to conditionally affirm.

I will save my responses to the affirmative to the next round. Good luck to the aff!
Debate Round No. 1


OK so, I think that the round will break down into: 1st round AC, NC. 2nd round half AR? then the NR. And the third round 2nd half of ar+2ar which is fine since it's usually a short speech anyway and also I would ask my opponent in order to make it more LD-ish where aff goes last just to give a pretty short 2nr in the third round.

First as an overview to the standards I think we can both agree we impact back to a general utilitarian idea and if my opponent would agree I propose we abandon unnecessarily limiting values and VC and adopt maximizing the greatest good as a general standard and reserve specific weighing for voters. So when I address standards I will be attacking how the case impacts do not achieve utilitarianism.

On values. I believe it is ridiculous for us to be debating values at this point as it is undeniable that both justice and human rights are "bad" in addition justice protects human rights clearly and vice versa. But with this whole deal about other rights must be weighed also. I would say thats find as long as you conclude that life, if not the only right, clearly has more weight then the others. You can have no rights without life.

Onto the criterion.
1) Wheres the bright line? When can we characterize a system of justice as stable.
2) I don't see any warrant specifically for the VC, don't let her cross apply something later.
3) What kind of judicial system? What if this is in a country where the regular judicial system is to have wise-men sit in a council and say, "He did it"
4) If necessary I can link into it, or at least access the benefits of stopping anarchy as I show in my case.

Starting with A:

My opponent claims that there are other reasons for a government besides inept-ness. However the counter examples of it being due to lack of resources are equally reasons its a bad government. A government being not effective is un effective no matter the reason. Any government that is not helping its people cannot possibly be "legitimate".
And also my opponent claims I don't analyze the government before I turn to vigilantes, however:
1) The resolution does not allow us to know whether it is a 3rd world country or anything of the sort
2) My opponents counterplan (D) bites into every single harm of this 10 times the amount I do so you should throw it out for contradiction and if you think this point is valid then you would vote against her for destroying the government.

ALSO: TURN this point against the negative, Vigilante groups actually re-enforce failing governments. the police can absorb the vigilantes and receive their support and power. Vigilante groups and police forces have a pattern of merging,
Bruce Baker affirms, "The overall picture of non-state policing…is captured not…of…a straightforward loss from the public arena back to the private one, but of a…overlap… Examples of this inter- penetration abound. [Vigilante] groups…have been absorbed into the public police reservists…. There is an increasing exchange of information about the patterns of crime…anti-crime technology and…the disclosure of public criminal records to private police groups."

Vigilante groups merge with the government, and the impacts of this are that the government can gain the different kinds of support that all vigilante groups enjoy,
Jon rosenbaum and peter sederberg explain "The type, source, and extent of support received by a vigilante group are determinants of such an organization's…effectiveness. Vigilantes require material and psychological support, and the absence of one or both may result in dissolution. The source of support may either be internal or external. Internal support may consist of…leadership and comradery; external support may be provided…by the private sector, or by…extralegal organizations. Support may also be direct or indirect. Indirect support…may simply consist of ignoring the illegal activites…while direct support may include the provision[s], training, and funds."

So as we can gather from sederberg and rosenabum the government gains the 3 following advantages from the vigilantes:

FIRSTLY: The government receives the physiological support, that is, the support of the hearts and minds of the people. Vigilante groups all, in order to exist, have the support of the general populace and this support is transferred to the government allowing them to govern as a government of the people and be obeyed.

Secondly: The government gains the internal support in the vigilante group, which is the dedicated followers and the charismatic and capable leaders. This improves the government as they have those who are dedicated towards crime stopping with them and also leaders who are capable which would be in need in such a dire time.

Thirdly: The government gains the direct external support of the vigilante groups, such as money, arms, or any other physical help. These resources would be in dire need in a government that for example, doesn't have taxes since it's broken down.

1)This point is completely non-unique. There is NO procedure in the negative world as I will show later, and vigilantes are all we got.
2) There is no warrant for all vigilante groups having no checks, I don't see any examples of them being abusive. Don't let her give you warrants in the next speech. There is no reason why a vigilante group can't be organized like the sungusungu in Tanzania who efficiently patrolled the streets and gave people trials.
3) "a group of vigilantes are far more likely to violate the rights of offenders, as they are human beings as well", so apparently theres a justice system run by non humans then?
4) The vigilantes will always be protecting more human rights as at least they are taking SOME action to try and stop crime.
1) Eventually some vigilante group would win out.
2) Without the vigilantes, you would simply have gang wars instead! The harms are non unique
3) TURN IT: Vigilantism solves for corruption, crossapply the corruption contention in the AC.
4) This is simply not true, vigilante groups enforce dominant social values so will do things similarly her cards are about one single situation which is not typical, William C. Culbertson writes "Vigilantism, like conflict and politics, is a constant social struggle to contain victimization. Vigilantism is a part of politics because it is a desire to maintain an established social and legal tradition and at the same time a desire to bring about a prelegal condition for a new order...Vigilantism is a breaking of the existing law to serve the future for the law; it is a disintegration of a lawless, victimizing, in egalitarian social set for its reintegration to include more or broader social values.... in many instances it has been... acting to create or enforce dominant social values and norms so as to make them into law"
1)My opponent advocates violent revolution however, in many case vigilantes ARE the revolutionaries. There is no mutual exclusivity
2) The new government set up by violent revolution could be worse than the old one and vigilantes combine! Throw out this point as
A) Governments made by violent revolutions have a pattern of being abusive dictatorships
B) We cannot weigh something when we don't know what it's result is.
3) This relies on C as my opponent said so if I defeat C I defeat the counter plan.
4) This bites into every harm in A.

1) This is not conditional my benefits clearly do not rely on my winning this point.
2) Lets be fair, honestly do you think that the resolution writers wanted the aff to support killing someone who littered? It's only fair that we debate this on an even level.
3) She dropped the analysis that THE LAW means the general body of law and and if a government is not enforcing the general body of law, not just immigration, it's likely in a breakdown
4) Come on, it's impossible to be 100% affirming


V: You will prefer human rights protection because my opponent doesn't define justice. If justice is to be defined by vigilantes or victims only, this can lead to clear and highly unjust abuses of those accused of crimes.

1. My opponent's criterion assumes we can ignore all stable nations who still have vigilantes. We can't.
2. We cannot assume that all government efficiency is good. Hitler's Nazi regime was very efficient, but clearly not justified.
Nina Card:
Here's what else Nina says in that same paragraph:
"The role of the state embodies the protection of its citizens, the guarantee of a constitutional order, the adherence to the rule of law, and a monopoly on the use of violence."
A government, when challenged by vigilantes, will respond by attempting to reclaim its authority, which is not the same as changing enforcement. In a democratic state, that will be characterized by government necessarily combating vigilantes who present a clear threat to constitutional order and adherence to the rule of law. In a corrupt government, the harms of my case will become apparent, and vigilante groups will actually be used to entrench the abusive state.
Nina continues:
"Problems of crime and the transformation of an ‘imagined' or ‘real' social order are not solved through the adoption of vigilante activities. Moreover, vigilante activities associated with a political motive, should not be permitted in today's democratic society."

There's no warrant to guarantee that a nation's actions to regain its monopoly on violence will always lead to better enforcement.
Also, use this Rosenbaum/Sederberg quotation, from my opponent's same source, in which the authors distinguish revolution from vigilantism:
"Although the prevailing concern with revolution is understandable, it obscures a second form of violence—that is designed to maintain the established sociopolitical order."
Vigilantism is not intended to incite government change, and as I have proven, it cannot succeed in doing so.

C2. Vigilantism stops corruption in government.
1. If my opponent cannot produce systemic change, he cannot claim any impacts out of his 2.
2. Cross apply Higazi. Vigilantism will keep corrupt governments in power due to their inability to change the status quo. They specifically work inside of the status quo, and can be manipulated by it due to their inability to unify as discussed in the negative advocacy.
3. All poverty impacts flow to the negative after a successful revolution replaces corrupt or inept governments. If we are looking to long-term solvency, revolution will be preferable to vigilantism because of the systemic change factor.
4. Governments that are failing to enforce some laws, but that are not on the brink of revolution, like the US, show that poverty and lack of enforcement are mutually exclusive. My opponent can only claim poverty benefits in cases where the government is clearly illegitimate, and I've already addressed this.

1. Cross apply my analysis on the standards debate at the top of the aff. Without knowing what justice is, the affirmative may be supporting victim-centric justice, which will not protect the human rights of the accused.
2. I don't have to conclude that any right within my rights structure is paramount over another. All basic rights are paramount. While a dead person cannot enjoy rights, a person without rights usually would prefer to be dead. "Give me liberty or give me death."

1. As I stated in the description of the criterion, it is "equitable and centralized." This analysis is further made in my case, when I state that vigilantes will inevitably abuse the rights afforded to the accused, hence violating their human rights and delving out revenge-based justice and unproportional punishment. The brightline is built into the advocacy.
2. One need not card every single sentence. I'm also not sure what my opponent needs a warrant for. If we had CX, I'd ask for clarification.
3. A justice system concerned with equity will, by definition, be able to maximize human rights.
4. With the assumption that he can stop anarchy. See my responses to his case. He can't link to equity because vigilantes can't achieve as much proportional punishment.


A. My opponent misses the point here. He is claiming that the US government is just as ineffective as apartheid South Africa, which is ridiculous.
He asserts that my sub-D bites the harms outlined in my sub-A, but no warrants here at all. He never bothers to explain to you how a revolution cannot lead to a stabilized after-government, when empirically it can.
On the turn:
1. The moment they are absorbed by the state, they are no longer vigilantes.
2. This card has limited its scope to only governments that are failing in the extreme to enforce the laws. My opponent can't win this if he loses the observation debate. He does not take into account vigilante actions in any first world country, or any other continent than Africa.
3. If the government is to enforce its laws that much, then throwing more untrained law enforcement at a systemic crime problem cannot fix the system itself.
4. The most corrupt governments are likely to use vigilantes to quell actual dissent or regime change, hence reaffirming a government that is abusing the rights of its citizens. Cross apply Higazi.

1. Non-uniqueness only works if we restrict the debate to extreme cases.
2. So my opponent can give examples of peaceful vigilantes in RD 2, but I can't give examples of despotic vigilantes in RD 2? I'll follow my opponent's lead anyway: Rwanda, Nigeria, South Africa, the US, the UK, Germany, Italy, Guatemala, etc.
More than that: I have logical warrants which mean nothing to my opponent. Vigilantism is individual justice; it is the victim trying the criminal, rather than an objective, third party institution. It doesn't take much to tell us that vigilantes are closer to the crime than a jury or magistrate. Hence, the psychological response will be one of revenge, brought on by the crime.
3. Wow...take the sub as a whole. Human beings are fallible. The reason we have state-sanctioned justice is to preserve to the highest possible extend equity. The closer the victim is to the enforcement and punishment, the more bias is inherent in the process, and the more human rights will be violated.
4. Again, this is only applicable if we over-limit the debate.

1. No warrant for this at all above the scenario presented in the sub and Higazi.
2. The harms are only non-unique if you restrict the debate to chaos vs. vigilantism.
3. No turn if I take out corruption on the AC. See the aff flow.
4. "Enforcing dominant social values" doesn't imply any sort of good, nor does it eliminate vigilante competition. This doesn't answer the sub.

1. Vigilantism is clearly mutually exclusive. See his own source.
2. Note that revolution, even if it leads to a worse government, is still more solvency than vigilantism. However, I would not agree that violent revolution more often leads to worse governments than better governments. First world revolutions have been more successful, but that's probably because we haven't had to deal with colonialism. Bottom line: still more solvency that vigilantism.

Observation Debate:
2) Agreed. We need to debate it on all available, generalized levels. Hence, you have to debate vigilantism manifested in governments that aren't totally broken, like first world nations. They all have vigilantes.
3) My analysis was clear. I don't have to refute every sentence of your analysis to refute it effectively. Your "body of law" argument is refuted in that the entire body of law doesn't hav
Debate Round No. 2


First on the observation:
My opponent tries to skate the issue. The fact is that THE LAW implies the general body of law that was simply not refuted. And if the general body of law has collapsed then there is no other realistic situation besides a helpless government. Honestly give me one place where the entire body of laws are not being enforced that has a good government. And in either case I think corruption still is pretty bad.
Starting on values:
1) I accept that human rights is the value and the Kavka card on anarchy, which goes unrefuted, shows how I link and I will show later.
2) My opponent claims that a person without rights would like to be dead. However I never said life>all rights combined, I just meant give it MORE weight than each individual right as it is clearly the most important.
Onto the VC debate:
First off extend my offense at the top of my attack the negative side that says we should just use a general utilitarian principle instead of being overly limiting.
This means that as both of our cases are essentially designed at limiting anarchy we look to that instead, as I extended the kavka evidence that says anarchy is the worst possible occurence. So kick the negative VC I will show how my contentions better prevents anarchy then her case. This whole standards debate is kinda ridiculous at the point we are both trying to stop the same thing.

on the nina card:
My opponent says that a government will fight back. However thats not responsive to Nina all we get at that point is that the government will respond. Rosenbaum/sederberg is where it plays out. On this point she ignores sederberg and rosenbaum who have both done an intensive study on vigilantism and concluded that they will try and stop it through crime control. Think logically, it's easier for the government to address the underlying causes then deal with an angry vigilante group.
Oh and what sederberg/rosenbaum mean by vigilantism wanting the old order is the vigilantes want it to be like BEFORE the government wasn't doing its job. They want to go back to a non corrupt government. Also just because they don't intend to doesn't mean it won't happen.
She dropped the impacts which show the vigilantism is by necessary a temporary phenomona that goes away once it's wrought change.
1) I don't see a warrant for how vigilantism can't produce systemic change.
2) Ill deal with crossapplication on negative side
3) This is illogical. Chairman Mao in China had a revolt then plunged his country into poverty. Why would a new government stop poverty?
4) My opponent misses the point of this contention so I'm just gonna make into a voter now and tell the "story of it"
So lets take a look here, SO VOTER:
My first point is that vigilantism stops corruption, and that outside of vigilantes stopping it, no one else can. The fact that they are what is outside of the government gives them the ability to stop this corruption. The government isn't getting the job done.
So lets look at the costs of the corruption which I just showed they stopped:
1) We destroy the countries international reputation, a government can't get loans for public works and out soft power is destroyed!
2) As Dreher and Herzfeld talked about if we combat corruption we could increase our GDP by FOUR HUNDRED percent. On the other side corruption can lose us up to SEVENTY percent of our GDP.
More than that Povery kills. Steve Kangas before outline the myriad harms to those in poverty, and we have to weigh that against the somewhat suspect offense of my opponent most of which rests on her winning this one observation.
Oh and just a reminder, this point does not rely on me wining the observation, corruption happens everywhere. But I'll go ahead and win that anyway,
So there is the first easy place to vote for me, I have the ability to combat poverty which is one of the greatest harms today and then weigh that against the short term harms of vigilantism.

Onto the negative side.

Ok first this issue I brought up about how D contradicted A. The fact is that she claims that "vigilantism throws this legitimate government into chaos", however my point was that a rebelling against this "legitimate" government probably would do a lot more to disrupt it especially if there is infighting. Also extend the response that we don't know enough about the government for you to demand that I analyze the very specifics beyond the fact that its dysfunctional. Extend it and this point falls. My opponent should of warranted the claim of this contention if she wanted the claim to be responded to.
1) Once the vigilantes are absorbed by the state they are no longer vigilantes, yes thats true. However what I'm saying is that eventually vigilantes lead to vigilantes merging, it's an effect of the current vigilantes I'm not saying that their vigilantes then. There is a distinction.
2) It's just an example, and as I don't see you providing any response to the logic extend it as true. Also one example>No examples on this point.
3) The point is not just the people join. Let me explain THIS WILL BE A VOTER BY THE WAY. Basically what I'm saying is that vigilante groups and the police force have a pattern of merging, or at least the only empirics we have on this subject suggest that.
The next point is the sederberg and rosenbaum card. She completely did not respond to it. AND the three advantages of this:
1) Vigilante groups are by necessity popular, she did not respond to this in her last speech don't let her go new in the 2... or 3 in this case haha, and so the government now gains the obedience and love of the people.
2) We get the capable leaders, I.E. people who command loyalty, what government wouldn't need those?
3) We gain the direct resources of the vigilante groups which will be in dire need when a government is in trouble.
So for those three advantages there is another easy place to vote affirmative as this also takes out the point and outweighs on magnitude since it restores government and probability because of the empirics.
B) 1) Not extreme cases just realistic ones, I win the observation as I said before so this is a reason to ignore this point.
2) sorry haha round numbers messed up in my head. Still examples consist of more than reeling off countries names or I would be shouting, "SLAVINIA" or some random country right now.
3) AGAIN, and crossapply this from before as it was dropped. How do we presume this country has a formal legal system.
In general my opponent has no solvency for any of these harms unless she wins the counterplan and even then...

1) My point is that is is highly probable that a vigilante group would win in the end.
2) Framers intent, honestly did they want the aff to defend, vigilantism Vs. Law?

point 4) My opponent misunderstands this. What this card says is that vigilantism follows what society normally does, thus there is non of this conflict my opponent talks about they all enforce one idea of law. This answers the subpoint as it shows that the vigilantes WILL NOT conflict. Don't let her respond to this in her next speech as she dropped this in her last one.
D) 2) This counterplan has in now way more solvency then vigilantism. I outline in explicit detail how vigilantism solves and why. She just says, REVOLT. There is no solvency in that
3) This point is gone as she dropped the point that said we can't debate a point that's this nebulous, as then I can't run a disad or just say why its bad in depth, so dont let her bring it up again.
SO without the CP she has no solvency and even with it I showed how I outweigh. Look over this debate, and see who is winning the arguments with the big impacts.
My opponent is going to make a huge deal about the observation in her next speech. I clearly showed you I won that. Death of millions and long term solvency V. REVOLT. Do the math. Thanks for the fun!



V: I never accepted anarchy, and I never conceded Kavka. Kavka says "anarchy bad." Well, sure anarchy is bad. I argued that not all governments failing to enforce the law will immediately default to anarchy. Kavka is just a bunch of impacts that the aff can't access if we don't buy his framework.

C: The right to life clearly isn't the most important. Historical struggle for human rights is generally characterized by people who find quality of life to outweigh life itself. That was the purpose of quoting Patrick Henry. I can be physically alive, but in such torturous agony without liberty, security, etc. that being alive is no longer paramount. That's what I'm getting at. Besides, government efficacy doesn't link to the right to life, which is the more important reason to vote neg. Efficacy can lead to more human rights abuses, because government efficiency does not guarantee rights protection. The stability of the government's justice system, and its ability to protect equity, does. This is cold dropped by my opponent.
#1: Observation debate.

Can't skate an issue I already covered. Body of law doesn't independently tell you why you should prefer his abusive framework. Body of law is inherently argued within my analysis, since you can still have laws going unenforced without the body of law being entirely compromised. Examples abound. I've listed quite a few of them, the US and minute men being one of them. My opponent asked for a single place. There you have it. I take the observation debate, which is devastating to most of the affirmative advocacy. If you believe that my opponent should have to argue against general vigilantism, and not just his choice of completely screwed over countries, then you will most likely vote negative, since anarchy can't carry through. His examples proving anarchy also become bogus, so a lot of the affirmative advocacy just sort of goes away, as well as quite a few arguments he made on my side of the flow.

#2: Vigilantes cannot promote governmental change.

I don't say that the government will fight back. I say that the government will try to reclaim its monopoly on justice, which is not the same as the government reverting to enforcement or improving enforcement. My opponent essentially put words into Nina's mouth. Not only that, but Nina's article that he cites is, in fact, opposed diametrically to vigilante justice. Nina says it can't work, and shouldn't exist. That's important. As for Rosenbaum & Sederberg, that quotation comes directly from their introduction, and is meant to clearly distinguish their article as a vigilante paper, not a revolutionary paper. The point is still the same: vigilantes and revolutionaries are two different things. One is meant to systemically change the government, while the other is meant to maintain the existing order. However, even if you don't buy some of the arguments I've made on the aff flow, look to the neg. In the truly corrupt governments that my opponent's case revolves around, vigilantes can't change the status quo, anyway. They are subject to ideological infighting, as theories of justice will collide without a central, mediating force to oversee them, and corrupt governments will use vigilantes to crush any sort of forward movement against them. That's what corrupt governments do—stay in illegitimate power. Extend all of Higazi, which clearly explains the corruption story.

Quick side note: I didn't drop anything on the vigilantes not conflicting argument. I addressed the tag that my opponent assigned to his own card, but did read the card before responding. This card doesn't say that vigilantes won't conflict. It says that they strive to do certain things, like minimize victimization. The ideological struggles still exist, since "dominant social norms" isn't finite. Like, even if something is approved by the majority, that approval is skewed and flawed, as could be the norm itself.

#3: Revolution.
A. So, apparently, I misled my opponent somewhere in the debate to think that my D applied to legitimate governments. Allow me to repeat the tag of the contention to clarify:

"The only solution to states with *corrupt* or *inept* justice systems is revolution."

I hope that clears up the turn/contradiction. I never said that a legitimate state needs revolution. Clearly, they don't.

As for more on the observation, I did respond to the claim that we don't know what type of government we are dealing with. Clearly, the affirmative seems to think we are only dealing with an extremely corrupt government, since his case flows entirely through anarchy and dysfunction. He shot himself in the foot here: if we don't know what type of government we are supposed to be arguing about, then his case should equally apply to first world nations that have vigilantes, as it has to apply to ALL governments which exhibit vigilantism. That's another reason to vote on the framework. He can't access anarchy for all governments that exhibit vigilantism.

B. On revolution solving: my analysis on solvency was dropped, since my opponent merely characterized all of my analysis as me shouting: REVOLT! Not quite…in answer to his detailed non-solvency claims, I stated the following: revolution does solve more than vigilantism can for the simple reason that vigilantism doesn't cause change. In fact, it deters change, especially in the areas that need it most, like corrupt governments. As for the "nebulous" argument, word count limited me to answering it in the best way available, which was to answer it in combination with revolutions ending in worse governments. Any savvy reader will agree that saying "we don't know the outcome of revolution" and "the outcome of revolution could be bad" as essentially the same argument. In response, I said two things. First, I said that a worse government is still better than the harms associated with vigilantism. IE- we can always revolt again, because it will produce change. Second, I said that I fundamentally disagreed with the concept that most revolutions end badly. Poor governments are instilled for myriad reasons, which my analysis was meant to show. This was never addressed. You can't categorically blame revolution for bad governments, as history shows. If you could, then you'd have a hard time explaining why they worked for so many first world nations.

#4: Vigilante groups routinely violate human rights.
I seem to have upset my opponent by reeling off country names in RD 2 as examples of vigilantes who thoroughly abused human rights. Given my limited character space and the spreadage, I would have assumed it understandable, but luckily I can expound on examples in a rebuttal. I won't take up too much of your time, suffice to say that all of the examples I listed are of countries that were consumed by illegitimate vigilante justice, all of which ended the lives of thousands or hundreds of thousands of people illegitimately. I wasn't aware that Slavinia was a vigilantism hot spot, but I'll look into it. As for assuming a state has a formal justice system, the point of the round is to end up with one—that's why we're debating. The negative world is far more likely to do so, considering the fact that vigilantes can't achieve equitable justice. I advocate systemic change (I'm sure you can say it with me by now, readers) through minor adjustments in legitimate states which work within the established system (rather than a highly biased individual taking the law into his or her own hands) or via revolution in corrupt states. If a legitimate state's justice system just needs a little tweaking, like 20 more trained INS patrolmen on the border, that can be fixed without vigilantes shooting rifles at Mexican immigrants. If an illegitimate state's "justice system" needs an entire overhaul, revolution is the best solution.

Good stuff! Thanks to falafel & vote neg!
Debate Round No. 3
17 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by alto2osu 8 years ago
Ha ha ha to the Batman comment :D
Posted by Charlie_Danger 8 years ago
Why does every Pro debater for this LD topic have a batman logo? Oh, wait...
Posted by Tiya 8 years ago
I think what would have limited some of these arguments is that all countries fail to enforce the law. Poor ones, rich ones, corrupt ones, non-corrupt ones ...they all fail to enforce the law at one point. Failing to enforce the law does not signal a corrupt government or even a govermental system that needs changing and thus if you affirm "Vigilantism is justified when the government fails to enforce the law" you are affirming in every situation. Even when a government completely does their job the majority of the time.
Posted by alto2osu 8 years ago
Well, in CX I can buy that. LD should spread less just by virtue of its purpose and format :)
Posted by falafel 8 years ago
you're right I guess haha.
But you could always view it as an experience in word economy like an AR for when some person decides to say, "roadmap: nc, 4 off, overview which you can flow at the bottom of the NC, overview you can flow at the top, T, T-shell on the third observation, and then AC solvency". True story also.
Posted by alto2osu 8 years ago
Meh- it's a word count issue :) It's always nice to have like 5 rounds on these, though. It seems like overkill, but it can save both sides in the long run.
Posted by falafel 8 years ago
yeah sorry about that whole thing, I didn't really realize how it was going to workout with word limits and round number.
Posted by alto2osu 8 years ago
Note to all, including opponent: RD 2 is necessarily sparse as I was essentially spread by the infernal character limit, and I was responsible for covering both cases, where my opponent only had to address mine.

I hate character limits. Blast them! :D
Posted by alto2osu 8 years ago
Valuing life isn't necessary to win the round on either side. Not only that, but my value structure inherently values life. Mine outweighs for two reasons:

A) The right to life is more than inherent in human rights structures. Pretty sure I list it in my value analysis.

B) Human rights outweighs straight life. [insert way too many examples to detail of people who have given their lives to protect their own rights, other people's rights, a societies rights, or just the idea of rights]

Give me liberty or give me death, dude.
Posted by Justinisthecrazy 8 years ago
fail you should value life
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
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