The Instigator
LDer
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Mickeyrocks
Con (against)
Winning
7 Points

Vigilantism is justified when the government has failed to enforce the law.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Mickeyrocks
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/17/2009 Category: Society
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,908 times Debate No: 7436
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (1)

 

LDer

Pro

[Hi everyone. I would like to debate this case LD style]
[Please don't accept if you're not serious about debating the topic]

I affirm the resolution: Vigilantism is justified when the government has failed to enforce the law.
For clarity in the round, I offer the following definitions:
Vigilantism: The act of a citizen who takes the law into his or her own hands by apprehending and punishing suspected criminals.
Justified: to show to have had a sufficient legal reason.
Government: the body of persons that constitutes the governing authority of a political unit or organization.
Failed: to be or become absent or inadequate.
Enforce: to carry out effectively.
The Law: a rule of conduct or action prescribed or formally recognized as binding or enforced by a controlling authority

My Value Premise for the round will be Respect for Social Order, which I define through a contractual obligation agreed upon by citizens when they enter a society (John Locke's social contract theory). I will achieve my value premise through my Criterion, which will be Respecting Human Dignity in the face of injustice.
If we respect the inherent value of all human beings, we are in essence, reducing chaos and rooting order in society. If respect for human dignity exists, there will automatically be a much greater chance of creating social order. The first objective of any efficient government is to remain in power. This status quo is held by keeping social order. Therefore we should look to my value in this debate.

For further clarity in the round, I offer the following observations:
1.I interpret the resolution as a government which is still operating and functioning well in the majority of its duties. The government has failed to perform its duty of keeping the law in an almost negligible part. This is where vigilantism steps in to defend social order.
2.Because there is no mention of an existing government in the resolution, the resolution is not real world specific, and because we are working in the LD vacuum, we must automatically consider all examples presented by either side of the debate. However, we must look to the debater that reaches a more tangible value premise and criterion.
3.We cannot look solely to theory in this debate, when the theory becomes abusive to either side of the opposition. Every case is supposed to be written in Claim-Warrant-Impact format. When a case lacks the impact (why the argument matters in contrast with the resolution) it not only has a fundamental case structure flaw, but also becomes limited in the amount of rebuttals that are possible to make against the case. Also the subjectivity of the case increases because a theory can't be proven and the lack of evidence increase variable interpretation.
4.The affirmative is not justifying vigilantism as an absolute method by which a society should operate, only as an option when the government cannot rectify or detect injustices.

Contention 1: Vigilantism defends people's natural rights.
People naturally have rights that can't be taken from them. This is part of the reason we join society. In some cases, a government can't fulfill its role as a protectorate, such as domestic abuse, self defense or rape, vigilantism is the only way to resolve the situation. Vigilantism provides a way for victims to defend their natural rights. In a society where individuals do not have the right for self defense, vigilantism proves effective. Vigilantism makes the protection of oneself justified. This is not a new concept. Societies like the United States justify vigilantism in cases of self-defense because the government would have acted in the same way as the vigilante. By empowering vigilantism, we empower the voiceless and rectify injustices instantly without causing a secondary victimization to those who suffered in the course of the original crime. Secondary victimization is the cost that is incurred onto the victim of a crime, such as rape, and the process by which a victim has to work along with the authorities to legally deal with the situation. Secondary Victimization includes being asked to repeat traumatic testimony of the experience of being raped over and over again under strict scrutiny to fill out a deposition. The victim is then asked to prolonged a remedy to the situation because they are wrapped up in legal semantics, like court clogs and delayed adjunction on the culprit. Additionally, during the trial, the victim has to retell the trauma a 3rd time in front of a jury and an audience of strangers, followed by getting picked apart for inconsistencies and the destroying of their personal character from the defendant's attorneys. Vigilantism aims to bypass this traumatization almost completely by making the severity of the crime committed more apparent to the society and speeds the entire process of justification. This reduces most of the trauma induced unnecessarily by the court system.
http://www.musc.edu...

Contention 2: As history has proven, vigilantism is the only way to bring about attention to unjust laws or to the failure of enforcing laws already established.
The very nature of politics forces parties to make laws they know they cannot or will not enforce. In all forms of government, the sovereign must appease citizens in order to give appearance of appeasement.
In the case of the Rosewood lynching, the governor of Florida watched blacks getting lynched by white mobs. He did not enforce the active anti-lynching laws because he needed to appease the aggressive mobs. It was only after the survivors of the genocide attacked neighboring towns did people discover the existence of such events. Vigilantism provides a way for people, mainly minorities, to affect the government. Because of the vigilantism present in Rosewood during 1923, enforcement of anti-lynching laws effectively began. This is an effective example of vigilantisms ability to affect the government's judicial system. Vigilantism is the only way for the voiceless to rectify injustices and bring about change in the government. When a minority depends on vigilantism to rectify injustices, their actions are justified by the actions taken to avoid further violation of their rights.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

[Thanks for debating, good luck to my opponent]
Mickeyrocks

Con

There isn't much space here, so while it's LD format the NC is JUST going to be constructive, otherwise I don't have enough space to adequately refute. Instead, I'll just address your observations. In my rebuttal I won't address your attacks either, so it's fair. Basically:

R1 = Constructive
R2 = Rebuttal
R3 = Summary

I hope that's alright with you, because I'm not refuting anything here.

I negate, "Resolved: Vigilantism is justified when the government has failed to enforce the law."

The Value is Societal Progression. Essentially, evolution of human values, political and economic structure, and human thought on a societal scale. This is the ultimate value in the round as it solves for two main problems:
1)Insofar as each step forward society makes is a step towards morality, justice, etc. if society does not progress then one can only uphold these notions as best they can within a faulty system.
2) If the hypothetical state cannot progress then one assumes the failure to enforce the law will still actively occur and will not be changed. The resolution requires a change of the status quo for any impacts to be weighed; otherwise they are moot as the harms deriving from the current system are repeated indefinitely.

The Value Criterion is Social Revolution. Social revolution is necessary for society to progress. Modern capitalism and democracy is a direct result of revolution across the world. I maintain all social progress, especially en masse progress (i.e. structural shifts as outlined in the value) is a direct or indirect result of some form of revolution, be it an intellectual or physical one. In the words of Emma Goldman, "No real social change has ever been brought about without a revolution - Revolution is but thought carried into action" The criterion stands unless the affirmative can prove that society can progress without some revolutionary action.

Contention One: Vigilantism stifles revolution through punishment

A.Crimes are inherently political
Warrant: Crimes are actions that reject the current legal structure of the state. All actions that are political crimes (treason, assassination) are obviously political, but even crimes that are undertaken for other motives are still inherently political. Crimes are a rejection of the current political structure, they feel the law should not apply in said circumstance and so criminals commit a crime because they do not respect the legitimacy of that law. Rejection of law and actions that derive from that are political revolutions in and of themselves as they act to destroy the efficacy of the current system.

Link: Vigilantes punish criminals.

Impacts:
1) vigilantes punish political criminals, thus direct stifling of social revolution.
2) Vigilantes punish criminals whose actions are inherently political revolutions, thus stifling a larger social revolution.

B.Political revolutions require some form of government inadequacy

Warrant: Political motions do not succeed unless there is some failure by current political structure. Movements like the civil rights movement cannot succeed unless the government fails to stop them; insofar as black oppression would never have been brought to the public eye if every sit-in and peace rally had been dispersed instantaneously, rather political movements that partially succeed bring their revolution to the public, and thus can be enacted adequately. Fully efficient punishment allows no revolutionary say from the subjects of a state and they will never achieve anything.

Link: Vigilantism strengthens the efficacy of the government by punishing those the government cannot.

Impact: Political revolutions cannot be effectively undertaken when vigilante actions occur, as vigilantism stifles motions that require some failure to occur. If political revolutions cannot occur then social revolution cannot occur.

Contention Two: The Status Quo does not allow for revolution

Warrant: The Status Quo and revolution are incompatible by definition. The warrant is clear; the status quo is what is, the way things work now and revolution is the redefinition of the way things work. Essentially, the status quo is the beginning. The revolution melts down the status quo, eliminates it, and then establishes a new status quo. An action (in this case, revolution) that eliminates a structure cannot occur simultaneously with the existence of that which it destroys. A vacuum eliminates air, after a bag has been vacuum sealed it no longer contains air; to argue that the status quo and revolution are compatible is to argue that after vacuum sealing a bag that bag is still full of air.

Link: Vigilantism promotes the status quo by strengthening the current system. Through strengthening the law, we automatically strengthen the organization that develops that law, and reaffirm the legitimacy of that organization's existence. Thus, vigilantism, by punishing criminals and carrying out the law, promotes the legitimacy of that law and thus the status quo.

Impact: Vigilantism, through promoting the status quo, eliminates any revolution. It reaffirms a system incompatible with change, and at that point social revolution cannot occur. Through affirmation of the current structure vigilantism by its very nature does not allow for revolution to occur.

AS FOR THE AFFIRMATIVE OBSERVATIONS

====
OBSERVATIONS
====

1. No, that's abusive, you can't say it's "negligible" and "functions well mostly". The resolution only tells you they failed, go off that, don't make stuff up.
2. Agreed.
3. Agreed.
4. Agreed.
Debate Round No. 1
LDer

Pro

Thank You for accepting the debate. Hope to see some good rebuttals in the future rounds.

From my opponents Case: "The Value is Societal Progression. Essentially, evolution of human values, political and economic structure, and human thought on a societal scale. This is the ultimate value in the round as it solves for two main problems:
1)Insofar as each step forward society makes is a step towards morality, justice, etc. if society does not progress then one can only uphold these notions as best they can within a faulty system.
2) If the hypothetical state cannot progress then one assumes the failure to enforce the law will still actively occur and will not be changed. "

My Response: My opponent's value is abusive, because it is not a value; it is a fact. According to LD rules, the value premise must be an idea that can be achieved though reasoning. If a value is a fact, then it can't be achieved, since it has been achieved from the moment it became one. If change has always been there and will always be there, how can we not agree on its tangibility?

"The only constant is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be."
— Isaac Asimov

From my opponents Case: "The Value Criterion is Social Revolution.
The criterion stands unless the affirmative can prove that society can progress without some revolutionary action."

My Response: My opponent doesn't provide us with a definition for revolution. Because of the subjectivity of this noun, I must provide one in sake of fairness.

"Fundamental change in political organization; especially: the overthrow or renunciation of one government or ruler and the substitution of another by the governed" (Merriam Webster)

My opponent doesn't account for events such as 9/11, the assassination of Martin Luther King, etc., that fundamentally changed our society without overthrowing the government. How can you argue that the aforementioned events did not change our society without overthrowing the government? How could the increased importance of security and such events as the re-interpretation of Geneva Convention 4(A)2 not be regarded as change? Did these actions overthrough the government? With the limitations set by my opponent, I carried out my burden and we can no longer look to my opponent's Criterion.

After my opponent's Value and Criterion, her entire case is based on the following two points:
1. We, as humans, have an obligation to further change in the world.
If my opponent fails to answer the following questions her entire case is invalid:
Why shouldn't we let the inherent nature of change take its place and run free without further human aid?
If change is always going to occur, why do we have to make change perpetuate?
How are we going to make change perpetuate?

From my opponents Case: "2. Vigilantism deters change."
My Response: What my opponent fails to acknowledge is that vigilantism, by its very nature is change. Vigilantism will only occur as a result of government failure. The fact that vigilantism is trying to fill the gap left by government inefficiency is change from pre-existing government protocol.

From my opponents Case: "Contention One: Vigilantism stifles revolution through punishment.
A. Crimes are inherently political. "
My Response: This entire sub point is so indirect that it should be considered invalid unless my opponent gives tangible evidence to support it. How can we consider all crimes to have political motivations? The entire argument, if held true, is abusive, because of its indirect nature.

From my opponents Case: "B.Political revolutions require some form of government inadequacy"
My Response: My opponent doesn't account for the fact that vigilantism requires some form of government inadequacy to exist. Vigilantism will only occur if a government fails at one or more of its duties. Vigilantism works to fill this gap until the government can take care of the situation. Until further evidence is presented, we must presume this point false.

From my opponents Case: "Link: Vigilantism strengthens the efficacy of the government by punishing those the government cannot."

Why is it bad if vigilantism will solve the problem experienced by the society by strengthening the efficiency of the government?

From my opponents Case: "Contention Two: The Status Quo does not allow for revolution."
My Response: Again, my opponent does not account that vigilantism is, in essence, change. The original Status Quo is the failing government. This Status Quo is changed by vigilantism which steps in to try to correct injustices and fill the government's responsibilities.

From my opponents Case: "AFF OBSERVATIONS
1. No, that's abusive, you can't say it's "negligible" and "functions well mostly". The resolution only tells you they failed, go off that, don't make stuff up."
My Response: That is my personal interpretation, which my case is built on. It is abusive only if it is forced upon my opponent. However, my opponent has the liberty to post his or her version; in which case we can debate on the more appropriate interpretation. If, however, my opponent fails to post his or her elucidation, my analysis will stand as the valid one, which we must abide by for the rest of the debate.

You have a good case, which stands a chance at local tournaments, but at higher level tournaments, it is going to be picked apart because it is based on the whole idea of vigilantism deters change. Nice to see that somebody actually takes time to write their case. Good Luck
Mickeyrocks

Con

Mickeyrocks forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
LDer

Pro

Hopefully he just didn't quit. Still waiting for some rebuttals. :)
Mickeyrocks

Con

i didn't quit, just got very sick (thursday -> today at like 12~ i was unable to eat / drink w/o throwing up and as is i'm not comfortable eating anything but bread)

as this is ld you just extended everything i lose. You can challenge me again, i'll negate (with the neg i plan on running at district tournament) if you want, i can affirm also.

I will rebut your case just so you know what people might say to it, but alot of the arguments won't link so i'll give you generalized ones

====
VALUE: Respect for Social Order
====

1) You drop the affirmative at face if he doesn't value justice, insofar as two things are true:
First: Punishment is that which eliminates or in some way constrains your natural rights.
Second: Rights can only be infringed upon if it is done so justly. (hence why we have a legal system and police aren't allowed to punish as well as arrest)
2) general my value > your value

====
VC:

alright i want to go to sleep

vote aff
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Sweetypie 7 years ago
Sweetypie
I absolutely love this topic, and since I'm no longer debating it I'd be glad to help you guys come up with arguments or whatnot, or give you guys evidence and stuff like that! Feel free to message me
Posted by Mickeyrocks 7 years ago
Mickeyrocks
It seems longer than it is because I hit my enter key a lot, but what I meant was I'd replace some of my own analysis with cards.
Posted by goldstandardanarchist 7 years ago
goldstandardanarchist
Unless you're gonna spread, which I wouldn't recommend since District tournaments are full of lay judges, this case looks long enough already.
Posted by Mickeyrocks 7 years ago
Mickeyrocks
I'm prepping for the District tournament, so I haven't run it yet at a tournament (hence why I'm running like 4 different LD debates on this site), obviously it's an outline of what the final case will be, it needs to be carded etc.
Posted by goldstandardanarchist 7 years ago
goldstandardanarchist
How have your rounds with it gone?
Posted by Mickeyrocks 7 years ago
Mickeyrocks
this nc is interesting to run in general. my affirmative is much more stock but better organized and argued you can read it on my recent debates
Posted by goldstandardanarchist 7 years ago
goldstandardanarchist
would be interesting to see how neg defends against the idea of vigilantism spurring government reform and also the inherent "crimes are bad" argument.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by draxxt 7 years ago
draxxt
LDerMickeyrocksTied
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Total points awarded:07