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Charlie Smith

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PostSubject: charlie's case   Sat Nov 20, 2010 2:37 pm


Affirmative Debate Speech

Introduction: Blaise Pascal, the French mathematician and philosopher, once said, “The multitude which is not brought to act as a unity is confusion. That unity which has not its origin in the multitude is tyranny.” I concur with Pascal in thinking that unity is key in a government, because, as he says, the lack of unity leads to confusion. He also says that unity, not founded in the masses, leads to tyranny. It is because I agree with Blaise Pascal that I firmly agree with this year’s resolution, which states: A government’s legitimacy is determined more by its respect for popular sovereignty than individual rights. To clarify some of terms in this resolution, I will give a few definitions for clarification.
Definitions: Legitimate Government: A government generally recognized as being in control of a nation and deserving formal recognition (American Heritage Dictionary)
Respect: to show regard or consideration for (Dictionary.com)
Popular Sovereignty: the doctrine that sovereign power is vested in the people and that those chosen to govern, as trustees of such power, must exercise it in conformity of the general will (Dictionary.com)
Individual Rights: The fundamental rights, especially those believed to belong to an individual and in whose exercise a government may not interfere, as the rights to speak, associate, work, etc(Dictionary.com)
Value: As we can clearly see, a legitimate government is one who is in control and deserving of formal recognition. As Pascal has said, the lack of unity causes confusion, which is an antonym of controlled. A united government, by popular vote, is able to be in control of its people and also is deserving of formal recognition. Therefore, I will use unity as my value, because unity clearly legitimizes a government.
Criterion: I am going to use popular sovereignty as my criterion because it is only through popular sovereignty that unity can be achieved in a government. Without a majority rule, a government falls prey to a misunderstanding of its people, and thus end up pursuing the wrong goals. But with popular sovereignty, a majority rule is created, thus allowing for the control while at the same time demanding recognition.
Contentions:
Contention 1: The Concept of Legitimacy
In this resolution, the idea of legitimate is thought of as a government that deserves formal recognition. Legitimate and illegitimate governments, interchangeably, respect popular sovereignty and Individual Rights. For example, the United States, a legitimate government, respects both of these while the illegitimate government of Somalia, which is ruled by the most powerful drug lord, respects neither. But the resolution is asking the question of which concept, Popular Sovereignty or Individual Rights, more determines the legitimacy of a government. Which concept is more likely to lead to a united, legitimate government, popular sovereignty or individual rights? This now takes me into my second contention.
Contention 2: Individual Rights Lead to Tyranny
Using Individual Rights as a way to legitimize government leads to tyranny because they are subjective to the individual. Since each person chooses the rights that they would value as individual rights, there is no objective standard by which to determine legitimacy. Since people disagree about what rights are considered individual rights, there is no way for legitimacy to be determined. Because Individual Rights does not give an objective standard, the individual is left to decide whether or not a government is legitimate. This leads to tyranny because when one person thinks he knows what is best for the government, he will try to enforce his will on the government. That is why, as Pascal has said, unity that is not derived from the majority results in tyranny. Individual Rights, since they are subjectively based, do not give an objective standard on which a government can be legitimized, and thus are an unqualified way of legitimizing a government.
Contention 3: Popular Sovereignty Maximizes Rights
Popular Sovereignty maximizes the rights of its citizens by using majority rule to prevent tyranny. Popular sovereignty unifies a government because it gives the majority of the people what they have voted for. This can be seen every November, when the masses flock to the polls to cast their vote for their chosen officials. These chosen officials, as the definition says, “must exercise the powers given to them in conformity with the general will”. As Pascal first warns, “the multitude which is not brought as a unity is confusion. Popular sovereignty does away with confusion because it unifies the multitudes. For example, at the end of the elections, it is clear who the majority of the people voted for because they are elected into office to fulfill the general will. If an elected official does not use his power to the satisfaction of the people, he will be voted out of his position at the next election. People do not have to force their personal will on the government because, unlike Individual Rights, Popular Sovereignty takes into question the will of all people, and then uses the majorities will to figure what is best for the most citizens.
Conclusion:
In conclusion, I think that it is obvious that Unity demands Popular Sovereignty. Unity cannot be safely used otherwise because, when used apart from the majority, it will create tyranny. This dangerous fact can be seen when Individual Rights are used to try to legitimize a government. So because of the fact that Popular Sovereignty leads to a legitimate government by maximizing rights and unifying a government, I ask you to affirm the resolution “A governments legitimacy is determined more by its respect for popular sovereignty than individual rights.
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Mark Compton

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PostSubject: Re: charlie's case   Sat Nov 20, 2010 11:05 pm

Can't unity be found outside of popular sovereignty?
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Mark Compton

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PostSubject: Re: charlie's case   Sat Nov 20, 2010 11:06 pm

Can't unity be found outside of popular sovereignty?
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Charlie Smith

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PostSubject: Re: charlie's case   Sun Nov 21, 2010 8:44 pm

im basing my case off the quote, so unity cant be found outside of popular sovereignty without 1) confusion or 2)tyranny
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Mark Compton

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PostSubject: Re: charlie's case   Mon Nov 22, 2010 10:47 am

Why?
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Nathan W.

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PostSubject: Re: charlie's case   Mon Nov 22, 2010 12:37 pm

Is unity the greatest value? (yes or no)
If the drug Lord of Somalia came and wiped out another nation would it deserve formal recognition? (yes or no)
Does the drug Lord of Somalia respect popular sovereignty? (yes or no)
Individual rights if taken out of proportion can lead to Anarchy, but popular sovereignty if taken out of proportions can lead to complete socialism or even Darwinism, or to a society where the 51 can legitimately kill the 49. Does Individual rights always lead to tyranny? (yes or no)
Does not tyranny oppose the very nature of Individual rights? (yes or no)
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Sam Chase

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PostSubject: Re: charlie's case   Tue Nov 30, 2010 10:07 am

Just to help out. While i was reading your second contention, it seemed like you were trying to say individual rights leads to anarchy, not tyranny,
because if everyone is doing what they want, a tyrant wont have anyone to control because no on will listen to him.
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Charlie Smith

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PostSubject: Re: charlie's case   Thu Dec 09, 2010 10:14 am

Before I answer Sam's question, I'd still like it if you guys gave me a lot more critique. Thankyou. @ sam- no, it would still lead to tyranny because when everybody thinks that they know what is best for themselves and the country than they will try to enforce their will on the countries government
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