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Round 3. Thelibra V Ktprktpr: Non-Western Democracy

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posted on Jul, 24 2005 @ 03:07 PM
The topic for this debate is "Non-Western Societies are incapable of democratic self-rule"

Thelibra will be arguing for this proposition and will open the debate.
Ktprktpr will argue against this proposition.

Each debater will have one opening statement each. This will be followed by 3 alternating replies each. There will then be one closing statement each and no rebuttal.

No post will be longer than 800 words and in the case of the closing statement no longer than 500 words. In the event of a debater posting more than the stated word limit then the excess words will be deleted by me from the bottom. Credits or references at the bottom do not count towards the word total.

Editing is Strictly forbidden. This means any editing, for any reason. Any edited posts will be completely deleted.

Excluding both the opening and closing statements only one image may be included in each post. No more than 5 references can be included at the bottom of each post. Opening and closing statements must not contain any images, and must have no more than 3 references.

Responses should be made within 24 hours, if people are late with their replies, they run the risk of forfeiting their reply and possibly the debate.

Judging will be done by an anonymous panel of 13 judges. After each debate is completed it will be locked and the judges will begin making their decision. Results may be posted as soon as a majority (7) is reached.

This debate is now open, good luck to both of you.

We would also like to take this moment to note that Debate Participants are engaged in a contest of rhetorical and analytical skills. They are required to defend the topics that are randomly assigned to them. They are not presenting their own personal opinions on any subject.

[edit on 26-7-2005 by Nygdan]

posted on Jul, 24 2005 @ 09:28 PM
I'd like to thank the judges, staff, and my opponent. This will no doubt be the hardest challenge I've ever faced in a debate for reasons I will not bring into the ring. That said, for the sake of this competition alone, I will demonstrate why "Non-Western Societies are incapable of democratic self-rule".

My opponent will, no doubt, show any number of societies that are neither American, European, or white, that have had some form of democratic rule. However, one must consider that the term "Western Society" has taken various meanings throughout history. I knew historically, the Greeks are considered to be the root of Western thought, as well as democracy. And traditionally, Western society is equated with democracy.

However, there are non-democratic, and non-Greek descended Western nations. During the Cold War, the West was considered to be members of NATO (and thusly, the first world). But in the Post-Cold War era, we have seen Japan and other countries become a part of Western civilization. For a while, Western was synonymous with developed nations, yet there are poverty-stricken countries who have adopted the same ideology and governmental systems as what would be traditionally considered the west. Then Christianity was considered to be an essential part of the West, and yet, other non-Christian governments, such as India, execute other aspects of ideology and government, like Democracy, that make them arguably a part of Western Culture, or at least "Westernized".

In essence, Western Society does not mean white, wealthy, Christian, or indeed, limit one to a geographic area. The only apparent things that seems universally held in a Western Society are:
  • rule of law - which means the government cannot exercise authority without written laws created through established methods, and that government itself is subject to those laws.
  • human rights - though the ideas of what constitute basic human rights may differ from country to country, there is a general understanding that one has protection of their own life, as well as enough liberties to provide a decent life.
  • freedom of religion - again, the degree of separation can vary. Some Western Nations even have a national religion, but there must exist a freedom to be of any religion (or none), and the religions themselves must abide by the law, and not dictate them.
  • abolition of slavery – (self-explanatory).

As the meaning of democracy is “rule by the people”, one cannot, by definition sustain a lasting democracy without:
  • procedures by which to vote (rule by law)
  • keeping the voters placated (human rights)
  • allowing religious views to be expressed or ignored (freedom of religion)
  • law-abiding populace being free (abolition of slavery)

As governments come from the people they rule over, the populace must therefore be of a willing mindset for that ruling body to survive. Thus a society must exhibit western thought before a stable democracy can result.


Democracy - Definition
Western Society - Definition
Rule of Law - Definition

posted on Jul, 25 2005 @ 03:24 AM
This debate revolves around western societies and their definitions. From an appropriately broad, or narrow, definition one can then positively support the proposition. It lies within the reader's head to accept a working definition of western societies (and contrawise, non-western societies) and then evaluate the proposition. The result, then, will support or refute the proposition.

The definition of western societies that stands before you is cumulative and largely retroactive. The retroactive element arises from a constructed sense of moral superiority where "by selecting what values are part of 'Western values', one can tautologically show that they are superior, since any inferior values by definition are not Western."(1) While superiority is not the issue here (thankfully), we find that definition is. As supported above, "the term 'Western Society' has taken various meanings throughout history." It has therefore been supported by both sides of the debate that western society establishes different meanings across different points in history.

It will therefore be my job to select an appropriate point in the evolution of western society, across the infinite boundaries of time, so that it is clear that non-western societies were (and therefore, in the purest sense of logic, are) capable of democratic self-rule.

Finally, it will be my wearisome task to refute various illogical constructions produced by my opponent. For instance, as we see above, the primacy of the pro argument is to convince the reader that "western" equals to democracy (take note of his requirements). If successful, the proposition would read patently true; that "Non-(democratic) societies are incapable of democratic self-rule". However, if my opponent truthfully believed this argument, s/he would have never written: "… there are non-democratic, and non-Greek descended (democratic) nations," which, as we can see, is a contradiction in terms. Since my opponent's pen indicates that "western" does not equal democracy, we must look elsewhere for a definition. I suggest my opponent reload and aim higher than his foot. Additionally, the reference for wikipedia's democracy page is locked due to massive collaborative disagreement. This is hardly the unbiased source from which to establish a definition of democracy, let alone any long standing one.

In summary, after establishing the elementary fact that the definition of western society varies across time and these definitions are all valid, I will select an appropriate exemplar to prove the proposition false. Also, I will guide my opponent through any logical inconsistencies formed within the pro argument.

(1) July, 2005

posted on Jul, 25 2005 @ 06:19 PM
I will first address a few misquotations from my opponent.

Originally posted by ktprktpr
...the primacy of the pro argument is to convince the reader that "western" equals to democracy (take note of his requirements).

Please take better note of them than my opposition. The four tenants listed for Western Society (rule of law, human rights, freedom of religion, and abolition of slavery) do not require a democratic government. However, for a democratic government to survive, it must address all of those ideologies.

Originally posted by ktprktpr
However, if my opponent truthfully believed this argument, s/he would have never written:

"… there are non-democratic, and non-Greek descended (democratic) nations,"

I’ll thank my opponent to not delete and insert their own words when quoting me in the future. If this is the scope of his tactics, it will be a very tedious debate indeed. I never used the word "democratic" in the last part.

However, I stand by my true statement: "there are non-democratic, and non-Greek descended Western nations"

There are, to be sure, other traits typical of Western Society (such as language, genealogy, and geography), but they are not requirements to be considered a Western Society. For instance, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and various nations in North Africa are all considered to be a part of the West.

As for my opponent's stance on Wikipedia, I maintain it has been an accepted source of material for debates formal. However, rest assured, additional sources will be cited as well. Just for cheek, however, I present the following, further in support of my definition of Western Society:

from Wikipedia
Western life refers to the high (relative) standard of living for most citizens in the Western world (in the meaning of rich countries). They may also have democratic, (mostly) secular governments, rule of law and developed bodies of laws that have some expression of rights (for their own citizens) in law.


Western Society is a choice, an intangible element, devoid of race or geography. It is a mindset, a personal philosophy that, regardless of its origins, has now spread beyond any geologic or racial barrier, because many people find it more appealing than the alternatives.

One cannot look at the color of someone's skin and declare them of an ideology, any more than you could tell where they are from, or their religion. In eras when landscape and water proved to be a serious boundary to travelers, one might have hazarded a guess. But in today's global culture, it is entirely possible, with all due respects, to be a Black Chinese Jew.

In a world where even gender is questionable, the only true division between one human and another is ideology. And it is thus that I argue that the concept of Western Society is purely an agreed-upon collection of similar ideologies.

Just as one can adopt tenants of Eastern Philosophy while living in Texas, wearing blue jeans, and eating steak, so can one who dresses in a cheongsam, eats real Chinese food, and lives in Beijing adopt the beliefs of Western Society.

The student demonstrations at Tiananmen Square in 1989 were not the first time in the 1980s that Chinese authorities were faced with organized demonstrations expressing dissatisfaction with their rule. In late 1985, and again in late 1986, Beijing and Shanghai were the site of student protests. Students carried banners with slogans such as "Law, Not Authoritarianism" and "Long Live Democracy."

Given enough citizens holding to Western tenants, a Non-Western nation will either Westernize or actively remove the influence. A country that exhibits the latter behavior is not yet capable of stable democracy. The people of a democracy will not trust a government that eliminates opposing views; revolution would be imminent.

by Nancy Bermeo
If one looks at the cases in South America after the Cuban revolution, the democracies that collapsed were often led by people who were elected by small pluralities or who inherited power because a more legitimate leader died. Many disastrous democracies emerged from situations where leaders were not seen as legitimate from the very

Additionally, a Western Society allows for growth of the individuals through their own merits, while providing equal chance for opportunity, and relative control over their own lives. I believe Imam Aga Khan put it best:

by Aga Khan IV
Three concepts seem to me to be essential in creating, stabilising and strengthening democracy around the world, including among the people of Africa and Asia with whom I have worked in the past. These concepts are meritocracy, pluralism and civil society...

...or, in other words, a Western Society.


Nancy Bermeo, Princeton Professor of Politics and author of "Ordinary
People in Extraordinary Times: The Citizenry and the Breakdown of

Aga Khan IV - Keynote Address at the Governor General's Canadian
Leadership Conference on Leadership and Diversity

Tianamen Square, 1989: The Declassified History

Western Society

About Aga Khan IV (Imam of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims)

posted on Jul, 26 2005 @ 07:08 PM
I have read that our arguments may be unclear to our readers. To the benefit all involved, I’ll bust this out Crayola crayon style:

If I’m putting words in your mouth then why are the requirements of your democracy and your Western Society the same? You put down that they both have to have rule of law, that they both have to have human rights, that they both have to have freedom of religion, both have to have abolition of slavery. If there’s a difference between them it must be tinier than a gnat’s ass. And so, if they’re the same then your intention in using those words is the same and hence I can translate your sentences to whatever illogical form they turn out to be. And that’s what happened.

Your definition of Western society (trademarked by theLibra) has been changed two times. You wrote, “… I present the following, further in support …” and then went on to cite Wikipedia. If you look closely (careful, don’t bump your long nose) at the quote you’ll see that you use Western life to support and qualify your Western society , which “refers to the high (relative) standard of living for most citizens…”. Did you mean to include that in your definition? You just lost some poor brother nations if you did.

Like Britney Spears, you did it again when you cited Aga Kahn. His requirements include fancy things like “meritocracy”, “pluralism” and “civil society” (whatever that is!), after which you wrote, “… in other words a Western society.” You just included “meritocracy” and “pluralism”? Why do you have to change your definition so much?

And, I’d like to point out that while wikipedia is great for an amateur researching a topic it’s common sense that a heavily contested page from a site that can be edited by anyone at any time would make any definition suspect.(1) Wikipedia itself has a very large and detailed criticism page of itself. You'll note that the negative is a bit longer than the positive.(2)

You and I both agree that the definition of Western society has changed throughout history. And from your tacked on efforts it’s clear it’ll continue to change. You are guilty of the retroactive definition I explained earlier, where the definition of Western society always includes what’s right and excludes what’s not.

Even within your ballooning constraints you admit that being Western is not enough to achieve democracy. (Interestingly enough, this is the same conclusion I arrived at when I “put words” in your mouth). This means that there is some other magical element required for being capable of democratic self-rule. So if it’s not being Western by your definition, then what is it? I don’t know. But it’s not western cooking, thinking, feeling.

I do know that there have been non-Western democratic societies. Take various Native American tribes for example. I could easily find such a tribe that was ruled by tribal elders (not rule of law, as you define), where cannibals (finger licking good is bad for human rights), only had one system of religion within their society and sported slaves to boot. But they were still democratic by your definition: The tribal elders led the tribe by vocal vote (a procedure by which to vote) and everyone kept each other in line by believing and enforcing tribal traditions. These guys didn’t even need your last two requirements to survive for hundreds of years (before Europeans came). Also, look at various Jewish communes, where you have democratic self-rule, where they fail to meet your requirements for western society. I will detail these non-western, but democratic, societies in my next post.

Surely, you will reinterpret, redefine, your definition yet again but how truthful is an always changing story? For my charming readers, I summarize:

The definitions of western society and democracy, as given, have requirements so similar that, well, I’m at a loss for another witty statement. If these words are so much the same then my opponent can’t write that “there are non-democratic and non-Greek descended Western nations,” because it contradicts itself. So, if that’s the case, then he better revise his definitions again because they’re so similar. He has already changed the definition twice within the same post. If he can play that game, then so can I, and we all know there exist societies in history, when being Western meant something horribly different, that were democratic. Thus, I'm right, he's wrong, and that's how it is.

(1) See Robert McHenry’s thorough consideration at
(2) See and

posted on Jul, 27 2005 @ 10:38 AM
As my opponent insists on repeatedly misquoting (or outright lying) in regards to my stance, I feel a final clarification is necessary, to remove all doubt of the Pro Stance that they must argue against. I will first define it word-by-word, and then give the restatement of it in full.

Non-Western Society
As both my opponent and I have stated, no one can quite seem to agree on what exactly this means. My proposition is that a Western Society is one whose most basic tenants are (at least): rule of law, human rights, freedom of religion, and the abolition of slavery. A Non-Western society, on the other hand opposes at least one of these values. As neither a person's genealogy, nor their geographical location preclude their ability to think, the only true division between Western and Non-Western Society is in one's ideology. Thus, Western Society itself is not limited to physical or racial bounds, but only by the number of people in one place with those ideologies.

If my opponent wishes to argue that a race or nationality as a whole is incapable of becoming Western Society, that is their choice.


1. Lacking the necessary ability, capacity, or power.


1. Of, characterized by, or advocating democracy: democratic government; a democratic union.
2. Of or for the people in general; popular: a democratic movement; democratic art forms.
3. Believing in or practicing social equality: "a proper democratic scorn for bloated dukes and lords" (George du Maurier).


1. Self-government.


1. Political independence; autonomy.
2. Popular or representative government; democracy.

My stance, therefore, is:
"A society that does not believe in rule of law, human rights, freedom of religion, and abolition of slavery, will lack in either ability, capacity, or power, to sufficiently govern independently via popular representation of and by the people."

As I am arguing for this statement, it will be up to the competition to argue against it.

And now to address a few of the statements made by the opposition:

by ktprktpr
You are guilty of the retroactive definition I explained earlier, where the definition of Western society always includes what's right and excludes what's not.

I would say that my opponent thinks too highly of their opinion.

Society, not my opponent, decides what is right and wrong. Society defines itself by what it considers right, and divides itself by what it considers wrong. I would further hazard that perhaps the reason my opponent feels so strongly that my definition consists entirely of that which is right, is because they themselves are either a member of a Western Society or one that is at least in the developing stages of Westernization.

by ktprktpr opponent can't write that "there are non-democratic and non-Greek descended Western nations," because it contradicts itself.

Japan's government is a constitutional monarchy. Slavery was abolished in 1588. Their constitution, signed May 3rd, 1947 gives them rule of law. According to Articles 20 and 89 of this constitution, they exercise full freedom of religion. Since 1982, Japan has been an active member of the UN Commission on Human Rights. They are also, most assuredly not Greek. Lastly, in modern times, Japan has come to be considered a considered a Westernized Nation.

As I have already stated, there is no contradiction in that phrase. Japan is a non-democratic, non-Greek, Western Nation, and fully fits the ideological definition of Western Society as I have laid it out.

by ktprktpr admit that being Western is not enough to achieve democracy...

I never stated that.

Your blatant misquoting and lies do nothing more than waste everyone's time.

by ktprktpr
...This means that there is some other magical element required for being capable of democratic self-rule. So if it’s not being Western by your definition, then what is it?

How about the desire and work to actually form a democratic government?

If I wish to create a wooden box, I will require wood, nails, a hammer, and saw. However, those items alone do not make a box. I can make any number of items with those same materials, but first work must be performed for any of them to result.

Likewise, If I wish to create a democracy, I will require rule of law, observance of human rights, freedom of religion, and abolition of slavery (or, Western Society). However, those tenants alone do not make a democracy. Any number of other governments may be formed from them, and all governments require initial and constant work.

Perhaps my opponent had best start relying on tactics other than misquotations and vapid one-liners if they wish to attempt arguing against a stance that I have given philosophical, logical, and factual justification for.


The American Heritage(r) Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright (c) 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Facts on Japan

Japan as a Westernized Nation

posted on Jul, 28 2005 @ 02:02 PM
Due to lateness, ktprktpr forfeits his reply. thelibra, please continue.

posted on Jul, 28 2005 @ 08:05 PM
The successful democracies that remain today hold dear to the four tenants I have mentioned. At times, their individual impacts are more immediately visible than the others, but always they are crucial to success.

The paragon of Western Society, America, almost failed to achieve and sustain its democracy three times.

During the Continental Congress, the motion for a Declaration of Independence almost failed, because it required a unanimous vote. South Carolina refused until a passage that condemned the slave trade was removed. The price for independence, at the time, was that not all Americans would be free, and eventually led to The Civil War. The Emancipation Proclamation not only acted as the deciding factor in the reunification of America, but also its modernization.

notes on E.P.
…the rural, agricultural, slaveholding South gave way as the United States joined several western European nations in embracing a future of industrial capitalism with all the cultural change that came with it.

The second instance that America nearly failed at democracy was immediately following the War of Independence.

Mt. Vernon estates
At the end of the Revolution, a number of Army officers said America should have a King or Emperor, and wanted to give the job to Washington. He opposed the idea and prevented the officers from carrying out a planned military takeover of the country in 1783.

Take note that ideals alone are not sufficient for democracy; it must be sought after. Also, rule of law was necessarily enforced to prevent a military coup.

The third instance of near failure of democracy in America was brought about by the treatment of its people. Between the policies of Eminent Domain, Jim Crow laws, the McCarthy Hearings, and Tammany Hall, many people were tread upon. It took many more bloody lessons and a change in ideology over many generations to arrive at our present concept of human rights and freedom of religion.

Modern democracies fight a constant battle between those who would welcome more liberty, and those would seek to restrict it. A fight for equal representation is waged between progressives and traditionalists. A fight for rule of law is waged every day between Congress and the Supreme Court. Symbolically, even the fight against slavery is waged between corporations and unions.

These forces are so every-shifting that a society without rule of law cannot thrive in today's world. The concept of democratic government becomes moot without law, because no accountability exists towards global commerce, diplomacy, or foreign policy. If it cannot thrive, the nation will lack the resources for power to govern its burgeoning population.

Further, that rule of law must be acceptable to the people. Millions of voices all scream different demands; no government in existence can possibly please everyone. For a democracy to survive, its policies must be agreeable to the majority. The dynamic nature of policy throughout America's history is a testament to how our own government has survived its constituency through many generations.

Dag Hammarskjold
"Your position never gives you the right to command. It only imposes on you the duty of so living your life that others can receive your orders without being humiliated."

A society that does agree to grant all citizens basic human rights alienates a portion of their population and those sympathetic to those victims. It breeds contempt for those in power, encourages revolution, and lowers the standard of living for the poor (usually the most numerous of a populace), and ultimately destroys fair representation of the people.

Rizman's Essay
…citizens in a democratic society share culturally defined responsibilities toward other citizens and that a consistent concept of democratic citizenship will have to accommodate this relevant fact.

A society that does not believe in freedom of religion is perhaps the least stable; intolerance is perhaps the greatest inciter towards violence that exists. At least three of the greatest atrocities known to mankind have taken place because of a lack of religious freedom: the Inquisition, Nazi death camps, and the massacre of Tibet...I could go on. We have all seen, in recent years, the terrorism inherent in religious fanaticism. However, policy alone will not end the violence; it requires a fundamental change in societal ideals.

Dr. Khalid
Americans still seem confident that Iraq should be able to develop democratic institutions. But, their confidence in the establishment of the democratic process is being challenged by the continuing conflicts between the ethnic and religious groups like the Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds."

Creating a lasting democracy is neither quick nor is it a goal that, once reached, rests upon laurels. It is a dynamic process that entails constant observance of the tenants of Western Society, along with grim reminders of what happens when they are ignored.


Various Abstracts on Human Rights in a Democratic Transition

George Washington

Declaration of Independence

Emancipation Proclamation

Dr Khalid B. Sayeed, Professor Emeritus, Queen's University

posted on Jul, 29 2005 @ 12:23 PM
I want to take these couple of lines to apologize to my opponent and my judges. I lost track of time and forfeited, luckily, my post. Also, I want to apologize for my harsh tone in my second reply. I cast my angry Crayolas aside and proceed Zen like…

In terms of judging, I feel this debate rests upon the definition of Western Society. The good judge will collect the various arguments and apply it to the proposition. Whoever seems true is the winner, whoever seems false is the loser.

The proposition does not restrict the time period for Western Society. We both agree that Western Society's definition changes through time. The element of time means that when I draw up a period definition of Western Society my opponent will have to adapt and show the proposition still to be true.

I present a group of people: The Native Americans before the Europeans came. From here there are two paths I could take, both somewhat different from another. Different foundations should not alarm the judge; Quantum theory and General relativity are incompatible. Both are not denied usefulness and both work together to provide a greater window upon the truth. In this fashion I craft a response and offensive.

The first step I will take is to note that prior to mass European arrival (circa the 1300s), Western Society held a set of, some say, horrible tenants. We are all familiar with basic history and know of fiefdoms and God-appointed socio-religious hierarchies. The Western society of this time period is very different from contemporary definition of Western society. Indeed, almost ironically, we see that it is the Western Societies during this period that were not capable of democratic self-rule while it was the Non-Western ones that did a little better.

The Native Americans of this time, generally, as a society practiced democratic self rule through cultural consensus, where the elderly were respected and expected to direct the tribe through crucial matters.(1) This rule was democratic because adults were allowed to voice their opinions, which were taken into consideration, at tribal group meetings and other times (see talking sticks).(2) So here we have a form of rule (representative government) selected by the people which also enables them to directly voice their opinions and expect consideration. Under the Western society of the times, this is democratic self-rule carried out by a society which was very much non-Western.

The other step to take is to use the contemporary definition of Western Society and exaggerate the negative aspects of Native American society. I continue to note the democratic rule illustrated above, but also point over several other things. Native cannibalism means that human rights were not universally respected.(3) Slavery was practiced.(4) There wasn't even a religion was we understand it, hence no tolerance (can't tolerate what you have no conception).(5) "Most adherents to traditional American Indian ways characteristically deny that their people ever engaged in any religion at all..."(5) Here, Native Americans went against every Western tenant, yet still had democratic self-rule. The greater window upon the truth is that, even by different definitions of Western Society, a historical one and a contemporary one, non-western societies are capable of democracy.

I haven't much space left so I will take what's left to address my opponent's concerns. I do hope, like many peaceful Native Americans before me, he will sit with me and gain greater understanding.

I am charged of high minded thinking when arguing that the contemporary definition of Western Society is retroactive. Yet, we both agree that the definition changes, and therefore evolves through time. For instance, in the past, slavery was practiced by Western society. Here we see that Western society included many negative things and by leaving them out, in the contemporary definition, one is being retroactive and ignoring the past.

To the next charge. The spit upon my honor is the word liar. TheLibra charges that I misquoted him where I wrote that he admitted that being Western was not enough to achieve democracy.

He writes in his first post, "… traditionally, western society is equated with democracy." Then goes on to detail how it changed into an ideology. I realized that since the two no longer equaled another something more must now be required to get to a democracy.

I do not like being called a liar, esp. since you thereafter write:

"How about the desire and work to actually form a democractive government?" after I ask what else is needed aside from being Western.

…and following,

"Likewise, if I wish to create a democracy, I will require … (or, Western Society). However, those tenants alone doe no make a democracy"

If you were a Vulcan, your head would explode.


ERRATA: reference (2) in my last post, for wikipedia, should have ended with

posted on Jul, 29 2005 @ 04:35 PM
Ideology is the ultimate identifier and divider. When one shares tenants of belief in common with others, they are an ideological group. With establishment, they become a society. As believers in Western Society have become more common among mankind, so has Western Society spread and changed across the globe through the ages.

Some conceptions of ideology de-emphasize the power aspect and see ideology as the structure of assumptions which form the imaginative world of groups. Ideology, writes Althusser, is "a representation of the imaginary relation of individuals to the real condition of existence." Further, Althusser writes, ideology creates us as persons: it "hails" us, calls us into being.

Some may wonder why I have based my proposition towards only modern times. The reasons are threefold:

One, a failed government is a moot one for the purposes of this debate. I do not accept military defeat as a viable excuse; the capability to run a government also necessitates the capacity to defend it.

Two, as mentioned, the definition of Western Society has changed so often over the course of time, even each era had its own definitions. It is pointless to argue the case for a definition that no longer applies to today’s world.

Three, because the modern ideology of Western Society has spread to an incredible degree across the globe, largely due to the fall of the Soviet Union, because so many see it as the best option currently available.

"By the end of 1989, and even more clearly by the end of 1991, all this changed. The West had clearly won and could claim to be the "only game in town." As a result, in the current context there is nothing like the old tension and clash between alternative ideological forces. And, in the absence of contestation, the values of the West have taken
on an air of naturalness."

And now, my friends, we reach the conclusion of this debate. My opponent has chosen to use their time to repeatedly misquote me, misinterpret words out of context, and make mildly amusing quips. The closest they came to providing evidence was a vague allusion to “some Native Americans”, but couldn’t even be bothered to name a single tribe. He might just as well have made claims about “some Africans” or “some Asians” for all the accuracy of such a claim.

I, on the other hand, have repeatedly defined my stance while fending off libel to a degree I’ve never experienced before in a formal debate. I have provided numerous references, plus philosophical and logical arguments in support of my stance. I have taken each individual concept of my stance, and explained it as fully as space allows.

Western Society is an ideology, not a place or a race. For a democracy to survive, its people must have the capability of maintaining it. Among the required capabilities are the four basic tenants of Western Society.

Thus, Non-Western Societies are incapable of democratic self-rule.


"Ideology - a brief guide" by John Lye

"Ideology and Democracy in Latin America" by Gerardo L. Munck

posted on Jul, 29 2005 @ 10:14 PM
Well, we're at the summary. I don't think my opponent and I could be more at odds with each other. He's got his foot firmly planted in current times, while I tend towards a historical definition (although I did use his current definition). My interpretations he calls "…fending off libel to a degree I’ve never experienced before in a formal debate," which I find kind of funny because I'm just taking his words and seeing where they go. We both admitted it was a lopsided topic. And I have a variety of debating styles, for better or worse.

While I have not highlighted a specific Native American tribe, I have used sources that are general to them and therefore included the majority of Native American tribes. I don’t want to be sneaky or anything (because he can't reply to this), but that means that if you pick a tribe, say the Apache or the Blackfoot (from where part of my ancestry derives), my logic and argument demonstrates that you're more likely than not to encounter a historical non-western but democratic group. That the greater probability even exists proves the proposition wrong, which is what I was charged with doing. I point out here that I have used my historical definition as well as my opponents' contemporary definition. The two different definitions work together to provide greater window of understanding.

My primary basis of attack as been towards theLibra's constructions (yes, at the very end I brought up a society of such individuals, however). I have used wit (acidic or base), interpretation and logic to demonstrate that A) you need something more than being western to have a democracy, B) that the definition of western society has changed through the time, C) his definition of Western society was not complete, which strengthened the fact that definition evolve through time and finally D) I established the validity of selecting a time period of choice by pointing out that the proposition defined no time limits. My opponent did not contest this until the very end. He said he refused to consider "failed governments" (quite offensive to the resisting Native tribes that exist today), which includes failure by military conquest, and only considers the current definition because he wanted to apply it to "today's world." While that's nice, the proposition said nothing about these things and I considered them to be fair ground and struck accordingly. The result is determined by your judging.

I thank all involved for this debate and hope my words will be considered with humor, seriousness and respect. I bow low to thelibra and to my reader.

posted on Jul, 29 2005 @ 11:07 PM
Thank you both for a very well performed debate. We know go to the judges. Best of luck to you both!

posted on Aug, 3 2005 @ 08:07 PM
Well, the results are in, and after a very interesting judging session, thelibra has won, 9-3. Good luck in the soon-to-come final round!

The point of this debate was Democracy and what was required for it to exist. Ktprktpr showed quite strongly that the basics of Western society are not required for Democratic self-rule to be realized. TheLibra did an excellent job at defining what Western Society is but failed to show that these things are required.

My vote is for “thelibra” I find his debating skills alone exceeded that of his opponents.
I also believe there was no need for “Ktprkpr’s” rudeness toward the observers and judges of this debate. As to the repeated use of wikipedia I find it shows a lack of research from various sources.

Well, this has been probably the hardest debate to judge, if only because it seems as if the actual topic of the debate was never argued. Perhaps because they were uncomfortable with the topic, both debators focused on definitions, and while both presented excellent ideas on the foundations of democracy and Western society, I feel that the debate ended with neither opponent fully tackling his side of the debate.

That being said, I think the discussion that did take place was very good. I was especially impressed with thelibra's quite thorough and logical presentation of the four tenets of Western society and while at times, it seemed as if he was arguing the con side of the resolution, I think he did very well. ktprktpr also made some great points, however, I feel that his argument was shrouded by irrelevant pettiness and unnecessary jabs at his competitor.

First off, congratulations to both contestants for a memorable debate. Both members handled a touchy topic exceptionally well, and I thought the strategy of focusing on the definition of “western society” was brilliant.

The exchanges seemed a bit acrimonious and personal at times, but that was hardly surprising in light of the topic. thelibra did well to focus on the question of what defines a western society, and did so convincingly. ktprktpr seemed to stray from what could have been a decisive counter and was slow to make his case, and both seemed to drift into ad hominem more than necessary.

[edit on 8/3/2005 by Amorymeltzer]

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