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Round 2. Memoryshock vs. The Vagabond: Super India

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posted on Apr, 4 2006 @ 12:17 AM
The topic for this debate is "India will soon be an economic and military super-power".

Memoryshock will be arguing the pro position and will open the debate.
The Vagabond will argue the con position.

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.

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.

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

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 a panel of anonymous judges. After each debate is completed it will be locked and the judges will begin making their decision. One of the debate forum moderators will then make a final post announcing the winner.

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

posted on Apr, 4 2006 @ 11:35 PM
I would like to thank the judges and the debaters for making this debate possible....

In March 2005, the Asia Society held an all day conference to explore India’s emerging role as a prominent international power.

The question isn’t a matter of whether or not India has the capacity to become an economic superpower, and subsequently a military superpower.....rather it is a question of when, as stipulated by the debate topic. The quote above illustrates a regional body taking into consideration India’s growth and the link allows for more detailed examination of the conference.....

To sum up the theme of the conclusory remarks arrived to by the Asia Society in March 2005 would be one of cooperation. India has the second most populous nation in the world, at about 1.1 billion people. With such a vast human resource necessitates a relevant distinction among the nations of the world and with India’s fairly recent independence, 1947, the political and economic hurdles that were incurred have been the main hurdle to a more consistent and favorable national establishment. But progress has and is being maintained, as evidenced here....

The performance of the Indian economy in 2004-05 so far has exceeded expectations formed at the beginning of the year. Buoyed by a rebound in the agricultural and allied sector, and strongly helped by improved performance in industry and services, the economy had registered a growth rate of 8.5 per cent in 2003-04, the highest ever except in 1975-76 and 1988-89.

As I stated before, the theme of recommendations for India’s continued growth and prosperity is one of cooperation.....internally and internationally.....but India has already taken steps, liberalizing government control over it’s domestic economic policy(ies) and by actively cooperating with ASEAN, Association of Southeast Asian Nations, an association that represents about 8 per cent of the world’s population and whose interests center upon stability within the specified region.....political, cultural, and economic stability...... As well as other examples that shall present themselves later in this debate....but to highlight the ASEAN association....

Given new developments and challenges arising in the 21st Century, the Leaders of ASEAN and India resolved to further advance their cooperation to a new height to address common challenges confronting the region and the world.

India has had to juggle domestic cultivation...the bonding together of its population, the progression and implementation of technology which has been a relatively slow undertaking, etc........with international interaction to become one of the strongest economies in the world, and one of the fastest growing. Continued focus on developing the infrastructure to accommodate its huge population is the key to becoming an international superpower. Throughout the course of this debate I will show what steps India has already taken to insure that these steps are taken....

But the debate is not just centered on the economic force that is India, but includes as well the military. I alluded earlier that a strong economic institution will give way to a strong military. But India’s military is already strong and nuclear able. The nuclear angle already defines India as a military force, but what of superpower status? Indeed, I intend to show as well that India’s continued growth will carry with it a military strengthening....

Soon is a matter of conjecture, but India has already positioned itself in the communications/software race and as a result will see rapid returns on a relatively new industry. Soon, India will be an industrial superpower.....really, the question is how soon?

posted on Apr, 5 2006 @ 07:24 PM
It’s an honor to be squaring off with my friend MemoryShock once again. I again thank the moderators and judges for making this possible and creating a very complex topic for us.

My opponent argues that the question as stated makes super-power status for India a given, and leaves only the question of when up for debate. This is utterly incorrect. The question up for debate is whether or not “India will soon be an economic and military super power.” This is, in simplest form, a yes or no question, not question of time, notwithstanding the temporal modifier ‘soon’. The answer to this question is no, because India will not become a super-power. The reason that India cannot become a super-power has very little to do with the undeniable promise shown by India itself, but much to do with India’s standing relative to other nations.

The definition of the term super-power is crucial to this debate. Super-power is a derivative of the term great power, which comes from the balance of power system. The Balance of Power System (username cotd password bol, if needed) holds that the several powers should shift their alliances and increase their own power as necessary to prevent any one nation from becoming excessively powerful over the others.
This system was recognized by Fredrick the Great among others and was the stated goal of British policy for some time, was explicitly stated in the Treaty of Utrecht, and was formalized by the Concert of Europe which explicitly named five “Great Powers” who made up a balance of power, and authorized them to maintain the status quo as necessary.
“Great Power” was the highest rank afforded to any nation until WWII. After WWII, the empires which were traditionally crucial to calculating the balance of power were in ruins. The last powers of truly global reach were America and the USSR. Britain was included briefly, but this was given the lie as they began to dismantle their empire.
It was in this context that the term super-power emerged in W.T.R Fox’s book The Superpowers. The balance of power had changed radically, from a five-way balance which no one nation could dominate to a stalemated two-way balance which other nations could only choose sides between to virtually no effect. These new Super-powers had global reach, and being evenly matched, were each beyond threat, because they existed in a bipolar strategic environment without threat from third-parties.

This system of super-powers could only come about in the aftermath of a world war destroyed all but two of the Great Powers. Once established, it is inherently unstable because the regeneration of other powers will inevitably reintroduce a multi-lateral balance of power, reducing the super-powers to great power status as third parties become capable of tipping the balance. Once a third party can tip the balance, you no longer truly have super-powers, but merely great powers.
India, China, the European Union, and the United States are equalizing in power. The existence of at least four major economic and military players on the world stage will make it impossible for any one nation to control its own destiny without balancing itself against others in coalitions. This necessarily means that no nation can be accurately be called a super-power.

In addition to the challenge to the existence of super-powers which is presented by the growth of multiple interdependent economic and military powers, there is a second, more speculative means by which superpowers may b even more permanently proscribed. The continued existence of nation-states is not a given by any means.
Indeed my opponent has done an outstanding job of pointing out India’s growing involvement with ASEAN, and he will likely address India’s bid for membership to the Security Council as well. International organizations such as ASEAN, The EU, ECOWAS and the AU, combined with the further de-westernization of the UN Security Council have the potential to supplant nation-states and the balance of power system.

Ladies and gentlemen, super-power is an empty term of self-congratulation in the Post Cold War world. It has seldom been applied in a proper context, as a derivative of a well-established term in international relations theory. It is undeniable that India has an incredibly bright future, but not one that is by any means in excess of the potential of China, Europe, and America. We live in a brave new world where we cannot hide behind nuclear weapons, massive navies, and iron curtains. The lost art of diplomacy will have to be rediscovered and we would be well advised to begin casting off the divisive nationalist paradigm which we have held for centuries, because there will be no more super-powers to hold the world in a simple bilateral status quo.

(Word Perfect: 790)

Non-integrated references:
Nation States: International Social Science Reivew 2005, Vol. 80 Issue 3/4 p151-155 (username: mal. password: codlib. if required.)

posted on Apr, 6 2006 @ 12:19 AM
The Vagabond described that the term ‘super power’ is a misused term, fraught with inadequacy due to the subjective and relative nature of the reality. But he then goes on to utilize the term ‘great power’...with emphasis...and has fallen into a similar logical fallacy. He attempts to rationalize a logical fallacy (specific context for a generalized term) by committing the same using relativity as a proof. There in lies the flaw...if the latter has been discounted by him, (super power), then his compare and contrast would be fallacious due to the same reasoning....

Superpower, a state of the first rank in the international system, with interests and capabilities of global extent. The term is a relatively new one, coined in a book entitled The Superpowers, written by the American W. T. R. Fox in 1943. By this word Fox identified a new category of power able to occupy the highest status in a world [snip]

My esteemed opponent saw fit to interact with what exactly a superpower is...but by using his source, W.T.R. Fox, or even the paraphrased perspective as used by encarta, we have yet another contradiction.....’highest status’ implies only the context of the quoted material, we have an implication that only one nation can occupy a status of superpower.

The term ‘high’...

a. Being at or near the peak or culminating stage

The definition for the suffix ‘est’...


Used to form the superlative degree of adjectives and adverbs: greatest; earliest

And superlative.....

su·per·la·tive    ( P )  Pronunciation Key  (s-pûrl-tv)

1. Of the highest order, quality, or degree; surpassing or superior to all others.

Allow us to recall the debate topic...."India will soon be an economic and military super-power". The implication within the topic is that there can be more than one super power......

So we have a semantical contradiction within our own debate topic....which would indicate that we are interacting with a more generalized, popular, definition of the term super power.....

My esteemed opponent, The Vagabond, then goes on to describe dualities...super power being of the higher spectrum and the term, ‘great power’ to describe application for a poly national power base....which is what we realistically see in current events, however, his points are merely semantic. How do we define a ‘super power’? Is it by economic status, resource control, military threat, population, or the potential of all of the above? As eminent as W.T.R. Fox is, he is but one man who postulated upon global interactions. The term he coined has been utilized ad nauseam and as a result has encountered it’s own spectrum of context. The debate, if it really hinges on the definition of the term super power, really needs context to be considered. Are we discussing the size of a nation or it’s prominence in computer simulation? Or any other variance and combination of factors? Indeed, that is where this debate needs to hinge...on specifics, rather than generalized dismissive tones....which we have here in application as stated by The Vagabond...

originally posted by The Vagabond
In addition to the challenge to the existence of superpowers which is presented by the growth of multiple interdependent economic and military powers, there is a second, more speculative means by which superpowers may b even more permanently proscribed.

He is shown here to have decided that there is another way to define superpower, adding an unexpounded upon caviat....His indecision seems to be relevant....

I would like to reference my presentation in the opening argument for the rest of this post. As I stated, the one major hurdle India faces in establishing itself as a superpower, or major global force if you will, is the discrepancy between its sizable population and domestic economic distribution....but the trend currently experienced is favorable to India......

Although India is still home to a large share of the world’s poor, the share of the population in poverty is declining, and a significant, relatively affluent, middle class has emerged.

The trend can only increase...this observation is incorporative of the agricultural industry alone. It has already been established that India has a prominent foothold in the emerging communications industry, an industry that will only grow further. And as more Indian affluence will give way to Indian education and application towards technology, so can the rate of India’s economic growth be seen to increase....

posted on Apr, 6 2006 @ 09:24 PM
My opponent has attempted to constructing a straw man by misinterpreting and falsely adding to my argument.

The Vagabond described that the term ‘super power’ is a misused term, fraught with inadequacy due to the subjective and relative nature of the reality

This is where my opponent diverges from what I have actually stated in order to build an easily defeated manakin of my true argument.

I do not claim that the therm super-power is inadequate, merely that it has been misapplied and that within a few short years there will be no dispute that no nation can be accurately described as such.
There is nothing subjective about the definitions which I have introduced to this debate.

A super-power is a nation that cannot be threatened by the formation of any coalition against it, because it accounts for such a large share of world’s total power.The term super-power was specifically coined to label the dominant nations in the bipolar strategic environment which emerged when the empires of continental Europe were ravaged by WWII.

Super-power was derived from the term great power. This term is described in the foreign policies and treaties of those nations party to the Concert of Europe, referenced earlier. It describes the most powerful nations in the multilateral strategic environment of the past several centuries, where no one nation held dominance and the maintenance of coalitions was crucial to a stable balance of power.

The replacement of a bipolar environment with a multilateral one necessarily includes the cessation of super-power status for those who previously defined the two polar forces.India can only be a super-power if no level of cooperation among rivals can surpass the power of India.

My opponent has attempted to destroy the term super-power by suggesting that the term “super” is self-contradictory, thus allowing him to rebuild the term as he sees fit, so that he can claim that it just means “a really big country”.
A super-power occupies the highest status. “Est” does mean surpassing all others. 'Others' in this context is a pronoun, and refers to the previous noun, in this case status. Super-power status surpasses any other status, not that of any other nation, just as general surpasses other uniformed ranks while yet there are many generals.

Having defeated that nonsense, perhaps now would be a good time for somebody to introduce a substantive discussion of India’s economic and military potential. I will here list several economic challenges facing India and briefly identify the implications thereof. In the post to follow I will expand upon these and offer comparisons to other nations in a quantitative manner, thus demonstrating the rise of the multilateral environment I have previously described.

India’s economy, while good for the country and impressive in its ability to cheaply do perform service jobs, lacks qualitative distinction and strategic importance. India will certainly grow more affluent and obtain the financial resources to eventually end it’s dependence on foreign military equipment, however it will not far exceed that of the United States or Europe, and will almost certainly continue to be dwarfed by China’s.
CIA World Factbook
  • HALF of India’s output is generated by the services sector. This is a non-differentiated product which can and will be moved to other nations as the Rupee appreciates and non-English speaking nations such as China come to rival America’s demand for services.
  • Indian tariffs average 20% on non-agricultural commodities
  • India dramatically reduced privatization of government-owned industries in 2005, and limits foreign investment strictly. This will prevent domestic forces of supply and demand in concert with foreign capital from providing for the speedy and efficient development of Indian infrastructure.
  • Despite India’s large outsourcing industry, India maintains a $36.8B trade deficit. This will grow dramatically if the US dollar significantly depreciates, as America is the chief importer of Indian goods, accounting for nearly double the consumption of the next leading nation (the UAE)
  • The above factors have caused India’s budget deficit to run at 9% of Gross Domestic Product and forced government borrowing, causing inflation. This, along with its unfriendly economic policies, will limit India’s investment abroad and confine India’s potential wealth to only what it can generate, as opposed to reaping the benefits of other economies through investment.

The many hurdles before India, along with competition, will preclude the rise of an Indian super-power. Note that similar forces are causing America to decline. India's economy is built precisely on the fact that they are not and will not be a super-power, because such an economy will begin to decline when it prospers too much relative to others.

A weak Rupee (44=1 USD) and a large impoverished population are the makings of India's service-outsourcing success. Stronger currency and domestic wealth combined with the industrialization of competitors such as Brazil will arrest Indian growth.

(Word Perfect: 800)

posted on Apr, 9 2006 @ 05:04 PM
Memoryshock forfeits his reply. The Vagabond will prepare and post a next response.

posted on Apr, 9 2006 @ 06:33 PM
As I began to explain in my previous post, the closing of the gap between major consumers and nations such as India which derive their success from cost-effective export industries which rely on disparity in currency values and the low standards of worker's living will arrest the growth of these exporting nations and cause the economic balance of power to stabilize at a level of near-parity between at least four powers: America, India, China, and Europe. In this environment, no longer defined by one or two major economies, there can be no super-powers by definition.

What follows is an economic comparison between those four powers using information provided by the BRIC Thesis and follow up papers produced by a team of Goldman Sachs economists and a uniquely Chinese method of detailed power calculation with little if any twin in Western or Marxist estimations: Comprehensive National Power analysis. It is readily observed in the data and every serious study thereof that India shall rise only to relative parity among 4 or 5 powers, not to super-power status.

Quantitative Analysis of CNP by Chinese experts suggests the rise of a multilateral economic/strategic environment

they see America declining and an evolution toward a multipolar world, as the quantitative power gap between the United States and other major powers closes rapidly between 2000 and 2020. Additionally, they avoid describing the rise of China to superpower status. (snip) The publications of both institutes agree that China will, at most, become merely one pole among five equals

If this applies to China, which is growing faster than any nation in the world, about 2% faster than India, and which has a larger share of the US Market than India according to the CIA World Factbook, then how could India possibly have greater ambitions?

The Multilateral Economic Environment

This image compares a World Bank graph of today's largest economies with a Goldman Sachs projection of the largest economies in 2050. Note that at present, America's economy is greater than that of the next 4 leading nations combined. In the Goldman Sachs projection however, China leads, the USA is within 20%, and India trails not far behind the USA. Also in the projection, note that the four EU nations listed, even without the rest of the EU, would fall not far behind India if counted as the EU rather than as individuals.
This is what Goldman Sachs is banking on for the year 2050. This is not a firm well known for losing money; the projections of their economists carry considerable weight.

One Caveat
The projections made by Goldman Sachs in 2003 stipulate "if everything goes right", and sound policies on behalf of the governments in question.

The big assumption underlying all of these projections is that the BRICs maintain growth-supportive policy settings

As I pointed out previously, India has ceased privatization and erected barriers to foreign investment which will curtail the growth of their infrastructure if not reversed soon, thus causing them to fall short of these projections. On page 14 of the Goldman Sachs report, it can be seen that poorer, less stable, more rigidly controlled nations tend to under perform estimates. From 1960-2000, Argentina, Brazil, and India fell dramatically short of Goldman Sachs' estimates, while Hong Kong, South Korea, and Japan significantly over-achieved. It should also be noted that India's shortfall was by far the most extreme for that timeframe.

Why India Can't Outperform Rivals and Reach Super-Power Status
(even if they do everything right)
I previously bulleted several points on this matter but reiterate because they are reinforced by the sources I have introduced now.
The Goldman Sachs report contends that Brazil, Russia, India, and China, particularly the last two, will be crucial economic players in the next 50 years, but acknowledges that those nations will begin to level off before far eclipsing America for the very reasons I mentioned earlier.

Overall, growth for the BRICs is likely to slow significantly over this time frame. (snip)
The BRIC's real exchange rates could appreciate by up to 300% over the next 50 years
(snip)about 1/3 of the rise in US dollar GDP from the BRICs may come from rising currencies(snip)
As developing countries grow, they have the potential to post higher growth rates (snip) This potential comes from two sources. The first is that they have less capital per worker (snip) they are farther from their 'steady states'.

India will not far exceed other nations, but will level off at a rough equivalent to them as their currency value and other factors come into line with what conditions allow the world average to be. Their spending will increase and the demand for their exports will decrease as a result of cost.
(Word Perfect: 796)

posted on Apr, 12 2006 @ 11:24 PM
Memoryshock forfeits due to lack of posting. The Vagabond advances to Round 3! He stolen Memoryshock's thunder twice now!

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