Skirmish: benjj V DeusEx: Democracy

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posted on Jan, 8 2004 @ 12:35 AM
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The topic for this debate is "Democracy is the best form of government."

benjj will be arguing for this proposition and will open the debate.
DeusEx will argue against this proposition.

Each debator 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 debator 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 count as part of the post.

Editing is Strictly forbidden.

Excluding both the opening and closing statements only one image or link may be included in any post. Opening and Closing statement must not carry either images or links.

As a guide responses should be made within 18 hours. However if the debate is moving forward then I have a relaxed attitude to this.

The winner will receive 1000 ATS points the loser (on condition of completion) will receive 500 ATS points. This on top of generous points allocation for Debate forum posts.

The debate will be judged by an anonymous and independant judging panel after the closing statements. Results and comments will be posted when the decision has been made.

This debate is now open, good luck.




posted on Jan, 8 2004 @ 03:23 AM
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Well, what more can be said about democracy that what it has achieved, not only in the last century, but through all time.

Recent events throughout the world have shown that in order for a country to grow in a positive way, an element of democracy needs to be ever present when making those all important choices. I am not going to make my point 'person specific', but there always will be tyrants & dictators who wish for nothing but power. The very essence of democracy is that the people, en mass, democratically elect a leader (or spokesman) for themselves by means of a vote.

History clearly shows that in a modern society the people do not want, or need, to be ruled with an iron fist. Those who chose to 'rule' via that route often find themselves on the business end of a swift kick sooner or later.

When weighing up this choice you must decide what yoiu hold dearest to your heart. If you are one of those who value freedom of speech, movement, religion, choice and the future, democracy is really only the way to go.



posted on Jan, 8 2004 @ 03:54 AM
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Well met, Benjj!

It will be an honor to engage in a battle of wits against Benjj. My thanks to Kano for allowing me this.

The world today is a dark place indeed. We need not a gentle hand to spirit away the shadows about us, but an iron fist. This debate is not about what the people want. The debate is about whether or not Democracy, this slow and ponderous beast of the masses, is worth us continuing to whip and goad it the next mile in humanity's great journey.

History has shown us the merits of other ideologies and other governments, not of democracy. One looks to the past, and marvels at the achievements that the ancients created. Now, I ask of you: was Julius Caesar a democrat? Was Alexander? No. Democracy is one step removed from anarchy. For now, I am content to say that this will no doubt be an honorable battle. I look forwards to matching wits with Benjj.

Well bargained and done.

DE



posted on Jan, 8 2004 @ 04:07 AM
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Touche DE, all good points well made. However!

Where are Rome, Alexander the Great (Greeks), Atilla the Hun, Ghengis Kahn et al now? You speak the truth that a single man can achieve great (or bloody) things, but do they last?

I agree also with you the points made about being ruled, but with an iron fist? The masses react well to a democratically elected leader & government who does well, and less tolerant of those who fail to reach the public's expectations. This is why we have elections. We select a candidate to our liking (at that time), and give them a shot in the 'big seat'. If they do well they may be granted another term, if they do poorly they will be instantly dismissed and relegated to the back benches.

Believe it or not, the world has never been at peace so much as now. It may well be hard to believe at present (I often have doubts myself), but through democracy we have a cross-section of international leaders who all are trying to achieve similar things. This, in my opinion, is a positive step in the evolution of humanity.

Over you you my friend.

only edited the typos!

[Edited on 8-1-2004 by benjj]



posted on Jan, 8 2004 @ 04:18 AM
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They are all dead, I will admit. But do not all things meet the Void at a time? So it is with Democracy.

"Democracies become tyrannical, left alone, and effectively if not overtly become other forms of government, as Aristotelian observation had considered since the end of the age of the ancient Greek polities (city-states), including among them the first Western democracies such as Athens. As early as 1377, Ibn Khaldn convincingly argued that not only does every particular dynasty or state experience a terminal lifespan, but all political civilization endures a cyclical pattern of birth, corruption, decay, and collapse..."

Link!

So this weary old beast of democracy has had its stay. Let it die with some semblance of respect.

However these so-called 'tyrants' built empires that lasted centuries. Their people were rulers, conquerors, happy and wealthy. Genghis Khan's people ruled from the Caspian sea to China for 200 years. Caesars ruled Rome for 400 years. Both cases saw the greatest empires the world have ever seen. What will Democracy's legacy for us be?

DE



posted on Jan, 8 2004 @ 04:28 AM
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Great points once again DE, but to clarify my point on Rome, Greeks, Kahn etc, I did not mean they are simply dead, but with the exception of Rome, their 'legacies' do not live on when compared to democracies long standing and continuing impact.

Further more, democracy is not 'one man'. It is a modern way of thinking which allows everyone under its government a fair say. By pigeon-holing Ceasar, Kahn, Alexander etc as all having the same ethos is fanciful to say the least. Democracy is a way of life for those of us lucky enough to have been born in a democracy. It is the evolution on what our fore-fathers did, giving more thought to the common man (or woman) and their input into how their Country is run.

I will not say democracy is perfect, but I will stand up and say it is the best hope we have of weathering the 'dark times' as you put it, and coming out in a shape fit to face the 22nd century. I would not like to think of my children having their intrinsic human rights violated by a tyrant.



posted on Jan, 8 2004 @ 04:48 AM
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Ah, well put, Benjj! However, I would ask for the specifics of the democracies in which you place such value. The USA, perhaps? Has existed barely 250 years, and in that time has not had 20 years without a war. Moot point, as it is a constitutional republic, not a true democracy. Perhaps it is the UK you speak of, which is a constitutional monarchy? I see surprisingly few true democracies, and even fewer that are not mediocre at best. We see the legacies of those empires every day - in your precious republic, in law, in the streets and the names of every animal on the planet.

The lack of democracy does not equal the lack of fundemental liberties. The assumption otherwise is a fatal flaw in Western thinking. While it is true that this century has shown us despot after despot, one cannot say that they are all truly evil. After all, even the Big Three had their points - Hitler rebuilt the German economy in 15 years, Stalin and Lenin took a country that could barely afford to feed itself in 1917 and turned it into a superpower by the end of the Second World War, and Mao Tse Tung unified China under himself.

Democracy is not ones man, you are correct. It is no man.

DE



posted on Jan, 8 2004 @ 04:59 AM
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DE, fair points.

One first point to make is that I was not specifically talking about a democracy in action, more so the actual premise of a democracy.

When we look at the world today we see a great mix of methods in ruling countries. Democracies, Communism, Anarchy, Royal states etcetera.

With the exception on anarchy, democracy, communism and royalist states can run a country smoothly if undertaken properly.

I can not argue with you on either the US or the UK, as we repeadedly prove that we fall way short of living up to what we claim. However, If done properly a democracy can help a country develop better than most, while at the same time entertaining the civil, humanitarian and moral liberties of the general public. Whether or not democratically run countries do it right is a moot point indeed, but the principle remains sound.

It is of course a choice for the individual, but a democracy works for me and mine. As long as that continues I will be happy. That said, I do believe that the people in power today could do a much better job that they currently are.

Please remember that this debate is about 'Democracy' and not 'Democracy in practice'.



posted on Jan, 8 2004 @ 05:12 AM
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True, Benjj, and a good point. This debate is not about democracy in practice. However, we may point to it as proof, quiaff?

Indeed, democracy may give your your rights- but will it put food in your stomach? Will your freedom lend your currency strength? No. However, behold communism and fascism- both regarded as barbaric and synominous with evil due to the actions of a few lunatics. Are we to brand them as such due to the atrocities of the few?

In both cases, fascism and communism look amazing on paper. Once again, paper is not indicative of reality. democracy proves to be an impractical proposition, promising much but with little to back it. It has been tried again and again across the centuries as a form of government. When will we learn that it simply is not a proper form of government? When will we learn our lesson? The greek city-states fell to the Spartans, then to teh tyrant Alexander. Thousands of years, thousands of tries, yet no results.

Yes, civil liberties are all fine and well, as is a little aid in development. But why should the people settle for half measures when a good, strong, decisive leader will lead them into teh next century and beyond? We rarely hear of Plato's failed experiment in Democracy, instead of the glory of Pax Romana. Let the past finally teach us our lesson.

DE



posted on Jan, 8 2004 @ 05:21 AM
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Having listened with interest to all of your points DE, I come to my summing up.

I don't think anyone who lives in a democratic country today is entirely satisfied with the way it is run, but acknowledge that they are one of the few who have a country that allows them certain liberties that others do not.

The backbone of all of our (democratic) societies is one of 'by the people, for the people', and that will always be more prefferable to the public than fashism, communism or anything else. I am not saying that it will always be the case, and human beings do have a way to go before the world is at peace an harmony, but for now we need to club together and make democracy work for us.

The very essence of democracy is one of giving anyone and everyone a fair chance, even of becoming leader. This can only be a good thing for our children and grand-children, as with democracy truly anything is possible.



posted on Jan, 8 2004 @ 05:28 AM
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Well done, Benjj. You've kept me on my toes. I will now close with a basic restatement of my points:

All things become obsolete at some time,even democracy. that time is now. It has left no mark despite over two thousand years of existence. It has failed us time and again. We value our liberties -while not exclusive to democracy, are viewed as such- over hard results.

The spirit of democracy matters not. The debate is over functionalism, form, use. It is obvious from looking at the last century -nay, all history- that democracy's use has ended.

Well fought, Benjj.

DE



posted on Jan, 8 2004 @ 05:33 AM
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DE,

Great and compelling argument, lets await the decision in trepidation!

Ben



posted on Jan, 8 2004 @ 07:22 AM
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Wow! That was fast!

Top job fellas, I will post the results when they come in.



posted on Jan, 9 2004 @ 02:09 PM
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Ok, the results are in, and the winner of this debate is: DeusEx. By a majority of 7-4.

Here are a few of the judges comments:

Well, this was certainly a debate that was given by both participants quite quickly. I do feel that both could have been more detailed and specific in the giving of their arguments. None-the-less, both did well.


Wow, eloquently debated on both sides. I believe the position of DeusEx was the hardest to defend, but was artfully overcome with the compelling magnetism of a true "tyrant" (and outside research!)


Both sides placed well written points in this debate. Good work from both of you, it was hard to make a decision as both views were well presented.


Benjj put up a valiant effort and I encourage further involvement in debates but DeusEx was loaded for bear. Well done.


DeusEx did slightly more to convince that democracy was imperfect and not the best form of government for our times. He could have focused more on the word "is". Both of them avoided the definition of "best" and skirted around it.

Both debaters will benefit from more experience, from defining the question, and from taking more time and more of their allowable word space to question the logic of their opponent and flesh out their examples and illustrations of what might be "best" or "not best".


Well done to both benjj and DeusEx.





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