I too would like to thank Kano for organising this debate tournament and the judges who will eventually decide it's outcome.
I wish to open my side of this debate by looking carefully at the proposition and it's meaning.
"A strong dictatorship is better than a weak democracy."
To me this proposition has been drafted in either general terms, ie, A strong dictatorship is generally better than a weak democracy.
Or in absolute terms, ie, A strong dictatorship is always better than a weak democracy.
Either proposition is false and I will show how and why as the debate progresses.
The other feature of the proposition which could be considered ambiguous is the qualitative nature of the term "better"
Judges and others who follow this debate will be quite right in asking themselves the question,"Better for whom ?"
a) Better for the country (economy,infastructure,standing in the world)
b) Better for the people (Rights,Freedoms,Standards of living)
c) Better for the world (International relations and security)
In truth I think it's fair to say that "better" must be considered the sum of all three.
For me there is no such thing as a "Strong Dictatorship" except in unachievable principle.Dictatorship has all the inherent weaknesses of one
man,and one man with the egotism and ambition for power to rule all others at that.
I have often heard the term "benign dictatorship".Surely this is an oxymoron if ever there was one.Benign,relative to what? Not a Liberal
Democracy.A dictatorship can only be considered benign when compared to the reigns of terror of Hitler or Stalin (Incidently both were considered by
the world to be heads of "Strong Dictatorships").
Finally,Russian seems to be concentrating on the USSR as his main example of Strong Dictatorship but of course he is describing the Utopian Ideal that
seduced the intellectual classes of the late 19th century to mid 20th century and not the dark realities of that period of history.
"Also during communism people had comfort in their lives and even the lower class had money to live, buy food, and even own a car."
This is almost laughably naive.I will be only too happy to spend this entire debate arguing against this proposition with Communist Russia as it's
best example of "better" government.
Now,before I go I would like to ask Russian one question.You've given us an example of Strong Dictatorship could you also give us an example of Weak
Look forward to hearing from you Russian.