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Round 3. DeltaChaos V Loki: Africa

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posted on Mar, 18 2004 @ 11:48 PM
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The topic for this debate is "Countries in Africa should become a political and economic union."

DeltaChaos will be arguing for this proposition and will open the debate.
Loki 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. This means any editing, for any reason. Any edited posts will be completely deleted.

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. If the debate is moving forward then I have a relaxed attitude to this. However, if people are consistently late with their replies, they will forfeit the debate.

Judging will be done by an anonymous panel of 11 judges. After each debate is completed it will be locked and the judges will begin making their decision. Results will be posted by me as soon as a majority (6) is reached.

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




posted on Mar, 19 2004 @ 12:56 PM
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"Countries in Africa should become a political and economic union."

Not only should it, but I think Africa must consolidate if it is ever to get out of itís current situation and participate with the rest of the world. For too long Africa has been exploited by imperialism for itís raw materials and cheap (or free) labor. It is time for Africa to start educating itís peoples, building a highly skilled worker base, and investing itís vast resources in itís own infrastructure. It will require a lot of help from other, more developed countries, and in fact, there are currently initiatives in place to help bring Africa up to speed.

Africa has had quite a bad run throughout itís history, and it has problems running deep that could only be solved by continental wide oversight, and the willing participation of the leadership of itís countries.

Good luck in this debate Loki, and thanks again, Kano for moderating this awesome forum. Iím enjoying this immensely and learning a lot. This debate will no doubt be educational for me, as well as anyone who can take a look at it after itís over. With the possible exception of Reverend Lock! That was hilarious Ė good one JB1!

OK Loki, itís all you. Iím going to Africa!

DC



posted on Mar, 22 2004 @ 09:10 PM
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It is difficult for us as Americans to understand how everyday life in third world countries works. Life in Africa is as alien to the average American teenager as say, life on the moon.

The problem with this is that our perceptions are always skewed to one viewpoint or another. One thing that we can be sure of in this case is that if things remain the same, the stability will be good for the collected citizens of Africa.

Let us examine what has happened in the recent past during periods of transition in regards to the ruling party/established system of government.

In 1990, when the Berlin wall fell, the USSR underwent massive economic and political change that it has yet to recover from. The once-strongest nation on the earth is by far much worse off from the sudden change in government.

Even more recently, the US deposed the ruling party in Afghanistan, the Taliban. Afghanistan is now even worse off than they were under this corrupt regime.

Now, in Iraq, we hear more and more reports of insurgents killing US troops that are in Iraq for peacekeeping purposes. When are we going to realize that stability is the key to progress in this world?

No, the various nations of Africa should remain free and independent, without outside interference, so that they can progress at the pace that they are meant to. They don't need the extra upheaval that comes with a massive change in government.



posted on Mar, 23 2004 @ 09:41 AM
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Africa is a continent with vast human and natural resources. The reason why they havenít been able to become a world power at this point is because they havenít organized into one. The cradle of life is in Africa and mankind has been on that continent longer than any other, so it would seem that it could be the worldís strongest continent economically and politically.

The rest of the nations of the world are now discovering the advantages of forming unions with each other. If not nationalistic unions, economic and political cooperation between countries, which is what I believe the nations of Africa should strive for. I donít believe in big government, and I donít believe Africa would be tolerant to a total African government. Africa would do well to agree on a system of oversight and management for infrastructure, resource management, intra-continental trade, education systems, and health and welfare programs. Those fundamental elements that allow the people of nations to worry less about their next meal and more about living life, and being happy. I think individual countries should have control over their own foreign trade agreements, because there are not many African states that donít have their own unique mix of goods to offer, and to bulk them together would undermine the identities of nations. Another reason why a loose union of African states would be more beneficial than a total African government is that there are such different national identities on the continent, and I think a big government would ruin the culture diversity.

These are the advantages that Africa could gain from continental unionization:

Infrastructure
An efficient road and rail system for the continent would allow the nations of Africa to engage in intra-continental trade. Nations who may be lacking in a particular resource, such as food, would have access to those who produce a surplus, and thus be able to support the production of the resources they have in abundance. An integrated communication system would allow for greater interaction between businesses in Africa, enhancing trade. It would also provide a less expensive way for the people of Africa to communicate with each other and share ideas. Africa could benefit greatly from internet access.

Education
Cooperation between nations for building a standard primary education system is key. It is in the best interest of all nations to be a part of the education process. Value of the union would increase as the education standard rose, and would in turn benefit the continent as a whole. Also, a system of state colleges, universities, and technical institutes would ensure a broad and diverse worker base for Africa, increasing gross production value.

Health and Welfare
With intra-continental trade increase as a result of a solid infrastructure, the overall health of the people of Africa would rise. With at least enough food to sustain those countries who may need more time and help, famine would be one less thing to worry about. With the food problem mitigated, children could concentrate on their schooling, and be educated about health issues that confront them. Also, as value in the continent increased through trade, Africa would gain more buying power to purchase the medication and supplies needed for clinics and hospitals. Health is one of Africaís biggest problems, and education and infrastructure would help to make people aware of their health and treat the issues more effectively.

Foreign trade
Once education systems and infrastructure are developed, and health issues are addressed to a manageable level, Africa will begin to use itís resources to produce goods and services. Foreign trade will diversify their markets and increase the standard of living and enhance the improvements that have been implemented. Also, the nations of Africa could begin to standardize with the rest of the world and produce to the level of expectation for those with whom they trade. Standardization would be a very good function of oversight for Africa.

The agreement of the majority of nations on the African continent on these issues would pave the way for success of its businesses and its people. With cooperation and help from each other, they will help themselves into the modern world, and eventually be a benefit to everyone on the planet. Africa needs to become a coop of nations now and help themselves out of their rut, because if they continue to do what theyíre doing, they will continue to be what they are.



posted on Mar, 24 2004 @ 09:23 AM
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These are all very good and noble Ideals. However, you must consider the practicality of them. Is it practical to throw the entire continent into swirling confusion just to institute a form of government that may not actually work?

Infrastructure
South Africa alone has 21,303 kilometers of 1.067-meter, narrow-gauge (regional standard) rail lines throughout the country. And rail is still one of the most used forms of transport in Africa. This infrastructure already exists, and what you speak of in your statement on this subject is a form of capitalism, not the collective union as implied in the debate topic.

Education
Okay. So I agree on you with this one. However, it would be much easier for single nations to develop and institute their own forms of public school systems, rather than attempt to raise a continent-wide standard of education. Such a large-scale project is difficult in even well-developed countries such as the US or Canada.

Health and Welfare
Again, noble Ideals, but no real ability to put this plan into action. Africa is one of the most depraved continents in terms of medical assistance to those in need, and education, as well as overall health. A huge overhaul of the nearly non-existent public health system in african countries would cost more money than I could rightly imagine. It would by far be easier to reform the continent one nation at a time.

Foreign Trade
Unfortunately, at the beginning stages of this proposed unionizing of Africa, the fledgling continent/country would have no real way to progress without outside assistance, which invariably means US intervention. I don't think we should get into a debate about where that leads countries. Foreign trade is a goal that would be nigh unattainable if all the African nations were to become one. There's just too much Africa, and not enough people qualified to run it satisfactorily, without outside assistance that could cripple it's growth.


Basically, It would be by far easier for african nations to be reformed on all of these levels one by one. Any sort of 'group' or 'collective' effort multiplies the difficulty factor by thousands of times. This is why the various nations of Africa should remain separate and independent.



posted on Mar, 25 2004 @ 05:06 PM
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I donít propose throwing a continent into a swirling confusion. I donít propose a continental government. What I propose is the economic and political union of African countries. A proposal that can work, because history has proven that it works. America is a union of independent states that has worked with great success. I do not, however, propose a centralized federal government like Americaís, but only a steering agency with the good of the entire continent in mind. The European union has decided that it must unionize economically in order to remain effective in global trade. It is a practice that works, and that is why unionization is taking place.

My idea behind the uses of the road and rail infrastructure is not capitalistic. Itís actually more socialistic, as I think it could be used to ship goods to those countries that canít produce certain necessary commodities, such as food. Like I said, as soon as people can stop worrying incessantly about their next meal, they can concentrate more on education and being productive.

The education issue is a tough one, but the nations of Africa should agree at least on a minimum standard of education for all African children, and those willing to at least become literate. The fundamentals of language, mathematics, and science should be taught to children on the entire continent to begin with, and could be done so at minimal expense. This elementary education is absolutely necessary for the future of Africa.

Africaís health system is near non-existent. And the reason why it is so is because African nations cannot afford supplies and medicines needed from developed countries. All the more reason to implement a system capable of exploiting Africaís resources for itís own good. And you are correct, Loki, in saying that it would cost more than imaginable. But think of the unimaginable amount of funding in the form of foreign aid that Africa has already received. And it hasnít done the good that was intended. This may sound miserly, but for the good of Africa and the rest of the world, it needs to start pulling itís own weight. And the only way for it to do that is to organize to the point that it can become self-sustaining. Africa is already so indebted to the rest of the world that it canít even pay the interest accrued. The GDP of all the nations of Africa is going to have to rise sharply if they are to pay their bills, and it will require the concerted, combined effort of all of them to make it happen.

I cannot disagree with you, Loki, on the fact that Africa will not be able to progress without the intervention of other countries and businesses. But the truth is that we have all been intervening up until now, with money, food, medicine, and sometimes our militaries. And the only way to make sure that we donít have to continue intervening is to help Africa become self-sufficient once and for all. It is in the best interest of the world at large that Africa realizes itís potential, and begins participating economically with the rest of us. There are enough resources on that continent to sustain a population twice itís size, but it lacks the infrastructure and the organization to even keep itís current numbers healthy and fed, let alone happy to some degree.

Foreign trade would not be unattainable on a continental basis, as you assert, but it wouldnít be necessary. I believe that foreign trade should be regulated by the individual countries, and not infringed upon by a centralized force. To do so would dilute the uniqueness of the different cultures represented by the African continent, and would also undermine the absolute worth of the countries themselves. I would not agree with continental oversight reaching as far as to regulate foreign trade, with the exception of bulk national raw materials and commodities such as oil, coal, and precious metals.

African unionization will not increase the difficulty of attaining political and economic integrity in the world; it will reduce it. With a vision for the people of Africa that one day they may enjoy a better life, one without the scourges of famine and pestilence, and one of worth and purpose, they will be more receptive to the idea of unionization. And as a result of that vision, the cooperation amongst nations will mitigate the obstacles in their paths. Many hands make light work.

Another consideration for what might seem a drastic measure such is this is that the rest of the world is progressing forward rapidly, and anything Africa can do to make sure that it is not left further behind should be done soon, or it may never catch up.



posted on Mar, 26 2004 @ 02:57 PM
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I'll come right out and say it:
What you are saying here sounds good.

However, it's an overly-utopian Ideal, much in the same way that pure communism is. The fact of the matter is that there are people out there that would pit themselves against such a change, and in doing so, make it even more difficult for this plan to succeed. With such a fragile course of action, such naysayers could ruin or cripple the movement, and thus the entire African continent would sink into anarchy, and be divided up among warring land barons with little else on their minds but instilling fear in the masses.

The truth of the matter is that while it may be beneficial in a hypothetical situation, there are far too many risks to actually undertake the massive overhaul that the African Continent must undergo to make such plans work. All it would take is one country being mis-represented in peace talks (Because the collected nations of africa must embrace one another before we can force them into a collective governmental effort), One leader with impure motives, One group of people who don't want to see this era, to make it all fall apart. If that were to happen, Africa would be no better off than it is now.

On the other hand, if we all keep our hands out of the 'cookie jar', and adopt a foreign policy of 'laissez faire' with the African situation, things could quite possibly fix themselves. A good example of this is Cuba. While the US has no Vested interest in this small Carribean Island, they are quite well off. The literacy rate is over 90%, and the island is becoming more and more prosperous without submitting to the will of the US. Cuba has been on US Trade sanctions for a very long time, and just look what they did without our help.

It is reasonable to believe that if we don't force African Nations into anything, or try to persuade them to do it, that they too can make large strides towards becoming well-developed countries.

And Delta, I wanted to ask you something...


I donít propose throwing a continent into a swirling confusion. I donít propose a continental government. What I propose is the economic and political union of African countries.


If you're not proposing a Continental government, but you're proposing an economic, and political union of African countries...then...what exactly would you call this union if not a Continental government?

That is exactly what it is...let me show you.



posted on Mar, 27 2004 @ 09:18 AM
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None of what I have proposed thus far has come near the extremes to which you have taken them, and I am quite certain that in reality, any negative results of unification could not reach the disastrous proportions you describe. Of course there are obstacles, and people with opposing viewpoints are one of them. When in history has there ever been a complete consensus regarding important decisions? You pointed out the fact that there are people who would oppose change, but that fact goes without saying in all matters. A more important fact regarding those in opposition is that they are grossly outnumbered; nearly the entire continent is against them, not to mention the U.N. and the greater part of the rest of the world. Already thirty-two African nations and over fifty heads of state are on board with the African Union. These opposing voices have not spoken as yet, let alone crippled the move to unionize Africa. I am afraid that at this point, nothing short of apocalypse could thrust the African continent into the degree of anarchy that you describe. Certainly a coalition of the strongest of African nations combined with the collective experience of a vast number of well-governed countries, all with a vision to improve the standard for Africa could never result in such disaster.

As far as the risks, I have considered them. You have pointed out one that I have not yet considered, however. Call me shortsighted, but I never considered the possibility of a minority undermining the will of a vast majority. I guess I just canít think of a modern historical precedence for that. Of course there will be peoples and nations who are not willing to participate, and they should have the prerogative not to participate until they recognize the great advantage their counterparts enjoy, at which point they would be gladly accepted into the union. And of course there will be corruption in leadership. These things will never change. I assure you that there are much greater risks to consider. Defining those risks, however, is not my side of the coin. Even if the only risk were an opposition group, at this point they would have to be very powerful to make this movement fall apart. Also, this risk would not outweigh the benefits of success enough not to take said risk. Risk is an inherent element of success in all worthy endeavors.

With regard to a laissez-faire approach to Africa leading to a situation where, ďthings could quite possibly fix themselvesĒ, I am sorry, but this is about as naÔve as is comparing Africa to Cuba. Are we to infer from this statement that it would be best for the world to withdraw all aid and humanitarian effort to the continent, refuse to impart advise or experience to the leaders, and remove what little international investment that has been made under the conviction that without this help it would make it easier for Africa to excel? This approach to the situation would not only prove backwards and unfeasible, but if applied would without a doubt cause uncontrollable instability similar to the anarchy you described above, and would probably result in the decimation of the population of Africa. The old adage, ĎFailure to plan is planning to failí does not apply here. This requires a new one - ďRefusal to plan is dangerousÖĒ

While weíre waiting for you to show us exactly what a continental government is, Iíll do my best to describe a political and economic union. This should be simple, as there already exists one just a few miles north of Africa - The European Union.

A few years ago, a political and economic union of European nations was formed. It was formed because a majority of European leaders decided that it would be a good idea, and it was. So far it has increased the efficiency and value of trade between the nations, and has increased the power that the union can use for overseas investment and foreign trade. And the last time I checked, all of the nations within the union were carrying on just Ďsovereignlyí. To my knowledge, they still hold their own elections, maintain independent governments, write and enforce their own laws, and have their own input regarding decisions made within the union. The only resemblance it bears to a continental government is the uniform monetary system which, incidentally, wouldnít be a bad idea for Africa.

The unionization of the African continent is a plan that has already been put into motion. If done well, it is a process that will likely take a decade or two, but the results will be a decrease in all forms of suffering for the African people, and a welcome addition to the world economic and political community.



posted on Mar, 29 2004 @ 04:11 PM
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This would ordinarily be an easy decision, as far as risks go. However, once one considers the geographic location, and regional tensions that usually accompany this location, one can easily see how even the most docile of situations can quickly turn volatile, at the cost of alot of human life.

I will be the first to admit that Africa is as of right now not very well off. However, They have not been without unwanted foreign presence since the 15th Century, when a group of portugese explorers found the city of Timbuktu hidden away in the continent's interior. The point of this is that all the greatest countries in the world have been allowed to grow, and be fruitful without unwanted foreign presence (and if they had it, it was expelled).

I'm afraid that it would all boil down like this.

1. Larger, more powerful country attempts to usher Africa into this new age.

2. Smaller, third world countries' fringe anti-american groups take offense, and attempt to rebel

3. Larger, more powerful country Lays about with heavy-handed chastisement, at the cost of innocent life, on top of the not so innocent, coupled with the immense cost of foreign wars.

4. Project 'One Africa' never leaves the ground, and is eventually abandoned.

5. Countries in Africa worse off because of it.

Now, while you may say this is an extremely pessimistic view, and I may agree, I must say that it is in this case better to err on the side of caution. If we were to rush into Africa, and attempt to throw this over them, it's likely to spark a war.

And now I come finally to the most compelling bit of evidence yet.

If it's such a great Idea...then why in the world is Africa the way it is now, instead of in a group, as you are proposing?

Simply put, It would be much better for the entirety of the African Continent to be allowed to develop of their own accord, free from the grip of a foreign power whom would wish to exploit their natural resources. It would simply be another form of exploitation of the African people, and that just cannot be tolerated.



posted on Mar, 29 2004 @ 05:50 PM
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At this point I would just like to go down the list once more and try to temper these extremes with rational thought.

The assertion that all great countries of the world have become so because they were allowed to enjoy long periods of time without foreign influence is a misnomer. Invasion from other cultures has been the norm throughout history exemplified by the Mongols in China, the Franks in Germany, the Goths in France, Moorish invasions of Southern Europe, and the Roman Empire, most of which ruled in tyranny for spans of time greater than the entire history of the United States.

I wouldnít say that your point of view is as pessimistic as it is unrealistic. The worst-case scenario is never the most likely scenario, and as much as we fear the worst, situations rarely play out that way. I canít tell exactly what youíre trying to say with the allusions to the United States assuming control over all of Africa. It just isnít happening that way. We recently invaded a small part of it, but not with the intention of ruling the entire continent.

Even if the future played out like you describe, with small countries rebelling against some totalitarian capitalistic rule, those small countries wouldnít last long against it. But that is not in fact what is happening. What is happening right now, as we debate, is encouragement, coaching, advising, planning, and funding from other countries with the intent to help Africa finally be successful for themselves.

And I donít understand the Ďthrow this over themí statement as if the world were forcing Africa to do something they didnít want to do. Africa doesnít want to remain the way it is. Africa has been soliciting the help of the world for decades, and the world has always tried to do what it could, and then some. The fact is, Africa needs help, recognizes the fact, and is asking for it. And there are plenty that are willing to continue to help Africa stand on itís own. This is what is actually happening.

It is a great idea. The reason Africa is the way it is now is because in the time that other countries were developing and industrializing, they were exploiting Africa to do so. Along with the fact that the cultures of Africa donít lend themselves too readily to the concepts the rest of the world now embrace.

If you believe that the point is for a foreign power to exploit all Africaís resources, you must just be out of touch. The idea is for Africa to be able to work its own land, and exploit its resources for itself.

At this point I donít know what else to say but if what you say actually were possible, I sure hope Iím right about this. And I hope that some of the greatest leaders of the world who are helping to make this happen just havenít overlooked these things. Nah, couldnít beÖ



posted on Mar, 30 2004 @ 10:12 PM
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Wonderful, but It wasn't supposed to be a rebuttal.


I'd like to round out the argument against this proposed collectivism of the African continent.

The world IS a land of extremes.

Take for example the recent assassination of Hamas leader Shiekh Ahmed Yassin.

The Hamas terrorist cell has caused much pain and suffering to the Israeli people, so Isreal kills the man with a missile volley as he left the mosque one afternoon. Hamas supporters respond by firing mortars into jewish housing divisions.

A bit extreme maybe?

The point of this is to illustrate that I'm not being overly pessimistic, or reaching too far, because that is what the world is based on. Extremeties.

Basically, the world must realize that Africa is a cultural cornucopia, and enjoys being such. We don't have the right to interfere with the development of those countries by doing such an extreme thing.

Basically, Africa must be left to it's own devices, and become integrated into the world only when it is ready to do so.

And there are several reports of primitive tribes living in absolute happiness in interior south america, Africa, and even aboriginal tribes in New Guinea. Just because they're primitive doesn't mean they're unhappy. It was just a matter of integration.

Thank you for reading.



posted on Mar, 30 2004 @ 11:48 PM
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Ok, I put the Judges batteries back in, I'll get them onto it.



posted on Apr, 3 2004 @ 04:34 AM
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Results are in. DeltaChaos has defeated Loki by a margin of 6-2. An excellent debate by both competitors, here are some judges comments.


I REALLY enjoyed this one. Congrats to both on a job well done!


Great debate. Both guys did a great job. My vote goes to Delta Chaos.


Once again, an excellent debate and one that both should be proud of engaging in. Both these debators are impressive in their presentations, as they are in arguing their positions. They are to be congratulated on their efforts. In the end, DeltaChaos argued his/her position more persuasively.


So now, we wave goodbye to the reigning champion, and wish DeltaChaos good luck in the final.




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