A few points to preface my opening remarks. I will reuse some of my original content, so if you are familiar with it already - it's not
My opponent has enjoined the concept of global stability into the debate regarding "policing the world" and thus added a new dimension to the
potential argument. The list of issues proffered;
- Poverty and the related aid that is given to much of the world
- Political instability with different causes
- Global Institutions
These issues, while certainly relevant to the task of "World Police," presume the office is accepted. I will gladly explore these in greater depth
from the opposing perspective; but I feel the presupposition must be granted as axiomatic.
My argument is that the premise "The United States is the only Super Power and should be policing the world" is fundamentally incorrect on several
levels that are precursors to accepting the issues of such a role in the world.
Detractions from the argument include what manner of 'super power' is required, and what constitutes 'policing.'
But let's get on with the debate... here is my 'plagiarized' (from myself) opening from the original debate.
I have great interest in this topic. I feel that my opponent and I, who will be studying the issue cooperatively from opposite perspectives, face a
great challenge because of what we must contend with in terms of definitions.
First, and most importantly, we must concur on what the noun form of “The United States” really means. Our nation, customarily considered in the
singular, is represented globally by one entity – the Federal government. However, as many here have recently been discussing openly, the Federal
government has evolved into a singular entity which does not necessarily conform to the Constitutional Republic as it was intended. Thus, the
“United States” really refers to the “Federal Government of the United States”, and not the actual population of the United States or their
collective will. This virtual dichotomy becomes a schism for understanding.
Second, the term “Super Power” is (or can be) misleading and somewhat vague. There are too many ways to skew the notion of power to allow for an
easily resolution to a definition. Economic, cultural, military, political, and diplomatic powers are all gauged differently, and if we are not
talking about the same thing, we will end up in a pointless circular rift.
Third, ”Policing” raises some issues. As many can attest, policing is not a comprehensive union of the acts of law enforcement, peace keeping, or
simply ‘cleaning up’. Policing, if taken literally, implies authority to impose and maintain control; such a definition also will color the
debate, while simple law enforcement or peace keeping will change the debate direction as well.
With all due respect to those who may disagree, we have to ‘firm up’ the foundation of this debate. In my never-ending quest to avoid excess
verbiage (stop laughing), I will try to make this as simple as my own limitations will allow;
Our global population has churned and gyrated extensively over the millennia, crystallizing into theocracies, oligarchies, republics, and loose
confederacies. We have adopted totalitarianism, democracy, and anarchy. And time after time, throughout history, one ‘form’ of collective groups
of people or another has proved incapable or unwilling to allow another to exist peacefully.
As time passed, several national experiments have proven more effective, and more lasting than others. Ultimately, a large-scale “king of the
hill” game has been played by an increasingly smaller body of ‘executive’ representatives of groups of people who have delineated borders and
claimed ‘statehood.’ Key to that ‘statehood’ is a notion of ‘sovereignty’; that among themselves, people choose to be answerable only to
the state of which they constitute a ‘citizen.’ The choice is one made freely (ostensibly) and their membership in the body of citizens is founded
in an acceptance of the form of governance of the land. We are all well aware that such is not always the case, and that entire communities of peoples
have been trapped or virtually imprisoned by their self-proclaimed leaders. And we also see that some of these governments are prone to execute all
forms of offenses towards neighbors (or even their own people) which defy any definition as ‘benevolence.’
If we refuse to entertain the reasons why governments assault each other, if we surrender to the notion that all nations are like children on a
playground, if we believe that we can rightfully adopt a ‘righteous’ superiority to other nations, irrespective of their cultures and political
ideologies, then we would have to accept that people, generally speaking, must be “kept in line.” Therefore a global ‘cop’ is required.
That’s a lot of ifs.
But granting that (for the moment,) we have to examine what it means to be the global cop. It means that we must be ‘accepted’ in the role,
empowered to impose the will of the ‘lawful’ over those who someone has determined is ‘unlawful.’ Police are not judges, and must be directed
to carry out their actions – again, in theory.
That being said, we cannot afford to ignore the global conduct of our sovereign neighbors. Certainly their conduct will eventually impact on our
‘sovereign’ citizens – or their interests.
But I can’t subscribe to the theory that ‘we’ as in the United States of America, are the defacto authority, duly empowered to apply unilateral
For the sake of the argument, I will concede our power as being equal to some, greater than most. Such a position is filled with treacherous pitfalls,
especially once any other nation or group of nations declares that ‘we’ shouldn’t have that authority – at best, or simply ‘seized’ the
authority - at worst. Many fascist states and organizations have assumed that authority to their detriment and in many cases, eventual downfall. That
could lead to the very conflicts we are trying to police. Such a position could more easily start a war, than end it.
Also, policing is a continuous activity. Can we really consign our future generations to a global role they may not wish to assume? How do we lay down
the mantle of police authority, should that time come?
The United States of America is not dedicated to the proposition that the globe is our domain to control and maintain.
Perhaps if the world somehow agreed that they wanted such a service from us, I would be inclined to accept the possibility, but that is clearly not
the case, nor do I believe it ever should be.
Perhaps if there were a single global government, each nation, would concede the role to an outside agency. But then, the US would be little more than
a branch of that government, beholden to a leadership and direction coming from ‘above’ and ‘beyond’ our cherished concept of sovereignty.
Until such a massive and earth-shattering paradigm shift happens, each nation and her closest neighbors should be responsible for their own conduct,
and face consequences locally, without the prospect of another nation, driven by foreign ideals, and foreign ideologies, imposes their concept of
‘order’ on the world.
Denying the role of global police, enforcer of freedom and justice, and keeper of international peace and harmony does not automatically mean we
can't help those in need, or defend those principles we hold as central to our national ideals. It just means that we require the extraordinary
element of consensus before we apply our might upon others. Which seems only fair, since other citizens of the world should have as much say as any
other in deciding whether people need to kill and be killed over matters of state.
Thank you everyone for revisiting the debate....