Round 3: Parallex vs intrepid - "Assassination of a Dictator"

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posted on Jan, 17 2010 @ 07:42 PM
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The topic for this debate is "The assassination of a dictator is a justified act.”

"Parallex" will be arguing the "Pro" position and begin the debate.
"intrepid" will be arguing the "Con" position.

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posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 08:44 AM
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Hello everyone, and welcome to the next round of the Debate Tournament. I would like to thank everyone who has participated so far, and again extend my best wishes to those who make this tournament possible. I would again like to offer my condolences to my most excellent opponents I have faced in order to get to this point, and also offer the very best of luck and my deepest respect to Intrepid in this round.

The Topic subject is – "The assassination of a dictator is a justified act.”

There are three ‘battleground’ words within this title –
1) Assassination
2) Dictator
3) Justified

I am, quite logically, going to point out that the assassination of a dictator is plausibly justifiable. In order to achieve this in a sensible; and unusually non-verbose fashion, some definitions are required. (All ‘quoted’ from the Oxford Concise Dictionary.)

1) Assassination – “Extension. Action. Of, Kill (esp. A political or religious leader) for political or religious motives.”

2) Dictator – “1 – A Ruler with (often usurped) unrestricted authority. 2 – A person with supreme authority in any sphere. 3 – A domineering person. 4 – A person who dictates for transcription. 5 – (In Roman history) A Chief Magistrate with absolute power, appointed in an emergency."

3) Justified – “adj. Just, Right (Am justified in assuming)."

For the purposes of eliminating silliness, definition 4 of dictator will not be involved. Unless a particularly ‘bulldog’-type secretary suddenly rises to power in dictatorship and gets assassinated. Then we are all in trouble. Think Hillary Clinton on steroids, and possibly acid.

Assassination is a word with a singular meaning. It relies on a burden of evidence – an assassination either IS, or IS NOT. Dictator is an opinion-based word. One persons’ dictator is another persons’ chosen ‘Champion’. Justified is again an opinion-based word – completely dependent on points of view, ideologies and interpretations of fact amongst other things.

Why would anyone condone murder? That is exactly what assassination is.

The idea of the ‘greater good’ is a compelling motive for murder. A founding pillar of 'Utilitarianism', a concept only formalised properly in the 1700’s, it is described as follows –

“Utilitarianism is the idea that the moral worth of an action is determined solely by its utility in providing happiness or pleasure as summed among all people. It is thus a form of consequentialism, meaning that the moral worth of an action is determined by its outcome.”

It is common knowledge that Dictators are often harsh, uncompromising and dastardly figures. History is replete with examples of men (and women) that have gone far beyond their democratic remit, and become dictators. This is usually at the expense of their people, or at the very least, a section of their people. In direct contravention of an enlightened ‘social contract’.

Lord Acton, in a letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton, 1887:

"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."

If Dictators are inherently bad people, with selfish interests, can this condone their murder? The answer simply, is YES. But that answer alone will not suffice. To JUSTIFY the act of assassination of said Dictators, in order to prevent them causing further harm to society, all other avenues of removing them from their position in a ‘civil’ fashion must have been exhausted. To say that this act cannot be justified under any circumstances is a fallacy.

A well known proverb: “Desperate times call for desperate measures.”

Probably the best example for this debate; and still a very hot ‘current’ topic is the case of one Mr Adolf Hitler. A former tramp, he climbed the social ladder in Germany and managed to become the most powerful man in the world for a number of years.

He was a dictator, with evil on his mind, and the power and will to implement its’ designs. This link describes how Hitler had 17 attempts on his life. On 17 different occasions, the moral dilemma was found clear enough to engage in assassination activity against the most powerful man in the world. By these very actions, a powerful argument for the justification of assassination of a dictator was highlighted.

I will continue in my examples throughout this debate, of how dictators have faced assassination because their very being cannot be tolerated by an enlightened and forward-thinking human society.

I conclude my opening post, and concede the floor to my opponent.

Good luck!

Parallex.



posted on Jan, 19 2010 @ 01:25 PM
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Welcome to the 3rd round folks. Thanks to chissler for this excellent topic, it is one worthy of debate. Likewise I thanks my opponent for this opportunity. As always though, thanks to the readers. We should give you some really good points to ponder.

Opening

"The assassination of a dictator is a justified act.”

An interesting concept. One that has made people think on for years. How many times have we heard, "What if Hitler was assassinated?" I'm glad my opponent brought that up because we will be looking into this case as well as many others throughout history.

I'm sure we all know what an "assassination" is. So we won't have to go into that. "Dictator" though has many different meanings. My opponent has put forth:


2) Dictator – “1 – A Ruler with (often usurped) unrestricted authority. 2 – A person with supreme authority in any sphere. 3 – A domineering person. 4 – A person who dictates for transcription. 5 – (In Roman history) A Chief Magistrate with absolute power, appointed in an emergency."


While close I don't believe this is accurate. One Look describes a dictator as:

noun: a ruler who is unconstrained by law

www.onelook.com...

This is more apt imo as all dictators as NOT bad people as my opponent has put forth:


It is common knowledge that Dictators are often harsh, uncompromising and dastardly figures. History is replete with examples of men (and women) that have gone far beyond their democratic remit, and become dictators. This is usually at the expense of their people, or at the very least, a section of their people. In direct contravention of an enlightened ‘social contract’.

Lord Acton, in a letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton, 1887:

"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."


I will show that dictators come in different personalities and that dictators CAN and DID have the welfare of their people in mind. "Benevolent", not "dastardly".

Now, the word "justify":


▸ verb: show to be right by providing justification or proof
▸ verb: show to be reasonable or provide adequate ground for
▸ verb: let off the hook
▸ verb: defend, explain, clear away, or make excuses for by reasoning


www.onelook.com...

This much less clear. When we are talking about an assassination of a person, this "reasoning" of the act to be justified becomes cloudy, one of opinion.


A well known proverb: “Desperate times call for desperate measures.”


Another is, "The end justifies the means." The problem with assassination is that it is an inexact action. The "end" is unknown. Will this action make the situation better? Will it make things worse. Again, we will look at historical instances where assassination actually made things worse. Secondly we will look at instances where an assassination didn't happen and that THAT was for the benefit of society.

This is what I will be focusing on in this debate. Back to you Parallex.



posted on Jan, 19 2010 @ 03:24 PM
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An excellent opener Intrepid, I think this is going to be a ‘corker’ of a debate.

Let us contest this, you and I.


"Dictator" though has many different meanings. My opponent has put forth: ....

While close I don't believe this is accurate. One Look describes a dictator as:

noun: a ruler who is unconstrained by law


Given that my definitions are pulled straight out of the Oxford Dictionary, the last word on the English language, I will stick with my definitions thank you.


This is more apt imo as all dictators as NOT bad people as my opponent has put forth:


A favourite tactic of most ‘dastardly’ dictators is to ‘warp’ the meaning of language. The English language is for the most part, set in stone (disregarding colloquialism & slang). My opponent seeks to emulate the art of a dictator by indoctrinating you the readers into a false mind-set. In this case, my definitions of ‘dictator’ are accurate, and not open to interpretation.

The book – “Totalitarian Language: Orwell's Newspeak and Its Nazi and Communist Antecedents”, by John Wesley Young, describes the concept I am referring to.

A summation of the work by Amazon -

“In this analysis of the language of totalitarianism, John Wesley Young examines the manipulation of language by Nazi and Communist regimes. Relating the language of totalitarian regimes to the language Newspeak in George Orwell's satirical novel "1984", Young addresses the similarities and differences between the real and fictional languages, demonstrates the accuracy of Newspeak, and explores the degree of control that language can exert over the thought and behaviour of a people. Based on Orwell's own perceptions of political, literary and linguistic practices, Newspeak is used in the novel by a totalitarian dictatorship to create a distorted view of reality and to control the thought and behaviour of its subjects.”


I will show that dictators come in different personalities and that dictator’s CAN and DID have the welfare of their people in mind. "Benevolent", not "dastardly".


Oh, you mean like Robert Mugabe? The man who started off as a widely-supported and much loved liberator of the people, with good intentions and an honourable direction? Needless to say that his ‘good spirit’ went down the toilet, along with the lives of thousands of people and the democratic hopes and prosperity of a nation once crowned the ‘Jewel of Central Africa’. All I will say about this is 'Matabeleland'.


This much less clear. When we are talking about an assassination of a person, this "reasoning" of the act to be justified becomes cloudy, one of opinion.


A pleasure it is to agree with you sir.


Another is, "The end justifies the means." The problem with assassination is that it is an inexact action. The "end" is unknown. Will this action make the situation better? Will it make things worse?


Indeed this is exactly why the proposition of assassination is a last-resort, as I made clear in my opening post. The situation has to be truly dire in order for a sanction like this to be enacted. Herr Hitler had majority support of his people in wartime era Germany (for varying reasons). This support, as well as his ‘skill’ in authoritarian rule allowed him to pull off the crime of the millennium. The Holocaust cannot be ignored (although many on ATS will try). Hitler brooked no opposition. Because of this, and a lot of luck, Hitler survived through 17 assassination attempts to the end of his bitter reign. Did his assassin protagonists have any choice? They certainly didn’t feel they did, as they were willing to put their lives in mortgage to their actions.

If you had the power to prevent great evil, wouldn’t a little evil be an acceptable bedfellow?


Again, we will look at historical instances where assassination actually made things worse. Secondly we will look at instances where an assassination didn't happen and that THAT was for the benefit of society.


I know of two excellent examples – Hugo Chavez in Venezuela for the assassination that didn’t happen, and Saddam Hussein of Iraq where it did. (Make no mistake; even though a large scale invasion was the weapon of choice, the death of Saddam Hussein was an assassination. Incidentally, TPTB did try to assassinate him conventionally and even tried to use the Kurds to rebel against him and do it for them.)

HUGO CHAVEZ

Hugo Chavez came to power in Venezuela through democratic elections. He was re-elected twice in recent years, made possible through a change in constitution. He is a legitimate leader of Venezuela, even if he has strained democratic practice to remain so, and is in many peoples’ eyes, a de-facto dictator.

The failed assassination attempts on Hugo Chavez have made him rightly paranoid about his mortality, somewhat affecting his judgement. However, the failure of these assassination attempts has made life better for Venezuelan citizens. One of his main policies was to seize control of privately owned oil assets within Venezuela, and nationalise them for the benefit of the people. This has contributed much towards ordinary Venezuelans prosperity. I actually admire and empathise with Mr Chavez; he is very much a revolutionary hero. His ‘Bolivarian’ policies have tended to hold the poor, and the disenfranchised in the greatest regard. He absconds from normal ‘dictatorial’ practice, and has really pushed forward into ‘new ground’ politically.

If Hugo Chavez was a true dictator, and not a legitimate leader and revolutionary, he would probably be dead already. He has the support of his people, because he ‘champions’ them – and as demonstrated in the failed ‘coup’ orchestrated by the Americans, they won’t give him up easily.

Justification for the assassination of Hugo Chavez is not needed – he is not a dictator in the ‘true’ sense. Even if he was a dictator in the ‘true’ sense, there have not been sufficient efforts to remove him through conventional lawful means to justify assassination. Time will tell.

As for SADDAM HUSSEIN and Iraq, I will discuss his ‘assassination’ in my next post.

SOCRATIC QUESTION No.1 –
Do you concede that if no other practicable alternative option exists for removing a tyrannical despot from power, who is directly causing death, destruction and untold human misery, that assassination as an option must be at least be considered?

I concede the floor to my opponent.

Parallex



posted on Jan, 20 2010 @ 03:40 PM
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1st Rebuttal


Originally posted by Parallex
Let us contest this, you and I.


"Dictator" though has many different meanings. My opponent has put forth: ....

While close I don't believe this is accurate. One Look describes a dictator as:

noun: a ruler who is unconstrained by law


Given that my definitions are pulled straight out of the Oxford Dictionary, the last word on the English language, I will stick with my definitions thank you.


This is more apt imo as all dictators as NOT bad people as my opponent has put forth:


A favourite tactic of most ‘dastardly’ dictators is to ‘warp’ the meaning of language. The English language is for the most part, set in stone (disregarding colloquialism & slang). My opponent seeks to emulate the art of a dictator by indoctrinating you the readers into a false mind-set. In this case, my definitions of ‘dictator’ are accurate, and not open to interpretation.


They are not open to interpretation? I beg to differ. Your Socratic question:


SOCRATIC QUESTION No.1 –
Do you concede that if no other practicable alternative option exists for removing a tyrannical despot from power, who is directly causing death, destruction and untold human misery, that assassination as an option must be at least be considered?


Despot? Hmm, what does the dictionary have to say about this word? Let's look:


noun: a cruel and oppressive dictator


www.onelook.com...

Looks like there are different types of dictators after all.

To answer your question though........ no. Like I said in my opening assassination is an inexact act. You don't know what the outcome will be. Take Lenin for example.

Attempted assassinations on Lenin.

The assassins didn't succeed. If they had would it have been a good thing? Let's look at who succeeded Lenin:


Researchers before the 1991 dissolution of the Soviet Union attempting to count the number of people killed under Stalin's regime produced estimates ranging from 3 to 60 million. After the Soviet Union dissolved, evidence from the Soviet archives also became available, containing official records of the execution of approximately 800,000 prisoners under Stalin for either political or criminal offenses, around 1.7 million deaths in the Gulags and some 390,000 deaths during kulak forced resettlement – for a total of about 3 million officially recorded victims in these categories.


en.wikipedia.org...

If any of the assassination attempts on Lenin had succeeded those numbers would be higher as Stalin would have had more time to quell political opposition. A case where the outcome was worse than what was going on before.

Let's look further on this.


I know of two excellent examples – Hugo Chavez in Venezuela for the assassination that didn’t happen, and Saddam Hussein of Iraq where it did. (Make no mistake; even though a large scale invasion was the weapon of choice, the death of Saddam Hussein was an assassination. Incidentally, TPTB did try to assassinate him conventionally and even tried to use the Kurds to rebel against him and do it for them.)


I totally agree, Saddam was assassinated. Did that make things any better for the Iraqis? Let's make that Socratic:

Socratic question #1- Did the fall of Saddam make life easier for the Iraqi people?

Further:


Herr Hitler had majority support of his people in wartime era Germany (for varying reasons). This support, as well as his ‘skill’ in authoritarian rule allowed him to pull off the crime of the millennium. The Holocaust cannot be ignored (although many on ATS will try). Hitler brooked no opposition. Because of this, and a lot of luck, Hitler survived through 17 assassination attempts to the end of his bitter reign. Did his assassin protagonists have any choice? They certainly didn’t feel they did, as they were willing to put their lives in mortgage to their actions.


Hitler was the poster boy for the Third Reich but he was not the only person involved in the catastrophe that was WW2. What if this had been a case like Lenin's? Was there a person in the wings that would have been even worse? Like Stalin was?

Socratic question #2- Can you state with honesty and accuracy that the assassination of Hitler would have made things better for the world?

Secondly, what if WW2 didn't happen? What would we be missing today, or at least behind where we are today? Jet propulsion. Gyroscopes. Nuclear energy to name a few. What about medical advances?


One of the most dramatic single medical advances was probably the wide spread use of penicillin to treat wounds and bacterial diseases.


en.wikipedia.org...

Yes, WW2 was a terrible time. Yes over 70 million people died during it. How many have been saved with the advancement of antibiotics? 10's of millions used to die from pandemics.

Socratic question #3- Would we be prepared for pandemics today if it wasn't for the advancement of antibiotics 70 years ago?

Assassination leave much to the winds of fate and thus is a coin toss. You might accomplish a certain goal but is that goal worth the price paid?

Back to you.

[edit on 1-20-2010 by chissler]



posted on Jan, 21 2010 @ 06:27 AM
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Very interesting post Intrepid – but woefully weak on the argument. I think you’re going to need to up your game here sunshine.


Looks like there are different types of dictators after all.


No, there isn’t, they’re all the same. The common factor amongst ALL dictators is that they have been corrupted by absolute power, Lord Acton’s warning on this subject holds true.

My example of Robert Mugabe highlighted how he ‘evolved’ in his role as dictator. At first, he came to the fore to liberate and free the people – to introduce a better way of life and supposedly give TRUE democracy a chance. As time moved on, he couldn’t achieve this, so he moved rapidly towards an autocracy. This is the way of all dictators.

To further enhance my point, I bring to the table the shining example of one Mr Idi Amin.

He was initially welcomed as a great ‘African Independence Leader’, and was described a gregarious and sociable person. Yet his cruel streak was further enhanced by his overpowering paranoia? His status as a dictator allowed him the possibility to kill thousands, to control a nations’ destiny, and to invade nearby nations. Were ANY of his actions in the best interests of his people? No. He went from a man with possibility, to a man with fear and hatred embedded to his very core. If only Yoda was about to advise him!

I think it is fair to say that by looking at every example of a dictator, you can see the evolution of them from the figure that gained power, to the evil despotic dictator.


To answer your question though........ no. Like I said in my opening assassination is an inexact act. You don't know what the outcome will be.


So, in translation, you would not consider assassination if a despot was destroying your people, your culture, everything you held dear about your life? You would have tried everything to remove this person legally, lawfully and morally? But still No? You are either ‘cutting your nose off to spite your face’, or you enjoy being a slave with no rights.


The assassins didn't succeed. If they had would it have been a good thing?


Yes, because at the time, Lenin was not of the mind for representation of the will of others. Although his writings and political musings were displaying some admirable qualities, his actions spoke otherwise in terms of the rights of the ‘little’ people. Lenin was specifically entangled in dealing with the social elite, this was his focus – and as such – democracy died on his watch.


If any of the assassination attempts on Lenin had succeeded those numbers would be higher as Stalin would have had more time to quell political opposition. A case where the outcome was worse than what was going on before.


I disagree wholeheartedly. I think that the time Stalin had to himself with Lenin whilst he was ill allowed Stalin the time to prosper. Stalin used this time to ‘interpret’ Lenin’s thoughts to the people and the party. He also used it as time to ‘associate’ himself closely with Lenin in the public eye and to consolidate his position as ‘successor’. This wouldn’t have happened if Lenin were dead would it?

If Lenin had died suddenly, the power vacuum would have created a much competitive and open environment, possibly meaning that someone else would have taken the reins. As you say, assassination is an open-ended eventuality. No-one knows what could have happened.

In answer to your SOCRATIC QUESTION NO.1 – Did the fall of Saddam make life easier for the Iraqi people?

As loaded questions go that’s a nice one. The people of Iraq have been having, and still are having, a miserable time. With the blunder-filled campaign western powers have waged in Iraq, the tensions held in check by Saddam Hussein’s presence were allowed to run rampant. In this capacity, the dictator was sorely missed.

However, as this profile shows, it wasn’t exactly a Mesopotamian paradise before he was deposed. The gassing of the Kurds, the futile war with Iran, the invasion of Kuwait, the suppression of the Shia, the death squads, the destruction of homelands etc. These are all typical acts of a despotic dictator.

The assassination attempts on Saddam failed because his personal security was extremely effective, and because he got lucky. The ramifications of one of the particular failures in Dujail, had far-reaching consequences.

Does this mean it was the attempts on Saddam’s life that caused the problems? No. He was a dictator, which the people Iraq had forced upon them. Could he have been removed by any means other than through assassination? No. Was it justified? A conventional assassination would’ve been yes, the invasion of Iraq however was a different story.

In answer to your SOCRATIC QUESTION NO.2 – Can you state with honesty and accuracy that the assassination of Hitler would have made things better for the world?

This is easy. Yes. Hitler was the linchpin which held the Nazi party together. The Stauffenberg conspiracy upon which the film ‘Valkyrie’ (view the source from my OP) was based showed a distinct desire to remove Himmler from the world as well. But this is because Himmler would’ve been a direct possibility for replacing Hitler. It doesn’t mean the situation would’ve been the same. Hitler was as much a puppet as he was a dictator – there are strings attached in either situation. As much as he led the merry dance, he was also led by others.

The in-fighting and changes in the central political structure of the party would’ve certainly changed the scenario we saw in World War II. Would it have made the world better? As you yourself stated, no one could know this.

In answer to your SOCRATIC QUESTION NO.3 – Would we be prepared for pandemics today if it wasn't for the advancement of antibiotics 70 years ago?

World War II certainly brought about scientific advances – this is common knowledge. However, I think that attributing the capabilities of the modern age to the outbreak of WWII is a fallacy.

‘The Law Of Accelerating Returns’ is explained by this link. In it, we see exponential growth of human knowledge and technological prowess. To attribute technological breakthroughs to the act of war is silly. The war coincided with, and perhaps necessitated certain lines of enquiry. It is my belief these advancements would’ve happened anyway. But this is all purely theoretical. We are discussing the factual point that assassination of dictators is completely justifiable.


Assassination leaves much to the winds of fate and thus is a coin toss. You might accomplish a certain goal but is that goal worth the price paid?


Quite logically, you have completed the intellectual circle of thought here Intrepid. You have summed up the arguments in your head, and in this debate, and come back to the final conclusion. You have ‘tripped’ over the idea of the ‘Greater Good’ as you stumble about blindly in your search for a reasonable and logical argument. As I posted in my OP, the ‘Greater Good’ argument is the key to this debate, and brooks no dissent just like the dictators we are discussing. The ‘Utilitarianism’ philosophy propounds the adherence of all people to a 'Social Contract'. Becoming a dictator rips up this ‘Social Contract’, and as such, negates the basic human rights of the governed citizens.

I think it is only ‘just’ that someone who negates the basic human rights of millions of people deserves the same fate? Assassination of a dictator in this case becomes easily more palatable.

SOCRATIC QUESTION NO.2 –
Do you consider the death penalty (under law) to be justifiable as a sentence for the most heinous of crimes?


SOCRATIC QUESTION NO.3 –
Do you concede that Genocide is a ‘heinous’ crime and as such warrants the death penalty?


The floor is yours good sir.

Parallex



posted on Jan, 22 2010 @ 12:35 PM
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I'll have to invoke my 24 hr extension.



posted on Jan, 23 2010 @ 03:17 PM
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2nd Rebuttal

My opponent and I seems to be at a cross roads as to what a dictator is. I explained in my opening that it was one that ruled without a concern for the law. My opponent seems fixated on ALL dictators being "despots". They are not. Take General Tito of Yugoslavia for example:

General Tito

While the General was elected, by reading that link you will see that he was pretty much a dictator, BY HIS PEOPLE WISHES. He imprisoned those that threatened his gov't. He kept Yugoslavia solid by his will. He kept the USSR out of his country. What happened after his death? From the same source:


At the time of his death, speculation began about whether his successors could continue to hold Yugoslavia together. Ethnic divisions and conflict grew and eventually erupted in a series of Yugoslav wars a decade after his death. Tito was buried in a mausoleum in Belgrade, called Kuća Cveća (The House of Flowers) and numerous people visit the place as a shrine to "better times".


Yugoslavia fell apart without him. So much for the Benevolent Tyrant. The country and it's people were better off with him than without him. What about the Despot? Saddam. Even my opponent admits that Iraq was better off with him:


Originally posted by ParallexThe people of Iraq have been having, and still are having, a miserable time. With the blunder-filled campaign western powers have waged in Iraq, the tensions held in check by Saddam Hussein’s presence were allowed to run rampant. In this capacity, the dictator was sorely missed.


Sometimes it's better to have a dictator in control than what the options are. Like I pointed out with Stalin. My opponent disagrees:


I disagree wholeheartedly. I think that the time Stalin had to himself with Lenin whilst he was ill allowed Stalin the time to prosper. Stalin used this time to ‘interpret’ Lenin’s thoughts to the people and the party. He also used it as time to ‘associate’ himself closely with Lenin in the public eye and to consolidate his position as ‘successor’. This wouldn’t have happened if Lenin were dead would it?

If Lenin had died suddenly, the power vacuum would have created a much competitive and open environment, possibly meaning that someone else would have taken the reins. As you say, assassination is an open-ended eventuality. No-one knows what could have happened.


I disagree. Stalin was a ruthless man and dictator. It would have meant that his crowning would just have been that much more bloody. Sometimes a "devil you know" is better than the one you don't. History is repleat with these instances. Alexander the Great of Greece:


Alexander began his reign by having his potential rivals to the throne murdered. He had his cousin, the former Amyntas IV, executed, as well as having two Macedonian princes from the region of Lyncestis killed, while a third, Alexander Lyncestes, was spared. Olympias had Cleopatra Eurydice and her daughter by Philip, Europa, burned alive. When Alexander found out about this, he was furious with his mother. Alexander also ordered the murder of Attalus, who was in command of the advance guard of the army in Asia Minor.


en.wikipedia.org...#

Under him Greece reached great military heights. Same source:


Alexander repeatedly defeated the Persians in battle; marched through Syria, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Persia, and Bactria; and in the process he overthrew the Persian king Darius III and conquered the entirety of the Persian Empire.ii[›] Following his desire to reach the "ends of the world and the Great Outer Sea", he invaded India, but was eventually forced to turn back by the near-mutiny of his troops, who had tired of war.


The jury is out as to whether he died of disease or poison. Whichever options is correct the result is the same. What happened to Greece after he died?


In the years following Alexander's death, a series of civil wars tore his empire apart, which resulted in the formation of a number of states ruled by Macedonian aristocracy (the Diadochi).


Greece was never the same. The dictator's death led to the decline of the Empire.

 


My opponent seems to be confused when this type of thinking comes into play. Like Hitler for instance.


In answer to your SOCRATIC QUESTION NO.2 – Can you state with honesty and accuracy that the assassination of Hitler would have made things better for the world?

This is easy. Yes.

*snip*

The in-fighting and changes in the central political structure of the party would’ve certainly changed the scenario we saw in World War II. Would it have made the world better? As you yourself stated, no one could know this.


OK, which is it? You can't have it both ways. Either it would or it wouldn't. From the *snipped* part:


Hitler was the linchpin which held the Nazi party together. The Stauffenberg conspiracy upon which the film ‘Valkyrie’ (view the source from my OP) was based showed a distinct desire to remove Himmler from the world as well. But this is because Himmler would’ve been a direct possibility for replacing Hitler. It doesn’t mean the situation would’ve been the same.


Ah, my point exactly. Himmler could have stepped in and would things have been better? Worse? We won't know now. Why stop at Himmler though? Why not Adolf Eichman as well?


Otto Adolf Eichmann[1] (March 19, 1906 – May 31, 1962), sometimes referred to as "the architect of the Holocaust", was a German Nazi and SS-Obersturmbannführer (equivalent to Lieutenant Colonel)


en.wikipedia.org...

Once you put into place an action like assassination you have to live with what you unleash. THAT is why assassination is not justifiable. Unless you can justify the fact that certain assassinations result in more misery than before the action.

Seems like Parallex and I disagree once more:


World War II certainly brought about scientific advances – this is common knowledge. However, I think that attributing the capabilities of the modern age to the outbreak of WWII is a fallacy.


War BREEDS innovation. You need it to win. To think that WW2 didn't bring about great innovation would be massively incorrect.


Quite logically, you have completed the intellectual circle of thought here Intrepid. You have summed up the arguments in your head, and in this debate, and come back to the final conclusion. You have ‘tripped’ over the idea of the ‘Greater Good’ as you stumble about blindly in your search for a reasonable and logical argument.


Quite to the contrary. The "greater good" is what I'm talking about. Was it better for Greece when Alexander died? Was it better for Yugoslavia when Tito died? Was it better for the Iraqis when Saddam died? You already answered that one. The point is valid. For the good of the people assassination can/is a bad trade off for what's on the other side of the action.

 


I'm running out of room here, so we'll get to the Socratic questions:

SOCRATIC QUESTION NO.2 –
Do you consider the death penalty (under law) to be justifiable as a sentence for the most heinous of crimes?


Yes I do but who's "law" are we talking about here?

SOCRATIC QUESTION NO.3 –
Do you concede that Genocide is a ‘heinous’ crime and as such warrants the death penalty?


Yes. That's the purpose of revolution. The French did it. The Russians did it. When the people have had enough they will not replace "one person" (assassination) but the entire system. As I said, just removing one person would accomplish little. May even be a step backwards.

Sorry, I didn't see a question #1. If I missed it just point it out and I will answer it.

Back to you.



posted on Jan, 24 2010 @ 11:24 AM
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Sorry, I didn't see a question #1. If I missed it just point it out and I will answer it.


Don’t worry, you haven’t missed anything, I just number my questions from the very start of the debate instead of through each post.


My opponent and I seem to be at a cross roads as to what a dictator is. I explained in my opening that it was one that ruled without a concern for the law.


Yes, you explained this very carefully. However, you seem to have conveniently forgotten the rest of the definitions of a dictator and exactly what they entail. For the readers benefit, please peruse the links and definitions above for an ‘accurate’ picture.


While the General was elected, by reading that link you will see that he was pretty much a dictator, BY HIS PEOPLE WISHES. He imprisoned those that threatened his gov't. He kept Yugoslavia solid by his will. He kept the USSR out of his country.


I could never deny that perhaps in a ‘brutal’ situation, a brutal personality is required to maintain order. But at what cost? The suspension of liberty & democracy and the shredding of the ‘social contract’ and ‘utilitarian’ ideals within Yugoslavia? Or perhaps the simple matter of the mass ethnic killings, or the widespread abuse, imprisonment and killings of dissenters and political opponents?

The above sounds fairly ‘despotic’ to me.


What happened after his death?

Yugoslavia fell apart without him. So much for the Benevolent Tyrant. The country and it's people were better off with him than without him.


This is true in some regards; indeed Tito did hold the country together, but only through the use of an iron fist. Hardly an enlightened or benevolent approach! We have to bear in mind that we are discussing the justification of assassination of a dictator here – not whether or not his credentials as a dictator were good enough! It doesn’t matter whether or not Marshall Tito was good or bad at being a dictator – the fact that he was one would justify his removal. Him being ‘voted’ in was a conscious decision by the people to take a, ‘rather you than me’ approach to their nationalistic agendas – eerily similar to 1930’s Germany.

Without a basic inclusion of human rights, the adherence to a social contract, and the fundamental understanding of the ‘utilitarian’ concept, any elected government or person could possibly perpetrate dictatorial practice. In this case, the different ethnic groups wanted independence – they should’ve had it. Instead, Tito suppressed this as part of an anti-hegemonic response towards the West & the Soviets. His was an imperfect solution & response in an imperfect world.


What about the Despot? Saddam. Even my opponent admits that Iraq was better off with him



Sometimes it's better to have a dictator in control than what the options are.


This was a clumsy response from you here. I am more than happy to propound that dictators can ‘stabilise’ a situation. Stability is often a blessing. But again, at what cost? No enlightened social contract, no ‘utilitarian’ approach, no higher thought processes. The act of ‘existing’ cannot compare to the act of ‘living’. Dictators ‘sometimes’ allow existence at the cost of living a free life.


I disagree. Stalin was a ruthless man and dictator. It would have meant that his crowning would just have been that much more bloody. Sometimes a "devil you know" is better than the one you don't. History is replete with these instances.


This is pure supposition, with no basis in fact. As we have BOTH established, we cannot know what would’ve happened had things been different. Also, might I add, “Better the devil you know” is a classic dictator apologist line, of which the discussion on Pinochet described the methodology...

From the above source –

“Following Pinochet's arrest on 16th October 1998, many Conservatives became worried about the possible effects both on diplomatic relations and on trade between the two countries. While so doing, they often overlooked, minimized or even excused the systematic, institutional abuse of human rights carried out to political ends by General Pinochet”

On Alexander The Great -


What happened to Greece after he died?


You’ve asked the wrong question, and drawn inaccurate conclusions. Alexander was Macedonian, not just Greek. And you should be asking what happened to his empire, not just Greece.


In the years following Alexander's death, a series of civil wars tore his empire apart, which resulted in the formation of a number of states ruled by Macedonian aristocracy (the Diadochi).



Greece was never the same. The dictator's death led to the decline of the Empire.


Indeed, upon Alexander’s death, the Diadochi states arose. But please acknowledge that they were NOT Greek. Certainly, they maintained Greek cultural influences amongst other Greek characteristics, but they were most DEFINITELY NOT Greek.

The Greeks’ themselves were made up of fiercely independent city-states, as this map will show –



These city-states and their allies were often in a state of perpetual war – mainly due to cultural divisions and the ambitions of inferior men. When King Phillip II of Macedonia united them, he did so in a dictatorial fashion (normal in classical times, even in Greece). Independence and liberty for the conquered peoples no longer applied – mortal enemies were forced to forget their feuds even if they were justified. This was an early indication of what was to happen.



This map shows the Diadochi states. They were all united under the dictatorial prowess of one man, was this a good thing? The wars that arose after his death were a mixture of power grabs by each Diadochi family, as well as re-assertions of regional culture and sovereignty. Even back then, freedom and liberty were held dear.

The important note – none of these empires ever lasted, because they were unjust. Individual liberty and culture were not recognised, and so, citizens and rivals were backed into corners and had to take drastic measures. Even assassination.


OK, which is it? You can't have it both ways. Either it would or it wouldn't.


You desire me to predict what might have been? Let me have a look in my crystal ball...


Ah, my point exactly. Himmler could have stepped in and would things have been better? Worse? We won't know now. Why stop at Himmler though? Why not Adolf Eichman as well?


Pointless musings.


Once you put into place an action like assassination you have to live with what you unleash. THAT is why assassination is not justifiable. Unless you can justify the fact that certain assassinations result in more misery than before the action.


Although you’re trying to hide it, you’re trying to argue the same point that I am. The ‘Greater Good’ is always the most important consideration – hence ‘Utilitarianism’. Autocracy, dictatorships and despotic behaviour do NOT work for the ‘Greater Good’ – the truth of this is inescapable. By their very nature, the entities themselves as well as the words technically proscribe selfishness.


War BREEDS innovation. You need it to win. To think that WW2 didn't bring about great innovation would be massively incorrect.


No arguments there – I’m just exposing your supposition for what it is, supposition.


Quite to the contrary. The "greater good" is what I'm talking about. Was it better for Greece when Alexander died? Was it better for Yugoslavia when Tito died? Was it better for the Iraqis when Saddam died? You already answered that one. The point is valid. For the good of the people assassination can/is a bad trade off for what's on the other side of the action.


The point you are trying to defend here is that the benefit of the few should outweigh the suffering of the many. Not exactly a justifiable defence is it? When Macedonia invaded the ‘known world’, was it for the ‘worlds’ betterment? No. Yugoslavia being kept together? No. Nazi Germany? No.


Yes I do but who's "law" are we talking about here?


Common Law. Death Penalties have been present in most cultures for thousands of years. So killing someone for their wrongs is something you agree with. Excellent.


Yes. That's the purpose of revolution. The French did it. The Russians did it. When the people have had enough they will not replace "one person" (assassination) but the entire system. As I said, just removing one person would accomplish little. May even be a step backwards.


You call it revolution; others would call it the ‘assassination’ of the bourgeoisie. You yourself admitted assassination was an open subject. Yet now you try to limit it to the singular, personal act?

SOCRATIC QUESTION NO.4 –
Now that you have conceded that the death penalty is just for committing a suitably nasty crime, and that genocide is one such crime – Will you now concede that any dictator that has perpetrated a ‘mass-killing’ or widespread genocide of humans is subject to a death-penalty?


The floor is now yours good sir. Parallex.



posted on Jan, 25 2010 @ 06:00 PM
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3rd rebuttal

Land of Confusion. Props to Genesis but this is what I'm reminded of. Let's cut through the obfuscation and misrepresentation.


Originally posted by Parallex

My opponent and I seem to be at a cross roads as to what a dictator is. I explained in my opening that it was one that ruled without a concern for the law.


Yes, you explained this very carefully. However, you seem to have conveniently forgotten the rest of the definitions of a dictator and exactly what they entail. For the readers benefit, please peruse the links and definitions above for an ‘accurate’ picture.


The accurate picture is still the same as I purported at the beginning of this debate. Dictators, not despots, come in different colors. Benevolent and despotic. Tito is a good example. I'm unsure as to what my opponent is referring to when he says:



While the General was elected, by reading that link you will see that he was pretty much a dictator, BY HIS PEOPLE WISHES. He imprisoned those that threatened his gov't. He kept Yugoslavia solid by his will. He kept the USSR out of his country.


I could never deny that perhaps in a ‘brutal’ situation, a brutal personality is required to maintain order. But at what cost? The suspension of liberty & democracy and the shredding of the ‘social contract’ and ‘utilitarian’ ideals within Yugoslavia? Or perhaps the simple matter of the mass ethnic killings, or the widespread abuse, imprisonment and killings of dissenters and political opponents?


What "suspension of liberty and democracy"? The people continued to vote the dictator in. They were perfectly fine with the way things were being run.


This is true in some regards; indeed Tito did hold the country together, but only through the use of an iron fist. Hardly an enlightened or benevolent approach! We have to bear in mind that we are discussing the justification of assassination of a dictator here – not whether or not his credentials as a dictator were good enough! It doesn’t matter whether or not Marshall Tito was good or bad at being a dictator – the fact that he was one would justify his removal.


Well one would think that he was good at being a dictator, the people kept voting for him. "It doesn’t matter whether or not Marshall Tito was good or bad at being a dictator – the fact that he was one would justify his removal."

His people didn't feel that way.



What about the Despot? Saddam. Even my opponent admits that Iraq was better off with him.


Sometimes it's better to have a dictator in control than what the other options are.



This was a clumsy response from you here. I am more than happy to propound that dictators can ‘stabilise’ a situation. Stability is often a blessing. But again, at what cost? No enlightened social contract, no ‘utilitarian’ approach, no higher thought processes. The act of ‘existing’ cannot compare to the act of ‘living’. Dictators ‘sometimes’ allow existence at the cost of living a free life."


As decided by who? I have shown that the people of Yugoslavia were perfectly fine with their dictator. Ask an Iraqi whether life is better now than it was 10 years ago. It would probably be similar.

Nothing clumsy about it. YOU admitted that the people of Iraq were better off then than they are now. Your words. Just pointing it out. There are times that an assassination brings about MORE suffering than they had before.

Sometimes it's better to have a dictator in control than what the options are.

A small point but it's annoying:


Indeed, upon Alexander’s death, the Diadochi states arose. But please acknowledge that they were NOT Greek. Certainly, they maintained Greek cultural influences amongst other Greek characteristics, but they were most DEFINITELY NOT Greek.


Refer to your own picture:



Note Macedonia. What does your pic say at the bottom right? "Other Greek areas". So they WERE Greek.

Also:


The point you are trying to defend here is that the benefit of the few should outweigh the suffering of the many. Not exactly a justifiable defence is it? When Macedonia invaded the ‘known world’, was it for the ‘worlds’ betterment?


No, it was for the betterment of the Greeks. As YOU pointed out:


These city-states and their allies were often in a state of perpetual war – mainly due to cultural divisions and the ambitions of inferior men. When King Phillip II of Macedonia united them, he did so in a dictatorial fashion (normal in classical times, even in Greece). Independence and liberty for the conquered peoples no longer applied – mortal enemies were forced to forget their feuds even if they were justified. This was an early indication of what was to happen.


Peace at home and conquest abroad.

 


Next:



OK, which is it? You can't have it both ways. Either it would or it wouldn't.



You desire me to predict what might have been? Let me have a look in my crystal ball...


Your crystal ball seemed to work when it suits you. Let's look at this again:



In answer to your SOCRATIC QUESTION NO.2 – Can you state with honesty and accuracy that the assassination of Hitler would have made things better for the world?


This is easy. Yes.

*snip*

The in-fighting and changes in the central political structure of the party would’ve certainly changed the scenario we saw in World War II. Would it have made the world better? As you yourself stated, no one could know this.


I reiterate, which is it?

Again:



Ah, my point exactly. Himmler could have stepped in and would things have been better? Worse? We won't know now. Why stop at Himmler though? Why not Adolf Eichman as well?



Pointless musings.


It is? Why? It's a point that you made that I agree with. You don't know what you're going to get once you bump off a certain target. YOU pointed out that Himmler was targeted as well because he could have succeeded Hitler. I just expounded on that to add Eichman, which you decided to not quote properly. The Architect of the Holocaust Yeah, it can be worse.

Lastly, my opponent states:


But this is because Himmler would’ve been a direct possibility for replacing Hitler. It doesn’t mean the situation would’ve been the same. Hitler was as much a puppet as he was a dictator – there are strings attached in either situation. As much as he led the merry dance, he was also led by others.


If that's the case, why remove the "puppet"? The puppet masters still remain. Seems like wasted action to me.

 


SOCRATIC QUESTION NO.4 –
Now that you have conceded that the death penalty is just for committing a suitably nasty crime, and that genocide is one such crime – Will you now concede that any dictator that has perpetrated a ‘mass-killing’ or widespread genocide of humans is subject to a death-penalty?

No, I don't. You used the term "dictator" again. As I have shown, dictators are not all "despots". Thus I reject the premise.

Once again, if you are willing to justify assassination to accomplish a goal, be prepared to live with the consequences.

Back to you.



posted on Jan, 26 2010 @ 09:35 AM
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CLOSING STATEMENT

I think it’s fair to say this has been something of a ‘broadside’ debate – with each of us throwing sources at each other, and then arguing over the impact of each of them. The simple truth is that I have proven that the justification of assassinating a dictator is easily attainable.


Benevolent and despotic. Tito is a good example. I'm unsure as to what my opponent is referring to


Let me enlighten you oh confused one. Benevolent and despotic are mutually exclusive factors. I would agree that in theory a benevolent dictator could exist. However, the human race has never seen one since Roman times. Your example of Tito is a laughable poster child for benevolence. He silenced his political enemies with death, imprisonment and the destruction of their liberty. He condemned thousands to death in mass killings and other despotic acts. He ripped up his contract with society, and turned it into a one way deal. These are FACTUAL events, you cannot deny them.


What "suspension of liberty and democracy"? The people continued to vote the dictator in. They were perfectly fine with the way things were being run.


This was a failure of democracy. He was voted in, because desperate times call for desperate measures – hard times, call for hard men. I see your point that he was a strong leader, when a strong leader was required. This I do not deny. Was he a dictator? Yes. Was he a despot? He used despotic methods – I leave it to the reader to work out the logic here.

Quote by E. B. White:
“Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half of the people are right more than half of the time.”

In many high profile cases – including Yugoslavia, the people were wrong. Yugoslavia didn’t need a dictator; it needed a genuinely democratic and fair government. As the above quote shows, democracy only works on a ‘suspicion’ that the people are correct and accurate in their choices. One of the greatest dangers of a dictatorship is that of ‘seduction’. The people are seduced into thinking that the dictator in charge is the best option for them. That’s not a truly libertarian way – this seduction should never have been allowed to happen. But in the case of Yugoslavia, Tito exploited his position as a wartime leader to implement his ideology and autocracy on the nation. His people didn’t really know any better.


His people didn't feel that way.


And we’ve never seen a rigged vote before? Hanging chads? Obfuscated vote forms? Gore vs. Bush? Even if the Yugoslavian elections weren’t rigged, he would’ve won because he was the only viable option at the time to prevent imminent soviet hegemony. There was very little ‘ability’ within Yugoslavia for anyone to be able to present a functional democratic government. So the people made the very ‘modern’ mistake of leaving government to their ‘betters’. Hence, they deserved what they got – does that mean Tito was benevolent? No. He was a means to an end, that didn’t end when he was meant to. His people paid the price for this because they didn’t have the democratic issue resolution process of ‘talking’ available to them. So when the ethnic violence flared up in the 90’s – all the problems that were buried by Tito came to the surface. He should’ve been removed a long, long time ago.


As decided by who? I have shown that the people of Yugoslavia were perfectly fine with their dictator.


To put it bluntly, no, you haven’t. If anything we see exactly the opposite.


Ask an Iraqi whether life is better now than it was 10 years ago. It would probably be similar.

Nothing clumsy about it. YOU admitted that the people of Iraq were better off then than they are now. Your words. Just pointing it out. There are times that an assassination brings about MORE suffering than they had before.


Even though I’m an avid opponent of the way Iraq was treated by the western powers, I disagree with what you are saying above. Yes I conceded that Iraqi’s would submit that they are having a tawdry time. But what do they have now? Democracy – it actually seems to be working to a point. Any democracy is better than a dictatorship. They’ve paid a high price for it in blood – but what democracy hasn’t? Shaking off the shackles of despotism and autocracy is a serious business with a high price. Look at every other democratic society in the world – all have paid a price to get there.

On the subject of Greece & Macedonia


Note Macedonia. What does your pic say at the bottom right? "Other Greek areas". So they WERE Greek.


Try asking a Macedonian now whether he is Greek or Macedonian. I wouldn’t like to be you in this instance. Observe this map, it will show you that Macedonians are NOT Greeks – especially given the Greeks vehement opposition towards Macedonian sovereignty.


No, it was for the betterment of the Greeks. As YOU pointed out



Peace at home and conquest abroad.


For the betterment of all Greeks? Most likely it was for the glory of Macedon and Phillip / Alexander. As for “Peace at home and conquest abroad”, for a Canadian, you’re beginning to sound alot like Donald Rumsfeld. Since when has conquering people abroad been a ‘benevolent’ act? – and before you try it, Operation Overlord was a ‘counter-attack’. Perhaps you need to be reminded of a certain Mussolini's Invasion Of Abyssinia – Imperialism at its’ most farcical and genocidal.

If Alexander had been assassinated, the world would be a very different place.

On Nazi Germany -


OK, which is it? You can't have it both ways. Either it would or it wouldn't.


My opponent seeks to force me into guessing what would’ve happened if Hitler had been removed. A futile, and ultimately fruitless desire.


If that's the case, why remove the "puppet"? The puppet masters still remain. Seems like wasted action to me.


You misquote me, I never said that Hitler was only a puppet – he was also the puppet master. He required the support and obedience of his subordinates. Therefore, concessions were required from him in order to maintain their loyalty. The fact that they were all ‘connected’ by the ‘strings’ shows that this is a metaphor for the fact that if Hitler went down, they all would. To unite the people behind another leader would’ve been... difficult to say the least. But again, supposition is nothing but pointless musings.


SOCRATIC QUESTION NO.4 –
Now that you have conceded that the death penalty is just for committing a suitably nasty crime, and that genocide is one such crime – Will you now concede that any dictator that has perpetrated a ‘mass-killing’ or widespread genocide of humans is subject to a death-penalty?

No, I don't. You used the term "dictator" again. As I have shown, dictators are not all "despots". Thus I reject the premise.


I have to say I don’t think you’ve answered the question fairly there. In your previous Socratic question answers you’ve provided the setup for this question, yet you simply dismiss this question without providing a proper answer? Indeed I did use the term dictator, as that’s what we’re discussing. I think you’ve broken the rules here.


Once again, if you are willing to justify assassination to accomplish a goal, be prepared to live with the consequences.


In closing, the above statement forms almost the entire premise of my opponents’ argument. He suggests that in the act of assassinating a dictator, we risk the unleashing of greater evils. This is true, but does this consideration nullify the justification of removing a dictator by assassination? No, of course it doesn’t. My opponent also does not go any way towards addressing the fundamental societal issues of the 'social contract' or 'Utilitarianism' inherent in this debate - how can he prove his point if he doesn't think these things important?

A dictator is HERE and NOW – perpetrating constant wrongs, and persisting in the negative direction of a nation and its peoples. The vacuum that appears when a dictator is gone is the FUTURE, and is as yet undecided. This is the time when good people step to the fore and rebuild liberty, freedom and democracy for the nation in question. The fact that this doesn’t always happen is more of a commentary on the human condition and chances, rather than the dictator that went before.

When a dictator is in power we are faced with a choice – do we tolerate the constant wrongs and evils of a dictator for the period of their lifetime? Or do we give liberty a chance and remove the dictator NOW – knowing full well the risks that the upheaval brings?

I think this quote from Benjamin Franklin says it all –

“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

I thank you all for reading this debate, and I would like to extend the best of luck, good wishes and respect to my excellent opponent Intrepid. The debate has been like a quality fencing match with you sir – the jab and the riposte provide the sport.

I look forward to your closing statement Intrepid.

Parallex.



posted on Jan, 27 2010 @ 04:23 PM
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Closing statement

An interesting debate to say the least. My thanks to my opponent and to the readers. I hope this entertained and educated.

"The assassination of a dictator is a justified act.”

I will not go through with the back and forth on issues that we have already debated. My points have been make concisely, no need to address the obfuscation. The points as I have pointed them out:

1- Not all dictators are despotic.
2- Assassination bring with it unforeseen consequences.
3- Removing a despot by assassination actually makes matters worse for the people.

 

1- Not all dictators are despotic.

I have shown numerous examples of dictators that put their country before themselves. Tito is a good example. The country was at peace and held together by the man that was CONTINUOUSLY voted in by the people. My opponent says that this, "was a failure of democracy." By who's account? We didn't live in that country during those times. It seems like the people were right because the social strife that happened after Tito was out of office were among some of the worst conditions of the last 40 years.

My opponent states that this is for the "common good." I would state that enforced peace was better than the ethnic wars that followed. Which was the "greater good" for the people?

2- Assassination bring with it unforeseen consequences.

I have stated all along that assassination brings with it conditions that one can NOT know. Therefore how can it be justified? One act of taking a life can have MAJOR implications that one cannot foresee.


The assassination on 28 June 1914 of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, is seen as the immediate trigger of the war.


en.wikipedia.org...

Yes, there were other factors but this action was the "trigger". Did Gavrilo Princip know that his action was going to set a whole world at war with each other? 40,000,000 killed, wounded or missing. All from 2 bullets.

3- Removing a despot by assassination actually makes matters worse for the people.

Even my opponent has admitted that the removal of Saddam made life worse for the Iraqi people. The same for the Greeks under Alexander and the aftermath.


Even though I’m an avid opponent of the way Iraq was treated by the western powers, I disagree with what you are saying above. Yes I conceded that Iraqi’s would submit that they are having a tawdry time. But what do they have now? Democracy – it actually seems to be working to a point. Any democracy is better than a dictatorship. They’ve paid a high price for it in blood – but what democracy hasn’t?


My opponent is willing to shed other peoples blood for the sake of "democracy". Including those in Bosnia, Serbia, etc, the remains of the Yugoslavian nation. They continually chose a dictator and my opponent calls it a "failure of democracy." Why is it a failure:

Democracy:


▸ noun: the political orientation of those who favor government by the people or by their elected representatives


www.onelook.com...

The Yugoslavians continuously made a decision to retain a dictator to represent them. A failure? What was the alternative? It played out as ethnic wars. So bad it needed UN intervention.

 


A few clarifications.



If that's the case, why remove the "puppet"? The puppet masters still remain. Seems like wasted action to me.



You misquote me, I never said that Hitler was only a puppet – he was also the puppet master. He required the support and obedience of his subordinates. Therefore, concessions were required from him in order to maintain their loyalty. The fact that they were all ‘connected’ by the ‘strings’ shows that this is a metaphor for the fact that if Hitler went down, they all would. To unite the people behind another leader would’ve been... difficult to say the least. But again, supposition is nothing but pointless musings.


My opponent clearly stated that removing Hitler would have been a good thing:



In answer to your SOCRATIC QUESTION NO.2 – Can you state with honesty and accuracy that the assassination of Hitler would have made things better for the world?


This is easy. Yes.


But now I'm misquoting him. No, that was your own words. You also stated that Hitler was a "puppet". Once pointed out I'm misquoting again?



If that's the case, why remove the "puppet"? The puppet masters still remain. Seems like wasted action to me.



You misquote me, I never said that Hitler was only a puppet...


No you didn't but you state he WAS a puppet:


Hitler was as much a puppet as he was a dictator – there are strings attached in either situation. As much as he led the merry dance, he was also led by others.


 


Lastly, have to defend myself here:



SOCRATIC QUESTION NO.4 –
Now that you have conceded that the death penalty is just for committing a suitably nasty crime, and that genocide is one such crime – Will you now concede that any dictator that has perpetrated a ‘mass-killing’ or widespread genocide of humans is subject to a death-penalty?


No, I don't. You used the term "dictator" again. As I have shown, dictators are not all "despots". Thus I reject the premise.


I have to say I don’t think you’ve answered the question fairly there. In your previous Socratic question answers you’ve provided the setup for this question, yet you simply dismiss this question without providing a proper answer? Indeed I did use the term dictator, as that’s what we’re discussing. I think you’ve broken the rules here.

Yes it was set up questions that you asked. You asked about actions though, not people. Your final question was about dictators, which I have continuously shown are not all despotic. My opponent doesn't believe this, he ignores any benevolence in a dictator no matter how much evidence is provided. You didn't get the "proper answer", the one you wanted, because you didn't ask the right question.

 


The bottom line is, as has been shown, is that you don't know what an assassination is going to do to the political climate. Will it be better? Maybe. Will it be worse? Maybe. How can one justify a gamble like that with peoples lives? Easy for us to be Monday morning quarterbacks but the bottom line is that real people have been involved in these issues.

Let the people sort it out. The French did it. The Russians did it. They didn't assassinate a single individual, they removed whole systems. THAT'S the political movement to remove despots. Unlike Iraq, the French and the Russians succeeded. The Russians to a lesser degree though as they traded one dictatorship for another.

Like I said, you never know what you are going to unleash when you use this option to make political change. If you are willing to justify this action you have to accept the consequences that go with that action.

Thank you.



posted on Jan, 28 2010 @ 03:03 PM
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We're off to the judges.



posted on Feb, 11 2010 @ 01:56 PM
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This was truly an outstanding debate.

As I read this debate for the third time, I was again impressed with how close it was up until the last post and closing. Neck and neck barely describes it.

However…

While both Debaters were thorough in their listing of dictators and solid in their stance, in the last post and closing it became clear who was in the lead.

Simple put, intrepid was able to tie Parallex up and catch him in several contradictions. This is a wonderful example of debating skills and not only do I award intrepid the debate, I must applaud his skills as well.

Intrepid the win




Parallex vs intrepid

What a great read. Both fighters did an amazing job of covering their position. The verbal sparring really showcased both fighters styles. Both relinquished ground but with out damaging their side too much.

To be honest, this was a very hard debate top judge. I read it through last night and again this morning. Both fighters made such strong cases.

The definition of a dictator being one of the main points of contention throughout was interesting. I thought that would be one of the easier agreements to come too. It just went to show again the toughness of this debate to judge.

The argument of the devil you know by intrepid as well as the position of breaking a social contract by parallex where for me the two strongest arguments for their respective sides.

In the end, I felt that intrepids position that eliminating one person may lead to even further chaos outweighed parralex's removing of a person because they have breached the agreement with the populace too be stronger.


Congratulations to both fighters. Although I gave this debate to intrepid by the slimmest of margins, I think parralex has the potential to be one of the best debaters on ATS. His skills as a verbal pugilist are very evident.

Win: intrepid


intrepid wins and moves to the next round.

 
 


This debate is now open to comments from all fighters.



posted on Feb, 11 2010 @ 03:11 PM
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It sounds as if the members liked this one. We did our job. My thanks to Parallex, very nice to debate with you.



posted on Feb, 11 2010 @ 04:17 PM
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Excellent responses Judge-type persons!

I'm absolutely gutted that I didn't get past the round, but I think losing to Intrepid in a close margin is in itself an achievement to be proud of.

Thanks for being a great competitor.

Parallex.





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