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bfi-horiz-c.jpg 2015 Democracy


Resolution: The United States of America ought to promote democracy in the Middle East.

File Author: Madeline Lehman


Edited by: Kyle Cheesewright

File Author: Madeline Lehman 1

Topic Overview 2

AFF: 4

Additional AFF cards 9

Rights incompatible with utilitarianism. 9

Util fails to protect moral rights – it silences rights claims when not grounded in law. 9

NEG: 11

Additional NEG cards 15

Western democracy is not a good fit for the Middle East. 15

Cultural Relativism boon 16

The goal of preserving human life takes precedence over justice. 17


Topic Overview


The resolution poses an old, relevant, and still unanswered question: does the US have a moral obligation to prevent oppression, or is it merely sticking its nose into others’ business? The resolution raises the question of the value of rights and lives. Rounds will likely come down to whether democracy can be proven to accomplish both rights and life in a sufficient way to outweigh the loss of lives the NEG is going to throw into the mix from US involvement.

The two key terms in this resolution that the AFF and NEG should define are ‘promote,’ and ‘the Middle East.’

The Cambridge dictionary defines ‘promote’ as “to encourage or support something, or to help something become successful.” This is perfectly vague and means the AFF has plenty of room to move around. The extent of this will be covered in the AFF strat below.

In our case, we’re shifting the definition of the Middle East a bit. According to a study by Oklahoma University, the following countries are within the Middle East: Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Yemen. It’s important to note that Egypt is not on the list. This is to help discredit any opponent using Egypt as an example. Basically the argument you’ll be making is that Egypt has more ties to Africa than the Middle East. Though the opposing side might argue about culture and language, it is important to note that Tunisia, Algeria, Sudan, Morocco and more, speak Arabic and have similar traditions, and yet they are not included in the Middle East. If an opponent challenges the map source, check them back by asking for their source that says Egypt is in the Middle East. Chances are they won’t have one.

Strat for AFF: The AFF has the stance that stopping oppression is key. For this case, the importance of pluralism is emphasized, acting as a way towards greater change. It is VITAL that the AFF keep in mind that they only need to prove why promoting democracy in the Middle East is a good idea, not solve for all the issues in the Middle East. Solutions can be implied, but to create and implement a plan is setting oneself up for a NEG trap in which they PIC, CP, or just rip the plausibility of the idea apart. Thus, the AFF is only going to say that they endorse the idea of democracy in the Middle East, not explain how to achieve that goal. In CX it’s important to avoid any verbal traps made by the NEG for ‘how’ the AFF will enforce democracy. As the resolution says ‘promote,’ there is a lot of breathing room. Should the NEG attack saying the AFF needs to have an advocacy, theory arguments on what LD debate really is about might be necessary in this instance. If the AFF can prove that traditional LD debate is a fair stance to have and that an advocacy is not necessary, the NEG will have very little ground to stand on (in a wonderfully non-abusive way).

NEG strat: As was stated above, one of the largest and most obvious stances for the NEG would be to prove US intervention bad. Cards on the war on terror are utterly abundant. Unfortunately, the phrasing of the resolution does not mean the AFF needs an advocacy. The NEG can then argue that the only way to achieve democracy is through force, but that’s more work than it’s worth, and it’s boring. What we’re going to do is dismiss unideal governments as the biggest problem, and democracy as a solution entirely. On the NEG side of the table, we’ll be trying to prove that a lack of democracy isn’t really the root of the issues in the Middle East. The argument is that food security is far more important and a real cause behind the riots. AFF may argue that the governments are the one keeping food from the people, but without proper food, it makes political change and stability difficult (or impossible) to achieve. Thus the priority should be addressing the high food prices that are wracking the world. Poverty and starvation are easily two of the largest impacts out there in plausibility, timeframe, and magnitude because it’s been an ongoing epidemic since the start of human history. A round that comes down to a country’s suffering under regimes does not outweigh crushing poverty. Even if the AFF argues about dehumanization, the NEG still outweighs due to the drawn-out and traumatizing process of slowly starving to death. The biggest thing for the NEG to enforce is that democracy a.) doesn’t solve because there are food shortages in democracies and b.) trying to promote and enforce democracies is a distraction from the actual problem (food shortages and poverty).


AFF:


I stand in firm affirmation of the resolution ‘the United States should promote democracy in the Middle East.

The Value is morality because the word ‘ought’ in the resolution implies a moral obligation.

The ethical, moral action is the one that enables freedom because rights are essential to basic understanding of ourselves and one-another.

Minson 1985 (Lecturer in the School of Humanities Griffith University, Queensland, Australia)

Midgley argues in a semi-genealogical fashion that the current tarnished image of morality, by which she means its equation with moralism and its vulnerability to social criticism, may be traced back to an historical event. Somewhere back in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, morality became delimited in both law and opinion as a province of social life and thoughts in its own right, alongside politics, economics, the fine arts and so on. In identifying this representation as an historical-intellectual development, Midgley predictably cites J. S. Mil’s essay ‘On liberty’ as a milestone in that history. In this essay, which is often regarded as the definitive philosophical manifesto of liberalism, Mill delineates a sphere of independent action and moral judgment for every morally competent citizen of a modern (democratic) state. Independence is cashed out in terms of Mill’s famous distinction between private and public domains. The ethical is thus defined as a domain of personal freedom of thought and action; it is a private domain insofar as neither law nor organized public opinion are permitted to intervene into this domain in order to enforce collective moral strandards (or even to prevent self-inflicted damage).

Which is why the value criterion for the round will be pluralism.

Pluralism is a diverse acceptance that multiple points of view, identities, and conflicts will always exist— and the presence of them is better than okay.

Cherniss, 2014. (researcher for the Stanford philosophy encyclopedia).

According to Berlin's pluralism, genuine values are many, and may—and often do—come into conflict with one another. When two or more values clash, it does not mean that one or another has been misunderstood; nor can it be said, a priori, that any one value is always more important than another. Liberty can conflict with equality or with public order; mercy with justice; love with impartiality and fairness; social and moral commitment with the disinterested pursuit of truth or beauty (the latter two values, contra Keats, may themselves be incompatible); knowledge with happiness; spontaneity and free-spiritedness with dependability and responsibility. Conflicts of values are ‘an intrinsic, irremovable part of human life’; the idea of total human fulfilment is a chimera. ‘These collisions of values are of the essence of what they are and what we are’; a world in which such conflicts are resolved is not the world we know or understand.’ Berlin further asserted that values may be not only incompatible, but incommensurable. There has been considerable controversy over what Berlin meant by this, and whether his understanding of incommensurability was either correct or coherent. In speaking of the incommensurability of values, Berlin seems to have meant that there is no common measure, no ‘common currency’ for comparison, in judging between any two values in the abstract. Thus, one basic implication of pluralism for ethics is the view that a quantitative approach to ethical questions (such as that envisaged by Utilitarianism) is impossible.

Observation 1: Totalitarian governments are unconducive of pluralism by definition.

Diprose 08

Nietzsche’s gateway, for Arendt, is ‘. . . [t]he path paved by thinking [or judgment] . . . within the space-time given to natal and mortal men. Following that course, the thought-trains, remembrance and anticipation, save whatever they touch from the ruin of historical and biographical time. This small non-time space in the very heart of time, unlike the world and the culture into which we are born, cannot be inherited and handed down by tradition’. (LM I 210) This gap between the past (tradition memorialized) and an undetermined future, which thinking opens and conscience makes manifest, constitutes the self’s futurity. And it is this futurity that is foreclosed in a dampening of conscience and a failure of personal responsibility. Not only do ‘totalitarian’ government and a reversal of norms for the treatment of others jeopardize this fundamental undetermined futural aspect of the human condition, but it also destroys human plurality in general.11 Arendt’s third salient point then is that the capacity for judgment (and therefore conscience) expresses what she had referred to in The Human Condition as the ‘who’ as opposed to the ‘what’ of the person (HC 179). Her model of judgment in her reflections on responsibility is explicitly Kantian, although it owes much to Socrates. Conscience is at once the capacity to judge particulars autonomously and rationally and it is a self-relation, that is, it is self-awareness and an internal dialogue with oneself. As an internal dialogue between the habitual self and the self’s other internal witness, judgment expresses both ‘difference in identity’ and the person’s capacity to transform the past and embark on a new path: judgment or thinking expresses the person in his or her uniqueness, and conscience is the experience of this uniqueness made manifest in the world. The process of thinking, as opposed to knowing, therefore indicates that humans ‘exist in the plural’ (SQMP 96) and ‘thinking and remembering . . . is the human way of striking roots, of taking one’s place in the world into which we all arrive as strangers. What we usually call a person . . . as distinguished from a mere human being or nobody, actually grows out of this root-striking process of thinking’ (SQMP 100). So, although Arendt does not put it this way, this capacity to discourse with oneself, including the judgment of what is right and wrong, is, for her, the basis of normativity in two senses: it is the capacity through which we arrive at our own norms of conduct and, as a capacity in others, it is what gives other persons moral value. Acting according to conscience, being responsible in a non-juridical sense, rather than being coordinated by a totalizing politics, is, she says, how one can regain what those in ‘former times’, including Kant, ‘called the dignity or the honor of man: not perhaps of mankind but of the status of being human’ (PRD 48).

Observation 2: It takes a diverse, active governments to promote pluralism, which is key to successful development of democracy. And a good democracy enforces pluralism in the long run.

Rosenbaum 99 (Director of the Institute of Public Management at the Florida International University)

In general, decentralized government can be a very important element in the facilitation of an active and lively civil society. The more decentralized government is, and the stronger local governance capacity is, the more opportunities - in essence, the more arenas - are provided for the emergence of civil society institutions. In fact, very often it is the existence of local governance, combined with the emergence of local civil society institutions, that truly creates the pluralism that is so central to democratic institutional development. In that regard, local governments can and have played crucial facilitating roles in the development of vibrant civil societies. Local government policy and administrative practice can profoundly impact upon the capacity for civil society to emerge and play a role in governance. Likewise, the actions of local political leaders can either be supportive of or create major impediments to civil society development.

Thus the best way to achieve the best political pluralism is by promoting democracy in the Middle East.

Contention 1: Silencing is happening in the status quo, smothering any signs of plurality.

El-Nawawy, 06 (Knight-Crane endowed chair and Associate Professor in the Knight School of Communication at Queens University of Charlotte.)

What is freedom of expression in the Middle East and what constitutes the public sphere in the Arab world? In many parts of the Arab world, any voices contrary to those of the ruling regime are silenced. Instead, these opinions were driven into the public sphere, where discussions of policy, religion, social justice became limited to homes and places of worship. In extreme cases, just a few year ago, typewriters had to be licensed in some countries to ensure that they weren't used to the detriment of the local government.



Beyond that, with the era of free exchange of information, governments are able to pinpoint potential advocates and stop them in their tracks.

Fortin, 2012 (B.A. from Northeastern University in Boston.)

Technology works in two ways. It can connect more people and open up the lines of communication, but it can also make it easy for authorities to exert control in sneakier ways. In the past, for instance, an objectionable site may have been simply blocked. Now, government propaganda can masquerade as fact. Users can be surreptitiously tracked as they peruse the Web. Mobile technologies enable security forces to pinpoint activists’ exact locations. And then there is politics, which has an obvious correlation to censorship. According to Freedom House, countries with the lower freedom ratings were those where “authorities sought to quell public calls for reform.” That certainly happened quite a bit in the Middle East during the past year, but it also occurred in places such as Russia, Myanmar, and China.

Contention 2: This continuing silencing is nurturing a refusal to speak out, and will perpetuate if left unaddressed. This leads to the depletion of pluralism and chance for change.

Nashif, 2014 (Nadim Nashif, Director at the Committee for Educational Guidance for Arab students)

The entirety of the Palestinian minority of Israel, nearly 20 percent of the population, feels this damage. “Many people [understood] social media as private, they were not aware that they were being monitored,” Nashif reflected. “Now, after all the examples of activists and normal people being fired, kicked out of university and arrested, [Palestinians] realise that it is a public sphere. They must be guarded in the public forum that is social media. Now they monitor themselves, Nashif said with a concerned look. The result is a culture of self-censorship.

Contention 3: The U.S. is obligated to participate in this plea for democracy. As an audience of silence, we also bear the burden of changing things.

DOTSON, K. (2011), MSU associate professor, their text Tracking Epistemic Violence, Tracking Practices of Silencing.

In most practices of silencing, the burden of proving the practice of silencing can appear impossible to meet. The understanding of epistemic violence in testimony I have outlined here can aid in identifying practices of silencing by dispersing the burden of proof for proving the existence of practices of silencing between a speaker and an audience as opposed to the sole burden being placed on the speaker who has been silenced.



In addition, the integration of democracy in other countries has broader reaching effects in many ways— democracy can make the country safer and more stable in the long run, letting pluralism perpetuate.

Contention 4: Interdependency offers solvency for poverty, and democracy is the best way to promote integration.

Griswold ‘05 (Daniel Griswold- Director of Center for Trade at the Cato Institute, “Peace on Earth? Try Free Trade among Men.”

Buried beneath the daily stories about car bombs and insurgents is an underappreciated but comforting fact during this Christmas season: The world has somehow become a more peaceful place. As one little-noticed headline on an Associated Press story recently reported, "War declining worldwide, studies say." According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, the number of armed conflicts around the world has been in decline for the past half-century. In just the past 15 years, ongoing conflicts have dropped from 33 to 18, with all of them now civil conflicts within countries. As 2005 draws to an end, no two nations in the world are at war with each other. The death toll from war has also been falling. According to the AP story, "The number killed in battle has fallen to its lowest point in the post-World War II period, dipping below 20,000 a year by one measure. Peacemaking missions, meanwhile, are growing in number." Those estimates are down sharply from annual tolls ranging from 40,000 to 100,000 in the 1990s, and from a peak of 700,000 in 1951 during the Korean War. Many causes lie behind the good news -- the end of the Cold War and the spread of democracy, among them -- but expanding trade and globalization appear to be playing a major role. Far from stoking a "World on Fire," as one misguided American author has argued, growing commercial ties between nations have had a dampening effect on armed conflict and war, for three main reasons. First, trade and globalization have reinforced the trend toward democracy, and democracies don't pick fights with each other. Freedom to trade nurtures democracy, by expanding the middle class in globalizing countries and equipping people with tools of communication such as cell phones, satellite TV, and the Internet. With trade comes more travel, more contact with people in other countries, and more exposure to new ideas. Thanks in part to globalization, almost two thirds of the world's countries today are democracies -- a record high. Second, as national economies become more integrated with each other, those nations have more to lose should war break out. War in a globalized world not only means human casualties and bigger government, but also ruptured trade and investment ties that impose lasting damage on the economy. In short, globalization has dramatically raised the economic cost of war. Third, globalization allows nations to acquire wealth through production and trade rather than conquest of territory and resources. Increasingly, wealth is measured in terms of intellectual property, financial assets, and human capital. Those are assets that cannot be seized by armies. If people need resources outside their national borders, say oil or timber or farm products, they can acquire them peacefully by trading away what they can produce best at home.



Democratization creates interdependency, nurturing stability and preventing unnecessary wars.

For these reasons I urge you to vote in firm affirmation.

Additional AFF cards



Rights incompatible with utilitarianism.


Brandt, professor of philosophy @ U Mich. 1992

The first thing to notice is that utilitarianism is a general normative theory either about what is desirable, or about what conduct is morally right, but in the first instance not a theory of rights at all, except by implication. A philosopher can be a utilitarian without offering any definition of "a right" and indeed without having thought about the matter. It is true that some definitions of "a right" are so manifestly incompatible with the normative theses of utilitarianism that it is clear that a utilitarian could not admit that there are rights in that sense. For instance, if someone says that to have a right (life, liberty) is for some sort of thing to be secured to one absolutely, though the heavens fall, and that this is a self-evident truth, then it is pretty clear that a utilitarian will have no place for rights in his sense. Again, if one follows Hobbes and says, "Neither by the word right is anything else signified, than that liberty which every man hath to make use of his natural faculties according to right reason," one is not going to be able to accept a utilitarian normative theory , for a utilitarian is not going to underwrite a man's absolute liberty to pursue his own good according to his own judgment.


Util fails to protect moral rights – it silences rights claims when not grounded in law.


Erin Byrnes, JD U Arizona, 1999, “Therapeutic Jurisprudence: Unmasking White Privelege to Expose the Fallacy of White Innocense,” 41 Ariz. L. Rev. 535

Utilitarianism conceives of rights as being cognizable only when they are legally recognized. 236 To the utilitarian, there is no such thing as a moral right because it is not socially recognized. 237 The utilitarian rejection of moral rights can be fatal to affirmative action. Rights in utilitarian rhetoric are synonymous with the idea of a valid claim to act. 238 Put differently, one can be said to hold a valid claim when, and only when, that claim is grounded in a legally or socially recognized right. This normative theory of rights further posits that the exercise of rights is not dependent upon a duty incumbent upon others to acknowledge or respect that right. 239 This is clearly problematic when applied to calls for affirmative action. Instead of conceiving of rights as corresponding with a duty, the utilitarian thinks of rights in terms of "immunity rights," which have a corresponding concept of a "disability." 240 This too is a foreboding concept because affirmative action programs often involve affirmative guarantees, versus a simple right to be free from discrimination. An example of an immunity right is the right to free speech. The right to free speech exists independently of an obligation upon others not to interfere with an individual's right to exercise free speech. 241 The corresponding disability operates upon Congress. The disability prohibits Congress from enacting certain laws abridging the individual's right to free speech, but does not extend so far as to require the passage of legislation which would affirmatively protect or guarantee the immunity right. 242 The immunity right, then, is one that merely involves a freedom from outside interference, a sort of negative right, as opposed to being a right that is affirmatively protected through the imposition of an obligation upon others to honor the right. The distinction made between moral and legal rights, encompassing the distinction between a disability and a duty, is central to the utilitarian argument. Utilitarianism squarely rejects the recognition of moral rights because moral rights must be understood in terms of a corresponding beneficial obligation. 243 A moral conception of rights dictates that a right is held by an individual "if and only if one is supposed to benefit from another person's compliance with a coercive...rule." 244 Utilitarianism must necessarily reject a conception of rights grounded in morality because the utilitarian doctrine is diametrically opposed to the notion that rights correspond with duties. [*563] Furthermore, utilitarianism renounces moral rights precisely because they exist independent of social recognition or enforcement. 245 Moral rights "are independent of particular circumstances and do not depend on any special conditions," 246 like legal affirmation. Thus, moral rights cannot be accepted by the utilitarian because they lack the normative grounding fundamental to utilitarian theory. Utilitarians, therefore, assume that there is a clear delineation between moral rights and the pursuit for overall human welfare, the central tenet of utilitarian doctrine.

NEG:


I stand in firm negation of the resolution ‘the US should promote democracy in the Middle East.’

The value for this round will be morality, as the word ought in the resolution implies a moral obligation.

The most moral action is the one with the greatest benefit to the greatest number of people.

Velasquez, 1989 (Manuel Velasquez, professor at Santa Clara University, undergraduate and master’s degrees from Gonzaga University and earned Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.)

Over the years, the principle of utilitarianism has been expanded and refined so that today there are many variations of the principle. For example, Bentham defined benefits and harms in terms of pleasure and pain. John Stuart Mill, a great 19th century utilitarian figure, spoke of benefits and harms not in terms of pleasure and pain alone but in terms of the quality or intensity of such pleasure and pain. Today utilitarians often describe benefits and harms in terms of the satisfaction of personal preferences or in purely economic terms of monetary benefits over monetary costs. Utilitarians also differ in their views about the kind of question we ought to ask ourselves when making an ethical decision. Some utilitarians maintain that in making an ethical decision, we must ask ourselves: "What effect will my doing this act in this situation have on the general balance of good over evil?" If lying would produce the best consequences in a particular situation, we ought to lie. Others, known as rule utilitarians, claim that we must choose that act that conforms to the general rule that would have the best consequences. In other words, we must ask ourselves: "What effect would everyone's doing this kind of action have on the general balance of good over evil?" So, for example, the rule "to always tell the truth" in general promotes the good of everyone and therefore should always be followed, even if in a certain situation lying would produce the best consequences. Despite such differences among utilitarians, however, most hold to the general principle that morality must depend on balancing the beneficial and harmful consequences of our conduct.



Thus the value criterion will be utilitarianism.

Utilitarianism is the only way to measure rights’ worth against each other, thus making it the preferred method of decision making.

Brandt, 1992 (Richard Brandt. professor of philosophy at the University of Michigan)

Before turning to possible " deeper" difficulties, let me make just one point favorable to the utilitarian view, that it tells us, in principle, how to find out what are a person's rights, and how stringent they are relative to each other, which is much more than can be said of most other theories, unless reliance on intuitions is supposed to be a definite way of telling what a person's rights are. How does one do this, on the utilitarian theory? The idea, of course, is that we have to determine whether it would maximize long-range expectable utility to include recognition of certain rights in the moral code of a society, or to include a certain right with a certain degree of stringency as compared with other rights. (For instance, it might be optimistic to include a right to life with more stringency than a right to liberty and this with more stringency than the right to pursue happiness.) Suppose, for instance, one wants to know what should be the scope of the " right to life." Then it would be proper to inquire whether the utility-maximizing moral system would require people to retrain from taking the life of other adults, more positively to support life by providing adequate medical care, to abstain from life-termination for seriously defective infants or to refrain from abortion, to require abstaining from assisting a person with terminal illness in ending his own life if he requests it, to refrain from assisting in the discharge of a sentence of capital punishment, or to refrain from killing combatants in war time and so on. If one wants to know whether the right to life is stronger than the right of free speech on political subjects, it is proper to inquire whether the utility maximizing moral code would prefer free speech to the cost of lives (and in what circumstances).






Observation 1: Democracy doesn’t solve for political and social unrest. There are larger problems at work here.

Lagi, Marco. 2011. Researcher at the Università degli Studi di Roma 'La Sapienza,’ MIT, and the New England Complex Systems Institute, an independent research and educational institution. The Food Crises and Political Instability in North Africa and the Middle East.

A persistence of global food prices above this food price threshold should lead to persistent and increasing global unrest. Given the sharp peaks of food prices we might expect the prices of food to decline shortly. However, underlying the peaks in Fig. 1, we see a more gradual, but still rapid increase of the food prices during the period starting in 2004. It is reasonable to hypothesize that when this underlying trend exceeds the threshold, the security of vulnerable populations will be broadly and persistently compromised. Such a threat to security should be a key concern to policymakers worldwide. Social unrest and political instability of countries can be expected to spread as the impact of loss of security persists and becomes pervasive, even though the underlying causes are global food prices and are not necessarily due to specific governmental policies. While some variation in the form of unrest may occur due to local differences in government, desperate populations are likely to resort to violence even in democratic regimes. A breakdown of social order as a result of loss of food security has been predicted based upon historical events and the expectation that global population increases and resource constraints will lead to catastrophe. As shown in Fig. 2, the underlying trend of increasing prices will reach the threshold of instability in July 2012, if we consider current prices, and April 2013 if we correct prices for reported inflation. Either way, the amount of time until the often warned global food crises appears to be very short. Indeed, consistent with our analysis, the current food price bubble is already subjecting large populations to reported distress, as described in a recent UN report warning of the growing crisis.



A democratic government doesn’t necessarily solve for hunger. From Freedom in the World, a yearly census report, it’s clear that Namibia is one of the freest countries in Africa; and yet according to a 2015 study by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, over 42% of its people are starving. That makes the food poverty there one of the highest in the world. Namibia has a representative democracy, like America. Governments are not necessarily the problem in food shortages and poverty.

Contention 1: High food prices lead to violence, and there is a startling correlation with food scarcity and Arab Spring.

Lagi, Marco. 2011. Researcher at the Università degli Studi di Roma 'La Sapienza,’ MIT, and the New England Complex Systems Institute, an independent research and educational institution. The Food Crises and Political Instability in North Africa and the Middle East.

The importance of food prices for social stability points to the level of human suffering that may be caused by increased food prices. The analysis we presented of the timing of peaks in global food prices and social unrest implies that the 2011 unrest was precipitated by a food crisis that is threatening the security of vulnerable populations. Deterioration in food security led to conditions in which random events trigger widespread violence. The condition of these vulnerable populations could have been much worse except that some countries controlled food prices in 2011 due to the unrest in 2008. Food price controls in the face of high global food prices carry associated costs. Because of the strong cascade of events in the Middle East and North Africa only some countries had to fail to adequately control food prices for events to unfold. This understanding suggests that reconsidering biofuel policy as well as commodity market regulations should be an urgent priority for policymakers. Reducing the amount of corn converted to ethanol, and restricting commodity future markets to bona fide risk hedging would reduce global food prices. The current problem transcends the specific national political crises to represent a global concern about vulnerable populations and social order.



Contention 2: The reason why the United States is so insistent on using democracy to solve the problems in the Middle East instead of attempting to change the global poverty, is because the US is largely at fault.

Lagi, Marco. 2011. Researcher at the Università degli Studi di Roma 'La Sapienza,’ MIT, and the New England Complex Systems Institute, an independent research and educational institution. The Food Crises and Political Instability in North Africa and the Middle East.

In a separate paper we consider the causes of the increases in food prices. While there have been several suggested origins of the food price increases, we find the dominant ones to be investor speculation and ethanol production. Our analysis shows that the two parts of the dynamics of prices can be directly attributed to the two different causes: the price peaks are due to speculators causing price bubbles, and the background increase shown in Fig. 2 is due to corn to ethanol conversion. This intuitive result is made quantitative by the analysis in that paper. Both factors in food prices can be linked directly to recent US governmental actions. Speculator activity has been enhanced by deregulation of the commodities markets that exempted dealers from trading limits, and subsidies and other policies have been central to the growth of ethanol conversion.



Contention 3: Without addressing the food epidemic with our entire focus, economic prosperity and political and social change are impossible.

Jenkins, 2001 (J. Craig Jenkins Ph.D., State University of New York at Stony Brook, 1975. Professor at OSU specializing in Political Science and Social Movements)

Food is the most basic of human needs and is central to the discussion of human rights and social development. Despite the “green revolution” and the significant growth in international food aid and assistance, between 1970 and 1990 almost half of the world’s less developed countries (LDCs) suffered a decline in aggregate food supple, and more than a quarter suffered an increase in child0hunger. In the mid-1990s, more that 840 million, or about 20 percent of the LDC population lacked sufficient food to meet basic nutritional needs, and more than 200 million children, or almost one-third of those under the age five, suffered from severe malnutrition. Malnutrition is a major barrier to economic and social development, leaving populations unable to maintain normal lives and to be economically and socially productive.

The AFF perpetuates poverty and—

Poverty is genocide.

Gilligan 2000 (James, Former Director of the Center for the Study of Violence at Harvard Medical School. Violence: Reflections on Our Deadliest Epidemic. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers Ltd. pp. 195-196)

“In other words, every fifteen years, on the average, as many people die because of relative poverty as would be killed in a nuclear war that caused 232 million deaths; and every single year, two to three times as many people die from poverty throughout the world as were killed by the Nazi genocide of the Jews over a six-year period. This is, in effect, the equivalent of an ongoing, unending, in fact accelerating, thermonuclear war, or genocide, perpetrated on the weak and poor every year of every decade, throughout the world.



As the NEG has proven that the implementation of democracy in the Middle East will benefit no one, the AFF case falls and you vote for the side that spotlights the actual problems and causes behind the unrest in the Middle East.

Additional NEG cards



Western democracy is not a good fit for the Middle East.


Western concepts of democracy are inadequate for the complex situations found in the Middle East because it is a singularly unique area unlike any other part of the word. The attempt at implementation of democracy only breeds more violence, and based on empirics, nothing is solved.

Mughal, 2014 Mahrukh A Mughal (graduate of the University of Punjab).

Middle East was not ready to change it has doomed and peoples power have gone into anarchy and a reimposition of dictator ship. The Middle East would be better off if the Arab Spring had never happened at all. The worst consequences of the Arab Spring in Libya, Syria are dreadful. In 1960 Egypt and South Korea shared similar life expectancy and GDP per head. Today they inhabit different world. Through it may be argued that democratic transitions are often violent and lengthy, however the present scenario after the Arab Spring is dreadful and most Arabs want to turn the clock back. The revolutionary events to some extent demonstrated that the divided Arabs seemed to be turning away from dictatorship. Poll after poll showed that more Egyptians, Jordanians and Moroccans' believed democracy was the best form of government than did Americans or say poles. But "democracy" in the abstract could mean just about anything as long as it was positive. It was one thing to believe in democracy and quite another to practice it. In Egypt the loss of faith in not just democracy, but in the very nation of politics, was particularly striking. A not insignificant number of Egyptians backed the Military Coup of July 3, 2013, and then turned away from or, worse, embraced the mass killing of their countrymen on August 14, 2013. More than 600 were killed in mere hours, a dark blot in the history of the country. Arab Spring had managed to unleash not just chaos but something darker. The regions autocrats weather in Tunisia, Syria or Yemen were the ones keeping the peace and ensuring stability. In Arab societies the foundations of state were still very much in doubt, there was basic lack of consensus over the meaning and purpose of the modern nationstate and, the role of religion in political life. The sheer ferocity of this confrontation led a growing numbers of liberals and democrats to embrace the military. General Sissy was seen a charismatic protector and saviour of the Egyptian state. And Sissy filled the role quite well. In Libya, Syria, Egypt and Tunisia, the fall of a dictator meant a weakened state a gaping power vacuum, which radical Islamist groups such as Libyans austral sharia, were all too wining to take advantage of. In final words the bitter experiments of Middle East countries has shown that the western model of democracy is not suitable to the specific sociopolitical and cultural environment of the Arab people. And they have to seek their own political path that would be suitable to their mind.


Cultural Relativism boon


Cultural relativism takes into account the differences between countries and cultures and promotes understanding between values instead of destroying them.

Donnally, 1984 Jack Donnelly. (PhD in Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley. Teaches in the graduate programs at the Korbel School.)

Cultural relativity is an undeniable fact; moral rules and social institutions evidence and astonishing cultural and historical variability. Cultural relativism is a doctrine that holds that (at least some) such variations are exempt from legitimate criticism by outsiders, a doctrine that is strongly supported by notions of communal autonomy and self-determination. Moral judgements, however, would seem to be essentially universal, as suggested not only by Kant’s categorical imperative but also by the common sense distinction between principled and self-interested action. And if human rights are, literally, the rights (every)one has simply because one is a human being, they wuld seem to be universal by definition.



We, the NEG, are the only ones not imposing culturally.

Having a ‘cultural match’ when importing governments is key.



Cultural “match”. The task of governing institutions is to back up sovereignty with the ability to exercise that sovereignty effectively. That's where sovereignty pays off — in its effective exercise. But where do those institutions come from? Should they simply be imported from somewhere else? Cultural “match” refers to the match between governing institutions and the prevailing ideas in the community about how authority should be organized and exercised. Such prevailing notions are part of the culture of a tribe or of any cohesive society. Governing institutions “match” a society’s culture when governing authority is exercised when, where, and by whom the society’s norms — often unspoken and informal — regard as legitimate. Where cultural match is high, the institutions of governance tend to have a high degree of support in the community; they command allegiance and respect. Where cultural match is low, legitimacy is low, and governing institutions are more likely to be toothless, ignored, disrespected, and/or turned into vehicles for personal enrichment

The goal of preserving human life takes precedence over justice.


Bok, 1988 Sissela Bok Professor of Philosophy, Brandeis, Applied Ethics and Ethical Theory, Ed. David Rosenthal and Fudlou Shehadi,

The same argument can be made for Kant's other formulations of the Categorical Imperative: "So act as to use humanity, both in your own person and in the person of every other, always at the same time as an end, never simply as a means"; and "So act as if you were always through actions a law-making member in a universal Kingdom of Ends." No one with a concern for humanity could consistently will to risk eliminating humanity in the person of himself and every other or to risk the death of all members in a universal Kingdom of Ends for the sake of justice. To risk their collective death for the sake of following one's conscience would be, as Rawls said, "irrational, crazy." And to say that one did not intend such a catastrophe, but that one merely failed to stop other persons from bringing it about would be beside the point when the end of the world was at stake, For although it is true that we cannot be held responsible for most of the wrongs that others commit, the Latin maxim presents a case where we would have to take such a responsibility seriously - perhaps to the point of deceiving, bribing, even killing an innocent person, in order that the world not perish.


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