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Dr. McNinja

LD-Mar/Apr 09: Vigilantism Topic

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Interesting question. Private security forces still have to answer to

 

1) applicable laws

2) mall policy

 

My guess is they've signed in their contract to obey state laws too. You might say they are a vigilante-light.

 

My parents were recently involved in forming a neighborhood watch. That was organized by their local police agency. Lots of evidence suggests that neighborhood watches are a form of vigilantism -- but they are under the rules and policies of police agencies.

 

Does a vigilante HAVE to violate the law to be a vigilante? Most definitions just say they are civilians who are engaged in police-type activities. The easiest vigilantes for Negs to bask are those that are violent and who break the law. (Kind of like debating civil disobedience!). But some of the most famous vigilantes in US history were groups like the Pinkertons who were HIRED by a town to create law and order when sheriffs and federal marshalls were unable to bring law enforcement to spread out towns.

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While I haven't seen the common definitions for vigilantism going around, I don't think that's the best point of attack for arguing that a given private group isn't vigilante. For government-sponsored neighborhood watches and the Pinkertons I would argue that they don't apply because there was no sign the government had failed to enforce the law. If the government hires or sanctions someone to enforce the law (be it a police force or a private group), and that group is successful, then the government has not failed because its chosen agents haven't failed.

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Well i scrolled through everything and didnt see any analysis on this so tell me what you think

 

On aff

1. the resolution states "vigilantism is justified when the government has failed to enforce the law"

2. the word -the- infers the entirety of the law so basically the entire legal system and not just one individual law

3. the government only has truly 2 main jobs - 1 is make the laws 2 is enforce them

4. if the government is falling to enforce -the law- then there is also no point in them making any more individual laws to add

5. Since the government has failed at its two main jobs our society is on the brink of anarchy

6. Anarchy will turn into a dark age and basically destroy society

7. Vigilantism HAS to be justified "when the government fails to enforce the law" no matter the consequences because it will be our only hope of saving societal structure

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On neg

 

Two Scenarios of why you must vote neg

 

One is vagueness of the resolution

 

SUB A

1. the resolution states "vigilantism is justified when the government has failed to enforce the law"

2. the word "failed" is to vague for specific analysis on the resolution

3. no matter the the txt book definition of "failed" every individual has a different interpritation of the word

4. since the spectrum of failed is so vague voting aff will allow for vigilantism to be justified is every situation as long as the vigilanti personally inferred failure within the situation

 

SUB B

1. the resolution says "the law"

2. what the hell is "the law"?

2A. is "the law" when an idividual breaks a single law such as j-walking and it isnt inforced

2B. is there a thresh hold for "the law" such as when a majority of laws havent been enforced

2C. if there is a thresh hold does it pertain to local state or federal laws or all three at once?

2D. is "the law" when EVERY law hasnt been enforced

2E. if the correct answer is 2B, 2C, or 2D who is going to keep a checklist so we know when the thresh hold has been crossed

 

Two is perpetuation of violence

 

1. Vigilantism is about individuals policing situations on their own accord

2. thus when someone is supposedly infrindging on the law the vigilanti will step in and stop them

3. it is empiracally proven that vigilatis will use any means necissary including violence

4. when a vigilanti uses violence to enforce a law that is being broken the vigilanti himself is infact breaking another law thus another law isnt being enforced

5. under the theory that a vigilanti will step in to enforce laws not being enforced another vigilanti will have to step in to enforce the law the first vigilanti broke in order to stop the first individual

6. this results in a perpetuation of violence and breaking of laws which voids the entire reason of why we would ever consider the resolution just

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Well i scrolled through everything and didnt see any analysis on this so tell me what you think

 

On aff

1. the resolution states "vigilantism is justified when the government has failed to enforce the law"

2. the word -the- infers the entirety of the law so basically the entire legal system and not just one individual law

3. the government only has truly 2 main jobs - 1 is make the laws 2 is enforce them

4. if the government is falling to enforce -the law- then there is also no point in them making any more individual laws to add

5. Since the government has failed at its two main jobs our society is on the brink of anarchy

6. Anarchy will turn into a dark age and basically destroy society

7. Vigilantism HAS to be justified "when the government fails to enforce the law" no matter the consequences because it will be our only hope of saving societal structure

 

seven point syllogisms are such strong arguments to make, i'm astounded.

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One is vagueness of the resolution

 

SUB A

1. the resolution states "vigilantism is justified when the government has failed to enforce the law"

2. the word "failed" is to vague for specific analysis on the resolution

3. no matter the the txt book definition of "failed" every individual has a different interpritation of the word

4. since the spectrum of failed is so vague voting aff will allow for vigilantism to be justified is every situation as long as the vigilanti personally inferred failure within the situation

This is a very poor argument. If a word in the resolution is vague, then it is up to the debaters to offer their interpretations of the word. So you can bring up a definition of "has failed" under which your scenario of exploded vigilantism would/could occur. But then the Aff can bring up a counter-definition and the two of you can argue about which definition is better. So your framework here is not a guarantee of anything.

 

Additionally, definition debates are very rare in LD in most areas. Unlike in law, there is no "void for vagueness" standard in LD resolutions. And, since there is no "plan" or implementation of the resolution, it is rare to have topicality arguments in LD. Generally, the words are given a "plan-lanugage" reading.

 

SUB B

1. the resolution says "the law"

2. what the hell is "the law"?

2A. is "the law" when an idividual breaks a single law such as j-walking and it isnt inforced

2B. is there a thresh hold for "the law" such as when a majority of laws havent been enforced

2C. if there is a thresh hold does it pertain to local state or federal laws or all three at once?

2D. is "the law" when EVERY law hasnt been enforced

2E. if the correct answer is 2B, 2C, or 2D who is going to keep a checklist so we know when the thresh hold has been crossed

See above, "the law" will usually be given a plain language reading to mean the general body of legislation at issue. So judges may be bound to uphold "the law" (all of it), while a muderer breaks "the law" (a single item of a single statute). But the resolution does't really care about how many laws are broken. The resolution just wants a debate about the general topic of "if the government isn't doing its job, can other people step in to do that job?"

 

You can have a definition debate if you want, but I don't think it will help you win in most rounds.

 

Two is perpetuation of violence

 

1. Vigilantism is about individuals policing situations on their own accord

2. thus when someone is supposedly infrindging on the law the vigilanti will step in and stop them

3. it is empiracally proven that vigilatis will use any means necissary including violence

Cite?

 

4. when a vigilanti uses violence to enforce a law that is being broken the vigilanti himself is infact breaking another law thus another law isnt being enforced
The resolution doesn't care here. The resolution doesn't ask "is vigilantism legal?" It asks "is vigilantism justified?"

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Alright. Thanks for the insight Fox On Socks and i hope you fall off a cliff dymanicchuck icon7.gif

Well, he's also right. If you need seven steps to make an argument in a debate round, even if it is a valid, logical argument, you'll likely confuse the judge to a greater degree than you'll convince them of anything. Remember, being right on the arguments is only part of what it takes to win in competitive debate, equally important are communication and overall persuasion.

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I don't know whether any of these will be helpful, but here are some unusual examples of vigilantism (#5 seems particularly helpful for Aff) http://www.cracked.com/article_16612_6-real-life-vigilantes-crazier-than-batman.html (Caution: profanity and may not be safe to access at school).

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anyone want to trade cases w/ full out a2's and extensions? pm me up

 

i qualled in KS (sunflower district), granted KS is NOT the best LD state, i think i have some alright cases.

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I'm guessing a lot of you who debated this topic are almost done with it/are done with it, so I'm wondering what you thought about the topic? Did you enjoy it? Was there enough ground/topic literature? Did all of hte debates devolve into competing examples?

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I was wondering if someone might email me a copy of your case(s)?

 

I am a coach for a rather small squad. This semester I have only 2 LD debaters. Our National Qualifying Tournament is this weekend. I will be debating my students this week at practice to get them geared up and ready. However, the three of us know each other's arguments and ideas very well -- we've been working on this for 2 months.

 

If someone would be kind enough to send me a copy of your case (I could use both sides), I would run it in the practice round, and it would allow my students to deal with something else, some new ideas that we haven't considered yet. I'd like to present my students with a challenge before Friday's meet -- but they already know what and how I think about the topic.

 

I would be willing to send a copy of our cases in return, if they would still be useful to you. Otherwise, I would owe you a favor for next season.

 

Thanks in advance any assistance you might provide.

 

Tammie Peters

tpeters@jeffco.k12.co.us

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Batman, Robin, Walker Texas Ranger, and Christian Slater in Kuffs....

 

All great topic examples!!!

 

What? Walker Texas Ranger is not a vigilante... Chuck Norris is law!!!

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I went 3-2 nat quals in AZ.

Aff

I ran failure to enforce the law leads to a state of anarchy, used locke to justify this. I ran vigilantism helps mitigate the effects of the state of anarchy by reducing chaos, had some empirics from the Old West and a cross-cultural study. Finally, I had vigilantism leads to the formation of a new government had some empirics from the old west.

Neg

I had 3 neg cases. One was that vigilantism violates due process, value of justice. Second case was that vigilantism leads to culture of violence, and racism. Both these cases had social revolution alternative. Finally, my last neg, which I won a round on, was that the state of anarchy is good and vigilantism goes against this. I had some empirics from Somalia.

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Finally, my last neg, which I won a round on, was that the state of anarchy is good and vigilantism goes against this. I had some empirics from Somalia.

Okay, I'll bite since this could be really interesting. What's good about Somali anarchy?

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Well the thing is that Somalia has actually improved since the they disbanded their central government. http://www.mises.org/story/2701 What I argue on neg is that vigilantism inherently leads to the formation of some sort of hierarchy and government. During cross-x I was able to get my opponent to admit to this. This is, which I had some cards for, is bad because it perpetuates some negative impacts. For example, I had some analytics saying that it perpetuates racism, genocide, and unnecessary war. This may be hard to swallow but the arguments do hold some weight. Finally, just to show that anarchy is good and the collapse of the central government is good use the example of Somalia. The thing that makes the Somalia argument somewhat sketchy is that they are currently under Xeer law. This is not enforced by a central body a.k.a government but it is enforced by the people, who the aff could justify as vigilantes. That is why i tentitvely use this example and am willing to break away from it and just hit upon the negative impacts. I suggest you look into some Anarchy good files, or Foucault and Nietzche.

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