ILP v. ILO Debate 1

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ILP v. ILO Debate 1

Postby PavlovianModel146 » Tue Jan 06, 2009 3:39 am

First a few updates/reminders:

1.) I will not be accepting PM's from Xunzian, Carleas, Smears, Tabula Rasa, Gamer, SomeoneIsAtTheDoor, OG?..Gift Please or SilentSoliloquy until the conclusion of this event. The only exception to this rule is if either team needs an extension of time, in which case, the PM headline should read verbatim, "Request For Time Extension". Aside from this, you can PM me, but be assured they will not be opened until the conclusion of this debate.

2.) ILO will be posting their topic and what side they will defend shortly. The majority of their team was out of town for Christmas (though I could have been informed of that earlier) and they have also changed team leaders from Gamer to SIATD. They will have their topic and position ready within 48 hours.

3.) I understand that ILP will be temporarily down for a server change. If this poses a problem with posting debate responses, the next person due to post should send an e-mail to [email protected] to let me know. Please include your ILP username in the subject line, or your e-mail will not be opened.

4.) I will be accepting PM's from KrisWest and Phaedrus because we must still discuss the third topic and positions for this debate. The topic and positions will remain secret until such a time that the second debate has concluded.

5.) You do not have to announce the order of your posters. However, if you post in the official debate thread more than once, you forfeit that debate.

6.) The winner of this first debate will have the opportunity to decide what team posts first in the third debate.


Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages;

The combined forces of ILP and ILO proudly bring to you the inaugural Annual ILP vs. ILO Debate. This debate will consist of three rounds in a best out of three format. Let's get it on!

The first topic as chosen by ILP is the following:

Anarchy vs. Archy

ILP will defend the position that Archy is the preferable of the two.

Because ILP selected the topic, ILP will post first and has until Wednesday at 10:00p.m. EST to complete their first post. Remember, all subsequent posts must take place within 48 hours, or the result is a forfeit, unless an extension is both requested and granted.
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Re: ILP v. ILO Debate 1

Postby Carleas » Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:42 am

Thank you, Pav, as well as the other judges, Kris and Phaedrus, and our esteemed opponents from ILO, SIATD, Gamer, Gobbo, and SS. It's a pleasure to be a part of this inter-forum debate, and an honor to be debating with Xunzian, Tab, and Smears on behalf of ILP.
Best of luck to our opponents at ILO, and may the better team win.

The fact of the superiority of government over anarchy is apparent in the state of the world. From a pre-social state of anarchy, humanity has risen to larger and larger social groups, and these groups have been infallibly formed around some form of governance. Where anarchies have existed, their existence has been short lived. They have either been beaten by, or have themselves developed into, governed societies. Governments dominate the landscape of human societies, and this must be due to their ability to last, and to provide advantages over the anarchies that dominated in pre-history.
This is to be expected. Anarchies develop into governed societies, because government is the extension of social agreements that enable effective cooperation. Humans have long associated with each other for the benefits of group action. By combining efforts and dividing labor, humanity has solved enormous problems. We have long made agreements that govern how we act in relation to others, because such agreements ensure a general peace that saves time and resources. By making a deal, the farmer, the blacksmith, and the horse breeder can all eat great food, use well-crafted iron tools, and ride quality horses. If they each were required to grow crops, craft metal, and breed horses, they would almost definitely have lower-quality versions of all three, and no one task could be focussed on and perfected. In addition, it would require more time and resources: 3 plows, anvils, and barns, instead of one, and each person would have to spend time watching the horses to pick out the best, duplicating labor unnecessarily. By cooperating, they save time, energy, and resources.
As groups get larger, agreements must be enforced by a central body to maintain their efficacy in encouraging cooperation. Among three people, it is easy to maintain an agreement: everyone knows everyone else involved; cheating is easy to catch and punish; and the agreement can be verbally communicated to all parties involved easily. Among 30, 300, or 3 million people, such necessary aspects of agreements become difficult, but the benefits to the group do not diminish. As cooperative groups have gotten bigger, the benefits too have increased. To take an example: one person farming for three is more efficient because she is an expert in farming, has the best tools and horses, and can consolidate labor by, for instance, damning only one river to water her crops; one person farming for ten thousand has acres set aside for farm land, he has fertilizers and machinery that others have spent time perfecting, and doesn't even have to carry his own produce to market to exchange it for other goods and services.
The cooperative agreement makes both farmers efforts more efficient, and the latter farmer benefits extraordinarily from economies of scale. But the second farmer does not know those with whom he is in agreement; how can he trust that his produce won't be stolen, that growing crops for the thousands who will benefit will be worth his effort? Government! Government provides a proxy for direct agreement, allowing human activities to continue to benefit from increasing scale. The hundreds of thousands of people that design components for electronics are assured that their efforts are worth while because the government guarantees the terms of agreements that it is in their best interest to make anyway. Where in a small society, the blacksmith can tell the farmer "I won't beat you up and take your veggies, as long as you don't beat me up and take my plows," in a large society it is government assuring both the plastics company and the chip-maker that their goods won't be stolen.
The benefits are apparent: Human dominance is due almost entirely to large-scale cooperation. Hundreds of thousands cooperate nowadays on single projects, making better crops, medicines, electronics – all manner of things that make our lives longer and more comfortable. They can exchange knowledge, goods, and services, confident that they are subject to the same agreements, and that their exchanges will be ensured by the same central body. Through the government, the cooperative agreements that lifted humans from animal status are extended to enormous endeavors, and the benefits we've experienced are clear
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Re: ILP v. ILO Debate 1

Postby PavlovianModel146 » Sat Jan 10, 2009 12:14 am

OG?..Gift Please's introduction reads the following verbatim:

The aim of the following will be to make some distinctions in regards to Anarchy, which will then be used to reinforce the overall point: we are already in an anarchy, and not in a 'government' as the term is being predicated by the opposition.

What makes Anarchy a position above and beyond some sort of sophomoric round-up like 'Chaos and Disorder,' and viable for serious intellectual case study, is the sense in which a society can exist wherein there is rule, but without it being recognized, and so absent. As was said, this is but one variation of Anarchy, as indeed Chaos and Disorder would qualify, but the notion espoused here stays the most true to real life, and this seems intuitive for our purposes.

Human nature is not chaos and disorder. Historically, save for some exceptions, even in the wake of savage violence, there is usually an overriding or governing aspect to the intentions exhibited. At the social level humans simply don't seem to devolve into madness; on the contrary they seem to get more organized. It seems, then, that if there is a plausibility to Anarchy, it falls in the fact that there is government in the sense of rules and (economic) moralities actively practiced, but these things are merely convenient illusions. They don't govern any more than a basic bartering system among friends would govern; any more than anything else wold govern. There doesn't seem to be any real meta-concept above and beyond the normal coalescence of human nature in it's various forms.

Consider, for instance, a group of friends. There is invariably an alpha of the group, and while it is often convenient to allow decisions to trickle down from him/her, (s)he isn't governing anything too tangible and no else is either. Anarchies don't turn into governing states, they -are- governing states. The opposition is arguing that archy, or government is preferable but this is like saying the abstract is preferable to the specific. Of course it is, but it is impossible to achieve government because it is an ideal, so it is better to strive for a realistic view of reality. When pressed with logic and enough common facts, the average person will admit that Obama, or the President/Leader of any country, really doesn't govern anything because of the inherent nature of politics itself. If we truly had government, we wouldn't have such a horrible world, we'd have an ideal one. We find that the harder we search for some sort of ceiling to politics, the more we see that a search for 'governance' is really just a witness to the machinations of greed which, ironically enough, take place almost entirely -outside- of government. So you find yourself back at the realization we started with: we're already in an anarchy. That is, no recognized ruler, but rather a state of lawlessness which in turn gets converted into one when you reach the lower rungs.

So, it is a superior view to accept that fact and operate from a realist, as opposed to a idealist standpoint.

ILP will now have 48 hours to respond. Deadline: 1/11/09, 6:00p.m. EST
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Re: ILP v. ILO Debate 1

Postby Tab » Sun Jan 11, 2009 10:49 pm

Hey everybody.

More for my benefit than yours I'd first like to take a little hike through the hinterland of what has come before, and attempt to wind in the skein of a common thread, much like Theseus in the labyrinth of the Minotaur.

Okay, so that was pretentious - at any rate, I promise to be brief. :D

Our illustrious, site-owning compatriate Carleas kicked things off by highlighting the persistance and productivity of governed societies, plus a quick 101 guide to the efficiency of a system which allows people to perfect and 'sell' their own specialised skills, contrasted against a society of anarchic jacks of all trades - everyone self-sufficient, however poorly - along with the massive redundancies in that society's skill-pool this mistrustful investment in individual 'independnce' would incur.

Carleas basically stressed the benefits of co-operation, or at least the benefits of constructing networks of dependable mutual exploitation, over a romantic, rustic individualism.

In return, OG, everyone's favourite primate from our sister-site ILO first attempted to clear away some of the chaff from our apparently 'outmoded' definition of anarchy - softening the classic 'choas-and-disorder' Melnibonean meaning into a more fluffy version, in which members of a self-declared 'anarchic' society, by sweeping all traces of the rules under which they neverless live, beneath the throw-rug of self-delusion, allow themselves to believe they are somehow 'free' of them. (No, I didn't fully grasp that one either).

Anyway - then, with customary flair OG pulled off the literary equivalent of a 180° tyre-swing by asserting that no such creature as government exists, and what we have in reality are scaled-up versions of the 'friendly' skills and commodity bartering systems of old - hierarchies arising spontaneously and organically within anarchic states, without the need for the artificial contrivances and paraphernalia of elections and politic structure.

In short, he says that governence is an illusion, unattainable in any perfect form, and as such only pursued by fools, and that an acceptance of our true 'anarchic' statehood is a more practical, realistic POV. Bless him.

Okay, finished. My turn now.

There are a few things wrong about assuming a social system can be scaled up without distortion - a system which works well in a community of a few hundred people may not work so well when applied to a society of a few million. There are reasons for this. Reasons perhaps most succinctly outlined by game theory.

You may be familliar with game theory in its most well known form of prisoner's dilemma - two suspects, held incommunicado in separate interrogation rooms, deciding whether or not to implicate the other - mutual co-operation (sponsored by a faith in the good faith of the other) leading to freedom for both.

This is however, only the tip of the iceberg.

When applied to larger groupings of people, game theory - an attempt to outline the variables affecting co-operation, betrayal and recidivism; punishment and forgiveness and analysing the stability of different individual social strategies within a non-homogenous behavioural community - shows that unfortunately OG's assertion of a scalable 'gentlemen's agreement' system becoming a 'natural/anarchic' government, to be unrealistic.

There is a numerical limit, beyond which a group begins to factionate and schism. For humans, this number would seem to be around 150-200 people. This is extrapolated from brain capacity - of the neocortex, in comparison with average group/brain-size ratios in our fellow primates (Dunbar).

I do not claim it to be especially accurate purely from scientific grounds - rather I draw more confidence from historical observations of military units - the Roman century for example - why hundreds not thousands..? And more modern army units - the largest grouping being (before the command structure splinters into a complex hierarchy) the 'company' - consisting of a max. 250 men, composed from platoons. Also the observance of primitive communities - for example the Australian Walbiri and the Ammassalik of Greenland - all possessing an average of 148.4 people in their villages. (Maybe the 0.4 had a boating accident or something). Also observe the more modern 'primitives' - such as the Amish and the Hutterites. Their leaders observe that "keeping communities below 150 keeps management efficient - beyond that people become strangers to one another". ("The tipping point" - pg. 178)

ie: OG's anarchic government of gentlemen/gentlewomen does not scale up.

The basis of any co-operation is trust. And trust is not based on friendship so much as predictability. A predictable enemy - the devil you know - is easier to live with than a complete unknown. Anyone that went around trusting everyone on sight willy-nilly, would soon get burned.

And this is where an archy, with a convoluted judiciary system, wins out in the "large population co-operation between strangers" front. By routinely limiting the extremes of behaviour - rape, theft and murder for example - ritualising interactions between people and most importantly being seen to punish prohibitively those who trespass, they provide a proxy for prediction between erstwhile strangers and hence a basis for trust between those interacting with each other for the first time.

The function of a law, a rule or a moral is not to erradicate totally the behaviour against which it proscribes but rather to reduce the probability that the majority of that society faces of ever becoming a victim of that particular behaviour to such a low degree that it becomes more reasonable, from a cost/benefit basis, on the part of any given individual member of that society to forgo taking prohibitive precautions against such an occurence in their day to day lives.

What I want to express, but perhaps have not done so well enough is to highlight that as a member of a 'lawful', archic society I do not need to become expert in say some defensive/offensive discipline - such as fencing or shooting or a martial art - because the penalties I will incur in terms of the time invested and risk of injury involved in their pursuit are no longer outweighed by a reduction in the risk of injury and death from - I don't know - a duel for example, or a mugging.

In being a member of a society where such an option exists - ie. paying through taxation for a judiciary system and accepting the governmental veto on my expressing dissatisfaction through direct violence against another person or persons - I incur less penalty than would be entailed by having to aquire the skills and equipment necessary to maintain a reasonable degree of protection within an anarchic society without such an externalized system.

In short, as Carleas said, an 'archy fosters co-operation in ways anarchies cannot. It also frees us all from having to become Jean Claude Van Damme in our spare time.

More free time coupled with less violent disruption = more work. Well, more something anyway.

On another tack - that of alpha personas - although OG is right about the natural arisal of leaders, he is forgetting duration. With an anarchy leadership is faddish - a leader lasts only for as long as there is no other serious contender, or he retains the imagination of his group (think literally highschool popularity contests and playground bullies) the anarchist leader may be king for a day or king for a year - he has no way of knowing - producing 'slash and burn' crowd-pleaser strategies which though may ensure the alpha's continued leadership, will not necessarily benefit the group long term.

Even if the anarchic equivalent of a totalitarian despot arises and rules for his or her entire lifespan - that is still a very finite spell - not even the three-score and ten is guarrenteed - which though may be a long time in politics is a short time for anything else. The cathedral in my home town for example, took 400 years to complete back in the day. Anything is possible I suppose but I would bet most of this month's salary that the social attention-span of an anarchic body-politic would veto such an endevor.

However, with an 'archy', a leader - once come to power - usually has a certain period of power guarrenteed by an established social dictate - be it a lifetime or a four to eight year span, perhaps even a multi-generational lineage or at least an itterated political-party presence - which allows him or her to put, realistically, into effect plans which though not paying off in the short term, pay off big in the future.

ie. Anarchic leadership is short-sighted, and any autopoietic hierarchies thrown up, are mayfly in lifespan, subject to whim.

All of which puts me in the position of performing my own version of OG's 180° tyre swing in saying that rather than being 'unrealistic and ivory-towered', the pursuit of government, of archy, however flawed and cruel it may be or become, is the only realistic reaction to a species that cannot keep its collective legs together and the burgeoning populace this inevitably produces.

Let me repeat, a romantic adherence to the vice of anarchy, however soft or hard, applied now, to a population as big as the one present would only condemn humankind to the old cycles of growth and mutual culling at a hugely accelerated rate.

But then, romance has ever been cowled in blood.

Ps. Okay, so I lied about being brief.
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Re: ILP v. ILO Debate 1

Postby PavlovianModel146 » Wed Jan 14, 2009 2:47 am

SomeoneIsAtTheDoor posts the following, verbatim:

My contribution here will be in the spirit of the opening team post for team Anarchy/ILO in both an intellectual and characteristic sense of 'spirit'. I will set out a somewhat different argument to OG's but it is related at every step of the way, thus it will function not only as an ostensible argument in favour of the conclusion, but also an illustration of the validity of what OG has already said.

However, I will in this contribution say a few words about the opposition's argument, since this has been far too hospitable so far and I'm sure those watching are secretly baying for a little blood. These words will take the form of isolating the fundamental principles of the arguments (as I've understood them) that have been presented by the venerable Carleas and some ageing hippy who keeps telling me I'm a primate. These fundamental principles of the argument will then be subjected to a little contradiction and hopefully a little refutation to boot.

To the opening post, which some people have shat on in the conversation thread without giving due consideration to it's strategic function. It's objective is to set the terms of the debate, to try to limit the subject matter to that which will naturally sway the argument towards the favoured conclusion. Hence, his first principle:

Anarchies develop into governed societies, because government is the extension of social agreements that enable effective cooperation.
Essentially, this is the presumption of progress, and as such is circular. It is only if we take for granted the success of archical societies that we see them as the result of the trial and error of historical development.

For example, the Romans. What did they ever do for us? Well, their implicit legacy lives in in language and technology, but what is actually left of the civilisation? A few aqueducts and suchlike. However, I'd argue that this is in fact testimony to the ingenuity of human engineering, rather than the validity of the Roman archical society. Indeed, all civilisations hitherto have fallen, leaving only vestiges in the ongoing attempt by man to understand and harness energy and beauty. That is the constant in history. Civilisations, archical systems, rise and fall with the tides. Humans carry on being inventive and imaginative and brave and rigorous and all the things that make science and art so inspiring.

The Greeks invented democracy centuries before the birth of Christ, yet for essentially an entire millenium western Europe lapsed into a 'primitive' monarchial rule while the Arab world got on with inventing mathematics and translating Aristotle. So clearly there is no natural or inherent 'progression' from anarchical to archical systems of government, and monarchies (which are probably the most common mode of government, historically speaking) are rarely extensions of social agreements, but of the divine authority bestowed by man on his various Gods.

He goes on to admit that:

As groups get larger, agreements must be enforced by a central body to maintain their efficacy in encouraging cooperation.
Just as the possible soap opera fan suggests that:

There is a numerical limit, beyond which a group begins to factionate and schism.
So, rather than there being a natural tendency towards archical structures, if anything these archists (?) are telling us the opposite is true, and it is only by force that state and corporate organisations can maintain their power. I'd suggest this is true while such organisations are hierarchical, since hierarchy produces competition. People are naturally neither competitive nor cooperative - they have the capacity for both in abundance. And I'd suggest at this stage that any society needs to harness both capacities before it can start taking the political high ground and nuking other people's breakfasts.

Wasn't game theory, at least in the form described by the Turkish Delight, largely the work of a paranoid schizophrenic? Whether it can be used to accurately describe human behaviour on a large scale remains to be seen, and ironically this scaling up is subject to precisely the same sorts of criticisms leveled at OG's alleged 'scaling up of gentlemen's agreements'.

Consider the following - great civilisations are usually built on exploitation and slavery. Great civilisations fall apart through civil and international war. Are they really a help or a hindrance to the ongoing human efforts to imagine, understand and invent? Revolutions are the locomotives of history, Marx told us. Well, revolutions are only necessary because of the implementation of exploitative hierarchies deemed necessary for control by those very people seeking to defend such hierarchies as benevolent. As such, anarchical societies offer a more peaceful route through the same journey towards technical and artistic freedom. Archical societies often place huge obstacles in the way of such progress, whether it be because scientific and engineering resources are diverted towards the war effort or designing better pharmaceutical means of control or because artistic resources are devoted to the varying demands of a fully fledged propaganda system is irrelevant - every second of such efforts is a waste given what we could be doing.

One last point, or rather, one last way of looking at the same argument that runs throughout this post, is that the socialist systems of the 20th century innovated poorly compared to the socialist+capitalist systems of the elite economic powers. So much so that the Soviets imported technology from their supposed enemies through the early decades of the Cold War. The most straightforward reason for this is that socialist systems are single hierarchies, compared to the dual hierarchy of the United Kingdom at the same time. Unless the innovative can get the single hierarchy interested in their work, it goes nowhere. At least in the socialist+capitalist societies of Western Europe and elsewhere you had another option.

Imagine if you had thousands of other options. That is the potential of the anarchical society, and that is why it offers a superior possibility for the future of humankind.

ILP has 48 hours to respond. 1/15/09 8:30p.m. EST
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Re: ILP v. ILO Debate 1

Postby Xunzian » Fri Jan 16, 2009 1:07 am

Thus far, the debate has centered around whether anarchy as a system and an ideology is a realistic model for the human condition and whether such a model is desirable. Gobbo initially argued that all present systems constitute a natural outgrowth of anarchy and are, indeed, what one would expect given the self-organizing nature of human beings. He then contended that governments don’t really ‘govern’ anything and that the relationship is akin to that of a group of friends. In his rebuttal to Tab, SIATD refutes the first part of Gobbo’s message, arguing that such notions rely on an idea of progress, and then goes on to use this line of reasoning to strengthen the second half of Gobbo’s argument. Every civilization has fallen, he states, and then asks: what do we have to show for it? This line of reasoning is entirely mistaken, and I intent to demonstrate this by a) demonstrating the continuity of archic civilizations and b) the benefits that archic systems have bequeathed us.

In order to consider what archic systems have accomplished, we need to consider how we understand the anarchy/archy divide. In his article, "What is Anarchism", the widely-recognized anarchist John Zerzan defines anarchy as: "Most simply, anarchy means 'without rule.' This implies not only a rejection of government but of all other forms of domination and power as well." (1) Using that as a basis, we can understand archic systems as those where a recognized hierarchy exists and that legitimate access to modes of domination increase with ones place within said hierarchy (2).

This allows us to examine SIATD’s first claim: that all civilizations have fallen and that what they have bequeathed future generations is merely a matter of engineered artifice (such as aqueducts) as opposed to social elements. Before I begin critiquing that claim, I would like to point out that the statement, “all civilisations hitherto have fallen” is semantically problematic since there are numerous civilizations presently in existence. So the sentence ought properly read, “all civilizations, that have fallen, hitherto have fallen”. Otherwise the sentence demands that all presently existing civilizations have either fallen (?) or arose at this moment. What is the expiration date on a civilization? Without resorting to eschatology, I’m not sure what that statement can even be taken to mean beyond a broad assertion backed by nothing save faith. Some civilizations have fallen, others have endured. That is the constant of history. Why should those presently existing be excluded from the sample?

On to the broader claim, the example he used was Rome, so I will continue in that vein. In terms of modes of domination, the Romans continue to influence much of human society to this very day and in a wide variety of ways. Consider the broad political impact of the Roman Empire on European countries and countries descended from Europe. For example, Roman law continues to serve as the foundation for many legal systems and the Roman government serves as a model which can be observed in things like the American Senate. Likewise, there are many systems still in place that are a direct outgrowth of the Roman Empire, the Roman Catholic Church (whose influence on world history up to and including the present can’t be considered anything other than substantial) is probably the best example. And this trend is not limited to the Roman example: numerous examples exist for other archies throughout history as well. Perhaps the most apparent influence is linguistic in nature. Wittgenstein’s famous maxim, “The limits of my language mean the limits of my world,” have been expounded upon by a variety of philosophers with respect to this issue and while there are contentious aspects of this concept, the influence of language over how we think cannot be overstressed (3). It therefore follows that the Roman Empire continues to influence our thinking through the linguistic imprint it left. Far from merely leaving behind ‘vestiges’, ancient civilizations continue to leave an indelible mark on the areas they once occupied.

Having established the enduring quality of archic systems, it is now my goal to illustrate how these systems have benefited us. Again, SIATD begins his argument against our stance with a contradiction. He lists off some of the achievements of previous civilizations and then he ranks them according to a scale of ‘more’ and ‘less’ advanced, despite having rejected the notion of progress earlier. This is an endemic problem in post-modern analysis, because its critiques rely on the very same narratives that it rejects and so they are misunderstood. Can modes of domination be considered ‘primitive’ or ‘advanced’? Or can they merely be described as ‘adequate’ or ‘inadequate’? Democracy developed in Athens because it was a maritime civilization and its means of (military) domination over its neighbors therefore involved the use of ships. These ships required a large group of men working (rowing) in unison and slaves were found to be unsuitable for the task (Romans would later use slaves but advances in shipbuilding had changed the paradigm by that point), and additionally were too expensive to be privately owned – they could only exist as public goods. Contrast that with the military culture that developed in Sparta, where access to armor that was prohibitively expensive for most residents but was small enough and affordable enough that they could be privately owned. Is it any surprise that one society developed in a democratic manner and the other developed in a oligarchic manner? Issues of ‘advanced’ and ‘primitive’ cannot be brought to bear in such a discussion because the needs being addressed in each case are so radically different. This example demonstrates how differences of condition lead to differences in expression with respect to archy, which also bears on the disagreement between Gobbo and Tab as to whether a group of friends can serve as a reasonable model for any other group of people which constitutes a civilization.

But is any of this ‘good’? SIATD argues that archies create barriers to progress, that the hierarchies create road-blocks in the human quest to, “imagine, understand and invent” and that overcoming these obstacles represents a huge waste of resources. But does that claim hold up under scrutiny, what is the ‘future primitive’ that is being envisioned here? Imagination, understanding and invention are all concepts that are rooted in particular narratives all of which necessarily involve means of domination. When one imagines, they reach beyond the sensory information immediately available to create an image or model. This model allows for understanding by breaking down the rapidly changing world of the senses into a concrete mental concept. Having developed a concept, one can find uses for the thing being modeled and thereby invent something. But why is this being done? SIATD argues that anarchy allows for technical and artistic freedom, but freedom to do what? Things like “the war effort” or “developing a new pharmaceutical” don’t represent a deviation from progress or from ‘imagining, understanding and invention’ but rather their fulfillment, they are the impetus for the action. In “Future Primitive,” Zerzan argues that it is a symbolic understanding of the world which led to the development of archies (4). Contained within this thesis is the idea that a symbolic understanding of the world contains within it a demand for domination. Since imagination demands a symbolic understanding, it would seem that the very act of imagining would destroy the anarchy which is being formed. Symbols, which can become increasingly abstract things like, “the war effort” allow for the very things SIATD claims would benefit from anarchy, yet it is precisely this thought process which is inamicable to anarchy! What SIATD perceives as roadblocks are, in fact, the stator that allows the engine of society to run.

It could still be argued that a quasi-anarchy, consisting of free but like-minded people could result in a superior system than the more concrete archies we presently employ; however, this is also not the case. The scale at which these quasi-anarchies can be maintained necessarily limits the degree of specialization since the population itself is quite likely below the limit necessary for the efficiency which we presently enjoy – specialization increases efficiency. This makes sense, a cobbler can make more and/or better shoes if he devotes most of his time to shoe making. Repeated practice trains the body and familiarity with a system leads to an understanding which enables invention. The old maxim, “a jack of all trades is a master of none,” suggests the problems such an anarchy might run into. Think back to Carleas’ description of the farming community and the benefits of scale. However, there is a far more pressing problem to such a system with respect to specialization: people cooperate best with people perceived to be ‘like’ them; yet specialization of labor creates distinctions between people. So as anarchic groups cooperate with each other and specialize working towards an efficient system, its members become more different and less able to cooperate until it collapses. Within a hierarchical, archic system, this needn’t be the case (indeed, it isn’t) because those with legitimate access to means of domination can ensure that different, highly specialized groups do work in unison. This is where game theory is important and useful, as Tab so eloquently described. SIATD dismissed the concept with an ad hominem argument about certain figures involved in developing game theory, however, that in no way undermines the power of game theory as a tool for predicting and controlling behavior.

SIATD’s argument that the rise and fall of civilizations demonstrates the paucity of archy fails because it neglects the effects of previous civilizations on present ones. Likewise, his argument that anarchy represents a more efficient model for human governance fails because the very pursuits he seeks to cultivate are either incoherent with respect to the goals of anarchy or contain within them the seeds of destruction for said anarchy. Archy, on the other hand, serves as a means for conceptualizing, achieving and perpetuating ends.

1) Zerzan, John "What is Anarchism"
2) Adapted from: Weber, Max "Politics as a Vocation"
3) See:, for example.
4) Zerzan, John “Future Primitive”
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Re: ILP v. ILO Debate 1

Postby PavlovianModel146 » Fri Jan 23, 2009 4:50 am

The following is the post of Kawaki at ILO verbatim:

Thanks to everyone that put this together and everyone that has contributed thus far. We were very cordially given additional time to find a replacement and to post a counter argument. Although I have not discussed this with the team, I would like to request that our opponents at ILP be provided more than the typical 48 hours allotted for a response.

I will begin with a review of the debate to date. I will be brief (as defined by Tab).

Carleas’ Position:
Government superiority over anarchy is visible in today's world because today's world governments demonstrate the ability to be long lasting and advantageous over anarchies. Government is the extension of social ideas and anarchies turn into governing states.

"By combining efforts and dividing labor, humanity has solved enormous problems".
"By cooperating, they save time, energy, and resources."
Also essentially Carleas stated that only government could enforce cooperation (an unproven claim) and lift us above animals.

OG's position and challenge:
Anarchy is the absence of recognized rule thereby eliminating the need for government since humans are, by nature, not chaotic. OG also notes that human nature is not chaos and disorder (essentially that man is a social animal). To support this, OG used an example of a group of friends or what could be called an egalitarian community as an example of how mankind can combine efforts, divide labor and otherwise cooperate without the need for a governing body that forces cooperation.

OG continues to dismantle Carleas' position: the long lastingness and advantageousness of governments is refuted by taking the position that governments crumble all the time, that the absence of governments is nothing new, and that what is actually visible in today's world is nothing resembling the idealized governments of which Carleas spoke. Or, as OG put it "witness the machinations of greed" and the chaos and disorder of which anarchy is so often, sophomorically, accused. OG's challenge: show me your advantageous government because what I see is an idealization of the corrupt and coercive animal known as government.

TAB'S counter:
Tap, tap, tap, and away we go into the magical world of Oz.

The interesting thing about Tab's counter is his summation of Carleas' position as: "the benefits of constructing networks of dependable mutual exploitation, over a romantic, rustic individualism." I think we at ILO are willing to concede that exploitation is something we can depend on when we have government. In sharp contrast, the goal of anarchy, the goal of ridding ourselves of government, is to create mutually beneficial communities—something that comes to us naturally but is torn from us by governments.

Tab's central theme begins with the prisoner's dilemma and the inability to scale up. Tab suggests that OG's egalitarian communities would fail above and beyond any small size. Tab then focuses on the duration of leadership saying that anarchy does not have long-lastingness while archic systems do indeed last

SIATD's inhospitable reply:
The heretofore terms of the debate are unacceptable. You need to prove to us that (1) anarchies develop into governments and (2) that your governments are successful. SIATD in fact, argues that it was the people themselves which were successful and that presence (or lack thereof) of governments is not what leads to success. SIATD further argues that aqueducts, language, and technology are due to human engineering and not the result of the Roman government.

SIATD also points out that despite the Greek's invention of democracy Europe was plunged into darkness by its governing authorities (the monarchs) for 1,000 years. This is to counter Carleas’ observation that there is a progression from anarchy to government. Man is a social animal (OG). SIATD further mentions that these 'archic civilizations' have often ended in revolution, a revolution necessary because of the exploitation of the people by their governments.

SIATD also mentions that the prisoner's dilemma and its scalability problems also apply to Tab's archic societies (for governments too can be very, very large).

Surely, if governments have overcome this scalability problem by breaking down their military units into smaller groups so can anarchies rely on the success of breaking down groups into smaller groups (though it is not required). But have governments (and archic systems) managed to escape this dilemma? No. The only escape is to continue to give power to a higher government (a hierarchy) and this presents its own problems. The oft quoted "absolute power corrupts absolutely" comes to mind when we discuss hierarchies.

Finally, we reach Xunzian's distortion of both SIATD's posts and of history.

Xunzian attempts to demonstrate the continuity and benefits of these archic civilizations and he begins with a further examination of Roman government and how it influenced today. Xunzian mentions that Roman government is still observable in today's American senate. He mentions that the Roman Catholic Church is a long lasting and presently existing institution with a large historical impact. He adds that the linguistic impressions left to us by the Roman Empire influences our thinking and our world. Xunzian claims this establishes "the enduring quality of archic systems". Xunzian goes on to argue that there are benefits which these archic civilizations have left us, that these civilizations are not a road block and bafflingly Xunzian argues that imagination, understanding, and invention are concepts which "necessarily involve means of domination".

I'll start with this:

(1) It is incorrect to state that the Roman Empire left us with "linguistic impressions" that influence us today. Language is not given to rule, order, or government. It cannot be controlled. Words are not invented by the Oxford University Press, or by government, or by a language authority. A language evolves freely and the human lexicon comes not from a book but rather from the anarchy of the cosmos. Our vocabulary is one of invention and it is without limit. The linguistic legacy of the Roman era is not one left to us by the Empire but rather by the individuals of that time. Language is something that benefits from anarchy because anarchy is conducive to change. A language that does not change is a dying language. Thus, while archic civilizations have aided in our development of language, it is anarchy that really shapes language. Consequently, if we reconsider Wittgenstein's quote in this context, we can see the advantage that anarchic societies and their limitless potential have over archic societies.

(2) Here's a word that I can attribute to the Roman Empire: warmongering. We shouldn't overlook the Roman Empire's use of military force to conquer many, many, foreign lands (there is a reason it is called an Empire). It seems, this trait does seem to be one found in Xunzian's long lasting archic civilizations; the U.S.A., England, Spain, Russia, China and more seem to have no quarrel taking what they want through the use of military force.

One cannot have a discussion about anarchy without discussing the tendency of governments to be oppressive, coercive, domineering, and exploitative. The tools of archic societies have ever been terror, violence, and torture only they use other terms like war, military action, or patriotism. Here’s another word: propaganda. These are genuine roadblocks and problems we face under archic systems.

(3) A perfect example of this ‘absolute power inescapably leading to corruption’ is the very institution Xunzian mentioned as proving an enduring quality of archic systems: the Roman Catholic Church.

The church's rule over thought, science, and society influenced our world alright but was it beneficial? Was it advantageous? Was the rule and authority of the world's oldest government (organized religion) not a road block to society? We are talking about an archic system that brought about the Inquisition, the Crusades, the suppression of science, and the irrational endorsement of ignorance.

In fact, it is here that the supposed long-lastingness of archic societies is in fact, a further detriment to our opponent's case. You see, the long-lastingness of these governments can become stumbling blocks to change for very long periods of time whereas the supposed short lived rule under archic societies would be an advantage. Would we have been better off if the Roman Catholic Church's power and rule could have been shortened? Yes.

How are such roadblocks overcome? It is not other governments that have typically been at the root of change and innovation rather it is the people, like Galileo, whose imagination, understanding, and inventions led us into a new age. So, then, we see that it is individuals free from rule and oppression that can break away the chains of government. Does domination, as Xunzian suggested, play a part in this? No. Domination is meant to limit and to reduce when often times we need to allow ourselves to grow and expand.

(4) The "jack of all trades" comment does not apply for these reasons: (a) Leonardo da Vinci may be the most famous “jack of all trades”—it is not in the least a bad thing to be an ‘all trades’ type person. So, Xunzian's pejorative "jack of all trades" might instead be anarchy's polymath; (b) no evidence or support is given for this accusation that one must or would be required to be a “jack of all trades” in an anarchic society; and (c) contrary to what our opponents at ILO have offered, anarchic societies do allow for trade efficiencies, for the mastery of subjects and or specialization.

The truth is that the specialization of which Xunzian speaks is actually one you're more likely to find in egalitarian societies, in communitarian anarchies, or in anarcho-syndications. The specialization that actually occurs under our opponents system is of a different kind which I will call archic-specialization (more on this in just a bit).

Imagine if we told people that in order to be more master guitarists they should just learn to specialize in playing three cords to play a nice little ditty rather than to bother with all those other chords. Or even more absurdly, imagine that we have some musicians specialize in playing the "G" chord and others in "C Major". This specialization is inefficient but this is the kind of specialization that actually occurs in the archic systems mentioned by our opponents (this is archic-specialization).

What this archic-specialization does is take knowledge out of our hands and splits that knowledge between many—this is erroneously and deceptively called efficiency. It is efficient alright; efficient at making you an easily replaceable sprocket in OG's previously described "machinations of greed."

This archic-specialization does not result in cobblers cobbling cobbles; instead it results in minimum wage employees doing monkey-work. These archic-specialists don't think or act out of line; they are primed and ready to be manipulated. Once again we see where governments can and do lead to more and more exploitation.

(5) I'll repeat something that needs repeating: anarchy is conducive to change. Anarchy doesn't preclude rules and social order nor does it prevent the creation of large scale efficiencies. Instead, anarchy is against the oppression, coercion, exploitation, and force found in government. Anarchy is the affirmation of freedom and the affirmation of the limitless possibilities that can occur through human interaction and cooperation when it is not hindered by government. Anarchy is the removal of restriction and allows for society to guide itself. Anarchy is both idealistic in its aims and realistic in its nature and this is why such an open system is preferable and more advantageous to the limits of archic systems.

Per the request of Kawaki, I am allotting ILP (Smears) 96 hours to post their (his) conclusion.

Monday, January 26th, 2009 by 10:30p.m. EST
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Re: ILP v. ILO Debate 1

Postby Mr Reasonable » Fri Jan 30, 2009 12:41 am

I'm a little late, and a bit short on poetic jargon here, so I'll address your points as best I can.

1) You say that language, as far as its development and ability to change is dependent on anarchy?

I think that's assuming something that's too hard for most people to understand. It seems like you're stating that language is by its nature without governing principles. It's pretty much understood that without structure of some kind that language wouldn't be able to function at all. At the very least, and I know I go back to this all the time, but for us to use one word two times, we have to assume some kind of identity, and therein we have a governing principle. I'm of the opinion that there is nothing about anything whatsoever which isn't to some extent bound by some kind of governing principle. I suppose I could be more artful in masking this opinion, or trying to make it seem like a fact, but who wants to read the kind of nonsense that this might entail? Especially since this seems to me to be an assertion about language, as it relates to government, which doesn't give any information about how we're supposed to translate the workings of language into the terms necessary to make a comparative analogy between the governing principles of language vs. those of government, (or lack of government). Kind of seems like the debate has gone in a strange direction here, but I'll go with it.

2) Warmongering….

Here we have the classic example of "government is bad because it creates war". This emotive response is based on the tacit assumption that war is necessarily bad. This seems like more of a moral judgment than a logical observation. I suppose it could be interpreted either way. Consider this… in a state of anarchy,(defined by me, loosely, as a state in which there is no centralized governing body capable of coercing people to certain actions), there is no protection for anyone, ever, other than that which is agreed upon at the time being by the parties involved. Anarchy thus lacks the checks and balances necessary to ensure equally distributed justice. For me, arguing that warmongering isn't the worst case scenario seems like a tough sell. My argument is basically that under either system people are exposed to dangers and exploitation. The benefit of the governed system is that it provides standardized methods of distributing justice and it can ensure through checks and balances that when wars are fought, and people are exploited or what have you, that it's done in the most agreeable way. With a centralized power, the people, as a mass, have the ability to combine their power as individuals in order to compete in international affairs in a way that would not be possible if there were no one to speak for them as a whole. Interestingly, I have to wonder if the Romans knew this, and exploited this weakness in others as they went about building that great big empire.

3) Absolute power = corruption.

This seems like it might be true. But only if we define corruption as that which those lacking absolute power oppose. Everyone gets mad at politicians when things aren't going their way. That doesn't mean that what the politicians are doing is necessarily unethical. It simply doesn't follow. The bit about churches running the show for so long academically neglects to mention as well that most of the people in the world who knew how to read and write way back in the day were….church people. Priests, monks or whatever. I mean, sure you can disagree with the ideals of a body of people, but you can't just say they're bad, while ignoring what they've done for people as a whole. Way back before science got to be such a big thing, these church guys were getting absolutely powerful and to this day the effects can be seen all over the world. One might argue that the execution of the role of most powerful was done quite well by church people, in that it inspired things like the kind of competition which in capitalist economies can be given credit for technological advances responsible for something as basically and agreeably good as the expansion of the average human life span. Only the suicidal could disagree with that.

4) The jack of all trades thing…

So the general idea is that someone thinks that to live in anarchy, you'd have to be able to breed your own cow, make your own shoes, grow your own grain and that there simply wouldn't be enough time for one person to get all this done. I think I'll agree with whoever's taken that point of view. I read further along as see that "anarchies allow for trade efficiencies".

Here's what I think, at the very least, we are governed by the laws of physics. In my mind, a perceived absence of government is therefore, a flawed perception. I'm willing to back up a little and say that ok, ok, you don't have a president and a congress, and you don't have a king, and you aren't ruled under some emperor or something, so I'll give you the whole physics things and let you say you're without government.

But now you're telling me that you want to have social agreements? You want trade efficiency? You want to barter with one another, and you want to organize a night watch around your camp so that you can fend off other tribes? I mean, how far down this slippery slope are we going to go? By the time everyone is living in harmony and trading and organizing a watch to protect one another, you're no longer living in anarchy. You can't have everything but the figurehead and still call it anarchy. It just seems ridiculous.

5) Anarchy is conducive to change…

Sure, it might be. But so might government. One changes in an unpredictable way where everyone's ass is at stake and the other changes in a regulated and controllable way so that we as people can actually combine efforts against nature. You might say that government takes too much time to change, and I'd tell you that it takes no longer to do it right than it does to do it wrong then clean up the mess afterward. Look at all those places in Africa where there are so many guns and so few leaders. Good job anarchists. Great example. I'd like to see what New Orleans would look like without a big government there to send in the aid that was needed. Lastly, "allowing society to guide itself"…. I think I read something about some government sometime doing a thing that was like, of the people, by the people and for the people. I suppose in a comparison of this world with another where ideals are the reality, such a government might lose out to the ideals. But in this world, such a government might actually become the strongest and most efficient entity ever devised for securing a standard of living that is survivable for the most amount of people, all while, interestingly enough following your plan and letting society guide itself.
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Re: ILP v. ILO Debate 1

Postby PavlovianModel146 » Sat Jan 31, 2009 4:47 am

The following is Gamer's conclusion, verbatim:

yo wassup wassup homies. I would like to thank clint eastwood. that's about it.

So you ask: what is preferable? Well I would prefer the option that yields the highest level of kick ass rock and roll action.

I prefer anarchy because anarchy ROCKS. No fuss, straight in.

We get to do whatever we want with no BOSSES or BITCHES telling us what to do. This is simple, people. Rules are for tools. Also, rules our for fools. Rules are for zools. Heh, I could do this all day folks.

There are plenty of hyphenated anarchies. I found them on wikipedia a few weeks ago when the topic came up. "Shit," I thought, "this is going to be HARD." I just thought there was, like, regular anarchy. But no, there's anarcho-this, anarcho-that. Fuck me a capital A.

I don't think the question is like "your kid has staph infection, do you prefer treating him with antibiotics or aspirin?" Yea, I prefer you give the kid the antibiotics, douche bag. Case closed. Cause it's been proven with science.

I don't think anarchy or archy has been proven clearly enough. So I think this question is more about preference in terms of taste or penchant, liking, inclination. The judges didn't say either way, so I'm going to answer based on what i think is more "tasteful," because Tab even said it in his british way: romance isn't cowled in blood. That's right, cowled.

If the judges said: what is preferable, esp or lack of esp; or the power for people to fly like peter pan, or not to fly like peter pan? You know what my answer would be. So, yeah, anarchy is way preferable. Fuckin' just live, like in that Yellow Submarine movie, after the blue meanies were defeated. Is it realistic? Fuck if I know. Is it preferable. Yes. That's my opinion. and I love opinions.

And besides, my team already came out ahead on the unwinnable tit-for-tat utilitarian polemic. Nobody knows which yields more "productivity," and furthermore who gives a fuck. Preference is not measured by aqueducts, or GNP or GPA or PG-13 or fuckall.

And this idea that it's somehow better not to become Jean Claude Van Damme in your spare time. BULL FUCKING SHIT. If there was no govt., I would totally be doing that and loving it. Throwing stars? Check. Staff? Check. Bullwhip? Check. Roundhouse kick? You don't want to find out, pal.

Of course, what with all the ARCHISM in the USA, what i HAVE wound up doing is watching Jean Claude and getting fat, watching his dumb movies again and again from my fat-ass couch like all the other americans around here. fucking walking dead. I suppose that's better than being Van Damme? Hell, I'd rather die at 20 knowing how to build a fire and kill a man and fuck a woman right. That's what anarchy can do for you, son.

Anarchy, as a concept, is better, hands down. Everybody knows it. When the human race grows up some day there will be know need for central govt., but right now we need it because we're REALLY DUMB, and because we value things that are bad for us, like extending our useless, pathetic lives, feeding our fat faces, and playing with all manner of time wasting gadgets. There is simply not enough wide spread fucking, and the reverse eugenics of our so-called progress has created a world of serious mouthbreathing idiots.

One more thing: I actually do care about human rights and peace, I don't want to see babies getting their heads caved in and their mommies raped by vikings. but there's just so much of this anyway in archy. what i DO hate more than anything is seeing a man tied up to the ground, it's the world's saddest sound, it's saddest sound. Mmmm-hmmm.

The judges will return with their decisions, after the judges have posted a new thread will be opened for the second debate.
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Re: ILP v. ILO Debate 1

Postby PavlovianModel146 » Fri Feb 06, 2009 5:34 am

The following is my judgment of the First Debate, I will be followed by KrisWest and then Phaedrus.

I adopted a scoring system for my judging and will briefly explain my reasons for the socres given in each category.


Readability/Form: 12/20- The lack of line breaks severely damaged readability. I understand time constraints, but I edited and greatly improved the readability of the post in mere seconds.

Foundation: 25/30- The foundation for the premise was very strong, in my estimation. Carleas came up with an original example pertaining to strength in numbers and consistently employed said example throughout the post. The only thing I felt the post could have used would have been more specific examples in terms of benefits that exist that can only be attributed to government or governing agencies.

Adherence: 30/30- The post remains on-topic and focuses strictly on the development of why government should be preferred.

Originality: 8/10- Carleas did pretty much what was expected of him, at least in my opinion. The original example and hypothetical community saved his originality score.

Evidence: 7/10- No citations are really necessary for this topic, so 7/10 is the lowest possible score which indicates that Carleas (or any other poster) did not really present independent evidence or case study.

Total 82/100



Readability: 20/20- I found no readability issues.

Foundation: 15/30- The foundation for Gobbo's argument was somewhat off-topic. Basically, the primary thing I got from Gobbo's argument is that we already live in an anarchy structure. Of course, Gobbo is using the definition of anarchy having to do with selective participation in controlling affairs.

In attempting to prove that we already live under anarchy, Gobbo would have essentially taken the merits of archy (as defined by Carleas) and those merits would have been anarchy's merits and no longer archy's, and I think this was a good tactic.

The one thing Gobbo fails to realize is that participation in government is not entirely selective and voluntary. An 18 year-old male, by law, must sign up for the selective service, no other choice, he can be drafted. In one registers (volunteers) to vote, one is also automatically registered for jury duty and has no other choice but to go if called in. Another example yet is welfare, we pay into the welfare system via income tax, there is no alternative, that is not voluntary.

Adherence: 15/30- "The opposition is arguing that archy, or government is preferable but this is like saying the abstract is preferable to the specific. Of course it is, but it is impossible to achieve government because it is an ideal."

This is the exact opposite of what Gobbo should have said. Gobbo is supposed to defend that anarchy is preferable (the ideal) and openly states that his opinion lay with ILP that archy is ideal.

Originality: 10/10- Trying to prove U.S.A. is an anarchy already was a very creative move that would have worked save a few evident exceptions.

Evidence: 7/10- Same thing, no independent sources.

Total: 67/100


Readability/Form: 10/20- The readability was there the form was not. I felt that Tab's post was condescending and arrogant and also, "Talked-down," to and disrespected Gobbo. The dismissal in the opening was too blatant.

Argumentation: 30/30- Government is limiting insofar as that it limits the ability of people to commit heinous acts upon one another wantonly which thereby ensures actual freedom to live with a certain lack of constant fear. The duration of structure and stability is far longer under an archy as opposed to an anarchy, while in many cases ensuring that a certain leader does not overstay his welcome or become too controlling simply because he is the Alpha. Government also ensures fairness insofar as that the same rules should theoretically be applied to everyone as these rules are the standards (often moral) under which we can all be expected to live.

Adherence: 25/30- The argumentation in Tab's post is fantastic, but I felt that the preference for archy was essentially limited to fairness and equality. Tab himself states that there are certain numbers under which a self-governing anarchy could successfully exist under this Alpha, but fails to state to a great extent why these smaller self-governing societies are not preferable.

Originality: 8/10- A few original examples, the Roman Empire thing was good. Pretty much what I expected from Tab, though.

Evidence: 10/10- Good independent study, adequately cited.

Total: 83/100



Readability: 20/20-No issue there

Argumentation: 25/30- Anarchy provides a multitude of options in terms of ideas and methodologies. Basically, the more things we try to do the more likely that we are to figure out the right thing to do, reasonable enough. Government enslaves people in order to accomplish its ends. The vast majority of governments have failed. SIATD basically said that all governments have failed, but this is untrue because some governments currently exist and therefore have not failed in terms of sustainability, at least not yet.

Adherence: 20/30- SIATD's post adheres to the topic of preference for the most part. The only problem I had was that I felt that equal time should be spent on SIATD's part promoting anarchy as opposed to saying, "Government sucks," but the vast majority of the post was pure argument against government. Of course, in saying government sucks, anarchy is promoted, so I decided not to deduct any points here.

Originality: 10/10

Evidence: 8/10- Good examples, loose citations.

Total 83/100



Readability: 17/20- Some of the sentences were difficult to pick apart through the fat and get to the meat, but the overall readability was pretty good.

Argumentation: 18/30- Xunzian does well to bring up the point that those governments still in existence have not fallen by way of the fact that they exist.

I believe that the use of the Roman Empire carrying so many things over into modern times is fallacious because the Roman Empire still fell. That would be like saying if I put my pants on then rob a bank, kill three people in the process, flee the police, get backed into a corner, get in a shoot-out and am killed by the police that my model should still be considered workable because at least I did not go in public naked.

Xunzian also argues that specialization increases efficiency, but it does not. What it does do is increase ability.

Adherence: 20/30- I think that Xunzian spent too much time nit-picking at very minor details in SIATDs post to be truly effective at furthering the argument for archy. Many of the perceived misconceptions in SIATD's post warrant mentioning, but no full break-down is necessary and often detracts from the greater argument.

Originality: 6/10- I felt that the entirety of Xunzian's post was in response to something and often failed to produce original argument or reasons for archy preference.

Evidence: 10/10

Total 71/100



Readability/Form: 16/20- The introduction had a slightly condescending tone.

Argumentation: 30/30- Government is often exploitative. The church suppresses the people and is often a roadblock to scientific breakthrough (stem-cell research, for example) Also a very good opinion is made about how the long-lastingness of government societies can be detrimental to creativity, freedom and thought. Kawaki also makes a good point about over-specialization. I think he could have thrown the fact out there that when corporations lay people off, they are able to accomplish the same tasks that they were before by teaching the people they keep new tasks, but, I got the point.

Adherence: 25/30- Again, the post is almost exclusively argument and there are really no new examples of reasons to prefer anarchy.

Originality: 8/10

Evidence: 7/10

Total: 86/100


Readability/Form: 18/20- Smears lost a few points for over-simplifying things, but gained them back with his itemization of the issues.

Argumentation: 20/30- The church has not always participated in studies that will help people extend their lives, the active opposition to stem-cell research by the church is a clear and convincing example.

Smears is right in suggesting that for the most part when a person does something he/she is doing it because he/she believes it to be right and that those who disagree with the person (or with archy) are simply disagreeing with decisions that have been made.

Smears focuses at one point on what anarchy is or is not and challenges the definition of anarchy made, but again this detracts from his overall goal to prove preferability.

Adherence/Closure: 20/30- Smears does a good job in his argument, but very rarely expands upon the overall point of archy's preferability. In addition to that, Smears' post would have been an excellent second or third "build-up," post, but I fail to see a strong close.

Originality: 8/10- Again, Smears mostly played off of pre-established arguments.

Evidence: 7/10

Total: 73/100

Penalty (5 Points)-Late Post, even after extension was given.



Readability: 20/20- Very readable post despite the clear comedic aspects.

Argumentation: 10/30- Gamer completely fails in any way to address any point made or opinion given prior to his own post. The only thing that he argues is the generality that anarchy is preferable, of course that is the point of the debate, but Gamer completely neglects the societal level which had been the topic of conversation prior to his post and focuses exclusively on the individual level.

Adherence/Closure: 30/30- Assertive close. Gamer also adheres strictly to arguing anarchy being preferable.

Originality: 10/10

Evidence: 7/10

Total 77/100


Team ILP:

Carleas: 82/100
Tab: 83/100
Xunzian: 71/100
Smears: 73/100

Total: 77.25

Team ILO:

Gobbo: 67/100
SIATD: 83/100
Kawaki: 86/100
Gamer: 77/100

Total: 78.25

Team ILO is assessed a penalty of five points (1.25 basis points) because they could have altered their posting order to have Gamer post third to be closer to the posting deadline. As a result, Team ILO scores 77 Points.

Opinions are all well and good, but today, ILovePhilosophy.

ILP MVP: Tab- Had your post not had an arrogant and condescending tone toward your opponent, your score would have been almost perfect.

ILO MVP: Kawaki- ILO are lucky to have you in the next two debates. SS could not have come anywhere close to what you accomplished, and to think, you were a fill-in! Amazing work.

MVP (Overall): Kawaki
Last edited by PavlovianModel146 on Sat Feb 07, 2009 2:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: ILP v. ILO Debate 1

Postby Kriswest » Fri Feb 06, 2009 1:29 pm

Holy pencil pushing Pav!!! No one told me we had to get into such detail! It would take me an hour just to edit my dyslexia.

Everyone for me started out with 5 points, each point based on a quality, If you did not meet it, that point was removed.
It was similar to Pav's

Up til the last the teams were seperated by one point. Then the two outlaws posted and since they posted with their hearts more than their heads, I had to change it up a bit for them.

Given time Smears will be as eloquently strong as Gamer. Gamer locked it for ILO, Smears you did beautifully but, if you had stuck to the course and let Gamer be the one outlaw ,, well..

ILO gets my vote.
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Re: ILP v. ILO Debate 1

Postby Phaedrus » Sat Feb 07, 2009 8:31 am

I would like to congratulate the members of Teams ILO & ILP for a fascinating and engaging first debate. If the remaining rounds are this good then the whole affair will have been well worthwhile. I will not use a rubric quite as involved as Pav; let me briefly summarize my judgment of the round.

You do a great job laying the groundwork, encapsulating the fundamentals and the defining the arguments that will follow. For the most part you dictated terms; I felt that except for a few token attempts to nibble on the fringes, your definitions for the discourse were largely unrebutted. Your arguments were lucid and well constructed, although frankly could have been formatted better. I found it a bit difficult to read. And no new ground was broken- your arguments held to the tried and true.

Score: 8.5

OG?..Gift Please:

Your aggressiveness was excellent, and I felt you did a great job of attacking. Your communication is effective but I felt a couple things were missing. Your most potentially compelling argument was that we already live under a system of anarchy, but after that initial assertion you never extended or supported it, nor offered any evidence of or reason for your belief. That wouldn't have been too damaging to your case if one of your teammates had picked the argument up and ran with it but no one did. Moreover, you seem to assert that some high degree of organization is inherent to humans; this seems to undermine your assertion that anarchy is more natural and desirable.

Score: 8

That was being brief! Good thing you didn't drag it out! :wink: As always you spin the most colorful of prose. In this case, perhaps only half was necessary. You made some terrific arguments, and your appeal to game theory was very compelling. You did a good job of addressing the strong points of OG's case and expanding upon that of ILP. You made a good case that while anarchy can work on a small scale, there are no precedents for showing it to be scalable. You also introduce a key argument that isn't really refuted by later opponents- the idea of predictable justice. You lay out a sound explanation for this being a foundation for civilization.

Score: 9

Yours was a difficult post to judge. On one hand I felt your tone and demeanor was unnecessarily derisive and dismissive; comments like "the Turkish Delight" only take away from your case. Ah, but your case is very compelling. I think the best things you did were to challenge the notions that order necessarily evolves from disorder and that order has consistently improved human welfare. Equally potent is your point that all the great orderly societies eventually collapsed. The observation that archical societies were often founded on inequality and slavery are sobering. You fail to explain why this is endemic to archy, but that's for your opponents to take you to task for, not me. You do a formidable job of extending the best of the previous arguments and pressing the attack.

Score: 9

Your post was very, very well done- easily the best structured and most methodical of the debate. You do a masterful job of 1) reinforcing the terms as defined by ILP, 2) rebutting SIATD's strongest objections and 3) making a strong case for the advantages of ordered government. You contained his arguments that governments have and must fall and created a link between governments of the past and those that followed. You did a great job of neatly summarizing the arguments and directing the debate where you wanted it to go, further extending ILP's early efforts to dictate the terms.

Score: 10

A very impressive effort by a "junior" member. You acquitted yourself very well and demonstrate the wisdom of including you on Team ILO. Your strongest arguments were that ordered societies have a lot of blood on their hands and that they can be systemically resistant to change. Still, there are points I didn't find compelling. Your assertion that anarchy doesn't preclude order and large scale coordination seem at odds with the term as both teams have already defined it. Also, I think your musician analogy is flawed. True- if all musicians learn only a few chords you'd have a mess. But if all the musicians learn their entire instrument (ie their role) you can have a symphony. But overall your case is very compelling.

Score: 9

I will admit I was pleasantly surprised, Smears- your case was very strong. The first half of your post did an effective job of extending the best arguments of your teammates and rebutting the strongest arguments of your opponents. Moreover I felt you landed several withering body blows, perhaps even haymakers. Your allusions to Katrina and the lawlessness of Africa constitute the first actual evidence re genuine anarchy, and it's damning. You could have expanded upon this as it's a very effective attack. But I think an equally potent argument is the notion of equally distributed justice- a fellow teammate of yours fired this warning shot across the bow but it was unheeded by ILO, and you extend it here to devastating effect.

Score: 9

As always, Gamer, you don't fail to entertain. Like the singer so intoxicating she can sing from the phone book and bring down the house, your lyricism never fails to bewitch. But while your argument by non-argument entertains, it does little to convince. But maybe there's something more to it. You do actually make some valid points. Perhaps government is the evil we need now because we're too immature to live without it. While as we'd never tell our grown children to clean up their plates or wash behind their ears, young children need this. Governments are like training wheels, I get that. But ultimately you end up affirming the thing you're arguing against. To paraphrase Hillary, you use poetry at the bar but you debate in prose.

Score: 8

Summary: A great debate. Congratulations to both teams. Overall I think ILP made a more compelling case. The shortcomings of the few instances of anarchy read into evidence painted a dark picture, one which was never refuted. For all it's potential failings, "archy" seems the only system with provisions for equally distributive justice, also unrefuted.

Judgement: ILP- 36.5, ILO- 34
Winner of Round 1: ILP

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Re: ILP v. ILO Debate 1

Postby PavlovianModel146 » Sat Feb 07, 2009 10:15 pm

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give to you your winners, by split decision,

ILP wins the right to determine which team posts first in the final Debate.

The second Debate thread will be posted at 10:00p.m. EST tonight, 2/7/09.

The team winning the second Debate will receive my self-nomination to represent that team in next year's Debate. (Of course, I would still have to be voted in)
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