The affirmative side according to this debate is to side with the statement that individuals as a general principle must value the common good above their own interests. This debate in simpler terms is the common good versus self interests. However according to the resolution the debate can be structured in endless ways and formats. In order to clarify the side of Affirmative I offer these clarifying terms. Obligation is the duty to honor the life, liberty, or possessions of others.
In John Locke's terms, "Being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty or possessions. Common good is the goal of any body politic. The social compact theory of government allows individuals to band together in community, out of their state of nature, to form a body politic for their overall benefit and security. General Principal cannot be limited to a specific case. A government cannot indirectly "produce a result which it cannot command directly," (Sonnerman).
It is by this interpretation of the resolution that I stand in affirmation with my core value collectivism. Collectivism holds that the group—the nation, the community, the proletariat, the race, etc. — is the primary unit of reality and the ultimate standard of value. But ultimately, collectivism holds that one's identity is constituted essentially of relationships with others. The value criterion through which the round shall be weighed is cost benefit analysis. This is essentially weighing the worth of some action through the advantage and disadvantages it occurs.
My first contention is that valuing the collective good is most democratic. a. A collective good is anything which requires some form of cooperative action to produce. There are a considerable amount of goods in our society which can only be produced collectively, that is, by the combined actions of numerous individuals, institutions, and agencies. The goods of national security, the protection of the environment, democratic decision procedures, adequate health care, and also science and education require collective action to produce.
Not all societies need the same collective goods but certain goods are essentially of such nature that their production involves a collectivity. Democratic political procedure, for example, is of such an essentially collective nature that people cannot produce nor have a democracy by themselves. b. Individual interests are overshadowed by success of the community or state. The protection and prosperity of a collective is the goal of any state or nation according to Rousseau's social contract. The people gave up certain rights in order to have rights of higher value.
In 1959 Justice Samuel H. Hofstader, eloquently held in New York that "A petitioner should be willing to be deprived of his pistol in order to protect his son and the community. Stress of right must often be balanced by public interests-even if there results an individual loss. " A persons life, health, liberty, and possessions are higher benefits than being able to have unregulated individualism. An individual's loss is just if the community benefits. My second contention is that unrestrained individualism hurts individualism. a.
The ideas of individual choice and decision are noble at best. The thought that ever human should be able to do whatever they want whenever they want as long as they do not harm property, life, or liberty cannot hold true. For ever action there is an equal and opposite reaction. For example the CEO of a large business chooses to close down its factories in America and open up new sweat shops in middle-east countries. Not only does the CEO's self interest bring cruel working conditions to women and children but also it causes Individual Americans to be out of the job.
Valuing self interests justifies this because the man now makes more money. b. Unrestrained self interests cannot be justified. "Society is joint action and cooperation in which each participant sees the other partner's success as a means for the attainment of his own," (Mises) Altruism as a general principle is no longer practiced. The ideology of self interest forces man to look out for number one. The practice of altruism does not benefit society on whole because it is not pragmatic.
The welfare of the collective is most important because it is most logical. A welfare check benefits only the one who receives it, while a donation to a cancer clinic will work for the betterment of the common good. c. The effects of individualism are detrimental to a societies overall well being. Harvard civic values teacher Richard Abramson believes that quote "Since citizens live within the bounds and responsibilities of a community, they do not have full reign to express themselves without regard to the potentially harmful consequences for others.
" The cost of individual prosperity must be achieved with the goal of prosperity for the collective. Harms benefit analysis is used her to determine whether more citizens are harmed or helped. d. Collectivism is a form of anthropomorphism. It views a group of individuals as having a single identity. The collective has ideas, thoughts, and even personality, i. e. culture. Since the collective is actually just individuals interacting, the collectivists have to change their views of individuals. They morally evaluate people according to the results of the collective.
If the collective manages to accomplish something great like landing on the moon, every individual is given equal credit. If a nation goes to war, everyone in the collective is to be given equal blame. My third contention is the common good equilibrium a. The extent to which self interests can benefit the community is only in terms of certain rights. The common good wants personal freedoms and liberties balanced with national security. Individualism cares more about the self and individual improvement than common good's such as national security.
While the negative may claim that self interests are to be valued above the common good history and logic tell us otherwise. The peculiar institution which had been part of the human race for centuries, slavery, was abolished for the betterment of the common good. One cannot argue that the loss of slavery did not harm self interests. Racism and a poor economy in the south both arose from the civil war conclusion. Cost benefit analysis of this proves that the gain in freedom of an entire race and culture outweighed the loss in economic stability. b.
It was for the common good that all rights are given to countries citizens. The common good instills the positive aspects of self interests such as one's freedom in equilibrium with utility. Valuing the common good maximizes the amount of people in the collective who have these freedoms. In conclusion I have proven that individuals must value the common good above their own self interests in order to preserve their way of live made by collective goods, help individualism by regulating some liberties, and to allow collectivism to balance with self interest.
I state that a collective is a formation of a group of individuals with similar ideals and goals. Siding with the affirmative is the most logical by considering the examples given by Harvard professors, and enlightened philosophers. Cost benefit analysis of any situation shows that the common good must be valued above an individuals own interests. Again I must urge an affirmative ballot.