The Instigator
Con (against)
The Contender
Pro (for)

Violent revolution is a just response to political oppression

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/4/2019 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 1,070 times Debate No: 122081
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (8)
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Pro Start.


ironic your profile pic huh
Debate Round No. 1


Yes, It is ironic.
That said, I will start since you will not.

I negate the Resolved: Violent revolution is a just response to political oppression.

Justice is considered as every party objectively receiving fair treatment. In order to achieve it, I submit this criterion of peaceful reform, Because the very nature of violent revolution in of itself is inherently unjust, As I will further explain.

As such, I observe that whosoever proves that they can effectively preserve the integrity and justice of society, Without compromising some in the process, Should win this round. Simultaneously, I also observe that whosoever proves that they can provide a moral response in any given situation to political oppression should win this round.

As such, It is the burden of the affirmative to prove that violent revolution does not in any way compromise the integrity and justice of society, While also proving that violent revolution is a moral response in any given situation of political oppression, As the resolution would imply.

My first contention is the counter-productivity of violent revolution when working to institute justice.

As Mattias Iser writes, In "The Ethics of War: Essays”

“The possibility of such violent revolution has as a precondition of what I have referred to as demonization or a denial that one is fighting humans who deserve respect. ” Essentially, Revolutionary violence breeds a culture that undermines the civility and restraint necessary for a political community, Which undermines the revolutionary goal of achieving a more just and peaceful society that, After all, Demands virtues of civility and compromise. Let us take our own revolution, Or civil conflict, For example: From the beginning of the revolutionary period in the 1760s, British supporters were harassed, Intimidated, And often attacked by Patriot mobs. As war approached in the 1770s, The victims of Patriot wrath expanded to include lukewarm supporters and the vocally undecided, And the attacks upon them and the damage to their property, Escalated in severity.

Let us look at the the French revolution, Which quickly degenerated into a bloodbath.

The wave of revolutionary passion and widespread hysteria quickly swept the countryside. Peasants looted and burned the homes of tax collectors, Landlords and the elite. Later, A wave of violence resulted in massacre if hundreds of accused counterrevolutionaries. Later, It sent King Louis the 16th to the guillotine; his wife suffered the same fate. Following the king’s execution, A bloody Reign of Terror came in which suspected enemies of the revolution were guillotined by the thousands. And worst of all, All of this ended with a bloodthirsty tyrant seizing control: Napoleon. The entire revolution, Built up to nothing but counter-productivity.

Let us look at communist revolutions all over the world, Where
Lenin and his followers promised a system that would release the repressed, Empower the proletariat against a wealthy bourgeoisie and create a land of abundance and social justice. The late Rudolph Rummel, The demographer of government mass murder, Estimated the human toll of twentieth-century socialism to be about 61 million in the Soviet Union, 78 million in China, And roughly 200 million worldwide. These victims perished during state-organized famines, Collectivization, Cultural revolutions, Purges, Campaigns against “unearned” income, And other devilish experiments in social engineering. In its monstrosity, This terror is unrivaled in the course of human history, All in the name of justice.

How is it, That we can expect violent revolution to give justice, When all it does is reverse the roles of who is the oppressed, And who are the oppressors? How is it, That we can call such violence “just” in all situations, When such violent revolution and reversed oppression is clearly avoidable? For this reason in of itself, The affirmative must lose this round.

But further, My second contention is peaceful resistance.

While violence simply creates more violence, And while the oppressed rising up against their oppressors simply creates another system of oppression, Peaceful campaigns are a more effective method of achieving societal change while maintaining justice. Political scientists analyzed 323 attempts at regime change between 1900 and 2006. They were curious about the comparative success of violent and nonviolent campaigns. They found that violent campaigns succeeded 26 percent of the time, And that nonviolent campaigns succeeded 53 percent of the time, Effectively doubling their chances of success when they used a nonviolent strategy.

The study found, Perhaps most compellingly, That a minority of 3. 5% of the population actively participating in the protests is all it takes to ensure serious political change. Only one of those revolutions ever failed after that threshold was reached. Overall, The nonviolent campaigns attracted around four times as many participants (200, 000) as the average violent campaign (50, 000), Making such a threshold entirely possible to achieve.

For these reasons, I urge a vote for Con.



my god sweatbag calm down please, K. Please go to DebateArt for serious debating please, Anyway death is part of human life and fighting for justice is ok. If a government is tyrannical there is no reason to not fight it and kill all the kings.

Rebuttals next round, You will try to rebuttal my irrefutable argument
Debate Round No. 2


Thank you for the suggestion, I will check out DebateArt.
Also, Irrefutable indeed.

You say that death is something we should accept, And that fighting against tyranny and "killing all the kings" is okay.
Let me ask, At what cost?

Loyalists here in America, Slaughtered.
Killed without trial or conviction but only accusation. From the oppressors to the oppressed just like that. Does that sound just?

We also have the French revolution, Bloodbath.
Killed without trial or conviction but only accusation, From the oppressors to the oppressed just like that. Does that sound just?

Communist revolutions all over the world, 61 million dead in the Soviet Union, 78 million dead in China, And roughly 200 million dead worldwide.
Those were not the oppressors by any means, But innocents caught in crossfire. Does that sound just to you?

Trying to defeat the state with violence is like cutting down one tree while planting hundreds of seeds. In the end, You are acting in the best interest of violence, The very idea the state profits from. If a revolution comes at the cost of innocent life, It is unjust. If a revolution comes at the cost of switching the roles of the oppressor and the oppressed, It is unjust. You may say that many people don’t have the privilege of considering other methods, That is false, But even if we assumed it to BE true, That does not mean the method they CAN use is just.
There are quite obviously, Plenty of alternatives:

There are documented 198 different forms of nonviolent action, Classified into three categories according to their strategic functions. First, There is nonviolent protest and persuasion. It consists in symbolic gestures.

Second, Economic or political non-cooperation aims to restrict or withhold certain existing relationships: e. G. Student or labour strikes, Consumer or political boycotts,
Third, Nonviolent intervention involves direct physical obstructions to change a given situation, Either negatively (by disrupting normal or established social relations)

As such, There is literally no reason why not to use nonviolent means, While plenty reasons not to use violent means.



I concede
Debate Round No. 3


Extend all points, Uncontested.
This round has not been posted yet.
Debate Round No. 4
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by christopher_best 2 years ago
Fine discussion we've had, I very much enjoyed it.
Posted by Leaning 2 years ago
Well, I can't think of any decent argument myself against yours and the fine way you portray it.
Posted by christopher_best 2 years ago
I think that you very correct, In that once the situation has devolved into a civil war, "proper, " it has indeed devolved out of the political realm and into what must be accomplished through violent means.

Indeed, It is worth noting that the fundamental goals of civil wars and revolutions are different. Regardless of the causes, Revolutions always aim at changing the status quo and,
in most cases, At subverting the existing political order by replacing the current constitution and by eliminating the ruling elite. The end goal being a re-institution of the social contract.
Conversely, Civil wars are mainly fought to claim individual and collective rights. That are not respected either by the ruling elite or by other minority groups. Civil wars may aim at subverting the political order and re-instituting a social contract, But that is not their primary and unique goal.

Some would say this means that revolutions cannot possibly devolve into a true civil conflict, But in my eyes that is a strawman's argument.

I contest, Rather, That once a revolution devolves into a "proper civil war, " nonviolent resistance is useless; as it is now aiming to achieve reform, With no system under which to reform.
When this happens, It is a case in which violence becomes the necessary solution.

Now, It is worth noting that this scenario simply assesses the effectiveness of nonviolence in a negative light, And does not prove that nonviolence is unjust or that violence is therefore just.
Posted by Leaning 2 years ago
You make your point well. Still I wonder, When does a situation leave the political realm, As I assume you won't go as far as saying
"War is the continuation of politics by other means. "

But again, You make good points. The tree of liberty could be refreshed from time to time by the efforts people can make in nonviolent resistance. Most important part could be people caring to make the effort more than anything else I suppose.
Posted by christopher_best 2 years ago
@Leaning, Imprisonment of political opponents is based on the collective trait of opposition to the ruling party's own respective views. As such, It must be regarded as political oppression because it encompasses a group of people singled out for that singular characteristic, Which is the meaning of "discrimination. "

I definitely see your line of logic, But let me dispel it with an example.
There was some rather surprising (to some) success of nonviolent movements in the German Reich.

A famous example is when the Norwegian teachers were told to join the Nazi party and teach Nazi ideology in schools or face the consequences. 12, 000 teachers signed a declaration against the new law, And after some months the order was cancelled and they were allowed to continue their work. We can just imagine what would have been the success if many professions had followed in the footsteps of these teachers.
In Denmark almost all Jews survived because they were helped by the resistance movement to escape to Sweden and avoid the gas chambers. In Bulgaria most of the country"s 48, 000 Jews were saved when people threatened to lie across railroad tracks to prevent Jews from being deported.
Even in Germany itself people opposed the arrests. In one famous example 6000 "Aryan" German women took part in a nonviolent protest. . . Thanks to these brave women 1700 prisoners were indeed released.

What I am getting at here is that in arguably the most oppressive government in human history, Nonviolence was viable. You are implicitly making the claim that is self-defense, But self-defense is not justified if it devolves into hurting innocents.
Trying to defeat the state with violence is like cutting down one tree while planting hundreds of seeds. In the end, You are acting in the best interest of violence, The very idea the state profits from.
Posted by Leaning 2 years ago
I think you make a good argument in round 2.

Is imprisonment of political opponents still considered political oppression?

I vaguely recall the White Rose movement in Germany was involved in protests against the Reich in Germany, Ended poorly. But maybe more a case of genocide disguised as political oppression.

Cambodia, Certainly people would have been justified in violent revolution against Pol Pot, Buut that was already a violent revolution as I recall.

India pulled off the whole nonviolent protest rather well, Though they also tried violent protest and revolt. Had a case much worse than the Boston Massacre in their Jallianwala Bagh massacre. Rambling.
Posted by christopher_best 2 years ago
Yes, Although Cuban Revolution and Vietnam Revolution may be debatable.
Posted by Leaning 2 years ago
Would the French Revolution, American Revolution, Vietnam Revolution, Cuban Revolution under Castro count as Violent revolutions to political oppression?
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