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Summary: This case capitalizes on two persuasive advantages: the distrust of power and an appeal to intuition.
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About "Self-determination (AFF)"
This case capitalizes on two persuasive advantages: the distrust of power and an appeal to intuition. By implying that nationalism is just easier—and also an ever-ready check on global dominance—the case sells itself.
As affirmative, you want to lean into these. The logic your opponent uses will likely conflict with at least one of these themes, and recognizing that early on will set the tone for the round.
A great CX routine: “Do you support a one-world government?” (most will say no) “Why not?” The answer they give will say a lot about their position on world policy.
Let’s talk about the directions your opponent will take the round. First, some negatives will run applications of countries with little or no democratic representation. In other words, self-determination can go south because some nations will create brutal dictatorships. Who wants nationalism if the nation embodying it is evil?
This argument shouldn’t concern you. Here are two ways to deal with it: First, you can de-link. Nationalism implies political independence. A dictatorship is as far from independence and freedom as it can be. Alternatively, you can argue it’s non-unique. Even if nationalism only means external independence (such that dictatorships can illustrate nationalism; their evils are purely internal), globalism doesn’t fix anything. The international community is simply another set of nations, just as likely to be greedy and selfish as an individual problem country. What reason do we have to believe that they’re the salvation to evil political regimes?
The second common negative position will be to appeal for cooperation. Because the international community is more powerful, there might be instances where their intervention is far more useful than dividing responsibility. This is where we go even deeper: where’s the accountability? Entrusting a board of world leaders with decision-making is far more terrifying than domestic tyranny, because at least with domestic issues there are other nations who can stop or discourage abuse. When the international community is handed the keys, there is no one to stop them. After all, who watches the watchers?
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Joseph was the NITOC Tournament Champion in 2015, and the NCFCA Sweepstakes Champion in 2016. Now he’s the coach of a college team in Dallas and dozens of competitors across Stoa and NCFCA. With an undying passion for the activity, Joseph plans to remain at the cutting edge of speech and debate for as long as possible.