Released: Filed Under: NCFCA Lincoln-Douglas
About "Human Dignity"
Who enjoys being treated unfairly? Anyone? I’m guessing that very few people would answer yes to that question. Most of us want to be treated with respect and dignity. The “common denominator” of human dignity is something that unites all people, regardless of country, economy, or social status. This affirmative case capitalizes on our desire to be treated well and uses the value of human dignity to establish common ground. It’s based on the central idea of protecting human dignity by treating the people we trade with as “ends, not means,” (to paraphrase Kant). Through two simple contentions, this case illustrates how free trade views humans simply as ways to increase profits, but fair trade takes steps to protect workers.
The resolutional analysis emphasizing “when in conflict,” serves two purposes: First, it makes you appear reasonable to the judge. You understand we aren’t presented with an all-or-nothing scenario, and the judge can appreciate this mature, nuanced view of the resolution. Second, you don’t need to argue over the effectiveness of free trade. When negatives bring up statistics about how great free trade is, you can concede that free trade does promote economic growth. However, the real debate is whether this economic growth should happen without any limits on how we treat producers in other countries.
The two main applications of this case are child labor in the cocoa industry and the sweatshops caused by the cheap clothing market. Each illustrates what happens when we allow unrestrained trade to promote profits over human dignity. Continue to bring these illustrations up throughout the debate – don’t let them get stuck in the first speech!
The definitions shouldn’t be an issue (but then again, this is LD!). Even if the Negative presents slightly different definitions, you should be fine. Just get the Negative to agree that free trade is essentially unrestrained trade between countries. If you can do this, you’ll be equipped to defend fair trade and human dignity.
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For the past 4 years Naomi competed in Policy and Lincoln-Douglas debate in NCFCA, consistently winning awards and qualifying to nationals in both categories. She also enjoyed doing Parliamentary debate in Stoa and forensics through the Wisconsin State league. Her love of research transcends the world of competitive debate, and she looks forward to studying political science and economics at Truman State University this fall.