NOTE: This download expired May 31, 2018. See message below.
Summary: This case is driven mostly by its historical analysis and centers on the value of human rights.
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About "Human Rights (NEG)"
This case is driven mostly by its historical analysis. It tells the story of the disastrous French Revolution contrasted with its legendary American counterpart. They were both driven by similar circumstances yet could not have resulted in more different endings. France devolved into civil war, the tyranny of Napoleon, and over 20 years of near constant warfare. While America initially stumbled through the Articles of Confederation, it did not devolve into anarchy but emerged as a strong republic, later growing into a world superpower. The disparity between France and America can be tied back to the two countries’ contrasting philosophical beliefs.
In America the common belief was that individual rights were something each person naturally possessed; the government needed only to secure those rights. Thus, their problems were generally interpreted as the result of government interfering with how things should naturally be. The French, on the other hand, believed that the old laws and customs were to blame for their suffering. They were convinced that by burning the past to the ground they could build a new utopia. With this mindset, the French were willing to see tens of thousands killed in order to achieve their goal.
This case argues that what separated the philosophies of these two nations was how they viewed identity. It argues that when a person or society adopts a nationalist identity, it places its country’s interests above anything else; whereas a globalist identity holds to the interests of common humanity. The French Revolution was an attempt to reclaim their national identity using any means necessary. The American Revolution was an assertion of universal principles that transcended governments and societies. With this outlook, it’s clear that a globalist identity better protects universal principles.
Those principles are boiled down into a value of human rights so they feel more concrete, but the value has been left without a definition so that you can stuff whatever principle necessary into it. Any value the AFF runs you can either absorb into human rights or argue is less important than human rights.
The most difficult part about arguing this case will be preserving the links between your contention-level arguments and the resolution. AFF will probably argue that those aren’t true examples of nationalism and globalism. You should focus on the idea of identity. Assert how France was fighting for its national identity, an end that justified any means, whereas America fought for a global identity of universal principles that protected all men.
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Shaylea is an NCFCA Lincoln-Douglas debater entering her 3rd year of competition. She ranked 17th in Lincoln-Douglas at the NCFCA 2017 National Championship in St. Paul, Minnesota. She’s enthusiastic about Lincoln-Douglas debate as a tool to enhance students’ understanding of the philosophies that shape our world.