You are on page 1of 4

Will Malson Liberty Affirmative (Outline) Page 1 of 4

Liberty Affirmative

You are no longer in the United States of America. You are now in Fidel Castro’s Cuba. Here, you have
no right to equality, no right to life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness: your human rights can be
violated on a whim and without consequence. Your government is corrupt. You cannot fix it because
you do not get a say in what goes on in the government; at least, you have what appears to be a say, but
the elections are all rigged anyway. There are no checks and balances in the federal government; power
rests with a single dictator. How did this happen? This happened because your government turned into a
cooperative beast. This happened because we did not have competition. Thus, I stand Resolved: That
competition is superior to cooperation as a means of achieving excellence.

I’ll be introducing you to two main elements today, elements that prevent said example of Fidel Castro’s
Cuba. Both of these two elements will require competition in order to survive. But let’s start off with
some definitions.

Competition: “The act of seeking, or endeavoring to gain, what another is endeavoring to gain, at the
same time” (Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary)
Cooperation: “The act of working, or operating together, to one end; joint operation;” (Noah Webster’s
1828 Dictionary)
Excellence: "The quality of excelling; possessing good qualities in high degree" (Princeton's WordNet
Dictionary 3.0)

Oppressive: unjustly inflicting hardship and constraint, especially on a minority or other subordinate
group. (Oxford American Dictionaries)

Next is my Value: My value is two-fold. I value liberty, & I also value a system that prevents tyranny.

Let’s jump right into:


Will Malson Liberty Affirmative (Outline) Page 2 of 4

Element 1: Competition Upholds Liberty.

How does competition uphold liberty? Let’s break it down into three main points and analyze it.

Point A: What is liberty?


We can go on all day talking about such an abstract concept, but in order to have a debate we need to put
the concept in concrete terms. Liberty is the state of being free within society from oppressive
restrictions imposed by authority on one’s way of life, behavior, or political views.

Point B: Cooperation hinders liberty.


Let’s take a look back at the definition of cooperation: the act of cooperating in order to achieve a goal.
Now take a look at the definition of liberty: the state of being free within society from oppressive
restrictions. Cooperation would say that we should go along with these restrictions in order to achieve a
goal, whether that goal is peace or security. In that sense, cooperation hinders liberty.

Point C: Competition upholds liberty.


If cooperation hinders liberty, then competition must uphold it. Look back again at the definition of
liberty: the state of being free. What must exist in order to be free? Competition. Competition with
oppressive restrictions must exist in order to have liberty. In that regard, competition directly and
undoubtedly upholds liberty.

Now that we can see competition upholds liberty, we must look at the opposite side of the coin: does
competition prevent tyranny, or merely uphold liberty? This leads us to:
Will Malson Liberty Affirmative (Outline) Page 3 of 4

Element 2: Competition Prevents Tyranny

Just like before, let’s break it apart into a few main pieces and analyze it.

Point A: What is tyranny?


Again, we need to put into concrete terms our abstract concepts. Tyranny is cruel and oppressive
government or rule, or the suppression of liberty.

Point B: Competition prevents tyranny via internal government structure.


Competition prevents tyranny in the federal government by dividing the power among the several
branches. Let’s examine this in 2 sub-points:

1. THE SOP PROVISIONS PREVENT TYRANNY. Martin Redish 91


Martin Redish, Law Professor, Northwestern, 1991 (DUKE LAW JOURNAL, December, p. 453) (HEG)
the separation of powers provisions of the Constitution are tremendously important,
However, we believe that
not merely because the Framers imposed them, but because the fears of creeping tyranny that underlie
them are at least as justified today as they were at the time the Framers established them. For as the old adage
goes, "even paranoids have enemies." It should not be debatable that, throughout history, the concept of representative and accountable government has
existed in a constant state of vulnerability.

2. THE SEPARATION OF POWERS IS INHERENTLY COMPETITIVE. Daryl Levinson 06


Daryl J. Levinson [Professor of Law, Harvard Law School] & Richard H. Pildes [Sudler Family Professor of Constitutional Law, NYU School of Law.
Carnegie Scholar 2004], “Separation of Parties, Not Powers”, Pages 5 and 6, HARVARD LAW REVIEW [Vol. 119:1], New York University,
School of Law, Public Law and Legal Theory Working Papers, NELLCO, 2006, stuff inside & brackets added for “is” on the second line; the others are in
original (HEG)

With respect to constitutional law, Part III


Part III turns to implications for both constitutional law and democratic institutional design.
conventional separation of powers analysis — [is] based on the Madi- sonian model of
shows where
inherently competitive branches checking and balancing one another — goes astray. The greatest threat to constitutional
law’s con- ventional understanding of, and normative goals for, separation of powers comes when government is unified and interbranch political dynamics
shift from competitive to cooperative. Part III then also takes up the challenge of imagining how law and political institutions might be reformed to re- store
the checks and balances that party unification undermines. In part, it does so by pursuing a strategy of institutional design, borrowing the idea of “opposition
rights” from European parliamentary democracies to sug- gest avenues for recreating party competition within government institu- tions and revisiting the
Progressive vision of a depoliticized bureaucracy as the “fourth branch” of government. Part III also explores the possibility of a more direct approach to the
problem of strongly unified government: fragmenting, or moderating, the political parties themselves. In doing so, it brings us full circle, back to the
Article’s animating recognition that the law and politics of separation of powers are continuous with, and insepa- rable from, the law and politics of
According to the political
democracy. I. FROM BRANCHES TO PARTIES A. Madison and the Mechanisms of Political Competition
theory of the Framers, “the great problem to be solved” was to design governance institutions that would
afford “practi- cal security” against the excessive concentration of political power.10 Constitutional provisions
specifying limited domains of legitimate author- ity were of minimal utility, for, as Madison explained, “a mere demarca- tion on parchment of the
constitutional limits of the several departments is not a sufficient guard against those encroachments which lead to a tyranni- cal concentration of all the
The solution to this great problem was, instead, to link the power-seeking
powers of government in the same hands.”11
motives of public officials to the interests of their branches. By giving “those who administer each
department the necessary constitutional means and personal motives to resist encroachments of the
others,” the Framers hoped to create a system in which competition for power among the branches
would constrain each safely within its bounds.12 With multiple government departments pitted
against each other in a competition for power, an invisible-hand dynamic might prevail in which
Will Malson Liberty Affirmative (Outline) Page 4 of 4

“[a]mbition [would] be made to counteract ambition.”13

In conclusion, what we see are striking opposites choices. With competition, we uphold liberty and we
prevent tyranny. We can see this as empirically true, when our own government is in a state of
competition. However, when our government is not in a state of competition, when it is cooperative, the
conditions exist in which tyranny can arise very easily. Do you have a gun in your home? Do you want
your child to have access to that gun at all? No. In the same way, we do not want our government to
have access to tyranny. How do we prevent tyranny? By using competition in the government and
individually, which upholds liberty and prevents tyranny. It is for these reasons that I stand Resolved:
that competition is superior to cooperation as a means of achieving excellence.