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Will Malson Liberty Affirmative (Speech) Page 1 of 3

Liberty Affirmative

The early Americans who founded this country understood the nature of man very well. These men
understood with perfect clarity that government and freedom are potential opposites. Liberty is required
to fully maximize man's happiness and creative potential; yet, liberty, being a fragile state, cannot exist
in anarchy.

Government, on the other hand, must include men; and men, being of ambition, will always push for
more power and more control over the lives of their fellow men. The ideal of America's Founding
Fathers was a government whose function was to protect and defend the liberty of its citizens. Such a
government would be unlike any other in history.

But how would a government based upon the protection of individual freedom withstand the perpetual
assaults by men of ambition? How will Liberty survive? Simple – by placing checks and balances in the
hands of competing branches of government, in the hands of the states, and in the hands of the people. It
is only through competition that we can exist in a state of Liberty, which is why I stand Resolved: That
competition is superior to cooperation as a means of achieving excellence.

I'll jump right into my Value, and that is Liberty. It is my position that Liberty is the most important
value in this debate round, and I'll show you exactly why later on in my speech.

But first, 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)

What I'll do now is show you why liberty is the excellence that the resolution states, and how
competition is superior to cooperation as a means of achieving liberty. To do this, I'll bring up two main
points called "contentions".
Will Malson Liberty Affirmative (Speech) Page 2 of 3

Contention 1: Liberty is the most important value in this debate round.


There is no one reason why liberty is important. We have to break it down into groups and explain each
one individually. Under this contention, I have two reasons why liberty is the most important value.

Reason A: Liberty is married to the concept of personal responsibility.


Rather than being forced to do things, those who truly understand the concept of liberty understand that
free people MUST serve themselves, their families and their communities by working diligently to do
right, act proper, go in peace and seek rational solutions to life’s problems. In order to have personal
responsibility, we must have Liberty. Without such Liberty, life becomes a process of regression where
each individual tries to get as much as he can for as little as he can, expecting handouts and constant
charity. When Liberty is introduced into the system, instantly the ideals of self-preservation and
voluntary charity begin to blossom.

Reason B: Liberty prevents tyranny.


Power relations are everywhere - they are exercised in myriad ways throughout the social field. As soon
as there's a relation of power there's a possibility of resistance. “When governments fear people, there is
liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.” – Thomas Jefferson. The most
important manifestation of Liberty is in its potential for resistance of tyrannical impositions on one's
way of life. With Liberty, we are never trapped by power; it's always possibly to modify its hold, in
determined conditions and following a precise strategy.
Will Malson Liberty Affirmative (Speech) Page 3 of 3

Contention 2: Competition, Cooperation, and Liberty.


How does competition uphold liberty, and how does cooperation prevent it? Let’s break it down into
three sub-points and analyze it.

Point A: What is liberty?


We’ve been talking a lot about why Liberty is important, but we need to put an absolute label on the
subject: 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
common goal, whether that goal is peace or security. In that sense, cooperation hinders liberty.

Point C: Competition upholds liberty.


In order to be free, or possess any distinct sense of individual liberty, we must resist oppressive
restrictions on our way of life. That act of resistance, as shown before, is inherently competitive – that is
one of the reasons why Liberty is most important, and why competition directly and undoubtedly
upholds liberty.

This philosophy of Liberty is as solid as oak and is at the core of all greatness that America ever
achieved. This distinctive concept of liberty is a great strength. But it is also fragile, for it is rooted in
ideas. To break the transmission of those ideas requires only a single generation of inattentiveness,
under the constant fire of what Abraham Lincoln called “the silent artillery of time.” In order to remain
attentive, in order to secure the blessings of Liberty to ourselves and to our Posterity, we must affirm
that competition is superior to cooperation as a means of achieving excellence.