'To restore the glorious past it was necessary to remove the internal enemies of the nation, terminate the divisions within the country and gather the entire national strength of our people into a new committee' these were the words of the German dictator Adolf Hitler in a speech delivered at Wilhelmshaven on 1st April, 1939. And these were the reasons he used to justify his climb to power by ruthless execution of his political opponents. The argument is a classic example of the application of the Machiavellian theory - the end justifies the means.
For all the atrocities that have been committed since men first set foot on earth, the perpetrators have not failed to provide explanations that appear logical, even commendable at times. Instances of logic and reasoning being twisted to convince the masses the necessity of outrageous actions of violence are strewn throughout the bloody pages of human history.
Hermann Goering, Hitler's Reich Marshall in Nuremberg after the second world war, famously wrote, “Naturally the common people do not want war, but it is the leaders of a country who determine the nation's policy, and it is not difficult to drag the masses into war. Just tell them they are being attacked, condemn the pacifists for lack of patriotism and for exposing the country to danger.”
How easy he makes it seem for a country to go to war. And how true does this statement sound? This is the same lethal logic used by the Stalinist regime, which could maintain itself only by mobilizing its subjects in an unceasing struggle against internal and external foes, regardless of whether they are real or imaginary. Throughout history, autocratic warmongers attempted to turn the table on their peace-loving opponents by vilifying them for being unpatriotic and faint-hearted in face of danger. It's an argument that has proved not easy to shrug off.
In 1933, Stalin argued that the further a country would move forward in its development of socialism, the more acute forms of struggle will be used by the doomed remnants of exploiter classes in their last desperate efforts to maintain their authority. This was the justification behind the widespread political persecution and repression during the stalinist regime.
Black students of USA were not allowed to attend public universities for a long time, as late as the 1930s. While this appears to be an obvious example of racial discrimination, the concerned autorities did not fail to come up with excellent arguments to validate the relevant laws. They argued that it would not be in the best interest of a black student to attend universities where racial tensions may be running high. Black students will not find an atmosphere conducive for education in the public universities and will be unhappy. This was the official reason why the black community were denied equality and justice, and why the state used to spend five times more for the education of a white child than a black child!
As a debater, you may sometimes find yourself at the wrong end of controverisal, and even offensive motions as well. There may well be times when you will find yourself having to defend a proposition, or a belief that you personally find utterly outrageous.You may have to argue against motions like 'Bangladesh needs democracy', or 'Women should be allowed in the army.' I once had to debate against the topic, 'War criminals of 1971 should be tried by the ICC.' In cases like these, it is always best to agree with the intentions and the spirit of the motion, but oppose the methods by which these intentions are carried out. But sometimes you may not have this oppurtunity to beat around the bush. For example - you may have to argue that nerve stimulating drugs should be legalized. Its then when knowing and understanding the arguments behind controversial issues such as these pays off. That is the ultimate test of a debater to be able to prove the most absurd concepts and ideas imaginable with reasoning and logic, a ploy used by so many dictators throughout history with lethal consequences.
Satan and lawyers
An engineer dies and reports to the pearly gates. St. Peter checks his dossier and says, "Ah, you're an engineer -- you're in the wrong place." So the engineer reports to the gates of hell and is admitted. Pretty soon, the engineer gets dissatisfied with the level of comfort in hell, and, as is the wont for engineers, starts designing and building improvements. After a while, they've got air conditioning and flush toilets and escalators, and the engineer is a pretty popular guy. One day God calls Satan up on the telephone and asks, "So how's it going down there in hell?"
Satan replies, "Hey things are going great. We've got air conditioning, flushing toilets and working escalators, and there's no telling what an engineer is going to come up with next." God replies, "What, You've got an engineer? That's a mistake -- he should never have gotten down there; send him up here." Satan says, "No way. I like having an engineer on the staff, and I'm keeping him." God says, "Send him back up here or I'll sue." Satan laughs uproariously and answers, "Yeah right. And just where are you going to get a lawyer?"