This House Believes That Debt Relief Should Be Granted to Developing Countries on The Basis of Past Colonial Exploitation


Let’s do the motion dissection by focusing on the different aspects of the wording, one at a time.

First, “granted on the basis of past colonial exploitation”.

In order to help the understanding of that, let us deliver it to you this way: “you are going to base debt relief grants, ONLY on past colonial exploitation, and NOTHING ELSE”. That is your ONE AND ONLY parameter when deciding the amount, or the decision to grant.

Why does that matter? Well, debate has always been, always is, and will always be about comparison, so eventually you will have to compare your proposal with something else, right – at least the status quo. Well, in this case, supposing that Team Negative doesn’t bring any counter model, or rather, another different basis for a grant approval, then the status quo for debt relief grant parameter, is the direness of the recipient country’s economic condition.

Okay, next, second. “Granted to developing countries on the basis of their past colonial exploitation”.

Bad news, champ. The moment when any affirmative team has flawlessly glorified the importance of past colonial exploitation as a valid parameter for debt relief grant and successfully proven the connection, the next burden of proof attack coming from negative teams will be “So, if past colonial exploitation is indeed the answer to all apologetic course of actions or whatchamacallit from us to ex-colonialized countries, then why don’t we apologize to countries that are now already developed as well?”

That’s just a ‘lil bit piece o’ warning. Moving on.

Debt relief. What is debt relief, and what does it want, anyway? To solve, or to apologize? Do note, though, that they are not mutually exclusive. But expect a polarized point of view and a fierce clash from both Team Affirmative and Team Negative regarding this point.

Developing countries. What is a developing country anyway, and at which point does a country get considered into as not a developing country anymore and already a developed one? How would you characterize a developing country anyway, and how many different characterizations are there? Thriving? Surviving? Exploited in the past? What about Thailand? Bear in mind that Thailand is the only one country lucky enough to escape colonialism in the past, the moment when Italy and Portugal agreed to split their territories.

There have ever been cases where debt relief is granted to non-developing countries (Greece, for example). In this case, a Team Affirmative who runs a blanket stance of “no matter what the country is, grants should always be based on the criteria of past colonial exploitation” can just kick and sit back, and enjoy and relax, as the stance will automatically cover these cases of non-developing countries as well. However, affirmative teams that choose to go specific, as in “if we grant developing countries, then it has to be on the basis of past colonial exploitation” will need to explain why they are being hypocritical and discriminative, treating developing and developed countries differently, using different criteria and parameter.

Okay, finally, lastly, our own characterization. Who are we?

We are the UN. And then, now, what do we want? What is this debate motion about, why are we having this discussion? Do we want a proper allocation of resource? And an ideal world where the resources get utilized to their fullest potential and is sent to those who are indeed in need, proportional to their necessity? Or do we envision a country without revenge, or avenge, where we satisfy and provide closure to past extremities and imperialism, having a goal in our minds of healing all of their past wounds? Refer back again to the controversy over the characterization of debt relief.

And, another again, not mutually exclusive, though.

Team Affirmative

  1. Because apology is more important than economic improvement.

First things first, let us set some things straight. Team Affirmative better auto-concede points of “But if help is only based on past actions (rectifying mistakes of colonialism), it won’t guarantee a definite solution for the current (credit) crisis, especially if the numbers from the past exploitations criteria don’t meet and reach the requirement for a bailout”. We also encourage affirmative teams to assume that blanket stance. We are not saying that helping based on the past actions AND then added with another layer of solving the current crisis in the present are mutually exclusive – they indeed are not in fact. But adjudicators seldom buy arguments of debaters who try to be over-populist by trying to cover the interests of all actors and idealisms.

So, well, anyway, at some point of the debate, negative teams are going to ask why the hail you are not focusing on solving the current debt crisis but dwelling on the past instead, not being able to move on from your ex. For one, this argument could be extended into your own personal characterization of debt relief, not always being about relieving a country of its economic problems. Alternatively, you could analyze the source and cause of a country’s economic problems, tracing it to the aspect of colonialism in the past. But stop right there, and get ready to dismiss the other aspects that could contribute to a country’s economic problems, and explain why they are irrelevant in this case of setting up debt relief grant criteria and parameter.

Here goes, generally the source of economic problems is the deficit nature of governmental expenditure when performing their economic duties. There are two course of actions, pursuing an austerity one or Keynesian one – go Google them, we’re not going to explain them over here. While you’re at it, go Google another surplus and deficit fiscal spending of governmental economic activities as well.

Anyway, back here. So apparently we are going to discriminate against the developed countries, and focus only on developing countries, right – and then another discrimination again, in which we prioritize those that get colonialized more. There has to be a difference (or similarity) at this point, what difference in country management system contributes to the same outcome of crappy economy. The problem in developed countries is that they have already adopted democracy for such a long time, so that a deficit fiscal policy (very populist, appeals to majority of citizens) have been the arsenal behind all political parties running for governance. We will call this as stupidity. Then we move to developing countries, which hasn’t experienced democracy yet (or hasn’t experienced it for a long time). The nature of political parties fighting for populism thus will run a deficit fiscal policy is miniscule and could be considered as even negligible. Why the hack are they in debt, then? Most of the times, it is that because they don’t even know the nature of fiscal and monetary policy they have at the time, as they just recently attained independence. On other cases, they still have some deals and contracts unfinished yet with their ex-colonial and ex-imperial (think of it as a truce or post-war agreement).

Explaining why basing the number and decision behind that, the latter, instead of stupidity, the former, should be easy now.

Don’t forget to expand this difference into analyzing monarchy and autocratic as well (what we provided was only for the democratic countries). Link back, seal the deal, done.

  1. Because this is a better parameter when aiming to solve a country out of their economic problems.

When you run this argument, you can try to antagonize Greece as much as possible. That they are lazy sloths and refuse to work, have a very poor work ethic, etc. etc. How you are going to address the status quo is by saying that both you and your Team Negative have the same goal, in order to solve economic problems. But the current status quo (Team Negative’s parameter and criteria) is either by direness of the potential recipient country’s economic problem, or, the probability of these countries making the most out of this grant, and not filing for another debt default.

The problem you would like to address in the status quo is that it is too future-oriented and refuses to look back into the past, the problem-solving nature is only preventive whilst forgetting to be curative. Assert how a curative nature of action could be potential to solve this problem this way.

Curative – solving the past problems, “curing” the aftermaths and after-effects of past exploitation.

Preventive – so that these godblessed debtors could just get back on their own blessed feet, or at least not try to default another godblessed debt of theirs.

Hope that that’s clear enough.

How does curative action contribute better in solving a country’s economic problem? Most of the components in the explanation of this point will be another one iteration of your Team Affirmative Argument 1, but you could expand.

Economic problems caused by excessive spending by the government is more prominent on countries recently independent, for example. Or the more exploitation a country has suffered in the past, the more damaged the concept and paradigm as well as their knowledge, education, and credibility in establishing good governance – thus damaging their caliber. The more money goes to these countries, it means that it is proportional to what they need, in order to be on the same footing, same battleground as other countries (more money to stupider countries please, so that they become smarter faster, then can compete with other countries on equal grounds).

  1. Because the UN should focus on apology more than helping troubled economy.

Depends on how much you can twist the characterization and the nature of responsibility of the UN. You could even assert the most no-brainer aspect of this assertion, which is maintaining stability of the relationship among countries. That was the very first reason and goal when the UN was first established. A good Team Negative would even auto-concede this point, we expect. So expect the clash to be centered around the second layer of explanation in this assertion: does apology contribute more to international stability rather than economic instability tackling. Some of the biggest and most obvious burdens of proof, though: the bargaining power and voting power of these developing countries are negligible in foreign eyes and are not likely to incite chaos and pandemonium, supposing if they are tampered with. So you need to emphasize the magnitude and power that these developing countries hold. Or, the massive damage that would arise when these actors are left alone without help (whilst at the current status quo all eyes are focused on Greece instead).

Team Negative

  1. Because the tendency of this motion is going to accentuate the problem even further.

Mainly, you want to identify the harms of this motion as this: developing countries, the more exploited they were in the past, the more incompetent they will be, the more unwise they will become in utilizing debt relief grants, and the more their propensity will be in defaulting yet another debt.

Well, that’s about that. Explain this point further by your own characterization of developing countries, focusing and emphasizing on their incapability of managing a proper economy, then how this doesn’t meet the essence of debt relief grant and what they intend to achieve in the first place.

That’s about it, though. More about how this doesn’t meet and doesn’t match with the UN’s characterization as well as debt relief grants characterization on the next point.

  1. Because debt reliefs are not about rectifying past actions.

Well, expect a decent Team Affirmative to come up with Greece as a piece of fact to counter all your arguments, as they are not a developing country.. has never been. You could either assert that the current efforts to solve Greece’s economy problems are actually good and bearing fruits, or you could assert that the fact that now you freely change parameter and criteria will mean that there is now different treatment, and discrimination from the past and the present. Like, you have helped Greece in the past, why from now on, in the present and in the future you are going to refuse defaulting the debts of the next developed country, the moment when they will need one?

The aims of a debt relief is to solve a country out of its economic problem anyway, and not to apologize. Another way to put it, is that developing countries who don’t have any economic problems, but suffering from exploitations in the past, will now have a very convenient access to extra funds, a very convenient and useless one, indeed. You could extend this to moral hazard and trigger points into going to reckless spending.

But, the way to put it, is by focusing on the different aspect from your Team Negative Argument 1. Team Negative Argument 1 focuses on how developing countries are incapable of utilizing this motion properly. In this Team Negative Argument 2, you want to focus on how developed countries will dislike this motion, and how the developed countries have been doing well utilizing debt relief grants under the current status quo, in the past.

  1. Because the nature of exploitation is arbitrary in the first place.

And what makes post colonial exploitation carry more prominence in setting up parameters? Exploitation comes not only via colonialism and imperialism. A very imbalanced international trade is a form of exploitation in and of itself. Rich countries which employ mercantilism, buying raw materials from poor countries then selling the finished goods back to them, that is also exploitation. The nature of rectification in the past does not carry any more burden and importance than amendment of the present situation. That is, directly addressing the concerns of Team Affirmative that the UN has interests in solving disputes and aiming to clear up the tense surrounding these things. So, fortify this argument by saying why arbitrariness is harmful when setting up a solution that has a blanket stance, then explore further the foundations between a clear distinction of parameters and criteria which makes a fair policy. Link back to the assertion after pointing out the harms of arbitrariness creating unfairness (link the unfairness back to the assertion), then explain about the difference of past exploitation and current exploitation, which makes up this arbitrariness.


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