9/16/10 – The Rise of China Debate

Weekly Debates

The Philodemic Society convened to debate the resolution “Resolved: The Rise of China Undermines World Democracy”. An attitude of mirth and goodwill permeated the room, perhaps due to our return to the beloved Philodemic Room itself. Affirmation Keynoter Mr. Sam Biesiada painted for the society a terrifying portrait of a world under the influence of a politically illiberal Chinese state. Negation Keynoter Mr. Will Downes countered that Mr. Biesiada’s picture of China was in fact a “paper tiger” and that China is an inward-looking country concerned with domestic affairs. After several enthralling non-member speeches, Miss Emma Green advanced a compelling case for a Hegelian dialectical interpretation of recent events which is indeed worrisome for liberal democracy. Mr. Brandon Butterworth introduced what became a negation motif by pointing to a lack of demonstrated causality between the causes and effects which the affirmation identified. Mr. Brenden McElroy presented a wonderful analysis of the economic methods by which China has become a model for dictators and tyrants worldwide. In perhaps the most memorable speech of the night, Vice President Matt Cantirino took the society on a tour of the theme park Philodemicland (including stops on the Hegelian Roller-coaster, the Neocon House of Horrors, and the Fukuyama Speedway) and explained why he felt he had not gotten his money’s worth. After several more enthralling speeches, Mr. Downes concluded his negation keynote with a powerful affirmation of democratic ideals, and, drawing the debate to a close, Mr. Biesiada reminded the society of the peril that an ascendant China posed to the free world. The society negated the resolution 24 to 31 with 3 abstaining.


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