One important thing, if not the most important thing, in preparing for a 2AC is making sure that you have the absolute best card possible for every argument you make. It’s not like the neg block where you can read a crappy card in the 1NC and its ok cause you can read 10 more without any time pressure. Most 1AR’s are not going to be able to read a ton of evidence.
So let’s say the negative makes the argument “capitalism is the root cause of war”.
You need to select your best piece of evidence to answer this argument. Below I have pasted some options. Comment on which card you think is the best in this particular instance and why, although general comments about the evidence is fine as well.
John Norton Moore Director, Center for National Security Law, University of Virginia School of Law The Transnational Lawyer 2004
We will start with what we generally know about the causes of war. There is a short list of some of the major things that we hear over and over about the causes of war. Certainly, there are specific disputes among nations; ideological disputes; ethnic and religious differences; proliferation of weapons and arms races; social and economic injustice; imbalance of power; competition for resources; incidents; accidents; and miscalculation. The old Marxists believed that wars were caused by economic determinism. There are many other theories, but what do we really know about the causes of war? The answer is that nothing on the list of the most important traditional causes of war powerfully correlates with war. If we look from the opposite perspective there is another list, which in many respects builds on the causes of war list described above. That is to say, looking at traditional approaches for avoidance of war rather than causes of war, there are a number of mechanisms including, diplomacy, balance of power, third party dispute settlement, collective security, arms control, and resolving underlying causes. However, once again, the point is that there is nothing on this list that we know to have a robust correlation with wars. This is not to suggest that these approaches are not important. They are collectively an important part of the human arsenal for dealing with war and conflict. For example, if we want to focus on the issue of weapons of mass [*84] destruction, it would be an error not to focus on the importance of arms control. However, these approaches, by themselves, are not the answer to understanding war. Rather, the most important empirical correlation found to date, which is quite robust, is the finding that democracies rarely, if ever, wage war against other democracies. 1 This finding is called the Democratic Peace. According to Bruce Russett, the Chairman of the International Relations Department at Yale, “A striking fact about the world comes to bear on any discussion about international relations … [when we consider that] democracies have almost never fought each other.”
Richard Aberdeen, “the way: a theory of root cause and solution” 2003 http://freedomtracks.com/uncommonsense/theway.html
A view shared by many modern activists is that capitalism, free enterprise, multi-national corporations and globalization are the primary cause of the current global Human Rights problem and that by striving to change or eliminate these, the root problem of what ills the modern world is being addressed. This is a rather unfortunate and historically myopic view, reminiscent of early “class struggle” Marxists who soon resorted to violence as a means to achieve rather questionable ends. And like these often brutal early Marxists, modern anarchists who resort to violence to solve the problem are walking upside down and backwards, adding to rather than correcting, both the immediate and long-term Human Rights problem. Violent revolution, including our own American revolution, becomes a breeding ground for poverty, disease, starvation and often mass oppression leading to future violence. Large, publicly traded corporations are created by individuals or groups of individuals, operated by individuals and made up of individual and/or group investors. These business enterprises are deliberately structured to be empowered by individual (or group) investor greed. For example, a theorized ‘need’ for offering salaries much higher than is necessary to secure competent leadership (often resulting in corrupt and entirely incompetent leadership), lowering wages more than is fair and equitable and scaling back of often hard fought for benefits, is sold to stockholders as being in the best interest of the bottom-line market value and thus, in the best economic interests of individual investors. Likewise, major political and corporate exploitation of third-world nations is rooted in the individual and joint greed of corporate investors and others who stand to profit from such exploitation. More than just investor greed, corporations are driven by the greed of all those involved, including individuals outside the enterprise itself who profit indirectly from it. If one examines “the course of human events” closely, it can correctly be surmised that the “root” cause of humanity’s problems comes from individual human greed and similar negative individual motivation. The Marx/Engles view of history being a “class” struggle ¹ does not address the root problem and is thus fundamentally flawed from a true historical perspective (see Gallo Brothers for more details). So-called “classes” of people, unions, corporations and political groups are made up of individuals who support the particular group or organizational position based on their own individual needs, greed and desires and thus, an apparent “class struggle” in reality, is an extension of individual motivation. Likewise, nations engage in wars of aggression, not because capitalism or classes of society are at root cause, but because individual members of a society are individually convinced that it is in their own economic survival best interest. War, poverty, starvation and lack of Human and Civil Rights have existed on our planet since long before the rise of modern capitalism, free enterprise and multi-national corporation avarice, thus the root problem obviously goes deeper than this.
Goldstein, War and Gender , P. 412 2k2
First, peace activists face a dilemma in thinking about causes of war and working for peace. Many peace scholars and activists support the approach, “if you want peace, work for justice”. Then if one believes that sexism contributes to war, one can work for gender justice specifically (perhaps among others) in order to pursue peace. This approach brings strategic allies to the peace movement (women, labor, minorities), but rests on the assumption that injustices cause war. The evidence in this book suggests that causality runs at least as strongly the other way. War is not a product of capitalism, imperialism, gender, innate aggression, or any other single cause, although all of these influences wars’ outbreaks and outcomes. Rather, war has in part fueled and sustained these and other injustices. So, “if you want peace, work for peace.” Indeed, if you want justice (gener and others), work for peace. Causality does not run just upward through the levels of analysis from types of individuals, societies, and governments up to war. It runs downward too. Enloe suggests that changes in attitudes toward war and the military may be the most important way to “reverse women’s oppression/” The dilemma is that peace work focused on justice brings to the peace movement energy, allies and moral grounding, yet, in light of this book’s evidence, the emphasis on injustice as the main cause of war seems to be empirically inadequate.