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Rock On! Debate: '21 Nov/Dec LD Topic Analysis, Framework, & Aff/Neg Arguments w/ Coach Marcus Viney

Boo! This Halloween, novice and returning LD debaters don't have any reason to fear (besides, of course, spooky season)! Behold! Marcus Viney - the Cheyenne East Speech and Debate Team Head Coach - is back like a handsome (less evil) Jason Voorhees to guide us safely through the perils of the new resolution: A just government ought to recognize an unconditional right of workers to strike.


Lincoln-Douglas debate mastermind - Marcus has put in the work and he has a new topic analysis to share - complete with a topic background, resolution analysis, framework, arguments on both sides, and some closing thoughts. Additionally, Marcus provides a wealth of helpful resources and research to further explore the resolution and write cases.

There is no reason to be spooked! Now is the time to get this debate season kicked off with some great work from Marcus Viney on the 2021 November/December resolution.

Thank you to Marcus for his hard work, his genius, and his kindness in sharing this hard work with all of us!



My name is Marcus Viney, head coach of Cheyenne East, and this is a topic analysis for the 2021 November-December Lincoln Douglas topic: Resolved: A just government ought to recognize an unconditional right of workers to strike. This is an exciting resolution especially in light of current events, but also because it allows us to dig up the past. Personally, I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and get back to work in LD. But before we begin, I want to take a moment and dedicate this episode to Mack Kramer, a dear acquaintance and fellow LD-enthusiast to whom we recently said goodbye. In the spirit of sharing with friends and competitors alike even when we don’t have to, genuinely speaking up for those behind the resolutions who are often overlooked but need our advocacy the most, seeking out the most obscure and hilarious perspectives at the margins of any debate topic, and simply loving an activity that makes us better human beings, I send this buffoonish episode out to you, the listener, who I hope had the privilege of meeting Mack, and if you didn’t, I hope to meet you someday, if we haven’t already, and share with you the magical and magnanimous energy that Mack shared with me and everyone they met. Thank you Mack for being an incredible role model for speech and debate kids--and coaches--across Wyoming. So, let’s get this party started. To preview, there will be four sections: background, resolution analysis, arguments on both sides, and some ideas for framework.


Let’s begin with some background. First we’ll talk about what’s happening today, and then go back for some history. This resolution comes to us during a particularly turbulent time for workers around the nation. Robert Reich, Tik Tok star... and professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley recently argued that America is experiencing an unofficial “general strike,” and that workers across the country are finally “flexing their muscles for the first time in decades.” Consider that “a record 4.3 million workers quit their jobs in August” and that “about 4 million workers have been leaving their jobs every month since last spring.” While some experts blame the exodus on the pandemic and growing fears about the Delta variant, Reich thinks that covid can’t be the only explanation. For him, the answer’s simple: “many just don’t want to return to backbreaking or mind-numbing low-wage [crap] jobs.” Only he didn’t say “crap.” For the real quote, you’ll have to check the source, but don’t tell your parents. Now, I know what you’re thinking, people quitting their jobs isn’t exactly the same thing as striking, and we’ll get to definitions soon, but this phenomenon is clearly related to the growing list of official strikes also breaking out across the country. CNN Business reports that nearly 100,000 workers are currently striking or threatening to strike, coming from a wide range of employers like John Deere, Kellogg, American Airlines, and even those in Hollywood. There may be a shortage of labor in America, but there won’t be a shortage of examples in your rounds. Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations tracked more than 181 strikes in 2021 so far, with nearly 40 taking place in October alone, leading many labor experts to dub the month “Striketober.” I guess it really is spooky season. If you’d like to become a little expert on current strikes, you can follow Cornell’s Labor Action Tracker with the link I left in the notes.

All of this proves that our resolution is a hot topic, but it’s also important to understand a little bit of history. In simple terms, a strike is a refusal to work to push for some kind of change, and people have been striking basically since people have been working. But a right to strike is a fairly recent development. There are two big places we can look to for a formal recognition of this right. One is international, and one is specific to the U.S. Let’s begin with the International Labor Organization, or the ILO, which is the “United Nations agency dedicated to advancing social and economic justice through setting international labor standards.” Yeah, I used Wikipedia for that, it’s going to be okay. The ILO was founded over 100 years ago in 1919 following the turmoil of World War I. They’ve sought to guard the world against things like dangerous work conditions, discrimination in the work place, and child labor… yikes. As early as 1927, the ILO “explicitly recognized that the right to strike existed and was linked directly to freedom of association,” an idea we’ll come back to later. Over the years, the ILO has expanded and strengthened what they mean by this right, but not everyone around the world always plays by the rules. This is kind of like how there’s a “rule” that says you can’t bring candy into a movie theater, but it doesn’t really have any binding force, because there’s so many ways around it. We can also look to the American version for another take. The National Labor Relations Board, or the NLRB, the federal agency responsible for ensuring fair labor practices, also recognizes a right to strike. This agency was formed after the National Labor Relations Act was passed in 1935. In the early 30s following worsening economic conditions you learned about in History class, worker anger boiled over into an aggressive wave of strikes across the country that took the form of mass picketing, factory takeovers, and violent confrontations. Luckily Congress at the time was sympathetic to Labor Unions, and voted to guarantee employees “the right to self-organization, to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and to engage in concerted activities for the purpose of... mutual aid and protection.” Sounds pretty good, right? Well, they left some people out; not everyone gets this protection, which is another idea we’ll return to, but the important point here is that the right to strike is a thing, it’s existed for some time, and it’s almost as popular today as Squid Game (which I think is no coincidence). For now, that should be enough background to get us going.

Resolution Analysis

Let’s jump into the resolution itself. To refresh, it says: A just government ought to recognize an unconditional right of workers to strike. There are several important terms here, but let’s start at the beginning with “a just government.” The first thing to note is what it doesn’t say. For example, it doesn’t say the United States or China ought to recognize such a right. This means that we need to debate a general stance, not one specific to this or that country. Okay, but what is a just government? At face value, it would be any government that is good and fair to its people. This of course raises a question about what it means to be good and fair (a question I think we all wish high school chemistry teachers would take more seriously). In all seriousness, the specific answer to this question--on either side of the debate--needs to be hashed out in the philosophical framework of your case, not just in the definitions. There are plenty of philosophers out there who will give you competing theories about what governments ought to be doing, but this would lead us into arguments we’re not quite ready for, so we’ll leave this here for now and return to it later. The next word “ought” is an LD staple, and is typically “used to express obligation,” kind of like if the words “should” and “must” had a baby. Here I think the resolution is asking about whether governments are bound in some legal or moral sense to offer recognition. Depending on how you paint the picture of a just government, it may become easier to derive such an obligation. But either way, this word likely won’t cause too much disruption in the debate, so we’ll “keep it simple stupid” and move on. Let’s look at the verb to “recognize,” which in ordinary language just means to identify or acknowledge, like the lamentations I hear from students all the time: “I wish my crush recognized me.” In the context of this resolution, it means something stronger, yeah, and equally important. The Encyclopedia Britannica describes “recognition” as “a process whereby certain facts are accepted and endowed with a certain legal status,” meaning that when something is recognized, it’s enshrined and protected in a formal manner. This seems to be closer to what the framers want us to be thinking about. The resolution doesn’t say “enforce” or “ensure,” but “recognize” in this legal sense probably starts to get to the same place. I suppose there’s a strange negative strategy out there that could negate the resolution by saying “recognition” doesn’t take it far enough, but that seems kind of squirrely to me. I, for one, think the real meat of the debate rests on the next word “unconditional,” but let’s skip ahead for just a moment and define what it’s modifying, that awkward phrase “right of workers to strike.” My brain immediately wants to rearrange this to the more natural “right to strike,” which I think is fine and good not only for research, but for the debate itself. After all, it’s the phrase people actually use… I’m looking at you NSDA wording committee. Once again, we can look to the NLRB for a little help. They define the right to strike as the right “to engage in concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection.” But what do these “activities” entail and how might they be conditioned? It’s helpful to recall the basic definition of a strike, which is when employees stop working to push for a change from their employers. But not all strikes are created equally, and the NLRB makes clear a distinction between “protected” and “unprotected” strikes. If we promise not to reason in a circle, we can entertain the NLRB’s take on unprotected strikes for a minute to help us understand the right to strike generally and what it might mean to place conditions or limits on it. We can divide their view into the three questions of the who, the how, and the why, as in who gets to strike, how do they get to do it, and for what reasons.

Like Simon Sinek, let’s “start with the why.” Generally speaking, workers can strike for two reasons. The first is economic. Here, workers push for things like “higher wages, shorter hours, or better working conditions.” The second has to do with unfair labor practices, where workers can strike against things like discrimination or refusing to negotiate or grant legitimate requests. What this means is that workers can’t just strike for any reason they want, like “I don’t like my boss” or “they don’t let me nap on the job,” which I guess makes sense. This leads nicely into the next category of the “how.” Workers can strike, but not however they want. It’s one thing to peacefully step away from work in a genuine attempt to push for better working conditions, but as the NLRB states, workers can’t destroy or deprive the employer of property, they can’t physically block people from entering and leaving a “struck” building, and they certainly can’t threaten violence against other workers during a strike. This isn’t Mad Max, okay? Finally, there’s the “who.” This is like when you bring food to class, but your teacher makes sure you “have enough for everyone.” Apparently that teacher wasn’t around when they were dividing up portions of the right to strike. The National Labor Relations Act of 1935 grants workers in the private sector the right to strike, but public sector employees do not have the same protection. Private employees fall under individual business owners, corporations, or other non-governmental agencies. For example, Burger King workers are in the private sector, or anyone who works for the evil Jeff Bezos empire. Public employees by contrast fall under federal, state, or local government, like police officers, teachers, or firefighters. Only some public employees are allowed to strike, and we’ll get into this more later, but it’s essentially because many are, well, essential. If 100 cops step off the job, it doesn’t cause the same damage as 100 Jamba Juice employees doing the same. Losing smoothies is bad, but it’s nowhere near the purge (shout out to Daisy for that sick bumper sticker).

With this, we’re now ready to return to that crucial word: “unconditional,” which Oxford defines as “without any conditions or limits.” Let me repeat that, without ANY conditions or limits. It’s the kind of thing you want with love from your grandma; it shouldn’t come with any strings attached. Now, you might want a second opinion here with some LD coach smarter than me, but it appears that, under one interpretation, the affirmative needs to argue that there ought to be no conditions or limits on the right of workers to strike, including the who, the how, and the why. Does this mean that the affirmative has to say that everyone gets the right, and they can exercise it how and why they want? Perhaps. Does this then mean that the negative can pick one or more limits or conditions on the right to strike in any of the three categories and explain why they’re reasonable or necessary? Maybe. I’m going to leave that to you and your crew, but I think this interpretation at least sparks some ideas for strategies on both sides of the debate, which we can turn to now. Let’s strike while the iron is hot.

Arguments on Both Sides

In this section we will look at three big affirmative arguments, then three big negative ones. Of course, these are not all the arguments you can make, just a start. In the next section, we’ll see how these might line up with some framework ideas. Let’s jump in.


(1) Strikes Necessary

The first argument on the affirmative is that the right to strike is necessary. I’m a huge fan of selecting arguments that are simple and popular, and I often warn against avoiding an argument simply because you think “everyone will have an answer to it.” Good arguments are good arguments, and debaters can win with good arguments regardless of how many people have blocks for them. Remember, the magic isn’t always merely in the case, it’s in you. You’re a wizard Harry. Let’s take a step back and consider why a right to strike is vital in the status quo. If you haven’t already, someday you’ll be introduced to a little Marx, and your parents will gasp while you have an important undergraduate awakening. Basically Marx says there’s two kinds of people in the world under Capitalism: people who are born rich and those who aren’t. If you’re born rich, you get to do what you want, but if you’re not, then you’re “forced to sell your labor on the market.” In other words, get a job, kid! But this immediately presents a power imbalance, whereby those with the resources get to make all the decisions, and those without just have to live by the rules. While it would be nice to trust our Amazon overlords with decisions about how to treat us, the history of, well, basically everyone proves that people will take advantage of you if they’re not checked or challenged. This is where strikes come in, because they’re often described as the only tool workers have to improve their position and prevent complete exploitation. Listen to what the UAW says: “Strikes are powerful for a simple reason: The only thing the boss wants from workers is labor. Withhold that, and the business grinds to a halt. It’s powerful leverage; so powerful in fact, that a credible threat of a strike is often just as potent as a strike itself.” Basically the argument here is that the right to strike must be recognized because it’s the only power or leverage workers have in an otherwise totally unfair landscape, and “without the right to strike, workers have no effective recourse against unhealthy conditions, inadequate wages, or employer tyranny.” Seems good. Let’s move on.

(2) Fairness Needed

The second affirmative argument concerns fairness: it’s unfair to give some workers the right to strike while not giving it to others. This cuts to the heart of what a “right” is and what it means. Traditionally,“to have a right is to have the ability to determine what others may and may not do” to us, and we typically consider rights to be so basic and important, that if they belong to one person, they should belong to everyone. But recall that the NLRB says that private sector workers may strike, but that public sector workers may not. While there is history behind this division, it still seems unjust for anyone who has to sell their labor on the market, no matter the sector, to say they can’t exercise some control over their own situation while saying others can. Massachusetts Representative Mike Connolly makes this point well: “It's not fair to turn to a public educator or a firefighter and say to that worker they shouldn't be afforded the same fundamental rights in the workplace as all workers.” Yeah, it might cause some problems, but it’s also important to grant everyone the same opportunities. For just one idea on how to customize this argument or take it to the next level, you can choose another unprotected profession, and argue that they need the right to strike too. For example, only some teachers are allowed to strike, but teachers strikes are very powerful tools for making positive change in the world of education. In the past, they have “won many material improvements… [in] schools, and [have] raised... expectations across the country for what they and their students deserve.” It’s all too easy for people outside of the classroom to make big decisions that might negatively impact our students and future generations. By granting teachers the right to strike, we are giving the people who know what’s best for our kids the tools they need to push for change when the need arises. It’s not just teachers, maybe you can be the first to make an argument for another set of workers. Go forth and be brilliant. With that, let’s move forward.

(3) Promotes Change

The last of our affirmative arguments has to do with a wider spiral of positive change. Put simply, the right to strike can make change in more than just the workplace. The argument here is that when we recognize an unconditional right to strike, we draw a clear line in the sand and empower the little guy or underdog to take a seat at the table where the big decisions are made. Consider that “striking [might be]... the best method… [for reminding] people that they live in a democracy… Strikes act as a means of checks and balances when the ruling party is unquestioned… [and this] opposition ensures… that the checks and balance of power is maintained and the government does not become autocratic.” Clearly there’s a long history of Americans making positive change through collective action. As the Economic Policy Institute notes: “Unions fought for… many of the humane standards and norms that protect and uplift Americans today. These essential laws and programs include Social Security, child labor laws, antidiscrimination laws, health and safety laws, Unemployment Insurance, compensation for workers who get hurt on the job, the 40-hour workweek, and the federal minimum wage. Unions were a major force behind all the Great Society laws on discrimination, housing, and voting rights.” Basically, the right to strike brings balance to the force and makes sure we can push for change we need in society, and if we begin to put limits or conditions on this right, we’re allowing the darkside to chip away at our power and strangle any ability we have to speak up for ourselves and others. Okay, that should give you a boost on the affirmative. Let’s move to the negative.


(1) Unconditional Bad

Before jumping into the first argument, it’s important to recognize something about the resolution. Because of the word “unconditional,” the negative doesn’t necessarily have to be “anti right to strike.” Think about it: the negative can admit that the right to strike is good and important, but argue that it shouldn’t be unconditional. And this fits with our popular understanding of other rights: you have a freedom of speech, but sometimes there’s limits on this right for good reason. With that, let’s look at the first negative argument, which is that recognizing an unconditional right to strike is bad. As we talked about before, there are two big groups that recognize the right to strike, the ILO and the NLRB, but here we’ll emphasize the important point that neither of these groups states that the right should be unconditional. Here’s the ILO: “The right to strike... is not an absolute right and its exercise should be in line with the other fundamental rights of citizens and employers… Abuses in the exercise of the right to strike may take different forms.” This lines up nicely with what the NLRB believes: The U.S. “guarantees the rights of… employees to strike, but also places qualifications on the exercise of that right. Determining whether a strike is lawful or unlawful… depends on the purpose of the strike, its timing, and the conduct of the strikers.” In other words, both agree the right exists, but say it’s not the wild west; you can’t do whatever you want. Here’s another opportunity for you to customize and become a creative debater. Pick out one type of “unlawful” strike and research the reasons why it’s unfair and shouldn’t be allowed. This will allow you to argue that a conditional right to strike is better. A helpful article from Vox with a V identifies a few leads for you: “Even though… workers have a right to strike, there are rules... A sit-in strike is not protected under federal law. That’s when striking employees occupy their workplace and don't let anyone else get work done… A slow-down strike, in which employees intentionally slow down their work pace, is also unprotected… So is an “intermittent strike,” when employees say they will strike on-and-off over a period of time.” When you read about examples, you quickly begin to see the reasons why it’s not totally fair to let workers do anything they want. Yes, a right to strike is good, but an absolute one goes too far.

(2) Harms Community

Let’s move on to the second negative argument, which is that strikes can cause damage to the surrounding communities. Of course, strikes work because they create pain for the employer, but this pain can spread well beyond the workplace and harm people who have nothing to do with the strike. This is especially true for workers who provide vital services for the public like the post office, public transportation, and police officers, and yeah, I planned that alliteration. We can look to real examples to prove this point. In 1970, postal workers went on one of the largest strikes in history and “brought the country’s mail — and economy — to a halt… Within a day, 36 million pieces of mail... everything from… welfare checks to medicine… were stacked up in empty stations.” With a failure to find replacements and the stock market threatening to shut down, the country finally caved to their demands. Postal workers were successful, but at what cost and was it really fair? Other examples abound in the world of transportation. When transit-workers, like bus drivers and railway operators strike, they create far more harm to others than just their employers. People depend on public transportation to get to their jobs, so when the movement stops, so do their lives. What’s worse, most people who are “transit-dependent” represent vulnerable and low-income populations, meaning that these strikes tend to accidentally kick innocent people while they’re already down. My guess is you get the picture with this type of argument. For further research, you can find your own vital profession and explore the ways their strikes might harm and wreak havoc on the general public.

(3) Creates Violence

This leads us to our third and final negative argument: unconditional strikes can turn violent and deadly. Even the word “strike” itself derives from the idea of “dealing a physical blow” to someone, and operates primarily by use of force over reason. Writer Mark Pulliam argues that most Americans hold myths about what’s really going on in labor strikes. He asks us: “What is a labor union? [It’s]... not a social group or a fraternal organization, like the Rotary Club... It is the collectivized agent of workers, organized to obtain higher wages… through competition [and coercion]... A union essentially operates as a cartel.” It’s no wonder, then, that we have drawn lines around the use of strikes in order to protect people from the worst consequences. Even if the affirmative can make the argument that strikes are not inherently violent, which is debatable, they still have an uphill battle dealing with the fact that many strikes have tended to lead to violence and destruction. There are countless examples from American history that prove this point. The labor strikes of the early 20th century tended to be violent and left many people dead or wounded. For example, there were several Railroad strikes during which violent clashes broke out between workers and police, and left dozens of people dead. If you’d like to research more recent examples, you can explore “When Strikes Turn Violent” by Martin Herman. But the point is clear: in order to prevent violence resulting from a strike, the government should be able to put conditions on the right to strike. If strikers know that certain actions won’t be protected because they could lead to violence, they will be more reluctant to engage in dangerous activities while on strike. This can be a win-win for the negative. Yes, the affirmative is right that the right to strike is good, but we can’t allow the worst forms of strikes to be unleashed on the public. This should give you plenty of ideas for arguments on both sides of the debate.

Framework Ideas

It’s finally time to talk framework and philosophy. In this section, I will offer two big ideas for the affirmative and two for the negative. I’ll assume most people will be using standard values like Justice, Morality, or the Common Good, and I’ll focus mostly on ideas for the criterion. For both sides, I’ve picked one deontologically flavored idea and one consequentialist. Quick refresher, deontology typically refers to ideas about what’s right or wrong in principle, while consequentialism concerns ideas about what’s right or wrong in outcome. If you think stealing is wrong in principle, you’re probably a deontologist; if you think stealing could be right if it leads to good outcomes, you might be a consequentialist.


Let’s look at the first idea for an affirmative standard: protecting rights. There is no shortage of thinkers who argue that the role of the government is to protect its citizens' individual rights. Why? Here’s a little reminder: “Every person has dignity and value. One of the ways that we recognise the fundamental worth of every person is by acknowledging and respecting their… rights. Rights represent our freedom to make choices about our lives and to develop our potential as human beings. They are about living a life free from fear, harassment or discrimination.” I like to think of rights as invisible bubbles we place around people to protect them from harm. When we agree to give the government power over our lives in the social contract, in exchange we gain these bubbles to keep us safe. To connect this to our topic, we can look at how the ILO describes the right to strike as merely an extension of the more fundamental right of the freedom of association: “The recognition of the right to collective bargaining is the key to the representation of collective interests. It builds on freedom of association and renders collective representation meaningful.” This is a potentially powerful argument. Most of your judges will agree that the freedom of association is a basic right because it ensures that everyone is free “to organize and to form and participate in groups, either formally or informally.” Why should the government be allowed to tell me who I can hangout with, when, how, or why? If striking is just a fancy form of this more basic right, then a just government ought to recognize it for everyone. I like it!

The next affirmative criterion focuses more on the consequences of not recognizing a right. It’s the idea of resisting oppression. We’ve talked about the fundamental power imbalance between those who make the big decisions and those who have to spend their time working all day. Without some sense of resistance, workers will continue to be pushed around and trampled over. For a strong statement of this idea, we can look to an article from the Harvard Crimson: “The right to strike is a right to resist oppression. The strike (and the credible threat of a strike) is an indispensable part of the collective bargaining procedure...The concerted withdrawal of labor allows workers to promote and defend their unprotected economic and social interests from employers’ unilateral decisions, and provide employers with pressure and incentives to make reasonable concessions. Functionally, strikes provide workers with the bargaining power to drive fair and meaningful negotiations, offsetting the inherent inequalities of bargaining power in the employer-employee relationship. The right to strike is essential in preserving and winning rights. Any curtailment of this right involves the risk of weakening the very basis of collective bargaining.” This criterion can be coupled well with any contention-level argument you can find that describes poor and unfair working conditions that vulnerable workers find themselves in. Without the right to resist, people are left defenseless to the abuses of their employers.


Let’s turn negative and see what’s cooking on the other side. Our first negative criterion will focus on a widely accepted notion of “reasonable limitations.” Although rights are very important, as we have discussed, there aren’t many people who would argue that rights should be free from any limitations whatsoever. Except my pug who thinks she has an absolute right to nap all the time (which I formally recognize). Even if we accept the line in the Declaration of Independence that “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal and endowed with certain unalienable rights,” we might still agree that there should be rules. “Unalienable” means that we can’t take the right away, but since other people have rights too, there have to be limits on how we can exercise our rights. My freedom to swing my arm around how I want is nearly absolute, but it stops at your nose. I don’t have the right to hit you, because you have the right not to be hit. What this means generally is that rights can be restricted, limited, or conditioned as may be needed to protect other people or the general welfare. Every society must find “a balance between the rights of the individual and the interests of society by permitting limits to be placed on guaranteed rights and freedoms.” I think you can see how powerful this principle could be on the negative. Yes, the right to strike is good, but it’s not absolute, and there are clearly instances when it must not be unconditional.

How about another one? The second negative criterion revolves around the idea of preventing harm. Most people would agree that at least one of the duties of a government is to protect its citizens from harm’s way. If a government fails to protect its people, or let’s them get seriously hurt or injured, many would agree that the government is unjust or at least doing something wrong. The philosopher John Stuart Mill agrees. He argues in fact that “the sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively, in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number is self-protection. That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.” Another highly influential thinker concurs. Former governor of California, and star of the Terminator, Arnold Schwarzenegger, argues that “Government's first duty and highest obligation is public safety.” He says, “We put the traffic light at the intersection so someone doesn’t kill someone else by accident...You cannot say, ‘No one is going to tell me that I’m going to stop here at this traffic light here, I’m going to go right through it.” All jokes aside, the idea here is good: the government simply cannot allow people to do whatever they want even if they have to recognize some level of freedom. This is because they have to worry about preventing harm, and sometimes strikes put people in harm’s way. It’s as simple as that, but Mill will probably sound more professional than the Kindergarten Cop.

That’s all for now folks. I hope you enjoyed the episode and found it helpful to you as you begin your journey on this topic. I want to give a special shout out to all the Lincoln Douglas novices who are taking the brave step of joining the activity, especially in a time when we’re beginning to find our feet again outside the realm of the virtual tournament. You are awesome and you make this event so much more exciting and rewarding to coach! Hang in there, have fun, and I hope you strike it lucky! See you next time.

Important Links


Robert Reich “General Strike”

CNN Business “List of Strikes”

Cornell University “181 Strikes”

Cornell University “Striketober”

Cornell Strike Tracker

International Labor Organization

ILO “Right to Strike”

National Labor Relations Act

NLRB “Right to Strike”

Resolution Analysis

“Just Government”

Merriam Webster “Ought”

Britannica “Recognition”

“The Right to Strike”


“Lawful and Unlawful Strikes”

Who is Allowed to Strike?

Private versus Public Sector


Arguments on Both Sides


Marx “Selling Labor”

UAW “Strikes are Powerful”

“Right to Strike is Essential”

Basics of Rights

Mike Connolly on Equal Rights

Teacher Strikes Good

Strikes Balance Power

EPI Positive Change


ILO Right not Absolute

NLRB Right not Absolute

Vox “Unprotected Strikes”

Postal Strike

Transit Strikes

Etymology of “Strike”

“Pulliam Unions as Cartels”

History of Violent Strikes

“When Strikes Turn Violent”

Curbing Violent Strikes

Framework Ideas


Importance of Rights

Freedom of Association

Strikes as Freedom to Associate

Resisting Oppression


Rights are Not Absolute

Reasonable Limitations

Mill on Preventing Harm

Arnold on Preventing Harm


As always, that was some fabulous work from Marcus that I know will be of help to coaches and debaters.

Marcus has tons of awesome stuff on here, including his intro to LD series that is dynamite for novice competitors and new debate coaches. Check it out here:


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Thank you for listening! Debaters, don’t stop Rockin’!


Our One Clap and Wyoming Speech and Debate community mourns with the Kramer family and the many others who loved and appreciated Mack Kramer - a Rock Springs and University of Wyoming debater who was tragically taken away from us too soon. Mack was a kind, hard-working, hilarious, brilliant soul, and they will be deeply missed. Rest in peace, Mack.


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