Resolved: Just governments ought to ensure food security for their citizens.

What’s with all these social justice topics? This one is almost identical to the last one, except that it’s much worse. I don’t know how anybody thought this topic could actually be debated. Food security does not look the same in any two places in the world, whether the government is just or not. Not only that, this topic is nearly impossible to debate on theoretical grounds. Of course, if the government can, it should ensure food security. The debate rests on how the government should do that, and if the how, isn’t appropriate, only then does the answer become that it shouldn’t. The trouble is that the resolution provides no context for the how. I don’t understand why people don’t see these things. Who the hell is voting for these topics, and why haven’t they been fired? In any case, the topic must be debated, so let’s see what we can do.


Food Security – Food security is the idea that you don’t have to worry where your next meal will come from, or if you will even have a next meal. You have a constant and reliable source of food that you need to survive.

Just Government – This will be defined through your value structure. In order to address the resolution, you must provide a framework to assess what a just government should do.

Citizens – This is pretty straightforward and shouldn’t actually impact the debate. I suspect people will try to debate the validity of providing food security for illegal immigrants and such, but that’s not the point of the resolution. For the sake of a good debate, this should be defined simply as anyone legally residing within a country’s borders.

Case Positions


1. Veil of Ignorance – I hate to keep using this position on every topic, but it’s quite applicable. Behind a veil of ignorance, everyone would choose a policy which allows for food security for all of society.

2. Maslow’s Heirarchy – The base level of Maslow’s heirarchy includes food. Only if food is provided can a government move on to providing safety for its citizens. Since government is formed to protect its citizens’ safety, it must provide food security.


1. Rights and Obligations – Rights function as claims on other people or entities within the social contract. What this means is that, for every right I possess, someone else has a corresponding obligation. In this way, I have a claim on that other person to do, or not to do, something. There is no human right which functions has a claim to food security. Therefore, a government need not provide food security in order to be just.

2. Moral Progress – Moral conflict is at the heart of moral progress. Food security, by reducing moral tension in society, reduces moral conflict among different classes. This results in slower moral progress of society. Therefore, a just government, in order to truly be moral, must not interfere with the moral landscape of its society by providing food security.

There you go; I hope this helps. As I said, it’s a terrible topic, so good luck debating it!


10 responses to “Resolved: Just governments ought to ensure food security for their citizens.

  1. Hi, for the veil of ignorance argument on the aff, could you tell me how exactly you would present that argument and how it would influence an aff vote? Thanks so much

    • Hi Hannah,

      The veil of ignorance position argues that people, when placed in the original position, would necessarily choose a social justice system which protects food security. This is because they could wake up the next day and be anyone in society, so they would want their food security protected. This is an Aff position because it philosophically contends that a just government should provide food security for its citizens because all decisions about justice ought to be made from behind a veil of ignorance.

  2. Hey, I was wondering for the neg: What do you mean by “slower moral progress of society”? And what is a good value for the neg speech?

    • Slower moral progress means it takes longer to get to the ideal moral state. Conflict results in a proper morality, so eliminating moral conflict makes that more difficult to achieve. For the value, think about what you’re trying to attain, the most important thing, and that will be your value.

    • In the context of the resolution it doesnt imply anything. Just that everyone will have food security, so this places a lot of weight on peoples definitions. Some people may define it as free food, but the debate (ideally) will be less about HOW this will play out, and more about if it SHOULD.

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