In Volume III, Justifications, in the section titled "Defense of Revolution," Vollman considers the French Revolution as a rebellion that originally could have been justified, but lost sight of its aims. The author establishes positive and negative criteria for a morally justified revolution, listed below.
Defense of the Revolution is Justified:Vollman, quoting Rousseau, declares that the General Will is not merely the sum of individual wills, but the "common interest." The revolution must "...balance liberty against equality... [with its] equals sign the Golden Rule." In other words, even violent revolutions must stay within moral limits, not using violence gratuitously.
1. When the ends of the revolution are explicit and legitimate. Whenever those ends change, the legitimacy of defense of the revolution must be reevaluated.
2. When it is a defense of the General Will. [Vollman follows Rousseau; more below.]
Defense of the Revolution is Unjustified:
1. When the acts defined by the revolutionaries as treason are the same as the acts committed by them before they came to power.
2. When the revolution's immediate ends change but legitimacy fails to be reevaluated.
3. To the extent that it fails to explicitly and consensually define the grievances which it seeks to address.
The structure of an Aff using Roussau and Vollman as inspiration might have a value of governmental legitimacy with Vollman's dual criteria. (A value of liberty might work as well.)
For the Neg, Vollman's work offers cautions. Are self-styled revolutionaries likely to fall prey to the absolute corruption predicted by Lord Acton? In the majority of cases, do violent revolutions follow the General Will? Perhaps for every George Washington there are three Robespierres.