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Kritik Answers

Kritik ist Kaput


**GENERAL K ANSWERS**.................................................................................................................. 3

Kritik Answers

**GENERAL K ANSWERS**
**Framework**
Fiat Good: 2AC
Next, our interpretation is that plan is a yes/no question. If its better than the squo or a competing
policy option, we win. Thats good because
A.

It is the most predictable because the resolution asks a question about federal action.
The lack of individual agency stipulations in the resolution mean that introducing such
questions are outside the scope of the subject matter we were asked to prepare to
debate. We would be happy to address such concerns under different resolutions

B.

It facilitates the best policy analysis because it ensures that we are not forced to
compare aff apples versus neg oranges

C.

Aff choice justifiesthey can run critical affirmatives if they want and we will engage
themthey should reciprocally respect our choice to play the fiat game

D.

Our affirmative impact claims necessitateclaims of individual agency beg the question
of the efficacy of liberal politics, and we impact turn such claims by proving that their
drive for unfettered autonomy lets the government get away with destroying the world

E.

Most educationalkritiks are run in debate because graduate assistants like to talk about
their course readings with debaterswe lack the foundational understanding to engage
in high speed discourse about such arguments until weve done our homework, whereas
high school civics provides adequate grounding for policy debate. We think that there
should be two debate leagues: a policy circuit for undergrads and a critical circuit for
grad students.

F.

Even if we lose the fiat debate, we still get to leverage our aff impacts against those of
the kritikthe discursive (or other) mechanism through which their alternative solves is
just as available to our message about the necessity of authoritarianism. We are both
theoretical kritiks of the status quo

Kritik Answers

General Defense of the Aff: 2AC


(1/2)
PERM DO BOTH
PERM DO THE PLAN AND ALL OF THE ALTERNATIVE
EXCEPT THE PARTS THAT LINK TO PLAN
POLICYMAKING PROVIDES A UNIQUE SPACE TO BECOME
EDUCATED ABOUT CRITICAL ADVOCACY, THE ONLY
ALTERNATIVE IS THE CREATION OF A NEW ELITE
Coverstone 95

[Alan, Princeton High School, An Inward Glance: A Response to Mitchells Outward


Activist Turn, www.wfu.edu/Studentorganizations/debate/MiscSites/DRGArticles/Coverstone1995China.htm, acc 3-1605//uwyo-ajl]

Yet, Mitchell goes too far. In two important areas, his argument is slightly
miscalibrated. First, Mitchell underestimates the value of debate as it is
currently practiced. There is greater value in the somewhat insular
nature of our present activity than he assumes. Debate's inward focus
creates an unusual space for training and practice with the tools of
modem political discourse. Such space is largely unavailable elsewhere
in American society. Second, Mitchell overextends his concept of
activism. He argues fervently for mass action along ideological lines.
Such a turn replaces control by society's information elite with control by
an elite all our own. More than any other group in America today,
practitioners of debate should recognize the subtle issues upon which
political diversity turns. Mitchell's search for broad themes around which
to organize mass action runs counter to this insight. As a result,
Mitchell's call for an outward activist turn threatens to subvert the very
values it seeks to achieve.

KRITIK CANT SOLVE THE AFF EXTEND THE TRIBE AND


LARSON EVIDENCE. IF THE COURTS DONT ACT, BUSH
WILL CONTINUE DETAINMENT, WHICH IS WORSE THAN
PLAN
WE OUTWEIGH: FAILURE PASS PLAN THREATENS MULTIPLE
EXTINCTION SCENARIOS, INCLUDING INTERNATIONAL
LAW, MULTILATERALISM, EXECUTIVE POWER, DEMOCRACY,
AND RUSSIAN INDEPENDENCE. EVEN IF THEY WIN ONE BIG
IMPACT, WERE HOSING THEM
PLAN SOLVES BETTER THAN THE ALTERNATIVE
Cole 2003
[David, Prof. Georgetown U. Law Center, Judging the Next Emergency: Judicial
Review and Individual Rights in Times of Crisis, 101 Mich. L. Rev. 2565, August,
LN//uwyo-ajl]
To be sure, judicial decisions are not the only forces that may constrain government actors in the next
emergency. Developing cultural norms may also play a role. As noted above, Korematsu has never been
formally overruled, but it is nonetheless highly unlikely that anything on the scale of the Japanese
internment would happen again. The cultural condemnation of that initiative, reflected in Congress's

Kritik Answers
issuance of a formal apology and restitution, n52 has been so powerful that the option is a nonstarter
even without controlling Supreme Court law. But even here, the legislative apology followed judicial
decisions nullifying the convictions on writs of coram nobis. n53 In addition , the formal

requirements that judges give reasons that are binding on future judges means
that judicial decisions are likely to play a more specific constraining function
than the development of cultural norms. Indeed, John Finn has argued that the obligation to give reasons is constitutive
of constitutionalism and underscores the necessity of judicial review to any meaningful system of constitutional law. n54 Cultural
norms and political initiatives are rarely as clear-cut as a legal prohibition, and their very
contestability means that they are likely to exert less restraining force than a
judicial holding. Court decisions are, of course, also contestable, but generally along a narrower
range of alternatives.

Kritik Answers

General Defense of the Aff: 2AC


(2/2)
SPECIFIC SOLVENCY TRUMPS PREFER OUR EV ABOUT
HOW OVERRULING QUIRIN SOLVES ABUSIVE DETAINMENT
TO THEIR ABSTRACT CARDS THAT DONT ASSUME PLAN
WE MUST ASSUME A DOUBLE-RESPONSIBILITY TO
CRITICIZE INSTITUTIONS WHILE USING SOVEREIGNTY
AGAINST ITSELF
MICHAELSON & SHERSHOW (Profs of Engl @ MSU and UC
Davis) 2004

[Scott & Scott, Jan. 11, p. online: http://www.merip.org/mero/mero011104.html,


accessed June 21, 2005 //buntin]
The act of sovereignty that captures the Guantnamo detainees only to push
them beyond the reach and protection of the sovereign state is the very
manifestation of the existing state system and its corollary values. Critics are
confronted with a Hobson's choice between attempting to limit or suspend the
exercise of sovereignty through increasing legal regulation or endorsing the
exercise of sovereignty as a necessary corrective to injustice (as in the king's or
executive's pardon). On this point, progressive legal theorists have been split.
But the ultimate answer cannot lie solely in the enforcement of existing
international law and the production of yet more international documents within
the same framework, nor in the tenuous hope for occasional exceptions to that
sovereign exceptionality that is always the essential form of sovereign power.
International law alone will never avail, and not merely because its own logic
always holds in reserve a right to the same indiscriminate violence that it
condemns in the guerrilla, the pirate or the terrorist. Sovereignty is the principle
and activity that founds the state, and therefore constitutes its innermost and
outermost possibility. The sovereign black hole, loophole or zone of legal limbo is
foundational for the existing juridico-political order. Even more broadly, within
that order, the absolute end of sovereignty is unthinkable. Without sovereignty,
no decisions; and without decisions, no justice. Since sovereignty itself is
inevitable, yet particular instances of sovereign power must still be confronted
and challenged, critics of the current situation must assume a double
responsibility. On the one hand, the present resources of national and
international law must indeed be pursued to their limits, to discover and
interpret precedents for the urgent decisions of the day, and, more importantly,
to set new precedents for decisions still to come. But on the other hand, since
law itself cannot in principle ever be adequate to the full enormity of
Guantnamo, sovereignty itself must be torqued in a strange reversal, and made
to work against itself. In other words, the sovereignty of strong states with the
power to decide global matters -- the sovereignty that is, after all, finally a
collective force, a power "of the people, by the people and for the people" -must be expended without reserve in the name, not of law, but of justice, to the
point where the territory and its boundary trembles. Such is not a mechanism or
method which might be codified, because it will involve sovereign (and hence
unprecedented) acts and decisions; and because its goal is a justice understood
as an infinite task of thinking our relation to the Other. But as Jacques Derrida
suggests, "the fact that law is deconstructible is not bad news"; rather, one can
"find in this the political chance to all historical progress." All this is perhaps
difficult to imagine in a world so dominated by reasons of state and the
fanaticism of borders and identities. But the urgency of the task can hardly be
overstated. At any rate, one thing is clear: at Guantnamo Bay, as Walt Kelly
once observed, "we have met the enemy and he is us."

Kritik Answers

Kritik Answers

Floating PICs Bad: 2AC (Long) (~50


sec.)
Next, Floating PICs are bad:
1. Steals all aff ground- the plan is the foundation for all
affirmative offense in debate, allowing the negative to
defend the plan crushes our ability to answer
arguments, including their K. In a world where
affirmatives are able to generate foundational offense
separate from the plan, the negatives ability to debate
is severely compromised, plan focus is best for both
teams.
2. Not educational- there is little education to be gained
from allowing the negative to agree that the plan is a
good idea in totality and that there was something
wrong with the Construction of the iac, this justifies
allowing the negative to Criticize the spelling of our
tags, while advocating the plan. Affirmatives rarely win
in this world.
3. Undermines Reciprocal Burdens- allowing the negative
to advocate the plan means that the negatives burden
has shifted from disproving the plan to disproving
anything that the affirmative has said; that is too easy
on negatives, especially on a tiny topic with lots of
generic negative ground. Their argument justifies
affirmatives defending the text of the INC but not the
justifications of the INC. It also justifies severing out of
everything that is not the plan.
4. We Turn their offensive arguments- They should have
to win the framework debate in order to win that their
K comes before the affirmative, allowing them to win
because there is a small risk that something was wrong
with the aff, separate from the plan, means that we
dodge a discussion of methodology and epistemology
and its relationship to the aff, they should have to win
that there is a meaningful relationship, not that there
could be a meaningful relationship. They dodge a
discussion of these questions, preventing any benefits
of making affs defend their whole iac.
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Kritik Answers

5. This has to be a voting issue, we have to go for this


argument just to get back to ground zero; this should
be a non-issue.

Kritik Answers

Floating PICs Bad: 2AC (Short) (<20


sec.)
Next, Floating PICs are bad
1. Steals Aff ground- Floating PICs steal the only option
that affs have to generate offense, the plan.
2. Not educational- Floating PICs justify negatives
defending the plan and criticizing the spelling of our
tags, crushing education.
3. Not Reciprocal- the affirmative cannot agree with a
bulk of the neg strat and k their reps, we would have
to win a framework arg too.
4. We turn their offense- they sidestep a discussion of
epistemology and its effects on policymaking, not
defending the plan provides more meaningful
education.
5. This has to be a voting issue, we have to go for this
argument just to get back to ground zero.

Kritik Answers

Do the Plan Perm: 2AC


Perm- do the plan.
Perm solves1. That the negative can divorce themselves from the bad
representations of the IAC surely means that we can
too. If it really is just as easy as saying, we defend the
plan but not the representations of the IAC; then there
is no reason why we would not be able to do the same
thing.
2. No theoretical reason why the perm is illegit, they
might win substantive reasons why the our
representations are tied to our plan, but that is a
reason why they also would not be able to advocate it
separate from the rest of the IAC, if the very utterance
of the rest of the iac ties it to the plan, then that is
irrevocable.
3. And we will defend that the perm is a test of the
competitiveness of part of their alternative- the part
that advocates the plan, which is decidedly not
competitive, a remedy to this non-competitive nature
would be to disallow the negative to advocate the plan.

10

Kritik Answers

#1 Steals Aff Ground: 1AR


Extend the 2AC #1- Floating PICs destroy all affirmative
Ground; the plan is the only way for affirmatives to
generate offense in debate. If the negative is allowed to
defend the plan as well, then there is no residual IAC
offense that we can claim, and the 2AC has to start from
scratch, meaning that affirmatives always start at a
disadvantage. This pits the block against the IAR, which
means affs rarely ever win.
If instead the aff is able to generate offense in the IAC
that does not stem from the plan but something else,
then debate for the negative becomes difficult as they
not only have to disprove the plan but everything else.

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Kritik Answers

#4 Ext. Turns Offense: 1AR


Extend the 2AC #4Any reason that they win that it is important for us to
defend the non-plan parts of the IAC, we will win are
reasons why they shouldnt defend the plan.
If the negative did not defend our plan, but solely
engaged in a criticism of our representations, then that
would facilitate a discussion of how our representations
related to and affected our plan. By choosing to defend
the plan absent from the rest of the IAC, they have
limited our discussion to just one of language, rather
than including broader issues of epistemology. This
short-circuits any reason why it would be good or
educational to examine the representations because they
have severed them from

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Kritik Answers

A2 Plan Focus Bad: 1AR


1. We will outweigh any of their arguments plan focus is
bad
A. Ground- Both teams benefit immensely from plan
focus debate, their argument would not be
possible in a world where we didnt read a plan,
most negative args would be rendered
meaningless
B. Education- the alternative is res-focused debate,
which prevents us from delving into the more
interesting aspects of the resolution by
parametrisizing it.

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Kritik Answers

A2 Plan is only a tiny part of the


speech/Discourse of 1AC is ~9
min.: 1AR
They say that the plan is relatively unimportant, this is
just not true:
1. The plan is the foundation for the rest of the
affirmative, taking the plan out of the affirmative
would render the IAC fairly nonsensical, just because
the plan can be read quickly does not render it
meaningless.
2. This is untrue from the standpoint of the negative as
well, the plan is what they get before the round, not
the entire text of the affirmative, it is the focus of the
debate in a literal as well as figurative sense.

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Kritik Answers

Must Have an Alternative: 2AC


NEXT, LACK OF ALT IS BAD
A. We need a text to provide us with ground to perm the kritiksuch arguments are
critical tests of the link
B. Utopian alternatives destroy debate because we can never win that the plan is
better than perfection
C. Vague alternatives are moving targets that prevent us from linking offense
D. It guts their solvency because their argument will never gain political traction,
all of which are voters for fairness and education

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Kritik Answers

Hasty Generalization Bad: 2AC


HASTY GENERALIZATION
A. There are many instances where advocating government change is goodthese
instances would still vote to the K
B. Call to reject doesnt justify its utilitarian basisthere are still plenty of reasons to
do the plan

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Kritik Answers

Law Transformative: 2AC (1/2)


IT IS IMPORTANT THAT EACH ONE OF US DEFENDS THE
TRANSFORMATIVE POWER OF THE LAW- WORLDWIDE
RIGHTS AND FREEDOM DEPEND ON IT
KENNEDY 06
(Anthony, Supreme Court Justice, Remarks at the Annual Meeting of the
American Bar Association, Federal News Service, August 12, 2006, Lexis)
I sense, President Greco, as indicated in your remarks, that

we are at

another

turning point in the history of

the law.

The Constitution gave us judges. It's really remarkable that it did. Remember that attacks and complaints against judges were one
of the indictments, one of the allegations, in the Declaration of Independence. The framers had been pushed around by judges. And what did
they do? They created a judiciary and gave them life tenure. Why did they do that? Because they were confident that the process of reason, the
slow elaboration of the principles of justice through the case-by-case method, was the surest way to interpret the Constitution. The framers knew
that they were not prescient enough, and they were not brazen enough, to specify all of the elements of justice. They knew this could become
apparent only over time. They knew that the whole purpose of the Constitution is to rise above the inequities and the injustices that you can't
see. But now we are in an era where I sense something different happening. We know the truth needs no translation. There's a word for truth in
every language. We know that the world is getting smaller. We know that

the rule of law is essential.

We hear a lot about

we are
not making the case as well as we ought. It could be, to use a Pacific metaphor, that the tide has gone out and
we're on the beach. But a tsunami of expectations and discontent and demands and
dissatisfaction may soon sweep in upon us. We must explain to the rest of the
world the meaning, the essentiality and the purpose of the rule of law as it's
understood by the American people and by other democracies throughout the
world. And we must begin to do a better job of it, and we must begin that now.
(Applause.) I was here in Hawaii, Governor Lingle, just a few months ago and met with the University of Hawaii law students. And I asked them,
security. But our best security, ultimately our only security, is in the world of ideas. And I sense a slight foreboding. I sense that

"What does the rule of law mean?" You know, I never heard that term when I was in law school. And lawyers bandy it about a lot. Should it not be
defined? If you parse it as a grammarian might, it doesn't always work. You might have a dictator with laws that are known and that are enforced,
but that can't be the rule of law. The rule of law does not exist just because a dictator makes the trains run on time. And so I tried to define the
rule of law. And before doing so, there were certain caveats. There are certain risks. The phrase has a resonance, an allure, that you're reluctant
to destroy. And we're often reluctant to talk about universal truths lest our efforts at formulating their specifics seem too bland, too insufficient,
for the great purpose behind the phrase. So there's a risk, when we talk about the rule of law, that you say too little or that you say too much;
that you say too little and you're facile, thereby preventing us from discovering other truths; that you say too much and that you're prolix. There's
a reluctance to open the bidding so that every interest group has its particular interest, its particular goal, incorporated in the rule of law. I always
wanted to teach a law school course in constitutional law to some very bright students who had never read the Constitution. And the way I'd do it
is I'd say, "Now, here it is, but you can't read it. I want you to tell me what you think the Constitution should contain if it's a model Constitution."
They'd look. I'd say, "Now, don't peek." And just as an academic trick, I would get them interested. I've done the same thing for you, and I'm glad
it's dark, because I don't want you to look at it. I've given you a little definition of the rule of law. I have one for all the Kameamea students. What
would you put in your definition of the rule of law? Would you talk about process, knowing that there are certain truths that are not evident to us
now, that we're blind to the injustices and the prejudices of our own times? So you just talk about process? That really doesn't suffice. It's not
elevating enough. So you must talk about substance. What is the substance which you include? I suggested that the rule of law has three parts.
This is simply a working definition. If we were in the law school class at the University of Hawaii, or if we had more time, you could probably make
some suggestions for how this should be improved. But I think it's important for us to begin assessing where we are in this campaign to explain

There's a jury that's


out. It's half the world. The verdict is not yet in. The commitment to accept the
western idea of democracy has not yet been made, and they are waiting for you
to make the case. I suggest that the rule of law has three parts. The first is that the law
is binding on the government and all of its officials. This may seem a rather self-evident matter, but it's
the meaning of freedom, the meaning of the rule of law, to a doubting world. My friends, make no mistake:

a proposition that most government officials in most countries do not fully understand. If an administrative agency and an administrator in that
agency is charged with giving you a permit, the permit is not given to you as a matter of grace. It's given to you because you're entitled to it, and
it's his or her duty to give it to you. Very few countries in the world understand this.

The rule of law binds the

government and all of its officials.

This is an essential lesson that must be taught if the corruption and the greed and
the graft President Greco referred to are eliminated. The second part of the rule of law is there for you on the little slip. It is, I think, in a sense,

the rule of law must respect the dignity,


equality and human rights of every person. And then there's a second sentence, and the second sentence
says that the people are entitled to have a voice in the laws that govern them . So there's a
process element. But it isn't just process, because the right to participate in government is nothing less
than the right to help shape your own destiny. And the framers of our Constitution made it very clear that
each generation has a share, has a chance to determine its own destiny, to
determine its own direction. What are human rights? Is it the right to subsistence, the right to enough to eat, the right to
the most troubling for me. I'm not sure that it's complete. It says that

breathe clean air, the right to an education? At this point the rule of law, as we, I think, would want to define it, may depart from the idea of a
model constitution. These are two different things. In the Constitution of the United States, there are a series of essentially negative commands.
"Congress shall make no law restricting free speech or the free press." "There shall be no unreasonable search and seizures." These are negative
commands. It's easier to have the Ten Commandments -- "Thou shalt not steal" -- than the Sermon on the Mount -- "Thou shalt love thy
neighbor." It's harder to enforce the latter. But what about affirmative rights? Aren't there some basic human entitlements? You see a man on a
steam grate in the cold winter in Washington, D.C. and you say, "Well, you have the right to a jury trial, and you actually have a right to own a

if the rule of law is to have


meaning, substance, hope, inspiration for the rest of the world, it must be
coupled with the opportunity to improve human existence. I became interested a few years ago in
newspaper." He'd say, "I'm cold. I'm hungry. I want to eat." Americans must understand that

water systems in Africa, and I have attended a few lectures about it. Not long ago I heard a speaker say the following. He asked this question:
"How many hours of human labor per year are spent in the continent of Africa getting clean water?" This is work that falls on the shoulders of
women. The answer was 8 billion hours a year. I was sitting in an audience like yours, thinking, "Now, did he say 8 million? No, that can't work
out. Was it 80 million?" The answer is 8 billion. And I asked him about it later. He said, "This is very conservative, because I'm just talking about
the water that's clean when it gets back to the source."

The biggest single cause of infant mortality in

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Kritik Answers
Africa and other undeveloped nations is diarrhea. Children with a slight body
mass dehydrate quickly, and there's nothing for the heart to pump against. The
heart can't pump if it's dry. This can be fixed. This is not rocket science. One of the reasons
it can't be fixed, under present conditions, is that governments are corrupt. And
people have a right to improve their lives, to gain basic security, without corrupt
governments depriving them of the very means of existence. CONTINUED ON
NEXT PAGE-

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Kritik Answers

Law Transformative (2/2)


--KENNEDY 06 CONT-My third suggestion -- and it can only be a suggestion; it would be presumptuous to say that I can define the rule of law -- my third suggestion for

every person has a right to know what the


laws are and to enforce them without fear of retaliation or retribution . This is almost a
process-sounding precept, but it's again substantive as well. It's part of your identity, it's part of your selfdefinition, to know the laws that protect you, to know the laws that are
respected by your neighbors and friends and family. This is part of who you are.
And you're entitled to know this, and you're entitled to enforce them. I was talking with
you to think about surprised me when I wrote it, and it was this, that

some lawyers and judges not long ago from Bangladesh. They told me that a standard criminal sentence works something like this: A fine of
three dollars or nine to 12 months in jail, and at least 1,000 people a year spend a year in jail for want of the three dollars. I said, "Well, I'm not a
man of great means, but I'll write you a check for $1,000. That'll take care of 333 people." And they said, "Well, no, but then there'd be no
deterrence." Is a nation, is a people, is a culture, is a society able to embrace the western idea of the rule of law under such conditions? I suggest

we must find some ways to link the rule of law with real
progress in improving the condition of humankind. We must have some measures to assure that the vast
to you the answer is no. And

aid, the work of the NGOs, the work of this association, has some immediate, visible, tangible return so that we can make the case. You were
gracious to mention my remarks, President Greco, in San Francisco, when you last met in that city. We talked about the criminal justice system.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn

And I mentioned at the time a book by


called "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich." And it occurred
to me, when we were coming here to Hawaii, that Solzhenitsyn might be relevant in a somewhat different connection. He was a writer whom I
greatly admired. He had escaped from the Soviet Union and from a gulag in order to write about that experience, and he was living in the United
States. He was invited to Harvard to give the most important address given every year to the Harvard students. It was in the mid or late '70s. I
was living in California at the time. I was thrilled that my hero was addressing the Harvard College. And this was pre-fax and Internet days, so it
took me one or two days to get the text of his remarks, the text of his remarks from The New York Times. And I was shocked, stunned, terribly

attacked the West, and particularly the law and the


legal system. And he said that any society that defines the tissues of human
existence in legalistic terms is condemned to spiritual mediocrity. My hero was saying this
disappointed to read his remarks, in which he

about my profession, about the Constitution that is America's self-identity, about the Constitution that Americans still think as defining who they

We just define law differently than


Solzhenitsyn did. From his era, from his culture, law was a dictat, a ucas (ph) -- a command, a
mandate. In sum, it was a cold decree. That's not the meaning of law as our
nation and our co- democracies define it. For us, law is a liberating force. It's a
promise. It's a covenant. It says that you can hope, you can dream, you can
dare, you can plan. You have joy in your existence. That's the meaning of the law
as Americans understand it, and that's the meaning of the law that we must
explain to a doubting world where the verdict is still out. You can make this case.
You must make this case. And that is because freedom -- your freedom, my
freedom and the freedom of the next generation -- hangs in the balance. I'm
confident you will do this.
are as a people?I reflected on it for a few days, and then I got the answer.

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Kritik Answers

Policymaking Good: 1AR (1/2)


FIRST, EXTEND THE COVERSTONE 95 EVIDENCE. POLICY
DEBATE CREATES A SAFE SPACE ALLOWING US TO TEST
IDEAS, BECOMING EDUCATED ENOUGH TO HOLD ELITES
ACCOUNTABLE, STOPPING THE RISE OF NEW OPPRESSION
SECOND, DEBATE IS CIVIL SOCIETY: IT IS THE ROLE OF
CRITICAL INTELLECTUALS TO FORM A PUBLIC POLICY
SPHERE CONSTITUTED AROUND SPECIFIC POLICY IDEAS.
WE ARE NOT THE GOVERNMENT, BUT BY ORIENTING
OURSELVES TOWARDS THE STATE WE CAN ENSURE
EFFECTIVE POLITICS.
HABERMAS 98
[Jurgen, Prof. Philosophy at U. of Frankfurt, The Inclusion of the Other,
p. 31//uwyo-crowe]
A law is valid in the moral sense when it could be accepted by
everybody from the perspective of each individual. Because only general laws
fulfill the condition that they regulate matters in the equal interest of all, practical reason finds
expression in the generalizability or universalizability of the interests
expressed in the law. Thus a person takes the moral point of view when
he deliberates like a democratic legislator on whether the practice that
would result from the general observance of a hypothetically proposed
norm could be accepted by all those possibly affected viewed as
potential co-legislators. Each person participates in the role of colegislator in a cooperative enterprise and thereby adopts an
intersubjectively extended perpective from which it can be determined
whether a controversial norm can count as generalizable from the point
of view of each participant. Pragmatic and ethical reasons, which retain their
internal connection to the interests and self0understanding of individual persons, also play a role in
these deliberations; but these agent-relative reasons no longer count as rational motives and
value-orientations of individual persons but as epistemic contributions to a discourse in which norms are

Because a legislative
practice can only be undertaken jointly, a monological, egocentric
operation of the generalization test in the manner of the Golden Rule will
not suffice.
examined with the aim of reaching a communicative agreement.

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Kritik Answers

Policymaking Good: 1AR (2/2)


THIRD, TECHNICAL, COMPETITIVE DEBATE IS A
DIALECTICAL METHOD THAT TEACHES STUDENTS ABOUT
INTERPLAY BETWEEN ARGUMENTS, TRAINING THEM FOR
POLICY ENGAGEMENT
Mitchell 2000
[Gordon R., the brilliant DOD at Pitt, Preface to Strategic Deception: Rhetoric, Science
and Politics in Missle Defense Advocacy, Michigan State University Press, 2000,
xvi//uwyo]

intercollegiate policy debate is an odd and magical place,


where a keen spirit of competition drives debaters to amass voluminous
research in preparation for tournaments, and where the resulting density of ideas spurts
The world of

speakers to cram arguments into strictly timed presentation periods during contest rounds.

Expert judges trained in policy analysis keep track of such contests as


they unfold at breakneck speed, with speakers routinely delivering
intricate argumentation at over 300 words per minute. To the uninitiated
onlooker, this style of debate reveals itself as an unintelligible charade, something like a
movie-length Federal Express commercial or an auctioneering competition gone bad. But

there are rich rewards for participants who master policy debate's
special vocabulary, learn its arcane rules, and acclimate themselves to
the style of rapid-fire speaking needed to keep up with the flow of arguments. The
rigorous dialectical method of debate analysis cultivates a panoramic
style of critical thinking that elucidates subtle interconnections among
multiple positions and perspectives on policy controversies. The intense
pressure of debate competition instills a relentless research ethic in
participants. An inverted pyramid dynamic embedded in the format of
contest rounds teaches debaters to synthesize and distill their initial
positions down to the most cogent propositions for their final speeches.

FOURTH, ONLY STATE-CENTERED DISCUSSION ABOUT


POLITICS CAN REVERSE THE TREND TOWARD
TOTALITARIANISM. THIS DESTROYS DEBATE
TORGERSON 99
[Douglas, Prof and Chair Dept. Political Studies @ Trent U., The Promise of Green Politics:
Environmentalism and the Public Sphere, Duke University Press//uwyo-crowe]

One rationale for

the intrinsic value of politics is that this


politics itself is threatened. Without a
celebration of the intrinsic value of politics, neither functional nor
constitutive political activity has any apparent rationale for continuing
once its ends have been achieved. Functional politics might well be
replaced by a technocratic management of advanced industrial society.
Arendt's emphasis on

value has been so neglected by modernity that

A constitutive politics intent on social transformation might well be eclipsed by the coordinated direction of a
cohesive social movement. In neither ease would any need be left for what Arendt takes to be the essence of

there would be no need for debate.


Green authoritarianism, following in the footsteps of Hobbes, has been all too ready
to reduce politics to governance. Similarly, proponents of deep ecology, usually vague about
politics:

politics, at least have been able to recognize totalitarian dangers in a position that disparages public opinion
in favor of objective management." Any attempt to plot a comprehensive strategy for a cohesive green
movement, moreover, ultimately has to adopt a no-nonsense posture while erecting clear standards by which
to identify and excommunicate the enemy that is within.
Green politics from its inception, however, has challenged the officialdom of advanced industrial society by
invoking the cultural idiom of the carnivalesque. Although tempted by visions of tragic heroism, as we saw in
chapter, green politics has also celebrated the irreverence of the comic, of a world turned upside down to
crown the fool. In a context of political theater, instrumentalism is often attenuated, at least momentarily
displaced by a joy of performance. The comic dimension of political action can also be more than episodic.
The image of the Lilliputians tying up the giant suggests well the strength and flexibility of a decentered
constitutive politics. In a functional context, green politics offers its own technology of foolishness in

21

Kritik Answers
response to the dysfunctions of industrialism, even to the point of exceeding the comfortable limits of a socalled responsible foolishness.
Highlighting the comic, these tendencies within green politics begin to suggest an intrinsic value to politics.

To the extent that this value is recognized, politics is inimical to


authoritarianism and offers a poison pill to the totalitarian propensities
of an industrialized mass society." To value political action for its own
sake, in other words, at least has the significant extrinsic value of defending
against the antipolitical inclinations of modernity. But what is the intrinsic value of

politics? Arendt would locate this value in the virtuosity of political action, particularly as displayed in debate.

Debate is a
language game that, to be played well, cannot simply be instrumentalized for
the services it can render but must also he played for its own sake. Any
Although political debate surely has extrinsic value, this does not exhaust its value.

game pressed into the service of external goals tends to lose its playful quality; it ceases to be fun.

22

Kritik Answers

Policymaking Good: Ext (1/3)


ACADEMIC SWITCH-SIDE DEBATING TEACHES STUDENTS
HOW TO ORGANIZE INFORMATION AND DEFEND
ARGUMENTS, RESISTING TOTALITARIAN INFORMATION
OVERLOAD
Coverstone 95
[Alan, Princeton High School, An Inward Glance: A Response to
Mitchells Outward Activist Turn, www.wfu.edu/Studentorganizations/debate/MiscSites/DRGArticles/Coverstone1995China.htm,
acc 3-16-05//uwyo-ajl]
Mitchell's argument underestimates the nature of academic debate in
three ways. First, debate trains students in the very skills required for
navigation in the public sphere of the information age. In the past,
political discourse was controlled by those elements who controlled
access to information. While this basic reality will continue in the future,
its essential features will change. No longer will mere possession of
information determine control of political life. Information is widely
available. For the first time in human history we face the prospect of an
entirely new threat. The risk of an information overload is already
shifting control of political discourse to superior information managers. It
is no longer possible to control political discourse by limiting access to
information. Instead, control belongs to those who are capable of
identifying and delivering bits of information to a thirsty public. Mitchell
calls this the "desertification of the public sphere."
The public senses a deep desire for the ability to manage the
information around them. Yet, they are unsure how to process and make
sense of it all. In this environment, snake charmers and charlatans
abound. The popularity of the evening news wanes as more and more
information becomes available. People realize that these half hour
glimpses at the news do not even come close to covering all available
information. They desperately want to select information for themselves.
So they watch CNN until they fall asleep. Gavel to gavel coverage of
political events assumes top spots on the Nielsen charts. Desperate to
decide for themselves, the public of the twenty-first century drinks
deeply from the well of information. When they are finished, they find
they are no more able to decide. Those who make decisions are envied
and glorified.
Debate teaches individual decision-making for the information age. No
other academic activity available today teaches people more about
information gathering, assessment, selection, and delivery. Most
importantly, debate teaches individuals how to make and defend their
own decisions. Debate is the only academic activity that moves at the
speed of the information age. Time is required for individuals to achieve
escape velocity. Academic debate holds tremendous value as a space for
training.
Mitchell's reflections are necessarily more accurate in his own situation.
Over a decade of debate has well positioned him to participate actively
and directly in the political process. Yet the skills he has did not develop
overnight. Proper training requires time. While there is a tremendous
variation in the amount of training required for effective navigation of
the public sphere, the relative isolation of academic debate is one of its
virtues. Instead of turning students of debate immediately outward, we
should be encouraging more to enter the oasis. A thirsty public, drunk on

23

Kritik Answers
the product of anyone who claims a decision, needs to drink from the
pool of decision-making skills. Teaching these skills is our virtue.

24

Kritik Answers

Policymaking Good: Ext (2/3)


DEBATE TRAINS STUDENTS TO BECOME ACTIVISTS BY
TESTING THEIR OPINIONS AND BECAUSE OF ITS COVERT
NATURE BECOMING OUTWARDLY POLITICAL THREATENS
TO HAVE US INFILTRATED
Coverstone 95
[Alan, Princeton High School, An Inward Glance: A Response to
Mitchells Outward Activist Turn, www.wfu.edu/Studentorganizations/debate/MiscSites/DRGArticles/Coverstone1995China.htm,
acc 3-16-05//uwyo-ajl]
Mitchell's argument underestimates the risks associated with an outward
turn. Individuals trained in the art and practice of debate are, indeed,
well suited to the task of entering the political world. At some
unspecified point in one's training, the same motivation and focus that
has consumed Mitchell will also consume most of us. At that point,
political action becomes a proper endeavor. However, all of the
members of the academic debate community will not reach that point
together. A political outward turn threatens to corrupt the oasis in two
ways. It makes our oasis a target, and it threatens to politicize the
training process.
As long as debate appears to be focused inwardly, political elites will not
feel threatened. Yet one of Mitchell's primary concerns is recognition of
our oasis in the political world. In this world we face well trained
information managers. Sensing a threat from "debate," they will begin to
infiltrate our space. Ready made information will increase and debaters
will eat it up. Not yet able to truly discern the relative values of
information, young debaters will eventually be influenced dramatically
by the infiltration of political elites. Retaining our present anonymity in
political life offers a better hope for reinvigorating political discourse.
As perhaps the only truly non-partisan space in American political
society, academic debate holds the last real possibility for training active
political participants. Nowhere else are people allowed, let alone
encouraged, to test all manner of political ideas. This is the process
through which debaters learn what they believe and why they believe it.
In many ways this natural evolution is made possible by the isolation of
the debate community. An example should help illustrate this idea.
Like many young debaters, I learned a great deal about socialism early
on. This was not crammed down my throat. Rather, I learned about the
issue in the free flow of information that is debate. The intrigue of this,
and other outmoded political arguments, was in its relative unfamiliarity.
Reading socialist literature avidly, I was ready to take on the world. Yet I
only had one side of the story. I was an easy mark for the present
political powers. Nevertheless, I decided to fight City Hall. I had received
a parking ticket which I felt was unfairly issued. Unable to convince the
parking department to see it my way, I went straight to the top. I wrote
the Mayor a letter. In this letter, I accused the city of exploitation of its
citizens for the purpose of capital accumulation. I presented a strong
Marxist critique of parking meters in my town. The mayor's reply was
simple and straightforward. He called me a communist. He said I was
being silly and should pay the ticket. I was completely embarrassed by
the entire exchange. I thought I was ready to start the revolution. In
reality, I wasn't even ready to speak to the Mayor. I did learn from the
experience, but I did not learn what Gordon might have hoped. I learned
to stop reading useless material and to keep my opinions to myself.

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Kritik Answers
Do we really want to force students into that type of situation? I wrote
the mayor on my own. Debaters will experiment with political activism
on their own. This is all part of the natural impulse for activism which
debate inspires. Yet, in the absence of such individual motivation, an
outward turn threatens to short circuit the learning process. Debate
should capitalize on its isolation. We can teach our students to examine
all sides of an issue and reach individual conclusions before we force
them into political exchanges. To prematurely turn debaters out
threatens to undo the positive potential of involvement in debate.

26

Kritik Answers

Policymaking Good: Ext (3/3)


OUTWARD ACTIVISM RISKS CREATING A NEW
HOMOGENEOUS ELITE, CRUSHING IDEOLOGICAL DISSENT,
TURNING THEIR ARGUMENT
Coverstone 95
[Alan, Princeton High School, An Inward Glance: A Response to
Mitchells Outward Activist Turn, www.wfu.edu/Studentorganizations/debate/MiscSites/DRGArticles/Coverstone1995China.htm,
acc 3-16-05//uwyo-ajl]
My third, and final reaction to Mitchell's proposal, targets his desire for
mass action. The danger is that we will replace mass control of the
media/government elite with a mass control of our own elite. The
greatest virtue of academic debate is its ability to teach people that they
can and must make their own decisions. An outward turn, organized
along the lines of mass action, threatens to homogenize the individual
members of the debate community. Such an outcome will, at best,
politicize and fracture our community. At worst, it will coerce people to
participate before making their own decisions.
Debate trains people to make decisions by investigating the subtle
nuances of public policies. We are at our best when we teach students to
tear apart the broad themes around which traditional political activity is
organized. As a result, we experience a wide array of political views
within academic debate. Even people who support the same proposals
or candidates do so for different and inconsistent reasons. Only in
academic debate will two supporters of political views argue vehemently
against each other. As a group, this reality means that mass political
action is doomed to fail. Debaters do not focus on the broad themes that
enable mass unity. The only theme that unites debaters is the realization
that we are all free to make our own decisions. Debaters learn to agree
or disagree with opponents with respect. Yet unity around this theme is
not easily translated into unity on a partisan political issue. Still worse,
Mitchell's proposal undermines the one unifying principle.
Mitchell must be looking for more. He is looking for a community wide
value set that discourages inaction. This means that an activist turn
necessarily will compel political action from many who are not yet
prepared. The greatest danger in this proposal is the likelihood that the
control of the media/government elite will be replaced by control of our
own debate elite.
Emphasizing mass action tends to discourage individual political action.
Some will decide that they do not need to get involved, but this is by far
the lesser of two evils. Most will decide that they must be involved
whether or not they feel strongly committed to the issue. Mitchell places
the cart before the horse. Rather than letting ideas and opinions drive
action as they do now, he encourages an environment where action
drives ideas for many people. Young debaters are particularly
vulnerable. They are likely to join in political action out of a desire to "fit
in." This cannot be what Mitchell desires. Political discourse is a dessert
now because there are more people trying to "fit in" that there are
people trying to break out.

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Kritik Answers

A2 Only Learn As Spectators: 1AR


FIRST, NOT TRUE DEBATES ABOUT DETAINMENT TRAIN
US TO HOLD POLICYMAKERS ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR
DECISIONS. IF WE CANT HAVE A DEBATE, WE WONT
KNOW WHAT TO DO WHEN WE CONFRONT
REACTIONARIES. CROSS-APPLY COVERSTONE
SECOND, TURN VIEWING DEBATE DECISIONS AS
ACTIVISM, IN AND OF THEMSELVES, CRUSHES ACTUAL
POLITICAL ACTIVITY. WINNING A TOURNAMENT BECOMES
GOOD ENOUGH CREATING NIHILISTS WHO NEVER
ACTUALLY LOBBY THE GOVERNMENT.
THIRD, THIS IS EMPIRICALLY DENIED BY THE MASSES OF
DEBATERS WHO GO ON TO BECOME SOCIAL ACTIVISTS
AND PROGRESSIVE ATTORNEYS. WE WOULDNT HAVE
PEOPLE LIKE GORDON MITCHELL DOING WORK IN MISSILE
DEFENSE OPACITY IF IT WERENT FOR THE SAFE SPACE OF
SWITCH SIDE DEBATE
FOURTH, WORLDY ACADEMIC WORK IS DEMOCRATIZING
AND SPURS ACTIVISM
Mitchell, Assistant Professor of Communication, University of
Pittsburgh, ARGUMENTATION AND ADVOCACY, Fall 1998, p. 47.
Gordon R.

argumentative agency involves the capacity to contextualize and


employ the skills and strategies of argumentative discourse in fields of social
action, especially wider spheres of public deliberation. Pursuit of argumentative agency charges academic work with democratic energy by
In basic terms the notion of

linking teachers and students with civic organizations, social movements, citizens and other actors engaged in live public controversies beyond

argumentative agency links decontextualized


argumentation skills such as research, listening, analysis, refutation and
presentation, to the broader political telos of democratic empowerment.
Argumentative agency fills gaps left in purely simulation-based models of
argumentation by focusing pedagogical energies on strategies for utilizing argumentation as a driver of progressive social change.
the schoolyard walls. As a bridging concept,

Moving beyond an exclusively skill-oriented curriculum, teachers and students pursuing argumentative agency seek to put argumentative tools to
the test by employing them in situations beyond the space of the classroom. This approach draws from the work of Kincheloe (1991), who
suggests that through "critical constructivist action research," students and teachers cultivate their own senses of agency and work to transform
the world around them

28

Kritik Answers

Policy Debate Good


CRITICAL THEORY DIMINISHES THE BENEFIT OF POLICY
DEBATE
Jentleson 2002
[Bruce, Dir. Terry Sanford Inst. Public Policy and Prof. Pub Plcy and Pol. Sci. @
Duke, The Need for Praxis: Bringing Policy Debate Back In, International
Security 26:4, Spring, ASP//uwyo-ajl]
To be sure, political science and international relations have produced and
continue to produce scholarly work that does bring important policy insights.
Still it is hard to deny that contemporary political science and international
relations as a discipline put limited value on policy relevancetoo little, in my
view, and the discipline suffers for it. The problem is not just the gap between
theory and policy but its chasmlike widening in recent years and the limited
valuation of efforts, in Alexander Georges phrase, at bridging the gap. The
events of September 11 drive home the need to bring policy relevance back in
to the discipline, to seek greater praxis between theory and practice.

AND DECENTRALIZED PUBLIC DEBATE IS NECESSARY OT


TRANSFORM BUREACRACY
Martin 90
[Brian, Bureacracy, www.uow.edu.au/arts/sts/bmartin/pubs/90uw/uw08.html, 923-06//uwyo-ajl]
All of this can be quite useful and often effective, and should not be rejected. But
working through bureaucracy on the inside, or demanding policy changes from
the outside, does little to transform bureaucracy itself. In fact, working through
bureaucracy can reinforce the legitimacy and sway of bureaucracy itself. In
addition, campaigns oriented towards working through bureaucracy or applying
pressure for change at the top tend to become bureaucratised themselves.
Another important orientation adopted by many social activists is towards
building self-managing organisational forms for their own activities, such as
cooperative enterprises or egalitarian action groups. Self-managing
organisational forms are an alternative to bureaucracy. Direct experience in selfmanaging groups strengthens the sense of community and commitment to
social action and also provides understanding and individual strength to resist
pressures for bureaucratisation in the wider society. In as much as social
movements organise themselves as decentralised self-managing groups, linked
by federations and networks, and self-consciously set out to develop and extend
such structures, they provide a strong challenge to the domination of
bureaucratic forms of social organisation.

29

Kritik Answers

Switch-side Debate Good (1/3)


CRITICAL DISTANCE & *PUBLICLY* ADVOCATING
ARGUMENTS WITH WHICH YOU DISAGREE ARE ETHICALLY
IMPORTANT:
Day, Professor, Speech, University of Wisconsin-Madison, CENTRAL STATES
SPEECH JOURNAL, February 1966, p. 7.
Dennis G.

All must recognize and accept personal responsibility to present, when


necessary, as forcefully as possible, opinions and arguments with which they
may personally disagree.
To present persuasively the arguments for a position with which one disagrees
is, perhaps, the greatest need and the highest ethical act in democratic debate.
It is the greatest need because most minority views, if expressed at all, are not
expressed forcefully and persuasively. Bryce, in his perceptive analysis of
America and Americans, saw two dangers to democratic government: the
danger of not ascertaining accurately the will of the majority and the danger
that minorities might not effectively express themselves. In regard to the
second danger, which he considered the greater of the two, he suggested:
The duty, therefore, of a patriotic statesman in a country where public opinion
rules, would seem to be rather to resist and correct than to encourage the
dominant sentiment. He will not be content with trying to form and mould and
lead it, but he will confront it, lecture it, remind it that it is fallible, rouse it -out of
its self-complacency
To present persuasively arguments for a position with which one disagrees is the
highest ethical act in debate because it sets aside personal interests for the
benefit of the common good. Essentially, for the person who accepts decision by
debate, the ethics of the decision-making process are superior to the ethics of
personal conviction on particular subjects for debate. Democracy is a
commitment to means, not ends. Democratic society accepts certain ends, i.e.,
decisions, because they have been arrived at by democratic means. We
recognize the moral priority of decision by debate when we agree to be bound
by that decision regardless of personal conviction. Such an agreement is morally
acceptable because the decision-making process guarantees our moral integrity
by guaranteeing the opportunity to debate for a reversal of the decision.
Thus, personal conviction can have moral significance in social decision-making
only so long as the integrity of debate is maintained. And the integrity of debate
is maintained only when there is a full and forceful confrontation of arguments
and evidence relevant to decision. When an argument is not presented or is not
presented as persuasively as possible, then debate fails. As debate fails
decisions become less "wise." As decisions become less wise the process of
decision-making is questioned.
And finally, if and when debate is set aside for the alternative method of
decision-making by authority, the personal convictions of individuals within
society lose their moral significance as determinants of social choice.

30

Kritik Answers

Switch-Side Debate Good (2/3)


SWITCH SIDE DEBATING IS PROFOUNDLY MORAL AND
GUARDS AGAINST ABSOLUTISM
Fine, Professor of Sociology at Northwestern University, Gifted
Tongues, 2001, p. 54-55.
Gary Alan

Despite these concerns, most individuals with whom I discussed the issue felt
that debating both sides of an issue was valuable, perhaps the greatest benefit
of the activity, teaching the value of respect for differing opinions, multiple
perspectives, and the dangers of absolutism. For some the ability to argue both
sides of an issue is profoundly moral:
I have seen some people become cynical as a result. I would hope with students
I teach that they learn some ethical responsibilities. But I think what debate does
is allow students to seriously consider important questions from both sides of
the issue and see other perspectives before they become committed themselves
to a position. I have students who will say, Well, I cant argue against this,
because I really believe it. But after theyve done some research they are not
so certain of their convictions. They at least can see the other side. I think they
become more humane as a result of looking at both sides. (interview)
The ability to see both points of view has the potential in this view to make one
more humane and less self-righteous. Others suggest that not only does
debating both sides of a position not weaken ones position, but it strengthens it,
perhaps by inoculating one to opposing arguments. Many debaters have strong
political positions, which the activity seems to do nothing to diminish:
I think what happens is that you leam that there are two sides to every issue. I
think most debaters come down on one side or the other in their mind, but they
are able to argue both sides. And I think that is an important thing to be able to
do. I mean because it makes what you believe in, it makes that belief even more
justified, because you do know both sides. (interview)
The ability to take a position that is contrary to ones own beliefs has several
benefits: making one appreciate the perspective of ones foes, making ones
own thoughts more complex, and helping one become aware of
counterarguments. Perhaps this stance does suggest that positions are
gamelike, but it is a game that corresponds to the way that much political
decision making operates in the real world.

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Kritik Answers

Switch-Side Debate Good (3/3)


SWITCH-SIDE DEBATING IS NECESSARY TO EXAMINE
DIVERSE POLITICAL AGENDAS AND POLITICS. THE
SOLUTION IS NOT TO SILENCE ALL REPRESENTATION; ITS
TO MASSIVELY PROLIFERATE REPRESENTATIONS AND LET
THE DEBATE EXAMINE THE WORTHINESS OF INDIVIDUAL
REPRESENTATIONS WHICH CAN SUBVERT THE SYSTEM.
EVERY TIME ANOTHER IMAGE IS REPRESENTED, IT MAKES
OVERALL MARGINALIZATION LESS EASY.
Ann Marie
3/23/01

Baldonado, Fall 1996 http://www.emory.edu/ENGLISH/Bahri/Representation.html, accessed


This questioning is particularly important when the representation of the subaltern is involved. The problem does not rest solely with the fact that
often marginalized groups do not hold the 'power over representation' (Shohat 170); it rests also in the fact that representations of these groups
are both flawed and few in numbers. Shohat asserts that dominant groups need not preoccupy themselves too much with being adequately
represented. There are so many different representations of dominant groups that negative images are seen as only part of the "natural
diversity" of people. However, "representation of an underrepresented group is necessarily within the hermeneutics of domination, overcharged

since
representations of the marginalized are few, the few available are thought to be
representative of all marginalized peoples. The few images are thought to be typical, sometimes not only of
members of a particular minority group, but of all minorities in general . It is assumed that subalterns can stand
in for other subalterns. A prime example of this is the fact that actors of particular ethnic backgrounds were often casted as
with allegorical significance." (170) The mass media tends to take representations of the subaltern as allegorical, meaning that

any ethnic "other". (Some examples include Carmen Miranda HYPERLINK "http://www.emory.edu/ENGLISH/Bahri/carmen.gif" in The Gang's All
Here (1943), Ricardo Mantalban in Sayonara (1957), and Rudolph Valentino in The Son of the Sheik ). This collapsing of the image of the subaltern
reflects not only ignorance but a lack of respect for the diversity within marginalized communities. Shohat also suggests that representations in
one sphere--the sphere of popular culture--effects the other spheres of representation, particularly the political one: The denial of aesthetic
representation to the subaltern has historically formed a corollary to the literal denial of economic, legal, and political representation. The
struggle to 'speak for oneself' cannot be separated from a history of being spoken for, from the struggle to speak and be heard. (173) It cannot
be ignored that representations effect the ways in which actual individuals are perceived. Although many see representations as harmless
likenesses, they do have a real effect on the world. They are meant to relay a message and as the definition shows, 'influence opinion and
action'. We must ask what ideological work these representations accomplish. Representations or the 'images or ideas formed in the mind' have

Both the scarcity and the importance of minority


representations yield what many have called " the burden of representation".
Since there are so few images, negative ones can have devastating affects on
the real lives of marginalized people. We must also ask, if there are so few, who will
produce them? Who will be the supposed voice of the subaltern? Given the allegorical character of
vast implications for real people in real contexts.

these representations, even subaltern writers, artists, and scholars are asking who can really speak for whom? When a spokesperson or a certain
image is read as metonymic, representation becomes more difficult and dangerous. Solutions for this conundrum are difficult to theorize. We can
call for increased "self representation" or the inclusion of more individuals from 'marginalized' groups in 'the act of representing', yet this is easier
said then done. Also, the inclusion of more minorities in representation will not necessarily alter the structural or institutional barriers that
prevent equal participation for all in representation. Focusing on whether or not images are negative or positive, leaves in tact a reliance on the
"realness' of images, a "realness" that is false to begin with. Finally, I again turn to Spivak and her question, 'Can the Subaltern Speak'. In this
seminal essay, Spivak emphasizes the fact that representation is a sort of speech act, with a speaker and a listener. Often, the subaltern makes
an attempt at self-representation, perhaps a representation that falls outside the 'the lines laid down by the official institutional structures of
representation' (306). Yet, this act of representation is not heard. It is not recognized by the listener, perhaps because it does not fit in with what
is expected of the representation. Therefore, representation by subaltern individuals seems nearly impossible. Despite the fact that Spivak's
formulation is quite accurate, there must still be an effort to try and challenge status quo representation and the ideological work it does. The
work of various 'Third world' and minority writers, artists, and filmmakers attest to the possibilities of counter-hegemonic, anti-colonial
subversion. It is obvious that representations are much more than plain 'likenesses'. They are in a sense ideological tools that can serve to
reinforce systems of inequality and subordination; they can help sustain colonialist or neocolonialist projects. A great amount of effort is needed
to dislodge dominant modes of representation. Efforts will continue to be made to challenge the hegemonic force of representation, and of

, this force is not completely pervasive, and subversions are often possible.
'Self representation' may not be a complete possibility, yet is still an important
goal.
course

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Debate Solves Authoritarianism


DEBATE INVERTS DOCILITY AND AUTHORITARIANISM
Evans, two time NDT first-round and graduate student at U Chicago,
[eDebate] We Other Debaters, Feb 27, 2002,
N. Kirk

http://www.ndtceda.com/archives/200202/0747.html, accessed February 27,


2002
Although critics of debate (e.g., Kevin Sanchez) appropriate Foucauldian
language such as describing debate as ?the pedagogy devoted to scholarship
and training in good conduct,? I can?t help but wonder if there is a little ?
repressive hypothesis? discourse going on here. ?For a long time, the story goes,
we supported a repressive/calculating/veritas-seeking/flogocentric/docile body
producing regime, and we continue to be dominated by it even today. The image
of the stratego-spewtron is emblazoned on our restrained, (un)mute, and
hypocrtical debating.? I don?t like certain aspects of debate as it is currently
practiced. Some of my objections are political (e.g., under-representation of
minorities, propensity of elite schools to dominate). Some are aesthetic (e.g.,
lack of clarity among most debaters). My problem with criticisms such as Kevin
S?s or William S?s or Jack S?s is that they lump something together called ?
debate? and criticize it from afar (if that isn?t rendering something standing
reserve and then surveying it with an enlightened imperial gaze, I don?t know
what is). Somehow the sentiment seems to be lurking about that we?d all be
free, uninhibited, and unrepressed beings if the debate-machine hadn?t turned
us into assembly-line products of technostrategic thinking. Ummm? repressive
hypothesis. The reality is that proto-debaters enter high school with 8-9 years of
educational training to be docile subjects and liberal humanists. If debate still
maintains vestiges of these systems of thought, I think it has more to do with
what people bring to the ?institution? of debate than what debate teaches them.
Debaters are taught to question authorit(ies), and there is certainly a higher
degrees of activism (both liberal and conservative) among debaters than among
their non-debate counterparts.

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Kritik Answers

Roleplaying Good (1/3)


AND, WE MUST POSIT OURSELVES AS THE GOVERNMENT
Rawls, Political Philosopher, 1999

(John, The Law of Peoples, p. 56-7)

How is the ideal of public reason realized by citizens who are not government officials? In a representative government, citizens vote for
representativeschief executives, legislators, and the likenot for particular laws (except at a state or local level where they may vote directly

, citizens are to
think of themselves as if they were legislators and ask themselves what
statutes, supported by what reasons satisfying the criterion of reciprocity, they would think it most
reasonable to enact. When firm and widespread, the disposition of citizens to view
themselves as ideal legislators, and to repudiate government officials and
candidates for public office who violate public reason, forms part of the political
and social basis of liberal democracy and is vital for its enduring strength and
vigor. Thus in domestic society citizens fulfill their duty of civility and support the idea of
public reason, while doing what they can to hold government officials to it. This duty,
like other political rights and duties, is an intrinsically moral duty . I emphasize that it is not a legal duty, for in that case it
on referenda questions, which are not usually fundamental questions). To answer this question, we say that, ideally

would be incompatible with freedom of speech. Similarly, the ideal of the public reason of free and equal peoples is realized, or satisfied,
whenever chief executives and legislators, and other government officials, as well as candidates for public office, act from and follow the
principles of the Law of Peoples and explain to other peoples their reasons for pursuing or revising a peoples foreign policy and affairs of state

citizens are to think of themselves


as if they were executives and legislators and ask themselves what foreign
policy supported by what considerations they would think it most reasonable to advance. Once
again, when firm and widespread, the disposition of citizens to view themselves as ideal
executives and legislators, and to repudiate government officials and candidates for public office who violate the public
reason of free and equal peoples, is part of the political and social basis of peace and
understanding among peoples
that involve other societies. As for private citizens, we say, as before, that ideally

AND, ROLE-PLAYING DEBATES PROMOTE PREPARE US FOR


REAL WORLD ACTIVISM BY GIVING US A BETTER
UNDERSTANDING OF HOW POLICY WORKS, MAKING US
AFFECTIVE AGENTS TO ACHIEVE CHANGE. THIS ALLOWS
US AS INDIVIDUALS TO BECOME ACTORS WHO COULD
INDEED TRANSFORM INTERNATIONAL POLITICS.
Joyner 1999

[Christopher, Professor international Law @ University of Georgetown, Teaching


International Law: Views from an international relations political scientist].
The debate exercises carry several specific educational objectives. First,
students on each team must work together to refine a cogent argument that
compellingly asserts their legal position on a foreign policy issue confronting the
United States. In this way, they gain greater insight into the real-world legal
dilemmas faced by policy makers. Second, as they work with other members of
their team, they realize the complexities of applying and implementing
international law, and the difficulty of bridging the gaps between United States
policy and international legal principles, either by reworking the former or
creatively reinterpreting the latter. Finally, research for the debates forces
students to become familiarized with contemporary issues on the United States
foreign policy agenda and the role that international law plays in formulating and
executing these policies. 8 The debate thus becomes an excellent vehicle for
pushing students beyond stale arguments over principles into the real world of
policy analysis, political critique, and legal defense.

34

Kritik Answers

Roleplaying Good (2/3)


ROLEPLAYING IS KEY TO SOCIAL JUSTICE LEARNING
WHAT THE STATE SHOULD DO ALLOWS US TO ACHIEVE
THE ALTERNATIVES GOALS
Rorty, philosopher, ACHIEVING OUR COUNTRY: LEFTIST THOUGHT IN
TWENTIETH-CENTURY AMERICA, 1998, p. 98-99
Richard

The cultural Left often seems convinced that the nation-state is obsolete, and
that there is therefore no point in attempting to revive national politics. The
trouble with this claim is that the government of our nation-state will be, for the
foreseeable future, the only agent capable of making any real difference in the
amount of selfishness and sadism inflicted on Americans. It is no comfort to
those in danger of being immiserated by globalization to be told that, since
national governments are now irrelevant, we must think up a replacement for
such governments. The cosmopolitan super-rich do not think any replacements
are needed, and they are likely to prevail. Bill Readings was right to say that
the nation-state [has ceased] to be the elemental unit of capitalism, but it
remains the entity which makes decisions about social benefits, and thus about
social justice. The current leftist habit of taking the long view and looking beyond
nationhood to a global polity is as useless as was faith in Marxs philosophy of
history, for which it has become a substitute. Both are equally irrelevant to the
question of how to prevent the reemergence of hereditary castes, or of how to
prevent right-wing populists from taking advantage of resentment at that
reemergence. When we think about these latter questions, we begin to realize
that one of the essential transformations which the cultural Left will have to
undergo is the shedding of its semi- conscious anti-Americanism, which it carried
over from the rage of the late Sixties. This Left will have to stop thinking up ever
more abstract and abusive names for "the system" and start trying to construct
inspiring images of the country. Only by doing so can it begin to form alliances
with people outside the academyand, specifically, with the labor unions.
Outside the academy, Americans still want to feel patriotic. They still want to
feel part of a nation which can take control of its destiny and make itself a better
place. If the Left forms no such alliances, it will never have any effect on the
laws of the United States. To form them will require the cultural Left to forget
about Baudrillard's account of America as Disneylandas a country of simulacra
and to start proposing changes in the laws of a real country, inhabited by real
people who are enduring unnecessary suffering, much of which can be cured by
governmental action. Nothing would do more to resurrect the American Left than
agreement on a concrete political platform, a People's Charter, a list of specific
reforms. The existence of such a list endlessly reprinted and debated, equally
familiar to professors and production workers, imprinted on the memory both of
professional people and of those who clean the professionals' toiletsmight
revitalize leftist politics.

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Kritik Answers

Roleplaying Good (3/3)


ROLE PLAYING IN DEBATE IS ESSENTIAL TO BREAK DOWN
ASSUMPTIONS, DEVELOP CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS, AND
DECONSTRUCT THE STATE
Joyner,

Professor International Law @ Georgetwon, 99 (Christopher


TEACHING INTERNATIONAL LAW: VIEWS FROM AN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
POLITICAL SCIENTIST ILSA Journal of International & Comparative Law, Spring, 5
ILSA J Int'l & Comp L 377)

Use of the debate can be an effective pedagogical tool for education

in the social sciences. Debates, like other role-playing simulations, help


students understand different perspectives on a policy issue by
adopting a perspective as their own. But, unlike other simulation
games, debates do not require that a student participate directly in
order to realize the benefit of the game. Instead of developing policy
alternatives and experiencing the consequences of different choices in
a traditional role-playing game, debates present the alternatives and
consequences in a formal, rhetorical fashion before a judgmental
audience. Having the class audience serve as jury helps each student develop
a well-thought-out opinion on the issue by providing contrasting facts and views
and enabling audience members to pose challenges to each debating team.
These debates ask undergraduate students to examine the international
legal implications of various United States foreign policy actions. Their
chief tasks are to assess the aims of the policy in question, determine their
relevance to United States national interests, ascertain what legal principles are
involved, and conclude how the United States policy in question squares with
relevant principles of international law. Debate questions are formulated as
resolutions, along the lines of: "Resolved: The United States should deny mostfavored-nation status to China on human rights grounds;" or "Resolved: The
United States should resort to military force to ensure inspection of Iraq's
possible nuclear, chemical and biological weapons facilities;" or "Resolved: The
United States' invasion of Grenada in 1983 was a lawful use of force;" or
"Resolved: The United States should kill Saddam Hussein." In addressing both
sides of these legal propositions, the student debaters must consult the
vast literature of international law, especially the nearly 100 professional lawschool-sponsored international law journals now being published in the United
States. This literature furnishes an incredibly rich body of legal analysis that
often treats topics affecting United States foreign policy, as well as other more
esoteric international legal subjects. Although most of these journals are
accessible in good law schools, they are largely unknown to the political science
community specializing in international relations, much less to the average
undergraduate. [*386]
By assessing the role of international law in United States foreign policymaking, students realize that United States actions do not always
measure up to international legal expectations; that at times,
international legal strictures get compromised for the sake of
perceived national interests, and that concepts and principles of
international law, like domestic law, can be interpreted and twisted in
order to justify United States policy in various international
circumstances. In this way, the debate format gives students the
benefits ascribed to simulations and other action learning techniques,
in that it makes them become actively engaged with their subjects, and
not be mere passive consumers. Rather than spectators, students
become legal advocates, observing, reacting to, and structuring
political and legal perceptions to fit the merits of their case.
The debate exercises carry several specific educational objectives.
First, students on each team must work together to refine a cogent

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Kritik Answers
argument that compellingly asserts their legal position on a foreign
policy issue confronting the United States. In this way, they gain
greater insight into the real-world legal dilemmas faced by policy
makers. Second, as they work with other members of their team, they
realize the complexities of applying and implementing international
law, and the difficulty of bridging the gaps between United States
policy and international legal principles, either by reworking the former
or creatively reinterpreting the latter. Finally, research for the debates
forces students to become familiarized with contemporary issues on
the United States foreign policy agenda and the role that international
law plays in formulating and executing these policies. 8 The debate thus
becomes an excellent vehicle for pushing students beyond stale
arguments over principles into the real world of policy analysis,
political critique, and legal defense.

37

Kritik Answers

Traditional Debate Good (1/2)


SWITCH-SIDE PLAN-FOCUSED DEBATE ENSURES EVERY
COMPETITOR MUST EVALUATE BOTH SIDES OF POTENTIAL
POLICIES. THEY ENCOURAGE DEBATES WITHOUT CLASH.
THIS UNCRITICAL FORM OF DEBATE ELIMINATES OUR
CAPACITY TO ENGAGE IN SOCRATIC QUESTIONING, THE
ONLY FIREWALL AGAINST GENOCIDE
Villa, Laurance S. Rockefeller Fellow at the University Center for Human Values,
Princeton University, Political Theory, April 1998 v26 n2 p147(26)
Dana R.

Arendt sees the categorical imperative as an absolute in the Platonic/authoritarian sense, standing above men and the realm of human affairs,
measuring them without any concern for context, specificity, or the "fundamental relativity" of the "interhuman realm."(30) Arendt emphasizes

The more judgment


is identified with the application of a rule or an unvarying standard, the more our
powers of judgment atrophy, and the less we are able to "stop and think" in the
Socratic sense. Moreover, the insistence that judgment is dependent on such standards leads to a "crisis in judgment" when these
this inheritance of Platonism because she sees it as inculcating a habit of mechanical, unthinking judgment.

standards are revealed to be without effective power. This, according to Arendt, is what happens in the course of the modern age, as new and

.
This process--call it the crisis in authority or, to use Nietzsche's symbolic formulation, the "death of God" --comes to its
conclusion with the advent of the evils of totalitarianism, evils so unprecedented
that they "have clearly exploded our categories of political thought and our standards
for moral judgment."(31) The failure of the inherited wisdom of the past, the fact of a radical break in our tradition, throws us
unprecedented moral and political phenomena reveal the hollowness and inadequacy of the "reliable universal rules" the tradition had offered

back upon our own resources. Potentially, Arendt notes, the crisis is liberating, as it frees the faculty of judgment from its subservience to
objectivist regimes such as Plato's ideas or Kant's categorical imperative. As Arendt puts it in "Understanding and Politics": Even though we have
lost yardsticks by which to measure, and rules under which to subsume the particular, a being whose essence is beginning may have enough of
origin within himself to understand without preconceived categories and to judge without the set of customary rules which is morality.(32) The
hope that the "crisis in authority" will lead to the rebirth of a genuinely autonomous faculty of judgment runs up against Arendt's own deeply

Minus the
presence of Socrates (who, like an electric ray, paralyzes his partners in
dialogue, forcing them to stop and think), the likely result of such a crisis is
thankfulness for anything that props up the old set of standards or provides the semblance of
ingrained sense that ordinary individuals will find it difficult indeed to wean themselves from pregiven categories and rules.

a new one. Responding to Hans Jonas's call for a renewed inquiry into ultimate, metaphysical grounds for judgment at a conference on her work
in 1972, Arendt declared her pessimism that "a new god will appear," and went on to observe: If you go through such a situation [as
totalitarianism] the first thing you know is the following: you never know how somebody will act. You have the surprise of your life! This goes
throughout all layers of society, and it goes throughout various distinctions between men. And if you want to make a generalization, then you
could say that those who were still very firmly convinced of the so-called old values were the first to be ready to change their old values for a new
set of values, provided they were given one. And I am afraid of this, because I think that the moment you give anybody a new set of values--or
this famous "bannister"--you can immediately exchange it. And the only thing the guy gets used to is having a "bannister" and a set of values, no
matter.(33) Arendt thought that the natural tendency of the ordinary person, when faced with the destruction of one set of authoritative rules,
would not be Socratic examination and perplexity (which only further dissolves the customary), but rather a grasping for a new code, a new
"bannister." Thinking, especially

Socratic thinking, dissolves grounds, it does not stabilize

them.

It is, as Arendt says, a "dangerous and resultless enterprise," one that can just as easily lead to cynicism and nihilism as to
independent judgment and a deepened moral integrity.(34) Arendt agrees with the analysis Kant gives in "What Is Enlightenment?": most people
would simply prefer not to make the effort that independent judgment demands, let alone risk the taken-for-granted moral presuppositions of

, Arendt holds onto the Socratic


possibility that ordinary individuals will remain open to the "winds of thought." She
profoundly agrees with Socrates that it is only through such examination that the individual is
likely to avoid complicity with the moral horrors perpetrated by popular political
regimes. Socratic thinking--which, in its relentless negativity, is the very opposite of all foundational or professional
philosophical thinking--liberates the faculty of judgment from the tyranny of rules and
custom. In this way, it prevents the individual from being "swept away unthinkingly by what everybody else does and believes in."(35)
their existence. Yet however real this aversion to thinking or "paralysis" is

Independent judgment is, according to Arendt, the "by-product" of this liberating effect of thinking; it "realizes" thinking "in the world of

) Thinking may not be able to "make friends" of citizens as Socrates had hoped, but it
can "prevent catastrophes, at least for myself, in the rare moments when the chips are down."(37)
appearances."(36

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Kritik Answers

Traditional Debate Good (2/2)


TRADITIONAL DEBATE IS RE-PRESENTATION. WE DONT
CLAIM TO SPEAK A HIGHER TRUTH OR KNOW WHAT IS
BEST FOR OTHERS. WE DEBATE THOSE ISSUES
CONTINGENTLY. THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO SAY THAT DEBATE
SHOULD BE PURELY REPRESENTATIVE ARE THE
ACTIVISM/CRITIQUE CROWD.
Ann Marie
3/23/01

Baldonado, Fall 1996 http://www.emory.edu/ENGLISH/Bahri/Representation.html, accessed


1. Presence, bearing, air; Appearance; impression on the sight. 2. An Image,
likeness, or reproduction in some manner of a thing; A material image or figure;
a reproduction in some material or tangible form; in later use, a drawing or
painting. (of a person or thing); The action or fact of exhibiting in some visible
image or form; The fact of expressing or denoting by means of a figure or
symbol; symbolic action or exhibition. 3. The exhibition of character and action
upon the stage; the performance of a play; Acting, simulation, pretense. 4. The
action of placing a fact, etc., before another or others by means of discourse; a
statement or account, esp. one intended to convey a particular view or
impression of a matter in order to influence opinion or action. 5. A formal and
serious statement of facts, reasons, or arguments, made with a view to effecting
some change, preventing some action, etc.; hence, a remonstrance, protest,
expostulation. 6. The action of presenting to the mind or imagination; an image
thus presented; a clearly conceived idea or concept; The operation of the mind
in forming a clear image or concept; the faculty of doing this. 7. The fact of
standing for, or in place of, some other thing or person, esp. with a right or
authority to act on their account; substitution of one thing or person for another.
8. The fact of representing or being represented in a legislative or deliberative
assembly, spec. in Parliament; the position, principle, or system implied by this;
The aggregate of those who thus represent the elective body.
from The Oxford English Dictionary
Representation is presently a much debated topic not only in postcolonial
studies and academia, but in the larger cultural milieu. As the above dictionary
entry shows, the actual definitions for the word alone are cause for some
confusion. The Oxford English Dictionary defines representation primarily as
"presence" or "appearance." There is an implied visual component to these
primary definitions. Representations can be clear images, material
reproductions, performances and simulations. Representation can also be
defined as the act of placing or stating facts in order to influence or affect the
action of others. Of course, the word also has political connotations. Politicians
are thought to 'represent' a constituency. They are thought to have the right to
stand in the place of another. So above all, the term representation has a
semiotic meaning, in that something is 'standing for' something else. These
various yet related definitions are all implicated in the public debates about
representation. Theorists interested in Postcolonial studies, by closely examining various
forms of representations, visual, textual and otherwise, have teased out the different ways
that these "images" are implicated in power inequalities and the subordination of the
'subaltern'.
Representations-- these 'likenesses'--come in various forms: films, television, photographs,
paintings, advertisements and other forms of popular culture. Written materials--academic
texts, novels and other literature, journalistic pieces--are also important forms of
representation. These representations, to different degrees, are thought to be somewhat
realistic, or to go back to the definitions, they are thought be 'clear' or state 'a fact'. Yet
how can simulations or "impressions on the sight" be completely true? Edward Said, in his
analysis of textual representations of the Orient in Orientalism, emphasizes the fact that
representations can never be exactly realistic:

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Kritik Answers
In any instance of at least written language, there is no such thing as a delivered presence,
but a re-presence, or a representation. The value, efficacy, strength, apparent veracity of a
written statement about the Orient therefore relies very little, and cannot instrumentally
depend, on the Orient as such. On the contrary, the written statement is a presence to the
reader by virtue of its having excluded, displaced, made supererogatory any such real
thing as "the Orient". (21)
Representations, then can never really be 'natural' depictions of the orient. Instead, they
are constructed images, images that need to be interrogated for their ideological content.

In a similar way, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak makes a distinction between


Vertretung and Darstellung. The former she defines as "stepping in someone's
place. . .to tread in someone's shoes." Representation in this sense is "political
representation," or a speaking for the needs and desires of somebody or
something. Darstellung is representation as re-presentation, "placing there."
Representing is thus "proxy and portrait," according to Spivak. The complicity
between "speaking for" and "portraying" must be kept in mind ("Practical Politics
of the Open End," The Post-Colonial Critic: Interviews, Strategies, Dialogues.)

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Kritik Answers

Traditional Debate Accesses


Peformativity
TRADITIONAL DEBATE COOPTS THEIR PERFORMANCE
GOOD OFFENSE. IT INCORPORATES STYLE WITHOUT
ELIMINATING SUBSTANCE
Jeff

Parcher, February 26, 2001, www.ndtceda.com

BTW - my notions do not eliminate the notion of performance - they merely


contextualize them within a discussion that can be limited and fair. It merely
requires the performance be relevant by a reasonable criteria (ie the resolution).
Also, debates have speaker points. It seems fairly obvious to me that the debate
ballot is a clear dichotomy. One affirms or negates the resolution/plan and then
gives speaker points to reward or punish performance. Obviously, I realize that
performance impacts truth. But that's only a reason why a focus on the
resolutional question coopts the performative criteria. Of course a good
performance gets rewared in both points and in the decision itself. That's why we
don't need to make it JUST about performance. We already take the perfromance
into account inevitably. Mixing it further simply makes us drift aimlessly.

PLAN FOCUSED DEBATES ALWAYS PROVIDE A CLEARER,


FAIRER, AND MORE EDUCATION FRAMEWORK
Jeff

Parcher, February 26, 2001, www.ndtceda.com

This is absolutely devastating to the performance arguments. And even if we


could hodge-podge together some inevtiably subjective criteria in each
individual debate, they simply could never match the benefits of debate
provided by a clear plan/resolution focus. Performance debates would be
incredibly repetitive in that they would always be 90% about methodolgy rather
than the substance of performances. Because the limits to possible
performances are so large - both sides would always have an incentive to focus
on methodology rather than substance. The affirmative will be on an endless
search to coopt the negative performance (in the words of the Fort, "We are in
solidarity with these words"). The negative on an endless search to exclude the
affirmative performance through topicality or general kritiks. Rarely do I think we
would ever have debates which engaged the two performances. The current
puryeyors of this type of debate have certainly relied much more on
competitiveness arguments than on actual substantive engagement (as far as
I've seen anyway).

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Kritik Answers

Competition Good
COMPETITION IS IS NECESSARY FOR SOCIAL
ORGANIZATION
Olson and Jean- Franois Lyotard, Resisting a Discourse of
Mastery: A Conversation with Jean-Franois Lyotard, JAC 15.3, 1995,
Gary

http://jac.gsu.edu/jac/15.3/Articles/1.htm, accessed 1/21/02


Second, competition is not competition between different groups in a cultural
reality. Not at all. The notion of competition as a male model is a notion I
reject, maybe because I am a male, but, in fact, because there is not any other
way to understand the domination of the competitive pattern in our society. I
mean, this system has competed against all other systems, all the other ways of
organizing human communities. And we can consider human history not as a
linear succession with a sort of causality between each segment of this line, but
as the opposite, as the contingent and different ways in which human
communities have tried to organizeexactly in the same terms that so-called
life has fortuitously produced different forms of living beings. And between these
different entitiesanimals, vegetables, human beings, or human communities
competition was necessarily open. They are all open systems; they need to
grasp energy from outside in order to maintain themselves, and if they have to
grasp energy from outside, they are competitive with other systems. Thats true
for animals, even vegetables, and for human communities. And thats how our
system, now, won against other ways that communities have tried to organize
themselves, and it has internalized competition itself in order to continue to be
able to grasp outside and inside energies as much as possible. Its not a male
idea; there is no argument against it. There is no doubt: its not a male idea. And
Im sure women are perfectly able to understand this, even if they hate it; so do
I. But we are in this condition.

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Kritik Answers

**Permutations**
Juxtaposition Perm: 2AC
PERM DO BOTH, CRITICISM WITHOUT OPPOSITION
CAUSES COOPERTATION, ONLY JUXTAPOSITION ALLOWS
CONSTANT CRITICISM
Edelman 87

[Prof. Pol Sci @ Wisconsin, September, U. of Minn, Constructing the Political


Spectacle]
Opposition in expressed opinion accordingly make for social stability:
they are almost synonymous with it, for they reaffirm and reify what
everyone already knows and accepts. To express a prochoice or an antiabortion position is to affirm that the opposite position is being
expressed as well and to accept the opposition as a continuing feature of
public discourse. The well established, thoroughly anticipated and
therefore ritualistic reaffirmation of the differences institutionalizes
mboth rhetorics minimizing the chance of major shifts and leaving the
regime wide discretion; for there will be anticipated support and
opposition no matter what forms of action or inaction occur. As long as
there is substantial expression of opinion on both sides of an issue,
social stability persists and so does regime discretion regardless of the
exact numbers or of marginal shifts in members. The persistence of
unresolved problems with conflicting meaning is vital. It is not the
expression of opposition but of consensus that makes for instability.
Wher statements need not be defended against counterstatements they
are readily changed or inverted. Consensual agreements about the
foreign enemy of ally yield readily to acceptance of the erstwhile enemy
as ally and the former ally as enemy, but opinions about abortion are
likely to persist. Rebellion and revolution do not ferment in societies in
which there has been a long history of the ritualized exchange of
opposing views of issues accepted as important, but rather where such
exchanges have been lacking, so that a consensus on common action to
oust the regime is easily built.

43

Kritik Answers

Juxtaposition Perm: 1AR


EXTEND THE 2AC EDELMAN EVIDENCE. PURE CRITIQUE
FAILS BECAUSE IT FLIPS THE BINARISM, NOT ENGAGING
THE DISCOURSE IT CRITICIZED, CREATING A NEW
MONOLITHIC HEGEMONY. ONLY THE PERM THAT
COMBINES THE 1AC AND THE CRITICISM CREATES
CONSTANT CRITICISM, USING THE AFF AS A TARGET,
SOLVING BETTER THAN THE ALTERNATIVE
ALSO, ALL OF THEIR PERM THEORY AND LINK ARGUMENTS
DONT APPLY BECAUSE THE PERM COMBINES THE WHOLE
1AC AND THE CRITICISM, USING THAT CONTRADICTION TO
CONSIDER BOTH SIDES, IMPACT TURNING THEIR
ARGUMENT
ALSO, COMBINING THE AFF AND THE K SOLVES BETTER
Said 94
[Edward W., Representations of the Intellectual: The 1993 Reich Lectures,
Vintage, 1994, 60]
Because the exile sees things both in terms of what has been left behind
and what is actual hear and now, there is a double perspective that
never sees things in isoaltion. Every scene or situation in the new
country necessarily draws on its counterpart in the old country.
Intellectually, this means that an idea or expreience is always
counterposed with another, therefore, making them both appear in a
sometimes new and unpredictable light: from that justaposition, one
gets a better, perhaps more universal idea of how to think say, about a
human rights issue in one situation by comparison with another. I have
felt that most of the alarmist and deeply flawed discussions of Islamic
fundamentalism in the West have been intellectually invidious precisely
because they have not been compared with Jewish or Christian
fundamentalism, both equally prevalent and reprehensible in my own
experience of the Middle East. What is usually thought of as a simple
issue of judgment against an approved enemy, in double or exile
perspective impels a Western intellectual to see a much wider picture,
with the requirement now of taking a position as a secularist (or not) on
all theocratic tendencies, not just against the conventionally designated
ones.

ALSO, PURE CRITICISM FAILS, ONLY COMBINATION OF


CONTRADICTORY IDEAS SOLVES
Walt 98
[Stephen M., Prof. Pol. Sci, U. of Chicago, International Relations: one world,
many theories, Foreign Policy, March 22, LN]
No single approach can capture all the complexity of contemporary
world politics. Therefore, we are better off with a diverse array of
competing ideas rather than a single theoretical orthodoxy. Competition
between theories helps reveal their strengths and weaknesses and spurs

44

Kritik Answers
subsequent refinements, while revealing flaws in conventional wisdom.
Although we should take care to emphasize inventiveness over
invective, we should welcome and encourage the heterogeneity of
contemporary scholarship.

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Kritik Answers

Juxtapositon Perm: 2AR


THE EDELMAN PERMUTATION IS THE ONLY ADVOCACY
WHICH PROVIDES FOR CONSTANT CRITICISM.
JUXTAPOSITION TAKES THE WHOLE AFFIRMATIVE SPEECH
ACT AND THE WHOLE NEGATIVE CRITICISM AND ALLOWS
YOU TO VOTE FOR THE PROCESS OF CONSTANT
CRITICISM. IT USES THE PLAN TO UPHOLD THE SYSTEM AS
A TARGET FOR THE NEG CRITICISM. WITHOUT THAT, THE
CRITICISM BECOMES INVERTED, EMBODYING ITS OWN
OPPOSITE.
ALSO, NONE OF THEIR SPECIFIC EVIDENCE APPLIES. ITS
AN IN-ROUND PERMUTATION ABOUT OUR SPEECDH ACTS
AND THE BEST WAY TO MAINTAIN THE INTEGRITY OF
CRITICISM

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Kritik Answers

Juxtaposition Perm: Ext


AND, JUXTAPOSING THE AFF AND THE ALTERNATIVE
CREATES EFFECTIVE, CONSTANT CRITICISM, OVERCOMING
THE HEGEMONY OF CRITIQUE
Connolly 2002
[William E., Prof. of Pol. Sci. @ John Hopkins U., Identity/Difference: Democratic
Negotiations of Political Paradox, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press,
September 2002, 180-1]
Another way to pose the paradox is this: The human animal is essentially
incomplete without social form and a common language, institutional
setting, set of political traditions, and political forum for inunciating
public purposes are indispensible to the acquisition of an identity and
the commonalities essential to life. But every form of social completion
and enablement also contains subjugations and cruelties within it.
Politics, then, is the medium through which these ambiguities can be
engaged and confronted, shifted and stretched. It is simultaneously a
medum through which common purposes are crystalized and the
consummage means by which their transcription into musical harmonies
is exposed, contested, disturbed, and unsettled. A society that enables
politics as this ambiguous medium is a good society because it enables
the paradox of difference to find expression in public life

AND, JUXTAPOSITION OF INCOMPATIBLE IDEAS AVOIDS


THE PROBLEMS OF TRADITIONAL THEORY AND ENABLES A
PROCESS OF CONSTANT CRITICISM
Marcus '98
[George E., Professor of Anthro at Rice University, Ethnography through
Thick and Thin, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1998, 1867//uwyo-ajl]
The postmodern notions of heterotopia (Foucault), juxtapositions, and
the blocking together of incommensurables (Lyotard) have served to
renew the long-neglected practice of comparison in anthropology, but in
altered ways. Juxtapositions do not have the obvious meta-logic of older
styles of comparison in anthropology (e.g., controlled comparisons within
a cultural area or "natural" geographical region); rather, they emerge
from putting questions to an emergent object of study whose controus
are not known beforehand, but are themselves a contribution of making
an account which has different, complexly connected real-world sites of
investigation. The postmodern object of study is ultimately mobile and
multiply situated, so any ethnography of such an object will have a
comparative dimension that is integral to it, in the form of juxtapositions
of seeming incommensurables or phenomena that might conventionally
have appeared to be "world apart." Comparison reenters the very act of
ethnographic specificity by a postmodern vision of seemingly improbably
juxtapositions, the global collapsed into and made and integral part of a
parallel, related local situations rather than something monolithic and
external to them. This move toward comparison as heterotopia firmly
deterritorializes culture in ethnographic writing and simulates accounts
of cultures composed in a landscape for which there is as yet no
developed theoretical comparison

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Campbell Perm: 2AC


PERM DO THE PLAN WHILE ENDORSING THE CRITICISM
EXIGENCIES DEMAND ACTION EVEN IN THE FACE OF
CRITICISM
Campbell 98
[David, Intl Relations Prof @ UM, National Deconstruction: Violence, Identity,
and Justice in Bosnia, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1998, 186]
The undecidable within the decision does not, however, prevent the decision nor
avoid its urgency. As Derrida observes, a just decision is always required
immediately, right away. This necessary haste has unavoidable consequences
because the pursuit of infinite information and the unlimited knowledge of
conditions, rules or hypothetical imperatives that could justify it are unavailable
in the crush of time. Nor can the crush of time be avoided, even by unlimited
time, because the moment of decision as such always remains a finite moment
of urgency and precipitation. The decision is always structurally finite, it
aalways marks the interruption of the juridico- or ethico- or politico-cognitive
deliberation that precedes it, that must precede it. That is why, invoking
Kierkegaard, Derrida, declares that the instant of decision is a madness.
The finite nature of the decision may be a madness in the way it renders
possible the impossible, the infinite character of justice, but Derrida argues for
the necessity of this madness. Most importantly, Derrida argues for the
necessity of this madness. Most importantly, although Derridas argument
concerning the decision has, to this pint, been concerned with an account of the
procedure by which a decision is possible, it is with respect to the ncessity of the
decision that Derrida begins to formulate an account of the decision that bears
upon the content of the decision. In so doing, Derridas argument addresses
more directly more directly, I would argue than is acknowledged by Critchley
the concern that for politics (at least for a progressive politics) one must provide
an account of the decision to combat domination.
That undecidability resides within the decision, Derrida argues, that justice
exceeds law and calculation, that the unpresentable exceeds the determinalbe
cannot and should not serve as alibi for staying out of juridico-political battles,
within an institution or a state, or between institutions or states and others.
Indeed, incalculable justice requires us to calculate. From where do these
insistences come? What is behind, what is animating, these imperatives? It is
both the character of infinite justice as a heteronomic relationship to the other, a
relationship that because of its undecidability multiplies responsibility, and the
fact that left to itself, the incalculable and given (donatrice) idea of justice is
always very close to the bad, even to the worst, for it can always be
reappropriated by the most perverse calculation. The necessity of calculating
the incalculable thus responds to a duty a duty that inhabits the instant of
madness and compels the decision to avoid the bad, the perverse
calculation, even the worst. This is the duty that also dwells with
deconstructive thought and makes it the starting point, the at least necessary
condition, for the organization of resistance to totalitarianism in all its forms.
And it is a duty that responds to practical political concerns when we recognize
that Derrida names the bad, the perverse, and the worst as those violences we
recognize all too well without yet having thought them through, the crimes of
xenophobia, racism, anti-Semitism, religious or nationalist fanaticism.

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Campbell Perm: 1AR


EXTEND THE 2AC CAMPBELL 98 EVIDENCE. WHEN FACED
WITH UNDECIDABLE SITUATIONS AND THE STAKES ARE AS
HIGH AS THE 1AC, YOU HAVE TO ACT IN THE FACE OF
CRITICISM OR RISK POLITICAL PARALYSIS BECAUSE EVERY
ACTION SEEMS DOOMED, ALLOWING OPPRESSION AND
VIOLENCE TO REIGN UNCHECKED

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Strategic Essentialism Perm: 2AC


PERMUTATION: THE PLAN IS A STRATEGIC ESSENTIALISM
THAT CREATES SPACE FOR ACTIVIST POLITICS
(THE CRITIQUE IS A FALSE CHOICE THAT IMPEDES
ACTIVISM.)
Sankaran

Krishna, Professor, Political Science, University of Hawaii, Alternatives v. 18,

1993, p. 400-401.
The dichotomous choice presented in this excerpt is straightforward: one either
indulges in total critique, delegitimizing all sovereign truths, or one is committed
to nostalgic, essentialist unities that have become obsolete and have been the
grounds for all our oppressions. In offering this dichotomous choice, Der Derian
replicates a move made by Chaloupka in his equally dismissive critique of the
move mainstream nuclear opposition, the Nuclear Freeze movement of the early
1980s, that, according to him, was operating along obsolete lines, emphasizing
facts and realities, while a postmodern President Reagan easily outflanked
them through an illusory Star Wars program (See KN: chapter 4) Chaloupka
centers this difference between his own supposedly total critique of all sovereign
truths (which he describes as nuclear criticism in an echo of literary criticism)
and the more partial (and issue based) criticism of what he calls nuclear
opposition or antinuclearists at the very outset of his book. (Kn: xvi) Once
again, the unhappy choice forced upon the reader is to join Chaloupka in his
total critique of all sovereign truths or be trapped in obsolete essentialisms. This
leads to a disastrous politics, pitting groups that have the most in common (and
need to unite on some basis to be effective) against each other. Both Chaloupka
and Der Derian thus reserve their most trenchant critique for political groups
that should, in any analysis, be regarded as the closest to them in terms of an
oppositional politics and their desired futures. Instead of finding ways to live with
these differences and to (if fleetingly) coalesce against the New Right, this
fratricidal critique is politically suicidal. It obliterates the space for a political
activism based on provisional and contingent coalitions, for uniting behind a
common cause even as one recognizes that the coalition is comprised of groups
that have very differing (and possibly unresolvable) views of reality. Moreover, it
fails to consider the possibility that there may have been other, more compelling
reasons for the failure of the Nuclear Freeze movement or anti-Gulf War
movement. Like many a worthwhile cause in our times, they failed to garner
sufficient support to influence state policy. The response to that need not be a
totalizing critique that delegitimizes all narratives. The blackmail inherent in the
choice offered by Der Derian and Chaloupka, between total critique and
ineffective partial critique, ought to be transparent. Among other things, it
effectively militates against the construction of provisional or strategic
essentialisms in our attempts to create space for activist politics. In the next
section, I focus more widely on the genre of critical international theory and its
impact on such an activist politics.

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Strategic Essentialism Perm: 1AR


NEXT, EXTEND THE KRISHNA PERM. THE NEGS WITH US
OR AGAINST US MENTALITY FRACTURES EFFECTIVE
SOCIAL ACTION INSTEAD OF FOCUSING ON
DIFFERENCES. WE SHOULD HIGHLIGHT OUR
AGREEMENTS. THIS HAS 2 IMPLICATIONS:
IT FLIPS THE K SOLVENCY BECAUSE IT ENTRENCHING AN
ALIENATING PRAXIS
IT PROVES THAT ONLY THE PERM, WHICH RECOGNIZES
THE VALUE OF BOTH ADVOCACIES, CAN LEAD TO
EFFECTIVE POLITICAL ACTION DICHOTOMOUS CHOICE
COLLAPSES PRAXIS

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Kritik Answers

Bleiker Perm: 2AC


VIEWING TWO COMPETING IDEOLOGIES TOGETHER AND
CREATING CONTRADICTIONS ALLOWS THE IDEOLOGIES TO
COEXIST, OPENING MORE AVENUES FOR POLITICAL
THOUGHT
Bleiker 97
[Roland, PhD Cand @ Australian National U. of Political Sci, Alternatives 22, 5785//uwyo]
No concept will ever be sufficient, will ever do justice to the object it is trying to capture. The objective then becomes to conceptualize thoughts
so that they do not silence other voices, but coexist and interact with them. Various authors have suggested methods for this purpose, methods

Bakhtins dialogism, a theory


accepts the
existence of multiple meanings, draws connections between differences, and searches
for possibilities to establish conceptual and linguistic dialogues among competing ideas, values, speech forms, texts, and
that will always remain attempts without ever reaching the ideal state that they aspire to. We know of Mikhail

of knowledge and language that tries to avoid the excluding tendencies of monological thought forms. Instead, he

validity claims, and the like. Jurgen Habermas attempts to theorize the preconditions for ideal speech situations. Communication, in this case,
should be as unrestrained as possible, such that claims to truth and rightness can be discursively redeemed, albeit, one should add, though a
rationalism and universalism that it violently anti-Bakhtinian and anti-Adornian. Closer to the familiar terrain of IR we find Christine Sylvesters

empathetic cooperation, which aims at opening up questions of gender


by a process of positional slippage that occurs when one listens seriously to the
concerns, fears, and agendas of those one is unaccustomed to heeding when building
social theory. But how does one conceptualize such attempts if concepts can ever do justice to the objects they are trying to capture?
feminist method of

The daring task is, as we know from Adorno, to open with concepts what does not fit into concepts, to resist the distorting power of reification and
return the conceptual to the nonconceptual. This disenchantment of the concept is the antidote of critical philosophy. It impedes the concept from
developing its own dynamics and from becoming an absolute in itself. The first step toward disenchanting the concept is simply refusing to define
it monologically. Concepts should achieve meaning only gradually in relation to each other. Adorno even intentionally uses the same concept in
different way in order to liberate it from the harrow definition that language itself had already imposed on it. That contradictions could arise out

.
One cannot eliminate the contradictory, the fragmentary, and the discontinuous.
Contradictions are only contradictions if one assumes the existence of a prior
universal standard of reference. What is different appears as divergent, dissonant, and
negative only as long as our consciousness strives for a totalizing standpoint, which
we must avoid if we are to escape the reifying and excluding dangers of identity
thinking. Just as reality is fragmented, we need to think in fragments. Unity then is not to be found be evening
out discontinuities. Contradictions are to be referred over artificially constructed
meanings and the silencing of underlying conflicts. Thus, Adorno advocates writing in fragments, such
of this practice does not bother Adorno. Indeed, he considers them essential

that the resulting text appears as if it always could be interrupted, cut off abruptly, any time, and place. He adheres to Nietzsches advice that
one should approach deep problems like taking a cold bath, quickly into them and quickly out again. The belief that one does not reach deep
enough this way, he claims, is simply the superstition of those who fear cold water. But Nietzsches bath has already catapulted us into the vortex
of the next linguistic terrain of resistance the question of style.

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Perm Solves: Coalitions Key


THE OPPRESSED SHOULD WELCOME THOSE FROM THE DOMINANT GROUP
COMMITTED TO FIGHTING AGAINST OPPRESSION

Khan, Professor, Law, Washburn University. Lessons From Malcolm X: Freedom by Any
Means Necessary, HOWARD LAW JOURNAL v. 38 1994.
Ali

Yet, no concept of freedom requires that every member of the dominant group
be dehumanized. Such dehumanization is unnecessary, even counterproductive, in the fight against oppression. The oppressed should welcome those
among the dominant group who gather the moral courage to rebel against their
own kind and fight for the sake of justice. n60 [*95]

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Perm Solves: Hybridization Effective


THE PERM FUNCTIONS AS A NEGOTIATION BETWEEN THE
POLITICS OF THE 1AC AND THE ALTERNATIVE, ALLOWING
FOR MORE EFFECTIVE POLITICAL CHANGE THAN EITHER
THE ONE OR THE OTHER.
Homi K.

Bhabha, Professor, University of Sussex, THE LOCATION OF CULTURE, 1994, p.

28.
My illustration attempts to display the importance of the hybrid moment of
political change. Here the transformational value of change lies in the
rearticulation, or translation, of elements that are neither the One (unitary
working class) nor the Other (the politics of gender) but something else besides,
which contests the terms, and territories of both. There is a negotiation between
gender and class, where each formation encounters the displaced, differentiated
boundaries of its group representation and enunciative sites in which the limits
and limitations of social power are encountered in an agonistic relation. When it
is suggested that the British Labour Party should seek to produce a socialist
alliance among progressive forces that are widely dispersed and distributed
across a range of class, culture and occupational forces - without a unifying
sense of the class for itself - the kind of hybridity that I have attempted to
identify is being acknowledged as a historical necessity. We need a little less
pietistic articulation of political principle (around class and nation); a little more
of the principle of political negotiation.

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Kritik Answers

Perm Solves: Multifaceted


Resistance Best
THE PERM SOLVES BEST A MULTIFACETED APPROACH TO COMBATING
OPPRESSION IS KEY

Khan, Professor, Law, Washburn University. Lessons From Malcolm X: Freedom by Any
Means Necessary, HOWARD LAW JOURNAL v. 38 1994.
Ali

It must be noted that Malcolm's concept of any means necessary includes, but is
not limited to non-violent civil disobedience. n29 If non-violent civil disobedience
does not change the system, then any means necessary allows the oppressed to
consider armed resistance. The oppressed may use multiple strategies. One
group among the oppressed, for example, may use non-violent means to fight
oppression; another may advocate more radical methods to change the system.
This multi-faceted approach creates more pressure on the oppressor to lift
oppression. In order for such a movement to be effective, however, the
oppressor must believe that those who are involved are serious about [*87]
their cause. Those who are oppressed must be willing to sacrifice their lives to
abolish the state of subjugation. n30 It is also important that the oppressed
maintain their underlying solidarity because it is inevitable that they will
encounter efforts to divide them and turn them against each other.

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Perm Solves: Radicalism Dooms the


Movement
THEY WONT ACHIEVE THEIR MINDSET SHIFT, AND EVEN IF THEY DO
CONCRETE POLICIES OPTIONS WILL STILL BE KEY

Lewis professor in the School of the Environment and the Center for International
Studies at Duke University. GREEN DELUSIONS, 1992 p 11-12.
Martin

Here I will argue that eco-radical political strategy, if one may call it that, is
consummately self-defeating. The theoretical and empirical rejection of green
radicalism is thus bolstered by a series of purely pragmatic objections. Many
eco-radicals hope that a massive ideological campaign can transform popular
perceptions, leading both to a fundamental change in lifestyles and to largescale social reconstruction. Such a view is highly credulous. The notion that
continued intellectual hectoring will eventually result in a mass conversion to
environmental monasticism (Roszak 1979:289)marked by vows of poverty and
nonprocreationis difficult to accept. While radical views have come to
dominate many environmental circles, their effect on the populace at large has
been minimal. Despite the greening of European politics that recently gave
stalwarts considerable hope, the more recent green plunge suggests that even
the European electorate lacks commitment to environmental radicalism. In the
United States several decades of preaching the same ecoradical gospel have
had little appreciable effect; the public remains, as before, wedded to consumer
culture and creature comforts. The stubborn hope that nonetheless continues to
inform green extremism stems from a pervasive philosophical error in radical
environmentalism. As David Pepper (1989) shows, most eco-radical thought is
mired in idealism: in this case the belief that the roots of the ecological crisis lie
ultimately in ideas about nature and humanity As Dobson (1990:37) puts it:
Central to the theoretical canon of Green politics is the belief that our social,
political, and economic problems are substantially caused by our intellectual
relationship with the world (see also Milbrath 1989:338). If only such ideas
would change, many aver, all would be well. Such a belief has inspired the
writing of eloquent jeremiads; it is less conducive to designing concrete
strategies for effective social and economic change. It is certainly not my belief
that ideas are insignificant or that attempting to change others opinions is a
futile endeavor. If that were true I would hardly feel compelled to write a polemic
work of this kind. But I am also convinced that changing ideas alone is
insufficient. Widespread ideological conversion, even if it were to occur, would
hardly be adequate for genuine social transformation. Specific policies must still
be formulated, and specific political plans must be devised if those policies are
ever to be realized.

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Perm Solves: Working within


Institutions Key to Change
ONLY WORKING WITHIN THE INSTITUTIONS OF POWER
CAN CREATE CHANGE
Lawrence
p. 391-393

Grossburg, University of Illinois, WE GOTTA GET OUTTA THIS PLACE, 1992,


The Left needs institutions which can operate within the systems of governance,
understanding that such institutions are the mediating structures by which
power is actively realized. It is often by directing opposition against specific
institutions that power can be challenged. The Left has assumed from some time
now that, since it has so little access to the apparatuses of agency, its only
alternative is to seek a public voice in the media through tactical protests. The
Left does in fact need more visibility, but it also needs greater access to the
entire range of apparatuses of decision making and power. Otherwise, the Left
has nothing but its own self-righteousness. It is not individuals who have
produced starvation and the other social disgraces of our world, although it is
individuals who must take responsibility for eliminating them. But to do so, they
must act within organizations, and within the system of organizations which in
fact have the capacity (as well as the moral responsibility) to fight them. Without
such organizations, the only models of political commitment are self-interest and
charity. Charity suggests that we act on behalf of others who cannot act on their
own behalf. But we are all precariously caught in the circuits of global capitalism,
and everyones position is increasingly precarious and uncertain. It will not take
much to change the position of any individual in the United States, as the
experience of many of the homeless, the elderly and the fallen middle class
demonstrates. Nor are there any guarantees about the future of any single
nation. We can imagine ourselves involved in a politics where acting for another
is always acting for oneself as well, a politics in which everyone struggles with
the resources they have to make their lives (and the world) better, since the two
are so intimately tied together! For example, we need to think of affirmation
action as in everyones best interests, because of the possibilities it opens. We
need to think with what Axelos has described as a planetary thought which
would be a coherent thoughtbut not a rationalizing and rationalist inflection;
it would be a fragmentary thought of the open totalityfor what we can grasp
are fragments unveiled on the horizon of the totality. Such a politics will not
begin by distinguishing between the local and the global (and certainly not by
valorizing one over the other) for the ways in which the former are incorporated
into the latter preclude the luxury of such choices. Resistance is always a local
struggle, even when (as in parts of the ecology movement) it is imagined to
connect into its global structures of articulation: Think globally, act locally.
Opposition is predicated precisely on locating the points of articulation between
them, the points at which the global becomes local, and the local opens up onto
the global. Since the meaning of these terms has to be understood in the
context of any particular struggle, one is always acting both globally and locally:
Think globally, act appropriately! Fight locally because that is the scene of
action, but aim for the global because that is the scene of agency. Local
struggles directly target national and international axioms, at the precise point
of their insertion into the field of immanence. This requires the imagination and
construction of forms of unity, commonality and social agency which do not
deny differences. Without such commonality, politics is too easily reduced to a
question of individual rights (i.e., in the terms of classical utility theory);
difference ends up trumping politics, bringing it to an end. The struggle
against the disciplined mobilization of everyday life can only be built on affective
commonalities, a shared responsible yearning: a yearning out towards
something more and something better than this and this place now. The Left,

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Kritik Answers
after all, is defined by its common commitment to principles of justice, equality
and democracy (although these might conflict) in economic, political and
cultural life. It is based on the hope, perhaps even the illusion, that such things
are possible. The construction of an affective commonality attempts to mobilize
people in a common struggle, despite the fact that they have no common
identity or character, recognizing that they are the only force capable of
providing a new historical and oppositional agency. It strives to organize
minorities into a new majority.

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**Classic Turns**
Derrida Turn: 2AC
TURN CALL TO REJECT RE-INVENTS HIERARCHIES
POLITICAL ACTION IS KEY TO TRANSCEND THEIR FALSE
BINARIES
Newman 2001

[Saul, Sociology @ Macquarie University, Philosophy & Social Criticism 27: 3, pp.
4-6//uwyo]
Derrida does not simply want to invert the terms of these
binaries so that the subordinated term becomes the privileged term. He does not want to
put writing in the place of speech, for instance. Inversion in this way leaves intact the hierarchical,
authoritarian structure of the binary division. Such a strategy only re- affirms the
place of power in the very attempt to overthrow it. One could argue that Marxism fell victim to this logic
It must be made clear, however, that

by replacing the bour- geois state with the equally authoritarian workers state. This is a logic that haunts our radical political imaginary.

Revolutionary political theories have often succeeded only in reinventing power


and authority in their own image. However, Derrida also recognizes the dangers of
subversion that is, the radical strategy of overthrowing the hierarchy altogether,
rather than inverting its terms. For instance, the classical anarchists critique of Marxism went along the lines that Marxism neglected political
power in particular the power of the state for economic power, and this would mean a restoration of political power in a Marxist revolution.

Derrida
believes that subversion and inversion both culminate in the same thing the
reinvention of authority, in different guises. Thus, the anarchist critique is based on the Enlightenment idea of a
Rather, for anarchists, the state and all forms of political power must be abolished as the first revolutionary act. However,

rational and moral human essence that power denies, and yet we know from Derrida that any essential identity involves a radical exclusion or

, anarchism substituted political and economic authority for


a rational authority founded on an Enlighten- ment-humanist subjectivity. Both
radical politico-theoretical strategies then the strategy of inversion, as
exemplified by Marxism, and the strategy of subversion, as exemplified by
anarchism are two sides of the same logic of logic of place. So for Derrida:
sup- pression of other identities. Thus

What must occur then is not merely a suppression of all hierarchy, for an- archy only consolidates just as surely the established order of a
metaphys- ical hierarchy; nor is it a simple change or reversal in the terms of any given hierarchy. Rather the Umdrehung must be a
transformation of the hierar- chical structure itself.

to avoid the lure of authority one must go beyond both the anarchic
desire to destroy hierarchy, and the mere reversal of terms. Rather, as Derrida suggests, if one
wants to avoid this trap the hierar- chical structure itself must be transformed . Political action must invoke a
rethinking of revolution and authority in a way that traces a path between these
two terms, so that it does not merely reinvent the place of power . It could be argued that
In other words,

Derrida propounds an anarchism of his own, if by anarchism one means a questioning of all authority, including textual and philosophical
authority, as well as a desire to avoid the trap of reproducing authority and hierarchy in ones attempt to destroy it.
This deconstructive attempt to transform the very structure of hier- archy and authority, to go beyond the binary opposition, is also found in
Nietzsche. Nietzsche believes that one cannot merely oppose auth- ority by affirming its opposite: this is only to react to and, thus, affirm the

One must, he argues, tran- scend oppositional thinking


altogether go beyond truth and error, beyond being and becoming, beyond good and evil. For
Nietzsche it is simply a moral prejudice to privilege truth over error. However, he
does not try to counter this by privileging error over truth, because this leaves the opposition
intact. Rather, he refuses to confine his view of the world to this opposition: Indeed what
domination one is supposedly resisting.

compels us to assume that there exists any essential antithesis between true and false? Is it not enough to suppose grades of apparentness
and as it were lighter and darker shades and tones of appearance? Nietzsche displaces, rather than replaces, these oppositional and
authoritarian structures of thought he displaces place. This strategy of displacement, similarly adopted by Derrida, provides certain clues to

. Rather than reversing the terms of the


binary opposition, one should perhaps question, and try to make prob- lematic,
its very structure.
developing a non-essentialist theory of resist- ance to power and authority

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Fear of Co-optation Turn: 2AC


FEAR OF CO-OPTATION LEADS TO PASSIVE ACCEPTANCE
OF OPPRESSION THE BETTER ALTERNATIVE IS TO
ENGAGE IN POLITICS WHILE ACKNOWLEDGING THEIR
INCOMPLETION THAT VERY FAILURE SPURS MORE
RADICAL TRANSFORMATION OF THE SYSTEMS
UNCONSCIOUS COORDINATES
Zizek 2004
[Slavoj, Ocean Rain, Liberation Hurts: An Interview with Slavoj Zizek, The Electronic Book
Review, July 1, 2004, www.electronicbookreview.com/v3/servlet/ebr?
comman=view_essay&essay_id=rasmussen, Acc. 10-23-04//uwyo-ajl]

Zizek: Im trying to avoid two extremes. One extreme is the traditional


pseudo-radical position which says, If you engage in politics - helping
trade unions or combating sexual harassment, whatever - youve been
co-opted and so on. Then you have the other extreme which says, Ok,
you have to do something. I think both are wrong. I hate those pseudoradicals who dismiss every concrete action by saying that This will all
be co-opted. Of course, everything can be co-opted [chuckles] but this
is just a nice excuse to do absolutely nothing. Of course, there is a
danger that - to use the old Maoist term, popular in European student
movements thirty some years ago, the long march through institutions
will last so long that youll end up part of the institution. We need more
than ever, a parallax view - a double perspective. You engage in acts,
being aware of their limitations. This does not mean that you act with
your fingers crossed. No, you fully engage, but with the awareness that the ultimate wager in the almost Pascalian sense - is not simply that this
act will succeed, but that the very failure of this act will trigger a much
more radical process.

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Fear of Co-optation Turn: 1AR


EXTEND THE 2AC #__ ZIZEK 2004 EVIDENCE WHICH
INDICATES THAT AVOIDING CO-OPTATION CREATES
PARALYZING POLITICS THAT ENABLE OPPRESSION TO FILL
THE VOID. ONLY THE AFF POLITICS OF INCOMPLETION
SHATTERS STATUS QUO POLITICS BY UNDERMINING THE
ROOT CAUSE OF VIOLENCE
AND, FEAR OF CO-OPTATION FALLS INTO POWERLESSNESS
Pritchard 2000
[Elizabeth, Bowdoin College, Hypatia, Summer, CWI]
The third way in which a feminist reinscription of the development logic
of mobility jeopardizes women's well-being is that a fixation on
development or liberty as escaping or exiting the "closure" entailed in
various locations reinscribes a utopianism that jeopardizes the possibility
of a politics directed toward constructing an alternative and liveable
world. And here again, some postmodern theorists betray the legacy of
the Enlightenment. The dislocated mobile subjects of the Enlightenment
are "at home" in a utopianism that defers the burden of the definitions,
representations, and affiliations necessary for democratic political
action. Such burdensome tasks are seen to threaten closure--and hence
are repudiated.
Reinhart Koselleck argues that a legacy of the Enlightenment is the
persistence and pathology of utopianism (Koselleck 1988). The tradition
of Enlightenment critique arises in the context of political absolutism
that is instituted in the wake of religious wars. Setting themselves
against the constraining tendencies of absolutism, the Enlightenment
thinkers, whose field of action is a "single global world," engage in a
"ceaseless movement" of depersonalized critique within the horizon of
an "open-ended future." This produces a utopian self-conception
whereby "modern man is destined to be at home everywhere and
nowhere" (Koselleck 1988, 5). The error in this legacy of modernity,
according to Koselleck, is that an unpolitical position of utopianism is
mistaken as a political position. The Enlightenment thinkers were
unwilling to take responsibility for history by formulating concrete
policies and goals and designing and joining social and political
institutions; instead they resorted to polar positions as persons who
negate present realities and dream of a future they are powerless to
realize.

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The Fetish: 2AC


DISAVOWAL OF THE VIOLENCE OF REPRESENTATION AND
CALLS FOR INTERNAL RETHINKING RELY ON
ASSUMPTIONS OF METAPHYSICAL INNOCENCE,
FETISHIZING AN AUTHENTICITY THAT NEVER EXISTED
Bewes 97
[Timothy, doctorate in English Literature at the University of Sussex, Cynicism
and Postmodernity, New York City: Verso, 1997, 195-6//uwyo-ajl]
postmodernism has actually
become something. Its principal characteristic is the retreat from and disavowal
of the violence of representation - both political and semiotic. There are three
further aspects to this essentially ignominious cultural operation: (i) a cultivation of stupidity (what I have called
Kelvinism, or 'metaphysical innocence') as a means of circumventing the ideational
'brutality' of the political life; (ii) a recourse to the idea of an internal or
subjective 'truth of the soul' which transcends political reality, along with the
contingencies of representation. Both of these signal an attachment to a surface/
depth model of subjectivity which in each case amounts to a fetishization of
authenticity, whether by opting to 'remain' on the surface, or by retreating
'inwards'; (iii) a collapse of faith by individuals and even politicians themselves, not only in the political infrastructure but in the very'
Despite the diligence and the sterling efforts of its best theoreti-cians, then, it seems that

concept of political engagement - here it becomes apparent that Tony Blair, for example, is more 'postodern' than any theoretician.
It should be clear that

these three responses stand in an approximately analogous relationship to the archetypal forms in
in a state of anxiety, shrinks from the violence of determinate negation

which consciousness,
and 'strives to hold on to what it is in danger of losing'. 59 At various points throughout the present work I have used the terms 'decadence',

capitulation to 'things as they


are'; it may be as well here to remind ourselves of the terms in which Hegel describes these manifestations of a retreat from truth.
'irony' and 'relativism' to refer to these instances of an epistemological loss of nerve, this

Consciousness, he says, at the decisive moment in which it is required to go beyond its own limits, (i) 'wishes to remain in a state' of unthinking
inertia'; (ii) gloats over its own understanding, 'which knows how to dissolve every thought and always find the same barren Ego instead of any

Postmodernism,

content'; (iii) 'entrenches itself in sentimentality, which assures us that it finds everything to be good in its kind'. 60
an empirical social condition - by which I mean that a series of critical-theoretical strategies has attained a certain concrete form -

legitimizes these symptoms of cultural anxiety; postmodernism becomes synonymous, therefore, with
deceleration, with a sense of cultural and political conclusivity; postmodernism is the principal vehicle of what
Baudrillard calls 'the illusion of the end'.

AUTHENTICITY FETISHIZATION AND ITS FEAR OF REASON


AND VIOLENCE ALLOW US TO SPEND HOURS DEBATING
THE FINE POINTS OF BAUDRILLARIAN ETHICS WHILE GAS
CHAMBERS ARE BUILT
Bewes 97
[Timothy, doctorate in English Literature at the University of Sussex, Cynicism
and Postmodernity, New York City: Verso, 1997,146-7//uwyo-ajl]
If it is unreasonable to suppose that the Final Solution was potentiated or even
necessarily facilitated by Schmitt's theories, it is certainly the case that this
metaphysical structure of domination in the Third Reich, whereby the status of
public citizens is reduced to a level determined entirely in the 'natural' or
biological realm of necessity, is foreshadowed in his 1927 essay. In an abstract
and insidious way Schmitt introduces the idea that the 'transcendent' realm of
the political, as a matter of course, will not accommodate a people with
insufficient strength to ensure its own participation, and that such a fact is ipso
facto justification for its exclusion. 'If a people no longer possesses the energy or
the will to maintain itself in the sphere of politics, the latter will not thereby
vanish from the world. Only a weak people will disappear.'130 Schmitt's concept
of the 'political', quite simply, is nothing of the sort - is instead weighed down by
necessity, in the form of what Marshall Berman calls German-Christian interiority
- by its preoccupation with authenticity, that is to say, and true political
'identity'. Auschwitz is a corollary not of reason, understood as risk, but of the

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fear of reason, which paradoxically is a fear of violence. The stench of burning
bodies is haunted always by the sickly aroma of cheap metaphysics.

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The Fetish: 1AR


THEIR ARGUMENT THAT WE SHOULD AVOID DISCURSIVE
VIOLENCE IS SYMPTOMATIC OF ANXIETY IN THE WAKE OF
CONTEMPORARY FRAGEMENTATION. THIS FEAR OF
POLITICAL VIOLENCE ASSUMES THE EXISTENCE OF A
UTOPIAN VIOLENCE-FREE STATE OF METAPHYSICAL
INNOCENCE, IGNORING THE WAY THAT SUCH A STATE IS
FORECLOSED BY OUR ENTRY INTO THE POLITICAL,
DESTROYING ALL CRITICAL SOLVENCY. CROSS-APPLY THE
FIRST BEWES 97 EVIDENCE.
THIS MOURNING OF AUTHENTICITY IS DEPOLITICIZING. IT
NECESSITATES A TURN TOWARDS INTERNAL QUESTIONING
AND A RETREAT FROM POLITICAL ENGAGEMENT,
ALLOWING US TO FOCUS ON THE TRUTH OF OUR
INDIVIDUAL IDENTITIES WHILE WERE COMPLICIT WITH
ATROCITY, IN MUCH THE SAME WAY THAT EICHMANN
TOILED AWAY ENSURING THAT, UNDERNEATH IT ALL, HE
WAS A GOOD PERSON WHILE HE PARTICIPATED IN
GENOCIDE. THATS THE SECOND BEWES CARD
THIS PRECEDES ALL OF THEIR ARGUMENTS BECAUSE THE
RESISTANCE ADVOCATED BY THEIR ALTERNATIVE CANNOT
OCCUR WITHOUT POLITICAL ENGAGEMENT
AUTHENTICITY CAUSES THE INTELLECTUAL PARALYSIS
THAT ALLOWS ATROCITIES TO OCCUR
Bewes 97
[Timothy, doctorate in English Literature at the University of Sussex, Cynicism
and Postmodernity, New York City: Verso, 1997,154-5//uwyo-ajl]
Thus Fackenheim's encounter with the horror and the 'obscene rationality' of Auschwitz, secondly, displays an anxiety concerning the perceived
integrity of the Third Reich, which is in fact an instinctive gesture of revulsion at the extremes which it is possible for man to justify. This
revulsion, perfectly defensible in itself, is a prerequisite and an important if unacknowledged constituent of the postmodern 'critique' of

It is this question of Hitler's 'integrity', perhaps more than anything, which


leads to the intellectual paralysis characteristic of postmodernity, of which the
most typical symptom is cynicism, in its various forms. On one level, of course, Hitler's programme was thoroughly
'integrated', if by this is meant 'internally coherent'. Certainly the consistency with which both 'good' and
'bad' Jews were persecuted - and Eichmann's diligence, it emerged, was
exemplary in this regard - ensured that the Third Reich could indeed boast of a
mindless sort of integrity. It is this consistency, together with what he calls its 'cosmic scope', which for Fackenheim elevates
rationality.

Nazi ideology to the status of a Weltanschauung, deserving of 'respect, even awe' .154 In this, how ever, Fackenheim's conception of what is or is
not appropriate to the machinery of a political regime is warped, his values infected by those of the very society he is attempting (or refusing) to
analyse. Integrity, to begin with, is not a political virtue, since it is one of those characteristics (like honesty, or moral scrupulousness) which
cannot by their very nature appear intact in the public sphere.

integrity, particularly in this narrow sense of 'internal coherence' (and this is the third point), has no positive
correlation with rationality, and is in fact profoundly opposed to the processes of
reason conceived, as Gillian Rose has defined it, in terms of risk '1" as a continually hazardous
endeavour of going beyond existing limits, a spirit directed towards progress and
the future, in which the "Hegelian moment of determinate negation is actively and recursively constitutive. The violence'
Furthermore

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represented by determinate negation is in essence mobilized against integration ,
just as it is perpetrated by the 'disintegrated' figures of Rameau, Daisy Miller, or Walter Benjamin's 'destructive character' against the
philosopher) Diderot-Moi, the dullard Winterbourne, and the 'etui-man' of Benjamin's essay

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Authenticity Impossible: 1AR


1. THERE IS NO PURE RELATIONSHIP WITH ANYTHING
BECAUSE EVERY ENGAGEMENT IS TAINTED BY
MISPERCEPTION, COGNITIVE MEDIATION, AND VIOLENCE.
CROSS-APPLY THE FIRST BEWES 97 CARD
2. EVERY ACT IS ALWAYS ALREADY INAUTHENTIC BECAUSE
OF ITS MEDIATION BY SIGNFICATION AND CULTURE. ONLY
YOUR DEATH IS
AUTHENTIC
Bewes 97
[Timothy, doctorate in English Literature at the University of Sussex, Cynicism
and Postmodernity, New York City: Verso, 1997, 59//uwyo-ajl]
If the K Foundation sought by such an act to demonstrate their freedom from the
incrimination of art by capital, and thereby their own authenticity as artists, they
inevitably failed. As perhaps they realize: 'I don't think people should find out
about it,' Cauty tells Reid. 'Nobody would understand. The shock value would
spoil ,it. Because it doesn't want to be a shocking thing; it just wants to be a
fire.' Such an absence of semiosis is unthinkable and unattainable: ,how could
the incineration of one million pounds possibly refuse to signify? As Reid
observes 0 his article, 'this piece is the beginning of ithe art work. Without this
article none of it ever existed.'
Drummond and Caut are compromised from the outset, not only by money but
by art itself, by representation, by the 'passage' from idea to vehicle, from
signified to signifier - precisely because such a passage is neither linear nor free
from diversion, is in fact
",eciprocal and systemically constituted: one begins at the signifier as often as
one begins at the signified, and at every place in the system, and at no place.
The intention to demonstrate authenticity is impli-cated in the demonstration
itself. To have bothered to'destroy the money at all, even in complete privacy, is
already to determine their sabservience to it, to bow to its power. To make a
statement, 'artis-tic' or otherwise, is to concede at once to the violent demands
of signification. Absolute authenticity necessitates one's own extinc -tion; only in
death does one accede to the immaculate. The business of humanity, 'and thus
of art, is precisely one of compromise, 'inau-thenticity' and fabication. In finding
the artistic institution phoney and depraved, the K Foundation confuse ethics
with aesthetics. Their failure to bring about the end of art dictates that
Drummond and Cauty proceed logically to self-destruction; the next bonfire must
surely,be one intended for their own physical immolation.

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Kulynych Turn: 2AC


DEBATE HAS VALUE DELIBERATIVE POLITICS AND
PERFORMANCE RECAPTURE DELIBERATIVE SPACE FROM
OPPRESSIVE STRUCTURES
Kulynych 97
[Jessica, Asst. Prof. of Poli Sci @ Winthrop, Polity 30: 2, Winter//uwyo]
A performative perspective on participation enriches our understanding of deliberative democracy. This enlarged understanding can be
demonstrated by considering the examination of citizen politics in Germany presented in Carol Hager's Technological Democracy: Bureaucracy
and Citizenry in the West German Energy Debate.(86) Her work skillfully maps the precarious position of citizen groups as they enter into
problemsolving in contemporary democracies. After detailing the German citizen foray into technical debate and the subsequent creation of
energy commissions to deliberate on the long-term goals of energy policy, she concludes that a dual standard of interpretation and evaluation is
required for full understanding of the prospects for citizen participation. Where traditional understandings of participation focus on the policy
dimension and concern themselves with the citizens' success or failure to attain policy preferences, she advocates focusing as well on the
discursive, legitimation dimension of citizen action. Hager follows Habermas in reconstituting participation discursively and asserts that the
legitimation dimension offers an alternative reason for optimism about the efficacy of citizen action. In the discursive understanding of

, success is not defined in terms of getting, but rather in terms of solving


through consensus. Deliberation is thus an end in itself, and citizens have
succeeded whenever they are able to secure a realm of deliberative politics
where the aim is forging consensus among participants, rather than achieving
victory by some over others.
participation

Through the creation of numerous networks of communication and the generation of publicity, citizen action furthers democracy by assuming a
substantive role in governing and by forcing participants in the policy process to legitimate their positions politically rather than technically.
Hager maintains that a sense of political efficacy is enhanced by this politically interactive role even though citizens were only minimally
successful in influencing or controlling the outcome of the policy debate, and experienced a real lack of autonomy as they were coerced into
adopting the terms of the technical debate. She agrees with Alberto Melucci that the impact of [these] movements cannot.., be judged by normal
criteria of efficacy and success .... These groups offer a different way of perceiving and naming the world. They demonstrate that alternatives are
possible, and they expand the communicative as opposed to the bureaucratic or market realms of societal activity.(87)
Yet her analysis is incomplete. Like Habermas, Hager relies too heavily on a discursive reconstitution of political action. Though she recognized
many of the limitations of Habermas's theory discussed above, she insists on the :innovative and creative potential of citizen initiatives. She
insists that deliberative politics can resist the tendency toward authoritarianism common to even a communicative, deliberative search for
objective truth, and that legitimation debates can avoid the tendency to devolve into the technical search for the better argument. She bases her
optimism on the non-hierarchical, sometimes even chaotic and incoherent, forms of decisionmaking practiced by citizen initiatives, and on the
diversity and spontaneity of citizen groups.
Unfortunately, it is precisely these elements of citizen action that cannot be explained by a theory of communicative action. It is here that a

, the goal of
action is not only to secure a realm for deliberative politics, but to disrupt and resist the norms and
identities that structure such a realm and its participants. While Habermas theorizes that political
solutions will emerge from dialogue, a performative understanding of participation highlights the limits of
dialogue and the creative and often uncontrollable effect of unpremeditated
action on the very foundations of communication.
When we look at the success of citizen initiatives from a performative perspective, we look precisely at those moments of defiance and
disruption that bring the invisible and unimaginable into view. Although citizens were minimally successful
performative conception of political action implicitly informs Hager's discussion. From a performative perspective

in influencing or controlling the out come of the policy debate and experienced a considerable lack of autonomy in their coercion into the

, the goal-oriented debate within the energy commissions could be seen as a defiant
moment of performative politics. The existence of a goal-oriented debate within
a technically dominated arena defied the normalizing separation between expert
policymakers and consuming citizens. Citizens momentarily recreated
themselves as policymakers in a system that defined citizens out of the policy
process, thereby refusing their construction as passive clients. The disruptive
potential of the energy commissions continues to defy technical bureaucracy
even while their decisions are non-binding.
technical debate

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Kritik Answers

Kulynych Turn: 1AR


NEXT, EXTEND OUR KULYNYCH EVIDENCE:
DEBATE IS AN END UNTO ITSELF BECAUSE IT DISRUPTS
NORMALIZING SYSTEMS BY ELUCIDATING THE LIMITS AND
CONSTRAINTS ON DIALOGUE THROUGH A PERFORMATIVE
ACT OF RESISTANCE WHAT WE DO IS NOT JUST
CONSTITUTED BY THE RATIONALITY OF OUR ARGUMENTS
BUT BY THE TECHNIQUES WE USE WHETHER OR NOT
THIS PARTICULAR DISCUSSION CAUSES POLITICAL
ACTION, OUR ACT OF DEFIANCE EMPOWERS IDENTITIES
AND MAKES DEBATE MEANINGFUL

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Praxis Turn: 2AC


AND, THEORETICAL INTERVENTIONS EMPTY OF PRACTICE
JUST COMMODIFY AND DESTROY THE CRITICISM PERM
SOLVES BEST
Routledge 96
[Paul, The Third Space as Critical Engagement, Antipode 28(4), October,
399//uwyo]
One of the problems of theory is that we attempt to understand
processes, things, others, in a moment of cultural petrification, where we
objectify living cultural-political forms (Jeudy, 1994). Such theory takes
place at a distance. In the production of theory we are distanced
from what Bey (1994) terms immediatism direct, lived
experience. Rather we become engaged in representations of
(an)others reality. As such, we are alienated form the lived
moment, enmeshed in the theory market, where the production of
theory becomes another part of spectacular production, another
commodity. This commodification imples that a mediation has
occurred, and with every mediation so our alienation from live
experience increases. As Mies (1983) notes, we are too frequently
engaged in uninvolved spectator knowledge, one separated form active
participation. As such, research and theory can remain analytical
and disembodied. It is not lived. To enact a third space within and
between academia and activism is to attempt to live theory in the
immediate.

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Kritik Answers

Praxis Turn:1AR
AND, EXTEND THE 2AC #__, ROUTLEDGE PRAXIS
ARGUMENT. THEORETICAL ENGAGEMENT REMOVES ITSELF
FROM LIVED EXPERIENCE, RENDERING ITSELF ANOTHER
COMMODITY TO BE BOUGHT AND SOLD, PREVENTING
TRANSFORMATION
AND, THINKING ABOUT THINKING IS USELESS. THINKING
ABOUT DOING IS KEY TO CHANGING STRUCTURAL
WRONGS
Booth 97
[Ken, Chair of Intl Pltcs @ Wales, Critical security studies, Ed. Krause & Williams,
p. 114//uwyo]
Security is concerned with how people live. An interest in practice (policy relevance) is surely part of what is involved in being a security

study of security can beneft from a range of perspectives, but not from
those who would refuse to engage with the problems of those, at this minute, who are
being starved, oppressed, or shot. It is therefore legitimate to ask what any theory that purports to belong within world
politics has to say about Bosnia or nuclear deterrence. Thinking about thinking is important, but, more
urgently, so is thinking about doing. For those who believe that we live in a humanly constituted world, the
distinction between theory and practice dissolves: theory is a form of practice, and practice is a form of theory. Abstract ideas
about emancipation will not suffice: it is important for critical security studies to
engage with the real by suggesting policies, and sites of change, to help
humankind in whole or in part, to move away from its structural wrongs.
specialist. The

ALSO, MUST LINK PROTEST TO DEMANDS ON THE STATE


OR WE LAPSE INTO POLITICAL PARALYSIS IN THE FACE OF
OPPRESSION
Foucault 82
[Michel, God, Politics and Ethics: An Interview, The Foucault Reader,
Trans. Catherine Porter, Ed. Paul Rabinow, 377//uwyo-ajl]
Q. And this is hard to situate within a struggle that is already under way, because the lines
are drawn by others. . . .
M.F. Yes, but I think that ethics is a practice; ethos is a manner of being . Let's
take an example that touches us all, that of Poland. If we raise the question of
Poland in strictly political terms, it's clear that we quickly reach the point of
saying that there's nothing we can do. We can't dispatch a team of para- troopers,
and we can't send armored cars to liberate Warsaw. I think that, politically, we have to
recognize this, but I think we also agree that, for ethical reasons, we have to
raise the problem of Poland in the form of a nonacceptance of what is.

happening there, and a nonacceptance of the passivity of our own


governments. I think this attitude is an ethical one, but it is also political; it does not
consist in saying merely, "I protest," but in making of that attitude a
political phenomenon that is as substantial as possible, and one which
those who govern, here or there, will sooner or later be obliged to take
into account.

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Praxis Turn: 2AR


NEXT, EXTEND THE 2AC #__, THE ROUTLEDGE PRAXIS
ARGUMENT.
OUR POSITION IS THAT THE AFFS DEPLOYMENT OF
THEORY IS NOTHING BUT AN EMPTY GESTURE THAT FAILS
BECAUSE ITS DEVOID OF PRACTICE
A PURELY ACADEMIC CRITICISM, LIKE THE NEGS,
DIVORCES ITSELF FROM ANY SENSE OF PRAXIS,
INEXORABLY COMMODIFYING ARGUMENT, WHERE THEORY
BECOMES ANOTHER PRODUCT OF UNIVERSITY FACTORIES
NOT ONLY DOES THIS ARGUMENT PROVIDE SOLVENCY FOR
OUR PWERM, WHICH COMBINES THEORY AND PRACTICE,
BUT IT SERVES AS A POWERFUL INDICTMENT OF THE
POTENTIAL FOR ANY POSITIVE CRITICAL IMPACT

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Praxis Turn: Ext


REAL PROBLEMS DEMAND ACTION IVORY TOWER
CRITICISMS CAUSE IMMOBILIZATION
Booth 95
[Ken, Prof. of IR, Human wrongs and international relations, International
Affaris, ASP//delizzozzle]
Philosophical sceptics, for whom nothing is certain, and so for whom the
bases of action are always problematic, are a familiar feature of
academic life Tom Stoppard enjoyable caricatured them in his clever
comedy Jumpers, and in particular in the scene in which philosophical
sceptics were discussed whether the train for Bristol left yesterday from
Paddington station. On what basis could they ever know? Even if they
were actually on the train that was supposed to leave for Bristol, might
not the happening be explained by Paddington leaving the train? We all
know such conundrums, and indeed such people Meanwhile, flesh is
being fed or famished, and people are being tortured and killed And
even philospohical skeptics have to catch trains Some of them do Unless
acadmeics are merely to spread confusion, or snipe from the windows of
ivory towers, we must engage with the real. This means having the
courage of our confusions and thinking and acting without certainty.
In reply to those sensitive to post-colonial critiques of Western
imperialism I would argue that just because many Western ideas were
spread by commerce and the Gatling gun, it does not follow that every
idea originating in the West, or backed by Western opinion, should
therefore simply be labelled imperialist and rejected. There are some
ethnocentric ideas and individual human rights is one of them for
which we should not apologize. Furthermore, I do not see the
dissemination of powerful social and political ideas as necessarily
occurring in one direction only. As the economic and political power of
Asia grows, for example, so will its cultural power. World politics in the
next century will be more Asian than the present one. What matters
from a cosmopolitan perspective is not the birthplace of an idea, but the
meaning we give it.

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Presymbolism Turn: 2AC


TURN GROUNDING RESISTANCE IN A BEFORE THE FALL
IDENTITY RENDERS THE COLONIZED PASSIVE VICTIMS
WITHOUT AGENCY ACTIVISM WITHIN THE SYSTEM USES
ITS OWN EXCESSES TO DISMANTLE IT
Zizek '99
[Slavoj, Senior Researcher at Institute for Social Studies, Ljubliana and Badass,
The Ticklish Subject: the absent centre of political ontology, New York: Verso,
1999, 256-7//uwyo-ajl]
Against Butler, one is thus tempted to emphasize that Hegel was well
aware of the retroactive process by means of which oppressive power
itself generates the form of resistance is not this very paradox
contained in Hegel's notion of positing the presuppositions, that is, of
how the activity of positing-mediating does not merely elaborate the
presupposed immediate-natural Ground, but thoroughly transforms the
very core of its identity? The very In-itself to which Chechens endeavour
to return is already mediated-posited by the process of modernization,
which deprived them of their ethnic roots.
This argumentation may appear Eurocentrist, condemning the colonized
to repeat the European imperialist pattern by means of the very gesture
of resisting it however, it is also possible to give it precisely the
opposite reading. That is to say: if we ground our resistance to
imperialist Eurocentrism in the reference to some kernel of previous
ethnic identity, we automatically adopt the position of a victim resisting
modernization, of a passive object on which imperialist procedures work.
If, however, we conceive our resistance as an excess that results from
the way brutal imperialist intervention disturbed our previous selfenclosed identity, our position becomes much stronger, since we can
claim that our resistance is grounded in the inherent dynamics of the
imperialist system that the imperialist system itself, through its
inherent antagonism, activates the forces that will bring about its
demise. (The situation here is strictly homologous to that of how to
ground feminine resistance: if woman is 'a symptom of man', the locus
at which the inherent antagonisms of the patriarchal symbolic order
emerge, this in no way constrains the scope of feminine resistance but
provides it with an even stronger detonating force.) Or to put it in yet
another way the premise according to which resistance to power is
inherent and immanent to the power edifice (in the sense that it is
generated by the inherent dynamic of the power edifice) in no way
obliges us to draw the conclusion that every resistance is co-opted in
advance, including in the eternal game Power plays with itself the key
point is that through the effect of proliferation, of producing an excess of
resistance, the very inherent antagonism of a system may well set in
motion a process which leads to its own ultimate downfall.
It seems that such a notion of antagonism is what Foucault lacks: from
the fact that every resistance is generated ('posited') by the Power
edifice itself, from this absolute inherence of resistance to Power, he
seems to draw the conclusion that resistance is co-opted in advance,
that it cannot seriously undermine the system that is, he precludes the
possibility that the system itself, on account of its inherent
inconsistency, may give birth to a force whose excess it is no longer able
to master and which thus detonates its unity, its capacity to reproduce
itself. In short, Foucault does not consider the possibility of an effect
escaping, outgrowing its cause, so that although it emerges as a form of
resistance to power and is as such absolutely inherent to it, it can

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outgrow and explode it. (the philosophical point to be made here is that
this is the fundamental feature of the dialectical-materialist notion of
'effect': the effect can 'outdo' its cause; it can be ontologically 'higher'
than its cause.) One is thus tempted to reverse the Foucauldian notion of
an all-encompassing power edifice which always-already contains its
transgression, that which allegedly eludes it: what if the price to be paid
is that the power mechanism cannot even control itself, but has to rely
on an obscene protuberance at its very heart? In other words: what
effectively eludes the controlling grasp of Power is not so much the
external In-itself it tries to dominate but, rather, the obscene supplement
which sustains its own operation.

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Presymbolism Turn: 1AR


AND, EXTEND THE 2AC # ___ ZIZEK 99 PRESYMBOLISM
TURN. RESISTING OPPRESSION CREATES A BEFORE THE
FALL FANTASY, RENDERING US PASSIVE VICTIMS. ONLY
USING THE SYSTEMS OWN EXCESSES AGAINST ITSELF
EXPLODES IT FROM WITHIN, CAUSING ITS DOWNFALL
ALSO, POWER IS SPLIT FROM WITHIN BY ITS TRAUMATIC
EXCESS USING THAT DISAVOWED FOUNDATION
DISMANTLES IT
Zizek '97
[Slavoj, The Game, The Plague Fantasies, NYC: Verso, 1997, 26-7//uwyo-ajl]
This last point must be further radicalized: the power edifice itself is
split from within: in order to reproduce itself and contain its Other, it has
to rely on an inherent excess which grounds it - to put it in the Hegelian
terms of speculative identity, Power is always-already its own
transgression, if it is to function, it has to rely on a kind of obscene
supplement. It is therefore not enough to assert, in a Foucauldian way,
that power is inextricably linked to counter-power, generating it and
being itself conditioned by it: in a self-reflective way, the split is alwaysalready mirrored back into the power edifice itself, splitting it from
within, so that the gesture of self-censorship is consubstantial with the
exercise of power. Furthermore, it is not enough to say that the
`repression' of some libidinal content retroactively eroticizes the very
gesture of `repression' - this `eroticization' of power is not a secondary
effect of its exertion on its object but its very disavowed foundation, its
`constitutive crime', its founding gesture which has to remain invisible if
power is to function normally. What we get in the kind of military drill
depicted in the first part of Full Metal Jacket, for example, is not a
secondary eroticization of the disciplinary procedure which creates
military subjects, but the constitutive obscene supplement of this procedure which renders it operative. Judith Butler27 provides a perfect
example of, again, Jesse Helms who, in his very formulation of the text of
the anti-pornography law~ displays the contours of a particular fantasy an older man who engages in sadomasochistic sexual activity with
another, younger man, preferably a child - which bears witness to his
own perverted sexual desire. Helms thus unwittingly brings to light the
obscene libidinal foundation of his own crusade against pornography.

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Rejection Bad Turn: 2AC


TURN - CALL TO REJECT IMPOVERISHES DISCOURSE
PERM SOLVES BEST
Ashley 88
[Richard, Untying the Soveregin State: A Double Reading of the Anarchy
Problematique, Millennium: Journal of International Studies 17(2), June, 227262//uwyo]
The monological reading of theoretical discourse of the anarchy problematique
thus leaves the reader with the dichotomous choice of positions mentioned
earlier: the choice titled the blackmail of the heroic practice. One must be either inside this discourse or
outside, either for or against. On the one hand, in order to enter this discursive enclosure even if ones interest is
criticism or reform one must adopt a subjective standpoint that affirms the objective and original powers of the heroic practice
and interpret everything in its terms. One must resign oneself to complicity with the knowledgeable practices by which the anarchy

in order to
stand outside this discursive enclosure thus to repudiate the hard core representations
of the anarcy problematique one must condemn oneself to a position of
practical futility, no matter how self-righteous it may be. Saying
no to a powerful discourse that participates in the construction
of the self-evIdent truth of the anarchy problematique, one is
left to construct subjective counter-truths that cannot be
effective precisely because they remove themselves from the
workings of objective sources of power in history.
problematique is constituted as a self-evident and objective condition of life. On the other hand,

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Rejection Bad Turn: 1AR


EXTEND THE 2AC #___ ASHLEY EVIDENCE. TOTAL
REJECTION LOCKS US OUTSIDE OF DISCURSIVE SYSTEMS,
PREVENTING US FROM CHANGING THEM FROM WITHIN,
CONDEMNING US TO PASSIVE FUTILITY. THIS IS A NET
BENEFIT TO THE PERM
ALSO, TOTAL DOGMATIC SYSTEMS WHERE ONE SIDE IS
RIGHT AND THE OTHER WRONG CREATE TOTALIZING
POLITICS, RESULTING IN SLAUGHTER AND WAR
Said 94
[Edward W., Representations of the Intellectual: The 1993 Reich
Lectures, Vintage, 1994, 113]
Such transfigurations sever the living connection between the
intellectual and the movement or process of which he or she is a part.
Moreover there is the appalling danger of thinking of oneself, ones
views, ones rectittude, ones stated positions as all-important. To read
over The God That Failed testimonial is for me a depressing thing. I want
to ask: Why as an intellectual did you believe in a god anyway? And
besides, who gave you the right to imagine that your early belief and
later disenchantment were so important? In and of itself religious belief
is to me both understandable and deeply personal: it is rather when a
total dogmatic system in which one side is innocently good, the other
irreducibly evil is substituted for the process , the give and take of vital
interchange that the secular intellectual feels the unwelcome and
inappropriate enroachment of one realm on another. Politics becomes
religious enthusiasm as it is the case today in former Yugoslavia
with results in ethnic cleansing, mass slaughter and unending conflict
that are horrible to contemplate.

AND, FOREIGN POLICY CRITICISMS BECOME COMPLICIT


WITH THE STRUCTURES THEY OPPOSE
Ashley 96
[Richard, Erics Best Friend for Life & Prof. of Poli Sci @ ASU, The
achievements of post-structuralism, International Theory: Positivism
and Beyond, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996, 247-8]
And to these four premises I might add just one more. Under these
circumstances, it can make little sense to rehearse all those strains of
argument that have explored the limitations of the model of critical
activity I have been discussing this in the hope that I might thereby
open up a conversation that seems so disposed to closure. Call them
post-structuralist or call them what you will, these, once more, are
strains of argument that have rigorously demonstrated how very
paradoxical is every attempt to cling fast to this model of criticism in the
face of all manner of excessive happenings that transgress or overflow
the limits of every rendition of it; how much every such attempt depends
upon strategiems for disciplining excess whose arbitrariness, whose
violence, is right there on the surface for all to see; how much, therefore,

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Kritik Answers
every such attempt must rely upon effecting a blindness to its own
emergence; and how readily, thanks to all of this,
these attempts can be drawn into a complicity (thought not a secret
complicity) with those very practices that would arrest ambiguity,
discipline the proliferation of possibilities, tame resistances, and sustain
structures of domination ostensibly opposed.

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Rejection Bad Turn: Ext


REJECTION OF SPECIFIC SOLUTIONS BECAUSE OF
RADICAL DKEPTICISM IS MORE DANGEROUS THAN PLAN
Fierlbeck 94
[Katherine, Prof. Poli Sci @ Dalhousie, Post-Modernism and the Social Sciences:
Insights, Inroads, and Intrusions, History & Theory, 33: 1, ASP//uwyo-ajl]
In many respects, even the dismally skeptical post-modernists are too optimistic in their allegiance to post-modern ideas. As many others have
already pointed out, post-modernism offers little constructive advice about how to reorganize and reinvigorate modern social relations. "The
views of the post-modern individual," explains Rosenau, "are likely neither to lead to a post-modern society of innovative production nor to
engender sustained or contained economic growth." This is simply because "these are not post-modern priorities"(55). Post-modernism offers no

What
we need are specific solutions to specific problems: to trade disputes, to the redistribution of health care
resources, to unemployment, to spousal abuse . If one cannot prioritize public policy alternatives, or
salient solutions; and, where it does, such ideas have usually been reconstituted from ideas presented in other times and places.[9]

assign political responsibility to address such issues, or even say without hesitation that wealthy nations that steadfastly ignore pockets of

then the worst nightmares of the most cynical post-modernists


will likely come to life. Such an overarching refusal to address these issues is at
least as dangerous as any overarching affirmation of beliefs regarding ways to
go about solving them.
Post-modernism suffers from -- and is defined by -- too much indeterminacy. In order to achieve anything, constructive or
otherwise, human beings must attempt to understand the nature of things, and to
evaluate them. This can be done even if we accept that we may never
understand things completely, or evaluate them correctly. But if paralysis is the most obvious political consequence of
virulent poverty are immoral,

post-modernism, a graver danger lies in the rejection of the "Enlightenment ideals" of universality and impartiality. If the resounding end to the

t the opposite of "universalism" is not invariably a coexistence of "little


is, some combination of intolerance, local prejudice,
suspicion, bigotry, fear, brutality, and persecution. The uncritical affiliation with the community of one's
Cold War has taught us anything, it should be tha
narratives": it can be, and frequently

birth, as Martha Nussbaum notes, "while not without causal and formative power, is ethically arbitrary, and sometimes ethically dangerous -- in
that it encourages us to listen to our unexamined preferences as if they were ethical laws."[10]

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Ricouer Turn: 2AC


TURN THE SEARCH FOR HIDDEN MOTIVES ENGAGES IN A
HERMENEUTICS OF SUSPICION, RISKING SPIRAL INTO
PROFOUND SKEPTICISM
Berman 2001
[Paul Schiff, Assoc. Prof. Law @ U. of Connecticut, Yale Journal of Law and the Humanities,
LN]
Ricoeur contrasts two different "poles" among hermeneutic styles. At one pole, "hermeneutics is understood as the manifestation
and restoration of ... meaning." 23 At the other pole, hermeneutics is "understood as a demystification, as a reduction of illusion."

a
hermeneutics of faith to be one that treats the object of study as possessing
inherent meaning on its own terms. In contrast, the hermeneutics of
suspicion seeks to expose societal practices as illusory edifices that
mask underlying contradictions or failures of meaning. I will return to the first pole in
24 It is not entirely clear to me precisely what Ricoeur means by these two categories. Nevertheless, I understand

Part Four of this Essay, but for now I wish to focus on the hermeneutics of demystification and suspicion.

t
each of these thinkers makes "the decision to look upon the whole of
consciousness primarily as "false' consciousness." 25 Ricoeur sees this perspective as an
Ricoeur locates in the work of Nietzsche, Marx, and Freud the central hallmarks of this suspicious approach. He argues tha

extension of Descartes' fundamental position of doubt at the dawn of the Enlightenment. According to Ricoeur, "The philosopher
trained in the school of Descartes knows that things are doubtful, that they are not such as they appear; but he does not doubt
that consciousness is such as it appears to itself; in consciousness, meaning and consciousness of meaning coincide." 26

The hermeneutics of suspicion takes doubt one step farther, by


distrusting even our perceptions.
This suspicious position questions the so-called "correspondence [*104] theory" of truth. As we go through our lives, most of us
generally assume that our mental perceptions accord with reality because we believe we have direct access to reality through our
senses or through reason. This is the legacy of the Enlightenment, the "answer" to the fundamental Cartesian doubt. But the
hermeneutics of suspicion maintains that human beings create false truths for themselves.

Such false truths cannot be "objective" because they always serve some
interest or purpose.
By discovering and revealing those interests or purposes, suspicious analysis seeks to expose so-called "false consciousness"
generated through social ideology or self-deception. False consciousness may arise in many different ways. Nietzsche looked to
people's self-deceit in the service of the "will to power." Marx focused on the social being and the false consciousness that arises
from ideology and economic alienation. Freud approached the problem of false consciousness by examining dreams and neurotic
symptoms in order to reveal hidden motivations and desires. Thus, "the Genealogy of Morals in Nietzsche's sense, the theory of
ideologies in the Marxist sense, and the theory of ideas and illusions in Freud's sense represent three convergent procedures of
demystification." 27

AND, SKEPTICISM STOPS SOCIAL CHANGE THEIR


PARANOIA FORECLOSES UPON REVOLUTION
Berman 2001

[Paul Schiff, Assoc. Prof. Law @ U. of Connecticut, Yale Journal of Law and the Humanities,
LN]

, one might view this as a positive development. One might think


people should stop being lulled into a false sense of believing that the
rhetoric of public life really matters. If people began to view such
rhetoric as a construction of entrenched power, so the argument might
go, they would form the nucleus of a truly revolutionary political
movement.
I doubt that such an eventuality is likely to occur. Moreover, I am not sure
that a culture of suspiciousness is the most effective way to seek
political (or personal) change anyway. Suspicious analysis seeks to expose the dangers of our enchantment with
Of course

reason or truth or collectivity, but there are dangers that arise from relentless disenchantment as well. As [*123] Richard K.
Sherwin has observed,

Without the means of experiencing more profound enchantments

, without
communal rituals and social dramas through which the culture's deepest beliefs and values may be brought to life and collectively

those beliefs ultimately lose their meaning and die... . Forms of


enchantment in the service of deceit, illicit desire, and self-gratification alone must be
separated out from forms of enchantment in the service of feelings, beliefs,
reenacted,

and values that we aspire to affirm in light of the self, social, and legal realities they help to construct and maintain. 112

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Ricoeur Turn: 1AR


AND, EXTEND 2AC # ___, THE RICOUER TURN.
SUSPCION OF HIDDEN MOTIVATIONS BEHIND
POLICYMAKING FORCES INFINITE SKEPTICISM BECAUSE
EVERY OUTCOME IS DETERMINATELY NEGATIVE. THE
IMPACT IS THE OTHER RICOUER CARD, WHICH SHOWS
THAT SUCH PARANOIA PREVENTS SOCIAL CHANGE,
ALLOWING NIHILISM TO REPLACE REVOLUTIONARY
TRANSFORMATION
ALSO, THEIR HERMENEUTICS WORK AGAINST SOCIAL
CHANGE AND KILL SOCIAL MOVEMENTS
Berman 2001
[Paul Schiff, Assoc. Prof. Law @ U. of Connecticut, Yale Journal of Law and the Humanities,
LN]
The second drawback of the hermeneutics of suspicion is perhaps even more important. As
some scholars have noted, the hermeneutics of suspicion can easily slip from
healthy skepticism into a kind of rhetorical paranoia. Paranoia, of course, is a
loaded term, and probably a bit unfair. Nevertheless, because it is used frequently in the
academic literature about the hermeneutics of suspicion, I will use it as well - though I want
to make clear that I believe paranoia to be the hypothetical extreme in the movement toward
skeptical scholarship. I do not mean to imply that any actual scholars necessarily display such
paranoid logic.
Critics of the hermeneutics of suspicion describe the "paranoid style of functioning" 104 as
"an intense, sharply perceptive but
narrowly focused mode of attention" that results in an attitude of "elaborate suspiciousness."
105 Paranoid individuals constantly strive to demystify appearances; they take nothing at
face value because "they regard reality as an obscure dimension hidden from casual
observation or participation." 106 On this vision,
The obvious is regarded as misleading and as something to be seen through. So, the
paranoid style sees the world as constructed of a web of hints to hidden meaning... . The way
in which the paranoid protects fragile autonomy is by insuring, or at least insisting, that the
paranoid's interpretation of events is the interpretation. 107
Such a paranoid style may, over time, have a potentially corrosive effect on society. 108
Consider the long-term consequences of repeated exposure to suspicious stories. An appeal
to religious ideals is portrayed as an exercise of political power or the result of deluded
magical thinking. A [*122] canonical work of art is revealed to be the product of a patriarchal
"gaze." The programs of politicians are exposed as crass maneuverings for higher office or
greater power. 109 The idealistic rhetoric of judicial opinions is depicted as an after-the-fact
justification for the exercise of state-sanctioned violence. And the life choices of individuals
are shown to be responses to psychological neurosis, or social pathology.
All of these are exaggerations, but they increasingly represent the rhetoric that is used to
describe human interaction both in contemporary society and in the past. As Richard Rorty
describes,
In this vision, the two-hundred-year history of the United States - indeed, the history of the
European and American peoples since the Enlightenment - has been pervaded by hypocrisy
and self-deception. Readers of Foucault often come away believing that no
shackles have been broken in the past two hundred years: the harsh old
chains have merely been replaced with slightly more comfortable ones. Heidegger describes
America's success in blanketing the world with modern technology as the spread of a
wasteland. Those who find Foucault and Heidegger convincing often view

the United States of America as ... something we must hope will be


replaced, as soon as possible, by something utterly different. 110
If that is one's viewpoint, it will inevitably be difficult to muster one's energy
to believe in the possibility of positive action in the world, short of
revolution (and even revolution is probably inevitably compromised). As
Rorty points out, though the writers of supposedly "subversive" works "honestly believe that
they are serving human liberty," it may ultimately be "almost impossible to

clamber back down from [these works] to a level of abstraction on which

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one might discuss the merits of a
strategy." 111

law, a treaty, a candidate, or a

political

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Ricoeur Turn: Ext


LAW CAN BE VIEWED AFFIRMATIVELY THE MULTIPLICITY
OF STORES CAN PROVE MORE HOPE FOR CHANGE AND
MEANING NOT LESS
Berman 2001
[Paul Schiff, Assoc. Prof. of Law @ Connecticut, Yale Journal of Law and
Humanities, LN//uwyo]
Recently, Richard K. Sherwin's When Law Goes Pop: The Vanishing Line Between Law and Popular Culture n127 has attempted a similar project.
Sherwin argues (as I have earlier in this Essay) against what he calls "skeptical postmodernism." Referring to Baudrillard, Sherwin observes that

skeptical postmodernism "manifests a marked inclination toward pessimism and


disenchantment." n128 If truth, meaning, and reality are no longer discernible, and
if any sense of the unified self or human agency is illusory, he argues, we risk living
in a world where "individuals can no longer be held accountable for having
"authored' their acts or caused an event to happen ." n129 According to Sherwin, "In the end the
skeptical postmodern is left with nothing more than endless play and detached
irony." n130
Nevertheless, like me, Sherwin refuses to jettison postmodern theory altogether. Instead, he contends, " Postmodernism need
not be skeptical... . A story might concede the demise of the autonomous
modern subject, but still find meaning through the distributed self: an identity
made up of multiple cultural and social constructs shared by others in particular
communities." n131 Similarly, taking Sherwin's [*129] "affirmative postmodern" view, we might recognize that
concepts such as truth and justice are contingent, but still see those ideas as
coherent. "Abstraction may give way to particularity, contextuality, multiplicity;
judgment may turn toward characteristic voices and localized accounts. But
localization and contextualization are not fatal to meaning. It remains possible to
seek rather than abandon meaning for concepts like truth and justice - even in
the face of contingency, unpredictability, and spontaneity ." n132
Following Sherwin's suggestion, I wish to pursue a story about law that makes no attempt to return to a formalist world where legal rules are
"truths" to be "discovered" by judges. Rather, I accept the idea that there is an infinite number of possible narratives for describing reality and
that each narrative is inevitably a product of many cultural forces. Further, I will accept that, at least within a certain range, none of these
narratives necessarily has a stronger claim to truth than any other. In such a world, how might one understand and justify law practice in
America? n133

we might conceive of law as a site for encounter, contestation, and


play among various narratives. I draw on Hannah Arendt's conception of the "public" as a space of appearance where
My suggestion is that

actors stand before others and are subject to mutual scrutiny and judgment from a plurality of perspectives. n134 The public, on this view,
"consists of multiple histories and perspectives relatively unfamiliar to one another, connected yet distant and irreducible to one another." n135

By communicating about their differing perspectives on the social world in which


they dwell together, people and communities can collectively constitute an
enlarged understanding of the world. n136 In this Part, therefore, I will first outline a prominent conception of
"communicative democracy" that builds on Arendt, offered by political theorist Iris M. Young. Then, I will speculate about law's potential as a site
for the type of idealized public discourse Young envisions. n137

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Romanticization Turn: 2AC


TURN: APPROPRIATING THE OTHER VIOLENTLY SEIZES THE
RIGHT TO SPEAK FOR SELFISH ENDS
Routledge 96
[Paul, The Third Space as Critical Engagement, Antipode 28(4), October,
399//uwyo]
The issue of representation is a vexed one which has received much
attention within the social sciences. For example, in discussing the
academic strategy of polyphony, Crang (1992) raises issues of how the
voices of others are (re)presented; the extent to which these voices are
interwoven with persona of narrator the degree of authorial power
regarding who initiates research, who decides on textual arrangements,
and who decides which voices are heard; and the power relations
involved in the cultural capital conferred by specialist knowledge.
Moreover, Harrison (quoted in McLaren 1995 240) argues that polyphony
can end up being aform of romantic ventroloquism creating the magical
notion of the Others coming to voice. These questions have important
political implications for research which must be negotiated according to
the specific circumstances of a particular project. It is all too easy for
academics to claim solidarity with the oppressed and act as relays for
their voices within social scientific discourse. This raises the danger of
an uncritical alignment with resisters on the assumption that they know
all there is to know without the intervention of intellectuals; and hence
an academics role becomes that of helping them seize the right to
speak.

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Romanticization Turn: 1AR


AND, EXTEND THE 2AC #___ ROUTLEDGE 96
ROMANTICIZATION TURN. SPEAKING ON BEHALF OF
OTHERS USES THEIR SUFFERING FOR ONES OWN ENDS,
SILENCING THEM BY SEIZING THE RIGHT TO SPEAK,
REINSCRIBING THE IMPACT

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Romanticization Turn: 2AR


NEXT, EXTEND THE 2AC #__, THE ROUTLEDGE
ROMANTICIZATION ARGUMENT.
OUR CLAIM IS THAT EFFORTS TO OPEN SPACE FOR THE
OTHER WITHIN A COMPETITIVE FRAMEWORK ARE
PROBLEMATIC BECAUSE
THE WAY THAT THE VOICE IS PRESENTED IS NOT ONLY
DETERMINED BY THE NEG, BUT ITS RE-PRESENTATION
LEGITIMIZES THE AUTHORIAL POWER OF ACADEMICS TO
SPEAK FOR OTHERS
THAT POWER USES THE GUISE OF POLYPHONY TO
PROMULGATE A FORM OF ROMANTIC VENTRILOQUISM
THAT MASKS THE OPPRESSIVE NATURE OF THEIR
RESEARCH
THIS IS DEVASTATING TO THE NEG ON 2 LEVELS
FIRST, ITS AN ABSOLUTE TAKEOUT TO ANY POSITIVE
IMLICATIONS OF THE CRITICISM BECAUSE THE NEGS
ALLEGED SPACE-CLEARING CAN NEVER LET OTHERS
SPEAK
SECOND, IT TURNS THE IMPLICATIONS BECAUSE THEIR
PERFORMANCE ONY FURTHER COMMODIFIES THE USE OF
THE PAIN OF OTHERS FOR PERSONAL GAIN, PLACING A
WARM, FUZZY LEG WARMER OVER THE JACKBOOT OF
DOMINATION

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Said Turn: 2AC


THE ALTERNATIVE OPTS FOR INACTION IN THE FACE OF
DOMINATION ONLY POLICY DISCUSSIONS CAN REORIENT
INTELLECTUALS TOWARDS FIGHTING INJUSTICE
SAID (University Professor, Columbia University) 94
[Edward W., The Intellectuals and the War, The Politics of Dispossession: The Struggle
for Palestinian Self-Determination, 1969-1994, New York: Vintage, p. 316-19]
HARLOW: What are the political, intellectual, and cultural imperatives for combating this agenda? In 1967 Chomsky wrote the essay
Responsibility of Intellectuals. What would be the main component of such an essay today?

jargonistic postmodernisms that now dot the


are neither capable of understanding and analyzing
the power structure of this country nor are they capable of understanding the
particular aesthetic merit of an individual work of art. Whether you call it deconstruction or
SAID: One would have to pretty much scuttle all the jaw-shattering
landscape. They are worse than useless. They

postmodernism or poststructuralism or post-anything, they all represent a sort of spectacle of giving back tickets that the entrance and saying,
were really out of it. We want to check into our private resort and be left alone. [317]

Reengagement with intellectual processes has very little to do with being


citing fashionable names, or striking acceptable poses, but rather having to do
with a return in a way to a kind of old-fashioned historical, literary, and above all, intellectual
scholarship based upon the premise that human beings, men and women, make their
own history. And just as things are made, they can be unmade and re-re-remade. That sense of intellectual and political and citizenry
politically correct, or

empowerment is what I think the intellectual class needs.


Theres only one way to anchor oneself, and that is by affiliation with a cause, with a political movement. There has to be some

; there has
to be an affiliation with matters involving justice, principle, truth, conviction. Those
dont occur in a laboratory or a library. For the American intellectual, that simply means, at bottom, in a globalized environment , that
there is today one superpower, and the relationship between the United States
and the rest of the world, based upon profit and power, has to be altered from
an imperial one to one of coexistence among human communities that can make
and remake their own histories together. This seems to me to be the numberone priority---theres nothing else.
identification, not with the powers that be, with the Secretary of State or the great leading philosopher of the time or sage

An American has a particular role. If youre an anthropologist in America, its not the same thing as being an anthropologist in India or
France; its a qualitatively different thing.
HARLOW: Were both professors in English departments, despite the fact that the humanities have been quite irresponsible, unanswerable
SAID: Not the humanities. The professors of humanities.
HARLOW: Well, OK, the professors, but there is this question
SAID: I take the general view that, for all its inequity, for all its glaring faults and follies, the university in this society remains a relatively utopian

. There needs to be some sense of the university as a place in


which these issues are not, because it is that kind of place, trivialized.
Universities cannot afford to become just a platform for a certain kind of
narcissistic specialization and jargon. What you need is a regard for the product
of the human mind. And thats why Ive been very dispirited, I must tell you, but aspects of the great Western canon debate,
place, a place of great privilege

which really suggest that the oppressed of the world, in wishing to be heard, in wishing their work to be recognized, really wish to do dirt on
everything else. Thats not the spirit of resistance. We come [318] back to Aime Cesaires line, There is room for all that at the rendezvous of
victory. Its not that some have to be pushed off and demeaned and denigrated. The question is not whether we should read more black
literature or less literature by white men. The issue is excellence---we need everything, as much as possible, for understanding the human
adventure in its fullest, without resorting to enormous abstractions and generalizations, without replacing Euro-centrism with other varieties of
ethnocentrism, or say, Islamo-centrism or Afro-centrism or gyno-centrism. Is it a game of substitutions? Thats where intellectuals have to clarify
themselves.
HARLOW: I agree, but at least within certain university contexts there have been lately two major issues: the Gulf War and multiculturalism. I
have not seen any linkage between the two.
SAID: The epistemology and the ethic of specialization have been accepted by all. If youre a literature professor, thats what you talk about. And
if youre an education specialist, thats what you talk about. The whole idea of being in the university means not only respect for what others do,
but respect for what you do. And the sense that they all are part of a community. The main point is that we ascribe a utopian function to the
intellectual. Even inside the university, the prevalence of norms based upon domination and coercion is so strong because the idea of authority is
so strong---whether its authority derived from the nation-state, from religion, from the ethnos, from tradition---is so powerful that its gone
relatively unchallenged, even in the very disciplines and studies that we are engaged in. Part of intellectual work is understanding how authority

And if you can understand that, they


your work is conducted in such a way as to be able to provide alternatives to
authoritative and coercive norms that dominate so much of our intellectual life,
our national and political life, and our international life above all.
is formed. Like everything else, authority is not God-given. Its secular.

HARLOW: What can alternative publications do to interrupt that particular way of presenting authority?
SAID: One is to remind readers that there are always other ways of looking at the issue---whatever it happens to be---than those that are officially
credentialed. Second, one of the things that one needs to do in intellectual enterprises is to---Whitehead says somewhere---always try to write
about an author keeping in mind what he or she might say of what youre writing. To adapt from that: some sense in which your constituency
might be getting signals about what youre doing. The agenda isnt set only by you; its set by others. You cant represent the others, but you can
take them into account by soliciting their attention. Let such a publication be a place in which its pages that which is occluded or suppressed or
has disappeared from the consciousness of the West, of the intellectual, can be allowed to appear. Third, some awareness of the methodological
issues involved, and the gathering of information, the production of scholarship, the relationship between scholarship and knowledge. The great
virtue of these journals is that they are not guided by professional norms. Nobody is going to get tenure out of writing for these journals. And
nobody is trying to advance in a career by what he or she does there. So that means therefore that one can stand back and look at these things
and take questions having to do with how people know things. In other words, a certain emphasis on novelty is important and somewhat lacking.
You dont want to feel too virtuous in what you are doing: that Im the only person doing this, therefore, I must continue doing it. Wit is not such a
bad thing.

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Academic Work Spurs Activism: Ext


(1/2)
INTELLECTUAL WORK SERVES AS A CRITICAL RESOURCE
FOR ACTIVISTS
Milan

Rai, independent peace researcher, CHOMSKYS POLITICS, 1995, p. 156.


Chomsky suggests that the intellecutal can make an important contribution to
the struggle for peace and justice by agreeing to serve as a resource, providing
information and analysis to popular movements. Intellectuals have the training,
facilities, access to information and opportunity to organize and control their
own work, to enable them to make a very significant contribution to people who
are trying to escape the confines of indoctrination and to understand something
about the real world in which they live; in particular, to people who may be
willing to act to change this world. For the same reasons, intellectuals can be
active and effective organizers. Furthermore, by virtue of their privilege,
intellectuals are also often visible and can exploit their privilege in valuable and
important ways.

WORLDY ACADEMIC WORK IS DEMOCRATIZING AND


SPURS ACTIVISM
Mitchell, Assistant Professor of Communication, University of Pittsburgh,
ARGUMENTATION AND ADVOCACY, Fall 1998, p. 47.
Gordon R.

In basic terms the notion of argumentative agency involves the capacity to


contextualize and employ the skills and strategies of argumentative discourse in
fields of social action, especially wider spheres of public deliberation. Pursuit of
argumentative agency charges academic work with democratic energy by
linking teachers and students with civic organizations, social movements,
citizens and other actors engaged in live public controversies beyond the
schoolyard walls. As a bridging concept, argumentative agency links
decontextualized argumentation skills such as research, listening, analysis,
refutation and presentation, to the broader political telos of democratic
empowerment. Argumentative agency fills gaps left in purely simulation-based
models of argumentation by focusing pedagogical energies on strategies for
utilizing argumentation as a driver of progressive social change. Moving beyond
an exclusively skill-oriented curriculum, teachers and students pursuing
argumentative agency seek to put argumentative tools to the test by employing
them in situations beyond the space of the classroom. This approach draws from
the work of Kincheloe (1991), who suggests that through "critical constructivist
action research," students and teachers cultivate their own senses of agency
and work to transform the world around them.

ACADEMICS FOSTER ACTIVISM BY LEGITIMATING DISSENT


Suzie

Mackenzie, columnist, THE GUARDIAN, January 4, 2003, p. 20.


What does the intellectual have to offer that isn't already out there? "Dissent,"
Rose says. "It is the task of the intellectual to think thoughts, to say things, that
can't be said anywhere else. What I think goes most frighteningly and
disturbingly wrong in politics is that people hold intransigently to their ideals.
They admit no flaw, no break in (their own) system." You can't argue with this,
it's what any good liberal intellectual would say.

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Academic Work Spurs Activism: Ext


(2/2)
WORLDLY ENGAGEMENT FOSTERS ACTIVISM WITHIN THE
ACADEMY
Mitchell, Assistant Professor of Communication, University of Pittsburgh,
ARGUMENTATION AND ADVOCACY, Fall 1998, p. 47.
Gordon R.

Encounters with broader public spheres beyond the realm of the academy can
deliver unique pedagogical possibilities and opportunities. By anchoring their
work in public spaces, students and teachers can use their talents to change the
trajectory of events, while events are still unfolding. These experiences have the
potential to trigger significant shifts in political awareness on the part of
participants. Academic debaters nourished on an exclusive diet of competitive
contest round experience often come to see politics like a picturesque landscape
whirring by through the window of a speeding train. They study this political
landscape in great detail, rarely (if ever) entertaining the idea of stopping the
train and exiting to alter the course of unfolding events. The resulting spectator
mentality deflects attention away from roads that could carry their arguments to
wider spheres of public argumentation. However, on the occasions when
students and teachers set aside this spectator mentality by directly engaging
broader public audiences, key aspects of the political landscape change,
because the point of reference for experiencing the landscape shifts
fundamentally.

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Academics as Politics is Bad (1/2)


ACADEMICS AS POLITICS IS INEFFECTIVE AND CORRUPTS
THE LEARNING PROCESS
Appiah, Professor, Princeton University, interviewed by Jenny Attiyeh,
CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, August 22, 2002, p. 12.
Kwame Anthony

No, not as an intellectual, because your responsibility as an intellectual is to


deepen your understanding and therefore our understanding.... I think our
university life would be corrupted irremediably if you said to everybody in the
university, beyond understanding, you have an obligation to go out and change
those parts of the world that your understanding can help change. I don't think
we're especially good at it - practical wisdom doesn't come with theoretical
understanding usually. Do we think Einstein would have made a better leader for
Britain ... than Winston Churchill? I don't think so!

ACADEMIC POLITICIZATION UNDERMINES UNIVERSITIES


QUEST FOR KNOWLEDGE
Bradford P. Wilson, Executive Director of the National Assocation of Scholars and former
Professor of Political Science, Ashland University, NATIONAL FORUM PHI KAPPA PHI JOURNAL,
Winter 1999, p. 18.

The culture wars in higher education are not between a political left and a
political right, or between liberals and conservatives. They are between those
who wish to politicize academic life as part of a larger agenda of social
transformation, and those who see in the university the only institution in
American life where knowledge is valued for its own sake, where students can be
forgiven a temporary lack of social concern and engagement for the sake of
remedying a more fundamental deprivation, their lack of self-knowledge. The
cure, insofar as there is one, is to be found in a liberal education, not in an
identity-fix offered by the latest multicultural initiative.

POLITICS AND ACADEMICS HAVE FUNDAMENTALLY


CONTRADICTORY GOALS
Appiah, Professor, Princeton University, interviewed by Jenny Attiyeh,
CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, August 22, 2002, p. 12.
Kwame Anthony

The fundamental vocation of the intellectual is to figure things out, you know,
intellego, to understand. And politics isn't about understanding, politics is about
getting things done. Understanding can be an instrument of getting things done,
but nuance and complexity of understanding can be an obstacle to getting
things done. Politics - it's the art of the possible, and sometimes in order to do
the best that can be done, you have to ride roughshod over what are, for an
intellectual, important distinctions - for example, between the truth and the
untruth.

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Academics as Politics is Bad (2/2)


DEMANDS OF POLITICAL RELEVANCE DESTROY THE VERY
FOUNDATION OF THE ACADEMY
Brown, Professor of Womens Studies, University of California-Santa Cruz, THEORY
AND EVENT 2:2, 1998, p. npg.
Wendy

I think it is a terrible mistake to conflate or identify academic and political work.


To see Left academics as necessarily confining their intellectual endeavors, their
theorizing, the texts they love, their reflections, to that which is politically useful
in an immediate way, is, I think, a serious error. It is a mistake just as it would be
a mistake to claim that Alan Sokal is no Leftist because he is a physicist and is
poorly versed in social theory, and I would never make such a silly claim. But I
think it is equally silly to suggest that everything any of us ever write or say
must have immediate political cache. What we do in the academy is think, and
to constrain that thinking entirely to what is understandable and useful outside
the academy is basically to eliminate the point of the academy's existence. It is
to constrain the space of imagination, open-ended search, and inquiring into our
own knowledge and beliefs, all of which are the life-blood of intellectual work.
For me, to stop calling into question that which I believed yesterday, to stop
examining ideas I have always been attached to, would literally be to stop
thinking. It would be to go into a kind of political automatic, as opposed to using
the great privilege of being an intellectual, to keep digging up the political
ground we stand on. It would also be to constrain the space of original critique
that has always been so vital to Left projects

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Criticism Destroys Agency


ACADEMIC CRITICISM BECOMES A REPLACEMENT FOR
INDIVIDUAL ACTION. THE CRITIC BECOMES SO
COMMITTED TO REJECTION OF POWER STRUCTURES THAT
THEY FAIL TO CREATE A MIDDLE GROUND NECESSARY FOR
CHANGE
Barber 92
Benjamin (prof o political science at Rutgers), An Aristocracy for Everyone, pg.
111-112
The questions this poses for pedagogy are drawn in the recondite language
of literary postmodernism and deconstruction, but are of the fi rst importance
for education. Does the art of criticism doom the object of critical attention to
displacement by the self-absorbed critic? In other words, does criticizing
books replace reading them? Can the art of questioning be made self limiting, or do critics always become skeptics? Are skeptics in turn doomed
by their negative logic to be relativists? Must relativists melt down into
nihilists? Conservatives have worried that this particularly slippery slope cannot
be safely traversed at all, and thus have worried about a pedagogy that
relies on a too critical mode of radical questioning. They prefer to think of education as instilling the right values and teaching authoritative bodies of
knowledge to compliant students for whom learning is primarily a matter of
absorbing information. When these conservatives appeal to the ancients, it
is the rationalist Plato to whom they turn, rather than the subversive
Socrates. Yet pedagogical progressives actually confirm the conservatives' fears
when they themselves tumble happily down the slope, greasing it as they go
with an epistemology that denies the possibility of any stopping place, any
objectivity, any rationality, any criterion of reasonableness or universalism
whatsoever. Asked to choose between dogma and nihilism, between affirming hegemonic authority and denying all authority, including the authority of reason, of
science, and of open debate, what choice does the concerned teacher have but
despair? Where she seeks a middling position, she is offered orthodoxy or
nihilism. Where she seeks moderation in her students-a respect for rationality
but an unwillingness to confound it with or measure it by somebody's power, or
eloquence, or status-she is informed that all appeals to rationality are pretense:
Bertrand Russell's no less than Joseph Goebbels's, Hannah Arendt's no less
than Catherine the Great's, the rationality with which the skeptic skewers
conventional reason no less than the rationality the skeptic skewers.

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Criticism is Nihilistic (1/4)


DECONSTRUCTION WITHOUT ACTION FOR MATERIAL
JUSTICE BLOCKS POLITICAL ESCAPE FROM OPPRESSION
AND REINFORCES IVORY TOWER ELITISM
Cook, Associate Professor, Law, Georgetown University, NEW ENGLAND LAW
REVIEW, Spring 1992, p. 761-762.
Anthony

The effect of deconstructing the power of the author to impose a fixed meaning
on the text or offer a continuous narrative is both debilitating and liberating. It is
debilitating in that any attempt to say what should be done within even our
insular Foucaultian preoccupations may be oppositionalized and deconstructed
as an illegitimate privileging of one term, value, perspective or narrative over
another. The struggle over meaning might continue ad infinitum. That is, if a
deconstructionist is theoretically consistent and sees deconstruction not as a
political tool but as a philosophical orientation, political action is impossible,
because such action requires a degree of closure that deconstruction, as a
theoretical matter, does not permit. Moreover, the approach is debilitating
because deconstruction without material rootedness, without goals and vision,
creates a political and spiritual void into which the socially real power we
theoretically deconstruct steps and steps on the disempowered and
dispossessed. [*762] To those dying from AIDS, stifled by poverty, dehumanized
by sexism and racism, crippled by drugs and brutalized by the many forms of
physical, political and economic violence that characterizes our narcissistic
culture, power hardly seems a matter of illegitimate theoretical privileging.
When vision, social theory and political struggle do not accompany critique, the
void will be filled by the rich, the powerful and the charismatic, those who
influence us through their eloquence, prestige, wealth and power.

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Criticism is Nihilistic (2/4)


CRITICISM IS A SLIPPERY SLOPE THAT WILL EVENTUALLY
LEAD TO THE REJECTION OF EVERYTHINGWHAT BEGINS
AS AN UNWILLINGNESS TO ACCEPT ON-FACE OBJECTIVE
KNOWLEDGE ENDS WITH A COMPLETE REJECTION OF ANY
ATTEMPT TO OBTAIN KNOWLEDGE (EXTINCTION)
Barber 92

Benjamin (prof o political science at Rutgers), An Aristocracy for Everyone, pg.


116-118
This cursory history of esoteric arguments about the nature of knowledge may
seem far removed from the educational controversies of our time. It is offered
only as a reminder that such fashionable new forms of radical criticism as
deconstruction are but echoes of a very ancient skepticism and a very well
entrenched tradition of reductionism. It is for this reason that Allan Bloom
pins the blame for the changes in modern education on Heidegger, Nietzsche,
Marx, and other maverick critics of reason and reason's canon (see Chapter 5).
It is for this same reason that conservatives who esteem the role reason plays
in grounding and justifying fundamental values view post-modern skepticism
with alarm, and that liberals who care about reform worry that reductive
strategies are ill-suited to their purposes. As Edmund Burke once noted, those
who destroy everything are certain to remedy some grievance. The
annihilation of all values will undoubtedly rid us of hypocritical ones or the
ones misused by hypocrites. We can prevent the powerful from using reason
to conceal their hegemony by burning the cloak-extirpating reason from
political and moral discourse. However, those who come after can hardly
complain that they feel naked or that their discourse, absent such terms as
reason, legitimacy, and justice, seems incapable of establishing an
affirmative pedagogy or a just politics.
Just how crucially such seemingly abstruse issues impact on actual college
curricula is unpleasantly evident in this approving portrait of literature and
culture in a recent issue of the Bulletin of the American Association of
University Professors:
Cultural studies moves away from "history of ideas" to a contested history
of struggles for power and authority, to complicated relations between
"center" and "margin," between dominant and minority positions. Literature is
no longer investigated primarily as the masterworks of individual genius, but as
a way of designating specialized practices of reading and writing and cultural
production.... The renaming of "literature" as "culture" is thus not just a
shift in vocabulary. It marks a rethinking of what is experienced as
cultural materials ...[including] media, MTV, popular culture, newspapers,
magazines, advertising, textbooks, and advice materials. But the shift also
marks the movement away from the study of an "object" to the study of a
practice, the practice called "literary study" or "artistic production," the
practice of criticism.'
How slippery this particular slope has become! What begins as a sound
attempt to show that art is produced by real men and women with agendas and
interests attached to things like their gender, race, and economic status ends
as the nihilistic denial of art as object. What begins as a pedagogically useful
questioning of the power implications of truth ends as the cynical subverting
of the very possibility of truth. What begins as a prudent unwillingness to
accept at face value "objective" knowledge, which is understood to be, at
least in part, socially constructed, ends as the absurd insistence that
knowledge is exclusively social and can be reduced entirely to the power of
those who produce it. What begins as an educationally provocative inquiry into
the origins of literature in the practice of literary production ends in the

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educationally insidious annihilation of literature and its replacement by criticismthe practice, it turns out ever so conveniently, of those asking the questions!
Thus does the whirling blade of skepticism's latest reductive manifestations, postmodernism and deconstruction, cut and cut and go on cutting until there is
nothing left. Thus does the amiable and pedagogically essential art of criticism
somehow pass into carnage.

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Criticism is Nihilistic (3/4)


USING THE ACADEMIC AREA FOR CRITICIZING EXISTENT
SYSTEMS RISKS HYPER SKEPTICAL DISCUSSIONS. THE
SELECTION OF THE MEDIAN FORCES RADICALISM AND
NIHILISM
Barber 92

Benjamin (prof o political science at Rutgers), An Aristocracy for Everyone


All thoughtful inquiry, and hence all useful education, starts with questioning. All
usable knowledge, and thus all practical science, starts with the provisional
acceptance of answers. Education is a dialectic in moderation in which probing
and accepting, questioning and answering, must achieve a delicate balance.
Stories must be told, queried, retold, revised, questioned, and retold still
again much as the American story has been. In periods of rebellion, academic
no less than social, when challenging authority means questioning answers,
there is an understandable tendency toward skepticism, even cynicism.
Michael Wood has characterized Jacques Derrida's approach to method as "a
patient and intelligent suspicion,' 3 which is a useful description of one moment
in a student's democratic education.
The methodologies deployed by critics of power and convention in the
academy do not always fi nd the dialectical center, however, and are
subject to distortion by hyperbole. Sometimes they seem to call for all
questions and no answers, all doubt and no provisional resting places. This
radicalism has many virtues as scholarship, but as pedagogy far fewer. In its
postmodern phase, where the merely modern is equated with something
vaguely reactionary and post-modernism means a radical battering down of all
certainty, this hyperskeptical pedagogy can become self-defeating.
Skepticism is an essential but slippery and thus dangerously problematic
teaching tool. It demystifies and decodes; it denies absolutes; it cuts through
rationalization and hypocrisy. Yet it is a whirling blade, an obdurate reaper hard
to switch off at will. It is not particularly discriminating. It doesn't necessarily
understand the difference between rationalization and reason, since its
effectiveness depends precisely on conflating them. It can lead to a refusal to
judge or to take responsibility or to impose norms on conduct. If, as Derrida
has insisted, "the concept of making a charge itself belongs to the structure
of phallogocentrism" (the use of reason and language as forms of macho
domination), there can be no responsibility, no autonomy, no morals, no
freedom. 4 Like a born killer who may be a hero in wartime but, unable to
discriminate between war and peace, becomes a homocidal maniac when the
war ends for everyone else, radical skepticism lacks a sense of time and place,
a sense of elementary propriety.

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Criticism is Nihilistic (4/4)


THEIR PROJECT IS BANKRUPT. CONFRONTING POWER
RELATIONSHIPS THROUGH CYNICISM, SKEPTICISM, AND
REJECTION WILL NOT CREATE PRAGMATIC SOLUTIONS
Barber 92
Benjamin (prof o political science at Rutgers), An Aristocracy for Everyone, pg.
122-123
There can be no simple answer to such complex psycho -political
questions, and I certainly do not mean to challenge philosophical reductionism
by psychoanalyzing philosophers and thereby replacing one reductive logic
with another. Nonetheless, as already suggested, Thrasymachus understood the
connection between his brand of reductive questioning and brute power perfectly well: his was the cynicism of the power realist who wanted to convince
Socrates' audience that power was all there was. He wished not to legitimize
and thus limit power, but to enthrone and sacralize it. This is clearly not the
goal of the far more naive advocates of the new hyperskepticism. They are
genuine reformers struggling against the dogmas of what they see as a
hypocritical establishment. They seek more equality, more justice, better
education for all. They want not just to expose the hypocrisies of power, but to
tame and equalize it. They want to reclaim true justice from its hypocritical
abusers. They chase shadows in the valley of cynicism but trust they are on
the path that leads to redemption.
Yet the instruments of revolution they have chosen are more suited to the
philosophical terrorist than the pedagogical reformer. Radical skepticism,
reductionism, solipsism, nihilism, subjectivism, and cynicism will not help
American women gain a stronger voice in the classroom; will not lift Americans
of color from the prison of ignorance and despair to which centuries of
oppression, broken families, and ghettoized schools have relegated them;
will not provide a fi rm value foundation for the young in equality,
citizenship, and justice. How can such reform-ers think they will empower
the voiceless by proving that voice is always a function of power? How can
they believe the ignorant will be rescued from illiteracy by showing that literacy
is an arbitrary form of cultural imperialism? How do they think the struggle
for equality and justice can be waged with an epistemology that denies
standing to reasons and normative rational terms such as justice and equality?

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**Postmodernism Bad**
Floating Subjectivity Bad (1/3)
POSTMODERN SUBJECTIVITY IS A SHELL GAME IT CAN
EXIST ONLY BY STRENGTHENING THE HOLD OF
CAPITALISM
Bartlett Snyder, Doctoral Fellow in the English Department at Louisville,
Boundary Dissolution in film, photography & advertising, 2000,
Laura

http://athena.louisville.edu/a-s/english/babo/snyder/bountexts.html, accessed 10/15/02


The argument I am making about the postmodern theories of subjectivity and
global capitalism are similar to arguments made about multiculturalism and
global capitalism by David Rieff and Slavoj Zizek. Rieff suggests that
multiculturalism is a byproduct or corollary of a specific material integument
(62). Rieffs position is that although multiculturalists often regard their work as
politically leftist: resulting in the breakdown of patriarchal, European hegemony
and the ascendancy of the previously marginalized, they actually function as the
silent partner of global capitalism. Additionally, Rieff points out how closely
the buzz words of multiculturalism--cultural diversity, difference, the need to
do away with boundariesresemble the stock phrases of the modern
corporation: product diversification, the global marketplace, and the
boundary-less company (Rieff). Similarly, Zizek contends that postmodern
identity politicswhile ostensibly seeking to subvert capitalismare made
possible only in the field of global capitalism. He writes that cultural studies,
is performing the ultimate service for the unrestrained development of
capitalism and that the ideal form of ideology of this global capitalism is
multiculturalism (218; 216).My argument is that postmodern theories and
global capitalism dialectically influence one another. Postmodern theory is
generated by the material conditions of labor and production in late capitalism,
which needs consumers who will disregard national boundaries. By the logic
that all products of the system are necessary to the system, we assume that
anything the system produces, it needs. Ideological state apparatuses, like the
university, do the work necessary to interpellating the ideal subject of global
capitalism. My thought is that global capitalism needs postmodern theories of
subjectivity because they produce subjects who are seamlessly articulated with
the structures of global capitalism. While postmodern subjectivity may seem
wildly radical at firstbreaking down boundaries between genders, between
machines and humansthe similarities between its subjectivities and the
structures of global capitalism are eerily similar. Fluidity, flexibility, and
boundary dissolution equally describe both. The celebration of the loss of the
unified, coherent subject of modernity and the new fluid, flexible, fragmented
subject of postmodernity is the stuff of Millenial Dreams, Paul Smiths term for
the rhetoric of globalization and the array of ideological forms which interpellate
the desired subject of global capitalism. Smith writes that the annunciation of
globalization itself is part of the ideological battery used to interpellate subjects
in the current conjuncture . . . and attempt to regulate the moral and cultural
practices of subjects (46). I agree with Tereas Ebert that post-al theories are
complicit with patriarchal capitalism. Rather than seeking the liberation of the
exploited workers of late capitalismprimarily third-world, minority, povertystricken womenpostmodern theorists celebrate a liberatory freedom
experienced by a small percentage of the first world at the expense of the rest of
the world.

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Floating Subjectivity Bad (2/3)


FLOATING SUBJECTIVITY AND REBELLION AGAINST
MODERNITY REINFORCES PATTERNS OF DOMINATION
Cryderman, Jane and Louisa: The Tapestry Of Critical Paradigms: Hutcheon,
Lyotard, Said, Dirlik, And Brodber, 2000,
Kevin

http://65.107.211.206/post/caribbean/brodber/kcry1.html, accessed 11/7/01


In "Borderlands Radicalism," Dirlik is critical of the trends of postmodernism and
postcolonialism in regard to borders, subjectivity, and history. Dirlik claims that
postmodernism and postcolonialism tend to simply reinforce the reign of late
capitalism: Post-modernism, articulating the condition of the globe in the age of
flexible production, has done great theoretical service by challenging the
tyrannical unilinearity of inherited conceptions of history and society. The
political price paid for this achievement, however, has been to abolish the
subject in history, which destroys the possibility of political action, or to attach
action to one of another diffuse subject positions, which ends up in narcissistic
preoccupations with self of one kind of another. (89) Dirlik claims that the 'happy
pluralism' of postcolonialism -- such as its emphasis on flux, borderlands and
liminal space -- does not so much oppose elite unified narratives of nations and
cultures as it does reinforce them. Dirlik also links this trend of "fluid subject
positions" (98) in postmodernism to postcolonialism and Global Capitalism: "in
the age of flexible production, we all live in the borderlands. Capital,
deterritorialized and decentered, establishes borderlands where it can move
freely, away from the control of states and societies but in collusion with states
against societies" (Dirlik 87). Moreover, the problem "presented by postcolonial
discourse" is "a problem of liberating discourse that divorces itself from the
material conditions of life, in this case Global Capitalism as the foundational
principle of contemporary society globally" (99). Dirlik also links the intellectual
class as a product of global capitalism which, according to Dirlik, "has jumbled
up notions of space and time" (100). Indeed, both postmodernist and postcolonialist literature involve the fragmentation and rebellion against modernist
ideologies that impose essentializing identity, linear time schemes, and
totalizing narratives.

FLOATING SUBJECTIVITY FACILITATES THE HEGEMONY OF


TRANSNATIONAL CAPITALISM
Bartlett Snyder, Doctoral Fellow in the English Department at Louisville,
Boundary Dissolution in film, photography & advertising, 2000,
Laura

http://athena.louisville.edu/a-s/english/babo/snyder/bountexts.html, accessed 10/15/02


This web site explores the ways postmodern theories of subjectivity facilitate
global capitalism. The seed for this project was planted during Deconstructed
Selves, Postmodern Narratives, a session at the 20th Century Lit. Conference. I
had just heard a paper on Crash so thoughts of cyborgs and strange postmodern
desires were already mingling with a project topic that was due in my Theories
of Interpretation seminar. While Silvio Gaggi flashed slides of Cindy Shermans
photographythe pictures of her well-groomed, appropriately feminized body, a
50s starlet in juxtaposition with images of excrement, false eyelashes, cigarette
butts--I discovered my topic: the ways that the postmodern notion of
subjectivity--fluid, unfixed, transgressed boundaries--and the modern notion of
subjectivity-stable, unified, coherent, preserved boundaries-are analogous to the
evolution from classical to global/late capitalism. My theory: While the
dissolution of boundaries in postmodern subjectivity may at first seem wildly
radical, it actually facilitates the hegemony by interpellating the ideal subject of

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global capitalism, one who can manipulate fluid capital, produce/consume
intangible data, and accept the dissolution of national boundaries for the
purpose of exporting manufacturing work to 3rd world countries, for the purpose
of global e-commerce, and for the formation of multinational corporations.

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Floating Subjectivity Bad (3/3)


FOCUSING ON TRANSITIONAL SUBJECTIVITIES CEMENTS
OPPRESSION
Ong, Professor of Anthropology at UC Berkeley, FLEXIBLE CITIZENSHIP:
THE CULTURAL LOGIC OF TRANSNATIONALITY, 1999, p. 13.
Aihwa

However, the influence on American cultural studies of the Center for


Contemporary Cultural Studies in Birmingham, England, with which Hall and
Gilroy are associated, has generally been limited. American studies of diasporan
cultures have tended to uphold a more innocent concept of the essential
diasporan subject, one that celebrates hybridity, cultural border crossing, and
the production of difference. In the United States, the conjuncture of postcolonial
theory and diaspora studies seems to produce a bifurcated model of diasporan
cultures. Some scholars dwell on narratives of sacrifice, which are associated
with enforced labor migrations, as well as on critiques of the immorality of
development. Others, who write about displacements in borderland areas,
emphasize subjects who struggle against adversity and violation by affirming
their cultural hybridity and shifting positions in society. The unified moralism
attached to subaltern subjects now also clings to diasporan ones, who are
invariably assumed to be members of oppressed classes and therefore
constitutionally opposed to capitalism and state power. Furthermore, because of
the exclusive focus on texts, narratives, and subiectivities, we are often left
wondering what are the particular local-global structural articulations that
materially and symbolically shape these dynamics of victimhood and ferment.

FRAGMENTARY IDENTITY IS CRUCIAL TO GLOBALIZING


CAPITALISM
Bartlett Snyder, Doctoral Fellow in the English Department at
Louisville, Boundary Dissolution in film, photography & advertising, 2000,
Laura

http://athena.louisville.edu/a-s/english/babo/snyder/bountexts.html, accessed
10/15/02
With its dependence on fluid capital and the production/consumption of
intangible data, global capitalism demands the dissolution of national
boundaries for the purpose of exporting manufacturing work to 3rd world
countries, for the purpose of global e-commerce, and for the formation of
multinational corporations. Global capitalism makes similar demands on its
ideal producing and consuming subject, who is articulated as fluid, fragmented,
and flexible. Clearly, this subject is a radical reconfiguration of the unified,
coherent subject of classical capitalism, who is articulated for the purposes of
producing and consuming solid material goods and preserving national
boundaries.

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**Pragmatism**
Pragmatism Good: 2AC (1/3)
VOTE AFF IN SOLIDARITY WITH OUR PROJECT TO REPOLITICIZE THE ACADEMY
McClean

01 Annual Conference of

David E.
, New School University, The Cultural Left and the Limits of Social Hope, Presented at the 20
the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy, www.american-philosophy.org/archives/2001%20Conference/Discussion
%20papers/david_mcclean.htm.

leftist
critics continue to cite and refer to the eccentric and often a priori ruminations of people like those just
mentioned, and a litany of others including Derrida, Deleuze, Lyotard, Jameson, and Lacan, who are
to me hugely more irrelevant than Habermas in their narrative attempts to
suggest policy prescriptions (when they actually do suggest them) aimed at
curing the ills of homelessness, poverty, market greed, national belligerence and
racism. I would like to suggest that it is time for American social critics who are
enamored with this group, those who actually want to be relevant, to recognize
that they have a disease, and a disease regarding which I myself must remember to stay faithful to my own twelve step
program of recovery. The disease is the need for elaborate theoretical "remedies"
wrapped in neological and multi-syllabic jargon. These elaborate theoretical
remedies are more "interesting," to be sure, than the pragmatically settled
questions about what shape democracy should take in various contexts, or whether private property
Yet for some reason, at least partially explicated in Richard Rorty's Achieving Our Country, a book that I think is long overdue,

should be protected by the state, or regarding our basic human nature (described, if not defined (heaven forbid!), in such statements as "We
don't like to starve" and "We like to speak our minds without fear of death" and "We like to keep our children safe from poverty"). As Rorty puts it,

"When one of today's academic leftists says that some topic has been
'inadequately theorized,' you can be pretty certain that he or she is going to
drag in either philosophy of language, or Lacanian psychoanalysis, or some neoMarxist version of economic determinism. . . . These futile attempts to
philosophize one's way into political relevance are a symptom of what happens
when a Left retreats from activism and adopts a spectatorial approach to the
problems of its country. Disengagement from practice produces theoretical
hallucinations"(italics mine).(1) Or as John Dewey put it in his The Need for a Recovery of Philosophy, "I believe that
philosophy in America will be lost between chewing a historical cud long since reduced to woody
fiber, or an apologetics for lost causes , . . . . or a scholastic, schematic formalism , unless it can
somehow bring to consciousness America's own needs and its own implicit
principle of successful action."
Those who suffer or have suffered from this disease Rorty refers to as the Cultural Left, which left is juxtaposed to the Political Left that Rorty
prefers and prefers for good reason. Another attribute of the Cultural Left is that its members fancy themselves pure culture critics who view the
successes of America and the West, rather than some of the barbarous methods for achieving those successes, as mostly evil, and who view
anything like national pride as equally evil even when that pride is tempered with the knowledge and admission of the nation's shortcomings. In

, the Cultural Left, in this country, too often dismiss American society as beyond
reform and redemption. And Rorty correctly argues that this is a disastrous conclusion, i.e.
disastrous for the Cultural Left. I think it may also be disastrous for our social
hopes, as I will explain.
Leftist American culture critics might put their considerable talents to better use
if they bury some of their cynicism about America's social and political prospects
and help forge public and political possibilities in a spirit of determination to, indeed,
other words

achieve our country - the country of Jefferson and King; the country of John Dewey and Malcom X; the country of Franklin Roosevelt and Bayard

,
the time is always ripe to seize the opportunity to help create the "beloved
community," one woven with the thread of agape into a conceptually single yet diverse tapestry that shoots for
nothing less than a true intra-American cosmopolitan ethos, one wherein both same sex unions
Rustin, and of the later George Wallace and the later Barry Goldwater. To invoke the words of King, and with reference to the American society

and faith-based initiatives will be able to be part of the same social reality, one wherein business interests and the university are not seen as

. We who fancy
ourselves philosophers would do well to create from within ourselves and from within our ranks a new
kind of public intellectual who has both a hungry theoretical mind and who is yet
capable of seeing the need to move past high theory to other important
questions that are less bedazzling and "interesting" but more important to the
prospect of our flourishing - questions such as "How is it possible to develop a citizenry that cherishes a certain hexis, one
belonging to two separate galaxies but as part of the same answer to the threat of social and ethical nihilism

which prizes the character of the Samaritan on the road to Jericho almost more than any other?" or "How can we square the political dogma that
undergirds the fantasy of a missile defense system with the need to treat America as but one member in a community of nations under a "law of
peoples?"

The new public philosopher might seek to understand labor law and military and
trade theory and doctrine as much as theories of surplus value; the logic of

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Kritik Answers
international markets and trade agreements as much as critiques of
commodification, and the politics of complexity as much as the politics of power
(all of which can still be done from our arm chairs.) This means going down deep into the guts of our
quotidian social institutions, into the grimy pragmatic details where intellectuals
are loathe to dwell but where the officers and bureaucrats of those institutions
take difficult and often unpleasant, imperfect decisions that affect other peoples'
lives, and it means making honest attempts to truly understand how those
institutions actually function in the actual world before howling for their
overthrow commences. This might help keep us from being slapped down in
debates by true policy pros who actually know what they are talking about but
who lack awareness of the dogmatic assumptions from which they proceed, and who
have not yet found a good reason to listen to jargon-riddled lectures from philosophers and culture critics with their snobish disrespect for the socalled "managerial class."

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Kritik Answers

Pragmatism Good: 2AC (2/3)


SMACK TALKING ABOUT CHEATERS: READ LIBERALLY
McClean

01 Annual Conference of

David E.
, New School University, The Cultural Left and the Limits of Social Hope, Presented at the 20
the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy, www.american-philosophy.org/archives/2001%20Conference/Discussion
%20papers/david_mcclean.htm.

There is a lot of philosophical prose on the general subject of social justice. Some of this is quite good, and some of it is quite bad. What

. Displays of high erudition are


gratuitously reflected in much of the writing by those, for example, still clinging
to Marxian ontology and is often just a useful smokescreen which shrouds a near
total disconnect from empirical reality. This kind of political writing likes to make
a lot of references to other obscure, jargon-laden essays and tedious books
written by other true believers - the crowd that takes the fusion of Marxian and
Freudian private fantasies seriously. Nor is it the lack of scholarship that makes this prose bad. Much of it is well
"supported" by footnotes referencing a lode of other works, some of which are actually quite good. Rather , what makes this
prose bad is its utter lack of relevance to extant and critical policy debates, the
passage of actual laws, and the amendment of existing regulations that might
actually do some good for someone else. The writers of this bad prose are too
interested in our arrival at some social place wherein we will finally emerge from
our "inauthentic" state into something called "reality." Most of this stuff, of course, comes from those
distinguishes the good from the bad is not merely the level of erudition

steeped in the Continental tradition (particularly post-Kant). While that tradition has much to offer and has helped shape my own philosophical

it is anything but useful when it comes to truly relevant philosophical


analysis, and no self-respecting Pragmatist can really take seriously the strong poetry of formations like "authenticity looming on the ever
remote horizons of fetishization." What Pragmatists see instead is the hope that we can fix
some of the social ills that face us if we treat policy and reform as more
important than Spirit and Utopia.
Like light rain released from pretty clouds too high in the atmosphere, the substance of this prose dissipates
before it can reach the ground and be a useful component in a discussion of
medicare reform or how to better regulate a pharmaceutical industry that bankrupts senior citizens and condemns to death HIV
patients unfortunate enough to have been born in Burkina Faso - and a regulatory regime that permits this. It is often too
drenched in abstractions and references to a narrow and not so merry band of
other intellectuals (Nietzsche, Bataille, Foucault, Luk cs, Benjamin) to be of
much use to those who are the supposed subject matter of this preternatural social justice literature. Since I have no particular allegiance
sensibilities,

to these other intellectuals, no particular impulse to carry their water or defend their reputations, I try and forget as much as I can about their
writings in order to make space for some new approaches and fresh thinking about that important question that always faces us - "What is to be
done?" I am, I think, lucky to have taken this decision before it had become too late.
One might argue with me that these other intellectuals are not looking to be taken seriously in the construction of solutions to specific sociopolitical problems. They are, after all, philosophers engaged in something called philosophizing. They are, after all, just trying to be good culture

they often write with specific reference to social issues


and social justice in mind, even when they are fluttering about in the ether of
high theory (Lukcs, for example, was a government officer, albeit a minister of culture, which to me says a lot), and social justice is
critics. Of course, that isn't quite true, for

not a Platonic form but parses into the specific quotidian acts of institutions and individuals. Social justice is but the genus heading which may be
described better with reference to its species iterations- the various conditions of cruelty and sadism which we wittingly or unwittingly permit. If
we wanted to, we could reconcile the grand general theories of these thinkers to specific bureaucracies or social problems and so try to increase

such attempts,
usually performed in the reams of secondary literature generated by their
devotees, usually make things even more bizarre. In any event, I don't think we
owe them that amount of effort. After all, if they wanted to be relevant they
could have said so by writing in such a way that made it clear that relevance
was a high priority. For Marxians in general, everything tends to get reduced to class. For Lukcs everything tends to get reduced
to "reification." But society and its social ills are far too intricate to gloss in these ways,
and the engines that drive competing interests are much more easily explained
with reference to animal drives and fears than by Absolute Spirit. That is to say, they are not
their relevance. We could construct an account which acts as a bridge to relevant policy considerations. But

easily explained at all.

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Kritik Answers

Pragmatism Good: 2AC (3/3)


INTELLECTUALS HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO ENGAGE
WITH REAL PROBLEMSCRITICAL TO MAKING THEIR
CRITICISM RELEVANT
McClean

01 Annual Conference of

David E.
, New School University, The Cultural Left and the Limits of Social Hope, Presented at the 20
the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy, www.american-philosophy.org/archives/2001%20Conference/Discussion
%20papers/david_mcclean.htm.

Is it really possible to philosophize by holding Foucault in one hand and the Code of Federal Regulation or the Congressional Record in the other?

, I see no reason why


referring to the way things are actually done in the actual world (I mean really done, not done
as we might imagine) as we think through issues of public morality and social issues of
justice shouldn't be considered a viable alternative to the way philosophy has
proceeded in the past. Instead of replacing epistemology with hermeneutics or
God knows what else as the foundation of philosophical practice, we should
move social philosophers in the direction of becoming more like social and
cultural auditors rather than further in the direction of mere culture critics. We
might be able to recast philosophers who take-up questions of social justice in a
serious way as the ones in society able to traverse not only disciplines but the
distances between the towers of the academy and the bastions of bureaucracies
seeking to honestly and sometimes dishonestly assess both their failings and
achievements. This we can do with a special advantage over economists, social
scientists and policy specialists who are apt to take the narrow view of most
issues. We do have examples of such persons. John Dewey and Karl Popper come to mind as but two examples, but in neither case was
Given that whatever it has meant to be a philosopher has been under siege at various levels

there enough grasp of the actual workings of social institutions that I believe will be called for in order to properly minister to a nation in need of
helpful philosophical insights in policy formation. Or it may just be that the real work will be performed by philosophically grounded and socially
engaged practitioners rather than academics. People like George Soros come to mind here.
But there are few people like George Soros around, and I think that the improbability of philosophers emerging as a special class of social auditor

philosophers are the class most likely to see the


places at which bridges of true understanding can be built not only between an
inimical Right and Left, but between public policy and the deep and relevant
reflections upon our humanity in which philosophers routinely engage. If philosophers
also marks the limits of social hope, inasmuch as

seek to remain what the public thinks we are anyway, a class of persons of whom it can be said, as Orwell put it,
One has to belong to the intelligentsia to believe things like that; no ordinary man could be such a fool, then I do not know from what other class

. For
I do not see how policy wonks, political hacks, politicians, religious ideologues
and special interests will do the work that needs to be done to achieve the kind
of civic consensus envisioned in our Constitution and Declaration of
Independence. Without a courageous new breed of public intellectual, one that is
able to help articulate new visions for community and social well being without
fear of reaching out to others that may not share the narrow views of the
Cultural Left and Cultural Right, I do not see how America moves beyond a mere
land of toleration and oligarchy.
of persons to turn to navigate the complicated intellectual and emotional obstacles that prevent us from the achievement of our country

McClean

01 Annual Conference of

David E.
, New School University, The Cultural Left and the Limits of Social Hope, Presented at the 20
the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy, www.american-philosophy.org/archives/2001%20Conference/Discussion
%20papers/david_mcclean.htm.

Our new president, possessing no towering intellect, talks of a people who share a continent, but are not a nation. He is right, of course. We are
only beginning to learn to put tribal loyalties aside and to let ourselves take seriously other more salutary possibilities, though we delude
ourselves into believing that we have made great progress. Perhaps so-called "compassionate conservatism," though a gimmick to win a political
contest, will bear a small harvest of unintended and positive consequences, although I remain dubious about this if the task of thinking through

if the not-too-Neanderthal-Right is finally


willing to meet the not-too-wacky-Left at a place of dialogue somewhere in the
"middle," then that is good news, provided the Left does not miss the
opportunity to rendevous. Yet, there is a problem here. Both the Cultural Left and
the Cultural Right tend to be self-righteous purists. The best chance, then, is for
the emergence of Rorty's new Political Left, in conjunction with a new Political Right. The new Political
Left would be in the better position of the two to frame the discourse since it
probably has the better intellectual hardware (it tends to be more open-minded
and less dogmatic) to make a true dialogue work. They, unlike their Cultural Left peers, might
find it more useful to be a little less inimical and a little more sympathetic to
what the other side might, in good faith, believe is at stake. They might leave
what it might actually mean remains the chore of George W. Bush. But

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Kritik Answers
behind some of the baggage of the Cultural Left's endless ruminations (Dewey's
philosophical cud chewing) about commodity fetishization, or whether the Subject has really
died, or where crack babies fit into neo-capitalist hegemonies, and join the political fray by parsing and
exposing the more basic idiotic claims and dogmas of witless politicians and
dangerous ideologues, while at the same time finding common ground, a larger
"We" perspective that includes Ronald Reagan and Angela Davis under the same
tent rather than as inhabitants of separate worlds. The operative spirit should be
that of fraternal disagreement, rather than self-righteous cold shoulders.

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Kritik Answers

Plan focus good: Rorty (1/2)


SPECIFIC PROPOSALS PROVE THE ACTION IS THE
SUPERIOR FORM ACTIVISM
Rorty, philosopher, ACHIEVING OUR COUNTRY: LEFTIST THOUGHT IN
TWENTIETH-CENTURY AMERICA, 1998, p. 98-99
Richard

When we think about these latter questions, we begin to realize that one of the
essential transformations which the cultural Left will have to undergo is the
shedding of its semi- conscious anti-Americanism, which it carried over from the
rage of the late Sixties. This Left will have to stop thinking up ever more abstract
and abusive names for "the system" and start trying to construct inspiring
images of the country. Only by doing so can it begin to form alliances with
people outside the academyand, specifically, with the labor unions. Outside
the academy, Americans still want to feel patriotic. They still want to feel part of
a nation which can take control of its destiny and make itself a better place. If
the Left forms no such alliances, it will never have any effect on the laws of the
United States. To form them will require the cultural Left to forget about
Baudrillard's account of America as Disneylandas a country of simulacraand
to start proposing changes in the laws of a real country, inhabited by real people
who are enduring unnecessary suffering, much of which can be cured by
governmental action. Nothing would do more to resurrect the American Left than
agreement on a concrete political platform, a People's Charter, a list of specific
reforms. The existence of such a list endlessly reprinted and debated, equally
familiar to professors and production workers, imprinted on the memory both of
professional people and of those who clean the professionals' toiletsmight
revitalize leftist politics.

THE FACT THAT SOMETHING IS PRODUCTIVE AND


DESTRUCTIVE DOESNT ELIMINATE THE NEED FOR
CONCRETE POLICY ACTION
Rorty, Professor, Humanities, University of Virginia, TRUTH, POLITICS, AND
POSTMODERNISM: SPINOZA LECTURES, 1997, p. 51-52.
Richard

Derrida, another writer who enjoys


demonstrating that something very important meaning, for example, or justice, or
friendship is both necessary and impossible. When asked about the implications of
these paradoxical fact, Derrida usually replies that the paradox doesn't matter
when it comes to practice. More generally, a lot of the writers who are labeled
`post-modernist; and who talk a lot about impossibility, turn out to be good experimentalist
social democrats when it comes to actual political activity. I suspect, for example, that Gray,
Zizek, Derrida and I, if we found ourselves citizens of the same country, would all
be voting for the same candidates, and supporting the same reforms. Post-modernist
This distinction between the theoretical and the practical point of view is often drawn by

philosophers have gotten a bad name because of their paradox-mongering habits, and their constant use of terms like `impossible;
`self-contradictory' and `unrepresentable'. They have helped create a cult of inscrutability, one which defines itself by opposition to the
Enlightenment search for transparency - and more generally, to the `metaphysics of presence; the idea that intellectual progress aims at getting

I am all for getting rid of the metaphysics of


presence, but I think that the rhetoric of impossibility and unrepresentability is
counterproductive overdramatization. It is one thing to say that we need to get rid of the metaphor of things being
things clearly illuminated, sharply delimited, wholly visible.

accurately represented, once and for all, as a result of being bathed in the light of reason. This metaphor has created a lot of headaches for
philosophers, and we would be better off without it. But that does not show that we are suddenly surrounded by unrepresentables; it just shows

Even if we agree that we


shall never have what Derrida calls "a full presence beyond the reach of play"; our sense of
the possibilities open to humanity will not have changed. We have learned nothing about the limits
of human hope from metaphysics, or from the philosophy of history, or from psychoanalysis . All that we have learned
from `post-modern' philosophy is that we may need a different gloss on the
that `more accurate representation' was never a fruitful way to describe intellectual progress.

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Kritik Answers
notion of `progress' than the rationalistic gloss which the Enlightenment offered. We have been given no
reason to abandon the belief that a lot of progress has been made by carrying
out the Enlightenment's political program. Since Darwin we have come to suspect that whether such progress
is made will be largely a matter of luck. But we have been given no reason to stop hoping to get lucky .

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Kritik Answers

Plan focus good: Rorty (2/2)


FOCUS ON THE SPECIFIC, STATE-FOCUSED PLANS IS
CRITICAL TO ALLIANCES AND ACTIVISM
Rorty, philosopher, ACHIEVING OUR COUNTRY: LEFTIST THOUGHT IN
TWENTIETH-CENTURY AMERICA, 1998, p. 98-99
Richard

The cultural Left often seems convinced that the nation-state is obsolete, and that there is therefore no point in attempting to revive national

the government of our nation-state will be, for the foreseeable future, the
only agent capable of making any real difference in the amount of selfishness
and sadism inflicted on Americans. It is no comfort to those in danger of being
immiserated by globalization to be told that, since national governments are
now irrelevant, we must think up a replacement for such governments. The cosmopolitan
super-rich do not think any replacements are needed, and they are likely to
prevail. Bill Readings was right to say that the nation-state [has ceased] to be the elemental unit of capitalism, but it
remains the entity which makes decisions about social benefits, and thus about
social justice. The current leftist habit of taking the long view and looking beyond nationhood to a global polity is as useless as was
politics. The trouble with this claim is that

faith in Marxs philosophy of history, for which it has become a substitute. Both are equally irrelevant to the question of how to prevent the
reemergence of hereditary castes, or of how to prevent right-wing populists from taking advantage of resentment at that reemergence. When we
think about these latter questions, we begin to realize that one of the essential transformations which the cultural Left will have to undergo is the

This Left will have to


stop thinking up ever more abstract and abusive names for the system and
start trying to construct inspiring images of the country. Only by doing so can it
begin to form alliances with people outside the academy and, specifically, with the labor unions.
shedding of its semiconscious anti-Americanism, which it carried over from the rage of the late Sixties.

Outside the academy, Americans still want to feel patriotic. They still want to feel part of a nation which can take control of its destiny and make

. If the Left forms no such alliances, it will never have any effect on
the laws of the United States. To form them will require the cultural Left to forget
about Baudrillards account of America as Disneylandas a country of simulacra and to start
proposing changes in the laws of a real country, inhabited by real people who
are enduring unnecessary suffering, much of which can be cured by
governmental action. Nothing would do more to resurrect the American Left than
agreement on a concrete political platform, a Peoples Charter, a list of specific reforms. The
existence of such a list endlessly reprinted and debated, equally familiar to professors and
production workers, imprinted on the memory both of professional people and of those who clean the professionals toilets might
revitalize leftist politics.
itself a better place

FOCUSING ON THE DETAILS OF POLICY IS CRITICAL TO


POLITICAL EFFECTIVENESS
Rorty, philosopher, ACHIEVING OUR COUNTRY: LEFTIST THOUGHT IN
TWENTIETH-CENTURY AMERICA, 1998, p. 103-104.
Richard

The Sixties did not ask how the various groups of stakeholders were to reach a consensus about when to remodel a factory rather than build a
new one, what prices to pay for raw materials, and the like

. Sixties leftists

skipped lightly over all the questions which had been

seemed to be suggesting that


once we were rid of both bureaucrats and entrepreneurs, the people would
know how to handle competition from steel mills or textile factories in the devel oping world, price hikes on imported oil, and so on. But they never told us how
the people would learn how to do this. The cultural Left still skips over such
questions. Doing so is a consequence of its preference for talking about the
system rather than about specific social practices and specific changes in those
practices. The rhetoric of this Left remains revolutionary rather than reformist and pragmatic. Its insouciant use of
terms like late capitalism suggests that we can just wait for capitalism to
collapse, rather than figuring out what, in the absence of markets, will set prices
and regulate distribution. The voting public, the public which must be won over if
the Left is to emerge from the academy into the public square, sensibly wants to
be told the details. It wants to know how things are going to work after markets are put
behind us. It wants to know how participatory democracy is supposed to function . The cultural Left offers no answers
to such demands for further information, but until it confronts them it will not be able to be a political Left. The
public, sensibly, has no interest in getting rid of capitalism until it is offered
raised by the experience of nonmarket economies in the so-called socialist countries. They

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Kritik Answers
details about the alternatives.

Nor should it be interested in participatory democracythe liberation of the people from


the power of the technocratsuntil it is told how deliberative assemblies will acquire the same know-how which only the technocrats presently
possess. Even someone like myself, whose admiration for John Dewey is almost unlimited, cannot take seriously his defense of participatory
democracy against Walter Lippmanns insistence on the need for expertise

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Kritik Answers

**Realism**
Realism Good: 2AC (1/2)
FIRST, STATES INEVITABLY COMPETE WITH EACH OTHER
FOR INTERNATIONAL POWER ANY ATTEMPT TO DEVIATE
FROM THIS STRUCTURE CAUSES VIOLENCE
Mearscheimer 2001

[John J., Prof. of Pol. Sci @ U. of Chicago, The Tragedy of Great Power Warfare]
Great powers fear each other. They regard each other with
suspicion, and they worry that war might be in the offing. They
anticipate danger. There is little room for trust among states. For sure,
the level of fear varies across time and space, but it cannot be reduced to a trivial level. From
the perspective of any one great power, all other great powers are potential
enemies. This point is illustrated by the reaction of the United Kingdom and France to
German reunification at the end of the Col War. Despite the fact that these three states had
been close allies for almost forty-five years, both the United Kingdom and France immediately
began worrying about the potential danger of a united Germany.
The basis for this fear is that in a world where great powers have the

capability to attack each other and might have the motive to do so


any state bent on survival must be at least suspicious of other
states and reluctant to trust them. Add to this the 911 problem the absence of a
central authority to which a threatened state can turn for help and states have even greater
incentive to fear each other. Morever, there is no mechanism, other than the possible selfinterest of third parties, for punishing an aggressor. Because it is sometimes difficult to deter
potential aggressors, states have ample reason not to trust other states and to be prepared
for war with them.
The possible consequences of falling victim to aggression further

amplify the importance of fear as a motivating force in world


politics. Great powers do not compete with each other as if international marketplace.
Political competition among states is a much more dangerous business than mere
economic intercourse, the former can lead to war, and war often means mass
killing on the battlefield as well as mass murder of civilians . In
extreme cases, war can even lead to the destruction of states. The horrible
consequences of war sometimes cause states to view each other not just
as competitors, but as potentially deadly enemies. Political antagonism, in
short, tends to be intense because the stakes are great.
States in the international system also aim to guarantee their own
survival. Because other states are potential threats, and because there is no higher
authority to come to their rescue when they dial 911, states cannot depend on others for
their own security. Each state tends to see itself as vulnerable and
alone, and therefore it
aims to provide for its own survival. In international politics, God helps those
who help themselves. This emphasis on self-help does not preclude states from forming
alliances. But alliances are only temporary marriages of convenience: todays alliance partner
might be tomorrows enemy, and todays enemy might be tomorrows alliance partner. For
example, the United States fought with China and the Soviet Union against Germany and
Japan in World War II, but soon thereafter flip-flopped enemies and partners and allied with
West Germany and Japan against China and the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

States operating in a self-help world almost always act


according to their own self-interest and do not subordinate their
interests to the interests of other states, or the so-called international
community. The reason is simple: it pays to be selfish in a self-help world. This is
true in the short term as well as in the long term, because if a
state loses in the short run, it might not be around for the long
haul.
Apprehensive about the ultimate intentions of other states, and a ware that they oeprate in a
self-help system, states quickly understand that the best way to ensure

their survival is to be the most powerful state in the system. The


stronger a state is relative to its potential rivals, the less likely it is that
any of those rivals will attack it and threaten its survival. Weaker states will
be reluctant to pick fights with more powerful states because the weaker states are likely to

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the bigger the gap in power between any two
states, the less likely it is that the weaker will attack the stronger. Neither
suffer military defeat. Indeed,

Canada nor Mexico, for example, would countenance attacking the United States, which is far
more powerful than its neighbors. The ideal situation is to be the hegemon in the system. As
Immanuel Kant said, It is the desire of every state, or of its ruler,

to arrive at a condition of perpetual peace by conquering the whole


world, if that were possible. Survival would then be almost guaranteed

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Kritik Answers

Realism Good: 2AC (2/2)


SECOND, REALISM MUST BE USED STRATEGICALLY
REJECTING IT RISKS WORSE USES
Guzzini, Assistant Professor at Central European Univ., Realism in International
Relations and International Political Economy, 1998, p. 212
Stefano

it is impossible just to heap realism onto the


and start anew. This is a non-option. Although realism as a strictly causal theory has been a
disappointment, various realist assumptions are well alive in the minds of many practitioners
Therefore, in a third step, this chapter also claims that

dustbin

of history

and observers of international affairs. Although it does not correspond to a theory which helps us to understand a real world with objective laws,

permeates our daily language

it is a world-view which suggests thoughts about it, and which


for making sense of it.
Realism has been a rich, albeit very contestable, reservoir of lessons of the past, of metaphors and historical analogies, which, in the hands of its
most gifted representatives, have been proposed, at times imposed, and reproduced as guides to a common understanding of international
affairs. Realism is alive in the collective memory and self-understanding of our (i.e. Western) foreign policy elite and public, whether educated or

, forgetting realism is also questionable. Of course,


being critical, does not
mean that they should lose the capacity to understand the languages of those
who make significant decisions, not only in government, but also in firms, NGOs, and other institutions. To the contrary,
this understanding, as increasingly varied as it may be, is a prerequisite for their very profession. More particularly, it is a
prerequisite for opposing the more irresponsible claims made in the name, although not
always necessarily in the spirit, of realism.
not. Hence, we cannot but deal with it. For this reason

academic observers should not bow to the whims of daily politics. But staying at distance, or

THIRD, THE PERM SOLVES BEST REALISM OPENS UP


SPACE FOR ONGOING CRITICISM, MAKING THE
ALTERNATIVE POSSIBLE
Murray, Professor Politics at the University of Wales, 1997 (Alastair J.H.,
Reconstructing Realism: Between Power Politics and Cosmopolitan Ethics, p. 1936)
For realism man remains, in the final analysis, limited by himself. As such, it emphasizes caution, and focuses not merely upon the achievement

in the absence of a
resolution of such difficulties, longer-term objectives are liable to be
unachievable, realism would seem to offer a more effective strategy of transition
of long-term objectives, but also upon the resolution of more- immediate difficulties. Given that,

than relativism itself. Whereas, in constructivism, such strategies are divorced from an awareness of the immediate problems which obstruct such

realism's
emphasis on first addressing the immediate obstacles to development ensures that it at least generates
strategies which offer us a tangible path to follow. If these strategies perhaps lack the visionary appeal of
efforts, and, in critical theoretical perspectives, they are divorced from the current realities of international politics altogether,

reflectivist proposals, emphasizing simply the necessity of a restrained moderate diplomacy in order to ameliorate conflicts between states, to
foster a degree of mutual understanding in international relations, and, ultimately, to develop a sense of community which might underlie a more

, they at least seek to take advantage of the possibilities of reform in the current
international system without jeopardizing the possibilities of order. Realism's gradualist
comprehensive international society

reformism, the careful tending of what it regards as an essentially organic process, ultimately suggests the basis for a more sustainable strategy
for reform than reflectivist perspectives, however dramatic, can offer. For the realist, then, if rationalist theories prove so conservative as to make
their adoption problematic, critical theories prove so progressive as to make their adoption unattractive. If the former can justifiably be criticized
for seeking to make a far from ideal order work more efficiently, thus perpetuating its existence and
legitimating its errors, reflectivist theory can equally be criticized for searching for a tomorrow which may never exist, thereby endangering the

Realism's distinctive contribution thus lies in its


attempt to drive a path between the two, a path which, in the process, suggests the basis on which some form of
synthesis between rationalism and relativism might be achieved. Oriented in its genesis towards addressing the
possibility of establishing any form of stable order in the here and now.

shortcomings in an idealist transformatory project, it is centrally motivated by concern to reconcile vision with practicality, to relate utopia and
reality. Unifying technical and a practical stance, it combines aspects of the positivist methodology employed by problem-solving theory with the
interpretative stance adopted by critical theory, avoiding the monism of perspective which leads to the self-destructive conflict between the two.
Ultimately, it can simultaneously acknowledge the possibility of change in the structure of the international system and the need to probe the
limits of the possible, and yet also question the proximity of any international transformation, emphasize the persistence of problems after such a
transformation, and serve as a reminder of the need to grasp whatever semblance of order can be obtained in the mean time. Indeed, it is
possible to say that realism is uniquely suited to serve as such an orientation. Simultaneously to critique contemporary resolutions of the problem
of political authority as unsatisfactory and yet to support them as an attainable measure of order in an unstable world involves one in a
contradiction which is difficult to accept. Yet, because it grasps the essential ambiguity of the political, and adopts imperfectionism as its
dominant motif, realism can relate these two tasks in a way which allows neither to predominate, achieving, if not a reconciliation, then at least a
viable synthesis. Perhaps the most famous realist refrain is that all politics are power politics. It is the all that is important here. Realism lays
claim to a relevance across systems, and because it relies on a conception of human nature, rather than a historically specific structure of world
politics, it can make good on this claim. If its observations about human nature are even remotely accurate, the problems that it addresses will
transcend contingent formulations of the problem of political order. Even in a genuine cosmopolis, conflict might become technical, but it would
not be eliminated altogether.67 The primary manifestations of power might become more economic or institutional rather than (para)military but,
where disagreements occur and power exists, the employment of the one to ensure the satisfactory resolution of the other is inevitable short of a
wholesale transformation of human behaviour. Power is ultimately of the essence of politics; it is not something which can be banished, only
tamed and restrained. As a result

allows it to relate

, realism achieves a universal relevance to the problem of political action which


critical theory, without which advance would be impossible, with the problem-

the reformist zeal of

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before reform is attempted,
must first be ensured

solver's sensible caution that


contemporary conditions

whatever measure of

security

is possible under

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#1 Mearsheimer: 1AR
EXTEND THE 2AC #___ MEARSCHEIMER 2001 EVIDENCE.
THE SELF-HELP INTERNATIONAL SYSTEM MAKES REALISM
INEVITABLE BECAUSE OF STATE COMPETITION AND THE
DESIRE FOR SURVIVAL. TRYING TO BREAK DOWN THAT
SYSTEM CAUSES POWER DIFFERENTIALS THAT RESULT IN
MASS WAR AND DEATH
THAT MAKES THEIR ARGUMENT TERMINALLY NOT UNIQUE,
BECAUSE STATES WILL STILL COMPETE AND FILL THE
VOID AND YOU VOTE ON ANY RISK OF WAR
ALSO, STATES ALWAYS ACT TO INCREASE THEIR RELATIVE
POWER, MAKING SECURITY COMPETITION INEVITABLE
Mearscheimer 2001
[John J., Prof. of Pol. Sci @ U. of Chicago, The Tragedy of Great Power
Warfare]
Given the difficulty of determing how much power is enough for today
and tomorrow, great powers recognize that the best way to ensure their
security is to achieve hegemony now, thus eliminating any possibility of
a challenge by another great power. Only a misguided state would pass
up an opportunity to be the hegemon in the system because it already
had sufficient power to survive. But even if a great power does not have
the wherewithal to achieve hegemony (and that is usually the case), it
will still act offensively to amass as much power as it can, because
states are always better off with more rather than less power. In short,
states do not become status quo powers until they completely dominate
the system.
All states are influence by this logic, which means htat not only do they
look for opportunities to take advantage of one another, they also work
to ensure that other states do not take advantage of them. After all, rival
states are driven by the same logic, and most states are likely to
recognize their own motives at play in the actions of other states. In
short, states ultimately pay attention to defense as well as offense. They
think about conquest themselves, and they work to check aggressor
states from gaining power at their expense. This inexorably leads to a
world of constant security competition, hwere states are wiling to lie,
cheat, and use brute force if it helps them gain advantage over their
rivals. Peace, if one defines that concept as a state of tranquility or
mutual concord, is nt liekly to break out in this world.

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#1 Mearsheimer: Ext
THEIR CRITICISM DOESNT PROVIDE US WITH A ROADMAP
WHICH ENSURES VIOLENCE REALISM IS NEEDED TO
KEEP THE BALANCE OF POWER STABLE IT IS ON
BALANCE BETTER
Murray, Professor Politics at the University of Wales, 1997

(Alastair J.H.,
Reconstructing Realism: Between Power Politics and Cosmopolitan Ethics, p. 1889)
His disagreement with realism depends on a highly contestable claim - based on Herz's argument that, with the development of global threats,
the conditions which might produce some universal consensus have arisen - that its 'impossibility theorem' is empirically problematic, that a
universal consensus is achievable, and that its practical strategy is obstructing its realisation. In much the same way, in `The poverty of
neorealism', realism's practical strategy is illegitimate only because Ashley's agenda is inclusionary. His central disagreement with realism arises
out of his belief that its strategy reproduces a world order organised around sovereign states, preventing exploration of the indeterminate
number of - potentially less exclusionary - alternative world orders. Realists, however, would be unlikely to be troubled by such charges. Ashley
needs to do rather more than merely assert that the development of global threats will produce some universal consensus, or that any number of
less exclusionary world orders are possible, to convince them. A universal threat does not imply a universal consensus, merely the existence of a
universal threat faced by particularistic actors. And the assertion that indeterminate numbers of potentially less exclusionary orders exist carries
little weight unless we can specify exactly what these alternatives are and just how they might be achieved. As such, realists would seem to be
justified in regarding such potentialities as currently unrealizable ideals and in seeking a more proximate good in the fostering of mutual

Despite the adverse side-effects that such a


balance of power implies, it at least offers us something tangible rather than
ephemeral promises lacking a shred of support. Ultimately, Ashley's demand that a new, critical approach
understanding and, in particular. of a stable balance of power.

be adopted in order to free us from the grip of such 'false conceptions depends upon ideas about the prospects for the development of a
universal consensus which are little more than wishful thinking, and ideas about the existence of potentially less exclusionary orders which are
little more than mere assertion. Hence his attempts, in 'Political realism and human interests', to conceal these ideas from view by claiming that
the technical base of realism serves only to identify, and yet not to reform, the practical, and then, in 'The poverty of neorealism', by removing
the technical from investigation altogether by an exclusive reliance on a problem of hermeneutic circularity. In the final analysis, then

Ashley's post-structuralist approach

boils down to little more than a critique which fails. It is predicated on the
assumption that the constraints upon us are simply restrictive knowledge practices, such that it presumes that the entirety of the solution to our

offers nothing by way, of alternative - no


strategies, no proximate goals, indeed, little by way of goals at all. If, in constructivism, the progressive purpose leads to strategies
problems is little more than the removal of such false ways of thinking. It

divorced from an awareness of the problems confronting transformatory efforts, and, in critical theoretical perspectives, it produces strategies
divorced from international politics in their entirety, in post-structuralism it generates a complete absence of strategies altogether. Critique

critique ultimately proves unsustainable. With its defeat, post-structuralism is left


If realism is, as Ashley puts it, 'a tradition
forever immersed in the expectation of political tragedy'. it at least offers us a
concrete vision of objectives and ways in which to achieve them which his own position.
serves to fill the void, yet this

with nothing. Once one peels away the layers of misconstruction, it simply fades away.

forever immersed in the expectation of deliverance- is manifestly unable to provide."

AND, COMPETITION AMONG STATES IS INEVITABLE 3


REASONS:
1) NO CENTRAL AUTHORITY
2) STATES HAVE OFFENSIVE CAPABILITIES
3) VAGUE INTENTIONS
MEARSHEIMER 2001
[John, Co-Director of IR Policy at University of Chicago and Former
research fellow at the Brookings institute, The Tragedy of Great Power
Politics, pg 3. )
Why do great powers behave this way? My answer is that the structure
of the international system forces states which seek only to be secure
nonetheless to act aggressively toward each other. Three features of the
international system combine to cause states to fear one another: 1) the
absence of a central authority that sits above states and can protect
them from each other. 2) the fact that states always have some
offensive mili- tary capability, and 3) the fact that states can never be
certain about other states' intentions. Given this fear-which can never be
wholly eliminat- ed-states recognize that the more powerful they are
relative to their rivals, the better their chances of survival. Indeed, the

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best guarantee of survival is to be a hegemon, because no other state
can seriously threaten such a mighty power.

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#2 Guzzini: 1AR
REALISM MUST BE USED STRATEGICALLY BECAUSE REALWORLD ACTORS RELY ON IT
Guzzini, Assistant Professor at Central European Univ., Realism in International
Relations and International Political Economy, 1998, p. 235
Stefano

Third, this last chapter has argued that although the evolution of realism has been mainly a disappointment as a general causal theory, we have
to deal with it. On the one hand, realist assumptions and insights are used and merged in nearly all frameworks of analysis offered in
International Relations or International Political Economy. One of the book's purposes was to show realism as a varied and variably rich theory, so

,
to dispose of realism because some of its versions have been proven empirically wrong, ahistorical, or logically incoherent ,
does not necessarily touch its role in the shared understandings of observers and
practitioners of international affairs. Realist theories have a persisting power for constructing our understanding of
heterogeneous that it would be better to refer to it only in plural terms. On the other hand

the present. Their assumptions, both as theoretical constructs, and as particular lessons of the past translated from one generation of
decision-makers to another, help mobilizing certain understandings and dispositions to action. They also provide them with legitimacy. Despite

realism's several deaths as a general causal theory, it can still powerfully enframe action. It exists in the minds, and is hence
reflected in the actions, of many practitioners. Whether or not the world realism depicts
is out there, realism is. Realism is not a causal theory that explains International Relations, but, as long as realism continues to
be a powerful mind-set, we need to understand realism to make sense of International Relations. In other words, realism is a still
necessary hermeneutical bridge to the understanding of world politics. Getting rid of realism without
having a deep understanding of it, not only risks unwarranted dismissal of some valuable theoretical insights that I have tried to gather in this
book; it

would

also be futile. Indeed, it might

be the best way to

tacitly and

uncritically reproduce it.

REJECTION FAILS IT REPRODUCES SOVEREIGNTY AND


PERPETUATES EXPLOITATION ACTION MUST BE TAKEN
Agathangelou, Director of the Global Change Institute, 1997 (Anna
M., Studies in Political Economy, v. 54, p. 7-8)

dissident IR also paralyzes itself into non-action.


While it challenges the status quo, dissident IR fails to transform
it. Indeed, dissident IR claims that a coherent paradigm or research program even an alternative one reproduces
Yet, ironically if not tragically,

the stifling parochialism and hidden powermongering of sovereign scholarship. Any agenda of global politics informed by
critical social theory perspectives, writes Jim George must forgo the simple, albeit self-gratifying, options inherent in
readymade alternative Realisms and confront the dangers, closures, paradoxes, and complicities associated with them.
Even references to a real world, dissidents argue, repudiate the very meaning of dissidence given their sovereign

dissident scholarship opts for, instead, is


a sense of disciplinary crisis that resonates with the effects of marginal and
dissident movements in all sorts of other localities. Despite its emancipatory
intentions, this approach effectively leaves the prevailing prison
of sovereignty intact. It doubly incarcerates when dissident IR
highlights the layers of power that oppress without offering a heuristic, not to
mention a program, for emancipatory action. Merely politicizing the
supposedly non-political neither guides emancipatory action nor
guards it against demagoguery. At best, dissident IR sanctions a
detached criticality rooted (ironically) in Western modernity. Michael Shapiro, for
presumption of a universalizable, testable Reality. What

instance, advises the dissident theorist to take a critical distance or position offshore from which to see the

what becomes of those who know they are burning


in the hells of exploitation, racism, sexism, starvation, civil war, and the like
while the esoteric dissident observes critically from offshore? What hope
do they have of overthrowing these shackles of sovereignty? In not answering these
questions, dissident IR ends up reproducing despite avowals to the contrary, the
sovereign outcome of discourse divorced from practice , analysis from
policy, deconstruction from reconstruction, particulars from universals, and critical theory from
problem-solving.
possibility of change. But

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#2 Guzzini: Ext
BALANCE OF POWERS REMAINS A TOP PRIORITY- STATES
WILL STILL FEAR EACH OTHER POST THE ALT
Mearsheimer, Professor of Pol Sci at University of Chicago, 01, The
Tragedy of Great Power Politics
The optimists' claim that security competition and war among the great powers
has been burned out of the system is wrong. In fact, all of the major states
around the globe still care deeply about the balance of power and are destined
to compete for power among themselves for the foreseeable future.
Consequently, realism will offer the most powerful explanations of international
politics over the next century, and this will be true even if the debates among
academic and policy elites are dominated by non-realist theories. In short, the
real world remains a realist world. States still fear each other and seek to gain
power at each other's expense, because international anarchythe driving force
behind great-power behaviordid not change with the end of the Cold War, and
there are few signs that such change is likely any time soon. States remain the
principal actors in world politics and there is still no night watchman standing
above them. For sure, the collapse of the Soviet Union caused a major shift in
the global distribution of power. But it did not give rise to a change in the
anarchic structure of the system, and without that kind of profound change,
there is no reason to expect the great powers to behave much differently in the
new century than they did in previous centuries.

OTHERS WONT FOLLOW OUR LEAD MAKES REALISM


NECESSARY
Murray, Professor Politics at the University of Wales, 1997 (Alastair J.H.,
Reconstructing Realism: Between Power Politics and Cosmopolitan Ethics, p. 1812)
This highlights the central difficulty with Wendt's constructivism. It is not any form of
unfounded idealism about the possibility of effecting a change in international politics. Wendt
accepts that the

intersubjective character of international institutions


render them relatively hard social facts. Rather, What is
problematic is his faith that such chance, if it could be achieved, implies
progress. Wendt's entire approach is governed by the belief that the problematic elements
such as self-help

of international politics can be transcended, that the competitive identities which create these
elements can be reconditioned, and that the predatory policies which underlie these

Everything in his account, is up for gabs: there


is no core of recalcitrance to human conduct which cannot be reformed,
unlearnt, disposed of. This venerates a stance that so privileges the
possibility of a systemic transformation that it simply puts aside
the difficulties which it recognises to be inherent in its
achievement. Thus, even though Wendt acknowledges that the intersubjective basis of
identities can be eliminated.

the self-help system makes its reform difficult, this does not dissuade him. He simply demands
that states adopt a strategy of 'altercasting', a strategy which 'tries to induce alter to take on
a new identity (and thereby enlist alter in ego's effort to change itself) by treating alter as if it

Wendt's position effectively culminates in a


demand that the state undertake nothing less than a giant leap of faith.
The fact that its opponent might not take its overtures seriously.
might not be interested in reformulating its own construction of the world.
or might simply see such an opening as a weakness to be exploited.
are completely discounted. The prospect of achieving a systemic transformation
already had that identity'.

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simply outweighs any adverse consequences which might arise from the effort to achieve it.
Wendt ultimately appears, in the final analysis, to have overdosed on 'Gorbimania'.

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#3 Murray: 1AR
REALISM IS THE BEST MIDDLE GROUND IT SYNTHESISES
CRITICAL THEORIES IN ORDER TO PROVIDE THE REAL
POSSIBILITY FOR TRANSFORMATION
Murray, Professor Politics at the University of Wales, 1997 (Alastair J.H.,
Reconstructing Realism: Between Power Politics and Cosmopolitan Ethics, p. 1789)
I
n Wendt's constructivism, the argument appears in its most basic version, presenting an analysis
of realist assumptions which associate it with a conservative account of human nature. In
Linklater's critical theory it moves a stage farther, presenting an analysis of realist theory
which locates it within a conservative discourse of state-centrism. In Ashley's poststructuralism it reaches its highest form, presenting an analysis of realist strategy which locates
it not merely within a conservative statist order, but, moreover, within an active conspiracy
of silence to reproduce it. Finally, in Tickner's feminism, realism becomes all three
simultaneously and more besides, a vital player in a greater, overarching, masculine
conspiracy against femininity. Realism thus appears, first, as a doctrine providing the
grounds for a relentless pessimism, second, as a theory which provides an active
justification for such pessimism, and, third, as a strategy which proactively seeks to enforce
this pessimism, before it becomes the vital foundation underlying all such pessimism in
international theory. Yet, an examination of the arguments put forward from each of these
perspectives suggests not only that the effort to locate realism within a conservative.
rationalist camp is untenable but, beyond this, that realism is able to provide reformist

The
progressive purpose which motivates the critique of realism in these
perspectives ultimately generates a bias which undermines their own
ability to generate effective strategies of transition. In constructivism, this
bias appears in its most limited version, producing strategies so divorced from
the obstacles presented by the current structure of international
politics that they threaten to become counter-productive. In critical
strategies which are superior to those that they can generate themselves.

theory it moves a stage further producing strategies so abstract that one is at a loss to
determine what they actually imply in terms of the current structure of international

in post-modernism, it reaches its highest form, producing


an absence of such strategies altogether, until we reach the point at
which we are left with nothing but critique. Against this failure,
realism contains the potential to act as the basis of a more
constructive approach to international relations, incorporating many of the
strengths of reflectivism and yet avoiding its weaknesses. It
appears, in the final analysis, as an opening within which some
synthesis of rationalism and reflectivism. of conservatism and
progressivism might be built.
politics. And,

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#3 Murray: Ext
REALISM BRIDGES THE GAP BETWEEN CRITIQUE AND THE
NEED FOR POLITICAL ACTION IT CAN ENCORPORATE ALL
OF THEIR ARGUMENTS WHILE STILL RECOGNIZING THAT
TEHRE ARE PROBLEMS THAT HAVE TO BE DEALT WITH IN
THE WORLD TODAY
Murray, Professor Politics at the University of Wales, 1997 (Alastair J.H.,
Reconstructing Realism: Between Power Politics and Cosmopolitan Ethics, p. 2023)
Ultimately, the only result of the post-positivist movement's self-styled 'alternative'
status is the generation of an unproductive opposition; between a seemingly
mutually exclusive rationalism and reflectivism. Realism would seem to hold out the
possibility of a more constructive path for international relations theory. The fact that it
is engaged in a normative enquiry is not to say that it abandons a concern for the practical
realities of international politics, only that it is concerned to bridge the gap between
cosmopolitan moral and power political logics. Its approach ultimately provides an

overarching framework which can draw on many different strands of thought,


the 'spokes' which can be said to be attached to its central hub , to enable it to
relate empirical concerns to a normative agenda. It can incorporate the lessons that
geopolitics yields, the insights that neorealism might achieve, and all the other
information that the approaches which effectively serve to articulate the specifics of its
orientation generate, and. once incorporated within its theoretical framework,
relate them both to one another and to the requirements of the ideal , in order to
support an analysis of the conditions which characterise contemporary international politics
and help it to achieve a viable political ethic. Against critical theories which are
incomprehensible to any but their authors and their acolytes and which prove

incapable of relating their categories to the issues which provide the substance
of international affairs, and against rationalist, and especially neorealist, perspectives
which prove unconcerned for matters of values and which simply ignore the relevance of
ethical questions to political action, realism is capable of formulating a position which
brings ethics and politics into a viable relationship. It would ultimately seem to
offer us a course which navigates between the Scylla of defending our values so
badly that we end up threatening their very existence, and the Charybdis of

defending them so efficiently that we become everything that they militate


against. Under its auspices. we can perhaps succeed in reconciling our ideals
with our pragmatism.

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Democratic Realism Solves the


Links
DEMOCRATIC REALISM RESPONDS TO THE CRITIQUES
CONCERNS, PROMOTING THE NATIONAL INTEREST AT THE
SAME TIME AS WORLD PEACE AND PROSPERITY.
Will Marshall, President of the Progressive Policy Institute, Democratic Realism:
The Third Way, BLUEPRINT, Winter 2000,
http://www.ndol.org/blueprint/winter2000/marshall.html.
Democratic Realism seeks a new balance of American ideals and interests. It
builds on the time-honored principles of liberal internationalism: At the core of
the post-Cold War world is a growing zone of democracies committed to
relatively open markets and free trade, political relations based on agreed-upon
rules and norms of behavior, and institutions to cooperatively manage and
enforce those standards. Protecting and extending that democratic community
serves our security and economic interests while also expressing Americans'
ingrained belief in our country's historic mission. Deftly executed, policies based
on Democratic Realism can not only underpin America's vital interests and
continued global success, but help ensure a safer, more prosperous, and more
democratic world.

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Violence is Endemic
POLITICS MUST INCORPORATE THE EXISTENCE OF
ENDEMIC VIOLENCE. WE CAN INCORPORATE THIS
WITHOUT BUYING INTO EVERY REALIST PREMISE
Stefano Guzzini, Assistant Professor at Central European University, The enduring
dilemmas of realism in International Relations, Copenhagen Peace Research Institute,
December

2001, http://www.ciaonet.org/wps/gus02/gus02.pdf, accessed 8/13/02

Until now, the purpose of this article might have appeared to be just another,
perhaps more systematically grounded, critique of the difficulties realist theories
of International Relations have been facing. By drawing on the lessons one can
learn from these dilemmas, this conclusion wants to suggest a way forward.
Once we know where realism gets stuck in its analytical justification, the study
of its dilemmas should open a more reflexive way to re-apprehend Realism as a
double negation and the trap of the realism-idealism debate In what follows, I
argue that the underlying reason why realists are not facing up the implications
of the identity (distinctiveness/determinacy) and the conservative
(science/tradition) dilemma consists in the terms of the first debate in which
many realists feel compelled to justify realism. According to this selfunderstanding, realists are there to remind us about the fearful, the cruel side of
world politics which lurks behind. This distinct face of international politics
inevitably shows when the masquerade is over. In the Venetian carnival of
international diplomacy, only the experienced will be prepared when the curtain
falls and world history picks up its circular course. By trying to occupy a vantage
point of (superior) historical experience, science came then as an offer, IR
realism could not refuse. IR Realism has repeatedly thought to have no other
choice but to justify this pessimism with a need to distance itself from other
positions, to be nonsubsumable. It needed to show that whatever else might
temporarily be true, there is an unflinching reality which cannot be avoided.
Realism needed to point to a reality which cannot be eventually overcome by
politics, to an attitude which would similarly rebuff the embrace by any other
intellectual tradition. The first debate is usually presented as the place in
which this negative attitude has been played out, indeed mythically enshrined.
It is to this metaphorical foundation to which many self-identified realists return.
Yet, I think that the first debate is a place where the thoughts not only of socalled idealist scholars, but also of self-stylised realists look unduly impoverished
exactly because it is couched in terms of an opposition. When scholars more
carefully study the type of opposition, however, they quickly find out that many
so-called realist scholars have been not only critical of utopian thought and
social engineering, but also of Realpolitik. In other words, if one concentrates on
scholars and their work, and not on labels, one sees realism not simply as an
attitude of negation which it is but as an attitude of double negation: in the
words of R.N. Berki, realism must oppose both the conservative idealism of
nostalgia and the revolutionist idealism of imagination. Norberto Bobbio has
developed this double negation in his usually lucid style as both a conservative
realism which opposes the ideal, and a critical realism which opposes the
apparent, a difference too few realists have been able to disentangle. For this
double heritage of political realism is full of tensions. Realism as anti-idealism is
status-quo oriented. It relies on the entire panoply of arguments so beautifully
summarised by Alfred Hirschman. According to the futility thesis, any attempt at
change is condemned to be without any real effect. The perversity thesis would
argue that far from changing for the better, such policies only add new problems
to the already existing ones. And the central jeopardy thesis says that
purposeful attempts at social change will only undermine the already achieved.
The best is the enemy of the good, and so on. Anti-apparent realism, however, is
an attitude more akin to the political theories of suspicion. It looks at what is
hidden behind the smokescreen of current ideologies, putting the allegedly self-

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evident into the limelight of criticism. With the other form of realism , it shares a
reluctance to treat beautiful ideas as what they claim to be. But it is much more
sensible to their ideological use, revolutionary as well as conservative. Whereas
anti-ideal realism defends the status quo, anti-apparent realism questions it. It
wants to unmask existing power relations.

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Realism Inevitable
WE MUST USE REALISM BECAUSE OTHERS RELY ON IT
Guzzini, Assistant Professor at Central European Univ., Realism in International
Relations and International Political Economy, 1998, p. 227
Stefano

The main line of critique can be summarized as follows: realism does not take its
central concepts seriously enough. To start with, its critiques claim that realism
is a sceptical practice which however, stops short of problematizing the inherent
theory of the state. It is, second, a practice which informs an international
community. Third, international politics is not power politics because it
resembles realist precepts, but because the international community which
holds a realist world-view acts in such a way as to produce power politics: it is a
social construction. Realist expectations might hold, not because they
objectively correspond to something out there, but because agents make them
the maxims that guide their actions. Finally, this can have very significant policy
effects: even at the end of the Cold War which might have shattered realist
world-views, realist practices could mobilize old codes, such as to belittle the
potential historical break of the post-Berlin wall system. Realism still underlies
major re-conceptualization of the present international system, from
Huntington's geocultural reification to `neomedievalism' - and justifies the
foreign policies which can be derived from them.

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Realism Good: Prevents Nuclear


War
REALISM KEY TO STOPPING NUCLEAR WAR.
Hans Morgenthau, University of Chicago, Realism in International Politics, 19 58,
Published in NAVAL WAR COLLEGE REVIEW, Winter 1998.
It seems to me that to a great extent the future peace of the world-and the
future peace of the world means under present conditions the future existence
of the world-will depend upon the restoration of the original, the traditional, the
realistic concepts of foreign policy: of a foreign policy which was regarded and
practiced as what you might call the "mundane business" of accommodating
divergent interests, defining seemingly incompatible interests, and then
redefining them until finally they became compatible. For it seems to me to be
very unlikely that the "cold war," as it has been practiced in the last ten years,
will continue indefinitely. About five or six years ago Sir Winston Churchill said in
a speech in the House of Commons exactly this: "Things as they are cannot last;
either they will get better, or they will get worse." If the present trend continues,
I think, in spite of what has been said about the desirability and possibility of
limited war, the danger of an all-out atomic war will increase. One of the
instruments to avoid this universal catastrophe lies in the restoration of those
processes of a realistic foreign policy to which I have referred.

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Realism Good: Prevents War (1/3)


REALISM IS KEY TO INTERNATIONAL PEACE THE
CRITIQUE ATTACKS THE WORST ASPECTS OF REALIST
POLITICS, THE PLAN EMBODIES THE BEST.
Jervis, President, American Political Science Association, INTERNATIONAL
ORGANIZATION, Autumn 1998, ASP.
Robert

Realism can also speak to the conditions under which states are most likely to
cooperate and the strategies that actors can employ to foster cooperation. This line
of theorizing is sometimes associated with neoliberalism, but the two are hard to distinguish in this area. Making a distinction would be easy if
realism believed that conflict was zero-sum, that actors were always on the Pareto frontier. This conclusion perhaps flows from the view of
neoclassical economics that all arrangements have evolved to be maximally efficient, but realists see that politics is often tragic in the sense of

. Although offensive realists who see aggression


and expansionism as omnipresent (or who believe that security requires
expansion) stress the prevalence of extreme conflict of interest, defensive
realists believe that much of international politics is a Prisoners dilemma or a
more complex security dilemma. The desire to gain mixes with the need for
protection; much of statecraft consists of structuring situations so that states
can maximize their common interests. The ever-present fear that others will take
advantage of the state and the knowledge that others have reciprocal worries
leads diplomats to seek arrangements that will reduce if not neutralize these
concerns. Even if international politics must remain a Prisoners Dilemma, it can often be made into one that is more benign by altering
actors being unable to realize their common interests

the pay-offs to encourage cooperation, for example, by enhancing each states ability to protect itself should the other seek to exploit it and

The knowledge
that even if others are benign today, they may become hostile in the future due
to changes of mind, circumstances, and regimes can similarly lead decision
makers to create arrangements that bind others and themselves, as previously noted.
increasing the transparency that allows each to see what the other side is doing and understand why it is doing it.

REALISM KEY TO DIPLOMACY AND PREVENTING CONFLICT.


Jervis, President, American Political Science Association, INTERNATIONAL
ORGANIZATION, Autumn 1998, ASP.
Robert

Just as understanding the limits of the states power can reduce conflict, so in
protecting what is most important to them states must avoid the destructive
disputes that will result from failing to respect the vital interests of others.
Realists have long argued that diplomacy and empathy are vital tools of
statecraft: conceptions of the national interest that leave no room for the
aspirations and values of others will bring ruin to the state as well as to its
neighbors.

WAR AND VIOLENCE ARE ENDEMIC TO IR POLITICS,


MOVING AWAY WILL INEVITABLY RESULT IN GREAT POWER
WARS
MEARSHEIMER 2001
[John, Co-Director of IR Policy at University of Chicago and Former research
fellow at the Brookings institute, The Tragedy of Great Power Politics, pg xi-xii. )
The twentieth century was a period of great international
violence.In World War I (1914-18), roughly nine million people died on European battlefields. About fifty million people
were killed duringWorld War 11(1939-45), well over half of them civilians. Soon after the end of World War II, the Cold War engulfed
the globe. During this con-frontation, the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies never directly fought the United States and its
North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies,but many millions died in proxy wars in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Nicaragua, Angola, El
Salvador, and elsewhere. Millions also died in the century's lesser, yet still fierce, wars, including the Russo-Japanese con-flicts of
1904-5 and 1939, the Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War from 1918 to 1920, the Russo-Polish War of 1920-21, the various

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Kritik Answers
Hopes
for peace will probably not be realized, because the great
powers that shape the international system fear each other and
compete for power as a result. Indeed, their ultimate aim is to
gain a position of dominant power over others, because having
dominant power is the best means to ensure one's own survival.
Strength ensures safety, and the greatest strength is the
greatest insurance of safety. States facing this incentive are fated to clash as each competes for
advantage over the others. This is a tragic situation, but there is no escaping
it unless the states that make up the system agree to form a world government. Such a vast transformation is hardly a realistic
prospect, however, so conflict and war are bound to continue as large and
enduring features of world politics.
Arab-Israeli wars, and the han-Iraq War of 1980-88. This cycle of violence will continue far into the new millennium.

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Realism Good: Prevents War (2/3)


ANY SHIFT AWAY FROM REALISM WILL CAUSE A POWER
VACUUM RESULTING IN GREAT POWER WARS
MEARSHEIMER 2001
[John, Co-Director of IR Policy at University of Chicago and Former
research fellow at the Brookings institute, The Tragedy of Great Power
Politics, pg 3. )
Alas, the claim that security competition and war between the great
powers have been purged from the international system is wrong.
Indeed, there is much evidence that the promise of everlasting peace
among the great powers was stillborn. Consider, for example, that even
though the soviet threat has disappeared, the United States still
maintains about one hundred thousand troops in Europe and roughly the
same number in Northeast Asia. It does so because it recognizes that
dangerous rivalries would probably emerge among the major powers in
these regions if U.S. troops were withdrawn. Moreover, almost every
European state, includ- ing the United Kingdom and France, still harbors
deep-seated, albeit muted, fears that a Germany unchecked by
American power might behave aggressively; fear of Japan in Northeast
Asia is probably even more profound, and it is certainly more frequently
expressed. Finally, the possi- bility of a clash between China and the
United States over Taiwan is hard- ly remote. This is not to say that such
a war is likely, but the possibility reminds us that the threat of greatpower war has not disappeared. The sad fact is that international
politics has always been a ruthless and dangerous business, and it is
likely to remain that way. Although the intensity of their competition
waxes and wanes, great powers fear each other and always compete
with each other for power. The overriding goal of each state is to
maximize its share of world power, which means gain- ing power at the
expense of other states. But great powers do not merely strive to be the
strongest of all the great powers, although that is a wel- come outcome.
Their ultimate aim is to be the hegemon--that is, the only great power in
the system.
(NEXT PAGE)

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Realism Good: Prevents War (3/3)


(PREVIOUS PAGE)
There are no status quo powers in the international system, save for the
occasional hegemon that wants to maintain its dominating position over
potential rivals. Great powers are rarely content with the current distribution of power; on the contrary, they face a constant incentive to
change it in their favor. They almost always have revisionist intentions,
and they will use force to alter the balance of power if they think it can
be done at a reasonable price.3 At times, the costs and risks of trying to
shift the balance of power are too great, forcing great powers to wait for
more favorable circumstances. But the desire for more power does not
go away, unless a state achieves the ultimate goal of hegemony. Since
no state is likely to achieve global hegemony, however, the world is
condemned to perpetual great-power competition. This unrelenting
pursuit of power means that great powers are Inclined to look for
opportunities to alter the distribution of world power in their favor. They
will seize these opportunities if they have the necessary capa- bility.
Simply put, great powers are primed for offense. But not only does a
great power seek to gain power at the expense of other states, it also
tries to thwart rivals bent on gaining power at its expense. Thus, a great
power will defend the balance of power when looming change favors
another state, and it will try to undermine the balance when the
direction of change is in its own favor.

SURVIVAL IS CONTIGENT ON OFFENSIVE MILITARY POWER


MEARSHEIMER 2001
[John, Co-Director of IR Policy at University of Chicago and Former
research fellow at the Brookings institute, The Tragedy of Great Power
Politics, pg 36-7. )
The security dilemma," whith is one of the most well-known concepts in
the international relations literature, reflects the basic logic of offensive
realism. The essence of the dilemma is that the measures a state takes
to increase its own security usually decrease the security of other states.
Thus, it is difficult for a state to increase its own chances of survival
with- out threatening the survival of other states. John Hen first
introduced the security dilemma in a 1950 article in the journal World
Politkc.'7 After dis- cussing the anarchic nature of international politics.
he writes, "Striving to attain security from . . . attack, [states] are driven
to acquire more and more power in order to escape the impact of the
power of others. This, in turn, renders the others more insecure and
compels them to prepare for the worst. Since none can ever feel entirely
secure in such a world of competing units, power competition ensues,
and the vicious circle of secu- rity and power accumulation is on."8 The
implication of Herz's analysis is clear: the best way for a state to survive
in anarchy is to take advantage of other states and gain power at their
expense. The best defense is a good offense. Since this message is
widely understood, ceaseless security com- petition ensues.
Unfortunately, little can be done to ameliorate the securi- ty dilemma as
long as states operate in anarchy.
It should be apparent from this discussion that saying that states are
power maximizers is tantamount to saying that they care about relative
power, not absolute power. There is an important distinction here,
because states concerned about relative power behave differently than
do states interested in absolute power.'9 States that maximize relative
power are concerned primarily with the distribution of material
capabilities. In particular, they try to gain as large a power advantage as

131

Kritik Answers
possible over potential rivals, because power is the best means to
survival in a danger- ous world. Thus, states motivated by relative power
concerns are likely to forgo large gains in their own power, if such gains
give rival states even greater power, for smaller national gains that
nevertheless provide them with a power advantage over their rivals.20
States that maximize absolute power, on the other hand, care only
about the size of their own gains, not those of other states. They are not
motivated by balance-of-power logic but instead are concerned with
amassing power without regard to how much power other states control.
They would jump at the opportunity for large gains, even if a rival gained
more in the deal. Power, according to this logic, is not a means to an end
(survival), but an end in itself.2'

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Realism Good: Militarism Solves


War (1/2)
U.S. MILITARISM IS CRITICAL TO WORLD PEACE
Kagan, Hillhouse Professor of History at Yale, 1997 (Donald, Roles and
Missions. Orbis, Spring, Volume 41)

the keystone
of American strategy should be an effort to preserve and sustain the
situation as well and as long as possible. America's most vital interest, therefore, is
maintaining the general peace, for war has been the swiftest, most expensive, and most devastating means
of changing the balance of international power. But peace does not keep itself , although one of the most
Few, if any, nations in the history of the world have ever enjoyed such a favorable situation. It stands to reason that

common errors in modern thinking about international relations is the assumption that peace is natural and can be preserved merely by having
peace-seeking nations avoid provocative actions. The last three-quarters of the twentieth century strongly suggests the opposite conclusion:

major war is more likely to come when satisfied states neglect


their defenses and fail to take an active part in the preservation
of peace. It is vital to understand that the current relatively peaceful and secure
situation is neither inevitable nor immutable. It reflects two
conditions built up with tremendous effort and expense during the
last half century: the great power of the United States and the
general expectation that Americans will be willing to use that
power when necessary. The diminution of U.S. power and
credibility, which would follow on a policy of reduced responsibility, would thus not be a neutral act
that would leave the situation as it stands. Instead, it would be a
critical step in undermining the stability of the international
situation. Calculations based on the absence of visible potential
enemies would immediately be made invalid by America's
withdrawal from its current position as the major bulwark
supporting the world order. The cost of the resulting upheaval in
wealth, instability, and the likelihood of war would be infinitely
greater than the cost of continuing to uphold the existing
international structure.

AND, NON-VIOLENCE DOESNT SOLVE ITS JUST WISHFUL


THINKING
Regan, Political Science Professor at Fordham, 1996 (Richard, Just War:
Principles and Causes, p. 6)

Pacifists generally argue that nonviolence and nonresistance will ultimately win
the minds and hearts of aggressors and oppressors, but that argument is
neither convincing nor dispositive. The success of Gandhi or King may have been due (at
least in part) to the appeal of their nonviolent campaigns to the conscience of their oppressors. But if that is true, it is

Gandhi could appeal to the moral conscience of a free British


electorate over the heads of colonial administrators, and King could appeal to the
moral conscience of the national American electorate over the heads of
regional southern officials. There is no reason to believe that such campaigns
would have been successful against the rulers of Nazi Germany .
Second, the argument rests on an extremely optimistic view about
the reformability of human behavior. Hobbes was surely correct in describing a persistent
because

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Kritik Answers
To imagine that every or even most human
beings will behave like saints seems to be wishful thinking. And
even were human beings to be so transformed at some indefinite
future point of time, why should innocent human beings suffer
oppression in the intervening short run?
conflictual pattern of human behavior.

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Realism Good: Militarism Solves


War (2/2)
AND, THEIR STRATEGY IS IMMORAL AND INCITES MORE
VIOLENCE
Coates, Politics Lecturer at Reading, 1997 (A.J., The Ethics of War, p. 1156)

Doubts arise not just about the utility or efficacy of the pacifist strategy, but also
about its moral consistency. The moral claim of the strategy rests on the
assumption that non-violent resistance is noncoercive, that here is a morally
superior form of action that is not part of a culture or cycle of violence. That
assumption seems unfounded. As one critic argues: Even though your action is
non-violent, its first consequence must be to place you and your opponents in a
state of war. For your opponents now have only the same sort of choice that an
army has: that of allowing you to continue occupying the heights you have
moved on to, or of applying force dynamic, active, violent force to throw you
back off them. Your opponents cannot now uphold the laws which they value
without the use of such violence. And to fail to uphold them is to capitulate to
you In terms of its practical impact, therefore, your tactic is basically a
military one rather than a morally persuasive one or even a political one.
(Prosch 1965, pp. 104-5) Not only does non-violent resistance invite a violent
response from an opponent; it also produces in some cases even deliberately
engineers circumstances in which those of a more militant and less sensitive
disposition can realize their violent ambitions. In such circumstances it seems
either nave or hypocritical to parade ones pacific and non-violent credentials
while ignoring the key role that has been played in the unleashing of the cycle of
violence.

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Realism Good: Militarism Solves


Genocide
U.S. MILITARISM IS CRITICAL TO PREVENTING GENOCIDE
Diamond, Senior Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution, 1996 (Larry,
Why the United States must remain engaged, Orbis, Summer, Volume 40,
Number 3)
Much in Nordlinger's book is wise, prudent, and morally responsible. Let us hope that we
never again so demonize a global challenger that our officials are tempted to vitiate our
constitution and values, or make the mistake, so tragically common in the cold war, of
embracing any ethically repugnant regime that happens to be on "our side." Let us have a
serious debate on our national interests and the military means we need to defend them. If
we can pare our defense spending further by eliminating expensive weapons programs
that are not needed or not likely to work (or even in some cases not wanted by the armed

let us not make the mistake of assuming that a world


without effective rules and the power to enforce them would be
any more benign than Hobbes imagined it would be, or that a world full of
escalating rivalries, arms buildups, aggression, repression,
genocide, and war would not ultimately threaten our values, our
security, and our way of life. Especially now, in a turbulent era of power
instabilities and rapidly resurgent nationalisms, world order will depend heavily
on preeminent American military power, selectively but strategically
engaged around the world in the service of liberal principles. In the necessary
forces themselves), by all means let us do so. But
the core mistake of isolationists then and now -

task of reconfiguring U.S. foreign policy for a new century, liberal internationalism offers
the best, wisest, most secure, and most humane foundation on which to build.

EVEN IF THEY WIN THAT THE PLAN DOESNT PASS WELL


WIN THAT THE KRITIK SANCTIONS GENOCIDE
Willis 12-19-95 (Ellen, The Village Voice)
If intellectuals are more inclined to rise to the discrete domestic issue
than the historic international moment, this may have less to do with the decay
of the notion of international solidarity than with the decay of confidence in their ability
to change the world, not to mention the decay of anything resembling a
cohe re nt f ramework of ideas within which to understand it.
Certainly the received ideas of the left, to the extent that a left can still be said to exist, have been less than helpful as a
framework for understanding the Bosnian crisis or organizing a response to it. Although

American imperialism

the idea of

explains less and less in a world where the locus of power is rapidly shifting to a

fuels a strain of reflexive antiinterventionist sentiment whose practical result is paralyzed


dithering in the face of genocide. Floating around "progressive"
circles and reinforcing the dithering is a brand of vulgar pacifism
whose defining characteristic is not principled rejection of
violence but squeamish aversion to dealing with it. In the academy
in particular, entrenched assumptions about identity politics and cultural
relativism promote a view of the Balkan conflict as too complicated and
ambiguous to allow for choosing sides. If there is no such thing as universality, if multiethnic
network of transnational corporations, it still

democracy is not intrinsically preferable to ethnic separatism, if there are no clear-cut aggressors and victims but merely
clashing cultures, perhaps ethnic partition is simply the most practical way of resolving those "implacable ancient
rivalries."\

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Realism Good: Militarism Solves


Democracy
U.S. MILITARISM IS CRITICAL TO THE SPREAD OF
DEMOCRACY
Diamond, Senior Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution, 1996 (Larry,
Why the United States must remain engaged, Orbis, Summer, Volume 40,
Number 3)

In the past, global power has been an important reason why certain countries have
become models for emulation by others. The global power of the United States,
and of its Western democratic allies, has been a factor in the diffusion of democracy
around the world, and certainly is crucial to our ability to help popular, legitimate

democratic forces deter armed threats to their overthrow, or to return to power


(as in Haiti) when they have been overthrown. Given the linkages among democracy,
peace, and human rights - as well as the recent finding of Professor Adam Przeworski
(New York University) that democracy is more likely to survive in a country when it is more
widely present in the region - we should not surrender our capacity to diffuse and
defend democracy. It is not only intrinsic to our ideals but important to our national
security that we remain globally powerful and engaged - and that a dictatorship
does not rise to hegemonic power within any major region .

LITTLE B: DEMOCRACY PREVENTS WAR, MASS DEATH,


AND GENOCIDE
Rummel, Professor of Political Science at the University of Hawaii &
Director of the Haiku Institute of Peace Research, 1994 (Rudolph J., Power,
Genocide and Mass Murder, Journal of Peace Research, February, Volume 31,
Nubmer 1)
The principal empirical and theoretical conclusion emerging from this project confirms

Power kills, absolute power kills


absolutely. The more power a regime has, the more it can act
arbitrarily according to the whims and desires of the elite . The more
previous work on the causes of war:

freely a political elite can control the power of the state apparatus, the more thoroughly it
can repress and murder its subjects and the more insistently it can declare war on
domestic and foreign enemies. By contrast, the more it will make war on others and
murder its foreign and domestic subjects, the more constrained the power of a regime -

the more political power is diffused, checked, and balanced - the less it
will aggress on others and commit democide . This finding holds up
through a variety of multivariate analyses comprising over a hundred different kinds of
political, cultural, social, and economic variables. All considered, including the partial
correlations, regression analysis, and the independent dimensions defined through factor
analysis, a measure of democracy versus totalitarian regimes and measures of war and
rebellion are the best independent predictors of democide (Rummel, 1995). At the

totalitarian regimes murdered their people by


the tens of millions, while many democracies can barely bring themselves to
execute even serial murderers. The way to virtually eliminate genocide
and mass murder appears to be through restricting and checking power.
This means to foster democratic freedom. This is the ultimate conclusion of this
extremes of power, the

project.

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Alt Bad: Could Make Things Worse


THE ALTERNATIVE MAY MAKE THINGS WORSE, WILL
ELIMINATE BENEFITS OF THE CURRENT ORDER
Murray, RECONSTRUCTING REALISM: BETWEEN POWER POLITICS AND
COSMOPOLITAN ETHICS, Keele University Press: Edinburgh, 1997, p. 182.
Alastair J.H.

This is not merely to indulge in yet another interminable discourse on


the lessons of Munich, rejecting all strategies of assurance for more
familiar policies of deterrence. A realist perspective does not, as Wendt
seems to assume, require worst-case forecasting, nor does it adopt an
ethic of sauve qui peut. But it is to suggest that, when realism
emphasizes the need for a cautious, gradual approach to attempts to
transform the nature of the system, it had a point. In Wendts analysis,
change ultimately becomes as privileged as the status quo in rationalist
perspectives. If he does not hold that history is progressive, he does
hold that change is. If he is not idealistic about the possibilities of
effecting a transformation of the system, he is with regard to the way in
which it might be accomplished. Yet, even if we acknowledge that a
transformation in the structure of international politics would be
beneficial, this does not imply the acceptance of a desperate gamble to
accomplish it. And, at the end of the day, if we can accept that the
current structure of international politics contains many injustices, there
is no guarantee that its transformation would remove such iniquities
anyway. The only thing that the quest to overthrow the status quo does
not guarantee to do is to undermine those fragments of order that we
currently possess. Ultimately, constructivism can be seen to rest upon a
value of judgment which sacrifices the safe option of remaining within
the current situation for the attempt to explore its possibilities. It can be
seen to rest on a progressive philosophy which privileges the possible
over the extant and sacrifices stability on the altar of transformation.

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Alt Fails: Realism Inevitable (1/2)


REALISM IS INEVITABLE
Mearsheimer, Professor, University of Chicago, THE TRAGEDY OF
GREAT POWER POLITICS, 2001, p. 2.
John

The sad fact is that international politics has always been a ruthless and
dangerous business, and it is likely to remain that way. Although the intensity of
their competition waxes and wanes, great powers fear each other and always
compete with each other for power. The overriding goal of each state is to
maximize its share of world power, which means gaining power at the expense
of other states. But great powers do not merely strive to be the strongest of all
the great powers, although that is a welcome outcome. Their ultimate aim is to
be the hegemon-that is, the only great power in the system.

REALISM IS A FACT OF INTERNATIONAL POLITICS EVEN IF


WE DONT LIKE IT
Mearsheimer, Professor, University of Chicago, THE TRAGEDY OF
GREAT POWER POLITICS, 2001, p. 3-4.
John

This situation, which no one consciously designed or intended, is genuinely


tragic. Great powers that have no reason to fight each other- that are merely
concerned with their own survival- nevertheless have little choice but to pursue
power and to seek to dominate the other states in the system. This dilemma is
captured in brutally frank comments that Prussian statesman Otto von Bismarck
made during the early 1860s, when it appeared that Poland, which was not an
independent state at the time, might regain its sovereignty. Restoring the
Kingdom of Poland in any shape or form is tantamount to creating an ally for any
enemy that chooses to attack us, he believed, and therefore he advocated that
Prussia should smash those Poles till, losing all hope, they lie down and die; I
have every sympathy for their situation, but if we wish to survive we have no
choice but to wipe them out.
Although it is depressing to realize that great powers might think and act this
way, it behooves us to see the world as it is, not as we would like it to be. For
example, one of the key foreign policy issues facing the United States is the
question of how China will behave if its rapid economic growth continues and
effectively turns China into a giant Hong Kong. Many Americans believe that if
China is democratic and enmeshed in the global capitalist system, it will not act
aggressively; instead it will be content with the status quo in Northeast Asia.
According to this logic, the United States should engage China in order to
promote the latters integration into the world economy, a policy that also seeks
to encourage Chinas transition to democracy. If engagement succeeds, the
United States can work with a wealthy and democratic China to promote peace
around the globe. Unfortunately, a policy of engagement is doomed to fail.

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Alt Fails: Realism Inevitable (2/2)


STATES COMPETE WITH EACHOTHER TO SURVIVE; ANY
LOSS OF POWER IS ZERO SUM, MAKING REALIST AN
INEVITABILITY
MEARSHEIMER 2001
[John, Co-Director of IR Policy at University of Chicago and Former
research fellow at the Brookings institute, The Tragedy of Great Power
Politics, pg 32-33 )
Great powers fear each other, They regard each other with suspicion, and they worry that war might be in the offing. They

. There is little room for trust among states. For sure, the level of fear varies
. From the per- spective of any one
great power, all other great powers are potential ene- mies. This point is illustrated
anticipate danger

across time and space, but it cannot be reduced to a trivial level

by the reaction of the United Kingdom and France to German reunification at the end of the Cold War. Despite the fact that these
three states had been close allies for almost forty-five years, both the United Kingdom and France immediately began worrying

t in a world where great


powers have the capability to attack each other and might have the motive to do so, any
state bent on survival must be at least suspicious of other states and reluctant to trust them.
Add to this the "911" problem-the absence of a cen- tral authority to which a threatened state can turn for
help-and states have even greater incentive to fear each other. Moreover,
there is no mechanism, other than the possible self-interest of third parties, for pun- ishing an
aggressor. Because it is sometimes difficult to deter potential aggressors, states have ample reason not to trust other
states and to be prepared for war with them. The possible consequences of falling victim to
aggression further amplIfy the importance of fear as a motivating force in world politics.
Great pow- ers do not compete with each other as if international politics were merely an economic marketplace. Political
competition among states is a much more dangerous business than
mere economic intercourse; the former can lead to war, and war often means
mass killing on the battlefield as well as mass murder of civilians. In extreme cases, war can even lead to the destruction
about the potential dangers of a united Germany.' The basis of this fear is tha

of states. The horrible consequences of war sometimes cause states to view each other not just as competitors, but as potentially

Political antagonism, in short, tends to be intense, because the


stakes are great. States in the international system also aim to guarantee
their own sur- vival. Because other states are potential threats, and because there is no higher authority to come
to their rescue when they dial 911, states can- not depend on others for their own security . Each state tends to
see itself as vulnerable and alone, and therefore it aims to provide for its own sur- vival. In international
deadly enemies.

politics, God helps those who help themselves. This emphasis on self-help does not preclude states from forming alliances." But
alliances are only temporary marriages of convenience: today's affiance partner might be tomorrow's enemy, and today's enemy
might be tomorrow's alliance partner. For example, the United States fought with China and the Soviet Union against Germany and
Japan in World War H, but soon thereafter flip-flopped enemies and partners and allied with West Germany and Japan against China

States operating in a self-help world almost


always act according to their own sell-interest and do not subordinate
their interests to the inter- ests of other states, or to the interests of the so-called
international com- munity. The reason is simple: it pays to be selfish in a self-help world. This is true in the short
and the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

term as weli as in the long term, because if a state loses in the short run, it might not be around for the long haul. Apprehensive

states quickly
understand that the best way to ensure their survival is to be the most
powerful state in the system. The stronger a state is relative to its potential rivals, the less likely it is that
about the ultimate intentions of other states, and aware that they operate in a self-help system,

any of those rivals will attack it and threaten its survival. Weaker states will be reluctant to pick fights with more powerful states
because the weaker states are likely to suffer military defeat. Indeed, the bigger the gap in power between any two states, the less
likely it is that the weaker will attack the stronger. Neither Canada nor Mexico, for example, would countenance attacking the
United States, which is far more powerful than its neighbors. The ideal situation is to be the hegemon in the system. As Immanuel
Kant said, "It is the desire of every state, or of its ruler, to arrive at a condition of perpetual peace by conquering the whole world, if
that were possible."12 Survival would then be almost guaranteed." Consequently, states pay close attention to how power is
distributed among them, and they make a special effort to maximize their share of world power. Specifically, they look for
opportunities to alter the balance of power by acquiring additional increments of power at the expense of potential rivals. States
employ a variety of means-economic, diplomatic, and military-to shift the balance of power in their favor, even if doing so makes

Because one state's gain in power is another


state's loss, great powers tend to have a zero-sum mentality when
dealing with each other. The trick, of course, is to be the winner in this competition and to dominate the other
states in the system. Thus, the claim that states maximize relative power is tantamount to arguing that states are
disposed to think offensively toward other states, even though their
ultimate motive is simply to survive. In short, great powers have aggressive intentions.'4
other states suspicious or even hostile.

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Alt Fails: Realism Will Reasset Itself


RELYING ON A STRUCTURAL APPROACH TO REFORMING
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS FAILS, NEW PROBLEMS WILL
ALWAYS DEMAND SPECIFIC REALISTIC SOLUTIONS.
Hans Morgenthau, University of Chicago, Realism in International Politics, 19 58,
Published in NAVAL WAR COLLEGE REVIEW, Winter 1998.
I could go on and on to give you examples. I'll give you another one which just
comes to my mind: the expectation (which was very prevalent in the last year or
so of the Second World War) that at the end of that war, with the enemies
defeated, we would enter into a kind of millennium from which, again, power
politics with all of its manifestations would be dispelled. Secretary of State
Cordell Hull, when he came back from the Moscow Conference of 1943, at which
the establishment of the United Nations had been agreed upon, said that the
United Nations would usher in a new era in foreign policy by doing away with
power politics, with alliances, with the armaments race, with spheres of
influence, and so forth. And he repeated this utopian expectation much later, in
his memoirs. This is another example of the belief that the difficulties which
confront us, the risks which threaten us, the liabilities which we must face in
international affairs are the result of some kind of ephemeral, unique
configuration; that if you do away with the latter you will have done away with
the liabilities, the risks, and the difficulties as well. This belief is mistaken; for it
is the very essence of historic experience that whenever you have disposed of
one danger in foreign policy another one is going to raise its head. Once we had
disposed of the Axis as a threat to American security, we were right away
confronted with a new threat: the threat of the Soviet Union. I daresay if we
could, by some kind of miracle, do away tomorrow with the threat which
emanates from the Soviet Union, we would very soon be confronted again with a
new threat-and perhaps from a very unexpected quarter.

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IR is Realist Now (1/2)


REALPOLITIK DOMINATES THE IR (5 REASONS):
1. NO CENTRAL AUTHORITY OVER STATES
2. STATES HAVE OFFENSIVE MILITARY CAPABILTIES
3. STATES INTENTIONS ARE AMBIGUOUS
4. LONG TERM SURVIVAL IS A STATES PRIMARY
GOAL
5. STATES ARE RATIONAL ACTORS
MEARSHEIMER 2001
[John, Co-Director of IR Policy at University of Chicago and Former
research fellow at the Brookings institute, The Tragedy of Great Power
Politics, pg 31-2 )
The first assumption is that the international system is anarchic, which
does not mean that it is chaotic or riven by disorder. It is easy to thaw
that conclusion, since realism depicts a world characterized by security
compe- tition and war. By itself, however, the realist notion of anarchy
has noth- ing to do with conflict; it is an ordering principle, which says
that the system comprises independent states that have no central
authority above them.4 Sovereignty, in other words, inheres in states
because there is no higher ruling body in the international system.'
There is no "government over governments. "~ The second assumption
is that great powers inherently possess some offensive military
capability, which gives them the wherewithal to hurt and possibly
destroy each other. States are potentially dangerous to each other,
although some states have more military might than others and are
therefore more dangerous. A state's military power is usually identified
with the particular weaponry at its disposal, although even if there were
no weapons. the Individuals in those states could still use their feet and
hands to attack the population of another state. After all, for every neck,
there are two hands to choke it. The third assumption is that states can
never be certain about other states' intentions. Specifically, no state can
be sure that another state will not use its offensive military capability to
attack the first state. This is not to say that states necessarily have
hostile intentions. Indeed, all of the states in the system may be reliably
benign, but it is impossible to be sure of that judgment because
intentions are impossible to divine with 100 percent cer- tainty.7 There
are many possible causes of aggression, and no state can be sure that
another state is not motivated by one of them.8 Furthermore, intentions
can change quickly, so a state's intentions can be benign one day and
hostile the next. Uncertainty about intentions is unavoidable, which
means that states can never be sure that other states do not have
offensive intentions to go along with their offensive capabilities. The
fourth assumption is that survival is the primary goal of great pow- ers.
Specifically, states seek to maintain their territorial integrity and the
autonomy of their domestic political order. Survival dominates other
motives because, once a state is conquered, it is unlikely to be in a position to pursue other aims. Soviet leader Josef Stalin put the point well
during a war scare in 1927: "We can and must build socialism in the
[Soviet Union]. But in order to do so we first of all have to exist."9 States
can and do pursue other goals, of course, but security is their most
impor- tant objective. The fifth assumption is that great powers are
rational actors. They are aware of their external environment and they
think strategically about how to survive in it. In particular, they consider
the preferences of other states and how their own behavior is likely to

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affect the behavior of those other states, and how the behavior of those
other states is likely to affect their own strategy for survival. Moreover,
states pay attention to the long term as well as the immediate
consequences of their actions.

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IR is Realist Now (2/2)


STATES VIEW POWER IS AN END IN ITSELF THIS HAS TWO
IMPLICATIONS:
1. MAKES THEIR LINKS NON-UNIQUE AND
INEVITABLE
2. TAKES OUT SOLVENCY AS THEIR ALTERNATIVE IS
UNREALISABLE
MEARSHEIMER 2001
[John, Co-Director of IR Policy at University of Chicago and Former
research fellow at the Brookings institute, The Tragedy of Great Power
Politics, pg 36 )
It should be apparent from this discussion that saying that states are
power maximizers is tantamount to saying that they care about relative
power, not absolute power. There is an important distinction here,
because states concerned about relative power behave differently than
do states interested in absolute power.'~ States that maximize relative
power are concerned primarily with the distribution of material
capabilities. In particular, they try to gain as large a power advantage as
possible over potential rivals, because power is the best means to
survival in a danger- ous world. Thus, states motivated by relative power
concerns are likely to forgo large gains in their own power, if such gains
give rival states even greater power, for smaller national gains that
nevertheless provide them with a power advantage over their rivals.2U
States that maximize absolute power, on the other hand, care only
about the size of their own gains, not those of other states. They are not
motivated by balance-of-power logic but instead are concerned with
amassing power without regard to how much power other states control.
They would jump at the opportunity for large gains, even if a rival gained
more in the deal. Power, according to this logic, is not a means to an end
(survival), but an end in itself.2'

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Miscalculation Inevitable
POWER MISCALCULATION IS INEVITABLE
1. STATES LIE
2. THEY MAKE MISTAKES IN CALCULATED
STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES
MEARSHEIMER 2001
[John, Co-Director of IR Policy at University of Chicago and Former
research fellow at the Brookings institute, The Tragedy of Great Power
Politics, pg 38. )
Nevertheless, great powers miscalculate from time to time because they
invariably make important decisions on the basis of imperfect information. States hardly ever have complete information about any situation they confront. There are two dimensions to this problem.
Potential adver- saries have incentives to misrepresent their own strength or
weakness, and to conceal their true aims.24 For example, a weaker state trying to deter a
stronger state is likely to exaggerate its own power to discourage the potential aggressor from attacking. On the other hand, a
state bent on aggression is likely to emphasize its peaceful goals while
exaggerating its military weakness, so that the potential victim does not
build up its own arms and thus leaves itself vulnerable to attack . Probably no
national leader was better at practicing this kind of deception than Adolf Hitler. But even if disinformation was not a problem,
great powers are often unsure about how their own military forces, as well as the adversary's, will perform on the battlefield. For
example, it is sometimes difficult to determine in advance how new weapons and untested combat units will perform in the face of
enemy fire. Peacetime maneuvers and war games are helpful but imperfect indicators of what is likely to happen in actual combat.
Fighting wars is a complicated business in which it is often diffi- cult to predict outcomes. Remember that although the United
States and its allies scored a stunning and remarkably easy victory against Iraq in early 1991, most experts at the time believed
that Iraq's military would be a formidable foe and put up stubborn resistance before finally succumbing to American military
might.25

Great powers are also sometimes unsure about the resolve of opposing
states as well as allies. For example, Germany believed that if it went to
war against France and Russia in the summer of 1914, the United Kingdom would
probably stay out of the fight. Saddam Hussein expected the United States
to stand aside when he invaded Kuwait in August 1990. Both aggressors guessed wrong, but each
had good reason to think that its initial judgment was correct. In the 1930s, Adolf Hitler believed that his great-power rivals would
be easy to exploit and isolate because each had little interest in fighting Germany and instead was determined to get someone

, great powers constantly find themselves


confronting situations in which they have to make important decisions
with incomplete information. Not surprisingly, they sometimes make
faulty judgments and end up doing themselves serious harm. Some defensive
else to assume that burden. He guessed right. In short

realists go so far as to suggest that the constraints of the international system are so powerful that offense rarely succeeds, and
that aggressive great powers invariably end up being punished.2' As noted, they emphasize that 1) threatened states balance
against aggressors and ultimately crush them, and 2) there is an offense-defense balance that is usually heavily tilted toward the
defense, thus making conquest especially difficult. Great powers, therefore, should be content with the existing balance of power
and not try to change it by force. After all, it makes little sense for a state to initiate a war that it is likely to lose; that would be selfdefeating behavior. It is better to concentrate instead on preserving the balance of power.27 Moreover, because aggressors seldom
succeed, states should understand that security is abundant, and thus there is no good strategic reason for wanting more power in
the first place. In a world where conquest seldom pays, states should have relatively benign inten- tions toward each other. If they
do not, these defensive realists argue, the reason is probably poisonous domestic politics, not smart calculations about how to
guarantee one's security in an anarchic world.

ITS IMPOSSIBLE FOR STATES TO ADEQUATELY PERCIEVE


FUTURE POWER RELATIONMISCALCULATION IS
INEVITABLE
MEARSHEIMER 2001
[John, Co-Director of IR Policy at University of Chicago and Former
research fellow at the Brookings institute, The Tragedy of Great Power
Politics, pg 35. )
Second, determining how much power is enough becomes even more
complicated when great powers contemplate how power wifi be distributed among them ten or twenty years down the road. The capabilities of
individual states vary over time, sometimes markedly, and it is often
diffi-

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cult to predict the direction and scope of change in the balance of power.
Remembet few in the West antidpated the collapse of the Soviet Union
before it happened. In fact, during the first hail of the Cold War, many in
the West feared that the Soviet economy would eventually generate
greater wealth than the American economy, which would cause a
marked
power shift against the United States and its allies. What the future holds
for China and Russia and what the balance of power will look like in 2020
is difficult to foresee.

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Perm Solves: Realism Necessary to


Understand Parts of IR
PERM: COMBINE THE ALTERNATE APPROACH TO IR WITH
THE REALIST STANCE OF THE 1AC THIS PROVIDES THE
BEST POSSIBLE SOLVENCY FOR DECREASING VIOLENCE
AND WAR.
Jervis, President, American Political Science Association, INTERNATIONAL
ORGANIZATION, Autumn 1998, ASP.
Robert

The popularity of alternative approaches to international politics cannot be


explained entirely by their scholarly virtues. Among the other factors at work are
fashions and normative and political preferences. This in part explains the
increasing role of rationalism and constructivism. Important as they are, these
approaches are necessarily less complete than liberalism, Marxism and realism.
Indeed, they fit better with the latter than is often realized. Realism, then,
continues to play a major role in IR scholarship. It can elucidate the conditions
and strategies that are conducive to cooperation and can account for significant
international change, including a greatly decreased tolerance for force among
developed countries, which appears to be currently the case.

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A2 9/11 Disproves Realism


EVEN IN THE POST 9/11 WORLD, WE STILL LIVE IN AN
INTENSELY REALIST WORLD THE UN IS IN THE GUTTER,
COUNTRIES DO NOT WANT TO ENGAGE IN A COMMUNITY,
AND THE US STILL REMAINS DIVIDED WITH EUROPE
Rieff, Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, 2003 (David, Mother Jones,
Goodbye, New World Order, July-August,
http://www.motherjones.com/news/feature/2003/07/ma_442_01.html)
<Yes, many people still want to believe in the United Nations -- though they're becoming fewer and fewer in number. There is even the fantasy
that some institutional or policy silver bullet -- the International Criminal Court, say, or the Kyoto Protocol -- will provide an Archimedean lever for
solving the world's woes. Were it not for the machinations of the United States, which refused to sign on to either Kyoto or the international court,

America stands only as an obstacle


that will be overcome on the road to inevitable progress.
Such claims have all the ingredients of a fine press release, but the reality is more depressing. It is true, for example, that European
governments increasingly subscribe to the ideology -- some would say the secular religion -- of
human rights. But then so does the United States; after all, the official position of
the U.S. government is that the intervention in Iraq was undertaken at least in
part in the name of human rights. Now a doctrine that can be claimed by the United States of America as well as the
the argument goes, we would be well on our way to a better world; even so,

still social democratic nations of Western Europe, and the nongovernmental organizations that view the United States as little more than a rogue
state -- not to mention major transnational corporations that have signed on to a U.N. "compact with business" -- has become elastic to the point
of fatuousness. If we all claim to be pledged to the cause of human rights (and who, it seems, does not?), then it is hard not to think of Dr.
Johnson's remark about patriotism, that it is the last refuge of a scoundrel.

There is the United


Nations sunk in irrelevancy, except as the world's leading humanitarian relief
organization. There is a landscape of international relations that seems far more
to resemble the bellicose world of pre-1914 Europe than the interdependent,
responsible world imagined by the framers of the U.N. Charter. There is an entire
continent, sub-Saharan Africa, mired in an economic calamity largely not of its
own making. There is a Europe that pays lip service to human rights, but
remains intransigent where its own real interests -- such as farm subsidies that effectively condemn subSaharan Africa to grinding poverty by limiting its agricultural exports -- are concerned. And then there is the
United States, seemingly bent on empire.
As far as the international system is concerned, what are the most striking aspects of the current situation?

Where was the good news again? That Augusto Pinochet was briefly detained in London, or that Slobodan Milosevic will likely spend the rest of
his life in a U.N. jail? This, while somewhere between 2 and 4 million Congolese die in the first general war in Africa since decolonization? The

, much of the world is actually in worse shape than it


was just a few decades ago. Where there has been progress, if that term is even appropriate in
so apocalyptic a context, it has been in the realm of norms -- that is, the laws that nations try
to evade and ignore, and in which many of the most decent people on this slaughterhouse of a planet continue to believe. But
we are deep in loaves-and-fishes land here . To believe that states will suddenly come to their
senses and behave as responsible members of an "international community,"
when few states have ever done this, is, indeed, to believe in miracles.
truth is that, outside the developed countries

There is unquestionably a globalized world economy, which remains largely dominated by the United States and is administered through central
banks, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank. But

community,

there is no such thing as an international

at least not one worthy of the name -- assuming, that is, we mean a community of shared values and interests, not just

even the old, Cold War-era blocs are


disintegrating: The G-77, the major international organization representing the
developing world, now has trouble agreeing on anything beyond the most
generic recommendations. The run-up to the Iraq war showed the depth of the
divisions within the so-called transatlantic family, and equally sharp splits were
evident within Europe during the same period. Never mind community; how can
there be any international system when what we have actually witnessed in the
period since 9/11 has been the steady erosion of the very idea of consensus in
international relations?
shared membership in the United Nations. For that matter,

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A2 Cold War Disproves Realism


(1/2)
REALISM ACCURATELY DESCRIBES THE WORLD POST-COLD
WAR U.S. INTERVENTIONISM PROVES
Miller, IR at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 2003 (Benjamin, Integrated

Realism and Hegemonic Military Intervention in Unipolarity, Hanami, Associate Professor of


Political Science at San Francisco State University, Perspectives on Structural Realism, p.
34-35)
Since the end of the Cold War, the U.S. has undertaken several military
interventions abroad, fluctuating widely in scope from the massive intervention
in the Gulf War through medium-scale intervention in Panama and Haiti to the
limited and abruptly terminated engagement in Somalia. Similarly another
regional crisis (Bosnia) was the occasion for great fluctuations of policy. The U.S.
response to the crisis shifted from military disengagement in the first four years
of the crisis to a considerable intervention on the ground in the last three years.
It has also refrained from intervention on other occasions, notably in post-Soviet
and African crises.
Is there a coherent logic behind these wide-ranging variations in post-Cold War
U.S. intervention behavior? Numerous critics have argued that there is not, and
that this erratic behavior reflects a lack of focus in U.S. foreign policy since the
end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union, the former archenemy.
For example, in a recent comprehensive treatment Gholz, Press and Sapolsky
characterize U.S. behavior this way: "the U.S. intervenes often in the conflicts of
others, but without a consistent rationale, without a clear sense of how to
advance U.S. interests, and sometimes with unintended and expensive
consequences" (1997, 5).
In the following discussion I will challenge the conventional wisdom about the
illogic and incoherence of recent U.S. military interventions. I will argue that in
contrast to widespread opinion, there is a clear logic to postCold War
interventions, even if it does not amount to a preconceived and purposive grand
strategy. Indeed, the U.S. has followed, whether consciously or not, the logic of
costs and benefits, namely different combinations of incentives and constraints
in different regions. More specifically, the intensity of U.S. interests at stake and
the intensity of the regional constraints on intervention (as reflected by the
estimated costs of intervention, especially in terms of casualties) best account
for the scope of U.S. military interventions in the postCold War era. My
argument suggests that different types of regions are prone to specific levels of
intervention or nonintervention because of the different combinations of U.S.
interests and constraints in each region. Thus, this logic accounts for the
variations in the scope of interventions and predicts different patterns of U.S.
intervention in different regions. The realist explanation presented here
integrates the classical realist focus on state interests with the structural realist
emphasis on constraints on state action in order to provide a theoretical model
of hegemonic military intervention in unipolarity. To illustrate this model, this
study will outline briefly the variations in the scope of U.S. military engagement
in all the major post-Cold War regional crises, notably the Persian Gulf (19901991, Fall 1994), Panama (1989), Somalia (1992-1994), Bosnia (since 1995),
Kosovo (since 1999), Haiti (1994-1996) and also the cases of nonintervention in
post-Soviet and African crises. The proposed explanation will demonstrate the
continuing relevance of realism to major issues of postCold War U.S. foreign
policy.

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A2 Cold War Disproves Realism


(2/2)
REALISM IS MORE APPLICABLE IN THE POST COLD WAR
ERA UNIPOLARITY MAKES ALL STATES MORE
VULNERABLE TO FOREIGN AGGRESSION
Hanami, Associate Professor of Political Science at San Francisco State University,
2003 (Andrew, December, Structural Realism and Interconnectivity, Perspectives on
Structural Realism, p. 200-201)

, it has been said that structural realism has run its course in
explanations of international relations in the post-Cold War era. Presumably this is because
As a theory, now decades old

since the end of the Cold War, there is now as expected the long-term absence of a major war between the major states. For some, it was the

But the occurrence of war


was never the sole reason why structural realism explained international
behavior. It was only its most dramatic, and in some ways, its most important . Structural realism today can be
expected to endure as long as state preeminence endures and states remain the
most important actors in the international system, even in peace, for in peace one finds the
high-conflict era of bipolarity in which structural realism had its greatest explanatory power.

rudiments of war. In recent years, non-state and near-state actors have been put forth as decisive new units in a world now focused on
economics, limited campaigns or on terrorism. The state therefore is said to have declined in relative importance. But one needs to identify the
impact of such non-state actors in the world before we can make an assessment about the significance of the new relations they create, and the

Interconnectivity is the relationship between states as


conditioned by structure and state motive. Interconnectivity, as a feature of the prevailing international
structure, allows that significant internal or even multilateral actors can forge relations
across borders. The inside-out and outside-in perspectives can be seen to combine when individual personalities of key leaders, for
theory that explains them.

example, may be pushed by internal, historical or group dynamics to act outwardly. An international organization may decide on an agenda

personalities and organizations are important, in part, because they


represent a state's power, and to be effective they must push with that state
and act with one eye on their external environment. Personalities and organizations may initiate foreign
policy, bin foreign policy action that stems from internal drives but which goes
against the grain of structure is risking failure, and over time, successful
leadership will see that.1 The disappearance of the Soviet Union from the center stage for some seems to mean that suddenly
simply from the internal inertia of its members. But

unit-level explanations have replaced structure. But in reality the unipolarity that was created when the Soviet Union slid away merely gives unitlevel actors like personalities the appearance of .1 greater relative profile because they stand on a narrower stage. They went there before.
Systemic dynamics that operated then continue to persist. A change in history does not necessarily require a change in the general theory that

We should not be repulsed by the continuation of the familiar just


because it did not explain all actions in the past. As the simplest structure, unipolarity may not seem as
explains history.

threatening to all states as bipolarity had been. If, however implausible, under bipolarity then-was a direct U.S.Soviet conflict of any proportion,
the results would have significant systemic effects. But since the onset of unipolarity if the U.S. and any other power engaged in a conflict, there
would be much less system it impact. Thus all states feel the release of dread that accompanied the prospect of superpower confrontation in

The change from bipolarity to


unipolarity is forcing most states to learn more about themselves, and their
world. Structure still instructs. With a lone superpower, the challenge today is not only what the U.S.
might do to second states, and they may feel the U.S. has less urgency to shape some of them as formerly was the case ,
but what other second states could do to them, directly or indirectly. Whether it was true or not, states
believed that strong bipolar confrontations would have negative consequences sooner or later . Unipolarity, whether it is a moment or a
few decades in length, has ushered in a more variegated and self-help environment and
has thus caused states to focus on their most likely or immediate problems.
which they as smaller states could only watch, wait and weather as best they can.

Neither Asia nor a united Europe, as David Rieff believes, is likely to successfully challenge U.S.
hegemony in the twenty-first century. In pan, this is because European armies are shrinking both in "size and in capability. The only

threats to U.S. leadershipterrorism, failed states, Saddam Hussein, Slobodan Milosivic or even the heirs to Osama bin Laden are limited." In
bipolarity, major confrontations being rare and their prevention by the action of lesser states was not possible, the international system below the
level of the superpowers was, in a sense, frozen in time. Their maneuvers mattered less because it was the potential top tier movement that held
the greatest leverage. Thus the orbit of state actions took place within a relatively immobile, stable and patterned bipolar world, as structuralists

. With the erosion to unipolarity, the calculus has changed considerably. Now
more states must watch more states. There are not just two sides, therefore there is no
"protection," sociology or structure of belonging to East or West. There is a sense of
greater anarchy, or at least, greater uncertainty as to both the movement and
consequences of the actions of states in an unbalanced world. This is worrisome
particularly to smaller states because the prospect of rescue in unipolarity is reduced as the U.S.
has greater choices of how and if to prop up second states in proportion to their
value in a less bifurcated world. Both Africa and Latin America have received less attention and aid from the U.S. since
have predicted

1990. This has caused Kenneth Jowitt to remark that large parts of the world today are now "disconnected" from the main states of the world.

many things suddenly become or appear to become important to smaller


states: their economies, militaries, allies, rivals, relations with the U.S. and even their relations with bigger states like Russia, China or other
Therefore,

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. Everything matters more because the importance of margins has
increased in a unipolar world as small gains or losses tilt states no longer buoyed
by a superpower sponsorship. Indeed, the fact that the U.S. remains the only important superpower may have led Osama
regional powers

bin Laden to target the "World Trade Center and Pentagon on September 11, 2001, as he and his al Qaida group tried to "balance" or, in their
minds, punish or alter U.S. behavior in the Middle East

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A2 Cold War End Proves


Liberalism
REMOVING US HEGEMONY WOULD BE CATASTROPHIC IN A
POST COLD-WAR WORLD
MEARSHEIMER 2001
[John, Co-Director of IR Policy at University of Chicago and Former
research fellow at the Brookings institute, The Tragedy of Great Power
Politics, pg 2-3. )
Alas, the claim that security competition and war between the great
powers have been purged from the international system is wrong.
Indeed, there is much evidence that the promise of everlasting peace
among the great powers was stillborn. Consider, for example, that even
though the soviet threat has disappeared, the United States still
maintains about one hundred thousand troops in Europe and roughly the
same number in Northeast Asia. It does so because it recognizes that
dangerous rivalries would probably emerge among the major powers in
these regions if U.S. troops were withdrawn. Moreover, almost every
European state, includ- ing the United Kingdom and France, still harbors
deep-seated, albeit muted, fears that a Germany unchecked by
American power might behave aggressively; fear of Japan in Northeast
Asia is probably even more profound, and it is certainly more frequently
expressed. Finally, the possi- bility of a clash between China and the
United States over Taiwan is hard- ly remote. This is not to say that such
a war is likely, but the possibility reminds us that the threat of greatpower war has not disappeared. The sad fact is that international
politics has always been a ruthless and dangerous business, and it is
likely to remain that way. Although the intensity of their competition
waxes and wanes, great powers fear each other and always compete
with each other for power. The overriding goal of each state is to
maximize its share of world power, which means gain- ing power at the
expense of other states. But great powers do not merely strive to be the
strongest of all the great powers, although that is a wel- come outcome.
Their ultimate aim is to be the hegemon--that is, the only great power in
the system.

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A2 Cooperation Good (1/2)


PEACE IS IMPOSSIBLESTATES WILL CHEAT
MEARSHEIMER 2001
[John, Co-Director of IR Policy at University of Chicago and Former
research fellow at the Brookings institute, The Tragedy of Great Power
Politics, pg 35 )
All states are Influenced by this logic, which means that not only do
they look for opportunities to take advantage of one another, they also
work to ensure that other states do not take advantage of them. After
all,
rival states are driven by the same logic, and most states are likely to
recognize their own motives at play in the actions of other states. In short,
states ultimately pay attention to defense as well as offense. They think
about conquest themselves, and they work to check aggressor states
from
gaining power at their expense. This inexorably leads to a world of constant security competition, where states are willing to lie, cheat, and use
brute force if it helps them gain advantage over their rivals. Peace, if one
defines that concept as a state of tranquility or mutual concord, is not
likely to break out in this world.

STATES COOPERATE TO GAIN POWER OVER POTENTIAL


RIVALSEVERY COOPERATION IS NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE TO
SUSTAIN
MEARSHEIMER 2001
[John, Co-Director of IR Policy at University of Chicago and Former
research fellow at the Brookings institute, The Tragedy of Great Power
Politics, pg 48ish]
One might conclude from the preceding discussion that my theory does
not allow for any cooperation among the great powers. But this
Conclusion would be wrong. States can cooperate, although cooperation
is sometimes difficult to achieve and always difficult to sustain. Two
factors inhibit cooperation: considerations about relative gains and
concern about cheating.'3 Ultimately, great powers live in a
fundamentally competitive world where they view each other as real, or
at least potential, enemies, and they therefore look to gain power at
each other's expense. Any two states contemplating cooperation must
consider how profits or gains will be distributed between them. They can
think about the division in terms of either absolute or relative gains
(recall the distinction made earlier between pursuing either absolute
power or relative power; the concept here is the same). With absolute
gains, each side is concerned with maximizing its own profits and cares
little about how much the other side gains or loses in the deal. Each side
cares about the other only to the extent that the other side's behavior
affects its own prospects for achieving maximum profits. With relative
gains, on the other hand, each side considers not only its own individual
gain, but also how well it fares compared to the other side. Because
great powers care deeply about the balance of power, their thinking
focuses on relative gains when they consider cooperating with other
states. For sure, each state tries to maximize its absolute gains; still, it is
more important for a state to make sure that it does no worse, and

154

Kritik Answers
perhaps better, than the other state in any agreement. Cooperation is
more difficult to achieve, however, when states are attuned to relative
gains rather than absolute gains.~' This is because states concerned
about absolute gains have to make sure that if the pie is expanding, they
are get- ting at least some portion of the increase, whereas states that
worry about relative gains must pay careful attention to how the pie is
divided, which complicates cooperative efforts. Concerns about
cheating also hinder cooperation. Great powers are often reluctant to
enter into cooperative agreements for fear that the other side will cheat
on the agreement and gain a significant advantage. This concern is
especially acute in the military realm, causing a "special peril of
defection." because the nature of military weaponry allows for rapid
shifts in the balance of power.5' Such a development could create a
window of opportunity for the state that cheats to inflict a decisive
defeat on its victim. These barriers to cooperation notwithstanding,
great powers do cooper- ate in a realist world. Balance-of-power logic
often causes great powers to

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Kritik Answers

A2 Cooperation Good (2/2)


ALLIANCES ARE TEMPORARY AND UNRELIABLE
MEARSHEIMER 2001
[John, Co-Director of IR Policy at University of Chicago and Former
research fellow at the Brookings institute, The Tragedy of Great Power
Politics, pg 33-4 )
States in the international system also aim to guarantee their own survival. Because other states are potential threats, and because there is
no
higher authority to come to their rescue when they dial 911, states cannot depend on others for their own security. Each state tends to see
itself
as vulnerable and alone, and therefore it aims to provide for its own survival. In international politics, God helps those who help themselves.
This emphasis on self-help does not preclude states from forming
alliances." But alliances are only temporary marriages of convenience:
today's affiance partner might be tomorrow's enemy, and today's enemy
might be tomorrow's alliance partner. For example, the United States
fought with China and the Soviet Union against Germany and Japan in
World War I, but soon thereafter flip-flopped enemies and partners and
allied with West Germany and Japan against China and the Soviet Union
during the Cold War.

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Kritik Answers

A2 Democracy Solves War


DEMOCRACIES STILL ENGAGE IN REALIST MINDSET
MEARSHEIMER 2001
[John, Co-Director of IR Policy at University of Chicago and Former
research fellow at the Brookings institute, The Tragedy of Great Power
Politics, pg 5. )
Unfortunately, a policy of engagement is doomed to fail. If China
becomes an economic powerhouse it will almost certainly translate its
economic might into military might and make a rim at dominating
Northeast Asia. Whether China is democratic and deeply enmeshed in
the global economy or autocratic and autarkic will have little effect on its
behavior, because democracies care about security as much as nondemocracies do, and hegemony is the best way for any state to
guarantee its own survival. Of course, neither its neighbors nor the
United States would stand idly by while China gained increasing
increments of power. Instead, they would seek to contain China,
probably by trying to form a balancing coalition. The result would be an
intense security competition between China and its rivals, with the everpresent danger of great-power war hanging over them. In short, China
and the United States are des- tined to be adversaries as China's power
grows.

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Kritik Answers

A2 Defense Solves
OFFENSE IS THE BEST DEFENSEWHOEVER COMMITS THE
FIRST STRIKE WINS 60% OF WARS
MEARSHEIMER 2001
[John, Co-Director of IR Policy at University of Chicago and Former
research fellow at the Brookings institute, The Tragedy of Great Power
Politics, pg 38. )
There is no question that systemic factors constrain aggression,
especially balancing by threatened states. But defensive realists
exaggerate those restraining forces.28 Indeed, the historical record
provides little support for their claim that offense rarely succeeds. One
study estimates that there were 63 wars between 1815 and 1980, and
the initiator won 39 times, which translates into about a 60 percent
success rate. Turning to specific cases, Otto von Bismarck unified
Germany by winning military victories against Denmark in 1864, Austria
in 1866, and France in 1870, and the United States as we know it today
was created in good part by conquest in the nineteenth century.
Conquest certainly paid big dividends in these cases. Nazi Germany won
wars against Poland in 1939 and France `0 1940, but lost to the Soviet
Union between 1941 and 1945. Conquest ultimately did not pay for the
Third Reich, but if Hitler had restrained himself after the fall of France
and had not invaded the Soviet Union, conquest probably would have
paid handsomely for the Nazis, In short, the historical record shows that
offense sometimes succeeds and some- times does not. The trick for a
sophisticated power maximizer is to figure out when to raise and when
to fold.

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Kritik Answers

A2 Human Nature
THE ANARCHIC SYSTEM OF IR IS THE REASON WHY
OFFENSIVE REALISM IS CORRECTWE NEVER MAKE
CLAIMS ABOUT HUMAN NATURE
MEARSHEIMER 2001
[John, Co-Director of IR Policy at University of Chicago and Former
research fellow at the Brookings institute, The Tragedy of Great Power
Politics, pg 56-7]
In sum, my argument is that the structure of the international system.
not the particular characteristics of individual great powers, causes
them to thinic and act offensively and to seek hegemony.6C I do not
adopt Morgenthau's claim that states invariably behave aggressively
because they have a will to power hardwired into them. Instead, I
assume that the prin- cipal motive behind great-power behavior is
survival. In anarchy, however, the desire to survive encourages states to
behave aggressively Nor does my theory classify states as more or less
aggressive on the basis of their eco- nomic or political systems.
Offensive realism makes only a handful of assumptions about great
powers, and these assumptions apply equally to all great powers. Except
for differences in how much power each state con- trols, the theory
treats all states alike. I have now laid out the logic explaining why
states seek to gain as much power as possible over their rivals. I have
said little, however, about the object of that pursuit: power itself. The
next two chapters provide a detailed discussion of this important
subject.

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Kritik Answers

A2 Mindset Shift
INEVITABLY PARANOIA AND DISAGREEMENTS OVER
COOPERATION MAKES REALIST IDEOLOGY INEVITABLE
MOVING AWAY RISKS A DECAPITATING BLOW BY AN
INVADING NATION
MEARSHEIMER 2001
[John, Co-Director of IR Policy at University of Chicago and Former research
fellow at the Brookings institute, The Tragedy of Great Power Politics, pg 40. )
The claim Is sometimes made that great powers can transcend
realist logic by working together to build an international order
that fosters peace and justice. World peace, it would appear, can only enhance a state's prosperity and security. America's political leaders paid considerable lip service to this line of argument over the course of the
twentieth century. President Clinton, for example, told an audience at the United Nations in September 1993 that "at the birth of
this organization 48 years ago a generation of gifted leaders from many nations stepped forward to organize the world's efforts on
behalf of security and prosperity . . . Now history has granted to us a moment of even greater opportunity . . Let us resolve that
we will dream larger. . . . Let us ensure that the world we pass to our children is healthier, safer and more abundant than the one
we inhabit today.""
This rhetoric notwithstanding, great powers do not work together to promote
world order for its own sake. Instead, each seeks to maximize its
own share of world power, which is likely to clash with the goal
of creat- ing and sustaining stable international orders. This is not to say
that great powers never aim to prevent wars and keep the peace. On the con- trary, they work hard to deter wars in which they
would be the likely vic tim. In such cases, however, state behavior is driven largely by narrow calculations about relative power, not
by a commitment to build a world order independent of a state's own interests. The United States, for exam- ple, devoted
enormous resources to deterring the Soviet Union from start- ing a war in Europe during the Cold War, not because of some deepseated commitment to promoting peace around the world, but because American leaders feared that a Soviet victory would lead to
a dangerous shift in the balance of power.46
The particular international order that obtains at any time is mainly a by-product of the self-interested behavior of the system's
great powers. The configuration of the system, in other words, is the unintended conse- quence of great-power security
competition, not the result of states acting together to organize peace. The establishment of the Cold War order in Europe
illustrates this point. Neither the Soviet Union nor the United States intended to establish it, nor did they work together to create it.
In fact, each superpower worked hard in the early years of the Cold War to gain power at the expense of the other, while
preventing the other from doing likewise.47 The system that emerged in Europe in the aftermath of World War II was the
unplanned consequence of intense security compe- tition between the superpowers.
Although that intense superpower rivalry ended along with the Cold War in 1990. Russia and the United States have not worked
together to create the present order in Europe. The United States, for example, has rejected out of hand various Russian proposals
to make the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe the central organizing pillar of European security (repladng the
U.S.-dominated NATO). Furthermore,
Russia was deeply opposed to NATO expansion, which It viewed as a serious threat to Russian security. Recognizing that Russia's
weakness would pre- clude any retaliation, however, the United States ignored Russia's concerns and pushed NATO to accept the
Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland as new members. Russia has also opposed u.S. policy in the Balkans over the past decade,
especially NATO's 1999 war against Yugoslavia. Again, the United States has paid little attention to Russia's concerns and has taken
the steps it deems necessary to bring peace to that volatile region. Finally, it is worth noting that although Russia is dead set
against allowing the
United States to deploy ballistic missile defenses, it is highly likely that Washington will deploy such a system if it is judged to be
technologically feasible. For sure, great-power rivalry will sometimes produce a stable interna- tional order, as happened during
the Cold War. Nevertheless, the great powers will continue looking for opportunities to increase their share of world power, and if a
favorable situation arises, they will move to under- mine that stable order. Consider how hard the United States worked dur- ing the
late 1980s to weaken the Soviet Union and bring down the stable order that had emerged in Europe during the latter part of the
Cold War.48 Of course, the states that stand to lose power will work to deter aggression and preserve the existing order. But their
motives will be selfish, revolving around balance-of-power logic, not some commitment to world peace. Great powers cannot

states are unlikely to


agree on a general formula for bolstering peace. Certainly,
international relations scholars have never reached a consensus
on what the blueprint should look like. In fact, it seems there are about as many theories
on the causes of war and peace as there are scholars studying the subject. But more important, poll- cymakers
are unable to agree on how to create a stable world. For example, at the Paris Peace Conference after World War I, important differences over how to create stability in Europe divided
commit themselves to the pursuit of a peaceful world order for two reasons. First,

Georges Clemenceau, David Lloyd George, and Woodrow Wilson.49 In particular, Clemenceau was determined to impose harsher
terms on Gennany over the Rhineland than was either Lloyd George or Wilson, while Lloyd George stood out as the hard-liner on

. The Treaty of Versailles, not sur- prisingly, did little


to promote European stability.
German reparations

Furthermore, consider American thinking on how to achieve stability in Europe in the early days of the Cold War.' The key
elements for a sta- ble and durable system were in place by the early 1950s. They included the division of Germany, the
positioning of American ground forces in Western Europe to deter a Soviet attack, and ensuring that West Germany would not seek
to develop nuclear weapons. Officials in the Truman administration, however, disagreed about whether a divided Germany would
be a source of peace or war. For example, George Kennan and Paul Nitze, who held important positions in the State Department,
believed that a divided Germany would be a source of instability whereas Secretary of State Dean Acheson disagreed with them. In
the 1950s, President Eisenhower sought to end the American commitment to defend Western Europe and to provide West Germany
with its owr~ nuclear deterrent. This policy, which was never fully adopted, nevertheless caused significant instability in Europe. as
it led directly to the Berlin crises of 1958-59 and 196l.~'
Second, great powers cannot put aside power considerations and
work to promote international peace because they cannot be
sure that their efforts will succeed. If their attempt fails, they
are likely to pay a steep price for having neglected the balance
of power, because if an aggressor appears at the door there will

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Kritik Answers
be no answer when they dial 911. That is a risk few states are
willing to run. Therefore, prudence dictates that they behave
according to realist logic. This line of reasoning accounts for
why collective security schemes, which call for states to put
aside narrow con- cerns about the balance of power and instead
act in accordance with the broader interests of the international
community, invariably die at birth.

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Kritik Answers

A2 Realism Assumes States


Rational
FIRST, HISTORY PROVES THAT ONLY STATES THAT ACT
THROUGH SELF-INTEREST WILL SURVIVE ONLY THE LONG
RUN, ENSURING RATIONAL BEHAVIOR. CROSS-APPLY
MEARSHEIMER
SECOND REALISM DOES NOT POSIT RATIONALITY OR
CONSTANCY BY STATES. WE ONLY POINT OUT THAT SELFHELP SYSTEMS REINFORCE THOSE TENDENCIES
Kenneth

Waltz, Crams BFF, Neorealism and its Critics, ed. by Robert Keohane,

1986, p. 117-118
Most of the confusions in balance-of-power theory and criticisms of it, derive from misunderstanding these three points. A balance-of-power
theory, properly stated, begins with assumptions about

states:

They

are unitary actors who,

at a minimum

, seek

their own preservation

and, at a maximum, drive for universal domination. States, or those who act for them, try in more or
less sensible ways to use the means available in order to achieve the ends in view. Those means fall into two categories: internal efforts (moves
to increase economic capability, to increase military strength, to develop clever strategies) and external efforts (moves to strengthen and enlarge
ones own alliance or to weaken and shrink an opposing one). The external game of alignment and realignment requires three or more players,
and it is usually said that balance-of-power systems require at least that number. The statement is false, for in a two-power system the politics of
balance continue, but the way to compensate for an incipient external disequilibrium is primarily by intensifying ones internal efforts. To the
assumptions of the theory we then add the condition for its operation: that two or more states coexist in a se1f-help system, one with no superior
agent to come to the aid of states that may be weakening or to deny to any of them the use of whatever instruments they think will serve their
purposes. The theory, then, is built up from the assumed motivations of states and the actions that correspond to them. It describes the
constraints that arise from the system that those actions produce, and it indicates the expected outcome: namely, the formation of balances of

. The system, like a market in economics,


interactions of its units, and the theory is based on assumptions about their behavior.
A self-help system is one in which those who do not help themselves, or who do so less effectively than others,
will fail to prosper, will lay themselves open to dangers, will suffer. Fear of such unwanted
consequences stimulates states to behave in ways that tend toward the creation
of balances of power. Notice that the theory requires no assumptions of rationality or
of constancy of will on the part of all of the actors. The theory says simply that if some do relatively well,
others will emulate them or fall by the wayside. Obviously, the system wont
work if all states lose interest in preserving themselves. It will, however, continue to work if
some states do, while others do not, choose to lose their political identities, say, through amalgamation. Nor need it be assumed
that all of the competing states are striving relentlessly to increase their power . The possibility that force may be
used by some states to weaken or destroy others does, however, make it difficult for them to break
out of the competitive system.
power. Balance-of-power theory is microtheory precisely in the economists sense

is made by the

actions and

THIRD, STATES RATIONALLY CALCULATE OFFENSIVE


MEASURES BEFORE TAKING RISKS
MEARSHEIMER 2001
[John, Co-Director of IR Policy at University of Chicago and Former
research fellow at the Brookings institute, The Tragedy of Great Power
Politics, pg 38. )
Nevertheless, great powers miscalculate from time to time because
they invariably make important decisions on the basis of imperfect
informa- tion. States hardly ever have complete information about any
situation they confront. There are two dimensions to this problem.
Potential adver- saries have incentives to misrepresent their own
strength or weakness, and to conceal thek true aims.24 For example, a
weaker state trying to deter a stronger state is likely to exaggerate its
own power to discourage the potential aggressor from attacking. On the
other hand, a state bent on aggression is likely to emphasize its peaceful

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Kritik Answers
goals while exaggerating its military weakness, so that the potential
victim does not build up its own arms and thus leaves itself vulnerable to
attack. Probably no national leader was better at practicing this kind of
deception than Adolf Hitler.

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Kritik Answers

A2 Realism Constructs Threats


REALISM DOESNT REQUIRE WORST CASE FORECASTING
OR THREAT CONSTRUCTION. THE CRITIQUE SACRIFICES
STABILITY ON THE ALTER OF UNCERTAIN
TRANSFORMATION.
Murray, Politics Department, University of Wales Swansea, Reconstructing
Realism, 1997, p. 182
Alastair

This is not merely to indulge in yet another interminable discourse on the `lessons of Munich', rejecting all strategies of assurance for more

.
A realist perspective does not,
familiar policies of deterrence

, require worst-case forecasting, nor


when realism emphasises the need for a
cautious, gradual approach to attempts to transform the nature of the system, it
has a point. In Wendt's analysis, change ultimately becomes as privileged as the status quo in rationalist perspectives. If he does not
as Wendt seems to assume

does it adopt an ethic of `sauve qui peut'. But it is to suggest that,

hold that history is progressive, he does hold that change is. If he is not idealistic about the possibilities of effecting a transformation of the
system, he is with regard to the way in which it might be accomplished. Yet, even if we acknowledge that a transformation in the structure of

at the end
of the day, if we can accept that the current structure of international politics
contains many injustices, there is no guarantee that its transformation would
remove such iniquities anyway. The only thing that the quest to overthrow the status quo does guarantee to do is to undermine
those fragments of order that we currently possess. Ultimately, constructivism can be seen to rest upon a value judgment which
sacrifices the safe option of remaining within the current situation for the attempt to explore its possibilities. It can be seen to rest
on a progressive philosophy which privileges the possible over the extant and
sacrifices stability on the altar of transformation. This is not to attempt to level a charge of utopianism, as
international politics would be beneficial, this does not imply the acceptance of a desperate gamble to accomplish it. And,

Wendt complains that Mearsheimer does, by emphasising constructivism's normative rather than explanatory commitment. As Wendt responds:
`Constructivists have a normative interest in promoting social change, but they pursue this by trying to explain how seemingly natural social
structures, like self-help or the Cold War, are effects of practice ... If critical theorists fail, this will be because they do not explain how the world
works, not because of their values."' All theories ultimately have normative commitments; the fact of their existence does not allow us to
question the validity of constructivism's explanatory power. What does, however, is the impact of these normative assumptions on its account of

Just as reflectivists argue that the implicit conservatism of


neorealism generates its ahistoricism, the implicit progressivism of
constructivism generates its unwillingness to acknowledge even the possibility
of elements of permanency. And, just as reflectivists argue that the implicit conservatism of neorealism generates
strategies which threaten to become self-perpetuating, so the implicit progressivism of constructivism generates
strategies which threaten to become counter-productive.
international politics.

REALISM IS NOT A SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECY.


Murray, Politics Department, University of Wales Swansea, Reconstructing
Realism, 1997, p. 184-5
Alastair

Now, if this is directed at realism, as it would seem to be, it seriously


misinterprets its approach. First, as we have seen, the `logic of anarchy' that
realism portrays is not a material phenomenon, but the intersubjective
emanation of cumulative past choices, albeit choices rooted in a material
account of human nature. If realism maintains that this logic represents a
relatively entrenched structure, it nevertheless holds that it is, potentially at
least, malleable by judicious statecraft. If it takes the state to be the principal
focus of this logic in contemporary world politics, there is no sense that this is
permanent or final - indeed, no sense that it is even unproblematic. Second, the
notion that realism ignores the clash between the individual's simultaneous
identification as both man and citizen mistakes the entire thrust of its work. If
realism is concerned with the duties owed to the state, it is only for the conflict
that this produces with the cosmopolitan moral obligations which fall upon men.
Third, if realism insisted that change must be compatible with the national
interests of the state, it also recognised that, particularly in an age of
interdependence and nuclear weapons, a stable international order could
ultimately only be built on some broader sense of community than that which

164

Kritik Answers
existed in states alone, and was thus centrally concerned with the extension of
community in international relations.

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Kritik Answers

A2 Realism is Amoral
THEY DONT UNDERSTAND REALISMIT IS AN EFFORT TO
NEGOTIATE BETWEEN THE INTERESTS OF MORAL AGENTS
Murray, RECONSTRUCTING REALISM: BETWEEN POWER POLITICS AND
COSMOPOLITAN ETHICS, Keele University Press: Edinburgh, 1997, p. 2.
Alastair J.H.

Consequently, realism is portrayed by its opponents not only as being


silent in the contemporary normative debate, but as being incapable of
saying anything. Such a conception of realism is, however,
fundamentally erroneous. Realism arose in opposition to idealism; and,
given that the locus of idealism was a concern with the moral, realisms
genesis was oriented towards normative issues. Of course, it never
sought to engage in the type of abstract moral principles, and to
introduce an awareness of the pervasive influence of power in the
determination of political outcomes. Yet, whilst this presupposed an
intimate involvement with the facts as they really are, the realist
concern with the real was not exclusive, but rather a function of its
desire to juxtapose it to the ideal. It sought to interrelate morality and
power in a viable synthesis, to generate a practical ethic which might
prove more realistic, and more productive, than those which ignored the
rules of international politics. Realism ultimately represented a
fundamentally practical tradition of thought, centrally concerned with
the moral understandings of participants, with the productive application
of these understandings, and with the task of generating some form of
moral consensus in international relations which might support a stable
international order. Whatever the merits of its solutions to these issues,
it clearly was not a positivist, explanatory theory; it was profoundly
concerned for normative issues, and, in particular, for the articulation of
a self-consciously political ethic.

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Kritik Answers

A2 Realism is a Self-Fulfilling
Prophecy (1/2)
THEYVE GOT IT BACKWARDS FAILURE TO PLAN FOR
CATASTROPHES CAUSES THEM
Macy

General Systems Scholar and deep ecologist, 1995 (Joanna,

Ecopsychology)

There is also the superstition that negative thoughts are selffulfilling. This is of a piece with the notion, popular in New Age circles, that we create our own reality I have had
people tell me that to speak of catastrophe will just make it more likely to happen. Actually, the contrary is
nearer to the truth. Psychoanalytic theory and personal experience show us
that it is precisely what we repress that eludes our conscious
control and tends to erupt into behavior. As Carl Jung observed, When an
inner situation is not made conscious, it happens outside as fate .
But ironically, in our current situation, the person who gives
warning of a likely ecological holocaust is often made to feel guilty of
contributing to that very fate.

REALISM DOES NOT REQUIRE WORST CASE FORECASTINGIT SIMPLY DOES NOT SACRIFICE STABILITY FOR
UTOPIANISM
Murray, Professor of Politics at the University of Wales, 1997 (Alastair J.H.,
Reconstructing Realism: Between Power Politics and Cosmopolitan Ethics, p. 192)
This is not merely to indulge in yet another interminable discourse on the
"lessons of Munich', rejecting all strategies of assurance for more familiar
policies of deterrence. A realist perspective does not, as Wendt seems to
assume, require worst-case forecasting, nor does it adopt an ethic of "sauve qui
peut'. But it is to suggest that, when realism emphasizes the need for a cautious,
gradual approach to attempts to transform the nature of the system, it has a
point. In Wendt's analysis, change ultimately becomes as privileged as the
status quo in rationalist perspectives. If he does not hold that history is
progressive, he does hold that change is. If he is not idealistic about the
possibilities of effecting a transformation of the system, he is with regard to the
way in which it might be accomplished. Yet, even if we acknowledge that a
transformation in the structure of international politics would be beneficial, this
does not imply the acceptance of a desperate gamble to accomplish it. And, at
the end of the day, if we can accept that the current structure of international
politics contains many injustices, there is no guarantee that its transformation
would remove such iniquities anyway. The only thing that the quest to overthrow
the status quo does guarantee to do is to undermine those fragments of order
that we currently possess. Ultimately, constructivism can be seen to rest upon a
value judgment which sacrifices the safe option of remaining within the current
situation for the attempt to explore its possibilities. It can be seen to rest on a
progressive philosophy which privileges the possible over the extant and
sacrifices stability on the altar of transformation. This is not to attempt to level a
charge of utopianism, as Wendt complains that Mearsheimer does, by
emphasizing constructivism's normative rather than explanatory commitment.
As Wendt responds: "Constructivists have a normative interest in promoting
social change, but they pursue this by trying to explain how seemingly natural
social structures, like self-help or the Cold War, are effects of practice... If critical

167

Kritik Answers
theorists fail, this will be because they do not explain how the world works, not
because of their values."1 All theories ultimately have normative commitments;
the fact of their existence does not allow us to question the validity of
constructivism's explanatory power. What does, however, is the impact of these
normative assumptions on its account of international politics. Just as
reflectivists argue that the implicit conservatism of neo-realism generates its
ahistoricism the implicit progressivism of constructivism generates its
unwillingness to acknowledge even the possibility of elements of permanency.
And, just as reflectivists argue that the implicit conservatism of neorealism
generates strategies which threaten to become self-perpetuating, so the implicit
progressivism of constructivism generates strategies which threaten to become
counter-productive.

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Kritik Answers

A2 Realism is a Self-Fulfilling
Prophecy (2/2)
REALISM IS NOT A SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECY- IT
ACCURATELY DESCRIBES THE WORLD
Murray, 1997 [Alastair, Politics at the University of Wales Swansea, Reconstructing
Realism, 1997 pg. 184-185]
Now, if this is directed at realism, as it would seem to be, it seriously
misinterprets its approach. First, as we have seen, the 'logic of anarchy' that
realism portrays is not a material phenomenon, but the intersubjective
emanation of cumulative past choices, albeit choices rooted in a material
account of human nature. If realism maintains that this logic represents a
relatively entrenched structure, it nevertheless holds that it is, potentially at
least, malleable by judicious statecraft. If it takes the state to be the principal
focus of this logic in contemporary world politics, there is no sense that this is
permanent or final - indeed, no sense that it is even unproblematic. Second, the
notion that realism ignores the clash between the individual's simultaneous
identification as both man and citizen mistakes the entire thrust of its work. If
realism is concerned with the duties owed to the state, it is only for the conflict
that this produces with the cosmopolitan moral obligations which fall upon men.
Third, if realism insisted that change must be compatible with the national
interests of the state, it also recognized that, particularly in an age of
interdependence and nuclear weapons, a stable international order could
ultimately only be built on some broader sense of community than that which
existed in states alone, and was thus centrally concerned with the extension of

169

Kritik Answers

A2 Social Constructivism (1/3)


CHANGING REPRESENTATIONAL PRACTICES DOESNT
ALTER THE MATERIAL REALITY OF STATE PRACTICES OR
HELP CREATE BETTER POLICY FOR THE OPPRESSED
Jarvis 2k [DSL, lecturer in the Dept. of Gov and International Relations, Faculty of

Economics, Politics and Business at U. of Sydney International Relations and the Challenge
of Post Modernism, University of South Carolina Press, pg 128-30]
Perhaps more alarming though is the outright violence Ashley recom-mends in response to what at best seem trite, if not imagined, injustices.
Inculpating modernity, positivism, technical rationality, or realism with violence, racism, war, and countless other crimes not only smacks of
anthropomorphism but, as demonstrated by Ashley's torturous prose and reasoning, requires a dubious logic to malce such connections in the
first place. Are we really to believe that ethereal entities like positivism, mod-ernism, or realism emanate a "violence" that marginalizes
dissidents? Indeed, where is this violence, repression, and marginalization? As self- professed dissidents supposedly exiled from the discipline,
Ashley and Walker appear remarkably well integrated into the academy-vocal, pub-lished, and at the center of the Third Debate and the forefront
of theo-retical research. Likewise, is Ashley seriously suggesting that, on the basis of this largely imagined violence, global transformation
(perhaps even rev-olutionary violence) is a necessary, let alone desirable, response? Has the rationale for emancipation or the fight for justice
been reduced to such vacuous revolutionary slogans as "Down with positivism and rationality"? The point is surely trite. Apart from members of
the academy, who has heard of positivism and who for a moment imagines that they need to be emancipated from it, or from modernity,

In an era of unprecedented change and turmoil, of new political and military


, of war in the Balkans and ethnic cleansing, is Ashley really suggesting that
some of the greatest threats facing humankind or some of the great moments of history rest on such
innocu-ous and largely unknown nonrealities like positivism and realism? These are imagined and
fictitious enemies, theoretical fabrications that represent arcane, self-serving
debates superfluous to the lives of most people and, arguably, to most issues of importance in
international relations. More is the pity tha t such irrational and obviously abstruse debate should so occupy
us at a time of great global turmoil. That it does and continues to do so reflects our lack of judicious criteria for evaluating the-ory and,
more importantly, the lack of attachment theorists have to the real world. Certainly it is right and
rationality, or realism for that matter?
configurations

proper that we ponder the depths of our theoretical imaginations, engage in epistemological and ontological debate, and analyze the sociology of
our lmowledge.37 But to suppose that this is the only task of international theory, let alone the most important one, smacks of intellectual elitism

does
Ashley's project, his deconstructive efforts, or valiant fight against positivism say to the truly marginalized, oppressed, and destitute? How does it help solve the plight of the poor, the displaced refugees, the
casualties of war, or the emigres of death squads? Does it in any way speak to
those whose actions and thoughts comprise the policy and practice of
international relations? On all these questions one must answer no. This is not to say, of course, that all
theory should be judged by its technical rationality and problem-solving capacity as Ashley forcefully argues. But to suppose that
problem-solving technical theory is not necessary-or is in some way bad-is a contemptuous
position that abrogates any hope of solving some of the nightmarish realities
that millions confront daily. As Holsti argues, we need ask of these theorists and their theories the ultimate question, "So
and displays a certain contempt for those who search for guidance in their daily struggles as actors in international politics. What

what?" To what purpose do they deconstruct, problematize, destabilize, undermine, ridicule, and belittle modernist and rationalist approaches?
Does this get us any further, make the world any better, or enhance the human condition? In what sense can this "debate toward [a] bottomless
pit of epistemology and metaphysics" be judged pertinent, relevant, help-ful, or cogent to anyone other than those foolish enough to be

poststructural approach
fails to empower the marginalized and, in fact, abandons them. Rather than ana-lyze the political
economy of power, wealth, oppression, production, or international relations and render an intelligible understanding of these processes ,
Ashley succeeds in ostracizing those he portends to represent by delivering an
obscure and highly convoluted discourse. If Ashley wishes to chastise structural realism for its abstractness
scholasti-cally excited by abstract and recondite debate.38 Contrary to Ashley's assertions, then, a

and detachment, he must be prepared also to face similar criticism, especially when he so adamantly intends his work to address the real life

, we
might ask to what extent the postmodern "empha-sis on the textual, constructed
nature of the world" represents "an unwarranted extension of approaches
appropriate for literature to other areas of human practice that are more
constrained by an objective reality. " All theory is socially constructed and realities like
plight of those who struggle at marginal places. If the relevance of Ashley's project is questionable, so too is its logic and cogency. First

the nation-state, domestic and international politics, regimes, or transnational agencies are obviously social fabrications. But to what extent is

Just because we acknowledge that the state is a socially


fabricated entity, or that the division between domestic and international society is arbitrar-ily inscribed does not make
the reality of the state disappear or render invisible international politics. Whether
socially constructed or objectively given , the argument over the ontological status of the state is
of no particular moment. Does this change our experience of the state or somehow diminish the political-economic-juridicalthis observation of any real use?

military functions of the state? To recognize that states are not naturally inscribed but dynamic entities continually in the process of being made
and reimposed and are therefore culturally dissimilar, economically different, and politically atypical, while perspicacious to our historical and
theoretical understanding of the state, in no way detracts from its reality, practices, and consequences. Similarly, few would object to Ashley's
hermeneutic interpretivist understanding of the international sphere as an artificially inscribed demarcation. But, to paraphrase Holsti again, so

That
international politics and states would not exist with-out subjectivities is a banal
tautology. The point, surely, is to move beyond this and study these processes. Thus, while intellectually interesting , constructivist theory is not an end point as Ashley seems to think, where we all throw up our
what? This does not malce its effects any less real, diminish its importance in our lives, or excuse us from paying serious attention to it .

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Kritik Answers
hands and announce there are no foundations and all reality is an arbitrary
social construction. Rather, it should be a means of rec-ognizing the structurated nature of our being and the reciprocity between
subjects and structures through history. Ashley, however, seems not to want to do this, but only to deconstruct
the state, international politics, and international theory on the basis that none of these is objectively
given but fictitious entities that arise out of modernist practices of
representation. While an interesting theoretical enterprise, it is of no great conse- quence to the study of international politics.
Indeed, structuration theory has long talcen care of these ontological dilemmas that otherwise seem to preoccupy Ashley.40

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Kritik Answers

A2 Social Constructivism (2/3)


SOCIAL CONSTRUCTIVISM IS FLAWED IT FAILS TO
ACKNOWLEDGE THE VALUES THAT WE HAVE THAT HAVE
CREATED PROSPERITY, FOR EXAMPLE BY STOPPING
SLAVERY
Kors, Professor of History at University of Pennsylvania and Senior Fellow at
the Foreign Policy Research Institute, 2001 (Alan Charles, Triumph without
Self-Belief, Orbis, Summer, ebsco)

. It is a
dangerous intellectual error to imagine that goodness, wisdom, order, justice, peace,
freedom, legal equality, mutual forbearance, and kindness are the "default mode" in human affairs,
and that it is malice, folly, disorder, war, coercion, legal inequality, murderous intolerance, and cruelty
that stand in need of historical explanation. The West, in theory, always has understood that man has a lower
side to which he is drawn, that man is a wolf to man, and that we are governed more by prejudice and
passion than by the rational capacity of our minds. If that is so, however, then we err grievously in our
What often denies us both optimism and pride, however, is the very stringency of our self-judgment untempered by historical realism

assumptions of what it is that requires particular explanation in the world. We understand the defaults; what should astonish us is the ability to
change them. Rousseau and the postmodernists have it all backward in this domain. It is not aversion to difference, for example, that requires

aversion to difference is the human condition; rather, it is the West's


partial but breathtaking ability to overcome tribalism and exclusion that
demands explanation, above all in the singular American accomplishment. Antihistorical explanation, for

Semitism is not surprising; the opening of Christian America to Jews is what should amaze. Racial aversion and injustice are not sources of

It is not the abuse of


power that requires explanation--that is the human condition--but the Western
rule of law. Similarly, it is not coerced religious conformity that should leave us groping for understanding, but the forging of values and
institutions of religious toleration. It is not slavery that requires explanation, for slavery is one of the most universal
of all human institutions; rather, it is the values and agency by which the West
identified slavery as an evil and, astonishment of astonishments, abolished it. Finally, it is not relative
wonderment; the Fourteenth Amendment and its gradual implementation are what should astonish.

pockets of poverty in the West that should occasion our wonder, because we used to term almost infinitely worse absolute levels of poverty
simply "the human condition." Instead, what is extraordinary are the values, institutions, knowledge, risk, ethics, and liberties that created such
prosperity that we even notice that poverty at all, yet alone believe that it is eradicable. We are surprised, in a failure of intellectual analysis, by

we lose our wonder at the accomplishments and aspirations of


our civilization as a tragic result. Depravity should never startle us; rather, the identification and naming of depravity
all of the wrong things, and

should amaze us, and the attempt, frequently successful, to contain it should fill us with awe. Indeed, that attempt has been so successful in the
West, relative to the human condition, that the other world fantasized by the multiculturalists seeks entrance, again and again, at our doors, and

the multiculturalists'
ostensible rejection of the West's philosophical realism--their vaunted "social
constructionism"-does not stay with them past their medical doctor's door. In the final
the multiculturalists are not riding leaky boats to the otherness of the Third World. Most obviously,

analysis, it is that last trait, the West's commitment to a logically ordered philosophical realism, that undergirds its ways of thinking, valuing, and,
indeed, worshiping. Such philosophical realism was defended by Augustine, Aquinas, and almost all fathers and doctors of the Church. While
various extreme epistemological and ontological skepticisms and radical irrationalisms have flourished, sometimes with brilliance and profundity

Western civilization has always had at its core. a belief that there is a
reality independent of our wishes for and ideas of it; that natural knowledge of
that reality is possible and indeed indispensable to human dignity; that such
knowledge must be acquired through a discipline of the will and mind; and that
central to that discipline is a compact with reason. The West has willed, in theory at least, to reduce the
chaos of the world to natural coherence by the powers of the mind. Indeed , the belief that truth is independent of
a particular time and place is precisely what has led the West to borrow so much
from other cultures, such that, ironically, whole schools of tendentious thought decry Western "thefts," as if the recognition of
in our history,

compelling example and argument in others were a weakness, not a strength. The West recognized and adopted Eastern systems of numbers
superior to that of the Romans; it took the Aristotelianism of the High Middle Ages from the Islamic scholars who had preserved and interpreted it
in manners superior to the schools of the West; it took music, art, forms of expression, and new foods from around the earth that, in large part
out of restless curiosity about realities beyond its own, it had explored. The West has always renewed and revitalized itself by means Of
recognizing superior ways to its own. It did so, however, with a commitment to being a rational culture. The Greek principle of self-contradiction
as the touchstone of error, and thus its avoidance as a touchstone of truth, is the formal expression of a commitment to reason that the Christian
West always understood to separate us from beasts and madmen. To live with self-contradiction was not merely to fail an introduction to
philosophy, it was to be less than human. Induction from experience always had a logic, and the exploration of that logic was one of the great
and ultimately triumphant pursuits of the Western mind. To live with error was to deny oneself the fruits of human light. Again, the core
philosophical assumption of Western civilization is that there is a reality that exists independently of our will and wish, and that this reality can be
known by human inquiry and reason. There were many radical ruptures in the history of certain disciplines in the West; there were no radical
ruptures with the Western compact with reality and reason. It is that compact that led to a civilization of self-scrutiny and honest borrowings; to a
civilization in which self-criticism gave rise to a critical scholarship that could question and either strengthen or repair the West's received beliefs
themselves; to a civilization in which the mind could appeal, with ultimate success, against the irrational to the rational; to a way of
understanding that led to the sciences that have changed both the entire human relationship to nature and our sense of human possibilities,
always tempered by our knowledge of human nature.

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Kritik Answers

A2 Social Constructivism (3/3)


SOCIAL CONSTRUCTIVISM IS THE ROOT CAUSE OF THEIR
HARMS- FAILURE TO TAKE REALIST ACTION ENSURES
SYSTEMIC OPPRESSION
Kors, Professor of History at University of Pennsylvania and Senior Fellow at the Foreign
Policy Research Institute, 2001 (Alan Charles, Triumph without Self-Belief, Orbis,
Summer, ebsco)

The fruits of that civilization have been an unprecedented ability to modify the
remediable causes of human suffering, to give great agency to utility and charity alike; to give to
each individual a degree of choice and freedom unparalleled in all of human
history; to offer a means of overcoming the station in life to which one was born by the effort of one's labor, mind, and will. A failure to
understand and to teach that accomplishment would be its very betrayal . To the extent that Western civilization
survives, then, the hope of the world survives to eradicate unnecessary
suffering; to speak a language of human dignity, responsibility, and rights linked
to a common reality; to minimize the depredations of the irrational, the
unexamined, the merely prejudicial in our lives; to understand the world in which we find ourselves, and,
moved by interest and charity, to apply that knowledge for good . The contest, then, is between the realists and
the antirealists, and the triumph of the West ultimately depends on its outcome.
The failure to assess the stakes of the struggle between the West and its communist adversary always came from either a pathological self-

. The
West has altered the human relationship to nature from one of fatalistic
helplessness to one of hopeful mastery. It has made possible a human life in
which biological atavism might be replaced by cultural value, the rule of law,
individuation, and growing tolerance. It also created an intellectual class irrationally devoted to an adversarial
hatred of one's own world or, at the least, from a gross undervaluation of what the West truly represented in the history of mankind

stance. That adversarial view of the West, in the past generation at least, had become a neo-Gramscian and thus neo-Marxist one in which the
West was seen as an unparalleled source of the arbitrary assignment of restrictive and life-stultifying roles. The enemies of the West--for some, in
practice; for others, increasingly in the ideal represented a fictive make-believe that supposedly cast grave doubt upon the West's claim of
enhancing freedom, dignity, and opportunity. With the triumph of the West in reality, and with the celebration of Marxism and the Third World

the adversarial intellectual class appears to be


retreating into ideologies and philosophies that deny the very concept of reality
itself. One sees this in the growing strength in the humanities and social
sciences of critical theories that view all representations of the world as mere
text and fiction. When the world of fact can be twisted to support this or that
side of delusion (as in astrology or parapsychology), pathology tries to appropriate what it can of
the empirical. When the world of fact manifestly vitiates the very foundations of pathological delusion, then it is the claim of facticity or
shown more and more to have been truly delusional,

reality per se that must be denied. This is what we now may expect: the world having spoken, the intellectual class, the left academic wing of it
above all, may appropriate a little postcommunist chaos to show how merely relative a moral good the defeat of Stalin's heirs has been. If it does

In Orwell's 1984, it was the mark of realistic,


totalitarian power to make its subjects say that all truth was not objective but
political--"a social construction," as intellectuals would say now--and that, in the specific case, 2
+ 2 = 5. By 2004, making students in the humanities and social sciences grant the equivalent of 2 + 2 = 5 will be the goal of adversarial
so, however, it will assail the notion of reality itself.

culture. They will urge that all logical--and, one should add, inferential--inductive truths from experience are arbitrary, mere social constructions.
The West Has Indeed Survived,, So Far The ramifications of that effort will dominate the central debates of the humanities in the generation to
come. Until there is a celebration and moral accounting of the historical reality of "The Triumph of the West," that "triumph" will be
ephemeral indeed. Academic culture has replaced the simplistic model that all culture was functional, a model that indeed could not account for
massive discontents or revolutionary change, let alone for moral categories, by the yet more astonishing and absurd model that virtually all

Whole disciplines now teach that propositions are to be judged by


their therapeutic value rather than by their inductive link to evidence until, in
the final analysis, feeling good about saying something determines the truthvalue of what is said. Understanding human weakness, however, the West has always believed that it is precisely when we want
culture is dysfunctional.

to believe something self-gratifying that we must erect barriers of experiment, rigor, and analysis against our self-indulgence and our propensity

The human ability to learn from experience and nature, so slighted in current
, is not merely an object of cultural transmission, let alone of social control, but an
evolutionary triumph of the species, indeed, a triumph on which our future
ultimately depends. There is nothing more desperate than helplessness, and there is no more inveterate cause of helplessness
than the inability to affect and mitigate the traumas of our lives . If the role of both acquired knowledge and
the transmission and emendation of the means of acquiring knowledge is only a
"Western" concern, then it is a Western concern upon which human fate
depends. In the current academic climate of indoctrination, tendentiousness, and fantasy, the independence of critical intellect and
the willingness to learn open-mindedly from experience of a reality independent
of the human will are the greatest hopes of our civilization. Has Western civilization survived?
for self-serving error.
humanistic theory

That is, has a human relationship to the world based upon the assumption of a knowable reality, reason, and a transcendent value of human
dignity and responsibility survived? Has a will to know oneself and the world objectively survived? Has a recognition of human depravity and the

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Kritik Answers
need to limit the power of men over men survived? I do not think that free men and women will abandon that hard-won shelter from chaos,
ignorance, parochial tribalism, irrationalism, and, ultimately, helplessness. Has Western civilization survived, its principle of reality justified and
intact? Yes, indeed, though it requires constant defense. The demand for perfection is antinomian, illogical, and empirically absurd. The triumph
of the West is flawed but real. While everyone else around you weeps, recall Alexander Ushakov, and celebrate the fall of the Soviet threat as he
celebrated the fall of Grenada. Then recall how everything depends on realism in our understanding, and rejoin the intellectual struggle.

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Kritik Answers

A2 State/Sovereignty Bad
INTERNATIONAL GOALS CAN ONLY BE ACHIEVED BY
STATES. ONLY REALISM ESCAPES THE TYRANNY OF SMALL
DECISIONS
Kenneth
108

Waltz, Travis BFF, Neorealism and its Critics, ed. by Robert Keohane, 1986, p. 105-

We may well notice that our behavior produces unwanted outcomes, but we are also likely to see that such instances as these are examples of
what Alfred E. Kahn describes as large changes that are brought about by the accumulation of small decisions. In such situations

people are victims of the tyranny of small decisions , a phrase suggesting that if one
hundred consumers choose option x, and this causes the market to make
decision X (where X equals 100x), it is not necessarily true that those same consumers
would have voted for that outcome if that large decision had ever been
presented for their explicit consideration (Kahn 1966:523). If the market does not present the large question for
decision, then individuals are doomed to making decisions that are sensible within their narrow contexts
even though they know all the while that in making such decisions they are bringing about a result
that most of them do not want. Either that or they organize to overcome some of the effects of the market by changing
its structurefor example, by bringing consumer units roughly up to the size of the units that are making producers decisions. This nicely makes

So long as one leaves the structure unaffected it is not possible for change
intentions
to produce desirable outcomes

the point:

in

the
and the actions of particular actors
or to avoid undesirable
ones. Structures may be changed, as just mentioned, by changing the distribution of capabilities across units. Structures may also be changed by
imposing requirements where previously people had to decide for themselves. If some merchants sell on Sunday, others may have to do so in
order to remain competitive even though most prefer a six-day week. Most are able to do as they please only if all are required to keep
comparable hours. The only remedies for strong structural effects are structural changes. Structural constraints cannot be wished away, although
many fail to understand this. In every age and place, the units of self-help systems nations, corporations, or whateverare told that the greater
good, along with their own, requires them to act for the sake of the system and not for their own narrowly defined advantage. In the 1950s, as
fear of the worlds destruction in nuclear war grew, some concluded that the alternative to world destruction was world disarmament. In the
1970s, with the rapid growth of population, poverty, and pollution, some concluded, as one political scientist put it, that states must meet the
needs of the political ecosystem in its global dimensions or court annihilation (Sterling 1974:336). The international interest must be served; and
if that means anything at all, it means that national interests are subordinate to it. The problems are found at the global level.

Solutions

to the problems continue to depend on national policies.

What are the conditions that would make


nations more or less willing to obey the injunctions that are so often laid on them? How can they resolve the tension between pursuing their own
interests and acting for the sake of the system? No one has shown how that can be done, although many wring their hands and plead for rational
behavior. The very problem, however, is that rational behavior, given structural constraints, does not lead to the wanted results. With each
country constrained to take care of itself, no one can take care of the system. A strong sense of peril and doom may lead to a clear definition of
ends that must be achieved. Their achievement is not thereby made possible. The possibility of effective action depends on the ability to provide
necessary means. It depends even more so on the existence of conditions that permit nations and other organizations to follow appropriate

. World-shaking problems cry for global solutions, but there is no


global agency to provide them. Necessities do not create possibilities. Wishing that final causes were efficient ones does
not make them so. Great tasks can be accomplished only by agents of great capability.
That is why states, and especially the major ones, are called on to do what is necessary for
the worlds survival. But states have to do whatever they think necessary for
their own preservation, since no one can be relied on to do it for them. Why the
advice to place the international interest above national interests is meaningless
policies and strategies

can be explained precisely in terms of the distinction between micro- and macrotheories. Among economists the distinction is well understood.
Among political scientists it is not. As I have explained, a microeconomic theory is a theory of the market built up from assumptions about the
behavior of individuals. The theory shows how the actions and interactions of the units form and affect the market and how the market in turn
affects them. A macro-theory is a theory about the national economy built on supply; income, and demand as systemwide aggregates. The
theory shows how these and other aggregates are interconnected and indicates how changes in one or some of them affect others and the
performance of the economy. In economics, both micro- and macrotheories deal with large realms. The difference between them is found not in

A
macrotheory of international politics would show how the international system is
moved by system-wide aggregates. One can imagine what some of them might beamount of world GNP, amount
the size of the objects of study; hut in the way the objects of study are approached and the theory to explain them is constructed.

of world imports and exports, of deaths in war, of everybodys defense spending, and of migration, for example. The theory would look something
like a macroeconomic theory in the style of John Maynard Keynes, although it is hard to see how the international aggregates would make much
sense and how changes in one or some of them would produce changes in others. I am not saying that such a theory cannot be constructed, but

a macrotheory of
international politics would lack the practical implications of macroeconomic
theory. National governments can manipulate system-wide economic variables. No
agencies with comparable capabilities exist internationally. Who would act on the possibilities of
adjustment that a macrotheory of international politics might reveal? Even were such a theory available, we
would still be stuck with nations as the only agents capable of acting to solve
global problems. We would still have to revert to a micropolitical approach in order to examine the conditions that make benign and
effective action by states separately and collectively more or less likely. Some have hoped that changes in the
awareness and purpose, in the organization and ideology of states would change the quality of
international life. Over the centuries states have changed in many ways, but the
quality of international life has remained much the same. States seek reasonable and worthy ends,
only that I cannot see how to do it in any way that might be useful. The decisive point, anyway, is that

but they cannot figure out how to reach them. The problem is not in their stupidity or ill will, although one does not want to claim that those
qualities are lacking. The depth of the difficulty is not understood until one realizes that

cannot

discover and

act on

adequate

programs.

intelligence and goodwill

Early in this century Winston Churchill observed that the British-German

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Kritik Answers
States facing global problems
are like individual consumers trapped by the tyranny of small decisions.
naval race promised disaster and that Britain had no realistic choice other than to run it.

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Kritik Answers

**Calculability/Util**
Utilitarianism Good: 2AC (1/2)
FIRST, EXTINCTION OF THE SPECIES IS THE MOST
HORRIBLE IMPACT IMAGINEABLE, PUTTING RIGHTS FIRST
IS PUTTING A PART OF SOCIETY BEFORE THE WHOLE
Schell 1982
(Jonathan, Professor at Wesleyan University, The Fate of the Earth, pages 136137 uw//wej)
Implicit in everything that I have said so far about the nuclear predicament there has been a perplexity that I would now like to
take up explicitly, for it leads, I believe, into the very heart of our response-or, rather, our lack of response-to the predicament. I
have pointed out that our species is the most important of all the things that, as inhabitants of a common world, we inherit from
the past generations, but it does not go far enough to point out this superior importance, as though in making our decision about
ex- tinction we were being asked to choose between, say, liberty, on the one hand, and the survival of the species, on the other.

the species not only overarches but contains all the benefits of life in
the common world, and to speak of sacrificing the species for the sake of
one of these benefits involves one in the absurdity of wanting to de- stroy
something in order to preserve one of its parts, as if one were to burn
down a house in an attempt to redecorate the living room, or to kill someone to
For

improve his character. ,but even to point out this absurdity fails to take the full measure of the peril of extinction, for mankind is
not some invaluable object that lies outside us and that we must protect so that we can go on benefiting from it; rather, it is we
ourselves, without whom everything there is loses its value. To say this is another way of saying that extinction is unique not
because it destroys mankind as an object but because it destroys mankind as the source of all possible human subjects, and this,
in turn, is another way of saying that extinction is a second death, for one's own individual death is the end not of any object in life
but of the subject that experiences all objects. Death, how- ever, places the mind in a quandary. One of-the confounding characteristics of death-"tomorrow's zero," in Dostoevski's phrase-is that, precisely because it removes the person himself rather than
something in his life, it seems to offer the mind nothing to take hold of. One even feels it inappropriate, in a way, to try to speak
"about" death at all, as. though death were a thing situated some- where outside us and available for objective inspection, when
the fact is that it is within us-is, indeed, an essential part of what we are. It would be more appropriate, perhaps, to say that
death, as a fundamental element of our being, "thinks" in us and through us about whatever we think about, coloring our
thoughts and moods with its presence throughout our lives

SECOND, SURVIVAL OF POLITICAL ORDER KEY TO ETHICS


Stenlisli, 2003 (Pace nr.1 accessed
onlinehttp://www.pacem.no/2003/1/debatt/stensli/ )
The debate on political realism, a set of ontological assumptions about international politics, has been a central theme in international relations
over the past 40 years. Many scholars and politicians have wrestled over the question of the limitations and insights of realism. Still, realism
seems very much alive today, one reason perhaps being that the value of realism as an analytical tool seems to become more relevant to
policymakers in times of crises. In turn, such changes cause further debate among realists and their critics. In PACEM 5:2 (2002), Commander
Raag Rolfsen(1) in practise argues that we are in need of a new framework for analysing international politics. According to Rolfsen, A situation
characterized by globalisation, democratisation and a new sense of shared vulnerability demands a novel theoretical framework for world politics.
Rolfsen`s aim is indeed ambitious, but his state of departure is surprising: political realism cannot provide this framework because, again
according to Rolfsen, it was developed in an undemocratic environment.(2) Thus, we are not far from concluding that realism is corrupted and
that realists are conspicuous people.(3) This bold proclamation illuminates the front between idealism and realism in a manner that is not typical
of Norwegian academic discourses on international relations. Rolfsen has delivered a substantial and refreshing article. It is of such originality and
importance that it deserves to be debated and criticised, which is no evident feature in contributions on world politics in Norway. Having said
that, my motivation to engage in such a debate does not spring from a wholehearted embracement of realism. Rather, its source is the belief that
a theory of foreign policy cannot do without significant elements of realism. Traditional security policy can never remove our vulnerability. At this
point there simply is no disagreement between realists and idealists. However, security has an instrumental value in ensuring other ends.
Thus, acknowledging our vulnerability does not remove the value and importance of security as phenomenon and concept.(4) In this article, I will
discuss whether the effort to construct a new security concept possibly can succeed when it simultaneously becomes an attack on political
realism (PR). Rolfsen undoubtedly deals some blows against Hans Morgenthaus Theory of International Politics, although the same points have
been made by others before him.(5) Indeed, political realism has to be anchored to ideals and visions of desired end states beyond its basic
assumptions,(6) but my main line of argument is that any attempt at establishing a basis for ethical conduct in politics is bound to remain a
purely theoretical construction without empirical relevance if it is not mixed with a sound and thorough understanding of PR. The reason simply

since the existence of a polity is a precondition for thinking about,


implementing and evaluating policies in other areas, politics based on realism is
required in the first place in order to secure the polity. There can be no
democracy without a modern state, and no state without a minimum level of security through a monopoly of
violence. Herein lies a significant aspect of what makes the state legitimate to its citizens. In this way, one can even claim that all
normative evaluations and - theories implicitly rest on minimum requirements both to the
practises and theoretical considerations of realism.(7) Indeed, one should at least question whether
is, that

attempts at denying the empirical relevance of PR could lead us into paralysis or hypocrisy. The latter can even serve, unintentionally to be sure,
as a basis for demonising opponents, thus functioning as a (moral) sentiment that forms the basis of a more hawkish or brutal conduct in
international crisis than is necessary. The prudence found in Morgenthau should not be seen as cynical or a-ethical, but rather as a configuration
of thought that should balance our aspirations to fulfil what Morgenthau calls the ultimate aims of politics. The central political problem is exactly
how to translate these aspirations (like democracy and human rights) into feasible and efficient decisions. But in order to pursue these important
goals, the ability to use power, be it hard or soft, is required.

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Kritik Answers

Utilitarianism Good: 2AC (2/2)


DEONTOLOGY LOCKS US INTO A DEADLOCK WHEN VALUES
CONFLICT, ONLY WAY TO RESOLVE THAT IS BY USING
CONSEQUENTIALISM
Person, 1997

(lngmar. Lund University. Three Methods of Ethics: a debate. Eds. Baron, Marcia,
Philip Petit, and Michael Stole. Pg 13-14. uw//wej)
Now the natural rights theorist maintains, of course, that. the presence of a right is such a relevant factor, or reason, that may
justify departing from the goal of fulfilment maximization. In Ronald Dwor. kin's phrase, rights could in this way `trump' the
pursuit of maximal fulfilment. A right to M provides a reason for holding that one morally should have M even if this is at odds with
the goal mentioned. I do not say that it ensures that one should have M because the rights theorist may like to impose a limit on
the weight of rights, on how great the loss of fulfilment overall may be if a right is not to be outweighed. Suppose that my hair has
a unique healing quality: thousands of terminally ill patients could be saved if a couple of strands are removed and made into a
medicine. What should the rights theorist say if I none the less refuse to have these strands removed? Surely, something like this:
the suffering caused by respecting my right to my strands of hair is so great that we are morally justified in violating the right. But

there is a limit on the weight of my right, on its capacity to restrain maximiza- tion; a
right provides a moral reason that can be outweighed. As an aside, note that, like the
limit on the extension of rights, this limit would seem to have to be based on
consequentialist considera- tions, on weighing the frustration and confusion occasioned by infring- ing
our deep-seated intuitions about rights against the frustration and suffering caused by respecting them. Thus, when It
comes to the precise weight of rights, no less than their extension, we
see that it cannot be fixed unless we transcend the natural rights
framework in favour of a consequentialist one.
then

UTILITY CALCULUS ALLOWS ACTION, MORAL DOGMATISM


FREEZES US INTO INACTION
Smart, 1973
(J.J.C prof. of philosophy, Australian riatibual university. Utilitarianism: For and
Against uw//wej)
lf we are able to take account of probabilities

in our ordinary prudential decisions it seems idle

we cannot do the same thing, but must


rely on some dogmatic morality, in short on some set of rules or rigid criteria, Maybe
sometimes we just will be unable to say whether we prefer for humanity
an improbable great advantage or a probable small advantage, and in these
to say that in the field of ethics, the field of our universal and humane atti- tudes,

cases perhaps we shall have to toss a penny to decide what to do. Maybe we have not any precise methods for deciding what to

then our imprecise methods must just serve their turn. We need not
on that account be driven into authori.- tarianism, dogmatism or
romanticism.
do, but

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Kritik Answers

Utilitarianism Good: 1AR


First, extend our Jonathan Schell evidence, he explains
that accepting extinction to uphold rights is like burning
down a house to remodel the living room, rights are a
result of human society and accepting the destruction of
that society to uphold a right is going too far and
ultimately self-defeating.
Second, Stenlisli indicates that survival of the political
order is a precondition of all other values. The alternative
is impossible without a stable security framework.
Third, LIFE IS KEY TO ETHICS
Diana
p. 54

Meyers, prof of Philosophy @ Connecticut University, 1985

Inalienable Rights,

The right to life prohibits other persons from killing the person who possesses the right and allows this
person to defend himself if he is attacked. It is obvious that a person cannot be a moral agent unless he is
alive (at least, not within the moral sphere in which we presently find ourselves), and so it is also obvious that this right
protects something essential to moral agency. But it is doubtful that it is always supererogatory when it is
appropriate for a person to sacrifice his life for the benefit of others. Two representative cases can be adduced to call this claim into question: I) a
soldier has a duty to follow orders to participate in battles if her army is involved in a just war, and 2) a citizen may have a duty to join her
countrys army in wartime.

Fourth, Ingmar Person explains even rights must be


weighed against each other, but that deontology doesnt
allow preferential treatment of one right over another
without resorting to consequentialism, making
consequentialism inevitable, or action impossible.
Fifth, Smart in 73 illustrates how consequentialism
avoids dogmatic action, making it flexible in dealing with
different situations
UTILITARIANISM IS THE ONLY ALTERNATIVE TO
EXTINCTION, OUTWEIGHING RIGHTS
Ratner 84
[Leonard G., Legion Lex Prof. Law @ USC, The Utilitarian Imperative: Autonomy,
Reciprocity, and Evolution, 12 Hofstra L. Rev. 723, Spring, LN//uwyo-ajl]
The search for the ought is a search for the goals of human behavior. Underlying the ought of every goal is an implicit description of reality that
predicts the consequences for humans of compliance or noncompliance with the ought. n49 Humans choose the goals. n50 And the perceived
accuracy of the description, along with the perceived value of the consequences predicted by the description, influence the choice. Ought and is
thus coalesce.

The goal of enhanced human need/want fulfillment implies that such enhanced
fulfillment is possible and will facilitate long-run human existence.Goals that
facilitate human existence are persistently chosen by most humans, because

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Kritik Answers
human structure and function have evolved and are evolving to facilitate such
existence. The decisionmaking organism is structured to generally prefer
survival, although some may trade long-term existence for short-term pleasure, and physiological malfunction or traumatic experience may
induce the preference of a few for personal nonsurvival. Intermediate human goals change with human
structure and function; long-run human survival remains the ultimate human
goal as long as there are humans.

180

Kritik Answers

Calculability Good: 2AC (1/2)


FIRST, FAILURE TO CALCULATE ALLOWS TOTALITARIANISM
BY DENYING INSTITUTIONAL RESPONSIBILITY
Campbell 98
[David, Intl Relations Prof @ UM, National Deconstruction: Violence, Identity,
and Justice in Bosnia, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1998, 186]
The undecidable within the decision does not, however, prevent the decision nor avoid its urgency. As Derrida observes, a just

the
pursuit of infinite information and the unlimited knowledge of
conditions, rules or hypothetical imperatives that could justify it are unavailable in the
crush of time. Nor can the crush of time be avoided, even by unlimited time, because the moment of decision as
decision is always required immediately, right away. This necessary haste has unavoidable consequences because

such always remains a finite moment of urgency and precipitation. The decision is always structurally finite, it aalways marks
the interruption of the juridico- or ethico- or politico-cognitive deliberation that precedes it, that must precede it. That is why,
invoking Kierkegaard, Derrida, declares that the instant of decision is a madness.
The finite nature of the decision may be a madness in the way it renders possible the impossible, the infinite character of justice,
but Derrida argues for the necessity of this madness. Most importantly, Derrida argues for the necessity of this madness. Most
importantly, although Derridas argument concerning the decision has, to this pint, been concerned with an account of the
procedure by which a decision is possible, it is with respect to the ncessity of the decision that Derrida begins to formulate an
account of the decision that bears upon the content of the decision. In so doing, Derridas argument addresses more directly
more directly, I would argue than is acknowledged by Critchley the concern that for politics (at least for a progressive politics)
one must provide an account of the decision to combat domination.
That

undecidability

resides within the decision, Derrida argues, that justice exceeds law and calculation, that the

should not serve as alibi for staying


out of juridico-political battles, within an institution or a state , or
between institutions or states and others. Indeed , incalculable justice requires us to
calculate. From where do these insistences come? What is behind, what is animating, these imperatives? It is both the
unpresentable exceeds the determinalbe cannot and

character of infinite justice as a heteronomic relationship to the other, a relationship that because of its undecidability multiplies
responsibility, and the fact that

left

to itself, the incalculable and given (donatrice) idea of justice is always


can always be reappropriated by the most

very close to the bad, even to the worst, for it

perverse calculation.

The necessity of calculating the incalculable thus responds to a duty a duty that inhabits

the
makes it the starting point, the at least
necessary condition, for the organization of resistance to totalitarianism
the instant of madness and compels the decision to avoid the bad, the perverse calculation, even the worst. This is
duty that also dwells with deconstructive thought and

in all its forms. And it is a duty that responds to practical political concerns when we recognize that Derrida names the bad, the
perverse, and the worst as those violences we recognize all too well without yet having thought them through, the crimes of
xenophobia, racism, anti-Semitism, religious or nationalist fanaticism.

SECOND, EVEN IF WE OBSCURE THE INCALCULABLE, WE


HAVE AN ETHICAL RESPONSIBILITY TO CALCULATE DEATH
BECAUSE ITS OUR ONLY MEANS OF FIGHTING INJUSTICE
Santilli 2003
[Paul C., Siena College, Radical Evil, Subjection, and Alain Badious Ethic of the Truth Event, World
Congress of the International Society for Universal Dialogue, May 18-22,
www.isud.org/papers/pdfs/Santilli.pdf, acc. 9-24-06//uwyo-ajl]
From the standpoint of an ethics of subjection there is even something unnecessary or superfluous about the void of suffering in the subject
bearers of evil. For Levinas, the return to being from the ethical encounter with the face and its infinite depths is fraught with the danger the
subject will reduce the other to a "like-me," totalizing and violating the space of absolute alterity. As Chalier puts it, "Levinas conceives of the
moral subject's awakening, or the emergence of the human in being, as a response to that pre-originary subjection which is not a happenstance
of being." But if there really is something inaccessible about suffering itself, about the 'other' side of what is manifestly finite, subjected, and
damaged, then to a certain extent it is irrelevant to ethics, as irrelevant as the judgment of moral progress in the subject-agent. Let me take the
parent-child relation again as an example. Suppose the child to exhibit the symptoms of an illness. Are not the proper "ethical" questions for the
parent to ask questions of measure and mathematical multiples: How high is the fever? How long has it lasted? How far is the hospital? Can she
get out of bed? Has this happened before? These are the questions of the doctor, the rescue squads and the police. They are questions about

Ethically our response to the needs of must be reduced to


a positivity simply because we have access to nothing but the symptoms, which are like
mine. Our primary moral responsibility is to treat the symptoms that show up in
being, not the radically other with whom I cannot identify. Say we observe someone whose hands
being, about detail, causes and effects.

have been chopped off with a machete. How would we characterize this? Would it not be slightly absurd to say, "He had his limbs severed and he
suffered," as though the cruel amputation were not horror enough. Think of the idiocy in the common platitude: "She died of cancer, but thank
God, she did not suffer", as though the devastating annihilation of the human by a tumor were not evil itself. For ethics, then, the only suffering
that matters are the visible effects of the onslaught of the world. All other suffering is excessive and inaccessible. Therefore, it is in being, indeed
in the midst of the most elemental facts about ourselves and other people, that we ethically encounter others by responding to their needs and
helping them as best we can

by identifying being and not pretending that we know any thing about
suffering, other than it is a hollow in the midst of being, that we can act
responsibly. What worries me about Levinas is that by going beyond being to what he regards as the ethics of absolute alterity, he risks
It is precisely

allowing the sheer, almost banal facticity of suffering to be swallowed in the infinite depths of transcendence. Indeed, it seems to me that Levinas
too often over emphasizes the importance of the emergence of the subject and the inner good in the ethical encounter, as though the point of

181

Kritik Answers
meeting the suffering human being was to come to an awareness of the good within oneself and not to heal and repair. I agree with Chalier's
observation that Levinas's "analyses adopt the point of view of the moral subject, not that of a person who might be the object of its solicitude."

an
ethics that would be oriented to the vulnerabilities of the subjected (which are others, of
course, but also myself) needs to address the mutilation, dismemberment, the chronology
of torture, the numbers incarcerated, the look of the bodies, the narratives, the blood counts, the mines knives,
machetes, and poisons. Evil really is all that . When the mind does its work, it plunges into being, into
mathematical multiples and starts counting the cells, the graveyards, and bullet wounds.
Ethics has limits; there are situations like the Holocaust where to speak of a moral responsibility to heal and repair seems pathetic. But

Rational practical deliberation is always about the facts that encircle the void inaccessible to deliberation and practical reason.

182

Kritik Answers

Calculability Good: 2AC (2/2)


THIRD, INFINITE JUSTICE REQUIRES CALCULATION
Jacques

Derrida, in Deconstruction and the Possibility of Justice, Drucilla Cornell, ed,

92, p. 28-9.
, that the unpresentable exceeds the determinable cannot
serve as an alibi for staying out of juridico-political battles, within an
institution or a state or between institutions or states and others. Left to itself, the incalculable and giving
(donatrice) idea of justice is always very close to the bad, even to the worst for it can always
be reappropriated by the most perverse calculation. It's always possible. And so
incalculable justice requires us to calculate. And first, closest to what we associate with justice, namely, law,
That justice exceeds law and calculation
and should not

the juridical field that one cannot isolate within sure frontiers, but also in all the fields from which we cannot separate it, which intervene in it and

. Not only must we


calculate, negotiate the relation between the calculable and the incalculable, and negotiate without the sort of rule that wouldn't have to
be reinvented there where we are cast, there where we find ourselves; but we must take it as far as possible, beyond
are no longer simply fields: ethics, politics, economics, psycho-sociology, philosophy, literature, etc

the place we find ourselves and beyond the -already identifiable zones of morality or politics or law, beyond the distinction between national and
international, public and private, and so on. This requirement does not properly belong either to justice or law. It only belongs to either of these
two domains by exceeding each one in the direction of the other. Politicization, for example, is interminable even if it cannot and should not ever
be total. To keep this from being a truism or a triviality, we must recognize in it the following consequence: each advance in politicization obliges

This was
true for example in the Declaration of the Rights of Man, in the abolition of slavery, in
all the emancipatory battles that remain and will have to remain in progress, everywhere in the
world, for men and for women. Nothing seems to me less outdated than the classical
emancipatory ideal. We cannot attempt to disqualify it today, whether crudely or with sophistication, at
least not without treating it too lightly and forming the worst complicities. But beyond these identified territories
one to reconsider, and so to reinterpret the very 4bundations of law such as they had previously been calculated or delimited.

of juridico-politicization on the grand geopolitical scale, beyond all self-serving interpretations, beyond all determined and particular
reappropriations of international law, other areas must constantly open up that at first can seem like secondary or marginal areas. This
marginality also signifies that a violence, indeed a terrorism and other forms of hostage-taking are at work (the examples closest to us would be
found in the area of laws on the teaching and practice of languages, the legitimization of canons, the military use of scientific research, abortion,
euthanasia, problems of organ transplant, extra-uterine conception; bio-engineering, medical experimentation, the social treatment of AIDS, the
macro- or micro-politics of drugs, the homeless, and so on, without forgetting, of course, the treatment of what we call animal life, animality. On
this last problem, the Benjamin text that I'm coming to now shows that its author was not deaf or insensitive to it, even if his propositions on this
subject remain quite obscure, if not quite traditional).

FOURTH, FOCUS ON THE INCALCULABLE IS PARALYZING


Stephens, chairman of the journalism and mass-communication department
at NYU, New York Times Magazine, January 23, 1994,
Mithcell

http://www.nyu.edu/classes/stephens/Jacques%20Derrida%20-%20NYT%20-%20page.htm,
accessed 11/7/02
Deconstruction had another problem: the widely held belief that reading in
search of contradictions and misunderstandings is foolish, if not insidious. John
Updike has attacked what he has called "deconstruction's fatiguing premise that
art has no health in it." Critics on the right are outraged by the implication that
there is something tangled or "impossible" about such important concepts as
"reality" and "truth," which they are committed to extricating from the grip of
quotation marks. "Derrida's influence has been disastrous," Roger Kimball, a
conservative critic and author of "Tenured Radicals," proclaims. "He has helped
foster a sort of anemic nihilism, which has given imprimaturs to squads of
imitators who no longer feel that what they are engaged in is a search for truth,
who would find that notion risible." Though Derrida considers himself a member
of the democratic left, critics on the left haven't necessarily been any kinder.
Some have charged that all this emphasis on the "impossible," on what we can't
know, threatens to leave us paralyzed, "standing" -- like poor Bartleby -- "mute
and solitary" before the world's injustices.

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Kritik Answers

A2 Tyranny of Survival (1/2)


FIRST, WE OUTWEIGH EVEN IF SURVIVAL RHETORIC
CAUSES TYRANNY, THEY HAVENT DISPROVEN OUR TRUTH
CLAIMS. WE STILL PREVENT EXTINCTION
SECOND, NO LINK THE NAZIS ALSO WORE T-SHIRTS,
THAT DOESNT PROVE OUR USE OF SURVIVAL CAUSES
OPPRESSION
THIRD, IRREVERSIBLE CHANGE JUSTIFIES SURVIVAL
RHETORIC
Callahan, Institute of Society, Ethics, and the Life Sciences, Hastings-onHudson, New York, The Tyranny of Survival, 1973, p. 106-7
Daniel

But let us assume that the stage of a dark cloud on some distant horizon has
been passed, and the evidence is good that serious deterioration has already set
in. At what point in the deterioration should survival become a priority? Observe
that I said a priority; it should never become the priority if that means the
sacrifice of all other values. But there are surely conditions under which it could
become a priority, and a very high one. The most important of those conditions
would be the existence of evidence that irreversibility was beginning to set in,
making it increasingly impossible to return to the original conditions. That
situation, combined with visible evidence of serious present deterioration-for
instance, an urgent need to develop compensatory technologies-would warrant
a focus on survival; for that is just what would be at stake.

FOURTH, EXTINCTION OF THE SPECIES IS THE MOST


HORRIBLE IMPACT IMAGINEABLE, PUTTING RIGHTS FIRST
IS PUTTING A PART OF SOCIETY BEFORE THE WHOLE
Schell 1982
(Jonathan, Professor at Wesleyan University, The Fate of the Earth, pages 136137 uw//wej)
Implicit in everything that I have said so far about the nuclear predicament there has been a perplexity that I would now like to
take up explicitly, for it leads, I believe, into the very heart of our response-or, rather, our lack of response-to the predicament. I
have pointed out that our species is the most important of all the things that, as inhabitants of a common world, we inherit from
the past generations, but it does not go far enough to point out this superior importance, as though in making our decision about
ex- tinction we were being asked to choose between, say, liberty, on the one hand, and the survival of the species, on the other.

the species not only overarches but contains all the benefits of life in
the common world, and to speak of sacrificing the species for the sake of
one of these benefits involves one in the absurdity of wanting to de- stroy
something in order to preserve one of its parts, as if one were to burn
down a house in an attempt to redecorate the living room, or to kill someone to
For

improve his character. ,but even to point out this absurdity fails to take the full measure of the peril of extinction, for mankind is
not some invaluable object that lies outside us and that we must protect so that we can go on benefiting from it; rather, it is we
ourselves, without whom everything there is loses its value. To say this is another way of saying that extinction is unique not
because it destroys mankind as an object but because it destroys mankind as the source of all possible human subjects, and this,
in turn, is another way of saying that extinction is a second death, for one's own individual death is the end not of any object in life
but of the subject that experiences all objects. Death, how- ever, places the mind in a quandary. One of-the confounding characteristics of death-"tomorrow's zero," in Dostoevski's phrase-is that, precisely because it removes the person himself rather than
something in his life, it seems to offer the mind nothing to take hold of. One even feels it inappropriate, in a way, to try to speak
"about" death at all, as. though death were a thing situated some- where outside us and available for objective inspection, when
the fact is that it is within us-is, indeed, an essential part of what we are. It would be more appropriate, perhaps, to say that
death, as a fundamental element of our being, "thinks" in us and through us about whatever we think about, coloring our
thoughts and moods with its presence throughout our lives

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Kritik Answers

A2 Tyranny of Survival (2/2)


FIFTH, *INDIVIDUALISM IS ALSO TYRANNY: CALLAHAN
ARGUES AGAINST ABSOLUTISM, NOT FOR CATEGORICAL
REJECTION OF ARGUMENTS APPEALING TO SURVIVAL.
Callahan, Institute of Society, Ethics, and the Life Sciences, Hastings-onHudson, New York, The Tyranny of Survival, 1973, p. 134-5
Daniel

The irony with which Rieff analyzes psychological man makes evident his
distrust and final rejection. But Rieff offers little to put in its place, in great part
because he does not offer a positive view of culture which would strike a good
bargain between the demands of the individual and of the culture. No more than
Freud can he offer the foundation for a social ethic which would integrate a
range of values in a way that would enable the individual and civilization to
mutually behave toward each other in ways which respected the requirements of
each. What Rieff has done is to lay bare the hubris and folly of an individualism
run amuck, seeking a final break from all cultural restraints. But having rejected
that form of individualism, what are the alternatives? Not an ethic of survival,
which would manage to keep the individual in line at the price of a final victory
of the community over the individual, resolving all tensions, ending the
possibility of a mutual respect. If the tyranny of individualism, inherent in the
mode of life of psychological man, presents only the prospect of a culture of
self-contained human monads occasionally jostling each other, the tyranny of
survival projects a world where the individual is effaced altogether. Both
tyrannies are proof against any kind of social ethic, for both dissolve that
necessary dialectic between individual and community which is the prime
requirement of such an ethic. A failure in the first place to posit the validity of
both individual and community will make it impossible in the end to combat the
virulence of individualism and survivalism, a virulence which not paradoxically
draws them closer together with every advance in technology and affluence.
The first step, then, in constructing a social ethic for technological societies is to
reject the polarities of the analytic attitude, on the one hand, and the species
attitude, on the other. The analytic attitude dissolves all of life into a cunning
detachment of individual from community, providing the former with the
psychological weapons to keep other human beings at bay. The species attitude,
seeking only survival and perpetuation, provides no less effective weapons for
keeping human beings at bay, only this time in the name of a future made safe
for the future. The great threat to the possibility of a social ethic for a
technological society is less the absence of all values than the triumph of one
value over all others. Both individualism and survival are struggling to achieve
that position, with a striking degree of success. Nothing is more important than
to deny both the triumph they seek.

SIXTH, SURVIVAL AS THE HIGHEST VALUE CAN'T JUST BE


REPLACED WITH UNCRITICAL INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM AS
THE HIGHEST VALUE.
Callahan, Institute of Society, Ethics, and the Life Sciences, Hastings-onHudson, New York, The Tyranny of Survival, 1973, p. 57-8
Daniel

Moreover, as I will develop more fully in later chapters, technological societies


impose both a tyranny of survival and a tyranny of individualism. They impose
the former because, in times of stress, their extreme fragility (stemming from
the high base of expectation they engender and the high degree of total control
their complexity demands) is instantly and terrorizingly apparent, creating a

185

Kritik Answers
natural environment for an obsessive fear of annihilation, i.e., a tyranny of
survival. They impose the latter-monomaniacal individualism-because only the
privatized life seems viable or endurable in the midst of a system which presents
itself as impersonal and uncontrollable. Thus is intensified the tyranny of
individualism, which demands that each person create his or her own world ex
nihilo: self-direction, self-realization, self-fulfillment-self, self, self.

186

Kritik Answers

A2 Ontology First: 2AC


PREVENTING VIOLENCE COMES BEFORE ONTOLOGY
Arnold

Davidson, 1989

Critical Inquiry, Winter, p. 424


I understand Levinas work to suggest another path to the recovery of the
human, one that leads through or toward other human beings:
The dimension of the divine opens forth froni the human face. Hence
metaphysics is enacted where the social relation is enacted in our relations
with men. . . . The Other is not the incarnation of God, but precisely by his face,
in which he is disincarnate, is the manifestation of the height in which God is
revealed. It is our relations with men .. . that give to theological concepts the
sole signification they admit of.35
Levinas places ethics before ontology by beginning with our experience of the
human face; and, in a clear reference to Heideggers idolatry of the village life of
peasants, he associates himself with Socrates, who preferred the city where he
encountered men to the country with its trees. In his discussion of skepticism
and the problem of others, Cavell also aligns himself with this path of thought,
with the recovery of the finite human self through the acknowledgment of
others:
As long as God exists, I am not alone. And couldnt the other suffer the fate of
God? ... I wish to understand how the other now bears the weight of God, shows
me that I am not alone in the universe. This requires understanding the
philosophical problem of the other as the trace or scar of the departure of God.
[CR, p. 47Oj
The suppression of the other, the human, in Heideggers thought accounts, I
believe, for the absence, in his writing after the war, of the experience of horror.
Horror is always directed toward the human; every object of horror bears the
imprint of the human will.38 So Levinas can see in Heideggers silence about the
gas chambers and death camps a kind of consent to the horror.39 And Cavell
can characterize Nazis as those who have lost the capacity for being horrified
by what they do.4 Where was Heideggers horror? How could he have failed to
know what he had consented to?
Hannah Arendt associates Heidegger with Paul Valerys aphorism, Les
evenments ne sont que lcume des choses (Events are but the foam of
things).4 I think one understands the source of her intuition. The mass
extermination of human beings, however, does not produce foam, but dust and
ashes; and it is here that questioning must stop.

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A2 Your Impact is Inevitable: 2AC


AND, ALL OF THEIR INEVITABIILTY ARGUMENTS ARE
QUALITATIVELY DIFFERENT THAN OUR 1AC SCENARIOS.
THEY REFER TO EXTREMELY LOW LEVEL WARS THAT
DONT CAUSE ANNIHILATION. ANY BIGGER IMPACT IS
PURE RHETORIC, WHEREAS WE HAVE EV THAT A
BREAKDOWN OF THE REALIST BALANCE CAUSES GREAT
POWER WARS
ALSO, WARFARE IS AT ITS LOWEST EBB IN HUMAN
HISTORY
Gregg

Easterbrook, journalist, The End of War? THE NEW REPUBLIC, May 30, 2005,

p. 18.
War has entered a cycle of decline.
Combat in Iraq and in a few other places is an exception to a significant global
trend that has gone nearly unnoticed--namely that, for about 15 years, there have been steadily fewer armed
conflicts worldwide. In fact, it is possible that a person's chance of dying because of war has ,
in the last decade or more, become the lowest in human history. Five years ago, two academics--Monty Marshall,
But here is something you would never guess from watching the news:

research director at the Center for Global Policy at George Mason University, and Ted Robert Gurr, a professor of government at the University of
Maryland--spent months compiling all available data on the frequency and death toll of twentieth-century combat, expecting to find an everworsening ledger of blood and destruction. Instead, they found, after the terrible years of World Wars I and II, a global increase in war from the
1960s through the mid-'80s. But this was followed by a steady, nearly uninterrupted decline beginning in 1991. They also found a steady global
rise since the mid-'80s in factors that reduce armed conflict--economic prosperity, free elections, stable central governments, better
communication, more "peacemaking institutions," and increased international engagement. Marshall and Gurr, along with Deepa Khosla,
published their results as a 2001 report, Peace and Conflict, for the Center for International Development and Conflict Management at the
University of Maryland. At the time, I remember reading that report and thinking, "Wow, this is one of the hottest things I have ever held in my
hands." I expected that evidence of a decline in war would trigger a sensation. Instead it received almost no notice.

AND, CURRENT GLOBAL TRENDS ARE AGAINST WARFARE


Gregg

Easterbrook, journalist, The End of War? THE NEW REPUBLIC, May 30, 2005,

p. 18.
In his 1993 book, A History of Warfare, the military historian John Keegan recognized the early signs that combat and armed conflict had entered

. War "may well be ceasing to commend itself to human beings


as a desirable or productive, let alone rational, means of reconciling
their discontents," Keegan wrote. Now there are 15 years of positive
developments supporting the idea. Fifteen years is not all that long. Many things could
still go badly wrong; there could be ghastly surprises in store. But, for the moment, the
trends have never been more auspicious: Swords really are being beaten into plowshares and spears
into pruning hooks. The world ought to take notice.
a cycle of decline

188

Kritik Answers

A2 Your Impact is Inevitable: 1AR


AND, EXTEND THE 2AC ANSWERS TO THE INEVITABILITY
DEBATE.
FIRST, THEIR EV ONLY SHOWS THAT LOW SCALE,
REGIONAL SKIRMISHES ARE INEVITABLE, NOT THE GREAT
POWER WARS OF THE 1AC. THEIR TRANSITION IS THE
ONLY RISK OF AN IMPACT
SECOND, WERE RUNNING CIRCLES AROUND THEM ON
THE UNIQUENESS QUESTION. EASTERBOOK 2005 SHOWS
THAT GLOBAL CONFLICT IS AT ITS LOWEST IN HISTORY
THIRD, YOU PUT EXTINCTION FIRST. THE RISK OF A
NUCLEAR WAR, WHICH SHATTERS THE MORAL FRAME.
CROSS-APPLY SCHELL 82
FOURTH, WAR IS DOWN
Gregg

Easterbrook, journalist, The End of War? THE NEW REPUBLIC, May 30, 2005,

p. 18.
Of course, 2001 was the year of September 11. But, despite the battles in Afghanistan, the Philippines, and elsewhere that were ignited by
Islamist terrorism and the West's response, a second edition of Peace and Conflict, published in 2003, showed the total number of wars and

despite the invasion of


Iraq and other outbreaks of fighting, the overall decline of war
continues. This even as the global population keeps rising, which might
be expected to lead to more war, not less.
armed conflicts continued to decline. A third edition of the study, published last week, shows that,

189

Kritik Answers

A2 Your Impact = Bare Life: 2AC


(1/3)
FIRST, NO LINK We dont ascribe a quantitative value to
someones life, but only say that we shouldnt forcibly
allow them to die in a horrific way, allowing them the
option to find their own value.
SECOND, VALUE TO LIFE IS SUBJECTIVE MUST ALLOW
PEOPLE THE CHOICE TO FIND THEIR OWN VALUE AT ALL
COSTS AND RESIST EXTERNAL ATTEMPTS TO DESTROY IT
Schwartz 2004

[A Value to Life: Who Decides and How?


www.fleshandbones.com/readingroom/pdf/399.pdf]
Those who choose to reason on this basis hope that if the quality of a life can be measured then the answer
to whether that life has value to the individual can be determined easily. This raises special problems,
however, because the idea of quality involves a value judgement, and value judgements are, by their
essence, subject to indeterminate relative factors such as preferences and dislikes. Hence, quality of life is
difficult to measure and will vary according to individual tastes, preferences and aspirations. As a result,

no general rules or principles can be asserted that would simplify


decisions about the value of a life based on its quality. Nevertheless,
quality is still an essential criterion in making such decisions because it
gives legitimacy to the possibility that rational, autonomous persons can
decide for themselves that their own lives either are worth, or are no longer

worth, living. To disregard this possibility would be to imply that no individuals can legitimately make such
value judgements about their own lives and, if nothing else, that would be counterintuitive. 2 In our case,
Katherine Lewis had spent 10 months considering her decision before concluding that her life was no longer
of a tolerable quality. She put a great deal of effort into the decision and she was competent when she made
it. Who would be better placed to make this judgement for her than Katherine herself? And yet, a doctor
faced with her request would most likely be uncertain about whether Katherines choice is truly in her best
interest, and feel trepidation about assisting her. We need to know which considerations can be used to
protect the patients interests. The quality of life criterion asserts that there is a difference between the type
of life and the fact of life. This is the primary difference between it and the sanctity criterion discussed on
page 115. Among quality of life considerations rest three assertions: 1. there is relative value to life 2. the
value of a life is determined subjectively 3. not all lives are of equal value. Relative value The first assertion,
that life is of relative value, could be taken in two ways. In one sense, it could mean that the value of a given
life can be placed on a scale and measured against other lives. The scale could be a social scale, for
example, where the contributions or potential for contribution of individuals are measured against those of
fellow citizens. Critics of quality of life criteria frequently name this as a potential slippery slope where lives
would be deemed worthy of saving, or even not saving, based on the relative social value of the individual
concerned. So, for example, a mother of four children who is a practising doctor could be regarded of greater
value to the community than an unmarried accountant. The concern is that the potential for discrimination is
too high. Because of the possibility of prejudice and injustice, supporters of the quality of life criterion reject
this interpersonal construction in favour of a second, more personalized, option. According to this
interpretation, the notion of relative value is relevant not between individuals but within the context of one
persons life and is measured against that persons needs and aspirations. So Katherine would base her
decision on a comparison between her life before and after her illness. The value placed on the quality of a
life would be determined by the individual depending on whether he or she believes the current state to be
relatively preferable to previous or future states and whether he or she can foresee controlling the
circumstances that make it that way. Thus, the life of an athlete who aspires to participate in the Olympics
can be changed in relative value by an accident that leaves that person a quadriplegic. The athlete might
decide that the relative value of her life is diminished after the accident, because she perceives her desires
and aspirations to be reduced or beyond her capacity to control. However, if she receives treatment and
counselling her aspirations could change and, with the adjustment, she could learn to value her life as a
quadriplegic as much or more than her previous life. This illustrates how it is possible for a person to adjust
the values by which they appraise their lives. For Katherine Lewis, the decision went the opposite way and
she decided that a life of incapacity and constant pain was of relatively low value to her. It is not surprising
that the most vociferous protesters against permitting people in Katherines position to be assisted in
terminating their lives are people who themselves are disabled. Organizations run by, and that represent,
persons with disabilities make two assertions in this light. First, they claim that accepting that Katherine
Lewis has a right to die based on her determination that her life is of relatively little value is demeaning to all
disabled people, and implies that any life with a severe disability is not worth Write a list of three things that
make living. Their second assertion is that with proper help, over time Katherine would be able to transform
her personal outlook and find satisfaction in her life that would increase its relative value for her. The first
assertion can be addressed by clarifying that the case of Katherine Lewis must not be taken as a general
rule. Deontologists, who are interested in knowing general principles and duties that can be applied across all
cases would not be very satisfied with this; they would prefer to be able to look to duties that would apply in

a case-based, context-sensitive approach is better suited.


Contextualizing would permit freedom to act within a particular context ,
all cases. Here,

without the implication that the decision must hold in general. So, in this case, Katherine might decide that
her life is relatively valueless. In another case, for example that of actor Christopher Reeve,

190

Kritik Answers

CONTINUED

191

Kritik Answers

A2 Your Impact = Bare Life: 2AC


(2/3)
CONTINUED
the decision to seek other ways of valuing this major life change led to him perceiving his life as highly
valuable, even if different in value from before the accident that made him a paraplegic. This invokes the
second assertion, that Katherine could change her view over time. Although we recognize this is possible in
some cases, it is not clear how it applies to Katherine. Here we have a case in which a rational and
competent person has had time to consider her options and has chosen to end her life of suffering beyond
what she believes she can endure. Ten months is a long time and it will have given her plenty of opportunity
to consult with family and professionals about the possibilities open to her in the future. Given all this, it is
reasonable to assume that Katherine has made a well-reasoned decision. It might not be a decision that
everyone can agree with but if her reasoning process can be called into question then at what point can we
say that a decision is sound? She meets all the criteria for competence and she is aware of the consequences
of her decision. It would be very difficult to determine what arguments could truly justify interfering with her
choice. The second assertion made by supporters of the quality of life as a criterion for decisionmaking is
closely related to the first, but with an added dimension. This assertion suggests that the determination of

the value of the quality of a given life is a subjective determination to be


made by the person experiencing that life. The important addition here is that the
decision is a personal one that, ideally, ought not to be made externally
by another person but internally by the individual involved. Katherine Lewis made this decision for
herself based on a comparison between two stages of her life. So did James Brady. Without this element,
decisions based on quality of life criteria lack salient information and the patients concerned cannot give
informed consent. Patients must be given the opportunity to decide for themselves whether they think their

To ignore or overlook patients judgement in this


matter is to violate their autonomy and their freedom to decide for
lives are worth living or not.

themselves on the basis of relevant information about their future, and comparative consideration of their
past. As the deontological position puts it so well, to do so is to violate the imperative that we must treat
persons as rational and as ends in themselves.

THIRD, REFUSAL TO ASSIGN A VALUE TO LIFE RENDERS


LIFE VALUELESS
Phera.com 2005
[www.phera.com/value_of_life]
Refusal to assign any value to life often leads, ironically, to ''no'' value
being attached to life. So, treating an endangered human life, or even
the value of Earth itself, in economics formally as a commodity can be
morally justified, in that risks of failure to protect it, thus become costs.

FOURTH, NUCLEAR WEAPONS USE IS A HORROR ON PAR


WITH GENOCIDE BECAUSE OF HOW IT INDISCRIMINATELY
AND ABSOLUTELY DESTROYS INNOCENT LIFE
Evans 95
[Gareth, Ministor of Foreign Affairs, Australia, On the Legality of the Threat or
Use of Nuclear Weapons, Verbatim Excerpts of Oral Statements to the
International Court of Justice, October 30,
disarm.igc.org/oldwebpages/icjquote.html, acc. 8-24-05//uwyo-ajl]
The right to self-defence is not unlimited. It is subject to fundamental
principles of humanity. Self-defence is not a justification for genocide, for
ordering that there shall be no enemy survivors in combat or for
indiscriminate attacks on the civilian population. Nor is it a justification for the
use of nuclear weapons.
The fact remains that the existence of

nuclear weapons as a class of weapons


threatens the whole of civilization. This is not the case with respect to
any class or classes of conventional weapons. It cannot be consistent
with humanity to permit the existence of a weapon which threatens the
very survival of humanity.

192

Kritik Answers
There are some weapons the very existence of which is inconsistent with fundamental
general principles of humanity. In the case of weapons of this type, international law does not
merely prohibit their threat or use. It prohibits even their acquisition or manufacture, and by
extension their possession. Such an attitude has been manifested in the case of other types
of weapons of mass destruction. Both the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention and the 1992
Chemical Weapons Convention do not merely prohibit the use of biological and chemical
weapons of mass destruction, but prevent their very existence.

As was hideously demonstrated at Hiroshima, where a relatively


minuscule atomic bomb was detonated, and as the release of radiation
by the Chernobyl disaster showed to our horror, any use of nuclear
weapons, anywhere at any time, would be devastating and in no way
comparable to any use, in whatever magnitude, of conventional
weapons

193

Kritik Answers

A2 Your Impact = Bare Life: 2AC


(3/3)
FIFTH, FAILURE TO ACT IN THE FACE OF ANNIHILATION
RISKS TOTALITARIANISM BY DENYING INSTITUTIONAL
RESPONSIBILITY
Campbell 98

[David, Intl Relations Prof @ UM, National Deconstruction: Violence, Identity,


and Justice in Bosnia, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1998, 186]
The undecidable within the decision does not, however, prevent the decision nor avoid its
urgency. As Derrida observes, a just decision is always required immediately, right away.
This necessary haste has unavoidable consequences because the pursuit of

infinite information and the unlimited knowledge of conditions,


rules or hypothetical imperatives that could justify it are unavailable in the
crush of time. Nor can the crush of time be avoided, even by unlimited time, because
the moment of decision as such always remains a finite moment of urgency and
precipitation. The decision is always structurally finite, it aalways marks the interruption
of the juridico- or ethico- or politico-cognitive deliberation that precedes it, that must precede
it. That is why, invoking Kierkegaard, Derrida, declares that the instant of decision is a
madness.
The finite nature of the decision may be a madness in the way it renders possible the
impossible, the infinite character of justice, but Derrida argues for the necessity of this
madness. Most importantly, Derrida argues for the necessity of this madness. Most
importantly, although Derridas argument concerning the decision has, to this pint, been
concerned with an account of the procedure by which a decision is possible, it is with respect
to the ncessity of the decision that Derrida begins to formulate an account of the decision
that bears upon the content of the decision. In so doing, Derridas argument addresses more
directly more directly, I would argue than is acknowledged by Critchley the concern that
for politics (at least for a progressive politics) one must provide an account of the decision to
combat domination.
That undecidability resides within the decision, Derrida argues, that justice exceeds
law and calculation, that the unpresentable exceeds the determinalbe cannot and should

not serve as alibi for staying out of juridico-political battles,


within an institution or a state, or between institutions or states and others.
Indeed, incalculable justice requires us to calculate. From where do

these insistences come? What is behind, what is animating, these imperatives? It is both the
character of infinite justice as a heteronomic relationship to the other, a relationship that
because of its undecidability multiplies responsibility, and the fact that left to itself, the
incalculable and given (donatrice) idea of justice is always very close to the bad, even to
the worst, for it can always be reappropriated by the most perverse
calculation. The necessity of calculating the incalculable thus responds to a duty a duty
that inhabits the instant of madness and compels the decision to avoid the bad, the
perverse calculation, even the worst. This is the duty that also dwells with
deconstructive thought and makes it the starting point, the at least necessary
condition, for the organization of resistance to totalitarianism in all its
forms. And it is a duty that responds to practical political concerns when we recognize that
Derrida names the bad, the perverse, and the worst as those violences we recognize all too
well without yet having thought them through, the crimes of xenophobia, racism, antiSemitism, religious or nationalist fanaticism.

194

Kritik Answers

A2 No Value to Life: 2AC (1/3)


FIRST, THIS ARGUMENT IS REPULSIVE People ascribe
their own value to life. Violently taking it from them is
the worst form of atrocity
SECOND, THERES ALWAYS A VALUE TO LIFE Even people
in the worst conditions find was of living beautifully
THIRD, THIS ISNT OFFENSE If someone finds their life
valueless, they can commit suicide. We at least give
people who want to live the choice
FOURTH, LIFE ONLY BECOMES VALUELESS WHEN IT IS
DECLARED AS SUCH [author is describing specific men who were in Auschwitz with
him]

Frankl, Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry at the University of Vienna, Mans


Search for Meaning, 1946, p. 90-93
Victor

We have stated that that which was ultimately responsible for the state of the prisoners inner self was not so much the enumerated

only the
men who allowed their inner hold on their moral and spiritual selves to subside
eventually fell victim to the camps degenerating influences. The question now arises, what could, or
psychophysical causes as it was the result of a free decision. Psychological observations of the prisoners have shown that

should, have constituted this inner hold? Former prisoners, when writing or relating their experiences, agree that the most depressing influence
of all was that a prisoner could not know how long his term of imprisonment would be. He had been given no date for his release. (In our camp it
was pointless even to talk about it.) Actually a prison term was not only uncertain but unlimited. A well-known research psychologist has pointed
out that life in a concentration camp could be called a provisional existence. We can add to this by defining it as a provisional existence of
unknown limit. New arrivals usually knew nothing about the conditions at a camp. Those who had come back from other camps were obliged to
keep silent, and from some camps no one had returned. On entering camp a change took place in the minds of the men. With the end of
uncertainty there came the uncertainty of the end. It was impossible to foresee whether or when, if at all, this form of existence would end. The

A man who could not see the end of


his provisional existence was not able to aim at an ultimate goa l in life. He ceased
living for the future, in contrast to a man in normal life. Therefore the whole structure of his inner life
changed; signs of decay set in which we know from other areas of life. The unemployed worker, for example, is in a
latin word finis has two meanings: the end or the finish, and a goal to reach.

similar position. His existence has become provisional and in a certain sense he cannot live for the future or aim at a goal. Research work done
on unemployed miners has shown that they suffer from a peculiar sort of deformed timeinner time-which is a result of their unemployed state.
Prisoners, too, suffered from this strange time-experience. In camp, a small time unit, a day, for example, filled with hourly tortures and fatigue,
appeared endless. A larger time unit, perhaps a week, seemed to pass very quickly. My comrades agreed when I said that in camp a day lasted
longer than a week. How paradoxical was our time-experience! In this connection we are reminded of Thomas Manns The Magic Mountain, which
contains some very pointed psychological remarks. Mann studies the spiritual development of people who are in an analogous psychological
position, i.e., tuberculosis patients in a sanatorium who also know no date for their release. They experience a similar existencewithout a future
and without a goal. One of the prisoners, who on his arrival marched with a long column of new inmates from the station to the camp, told me
later that he had felt as though he were marching at his own funeral. His life had seemed to him absolutely without future. He regarded it as over
and done, as if he had already died. This feeling of lifelessness was intensified by other causes: in time, it was the limitlessness of the term of
imprisonment which was most acutely felt; in space, the narrow limits of the prison. Anything outside the barbed wire became remoteout of
reach and, in a way, unreal. The events and the people outside, all the normal life there, had a ghostly aspect for the prisoner. The outside life,
that is, as much as he could see of it, appeared to him almost as it might have to a dead man who looked at it from another world. A man who let
himself decline because he could not see any future goal found himself occupied with retrospective thoughts. In a different connection, we have
already spoken of the tendency there was to look into the past, to help make the present, with all its horrors, less real. But in robbing the present

danger. It became easy to overlook the opportunities to make


something positive of camp life, opportunities which really did exist. Regarding our provisional
existence as unreal was in itself an important factor in causing the prisoners to lose
their hold on life; everything in a way became pointless. Such people forget that often it is just such an
of its reality there lay a certain

exceptionally difficult external situation which gives man the opportunity to grow spiritually beyond himself. Instead of taking the camps
difficulties as a test of their inner strength, they did not take their life seriously and despised it as something of no consequence. They preferred
to close their eyes and to live in the past.

Life for such people became meaningless .

195

Kritik Answers

A2 No Value to Life: 2AC (2/3)


FIFTH, VALUE TO LIFE IS SUBJECTIVE MUST ALLOW
PEOPLE THE CHOICE TO FIND THEIR OWN VALUE AT ALL
COSTS AND RESIST EXTERNAL ATTEMPTS TO DESTROY IT
Schwartz 2004
[A Value to Life: Who Decides and How?
www.fleshandbones.com/readingroom/pdf/399.pdf]
Those who choose to reason on this basis hope that if the quality of a life can be measured then the answer to whether that life has
value to the individual can be determined easily. This raises special problems, however, because the idea of quality involves a
value judgement, and value judgements are, by their essence, subject to indeterminate relative factors such as preferences and
dislikes. Hence, quality of life is difficult to measure and will vary according to individual tastes, preferences and aspirations. As a
result,
no general rules or principles can be asserted that would simplify decisions about the value of a life based on its quality.
Nevertheless, quality is still an essential criterion in making such decisions because it gives legitimacy to the possibility that

persons can decide for themselves that their own lives


either are worth, or are no longer worth, living. To disregard this possibility would be to imply that no individuals can
rational, autonomous

legitimately make such value judgements about their own lives and, if nothing else, that would be counterintuitive. 2 In our case,
Katherine Lewis had spent 10 months considering her decision before concluding that her life was no longer of a tolerable quality.
She put a great deal of effort into the decision and she was competent when she made it. Who would be better placed to make this
judgement for her than Katherine herself? And yet, a doctor faced with her request would most likely be uncertain about whether
Katherines choice is truly in her best interest, and feel trepidation about assisting her. We need to know which considerations can
be used to protect the patients interests. The quality of life criterion asserts that there is a difference between the type of life and
the fact of life. This is the primary difference between it and the sanctity criterion discussed on page 115. Among quality of life
considerations rest three assertions: 1. there is relative value to life 2. the value of a life is determined subjectively 3. not all lives
are of equal value. Relative value The first assertion, that life is of relative value, could be taken in two ways. In one sense, it could
mean that the value of a given life can be placed on a scale and measured against other lives. The scale could be a social scale, for
example, where the contributions or potential for contribution of individuals are measured against those of fellow citizens. Critics of
quality of life criteria frequently name this as a potential slippery slope where lives would be deemed worthy of saving, or even not
saving, based on the relative social value of the individual concerned. So, for example, a mother of four children who is a practising
doctor could be regarded of greater value to the community than an unmarried accountant. The concern is that the potential for
discrimination is too high. Because of the possibility of prejudice and injustice, supporters of the quality of life criterion reject this
interpersonal construction in favour of a second, more personalized, option. According to this interpretation, the notion of relative
value is relevant not between individuals but within the context of one persons life and is measured against that persons needs
and aspirations. So Katherine would base her decision on a comparison between her life before and after her illness. The value
placed on the quality of a life would be determined by the individual depending on whether he or she believes the current state to
be relatively preferable to previous or future states and whether he or she can foresee controlling the circumstances that make it
that way. Thus, the life of an athlete who aspires to participate in the Olympics can be changed in relative value by an accident
that leaves that person a quadriplegic. The athlete might decide that the relative value of her life is diminished after the accident,
because she perceives her desires and aspirations to be reduced or beyond her capacity to control. However, if she receives
treatment and counselling her aspirations could change and, with the adjustment, she could learn to value her life as a
quadriplegic as much or more than her previous life. This illustrates how it is possible for a person to adjust the values by which
they appraise their lives. For Katherine Lewis, the decision went the opposite way and she decided that a life of incapacity and
constant pain was of relatively low value to her. It is not surprising that the most vociferous protesters against permitting people in
Katherines position to be assisted in terminating their lives are people who themselves are disabled. Organizations run by, and
that represent, persons with disabilities make two assertions in this light. First, they claim that accepting that Katherine Lewis has a
right to die based on her determination that her life is of relatively little value is demeaning to all disabled people, and implies that
any life with a severe disability is not worth Write a list of three things that make living. Their second assertion is that with proper
help, over time Katherine would be able to transform her personal outlook and find satisfaction in her life that would increase its
relative value for her. The first assertion can be addressed by clarifying that the case of Katherine Lewis must not be taken as a
general rule. Deontologists, who are interested in knowing general principles and duties that can be applied across all cases would
not be very satisfied with this; they would prefer to be able to look to duties that would apply in all cases. Here, a case-based,
context-sensitive approach is better suited. Contextualizing would permit freedom to act within a particular context, without the
implication that the decision must hold in general. So, in this case, Katherine might decide that her life is relatively valueless. In
another case, for example that of actor Christopher Reeve, the decision to seek other ways of valuing this major life change led to
him perceiving his life as highly valuable, even if different in value from before the accident that made him a paraplegic. This
invokes the second assertion, that Katherine could change her view over time. Although we recognize this is possible in some
cases, it is not clear how it applies to Katherine. Here we have a case in which a rational and competent person has had time to
consider her options and has chosen to end her life of suffering beyond what she believes she can endure. Ten months is a long
time and it will have given her plenty of opportunity to consult with family and professionals about the possibilities open to her in
the future. Given all this, it is reasonable to assume that Katherine has made a well-reasoned decision. It might not be a decision
that everyone can agree with but if her reasoning process can be called into question then at what point can we say that a decision
is sound? She meets all the criteria for competence and she is aware of the consequences of her decision. It would be very difficult
to determine what arguments could truly justify interfering with her choice. The second assertion made by supporters of the quality
of life as a criterion for decisionmaking is closely related to the first, but with an added dimension. This assertion suggests that the

the value of the quality of a given life is a subjective


determination to be made by the person experiencing that life. The important
addition here is that the decision is a personal one that, ideally, ought not to be
made externally by another person but internally by the individual involved. Katherine Lewis made this
determination of

decision for herself based on a comparison between two stages of her life. So did James Brady. Without this element, decisions
based on quality of life criteria lack salient information and the patients concerned cannot give informed consent. Patients must be

To ignore or
overlook patients judgement in this matter is to violate their autonomy
and their freedom to decide for themselves on the basis of relevant information about their future, and
given the opportunity to decide for themselves whether they think their lives are worth living or not.

comparative consideration of their past. As the deontological position puts it so well, to do so is to violate the imperative that we
must treat persons as rational and as ends in themselves

196

Kritik Answers

A2 No Value to Life: 2AC (3/3)


SIXTH, NO VALUE TO LIFE RHETORIC UNDERMINES
HOPE FOR THE FUTURE. IT CREATES FALSE HOPE OF
LIBERATION FROM MEANINGLESSNESS WITHOUT
ADDRESSING WHAT WE ARE LIVING FOR. VOTE TO AFFIRM
INTRINSIC VALUE TO EXISTENCE [THIS EVIDENCE IS GENDER PARAPHRASED]
Frankl, Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry at the University of
Vienna, Mans Search for Meaning, 1946, p. 96-98
Victor

I once had a dramatic demonstration of the close link between the loss of faith in the future and this dangerous giving up. F, my senior block
warden, a fairly well-known composer and librettist, confided in me one day: I would like to tell you something, Doctor. I have had a strange
dream. A voice told me that I could wish for something, that I should only say what I wanted to know, and all my questions would be answered.
What do you think I asked? That I would like to know when the war would be over for me. You know what I mean, Doctorfor me! I wanted to
know when we, when our camp, would be liberated and our sufferings come to an end. And when did you have this dream? I asked. In
February, 1945, he answered. It was then the beginning of March. What did your dream voice answer? Furtively he whispered to me, March
thirtieth. When F told me about his dream, he was still full of hope and convinced that the voice of his dream would be right. But as the
promised day drew nearer, the war news which reached our camp made it appear very unlikely that we would be free on the promised date. On
March twenty-ninth, F suddenly became ill and ran a high temperature. On March thirtieth, the day his prophecy had told him that the war and
suffering would be over for him, he became delirious and lost consciousness. On March thirty-first, he was dead. To all outward appearances, he
had died of typhus. Those who know how close the connection is between the state of mind of a manhis courage and hope, or lack of them

sudden loss of hope and courage can have a


deadly effect. The ultimate cause of my friends death was that the expected
liberation did not come and he was severely disappointed. This suddenly lowered his bodys
resistance against the latent typhus infection . His faith in the future and his will to live had become paralyzed
and the state of immunity of his body will understand that the

and his body fell victim to illnessand thus the voice of his dream was right after all. The observations of this one case and the conclusion drawn
from them are in accordance with something that was drawn to my attention by the chief doctor of our concentration camp. The death rate in the
week between Christmas, 1944, and New Years, 1945, increased in camp beyond all previous experience. In his opinion, the explanation for this
increase did not lie in the harder working conditions or the deterioration of our food supplies or a change of weather or new epidemics. It was
simply that the majority of the prisoners had lived in the naive hope that they would be home again by Christmas. As the time drew near and
there was no encouraging news, the prisoners lost courage and disappointment overcame them. This had a dangerous influence on their powers

any attempt to restore a mans inner strength


had first to succeed in showing him some future goal. Nietzsches words, [One] He
who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how , could be the guiding motto for all
of resistance and a great number of them died. As we said before,
in the camp

psychotherapeutic and psychohygienic efforts regarding prisoners. Whenever there was an opportunity for it, one had to give them a whyan
aimfor their lives, in order to strengthen them to bear the terrible how of their existence. Woe to him who saw no more sense in his life, no aim,
no purpose, and therefore no point in carrying on. He was soon lost. The typical reply with which such a man rejected all encouraging arguments
was, I have nothing to expect from life any more. What sort of answer can one give to that? What was really needed was a fundamental change
in our attitude toward life. We had to learn ourselves and, furthermore, we had to teach the despairing men, that it did not really matter what we

We needed to stop asking about the meaning of


life, and instead to thisnk of ourselves as those who were being questioned by
lifedaily and hourly. Our answer must consist, not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct. Life ultimately
means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the
expected from life, but rather what life expected from us.

tasks which it constantly sets for each individual.

SEVENTH, EXTINCTION OF THE SPECIES IS THE MOST


HORRIBLE IMPACT IMAGINEABLE, PUTTING RIGHTS FIRST
IS PUTTING A PART OF SOCIETY BEFORE THE WHOLE
Schell 1982
(Jonathan, Professor at Wesleyan University, The Fate of the Earth, pages 136137 uw//wej)
Implicit in everything that I have said so far about the nuclear predicament there has been a perplexity that I would now like to
take up explicitly, for it leads, I believe, into the very heart of our response-or, rather, our lack of response-to the predicament. I
have pointed out that our species is the most important of all the things that, as inhabitants of a common world, we inherit from

it does not go far enough to point out this superior


importance, as though in making our decision about ex- tinction we were
being asked to choose between, say, liberty, on the one hand, and the survival of the
species, on the other. For the species not only overarches but contains all the
benefits of life in the common world, and to speak of sacrificing the
species for the sake of one of these benefits involves one in the absurdity
of wanting to de- stroy something in order to preserve one of its parts,
as if one were to burn down a house in an attempt to redecorate the
living room, or to kill someone to improve his character. ,but even to point out this absurdity fails to take the full measure
the past generations, but

of the peril of extinction, for mankind is not some invaluable object that lies outside us and that we must protect so that we can go
on benefiting from it; rather, it is we ourselves, without whom everything there is loses its value. To say this is another way of
saying that extinction is unique not because it destroys mankind as an object but because it destroys mankind as the source of all

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possible human subjects, and this, in turn, is another way of saying that extinction is a second death, for one's own individual
death is the end not of any object in life but of the subject that experiences all objects. Death, how- ever, places the mind in a
quandary. One of-the confounding char- acteristics of death-"tomorrow's zero," in Dostoevski's phrase-is that, precisely because it
removes the person himself rather than something in his life, it seems to offer the mind nothing to take hold of. One even feels it
inappropriate, in a way, to try to speak "about" death at all, as. though death were a thing situated some- where outside us and
available for objective inspection, when the fact is that it is within us-is, indeed, an essential part of what we are. It would be more
appropriate, perhaps, to say that death, as a fundamental element of our being, "thinks" in us and through us about whatever we
think about, coloring our thoughts and moods with its presence throughout our lives

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No Value To Life Justifies


Genocide
EUTHANASIA AND GENOCIDE IS JUSTIFIED BY THE
DEPLOYMENT OF THE RHETORIC OF NO VALUE TO LIFE
Richard

Coleson, M.A.R., J.D., ISSUES IN LAW & MEDICINE, Summer, 1997


Euthanasia also was advocated in Germany. As early as 1895, a widely-used
German medical textbook made a claim for "the right to death." Michael
Berenbaum, The World Must Know: The History of the Holocaust as Told in the
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum 64 (1993). Immediately following
World War I, the notion took greater root in the German medical and legal
professions, instigated largely by a publication by Professors Karl Binding and
Alfred Hoche of Die Freigabe der Vernichtung lebensunwertens Leben (Permitting
the Destruction of Unworthy Life) (1920). See 8 Issues in Law & Med. 221 (1992)
(Patrick Derr and Walter Wright, trans.) (copies of which have been lodged with
the Court). What transpired in Germany in the late 1930s and 1940s would
unalterably change the debate over the ethics and legality of physicians
participating in ending the lives of their patients. In that period, the lives of
hundreds of thousands of terminally ill, incurably sick, and mentally incompetent
patients were terminated by German doctors--the elite of the profession in
Europe--in a program of "euthanasia" propagated both by acceptance of the "
unworthy life" thesis and by the imposition of National Socialist theories of
eugenics derived from earlier concepts developed by the German medical
profession and intelligentsia. Michael Burleigh, Death and Deliverance:
'Euthanasia' in Germany 1900-1945 93-97, 273-277, 284-285 (1994); Robert Jay
Lifton, The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide 44-79
(1986); Gallagher, By Trust Betrayed, supra at 74-95. In the ensuing decades,
the connection of medical killing in Nazi Germany to contemporary debates
regarding the legalization of assisted suicide and euthanasia has been a matter
of great controversy. Burleigh, Death and Deliverance, supra at 291-98.
[Footnote omitted] It is clear, however, that those closest to these events saw
some connection. The condemnation of the "Nazi doctors" was universal and
prompted great reflection on the question of ensuring that their actions never be
repeated. As one step, the world's physicians reaffirmed the foundational ethical
principle of their profession: that doctors must not kill. [Footnote omitted] The
cases before this Court are the most important juridical test since that time of
the meaning of that principle. For this reason alone, the experience which
influenced so much of what the world thinks today of the issue of euthanasia is
relevant to the deliberations of this Court. The acceptance by physicians of the
notion of a "life not worthy to be lived" under the "euthanasia" program was a
cornerstone of the horror that was to follow. Leo Alexander, Medical Science
Under Dictatorship, 241 New Eng. J. Med. 39, 44 (1949). Without the willingness
of doctors to participate, the euthanasia program would not have occurred.
Patrick Derr, Hadamar, Hippocrates, and the Future of Medicine: Reflections on
Euthanasia and the History of German Medicine, 4 Issues in Law & Med. 487
(1989). This "cornerstone" principle persists today. The experience of the
Netherlands (described in the Brief of Amicus Curiae the American Suicide
Foundation in No. 96-110) establishes that the participation of physicians in
killing their patients invariably rests upon, and propagates, the notion of life
unworthy of life. The writings of pro-euthanasia philosophers James Rachels,
Peter Singer, and John Harris [Footnote omitted] confirm this fact. While social
and political conditions in Western democracies obviously differ from those of
post-World War I and Nazi Germany, the consequences of legalizing physicianassisted suicide and euthanasia will be no less dire.

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No Value To Life Justifies Nazism


ALSO, THE ARGUMENT THAT CERTAIN CONDITIONS MAKE
LIFE NOT WORTH LIVING ACCEPTS THE PHILOSOPHICAL
PREMISE OF NAZI GERMANY STYLE MURDERS AND
CONCENTRATION CAMPS THAT RESPECT FOR LIFE DOES
NOT ENTAIL PRESERVING LIFE
Steven

Neeley, Assistant Professor at Saint Francis, AKRON LAW REVIEW v. 28, Summer,

1994.
The final solution in the United States and other western societies will be unlike
the final solution in Nazi Germany in its details, but not unlike it in its horror. And
I fear that some who now live will experience this final solution. They will live to
see the day they will be killed. Variations of the "slippery-slope" argument as
applied to suicide and euthanasia are abundant. Beauchamp has argued, for
example, that at least from the perspective of rule utilitarianism, the wedge
argument against euthanasia should be taken seriously. Accordingly, although a
"restricted-active-euthanasia rule would have some utility value" since some
intense and uncontrollable suffering would be eliminated, "it may not have the
highest utility value in the structure of our present code or in any imaginable
code which could be made current, and therefore may not be a component in
the ideal code for our society . . . . For the disutility of introducing legitimate
killing into one's moral code (in the form of active euthanasia rules) may, in the
long run, outweigh the utility of doing so, as a result of the eroding effect such a
relaxation would have on rules in the code which demand respect for human life.
" Beauchamp then continues down a now-familiar path: If, for example, rules
permitting active killing were introduced, it is not implausible to suppose that
destroying defective newborns (a form of involuntary euthanasia) would become
an accepted and common practice, that as population increases occur the aged
will be even more neglectable and neglected than they now are, that capital
punishment for a wide variety of crimes would be increasingly tempting, that
some doctors would have appreciably reduced fears of actively injecting fatal
doses whenever it seemed to them propitious to do so . . . . A hundred such
possible consequences might easily be imagined. But these few are sufficient to
make the larger point that such rules permitting killing could lead to a general
reduction of respect for human life.

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Theres Always Value To Life


THERES ALWAYS VALUE TO LIFE
Frankl, Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry at the University of Vienna, Mans
Search for Meaning, 1946, p. 104
Victor

But I did not only talk of the future and the veil which was drawn over it. I also
mentioned the past; all its joys, and how its light shone even in the present
darkness. Again I quoted a poetto avoid sounding like a preacher myselfwho
had written, Was Dii erlebst, k,ann keme Macht der Welt Dir rauben. (What you
have experienced, no power on earth can take from you.) Not only our
experiences, but all we have done, whatever great thoughts we may have had,
and all we have suffered, all this is not lost, though it is past; we have brought it
into being. Having been is also a kind of being, and perhaps the surest kind.
Then I spoke of the many opportunities of giving life a meaning. I told my
comrades (who lay motionless, although occasionally a sigh could be heard) that
human life, under any circumstances, never ceases to have a meaning, and that
this infinite meaning of life includes suffering and dying, privation and death. I
asked the poor creatures who listened to me attentively in the darkness of the
hut to face up to the seriousness of our position. They must not lose hope but
should keep their courage in the certainty that the hopelessness of our struggle
did not detract from its dignity and its meaning. I said that someone looks down
on each of us in difficult hoursa friend, a wife, somebody alive or dead, or a
Godand he would not expect us to disappoint him. He would hope to find us
suffering proudlynot miserablyknowing how to die.

THERES ALWAYS VALUE TO LIFE, EVEN WITH


TREMENDOUS SUFFERING
Frankl, Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry at the University of Vienna, Mans
Search for Meaning, 1946, p. 99-100
Victor

When a man finds that it is his destiny to suffer, he will have to accept his
suffering as his task; his single and unique task. He will have to acknowledge the
fact that even in suffering he is unique and alone in the universe. No one can
relieve him of his suffering or suffer in his place. His unique opportunity lies in
the way in which he bears his burden. For us, as prisoners, these thoughts were
not speculations far removed from reality. They were the only thoughts that
could be of help to us. They kept us from despair, even when there seemed to
be no chance of coming out of it alive. Long ago we had passed the stage of
asking what was the meaning of life, a naive query which understands life as the
attaining of some aim through the active creation of something of value. For us,
the meaning of life embraced the wider cycles of life and death, of suffering and
of dying. Once the meaning of suffering had been revealed to us, we refused to
minimize or alleviate the camps tortures by ignoring them or harboring false
illusions and entertaining artificial optimism. Suffering had become a task on
which we did not want to turn our backs. We had realized its hidden
opportunities for achievement, the opportunities which caused the poet Rilke to
write, Wie viel ist aufzuleiden! (How much suffering there is to get through!)
Rilke spoke of getting through suffering as others would talk of getting
through work. There was plenty of suffering for us to get through. Therefore, it
was necessary to face up to the full amount of suffering, trying to keep moments
of weakness and furtive tears to a minimum. But there was no need to be
ashamed of tears, for tears bore witness that a man had the greatest of courage,
the courage to suffer. Only very few realized that. Shamefacedly some
confessed occasionally that they had wept, like the comrade who answered my

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question of how he had gotten over his edema, by confessing, I have wept it out
of my system.

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A2 Communication Scholar
Framework: 2AC
MCCHESNEY CONCEDES THAT UNANTICIPATED
CONSEQUENCES MUST BE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT
McChesney 96

[Robert W., U. of Wisconsin-Madison, The Internet and U.S. Communication


Policy-Making in Historical and Critical Perspective, Journal of Communication
46 (1), Winter, http://jcmc.indiana.edu/vol1/issue4/mcchesney.html, acc. 9-3006//uwyo-ajl]
All communication technologies have unanticipated and unintended effects, and
one function of policy-making is to understand them so we may avoid or
minimize the undesirable ones. The digitalization and computerization of our
society are going to transform us radically, yet even those closely associated
with these developments express concern about the possibility of a severe
deterioration of the human experience as a result of the information revolution
(Deitch, 1994; Stoll, 1995; Talbott, 1995). As one observer notes, "Very few of
us-only the high priests-really understand the new technologies, and these are
surely the people least qualified to make policy decisions about them"
(Charbeneau, 1994, pp. 28-29). For every argument extolling the "virtual
community" and the liberatory aspects of cyberspace, it seems every bit as
plausible to reach dystopian conclusions. Why not look at the information
highway as a process that encourages the isolation, atomization, and
marginalization of people in society? In fact, cannot the ability of people to
create their own community in cyberspace have the effect of terminating a
community in the general sense? In a class-stratified, commercially oriented
society like the United States, cannot the information highway have the effect of
simply making it possible for the well-to-do to bypass any contact with the
balance of society altogether? These are precisely the types of questions that
need to be addressed and answered in communication policy-making and
precisely the types of questions in which the market has no interest (Chapman,
1995). At any rate, a healthy skepticism toward technology should be the order
of the day.

COMMUNICATION SCHOLARS HAVE TO CONSIDER


POLITICAL CONSEQUENCES
Sandgathe 2001

[Sharon, Engl Dept. @ Arizona, The Culture of Agriculture, February 27,


darkwing.uoregon.edu/~tns/session_6.htm, acc 9-30-06]
As a scholar of rhetoric, much of my work examines discourse in public arenas. I
find public constructions of agriculture to be a fascinating site for study because
in agriculture people must explicitly engage the interpenetration of nature and
culture. Currently, a common way to validate a particular vision of that
interpenetration is to label a favored version of agriculture with the highly prized
signifier sustainable. In this discussion I will argue that the shifting use of the
term sustainable agriculture in public discourse reflects political conflict over
social identities, cultural values, and material practices. I will also examine how
discourses about nature, especially highly valued scientific discourses, are used
to legitimate the social agendas represented by sustainable agriculture, and
what the political consequences of that legitimization might be.

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**Democratic Talk**
Democratic Talk Turn: 2AC (1/2)
TURN: DEMOCRATIC TALK
A. REFUSING TO ACT AS IF WERE THE GOVERNMENT
DESTROYS THE DELIBERATIVE DEMOCRATIC POTENTIAL
OF DEBATE
Barber, Professor of Political Science at Rutgers, 1984 (Benjamin, Strong
Democracy: Participatory Politics for a New Age)
Agenda-Setting. In liberal democracies, agendas are typically regarded as the
province of elites -- of committees, or executive officers, or (even) pollsters. This is
so not simply because representative systems delegate the agenda-setting function or
because they slight citizen participation, but because they conceive of agendas as
fixed and self-evident, almost natural, and in this sense incidental to such vital
democratic processes as deliberation and decision-making. Yet a people that
does not set its own agenda, by means of talk and direct political exchange, not
only relinquishes a vital power of government but also exposes its remaining
powers of deliberation and decision to ongoing subversion. What counts as an
"issue" or a "problem" and how such issues or problems are formulated may to a
large extent predetermine what decisions are reached. For example, the choice

between building a small freeway and a twelve-lane interstate highway in lower Manhattan
may seem of little moment to those who prefer to solve the problems of urban
transportation with mass rail transit. Or the right to choose among six mildly right-ofcenter candidates may fail to exercise the civic imagination of socialists. Nor is it

sufficient to offer a wide variety of options, for what constitutes an option-how a


question is formulated-is as controversial as the range of choices offered .
Abortion is clearly an issue that arouses intense public concern at present, but to say that
it belongs on the public agenda says too little. The vital question remains: How is it
presented? In this form: "Do you believe there should be an amendment to the
Constitution protecting the life of the unborn child?" Or in this form: "Do you believe there
should be an amendment to the Constitution prohibiting abortions?" When asked the first
question by a New York Times-CBS poll, over one-half responded "yes," whereas when
asked the second question only 29 percent said "yes .,,25 He who controls the agenda-if
only its wording-controls the outcome. The battle for the Equal Rights Amendment was
probably lost because its enemies managed to place it on the public agenda as calling for
"the destruction of the family, the legitimization of homosexuality, and the compulsory use
of coed toilets." The ERA's supporters never succeeded in getting Americans to see it as
"the simple extension of the Constitution's guarantees of rights to women"-a goal that
most citizens would probably endorse. The ordering of alternatives can affect the patterns
of choice as decisively as their formulation. A compromise presented after positions have
been polarized may fail; a constitutional amendment presented at the tail end of the
period of change that occasioned it may not survive in a new climate of opinion. A
proposal paired with a less attractive alternative may succeed where the same proposal
paired with some third option would fail. What these realities suggest is that in a genuine

democracy agenda-setting cannot precede talk or deliberation, and decision but


must be approached as a permanent function of talk itself. Relegating agendasetting to elites or to some putatively "natural" process is an abdication of rights and
responsibilities. Unless the debate about Manhattan's interstate freeway permits people
to discuss their fundamental priorities for mass transportation, energy, and ecology, it is a
sham. Unless the debate over abortion permits people to discuss the social conditions of
pregnancy, the practical alternatives available to the poor, and the moral dilemmas of a
woman torn between her obligations to her own body and life and to an embryo, such
debate will treat neither pregnant women nor unborn babies with a reasonable
approximation of justice. For these reasons, strong democratic talk places its agenda

at the center rather than at the beginning of its politics. It subjects every
pressing issue to continuous examination and possible reformulation. Its agenda
is, before anything else, its agenda. It thus scrutinizes what remains unspoken,
looking into the crevices of silence for signs of an unarticulated problem, a
speechless victim, or a mute protester. The agenda of a community tells a

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community where and what it is. It defines that community's mutualism and the
limits of mutualism and draws up plans for pasts to be institutionalized or
overcome and for futures to be avoided or achieved. Far from being a mere
preliminary of democracy, agenda-setting becomes one of its pervasive, defining
functions. 180-182

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Democratic Talk Turn: 2AC (2/2)


B. THE IMPACT IS SLAVERY [THIS EV HAS BEEN GENDER
MODIFIED]
Barber, Professor of Political Science at Rutgers, 1984 (Benjamin, Strong
Democracy: Participatory Politics for a New Age)
Political animals interact socially in ways that abstract morals and metaphysics cannot
account for. Their virtue is of another order, although few theorists who have defended this
claim have been called everything from m realists to immoralists for their trouble. Yet
Montaigne caught the very spirit of social man when he wrote, "the virtue assigned to the
affairs of the world is a virtue with many bends, angles, and elbows, so as to join and
adapt itself to human weakness; mixed and artificial, not straight, clean, constant or purely

men and women have to


choose not between independence or dependence but between
citizenship or slavery. Without citizens, Rousseau warns, there will be
neither free natural men nor satisfied solitaries-there will be "nothing
but debased slaves, from the rulers of the state downwards ." To a
strong democrat, Rousseau's assertion at the opening of his Social Contract that [ an
individual] is born free yet is everywhere in chains does not mean
that [an individual] is free by nature but society enchains him [or
her]. It means rather that natural freedom is an abstraction,
whereas dependency is the concrete human reality, and that the
aim of-politics must therefore be not to rescue natural freedom
from politics, but, to invent and pursue artificial freedom within
and through politics. Strong democracy aims not to disenthrall
[individuals] but to legitimate their dependency by means of
citizenship and to establish their political freedom by means of
the democratic community. 216
innocent." If the human essence is social, then

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Democratic Talk Turn: 1AR (1/3)


OUR TURNS ARE IMPORTANT BECAUSE THE KRITIK IS
UNLIKELY TO BRING ABOUT AN ENTIRELY CHANGED
WORLD THE PROCESS OF DEMOCRATIC TALK BRINGS US
TOGETHER AS A POLITICAL COMMUNITY WHERE WE CAN
ENVISION ALTERNATIVE FUTURES (RE)CREATING OUR
POWER AS POLITICALLY ACTIVE PARTICIPATING CITIZENS
MORE EV
Barber, Professor of Political Science at Rutgers, 1984 (Benjamin, Strong
Democracy: Participatory Politics for a New Age)

Liberal critics of participation, imbued with the priorities of privatism, will


continue to believe that the neighborhood-assembly idea will falter for
lack of popular response. "Voters," writes Gerald Pomper, "have too many

pressing tasks, from making money to making love, to follow the arcane procedures of
government." If the successful and industrious will not participate because they are too
busy, and the poor and victimized will not participate because they are too apathetic, who
will people the assemblies and who will give to talk a new democratic life? But of course

people refuse to participate only where politics does not count-or


counts less than rival forms o private activity. They are apathetic
because they are powerless, not powerless because they are
apathetic. There is no evidence to suggest that once empowered,
a people will refuse to participate. The historical evidence of New
England towns, community school boards, neighborhood associations, and other local
bodies

is that participation fosters more participation.

272

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Democratic Talk Turn: 1AR (2/3)


RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW WE HAVE TO SET THE AGENDA
LEAVING THESE DUTIES UP TO THE ELITES AND THOSE IN
CONTROL ENSURES THAT WE WILL ALL LOSE OUR
SOVEREIGNTY WE HAVE TO DETERMINE WHAT
QUESTIONS ARE GOING TO BE ASKED AND WHAT FORM
THOSE QUESTIONS TAKE TAKING PROACTIVE ACTION
EVEN IF IT IS JUST COMMON DELIBERATION IN THIS ROOM
IS WHAT IS TRULY CRITICAL TO OUR OWN POLITICAL
EFFICACY AND PREVENTING THOSE IN POWER FROM
SETTING THE AGENDA FOR US
Barber, Professor of Political Science at Rutgers, 1984 (Benjamin, Strong Democracy:
Participatory Politics for a New Age)

talk can give the dead back their voices, it can also challenge the
paradigms of the living and bring fundamental changes in the
meaning or valuation of words. Major shifts in ideology and
political power are always accompanied by such paradigmaticshifts in language usage-so much so that historians have begun to map the
If

former by charting the latter. The largely pejorative meaning that the classical
and early Christian periods gave to such terms as individual and privacy was
transformed during the Renaissance in a fashion that eventually produced the
Protestant Reformation and the ethics of commercial society. Eighteenth-century
capitalism effected a transvaluation of the traditional vocabulary of virtue in a
manner that put selfishness and avarice to work in the name of public goods.
(George Gilder's Wealth and Poverty is merely the last and least in a long line of
efforts to invert moral categories.) The history of democracy itself is contained in
the history of the word democracy. The battle for self-government has been
fought over and over again as pejorative valuations of the term have competed
with affirmative ones (pitting Plato or Ortega or Lippmann or modern political
science against Machiavelli or Rousseau or Jefferson). The terms ochlocracy,
mob rule, tyranny of the majority, and rule-of the masses all reflect hostile
constructions of democracy; communitarianism, participationism, egalitarianism,
and -it must be admitted-strong democracy suggest more favorableconstructions. Poverty was once a sign of moral weakness; now it is a badge of
environmental victimization. Crime once proceeded from original now it is an
escape from poverty. States' rights once bore the stigma of dishonor, then
signified vigorous sectionalism, then was a code word for racism, and has now
become a byword for the new decentralized federalism. Busing was once an
instrument of equal educational opportunity; now it is a means of destroying
communities. The shifts in the meaning of these and dozens of other key
words mirror fundamental national shifts in power and ideology. The clash of
competing visions-of social Darwinism versus collective responsibility and
political mutualism, of original sin and innate ideas versus environmentalism, of
anarchism versus collectivism ultimately plays itself out on the field of

everyday language, and the winner in the daily struggle for


meaning may emerge as the winner in the clash of visions , with the
future itself as the spoils of victory. An ostensibly free citizenry that
leaves this battle to elites, thinking that it makes a sufficient
display of its freedom by deliberating and voting on issues
already formulated in concepts and terms over which it has
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exercised no control, has in fact already given away the greater
part of its sovereignty. How can such a citizenry -help but oppose busing if

busing means the wrecking of communities and only the wrecking of


communities? How can it support the right to abortion if abortion means murder,
period? To participate in a meaningful process of decision on these
questions, self-governing citizens must participate in the talk

through which the questions are formulated and given a

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Democratic Talk Turn: 1AR (3/3)


(Barber continues)

decisive political conception. The anti-Vietnam War movement of


the 1960s did just this, of course; it won no elections, it participated
in no votes, and it contributed to no legislative debates. But it
radically altered how most Americans saw the war and so helped
bring it to an end. If language as a living, changing expression of an evolving
community can both encapsulate and challenge the past, it also provides a
vehicle for exploring the future. Language's flexibility and its

susceptibility to innovation permit [people] to construct their


visions of the future first in the realm of words, within whose
confines a community can safely conduct its deliberations.
Language can offer new solutions to old problems by altering,
how we perceive these problems and can make new visions
accessible to traditional communities by the imaginative use (and
transvaluation) of familiar language. This-is the essence of public
thinking." The process moves us perforce from particularistic and immediate
considerations of our own and our groups' interests, examined in a narrow
temporal framework ("Will there be enough gasoline for my summer vacation
trip?" for example), to general and long-term considerations of the nature of the
communities we live in and of how well our life plans fit in with that nature ("Is
dependence on oil a symbol of an overly materialistic, insufficiently selfsufficient society?" for example). In sum, what we call things affects how
we do things; and despite the lesson of Genesis, for mortals at least the

future must be named before it can be created. Language is thus


always the crucial battlefield; it conserves or liquidates tradition,
it challenges or, champions established power paradigms and it is
the looking glass of all future vision. If language is alive, society can
grow; if it is dialectical, society can reconcile its parts-past and future no less
than interest and interest or class and class. As Jurgen Habermas has
understood, democracy means above all equal access to language,

and strong democracy means widespread and ongoing


participation in talk by the entire citizenry. Left to the media, the
bureaucrats, the professors, and the managers, language quickly
degenerates into one more weapon in the armory of elite rule.
The professoriate and the literary establishment are all too willing to capture the
public with, catch phrases and portentous titles. How often in the past several
decades have Americans been made to see themselves, and thus their futures,
through the lens of a writer's book title? Recall The True Be liever, The
Managerial Society, The End of Ideology, The Other America, The Culture of
Narcissism, The Greening of America, The Totalitarian Temptation, The
Technological Society, The Two Cultures, The Zero-Sum Society, Future Shock.

We are branded by words and our future is held hostage to


bestseller lists'.195-197

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Debate Solves Democratic Talk: Ext


DEBATE SERVES AS A FORUM THROUGH WHICH WE CAN
ENGAGE IN THE DEMOCRATIC PROCESS
Watson, 04 (J.B. Watson, Assistant Professor of sociology and gerontology

coordinator @ Stephen F. Austin State University, A Justification of the Civic Engagement


Model, p. 73-74, Service Learning: History, Theory, and Issues)
The civic engagement of ordinary citizens with voluntary associations, social
institutions, and government in local communities is a central feature of strong
democracies. Further, a fundamental feature of democratic governmental
structure is its relationship to civil society, defined as "voluntary social activity
not compelled by the state" (Bahlmueller, 1997, p. 3). Through voluntary
participation in civil society associations at the local and regional level, citizens
pursue activities that potentially serve the public good. Through this
rudimentary civic engagement, citizens learn the attitudes, habits, skills, and
knowledge foundational to the democratic process-(Patrick, 1998).
Unfortunately, in 1998 the National Commission on Civic Renewal (NCCR)
highlighted the declining quantity and quality of civic engagement at all levels of
American life. A number of other studies concur on the decline of involvement in
civic activities (Bahlmueller, 1997; McGrath, 2001; Putnam, 1995). This concern
about the nature and extent of civic engagement in the United States has
impacted the debate on the proper role of higher education in a democracy.
Higher education institutions, as transmitters of essential elements of the
dominant culture, struggle with the development of mechanisms to socialize the
next generation about democratic values. A national debate has emerged on the
higher education response to this perceived need for revitalizing constructive
democratic engagement, building civil society, and increasing citizen
participation in government at all levels. Colleges and universities have
responded with a number of civic engagement initiatives, including universitycommunity partnerships, empirical studies of political engagement, communitybased (collaborative) research, and the development of new (or expanded)
service-learning programs (Jacoby 2003).

A RENEWAL OF DEMOCRATIC TALK VIA COMMUNITY


BASED ORGANIZATIONS IS KEY TO CREATING A
FOUNDATION FOR DEMOCRACY- ALLOWING US TO
INFLUENCE THE POLITICAL REALM
Cohen 03--Professor of Political Science at Columbia University( Jean L., Civic
Innovation in America: Towards a Reflexive Politics, The Good Society 12.1 (2003) 56-

62, http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/good_society/v012/12.1cohen.html)
Civic Innovation in America is a refreshing addition to what has become a growth
industry of writing on American civil society. Unlike the influential approach of
Robert Putnam, this is not a backward-looking lament about the decline of
associational life, although Sirianni and Friedland are aware of the worrisome
signs of civic disaffection and citizen passivity in the U.S. 1Yet they don't join
neo-communitarian efforts to revive traditionalistic types of "mediating
institutions" in order to secure social integration. 2Although not adverse to
mobilizing old forms of social capitalsuch as congregation-based community
organizations within and across denominational linesthey are primarily
interested in networks that expand local organizing capacities for new purposes
and with fresh democratic methods. 3 Indeed, the focus of Civic Innovation is on
significant recent attempts "from below" to reinvent and revitalize American
democracy. Accordingly, the book points the reader to the ongoing public work

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of citizens and the actual processes of civic innovation that have sprung up in
recent years. The authors maintain that: "Over the past several decades
American society has displayed a substantial capacity for civic innovation, and
the future of our democracy will depend on whether we can deepen and extend
such innovation to solve major public problems, and transform the way we do
politics." 4Theirs is a forward-looking approach: it highlights new forms of
cooperative civic participation in civil society and discusses the new modes of
governance needed to support them.

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Kritik Answers

Democratic Talk Key to Autonomy:


Ext
THE DEMOCRATIC TALK THAT WE ARE CONDUCTING IS A
NECESSARY CONDITION FOR AUTONOMY GIVING UP
POLITICAL TALK OF WHAT SHOULD BE DONE ENSURES
THAT VALUES AND BELIEFS WILL BECOME OSSIFIED
Barber, Professor of Political Science at Rutgers, 1984 (Benjamin, Strong
Democracy: Participatory Politics for a New Age)
6. Maintaining Autonomy. Talk helps us overcome narrow selfinterest, but it plays an

equally significant role in buttressing the autonomy of individual wills that is


essential to democracy. It is through talk that we constantly reencounter,
reevaluate, and repossess the beliefs, principles, and maxims on the basis of
which we exert our will in the political realm. To be free, it is not enough for us
simply to will what we choose to will. We must will what we possess, what truly
belongs to us. John Stuart Mill commented on the "fatal tendency of mankind to leave all
thinking about a thing when it is no longer doubtful." He ascribed to this tendency "the
cause of about half [men's] errors." Mindless convictions not only spawn errors, they

turn those who hold them into charlatans of liberty. Today's autonomously held
belief is tomorrow's heteronomous orthodoxy unless, tomorrow, it is reexamined
and repossessed. Talk is the principal mechanism by which we can retest and
thus repossess our convictions, which means that a democracy that does not
institutionalize talk will soon be without autonomous citizens , though men and
women who call themselves citizens may from time to time deliberate, choose, and vote.

Talk immunizes values from ossification and protects the political process from
rigidity, orthodoxy, and the yoke of the dead past . This, among all the functions of

talk, is the least liable to representation, since only the presence of our own wills working
on a value can endow that value with legitimacy and us with our autonomy. Subjecting a

value to the test of repossession is a measure of legitimacy as well as of


autonomy: forced knowingly to embrace their prejudices, many men falter. Prejudice is
best practiced in the dark by dint of habit or passion. Mobs are expert executors
of bigotry because they assimilate individual wills into a group will and relieve
individuals of any responsibility for their actions. It is above all the imagination that
dies when will is subordinated to instinct, and as we have seen, it is the imagination that
fires empathy. Values will, naturally, conflict even where they are thoughtfully
embraced and willed; and men's souls are sufficiently complex for error or even evil to
dwell comfortably in the autonomous man's breast. Autonomy is no guarantee against
moral turpitude; indeed, it is its necessary condition. But in the social setting, it seems
evident that maxims that are continuously reevaluated and repossessed are
preferable to maxims that are embraced once and obeyed blindly thereafter . At a
minimum, convictions that are reexamined are more likely to change, to adapt

themselves to altered circumstances and to evolve to meet the challenges


offered by competing views. Political willing is thus never a one-time or
sometime thing (which is the great misconception of the social-contract tradition), but
an ongoing shaping and reshaping of our common world that is as endless and
exhausting as our making and remaking of our personal lives. A moment's
complacency may mean the death of liberty; a break in political concentration
may spell the atrophy of an important value; a pleasant spell of privatism may yield
irreversible value ossification. Democratic politics is a demanding business. Perhaps this is
why common memory is even more important for democracy than for other forms of
political culture. Not every principle of conduct can be tested at every moment; not every
conviction can be exercised on every occasion; not every value can be regarded as truly
ours at a given instant. Thus remembrance and imagination must act sometimes as
surrogates for the actual testing of maxims. Founding myths and the rituals associated
with them (July 14 in France or August 1 in Switzerland), representative political heroes
who embody admired convictions (Martin Luther King or Charles de Gaulle), and popular
oral traditions can all revivify citizens' common beliefs and their sense of place in the
political culture. These symbols are no substitute for the citizenry's active reexamination of

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values through participation in political talk, but they can and do supplement such talk
through the imaginative reconstruction of the past in live images and through the
cultivation of beliefs that are not necessarily involved in a given year's political business.
190-191

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Democratic Talk Key to Checking


Right: Ext
FAILURE TO ENGAGE IN DEMOCRATIC TALK MEANS THE
POLITICAL REALM WILL BE DOMINATED BY THE FAR-RIGHT
AND COLLAPSE INTO FASCISM, CAUSING WARS AND
TYRANNY
Rorty 98 (Richard, Stanford Philosophy Professor, Achieving Our Country, pp. 87-94)
if the pressures of globalization create such
castes not only in the United States but in all the old democracies, we shall end up in an
Orwellian world. In such a world, there may be no supernational analogue of Big Brother, or any official creed analogous to Ingsoc.
If the formation of hereditary castes continues unimpeded, and

But there will be an analogue of the Inner Partynamely, the international, cosmopolitan super-rich. They will make all the important decisions.
The analogue of Orwells Outer Party will be educated, comfortably off, cosmopolitan professionalsLinds overclass, the people like you and
me. The job of people like us will be to make sure that the decisions made by the Inner Party are carried out smoothly and efficiently. It will be in
the interest of the international super-rich to keep our class relatively prosperous and happy. For they need people who can pretend to be the
political class of each of the individual nation-states. For the sake of keeping the proles quiet, the super-rich will have to keep up the pretense
that national politics might someday make a difference. Since economic decisions are their prerogative, they will encourage politicians, of both
the Left and the Right, to specialize in cultural issues.7 The aim will be to keep the minds of the proles elsewhereto keep the bottom 75
percent of Americans and the bottom 95 percent of the worlds population busy with ethnic and religious hostilities, and with debates about
sexual mores. If the proles can be distracted from their own despair by media-created psuedo-events, including the occasional brief and bloody
war, the super-rich will have little to fear. Contemplation of this possible world invites two responses from the Left. The first is to insist that the
inequalities between nations need to be mitigatedand, in particular, that the Northern Hemisphere must share its wealth with the Southern.

to insist that the primary responsibility of each democratic nation-state


is to its own least advantaged citizens. These two responses obviously conflict with each other. In particular, the
The second is

first response suggests that the old democracies should open their borders, whereas the second suggests that they should close them.8 The first

comes naturally
to members of trade unions, and to the marginally employed people who can
most easily be recruited into right-wing populist movements . Union members in the United
response comes naturally to academic leftists, who have always been internationally minded. The second response

States have watched factory after factory close, only to reopen in Slovenia, Thailand, or Mexico. It is no wonder that they see the result of
international free trade as prosperity for managers and stockholders, a better standard of living for workers in developing countries, and a very
much worse standard of living for American workers. It would be no wonder if they saw the American leftist intelligentsia as on the same side of
the managers and stockholdersas sharing the same class interests. For we intellectuals, who are mostly academics, are ourselves quite well
insulated, at least in the short run, from the effects of globalization. To make things worse, we often seem more interested in the workers of the
developing world than in the fate of our fellow citizens. Many writers on socioeconomic policy have warned that the old industrialized

democracies are heading into a Weimar-like period, one in which populist


movements are likely to overturn constitutional governments. Edward Luttwak, for example,
has suggested that fascism may be the American future. The point of his book The Endangered American Dream
is that members of labor unions, and unorganized unskilled workers, will sooner or later realize that their government is not even trying to
prevent wages from sinking or to prevent jobs from being exported. Around the same time, they will realize that suburban white-collar workers
themselves desperately afraid of being downsizedare not going to let themselves be taxed to provide social benefits for anyone else. At that

something will crack. The nonsuburban electorate will decide that the system has failed and
start looking around for a strongman to vote forsomeone will assure them that, once he is elected, the
point,

smug bureaucrats, tricky lawyers, overpaid bond salemen, and postmodernist professors will no longer be calling the shots. A scenario like that
of Sinclair Lewis novel It Cant Happen Here may then be played out. For once such a strongman takes office, nobody can predict what will
happen. In 1932, most of the predictions made about what would happen if Hindenburg named Hitler chancellor were wildly overoptimistic. One

the gains made in the past forty years by black and


brown Americans, and by homosexuals, will be wiped out. Jocular contempt for women will come
back into fashion. The words nigger and kike will once again be heard in the workplace . All the sadism which the
academic Left has tried to make unacceptable to its students will come flooding
back. All the resentment which badly educated Americans feel about having their manners dictated to them by college graduates will find
an outlet. But such a renewal of sadism will not alter the effects of selfishness. For after my imagined strongman takes
charge, he will quickly make peace with the international superrich, just as Hitler made with the
German industrialists. He will invoke the glorious memory of the Gulf War to provoke military adventures which
will generate short-term prosperity. He will be a disaster for the country and the
world. People will wonder why there was so little resistance to his evitable rise. Where, they will ask, was the
American Left? Why was it only rightists like Buchanan who spoke to the workers about the consequences of globalization? Why
thing that is very likely to happen is that

could not the Left channel the mounting rage of the newly dispossesed? It is often said that we Americans, at the end of the twentieth century,
no longer have a Left. Since nobody denies the existence of what I have called

the cultural Left,

this amounts to an admission that

is unable to engage in national politics.

that Left
It is not the sort of the Left which can be asked to deal with the
consequences of globalization. To get the country to deal with those consequences, the present cultural Left would have to transform itself by
opening relations with the residue of the old reformist Left, and in particular with the labor unions. It would have to talk much more about
money, even at the cost of talking less about stigma. I have two suggestions about how to effect this transition. The first is that

the Left

should put a moratorium on theory.

It should try to kick its philosophy habit. The second is that the Left
should try to mobilize what remains of our pride in being Americans. It should ask the public to consider how the country of Lincoln and
Whitman might be achieved. In support of my first suggestion, let me cite a passage from Deweys Reconstruction in Philosophy in which he
expresses his exasperation with the sort of sterile debate now going on under the rubric of individualism versus communitarianism. Dewey
thought that all discussions which took this dichotomy seriously suffer from a common defect. They are all committed to the logic of general
notions under which specific situations are to be brought. What we want is light upon this or that group of individuals, this or that concrete
human being, this or that special institution or social arrangement. For such a logic of inquiry, the traditionally accepted logic substitutes
discussion of the meaning of concepts and their dialectical relationships with one another. Dewey was right to be exasperated by sociopolitical
theory conducted at this level of abstraction. He was wrong when he went on to say that ascending to this level is typically a rightist maneuver,
one which supplies the apparatus for intellectual justifications of the established order.9 For such ascents are now more common on the Left
than on the Right. The contemporary academic Left seems to think that the higher your level of abstraction, the more subversive of the

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Kritik Answers
established order you can be. The more sweeping and novel your conceptual apparatus, the more radical your critique. When one of todays
academic leftists says that some topic has been inadequately theorized, you can be pretty certain that he or she is going to drag in either
philosophy of language, or Lacanian psychoanalysis, or some neo-Marxist version of economic determinism. Theorists of the Left think that
dissolving political agents into plays of differential subjectivity, or political initiatives into pursuits of Lacans impossible object of desire, helps to
subvert the established order. Such subversion, they say, is accomplished by problematizing familiar concepts. Recent attempts to subvert
social institutitons by problematizing concepts have produced a few very good books. They have also produced many thousands of books which
represent scholastic philosophizing at its worts. The authors of these purportedly subversive books honestly believe that the are serving

it is almost impossible to clamber back down from their books to a


level of abstraction on which one might discuss the merits of a law, a treaty, a candidate
or a political strategy. Even though what these authors theorize is often something very concrete and near at handa
curent TV show, a media celebrity, a recent scandalthey offer the most absract and barren explanations imaginable . These futile
attempts to philosophize ones way into political relevance are a symptom of
what happens when a Left retreats from activism and adopts a spectatorial
approach to the problems of its country. Disengagement from practice produces
theoretical hallucinations. These result in an intellec- tual environment which is, as Mark Edmundson says in his book
human liberty. But

Nightmare on Main Street, Gothic. The cultural Left is haunted by ubiquitous specters, the most frightening of which is called "power." This is the
name of what Edmund- son calls Foucault's "haunting agency, which is everywhere and nowhere, as evanescent and insistent as a resourceful
spook."10

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Kritik Answers

Restoring Public Sphere Solves


Oppression: Ext
RESTORING THE PUBLIC SPHERE FACILITATES AN
EMANCIPATORY PRAXIS OF OPEN COMMUNITY
Lakeland 93 (Paul, professor of religious studies at Fairfield University, Preserving
The Lifeworld, Restoring the Public Sphere, Renewing Higher Education, Cross Currents,
Winter, Vol. 43 Issue 4, p488, 15p http://www.crosscurrents.org/lakeland2)
Habermas, then, is our third ally and resource. He describes the pathology of life
in late capitalist societies as the "colonization of the lifeworld by the system,"[4]
and vests the hope of movement toward a newly humane and democratic
society in the "transformation of the public sphere."[5] The former phrase
expresses the conviction that distinctly human patterns of communication and
interaction, which are in principle open and even emancipatory, are under
threat, progressively squeezed to the margins of communal life by the more
instrumental or manipulative model of interactions appropriate to technology or
to impersonal systems. By "the public sphere," Habermas means first the
empirically discerned historical phenomenon of a community of discourse in
which rational discussion of matters of social and political import took place, and
influenced the formation of public policy. Secondly, he uses the term to point
toward the (perhaps counterfactual) possibility of creating something today that
would serve to protect the lifeworld from the depredations of the system or,
more simply expressed, to preserve democracy in late capitalist society.
Habermas's view is not dissimilar to Frankl's. What Frankl saw epitomized by the
Nazi "final solution," namely, the systematic application of technology to
eradicate the sense of personal identity, Habermas sees as the logic of late
capitalist, national security, consumerist society. But where Frankl looks to inner
spiritual resources to defeat these annihilating pressures, Habermas turns to the
dynamics of the speech-act. By so doing, incidentally, he strengthens Freire's
somewhat unfocused appeal to the "dialogical method" and shows why it is so
potentially revolutionary. For Habermas, the attempt to communicate directly
with other human beings rests on a set of mutual assumptions: there is
something comprehensible to be heard; the speaker is sincere; the speaker
seeks truth; the hearer will listen; and so on. Even someone who attempts to
deceive another can only hope to do so because the hearer will assume the
speaker is acting according to the rules of open communication. Thus, the
communication community is oriented in principle towards the "ideal speech
situation," that is, a context of distortion-free discourse in which all have equal
access to the conversation, and all seek consensus on norms for action. Though
such an ideal speech situation may never exist, it operates regulatively to draw
communication onward. And what is assumed about the importance of
truthfulness and sincerity, and about the dignity of other speakers and hearers,
makes communication, which is after all the fundamental structure of human
sociality, intrinsically emancipatory. The pathologies of personal, communal, and
political life become interpretable in terms of "systematically distorted
communication," and overcoming them becomes a matter of restoring the
contexts in which communicative praxis can occur.

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Kritik Answers

Talk is Action: Ext


TALK IS ACTION IT MAKES AND REMAKES THE WORLD
IT DEFINES WHAT WE ARE AS A COMMUNITY, WHAT WE
WANT AND WHAT WE NEED
Barber, Professor of Political Science at Rutgers, 1984 (Benjamin, Strong
Democracy: Participatory Politics for a New Age)

talk appears as a mediator of


affection and affiliation as well as of interest and identity, of
patriotism as well as of individuality. It can build community as
well as maintain rights and seek consensus as well as resolve
conflict. It offers, along with meanings and significations, silences, rituals, symbols,
Stripped of such artificial disciplines, however,

myths, expressions and solicitations, and a hundred other quiet and noisy manifestations
of our common humanity. Strong democracy seeks institutions that can give these things a

The third issue that liberal theorists have


underappreciated is the complicity of talk in action. With talk we
can invent alternative futures, create mutual purposes, and
construct competing visions of community. Its potentialities thrust
talk into the realm of intentions and consequences and render it
simultaneously more provisional and more concrete than
philosophers are wont to recognize. Their failure of imagination
stems in part from the passivity of thin democratic politics and in
part from the impatience of speculative philosophy with
contingency, which entails possibility as well as
indeterminateness. But significant political effects and actions are
possible only to the extent that politics is embedded in a world of
fortune, uncertainty, and contingency. Political talk is not talk about
the world; it is talk that makes and remakes the world. The posture of the
voice-and an ear.

strong democrat is thus "pragmatic" in the sense of William James's definition of


pragmatism as "the attitude of looking away from first things, principles, 'categories,'
supposed necessities; and of looking toward last things, fruits, consequences, facts."
James's pragmatist "turns toward concreteness and adequacy, toward facts, toward action,
and toward power.... [Pragmatism thus] means the open air and possibilities of nature, as

Strong democracy
is pragmatism translated into politics in the participatory mode.
against dogma, artificiality and the pretense of finality in truth."

Although James did not pursue the powerful political implications of his position, he was
moved to write: "See already how democratic [pragmatism] is. Her manners are as various
and flexible, her resources as rich and endless, and her conclusions as friendly as those of

The active, future-oriented disposition of strong


democratic talk embodies James's instinctive sense of pragmatism's
political implications. Future action, not a priori principle, constitutes
such talk's principal (but not principled) concern. 177-178
mother nature."

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Kritik Answers

**Performance**
A2 Performativity (1/2)
THE PERFORMANCE IS ALWAYS ALREADY TAKING PLACE.
THE EXISTENCE OF THE ROUND IS THE PERFORMANCE,
NOT SPECIFIC SPEECHES
Kulynych, Asst Professor of Political Science at Winthrop University, Polity,
Winter, 1997, n2 p315(32)
Jessica

We bring normativity to our performances as ethical principles that are themselves subject to resistance. By unearthing the contingency of the

, the question is not should we resist (since


resistance is always, already present), but rather what and how we should resist .
"self-evident," performative resistance enables politics. Thus

This notion of performativity is also important for understanding the possibilities for innovation in Habermasian deliberative participation. Just as
a protestor exposes the contingency of concepts like justice, a dialogue exposes the limits and contingency of rational argumentation. Once we
are sensitive to the performative nature of speech, language and discourse, then we can see that deliberative politics cannot be confined to the

Deliberation must be theatrical: it is in the performance of deliberation that that


. Indeed it is precisely the non-rational aspects of
deliberation that carry the potential for innovation. In his description of the poignant reminders of
demonstration Chaloupka recognizes that it is at the margins that the actual force of
the demonstration resides, no matter what happens at the microphone. The oral
histories of demonstrations (the next day over coffee) linger over the jokes and
funny signs and slogans, the outrages and improprieties, more than the
speeches and carefully coherent position papers. (68)
rational statement of validity claims.

which cannot be argued for finds expression

PERFORMANCE IS ALWAYS CONTEXT-DEPENDENT. OUR


CRITICISM CAN ONLY BE EVALUATED IN THE CONTEXT OF
DEBATE
Kulynych, Asst Professor of Political Science at Winthrop University, Polity,
Winter, 1997, n2 p315(32)
Jessica

Consequently, a performative concept of political participation changes debates


within the traditional participation literature over the inclusion of protest
activities and community decisionmaking in the definition of political
participation. While these debates have generally been conducted on familiar
terrain, justifying the inclusion of such activity by delineating its impact on the
distribution of goods, services, or political power by the government, a
performative concept of participation breaks down this distinction altogether.
(75) Because performative participation is defined by its relation to a set of
normalizing disciplinary rules and its confrontation with those rules, nothing can
be categorically excluded from the category of political participation. As Honig
eloquently puts it, "not everything is political on this (amended) account; it is
simply the case that nothing is ontologically protected from politicization, that
nothing is necessarily or naturally or ontologically not political."(76) Therefore,
the definition of political participation is always context dependent; it depends
upon the character of the power network in which it is taken. Political
participation is not categorically distinguished from protest or resistance, but
rather the focus is on the disruptive potential of an action in a particular network
of power relations. To say that participation is context dependent means not only
that any action is potentially participation, but also that no particular action is
necessarily a participatory act. Housecleaning is a good example. The character
of the power network in which one exists defines housecleaning as a potential
act of political participation. In her description of the defensive strategies of
Black women household workers, Bonnie Thorton Dill argues that the refusal to
mop the floor on hands and knees, or the refusal to serve an extra dinner,
constitutes an effective act of resistance.(77) It is not the act itself that is
politically definitive, but rather the context. Black domestic laborers, who in this
context are constructed as desperate, willing to do any type of work, and always
immediately available for service, resist that construction by acting as if they

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Kritik Answers
have other choices. Thus it is the context of the domestic labor relationship that
defines the repertoire of political actions. Similarly, Jonathan Kozol describes
poor welfare mothers living in the degrading conditions of the South Bronx
whose homes "no matter how besieged, are nonetheless kept spotless and
sometimes even look cheerful."(78) For women who are constructed as
thoroughly dependent, irresponsible, unfit, and unclean, cleaning the house
takes on the character of resistance; it becomes a political act. Housecleaning
itself is not necessarily political, rather, the disciplinary context of a gendered
social welfare state gives political import to seemingly banal, everyday
activities.

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Kritik Answers

A2 Performativity (2/2)
COALITIONS MUST PRECEDE VICTORY THROUGH
PERFORMANCE
Kulynych, Asst Professor of Political Science at Winthrop University, Polity,
Winter, 1997, n2 p315(32)
Jessica

A performative perspective on participation enriches our understanding of


deliberative democracy. This enlarged understanding can be demonstrated by
considering the examination of citizen politics in Germany presented in Carol
Hager's Technological Democracy: Bureaucracy and Citizenry in the West
German Energy Debate.(86) Her work skillfully maps the precarious position of
citizen groups as they enter into problemsolving in contemporary democracies.
After detailing the German citizen foray into technical debate and the
subsequent creation of energy commissions to deliberate on the long-term goals
of energy policy, she concludes that a dual standard of interpretation and
evaluation is required for full understanding of the prospects for citizen
participation. Where traditional understandings of participation focus on the
policy dimension and concern themselves with the citizens' success or failure to
attain policy preferences, she advocates focusing as well on the discursive,
legitimation dimension of citizen action. Hager follows Habermas in
reconstituting participation discursively and asserts that the legitimation
dimension offers an alternative reason for optimism about the efficacy of citizen
action. In the discursive understanding of participation, success is not defined in
terms of getting, but rather in terms of solving through consensus. Deliberation
is thus an end in itself, and citizens have succeeded whenever they are able to
secure a realm of deliberative politics where the aim is forging consensus among
participants, rather than achieving victory by some over others.

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Kritik Answers

Performance is Commodified (1/2)


THEIR POETRY SUPPORTS THE CULTURE INDUSTRY. IT IS
MANUFACTURED DISSENT
Dr. Lee Spinks lectures in English Literature at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland,
Writing, Politics, and the Limit: Reading J. H. Prynne's "The Ideal Star-Fighter," Intertexts,
Fall

2000 v4 i2 p144(23)

It would be easy to conclude from passages like this that avant-garde styles of
writing which foreground the production of subject positions within the
discursive configuration of a text are necessarily subversive of established
political order because they forestall the "reconciliation of the general and
particular, of the rule and the specific demands of the subject matter" that
underpins the systematic totality of the culture industry. This belief in the
inherently subversive effect of textual polyphony and difference underscores
Easthope's reading of modernist poetics. But the matter is not so simple. For as
Adorno and Horkenheimer demonstrate, incommensurable or "refractory
material" is always and everywhere implicated in a dialectical relationship with
the "total process of production" that it opposes (Adorno and Horkheimer xii).
One of their more melancholy insights is that the culture industry actively
produces different images and styles in order to reassert the absolute uniformity
of its own authority. Novelty is all around us, from the "standardized jazz
improvisation to the exceptional film star whose hair curls over her eye to
demonstrate her originality" but what is individual here "is no more than the
generality's power to stamp the accidental detail so firmly that it is accepted as
such" (Adorno and Horkheimer 154). The "accidental" or incommensurable detail
is "accepted as such" because it can be endlessly reproduced as a "house style"
or "lifestyle practice" and, paradoxically, it is the capacity of the culture industry
to transform difference into a set of uniform discriminations that allows a social
body to be demarcated according to the sectional logic of politicians, advertisers
and marketing executives. Fredric Jameson makes exactly the same point when
he observes that what has happened in the contemporary or postmodern phase
of monopoly capitalism is "that aesthetic production today has become
integrated into commodity production generally: the frantic economic urgency of
producing fresh waves of producing ever more novel-seeming goods (from
clothing to airplanes), at ever greater rates of turnover, now assigns an
increasingly essential structural function and position to aesthetic innovation
and experimentation" (Jameson 4-5). It is therefore inadequate to proclaim the
ineluctable emancipatory promise of incommensurable or refractory material
because "capitalism also produces difference or differentiation as a function of
its own internal logic" (Jameson 406).

CHALLENGES TO CONFORMITY ONLY CEMENT THE OVERARCHING CONTROL OF THE DOMINANT LANGUAGE
Dr. Lee Spinks lectures in English Literature at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland,
Writing, Politics, and the Limit: Reading J. H. Prynne's "The Ideal Star-Fighter," Intertexts,
Fall

2000 v4 i2 p144(23)

The central claim of this essay is that these critical debates concerning the
dialectic between totality and difference in modern cultural production provide
the most rewarding context within which to discuss the relationship between
textuality and politics in Prynne's poetry. For Prynne's work takes as its subject
the very status of writing, and the epistemological practices writing both
produces and brings into question, in a cultural sphere dominated by the power
of instrumental reason to enforce a principle of "equivalence" where "whatever

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Kritik Answers
does not conform to the rule of computation and utility is suspect" (Adorno and
Horkheimer 6). The importance of style, or the mode of relation between
thought and its representation, to this question becomes apparent when we
consider that the failure to challenge this universal principle of equivalence
means to accept that the "identity of everything with everything else is paid for
in that nothing may at the same time be identical with itself" (Adorno and
Horkheimer 12). Yet any challenge to this process of abstraction and exchange
based upon the formal autonomy or "difference" of style is vulnerable to
Adorno's charge that it is through difference and exchange "that non-identical
individuals and performances become commensurable and identical" (Adorno,
Negative Dialectics 146-47).

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Kritik Answers

Performance is Commodified (2/2)


POETIC RESISTANCE IS DIRECTED BY THE CULTURE
INDUSTRY
Dr. Lee Spinks lectures in English Literature at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland,
Writing, Politics, and the Limit: Reading J. H. Prynne's "The Ideal Star-Fighter," Intertexts,
Fall

2000 v4 i2 p144(23)

Prynne's difficult and dialectical style in fact proposes two points of resistance to
the principle of equivalence enforced by instrumental rationality and the culture
industry. Both may be explicated by reference to Adorno's assertion that the
work of art is a "fetish against commodity fetishism" (Adorno, Aesthetic Theory
227). The fetishistic element within art, according to Adorno, lies in its illusory
claim that its value is integral to itself rather than an effect of consumption and
exchange. This insistence of the artwork upon its autonomy as a source of value,
and the cultivation of styles and modes of reference that place it at one remove
from the world around it, is often identified as the origin of the 'elitism' of
modernist art. But if we reconsider the entire question of modernist style in the
context of the remorseless conversion of use or human labor value into
exchange value effected by late capitalism, then the conviction of the modernist
artwork that it conceals an autonomous and non-exchang- eable source of value
offers a challenge to prevailing political and cultural conditions. For it is only by
"persisting with its illusory claim to a non-exchangeable dignity" argues Simon
Jarvis, that "art resists the notion that the qualitatively incommensurable can be
made qualitatively commensurable" (Jarvis 117). This is the artwork's first point
of resistance to the principle of equivalence within commodity production. Yet it
might still be objected that far from challenging the commodification of culture,
the autonomous character of the artwork is instead produced by capitalism,
which enables both art and artistic labor to be alienated from any broader social
or cultural purpose.

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Performance Fails
FAITH IN PERFORMANCE IS NAVE AND FAILS TO CHANGE
POLITICS
Rothenberg & Valente 97
[Molly Anne, Assoc. Prof. English @ Tulane, & Joseph, Prof. @ Illinois,
Performative Chic: The Fantasy of a Performative Politics, College Literature
24: 1, February, ASP]
The recent vogue for performativity, particularly in gender and postcolonial
studies, suggests that the desire for political potency has displaced the demand
for critical rigor.[1] Because Judith Butler bears the primary responsibility for
investing performativity with its present critical cachet, her work furnishes a
convenient site for exposing the flawed theoretical formulations and the hollow
political claims advanced under the banner of performativity. We have
undertaken this critique not solely in the interests of clarifying performativity's
theoretical stakes: in our view, the appropriation of performativity for purposes
to which it is completely unsuited has misdirected crucial activist energies, not
only squandering resources but even endangering those naive enough to act on
performativity's (false) political promise.
It is reasonable to expect any practical political discourse to essay an analysis
which links its proposed actions with their supposed effects, appraising the fruits
of specific political labors before their seeds are sown. Only by means of such an
assessment can any political program persuade us to undertake some tasks and
forgo others. Butler proceeds accordingly: "The task is not whether to repeat, but
how to repeat or, indeed to repeat, and through a radical proliferation of gender,
to displace the very gender norms that enable repetition itself" (Gender Trouble
148). Here, at the conclusion to Gender Trouble, she makes good her promise
that subjects can intervene meaningfully, politically, in the signification system
which iteratively constitutes them. The political "task" we face requires that we
choose "how to repeat" gender norms in such a way as to displace them.
According to her final chapter, "The Politics of Parody," the way to displace
gender norms is through the deliberate performance of drag as gender parody.

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**Link Answers: General**


A2 The Case is Apolitical/Has No
Theory
THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN THEORY AND PRACTICE IS
FALSE BOTH FORMS OF POLITICAL ACTION INVOLVE AND
DEPEND ON THE OTHER
Homi K.

Bhabha, Professor, University of Sussex, THE LOCATION OF CULTURE, 1994, p.

21-22.
Committed to what? At this stage in the argument, I do not want to
identify any specific 'object' of political allegiance - the Third World, the
working class, the feminist struggle. Although such an objectification Of
Political activity is crucial and must significantly inform political debate,
it is not the only option for those critics or intellectuals who are
committed to progressive political change in the direction of a socialist
society. It is a sign of political maturity to accept that there are many
forms of Political writing whose different effects are obscured when they
are divided between the 'theoretical' and the 'activist'. It is not as if the
leaflet involved in the organization of a strike is short on theory, while a
speculative article on the theory of ideology ought to have more
practical examples or applications. They are both forms of discourse and
to that extent they produce rather than reflect their objects of reference.
The difference between them lies in their operational qualities. The
leaflet has a specific expository and organizational purpose, temporally
bound to the event; the theory of ideology makes its contribution to
those embedded political ideas and principles that inform the right to
strike. The latter does not justify the former; nor does it necessarily
precede it. It exists side by side with it - the one as an enabling part of
the other - like the recto and verso of a sheet of paper, to use a common
serniotic analogy in the uncommon context of politics.

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**Alternative Answers: General**


Individual Action Fails
THE ALTERNATIVE ALONE WILL FAIL. THE NATURE OF
DISCOURSE AND DOMINANT RECONTEXTUALIZATION
PREVENTS INDIVIDUALS FROM SOLVING
D. Franklin

Ayers 2005

The Review of Higher Education, 28.4, Neoliberal Ideology in Community College


Mission Statements: A Critical Discourse Analysis
Because discourses are determined by higher levels of social structuring, texts
such as community college mission statementsand the discourses they
represent are not created entirely by individuals. Instead, individual producers of
text can only choose among the discursive options available at higher levels of
social structuring. Because no ideology is monolithic, multiple discourses exist
and are available to producers of text, although hegemonic discourses may
make alternatives nearly imperceptible. Because discourses reflect ideologies of
groups with unequal power resources and because the producer of text must
choose among these discourses, he or she engages in a negotiation of power
relations. [End Page 534]
To the degree that powerful groups act upon discourses at various levels of
social structuring, their ideologies and world views gain authority. Dominant
discourses consequently determine the meanings assigned to social and
material processes, and they do this in ways that reinforce power inequities. One
way that meanings may be determined is through recontextualization
(Fairclough, 1995). Recontextualization is a process in which the discourse
related to one social process dominates or colonizes the discourse related to
another social process.

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Kritik Answers

Mann
THE CONTEXT OF DEBATE COOPTS THE CRITICISM SINCE
IT IS ANTICIPATED AND FOOTNOTED ALTERNATIVE
TACTICS WOULD BE NECESSARY FOR IT TO HAVE AN
EFFECT
Paul Mann, professor of comparative literature at Pomona college, Masocriticism, 1999,
pg. 106-107.
Without exception, all positions are oriented toward the institutional apparatus.
Marginality here is only relative and temporary: the moment black studies or
womens studies or queer theory conceives of itself as a discipline, its pri mary
orientation is toward the institution. The fact that the institution might treat it
badly hardly constitutes an ethical privilege. Any intellectual who holds a
position is a function of this apparatus; his or her marginality is, for the most
part, only an operational device. It is a critical commonplace that the state is not
a monolithic hegemony but rather a constellation of disorganized and
fragmentary agencies of production. This is often taken as a validation for the
political potential of marginal critical movements: inside-outside relations can be
facilely deconstructed, and critics can still congratulate themselves on their
resistance, but the contrary is clearly the case. The most profitable intellectual
production does not take place at the center (e.g., romance philology), where
mostly obsolete weapons are produced; the real growth industries are located
precisely on the self-proclaimed margins. It will be argued that resistance is still
possible, and nothing I propose here argues against such a possibility. I wish
only to insist that effective resistance will never be located in the position,
however oppositional it imagines itself to be. Resistance is first of all a function
of the apparatus itself. What would seem to be the transgres sive potential of
such institutional agencies as certain orders of gender criticism might
demonstrate the entropy of the institution, but it does nothing to prove the
counterpolitical claims of the position. Fantasies of resistance most of ten serve
as mere alibis for collusion. Any position is a state agency, and its relative
marginality is a mode of orientation, not an exception. Effective resistance must
be located in other tactical forms

CRITICISM CAN NEVER BE MAINTAINED AND IS IGNORED


BECAUSE OF ITS PROLIFIC NATURE
Paul Mann, professor of comparative literature at Pomona college, Masocriticism, 1999,
pg. 16-17.
The avant-garde, which always began in brilliant refusals and destructions, must
in the end abandon those economies that, with frightening efficiency, have put it
to use, made it instrumental, profited from it, developed ways to get a return
even from negation, even from the death drive itself. In the light of the sun of expenditure,
such a culture seems the narrowest of misconceptions . Imagine instead that the vast proliferation
of writing, drawing, painting, performancenot just what cultures have preserved for us through
the filtration systems of their own values, but all writing, all music, and so onis the actual, lived field of
culture; that culture is waste, expenditure: productivity and destruction without
any exclusion or discrimination; that all of these works have been produced not
so that a few precious articles of value, the best that has been known and
thought, can, through a sort of reasoned brokerage, be conserved as culture
per se, but so that they would be destroyed; that what is most important about
all of those poems and paintings and constructions is precisely that the vast
majority of them disappear even as they are born, that they dismember and
consume themselves without our ever knowing them, vanish in the air, into the

229

Kritik Answers
death they most desired, never to be remembered again.

Imagine a writing that saw itself in


this light, a light that never shines on most of what we call culture, that never consigns itself to productive discourse but
always escapes, that is valuable only because it escapes, because it is elsewhere, nowhere. Or imagine a certain book: it
arrives uncalled for, unpredicted, perhaps in the mail, perhaps fallen from the sky, unmarked by a publishers apparatus,
by advertising, even by an authors name; a book made of white noise that erases itself as it goes along and everything
you say for weeks is stolen from it; a book that you cut into pieces and disseminate at random (on the street, on walls,
through the mail) or that you burn without having read it and scatter the ashes to the four winds; or imagine such a book
that you never receive in the first place. Perhaps that is the useless book one must learn to write, that is the only book
one ever writes. Or perhaps it is precisely a book one cannot write, but only imagine, and in imagining it call it down
upon ones writing, to tear ones own writing apart. As this talk, this argument that began at cross-purposes and went
nowhere, unravelling itself as it proceeded, even now beginning to cease vibrating in the air, will soon vanish ,

leaving nothing but a fading imprint on your memories, soon to be effaced as


you turn toward more productive labors, and itself only the trace of an
expenditure whose disappearance it briefly betrayed

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Kritik Answers

Power Vaccuum
POWER IS ZERO SUM THE ALTERNATIVE ONLY SHIFTS
POWER ELSEWHERE
John Mearsheimer, Professor at University of Chicago,
Great Power Politics p. 34)

2001

(The Tragedy of

Consequently, states pay close attention to how power is distributed among them, and they
make a special effort to maximize their share of world power. Specifically, they look for

opportunities to alter the balance of power by acquiring additional increments of


power at the expense of potential rivals. States employ a variety of meanseconomic,
diplomatic, and militaryto shift the balance of power in their favor, even if doing so makes
other states suspicious or even hostile. Because one states gain in power is another

states loss, great powers tend to have a zero-sum mentality when dealing with
each other. The trick, of course, is to be the winner in this competition and to dominate the
other states in the system. Thus, the claim that states maximize relative power is tantamount to
arguing that states are disposed to think offensively toward other states, even though their
ultimate motive is simply to survive. In short, great powers have aggressive intentions.

231

Kritik Answers

**SPECIFIC K ANSWERS**
**Apocalyptic Rhetoric**
Perm Solvency
PERM: DO BOTH EVEN YOUR AUTHOR CONCEEDS THAT
APOCALYPTIC RHETORIC USED AWAY FROM RELIGIOUS
FORM IS KEY TO SPUR ACTIVISM AND SOCIAL CHANGEITS KEY TO AVOIDING TYRANNY
QUINBY in 1994
[Lee, Anti-Apocalypse,

http://www.dhushara.com/book/renewal/voices2/quin/quinby.htm //wyo-pinto]
I am not saying that this is all bad. Precisely because it is on tap in the
United States, it is possible for apocalyptic ideas to aid struggles for
democracy by exciting people toward activism. This is the force of
Cornet West's warning about ,this country's failures in creating a
multiracial democracy: "Either we learn a r;ew language of empathy and
compassion, or the fire this time will consume us all. , But even when
apocalyptic imagery is used to fight racist suppressions of freedom, as
with West's allusion to James Baldwin's warning, it runs the risk of
displacing concrete political analysis. While advocating a new kind of
leadership "grounded in grass-roots organizing that highlights
democratic accountability," West's insistence that if we don't learn this
lesson the fire will consume us all is the kind of hyperbole that
undermines his own earlier analysis of local devastation. People in
positions of privilege can, and clearly do, dismiss the threat to their own
way of life as by and large inaccurate.
At stake here are the relationships between power, truth, ethics, and
apoca@pse. In attempting to represent the unrepresentable, the unknowablethe End, or death par excellence -apocalyptic writings are a quintessential
technology of power/knowledge. They promise the defeat of death, at least for
the obedient who deserve everlasting life, and the prolonged agony of
destruction for those who have not obeyed the Law of the Father. One does not
have to succumb to apocalyptic eschatology to understand why end-time
propensities imperil democracy: the apocalyptic tenet of preordained history
disavows questionings of received truth, discredits skepticism, and disarms
challengers of the status quo. Appeals to the Day of judgment, the dawn of a
New Age, even the dream of a cryogenic "return" to life, put off the kinds of
immediate political and ethical judgments that need to be made in order to
resist both overt domination and the more seductive forms of disciplinary power
operative in the United States today and fostered by the United States in other
countries.

232

Kritik Answers

Apocalyptic Rhetoric Good (1/3)


ONLY BY CONFRONTING THE APOCALYPSE CAN WE
EXPOSE THE CONTRADICTIONS WITHIN THE SYSTEM OF
THE BOMB, OUR APOCALYPTIC RHETORIC IS KEY
MODERN AMERICAN POETRY NO DATE
[from Thomas McClanahan's "Gregory Corso",
http://www.english.uiuc.edu/maps/poets/a_f/corso/bomb.htm //wyo-pinto]
Although it can be read as a polemic against nuclear war, "Bomb" is also
an examination of the loss of humanistic virtue. Additionally, it is a
vehicle for expressing Corso's developing epistemology. To know the
world, for the younger poet, is to recognize it as a Heraclitean
continuum, an alteration of consciousness that prefigures the way man
understands himself and the world about him. Like the bomb, powerful
forces--whether they are generated by great religious prophets or
authentic poetic statement--provide the elemental energy that
transforms human consciousness. So Corso's poem is a paradoxical
rendering of two points of view: on the one hand it is about the
destructive power of a weapon that can annihilate mankind, while at the
other extreme it concerns the positive force of man's own potential to
see the world from a new perspective.

CONFRONTING THE APOCALYPSE CAUSES SOCIAL


TRANCENDENCE- ITS THE ONLY WAY TO RESCUE PEOPLE
WINK in 2001
[Walter, nqa, Apocalypse Now? Christian Century, Oct 17,

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1058/is_28_118/ai_79514992 //
wyo-pinto]

If that were the whole story about apocalyptic, many of us would want nothing
to do with it. That is not the whole story, however. There is a positive role for
apocalyptic as well as its better-known negative. The positive power of
apocalyptic lies in its capacity to force humanity to face threats of unimaginable
proportions in order to galvanize efforts at self and social transcendence. Only
such Herculean responses can actually rescue people from the threat and make
possible the continuation of humanity on the other side. Paradoxically, the
apocalyptic warning is intended to remove the apocalyptic threat by acts of
apocalyptic transcendence.

233

Kritik Answers

Apocalyptic Rhetoric Good (2/3)


CONFRONTING THE APOCALYPSE CREATES A FEARLESS
FEAR THAT INCITES ACTION AGAINST WHAT IS SAID AS
INEVITABLE- THIS FEARLESS FEAR IS KEY TO ACTION AS
OPPOSED TO THE INACTION OF THE CURRENT SYSTEM- A
CALL FOR INACTION PARALYZES*****
WINK in 2001

[Walter, nqa, Apocalypse Now? Christian Century, Oct 17,


http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1058/is_28_118/ai_79514992 //wyopinto]
Positive apocalyptic, by contrast, calls on our every power to avert what
seems inevitable. "Nothing can save us that is possible," the poet W. H.
Auden intoned over the madness of the nuclear crisis; "we who must die
demand a miracle." And the miracle we got came about because people
like the physician Helen Caldicott refused to accept nuclear annihilation.
But she did it by forcing her hearers to visualize the consequences of
their inaction.
Imagination, says Anders, is the sole organ capable of conveying a truth
so overwhelming that we cannot take it in. Hence the bizarre imagery
that always accompanies apocalyptic. Optimists want to believe that
reason will save us. They want to prevent us from becoming really
afraid. The anti-apocalyptist, on the contrary, insists that it is our
capacity to fear which is too small and which does not correspond to the
magnitude of the present danger. Therefore, says Anders, the antiapocalyptist attempts to increase our capacity to fear. "Don't fear fear,
have the courage to be frightened, and to frighten others too. Frighten
thy neighbor as thyself." This is no ordinary fear, however; it is a fearless
fear, since it dares at last to face the real magnitude of the danger. And
it is a loving fear, since it embraces fear in order to save the generations
to come. That is why everything the anti-apocalyptist says is said in
order not to become true.
If we do not stubbornly keep in mind how probable the disaster is and if
we do not act accordingly, we will not be able to prevent the warnings
from becoming true. There is nothing more frightening than to be right.
And if some amongst you, paralyzed by the gloomy likelihood of the
catastrophe, should already have lost their courage, they, too, still have
the chance to prove their love of man by heeding the cynical maxim:
"Let's go on working as though we had the right to hope. Our despair is
none of our business."

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Kritik Answers

Apocalyptic Rhetoric Good (3/3)


WE MUST TAKE ACTION IN THE FACE OF THE REAL
APOCALYPSES- GLOBAL WARMING, THE OZONE HOLE,
WAR, POLLUTION, NUCLEAR WAR- THE THREATS WONT
GO AWAY ******
WINK in 2001 [Walter, nqa, Apocalypse Now? Christian Century, Oct
17,

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1058/is_28_118/ai_79
514992 //wyo-pinto]
It is not difficult to see in that warning perils that threaten the very viability of
life on earth today. Global warming, the ozone hole, overpopulation, starvation
and malnutrition, war, unemployment, the destruction of species and the rain
forests, pollution of water and air, pesticide and herbicide poisoning, errors in
genetic engineering, erosion of topsoil, overfishing, anarchy and crime, the
possibility of a nuclear mishap, chemical warfare or all-out nuclear war:
together, or in some cases singly, these dangers threaten to "catch us
unexpectedly, like a trap." Our inability thus far to measure ourselves against
these threats is an ominous portent that apocalypse has already rendered us
powerless.
Terrible as it was, the destruction of the World Trade Center was not an
apocalypse. That horror will slowly recede. Other acts of infamy may take place.
But we can anticipate a time when terrorism will decline. Nor are we helpless.
We have the means to stop at least many, perhaps even most, of the terrorist
attacks hurled at us. But we can see the other side of this catastrophe, when life
feels normal again.
The threats to our very survival that I listed above, however, will not go away.
They could well spell the end of humanity, and even of most sentient life. This is
the awful truth that we have yet to recognize: We are living in an apocalyptic
time disguised as normal, and that is why we have not responded appropriately.
If we are in the midst of the sixth great extinction, as scientists tell us we are,
our response has in no way been commensurate with the danger. We Homo
sapiens are witnessing the greatest annihilation of species in the last 65 million
years, and our children may live to witness ecocide with their own eyes. So while
we are understandably preoccupied with terrorism, and must do everything
necessary to stamp it out, we must at the same time wake up to these more
serious threats that could effectively end life on this planet.

SOUTH AFRICA PROVES THAT OUR MODEL OF


APOCALYPSE WORKS- WE MUST INCITE ACTION
WINK in 2001

[Walter, nqa, Apocalypse Now? Christian Century, Oct 17,


http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1058/is_28_118/ai_79514992 //wyopinto]
BUT THE VERDICT is not yet in. It is late, but a positive response to the
real apocalypse of our time is still possible. Consider South Africa. When
I was there in the 1980s, it appeared that armed revolution was
inevitable. Blacks were becoming more desperate by the day. Teenage
boys were confronting the police and army without concern for their
safety. Chaos was beginning to overtake the townships, as children,
outraged by the timorousness of their parents, seized the initiative
themselves. Whites were taking an increasingly hard line. It was a recipe

235

Kritik Answers
for disaster. The whole scene reeked of an apocalypse of the negative
sort.
Then the most unexpected thing happened. The white government chose, under
intense internal and international pressure, to relinquish power, and negotiated
with its former black enemies a process that led to the election of a black
president, a model constitution, and relatively low casualties, considering the
alternatives. No one to my knowledge anticipated this turn of events. What had
appeared as an inevitable (negative) apocalyptic bloodbath turned out to have
been a (positive) apocalyptic situation instead, thanks to the "anti-apoca

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Kritik Answers

**Badiou**
A2 Badiou: 2AC
EVERY AFFIRMATIVE ETHICAL STANCE REQUIRES A
REPRESSED ELEMENT OF NEGATION, MEANING THAT
EVERY AFFIRMATION OF LIFE OCCURS AGAINS THE
BACKGROUND OF HUMN DEATH AND FINITUDE
Zizek '99

[Slavoj, Senior Researcher at Institute for Social Studies, Ljubliana and Badass,
The Ticklish Subject: the absent centre of political ontology, New York: Verso,
1999, 153-4//uwyo-ajl]
It would therefore be tempting to risk a Badiouian-Pauline reading of the end of
psychoanalysis, determining it as a New Beginning, a symbolic 'rebirth' - the radical
restructuring of the analysand's subjectivity in such a way that the vicious cycle of the
superego is suspended, left behind. Does not Lacan himself provide a number of hints that
the end of analysis opens up the domain of Love beyond Law, using the very Pauline terms
to which Badiou refers? Nevertheless, Lacan's way is not that of St Paul or Badiou :

psychoanalysis is not 'psychosynthesis'; it does not already posit a 'new


harmony', a new Truth-Event; it - as it were - merely wipes the slate clean for
one. However, this 'merely' should be put in quotation marks, because it is
Lacan's contention that, in this negative gesture of 'wiping the slate clean',
something (a void) is confronted which is already 'sutured' with the arrival of a
new Truth-Event. For Lacan, negativity, a negative gesture of withdrawal,
precedes any positive gesture of enthusiastic identifiction with a Cause:
negativity functions as the condition of (im)possibility of the enthusiastic
identification - that is to say, it lays the ground, opens up space for it, but is
simultaneously obfuscated by it and undermines it. For this reason, Lacan implicitly changes the balance
between Death and Resurrection in favour of Death: what 'Death' stands for at its most radical is
not merely the passing of earthly life, but the 'night of the world', the selfwithdrawal, the absolute contraction of subjectivity, the severing of its links with
'reality' - this is the 'wiping the slate clean' that opens up the domain of the
symbolic New Beginning, of the emergence of the 'New Harmony' sustained by a newly emerged MasterSignifier. Here, Lacan parts company with St Paul and Badiou: God not only is but always-already was dead - that is to
say, after Freud, one cannot directly have faith in a Truth-Event ;

every such Event ultimately remains


a semblance obfuscating a preceding Void whose Freudian name is death drive.
So Lacan differs from Badiou in the determination of the exact status of this domain beyond the rule of
the Law. That is to say: like Lacan, Badiou delineates the contours of a domain beyond the Order of
Being, beyond the politics of service des biens, beyond the 'morbid' super ego connection between Law
and its transgressive desire. For Lacan, however, the Freudian topic of the death drive cannot be
accounted for in the terms of this connection: the 'death drive' is not the outcome of the

morbid confusion of Life and Death caused by the intervention of the symbolic
Law. For Lacan, the uncanny domain beyond the Order of Being is what he calls
the domain 'between the two deaths', the pre-ontologicalf domain of monstrous
spectral apparitions, the domain that is 'immortal', yet not in the Badiouian
sense of the immortality of participating in Truth, but in the sense of what Lacan
calls lamella, of the monstrous 'undead' object-libido.18

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Kritik Answers

Perm Solvency (1/3)


WE SHOULD COMBINE THE PLAN AND THE ALTERNATIVE
THIS IS THE ONLY WAY TO SOLVE THE CASE WHILE
MAINTAINING AN AFFIRMATIVE CONCEPTION OF ETHICS
OUTSIDE THE BOUNDS OF THE STATE
Hallward, Lecturer in the French department @ Kings College, 2K2 (Peter
BADIOU'S POLITICS: EQUALITY AND JUSTICE,
http://culturemachine.tees.ac.uk/Cmach/Backissues/j004/Articles/hallward.htm)
At this point, the reader has to wonder if the OPs policy of strict nonparticipation in the state really stands up. The OP declares with some pride that
we never vote, just as in the factories, we keep our distance from trade
unionism (LDP, 12.02.95: 1).26 The OP consistently maintains that its politics of
prescription requires a politics of non-vote. But why, now, this either/or? Once
the state has been acknowledged as a possible figure of the general interest,
then surely it matters who governs that figure. Regarding the central public
issues of health and education, the OP maintains, like most mainstream
socialists, that the positive tasks on behalf of all are incumbent upon the state
(LDP, 10.11.94: 1).27 That participation in the state should not replace a
prescriptive externality to the state is obvious enough, but the stern either/or so
often proclaimed in the pages of La Distance politique reads today like a
displaced trace of the days when the choice of state or revolution still figured
as a genuine alternative.

WE SHOULD COMBINE BADIOUS GENERIC CONCEPTION


OF BEING WITH OUR DESCRIPTION OF THE SPECIFIC,
WHICH DOESNT RESULT IN DEPICTION OF THE SINGULAR
Hallward, Lecturer in the French Department @ Kings College, 2K3 (Peter
Badiou: A Subject to Truth, P. 274)
At each point, the alternative to

Badious strictly generic conception


of things is a more properly specific understanding of individuals
and situations as conditioned by the relations that both enable and
constrain their existence. In order to develop this alternative, it is essential
to distinguish scrupulously between the specific and what might be called the
specified (Badious objectified).5 Actors are specific to a situation even
though their actions are not specified by it, just as a historical account is
specific to the facts it describes even though its assessment is not specified by
them. The specific is a purely relational subjective domain. The specified, by
contrast, is defined by positive, intrinsic characteristics or essences (physical,
cultural, personal, and so on). The specified is a matter of inherited instincts
as much as of acquired habits. We might say that the most general effort of

philosophy or critique should be to move from the specified to the


specificwithout succumbing to the temptations of the purely
singular. Badiou certainly provides a most compelling critique of the
specified. But he hasat least thus far inadequate means of
distinguishing specified from specific. The result, in my view, is an
ultimately unconvincing theoretical basis for his celebration of an
extreme particularity as such.
238

Kritik Answers

Perm Solvency (2/3)


BADIOUS OWN WRITING CONCEDES THE NECESSITY OF
INCLUDING THE STATE WITHIN OUR POLITICAL FOCUS.
WHEN SOMETHING MUST BE DONE THAT ONLY THE STATE
CAN DO LIKE THE PLAN BADIOUS ETHICS FORCE US TO
DEMAND THE PLAN FROM THE STATE WHILE MAINTAINING
A PROPER DISTANCE TOWARDS IT THIS ALLOWS THE
PLAN TO FUNCTION AS A TRULY ETHICAL COMMITMENT
Hallward, Lecturer in the French department @ Kings College, 2K2 (Peter
BADIOU'S POLITICS: EQUALITY AND JUSTICE,
http://culturemachine.tees.ac.uk/Cmach/Backissues/j004/Articles/hallward.htm)
Badious early and unequivocally hostile attitude to the state has
considerably evolved. Just how far it has evolved remains a little unclear. His conception of politics remains
We know that

resolutely anti-consensual, anti-re-presentative, and thus anti-democratic (in the ordinary sense of the word). A
philosophy today is above all something that enables people to have done with the "democratic" submission to the world
as it is (Entretien avec Alain Badiou, 1999: 2). But he seems more willing, now, to engage with this submission on its
own terms. La Distance politique again offers the most precise points de repre. On the one hand, the OP remains
suspicious of any political campaign for instance, electoral contests or petition movements that operates as a
prisoner of the parliamentary space (LDP, 19-20.04.96: 2). It remains an absolute necessity [of politics] not to have the
state as norm. The separation of politics and state is foundational of politics. On the other hand, however, it is now

their separation need not lead to the banishment of the state from
the field of political thought (LDP, 6.05.93: 1).24 The OP now conceives itself in a
tense, non-dialectical vis--vis with the state, a stance that rejects an intimate
cooperation (in the interests of capital) as much as it refuses any antagonistic conception
of their operation, any conception that smacks of classism. There is to no more choice to be
made between the state or revolution; the vis--vis demands the presence of the two terms and not
equally clear that

the annihilation of one of the two (LDP, 11.01.95: 3-4). Indeed, at the height of the December 95 strikes, the OP
recognised that the only contemporary movement of dstatisation with any real power was the corporate-driven
movement of partial de-statification in the interests of commercial flexibility and financial mobility. Unsurprisingly, we

The
state is what can sometimes take account of people and their situations in other
registers and by other modalities than those of profit. The state assures from
this point of view the public space and the general interest. And capital does not
incarnate the general interest (LDP, 15.12.96: 11). Coming from the author of Thorie de la contradiction,
are against this withdrawal of the state to the profit of capital, through general, systematic and brutal privatisation.

these are remarkable words.

239

Kritik Answers

Perm Solvency (3/3)


BADIOUS ETHICAL PROJECT NECESSITATES ENDLESSLY
RECONSTITUTING THE SOCIAL REALM TO OPEN IT UP TO
THE TRUTH-EVENT THE SPECIFIC DEMAND OF THE PLAN
CAN HAVE UNIVERSAL ETHICAL RESONANCE AND CAN
FORM THE BASIS OF A POLITICS OF TRUTH
Barker, Lecturer in Communications and a Doctoral Candidate in the Department of
Philosophy @ Cardiff U, 2K2 (Jason, Alain Badiou: A Critical Introduction, P. 146-48)
How does Balibars theory of the State constitution stand alongside Badious, and can we find any key areas of mutual
agreement between these two ex-Althusserians? The most general area of difference involves Balibars aporetic
approach to the question of the masses. Balibar refuses to see any principle underlying the masses conduct, since the
latter are synonymous with the power of the State. Badiou, on the other hand, regards the masses (ideally) as the
bearers of the category of justice, to which the State remains indifferent (AM, 114). Two divergent theories of the State,
then, each of which is placed in the service of a distinctive ethics. With Balibar we have an ethics or ethic in the
sense of praxis of communication which encourages a dynamic and expanding equilibrium of desires where every

With Badiou we have an


ethics of truths which hunts down those exceptional political
statements in order to subtract from them their egalitarian core,
thereby striking a blow for justice against the passive democracy of
the State. Overall we might say that the general area of agreement lies in the fact that, in each case,
opinion has an equal chance of counting in the democratic sphere.

democracy remains a rational possibility. In particular, for both Balibar and Badiou, it is love as an amorous feeling
towards or encounter with ones fellow man a recognition that the fraternal part that is held in common between
human beings is somehow greater than the whole of their differences which forges the social bond. However, on the
precise nature of the ratio of this bond their respective paths diverge somewhat. In Balibars case we are dealing with an
objective illusion wherein one imagines that the love one feels for an object (an abstract egalitarian ideal, say) is shared
by others. Crucially, love in this sense is wholly ambivalent, wildly vacillating between itself and its inherent opposite,
hate.18 On this evidence we might say that a communist peace would be really indistinct from a fascist one.
Therefore, the challenge for Balibar is to construct a prescriptive political framework capable of operating without repression in a utilitarian public sphere where the free exchange of opinions is more likely than not to result in the self-

In Badious case what we are dealing with, on the other


is a subjective
reality. The social contract is forever being conditioned, worked on
practically from within by the political militants, in readiness for the
occurrence of the truth-event. This is the unforeseen moment of
an amorous encounter between two natural adversaries (a group of
students mounting a boycott of university fees, for instance) which retrieves the latent communist
axiom of equality from within the social process. Here we have a
particular call for social justice (free education for all!) which strikes a chord
with the whole people (students and non-students alike). Crucially, love in this sense is
infinite, de-finite, in seizing back (at least a part of) the State power directly into
the hands of the people. Moreover, in this encounter between students and the university authorities
limitation of extreme views.

hand and what we have been dealing with more or less consistently throughout this book

there is an invariant connection (of communist hope) which is shared by all, and where any difference of opinion is purely

the challenge is to develop and deepen an


ethical practice, not in any utilitarian or communitarian sense
since the latter would merely risk forcing a political manifesto
prematurely, perhaps giving rise to various brands of State-sponsored
populism9 but in the sense of a politics capable of combating
repression; a politics which, in its extreme singularity, holds itself open
to seizure by Truth.
incidental. Momentarily, at least. For Badiou,

240

Kritik Answers

Human Rights Solve


BADIOU IS WRONG ABOUT HUMAN RIGHTS THEYRE A
CRUCIAL RALLYING POINT FOR ACTIVISTS AGAINST
OPPRESSION
Dews, Prof of Philosophy @ U of Essex, 2K4 (Peter, Think Again: Alain Badiou
and the Future of Philosophy, P. 109)
Badiou is not mistaken, of course, in suggesting that the discourse of human rights
has come to provide a crucial ideological cover for economic and cultural
imperialism, not to mention outright military intervention. No one doubts the murderous hypocrisy with which the
Western powers, led by the US, have invoked the language of human rights in recent years. But 'human rights'
have also been a rallying call for many activists around the globe. In the form of the
Helsinki Accords, they were a major focus for the East European opposition in the years leading up to 1989- They
were equally important tactically for Latin America's struggle against the
dictatorships, and continue to provide a vital political point of leverage for many
indigenous populations, not to mention the Tibetans, the Burmese, the
Palestinians. The United States, as is well known, continues to refuse recognition to the recently established
International Criminal Court, fearful, no doubt, that members of its own armed forces, and perhaps of former
administrations, could be amongst those arraigned before it.

241

Kritik Answers

Double Bind
BADIOU IS IN A DOUBLE-BIND: EITHER THERES NO WAY
TO DISTINGUISH BETWEEN TRUE AND FALSE EVENTS
WHICH MEANS THE ALTERNATIVE CANT SOLVE, OR
SUBJECTS OF THE EVENT GO INTO IT WITH A
PRECONCEIVED NOTION OF THE EVENT, WHICH MAKES
TRUE FIDELITY IMPOSSIBLE
Hallward, Professor of French at Kings College, London, 2K4 (Peter,
Think Again: Alain Badiou and the Future of Philosophy, P. 15-16)

Badiou insists on the rare


and unpredictable character of every truth. On the other hand, we
know that every truth, as it composes a generic or egalitarian sampling of the situation,
will proceed in such a way as to suspend the normal grip of the state of
its situation by eroding the distinctions used to classify
and order parts of the situation. Is this then a criterion that subjects must
presume in advance or one that they come to discover in each case? If not the former, if truth is
entirely a matter of post-evental implication or
consequence, then there can be no clear way of
distinguishing, before it is too late, a genuine event (which
One implication of this last point is easily generalized.

relates only to the void of the situation, i.e. to the way inconsistency might appear within a situation)

from a false event

(one that, like September 11th or the triumph of National Socialism,

But if there is always an


initial hunch which guides the composition of a generic
set, a sort of preliminary or prophetic commitment to the
generic just as there is, incidentally, in Cohens own account of generic sets, insofar as this
reinforces the basic distinctions governing the situation).

account seeks to demonstrate a possibility implicit in the ordinary extensional definition of set25

then it seems difficult to sustain a fully post-evental


conception of truth. In short: is the initial decision to affirm an event unequivocally free, a
matter of consequence alone? Or is it tacitly guided by the criteria of the generic at every step, and
thereby susceptible to a kind of anticipation?

242

Kritik Answers

Alternative Fractures Coalitions


BADIOUS ALTERNATIVE IS A DISASTROUS FORM OF
POLITICS BECAUSE THE SUBJECTS OF A TRUTH CAN NEVER
TRANSLATE THAT TRUTH TO THOSE HOSTILE TO THEIR
AGENDA, AND THUS CAN NEVER MAKE POLITICAL
COALITIONS
Hallward, Professor of French at Kings College, London, 2K4 (Peter,
Think Again: Alain Badiou and the Future of Philosophy, P. 17)

is it enough to explain the process of subjectivation,


the transformation of an ordinary individual into the militant
subject of a universalizable cause, or truth, mainly through
analogies with the process of conversion? It is certainly essential to maintain (after
6. In a related sense,

Saint Paul) that anyone can become the militant of a truth, that truth is not primarily a matter of background or

If it exists at all, truth must be equally indifferent to both


nature and nurture, and it is surely one of the great virtues of Badious account of the subject that it, like
disposition.

Zizeks or Lacans, remains irreducible to all the forces (historical, social, cultural, genetic .. .) that shape the individual or

the lack of any substantial explanation


of subjective empowerment, of the process that enables or
inspires an individual to become a subject, again serves only to
make the account of subjectivation unhelpfully abrupt and
abstract. Isnt there a danger that by disregarding issues of
motivation and resolve at play in any subjective decision, the
militants of a truth will preach only to the converted? Doesnt the
real problem of any political organization begin where Badious
analyses tend to leave off, i.e. with the task of finding ways
whereby a truth will begin to ring true for those initially indifferent
or hostile to its implications?
ego in the ordinary sense. On the other hand,

243

Kritik Answers

Divorcing Politics from State Bad


BADIOUS DESIRE TO SEPARATE POLITICS FROM THE
STATE MAKES POLITICS ITSELF IMPOSSIBLE
Bensaid, Prof @ the U of Paris VIII and leading member of the Ligue Commiuniste
Revolutionnaire, 2K4 (Daniel Think Again: Alain Badiou and the Future of Philosophy, P.
99-100)
in Badiou, the intermittence of event and subject renders the very idea of
politics problematic. According to him, politics defines itself via fidelity to the event whereby the victims of
oppression declare themselves. His determination to prise politics free from the state in order
to subjecrivize it, to deliver it from history in order to hand it over to the event, is part of a tentative
search for an autonomous politics of the oppressed. The alternative effort, to subordinate
Yet

politics to some putative meaning of history, which has ominous echoes in recent history, is he suggests to incorporate
it within the process of general technicization and to reduce it to the management of state affairs. One must have the
courage to declare that, from the point of view of politics, history as meaning or direction does not exist: all that exists is

However, this divorce between event


and history (between the event and its historically determined conditions) tends
to render politics if not unthinkable then at least impracticable (PP 18).
the periodic occurrence of the a priori conditions of chance.

BADIOUS ALTERNATIVE FAILS BECAUSE HES BLIND TO


POLITICAL POWER STRUCTURES HIS DEMAND TO
DIVORCE POLITICS FROM THE STATE MEANS IT CANT
DEAL WITH TODAYS MOST PRESSING PROBLEMS
Hallward, Professor of French at Kings College, London, 2K4 (Peter,
Think Again: Alain Badiou and the Future of Philosophy, P. 18-19)
to what extent can we abstract an exclusively political truth from
matters relating to society, history and the state? Take those most familiar topics of cultural
Most obviously,

politics: gender, sexuality and race. No doubt the greater part of the still incomplete transformation here is due to
militant subjective mobilizations that include the anti-colonial wars of liberation, the civil rights movement, the feminist
movements, Stonewall, and so on. But has cumulative, institutional change played no role in the slow movement towards

since under the current state of things


political authority is firmly vested in the hands of those with economic power,
can a political prescription have any enduring effect if it manages only to
distance or suspend the operation of such power? If a contemporary political
sequence is to last (if at least it is to avoid the usual consequences of capital flight and economic sabotage)
must it not also directly entail a genuine transformation of the economy itself , i.e.
racial or sexual indistinction, precisely? More importantly:

enable popular participation in economic decisions, community or workers control over resources and production, and so

In todays circumstances, if a political prescription is to have any widespread


consequence, isnt it essential that it find some way of bridging the gap between
the political and the economic? Even Badious own privileged example indicates the uncertain purity of
on?

politics. The declaration of 18 March 1871 (which he quotes as the inaugural affirmation of a proletarian political
capacity) commits the Communards to taking in hand the running of public affairs,3 and throughout its short existence
the Commune busies itself as much with matters of education, employment and administration as with issues of equality

Is a sharp distinction between politics and the state helpful in such


circumstances? Do forms of discipline subtracted from the state, from the party,
apply in fact to anything other than the beginning of relatively limited political
sequences? Does the abstract ethical imperative, continue!, coupled with a
classical appeal to moderation and restraint,38 suffice to safeguard the long-term
persistence of political sequences from the altogether necessary return of statelike functions (military, bureaucratic, institutional . . .)? To what extent, in short, does Badious position, which he
and power.

presents in anticipation of an as yet obscure step beyond the more state-centred conceptions of Lenin and Mao, rather
return him instead to the familiar objections levelled at earlier theories of anarchism?

244

Kritik Answers

**Baudrillard**
Baudrillard Destroys Social Change
(1/2)
BAUDRILLARDS ALTERNATIVE ALLOWS CONSERVATIVE
IDEOLOGICAL DISTORTION
Norris, Distinguished Research Professor in Philosophy at the University of
Cardiff, Wales, Whats Wrong with Postmodernism, 1990, p. 190-191. *Gender
Christopher

modified
Baudrillards alternative is stated clearly enough: a hyperreal henceforth
sheltered from the imaginary, and from any distinction between the real and the
imaginary, leaving room only for the orbital recurrence of models and the
simulated generation of difference (p. 167). It is a vision which should bring
great comfort to government advisers, PR experts, campaign managers, opinionpollsters, media watch-dogs, Pentagon [spokespeople] spokesmen and others
with an interest in maintaining this state of affairs. Baudrillards imagery of
orbital recurrence and the simulated generation of difference should
commend itself to advocates of a Star Wars program whose only conceivable
purpose is to escalate EastWest tensions and divert more funds to the militaryindustrial complex. There is no denying the extent to which this and similar
strategies of disinformation have set the agenda for public debate across a
range of crucial policy issues. But the fact remains (and this phrase carries more
than just a suasive or rhetorical force) that there is a difference between what
we are given to believe and what emerges from the process of subjecting such
beliefs to an informed critique of their content and modes of propagation. This
process may amount to a straightforward demand that politicians tell the truth
and be held to account for their failing to do so. Of course there are cases like
the IrangateContra affair or Thatchers role in events leading up to the
Falklands war where a correspondence-theory might seem to break down
since the facts are buried away in Cabinet papers, the evidence concealed by
some piece of high-level chicanery (Official Secrets, security interests, reasons
of state, etc.), or the documents conveniently shredded in time to forestall
investigation of their content. But there is no reason to think as with
Baudrillards decidedly Orwellian prognosis that this puts the truth forever
beyond reach, thus heralding an age of out-and-out hyperreality. For one can
still apply other criteria of truth and falsehood, among them a fairly basic
coherence-theory that would point out the various lapses, inconsistencies, nonsequiturs, downright contradictions and so forth which suffice to undermine the
official version of events. (Margaret Thatchers various statements on the
Malvinas conflict especially the sinking of the General Beigrano would
provide a good example here.)29 It may be argued that the truth-conditions will
vary from one specific context to another; that such episodes involve very
different criteria according to the kinds of evidence available; and therefore that
it is no use expecting any form of generalised theory to establish the facts of this
or that case. But this ignores the extent to which theories (and truth-claims)
inform our every act of rational appraisal, from commonsense decisions of a
day-to-day, practical kind to the most advanced levels of speculative thought.
And it also ignores the main lesson to be learnt from Baudrillards texts: that any
politics which goes along with the current postmodernist drift will end up by
effectively endorsing and promoting the work of ideological mystification.

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Kritik Answers

Baudrillard Destroys Social Change


(2/2)
RELEGATING HUMAN SUFFERING TO THE REALM OF THE
SIGN AND SIMULATION IS JUST DISGUISED NIHILISM,
WHICH CRUSHES THE POSSIBILITY FOR EFFECTIVE
POLITICS
Kellner, Philosophy Chair @ UCLA, 89 (Douglas, Jean Baudrillard, P. 107-8)
Yet does the sort of symbolic exchange which Baudrillard advocates really provide a solution to the question of
death? Baudrillards notion of symbolic exchange between life and death and his ultimate embrace of nihilism (see 4.4) is

radically devalues life and


focuses with a fascinated gaze on that which is most terrible death. In a
popular French reading of Nietzsche, his transvaluation of values demanded
negation of all repressive and life- negating values in favor of affirmation of life,
joy and happiness. This philosophy of value valorized life over death and
derived its values from phenomena which enhanced, refined and nurtured
human life. In Baudrillard, by contrast, life does not exist as an autonomous source of
value, and the body exists only as the caarnality of signs, as a mode of display
of signification. His sign fetishism erases all materialjty from the body and social
life, and makes possible a fascinated aestheticized fetishism of signs as the
primary ontological reality. This way of seeing erases suffering, disease, pain and
the horror of death from the body and social life and replaces it with the play of
signs Baudrillards alternative. Politics too is reduced to a play of signs, and
the ways in which different politics alleviate or intensify human suffering
disappears from the Baudrillardian universe. Consequently Baudrillards theory spirals
into a fascination with signs which leads him to embrace certain privileged forms
of sign culture and to reject others (that is, the theoretical signs of modernity such as meaning, truth,
the social, power and so on) and to pay less and less attention to materiality (that is, to needs,
desire, suffering and so on) a trajectory will ultimately lead him to embrace nihilism (see
probably his most un-Nietzschean moment, the instant in which his thought

4.4). Thus Baudrillards interpretation of the body, his refusal of theories of sexuality which link it with desire and
pleasure, and his valorization of death as a mode of symbolic exchange which valorizes sacrifice, suicide and other
symbolic modes of death are all part and parcel of a fetishizing of signs, of a valorization of sign culture over all other
modes of social life. Such fetishizing of sign culture finds its natural (and more harmless) home in the fascination with the
realm of sign culture which we call art. I shall argue that Baudrillards trajectory exhibits an ever more intense
aestheticizing of social theory and philosophy, in which the values of the representation of social reality, political struggle
and change and so on are displaced in favor of a (typically French) sign fetishism. On this view, Baudrillards trajectory is
best interpreted as an increasingly aggressive and extreme fetishizing of signs, which began in his early works in the late
1 960s and which he was only gradually to exhibit in its full and perverse splendor as aristocratic aestheticism from the
mid-1970s to the present. Let us now trace the evolution of his fascination with art, a form of sign culture which
Baudrillard increasingly privileges and one which provides an important feature attraction of the postmodern carnival.

246

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Alternative Masks Violence


FOCUS ON THE HYPER-REAL PRIVILEGES THE SIGNIFIER
OVER THE SIGNIFIED, NUMBING US TO ACTUAL VIOLENCE
Krishna 93
[Snakaran, Dept. Poli Sci @ Hawaii, Alternatives 18, 399]
By emphasizing the technology and speed in the Gulf War, endlessly analyzing
the representation of the war itself, without a simultaneous exposition of the
ground realities, postmodernist analyses wind up, unwittingly, echoing the
Pentagon and the White House in their claims that this was a clean war with
smart bombs that take out only defense installations with minimal collateral
damage. One needs to reflesh the Gulf War dead through our postmortems
instead of merely echoing, with virilio and others, the disappearance of
territory or the modern warrior with the new technologies; or the intertext
connecting the war and television; or the displacement of the spectacle.
Second, the emphasis on speed with which the annihilation proceeded once the
war began tends to obfuscate the long build-up to the conflict and US complicity
in Iraqi foreign and defense policy in prior times. Third, as the details provided
above show, if there was anything to highlight about the war, it was not so much
its manner of representation as the incredible levels of annihilation that have
been perfected. To summarize: I am not suggesting that postmodern analysts of
the war are in agreement with the Pentagons claims regarding a clean war; I
am suggesting that their preoccupation with representation, sign systems, and
with the signifier over the signified, leaves one with little sense of the
annihilation visited upon the people and land of Iraq. And, as the Vietnam War
proved and Schwartzkopf well realized, without that physicalist sense of violence
war can be more effectively sold to a jingoistic public.

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Our Representations Solve


TURNMEDIA IMAGES REVEAL THEIR OWN ILLUSIONS
Baudrillard, professor of philosophy of culture and media at Univ. or Paris,
1994, Illusion of the End, pg. 60-61
Jean

And yet there will, nonetheless, have been a kind of verdict in this Romanian
affair, and the artificial heaps of corpses will have been of some use, all the
same. One might ask whether the Romanians, by the very excessiveness of this
staged event and the simulacrum of their revolution, have not served as
demystifiers of news and its guiding principle. For, if the media image has put an
end to the credibility of the event, the event will, in its turn, have put an end to
the credibility of the image. Never again shall we be able to look at a television
picture in good faith, and this is the finest collective demystification we have
ever known. The finest revenge over this new arrogant power, this power to
blackmail by events. Who can say what responsibility attaches to the televisual
production of a false massacre (Timisoara), as compared with the perpetrating of
a true massacre? This is another kind of crime against humanity, a hijacking of
fantasies, affects and the credulity of hundreds of millions of people by means of
television a crime of blackmail and simulation. What penalty is laid down for
such a hijacking? There is no way to rectify this situation and we must have no
illusions: there is no perverse effect, nor even anything scandalous in the
Timisoara syndrome. It is simply the (immoral) truth of news, the secret
purpose [destination] of which is to deceive us about the real, but also to
undeceive us about the real. There is no worse mistake than taking the real for
the real and, in that sense, the very excess of media illusion plays a vital
disillusioning role. In this way, news could be said to undo its own spell by its
effects and the violence of information to be avenged by the repudiation and
indifference it engenders. Just as we should be unreservedly thankful for the
existence of politicians, who take on themselves the responsibility for that
wearisome function, so we should be grateful to the media for existing and
taking on themselves the triumphant illusionism of the world of communications,
the whole ambiguity of mass culture, the confusion of ideologies, the
stereotypes, the spectacle, the banality soaking up all these things in their
operation. While, at the same time, constituting a permanent test of intelligence,
for where better than on television can one learn to question every picture,
every word, every commentary? Television inculcates indifference distance,
scepticism and unconditional apathy. Through the worlds becoming-image, it
anaesthetizes the imagination, provokes a sickened abreaction, together with a
surge of adrenalin which induces total disillusionment. Television and the media
would render reality [le reel] dissuasive, were it not already so. And this
represents an absolute advance in the consciousness or the cynical
unconscious of our age.

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Baudrillard is Wrong (1/2)


BAUDRILLARDS CRITIQUE IS EMPIRICALLY DENIED BY THE
GULF WAR
Norris, Distinguished Research Professor in Philosophy at the University of
Cardiff, Wales, Uncritical Theory: Postmodernism, Intellectuals, and the Gulf War, 19 92, p.
Christopher
11.
How far wrong can a thinker go and still lay claim to serious attention? One
useful test-case is Jean Baudrillard, a cult figure on the current postmodernist
scene, and purveyor of some of the silliest ideas yet to gain a hearing among
disciples of French intellectual fashion. Just a couple of days before war broke
out in the Gulf, one could find Baudrillard regaling readers of The Guardian
newspaper with an article which declared that this war would never happen,
existing as it did only as a figment of mass-media simulation, war-games
rhetoric or imaginary scenarios which exceeded all the limits of real-world,
factual possibility.1 Deterrence had worked for the past forty years in the sense
that war had become strictly unthinkable except as a rhetorical phenomenon, an
exchange of ever-escalating threats and counter-threats whose exorbitant
character was enough to guarantee that no such event would ever take place.
What remained was a kind of endless charade, a phoney war in which the stakes
had to do with the management of so-called public opinion, itself nothing more
than a reflex response to the images, the rhetoric and PR machinery which
create the illusion of consensus support by supplying all the right answers and
attitudes in advance. There would be no war, Baudrillard solemnly opined,
because talk of war had now become a substitute for the event, the occurrence
or moment of outbreak which the term war had once signified. Quite simply, we
had lost all sense of the difference or the point of transition between a war
of words, a mass-media simulation conducted (supposedly) by way of preparing
us for the real thing, and the thing itself which would likewise take place only
in the minds and imaginations of a captive TV audience, bombarded with the
same sorts of video-game imagery that had filled their screens during the buildup campaign.

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Baudrillard is Wrong (2/2)


BAUDRILLARDS CRITIQUE IS NAVE AND CONTRADICTORY,
DOES NOT CORRESPOND WITH REALITY, AND IS
NORMATIVELY USELESS
James Marsh, Professor of Philosophy, Fordham University, 19 95, Critique, Action, and
Liberation, pp. 292-293
Such an account, however, is as one-sided or perhaps even more one-sided than
that of naive modernism. We note a residual idealism that does not take into
account socioeconomic realities already pointed out such as the corporate
nature of media, their role in achieving and legitimating profit, and their function
of manufacturing consent. In such a postmodernist account is a reduction of
everything to image or symbol that misses the relationship of these to realities
such as corporations seeking profit, impoverished workers in these corporations,
or peasants in Third-World countries trying to conduct elections. Postmodernism
does not adequately distinguish here between a reduction of reality to image
and a mediation of reality by image. A media idealism exists rooted in the
influence of structuralism and poststructuralism and doing insufficient justice to
concrete human experience, judgment, and free interaction in the world.4 It is
also paradoxical or contradictory to say it really is true that nothing is really true,
that everything is illusory or imaginary. Postmodemism makes judgments that
implicitly deny the reduction of reality to image. For example, Poster and
Baudrillard do want to say that we really are in a new age that is informational
and postindustrial. Again, to say that everything is imploded into media images
is akin logically to the Cartesian claim that everything is or might be a dream.
What happens is that dream or image is absolutized or generalized to the point
that its original meaning lying in its contrast to natural, human, and social reality
is lost. We can discuss Disneyland as reprehensible because we know the
difference between Disneyland and the larger, enveloping reality of Southern
California and the United States.5 We can note also that postmodernism misses
the reality of the accumulation-legitimation tension in late capitalism in general
and in communicative media in particular. This tension takes different forms in
different times. In the United States in the 1960s and 1970s, for example, social,
economic, and political reality occasionally manifested itself in the media in such
a way that the electorate responded critically to corporate and political policies.
Coverage of the Vietnam war, for example, did help turn people against the war.
In the 1980s, by contrast, the emphasis shifted more toward accumulation in the
decade dominated by the great communicator. Even here, however, the
majority remained opposed to Reagans policies while voting for Reagan. Human
and social reality, while being influenced by and represented by the media,
transcended them and remained resistant to them.6 To the extent that
postmodernists are critical of the role media play, we can ask the question about
the normative adequacy of such a critique. Why, in the absence of normative
conceptions of rationality and freedom, should media dominance be taken as
bad rather than good? Also, the most relevant contrasting, normatively
structured alternative to the media is that of the public sphere, in which the
imperatives of free, democratic, nonmanipulable communicative action are
institutionalized. Such a public sphere has been present in western democracies
since the nineteenth century but has suffered erosion in the twentieth century as
capitalism has more and more taken over the media and commercialized them.
Even now the public sphere remains normatively binding and really operative
through institutionalizing the ideals of free, full, public expression and
discussion; ideal, legal requirements taking such forms as public service
programs, public broadcasting, and provision for alternative media; and social
movements acting and discoursing in and outside of universities in print, in
demonstrations and forms of resistance, and on media such as movies,
television, and radio.7

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TURN: VIOLENCE IS INESCAPABLE. OUR VIOLENCE
ENABLES UNDERSTANDING MORE THAN IT INHIBITS.
REMEMBERING AND REPRESENTING VIOLENCE IS
ESSENTIAL TO AVERT THE DESTRUCTION OF THE OTHER.
REJECT THE CRITIQUES SILENCE.
Michael Eskin, Research Fellow and Lecturer, European Literature, Cambridge
University, Dialectical Anthropology, 24: 407-450, 1999, p. 391-6
Derrida allows nothing prior to language; since, in Derrida's s philosophy, everything is
inscribed in language, he places speech and language prior to ethics, prior to any possible
ethical injunction. Derrida's formulations owe a tremendous debt to several major
epistemological shifts. of the early twentieth century: Sapir's and Whorf's notion that
language conditions thought, for example, or Lacan's claims that both conscious and
unconscious thought processes (and thus the subject) are structured by language.
Because for Derrida ethics is inscribed, along with everything else, in language, and
because for Derrida language is inherently violent in that it is always a reduction,

a totalization, he reaches the conclusion that even a Levinasian ethics cannot


ever avoid violence: "One never escapes the economy of war." The origin of this
violence inherent in discourse is the act of inscribing the other in the definitions
and terms of the same: Predication is the first violence. Since the verb to be and the
predicative act are implied in every other verb, and in every common noun, nonviolent
language, in the last analysis, would be a language of pure invocation . . .purified of all
rhetoric [in Levinas' terms] . . . . Is a language free from all rhetoric possible? Derrida
answers his own question in the negative, affirming that "there is no phrase which is
indeterminate, that is, which does not pass through the violence of the concept. Violence
appears with articulation." Foucault has expressed this same sentiment, maintaining that
"We must conceive discourse as a violence we do to things, or, at all events, as a practice
we impose upon them." Naming and predication-two acts essential to
language-confine what is being described, and fix it in one's own terms . As we
shall see from an examination of Hiroshima non amour, memory works the same way,
attempting to enclose the past within determinate parameters, employing the
same brand of totalization to whose presence in language Derrida has gestured. Concern
over the necessary violence of memory as representation to the consciousness, as willed
inscription in one's own terms of what is other because past, is perhaps the most obvious
point at which Derrida, Levinas, Duras, and Resnais converge, for the impossibility of
remembering an historical event as it was-of actually arriving at a clear understanding of a
past event by imaging it through memory, by re-presenting it to our memory-is a chronic
preoccupation of Hiroshima mon amour. Resnais confronted this dilemma as well in the
process of constructing Nuit et brouillard. Claiming historical authority over

Auschwitz, or giving the illusion that it is comprehensible, would only, in Resnais'


opinion, "humaniz[e] the incomprehensible terror," thereby "diminishing it,"
perhaps even romanticizing it; so, unable to describe the violence, and unwilling
to inscribe it, Resnais opted instead to document our memory of it . Resnais carries
no illusions that the past can be duplicated to any significant degree, rendered for us now
as it was then. Given the accepted generic constraints of a film, he says, " it is absolutely

absurd to think that in that space of time one can properly present the historical
reality of such a complex event. [Historical facts] were the bases for our `fiction,'
points of departure rather than ends in themselves." This explains what Leo Bersani has
described as Resnais' clear favoring of the word "imagination" over the word "memory"
when referring to his own films." However, in the case of Hiroshima mon amour, instead of
filling in with imagination the details between the historical "facts," the film throws its
hands up at any effort to "remember" or "see" the tragedy at Hiroshima. Thus, Hiroshima
mon amour, in the words of one critic, turns out "to be a film about the impossibility of
making a documentary about Hiroshima"1' or, in Armes' more broadly epistemologically
oriented phrase, "a documentary on the impossibility of comprehending." Duras reminds
us of this in her synopsis of the screenplay: "Impossible de parler de HIROSHIMA. Tout ce
qu'on peut faire c'est de parler de l'impossibilite de parler de HIROSHIMA ( Impossible to

speak of HIROSHIMA. All one can do is speak of the impossibility of speaking of


HIROSHIMA)." She then drives the point home in Hiroshima mon amour's unforgettable
opening sequence, as Okada incessantly reminds Riva that she can never know

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Hiroshima's tragedy. Riva knows, for example, that there were two hundred
thousand dead and eighty thousand wounded, in nine seconds; she can rattle off
the names of every flower that bloomed at ground zero two weeks after the
bombing; she has been to the museum four times, seen the pictures, watched
the films. As if to accentuate the veracity of' Riva's learned data, Duras alerts the reader
in a footnote to the origin of the details, and there is hardly a more famous or traditionally
reputable source on the immediate aftermath of the bombing than John Mersey's
Hiroshima. And yet, as one critic has commented, "les images collees aux murs . . . sont
incapables de faire revivre completement la realite du fait (images pasted to walls . . .
are incapabale of completely restoring the reality of the fact). " Despite Riva's
wealth of statistical (read: historically trustworthy) data, Okada is able to refute
her with confidence, "Tu n'as rien vu a Hiroshima (You saw nothing at Hiroshima),"
and the almost incantatory
continued

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A2 Disaster Porn (2/3)


continued
repetition of this phrase strengthens its punch. Duras increases the effect by reminding us that the day of the bombing of Hiroshima, while a
tragedy for Okada, coincides with Riva's liberation from her horrifying wartime experience in Nevers, France. This fact forces the question: How
can Riva ever understand as a tragedy an event that corresponded with her own emotional rebirth and reclaiming of some measure of normalcy?

Okada points
out that the entire world was celebrating while Hiroshima smouldered in ashes.
This fact forces another, similar question, one that I myself must confront on reading or watching Hiroshima mon amour : How could
the Westerners in the audience ever expect to grasp the tragedy that they
originally celebrated as the end of the war? These reminders have their own Verfremdungseffekt further
The effect is even stronger on what Duras must have assumed would be a predominantly Western audience, when

alienating the audience/reader from the history of Hiroshima, dispelling any lingering notion that historical tragedy can ever be fully

. Riva's optimism is almost infectious, though, and she indeed believes that she can master the history behind the leveling of
. She claims to know everything, and she is once again swiftly negated by
the Japanese. She contents herself by concluding that, even if she does not know yet, ca s'apprend (one learns)."" She is not gifted
comprehended
Hiroshima

with memory, though, as Okada reminds her and thus all she can claim to know about Hiroshima is what she has "invente." This particular verbal
exchange is highlighted by the fact that it is for the first time in the text Riva's turn to use the word "rien," until this point a word uttered
frequently and only by Okada: ELLS: Je n'ai rien invente. (SHE: I invented nothing.) LUI: Tu as tout invente. (HE: You invented everything.) Proof of
her inability to approach comprehension of Hiroshima arrives in the form of a laugh, when Riva asks her lover if he was at Hiroshima the day of
the bombing and he laughs as one would laugh at a child. She shows herself further distanced from the historical event by the manner in which
she sounds out the name of the city, "Hi-ro-shi-ma," as if it were-or rather because it is-radically foreign to her. (Later, in the same manner,
Okada sounds out Riva's youth, the story of which will always be unknown and incomprehensible to him: "Jeune-a-Ne-vers [ Young-in-Nevers].")
Her memory of Hiroshima, created by herself and inscribed in terms that she can understand from photographs taken by other people, is mere
"illusion," truth several times removed. She remembers, though, and almost obsessively, because she knows that it is worse to forget

Historical memory must be reductive,

sometimes violently so, according to a Derridean understanding of it,


because it is always a form of representation and thus of predication. A less diplomatic statement made by Okada goes so far as to suggest that

one's memory only ever serves one's own purposes: "Est-ce que to avais remarque," he asks, "que c'est
toujours dans le meme sens que l'on remarque les chows? (Did you ever notice that one always notices things in the same way?)." We notice

However, just
as language-the system of representation par excellence-carries in its every use the violence
inherent in its reductiveness, we use it anyway, as it enables far more
than inhibits. In Levinas's formulation, not only is discourse our primary means of relating
to and maintaining the other, but the absence of it, silence, "is the inverse of
language . . . a laughter that seeks to destroy language. " Derrida accords with
Levinas: "denying discourse" is "the worst violence," "the violence of the night which
precedes or represses discourse." Despite the violence that Riva's impulse
toward memory commits against any ideal or "objective" history, absolute
forgetting is far more dangerous; by any account, remembering and representing
past violence must be seen as a necessary evil, as a sort of
metaphysically violent means of averting future real, physical violence.
Still, the partial forgetting of the unforgettable tragedy is inevitable, as John Ward points out in his treatment of Resnais' films: "With the
passage of time we become so insensitive to other people's suffering that we
can lie in the disused ovens of Auschwitz and have our photographs taken as
souvenirs." Duras' text also renders disturbing images of forgetting, of loubli. Riva confesses to her own struggle against ignorance: "mei
what suits us, in the direction and sense which we prefer, and we notice it in the manner in which we can best use it.

aussi, j'ai essaye de lutter de toutes mes forces contre l'oubli . . . . Comme toi, j'ai oublie (me too, I've tried to struggle with all my strength
against forgetting . . . . Like you, I've forgotten). "During the third part of Duras' script, at the staged demonstration against nuclear armaments,
Okada seems far too preoccupied with taking Riva back to his family's house to care about the demonstration, even if it is only a performance for
a film. Immediately after explaining the appearance of the charred skin of Hiroshima's surviving children, he informs her, "Tu vas venir avec moi
encore une fois (You will come with me once again)." Remembering the bombing is quite obviously not a first priority for him. There are other
grim reminders of the forgetting in the reconstruction of Hiroshima and the importation of American culture. At one point, Riva and Okada enter a
nightclub called "Casablanca" -a strange immortalization of American pop culture in a city leveled by an American bomb less than two decades
earlier. Moreover, the Japanese man who tries to converse with Riva in the Casablanca gladly (and proudly, it seems) speaks the language of the
conquerors, the bomb-droppers. The attitude on display in this scene is reminiscent of one in John Hersey's account of the months following the
bombing, in Hiroshima: [Dr. Fujiil bought [the vacant clinic] at once, moved there, and hung out a sign inscribed in English, in honor of the
conquerors: M. MUJII, M.D. MEDICAL & VENEREAL Quite recovered from his wounds, he soon built up a strong practice, and he was delighted, in

While there is
certainly something to be said for not bearing a grudge, the speed of the
forgetting and forgiving seems unbelievable. Memory represents historical tragedy insufficiently, in violently
the evenings, to receive members of the occupying forces, on whom he lavished whiskey and practiced English.

subjective reductions; we are never able to experience being there and can never know the event, can never have witnessed it firsthand. Thus,
we forget. Duras' script clearly stresses both the necessity and difficulty of remembering, but demonstrates, perhaps pessimistically, that we will
veer slightly but inexorably toward l'oubli. And

once we forget, violence will erupt again.

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A2 Disaster Porn (3/3)


THE CRITIQUE IS REDUCTIVE. THEY FORECLOSE THE
ESSENTIAL ABILITY TO MOBILIZE VIOLENCE AGAINST
VIOLENCE.
Eskin, Research Fellow and Lecturer, European Literature, Cambridge
University, Dialectical Anthropology, 24: 407-450, 1999, p. 403-4
Michael

I have tried to demonstrate through this reading of Hiroshima mon amour that
Resnais' and Duras' text falls prey to the violence of historical memory and to
the worse violence of absolute oblivion. Strictly following a theoretical apparatus
reconstructed from the thought of Levinas and Derrida, Hiroshima mon amour
seems to participate, through the apparently deliberate reduction to race and
place and event of two already allegorical and emblematic characters, in the
very violence which Resnais and Duras set out initially to document, the most
reductive of predications. The script trades in an economy of violence, dealing
out the abstractions and totalizations that are the seed of every Holocaust, that
mark every uninhabitable corner of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This conclusion
seems to me, though, far too conclusive, far too reductively critical and
discomforting, far too dependant on a great deal of interpretive faith, not
unmerited but certainly not absolute, in the debate between and formulations of
Levinas and Derrida What I am trying gingerly to say is that our reading should
remain sensitive, attentive and open enough to discover those points at which
the theoretical scaffolding may fail us, points at which a Levinasian/Derridean
reading seems to stall; I believe a conclusive dismissal of Hiroshima mon amour
as a text governed and permeated by violence is probably one such moment. I
would propose instead a different, and hopefully more useful, reading of my
reading of this well-intentioned script and film. For, while Hiroshima mon amour
is certainly guilty of the very violence it claims as its object, it is likely from
this portrayal and mobilizing of violence that the film sees its greatest
anti-violent gesture; all that is required is a return to Duras' stated desire to
avoid the banal describing of "l'horreur par l'horreur." Instead of horrifying us
with horror, as she refused to do, Duras' screenplay has shown us the humble
beginnings of horror: the total forgetting of past horrors, and the blatant
inscribing of infinite Others within the finitudes of the language of the Same. And
in this, Duras and Resnais may have succeeded, ultimately, in their declared
mission to bring the horrifying tragedy of Hiroshima back to life, to see it reborn,
out of the ashes.

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**Butler**
Butler Answers: 2AC (1/2)

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Butler Answers: 2AC (2/2)

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A2 Legal Categories Bad


BAILING ON LEGAL CHANGE FOR PARODIC PERFORMANCE
FAILS TO BREAK DOWN GENDER CATEGORIES AND
COLLAPSES INTO QUIETISM
Nussbaum 99 (Martha, Feb. 22, Professor of Parody, New Republic, Lexis)
Butler offer when she counsels subversion? She tells us to engage in
parodic performances, but she warns us that the dream of escaping
altogether from the oppressive structures is just a dream: it is within the
What precisely does

oppressive structures that we must find little spaces for resistance, and this resistance cannot hope to
change the overall situation. And here lies a dangerous quietism. If Butler means only to
warn us against the dangers of fantasizing an idyllic world in which sex raises no serious problems, she is
wise to do so. Yet frequently she goes much further. She suggests that the institutional structures that
ensure the marginalization of lesbians and gay men in our society, and the continued inequality of women,
will never be changed in a deep way; and so our best hope is to thumb our noses at them, and to find
pockets of personal freedom within them. "Called by an injurious name, I come into social being, and
because I have a certain inevitable attachment to my existence, because a certain narcissism takes hold of
any term that confers existence, I am led to embrace the terms that injure me because they constitute me
socially." In other words: I cannot escape the humiliating structures without ceasing to be, so the best I can

In Butler, resistance is always


imagined as personal, more or less private, involving no unironic,
organized public action for legal or institutional change. Isn't this like
saying to a slave that the institution of slavery will never change, but
you can find ways of mocking it and subverting it, finding your personal
freedom within those acts of carefully limited defiance? Yet it is a fact
that the institution of slavery can be changed, and was changed-- but
not by people who took a Butler-like view of the possibilities. It was
changed because people did not rest content with parodic
performance: they demanded, and to some extent they got, social upheaval. It is
do is mock, and use the language of subordination stingingly.

also a fact that the institutional structures that shape women's lives have changed. The law of rape, still
defective, has at least improved; the law of sexual harassment exists, where it did not exist before;
marriage is no longer regarded as giving men monarchical control over women's bodies. These things were
changed by feminists who would not take parodic performance as their answer, who thought that power,

Butler not only eschews such a hope,


she takes pleasure in its impossibility. She finds it exciting to contemplate the alleged
where bad, should, and would, yield before justice.

immovability of power, and to envisage the ritual subversions of the slave who is convinced that she must
remain such. She tells us--this is the central thesis of The Psychic Life of Power-- that we all eroticize the
power structures that oppress us, and can thus find sexual pleasure only within their confines. It seems to
be for that reason that she prefers the sexy acts of parodic subversion to any lasting material or
institutional change. Real change would so uproot our psyches that it would make sexual satisfaction
impossible. Our libidos are the creation of the bad enslaving forces, and thus necessarily sadomasochistic

parodic performance is not so bad when you are a


powerful tenured academic in a liberal university. But here is where
Butler's focus on the symbolic, her proud neglect of the material side of life, becomes a
fatal blindness. For women who are hungry, illiterate, disenfranchised,
beaten, raped, it is not sexy or liberating to reenact, however
parodically, the conditions of hunger, illiteracy, disenfranchisement,
beating, and rape. Such women prefer food, schools, votes, and the
integrity of their bodies. I see no reason to believe that they long sadomasochistically for a
in structure. Well,

return to the bad state. If some individuals cannot live without the sexiness of domination, that seems sad,

when a major theorist tells women in


desperate conditions that life offers them only bondage, she purveys a
cruel lie, and a lie that flatters evil by giving it much more power than
it actually has.
but it is not really our business. But

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**Biopolitics**
Agamben Answers: 2AC (1/6)
FIRST, NO LINK PLAN DOESNT TAKE A STANCE ON THE
BODILY SITUATION OF DETAINEES. IT ONLY STRIPS THE
EXECUTIVE OF ONE SOURCE OF CONTROL
SECOND, AGAMBENS ALTERNATIVE TO PLAN IS
PARALYZING AND DELINKS THE LAW AND JUSTICE,
ENABLING TOTALITARIANISM
Kohn 2006

[Margaret, Asst. Prof. Poli Sci @ Florida, Bare Life and the Limits of the Law,.Theory and
Event, 9:2, http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/theory_and_event/v009/9.2kohn.html, Retrieved 926-06//uwyo-ajl]
Is there an alternative to this nexus of anomie and nomos produced by the state of exception? Agamben invokes genealogy and politics as two
interrelated avenues of struggle. According to Agamben, "To show law in its nonrelation to life and life in its nonrelation to law means to open a
space between them for human action, which once claimed for itself the name of 'politics'." (88) In a move reminiscent of Foucault, Agamben
suggests that breaking the discursive lock on dominant ways of seeing, or more precisely not seeing, sovereign power is the only way to disrupt

. Agamben clearly hopes that his theoretical analysis could contribute


to the political struggle against authoritarianism, yet he only offers tantalizingly
abstract hints about how this might work. Beyond the typical academic conceit that theoretical work is a
decisive element of political struggle, Agamben seems to embrace a utopianism that provides
little guidance for political action. He imagines, "One day humanity will play with law just as children play with disused
objects, not in order to restore them to their canonical use but to free them from it for good." (64) More troubling is his
messianic suggestion that "this studious play" will usher in a form of justice that
cannot be made juridical. Agamben might do well to consider Hannah Arendt's
warning that the belief in justice unmediated by law was one of the
characteristics of totalitarianism.
its hegemonic effects

It might seem unfair to focus too much attention on Agamben's fairly brief discussion of alternatives to the sovereignty-exception-law nexus, but
it is precisely those sections that reveal the flaws in his analysis. It also brings us back to our original question about how to resist the

. For Agamben, the


problem with the "rule of law" response to the war on terrorism is that it ignores
the way that the law is fundamentally implicated in the project of sovereignty with
its corollary logic of exception. Yet the solution that he endorses reflects a similar blindness .
authoritarian implications of the state of exception without falling into the liberal trap of calling for more law

Writing in his utopian-mystical mode, he insists, "the only truly political action, however, is that which severs the nexus between violence and

Agamben, in spite of all of his theoretical sophistication, ultimately falls into the trap of hoping
that politics can be liberated from law, at least the law tied to violence and the
demarcating project of sovereignty.
law."(88) Thus

THIRD, PLAN IS NECESSARY FOR THE ALTERNATIVE


BECAUSE THE EXECUTIVE WILL STILL VIOLENTLY DETAIN.
THIS CREATES A DOUBLE BIND: EITHER THE END RESULT
OF THE ALT IS PLAN AND THERES NO LINK DIFFERENTIAL
OR IT DOES THE STATUS QUO AND DOESNT SOLVE
FOURTH, PERM RECOGNIZE THE TENSION BETWEEN
DEMOCRATIC INCLUSION AND EXCLUSION AND ENGAGE IN
THE RESISTANCE OF THE 1AC

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Agamben Answers: 2AC (2/6)


FIFTH, PERM SOLVES BEST ACKNOWLEDGING THE
TENSION OF MODERNITY WHILE ENGAGING IN
DEMOCRATIC STRUGGLE ALLOWS POLITICS BEYOND THE
POLICE STATE IN OPPOSITION TO SOVEREIGNTY AND
EXCEPTION
Deranty 2004
[Jean-Philippe, Macquarie University, Agambens challenge to normative theories of modern rights,
borderlands e-journal, Vol. 3, No. 1,
www.borderlandsejournal.adelaide.edu.au/vol3no1_2004/deranty_agambnschall.htm, acc 1-7-05//uwyoajl]

. If, with Rancire, we define politics not through the institution of


sovereignty, but as a continual struggle for the recognition of basic
equality, and thereby strongly distinguish politics from the police order
viewed as the functional management of communities (Rancire 1999), then it
is possible to acknowledge the normative break introduced by the
democratic revolutions of the modern age without falling into a onesided view of modernity as a neat process of rationalisation. What should be
stressed about modernity is not primarily the list of substantive inalienable and imprescriptible human rights, but the
equal entitlement of all to claim any rights at all. This definition of politics must be
47

accompanied by the parallel acknowledgment that the times that saw the recognition of the fundamental equality of all also
produced the total negation of this principle. But this parallel claim does not necessarily render the first invalid. Rather

points to a tension inherent in modern communities,

it

between the political demands of

equality and the systemic tendencies that structurally produce stigmatisation and exclusion.

One can acknowledge the descriptive appeal of the biopower


hypothesis without renouncing the antagonistic definition of politics.
48.

As
Rancire remarks, Foucaults late hypothesis is more about power than it is about politics (Rancire 2002). This is quite clear in the
1976 lectures (Society must be defended) where the term that is mostly used is that of "biopower". As Rancire suggests, when the
"biopower" hypothesis is transformed into a "biopolitical" thesis, the very possibility of politics becomes problematic. There is a

The power that


subjects and excludes socially can also empower politically simply
because the exclusion is already a form of address which unwittingly
provides implicit recognition. Power includes by excluding, but in a way
that might be different from a ban. This insight is precisely the one that Foucault was developing in his
way of articulating modern disciplinary power and the imperative of politics that is not disjunctive.

last writings, in his definition of freedom as "agonism" (Foucault 1983: 208-228): "Power is exercised only over free subjects, and

exclusionary essence of social structures


an equivalent implicit recognition of all, even in
the mode of exclusion. It is on the basis of this recognition that politics can
sometimes arise as the vindication of equality and the challenge to
exclusion.
only insofar as they are free" (221). The hierarchical,

demands

as a condition of its possibility

SIXTH, NO ALTERNATIVE AGAMBEN ISOLATES


SOVEREIGNTY AS INEVITABLY EXCLUSIONARY OF NONPOLITICAL LIFE, MEANING THERES NO WAY TO ESCAPE
THAT SYSTEM, RENDERING THEIR OFFENSE INEVITABLE

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Agamben Answers: 2AC (3/6)


SEVENTH, OUR SPECIFIC USE OF BIOPOLITICS IS GOOD,
LEADING TO LIBERAL DEMOCRACY THAT SOLVES THEIR
VIOLENCE AND OPPRESSION CLAIMS
Dickinson, Prof @ University of Cincinnati, 2K4 (Edward Ross,
Biopolitics, Fascism, Democracy: Some Reflections on Our Discourse
About Modernity, Central European History, vol. 37, no. 1, March)
the continuities between early twentieth-century biopolitical discourse and
the practices of the welfare state in our own time are unmistakasble . Both are
In short,

instances of the disciplinary society and of biopolitical, regulatory, social-engineering modernity, and they share that
genealogy with more authoritarian states, including the National Socialist state, but also fascist Italy, for example. And it

analysis can easily become


superficial and misleading, because it obfuscates the profoundly different
strategic and local dynamics of power in the two kinds of regimes . Clearly the
democratic welfare state is not only formally but also substantively quite
different from totalitarianism. Above all, again, it has nowhere developed the
fateful, radicalizing dynamic that characterized National Socialism (or for that
matter Stalinism), the psychotic logic that leads from economistic population
management to mass murder. Again, there is always the potential for such a discursive
regime to generate coercive policies. In those cases in which the regime of rights does not successfully
produce health, such a system can and historically does create compulsory programs to enforce it. But again,
there are political and policy potentials and constraints in such a structuring of
biopolitics that are very different from those of National Socialist Germany.
Democratic biopolitical regimes require, enable, and incite a degree of selfdirection and participation that is functionally incompatible with authoritarian or
totalitarian structures. And this pursuit of biopolitical ends through a regime of
democratic citizenship does appear, historically, to have imposed increasingly
narrow limits on coercive policies, and to have generated a logic or imperative
of increasing liberalization. Despite limitations imposed by political context and the slow pace of discursive
change, I think this is the unmistakable message of the really very impressive waves
of legislative and welfare reforms in the 1920s or the 1970s in Germany. 90 Of course
it is not yet clear whether this is an irreversible dynamic of such systems. Nevertheless, such
regimes are characterized by sufficient degrees of autonomy (and of the
potential for its expansion) for sufficient numbers of people that I think it
becomes useful to conceive of them as productive of a strategic configuration of
power relations that might fruitfully be analyzed as a condition of liberty, just as
much as they are productive of constraint, oppression, or manipulation. At the very least, totalitarianism
cannot be the sole orientation point for our understanding of biopolitics, the only
end point of the logic of social engineering. This notion is not at all at odds with
the core of Foucauldian (and Peukertian) theory. Democratic welfare states are
regimes of power/knowledge no less than early twentieth-century totalitarian
states; these systems are not opposites, in the sense that they are two alternative ways of
organizing the same thing. But they are two very different ways of organizing it. The
concept power should not be read as a universal stifling night of oppression ,
manipulation, and entrapment, in which all political and social orders are grey,
are essentially or effectively the same. Power is a set of social relations, in
which individuals and groups have varying degrees of autonomy and effective
subjectivity. And discourse is, as Foucault argued, tactically polyvalent. Discursive
elements (like the various elements of biopolitics) can be combined in different
ways to form parts of quite different strategies (like totalitarianism or the
democratic welfare state); they cannot be assigned to one place in a structure,
but rather circulate. The varying possible constellations of power in modern
societies create multiple modernities, modern societies with quite radically
differing potentials.
is certainly fruitful to view them from this very broad perspective. But that

EIGHTH, POWER IS ZERO SUM THE ALTERNATIVE ONLY


SHIFTS POWER ELSEWHERE
260

Kritik Answers
John Mearsheimer, Professor at University of Chicago,
Great Power Politics p. 34)
Consequently,

states

2001

(The Tragedy of

pay close attention to how power is distributed among them, and they make a special effort to maximize their share

look for opportunities to alter the balance of power by


acquiring additional increments of power at the expense of potential rivals.
of world power. Specifically, they

States
employ a variety of meanseconomic, diplomatic, and militaryto shift the balance of power in their favor, even if doing so makes other states

Because one states gain in power is another states loss, great


powers tend to have a zero-sum mentality when dealing with each other. The trick, of
suspicious or even hostile.

course, is to be the winner in this competition and to dominate the other states in the system. Thus, the claim that states maximize relative
power is tantamount to arguing that states are disposed to think offensively toward other states, even though their ultimate motive is simply to
survive. In short,

great powers have aggressive intentions.

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Kritik Answers

Agamben Answers: 2AC (4/6)


NINTH, AGAMBEN ESSENTIALIZES THE STATE, IGNORING
THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN LIBERAL DEMOCRACY AND
TOTALITARIANISM
Heins, Vis Prof Poli Sci @ Concordia U and Senior Fellow at the Institute for Social Research in
Frankfurt, 2K5 (Volker, Giorgio Agamben and the Current State of Affairs in Humanitarian Law and
Human Rights Policy, 6 German Law Journal No. 5, May, http://www.germanlawjournal.com/article.php?
id=598)

Agamben is not interested in such weighing of costs and benefits because he


assumes from the outset that taking care of the survival needs of people in
distress is simply the reverse side of the modern inclination to ignore precisely
those needs and turn life itself into a tool and object of power politics . By way of
conclusion, I will indicate briefly how his view differs from two other, often no less shattering critiques of modern humanitarianism. Martti
Koskenniemi warned that humanitarian demands and human rights are in danger of degenerating into "mere talk."[47] The recent crisis in Darfur,
Sudan, can be cited as an example for a situation in which the repeated invocation of human rights standards and jus cogens norms, like those
articulated in the Genocide Convention, might ultimately damage those norms themselves if states are unwilling to act on them.[48] This
criticism implies that human rights should be taken seriously and applied in a reasonable manner. Both David Kennedy and Oona Hathaway have
gone one step further by taking issue even with those who proved to be serious by joining treaties or engaging in advocacy. In a controversial
quantitative study, Hathaway contended that the ratification of human rights treaties by sets of given countries not only did not improve human
rights conditions on the ground, but actually correlated with increasing violations.[49] In a similar vein, David Kennedy radicalized Koskenniemi's
point by arguing that human rights regimes and humanitarian law are rather part of the problem than part of solution, because they "justify" and
"excuse" too much.[50] To some extent, this is an effect of the logic of legal reasoning: marking a line between noncombatants and combatants
increases the legitimacy of attacking the latter, granting privileges to lawful combatants delegitimizes unlawful belligerents and dramatically
worsens their status. On the whole, Kennedy is more concerned about the dangers of leaving human rights to international legal elites and a
professional culture which is blind for the mismatch between lofty ideals and textual articulations on the one side, and real people and problems
on the other side.[51] Whereas these authors reveal the "dark sides" of overly relying on human rights talk and treaties, the moral fervor of
activists or the routines of the legal profession, Agamben claims that something is wrong with human rights as such, and that recent history has
demonstrated a deep affinity between the protection and the infringement of these rights. Considered in this light, the effort of the British aid
organization Save the Children, for instance, to help children in need both in Britain and abroad after World War I faithful to George Bernard
Shaw's saying, "I have no enemies under seven"is only the flip side of a trend to declare total war on others regardless of their age and
situation. This assertion clearly goes far beyond the voices of other pessimists. Agamben's work is understandable only against the backdrop of

According to
Agamben, democracy does not threaten to turn into totalitarianism, but rather
both regimes smoothly cross over into one another since they ultimately rest on
the same foundation of a political interpretation of life itself .[52] Like Carl Schmitt, Agamben sees
an entirely familiar mistrust of liberal democracy and its ability to cultivate nonpartisan moral and legal perspectives.

the invocation of human rights by democratic governments as well as the "humanitarian concept of humanity"[53] as deceptive manouvers or, at
least, as acts of self-deception on the part of the liberal bourgeois subject. The difference between Agamben and Schmitt lies in the fact that
Schmitt fought liberal democracy in the name of the authoritarian state, while Agamben sees democracy and dictatorship as two equally

confronts us with a mode of thinking in


vaguely felt resemblances in lieu of distinctly perceived differences. Ultimately, he
offers a version of Schmitt's theory of sovereignty that changes its political valence and downplays the difference
between liberal democracy and totalitarian dictatorshipa difference about
which Adorno once said that it "is a total difference. And I would say," he added, "that it would
be abstract and in a problematic way fanatical if one were to ignore this
difference."[54]
unappealing twins. Very much unlike Schmitt, the Italian philosopher

TENTH, DESIRE IS TOO DYNAMIC TO BE CONTAINED BY


THE SOVEREIGN ITS FLUDITY ENABLES BIOPOWER THAT
TRANSCENDS THE STATE OF EXCEPTION BY CREATING
NEW FORMS OF LIFE OUTSIDE THE SYSTEM ***
Neilson 2004
[Brett, University of Western Sydney, Potenza Nuda? Sovereignty, Biopolitics, Capitalism, Contretemps
5, December 2004, www.usyd.edu.au/contretemps/5december2004/neilson.pdf, acc 1-7-04//uwyo-ajl]
Like Agamben, Hardt and Negri take as a point of departure the Foucauldian account of biopolitics as a system of rule that emerges at the
beginning of the modern era with the exercise of power over life itself. Importantly, however, they extend Foucaults argument by drawing on
Gilles Deleuzes Postscript on the Society of Control. Foucault describes the modern system of disciplinary rule that fixes individuals within
institutions (hospitals, schools, prisons, factories, and so on) but does not succeed in consuming them completely in the rhythm of productive

, Hardt and Negri trace the emergence of a new mode


of power that is expressed as a control that extends throughout the
consciousness and bodies of the populationand at the same time across the entirety of social relations.9
practices or productive socialization. By contrast

In so doing, they combine the Deleuzian emphasis on free-floating and mobile logics of control (data banking, risk management, electronic
tagging, and so on) with an attention to the productive dimension of biopower (living labour) derived from the work of exponents of Italian
operaismo like Paolo Virno and Christian Marazzi. While Hardt and Negri question the tendency of these thinkers to understand all contemporary
forms of production on the horizon of communication and language, they are clearly indebted to their notions of immaterial labour and general
intellect (which in turn derive from a reading of the famous Fragment on Machines from Marxs Grundrisse). It is this emphasis on the

productive aspect of biopower that places Hardt and Negri at odds with Agamben on bare life
a concept that, for them, excludes the question of labour from the field of theoretical observation. Thus, in a footnote, they comment
critically on a line of Benjamin-inspired interpretations of Foucault (from Derridas Force of Law to Homo Sacer itself): It seems fundamental to
us, however, that all of these discussions be brought back to the question of the productive dimension of the bios, identifying in other words

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Kritik Answers
the materialist dimension of the concept beyond any conception that is purely naturalistic (life as zo) or simply anthropological (as Agamben
in particular has a tendency to do, making the concept in effect indifferent).10 With this identification of what Agamben calls indistinction as
indifference (indifference to productive power of cooperation between human minds and bodies), Hardt and Negri voice their most severe

, Agambens philosophical specification of the


negative limit of humanity displays behind the political abysses that modern
totalitarianism has constructed the (more or less heroic) conditions of human passivity.11 The apparatus of the
sovereign ban condemns humanity to inactivity and despair. By contrast, Hardt and Negri claim
that bare life must be raised up to the dignity of productive power. Rather than
reducing humanity to mere living matter, the exceptional power of the modern state
becomes effective at precisely the moment when social cooperation is seen no longer the result of the
investment of capital but an autonomous power, the a priori of every act of production.12 Try as it may to relegate humanity
to minimal naked life (or zo), the modern constituted order cannot destroy the enormous
creativity of living labour or expunge its powers of cooperative production.
reservations about the concept of bare life. For them

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Kritik Answers

Agamben Answers: 2AC (5/6)


ELEVENTH, AGAMBEN MISUNDERSTANDS THE SHIFTS IN
SOVEREIGNTY, PAPERING OVER INSIDIOUS VIOLENCE
Hardt & Dumm 2000
[Michael & Thomas, Sovereignty, Multitudes, Absolute Democracy: A Discussion between
Michael Hardt and Thomas Dumm about Hardt and Negri's Empire, Theory & Event 4:3,
Muse//uwyo-ajl]

The most significant difference between our projects, though, is that Agamben
dwells on modern sovereignty whereas we claim that modern sovereignty has
now come to an end and transformed into a new kind of sovereignty, what we
call imperial sovereignty. Imperial sovereignty has nothing to do with the
concentration camp. It no longer takes the form of a dialectic between Self and
Other and does not function through any such absolute exclusion, but rules
rather through mechanisms of differential inclusion, making hierarchies of hybrid
identities. This description may not immediately give you the same sense of
horror that you get from Auschwitz and the Nazi Lager, but imperial sovereignty
is certainly just as brutal as modern sovereignty was, and it has its own subtle
and not so subtle horrors.

TWELFTH, AGAMBENS USE OF THE CAMP CONFLATES


VICTIM WITH OPPRESSOR, PREVENTING US FROM
HOLDING PERPETRATORS RESPONSIBLE AND DESTROYING
ANY ETHICAL OBLIGATION TO ACT SINCE WE POSIT
EVERYONE AS THE VICTIM
Sanyal, Assist Prof of French @ UC Berkeley, 2K2 (Debarati, A Soccer Match in

Auschwitz: Passing Culpability in Holocaust Criticism, Representations, Issue 79, Caliber)


Agambens
radicalization of Levis gray zone has even more disturbing consequences for
understanding the relations of power within the camps. The unstable boundary
between oppressor and oppressed in the gray zone is radicalized in Agambens
account such that the two positions appear to be reciprocal and convertible: It
Beyond the problems inherent in a transhistorical treatment of shame and complicity,

seems, in fact, that the only thing that interests him [Levi] is what makes judgement impossible: the gray zone in which
victims become executioners and executioners become victims (Remnants, 17).18 While Agamben nowhere suggests

his emphasis on the camps as sites for a


potentially endless circulation of guilt nevertheless takes the convertibility of
victims and executioners as a structural given. Primo Levi, however, was at
pains to emphasize that this convertibility was a politically expedient fiction
designed to erase the difference between victim and executioner by forcing Jews to
that perpetrators and victims truly did exchange positions,

participate in the murder and cremation of their own. He also stressed the singular, unimaginable strain such a

To transform such a charged, ambiguous lived


reality into a formal conception of convertibility has disturbing ethical
consequences. It suggests that the perpetrators too, by virtue of occupying this
zone of radical inversion and participating in the traumatic conditions of camp
life, could be perceived as victims. The fallacy of this structural reciprocity, however, is refuted by Levi
predicament must have exerted upon the SK.

in a cautionary preface to his discussion of the Sonderkommando: This mimesis, this identification or imitation or
exchange of roles between oppressor and victim, has provoked much discussion. . . . I do not know, and it does not much
interest me to know, whether in my depths there lurks a murderer, but I do know that the murderers existed, not only in
Germany, and still exist, retired or on active duty, and that to confuse them with their victims is a moral disease or an
aesthetic affectation or a sinister sign of complicity; above all, it is a precious service rendered (intentionally or not) to

The conceptualization of the gray zone as a


transhistorical and trans-subjective site of culpability, in which victims become
executioners and executioners become victims, thus conflates the positions of
Muslims, Prominents, Kapos, and SS in a gesture that reaches beyond the concentration
camp experience to include us in a general condition of traumatic culpability.
This blurring of subject positions leads to a vision of inescapable guilt, in which
the negators of truth. (Drowned, 50)

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Kritik Answers
we are always already collectively steeped in the eliminationist logic that led to
the concentration camp and continue unknowingly to perpetuate its violence. But
just as this vision posits an ever-encroaching web of complicity, it also, paradoxically, proposes an
infinitely elastic notion of victimhood. If we are obscurely complicit with the logic of the
soccer match, the irrealization of violence in daily life, we are also comparably violated by the
historical trauma of the camps. The generalization of complicity and
victimization not only dismantles the historical specificity of the camps and the
survivors testimonies. It also, more disturbingly, coopts the figure of the victim
as an other who is but an avatar of ourselves, a point I will address in a moment.

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Agamben Answers: 2AC (6/6)


THIRTEENTH, THEORY IS IRRELEVENT ABSENT SPECIFIC
APPLICATION MUST COMBINE THEORY AND PRACTICE
FOR A PHILOSOPHY AS LIFE
Foucault 82
[Michel, God, Politics and Ethics: An Interview, The Foucault Reader, Trans. Catherine
Porter, Ed. Paul Rabinow, 373-4//uwyo-ajl]
M.F. That's right. When Habermas was in Paris, we talked at some length, and in fact I was quite struck by his observation of the
extent to which the problem of Heidegger and of the political implications of Heidegger's thought was quite a pressing and

After
explaining how Heidegger's thought indeed constituted a political
disaster, he mentioned one of his professors who was a great Kantian,
important one for him. One thing he said to me has left me musing, and it's something I'd like to mull over further.

very well-known in the '30s, and he explained how astonished and disappointed he had been when, while looking through card
catalogues one day, he found some texts from around 1934 by this illustrious Kantian that

were thoroughly Nazi

in orientation.
I have just recently had the same experience with Max Pohlenz, who heralded the universal values of Stoicism all his life. I came
across a text of his from 1934 devoted to Fiihrertum in Stoicism. You should reread the introductory page and the book's closing
remarks on the Fuhrersideal and on the true humanism constituted by the Volk under the inspiration of the leader's directionHeidegger never wrote anything more disturbing. Nothing in this condemns Stoicism or Kantianism, needless to say.

there is a very tenuous "analytic" link


between a philosophical conception and the concrete political attitude of
someone who is appealing to it; the "best" theories do not constitute a very effective
protection against disastrous political choices; certain great themes such as
"humanism" can be used to any end whatever-for example, to show with what gratitude Pohlenz would
But I think that we must reckon with several facts:

have greeted Hitler.

a
demanding, prudent, "experimental" attitude is necesary; at every
moment, step by step, one must confront what one is thinking and saying with
what one is doing, with what one is. I have never been too concerned about people who say: "You are bor-rowing
ideas from Nietzsche; well, Nietzsche was used by the Nazis, therefore. . ."; but, on the other hand, I have always
been concerned with linking together as tightly as possible the historical
and theoretical analysis of power relations, institu-tions, and knowledge, to the
movements, critiques, and experiences that call them into question in
reality. If I have insisted on all this "practice," it has not been in order to "apply" ideas, but in order to put them to the test and
modify them. The key to the Personal poetic attitude of a philosopher is not to
be sought in his ideas, as if it could be deduced from them, but rather in his philosophy-aslife, in his philosophicallife, his ethos.
I do not conclude from this that one may say just anything within the order of theory, but, on the contrary, that

Among the French philosophers who participated in the Resistance during the war, one was Cavailles, a historian of mathematics

None of the philosophers of


engagement- Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Merleau-Ponty-none of them did a thing.
who was interested in the development of its internal structures.

FOURTEENTH, EVEN IF THE LAW WAS ORIGINALLY


FOUNDED ON VIOLENCE, IT NOW OPERATES IN A NONVIOLENT WAY
Deranty 2004
[Jean-Philippe, Macquarie University, Agambens challenge to normative theories of modern rights,
borderlands e-journal, Vol. 3, No. 1,
www.borderlandsejournal.adelaide.edu.au/vol3no1_2004/deranty_agambnschall.htm, acc 1-705//uwyo-ajl]

this strategic use of the decisionistic tradition is that it does not do justice to
the complex relationship that these authors establish between violence and
normativity, that is, in the end the very normative nature of their theories. In brief, they are not saying
that all law is violent, in essence or in its core, rather that law is
dependent upon a form of violence for its foundation. Violence can found
the law, without the law itself being violent. In Hobbes, the social contract,
despite the absolute nature of the sovereign it creates, also enables
individual rights to flourish on the basis of the inalienable right to life (see
29. The problem with

Barret-Kriegel 2003: 86).


30. In Schmitt, the decision over the exception is indeed "more interesting than the regular case", but only because it makes the
regular case possible. The "normal situation" matters more than the power to create it since it is its end (Schmitt 1985: 13). What
Schmitt has in mind is not the indistinction between fact and law, or their intimate cohesion, to wit, their secrete
indistinguishability, but the origin of the law, in the name of the law. This explains why the primacy given by Schmitt to the
decision is accompanied by the recognition of popular sovereignty, since the decision is only the expression of an organic

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Kritik Answers
community. Decisionism for Schmitt is only a way of asserting the political value of the community as homogeneous whole, against
liberal parliamentarianism. Also, the evolution of Schmitts thought is marked by the retreat of the decisionistic element, in favour
of a strong form of institutionalism. This is because, if indeed the juridical order is totally dependent on the sovereign decision,
then the latter can revoke it at any moment. Decisionism, as a theory about the origin of the law, leads to its own contradiction
unless it is reintegrated in a theory of institutions (Kervgan 1992).

Agamben sees these authors as establishing a circularity of


law and violence, when they want to emphasise the extra-juridical origin
of the law, for the laws sake. Equally, Savignys polemic against rationalism in legal theory, against Thibaut and his
31. In other words,

philosophical ally Hegel, does not amount to a recognition of the capture of life by the law, but aims at grounding the legal order in

For Agamben, it seems, the origin and the essence


of the law are synonymous, whereas the authors he relies on thought
rather that the two were fundamentally different.
32. Agamben obviously knows all this . He argues that it is precisely this inability of the decisionists to
hold on to their key insight, the anomic core of norms, which gives them the sad distinction of accurately describing an evil order .
But this reading does not meet the objection to his problematic use of
that tradition.
the very life of a people (Agamben 1998: 27).

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Kritik Answers

#2 Alternative Kills Liberation: 1AR


(1/2)
EXTEND THE 2AC KOHN 2006 EV
First Agambens alternative is so abstract that it offers
no mean of liberation. Delinking the law and justice
enables unchecked power that allows totalitarian
violence, flipping their argument.
SECOND, RIGHTS ARE CRITICAL TO HUMYN DIGNITY-AGAMBENS ALTERNATIVE FAILS BECAUSE:
1. IGNORES THE VALUE OF RIGHTS IN RESISTING
EXPLOITATION
2. FOSTERS GESTURAL POLITICS THAT CANNOT ADDRESS
THE PROBLEMS OF THE OPPRESSED
Frances Daly, Research Fellow, Philosophy Department, Australian National
University, The non-citizen and the concept of human rights, BORDERLANDS
E-JOURNAL v. 3 n. 1, 2004,

www.borderlandsejournal.adelaide.edu.au/vol3no1_2004/daly_noncitizen.htm.

, Agamben

27. Certainly
calls for making all residents of extraterritorial space (which would include both citizen and non-citizen) as
existing within a position of exodus or refuge, and in this we can perhaps see some basis for resistance. A position of refuge, he argues, would be
able to "act back onto" territories as states and 'perforate' and alter' them such that "the citizen would be able to recognize the refugee that he
or she is" (Agamben, 2000: 26). In this Agamben directs our attention usefully to the importance of the refugee today both in terms of the plight
of refugees and their presence in questioning any assumption about citizen rights, and also in placing the refugee, or "denizen" as he says using

reduces the concepts of


right and the values they involve to forms of State control, eliding all difference
within right and thereby terminating an understanding of the reasons for a
disjuncture between legality and morality and of an existing separation of rights
from the ideal of ethicality, in which liberation and dignity exist to be realized
beyond any form of contract.
Tomas Hammar's term, as the central figure of a potential politics (Agamben, 2000: 23). But he also

28. It is always possible to suppose that a self-fashioned potentiality is simply available to us, and in some senses it is, but not because a type of
theory merely posits the social and the historical as completely open to our manipulation or 'perforation'. Likewise, we cannot merely assume
that changing 'forms of life' necessarily amount to types of refusal. Such a claim would only make sense if it were put forward on the basis of an
appreciation of an impulse to freedom from particular types of constraint and oppression. It would also require a sense of how this impulse takes
place within a variety of conditions, some of which might be easily altered and some of which might not. In the absence of an engaged sense of
what this impulse means, and of the context in which elements of freedom and unfreedom do battle, it is impossible to speculate on the nature of

Agamben merely
presumes that a strategy by which we all identify as refugees will renew a
politics and thereby end the current plight of the refugee, as if no other reality
impinges on this identification. This is also assumed on the basis that the State
in Agamben's theorizing, the abstraction of an all-encompassing, leviathan State is equally, readily and easily liable
to perforation. This contradiction is indicative of a wider problem where what we
encounter is a form of critique that is oddly inappropriate to the type of issue it
addresses.
29. Much can be said in criticism of the doctrine of right, of the limited nature of the understanding
the subjectivity or potentiality which might be emerging or which might be in stages of decomposition.

of freedom and rights in documents on rights, of the assumption of the place of citizen rights as the locus of the fundamental rights of the

But what must be


stated, I feel, is that it would be a serious impoverishment of the ethical problem
that we currently face to deny any potential value of rights in carrying forth
traces of an impetus towards human dignity, of the ideals of freedom and
equality, and to thus reduce rights to what might be termed an absolute politics.
Rights cannot be reduced to citizenship rights as if the ideas of rights and
citizenship are coterminus. What most critically needs to be understood is,
firstly, why values of freedom and equality have such a limited and fragile place
within conditions of such inordinate legalism , and, secondly, what the absence of freedom, which
the cause of human rights inevitably suggests, means for the installation of any
human, and most significantly, the absence of any sense of the undetermined nature of what being might mean.

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Kritik Answers
such rights. Without such an understanding we are left with a gestural politics
that contains a posture of radicalism but one which fails to connect the
aspirations of those who are struggling to achieve elementary rights with a
vision of a world that could accord them a degree of dignity. To acknowledge this
is not to be seduced by concepts of right or law, but is rather to refuse the denial
of a radical questioning of the possibilities with which a discourse presents us .
Benjamin's understanding of a genuinely messianic idea is something that is
"not the final end of historical progress, but rather its often failed and finally
accomplished interruption" (Benjamin, 1974: 1231). We find this in values that resist
exploitation and assaults upon human dignity. And it is this realm that currently
requires urgent, emphatic and significant renewal.

269

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#2 Alternative Kills Liberation: 1AR


(2/2)
RATIONAL, INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS ARE GOOD ONLY WAY TO
PREVENT FUTURE HOLOCAUSTS
Robert Tracinski, Received his undergraduate degree in Philosophy from the
University of Chicago and studied with the Objectivist Graduate Center and Editorial
Director of the Ayn Rand Institute, Why It Can Happen Again, Ayn Rand Institute, April 22,
2003, http://www.aynrand.org/site/News2?
page=NewsArticle&id=7888&news_iv_ctrl=1021, UK: Fisher
Most people avoid these stark implications by retreating to a compromise
between self-sacrifice and self-interest. Calls for sacrifice are proper, they say,
but should not be taken "too far." The Fascists condemned this approach as
hypocrisy. They took the morality of sacrifice to its logical conclusion. They
insisted, in the words of Italian Fascist Alfredo Rocco, on "the necessity, for
which the older doctrines make little allowance, of sacrifice, even up to the total
immolation of individuals." And the Nazis certainly practiced what Rocco
preached. A central goal of the concentration camps, wrote survivor Bruno
Bettelheim, was "to break the prisoners as individuals, and to change them into
a docile mass." "There are to be no more private Germans," one Nazi writer
declared; "each is to attain significance only by his service to the state." The
goal of National Socialism was the relentless sacrifice of the individual: the
sacrifice of his mind, his independence, and ultimately his person. A free
country is based on precisely the opposite principle. To protect against what
they called the "tyranny of the majority," America's Founding Fathers upheld the
individual's right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." The implicit basis
of American government was an ethics of individualism--the view that the
individual is not subordinate to the collective, that he has a moral right to his
own interests, and that all rational people benefit under such a system. Today,
however, self-sacrifice is regarded as self-evidently good. True, most people do
not want a pure, consistent system of sacrifice, as practiced by the Nazis. But
once the principle is accepted, no amount of this "virtue" can ever be
condemned as "too much." We will not have learned the lessons of the
Holocaust until we completely reject this sacrifice-worship and rediscover the
morality of individualism.

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#5 Perm: 1AR
EXTEND THE PERM. RECOGNIZING MODERNITYS
PROBLEM WITH EXCLUSION WHILE USING DEMOCRATIC
STRUGGLE ENABLES A CONTESTATION OF DIGNITY THAT
CHALLENGES THE EXCEPTION, AS SHOWN BY DERANTY
2004
ALSO, SOVEREIGNTY MUST BE USED STRATEGICALLY
CRITIQUE CAN BE SIMULTANEOUS
Lombardi, Assoc Prof of Political Science @ Tampa, 96 (Mark Owen, Perspectives on
Third-World Sovereignty, P. 161)
Sovereignty is in our collective minds. What we look at, the way we look at it and what we expect to
see must be altered. This is the call for international scholars and actors. The assumptions of the
paradigm will dictate the solution and approaches considered. Yet, a mere call to
change this structure of the system does little except activate reactionary
impulses and intellectual retrenchment. Questioning the very precepts of
sovereignty, as has been done in many instances, does not in and of itself address the
problems and issues so critical to transnational relations. That is why theoretical
changes and paradigm shifts must be coterminous with applicative studies. One
does not and should not precede the other. We cannot wait until we have a neat
self-contained and accurate theory of transnational relations before we launch
into studies of Third-World issues and problem-solving. If we wait we will never address
the latter and arguably most important issue-area: the welfare and quality of life
for the human race.

THE PERM USES POLITICAL ENGAGEMENT TO AVOID THE


ESSENTIALISM OF THE SOVEREIGN AND AGAMBENS
ALTERNATIVE BY USING CONTINGENCY TO CHALLENGE
THE ATROCITY THAT BOTH MAKE INEVITABLE
Deranty 2004
[Jean-Philippe, Macquarie University, Agambens challenge to normative theories of modern rights,
borderlands e-journal, Vol. 3, No. 1,
www.borderlandsejournal.adelaide.edu.au/vol3no1_2004/deranty_agambnschall.htm, acc 1-705//uwyo-ajl]

49. This proposal rests on a logic that challenges Agambens reduction


of the overcoming of the classical conceptualisation of potentiality and
actuality to the single Heideggerian alternative. Instead of collapsing or
dualistically separating potentiality and actuality, one would find in
Hegels modal logic a way to articulate their negative, or reflexive, unity,
in the notion of contingency. Contingency is precisely the potential as
existing, a potential that exists yet does not exclude the possibility of its
opposite (Hegel 1969: 541-554). Hegel can lead the way towards an
ontology of contingency that recognises the place of contingency at the
core of necessity, instead of opposing them. The fact that the impossible
became real vindicates Hegels claim that the impossible should not be
opposed to the actual. Instead, the possible and the impossible are only
reflected images of each other and, as actual, are both simply the
contingent. Auschwitz should not be called absolute necessity (Agamben
1999a: 148), but absolute contingency. The absolute historical necessity
of Auschwitz is not "the radical negation" of contingency, which, if true,

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would indeed necessitate a flight out of history to conjure up its threat.
Its absolute necessity in fact harbours an indelible core of contingency,
the locus where political intervention could have changed things, where
politics can happen. Zygmunt Baumans theory of modernity and his
theory about the place and relevance of the Holocaust in modernity
have given sociological and contemporary relevance to this alternative
historical-political logic of contingency (Bauman 1989).

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#5 Perm: Ext
AMBIGUOUS MODERNITY THAT ACKNOWLEDGES
INCOMPLETION PROVIDES THE TOOLS FOR RESISTING
OPPRESSION
Deranty 2004
[Jean-Philippe, Macquarie University, Agambens challenge to normative theories of modern rights,
borderlands e-journal, Vol. 3, No. 1,
www.borderlandsejournal.adelaide.edu.au/vol3no1_2004/deranty_agambnschall.htm, acc 1-705//uwyo-ajl]

50. In the social and historical fields, politics is only the name of the
contingency that strikes at the heart of systemic necessity. An ontology
of contingency provides the model with which to think together both the
possibility, and the possibility of the repetition of, catastrophe, as the
one heritage of modernity, and the contingency of catastrophe as
logically entailing the possibility of its opposite. Modernity is ambiguous
because it provides the normative resources to combat the apparent
necessity of possible systemic catastrophes. Politics is the name of the
struggle drawing on those resources.
51. This ontology enables us also to rethink the relationship of modern
subjects to rights. Modern subjects are able to consider themselves
autonomous subjects because legal recognition signals to them that
they are recognised as full members of the community, endowed with
the full capacity to judge. This account of rights in modernity is precious
because it provides an adequate framework to understand real political
struggles, as fights for rights. We can see now how this account needs to
be complemented by the notion of contingency that undermines the
apparent necessity of the progress of modernity. Modern subjects know
that their rights are granted only contingently, that the possibility of the
impossible is always actual. This is why rights should not be taken for
granted. But this does not imply that they should be rejected as illusion,
on the grounds that they were disclosed as contingent in the horrors of
the 20th century. Instead, their contingency should be the reason for
constant political vigilance.

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#7 Good Biopower: 1AR (1/2)


AGAMBEN IS WRONG BIOPOWER DOESNT CAUSE
EXCEPTION OR VIOLENCE, BUT MAINTAINS LIFE
Ojakangas 2005
[Mike, Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, Impossible Dialogues on BioPower: Agamben and Foucault, Foucault Studies 2 (5-28), www.foucaultstudies.com/no2/ojakangas1.pdf, acc. 9-24-06//uwyo-ajl]
In fact, the history of modern Western societies would be quite incomprehensible without taking into account that there exists a form

The effectiveness of
bio-power can be seen lying
precisely in that it refrains and withdraws before every demand of killing, even though these dem
of power which refrains from killing but which nevertheless is capable of directing peoples lives.

ands would derive from the demand of justice. In biopolitical societies, according to Foucault, capital punishment could not be maintained except
by invoking less the enormity of the crime itself than the monstrosity of the criminal: One had the right to kill those who represented a kind of bi
ological danger to others. However, given that the right to kill is precisely a sovereign right, it can be argued that the biopolitical societies analyzed by Foucault were not entirely bio-political. Perhaps, thereneither has been nor can be a society that is entirely

European societies have abolished capital punish


ment. In them, there are no longer exceptions. It is the very right to kill that ha
s been called into question. However, it is not called into question because of enlightened moral sentiments, but rather b
ecause of the deployment of bio-political thinking and practice.
bio-political. Nevertheless, the fact is that present-day

For all these reasons, Agambens thesis, according to which the concentration camp is the fundamental bio-

The bio-political paradigm of the West is not


the concentration camp, but, rather, the present-day welfare society and, instead o
f homo sacer, the paradigmatic figure of the bio-political society can be seen, for
example, in the middle-class Swedish social-democrat. Although
political paradigm of the West, has to be corrected.

this figure is an object and a product of the huge bio-political machinery, it does not mean that he is permitted to kill without committing homi
cide. Actually, the fact that he eventually dies, seems to be his greatest crime against the machinery. (In bio-political societies, death is not onl
y something to be hidden away, but, also, as Foucault stresses, the most shameful thing of all. ) Therefore, he is not exposed to an unconditi
onal threat of death, but rather to an unconditional retreat of all dying. In fact, the biopolitical machinery does not want to threaten him, but to encourage him, with all its material and spiritual capacities, to live healthily, to live long
and to live happily even when, in biological terms, he should have been dead longago.
This is because biopower is not bloody power over bare life for its own sake but pure p
ower over all life for the sake of the living. It is not power but the living, the cond
ition of all life individual as well as collective that is the measure of the success of biopower.

BIOPOLITICS IS NOT THE PROBLEM IN AND OF ITSELF


ITS BIOPOLITICS DEPLOYED IN TOTALITARIANS SOCIETIES
WHICH IS BAD OUR STRENGTHENING OF DEMOCRATIC
STRUCTURES SOLVES THEIR IMPACT
Dickinson, Prof @ University of Cincinnati, 2K4 (Edward Ross,
Biopolitics, Fascism, Democracy: Some Reflections on Our Discourse
About Modernity, Central European History, vol. 37, no. 1, March)
In an important programmatic statement of 1996 Geoff Eley celebrated the fact that Foucaults ideas have
fundamentally directed attention away from institutionally centered conceptions of government and the state . . . and
toward a dispersed and decentered notion of power and its microphysics.48 The broader, deeper, and less visible
ideological consensus on technocratic reason and the ethical unboundedness of science was the focus of his
interest.49 But the power-producing effects in Foucaults microphysical sense
(Eley) of the construction of social bureaucracies and social knowledge, of an entire institutional apparatus and system

simply do not explain Nazi policy.50 The destructive dynamic


of Nazism was a product not so much of a particular modern set of ideas as of a
particular modern political structure, one that could realize the disastrous
potential of those ideas. What was critical was not the expansion of the instruments and
disciplines of biopolitics, which occurred everywhere in Europe . Instead, it was the
principles that guided how those instruments and disciplines were organized and used, and the
external constraints on them. In National Socialism, biopolitics was shaped by a
totalitarian conception of social management focused on the power and ubiquity
of the vlkisch state. In democratic societies, biopolitics has historically been
constrained by a rights-based strategy of social management . This is a point to which I will
of practice ( Jean Quataert),

return shortly. For now, the point is that what was decisive was actually politics at the level of the state. A comparative

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Kritik Answers
Other states passed compulsory sterilization laws in
the 1930s indeed, individual states in the United States had already begun doing so in 1907. Yet they did
not proceed to the next steps adopted by National Socialism mass sterilization, mass
framework can help us to clarify this point.

eugenic abortion and murder of the defective. Individual figures in, for example, the U.S. did make such suggestions.

neither the political structures of democratic states nor their legal and
political principles permitted such policies actually being enacted . Nor did the scale of
forcible sterilization in other countries match that of the Nazi program. I do not mean to suggest that
such programs were not horrible; but in a democratic political context they did
not develop the dynamic of constant radicalization and escalation that
characterized Nazi policies.
But

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#7 Good Biopower: 1AR (2/2)


BIOPOLITICS DOESNT CAUSE ATROCITY
Ojakangas 2005
[Mike, Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, Impossible Dialogues on BioPower: Agamben and Foucault, Foucault Studies 2 (5-28), www.foucaultstudies.com/no2/ojakangas1.pdf, acc. 9-24-06//uwyo-ajl]
For Foucault, the coexistence in political structures of large destructive
mechanisms and institutions oriented toward the care of individual life was
something puzzling: It is one of the central antinomies of our political
reason. However, it was an antinomy precisely because in principle the
sovereign power and bio-power are mutually exclusive. How is it possible
that the care of individual life paves the way for mass slaughters? Although
Foucault could never give a satisfactory answer to this question, he was
convinced that mass slaughters are not the effect or the logical conclusion of
bio-political rationality. I am also convinced about that. To be sure, it can be
argued that sovereign power and bio-power are reconciled within the modern
state, which legitimates killing by bio-political arguments. Especially, it can be
argued that these powers are reconciled in the Third Reich in which they
seemed to coincide exactly. To my mind, however, neither the modern
state nor the Third Reich in which the monstrosity of the modern state is
crystallized are the syntheses of the sovereign power and bio-power, but,
rather, the institutional loci of their irreconcilable tension. This is, I believe,
what Foucault meant when he wrote about their demonic combination.

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#9 Essentialism: 1AR (1/2)


EXTEND 2AC NUMBER 3, HEINS 2005 EVIDENCE. GROUP IT.
THE CRITICISM ESSENTIALIZES OPPRESSION BY
COLLAPSING DEMOCRACY AND TOTALITARIANISM INTO A
SINGLE TRANSCENDENT ENTITY, DESTROYING CRTICISIM
OF DIFFERENT FORMS OF OPPRESSION
ALSO, THAT TAKES OUT THEIR IMPACT BECAUSE
AGAMBENS TRANSHITORICAL ARGUMENT CONFLATES
DIFFERENT HISTORICAL ERAS. GLOBAL CAPITAL IS MORE
DECENTRALIZED THAN FASCISM, MAKING THEIR
TERMINAL OFFENSE IMPOSSIBLE.
IT ALSO PROVES THAT THE PERM SOLVES BEST BECAUSE
WE CAN ENGAGE IN CRITICISM OF THE SHORTCOMINGS OF
RIGHTS, WHILE STILL PROVIDING THE MECHANISMS
NECESSARY TO PREVENT FULL SCALE FASCISM
AGAMBEN ESSENTIALIZES INTERNMENT INTO A
TRANSHISTORICAL ENTITY, PREVENTING TESTIMONY
NECESSARY TO MOBILIZE AGAINST DIVERSE FORMS OF
OPPRESSION AND TO CRITICIZE THE SHORTCOMINGS OF
WESTERN RIGHTS DISCOURSE FROM WITHIN ***
Deranty 2004
[Jean-Philippe, Macquarie University, Agambens challenge to normative theories of modern rights,
borderlands e-journal, Vol. 3, No. 1,
www.borderlandsejournal.adelaide.edu.au/vol3no1_2004/deranty_agambnschall.htm, acc 1-7-05//uwyoajl]

11. In the case of empirical examples, the erasure of difference between


phenomena seems particularly counter-intuitive in the case of dissimilar
modes of internment. From a practical point of view, it seems counterproductive to claim that there is no substantial difference between
archaic communities and modern communities provided with the
language of rights, between the lawlessness of war times and
democratic discourse. There must be a way of problematising the
ideological mantra of Western freedom, of modernitys moral superiority,
that does not simply equate it with Nazi propaganda (Ogilvie 2001).
Habermas and Honneth probably have a point when they highlight the
advances made by modernity in the entrenchment of rights. If the
ethical task is that of testimony, then our testimony should go also to all
the individual lives that were freed from alienation by the
establishment of legal barriers against arbitrariness and exclusion. We
should heed Honneths reminder that struggles for social and political
emancipation have often privileged the language of rights over any
other discourse (Fraser, Honneth 2003). To reject the language of human
rights altogether could be a costly gesture in understanding past
political struggles in their relevance for future ones, and a serious
strategic, political loss for accompanying present struggles. We want to

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Kritik Answers
criticise the ideology of human rights, but not at the cost of
renouncing the resources that rights provide. Otherwise, critical
theory would be in the odd position of casting aspersions upon the very
people it purports to speak for, and of depriving itself of a major
weapon in the struggle against oppression.

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#9 Essentialism: 1AR (2/2)


AND, AGAMBENS FOCUS ON LANGUAGE IGNORES HOW
HISTORICAL CONDITIONS HAVE CHANGED, PREVENTING
RESISTANCE TO OPPRESSION
Wark 2004
[McKenzie, Re: <nettime> Agamben: No to Bio-Political Tattooing,
posted to nettime mailing list, January 27,
amsterdam.nettime.org/Lists-Archives/nettime-l-0401/msg00092.html,
acc 1-7-2004//uwyo-ajl]
What never occurs to Agamben is to inquire into the historical rather
than philological -- conditions of existence of this most radical challenge
to the state. Agamben reduces everything to power and the body. Like
the Althusserians, he too has dispensed with problem of relating
together the complex of historical forces. In moving so quickly from the
commodity form to the state form, the question of the historical process
of the production of the abstraction and the abstraction of production
disappears, and with it the development of class struggle.

AGAMBENS TRANSHISTORICAL MODEL OF BIOPOWER


COLLAPSES HISTORY, IGNORING ITS CONTEXTUAL
FUNCTION
Panagia 99
[Davide, The Sacredness of Life and Death: Giorgio Agamben's Homo Sacer and
the Tasks of Political Thinking, Theory & Event 3:1, Muse//uwyo-ajl]
What emerges through the logic of the paradox of sovereignty is an event
Agamben calls the zone of indistinction. In the suspension of the rule through
the state of exception, what we are presented with is a complex plateau where
such philosophically distinct categories as state of nature and law, outside and
inside, exception and rule flow through one another to the point of literal
indistinction. On Agamben's account, the operation of sovereignty abandons
individuals whenever they are placed outside the law and in so doing, exposes
and threatens them to a sphere where there is no possibility of appeal.
(Agamben, p. 29) What is crucial for Agamben's entire project, then, is to point
out how the zone of indistinction collapses the possibility of making distinctions which is to say further, to point out how political philosophy finds the limit of
thinking in the paradox of sovereignty. In the sphere of indistinction, we cannot
think as if distinctions operated as they might in everyday life.6.
The political point here is, I think, insightful and worth pursuing. What makes this
insight problematic, however, is Agamben's treatment of history and the status
of homo sacer therein. Part of the task of this book is to ascertain how the
category of homo sacer is a specifically historical category. This is evident in
Agamben's constant referral to ancient Roman legal documents as well as his
exploration of the reappearance of homo sacer throughout history. But it is
precisely the possibility that homo sacer is something that occurs 'throughout
history' that makes Agamben's analysis at times difficult to swallow. At the
purely conceptual level, one might be willing to accept the meta claim that
Agamben seems to be making. But Agamben does not want to limit himself to
the conceptual level. He wants to insist on the material dimension of homo sacer
and the actuality of this category in contemporary life. There is thus a
substantial tension between the particularity of homo sacer as a material
instance of modern politics and the trans-historical category of homo sacer as a

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category constituted by the paradox of sovereignty and the state of
indistinction.

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#9 Essentialism: Ext
AGAMBEN CONFLATES DIFFERENT HISTORICAL PERIODS
INTO A SINGULAR AND STABLE TRANSHISTORICAL
BIOPOLITICS THAT NEVER EXISTED, MEANING NONE OF
THEIR HISTORICAL IMPACTS APPLY
Wark 2004
[McKenzie, Re: <nettime> Agamben: No to Bio-Political Tattooing,
posted to nettime mailing list, January 27,
amsterdam.nettime.org/Lists-Archives/nettime-l-0401/msg00092.html,
acc 1-7-2004//uwyo-ajl]
Eugene asks about Georgio Agamben. Below is a short note on him. I find his writings on the
state les interesting and useful than his return to the question of commodity fetishism, which
is a refreshing revisiting of a neglected concept. On the state, his approach seems

more philological than historical. By not bringing his thinking on the


commodity and on the state more closely together, one is not really
given much of a handle on how developments in the commodity form
may have transformed the state. 'Biopower' becomes a vague,
transhistorical notion in Agamben. Agamben is one of the few contemporary thinkers to
try to think *past* Debord's Society of the Spectacle, which I think is still an untranscended
horizon in its matching of political and theoretical intransigence. And so in the note below I
concentrate on his handling of Debord.

AND, NAZISM AND CONTEMPORARY DECENTRALIZED


CONTROL FUNCTION DIFFERENTLY
Neilson 2004
[Brett, University of Western Sydney, Potenza Nuda? Sovereignty,
Biopolitics, Capitalism, Contretemps 5, December 2004,
www.usyd.edu.au/contretemps/5december2004/neilson.pdf, acc 1-704//uwyo-ajl]
Negris ruse in this review is to suggest that the permanent state of exception specified by
the first Agamben describes the new condition of global Empire. But he counters Agamben on
his own terms, charging that it is inaccurate to fix everything that happens in

the world today onto a static and totalitarian horizon, as under Nazism.
Such an equation, for Negri, is anachronistic and inaccurate, since it
conflates the fascist rule of the twentieth century with contemporary
modes of decentralized global control. With implicit reference to the first chapter
of Stato di Eccezione, where Agamben describes the current world situation as global civil
war (a term initially used by both Carl Schmitt and Hannah Arendt), Negri questions the
notion of a sovereign ban that renders constituent and constituted power indistinct:
But things are differentif we live in a state of exception it is because we
live through a ferocious and permanent civil war, where the positive and
negative clash: their antagonistic power can in no way be flattened onto
indifference.18 There can be no doubt that Stato di Eccezione finds Agamben writing of a
positive counterpower that breaks the connection of violence to law posited by Schmitts
exceptionalist model of sovereignty. For Schmitt, the state of exception exists only as a
means of maintaining and restoring the constituted sovereign order. By contrast, Agamben
follows the argument of Benjamins Critique of Violence, which posits a divine or
revolutionary violence that intercedes upon the struggle of constituent and constituted
power, breaking the connection of violence to law that, in the final instance, undergirds their
interrelation. By opening the possibility of a power that operates in complete independence
from the law, Agamben claims, Benjamin specifies the nature of the violence that pertains in
the permanent state of exception. Furthermore, by virtue of the influence of his essay,
Benjamin provokes the negative reaction of Schmitt, whose entire political theory can be read
as a fearful response to the prospect of an exception that does not return to the norm. This is
not to claim, however, that Stato di Eccezione affirms Negris equation of constituent violence
with living counterpower. Rather the Benjaminian violence celebrated by Agamben remains
separate from the whole complex of constituent and constituted power, both interceding

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upon them with an energy that makes the paradigm of modern sovereignty obsolete and, in
so doing, maintaining them in indistinction.

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#10 Criticism Causes


Powerlessness: 1AR (1/2)
EXTEND 2AC NEILSON 2004 EV. GROUP IT.
FIRST, THE NEG POSITS BIOPOWER AS AN ALL
ENCOMPASSING NEGATIVE STRUCTURE THAT CO-OPTS ALL
RESISTANCE, WHICH RENDERS US UNABLE TO INTERVENE
BECAUSE EVERY MOVE IS SHUT OFF IN ADVANCE,
DOOMING US TO ENDLESS ATROCITY. THE BETTER
ALTERNATIVE IS TO USE BIOPOWER AGAINST ITSELF. PURE
DESIRE EXPLODES THE SYSTEMS COORDINATES,
UNDERMINING ITS FOUNDATIONS FROM WITHIN
SECOND, THIS TAKES OUT ALL OF THE INTERNALS TO
THEIR OFFENSE BECAUSE THE 1AC USES A DIFFERENT
KIND OF BIOPOWER THAN AGAMBEN IS CRITICIZING BY
APPROPRIATING IT AGAINST ITSELF, RATHER THAN USING
IT TO EXCLUDE NON-POLITICAL LIFE
THIRD, AGAMBENS MODEL OF BIOPOLITICS CREATES
POWERLESSNESS, SUBVERTING RESISTANCE
Hardt & Dumm 2000

[Michael & Thomas, Sovereignty, Multitudes, Absolute Democracy: A Discussion between


Michael Hardt and Thomas Dumm about Hardt and Negri's Empire, Theory & Event 4:3,
Muse//uwyo-ajl]

But still none of that addresses the passivity you refer to. For that we have to
look instead at Agamben's notions of life and biopower. Agamben uses the term
"naked life" to name that limit of humanity, the bare minimum of existence that
is exposed in the concentration camp. In the final analysis, he explains, modern
sovereignty rules over naked life and biopower is this power to rule over life
itself. What results from this analysis is not so much passivity, I would say, but
powerlessness. There is no figure that can challenge and contest sovereignty.
Our critique of Agamben's (and also Foucault's) notion of biopower is that it is
conceived only from above and we attempt to formulate instead a notion of
biopower from below, that is, a power by which the multitude itself rules over
life. (In this sense, the notion of biopower one finds in some veins of
ecofeminism such as the work of Vandana Shiva, although cast on a very
different register, is closer to our notion of a biopower from below.) What we are
interested in finally is a new biopolitics that reveals the struggles over forms of
life.

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#10 Criticism Causes


Powerlessness: 1AR (2/2)
FOURTH, AGAMBENS CONCEPTION OF POWER IS
POLITICALLY DISABLING BECAUSE IT REDUCES EVERY
RESISTANCE TO AN ALL PERVASIVE POWER STRUCTURE
ONLY VIEWING IT AS AN EXPLOSION OF DESIRE ALLOWS
US TO SUBVERT THE SOVEREIGN BY ALLOWING
BIOPOWERS OWN PRODUCTIVITY TO DESTROY ITSELF
Neilson 2004

[Brett, University of Western Sydney, Potenza Nuda? Sovereignty, Biopolitics,


Capitalism, Contretemps 5, December 2004,
www.usyd.edu.au/contretemps/5december2004/neilson.pdf, acc 1-7-04//uwyoajl]
How then can Negri maintain that constituent power and sovereignty are opposites, separate
even in the absoluteness to which both lay claim? Already in Il potere constituente, three
years before the publication of Homo Sacer, Negri fends off the argument that reduces
constituent power to an infinite void of possibilities or the presence of negative possibilities.
For him, the crucial question is the relation between potentiality (potenza) and power
(potere). He recognizes
in the definition of potentiality that runs from Aristotle and the Renaissance and from
Schelling to Nietzsche
a metaphysical alternative between absence and power, between desire and
possession, between refusal and domination.8

Far from opening a zone of indistinction, Negri believes this alternative


to open a choice, at least when it is not closed off by the dogma that
reduces power to a pre-existing physical fact, finalized order, or

dialectical result. And the philosophical conduit of this opening is the great current of modern
political thought, from Machiavelli to Spinoza to Marx, which understands constituent

power as an overflowing expression of desire, an absence of


determinations, and a truly positive concept of freedom and democracy.
For Negri, the danger of Agambens thought lies not in its Aristotelian rigour or
formal elegance but in its inability to open a panorama of revolutionary
struggle that can oppose the modern order of sovereignty and the
transcendental ideal of power that backs it up. As long as constituent power
remains caught in the paradox of sovereignty and the constituted order
produces bare life as the limit condition of an exception that has become the
rule, there can be no hope of questioning the transcendentalism
of sovereign power or imagining a form of political conduct that remains
free of the impositions of the modern state. Thus it is the concept of bare life that
becomes the primary object of Negris critique of Agambens understanding of sovereignty.
This much is clear in Empire, where Negri and his co-author Michael Hardt distance
themselves from the notion of bare life.

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#10 Criticism Causes


Powerlessness: Ext (1/3)
CRITICISM OF BIOPOLITICS OBSCURES THE CONTROL OF
LIFE, JUSTIFYING THE STATUS QUO
Virno 2002

[Paolo, Paolo Virnos criticism of Agamben, www.generationonline.org/p/fpagamben1.htm, acc. 9-24-06//uwyo-ajl]


when Agamben speaks
of the biopolitical he has the tendency to transform it into an ontological
category with value already since the archaic Roman right. And, in this, in my opinion, he is very
wrong-headed. The problem is, I believe, that the biopolitical is only an effect derived from the
concept of labor-power. When there is a commodity that is called labor-power it
is already implicitly government over life. Agamben says, on the other hand, that labor-power is only one of the
Agamben is a thinker of great value but also, in my opinion, a thinker with no political vocation. Then,

aspects of the biopolitical; I say the contrary: over all because labor power is a paradoxical commodity, because it is not a real commodity like a
book or a bottle of water, but rather is simply the potential to produce. As soon as this potential is transformed into a commodity, then, it is
necessary to govern the living body that maintains this potential, that contains this potential. Toni (Negri) and Michael (Hardt), on the other hand,
use biopolitics in a historically determined sense, basing it on Foucault, but Foucault spoke in few pages of the biopolitical - in relation to the birth
of liberalism - that Foucault is not a sufficient base for founding a discourse over the biopolitical and my apprehension, my fear, is that the

biopolitical can be transformed into a word that hides, covers problems instead
of being an instrument for confronting them. A fetish word, an "open doors" word, a word with an
exclamation point, a word that carries the risk of blocking critical thought instead of helping it. Then, my
fear is of fetish words in politics because it seems like the cries of a child that is
afraid of the dark..., the child that says "mama, mama!", "biopolitics, biopolitics!". I don't negate
that there can be a serious content in the term, however I see that the use of the term biopolitics sometimes is a
consolatory use, like the cry of a child, when what serves us are, in all cases, instruments of work and not propaganda words.

THEIR ALTERNATIVE ENSURES THE PERPETUAL


REPLICATION OF SOVEREIGNTY ONLY WORKING
THROUGH THE SPECIFIC PRACTICES OF SOVEREIGNTY CAN
SUCCEED ATTEMPTS TO MOVE AWAY FROM IT OUTSIDE
OF THE STATE REPRODUCE SOVEREIGN POWER
Walker, Prof of International Relations @ Arizona State U, 2K2 (RBJ,
Reframing the International, P. 3-5)

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#10 Criticism Causes


Powerlessness: Ext (2/3)
AND, THE NEGATIVITY OF BARE LIFE NEUTRALIZES
REVOLUTIONARY POTENTIAL WHICH IS TOO DYNAMIC TO
BE CONSTRAINED BY POWER, AS IS PROVEN BY
HISTORICAL STRUGGLES
Neilson 2004

[Brett, University of Western Sydney, Potenza Nuda? Sovereignty, Biopolitics,


Capitalism, Contretemps 5, December 2004,
www.usyd.edu.au/contretemps/5december2004/neilson.pdf, acc 1-7-04//uwyoajl]
In these articulations with Hardt, Negris disagreement with Agamben
stems from
an equation of constituent power with living labour and a refusal to
ground ontology
in the condition of bare life. If, in Empire, this quarrel with Agamben is
relatively
marginal (confined to footnotes and passing comments), it assumes
prominence in a
subsequent essay, Il mostro politico. Nuda vita e potenza. In this piece,
which traces
the philosophical and historical consequences of eugenics (from classical
Greece to
contemporary biotechnology), the concept of bare life is understood as
an ideological
device for neutralizing the transgressive potentiality of human existence.
Here Negris
criticism of Agamben is more rhetorical and direct:
Were the Vietnamese combatants or the blacks who revolted in the
ghettos naked?
Were the workers or the students of the 1970s naked? It doesnt seem so
if you look
at photos. At least if the Vietnamese werent denuded by napalm or the
students
hadnt decided to give witness naked as a sign of their freedom. 13
Human struggle, by this account, cannot be held ransom to the
biopolitical machine that
produces bare life. Even in the case of the Nazi camps, Negri contends, it
is mistaken to
equate bare life with powerlessness. The mussulmani (or denuded
concentration camp
victims) of whom Agamben writes in Remnants of Auschwitz (1999) are
humans before
they are naked. And to make bare life an absolute and assimilate it to
the horrors of
Nazism is a ruse of ideology:
Life and death in the camps represents nothing more than life and death
in the
campsan episode of the civil war of the twentieth century, a horrific
spectacle of
the destiny of capitalism and the ideological masking of its will, of the
capitalist
motive against every instance of liberty. 14
For Negri, the concept of bare life denies the potentiality of being. Like
Hobbess

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Leviathan, which promotes a vision of life as subjugated and unable to
resist, the theory of
bare life represents a kind of foundation myth for the capitalist
state. It is a cry of weakness
that constructs the body as a negative limit and licenses a nihilistic
view of history. More
pointedly, bare life is the opposite of Spinozan potential and corporeal
joy.15 With this
statement, Negri reaches the nub of his disagreement with Agamben. As
an alternative
to the Aristotelian notion of potentiality (as intrinsically and
paradoxically connected to
the act), he poses the Spinozan vision of potentiality (potenza) as the
unstoppable and
progressive expansion of desire (cupiditas). By this view, fully developed
by Negri in
The Savage Anomaly, the construction of politics is a process of
permanent innovation.
Desire is the determinant force of the constitution of the sociala
creative project that
is continually reopened and defined as absolute in this reopening. At
once conflictual
and constituent, desire in this analysis functions without lack and
provides the basis for
an absolute democracy that reaches beyond modern political
representation.

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#10 Criticism Causes


Powerlessness: Ext (3/3)
EACH EXERCISE OF POWER IS CO-PRODUCTIVE WITH ITS
OWN IMMANENT RESISTANCE THAT USES IT AS ITS
TARGET, ALLOWING BETTER SUBVERSION THAN AN
ISOLATED REJECTION FROM THE OUTSIDE
Foucault 78
[Michel, God, The History of Sexuality: An Introduction Volume I, trans.
Robert Hurley, New York City: Random House, Vintage Books Edition,
95-6//uwyo-ajl]
-Where there is power, there is resistance, and yet, or rather
consequently, this resistance is never in a position of exteriority in
relation to power. Should it be said that one is always "inside" power,
there is no "escaping" it, there is no absolute outside where it is
concerned, because one is subject to the law in any case? Or that,
history being the ruse of reason, power is the ruse of history, always
emerging the winner? This would be to misunderstand the strictly
relational character of power relationships. Their existence depends on a
multiplicity of points of resistance:
these play the role of adversary, target, support, or handle in power
relations. These points of resistance are present everywhere in the
power network. Hence there is no single locus of great Refusal, no soul
of revolt, source of all rebellions, or pure law of the revolutionary. Instead
there is a plurality of resistances, each of them a special case:
resistances that are possible, necessary, improbable; others that are
spontaneous, savage, solitary, concerted, ram-pant, or violent; still
others that are quick to compromise, interested, or sacrificial; by
definition, they can only exist in the strategic field of power relations.
But this does not mean that they are only a reaction or rebound, forming
with respect to the basic domination an underside that is in the end
always passive, doomed to perpetual defeat. Resistances do not derive
from a few heterogeneous prin-ciples; but neither are they a lure or a
promise that is of necessity betrayed. They are the odd term in relations
of power; they are inscribed in the latter as an irreducible opposite.
Hence they too are distributed in irregular fash-ion: the points, knots, or
focuses of resistance are spread over time and space at varying
densities, at times mobiliz-ing groups or individuals in a definitive way,
inflaming certain points of the body, certain moments in life, certain
types of behavior. Are there no great radical ruptures, massive binary
divisions, then? Occasionally, yes. But more often one is dealing with
mobile and transitory points of resistance, producing cleavages in a
society that shift about, fracturing unities and effecting regroupings,
furrowing across individuals themselves, cutting them up and remolding
them, marking off irreducible regions in them, in their bodies and minds.
Just as the network of power relations ends by forming a dense web that
passes through apparatuses and institutions, without being exactly
localized in them, so too the swarm of points of resistance traverses
social stratifications and individual unities. And it is doubtless the
strategic codification of these points of resistance that makes a
revolution possible, somewhat similar to the way in which the state
relies on the institutional integration of power relationships.

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A2 Neilson Conclude Negative:


1AR
FIRST, NO HE DOESNT. HE ONLY SAYS THAT NEITHER
AUTHOR TAKES THE OTHER SERIOUSLY ON CERTAIN
POINTS, WHICH IS NON-RESPONSIVE TO THE ARGUMENT
THAT WERE MAKING
SECOND, EVEN IF AGAMBEN AVOIDS OUR ARGUMENT, THE
NEGATIVE CRITICISM DOESNT BECAUSE IT STILL POSITS
POWER AS BEING SO TOTAL THAT EVERY ACTION GETS
CO-OPTED, PREVENTING PRODUCTIVE RESISTANCE.
CROSS-APPLY NEILSON

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#11 Agamben Misunderstands


Sovereignty: 1AR
THEIR PICTURE OF THE CAMP OBSCURES THE DAILY
VIOLENCE OF SOVEREIGNTY
Hardt & Dumm 2000

[Michael & Thomas, Sovereignty, Multitudes, Absolute Democracy: A Discussion between


Michael Hardt and Thomas Dumm about Hardt and Negri's Empire, Theory & Event 4:3,
Muse//uwyo-ajl]

TD: In that regard, my sense is that you both recognize the power of Giorgio
Agamben's argument in Homo Sacer concerning the extraordinary violence of
sovereignty at the end of modernity and yet you seek to overcome what may
(not too unjustly) be thought of as a terrifying passivity that his position could
result in.14.
MH: Our argument in Empire does share some central concerns with Agamben's
Homo Sacer, particularly surrounding the notions of sovereignty and biopower.
Agamben brilliantly elaborates a conception of modern sovereignty based on
Carl Schmitt's notions of the decision on the exception and the state of
emergency, in which the modern functioning of rule becomes a permanent state
of exception. He then links this conception to the figure of the banned or
excluded person back as far as ancient Roman law with his usual spectacular
erudition. The pinnacle and full realization of modern sovereignty thus becomes
the Nazi concentration camp: the zone of exclusion and exception is the heart of
modern sovereignty and grounds the rule of law. My hesitation with this view is
that by posing the extreme case of the concentration camp as the heart of
sovereignty it tends to obscure the daily violence of modern sovereignty in all its
forms. It implies, in other words, that if we could do away with the camp then all
the violence of sovereignty would also disappear.

BIOPOWER DOESNT EMERGE FROM THE SOVEREIGN, BUT


FROM SOCIAL RELATIONS THAT ARE BEYOND PLAN
Lazzarato no date
[Maurizio, From Biopower to Biopolitics, Trans. Ivan A. Ramirez,
www.goldsmiths.ac.uk/csisp/papers/lazzarato_biopolitics.pdf, acc 1-7-05//uwyoajl]
Foucault needs a new political theory and a new ontology to describe
the new power relations expressed in the political economy of forces. In
effect, biopolitics are grafted and anchored upon a multiplicity of
disciplinary [de commandemant et d'obissance] relations between
forces,
those which power coordinates, institutionalizes, stratifies and targets,
but
that are not purely and simply projected upon individuals. The
fundamental
political problem of modernity is not that of a single source of sovereign
power, but that of a multitude of forces that act and react amongst each
other according to relations of command and obedience. The relations
between man and woman, master and student, doctor and patient,
employer
and worker, that Foucault uses to illustrate the dynamics of the social
body
are relations between forces that always involve a power relation. If
power,

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in keeping with this description, is constituted from below, then we need
an
ascending analysis of the constitution of power dispositifs, one that
begins
with infinitesimal mechanisms that are subsequently invested,
colonized,
utilized, involuted, transformed and institutionalized by ever more
general
mechanisms, and by forms of global domination.
Consequently, biopolitics is the strategic coordination of these power
relations in order to extract a surplus of power from living beings.
Biopolitics
is a strategic relation; it is not the pure and simple capacity to legislate
or
legitimize sovereignty. According to Foucault the biopolitical functions of
coordination and determination concede that biopower, from the
moment
it begins to operate in this particular manner, is not the true source of
power. Biopower coordinates and targets a power that does not properly
belong to it, that comes from the outside. Biopower is always born of
something other than itself.

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#11 Agamben Misunderstands


Sovereignty: Ext (1/2)
AGAMBEN IS WRONG. BIOPOWER IS DISPERSED THROUGH
SOCIETY, MAKING RESISTANCE POSSIBLE AND
UNDERMINING SOVEREIGN POWER
Lazzarato no date

[Maurizio, From Biopower to Biopolitics, Trans. Ivan A. Ramirez,


www.goldsmiths.ac.uk/csisp/papers/lazzarato_biopolitics.pdf, acc 1-7-05//uwyoajl]
Agamben

2. Giorgio
, recently, in a book inscribed explicitly within the research being undertaken on the concept of
biopolitics, insisted that the theoretical and political distinction established in antiquity between zoe and bios, between natural life
and political life, between man as a living being [simple vivant] whose sphere of influence is in the home and man as a political
subject whose sphere of influence is in the polis, is now nearly unknown to us. The introduction of the zoe into the sphere of the
polis is, for both Agamben and Foucault, the decisive event of modernity; it marks a radical transformation of the political and

is this impossibility of distinguishing between


zoe and bios, between man as a living being and man as a political subject , the product of the
action of sovereign power or the result of the action of new forces over
which power has no control? Agambens response is very ambiguous
and it oscillates continuously between these two alternatives. Foucaults
response is entirely different: biopolitics is the form of government taken
by a new dynamic of forces that, in conjunction, express power relations
that the classical world could not have known. Foucault described this
dynamic, in keeping with the progress of his research, as the emergence of a multiple and
heterogeneous power of resistance and