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Death Drive Against K Affs

1NC
Shell (Generic)
The affs belief in progress forces us to relive the initial traumatic loss, making them a
self-fulfilling prophecy. Only through embracing the death drive and understanding
how we are fundamentally constituted allows us to give up on the illusion of progress
and embrace meaning in life.
McGowan 13 [Todd, Assoc. Prof. of Film and Television Studies @ U. of Vermont, Enjoying What We
Dont Have: The Political Project of Psychoanalysis, pp. 13-22, RSR]

The death drive is neither (contra Marcuse) aggressiveness nor an impulse to return to an inorganic
state (as Freuds metaphor in Beyond the Pleasure Principle might imply) but an impetus to return to an
originary traumatic and constitutive loss. The death drive emerges with subjectivity itself as the subject
enters into the social order and becomes a social and speaking being by sacrificing a part of itself. This
sacrifice is an act of creation that produces an object that exists only insofar as it is lost . This loss of
what the subject doesnt have institutes the death drive, which produces enjoyment through the
repetition of the initial loss. Subjects engage in acts of self-sacrifice and self-sabotage because the loss enacted reproduces the
subjects lost object and enables the subject to enjoy this object. Once it is obtained, the object ceases to be the object. As a result, the subject
must continually repeat the sacrificial acts that produce the object, despite the damage that such acts do to the subjects self-interest. From the
perspective of the death drive, we turn to violence not in order to gain power but in order to produce loss, which
is our only source of enjoyment. Without the lost object, life becomes bereft of any satisfaction. The
repetition of sacrifice, however, creates a life worth living, a life in which one can enjoy oneself through
the lost object. The repetition involved with the death drive is not simply repetition of any particular experience. The repetition
compulsion leads the subject to repeat specifically the experiences that have traumatized it and disturbed its stable functioning. The better
things are going for the subject, the more likely that the death drive will derail the subjects activity.
According to the theory implied by the death drive, any movement toward the good any progress will tend to
produce a reaction that will undermine it. This occurs both on the level of the individual and on the
level of society. In psychoanalytic treatment, it takes the form of a negative therapeutic reaction, an effort to
sustain ones disorder in the face of the imminence of the cure. We can also think of individuals who continue to choose
romantic relationships that fail according to a precise pattern. Politically, it means that progress triggers the very forms of
oppression that it hopes to combat and thereby incessantly undermines itself. There is a backlash written into
every progressive program from the outset. The death drive creates an essentially masochistic structure within the
psyche. It provides the organizing principle for the subject and orients the subject relative to its enjoyment, and this enjoyment remains
always linked to trauma. This structure renders difficult all attempts to prompt subjects to act in their own self-
interest or for their own good. The death drive leads subjects to act contrary to their own interests, to sabotage the projects that
would lead to their good. Common sense tells us that sadism is easier to understand than masochism, that the sadists lust for power over the
object makes sense in a way that the masochists self-destruction does not. But for psychoanalysis, masochism functions as
the paradigmatic form of subjectivity. Considering the structure of the death drive, masochism becomes easily explained, and
sadism becomes a mystery. Masochism provides the subject the enjoyment of loss, while sadism seems to give
this enjoyment to the other. This is exactly the claim of Jacques Lacans revolutionary interpretation of sadism in his famous article
Kant with Sade. Though most readers focus on the essays philosophical coupling of Kantian morality with Sadean perversion, the more
significant step that Lacan takes here occurs in his explanation of sadisms appeal. Traditionally, most people vilify sadists for transforming their
victims into objects for their own satisfaction, but Lacan contends that they actually turn themselves into objects for the others enjoyment. He
notes: The sadist discharges the pain of existence into the Other, but without seeing that he himself thereby turns into an eternal object.21
Though the other suffers pain, the other also becomes the sole figure of enjoyment. What the sadist enjoys in the sadistic act is the enjoyment
attributed to the other, and the sadistic act attempts to bring about this enjoyment. In this sense, sadism is nothing but an inverted form of
masochism, which remains the fundamental structure of subjectivity.22 Self-destruction
plays such a prominent role in
human activities because the death drive is the drive that animates us as subjects. Unlike Herbert Marcuse,
Norman O. Brown, another celebrated proponent of psychoanalytically informed political thought, attempts to construct a psychoanalytic
political project that focuses on the death drive. He does not simply see it as the unfortunate result of the repression of eros but as a powerful
category on its own. In
Life against Death Brown conceives of the death drive as a self-annihilating impulse
that emerges out of the human incapacity to accept death and loss. As he puts it, The death instinct is the
core of the human neurosis. It begins with the human infants incapacity to accept separation from the
mother, that separation which confers individual life on all living organisms and which in all living
organisms at the same time leads to death.23 For Brown, we pursue death and destruction, paradoxically,
because we cannot accept death. If we possessed the ability to accept our own death, according to Browns view, we would avoid
falling into the death drive and would thereby rid ourselves of human violence and destructiveness. Like Marcuse, Browns societal ideal
involves the unleashing of the sexual drives and the minimizing or elimination of the death drive. He even raises the stakes, contending that
unless we manage to realize this ideal, the human species, under the sway of the death drive, will die out like the dinosaurs. Despite making
more allowances for the death drive (and for death itself) than Marcuse, Brown nonetheless cannot avoid a similar error: the belief that the
death drive is a force that subjects can overcome. For Freud, in contrast, it is the force that revenges itself on every overcoming, the repetition
that no utopia can fully leave behind. An
authentic recognition of the death drive and its primacy would demand
that we rethink the idea of progress altogether. And yet some idea of progress seems essential to
politics. Without progress as a possibility, it seems obvious that one would have no reason to involve
oneself in political contestation. All political activity would become futile, which is why few dispense with it altogether. Even a
thinker such as Jacques Derrida who struggles incessantly against the ideology of progress nonetheless
implicitly retains some notion of authentic progress within his thought. Without it, he would have no position from
which to criticize the idea while still endorsing political activity. The problem with progress as an idea, according to someone like Derrida, lies in
the way that it places a teleology on the movement of history and thereby prescribes a certain future that will serve to constrain our political
activity. Rather than helping to increase our freedom, the
idea of progress diminishes it by closing down the opening
that the future represents. Despite this deconstruction of progress, Derrida aligns deconstruction with hope for a
better future with what he calls an emancipatory promise. In Specters of Marx he elaborates: Well, what remains
irreducible to any deconstruction, what remains as undeconstructible as the possibility itself of deconstruction is, perhaps, a certain experience
of the emancipatory promise; it is perhaps even the formality of a structural messianism, a messianism without religion, even a messianic
without messianism.24 Though deconstruction leaves its emancipatory promise always to be fulfilled and refuses to actualize it, Derrida tacitly
conceives the movement toward it as progressive. The political dimension of deconstruction is founded on the belief that a better world is
possible: by deconstructing hierarchies, by insisting on a justice to come, and by struggling against illusions of presence, we can lessen human
suffering and help to forge a more egalitarian world. There is a good, even if fully realizing this good would transform it into its opposite (which
is Derridas contention). One must ensure that the good society always remains to come, or arrivant, as Derrida puts it, but far from minimizing
the status of the good or denigrating the good, giving it a futural status in fact elevates it and ensconces justice to come as the one idea that we
cannot deconstruct the ultimate or sovereign good.25 Even
in deconstruction, some idea of progress as a possibility
must exist in order for the theorist to make any normative appeal whatsoever.26 But the inescapability of
the idea of progress goes still further. It is not just the normative appeal that implies this idea; any
system of thought, even one that confines itself to pure descriptions, inevitably points toward the
possibility of progress. The act of articulating a system of thought implies the belief that a better world
is possible and that the knowledge the system provides will assist in realizing this better world. If I didnt
believe in the possibility of improvement, I would never bother to articulate any system at all. The very
act of enunciating even the most pessimistic system at tests to a fundamental optimism and hope for
progress beyond the status quo. This is true for an extreme pessimist like Arthur Schopenhauer as much as it is for an avowed
utopian like Charles Fourier. The position from which one enunciates the pessimistic system is the position invested in the idea of progress,
even when the enunciated content of the system completely denounces the idea. Though the good may be impossible to realize, it is also
impossible to abandon entirely. The production of knowledge itself points, often despite itself, toward a better future. This link between
knowledge and progress is the controlling idea of the Enlightenment. In his essay What Is Enlightenment? Kant
emphasizes that Enlightenment requires a situation where one is free to gain knowledge, where one has freedom to make public use of ones
reason in all mat ers.27 In the act of gaining knowledge through reasoning, subjects facilitate progress as they put this knowledge into use by
restructuring society. Knowledge, for Kant and for all Enlightenment thinkers, has an inherently progressive leaning. It frees us from the tyranny
of the past and from the drudgery of repetition. Progress is only possible because we have the ability to know the past and to learn from it.28
The Enlightenments belief in progress derives from its conception of the human subject as a subject of
knowledge, a subject who fundamentally wants to know. For psychoanalysis, the link between
knowledge and progress dooms the possibility of progress. Rather than desiring to know, the subject desires
not to know and organizes its existence around the avoidance of knowledge. In Le sminaire XXI Lacan states this
straightforwardly: There has been no desire for knowledge but . . . a horror of knowing.29The knowledge that we avoid is knowledge of the
unconscious because this knowledge confronts us with the power of the death drive and the inescapability of repetition. What we dont know
our particular form of stupidity allows us to move forward, to view the future with hopefulness. Without this fundamental refusal to
know, the subject simply could not continue.30 Freuds great revolution in the history of thought stems from his
conception of the subject as a subject of desire rather than as a subject of knowledge. Where thinkers from
Plato to Kant consider an inherent striving to know as essential to subjectivity, not only does Freud envision a different essential drive, he
contends that the subject wants not to know in order to continue to desire. The subject acts not on the basis of
what it knows but on the basis of how it desires. We might imagine linking these two ideas of the subject if we could link the act of knowing and
the act of desiring. But
knowledge and desire are at odds: the subject doesnt want to know what it desires or
how it enjoys. Its knowledge remains necessarily incomplete, and the gap within knowledge is the trigger for the
subjects desire and the point at which it enjoys. The unconscious emerges out of the subjects incapacity for knowing its own
enjoyment. Conscious knowledge is not simply unable to arrive at the knowledge of enjoyment and its
traumatic origin; it actively functions as a barrier to this knowledge. Conscious knowledge thwarts
access to the unconscious, and, as a result, the conscious effort to know continually defeats itself.
Psychoanalysis attempts to fill this fundamental lacuna in the project of knowledge by demanding that
the subject abandon the project in its traditional manifestation. It constructs a space that brackets
conscious knowledge in order that the subject might discover the unconscious. The fundamental role of
psychoanalysis one must reveal not what one knows but the words that come to mind aims at
bringing to light what the subject doesnt want to know. A gap exists between what the subject knows and what it says. In
the act of speaking, the subject says more than it consciously knows, and this excess is the unconscious a knowledge that the subject has
without knowing it. The paradox of this knowledge is that one can access it only when not seeking it and that once one has it, one has lost it.
Adherence to the fundamental rule of psychoanalysis insofar as it is possible allows subjects to recognize what they dont know when it
surprises them. But it doesnt thereby permit subjects to make progress through the acquisition of knowledge. The
recognitions that
one makes in psychoanalysis do not have the status of knowledge in the traditional sense of the term;
instead, they mark an irreducible gap in the field of knowledge. One recognizes oneself in an
unconscious desire that remains foreign, and one takes responsibility for it despite its foreignness. By
doing so, one does not change or progress as a subject but becomes what one already was. One sees the
death drive as the truth of ones subjectivity rather than as an obstacle that one might try to progress
beyond in order to reach the good. Interminable Repetition If we accept the contradictory conclusion that some idea of
progress inheres in every system of thought and that the psychoanalytic concept of the death drive shows the impossibility of progress, this
leaves psychoanalytic thought and especially a psychoanalytic political project on difficult ground. It
might explain the
seemingly absolute pessimism of the later Freud, Freud after 1920, who appears to have abandoned his
belief in the effacaciousness of the psychoanalytic cure. One of his final essays, Analysis Terminable and Interminable,
written in 1937 (just two years before his death), lays bare Freuds doubts concerning our ability to break from the power of repetition. Here,
Freud conceives of subjects refusal to abandon castration anxiety and penis envy as emblematic of the intractability of repetition. He notes:
At no other point in ones analytic work does one suffer more from an oppressive feeling that all ones repeated efforts have been in vain, and
from a suspicion that one has been preaching to the winds, than when one is trying to persuade a woman to abandon her wish for a penis on
the ground of its being unrealizable or when one is seeking to convince a man that a passive attitude to men does not always signify castration
and that it is indispensable in many relationships in life.31 That is, the repetition that centers around traumatic loss acts as a barrier that we
cannot progress beyond. In light of this barrier, the formulation of a psychoanalytically informed political project demands that we dissociate
politics from progress as it is usually conceived. We
cannot escape progress, and yet the traditional conception of
progress always runs aground. This paradox must become the foundation of any authentic
psychoanalytic politics. It demands that rather than trying to progress toward overcoming the barrier
that separates us from the good society, we begin to view identification with the barrier as the
paradoxical aim of progress. The barrier to the good society the social symptom is at once the obstacle over which we
continually stumble and the source of our enjoyment.32 The typical politics of the good aims at a future not inhibited by a limit that constrains
the present. This future can take the form of a truly representative democracy, a socialist utopia, a society with a fair distribution of power and
wealth, or even a fascist order that would expel those who embody the limit. But the good remains out of reach despite the various ef orts to
reach it. The limit separating us from the good society is the very thing that constitutes the good society as such. Overcoming the limit
shatters the idea of the good in the act of achieving it. In place of this pursuit, a psychoanalytic politics insists
on identification with the limit rather than at empting to move beyond or eliminate it. If there is a conception of
progress in this type of politics, it is progress toward the obstacle that bars us from the good rather than toward
the good itself. Identification with the limit involves an embrace of the repetition of the drive because it is the obstacle or limit that is the
point to which the drive returns. No one can be the perfect subject of the drive because the drive is what undermines all perfection. But it is
nonetheless possible to change ones experience within it. The
fundamental wager of psychoanalysis a wager that
renders the idea of a psychoanalytic political project thinkable is that repetition undergoes a radical
transformation when one adopts a different attitude toward it. We may be condemned to repeat, but
we arent condemned to repeat the same position relative to our repetition. By embracing repetition through
identification with the obstacle to progress rather than trying to achieve the good by overcoming this obstacle, the subject or the social order
changes its very nature. Instead of being the burden that one seeks to escape, repetition becomes the essence of ones being and the mode
through which one attains satisfaction. Conceiving politics in terms of the embrace of repetition rather than the
construction of a good society takes the movement that derails traditional political projects and reverses
its valence. This idea of politics lacks the hopefulness that Marxism, for instance, can provide for overcoming antagonism and loss. With it,
we lose not just a utopian ideal but the idea of an alternative future altogether the idea of a future no longer beset by intransigent limits
and this idea undoubtedly mobilizes much political energy.33 What
we gain, however, is a political form that addresses
the way that subjects structure their enjoyment. It is by abandoning the terrain of the good and
adopting the death drive as its guiding principle that emancipatory politics can pose a genuine
alternative to the dominance of global capitalism rather than incidentally creating new avenues for its
expansion and development. The death drive is the revolutionary contribution that psychoanalysis makes to political thought. But
since it is a concept relatively foreign to political thought, I will turn to various examples from history, literature, and f lm in order to concretize
what Freud means by the death drive and illustrate just what a politics of the death drive might look like. The chapters that follow trace the
implications of the death drive for thinking about the subject as a political entity and for conceiving the political structure of society. Part 1
focuses on the individual subject, beginning with an explanation of how the death drive shapes this subjectivity. The various chapters in part 1
trace the implications of the death drive for understanding how the subject enjoys, how the drive relates to social class, how the drive impacts
the subject as an ethical being, and how the subject becomes politicized. The discussion of the impact of the death drive on the individual
subject serves as a foundation for articulating its impact on society, which part 2 of the book addresses, beginning with the impact of the death
drive on the constitution of society. Part 2 then examines how the conception of the death drive helps in navigating a path through todays
major political problems: the inefficacity of consciousness raising, the seductive power of fantasy, the growing danger of biological
reductionism and fundamentalism, the lure of religious belief, and the failure of attempts to lift repression. The two parts of the book do not
attempt to sketch a political goal to be attained for the subject or for society but instead to recognize the structures that already exist and
silently inform both. The wager of what follows is that the revelation of the death drive and its reach into the subject and the social order can
be the foundation for reconceiving freedom. The recognition of the death drive as foundational for subjectivity is what occurs with the
psychoanalytic cure. Through this cure, the subject abandons the belief in the possibility of finding a solution
to the problem of subjectivity. The loss for which one seeks restitution becomes a constitutive loss
and becomes visible as the key to ones enjoyment rather than a barrier to it. A political project derived from
psychoanalytic thought would work to broaden this cure by bringing it outside the clinic and enacting on society itself. The point is not,
of course, that everyone would undergo psychoanalysis but that psychoanalytic theory would function
as a political theory. Politically, the importance of psychoanalysis is theoretical rather than practical. Politically, it doesnt matter
whether people undergo psychoanalytic therapy or not. This theory would inaugurate political change by insisting not on the possibility of
healing and thereby attaining the ultimate pleasure but on the indissoluble link between our enjoyment and loss. We become free to enjoy only
when we have recognized the intractable nature of loss.
Though psychoanalytic thought insists on our freedom to
enjoy, it understands freedom in a counterintuitive way. It is through the death drive that the subject
attains its freedom. The loss that founds this drive frees the subject from its dependence on its social
environment, and the repetition of the initial loss sustains this freedom. By embracing the inescapability
of traumatic loss, one embraces ones freedom, and any political project genuinely concerned with
freedom must orient itself around loss. Rather than looking to the possibility of overcoming loss, our
political projects must work to remain faithful to it and enhance our contact with it. Only in this way
does politics have the opportunity to carve out a space for the freedom to enjoy rather than restricting
it under the banner of the good.

This is also true of their relationship to knowledge. The aff is the politics of Michael
Moore. Their investment in portraying the truth effectively and showing that the bad
guys are bad is flawed strategy at change. This is the repeated, failing strategy of
leftist politics as it re-invests power in expert discourse which empowers the very
conservativism they oppose. The aff ignores that its opponents enjoy their investment
in cruelty. Only changing our relationship to enjoyment can solve.
McGowan 13 [Todd, Assoc. Prof. of Film and Television Studies @ U. of Vermont, Enjoying What We
Dont Have: The Political Project of Psychoanalysis, pp. 172-195, RSR]

the transformation of knowledge from a vehicle of liberation to an instrument of power


For emancipatory politics,

has had devastating eff ects. Emancipatory politics has traditionally relied on knowledge in order to
facilitate political change, and even today one of the primary operations of emancipatory politics is gett
ing information out to citizens. In the minds of most people engaged in the project of emancipation, the fundamental task has been establishing class consciousness
among the members of the working class. Class consciousness, according to this way of thinking, is the basis for substantive political change. As Georg Lukcs puts it in History and Class
Consciousness, Th e fate of a class depends on its ability to elucidate and solve the problems with which history confronts it.12 Political change depends, for someone like Lukcs, on the

knowledge that makes decisive action possible. As long as authority remains in the position of the traditional master,
knowledge can have a revolutionary function. Historically, the primary problem for emancipatory politics
involved access to education, which is why a key component of the communist program that Marx and
Engels outline in Th e Communist Manifesto is universal access to public education. Th ere are those on
the side of emancipation who continue to insist that knowledge will be the source for political change.
According to this position, people side with conservative policies against their own self-interest because
they lack the proper information. Th ey are the victims of propaganda, and emancipatory politics must respond by providing the missing knowledge. If not for big
medias control over knowledge, the thinking goes, subjects would cease to act against their self-interest and would begin to oppose contemporary capitalism in an active way. For

those who adopt this position, political activity consists in acts of informing, raising consciousness,
and bringing issues to light. But today the failures of consciousness-raising are evident everywhere. Such
failures are the subject of Th omas Franks acclaimed analysis, Whats the Matt er with Kansas? Frank
highlights the proclivity of people in areas of the United States like Kansas to act politically in ways that
sabotage their economic interests. He notes: People gett ing their fundamental interests wrong is what American political life is all about.13 Th e Rights
current success in the United States and around the world is not the sign that more people have become
convinced that right-wing policies will benefi t them. Instead, conservatism permits people a way of
organizing their enjoyment in a way that todays emancipatory politics does not. Emancipatory politics
may offer a truer vision of the world, but the Right offers a superior way of enjoying. Traditionally, the primary
advantage that emancipatory politics had in political struggle was its challenge to authority. When one
took up the cause of emancipation, one took a stand against an entrenched regime of power and
experienced enjoyment in this defi ance. One can still see this form of enjoyment evinced in the revolutions of the Arab Spring in 2011. Th ough emancipatory
activity always entailed a certain risk (even of death, to which the fate of innumerable revolutionaries att ests), it nonetheless brought with it an enjoyment not found in everyday obedience

Th e
and symbolic identity. In short, there was historically a strong libidinal component to emancipatory militancy that the risk it carried amplifi ed rather than diminished.

liberating power of emancipatory activity is present in almost every political fi lm. We see activists falling
in love as they jointly embark on an emancipatory project or romance burgeoning as a fi ght for justice
intensifi es. Th is dynamic, att esting to the enjoyment inherent in militancy against the oppressive ruling
order, manifests itself in Warren Beatt ys Reds (1981), Ken Loachs Bread and Roses (2000), and Gillian
Armstrongs Charlott e Gray (2001), to name just a few of the many. In each case, the romance seems to spring out of the risk that
militancy against an oppressive regime entails. Th e love that develops between Maya (Pilar Padilla) and Sam (Adrien Brody) in Bread and Roses sparks fi rst at the moment when Maya helps
Sam to elude corporate security agents at the offi ce building where he is trying to help unionize the janitors. Maya risks losing her job as a janitor when she aids Sam, and this risk acts as the
driving force for the eroticism between them. Conservatism has not traditionally provided much enjoyment of this type, but it has had its own appeal. It took the side of authority and stability.

Whereas emancipatory politics could offer the enjoyment that comes from defiance of authority,
conservatism could offer the enjoyment that comes from identification with it. Th is is the enjoyment that one feels when
hearing ones national anthem or saluting the fl ag. It resides in the fabric of the nations military uniform that makes the fi ngers touching it tingle. Th is eroticism is not that of emancipatory

politics / and it is perhaps not as powerful / but it is nonetheless a form of eroticism. It produces a libidinal charge. Th e struggle between conservatism and
emancipatory politics has historically been a struggle between two competing modes of organizing enjoyment with neither side having a monopoly. Despite the traditional emphasis that the

forces of emancipation placed on knowledge, even in the past the struggle between emancipatory politics and conservatism
centered on enjoyment rather than knowledge. In the political arena, knowledge is important only
insofar as it relates to the way that subjects mobilize their enjoyment. If subjects see through ideological manipulation and have the
proper knowledge, this does not necessarily inaugurate a political change. The knowledge that something is bad for us / a president or a

Twinkie / does not lessen the enjoyment that we receive from it. It is not that we have the ability to enjoy while disavowing our
knowledge but more that the knowledge works to serve our enjoyment. The enjoyment of a Twinkie does not derive from the

physiological eff ect of sugar on the human metabolism but from the knowledge of the damage this
substance does to the body. Knowing the harm that accompanies something actually facilitates our
enjoyment of it, especially when we are capable of disavowing this knowledge. Enjoyment is distinct
from bodily pleasures (which the Twinkie undoubtedly also provides); it depends on some degree of
sacrifi ce that allows the subject to suff er its enjoyment. Sacrifi ce is essential to our capacity for enjoying ourselves. There is a
fundamentally masochistic structure to enjoyment.14 It always comes in the form of an alien force that overcomes us from the outside. As Alenka
Zupani puts it, It is not simply the mode of enjoyment of the neighbour, of the other, that is strange to me. Th e heart of the problem is that I experience my own enjoyment (which emerges

along with the enjoyment of the other, and is even indissociable from it) as strange and hostile.15 An initial experience of loss gives birth to the lost
object around which we structure our enjoyment, and our subsequent enjoyment demands a return
to the experience of loss. Through sacrifice and loss, we reconstitute the privileged object that exists only as an absence. This is why actually
obtaining the privileged object necessarily disappoints: when the lost object becomes present, it loses
its privileged status and becomes an ordinary empirical object. Knowledge thus helps us to enjoy not in
the way that we might think / that is, by showing us what is good for our well-being / but by giving us
something to sacrifi ce: if we know, for instance, that cigarettes are unhealthy and could kill us, this
elevates the mundane fact of smoking into an act laced with enjoyment.16 With each puff , we repeat the act of sacrifi ce and
return to the primordial experience of loss. The death that we bring on is not simply the price that we pay for smoking; it is the means through which we enjoy the act of smoking. In this

sense, every cigarette is really killing the smoker. If it didnt, the act would lose its ability to provide
enjoyment (though it may still produce bodily pleasure).17 Under the rule of the traditional master,
prohibition sustains the possibility for this type of enjoyment: we can enjoy an act because it
transgresses a societal prohibition. As Lacan notes in Seminar VII, Transgression in the direction of jouissance only
takes place if it is supported by the oppositional principle, by the forms of the Law. If the paths to
jouissance have something in them that dies out, that tends to make them impassable, prohibition, if I
may say so, becomes its all-terrain vehicle.18 Prohibition makes our enjoyment possible by offering us
the possibility for sacrifice. We sacrifi ce the good and violate the prohibition. But prohibition no longer plays this role in
contemporary society. No universal prohibition bars certain activities; instead, knowledge about the harm that activities cause begins to play the role that prohibition once played. We dont

We dont refrain from extramarital sex because it is


avoid smoking simply because it is wrong but because we know the harm that it causes.

wrong but because we know the societal and physical dangers it entails. Even conservatives think and
talk this way. When, for instance, conservatives argue for excluding information about condoms from
sex education classrooms, they claim that we know condoms arent 100 percent safe in preventing the
spread of hiv. In each case, the authority is knowledge, not law. Th e libidinal charge in politics involved with challenging the master has largely disappeared today, and now that
libidinal charge has att ached itself to challenging the experts, who represent the new agents of
authority. An Oxymoronic Populism Conservative populism / the most powerful form of right-wing
politics today / owes its ascendancy to the development of this form of authority. Th e appeal of
populist leaders consists in the relation that they take up to enjoyment. While the traditional master
prohibits enjoyment, the populist leader liberates subjects from the restrictions on their enjoyment
posed by experts. Th ough conservative populists oft en call for a return to traditional values (advocating
restrictions on abortion, prayer in schools, and the like), they do not deploy these values in the service
of prohibition. Instead, their rhetoric places traditional values in the position of liberation and freedom.
Th e populist leader proposes to free subjects from constricting expert authority in order that they might freely embrace the traditional values that this new authority threatens to eviscerate.
In this way, traditional values, despite their function as a source of prohibition, become transformed into their opposite / a source for apparent liberation. Th is transformation clearly emerges
in the debate in the United States surrounding the teaching of evolution and scientifi c creationism (named intelligent design in its latest manifestation). Creationism is a doctrine linked in its
very foundation to authoritative rule and prohibitions on behavior. If God created humans, then it follows logically that humans ought to obey the restrictions that God places on them. But
today the champions of creationism characterize themselves as rebellious challengers of authority rather than its acolytes. Th ey fi ght for the freedom to believe and teach a doctrine that defi
es the ruling ideas laid down by expert authority / scientists who understand the complexities of evolutionary science that no layperson can master. Advocates of creationism write rebellious-

Far from
sounding books like Th e Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design, Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds, and Uncommon Dissent.19

presenting themselves as the messengers of social authority, the proponents of teaching creationism
characterize themselves as its most vociferous opponents. Th is sounds like a radical cause to take up, a
way of refusing to believe just what were told. Th e way in which proponents of creationism advance
their case exemplifi es the tactics of the contemporary populist leader.20 In the epoch of the expert authority, the fi gure of the
master no longer appears as an onerous authority that one must toss aside. Unlike the authoritative master of traditional society, the contemporary master does not lay down prohibitions but

Prohibitions in the form of rules (or suggestions) for behavior come instead from the
rather off ers ways around them.

expert. Medical experts campaign for rules against smoking in public places or for stricter controls on the consumption of unhealthy foods (such as those containing unhealthy fats);
environmental scientists propose regulations that would restrict how and what people drive; and
parenting authorities try to place limits on the ways that parents can raise their own children. The
master, in the midst of this manifestation of authority, becomes a force for liberation and enjoyment. As
Slavoj iek notes in the Ticklish Subject, Although, on the surface, the totalitarian Master also imposes severe orders, compelling us to renounce our pleasures and to sacrifi ce ourselves for

The
some higher Duty, his actual injunction, discernible between the lines of his explicit words, is exactly the opposite / the call to unconstrained and unrestrained transgression.21

contemporary populist master tells followers that they are free to smoke when they want to, to drive
suvs, and to discipline their children in whatever way they see fi t. Rather than embodying authority, the
master challenges the ubiquitous social authority of the expert. But the fi gure of the master / best embodied by the Fascist leader / does
not just simply unleash unrestrained transgression. Such figures also give this transgression the alibi of a return to genuine obedience. Those who, heeding the advice

of some contemporary master rather than parenting authorities, beat their children with a belt can see
themselves as the adherents of the true law (perhaps ordained by God). Followers can experience
themselves as fully obedient (in contrast to the rest of society) while enjoying the satisfaction that
accompanies transgression. Th is paradoxical position offers a way of maximizing the subjects
enjoyment, despite its completely deceptive structure. The power of the fi gure of the master today derives from its ability to mobilize enjoyment
in seemingly opposed ways: the follower simultaneously enjoys obeying and transgressing the law.22 Whereas the distribution of enjoyment once created a level playing field for the forces of
emancipation and those of conservatism, the rise of expert authority tips the balance toward conservatism. Now both modes of enjoying / enjoying transgression and enjoying obedience /
become the exclusive province of conservatism, and emancipatory politics is stuck with knowledge, which provides enjoyment only for the experts themselves (and those who identify with
them). Former bastions of left -wing populism, like the Kansas that Th omas Frank analyzes, have retained their populist veneer while undergoing a seismic reversal of political valence. In the
United States, left ist sympathies are strongest among the educated and among certain segments of the wealthy, not among the poor or working class, where one would expect to fi nd them.
But left ist sympathies among the upper middle and upper classes can never be more than sympathies. Th ey cannot be genuine convictions for change, since truly signifi cant change would
eliminate the very position from which the sympathies are expressed.23 Upper-middle-class and upper-class subjects have a degree of satisfaction with the existing social arrangements that
inheres in their very social position, and this satisfaction prevents them from passionately advocating for change unless they divest themselves psychically from their social position. Th ey tend
not to evince the commitment that inspires the participants in movements like the antiabortion Operation Rescue because their mode of enjoyment is not at stake. Conservative populists
inspire subjects who are prepared to inaugurate social change, but they push these subjects in a reactionary direction. Th eir success is but a structural eff ect of the victory of expert rule and
what Jacques Lacan calls university discourse. Th e Emergence of University Discourse In the transition from the rule by the master to the rule by the expert and by expert knowledge, Lacan
sees a change in the discourse that organizes social relations. For Lacan, a discourse is not simply an underlying mode of relating through language but the foundation of a social link. A
discourse renders social interaction possible through the way that it structures the four fundamental elements at stake in social interaction: the master signifi er, knowledge, enjoyment, and
the subject. Each discourse deploys these elements in diff erent ways, and the nature of the social link it creates depends on the specifi c arrangement of the elements. By turning to Lacans
theory of the discourses, we can examine the underlying structure of the regime of expert knowledge and discover whats at stake in this regime. In Seminar XVII: Th e Other Side of
Psychoanalysis, Lacan distinguishes between four discourses / those of the master, the university, the hysteric, and the analyst. Th e discourses share the same basic structure, which has four
positions: (1) the agent within the discourse or the position of authority; (2) the other of the agent, which can either support or oppose the agent; (3) the product of the discourse, what the
activity of the discourse produces; and, fi nally, (4) the discourses truth, which is obscured within the discourse and visible only through an analysis of its structure. Th e four discourses vary in
the ways that they distribute the elements of the social link (the master signifi er, knowledge, enjoyment, and the subject) throughout these four discursive positions. Th e theory of the four
discourses is not fi rst and foremost a theory of history, but it does permit the development of such a theory, which would involve primarily the discourse of the master and the discourse of
the university. Th e masters discourse, which historically has provided the basis for the organization of society, has the master signifi er in the position of the agent, the position that orients
the discourse. It has knowledge in the position of the other, surplus enjoyment (or what Lacan labels a) in the position of the product, and the divided subject in the position of truth. In
societies organized around the masters discourse, the dominance of the master signifi er serves to regulate possibilities and restrict activity. Th e master signifi er provides the support for all
the symbolic identities open to subjects; however subjects identify themselves, they remain within the dominance of the master signifi er. And yet, this subjection does not come off without a
hitch; the surplus enjoyment that the masters discourse produces has the capacity to animate revolt as much as compliance. It is a structure that relies on the enjoyment that stems from
obedience but that is constantly endangered by an enjoyment associated with revolt. Knowledge supports this regime, but at the same time it threatens to turn against it, as occurs in the case
of the Enlightenment. Th e reason for the tenuousness of the discourse of the master is the position that the subject occupies within it. Th e subject is the truth of the masters discourse,
which means that, despite the role of the master signifi er as the agent, divided subjectivity is actually the driving force behind the discourse itself. Th e masters pronouncements and
prohibitions represent an att empt to heal the rupture that the subjects division introduces into the social fabric. Th e subject divided against itself prevents the social body from becoming
whole or harmonious. It is a bone stuck in the throat of society, a disorder in the middle of the social order. Th e masters discourse is constructed around this disorder in an eff ort to quell it
University
and install an orderly regime through pure mastery alone. But the masters discourse fails at this task, which is what gives rise to the discourse of the university.

discourse att empts to succeed where the masters discourse fails. It places knowledge in the position of
the agent and surplus enjoyment in the position of its other, with the divided subject as its product.
University discourse and hysterical discourse emerge as historical responses to failures of the master.
University discourse becomes the dominant social link, and hysterical discourse (which places the
divided subject who is constantly questioning in the position of the agent and the master signifi er who
lacks the answers in the position of the other) becomes the chief form that oppositional social
movements take up.24 Th e masters discourse cannot sustain itself in the capitalist epoch. Capitalism upsets the rule of the masters discourse by eliminating the space
outside the circuit of exchange that the master occupies. Th e masters lack of exceptionality becomes readily apparent. As Mladen Dolar points out,

Capitalism is instated in conjunction with the university discourse, its twin and double.25 Capitalist
relations of production are revolutionary not only because, as Marx suggests, they introduce the ideas
of equality and freedom but because they strip the master of the pretense that sustains this fi gures
authority. Without exceptionality, the master has no basis on which to make demands, and another authority with some other foundation must intervene in the masters stead. In this
way, space opens up for the birth of expert authority. Though the transition from the dominance of the discourse of the master

to that of the university is a revolutionary transition, a key element remains the same. What Lacans
theory of the four discourses renders visible / this is the key to its importance as a theory / is the role
that the master continues to play in the regime of expert authority or the discourse of the university. Th e
rise of university discourse does not bring the rule of the master to an end. In fact, one might argue the opposite: the dominance of university discourse as a social link has the eff ect of
installing the master in a position of near invulnerability, in clear contrast to the position that the master occupies within the masters discourse. By facilitating this change in position, the
expert, whether intentionally or not, works in service of the master. Scientists, diet gurus, and world-renowned economists may appear to be calling the shots today, but they function as

Th e
stand-ins for the concealed master. Th is is a point that both Mladen Dolar and Alenka Zupani insist on in their discussions of Lacans four discourses. According to Dolar,

whole point of Lacans construction of university discourse is that this is another lure, that the seemingly
autonomous and self-propelling knowledge has a secret clause, and that its truth is detained by the
master under the bar.26 In university discourse, the master signifi er occupies the position of truth,
which means that expert authority works ultimately in the service of mastery. For her part, Zupani adds, What Lacan
recognizes in the university discourse is a new and reformed discourse of the master.27 University discourse emerges in response to the failure of the discourse of the master, but it is not a
radical social structure. It represents a retooling of the authority involved in mastery in order to allow that authority to cope with the exigencies of capitalist relations of production. As the
truth of university discourse (and expert authority), mastery is hidden and all the more eff ective because of this obscurity within which it dwells. Th e Form of the Superego Th e change in the
masters status makes itself felt through a corresponding change in the status of the superego, and this is a change that has distinct ramifi cations for political activity. One might understand
this change in terms of the distinction between the way that Freud conceives the superego and the way that Lacan does. Th ough Lacan never claims to invent a new version of the superego
and insists that he is merely elaborating on the Freudian concept, his account locates the emphasis diff erently from Freuds. In the move from Freuds theorization to Lacans, the underlying
structure does not change, but its form of appearance does. Freud understands the superego as an internalized representative of the law. He describes it as an extension of fi gures of parental
authority and sees the subjects relation to it in those terms. In Th e Ego and the Id he says: As the child was once under a compulsion to obey its parents, so the ego submits to the categorical
imperative of its super-ego.28 Th e external authority of the law requires an internal supplement in order to function eff ectively, and the internal supplement ends up being a much more
powerful agent of prohibition than the law itself because it is able to tap into the subjects own drives. Freud describes a close bond existing between the superego and the id, and this bond
energizes the superego in its assaults on the subject. Th e superego is not simply a neutral authority but a thoroughly libidinized one. Freuds vision of the superego emphasizes its role in
prohibition. Th e superego restricts what the subject can think and do; it extends the power of mastery by placing an authority within the subjects psyche that is more demanding than any
external master. Rational fear of punishment, Freud recognizes, is not suffi cient for engendering properly docile subjects. An irrational force for obedience must supplement this rational fear,
and the superego embodies such a force. In his account of the superego, Lacan picks up on Freuds claim that the superego draws its energy from the reservoir of the id. Th e proximity of these
two psychic registers in Freuds schema leads Lacan to dissociate the superego from prohibition and to align it with an imperative to enjoy. In his Seminar XVIII Lacan claims: Th e order of the
superego . . . originates precisely . . . in this call for pure enjoyment, that is also to say for non-castration.29 Even when the superego bombards the subject with imperatives that appear in the
guise of prohibitions, Lacan insists that these imperatives actually command enjoyment. Th e superego, as Lacan understands it, constantly reminds the subject of its failure to enjoy, and it
promulgates an ideal of the ultimate enjoyment as a measuring stick against which the subject can contrast its own failures.30 No subject can obey the demands of the superego because the
ideal it provides remains ever out of reach. Th e closer that the subject approaches to it through obedience, the faster it recedes. Th e superego enjoins an enjoyment that it never allows the
subject to fi nd. In a sense, one might say that the superego only emerges as such with the rise of expert authority and the decline of the traditional master. No one theorized such an agency
before Freud, and though this doesnt necessarily mean that the superego didnt exist before it was recognized, it does suggest that the superego didnt really makes its presence felt as a
distinct and powerful agency. Under the regime of the master, the idiotic and purely despotic dimension of the law manifests itself in the fi gure of the master. Th e master lays down the law
that must be obeyed not because it is justifi ed or practical but simply because the master says so, and the masters authority derives from the nonsensical and completely random fact of birth
or wealth. Th is idiotic dimension of the law seems to disappear with the rise of expert authority. In every way, the experts status and dictates have a justifi - cation that the masters dont.
Education and training qualify the expert for the status of authority, and the experts pronouncements never command obedience for its own sake. Th ere is always a rational reason to obey:
one should heed the experts rules concerning diet for the sake of ones health; one should follow the experts advice on dating because it will enhance ones romantic prospects; one should

Th e irrationality of the law / its ultimate basis in the


listen to the experts counsel on the environment in order to save the planet; and so on.

command Obey because I said so / is the foundation of every law, and yet expert authority leaves no
space for it. Th e result of the evanescence of the idiotic dimension of the external law is its
reemergence internally in the form of the superego. Under the regime of the expert, the idiocy of the
law migrates to the superego, allowing the superego to exert a power that it never had under the rule of
the master. Th us, the proper birth of the superego occurs with the rise of expert authority and the evacuation of the external laws idiocy. Of course, precapitalist subjects
experienced pangs of conscience and feelings of guilt, but they did not have to endure the insatiable and tyrannical demands of the fully developed superego, an agency that does not off er
the subject any room to maneuver: the more one gives in to it, the more it demands. As the horror of external punishments abates / the practice of drawing and quartering criminals in public

The rule of knowledge


is no longer widespread, for instance / the internal horrors mount. Th is is a ramifi cation of the rule of knowledge. Taking the Side of Knowledge

places emancipatory politics in a difficult position. It cannot abandon the project of the Enlightenment
without ceasing to be emancipatory, and at the same time it must fi nd a way to incorporate enjoyment
into its program. If emancipatory politics places itself on the side of knowledge, it abdicates its former
position as a challenge to authority and becomes associated with the restriction of enjoyment rather
than the unleashing of it. And as the representative of expert authority, emancipatory politics appears as the thief of enjoyment. Th e knowledge it forces on us produces a
feeling of lost enjoyment. Michael Moore provides a near-perfect illustration of the dilemma that contemporary

emancipatory politics confronts, both in his successes and in his failures. When Moore succeeds as an
activist fi lmmaker, he mobilizes the enjoyment of the spectator and works to align this enjoyment with
increased freedom and equality. Th is is apparent in Moores fi rst two documentary features, Roger and
Me (1989) and The Big One (1997). Both fi lms allow the spectator to enjoy the opposition to big capital.
In the former, Moore pursues General Motors ceo Roger Smith in order to secure an interview with him to

discuss plant closings in Flint, Michigan. Moores dogged pursuit of Smith shows Smith and General
Motors not just as destroyers of workers lives but also as the enemies of enjoyment, which spectators
experience through the fi lmmaking project itself. The Big One goes even further in this direction. At every turn, enjoyment
inheres in the critique of capitalism. The film offers criticism of downsizing companies through the guise
of a contest, in which Moore presents the worst off enders a large-sized symbolic check (like the kind
given to actual contest winners) celebrating them as Downsizer of the Year. Moore himself challenges Nike ceo Phil Knight to a
footrace with opening an American Nike plant as the stake. Th e fi lm depicts union organizing taking place clandestinely at night, which places union activity on the level of international

Moores
espionage. Enjoyment inheres in the various critiques and eff orts to undermine big capital, and big capital itself responds in the fi lm with defenses rooted in knowledge.31

own presence in the fi lms functions as an avatar of the enjoyment that derives from challenging the
injustice of contemporary capitalism. His disheveled hair, his old baseball cap, his excess weight / all
these aspects of his physical appearance attest to his personal commitment to enjoyment rather than
propriety. He looks more like a bowling partner than an expert authority, and this look helps to link the cause of emancipation with enjoyment in his films. The link reaches its initial
zenith in Bowling for Columbine (2002). Th e genius of Bowling for Columbine is that it att ributes American gun violence

not, as one might expect going into the fi lm, to the widespread availability of fi rearms in the United
States but to the American retreat from the neighbor. Th ough the beginning of the fi lm chronicles how easily one can obtain a gun in America /
we see a bank giving guns away for opening an account, for instance / Moore concludes by contrasting the United States with Canada, where guns also proliferate but gun violence does not.
Th e diff erence, the fi lm suggests, is that Americans are animated by the specter of a threatening other in a way that Canadians are not. Moore visits a Toronto neighborhood and fi nds
unlocked doors and a general lack of fear about the other. It is the absence of this att itude in the United States and the omnipresence of the idea that the other represents a threat to be
guarded against that begets gun violence. Th e fi lms ultimate prescription is not fewer guns but fewer locks on doors. Th e lock on the door is the synecdoche for the barrier to the others
enjoyment. By focusing on the locked door as the root of the problem of American gun violence, Moore associates this violence with the nations retreat from its own enjoyment, which
necessarily appears in the guise of the enjoying other. Guarding against the others enjoyment is simultaneously guarding against ones own, and it is this att itude, Bowling for Columbine
concludes, that produces massacres like the one perpetuated at Columbine High School. Like Roger and Me and Th e Big One, Bowling for Columbine manages to wrestle the terrain of

enjoyment away from conservatism. But Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004) marks a turn in the other direction. Here, Moore aligns
himself with expert knowledge against the obscenity of enjoyment. The explicit aim of Fahrenheit 9/11 is
breaking the identification that exists between the American people and George W. Bush. Moore sets
about doing this by exposing the presidents weaknesses and questioning his legitimacy. The problem
with Fahrenheit 9/11 is that its very structure precludes the political conversions that the film hopes to
engender. On the one hand, the fi lm gratifi es leftist viewers by placing them in the position of authority. Th ey
can align themselves with Moores voiceover as it chronicles Bushs moments of awkwardness and indiff
erence, and they can feel justifi ed in their position as the fi lm chronicles his privilege and corruption.
But on the other hand, Fahrenheit off ers other viewers the possibility of identifying with Bush himself
even at the moments when the fi lm expends the most vitriol in denouncing him. Throughout the fi rst
forty minutes of the fi lm, we hear Moores voice but rarely see him within the image. Perhaps Moore made this choice
in order to allow the fi lm to appear less subjective or partisan, believing that this would convince more viewers of its theses. But the result is the opposite: as a

disembodied voice, Moore becomes a figure of authority. We see Bush enjoying himself, and we hear
Moore condemning that enjoyment. We dont see Moores physical presence, which tends to align him with enjoyment rather than knowledge.32 Aft er
recounting Bushs tainted victory in the 2000 election and its aft ermath, Moore focuses on the Bush presidency prior to September 11, 2001. Specifi cally, he shows Bush vacationing and
playing on his ranch rather than working at the White House. As a voiceover tells us that he spent 42 percent of his days before September 11 on vacation, we see a series of images of Bush fi

According to Moores fi lm, at least part of the blame for the terrorist
shing, boating, and hanging out at his ranch in Crawford, Texas.

attacks resides with Bush himself for spending too much time enjoying and not enough time attending
to his job (and reading security briefi ngs). Th is critique comes to a climax at the moment when Bush hears about the September 11 att acks. We see him in
an elementary school reading to children as he hears the news from his chief of staff , and Moore emphasizes Bushs lack of a demonstrable reaction. Moores voiceover accompanies the shot
of Bush in the classroom, and it articulates the indictment of him: Not knowing what to do, with no one telling him what to do, and no Secret Service rushing in to take him to safety, Mr. Bush
just sat there and continued to read My Pet Goat with the children. As Moore says this, we see Bush open up the book and begin to read. Moore places the time at the bott om of the screen:
it says 9:07 a.m., and aft er a dissolve it says 9:09 a.m., then 9:11 a.m. aft er a dissolve to a shot of Press Secretary Ari Fleischer. Finally, aft er a dissolve back to Bush showing the time to
be 9:12 a.m., the camera zooms out, and the voiceover says, As Bush sat in that Florida classroom, was he wondering if maybe he should have shown up to work more oft en? Should he have
had at least one meeting since taking offi ce to discuss the threat of terrorism with the head of counterterrorism? In this way, the fi lm links Bushs failure to prevent the att acks and his
failure to act decisively (or at all) when they occur to his lack of suffi cient work. Th e authority of the voice hopes to break any identifi cation with Bush as it reprimands him for enjoying too
much. Th e contrast between knowledge and enjoyment becomes clearest when Moore interviews Congressperson Jim McDermott of Washington. We hear Moores voice and see McDermott

Moore uses clips from this interview to frame a


as he answers questions about the Bush administrations use of fear as a political weapon.

seemingly incongruous scene where Bush talks with reporters on the golf course. Bush speaks into the camera and says, We
must stop the terror. I call upon all nations to do everything they to stop these terrorist killers. Thank you. Aft er a pause of two or three seconds, Bush adds, Now watch this drive. Th e fi lm
cuts to a shot of him driving a golf ball and then returns to the interview with McDermott . Moore shows us Bushs quick transition from combating terrorism to showing off his golf game in
order to reveal his lack of effort in the former. The scandal of this scene derives from where Bushs att ention lies: golf seems much more important to him than terrorism. It helps to
undermine the authority that Bush has from the mere fact of his political offi ce / the authority of the master. But as he undermines Bushs authority, Moore aligns himself with the authority
of McDermott / not just a member of Congress but also a professional psychiatrist, as a subtitle informs us. Th ough the fi lm blames Bush for the folly of the Iraq War and to a lesser extent for
the September 11 att acks, it does not portray him as a responsible authority. His guilt stems from his obscene enjoyment. Highlighting Bushs obscene enjoyment fails as a political strategy
because the people who identify with Bush do so precisely because of this enjoyment, not in spite of it. If Bush doesnt read reports, skips meetings, vacations too much, or stumbles when
talking to reporters, such failures provide possibilities for identifi cation. Popular identifi cation with a leader occurs on two distinct levels. On the one hand, we identify with the strength of the
leader and see ourselves expressed in that strength. Th is identifi cation affi rms our ego and provides pleasure. On the other hand, we identify with the weaknesses of the leader. This

The more Fahrenheit takes the side of knowledge against Bushs


identification is the key to our ability to enjoy the leader.

obscene enjoyment, the more it cements the identification between supporters and him through a
shared enjoyment.33 Another fi lm released around the same time as Fahrenheit, Morgan Spurlocks Super Size Me (2004), commits precisely the same error. Th e fi lm depicts
the damage that eating every meal at McDonalds for thirty days does to Spurlocks health and serves as an indictment against the fast food industry as a whole. Spurlocks doctor makes clear
the precise nature of the health problems that ensue and identifi es their cause in the fast food diet. Super Size Me gives us knowledge through expert testimony, but it never addresses the
question of enjoyment. Instead, it continually renders this enjoyment visible within the image as we see Spurlock eating to excess. Th e fi lm pronounces itself against fast food while at the
same time revealing on the level of the image the intense enjoyment that this product delivers. Unlike in Fahrenheit, we see directly the enjoyment that knowledge facilitates. What both

Many fi gures on the side of emancipatory


Super Size Me and Fahrenheit have in common is their att empt to side with knowledge against enjoyment.

politics see the documentary as a valuable tool because it provides knowledge that traditional media
outlets do not. It helps people to break from the ideological manipulation that dominates them. But as
Hilary Neroni points out, the documentary forms obsession with the facts causes it to miss the role of
enjoyment. Discussing documentaries that address the horrors that took place at the Abu Ghraib prison, she notes: Pursuing the facts, then, leaves
these documentaries to miss the most disturbing fact of the Abu Ghraib photos: the smiles on the faces
of the torturers. And it is the enjoyment evident on their faces that gives us the most important clue to
what underlies the ideology of torture: a certain kernel of nonsense is revealed that is at the heart of
this ideology.34 The focus of documentary form on revealing facts rather than facilitating enjoyment hinders its eff ectiveness as a political tool. It seems inherently
to take the side of knowledge and thereby enable opponents to enjoy through disregarding what it
teaches. Th is is the case even when a documentary presents an overwhelming need for dramatic action. No political event on the American Left in
the year 2006 received as much att ention and acclaim as Davis Guggenheims documentary fi lm
featuring Al Gore entitled An Inconvenient Truth. The success of the fi lm catapulted Gore into the public
eye and generated calls from all corners that he again run for president. Many saw it as a turning point in the fight against climate
change. Th e fi lm, which consists primarily of footage of Gore giving a slideshow on global warming, invests itself entirely in the authority of the expert. Speaking from a position of knowledge,

The entire film is


Gore warns against excessive enjoyment / overuse of electricity, driving environmentally unfriendly vehicles, consuming without educating oneself, and so on.

an act of consciousness-raising and enjoyment-restricting. By seizing on Gores fi lm as a rallying point, the forces of emancipation again cede
the terrain of enjoyment to conservatism, just as they did with the embrace of Fahrenheit. Conservatisms most celebrated intervention into the global warming debate, in contrast, att empts
to mobilize enjoyment against expert knowledge. Michael Crichtons novel State of Fear (2004) depicts the travails of global warming debunker John Kenner as he fi ghts against environmental

Crichton shows that these groups


terrorist organizations desperate to create environmental disasters in order to prove their theses about climate change.35

occupy the position of authority and power today. For instance, Kenner claims at one point: Environmental groups in the
U.S. generate half a billion dollars a year. What they do with it is unsupervised.36 Kenners struggle
against the environmentalists consists in showing that theyre wrong, but, even more importantly, he
enjoys himself in a series of secret adventures. He plays the part of James Bond in the fi ght against environmental terrorism, and his thwarting of the
environmentalists nefarious plans is at once an ideological victory and an emotional one. Of course, one cannot compare a documentary fi lm with a popular novel. But this is precisely the
While the emancipatory politics invests itself in the expert testimony given in a documentary,
point.

conservatism discovers a form that foregrounds enjoyment. Th e documentary as a form is designed to raise consciousness and to educate.
But for a documentary to be successful in really changing spectators, it must not simply provide them with additional knowledge. It must alter their way of organizing their enjoyment, which is
what occurs in Moores early documentaries and in Sicko (2007), the follow-up to Fahrenheit 9/11. If a documentary contents itself with providing knowledge, it will have the eff ect of
contributing to the very problem that it att empts to eradicate. It must, in the manner of a fi lm like Alex Gibneys Enron: Th e Smartest Guys in the Room (2005), identify expertise as the target
of its att ack rather than aligning itself with the authority of the expert. But in the last instance, investment in documentary as a mode of political activity and consciousness-raising, even in
documentaries like Enron that try to combat expertise, represents a strategy guaranteed to fail because the form itself almost implicitly takes the side of the expert.37 Th e commitment to the
documentary form by the forces of emancipation testifi es to their continued faith in the power of knowledge and their continued willingness to cede the terrain of enjoyment to conservatism.

Too Much Democracy Psychoanalysis suggests that enjoyment will almost always triumph over knowledge, even
/ or especially / when this enjoyment occurs at the expense of our self-interest. But psychoanalysis does
not simply off er political advice on the question of the relationship between enjoyment and knowledge.
It represents an effort to mobilize our knowledge about enjoyment and its priority in order to make
evident the identification of emancipation with enjoyment. Th ough conservatism marshals enjoyment in hopes of defeating emancipatory
politics and defending authority, psychoanalysis reveals that enjoyment derives from emancipation from the power of

authority. As the existence of conservative populism shows, there is a conservative form of enjoyment,
but this form borrows its structure from emancipatory politics. To be eff ective, conservative populists must convince their adherents that
they are challenging social authority even at the moment when they cede themselves to it. Th ey must consider themselves rebellious creationists, not obedient ones. Enjoyment

stems from an excess, from going beyond what social authority permits. If conservatism makes use of enjoyment, it
always does so in a tenuous fashion, because enjoyment is proper to the forces of emancipation who
work to free us from social constraints imposed by authority figures. In this sense, democracy is the social
arrangement organized around enjoyment and its excess. This becomes disguised when democracy aligns itself with capitalism and with a
parliamentary system that ensures the domestication of democracys inherent excess. But democracy has always been a signifi er replete with enjoyment, an indication of an excess that no
social structure can adequately contain. As Jacques Rancire puts it in Hatred of Democracy, As a social and political form of life, democracy is the reign of excess. Th is excess signifi es the

Democracy is excessive because it strips away all legitimacy


ruin of democratic government and must therefore be repressed by it.38

justifying social authority. It signifi es the absence of legitimate social authority, the fact that
government is based on nothing other than the absence of every title to govern.39 In democracy, the people govern, but
democracy entails the paradoxical recognition that the people as an entity does not exist. Democracy is thus an acceptance of a certain necessary illegitimacy and the enjoyment that
accompanies it. Early opponents of democracy like Plato and Aristotle countered democratic excess with the idea of balance and orderliness. For both Plato and Aristotle, the best form of

Unlike democracy, aristocratic rule operates from a


government is not democracy but aristocracy, in which the best rule because they are best.40

vision of the common good. Under democratic rule, a social order will cease to pursue the common
good and devolve into an anarchic state in which no limit restrains the advance of competing private
interests. It signifi es the eruption of too much enjoyment for the society to endure. Plato and Aristotle, these early opponents of democracy, advance a far bett er argument for it than
its contemporary supporters. Subsequent theorists of democracy have come to see it as an eff ective form for advancing the good of society, as precisely the mode of government that would
provide stability and security. For fi gures such as John Locke, democracy becomes the best course for ensuring the good of all. Locke identifi es the good with security of property; he claims
that the great and chief end therefore, of Mens uniting into Commonwealths, and putt ing themselves under Government, is the Preservation of their Property, and he sees rule by the
majority as the best means to this end.41 With the rise of capitalism, the scandal of democracy receded, and democracy became identical with the social good. Democracy proliferated, but at

For psychoanalysis, the good / even the impossible


the cost of the betrayal of its essence and enslavement to an ideal it implicitly challenges.

good that one can only seek without ever fi nding / does not exist. Th e idea of the good functions as a lure for thought. Seduced by it,
we think about societal structures without considering enjoyment. We theorize that subject and societies act for the sake of the good or goods rather than for the sake of mobilizing their
enjoyment. Th is leads to the practical problem that besets advocates of democracy in the capitalist epoch. When we conceive democracy as a good, we have diffi culty creating or even
conceiving a desire for this good. Despite the fact that democracy seems to lie within subjects best interests, it does not seem to have the power to mobilize subjects enjoyment in the way
that antidemocratic movements such as Fascism do. Fascism brings with it the promise of enjoyment that stems from its very excessive nature, and it is all the more att ractive insofar as it
demands that subjects act against their interest. As a follower of Fascism, one sacrifi ces the good, one sacrifi ces ones own interests, in order to enjoy. Th us, from the perspective of fascism,

democracy becomes that which one sacrifi ces / the good that one destroys and enjoys destroying. Because
Fascism facilitates the sacrifi ce of the good rather than holding itself up as an alternative good, it appeals to subjects in a way that democracy, conceived as a good, cannot, and this seems to
leave the advocates of democracy with an insoluble diffi culty. As long as one considers democracy as a good, one will never inspire subjects to pursue it, and one will always miss the nature of
its universal appeal. Th e only possibility for identifying democracy with enjoyment lies in breaking the false link between democracy and the good. And thanks to recent developments in the
global capitalist system, this link has become increasingly tenuous. On the terrain of contemporary geopolitics, we can see a process of disconnection occurring between a capitalist economy
and a democratic political structure. Th is is most clearly visible in autocratic Chinas emergence as a major capitalist power. In this case, we see a formerly unthinkable idea / capitalism
without democracy / taking hold. Not only does capitalism function without democracy, but it seems to function bett er.42 Freedom in China and within the contemporary capitalist universe is
nothing but the freedom to sell ones labor and the freedom to appropriate surplus value / not the freedom to voice dissent and to participate politically in governance. On the one hand, the
disconnection of democracy from capitalism is an event to lament. In China it facilitates an increase in authoritarianism and a loss of the possibility for liberty. But on the other hand, this
disconnection off ers us the opportunity to reassess our idea of democracy and to return to the scandal of democracy. In fact, it reveals something remarkable about the status of democracy:
democracy does not serve our interests. Capitalism delivers the goods / and the good / just as effi ciently, if not more so, without democracy as with it. Increasingly, democracy itself functions
as the excess of the capitalist system / not necessary to the successful working of that system and oft en a barrier to it. Dissociating democracy from capitalism and understanding it as an
excess of the capitalism system allows us to conceive of it in a new way. Rather than being a good that we strive to att ain without ever fully att aining it (an impossible justice to come),
democracy becomes the lost object animating our desire, an object that impels us to act against our interest. Democracy today does not help us to accumulate goods (or arrive at the good) but
instead functions as a barrier on this path. Time spent insisting on freedom and equality, or even time spent engaged in democratic deliberation, is time that one cannot spend in the act of
accumulation of goods. From the perspective of the service of goods, it is wasted time. In fact, democracy requires that we sacrifi ce our interests on behalf of it: we must put at risk and even

abandon the goods that global capitalism off ers us in order to achieve it. Th is demand for sacrifi ce, far from lessening the appeal of democracy, actually constitutes it as desirable. Th e
main thrust of Yannis Stavrakakiss Th e Lacanian Left involves forging the link between democracy and
enjoyment. He sees that this is a link that most advocates of democracy / even radical democracy / have
insufficiently emphasized because they fail to see the possibilities of an enjoyment derived from the
experience of failure or of the not-all. He says: Far from being antithetical to jouissance, democratic subjectivity is capable of inspiring high passions. . . . Th
ey mobilise a jouissance beyond accumulation, domination and fantasy, an enjoyment of the not-all or
not-whole.43 Democracy ceases to be antithetical to enjoyment, as Stavrakakis recognizes, when we sever it from the image of the social good to which it has been connected since
the beginning of modernity. Severing democracy from the image of the social good requires emphasizing its scandalous dimension / the location of power in an entity (the people) that does
not substantially exist. Democracy emerges not through the expression of the popular will in institutionalized forms but when we experience the ultimate groundlessness of political power

Th e democratic impulse is tied to the absence at the


itself, when we experience the absence of any foundational social authority making itself felt.

heart of the social order, but the association of democracy with capitalism and the good has had the
effect of fi lling this absence with the myth of the sovereign substantive people. Th e contemporary geopolitical universe has
broken this association and returned the scandal to democracy, placing it in the position of the lost object. Of course, the simple act of theorizing democracy as a lost object instead of a good
does not have the power to change the way that the idea of democracy functions practically. But we are already seeing the enjoyment that derives from contemporary invocations of

democracy. Th e enjoyment that surrounded Barack Obamas presidential campaign and the enjoyment that
the 2011 Arab revolutions evinced are but two examples of this phenomenon, which becomes possible
when the status of democracy shift s from being central to the capitalist order to being excessive. This
transformation is actually a restoration of democracy to its original status and to its original association with an enjoyment that doesnt fi t properly within the social order. Identifying

democracy with enjoyment can also change the way that we articulate its appeal. We can make evident
the contemporary disjunction between democracy and the good and emphasize the necessity of sacrifi
cing the good for the sake of democracy and the enjoyment it provides. If democracy becomes recognized as a lost object among
contemporary subjects and the advocates of democracy can marshal the enjoyment that it might engender, they will have a chance to triumph over the reign of the universalized service of

Th e political project of psychoanalysis is fundamentally democratic, but it envisions


goods that is global capitalism.

democracy as an excess that we can enjoy, though we cannot reconcile it with our enlightened self-
interest. It is not more knowledge that will bring about our emancipation but more enjoyment.

Their attempt to realize communities of stability are the fantasy of utopia which
makes genocidal violence inevitable. They paper over the fundamental lack within
society that results in the extermination of those who interrupt the affirmatives
movement.
Stavrakakis 99 - Teaching fellow at the department of Government at the University of Essex and
Acting Director of the MA program in Ideology and Discourse Analysis. (Yannis, 1999, LACAN AND THE
POLITICAL, ISBN 0-203-22426-4, p. 100-7, RSR)
In order to answer these questions it is crucial to enumerate the conditions of possibility and the basic characteristics of utopian thinking. First
of all it
seems that the need for utopian meaning arises in periods of increased uncertainty, social
instability and conflict, when the element of the political subverts the fantasmatic stability of our
political reality. Utopias are generated by the surfacing of grave antagonisms and dislocations in the
social field. As Tillich has put it all utopias strive to negate the negativein human existence; it is the
negative in that existence which makes the idea of utopia necessary (Tillich in Levitas, 1990:103). Utopia then is
one of the possible responses to the ever-present negativity, to the real antagonism which is constitutive of human experience. Furthermore,
from the time of Mores Utopia (1516) it is conceived as an answer to the negativity inherent in concrete political antagonism. What is,
however, the exact nature of this response? Utopias
are images of future human communities in which these
antagonisms and the dislocations fuelling them (the element of the political) will be forever resolved,
leading to a reconciled and harmonious worldit is not a coincidence that, among others, Fourier
names his utopian community Harmony and that the name of the Owenite utopian community in the
New World was New Harmony. As Marin has put it, utopia sets in view an imaginary resolution to social contradiction; it is a
simulacrum of synthesis which dissimulates social antagonism by projecting it onto a screen representing a harmonious and immobile
equilibrium (Marin, 1984:61). This final resolution is the essence of the utopian promise. What I will try to do in this chapter is, first of all, to
demonstrate the deeply problematic nature of utopian politics. Simply put, my
argument will be that every utopian fantasy
construction needs a scapegoat in order to constitute itselfthe Nazi utopian fantasy and the
production of the Jew is a good example, especially as pointed out in ieks analysis.4 Every utopian
fantasy produces its reverse and calls for its elimination. Put another way, the beatific side of fantasy is
coupled in utopian constructions with a horrific side, a paranoid need for a stigmatised scapegoat. The
naivetyand also the dangerof utopian structures is revealed when the realisation of this fantasy is
attempted. It is then that we are brought close to the frightening kernel of the real: stigmatisation is
followed by extermination. This is not an accident. It is inscribed in the structure of utopian constructions; it
seems to be the way all fantasy constructions work. If in almost all utopian visions, violence and antagonism are eliminated,
if utopia is based on the expulsion and repression of violence (this is its beatific side) this is only because
it owes its own creation to violence; it is sustained and fed by violence (this is its horrific side). This repressed
moment of violence resurfaces, as Marin points out, in the difference inscribed in the name utopia itself (Marin, 1984:110). What we shall
argue is that it also resurfaces in the production of the figure of an enemy. To use a phrase enunciated by the utopianist
Fourier, what is driven out through the door comes back through the window (is not this a precursor of Lacans dictum that what is
foreclosed in the symbolic reappears in the real?VII:131).5 The work of Norman Cohn and other historians permits the articulation of a
genealogy of this manichean, equivalential way of understanding the world, from the great witch-hunt up to modern anti-Semitism, and
Lacanian theory can provide valuable insights into any attempt to understand the logic behind this utopian operationhere the approach to
fantasy developed in Chapter 2 will further demonstrate its potential in analysing our political experience. In fact, from the time of his
unpublished seminar on The Formations of the Unconscious, Lacan identified the utopian dream of a perfectly
functioning society as a highly problematic area (seminar of 18 June 1958). In order to realise the problematic character of
the utopian operation it is necessary to articulate a genealogy of this way of representing and making sense of the world. The work of Norman
Cohn seems especially designed to serve this purpose. What is most important is that in Cohns schema we can encounter the three basic
characteristics of utopian fantasies that we have already singled out: first, their link to instances of disorder, to the element of negativity.
Since human experience is a continuous battle with the unexpected there is always a need to represent
and master this unexpected, to transform disorder to order. Second, this representation is usually
articulated as a total and universal representation, a promise of absolute mastery of the totality of the
real, a vision of the end of history. A future utopian state is envisaged in which disorder will be totally
eliminated. Third, this symbolisation produces its own remainder; there is always a certain particularity
remaining outside the universal schema. It is to the existence of this evil agent, which can be easily
localised, that all persisting disorder is attributed. The elimination of disorder depends then on the
elimination of this group. The result is always horrible: persecution, massacres, holocausts . Needless to say,
no utopian fantasy is ever realised as a result of all these crimesas mentioned in Chapter 2, the purpose of fantasy is not to satisfy an
(impossible) desire but to constitute it as such. What is of great interest for our approach is the way in which Cohn himself articulates a
genealogy of the pair utopia/demonisation in his books The Pursuit of the Millennium and Europes Inner Demons (Cohn, 1993b, 1993c). The
same applies to his book Warrant for Genocide (Cohn, 1996) which will also be implicated at a certain stage in our analysis. These books are
concerned with the same social phenomenon, the idea of purifying humanity through the extermination of some category of human beings
which are conceived as agents of corruption, disorder and evil. The contexts are, of course, different, but the urge remains the same (Cohn,
1993b:xi). All these works then, at least according to my reading, are concerned with the production of an archenemy which goes together with
the utopian mentality. It could be argued that the roots of both demonisation and utopian thinking can be traced back to the shift from a
cyclical to a unilinear representation of history (Cohn, 1993a:227).6 However, we will start our reading of Cohns work by going back to Roman
civilisation. As Cohn claims, a profound demonising tendency is discernible in Ancient Rome: within the imperium, the Romans accused the
Christians of cannibalism and the Jews were accused by Greeks of ritual murder and cannibalism. Yet
in the ancient Roman world,
although Judaism was regarded as a bizarre religion, it was nevertheless a religio licita, a religion that
was officially recognised. Things were different with the newly formed Christian sect. In fact the Christian Eucharist could
easily be interpreted as cannibalistic (Cohn, 1993b:8). In almost all their ways Christians ignored or even
negated the fundamental convictions by which the pagan Graeco-Roman world lived. It is not at all surprising
then that to the Romans they looked like a bunch of conspirators plotting to destroy society. Towards the end of the second century, according
to Tertullian, it was taken as a given that the Christians are the cause of every public catastrophe, every disaster that hits the populace. If the
Tiber floods or the Nile fails to, if there is a drought or an earthquake, a famine or a plague, the cry goes up at once: Throw the Christians to the
Lions!. (Tertullian in Cohn, 1993b:14) This defamation of Christians that led to their exclusion from the boundaries of humanity and to their
relentless persecution is a pattern that was repeated many times in later centuries, when both the persecutors and the persecuted were
Christians (Cohn, 1993b:15). Bogomiles, Waldensians, the Fraticelli movement and the Catharsall the groups appearing in Umberto Ecos
fascinating books, especially in The Name of the Rosewere later on persecuted within a similar discursive context. The same happened with
the demonisation of Christians, the fantasy that led to the great witch-hunt. Again, the conditions of possibility for this demonisation can be
accurately defined. First, some kind of misfortune or catastrophe had to occur, and second, there had to be someone who could be singled out
as the cause of this misfortune (Cohn, 1993b:226). In
Cohns view then, social dislocation and unrest, on the one hand,
and millenarian exaltation, on the other, do overlap. When segments of the poor population were
mesmerised by a prophet, their understandable desire to improve their living conditions became
transfused with fantasies of a future community reborn into innocence through a final, apocalyptic
massacre. The evil onesvariously identified with the Jews, the clergy or the richwere to be exterminated; after which the Saintsi.e. the
poor in questionwould set up their kingdom, a realm without suffering or sin. (Cohn, 1993c:1415) It was at times of acute dislocation and
disorientation that this demonising tendency was more present. When people were faced with a situation totally alien to their experience of
normality, when they were faced with unfamiliar hazards dislocating their constructions of realitywhen they encountered the realthe
collective flight into the world of demonology could occur more easily (ibid.: 87). The same applies to the emergence of millenarian fantasies.
The vast majority of revolutionary millenarian outbreaks takes place against a background of disaster. Cohn refers to the plagues that
generated the first Crusade and the flagellant movements of 1260, 13489, 1391 and 1400, the famines that preluded the first and second
Crusade, the pseudo-Baldwin movement and other millenarian outbreaks and, of course, the Black Death that precipitated a whole wave of
millenarian excitement (ibid.: 282).7 It
is perhaps striking that all the characteristics we have encountered up to
now are also marking modern phenomena such as Nazi anti-Semitic utopianism. In fact, in the modern anti-
Semitic fantasy the remnants of past demonological terrors are blended with anxieties and resentments emerging for the first time with
modernity (Cohn, 1996:27). In structural terms the situation remains pretty much the same. The
first condition of possibility for
its emergence is the dislocation of traditional forms of organising and making sense of society, a
dislocation inflicted by the increased hegemony of secularism, liberalism, socialism, industrialisation,
etc. Faced with such disorientating developments, people can very easily resort to a promise for the re-
establishment of a lost harmony. Within such a context Hitler proved successful in persuading the
Germans that he was their only hope. Heartfields genius collages exposing the dark kernel of National
Socialism didnt prove very effective against Nazi propaganda. It was mass unemployment, misery and anxiety
(especially of the middle classes) that led to Hitlers hegemony, to the hegemony of the Nazi utopian promise. At the very time when German
society was turning into one of the great industrial powers of Europe, a land of factories and cities, technology and bureaucracy, many Germans
were dreaming of an archaic world of Germanic peasants, organically linked by bonds of blood in a natural community. Yet, as Cohn very
successfully points out, such a view of the world requires an anti-figure, and this was supplied partly by the liberal West but also, and more
effectively, by the Jews (Cohn, 1996:188). The emergence of the Jew as a modern antichrist follows directly from
this structural necessity for an anti-figure. Rosenberg, Goebbels and other (virtually all) Nazi ideologues used the phantom of
the Jewish race as a lynch-pin binding the fears of the past and prospective victims of modernisation, which they articulated, and the ideal
volkish society of the future which they proposed to create in order to forestall further advances of modernity. (Bauman, 1989:61) No doubt
the idea of a Jewish world conspiracy is a revival, in a secularised form, of certain apocalyptic beliefs. There is clearly a connection between the
famous forgery known as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and the antichrist prophecy (Cohn, 1996:48). The Protocols were first published by
Nilus as part of his book The Great in the Small: Antichrist Considered as an Imminent Political Possibility and were published in 1917 with the
title He is Near, At the DoorHere comes Antichrist and the Reign of the Devil on Earth. As the famous Nazi propagandist Rosenberg points out
One of the advance signs of the coming struggle for the new organisation of the world is this understanding of the very nature of the demon
which has caused our present downfall. Then the way will be open for a new age (Rosenberg in Cohn, 1996:217). Within
this schema
the elimination of the antichrist, that is the Jews, is considered as the remedy for all dislocations, the key
to a new harmonious world. Jews were seen as deserving death (and resented for that reason) because
they stood between this one imperfect and tension-ridden reality and the hoped-for world of tranquil
happinessthe disappearance of the Jews was instrumental in bringing about the world of perfection.
(Bauman, 1989:76) As Sartre claims, for the anti-Semite the Good itself is reduced to the destruction of Evil. Underneath the bitterness of the
anti-Semite one can only reveal the optimistic belief that harmony will be reconstituted of itself, once Evil is destroyed. When the mission of
the anti-Semite as holy destroyer is fulfilled, the lost paradise will be re-established (Sartre, 1995:435).8 In Adornos words, charging the Jews
with all existing evils seems to penetrate the darkness of reality like a searchlight and to allow for quick and all-comprising orientation. It is
the great Panaceathe key to everything (Adorno, 1993:311, my emphasis). Simply put, the
elimination of the Jew is posited as
the only thing that can transform the Nazi dream to reality, the only thing that can realise utopia.9 As it
is pointed out by an American Nazi propagandist, our problem is very simple. Get rid of the Jews and
wed be on the way to Utopia tomorrow. The Jews are the root of all our trouble (True in Cohn, 1996:264, my emphasis). The
same is, of course, true of Stalinism. Zygmunt Bauman brings the two cases together: Hitlers and Stalins victims were not killed in order to
capture and colonise the territory they occupied. They were killed because they did not fit, for one reason or another, the scheme of a perfect
society. Their killing was not the work of destruction but creation. They were eliminated, so that an objectively better human worldmore
efficient, more moral, more beautifulcould be established. A Communist world. Or a racially pure, Aryan world. In both cases, a harmonious
world, conflict free, docile in the hands of their rulers, orderly, controlled. (Bauman, 1989:93) In any case, one should not forget that the fact
that the anti-figure in Nazi ideology came to be the Jew is not an essential but a contingent development. In principle, it could have been
anyone. Any of us can be a substitute for the Jew. And this is not a mere theoretical possibility. In
their classical study of the
authoritarian personality Theodor Adorno and his colleagues point out that subjects in our sample find
numerous other substitutes for the Jew, such as the Mexicans and the Greeks (Adorno, 1993:303). Although the
need for the structural position of the anti-figure remains constant the identity of the subject occupying that position is never given a priori.
This does not mean that within a certain historical configuration with a particular social sedimentation and hegemonic structure all the
possibilities are open to the same extent; it means though that in principle nobody is excluded from being stigmatised. Of
course, the
decision on who will eventually be stigmatised depends largely on the availability within a particular
social configuration of groups that can perform this role in social fantasy, and this availability is socially
constructed out of the existing materials. As Lacan points out in Anxiety, although a lack or a void can be filled in
several ways (in principle), experienceand, in fact, analytic experienceshows that it is never actually
filled in 99 different ways (seminar of 21 November 1962). What we have here is basically a play of incarnation.

The alternative is to traverse the fantasy we must understand that our desires have
no object that can fill our lack. Rather, lack is intrinsic to our location within the
symbolic. Instead, we must become purely desirous creatures.
Sharpe, University of Melbourne, 5 [Matthew, Jacques Lacan (19011981), Internet Encyclopedia
of Philosophy, http://www.iep.utm.edu/lacweb/, RSR] <gender modified>
It is for this reason that Slavoj Zizek has recently drawn a parallel between it and Kant's unity of apperception in The Critique of Pure Reason. Lacan himself, in his
seminar on the logic of fantasy, strove to articulate his meaning by a revision of Descartes' famous cogito ergo sum: "I am not where I think." The key to this
formulation is the opposition between thinking and being. Lacan is saying that, at the point of my thought and speech (the subject of enunciation), there I have no
substantial being that could be known. Equally, "I am not where I think" draws out the necessary misapprehension of the nature of the subject in what s/he
enunciates. If Lacan's subject thus seems a direct psychoanalytic restatement of Sartre/Kojeve's position, however, it needs to be read in conjunction with his
doctrines concerning the "master signifier" and the "fundamental fantasy." Lacan says that master signifiers "represent the subject
for other signifiers." Given his identification of the subject with a lack of being, a first register of this
remark becomes clear. The master signifiers, as examined above, have no particular enunciated content or
signified, according to Lacan. But the Lacanian position is precisely that this lack of enunciated content is
correlative to the subject. In this way, his theorisation of the subject depends not only on a
phenomenological analysis, as (for example) Sartre's does in Being and Nothingness. If the subject is the
subject "of the lack of the signifier," Lacan means not only that it cannot be objectified at the point of its
thinking, as I examined above. The subject is---directly---something that emerges at the point of- and
because of- a lack in the field of signification, on his reckoning. This was already intimated above, in the section on the "logics
of the fantasy," which recounted Lacan's position concerning how it is that subjects develop regimes of fantasy concerning what

Others are supposed to know in order to ground their own belief in, and identification with, the master
signifiers. The point to be emphasised now is that these master signifiers, if they are to function, cannot
do without this subjective investment of fantasy. Lacan's famous claim there is no metalanguage is meant to imply only this: that
there is no field of sense that can be "quilted," and attain to a semblance of consistency, unless subjects
have invested their partial, biased perspective upon that field. This is even the final and most difficult register to what Lacan
aimed to express in the matheme: $ a. As we saw in Part 3, ii., the subject is correlative to the fantasmatically posed lost

object/referent of the master signifiers. We can now state a further level of what Lacan implied in this
matheme, though. This is that in fantasy what subjects misrecognize is not simply the non-existence of
the incestuous-maternal Thing. What subjects primordially repress is the necessity of subjects'
implication in the play of signification that has over-determined the symbolic coordinates of their lives.
The archetypal neurotic subject-position, Lacan notes, is one of victimization. It is the Others who have sinned, and not the subject. S/he has only suffered. What is
of course occluded by these considerations (which may be right or wrong from a moral or legal perspective) is how the subject has invested him/herself in the
events of his/her life. Firstly,
there is the fantasmatic investment of the subject in the "Others supposed to enjoy,"
who are supposed not to have been made to undergo the castrating losses that s/he [they] has [have]
undergone. As Lacan reads Freud's later postulation of the superego, this psychical agency is constructed around residual fantasies of the Oedipal father
supposed to have access to the sovereign jouissance of the mother's body denied to the child. Secondly, what is occluded is what Freud already theorised when he
spoke of subjects' adaption to and "gain" from their illness, as a way of organising their access to jouissance in defiance of the demands of the big Other. Even if the
subject has undergone the most frightful trauma, Lacan argues, what matters is how this trauma has come to be signified subsequently and retrospectively by the
subject around the fundamental fantasy. S/he must be made to avow that the subject-position they have taken up towards their life is something that they have
subjectified, and have an ongoing stake in. This is why, in Seminar II, Lacan quips that the injunction of psychoanalysis is mange ton dasein!- eat your existence! He
means that at the close of the analysis, the
subject should come to internalise and so surpass the way that it has so far
organised your life and relations to Others. It is this point, accordingly, that the ethics of Lacanian psychoanalysis is announced. Lacan's
name for what occurs at the end of the cure is traversing the fantasy. But since what the fantasy does,
for Lacan, is veil from the subject his/her own implication in and responsibility for how s/he experiences
the world, to traverse the fantasy is to reavow subjective responsibility. To traverse the fantasy, Lacan
theorizes, is to cease positing that the Other has taken the "lost" object of desire. It is to accept that this
object is something posited by oneself as a means to compensate for the experienced trauma of
castration. One comes to accept that castration is not an event with a winner (the father) and a loser
(the subject), but a structurally necessary factum for human-beings as such, to which all speaking
subjects have been subjected. What equally follows is the giving up of the resentful and acquisitive project of trying to reclaim the objet petit a
from the Other, and "settling the scores." This gives way to an identification with the place of this object that is at once within the fabric of the world, and yet which
stands out from it. (Note that this is one Lacanian reading of "where It was, there I shall be"). The subject who has traversed the fantasy,
for Lacan, is the subject who has not ceded on its desire. This desire is no longer fixed by the coordinates
of the fundamental fantasy. S/he is able to accept that the fully satisfying sexual object, that which would fulfil the sovereign desire of the mother,
does not exist. S/he is [They are] thus equally open to accepting that the big Other, and/or any concrete

Other supposed by the subject to be its authoritive representative(s), does not have what s/he has [they
have] "lost." Lacan puts this by saying that what the subject can now avow is that the Other does not Exist: that it,
too, lacks, and what it does and wants depends upon the interventions of the subject. The subject is,
finally, able to thereby accept that what it took to be its place in the order of the Other is not a finally
fixed thing. It can now avow without reserve that it is a lacking subject, or, as Lacan will also say, a subject of desire, but that the metonymic sliding of this
desire has no final term. Rather than being ceaselessly caught in the lure of the object-cause of desire, this desire is now free to circle around

on itself, as it were, and desire only itself, in what is a point of strange final proximity between Lacan and the Nietzcheanism he scarcely ever mentioned in his
works.
Shell (PAS Puzzle)
Support for the legalization of physician-assisted suicide operates under the fantasy
that subjects can experience the Real Others desire by including the jouissance
alienated by the Symbolic Other of the medical system
Bracher 95 (Mark Bracher, Doctor-Assisted Suicide: Psychoanalysis of Mass Anxiety, Psychoanalytic Review, October 1 1995, Volume 82
No 5) PC

-Supporters of PAS like the real Other desiring powers of the mother but that has Lacanian problems

The meaning of organ donation for Kevorkian and his supporters is precisely the opposite. The meaning that Kevorkian's plan
aims to extract from what would otherwise be a negative death, a loss without meaning, derives from the fantasy of being the object

that will fulfill both the Real and the Symbolic Other. That is, under Kevorkian's plan, death will transform
the patient not, as is usually the case, into a mass of refuse in which the subject is annihilated, but rather into a
collection of priceless objects desired by the Otherdesired, that is, by the Real Other constituted by the bodies of
other people desperately in need of transplant organs, as well as by the Symbolic Other constituted by
the new social policy and the revised medical system encouraging the use of planned death to produce
vital organs for transplant or research. Kevorkian and his followers find meaning in his plan because they have
identified the current medical and legal system with the castrating, alienating function of the Symbolic
Other, and have simultaneously identified their bodies as instances of what Lacan calls the object ai.e., detachable elements of
one's own or someone else's body, which represent the being or jouissance that was lost as a result of the Symbolic

castration imposed by the Symbolic Other (see Lacan [1977] and Bracher [1993]). More specifically, Kevorkian's program of
organ donation positions transplantable organs as instances of that form of the object a that Lacan calls the
Imaginary phallus, that object of the Real Other's (the Mother's) desire that promises to fill this Real Other's lack. The

castrating, alienating Symbolic Other that Kevorkian's system represents a triumph over is embodied in the

current medical-legal-moral system, the alienating, castrating effects of which are described by Denain as follows: A self-managed death is the
only real symbolic violence [Americans) can wage against the impersonal, structural violence of the postmodern moment. Only in death, claim the

members of the Hemlock, Medicidc, Right-to-Die and Choice-in-Dying movements, can one escape the panoptic eye of an
inhumane medical establishment. This establishment and its technologies have turned what goes on
inside the human body into a new regime of signs and symbols that no longer have any reference to life
itself. .. Large technological structures, including the medical establishment and the health care industries, exert ever greater control over the human body and
its destiny. . . . As Arthur Frank has noted: "My body is decentered in video-tapes of angiograms and ultrasounds, in files of CAT scan images, in graphs of blood cell
counts, and serum levels. When I am asked how I feel, it is these to which I refer and which refer to me. In the medical simulacrum I lose myself in my image ... the
reality of bow I feel passes into signs without feeling. (pp. 8,91 see also Guillemin [1992], and Seravalli and gashing) For
Kevorkian's followers, then,
anxiety is produced by the Symbolic Other constituted by the present medical institution, legal system,
and moral codes, which repeats the original Symbolic cas-tration and thus threatens to deprive the subject of what little
jouissance remains to it. In the eyes of his supporters, Kevorkian's plan offers modification of the paternal
metaphor/Name of the Father to accommodate a recovery of the primal jouissance of being the imaginary phallus,
object of the Mother's desire. Kevorkian's plan offers his supporters a fantasy of escaping the alienating
and castrat-ing effects of the Name of the Father and returning to the position of being the Imaginary phallus, the

object of the Real Other's (the Mother's) desire, while at the same time retaining a (different) Name of the Father, a secure
identity within the Symbolic order. Kevorkian's plan thus offers a fantasy of the psychoanalytic process of separation from the Name of the
Father. In such separation one first identifies with that portion of one's being or jouissance that has been

excluded, alienated, by the Name of the Father. Then, on the basis of this new point of identification, one separates
oneself from the alienating Symbolic system to a new position more inclusive of this alienated
jouissance, and around which one can begin to constitute a new system (see Lacan (1977) and Bracher [1993)). Just as
Kevorkian's plan for organ donation represents a fantasy of psychoanalytic separation for Kevorkian's supporters, so too may the act of suicide. According to
Lacan, there is a common denominator in suicide and psychoanalytic separation, which distinguishes
them from virtually all other actions. That common denominator is their successful accomplishment of what
Lacan calls an act, which involves identification with the object a of the Other's desire and consequently
separating from the Name of the Father, one's identity in the Symbolic order. The convergence of such an act and
suicide is clear: suicide, as Lacan observed, is the ultimate (and only fully successful) separation from
the alienating identity of the Symbolic Other (the Name of the Father), and likewise, every separation from one's
Symbolic identity involves a type of suicide.' A successful analysis thus might very well be described, following
Lacan's remarks, as a sort of doctor-assisted suicide. And conversely, the literal doctor-assisted suicides performed

by Kevorkian may well function for his supporters as images of the very separation from an alienating
identity that a successful analysis produces.

This model of moving beyond external social limitations ignores the internal limits to
progress: the death drive. The affs belief that disrupting sovereign control allows us
to overcome sacrifice within the current system is an illusion. Only the negative truly
embraces the death drive and understands that loss is both inevitable and
fundamentally constitutes us.
McGowan 13 [Todd, Assoc. Prof. of Film and Television Studies @ U. of Vermont, Enjoying What We
Dont Have: The Political Project of Psychoanalysis, pp. 13-22, RSR]

The death drive is neither (contra Marcuse) aggressiveness nor an impulse to return to an inorganic
state (as Freuds metaphor in Beyond the Pleasure Principle might imply) but an impetus to return to an
originary traumatic and constitutive loss. The death drive emerges with subjectivity itself as the subject
enters into the social order and becomes a social and speaking being by sacrificing a part of itself. This
sacrifice is an act of creation that produces an object that exists only insofar as it is lost. This loss of
what the subject doesnt have institutes the death drive, which produces enjoyment through the
repetition of the initial loss. Subjects engage in acts of self-sacrifice and self-sabotage because the loss enacted reproduces the
subjects lost object and enables the subject to enjoy this object. Once it is obtained, the object ceases to be the object. As a result, the subject
must continually repeat the sacrificial acts that produce the object, despite the damage that such acts do to the subjects self-interest. From the
perspective of the death drive, we turn to violence not in order to gain power but in order to produce loss, which
is our only source of enjoyment. Without the lost object, life becomes bereft of any satisfaction. The
repetition of sacrifice, however, creates a life worth living, a life in which one can enjoy oneself through
the lost object. The repetition involved with the death drive is not simply repetition of any particular experience. The repetition
compulsion leads the subject to repeat specifically the experiences that have traumatized it and disturbed its stable functioning. The better
things are going for the subject, the more likely that the death drive will derail the subjects activity.
According to the theory implied by the death drive, any movement toward the good any progress will tend to
produce a reaction that will undermine it. This occurs both on the level of the individual and on the
level of society. In psychoanalytic treatment, it takes the form of a negative therapeutic reaction, an effort to
sustain ones disorder in the face of the imminence of the cure. We can also think of individuals who continue to choose
romantic relationships that fail according to a precise pattern. Politically, it means that progress triggers the very forms of
oppression that it hopes to combat and thereby incessantly undermines itself. There is a backlash written into
every progressive program from the outset. The death drive creates an essentially masochistic structure within the
psyche. It provides the organizing principle for the subject and orients the subject relative to its enjoyment, and this enjoyment remains
always linked to trauma. This structure renders difficult all attempts to prompt subjects to act in their own self-
interest or for their own good. The death drive leads subjects to act contrary to their own interests, to sabotage the projects that
would lead to their good. Common sense tells us that sadism is easier to understand than masochism, that the sadists lust for power over the
object makes sense in a way that the masochists self-destruction does not.
But for psychoanalysis, masochism functions as
the paradigmatic form of subjectivity. Considering the structure of the death drive, masochism becomes easily explained, and
sadism becomes a mystery. Masochism provides the subject the enjoyment of loss, while sadism seems to give
this enjoyment to the other. This is exactly the claim of Jacques Lacans revolutionary interpretation of sadism in his famous article
Kant with Sade. Though most readers focus on the essays philosophical coupling of Kantian morality with Sadean perversion, the more
significant step that Lacan takes here occurs in his explanation of sadisms appeal. Traditionally, most people vilify sadists for transforming their
victims into objects for their own satisfaction, but Lacan contends that they actually turn themselves into objects for the others enjoyment. He
notes: The sadist discharges the pain of existence into the Other, but without seeing that he himself thereby turns into an eternal object.21
Though the other suffers pain, the other also becomes the sole figure of enjoyment. What the sadist enjoys in the sadistic act is the enjoyment
attributed to the other, and the sadistic act attempts to bring about this enjoyment. In this sense, sadism is nothing but an inverted form of
masochism, which remains the fundamental structure of subjectivity.22 Self-destruction
plays such a prominent role in
human activities because the death drive is the drive that animates us as subjects. Unlike Herbert Marcuse,
Norman O. Brown, another celebrated proponent of psychoanalytically informed political thought, attempts to construct a psychoanalytic
political project that focuses on the death drive. He does not simply see it as the unfortunate result of the repression of eros but as a powerful
category on its own. In
Life against Death Brown conceives of the death drive as a self-annihilating impulse
that emerges out of the human incapacity to accept death and loss. As he puts it, The death instinct is the
core of the human neurosis. It begins with the human infants incapacity to accept separation from the
mother, that separation which confers individual life on all living organisms and which in all living
organisms at the same time leads to death.23 For Brown, we pursue death and destruction, paradoxically,
because we cannot accept death. If we possessed the ability to accept our own death, according to Browns view, we would avoid
falling into the death drive and would thereby rid ourselves of human violence and destructiveness. Like Marcuse, Browns societal ideal
involves the unleashing of the sexual drives and the minimizing or elimination of the death drive. He even raises the stakes, contending that
unless we manage to realize this ideal, the human species, under the sway of the death drive, will die out like the dinosaurs. Despite making
more allowances for the death drive (and for death itself) than Marcuse, Brown nonetheless cannot avoid a similar error: the belief that the
death drive is a force that subjects can overcome. For Freud, in contrast, it is the force that revenges itself on every overcoming, the repetition
that no utopia can fully leave behind. An
authentic recognition of the death drive and its primacy would demand
that we rethink the idea of progress altogether. And yet some idea of progress seems essential to
politics. Without progress as a possibility, it seems obvious that one would have no reason to involve
oneself in political contestation. All political activity would become futile, which is why few dispense with it altogether. Even a
thinker such as Jacques Derrida who struggles incessantly against the ideology of progress nonetheless
implicitly retains some notion of authentic progress within his thought. Without it, he would have no position from
which to criticize the idea while still endorsing political activity. The problem with progress as an idea, according to someone like Derrida, lies in
the way that it places a teleology on the movement of history and thereby prescribes a certain future that will serve to constrain our political
activity. Rather than helping to increase our freedom, the
idea of progress diminishes it by closing down the opening
that the future represents. Despite this deconstruction of progress, Derrida aligns deconstruction with hope for a
better future with what he calls an emancipatory promise. In Specters of Marx he elaborates: Well, what remains
irreducible to any deconstruction, what remains as undeconstructible as the possibility itself of deconstruction is, perhaps, a certain experience
of the emancipatory promise; it is perhaps even the formality of a structural messianism, a messianism without religion, even a messianic
without messianism.24 Though deconstruction leaves its emancipatory promise always to be fulfilled and refuses to actualize it, Derrida tacitly
conceives the movement toward it as progressive. The political dimension of deconstruction is founded on the belief that a better world is
possible: by deconstructing hierarchies, by insisting on a justice to come, and by struggling against illusions of presence, we can lessen human
suffering and help to forge a more egalitarian world. There is a good, even if fully realizing this good would transform it into its opposite (which
is Derridas contention). One must ensure that the good society always remains to come, or arrivant, as Derrida puts it, but far from minimizing
the status of the good or denigrating the good, giving it a futural status in fact elevates it and ensconces justice to come as the one idea that we
cannot deconstruct the ultimate or sovereign good.25 Even
in deconstruction, some idea of progress as a possibility
must exist in order for the theorist to make any normative appeal whatsoever.26 But the inescapability of
the idea of progress goes still further. It is not just the normative appeal that implies this idea; any
system of thought, even one that confines itself to pure descriptions, inevitably points toward the
possibility of progress. The act of articulating a system of thought implies the belief that a better world
is possible and that the knowledge the system provides will assist in realizing this better world. If I didnt
believe in the possibility of improvement, I would never bother to articulate any system at all. The very
act of enunciating even the most pessimistic system at tests to a fundamental optimism and hope for
progress beyond the status quo. This is true for an extreme pessimist like Arthur Schopenhauer as much as it is for an avowed
utopian like Charles Fourier. The position from which one enunciates the pessimistic system is the position invested in the idea of progress,
even when the enunciated content of the system completely denounces the idea. Though the good may be impossible to realize, it is also
impossible to abandon entirely. The production of knowledge itself points, often despite itself, toward a better future. This link between
knowledge and progress is the controlling idea of the Enlightenment. In his essay What Is Enlightenment? Kant
emphasizes that Enlightenment requires a situation where one is free to gain knowledge, where one has freedom to make public use of ones
reason in all mat ers.27 In the act of gaining knowledge through reasoning, subjects facilitate progress as they put this knowledge into use by
restructuring society. Knowledge, for Kant and for all Enlightenment thinkers, has an inherently progressive leaning. It frees us from the tyranny
of the past and from the drudgery of repetition. Progress is only possible because we have the ability to know the past and to learn from it.28
The Enlightenments belief in progress derives from its conception of the human subject as a subject of
knowledge, a subject who fundamentally wants to know. For psychoanalysis, the link between
knowledge and progress dooms the possibility of progress. Rather than desiring to know, the subject desires
not to know and organizes its existence around the avoidance of knowledge. In Le sminaire XXI Lacan states this
straightforwardly: There has been no desire for knowledge but . . . a horror of knowing.29The knowledge that we avoid is knowledge of the
unconscious because this knowledge confronts us with the power of the death drive and the inescapability of repetition. What we dont know
our particular form of stupidity allows us to move forward, to view the future with hopefulness. Without this fundamental refusal to
know, the subject simply could not continue.30 Freuds great revolution in the history of thought stems from his
conception of the subject as a subject of desire rather than as a subject of knowledge. Where thinkers from
Plato to Kant consider an inherent striving to know as essential to subjectivity, not only does Freud envision a different essential drive, he
contends that the subject wants not to know in order to continue to desire. The subject acts not on the basis of
what it knows but on the basis of how it desires. We might imagine linking these two ideas of the subject if we could link the act of knowing and
the act of desiring. But
knowledge and desire are at odds: the subject doesnt want to know what it desires or
how it enjoys. Its knowledge remains necessarily incomplete, and the gap within knowledge is the trigger for the
subjects desire and the point at which it enjoys. The unconscious emerges out of the subjects incapacity for knowing its own
enjoyment. Conscious knowledge is not simply unable to arrive at the knowledge of enjoyment and its
traumatic origin; it actively functions as a barrier to this knowledge. Conscious knowledge thwarts
access to the unconscious, and, as a result, the conscious effort to know continually defeats itself.
Psychoanalysis attempts to fill this fundamental lacuna in the project of knowledge by demanding that
the subject abandon the project in its traditional manifestation. It constructs a space that brackets
conscious knowledge in order that the subject might discover the unconscious. The fundamental role of
psychoanalysis one must reveal not what one knows but the words that come to mind aims at
bringing to light what the subject doesnt want to know. A gap exists between what the subject knows and what it says. In
the act of speaking, the subject says more than it consciously knows, and this excess is the unconscious a knowledge that the subject has
without knowing it. The paradox of this knowledge is that one can access it only when not seeking it and that once one has it, one has lost it.
Adherence to the fundamental rule of psychoanalysis insofar as it is possible allows subjects to recognize what they dont know when it
surprises them. But it doesnt thereby permit subjects to make progress through the acquisition of knowledge. The
recognitions that
one makes in psychoanalysis do not have the status of knowledge in the traditional sense of the term;
instead, they mark an irreducible gap in the field of knowledge. One recognizes oneself in an
unconscious desire that remains foreign, and one takes responsibility for it despite its foreignness. By
doing so, one does not change or progress as a subject but becomes what one already was. One sees the
death drive as the truth of ones subjectivity rather than as an obstacle that one might try to progress
beyond in order to reach the good. Interminable Repetition If we accept the contradictory conclusion that some idea of
progress inheres in every system of thought and that the psychoanalytic concept of the death drive shows the impossibility of progress, this
leaves psychoanalytic thought and especially a psychoanalytic political project on difficult ground. It
might explain the
seemingly absolute pessimism of the later Freud, Freud after 1920, who appears to have abandoned his
belief in the effacaciousness of the psychoanalytic cure. One of his final essays, Analysis Terminable and Interminable,
written in 1937 (just two years before his death), lays bare Freuds doubts concerning our ability to break from the power of repetition. Here,
Freud conceives of subjects refusal to abandon castration anxiety and penis envy as emblematic of the intractability of repetition. He notes:
At no other point in ones analytic work does one suffer more from an oppressive feeling that all ones repeated efforts have been in vain, and
from a suspicion that one has been preaching to the winds, than when one is trying to persuade a woman to abandon her wish for a penis on
the ground of its being unrealizable or when one is seeking to convince a man that a passive attitude to men does not always signify castration
and that it is indispensable in many relationships in life.31 That is, the repetition that centers around traumatic loss acts as a barrier that we
cannot progress beyond. In light of this barrier, the formulation of a psychoanalytically informed political project demands that we dissociate
politics from progress as it is usually conceived. We
cannot escape progress, and yet the traditional conception of
progress always runs aground. This paradox must become the foundation of any authentic
psychoanalytic politics. It demands that rather than trying to progress toward overcoming the barrier
that separates us from the good society, we begin to view identification with the barrier as the
paradoxical aim of progress. The barrier to the good society the social symptom is at once the obstacle over which we
continually stumble and the source of our enjoyment.32 The typical politics of the good aims at a future not inhibited by a limit that constrains
the present. This future can take the form of a truly representative democracy, a socialist utopia, a society with a fair distribution of power and
wealth, or even a fascist order that would expel those who embody the limit. But the good remains out of reach despite the various ef orts to
reach it. The limit separating us from the good society is the very thing that constitutes the good society as such. Overcoming the limit
shatters the idea of the good in the act of achieving it. In place of this pursuit, a psychoanalytic politics insists
on identification with the limit rather than at empting to move beyond or eliminate it. If there is a conception of
progress in this type of politics, it is progress toward the obstacle that bars us from the good rather than toward
the good itself. Identification with the limit involves an embrace of the repetition of the drive because it is the obstacle or limit that is the
point to which the drive returns. No one can be the perfect subject of the drive because the drive is what undermines all perfection. But it is
nonetheless possible to change ones experience within it. The
fundamental wager of psychoanalysis a wager that
renders the idea of a psychoanalytic political project thinkable is that repetition undergoes a radical
transformation when one adopts a different attitude toward it. We may be condemned to repeat, but
we arent condemned to repeat the same position relative to our repetition. By embracing repetition through
identification with the obstacle to progress rather than trying to achieve the good by overcoming this obstacle, the subject or the social order
changes its very nature. Instead of being the burden that one seeks to escape, repetition becomes the essence of ones being and the mode
through which one attains satisfaction. Conceiving politics in terms of the embrace of repetition rather than the
construction of a good society takes the movement that derails traditional political projects and reverses
its valence. This idea of politics lacks the hopefulness that Marxism, for instance, can provide for overcoming antagonism and loss. With it,
we lose not just a utopian ideal but the idea of an alternative future altogether the idea of a future no longer beset by intransigent limits
and this idea undoubtedly mobilizes much political energy.33 What
we gain, however, is a political form that addresses
the way that subjects structure their enjoyment. It is by abandoning the terrain of the good and
adopting the death drive as its guiding principle that emancipatory politics can pose a genuine
alternative to the dominance of global capitalism rather than incidentally creating new avenues for its
expansion and development. The death drive is the revolutionary contribution that psychoanalysis makes to political thought. But
since it is a concept relatively foreign to political thought, I will turn to various examples from history, literature, and f lm in order to concretize
what Freud means by the death drive and illustrate just what a politics of the death drive might look like. The chapters that follow trace the
implications of the death drive for thinking about the subject as a political entity and for conceiving the political structure of society. Part 1
focuses on the individual subject, beginning with an explanation of how the death drive shapes this subjectivity. The various chapters in part 1
trace the implications of the death drive for understanding how the subject enjoys, how the drive relates to social class, how the drive impacts
the subject as an ethical being, and how the subject becomes politicized. The discussion of the impact of the death drive on the individual
subject serves as a foundation for articulating its impact on society, which part 2 of the book addresses, beginning with the impact of the death
drive on the constitution of society. Part 2 then examines how the conception of the death drive helps in navigating a path through todays
major political problems: the inefficacity of consciousness raising, the seductive power of fantasy, the growing danger of biological
reductionism and fundamentalism, the lure of religious belief, and the failure of attempts to lift repression. The two parts of the book do not
attempt to sketch a political goal to be attained for the subject or for society but instead to recognize the structures that already exist and
silently inform both. The wager of what follows is that the revelation of the death drive and its reach into the subject and the social order can
be the foundation for reconceiving freedom. The recognition of the death drive as foundational for subjectivity is what occurs with the
psychoanalytic cure. Through
this cure, the subject abandons the belief in the possibility of finding a solution
to the problem of subjectivity. The loss for which one seeks restitution becomes a constitutive loss
and becomes visible as the key to ones enjoyment rather than a barrier to it. A political project derived from
psychoanalytic thought would work to broaden this cure by bringing it outside the clinic and enacting on society itself. The point is not,
of course, that everyone would undergo psychoanalysis but that psychoanalytic theory would function
as a political theory. Politically, the importance of psychoanalysis is theoretical rather than practical. Politically, it doesnt matter
whether people undergo psychoanalytic therapy or not. This theory would inaugurate political change by insisting not on the possibility of
healing and thereby attaining the ultimate pleasure but on the indissoluble link between our enjoyment and loss. We become free to enjoy only
when we have recognized the intractable nature of loss.
Though psychoanalytic thought insists on our freedom to
enjoy, it understands freedom in a counterintuitive way. It is through the death drive that the subject
attains its freedom. The loss that founds this drive frees the subject from its dependence on its social
environment, and the repetition of the initial loss sustains this freedom. By embracing the inescapability
of traumatic loss, one embraces ones freedom, and any political project genuinely concerned with
freedom must orient itself around loss. Rather than looking to the possibility of overcoming loss, our
political projects must work to remain faithful to it and enhance our contact with it. Only in this way
does politics have the opportunity to carve out a space for the freedom to enjoy rather than restricting
it under the banner of the good.

This is the root cause of the affirmative: the criminalization of physician-assisted


suicide operates under the same logic as the 1AC. It stems from the anxiety of losing
the signifier of life and the coherence of the Symbolic Other. Only the alternatives
notion of traversing the fantasy can solve.
Bracher 95 (Mark Bracher, Doctor-Assisted Suicide: Psychoanalysis of Mass Anxiety, Psychoanalytic Review, October 1 1995, Volume 82
No 5) PC

*gender modified*

Liberalized suicide laws demonstrate, for Kevorkian's opponents, the Symbolic Other's deficiency. They do so in a number of ways. In the first
place, allowing
that suicide might be preferable to all other alternatives in certain situations is a tacit
admission that the Symbolic order constituted by the medical system is incapable of totally covering and
controlling the Real. As Seravalli and Fashing (1992) have observed, The successes of scientific medicine almost seem
to have produced the illusion that [hu]mankind is on the threshold of immortality, so that death, when it
occurs, becomes the ultimate defeat' (p. 37). Liberalized suicide laws constitute an official acknowledgement by the Symbolic Other
of its own limitations with regard to the Real. In addition, liberal suicide laws constitute an assault on the Name of the Father, one's Symbolic-
order identity. Specifically, the
hegemony of the signifiers life, which is the operative Name of the Father here,

is threatened by liberal suicide laws. Robert Barry (1992), a Dominican priest, expresses this view when he states that suicide
entails the position that life is "irrational and absurd, . . pure and simple trash" (p. 26). "A liberal suicide policy, he declares, "would
compromise the common law principle of the inviolability of human life and its immunity to lethal attack under any circum-stances" (p. 26). A
coalition of politically conservative Christians and Jews who published a manifesto in The Wall Street Journal express much the same view. 'To
treat our life as a `thing' that we can authorise another to terminate is profoundly dehumanizing," they declare. "If life is a thing that can be
renounced or taken at will, the moral structure of human community . . . is shattered" (quoted by McCord, 1992, p. 26). As William McCord
(1992) observes, however, "To acknowledge that the state has the authority to kill evildoers, as the
neoconservatives affirm, already relativises the claim to the sanctity of human life" (p. 23). Preserving life is thus
not the real concern of opponents of a liberal suicide policy. The primary motive underlying the opposition to the
liberal suicide advocated by Kevorkian is the desire to preserve not life itself but the signifier life" as a Name of
the Father. If actually saving lives were the primary motive behind opposition to a liberal suicide policy, opposition would in all likelihood be
directed elsewheree.g., at capital punishment, deficiencies in prenatal and neonatal care, drug addiction, AIDS, the proliferation of handguns,
and so on. The primary motive for opposing suicide is not the desire to preserve human life. Rather, the
primary reason for the
opposition is that a liberal suicide policy would erode the Name of the Father "life and expose the
Symbolic Other's deficiency, thus depriving subjects of the security provided by the illusion of a
comprehensive and complete Symbolic Other. Barry himself admits as much when he concludes: "A liberal suicide policy is
simply wrong because it would be a powerful indictment of our collective inability to cope with the human problems of suffering, loneliness,
guilt, frustration and despair' (p. 28). A liberal suicide policy puts one at the mercy of the Real Other of the human body by admitting that the
Symbolic Other, the Father's law, is incapable of completely shielding the subject from the Real Other. In addition to eroding the Name of the
Father life and constituting a capitulation of the Symbolic Other to the Real, a liberal suicide policy constitutes for its opponents a third form of
capitula-tion to the Real. Aliberal suicide policy, in recognizing that there are fates worse than death and
denying that death is the ultimate evil, deprives people of one of their primary defenses against the Real
Other: death as a phobic object. As Lacan explained in his rereading of the Little Hans case, a subject's deepest anxiety is
a response not to le pere but rather to le pire i.e. a response not to the Father's (Symbolic Other's) threat of castration
but to the absence of (Symbolic) castration, which leaves the subject vulnerable to some-thing worse: the
Real Other's (Mother's) overwhelming, devouring desire. When the Name of the Father is insufficiently powerful to cut the
subject off from the Real Other, the subject may find provisional protection from the Real Other through a
phobic object, a more precise and limited piece of the Real that the subject has a reasonable chance of
avoiding. Such would seem to be the function of death for many who oppose a more liberal suicide policy. Keeping suicide illegal
allows death to function as the ultimate threat, a threat which, if it cannot be avoided forever, can be more easily
excluded and colonized by the Symbolic Other than can what Barry describes as the human problems
of suffering, loneliness, guilt, frustration, and despair. (p. 28).

<Insert other links if needed>


The alternative is to traverse the fantasy we must understand that our desires have
no object that can fill our lack. Rather, lack is intrinsic to our location within the
symbolic. Instead, we must become purely desirous creatures.
Sharpe, University of Melbourne, 5 [Matthew, Jacques Lacan (19011981), Internet Encyclopedia
of Philosophy, http://www.iep.utm.edu/lacweb/, RSR] <gender modified>
It is for this reason that Slavoj Zizek has recently drawn a parallel between it and Kant's unity of apperception in The Critique of Pure Reason. Lacan himself, in his
seminar on the logic of fantasy, strove to articulate his meaning by a revision of Descartes' famous cogito ergo sum: "I am not where I think." The key to this
formulation is the opposition between thinking and being. Lacan is saying that, at the point of my thought and speech (the subject of enunciation), there I have no
substantial being that could be known. Equally, "I am not where I think" draws out the necessary misapprehension of the nature of the subject in what s/he
enunciates. If Lacan's subject thus seems a direct psychoanalytic restatement of Sartre/Kojeve's position, however, it needs to be read in conjunction with his
doctrines concerning the "master signifier" and the "fundamental fantasy." Lacan says that master signifiers "represent the subject
for other signifiers." Given his identification of the subject with a lack of being, a first register of this
remark becomes clear. The master signifiers, as examined above, have no particular enunciated content or
signified, according to Lacan. But the Lacanian position is precisely that this lack of enunciated content is
correlative to the subject. In this way, his theorisation of the subject depends not only on a
phenomenological analysis, as (for example) Sartre's does in Being and Nothingness. If the subject is the
subject "of the lack of the signifier," Lacan means not only that it cannot be objectified at the point of its
thinking, as I examined above. The subject is---directly---something that emerges at the point of- and
because of- a lack in the field of signification, on his reckoning. This was already intimated above, in the section on the "logics
of the fantasy," which recounted Lacan's position concerning how it is that subjects develop regimes of fantasy concerning what

Others are supposed to know in order to ground their own belief in, and identification with, the master
signifiers. The point to be emphasised now is that these master signifiers, if they are to function, cannot
do without this subjective investment of fantasy. Lacan's famous claim there is no metalanguage is meant to imply only this: that
there is no field of sense that can be "quilted," and attain to a semblance of consistency, unless subjects
have invested their partial, biased perspective upon that field. This is even the final and most difficult register to what Lacan
aimed to express in the matheme: $ a. As we saw in Part 3, ii., the subject is correlative to the fantasmatically posed lost

object/referent of the master signifiers. We can now state a further level of what Lacan implied in this
matheme, though. This is that in fantasy what subjects misrecognize is not simply the non-existence of
the incestuous-maternal Thing. What subjects primordially repress is the necessity of subjects'
implication in the play of signification that has over-determined the symbolic coordinates of their lives.
The archetypal neurotic subject-position, Lacan notes, is one of victimization. It is the Others who have sinned, and not the subject. S/he has only suffered. What is
of course occluded by these considerations (which may be right or wrong from a moral or legal perspective) is how the subject has invested him/herself in the
events of his/her life. Firstly,
there is the fantasmatic investment of the subject in the "Others supposed to enjoy,"
who are supposed not to have been made to undergo the castrating losses that s/he [they] has [have]
undergone. As Lacan reads Freud's later postulation of the superego, this psychical agency is constructed around residual fantasies of the Oedipal father
supposed to have access to the sovereign jouissance of the mother's body denied to the child. Secondly, what is occluded is what Freud already theorised when he
spoke of subjects' adaption to and "gain" from their illness, as a way of organising their access to jouissance in defiance of the demands of the big Other. Even if the
subject has undergone the most frightful trauma, Lacan argues, what matters is how this trauma has come to be signified subsequently and retrospectively by the
subject around the fundamental fantasy. S/he must be made to avow that the subject-position they have taken up towards their life is something that they have
subjectified, and have an ongoing stake in. This is why, in Seminar II, Lacan quips that the injunction of psychoanalysis is mange ton dasein!- eat your existence! He
means that at the close of the analysis, the
subject should come to internalise and so surpass the way that it has so far
organised your life and relations to Others. It is this point, accordingly, that the ethics of Lacanian psychoanalysis is announced. Lacan's
name for what occurs at the end of the cure is traversing the fantasy. But since what the fantasy does,
for Lacan, is veil from the subject his/her own implication in and responsibility for how s/he experiences
the world, to traverse the fantasy is to reavow subjective responsibility. To traverse the fantasy, Lacan
theorizes, is to cease positing that the Other has taken the "lost" object of desire. It is to accept that this
object is something posited by oneself as a means to compensate for the experienced trauma of
castration. One comes to accept that castration is not an event with a winner (the father) and a loser
(the subject), but a structurally necessary factum for human-beings as such, to which all speaking
subjects have been subjected. What equally follows is the giving up of the resentful and acquisitive project of trying to reclaim the objet petit a
from the Other, and "settling the scores." This gives way to an identification with the place of this object that is at once within the fabric of the world, and yet which
stands out from it. (Note that this is one Lacanian reading of "where It was, there I shall be"). The subject who has traversed the fantasy,
for Lacan, is the subject who has not ceded on its desire. This desire is no longer fixed by the coordinates
of the fundamental fantasy. S/he is able to accept that the fully satisfying sexual object, that which would fulfil the sovereign desire of the mother,
does not exist. S/he is [They are] thus equally open to accepting that the big Other, and/or any concrete

Other supposed by the subject to be its authoritive representative(s), does not have what s/he has [they
have] "lost." Lacan puts this by saying that what the subject can now avow is that the Other does not Exist: that it,
too, lacks, and what it does and wants depends upon the interventions of the subject. The subject is,
finally, able to thereby accept that what it took to be its place in the order of the Other is not a finally
fixed thing. It can now avow without reserve that it is a lacking subject, or, as Lacan will also say, a subject of desire, but that the metonymic sliding of this
desire has no final term. Rather than being ceaselessly caught in the lure of the object-cause of desire, this desire is now free to circle around

on itself, as it were, and desire only itself, in what is a point of strange final proximity between Lacan and the Nietzcheanism he scarcely ever mentioned in his
works.
Overview
2NC/1NR Overview (Generic)
Our relationship to desire is apriori. The structure of ourselves and society is based
upon a fundamental lack and antagonism. When we become beings of discourse, we
become trapped within the house of language since we have to adapt our desires,
which are a product of the real, to that of the symbolic in language which already has
external value structures within it. This creates a lack within ourselves since language
creates a separation between our real self and what has been adapted to the symbolic
order. Therefore, the judge should vote for the team that has the best relationship to
this constitutive lack and the subsequent antagonism. This outweighs the aff because
it forms the basis for engagement and subjectivity and turns the case because failure
to relate to our foundational desires makes all of their impacts inevitable since well
inevitably return to what they try to avoid.
Miscellaneous
2NC/1NR A2: Death = Death Drive
Lol theyre not the same thing the death drive is the demand to return to
constitutive loss, not our inorganic state.
McGowan 13 [Todd, Assoc. Prof. of Film and Television Studies @ U. of Vermont, Enjoying What We
Dont Have: The Political Project of Psychoanalysis, pp. 35-36, RSR]

The death drive, despite the implications of the term itself and Freuds own suggestions in this direction,
is not a drive to die and thereby return to an inorganic state. Rather than the death that occurs at the
end of life, the death drive comes out of a death that occurs within life. It is a drive to repeat the
experience of the loss of the privileged object that gives birth to the desiring subject. Th is experience
is death in life insofar as it marks the moment at which death installs itself in the subject and rips the
subject out of the cycle of life. Th e loss of the privileged object derails the subject and distorts the
subjects relationship to life itself. From this moment on, rather than simply trying to survive or to increase its
vitality, the subject will continually return to the loss that defines the structure of its desire.23 This
disruption of life that founds the subject as such renders insuffi cient any recourse to an organicist or
biological explanation of subjectivity. Th e subject of desire is never just a living subject; it is a subject that holds within it a form
of death, a loss that shapes every relation that it subsequently adopts to the world. In fact, this loss pulls the subject out of the world and
leaves it completely alienated from its environment or lifeworld.
2NC/1NR A2: Permutation (Generic)
They dont get a permutation this debate is about different methodologies to
address the problem of <insert aff thing here> giving them the permutation prevents
us from testing the efficacy of our relative methodologies also, its unfair giving a
permutation to an aff without a plan text makes generating competition impossible as
the aff can always reclarify the 1AC and their advocacy statement. Rejecting
permutation is the only way to give the negative a foothold in these debates.
All of our link arguments are disads to the permutation and reasons why their
understanding of <is bad> and mutually exclusive with our alternative.
Links
2NC/1NR Progress Link Wall
The affs belief in progress is a bad relationship to desire and the death drive.
Their belief in a telos ignores that our subjectivity was animated by the death drive.
Thats the first McGowan card. When we become part of the symbolic, we alienate
part of our real self as we have to adapt our real desires to a system of language that
is structured by values external to us. This means that our original subjectivity was
founded in sacrificing part of ourselves so when we conceive of political projects we
have an impetus to return to this loss to reanimate our subjectivity. Any attempts to
good and progress are part of the broader fantasy to create a coherence within society
and our subjectivity to overcome that lack. This will eventually undermine itself as we
are FUNDAMENTALLY drawn to our own self-destruction. We only gain enjoyment
when we return to loss because its what ushered us into the symbolic. The project of
integrating a more whole society that is more inclusive to a greater category of people
drives us in the opposite direction of the death drive.
2NC/1NR Knowledge Link Wall
The affs relationship to knowledge is also a bad relationship to desire and the death
drive.
Their belief that merely telling the true knowledge of a situation is emancipatory
ignores that we are fundamentally subjects of desire rather than subjects of
knowledge. Thats the second McGowan card. Knowledge is insufficient in itself
because it ignores that ENJOYMENT structures the choices that we make. Couple of
reasons it implicates the aff
First, the project of knowledge is founded within a fantasy. Thats 1NC Sharpe and
McGowan. They believe that whats wrong is that the status quo lacks certain forms of
knowledge and that remedying that lack will make society more tolerable since it
would be more coherent with the truth. This project is a fantasy because it believes
that knowledge can help make the symbolic Other consistent. Just like ourselves, the
Other is also lacking and utopian fantasies of completing it necessitate a certain
outside to which we do violence. Thats 1NC Stavrakakis. This also cuts us off from the
death drive because it ignores that lack structures our ENTIRE relationship to the
world and that sacrifice and loss are the animating structures that control our desire
and enjoyment in relation to this lack knowledge can never remedy this because it
assumes that we can overcome this lack and loss.
Second, enjoyment works, not knowledge. The aff believes that educating people and
presenting truer representations is sufficient to solve this ignores that you cannot
persuade people to change with rational reasons because people are libidinally
invested in the status quo. Thats 1NC McGowan. All forms of transgression, whether
it be conservative, liberal, etc., are all grounded in the enjoyment of sacrifice.
Transgression makes possible sacrificing the good whether it be expert knowledge,
societal laws, taboos, etc. by violating the prohibition. The obsession with facts and
new forms of knowledge ignore that it could be propped up as the new good, the new
form of expert knowledge to which people will transgress. This is why popular
conservatism is so persuasive, these people thrive on transgressing proposed social
codes like not smoking, not driving an SUV, not disciplining your child, etc.
Identifications with various movements are only possible because the identification is
enjoyable. The death drive structures this enjoyment because people are libidinally
attracted to sacrifice and reliving our constitutive loss. Therefore, the affs treating the
issue like that of truth ignores that it functions like an object a for us and that the
death drive controls our relationship to it.
<Read one of the next two cards>
This is exceptionally evident with the affs relationship to the 1AC. Radicalism is a
guise for enjoyment which means that theres no incentive in changing the status quo.
Zizek, Professor of philosophy and psychoanalysis at the European Graduate School, 1 [Slavoj,
Repeating Lenin, Chapter Lenins Choice, 2001,
https://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/philosophy/works/ot/zizek1.htm, RSR]
One is therefore tempted to turn around Marxs thesis 11: the first task today is precisely NOT to succumb to the temptation to act, to directly
intervene and change things (which then inevitably ends in a cul de sac of debilitating impossibility: what can one do against the global
capital?), but to question the hegemonic ideological coordinates. If,
today, one follows a direct call to act, this act will not
be performed in an empty space it will be an act WITHIN the hegemonic ideological coordinates:
those who really want to do something to help people get involved in (undoubtedly honorable)
exploits like Medecins sans frontiere, Greenpeace, feminist and anti-racist campaigns, which are all not
only tolerated, but even supported by the media, even if they seemingly enter the economic territory
(say, denouncing and boycotting companies which do not respect ecological conditions or which use
child labor) they are tolerated and supported as long as they do not get too close to a certain limit.
This kind of activity provides the perfect example of interpassivity2: of doing things not to achieve
something, but to PREVENT from something really happening, really changing. All the frenetic
humanitarian, politically correct, etc., activity fits the formula of Lets go on changing something all the
time so that, globally, things will remain the same! Let us take two predominant topics of todays
American radical academia: postcolonial and queer (gay) studies. The problem of postcolonialism is
undoubtedly crucial; however, postcolonial studies tend to translate it into the multiculturalist
problematic of the colonized minorities right to narrate their victimizing experience, of the power
mechanisms which repress otherness, so that, at the end of the day, we learn that the root of the
postcolonial exploitation is our intolerance towards the Other, and, furthermore, that this intolerance
itself is rooted in our intolerance towards the Stranger in Ourselves, in our inability to confront what
we repressed in and of ourselves the politico-economic struggle is thus imperceptibly transformed
into a pseudo-psychoanalytic drama of the subject unable to confront its inner traumas... The true
corruption of the American academia is not primarily financial, it is not only that they are able to buy
many European critical intellectuals (myself included up to a point), but conceptual: notions of the
European critical theory are imperceptibly translated into the benign universe of the Cultural Studies
chic. My personal experience is that practically all of the radical academics silently count on the long-
term stability of the American capitalist model, with the secure tenured position as their ultimate
professional goal (a surprising number of them even play on the stock market). If there is a thing they are
genuinely horrified of, it is a radical shattering of the (relatively) safe life environment of the symbolic classes in the developed Western
societies. Their excessive Politically Correct zeal when dealing with sexism, racism, Third World
sweatshops, etc., is thus ultimately a defense against their own innermost identification, a kind of
compulsive ritual whose hidden logic is: Lets talk as much as possible about the necessity of a radical
change to make it sure that nothing will really change! Symptomatic is here the journal October: when you ask one of
the editors to what the title refers, they will half-confidentially signal that it is, of course, THAT October in this way, one can
indulge in the jargonistic analyses of the modern art, with the hidden assurance that one is somehow
retaining the link with the radical revolutionary past... With regard to this radical chic, the first gesture
towards the Third Way ideologists and practitioners should be that of praise: they at least play their
game in a straight way, and are honest in their acceptance of the global capitalist coordinates, in
contrast to the pseudo-radical academic Leftists who adopt towards the Third Way the attitude of utter
disdain, while their own radicality ultimately amounts to an empty gesture which obliges no one to
anything determinate. It is true that, today, it is the radical populist Right which is usually breaking the (still)
predominant liberal-democratic consensus, gradually rendering acceptable the hitherto excluded topics
(the partial justification of Fascism, the need to constrain abstract citizenship on behalf of ethnic
identity, etc.). However, the hegemonic liberal democracy is using this fact to blackmail the Left radicals:
we shouldnt play with fire: against the new Rightist onslaught, one should more than ever insist on the
democratic consensus any criticism of it willingly or unwillingly helps the new Right! This is the key line of
separation: one should reject this blackmail, taking the risk of disturbing the liberal consensus, up to questioning the very notion of democracy.
So how are we to respond to the eternal dilemma of the radical Left: should one strategical support center-Left figures like
Bill Clinton against the conservatives, or should one adopt the stance of it doesnt matter, we shouldnt
get involved in these fights in a way, it is even better if the Right is directly in power, since, in this
way, it will be easier for the people to see the truth of the situation"? The answer is the variation of old Stalins
answer to the question Which deviation is worse, the Rightist or the Leftist one?": THEY ARE BOTH WORSE. What one should do is to
adopt the stance of the proper dialectical paradox: in principle, of course, one should be indifferent
towards the struggle between the liberal and conservative pole of todays official politics however,
one can only afford to be indifferent if the liberal option is in power. Otherwise, the price to be paid may appear much
too high recall the catastrophic consequences of the decision of the German Communist Party in the early 30s NOT to focus on the struggle
against the Nazis, with the justification that the Nazi dictatorship is the last desperate stage of the capitalist domination, which will open eyes
to the working class, shattering their belief in the bourgeois democratic institutions. Along these lines, Claude Lefort himself, whom no one
can accuse of communist sympathies, recently made a crucial point in his answer to Francois Furet: todays liberal consensus is the result of 150
years of the Leftist workers struggle and pressure upon the State, it incorporated demands which were 100 or even less years ago dismissed by
liberals as horror.3 As a proof, one should just look at the list of the demands at the end of the Communist Manifesto: apart from 2 or 3 of them
(which, of course, are the key one), all others are today part of the consensus (at least the disintegrating Welfare State one): the universal vote,
the right to free education, universal healthcare and care for the retired, limitation of child labor...

Radicalism is a guise for enjoyment. It has a libidinal investment in being against the
system which never wanting the system to change.
Zizek, Professor of philosophy and psychoanalysis at the European Graduate School, 2 [Slavoj,
Welcome to the Desert of the Real, p. 59-61, RSR]

Happiness is thus to put it in Alain Badious terms not a category of truth, but a category of mere Being, and, as
such, confused, indeterminate, inconsistent (take the proverbial answer of a German immigrant to the USA who, asked: Are you happy?,
answered: Yes, yes, I am very happy, ober gluckhch bin ich nicht. . .). It is a pagan concept: for pagans, the goal of life is to be happy (the idea
of living happily ever after is a Christianized version of paganism), and religious experience and political activity are considered the highest
forms of happiness (see Aristotle) no wonder the Dalai Lama has had such success recently preaching the gospel of happiness around the
world, and no wonder he is finding the greatest response precisely in the USA, the ultimate empire of the (pursuit of) happiness. . . . In short,
happiness belongs to the pleasure principle, and what undermines it is the insistence of a Beyond of
the pleasure principle. In a strict Lacanian sense of the term, we should thus posit that happiness relies on the subjects
inability or unreadiness fully to confront the consequences of its desire: the price of happiness is that
the subject remains stuck in the inconsistency of its desire. In our daily lives, we (pretend to) desire
things which we do not really desire, so that, ultimately, the worst thing that can happen is for us to
get what we officially desire. Happiness is thus inherently hypocritical: it is the happiness of dreaming about things we do not
really want. When todays Left bombards the capitalist system with demands that it obviously cannot
fulfil (Full employment! Retain the welfare state! Full rights for immigrants!), it is basically playing a game of hysterical
provocation, of addressing the Master with a demand which will be impossible for him to meet, and
will thus expose his impotence. The problem with this strategy, however, is not only that the system
cannot meet these demands, but that, in addition, those who voice them do not really want them to be
realized. For example, when radical academics demand full rights for immigrants and opening of the
borders, are they aware that the direct implementation of this demand would, for obvious reasons,
inundate developed Western countries with millions of newcomers, thus provoking a violent working-
class racist backlash which would then endanger the privileged position of these very academics? Of
course they are, but they count on the fact that their demand will not be met in this way, they can
hypocritically retain their clear radical conscience while continuing to enjoy their privileged position. In
1994, when a new wave of emigration from Cuba to the USA was on the cards, Fidel Castro warned the USA that if they did not stop inciting
Cubans to emigrate, Cuba would no longer prevent them from doing it which the Cuban authorities in effect did a couple of days later,
embarrassing the USA with thousands of unwanted newcomers. . . . Is this not like the proverbial woman who snapped back at a man who was
making macho advances to her: Shut up, or youll have to do what youre boasting about! In both cases, the gesture is that of calling the
others bluff, counting on the fact that what the other really fears is that one will fully comply with his or her demand. And would not the same
gesture also throw our radical academics into a panic? Here the
old 68 motto Soyons reailistes, demandons limpossible! acquires
a new cynical and sinister meaning which, perhaps, reveals its truth: Lets be realists: we, the academic Left,
want to appear critical, while fully enjoying the privileges the system offers us. So lets bombard the system with
impossible demands: we all know that these demands wont be met, so we can be sure that nothing
will actually change, and well maintain our privileged status! If someone accuses a big corporation of particular finan-
cial crimes, he or she is exposed to risks which can go right up to murder attempts; if he or she asks the same corporation to finance a research
project into the link between global capitalism and the emergence of hybrid postcolonial identities, he or she stands a good chance of getting
hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Another Academy Interpassivity Card (Potentially Better)
The affs challenge to debate prefigures us as subjects dependent on oppression as the
condition of possibility for our identity this renders transformation impossible
Lundberg, Associate Professor of Rhetoric at the University of North Carolina, 12 [Christian, Lacan in
Public: Psychoanalysis and the Science of Rhetoric, Alabama Rhetoric Cult & Soc Crit, University Alabama
Press, 2012, RSR]

The demands of student revolutionaries and antiglobalization protestors . . . that alone by which they
are satisfied.46
2NC/1NR PAS Puzzle Link Wall
The affirmative thinks that they link turn this critique but they do not they are a bad
relationship to the desire and death drive couple of reasons.
First, the opponents and supporters of PAS are two sides of the same coin. Thats 1NC
Bracher. Supporters for PAS think that death allows us to escape the medical
establishment and recapture the jouissance that has been alienated from us during
our entrance into the symbolic order and thereby return to the position of the real
Others desire. Legalization then becomes the tool for them to do so as it allows for
them to escape the alienating effects of our current symbolic order to that of a new
one via their deaths and bodies functioning as object a. Proven in their belief to
escape ourselves to an alternative symbolic universe. This is a misunderstanding of
the symbolic because it is STRUCTURALLY based upon lack so its impossible to return
to the position of the real Others desires as we are defined by our symbolic
castration. Also, its impossible because the real Other is motivated to devour us and
our subjectivity as subject and object distinctions only exist in the symbolic, not the
real. Thats 1NC Bracher and 1NC McGowan. Opponents function the same way by
believing that the symbolic can be coherently stitched together by the master signifier
of life. This prevents a true engagement with the death drive because the aff cannot
understand our subjectivity as loss. They believe that there is some consistency to the
real and the real Others desires that can be filled by our death. This ignores that the
real too is inconsistent as it produces a multitude of subjectivities.
believethe aff believes that our lack can be filled away from oppressive social
constraints, ignoring that the foundation for our subjectivity is lack and that our
enjoyment drives us to repeat this loss.
<If queer theory card is read use this explanation> Also proven by their descriptions of
queerness. Their belief in queerness as solely being blocked by external oppression
misunderstands desire. Thats 1NC Dean. Since, as subjects, we are constituted by a
self-division between our real self and symbolic self, we tend to think that the
jouissance that we lost is somehow caught up in the Other a subject that is enjoying
what we lost. Therefore, there are internal blockages to desire that we cannot liberate
beyond. This means that the aff links more to their own Stavrakakis evidence.
Externalizing power as merely oppressive allows us to exterminate those who believe
are oppressing us or possessing the jouissance we think we have, instead of
understanding that there are own internal limits to our jouissance and relationships to
pleasure.
Second, the aff smuggles in notions of progress despite their radical claims to
negativity, the aff still believes that in telos and progress thats 1NC McGowan.
Affirming worklessness assumes that there is something there to affirm this is an
uncritical move as it just inverts the structure that the 1AC criticizes. We have to
understand that there is nothing to affirm in the first place and the material powers of
our affirmation are meaningless. All attempts at affirmation are attempts to cover
over the fundamental lack that the death drive circulates attempting to politicize
facets of our identity is inversive because it assumes that there is something
meaningful to our identity that can make us coherent thats a wrong description of
identity and our place in society that represses the death drive. Inversions of this
structure merely displaces the violence the 1AC talks about onto other populations.
Understanding the fantasies surrounding PAS is a prerequisite to actual engagement
with practice the K comes first.
Bracher 95 (Mark Bracher, Doctor-Assisted Suicide: Psychoanalysis of Mass Anxiety, Psychoanalytic Review, October 1 1995, Volume 82
No 5) PC

Kevorkian's program thus offers opposing fantasies to his supporters and his opponents concerning the
individual subject's positions vis-a-vis the Real Other and the Symbolic Other. Each side of the dispute
employs Kevorkian's proposals as materials for constructing a myth, i.e., a scenario presenting a diachronic solution to the
synchronic, structural impasse in human affairsin this case, the conflict between the Desire of the Mother and the Name of the Father, the

Real Other and the Symbolic Other. To Kevorkian and his supporters, his system expresses what Lacan terms a
separation from the alienating Name of the Father, and the institution of a new Name of the Father
which is less alienating and more accommodating of the subject's position as object of the Real Other's
(the Mother's) desire. To Kevorkian's opponents, the choice between the present system and Kevorkian's seems

to be between le pere ou le pire, with Kevorkian's system, le pire, representing a regression to chaos, the
devouring mother. It will be difficult to achieve a solution to the controversy over doctor-assisted
suicide without addressing these fantasies, which, along with the alienation and anxiety to which they both respond and give rise, are the
primary motivating forces, respectively, of Kevorkian's supporters and of his opponents. A properly psychoanalytic engagement with these primary motivating
factors i.e., helping people to recognize, explore, and work through their alienation or anxietywould be difficult enough to achieve in individual psychoanalytic
treatment, and it may seem next to impossible at a collective level. But there are possibilities that should be explored. Two
practices that offer real
potential for instituting psychoanalytic solutions to this and other problems at a collective level are
education and cultural criticism, each of which constitutes fertile ground for the germination of transference and of
desire for insight, which are the seeds of the psychoanalytic process. Space, unfortunately, precludes my developing this
suggestion, but perhaps the suggestion itself can serve a seminal or fertile function in future thinking about the relationship between social problems and
psychoanalytic solu-tions (see Bracher, 1992).
1NC Deleuze Link
The very act of theorization of pure life necessitates an invocation of death that
guarantees they will reterritorialize the affs recognition of the negative and of social
and subjective antagonisms is key to an appropriate relation with loss.
McGowan 13 (Todd McGowan, Enjoying What We Dont Have: The Political Project of Psychoanalysis, 2013, p. 236-240) PC
In the modern struggle between the forces of life and the forces of death, psychoanalysis doesnt take a side. The point is not simply that
psychoanalysis stands on the sideline and analyzes the struggle (as seems to be the case at the end of Civilization and Its Discontents, where
Freud wonders which adversary life or death will ultimately prevail). Though many thinkers and activists (like Erich Fromm) have seen
psychoanalysis as a partner in the fight against repression and death, psychoanalysis in fact represents a third way. Rather than
championing life against death or insisting on death as the necessary limit on life, it focuses on the death that remains internal
to life. This death within life is what Freud calls the death drive. Viewed from the perspective of the death drive, the uniqueness of a subject
does not derive from the divine. As the earlier chapters have contended, that uniqueness is the product of a primordial act of
loss through which the subject comes into being. The subject emerges through the sacrifice of a
privileged object that the act of sacrifice itself creates. This act is correlative to the acquisition of a name, which allows the
subject to enter into a world of meaning and signification a world that brings with it an indirect relation with the world of objects and with its
privileged object. With the acquisition of a name, the subject becomes a subject of loss. The
entire existence of the subject
becomes oriented around its lost object, even though this object only comes into being through the
subjects act of ceding it. This death that founds the subject creates in it a drive to return to the moment of loss
itself because the originary loss creates both the subject and the subjects privileged object. The only
enjoyment that the subject experiences derives not from life nor from death but from the death-in-life
that is the death drive. The signifier writes itself on top of life and reifies lifes supposed vitality in its death-laden paths. Every signifier is at
bottom a stereotype, a rigid category for apprehending and freezing the movement of life. This is why Deleuze and Guattari attack
signification itself and compare the signifier with the tyrant. They claim: One will never prevent the signifier from
reintroducing its transcendence, and from bearing witness for a vanished despot who still functions in modern imperialism. Even when it speaks
Swiss or American, linguistics manipulates the shadow of Oriental despotism.24 For
the champions of life, the signifier is on
the side of the forces of death and repression, and the emancipatory project must involve contesting the
signifiers hegemony. A liberated society, in this view, would be a society no longer bound by the vertical logic implicit in the
signifier/signified relationship. Though Deleuze and Guattaris attack on the signifier is an extreme case, the general suspicion of the signifier
and its link to death is widespread among the forces of emancipation. This is why many revolutionary proj- ects involve attempts to transform
the prevailing status of signification. This is especially clear in Roland Barthess Mythologies, an analysis of the relationship between ideology
and the signifier. Barthes contends that ideol- ogy or myth is the product of a bourgeois conception of the signifier that fails to recognize the
productivity inherent within the act of signification. Society after a working-class revolution would not eliminate the signifier but instead attune
itself to the idea of signification as production. Barthes claims: There is . . . one language which is not mythical, it is the language of man as a
producer: wherever man speaks in order to transform reality and no longer preserve it as an image, wherever he links his language to the
making of things, meta-language is referred to a language-object, and myth is impossible. This is why revolutionary language proper cannot be
mythi- cal.25 Barthes envisions a different manner of speaking in which signifiers would no longer have a link to static images (or myths) and
would become genuinely productive. That is, signifiers in this utopia would cease to be transcendent interruptions of life and would enter into
the process of life itself. Revolution would eliminate the seemingly unsurpassable distance between the signifier and life.26 The
revolutionary attempt to sustain the project of pure life inevitably founders on the very act of embracing it.
In order for theorists to champion the forward movement of life or production, they must take the side
of death by resorting to the signifier. The form of the call for an embrace of life belies the content of the
message: the theorist uses the instrument of death the signifier to inveigh against death. Even the
argument for a transformation of the signifier like the one Barthes advances relies on the mode of signification it attacks. No matter how
productive the signifier becomes, it will never access the flow of life itself and will always remain an
interruption of that flow. When Marx writes about the liberatory power of societys productive forces, he implicitly abandons these
forces in order to reflect on them. When Deleuze and Guattari champion decoded flows and deterritorialization in
their books, they engage in an act that they them- selves would have to condemn as a reterritorialization.
When Barthes calls for a revolutionary language that would transcend myth, he does so in the language of myth. The
very act of
theorizing an embrace of pure life violates the theory in the process of constructing it. The leftist
advocates of life are either explicitly or implicitly the followers of Spinoza. Spinoza constructs a system that has
no space for the negative. This is the essence of Hegels critique of Spinozas system in the History of
Philosophy: For the moment of negativity is what is lacking to this rigid motionlessness, whose single form of activity is this, to divest all things
of their determination and particularity and cast them back into the one absolute substance, wherein they are simply swallowed up, and all life
in itself is utterly destroyed. This is what we find philosophically inadequate with Spinoza; distinctions
are externally present, it is
true, but they remain external, since even the negative is not known in itself. Thought is the absolutely
abstract, and for that very reason the absolutely negative; it is so in truth, but with Spinoza it is not
asserted to be the absolutely negative.27 Though Spinoza and his contemporary descendants make every effort to avoid death
and the negative, this very effort has the effect of asserting the primacy of the negative in an absolute fashion through the construction of a
necessarily abstract system. Though the avoidance of death never works, it does nonetheless distort ones
system, as is visible with Spinoza, Deleuze and Guattari, and Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri.28 There is no system of pure life.
In order to advocate a turn to life, one must take a detour through death. The philosophers of life
conceive of the signifier as an evil that might be overcome. This conception of the signifier fails to
account for the inseparability of negation and production.29 The signifier does in fact kill; it does mortify the body. But
this mortification is itself a productive act. Prior to the mortification of the body, the body is not vital and
productive; it is simply stupid. The signifier writes itself on top of this stupid body and transforms it into a signifying body.
But this transformation is not complete: there are points at which the body resists its signification, where it refuses to
speak. The troubled passage from the living body to the signifying body reveals the antagonism between
the subject and the social order that leads to the formation of psychoanalysis. Hysterics originally came to Freud
and Breuer because of the disjunctive relationship between the body and the world of signification. Part of the hysterics body refuses to speak,
to accept its integration into the symbolic order, and this refusal is symptomatic. The signifier deadens the entire body in order to make it
signify, but part of the body resists the deadening process and becomes mute. This occurs literally in the case of aphasia, though every
hysterical ailment follows the same pattern.30 The muteness of part of the subjects body is the form that resistance to symbolization
necessarily takes. One
affirms ones subjectivity not through proclaiming it but through a certain mode of
keeping silent.31 The psychoanalytic project involves helping the subject to recognize its symptom
the part of the body that resists full integration into the symbolic order as the source of its enjoyment
and its freedom. The part of the body that gives us trouble, that refuses integration, is the expression of our subjectivity, the kernel that
negates or refuses what has been imposed on it. By identifying ourselves with our mute body part, we take up the death drive and affirm a
value that transcends pure life. Like the conservative project, a
psychoanalytic political project rejects the mechanical
flow of pure life and instead privileges the disruption of that flow. But like leftist politics, it refuses to adhere itself to that
which transcends life and limits it from the outside such as God or death. This does not mean that psychoanalytic politics represents a
compromise between the Right and the Left, some sort of median position. Instead, it operates outside the confines of the established
opposition and presents a political choice that transcends the philosophical limits inherent in both the Right and the Left. The
source of
our enjoyment and the source of whatever value we find in existence is neither life nor death. It is a product of the
collision between death and life, between the signifier and the body. The signifiers deadening of the body opens up
the space for a part of the body that resists this deadening. It creates value not directly but through the bodily
remainder that escapes its power. This remainder is not a present force but an object irretrievably lost for the subject. If we locate
the origin of the subject in the act where it loses nothing, this promises to revolutionize our thinking about the struggle between life and death
or between Left and Right. Privileging an originary loss allows us to see how death, rather than acting as an external limit, inheres in life
itself for the subject. There is no life for the subject that does not have its origin in death. The subject begins
its life with a death a loss of what is most valuable to it and no subsequent loss or death will ever be the equal of this originary one (which
occurs only structurally, not empirically). We
do not have to seek out death in order to render life valuable; death is
always already present within our lives and providing us value. We dont recognize it because we resist the notion that
we originate as subjects through loss and that loss is the only vehicle through which we can enjoy. We can only give up the pursuit of death
when we realize that we have already found it or that it has found us at the moment of our emergence as subjects. With the help of
psychoanalysis, we might rewrite Heideggers notion of being-toward-death. Rather than an attitude of
resoluteness toward a future possibility that we cannot evade, it would be a grasp of our rootedness in a
past loss. We would embrace loss itself as the key to our freedom and our enjoyment rather than trying to flee
the experience of loss through having. Recognizing the creative power of loss for us as subjects would imply a political transformation as well. It
would place us neither on the side of life nor on the side of death but would allow us to take a position that left this false choice behind. In light
of such a position, we could reexamine the issues that we looked at above.

The impact to this is the unending production of capitalism privileging of infinite


becomings allows for the logic of overproduction that necessitates annihilation of the
periphery.
McGowan 13 [Todd, Assoc. Prof. of Film and Television Studies @ U. of Vermont, Enjoying What We
Dont Have: The Political Project of Psychoanalysis, pp. 227-230] PC

Historically, the
opposition between those who privilege life and those who privilege death has coincided
with the opposition between the forces of emancipation and those of conservatism. The emancipatory
project works to liberate life from the restrictions that the oppressive and hierarchical social order
places on it, while conservatism tries to sustain a life-denying order because it views order as the source of all value. Conservative think- ers
defend their abridgement of lifes possibilities in the name of order and civilization. Without the restrictions that we place on life, according to
this line of thought, we would lose everything valuable. Perhaps the greatest literary account of this opposition occurs in Willa Cathers
masterpiece Death Comes for the Archbishop. Cathers 1927 novel describes the lives of two missionary priests, Father Latour and Father
Vaillant, whom the Catholic Church has sent to New Mexico. Though the two are friends, an antagonism develops between them concerning an
elaborate church that Latour wants to build. For Vaillant, the money spent on an elaborate cathedral could be better spent feeding the hungry
and impoverished people of the region. Latour, who is Vaillants superior, ends up having the church constructed despite his friends objections,
consol- ing himself with the idea that the building will provide something more important than mere life. The building will feed the souls of the
poor and give them value, even if it implicitly takes literal food from them by diverting the Catholic Churchs funds. The opposition between
Latour and Vaillant represents the conflict between death and life. Latour insists on denying life choosing to build a church rather than feed
people because he sees how the church brings value into the world. Vaillant, in contrast, believes that people must be alive and well fed
before they can appreciate the worth that the church gives their lives. It is difficult for the left-leaning reader not to find Vaillant the far more
sympathetic figure in the struggle. The emancipatory projects promotion of life against death reached its apex in
the 1960s. The student radicals of the 1960s fought for peace against war, for sexual exploration against
repression, and for liberty of expression against artificial restrictions. At the heart of each of these
struggles was a desire to free life from the limits that bourgeois society imposed on it. The Berkeley Free
Speech Movement, for instance, sought to affirm the productive chaos of life itself and reject the life-denying
restrictions represented by the police, the government, and the ruling class. Even the mode of resistance
championed by this movement indicates its kinship with life: members would simply allow themselves to go limp
and become figures of bare life when police tried to drag them away. The antiwar movement attacked not just the
injustice of the war in Southeast Asia but rather the destructiveness of war in general. The imperative that one should make
love, not war expressed a larger philosophical orientation beyond a specific struggle. The opponent was
the warring mindset that denied the beauty of pure life. The radicals of the 1960s were true to the basic tendency of
Marxs thought. As is well known, Marx sees revolution as a progressive force that occurs when the means of production outstrip the relations
of production. The means of production move society forward, while the relations of production act as a restraining force on this forward
movement until the advent of social- ism (at which time the relations of production will cease their conservative function and will finally be
adequate to the means of production).16 The revolution can topple capitalism when the capitalist relations of
production the capitalists appropriation of the surplus value generated by the working class become a brake on the
economic systems productivity. By aligning the revolutionary impulse with the forward movement of the forces of production,
Marx takes the side of life against death, of infinite striving forward against the limits of finitude. When
death interferes with lifes outward movement, this movement displaces and overcomes it. Marxs view of the relationship between the forces
of production and the relations of production actually places him within the logic of capitalism itself. As Slavoj Zizek and others have pointed
out, the
Marxian utopia of unrestrained forces of production is a capitalist fantasy. It would be capitalism
unleashed, capitalism without the artificial political restraints on productivity that are currently built into
the system. Marxism does not so much aim at combating the development of capitalism as pushing this development further past the
point at which it would remain within the orbit of capitalist relations of production. Marx wants more capitalism, more
globalization, more technological development, not less. This is why all activists and theorists who advocate developing
local economies or patronizing small businesses, despite their professed allegiances, have left the domain of Marxism and aligned themselves,
at least indirectly, with the fundamentalist project. For Marx himself, the defeat of capitalism must come from within, from taking its own
refusal of death seriously and seeing the socialist ramifications of this refusal. The
identification of the leftist project with life
reaches its peak in the thought of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari. More than any recent leftist thinkers, Deleuze
and Guattari remain true to Marxs belief that the logic of capitalism is the friend of revolution and not the
enemy. They define capitalism as a process of universal deterritorialization in which the flows that
traditional societies hold in check are released. As a result, capitalism becomes the end point of every other society. As they
put it, If capitalism is the exterior limit of all societies, this is because capitalism for its part has no exterior limit, but only an interior limit that
is capital itself and that it does not encounter, but reproduces by always displacing it.17 For
Deleuze and Guattari, as for Marx, the
proper leftist strategy involves taking the deterritorializing logic of capitalism to its end point and
eliminating the reterritorializations that accompany contemporary capitalism and restrain its own
inherent tendency. The problem isnt too much capitalism but not enough. We need more of the life that capitalist productivity provides,
and we need that life distributed more evenly. Deleuze and Guattaris attitude toward capitalism remains vibrant today in the prevailing leftist
conceptions of the struggle against global capitalism. For Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, global capitalism what they call empire
functions by tearing down barriers, dislocating people, and creating hybridity. This unleashing of life will become the engine that pushes
through empire to socialism a social structure that no longer needs to hold death over the heads of its subjects. According to Hardt and
Negri, global capitalism presents the emancipatory project with new opportunities precisely because it liberates the forces of life to a hitherto
impossible extent. But despite
the novelty of their thesis, they belong to a long leftist tradition of attempting
to defy the social orders invocation of death.
2NC/1NR Deleuze Link/Impact XT
Deleuzian conceptions of deterritorialization and the infinite potentiality of becoming
has a bad relationship to desire
The infinite promotion of life and the potential of life ignores the masochistic
structure of our own subjectivity thats 1NC McGowan. As individuals, we are lack
and founded upon loss so we have an attraction to return back to loss as it is the
foundation for our own desires. Thats the overview. This means that the affs
attempts to ground ourselves within becoming ignores the internal barriers we
construct to it couple of impacts
First, violence the emphasis on the infinite potential of becoming reproduces the
logic of capitalism whereby life and its potential is whats promoted at all costs.
Ignores the intrinsic barriers to that ie the way that capitalism has run into the
internal limit of tterrorism as globalization and the infinite promotion of life leaves
people behind those who do not have the same concepttions of life as us. This
causes us to violently eradicate those who we feel are blocking our potentiality and
stealing our jouissance. Structural claim so outweighs the aff. Thats McGowan.
Second, turns case becoming is limited and not possible the death drive is the
barrier to it thats 1NC McGowan. Progress beyond power and away from power
necessitates a dependency on power that they themselves disavow. Turns the aff. Our
enjoyment stems from the very limitations that power places on us because it creates
a loss within ourselves. Means a politics of deterritorialization is impossible.
1NC Narrative Visibility Links
We control uniqueness narration only feeds into systems of domination
Baudrillard 1981 (Jean, Simulacra and Simulation p. 84-86, modified)
With one caution. We are face to face with this system in a double situation and insoluble double bind exactly like children faced
with the demands of the adult world. Children are simultaneously required to constitute themselves as autonomous subjects, responsible,

free and conscious, and to constitute themselves as submissive, inert, obedient, conforming objects. The
child resists on all levels, and to a contradictory demand [s/]he responds with a double strategy; To the
demand of being an object [s/]he opposes all the practices of disobedience, of revolt, of emancipation; in
short, a total claim to subjecthood. To the demand of being a subject [s/]he opposes, just as obstinately, and efficaciously, an object's resistance, that is to say,
exactly the opposite: childishness, hyperconformism, total dependence, passivity, idiocy: Neither strategy has more objective value than the other. The subject-

resistance is today unilaterally valorized and viewed as positive-just as in the political sphere only the
practices of freedom, emancipation, expression, and the constitution of a political subject are seen as
valuable and subversive. But this is to ignore the equal, and without a doubt superior, impact of all the
object practices, of the renunciation of the subject position and of meaning-precisely the practices of the masses-that we
bury under the derisory terms of alienation and passivity. The liberating practices respond to one of the
aspects of the system, to the constant ultimatum we are given to constitute ourselves as pure objects,
but they do not respond at all to the other demand, that of constituting ourselves as subjects, of liberating
ourselves, expressing ourselves at whatever cost, of voting, producing, deciding, speaking, participating,
playing the game - a form of blackmail and ultimatum just as serious as the other, even more serious
today. To a system whose argument is oppression and repression, the strategic resistance is the
liberating claim of subjecthood. But this strategy is more reflective of the earlier phase of the system,
and even if we are still confronted with it, it is no longer the strategic terrain: the current argument of
the system is to maximize speech, the maximum production of meaning. Thus the strategic resistance is
that of the refusal of meaning and of the spoken word-or of the hyperconformist simulation of the very
mechanisms of the system, which is a form of refusal and of non- reception. It is the strategy of the masses: it is
equivalent to re-turning to the system its own logic by doubling it, to reflecting meaning, like a mirror,

without absorbing it. This strategy (if one can still speak of strategy) prevails today, because it was ushered in by that phase of the system which prevails.
To choose the wrong strategy is a serious matter. All the movements that only play on liberation, emancipation, on
the resurrection of a subject of history, of the group, of the word based on "consciousness raising," indeed a
"raising of the unconscious" of subjects and of the masses, do not see that they are going in the direction of the system,
whose imperative today is precisely the overproduction and regeneration of meaning and of speech.

This production of knowledge is not benign rather its used for the targeting logic
that makes neo-imperial violence impossible.
Chow 06. Rey Chow, Andrew W. Mellon professor of the humanities at Brown, The Age of the World
Target, pg. 38-41
In the decades since 1945, whether in dealing with the Soviet Union, the People's Republic of China, North Korea, Vietnam, and countries in
Central America, or during the Gulf Wars, the United States has been conducting war on the basis of a certain kind of knowledge production,
and producing knowledge on the basis of war. War
and knowledge enable and foster each other primarily through the
collective fantasizing of some foreign or alien body that poses danger to the "self" and the "eye" that is the
nation. Once the monstrosity of this foreign body is firmly established in the national consciousness, the decision makers
of the U.S. government often talk and behave as though they had no choice but war.38 War, then, is acted out as a
moral obligation to expel an imagined dangerous alienness from the United States' self-concept as the global custodian of
freedom and democracy. Put in a different way, the "moral element," insofar as it produces knowledge about the
"self" and "other"and hence the "eye" and its "target"as such, justifies war by its very dichotomizing
logic. Conversely, the violence of war, once begun, fixes the other in its attributed monstrosity and affirms the
idealized image of the self. In this regard, the pernicious stereotyping of the Japanese during the Second World
Warnot only by U.S. military personnel but also by social and behavioral scientistswas simply a flagrant example of an
ongoing ideological mechanism that had accompanied Western treatments of non-Western "others" for
centuries. In the hands of academics such as Geoffrey Gorer, writes Dower, the notion that was collectively and "objectively" formed about
the Japanese was that they were "a clinically compulsive and probably collectively neurotic people, whose lives were governed by ritual and
'situational ethics,' wracked with insecurity, and swollen with deep, dark currents of repressed resentment and aggression."39 As Dower points
out, such stereotyping was by no means accidental or unprecedented: The Japanese, so "unique" in the rhetoric of
World War Two, wereactually saddled with racial stereotypes that Europeans and Americans had applied to nonwhites for
centuries: during the conquest of the New World, the slave trade, the Indian wars in the United States, the agitation
against Chinese immigrants in America, the colonization of Asia and Africa, the U.S. conquest of the Philippines at
the turn of the century. These were stereotypes, moreover, which had been strongly reinforced by
nineteenth-century Western science. In the final analysis, in fact, these favored idioms denoting superiority and
inferiority transcended race and represented formulaic expressions of Self and Other in general."' The
moralistic divide between "self" and "other" constitutes the production of knowledge during the U.S.
Occupation of Japan after the Second World War as well. As Monica Braw writes, in the years immediately after 1945, the risk that the
United States would be regarded as barbaric and inhumane was carefully monitored, in the main by cutting off Japan from the rest of the world
through the ban on travel, control of private mail, and censorship of research, mass media information, and other kinds of communication.
The entire Occupation policy was permeated by the view that "the United States was not to be accused;
guilt was only for Japan":41 As the Occupation of Japan started, the atmosphere was military. Japan was a defeated enemy that must
be subdued. The Japanese should be taught their place in the world: as a defeated nation, Japan had no status and was entitled to no respect.
People should be made to realize that any catastrophe that had befallen them was of their own making.
Until they had repented, they were suspect. If they wanted to release information about the atomic
bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it could only be for the wrong rea-sons, such as accusing the United States of inhumanity.
Thus this information was suppressed.42 As in the scenario of aerial bombing, the elitist and aggressive panoramic
"vision" in which the other is beheld means that the sufferings of the other matter much less than the
transcendent aspirations of the self. And, despite being the products of a particular culture's
technological fanaticism, such transcendent aspirations are typically expressed in the form of selfless
universalisms. As Sherry puts it, "The reality of Hiroshima and Nagasaki seemed less important than the bomb's effect on 'mankind's
destiny,' on 'humanity's choice,' on 'what is happening to men's minds,' and on hopes (now often extravagantly revived) to achieve world
government."'" On Ja-pan's side, as Yoneyama writes, such a
"global narrative of the universal history of humanity" has
helped sustain "a national victimology and phantasm of innocence throughout most of the postwar
years." Going one step further, she remarks: "The idea that Hiroshima's disaster ought to be remembered from the
transcendent and anonymous position of humanity .. . .might best be described as 'nuclear
universalism.' "44 Once the relations among war, racism, and knowledge production are underlined in these terms, it is no longer possible
to assume, as some still do, that the recognizable features of modern warits impersonality, coerciveness, and deliberate crueltyare
"divergences" from the "antipathy" to violence and to conflict that characterize the modern world.45 Instead,
it would be incumbent
on us to realize that the pursuit of war with its use of violenceand the pursuit of peacewith its
cultivation of knowledgeare the obverse and reverse of the same coin, the coin that I have been calling
"the age of the world target." Rather than being irreconcilable opposites, war and peace are coexisting,
collaborative functions in the continuum of a virtualized world. More crucially still, only the privileged nations
of the world can afford to wage war and preach peace at one and the same time. As Sherry writes, "The United
States had different resources with which to be fanatical: resources allowing it to take the lives of others
more than its own, ones whose accompanying rhetoric of technique disguised the will to destroy."45
From this it follows that, if indeed political and military acts of cruelty are not unique to the United Statesa point which is
easy enough to substantiatewhat is nonetheless remarkable is the manner in which such acts are, in
the United States, usually cloaked in the form of enlightenment and altruism, in the form of an aspiration simultaneously
toward technological perfection and the pursuit of peace. In a country in which political leaders are held accountable for
their decisions by an electorate, violence simply cannotas it can in totalitarian countriesexist in the raw. Even
the most violent acts must be adorned with a benign, rational story. It is in the light of such interlocking
relations among war, racism, and knowledge production that I would make the following comments about area studies, the
academic establishment that crystallizes the connection between the epistemic targeting of the world and the "humane" practices of
peacetime learning. From Atomic Bombs to Area Studies As its name suggests, area studies as a mode of knowledge
production is, strictly speaking, military in its origins. Even though the study of the history, languages, and literatures of, for
instance, "Far Eastern" cultures existed well before the Second World War (in what Edward W. Said would term the old Orientalist tradition
predicated on philology), the systematization of such study under the rubric of special geopolitical areas was largely a postwar and U.S.
phenomenon. In H. D. Harootunian's words, "The systematic formation of area studies, principally in major universities, was .. . a massive
attempt to relocate the enemy in the new configuration of the Cold War."47 As Bruce Cumings puts it: "It is now fair to say, based on the
declassified evidence, that the American state and especially the intelligence elements in it shaped the entire field of postwar area studies, with
the clearest and most direct impact on those regions of the world where communism was strongest: Russia, Central and Eastern Europe, and
East Asia."48 In the decades after 1945, when the United States competed with the Soviet Union for the power to rule and/or destroy the
world, these regions were the ones that required continued, specialized super-vision; to this list we may also add Southeast Asia, Latin America,
and the Middle East. As areas to be studied, these regions took on the significance of target fieldsfields of information retrieval and
dissemination that were necessary for the perpetuation of the United States' political and ideological hegemony. In the final part of his classic
Orientalism, Said describes area studies as a continuation of the old European Orientalism with a different pedagogical emphasis: No longer
does an Orientalist try first to master the esoteric languages of the Orient; he begins instead as a trained social scientist and "applies" his
science to the Orient, or anywhere else. This is the specifically American contribution to the history of Orientalism, and it can be dated roughly
from the period immediately following World War II, when the United States found itself in the position recently vacated by Britain and
France." Whereas Said draws his examples mainly from Islamic and Middle Eastern area studies, Cumings provides this portrait of the Fast Asian
target field: The Association for Asian Studies (AAS) was the first "area" organization in the U.S., founded in 1943 as the Far Eastern Association
and reorganized as the AAS in 1956. Before 1945 there had been little attention to and not much funding for such things; but now the idea was
to bring contemporary social science theory to bear on the non-Western world, rather than continue to pursue the classic themes of Oriental
studies, often examined through philology. . In
return for their sufferance, the Orientalists would get vastly enhanced
academic resources (positions, libraries, language studies)and soon, a certain degree of separation which came
from the social scientists inhabiting institutes of East Asian studies, whereas the Orientalists occupied
departments of East Asian languages and cultures. This implicit Faustian bargain sealed the postwar
academic deal.50 A largely administrative enterprise, closely tied to policy, the new American Orientalism
took over from the old Orientalism attitudes of cultural hostility, among which is, as Said writes, the dogma that
"the Orient is at bottom something either to be feared (the Yellow Peril, the Mongol hordes, the brown dominions) or to
be controlled (by pacification, research and development, outright occupation whenever possible)."" Often under the modest
apparently innocuous agendas of fact gathering and documentation, the scientific and objective
production of knowledge during peacetime about the various special areas became the institutional
practice that substantiated and elaborated the militaristic conception of the world as target. In other words,
despite the claims about the apolitical and disinterested nature of the pursuit of higher learning,
activities undertaken under the rubric of area studies, such as language training. Historiography,
anthropology, economics, political science, and so forth, are fully inscribed in the politics and ideology of
war. To that extent, the disciplining, research, and development of so-called academic information are part and
parcel of a strategic logic. And yet, if the production of knowledge (with its vocabulary of aims and goals, research, data analysis,
experimentation, and verification) in fact shares the same scientific and military premises as warif, for instance, the ability to translate a
difficult language can be regarded as equivalent to the ability to break military codesis it a surprise that it is doomed to fail in its avowed
attempts to know the other cultures? Can
knowledge that is derived from the same kinds of bases as war put
an end to the violence of warfare, or is such knowledge not simply warfares accomplice, destined to
destroy rather than preserve the forms of lives at which it aims to focus? As long as knowledge is
produced in this self-referential manner, as a circuit of targeting or getting the other that ultimately
consolidates the omnipotence and omnipresence of the sovereign self/eyethe Ithat is the
United States, the other will have no choice but remain just thata target whose existence justifies only
one thing, its destruction by the bomber. As long as the focus of our study of Asia remains by the United
States, and as long as this focus is not accompanied by knowledge of what is happening elsewhere at other times as well as the present, such
study will ultimately confirm once again the self-referential function of virtual worlding that was
unleashed by the dropping of the atomic bombs, with the United States always occupying the position
of the bomber, and other cultures always viewed as the military and information target fields. In this
manner, events whose historicity does not fall into the epistemically closed orbit of the atomic bomber
such as the Chinese reactions to the war from a primarily anti-Japanese point of view that I alluded to at the beginning of this chapterwill
never receive the attention that is due to them. Knowledge, however conscientiously gathered and however large in volume, will
lead
only to further silence and to the silencing of diverse experiences. This is one reason why, as Harootunian remark, area
studies have been, since its inception, haunted by the absence of definable objectand by the problem of
the vanishing object.

Make it all visible


Thomas 93 /Calvin, Baudrillard's Seduction of Foucault Jean Baudrillard :the disappearance of art
and politics /edited by William Stearns and William Chaloupka./

For Baudrillard, Foucault's mistake is to allow his discourse to mirror flawlessly, and with its own panoptic
perfection, a power that everywhere produces and reproduces the social as "the visible, the all-too-
visible, the more-visible-than-visible."33 This production, in which "all scenes become screens," in which
power and Foucault are everywhere; this movement, which is the absolutely televisible mobility of late
capitalism itself, has according to Baudrillard taken us "from the dialectic of alienation to the giddiness of
transparency,"34 an obscene hyperreality in which, precisely because everything is visible, there is
nothing left to see, an endless proliferation of images which cannot die and in which, therefore, nothing is
permitted to live. Baudrillard writes: Obscenity begins when there is no more spectacle, no more stage, no more theatre, no more illusion, when everything becomes immediately transparent,
exposed to the raw and inexorable light of information and communication. We no longer partake of the drama of alienation, but are in the
ecstasy of communication. And this ecstasy is obscene.35 For Baudrillard, then, Foucault's theory/mirror of power/knowledge partakes of and

legitimates this obscene order of simulacral transparency, a forced materialization that proclaims Let
everything be produced, be read, become real, visible, and marked under the sign of effectiveness; let
everything be transcribed into force relations, into conceptual systems or into calculable energy; let
everything be said, gathered, indexed and registered: this is how sex appears in pornography, but this is more generally the project of our whole culture, whose
natural condition is "obscenity."36 And in a move that is nothing if not clever, Baudrillard goes on to say that "Ours is a culture of premature ejaculation,"37 a comment that gives

back to all the liquid metaphors Baudrillard employs in describing Foucault's discourse at the beginning of the text a somewhat comic composition ("It flows .. . and saturates ...

[a] meticulous outpouring ... a fluid objectivity"). Baudrillard has set Foucault up quite handily. But he isn't simply figuring Foucault as the masturbating child of History of
Sexuality (or himself as the hysterical woman). Rather he is trying quite seriously to substantiate his assertion that Foucault's discourse, in its very operation, mirrors

and legitimates the dissemination of power it describes: This compulsion toward liquidity, flow, and
accelerated circulation of what is psychic, sexual, or pertaining to the body is the exact replica of the
force which rules market value: capital must circulate; gravity and any fixed point must disappear; the
chain of investments and reinvestments must never stop; value must radiate endlessly and in every
direction. This is the form itself which the current realization of value takes. It is the form of capital...38
Here we see that Baudrillard's complaint against Foucault as a theorist of production, of pure exteriority, is not simply that his discourse is

"ejaculatory" but that it is inextricable from the forced materialization and dissemination with which
capitalism itself hypersaturates the social. Foucault not only legitimates but extends capitalism's
hyperreal domain, opening up new spaces for its entrenchment, covering the social with his own liquid
cartography, which is the map of capital, and in which the social terrain itself is engulfed and drowned. To
be more obscene than obscene after all that is Baudrillard's fatal strategy we might say that for Baudrillard, Foucault's discourse doesn't simply mirror power, but

helps it jerk itself off.


1NC Queer Theory Link
Queer theorys diagnosis of heteronormative oppression denies the death drive. It
views oppression solely as stemming from social blockages to liberatory experiences
of pleasure that ignore that there are internal blockages to desire that are beyond the
pleasure principle.
Dean 2003 [Tim, professor of English at the University at Buffalo, Lacan and queer theory, The
Cambridge Companion to Lacan (Cambridge MA: Cambridge University Press, 2003), pp. 238-252]
<gender modified>

The significance of this reconception of subjectivity lies in how the jouissance of the Other complicates
individual pleasure. Our existence as subjects of language entails a self-division and loss of plenitude
from which the Other is believed to be exempt. Having lost something, I imagine the Other as enjoying
it; or, to put this another way, correlative to any sense of subjective incompleteness is the feeling that
somebody somewhere has it better than me. This is what Lacan means by his phrase "the jouissance of
the Other" - the suspicion that somebody else is having more fun than I am, and perhaps that whole
classes of people are better off than me. Elsewhere jouissance appears unlimited, in contrast to the
constrained pleasures that I am permitted to enjoy. Hence any experience of pleasure is intertwined
with some supposition about jouissance, specifically, the Other's jouissance. From this it follows that a
commitment to the individual "pursuit of happiness" (as the US Declaration of Independence puts it)
overlooks pleasure's dependence on the jouissance of the Other - and thus misconstrues the pursuit of
pleasure as an issue of self-determination, rather than of one's relation to the Other. Lacan's
formulations concerning "the jouissance of the Other" are also useful for thinking about mechanisms of
social exclusion, such as racism and homophobia. Slavoj Zizek has devoted many volumes to showing how ethnic intolerance,
including its recent manifestations in eastern Europe, can be understood as a reaction to the Other's jouissance.15 He argues that
organizations of social and cultural life different from one's own, such as those maintained by other
racial and ethnic groups, can provoke the fantasy that these groups of people are enjoying themselves
at his or her [their] expense. For example, the anti-Semite imagines that Jews have "stolen" his jouissance, while the white
supremacist fantasizes that immigrants are overrunning his national borders, sponging off the government and enjoying entitlements that are
rightfully his. This
preoccupation with how the Other organizes his or her enjoyment helps explain the
obsession with reviled social groups' sexual behavior, since although jouissance remains irreducible to
sex it tends to be construed in erotic terms. The jouissance of different sexual groups - for instance, gays
and lesbians - plays a significant role in how certain heterosexual fantasies are organized and can
account for the violent reactions some straight people have to the very idea of homosexuality. Parents
who believe that their child would be better off dead than gay may be caught in the fantasy of
homosexuality as an infinitude of jouissance, a form of sexual excess incompatible with not only
decency and normalcy but even life itself. Indeed, this is how AIDS often has been understood: death
brought on by too much jouissance. As a reaction formation to jouissance, homophobia thus involves
more than ignorance about different sexualities; it is unlikely to be eradicated via consciousness-raising
or sensitivity-training. I have suggested that the emphasis on pleasure in Foucault's genealogy of
sexuality remains compromised by his neglecting its negative dimension, a negligence that follows as a
consequence of his methodological insistence on thinking of power productively, in purely positive
terms. But Foucault does come close to conceptualizing jouissance at one crucial moment in his first volume of The History of Sexuality. Less
than five pages from the end of the book, Foucault claims that sexuality is imbricated with the death drive in as much as the deployment of
sexuality has succeeded in persuading us that sex is so important as to be worth sacrificing one's life for the revelations it can impart: "The
Faustian pact, whose temptation has been instilled in us by the deployment of sexuality, is now as follows: to exchange life in its entirety for sex
itself, for the truth and the sovereignty of sex. Sex is worth dying for. It is in this (strictly historical) sense that sex is indeed imbued with the
death instinct."16 This remarkable passage provides another way to grasp the fundamentally psychoanalytic idea that for
historical
reasons we aim at jouissance through sex, even though jouissance comprehends more than what is
meant by eros. Jouissance has as much to do with Thanatos as with Eros. Freud's separation of sexuality
from genitality - a separation that decisively loosens the grip of heteronormativity on our thinking - was
reconceived by Lacan in terms of jouissance and l'objet petit a. As the cause not the aim of desire, objet
a deheterosexualizes desire by revealing its origin in the effects of language, rather than the effects of
the opposite sex. His insistence that jouissance is not reducible to sex - like Foucault's demonstration of the
historically contingent relation that sex bears to identity - represents another way of pointing to the comparatively
incidental place of genitalia in sexuality. Hence the Lacanian category of jouissance could be extremely
useful to the kinds of analysis that interest queer theory. Unfortunately, however, Foucault's strategic
account of pleasure has misled many US queer theorists into viewing pleasure optimistically, as if it
weren't complicated by jouissance and could be extended without encountering anything but
ideological barriers. In other words, queer theory's utopianism often pictures the obstacles to sexual
happiness as wholly external, as if there were no internal limit to pleasure. (By "internal," I mean in the sense not
of psychologically inside a person, but inside the mechanism of pleasure itself - the mechanism whereby pleasure is understood as inseparable
from the Other's jouissance.) Developing a discourse about sex that focuses primarily on pleasure rather than on
either biological reproduction or the reproduction of social norms remains a vital political enterprise.
But it is awfully naive to imagine that sex could be a matter only of pleasure and self-affirmation, rather
than a matter also of jouissance and negativity. If sex is to be understood in more than naturalistic
terms, we will need to think about those forms of negativity that Freud named the unconscious and the
death drive. To render political and cultural discourses on sex less naive would involve the considerable effort of
reshaping those discourses according to psychoanalytic rather than psychological principles. This implies not a project of
translating Anglo-American debates into Lacanian vocabulary, but the far more challenging enterprise of
thinking about sex in terms of the queer logics that psychoanalysis makes available.
2NC Queer Theory Link/Impact Wall
The affs politics of queer theory is a bad relationship to desire
The emphasis on pleasure as solely liberatory and just being blocked by external
oppression via social blockages is a misunderstanding of desire. Thats 1NC Dean.
Since, as subjects, we are constituted by a self-division between our real self and
symbolic self, we tend to think that the jouissance that we lost is somehow caught up
in the Other a subject that is enjoying what we lost. Therefore, there are internal
blockages to desire that pleasure cannot liberate beyond. Pleasure is inseparable from
the initial lack that constitutes us as subjects since we externalize it to the Others
jouissance. This means that the aff ignores the horrific parts of jouissance that capture
us as subjects and our fundamental attraction ot the death drive. We repress
ourselves and our access to unlimited pleasure because thats how we are constituted
as subjects and tend to conceive of our relationship to the foundational lack. The affs
misunderstanding of jouissance and their failure to see that the death drive is also
jouissance means that their politics is that of a fantasy.
Couple of impacts to this first, its a utopian fantasy because it assumes that there is
a wholeness to our subjectivity in pleasure that can be captured by queer theory. This
will do violence to those anti-figures of their project Thats 1NC Stavrakakis. Sex-
negative feminists, asexuals, conservatives who hate sex, etc. will all be purged by
their project because of their inability to view pleasure as something that is liberatory.
This is a structural problem of their project.
Second, its a bad relationship to desire and jouissance because it fails to see that the
death drive is jouissance. Thats a bad relationship to our subjectivity that is life
denying. Explained above.
A2: We Arent Foucault
Queer theory is ultimately dependent upon Foucaults rejection of the repressive
hypothesis. However profound this rejection may appear, it misunderstands the
negative dimensions of the psyche and the experience of jouissance via the death
drive. Queer theory is therefore reduced to uncritical utopian queer affirmations of
pleasure that attempt to cover over the fundamental death drive at the heart of
subjectivity.
Dean 2003 [Tim, professor of English at the University at Buffalo, Lacan and queer theory, The
Cambridge Companion to Lacan (Cambridge MA: Cambridge University Press, 2003), pp. 238-252.

Having its political origins in the AIDS crisis, queer theory found its intellectual inspiration in the first
volume of Foucault's History of Sexuality (1976), a treatise that concerns power more than it does sex. How we
understand the relation between Lacan and queer theory depends to a significant extent on how we
interpret Foucault's treatment of psychoanalysis in The History of Sexuality. Received academic opinion maintains
that Foucault's work provides a thoroughgoing critique of psychoanalysis, and many queer theorists have been quick to dismiss Lacanian
thought as unremittingly heteronormative. Conversely, from a Lacanian vantage point, Joan Copjec has shown very persuasively the basic
incompatibility between Lacan's methodology and forms of historicism derived from Foucault.4 Yet
in spite of its disparaging
remarks about psychoanalysis, The History of Sexuality presents an argument that in certain respects is
cognate with a radical Lacanian perspective on sexuality. Without diluting the specificity of either Foucault or Lacan, it
might be possible to read them together in a new way, to rearticulate their bodies of work for the purposes of queer critique. Composed in a
Lacanian milieu (though without ever mentioning Lacan's name), The History of Sexuality launches a polemic against what Foucault calls the
repressive hypothesis. This hypothesis states that human desire is distorted by cultural constraints, which, once lifted, would liberate desire and
permit its natural, harmonious fulfillment, thereby eliminating the various neuroses that beset our civilization. Picturing desire and the law in an
antagonistic relation, the repressive hypothesis infers a precultural or prediscursive condition of desire in its "raw" state. Foucault - like Lacan -
maintains that no such prediscursive state exists. Instead, desire is positively produced rather than repressed by discourse; desire follows the
law, it does not oppose it. In 1963, more than a decade before The History of Sexuality, Lacan argued that "Freud finds a singular balance, a kind
of co-conformity - if I may be allowed to thus double my prefixes - of Law and desire, stemming from the fact that both are born together" (T, p.
89). This affirmation comports well with Foucault's critique of the repressive hypothesis. Hence although it is accurate to
characterize The History of Sexuality as a critical historicization of psychoanalysis, it is important to
distinguish which version of psychoanalysis Foucault's critique assails. This distinction is trickier than one might
imagine, because Foucault rarely attributes proper names to the positions against which he is arguing. The liberationist strand of
psychoanalysis whose reading of Freud recommended freeing desire from social repression stems
primarily from the work of Wilhelm Reich and Herbert Marcuse - thinkers of whom Lacan was equally
(though differently) critical. Reich and Marcuse were the psychoanalytic architects of the sexual revolution of the 1960s and 70s, a
project whose claims provoked both Foucault's and Lacan's skepticism.5 Foucault objects most strenuously to the way in
which the idea of repression encourages us to think of desire as something that culture negates; and
certainly Freud's account of the incest taboo's function in the Oedipus complex represents cultural
imperatives as negating primordial desire. However, Foucault's critique of a naive conception of
repression - repression considered as a purely external force - prompts him to argue against all formulae
of negation where desire is concerned, and thus his polemic leaves little conceptual room for any
consideration of negativity. Despite Lacan's affirmation of the consubstantiality of law and desire, he
and Foucault part ways on the question of negativity. This fundamental difference becomes evident
when one recalls that the French title of Foucault's introductory volume is La Volonte de savoir (the will
to know), a phrase his English translator deliberately elided in titling that book simply The History of
Sexuality: An Introduction. Foucault's preoccupation with charting epistemophilia - the project to elicit
the truth of our being by "forcing sex to speak," as he puts it - directly contrasts with Lacan's emphasis
on "the will not to know," a formulation he uses to characterize the unconscious. While Lacan wants to
reconceptualize the unconscious in de-individualized terms, Foucault wishes to rethink that which
structures subjectivity in purely positive terms, without recourse to notions of repression, negation, or
the unconscious. Nevertheless, Foucault's descriptions of power often sound remarkably cognate with a
Lacanian conception of the unconscious. For example, in an interview conducted in France shortly after the publication of
La Volonte de savoir, Foucault explained, "What I want to show is how power relations can materially
penetrate the body in depth, without depending even on the mediation of the subject's own
representations. If power takes hold on the body, this isn't through its having first to be interiorized in people's consciousnesses."6
Speaking here of a force that affects the human body without the mediation of consciousness, Foucault makes clear that by "power" he does
not mean ideology. In this schema, power achieves its effects via routes distinct from those of identification, interpellation, or internalization.
Foucault thus distances himself from the Marxist-Lacanian theory of power associated with Louis Althusser. Yet by marking the inadequacy of
interpellation as an explanatory category, Foucault implies that power should not be apprehended in imaginary terms - that is, in terms of the
ego and its dialectic of recognition/misrecognition. Instead, power operates similarly to a de-psychologized conception of the unconscious,
insofar as it compromises the autonomy of the individual will and thereby undermines the humanist notion of the constituent subject. Indeed,
as Arnold I. Davidson recently observed, "the existence of the unconscious was a decisive component in Foucault's antipsychologism."7 This
commitment to antipsychologism betokens what Lacan and Foucault share most fundamentally in
common; it is what makes them both in their own ways suspicious of subjective identity. For Lacan
identity represents an ego-defense, a ruse of the Imaginary designed to eschew unconscious desire.
Thus from his perspective - and here he parts company with Foucault - the category of desire is not
wedded to identity, but, on the contrary, threatens identity's closely regulated coherence. For Lacan
desire is no longer a psychological category, since it is conceptualized as an effect of language - that is,
as unconscious. Lacan depsychologizes the unconscious by considering it linguistic: "The unconscious is
that part of the concrete discourse, in so far as it is transindividual, that is not at the disposal of the
subject in re-establishing the continuity of his conscious discourse" (E/S, p. 49). In Lacanian thought, the
unconscious does not exist inside individuals: it composes a crucial dimension of one's subjectivity
without being part of one's mind. Hence the psychoanalytic theory of the unconscious introduces a
constitutive division into human subjectivity that thwarts the possibility of any unified identity, sexual or
otherwise. By theorizing subjectivity in terms of language and culture, Lacan also denaturalizes sex.
There is no natural or normal relation between the sexes, he insists: "il n'y a pas de rapport sexuel." The axiomatic
status in Lacanian doctrine of the impossibility of the sexual relation aligns this brand of psychoanalysis with queer theory's critique of
heteronormativity. As do queer theorists, Lacan maintains that no natural complementarity between man and woman exists - and that,
furthermore, such complementarity is not a desirable ideal either. Indeed,
Lacan warned his fellow psychoanalysts about
using the power of transference in the clinical setting to inculcate cultural ideals such as harmonious
heterosexuality. He launched his sternest polemic against viewing the goal of analysis as "adaptation to reality," because this goal reduces
clinical work to little more than the imposition of social norms. Lacan was aware of how misbegotten the social ideal of genital heterosexuality
is, how readily it functions as a normative requirement of adaptive therapies. As he scoffed in the Ethics of Psychoanalysis, "Goodness only
knows how obscure such a pretension as the achievement of genital objecthood [l'objectalite genitale] remains, along with what is so
imprudently linked to it, namely, adjustment to reality" (S VII, p. 293). Adaptation to reality and achieving genital heterosexuality go hand in
hand as aspirations because, Lacan recognises, social reality is heteronormative. Since
the purpose of Lacanian psychoanalysis
is not "adjustment to reality," clinical work must take care to resist promoting heteronormativity. Earlier in
the same seminar, Lacan is quite explicit about this danger, noting that "strengthening the categories of affective normativity produces
disturbing results" (S VII, pp. 133-4). It is significant that Lacan emphasizes the potential dangers of abusing therapeutic power in his Seminar on
Ethics, because he thus makes clear that far from operating as an agent of social normalization, psychoanalysis should consider its work as
resisting normalization. Lacan's ethical critique of subjective adaptation marks his theory's distance from Foucault's representation of
psychoanalysis as a normalizing institution. But
in denaturalizing sex and sexuality, Lacan suggests more than the
comparatively familiar idea that sex is a social construct. Psychoanalytic antinaturalism does not boil
down to mere culturalism. Rather, his account of how discourse generates desire specifies more
precisely the function of negativity in creating human subjectivity. Lacan locates the cause of desire in an
object (l'objet petit a) that comes into being as a result of language's impact on the body, but that is not
itself discursive. The objet petit a is what remains after culture's symbolic networks have carved up the
body, and hence the object reminds us of the imperfect fit between language and corporeality. Refusing
the category of the prediscursive as a misleading fiction, Lacan argues that the object-cause of desire is
extradiscursive - something that cannot be contained within or mastered by language, and therefore
cannot be understood as a cultural construct. This distinction between the prediscursive and the
extradiscursive is crucial for grasping the difference between Lacan and Foucault, since Foucauldian
epistemology has no conceptual equivalent of the category of extradiscursivity. Foucault's theory of
discourse, which so effectively accounts for the operations of power, fails to distinguish the
prediscursive from what exceeds language's grasp. By elaborating this distinction, Lacan provides a novel anti-identitarian
account of desire. His concept of the object remains central to his demonstration that in its origins desire is not heterosexual: desire is
determined not by the opposite sex but by l'objet petit a, which necessarily precedes gender. Lacan's theory of the object revises both the
Freudian notion of sexual object-choice (in which the object is assumed to be gendered) and object relations theories that succeeded Freud
(principally in the work of Melanie Klein and D. W. Winnicott). Lacan develops his theory of the object from Freud's ideas about polymorphously
perverse sexuality and component instincts - that is, he develops Freudian theory beyond Freud's own conceptual impasses. In his Three Essays
on the Theory of Sexuality, Freud claimed that the peculiar temporality of human sexual life compelled him to conclude that the instinct has no
predetermined object or aim: "It seems probable that the sexual instinct is in the first instance independent of its object; nor is its origin likely
to be due to its object's attractions" (SE 7, p. 148). By invalidating the
popular notion that erotic desire is congenitally
oriented toward the opposite sex, this psychoanalytic insight poses a fundamental challenge to
heteronormativity. And it is thanks to ideas such as this one - the instinct's original independence of its
object - that Freud rather than Foucault may be credited as the intellectual founder of queer theory.
1NC Suicide Bomber Link Card
Their affirmation of the suicide bomber ignores the role that enjoyment plays on both
sides of the war on terror. Their approach sanctions the same violence that they seek
to oppose while ignoring that the truly political act is an embrace of anxiety caused by
the Other.
McGowan 13 [Todd, Assoc. Prof. of Film and Television Studies @ U. of Vermont, Enjoying What We
Dont Have: The Political Project of Psychoanalysis, pp. 105-112, RSR]
As the public presence of the enjoying other has become more prevalent, a series of films has appeared to document the transformation. Th
ese fi lms depict multiple lives interacting through numerous apparently random encounters. The
encounters take place without
the mediation of a public world or symbolic structure, so that characters experience the encounters as
violent shocks involving the enjoying other. The interactions that these fi lms depict make clear the problem of the enjoying
other and its tendency to produce anxiety in the subject. Paul Th omas Andersons Magnolia (1999) and Paul Haggiss Crash (2004) are part of
this new type of fi lmmaking, but Robert Altmans Short Cuts (1993) inaugurated the form and remains its exemplar. Th e primary aim of
Altmans fi lm is to perform a rudimentary version of what Fredric Jameson calls cognitive mapping.16 Th rough cognitive mapping, we
transcend our individual isolation and gain a sense of the socioeconomic terrain on which we fi nd ourselves. Th e connection between our
seemingly independent activity and the activities of others becomes evident. Altman accomplishes this in Short Cuts through the contingent
encounters between characters that reveal the underlying social bonds linking them together. Here, contingency functions as the form in which
necessity appears: the fi lm asks us to reread our contingent encounters in order to identify the necessity that underlies them. By doing so, we
might break through the trap of our individual isolation and see the connection between our activity and that of others. But
if spectators
are able to make this break, few of the characters in the fi lm do. Th e connection to the other remains
invisible to the characters in the fi lm because almost every encounter with the other is an encounter
with the enjoying other. The bond that unites the characters on the level of their subjective experience
is the proximity of the real or enjoying other. This manifests itself when Gene (Tim Robbins), a motorcycle police offi cer, tries
to seduce Claire (Anne Archer) during a routine traffi c stop; when Gordon (Buck Henry), Vern (Huey Lewis), and Stuart (Fred Ward) repeatedly
ask their server, Doreen (Lily Tomlin), for butter so that they can look up her skirt as she bends over; and when a drunken Andy Bitkower (Lyle
Lovett ) makes threatening phone calls to Ann Finnigan (Andie MacDowell) as her son lies unconscious in the hospital, to name just a few. The
specter of the enjoying other colors almost every interaction in the fi lm, and it has the effect of creating a level of anxiety that few can bear.
The encounter with the enjoying other in Short Cuts occurs both in public interactions and intimate ones within the domestic sphere. By
depicting these encounters taking place everywhere in contemporary society, Altman reveals that the family is not what Christopher Lasch calls
a haven in a heartless world but rather a redoubling of that heartless external world. At the very moment when characters want to retreat
from the pressure of the enjoying other into a domestic space free of anxiety, they fi nd the enjoying other appearing in an even more
inescapable form. Th is becomes most apparent through the character of Gene, the motorcycle cop. At home, we see him constantly
bombarded by screaming kids and a yapping dog, but when he leaves home to be with his lover, Bett y (Frances McDormand), he must struggle
with the enjoyment that she seems to be having without him. Wherever he turns, the real other lurks, and his own illicit enjoyment ( his aff air (
never seems equal in his mind to that of the other. Altman not only tries to show the unbearable nature of the enjoyment of the other for other
characters within the fi lm but also confronts the spectator with the image of the enjoying other in all its overwhelming presence. Th is occurs
throughout the fi lm, but most pointedly in two key scenes. In the first, Paul Finnigan ( Jack Lemmon) recounts at length his infi delity with his
wifes sister, which led to his estrangement from both his wife and his son, Howard (Bruce Davison), to whom he tells the story. Having not
seen his son for twenty-fi ve years, Paul shows up at the hospital where Howards son ( Pauls grandson ( lies unconscious aft er being hit by a
car. Paul wants to explain the estrangement to Howard, but it is clear that Howard has no desire to hear the explanation. Not only does Paul
continue to tell his story despite Howards lack of interest, but he describes the sexual encounter with Howards aunt in great detail, including
the fact that Howards mother found them in bed together. Altman fi lms most of this narrative with long takes of Paul speaking in close-up. He
only cuts in order to show an occasional reverse shot of Howard, and each of these shots emphasizes Howards discomfort through his
expressions or gestures. With Howard, the spectator must endure Pauls display of his enjoyment (in both the content of the story and its form
( the inappropriate telling of it). In the second such scene, Altman fi lms a lengthy shot of Marian Wyman (Julianne Moore) arguing with her
husband, Ralph (Matt hew Modine), while she wears a top but no skirt or underwear. As is the case in the scene with Paul and Howard, here
Marian is confessing an infi delity, and the spectator experiences the confrontation with her enjoyment just as Ralph does (who is having his
suspicions confi rmed for the fi rst time). But Marians state of undress adds an intensity to the production of anxiety in this scene. She spills a
drink on her skirt and removes it in order to clean it. As she does, Ralph recognizes that she isnt wearing underwear, even though they have
guests coming. In the extended shot in the middle of her explanation, Marian is wearing just a top that comes down each leg, exposing and
even framing her pubic hair. Th ough the shot doesnt eroticize Marians nudity, her nonchalance about it ( and the fact that she isnt wearing
underwear ( adds to the sense that she is teeming with enjoyment, and Altman gives the spectator, like Ralph, no respite from it. Altman
depicts the exposed Marian off ering the explanation for her illicit enjoyment in a long take, so that the spectator must endure her
inappropriate nudity and her uncomfortable revelation simultaneously.17 Th ough Short Cuts focuses on the anxiety-provoking eff ects of the
encounter with the enjoying other on the subject, it also reveals that the subjects experience of the others enjoyment is quite oft en
deceptive. Th at is to say, subjects believe they witness the other awash in enjoyment when in fact the enjoyment is nothing but a performance.
One of the most memorable fi gures in the fi lm, Lois Kaiser ( Jennifer Jason Leigh), stands out because she reveals this distance between the
appearance of enjoyment and the reality of her life. She works out of her home as a phone sex operator, and throughout the fi lm, she provides
phone sex service for her clients while working as a mother. In one scene, she describes performing oral sex on her client while she changes her
daughters diaper. Her sultry description of her completely imaginary sexual activity contrasts radically with what we see in the visual fi eld. Th
ere is enjoyment here in word only, as we cant help but see. Th e problem is that even when subjects become aware that the other is
performing enjoyment, the suspicion remains that some real enjoyment nonetheless exists hidden in the performance.18 Th is is why one could
watch Short Cuts in the aft ernoon and call a phone sex hotline in the evening. Th is suspicion of a real underlying enjoyment is clearly evident
in the case of Jerry (Chris Penn), Loiss husband, who sees her total lack of arousal in phone sex and yet believes that she must be experiencing
some enjoyment in order to produce the words that she does. More than any other character in the fi lm, Jerry feels the pressure of the
enjoying other. His wife is a phone sex operator, his best friend, Bill (Robert Downey Jr.), is constantly making sexual comments to him, and he
works cleaning swimming pools for clients much wealthier than himself. Unable to bear the anxiety that all this surrounding enjoyment
produces, he fi nally strikes out with violence at the end of the fi lm. Aft er she resists his advances, Jerry brutally kills one of the girls that he
and Bill have pursued while picnicking in the park. Altman reveals this act as the manifestation of the anxiety that the encounter with the
enjoying other produces. While most contemporary subjects dont smash rocks over the heads of those who provoke anxiety in them, the
conclusion of Short Cuts is nonetheless revelatory. Much (physical and psychic) violence today occurs in response to
the anxiety of the encounter with the enjoying other. Both the violence of the fundamentalist suicide
bomber and the violence of the War on Terror have their origins in the experience of anxiety. Suicide
bombers target sites of decadent Western enjoyment ( bars, clubs, discos, the World Trade Center, and
so on ( in order to create a world where this enjoyment would return to the shadows and thereby cease
to provoke anxiety. The true fundamentalist dreams about being able to desire once again with some respite from the proximate object
and the anxiety it creates. But the actions of the suicide bomber, for their part, produce anxiety in the Western
subject that leads directly to the phenomenon of the War on Terror.19 Th e anxiety that suicide bombers create does
not stem from the purely existential threat that they pose. Unlike the Western subjects that they threaten, suicide bombers appear
to enjoy through their belief. Th ey believe so fervently that they are willing to sacrifi ce themselves: they have full
confidence that they will receive an eternal reward of seventy-two virgins for their sacrifi ce. Confronted
with this seemingly authentic belief, the cynical Western subject for whom belief is always belief at one
remove almost inevitably experiences anxiety. Aft er the September 11 att acks, the focus on the eternal reward
that the suicide bombers believed they would receive indicates the relationship between anxiety about
terrorism and anxiety generated by the encounter with the enjoying other. Th e suicide bomber enjoys (
both through unquestioning belief and through the anticipation of the eternal reward ( and it is this
enjoyment that struck the towers on September 11, 2001. The War on Terror, which aims to wipe out all
suicide bombers, has as its ultimate goal the elimination of this enjoyment and the anxiety that follows
from it. Both the suicide bomber and the perpetuators of the War on Terror make the same mistake
that Jerry does in Short Cuts when he watches his spouse work as a phone sex operator. They see an
enjoying other where there is nothing but the image of enjoyment. Th e suicide bomber sees Western
women in revealing clothes and believes that the bare skin promises an opening to enjoyment, but this
represents a failure to understand that enjoyment operates through limitations and barriers rather than
through revelations and transgressions. One can never go far enough in the direction of transgression to reach real enjoyment.
It is the veil, not the miniskirt, that is the true garment of enjoyment.20 The enjoying Western other is the enjoying
other of the suicide bombers themselves, not the enjoying other in itself. No number of successful att acks will dissipate this
enjoyment because they can never hit its real source within the att acking subject itself. The perpetuators and
supporters of the War on Terror view suicide bombers as true believers in pursuit of the ultimate enjoyment. This is why the idea of
the seventy-two virgins receives so much attention as the reason for the fundamentalists willingness to
die for their cause. Though the reward of the seventy-two virgins for the martyr has almost no basis in
the Koran or in Islamic theology, people in the West repeat this justification for the suicide bombing
because it fits within the fantasy of the enjoying other, a fantasy also furthered by the common
perception that the Islamic fundamentalists, unlike most of us in the West, are true believers. Belief
constitutes the source of their danger and their enjoyment. But the act of blowing oneself up for a cause in no way testifi
es to the completeness of ones belief. As Pascal sees, acting as if one believes functions as a way of securing the belief of one who is not
certain. Thedramatic act is almost inevitably an att empt to prove to oneself that one believes rather than
evidence for that belief. The subjects who have to sacrifice themselves for the cause most oft en have to
do so in order to avoid losing faith in the cause. In short, the danger lies not in the true believer ( the
authentically enjoying other ( but in the one who wants to believe but cannot. The violence of the War
on Terror strikes out at the wrong target insofar as it aims at the true believer. The suicide bomber is
not so different from the typical Western subject: both experience enjoyment assaulting them from the
outside in the form of the enjoying other, and both seek ways of eradicating this enjoyment with
violence before it becomes overwhelming. The problem with violence as a solution to anxiety is not
just that it would beget more violence and lead to a war of all against all but that it doesnt work.
Violence can kill the other, but it cant destroy the others enjoyment. In fact, oft en the death of the other
has the effect of appearing to increase the level of enjoyment rather than destroying it, which is why
violence never provides a defi nitive solution for the one who perpetuates it. Not only does the idea of the enjoying
other persist for the subject aft er the others death, but this same enjoyment oft en proliferates and manifests itself elsewhere. Th is occurs in
David Lynch fi lms such as Lost Highway (1997) and Mulholland Drive (2001), though it appears most pointedly in the Twin Peaks (199091)
television series. Th e series revolves around the mysterious death of Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee), who is at once a prom queen, volunteer for
Meals on Wheels, drug user, and prostitute. Lauras contradictory identity leads all the other characters in the show to see her as a cipher for
their own ideas about enjoyment. She acts as the embodiment of the enjoying other. Inhabited by what seems to be a supernatural force, her
father, Leland, kills her before the series begins. But Lynch (and cocreator Mark Frost) shows Lauras enjoyment returning in the fi gure of her
cousin, Madeleine Ferguson (also played by Sheryl Lee). By having the same actor play both Laura and her cousin, Madeleine, Lynch stresses
the continuity of the enjoyment that they convey. Leland must murder his niece in the same manner as his daughter, and the series gives no
indication that this cycle of violence would ever end without his capture by the police. In fact, Lynch depicts Leland being inhabited by a
supernatural force precisely in order to stress the insatiable nature of this type of violence. The
violence that targets the enjoying
other is insatiable not just because the others enjoyment cannot be destroyed but because the real
goal of the violence is not eliminating this enjoyment but sustaining it. Suicide bombers att acking sites of decadent
Western enjoyment do not want to eliminate that enjoyment any more than the perpetuators of the War on Terror want to put an end to the
obscene enjoyment of Islamic fundamentalism. In each case, the
violence has the eff ect of producing more outbursts of
the enjoyment it professes to want to curtail. George W. Bushs invasion of Iraq made that country into
a hotbed of Islamic terrorism, just as the September 11 attack aroused Western displays of violent
enjoyment. If Bush and the fundamentalists were acting as enemy agents, they could not have been more eff ective at realizing the
opposite of their stated goals. But these are not simply unwanted side eff ects of the violence. Violence directed at the enjoying other succeeds
by failing: its failures to wipe out the enjoying other stimulate the other and thus produce even greater images of enjoyment. But murderous
violence directed toward the enjoying other is not, of course, the only alternative. Even within Short Cuts, Altman depicts several diff erent
responses to the experience of anxiety. Most oft en, we fl ee this experience through an att empt to reestablish the distance from enjoyment
that social authority no longer provides. We see this eff ort to construct an alternate form of social mediation in many of the fi lms other
characters. But
there remains a third possibility: one might embrace the experience of anxiety as an
ethical and political choice.
2NC/1NR Suicide Bomber Link XT
Their affirmation of the suicide bomber is a bad relationship to the death drive and
desire
The violence they affirm is in response to the anxiety of our encounter with the
Others enjoyment. The suicide bomber reacts to the cultural excesses of the West
and seeks to tear down the decadent means of their enjoyment. This operates along
the same structure that the War on Terrorism does our viewing of the veil views
their enjoyment as perverse and something that we cannot access so we seek to
eradicate it. All of this ignores the maschostic structure of our own enjoyment in that
we can jouissance from the experience of anxiety when confronting otherness the
question then is whether we respond with violence to eradicate the source of anxiety
or embrace anxiety as a political choice. <Give examples of what that means>. The aff
chooses the former which has a couple of impacts.
First, violence embracing anxiety in response to the enjoyment of the Other
necessitates more violence especially true in the context of the war on terrorism. On
one side, our invasion of Iraq to combat terrorism resulted in a greater number of
hotspots of instability. On the other side, the attack on the WTC reinvigorated the
military industrial complex and the faith in US cultural practices via the spread of
nationalism.
Second, turns case their embrace of the terrorist will never disrupt the true structure
of enjoyment that makes liberalism possible. Enjoyment stems from structures of
limitation because it creates the very possibility of sacrifice that makes our
subjectivity possible. Outbursts of violence ignore our masochistic draw to it in the
first place, which merely reinforces the conservatism of the SQUO.
Impacts
2NC/1NR Death Drive Impact XT
Their relationship to the death drive has a couple of impacts
First, violence notions of progress and a telos try to create a utopian community
thats all inclusive. Thats a fantasy that ignores that theres a fundamental lack that
makes inclusion STRUCTURALLY impossible. Theres always an antagonism between
our real and symbolic selves. Thats 1NC Stavrakakis. There is always a particularity
and disorder that remains outside and results in their violent elimination.
Communities necessitate anti-figures.
Second, turns case drives to cohere society around knowledge and progress are
fantasies that are doomed to fail due to our libidinal investments within the death
drive. Thats 1NC McGowan. We have a fundamental attraction to loss and sacrifice as
it brings us closest to the foundation of our subjectivity in the initial loss that ushers us
into the symbolic. This manifests itself in social violence and masochistic attraction
that which is bad for us. This means the there is zero risk that the aff solves since it
tries to find a coherence in our subjectivity that ignores our foundational lack.
Third, value to life they have conceded the foundational psychoanalytic claims that
desire is the structuring principle for our subjectivity. Therefore, all of our value
determinations stem from how we shape our relationship to it. There is no good or
bad, only desire. All of their claims about valuing lives betray an ontological
commitment to values. Enjoyment structures it and the death drive controls our
relationship to enjoyment. Therefore, our lives should only have an authentic
relationship to the truth of our subjectivity which is the death drive. Thats 1NC
McGowan.
<Dont read> Only the death drive makes life worth living and anything else is a
politics of life affirmation that deprives death of value while causing shocking
outbursts of death.
McGowan 13 [Todd, Assoc. Prof. of Film and Television Studies @ U. of Vermont, Enjoying What We
Dont Have: The Political Project of Psychoanalysis, pp. 223-227, RSR]

On the level of common sense, this opposition is not symmetrical. What


thinking person would not want to side with
those who love life rather than death.3 Everyone can readily understand how one might love life, but the love of death is a
counterintuitive phenomenon. It seems as if it must be code language for some other desire, which is how Western leftists often view it.
Interpreting terrorist attacks as an ultimately life-affirming response to imperialism and
impoverishment, they implicitly reject the possibility of being in love with death. But this type of
interpretation can't explain why so many suicide bombers are middle-class, educated subjects and not
the most downtrodden victims of imperialist power.4 We must imagine that for subjects such as these there
is an appeal in death itself. Those who emphasize the importance of death at the expense of life do so because death is the
source of value.5 The fact that life has an end, that we do not have an infinite amount of time to experience every possibility,
means that we must value some things above others. Death creates hierarchies of value, and these
hierarchies are not only vehicles for oppression but the pathways through which what we do matters at
all. Without the value that death provides, neither love nor ice cream nor friendship nor anything that
we enjoy would have any special worth whatsoever. Having an infinite amount of time, we would have no
incentive to opt for these experiences rather than other ones. We would be left unable to enjoy what
seems to make life most worth living. Even though enjoyment itself is an experience of the infinite, an
experience of transcending the limits that regulate everyday activity, it nonetheless depends on the limits of finitude. When
one enjoys, one accesses the infinite as a finite subject, and it is this contrast that renders enjoyment enjoyable. Without
the limits of finitude, our experience of the infinite would become as tedious as our everyday lives (and in fact would become our everyday
experience). Finitude provides the punctuation through which the infinite emerges as such. The
struggle to assert the importance
of death the act of being in love with death, as bin Laden claims that the Muslim youths are is a mode of avowing
ones allegiance to the infinite enjoyment that death doesn't extinguish but instead spawns.6 This is
exactly why Martin Heidegger attacks what he sees as our modern inauthentic relationship to death. In Being and Time Heidegger sees
our individual death as an absolute limit that has the effect of creating value for us. As he puts it, "With death,
Dasein stands before itself in its ownmost potentiality-for-being. This is a possibility in which the issue is nothing less than Dasein's Being-in-the-
world.7 Without the anticipation of our own death, we flit through the world and fail to take up fully an attitude of care, the attitude most
appropriate for our mode of being, according to Heidegger. Nothing really matters to those who have not recognized the approach of their own
death. By
depriving us of an authentic relationship to death, an ideology that proclaims life as the only
value creates a valueless world where nothing matters to us. But of course the partisans of life are not
actually eliminating death itself. They simply privilege life over death and see the world in terms of life
rather than death which would seem to leave the value-creating power of death intact. But this is not
what happens. By privileging life and seeing death only in terms of life, we change the way we
experience the world. Without the mediation that death provides, the system of pure life becomes a
system utterly bereft of value.8 We can see this in the two great systems of modernity science and capitalism. Both modern
science and capitalism are systems structured around pure life.9 Neither recognizes any ontological limit
but instead continually embarks on a project of constant change and expansion. The scientific quest for
knowledge about the world moves forward without regard for humanitarian or ethical concerns, which is why ethicists incessantly try to
reconcile scientific discoveries with morality after the fact. After scientists develop the ability to clone, for instance, we realize what cloning
portends for our sense of identity and attempt to police the practice. After
Oppenheimer helps to develop the atomic
bomb, he addresses the world with pronouncements of its evil. But this rearguard action has nothing to
do with science as such. Oppenheimer the humanist is not Oppenheimer the scientist.10 The same
dynamic is visible with capitalism. As an economic system, it promotes constant evolution and change just as life itself does.
Nothing can remain the same within the capitalist world because the production of value depends on the creation of the new commodity, and
even the old commodities must be constantly given new forms or renewed in some way.11 Capitalism
produces crises not
because it can't produce enough crises of scarcity dominate the history of the noncapitalist world, not
the capitalist one but because it produces too much. The crisis of capitalism is always a crisis of overproduction. The
capitalist economy suffocates from too much life, from excess, not from scarcity or death. Both science and
capitalism move forward without any acknowledged limit, which is why they are synonymous with modernity.12 Modernity emerges with the
bracketing of death's finitude and the belief that there is no barrier to human possibility. The problem with the exclusive focus on life at the
expense of death is that it never finds enough life and thus remains perpetually dissatisfied. The
limit of this project is, paradoxically,
its own infinitude. It evokes what Hegel calls the bad infinite an infinite that is wrongly conceived as having no relation at all to the
finite. We succumb to the bad infinite when we pursue an unattainable object and fail to see that the
only possible satisfaction rests in the pursuit itself. The bad infinite -the infinite of modernity- depends on a
fundamental misrecognition. We continue on this path only as long as we believe that we might attain the final piece of the puzzle,
and yet this piece is constitutively denied us by the structure of the system itself. We seek the commodity that would finally
bring us complete satisfaction, but dissatisfaction is built into the commodity structure, just as obsolescence
is built into the very fabric of our cars and computers. Like capitalism, scientific inquiry cannot find a final answer: beneath
atomic theory we find string theory, and beneath string theory we find something else. In both cases, the system prevents
us from recognizing where our satisfaction lies; it diverts our focus away from our activity and onto the goal that we pursue. In
this way, modernity produces the dissatisfaction that keeps it going. But it also produces another form of dissatisfaction that wants to arrest its
forward movement. The
further the project of modernity moves in the direction of life, the more forcefully
the specter of fundamentalism will make its presence felt. The exclusive focus on life has the effect of
producing eruptions of death. As the life-affirming logic of science and capitalism structures all societies to an increasing extent,
the space for the creation of value disappears. Modernity attempts to construct a symbolic space where there is no place for
death and the limit that death represents. As opposed to the closed world of traditional society, modernity opens up an infinite universe.14
But this infinite universe is established through the repression of finitude. Explosions of fundamentalist
violence represent the return of what modernity's symbolic structure cannot accommodate. As Lacan puts it
in his seminar on psychosis, "Whatever is refused in the symbolic order, in the sense of Verwerfung, reappears in the real.15
Fundamentalist violence is blowback not simply in response to imperialist aggression, as the leftist
common sense would have it. This violence marks the return of what modernity necessarily forecloses.
Alternative
2NC/1NR Generic Alternative XT
The alternative is to traverse the fantasy traversing the fantasy is process of
changing our relationship to the cause of our desires we say that the initial cause of
our desires stem from a need to create a wholeness within our subjectivity. Thats
ultimately a fantasy so our alternative changes the relationship to our fundamental
need by embracing that the lack within our desires IS US. We subjectify the lost part of
our subjectivity that the aff seeks to find which allows us to become desirous
individuals creatures that desire without object.
2NC/1NR Death Drive Alternative XT
Our alternative solves the entirety of death drive arguments thats 1NC Sharpe and
1NC McGowan. Through traversing the fantasy, we understand that all our desires
stem from loss as its seen as the creator of our subjectivity. Therefore, embracing loss
as inevitable allows for true human freedom as it understands how and why our
desires are created the aff is a politics of denying this so its mutually exclusive. By
subjectifying the initial loss as PART OF US we no longer externalize it as an object to
be found which makes the worst excesses of violence inevitable.
Only founding society upon an embrace of the initial traumatic loss allows us to
destroy social violence at its core anything else is changing the emperors clothes.
McGowan 13 [Todd, Assoc. Prof. of Film and Television Studies @ U. of Vermont, Enjoying What We
Dont Have: The Political Project of Psychoanalysis, pp. 283-286, RSR]

There is no path leading from the death drive to utopia. The death drive undermines every attempt to
construct a utopia; it is the enemy of the good society. It is thus not surprising that political thought from Plato onward
has largely ignored this psychic force of repetition and negation. But this does not mean that psychoanalytic thought concerning the death drive
has only a negative value for political theorizing. It is possible to conceive of a positive politics of the death drive. The
previous chapters have attempted to lay out the political implications of the death drive, and, on this basis, we can sketch what a society
founded on a recognition of the death drive might look like. Such a recognition would not involve a radical transformation of society: in one
sense, it would leave everything as it is. In contemporary social arrangements, the death drive subverts progress with repetition and leads to
the widespread sacrifice of self-interest for the enjoyment of the sacrifice itself. This structure is impervious to change and to all at empts at
amelioration. But in another sense, the recognition of the death drive would change everything. Recognizing the
centrality of the death drive would not eliminate the proclivity to sacrifice for the sake of enjoyment,
but it would change our relationship to this sacrifice. Rather than being done for the sake of an ultimate
enjoyment to be achieved in the future, it would be done for its own sake. The fundamental problem with the effort
to escape the death drive and pursue the good is that it leaves us unable to locate where our enjoyment lies. By positing a future
where we will attain the ultimate enjoyment (either through the purchase of the perfect commodity or
through a transcendent romantic union or through the attainment of some heavenly paradise), we
replace the partial enjoyment of the death drive with the image of a complete enjoyment to come. There
is no question of fully enjoying our submission to the death drive. We will always remain alienated from our mode of enjoying. As Adrian
Johnston rightly points out, Transgressively
overcoming the impediments of the drives doesnt enable one to
simply enjoy enjoyment.1 But we can transform our relationship to the impediments that block the full
realization of our drive. We can see the impediments as the internal product of the death drive rather than as an external limit. The
enjoyment that the death drive provides, in contrast to the form of enjoyment proffered by capitalism,
religion, and utopian politics, is at once infinite and limited. This oxymoronic form of enjoyment operates in the way that
the concept does in Hegels Logic. The concept attains its infinitude not through endless progress toward a point that always remains beyond
and out of reach but through including the beyond as a beyond within itself. As Hegel puts it, The universality of the concept
is the achieved beyond, whereas that bad infinity remains afflicted with a beyond which is unattainable
but remains a mere progression to infinity.2 That is to say, the concept transforms an external limit into an internal one and
thereby becomes both infinite and limited. The infinitude of the concept is nothing but the concepts own self-limitation. The enjoyment
that the death drive produces also achieves its infinitude through self-limitation. It revolves around a
lost object that exists only insofar as it is lost, and it relates to this object as the vehicle for the infinite
unfurling of its movement. The lost object operates as the self-limitation of the death drive through which the drive produces an
infinite enjoyment. Rather than acting as a mark of the drives finitude, the limitation that the lost object introduces provides access to infinity.
A society founded on a recognition of the death drive would be one that viewed its limitations as the
source of its infinite enjoyment rather than an obstacle to that enjoyment. To take the clearest and most
traumatic example in recent history, the recognition of the death drive in 1930s Germany would have conceived
the figure of the Jew not as the barrier to the ultimate enjoyment that must therefore be eliminated but
as the internal limit through which German society attained its enjoyment. As numerous theorists have said, the
appeal of Nazism lay in its ability to mobilize the enjoyment of the average German through pointing out
a threat to that enjoyment. The average German under Nazism could enjoy the figure of the Jew as it appeared in the form of an
obstacle, but it is possible to recognize the obstacle not as an external limit but as an internal one. In this way,
the figure of the Jew would become merely a figure for the average German rather than a position
embodied by actual Jews. Closer to home, one would recognize the terrorist as a figure representing the
internal limit of global capitalist society. Far from serving as an obstacle to the ultimate enjoyment in that society, the terrorist
provides a barrier where none otherwise exists and thereby serves as the vehicle through which capitalist society attains its enjoyment. The
absence of explicit limitations within contemporary global capitalism necessitates such a figure:if terrorists did not exist, global
capitalist society would have to invent them. But recognizing the terrorist as the internal limit of global capitalist society
would mean the end of terrorism. This recognition would transform the global landscape and deprive would-be
terrorists of the libidinal space within which to act. Though some people may continue to blow up buildings, they would
cease to be terrorists in the way that we now understand the term. A self-limiting society would still have real battles to
fight. There would remain a need for this society to defend itself against external threats and against the cruelty of the natural universe.
Perhaps it would require nuclear weapons in space to defend against comets or meteors that would threaten to wipe out human life on the
planet. But it would cease positing the ultimate enjoyment in vanquishing an external threat or surpassing
a natural limit. T e external limit would no longer stand in for a repressed internal one. Such a society would instead enjoy its own internal
limitations and merely address external limits as they came up. Psychoanalytic theory never preaches, and it cannot help
us to construct a bet er society. But it can help us to subtract the illusion of the good from our own
society. By depriving us of this illusion, it has the ability to transform our thinking about politics. With the assistance of
psychoanalytic thought, we might reconceive politics in a direction completely opposed to that articulated by
Aristotle, to which I alluded in the introduction. In the Politics, Aristotle asserts: Every state is a community of some kind, and
every community is established with a view to some good; for everyone always acts in order to obtain that which they think good. But, if all
communities aim at some good, the state or political community, which is the highest of all, and which embraces all the rest, aims at good in a
greater degree than any other, and at the highest good.3 Though later political thinkers have obviously departed from Aristotle concerning the
question of the content of the good society, few have thought of politics in terms opposed to the good. This is what psychoanalytic thought
introduces. If we act on the basis of enjoyment rather than the good, this does not mean that we can
simply construct a society that privileges enjoyment in an overt way. An open society with no restrictions on sexual
activity, drug use, food consumption, or play in general would not be a more enjoyable one than our own. That is the sure path to
impoverishing our ability to enjoy, as the aftermath of the 1960s has made painfully clear. One must arrive at
enjoyment indirectly. A society centered around the death drive would not be a better society, nor would it entail less suffering. Rather than
continually sacrificing for the sake of the good, we would sacrifice the good for the sake of enjoyment.
A society centered around
the death drive would allow us to recognize that we enjoy the lost object only insofar as it remains lost.
2NC/1NR Ableism Alt Solvency Card
The death drive is the root cause of abled body construction. Ableism results from the
projection of our constitutive lack onto the other. Only through embracing the
traumatic loss that constitutes EVERY SUBJECT can we reject the negative construction
of the disabled body.
Wilton, Professor in the School of Geography & Earth Sciences at McMaster University, 3 [Robert,
Locating physical disability in Freudian and Lacanian psychoanalysis: problems and prospects, Social &
Cultural Geography, Vol. 4, No. 3, September 2003, RSR]

The preceding analysis has been concerned primarily with symbolic castration and its relation to the phallus as penis. However,
shifting
attention from the phallus toward a consideration of the spectre of mortality may allow us to suggest
additional meaning for the privileged signifier in its relation to the disabled body. For Lacan, as for Freud,
death and the death drive play a central role in life (Ragland 1995). Life is characterized by loss, but it is
this lossa product of symbolic alienationthat paradoxically allows the subject to exist. Lacan uses the
concept of a second death, as distinct from animal death, to describe this experience of loss. In this
formulation: a palpable void lies at the heart of language, being, and body (Ragland 1995: 87). Humans
strive to fill this void, pursuing objects within symbolic reality for the sake of fantasy. Concomitantly, they strive
for a: consistency of meaning that protects the imaginary body from encountering the holes where the pain of the real enters thought
(1995: 99). This consistency
of meaning is designed to avoid confrontation with the death/loss that is a
defining characteristic of human existence. The implications of this formulation for the cultural
construction of disability can be explored by suggesting that the avoidance of death/loss is made
possible in part through the illusory plenitude of the able-body. In this sense, the privileged signifier is
inscribed on to/possessed by the physically fit and aesthetically pleasing bodythe body that is in great
shape because it bears no signs of decay. And yet there is also a denial here. As we saw earlier, the bodys growth
and development is at the same time its inexorable march toward death. In the introduction to Lacans Feminine Sexuality, Rose argues that:
as the place onto which lack is projected and through which it is simultaneously disavowed, woman is a symptom for the man (1983: 48).
This same formula, with its medical theme, is well suited to thinking about the positioning of the
disabled body as a symptoma site on to which the knowledge of the bodys ultimate loss is
projected. In this sense, two lossescastration and deathmay intersect in the cultural construction of
disabled bodies. Yet what produces anxiety here, unlike the Freudian formulation, is not what is missing, but precisely the op posite. The
supposed integrity of the able-body, like the illusory wholeness of the phallic male, is sustained by the
localization of the lack in the body of an-Other. This discussion finds an interesting connection with the work of Wright
(1983) on the Requirement of Mourning in relation to disability. Although not connected with psychoanalytic theory directly, Wright offers
insight into the psycho-social mechanisms that reproduce dominant constructions of disabled bodies as lacking. Moreover, a focus on mourning
resonates with the centrality of death in psychoanalytic theory.18 Wright argues that: When
people have a need to safeguard
their values, they will either insist that the person they consider unfortunate is suffering (even when the
person seems not to be suffering) or devaluate the unfortunate person because he or she ought to
suffer and does not. (1983: 79) In short, non-disabled people expect disabled people to mourn their loss.
Wright distinguishes three distinct Requirement of Mourning categories, but each has a common purpose: What is common among the three
types is that the observer, in order to protect highly held values, exaggerates suffering on the part of the person considered unfortunate (1983:
83) In psychoanalytic terms, the mourning ritual that is expected/demanded of the disabled person sustains an
ongoing denial/projection of the lack in the non-disabled body/subject. By contrast, non-conformity
with this stereotype raises difficult questions about the meaning of disability. More importantly, it turns the
spectre of loss back on to the able-bodied self. From a Lacanian perspective, projection invests the disabled body with a
lack. The lack is mapped on to the body, and sustained through the material and discursive processes of
an ableist society. Where disabled people, either unintentionally or purposefully, subvert dominant constructions of disability, these
encounters have the capacity to produce what Lacan conceptualizes as the lack of the support of the lack (Copjec 1991: 27)19an uncanny
moment that reveals the limits of the Symbolic order, and destabilizes the dividing line between nondisabled and disabled, throwing the
integrity of the imaginary able-body into doubt.20 While not drawing directly from psychoanalytic theory, disabled
authors recognize
the transgressive potential of failing to conform to non-disabled norms and expectations. As Carol Gill notes: It
really rocks people when we so clearly reject the superiority of nondisability. Were attacking the old yardstick of human validitythe
reassuring bottom line: At least I have my health (independence; all fingers and toes; ability to walk; vision; mind). (in Russell 1998: 17).
2NC/1NR PAS Puzzle Alt Solvency XT
Our alternative solves the entirety of our PAS arguments too thats 1NC Bracher and
1NC McGowan. Through traversing the fantasy, we understand that anxiety related to
PAS on both sides stem from a need to create a coherence to our subjectivity. It stems
from a need to either bound our lives to the master signifier of life or to escape the
medical communities power so we can find try jouissance and access to our true
selves. These notions of coherence are fantasies as our subjectivity is founded and
drawn to loss. Therefore, only embracing the death drive as US can we no longer
externalize it to do violence on either those who want PAS or those who we feel are
oppression our rights.
2NC/1NR Queer Theory Alt XT
Our alternative solves the entirety of our queer theory arguments rather than
affirming pleasure, we affirm jouissance. This understands the internal limits that exist
against pleasure in that we as subjects are attracted to our own loss because that
forms us as subjects. Viewing pleasure solely as limited from the outside and as a
pathway to completing our subjectivity is a fantasy. We will always intertwine our
conception of pleasure with that of the Others jouissance who is seen to have
unlimited pleasure. Therefore, conceptions of pleasure as repressive are inherent to
our subjectivity and part of the death drive which is what we embrace and subjectify
as part of ourselves. We must view pleasure as lack because viewing pleasure as
infinite allows us to do violence to those who we believe are having infinite pleasure.
Lacanian psychoanalysis makes queer logics possible: for all of their radical de-
naturalizations of sexes, genders, and sexualities, status quo queer theories still rely
on an unproblematized notion of pleasure. Psychoanalytic accounts of jouissance
demonstrate that these projects are doomed to repeat the structural logics of the
status quo, and only voting negative to embrace jouissance in the death drive solves.
Dean 2003 [Tim, professor of English at the University at Buffalo, Lacan and queer theory, The
Cambridge Companion to Lacan (Cambridge MA: Cambridge University Press, 2003), pp. 238-252.

In order to grasp Lacan's theory of l'objet petit a and how it deheterosexualizes desire, we need to
consider further Freud's account of the sexual instinct and its contingent object. As his severing of the
natural link between instinct and object implies, Freud disassembles the instinct into its components,
arguing that the notion of a unified instinct in which the parts function together harmoniously on the
model of animal instinct is a seductive fiction; it does not describe accurately how human instinctual life
operates. There is no single, unified sexual instinct in humans, Freud maintains, but only partial drives,
component instincts. Instinct is an evolutionary concept, a way of thinking about an organism's
adaptation to its environment. For Freud, however, the human subject is constitutively maladapted to
its environment, and the unconscious stands as the sign of this maladaption. Psychoanalytic thinkers after Freud
have formalized the distinction between instinct and drive that remains somewhat inchoate in Freud's own work.8 The distinction is
particularly important in terms of the epistemological status of psychoanalysis, since drive theory tends
to be taken as one of the most retrograde aspects of Freudianism, a mark of its essentialism. But in fact
the instinct/drive distinction confirms Freud's departure from biologistic conceptions of sexuality. If
instinct can be situated at the level of biological necessity, then drive is the result of instinct's capture in
the nets of language, its having to be articulated into a signifying chain in any attempt to find
satisfaction. Lacan spells out this distinction: "the instinct is the effect of the mark of the signifier on
needs, their transformation as an effect of the signifier into something fragmented and panic-stricken
that we call the drive" (S VII, p. 301). Fragmented or partialized by symbolic networks, the drive is thereby disoriented ("panic-stricken")
in a manner that gives the lie to conventional notions of sexual orientation. The very idea of sexual orientation assumes that desire can be
coordinated in a single direction, that it can be streamlined and stabilised. Another way
of putting this would be to say that
the idea of sexual orientation disciplines desire by regulating its telos. The notion of orientation -
including same-sex orientation - can be viewed as normalizing in that it attempts to totalize
uncoordinated fragments into a coherent unity. The conceptual correlate of orientation is sexual
identity, a psychological category that conforms to the instinctual understanding of sex. Instinct,
orientation, and identity are psychological concepts, not psychoanalytic ones. These concepts normalize
the weirder psychoanalytic theory of partial drives and unconscious desire by unifying the latter's
discontinuities into recognizable identity formations. The impulse to coordinate and synthesize is a function of the ego and
betrays an imaginary view of sex. This is as true of the notions of homosexual orientation and gay identity as it is of heterosexual identity. Both
straight and gay identities elide the dimension of the unconscious. As
an orientation or identity, homosexuality is
normalizing though not socially normative. In other words, while homosexuality is far from representing
the social norm, as a minority identity it does conform to the processes of normalization that regulate
desire into social categories for disciplinary purposes. With this distinction in mind, we can begin to
appreciate how Freud's radical claim that psychoanalysis "has found that all human beings are capable
of making a homosexual object-choice and have in fact made one in their unconscious" does not go far
enough in dismantling an identitarian view of sex.9 The contention that everyone has made a homosexual objectchoice in his
or her unconscious undermines the notion of a seamless sexual identity, but without challenging the assumption that object-choice is
determined by gender. For an object-choice to qualify as homosexual, it must represent a selection based on the similarity of the object's
gender to that of the subject making the selection. This implies that the gender of objects still is discernible at the level of the unconscious, and
that sexuality concerns recognizably "whole" objects, such as men and women (or at least masculine and feminine forms). But such
assumptions are invalidated by Freud's own theory of partial drives, as well as by the concept of objet petit a, a kind of partialized object that
Lacan derives from Freudian drive theory. In developing his concept of objet petit a, Lacan invokes the oral, anal, and scopic drives that Freud
discusses in "Instincts and their vicissitudes" (1915), adding to Freud's incomplete list the vocatory drive (in which the voice is taken as an
object). From the partial drives Lacan emphasises, one sees immediately that the gender of an object remains irrelevant to the drives' basic
functioning. Indeed, throughout his work Lacan remained dubious about the idea of a genital drive, and he was less optimistic than Freud
sometimes seemed concerning the possibility of subordinating the partial drives to genitality at puberty. Lacan never was prepared to concede
unequivocally the existence of a genital drive. As he concluded late in his career, "[a] drive, insofar as it represents sexuality in the unconscious,
is never anything but a partial drive. That is the essential failing [carence], namely the absence [carence] of anything that could represent in the
subject the mode of what is male and female in his being."10 The drives' partiality revokes heterosexuality at the level of the unconscious. If,
as far as the unconscious is concerned, it makes no sense to speak of heterosexual or homosexual
object-choices, then a theory of subjectivity that takes the unconscious into account could be extremely
useful from a queer perspective. Yet while Foucault's project to rethink power as intentional but
nonsubjective introduces formulations that are homologous with a deindividualized understanding of
the unconscious, queer theory generally has been reluctant to take on board any psychoanalytic
categories except those of imaginary ego formation. Queer theorists have developed subtle analyses of
heterosexual ego defenses, unpacking the various strategies that heterosexual identity employs to
maintain its integrity. But the full potential of Lacan's radicalization of Freud has not yet been exploited
by queer critique, which, in spite of its postmodernism, has tended to remain at a psychoanalytic level
equivalent to that of Anna Freudianism. This disinclination to utilize Lacan may be explained in several
ways, one of which has to do with the emphasis on psychic negativity that follows from understanding
sexuality in terms of the unconscious and partial drives. Queer theory's social utopianism - its desire to
create a better world - often carries over into a misplaced utopianism of the psyche, as if improved
social and political conditions could eliminate psychic conflict. Freud's partializing of the drive
discredits not only the viability of sexual complementarity, but also the possibility of subjective
harmony. In contrast to the functionality of sexual instinct, drive discloses the dysfunctionality of a
subject at odds with itself as a result of symbolic existence. Characterized by repetition rather than by
development, the drive does not necessarily work toward the subject's well-being. In fact, its distance
from organic rhythms means that the drive insists at the level of the unconscious even to the point of
jeopardizing the subject's life. For this reason, Lacan aligns the drive with death rather than life,
claiming that "the drive, the partial drive, is profoundly a death drive and represents in itself the portion
of death in the sexed living being" (S XI, p. 205). It bears repeating that the death drive is not an essentialist or organicist concept,
since it derives from an inference about the effect of language on bodily matter; it is as cultural subjects that humans are afflicted with the
death drive. There is no essential, inborn death drive; rather, the dysfunctional, antinaturalistic way in which partial drives fail to conduce
toward life lends every drive an uncanny, death-like quality. By
conceptualizing human subjectivity in linguistic terms,
Lacan divests Freud of the residual traces of biologism that persist in classical psychoanalysis. As part of
this larger project, he develops psychic negativity - particularly the theory of the death drive - in terms of
jouissance, a category technically absent in Freud's oeuvre. Primary among the many meanings that this strictly
untranslatable French term may be said to evoke is that which lies "beyond the pleasure principle."
Jouissance positivizes psychic negativity, revealing the paradoxical form of pleasure that may be found
in suffering - for instance, the suffering caused by neurotic symptoms. As the death drive was for Freud,
jouissance is an absolutely central concept for Lacan, though it too has been neglected in queer appropriations of
French psychoanalysis. Queer theory, which has such an elaborate discourse of pleasure, shows little
regard for what exceeds the pleasure principle. Although it emerged as a response to the AIDS crisis,
queer theory has not shown itself especially adept at thinking about death as anything other than a
terminus.11 This conceptual lacuna results in part from Foucault's extensive work on the meaning and
role of pleasure in Greek culture. The second volume of his History of Sexuality, The Use of Pleasure
(1984), examines how erotic and other pleasures became objects of Greek ethical thought - that is, how
pleasure (specifically, aphrodisia) became a matter for debate and reflection centuries before it became a question of law or prohibition.12 Part
of what fascinates Foucault about Greek ethical discourse on pleasure is its difference from modern ideas about pleasure; in particular, he
argues that although one's handling of pleasure in Greek culture was subject to discussion, pleasures were not understood as indices of one's
identity. Greek ethical practice did not entail what Foucault calls a "hermeneutics of the self," that is, a process of self-decipherment based on
one's erotic behavior. Skeptical about the deployment of theories of desire in understanding the self, Foucault counterposes to modern
techniques of self-identification the elaborate Greek discourse on aphrodisia, in which self-fashioning didn't depend on uncovering the self's
true desire. He thus develops an historical rationale for his introductory volume's polemic, which famously concludes that "the rallying point for
the counterattack against the deployment of sexuality ought not to be sex-desire, but bodies and pleasures."13 By
arguing against the
potentiality of any theory of desire, Foucault is attempting to situate his account of sexuality firmly
outside a psychoanalytic framework. In order to do so, he positions desire as an irremediably
psychological category and, more improbably, implies that pleasure is a category somehow exterior to
psychoanalysis. Foucault wants to suggest that pleasure remains epistemologically distinct from desire -
that, as Arnold I. Davidson puts it, "although we have no difficulty talking about and understanding the
distinction between true and false desires, the idea of true and false pleasures . . . is conceptually
misplaced. Pleasure is, as it were, exhausted by its surface; it can be intensified, increased, its qualities
modified, but it does not have the psychological depth of desire."14 From a psychoanalytic perspective,
however, the distinction between true and false pleasures is precisely what the concept of jouissance
addresses. The elementary idea of subjective division entails recognizing that one psychic agency may
experience pleasure at the expense of another - that pleasure or satisfaction at the level of the
unconscious may be registered as unpleasure by the ego. Now the Freudian category of unpleasure is
not exactly what Lacan means by jouissance; neither should we understand it simply as an especially
intense form of aphrodisia, since jouissance is not a subset of pleasure. Rather, pleasure functions
prophylactically in relation to jouissance, establishing a barrier or limit that protects the subject from
what Lacan calls jouissance's "infinitude" - a limitlessness that can overwhelm the subject to the point of
extinction. Hence jouissance is not to be equated with the petite mort of orgasm, since the latter confers
a pleasure and a limit that helps regulate jouissance. The existence of jouissance as infinitude - like the
concept of the death drive - remains an inference that Lacan draws from subjectivity's dependence on
symbolic life: in the symbolic order, one's jouissance is always already mostly evaporated. Thus Lacan
develops Freud's notion of subjective division in terms less of different parts of the mind (conscious, preconscious, unconscious; ego, id, super-
ego) than of a subject constitutively alienated in the Other, where Other is understood not as another person or a social differential, but as an
impersonal zone of alterity created by language. For
Lacan there is no subject without an Other; and hence his theory
of subjectivity de-individualizes our understanding of the subject, showing how subject is far more.
Death Drive K Against Policy Teams
1NC
Shell (Generic)
The affs belief in progress and repression of death forces us to relive the initial
traumatic loss, making the aff a self-fulfilling prophecy. Only through embracing the
death drive and understanding how we are fundamentally constituted allows us as
subjects to embrace freedom and give life meaning.
McGowan 13 [Todd, Assoc. Prof. of Film and Television Studies @ U. of Vermont, Enjoying What We
Dont Have: The Political Project of Psychoanalysis, pp. 13-22, RSR]

The death drive is neither (contra Marcuse) aggressiveness nor an impulse to return to an inorganic
state (as Freuds metaphor in Beyond the Pleasure Principle might imply) but an impetus to return to an
originary traumatic and constitutive loss. The death drive emerges with subjectivity itself as the subject
enters into the social order and becomes a social and speaking being by sacrificing a part of itself. This
sacrifice is an act of creation that produces an object that exists only insofar as it is lost. This loss of
what the subject doesnt have institutes the death drive, which produces enjoyment through the
repetition of the initial loss. Subjects engage in acts of self-sacrifice and self-sabotage because the loss enacted reproduces the
subjects lost object and enables the subject to enjoy this object. Once it is obtained, the object ceases to be the object. As a result, the subject
must continually repeat the sacrificial acts that produce the object, despite the damage that such acts do to the subjects self-interest. From the
perspective of the death drive, we turn to violence not in order to gain power but in order to produce loss, which
is our only source of enjoyment. Without the lost object, life becomes bereft of any satisfaction. The
repetition of sacrifice, however, creates a life worth living, a life in which one can enjoy oneself through
the lost object. The repetition involved with the death drive is not simply repetition of any particular experience. The repetition
compulsion leads the subject to repeat specifically the experiences that have traumatized it and disturbed its stable functioning. The better
things are going for the subject, the more likely that the death drive will derail the subjects activity.
According to the theory implied by the death drive, any movement toward the good any progress will tend to
produce a reaction that will undermine it. This occurs both on the level of the individual and on the
level of society. In psychoanalytic treatment, it takes the form of a negative therapeutic reaction, an effort to
sustain ones disorder in the face of the imminence of the cure. We can also think of individuals who continue to choose
romantic relationships that fail according to a precise pattern. Politically, it means that progress triggers the very forms of
oppression that it hopes to combat and thereby incessantly undermines itself. There is a backlash written into
every progressive program from the outset. The death drive creates an essentially masochistic structure within the
psyche. It provides the organizing principle for the subject and orients the subject relative to its enjoyment, and this enjoyment remains
always linked to trauma. This structure renders difficult all attempts to prompt subjects to act in their own self-
interest or for their own good. The death drive leads subjects to act contrary to their own interests, to sabotage the projects that
would lead to their good. Common sense tells us that sadism is easier to understand than masochism, that the sadists lust for power over the
object makes sense in a way that the masochists self-destruction does not. But for psychoanalysis, masochism functions as
the paradigmatic form of subjectivity. Considering the structure of the death drive, masochism becomes easily explained, and
sadism becomes a mystery. Masochism provides the subject the enjoyment of loss, while sadism seems to give
this enjoyment to the other. This is exactly the claim of Jacques Lacans revolutionary interpretation of sadism in his famous article
Kant with Sade. Though most readers focus on the essays philosophical coupling of Kantian morality with Sadean perversion, the more
significant step that Lacan takes here occurs in his explanation of sadisms appeal. Traditionally, most people vilify sadists for transforming their
victims into objects for their own satisfaction, but Lacan contends that they actually turn themselves into objects for the others enjoyment. He
notes: The sadist discharges the pain of existence into the Other, but without seeing that he himself thereby turns into an eternal object.21
Though the other suffers pain, the other also becomes the sole figure of enjoyment. What the sadist enjoys in the sadistic act is the enjoyment
attributed to the other, and the sadistic act attempts to bring about this enjoyment. In this sense, sadism is nothing but an inverted form of
masochism, which remains the fundamental structure of subjectivity.22 Self-destruction
plays such a prominent role in
human activities because the death drive is the drive that animates us as subjects. Unlike Herbert Marcuse,
Norman O. Brown, another celebrated proponent of psychoanalytically informed political thought, attempts to construct a psychoanalytic
political project that focuses on the death drive. He does not simply see it as the unfortunate result of the repression of eros but as a powerful
category on its own. In
Life against Death Brown conceives of the death drive as a self-annihilating impulse
that emerges out of the human incapacity to accept death and loss. As he puts it, The death instinct is the
core of the human neurosis. It begins with the human infants incapacity to accept separation from the
mother, that separation which confers individual life on all living organisms and which in all living
organisms at the same time leads to death.23 For Brown, we pursue death and destruction, paradoxically,
because we cannot accept death. If we possessed the ability to accept our own death, according to Browns view, we would avoid
falling into the death drive and would thereby rid ourselves of human violence and destructiveness. Like Marcuse, Browns societal ideal
involves the unleashing of the sexual drives and the minimizing or elimination of the death drive. He even raises the stakes, contending that
unless we manage to realize this ideal, the human species, under the sway of the death drive, will die out like the dinosaurs. Despite making
more allowances for the death drive (and for death itself) than Marcuse, Brown nonetheless cannot avoid a similar error: the belief that the
death drive is a force that subjects can overcome. For Freud, in contrast, it is the force that revenges itself on every overcoming, the repetition
that no utopia can fully leave behind. An
authentic recognition of the death drive and its primacy would demand
that we rethink the idea of progress altogether. And yet some idea of progress seems essential to
politics. Without progress as a possibility, it seems obvious that one would have no reason to involve
oneself in political contestation. All political activity would become futile, which is why few dispense with it altogether. Even a
thinker such as Jacques Derrida who struggles incessantly against the ideology of progress nonetheless
implicitly retains some notion of authentic progress within his thought. Without it, he would have no position from
which to criticize the idea while still endorsing political activity. The problem with progress as an idea, according to someone like Derrida, lies in
the way that it places a teleology on the movement of history and thereby prescribes a certain future that will serve to constrain our political
activity. Rather than helping to increase our freedom, the
idea of progress diminishes it by closing down the opening
that the future represents. Despite this deconstruction of progress, Derrida aligns deconstruction with hope for a
better future with what he calls an emancipatory promise. In Specters of Marx he elaborates: Well, what remains
irreducible to any deconstruction, what remains as undeconstructible as the possibility itself of deconstruction is, perhaps, a certain experience
of the emancipatory promise; it is perhaps even the formality of a structural messianism, a messianism without religion, even a messianic
without messianism.24 Though deconstruction leaves its emancipatory promise always to be fulfilled and refuses to actualize it, Derrida tacitly
conceives the movement toward it as progressive. The political dimension of deconstruction is founded on the belief that a better world is
possible: by deconstructing hierarchies, by insisting on a justice to come, and by struggling against illusions of presence, we can lessen human
suffering and help to forge a more egalitarian world. There is a good, even if fully realizing this good would transform it into its opposite (which
is Derridas contention). One must ensure that the good society always remains to come, or arrivant, as Derrida puts it, but far from minimizing
the status of the good or denigrating the good, giving it a futural status in fact elevates it and ensconces justice to come as the one idea that we
cannot deconstruct the ultimate or sovereign good.25 Even
in deconstruction, some idea of progress as a possibility
must exist in order for the theorist to make any normative appeal whatsoever.26 But the inescapability of
the idea of progress goes still further. It is not just the normative appeal that implies this idea; any
system of thought, even one that confines itself to pure descriptions, inevitably points toward the
possibility of progress. The act of articulating a system of thought implies the belief that a better world
is possible and that the knowledge the system provides will assist in realizing this better world. If I didnt
believe in the possibility of improvement, I would never bother to articulate any system at all. The very
act of enunciating even the most pessimistic system at tests to a fundamental optimism and hope for
progress beyond the status quo. This is true for an extreme pessimist like Arthur Schopenhauer as much as it is for an avowed
utopian like Charles Fourier. The position from which one enunciates the pessimistic system is the position invested in the idea of progress,
even when the enunciated content of the system completely denounces the idea. Though the good may be impossible to realize, it is also
impossible to abandon entirely. The production of knowledge itself points, often despite itself, toward a better future. This link between
knowledge and progress is the controlling idea of the Enlightenment. In his essay What Is Enlightenment? Kant
emphasizes that Enlightenment requires a situation where one is free to gain knowledge, where one has freedom to make public use of ones
reason in all mat ers.27 In the act of gaining knowledge through reasoning, subjects facilitate progress as they put this knowledge into use by
restructuring society. Knowledge, for Kant and for all Enlightenment thinkers, has an inherently progressive leaning. It frees us from the tyranny
of the past and from the drudgery of repetition. Progress is only possible because we have the ability to know the past and to learn from it.28
The Enlightenments belief in progress derives from its conception of the human subject as a subject of
knowledge, a subject who fundamentally wants to know. For psychoanalysis, the link between
knowledge and progress dooms the possibility of progress. Rather than desiring to know, the subject desires
not to know and organizes its existence around the avoidance of knowledge. In Le sminaire XXI Lacan states this
straightforwardly: There has been no desire for knowledge but . . . a horror of knowing.29The knowledge that we avoid is knowledge of the
unconscious because this knowledge confronts us with the power of the death drive and the inescapability of repetition. What we dont know
our particular form of stupidity allows us to move forward, to view the future with hopefulness. Without this fundamental refusal to
know, the subject simply could not continue.30 Freuds great revolution in the history of thought stems from his
conception of the subject as a subject of desire rather than as a subject of knowledge. Where thinkers from
Plato to Kant consider an inherent striving to know as essential to subjectivity, not only does Freud envision a different essential drive, he
contends that the subject wants not to know in order to continue to desire. The subject acts not on the basis of
what it knows but on the basis of how it desires. We might imagine linking these two ideas of the subject if we could link the act of knowing and
the act of desiring. But
knowledge and desire are at odds: the subject doesnt want to know what it desires or
how it enjoys. Its knowledge remains necessarily incomplete, and the gap within knowledge is the trigger for the
subjects desire and the point at which it enjoys. The unconscious emerges out of the subjects incapacity for knowing its own
enjoyment. Conscious knowledge is not simply unable to arrive at the knowledge of enjoyment and its
traumatic origin; it actively functions as a barrier to this knowledge. Conscious knowledge thwarts
access to the unconscious, and, as a result, the conscious effort to know continually defeats itself.
Psychoanalysis attempts to fill this fundamental lacuna in the project of knowledge by demanding that
the subject abandon the project in its traditional manifestation. It constructs a space that brackets
conscious knowledge in order that the subject might discover the unconscious. The fundamental role of
psychoanalysis one must reveal not what one knows but the words that come to mind aims at
bringing to light what the subject doesnt want to know. A gap exists between what the subject knows and what it says. In
the act of speaking, the subject says more than it consciously knows, and this excess is the unconscious a knowledge that the subject has
without knowing it. The paradox of this knowledge is that one can access it only when not seeking it and that once one has it, one has lost it.
Adherence to the fundamental rule of psychoanalysis insofar as it is possible allows subjects to recognize what they dont know when it
surprises them. But it doesnt thereby permit subjects to make progress through the acquisition of knowledge. The
recognitions that
one makes in psychoanalysis do not have the status of knowledge in the traditional sense of the term;
instead, they mark an irreducible gap in the field of knowledge. One recognizes oneself in an
unconscious desire that remains foreign, and one takes responsibility for it despite its foreignness. By
doing so, one does not change or progress as a subject but becomes what one already was. One sees the
death drive as the truth of ones subjectivity rather than as an obstacle that one might try to progress
beyond in order to reach the good. Interminable Repetition If we accept the contradictory conclusion that some idea of
progress inheres in every system of thought and that the psychoanalytic concept of the death drive shows the impossibility of progress, this
leaves psychoanalytic thought and especially a psychoanalytic political project on difficult ground. It
might explain the
seemingly absolute pessimism of the later Freud, Freud after 1920, who appears to have abandoned his
belief in the effacaciousness of the psychoanalytic cure. One of his final essays, Analysis Terminable and Interminable,
written in 1937 (just two years before his death), lays bare Freuds doubts concerning our ability to break from the power of repetition. Here,
Freud conceives of subjects refusal to abandon castration anxiety and penis envy as emblematic of the intractability of repetition. He notes:
At no other point in ones analytic work does one suffer more from an oppressive feeling that all ones repeated efforts have been in vain, and
from a suspicion that one has been preaching to the winds, than when one is trying to persuade a woman to abandon her wish for a penis on
the ground of its being unrealizable or when one is seeking to convince a man that a passive attitude to men does not always signify castration
and that it is indispensable in many relationships in life.31 That is, the repetition that centers around traumatic loss acts as a barrier that we
cannot progress beyond. In light of this barrier, the formulation of a psychoanalytically informed political project demands that we dissociate
politics from progress as it is usually conceived. We
cannot escape progress, and yet the traditional conception of
progress always runs aground. This paradox must become the foundation of any authentic
psychoanalytic politics. It demands that rather than trying to progress toward overcoming the barrier
that separates us from the good society, we begin to view identification with the barrier as the
paradoxical aim of progress. The barrier to the good society the social symptom is at once the obstacle over which we
continually stumble and the source of our enjoyment.32 The typical politics of the good aims at a future not inhibited by a limit that constrains
the present. This future can take the form of a truly representative democracy, a socialist utopia, a society with a fair distribution of power and
wealth, or even a fascist order that would expel those who embody the limit. But the good remains out of reach despite the various ef orts to
reach it. The limit separating us from the good society is the very thing that constitutes the good society as such. Overcoming the limit
shatters the idea of the good in the act of achieving it. In place of this pursuit, a psychoanalytic politics insists
on identification with the limit rather than at empting to move beyond or eliminate it. If there is a conception of
progress in this type of politics, it is progress toward the obstacle that bars us from the good rather than toward
the good itself. Identification with the limit involves an embrace of the repetition of the drive because it is the obstacle or limit that is the
point to which the drive returns. No one can be the perfect subject of the drive because the drive is what undermines all perfection. But it is
nonetheless possible to change ones experience within it. The
fundamental wager of psychoanalysis a wager that
renders the idea of a psychoanalytic political project thinkable is that repetition undergoes a radical
transformation when one adopts a different attitude toward it. We may be condemned to repeat, but
we arent condemned to repeat the same position relative to our repetition. By embracing repetition through
identification with the obstacle to progress rather than trying to achieve the good by overcoming this obstacle, the subject or the social order
changes its very nature. Instead of being the burden that one seeks to escape, repetition becomes the essence of ones being and the mode
through which one attains satisfaction. Conceiving politics in terms of the embrace of repetition rather than the
construction of a good society takes the movement that derails traditional political projects and reverses
its valence. This idea of politics lacks the hopefulness that Marxism, for instance, can provide for overcoming antagonism and loss. With it,
we lose not just a utopian ideal but the idea of an alternative future altogether the idea of a future no longer beset by intransigent limits
and this idea undoubtedly mobilizes much political energy.33 What
we gain, however, is a political form that addresses
the way that subjects structure their enjoyment. It is by abandoning the terrain of the good and
adopting the death drive as its guiding principle that emancipatory politics can pose a genuine
alternative to the dominance of global capitalism rather than incidentally creating new avenues for its
expansion and development. The death drive is the revolutionary contribution that psychoanalysis makes to political thought. But
since it is a concept relatively foreign to political thought, I will turn to various examples from history, literature, and f lm in order to concretize
what Freud means by the death drive and illustrate just what a politics of the death drive might look like. The chapters that follow trace the
implications of the death drive for thinking about the subject as a political entity and for conceiving the political structure of society. Part 1
focuses on the individual subject, beginning with an explanation of how the death drive shapes this subjectivity. The various chapters in part 1
trace the implications of the death drive for understanding how the subject enjoys, how the drive relates to social class, how the drive impacts
the subject as an ethical being, and how the subject becomes politicized. The discussion of the impact of the death drive on the individual
subject serves as a foundation for articulating its impact on society, which part 2 of the book addresses, beginning with the impact of the death
drive on the constitution of society. Part 2 then examines how the conception of the death drive helps in navigating a path through todays
major political problems: the inefficacity of consciousness raising, the seductive power of fantasy, the growing danger of biological
reductionism and fundamentalism, the lure of religious belief, and the failure of attempts to lift repression. The two parts of the book do not
attempt to sketch a political goal to be attained for the subject or for society but instead to recognize the structures that already exist and
silently inform both. The wager of what follows is that the revelation of the death drive and its reach into the subject and the social order can
be the foundation for reconceiving freedom. The recognition of the death drive as foundational for subjectivity is what occurs with the
psychoanalytic cure. Through this cure, the subject abandons the belief in the possibility of finding a solution
to the problem of subjectivity. The loss for which one seeks restitution becomes a constitutive loss
and becomes visible as the key to ones enjoyment rather than a barrier to it. A political project derived from
psychoanalytic thought would work to broaden this cure by bringing it outside the clinic and enacting on society itself. The point is not,
of course, that everyone would undergo psychoanalysis but that psychoanalytic theory would function
as a political theory. Politically, the importance of psychoanalysis is theoretical rather than practical. Politically, it doesnt matter
whether people undergo psychoanalytic therapy or not. This theory would inaugurate political change by insisting not on the possibility of
healing and thereby attaining the ultimate pleasure but on the indissoluble link between our enjoyment and loss. We become free to enjoy only
when we have recognized the intractable nature of loss.
Though psychoanalytic thought insists on our freedom to
enjoy, it understands freedom in a counterintuitive way. It is through the death drive that the subject
attains its freedom. The loss that founds this drive frees the subject from its dependence on its social
environment, and the repetition of the initial loss sustains this freedom. By embracing the inescapability
of traumatic loss, one embraces ones freedom, and any political project genuinely concerned with
freedom must orient itself around loss. Rather than looking to the possibility of overcoming loss, our
political projects must work to remain faithful to it and enhance our contact with it. Only in this way
does politics have the opportunity to carve out a space for the freedom to enjoy rather than restricting
it under the banner of the good.

The affs paranoid security politics is an attempt to paper over our fundamental loss
it sees enemies as possessing our enjoyment and justifies aggressive violence. Its a
self-fulfilling prophecy since it justifies the continued existence of threats. Only an
embrace of the death drive prevents violent cycles of aggression.
McGowan 13 [Todd, Assoc. Prof. of Film and Television Studies @ U. of Vermont, Enjoying What We
Dont Have: The Political Project of Psychoanalysis, pp. 44-51, RSR]

While nostalgia locates the ultimate enjoyment in the subjects own past, paranoia locates it in the
other. Paranoia thus offers the subject not just the image of the ultimate enjoyment (like nostalgia) but
also an explanation for its absence. Nostalgia and paranoia usually operate side by side in order to
provide the subject a way of fi guring its missing enjoyment. On its own, nostalgia as a mode of subjectivity
seems to have limited political consequences. Groups may use nostalgia as a political weapon, but its political weight is diff used to some
extent because it involves the subjects relation to itself rather than to an other. The same cannot be said for paranoia, which is why finding a way to counter
paranoia represents an urgent political task. Paranoia
is political in its very structure. It views the other as a threat and
produces hostility toward the other. The paranoid subject usually adopts one of two possible attitudes toward the other. According to the first,
paranoia serves to explain the loss of the privileged object. If I take up a paranoid attitude toward the other, I see her/his
enjoyment coming at the expense of mine. The other enjoys the lost object that is rightfully mine. The other, having stolen
my enjoyment, bears responsibility for my existence as a subject of loss. This type of paranoia removes the burden of loss
from the subject and places it onto the other, and in addition it functions, like nostalgia, to convince the subject that having the object is a possibility. According to
the second attitude, however, paranoia represents an attempt to convince ourselves that we have not lost the
privileged object. We are paranoid not that the other has stolen the privileged object but that it plans to do so. The imagined threat that
the other poses reassures us that we have the ultimate enjoyment and that this is what the other
targets. By imagining a threat, we fantasize the privileged object back into existence despite its status as
constitutively lost. At fi rst glance, it is diffi cult to see how paranoia might function as an att ractive att itude for subjects to take up. The paranoid
subject must endure a constant menace that has no tangible or defi nitive presence. Everyone that this
subject meets is a potential enemy in disguise threatening to steal or already having stolen the subjects
privileged object. In terms of the subjects own identity, paranoia does not provide security or stability.
In fact, it uproots all sense of security that the subject has concerning its identity. But its appeal does not
lie in how it transforms subjectivity; its appeal stems from its ability to close the gap in the social fi eld of
meaning, its ability to be a guarantor that authorizes our social interaction. Paranoia develops in
response to the inherent inconsistency of social authority.35 Th ere are authorities but no Authority, and a decisive Authority
would be necessary to provide subjects a sense of foundation, a sense that there is solid ground underneath their feet. Social proclamations and regulations place
the subject in an impossible position: one simply cannot believe and obey every edict emanating from social authorities without being torn apart in the eff ort. Th
ese contradictions occur on all levels of social pronouncements. One hears, for instance, about the dangers of eating too much
fat, and then one hears about the cancer-preventing power of chocolate. Parents tell their children not
to fi ght and at the same time tell them to stand up for themselves. George W. Bush claimed that the
Iraq War was waged to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction and later claimed that its
purpose was to liberate the country from a cruel dictator. Such inconsistencies are not merely
contingent developments within our particular society but necessarily follow from the ultimate
groundlessness of the social order itself. There is no final authority that calls all the shots in society and
guarantees the consistency of the social order. It is instead a structure in charge, and this structure functions through its very misfi ring.
Th e inconsistency of social authority & the gap in the social fi eld of meaning & provides it with an openness to diff erence. If social authority was a

closed circuit that operated without a hitch, it would have no way of incorporating the subject into its
fold. Th e subject invests itself in social authority precisely because this authority gives the subject
contradictory demands. Faced with these incongruous imperatives, the subject cannot readily decipher what the social
authority wants from it. Beneath the inconsistency, the desire of the authority remains a mystery. The subject
begins to desire in response to this unknown desire of the social Other: the inconsistency of the social
authority has the eff ect of attracting the subject and constituting the desire of the subject as the desire
of the Other. A thoroughly consistent social authority, while logically unthinkable, would not draw the desire of the subject in this way. It might force
individuals into obedience, but it would not create the investment in the social order that the inconsistent social authority creates. Confronting the inconsistency of
social authority is not an easy task for the subject. Many try to sustain a belief in its consistency through an imaginary construction that represses contradictory
ideas. The problem with this solution is that these ideas become more powerful through their repression, and the result is some form of neurosis. Another

possibility is the paranoid reaction. Rather than trying to wrestle with the problem of the gap in
authority, the paranoid subject eliminates it by positing an other existing in this gap, an other behind the
scenes pulling the strings. As Slavoj iek explains it, Paranoia is at its most elementary a belief into an Other of
the Other, into an Other who, hidden behind the Other of the explicit social texture, programs what
appears to us as the unforeseen eff ects of social life and thus guarantees its consistency: beneath the
chaos of market, the degradation of morals, and so on, there is the purposeful strategy of the Jewish
plot.36 Th e comfort that paranoia provides for the subject derives solely from this guarantee. For the paranoid subject, the surface
inconsistency of social authority hides an underlying consistency authorized by a real authority whom
most subjects never notice. Paranoia simultaneously allows the subject to sense its own superiority in
recognizing the conspiracy and to avoid confronting the horror of an inconsistent social authority. As with
nostalgia, paranoia is primarily aligned with a right-wing political agenda. Its suspicion of the other

nourishes a nationalistic politics and energizes the call for a return to traditional social arrangements. Just
as much of the investment in the Cold War struggle derived from paranoia, it fuels the contemporary war on terror. Th e exemplary right-

wing political formation, Fascism, has its basis in paranoia, seeing the Jew or some equivalent as secretly

controlling the social order to the detriment of all law-abiding citizens. The idea of an other operating
behind the scenes serves to justify restrictions on civil liberties, racism, police violence, and so on. A
paranoid populace is a populace ready to embrace a Fascist regime. Despite the inherent link between
paranoia and conservatism, leftists employ paranoia to a vast extent, far more than they do nostalgia.
Paranoid theories about the secret brokers of power who decide the fate of the capitalist world are widespread on the Left . It is common sense among leftists that
big oil companies have suppressed the development of alternative energies, that the cia assassinated Kennedy, and that major drug companies control the Food
and Drug Administration, just to name a few of the more well known conspiracy theories. The truth or falsity of these theories has nothing to do with their function
for the subject who accepts them. Th e paranoid subject is oft en correct in its various speculations, but paranoia nonetheless provides a way for the subject to
avoid confronting the inconsistency of social authority. For the paranoid subject, conspiracy theories dont simply explain a
single event; they solve the problem of the social order as such. According to this thought process, all loss stems from the
conspiracy, which has derailed the social order and upset its balance. The paranoid subject cannot accept the necessity of loss,

and the conspiracy theory works to render loss empirical rather than ontological. Th is is evident in
Oliver Stones JFK (1991), a fi lm in which Stone posits a vast conspiracy that resulted in the death of
Kennedy. Of course, Stone is probably correct that this conspiracy existed, but the fi lm goes astray primarily through its apotheosis of Kennedy, an apotheosis
that reveals whats at stake in all paranoia. According to the fi lm, had he remained in power, Kennedy would have prevented the horror of the Vietnam War and
thus spared the United States the psychic wound that this war created. With Kennedy, one can imagine an American social order existing without strife and loss. Th
e conspiracy theory allows Stone this image, which testifi es to the avoidability of loss.37 But Stone is not the only left ist to turn to paranoia. Many do so in order to
confront forces that they otherwise couldnt identify. Among those who suff er from political oppression, paranoia and conspiracy theory serve as vehicles for
thinking through systems of control and even mobilizing action against those systems. As Peter Knight points out, Conspiracy thinking has played an important role
in constituting various forms of African American political and cultural activism.38 When it directly produces activism, the political valence of paranoia seems to tilt
more clearly to the left than it does in the case of Stones fi lm.39 Marxist Fredric Jameson focuses on a related aspect of paranoia as he analyzes the paranoid fi lm
in Th e Geopolitical Aesthetic. In this work, Jameson aligns conspiracy theory with what he calls cognitive mapping & the att empt to think the global capitalist
system in its totality. Th e diff useness of global capitalism prevents the kind of cognitive mapping that was possible in earlier epochs. Today, in order to think the
totality at all, subjects must resort to the idea of a conspiracy. As Jameson points out in his analysis of All the Presidents Men, Th e map of conspiracy itself . . .
suggests the possibility of cognitive mapping as a whole and stands as its substitute and yet its allegory all at once.40 Jamesons statement refl ects his
ambivalence about conspiracy theory and paranoia & even though it allegorizes cognitive mapping, it also substitutes for it & but he nonetheless sees its usefulness
as a strategy for the Left , especially when facing the global capitalist leviathan. Th e problem is that even when it works to mobilize subjects to fi ght against an
oppressive system, paranoia has the eff ect of depriving subjects of their agency. By eliminating the gap in social authority and fi lling in this gap with a real authority
who eff ectively runs the show, paranoia deprives subjects of the space in which they exist as subjects. Th e subject occupies the position of the gap in social
authority; it emerges through and because of internal inconsistency in the social fi eld of meaning. Th e extent to which paranoia allows the subject to experience
social authority as a consistent fi eld is the extent to which it works against the subject itself .
Even if it manages tangible political victories,
emancipatory politics that relies on paranoia undermines itself by increasing the power of authority in
the thinking of subjects and decreasing their freedom. Whats more, it doesnt actually work. Like nostalgia,
paranoia can never constitute a successful strategy for the subject dealing with its fundamental
condition. It will never provide the enjoyment that it promises the subject. Uncovering and eliminating
the hidden real authority will bring not the ultimate enjoyment but horrible disappointment. Th is is why the
paranoid mindset cannot admit to itself that the hidden other has been vanquished. The enjoyment that paranoia does provide

requires the continuing existence of the threat, even though it imagines an enjoyment that would come
with the threats disappearance. Paranoia runs aground due to its failure to admit the connection between enjoyment and loss. It allows the
subject to imagine that loss is the contingent result of a secret malevolent force that we might conquer. By implicitly positing the avoidability

of loss, paranoia leaves subjects unable to locate and recognize the nature of their own enjoyment.
Targeted Violence Freud himself fl irted with paranoia as he was creating psychoanalysis, and it took the form of the seduction theory. When Freud made his fi rst
theoretical breakthroughs in psychoanalytic thinking, he believed that hysteria had its ultimate cause in a sexual assault & the parents premature introduction of
sexuality to the child. According to this thesis, parental seduction was a vast conspiracy responsible for the prevalence of hysteria. But in an 1897 lett er to Wilhelm
Fliess, Freud concludes that the unexpected frequency of hysteria would force him to surmise that almost all fathers were actual sexual predators, and he
contends that surely such widespread perversions against children are not very probable.41 Here, Freud jett isons the seduction theory because it would require
him to see sexual abuse as the norm. Th ough Freud concocted the idea of the death drive in 1920, the major step he made in this direction occurred a litt le more
than twenty years earlier when he abandoned the seduction theory. Many left ist critics have taken Freud to task for precisely this leap. Where a popular fi gure like
Jeff rey Masson accuses Freud of turning away from the truth of actual parental cruelty and criticizes psychoanalysis as a whole for its complicity with child abuse,
psychoanalytic theorists like Jean Laplanche and Walter Davis rethink psychoanalysis by formulating seduction as the inescapable fact of childhood. Laplanche
embraces the theory of seduction because it affi rms the priority of the other in the constitution of the human being and of its sexuality.42 Davis sees in the
seduction theory a way to affi rm the primacy of the cruelty human beings do to one another in forming the subjects psyche.43 For Masson, Laplanche, Davis,
and many others, the abandonment of the seduction theory marks Freuds abandonment of the radicality inherent in the psychoanalytic project itself. Without the
seduction theory, psychoanalysis seems to lose the dimension of social critique that att racts many on the left to it. But the turn away from the seduction theory
also marks Freuds initial grasp of the nature of the violence that gives birth to the subject. Th e conceptual breakthrough involved with the abandonment of the
seduction theory paved the way for the discovery of the death drive because it permitt ed Freud to consider violence not as primarily coming from someone else
but as what the subject itself fantasizes about. Aft er this development in his thought, it would make theoretical sense to conceive of an original violence that the
subject does to itself as the genesis of subjectivity and the death drive, which is the move that Freud makes in 1920. Of course, many other factors arose during the
intervening years to either facilitate or delay Freuds discovery, but he laid the groundwork for it at the moment when he turned away from the idea of a
generalized seduction. Th e seduction theory would have prevented Freud from recognizing that subjectivity has its origin in violence that the subject does to itself
& the violent sacrifi ce of the privileged object that begins desire. The death drive, the structuring principle of the psyche,
engages the subject in a perpetual repetition of this violence. Both nostalgia and paranoia try to flee the subjects original self-
inflicted violence. But even the attempt to avoid violence leads back to it. Nostalgia and paranoia lead almost inevitably to violence

directed toward the other who appears as a barrier to the subjects enjoyment. For many subjects,
external violence & either fantasized about or actually realized & is the chief way of coping with the
exigencies of the death drive. As Freud points out in the New Introductory Lectures on Psycho-analysis, It really seems as though it is necessary for
us to destroy some other thing or person in order not to destroy ourselves, in order to guard against the impulsion to self-destruction. A sad disclosure indeed for
the moralist!44 Violence
against the other attempts to replace violence against the self; this type of violence
att empts to repeat the subjects initial moment of loss on the cheap, so to speak. It seeks repetition while sparing
the subject itself the suff ering implicit in this repetition. Aggressive violence toward the other tries to separate the enjoyment of repetition (which it reserves for
the subject) with the suff ering of it (which it consigns to the other). Understood in terms of the death drive, one
can readily see the appeal of
aggressive violence. It provides a seemingly elegant solution to the troubling link between enjoyment
and suff ering. Th e problem with aggressive violence as a solution to the problem of the death drive
stems not just from the cycle of violence that it will undoubtedly inaugurate. Aggressive violence is
nothing but a detour or prolongation of the path toward self-infl icted violence. In this sense, the others violent act of
vengeance in response to the subjects own violence is precisely what the subject unconsciously hopes to trigger when committ ing a violent act in the fi rst place.
Th e others violent response allows us to experience the loss that we have hitherto avoided. Violence directed to the other does not satisfy the subject in the way
that violence directed toward the self does. In order to accomplish the repetition that the death drive necessitates, external violence must fi nally lead back to
violence directed at the self. Th e power of repetition in the psyche leaves the subject no possibility for escaping self-infl icted violence. Th is is what psychoanalytic
thought allows us to recognize and to bring to bear on our political activity. Th e only question concerns the form that this violence will take. Will the subject use the
other as a vehicle for infl icting violence on itself, or will it perform this violence directly on itself? By recognizing the power of unconscious repetition, we can grasp
the intractability of the problem of violence, but we can also see a way out of aggressive violence that doesnt involve utopian speculation. Rather
than
trying to avoid violence, we can restore to it its proper object & the self. The more the subject engages
in a violent assault on its own forms of symbolic identity, its own ego, its own deepest convictions, the
more the subject finds an enjoyable alternative to the satisfactions of aggression.

<Insert other links>


The alternative is to traverse the fantasy and embrace the death drive. Only founding
society upon an embrace of the initial traumatic loss allows us to destroy social
violence at its core anything else changing the emperors clothes.
McGowan 13 [Todd, Assoc. Prof. of Film and Television Studies @ U. of Vermont, Enjoying What We
Dont Have: The Political Project of Psychoanalysis, pp. 13-22, RSR]

There is no path leading from the death drive to utopia. The death drive undermines every attempt to
construct a utopia; it is the enemy of the good society. It is thus not surprising that political thought from Plato onward
has largely ignored this psychic force of repetition and negation. But this does not mean that psychoanalytic thought concerning the death drive
has only a negative value for political theorizing. It is possible to conceive of a positive politics of the death drive. The
previous chapters have attempted to lay out the political implications of the death drive, and, on this basis, we can sketch what a society
founded on a recognition of the death drive might look like. Such a recognition would not involve a radical transformation of society: in one
sense, it would leave everything as it is. In contemporary social arrangements, the death drive subverts progress with repetition and leads to
the widespread sacrifice of self-interest for the enjoyment of the sacrifice itself. This structure is impervious to change and to all at empts at
amelioration. But in another sense, the recognition of the death drive would change everything. Recognizing the
centrality of the death drive would not eliminate the proclivity to sacrifice for the sake of enjoyment,
but it would change our relationship to this sacrifice. Rather than being done for the sake of an ultimate
enjoyment to be achieved in the future, it would be done for its own sake. The fundamental problem with the effort
to escape the death drive and pursue the good is that it leaves us unable to locate where our enjoyment lies. By positing a future
where we will attain the ultimate enjoyment (either through the purchase of the perfect commodity or
through a transcendent romantic union or through the attainment of some heavenly paradise), we
replace the partial enjoyment of the death drive with the image of a complete enjoyment to come. There
is no question of fully enjoying our submission to the death drive. We will always remain alienated from our mode of enjoying. As Adrian
Johnston rightly points out, Transgressively
overcoming the impediments of the drives doesnt enable one to
simply enjoy enjoyment.1 But we can transform our relationship to the impediments that block the full
realization of our drive. We can see the impediments as the internal product of the death drive rather than as an external limit. The
enjoyment that the death drive provides, in contrast to the form of enjoyment proffered by capitalism,
religion, and utopian politics, is at once infinite and limited. This oxymoronic form of enjoyment operates in the way that
the concept does in Hegels Logic. The concept attains its infinitude not through endless progress toward a point that always remains beyond
and out of reach but through including the beyond as a beyond within itself. As Hegel puts it, The universality of the concept
is the achieved beyond, whereas that bad infinity remains afflicted with a beyond which is unattainable
but remains a mere progression to infinity.2 That is to say, the concept transforms an external limit into an internal one and
thereby becomes both infinite and limited. The infinitude of the concept is nothing but the concepts own self-limitation. The enjoyment
that the death drive produces also achieves its infinitude through self-limitation. It revolves around a
lost object that exists only insofar as it is lost, and it relates to this object as the vehicle for the infinite
unfurling of its movement. The lost object operates as the self-limitation of the death drive through which the drive produces an
infinite enjoyment. Rather than acting as a mark of the drives finitude, the limitation that the lost object introduces provides access to infinity.
A society founded on a recognition of the death drive would be one that viewed its limitations as the
source of its infinite enjoyment rather than an obstacle to that enjoyment. To take the clearest and most
traumatic example in recent history, the recognition of the death drive in 1930s Germany would have conceived
the figure of the Jew not as the barrier to the ultimate enjoyment that must therefore be eliminated but
as the internal limit through which German society attained its enjoyment. As numerous theorists have said, the
appeal of Nazism lay in its ability to mobilize the enjoyment of the average German through pointing out
a threat to that enjoyment. The average German under Nazism could enjoy the figure of the Jew as it appeared in the form of an
obstacle, but it is possible to recognize the obstacle not as an external limit but as an internal one. In this way,
the figure of the Jew would become merely a figure for the average German rather than a position
embodied by actual Jews. Closer to home, one would recognize the terrorist as a figure representing the
internal limit of global capitalist society. Far from serving as an obstacle to the ultimate enjoyment in that society, the terrorist
provides a barrier where none otherwise exists and thereby serves as the vehicle through which capitalist society attains its enjoyment. The
absence of explicit limitations within contemporary global capitalism necessitates such a figure: if terrorists did not exist, global
capitalist society would have to invent them. But recognizing the terrorist as the internal limit of global capitalist society
would mean the end of terrorism. This recognition would transform the global landscape and deprive would-be
terrorists of the libidinal space within which to act. Though some people may continue to blow up buildings, they would
cease to be terrorists in the way that we now understand the term. A self-limiting society would still have real battles to
fight. There would remain a need for this society to defend itself against external threats and against the cruelty of the natural universe.
Perhaps it would require nuclear weapons in space to defend against comets or meteors that would threaten to wipe out human life on the
planet. But it would cease positing the ultimate enjoyment in vanquishing an external threat or surpassing
a natural limit. T e external limit would no longer stand in for a repressed internal one. Such a society would instead enjoy its own internal
limitations and merely address external limits as they came up. Psychoanalytic theory never preaches, and it cannot help
us to construct a bet er society. But it can help us to subtract the illusion of the good from our own
society. By depriving us of this illusion, it has the ability to transform our thinking about politics. With the assistance of
psychoanalytic thought, we might reconceive politics in a direction completely opposed to that articulated by
Aristotle, to which I alluded in the introduction. In the Politics, Aristotle asserts: Every state is a community of some kind, and
every community is established with a view to some good; for everyone always acts in order to obtain that which they think good. But, if all
communities aim at some good, the state or political community, which is the highest of all, and which embraces all the rest, aims at good in a
greater degree than any other, and at the highest good.3 Though later political thinkers have obviously departed from Aristotle concerning the
question of the content of the good society, few have thought of politics in terms opposed to the good. This is what psychoanalytic thought
introduces. If we act on the basis of enjoyment rather than the good, this does not mean that we can
simply construct a society that privileges enjoyment in an overt way. An open society with no restrictions on sexual
activity, drug use, food consumption, or play in general would not be a more enjoyable one than our own. That is the sure path to
impoverishing our ability to enjoy, as the aftermath of the 1960s has made painfully clear. One must arrive at
enjoyment indirectly. A society centered around the death drive would not be a better society, nor would it entail less suffering. Rather than
continually sacrificing for the sake of the good, we would sacrifice the good for the sake of enjoyment.
A society centered around
the death drive would allow us to recognize that we enjoy the lost object only insofar as it remains lost.
Notes/Random Rohit Thoughts
Block split need some cards on status quo progress not happening etc. Generic stuff in A2: Pinker
good explanation here. Finish the int law stuff and the Lundberg stuff zach OCRd. Need to gather some
disease stuff too. Maybe more Lacan and political stuff alt explanations in the context of what izak
suggested for the redo like terorrists/Other has agency + we deserve it! Finish framework stuff
Overview
Generic
Our relationship to desire is the apriori question in this debate round. The structure of
ourselves and society is based upon a fundamental lack and antagonism. When we
become beings of discourse, we become trapped within the house of language since
we have to adapt our desires, which are a product of the real, to that of the symbolic
in language which already has external value structures within it. This creates a lack
within ourselves since language creates a separation between our real self and what
has been adapted to the symbolic order. Therefore, the judge should vote for the
team that has the best relationship to this constitutive lack and the subsequent
antagonism. This outweighs the aff because it forms the basis for political engagement
and subjectivity and turns the case because failure to relate to our foundational
desires makes all of their impacts inevitable since well inevitably return to what they
try to avoid.
Miscellaneous
2NC/1NR A2: Framework (New)
Cross apply our claims about desire from the overview the central question of the
debate should be to vote for the team with the best relationship to desire. Its a
prerequisite to our relationship with the political because it structures the way we
relate to progress.
We are also an indict of the performance of the 1AC this is a prerequisite to any of
their fiat claims
First ballot accumulation it is meaningless if we win the thesis of progress being
impossible. If we win all of our claims about our enjoyment stemming from the death
drive, it means that the aff gaining ballots is a disingenuous and pointless. Their mode
of using the ballot as a test of political efficacy is meaningless if we are driven away
from progress. Thats 1NC McGowan. Reject their attempt to create telos in the
debate round.
Second the political performance the affs political performance is a cover for their
ultimate fantasy thats 1NC McGowan and 1NC Stravakakis they do not want to
solve their argument because they get jouissance from repeating their encounter with
loss. The 1ACs encounter is dressed up within the impact claims of the 1AC they
have no incentive to solve because their perverse enjoyment comes from the
repeated interaction with it. The very construction of the 1AC is dependent on nuclear
war scenarios existing because, if there wasnt, there wouldnt be any 1AC.
Third, interpassivity their performing of social roleplaying is insincerity they are
addicted to playing the role of the white knight without understanding that their very
subject position makes any genuine engagement impossible.
Zizek 14 - senior researcher at the Institute for Sociology and Philosophy, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, and international director of
the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, and an Eminent Scholar at Kyung Hee University, South Korea (Slavoj, Absolute Recoil: Toward a New
Foundation of Dialectical Materialism)

However, Foucault falls short in this attempt to reduce the tension in Kants anthropology to the gap between the transcendental and the
empirical (the transcendental-empirical doublet), that is, to read the pragmatic dimension of which Kant speaks as the dimension of treating
humans as empirical worldly beings. Even a quick glance at what Kant does makes it clear that he was aiming at something quite different:
neither the subjective (in the sense of transcendental freedom and autonomy) nor the objective (in the sense of the empirical realm of
phenomenal causality), but what today we would call the performative dimension of social-symbolic interaction, of social
role playing, of obeying civilized rules of politeness. Here a weird causality entersnot the causality of hard empirical facts but the
causality of polite lies and illusions, of superficial manners, of mere pretendingin short, the causality of what
Popper called the Third World and Lacan the big Other, the level of sincere lies, of keeping up appearances. In
this topsy-turvy world, the deceiver itself is deceived, and the only route to inner moral authenticity
goes by way of hypocritical pretense. No wonder, then, that in the subsection On permissible moral appearance [Schein] in the
Anthropology we encounter an unexpected Kant, a Kant far from Kantian moral rigorism and moralism, a Kant located in a lineage that runs
from Pascal to Althusser: On the whole, the more
civilized human beings are, the more they are actors. They adopt
the illusion of affection, of respect for others, of modesty, and of unselfishness without deceiving
anyone at all, because it is understood by everyone that nothing is meant sincerely by this. And it is also
very good that this happens in the world. For when human beings play these roles, eventually the
virtues, whose illusion they have merely affected for a considerable length of time, will gradually really
be aroused and merge into the disposition.But to deceive the deceiver in ourselves, the inclinations, is a
return again to obedience under the law of virtue and is not a deception, but rather an innocent illusion
[Tauschung] of ourselves ... In order to save virtue, or at least lead the human being to it, nature has wisely implanted in him the tendency
to willingly allow himself to be deceived. Good, honorable decorum is an external appearance that instills respect in
others (so that they do not behave over familiarly with others). It is true that woman would not be content if the male sex did not appear to
pay homage to her charms. But modesty (pudicitia), a self-constraint that conceals passion, is nevertheless very beneficial as an illusion that
brings about distance between one sex and the other, which is necessary in order that one is not degraded into a mere tool for the others
enjoyment.In general, everything that is called propriety (decorum) is of this same sortnamely, nothing but beautiful illusion
[Schein/ appearance]. Politeness (politesse) is an illusion of affability that inspires love. Bowing (compliments) and all courtly gallantry together
with the warmest verbal assurances of friendship are to be sure not exactly always truthful (My dear friends:
there is no such thing as a friend. Aristotle); but this is precisely why they do not deceive, because everyone knows
how they should be taken, and especially because these signs of benevolence and respect, though
empty at first, gradually lead to real dispositions of this sort. All human virtue in circulation is small
changeit is a child who takes it for real gold. But it is still better to have small change in circulation than no funds at all, and
eventually they can be converted into genuine gold coin, though at considerable loss . Even the illusion of good in others must
have value for us, for out of this play with pretences, which acquires respect without perhaps earning it, something
quite serious can finally develop.It is only the illusion of good in ourselves that must be wiped out
without exemption ... Kant goes even further here than simply praising the empty coquetry and gallantry that mask the aim of
seduction, offering other surprising details such as celebrating the art of learned conversation in which witty remarks abound during shared
meals, and condemning eating alone as barbaric. Thisspecific dimension of politeness is located between the two
extremes of pure inner morality and external legality: while both of these are constructed in a very precise
conceptual way (the subject acts morally only if his motive is one of pure duty uncontaminated by
pathological considerations; he acts legally if his external acts do not violate any legal prohibitions and
regulations), politeness is both more than just obeying external legality and less than pure moral activityit is the ambiguously
imprecise domain of that which one is not strictly obliged to do (in failing to do it one does not break any laws) but
which one is nonetheless expected to do. We are dealing here with implicit unspoken regulations, with questions of tact, with
something towards which, as a rule, the subject has a nonreflexive relationship: something that is part of our spontaneous sensitivity, a thick
texture of customs and expectations that constitutes our inherited substance of mores (Sitten). As such, this
domain is the domain of
ideology par excellence, at its purest: it is the air we breathe spontaneously in our daily interactions, in the attitudes we
accept as self-evidently given. To put it in Althusserian terms, it is the domain of ideological apparatuses and
practices, a domain which, to use Kants own terms, allows individuals to schematize their abstract moral and
legal norms, to make them part of their living experience.

Fourth symbolic exchange their faith in the agonistic contestation of debate


produces a bullet-spraying of information that has a couple of imapcts first, it
destroys political efficacy because they are addicted to the simulation and second, it
props up the very systems that cause their impact.
Jean Baudrillard 1992 (Jean, Pataphysics of Year 2000)

Outside of this gravitational pull which keeps bodies in orbit, all the atoms of meaning lose themselves or self-absolve in space. Every single
atom follows its own trajectory towards infinity and dissolves in space. This is precisely what we are living in our present
societies occupied with the acceleration of all bodies, all messages, all processes in all possible senses and
wherein, via modern media, each event, each narrative, each image gets endowed with the simulation of an
infinite trajectory. Every political, historical, cultural fact is invested with a kinetic energy which spreads
over its own space and thrusts these facts into a hyperspace where they lose all meaning by way of an
inability to attain their meaning. It is useless to turn to science-fiction: from this point on, from the here and now, through our
computer science, our circuits and our channels, this particle accelerator has definitively disrupted and broken the referential orbit of things.
With respect to history, the narrative has become impossible since by definition it is the potential re-
narrativization of a sequence of meaning. Through the impulse of total diffusion and circulation each event is liberated for itself only
each event becomes atomized and nuclear as it follows its trajectory into the void. In order to diffuse itself ad infinitum, it has to be fragmented
like a particle. This is the way it attains a speed of no-return, distancing it from history once and for all. Every cultural, eventual group needs to
be fragmented, disarticulated to allow for its entry into the circuits, each language must be absolved into a binary mechanism or device to allow
for its circulation to take place not in our memory, but in the electronic and luminous memory of the computers. There is no human
language or speech (langage) that could compete with the speed of light. There is no event that could withstand its own diffusion across the
planet. No meaning stands a chance once offered the means of its own acceleration. There is no history that will
resist the centrifugal pull of facts or its short-circuiting in real time (in the same order of ideas: no sexuality will resist its own liberation, not a
single culture will foreclose its own advancement, no truth will defy its own verification, etc.). Even theory is no longer in the state of
"reflecting" on anything anymore. All it can do is to snatch concepts from their critical zone of reference and transpose them to the point of no
return, in the process of which theory itself too, passes into the hyperspace of simulation as it loses all "objective" validity, while it makes
significant gains by acquiring real affinity with the current system. The second hypothesis, with respect to the vanishing of history, is the
opposite of the first, i.e., it pertains not to the acceleration but to the slowing down of processes. This too is derived directly from physics.
Matter slows the passage of time. More precisely, time seems to pass very slowly upon the surface of a very dense body of matter. The
phenomenon increases in proportion to growth in density. The effect of this slowing down (ralentissement) will raise the wavelength of light
emitted by this body in a way that will allow the observer to record this phenomenon. Beyond a certain limit, time stops, the length of the wave
becomes infinite. The wave no longer exists. Light extinguishes itself. The analogy is apparent in the way historyslows down as it
brushes up against the astral body of the "silent majorities". Our societies are governed by this process of
the mass, and not only in the sociological or demographical sense of the word, but also in the sense of a "critical mass", of going
beyond a certain point of no-return. That is where the crucially significant event of these societies is to be found: the advent of their
revolutionary process along the lines of their mobility, (they are all revolutionary with respect to the centuries gone by), of their equivalent
force of inertia, of an immense indifference, and of the silent power of this indifference. This
inert matter of the social is not
due to a lack of exchanges, of information or of communication; on the contrary, it is the result of the
multiplication and saturation of exchanges. It is borne of the hyperdensity of cities, of merchandise, messages
and circuits. It is the cold star of the social, a mass at the peripheries of which history cools out. Successive events attain their
annihilation in indifference. Neutralized and bullet-sprayed by information, the masses neutralise
history retrospect and act as a screen of absorption. They themselves have no history, no meaning, no
conscience, no desire. They are potential residues of all history, of all meaning, of all desire. By inserting themselves into modernity,
all these wonderful things managed to invoke a mysterious counterpart, the misappreciation of which has unleashed all current political and
social strategies. This time, it's the opposite: history, meaning, progress are no longer able to find their speed or tempo of liberation. They can
no longer pull themselves out of this much too dense body which slows down their trajectory, slows down their time to the point from whereon
perception and imagination of the future escapes us. All social, historical and temporal transcendence is absorbed via
this mass's silent immanence. Already, political events no longer conduct sufficient autonomous energy to rouse us and can only
run their course as a silent movie in front of which we all sit collectively irresponsible. That is where history reaches its end, not because of the
lack of actors or participants, not due to a lack of violence (with respect to violence, there is always an increasing amount), not due to a lack of
events (as for events, there will always be more of them thanks to the role of the media and information!) but because of a slowing down or
deceleration, because of indifference and stupefaction. History can no longer go beyond itself, it can no longer envisage its own finality or
dream of its own end, it shrouds or buries itself in its immediate effect, it self-exhausts in special effects, it implodes in current events.
Essentially, one can no longer speak of the end of history since it has no time to rejoin its own end. As its effects accelerate, its meaning
inexorably decelerates. It will end up stopping and extinguishing itself like light and time at the peripheries of an infinitely dense mass...
Humanity too, had its big-bang: a certain critical density, a certain concentration of people and exchanges that compel this explosion we call
history and which is none other than the dispersal of dense and hieratic cores of earlier civilizations. Today, we are living an effect of reversal:
we have overstepped the threshold of critical mass with respect to populations, events, information, control of the inverse process of inertia of
history and politics. At the cosmic level of things, we don't know anymore whether we have reached this speed of liberation wherein we would
be partaking of a permanent or final expansion (this, no doubt, will remain forever uncertain). At the human level, where prospects are more
limited, it is possible that the energy itself employed for the liberation of the species (acceleration of birthrates, of techniques and exchanges in
the course of the centuries) have contributed to an excess of mass and resistance that bear on the initial energy as it drags us along a ruthless
movement of contraction and inertia. Whether the universe infinitely expands or retracts to an infinitely dense and infinitely small core will
hinge upon its critical mass (with respect to which speculation itself is infinite in view of the discovery of newer particles). Following the
analogy, whether our human history will be evolutionary or involuted will presumably depend upon the critical mass of humanity. Are we to
see ourselves, like the galaxies, on a definitive orbit that distances us from each other under the impact of a tremendous speed, or is this
dispersal to infinity itself destined to reach an end, and the human molecules bound to draw closer to each other by way of an inverse effect of
gravitation? The question is whether a human mass that grows day by day is able to control a pulsation of this genre? Third hypothesis, third
analogy. But we are still dealing with a point of disappearance, a point of evanescence, a vanishing-point, this time however along the lines of
music. This is what I call the stereophonic effect. We are all obsessed with high fidelity, with the quality of musical "transmission"
(rendu). On the console of our channels, equipped with our tuners, our amplifiers and our baffles, we mix, regulate and multiply
soundtracks in search of an infallible or unerring music. Is this, though, still music? Where is the threshold of high fidelity beyond the point of
which music as such would disappear? Disappearance would not be due to the lack of music, it would disappear for having stepped beyond this
boundary, it would disappear into the perfection of its materiality, into its own special effect. Beyond this point, neither judgement nor
aesthetic pleasure could be found anymore. Ecstasy of musicality procures its own end. The disappearance of history is of the same order: there
too, we have gone beyond this limit or boundary where, subjected to factual and informational sophistication, history as such
ceases to exist. Large doses of immediate diffusion, of special effects, of secondary effects, of fading and this famous Larsen effect
produced in acoustics by an excessive proximity between source and receiver, in history via an excessive proximity, and therefore the
disastrous interference of an event with its diffusion create a short-circuit between cause and effect, similarly to
what takes place between the object and the experimenting subject in microphysics (and in the human sciences!). All things entailing a certain
radical uncertainty of the event, like excessive high fidelity, lead to a radical uncertainty with respect to music. Elias Canetti says it well: " as

of a certain point", nothing is true anymore. This is also why the soft music of history escapes us, it disappears under the
microscope or into the stereophony of information.

Next, this is an apriori question to actual engagement with the law the law spawns
from the initial lack present in the subject and the desire for wholeness. Only
understanding the psychoanalytic basis for the law allows us to understand how
authority is constituted.
Aristodemou, Senior Lecturer in Law and Assistant Dean for International Links and Enterprise at
Birkbeck College, University of London, 14 [Maria, Law, Psychoanalysis, Society: Taking the
Unconscious Seriously, Glasshouse Books, 2014, RSR] <we do not endorse the ableist language>

If the signifier God was the signifier par excellence, the all-important transcendental signifier that gave coherence and unity to the rest of the system, law

was modernisms preferred arch-signifier for plugging the lack in the symbolic order and inserting the
all-important limit that creates desire. Other signifi ers serving this role have been King, the state, the party, nation, democracy, human rights,
family. The legal system, however, like any system, also has to rely on a master signifier to complete and

close itself. Law students are familiar with such imaginary signifi ers from Kelsens grundnorm, Austins sovereign, Harts rule of recognition or Dworkins
Judge Hercules. For psychoanalysis, however, such master signifiers, though structurally necessary to close the system, in

themselves signify nothing more than an impossibility: the impossibility of closure and fullness of
meaning. As we pointed out in the discussion of the concept of the phallus, our master signifi ers are signifi ers without a signifi ed, to put it in other words,
they are tautologies: the greatest tautology in our case being the one conferring legitimacy to the law itself. To the question, why should I obey

the law, the only answer is, because it is the law: as the priest in The Trial explains to a reluctant Joseph
K, one doesnt have to accept the law as good or just; one only needs to accept it as necessary. What we
also insist on forgetting when resorting to these signifiers, is that we invented these Big Others because
as individuals we fail: because the individual is lacking, she looks to God, Law, the state, the nation, the
Queen, the family, for completion, forgetting that the entities we appeal to for completion are
themselves lacking. In Chapter 3 we explored the close link between desire and prohibition from the point of view of the subject, and saw that, as
Houellebecqs characters who lost the desire to desire find, sometimes prohibition is needed to resuscitate a sleeping and crushing lack of desire. Here we will
explore this relationship from the point of view of the Law. There is no doubt that one of Freuds most devastating claims for lawyers is that law and the legal
system are not there to dispense justice or even order or even efficiency.
Nor is it a human creation derived from higher principles
of natural law. As he explains the origin of prohibitions with disarming simplicity, what other origin can
we impute to the creation of laws, than that of desire itself? Take the case of the ultimate law of laws,
the incest taboo and indeed all taboos: Since taboos, Freud reminds us, are mainly expressed in
prohibitions, the underlying presence of a positive current of desire may occur to us as something quite
obvious and calling for no lengthy proofs For, after all, there is no need to prohibit something that no
one desires to do, and a thing that is forbidden with the greatest emphasis must be a thing that is
desired. 15 For Freud it is the subjects renunciation of her instincts rather than her striving after lofty
ideals, that leads to the creation of laws, religions, and moralities: The part of human intellectual activity that created the
great institutions of religion, law, ethics, and all forms of civic life has as its fundamental aim the enabling of the individual to master his oedipal complex and to
divest his libido from its infantile attachment into the social ones that are ultimately desired. 16 So
the creation of law, as much as of
religion and of morality, is another by-product of the individuals Oedipal struggle. While the father, or the bearer of
the fathers role, may fade out of view from the subjects life, the installation of the superego takes the fathers place, depersonalizing the father fi gure and
incorporating it in the subject in the form of a higher and punitive law: As
the child was once under a compulsion to obey its
parents, so the ego submits to the categorical imperative of the superego. 17 This agency is indeed more prohibitive than
any external agency since, having its seat within the subjects psyche, nothing can be hidden from it: it watches, discovers, and criticises the subjects intentions
and desires with more accuracy and success than any external agency could ever do. 18 Like
the father the child both feared and
admired, the superego enjoys the license of tormenting the ego precisely because the injunctions of the
superego were once seen as ideals to be emulated: When we were children we knew these higher
natures, we admired and feared them; and later we took them into ourselves. 19 And the superego is endowed with
the authority to punish precisely because the subject had set it up as an ideal in the fi rst place; something both loved and admired. No wonder the superego is so
useful to social order. Freud describes the installation of the superego in the subjects psyche as the policeman within: Civilization
obtains mastery
over the individuals dangerous desire for aggression by disarming it and by setting up an agency within
him to watch over it, like a garrison in a conquered city. 20 Conversely, the law depends on the lack that
constitutes the human subject for its own foundation and existence. Without the gap between
demand and need that creates desire, there would be neither desire nor law: law arises in response to
the subjects lack at the same time as it inserts its own structures and demands on the imaginary
fullness the child enjoyed before being inserted into language and the symbolic order. As Lacan reminds us, the
genesis of the moral dimension in Freuds theoretical elaboration is located nowhere else than in desire
itself. It is from the energy of desire that that agency is detached which at the end of its development
will take the form of the censor. 21 Desire therefore follows the law: before the subject encounters the
law, she is at the mercy of acephalous drives; the intervention of the law operates to introduce a limit
on directionless drive and it is the installation of this limit that creates and sustains desire. For Lacan the
function of the father fi gure (who of course may be the mother) is to act as the agent of prohibition and therefore not hinder, restrict or prohibit desire but instead
to set a limit to limitless jouissance. By
forbidding unlimited jouissance, the law creates a distance between the
subject and unlimited jouissance and thereby gives birth to desire. The subject gives up the dream of
unlimited jouissance and in return gets desire within the con- fi nes of the law: within the pleasure
principle. For the pleasure principle, paradoxically, does not seek unlimited pleasure but manageable pleasure: in effect what the pleasure principle demands is
that pleasure should cease. 22 Prohibition therefore incites desire within the parameters of the law: as Lacan explains, It is

not the Law that bars the subjects access to jouissance it simply makes a barred subject out of an almost natural barrier The true function of the

Father is fundamentally to unite (and not to oppose) a desire to the Law. 23 Appreciating that unlimited
freedom often horrifies and paralyses the subject, Lacan insists that the function of Law is not to
prevent access to desire but to act as a defense against unlimited enjoyment. Access to unbridled
enjoyment would be unbearable for the subject so law acts as a limit, not to freedom, but to limitless,
and therefore unbearable, enjoyment. 24 As one of my students illustrated it, unlimited jouissance would be like
being tickled to excess: we may enjoy being tickled, indeed we may enjoy it a lot, but if the tickling does
not stop, something or someone, needs to intervene to stop our tickler from tickling us to death. 25 The
subjects fear of encountering and being absorbed by an all-devouring jouissance neatly creates a convenient symptom called law: law heals the distance between
the subjects unconscious fear of encountering the object of her desire and her conscious protests that she desires the object: if only the law would allow it, the
subject can claim, nothing would stand between me and my desire. But, you know, there is the law. Laws prohibitions are reassuring because they make it look as
though what we cannot attain due to our inherent lack is instead prohibited. The limit-loving classes, as Nathaniel Hawthorne calls them, are not just one class but
all of us: we adopt limits to avoid confronting the impossibility of desire. Law,
as an external prohibition which thwarts our desires,
presents as a prohibition the fact that desire cannot be satisfi ed anyway. To sum: the development and
constitution of the subject of psychoanalysis through the childs (more or less successful) negotiation of
the Oedipus complex introduces the indissoluble link between desire and law and the subjects
simultaneous encounter of law and desire. This negotiation marks the beginning, for the subject, of all
forms of moral, legal, religious and social authority, and her precarious navigation between the
demands of the pleasure and reality principles. So in contrast to both libertarian and communitarian
thinking, for psychoanalysis the relationship between law and desire is neither one of competition nor of
complimentarity. Laws function is neither to cater for, let alone fulfi ll the subjects desires, nor,
conversely, to prevent their realization. It is much more problematic because there is always a bit of the subjects desire already in the law
and always a bit of the law already in the subjects desire. That is, the laws prohibition doesnt only enhance, but can be the cause of desire itself. Without the
prohibition, so-called transgressive activities would lose, not only their illegal status, but the desire to engage in them at all. Law here therefore is the cause of , not
the obstacle to, the subjects desire and prohibition serves desire because desire arises to fill the gap created by prohibition. This is how we observe, as we saw in
our discussion of disobedience, that illegality within the system is part and parcel of a functioning system. Take transgression away, and the system itself collapses.
Where would criminal law be without the criminal, or the law of tort without the tortfeasor?

Framework attempts to construct a debate utopia that is the politics that makes
genocidal violence inevitable. Constructing good and better communities require the
elimination of those who do not fit within those norms.
Stavrakakis 99 - Teaching fellow at the department of Government at the University of Essex and
Acting Director of the MA program in Ideology and Discourse Analysis. (Yannis, 1999, LACAN AND THE
POLITICAL, ISBN 0-203-22426-4, p. 100-7, RSR)
In order to answer these questions it is crucial to enumerate the conditions of possibility and the basic characteristics of utopian thinking. First
of all it
seems that the need for utopian meaning arises in periods of increased uncertainty, social
instability and conflict, when the element of the political subverts the fantasmatic stability of our
political reality. Utopias are generated by the surfacing of grave antagonisms and dislocations in the
social field. As Tillich has put it all utopias strive to negate the negativein human existence; it is the
negative in that existence which makes the idea of utopia necessary (Tillich in Levitas, 1990:103). Utopia then is
one of the possible responses to the ever-present negativity, to the real antagonism which is constitutive of human experience. Furthermore,
from the time of Mores Utopia (1516) it is conceived as an answer to the negativity inherent in concrete political antagonism. What is,
however, the exact nature of this response? Utopias
are images of future human communities in which these
antagonisms and the dislocations fuelling them (the element of the political) will be forever resolved,
leading to a reconciled and harmonious worldit is not a coincidence that, among others, Fourier
names his utopian community Harmony and that the name of the Owenite utopian community in the
New World was New Harmony. As Marin has put it, utopia sets in view an imaginary resolution to social contradiction; it is a
simulacrum of synthesis which dissimulates social antagonism by projecting it onto a screen representing a harmonious and immobile
equilibrium (Marin, 1984:61). This final resolution is the essence of the utopian promise. What I will try to do in this chapter is, first of all, to
demonstrate the deeply problematic nature of utopian politics. Simply put, my
argument will be that every utopian fantasy
construction needs a scapegoat in order to constitute itselfthe Nazi utopian fantasy and the
production of the Jew is a good example, especially as pointed out in ieks analysis.4 Every utopian
fantasy produces its reverse and calls for its elimination. Put another way, the beatific side of fantasy is
coupled in utopian constructions with a horrific side, a paranoid need for a stigmatised scapegoat. The
naivetyand also the dangerof utopian structures is revealed when the realisation of this fantasy is
attempted. It is then that we are brought close to the frightening kernel of the real: stigmatisation is
followed by extermination. This is not an accident. It is inscribed in the structure of utopian constructions; it
seems to be the way all fantasy constructions work. If in almost all utopian visions, violence and antagonism are eliminated,
if utopia is based on the expulsion and repression of violence (this is its beatific side) this is only because
it owes its own creation to violence; it is sustained and fed by violence (this is its horrific side). This repressed
moment of violence resurfaces, as Marin points out, in the difference inscribed in the name utopia itself (Marin, 1984:110). What we shall
argue is that it also resurfaces in the production of the figure of an enemy. To use a phrase enunciated by the utopianist
Fourier, what is driven out through the door comes back through the window (is not this a precursor of Lacans dictum that what is
foreclosed in the symbolic reappears in the real?VII:131).5 The work of Norman Cohn and other historians permits the articulation of a
genealogy of this manichean, equivalential way of understanding the world, from the great witch-hunt up to modern anti-Semitism, and
Lacanian theory can provide valuable insights into any attempt to understand the logic behind this utopian operationhere the approach to
fantasy developed in Chapter 2 will further demonstrate its potential in analysing our political experience. In fact, from the time of his
unpublished seminar on The Formations of the Unconscious, Lacan identified the utopian dream of a perfectly
functioning society as a highly problematic area (seminar of 18 June 1958). In order to realise the problematic character of
the utopian operation it is necessary to articulate a genealogy of this way of representing and making sense of the world. The work of Norman
Cohn seems especially designed to serve this purpose. What is most important is that in Cohns schema we can encounter the three basic
characteristics of utopian fantasies that we have already singled out: first, their link to instances of disorder, to the element of negativity .
Since human experience is a continuous battle with the unexpected there is always a need to represent
and master this unexpected, to transform disorder to order. Second, this representation is usually
articulated as a total and universal representation, a promise of absolute mastery of the totality of the
real, a vision of the end of history. A future utopian state is envisaged in which disorder will be totally
eliminated. Third, this symbolisation produces its own remainder; there is always a certain particularity
remaining outside the universal schema. It is to the existence of this evil agent, which can be easily
localised, that all persisting disorder is attributed. The elimination of disorder depends then on the
elimination of this group. The result is always horrible: persecution, massacres, holocausts . Needless to say,
no utopian fantasy is ever realised as a result of all these crimesas mentioned in Chapter 2, the purpose of fantasy is not to satisfy an
(impossible) desire but to constitute it as such. What is of great interest for our approach is the way in which Cohn himself articulates a
genealogy of the pair utopia/demonisation in his books The Pursuit of the Millennium and Europes Inner Demons (Cohn, 1993b, 1993c). The
same applies to his book Warrant for Genocide (Cohn, 1996) which will also be implicated at a certain stage in our analysis. These books are
concerned with the same social phenomenon, the idea of purifying humanity through the extermination of some category of human beings
which are conceived as agents of corruption, disorder and evil. The contexts are, of course, different, but the urge remains the same (Cohn,
1993b:xi). All these works then, at least according to my reading, are concerned with the production of an archenemy which goes together with
the utopian mentality. It could be argued that the roots of both demonisation and utopian thinking can be traced back to the shift from a
cyclical to a unilinear representation of history (Cohn, 1993a:227).6 However, we will start our reading of Cohns work by going back to Roman
civilisation. As Cohn claims, a profound demonising tendency is discernible in Ancient Rome: within the imperium, the Romans accused the
Christians of cannibalism and the Jews were accused by Greeks of ritual murder and cannibalism. Yet
in the ancient Roman world,
although Judaism was regarded as a bizarre religion, it was nevertheless a religio licita, a religion that
was officially recognised. Things were different with the newly formed Christian sect. In fact the Christian Eucharist could
easily be interpreted as cannibalistic (Cohn, 1993b:8). In almost all their ways Christians ignored or even
negated the fundamental convictions by which the pagan Graeco-Roman world lived. It is not at all surprising
then that to the Romans they looked like a bunch of conspirators plotting to destroy society. Towards the end of the second century, according
to Tertullian, it was taken as a given that the Christians are the cause of every public catastrophe, every disaster that hits the populace. If the
Tiber floods or the Nile fails to, if there is a drought or an earthquake, a famine or a plague, the cry goes up at once: Throw the Christians to the
Lions!. (Tertullian in Cohn, 1993b:14) This defamation of Christians that led to their exclusion from the boundaries of humanity and to their
relentless persecution is a pattern that was repeated many times in later centuries, when both the persecutors and the persecuted were
Christians (Cohn, 1993b:15). Bogomiles, Waldensians, the Fraticelli movement and the Catharsall the groups appearing in Umberto Ecos
fascinating books, especially in The Name of the Rosewere later on persecuted within a similar discursive context. The same happened with
the demonisation of Christians, the fantasy that led to the great witch-hunt. Again, the conditions of possibility for this demonisation can be
accurately defined. First, some kind of misfortune or catastrophe had to occur, and second, there had to be someone who could be singled out
as the cause of this misfortune (Cohn, 1993b:226). In
Cohns view then, social dislocation and unrest, on the one hand,
and millenarian exaltation, on the other, do overlap. When segments of the poor population were
mesmerised by a prophet, their understandable desire to improve their living conditions became
transfused with fantasies of a future community reborn into innocence through a final, apocalyptic
massacre. The evil onesvariously identified with the Jews, the clergy or the richwere to be exterminated; after which the Saintsi.e. the
poor in questionwould set up their kingdom, a realm without suffering or sin. (Cohn, 1993c:1415) It was at times of acute dislocation and
disorientation that this demonising tendency was more present. When people were faced with a situation totally alien to their experience of
normality, when they were faced with unfamiliar hazards dislocating their constructions of realitywhen they encountered the realthe
collective flight into the world of demonology could occur more easily (ibid.: 87). The same applies to the emergence of millenarian fantasies.
The vast majority of revolutionary millenarian outbreaks takes place against a background of disaster. Cohn refers to the plagues that
generated the first Crusade and the flagellant movements of 1260, 13489, 1391 and 1400, the famines that preluded the first and second
Crusade, the pseudo-Baldwin movement and other millenarian outbreaks and, of course, the Black Death that precipitated a whole wave of
millenarian excitement (ibid.: 282).7 It
is perhaps striking that all the characteristics we have encountered up to
now are also marking modern phenomena such as Nazi anti-Semitic utopianism. In fact, in the modern anti-
Semitic fantasy the remnants of past demonological terrors are blended with anxieties and resentments emerging for the first time with
modernity (Cohn, 1996:27). In structural terms the situation remains pretty much the same. The
first condition of possibility for
its emergence is the dislocation of traditional forms of organising and making sense of society, a
dislocation inflicted by the increased hegemony of secularism, liberalism, socialism, industrialisation,
etc. Faced with such disorientating developments, people can very easily resort to a promise for the re-
establishment of a lost harmony. Within such a context Hitler proved successful in persuading the
Germans that he was their only hope. Heartfields genius collages exposing the dark kernel of National
Socialism didnt prove very effective against Nazi propaganda. It was mass unemployment, misery and anxiety
(especially of the middle classes) that led to Hitlers hegemony, to the hegemony of the Nazi utopian promise. At the very time when German
society was turning into one of the great industrial powers of Europe, a land of factories and cities, technology and bureaucracy, many Germans
were dreaming of an archaic world of Germanic peasants, organically linked by bonds of blood in a natural community. Yet, as Cohn very
successfully points out, such a view of the world requires an anti-figure, and this was supplied partly by the liberal West but also, and more
effectively, by the Jews (Cohn, 1996:188). The emergence of the Jew as a modern antichrist follows directly from
this structural necessity for an anti-figure. Rosenberg, Goebbels and other (virtually all) Nazi ideologues used the phantom of
the Jewish race as a lynch-pin binding the fears of the past and prospective victims of modernisation, which they articulated, and the ideal
volkish society of the future which they proposed to create in order to forestall further advances of modernity. (Bauman, 1989:61) No doubt
the idea of a Jewish world conspiracy is a revival, in a secularised form, of certain apocalyptic beliefs. There is clearly a connection between the
famous forgery known as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and the antichrist prophecy (Cohn, 1996:48). The Protocols were first published by
Nilus as part of his book The Great in the Small: Antichrist Considered as an Imminent Political Possibility and were published in 1917 with the
title He is Near, At the DoorHere comes Antichrist and the Reign of the Devil on Earth. As the famous Nazi propagandist Rosenberg points out
One of the advance signs of the coming struggle for the new organisation of the world is this understanding of the very nature of the demon
which has caused our present downfall. Then the way will be open for a new age (Rosenberg in Cohn, 1996:217). Within
this schema
the elimination of the antichrist, that is the Jews, is considered as the remedy for all dislocations, the key
to a new harmonious world. Jews were seen as deserving death (and resented for that reason) because
they stood between this one imperfect and tension-ridden reality and the hoped-for world of tranquil
happinessthe disappearance of the Jews was instrumental in bringing about the world of perfection.
(Bauman, 1989:76) As Sartre claims, for the anti-Semite the Good itself is reduced to the destruction of Evil. Underneath the bitterness of the
anti-Semite one can only reveal the optimistic belief that harmony will be reconstituted of itself, once Evil is destroyed. When the mission of
the anti-Semite as holy destroyer is fulfilled, the lost paradise will be re-established (Sartre, 1995:435).8 In Adornos words, charging the Jews
with all existing evils seems to penetrate the darkness of reality like a searchlight and to allow for quick and all-comprising orientation. It is
the great Panaceathe key to everything (Adorno, 1993:311, my emphasis). Simply put, the
elimination of the Jew is posited as
the only thing that can transform the Nazi dream to reality, the only thing that can realise utopia.9 As it
is pointed out by an American Nazi propagandist, our problem is very simple. Get rid of the Jews and
wed be on the way to Utopia tomorrow. The Jews are the root of all our trouble (True in Cohn, 1996:264, my emphasis). The
same is, of course, true of Stalinism. Zygmunt Bauman brings the two cases together: Hitlers and Stalins victims were not killed in order to
capture and colonise the territory they occupied. They were killed because they did not fit, for one reason or another, the scheme of a perfect
society. Their killing was not the work of destruction but creation. They were eliminated, so that an objectively better human worldmore
efficient, more moral, more beautifulcould be established. A Communist world. Or a racially pure, Aryan world. In both cases, a harmonious
world, conflict free, docile in the hands of their rulers, orderly, controlled. (Bauman, 1989:93) In any case, one should not forget that the fact
that the anti-figure in Nazi ideology came to be the Jew is not an essential but a contingent development. In principle, it could have been
anyone. Any of us can be a substitute for the Jew. And this is not a mere theoretical possibility. In
their classical study of the
authoritarian personality Theodor Adorno and his colleagues point out that subjects in our sample find
numerous other substitutes for the Jew, such as the Mexicans and the Greeks (Adorno, 1993:303). Although the
need for the structural position of the anti-figure remains constant the identity of the subject occupying that position is never given a priori.
This does not mean that within a certain historical configuration with a particular social sedimentation and hegemonic structure all the
possibilities are open to the same extent; it means though that in principle nobody is excluded from being stigmatised. Of
course, the
decision on who will eventually be stigmatised depends largely on the availability within a particular
social configuration of groups that can perform this role in social fantasy, and this availability is socially
constructed out of the existing materials. As Lacan points out in Anxiety, although a lack or a void can be filled in
several ways (in principle), experienceand, in fact, analytic experienceshows that it is never actually
filled in 99 different ways (seminar of 21 November 1962). What we have here is basically a play of incarnation.
A2: Fairness Impacts
All their fairness impacts are empty signifiers focusing around a stasis point only
matters if that stasis point produces useful forms of knowledge that can transform the
status quo we say traditional debate fails to do that for reasons above only
changing the subjects relation to enjoyment can solve which is why the alt is a
prerequisite to the aff.
A2: Decision Making
Not a decision just a technocratic way of making utopias more realizable.
Subscribing to geopolitical determinisms does not result in us making decisions
because everything is already decided for us.
2NC/1NR A2: Permutation (Generic)
The permutation is non-sensical all of our link arguments are disadvantages to their
relationship to desire and reasons why its mutually exclusive with our notion of
traversing the fantasy. We say the permutation is still a disingenuous relationship to
ethic of the real for traversing the fantasy so there is a VtL DA to the perm.
The permutation is premised on transfiguring psychoanalysis into one more signifier in
the 1AC's signifying chain - reject the perm to maintain the theory.
Stavrakakis 99 - Teaching fellow at the department of Government at the University of
Essex and Acting Director of the MA program in Ideology and Discourse Analysis. (Yannis,
1999, LACAN AND THE POLITICAL, ISBN 0-203-22426-4, p. 112-121) NAR
A crucial problem which still remains open is the hegemonic efficacy of a political project based on this anti-utopian recognition of the very
impossibility of society. It is necessary to tackle this problem before engaging in a detailed way with our Lacanian account of democracy. The
idea of the impossibility of society, for example, as Sean Homer argues, may make for good theory butdoes it
make for good politics? (Homer, 1996:101). In other words, Homers fear is that Lacanian political theory, although
successful as a theoretical enterprise, leads to a dangerous no-way-out in terms of political praxis (Homer, 1996:102).
This is because, in Homers view, the recognition of the impossibility of society leads to the impossibility of politics: what is occluded in the
elision between object a and the social as an impossible object is the possibility of politics itself (Homer, 1996:102). Psychoanalytic political
theory is presented by Homer as politically impotent since it does not articulate itself as an ideological discourse. And, of course, although
psychoanalysis and theorists such as Laclau criticise and even unmask the gap between our symbolic fictions and the real, this gap will always
be filled by new ideological discourses, and so on and so forth: Marx recognized this in what I have termed his prophetic discourse, a discourse
that is, according to Laclau, radically inconsistent with both Marxisms and psychoanalysiss critical impulse but is, I suggest politically
necessary. For if
psychoanalysis cannot articulate or envisage a move beyond the impasse I have delineated, that is to
say, if
it cannot function as an ideological discourse, then there are plenty of other, more often than not stridently
anti-psychoanalytic, theories and ideologies waiting to fill the vacuum. (Homer, 1996:108, my emphasis) This
becomes all the more necessary because to dwell on the impossibility of the subject or society is also to facilitate the possibility of potentially
more conservative and reactionary positions (ibid.: 109). For iek, lack and antagonism are constitutive and thus all utopian constructions,
including Marxs prophetic discourse in the Communist Manifesto and elsewhere, that is to say his utopian impulse, are missing the point.
Nevertheless, Homer is determined to repeat that error today (Homer, 1996:107). Not that he is in a position to fully envisage utopia. This, as
he recognises, is, in Lacanian terms, structurally impossible (ibid.)it is well known that Lacan considered Aufhebung as a sweet dream of
philosophy. But it seems to him as the only way to go beyond the impasse of the impossible, and to link theory back to practice (ibid.).
Homers position seems extremely interesting in its simplifying clarity. Let me extract the basic moments in his argumentation as I understand
them: 1 Psychoanalytic political theory, by concentrating on the irreducible lack in the Other, on the impossibility of society, does not permit
itself to engage in an ideologicalutopian is the correct word hereattempt to cover over that lack. 2 If psychoanalytic political theory does
not engage in ideological construction, in trying to fill the gap in the social, other ideologies and discourses do and will continue to do so. 3
Thus, by being politically impotent, since politics is identified with constructing ideological utopias or quasi-utopian heuristic
devices, Lacanian political theory leaves the road open for other (conservative) political ideologies. 4 What becomes
necessary is the articulation of a psychoanalytic ideology or maybe a Lacanian quasi-utopia. This is the only way, according to Homer, to move
beyond the current impasse of psychoanalytic political theory and to articulate a truly psychoanalytic politics. In other words utopia strikes
back. Needless to say, Homers argument is only the most recent in a long series of voices on the left that resist
abandoning the legacy of the 1960s epitomised by Marcuseand want to insist very strongly on the necessity of the
reinvention of the utopian vision in any contemporary politics (Jameson, 1991:159). Now it is possible to examine the
plausibility of these points one by one. First of all it is of course true that Lacanian political theory is a discourse on impossibility. But it could be
also argued that impossibility constitutes the nodal point of the most interesting part of Lacanian theory in general, insofar as the real is
understood as the impossible par excellence, that is to say, impossible to represent in the imaginary or the symbolic plane. The examples are
countless. Does not the phrase there is no sexual relationship mean that every relationship between the sexes only takes place against the
background of a fundamental real impossibility? (iek, 1994a:155). It is clearly no accident that this recognition is something denied in utopian
writing. In Campanellas utopia for example, fat girls are matched with thin men in order for a harmony between the sexes to be restored. To
provide a more contemporary illustration, this close relation between the political promise of utopia and the relationship between the sexes is
clearly shown in the grandiose sculpture of V.Mukhina installed in the Soviet pavilion at the 1937 Paris International Exhibition; a sculpture
representing the harmonious union between an industrial worker (the male stereotype according to socialist realism, depicted holding the
hammer) and a collective farm girl (the female equivalent, depicted holding the sickle and thus supplementing a kind of harmonious yin and
yang representation of the sexual relationship) in their march towards Stalins utopia. Against this utopian fantasy of the sexual relationship
Lacanian theory stresses the constitutive impossibility of a harmonious sexual relationship. In the film Sesso Matto by the Italian director Dino
Risi, Giancarlo Gianini falls in love with a married transvestite prostitute who is revealed to be his long lost brother. His position is perhaps the
only reflection on sexual harmony that can be accepted within a Lacanian perspective: Except for the fact that youre married; except for the
fact that you are a whore and not a nice girl; and except for the fact that youre my brother and notfor examplemy cousinwere perfect for
each other, and our love would be ideal. (Benvenuto, 1996:126) We can also approach this constitutive play between possibility and
impossibility through the example of communication. What Lacan argues, and here his difference from Habermas is most forcefully
demonstrated, is that it is exactly because total communication is impossible, because it is exposed as an impossible fantasy, that
communication itself becomes possible. Lacan starts from the assumption that communication is always a failure: moreover, that it has to be a
failure, and thats the reason we keep on talking. If we understood each other, we would all remain silent. Luckily enough, we dont understand
each other, so we keep on talking. (Verhaeghe, 1995:81) The utopian fantasy of a perfect universal language, a language common to all
humanity, was designed to remedy this lack in communication insofar as it is caused by the different idioms and languages in use (Eco,
1995:19). The perfect language was conceived as the final solution to this linguistic confusion, the confusio linguarum, which inscribed an
irreducible lack at the heart of our symbolic universe, showing its inability to represent the real. It entailed a fantasmatic return to a pre-
confusion state in which a perfect language existed between Adam and God. This was a language that mirrored reality, an isomorphic language
which had direct and unmediated access to the essence of things: In its original formlanguage was an absolutely certain and transparent sign
for things, because it resembled them. The names of things were lodged in the things they designated. This transparency was destroyed at
Babel as a punishment for men (Foucault, 1989:36). Human imagination never stopped longing for that lost/impossible state when language,
instead of the agency of castration, was the field of a perfect harmony; hence all the attempts to construct a perfect language, to realise
fantasy: Umberto Eco in his Search for the Perfect Language recounts the history of all these attempts within European culture, from St.
Augustines fantasy, in which the distance between object and symbol is annulled,17 up to Dante, a priori philosophical languages and
Esperanto. This history is, of course, a genealogy of failures, the history of the insistence on the realisation of an impossible dream, a dream,
however, that was designed as a perfect solution to the inherent division of the social. As Eco points out, linguistic confusion is conceived as
standing at the root of religious and political division, even of difficulties in economic exchange (Eco, 1995:423). In that sense, the
achievement of perfect communication is articulated as the perfect solution to all these problems. This is clearly a utopian problematic. Alas, as
Antonio Gramsci points out in his text Universal Language and Esperanto, no advent of a universal language can be planned in advance: the
present attempts at such a language belong only in the realm of Utopia: they are the product of the same mentality that wanted Falangists and
happy colonies. In history and social life nothing is fixed, rigid and final. There never will bethis flow of molten volcanic matter, burns and
annihilates the Utopias built on arbitrary acts and vain delusions such as those of a universal language and of Esperanto. (Gramsci, 1975:33) The
main point here is that society and history are all the time constituted and reconstituted through this unending play between possibility and
impossibility, order and disorder: society is nothing but a web of social relations that is constantly being spun, broken, and spun again,
invariably (unlike a spiders web) in slightly different form (Wrong, 1994:45). As we have already seen in Chapter 2, our encounters with the
real, the moments of failure and dislocation of our discursive constructions, have both a destructive and a productive dimension. Baudrillard
even argues that catastrophes, crises and dislocations might be a certain strategy of our species. By bringing to the fore the possibility or the
idea of a total catastrophe they stimulate a series of processesin the economy as well as in politics, art and historythat attempt to patch
things up (Baudrillard, 1996:81). Homer
is correct and consistent with his psychoanalytic framework when he argues that the
filling of the gap in the social field will always be the aim of numerous discourses and ideologies; this is the
way things generally work. It is also true that if no psychoanalytic ideology emerges to (try to) suture that gap, other discourses and ideologies
will. Since, however, Lacanian political theory aims at bringing to the fore, again and again, the lack in the Other, the
same lack that utopian fantasy attempts to mask, it would be self-defeating, if not absurd, to engage itself in utopian or
quasi-utopian fantasy construction. Is it really possible and consistent to point to the lack in the Other and, at the same time, to
attempt to fill it in a quasi-utopian move? Such a question can also be posed in ethical or even strategic terms. It could be argued of course that
Homers vision of a psychoanalytic politics does not foreclose the recognition of the impossibility of the social but that in his schema this
recognition, and the promise to eliminate it (as part of a quasi-utopian regulative principle) go side by side; that in fact this political promise is
legitimised by the conclusions of psychoanalytic political theory. But this coexistence is nothing new. This recognition of the impossibility of
society, of an antagonism that cross-cuts the social field, constitutes the starting point for almost every political ideology. Only if presented
against the background of this disorder the final harmonious order promised by a utopian fantasy acquires hegemonic force. The problem is
that all this schema is based on the elimination of the first moment, of the recognition of impossibility. The
centrality of political dislocation is always repressed in favour of the second moment, the utopian promise. Utopian fantasy can sound
appealing only if presented as the final solution to the problem that constitutes its starting point. In that
sense, the moment of impossibility is only acknowledged in order to be eliminated. In Marx, for
instance, the constitutivity of class struggle is recognised only to be eliminated in the future communist
society. Thus, when Homer says that he wants to repeat Marxs error today he is simply acknowledging that his psychoanalytic politics is
nothing but traditional fantasmatic politics articulated with the use of a psychoanalytic vocabulary. Homers psychoanalytic politics are
nothing but politics as suchthis is his own phraseand what is politics as such if not the return of something very old, the
reoccupation of traditional radical politics. I use here the term reoccupation as it is introduced by Hans Blumenberg in his book
The Legitimacy of the Modern Age (Blumenberg, 1983). The term is introduced in connection with the relation between pre-modernity and
modernity and has to do with the way modernity reproduces the mistakes or problems of pre-modernity.18 As the translator of Blumembergs
book argues: Christianity, he [Blumenberg] says, through its claim to be able to account for the overall pattern of world history in terms of the
poles of creation and eschatology, had put in place a new question, one that had been (as Lwith so forcefully insists) unknown to the Greeks:
the question of the meaning and pattern of world history as a whole. When modern thinkers abandoned the Christian answers they still felt an
obligation to answer the questions that went with themto show that modern thought was equal to any challenge, as it were. It was this
compulsion to reoccupy the position of the medieval Christian schema of creation and eschatologyrather than leave it empty, as a
rationality that was aware of its own limits might have donethat led to the grandiose constructions of the philosophy of history. (Wallace,
1985:xxxxi) As Ernesto Laclau has put it, by reoccupation we mean a process by which certain notions, linked to the advent of a new vision
and new problems, have the function of replacing ancient notions that had been formed on the ground of a different set of issues, with the
result that the latter end up imposing their demands on the new notions and inevitably deforming them (Laclau, 1990:74). What I want to
suggest is that in Homers schema psychoanalytic politics reoccupies the ground of traditional fantasmatic
politics. The result is that this fantasmatic conception of politics ends up imposing its demands on the
psychoanalytic part of the argumentation. Thus, this latter part is necessarily deformed: if it is not recognised in
its radical constitutivity, the impossibility of society, the irreducibility of the real within the social, loses all its power. In that sense, the
ultimate consequence of Homers argumentation is the following: the absorption of Lacanian political
theory by radical quasi-utopianism will offer left-wing radicalism the hegemonic appeal entailed in the
articulation of one more signifier (psychoanalysis) in its signifying chain, but psychoanalytic political
theory has nothing to gain beyond its own deformation. Well, it doesnt sound like a very good deal. In fact,
articulating Lacanian theory with fantasmatic politics is equivalent to affirming the irrelevance of
Lacanian theory for radical politics since this articulation presupposes the repression of all the political
insights implicit in Lacans reading and highlighted in this book. The alleged irrelevance of Lacan for radical politics is
also the argument put forward by Collier in a recent article in Radical Philosophy. Colliers argument is that since it is capitalism that shatters
our wholeness and disempowers us (as if without capitalism we would be on the road to utopia; obviously, capitalism occupies the structural
position of the antichrist in this sort of leftist preaching), then Lacans theory is, in fact, normalising capitalist damage, precisely because
alienation is so deep for Lacan that nothing can be done to eliminate it (Lacan is deeply pessimistic, rejecting cure or happiness as possible
goals, my emphasis).19 Thus Lacan has nothing to offer radical politics. Something not entirely surprising since, according to Collier,
psychological theory in general has no political implications whatsoever. The conclusion is predictable: Let us go to Freud and Klein for our
psychotherapy [Lacan is of course excluded] and to Marx and the environmental sciences for our politics, and not get our lines crossed (Collier,
1998:413). Surprisingly enough this is almost identical with Homers conclusion:
Lacanian theory is OK as an analytical tool
but let us go back to Marx for our ideological seminar and our utopian catechism! It is clear that from a Lacanian
point of view it is necessary to resist all such reoccupations of traditional fantasmatic politics. At least this is
the strategy that Lacan follows on similar occasions. Faced with the alienating dimension of every identification, Lacan locates the end of
analysis beyond identification. Since utopian or quasi-utopian constructions function through identification it is legitimate, I think, to draw the
analogies with the social field. If analysis resists the reoccupation of the traditional strategy of identificationalthough it recognises its crucial,
but alienating, role in the formation of subjectivitywhy should psychoanalytic politics, after unmasking the crucial but alienating character of
traditional, fantasmatic, identificatory politics, reoccupy their ground? This rationale underlying the
Lacanian position is not far away
from what Beardsworth articulates as a political reading of Derrida. For Beardsworth, deconstruction also refuses to implicate itself in
traditional politics, in the local sense of politics in Beardsworths terminology: In its affirmative refusal to advocate a politics,
deconstruction forms, firstly, an account of why all political projects fail. Since the projection of any decision has ethical implications,
deconstruction in fact generalizes what is meant by the political well beyond the local sense of politics. In this sense it becomes a radical
critique of institutions. (Beardsworth, 1996:19) Similarly, the
radicality and political importance of the Lacanian critique
depends on its ability to keep its distance from fantasmatic politics, from politics in the traditional sense; which is
not the same as saying that psychoanalysis is apolitical: in fact, it becomes political precisely by being
critical of traditional politics, exactly because, as argued in the previous chapter, the political is located beyond the utopian or quasi-
utopian sedimentations of political reality. One final point before concluding our argumentation in this chapter. There is a question which
seems to remains open. It is the following: if we resist the reoccupation put forward by Homer and others does that mean that we accept the
supposed political impotence of psychoanalytic political theory? Assuming that psychoanalytically inspired political theory is based on the
recognition of the political as an encounter with the real (although he doesnt formulate it in exactly these terms), Rustin argues that it seems
likely that a politics constructed largely on this principle will generate paranoid-schizoid states of mind as its normal psychic condition. If we
prioritise the negative what kind of progressive political or social project can be built if the positivethat is concepts, theories, norms and
consistent techniquesis to be refused as innately inauthentic? (Rustin, 1995:2413). Political impotence seems to be the logical outcome.
Homers argument seems finally vindicated. Yet this conclusion is accurate only if we identify progressive political action with traditional
fantasmatic utopian politics. This is, however, a reductionist move par excellence. This idea, and Homers whole argumentative construction, is
based on the foreclosure of another political possibility which is clearly situated beyond any reoccupations and is consistent with
psychoanalytic theory instead of deforming it. This is the possibility of a post-fantasmatic or less-fantasmatic politics. The best example is
democratic politics. It is true that democracy is an essentially contested term and that the struggle for a final decontestation of its meaning
constitutes a fundamental characteristic of modern societies. It is also true that in the past these attempts at decontestation were articulated
within an essentialist, foundationalist framework, that is to say, democracy was conceived as a natural law, a natural right, or even as
something guaranteed by divine providence. Today, in our postmodern terrain, these foundations are no longer valid. Yet democracy did not
share the fate of its various foundations. This is because democracy cannot be reduced to any of these fantasmatic positive contents. As John
Keane, among others, has put it, democracy is not based on or guided by a certain positive, foundational, normative principle (Keane,
1995:167). On the contrary, democracy is based on the recognition of the fact that no such principle can claim to be truly universal, on the fact
that no symbolic social construct can ever claim to master the impossible real. Democracy entails the acceptance of antagonism, in other
words, the recognition of the fact that the social will always be structured around a real impossibility which cannot be sutured. Instead of
attempting this impossible suture of the social entailed in every utopian or quasi-utopian discourse,
democracy envisages a social field which is unified by the recognition of its own constitutive
impossibility. As Chaitin points out, democracy provides a concrete example of what we would call a post-
fantasmatic or less-fantasmatic politics: most significant [in terms of Lacans importance for literary, ethical and cultural theory
and political praxis], perhaps, is the new light his analysis of the interaction of the universal and the particular has begun to shed on the
question of maintaining a democratic social order which can safeguard universal human rights while protecting the difference of competing
political and ethnic groups. (Chaitin, 1996:11) Thus, a whole political project,the project of radical democracy, is based not
on the futile fantasmatic suture of the lack in the Other but on the recognition of its own
irreducibility.20 And this is a political possibility totally neglected by Homer.21 Today, it seems that we have the chance to overcome or
limit the consequences of traditional fantasmatic politics. In that sense, the collapse of utopian politics should not be the source of resentment,
disappointment or even nostalgia for a supposedly lost harmony. On the contrary, it is a development that enhances the prospects for
radicalising modern democracy. But this
cannot be done for as long as the ethics of harmony are still hegemonic.
What we need is a new ethical framework. This cannot be an ethics of harmony aspiring to realise a fantasy construction; it can
only be an ethics that is articulated around the recognition of the ultimate impossibility of such an idea and follows this recognition up to its
politicaland, in fact, democraticconsequences. In the next chapter I will try to show that Lacanian theory is absolutely crucial in such an
undertaking. Not only because some Lacanian societies tend to be more democratic than other psychoanalytic institutions (the cole
Freudienne de Paris was, in certain of its aspects, an extremely democratic society) nor because psychoanalysis is stigmatised or banned in
almost all anti-democratic regimes. Beyond these superfluous approaches, Lacanian ethics can offer a non-fantasmatic
grounding for radical democracy

who lacks completeness or unity.


2NC/1NR A2: Robinson (Empirical Verifiability)
1. The 1AC does not even meet this criteria their ev does not support claims about
the nature of human actors. Every attempt that they have to say that <x> explains
future actor motivation ignores that the decision to rely on <x> as a measure is a
subjective determination.
2. Only the aff has an ontological claim about the way that the world works that was
in the overview they have to disprove this ontological claim by showing that the
world can still be logically consistent otherwise. Net better than their empirical claims
because their claim ignores how interpretation of empirical claims is all value-laden
only we show how we can come to terms with the value-ladenness of the world.
Kuhn, Former physicist and Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Philosophy at MIT, 62 [Thomas, The
Structure of Scientific Revolutions, International Encyclopedia of Unified Science, Vol. 2, No. 2, RSR]

A very different approach to this whole network of problems has been developed by Karl R. Popper who
denies the existence of any verification procedures at all.2 Instead, he emphasizes the importance of
falsification, i.e., of the test that, because its outcome is negative, necessitates the rejection of an established theory. Clearly, the role thus
attributed to falsification is much like the one this essay assigns to anomalous experiences, i.e., to experiences that, by evoking crisis, prepare
the way for a new theory. Nevertheless, anomalous experiences may not beidentified with falsifying ones. Indeed, I
doubt that the latter exist. As has repeatedly been emphasized before, no theory ever solves all the puzzles
with which it is confronted at a given time; nor are the solutions already achieved often perfect. On the
contrary, it is just the incompleteness and imperfection of the existing data-theory fit that, at any time,
define many of the puzzles that characterize normal science. If any and every failure to fit were ground for theory
rejection, all theories ought to be rejected at all times. On the other hand, if only severe failure to fit justifies theory rejection, then the
Popperians will require some criterion of improbability or of degree of falsification. In developing one they will almost certainly encounter
the same network of difficulties that has haunted the advocates of the various probabilistic verification theories. Many
of the
preceding difficulties can be avoided by recognizing that both of these prevalent and opposed views
about the underlying logic of scientific inquiry have tried to compress two largely separate processes
into one. Poppers anomalous experience is important to science because it evokes competitors for an existing paradigm. But
falsification, though it surely occurs, does not happen with, or simply because of, the emergence of an
anomaly or falsifying instance. Instead, it is a subsequent and separate process that might equally well be
called verification since it consists in the triumph of a new paradigm over the old one. Furthermore, it is in that
joint verification-falsification process that the probabilists comparison of theories plays a central role. Such a two-stage formulation has, I
think, the virtue of great verisimilitude, and it may also enable us to begin explicating the role of agreement (or disagreement) between fact
and theory in the verification process. To the historian, at least, it makes little sense to suggest that verification is establishing the agreement of
fact with theory. All historically significant theories have agreed with the facts, but only more or less. There is no more precise
answer to the question whether or how well an individual theory fits the facts. But questions much like that can be
asked when theories are taken collectively or even in pairs. It makes a great deal of sense to ask which of two actual and
competing theories fits the facts better. Though neither Priestleys nor Lavoisiers theory, for example, agreed precisely with
existing observations, few contemporaries hesitated more than a decade in concluding that Lavoisiers theory provided the better fit of the
two. This formulation, however, makes the task of choosing between paradigms look both easier and
more familiar than it is. If there were but one set of scientific problems, one world within which to work
on them, and one set of standards for their solution, paradigm competition might be settled more or
less routinely by some process like counting the number of problems solved by each. But, in fact, these
conditions are never met completely. The proponents of competing paradigms are always at least slightly at cross-
purposes. Neither side will grant all the non-empirical assumptions that the other needs in order to
make its case. Like Proust and Berthollet arguing about the composition of chemical compounds, they are bound partly to talk through
each other. Though each may hope to convert the other to his way of seeing his science and its problems, neither may hope to prove his case.
The competition between paradigms is not the sort of battle that can be resolved by proofs. We have
already seen several reasons why the proponents of competing paradigms must fail to make complete
contact with each others viewpoints. Collectively these reasons have been described as the incommensurability of the pre- and
postrevolutionary normal-scientific traditions, and we need only recapitulate them briefly here. In the first place, the proponents of
competing paradigms will often disagree about the list of problems that any candidate for paradigm
must resolve. Their standards or their definitions of science are not the same. Must a theory of motion
explain the cause of the attractive forces between particles of matter or may it simply note the
existence of such forces? Newtons dynamics was widely rejected because, unlike both Aristotles and
Descartess theories, it implied the latter answer to the question. When Newtons theory had been accepted, a
question was therefore banished from science. That question, however, was one that general relativity may proudly claim to have solved. Or
again, as disseminated in the nineteenth century, Lavoisiers chemical theory inhibited chemists from asking why the metals were so much
alike, a question that phlogistic chemistry had both asked and answered. The transition to Lavoisiers paradigm had, like the transition to
Newtons, meant a loss not only of a permissible question but of an achieved solution. That loss was not, however, permanent either. In the
twentieth century questions about the qualities of chemical substances have entered science again, together with some answers to them. More
is involved, however, than the incommensurability of standards. Since new paradigms are born from old ones, they
ordinarily incorporate much of the vocabulary and apparatus, both conceptual and manipulative, that
the traditional paradigm had previously employed. But they seldom employ these borrowed elements in quite the traditional
way. Within the new paradigm, old terms, concepts, and experiments fall into new relationships one with
the other. The inevitable result is what we must call, though the term is not quite right, a
misunderstanding between the two competing schools. The laymen who scoffed at Einsteins general
theory of relativity because space could not be curvedit was not that sort of thingwere not simply
wrong or mistaken. Nor were the mathematicians, physicists, and philosophers who tried to develop a Euclidean version of Einsteins
theory.3 What had previously been meant by space was necessarily flat, homogeneous, isotropic, and unaffected by the presence of matter. If
it had not been, Newtonian physics would not have worked. To make the transition to Einsteins
universe, the whole conceptual web whose strands are space, time, matter, force, and so on, had to be
shifted and laid down again on nature whole. Only men who had together undergone or failed to undergo that transformation
would be able to discover precisely what they agreed or disagreed about. Communication across the revolutionary divide is
inevitably partial. Consider, for another example, the men who called Copernicus mad because he proclaimed
that the earth moved. They were not either just wrong or quite wrong. Part of what they meant by
earth was fixed position. Their earth, at least, could not be moved. Correspondingly, Copernicus innovation
was not simply to move the earth. Rather, it was a whole new way of regarding the problems of physics and astronomy, one that
necessarily changed the meaning of both earth and motion.4 Without those changes the concept of a moving earth was mad. On the other
hand, once they had been made and understood, both Descartes and Huyghens could realize that the
earths motion was a question with no content for science.5 These examples point to the third and most
fundamental aspect of the incommensurability of competing paradigms. In a sense that I am unable to explicate
further, the proponents of competing paradigms practice their trades in different worlds. One contains
constrained bodies that fall slowly, the other pendulums that repeat their motions again and again. In one, solutions are compounds, in the
other mixtures. One is embedded in a flat, the other in a curved, matrix of space. Practicing in different worlds, the
two groups of
scientists see different things when they look from the same point in the same direction. Again, that is not to
say that they can see anything they please. Both are looking at the world, and what they look at has not changed. But in some areas they see
different things, and they see them in different relations one to the other. That is why a law that cannot even be demonstrated to one group of
scientists may occasionally seem intuitively obvious to another. Equally, it is why, before they can hope to communicate fully, one group or the
other must experience the conversion that we have been calling a paradigm shift. Just because it is a transition between incommensurables,
the transition between competing paradigms cannot be made a step at a time, forced by logic and neutral experience. Like the gestalt switch, it
must occur all at once (though not necessarily in an instant) or not at all. How, then, are scientists
brought to make this transposition? Part of the answer is that they are very often not. Copernican-ism
made few converts for almost a century after Copernicus death. Newtons work was not generally
accepted, particularly on the Continent, for more than half a century after the Prin- cipia appeared.6
Priestley never accepted the oxygen theory, nor Lord Kelvin the electromagnetic theory, and so on. The
difficulties of conversion have often been noted by scientists themselves. Darwin, in a particularly perceptive passage at the end of his Origin of
Species, wrote: Although I am fully convinced of the truth of the views given in this volume , I by no means expect to convince experienced
naturalists whose minds are stocked with a multitude of facts all viewed, during a long course of years, from a point of view directly opposite to
mine. . . . [B]ut I look with confidence to the future,to young and rising naturalists, who will be able to view both sides of the question with
impartiality.7 AndMax Planck, surveying his own career in his Scientific Autobiography, sadly remarked
that a new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the
light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar
with it.8 These facts and others like them are too commonly known to need further emphasis. But they do need re-evaluation. In the past
they have most often been taken to indicate that scientists, being only human, cannot always admit their errors, even when confronted with
strict proof. I would argue, rather, that in these matters neither proof nor error is at issue. The transfer of allegiance from paradigm to
paradigm is a conversion experience that cannot be forced. Lifelong
resistance, particularly from those whose productive
careers have committed them to an older tradition of normal science, is not a violation of scientific
standards but an index to the nature of scientific research itself. The source of resistance is the
assurance that the older paradigm will ultimately solve all its problems, that nature can be shoved into
the box the paradigm provides. Inevitably, at times of revolution, that assurance seems stubborn and
pigheaded as indeed it sometimes becomes. But it is also something more. That same assurance is what makes normal or
puzzle-solving science possible. And it is only through normal science that the professional community of scientists succeeds, first, in exploiting
the potential scope and precision of the older paradigm and, then, in isolating the difficulty through the study of which a new paradigm may
emerge. Still, to say that resistance is inevitable and legitimate, that paradigm change cannot be justified by proof, is not to say that no
arguments are relevant or that scientists cannot be persuaded to change their minds. Though a generation is sometimes required to effect the
change, scientific communities have again and again been converted to new paradigms. Furthermore, these
conversions occur not despite the fact that scientists are human but because they are. Though some scientists, particularly the
older and more experienced ones, may resist indefinitely, most of them can be reached in one way or
another. Conversions will occur a few at a time until, after the last holdouts have died, the whole profession will again be practicing under a
single, but now a different, paradigm. We must therefore ask how conversion is induced and how resisted. What sort of answer to that
question may we expect? Just because it is asked about techniques of persuasion, or about argument and counterargument in a situation in
which there can be no proof, our question is a new one, demanding a sort of study that has not previously been undertaken. We shall have to
settle for a very partial and impressionistic survey. In addition, what has already been said combines with the result of that survey to suggest
that, when asked about persuasion rather than proof, the question of the nature of scientific argument has no single or uniform answer.
Individual scientists embrace a new paradigm for all sorts of reasons and usually for several at once.
Some of these reasonsfor example, the sun worship that helped make Kepler a Copernicanlie
outside the apparent sphere of science entirely.9 Others must depend upon idiosyncrasies of
autobiography and personality. Even the nationality or the prior reputation of the innovator and his
teachers can sometimes play a significant role.10 Ultimately, therefore, we must learn to ask this question
differently. Our concern will not then be with the arguments that in fact convert one or another
individual, but rather with the sort of community that always sooner or later re-forms as a single group.
That problem, however, I postpone to the final section, examining meanwhile some of the sorts of argument that prove particularly effective in
the battles over paradigm change. Probably the single most prevalent claim advanced by the proponents of a new paradigm is that they can
solve the problems that have led the old one to a crisis. When it can legitimately be made, this claim is often the most effective one possible. In
the area for which it is advanced the paradigm is known to be in trouble. That trouble has repeatedly been explored, and attempts to remove it
have again and again proved vain. Crucial experimentsthose able to discriminate particularly sharply between the two paradigmshave
been recognized and attested before the new paradigm was even invented. Copernicus thus claimed that he had solved the long-vexing
problem of the length of the calendar year, Newton that he had reconciled terrestrial and celestial mechanics, Lavoisier that he had solved the
problems of gas-identity and of weight relations, and Einstein that he had made electrodynamics compatible with a revised science of motion.
Claims of this sort are particularly likely to succeed if the new paradigm displays a quantitative precision strikingly better than its older
competitor. The quantitative superiority of Keplers Rudolphine tables to all those computed from the Ptolemaic theory was a major factor in
the conversion of astronomers to Copernicanism. Newtons success in predicting quantitative astronomical observations was probably the
single most important reason for his theorys triumph over its more reasonable but uniformly qualitative competitors. And in this century the
striking quantitative success of both Plancks radiation law and the Bohr atom quickly persuaded many physicists to adopt them even though,
viewing physical science as a whole, both these contributions created many more problems than they solved.11 The claim to have solved the
crisis-provoking problems is, however, rarely sufficient by itself. Nor can it always legitimately be made. In fact, Copernicus theory was not
more accurate than Ptolemys and did not lead directly to any improvement in the calendar. Or again, the wave theory of light was not, for
some years after it was first announced, even as successful as its corpuscular rival in resolving the polarization effects that were a principal
cause of the optical crisis. Sometimes the looser practice that characterizes extraordinary research will produce a candidate for paradigm that
initially helps not at all with the problems that have evoked crisis. When that occurs, evidence must be drawn from other parts of the field as it
often is anyway. In those other areas particularly persuasive arguments can be developed if the new paradigm permits the prediction of
phenomena that had been entirely unsuspected while the old one prevailed. Copernicus theory,
for example, suggested that
planets should be like the earth, that Venus should show phases, and that the universe must be vastly
larger than had previously been supposed. As a result, when sixty years after his death the telescope
suddenly displayed mountains on the moon, the phases of Venus, and an immense number of
previously unsuspected stars, those observations brought the new theory a great many converts,
particularly among non-astronomers.12 In the case of the wave theory, one main source of professional
conversions was even more dramatic. French resistance collapsed suddenly and relatively completely
when Fresnel was able to demonstrate the existence of a white spot at the center of the shadow of a
circular disk. That was an effect that not even he had anticipated but that Poisson, initially one of his
opponents, had shown to be a necessary if absurd consequence of Fresnels theory.13 Because of their shock
value and because they have so obviously not been built into the new theory from the start, arguments like these prove especially persuasive.
And sometimes that extra strength can be exploited even though the phenomenon in question had been observed long before the theory that
accounts for it was first introduced. Einstein,
for example, seems not to have anticipated that general relativity
would account with precision for the well-known anomaly in the motion of Mercurys perihelion, and he
experienced a corresponding triumph when it did so.14 All the arguments for a new paradigm discussed
so far have been based upon the competitors comparative ability to solve problems. To scientists those
arguments are ordinarily the most significant and persuasive. The preceding examples should leave no
doubt about the source of their immense appeal. But, for reasons to which we shall shortly revert, they
are neither individually nor collectively compelling. Fortunately, there is also another sort of
consideration that can lead scientists to reject an old paradigm in favor of a new. These are the
arguments, rarely made entirely explicit, that appeal to the individuals sense of the appropriate or the
aestheticthe new theory is said to be neater, more suitable, or simpler than the old. Probably
such arguments are less effective in the sciences than in mathematics. The early versions of most new paradigms are
crude. By the time their full aesthetic appeal can be developed, most of the community has been persuaded by other means. Nevertheless, the
importance of aesthetic considerations can sometimes be decisive. Though they often attract only a few scientists to a new theory, it is upon
those few that its ultimate triumph may depend. If they had not quickly taken it up for highly individual reasons, the new candidate for
paradigm might never have been sufficiently developed to attract the allegiance of the scientific community as a whole. To see the reason for
the importance of these more subjective and aesthetic considerations, remember what a paradigm debate is about. When a new candidate for
paradigm is first proposed, it has seldom solved more than a few of the problems that confront it, and most of those solutions are still far from
perfect.
Until Kepler, the Copernican theory scarcely improved upon the predictions of planetary position
made by Ptolemy. When Lavoisier saw oxygen as the air itself entire, his new theory could cope not at
all with the problems presented by the proliferation of new gases, a point that Priestley made with great
success in his counterattack. Cases like Fresnels white spot are extremely rare. Ordinarily, it is only much later, after the new
paradigm has been developed, accepted, and exploited that apparently decisive arguments the Foucault pendulum to demonstrate the
rotation of the earth or the Fizeau experiment to show that light moves faster in air than in water are developed. Producing them is part of
normal science, and their role is not in paradigm debate but in postrevolutionary texts. Before those texts are written, while the debate goes
on, the situation is very different. Usually the opponents of a new paradigm can legitimately claim that even in the area of crisis it is little
superior to its traditional rival. Of course, it handles some problems better, has disclosed some new regularities. But the older paradigm can
presumably be articulated to meet these challenges as it has met others before. Both Tycho Brahes earth-centered astronomical system and
the later versions of the phlogiston theory were responses to challenges posed by a new candidate for paradigm, and both were quite
successful.15 In addition, the defenders of traditional theory and procedure can almost always point to problems that its new rival has not
solved but that for their view are no problems at all. Until the discovery of the composition of water, the combustion of hydrogen was a strong
argument for the phlogiston theory and against Lavoisiers. And after the oxygen theory had triumphed, it could still not explain the preparation
of a combustible gas from carbon, a phenomenon to which the phlogistonists had pointed as strong support for their view.16 Even in the area
of crisis, the balance of argument and counterargument can sometimes be very close indeed. And outside that area the balance will often
decisively favor the tradition. Copernicus destroyed a time-honored explanation of terrestrial motion without replacing it; Newton did the same
for an older explanation of gravity, Lavoisier for the common properties of metals, and so on. In
short, if a new candidate for
paradigm had to be judged from the start by hard-headed people who examined only relative problem-
solving ability, the sciences would experience very few major revolutions. Add the counterarguments
generated by what we previously called the incommensurability of paradigms, and the sciences might
experience no revolutions at all. But paradigm debates are not really about relative problem-solving ability, though for good
reasons they are usually couched in those terms. Instead, the issue is which paradigm should in the future guide research on problems many of
which neither competitor can yet claim to resolve completely. A decision between alternate ways of practicing science is called for, and in the
circumstances that decision must be based less on past achievement than on future promise. The man who embraces a new paradigm at an
early stage must often do so in defiance of the evidence provided by problem-solving. He must, that is, have faith that the new paradigm will
succeed with the many large problems that confront it, knowing only that the older paradigm has failed with a few. A decision of that kind can
only be made on faith. That is one of the reasons why prior crisis proves so important. Scientists who have not experienced it will seldom
renounce the hard evidence of problem-solving to follow what may easily prove and will be widely regarded as a will-o-the-wisp. But crisis
alone is not enough. There must also be a basis, though it need be neither rational nor ultimately correct, for faith in the particular candidate
chosen. Something must make at least a few scientists feel that the new proposal is on the right track, and sometimes it is only personal and
inarticulate aesthetic considerations that can do that. Men
have been converted by them at times when most of the
articulable technical arguments pointed the other way. When first introduced, neither Copernicus astronomical theory nor
De Broglies theory of matter had many other significant grounds of appeal. Even today Einsteins general theory attracts men principally on
aesthetic grounds, an appeal that few people outside of mathematics have been able to feel. This is not to suggest that new paradigms triumph
ultimately through some mystical aesthetic. On the contrary, very few men desert a tradition for these reasons alone. Often those who do turn
out to have been misled. But if a paradigm is ever to triumph it must gain some first supporters, men who will develop it to the point where
hardheaded arguments can be produced and multiplied. And even those arguments, when they come, are not individually decisive. Because
scientists are reasonable men, one or another argument will ultimately persuade many of them. But there is no single argument that can or
should persuade them all. Rather than a single group conversion, what occurs is an increasing shift in the distribution of professional
allegiances. At the start a new candidate for paradigm may have few supporters, and on occasions the supporters motives may be suspect.
Nevertheless, if they are competent, they will improve it, explore its possibilities, and show what it would be like to belong to the community
guided by it. And as that goes on, if the paradigm is one destined to win its fight, the number and strength of the persuasive arguments in its
favor will increase. More scientists will then be converted, and the exploration of the new paradigm will go on. Gradually the number of
experiments, instruments, articles, and books based upon the paradigm will multiply.
Still more men, convinced of the new
views fruitfulness, will adopt the new mode of practicing normal science, until at last only a few elderly
hold-outs remain. And even they, we cannot say, are wrong. Though the historian can always find
menPriestley, for instancewho were unreasonable to resist for as long as they did, he will not find a
point at which resistance becomes illogical or unscientific. At most he may wish to say that the man who
continues to resist after his whole profession has been converted has ipso facto ceased to be a scientist.

3. Engagement with the symbolic comes before the affs empirical analysis only
understanding systems of discourse allows us to understand the choices we make with
scientific inquiry in the first place.
Lundberg, Associate Professor of Rhetoric at the University of North Carolina, 12 [Christian, Lacan in
Public: Psychoanalysis and the Science of Rhetoric, Alabama Rhetoric Cult & Soc Crit, University Alabama
Press, 2012, RSR]
One of the most hallowed maxims of rhetorical studies is that rhetoric is an arta techne for engaging discourse in the properly Aristotelian
sense of the term. Techne implies a systemic mode of experiential knowledge, but often in declaring that rhetoric is an art, the accent of this
declaration falls on the intuitive and the experiential facets of techne at the expense of the more systemic charge inherent in it. While
for
much of rhetorical tradition, techne has primarily taken the valence of a prudential guide for intuitive
judgment, Lacan turns to rhetoric to confer on psychoanalysis a scientific status. Lacans claims to the
science of rhetoric response to a number of critics who had framed psychoanalysis as an alchemical
mix of unfounded theories, intuitions and inherited practices. Borrowing from Karl Poppers philosophy of science,
such critique of psychoanalysis argued that analytic practice was non-falsifiable, resting on the idea that
no empirical evidence could be mustered to refute it. Any claim to evidence to the contrary of Freudian theories could
always be elided by generating another explanation with dubious empirical grounding to account for potential exceptions. In drawing on
rhetoric as a systematic mode for theorizing the nature of the sign, representation, and the logic and
social functions of discourse, Lacan rescues Freudian categories from non-falsifiability. Rhetoric, which
is so squarely rooted in art, became on of Lacans most powerful allies in articulating psychoanalysis as
a science, providing a vocabulary for attending to the repeatable emenets of signifcation that might be
held up to empirical verification. Lacan vacillated at the different points in his career on psychoanalysiss status as a science, arguing
at points that it was clearly a science. Generally, Lacans early career embodied the strongest claim for the scientific status of psychoanalysis,
while in his later career he became less invested in the idea, arguing that is need not attempt to assume scientific status to validate itself.
What is most interesting about the ambivalence toward science in Lacan's thought is that at each
instance where the relationship between psychoanaly-sis and science is at stake, the question of
rhetoric is never far from the conversation. For example, in The Psychoses and The Four Fundamental Concepts of
Psychoanalysis, Lacan argues that psychoanalysis is a science on the basis of its attention to a set of
repeatable logical forms, specifically to trope as a way of specifying the possible connections
underwriting discursive and representational practices. Other accounts read Lacan as eventually giving up on the idea that
psychoanalysis is a science, but do so, once again, with explicit reference to rhetoric. For example, Stuart Schneiderman argues that by 1977
Lacan had given up the quest to prove psychoanalysis as a science, that "after having posed the question
of the scientific status of psychoanalysis for so many years, he had come to the conclusion that it was
not a science. The reason was one offered by Karl Popper, namely that psychoanalysis was 'irre-futable:
Lacan said that analysis was closest to rhetoric....Thus analysis seeks to persuade but not convince, to
persuade the analyzed to recognize things that he knows already and to act on his desire."63 Of course, one
might take issue with the account of rhetoric that is implicit in this claim, particularly on the grounds that the framing of rhetoric in
Schneiderman's account af-firms an understanding of rhetoric exclusively through reference to persuasion, contingency, and probabilitya
conception that is, as I have been arguing, at odds with Lacan's understanding of the work of rhetoric. More accurately, rhetoric
affords
Lacanian psychoanalysis a status as a special kind of science by providing it with a set of techniques for
paying attention to the mathematical qualities of discourse. Regardless of how one understands the moniker "science,"
rhetoric drives psychoanalysis toward a systematic account of the possible modes of connection that
animate actually existing discourses, and toward an observation of the concrete functions of trope in the
social life of the subject. Lacan derives this understanding of psychoanalysis as the systematic sci-ence of attending to discourse from
Freud. For example, in The Interpretation of Dreams Freud argues for a practice of reading dreams that
revised received methods for interpreting dreams. Prior to Freud's intervention there was a long-standing tradition that held
that an image in a dream correlated with an unconscious meaning in much the same way that a word in a dictionary correlates with a
definition. In order to found his mode of dream interpretation, Freud dissents from a definitional understanding of dreams by distinguishing
between manifest "dream content" and the underlying logic of a dream, or the "dream-thought.'" Although the manifest content
of a dream may seem utterly random, it is driven by the dream-thought expressed in it, investing the
specific contents of the dream with a meaning dependent on the thought that articulates it. For Freud
there is no universal protocol for the expression and interpretation of dream contents, but rather a set
of associations unique to an individual which, although not uniform in content, are bound by a more
universal logic of expression. It is tempting to see in Freud's presentation of the interpretation of dreams a cognitive semiotics that
verges on a proto-presentation of Saussurc's conception of differential signification, albeit sixteen years prior to the publication of the Course in
General Linguistics. Each element in a dream means something not because it has an intrinsic referent, but rather because it is de-fined by a
relationship of difference to other elements in the dream content, and cumulatively the structure of differentially related signs allows for an
interpretation of the underlying dream-thought. Naturally,
this is the reading of Lacan's employment of Freud's
Interpretation of Dreams by those who see Lacanian psychoanalysis as an integration of Freud's
unconscious and the insights of Saussure." The difficulty arises when one tries to determine what exactly
Lacan is attempting to do by reading the regularities of structure that animate dreams and, by
extension, discourse. On one account, this reading produces a logic of dreams and discourse that emphasizes structure at the expense
of the empirical. But a second account replaces the structuralist poetic account with a rhetorical conception of trope, inventing a science of
rhetoric that forces attention to the interchange between form and its empirical manifestations. To
instantiate a rhetorical relation
between the logics and manifestation of dream contents, Lacan turns to a science of oratory that drives
analytic labor toward the empirical life of discourses." "What specifies a science," writes Lacan," "is
having an object."' To say that a science must have an object elicits an objection that specifying an "ob-
ject" presumes a science engages something given in advance as opposed to contingently made. But
approaching an object requires equal parts analytic rigor and prudence: "we must be very prudent,
because this object changes ... as the science develops We cannot say that the object of modern physics
is the same now as at its birth."' Attention to a changing object implies a relationship of mutual
determination between the mode of inquiry and the objects that such a mode takes up. A science is not
a general theory to be mapped onto reality because sciences are parasitic on the specific. As Lacan
argues, science always begins with the particular: "To be sure, analysis as a science is always a science of
the particular. The coming to fruition of an analysis is always a unique case, even if the unique cases lend
themselves ... to some generality.... [A]nalysis is an experience of the particular..." But what is the
particular object around which a science of oratory might emerge? The answer is the economy of trope
and enjoyment. Claiming that Freud drew attention to a "fundamental" opposition between metaphor
and metonymy in "mechanisms of dreams," Lacan argues that "what Freud calls condensation is what in rhetoric one calls
metaphor, what one calls displacement is metonymy:'7" That this reference to a rhetoric of trope frames Lacan's
application of the vocabulary of structural linguistics is clear from the concluding sentence of this
paragraph: "It's for this reason that in focusing attention back onto the signifier we are doing nothing
other than returning to the starting point of the Freudian discovery." In "The Function and Field of Speech and
Language in Psychoanalysis," Lacan argues that the core insight of The Interpretation of Dreams might be fruitfully applied to more than just
unpacking dreams. The logic that inheres in dream work is the same logic that underwrites the function of speech generally. If following Lacan's
reading of Interpretation of Dreams, one is inclined to agree that speech serves as a synecdoche for rhetorical processes generally; by extension
one might conclude that speech offers privileged insight into the functioning of everyday discourses. Thus
it is no surprise that
Lacan recommends instruction in rhetoric as an indispensable component of analytic practice. According to
Lacan, this realization should compel attention to the function of "rhetoric . . . ellipsis and pleonasm,
hyperbaton or syllepsis, regression, repetition, appositionthese are the syntactical displacements;
metaphor, catachresis, antonomasis, allegory, metonymy, and synecdochethese are the semantic
condensations in which Freud teaches us to read the intentions ... out of which the subject modulates
his oneiric discourse." This extension of Freud's dream work to speech by means of a globalization of trope founds the possibility of
psychoanalysis as a science, via recourse to the scientific properties of oratory: At the bottom of the Freudian mechanism one
rediscovers these old figures of rhetoric which over time have come to lose their sense for us but which
for centuries elicited a prodigious degree of interest. Rhetoric, or the art of oration, was a science and not just an art. We
now wonder, as if at an enigma, why these exercises could have captivated whole groups of men for
such a long time. If this is an anomaly its analogous to the existence of psychoanalysis, and its perhaps
the same anomaly that's involved in man's relationships to language, returning over the course of
history, recurrently, with different ramifications and now presenting itself to us from a scientific angle in
Freud's discovery." Why wonder at the "enigma" of a science of oratory and the "exercises" that constituted it? The "exercises"
that Lac an is most likely referring to were the progymnasmatathe graduated sequence of somewhat
formulaic pedagogical practices that introduced the student of oratory to the inventional moves one
might make in composing and/or delivering a speech. This attention to form, embodied in both a theory of arrangement
and delivery, at-tuned the budding orator to the regularities in speech that render inventional moves not only intelligible, but potentially
eloquent. Oratorical practice had foreseen and, long in advance of contemporary linguistics, "discovered" the formal properties animating
discursive practice. There
are two senses of the word "formal" for Lacan: one that relies on quantification and
another that relies, if not on math as we typically under-stand it, then on the mathematizable, or that
which can be symbolically rendered as a repeatable relation." A science is defined by mathematization, as op-posed to
quantification: "what is distinctive about positive science, modern science, isn't quantification but mathematization and specifically
combinatory, that is to say linguistic, mathematization which includes series and iteration.""
The oratorical tradition discovered
that rhetorical invention was scientific: in discovering the progymnasmata, the tradition articulated a
conception of inventio (invention) as the discovery of repeatable symbolic forms. Lacan prefers the first sense of
"formal" because it comports with oratorical pedagogy's insight that language is mathematizable (amenable to a description of its repeatable
formal properties), which is the condition of possibility for a science of oratory. The
science of oratory discovers a mode of
knowing that would eventually make "linguistics the most advanced of the human sciences" by
specifying that which is formally repeatable in the life of the subject and its discourses." This
understanding of rhetoric moves it from a prudential "art" of the intuitive intersubjective judgments to
the symbolic science of forms. For Lacan, an art premised on the disciplining of critical intuition does not move beyond the
Imaginary because "everything intuitive is far closer to the Imaginary than the Symbolic:'" In place of the art of intersubjectively grounded
intuition. Lacancalls for attention to the trans-subjective apparatus of the Symbolic: "the important thing
here is to realize that the chain of possible combinations of the encounter can be studied as such, as an
order which subsists in rigor, independently of all subjectivity.... The symbol is embodied in an
apparatuswith which it is not to be con fused, the apparatus being just its support. And it is embodied
in a literally trans-subjective way."" This under-standing of rhetoric as science does not abandon the
subject; rather, it decenters the subject as a taken-for-granted interpretive maxim, replacing attention
to what goes on between subjects with the formal movement of tropes, a movement that is
mathematizable, and therefore amenable to a formal scientific account of its effects: In as much as he is
committed to a play of [the Symbolic], to a symbolic world ... man is a decentered subject. Well, it is with this
same play, this same world, that the machine is built. The most complicated machines arc made only with words. Speech is first and foremost
that object of exchange whereby we are reorganized. . That is how the circulation of speech begins, and it swells to the point of the symbol
which makes algebraic calculations possible. The machine is the structure detached from the activity of the subject. The symbolic world is the
world of the machine!"
The world of the symbolic is machinic in a very specific way: only insofar as it relies on
the set of regularized, logically possible connections between words and other words. In other words, the
Symbolic is machinic because it is tropologically constituted. But because the Symbolic is tropologically constituted, its
machinic nature is premised on the various failures in unicity that invite the trope as a compensatory function. Thus, if the Symbolic is a
machine, it is a machine that fails. In the next chapter. I take up the paradox of the failing machine by suggesting the metaphor of economy as a
way of parsing the relationship between the machinic (or automatic) and its failure in the life of the Symbolic.
2NC/1NR - A2: Robinson (Totalizing)
Reject their arguments which attend to the specificity of any particular genealogy - we
live within the era of the Ego. We must interrogate the psychic construction of unity
because it is the core of their impacts.
Brennan 3 - Teaches at the University of Cambridge (Teressa, History After Lacan, Originally published
in 1993, this version was published digitally in 2003 p. 4-9) NAR

As with concentration, so with history, which after all requires a memory. When Lacan discusses how a social
psychosis comes into being, he reveals a historical dimension to his theory of the imaginary, and the historical
consciousness is something a social psychosis would obliterate.2 Over the past twenty years it has become exceedingly
difficult to think about how broad history intersects with the psyche, because a poststructuralist or
postmodern sensibility berates generality. It has also become difficult to apply theory in explaining concrete
exploitation. Currently, the wish to take account of gender, race and class is muttered mantra-like at the
beginning of every academic paper, but the wish remains too often unfulfilled. There is what I will call
an applicability gap between theory and explanation, which sentiment alone will not bridge. We can do local
research, specific genealogies, we can think about little alterations in time and space, micro-historical shifts, but the applied understanding of
exploitation, together with the generality necessary for tracing a guide to action on a larger scale, is inhibited. The inhibition is founded in a
variety of good and bad arguments, with which I will not engage very much.3 Even the good reasoning about.the inhibiting effects of
totalitarian discourses and the notion that.the attempt to think in terms of a totality has in fact proved a hindrance to research is grounded in
a critical dissective mode of reasoning (Foucault 1980, pp. 801); it takes apart the existing disreputable master narratives, but this
focus
on dismemberment makes it more a reaction to the mistakes of Marxism; it is more the antithesis of
Marxism than its own thesis (cf. Barrett 1991). As writers under the sway of the Foucauldian antithesis do not proceed
propositionally, they cannot construct a prepositional theory which would explain, amongst other things, why so
many intellectuals are suddenly susceptible to the notion that the attempt to explain the whole is a
mistake.4 The abruptness of the acceptance of the idea that totalizing theories are a mistake, the wariness about using the term.history
(outside the discipline of history) that prevails, suggests that this acceptance is not only founded in critical thinking, but that it is also partly
unconscious. If this is so, then the historical dynamics informing this psychical response deserve consideration. And of course they can only be
extended this courtesy in the most cursory way if one holds to the a priori position that historical generalization is a mistake. In other words,
the position that we should not generalize historically is a position that inhibits its own historical
investigation. It has also preempted a possibility recognized by Foucault, but not the Foucauldians: if we limit ourselves
toalways partial or local enquiry or test, do we not run the risk of letting ourselves be determined by
more general structures of which we may not be conscious, and over which we have no control?
(Foucault 1984, p. 47). In turn, to recognize that there is a more general trend at work is not to deny the significance of the local. Specific
genealogies need not be posited as an alternative to narratives. A totalizing trend obviously intersects
with specific genealogies. On the one hand, this means that the history of any given period or region cannot be rendered in terms of
the totalizing trend alone. On the other, to focus solely on the specific genealogy is to lose sight of the process whereby, as Adorno observed,
the dissimilar is made similar, as cultural diversity and specific histories are covered over.5 The genial injunctions to avoid historical
generalization do not abolish either speculation or concrete investigation. It is rather that they abolish the interplay between them. And this
abolition, this selfconscious inhibition, means that contemporary critical and social theory, at one level, does no more
than tell us that doubt is good, that difference should be celebrated, that essentialism and
foundationalism should be avoided, that the subject-object distinction is a bad thing, that the subject is worse,
that actually the subject is alright and even reproduces the social structures that produce it, and so on. Theory that did more might
mean that the best are not left, after Marxism, like chastised puppies, trying to look sceptical as they
advocate solidarity. The problem of course is developing a historical theory of the general which is other
than Marxism, so plainly wrong in its industrial premises and centralized conclusions, but which approximates Marxisms explanatory
reach in a way that begins to bridge the applicability gap. Lacans theory of the egos era and perspective on history deserves some
attention because it contributes a little to the development of such theory. It provides us with a lever (not an elaborated
theory of history, not at all) but a lever for thinking through the trajectory of modernity. Part of its potential stems from the fact that, while it
stresses psychical factors, it does so in a way which makes the psychical into a material or, strictly, a physical force which is at the same time
cultural. More of that in a moment. There
is also the more textual reason for attending to Lacan. The prejudice
against general totalizing theories has contributed to a serious misreading of Lacan in which he is too
readily assimilated to the poststructuralist grain. The existence of the historical side of Lacans theory of the imaginary, let
alone its implications, has been ignored or at best mentioned in passing.6 The very fact that Lacans historical theory has been neglected
reveals much about the power of the secondary source in structuring received views, and the power of the secondary source in todays
academic institutions is also in part, a product of the egos era. A few words on this neglect. Lacans theory of history has been neglected
because of an over emphasis on the notion, which possibly derives most from Lemaires early exegesis, that.his viewson humanization are
structuralist (Lemaire 1977, p. 81). This is true, but partial. Jameson, publishing in the same year that Lemaire was translated, suggested that
what was really innovative in Lacan was the interleaving of dialectical (Hegelian) thinking and structural analysis, but his observations did not
affect the common preconception that Lacan is ahistorical (Jameson 1977, p. 104). That preconception prevails even though much of Lacans
theory of history is embedded in texts that have been readily availablemuch of what follows is based on the critsand even though his
historical side is crystallized in an aspect of his work which has received considerable attention: his critique of ego psychology. But the trend is
to concentrate on Lacans polemic against ego psychology (and other sciences) while neglecting his polemic against the social order which
produces them. As Gallop points out, Lacan does not limit his attacks to American psychoanalysis. There is a more
general attack against the American way of life (Gallop 1985, p. 57). As I have suggested, then, despite his almost
postmodern aspersions on grand theories of history (Lacan 1953b, p. 51), Lacan has a fledgling one nestling in his work. It builds on the
Hegelian master-slave dialectic. Like Marx, Lacan reverses some of Hegels implications. But he does not stand Hegel on his head.
Rather, he turns him back to front. If history led anywhere, it was to the egos era. Lacan discards any Hegelian
optimism about progress to higher moments as history unfolds, or the appeal to any tomorrow (Lacan 1953b, p. 80).
For Lacan, the problem is knowing whether the Master-Slave conflict will find its resolution in the service of the machine (Lacan 1948, p. 27).
There are evident parallels between Lacans theory of history and Adornos conclusion that while there is No universal history
leading.from the savage to humanitarianismthere is one leading from the slingshot to the megaton
bomb,7 just as there are parallels between Lacans theory and that of Benjamin. The parallels between Lacans thought and that of the early
Frankfurt School, in which Adorno was prominent and to which Benjamin loosely adhered, suggest that a sense of a totalizing destructive
historical course is in the air. At the same time, the difficulties in describing both the course and its mechanism, the fact that so much of this
description is allusive rather than argued, is of itself symptomatic, as if the very process that needs to be described robs those who would
describe it of the words to say it. This is particularly true of Lacan. But let us continue with what he does say. Lacan points both to some social
ramifications of the master-slave dialectic and, more crucially, to a dialectic working between space in the environment and in the psyche.8
The aggressive imperative involved in making the other into a slave, or object, will lead to spatial expansion (territorial
imperialism). This is because the objectification of the other depends on establishing a spatial boundary by which
the other and the self are fixed. But this fixing of the other leads to the fear that the other will retaliate,
which in turn leads to a feeling of spatial constriction. Moreover, the feeling of spatial constriction is related to the physical
environment. These changes have physical effects on the psyche, which in turn alter the psychical perception of the
environment, and of ones own boundaries. With spatial constriction, ones boundaries are threatened, and the resultant fear increases the
need to control the object. The
aggressive territorial imperative is or has not been confined to the West,
although for Lacan the West is evidently where it happens. Lacans spatial dialectic bears on territorial
colonization, urbanization and war, and in principle his account can be extended in a dialectical
discussion of the relation between the egos need for fixity and technological domination. By a further
extension, Lacans theory can explain, or, more accurately, can help explain, the environmental degradation that the
egos era trails in its wake. Lacans theory can explain these things because the in principle extension his theory needs means
exploring how an egos era plays itself out over long time and large space, how it is that we can speak of an egos era at all, how an egos era
began. Some Lacanian epigones hold views that bear on this, in so far as they attribute the social psychosis, the outcome of the egos era, to the
demise of the psychical fantasy of woman. The psychical fantasy of woman is Lacanian shorthand for a process whereby women are split into
two types, good and bad, mother and whore, and idealized and denigrated accordingly. The fantasy is meant to be as universal
and transhistorical as the symbolic order itself; for by splitting women into two types the man is able to situate himself as
subject. The demise of this fantasy, to the extent that it is in fact demolished, is meant to bring on social psychosis because girls are no longer
girls and boys are no longer boys (or something like that). Feminism is meant to aid and abet the social psychosis because it puts sexual
difference in jeopardy. As recent feminism has stressed sexual difference almost to the point of irritation, this Lacanian view is of course based
on a caricature, prevalent amongst those who formed a fixed view of feminism circa 1971 and have done no reading since. Lacan himself, as we
will see, had more complex opinions on the origins of the egos era and its social psychosis. Nonetheless, the psychical fantasy of woman is a
running motif through the story that is to follow; some of the story hangs on whether this fantasy is the cause or the cure for the
egos era.
2NC/1NR A2: SQUO Improving (Pinker)
Institutional momentum towards violence overwhelms democratic checks---their
evidence is an ideological defense of the security-state
Herman 12professor emeritus of finance at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
(Edward, 7/25/12, Reality Denial : Steven Pinker's Apologetics for Western-Imperial Volence,
http://www.zcommunications.org/reality-denial-steven-pinkers-apologetics-for-western-imperial-
volence-by-edward-s-herman-and-david-peterson-1)
Disappearing Imperialism, the Military-Industrial Complex, and Institutional Imperatives Pinkers remarkable inversion of reality in portraying the post-World War II period as a Long Peace, with residual violence stemming

from communist ideology and actions, points up the relevance of Chalmers Johnsons comment that When imperialist activities produce unmentionable
outcomes,then ideological thinking kicks in.[34] It kicks in for Pinker with communist expansionism and U.S. containment. It also kicks in with his notion that communism,
but not capitalism, was both utopian and essentialist, submerge[ing] individuals into moralized categories, and causing some of the worst atrocities of the modern period. (328-329) But werent the racism

and anticommunism of the Western powers and in particular the United States essentialist ideologies in the Pinkerian sense, and wedded to the full destructive might of
these powers? And didnt these ideologies justify exterminations and massive ethnic cleansings of inferior and threatening

peoples, replacing them with advanced peoples and cultures who put resources to a higher use? Werent Friedrich
von Hayek, Ludwig von Mises, Milton Friedman, and many other members of the Chicago School of Economics free-market ideologues? The U.S. push for markets and investor rights and political

control, sometimes called Imperialism, is for Pinker just natural and doing good, taking advantage of positive-sum business games with gentle commerce, as well as containing those with ideology
who kill people freely. The very idea of a capitalist peace is a shock to those who remember when capitalists were considered merchants of death and masters of war, (288) to give one example of Pinkers perspective.[35]

Pinker doesnt mention any such thing as aggressive commerce or discuss the possibility (and reality) of the cross-border
seizure of property by the more powerful states. There are 17 citations to gentle commerce in his Index, and writers who promulgate the related ideas of gentle commerce,
Democratic Peace, Liberal Peace, Capitalist Peace, and Kantian Peace (in the Pinker-friendly version of it) are featured and referenced lavishly. But there are zero indexed citations to the word imperialism in Better Angels,
and no mentions of Jagdish Bhagwati and Hugh Patricks Aggressive Unilateralism, John Hobsons Imperialism, John Ellis The Social History of the Machine Gun, Mike Davis Late Victorian Holocausts, Penny Lernouxs Cry of the

Pinkers ideological
People, Gabriel Kolkos Confronting the Third World, Noam Chomskys Deterring Democracy, Robert Englers The Politics of Oil, or David Harveys The New Imperialism.

thinking stresses the development of positive and humane attitudes by individualsin the Civilized statesmoving them towards humane policy, opposition to slavery, concern for civilians in war, and
moves toward democracy, while he essentially ignores the development of institutional forces that might
overwhelm these individual factors and make for serious violence. In addition to his neglect of aggressive commerce and cross-border
seizures of people, property, and resources, Pinker ignores the post-World War II growth of U.S. militarism, with its vested

interests in weapons and warfare, and the expanding and self-reinforcing power of the iron triangle of the
military-industrial-complex to shape national policy. This may be why he never mentions, let alone discusses, the classics on this topic by Seymour Melman, Gordon
Adams, Richard Kaufman, and Tom Gervasi,[36] or the more recent work of Chalmers Johnson, Andrew Bacevich, Henry Giroux, Nick Turse, and Winslow Wheeler.[37] These very knowledgeable individuals believe that

the United States is dominated by an institutional


Eisenhowers warning in his 1960 Farewell Address about the threat of the military-industrial complex was on target, that

structure with a huge vested interest in war rather than peace, and one that has succeeded in making this
country into a war-demanding and war-making system. These and other analysts have also featured the encroachment
of the permanent-war system on civil liberties and democracy,[38] suggesting that any neo-Fukuyaman perspective
on end-of-history liberalism and Pinkers streaky but steady decline in violence is Panglossian nonsense grounded in
ideological thinking. Pinker prefers James Sheehan to Chalmers Johnson and Andrew Bacevich. Sheehans theme in Where Have All the Soldiers Gone: The Transformation of Modern Europe[39] is that
Europeans have changed their very conception of the state, and made the state no longer the proprietor of military force but rather a provisioner of social security and material well-being (in Pinkers summary of the book
(268)). But the soldiers are still there, NATO is still expanding, Modern Europe is contributing troops and bombs to the Afghan war, was heavily involved in the 2011 war in Libya, and along with the United States, currently
threatens Syria and Iran. Europes social security systems have been under attack for years, and the well-being of ordinary citizens seems to be a declining objective of Europes leaders, as well as those in the United States.
Following the U.S. lead, Europe is moving from cradle-to-grave nurturance back to military prowessexactly the opposite direction from that Pinker believes they have taken. (685) Vietnam and the Antiwar Protests
Pinkers proof of a march toward peace has other amusing features. He says that another historic upheaval in the landscape of 20th century values was a resistance by the populations of the democratic nations to their leaders
plans for war, (263) and he spends a fair amount of space describing the growth of peace movement activism in the 1960s and in advance of the war on Iraq. Yet, elsewhere in his book he blames the 1960s movements for their
decivilizing impact (see our section on Class, Race, and the Science of Self-Control), but in the present context they allow him to claim their actions as evidence of the march toward the Long Peace. Pinker claims that in the
1960s the peace movement helped elect Nixon, who shifted the countrys war plans from a military victory to a face-saving withdrawal (though not before another twenty thousand Americans and a million Vietnamese had died in
the fighting). (264) Elsewhere in his book Pinker writes that the war was ferociously prosecuted by Nixonand that plus 20,000 Americans and a million more Vietnamese would seem like big-time war-making. (683) But the
peace movements alleged help in getting Nixon elected is Pinkers evidence for the advance of the better angels. Pinker fails to explain why before, during, and after the Vietnam war the elites have been so little influenced by
the masses marching in the streets. Why must the masses even march in the streets? Why must the elites continue to engage in military buildups and serious violence, at heavy economic cost, when according to his preferred
expert James Sheehan the state is abandoning military force and focusing on the material well-being of the public? If institutional forces are not the explanation, why dont the better angels trickle up to the leadership, especially
when in his view the higher morality trickles down from the elite to the general population? According to Pinker, The three deadliest postwar conflicts were fueled by Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese communist regimes that
had a fanatical dedication to outlasting their opponents. (308) As regards Vietnam, he goes on to show that the Vietnamese were willing to absorb large casualties inflicted on them by the U.S. invaders. For Pinker, this is the
fanaticism that fueled the Vietnam war. There is not a word of criticism of the invaders who were willing to inflict those deaths in a distant land; certainly nothing fanatical, no mention of the UN Charter, no word like aggression
is applied to this attack; and there is no mention anywhere in the book that the United States had supported the French effort at re-colonization, then supported a dictatorship of its own choosing; and that U.S. officials recognized

While acknowledging 800,000 or more


that those fanatical resisters had majority support as we killed vast numbers of them to keep in power our imposed minority government.

civilian battle deaths in the Vietnam war, Pinker does not stop to explain how vast numbers of civilians
could be killed in battle and whether these deaths might possibly represent a gross violation of the laws of war, or how this could happen in an era of
rising morality and humanistic feelings, and carried out so ruthlessly by the dominant Civilized power.
Nowhere does Pinker mention the massive U.S. chemical warfare in Vietnam (1961-1970), and the estimated three
million Vietnamese, including 500,000 children,suffering from the effects of toxic chemicals used during this ugly and very unangelic
form of warfare.[40] What makes this suppression especially interesting is that Pinker cites the outlawing and non-use of chemical and biological weapons as evidence of the new evolving higher morality and decline of violence
(273-277)so his dodging of the facts on the massive use of such weapons in Operation Ranch Hand and other U.S. programs in Vietnam is remarkable dishonesty. Pinker would never think of accepting Vietnamese communist
estimates of casualties, just as he does not hesitate to use numbers provided by the U.S. State Department.[41] But nowhere are Pinkers biases more blatantly obvious than in this allocation of Vietnamese civilian battle deaths
to the fanaticism of the communist resistance in not surrendering to an invader unleashing incredible violence from abroad for reasons its own leaders had difficulty settling on. Iraq and the Democratic Republic of Congo

Pinkers bias is also extremely clear when he gets to explaining the new morality applied by his country in assaulting Iraq. According to Pinker, the Vietnam syndrome has
caused the U.S. leadership to shy away from wars that will cause many U.S. casualties or impose massive civilian casualties on foreigners. He writes that Military
leaders at all levels have become aware that gratuitous killing is a public relations disaster at home and counterproductive abroad alienating allies and emboldening enemies. The Marine Corps has therefore instituted a martial-arts
program in which leathernecks are indoctrinated in a new mode of honor, the Ethical Marine Warrior, whose catechism is that the warrior is a protector of life, including not just self and others but all others. (264-265) After
he recounts a long story (allegory) with a humanistic touch applied to the behavior of U.S. soldiers, Pinker says that The code of the Ethnical Warrior, even as an aspiration, shows that the American armed forces have come a
long way from a time when its soldiers referred to Vietnamese peasants as gooks, slops, and slants and when the military was slow to investigate atrocities against civilians such as the massacre at My Lai. (265-266) Pinker
provides no evidence that U.S. warriors today dont refer to Iraqis and other invaded peoples with derogatory terms (e.g., Haji[42]), or that the Marine Warrior Code is even a genuine aspiration as opposed to a P.R. effort, or
that it is actually indoctrinated, let alone taken seriously. He ignores the fact that back at the time of the Vietnam War there was a written military code as well as international law on the treatment of civilians that had no
apparent impact on actual policy.[43] He also offers no evidence that the military is more ready now than in the past to investigate atrocities, or that they dont see the main route to dealing with gratuitous (or strategically
convenient and useful) civilian killings as non-investigation, denial, and cover-up. Pinker does not mention the repeated official assertion by Gen. Tommy Franks, the original commander of the U.S. war in Afghanistan, that we
dont do body counts,[44] nor does he discuss the U.S. brutalities and blatantly illegal actions in the destruction of Fallujah in 2004,[45] the cold-blooded killing in 2005 of 24 Iraqi civilians by U.S. Marines in the city of Haditha and
its long cover-up,[46] or former U.S. Afghanistan force commander Gen. Stanley McChrystals admission before his own troops in 2010 that they had shot an amazing number of innocent Afghanis at checkpoints, but to my
knowledge, none has ever proven to be a threat.[47] Pinker does mention WikiLeaks, but only once and in relation to what he describes as a previously classified civilian casualty database of the American-led military coalition,
that not surprisingly attributed the majority (around 80 percent) [to] Taliban insurgents rather than coalition forces. (267) He does not discuss the well-publicized WikiLeaks release of the formerly classified U.S. military video
depicting the indiscriminate slaying of over a dozen people in the Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad.[48] Nor does he mention any of WikiLeaks other substantial troves of documents.[49] In short, for this stream of pro-war
apologetics Pinker relies on pure assertion, the uncritical acceptance of official and implausible claims, and a refusal to report inconvenient evidence. However, when he deals with claims of mass civilian deaths brought about by
U.S. policy in Iraq Pinker becomes much more demanding on the quality of evidence and methodology. One device that he uses here and elsewhere is to distinguish between the aggression-based killings by the United States
during the initial stage he calls quick and low in battle deaths, and deaths during the intercommunal violence in the anarchy that followed. (266) He fails to mention the Nuremberg condemnation of aggression that ties it
closely to deaths that follow: To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated
evil of the whole."[50] He ignores the facts that the civil conflicts were unleashed by the U.S. attack, and that the United States was an ongoing and large direct killer long after the mission was declared accomplished by George
Bush on May 1, 2003. Fallujah and Haditha were just two of many U.S.-inflicted horrors that followed the announcement of an accomplished mission, and the U.S. invader-occupier was also an active manipulator of the civil
conflicts that it unleashed. On the assumption that Nuremberg principles apply, this entire death-dealing and hugely violent enterprise is the legal and moral responsibility of Pinkers home country leadersa point that Pinker
evades. Pinker goes to some pains to discredit the higher-end mortality estimates for both the Iraqi theater of conflict under the U.S. war and occupation and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) after its 1996 invasion by
Rwanda and Uganda, two key U.S. allies in Central Africa. Specifically, he criticizes the work of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers, published in the British medical journal The Lancet in October 2006,
which reported that 655,000 Iraqis had died during the roughly 40-month period from the March 20, 2003 U.S. invasion through July 2006, with some 601,000 of these deaths due to violence.[51] He also criticizes the January 2008
report by the Brussels-based International Rescue Committee and the Burnet Institute of the University of Melbourne, which estimated 5.4 million excess deaths from all causes in the eastern DRC for the period 1998 to April
2007.[52] Pinker asserts that these mortality estimates are not credible, and refers to both of them with the derogatory term revisionist (his emphasis). Revisionist in this case means essentially not in accord with estimates
that Pinker prefers. Rather than counting bodies from media reports and nongovernmental organizations, Pinker writes, surveyors ask a sample of people whether they know someone who was killed, then extrapolate the
proportion to the population as a whole.Without meticulous criteria for selecting a sample, extrapolations to an entire population can be wildly off. (317-318) Thus in these two cases he rejects a method that is the current
standard in epidemiological researchand that Pinker himself uses when it serves his methodological purposes (see Massaging the Numbers, below)and that in our opinion is the soundest way of estimating mortality rates in
large-scale armed conflicts, with their dangerous, high-risk settings and the frequent unreliability of governmental record-keeping. Pinker and his preferred sources contend that the John Hopkins survey suffered from a main
street bias that caused a substantial overestimation of Iraqi deaths.[53] These critics fail to mention that the John Hopkins team deliberately excluded the city of Fallujah from their sample. Fallujah had suffered two major U.S.
military assaults in 2004, the second, in November and December, having devastated this city of some 250,000 people. When the Johns Hopkins team carried out its first survey of Iraqi mortality rates in September 2004, no fewer
than two-thirds of all the violent deaths that it found for all of Iraq were reported in just one cluster of households in Fallujah. The researchers decided to exclude the Fallujah data from their 2004 mortality estimate, believing that
its inclusion would skew the overall results;[54] and when they carried out their second, more extensive survey in 2006, they excluded Fallujah altogether. This gave their estimate a substantial downward bias.[55] Pinker prefers
the estimates produced by Iraq Body Count, an organization that relies largely on newspaper reports, and admittedly undercounts deaths with this unscientific methodology.[56] For the same period covered by the John Hopkins
study (March 2003 - July 2006), IBC estimated 53,373 Iraqi deaths due to violence,[57] making the Johns Hopkins estimate of deaths caused by violence (601,000) more than eleven-times greater than the IBCs. As Gilbert Burnham,
who led the second of the Johns Hopkins teams, observes, I cant think of any country that would estimate its national mortality rates by obituary notices in the newspapers.[58] Pinker also favors the 2008 report by the Iraq
Family Health Survey Study Groupessentially, by employees of the puppet government of the U.S. military occupationthat estimated the number of violent deaths in Iraq to have been 151,000 from March 2003 through June
2006 (or roughly the same period as covered by the Johns Hopkins study).[59] Unlike the Johns Hopkins team, the Iraq Family Health Survey did not request copies of death certificates from surviving family members to help verify
their claims; and the field research was carried out by employees of highly politicized Iraqi ministries serving under the U.S. occupation regime. So again here as elsewhere, Pinker uses the preferential method of research, selecting
his sources on the basis of their congenial findings, accepting methodologies that are often laughable, and admonishing researchers who come up with the wrong conclusions for the technical flaws in methods entirely ignored by

the Truthers. In what on Pinkerian logic might be described as the ultimate in revisionism, Pinker completely ignores the sanctions of mass destruction
imposed on Iraq by the UN but under U.S.-dominant influence and command, which in varying degrees of severity lasted from August 1990 into the U.S. invasion-occupation of 2003. It has been
estimated that these sanctions may have caused a million Iraqi deaths, and in a notable incident, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Madeleine Albright said in a 60

Minutes interview in 1996 that the sanctions-based deaths of an estimated half a million Iraqi children were worth it.[60] In another notable statement on the Iraq sanctions, John Mueller and

Karl Mueller wrote in the journal Foreign Affairs that this sanctions regime caused more deaths than all so-called weapons of mass

destruction throughout history.[61] U.S. officials knew that their destruction of Iraqi sanitation and water facilities by bombing raids during the 1991 war might well cause disease and deaths,
but this did not impede the bombing or prevent the follow-up refusal to allow Iraq to buy replacement equipment during the sanctions era.[62] Pinker never mentions these unangelic sanctions and this massive death toll, and
though he thanks John Mueller in his Preface to Better Angels and cites Mueller 20 times in his Index and lists 10 different works by Mueller in his References, Pinker somehow misses Muellers co-authored Foreign Affairs article

Pinker is equally committed to minimizing the human cost


that throws grisly light on a major case of mass killingbut by the United States, hence invisible to Pinker.

of the violence in the DRC, and therefore dismissive of higher-end estimates of mortality rates there. John OShea of the Irish relief
agency GOAL has called the DRC the worst humanitarian tragedy since the Holocaust,"[63] and Reuters contends that the war in the DRC has claimed at least 10 times as many lives as the December [2004] tsunami yet remains
almost unheard of outside of Africa.[64] As of 2005, the eastern DRC already had suffered a decade of violence, and the August 2010 UN mapping exercise on the most serious violations of human rights in the DRC reported that
the apparently systematic and widespread nature of the attacks, which targeted very large numbers of Rwandan Hutu refugees and members of the Hutu civilian population, resulting in their death, reveal a number of damning
elements that, if they were proven before a competent court, could be classified as crimes of genocide.[65] But Pinkers preferred sources on the DRCthe International Peace Research Institute of Oslo, Norway; the Uppsala
Conflict Data Program in Sweden; and the Human Security Report Project at Simon Fraser University in Canadaare alike in contending that, in Pinkers words, the IRC-Burnet estimate was inflated by about thirty-five times the
PRIO battle-death estimate, and by more than six-times the estimate produced by the HSRP (which includes both direct and indirect causes of deaths). (317) In their reliance on public sources such as international and non-
governmental organizations, and most important, news agencies,[66] the passive surveillance methods employed by both PRIO and UCDP parallel Iraq Body Counts methods, and HSRP largely depends on the work of PRIO and
UCDP. But no matter how many different media sources one checks, even working from comprehensive databases such as Factiva and Nexis, this is a limited and unscientific methodology, almost guaranteed to yield undercounts,
especially in large-scale, multiyear theaters of conflict such as the DRC and Iraq. With its estimates of mortality restricted to the category of battle-related deaths,[67] we believe that the adoption of this methodology is
motivated to serve political ends. (For more on PRIO and the UCDP, see Sources and Methods, below.) Following the lead of the Human Security Report Projects 2009/2010 The Causes of Peace and the Shrinking Costs of War
(which thanks Pinker by name in its acknowledgements section), Pinker charges the IRC-Burnet estimate with working from a prewar death rate that was far too low, and subtracting it from an estimate of the rate during the
war that was far too high.[68] (319) The HSRP, Pinker adds, cautions against accepting estimates of excess deaths from retrospective survey data, since in addition to all of their sampling pitfalls, they require dubious conjectures
about what would have happened if a war had not taken place. (319) The IRC-Burnet researchers produced compelling replies to these charges, pointing out that even if they had used the higher baseline mortality rate of 2.0
deaths per 1,000 preferred by HSRP and Pinker, the estimated deaths would be 3.3 million since 1998[69]nearly four times as many as the HSRPs best estimate of 860,000 deaths for the shorter period from May 2001
through April 2007.[70] But these competing claims have no bearing on a separate survey on behalf of the UN, which had already estimated that through September 2002, some 3.5 million excess deaths had occurred in the
eastern provinces as a direct result of the occupation of the DRC by Rwanda and Uganda.[71] We should add that, just as the Johns Hopkins surveys excluded Fallujah, thereby injecting a conservative factor into their results, the
IRC-Burnet survey excluded from its samples locations where the violence and the risk to the researchers were greater than in the locations included in the samples, giving the IRC-Burnet results a conservative tilt as well. But

something else is almost surely at work behind Pinkers advocacy for lower death tolls in Iraq and the DRC, and his
reliance on sources that attack the work of researchers who have produced the higher-end estimates.
Namely, his New Peace and waning-of-war agenda requires it. Two large-scale bloodbaths like those in Iraq and

the DRC must be downsized to fit his agenda. Pinker therefore locates the lower-end numbers that he wants,
ignores the sanctions of mass destruction in Iraq, attributes responsibility for the Iraq invasion-occupation deaths to
intercommunal violence, thereby taking the United States off-the-hook, and clings to a battle death estimate for
the DRC that ignores the many more indirect deaths from malnutrition and otherwise treatable diseases that characterized life in
the eastern DRC over much of the past two decades, and comprise the major component of the DRC toll.

Pinker and Goldstein are wrong they produce a peace bubble while ignoring serious
flaws in their data.
Toft, Associate Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School, 12 [Monica, The peace bubble,
Power and Policy, 2-2-12, http://www.powerandpolicy.com/2012/02/02/the-peace-
bubble/#.VMlZSv7F9sy, RSR]
Steven Pinker and Joshua Goldstein have produced impressive and important books on the decline of violence and war across time and space.
Whereas Pinker discusses violence in more general terms and Goldstein limits his analysis to war, both
scholars make the argument that violence has declined over the past 100 years, but in particular since
WWII. Pinker attributes this decline to the success of the modern state and the imposition of order across multiple levels in society. Not only
has war across societies declined as a result, but so too has criminality and violence among individuals. Goldstein tracks similar trends in war;
but for him peacekeeping and the United Nations are critical in helping to usher in this period of peace. Thebooks offer us an
optimistic view of contemporary history: both essentially reduce to the claim that the world is getting
more peaceful, and as a result, better. Sadly, I remain unconvinced by their characterization (peace),and
its implications (a better world), but even if they are each right, I think what they have described is a
bubble: a peace bubble. First, their analyses hinge largely on data and trends in these data. In looking at
their data however, a critical question emerges: are they sampling on the extreme? In statistical terms
this would amount to sampling bias. One of their responses might be what about the Thirty Years
War? which was responsible for killing one in five Europeans. But this begs a different question: if it happened before,
what is to assure us the trend they have identified is uni-directional? Again, what if we are witnessing a kind of peace
bubble? In addition to this sampling bias and the possibility of extremes, could it be the case that the
decline in violence is not an artifact of the main sources of data? We have excellent data of the wars
fought among European powers, for instance, but even these are subject to considerable debate both
on empirical (how many Europeans were there and how many died in battle?) and definitional grounds
(do victims of war-induced famine count, were they counted by some scholars?). In more contemporary
terms, we still dont know, for example, how many Chinese died during the Chinese Revolution or
Cultural Revolution, or even the more recent 1994 Rwandan genocide. Body counts themselves are
notoriously difficult to assess, yet each author relies (Pinker to a lesser extent) on these data to
support his respective arguments. This last point highlights the scholars understanding of violence in only its most physical
manifestation; its implications for death or life. Consider Pinkers discussion of bullying. Pinker makes the case that bullying has
been one of the forms of violence targeted for elimination, and I agree this is a good thing. But the
subject of bullying opens the door to a very penetrating question: what if it is possible to be more cruel
yet less violent? Most people tend to think of bullying as physical intimidation, which is easier to identify than the much more destructive
(and painful) psychological intimidation which often follows successful efforts to halt physical bullying. When researchers looking at schoolyard
bullying, for example, broadened the definition of aggression to include psychological cruelty, they found that girls were just as aggressive
as boys. Moreover, internet bullying is psychologically and emotionally devastating and on the rise, but only rarely results in any physical injury.
So again, harm is increasingeven as physical violence is declining. Rape is yet another example: in most
cases it does not result in a death, and because it is systematically under-reported, it is possible that
rape could increasing globally even as violence and war both decline (Pinker admits he has weak data on the global
front). Such a narrow indicator of violence may cause us to overlook critical areas where harm is still done,
just not physically. And Pinker is not alone here. Goldstein too relies on physical harmdeathas his critical indicator. What about the
psychological impact of war (e.g. post traumatic distress disorder)? Due to advances in the organization of war from medical technology (e.g.
surgery, antibiotics) and mobility (e.g. the helicopter) and to the relatively much smaller scale of wars nowadays, many soldiers who would
have died in earlier wars have survived physically (and not been counted), but been shattered emotionally and psychologically. Many cannot
work and cannot love. Consider brain injuries. According to one estimate, mortality from brain injuries was 75 percent greater in Vietnam than
in the most recent Iraq war. Although some soldiers recover, many do not, suffering both the physical trauma and psychological stress of war
far beyond the battlefield.[1] In neither case would the harm sustained be counted in Pinkers and Goldsteins analyses. Making the argument
that all that is true, but it still matters that deaths are fewer is akin to responding to a critic of the US war in Iraq by saying arent you better
off with Saddam Hussein dead? The point of each argument is that the world is getting better; whereas
if we decouple physical
violenceand deathfrom harm, such a line of argumentation is called into question. More generally,
most people in the West believe violent death is a universal empirical indicator of harm (and so it is). But
what if the harm that is being done to people today cannot be captured by physical violence? This is a
major part of the fight between Palestinian Arabs and Israeli Jews: the Arabs say a Jewish settlement is,
in and of itself, an act of violence, which then justifies a violent response (say, a suicide bomb). But in this interaction
the Israelis have had the easier argument, because they can (and do) claim that their settlements are non-violent. We in the West have
arrogated to ourselves the very definition of what counts as violence and what does not, and this leaves us vulnerable to lethal blind spots
when we attempt to bargain with or coerce people who do not share our axiomatic connection of harm to death. Consider how advances in
technology make it possible to cause grave injury without killing, by say, deliberately creating refugees. This raises the question of whether the
number of peoples left homeless by war has risen in proportion as the number of violent deaths has declined. If so, we would have another
example of decreasing violence masking increased harm. I say this to remind us all that forced mass expulsion is considered a grave breach of
the Geneva Conventions of 1948 and 1949, and to remind us of Slobodan Milosevics strategy in Kosovo: rape and kill a few in order to cause
the bulk of the population to flee. Again, relatively few corpses would result, but the harm would be grave. Finally, I raise an
alternative narrative and the emergence of the moral hazard resulting from the industrial revolutions
relationship with warfare as proving to be a mixed record. On one hand, if killing conduced to coercion, then the tools of
war that made killing more effective should have conduced to shorter, less bloody wars. Yet this proved a fallacy of composition, because
too many countries were industrialized at the same time, so wars became nearly suicidal. Then the apotheosis
of weapons came: the nuclear weapon. Now it became impossible to use unlimited means to pursue absolute ends, and under that nuclear
umbrella, the term limited war entered the lexicon of international politics, and not as an ideal. I would argue that not only did this initial
condition subsequently make it possible for bad leaders to murder their own people with less fear of invasion and conquest from without, but
that today, it is the permissive condition which makes it possible for them to harm their people without killing them. In other words, I raise the
uncomfortable issue of moral hazard: were there not circumstances where war was a good thing? On the other hand, it is
fair to point
out that the same permissive conditions and technologies which make it possible to harm without
killing, may make it possible to prevent harm without killing. The key, it seems to me, is to redefine harm and to separate
it from killing. All this is to say that although Pinker and Goldstein have done us a great service in writing these impressive works of scholarship,
the optimism is likely either premature or misplaced. Not only am I not willing to accept that physical violence is the only
or most appropriate metric for measuring a decline of violence, but I remain unconvinced that the barbarism of humanity is behind us. Even if
we concede they are right about the trend save at the margins, we are given no sound argument for why the trend is uni-directional: what has
happened before could happen again. What Pinker and Goldstein see as the victory of peace, I see as a bubble that can all too easily pop.
2NC/1NR A2: War Down
Their stats are bogusthis crushes their numerical whitewashing
Gregory 10 (Derek Gregory , Prof. of Geography @ U. of British Columbia, War and peace,
Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, Vol. 35.2)

Ferguson is not alone in his silence. Many of those who regarded those continuing conflicts as remote which
excludes the millions to whom those theatres were their homes elected to repress or to re-script the role of the global North in
provoking violence in the global South. Hence Muellers (2009) claim that, asymptotically, war has almost ceased to exist, at least between
advanced states or civilised nations. Within those states, amnesia has now become so common that Judt (2008) describes the 20th century
as the forgotten century. We have become stridently insistent that the past has little of interest to teach us, he writes: Ours, we assert, is a
new world; its risks and opportunities are without precedent. He suggests that in
our haste to put the twentieth century
behind us, to lock horror and misery in the attic-rooms of our memories and museums, we particularly the we that is US, so to speak
have forgotten the meaning of war. The parenthetical qualification is necessary because in Europe the remains of two world
wars are etched deep into the cultural landscape. There, some have seen salvation in Europes construction of civilian states out of the
wreckage the obsolescence of war is not a global phenomenon, Sheehan (2007, xvii) argues, but a European one, the product of Europes
distinctive history in the twentieth century while others have sought redemption in the constitutively (core) European pursuit of Kants
perpetual peace (Habermas 2006). But the meaning of modern war is not confined to those terrible global conflicts ,
and their exorbitation of war as total war was not a bolt from the blue. Its arc can be traced back to the Napoleonic wars. Bell locates the
origins of a recognisably modern culture of war in those ferocious campaigns and their extraordinary transformation in the scope and intensity
of warfare (2007, 7). It was then, too, that the ill-fated French occupation of Egypt in 1798 and the savage expeditions through the Levant
inaugurated what Said (1978, 87) saw as a modern, profoundly martial Orientalism that was to be reactivated time and time again throughout
the 20th and on in to our own century. We should remember, too, that Napoleon also had to contend with insurgencies in Egypt and in Europe;
19th-century war cannot be reduced to a succession of battles between the armies of contending states, any more than it can in subsequent
centuries when, as Judt (2008, 6) reminds, war has frequently meant civil war, often under the cover of occupation or liberation. If these
observations qualify the usual European genealogy of modern war, then its supersession cannot be a European conceit either. Across the
Atlantic a number of critics worry that, in the wake of 9/11, the
United States continues to prepare its serial warriors for
perpetual war (Young 2005; Bromwich 2009). The Pentagon has divided the globe into six Areas of Responsibility assigned to unified
combatant commands like US Central Command, or CENTCOM (Morrissey 2009) and relies on a veritable empire of bases to project its
global military power (Figure 1).2 And yet Englehardt reckons that its hard for Americans to grasp that Washington is a war capital, that the
United States is a war state, that it garrisons much of the planet, and that the norm for us is to be at war somewhere at any moment. (2009)
Writing barely a year after the presidential election, he ruefully observed that the Bush administration, the most militarily obsessed
administration in our history, which year after year submitted ever more bloated Pentagon budgets to Congress, was succeeded by the Obama
administration that had already submitted an even larger one. There are of course differences in foreign and military policy between the two,
but re-scripting
the war in Afghanistan as the good war, a war of necessity, even a Just War the comparison is with
Bushs Iraq war continues to license the
re-scripting of a succession of other wars from Korea or even the
Philippines to Afghanistan (and beyond) as the imaginative scene for a heroic interventionism by the United States and its allies
Kiplings savage wars of peace now waged by a stern but kindly Uncle Sam (Boot 2003a) that endorses a hyper-masculinised military
humanism (Barkawi 2004; Douzinas 2003). The shifting fortunes of inter-state wars and small wars since the Second World War have been
charted by two major projects: the Correlates of War project (COW) at the University of Michigan, devoted to the systematic accumulation of
scientific knowledge about war, and the joint attempt to establish an Armed Conflict Dataset by the Uppsala Conflict Data Program in Sweden
(UCDP), the International Peace Research Institute in Norway (PRIO) and the Human Security Report Project in Canada (HSRP). Any quantitative
assessment is a battlefield of its own, involving disputes over definitions and data and, for that matter, over the reduction of military violence
to abstract metrics and body counts. This holds for individual wars think, for example, of the debates that have raged over estimates of
casualties in Iraq but it applies a fortiori to any global audit. The sources for such studies are inevitably uneven and, as sterud (2008a 2008b)
reminds us, deathsfrom decentralized and fragmented violence are probably underreported relative to deaths
from more centralized and concentrated violence (2008a, 226). The screening
and sorting devices that have to be used in
these approaches only compound the difficulty. Most quantitative studies count as a war only armed
conflicts that produce at least 1000 deaths each year, which is a necessarily arbitrary threshold, and
the common restriction to battle-field or battle-related deaths excludes many other deaths
attributable to military or paramilitary violence. Although these tallies include civilians caught in the crossfire, they
exclude deaths from war-induced disease or starvation and, crucially, the deliberate killing of unarmed civilians. These
are serious limitations. Toerase the deliberate killing of civilians makes a mockery not only of the new wars
I describe below, which are widely supposed to focus on civilians as targets, but also of old ones. What
are we then to make of the bombing offensives of the Second World War? For these reasons, I also rely on a third, more recent
project, the Consolidated List of Wars developed by the Event Data Project on Conflict and Security (EDACS) at the Free University of
Berlin. This provides a database that reworks the thresholds used in other projects and, in distinguishing inter-state wars from other kinds of
war, operates with a threshold of 1000 military or civilian deaths (Chojnacki and Reisch 2008). These body counts (and the temporal limits their
exclusions assign to war) are defective in another sense, however, because casualties do not end with the end of war. Nixon (2007, 163) writes
about the slow violence of landmines, cluster bombs and other unexploded ordnance. It costs roughly 100 more to remove a landmine than to
lay it, and in consequence: One hundred million unexploded mines lie inches beneath our planets skin. Each year they kill 24,000 civilians and
maim many times that number. They kill and maim on behalf of wars that ended long ago In neither space nor time can mine-terrorized
communities draw a clear line separating war from peace. (Nixon 2007, 163) But, as Nixon emphasises, other lines can be drawn. Unexploded
ordnance is heavily concentrated in some of the most impoverished places on the planet, often on the front lines of the Cold War in the South,
including Afghanistan (the most intensively mined state in the world), Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Somalia, Angola, Mozambique, Nicaragua and
El Salvador. Landmines not only kill directly; they also have a dramatic effect on local political ecologies, since
they are typically used to interdict land-based resources and hence food supplies. In Mozambique, for example, large areas of prime
agricultural land were sown with mines and have remained unworkable for years, which has forced farmers to bring marginal lands into
cultivation with serious consequences for land degradation and food security (Unruh et al. 2003). Other slow killers that disproportionately
ravage populations in the South also reach back to attack those in the North. Thus Blackmore (2005, 16499) writes of war after war the
long-term effects of exposure to agents like dioxins or depleted uranium3 and there are countless killings out of place by veterans returning
to the North from war-zones in the South suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. These remarks are not intended to disparage the
importance of quantitative studies. While I despair of those who reduce war to a mortuary balance-sheet what Arundhati Roy (2002, 111)
called the algebra of infinite justice: How many dead Afghans for every dead American? the raw numbers do mean something. But there is a
world of meaning hidden behind the tallies and tabulations, which can never summon up the terror, grief and suffering that constitute the
common currency of war (cf. Hyndman 2007). With these
qualifications in place, the most relevant findings from
these projects for my purposes are these. First, casting a long shadow over everything that follows,
more than two million battle deaths have occurred worldwide in nearly every decade since the end of
the Second World War. It bears repeating that this figure underestimates the carnage because the toll
is limited to battle deaths.4 Second, the number of inter-state wars has remained low since the end
of the Second World War; they declined and even briefly disappeared in the last decade of the 20th
century, but reappeared at the start of the present century. Third, while intra-state wars were more
frequent than inter-state wars throughout the 19th and 20th centuries (with the exception of the
1930s), by the end of the 20th century their numbers were increasing dramatically, with a
corresponding increase in intra-state wars that drew in other states. The considerable rise in the
number of armed conflicts between the end of the Second World War and the end of the Cold War
was almost entirely accounted for by the increase in conflicts within states in the global South (Sarkees et
al. 2003, 614). The number of intra-state wars declined steeply after 1992, though they continued to account for the vast majority of armed
conflicts around the world; some have seen this trend continuing into the 21st century in 2005 the Human Security Report trumpeted a less
violent world but others have detected a marked increase since the last fin de sicle (Chojnacki and Reisch 2008; Harbom and Wallensteen
2009).
Links
2NC/1NR - Link Wall XT
All of our death drive arguments are reasons why their relationship to desire is bad.
Our overview explains why our drives are attracted to constitutive loss because it
creates our subjectivity and subsequent desires within the symbolic. The affs notion
of progress, fearing death and securitizing against threats are all bad relationships to
this fundamental loss.
First, progress thats impossible means the aff cannot solve any of their impacts. If
our drives are animated towards loss, then we will inevitable undermine any progress
we strive for. Violence does not happen because of some Manichean struggle
between good and evil rather it happens because we believe that returning to
instances of loss will help us find the lost object that our desires are attracted to. We
believe that the lost object triggered by that loss will provide the fantasy of coherence
to our subjectivity. Proven with United States foreign policy the need to find new
enemies to securitize like Iran, North Korea, Syria etc. are all drives of a militaristic
foreign policy that cohere a sense of national identity against the enemy that also has
us return to war to trigger the initial loss that binds us together.
This means try or die flips negative positive projects always drive us towards
sacrifice and external loss to bind us together this makes violent imperial
overstretch inevitable.
McGowan 13 [Todd, Assoc. Prof. of Film and Television Studies @ U. of Vermont, Enjoying What We
Dont Have: The Political Project of Psychoanalysis, pp. 160-163, RSR]

Nowhere is the retreat from enjoyment to pleasure more evident than in the American response to the
attacks of September 11, 2001. The attacks immediately reinvigorated the social bond for a majority of
Americans. The loss that they occasioned brought subjects back to the shared sacrifice that defines their
membership in American society. Even as they were horrified by the image of the towers burning and
then falling, most Americans, in the strict psychoanalytic sense of the term, enjoyed the attacks insofar
as the attacks allowed them to experience once again their social bond with great intensity. This is a bond
that one suffers, just as one suffers from a terrorist at ack. Even though it followed from an attack, this bond was not one formed through the
male logic of friend/enemy, which is why the headline in Le Monde on September 12, 2001, could proclaim, Nous sommes tous
Amricains.27 The bond formed around the September 11 attacks was not initially a bond of exclusivity with a clear outside and inside. Any
subject willing to accede to the experience of loss could become a part of American society at that
moment. The not-all of the social bond occurs through the experience of loss, but the recognition of this type of bond is
unbearable. One enjoys it without deriving any pleasure from it. It is, in fact, painful. Not only is it painful, but it
also entails complete humiliation. The society experiences the shame of being a victim and enduring
trauma the shame of enjoyment itself. In order to disguise this shameful enjoyment, the United States quickly
turned to an assertion of power that would carry with it the promise of a restored wholeness the
recovery of an imaginary perfect security. The attack on Afghanistan brought pleasure to most
members of American society. This pleasure had the function of rendering the enjoyment that emerged
through traumatic loss bearable, but it could not fulfill its inherent promise. Enjoyment satisfies, and
pleasure always disappoints. The disappointing nature of the attack on Afghanistan paved the way to the
subsequent attack on Iraq in a further attempt to find an actual pleasure equal to what we anticipated.
In terms of American society, these foreign wars serve as alibis for the enjoyment of the traumatic
attacks themselves. Because we seek respite from the loss that binds us, we free from the social bond despite our
purported desire for it. The authentic social bond exists only in the shared experience of loss that is,
only according to the female logic of not-having. But the attack on Iraq also illustrates the inescapability
of the enjoyment attached to loss. The Iraq War clearly follows from the male logic of having and aims at producing the pleasure
resulting from possession: the United States would conquer a recalcitrant dictator and obtain a firm ally in a globally significant region. This is
both the stated justification for the war and the explanation offered by critics who see it as an exercise in American imperialism. For both the
perpetuators of the war and its critics, the war concerns having, despite the different inflections they give this idea. But the result of the
war is the failure of having and the renewed experience of loss. The pursuit of the pleasure involved in having returns
American society to the traumatic loss involved in the September 11 attacks. Of course, no one fights wars with the express
intention of losing them, but every war brings with it sacrifice and loss, which is ultimately the substance
of the social bond and the source of our ability to enjoy that bond. The pursuit of the pleasure of having leads to the
loss that inevitably accompanies this pursuit. Imperial powers do not attempt to stretch their military and economic reach to the point that it
breaks because of an inescapable will to power or a biological urge for infinite expansion. The conquering drive of empires has
its roots in the search for what no amount of imperial possession can provide the enjoyment of the
experience of loss. Empires conquer increasing quantities of territory in order to discover a territory that they cant conquer. In this
same way, the Afghanistan War disappointed the American leadership because it didnt provide even the
possibility for loss. Donald Rumsfelds lament that the country didnt have any targets to bomb points in
this direction. Iraq, in contrast, promised a possible defeat, and if it hadnt, Syria or Iran would surely have come within the sights of the
Bush administration. Whatever the proffered justification or hidden motivation, powerful societies ultimately go to war in order to reenact a
constitutive loss and facilitate the enjoyment that this loss entails.28 This is
the case not just with war but with any
positive project that a social order takes up. Building a monument like the Eiffel Tower provided French
society with a possession that allows for collective identification. But the work involved with the building
involved a great sacrifice in time and in money. When we think of the Eiffel Tower, we rarely think of the sacrifice required for
its construction; instead, we think of the sense of identity that it offers. It provides a positive point of identification for France itself as a nation,
and French subjects can find pleasure through this identification. Nonetheless, the
enjoyment of the Eiffel Tower, in contrast
to the pleasure that it offers, stems from the sacrifice required to construct it. Every finished societal product
such as victory in Iraq, the beauty of the Eiffel Tower, smooth roads on which to drive promises pleasure, but this pleasure primarily supplies
an alibi for the enjoyment that the sacrifices on the way to the product produce. These sacrifices allow us to experience the
social bond by repeating the act of sacrifice through which each subject became a member of the social
order. It is not so much that the pursuit of pleasure backfires (though it does) but that it is never done simply for its own sake. We
embark on social projects not in spite of what they will cost us but because of what they will cost us.29
The dialectic of pleasure and enjoyment also plays itself out in the relationship that subjects in society have to their leader. According to Freud,
all group members install the leader in the position of an ego ideal, and this ego ideal held in common furthers the bond among members of
society. But the identification with the leader has two sides to it: on the one hand, subjects identify with the leaders symbolic position as a
noncastrated ideal existing beyond the world of lack; but on the other hand, subjects identify with the leaders weaknesses, which exist in spite
of the powerful image.30 Both modes
of identification work together in order to give subjects a sense of being
a member of society, but they work in radically different ways. The identification with the leaders power
provides the subject with a sense of symbolic identity and recognition, whereas the identification with
the leaders weaknesses allows the subject to enjoy being a part of the community. The identification with the
leaders strength provides the pleasure that obscures the enjoyment deriving from the identification with the leaders weaknesses. The
weaknesses indicate that the leader is a subject of loss, that she/he enjoys rather than being entirely devoted to ruling as a neutral
embodiment of the people. The weaknesses are evidence of the leaders enjoyment, points at which a private enjoyment stains the public
image. By identifying with these points, subjects in a community affirm the association of enjoyment with loss rather than with presence. But at
the same time, the leaders weaknesses cannot completely eclipse the evidence for the leaders strength. The strength allows subjects who
identify with the leader in her/his weakness to disavow this would-be traumatic identification and to associate themselves consciously with
strength rather than weakness. The trajectory of Bill Clintons popularity during his presidency illustrates precisely how identification with the
leader unfolds. When accusations of sexual impropriety with Monica Lewinsky first appeared, Clintons public approval rating reached its
highest levels. Most thought that Clinton was probably guilty of some private wrongdoing, but they also felt that his sexual peccadilloes should
remain private. Though they infuriated his Republican accusers, his sexual weaknesses had the effect of enhancing his overall popularity. This
trend continued until it became undeniably clear that Clinton really was guilty, when it became impossible to disavow his weakness. At this
point, identifying with Clinton became inescapably apparent as identifying with Clinton in his weakness, which rendered it more dif cult to
sustain. The American populace could enjoy Clintons weakness and form a social bond through this weakness only as long as it remained
partially obscured. The fundamental barrier to the establishment of an authentic social bond is the resistance to avowing the traumatic nature
of that bond. We use the pleasure that accompanies the bombing of Afghanistan to disguise the shared enjoyment we experience through the
traumatic experience of loss. But
this pleasure inevitably disappoints us and triggers the belief that someone has
stolen the complete pleasure that we expected to experience. This is why there can properly be no end
to the War on Terror, no end to the list of countries that the United States plans to invade to attain
complete security, no end to the number of terrorist leaders executed.31 Complete security, like
complete pleasure, is mythical. It attempts to bypass the one experience that cannot be bypassed the
foundational experience of loss and it is this experience that holds the key to an authentic social
bond.

Second, security politics the paranoid threat construction of the aff is a denial of the
death drive. Thats 1NC McGowan. Couple of reasons -
Subpoint a it tries to externalize responsibility for the loss that constitutes our
subjectivity. Our brokenness is then viewed as a byproduct of the others enjoyment
as their enjoyment has come at the expense of ourselves. This explains why threat
construction is never ending. This week its <insert affs scenario> then its ISIS then
Iran then North Korea and so and so forth. We will never be satisfied when we
vanquish one threat because it will not give us back the enjoyment we thought we
lost. Our loss is us and cannot be externalized onto someone else.
Subpoint b threat construction falls under the fantasy of consistency. It tries to
explain the myriad of inconsistencies within the social authority as being caused by an
external threat. The reason why the US is hypocritical in promoting civil rights and
then surveil its own population is because the terrorists force us to do such things.
Logically, however, authority can never be logically consistent because if it was, it
would have no way of incorporating a vast multitude of contradictory subjects into
itself. Security politics seeks to deny this fundamental inconsistency and tries to
explain it away with external threats from being so yet, these threats must always
exist.
Subpoint c enemy construction is fundamental fantasy because it attempts to
provide a substance against which we can define ourselves and therefore guarantee
the consistency of our own subjectivity.
1NC Global Warming Link
The aff reduces climate change to apocalyptic discourse and the master-signifier of
CO2. This depoliticizes the debate and ensures serial policy failure via techno-
managerial solutions that elide a focus on the socio-political causes of climate change.
Swyngedouw, Professor of Geography at the University of Manchester, 11 [Erik, Whose
environment? the end of nature, climate change and the process of post-politicization, Ambiente &
Sociedade, vol. XIV, nm. 2, 2011, RSR]

Irrespective of the particular views of Nature held by different individuals and social groups, consensus has emerged over the
seriousness of the environmental condition and the precariousness of our socio-ecological predicament
(SWYNGEDOUW, 2009).The successive IPCC reports and Al Gores evangelical An Inconvenient Truth landed both with the Nobel Peace
prize, surely one of the most telling illustrations of how climate matters are elevated to the terrain of global humanitarian cause10. There is
a virtually unchallenged consensus over the need to be more environmentally sustainable if disaster is
to be avoided; a climatic sustainability that centres around reducing and stabilizing the CO2 content in
the atmosphere (BOYKOFF, 2009). In this consensual setting, environmental problems are generally staged as
universally threatening to the survival of humankind and sustained by what Mike Davis called ecologies
of fear (DAVIS, 1999) on the one hand and a series of decidedly populist gestures on the other. The
discursive matrix through which the contemporary meaning of the environmental condition is woven is one quilted by the invocation of fear
and danger, and the spectre of ecological annihilation or at least seriously distressed socio-ecological conditions for many people in the near
future. Fear is indeed the crucial trope through which much of the current environmental and other
biopolitical narratives are woven.11 This cultivation of ecologies of fear, in turn, is sustained by a particular set of
phantasmagorical, often apocalyptic, imaginations (KATZ, 1995). The apocalyptic imaginary of a world with endemic
resource shortages, ravaged by hurricanes whose intensity is amplified by climate change, pictures of
scorched land as the geo-pluvial regime and the spatial variability of droughts and floods shifts, icebergs
that disintegrate around the poles and cause sea levels to rise, alarming reductions in bio-diversity, the
devastations raked by wildfires, tsunamis, spreading diseases like SARS, Avian Flu, or HIV. These
imaginaries of a Nature out of synch, destabilised, threatening, and out of control is paralleled by
equally disturbing images of a society that continues piling up waste, pumping CO2 into the atmosphere,
deforesting the earth, etc. We seem to have an unquenchable fascination with such dystopian
imaginaries (SWYNGEDOUW, 2010). Our ecological predicament is sutured by a series of performative
gestures signalling an overwhelming, mind-boggling danger, one that threatens to undermine the very
co-ordinates of our everyday lives and routines and may shake up the foundations of all we take for
granted. The attractions of such an apocalyptic imaginary are related to a series of characteristics. At the
symbolic level, apocalyptic imaginaries are extraordinarily powerful in disavowing or displacing social
conflict and antagonisms. As such, apocalyptic imaginations foreclose a proper political framing. Or in
other words, the presentation of climate change as a global humanitarian cause produces a thoroughly
depoliticized imaginary, one that does not revolve around choosing one trajectory rather than another,
one that is not articulated with specific political programs or socio-ecological projects. It is this sort of
mobilizations without political issue that led Alain Badiou to state that ecology is the new opium for the masses, whereby
the nurturing of the promise of a more benign retrofitted climate exhausts the horizon of our
aspirations and imaginations. We have to make sure that radical techno-managerial and behavioral
transformations, organized within the horizons of a liberal-capitalist order that is beyond dispute, are
initiated to retrofit the climate. The proposed transformations often take a distinct dystopian turn when the Malthusian specter of
overpopulation is fused with concerns with the climate, whereby, perversely, newborns are indentified as the main culprits of galloping climate
change and resource depletion, a view supported by luminaries like Sir David Attenborough (OM CH CVO CBE), Dr Jane Goodall (DBE), Dr James
Lovelock (CBE), and Sir Crispin Tickell (GCMG KCVO), among others12. In other words, the techno-managerial eco-
consensus maintains, we have to change radically, but within the contours of the existing state of the
situation the partition of the sensible, in Rancires words (RANCIRE, 1998) so that nothing really has to change! The negativity
of climatic disintegration finds its positive injunction around a fetishist invocation of CO2 as the thing
around which our environmental dreams, aspirations as well as policies crystallise. The point de
capiton for the climate change problematic is CO2 , the objet petit a that simultaneously expresses our
deepest fears and around which the desire for change, for a better socio-climatic world is woven13, but
one that simultaneously disavows radical change in the socio-political co-ordinates that shape the
Anthropocene. The fetishist disavowal of the multiple and complex relations through which environmental changes unfold finds its
completion in the double reductionism to this singular socio-chemical component (CO2 ). The reification of complex processes to
a thing-like object-cause in the form of a socio-chemical compound around which our environmental
desire crystallises is indeed further inscribed with a particular social meaning and function through its
enrolment as commodity in the processes of capital circulation and market exchange (LIVERMAN, 2009;
BUMPUS, 2008). The procedure of pricing CO2 reduces the extraordinary sociospatial heterogeneities and
complexities of natural CO2 s to a universal singular, obscuring in Marxs view of commodity
fetishism that a commodity is a very strange thing, abounding in metaphysical subtleties and
theological niceties (MARX, 2004: 162). The commoditization of CO2 primarily via the Kyoto protocol and
various off-setting schemes has triggered a rapidly growing derivatives market of futures and options
(LOHMANN, 2010). On the European climate exchange, for example, trade in CO2 futures and options grew from zero in 2005 to pass the 3
billion tons mark in June 2010; 585,296 contracts were traded during that month, with prices fluctuating from over 30 Euro to less than 10 Euro
per ton over this time period14. CO2
s inscription as a commodity (and financialised asset) is dependent on its
insertion in a complex governance regime organized around a set of managerial and institutional
technologies that revolve around reflexive risk-calculation, self-assessment, interestnegotiation and
intermediation, accountancy rules and accountancy based disciplining, detailed quantification and
bench-marking of performance. This regime is politically choreographed and instituted by the Kyoto protocol (only marginally
amended by the Copenhagen debacle) and related, extraordinarily complex, institutional configurations. The consensual scripting of
climate change imaginaries, arguments and policies reflect a particular process of de-politicization, one
that is defined by Slavoj Zizek and others as post-political and becomes instituted in what Colin Crouch
or Jacques Rancire term post-democracy. 4. Post-Political and Post-Democratic Environments Slavoj Zizek and
Chantal Mouffe define the post-political as a political formation that actually forecloses the political
(ZIZEK, 1999; ZIZEK, 2006; MOUFFE, 2005). Post-politics reject ideological divisions and the explicit
universalization of particular political demands. Post-politics reduces the political terrain to the sphere of
consensual governing and policy-making, centered on the technical, managerial and consensual
administration (policing) of environmental, social, economic or other domains, and they remain of
course fully within the realm of the possible, of existing social relations. The ultimate sign of post-
politics in all Western countries, Zizek argues, is the growth of a managerial approach to government:
government is reconceived as a managerial function, deprived of its proper political dimension (ZIZEK,
2002: 303). The consensual times we are currently living in have thus eliminated a genuine political space of disagreement. Under a
post-political condition, [e]verything is politicized, can be discussed, but only in a non-committal way
and as a non-conflict. Absolute and irreversible choices are kept away; politics becomes something one
can do without making decisions that divide and separate (DIKEN, 2004). Difficulties and problems, such as
re-ordering the climate or re-shaping the environment that are generally staged and accepted as
problematic need to be dealt with through compromise, managerial and technical arrangement, and the
production of consensus. The key feature of consensus is the annulment of dissensus the end of
politics (RANCIRE, 2001: 32; SWYNGEDOUW, 2009). Climate governance and the policing of
environmental concerns are among the key arenas through which this post-political consensus becomes
constructed, when politics proper is progressively replaced by expert social administration (ZIZEK,
2005: 117). The post-political environmental consensus, therefore, is one that is radically reactionary,
one that forestalls the articulation of divergent, conflicting, and alternative trajectories of future
environmental possibilities and assemblages. There is no contestation over the givens of the situation,
over the partition of the sensible; there is only debate over the technologies of management, the
timing of their implementation, the arrangements of policing, and the interests of those whose stake is
already acknowledged, whose voice is recognized as legitimate. In this post-political era, adversarial politics (of
the left/right variety or of radically divergent struggles over imagining and naming different socio-
environmental futures for example) are considered hopelessly out of date. Although disagreement and debate are
of course still possible, they operate within an overall model of elite consensus and agreement (CROUCH, 2004), subordinated to a managerial-
technocratic regime15. Disagreement is allowed, but only with respect to the choice of technologies, the mix of organizational fixes, the detail
of the managerial adjustments, and the urgency of their timing and implementation, not with respect to the socio-political framing of present
and future natures. In this sense, environmental and other politics are reduced to the sphere of the police, to the domain of governing and
polic(y)ing through allegedly participatory deliberative procedures, within a given hierarchical distribution of places and functions.
Consensual policy-making in which the stakeholders (i.e. those with recognized speech) are known in
advance and where disruption or dissent is reduced to debates over the institutional modalities of
governing, the accountancy calculus of risk, and the technologies of expert administration or
management, announces the end of politics, annuls dissent from the consultative spaces of policy
making and evacuates the proper political from the public sphere. 5. Consensualising Climate Change The climate
change argument is one of the domains through which this postpolitical consensual framework is
forged; one that disavows dissensus and prevents agonistic disagreement over real alternative socio-
ecological futures. The climate change conundrum is not only portrayed as global, but is constituted as a
universal humanitarian threat. We are all potential victims. THE Environment and THE people, Humanity as a whole in a material
and philosophical manner, are invoked and called into being. However, the people here are not constituted as
heterogeneous political subjects, but as universal victims, suffering from processes beyond their
control. As such, the argument cuts across the idiosyncrasies of often antagonistic human and non-human natures and their specific
acting outs, silences ideological and other constitutive social differences and disavow democratic conflicts about different possible socio-
ecological configurations by distilling a common threat to both Nature and Humanity16. The nature-society dichotomy and the
causal power of Nature to derail civilizations are re-enforced. It is this process that Neil Smith refers to as nature
washing: Nature-washing is a process by which social transformations of nature are well enough
acknowledged, but in which that socially changed nature becomes a new super determinant of our
social fate. It might well be societys fault for changing nature, but it is the consequent power of that nature that brings on the apocalypse.
The causal power of nature is not compromised but would seem to be augmented by social injections
into that nature (SMITH, 2008: 245). While the part-anthropogenic process of the accumulation of
greenhouse gases is readily acknowledged, the related ecological problems are externalized as are the
solutions. CO2 becomes the fetishised stand-in for the totality of the climate change calamities and,
therefore, it suffices to reverse atmospheric CO2 built-up to a negotiated idealized point in history, to
return to climatic status quo ex-ante. An extraordinary techno-managerial apparatus is under way, ranging from new eco-
technologies17 of a variety of kinds to unruly complex managerial and institutional configurations, with a view to producing a socio-ecological
fix to make sure nothing really changes. Stabilizing the climate seems to be a condition for life, as we know it, to continue. Consensual
discourse displaces social antagonism and constructs the enemy the enemy is externalized or reified
into a positive ontological entity [excessive CO2 ] (even if this entity is spectral) whose annihilation
would restore balance and justice (ZIZEK, 2006: 172). The enemy is conceived as an Intruder who has corrupted the system.
CO2 stands here as the classic example of a fetishised and externalised foe that requires dealing with.
Problems, therefore, are not the result of the system, of unevenly distributed power relations, of the
networks of control and influence, of rampant injustices, or of a fatal flaw inscribed in the system, but
are blamed on an outsider (ZIZEK, 2006: 172). That is why the solution can be found in dealing with the pathological
phenomenon, the resolution for which resides in the system itself. The enemy remains socially empty or vacuous, and
homogenized; it is a mere thing, not socially embodied, named, and counted. While a proper politics
would endorse the view that CO2 -as-crisis stands as the pathological symptom of the normal, one that
expresses the excesses inscribed in the very normal functioning of the system, the dominant policy
architecture around climate change insists that this state is excessive to the system, while prophylactic
qualities are assigned to the mobilization of the very inner dynamics and logic of the system that
produced the problem in the first place (privatization, commoditization and market exchange of, often
fictitious, CO2 ). The climate consensus is conjured in the Name of the People, but supported by an assumedly neutral scientific
technocracy, and advocates a direct relationship between people and political participation. It is assumed that this will lead to a good, if not
optimal, solution. The
architecture of consensual governing takes the form of stakeholder participation or
forms of participatory governance that operates beyondthe-state and permits a form of self-
management, self-organization, and controlled self-disciplining18, under the aegis of a non-disputed
liberal-capitalist order. Such consensual tactics do not identify a privileged subject of change (like the proletariat for Marxists, women
for feminists, or the creative class for competitive capitalism), but instead invoke a common condition or predicament, the need for common
humanity-wide action, multi-scalar collaboration and co-operation. There
are no internal social tensions or internal
generative conflicts. It is exactly this constitutive split of the people, the recognition of radically
differentiated and often opposing social, political, or ecological desires, that calls the proper democratic
political into being. The ecological problem does not invite a transformation of the existing socioecological order but calls on the elites to
undertake action such that nothing really has to change, so that life can basically go on as before. In this sense, the climate consensus is
inherently reactionary, an ideological support structure for securing the socio-political status quo. It is inherently
non-political and
non-partisan. A Gramscian passive revolution has taken place over the past few years, whereby the
elites have not only acknowledged the climate conundrum and, thereby, answered the call of the
people to take the climate seriously, but are moving rapidly to convince the world that indeed,
capitalism cannot only solve the climate riddle, that it can make a new climate by unmaking the one it
has co-produced over the past few hundred years. Post-political climate governance does not solve
problems; they are moved around. Consider, for example, the current argument over how the nuclear
option is again portrayed as a possible and realistic option to secure a sustainable energy future and as
an alternative to deal both with CO2 emissions and peakoil. The redemption of our CO2 quagmire is found in replacing
the socio-ecologically excessive presence of CO2 with another socio-natural imbroglio, U235/238, and the inevitable production of all manner
of co-produced socio-natural transuranic elements. The nuclear fix is now increasingly (and will undoubtedly be implemented) staged as one
of the possible remedies to save both climate and capital. It hardly arouses passions for a better and ecologically sound society. Most
problematically, no proper names are assigned to a post-political consensual politics. Post-political populism is associated with a politics of not
naming in the sense of giving a definite or proper name to its domain or field of action. Only vague concepts like climate change policy,
biodiversity policy or a vacuous sustainable policy replaces the proper names of politics. These proper names, according to Jacques Rancire
(RANCIRE, 1995; BADIOU, 2005) are what constitutes a genuine democracy, that is a space where the unnamed, the uncounted, and,
consequently, un-symbolised become named and counted. Climate change has no positively embodied political name or
signifier; it does not call a political subject into being or, rather, there is not political subject inaugurating
its name. In contrast to other signifiers that signal a positively embodied content with respect to the
future (like socialism, communism, liberalism), an ecologically and climatologically different future world
is only captured in its negativity; a pure negativity without promises of redemption, without a positive injunction
that transcends/sublimates negativity and without proper subject. Yet, the gaze on tomorrow permits recasting social,
political, and other pressing issues today as future conditions that can be retro-actively re-scripted as a
techno-managerial issue. Poverty, ecological problems of all kinds will eventually be sorted out by
dealing with CO2 today. As demands are expressed (reduce CO2 ) that remain particular, post-politics forecloses universalization as a
positive socio-environmental project. In other words, the environmental problem does not posit a positive and named socio-environmental
situation, an embodied vision, a desire that awaits realization, a passion to be realized. 6. Conclusion: From Environmentalizing Politics to
Politicizing the Environment Taking the environmental and climatic catastrophe seriously requires exploding the infernal process of de-
politicization marked by the dominance of empty signifiers like Nature, and urges us to re-think the political again. The claim made above to
abandon Nature in no way suggests ignoring, let alone forgetting, the Real of natures or, more precisely, the diverse, multiple, whimsical,
contingent and often unpredictable socio-ecological relations of which we are part. Rather, there is an urgent need to question legitimizing all
manner of socio-environmental politics, policies and interventions in the name of a thoroughly imagined and symbolised Nature or
Sustainability, a procedure that necessarily forecloses a properly political frame through which such imaginaries become constituted and
hegemonised, one that disavows the constitutive split of the people by erasing the spaces of agnostic encounter. The above re-
conceptualisation urges us to accept the extraordinary variability of natures, insists on the need to make a wager on natures, forces to chose
politically between this rather than that nature, invites us to plunge in the relatively unknown, expect the unexpected, accept that not all there
is can be known, and, most importantly, fully endorse the violent moment that is inscribed in any concrete socio-environmental intervention.
Indeed, the ultimate aim of political intervention is to change the given socioenvironmental ordering in a certain manner. Like any intervention,
this is a violent act, erases at least partly what is there in order to erect something new and different. Consider, for example, the extraordinary
effect the eradication of the HIV virus would have on sustaining livelihoods (or should we preserve/protect the virus in the name of
biodiversity?). Proper political interventions are irredeemably violent engagements that re-choreograph socio-natural relations and
assemblages, both distant and nearby; that always split the consensus and produce in-egalitarian outcomes. Engaging with natures, intervening
in socio-natural orders, of course, constitutes a political act par excellence, one that can be legitimised only in political terms, and not as is
customarily done through an externalised legitimation that resides in a fantasy of Nature. Any political act is one that re-orders socio-
ecological co-ordinates and patterns, reconfigures uneven socio-ecological relations, often with unforeseen or unforeseeable, consequences.
Such interventions signal a totalitarian moment, the temporary suspension of the democratic, understood as the presumed equality of all and
everyone qua speaking beings in a space that permits and nurtures dissensus. The dialectic between the democratic as a political given and the
totalitarian moment of policy intervention as the suspension of the democratic needs to be radically endorsed. While the democratic political,
founded on a presumption of equality, insists on difference, disagreement, radical openness, and exploring multiple possible futures, concrete
environmental intervention is necessarily about closure, definitive choice, a singular intervention and, thus, certain exclusion and silencing. The
democratic political process dwells, therefore, in two spheres simultaneously. Jacques Rancire (RANCIRE, 1995; MARCHART, 2007) define
these spheres respectively as the political and the police (the policy order). The (democratic) political is the space for the enunciation and
affirmation of difference, for the cultivation of dissensus and disagreement, for asserting the presumption of equality of all and everyone in the
face of the inegalitarian function of the polic(y)e order. Any policy intervention, when becoming concretely geographical or ecological, is of
necessity a violent act of foreclosure of the democratic political (at least temporarily), of taking one option rather than another, of producing
one sort of environment, of assembling certain socio-natural relations, of foregrounding some natures rather than others, of hegemonizing a
particular metonymic chain rather than another. And the legitimation of such options cannot be based on corralling Nature into legitimizing
service. The production of socio-environmental arrangements implies fundamentally political questions, and has to be addressed and
legitimized in political terms. Politicizing environments democratically, then, become an issue of enhancing the democratic political content of
socio-environmental construction by means of identifying the strategies through which a more equitable distribution of social power and a
more egalitarian mode of producing natures can be achieved. This requires reclaiming proper democracy and proper democratic public spaces
(as spaces for the enunciation of agonistic dispute) as a foundation for and condition of possibility for more egalitarian socio-ecological
arrangements, the naming of positively embodied ega-libertarian socio-ecological futures that are immediately realisable. In other words,
egalitarian ecologies are about demanding the impossible and realising the improbable, and this is exactly the challenge the Anthropocene
poses. In sum, the
politicization of the environment is predicated upon the recognition of the indeterminacy
of nature, the constitutive split of the people, the unconditional democratic demand of political equality,
and the real possibility for the inauguration of different possible public socioecological futures that
express the democratic presumptions of freedom and equality
2NC/1NR Global Warming Link XT
The affirmatives presentation of global warming is bad for a couple of reasons.
First, apocalyptic imagery de-politicizes the entire debate as it presents the situation
beyond the control of individuals. Thats 1NC Swyngedouw. This ushers in techno-
managerial solutions to the problem that maintain the current social order as it is.
Proven with global climate meetings like Kyoto, Montreal, etc. whereby solutions are
only seen as part of broader technological regimes administered on citizens rather
than by citizens. This is paradoxical as the capitalist system of consumption that
created climate change is seen as the one to deal with it. Only rejecting the affs
technological presentation of warming allows for long-term solutions via
transformation of the social ways we relate to growth and the environment.
Second, its an independently bad way to relate to desire thats 1NC Swyngedouw.
Solutions centered around climate change try to return us to the fantasy of an ideal
nature in balance. Nature becomes the object a that tries to return coherence to our
subjectivity a way we can hold onto our past self. This is impossible as nature is
always in flux being changed by us. Once we find out that post-aff that nature is not
the way we remember it we return to anxiety and hating ourselves as that
coherence was not found. Only the alts notion of traversing the fantasy solves this
argument.
Third, using CO2 as the master-signifer for all of climate change is uniquely bad. Thats
1NC Swyngedouw. Having CO2 stand-in for all climate change problems ignores the
heterogeneous nature of the problem. There are multitudes of climate problems. The
affs focus on CO2 distracts away from those other problems because its not sufficient
just to solve for CO2 to solve for the entirety of global warming and environmental
collapse.
We are destroying planetary boundaries for survival on a whole only changes in
social consumption techniques can solve the entire problem.
ASU Citing Nature 9 [International scientists set boundaries for survival, 9-23-9,
https://asunews.asu.edu/20090923_planetaryboundaries, RSR]

Humans are overstepping environmentally safe Planetary Boundaries' Human activities have already
pushed the earth system beyond three of the planet's biophysical thresholds, with consequences that
are detrimental or even catastrophic for large parts of the world; six others may well be crossed in the
next decades, conclude 29 European, Australian and U.S. scientists in an article in the Sept. 24 issue of
the scientific journal Nature. Both Arizona State University and the University of Arizona are represented on the international list of
co-authors of this groundbreaking report. Scientists have been warning for decades that the explosion of human activity since the industrial
revolution is pushing the earth's resources and natural systems to their limits. The
data confirm that 6 billion people are
capable of generating a global geophysical force the equivalent to some of the great forces of nature
just by going about their daily lives. This force has given rise to a new era Anthropocene in which human actions
have become the main driver of global environmental change. "On a finite planet, at some point, we will tip the
vital resources we rely upon into irreversible decline if our consumption is not balanced with
regenerative and sustainable activity," says co-author Sander van der Leeuw, who directs the School of Human Evolution and
Social Change at Arizona State University. Van der Leeuw is an archaeologist and anthropologist specializing in the long term impacts of human
activity on the landscape. He also co-directs ASU's Complex Adaptive Systems Initiative that focuses ASU's interdisciplinary strength on large-
scale problems where an integrated effort is essential to finding solutions. Defining planetary boundaries It started with a fairly simple
question: How much pressure can the earth system take before it begins to crash? "Until now, the scientific community has not attempted to
determine the limits of the earth system's stability in so many dimensions and make a proposal such as this. We are sending these ideas out
through the Nature article to be vetted by the scientific community at large," explains van der Leeuw, whose experience includes leading
interdisciplinary initiatives in ASU's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. "We expect the debate on global warming to shift as a result, because it
is not only greenhouse gas emissions that threaten our planet's equilibrium. There are many other systems and they all interact, so that
crossing one boundary may make others even more destabilized," he warns. Nine
boundaries were identified, including
climate change, stratospheric ozone, land use change, freshwater use, biological diversity, ocean
acidification, nitrogen and phosphorus inputs to the biosphere and oceans, aerosol loading and chemical
pollution. The study suggests that three of these boundaries -climate change, biological diversity and nitrogen input
to the biosphere may already have been transgressed. "We must make these complicated ideas clear in such a way
that they can be widely applied. The threats are so enormous that it is too late to be a pessimist," says van der Leeuw. "A safe operating space
for humanity" Using
an interdisciplinary approach, the researchers looked at the data for each of the nine
vital processes in the earth system and identified a critical control variable. Take biodiversity loss, for
example, the control variable is the species extinction rate, which is expressed in extinctions per million
species per year. They then explored how the boundaries interact. Here, loss of biodiversity impacts
carbon storage (climate change), freshwater, nitrogen and phosphorous cycles, and land systems. In the
Nature report titled "A safe operating space for humanity," the scientists propose bold move: A limit for each
boundary that would maintain the conditions for a livable world. For biodiversity, that would be less than 10 extinctions
per million species per year. The current status is greater than 100 species per million lost per year,
whereas the pre-industrial value was 0.1-1. The researchers stress that their approach does not offer a complete roadmap for sustainable
development, but does provide an important element by identifying critical planetary boundaries. "Human
pressure on the earth
system has reached a scale where abrupt global environmental change can no longer be excluded. To
continue to live and operate safely, humanity has to stay away from critical hard-wired' thresholds in
earth's environment, and respect the nature of planet's climatic, geophysical, atmospheric and
ecological processes," says lead author professor Johan Rockstrm, director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre at Stockholm University.
"Transgressing planetary boundaries may be devastating for humanity, but if we respect them we have a bright future for centuries ahead," he
continues. Alarm bells for Arizona "Our attempt to identify planetary boundaries that, if crossed, could have serious environmental and social
consequences has a special resonance in the southwest where pressures on biodiversity, land use, and water are likely to intersect with climate
change to create tremendous challenges for landscapes and livelihoods," explains co-author Diana Liverman, a professor of geography and
development at the University of Arizona. Liverman, who also is professor of environmental science and a senior fellow of Oxford University's
Environmental Change Institute, is currently attending an international climate conference at Oxford, United Kingdom. Participants are
discussing the implications for humans and earth ecosystems of a 4 degree Centigrade global temperature rise. She adds: "Three of the
boundaries we identify 350 parts per million of atmospheric carbon dioxide, biodiversity extinction rates more than 10 times the background
rate, and no more than 35 million tons of nitrogen pollution per year have already been exceeded with fossil fuel use, land use change and
agricultural pollution, driving us to unsustainable levels that are producing real risks to our survival." In addition to Liverman, Rockstrm and
van der Leeuw, the group of authors includes Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Will Steffen, Katherine Richardson, Jonathan Foley and Nobel
laureate Paul Crutzen. Other authors are listed on the paper at http://www.nature.com.
A2: Dystopian Imagery Good
Apocalyptic warming rhetoric disables effective approaches to warming we control
uniqueness
Barrett & Gilles 12 -- *nonprofit director and consultant for over a decade, her writing has appeared
in newspapers, magazines, and blogs nationwide AND **consulted for numerous political campaigns,
advocacy organizations, and global NGOs, and has been profiled in the Washington Post, the Wall Street
Journal, the Boston Globe, and Fast Company (Mel and Metthew Barrett, 4/23/12, "How Apocalyptic
Thinking Prevents Us from Taking Political Action,"
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/04/how-apocalyptic-thinking-prevents-us-from-
taking-political-action/255758/)

To understand why fewer people believe in climate change even as evidence mounts, we must look beyond the
industry-funded movement to deny the reality and effects of climate change. Perhaps equally important -- if not quite equally culpable --
has been the extent to which both the proponents and opponents of human-made climate change have led us
down a cul-de-sac of conversation by exploiting the apocalyptic metaphor to make their case. Whether by
design or by accident, the initial warnings of environmentalists -- of oceans rising to engulf our most beloved metropolises, of
amber waves of grain scorched into a desert landscape -- activated the apocalyptic impulse. The focus on disastrous repercussions
for our behavior at some point in the future echoed the warnings of the Israelite priests to wayward Jews in Babylon or, later, to those who
submitted too willingly to Alexander's process of Hellenization. It
was a familiar story: change, and change radically, or
face hell on earth. Perhaps there was no other way to sound the alarm about the devastating threat presented by global climate change,
but that echo of apocalyptic warning was quickly seized upon by the naysayers to dismiss the evidence
out of hand. We've heard this story before, the deniers insisted, and throughout history those who have
declared the end of the world was near have always been proven wrong. As early as 1989, the industry front man
Patrick Michaels, a climatologist and global warming skeptic, was warning in the op-ed pages of the Washington Post of this new brand of
"apocalyptic environmentalism," which represented "the most popular new religion to come along since Marxism." That the solutions to global
warming (a less carbon-intensive economy, a more localized trade system, a greater respect for nature's power) parallel so perfectly the dream
of environmentalists, and that the causes of global warming (an unrestrained industrial capitalism reliant on the continued and accelerating
consumption of fossil fuels) parallel the economic dream of conservatives, has simply exacerbated the fact that global
warming has
now become just another front in the culture wars. By seizing upon and mocking the apocalyptic
imagery and rhetoric of those sounding the alarm, the industry front groups succeeded in framing the debate
about global warming into a question about what one believes. Thus, entangled with the myth of
apocalypse -- and its attendant hold on our own sense of belief and self-identity -- the debate about anthropogenic climate
change has reached an impasse. You believe in the Rapture; I believe in global warming -- and so the conversation stops. But
global climate change is not an apocalyptic event that will take place in the future; it is a human-
caused trend that is occurring now. And as we expend more time either fearfully imagining or vehemently
denying whether that trend will bring about a future apocalypse, scientists tell us that the trend is accelerating.
Talking about climate change or peak oil through the rhetoric of apocalypse may make for good television and attention-grabbing editorials, but
such apocalyptic
framing hasn't mobilized the world into action. Most of us are familiar with the platitude "When the
only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail." In a similar way, our over-reliance
on the apocalyptic storyline
stands between us and our ability to properly assess the problems before us. Some see the looming crises of global
warming and resource and energy depletion and conclude that inaction will bring about the end of civilization: only through a radical shift
toward clean energy and conservation, those on the Left argue, can we continue the way of life that we have known. Those on the Right
dismiss the apocalyptic threats altogether, because the proposed solutions to peak oil, global warming, and overpopulation
conflict with core conservative beliefs about deregulation and the free-market economy, or with a religious worldview that believes humanity is
not powerful enough to alter something as large as our climate. Still others dismiss the catalog of doom and gloom as mere apocalypticism
itself. Surely, we convince ourselves, all the dire warnings about the effects of global warming aren't that
different from the world-ending expectations of the Rapturists? The result is that the energy we could expend
addressing the problems before us is instead consumed by our efforts to either dismiss the threat of
apocalypse or to prove it real. Ultimately, the question becomes not what to do about the threats before us but
whether you believe in the threats before us. By allowing the challenges of the 21st century to be hijacked by the apocalyptic
storyline, we find ourselves awaiting a moment of clarity when the problems we must confront will become apparent to all -- or when those
challenges will magically disappear, like other failed prophecies about the end of the world. Yet the real challenges we must face are not future
events that we imagine or dismiss through apocalyptic scenarios of collapse -- they are existing trends. The evidence suggests that much of
what we fear in the future -- the collapse of the economy, the arrival of peak oil and global warming and resource wars -- has already begun.
We can wait forever, while the world unravels before our very eyes, for an apocalypse that won't come. The apocalyptic storyline becomes a
form of daydreaming escape: the threat of global warming becomes a fantasy to one day live off the grid, or buy a farm, or grow our own food;
economic collapse becomes like a prison break from the drudgery of meaningless and increasingly underpaid work in a soul-crushing cubicle;
peak oil promises the chance to finally form a community with the neighbors to whom you've never spoken. Yet despite the fantasia peddled by
Hollywood and numerous writers, a world battered by natural disasters and global warming, facing declining natural resources and civic unrest,
without adequate water or energy or food, with gross inequalities between the rich and the poor, is not a setting for a picaresque adventure,
nor is it the ideal place to start living in accord with your dreams. The
deeper we entangle the challenges of the 21st century
with apocalyptic fantasy, the more likely we are to paralyze ourselves with inaction -- or with the wrong course
of action. We react to the idea of the apocalypse -- rather than to the underlying issues activating the apocalyptic storyline to begin with --
by either denying its reality ("global warming isn't real") or by despairing at its inevitability ("why bother recycling
when the whole world is burning up?"). We react to apocalyptic threats by either partying (assuaging our apocalyptic anxiety through
increased consumerism, reasoning that if it all may be gone tomorrow, we might as well enjoy it today), praying (in hopes that divine
intervention or mere time will allow us to avoid confronting the challenges before us), or preparing (packing "bugout" packs for a quick
escape or stocking up on gold, guns, and canned food, as though the transformative moment we anticipate will be but a brief interlude, a bad
winter storm that might trap us indoors for a few days or weeks but that will eventually melt away). None
of these responses avert,
nor even mitigate, the very threats that have elicited our apocalyptic anxiety in the first place. Buying an
electric car doesn't solve the problem of a culture dependent on endless growth in a finite world; building a
bunker to defend against the zombie hordes doesn't solve the growing inequities between the rich and poor; praying for deliverance from the
trials of history doesn't change that we must live in the times in which we were born. Indeed, neither partying, nor preparing, nor praying
achieves what should be the natural goal when we perceive a threat on the horizon: we should not seek to ignore it, or simply
brace for it, but to avert it.
1NC International Case Card
International law fails its foundation. The inability of a sovereign law-maker to
guarantee its legitimacy necessitates the very violations it tries to avoid.
Orford, Michael D Kirby Chair of International Law and an Australian Research Council Future Fellow at
Melbourne Law School, 4 [Anne, The Destiny of International Law, Leiden Journal of International
Law / Volume 17 / Issue 03 / September 2004, pp 441 476, RSR]
Any concern with the political ends or objectives that such an instrumental law might serve is addressed through the turn to ethics.90
Ethicshere means a deformalized yet universal system of norms (justice, democracy, liberalism, human
rights) which operate as an effective andlegitimate constraint over otherwise deformalized decision-
making as well as an objective (and legal) guide for foreign policy.91 Much has been written about this
trend and its effects, particularly in the context of the renewed enthusiasm during the 1990s for
humanitarian intervention.92 This resort to human rights as a basis for justifying pre-ordained security goals can be seen in the
follow-up opinion piece by Slaughter written in the wake of the use of force against Iraq. Slaughter argued that By turning back to the United
Nations now, in the moment of victory in Iraq, President Bush can seize a historic opportunity to pioneer a tough-minded and enduring form of
multilateralism.93 While it is clear to Slaughter that the institutions of the post-World War II era arent yet adapted to address the threats of
the post-Cold War era, the answer is not to destroy those institutions but rather to reform them. In particular, it is necessary to reform the
Security Council by redrawing the lines of how the Security Council defines which threats to international security are sufficient to require the
use of force.94 For Slaughter, this should involve finally linking the human rights side of the United Nations with the security side, so that a
governments business may more readily become the Security Councils business. This turn to ethics is an attempt to provide another secure
and generalizable foundation for the law. As Costas Douzinas argues, in order for the law to gain its coherent or
closed character, we need to be able to attribute regulations or norms or rules back to an authoritative
person or text.95 This source of authority attests to the desire for a Father or law-maker who is outside
the operation of law and infuses it with its majesty or justice.96 As I have been arguing, the absence of such a
sovereign law-maker is inescapable in international law, but this is perhaps merely an extreme case of
the unavailability of this source of authorityin modernity. Douzinas suggests that the paternal
functionis coming under attackinlatemodernity and cannot fulfil its role any longer.97 One response to
the retreat of the fatherly figures is to find another authority to occupy the impossible . . . position of
the guarantor of the completeness of the law.98 The ethics which Koskenniemi describes is one such heir to the Father,
promising to make the law whole or just.99 Yet the attempt to regain a sense of the law as coherent or closed
through constituting the United States as the majestic Father or law-maker does not succeed. The
inability successfully to constitute the United States as the sovereign guarantor of international law is
illustrated by debates about the legality of the US resort to force in the war on terror.100 The attempt to
resolve the interpretative debates about the legality of US action against Iraq turned on the sufficiency
of information supporting two claims made by the United States that Iraq was in breach of Resolution
1441 giving it a final opportunity to comply with its disarmament obligations under relevant
resolutions, or that the United States was facing an armed attack giving rise to the inherent and
sovereign right of self-defence. Central to the case for resort to force made by the United States was the question of the sufficiency
of information put before the Security Council, whether to persuade its members of the existence of a terrorist link with Iraq (justifying either
the determination of a threat to peace or a resort to the use of force in self-defence) or of programmes to create weapons of mass destruction
(to establish a breach of Security Council resolutions). This information as to the threat posed by Saddam Hussein and his regime was the
principal means by which the United States and the United Kingdom sought to establish the legitimacy of the resort to force. International
law has increasingly resorted to evidence or information to provide the solid foundation for resolving
questions about the legitimacy of responses to state-sponsored terrorism.101 For Thomas Franck, the
evolution of the international legal norms governing the use of force in self-defence against terrorist
safe havens depends on international bodies assessing evidence relating to claims made by the parties
concerned: In each recent instance, UN organs seem to have eschewed narrowly dogmatic insistence on
a traditional armed attack by a national army as the sole justification for an armed response in self-
defense. Instead, they have focused on relevant evidence, weighing the seriousness of each claim of
necessity and the proportionality of each aggrieved partys countermeasures.102 As this formulation makes clear,
the ambiguities generated when dogmatic insistence on traditional categories is abandoned are resolved through a focus on evidence
Here, as elsewhere in the discussion of controversial legal doctrines, much appears to depend on evidence of the facts and their context.103
For instance, SecurityCouncil Resolution 1368, passed on 12 September 2001 (the day after the terrorist
attacks on the United States), has been interpreted as expanding the definition of what constitutes an
armed attack and an attacker against whom the use of force in self-defence can be exercised.104 Having
referred to both threats to international peace and security and the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence in the preamble, the
Security Council there stresses that those responsible for aiding, supporting or harbouring the perpetrators, organizers and sponsors of these
acts will be held accountable.105 Franck
shows that facts and information are central to the ways in which the
legality of the use of force in such cases is determined. While he argues that It is becoming clear that a
victim-state may invoke Article 51 to take armed countermeasures in accordance with international law
and UN practice against any territory harboring, supporting or tolerating activities that culminate in, or
are likely to give rise to, insurgent infiltrations or terrorist attack, the question remains, who applies
that law?106 The answer involves a movement between state and international organization, mediated through and by information. But
who applies that law? Not alone, surely, the state from which insurgents and terrorists launch their attacks, nor any state claiming to be the
victim of such an attack. Rather, the international system has a quasi-jury, consisting of the United Nations principal political organs the
Security Council and General Assembly and its judicial organ (the ICJ). These, of course, in their appreciation of the facts,
are influenced by the global information network through which public opinion is informed and
manifested.107 The prior questions to Francks who applies that law must be who determines the
facts? and who determines which facts are relevant? Facts cannot simply be found.108 In domestic legal systems, the
removal of ambiguity through the writing of facts and determination of relevance is part of the practice of judgement.109 Franck suggests
that it is the Security Council, the General Assembly, and the International Court of Justice (ICJ),
influenced by the global information network, which make this determination. In its performance during
the Iraq war the United States appeared to accept this view. It formally played its part as a subject of
international law by demonstrating its willingness to provide information to the Security Council
concerning matters of war. Yet if we pay attention to that which the United States performs in the
provision of this information, we see a refusal ever to give up the sovereign authority to determine
which facts are relevant.110 On 5 February 2003 the US Secretary of State Colin Powell appeared before the
Security Council to provide you with information, to share with you what the United States knows
about Iraqs weapons of mass destruction, as well as Iraqs involvement in terrorism . . . . I cannot tell
you all that we know, but what I can share with you, when combined with what all of us have learned
over the years, is deeply troubling.111 Powell continued his address by stating: Given Saddam Husseins history of aggression,
given what we know of his grandiose plans, given what we know of his terrorist associations, and given his determination to exact revenge on
those who oppose him, should we take the risk that he will not someday use these weapons at a time and a place and in a manner of his
choosing, at a time when the world is in a much weaker position to respond? The United States will not and cannot run that risk for the
American people. Leaving Saddam Hussein in possession of weapons of mass destruction for a few more months or years is not an option, not
in a post-September-11th world.112 The form in which the United States provided this information to the Security Council functioned much
more as a sovereign declaration of war than as a submission of facts before a juridical tribunal. The United States retained the
right to determine which facts would be made available to the Security Council (I cannot tell you all that
we know), just as it retained the right to decide whether and when to use force against Iraq. The United
States did not play the part of a witness providing facts, the relevance of which as evidence would be
determined as part of the legal narrative of a higher sovereign power. In the days leading up to the war,
the United States continued to constitute itself as the sovereign guarantor of right at the international
level. This is well illustrated in the remarks made by the US president in his address to the nation on 17 March 2003.113 In that address,
announcing that Saddam Hussein and his sons had to leave Iraq within 48 hours or military action would be taken, George W. Bush declared
that the United States has the sovereign authority to use force in assuring its own national security. He explained why the United States as
sovereign was called on to enforce the demands of the Security Council: One reason the UN was founded after the SecondWorldWar was to
confront aggressive dictators, actively and early, before they can attack the innocent and destroy the peace. In the case of Iraq, the Security
Council did act, in the early 1990s. Under Resolutions 678 and 687 both still in effect the United States and our allies are authorized to use
force in ridding Iraq of weapons of mass destruction. This
is not a question of authority, it is a question of will . . . . The
United Nations Security Council has not lived up to its responsibilities, so we will rise to ours.114 2.2. Veiling
Guernica The inability of the United States to succeed in this attempt to constitute itself as the laws
sovereign guarantor is revealed well in an incident which accompanied Powells appearance before the
Security Council on 5 February 2003. As Maureen Dowd reported in the New York Times, in anticipation
of the post-presentation press conference the United Nations threw a blue cover over the tapestry
reproduction of PicassosGuernica on display at the entrance to the Security Council, and then placed
the flags of the Security Council in front of that cover.115 This double veiling served to hide Picassos famous anti-war
image from the television cameras and thus from the global audience which would also judge the adequacy of Powellsinformation.116 Why
did it become untenable at that moment for the representative of the United States to stand before that backdropandexplain the reasons for
bombing the territory and people of Iraq? Perhaps it was simply because, as Maureen Dowd commented,
Mr Powell cant very well
seduce the worldinto bombing Iraq surrounded on camera by shrieking and mutilated women, men,
children, bulls and horses.117 But perhaps it was also because Guernica makes visible the excessive
nature of the violence that founds authority. Both terrorism and the violent responses to it return the
law to the scene that was here veiled. This sense that the problem of justice for the law relates to the
violence of laws foundation is developed in the work of Jacques Derrida.118 At the moment of
constitution of a legal order, that founding violence is neither legal nor illegal. The legitimacy of the law
and of authority is established only once that violence has succeeded in creating a new order, and
even then only provisionally. Thus while the legitimacy of the law is in a sense guaranteed by the state, this is always subject
to the possibility of being unsettled. This is perhaps evidenced most clearly in cases of revolution. A successful
revolution, the successful foundation of a State . . . will produce a pres` coup what it was destined in
advance to produce, namely, proper interpretive models to read in return, to give sense, necessity and
above all legitimacy to the violence that has produced, among others, the interpretive model in
question, that is, the discourse of its self-legitimation.119 If a rebellion against the existing government succeeds, the
violence of the rebels takes on the legitimacy of the state it founded if the rebellion failsin founding a new form of the state, the use of force
will not receive official legitimation. It
is precisely such a potential founding or revolutionary moment, a moment
before the law,120 that Guernica portrays. The ambivalence about the meaning of such revolutionary violence for Spain was
central to the reception of Guernica at its first public display in the Spanish pavilion of the Paris Worlds Fair of 1937. The terror
bombing of the town of Guernica earlier that year, from which the painting took its name, was itself
part of the ongoing Spanish Civil War. In that sense, the bombing of Guernica was an event the meaning
of which was still open at the time of the Worlds Fair.121 It could only be given a settled meaning as legal or illegal once
the revolutionary violence had ended. Guernica is thus troubling, in part because it freezes time at that moment when the violence that may
yet found a new law is not yet buried, dissimulated, repressed.122 While Guernica circulates as a symbol of democracy and a critique of fascist
violence, and while Picasso came down firmly on the side of the Republican government in the Civil War, the painting also retains a sense of the
ambiguity inherent in the use of force.123 As John Berger comments, [t]here are no enemies to accusein the painting.124 For Berger, the
protest isin what has happened to the bodies. Thus Guernica stands as a reminder of this silence walled up in the violent structure of the
founding act.125 In addition, Guernica memorializes an event in the history of warfare which may mark the limit of modern laws capacity to
authorize force and to bury the dead. The bombing of the Basque town ofGuernica byGermanaircraftand pilotsflying forGeneral Franco was the
first time that aerial bombardment had been carried out against civiliansin Europe.126 A sense of the horrors of the new form of warfareis
clearin the news reports of the event.127 Guernica gives form to the idea of the apocalypse unleashed by such violence, through the haunting
series of its suffering victims.128 In so doing,itmakes visible the possibility that the capacity oflaw or the state to secrete this violence in its
foundation may be exceeded by the new capacity to cause unprecedented levels of destruction. Indeed, the theme of the 1937 Paris Worlds
Fair the exposition internationale des arts et techniques dans la vie moderne invokes Walter Benjamins contemporary essay, The Work of
Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.129 Benjamin argued
that imperialist warfare is necessary for fascism
because it makes possible the utilization of the enormous productive capacity of modern technology
without upsetting the property system.130 Both Guernica and The Charnel House, Picassos 1945 epilogue toGuernica, are a
response to the destructive capabilities of this modern technology unleashed by bureaucratic states. Roland Penrose wrote of The Charnel
House that it shows us nothing but the stark reality of our murderous, suicidal age . . . a pieta without grief, an entombment without `
mourners, a requiem without pomp.131 Finally, Guernica points to that which exceeds the law, to that which even the law guaranteed by the
sovereign cannot contain. For many contemporary viewers of the painting, it was a reminder of mortality. The surrealist poet Michel Leiris saw
in the painting a death notice and a farewell: In the black-and-white rectangle of ancient tragedy, Picasso sends us our death notice: everything
we love is going to die, and that is why right now it is important that everything we love be summed up into something unforgettably beautiful,
like the shedding of so many tears of farewell.132 Like terrorism,Guernica is an anxious reminder that at the foundation of modern lawis
thememory of a violence that cannot be authorized as the poet Jose Bergam n wrote of his response to the paintingin Picassos studio:
This shockingly naked thing haunts us with the disturbing question of its anxiety.133 Each of these themes resonates with the war on terror,
and made it impossible for the reproduction of Guernica to be displayed on 5 February 2003. The United States, through its Secretary of State,
was attempting to perform as a legitimate sovereign before both the Security Council and the mass audience of the subsequent televised news
conference. This
performance of sovereignty was designed to guarantee the United States not only as
sovereign over the territory called the United States of America, but also as the sovereign that
guarantees the international law it sought to bring into being at that performance. This was a version of
the law in its own image, an international law that could authorize the violence that the United States
was soon to bring to bear on the territory and people of Iraq. The tapestry of Guernica was a reminder of the excessive
force that comes before the law.134 Such a reminder is only tolerable once the law has been invoked in its place,135 and so Guernica
disappeared behind its veils. 2.3. Occupying Iraq Debates about the legitimacy of US authority also became evident in
discussions of the administration of Iraq in the wake of the use of force by the United States and its
allies. Some of the effects of this instability can be seen in arguments about the legitimacy of competing sources of authority in Iraq. One
justification for recourse to force made by the United States was the need to guarantee self-
determination to the people of Iraq and protect suffering Iraqis from human rights abuses committed at
the hands of Saddam Husseins regime. For example, in his address to the UN General Assembly on 12 September 2002,
President Bush stated: Liberty for the Iraqi people is a great moral cause, and a great strategic goal. The people deserve it; the security of all
nations requires it . . . . If we fail to act in the face of danger, the people of Iraq will continue to live in brutal submission . . . . If we meet our
responsibilities, if we overcome this danger, we can arrive at a very different future. The people of Iraq can shake off their captivity.136
Equally, the desirability of regime change in Iraq was explained in terms of creating a democratic
Iraq.137 To this end, the US administration repeatedly said that its aim was to liberate Iraq, not to
occupy Iraq, while the Deputy Secretary of Defence Paul Wolfowitz made the case for replacing the
current Iraqi regime with one that embraces democratic norms.138 Yet the legitimacy of the post-
conflict governance of Iraq was questioned even before the war began. The US administration told US senators in
February 2003 that it would be likely to take at least two years before the military could fully transfer control to an Iraqi government.139 The
administration also announced that it would award construction contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars for the rebuilding of Iraqi
infrastructure, most of which have since been awarded to US companies.140 When asked by the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee how it
planned to install a democratic government under these conditions, State Department official Marc Grossman said, How this transition will take
place is perhaps opaque at the moment. Hopefully there will be people who will come up and want to be part of the government.141 The sites
of ambiguity about the status of those in control or authority over Iraq only multiplied in the aftermath of the war. The
US appeal to the
principle of selfdetermination and its commitment to postwar liberation rather than occupation have
meant that the legitimacy of the postwar governance of Iraq was in part judged by the level of Iraqi
participation. Debates also continued about the extent of US and UK control in the territory and the obligations that flowed from that
control. For example, were the United States and the United Kingdom occupying powers? And if they were occupying powers, were they
limited in their capacity to undertake legal, judicial, and political reform?142 Were they responsible for acts of looting conducted while they
were in occupation?143 Did the status of occupier constrain the uses to which the United States and its allies could put the proceeds from the
sale of Iraqi oil?144 Were they under an obligation to respect human rights and, if so, was the source of that obligation the human rights
commitments of the United States and the United Kingdom, or those of the former Iraqi government, or those that would bind the United
Nations if it were administering the territory?145 Did the United States and its allies have to respect the diplomatic immunity of those
accredited by the previous regime?146 It
is the inability to resolve such questions and anxieties about the proper
grounds of authority in Iraq that led to some of the more striking cultural interpretations of the US
occupation. I want to conclude this section by turning briefly to two such texts syndicated in Australian newspapers during April 2003,
towards the final stages of the formal phase of the war. The first appeared on 12 April among a collection of articles about the conduct of the
war, the consequences for international and domestic Australian politics, and the nature of reconstruction in Iraq. The article, entitled A Tour
of the Palace, was syndicated from the United Kingdoms Guardian newspaper, and explored the responses of US military men and their
leaders to the palaces of Saddam Hussein and his sons.147 The piece mocks the tawdry glamour of these palaces, seeking to explore in a
complicated double movement why the Husseins were illegitimate occupants of these ostentatiously grand palaces (and thus illegitimate rulers
of Iraq), and whether the palaces might provide suitable headquarters for the then US civilian administrator General Jay Garner. So the reader
is told that while the bombed palaces are beautiful, lavishly appointed,with miles ofmarble corridors, mirror and gilt ceilings, and huge
chandeliers; theUS soldiers interviewed found a kind of cheap feel and dismissed the fittings as cheesy.
Said one American sergeant: Thisis Saddam Husseins palace? . . . He might have been rich, but he had poor taste. Commenting on the
corpses he passes on his way to the palace, the journalist remarks that the landscape of rotting bodies
could hardly have been more removed from the scenes that would have unfolded at the palace during
the days of Saddam and his sons. Then it was not about death but sex. According to rumour, or so the author tells us,
the inhabitants kidnapped young women off the streets to rape them inside these walls. The excessive sexuality of Iraqs former rulers is
evidenced by the signs of splendour and decadence still evident among the wreckage a painting of a man with his hand on the breast of a
woman, curtained beds, fountains (?), and locked doors, all indicating the nature of the goings-on inside the palace. In a related article
published the following weekend and entitled What Does this Painting Tell Us?, the links between aesthetics and authority are made even
clearer.148 There the journalist Jonathan Jones comments: The paintings of naked blonde maidens menaced by dragons and trolls, warriors
wrestling serpents and a wet dream of missiles that have been found in Saddam Husseins palaces and love shack feel like proof of something . .
. . That is certainly how the photographs make it seem. In lieu of American soldiers posed next to chemical warheads, we have an American
soldier contemplating a mural of massed rockets framed in an arched recess between purple marble columns in one of Saddams Baghdad
palaces. We may not yet have found weapons of mass destruction but just look at this proof of the dictators execrable sensibility . . . . And if
this is the authentic taste of Saddam, it is that of a man who seems on this evidence to have lived according to a code of aestheticised,
eroticised violence for which no one has yet to come up with a better word than fascism. This representation is precisely a means of responding
to anxieties about the proper sovereign subjects of international law, for the reader is told that these pleasure domes are being toured by the
newly designated, temporarymilitary ruler of Iraq, the retired American general Jay Garner, who is in search of a headquarters for the new
regime.149 Questions about the legitimacy of the new American occupiers of these splendid palaces are countered in these texts with proof
of the despotic nature of the former inhabitants. Sexual excess works as the marker of the impropriety of the regime of Saddam Hussein and his
sons. We might think of Queen Elizabeths Homily on Obedience, which reassured the inhabitants of early modern England that God hath
created everything in its proper place but then describes the volatile underside of that natural God-given order in erotic terms. For where
there is no right order, there reigneth all abuse, carnal libertie, enormitie, synne, and Babilonical confusyon.150 This is the world that
the US military exemplary representatives of ryght order found in the palaces of Saddam Hussein
a world of carnal libertie, enormitie, synne, . . . and bad art. As with the Homily, the picture of Iraq is one that imagines
chaos and disorder largely in terms of erotic indulgence riotously out of control.151 And the juxtaposition of uncontrolled
erotic indulgence with the dead bodies of other Iraqis (albeit those who died during the American
bombing) remindsus that thereareworthyandauthentic Iraqis out there those victims who need our
help. Indeed, according to an economist speaking on Australian radio during the war, one good thing that will hopefully result from the
conflict is that we shall come to see this region as needing our help, our aid. That is why we are the proper masters of Iraq. 3. THE SECRET
HISTORY OF INTERNATIONAL LAW 3.1. Transference and the question of international law I want now to
return to the parable with which Martti Koskenniemi concludes his history of European international
law. Koskenniemi writes the epilogue to this history as a story about a father and his two sons one the good son who follows in his fathers
formalist footsteps, one the rebellious son who seeks power and success. This story foregrounds the homosocial relations between those
whom Koskenniemi names as the founders of international law and explores what is at stake for the discipline as the question of what is
transmitted between men, across generations.152 This section develops this insight, to suggest that the nature of the disciplinary, homosocial
inheritance is precisely what is at stake in the serial crises of international law and order. In order to speculate about this inheritance, I draw on
three readings of the way in which a tradition keeps within itself the secret of whatever it encrypts, the secret of its secret.153 The first such
secret history is Eric Santners rereading of the memoirs of Daniel Paul Schreber. In 1893, soon after Schreber was named Senatsprasident or
presiding judge of the Saxony Supreme Court, a key centre of legal authority in Wilhelmine Germany, he suffered a psychotic breakdown.154
After spending the next ten years in a series of mental institutions Schreber published his Memoirs of My Nervous Illness in 1903. His account
was to form the basis of Sigmund Freuds famous case study of paranoia.155 Santner rereads the Schreber case as offering insights into what
happens when there is a crisis in those symbolic resources that human societies depend upon to assure their members that they are
legitimate.156 Of particular value for the questions I am asking here are the ways in which Santner understands the meaning for modernity
of that particular crisis of investiture experienced by Schreber. Schrebers crisis was triggered when he underwent his symbolic investiture as
Senatsprasident . 157 This was a point at which a new legal order was emerging in Germany. Work on a new civil code began in 1874 and was
completed in 1896. During that process public criticism of the draft code meant that it was not possible to suppress the extent to which liberal
law served to defend the interests of particular groups within society. Debates about legal codification were thus one of the key sites where
German society confronted the radical social changes associated with modernization and state formation as well as the shifting meanings of
national identity in a period of cultural turbulence and contestation.158 International legal debates concerning the use of force, human rights,
terrorism, and development are similar sites for confronting radical social changes in the age of globalization. And,
as is the case with
international law, the project of creating a unified law of the Reich involved coming to terms not only
with strong differences and conflicts between the heterogeneous legal codes and interests of the
various German states and regions, but also with the needs and interests of new social constituencies
whose contours were taking shape in the waves of industrialization and urbanization that dominated the
last decades of the nineteenth century.159 In Santners reading, Schrebers breakdowns were thus in part
caused by his relation to the exemplary domain of symbolic authority to which his life was intimately
bound, namely the law, at a moment of significant crisis for that institution.160 This is a chronic state
of emergency that, in effect, haunts all institutions insofar as they are dependent on the reality effects
of performative utterances.161 For Schreber, the return of this suppressed knowledge involved the
failure of the transmission of those symbolic resources with which he might have reassured himself that
he was, in a deep and dependable sense, legitimate.162 As I have suggested so far, just such a chronic state of emergency
haunts international legal scholarship. The political point made by Santner is that the series of crises experienced
by Schreber were largely the same crises of modernity for which the Nazis would elaborate their own
series of radical and ostensibly final solutions.163 Yet while Schreber was experiencing the same
crises as Nazism, his response was quite different. Schrebers delusional system was founded on
compassionate identifications with those who were cursed with occupying the place of abjection in
German culture at that time, and thus he managed to avoid . . . the totalitarian temptation of a final
solution designed to recreate a sense of a unified nation or a coherent community.164 Santner reads Schrebers
memoirs as offering the prospect of new strategies of sapping the force of social fantasies that might otherwise lend support to the totalitarian
temptation:165 Schreberiancompassion . . . is away of refusing to refuse theknowledge of theimpasses and dilemmas of symbolic power and
authority. At some level, Schreber was saying, indeed screaming, to those figures who were . . . cursed with the role of embodying these
impasses: That is me! . . . Of course, Schrebers fate as a psychotic suggests that one should not, as they say, try this at home; it is, in other
words, genuinely maddening to find oneself occupying the place of abjection in the absence of some minimal form of human solidarity. What
ultimately saved Schreber from psychological death, at least for a short while, was no doubt his residual need and capacity to communicate and
transfer his discoveries, to inaugurate a new tradition constructed out of and upon the inconsistencies and impasses of the one he had known
and which he had been called upon to represent.166 Internationallaw provides a practice of profound and sustained engagement with what
Santner describes as the modern experience. Whereas
the success of other forms of law depends on acting as if the
law had a solid ground or foundation, for international law this is impossible. There is no nation-state or
ultimate sovereign that can act as guarantor of a right167 and thus do away with the uneasiness or
anxiety caused by an inability to ground international law. International lawyers are thus always before
the law in the sense that Derrida describes in the situation both ordinary and terrible of the man who
cannot manage to see or above all to touch, to catch up to the law.168 This is the situation, both ordinary and
terrible, that also confronted Schreber as he became fully aware that he was suspended in the void or above the abyss, suspended by a pure
performative act that would not have to answer to or before anyone.169 The modern
tradition of international law is itself
constructed out of and upon the sorts of inconsistencies and impasses, or the crises of authority, that
Schreber was to make visible. The secret of that ongoing crisis remains inscribed within the discipline of
international law, such that we continue to find ourselves again at a moment of danger.170 Perhaps this is
one of the functions of international law as a discipline. As Santner suggests above, it was the need and capacity to communicate and transfer
his discoveries, to inaugurate a new tradition, that made the difference for Schreber.171 In his reading of that part of Beyond
concerning the repetition compulsion, Jacques Derrida suggests that a tradition (psychoanalysis,
international law) can be inaugurated in response to such dangers. Derrida draws attention to Freuds
distinction between the experience of the child and of the adult with respect to repetition.172 For the
child, repetition gives pleasure, particularly the form of pleasure linked to mastery. For the adult, on the
contrary, novelty is the condition for pleasure, says Freud.173 So, Faced with repetition, with the relation of the related of the scene, the child
indefatigably asks formore, erasing the variant, while the adult fleesit atleast as an adult becomes bored, and seeks division.174 When
an adult compulsively reproduces the repetitive demand (for example in analysis, and in the
transference), he goes beyond the [pleasure principle], and acts like a child.175 This repetition
compulsion is one of the first conditions of analysis, but if it remains it becomes a barrier to the success
of analysis. Importantly for my reading, Derrida argues that this condition of possibility can be related to the creation and constitution of a
discipline through transference forward and back across generations. Since this possibility is inscribed in the transferential structure, i.e. that
the condition of its possibility can become the condition of its impossibility, what we said above about the scene of inheritance can help us to
understand it better: an undissolved transference, like an unpaid debt, can be transmitted beyond one generation. It can construct a tradition
with this possibility in its entrails. One can even begin a tradition for this purpose, giving it the forms necessary for this effect, and using all
possible means to make the encysted threat endure, sleeping. When Freud speaks of the demonic as concerns the therapeutic obstacle, or
even the fear of psychoanalysis (the dread of awakening something better left asleep), one can also relate (and overlap) this to (with) the
relation thata tradition, for example the tradition of the psychoanalytic movement or cause, maintains with itself, with the archive of its own
demon.176 To speculate: what, then, if the undissolved transference of international law is transmitted beyond one generation, so that the
repetition compulsion is the condition of possibility of international law? David Kennedys article, When Renewal Repeats, captures just such a
sense of international legal discourse.177 As he notes in his introductory paragraphs, this essay was written in response to an invitation by the
student editors of the New York University Journal of International Law and Politics, seeking new thinking for the journals millennium issue
and asking, what international legal issues will consume your legal career and shape the parameters of international law in the new
millennium?178 Kennedys response is overtly located, as is much of his recent work, within a pedagogical relation, and reflects on the role of
novelty and innovation in the field.179 There, Kennedy works through the compulsion to repeat the project of renewal in international law,
linking it to the constitution of a discipline and the affiliations involved in such a constitution. It is, in a sense, an attempt to come to terms with,
to name or accept, the compulsions at the heart of international law. Kennedy
suggests thatwhile successivegenerations
ofinternationallawyers seem committed to understanding their professional role as one of engaging in
renewal, reform, or new thinking,in fact internationallawyers return repeatedly to two basic axes of
philosophical disputation, each with its own well-developed vocabulary: the relationship law should
seek to strike between an international community and sovereign autonomy and the most effective
balance between a more or less formal law.180 For Kennedy, it is as if international lawyers can continue to
play this game without exhausting our capacity for taking pleasure in it. We dont get bored, we dont need novelty,
except to the extent that we believe ourselves to be creating novel forms when we call for renewal. The sense of a lack of movement or
disciplinary progress is summed up nicely in an image used by Kennedy in his discussion of these argumentative patterns that organize
international law: [A]fter mapping the disciplines vocabulary, the temptation is strong to think that something else is going on besides good
faith pragmatism to animate changes in the disciplines preoccupations and arguments. It seems almost inconceivable that international
lawyers should return again and again to the same set of ambivalent commitments as they struggled to respond to all the worlds various
practical challenges . . . Perhaps . . . beneath all this professional rhetoric, international lawyers are caught in a sort of
disciplinary hamster wheel.181 I find Kennedys image striking, both for its suggestion that any sense of progress is illusory and for
the idea of the law encircling something. Perhaps international law has inscribed within it a secret? Do we transfer this secret across
generations because there is something better left asleep here perhaps that which calls up the legal responses justifying the wars on terror
as defensive self-preservation? Is this at the heart of the relation that the tradition of international law maintains with itself, with the archive
of its own demon? 3.2. Beyond the sovereign There is no destination, my sweet destiny . . .182 Having already described the ways in which
international law seems to recognize and then contain this crisis of authority, I want now to suggest that there is another sensibility in
international law that avoids reasserting sovereignty. Recent
critical histories of international law make available some
sense of the alternatives embedded within international law as ways of responding to this open
question of authority. I am thinking particularly of work focusing on international legal texts of the late
nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Here I want to focus again on Koskenniemis The Gentle
Civilizer of Nations. 183 As part of what is transmitted within this tradition, Koskenniemi finds in his critical history a current of European
international legal writing that represents an openness to the possibility of community between different-thinking particularities which resists
the closed world of fixed identities that founds the international law of our postCold-War era.184 Rather than construct the world in terms of
the moral certainty of those who are with us or against us, this tradition of international law represents the possibility of the universal . . . but it
does this by remaining empty.185 So for Koskenniemi the question that structures this international law is what is it that we lack?186
International law then maintains the possibility of an open area of politics that reaches towards a non-imperialist universality as a horizon of
possibility.187 It
is here, if anywhere, that international law seems to offer a narrative that is not organized
around the desire for a unitary authority, the possibility that international law could encourage an
anxious sovereignty rather than contain it. In the words of Koskenniemi, the inner anxiety of the Prince is less a problem to
resolve than an objective to achieve.188 Yet, as Koskenniemi recognizes, the history he writes of a modern international law capable of
critiquing ormoving beyond sovereigntyismarked by the enthusiasm of these same European international lawyers for the maintenance of a
strong sovereign state in their colonial territories.189 This mirrors the argument made by Gayatri Spivak in her
response to Michel Foucaults famous recognition of the move from sovereign or juridical mechanisms
of power to biopolitical forms of power in the states of Europe during the seventeenth and eighteenth
centuries.190 While Foucault points to the emergence of a new mechanism of power in Europe that was absolutely incompatible with the
relations of sovereignty and far more dependent upon bodies and what they do than the Earth andits products, Spivakinsists that the move to
a liberal European polity is secured by means of territorial imperialism the Earth and its products elsewhere.191 This imperialism worked
not only as a means of exploiting the resources and labour of the people who inhabit this space outside Europe but also in the ways in which
Europeans imagined the inhabitants of such territories as doubles whose suffering existence supported the subject of the Christian West.192
Jennifer Beard has traced this constitution of a valuable self for the West through centuries of the performance of Christian narratives of
salvation over the bodies of those marked as other.193 Just such a Christian poetics of the journey of the soul founds the humanitarian
sensibility of those men of the Institut de droit international whom Koskenniemi names as the founders of the modern international law
profession and the later representatives of international laws heroic period.194 These founders of the Institut were active Protestants
whose activism also constituted a demonstration to oneself at least as much as to others that the internal qualities needed for salvation
were indeed present.195 This demonstration to ones fraternity and oneself of the possession of the qualities needed for salvation involved a
faith in European society as the end point of civilization, a desire to extend the mores of an esprit dinternationalite within and beyond
Europe and an appreciation of the utility of rationalism as a means of creating a distance between their societies and what colonial
administrators encountered as they penetrated deeper into uncivilized territory.196 The capacity toimagine that a colonial territory was the
possession of a European state was at the heart of the ability of these men of empire to maintain their sense of themselves as free and
autonomous European subjects just as ownership was a projection of the owners person in the material world, colonial possession was an
aspect of the healthy Statesidentity and self-respect.197 The blind spot among these international lawyers was the atrocities that went on in
normal or legitimate French or German colonies in Africa.198 The role of international law in the age of formal imperialism was to
regulate the relations between sovereigns, understood exclusively as European. For example, Koskenniemis reading of the 1885 Berlin Act
points toits exclusion of any pretensions to sovereignty thatindigenous communities might have entertained. Articles 34 and 35 treated
sovereignty as a quality that could only attach to a European possession.199 Similarly, Westlake wrote in 1894 that international law
regulates, for the mutual benefit of the civilized states, the claims which they make to sovereignty over the region and leaves the treatment of
the natives to the conscience of the state to which sovereignty is awarded.200 This, of course, was also the basis for the doctrine of terra
nullius, according to which the notion that the land belonged to no one referred exclusively to European sovereigns. Later, as the Commentary
reminds us, the UN trusteeship system was itself designed to ensure that the interests of foreign states other than the trust power were not
ignored in a territory, through principles such as the open door policy and the inclusion of a national treatment provision in Article 76(d).
European administering powers in neighbouring territories were willing to sign treaties between themselves relating to the joint use of
resources in their trust territories, without including as signatories the inhabitants of the territories themselves.201 The prevailing view was
that the population of a trust territory is not organized to exercise authority, and thus is not a subject of international law.202 This
history suggests that the support of nineteenth-century European internationalists for the maintenance
of a disciplining sovereignty elsewhere was not just a historical accident but the condition that
enabled them to tolerate the recognition of the emptiness that founded their own relationship with
authority and law. Its legacy has played out in the intervening period through the colonial imaginary
underpinning narratives of international economic law and of humanitarian intervention, among
others.203 Is a less violent response to the lack that founds modern law possible outside these imperial relations? In order to explore this
question, I want now to draw on the reading by Shoshana Felman of Beyond the Pleasure Principle. 204 As Freud was to counselinBeyond, the
compulsion to repeat can be a performance of the death drive in international law, the repetition involved in controlling the anxiety produced
by ourinability to master our field of knowledgeis too readily played outin the manner bequeathed to us by our legal forefathers of the classical
imperial era.205 Yet Felman findsin thework of Freud, particularly as rewritten by Jacques Lacan, quite a different use for this compulsion to
repeat. Felman takes us back to the plays of Sophocles, the source of the guiding myth of Oedipus that was to shape so much of psychoanalytic
practice. For
Felman, drawing on Lacan, the essentialmomentin themyth of Oedipus occurs not in the play
Oedipus Rex, but in its tragic sequel, Oedipus at Colonus. At the end of Oedipus Rex the king recognizes
the words of the oracle as the meaning of his history he has killed his father, married his mother, and
brought tragedy upon his house. His destiny is that which the oracle foretold. Yet at the end of that play, while Oedipus names his
desire and his history, he does not truly assume them . . . Oedipus accepts his destiny, but does not accept (forgive) himself.206 Rather, in a
final act of attempted self-appropriation, of mastery or control, Oedipus performs consciousness last gesture of denial: the self-blinding.207
The turning-point of the Oedipal myth for the meaning of psychoanalysis occurs in scene 2 of Oedipus at Colonus. The exiled and blinded
Oedipus is told by his daughter Ismene that the oracles now prophesy that the people of Thebes will desire Oedipus for their safety after his
death and even while he lives. In response Oedipus asks, Am I made man in the hour when I cease to be? For Lacan, it this moment, this
speech, that gives its whole meaning to the history of Oedipus.208 Felman explains the significance of this moment for the relationship of
psychoanalysis to the Oedipal myth: What is it, then, that makes for Oedipus humanity and strength at the very moment when he is finished,
at the moment when, reduced to nothing, he embodies his forthcoming death? What is it that Oedipus, beyond the recognition of his destiny,
here assumes . . . ? He assumes the Other in himself, he assumes his own relation to the discourse of the Other . . . ; he assumes, in other
words, his radical decentring for his own ego, his own self-image (Oedipus the King) and his own consciousness. And it is this radical acceptance
and assumption of his own self-expropriation that embodies, for Lacan, the ultimate meaning of Oedipus analysis, as well as the profound
Oedipal significance of analysis as such.209 At the end of Oedipus at Colonus Oedipus abandons himself to his destiny, and in so doing, accepts
his lack of mastery over himself. As Felman shows, it is this same gesture that is performed by Freud in Beyond, and this performance which has
made Beyond such a controversial and productive text for the discipline of psychoanalysis and more broadly. Beyond is thus to The
Interpretation of Dreams as Oedipus at Colonus is to Oedipus Rex. In Beyond Freud goes beyond the meaning of the
Oedipal myth with its lesson of wish-fulfilment or the pleasure principle. He offers instead a new myth,
that of the compulsion to repeat or the death drive, which fractures the foundations of his disciplines
claim to mastery. So in offering this retelling, Freud accepts his own, or his disciplines, lack of mastery over speech, over its field of
knowledge. Felman argues that psychoanalysis, in this acceptance of the beyond, enables a productive use of the compulsion to repeat. For
Felman, psychoanalysis enables a life usage of the death instinct a practical, productive use of the
compulsion to repeat, through a replaying of the symbolic meaning of the death that the subject has
repeatedly experienced.210 If we turn again to the drama of Oedipus we can see that at the heart of this replaying of the symbolic
meaning of the death that the subject has already experienced is the capacity to transmute that death into language and, in particular for
Oedipus, into the symbolic language of the myth.211 As Felman argues, the final lesson dramatized in Oedipus at Colonus is the blessing
Oedipus imparts by the mystery in which his death is destined to be wrapped. Now a blessing is not the gift of a solution . . . but nonetheless a
gift of speech:212 OEDIPUS: I come to give you something, and the gift Is my own beaten self: no feast for the eyes; Yet in me is a more
lasting grace than beauty. THESEUS: What grace is this you say you bring to us? OEDIPUS: In time youll learn, but not immediately. THESEUS:
How long, then, must we wait to be enlightened? OEDIPUS: Until I am dead, and you have buried me.213 Here, the gift of speech is, as always,
the gift of an enigma or another riddle. The myth that will be founded after the death of Oedipus will act not because of its claims to truth or
accuracy but by virtue of its resonance.214 As Freud recognized in Beyond, it is not possible to found a kingdom or a possession on such a
myth the narrative movement of the myth is precisely that which always takes us if we dare go with it beyond itself .215 This assumption
of its own history is not something that a subject, or a discipline, can perform once and for all, not something that can be owned. Rather, the
insight into ones destiny is not a cognitive possession, it is an event: the singular event of a discovery, the unique advent of a moment of
illumination that, because it cannot by its very nature become a heritage, an acquisition, has to be repeated, re-enacted, practised each time
for the first time.216 In
her later work Felman argues that the disciplines of law and of literature embody, in
effect, two different ways of addressing the abyss produced by this recognition that there is no firm
ground on which to build a self, or a kingdom.217 Law, she says, seeks more or less successfully to close
over this abyss: In its pragmatic role as guardian of society against irregularity, derangement,
disorganization, unpredictability, or any form of irrational or uncontrollable disorder, the law, indeed,
has no choice but to guard against equivocations, ambiguities, obscurities, confusions, and loose ends. All
these the abyss embodies, in the image of a danger the law fears above all: that of a failure of accountability (or of a breakdown in foundation
and foundational stability); that of a loss, of a collapse (absence) of grounds. 218 In order to try to reduce or deny the threat posed by that
which cannot be totalized or enclosed, the law tries to make sense of the abyss, to name it or bring it within the logic of the law.219 This,
Felman argues, involves pretending, or . . . misguidedly assuming, the abyss is something else, something that can be assimilated to known
rules or precedents, something that can be enclosed, contained within the recognizability ofknown (stereotypical)legalagendas.220
Felmanopposes thislegalapproach to the abyss to that of literature. She suggests that the purpose of the literary text is, on the contrary, to
show or to expose again the severance and the schism, to reveal once more the opening, the hollowness of the abyss, to wrench apart what
was precisely covered over, closed or covered up by the [law].221 International law departs from the forms of law Felman
describes in its inability ever to secure its grounds or to perform the role of sovereign guarantor of
meaning. Its approach to the abyss is closer to that which Felman ascribes to literature than it is to the role she attributes to law. Yet, to
paraphrase Derrida, the fact that international law cannot secure its grounds is not necessarily bad news.222 In order to explore this further I
shall return to Kennedys essay on renewal andinternational law. In the third and final part of the essay, Kennedy moves to describe his own
disciplinary affiliations and the desires that structure them, assuming his own part in the practices of the discipline. Kennedy here narrates the
tale of the affiliation of which he is one of the founding fathers, the New Approaches to International Law (NAIL) project. For Kennedy this
group was filled with projects of intellectual affiliation and disaffiliation, as well as dominance and submission.223 It regularly seemed to be in
danger of collapsing when groups with quite different national or political or intellectual traditions suddenly found it inconceivable to be part
of the same endeavour.224 Yet there were also moments in which the participants found it possible to move beyond disciplinary, identity, or
national boundaries. This was a product of an attempt to attend to the interests of a broader audience made up of peoplewho shared perhaps
only a certain starting point or sensibility, a commitment to imagining that one might write for this weird and diverse group of people rather
than for those within ones pre-existing speciality or affinity group.225 And the resultant energy and excitement evidenced Kennedys
recognition that Something terrific can happen when people who share this sense find ways of telling one another, of touching, itching,
expressing the animus within.226 In his narration of this tale, Kennedy performs that life usage of the death instinct which Felman has
described.227 His essay places the compulsion to repeat at the centre of international law, but, perhaps more importantly, locates his own
institutional performance as driven by the acceptance of this same compulsion for new thinking and change. However, rather than direct this
knowledge towards another act of compulsive renewal, Kennedy here narrates the death of the NAIL project, transforming it from a possession
into a myth. I dont think about new thinking as a set of methods, ideas, or propositions. For me, new thinking is a performance . . . . It
happened, and people who came, who danced, who choreographed, and who played, had an experience which would otherwise not have been
available to them . . . . There was a sensibility, there were moments of intellectual engagement when people felt the presence of innovation,
when the bonds of conventional wisdom relaxed, when the discipline suddenly looked altogether different. Some people wrote things up, and
taught things, and did things in the world afterwards, but to my mind these are largely dead things. At the Fin de NAIL celebration, many
participants knelt down to hammer a finishing nail into a charred and fur-bedecked chunk of wood that Gunter Frankenberg had brought along.
It was a disturbing ritual, and the relic remains an arresting mark of our endeavour together. As one participant, I found in the NAIL a place
where the spirit of new thinking lived for a while for some people.228 Here Kennedys narrating of the fin de NAIL and incorporating its death
into language is done in order for its spirit to survive. At this point, in this passage that speaks of the love, friendship, passion, energy, and
illumination created through a projectwhich he helped toinaugurate,Kennedy describes an approach to knowledge and insight which assumes
that illumination cannot become a possession and radically decentres his own sovereign position. He reminds us that those texts and relics
(articles, chunks of wood) that we create out of such experiences are redolent with death international law, like Oedipus, like Freud, like all of
us, lives a life which is made of death.229 As I have suggested in this article, it is one thing for international lawyers to live with the recognition
that we are always beyond what is known, but it is another to assume that destiny fully and to accept its meaning (death, separation, loss)
without trying to allay the anxiety it produces. To
assume the death of the subject as a coherent self, to accept the
loss that this entails, is the symbolic means of the subjects coming to terms not with death but,
paradoxically, with life.230 Such a project can never be completed, as Kennedy recognizes in a wonderful closing paragraph which fully
assumes this loss and makes of it a gift. I do not think we got to the end of the effort to figure out what the discipline should do. I can say that
on our best nights, we performed what the discipline can be. There will be other performances, projects, parties. Perhaps some new NAIL will
emerge. If I hear of anything, I will be sure to let you know and hope to see you there. If you find yourself with an exciting project of criticism
and innovation or if you see the light on far off down some road and think something great might be going on, call me. Ive got my dancing
shoes polished, and Id love to come along.231 Or in the words of Oedipus: I come to give you something, and the gift Is my own beaten self: no
feast for the eyes; Yet in me is a more lasting grace than beauty.
2NC/1NR Ilaw Case Card XT
International law fails at a theoretical level thats 1NC Orford there is no
authoritative source to grant it legitimacy so violations are almost encouraged as
there are no consequences. Proven with history of US foreign policy our drone
program, indefinite detention program, treatment of prisoners of war, refusal to sign
onto climate agreements, etc are all examples of the US openly flaunting the rules
because there is no one to punish us proves that its teethless. Even if they make an
arg about how rules and procedures give it legitimacy, the entire war in Iraq proves
that powerful countries can merely manipulate what evidence is presented and how
the rules are applied. We only take pleasure in creating the rules because of the
subsequent pleasure well get from transgressing those very rules.
1NC International Law K Card
International laws calls for cooperation will ultimately fail because it cannot escape
the real. Our encounter with the others and our own jouissance necessitate the
breakdown of tolerance that only the alternatives notion traversing the fantasy can
solve.
Aristodemou, Senior Lecturer in Law and Assistant Dean for International Links and Enterprise at
Birkbeck College, University of London, 14 [Maria, A Constant Craving for Fresh Brains and a Taste for
Decaffeinated Neighbours, Eur J Int Law (2014) 25 (1): 35-58, RSR]

-Eichmann deterministic
As if such an attack on Kants dignity of the free will was not severe enough, Freuds blow to Kantian ethics continues by suggesting that what
Kant calls the moral law, the inner voice of conscience which utters the categorical imperative, is nothing other than the superego. Rather
than issuing guidance and benign rebukes to the subject, Freuds superego is a sadistic agency whose
origins hark back to the perverse God who commands Abraham to kill his own son. This superego not only
enjoins the subject to obey the moral law but also enjoys the subjects failures to come up to its exacting standards. Lacan takes this cue
from Freud and pushes the point further: the core of Kantian ethics, he suggests, as a demand for the
impossible (You can because you must) has a perverse undercurrent, just as Sades perverse discourse
can be construed to have an ethical undercurrent: using the other as an instrument for my enjoyment
implies, indeed demands, a correlative right in the other to use me as an instrument for her enjoyment.
So for Lacan the Marquis de Sades will-to-jouissance conformed perfectly to Kants imperative of the universalization of the will: Sades will to
use others as instruments for his enjoyment recognized at the same time the right of others to use him as an instrument for their enjoyment. In
short, a
subject can derive enjoyment from enunciating and imposing categorical imperatives, commands
which may well be universalizable, as Kant insisted, but are not necessarily for good ends. The emptiness of
the moral law, the fact that it does not enunciate any notion of the Good other than doing ones duty, can lead the subject to do something not
only for the sake of duty but only for the sake of duty. That is, one can conform to the formal structure of the categorical imperative
irrespective of the substantive content of that imperative, in other words, while pursuing diabolically evil ends. A
famous abuse of
Kantian ethics was of course Eichmanns appeal to Kant during his trial in Jerusalem: Eichmanns
perversion, as Hannah Arendt and others have described, involved putting himself in the position of an
instrument of the Big Others here the Fhrers will. By making himself the instrument of the Big Others will, a subject
like Eichmann can use the notion of duty as an excuse to absolve himself from exercising free will and for refusing to acknowledge that he did,
in fact, have a choice. As
Alenka upancic puts it, What is most dangerous is not an insignificant bureaucrat
who thinks he is God but, rather, the God who pretends to be an insignificant bureaucrat. One could even say
that, for the subject, the most difficult thing is to accept that, in a certain sense, she is God, that she has a choice.58 The horror Eichmanns
case revealed, as iek notes, is that in modernity evil is not just pure egotistical evil, that is, for simple selfish reasons, but radical evil: [e]vil
masked (appearing) as universality.59 Public international laws retreat, therefore, behind rules, procedure,
diplomacy, and bureaucracy will not save us from having to make an ethical choice. The reason rules
and self-legislation are not adequate to protect us from radical evil is the same in the case of individuals
as it is for a group of individuals called states: public international law, no more than any law, cannot
escape the pathological. The symbolic, to put it in Lacanese, is not an impermeable barrier against the
Real. Kant was aware of this, showing not only the limits of pure reason and supplementing it with practical or moral reason, but also
revealing the excess in humanity; he appreciated, in his words, the scandal of reason, that reason contradicts itself .60 The capacity for
the infinite of practical reason is also a capacity for the inhuman, for radical evil. As we see later, this
inhuman element, the undead as iek calls it, is the excessive dimension of the human. While with the
creation of the modern state this irrational excess is supposed to have been left out, like a state within a
state, to return to Freuds metaphor, like the repressed, it is always bound to return and shatter the
patients equanimity. Humanity or a Race of Devils? If formal law cannot be guaranteed to protect us from the
pathological, what about the cult of humanity, otherwise known as human rights? If divine law
prompted and promoted faith in a tradition of natural law, following the death of God the cult of
humanity provided a tradition of natural rights as human rights. Kant frequently cites Leviticus
injunction to love ones neighbour as oneself as an instance of the categorical imperative, and continues
the logic of universalization and marriage between religion and reason. Psychoanalysts, however, are
not convinced. For Freud in his pessimistic late work, Civilization and Its Discontents, the injunction to love ones neighbour
is Christianitys ultimate delusion: not merely is this stranger not worthy of my love, he protests. I
must honestly confess that he has more claim to my hostility and even my hatred.61 Freud appreciated that
solidarity within the community is only ever achieved at the expense of those outside the group; in that sense, Jews, he presciently claimed,
rendered most useful services by being the target of hatred and thus promoting community spirit among Christians.62 The
rise of
nationalism and fundamentalism in the last two decades suggests that tolerance and multiculturalism
have not worked. And that closer co-existence can breed, not more respect and cooperation, but more
intolerance and hostility. The message of the second half of the 20th century, a time when human rights
were enacted and sought to be enforced, is, unfortunately, not as salient as we would like: the
neighbour, it appears, is tolerated, respected, and celebrated only when she is kept at a proper
distance.63 When she comes too close, as the plight of refugees and illegal immigrants betrays only too
well, the rhetoric of toleration shows its limits. Freud and Lacan shared this pessimistic analysis of the limits of human
generosity and neighbourly love: altruism, as Lacan pointed out, does not cost much, and indeed it protects, rather than detracts from, our
egoism, since we only help those who are in our own image. It seems that the other whom we do not recognize as being in our image is left to
the wiles not of our humanity, but of a God that we profess to have killed. For psychoanalysis the function of law is not to
bring us close to the neighbour, but to keep her at a proper distance: that is, the underlying focus of the
law is not to enjoin us to care for our neighbour but to regulate the relationship between us so that the
neighbour does not get too close to us. For Freud in Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego distributive justice works only
because we deny ourselves things so that others may be deprived of them as well.64 We could go further and say, like iek,
that the charade of political correctness and celebration of multi-culturalism arise not from love of ones
neighbour but from fear of encountering real others; the fear of the inevitable violence such encounters
entail. Which leads to my conclusion. 9 The Extimate is the Neighbour If the extimate is the bit in ourselves that we do not
dare approach, the unassimilable core, or, as Lacan often described it, the Thing, the un-decaffeinated
neighbour exemplifies this radical core. Freud, Lacan understands, recoils in horror at the commandment to love ones
neighbor because of the evil that dwells in the neighbor and therefore also in oneself. And what is it that we dont dare go near to? Our
jouissance that which prevents us from crossing a frontier at the limit of the Thing.65 The alien,
traumatic kernel, the unbearable Thing we do not dare approach except from the safe distance of
decaffeinated tolerance and multiculturalism, is the neighbour. The neighbour who has not had the caffeine subtracted
from her is the neighbour we do not dare approach and find it harder to love. As Jacques Alain Miller discusses, the concept of the neighbour in
Christianity seeks to abolish extimacy: as if such a project were ever possible. The Christian injunction Jacques Alain Miller says, is nullify
extimacy.66 Lawyers, and human rights lawyers in particular, are used to addressing the symbolic register,
the register where one subject can superficially look like another. However, what law and the symbolic
order generally cannot get rid of is the extimate. Human rights discourse may try to reduce the disturbing and unassimilable
core of the other to what is common, to the universal, to what conforms to the norm. As Miller puts it, On the level of the signifier,
on the level of form, there is equality, substitutability, peace. But what makes the other other, her
alterity, her difference, her particularity, is not on the level of the signifier, of the symbolic, but on the
level of the Real, of the extimate. At that level, the other is irreducibly different: at that level, as Miller says, there is war.67 Miller
suggests why none of the generous and universal discourses on the theme of we are all fellow-beings have been effective. Because
racism, he continues, calls into play a hatred which goes precisely toward what grounds the Others
alterity, in other words its jouissance. If no decision, no will, no amount of reasoning is sufficient to wipe out racism, it is because
racism is founded on the point of extimacy of the Other. Racism
is founded on what one imagines about the Others
jouissance; it is hatred of the particular way, of the Others own way of experiencing jouissance. We may
well think that racism exists because our Islamic neighbor is too noisy when he has parties; nevertheless
it is a fact that what is really at stake is that he takes his jouissance in a way different from ours. The
Others proximity exacerbates racism: as soon as there is closeness, there is a confrontation of
incompatible modes of jouissance. For it is simple to love ones neighbor when he is distant, but it is a different matter in
proximity. Racist stories are always about the way in which the Other obtains a plus-de-jouir: either he does not work enough or he works too
much, or he is useless or a little too useful, but whatever the case may be, he is always endowed with a part of jouissance that he does not
deserve. Intolerance, in short, is intolerance of the others enjoyment. We can now make sense of Kierkegaards dramatic claim, often repeated
by iek, that the only good neighbour is a dead neighbour.68 If the extimate is the neighbours disturbing jouissance then Kierkegaard is right
that the only good neighbour is a dead neighbour because a dead body can no longer enjoy. 10 Towards an Atheist Public International Law To
sum up, public international law, I have suggested, is an inadequate or porous limit because, like all law,
it does not take account of the extimate: it can neither guard against the extimate in the other nor
acknowledge the extimate in ourselves. Can we learn anything from Kriss failure in the fresh brains case to address this
deadlock? As we recall, Kris wanted to show his patient that he was plagued by a desire to consume fresh brains because he believed in the
existence of someone who already possessed fresh brains: that is, someone who is Great, someone who knows everything. As I discussed, this
belief in someone who knows it all harks back not only to the grandfather of the patient but to the grandfather par excellence, the omniscient
divinity. Public
international law suffers from a similar symptom; that there is someone out there greater
than it, that it compares itself to and finds itself wanting. As I have discussed, the entity which the subject directs her
demands to, imagining that it has the capacity to answer and fulfil them is not a subject but a place: the place where full knowledge and full
enjoyment is not only possible but attainable. In other words, the place once occupied by God. Learning from Kriss mistake, the task for the
analyst I suggest is not to tell the patient, listen, dont worry, you are also great, but instead to lead them to come to terms with the fact that
the person they have been trying to please, impress, and imitate is also not great; that the place she has been addressing her demands and
beliefs to is an empty place. I call this realization, the traversing of the fundamental fantasy of someone great, the atheist position: for the
subject fully to assume the non-existence of a Big Other who knows it all means that the subject must learn to know how not to know and to
live without guarantees. Like the man in search of fresh brains, like international law, like all of us, we must acknowledge not only that we do
not know but that the Other does not know either. That the answers are not to be found in other disciplines or in other peoples brains, but in
our own disavowed, repressed, and hidden extimate recesses. This,
of course, is no easy task: it means facing up to our
own ugliness without the help of consoling fantasies, including the fantasy of a God, or a Big Other, or
ideologies including human rights or democracy. It means confronting our own excess jouissance, an enjoyment that we find
so threatening when we encounter it in the neighbour precisely because it is the unacknowledged evil that also resides in ourselves.
Moreover, we must confront this radical evil, to borrow Kants expression, without the placebos and
palliative softeners provided by fantasies of a benign humanity or a benevolent Big Other. Like Kriss patient,
we need to recognize there is no grand pre who knows it all, that when we come face to face with the extimate we are alone; and that no law,
international or domestic, can protect us. This
is the foremost ethical demand facing international law today and
the challenge we must rise to: until we are ready to confront our own extimate core, no individual or
social transformation can take place Freuds response to Kants Perpetual Peace can be found, I
suggest, in his Civilization and Its Discontents. Anticipating Lacan, who was, after all, Freudian first and
foremost, Freud suggests here that what eros and civilization can ultimately never eradicate, however
hard they try, is the death drive or, in our terms, the extimate: The inclination to aggression is an
original, self-instinctual disposition in man, and it constitutes the greatest impediment to civilization
mans natural aggressive instinct, the hostility of each against all and of all against each, opposes this
program of civilization. The aggressive instinct is the derivative and the main representative of the death
instinct which we have found alongside of Eros and which shares world-dominion with it. 69 For Freud
the death drive, whether it exists or not, nevertheless persists and insists. Like the undead, it is defiant,
intransigent, obstinate, unassimilable, unriddable, and above all, unlegislatable. Following ieks term,
we can call it the indivisible remainder that persists beyond and is oblivious to symbolic and imaginary
appeals, rules, and interventions.70 Public international law, like all of us, continues to refuse to
acknowledge the extimate: that there are things we cannot represent, not by law and not by literature
either. The extimate, nevertheless, which is closer to us than ourselves, continues to persist and insist. It is no wonder therefore
that Schopenhauers verdict on Kant was that, despite protesting to be exploring and critiquing the
nature of reason, he was, all along, courting religion: as he memorably suggested, Kant was like the man
at a masked ball trying to seduce a woman only to find when she removed her mask that the masked
lady was his wife all along. Kant, in other words, was at pains to seduce reason but behind the mask of
reason was always religion.71 To return to my beginning: to get to the extimate we must experience anxiety. Unlike other affects that
we can fool ourselves into thinking we feel, anxiety does not lie: it is the alarm bell that announces to us that we are approaching the extimate.
When we experience anxiety we know we are touching the untouchable, unassimilable core. When and how does this happen? In the terms I
have been using in this article, and which Lacan insisted on when demolishing Kriss attempt at treatment, this happens when the extimate is
not safely hidden by law (the symbolic), or by politics (the imaginary), or by affects or passions (that can be faked), but erupts in all its obscene
and violent underside. I will
close with two examples of such recent explosions of the extimate, both causing
anxiety and forcing us to confront the extimate, the first in the neighbour, the second in ourselves. First,
Frances recent legislation banning the burka or niqab in public; when the others difference, her
extimacy, is all too apparent, the rhetoric of toleration, allowance, and acceptance comes abruptly to
an end. As Slavoj iek elaborates on this example, when the face which subjectivizes the neighbour and makes her look a little like us is
hidden from view, we are confronted with the horror of the neighbour as unbearable thing and the tolerant west from France and beyond can
no longer pretend to tolerate her.72 French legislators, we could say, prefer their neighbour decaffeinated. My
second example is an
instance when the extimate is shown not in the other, in the neighbour, but in ourselves: the abuses at
Abu Ghraib which, as we know, are not isolated instances of lone rangers or bad apples but all too
endemic in the conduct of wars and indeed in the exercise of power generally. As iek elaborates again, Abu
Ghraib illustrates the disavowed beliefs, suppositions, and obscene practices that we pretend not to
know about even though they form the background of our public values.73 In international just as in
domestic law and institutions, the abuse of power forms the obscene and hidden underside of all
exercise of power. I have called this hidden and obscene core the extimate, the gap in the subject as well as in the Other that God was so
good at concealing. In the morning after the death of God, fully assuming this gap at the centre of our subjectivity as well as of our neighbour,
in all its ugliness, and without decaffeinating it, is the highest and hardest ethical demand international law, and all of us, face. Until we do that,
no amount of fresh brains will be sufficient to satiate our patient.
2NC/1NR ILaw Link XT
International law is a bad relationship to desire and the death drive for a couple of
reasons
First, determinism international law replaces a system of ethics with that of
deterministic rules thats 1NC Aristodemou they breed the politics of Eichmann
whereby anything is justified as long as it fits the procedural requirements of
international law. Paradoxically, this does not limit violence but increases it. Bombing
campaigns over Libya, the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, the US drone campaign,
etc. all of these are and can be justified as legitimate under international law yet
have INCREASED the level of violence they purported to solve. Means that a retreat to
bureaucratic procedures does not quell our actual need for violence or enemies.
Second, extimacy international law cannot satisfy cooperation because it does not
account for the psychic construction of the subject. We cannot tolerate our neighbor
because we cannot stand the way that our neighbor enjoys. The Real way that the
Other enjoys disgusts and horrifies us so then toleration breaks down. Couple of
examples of this first, Frances legislation of banning the Burka shows tolerations
limits because the Others difference becomes too apparent for us same logic applies
to foreign policy as the way that Laura Bush justified the war in Afghanistan based on
the way brown men treated brown women. Second, this is also a failure to understand
the perverted nature of jouissance in ourselves Abu Ghraib shows that the way that
we too enjoy necessitates obscenities which violate the very nature of international
law proven its not isolated because we do the same at Guantanamo too. Proves the
insufficiency of international law.
A2: Realism True
Political realism is ontologically false and dangerous it forcloses a politics of the real
that makes truly radical political change impossible.
Bryant, professor of philosophy at Collin College, 11 [Levi, Lacan and the Closure of Political
Realism, Larval Subjects, 8-11-11, https://larvalsubjects.wordpress.com/2011/08/01/lacan-and-the-
closure-of-political-realism/, RSR]

Reality, then, for Lacan, is this synthesis of the Imaginary and the Symbolic in a system where both
orders reciprocally structure one another. Together they define a structured system of appearances, of
manifestations, related to the human body and the symbolic social order. Within this order manifestations are
structured in the Imaginary by the body-object vectoral system of appearances and the symbolic system that ascribes a symbolic position or
place for all persons and entities that exist. It is also here, incidentally, that we get the logic of sovereignity explored by Agamben and Schmitt.
The symbolic system assigning places is itself without foundations. Think of the way people often talk
about dictionaries. Two people get in a dispute about what a word means. One person runs to the
dictionary and says well the dictionary says x! The dictionary is treated as a sovereign authority that
fixes meaning. The truth is that the dictionary only gets its authority from a community of speakers (i.e.,
the people involved in debate and that use language), yet there seems to be a nearly ineluctable transcendental
illusion wherein we place an authority over and above the community of speakers, a source of meaning,
that fixes meaning: A transcendent origin of meaning. We see a similar logic at work in the social field.
Endlessly we search for a supplemental figure to fix and tame the foundationlessness of social reality: a
sovereign king, a master figure, God, the father, etc. We erect a kinship system to secure origins. It was
this supplemental fiction of a transcendent guarantee that Lacan tried to formalize in the masculine side
(the left hand side above) of his graphs of sexuation. The masculine side of the graph of sexuation is the formal
schema of all onto-theology, sovereignity, oligarchy, and theism. The real, by contrast, is something
entirely different in Lacan. The real, as Lacan repeats endlessly, is not reality (the correlational system
and synthesis of the imaginary and the Symbolic), but rather is that which is both in excess of all reality
and that which evades all reality. The real is that which is without place in reality. It is a strange sort of
placelessness, for it simultaneously 1) is invisible from the standpoint of reality, yet nonetheless 2) the system of reality strives to gentrify and
eradicate the real (in Television Lacan will cryptically pronounce that reality is the grimace of the real), and 3) the real, despite being invisible,
nonetheless appears but in a way inimical to the vector body-object system of the Imaginary and the sorting-organizing system of the symbolic.
The real is a placeless appearance. It is for this reason that Lacan will say, in The Four Fundamental
Concepts of Psychoanalysis, that the real is a missed encounter. The imaginary-symbolic system that constitutes
reality is a system of anticipations in our ongoing dealings with the world. A missed encounter is precisely a contingent encounter that is not
predelineated in any way by this anticipatory system. It is an appearance of the impossible (Lacan will also say that the real is the impossible)
within the field of the possible. Of course, the possible here is that system predelineated by the reality-system or the synthesis of the
symbolic and the imaginary. The Real is the appearance of the inapparent, of the anarchic excess beneath the reality-system, of that which has
no place. It is the real, not reality, that OOO aims at. When Harman argues that objects are radically withdrawn, he is proposing a gap between
any and every manifestation of objects (what he calls sensual objects) and their existence proper. Every object is in excess of its being-for the
reality system of entities. Put differently, all objects are irreducible to their appearing-for. There is always an excess, an inapparance, that
evades the correlational system of reality. And it is for this reason that objects always harbor, to use Harmans language, a volcanic potential to
surprise or to constitute a missed encounter or encounter that evades all symbolic-imaginary systems of anticipation. OOO is a realism of the
real, not reality. OOO realism aims at what Timothy Morton has called the strange stranger or that paradoxical inapparent appearing, that
which cannot appear at all, at the heart of all entities. It is precisely this inapparent appearing that Harman underlines in his theory of metaphor
that marks the paradox at the heart of all objects: their tension between their qualities or manifestations and their being. All objects are in
excess of their appearingness. Returning to my critique of political realism from a few days ago, political realism
is always an attempt to instantiate a closure of reality. What it aims for is a politics of reality against a
politics of the real. This closure consists in a restriction of being to reality, to the system of appearance defining places and positions of
the beings involved in a system, that strives to erase the anarchic and contingent ground of this order, thereby hoping to eradicate the eruption
of the real. Its fiction is that all those entities involved in the situation have clearly defined and counted
identities and positions that can be smoothly calculated and managed in a governmental decision
process. Yet to establish this, political realism must perpetually have recourse to the logic Lacan outlines in
the masculine side of the graph of sexuation, pointing to a supplementary sovereign, God, natural order,
king, charismatic leader, transcendent authority, etc., that covers or veils the absence of foundation,
the excess, upon which reality is contingently founded, fixing this order. Political realisms thesis is
always that 1) all entities involved are counted and accounted for, and 2) that no other order is possible.
Of course, this order also disguises the fact that the interests it claims to be in everyones interests are
really the interests of a few. In repressing this anarchic and contingent ground of the reality system, political realism thereby
promotes the lie that such and such a course of action is the only possible course of action, the only
thing that can be done. As Naomi Klein showed so nicely in The Shock Doctrine, political realism manufactures crisis as a
way of forcing the demos to accept their exploitation as the only way to avoid catastrophe. If politics must
be placed in square quotes when discussing political realism, then this is because political realism is not really a
politics at all, but is rather mere administration (in all the terms literal and connotative senses). Insofar as
political realism treats all elements as counted and accounted for, insofar as it treats all possibilities as pre-delineated in the anticipatory
system of reality, politics becomes mere administration in determining which vectors should be pursued in these pre-delineated systems of
anticipation (usually constructed around what Lacan calls a forced vel or disjunction, where the people are forced to choose, as in the
muggers scenario, between their money or their life). Genuine politics, by contrast, is a politics not of reality, but of
the real. Following Ranciere, a politics of the real is that politics that contests the very system of counting and
distributing positions, that refuses the closure of reality that would claim that all is counted, accounted
for, and with a proper place, and that orients its praxis with respect to the contingent appearance of the
inapparent. Yet above all, a politics of the real is a politics that refuses the very system of counting, both at the level of the entities
populating the social order and at the level of predelineated possibilities, refusing the system of predelineation governing appearances. A
politics of the real gives birth to new possibilities, possibilities with no place or count within the reigning
system of possibility. Where political realism says this is all that is possible and therefore we must do x, a politics of the real contests
this very system of ordering the world and invents new possibilities inimical to this gamed system of counting. Thus, for example, with
Civil Rights the reality was that there was no place for African-Americans as equal citizens. The system of
reality said that African-Americans are counted in this way such that they go to these schools, use these
fountains, go to these restaurants, sit on these seats on the bus, etc. Any other way of participating and
relating, said political realism, was impossible insofar as people were not ready for it, it would ruin re-
election chances of various politicians sympathetic to equality, thereby undermining efforts of equality,
etc. Thereby, we were told, only incremental steps were possible. Anything else would produce catastrophe. Yet
the civil rights movement founded itself not on political realism, but on a politics of the real. Everywhere
in civil rights struggles we saw the appearing of the inapparent. We see the appearing of the impossible,
of the strange spectre of that which is simultaneously counted (in a particular way by the oligarchic
order) and the uncounted when Rosa Parks refuses to go to the back of the bus. We see it when people
refuse to go to their assigned seats in restaurants or to go to assigned restaurants. We see it in the
speeches that evoke the oligarchic orders claim to be equal (separate but equal) demanding the truth
of the principle of equality while denouncing the inequality its reality function practices. We see it in
people being attacked by dogs and fire hoses without fighting back. In this way the inequity beneath the reality
claiming to be revealed is simultaneously revealed and the excess of the real, of that which is not counted within this reality, is also revealed
challenging the closure of this order. Above all, in refusing to go to the back of the bus or eat at the counter, the contingency of the so-called
natural order (blacks naturally want their places and to be among their kind just as whites do) is disclosed, revealing the possibility of a
different order. From
the standpoint of political realism and incrementalism, these eruptions are understood
to be both ontologically impossible (as everything has a proper place) and to be avoided at all costs. The
reality-order becomes a massive regulatory mechanism, a defense formation, designed to forestall any
eruption of the real within the social order. Yet in defending the position of incrementalism and political
realism what one really defends is the reign of oligarchs claiming to act on behalf of the interests of
everyone.
1NC Online Gambling Link
The legalization of online gambling promotes the same inauthentic relationship to
pleasure and desire. Its part and parcel with societys broader command that we
enjoy without enjoyment. Only affirming the transgressive, illegal nature of online
gambling can we have true encounters with jouissance.
Pero, Associate Professor at the University of Western Ontario, 6 [Allan, Time Enough for Countin':
Gambling and the Event-effect as Symptom, http://www.lacan.com/symptom7_articles/gambling.html,
RSR]

The title of my paper, as you may know, is a line from one of Kenny Rogers big hits of the 1970s - called The Gambler. The
problem of
gambling, the troubadour tells us, circulates around temporality itself. Recall the lyrics: You got to know
when to holdem, know when to foldem, know when to walk away, and know when to run. The crucial
component to being a worthy gambler, then, is not mastering the game, but the temporality of the act,
of knowing the when, the contingent elements that erupt in what Anatole France calls a hand-to-
hand encounter with Fate (qtd. in The Arcades Project, 498). Time then is structured in a specific way in relation
to gambling; what Ill suggest to you is that gambling produces a space for the subject to act in concert
with Fate. The purpose of this encounter is to make the moment of the act appear. All other
movements, gestures become secondary. This is one of the reasons why Vegas Casinos have no windows, why there are no
clocks, why there is a constant stream of food and drink; perhaps a gamblers dream casino would make it possible for him to relieve himself
without leaving the table. A casino attempts to divorce itself from what Henri Lefebvre calls the rhythm of history, in which the past can both
return and efface itself (Rhythmanalysis, 51). In this way, time stands still in a certain sense, but in doing so, produces a particular space a
space of doubt that masquerades as anticipation. Doubt appears only when Fate is figured as the Evil Genius called luck. We could say that
gamblers such as these function as ersatz Cartesians, producing doubt all around them. As
Freud reminds us, the obsessive
nature of a true gambler (as opposed to the Vegas tourist) is governed by a desire to avoid certainty
and remain in doubt. Some of them, indeed, give a vivid expression to this tendency in a dislike of-clocks
and watches (for these at least make the time of day certain), and in the unconscious artifices which
they employ in order to render the doubt-removing instruments innocuous) (Case Histories II, 112). But
this tendency raises a question: what is the relation between time and doubt? Well, the usual response
would be a problem of anxiety; I anticipate some danger, but this danger is unknown. I doubt my safety,
yet I can ascribe no specific object to that anxiety (that is why I am anxious, rather than afraid). The anxiety the
gambler experiences does not come from a fear of losing; it comes from the failure to enjoy the space
of doubt produced by it. Conversely, the gambler who privileges skill over luck is not searching for a duel
with anxiety, but with anticipation, which makes the Lacanian act possible. As an aside, I would go farther
and say that it is no surprise that the re-emergence of gamblingstate controlled gambling coincides
with a culture that demands that we enjoy-without-enjoyment. As theorists like Slavoj iek argue,
ideology today functions as an imperative to Enjoy!, but it is an enjoyment deprived of its substance,
of the very thing that makes it risky, even dangerous. Commodities demand to be enjoyed precisely on
the basis that there is no enjoyment to be had! Fat-free chips, nicotine-free cigarettes, sugar-free sugar,
and of course, the imperative to enjoy the correct carbs, etc., are all examples of this phenomenon-as-
epiphenomenon. This deferral of enjoyment is meant to forestall disapproval, ostracism, danger, catastrophe, even fatewhat it is meant
to place in doubt is mortality itself, of an end to time (for the subject). This logic seems to imply a kind of immortality; but the problem raised by
the concept of immortality is something that Kierkegaard already anticipated. He
recognized that the real problem is not am I
mortal, but what if I am immortal? Thats the true anxiety, the true basis for subjective doubt in fear
and trembling. Immortality: what a hideous burden! It is a burden because there is no value, no enjoyment in risk, since all risks have been
subtended by the demand to enjoy without guilt, to enjoy what we dont really desire, to enjoy the nothingness of zero calories, for example.
The problem with this model of enjoyment is: where is enjoyment to be found, if enjoyment itself has
been excluded from the experience of subjectivity? Surely this is what gambling, where enjoying
responsibly becomes a problem for the subject again; it is a site for throwing ones mortality, ones
subjectivity into doubt. Paradoxically, the subjects relation to his desire is structured in a way as to grant, as Lacan puts it, la certitude
anticipe a more important place than doubt in testing the value of his existence (crits, 209). Gambling with Fate is a means of testing ones
relation to the rhythms of time, to futurity. As Walter Benjamin tells us, Only the future that has not entered as such into consciousness is
parried by the gambler (Arcades, 513). In psychoanalytic terms, it
is the future of his unconscious that the gambler
parries, the unconscious when to act in the space of enjoyment.
2NC/1NR OG Link XT
The affs relationship to online gambling exemplifies our transgression link. Thats 1NC
Pero. The aff neuters our relationship to pleasure as legalization of online gambling is
the same command to enjoy without enjoyment. No longer do we have transgressive
and true relationships with our desire but forced into enjoyment. This creates anxiety
as we now become worried of not enjoying enough which exacerbates the need to
find new, more dangerous transgressive activities. Instead, we should affirm the ban
on online gambling to promote a better relationship to desire and jouissance and put
back the pleasure we find in the activity. Only the law can anchor our desire for online
gambling as it marks the limit for the transgression.
1NC Organ Sales Case Hit
The affirmative is a massive mobilization of the desire for health, life, and wholeness,
which they invest entirely in the organ meant for transplantthis utopian quest for
fulfillment and healing masks the inevitability of the lack in any social order.
Zwart, Prof of Philosophy @ U of Nijmegen in the Netherlands, 14 [Hub, The Donor Organ as an
object a: a Lacanian Perspective on Organ Donation and Transplantation Medicine, Medicine, Health
Care and Philosophy, March 2014, RSR]

But we may also see the beloved other really as other, that is: as significantly different from ourselves.
Such an other seems to provide the very thing we lack or seek. For instance: someone whose bodily and mental
features compensate our own inferiorities, our weaknesses and flaws. The Other (the erotic object) now emerges as our
complement. We experience our body not in terms of wholeness (A), but rather in terms of
deprivation ( ). We are yearning for a desirable, indefinable supplement which may make us whole
again. Erotic desire thus may be triggered by rather specific bodily features, and we may invest our libido in particular parts of beloved bodies
(valued as particularly fascinating and intriguing) rather than others. This may involve body parts such as breasts, phalluses,
eyes, hands, muscles, buttocks or earlobes, although desire may also be aroused by the others voice,
gaze or smile, or even by specific ornaments or garments (such as high heels or pearl earrings) as
symbolic equivalents of partial organs. It is not in the beloved other as such, but rather in specific
bodily parts that we suddenly seem to discern what we have been (unconsciously) looking for: the
emblem of human perfection, the lost object of desire, which suddenly seems to resurge before our
very eyes, which suddenly seems to be there, presenting itself to us, invitingly. Lacan uses the term
object a to refer to partial objects (breasts, hands, feet,5 voices, etc.) that may function as (lost) objects
of desire. Moreover, he expresses its function with the help of a mathematical formula, where $
represents the (divided) subject (the subject of desire, yearning for wholeness), while a refers to the
desirable object (the missing piece, so to speak), and represents the function of desire: $ } a The partial
object, as object of desire (object a) may also play a role in art. That which, in normal life, remains concealed, may certainly protrude, may
unexpectedly emerge. Lacan (2004) discusses two paintings by Francisco de Zurbaran (15981664), for instance, depicting female saints,
female martyrs, namely Sainte Lucia, carrying her severed eye-balls on a plate, and Sainte Agatha, carrying her severed breasts on a similar
plate. These parts had been violently removed in the context of religious persecutions to which they had been subjected. In
normal life,
we see the gaze, the pupils, but not the eye-balls of the other, and we see the outward shape and
nipple, but not the internal tissues of the breast. Separated from the body, these organs constitute something
rather uncanny, as we have seen (Freud 1919/1947). The same goes for hands, or the intestines (or
even the complete skin, as in the case of Saint Bartholomew) or any other organ that is violently
separated from the body as a whole. All of a sudden, the object of desire (object a) becomes a partial object, disconcerting
rather than alluring.6 To use another Lacanian formula: the integrity of the body (A) is fundamentally damaged ( ). Its dignity and wholeness (1)
must somehow be restored (if this is still possible) through the recovery of (and reconnection with) this object a: Let this suffice as a brief
introduction into the Lacanian understanding of embodiment and love. I now will turn to the subject matter of this paper, namely organ
donation. A Lacanian depth ethics of organ transplantation in outline In
everyday experience, human beings tend to
perceive their bodies as an integrated whole, as we have seen: we basically experience a sense of
wholeness. The various sections of our body are all part and parcel of what we are as individuals (literally: indivisible beings). The
bodys wholeness seems the primary experience, preceding our awareness of specific components or
organs of the body, which are normally not regarded as separate entities. This may dramatically change,
however, in the case of illness. When specific organs (heart, lungs, kidneys) or other constituents (joints,
bones, tissues, etc.) suddenly fail, they seem to stand out as it were, they become separated more or
less from the body as such, the body as a (wholesome) whole. The failing part or organ becomes our
primary focus of attention. It may even become an obsession. Moreover, it will serve as point of access
for processes of symbolisation. Because of this affected organ, the body will be subjected to all kinds of measurements and
inquiries. Contrivances and high-tech equipment are brought into bring the faltering organ into view, and
to compare its functionality, it performance (in terms of quantitative values) with normal values (with
normality: with that what is to be expected). To the extent that the disrupted/disruptive organ endangers the well-being or
functionality of the body as a whole, we may even consider the option of removal. All of a sudden, the body becomes an aggregate/composite
of organs once again. If other treatment options fail, we may indeed decide that one of our organs must be expelled, or has to be replaced.
From that point onwards, attention may turn towards the bodies of other persons: potential donors; not to
their bodies as such, of course, but rather to specific parts or organs (such as a kidney, a cornea or a
uterus7 ). In other words, attention is turned all of a sudden towards a partial object encased within their bodies. A specific organ
becomes the object of our desire, our object a. It is more or less set apart from the rest of the bodies of these others. It
becomes an entity in its own right: the one thing we desire more than anything else: $ } a The one thing
that would compensate for our deficiency, our deprivation: that which would make our destitute body
whole again: The transplant, although it is basically an organ (i.e. a part of someones body) is not a
natural entity. It is an artefact of transplantation medicine, made available by technical developments,
and also (in the case of cadaveric organs) by the brain-death concept, in combination with a donors will
and other symbolical items. It is a rather intractable thing that may be either present or absent, available or nonavailable,
depending on biomedical supplies and tissue matching, but also on codicils and various other elements that foster the viability and legitimacy of
the act of transplantation. If we place ourselves in the position of the donor, rather than that of the recipient, we may discern in the suffering
Other a gap or lack, a deficit we are called upon to fill with our gift, either as a living donor or, after (brain) death, as a cadaver, via organ
procurement. As Lacan phrases it, in one of his seminars, the suffering other seems to utter a silent scream,
like the one depicted in the famous series of paintings produced by Edvard Munch (bearing this title),
awaiting the arrival of someone who may fill the gap and ease the discontent, the pain (2006, p. 225).
Inside the body of the suffering Other, there is a kind of anatomical emptiness: a gap, which Lacan refers
to as a vacuole (2006, p. 232), a term that is usually applied to the anatomy of unicellular organisms,
but is here used to indicate this ambiguous, sinister, empty space that was once occupied by a dis-
functioning, but now removed organ. This space can only be filled by a gift from the Other, by an object
a. Tissue matching and immune-repressive drugs, in combination with informed consent procedures, will determine the extent to which organs
are actually available and transferable from one body to another. This involves measurements and calculations: a drastic symbolisation of the
body and its tissues. The
objective is to restore the recipients body to normality (a symbolical concept that
can be determined with the help of measurements and standard values) rather than integrity (a concept
which is tangled up with the imaginary view of the body in terms of wholeness: the realm of the ideal,
as Lacan explicitly points out (2006 p. 270). So, normality (as a symbolical objective) rather than
integrity (as an imaginary objective) is the goal. In fact, the integrity of the body, in the form of the
immune system, will put up resistance, may even reject the implanted organ, and much effort has to
be spent in counteracting this natural response of the body as a whole. Moreover, organ implantation is
bound to leave considerable scars: the integrity of the body can perhaps be partially restored, but at the
same time it is damaged forever, by implantation and everything this entails (invasive surgery, immune-
repressive drugs, the use of various instruments, the introduction of foreign tissue, the scars of the
operation and so on).8 Thus, there is an intimate gap within the recipients body, a kind of vacuole, as
Lacan phrases it, which cries out to us, as it were, and wherein the lacking organ is to be implanted. A
gift from an Other, from a neighbour, in the Christian sense of the term, is then inserted into this empty space. To explain what is entailed in
such an event, Lacan
introduces the term extimate, a portmanteau word, blending two (apparently
opposite) concepts, namely external and intimate, into one neologism, specifically coined to stress
the paradoxical nature of these kinds of events. The bodys forbidden intimate region is opened up, its integrity is
disrespected, and an implant is inserted as a kind of boundary object: something in between the intimate and the external, the self and the
other, the familiar and the foreign: an extimate object. The new organs presence within the recipients body will remain precarious, however,
at least for quite a while, and it may never become wholly embedded once and for all, never become a completely integrated part of ones
bodily self. This new extimate organ may remain a matter of concern for life. It is, indeed, something extimate:
something eerily strange (external) and profoundly intimate.9 Extimacy thus implies that something can be on the inside while remained
stigmatised as different: an ambiguous invisible thing of whose presence and performance we will remain acutely aware.10 The concept
extimacy stresses that, on the one hand, due to transplantation medicine, and everything it involves, the distance and difference between Self
and Other has dramatically decreased, while at the same time, traces of distance or otherness remain, but are now transferred into the
internal, most intimate environment of the recipients body. In the next sections, the concept of extimacy will be fleshed out further with the
help of two historical analogies to organ donation, namely cannibalism and the catholic devotion of the Sacred Heart of Christ.

These desires are pathological, depriving transplant recipients of any value to life and
projecting violent fantasies into the external world. Flips the aff.
Sanal, Graduate Degree in History and Anthropology from MIT, 11 [Asilhan, New Organs Within Us:
Transplants and the Moral Economy, p. 44-46, RSR]

Following the diagnosis...to seek liberation.


1NC Security Link
The affs security rhetoric is a process that displaces internal hatred onto the other,
making all their impacts inevitable. Only through the alts traversal of the fantasy can
we subjectify our impotency and build political empathy.
Byles, Professor of English in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, University of
Cyprus, 3 [Joan, Psychoanalysis and War: The Superego and Projective Identification, Journal for the
Psychoanalysis of Culture and Society, Volume 8, Number 2, Fall 2003, RSR]

The most characteristic thing about this kind of violence and cruelty is its collective mentality: war
requires group co-operation, organization, and approval. Some theorists argue that one of the primary
cohesive elements binding individuals into institutionalized human association is defence against
psychotic anxiety. In Group Psychology Freud writes that "in a group the individual is brought under conditions
which allow him to throw off the repressions of his unconscious instinctual impulses. The apparently
new characteristics he then displays are in fact the manifestation of this unconscious, in which all that is
evil in the human mind is contained as a predisposition" (74). Later in the same essay, when speaking of the individual and
the group mind, Freud quotes Le Bon : "Isolated, he may be a cultivated individual; in a crowd, he is a barbarian that
is, a creature acting by instinct. He possesses the spontaneity, the violence, the ferocity, and also the enthusiasm and heroism of
primitive beings" (77). War is a collective phenomenon that mobilizes our anxieties and allows our original
sadistic fantasies of destructive omnipotence to be re-activated and projected onto "the enemy."
Some critics have argued that we "need" enemies as external stabilizers of our sense of identity and
inner control. It has also been argued that the militancy a particular group shows toward its enemies
may partly mask the personal internal conflicts of each member of the group, and that they may
therefore have an emotional investment in the maintenance of the enmity. In other words, they need
the enemy and are unconsciously afraid to lose it. This fits in with the well known phenomenon of inventing an enemy
when there is not one readily available. The individual suicide bomber, or suicide pilot, is just as much part of this
group psychology each bomber, each terrorist, is acting for his/her group, or even more immediately his
or her family, from whom he/she derives enormous psychic strength and support. Just as importantly, she/he is
acting in the name of his/her leader. All of these identifications require strong emotional attachments. Freud writes, "The mutual tie
between members of a group is in the nature of an identification, based upon an important emotional
common quality. . . . This common quality lies in the nature of the tie to the leader" (Group 1078). In Learning
from Experience, Bion theorizes that a social groupfunctions to establish a fixed social order of things (the establishm ent), and that the
individual has to be contained by the establishment of the group.Sometimes the rigidity of me system crushes the
individual's creativity; alternatively, certain special individuals erupt in the group, which goes to pieces
under their influence (Bion cites Jesus within the constraints of Israel). A final possibility is the mutual adaptation of
one to the other, with a development of both the individual and the group. The development of a sense
of self, its integration, its separation, and its protection all begin, or course, in early childhood.
Psychoanalyses like Klein, Winnicott, and Bion have explored these ideas in what is known as object relations theory. Volkan writes that
the concepts of enemy and ally and the senses of ethnicity and nationality are largely bound up with the
individual's sense of self, and that individuals within an ethnic or national group tend to see their group
as a privileged "pseudo-species" (Erikson) and enemy groups as subhuman (262). Of course enemies are threatening
and do generate a reactive need for defenses; however, a basic psychoanalytic question might be to
what extent the degree of defensiveness characteristic of war behavior represents personal, emotional
needs of individuals for an enemy to hate, so that they can keep their conflicted selves together, and to
what extent the State superego plays a role here. Our capacity for splitting and projection plays an important part in how we
see others and feel about others, and through the process of projective identification, how we make others feel about ourselves and
themselves. Projective identification involves a deep split, displacing onto and into others the hateful, bad
parts of ourselves, and frequently making them feehateful to themselves through their own introjection
of our hatred. This hatred is often racial or religious, frequently both. Moreover, in the process of projective identification,
parts of the self are put into the other, thus depleting the ego. (This process can be a vicious circle, and it is a profoundly
disturbing and characteristic pathology, often involving envy and/or rivalry, both corrosive, poisonous forces.) These Kleinian ideas,
developed by other theorists, such as Winnicott and Bion, are hugely relevant to the problem of war and
genocide, and most recently, of terrorism. Klein argues that in the paranoid schizoid position there is a splitting of good and bad
objects, with the good being introjected and the bad being externalized and projected out into someone or onto something else. As with
the infant and child, so with the adult, mechanisms of splitting and protection play upon negative and
feared connotations of the other, of the enemy, and of difference; projection prevents warring nations from exploring
and thus understanding what it is that actually divides them; it prevents mutual response and recognition by promoting exclusivity. As already
mentioned, analysts such as Volkan and Erikson have written about the processes by which an enemy is dehumanized so as to provide the
distance a group needs from its perceived enemy. First the group becomes preoccupied with the enemy according to
the psychology of minor differences. Then mass regression occurs to permit the group to recover and reactivate more primitive
methods. What they then use in this regressed state tends to contain aspects of childish (pre-oedipal) fury. The enemy is perceived more and
more as a stereotype of bad and negative qualities. The use of denial allows a group to ignore the fact that its own externalizations and
projections are involved in this process. The stereotyped enemy may be so despised as to be no longer human, and it will then be referred to in
non-human terms. History teaches us that it was in this way that the Nazis perceived the Jews as vermin to be exterminated.
As I write, Al
Qaeda terrorist groups view all Americans as demons and infidels to be annihilated, and many
Americans are comforted by demonizing all of bearded Islam. Many Israelis consider most Palestinians
as dirt beneath their feet subhuman and most Palestinians think of most Israelis as despoilers of the
land they are supposed to share. In other words, the problem of the mentality of war and of terrorism
mobilizes our anxieties in such a way so as to prevent critical reality testing. If we could learn the enormously
difficult and painful task of re-introjection, of taking back our projections, our hatreds, anxieties, and fears of the other and of difference, long
before they harm the other, there might be a transition, a link, from the state sanctioned violence of war back to individual violence. We might
learn to subvert negative projective identification into a positive identification as a means of empathizing with the other and thus containing
difference. The
violence of the individual could then be contained and sublimated in peaceful ways, such as
reconciling and balancing competing interests by asking what exactly these opposing interests are and
exploring what the dynamics, conscious and unconscious, are for the hatred of deep war-like
antagonisms. In other words, we would need to change our relationship with the other, giving up the
dangerously irresponsible habit of splitting, projective identification, and exclusivity by recognizing
difference not antagonistically but through an inclusive process that recognises the totalitv of human
relationships in a peaceful world. We might substitute for the libidinal object-ties involved in projective
identification the re-introjection of the object into the ego, and thus reach a common feeling of sharing,
of being part of the other, of empathy, in short. As Freud pointed our, the ego is altered bv introjection,
as suggested by his memorable formulation: " The shadow of the object has fallen on the ego." In his book Second Thoughts,
Bion theorizes that in the infant as in the adult, re-introjection can be dangerous if the dominance of projective identification confuses the
distinction between s elf and the external object, since this awareness depends on the recognition of a distinction between subject and object.
But Bion's theory of the pairing group, or the container and the contained, provides a way out of this predicament, suggesting that the outcome
of such pairing is either detrimental to the contained, or to the container, or mutually developing to both. This
idea is germane to my
argument in this paper that the reciprocity of the container and the contained relationship, through
both positive projective identification (empathy) and introjection or re-introjection, results in a positive
allowance of difference in other words, a healthy acceptance of and adaptation to the other within the
self and the self within the other. It is here of course that language plays an important role in imagining
the other, the other within the self, and the other as self, as well as the enormously influential visual
images each group can have of the other. In the need to emphasize similarity in difference, both verbal and visual metaphor can
play a meaningful role in creating a climate for peaceful understanding, and this is where literature, especially the social world of the drama and
of film, but also the more private world of poetry, can be immensely significant. Of course not all literature is equally transparent. In
conclusion, war, in all its manifestations, is a phenomenon put into action by individuals who have been
politicized as a group to give and receive violent death, to appropriate the enemy's land, homes,
women, children, and goods, and perhaps to lose their own. As we have seen, in wartime the splitting of the
self and other into friend and enemy enormously relieves the normal psychic tension caused by human
ambivalence when love and hate find two separate objects of attention. Hence the .soldier's and
terrorist's willingness to sacrifice her/his life for "a just cause," which may be a Nation, a Group, or a
Leader with whom he has close emotional ties and identity. I n this way s/he does not feel guilty: the destructive
impulses, mobilised by her/his own superego, together with that of the social superego, have projected the guilt s/he might feel at killing
strangers onto the enemy. In other words, the charging of the enemy with guilt by which the superego of the State mobilizes the individual's
superego seems to be of fundamental importance in escaping the sense of guilt which war provokes in those engaged in the killing; yet the
mobilization of superego activities can still involve the individual's self-punitive mechanisms, even
though most of his/her guilt has been projected onto the enemy in the name of his own civilization and
culture. As we all know, this guilt can become a problem at the end of a war, leading to varying degrees of misery and mental illness. For
some, the killing of an enemy and a stranger cannot be truly mourned, and there remains a blank space, an irretrievable act or event to be lived
through over and over again. This dilemma is poignantly expressed in Wilfred Owen's World War One poem "Strange Meeting" the final lines of
which read as follows: I am the enemy you killed, my friend. I knew you in this dark: for so you frowned Yesterday through me as you jabbed
and killed. I parried; but my hands were loath and cold. Let us sleep now. ... (Owen 126) The problem for us today is how to create the
psychological climate of opinion, a mentality, that will reject war, genocide, and terrorism as viable solutions to internal and external situations
of conflict; to recognize our projections for what they are dangerously irresponsible psychic acts based on superego hatred and violence. We
must challenge the way in which the State superego can manipulate our responses in its own interests, even take away our subjectivities. We
should acknowledge and learn to displace the violence in ourselves in socially harmless ways, getting
rid of our fears and anxieties of the other and of difference by relating and identifying with the other
and thus creating the serious desire to live together in a peaceful world. What seems to be needed is for the
superego to regain its developmental role of mitigating omniscient protective identification by ensuring an intact, integrated object world, a
world that will be able to contain unconscious fears, hatred, and anxieties without the need for splitting and projection. As Bion has pointed
out, omnipotence replaces thinking and omniscience replaces learning. We
must learn to link our internal and external
worlds so as to act as a container of the other's fears and anxieties, and thus in turn to encourage the
other to reciprocate as a container of our hatreds and fears. If war represents cultural formations that in turn represent
objectifications of the psyche via the super-ego of the individual and of the State, then perhaps we can reformulate these psychic social
mechanisms of projection and superego aggression. Here, that old peace-time ego and the reparative component of the individual and State
superego will have to play a large part. The greater the clash of cultural formations for example, Western Modernism and Islamic
Fundamentalismthe more urgent the need. "The knowledge now most worth having" is an authentic way of internalizing what it is we
understand about war and international terrorism that will liberate us from the history of our collective traumatic past and the imperatives it
has imposed on us. The
inner psychic world of the individual has an enormously important adaptive role to
play here in developing mechanisms of protective identification not as a means of damaging and
destroying the other, but as a means of empathy, of containing the other, and in turn being contained.
These changes may be evolutionary rather than revolutionary, gradual ratherthan speedy. Peace and dare I say it contentment are no t just an
absence of war, but a state of mind. Furthermore, we should learn not to project too much into our group, and our nation, for this allows the
group to tyrannize us, so that we follow like lost sheep. But speaking our minds takes courage because groups do not like open dissenters.
These radical psychic changes may be evolutionary rather than revolutionary, gradual rather than speedy; however, my proposition that
understanding the other so that we can reduce her/his motivation to kill requires urgent action. Peace is not just an absence of war, but a state
of mind and, most importantly, a way of thinking.
2NC/1NR Security Link XT
The affs politics of security is a bad relationship to desire. Security politics is an
attempt to deny our constitutive lack it seeks to cohere our subjectivity through
creating universal identification against an enemy. It confirms to us our internal
identity through which we attempt to anchor ourselves and also of our potency in our
attempt to destroy them. Thats 1NC Byles. This is a broader take out to any specificity
of their evidence because their ev ignores the emotional investments we have in
enmity. The development of enemy and ally is part of a broader attempt to create a
sense of self. This is why we displace the bad parts of ourselves in terms of threat
construction onto others. We split the impotent parts of ourselves onto the other to
create an idealized view of who we are.
Identity is inherently fractured---their identification of external scenarios for conflict is
no more than an attempt to situate our identity in opposition to everything that
they, the demonized enemy, as an attempt to de-fracture the self---this makes
conflict inevitable.
Hollander 3 professor of Latin American history and women's studies at California State University "A
Psychoanalytic Perspective on the Politics of Terror:In the Aftermath of 9/11"
www.estadosgerais.org/mundial_rj/download/FLeitor_NHollander_ingl.pdf

In this sense, then, 9-11 has symbolically constituted a relief in the sense of a decrease in the persecutory anxiety
provoked by living in a culture undergoing a deterioration from within. The implosion reflects the
economic and social trends I described briefly above and has been manifest in many related symptoms, including the erosion of

family and community, the corruption of government in league with the wealthy and powerful, the abandonment of working
people by profit-driven corporations going international, urban plight, a drug-addicted youth, a violence addicted media reflecting and motivating
an escalating real-world violence, the corrosion of civic participation by a decadent democracy, a
spiritually bereft culture held prisoner to the almighty consumer ethic, racial discrimination, misogyny, gaybashing, growing numbers of families

joining the homeless, and environmental devastation. Was this not lived as a kind of societal suicide--an

ongoing assault, an aggressive attackagainst life and emotional well-being waged from within
against the societal self? In this sense, 9/11 permitted a respite from the sense of internal decay by inadvertently

stimulating a renewed vitality via a reconfiguration of political and psychological forces: tensions
within this countrybetween the haves-mores and have-lesses, as well as between the defenders and critics of the status quo, yielded to a wave of

nationalism in which a united people--Americans all--stood as one against external aggression. At the same time, the
generosity, solidarity and selfsacrifice expressed by Americans toward one another reaffirmed our sense of ourselves as capable of achieving the positive depressive position

The enemy- -the threat to our integrity as a nation


sentiments of love and empathy. Fractured social relations were symbolically repaired.

and, in D. W. Winnicotts terms, to our sense of going on being--was no longer the web of complex internal
forces so difficult to understand and change, but a simple and identifiable enemy from outside of
us, clearly marked by their difference, their foreignness and their uncanny and unfathomable uncivilized pre-modern character. The societal
relief came with the projection of aggressive impulses onto an easily dehumanized external
enemy, where they could be justifiably attacked and destroyed. This countrys response to 9/11, then, in part
demonstrates how persecutory anxiety is more easily dealt with in individuals and in groups when it is
experienced as being provoked from the outside rather than from internal sources. As Hanna Segal9 has argued
(IJP, 1987), groups often tend to be narcissistic, self-idealizing, and paranoid in relation to other groups and to shield
themselves from knowledge about the reality of their own aggression, which of necessity is projected
into an enemy-- real or imagined--so that it can be demeaned, held in contempt and then attacked. In this
regard, 9/11 permitted a new discourse to arise about what is fundamentally wrong in the world:

indeed, the anti-terrorism rhetoric and policies of the U.S. government functioned for a period to
overshadow the anti-globalization movement that has identified the fundamental global conflict to
be between on the one hand the U.S. and other governments in the First World, transnational corporations, and powerful
international financial institutions, and on the other, workers struggles, human rights organizations and environmental movements throughout the world. The new

discourse presents the fundamental conflict in the world as one between civilization and
fundamentalist terrorism. But this civilization is a wolf in sheeps clothing, and those who claim to
represent it reveal the kind of splitting Segal describes: a hyperbolic idealization of themselves and
their culture and a projection of all that is bad, including the consequences of the terrorist underbelly of

decades long U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and Asia, onto the denigrated other, who must
be annihilated. The U.S. government, tainted for years by its ties to powerful transnational
corporate interests, has recreated itself as the nationalistic defender of the American people. In the
process, patriotism has kidnapped citizens grief and mourning and militarism has high jacked peoples fears and anxieties,

converting them into a passive consensus for an increasingly authoritarian governments domestic
and foreign policies. The defensive significance of this new discourse has to do with another theme
related to death anxiety as well: the threat of species annihilation that people have lived with since the
U.S. dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Segal argues that the leaders of the U.S. as well as other countries with

nuclear capabilities, have disavowed their own aggressive motivations as they developed10
weapons of mass destruction. The distortion of language throughout the Cold War, such as
deterrence, flexible response, Mutual Assured Destruction, rational nuclear war, Strategic Defense Initiative has
served to deny the aggressive nature of the arms race (p. 8) and to disguise from ourselves and
others the horror of a nuclear war and our own part in making it possible or more likely (pp. 8-9). Although
the policy makers destructiveness can be hidden from their respective populations and justified for national security reasons, Segal believes that such denial only

increases reliance on projective mechanisms and stimulates paranoia.


1NC Sovereignty/Choice Link
The affs notion of individual sovereignty and free choice is a fantasy. It papers over
the way that the symbolic is laden with values that determine our choice and
subjectivity.
Rogers, Senior Lecturer in Criminology in the School of Political Sciences at the University of
Melbourne, 7 [Juliet, Whos your Daddy? A question of sovereignty and the use of Psychoanalysis,
Law Text Culture, Vol 11, 2007, RSR]

In psychoanalysis it is precisely this endowment, however, which tampers with the first premise of
freedom and equality. As it is precisely the problem with the subjects perception, as seeing advantage, in surrendering freedom to an
imagined sovereign-representative person as a state of reason and conscience that Freud, and later Lacan, engaged in their analytic practice
and theory.In psychoanalysis freedom is arguably internal, it is seen from a position of existing as and
within the social contract, and (spatially) before the father. The struggle for the subject of analysis goes
beyond the sovereigns limits, in its application of law. The struggle is with a sovereign-representative
person as an object of the transference of feelings of prosecution, persecution or prohibition. This articulates
with Wendy Browns explanation of sovereignty: Sovereignty is a peculiar border concept not only demarking the
boundaries of an entity (as in jurisdictional sovereignty) but, through this demarcation, setting terms
and organizing the space both inside and outside the entity (2007: 4). Thus, what we call feelings are
internalised as what Lacan would call codes (Lacan 2006: 495-6), which produce other thoughts,
fantasies, anxieties, and behaviour that limit the subject, of his own accord. The (Lacanian) Other is not
outside the subject but at the most assented to heart of my identity to myself he pulls the strings
(Lacan 2006: 436). That is, the Other instantiates limits inside, to use Browns terminology. The limit is the relation between the internal and
external jurisdiction of the sovereign-Other. For Brown this is what it means to set the terms and organise the space
inside as the internal of the subject as the entity; it is the sovereign who is setting the terms a priori
the subject. The United Nations notion of being born free is then obviously relational and perhaps contingent on the capacity of the
subject to affect the sovereign, or to affect its own sovereignty. The psychoanalytic subject struggles to tamper with its
own freedom and with that of others, because it is always already subjectified through the parameters
of the subjects relation to others, including, and perhaps especially the sovereign-Other. It is no coincidence
then that the psychoanalytic discourses adopted a foundational interest in the subjects relation to
freedom through a consideration of its relation to the sovereign-representative person as a kind of
father, and extended this interest to the use of language as the name of the father.13 This then evokes
the very questionable capacity for free speech, or the freedom in the use of the name (of the father).
Freedom ex nihilo The conditions of sovereignty in contemporary legal discourse reinforce the presentation
of the subjects free speech and indeed free decision to contract ex nihilo through the demand for the
participation of all parties equally and freely, all parties as sovereign we could say. And this is certainly the status
of Rousseaus subjects in the social contract who, being free and equal surrender their freedom only when they see advantage in doing so
(Rousseau 1968: 50-1). This is reiterated in the UNs Universal Declaration of Human Rights which suggests that people should be able to return
to a state of freedom and equality by being free from want and fear (UN 1948: 1). We
might think of this freedom as a lack of
alienation; or in Lacanese, a lack of lack. The lack of lack is what, despite their differences in sovereign
representation, Rousseau, Hobbes and Schmitt might call natural freedom (Schmitt 1996: 96) or
natural liberty (Rousseau 1968: 65). From this position the individual can contract to be in a state of civil freedom, to be
protected by the state by virtue of their obedience to the general will. As Rousseau says: [L]aws are acts of the general will ... no longer ask
how we can both be free and subject to laws, for the laws are but registers of what we ourselves desire (1968: 82). This is precisely the gesture
that Peter Goodrich explains as the mirrored identification of the subject with the rhetoric of law when he states: [T]he legal speech or text had
to identify its audience or constituency, and provide that audience or those hearers with such symbols, images, icons or figures as would allow
communication in its classical or at least etymological sense of communion (1994: 110). In this identification, or communion, it is impossible to
distinguish between the legal speech provided by the legal institution and what we ourselves desire. In the fashion of communion the bread
becomes the flesh of Christ because it is believed to be so. But Rousseau claims otherwise. Desire, for Rousseau, is freely
possessed. While the will of the citizen is alienated to the general will, desire (to do so, to alienate) is never alienated. And, for Hobbes
explained through Schmitt: The covenant was conceived in an entirely individualistic manner; all ties and groupings are dissolved; fear brought
atomized individuals together a spark of [Kantian] reason flashed, and a consensus about security emerged ... [T]he state is more than and
something different from a covenant concluded by individuals; for although it results in forging consensus of all with all, in essence, it is not a
state, but only a social covenant (1996: 97). It is not individuals who contract for Hobbes, but it is nevertheless individuals who conclude to be
in a covenant with the sovereignrepresentative person (1996: 93-8). The Kantian reason emerges and produces the conclusion because of a
spark that comes from an unknown location but is nevertheless inspired by a fear of (what becomes in 1922) a Schmittian enemy (Schmitt
1985: 26-7). This is not an a priori fear however, it is what emerges at the point that the political is articulated, and precisely for Schmitt this is
the sovereigns jurisdiction. Thus, the individuals spark is inspired, or even demanded, by the limit of the state defined by normative political
parameters that articulate an external enemy. In this sense the spark and the state are simultaneous and certainly, in a psychoanalytic
paradigm, the sovereign and the enemy are but two entities which betray, and further inaugurate, the fragmentation of the subject. Desire
for Rousseau and the spark of fear for Hobbes and Schmitt imply an autonomy of reason; something
more than conscious that is somehow outside the parameters of the subject always already before law;
desire ex nihilo. The subject contracts autonomously, as if it can be a sovereign-representative person of itself, literally before laws
existence; dues mortalis in Hobbes terms, prior to even the conception of God. This prior conception of desire is indistinct in both Hobbes and
Rousseau, despite their differences. The positive freedom of Rousseau and the negative freedom of Hobbes both exist within the context of a
presupposition of a capacity to experience freedom prior to the sovereigns existence. This is not a question of political autonomy, for both
explanations of the status of political subjects articulate a limit. It is a question of a priori desire, or of the subjects own sovereign capacity to
conclude. And, it is this sovereign capacity to conclude, beyond the sovereigns desire, and the desire to do so, or do otherwise, that
psychoanalysis speaks to, for desire is the jurisdiction of the unconscious, and the sovereigns love is not quantifiable as positive or negative
love. Kant and Lacan The
capacity to enact an desire ex nihilo is importantly also questionable in a Kantian
discussion of Reason. The distinction between Kants notion of Reason emanating (hopefully, for Kant) from a subject who has
embraced the moral requirements of the social and Lacans notion of servitude to language are subtle, but are best understood temporally. For
Kant there is an infantile condition prior to Reason in which freedom is not a political or rational freedom, but a condition that is what Lacan
might call an articulation of wants. For
Lacan this condition is already an entertainment of reason Kantian or
otherwise that the subject assumes. Reason, prior to its performance socially, is driven. Literally.
Freedom, for Lacan is a product of a relation between the drives and language (Lacan 1977, 2006).14 The one
does not conquer the other in Kantian fashion, but language, as the articulation of sociality, is in a
condition of servitude, or, in service of the drives of the subject. The drives, as pleasure or death
(Lacan 1977: 161-87), thus produce the very texture of the Reason that Kant extols. The drives and
Reason are not only a priori but the former produces the conditions of Reason. This, however, is not the whole
story. For Kant Reason pre-exists the subject and is something one adopts, if you like. Reason is particular, however, just as the Symbolic Order,
for Lacan, or the context in which the social is articulated, provides the conditions for a particular sociality. Its particularity, again, is driven by
the baseness of infantile desire, by the drives entwined with the prohibitions of law. The
distinction between Kant and Lacan
here is temporal because Kant would privilege Reason before infantile wants, while for Lacan the wants
produce the articulation of that very Reason, or what then comes to be law. Hence, when the social is
articulated as the political and archived, in Shoshana Felmans terms, as the juridical unconscious
(2002), it assumes the violence of the drives. This context for law does not differ from the field of Reason from which a
Kantian subject is supposed to draw, or to make a rational choice.15 Indeed, this choice is defined, or driven by the trauma of the imaginary;
the very scene of the drives.
This is precisely why Lacan does not distinguish between the Marquis de Sade and
Emmanuel Kant for both their positions of absolute violence and absolute duty are a product of
the violence of the drives. The discussion of, and distinction between, a Kantian and Lacanian contemplation of subjectivity is crucial
to the question of a prior servitude to either the drives or indeed the morality of Kantian Reason. These questions are played out in the terrain
of sovereign prohibition.
Prohibition is, for Lacan, to what the imaginary refers (if not articulates).16 If not in
positivistic law, then at least in the fantasy of what prohibition signifies. The sovereigns terms can be understood as
the terms qua names of the father. The Lacanian notion of imaginary servitude refers to a service to both the
image of the father saying no, and it refers to an image that one need be prohibited from. This might
arguably be understood as what Goodrich explains as the other scene of law (Goodrich 1994: 109). This
is the Oedipal scene that evokes the pending prohibition, or at least the fear of the violence of the paternal, and arguably sovereigns, law. This
is why Lacan would say in his Seminar XI commentary on the killing of the primal father, that God is not dead God is unconscious (Lacan 1977:
59), for the killing of the primal father, performed by the brothers in the primal horde, offers them freedom to supposedly do as they please,
but not freedom to feel as they please or as Lacan would have it imagine as they please. God is unconscious because the brothers now
must produce and perform their own limits, and this they do because of unconscious guilt. Thus, their feelings (of guilt) inhabit their desires,
and hence their freedom; whether I am doing the right thing, or perhaps that I might be doing the wrong thing in the gaze of the sovereign-
representative-person evokes this guilt. This is independent of a sovereign imposition on their freedom. The
sovereign/father is not
dead but implanted, if you like. In the mode of the Lacanian Other, and from this position, defines the
subjects free choice; this is precisely why Lacan speaks of the subject in its imaginary servitude. We
might therefore say that guilt is there a priori in the liberal subject who has freedom to choose within the limits of the law, but whose choice is
now limited by not only positive laws limits, but the limits of their own desire. Notions such as not wanting or desiring to commit a crime, kill,
exploit, rape or steal from ones neighbour and therefore experiencing the general will as a product of the subjects own desires, is from this
vantage a nonsense. Not only because of mans fundamental aggressions. As Freud says: Man tries to satisfy his need for
aggression at the expense of his neighbour, to exploit his work without compensation, to use him
sexually without his consent, to appropriate his goods, to humiliate him, to inflict suffering on him, to
torture and kill him (1961: 111). But, because the desire is produced in the subjects relation with the sovereign-Other. Indeed,
because psychoanalysis cannot be said to offer a universal articulation of the subject prior to Enlightenment, this desire might
arguably be a product of precisely the Enlightenment as an antagonistic arrangement with the
sovereign. Regardless, the subjects contract with the sovereign cannot be understood to reflect the distinction between civil liberty and
natural liberty, as Rousseau would have us believe. For natural liberty is a priori civil liberty, the ubjects desire is a product of its relation with
the (dead) father qua sovereign-representative person. As Schmitt says of the subjugation enacted in Hobbes Leviathan, it is fear that brings
subjects together in order to conclude, or the accumulated anguish of individuals who fear for their lives brings about a new power, [aka the
sovereign-representative person](Schmitt 1996: 98). What remains untheorised and unanalysed, prior to psychoanalytic intervention, is the
texture of this person, and the texture of this fear. The internalised fear is subject to continuing question, and therefore so is the political status
of freedom itself in a liberal democracy.
Psychoanalysis, in its parallel engagement with the discourse of freedom
of the liberal subject, mutatis mutandis, offers some thoughts. Indeed, if Lacan is right psychoanalysis alone recognises
this knot. The sovereign Other of tomorrow The capacity of the subject to exercise what weve come to call
freedom, as speech or otherwise, is dependent on its imagined relation, or service to the father (dead or
alive) qua sovereign (representative person). This is precisely the relation which engages the imaginary servitude of the
subject. This is importantly an imaginary relation, which explains some of the contemporary fascination with the location of the sovereign and
its performance.17 The fascination with locating the sovereign mirrors the desperation to locate the codes of desirability fantasised as
emanating from the Other. The success of this endeavour is experienced, at least momentarily, as relief or enjoyment for the subject in its
service to the Other. In Goodrichs terms this is achieved by identification with the laws rhetoric; in Schmitts terms it is not incurring the
wrathful (abandoning) exceptionality of the sovereign decision; and for Rousseau it is aligning with what the sovereign will want tomorrow.
Success relies, however, on knowing the coordinates which point to s/he who decides. The
sovereign, head of state, the father
and the Lacanian Other, function for the subject in distinct but overlapping ways. The sovereign and head of
state are not collapsible. And it is in the difficulty of locating the sovereign to the subject, and its relation therewith, that psychoanalysis speaks
to. Rousseaus definitions offer a starting point for this endeavour. As he explains: [I]n the place of the individual person of each contracting
party, this act of association creates an artificial and corporate body composed of as many members as there are voters in the assembly, and by
this same act that body acquires its unity, its common ego, its life and its will ... the public person ... in its passive role is called the state, when
it/ plays an active role it is called the sovereign ... those who are associated in it take collectively the name of a people (1968: 61-2, his italic, my
underline). The common ego that Rousseau describes here is the location from which the sovereign speaks. This commonality is imagined,
however, for it is common ... where? There is no location for this presence consistently because the commonality of it dictates that it is located
where the life and will of the people are fantasised as emanating. Post the 1789 French Declaration and the instantiation of what has come
to be called, in the fashion of Michel Foucault, a disciplinary conception of power.18 The impossible locus of power: has meant not so much
that sovereignty is an outdated or meaningless concept, but simply that the sovereign becomes more difficult to identify (2006: 137). Rousseau
in 1762 saw the problematic of identification as located in the impossibility of delegation of will. He states: [S]overeignty, being nothing other
than the exercise of the general will, can never be alienated; and that the sovereign, which is simply a collective being, cannot be represented
by anything but itself power may be delegated, but the will cannot be (1968:69). Thus, the sovereign could certainly be the head of the state,
the Prime Minister, President, King, or father, but Rousseaus configuration disallows, not this possibility, but this possibility as an enduring
certainty. This is because certainty is a gesture to a future arrival, and as Rousseau contends: [W]hile it is not impossible for a private will to
coincide with the general will on some point or other, it is impossible for such a coincidence to be regular and enduring; ... The sovereign might
say: What I want is precisely what this man wants ... but no sovereign could say: What this man is going to want tomorrow I too shall want
(1968: 69-70, my emphasis). In
disallowing the certainty of a futurity to the sovereign decision Rousseau, in a
gesture prescient with the concerns of psychoanalysis, articulates the uncertainty of the psychoanalytic
subject who does not consistently know the immanent codes of the Other. Codes which offer the coordination of its
own subjectivity. Rousseaus sovereign is a product of general will, but a will which points to an (un)certain futurity of an arriving judgment. It is
an anxiety in the unconscious of the subject because, if the subject does not know the coordinates of the limiting ego qua sovereign, then it
cannot know the parameters of its freedom. The (un)certain decision The articulation of the sovereigns decision in legal speech assists, in part,
with knowing what the legal sovereign might want tomorrow. However, this certainty is not enduring. The sovereign decision is beyond the
parameters of the law articulated through the standard head of state, or indeed the prescriptions of God. These can be known, albeit arbitrarily
interpreted. It is however, the terrain of the sovereign decision articulated by Schmitt as the decision on the exception or the exceptional
case (Schmitt 1996b: 5). A decision that, while related to the Rule of Law, can overcome it arbitrarily. That is, the Rule of Law is not set over the
sovereign. This renders the subject in a condition of subjective and indeed castrative anxiety. For a concern with the sovereign who can cut,
maim, imprison or kill the subject arbitrarily is the very status of the child before the castrating parent; a parent who is always potentially
displeased. We can see the status of this exceptionality in Rousseaus explanation of the sovereigns condition in that it would be against the
very nature of a political body for the sovereign to set over itself a law which it cannot infringe (Rousseau 1968: 62). The sovereigns will cannot
be known through recourse to any law. But, because of the sovereigns will not being subject to law, or not subject to a known futurity, the
arrival of the will, as (dis)pleasure, is always already uncertain. This is of course why Schmitt offers the exceptional decisionism of sovereignty as
the sovereign is he who decides on the exception (Schmitt 1996b: 4), a configuration which re-enforces the sovereigns certainty and the
subjects lack (of it). The condition of the sovereign decision, in the same manner as the castrative function of paternal law, inaugurates two
points of conditionality for the liberal subject. First, that the decision may be exercised by a sovereign-Other and second, that at some point
in the future it will arrive beyond the known parameters of law. This is an important temporal feature of the sovereigns will (that Ill
belabour to make the psychoanalytic connection). The decision is first of all the promise of a certainty that will at least at some point
arrive, insofar as the sovereign does make effective decisions; decisions through which the subject may live or die. The originary authority of
law, articulated by Jacques Derrida (1990)19 alludes to the concern of the immanence of this decision in the subject. Laws certainty is always
potentially (newly) arriving.
The subject, however, is always uncertain about where this will will arrive, next;
but it knows the decision of the sovereign is immanent. The sovereign isnt to-come, s/he is coming. An exceptional
decision could/can/will certainly arrive. But, it is an exceptional decision which authorises the sovereign and thus provides potentially new
parameters of freedom for the subject in its relation to law; new limits if you like. The anxiety for the subject is because the sovereign, as a
product of the subjects necessary alienation, is the location of a future known, and a known imagined held by the sovereign. The importance of
this configuration for psychoanalysis is that the Other is perceived precisely to know. Lacans examinations of the relation with the
subjectsupposed-to-know suggest, mutatis mutandis that the sovereign is assumed to offer the masters discourse (Lacan 1998: 17-19); the
capacity to judge the correct mode of being for the subject. The sovereigns capacity and the subjects relation are articulated thus for
Rousseau when he states: [E]ach man alienates by the social pact only that part of his power, his goods and his liberty which is the concern of
the community; but it must also be admitted that the sovereign alone is judge of what is of such concern (1968: 74, my emphasis). Therefore,
while the subject alienates his power, his liberty as a fundamental element of a politically and socially desirable, liberal subjectivity the
sovereign does not, indeed, he cannot, alienate his power. He, like the Other, is the receptacle of this alienation, as for Lacan, he pulls the
strings. If the sovereign is not subject to the Rule and can thus impose new limits on the subjects freedom then there is nothing, for the liberal
subject, who is not under the fascist dictatorship of the primal father having killed him which secures a prior certainty of freedoms limits.
Remonstrations gesturing to the importance of the Rule of Law can then be seen as the articulation of, in part, insecurities about the
sovereigns future decision. The Rule of Law becomes the tool by which to subject the sovereign to the will of precedent or laws pedigree
(nonexceptionism) through the pretension to an originary Rule. It could also be argued that laws contemporary frenetic legislative activity,
discussed by Costas Douzinas (2000: 329) and extrapolated to the repetition of international law, by Anne Orford (2004), are attempts to
encapsulate any possible new qua exceptional decision by the sovereign. In Orfords psychoanalytic rendition of
international laws crisis of authority, repetition functions to overcome the anxiety about this lack of
knowing. Repetition, in a Lacanian frame is the exercise of never being careful enough (Lacan 1977: 61)
in an effort to capture what Lacan calls the Real. It is the Real, however, that is ever present in a
sovereign decision that one cannot know tomorrow; the Real is precisely what exceeds the Rule of Law
or, indeed, legislation. In this sense frenetic speech of law, or the attempt to capture an authorative foundation for international law
represents the possibility of thwarting the immanent decision and the unknowable Real. Locating the sovereign, suring up the
authority of an entity such as international law, or making new laws is an effort to locate the
coordinates from where the decision qua cut will come. The sovereign decision can never be set over by
any law, no matter how repetitive or how frenetic, is thus the political form of castration; the gesture
which inaugurates the Real.
2NC/1NR Sovereignty/Choice Link XT
The affs notion that individuals can make free, sovereign choices is a bad relationship
to desire. It is a fantasy that ignores the way that the symbolic sutures subjectivity
onto individuals thats 1NC Rogers. When we enter the symbolic, our discourse and
language is already value-laden with the desires of other, meaning that any notion of
free choice ignores the way that the subject is never free. <Insert examples in the
context of the aff>. This causes us to repress our primal desires to overcome the
inherent lack within ourselves which causes all of our impacts. Only traversing the
fantasy are changing our relationship to the value-ladeness of our choices and desires
allows us to better relate to our subjectivity within this world.
Impacts
2NC/1NR Death Drive Impact XT
The affs denial of the death drive has a couple of impacts
First, turns case all of our link arguments above are reasons why the affs goals are
impossible. Progress is doomed to undermine itself as we are fundamentally attracted
to its antithesis. Global capitalism is a perfect example. Its attempts to promote life
and productivity at all costs necessitate its own limits globalization inevitably leave
people behind and spawns the very act of terrorism thats triggering movements
against capitalism throughout the world. <Insert in aff specific explanation> Similarly,
security politics fail because we psychologically become dependent on threat
construction in a world where we use it. Assuming that a harmonious political order is
possible necessitates people to blame in a world where thats a fundamental
impossibility.
Second, violence utopian politics that ignores our fundamental attraction towards
loss necessitates the construction of anti-figures to exterminate. Thats 1NC
McGowan. There will always be a particularity that is seen as preventing our ultimate
enjoyment or our truly coherent community that must be exterminated. This results in
massive violence to the threats we will inevitably construct proven with the history
of Western foreign policy.
Third, value to life only the death drive makes life worth living viewing the world
threat by threat and only in terms of life denies the pleasures that the finitude of
death provides.
McGowan 13 [Todd, Assoc. Prof. of Film and Television Studies @ U. of Vermont, Enjoying What We
Dont Have: The Political Project of Psychoanalysis, pp. 223-227, RSR]

On the level of common sense, this opposition is not symmetrical. What thinking person would not want to side with
those who love life rather than death.3 Everyone can readily understand how one might love life, but the love of death is a
counterintuitive phenomenon. It seems as if it must be code language for some other desire, which is how Western leftists often view it.
Interpreting terrorist attacks as an ultimately life-affirming response to imperialism and
impoverishment, they implicitly reject the possibility of being in love with death. But this type of
interpretation can't explain why so many suicide bombers are middle-class, educated subjects and not
the most downtrodden victims of imperialist power.4 We must imagine that for subjects such as these there
is an appeal in death itself. Those who emphasize the importance of death at the expense of life do so because death is the
source of value.5 The fact that life has an end, that we do not have an infinite amount of time to experience every possibility,
means that we must value some things above others. Death creates hierarchies of value, and these
hierarchies are not only vehicles for oppression but the pathways through which what we do matters at
all. Without the value that death provides, neither love nor ice cream nor friendship nor anything that
we enjoy would have any special worth whatsoever. Having an infinite amount of time, we would have no
incentive to opt for these experiences rather than other ones. We would be left unable to enjoy what
seems to make life most worth living. Even though enjoyment itself is an experience of the infinite, an
experience of transcending the limits that regulate everyday activity, it nonetheless depends on the limits of finitude. When
one enjoys, one accesses the infinite as a finite subject, and it is this contrast that renders enjoyment enjoyable. Without
the limits of finitude, our experience of the infinite would become as tedious as our everyday lives (and in fact would become our everyday
experience). Finitude provides the punctuation through which the infinite emerges as such. The
struggle to assert the importance
of death the act of being in love with death, as bin Laden claims that the Muslim youths are is a mode of avowing
ones allegiance to the infinite enjoyment that death doesn't extinguish but instead spawns.6 This is
exactly why Martin Heidegger attacks what he sees as our modern inauthentic relationship to death. In Being and Time Heidegger sees
our individual death as an absolute limit that has the effect of creating value for us. As he puts it, "With death,
Dasein stands before itself in its ownmost potentiality-for-being. This is a possibility in which the issue is nothing less than Dasein's Being-in-the-
world.7 Without the anticipation of our own death, we flit through the world and fail to take up fully an attitude of care, the attitude most
appropriate for our mode of being, according to Heidegger. Nothing really matters to those who have not recognized the approach of their own
death. By
depriving us of an authentic relationship to death, an ideology that proclaims life as the only
value creates a valueless world where nothing matters to us. But of course the partisans of life are not
actually eliminating death itself. They simply privilege life over death and see the world in terms of life
rather than death which would seem to leave the value-creating power of death intact. But this is not
what happens. By privileging life and seeing death only in terms of life, we change the way we
experience the world. Without the mediation that death provides, the system of pure life becomes a
system utterly bereft of value.8 We can see this in the two great systems of modernity science and capitalism. Both modern
science and capitalism are systems structured around pure life.9 Neither recognizes any ontological limit
but instead continually embarks on a project of constant change and expansion. The scientific quest for
knowledge about the world moves forward without regard for humanitarian or ethical concerns, which is why ethicists incessantly try to
reconcile scientific discoveries with morality after the fact. After scientists develop the ability to clone, for instance, we realize what cloning
portends for our sense of identity and attempt to police the practice. After
Oppenheimer helps to develop the atomic
bomb, he addresses the world with pronouncements of its evil. But this rearguard action has nothing to
do with science as such. Oppenheimer the humanist is not Oppenheimer the scientist.10 The same
dynamic is visible with capitalism. As an economic system, it promotes constant evolution and change just as life itself does.
Nothing can remain the same within the capitalist world because the production of value depends on the creation of the new commodity, and
even the old commodities must be constantly given new forms or renewed in some way.11 Capitalism
produces crises not
because it can't produce enough crises of scarcity dominate the history of the noncapitalist world, not
the capitalist one but because it produces too much. The crisis of capitalism is always a crisis of overproduction. The
capitalist economy suffocates from too much life, from excess, not from scarcity or death. Both science and
capitalism move forward without any acknowledged limit, which is why they are synonymous with modernity.12 Modernity emerges with the
bracketing of death's finitude and the belief that there is no barrier to human possibility. The problem with the exclusive focus on life at the
expense of death is that it never finds enough life and thus remains perpetually dissatisfied. The limit of this project is, paradoxically,
its own infinitude. It evokes what Hegel calls the bad infinite an infinite that is wrongly conceived as having no relation at all to the
finite. We succumb to the bad infinite when we pursue an unattainable object and fail to see that the
only possible satisfaction rests in the pursuit itself. The bad infinite -the infinite of modernity- depends on a
fundamental misrecognition. We continue on this path only as long as we believe that we might attain the final piece of the puzzle,
and yet this piece is constitutively denied us by the structure of the system itself. We seek the commodity that would finally
bring us complete satisfaction, but dissatisfaction is built into the commodity structure, just as obsolescence
is built into the very fabric of our cars and computers. Like capitalism, scientific inquiry cannot find a final answer: beneath
atomic theory we find string theory, and beneath string theory we find something else. In both cases, the system prevents
us from recognizing where our satisfaction lies; it diverts our focus away from our activity and onto the goal that we pursue. In
this way, modernity produces the dissatisfaction that keeps it going. But it also produces another form of dissatisfaction that wants to arrest its
forward movement. The
further the project of modernity moves in the direction of life, the more forcefully
the specter of fundamentalism will make its presence felt. The exclusive focus on life has the effect of
producing eruptions of death. As the life-affirming logic of science and capitalism structures all societies to an increasing extent,
the space for the creation of value disappears. Modernity attempts to construct a symbolic space where there is no place for
death and the limit that death represents. As opposed to the closed world of traditional society, modernity opens up an infinite universe.14
But this infinite universe is established through the repression of finitude. Explosions of fundamentalist
violence represent the return of what modernity's symbolic structure cannot accommodate. As Lacan puts it
in his seminar on psychosis, "Whatever is refused in the symbolic order, in the sense of Verwerfung, reappears in the real.15
Fundamentalist violence is blowback not simply in response to imperialist aggression, as the leftist
common sense would have it. This violence marks the return of what modernity necessarily forecloses.
Alternative
2NC/1NR Alt Explanation
The alternative is to traverse the fantasy and embrace the death drive thats 1NC
McGowan. Traversing the fantasy is the process of changing our relationship towards
the cause of our desire. Our alternative changes the relationship to our fundamental
need by embracing that the lack within our desires is US. We subjectify the lost part of
our subjectivity that the aff seeks to fill which allows us to become desirous
individuals creatures that desire without object. This solves the entirety of our death
drive arguments. No longer do we try and externalize the loss that makes up our
subjectivity as something to be found. This prevents the worst excesses of violence.
The violence of Nazi Germany happened because the Jew was seen as the barrier to
ultimate enjoyment and perfect society. We give up on that fantasy and understand
that enjoyment stems from limits themselves. This changes everything about our
political advocacies because no longer is ultimate enjoyment found in vanquishing
external threats.
This is the best way to allow desire to circulate around itself without content to be
filled.
Sharpe, University of Melbourne, 5 [Matthew, Jacques Lacan (19011981), Internet Encyclopedia
of Philosophy, http://www.iep.utm.edu/lacweb/, RSR]
It is for this reason that Slavoj Zizek has recently drawn a parallel between it and Kant's unity of apperception in The Critique of Pure Reason. Lacan himself, in his
seminar on the logic of fantasy, strove to articulate his meaning by a revision of Descartes' famous cogito ergo sum: "I am not where I think." The key to this
formulation is the opposition between thinking and being. Lacan is saying that, at the point of my thought and speech (the subject of enunciation), there I have no
substantial being that could be known. Equally, "I am not where I think" draws out the necessary misapprehension of the nature of the subject in what s/he
enunciates. If Lacan's subject thus seems a direct psychoanalytic restatement of Sartre/Kojeve's position, however, it needs to be read in conjunction with his
doctrines concerning the "master signifier" and the "fundamental fantasy." Lacan says that master signifiers "represent the subject
for other signifiers." Given his identification of the subject with a lack of being, a first register of this
remark becomes clear. The master signifiers, as examined above, have no particular enunciated content or
signified, according to Lacan. But the Lacanian position is precisely that this lack of enunciated content is
correlative to the subject. In this way, his theorisation of the subject depends not only on a
phenomenological analysis, as (for example) Sartre's does in Being and Nothingness. If the subject is the
subject "of the lack of the signifier," Lacan means not only that it cannot be objectified at the point of its
thinking, as I examined above. The subject is---directly---something that emerges at the point of- and
because of- a lack in the field of signification, on his reckoning. This was already intimated above, in the section on the "logics
of the fantasy," which recounted Lacan's position concerning how it is that subjects develop regimes of fantasy concerning what

Others are supposed to know in order to ground their own belief in, and identification with, the master
signifiers. The point to be emphasised now is that these master signifiers, if they are to function, cannot
do without this subjective investment of fantasy. Lacan's famous claim there is no metalanguage is meant to imply only this: that
there is no field of sense that can be "quilted," and attain to a semblance of consistency, unless subjects
have invested their partial, biased perspective upon that field. This is even the final and most difficult register to what Lacan
aimed to express in the matheme: $ a. As we saw in Part 3, ii., the subject is correlative to the fantasmatically posed lost

object/referent of the master signifiers. We can now state a further level of what Lacan implied in this
matheme, though. This is that in fantasy what subjects misrecognize is not simply the non-existence of
the incestuous-maternal Thing. What subjects primordially repress is the necessity of subjects'
implication in the play of signification that has over-determined the symbolic coordinates of their lives.
The archetypal neurotic subject-position, Lacan notes, is one of victimization. It is the Others who have sinned, and not the subject. S/he has only suffered. What is
of course occluded by these considerations (which may be right or wrong from a moral or legal perspective) is how the subject has invested him/herself in the
events of his/her life. Firstly,
there is the fantasmatic investment of the subject in the "Others supposed to enjoy,"
who are supposed not to have been made to undergo the castrating losses that s/he [they] has [have]
undergone. As Lacan reads Freud's later postulation of the superego, this psychical agency is constructed around residual fantasies of the Oedipal father
supposed to have access to the sovereign jouissance of the mother's body denied to the child. Secondly, what is occluded is what Freud already theorised when he
spoke of subjects' adaption to and "gain" from their illness, as a way of organising their access to jouissance in defiance of the demands of the big Other. Even if the
subject has undergone the most frightful trauma, Lacan argues, what matters is how this trauma has come to be signified subsequently and retrospectively by the
subject around the fundamental fantasy. S/he must be made to avow that the subject-position they have taken up towards their life is something that they have
subjectified, and have an ongoing stake in. This is why, in Seminar II, Lacan quips that the injunction of psychoanalysis is mange ton dasein!- eat your existence! He
means that at the close of the analysis, the
subject should come to internalise and so surpass the way that it has so far
organised your life and relations to Others. It is this point, accordingly, that the ethics of Lacanian psychoanalysis is announced. Lacan's
name for what occurs at the end of the cure is traversing the fantasy. But since what the fantasy does,
for Lacan, is veil from the subject his/her own implication in and responsibility for how s/he experiences
the world, to traverse the fantasy is to reavow subjective responsibility. To traverse the fantasy, Lacan
theorizes, is to cease positing that the Other has taken the "lost" object of desire. It is to accept that this
object is something posited by oneself as a means to compensate for the experienced trauma of
castration. One comes to accept that castration is not an event with a winner (the father) and a loser
(the subject), but a structurally necessary factum for human-beings as such, to which all speaking
subjects have been subjected. What equally follows is the giving up of the resentful and acquisitive project of trying to reclaim the objet petit a
from the Other, and "settling the scores." This gives way to an identification with the place of this object that is at once within the fabric of the world, and yet which
stands out from it. (Note that this is one Lacanian reading of "where It was, there I shall be"). The subject who has traversed the fantasy,
for Lacan, is the subject who has not ceded on its desire. This desire is no longer fixed by the coordinates
of the fundamental fantasy. S/he is able to accept that the fully satisfying sexual object, that which would fulfil the sovereign desire of the mother,
does not exist. S/he is [They are] thus equally open to accepting that the big Other, and/or any concrete

Other supposed by the subject to be its authoritive representative(s), does not have what s/he has [they
have] "lost." Lacan puts this by saying that what the subject can now avow is that the Other does not Exist: that it,
too, lacks, and what it does and wants depends upon the interventions of the subject. The subject is,
finally, able to thereby accept that what it took to be its place in the order of the Other is not a finally
fixed thing. It can now avow without reserve that it is a lacking subject, or, as Lacan will also say, a subject of desire, but that the metonymic sliding of this
desire has no final term. Rather than being ceaselessly caught in the lure of the object-cause of desire, this desire is now free to circle around

on itself, as it were, and desire only itself, in what is a point of strange final proximity between Lacan and the Nietzcheanism he scarcely ever mentioned in his
works.