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EveBYoung

Rorty and Answers

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Using the search function I found a lot of reference to Rorty (as well as reference as to how every team in the world has a ton of answers to him...oops) but I didn't find any of the actual lit. I've never hit this perm, but I would love it if someone could post it, and also if anyone would post their answers to it (although I plan on looking for my own as well.) Thanks.

 

-Rett

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Go to U of chicago website here http://ceda-ndt.uchicago.edu/files.htm and look for their answer to rorty...the file is actually meant to be a standalone K to be run out of the 2nc after kickin the orginal K...but the cards in there are pretty good answers to rorty's generic(for the most part) arguments

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Political disengagement doesn’t mean the national public sphere goes away, it means it will be dominated by the far-right and collapse into fascism, causing wars and tyranny

 

Rorty 98 (Richard, Stanford Philosophy Professor, Achieving Our Country, pp. 87-94)

If the formation of hereditary castes continues unimpeded, and if the pressures of globalization create such castes not only in the United States but in all the old democracies, we shall end up in an Orwellian world. In such a world, there may be no supernational analogue of Big Brother, or any official creed analogous to Ingsoc. But there will be an analogue of the Inner Party—namely, the international, cosmopolitan super-rich. They will make all the important decisions. The analogue of Orwell’s Outer Party will be educated, comfortably off, cosmopolitan professionals—Lind’s “overclass,” the people like you and me. The job of people like us will be to make sure that the decisions made by the Inner Party are carried out smoothly and efficiently. It will be in the interest of the international super-rich to keep our class relatively prosperous and happy. For they need people who can pretend to be the political class of each of the individual nation-states. For the sake of keeping the proles quiet, the super-rich will have to keep up the pretense that national politics might someday make a difference. Since economic decisions are their prerogative, they will encourage politicians, of both the Left and the Right, to specialize in cultural issues.7 The aim will be to keep the minds of the proles elsewhere—to keep the bottom 75 percent of Americans and the bottom 95 percent of the world’s population busy with ethnic and religious hostilities, and with debates about sexual mores. If the proles can be distracted from their own despair by media-created psuedo-events, including the occasional brief and bloody war, the super-rich will have little to fear. Contemplation of this possible world invites two responses from the Left. The first is to insist that the inequalities between nations need to be mitigatedand, in particular, that the Northern Hemisphere must share its wealth with the Southern. The second is to insist that the primary responsibility of each democratic nation-state is to its own least advantaged citizens. These two responses obviously conflict with each other. In particular, the first response suggests that the old democracies should open their borders, whereas the second suggests that they should close them.8 The first response comes naturally to academic leftists, who have always been internationally minded. The second response comes naturally to members of trade unions, and to the marginally employed people who can most easily be recruited into right-wing populist movements. Union members in the United States have watched factory after factory close, only to reopen in Slovenia, Thailand, or Mexico. It is no wonder that they see the result of international free trade as prosperity for managers and stockholders, a better standard of living for workers in developing countries, and a very much worse standard of living for American workers. It would be no wonder if they saw the American leftist intelligentsia as on the same side of the managers and stockholders—as sharing the same class interests. For we intellectuals, who are mostly academics, are ourselves quite well insulated, at least in the short run, from the effects of globalization. To make things worse, we often seem more interested in the workers of the developing world than in the fate of our fellow citizens. Many writers on socioeconomic policy have warned that the old industrialized democracies are heading into a Weimar-like period, one in which populist movements are likely to overturn constitutional governments. Edward Luttwak, for example, has suggested that fascism may be the American future. The point of his book The Endangered American Dream is that members of labor unions, and unorganized unskilled workers, will sooner or later realize that their government is not even trying to prevent wages from sinking or to prevent jobs from being exported. Around the same time, they will realize that suburban white-collar workers—themselves desperately afraid of being downsized—are not going to let themselves be taxed to provide social benefits for anyone else. At that point, something will crack. The nonsuburban electorate will decide that the system has failed and start looking around for a strongman to vote for—someone will assure them that, once he is elected, the smug bureaucrats, tricky lawyers, overpaid bond salemen, and postmodernist professors will no longer be calling the shots. A scenario like that of Sinclair Lewis’ novel It Can’t Happen Here may then be played out. For once such a strongman takes office, nobody can predict what will happen. In 1932, most of the predictions made about what would happen if Hindenburg named Hitler chancellor were wildly overoptimistic. One thing that is very likely to happen is that the gains made in the past forty years by black and brown Americans, and by homosexuals, will be wiped out. Jocular contempt for women will come back into fashion. The words “nigger” and “kike” will once again be heard in the workplace. All the sadism which the academic Left has tried to make unacceptable to its students will come flooding back. All the resentment which badly educated Americans feel about having their manners dictated to them by college graduates will find an outlet. But such a renewal of sadism will not alter the effects of selfishness. For after my imagined strongman takes charge, he will quickly make peace with the international superrich, just as Hitler made with the German industrialists. He will invoke the glorious memory of the Gulf War to provoke military adventures which will generate short-term prosperity. He will be a disaster for the country and the world. People will wonder why there was so little resistance to his evitable rise. Where, they will ask, was the American Left? Why was it only rightists like Buchanan who spoke to the workers about the consequences of globalization? Why could not the Left channel the mounting rage of the newly dispossesed? It is often said that we Americans, at the end of the twentieth century, no longer have a Left. Since nobody denies the existence of what I have called the cultural Left, this amounts to an admission that that Left is unable to engage in national politics. It is not the sort of the Left which can be asked to deal with the consequences of globalization. To get the country to deal with those consequences, the present cultural Left would have to transform itself by opening relations with the residue of the old reformist Left, and in particular with the labor unions. It would have to talk much more about money, even at the cost of talking less about stigma. I have two suggestions about how to effect this transition. The first is that the Left should put a moratorium on theory. It should try to kick its philosophy habit. The second is that the Left should try to mobilize what remains of our pride in being Americans. It should ask the public to consider how the country of Lincoln and Whitman might be achieved. In support of my first suggestion, let me cite a passage from Dewey’s Reconstruction in Philosophy in which he expresses his exasperation with the sort of sterile debate now going on under the rubric of “individualism versus communitarianism.” Dewey thought that all discussions which took this dichotomy seriously suffer from a common defect. They are all committed to the logic of general notions under which specific situations are to be brought. What we want is light upon this or that group of individuals, this or that concrete human being, this or that special institution or social arrangement. For such a logic of inquiry, the traditionally accepted logic substitutes discussion of the meaning of concepts and their dialectical relationships with one another. Dewey was right to be exasperated by sociopolitical theory conducted at this level of abstraction. He was wrong when he went on to say that ascending to this level is typically a rightist maneuver, one which supplies “the apparatus for intellectual justifications of the established order.”9 For such ascents are now more common on the Left than on the Right. The contemporary academic Left seems to think that the higher your level of abstraction, the more subversive of the established order you can be. The more sweeping and novel your conceptual apparatus, the more radical your critique. When one of today’s academic leftists says that some topic has been “inadequately theorized,” you can be pretty certain that he or she is going to drag in either philosophy of language, or Lacanian psychoanalysis, or some neo-Marxist version of economic determinism. Theorists of the Left think that dissolving political agents into plays of differential subjectivity, or political initiatives into pursuits of Lacan’s impossible object of desire, helps to subvert the established order. Such subversion, they say, is accomplished by “problematizing familiar concepts.” Recent attempts to subvert social institutitons by problematizing concepts have produced a few very good books. They have also produced many thousands of books which represent scholastic philosophizing at its worts. The authors of these purportedly “subversive” books honestly believe that the are serving human liberty. But it is almost impossible to clamber back down from their books to a level of abstraction on which one might discuss the merits of a law, a treaty, a candidate or a political strategy. Even though what these authors “theorize” is often something very concrete and near at hand—a curent TV show, a media celebrity, a recent scandal—they offer the most absract and barren explanations imaginable. These futile attempts to philosophize one’s way into political relevance are a symptom of what happens when a Left retreats from activism and adopts a spectatorial approach to the problems of its country. Disengagement from practice produces theoretical hallucinations. These result in an intellec- tual environment which is, as Mark Edmundson says in his book Nightmare on Main Street, Gothic. The cultural Left is haunted by ubiquitous specters, the most frightening of which is called "power." This is the name of what Edmund- son calls Foucault's "haunting agency, which is everywhere and nowhere, as evanescent and insistent as a resourceful spook."10

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the funny thing is, none of the debaters ever seem to have the file put out by rorty that says that his theories are not a play toy and that debaters should not use his years of expierence in his writings to argue something they have little to no insight on, so prankster and Rett, hopefully you guys will find this answer, it will ruin any team who uses Rorty out of the 2nc or in their Framework, good luck

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the funny thing is, none of the debaters ever seem to have the file put out by rorty that says that his theories are not a play toy and that debaters should not use his years of expierence in his writings to argue something they have little to no insight on, so prankster and Rett, hopefully you guys will find this answer, it will ruin any team who uses Rorty out of the 2nc or in their Framework, good luck

 

there probably should be more substance to the debate than "Rorty doesn't want to be used in debate therefore you lose". That just seems to be a cop out that provides no reason as to why the Rorty argument is actually wrong unless, of course, Rorty actually claimed that he was wrong...

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@Ready, more or less, his claim with the statement he makes is a lot like Spanos and Imperialism....if you have not been studying this as long as I have you should not try to change the intent and idea i brought forth to win you a competition.

 

Basically saying that, the evidence and the ideas behind his claims have to be sited first, and then you must maintain his theory in full, no "cutting" or paraphrasing it

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