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wnewell

masocriticism WTF?

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there is a wyoming debate file that has this file called theory death. it seems in my limited knowledge of it a solid position. if anyone has any knowledge of this file or uses it a lot can you clarify its purpose and maybe some answers to it?

or maybe gives links to the book/article in which it was cut from?

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Guest svfrey

yup

i gots dat file, yo

hit me up if you still want it

my contact info is in my sig

i'll give you an explanation, to boot

 

Theory Death is cut entirely from Paul Mann's book Masocriticism

In it, he describes what he calls the "discursive economy"

(side note: before i go any further, this is meant to be used as a counter-kritik or an answer to K affs)

the gist of what he's saying is that radical criticism gets absorbed by said "economy"

when it does, it loses its radical potential and gets appropriated and/or commodified so that it can't hope to achieve anything

the special thing about this counter-k is that it's made especially for policy teams; that is, its a counter-k that actually jives with non-critical stances

i usually throw it in at the bottom of a 2AC K block, quick 45-60 second thing that teams never really answer that well...

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The answer to this seems pretty simple to me:

 

1. Not critisizing a discursive field seems like an excellent way to maintain the status quo. Not ever doing anything because you might get tooled seems terrifyingly conservative.

 

2. This argument has no impact because we're all appropriated by various discursive economies from birth on.

 

3. K proves the plan is a bad idea... Counter K assumes the framework for the round is strategies for radicalism. Instead we should understand that this is a game and we've given you a reason not to affirm the plan so you should cast a neg ballot.

 

There are carded answers to this... but why would you even need them?

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Mann is saying the avant-garde art movement died because in its struggle to become radical it became predictable since radicalism was what became expected of it. All reading this proves is that Ks are predictable neg ground.

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Guest svfrey
The answer to this seems pretty simple to me:

 

1. Not critisizing a discursive field seems like an excellent way to maintain the status quo. Not ever doing anything because you might get tooled seems terrifyingly conservative.

 

2. This argument has no impact because we're all appropriated by various discursive economies from birth on.

 

3. K proves the plan is a bad idea... Counter K assumes the framework for the round is strategies for radicalism. Instead we should understand that this is a game and we've given you a reason not to affirm the plan so you should cast a neg ballot.

 

There are carded answers to this... but why would you even need them?

 

1.

a) its not saying you should never do anything. that's why its compatible with a policy aff.

B) it is saying that we shouldn't try to change the way the system works. i guess you could say that this is "Zizek for Dummies"

2. doesnt matter. as long as there's a link to the criticism, it automatically has uniqueness, because the neg will argue that discourse matters, and therefore the aff automatically wins that there was no radicality in round before they brought it up

3. Um, no. Counter-k means that the plan is better than the K/k alt. You can attack a kritik on the same level that it operates on and still win in a policy framework. The alternative to a counter-k like this one could be "do the plan". theory death also takes out all solvency for the alternative, meaning that the K isnt a reason to reject the aff since the status quo links just as much.

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I can vouch that frey knows what hes talking about with this K...

 

This is actually well answered by any post-modernism like foucault. Foucault would argue that we are all subjects of discourse, and only by interrogating these discursive forces can we gain autonomous identities.

 

@sean "zizek for dummies"

 

Actually, yeah. Zizek makes the argument that liberals make impossible demands on the system just to retain their position of intellectual purity and power.

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1.

a) its not saying you should never do anything. that's why its compatible with a policy aff.

 

a) Right... it's just saying we should only do things within the policy framework... which is impact turned by the K. Only being able to make policy options and never K the paradigm pigeon holes you into the squo.

 

b)And any policy demand can become tooled by the discursive economy. Mann would say that even reading his criticism means it's appropriated and so would your policy demand (leftist policy demands get comodified ALL THE TIME there's no get out of being tooled free card just because you ask for a policy). Mann's actual alternative is nothing like policy debate...

 

B) it is saying that we shouldn't try to change the way the system works. i guess you could say that this is "Zizek for Dummies"

 

But your K excludes Zizek >.< Even speaking Zizek's ideas auto-condemns them to being tooled by whatever discursive economies they are introduced to. Mann's alternative is that you shouldn't even be in the forum and if you are then your role should be a hacker... neither the aff nor the neg operate in this function and THE WORST THING TO DO according to Mann is to include the theory death criticism in the forum... can you say K bites itself?

 

2. doesnt matter. as long as there's a link to the criticism, it automatically has uniqueness, because the neg will argue that discourse matters, and therefore the aff automatically wins that there was no radicality in round before they brought it up

 

a) "Radicallity"??? How are you going to justify that magically only "radicallity" (whatever the fuck that is) gets co-opted by the discursive economy? And who the fuck defines whether there was any of this "radicallity" in the round B4 the neg. If your def. of "radicallity" is the most radically different from what the forum has heard B4 then your theory death K is way more RADICAL then my Lacan K :rolleyes:

 

B) That means our interpretation that this is just a game and we're using a debate tool called the K to negate the aff is much more in sync with the covert nature that Mann calls for. You trying to explore the aspects of debate's radicalism and expose their inner functions is exactly what Mann doesn't want!

 

3. Um, no. Counter-k means that the plan is better than the K/k alt. You can attack a kritik on the same level that it operates on and still win in a policy framework. The alternative to a counter-k like this one could be "do the plan". theory death also takes out all solvency for the alternative, meaning that the K isnt a reason to reject the aff since the status quo links just as much.

 

a) cross apply from above that the inclusion of the counter K means it links to itself.

 

B) K still impact turns your case. Alt solvency becomes irrelevant once we prove that the case makes the world a worse place.

 

c) Our solvency isn't predicated on inclusion of our radicalism changing the forum like you assume. Cross-apply our interpretation that this is all a game

and we're just negating some foundational ideas of the aff. This allows the sort of covert change to take place that Mann asks for which means our interpretation solves your K, while your reading the K means you don't solve.

 

 

Underview... You realize that you're READING a criticism of reading criticisms right?

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Mann would not advocate "policy options". He advocates "intellectual terrorism" ala Baudrillard and "condensation of the real" ala Zizek; idiotic enjoyment, representing the absurdity of the real through ironic and "nihilistic" stances.

 

Paul Mann, Prof English at Pomona, 1995 “Stupid Undergrounds” PostModern Culture 5:3, Project Muse, http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/postmodern_culture/v005/5.3mann.html

 

 

There is a certain justice to giving the task for discovering the silent forms of control to those whose primary mode of operation is enormous volume. The trajectory from loud rock music to even louder industrial music (Boyd Rice/Non plays too loud even for much of the stupid club scene) to experiments in subliminal sound is continuous. There is, in a certain sense, no difference, no line between sound so loud it is all one can hear and sound so deep and pervasive it cannot be heard at all. Loud is critical. Or perhaps we should put the same matter differently: if we have taken critical to imply a certain distance, a certain non-identity with the object, loud proceeds, as the stupid underground always proceeds, in the opposite direction. Rock music, after all nothing more than the prattle of a banal hybridization of capital and adolescent (male) fantasy, becomes, in intensity, at the most extreme volume, the stupid reduction of that constructed reality, the limit of its tolerability. Critical then not through distance but, as we have seen, through proximity, through what would appear to be the most uncritical embrace. Here again Zizek is helpful: "Although functioning as a support for the totalitarian order, fantasy is then at the same time the leftover of the real that enables us to 'pull ourselves out,' to preserve a kind of distance from the socio-symbolic network. When we become crazed in our obsession with idiotic enjoyment, even totalitarian manipulation cannot reach us" (128). Zizek's example here is precisely popular music, the inane ditty that anchors the fantasy, that runs endlessly in one's head; what one wishes to add here is the criterion of force, of intensity, of sound so loud that, even though it is a cultural product from top to bottom, it nonetheless enfolds the audience and isolates it within the symbolic order. The intensity of loud drowns out the Other. It is the limit of the symbolic, its null point, experienced in the very onslaught of its signs. Perhaps we could appropriate a Lacanian term for this fantastic volume that goes beyond fantasy: the sinthome. Zizek calls it "subversive," but that, unfortunately, is to offer it to those who wannabe subversive, to see themselves seen as subversives, to be (to fantasize being) political agents in an older and ever more current sense.26 Let us nonetheless pursue the concept for a moment. Zizek:

[T]he signifier permeated with idiotic

enjoyment is what Lacan, in the last stage

of his teaching, called le sinthome.

Le sinthome is not the symptom, the coded

message to be deciphered by interpretation, but

the meaningless letter that immediately

procures jouis-sense,"enjoyment-in-meaning,"

"enjoy-meant.". . . [W]hen we take into account

the dimension of the sinthome, it is no

longer sufficient to denounce the "artificial"

character of the ideological experience, to

demonstrate the way the object experienced by

ideology as "natural" and "given" is effectively

a discursive construction. . . . What we must

do . . . on the contrary, is to isolate

the sinthome from the context by virtue of

which it exerts its power of fascination in

order to expose the sinthome's utter

stupidity. . . . [it] produces a distance not

by locating the phenomenon in its historical

totality, but by making us experience the utter

nullity of its immediate reality, of its stupid,

material presence that escapes "historical

mediation" . . . . t is a little piece of the

real attesting to the ultimate nonsense of the

universe, but insofar as this object allows us

to condense, to locate, to materialize the

nonsense of the universe in it, insofar as the

object serves to represent this nonsense, it

enables us to sustain ourselves in the midst of

inconsistency . . . . (LA 128-29, 134-35)

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Good call Mezriss...

 

Also to svfrey... If you're thinking about trying to respond to my post I would ask you to read the article posted by Mezriss and also The Nine Grounds of Intellectual Warfare by Mann... I believe these two pieces are a pre-req that you must tackle in order for us to have a meaningful discussion in the same league (if you will) on this issue.

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Carded answers is spending too much time answering it if you ask me. The key point that will win in and of itself is that they are bringing a kritik to the forum that states that we shouldn't bring kritiks to the forum...

 

If you want cards I would suggest cutting Mann himself son why policy doesn't agree. Read his articles for a good understanding of his arg. It's worth reading even if you never hit this arg. (Keep in mind that he butchers DnG, in my opinion).

 

As for other authors try Deleuze and Guattari arguments about including oneself in the forum and becoming commodified in some fashion so that you can modestly tip the forum towards liberating ideas.

 

Any left pushes center argument answers back the warrants of this arg (which are that the center paints the left as left to keep them at arms length). Left pushes center means that, if the center keeps "moderate" in juxtiposition to the commodified radicals, we must move further and harder to the left, which will pull the center further to the left too (I don't know why we call this arg left pushes center... it's always seemed more like left pulls center to me); if democrats are the left, then the center is far more right wing then if the socialists are the left, in which case the center is further to the left. (Think about the difference between what being a centrist means in Saudi Arabia vs. what being a centrist means in England).

 

Another good argument is that even if the radicals are commodified, any alternative that the judge could embrace would necessarily involve excluding radicals from the forum and shaming radicals for speaking in the discursive economy. Butler writes a good card about how this censorship is a pretty bad thing... Another good arg is that it turns their impacts because the discursive economy can simply exclude criticism with the argument that it would just get commodified anyway (theory death is like the ultimate "wrong forum" argument... which should be the way you paint it to the judge btw.) The K then becomes a disad to the counter K because it can never be included in any discursive economy, precluding it ever changing anything.

 

Get some Kulynich (is that the name's spelled?) cards about how agency is created in the very action of performance and dissent. They might come in handy answering some aff responses about how "agency is X" and then you plop down your cards that say "no agency is Y."

 

I probably forgot some answers because I'm forgetful. I blame having read The Shortest Shadow by Zupancic but I forgot why...

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Carded answers is spending too much time answering it if you ask me. The key point that will win in and of itself is that they are bringing a kritik to the forum that states that we shouldn't bring kritiks to the forum...

 

What? That is a terrible argument.

 

He doesn't argue that his criticism needs to stay 'underground' in order to function. Rather, he claims that some movements claim to 'gain-power' from being 'underground' but ultimately result in becoming main-stream trends.

 

It's like being emo. You're so 'anti-establishment' that you relegate yourself to some alternative aesthetic...only to have that become the aesthetic of the establishment itself.

 

The underground is no longer underground. Movements can't be effective by gaining power from their difference, or resistance to commodification.

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What? That is a terrible argument.

 

He doesn't argue that his criticism needs to stay 'underground' in order to function. Rather, he claims that some movements claim to 'gain-power' from being 'underground' but ultimately result in becoming main-stream trends.

 

It's like being emo. You're so 'anti-establishment' that you relegate yourself to some alternative aesthetic...only to have that become the aesthetic of the establishment itself.

 

The underground is no longer underground. Movements can't be effective by gaining power from their difference, or resistance to commodification.

 

It's a good argument against the way Mann was articulated by svfrey. Since I believe that the argument svfrey made (and that I was answering) is so totally divorced from what Mann argues I don't think that I should have any problem with being told my argument doesn't respond to someone it wasn't ever intended to respond to. :)

 

That being said, you have provided a much better way to run Mann in a round. I still don't think that the aff solves Mann though (even though it's a much closer debate given your argument as apposed to svfrey's). Many of the remarks Mann makes in The Nine Grounds of Intellectual Warfare make me think that he would, in fact, lean neg on this issue. The Neg is much more often identical to the "hackers" in the system which he outlines as having a positive effect because they act within the system and use its own appropriated forms (kritiks in this instance) in order to stir things up. Given his writings in this essay, I would say your argument links much better to those that no longer participate in debate because they are "opposed to it," in your words an "alternative aesthetic." We, the negative, are clearly in the same aesthetic... we're playing the game. We're not claiming real world solvency. Just negating the aff.

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Can anyone hook me up with the mann file? I already have the essays available for free on the internet.

 

It's for personal enjoyment as I'm no longer a debater :)

 

gl [dot] felt [at] gmail [dot] com

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Guest svfrey

i'll email it to you later tonight

since my school's wireless internet is pms-ing and refuses to work right now

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i'll email it to you later tonight

since my school's wireless internet is pms-ing and refuses to work right now

 

LIAR!

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Guest svfrey
I am eternally grateful for the email you forwarded me containing the mann k. I really appreciate it!

 

 

fixed

;)

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