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Rhizome

a simple introduction to kritiks

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“The State is not a monster that gets up in the middle of the night and kills Americans in order to kill terrorists. It is ontologically unstable. The very concepts of Solvency, Harms and Inherency are all suspect by their very nature”

 

Welcome to the world of critiques. We should first ask “what is a critique”?

 

A critique is questioning our unquestioned approach to self-practices whether those practices are political, ontological or ethical. The keyword here is approach. When we debate there are two things we do: research and teach. We often become individuals who invest in a mindset that research is what produces the best debates (The world will end without dire political reform...Social Security NEEDS to be privatized to save the economy....China totally hates America.....Space needs to be explored...etc) ignore the actual teaching aspect of debate (and I don’t mean just our debate teachers....). This aspect, even if unpopular, is still a CRITICAL aspect of debate because it allows a new focus on education and interpretation of resolutional calls of action (Go fix Africa, Poor people are poor and while you’re at it why don’t you withdraw from Iraq) because of the inherent relationship between identity and knowledge. You see - nothing is final. The 1AC is not an objective set of value-claims nor is the resolution. It is self-performing: it only has value in how we perceive it. Identity of is in a constant state of flux: US-Sino relations are constantly changing for example. It is our duty to understand that...

 

Now that we understand the premise of a critique I guess we have to start making the K shell, huh? We have a few things we need to prove: (1) what did they [un]consciously do, (2)Why is that important, (3) Why is that important in relation to the affirmative and (4) what to do about it.

 

So, how do we set this up? Well that little ‘prep time thing’ between speeches should be used in establishing a solid link between what you are saying and what they implied. (I will be using a traditional security critique here as my example)...

 

Aff: We Should treat Iran like dumb-dumbs and be mean to them

Neg: Why?

Aff: Because they are a threat pointed our in our first contention: Iran is a threat

Neg: Why?

Aff: Because they hate us?

Neg: Why?

Aff: Because of mutual hatred pointed out by our Fergucrat in 10 evidence

Neg: Why?

Aff: Because they are a threat to our national security

Neg: Why?

Aff: Because they are a threat to us

 

Simple question pose a unique area of problematization that you can take advantage of: the problems inherent in realist security politics. No matter what we do: we are constantly creating the harm scenarios the 1AC envisions. There is nothing fundamental that establishes US-Iran relations as a threat to national security. We mark Iran as a threat and in doing so create a rigged game on constant danger because Iran is ‘always dangerous’ to us. Am I saying the harms don’t exist? No - just that they are subjective.

 

So -- the critique starts off by indicting this very stupid notion that ‘Identity is static’ (which can change between national identity to political identity and so forth) creates binary relationships that feed off each other. Simplistic questions related to ‘Should we Act?’ ‘Is the Squo bad’ have already been answered because our solutions have came before the problem. Their harms are not descriptive but NORMATIVE because we’ve already found the solution!

 

This often allows you to argue that your ontological questions DO come first because who we are and how we teach defines what to teach and what we are and the solutions attached TO those ideas. This is often the ‘problem/solution’ mentality that people indict (Everyone from Spanos to Lacan to fucking Zizek). To put in policy terms that you can understand: it means that you control not only perception solvency but tangible solvency as well.

 

Now - because identity is based on repetition and not being reconfigured and viewed in a different light (Deleuze goes into great detail on this as does Butler/Campbell) we can assume that the affirmatives methodology will be copied (thus not the original). Baudrillard talks about this philosophical concept in his book ‘Simulacra and Simulation’ but it actually comes from Plato’s view of dual-image making: The first is the original, the second is distorted to make the first look ‘more original’ and appear correct to its viewers. As such Identity is a repetition of nothingness which means no identity is actually being represented which is why the affirmatives harms, solvency and inherency should all be, at the very least, be suspect and at very worse, be ignored. This is why many authors believe that instead of the world is naturally peaceful with little chaos that the world actually is chaotic by nature.

 

As such - it means that despite our enlivened rhetoric of war that happens from the status quo its that view that produces war (or at least the methodological mindset for war). Ignornace of how we relate to the world and how that relation is constantly changing is why we perfect and desire stability. Jenny Edkins says “In the west we like to know and if we don’t know we pretend to know”. That’s the killer shot against the aff: WE DON’T KNOW! Time is constant flux - the past was the future at one point and as such it changes based on individual views. Our desire to perfect imperfection is the desire for war, genocide and kinky sex (Lacan called that ‘Jouisance’ - the act of cuming).

 

As such - reflexive criticism that focuses inward rather than outward is what works. The negative is now a new identity that can at least give the aff a run for their money. Permutations? Well, that again would just be another distorted reality to make the original look better (ironic given the ‘topical cp’s justfy an aff ballot’ theory shells that go around).

 

With that said here are the 6 things you need to know:

 

(!)Heidegger might have been a nazi but he was at least cute.

(2)Nietzsche actually died of a brain disease because he ate a baby

(3)Foucault was Deleuze’s lover

(4)Realism NEVER solves

(5)Micro and Macro political action is stupid - that’s why you’re critiquing them in the first place.

(6)The affirmative is NOT.A.NEGATIVE.ACTION.

 

I think that answers a lot of questions novices have about critiques and how to understand and start to write them. Feedback is welcome...

Edited by Rhizome

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I feel like the one thing that would be the most helpful to novices would be an explanation of some of the terms you're using ("identity," "normative," etc). I know in my novice year I wouldn't have understood any of this.

 

Also, lol @ the Deleuze/Foucault thing.

 

Also also, how is it not a negative state action/how will Ks get around that argument next year?

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I feel like the one thing that would be the most helpful to novices would be an explanation of some of the terms you're using ("identity," "normative," etc). I know in my novice year I wouldn't have understood any of this.

 

Also, lol @ the Deleuze/Foucault thing.

 

Also also, how is it not a negative state action/how will Ks get around that argument next year?

 

Instead of the state securitizing, the state will be pulling out its military presence.

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Instead of the state securitizing, the state will be pulling out its military presence.

 

No shit, Sherlock. But Tommy's smarter than you, and I'd like to see what he thinks about this.

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If the aff dodges the link to your security based DA's, they probably link to your masking links. If not, win the DA.

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I feel like the one thing that would be the most helpful to novices would be an explanation of some of the terms you're using ("identity," "normative," etc). I know in my novice year I wouldn't have understood any of this.

 

That’s true.

 

So I guess we should do some more explaining....

 

Lets start with some basics:

 

Identity: In K debates we will hear ‘identity’ being used a lot but, like Dustin said above, we always don’t know what that means. In K debates its used in almost in a very Heideggerian terms. He uses the term ‘Dasein’ which is a German word translated as ‘Being-there/here’. However, It’s not translated very often in critical literature. Heidegger uses this term as a synonym for ‘Human being’. Dasein thus refers to a human that is familiar with their world. There is a huge discussion on this word alone because of its many meanings but in reference to Identity this is where we stop. Delueze, Heidegger, Zizek, Nietzche, Campbell and many authors all talk about the reference of identity and how it relates to their field.

 

Normative: Often used by debaters as a reference to normative statements that affirm how things ought to be, value to things, are things good or bad or right or wrong? They are very often contrasted with dualistic meanings (this is wrong/you are right/etc.). Normative statements are often action-centric statements (the resolution is an action-centric statement for example).

 

I’ll define more words as users have questions in relation to my article or K’s in general.

 

Also also, how is it not a negative state action/how will Ks get around that argument next year?

 

Outside of masking links you need to realize that the aff still mainstreams their aff to the current world of view that you critique. They can’t springboard criticism out of blue - they NEED to be a full on critical approach (Which you authors will talk about). Some examples:

 

For security k’s they STILL use this mentality (look at their harms scenarios for example).

Capitalism LOVES looking good. They like making friends out of the military. Your focus will be on the neoliberal aspect of the k.

Military eliminating militarism? Yeah...right

Nietzsche will link because they think aff has intrisinic value....also they saved babies.

Spanos is just begging to be ran - he loves the idea of ‘good military’.

 

If you really have a question to a position just ask and Ill just tell you the link.

 

 

Edited by Rhizome
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Also also, how is it not a negative state action/how will Ks get around that argument next year?

 

Tommy gave a good enough answer to this but I want to stress something - negative state action args against Ks like security are kinda just stupid. The negative is not critiquing you because you go to war -- very few people read plans like that -- their K is of a certain discourse that you adopt within the 1AC, in this case notions like there are entities in the world that we can know and evaluate as threats, etc. Reducing military presence doesn't seem to do anything about that.

 

I think this is a separate issue from dumb "masking" links I keep seeing suggested on this forum. Masking arguments boil down to "doing good things through the state provides cover for it to do bad things." While this argument can be useful, it's basically a glorified state link, which many judges don't find compelling - sure, read it as a disad to the perm, but you should probably have something with a bit more pizazz than "reading a plan text means they can't link turn."

 

Also, to win negative state action arguments, you have to win that the plan text matters. If they have a compelling link story and are winning a risk that discourse shapes practice or whatever, that is probably enough to overcome your neg state action.

 

Basically, if you want to link turn, don't read war scenarios... or link turn with more nuance than "plan action isn't that bad"

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This thread is a good idea.

 

However, I don't know how a Heideggarian conception of identity tells us except it **might** suggest that identity is fluid.

 

I think a simpler explanation of identity might be helpful.

 

I think definition of terms might be helpful (representations, framework, epistemology, ontology, role playing, social construction of reality, and the personal is political). Also, isolating the core debate on the framework debate...(someone from whitney young did this on another thread).

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(2)Nietzsche actually died of a brain disease because he ate a baby[/color][/font]

 

He died from pneumonia and a stroke...

 

And he NEVER actually ate babies.

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If you want to learn about kritiks, make sure to first read Kant's Critique of Pure Reason.

 

Maybe. I'd say read Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics first before COPR but that's me.

 

Also, it's not as necessary as people think. With the advent of the internet it's very easy to simply looking random information up.

 

However, I don't know how a Heideggarian conception of identity tells us except it **might** suggest that identity is fluid.

 

I want you to tell me an example of critiquing identity that is Heideggarian in nature...in fact, whenever ID politics is talked about its a question of static or fluid identity....

 

I think a simpler explanation of identity might be helpful.

 

It already is pretty simple...

 

I think definition of terms might be helpful (representations, framework, epistemology, ontology, role playing, social construction of reality, and the personal is political). Also, isolating the core debate on the framework debate...(someone from whitney young did this on another thread).

 

Word. Working on it.

 

He died from pneumonia and a stroke...

 

And he NEVER actually ate babies.

 

Jokes are funny.

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