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West is Best?

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Anyone have a west is best file?

 

Why do you need a file? It's common knowledge; anybody who says otherwise in a debate round shall be smitten. ;)

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you'll have to transcribe it or find one of it but this should work for some evidence... btw this is not a rick roll i swear to god

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West Good: This Round Key

 

West good: not perfect, but comparatively better for happiness and freedom. Even if they win their framework of being intellectuals, we must celebrate and teach Western values in this debate round for Western civilization to survive

Kors, ’01 – Prof history @ U Penn (Summer 2001, Alan, American Foreign Relations, “America and the West: Triumph Without Self Belief”, pg. 354-355)

The fruits of that civilization have been an unprecedented ability to modify the remediable causes of human suffering, to give great agency to utility and charity alike; to give to each individual a degree of choice and freedom unparalleled in ail of human history; to offer a means of overcoming the station in life to which one was born by the effort of one's labor, mind, and will. A failure to understand and to teach that accomplishment would be its very betrayal. To the extent that Western civilization survives, then, the hope of the world survives to eradicate unnecessary suffering; to speak a language of human dignity, responsibility, and rights linked to a common reality: to minimize the depredations of the irrational, the unexamined, the merely prejudicial in our lives: to understand the world in which we find ourselves, and. moved by interest and charity, to apply that knowledge for good. The contest, then, is between the realists and the antirealists, and the triumph of the West ultimately depends on its outcome. The failure to assess the stakes of the struggle between the West and its communist adversary always came from either a pathological self-hatred of one's own world or at the least, from a gross undervaluation of what the West truly represented in the history of mankind. The West has altered the human relationship to nature from one of fatalistic helplessness to one of hopeful mastery. It has made possible a human life in which biological atavism, might be replaced by cultural value, the rule of law, individuation, and growing tolerance. It also created an intellectual class irrationally devoted to an adversarial stance. That adversarial view of the West, in the past generation at least, had become a neo-Gramscian and thus nee-Marxist one in which the West was seen as an unparalleled source of the arbitrary assignment of restrictive and life-stultifying roles. The enemies of the West—for some, in practice; for others, increasingly in the ideal—represented an active make-believe that supposedly cast grave doubt upon the West's claim of enhancing freedom, dignity, and opportunity. With the triumph of the West in reality, and with the celebration of Marxism and the Third World shown more and more to have been truly delusional, the adversarial intellectual class appears to be retreating into ideologies and philosophies that deny the very concept of reality itself. One sees this in the growing strength in the humanities and social sciences of critical theories that view all representations of the world as mere text and fiction. When the world of fact can be twisted to support this or that side of delusion (as in astrology or parapsychology'), pathology tries to appropriate what it can of the empirical. When the world of fact manifestly vitiates the very foundations of pathological delusion, then it is the claim of facticity or reality per se that must be denied. This is what we now may expect: the world having spoken, the intellectual class, the left academic wing of it above all, may appropriate a little postcommunist chaos to show how merely relative a moral good the defeat of Stalin's heirs has been. If it does so, however, it will assail the notion of reality itself. In Orwell's 1984, it was the mark of realistic, totalitarian power to make its subjects say that all truth was not objective but political—"a social construction,'' as intellectuals would say now—and that, in the specific case, 2 + 2 = 5. By 2004, making students in the humanities and social sciences grant the equivalent of 2 + 2 = 5 will be the goal of adversarial culture. They will urge that all logical—and, one should add, inferential—inductive truths from experience are arbitrary, mere social constructions. The West Has Indeed Sur ived—So Far The ramifications of that effort will dominate the central debates of the humanities in the generation to come. Until there is a celebration and moral accounting of the historical reality of "The Triumph of the West," that "triumph" will be ephemeral indeed. Academic culture has replaced the simplistic model that all culture was functional, a model that indeed could not account for massive discontents or revolutionary change, let alone for moral categories, by the yet more astonishing and absurd model that virtually all culture is dysfunctional. Whole disciplines now teach that propositions are to be judged by their therapeutic value rather than by their inductive link to evidence until, in the final analysis, feeling good about saying something determines the truth-value of what is said. Understanding human weakness, however, the West has always believed that it is precisely when we want to believe something self-gratifying that we must erect barriers of experiment, rigor, and analysis against our self-indulgence and our propensity for self-serving error. The human ability to learn from experience and nature, so slighted in current humanistic theory, is not merely an object of cultural transmission, let alone of social control, but an evolutionary triumph of the species, indeed, a triumph on which our future ultimately depends. There is nothing more desperate than helplessness, and there is no more inveterate cause of helplessness than the inability to affect and mitigate the traumas of our lives. If the role of both acquired knowledge and the transmission and emendation of the means of acquiring knowledge is only a "Western" concern, then it is a Western concern upon which human fate depends. In the current academic climate of indoctrination, tendentiousness, and fantasy, the independence of critical intellect and the willingness to learn open-mindedly from experience of a reality independent of the human will are the greatest hopes of our civilization. Has Western civilization survived? That is, has a human relationship to the world based upon the assumption of a knowable reality-, reason, and a transcendent value of human dignity and responsibility survived? Has a will to know oneself and the world objectively survived? Has a recognition of human depravity and the need to limit the power of men over men survived? I do not think that free men and women will abandon that hard-won shelter from chaos, ignorance, parochial tribalism, irrationalism, and, ultimately, helplessness. Has Western civilization survived, its principle of reality justified and intact? Yes, indeed, though it requires constant defense. The demand for perfection is antinomian, illogical, and empirically absurd. The triumph of the West is flawed but real. While everyone else around you weeps, recall Alexander Ushakov and celebrate the fall of the Soviet threat as he celebrated the fall of Grenada. Then recall how everything depends on realism in our understanding, and rejoin the intellectual struggle.

West Inevitable: Knowledge Production

 

 

West inevitable: resilient and constantly produces new and better forms of knowledge production to respond to crises

Kors, ’01 – Prof history @ U Penn (Summer 2001, Alan, American Foreign Relations, “America and the West: Triumph Without Self Belief”, pg. 348-349)

The view that Western civilization has ended has had various incarnations, with the most sensitive souls of many epochs imagining themselves to be the last bearers of the Western torch. One needs perspective in such things. The question, in many ways, was more compelling when Athens fell: when Christian Rome was sacked by barbarians: when the Norsemen ravaged settled Europe when feudal warlords reigned unchecked; when, at the end of the first millennium, all signs indicated a divine disfavor that seemed to presage the end of the world when the Black Death of the fourteenth century left, soul and society without mooring. Indeed, imagine the question posed to Catholic and Protestant apologists of the sixteenth century, viewing each other’s religion as the Antichrist and seeing Western Christendom rent first in two and then into a multitude of competing sects. How fragile, if not spent. The Nest seemed during, the religious civil wars culminating in the devastation of the Thirty Years' War. There were lamentations in profusion during the Terror of the French Revolution and the decades of revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars that followed, and again, with gravitas. There were the inward and outward sermons on the West uttered on the slaughterfields of World War 1, and at Auschwitz, and in the gulag. The West is resilient beyond all seeming possibility, and something gives it that resiliency. The West has survived its barbarianswithout and—more dreadful yet—its own barbaric offspring within. If it could outlast Attila the Hun and the armed ideologies of the Third Reich and Stalin's Russia, it surely can outlast Jacques Derrida, Stanley Fish, and Michel Foucault. At each moment of seeming dissolution, there were diverse profound voices that compellingly analyzed the depths to which we had fallen: the almost infinite remove we were from any light: the loss of something that we never could recover—and yet the West survived. There was something about its mind and spirit. Greece fell, but its philosophers conquered the minds of the Romans who conquered its soil, and its conceptual categories still organize our understanding of reality and knowledge. Rome fell, but its language became the lingua franca and thus the definitional universe of Christendom, while its history became the great drama by which to understand the glory and the baseness of political life. The barbarian tribes believed that they had conquered Rome, but Rome in greater part had conquered them. Their descendants called their realm the Holy Roman Empire, terms that were not, until much later, bereft of meaning. When the Norsemen came, learning fled to monasteries, and that learning and even those monasteries eventually conquered the Norse, whose Norman descendants in Britain founded universities that live to this day. It is the last thing that any frightened monk taking desperate shelter in the eighth century ever could have imagined. The Thirty Years' War seemed to sensitive and moral observers the end of civilization, but its battles are mostly forgotten, and what is it that remains of the seventeenth century? Bacon, Galileo, Descartes, Hobbes, Pascal, Bayle, Boyle, Fenelon, Harvey, Huyghens, Newton, Locke. Louis XIV is a tourist attraction at Versailles: his wars changed precious little. The conceptual revolution of the West, however, changed a great deal in that same century. It arose from the very dynamics of the West's models of learning-disputation, accounting for appearances, refining inductive and deductive logic-now linked to expanded education and printing. What happened in the minds of the graduates of Europe's Christian universities changed the human relationship to nature, to knowledge, to the rights of inquiry and conscience, and to political and economic life. The Christian West kept the traditions of the Greek mind alive, and thus, through its own debates, it overthrew the presumptive authority of the past in matters of natural knowledge and its application. The West believed that we were not cast fatally adrift in this world, but that we could learn new things and that we could alter the sorry scheme of experience closer to the heart's desire for knowledge, order, and well-being. It was not Faust, who dreamed of occult knowledge that would make him a demigod, but Bacon, who commanded that knowledge proceed from humility and charity, who becarne the prophet of the great scientific revolution of the West. Louis XIV is a statue; Bacon is a living force wherever the West touches minds.

 

AT: West Exclusive

 

 

Enlightenment/Western values aren’t exclusive to Western peoples or universal – multiple historical examples

Bronner 4

Stephen Eric, Professor of Political Science and Comparative Literature at Rutgers University, “Reclaiming the Enlightenment” Columbia University Press p. 31-32

The belief that enlightenment values are somehow intrinsically “western” is surely parochial and most likely racist. Just as money, the division of labor, and class conflict can be found in precapitalist cultures like Egypt, Greece, and Rome, so is it the case that liberal and cosmopolitan values usually identified with western thinking in general and the Enlightenment in particular were expressed in any number of nonwestern societies—including the three great civilizations of India, China, and Islam40—by religious figures like Mohammed and the Buddha; political leaders from Cyrus the Great, who allowed each nation to choose its religion and keep its customs, to the sixteenth-century leader Akbar who condemned slavery and the immolation of widows; and philosophers like Plotinus, Avicenna, Averroes,who highlighted the cosmological elements of the classical heritage and generated a tradition that extended from Giordano Bruno over Spinoza and Leibniz to Ernst Bloch. Amid the civil wars and religious conflicts of the premodern world, enough reflective people of compassion, appalled by religious fanaticism and the devastation of war insisted upon fairness and the rule of law, and highlighted the sanctity of the individual conscience and the plight of the lowly and the insulted. In a fine essay,41 Amartya Sen has made western intellectuals aware of what we should have been more aware of from the beginning: nonwestern and premodern thinkers had also emphasized the “pursuit of reason” rather than “the reliance on tradition.” The idea of progress, of making the solutions to conflict more civilized, is not simply a western idea. This does not mean that all regions and nations embraced the idea of progress—along with its liberal, egalitarian, and cosmopolitan implications— or that all will ever do so to the same degree. This is not the venue in which to examine the complex reasons why capitalism and the modern notion of progress were generated in the West. But it is necessary to emphasize that progress and enlightenment values are not the preserve of a geographic entity. 42 Intellectual tendencies that seek to promote such an understanding of progress have existed within diverse cultures and manifold traditions, and these have something to offer for the vision of a liberated society. It would be the height of arrogance, for example, to suggest that a Chinese tradition harking back three thousand years is somehow invalidated by the philosophical efforts of a small minority of European intellectuals writing between 1650 and 1800 or to deny that Gandhi could justify his vision of a multi-ethnic, democratic order from within his own religious understanding. The belief that achieving a genuine consensus on moral issues calls upon all participants in the discourse to think through arguments in the same way is absurd. The quest for humanitarian values has taken many paths in the past and it will do so, again, in the future.

 

Alt Links to the K: Uses Western Epistemology

 

Postmodern critiques of Western epistemology contradict themselves—they must inevitably take part in what they claim to oppose

Kors, ’01 – Prof history @ U Penn (Summer 2001, Alan, American Foreign Relations, “America and the West: Triumph Without Self Belief”, pg. 349-351)

It is odd that conservatives question whether Western civilization has survived the twentieth century at the very time that so many academics on the cultural Left define that civilization as a singular hegemon that stands astride the globe. What, after all, is the "multiculturalism" so ardently but desperately proclaimed in higher education but the belief that there is a hegemonic Western civilization that, unchallenged, frames all issues and provides almost all modes of understanding? For the so-called multiculturalists, the question is not whether what they see without complexity as Western civilization will survive into the twenty-first century, but whether anything other than Western civilization will so survive. What do they mean by the hegemony of the West? It is not physical colonialism and imperialism that concern them anymore. No, they see as far more ominous what they term the cultural colonialism and imperialism of the West, a triumphant colonialism of the mind by a civilization that believes in universal categories that transcend itself. The West believes its values to be accessible to all human souls. The West believes its science to be a method bv which ail human beings everywhere can rise above ignorance, superstition, helplessness, and prejudice. The West believes that there are rights and obligations that belong to humanity qua humanity, beyond the power of governments and political wills. Conservatives despair at the disappearance of the West: the cultural Left despairs at its transcendent success. There are profound ironies about the multiculturalists, so many of which testify to the dynamism and inescapable appeal of precisely that Western civilization to whose dismemberment they are in theory committed. In theory, they are all moral relativists, but in reality, they tend to sound like Biblical prophets, calling power to categorical moral duty, or like traditional Western social critics who in this case have not thought out either their facts or their logic terribly well. Their self-contradictions betray their inability to escape from the civilization they claim so to despise. In their epistemology, they are the third-rate heirs of the Greek skeptics and historians—without, to their shame, even knowing that fact. Their assaults upon dogmatism, at their best, never rise above the level of the subtleties and paradoxes handed down to us by Sextus Empiricus, chronicler and compiler of the Greek skeptical tradition. The works of Sextus Empiricus were best sellers during the sixteenth century and widely translated in the seventeenth. I lis writings intellectually delighted European men of letters, including clerics, many of whom embraced him as a tonic antidote to the pride of human reason. Many philosophers modified their views of the claims of metaphysics in the face of such skepticism. The West has always been concerned with the limits of reason and knowledge, the role of received prejudice and custom, the appropriateness or arrogance of its metaphysical conclusions, and the phenomenon of paradox. Indeed, the West has authored the formal exposition and mental fireworks of such concerns. The heirs of the least subtle forms of that tradition do not even know their parentage. It was the Greeks and their heirs—not any postmodern critics of postcolonialism—who obsessed so creatively about the role of King Nomas, of received opinion, of education and prejudgment, and of the seeming relativity of values, beliefs, and taste to time, place, and accident of birth. Montesquieu, in the eighteenth century, was profoundly struck by the malleability of the human condition and by the relativity of what might seem the most foundational aspects of human existence to geography, time, and historical vicissitudes. He also saw, however, what our current social constructionists do not see: that as undeniable as that malleability may be, there is a natural reality that underlies, conditions, and sets limits to it, and that the relationship of human malleability and natural reality is a proper subject of deep objective study. For Montesquieu, certain forms of human association may persist for a wide variety of reasons—including terror and despotism— but there is a real human nature and a set of real human needs, and these will out toward their true ends because there is an ultimate reality in which our human forms nave consequences.Postmodern canon, despite its proclaimed alienation from Western thought and values, derives not from any non-Western culture, but from the internal debates of the West and the products of its educational vitality: from Marcuse, Gramsci, Marx, Hegel, and Rousseau—from, in short, the debates that the West has always had with itself. Postmodernists, when the issue is involuntary female circumcision, for example, seek asylum in America for the victims of such customary rites, citing notions of legal equality and of universal human dignity, not their alleged commitments to the relativity of all human values and cultures. They seek tenure at universities with medieval traditions of what the West called "philosophical liberty." In the first and in the final analysis, so-called multiculturalists are simply Western radicals, in the Western radical tradition, with the most imperial, dogmatic, and absolutist aspirations of all. Further, they are the beneficiaries of the Western commitment to intellectual debate instead of coerced intellectual conformity in the Republic of Letters. They are the beneficiaries of the Western tradition, from Aristotle's insistence that we overcome all possible arguments against our beliefs, to the medieval insistence upon seek contra objections in formal disputations, to Mill's insistence that beliefs untested by free criticism are no longer truly alive. The radical dissenters are thus the unwitting and ungrateful beneficiaries of the West's own philosophical pluralism, and, indeed, of its constant extension. The current barbarians within also remind us that the West is, again and again, the author of its own worst follies and abuses, compared to most of which the postmodernists pale into virtual insignificance. We are the authors of our own religious wars and persecutions, our own enthusiastic superstitions, our own conquests of lands and peoples over which and whom we had no rights, our own ultimate nightmares of National or Leninist Socialism, which drowned our world in blood unimaginable in any century but the twentieth, and which truly threatened to bring this civilization to an awful end. We have had the will, however, to learn from depravity and from reality, and to bear ultimate witness to the higher sides of our being. What civilization has ever engaged in more searing analysis and soul searching of its own sins? Having defeated the National Socialists and the communists within, the bearers of the best of this civilization have reason for a moment of optimistic pride.

 

 

Alt Bad: Introverted/Ignorant

 

The alt relies on an introverted, self-contained view of the West that masks the wrongs of imperialism

Krishna, ’93 – Prof Poli Sci @ U of Hawaii (Summer, Sankaran, Alternatives, “The Importance of Being Ironic: A Postcolonial View on Critical International Relations Theory”, pg. 402-403)

What is particularly compelling about the critique of postmodernist positions on subjectivity that emanates from writers such as Spivak and hooks is the fact that they connect it explicitly to the self-contained view of the West that informs many of these works. Thus, whereas Foucault's meticulous genealogies of the micropolitics of power in discursive practices have had such a tremendous impact, his work itself geopolitically isolates the West and is completely oblivious to a whole history of imperialism that surely has much to do with the very practices that he investigates. In this context, Spivak notes: I am suggesting ... that to buy a self-contained version of the West is to ignore its production by the imperialist project. Sometimes it seems as if the very brilliance of Foucault's analysis of the centuries of European imperialism produces a miniature version of the heterogeneous phenomenon: management of space—but by doctors; development of administrations—but in asylums; considerations of the periphery—but in terms of the insane, prisoners and children. The clinic, the asylum, the prison, the university—all seem to screen allegories that foreclose a reading of the broader narratives of imperialism. . . . "One can perfecdy well not talk about something because one doesn't know much about it," Foucault might murmur [Power/Knowledge p. 66]. Yet, we have already spoken of the sanctioned ignorance that every critic of imperialism must chart.40 If these works argue for the necessity of strategically essentializing identity or subjectivity, critical international theorists are by no means completely blind to the issue. It is more a matter of emphasis: focused on a critique of the essentialist conceits and the unitary notion of sovereignty that characterizes international theory, critical theorists seem to underestimate the implications for people interested in retaining a notion of political subjectivity. In this regard, Ashley and Walker note that a political essentializing of subjectivity may be necessary for others in their struggles. They eschew a blanket decrying any notion of subjectivity when they note: It would have been far better to have respected the paradoxical reality of one's local situation, a reality that radically subverts all pretenses that one's situation might be bounded, clearly represented, and represented as a paradigm for the strategic situation of others. Respecting this reality would not lead to any kind of introversion, imperial conceit, or smug indifference to others' circumstances. Least of all would it lead to passivity. It would instead encourage a patient labor of listening and questioning that seeks to explore possible connections between the strategic situations of others and one's own, always sensitive to the problem of expanding the space and resources by which the ongoing struggle for freedom may be undertaken there as well as here.41Unfortunately, it is a fact that many of the thinkers and authors who have formed the inspirational core of critical international theory can be charged precisely with what Ashley and Walker describe as "introversion, imperial conceit, or smug indifference to others' circumstances." I am thinking here of Baudrillard, Lyotard, Chantal Mouffe, Julia Kristeva, Gilles Deleuze, and Foucault, as far as their attitudes and statements regarding the Third World are concerned.42 It is difficult to imagine a more appropriate location for an explicit discussion of these imperial conceits than the discipline of international relations.

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The first card is mostly saying that deconstruction is bad, not that the West is good. Also you didn't highlight the part about 2 + 2 = 5, which is the best part because it turns any stuff they say about "Truth claims -> violence".

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