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Lazzarone

Johnny 23' kritik (1NC shell)

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I don't see how this eliminates the issue of commodification. The literature is still placed in the block form, you still read in the typical style, etc. Not to mention, how does reading out of books constitute a move away from literature as commodity?

Part of the point of the criticism is the criticism "linking to itself". It acknowledges that all writing is pig shit, that there is no complete escape from the commodification of literature, or the traditional practices. Its the self critical nature of this criticism that makes it unique, and that's the "link diffferential" (to use more debate jargon) between the aff/neg and the K. The criticism acknowledges this connection and attempts to grapple with it, to root out micro fascisms, to open up new creative possibilities.

 

Then again, it would be totally awesome to go in there and read out of books. And it might make the point clearer to people who don't understand the theory.

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the fella who said 'all writing is pigshit' was a writer (artaud). the other fella who advocated breaking the word was also a writer (burroughs). 'every writer is a sellout', write d&g, in a book. if there's a contradiction, let's be clear, it's not exclusive to this debate position: it's a problem with writing (and scripted speech) itself.

 

this is comparable to what rorty describes as being in the "awkward, but not impossible, position" of an 'edifying' philosopher (as opposed to a 'systematic' one)...

 

http://www.ndtceda.com/pipermail/edebate/2005-August/063068.html

 

...that should help you fashion your 'rhetorical gambit' - one quotation:

 

The problem for an edifying philosopher is that qua philosopher he is in the business of offering arguments, whereas he would like simply to offer another set of terms, without saying that these terms are the new-found accurate representations of essences (e.g., of the essence of "philosophy" itself). He is, so to speak, violating not just the rules of normal philosophy (the philosophy of the schools of his day) but a sort of meta-rule: the rule that one may suggest changing the rules only because one has noticed that the old ones do not fit the subject matter, that they are not adequate to reality, that they impede the solution of the eternal problems. Edifying philosophers, unlike revolutionary systematic philosophers, are those who are abnormal at this meta-level. They refuse to present themselves as having found out any objective truth (about, say, what philosophy is). They present themselves as doing something different from, and more important than, offering accurate representations of how things are. ... {E}difying philosophers have to decry the very notion of having a view, while avoiding having a view about having views. ... To do that we have to understand speech not only as not the externalizing of inner representations, but as not a representation at all. We have to drop the notion of correspondence for sentences as well as for thoughts, and see sentences as connected with other sentences rather than with the world. We have to see the term "corresponds to how things are" as an automatic compliment paid to successful normal discourse rather than as a relation to be studied and aspired to throughout the rest of discourse.

 

i'd like to get more into all the relevant cross-applications between rorty's text and d&g's (and mitchell's, and burroughs') -- one example:

 

A "mainstream" Western philosopher typically says: Now that such-and-such a line of inquiry has had such a stunning success, let us reshape all inquiry, and all of culture, on its model, thereby permitting objectivity and rationality to prevail in areas previously obscured by convention, superstition, and the lack of a proper epistemological understanding of man's ability accurately to represent nature.

=

he decided to end the whole distasteful thing once and for all by turning everyone into himself . . . this he proposed to do by a virus an image concentrate of himself that would spread waves of tranquility in all directions until the world was a fit place for him to live . . . he called it the "beautiful disease"

 

...but i'm tired and must to bed. read it first and then we'll discuss.

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wanted to contribute some notes on the first deleuze & guattari quotation in the shell - pages 132-134 of 'anti-oedipus':

 

the starting premise is that some things which can be said about works of art can also be said about speech in debate. to accept this, one has to approach debate as a craft and a tradition, as well as a game...

 

reading "strange anglo-american literature" (including the beats) taught the authors something essential about art in general, which they share with us here. in the work of thomas hardy, d.h. lawrence, malcolm lowry, henry miller, allen ginsberg, jack keroauc (to which we could add william faulkner and william s. burroughs), there is an affective dimension to the writing: 'a violence against syntax, a concerted destruction of the signifier, non-sense erected as a flow, polyvocity that returns to haunt all relations'. (this is what burroughs calls 'breaking the word to form the image'.)

 

the strength of a work of art, including its ethical force, is thus determined by how well it can elude being pigeonholed by any one interpretation. the literary machine, when interpreted through ideological lenses, is reduced to the signifier, but what animates the signifier - the sign itself - gets buried. this is a problem which great art avoids, say d&g; some art simply won't allow itself to get buried under signification - it's just too good. indeed, in their more extreme egalitarian moments, d&g will claim that no art can be so buried, at least never finally: "People are co-opted, not works, which will always come to awake a sleeping youth, and which never cease extending their flame." it therefore makes more sense to think of art not as personal expression, but as having no higher aim than its own productive process and where it leads us.

 

signification is simply the production of meaning through organized webs of language - semantic codes, interpretive schemes and discursive practices. so what does being buried under signification look like? what's an example of it? ...well, i'd submit that the function 'cards' perform in debate is one such example, since the productive process of making an argument is often occluded by the search for what a string of cards 'really said'. (my contributions to this thread help substantiate this example: http://www.cross-x.com/vb/showthread.php?t=992035&page=4 - specifically posts #207, 215, 217, 219, and 227.) to apply the above quotation, in debate, a card is 'the commodity form of literature'; not being critical of this means perpetuating the commodification of debate.

 

being buried under signification = oedipalization = 'the reduction of the literature to an object of consumption' = 'conformity to the established order' and 'incapacity of causing anyone harm'.

 

harm here means being affected. to oedipalize something is to fashion it into a routine, to trivialize its importance to our real lives, to make of it a 'minor expressive activity that secretes ideology according to the dominant codes'. they relate this to the problem-solution mindset - which we could apply to debate in terms of the 'case harms'/'solvency'-template implied by a case-centric as opposed to a resolution-centric focus. (deleuze elaborates even more on this in his masterworks 'difference and repetition' and 'logic of sense', which i tried to sketch out in these two posts: http://www.cross-x.com/vb/showpost.php?p=1329853&postcount=126, http://www.cross-x.com/vb/showpost.php?p=1336881&postcount=138.) d&g also relate this to a deep aversion toward the irrational, despite the fact that psychotic, alienating, and destructive moments/movements are often liberating and productive. the traditionalists caution us to 'go no farther', but revolutionary artists have to be willing to commit the crime of 'lacking tact'.

 

{d&g's complicated (some would say convoluted) prose fools some readers into thinking that the writers are lost in abstraction. to the contrary, what d&g go on about is a more pragmatic utilization of material reality; they desire for art (and revolutuonary action and intellectual thought) to become more concrete. this is a noteworthy difference between their schizoanalytical approach (which focuses on experience) and derridean grammatology (which focuses on text) or even foucauldian genealogy (which focuses on discourse).}

 

what oedipalization in debate precludes is the actual spreading of values - that is, of effective memes. neurotic rule-following behavior, dogmatic attachment to tradition, tends to produce isolated work, like research that's only good for a specific purpose and then becomes useless/unused - a case you run once and then forget about, a file that gets locked up in the filing cabinets never to be seen again, illegible notes scrawled on the back of a flow that no one will ever read. d&g aren't above calling this economically wasteful, but they also refer to it as irresponsible, since it's disconnected from the course of actual human events.

 

all writers are sellouts and all writing pig-shit because what really matters is the intensity of the experiences conveyed - focusing on anything else is wasteful, misguided, deadening, and lame.

 

be the team that changes the way we think about what debate is. this doesn't mean not winning - on the contrary, to change debate you have to win, which is why you're a sellout. but the crucial question is, how are you selling out? to win a hundred rounds on a politics disadvantage, the states counter-plan, and topicality? or to refine and propagate your own memes, 'plowing the crap of being and its language' in the process?

 

http://www.cross-x.com/vb/showpost.php?p=1308261&postcount=123

Edited by Lazzarone

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Kevin, I think your consistent comments on this are fantastic and I couldn't agree with you more.

 

But, seeing as the debate community has now finally come to grips with what next year's resolution is going to be, my question has consistently been this considering that even the upper-echelon of intercollegiate judges and debaters (especially from back east which most of my competition for NDT points and such are) don't understand a majority of these claims and this abstract form of understanding:

 

How do I make this message and aim clear, concise, effective and honest in the consistent and limited context of a debate round?

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we're participating in a game of giving and asking for reasons. in this game, a number of practices have become unthinkingly adopted: evidence is weighed above analytical argumentation, theory above narrative, quick-fix cases are preferred to in-depth investigations of the problem-area, political engagement is leveled to the topic of 'what should the state do?', and so forth. in rendering these practices problematic, the debaters ask, 'what results from these assumptions?' and 'can we think differently?' - the negative implications and alternative vision, respectively. the uncritical acceptance of current debate practice results in some bad things: the sterilization and commodification of argument, the desensitization and disempowerment of debaters, 'the colonization of our life world', and so on. against the prospect of actual micro-fascisms (of desensitizing participants to real human tragedy, for an example), all impacts which merely occur 'on the flow' aren't voting issues. by reading that short story from burroughs, those attempting to advance this position into future rounds illustrate the hidden underside of the will to mold the world to fit our plans: literature 'solves' as a "noncritique" (in kafka's precise sense) by actualizing the possibility of affecting people's thinking in ways that wholly logical presentations (even traditional kritiks) cannot.

 

....does that help at all?

 

http://www.cross-x.com/vb/showpost.php?p=1308261&postcount=123

Edited by Lazzarone

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Absolutely it does. When you do a certain amount of reading it gets to a point where you can't find a single point which is what you have to do in a round. That's was a great deduction of all the aspects of the argument. Thanks.

 

I may be asking too many questions but here's one more: "by reading that short story from burroughs, those attempting to advance this position into future rounds illustrate the hidden underside of the will to mold the world to fit our plans: literature 'solves' as a "noncritique" (in kafka's precise sense) by actualizing the possibility of affecting people's thinking in ways that wholly logical presentations (even traditional kritiks) cannot."

 

... I think I understand why but why? Isn't part of this post-K, if you will, that it doesn't attempt to solve anything? And why is this unique from a Fullerton solidarity argument or a Lacanian subverse K or a Zizekian dance-act or a Baudrillard questioning of reality or a Wittgensteinian critique of all things that are with language as a barrier. What is the difference? What makes this special?

 

If I can understand this fundamental question I think I can complete this argument.

 

Thanks

 

- Cal

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"literature 'solves' as a "noncritique" (in kafka's precise sense) by actualizing the possibility of affecting people's thinking in ways that wholly logical presentations (even traditional kritiks) cannot."

So the more vague you get the better it is?

 

 

Imagine the "Kritik" as Goku, and the aff as Broly.

 

That do it for vagueness?

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don't think i'm being vague - i mean something very concrete...

 

reading literature affects its audience differently than typical debate-speak. it can thus make us aware of things that more standard argument-forms cannot. the strength of kafka's work, for example, is that it's not ideological. compare kafka to ayn rand's atlas shrugged - a paradigm case of an ideological novel. the affective dimension to writing or speaking is what i'm talking about.

 

{for instance, broly wasn't content to give us a logical argument for the charge of vagueness - in fact, s/he merely asks a question, and then includes a youtube video in his/her post, which told a story, however simple. in the course of criticizing my poorly-worded sentence s/he thus demonstrated the very concept s/he indicted for vagueness. funny.}

 

in debate theory there has been a marked transition from resolutional 'stocks issues' to case-focused 'policymaking' and from 'policymaking' to so-called 'performativity'. this transition mimics a similar transition in rhetorical theory. to oversimplify, 'forensics' is a judicial paradigm which concerns the past (as in rendering decisions in a court-of-law on the actions of a defendant). 'deliberation' is a legislative paradigm which concerns the future (as in passing public policies). 'epideixis', the next stage, is an open paradigm which concerns the present (as in having a conversation about a given discourse's explanatory power). from the limited vantage-points of the first two modes, the third mode seems like a mere persuasive device to be kept in check by focusing harder on logical claims and counter-claims ('the flow'). thanks to kritiks, this activity no longer needs to be stuck in the first two modes - hence 'the performative turn' that has been taken in both rhetorical studies and the game of academic debate.

 

that doesn't mean we get lost in the vague groundlessness of performance for its own sake (e.g. dada-debate), but instead work on constructing an 'a-signifying semiotics' (airing out and propagating memes). this position isn't theatrical - it's machinic; it isn't performative, it's productive. what ways of speaking work or don't work for certain political tasks? do they or don't they resonate, make sense, hold water, fly? how can we go about eliminating 'representational thinking' and still do worthwhile things with words? how can we experiment without imposing 'the new way all debate should be'? how can we elevate the quality of the craft without over-relying on the traditional measurements of success used in the past? ...these are questions about maximizing real intensities, nothing at all vague.

 

in response to abbasi, there's no one reason that this post-kritik is unique from others; you'd have to compare specific alternatives on an individual basis. this is a new mode of argument, not just one more argument to file away in the cabinet. that said, other advocacies may not give up the tone of self-certainty, may not root out all the micro-fascisms in their speeches, and literature may offer something other forms of art (dancing, say) cannot, which is explored in d&g's book on kafka. also,

 

 

i put quotes around 'solves' to denote that my use of the term is satirical. indeed the problem-solution mindset is an implication mentioned in the first d&g card and some of the excerpts i went over from deleuze's solo works,

 

We are led to believe that problems are given ready-made, and that they disappear in the responses or the solution. Already, under this double aspect, they can be no more than phantoms. We are led to believe that the activity of thinking, along with truth and falsehood in relation to that activity, begins on with the search for solutions, that both of these concern only solutions. This belief probably has the same origin as the other postulates of the dogmatic image: puerile examples taken out of context and arbitrarily erected into models. According to this infantile prejudice, the master sets a problem, our task is to solve it, and the result is accredited true or false by a powerful authority. It is also a social prejudice with the visible interest of maintaining us in an infantile state, which calls upon us to solve problems that come from elsewhere, consoling or distracting us by telling us that we have won simply by being able to respond...
Edited by Lazzarone

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think of rhizomatic thought like taking a painful shit. The blood running from your ass represents...well...blood. And the shit represents...well, shit. But the very concept is revolutionary.

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If Nietzsche considers himself to be dynamite, he does not identify this dynamite with some of "big bang." In reading Nietzsche, we must never lose sight of this irreducible obverse of his bombastic expressions (silence, solitude, playfulness, lightness, nuance, minimal difference). Yet, as I suggested above, the silence is not something that takes place before or after the explosion - it is the silence at the very heart of the "explosion," the stillness of the event. Conversely, we must also not lose sight of the fact that the complementary and correlative inversion of Nietzsche's praise of nuances, of dance, of perspectivity, of fictions, of the layering of appearances and differences, is precisely the "bomb" of the event. This emphasis is especially important since Nietzsche is often regarded as post-modernist avant la lettre, the first to have announced the end of "grand narratives," and paved the way for a multitude of different fictions and virtualities to be considered as being of equal value. In other words, it is worth emphasizing that, for Nietzsche, the "nuance" is nothing other than the expression or, more precisely, the articulation of a grand narrative, of an event.

 

Nietzsche refuses to think of the event as the (external) cause or inaugurating point of thought and its (subsequent) generic procedure of truth. Instead, he posits it as something that philosophy carries within itself as the event/act of thought itself. The event is part of the "process of truth" - not only as the truth process's innate driving force, but also as something that takes place only within this very process of truth. In other words, the event (or the act) is, as Badiou puts it, immanent to the "speculative principle of declaration." Consequently, the (Nietzschean) statement "I am preparing the event" is indistinguishable from the event itself. This statement will break the world in two, while simultaneously stating or declaring precisely this: namely, that it will break the world in two. The declaration lacks the Real, and this is why "Nietzsche will have to make himself appear on the point of this Real which is lacking and in relation to which it is impossible to distinguish between its presence and its announcement. This is precisely what will be called Nietzsche's madness." But does this undoubtedly central point of Nietzsche's philosophy truly constitute its radical impasse, for which Nietzsche will have to pay with his "madness"? Is this conclusion not somehow too hasty?

 

The circularity or loop that Badiou detects in Nietzsche certainly exists. The Nietzschean declaration is not exactly a "declaration of the Real," or a "declaration of the event," but functions against the background of the presumption that it is, in and of itself, already the event per se. More precisely, the presumption at stake concerns the fact that the event is not external to the declaration, but is, rather, something that the declaration carries within itself (without simply and immediately coinciding with it). Nietzschean declaration does not have so much the structure of the declaration of the event as it has the structure of the "declaration of declaration." This does not imply, however, that we are already in the domain of the (potentially) endless reflection of semblances - representations of representations ad infinitum - that lack any tangible Real in merely reflecting each other. On the contrary, the duality or redoubling that we are dealing with here is precisely an articulation of the Real.

 

The Nietzschean declaration - and here we come back to a point made above - has a very similar structure to that of avant-garde manifestos. What is a manifesto? And, above all, what is a manifesto in relation, for instance, to the art to which it belongs? It is not a theory of art or a conceptual rendering of art. A manifesto is an integral part of works of art; it belongs to the (new) process of artistic practice. It is an artistic act. One cannot easily separate or oppose art and its manifesto. Without simply coinciding, they are bound together in an inherent and essential way. Perhaps the most concise formula for their relationship would stipulate that the manifesto is the "speech of art." Manifestos constitute and introduce a singular point of enunciation. In them, art speaks in the first person; their form of enunciation is always something like "I, the (new) art, am speaking." The manifesto does not usually declare: "This or that happened in art, and art will never be the same again. This is an event." It says: "I (or we) happened (are happening, will happen)."

 

The "I" involved in this declaration, however, is not the "ego" of the artist - this is the declaration of an impersonal, inhuman "I." What seems like a megalomaniac aspect of most manifestos should in no way be read as a shameless (subjective) arrogance on the part of the artists themselves as individuals. Yet this does not mean that such statements are meant ironically: they are subversive precisely because they are not meant ironically: they are subversive precisely because they are meant very seriously. Fundamentally, irony is simply an assertion of the ego, and its (often spiteful) supremacy. Most avant-garde manifestos go to great lengths to abolish the notion of the Artist (as the ego who "makes art): they accomplish this not by means of irony, but by substituting the subject-work in place of the ego. In other words, the subjectivity that so vehemently affirms itself in manifestos is the art-object itself. Megalomania (or, rather, its effect) is strictly correlative to the withdrawal of the ego. We are dealing with a reversal of the Freudian formula "Wo Es war, soll Ich werden": "Wo Ich war, soll Es werden." Does the declaration in which art is declaring itself (in the form of a manifesto) lack the Real? One would be hard pressed to answer in the affirmative. The point is that the declaration is part of the Real it declares. This is why it cannot declare the event as if speaking from the outside, but, rather, takes the form of "I, the event, am speaking".

 

Something very similar could be said about the relationship between Nietzschean "declaration" and Nietzschean "event." The event is inherent to the declaration. As we have seen, Badiou infers from this that the declaration lacks the Real (or its object), that it is caught in the impossibility of distinguishing between its presence and its announcement. But could we not say that this impossibility is the very presence of the Real, the very indication of the Real at work (that it is not a relation to the Real, but a relation of the Real)? Yet this is not because the declaration lacks the Real, but because it is itself contaminated by it, because it itself belongs to it. Take the example of the "event love," of an encounter that makes us fall in love and, in this process, declare our amorous state. What is the Real here? Is it something that happened in this encounter, and that we now have to declare as such? - Not exactly. The Real here is the very ground on which we stand when we are declaring it, and this is what redoubles the declaration of love at its core. A declaration of love (like any "declaration of the event") is always a precipitated statement. It involves a leap in causality not only in relation to the preexisting situation which it interrupts, but also in regard to its own begetting. A declaration of love is an excellent example of those precipitated statements that literally create the conditions of their own enunciation, and, with them, the conditions of the very Real that they declare.

 

What is at stake in Nietzsche's conception of the event is not a conceptual decision to dismiss the notion of the Real in order to replace it with the notion of the multitude of representations that only reflect one another, but a new and different conceptualization of the Real. This Real, however, is not conceived along the lines of something extradiscursive situated beyond the world of representations and/or declarations. Here we come to a crucial point which constitutes the thesis, as well as the "Ariadne's thread," of this study: There exists something else besides the couple formed by, on the one hand, the classical or metaphysical position, which exempts the Real from speech (positing the former as a material basis or a touchstone of the latter), and, on the other hand, the so-called "sophistic" position, which tries to undermine the very notion of the Real (claiming that "speech is all," that the Real does not exist, that it all comes down to a question of conventions, different language games, different perspectives and interpretations). The "something else" that exists besides this alternative is precisely a duality, a duality that has nothing to do with the dichotomies between complementary oppositional terms (which are ultimately always two sides of the One): this duality is not (yet) multiplicity either. It is perhaps best articulated in the topology of the edge as the thing whose sole substantiality consists in its simultaneously separating and linking two surfaces. This specific duality aims at the Real, and makes it take place through the very split that gives structure to this duality. It is a duality that simultaneously constitutes the cause, the advent, and the consequence of the Real - but also a duality that thereby captures or expresses the Real.

 

A very good example of this kind of doubleness would be the famous "play scene" (or "mousetrap") in Shakespeare's Hamlet. Obviously, the "play-within-the-play" does not have the same structure, logic, and impact as it would have, for instance, as a play-within-the-play-within-the-play-within-the-play. . . . Not only is it the case that "two are enough," but further multiplication or mirroring would clearly lead to an entirely different configuration - that of an endless metonymic illusion. In Hamlet, the redoubling of fiction, far from avoiding or lacking the Real, functions as the very "trap" (the "mousetrap") of the Real. One could also say the "mousetrap" in Hamlet has exactly the status of the "declaration of declaration." Through staging of the "Murder of Gonzago," Hamlet declares what was declared to him by his father's Ghost. At the same time, this "declaration of declaration," taking the form of a stage performance, succeeds precisely because it produces a dimension of: "I, the Real, am speaking." This is what throws the murderous king off balance.

 

-- alenka zupančič, 'the shortest shadow: nietzsche's philosophy of the two' (2003), pages 9-13.

 

_

 

j23 is an 'avant-garde manifesto', "the speech of art". j23 stages debate within debate itself, as a kind of "play-within-the-play". for William Shakespeare's "Murder of Gonzago" we substitute William S. Burroughs' story of Dr. Lee. in this way, we catch traditional debate's disempowering practices, as Hamlet catches the conscience of the King, thereby throwing proto-fascism in debate "off balance".

 

you can't 'perm' because we're already two, and more than two would result in an 'infinite regress' of doubling. this is explained in a nascent form here: http://www.cross-x.com/vb/showpost.php?p=1120411&postcount=106 (under the rubric of 'two steps'). additionally, you can't 'perm' a singular, irreducible event. traditional fiat speaks of the event "as if speaking from the outside", as if it were "extradiscursive". j23's solvency, on the other hand, is "inherent to the declaration" itself - an "announcement," a "precipitated statement" that "literally create the conditions of [its] own enunciation, and, with them, the conditions of" the very reality it declares (see also the deleuze quotation below).

 

what's above refutes the following arguments: (i) 'but everything will be of equal value/no way to judge debate' [no link], (ii) 'infinite regression' [no link & turn], (iii) 'postmodernism/end of grand meta-narratives/multitude of perspectives bad' [no link], (iv) 'performative contradiction' [turn], (v) 'you don't really do anything big to change debate' [turn], (vi) any 'irony counter-alternative' [turn], and (vii) any 'doubling counter-alternative' [turn].

 

there's a third option between correspondence and coherence theories of truth, and a fortiori, theories of language - that is, between a naive realism ('what you say must refer to the real world out there') and a slimy sophism ('there's no real world; there's only language games'). between the two is an edge that links two surfaces (in this case: in-round debate with the debate about debate), a gap that springs the "mousetrap" which can squash micro-fascisms.

 

_

 

...the revolutionary lives in the gap which separates technical progress from social totality, and inscribes there [her] dream of permanent revolution. This dream, therefore, is itself action, reality, and an effective menace to all established order; it renders possible what it dreams about.

 

-- gilles deleuze, 'the logic of sense' (1969), page 49.

Edited by Lazzarone
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The Deleuzian notion of sign can only be properly grasped against the background of his redefinition of what is a problem. Commonsense tells us that there are true and false solutions to every problems; for Deleuze, on the contrary, there are no definitive solutions to problems, solutions are just repeated attempts to deal with the problem, with its impossible-real. Problems themselves, not solutions, are true or false. Each solution not only reacts to “its” problem, but retroactively redefines it, formulating it from within its own specific horizon. Which is why problems are universal and solutions/answers are particular.

 

Deleuze is here unexpectedly closer to Hegel: for Hegel, say, the Idea of State is a problem, and each specific form of the state (Ancient republic, feudal monarchy, modern democracy…) proposes a solution to this problem, redefining the problem itself. And, precisely, the passage to the next “higher” stage of the dialectical process occurs when, instead of continuing to search for a solution, we problematize the problem itself, abandoning its terms – say, when, instead of continuing to search for a “true” State, we drop the very reference to State and look for a communal existence beyond State.

 

Problem is thus not only “subjective,” not just epistemological, a problem for the subject who tries to solve it; it is stricto sensu ontological, inscribed into the thing itself: the structure of reality is “problematic.” That is to say, actual reality can only be grasped as a series of answers to a virtual problems – say, in Deleuze’s reading of biology, the development of eyes can only be grasped as attempted solution at the problem of how to deal with light. And this brings us to sign – actual reality appears as “sign” when it is perceived as an answer to virtual problem:

 

Neither the problem nor the question is a subjective determination marking a moment of insufficiency in knowledge. Problematic structure is part of objects themselves, allowing them to be grasped as signs (Difference and Repetition, 63-4)

 

This explains the strange way Deleuze opposes signs and representations: for the common sense, a mental representation directly reproduces the way a thing is, while a sign just points towards it, designating it with a (more or less) arbitrary signifier. (In a representation of a table, I “see directly” a table, while its sign just points towards the table.) For Deleuze, on the contrary, representations are mediate[d], while signs are direct, and the task of a creative thought is that of “making movement itself a work, without interpositions; of substituting direct signs for mediate representations” (DR-16).

 

Representations are figures of objects as objective entities deprived of their virtual support/background, and we pass from representation to sign when we are able to discern in an object that which points towards its virtual ground, towards the problem with regard to which it is an answer. To put it succinctly, every answer is a sign of its problem.

 

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so the deleuzian critique of debate takes the following as foundational: there is no definitive case-solution to the resolutional problem, and most plans are just repeated attempts to deal with the impossibility of actually solving the policy problem at issue.

 

in 'discipline and punish' and attendant research projects, foucault gave us a great empirical example of deleuze's philosophical point in terms of prison reform: after centuries of attempts to reform the prison system, it's still with us and we haven't come up with any good alternatives to it. well, why haven't we? is it more likely to assume that there are no good alternatives to prisons or is it more likely instead that prisons aren't supposed to solve crime at all but to perpetuate the prison system itself? after detailing the long historical run-up to the modern-day prison, foucault contends that the second guess is much more likely - that the criminal justice system (at least in france and probably in most nation-states throughout the world, especially in the west) is *designed to fail* and to exist eternally in a mode of being reformed. reform isn't a means to the goal of solving crime; perpetual reform is the goal, that's the status quo. if this is true, then it's wrong-headed to claim that reforms are solving crime, since crime, as it's typically conceived in policy debate, is a 'false problem' in deleuze's sense. it follows from this that the top priority shouldn't be to advocate one more seemingly urgent reform but to criticize the illusory notion that a reformist solution is even possible. the first political task is to expose the false problem and to oppose all those who claim crime is a solvable problem within the given parameters. if you believe prison reforms function to solve crime instead of functioning to preserve the prison system, then before anything else can be done, your initial mistake has to be set straight. and that's the purpose of kritik in policy debate. (we could subject marx to the same axiomatic: his work in 'capital, volume 1' shows how shortening the working-day was done to consolidate capitalist power, not disinterestedly to safeguard workers' health or dignity; reforms are counter-revolutionary attempts to avert legitimation crises.)

 

authentic change begins, as opposed to cosmetic reform, when "instead of continuing to search for a solution, we problematize the problem itself" - say, when, instead of continuing to search for solvent state policies, we drop the very presumption of state-centricism and run j23. =P (...though this is but one instance of a broader methodology of problematization.)

Edited by Lazzarone
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Inasmuch as Oedipus arises out of an application of the entire social field to the finite familial figure, it does not imply just any investment of this field by the libido, but a very particular investment that renders this application possible and necessary. That is why Oedipus seemed to us a paranoiac's idea before being a neurotic's feeling. In fact, the paranoiac investment consists in subordinating molecular desiring-production to the molar aggregate it forms on one surface of the full body without organs, enslaving it by that very fact to a form of socius that exercises the function of a full body under determinate conditions. The paranoiac engineers masses, and is continually forming large aggregates, inventing heavy apparatuses for the regimentation and the repression of the desiring-machines. Doubtless it is not hard for him to appear reasonable, by appealing to collective interests and goals, reforms to be brought about, sometimes even revolutions to be made. But madness breaks through, beneath the reformist investments, or the reactionary and fascist investments, which assume a reasonable appearance only in the light of the preconscious, and which animate the strange discourse of an organization of society. Even its language is demented. Listen to a Secretary of State, a general, the boss of a firm, a technician. Listen to the great paranoiac din beneath the discourse of reason that speaks for others, in the name of the silent majority. The explanation is that, beneath preconscious goals and interests, a uniquely unconscious investment rises up that embraces a full body for itself, independently of all aims, and a degree of development for itself, independently of all reason: that very degree and no other, don't take another step; that very socius and no other, hands off. A disinterested love of the molar machine, a veritable enjoyment, with all the hatred it contains for those who do not submit to the molar machine: the entire libido is at stake. From the point of view of libidinal investment, it is clear that there are few differences between a reformist, a fascist, and sometimes even certain revolutionaries, who are distinguished from one another only in preconscious fashion, but whose unconscious investments are of the same type, even when they do not adopt the same body. We can't go along with Maud Mannoni when she sees the first historical act of antipsychiatry in the 1902 decision granting Judge Schreber his liberty and responsibility, despite the recognized continuation of his delirious ideas. There is room for doubting that the decision would have been the same if Schreber had been schizophrenic rather than paranoiac, if he had taken himself for a black or a Jew rather than a pure Aryan, if he had not proved himself so competent in the management of his wealth, and if in his delirium he had not displayed a taste for the socius of an already fascisizing libidinal investment. As machines of subjugation, the social machines give rise to incomparable loves, which are not explained by their interests, since interests derive from them instead. At the deepest level of society there is delirium, because delirium is the investment of a socius as such, beyond goals. And it is not merely the despot's body to which the paranoiac lovingly aspires, but the body of capital-money as well, or a new revolutionary body, the moment it becomes a form of power and gregariousness. To be possessed by this body as well as possessing it; to engineer subjugated groups for which one becomes so many cogs and parts; to insert oneself into the machine to find there at last the enjoyment of the mechanisms that pulverize desire - such is the paranoiac experience.

 

[...]

 

We have seen that the unconscious paranoiac investment was grounded in the socius itself as a full body without organs, beyond the preconscious aims and interests that it assigns and distributes. The fact remains that such an investment does not endure the light of day: it must always hide under assignable aims or interests presented as the general aims and interests, even though in reality the latter represent only the members of the dominant class or a fraction of this class. How could a formation of sovereignty, a fixed and determinate gregarious aggregate, endure being invested for their brute force, their violence, and their absurdity? They would not survive such an investment. Even the most overt fascism speaks the language of goals, of law, order, and reason. Even the most insane capitalism speaks in the name of economic rationality. And this is necessarily the case, since it is in the irrationality of the full body that the order of reasons is inextricably fixed, under a code, under an axiomatic that determines it. What is more, the bringing to light of the unconscious reactionary investment as if devoid of an aim, would be enough to transform it completely, to make it pass to the other pole of the libido, i.e., to the schizorevolutionary pole, since this action could not be accomplished without overthrowing power, without reversing subordination, without returning production itself to desire: for it is only desire that lives from having no aim. Molecular desiring-production would regain its liberty to master in its turn the molar aggregate under an overturned form of power or sovereignty.

 

-- 'anti-oedipus' (1972), pages 363-6, 367.

 

notice the identical underlying paranoid characteristics of both reformism and fascism, which mask themselves by appealing reasonably to collective goals ("... 'Johnny 23' would simply remove from the planet hostile alien forces manifesting themselves through other people that this would come about through peaceful penetration in the course of which no lives would be lost . . . 'Johnny 23' would simply make friends of everyone ..."). there's a specific link to typical in-round policy discourse as "demented". notice also the mere "bringing to light" of microfascism is transformative in itself (hence 'critique alone solves'). d&g then go on for a few pages about the emancipatory function of experimental art. for brilliant elaboration of the nietzschean concept of "gregariousness" used above, see pierre klossowski's 'nietzsche and the vicious circle' (1969).

 

 

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https://www.mixcloud.com/kevin-sanchez/initialisms/

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Edited by Lazzarone

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proto-totalitarianism engenders panicked disqualification of undesirable others, authoritarian violence, dogmatism in the name of a 'common sense' which shuts down creative development, and traumatic stigmatization that's akin to death. the other team follows the pattern of microfascism by mistaking our innovation for a violation.

 

rolnik 03.2011 // http://www.e-flux.com/journal/view/213

 

After all, totalitarian regimes do not impinge only upon concrete reality, but also upon this intangible reality of desire. It is an invisible, but no less relentless, violence. From the micropolitical point of view, regimes of this kind tend to establish themselves in the life of a society when the connections with new universes in the general alchemy of subjectivities multiply beyond a threshold, causing veritable convulsions. These are privileged moments in which the movement of individual and collective creation becomes intensified, but which also harbor the risk of unleashing microfascisms once a certain threshold of destabilization is crossed. When the boundaries of a certain stability are broken there is a danger that baser subjectivities tied to common sense will infer the risk of an irreversible collapse, and will begin to panic. Due to a weak will to power that limits their force of creation, subjectivities of this kind consider themselves to be constituted once and for all, and have no means of understanding such ruptures as inherent to the delineation of their own limits, which are always being redrawn as the function of a desire for new connections. It is common to explain those ruptures as works of evil and, in the name of safety and stability, to confine them to the unknown universes that have entered the existential landscape. The solution is easy to deduce: these universes, personified by their bearers, must be eliminated. Such elimination can go from the pure and simple disqualification of these inconvenient others, weakening them through humiliation, to their concrete, physical destruction. One expects that this will relieve, at least for some time, the unease produced by the process of differentiation unleashed by the living presence of others.

 

The proliferation of this kind of politics of desire develops a fertile ground for forms of leadership that embody it and provide a focal point for it: this is when totalitarian regimes of all kinds rear their heads. Although microfascisms do not take place only in totalitarian contexts, such contexts are the main support for this kind of regime within the realm of the subject. Anything that deviates from common sense is considered a mistake, irresponsible, or worse, an act of treason. As common sense blurs into the very idea of the nation, to differ is to betray the motherland.

 

It is in these moments that the conservative forces of common sense triumph over the forces of invention. Thought is intimidated and retreats from the threat of punishment, which can fall upon the social image of oneself in the form of a stigma, or upon one’s body, with varying degrees of brutality ranging from prison and torture to death. Humiliated and disowned, desire’s creative dynamic becomes paralyzed by fear, often combined with guilt; even if this interruption is welcomed in the name of life, the experience of it can become similar to death. The trauma of these experiences leaves behind the poisonous stain of disaffection with life and the impossibility of thought—a wound in desire that can contaminate everything, halting movements of connection and the invention that they mobilize.

 

 

 

.kcs

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http://www.dustedmagazine.com/reviews/5446

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Hi there.

 

So I spent a good 2-4 hours (lost track really) reading this entire thread today. First off, Kevin, absolutely amazing work, both in creating this position and investing so much time defending/improving it. Truly impressive. Second, I was thinking of running this position next year on the LD circuit. Two items: a) Would it be alright with you if I ran this position? and B) Would you happen to have a soft copy laying around? If so, I'd love a copy of whatever you've collected/re-edited.

 

Again, massive props for such incredible dedication, and just wanted to let you know that people are still intrigued by both this position and this thread.

 

-MD

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oh, you certainly don't need my permission to run this, or deform it however you like. sadly, i don't believe i have any materials other than what are already available online on this thread. thank you for reading/the complimentary words, and of course i'm more than happy to help answer any queries you might have.

 

kevin.sanchez@gmail.com

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I don't see why the perm doesn't solve. Maybe the aff comes late to the game, but if self-criticality is all that's necessary to resolve the links then why not vote affirmative?

 

If your answer is "because the affirmative doesn't bugger debate enough and we need to plug this k into the debateosphere", I don't know that many judges will find this persuasive. Everything good about debate becomes an impact turn to this kritik.

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in reply to Snarf: merely saying "perm solves" links to this very critique, since it reduces speech-acts to commodifiable content; it also contradicts most of your other arguments. (there's a more thorough list of responses somewhere in the above thread.) also this K can be run by both the affirmative or negative team, so. and since the argument does not seek to destroy "everything good about debate", and in fact desires to build upon the good aspects of debate through self-critical engagement, turn around that turnaround. ;)

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Kevin,

 

"perm solves" is verbal shorthand for becoming-affirmative. Sure, the affirmative is commodified writing removed from the original, but so is the critique. The only reason the residual link to the K doesn't gut the alternative's solvency is that the alternative is self-critical and reflective. "The alternative is problematic, but aware of that problem" in your words.

 

Why can't the affirmative be similarly problematic, but also similarly self-critical and aware? If the aff is self-aware of its links, its exactly as problematic as the alternative is - no more, no less.

 

Deleuze and Guattari in ATP, p161

Staying stratified - organized, signified, subjected - is not the worst that can happen; the worst that can happen is if you throw the strata into demented or suicidal collapse, which brings them back down on us heavier than ever. This is how it should be done: Lodge yourself on a stratum, experiment with the opportunities it offers,find an advantageous place on it, find potential movements of deterritorialization, possible lines of flight, experience them, produce flow conjunctions here and there, try out continuums of intensities segment by segment, have a small plot of new land at all times.

 

Why can't the aff be a strata to lodge in and play with?

 

And from Foucault's intro, it seems the contrast of the aff is more likely to produce revolutionary flows for its heyerogeneity than the alt:

 

Prefer what is positive and multiple, difference over uniformity, flows over unities, mobile arrangements over systems. Believe that what is productive is not sedentary but nomadic

 

The aff's permutation (when conceived of as a politics of becoming-affirmative, growth and experimenting with the neg's politics) is more multiple, positive, different and mobile than the alt comparatively. Net benefit to the perm and solvency deficit to the alt?

 

(edit: the impact turn in the post above was a pre-empt - one reason the affirmative might not be allowed to be late-to-the-game self-aware is to force debate down a different path intellectually. That path shift is susceptible to impact turns. if the pre-empt is not relevant, ignore)

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hah, totally missed the previous reply at the time...

 

if the responding team agrees with the j23 project (and somehow expresses this sufficiently by the phrase "perm solves"), then surely they'll agree to send the team running j23 into future rounds, no? surely they'll forfiet and help j23 lodge itself on the debate stratum (instead of trying to defeat the position with "perm"-fetishism, say) and they'll thereby help experiment with the opporunities to further raise awareness of nearby microfascisms?

 

i'm not getting what warrants the claim that the permutation is net-beneficial to the alternative, but if the affirmative case was at all conventional, it probably links to the above critique in fatal ways: focusing on the state - that's a link, commodifying discourse (while failing to sneak a critique of that very commodification inside itself) - that's another link, utopianism, self-certainty, elevation of theory above narrative, et cetera... these are general links that will doubtlessly find finer-grained examples given actual cards/line-by-line argumentation.

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hah, totally missed the previous reply at the time...

 

if the responding team agrees with the j23 project (and somehow expresses this sufficiently by the phrase "perm solves"), then surely they'll agree to send the team running j23 into future rounds, no? surely they'll forfiet and help j23 lodge itself on the debate stratum (instead of trying to defeat the position with "perm"-fetishism, say) and they'll thereby help experiment with the opporunities to further raise awareness of nearby microfascisms?

 

No! They'll help the J23 team get better at debate, by finding more effective ways to articulate their position. The best way to get J23 into the system is to make it better, and if your only answer to the perm is "we'd like to win, please", then you're going to lose to 90% of first rounds. 

 

i'm not getting what warrants the claim that the permutation is net-beneficial to the alternative, but if the affirmative case was at all conventional, it probably links to the above critique in fatal ways: focusing on the state - that's a link, commodifying discourse (while failing to sneak a critique of that very commodification inside itself) - that's another link, utopianism, self-certainty, elevation of theory above narrative, et cetera... these are general links that will doubtlessly find finer-grained examples given actual cards/line-by-line argumentation.

I'm suggesting that those links are the net benefit; they are the cover that the k rolls with, only better  - the k wants to "light critical fires" through the appearance of a "legitimately carded position" but risks failure because it's position is still relatively transparent. An aff that talks about the state and state action - while remaining conscious of microfascisms - is the best way to get deleuze into policy circles.  the wolf in sheep's clothing has to actually look like a sheep, not a frankenwolf.

 

two examples;

 

go to a group of policy wonks figuring out US foreign policy and tell them "Deleuze would say..." and see how many words you get out before they burst out laughing. doesn't matter if you also have a Ph.D, or even one in polisci - they'd laugh you out of the building. But articulate that same type of argument in a vocabulary they're familiar with ("that's un-American; it hurts our freedoms; it's a manifestation of big government!") and you get somewhere. 

 

 

go to MSU. Tell them you want the definitions topic for college debate. wait for laughter. 

Go to MSU. Tell them you want decrim, which has a legitimate shot both at passing and at winning passive voice (and debate de-stratification, as a result). That has a shot.

 

The net benefit is a better appearance; debaters with Deleuzian knowledge base making policy and being heard by policy makers. 

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sorry, missed your reply again (...thought i was receiving notifications!).

 

i consider us all lucky that Snarf did not help out with the writing of Anti-Oedipus: 'hey guys, why don't you include some reformist policy proposals?... that'll really get people talking!'. (a partial response to reformism was laid out a few posts back: http://www.cross-x.com/topic/5055-johnny-23-kritik-1nc-shell/page-14?do=findComment&comment=801699.)

 

as for the 'self-linking'-bit, it's not so much a matter of trying to fool the censors per se, or mollifying the sarcastic laughter of policy wonks, or getting folks to open their minds without realizing it; it's more about how social fields can change when they're interfaced with: debaters fetishize cards, so let's read a few which demonstrate the problem of that very commodification of discourse. it's really the difference between a wolf in sheep's clothing and a sheep in sheep's clothing (and something tells me you're aware of that but are exemplifying the practice of automatic negation discussed in the above thread :). keeping up appearances is one thing, but as Emerson wrote, "your goodness must have some edge to it - else it none." or as Deleuze refers to it in this lecture: "counter-information", suggesting "the speech act is an act of resistance". any giggling this provokes may parody itself in time.

 

those concerned should listen to Deleuze here and contribute some notes/extrapolations/queries to the thread:

http://www.critical-theory.com/watch-gilles-deleuze-cinema-creative-act

Edited by Lazzarone

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