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Debating Framework As A Critical Affirmative

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Hi there, 

 

I'm new to but interested in running critical affirmatives. I was wondering if you all could advise me in how a 2AC frontline to framework can be strategically handled. If it helps, I'm considering running a Wilderson affirmative.

 

Thank you very much.   

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my first question is are you fast. because a lot of teams when reading a k aff get bogged down on things like framework and case. so this is one key thing that you want to avoid  

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I'm so so; not terribly slow, not as fast as big policy schools around my circuit. However, from what I have heard/seen, speed isn't the sole determining factor or even the most important one if one can strategically organize and interact w/the flow, group, etc. given smart args, hence my request. 

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fair enough i would have to agree with foucault0ff your main enemy is util. you should have a short shell that you read every round. another thing you have to be careful of is the way that your framwork is constructed because when the negative reads a k you don't want there k to function as a cp to your aff. does that make sense? 

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I understand util of course is something that has to be well-blocked out, regardless of going aff or neg. Instead of impact framing, my request is thinking more along the lines of answering theoretical objections/standards and impacts, e.g., arguing for an instrumental plan action. As for the K functioning as a CP, I don't see why a debate concerning competing tactics/methodologies is problematic, so I'm not sure if I'm understanding your point. 

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let me see if i can phrase it better say you read a roll of the ballet card that the judge should evaluate based on who is a better critical intelletual you need to watch that the negative does not access this cause this can be problematic. often they can access this on the k flow 

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Well, it's all a question of methodology isn't it? Of course we won't ever say neg accesses solvency more than we do, but making a self-serving ROB also doesn't seem to be the most strategic option in the long run, from my perspective. 

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You're right, don't make a self-serving ROTB argument. ROTB claims like "this debate is about who best destroys racism!" are dumb. The ballot decides who did the better debating, that's really it. If you want to focus the debate on critical ground rather than policy round - neocolonialism instead of nuclear war - that's totally fine.

 

It's easiest to help you if you tell us what your aff is like - depending on how it works, different T and FW arguments could be made. For example, if you're able to defend the desirability of a world in which your political method succeeds, you could win that that world is T or a pre-req for T. This is really, really contingent on the content of your affirmative though.

 

Generally you need five arguments to succeed on T and FW: "We meet, (counter-interp), we meet the counter-interp, our counter-interp is better, theirs is bad, and reasonability good." If you're hitting FW, you might not want to say "we meet" when they say that debaters should engage the State. Make as much defense as possible against their standards as you can without double-turning yourself, especially if you're wanting to do a Wilderson aff. That means a lot of "non-unique" or "impacts inevitable" responses on T and FW.

 

It's a good idea to not just run a K of T (obviously using 1AC evidence primarily, but if you can find evidence about pedagogy and anti-blackness that's even cooler) - many judges will reject that, since it's usually believed that T/FW operate on a level that is "above" or "before" the impacts of the aff. Of course that differs from judge to judge; I just wouldn't consider it your A-strat against T and FW every single round, because there is a lot of room for judge bias here, intentional or otherwise. But there's something of a sequencing argument to be made - that if the aff is true (especially if it's uncontested, as it often will be; no team will say "racism good," even if they say "wilderson bad"), then it's something that implicates all of their standards. Like, their "advocacy skills" can only teach us to be racist little Eichmanns, or their notion of "fairness" includes the exclusion of Black bodies, as they only reinforce the violence of modernity. I really recommend you to not make these arguments at the same time *on the flow as your more "traditional" responses to their standards. I think it's smart to compartmentalize your responses here, so that the judge can easily see where you have your "normal" offense and defense and where you have your "kritikal" stuff. 

 

You can make arguments about "resolved" and "should" too - that their evidence concerning "resolved" and "should" distorts the literature. They say that it's a reflexive verb, that "this council will" do whatever. But since we're not the FG, the phrase "Resolved the USFG should" means only that we should interpret the resolution - otherwise it only makes sense if we're the agent, which we're not! we're kids in a highschool room. And since we're not, we're in a relational position, not a reflexive one - the question becomes: how can we be resolved that the USFG should do something? This works well if your affirmative is a demand on the State, or otherwise opposes it. Some teams run that Black's Law Dictionary evidence about what the USFG is, but it doesn't call the USFG "the government on capitol hill," but as a concession of power - it talks about social-contracty stuff, the idea that we are willing to give up power to be governed. Generally you probably contest the idea that we ought to give up our personal agency to some higher transcendental power like the State, but there's maybe a "we meet" argument to be had here. If you engage the State, aren't you conceding some degree of power? Aren't you demanding something outside of yourself? Aren't you saying "DO this, we DEMAND you too," and you defend its desirability? You don't need to pretend to be a congressperson to think the USFG ought to do something; citizens do that every day when they grumble to themselves on the way to work about this or that. And if they read similar evidence, it's not a bad idea to simply re-highlight their own card and spin it a whole new, relational way. *Of course this distinction between reflex and relation should also be coupled with some offense about how role-playing is bad or something like that, which are arguments you've probably already alluded to in the 1AC.

 

Alternatively you can say that their interpretation is the self-serving one! It says that we should be involved in national politics, not that we should simulate USFG action. Why does your aff necessarily have to be outside of national politics? Even in opposing it, you're at least interacting with it. Their distortion of the literature in this way is what's really self-serving and unpredictable: *of course we need to simulate USFG action, if we're already the USFG. But we're not. This ties into the relationality argument above

 

You can always say that extra-T is inevitable. When UTNIF releases their stuff on openevidence (if they haven't already), check out the Duke Law School card in the Cuba Terror aff. It argues that implementation ensures that the justification of action is part-and-parcel of legislative enactment: in other words, the process of advocacy is inevitably tied to its implementation. A Wildy aff might not want to make that argument though, that's your call, your strategy.

 

Then there are just miscellaneous arguments you can throw in; Resolution checks abuse - as long as we defend the topic, the neg will have built-in negative ground. Stuff like that, just brainstorm and think to yourself: "how can I reconceptualize their objections into them just whining about problems that aren't intrinsic to us, or are hypocritical in some other way?"

Just some stuff I've picked up from camps and these forums, hope it helped.
 

Edits - i made some changes, which are preceded with a bold asterisk where I added them.

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K framework with a wilderson affirmative - Wilderson says that white supremacy functions because of framework (Well, he says something like that)

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@Daniel: thanks for the thorough response btw, I appreciated it. 

 

For example, if you're able to defend the desirability of a world in which your political method succeeds, you could win that that world is T or a pre-req for T.

I'm a bit confused on what you mean by "that world is T or a pre-req for T," if I'm considering, say, an aff that claims to solve via a form of micropolitics, e.g., speech act. 

 

In terms of providing a we meet to state engagement in context of Wilderson, I'm not sure what's problematic here: doesn't a demand or call for destruction of civil society constitute in some manner "engagement" w/the state? Also, although reasonability is ubiquitous in T debates, I haven't really seen it in FW debates; I'm guessing it's something like "we've been able to have a pretty substantive debate, don't vote on this"? But with FW it seems a bit more trickier. It definitely seems impractical if the team goes 1 of FW. 

I haven't heard of the relational v. reflexive, sounds pretty neat. When you speak of 

how can we be resolved that the USFG should do something?

do you use "resolved" in the sense like "certain" or the legal resolution sense? Besides that, I'm thinking there might be some tension in the direction of cooption assuming the aff is Wilderson in acknowledging the USfg has power over us.  

 

Alternatively you can say that their interpretation is the self-serving one! It says that we should be involved in national politics, not that we should simulate USFG action. Why does your aff necessarily have to be outside of national politics?

Bit confused here again; if the interpretation explicitly calls for the aff to defend the implementation of a policy action by the USfg, how does that not call for simulating USfg action? And I'm assuming your definition of "national politics" means something along the lines of issues relating to the nation. 

 

Checked out the Duke Law definition; seems to come in tension w/roleplaying bad, as you might've expected. 

 

Resolution checks abuse - as long as we defend the topic, the neg will have built-in negative ground.

Know this is just a random arg thrown out there, but I guess this arg begs the question what constitutes the "topic" and what's a key part of it, e.g., instrumental USfg implementation. I'm guessing though you mean something like we talk about Cuba, Mexico, or Venezuela in terms of economic engagement and how that relates to the US? 

 

K framework with a wilderson affirmative - Wilderson says that white supremacy functions because of framework (Well, he says something like that)

Right, definitely a popular arg w/whiteness affs as well. Pretty sure that can be built off the question of exclusion and privilege. 

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@Daniel: thanks for the thorough response btw, I appreciated it. 

 

I'm a bit confused on what you mean by "that world is T or a pre-req for T," if I'm considering, say, an aff that claims to solve via a form of micropolitics, e.g., speech act. 

This is where it becomes very contingent on your affirmative. At UTNIF, a left K aff was written that put a demand on the USfg for action, and defended the desirability of the political method (setting demands from a position outside the State) and the desirability of its outcome (which was something like the USfg accepting Cuba's offer of disaster assistance after Katrina in 2006). There was a Fidel Castro card that said that basically Cuba has a QPQ on the US, where we have to accept their assistance before they will engage with us. In that example, the world of the aff is a pre-requisite for topical (or debatable) engagement with Cuba, because without our aff actually happening, Cuba will always "say no" to each affirmative. If you can get a really neat tricky response to T and FW this way, you can get some great leverage on the standards of the debate. (For example: If there's no Cuba affs without our aff, and if there's already no Venezuela affs because they say no, then there's only Mexico affs and the neg wins since affs become hyper-predictable.)

 

In terms of providing a we meet to state engagement in context of Wilderson, I'm not sure what's problematic here: doesn't a demand or call for destruction of civil society constitute in some manner "engagement" w/the state? Also, although reasonability is ubiquitous in T debates, I haven't really seen it in FW debates; I'm guessing it's something like "we've been able to have a pretty substantive debate, don't vote on this"? But with FW it seems a bit more trickier. It definitely seems impractical if the team goes 1 of FW. 

I'm not particularly invested in Wilderson's arguments nor am I exceptionally well-read on afro-pessimist literature so, while I think I understand the arguments fairly well, I might not be right on some particular issues: hence I don't want to sound didactic or as if I have some expertise that I really don't. But, it depends here on what you interpret Wilderson as advocating: I agree that the call for destruction of modern Civil Society is an "engagement" with the State (although it may be construed only as engagement with Civil Society, which is by definition not the State). It's up to you whether or not that is the kind of "engagement" that you will be able to adequately defend against teams that try to out-left you (somehow, since you're already running Wilderson, haha). A lot of these debates come down to "you use the State more, no you use the State more," or something similarly nit-picky concerning the practice of the aff and the competing advocacy (usually a PIK or K).

About reasonability: personally, I find reasonability to be almost the same issue as predictability: if you're winning that your affirmative is predictable (I would imagine that you'd have to argue that Wilderson is a common approach to black politics, that affirmatives can incorporate such black politics, and that affirmatives can refuse to simulate USfg legislative action), then you should also be winning on reasonability. As a matter of opinion, when teams go one-off on FW, I find that as a form of intellectual laziness; they're creating a self-serving "abuse story" by purposely not running the myriad arguments against Wilderson or K affs or all kinds of things that you can link to affirmatives. You may or may not have success leveraging that argument in a round - I would guess probably not. Maybe you could straight up write a list of possible neg positions to your aff or even give relevant cites after the round (which, hell, you might want to do if it'll win a round or two). Always remember that when teams go up against K affs, they'll often run a K with weak links, T, and FW; and then they'll kick the K and read it as an abuse story for T or fw: "They were so right about everything - we couldn't win!" is what it usually sounds like; just be prepared for that. For this reason never spike out of arguments unless you have to. Defend a link against disads! One way you can get around this is to say that you defend the desirability of your method and its results, so you still link to like, Appeasement or Oil DAs I guess. When they ask in cross-x, "do you fiat the demand/plan?", you can always stop them there and be like, "what do you mean by fiat?", and explain what you truly defend. Their heuristics won't capture the essence of what you're really advocating, so try and pre-empt their bad theory arguments before they're even made. Being able to refer to the first cross-x on why their standards suck is a great thing:)

 

 

I haven't heard of the relational v. reflexive, sounds pretty neat. When you speak of [how can we be resolved that the USFG should do something?]do you use "resolved" in the sense like "certain" or the legal resolution sense? Besides that, I'm thinking there might be some tension in the direction of cooption assuming the aff is Wilderson in acknowledging the USfg has power over us.  

I meant like, "resolved" as in, "I am resolved to do this or to do that. I am resolved that this is true, or just, or right." It becomes a question of how do we resolve ourselves in a relation to the resolution: we aren't the actor of the resolution, but that doesn't preclude a productive discussion of it.

 

Bit confused here again; if the interpretation explicitly calls for the aff to defend the implementation of a policy action by the USfg, how does that not call for simulating USfg action? And I'm assuming your definition of "national politics" means something along the lines of issues relating to the nation. 

I worded what I said poorly. What I meant is that, their interpretation is in a sense self-serving, not only for the reflexive issue (that in mandating that we pass legislation it presupposes our ability to do so or our position as "federal government") but also for the other issue that it wants us involved in national politics. It then makes a condition on that, that we should only be involved in their particular way. But you can say that's not the only way, and it's probably not the best way, and even if it were that wouldn't be a reason that your way isn't good too (and thus not be excluded). You too can interact with national political issues in that "mainstream" or "common sense" definition of politics (as opposed to our fun, scholarly, kritikal ones) without literally pretending to be a congressperson, or while arguing against the necessity of desiring congress to act! I throw in that last part because an emerging response to critiques of normativity and fiat is that we aren't role-playing, but we're defending the desirability of legislation: that we're still being Daniel and Cantor, just Daniel and Cantor arguing that something is a good idea. But if that "something" is "taking up the anti-black apparatus of the State," then you can still relate to the resolution (and national politics) while still criticizing some of the other forms of relating to it (which constitute all of your kritikal offense against T and FW).

 

Checked out the Duke Law definition; seems to come in tension w/roleplaying bad, as you might've expected. 

 

Know this is just a random arg thrown out there, but I guess this arg begs the question what constitutes the "topic" and what's a key part of it, e.g., instrumental USfg implementation. I'm guessing though you mean something like we talk about Cuba, Mexico, or Venezuela in terms of economic engagement and how that relates to the US? 

That's a great response to the argument, and one reason that it's just a blippy throwaway. What you can say is that as long as you're relating in some way to the resolution, the neg will have something - be it a word PIC (there are some good ones!) or a DA to your method (reasons why the State is good) or something. The other problem is that you're just really talking at this point and not being specific - and if the only ground the neg will have are super-predictable and super-lame arguments, then your interp might not be that great for fairness and education anyway. So this one flows neg here. But it's something to say and something you can't lose on, so it's worth testing out in a few rounds at least.

 

Right, definitely a popular arg w/whiteness affs as well. Pretty sure that can be built off the question of exclusion and privilege. 

 

Hope those helped!

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