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AT Commodifying Suffering

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A lot of answers to Security will apply, such as threatcon or apocalyptic imagery is key to action.

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debate round - this is for K affs (e.g. you trade the ballot for suffering/narrative/etc)

 

i'll trade heavily for a good file btw

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A lot of answers to Security will apply, such as threatcon or apocalyptic imagery is key to action.

I think the same idea of answers will apply, just not these specifically. (Instead of apoc reps, more like suff reps)

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should i just read reps good then? i feel like that wouldn't refute the argument that our personal agency (e.g. the pursuit of the ballot) is commodifying suffering, not our representations of suffering.

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should i just read reps good then? i feel like that wouldn't refute the argument that our personal agency (e.g. the pursuit of the ballot) is commodifying suffering, not our representations of suffering.

Well, you really don't need cards to defend commodification of the ballot.

1. We're not just doing it for a ballot, we present a world in which we'd like to be a part of, and we will attempt to get to that point.

2. You're voting for our advocacy, not us

3. No impact to trying to get the ballot -

4. Impact is inevitable - people will still try to get the ballot no matter what

5. Our advocacy o/w - topic education/solvency/etc

 

Though, if you do want to go the card route, Reps of Suffering on Open Evidence had some really good answers.

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win that (1) you solve, which takes out the link by (a) demonstrating good faith and (B) outweighs/turns their argument by showing your reps are good, (2) and that dichotomizing "us" (saviors) and "them" (saved) is problematic because the dynamic your aff solves/discusses implicates and hurts everyone. no brightline for who's 'authentic enough' to speak about an issue.  (3) no alt - refusing to interrogate and rearticulate privilege simply lets it continue to exist. ask how else change should occur, if only those who are least able to act have the most responsibility for acting. 

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We must draw upon depictions of suffering to craft ways to combat it – the negative would paralyze social action

 

Kleinman & Kleinman, 1996 [Arthur & Joan, “The Appeal of Experience; the Dismay of Images: Cultural Appropriations of Suffering in Our Times,†Daedalus, 125.1]

Our critique of appropriations of suffering that do harm does not mean that no appropriations are valid. To conclude that would be to undermine any attempt to respond to human misery. It would be much more destructive than the problem we have identified; it would paralyze social action. We must draw upon the images of human suffering in order to identify human needs and to craft humane responses.

 

The commodification of suffering is necessary to combat human rights abuses and violence – even if it is deplorable, we must affirm it

 

Baxi, Professor of Law, 1998 [upendra, “Voices of Suffering and the Future of Human Rights,†Transnational Law & Contemporary Problems, lexis]

The raw material for human rights investment and consumer markets is provided by here-and-now human misery and suffering. However morally deplorable, it is a social fact that the overall human capacity to develop a fellowship of human suffering is awesomely limited. It is a salient fact about the "contemporary" human scene that individual and associational life-projects are rarely disturbed, let alone displaced, by the spectacle of human suffering or human suffering as a spectacle. In such a milieu, human rights markets, no matter whether investor or consumer, are confronted with the problem of "compassion fatigue." This is a moral problem, to be sure, but it is also a material problem. Of necessity, markets for human rights concentrate on this aspect of the problem if only because, when compassion fades, the resources for the alleviation of human suffering through human rights languages are depleted. This intersection registers the necessity for human rights entrepreneurs to commodify human suffering, to package and sell it in terms of what the markets will bear. Human rights violations must be constantly commoditized to be combated. Human suffering must be packaged in ways that the mass media markets find it profitable to bear overall. But the mass media can commodify human suffering only on a dramatic and contingent basis. Injustice and human rights violations are headline news only as the porn of power and its voyeuristic potential lies in the reiterative packaging of violations that titillate and scandalize, for the moment at least, the dilettante sensibilities of the globalizing classes. The mass media plays also a creationist role in that they "in an important sense 'create' a disaster when they decide to recognize it . . . . They give institutional endorsement or attestation to bad events which otherwise will have a reality restricted to a local circle of victims."  Such institutional endorsement poses intractable issues for the marketization of human rights. Given the worldwide patterns of mass media ownership, and the assiduously cultivated consumer cultures of "info-entertainment," the key players in human rights markets need to manipulate the media into authentic representations of the suffering of the violated. They must marshal the power to mold the mass media, without having access to resources that the networks of economic/political power so constantly command, into exemplary communicators of human solidarity. So far, this endeavor has rested in the commodification of human suffering, exploiting the markets for instant news and views. In a germinal monograph, Stanley Cohen has brought home the daunting tasks entailed in the commodification of human suffering. The commodification of human suffering has as its task (according to Cohen, with whom I agree) the conversion of the "politics of denial" into that of the "politics of acknowledgment." Cohen brings to attention an entire catalogue of perpetrator-based techniques of denial of human violation and the variety of responses that go under the banner of "bystanderism," whether internal or external.  The various techniques of marketing human suffering in the name of "human rights" succeed or fail according to the standpoint one chooses to privilege. Efficient market rationality perhaps dictates a logic of excess. The more human rights producers and consumers succeed in diffusing horror stories, the better it is, on the whole, for the sustenance of global human rights cultures. The more they succeed in establishing accountability institutions (truth commissions, commissions for human rights for women, indigenous peoples, children, and the urban and rural impoverished) the better commerce there is. Giving visibility and voice to human suffering is among the prime function of human rights service markets. But it is an enterprise that must overcome "compassion fatigue"  and an overall desensitization to human misery. When the markets are bullish, the logic of excess does seem to provide the most resources for the disadvantaged, dispossessed, and deprived human communities. But in situations of recession, serious issues arise concerning the ways in which human suffering is or should be merchandized; and when those who suffer begin to counter these ways, we witness crises in human rights market management. Human rights markets are crowded with an assortment of actors, agencies, and agendas. But they seem united in their operational techniques. A standard technique is that of reportage: several leading organizations specialize in services providing human rights "watch" and "action alerts." A related market technique is that of lobbying, whereby official or popular opinion is sought to be mobilized around human rights situations, events, or catastrophes.

 

Images of suffering spur political action to solve suffering

 

Kozol, Professor of Women’s Studies, 2004 [Wendy, “Domesticating NATO’s War in Kosovo/a,†Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism, 4.2]

There is, moreover, the risk of American news media turning to another story if violence and suffering are not visualized. News media's short attention span, with an insatiable appetite for new pictures, means that reporters and photographers quickly turn to the latest events. Despite the risks of voyeurism and spectacle, we may want the cameras to keep their gaze on a crisis. Pictures of victims, especially of children, have been successful at bringing world attention to human rights abuses and the sufferings of victimized populations. The political effectiveness of depicting victims of state violence and brutality cannot be underestimated. Attention to the intifada in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, for instance, took on new urgency (at least for a time) in the United States on September 30, 2000, when the New York Times featured a photograph of a Palestinian father, Jamal Dura, and his son, Mohammed Dura, huddled against a wall. The caption explained that the boy was killed right after the photograph was taken. Certainly, viewers are asked for their sympathy within a framework that secures ideals of heteronormative domesticity. This ideal also mediates the racialized representations of Palestinian men as terrorists that typically appear in the U.S. media. Alone, the father could be figured as a terrorist. Even the boy could look threatening in another context. But, as father and son, within the narrative framework of traumatic loss, the Palestinian cause is momentarily (for this narrative is rarely seen) figured as innocent victims. Again, we can see the process of domesticating alterity whereby heteronormative ideals sympathetically frame the otherness of the Palestinians. International attention in response to this publicity demonstrated how effective visual images can be in political struggles. Hasso argues that the value in such photographs lies as much in their repetition as in their content. The web-based worldwide distribution of the video of this scene created its own visibility of the [End Page 31] conflict, and for a moment at least, provided a narrative counter to the dominant frameworks offered by the American media as well as U.S. and Israeli government officials.

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