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Queer Pessimism?

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It depends on which type. Edelman is the classic "archtype" of queer pessimism. He wrote a book called "No Future, Queer Theory and the Death Drive" which is frequently used in debate. Edelman uses psychoanalysis styled arguments (and most of queer theory is ultimately based in Deleuze or Lacans Philosophy) to explain that queer people are not seen as being "people" in a world where all of politics and the social sphere that is created around it is based on reproductive futurism. He argues that reproductive futurism is rejected by so called "Sinthomosexuals" (not a sexuality) who are those that reject reproductive futurism. He studies real life examples as well as media portrayals of people (and you do not need to be gay to be a Sinthomosexual, but being one is a very queer social location) Even queers with kids are still ultimately "Sinthomosexual" in-so-far as they are not able to reproduce in a society that demands a striving to improve the future. This "Fascism of the Babies face" is seen in lots pro-life rehtoric, but Edelman argues that all of politics is structured around it. He sees queer people as those with "No Future" and that they are pretty much destined to be fucked over by society. His "Alt" is defined early on in his book: 


"Because marriage remains the principal, and the best, framework for the nurture, education and socialization of ch.ildren, the state has a special interest in marriage." 31 With this fatal embrace of a futurism so blindly committed to the figure of the Child that it wiJI justify refusing health care benefits to the adults that some children become, Law lent his voice to the mortifying mantra of a communal jouissance that depends on the fetishization of the Child at the expense of whatever such fetishization must inescapably queer. Some seven years later, after Law had resigned for his failure to protect Catholic children from sexual assault by pedophile priests, Pope John Paul II returned to this theme, condemning state�recognized same-sex unions as parodic versions of authentic families, "based on individual egoism" rather than genuine love. Justifying that condemnation, he observed, "Such a 'caricature' has no future and cannot give future to any society." 32 Queers must respond to the violent force of such constant provocations not only by insisting on our equal right to the social order's prerogatives, not only by avowing our capacity to promote that order's coherence and integrity, but also by saying explicitly what Law and the Pope and the whole of the Symbolic order for which they stand hear anyway in each and every expression or manifestation of queer sexuality: Fuck the social order and the Child in whose name we're coJlectively terrorized; fuck Annie; fuck the waif from Les Mis; fuck the poor, innocent kid on the Net; fuck Laws both with capital Is and with small; fuck the whole nerwork of Symbolic relations and the future that serves as its prop." - Page 29 


Most teams don't read that alt because he ultimately concludes that nothing will save queers and is subsequently a pessimist. The book sounds rather spiteful and angry and is in general justified because it is a way to cope with grief (yay another queer theory concept). I am not familiar with the common edelman alts but they're usually bad so you can attack them. 


As for args against it: 

#1. (This is wrong and answered in the book but is an easy cheapshot that worked against the top 8 team in college NPDA) Argue that he assumes that queer people cannot reproduce and be apart of the future which is transphobic as fuck since it assumes that a trans*man and trans*woman could not have a child together, which they could. Since they're going to usually link you on discourse argue that any link of their own is damning for their own case.


#2. Queer optimism: Pessimism does nothing good and your author doesn't agree with literally any optimist shit you try to make your alt as.


#3.  Historical Materialism explains this better: fuck your Identity Politics and join the revolution 


#4. Literally any possible march towards the future links to this too: Trying to do genuinely good things also helps the future and the real alt is basically either a do nothing alt or a collective suicide and that's not cool. 


I'll try to think of better stuff when I'm a bit more sober but I think that this should give you something to start with. 





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Agree with good ole Bernie. Queer optimism is great. Read "Cruising Utopia" by Jose Muñoz (it's a phenomenal answer to Edelman since Edelman is hella racist, transphobic, excludes subjects who identify as bisexual, etc.). Deleuze is a great answer to, I personally would recommend reading some Ruffolo to expand on this aspect.


Puar is a really great Deleuzian scholar who writes about conceptions of queerness. 

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If you want to crush Queer Pess Ks (Edelman, Halberstam, etc) and you like debating about climate change

Cut this





Hall is a huge misreading of these authors, and honestly just bad in general.

If you want to beat Queer Pessimism Kritiks, read José Esteban Muñoz's "Cruising Utopia."

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