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NickDB8

Is Debate Elitist?

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Hello all,

 

I sat thinking to myself about this thread and I wondered to myself, is debate elitist? We go to camps that cost thousands of dollars to get better at an activity that we do in our free time. We go to these camps, get individualized, one on one help with "progressive debate" (I hate to use that term, but see the above link) such as spreading, high-theory K's, and things of that manner, while the people who can't afford these camps get left in the dust. I come from a circuit that promotes the idea of "Better debater -> Better tournaments", obviously, and perhaps this elitist separation is a good thing, meaning "better debater -> better tournaments, which creates a competition level that is about equal". Otherwise, we'd have debaters with records that ... aren't spectacular going to tournaments where the top teams can eat them up for easy wins. I don't know, this is just a thought, I don't expect a K of debate to come from this or anything, but I just thought I'd throw it out there, and see what others think.

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(rip rep)

 

 

For the most part? Yes.

 

There are plenty of exceptions, but overall getting into policy debate requires a few things.

 

1. Go to a school with an existing policy debate program that's good

2. Have enough money to go to camps

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(rip rep)

 

 

For the most part? Yes.

 

There are plenty of exceptions, but overall getting into policy debate requires a few things.

 

1. Go to a school with an existing policy debate program that's good

2. Have enough money to go to camps

Also something I've been thinking about, schools with more money who hire 28 coaches vs those who have one coach. Or even those who debate laptop instead of paper.

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Ive always found this file very interesting when considering if debate is Elitist.

https://www.cross-x.com/files/file/10486-whiteprivilegemattheweffectk/

Tfw that file is saying (almost) everything I think about debate and turning into an argument

MfHOpc6.jpg

 

 

 

The stuff about race is a bit sketch, I think its miss attributing lack of minority debaters to them being minorities when in fact the real cause is because those groups are far more poor than other races and its the poor who are most excluded from policy.

Edited by Samuel

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Tfw that file is saying (almost) everything I think about debate and turning into an argument

 

The stuff about race is a bit sketch, I think its miss attributing lack of minority debaters to them being minorities when in fact the real cause is because those groups are far more poor than other races and its the poor who are most excluded from policy.

Definitely read your judge before running this in round.

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Definitely read your judge before running this in round.

 

The circuit I debate in is almost 100% judged by college policy debaters so I think they will buy it.

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The circuit I debate in is almost 100% judged by college policy debaters so I think they will buy it.

that's a reason why they wouldn't buy it; the whole "debate bad" argument doesn't disprove anyone's aff. None of the reasons in this file why fiat is bad are unique to just fiat; they're all indicts of debate writ large. There's plenty of rich white kids who read K affs to avoid having to engage those who don't have the privilege of going to camps. The reverse can also be true for those who haven't gone to camps- they might not be able to understand "non-fiated" debates because they don't have many resources and were therefore only able to learn the "traditional" format of debate. At best your argument would be vacuous and only true in some instances while still not disproving the aff. 

If you read it on the aff you'd probably wanna be prepared for the "I am a minority and I like "traditional" policy debate because I didn't grow up with the resources to learn high theory" argument. 

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Yes, the debate culture on our circuit is elitist. I have come across several examples. For one, the idea that "I compete on the circuit" is an invalid idea. For the most part, the progressive tournaments in our region have about the same levels of competition as nat circuit tournaments. This is a side of effect of kansas having the largest number of policy debaters out of any state. The drive to get better is what breeds this because even though we can only travel so far, there is still a high level of competition in the region. The second example would be some of the judges. There are people who say 'no plan no points no win' and will unfairly evaluate critical positions. This is symptomatic of a small cult that exists in the region of policy debaters whom are exclusionary towards other methods of debate for a variety of reasons. 

 

At the end of the day, the region in which we compete is elitist not only for argument style, but also because of the levels of wealth that they have sunk into creating a false perception of what it means to compete. This pedagogy of wealth is definately a problem.

 

Edit: And your analysis on coaching is correct. There are certain schools who think they are better than other schools because of this. Frankly, I think that coaching is a good thing, but the problem is when they start creating so much evidence for their debaters that they don't understand the argument and only use it in order to get a win because other teams won't have evidence against it. I mean, sure if you have a unique position that you research yourself, that is fine, but when you just run 12 off and expect the other team to not have evidence against one of your offs then that is just straight up avoiding clash.

Edited by ThomasDB8

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