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Bataille K

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I'm interested in this kritik and have heard alot of talk about it. Could anyone explain the argument to me or trade files?

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We get a lot of excess energy from the Sun; we give utility to that energy; we don't have enough space to contain all of the excess energy - it has to be expended somehow. - either unproductive expenditure (like buying luxurious shit - it has no value but we spend lots of money on it) or shit like war and stuff - Because of closed economy we always end up with war, adopting theory of general economy + unproductive expenditure (what Bataille calls sovereignty) is k2 solving everything d:^) 

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We get a lot of excess energy from the Sun; we give utility to that energy; we don't have enough space to contain all of the excess energy - it has to be expended somehow. - either unproductive expenditure (like buying luxurious shit - it has no value but we spend lots of money on it) or shit like war and stuff - Because of closed economy we always end up with war, adopting theory of general economy + unproductive expenditure (what Bataille calls sovereignty) is k2 solving everything d:^)

 

So is it kind of like closed economy bad? Or the mindframe of unproductive expenditure bad? Or a combination of the two? Edited by CondoK
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So is it kind of like closed economy bad? Or the mindframe of unproductive expenditure bad? Or a combination of the two?

Closed economy bad I guess; unproductive expenditure is just a way for us to expend excessive energy in a manner that is unproductive (i.e. buying luxurious shit, ritualistic sacrifices, potlatch, etc.) which is something Bataille explains is a part of Sovereignty. 

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Not really. That's more of the butchered version of debate-Bataille. 

Check out Derrida's essay, "From Restricted to General Economy" and it'll give you the best summary of Bataille for the pertinent current Bataille studies. Then I'd check out the October group and their writings on Bataille (e.g. Hollier). Hollier has a good book too called "Against Architecture" which is really influential. Also check out Krauss' "Formless: A Users Guide."

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Not really. That's more of the butchered version of debate-Bataille. 

 

Check out Derrida's essay, "From Restricted to General Economy" and it'll give you the best summary of Bataille for the pertinent current Bataille studies. Then I'd check out the October group and their writings on Bataille (e.g. Hollier). Hollier has a good book too called "Against Architecture" which is really influential. Also check out Krauss' "Formless: A Users Guide."Yes 

Yes really

 

Nothing wrong with anything I said, I just didn't go into detail in anything at all - My explanation was tantamount to the way it is explained in debate, and especially to how it's tagged in that Michigan file; if you're talking more about what Bataille meant in his analysis of existentialism and mysticism, that's a whole other story that pretty much says the same exact thing I said above just in fancier language. 

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Yes really

 

Nothing wrong with anything I said, I just didn't go into detail in anything at all - My explanation was tantamount to the way it is explained in debate, and especially to how it's tagged in that Michigan file; if you're talking more about what Bataille meant in his analysis of existentialism and mysticism, that's a whole other story that pretty much says the same exact thing I said above just in fancier language.

 

By "fancier language" I think you mean totally different. Yes, that's how debaters have explained it, but that's not what he actually says. His philosophy is not just some discussion of energy and production. He is basically a very large critique of Hegels preference of the positive over the negative. He shows how any system and any form of positivity inherently gold over on themselves in face of the negative.

 

Source: I'm writing my thesis on Bataille and directly study under Bataille scholars.

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By "fancier language" I think you mean totally different. 

 

I think someone is exaggerating a bit.

 

Yes, that's how debaters have explained it, but that's not what he actually says.

 

Debaters aren't philosophers, nor should they act like they are. 

 

He is basically a very large critique of Hegels preference of the positive over the negative. He shows how any system and any form of positivity inherently gold over on themselves in face of the negative.

 

If you think an explanation of Bataille which uses his jargon in the context of Hegel will make sense to a high school student then you should learn a thing or two about teaching.

 

Bataille scholars.

 

Those are a thing? That's unfortunate...

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I think someone is exaggerating a bit.

 

 

 

Debaters aren't philosophers, nor should they act like they are. 

 

 

 

If you think an explanation of Bataille which uses his jargon in the context of Hegel will make sense to a high school student then you should learn a thing or two about teaching.

 

 

 

Those are a thing? That's unfortunate...

If the actual philosophy is too hard to understand, they should not be reading the K. I've never said I was trying to teach anyone, but I don't think actual philosophy should be butchered and bastardized for debate. It's the same as when high school students try to read Deleuze and Guattari in round without understanding it.

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 So this is an interesting argument that comes up every once in a while: is it acceptable that K authors often exist in very different forms in and out of the debate activity? I'm not surprised to see it crop up here, since Bataille is an influential author that has been gaining popularity among debaters now that there's a perception (accurate or not) that most people know how to responsively answer DnG. There's a couple things I'd like to unpack.

 

The first is that there are entire swaths of writings that philosophers write and care a lot about that aren't very useful in debate rounds. Deleuze and Guattari's writings on Lacan's failures are only helpful if you're trying to answer Lacan, which (unless you're in a very particular circuit) you probably aren't doing very often. So those cards get cut and filed away in an A2 section somewhere and will probably rarely see the light of day. Edelman's critique of Baudrillard is an entire chapter in his influential text No Future, but because it's based off of a very particular argument that Baudrillard makes it's rarely even useful as an answer to Baudrillard. In order to deploy that card, you need to be a queer theory debater arguing a very specific stance within the field against a Baudrillard debater deploying a very particular (and relatively minor) concept of Baudrillard's. Compare that with Edelman's scathing critique of reproductive futurism in earlier chapters, and you find that there are sections of Edelman's writing that are more helpful within debate than others. The key to good K debate evidence, especially in the 1NC, is evidence that links to enough arguments to be consistently useful while using strong enough language to create a clear and meaningful impact. Most of what philosophers write doesn't meet those criteria, so they get left by the wayside. Policy debate's obsession with big impacts and particular schools of authorship limit the number of philosophers who will have anything relevant to say at all, and of them even fewer will be rhetorically powerful enough to make much use of.

 

There's nothing wrong with this on its own, but it is the core of how philosophical texts start to be warped, extracted from their original meanings and given new life in the debate space. And in the world of debate, where education on a particular K generally consists of a 45 minute talk from a coach, a paragraph-long file description, and/or seeing it deployed by other debaters, it's easy to see how this process of warping is pushed further and further. When you try to shove a lifetime of complex and intertwined philosophical writings into a crash course so that the recipients of that crash course can subsequently shove what they know into 8 minutes or less, there's a lot of information that gets lost in those exchanges. So then in-round explanations of evidence happen, and debaters paraphrase what they know to the best of their ability while stretching the truth of what the philosophers are saying to try to make the strongest argument possible. The same thing happens in any scenario, whether with a DA+CP strategy, a battle over T interpretations, or whatever the case may be. The stretches of truth that have the most success in debate are the ones that make it into camp files and get distributed to the community as a whole, and then new debaters try to learn the authors by reading the files and assume that what's contained within is an accurate representation of what the author has to say.

 

So what are some conclusions we can draw from this? The first is that this entire process is okay if your focus is on winning debates. If you understand the debate version of these authors and can articulate these very particular arguments and interpretations, you will win a lot of rounds against people who can't do that. The amount of work that goes into this level of understanding is still nothing to scoff at, but it's not too time intensive and you can learn multiple authors at the same time this way. 

 

The second is that if you bypass this process you will win even more debates. Understanding an author's background, the references they make, who they're responding to, etc. will give you more to say when you explain the argument, it will make you less likely to lose against people who also know what they're talking about, and you'll perform better in front of K-friendly judges. The thing about judges that a lot of people don't realize is that judges who say that they like Ks or are philosophy students tend to be harder on K debaters because they actually know enough about the arguments and authors presented to be able to call out people who are stretching the truth. This process does take notably more time, and most people who do this pick a single argument or author to fully immerse themselves into so that they can be extremely good at this one position. 

 

The third is that the only way to access "real-world" or "out-of-round" education is to go the long route rather than relying on debate versions of the arguments. If you walk into a college lecture with a half-baked idea of what Foucault is up to but try to use his writings to make a point, you're going to have a problem. Half-baked is still better than those who are just starting the batter, and you will be a step ahead of your peers for a while. The difficulty comes when these authors start getting taught, as you will have to un-learn a lot of things that you thought about the authors you've argued in order to learn what they're up to when not being filtered through the lens of debate. It's a real challenge, and it can even set you behind the people who knew nothing going into the course because they're learning the "right" way first as opposed to the debate way.

 

So in essence, you'll be able to win rounds with the debate version of authors, but you'll win more rounds and have better portable education with a more holistic understanding. Which of these is "better" is a matter of what your goal and commitment level is, but at a minimum you should try to understand that people who give you resources and explanations of the non-debate versions of various authors are genuinely trying to help, and calling their existence "unfortunate" is needlessly condescending and rude.

Edited by The X Factor
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 So this is an interesting argument that comes up every once in a while: is it acceptable that K authors often exist in very different forms in and out of the debate activity? I'm not surprised to see it crop up here, since Bataille is an influential author that has been gaining popularity among debaters now that there's a perception (accurate or not) that most people know how to responsively answer DnG. There's a couple things I'd like to unpack.

 

The first is that there are entire swaths of writings that philosophers write and care a lot about that aren't very useful in debate rounds. Deleuze and Guattari's writings on Lacan's failures are only helpful if you're trying to answer Lacan, which (unless you're in a very particular circuit) you probably aren't doing very often. So those cards get cut and filed away in an A2 section somewhere and will probably rarely see the light of day. Edelman's critique of Baudrillard is an entire chapter in his influential text No Future, but because it's based off of a very particular argument that Baudrillard makes it's rarely even useful as an answer to Baudrillard. In order to deploy that card, you need to be a queer theory debater arguing a very specific stance within the field against a Baudrillard debater deploying a very particular (and relatively minor) concept of Baudrillard's. Compare that with Edelman's scathing critique of reproductive futurism in earlier chapters, and you find that there are sections of Edelman's writing that are more helpful within debate than others. The keys to good K debate evidence, especially in the 1NC, is evidence that links to enough arguments to be consistently useful, while using strong enough language to create a clear and meaningful impact. Most of what philosophers write doesn't meet those criteria, so they get left by the wayside. Policy debate's obsession with big impacts and particular schools of authorship limit the number of philosophers who will have anything relevant to say at all, and of them even fewer will be rhetorically powerful enough to make much use of.

 

There's nothing wrong with this on its own, but it is the core of how philosophical texts start to be warped, extracted from their original meanings and given new life in the debate space. And in the world of debate, where education on a particular K generally consists of a 45 minute talk from a coach, a paragraph-long file description, and/or seeing it deployed by other debaters, it's easy to see how this process of warping is pushed further and further. When you try to shove a lifetime of complex and intertwined philosophical writings into a crash course so that the recipients of that crash course can subsequently shove what they know into 8 minutes or less, there's a lot of information that gets lost in those exchanges. So then in-round explanations of evidence happen, and debaters paraphrase what they know to the best of their ability while stretching the truth of what the philosophers are saying to try to make the strongest argument possible. The same thing happens in any scenario, whether with a DA+CP strategy, a battle over T interpretations, or whatever the case may be. The stretches of truth that have the most success in debate are the ones that make it into camp files and get distributed to the community as a whole, and then new debaters try to learn the authors by reading the files and assume that what's contained within is an accurate representation of what the author has to say.

 

So what are some conclusions we can draw from this? The first is that this entire process is okay if your focus is on winning debates. If you understand the debate version of these authors and can articulate these very particular arguments and interpretations, you will win a lot of rounds against people who can't do that. The amount of work that goes into this level of understanding is still nothing to scoff at, but it's not too time intensive and you can learn multiple authors at the same time this way. 

 

The second is that if you bypass this process you will win even more debates. Understanding an author's background, the references they make, who they're responding to, etc. will give you more to say when you explain the argument, it will make you less likely to lose against people who also know what they're talking about, and you'll perform better in front of K-friendly judges. The thing about judges that a lot of people don't realize is that judges who say that they like Ks or are philosophy students tend to be harder on K debaters because they actually know enough about the arguments and authors presented to be able to call out people who are stretching the truth. This process does take notably more time, and most people who do this pick a single argument or author to fully immerse themselves into so that they can be extremely good at this one position. 

 

The third is that this is the only way to access "real-world" or "out-of-round" education is to go the long route rather than relying on debate versions of the arguments. If you walk into a college lecture with a half-baked idea of what Foucault is up to but try to use his writings to make a point, you're going to have a problem. Half-baked is still better than those who are just starting the batter, and you will be a step ahead of your peers for a while. The difficulty comes when these authors start getting taught, as you will have to un-learn a lot of things that you thought about the authors you've argued in order to learn what they're up to when not being filtered through the lens of debate. It's a real challenge, and it can even set you behind the people who knew nothing going into the course because they're learning the "right" way first as opposed to the debate way.

 

So in essence, you'll be able to win rounds with the debate version of authors, but you'll win more rounds and have better portable education with a more holistic understanding. Which of these is "better" is a matter of what your goal and commitment level is, but at a minimum you should try to understand that people who give you resources and explanations of the non-debate versions of various authors are genuinely trying to help, and calling their existence "unfortunate" is needlessly condescending and rude.

 

Really well written. I may come off too hard (this is the topic I've been studying in depth for about 3 years now), but I cannot agree enough. The way Bataille was explained above is fine if you want to debate about it, but it's extremely far from what Bataille actually says and his influence in the larger critical community. Going from debate's version of Bataille to the real version was rather difficult and took a lot of relearning. It took countless hours of reading Hegel, Kojeve, surrealists, Lacan, Derrida, and Bataille to really get a grip on the argument and see how it was warped via debate. I may get to aggressive when defending my favorite authors, but I mean it in the best possible way.

 

If you just want to debate it once or twice in rounds that aren't huge, then this is fine. But if you really want to go the whole way and debate this argument a lot, I think you have to learn it a lot differently. I can give you texts for either route. I have a lot of stuff from the debate version of Bataille, but I also have a lot of stuff for a more comprehensive discussion of Bataille. 

 

Again, X-factor, nice job. 

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By "fancier language" I think you mean totally different. Yes, that's how debaters have explained it, but that's not what he actually says. His philosophy is not just some discussion of energy and production. He is basically a very large critique of Hegels preference of the positive over the negative. He shows how any system and any form of positivity inherently gold over on themselves in face of the negative.

 

Source: I'm writing my thesis on Bataille and directly study under Bataille scholars.

Then what was The Accursed Share about? Is it not a critique of Marxist understandings of the world? I've read through Land's book and I do understand what you're saying - what I'm saying is that there's a distinction between the way debaters read it (i.e. the way it's read in that Michigan file - which i'll admit is garbage but I was just explaining to OP what that file said) and the way in which debaters who are more versed in the philosophical background and context of what Bataille was saying read it. I understand that for the most part, it's the former; but for a small percentage it's the latter. 

Edited by Theparanoiacmachine

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 There's nothing wrong with this on its own, but it is the core of how philosophical texts start to be warped, extracted from their original meanings and given new life in the debate space. And in the world of debate, where education on a particular K generally consists of a 45 minute talk from a coach, a paragraph-long file description, and/or seeing it deployed by other debaters, it's easy to see how this process of warping is pushed further and further. When you try to shove a lifetime of complex and intertwined philosophical writings into a crash course so that the recipients of that crash course can subsequently shove what they know into 8 minutes or less, there's a lot of information that gets lost in those exchanges. So then in-round explanations of evidence happen, and debaters paraphrase what they know to the best of their ability while stretching the truth of what the philosophers are saying to try to make the strongest argument possible. The same thing happens in any scenario, whether with a DA+CP strategy, a battle over T interpretations, or whatever the case may be. The stretches of truth that have the most success in debate are the ones that make it into camp files and get distributed to the community as a whole, and then new debaters try to learn the authors by reading the files and assume that what's contained within is an accurate representation of what the author has to say.

 

The current accepted term for this "warping" or "stretching of truth" is spin. You're sort of getting at the immense application of spin in the debate sphere, but the fact is that debating with evidence is, in totality, spin. I don't know if you meant it literally when you said, "or whatever the case may be," but functionally the case itself, the Affirmative Plan, is ninety-nine percent spin. While off-case positions like politics disadvantages or advantage counterplans certainly utilize spin, only a rare few Plan's will be wholly contextual. Unless you're reading a critical Affirmative with one or two authors (and even then), the case will usually consist of a few specific articles about why China should be given Market Economy Status, and then a couple slapped on impacts like Royal or Goldstein. Very few credible authors are going to say the giving China MES will directly prevent a nuclear war.

 

Debate IS extrapolation: Searching for a truth or an entirely factual claim will often get you criticism from judges because there is no one-hundred percent factual claim, and in fact this is true for the real world outside of debate. Weighing the consequences of a policy action and having a discussion over articles and evidence requires this spin and framing of cards to function. What I'm saying here is that spin is not just used in debate, but for the most part it IS debate.

 

Besides this, I think you did an excellent job explaining the strategy and preparation that goes into learning a Kritik.

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I really enjoy this discussion; can we apply it to Bataille though? It'd be good to see anyone (@Smarf!) who gets Big B introduce some of the concepts

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