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Sorry for all my questions. Thanks so much for your answers to these posts -- they've been tremendously helpful.


I've been reading a lot about realism and the threat-con K recently, and I'm realizing that I don't understand what makes a critique a critique.


Here's my understanding of how a threat-con K typically works:


A. Link: realism bad because you create enemies when you call them enemies (self-fulfilling prophecies). E.g. moving troops near a supposed adversary turns them into an adversary even if they previously weren't because they have to act defensively.


B. Impact: everyone dies.


C. Alternative: stop viewing countries as categorically "good" or "bad" -- remove "ally" and "enemy" labels.


Here's what I don't get...


How is that not just a disadvantage or a counterplan?


Can't I achieve the same thing by saying:


Disad: calling X country an enemy turns them into an enemy when they're actually not one, which links to everyone dying.




I read the following in William Bennett's 1996 Rostrum article "An Introduction to the 'Kritik'":


it looks at core assumptions whereas disadvantages most often look at policy implications, and the kritik tries not to assume the burdens (e.g., uniqueness, threshold) of a disadvantage.



But how do you divorce assumptions and policy implications? In a K, we care about the assumption only because of its impact (isn't the format of a K supposed to be link/impact/alternative?)... so how can we say that a K is only about core assumptions?


And by saying that a K doesn't assume the burdens of a DA, isn't that just trying to be lazy about writing what's actually a DA?



Thanks in advance for clarifying. It's a big help.

Edited by heresoidontgetfined

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When teaching novices Ks, a lot of coaches boil it down to your point, a disad and a CP. While the basis of the statement are true and it's worth pointing out (to try to simplify the basis premise of a K so novices don't get too confused and have a simple understanding to come back to and expand on), it's not worth translating into actual learning of the K past understanding the structure.


The critique questions the actions, assumptions, justification, etc... of the affirmative/discourse. The disadvantage is a negative implication based on the outcome of the aff. A disadvantage also usually doesn't assume the burdens, as the Bennett article points out. To answer your question about it being a lazy disad, that couldn't be more far from the truth. The argument that the K is making is that the aff/discourse is flawed for X reason. For instance, a security critique's UQ would be like "securitization exists in the squo" which is obviously the case, so it wouldn't actually do anything for the debate. For a disad, the UQ is more important because it shows that the squo is trending towards/away from something. Also, adding a UQ aspect to the critique debate would allow teams to say things like "people in the squo are racist, so why does it matter if we are?" types of things which aren't good for debate at all.


The counterplan and alternative are a little bit more similar that the disadvantage and link/impact for a K. The biggest difference is that the CP is an alternative policy option to the aff. The alternative is a course of action to overcome those flawed assumptions, etc... Another thing worth adding is that the CP often defend some sort of fiat, alternatives more often than not, although not always, don't defend any time of fiat. The alternative is an action that the debaters ought to deploy and endorse as a method to overcome X instead of a policy method to solve some sort of policy implications. This is also why I think the term "alt solvency" is confusing to some. The alt doesn't attempt to solve a problem, it attempts to overcome the problem, whereas policy actions attempt to solve the problem.

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One thing I would add is that the DA is more about what the plan causes and a K is more about what the plan justifies.

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Kritikal disads are pretty rare because the uniqueness barely ever exists.

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