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Kritik Help

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I'm know that I'm bad at debate, but I would really appreciate it if someone took the time to help me.

 

Ok so, I'm not quite sure how each the parts of a kritik function. I'm not talking about kritikal affs or nontopical ones, like I just mean the basic kritik. So for example if I wanted to run an anthro K, does the link prove that the AC is anthropocentric, or does it prove that the AC is doing something that leads to the impact which then proves that the AC is anthropocentric? Also, how would the framework function? If I did like, the ROJ was to endorse the debater that speaks the truth, does that mean my impacts had to all lead to what the truth is?

 

Sorry if there is something obvious I am missing here, I don't have much debate experience. 

 

Also, I would appreciate if someone explained this simply to me, without using long loopy sentences that everyone here loves.

Edited by ABadDebator

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Hi. First of all, I'd ask you to avoid stating that you are "bad at debate." Anyone who wants to be a better debater is already a good debater.

 

The first couple of questions refer to the "link." I'm sure there are varying kinds of anthropocentrism argument, but if the "impact" is that human supremacy over nature is violent, the "link" should establish a relationship between the Affirmative and that supremacy. There can be lots of kinds of links. Perhaps the 1AC is grounded in anthropocentric assumptions. Perhaps the plan relies on an industrial model of education and economics that powers environmentally destructive energy industries. Perhaps even emphasizing human extinction as the ultimate moral failure is wraught with anthropocentric thinking.

 

Many Kritiks don't suggest that the Affirmative necessarily contributes to a certain system, but rather that it is complicit with, grounded in, or reliant on such a system. The "impact" - then - differently from a disadvantage, is not a consequence of the plan, but a demonstration of the potentially catastrophic implications of that reliance. The alterntaive serves to explore how we could exist without relying on that particular system.

 

Regarding framework, that's just a way to compare the policy-making, outcome-focused justification for the plan with the epistemology-driven, moral justification for the alternative. Think of it like this: when the Negative reads a counterplan, the judge is deciding whether or not the federal government faces an opportunity cost to the plan in the form of a mutually exlusive and net-beneficial alternative policy. A singular entity, the USFG, faces that decision. Because the judge must decide between endorsing the policy of the plan and endorsing the alternative, framework is used to explain how the judge can compare the two.

 

Your framework of "whoever speaks the truth" is probably not too strategic. I could talk about something totally irrelevant and, as long as what I said was true, I'd win. Think of framework as "what does the Affirmative have to do to win?" The Affirmative will probably argue that they only have to prove the plan is a really good idea in order to win. The Negative will probably say that the Affirmative must justify their form of knowledge-production in order to win. Usually, it's settled somewhere in between the two.

 

Framework is kind of separated from impacts. If you're arguing that we must question underlying assumptions, your violence impact becomes an explanation not of why the plan itself leads to violence, but of why a continued reliance on the assumptions of the Affirmative produces violence.

 

I only read the part about avoiding long, loopy sentences at the end of typing this. Unfortunately, long, loopy sentences are my specialty. I think I explained this in a fairly simple way, but if you need me to re-clarify or if you have questions, please feel free to ask!

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Wait, actually I still have one more question. In your example of an impact being that human supremacy over nature was violent, would I have to justify why that is an intrinsic bad, or can I just assume that is bad and move on? Would I have to include why it is bad in my framework somehow?

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Wait, actually I still have one more question. In your example of an impact being that human supremacy over nature was violent, would I have to justify why that is an intrinsic bad, or can I just assume that is bad and move on? Would I have to include why it is bad in my framework somehow?

Well, you'll want to establish a framing for why it's bad. So in the 1NC you can just say "the 1AC is anthropocentric, anthropocentrism produces a ton of violence, embrace whatever other model of thinking." The 2AC is probably going to freak out and respond with a card or two that say "evaluate consequences" or "be utilitarian" or "extinction outweighs." It's really in the Negative block that you want to develop a solid framing for how the judge should evaluate impacts. Part of that is done on framework, but you should also make arguments including

-our impact is worse

-anthropocentrism is the root cause of (warfare, economic collapse, whatever the Affirmative's impacts are)

-you have an ethical obligation to reject violence

 

The key is to make the other team's offense "go away." This means you should develop 2 or 3 good strategies for winning in the Negative block, and "go for" the one that the 1AR doesn't handle very well.

 

If they spend a lot of time on "the Affirmative is really good, extinction outweighs, be utilitarian" but don't spend much time answering that day-dreaming about USFG policy plans isn't educational, you can give a good 2NR that focuses on framework. If they spend a lot of time on the permutation and alternative debate, but don't discuss the links and impacts much, you can go heavy on that the link arguments make the Affirmative a project of violence, and also doom it to failure.

 

The interesting thing about the Kritik is that there isn't a single way to go about it like a disadvantage. Nothing is "intrinsic" about it. You have to tell the judge how you want them to think about your argument. That also means adapting to the different preferences that your range of judges may have. You should explore some various ways of framing your impact. And, the more often you practice and get feedback, the more comfortable you'll feel going for it.

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Snowball, 

 

Could you clarify how to beat a kritik?  I'm an old school 4 person policy debater debater who never faced kritiks.  A scenario that I am faced with often is that my novice debaters go up against a kritik, and freeze.  They have no response to the link, alt, impact, or framework.  Is there a basic strategy or theory to use against a K when you have nothing else on the K?

 

Thanks, 

 

Coach Mel

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Snowball, 

 

Could you clarify how to beat a kritik?  I'm an old school 4 person policy debater debater who never faced kritiks.  A scenario that I am faced with often is that my novice debaters go up against a kritik, and freeze.  They have no response to the link, alt, impact, or framework.  Is there a basic strategy or theory to use against a K when you have nothing else on the K?

 

Thanks, 

 

Coach Mel

Hi!

 

It's really best to start preparing generic answers and then gradually get more specific.

 

I'd begin with a framework. Most of the time, if the Negative will argue the K in the block, they're going to spend a substantial amount of time saying that the consequences of the plan don't matter because the assumptions of the Affirmative are flawed. The 1AR is a little too late to respond to this, so it's good to begin with a brief framework argument. You can look at the two in the document I've attached - I think the first one is pretty interesting for the education topic.

 

I like to follow up the framework argument with a short explanation of why that interpretation - evaluating the consequences of politics - is useful for engaging with whatever ideology the Negative happens to be criticizing.

 

It's not quite a good idea to have a "Generic 2AC" block to the K, because there are many different kinds of K. For example, you'd answer a criticism of capitalism very differently than you'd answer a criticism of gendered rhetoric like "mankind" within your evidence.

 

Off the top of my head, here's a few "categories" you could use to divide up your answers.

-Kritiks of your discourse, rhetoric, or representations - how you describe and justify the world. This includes the security K, which discusses how you construct the threats the 1AC addresses. You should prepare some evidence about the relative insignificance of representations and you should be prepared to justify your descriptions and your rhetoric.

-Kritiks of your actor/method - policy-making, governmentality, legal thought, using the state, etc. aren't valuable. You should prepare evidence that says it's useful to engage with politics and that policy-making can be effective. For any K that seems to preclude a focus on consequences, you can argue that consequentialism or utilitarianism are useful and that the alternative exists in an "ivory tower."

-Kritiks of your advantages/plan - if you're going to read an economy advantage, for example, you should prepare to debate capitalism and neoliberalism. If you're bringing up the environment, you should prepare to debate environmental control, and so on. Just have a defense of your internal link scenarios and impacts and the scholarship you're using to justify them. Have defenses of the systems you're supporting.

-Kritiks about "identity politics" - the power structures in which the plan exists and operates. Includes race theory or queer theory. I don't recommend "identity politics bad" evidence all the time - it's best to be very sensitive about these arguments. Justify that the plan is a good idea and talk a lot about the permutation.

-Kritiks about psychoanalysis - this is an odd section, but I think it deserves its own area - start with cards that are like "psychoanalysis is pseudo-scientific" and get more specific from there.

-Kritiks about epistemology - the knowledge process of the Affirmative, how you come to know the world - the complexity or lack thereof in your assumptions. So, as I've said, be ready to defend that. Why should we trust global warming experts above epistemological skeptics on matters of climate politics? Why is it good to be rational? etc.

 

I think there's going to be a specific section of Kritiks on the education topic that argue the education system is a discriminatory machine of productivity and capitalism, that it's really bad, that accountability policies are neoliberal - it'd be good to have some broad defenses of public education.

 

You should have a section for answers to Kritiks that truly don't fall into any of these categories, but I think I've covered most of them. You can have a "2AC Identity K" for something you're not prepared for, but within that section you branch out like "2AC Queer Theory K" etc.

 

By the way, if anyone on this thread takes issue with how I categorized something, feel free to let me know - that's meant to be a brief summary, not a comprehensive list.

 

Okay, so, it's the 2AC and you've just read framework. Now you're on the main part of the Kritik. You could begin with a theory argument or a "cede the political" argument if you feel that's very important, but I like to begin with "Either the alternative can result in the plan and you should vote Affirmative on the permutation or they are mutually exclusive and our impacts of [X,Y,Z] are a disadvantage to the alternative - that outweighs because [small amount of impact calculus]."

 

For the link debate you both want to read generic cards "education policies aren't neo-liberal" and make specific arguments "the plan increases state control over STEM, reducing the privatization of education and preserving the public education model of the alternative."

 

Then, you should make some permutations. I'd always make "permutation - do both" because it's fast to say and hard to answer. Some other popular permutations: "permutation - do the alternative in every instance besides that of the Affirmative" "permutation - pass the Affirmative plan with the ethical justification of the alternative." Do whatever you feel is appropriate.

 

One weird thing to watch out for is that alternatives are written to be competitive. So if the alternative is to reject the 1AC, and you say permutation - do both - they're going to say "lol you can't both vote for the 1AC AND reject it." So sometimes it's nice to find out what their alternative evidence actually advocates and permute that with the Affirmative.

 

Make sure you understand what the net-benefit to the permutation is - usually, I'd say it should be your Affirmative case impacts. Better to do the plan than not do the plan - it probably won't make the world capitalist again after the resolution.

 

On the impact debate, you're probably just going to be reading 1. framing evidence about why to prefer your impacts - this is where some impact calculus sneaks in - and 2. "impact defense" (such as "violence has been declining under capitalism" or "the environment is resilient." etc.) Impact-turning violence is usually not the best idea.

 

On the alternative, you want to argue that it generally fails, that it doesn't solve the links of the K, that it doesn't solve any of the Affirmative, and/or that it would have bad consequences. An obvious example of that last part - "Communist revolutions are bad because they kill people."

 

I want to talk a little bit about the 1AR. It's easy to get lost in the line-by-line of the 2NC during the 1AR. Try to have a few "anchor points" to the structure of the 2AC. So you can begin the 1AR on the Kritik by extending your framework interpretation and the reasons to prefer it, then addressing the framework arguments from the block. Start each "debate" (the "link debate," the "impact debate") by extending your important 2AC arguments.

 

I'd like to write more about this. I'm sure that others will disagree with the content or the structure of what I've said here, but it's something that seems to work for me. If you have questions or are confused about anything I've said, don't hesitate to make me clarify.

You can also use the search function on the website for "answering kritik" - just make sure you check the "forums" box on the search bar.

 

Snowball

2AC Education Framework.docx

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Well said, Snowball.

 

Piggybacking off of a few ideas -

 

When it comes to generics, there are generic arguments you can make, but they will not be the best. A good example of this would be a cede the political argument (the user AQuackDebater has uploaded a pretty nice sized one elsewhere on the website not too long ago), perhaps a "consequentialism good" argument, and perhaps the Zizek 4 evidence (I think it's 04, could be wrong) that some teams use as permutation evidence. These are okay arguments, and might win you a round if the negative really screws up, but it's best not to take that risk. I would advise more specifics.

 

In terms of organization, there are a few overarching categories, but the more specific you can get the better. Even when Snowball went from "2AC Identity K" to 
"2AC Queer Theory", there are still branches of queer theory that are different. For instance, you could have "2AC Queer Pessimism", "2AC Queer Futurism", "2AC Queer Optimism", and so on. These are obviously just examples, but each has its own nuances that could make having a generic queer theory 2AC troublesome.

 

Lastly, on the permutation, Snowball briefly mentioned rejection alts and comparing the actual alternative their evidence advocates. Instead of doing that (which you should do, but this is to save speech time), you could say "Perm - Do the affirmative and the non-mutually exclusive parts of the alternative". This would essentially mean that you, either in cross ex or the 1AR, get to explain that the perm is really just doing the aff and the alternative minus the "reject the plan" part of the alt, allowing you to bypass those tricky "yOu CaNt ReJeCt AnD dO tHe PlAn" debates. Just be sure that you are able to explain why only the part about rejection is mutually exclusive, otherwise the neg will say that 100% of the alt is mutually exclusive, therefore, you don't get a perm.

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