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K AFF - How to answer PICS

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You could preempt / answer exclusion PICs with geopolitical ego formation. Some cards that might help...

The counterplan is an attempt by the negatives to secure their perceived position in the psychopolitical world order. They refuse any encounter with the real, choosing instead to embrace its utopian reflection, real politick.

Toal 93 (Gerard Toal, Professor of Geography, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, PROBLEMATIZING GEOPOLITICS: SURVEY STATESMANSHIP AND STRATEGY, December 1, 1993, lexis)

Thirdly, though it may be problematic to speak of Cartesian perspectivism making different geopolitical strategies of sight-site-citing possible, it is nevertheless worth problematizing how the geopolitical gaze is gendered. That the disembodied, distancing and de-eroticizing cold eye of Cartesian perspectivism is masculinist is well established, though hardly uncontroversial. That we can begin to understand geopolitical sightings as cases of pornographic voyeurism - an obscene will to see everything - is an intriguing possibility. To designate the looking found in geopolitical practices as voyeuristic not only subverts the objectivist perception pretensions of such practices but places them within the domain of subjective pleasure and desire. Geopolitical visions are mediated by fantasy, desire and denial; envisioning becomes the means by which homo geopoliticus ostensibly secures his subjectivity as a tough, anti-sentimental, hardheaded realist. Geopolitics operates as ego-politics. (Interestingly, some elements of the US press suggested that the geopolitics of Nixon-Kissinger is a misspelling of ego-politics.) Investigating ego-formation in geopoliticians through acts of recognition, specularization (construction of mirror-images) and voyeurism is also something that needs further investigation. Ego-formation, as Freud and Lacan have suggested, is a projectionism, a graphing of psychic-imaginary maps of meaning. If we read geopolitics as ego-politics in a Lacanian sense, then we are dealing with the orders of the imaginary and the symbolic not the real. In other words, we are dealing with the systematic refusal of the real. A critical geopolitics ought to engage with feminist psychoanalytical discourses much more so than it has done for there is much to be learnt about how geopolitics and gender work together.

Specular ego-formation is inherently unstable. The ever present gap between the real and the imaginary is closed by alienation and otherization of the external, fueling narcissistic aggression.

Stavrakakis 99 (Yannis Stavrakakis, Fellow, University of Essex, LACAN AND THE POLITICAL: THINKING THE POLITICS, 1999, 118)

What is most important here is that in the mirror stage, the first jubilant moment is anticipating its own failure. Any imaginary unity based on the mirror stage is founded on an irreducible gap: ‘the human being has a special relation with his own image - a relation of gap, of alienating tension.’ Unity in the imaginary is a result of captivation, of a power relation between the infant and its image. But this captivation, the anticipation of synthesis, can never eliminate the real uncoordination of the body of the infant; it can never erase the external and alienating character of its own foundation. This ambiguity is never resolved. One important consequence of this is that narcissism starts appearing in a different light, as constituting the basis of aggressive tension: the imaginary is clearly the prime source of aggressivity in human affairs. What characterizes every narcissistic relation is its deep ‘ambiguity.’ The ambiguity of the imaginary is primarily due to the need to identify with something external, other, different, in order to acquire the basis of a self-unified identity. The implication is that the ‘reflecting specular image’ in imaginary relations, ‘always contains within itself an element of difference’: what is supposed to be ‘ours’ is itself a source of ‘alienation’. In that sense, ‘every purely imaginary equilibrium or balance with the other is always marked by a fundamental instability.’ This alienating dimension of the ego, the constitutive dependence of every imaginary identity on the alienating exteriority of a never fully internalized mirror image, subverts the whole idea of a stable reconciled subjectivity based on the conception of the autonomous ego. It is not surprising then that when Lacan discusses the idea of the autonomous ego in the ‘Freudian Thing’ it is enough for him to say ‘It is autonomous! That’s a good one!’

Threat construction is an inevitable and lethal consequence of utopian projectionism. In the arena of geopolitics, the terminal implication of narcissistic aggression is genocide.

Stavrakakis 99 (Yannis Stavrakakis, Fellow, University of Essex, LACAN AND THE POLITICAL: THINKING THE POLITICS, 1999, 100)

What I will try to do in this chapter is, first of all, to demonstrate the deeply problematic nature of utopian politics. Simply put, my argument will be that every utopian fantasy construction needs a ‘scapegoat’ in order to constitute itself - the Nazi utopian fantasy and the production of the ‘Jew’ is a good example, especially as pointed out in Zizek’s analysis. Every utopian fantasy produces its reverse and calls for its elimination. Put another way, the beatific side of fantasy is coupled in utopian constructions with a horrific side, a paranoid need for a stigmatized scapegoat. The naivety - and also the danger - of utopian structures is revealed when the realization of this fantasy is attempted. It is then that we are brought close to the frightening kernel of the real: stigmatization is followed by extermination. This is not an accident. It is inscribed in the structure of utopian constructions; it seems to be the way all fantasy constructions work. If in almost all utopian visions, violence and antagonism are eliminated, if utopia is based on the expulsion and repression of violence (this is its beatific side) this is only because it owes its own creation to violence; it is sustained and fed by violence (this is its horrific side). This repressed moment of violence resurfaces, as Mann points out, in the difference inscribed in the name utopia itself. What we shall argue is that it also resurfaces in the production of the figure of an enemy. To use a phrase enunciated by the utopianist Fourier, what is ‘driven out through the door comes back through the window (is this not a ‘precursor’ of Lacan’s dictum that ‘what is foreclosed in the symbolic reappears in the real’?). The work of Norman Cohn and other historians permits the articulation of a genealogy of this Manichean, equivalential way of understanding the world, from the great witch-hunt up to modern anti-Semitism, and Lacanian theory can provide valuable insights into any attempt to understand the logic behind this utopian operation - here the approach to fantasy developed in Chapter 2 will further demonstrate its potential in analyzing our political experience. In fact, from the time of his unpublished seminar on The Formations of the Unconscious, Lacan identified the utopian dream of a perfectly functioning society as a highly problematic area.

Plan identifies with the Other and abandons the ego-formation of real politick, disrupting social fantasy and opening discursive space for de-alienation. Recognizing the universality of the lack strips signifiers of their meaning. 

Stavrakakis 99 (Yannis Stavrakakis, Fellow, University of Essex, LACAN AND THE POLITICAL: THINKING THE POLITICS, 1999, 133)

By saying ‘We are all Jews!’, ‘We all live in Chernobyl!’ or ‘We are all boat people! - all paradigms used by Zizek in Looking Awry - we elevate the symptom, the excluded truth of the social field (which has been stigmatized as an alien particularity) to the place of the universal - to the point of our common identification which was, up to now, sustained by its exclusion or elimination. The same happens when we say ‘We are all gypsies!’ - the central slogan in a recent anti-racist protest in Athens - or when it is argued that we will be in a stronger position to fight anti-Semitism only when the Holocaust is recognized as a true part of all and not only of Jewish history, this localization silencing its significance; only when ‘on finding out what happened, everyone, and not just the Jews, thinks: “it could have been me - the victim that is.”’ What is promoted here is an attitude consistent with identifying with the symptom of the social and traversing social fantasy. It is only by accepting such an impossible representation, by making this declaration of impossibility that it is possible to ‘represent’ the impossible or rather to identify with the impossibility of its representation. Identification with the symptom is thus related to the traversing of fantasy. Going through fantasy entails the realization of the lack or inconsistency in the Other which is masked by fantasy, the separation between objet petit a and the Other, a separation which is not only ethically sound but also ‘liberating’ for our political imagination: It is precisely this lack in the Other which enables the subject to achieve a kind of ‘de-alienation’ called by Lacan separation  [in the sense that it is realized] that the Other itself ‘hasn’t got it’, hasn’t got the final answer. This lack in the Other gives the subject - so to speak - a breathing space, it enables him to avoid the total alienation in the signifier not by filling out his lack but by allowing him to identify himself, his own lack, with the lack in the Other.

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