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So in one of my coaches files he shared with me, there's a very interesting kritik that is meant to be read against affs of personal experience. There is no alternative for it, but it's meant to be read as a case turn. I read it on case against an aff of legalizing undocumented migrants that talked about forced harm and internalized racism. There's only two cards, but in cross-ex, I stumbled a little bit because I didn't quite understand it well enough. My understanding was that the 1AC was simply a forced confession of a story in exchange for the ballot which ultimately trivialized the violence they truly faced. Their answers were that we don't give a sh** about your guilt. The judges said that their answers were good and that we shouldn't be reading those authors if we didn't understand them, but we won on a procedural so it didn't end up mattering. Can someone help explain the argument made by Foucault and Zizek in these cards? I don't want to put the whole thing in the event that someone takes our evidence and I am blamed, but I'll put some excerpts and if anyone could help me understand them, I would greatly appreciate it. 

First card-

Aff is a process of confessional-their demand is an exchange of truth of experience as the price of redemption.

Foucault

Excerpt 1: The mad would be cured if one managed to show them that their delirium is without any relation to reality.  

Excerpt 2: Leuret wishes to obtain a precise act the explicit affirmation, “I am mad.”

Excerpt 3: To declare aloud and intelligible the truth about oneself – I mean, to confess-has been considered for be a long time in the western world either a condition for redemption for one sins or a essential item in the condemnation of the guilty.

Second Card-

Their confessional is tantamount to a Stalinist show-trial that locks us all into an unproductive forced choice – their criticism deploys guilt as a means of avoiding a full questioning of privilege. Their argument enforces a kind of metaguilt, implicated by individuals who participate in their own oppression-their project doesn’t allow for the possibility of escape, meaning there is no alternative

Zizek

Excerpt 1: the subject experiences guilt before the big Other, while anxiety is a sign that the Other itself is lacking, impotent – in short, guilt masks anxiety.

Excerpt 2: The more they proclaim their innocence, the more guilty they are!’) therefore contains a grain of truth; the ex-Party cadres wrongfully condemned as ‘traitors’ were guilty in a way, although not, of course, of the crimes of which they were explicitly accused – their true guilt was a kind of metaguilt: that is, it lay in the way they themselves participated in the creation of the system which rejected them

Excerpt 3: their condemnation meant that they got from the system their own message in its inverted-true form.

 

Can someone help me understand these cards better? I would really appreciate it, because I think the literature is very interesting but I only understand a small fraction of it. Some key things I don't understand include-"a essential item in the condemnation of the guilty" "Stalinist show-trial" "metaguilt" "their own message in its inverted-true form". 

Thanks!

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Difficult to say anything without context, you need to post the cites/full text. If anyone blames you tell them that open source is good and that restricting access to evidence is elitist and makes debate exclusionary.

That said, I'll say that the judge was definitely right that these are not arguments you should be reading w/o a stronger understanding. Here's my half-informed take given what I see: Foucault and Zizek are making different arguments, other than  the word "confession" I don't see what these have in common. Foucault's argument seems to be that affirming one's own madness produces the psychiatric apparatus because it reifies madness as a condition that exists. Kind of a complex theory in itself, but the idea is that "madness" is a name assigned to certain deviant subjectivities, not a condition that "naturally" exists. Seems situational at best vs certain ableism affs, but most ableism affs link turn Foucault (they agree with him). So not super useful unless there's an argument that isn't shown here.

Zizek appears to be making an argument about superegoic reinforcement, but I actually have no idea what he's saying specifically w/o context since many of these lines could be ironic. I can explain the Other tho. It is a psychoanlytic concept: if I remember the capitalization correctly the capital-O Other is imaginary. Basically, it's who the subject in question imagines they are talking to during analysis (or in a trial, I suppose). Basically its the principle of "telling them what they want to hear," where "they" are the Other. Of course, you never really know what they want, it's just who you imagine, so there's a degree of projection. In a clinical psychoanalytic encounter, this is supposed to reveal who the subject is by way of who they imagine the analyst is. For Lacanian psychoanalysts, "there is no Other" because intersubjectivity is impossible. But I have no idea how this would describe Stalinist trials or how that would really apply to debate. If you want a more straight forward argument I know there's another Zizek card about hysteria which is tagged to say that debating destruction has become a substitute for destroying debate.

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18 hours ago, seanarchy said:

Difficult to say anything without context, you need to post the cites/full text. If anyone blames you tell them that open source is good and that restricting access to evidence is elitist and makes debate exclusionary.

Yeah, that is true. I just didn't want my coach to get mad if I shared it without him knowing.

18 hours ago, seanarchy said:

Foucault's argument seems to be that affirming one's own madness produces the psychiatric apparatus because it reifies madness as a condition that exists. Kind of a complex theory in itself, but the idea is that "madness" is a name assigned to certain deviant subjectivities, not a condition that "naturally" exists. Seems situational at best vs certain ableism affs, but most ableism affs link turn Foucault (they agree with him). So not super useful unless there's an argument that isn't shown here.

Could you explain why it would work against some ableism affs? I guess I really don't understand the argument at all

 

18 hours ago, seanarchy said:

Zizek appears to be making an argument about superegoic reinforcement, but I actually have no idea what he's saying specifically w/o context since many of these lines could be ironic. I can explain the Other tho. It is a psychoanlytic concept: if I remember the capitalization correctly the capital-O Other is imaginary. Basically, it's who the subject in question imagines they are talking to during analysis (or in a trial, I suppose). Basically its the principle of "telling them what they want to hear," where "they" are the Other. Of course, you never really know what they want, it's just who you imagine, so there's a degree of projection. In a clinical psychoanalytic encounter, this is supposed to reveal who the subject is by way of who they imagine the analyst is. For Lacanian psychoanalysts, "there is no Other" because intersubjectivity is impossible. But I have no idea how this would describe Stalinist trials or how that would really apply to debate. If you want a more straight forward argument I know there's another Zizek card about hysteria which is tagged to say that debating destruction has become a substitute for destroying debate.

Ok, thanks. Do you know why a lot of the cards in the file might be citing Lacanian psychoanalysis? Because I asked my coach and it really made even less sense after that. Could you think of why the Other is important in relation to identity-based affs? 

One more thing. 

They were thus caught in a strange forced choice; if they admitted their guilt, they were guilty; if the insisted on their innocence, they were, in a way, even more guilty. On the other hand, this example of the accused in the Stalinist show-trial clearly expresses the tension between guilt and anxiety: the Party leaders needed the accused’s confession of guilt in order to avoid the unbearable anxiety of having to admit that ‘the big Other does not exist’, that the historical Necessity of the Progress to Communism is an inconsistent phantasmic fake.    

 

The blocks in this backfile say at the very worst it decks solvency and cites this line out of Zizek's book.

Do you know why forced guilt through confession might undermine the aff's attempts to create change through personal experience?

Sorry for all the questions.

Thanks for replying though, I really appreciate it. 

 

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7 minutes ago, theorderis15offandcase said:

Could you explain why it would work against some ableism affs? I guess I really don't understand the argument at all

I'll take a wild swing and guess that this card is from History of Sexuality or Madness and Civilization. In either case, Foucault is describing how a discourse is constructed, which in the lines of the card you've provided is the discourse of madness. This is a set of assumptions, values, and logic that circulate through how society (particularly psychotherapists) talk about "madness" as a thing which exists and can be analyzed. A discourse produces its subjects. It makes them appear coherently as subjects with certain disorders. Foucault's thesis is that even though the behaviors and symptoms that are described as madness exist in themselves, they exist as a set of named pathologies that we call "madness" only through a discourse. So there might be a set of hallucinations, outbursts, etc. that we might call schizophrenia, but we have decided to name it that and assert that it is a disorder. Foucault's claim is not that these discourses are always bad (schizophrenia probably sucks and diagnosing it is important) but that we should understand their structures and effects.

Take lobotomy as an example: for several decades, it was thought of as a respectable and medically sound practice for curing certain disorders. But according to the psychological discourse of the 40s and 50s, these disorders often  included simple disobedience, laziness, or a number of other relatively mundane behaviors that fall well within the realm of healthy neurologically and environmentally conditioned deviance. (I should note that when I say "healthy" I'm referring to what is considered healthy within contemporary psychological discourse. This is not a "disclaimer" per say, and there are good reasons to prefer certain discourses over others, but it is important to point out that the differences exist.) As a consequence of the consensus at the time, thousands of people were lobotomized against their will, often disproportionately women. This was probably related to the discursive inclusion of "hysteria" and burgeoning female independence within discourses of madness.

Now, the debate applications of this argument seem strenuous at best. "Leuret wishes to obtain a precise act the explicit affirmation, 'I am mad.'" This line suggests a somewhat more humane application of a discourse of madness, but the point is that the therapist wanted the patient to admit they were mad: that they were wrong and that now they could see that. Such an admission would provide support for the discourse. As an example, in their book Anti-Oedipus Deleuze and Guattari mock the psychoanalyst Melanie Klein's studies into child psychology: "Say it’s Oedipus, or I’ll slap you upside the head." The theory (that psychology boils down to Oedipus) is brought into reality by its own adherents (Freudians).

This could be made to relate to an aff that discusses mental disorders. Take an ableism aff discusses how the 1a is schizophrenic, how they have treated, etc. You could make the case that they have bought into the discourse of madness. Depending on how they discuss "schizophrenia" they could be uncritically accepting the terms of the discourse of madness: by rebelling as as schizophrenic they implicitly affirm the premise that schizophrenia is a natural condition which society simply responds to. You would have to argue some kind of radical mental health position that schizophrenia is produced by social factors, capitalism, etc. and that by saying "I am [schizophrenic]" they have reaffirmed dominant discourses on this subject. Maybe they'll be written off as mad, idk. The trouble is that often ableism affs are explicitly or implicitly critical of the discourse of madness. They would agree with Foucault. And if they don't, chances are there's a reason and that whatever they are describing can be adequately described within medical discourse.

This could be applied to other affs too like Irigaray, in which the aff might affirm that they are rebelling as hysterics. But it is very contingent on how the 1ac describes the form of oppression: do they simply reaffirm the terms of the discourse? do they establish a new one? do they subvert the current one? You would want to keep this as an option, because it could be a very good case takeout against certain affs like I described (they rebel as the mad), but it does not seem like a super reliable choice since small minutiae could determine how the aff answers it better or worse. I might make another post later about the Zizek evidence, but again I don't see a great connection here. They might even be opposed to one another depending on how Zizek deploys psychoanalysis, although I doubt it goes that far. His prose is much more opaque and I actually would need the evidence to make a very detailed post. My take rn is that he is probably criticizing the Stalinists for being too ideological (unwilling to admit "the [counterrevolutionary] Other does not exist"), but I don't see how almost any aff is analogous to Stalinist jurors in either form or content. Need the card, ask your coach.

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