The Art of the Double Bind
This my favorite argument in debate, and I believe it is underused, so I decided to make an article on it
Double Bind: An argument which is constructed in an “either or” form. Example, “Either the affirmative links to our economy disadvantage, or they violate the word assistance which we defined as monetary provisions making them untopical”
Basic double binds
Critique Perm Double Bind: A double bind argument which involves a perm, it highlights the fact that the critique can “either can’t solve for other forms of discourse used or it is so powerful that one instance of rejection can solve for all forms of the discourse meaning that a perm “reject in all other instances solves”
Example: A nuclearism critique against an “African Instability = Nuclear War Argument”
The argument would be: Either the negatives alternative can’t solve for all other instances of creating nuclearism like the constructed treats of Iran and North Korea or their alternative is so powerful it can solve for all those other issues showing that the perm “reject in all other instances” solves because one act of rejection can solve for all other instances of this discourse.
How to answer this form of a double bind argument
1) Argue that you control the uniqueness of the double bind- show how the affirmatives discourse is unique, meaning that even if we rejected in other instances it couldn’t not solve
Example: the affirmative runs a “westernize Africa affirmative” which forces Africans coercively to change the very way they live. To answer the double bind you would just have to read specific links about attempts to westernize “Africa” specifically, is the absolute worst form of “imperialism” and will only perpetuate the status quo or potentially make it worse.
2) Counter Perm the affirmative- Perm most of the affirmative excluding the parts that link
Example: the affirmative runs a “westernize Africa affirmative” which forces Africans coercively to change the very way they live. The negative could then counter perm to do the plan non-coercively. This creates 2 worlds, one which links and one which doesn’t, allowing for the negative to construe the argument that the affirmative links harder and since the negative solves 100% of case through the counterperm, any risk of a link means that the judge has to default negative.
AFF: Affirmatives should answer with 2NC Counterplans are bad and PICs are bad (floating PICs bad works better)- the perm functions that way, because it isn’t a test of competition because it excludes part of the affirmative, and claims solvency. Also make theory arguments why the negative doesn’t get this ground because they get more then one “world in debate” and don’t just have to defend the status quo. Also it is pretty infinitely regressive, you can argue that to, even though it isn’t as persuasive as the other arguments nor is it really a reason to reject.
3) State that you have some moral obligation to reject- (self explanatory)
Example: same above. The negative would just argue that attempts to “westernize Africa” are morally reprehensible, and no matter what the outcome should be rejected.
Side Note: Affirmatives can answer this back with some Utilitarian framework shiz, and the fact that the alternative still solves nothing.
4) Concede the Alternative doesn’t solve but the links are case turns- self explanatory
Example: same above. Although the alternative doesn’t solve for “Imperialism” the mere fact that the United States would go into Africa and force them to westernize would cause more damage then us not going their in the first place
AFF: Affirmatives can answer this by stating that the “case turns” aren’t unique, and aren’t specific, just extend solvency and explain why it is more specific then their “all encompassing link”
Consultation Double Bind arguments
There are 2 standard ones
Yes/Perm Double Bind: States “either they say yes meaning that the perm solves because competition goes away and the Counterplan effectually becomes a plan plus Counterplan, or they say no meaning there is a solvency deficit
Example: Double bind- If brazil says yes then the perm solves- if brazil says no then there is a solvency deficit
Yes/No link Double Bind: Sates “either they say yes meaning that there is no link to relations because you didn’t consult on something which they really cared about or they say no and there is a solvency deficit
Example: Double bind- If Brazil says yes then there is no link to relations- if Brazil says no there is a solvency deficit
Topicality/Disadvantage Double Bind: States “either they link to our disadvantage or they are untopical
Example: Either the affirmative links to our economy disadvantage, or they violate the word assistance which we defined as monetary provisions making them untopical
Advanced Double Binds
Here is where the fun really starts
Uniqueness/Link Double Bind argument: This argument states either we win the uniqueness debate or they win that their uniqueness overwhelms all of these other instances meaning that it should overcome any link to the plan
Example: The Negative reads a politics scenario (how about TPA) with a bipartisanship link, the affirmative will stand up and read the following
There is bipartisanship now because (note they would read the cards that say this shit)
SCHIP (State Children Health Insurance Provider)
Then they read the double bind argument: “either we win the uniqueness debate or they win that their uniqueness can overwhelm all of these other instances of bipartisanship meaning that it should overcome any bipartisanship that the plan produces”
After that the affirmative reads the No Link/Link Turns
This argument is fundamentally damming for the negative because they would have to stand up and read answers to why specifically and individually, all those other issues didn’t cause bipartisanship, But if the Negatives link is really good and specific to TPA and the Plan you can probably get some weight, but not much.
There is one drawback to this argument and it is the inability to link turn the argument, because it fundamentally makes the link not unique, not necessarily the scenario, that means it should pass despite the plan in the status quo because all of those issues why it should pass now overwhelm any reason why the plan would cause partisanship.
One way to create a link turn is have specific internal links to the uniqueness debate; here is an example of what my partner and I did to create a link turn while still maintaining the double bind agurment
TPA will pass now
McCain push and is key
Snow supports and is key
Bipartisanship on TPA now
Gop and is key
Then we read the double bind argument: “either we win the uniqueness debate and you give us full weight of a link turn or they win that their uniqueness can overwhelm all of these other reasons why TPA will pass meaning that it should overcome any link to the plan”
McCain Hates the plan
Snow Hates the plan
Plan causes Partisanship
Gop hates the plan
This means you control the uniqueness and links for one side, we did this for our americorps watershed restoration Affirmative
Uniqueness/Internal Link Double Bind argument
This is fundamentally the same thing, but with the internal link to impact and far less strategic (but sometimes it catches teams off guard)
Example Economy Disadvantage. (note the link is spending not inflation)
Not Unique, inflation now
Yuan (forced dollar climb)
“Either we win that there is inflation now, or they win that inflation will remain low despite all these other issues meaning that spending would do no harm”
The problem with this kind of argument, is that they still have the link of spending, they can easily get rid of the double bind argument by saying deficit spending will cause more inflation then all of those other things, Also it isn’t offencive at all which is a minus
Critical Affirmative/Exclusionary Counterplan Double Bind argument: the argument would exclude a particular part of the affirmative and claim a net benefit off of it while still maintaining solvency
My partner and I used throughout this year specifically with critical LSA affirmatives: We Excluded Native Americans from critical pedagogy(sp?) affirmatives and claimed imperialism through an education net benefit. The team would argue a solvency deficit that we have to include all groups inorder to solve we then did the following
LSA excludes the following groups,
X (sorry don’t remember)
Then we did a double bind/tripe bind, “either they concede 100% solvency for the affirmative or they concede that they solve for 0% because they don’t include those groups or they are extra topical because they create new branches/provisions to include those groups and that is a voting issue”
This works for most critical inclusion affirmatives
Critical Affirmative Discourse/Disad Critique/Counterplan Double bind: This argument states that the affirmative can either “solve for all instances of using this discourse” just by doing the 1ac or something similar to it, or they don’t reject all forms of that discourse meaning that can’t solve meaning that the Negative gets 100% weight of their disadvantages (yes this is hard to explain, look to the example below)
Lets use OU’s Abortion Affirmative: their affirmative argued that the image of the child has become the benchmark reproductive futurism, which is tied to the death drive and constructs threats in order to maintain the symbolic order which visits violence upon queers and other groups which threaten the image of the child. (hopefully I didn’t butcher what the affirmative actually says)
As the negative we could try the following.
Some mechanism Counterplan
Legitimacy Disadvantage (with an economy impact, as a netbenefit to the mechnism counterplan)
A bunch of alternative causality stuff on case
Futurism with Iran
Futurism with North Korea
March of the Penguins or whatev
Now lets ignore the fact that OU will have better answers to this stuff then the example that I will be using. In this instance lets assume the 2AC to answer with the following
The Counterplan = logic of futurism via the net benefit, it doesn’t solve because it sustains the logic
They critique the Economy Impact with more “futurism is bad” stuff
The Affirmative solves for these other instances of futurism via their demand of abortion ( on the alt cause debate)
Because the affirmative stated that they solve for the instances of futurism by saying, “fuck the child” the negative can create a double bind with the Counterplan/disadvantage/alternative causality
The double bind would state that since the affirmatives advocasy of abortion is so powerful it could solve for the logic of futurism in all other instances (like the alternative causality arguments) there is no reason why the negatives counter plan can’t do the same thing except with a net benefit---the net benefit acts the same as the alternative causality arguments, except in this case there is an extinction impact (getting out your critique file and reading all of your perms on threat con will also give you more weight because it shows that the way they solve isn’t just the only way it can be done “we can use futurism strategically”). Also if they skew a reason why the Counterplan can’t solve because of “discourse” then you should state that the affirmative then can’t solve because of other instances “discourse” and highlight the alternative casuality arguments.
I know there will be many people that will disagree with the above, I am not arguing that this is the best way to go about something, I am just giving a way which I find persuasive. Also I didn't really proof read this sooo.... yea if something doesn't make sense please tell me, and I'll fix it