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#924949 AT: Wilderson/Anti-Blackness - 2014 - End of Yr Price Cut

Posted by roarkdebate16 on 12 February 2016 - 04:48 PM

Capitalism is cool



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#916424 Evazon

Posted by roarkdebate16 on 11 May 2015 - 02:41 PM

Has anyone heard from an admin/the site head recently? I understand it's a running joke at this point (which I am in total support of).


All my files will be free until this is resolved and I encourage other authors to not just let the site continue profiting with no expectation of a payout.

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#913232 AT: Wilderson/Anti-Blackness - 2014 - End of Yr Price Cut

Posted by roarkdebate16 on 08 March 2015 - 02:44 PM

Decided to release this file for free - enjoy.

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#904698 Thursday File Sign Up?

Posted by roarkdebate16 on 26 September 2014 - 08:22 AM


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#901058 A-Spec - Oceans 2014

Posted by roarkdebate16 on 10 July 2014 - 10:43 AM

Most of the theory-related arguments have not changed that much (as reflected by the index, I shameless admit) - the biggest difference/addition is the new topic-specific cards

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#899082 A-Spec - Oceans 2014

Posted by roarkdebate16 on 06 June 2014 - 05:30 PM

File Name: A-Spec - Oceans 2014

File Submitter: roarkdebate16

File Submitted: 03 Jun 2014

File Category: Theory

Resolution: Oceans

A-spec is usually pretty silly. However, while doing some politics research for the oceans topic I came across a number of really good cards about bureaucratic agency politics empirically undermining US ocean management/development policy. This means that an engaged discussion about agency implementation is a pre-requisite to aff solvency. These cards are extremely specific and high quality. The coolest part of this component of the argument is that oftentimes the 2AC will just read their generic frontline to A-Spec and completely forget about the solvency debate. So in the block, you can just go for the substantive component of the argument and crush them on presumption + a disadvantage. Judges are often very unwilling to let the aff recover after a mistake like this, especially when you read several high-quality cards supporting your argument. This file is fully prepped with extensions through the negative block. At only $3 it is a high-value deal that you will want to start the year off with.

ASPEC --- 1NC. 2
ASPEC --- 2NC Overview.. 3
ASPEC --- 2NC Solvency Takeouts. 4
ASPEC --- AT: C/I --- Normal Means. 6
ASPEC --- AT: C/I --- All 3 Branches. 7
ASPEC --- AT: C/I --- “The†= Mass Noun. 8
ASPEC --- AT: No Rez Basis---2NC. 9
ASPEC --- AT: Agent CPs bad. 10
ASPEC --- AT: Cross-ex checks. 11
ASPEC --- AT: Infinitely Regressive. 12
ASPEC --- AT: No Rez Basis. 13
ASPEC --- AT: Wrong Remedy / Not A Voting Issue. 14
ASPEC --- AT: No Ground Loss. 15
ASPEC --- AT: No Right To Those Args. 16

Collin Roark is the assistant director of debate at Trinity University and an assistant coach at the St. Mark's School of Texas.

Click here to download this file

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#898287 *Adaptation Turn - Price Cut

Posted by roarkdebate16 on 23 May 2014 - 08:38 PM

File Name: *Adaptation Turn - Price Cut

File Submitter: roarkdebate16

File Submitted: 14 May 2014

File Category: Impacts

This file is a nuanced impact turn strategy vs warming advantages. The argument is simply that we are already past the tipping point and it's too late to stop the pace of climate change. The only thing we can really do to survive is adapt. This aff tradesoff with both focus and resources neccessary to prepare civilization for adaptation strategies. Reasons this strategy is particularly cool -

a. zero risk the aff solves
b. adaptation turns and solves their impacts while avoiding resource crunch
c. it is perfectly compatible with other popular impact turns such as C02 fertilization

File has extensions through the negative block and is almost completed highlighted. Get it while it's hot.

Adaptation DA.. 1
1nc. 2
2nc ov. 6
2nc – too late/defense. 9
2nc – too late/defense (C02 Inev) 11
2nc – uq. 14
2nc – uq – at: no new tech. 17
2nc – link. 18
2nc – link – renewables**. 20
2nc – link – growth. 21
2nc – adaptation shields impact 22
2nc – agriculture. 26
2nc – agriculture – co2 shield. 27
2nc – econ. 28
2nc – hurricanes**. 29
2nc – at: warming too fast 31

Click here to download this file

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#893748 AT: Wilderson/Anti-Blackness - 2014 - End of Yr Price Cut

Posted by roarkdebate16 on 07 April 2014 - 09:46 AM

Bump - just had a slight price cut. If you have any tournaments left this season, especially NDCA and the TOC, this file is a must-have and a steal for only 4.50.


best of luck!

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#893169 Carbon Tax CP - Price Cut**

Posted by roarkdebate16 on 31 March 2014 - 10:25 PM

File Name: Carbon Tax CP - Price Cut**

File Submitter: roarkdebate16

File Submitted: 31 Mar 2014

File Category: Counterplans

Resolution: Oceans

This file is an advantage CP to solve global warming advantages and any affs that claim to bolster the renewable energy market. I cut this originally for the college energy topic (undefeated when we went for it) and have updated it with 2014 evidence.

Given that global warming is almost certain to be one of the biggest advantages on next year’s Oceans topic, this file is a must-have. The solvency cards are fantastic, seriously a silver-bullet against any warming adv’s. Included are a variety of versions of the CP that have never been read (to account for potential DA’s/to bolster politics shields) and extensive 2NC blocks to answer every possible arg you will hear in response.

In terms of the net benefit, you can go for any DA specific to oceans exploration/development. Additionally, the politics shields are very solid.

FYI section includes a general overview of how a carbon tax would be implemented.

Carbon Tax CP. 1
Overview.. 3
Top-Shelf 5
1nc text – fee + dividend. 6
1nc text – sin tax. 7
1nc – warming. 9
2nc – warming. 10
1nc – oil 13
1nc – laundry list (longer*). 14
1nc – laundry list (short). 17
2nc – other countries/economists. 18
Solvency Extensions. 19
Solves – Warming. 20
Solves – Warming/Oil Consumption. 25
Solves – Modeling**. 26
Solves – International Coop. 29
Solves – Oil Dependence. 30
Solves – Oil Prices/Dependence. 32
Solves – Coal/Natural Gas/Nuke Power. 33
Solves – Agriculture. 34
Solves – Disease/Invasive Species. 35
Solves – Energy Extraction. 36
Solves – Renewables/Efficiency. 37
Solves – Econ. 41
Solves – Econ (Jobs). 42
Solves – Competitiveness/Heg. 43
Solves – Soft Power/Heg***. 44
Revenue-Neutral Solvency. 45
Phased Solvency. 46
Politics Shields. 47
Avoids Politics. 48
Avoids Politics – Fee + Dividend EXTN.. 54
Avoids Politics – Obama No Push EXTN.. 55
Avoids Politics – Internal Change EXTN.. 57
Avoids Politics – Consensus/No PC EXTN.. 58
Avoids Politics (Public Supports). 60
2NC NB – Coercion. 61
Neg – 2NC AT: 63
AT: Carbon Leakage. 64
AT: Border Tax X WTO.. 67
AT: Trade Deficit/Competitiveness. 71
AT: Implementation Issues/Delay. 72
AT: Ineffective/No Solve Consumption. 74
AT: Consistency/Politics. 75
AT: Transition Bad. 76
AT: Econ Turns. 77
AT: Manufacturing. 79
AT: Consumers. 80
AT: Low Income/Poor People. 82
AT: Oil Shocks Turn. 83
AT: Oil Markets. 84
AT: Hurts Energy-Intensive Consumers/Industries. 85

Click here to download this file

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#890157 AT: Wilderson/Anti-Blackness - 2014 - End of Yr Price Cut

Posted by roarkdebate16 on 25 February 2014 - 10:26 AM

But, is it highlighted? 


There are a few cards highlighted but most of the file is not. I would recommend you always read entire cards and do original highlighting to both familiarize yourself with the general arguement but also to think in detail about which warrants you want to explain as the debate develops. Yes, it takes longer. But it will be worth it once you are in the debate.

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#890018 AT: Wilderson/Anti-Blackness - 2014 - End of Yr Price Cut

Posted by roarkdebate16 on 22 February 2014 - 12:54 PM

File Name: AT: Wilderson/Anti-Blackness - 2014 - End of Yr Price Cut

File Submitter: roarkdebate16

File Submitted: 21 Feb 2014

File Category: Affirmatives

Resolution: Latin America

This is an updated version of my previous file to answer the Wilderson Kritik (and similar arguments that rely on theories of whiteness/anti-blackness). Changes in this update:

---*New* evidence – including several cards from the past year
---Offense is modularized – makes it easier to select and conceptualize distinct arguments

File should inclue everything you could possibly need to effectively answer this kritik. All of the evidence is A+ quality.

AT: Wilderson---2AC---Must-Read. 3
AT: Wilderson---2AC---Permutation Solvency. 5
AT: Wilderson---Policy Key. 9
AT: Wilderson---Totalizing/Inaccurate. 10
AT: Wilderson---Essentialist. 12
AT: Wilderson---Non-Falsifiable. 13
AT: Wilderson---Ahistorical 15
AT: Wilderson---Agency Turn. 16
AT: Wilderson---Agency Turn---Ext. 18
AT: Wilderson---Ontology Turn. 20
AT: Wilderson---Pessimism Turn. 21
Anti-Blackness Wrong. 22
Consequences Key. 24
AT: Social Death*. 25
Extinction OW... 31
*State Not Always Racist---Wall 32
State Not Always Racist---Ext. 35
State Not Always Racist---Hopelessness Turn. 40
*Not a Root Cause---Wall 41
Not a Root Cause---Ext. 43
AT: Afro-Pessimism- Yes Progress – Clarke. 44
AT: Afro-Pessimism.. 46
AT: Afro-Pessimism.. 47
AT: End America. 49
AT: Revolution – Backlash/Rollback. 50
AT: Revolution – Backlash/Rollback. 51
AT: Revolution – Can’t Solve Domination. 52
Vague Alt Fails – Reed. 53
AT: Author Bias/Epistemology. 55
AT: Ontological Blackness. 56
AT: Reparations. 59
AT: Negativity Alt – hooks. 61
AT: Sexton. 63
K Aff 64
Coalitions – hooks. 65

Click here to download this file

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#875886 Gender And Peace

Posted by roarkdebate16 on 04 June 2013 - 08:34 PM

Sjoberg is tightt. writes the best fem IR articles. 


The affirmatives representations of “war” as a singular, bounded event ensures the continuation of everyday militarism and violence, turning the case.

Sjoberg ‘6 (Laura,  BA, University of Chicago; Ph.D., University of Southern California School of International Relations; J.D. Boston College Law School, is Assistant Professor of Political Science @ University of Florida “Gender, justice, and the wars in Iraq”, page number below, CMR)


War is best understood as a continuum, or a process, rather than as a discrete event (Cuomo 1996, 31; Reardon 1985). An event starts and ends. The human security concerns above continue before, during, and after the "event" that the word "war" usually describes. The problem with not classifying these processes as and is that they are then accorded less weight in political discourse without these labels (Buzan l99l). It is important to recognize the human security impacts of traditional wars and other forms of political violence. Without recognizing this violence as war, political scientists risk missing the major sources of women's suffering in global politics. Crisis-based ethics ignore the suffering that leads up to and follows wars, taking attention away from everyday violence. These approaches are band-aids on gunshot wounds; they fail to address the major sources and manifestations of gender subordination in international conflict (Cuomo 1996). Chris Cuomo suggests that, "the spatial metaphors used to refer to war as a separate, bounded sphere indicate assumptions that war is a realm of human activity vastly removed from normal life" (I996, 30). War is not one event, separated from politics as usual. Instead, war is a process that affects and is affected by daily political life.

A war happens when an intelligence operation unseats a government, when a terrorist bombs a coffee shop, and when a high school student opens fire at his school. In these situations, violence destroys individuals' security. Betty Reardon calls the global political arena a "war system," a continuum of physical and structural violence resulting from the masculine nature of the international political arena (1985). The war system understanding does not claim that all violence on the continuum is equally bad, but only as a claim that there are no clear delineating points between events of violence because violence is a continuum, not a series of unrelated, discrete events.

The argument that war should not be seen as an isolated event serves as a powerful critique of just war theories' traditional definitions of war. The just war tradition assumes as foundational that war is a discrete event. Very few just war theorists analyze physical or structural violence before or after a war when they make determinations concerning the justice of the war. The just war tradition has no systemic measures to account for the suffering of a family that ate contaminated food during a food shortage in a war, went to a hospital lacking electricity and doctors, and had chronic stomach problems for the next twenty years. The immunity principle cannot count a woman whose malnourishment in a time of conflict deprived her breast milk of nourishment to feed her child, leaving the child chronically developmentally disabled. Just war has no way to analyze the impact of a war on a man who took the train to a job forty miles from home until the war destroyed the train. The just war tradition is inadequate to [end page 52] identify and analyze the institutional and structural violence that is an important part of the impact of combat. This inadequacy is in itself complicity: without a moral framework to judge these impacts of war, they will continue to fly under the radar. The just war tradition is isolated from the everyday life impacts of global political conflicts; this isolation helps obscure those impacts.

Instead of taking account of militarism and structural violence, the gendered just war tradition creates the illusion that the moral problems with war are being fixed. The political employment of just war words gives the impression that each decision to engage in violence must pass a rigorous moral test. To listen to leaders of belligerent nations talk, only the wars that meet the restrictive limits of just war theories occur. If we listen to their opponents, their just war calculus has erred unforgivably. Even if the just war tradition was taken seriously by belligerents, most just war theories only attempt to regulate a small fraction of the coercive force in the world today: that which occurs in organized combat between recognized and recognizable combatants (Cuomo 1996). Formal war between belligerents is only one forum. Other wars take place other places: in covert operations, in military prisons, in bedrooms, in minefields, and in other places where the just war tradition does not know how to look.

Still, Betty Reardon's classification of all sexism as violent and all violence as sexism is overly simplistic. At the very deepest level, it may hold some truth, but it will do little to sort out the morality of war-making or war-fighting. A better way to classify violence is to look at the gendered implications of various violences. Certainly, coercive violence usually if no( always involves competition and domination. There is gendered content to competition and domination; it is a pan of a gendered power system of social and political relations (Hooper 1998). Gendered violence is violence that needs gendered assumptions to make it possible. All violence is not war, but war is more than declared battles between recognized states. It is competition where the competing happens through the use of coercive violence. Competitive use of coercive force generally relies on the masculinization of self and the feminization of the enemy. This cycle of genderings is not a series of events but a social continuum.

This modified understanding of a war system reflects feminisms' convictions that violences are continua that run through different levels of interpersonal and political interaction. A "decision to go to war" is at first glance somewhat paradoxical: if a "war system" is always around us, does going to war have meaning? Recognizing war as a continuum does not mean that wars do not have analytically distinct identities. Instead, a "war system" interpretation of war has three implications: first, wars start earlier and go on longer than traditional interpretations identify; second, wars reach deeper into societies than conventional reports would portray; finally, wars can be fought with a wider variety of means by a wider variety of actors than previously imagined. This interpretation relies on intellectual and emotional connections with those who are affected by war; feminist empathy analyzes levels of violence and war generally neglected by reactive approaches. [page 52-53]

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#874461 The Transition Into College Cx

Posted by roarkdebate16 on 14 May 2013 - 11:58 AM

Next year I will be (hopefully) debating at UW. I have a few questions:

1. What's the biggest things I should be ready for in the transition from high school to collegiate policy debate?

2. What can I start doing now to prepare for next year?


3. Best way to manage time? (Between college courses & tournaments, etc.) 


Thanks in advance for any advice!


I debated four years in college and am now a second-year graduate student/coach.


3. Managing time - 


the thing I tell most high school debaters is that if you were able to successfully manage your time in high school, you already have the experience and skills needed to balance college. a few general things to keep in mind 


schedule - this may sound silly, but you would be surprised how critical it will be to your academic and competitive success - it is important that you realize when you are missing quizzes/exams so you can notify your professors as soon as possible and schedule make-up exams. this will also help you plan your assignments/research hours - nobody wants to have an assignment due that they have been putting off that is the same day as an exam. 


school > debate - I will be the first to admit that debate was my primary concern in college, but you really can't underestimate the importance of keeping up with your studies and having good grades. debate is fun, but for most of us it is just a small part of our lives. it is a game and is less important than getting a degree and having a solid gpa. and the disad turns the case - if you fail or your gpa is too low, you will be academically ineligible to compete. I would implore you to make sure you have your academic house in order above anything else your freshmen/sophmore year


all work and no play - it is perfectly reasonable to be spending a few hours a day on debate research, but don't forget to do non-debate extracurricular activites - all part of not getting burnt out - and I think it actually makes you alot more productive if you spread out your debate research throughout the day - take some time to watch a tv show, go for a jog, troll skyrim, etc etc. there are so many great opportunities in college outside of debate, don't let them pass you by 


1. College debate is much more competitive. The comparison I always like to give is imagining your toughest high school debate - now imagine that being the new base-level for every prelim debate at a college tournament. If you are debating in varsity, most people have atleast 3-4 years of debate experience. People's arguments are much more nuanced and well-researched. This is not to say you will not have any success early on in your college debate career. Rather, you should view it as a long-term process - yes, you might lose some debates your freshmen year - but having lots of good debates (win OR lose) is exactly what will help you improve. It is not about how well you do your first year of college debate but about setting realistic short-term goals you can accomplish and then working towards the bigger ones like clearing at the NDT, etc.


listen to your coaches. seriously. ask them questions. I don't care how dumb they might seem. most college coaches are not going to push you any harder than you are willing to push yourself. you need to show your are invested in both the team and your own personal success. 


don't bit off more than you can chew - most debate programs don't really have rigorous card cutting requirements - you should only take an assignment if you are willing and capable of doing it - the worst thing that can happen is you take an assignment only to have it not be done for an important debate relevant to one of your team members.  



2. Yes, reading the topic is helpful and important. 


You said you plan on debating at wyoming? I would not be too concerned about jumping right in to research although maybe a few cursory searches related to arguments you are interested in couldn't hurt. The reason I say this is that most college programs, such as wyoming and UTD, have excellent coaching staffs that do a really good job of helping you plan and develop strategies/divide up and coordinate research. If you were to spend several days early in the summer cutting cards, some of those might end up being not as relevant to your assignments/team strategies. Instead, I would keep in touch with your coaches and wait till you recieve a regular assignment. 


Lastly, it is the summer after your last year of high school. It is awesome you are excited and eager to work, but feel free to take a break and relax for a few weeks. The worst thing that can happen is you get burnt out early in the summer. You will have plenty of time to get on top of research and really focus on improving your skills once summer work sessions and school roll around. 


Regular speed drills never hurt anyone 

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#874389 **impact D Toolbox (Latin America)** Reduced Price

Posted by roarkdebate16 on 11 May 2013 - 05:59 PM

File Name: **Impact D Toolbox (Latin America)** Reduced Price

File Submitter: roarkdebate16

File Submitted: 08 May 2013

File Category: Impacts

This is a comprehensive impact defense file. Although it is by no means exhaustive, it covers the classic big-stick terminal impacts people do serious damage with.

I have also focused on some common impacts people will be reading on next year's Latin America topic such as US/China regional influence, latin american stability, etc etc.

Why is this file a must-have?

  • Impact defense wins debates. A good impact defense file might just be one of the critical assets to your competitive success. If you can answer no other part of the case, you can atleast deny their terminal impact claims which is central to winning disadvantages and even kritik debates (i'm talking to you, lawless hippies).
  • Recency and quality - most of the cards are A+ and from the past 3 years - don't lose a close round on poor impact defense
  • Latin America - the topic specific cards are very solid and will give you an edge moving into the next season
  • Price/Volume - 6 dollars for over 60 pages of evidence you will use the rest of your debate career is a steal.
Pleas let me know if you have any questions!

china heg f/l 2
china heg f/l – containment turn. 4
china trade war f/l 5
china war/competition f/l 6
china war f/l 7
china war f/l – south china seas defense. 10
democracy f/l 12
democracy f/l – at: demo promo. 14
democracy f/l – war defense. 16
democracy f/l – general impact defense. 17
economy f/l 19
environment/biod f/l 21
heg f/l 24
heg f/l – no solve war. 26
iran influence f/l 28
iran aggression f/l 29
latin america stability f/l 31
mexico stability f/l 32
middle east war f/l 34
prolif f/l 36
resource wars f/l 38
russia relations f/l 42
russia war f/l 45
science diplomacy f/l 47
soft power f/l 49
terror f/l – no wmd. 50
terror f/l – no nuclear. 52
terror f/l – no bioterrorism.. 54
terror f/l – no retaliation. 56
trade war/protectionism f/l 58
us-latin america relations – alt cause – cuba. 59
us-mexico relations f/l – alt causes. 61
warming f/l – cooling/alarmism.. 62
warming f/l – no tipping pts. 64

Collin Roark is an assistant coach at the University of North Texas. After joining the staff this year, UNT cleared two teams at the National Debate Tournament. He has also been coaching high school debate for over 3 years. His students have been in elimination rounds of dozens of national tournaments, including semi-finals of the TOC and NDCA. He has worked at numerous debate camps and judged elimination of national tournaments, including finals of the TOC. He debated four years at Deer Park High School and four years and the University of Texas at Dallas where his accomplishments included: three time qualifier to the NDT, first-round bid to the NDT, octo-finals of the NDT, 1st place at the UMKC tournament, octo-finals of GSU, octos at Harvard (twice), semis of Georgia, semis of Emporia, Kentucky Rd Robin invite, Pittsburgh Rd Robin Invite, 1st place at the Arizona Debate Institute Fellows Tournament and numerous speaker awards.
He debated four years at Deer Park High School and four years and the University of Texas at Dallas where his accomplishments included: three time qualifier to the NDT, first-round bid to the NDT, octo-finals of the NDT, 1st place at the UMKC tournament, octo-finals of GSU, octos at Harvard (twice), semis of Georgia, semis of Emporia, Kentucky Rd Robin invite, Pittsburgh Rd Robin Invite, 1st place at the Arizona Debate Institute Fellows Tournament and numerous speaker awards.

Click here to download this file

  • 1

#872357 Apoch Rhet Cap Impact

Posted by roarkdebate16 on 17 April 2013 - 12:57 PM

Not exactly specific to apocalyptic rhetoric, but zizek wrote a book called "violence" where criticizes focus on "subjective violence" as a strategy to prevent us from criticizing structural forces which produce much more insidious forms of systemic violence - good link to war reps/util 



Focus on easily identifiable flashpoints of conflict misses the boat – only focusing on the background can solve the root cause – they cannot be viewed from the same stand point – the call to act will be strong but responding creates a stop-gap which prevents engaging in criticisms of capital 

Zizek ‘8 [Slavoj Violence p 1-4]

If there is a unifying thesis that runs through the bric-a-brac of reflections on violence that follow, it is that a similar paradox holds true for violence. At the forefront of our minds, the obvious signals of violence are acts of crime and terror, civil unrest, international conflict. But we should learn to step back, to disentangle ourselves from the fascinating lure of this directly visible “subjective” violence, violence performed by a clearly identifiable agent. We need to perceive the contours of the background which generates such outbursts. A step back enables us to identify a violence that sustains our very efforts to fight violence and to promote tolerance.  This is the starting point, perhaps even the axiom, of the present book: subjective violence is just the most visible portion of a triumvirate that also includes two objective kinds of violence. First, there is a “symbolic” violence embodied in language and its forms, what Heidegger would call “our house of being.” As we shall see later, this violence is not only at work in the obvious—and extensively studied—cases of incitement and of the relations of social domination reproduced in our habitual speech forms: there is a more fundamental form of violence still that pertains to language as such, to its imposition of a certain universe of meaning. Second, there is what I call “systemic” violence, or the often catastrophic consequences of the smooth functioning of our economic and political systems.  The catch is that subjective and objective violence cannot be perceived from the same standpoint: subjective violence is experienced as such against the background of a non-violent zero level. It is seen as a perturbation of the “normal,” peaceful state of things. However, objective violence is precisely the violence inherent to this “normal” state of things. Objective violence is invisible since it sustains the very zero-level standard against which we perceive something as subjectively violent. Systemic violence is thus something like the notorious “dark matter” of physics, the counterpart to an all-too- visible subjective violence. It may be invisible, but it has to be taken into account if one is to make sense of what otherwise seem to be “irrational” explosions of subjective violence.  When the media bombard us with those “humanitarian crises” which seem constantly to pop up all over the world, one should always bear in mind that a particular crisis only explodes into media visibility as the result of a complex struggle. Properly humanitarian considerations as a rule play a less important role here than cultural, ideologico-political, and economic considerations. The cover story of Time magazine on 5 June 2006, for example, was “The Deadliest War in the World.” This offered detailed documentation on how around 4 million people died in the Democratic Republic of Congo as the result of political violence over the last decade. None of the usual humanitarian uproar followed, just a couple of readers’ letters—as if some kind of filtering mechanism blocked this news from achieving its full impact in our symbolic space. To put it cynically, Time picked the wrong victim in the struggle for hegemony in suffering. It should have stuck to the list of usual suspects: Muslim women and their plight, or the families of 9/11 victims and how they have coped with their losses. The Congo today has effectively re-emerged as a Conradean “heart of darkness.” No one dares to confront it head on. The death of a West Bank Palestinian child, not to mention an Israeli or an American, is mediatically worth thousands of times more than the death of a nameless Congolese.  Do we need further proof that the humanitarian sense of urgency is mediated, indeed overdetermined, by clear political considerations? And what are these considerations? To answer this, we need to step back and take a look from a different position. When the U.S. media reproached the public in foreign countries for not displaying enough sympathy for the victims of the 9/11 attacks, one was tempted to answer them in the words Robespierre addressed to those who complained about the innocent victims of revolutionary terror: “Stop shaking the tyrant’s bloody robe in my face, or I will believe that you wish to put Rome in chains.”1  Instead of confronting violence directly, the present book casts six sideways glances. There are reasons for looking at the problem of violence awry. My underlying premise is that there is something inherently mystifying in a direct confrontation with it: the overpowering horror of violent acts and empathy with the victims inexorably function as a lure which prevents us from thinking. A dispassionate conceptual development of the typology of violence must by definition ignore its traumatic impact. Yet there is a sense in which a cold analysis of violence somehow reproduces and participates in its horror. A distinction needs to be made, as well, between (factual) truth and truthfulness: what renders a report of a raped woman (or any other narrative of a trauma) truthful is its very factual unreliability, its confusion, its inconsistency. If the victim were able to report on her painful and humiliating experience in a clear manner, with all the data arranged in a consistent order, this very quality would make us suspicious of its truth. The problem here is part of the solution: the very factual deficiencies of the traumatised subject’s report on her experience bear witness to the truthfulness of her report, since they signal that the reported content “contaminated” the manner of reporting it. The same holds, of course, for the so-called unreliability of the verbal reports of Holocaust survivors: the witness able to offer a clear narrative of his camp experience would disqualify himself by virtue of that clarity.2 The only appropriate approach to my subject thus seems to be one which permits variations on violence kept at a distance out of respect towards its victims.


Capital is the root cause of all of their impacts – you should denounce their simply relationship with violence because the system of capital produces the material reality which makes violence inevitable

Zizek ‘8 Slavoj Violence p 11-12

There is an old joke about a husband who returns home earlier than usual from work and finds his wife in bed with another man. The surprised wife exclaims: “Why have you come back early?” The husband furiously snaps back: “What are you doing in bed with another man?” The wife calmly replies: “I asked you a question first—don’t try to squeeze out of it by changing the topic!” The same goes for violence: the task is precisely to change the topic, to move from the desperate humanitarian SOS call to stop violence to the analysis of that other SOS, the complex interaction of the three modes of violence: subjective, objective, and symbolic. The lesson is thus that one should resist the fascination of subjective violence, of violence enacted by social agents, evil individuals, disciplined repressive apparatuses, fanatical crowds: subjective violence is just the most visible of the three.  The notion of objective violence needs to be thoroughly historicised: it took on a new shape with capitalism. Marx described the mad, self-enhancing circulation of capital, whose solipsistic path of parthenogenesis reaches its apogee in today’s meta-reflexive speculations on futures. It is far too simplistic to claim that the spectre of this self-engendering monster that pursues its path disregarding any human or environmental concern is an ideological abstraction and that behind this abstraction there are real people and natural objects on whose productive capacities and resources capital’s circulation is based and on which it feeds like a gigantic parasite. The problem is that this “abstraction” is not only in our financial speculators’ misperception of social reality, but that it is “real” in the precise sense of determining the structure of the material social processes: the fate of whole strata of the population and sometimes of whole countries can be decided by the “solipsistic” speculative dance of capital, which pursues its goal of profitability in blessed indifference to how its movement will affect social reality. So Marx’s point is not primarily to reduce this second dimension to the first one, that is, to demonstrate how the theological mad dance of commodities arises out of the antagonisms of “real life.” Rather his point is that one cannot properly grasp the first (the social reality of material production and social interaction) without the second: it is the self-propelling metaphysical dance of capital that runs the show, that provides the key to real-life developments and catastrophes. Therein resides the fundamental systemic violence of capitalism, much more uncanny than any direct pre capitalist socio-ideological violence: this violence is no longer attributable to concrete individuals and their “evil” intentions, but is purely “objective,” systemic, anonymous. Here we encounter the Lacanian difference between reality and the Real: “reality” is the social reality of the actual people involved in interaction and in the productive processes, while the Real is the inexorable “abstract,” spectral logic of capital that determines what goes on in social reality. One can experience this gap in a palpable way when one visits a country where life is obviously in shambles. We see a lot of ecological decay and human misery. However, the economist’s report that one reads afterwards informs us that the country’s economic situation is “financially sound”—reality doesn’t matter, what matters is the situation of capital... 

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