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Sam_ka$h

Cap Alternatives

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What cap alternatives work real well for this topic ? Which ones are your favorites ? Which ones are the worst ? Let the games begin ........

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10 hours ago, TheTrashDebater said:

I think the alternative depends on the aff, personally for me I think that the Dean and Mertz alt is hella strategic

is that the politics of the party alt ?

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On 10/17/2018 at 4:52 PM, Sam_ka$h said:

What cap alternatives work real well for this topic ? Which ones are your favorites ? Which ones are the worst ? Let the games begin ......

It's fun to use the social state Wise 13 card

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I'm a big fan of the badiou communist hypothesis alt. It has big picture framing args about utopian politics that a) filter aff offense and solvency answers, b) reinforce the ethical imperative framing args, and c) makes a meaningful "we can resolve capitalism" argument. So it plays down the middle of "reject cap because it's unethical" alts like Johnson that don't actually do anything as well as the more pragmatic "we can solve cap" alts.

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20 hours ago, Sam_ka$h said:

who are the best cap debaters on the college and high school circuits currently ?

The most competitive debaters don't really hone in on just doing the cap k in college, but everyone keeps it in their repertoire. 

 

16 hours ago, chsdebater5 said:

@ColinDwould you be willing to post the baidou card? Or at least what chapter is it from?

 

Kind of wish the highlighting would have pasted but am too lazy to post a doc. These should not be nearly as highlighted as I bet y'all make them ?

 

Thus our alternative is a commitment to the Communist Hypothesis.  Every ethical decision should be infused with the significance of humanity’s destiny. The affirmative reduces life to a barbaric ratrace and stands opposed to universal emancipation. 

Alain Badiou, former Chair of Philosophy at École normale supérieure, 2008.  [The Meaning of Sarkozy, pp. 97-103]

I would like to situate the Sarkozy episode, which is not an impressive page in French history, in a broader horizon. I Let us picture a kind of Hegelian fresco of recent world history - by which I do not, like our journalists, mean the triad Mitterrand-Chirac-Sarkozy, but rather the development of the politics of working-class and popular emancipation over nearly two centuries. Since the French Revolution and its gradually universal echo, since the most radically egalitarian developments of that revolution, the decrees of Robespierre's Committee of Public Safety on the 'maximum' and Babeuf's theorizations, we know (when I say 'we', I mean humanity in the abstract, and the knowledge in question is universally available on the paths of emancipation) that communism is the right hypothesis. Indeed, there is no other, or at least I am not aware of one. All those who abandon this hypothesis immediately resign themselves to the market economy, to parliamentary democracy - the form of state suited to capitalism - and to the inevitable and 'natural' character of the most monstrous inequalities. What do we mean by 'communism'? As Marx argued in the 1844 ManUJcriptJ, communism is an idea regarding the destiny of the human species. This use of the word must be completely distinguished from the meaning of the adjective 'communist' that is so worn-out today, in such expressions as 'communist parties', 'communist states' or 'communist world' - never mind that 'communist state' is an oxymoron, to which the obscure coinage 'socialist state' has wisely been preferred. Even if, as we shall see, these uses of the word belong to a time when the hypothesis was still coming-to-be. In its generic sense, 'communist' means first of all, in a negative sense - as we can read in its canonical text The Communist ManijeJto - that the logic of classes, of the fundamental subordination of people who actually work for a dominant class, can be overcome. This arrangement, which has been that of history ever since antiquity, is not inevitable. Consequently, the oligarchic power of those who possess wealth and organize its circulation, crystallized in the might of states, is not inescapable. The communist hypothesis is that a different collective organization is practicable, one that will eliminate the inequality of wealth and even the division of labour: every individual will be a 'multi-purpose worker', and in particular people will circulate between manual and intellectual work, as well as between town and country. The private appropriation of monstrous fortunes and their transmission by inheritance will disappear. The existence of a coercive state separate from civil society, with its military and police, will no longer seem a self-evident necessity. There will be, Marx tells us - and he saw this point as his major contribution - after a brief sequence of 'proletarian dictatorship' charged with destroying the remains of the old world, a long sequence of reorganization on the basis of a 'free association' of producers and creators, which will make possible a 'withering away' of the state. 'Communism' as such only denotes this very general set of intellectual representations. This set is the horizon of any initiative, however local and limited in time it may be, that breaks with the order of established opinions - the necessity of inequalities and the state instrument for protecting these - and composes a fragment of a politics of emancipation. In other words, communism is what Kant called an 'Idea', with a regulatory function, rather than a programme. It is absurd to characterize communist principles in the sense I have defined them here as utopian, as is so often done. They are intellectual patterns, always actualized in a different fashion, that serve to produce lines of demarcation between different forms of politics. By and large, a particular political sequence is either compatible with these principles or opposed to them, in which case it is reactionary. 'Communism', in this sense, is a heuristic hypothesis that is very frequently used in political argument, even if the word itself does not appear. If it is still true, as Sartre said, that 'every anti-communist is a swine', it is because any political sequence that, in its principles or lack of them, stands in formal contradiction with the communist hypothesis in its generic sense, has to be judged as opposed to the emancipation of the whole of humanity, and thus to the properly human destiny of humanity. Whoever does not illuminate the coming-to-be of humanity with the communist hypothesis - whatever words they use, as such words matter little - reduces humanity, as far as its collective becoming is concerned, to animality. As we know, the contemporary - that is, the capitalist name of this animality - is 'competition'. The war dictated by self-interest, and nothing more. As a pure Idea of equality, the communist hypothesis has no doubt existed in a practical state since the beginnings of the existence of the state. As soon as mass action opposes state coercion in the name of egalitarian justice, we have the appearance of rudiments or fragments of the communist hypothesis. This is why, in a pamphlet titled De l'UJeologie, which I wrote in collaboration with the late lamented Francois Balmes and was published in 1976, we proposed to identity 'communist invariants'f Popular revolts, such as that of the slaves led by Spartacus, or that of the German peasants led by Thomas Munzer, are examples of this practical existence of communist invariants. However, in the explicit form that it was given by certain thinkers and activists of the French Revolution, the communist hypothesis inaugurates political modernity. It was this that laid low the mental structures of the ancien regime, yet without being tied to those 'democratic' political forms that the bourgeoisie would make the instrument for its own pursuit of power. This point is essential: from the beginning, the communist hypothesis in no way coincided with the 'democratic' hypothesis that would lead to present-day parliamentarism. It subsumes a different history and different events. What seems important and creative when illuminated by the communist hypothesis is different in kind from what bourgeois-democratic historiography selects. That is indeed why Marx, giving materialist foundations to the first effective great sequence of the modern politics of emancipation, both took over the word 'communism' and distanced himself from any kind of democratic 'politicism' by maintaining, after the lesson of the Paris Commune, that the bourgeois state, no matter how democratic, must be destroyed. Well, I leave it to you to judge what is important or not, to judge the points whose consequences you choose to assume against the horizon of the communist hypothesis. Once again, it is the right hypothesis, and we can appeal to its principles, whatever the declensions or variations that these undergo in different contexts. Sartre said in an interview, which I paraphrase: If the communist hypothesis is not right, if it is not practicable, well, that means that humanity is not a thing in itself, not very different from ants or termites. What did he mean by that? If competition, the 'free market', the sum of little pleasures, and the walls that protect you from the desire of the weak, are the alpha and omega of all collective and private existence, then the human animal is not worth a cent. And it is this worthlessness to which Bush with his aggressive conservatism and crusader spirit, Blair the Pious with his militarist rhetoric, and Sarkozy with his 'work, family, country' discipline, want to reduce the existence of the immense majority of living individuals. And the 'Left' is still worse, simply juxtaposing to this vacant violence a vague spirit of charity. To morbid competition, the pasteboard victories of daddy's boys and girls, the ridiculous supermen of unleashed finance, the coked-up heroes of the planetary stock exchange, this Left can only oppose the same actors with a bit of social politeness, a little walnut oil in the wheels, crumbs of holy wafer for the disinherited - in other words, borrowing from Nietzsche, the bloodless figure of the 'last man. To put an end once and for all to May '68 means agreeing that our only choice is between the hereditary nihilism of finance and social piety. It not only means accepting that communism collapsed in the Soviet Union, not only acknowledging that the Parti Communiste Francais has been wretchedly defeated, but also and above all it means abandoning the hypothesis that May '68 was a militant invention precisely aware ofthe failure of state'communism'. And thus that May '68, and still more so the five years that followed, inaugurated a new sequence for the genuine communist hypothesis, one that always keeps its distance from the state. Certainly, no one could say where all this might lead, but we knew in any case that what was at stake was the rebirth of this hypothesis. If the thing that Sarkozy is the name of succeeds in imposing the necessity of abandoning any idea of a rebirth of this kind, if human society is a collection of individuals pursuing their self-interest, if this is the eternal reality, then it is certain that the philosopher can and must abandon the human animal to its sad destiny. But we shall not let a triumphant Sarkozy dictate the meaning of our existence, or the tasks of philosophy. For what we are witnessing in no way imposes such a renunciation of the communist hypothesis, but simply a consideration of the moment at which we find ourselves in the history of this hypothesis.

 

 

2NC Framing/ROB card:

Fidelity to the Idea of Communism means subordination of all other goals and the incorporation of all other agendas.  This debate round should be considered a referrendum on the future.

Badiou, former Chair of Philosophy at École normale supérieure, 2010.  [The Idea of Communism pp. 245-260]

 

So we can now return to our subject, the communist Idea. If, for an individual, an Idea is the subjective operation whereby a specific real truth is imaginarily projected into the symbolic movement of a History, we can say that an Idea presents the truth as if it were a fact. In other words, the Idea presents certain facts as symbols of the real of truth. This was how the Idea of communism allowed revolutionary politics and its parties to be inscribed in the representation of a meaning of History the inevitable outcome of which was communism. Or how it became possible to speak of a 'homeland of socialism', which amounted to symbolizing the creation of a possibility - which is fragile by definition - through the magnitude of a power. The Idea, which is an operative mediation between the real and the symbolic, always presents the individual with something that is located between the event and the fac t. That is why the endless debates about the real status of the communist Idea are irresolvable. Is it a question of a regulative Idea, in Kant's sense of the term, having no real efficacy but able to set reasonable goals for our understanding? Or is it an agenda that must be carried out over time through a new post-revolutionary State's action on the world? Is it a utopia, if not a plainly dangerous, and even criminal, one? Or is it the name of Reason in History? This type of debate can never be concluded for the simple reason that the subjective operation of the Idea is not simple but complex. It involves real sequences of emancipatory politics as its essential real condition, but it also presupposes marshalling a whole range of historical facts suitable for symbolization. It does not claim (as this would amount to subjecting the truth procedure to the laws of the State) that the event and its organized political consequences are reducible to facts. But neither does it claim that the facts are unsuitable for any historical trans-scription (to make a Lacanian sort of play on words) of the distinctive characters of a truth. The Idea is a historical anchoring of everything elusive, slippery and evanescent in the becoming of a truth. But it can only be so if it admits as its O"tn real this aleatory, elusive, slippery, evanescent dimension. That is why it is incumbent upon the communist Idea to respond to the question 'Where do correct ideas come from?' the way Mao did: , 'correct ideas' (and by this I mean what constitutes the path of a truth in a situation) come from practice. 'Practice' should obviously be understood as the materialist name of the real. It would thus be appropriate to say that the Idea that symbolizes the becoming 'in truth' of correct (political) ideas in History, that is to say, the Idea of communism, therefore comes itself from the idea of practice (from the experience of the real) in the final analysis but can nevertheless not be reduced to it. This is because it is the protocol not of the existence but rather of the exposure of a truth in action. All of the foregoing explains, and to a certain extent justifies, why it was ultimately possible to go to the extreme of exposing the truths of emancipatory politics in the guise of their opposite, that is to say, in the guise of a State. Since it is a question of an (imaginary) ideological relationship between a truth procedure and historical facts, why hesitate to push this relationship to its limit? Why not say that it is a matter of a relationship between event and State? State and Revolution: that is the title of one of Lenin's most famous texts. And the State and the Event are indeed what are at stake in it. Nevertheless, Lenin, following Marx in this regard, is careful to say that the State in question after the Revolution will have to be the State of the withering away of the State, the State as organizer of the transition to the non-State. So let's say the following: The Idea of communism can project the real of a politics, subtracted as ever from the power of the State, into the figure of 'another State', provided that the subtraction lies within this subjectivating operation, in the sense that the 'other State' is also subtracted from the power of the State, hence from its own power, in so far as it is a State whose essence is to wither away. It is in this context that it is necessary to think and endorse the vital importance of proper names in all revolutionary politics. Their i mportance is indeed both spectacular and paradoxical. On the one hand, in effect, emancipatory politics is essentially the politics of the anonymous masses; it is the victory of those with no names,10 of those who are held in a state of colossal insignificance by the State. On the other hand, it is distinguished all along the way by proper names, which define it historically, which represent it, much more forcefully tban is the case for other kinds of politics. Why is there this long series of proper names? Why this glorious Pantheon of revolutionary heroes? Why Spartacus, Thomas MUntzer, Robespierre, Toussaint Louverture, Blanqui, Marx, Lenin, Rosa Luxemburg, Mao, Che Guevara and so many others? The reason is that all these proper names symbolize historically - in the guise of an individual, of a pure singularity of body and thought the rare and precious network of ephemeral sequences of politics as truth. The elusive formalism of bodies-of-truth is legible here as empirical existence. In these proper names, the ordinary individual discovers glorious, distinctive individuals as the mediation for his or her own individuality, as the proof that he or she can force its finitude. The anonymous action of millions of militants, rebels, fighters, unrepresentable as such, is combined and counted as one in the simple, powerful symbol of the proper name. Thus, proper names are involved in the operation of the Idea, and the ones I just mentioned are elements of the Idea of communism at its various different stages. So let us not hesitate to say that Khrushchev's condemnation of 'the cult of personality', apropos Stalin, was misguided, and that, under the pretence of democracy, it heralded the decline of the Idea of communism that we witnessed in the ensuing decades. The political critique of Stalin and his terrorist vision of the State needed to be undertaken in a rigorous way, from the perspective of revolutionary politics itself, and Mao had begun to do as much in a number of his writings.11 Whereas Khrushchev, who was in fact defending the group that had led the Stalinist State, made no inroads whatsoever as regards this issue and, when it came to speaking of the Terror carried out under Stalin, merely offered an abstract critique of the role of proper names in political subjectivation. He himself thereby paved the way for the 'new philosophers' of reactionary humanism a decade later. Whence a very precious lesson: even though retroactive political actions may require that a given name be stripped of its symbolic function, this function as such cannot be eliminated for all that. For the Idea - and the communist Idea in particular, because it refers directly to the infinity of the people - needs the finitude of proper names. Let's recapitulate as simply as possible. A truth is the political real. History, even as a reservoir of proper names, is a symbolic place. The ideological operation of the Idea of communism is the imaginary projection of the political real into the symbolic fiction of History, including in its guise as a representation of the action of innumerable masses via the One of a proper name. The role of this Idea is to support the individual's incorporation into the discipline of a truth procedure, to authorize the individual, in his or her own eyes, to go beyond the Statist constraints of mere survival by becoming a part of the body-of-truth, or the subjectivizable body. We will now ask: why is it necessary to resort to this ambiguous operation? Why do the event and its consequences also have to be exposed in the guise of a fact - often a violent one that IS accompanied by different versions of the 'cult of personality'? What is the reason for this historical appropriation of emancipatory politics? The simplest reason is that ordinary history, the history of individual lives, is confined within the State. The history of a life, with neither decision nor choice, is in itself a part of the history of the State, whose conventional mediations are the family, work, the homeland, property, religion, customs and so forth. The heroic, but individual, projection of an exception to all the above - as is a truth procedure - also aims at being shared with everyone else; it aims to show itself to be not only an exception but also a possibility that everyone can share from now on. And that is one of the Idea's functions: to project the exception into the ordinary life of individuals, to fill what merely exists with a certain measure of the extraordinary. To convince my own immediate circle - husband or wife, neighbours and friends, colleagues - that the fantastic exception of truths in the making also exists, that we are not doomed to lives programmed by the constraints of the State. Naturally, in the final analysis, only the raw, or militant, experience of the truth procedure will compel one person or another's entry into the bodyof- truth. But to take him or her to the place where this experience is to be found - to make him or her a spectator of, and therefore partly a participant in, what is important for a truth the mediation of the Idea, the sharing of the Idea, are almost always required. The Idea of communism (regardless of what name it might otherwise be given, which hardly matters: no Idea is definable by its name) is what enables a truth procedure to be spoken in the impure language of the State and thereby for the lines of force by virtue of which the State prescribes what is possible and what i s impossible to be shifted for a time. In this view of things, the most ordinary action is to take someone to a real political meeting, far from their home, far from their predetermined existential parameters, in a hostel of workers from Mali, for example, or at the gates of a factory. Once they have come to the place where politics is occurring, they will make a decision about whether to incorporate or withdraw. But in order for them to come to that place, the Idea and for two centuries, or perhaps since Plato, it has been the Idea of communism - must have already shifted them in the order of representations, of History and of the State. The symbol must imaginarily come to the aid of the creative flight from the real. Allegorical facts must ideologize and historicize the fragility of truth. A banal yet crucial discussion with four workers and a student in an ill-lit room must momentarily be enlarged to the dimensions of Communism and thus be both what it is and what it will have been as a moment in the local construction of the True. Through the enlargement of the symbol, it must become visible that 'just ideas' come from this practically invisible practice. The fiveperson meeting in an out-of-the-way suburb must be eternal in the very expression of its precariousness. That is why the real must be exposed in a fictional structure. The second reason is that every event is a surprise. If this were not the case, it would mean that it "could have been predictable as a fact, and so would be inscribed in the History of the State, which is a contradiction in terms. The problem can thus be formulated in the following way: how can we prepare ourselves for such surprises? And this time the problem really exists, even if we are already currently militants of a previous event's consequences, even if we are included in a bodyof- trutb. Granted, we are proposing the deployment of new possibilities. However, the event to come will turn what is still impossible, even for us, into a possibility. In order to anticipate, at least ideologically, or intellectually, the creation of new possibilities, we must have an Idea. An Idea that of course involves the newness of the possibilities that the truth procedure of which we are the militants has brought to light, which are real-possibilities, but an Idea that also involves the formal possibility of other possibilities, ones as yet unsuspected by us. An Idea is always the assertion that a new truth is historically possible. And since the forcing of the impossible into the possible occurs via subtraction from the power of the State, an Idea can be said to assert that this subtractive process is infinite: it is always formally possible that the dividing line drawn by the State between the possible and the impossible may once again be shifted, however radical its previous shifts - including the one in which we as militants are currently taking part - may have been. That is why one of the contents of the communist Idea today as opposed to the theme of communism as a goal to be attained through the work of a new State - is that the withering away of the State, while undoubtedly a principle that must be apparent in any political action (which is expressed by the formula 'politics at a distance from the State' as an obligatory refusal of any direct inclusion in the State, of any request for funding from the State, of any participation in elections, etc.), is also an infinite task, since the creation of new political truths will always shift the dividing line between Statist, hence historical, facts and the eternal consequences of an event. With this in mind, I will now conclude by turningto the contemporary inflections of the Idea of communism.12 In keeping with the current reassessment of the Idea of communism, as I mentioned, the word's function can no longer be that of an adjective, as in 'Communist Party', or 'communist regimes'. The Party-form, like that of the Socialist State, is no longer suitable for providing real support for the Idea. This problem moreover first found negative expression in two crucial events of the '60s and '70s of the last century: the Cultural Revolution in China and the amorphous entity called 'May '68' in France. Later, new political forms, all of which are of the order of politics without a party, were - and are still being tried OUt.13 Overall, however, the modern, so-called 'democratic' form of the bourgeois State, of which globalized capitalism is the cornerstone, can boast of having no rivals in the ideological field. For three decades now, the word 'communism' has been either totally forgotten or practically equated with criminal enterprises. That is why the subjective situation of politics has everywhere become so incoherent. Lacking the Idea, the popular masses's confusion is inescapable. Nevertheless, there are many signs suggesting that this reactionary period is coming to an end. The historical paradox is that, in a certain way, we are closer to problems investigated in the first half of the nineteenth century than we are to those we have inherited from the twentieth. Just as in around 1840, today we are faced with an utterly cynical capitalism, which is certain that it is the only possible option for a rational organization of society. Everywhere it is implied that the poor are to blame for their own plight, that Mricans are backward, and that the future belongs either to the 'civilized' bourgeoisies of the Western world or to those who, like the Japanese, choose to follow the same path. Today, just as back then, very extensive areas of extreme poverty can be found even in the rich countries. There are outrageous, widening inequalities between countries, as well as between social classes. The subjective, political gulf between Third World farmers, the unemployed and poor wage earners in our so-called 'developed' countries, on the one hand, and the 'Western' middle classes on the other, is absolutely unbridgeable and tainted with a sort of indifference bordering on hatred. More than ever, political power, as the current economic crisis with its one single slogan of 'rescue the banks' clearly proves, is merely an agent of capitalism. Revolutionaries are divided and only weakly organized, broad sectors of working-class youth have fallen prey to nihilistic despair, the vast majority of intellectuals are servile. In contrast to all this, as isolated as Marx and his friends were at the time when the retrospectively famous Manifesto of the Communist Party came out in 1847, there are nonetheless more and more of us involved in organizing new types of political processes among the poor and working masses and in trying to find every possible way to support the re-emergent forms of the communist Idea in reality. Just as at the beginning of the nineteenth century, the victory of the communist Idea is not at issue, as it would later be, far too dangerously and dogmatically, for a whole stretch of the twentieth century. What matters first and foremost is its existence and the terms in which it is formulated. In the first place, to provide a vigorous subjective existence to the communist hypothesis is the task those of us gathered here today are attempting to accomplish in our own way. And it I insist, a thrilling task. By combining intellectual constructs, which are always global and universal, with experiments of fragments of truths, which are local and singular, yet universally transmittable, we can give new life to the communist hypothesis, or rather to the Idea of communism, in individual consciousnesses. We can usher in the third era of this Idea's existence. We can, so we must.

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5 hours ago, ColinD said:

The most competitive debaters don't really hone in on just doing the cap k in college, but everyone keeps it in their repertoire. 

 

 

Kind of wish the highlighting would have pasted but am too lazy to post a doc. These should not be nearly as highlighted as I bet y'all make them ?

 

Thus our alternative is a commitment to the Communist Hypothesis.  Every ethical decision should be infused with the significance of humanity’s destiny. The affirmative reduces life to a barbaric ratrace and stands opposed to universal emancipation. 

Alain Badiou, former Chair of Philosophy at École normale supérieure, 2008.  [The Meaning of Sarkozy, pp. 97-103]

I would like to situate the Sarkozy episode, which is not an impressive page in French history, in a broader horizon. I Let us picture a kind of Hegelian fresco of recent world history - by which I do not, like our journalists, mean the triad Mitterrand-Chirac-Sarkozy, but rather the development of the politics of working-class and popular emancipation over nearly two centuries. Since the French Revolution and its gradually universal echo, since the most radically egalitarian developments of that revolution, the decrees of Robespierre's Committee of Public Safety on the 'maximum' and Babeuf's theorizations, we know (when I say 'we', I mean humanity in the abstract, and the knowledge in question is universally available on the paths of emancipation) that communism is the right hypothesis. Indeed, there is no other, or at least I am not aware of one. All those who abandon this hypothesis immediately resign themselves to the market economy, to parliamentary democracy - the form of state suited to capitalism - and to the inevitable and 'natural' character of the most monstrous inequalities. What do we mean by 'communism'? As Marx argued in the 1844 ManUJcriptJ, communism is an idea regarding the destiny of the human species. This use of the word must be completely distinguished from the meaning of the adjective 'communist' that is so worn-out today, in such expressions as 'communist parties', 'communist states' or 'communist world' - never mind that 'communist state' is an oxymoron, to which the obscure coinage 'socialist state' has wisely been preferred. Even if, as we shall see, these uses of the word belong to a time when the hypothesis was still coming-to-be. In its generic sense, 'communist' means first of all, in a negative sense - as we can read in its canonical text The Communist ManijeJto - that the logic of classes, of the fundamental subordination of people who actually work for a dominant class, can be overcome. This arrangement, which has been that of history ever since antiquity, is not inevitable. Consequently, the oligarchic power of those who possess wealth and organize its circulation, crystallized in the might of states, is not inescapable. The communist hypothesis is that a different collective organization is practicable, one that will eliminate the inequality of wealth and even the division of labour: every individual will be a 'multi-purpose worker', and in particular people will circulate between manual and intellectual work, as well as between town and country. The private appropriation of monstrous fortunes and their transmission by inheritance will disappear. The existence of a coercive state separate from civil society, with its military and police, will no longer seem a self-evident necessity. There will be, Marx tells us - and he saw this point as his major contribution - after a brief sequence of 'proletarian dictatorship' charged with destroying the remains of the old world, a long sequence of reorganization on the basis of a 'free association' of producers and creators, which will make possible a 'withering away' of the state. 'Communism' as such only denotes this very general set of intellectual representations. This set is the horizon of any initiative, however local and limited in time it may be, that breaks with the order of established opinions - the necessity of inequalities and the state instrument for protecting these - and composes a fragment of a politics of emancipation. In other words, communism is what Kant called an 'Idea', with a regulatory function, rather than a programme. It is absurd to characterize communist principles in the sense I have defined them here as utopian, as is so often done. They are intellectual patterns, always actualized in a different fashion, that serve to produce lines of demarcation between different forms of politics. By and large, a particular political sequence is either compatible with these principles or opposed to them, in which case it is reactionary. 'Communism', in this sense, is a heuristic hypothesis that is very frequently used in political argument, even if the word itself does not appear. If it is still true, as Sartre said, that 'every anti-communist is a swine', it is because any political sequence that, in its principles or lack of them, stands in formal contradiction with the communist hypothesis in its generic sense, has to be judged as opposed to the emancipation of the whole of humanity, and thus to the properly human destiny of humanity. Whoever does not illuminate the coming-to-be of humanity with the communist hypothesis - whatever words they use, as such words matter little - reduces humanity, as far as its collective becoming is concerned, to animality. As we know, the contemporary - that is, the capitalist name of this animality - is 'competition'. The war dictated by self-interest, and nothing more. As a pure Idea of equality, the communist hypothesis has no doubt existed in a practical state since the beginnings of the existence of the state. As soon as mass action opposes state coercion in the name of egalitarian justice, we have the appearance of rudiments or fragments of the communist hypothesis. This is why, in a pamphlet titled De l'UJeologie, which I wrote in collaboration with the late lamented Francois Balmes and was published in 1976, we proposed to identity 'communist invariants'f Popular revolts, such as that of the slaves led by Spartacus, or that of the German peasants led by Thomas Munzer, are examples of this practical existence of communist invariants. However, in the explicit form that it was given by certain thinkers and activists of the French Revolution, the communist hypothesis inaugurates political modernity. It was this that laid low the mental structures of the ancien regime, yet without being tied to those 'democratic' political forms that the bourgeoisie would make the instrument for its own pursuit of power. This point is essential: from the beginning, the communist hypothesis in no way coincided with the 'democratic' hypothesis that would lead to present-day parliamentarism. It subsumes a different history and different events. What seems important and creative when illuminated by the communist hypothesis is different in kind from what bourgeois-democratic historiography selects. That is indeed why Marx, giving materialist foundations to the first effective great sequence of the modern politics of emancipation, both took over the word 'communism' and distanced himself from any kind of democratic 'politicism' by maintaining, after the lesson of the Paris Commune, that the bourgeois state, no matter how democratic, must be destroyed. Well, I leave it to you to judge what is important or not, to judge the points whose consequences you choose to assume against the horizon of the communist hypothesis. Once again, it is the right hypothesis, and we can appeal to its principles, whatever the declensions or variations that these undergo in different contexts. Sartre said in an interview, which I paraphrase: If the communist hypothesis is not right, if it is not practicable, well, that means that humanity is not a thing in itself, not very different from ants or termites. What did he mean by that? If competition, the 'free market', the sum of little pleasures, and the walls that protect you from the desire of the weak, are the alpha and omega of all collective and private existence, then the human animal is not worth a cent. And it is this worthlessness to which Bush with his aggressive conservatism and crusader spirit, Blair the Pious with his militarist rhetoric, and Sarkozy with his 'work, family, country' discipline, want to reduce the existence of the immense majority of living individuals. And the 'Left' is still worse, simply juxtaposing to this vacant violence a vague spirit of charity. To morbid competition, the pasteboard victories of daddy's boys and girls, the ridiculous supermen of unleashed finance, the coked-up heroes of the planetary stock exchange, this Left can only oppose the same actors with a bit of social politeness, a little walnut oil in the wheels, crumbs of holy wafer for the disinherited - in other words, borrowing from Nietzsche, the bloodless figure of the 'last man. To put an end once and for all to May '68 means agreeing that our only choice is between the hereditary nihilism of finance and social piety. It not only means accepting that communism collapsed in the Soviet Union, not only acknowledging that the Parti Communiste Francais has been wretchedly defeated, but also and above all it means abandoning the hypothesis that May '68 was a militant invention precisely aware ofthe failure of state'communism'. And thus that May '68, and still more so the five years that followed, inaugurated a new sequence for the genuine communist hypothesis, one that always keeps its distance from the state. Certainly, no one could say where all this might lead, but we knew in any case that what was at stake was the rebirth of this hypothesis. If the thing that Sarkozy is the name of succeeds in imposing the necessity of abandoning any idea of a rebirth of this kind, if human society is a collection of individuals pursuing their self-interest, if this is the eternal reality, then it is certain that the philosopher can and must abandon the human animal to its sad destiny. But we shall not let a triumphant Sarkozy dictate the meaning of our existence, or the tasks of philosophy. For what we are witnessing in no way imposes such a renunciation of the communist hypothesis, but simply a consideration of the moment at which we find ourselves in the history of this hypothesis.

 

 

2NC Framing/ROB card:

Fidelity to the Idea of Communism means subordination of all other goals and the incorporation of all other agendas.  This debate round should be considered a referrendum on the future.

Badiou, former Chair of Philosophy at École normale supérieure, 2010.  [The Idea of Communism pp. 245-260]

 

So we can now return to our subject, the communist Idea. If, for an individual, an Idea is the subjective operation whereby a specific real truth is imaginarily projected into the symbolic movement of a History, we can say that an Idea presents the truth as if it were a fact. In other words, the Idea presents certain facts as symbols of the real of truth. This was how the Idea of communism allowed revolutionary politics and its parties to be inscribed in the representation of a meaning of History the inevitable outcome of which was communism. Or how it became possible to speak of a 'homeland of socialism', which amounted to symbolizing the creation of a possibility - which is fragile by definition - through the magnitude of a power. The Idea, which is an operative mediation between the real and the symbolic, always presents the individual with something that is located between the event and the fac t. That is why the endless debates about the real status of the communist Idea are irresolvable. Is it a question of a regulative Idea, in Kant's sense of the term, having no real efficacy but able to set reasonable goals for our understanding? Or is it an agenda that must be carried out over time through a new post-revolutionary State's action on the world? Is it a utopia, if not a plainly dangerous, and even criminal, one? Or is it the name of Reason in History? This type of debate can never be concluded for the simple reason that the subjective operation of the Idea is not simple but complex. It involves real sequences of emancipatory politics as its essential real condition, but it also presupposes marshalling a whole range of historical facts suitable for symbolization. It does not claim (as this would amount to subjecting the truth procedure to the laws of the State) that the event and its organized political consequences are reducible to facts. But neither does it claim that the facts are unsuitable for any historical trans-scription (to make a Lacanian sort of play on words) of the distinctive characters of a truth. The Idea is a historical anchoring of everything elusive, slippery and evanescent in the becoming of a truth. But it can only be so if it admits as its O"tn real this aleatory, elusive, slippery, evanescent dimension. That is why it is incumbent upon the communist Idea to respond to the question 'Where do correct ideas come from?' the way Mao did: , 'correct ideas' (and by this I mean what constitutes the path of a truth in a situation) come from practice. 'Practice' should obviously be understood as the materialist name of the real. It would thus be appropriate to say that the Idea that symbolizes the becoming 'in truth' of correct (political) ideas in History, that is to say, the Idea of communism, therefore comes itself from the idea of practice (from the experience of the real) in the final analysis but can nevertheless not be reduced to it. This is because it is the protocol not of the existence but rather of the exposure of a truth in action. All of the foregoing explains, and to a certain extent justifies, why it was ultimately possible to go to the extreme of exposing the truths of emancipatory politics in the guise of their opposite, that is to say, in the guise of a State. Since it is a question of an (imaginary) ideological relationship between a truth procedure and historical facts, why hesitate to push this relationship to its limit? Why not say that it is a matter of a relationship between event and State? State and Revolution: that is the title of one of Lenin's most famous texts. And the State and the Event are indeed what are at stake in it. Nevertheless, Lenin, following Marx in this regard, is careful to say that the State in question after the Revolution will have to be the State of the withering away of the State, the State as organizer of the transition to the non-State. So let's say the following: The Idea of communism can project the real of a politics, subtracted as ever from the power of the State, into the figure of 'another State', provided that the subtraction lies within this subjectivating operation, in the sense that the 'other State' is also subtracted from the power of the State, hence from its own power, in so far as it is a State whose essence is to wither away. It is in this context that it is necessary to think and endorse the vital importance of proper names in all revolutionary politics. Their i mportance is indeed both spectacular and paradoxical. On the one hand, in effect, emancipatory politics is essentially the politics of the anonymous masses; it is the victory of those with no names,10 of those who are held in a state of colossal insignificance by the State. On the other hand, it is distinguished all along the way by proper names, which define it historically, which represent it, much more forcefully tban is the case for other kinds of politics. Why is there this long series of proper names? Why this glorious Pantheon of revolutionary heroes? Why Spartacus, Thomas MUntzer, Robespierre, Toussaint Louverture, Blanqui, Marx, Lenin, Rosa Luxemburg, Mao, Che Guevara and so many others? The reason is that all these proper names symbolize historically - in the guise of an individual, of a pure singularity of body and thought the rare and precious network of ephemeral sequences of politics as truth. The elusive formalism of bodies-of-truth is legible here as empirical existence. In these proper names, the ordinary individual discovers glorious, distinctive individuals as the mediation for his or her own individuality, as the proof that he or she can force its finitude. The anonymous action of millions of militants, rebels, fighters, unrepresentable as such, is combined and counted as one in the simple, powerful symbol of the proper name. Thus, proper names are involved in the operation of the Idea, and the ones I just mentioned are elements of the Idea of communism at its various different stages. So let us not hesitate to say that Khrushchev's condemnation of 'the cult of personality', apropos Stalin, was misguided, and that, under the pretence of democracy, it heralded the decline of the Idea of communism that we witnessed in the ensuing decades. The political critique of Stalin and his terrorist vision of the State needed to be undertaken in a rigorous way, from the perspective of revolutionary politics itself, and Mao had begun to do as much in a number of his writings.11 Whereas Khrushchev, who was in fact defending the group that had led the Stalinist State, made no inroads whatsoever as regards this issue and, when it came to speaking of the Terror carried out under Stalin, merely offered an abstract critique of the role of proper names in political subjectivation. He himself thereby paved the way for the 'new philosophers' of reactionary humanism a decade later. Whence a very precious lesson: even though retroactive political actions may require that a given name be stripped of its symbolic function, this function as such cannot be eliminated for all that. For the Idea - and the communist Idea in particular, because it refers directly to the infinity of the people - needs the finitude of proper names. Let's recapitulate as simply as possible. A truth is the political real. History, even as a reservoir of proper names, is a symbolic place. The ideological operation of the Idea of communism is the imaginary projection of the political real into the symbolic fiction of History, including in its guise as a representation of the action of innumerable masses via the One of a proper name. The role of this Idea is to support the individual's incorporation into the discipline of a truth procedure, to authorize the individual, in his or her own eyes, to go beyond the Statist constraints of mere survival by becoming a part of the body-of-truth, or the subjectivizable body. We will now ask: why is it necessary to resort to this ambiguous operation? Why do the event and its consequences also have to be exposed in the guise of a fact - often a violent one that IS accompanied by different versions of the 'cult of personality'? What is the reason for this historical appropriation of emancipatory politics? The simplest reason is that ordinary history, the history of individual lives, is confined within the State. The history of a life, with neither decision nor choice, is in itself a part of the history of the State, whose conventional mediations are the family, work, the homeland, property, religion, customs and so forth. The heroic, but individual, projection of an exception to all the above - as is a truth procedure - also aims at being shared with everyone else; it aims to show itself to be not only an exception but also a possibility that everyone can share from now on. And that is one of the Idea's functions: to project the exception into the ordinary life of individuals, to fill what merely exists with a certain measure of the extraordinary. To convince my own immediate circle - husband or wife, neighbours and friends, colleagues - that the fantastic exception of truths in the making also exists, that we are not doomed to lives programmed by the constraints of the State. Naturally, in the final analysis, only the raw, or militant, experience of the truth procedure will compel one person or another's entry into the bodyof- truth. But to take him or her to the place where this experience is to be found - to make him or her a spectator of, and therefore partly a participant in, what is important for a truth the mediation of the Idea, the sharing of the Idea, are almost always required. The Idea of communism (regardless of what name it might otherwise be given, which hardly matters: no Idea is definable by its name) is what enables a truth procedure to be spoken in the impure language of the State and thereby for the lines of force by virtue of which the State prescribes what is possible and what i s impossible to be shifted for a time. In this view of things, the most ordinary action is to take someone to a real political meeting, far from their home, far from their predetermined existential parameters, in a hostel of workers from Mali, for example, or at the gates of a factory. Once they have come to the place where politics is occurring, they will make a decision about whether to incorporate or withdraw. But in order for them to come to that place, the Idea and for two centuries, or perhaps since Plato, it has been the Idea of communism - must have already shifted them in the order of representations, of History and of the State. The symbol must imaginarily come to the aid of the creative flight from the real. Allegorical facts must ideologize and historicize the fragility of truth. A banal yet crucial discussion with four workers and a student in an ill-lit room must momentarily be enlarged to the dimensions of Communism and thus be both what it is and what it will have been as a moment in the local construction of the True. Through the enlargement of the symbol, it must become visible that 'just ideas' come from this practically invisible practice. The fiveperson meeting in an out-of-the-way suburb must be eternal in the very expression of its precariousness. That is why the real must be exposed in a fictional structure. The second reason is that every event is a surprise. If this were not the case, it would mean that it "could have been predictable as a fact, and so would be inscribed in the History of the State, which is a contradiction in terms. The problem can thus be formulated in the following way: how can we prepare ourselves for such surprises? And this time the problem really exists, even if we are already currently militants of a previous event's consequences, even if we are included in a bodyof- trutb. Granted, we are proposing the deployment of new possibilities. However, the event to come will turn what is still impossible, even for us, into a possibility. In order to anticipate, at least ideologically, or intellectually, the creation of new possibilities, we must have an Idea. An Idea that of course involves the newness of the possibilities that the truth procedure of which we are the militants has brought to light, which are real-possibilities, but an Idea that also involves the formal possibility of other possibilities, ones as yet unsuspected by us. An Idea is always the assertion that a new truth is historically possible. And since the forcing of the impossible into the possible occurs via subtraction from the power of the State, an Idea can be said to assert that this subtractive process is infinite: it is always formally possible that the dividing line drawn by the State between the possible and the impossible may once again be shifted, however radical its previous shifts - including the one in which we as militants are currently taking part - may have been. That is why one of the contents of the communist Idea today as opposed to the theme of communism as a goal to be attained through the work of a new State - is that the withering away of the State, while undoubtedly a principle that must be apparent in any political action (which is expressed by the formula 'politics at a distance from the State' as an obligatory refusal of any direct inclusion in the State, of any request for funding from the State, of any participation in elections, etc.), is also an infinite task, since the creation of new political truths will always shift the dividing line between Statist, hence historical, facts and the eternal consequences of an event. With this in mind, I will now conclude by turningto the contemporary inflections of the Idea of communism.12 In keeping with the current reassessment of the Idea of communism, as I mentioned, the word's function can no longer be that of an adjective, as in 'Communist Party', or 'communist regimes'. The Party-form, like that of the Socialist State, is no longer suitable for providing real support for the Idea. This problem moreover first found negative expression in two crucial events of the '60s and '70s of the last century: the Cultural Revolution in China and the amorphous entity called 'May '68' in France. Later, new political forms, all of which are of the order of politics without a party, were - and are still being tried OUt.13 Overall, however, the modern, so-called 'democratic' form of the bourgeois State, of which globalized capitalism is the cornerstone, can boast of having no rivals in the ideological field. For three decades now, the word 'communism' has been either totally forgotten or practically equated with criminal enterprises. That is why the subjective situation of politics has everywhere become so incoherent. Lacking the Idea, the popular masses's confusion is inescapable. Nevertheless, there are many signs suggesting that this reactionary period is coming to an end. The historical paradox is that, in a certain way, we are closer to problems investigated in the first half of the nineteenth century than we are to those we have inherited from the twentieth. Just as in around 1840, today we are faced with an utterly cynical capitalism, which is certain that it is the only possible option for a rational organization of society. Everywhere it is implied that the poor are to blame for their own plight, that Mricans are backward, and that the future belongs either to the 'civilized' bourgeoisies of the Western world or to those who, like the Japanese, choose to follow the same path. Today, just as back then, very extensive areas of extreme poverty can be found even in the rich countries. There are outrageous, widening inequalities between countries, as well as between social classes. The subjective, political gulf between Third World farmers, the unemployed and poor wage earners in our so-called 'developed' countries, on the one hand, and the 'Western' middle classes on the other, is absolutely unbridgeable and tainted with a sort of indifference bordering on hatred. More than ever, political power, as the current economic crisis with its one single slogan of 'rescue the banks' clearly proves, is merely an agent of capitalism. Revolutionaries are divided and only weakly organized, broad sectors of working-class youth have fallen prey to nihilistic despair, the vast majority of intellectuals are servile. In contrast to all this, as isolated as Marx and his friends were at the time when the retrospectively famous Manifesto of the Communist Party came out in 1847, there are nonetheless more and more of us involved in organizing new types of political processes among the poor and working masses and in trying to find every possible way to support the re-emergent forms of the communist Idea in reality. Just as at the beginning of the nineteenth century, the victory of the communist Idea is not at issue, as it would later be, far too dangerously and dogmatically, for a whole stretch of the twentieth century. What matters first and foremost is its existence and the terms in which it is formulated. In the first place, to provide a vigorous subjective existence to the communist hypothesis is the task those of us gathered here today are attempting to accomplish in our own way. And it I insist, a thrilling task. By combining intellectual constructs, which are always global and universal, with experiments of fragments of truths, which are local and singular, yet universally transmittable, we can give new life to the communist hypothesis, or rather to the Idea of communism, in individual consciousnesses. We can usher in the third era of this Idea's existence. We can, so we must.

i believe this alt was wisely used in multiple camps this summer as well.

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One of my personal favorites are harney and moten Undercommon Planning alts that talks about challenging the type of pedagougical framework the aff proposes. Then really if you win the Framework debate and frame the alt as a rejection of that type of scholarship in favour for your type of planning that should pick up the W. But another more edgy and a little more Idpol based alt comes from Gumbs talking about Poetry and "those of us on the shoreline" as a method of disrupting the neolib. I know these authors are a little more Idpol based but I think that if you want a more nuanced Cap K this is the way to go ?

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8 hours ago, ColinD said:

The most competitive debaters don't really hone in on just doing the cap k in college, but everyone keeps it in their repertoire. 

 

 

Kind of wish the highlighting would have pasted but am too lazy to post a doc. These should not be nearly as highlighted as I bet y'all make them ?

 

Thus our alternative is a commitment to the Communist Hypothesis.  Every ethical decision should be infused with the significance of humanity’s destiny. The affirmative reduces life to a barbaric ratrace and stands opposed to universal emancipation. 

Alain Badiou, former Chair of Philosophy at École normale supérieure, 2008.  [The Meaning of Sarkozy, pp. 97-103]

I would like to situate the Sarkozy episode, which is not an impressive page in French history, in a broader horizon. I Let us picture a kind of Hegelian fresco of recent world history - by which I do not, like our journalists, mean the triad Mitterrand-Chirac-Sarkozy, but rather the development of the politics of working-class and popular emancipation over nearly two centuries. Since the French Revolution and its gradually universal echo, since the most radically egalitarian developments of that revolution, the decrees of Robespierre's Committee of Public Safety on the 'maximum' and Babeuf's theorizations, we know (when I say 'we', I mean humanity in the abstract, and the knowledge in question is universally available on the paths of emancipation) that communism is the right hypothesis. Indeed, there is no other, or at least I am not aware of one. All those who abandon this hypothesis immediately resign themselves to the market economy, to parliamentary democracy - the form of state suited to capitalism - and to the inevitable and 'natural' character of the most monstrous inequalities. What do we mean by 'communism'? As Marx argued in the 1844 ManUJcriptJ, communism is an idea regarding the destiny of the human species. This use of the word must be completely distinguished from the meaning of the adjective 'communist' that is so worn-out today, in such expressions as 'communist parties', 'communist states' or 'communist world' - never mind that 'communist state' is an oxymoron, to which the obscure coinage 'socialist state' has wisely been preferred. Even if, as we shall see, these uses of the word belong to a time when the hypothesis was still coming-to-be. In its generic sense, 'communist' means first of all, in a negative sense - as we can read in its canonical text The Communist ManijeJto - that the logic of classes, of the fundamental subordination of people who actually work for a dominant class, can be overcome. This arrangement, which has been that of history ever since antiquity, is not inevitable. Consequently, the oligarchic power of those who possess wealth and organize its circulation, crystallized in the might of states, is not inescapable. The communist hypothesis is that a different collective organization is practicable, one that will eliminate the inequality of wealth and even the division of labour: every individual will be a 'multi-purpose worker', and in particular people will circulate between manual and intellectual work, as well as between town and country. The private appropriation of monstrous fortunes and their transmission by inheritance will disappear. The existence of a coercive state separate from civil society, with its military and police, will no longer seem a self-evident necessity. There will be, Marx tells us - and he saw this point as his major contribution - after a brief sequence of 'proletarian dictatorship' charged with destroying the remains of the old world, a long sequence of reorganization on the basis of a 'free association' of producers and creators, which will make possible a 'withering away' of the state. 'Communism' as such only denotes this very general set of intellectual representations. This set is the horizon of any initiative, however local and limited in time it may be, that breaks with the order of established opinions - the necessity of inequalities and the state instrument for protecting these - and composes a fragment of a politics of emancipation. In other words, communism is what Kant called an 'Idea', with a regulatory function, rather than a programme. It is absurd to characterize communist principles in the sense I have defined them here as utopian, as is so often done. They are intellectual patterns, always actualized in a different fashion, that serve to produce lines of demarcation between different forms of politics. By and large, a particular political sequence is either compatible with these principles or opposed to them, in which case it is reactionary. 'Communism', in this sense, is a heuristic hypothesis that is very frequently used in political argument, even if the word itself does not appear. If it is still true, as Sartre said, that 'every anti-communist is a swine', it is because any political sequence that, in its principles or lack of them, stands in formal contradiction with the communist hypothesis in its generic sense, has to be judged as opposed to the emancipation of the whole of humanity, and thus to the properly human destiny of humanity. Whoever does not illuminate the coming-to-be of humanity with the communist hypothesis - whatever words they use, as such words matter little - reduces humanity, as far as its collective becoming is concerned, to animality. As we know, the contemporary - that is, the capitalist name of this animality - is 'competition'. The war dictated by self-interest, and nothing more. As a pure Idea of equality, the communist hypothesis has no doubt existed in a practical state since the beginnings of the existence of the state. As soon as mass action opposes state coercion in the name of egalitarian justice, we have the appearance of rudiments or fragments of the communist hypothesis. This is why, in a pamphlet titled De l'UJeologie, which I wrote in collaboration with the late lamented Francois Balmes and was published in 1976, we proposed to identity 'communist invariants'f Popular revolts, such as that of the slaves led by Spartacus, or that of the German peasants led by Thomas Munzer, are examples of this practical existence of communist invariants. However, in the explicit form that it was given by certain thinkers and activists of the French Revolution, the communist hypothesis inaugurates political modernity. It was this that laid low the mental structures of the ancien regime, yet without being tied to those 'democratic' political forms that the bourgeoisie would make the instrument for its own pursuit of power. This point is essential: from the beginning, the communist hypothesis in no way coincided with the 'democratic' hypothesis that would lead to present-day parliamentarism. It subsumes a different history and different events. What seems important and creative when illuminated by the communist hypothesis is different in kind from what bourgeois-democratic historiography selects. That is indeed why Marx, giving materialist foundations to the first effective great sequence of the modern politics of emancipation, both took over the word 'communism' and distanced himself from any kind of democratic 'politicism' by maintaining, after the lesson of the Paris Commune, that the bourgeois state, no matter how democratic, must be destroyed. Well, I leave it to you to judge what is important or not, to judge the points whose consequences you choose to assume against the horizon of the communist hypothesis. Once again, it is the right hypothesis, and we can appeal to its principles, whatever the declensions or variations that these undergo in different contexts. Sartre said in an interview, which I paraphrase: If the communist hypothesis is not right, if it is not practicable, well, that means that humanity is not a thing in itself, not very different from ants or termites. What did he mean by that? If competition, the 'free market', the sum of little pleasures, and the walls that protect you from the desire of the weak, are the alpha and omega of all collective and private existence, then the human animal is not worth a cent. And it is this worthlessness to which Bush with his aggressive conservatism and crusader spirit, Blair the Pious with his militarist rhetoric, and Sarkozy with his 'work, family, country' discipline, want to reduce the existence of the immense majority of living individuals. And the 'Left' is still worse, simply juxtaposing to this vacant violence a vague spirit of charity. To morbid competition, the pasteboard victories of daddy's boys and girls, the ridiculous supermen of unleashed finance, the coked-up heroes of the planetary stock exchange, this Left can only oppose the same actors with a bit of social politeness, a little walnut oil in the wheels, crumbs of holy wafer for the disinherited - in other words, borrowing from Nietzsche, the bloodless figure of the 'last man. To put an end once and for all to May '68 means agreeing that our only choice is between the hereditary nihilism of finance and social piety. It not only means accepting that communism collapsed in the Soviet Union, not only acknowledging that the Parti Communiste Francais has been wretchedly defeated, but also and above all it means abandoning the hypothesis that May '68 was a militant invention precisely aware ofthe failure of state'communism'. And thus that May '68, and still more so the five years that followed, inaugurated a new sequence for the genuine communist hypothesis, one that always keeps its distance from the state. Certainly, no one could say where all this might lead, but we knew in any case that what was at stake was the rebirth of this hypothesis. If the thing that Sarkozy is the name of succeeds in imposing the necessity of abandoning any idea of a rebirth of this kind, if human society is a collection of individuals pursuing their self-interest, if this is the eternal reality, then it is certain that the philosopher can and must abandon the human animal to its sad destiny. But we shall not let a triumphant Sarkozy dictate the meaning of our existence, or the tasks of philosophy. For what we are witnessing in no way imposes such a renunciation of the communist hypothesis, but simply a consideration of the moment at which we find ourselves in the history of this hypothesis.

 

 

2NC Framing/ROB card:

Fidelity to the Idea of Communism means subordination of all other goals and the incorporation of all other agendas.  This debate round should be considered a referrendum on the future.

Badiou, former Chair of Philosophy at École normale supérieure, 2010.  [The Idea of Communism pp. 245-260]

 

So we can now return to our subject, the communist Idea. If, for an individual, an Idea is the subjective operation whereby a specific real truth is imaginarily projected into the symbolic movement of a History, we can say that an Idea presents the truth as if it were a fact. In other words, the Idea presents certain facts as symbols of the real of truth. This was how the Idea of communism allowed revolutionary politics and its parties to be inscribed in the representation of a meaning of History the inevitable outcome of which was communism. Or how it became possible to speak of a 'homeland of socialism', which amounted to symbolizing the creation of a possibility - which is fragile by definition - through the magnitude of a power. The Idea, which is an operative mediation between the real and the symbolic, always presents the individual with something that is located between the event and the fac t. That is why the endless debates about the real status of the communist Idea are irresolvable. Is it a question of a regulative Idea, in Kant's sense of the term, having no real efficacy but able to set reasonable goals for our understanding? Or is it an agenda that must be carried out over time through a new post-revolutionary State's action on the world? Is it a utopia, if not a plainly dangerous, and even criminal, one? Or is it the name of Reason in History? This type of debate can never be concluded for the simple reason that the subjective operation of the Idea is not simple but complex. It involves real sequences of emancipatory politics as its essential real condition, but it also presupposes marshalling a whole range of historical facts suitable for symbolization. It does not claim (as this would amount to subjecting the truth procedure to the laws of the State) that the event and its organized political consequences are reducible to facts. But neither does it claim that the facts are unsuitable for any historical trans-scription (to make a Lacanian sort of play on words) of the distinctive characters of a truth. The Idea is a historical anchoring of everything elusive, slippery and evanescent in the becoming of a truth. But it can only be so if it admits as its O"tn real this aleatory, elusive, slippery, evanescent dimension. That is why it is incumbent upon the communist Idea to respond to the question 'Where do correct ideas come from?' the way Mao did: , 'correct ideas' (and by this I mean what constitutes the path of a truth in a situation) come from practice. 'Practice' should obviously be understood as the materialist name of the real. It would thus be appropriate to say that the Idea that symbolizes the becoming 'in truth' of correct (political) ideas in History, that is to say, the Idea of communism, therefore comes itself from the idea of practice (from the experience of the real) in the final analysis but can nevertheless not be reduced to it. This is because it is the protocol not of the existence but rather of the exposure of a truth in action. All of the foregoing explains, and to a certain extent justifies, why it was ultimately possible to go to the extreme of exposing the truths of emancipatory politics in the guise of their opposite, that is to say, in the guise of a State. Since it is a question of an (imaginary) ideological relationship between a truth procedure and historical facts, why hesitate to push this relationship to its limit? Why not say that it is a matter of a relationship between event and State? State and Revolution: that is the title of one of Lenin's most famous texts. And the State and the Event are indeed what are at stake in it. Nevertheless, Lenin, following Marx in this regard, is careful to say that the State in question after the Revolution will have to be the State of the withering away of the State, the State as organizer of the transition to the non-State. So let's say the following: The Idea of communism can project the real of a politics, subtracted as ever from the power of the State, into the figure of 'another State', provided that the subtraction lies within this subjectivating operation, in the sense that the 'other State' is also subtracted from the power of the State, hence from its own power, in so far as it is a State whose essence is to wither away. It is in this context that it is necessary to think and endorse the vital importance of proper names in all revolutionary politics. Their i mportance is indeed both spectacular and paradoxical. On the one hand, in effect, emancipatory politics is essentially the politics of the anonymous masses; it is the victory of those with no names,10 of those who are held in a state of colossal insignificance by the State. On the other hand, it is distinguished all along the way by proper names, which define it historically, which represent it, much more forcefully tban is the case for other kinds of politics. Why is there this long series of proper names? Why this glorious Pantheon of revolutionary heroes? Why Spartacus, Thomas MUntzer, Robespierre, Toussaint Louverture, Blanqui, Marx, Lenin, Rosa Luxemburg, Mao, Che Guevara and so many others? The reason is that all these proper names symbolize historically - in the guise of an individual, of a pure singularity of body and thought the rare and precious network of ephemeral sequences of politics as truth. The elusive formalism of bodies-of-truth is legible here as empirical existence. In these proper names, the ordinary individual discovers glorious, distinctive individuals as the mediation for his or her own individuality, as the proof that he or she can force its finitude. The anonymous action of millions of militants, rebels, fighters, unrepresentable as such, is combined and counted as one in the simple, powerful symbol of the proper name. Thus, proper names are involved in the operation of the Idea, and the ones I just mentioned are elements of the Idea of communism at its various different stages. So let us not hesitate to say that Khrushchev's condemnation of 'the cult of personality', apropos Stalin, was misguided, and that, under the pretence of democracy, it heralded the decline of the Idea of communism that we witnessed in the ensuing decades. The political critique of Stalin and his terrorist vision of the State needed to be undertaken in a rigorous way, from the perspective of revolutionary politics itself, and Mao had begun to do as much in a number of his writings.11 Whereas Khrushchev, who was in fact defending the group that had led the Stalinist State, made no inroads whatsoever as regards this issue and, when it came to speaking of the Terror carried out under Stalin, merely offered an abstract critique of the role of proper names in political subjectivation. He himself thereby paved the way for the 'new philosophers' of reactionary humanism a decade later. Whence a very precious lesson: even though retroactive political actions may require that a given name be stripped of its symbolic function, this function as such cannot be eliminated for all that. For the Idea - and the communist Idea in particular, because it refers directly to the infinity of the people - needs the finitude of proper names. Let's recapitulate as simply as possible. A truth is the political real. History, even as a reservoir of proper names, is a symbolic place. The ideological operation of the Idea of communism is the imaginary projection of the political real into the symbolic fiction of History, including in its guise as a representation of the action of innumerable masses via the One of a proper name. The role of this Idea is to support the individual's incorporation into the discipline of a truth procedure, to authorize the individual, in his or her own eyes, to go beyond the Statist constraints of mere survival by becoming a part of the body-of-truth, or the subjectivizable body. We will now ask: why is it necessary to resort to this ambiguous operation? Why do the event and its consequences also have to be exposed in the guise of a fact - often a violent one that IS accompanied by different versions of the 'cult of personality'? What is the reason for this historical appropriation of emancipatory politics? The simplest reason is that ordinary history, the history of individual lives, is confined within the State. The history of a life, with neither decision nor choice, is in itself a part of the history of the State, whose conventional mediations are the family, work, the homeland, property, religion, customs and so forth. The heroic, but individual, projection of an exception to all the above - as is a truth procedure - also aims at being shared with everyone else; it aims to show itself to be not only an exception but also a possibility that everyone can share from now on. And that is one of the Idea's functions: to project the exception into the ordinary life of individuals, to fill what merely exists with a certain measure of the extraordinary. To convince my own immediate circle - husband or wife, neighbours and friends, colleagues - that the fantastic exception of truths in the making also exists, that we are not doomed to lives programmed by the constraints of the State. Naturally, in the final analysis, only the raw, or militant, experience of the truth procedure will compel one person or another's entry into the bodyof- truth. But to take him or her to the place where this experience is to be found - to make him or her a spectator of, and therefore partly a participant in, what is important for a truth the mediation of the Idea, the sharing of the Idea, are almost always required. The Idea of communism (regardless of what name it might otherwise be given, which hardly matters: no Idea is definable by its name) is what enables a truth procedure to be spoken in the impure language of the State and thereby for the lines of force by virtue of which the State prescribes what is possible and what i s impossible to be shifted for a time. In this view of things, the most ordinary action is to take someone to a real political meeting, far from their home, far from their predetermined existential parameters, in a hostel of workers from Mali, for example, or at the gates of a factory. Once they have come to the place where politics is occurring, they will make a decision about whether to incorporate or withdraw. But in order for them to come to that place, the Idea and for two centuries, or perhaps since Plato, it has been the Idea of communism - must have already shifted them in the order of representations, of History and of the State. The symbol must imaginarily come to the aid of the creative flight from the real. Allegorical facts must ideologize and historicize the fragility of truth. A banal yet crucial discussion with four workers and a student in an ill-lit room must momentarily be enlarged to the dimensions of Communism and thus be both what it is and what it will have been as a moment in the local construction of the True. Through the enlargement of the symbol, it must become visible that 'just ideas' come from this practically invisible practice. The fiveperson meeting in an out-of-the-way suburb must be eternal in the very expression of its precariousness. That is why the real must be exposed in a fictional structure. The second reason is that every event is a surprise. If this were not the case, it would mean that it "could have been predictable as a fact, and so would be inscribed in the History of the State, which is a contradiction in terms. The problem can thus be formulated in the following way: how can we prepare ourselves for such surprises? And this time the problem really exists, even if we are already currently militants of a previous event's consequences, even if we are included in a bodyof- trutb. Granted, we are proposing the deployment of new possibilities. However, the event to come will turn what is still impossible, even for us, into a possibility. In order to anticipate, at least ideologically, or intellectually, the creation of new possibilities, we must have an Idea. An Idea that of course involves the newness of the possibilities that the truth procedure of which we are the militants has brought to light, which are real-possibilities, but an Idea that also involves the formal possibility of other possibilities, ones as yet unsuspected by us. An Idea is always the assertion that a new truth is historically possible. And since the forcing of the impossible into the possible occurs via subtraction from the power of the State, an Idea can be said to assert that this subtractive process is infinite: it is always formally possible that the dividing line drawn by the State between the possible and the impossible may once again be shifted, however radical its previous shifts - including the one in which we as militants are currently taking part - may have been. That is why one of the contents of the communist Idea today as opposed to the theme of communism as a goal to be attained through the work of a new State - is that the withering away of the State, while undoubtedly a principle that must be apparent in any political action (which is expressed by the formula 'politics at a distance from the State' as an obligatory refusal of any direct inclusion in the State, of any request for funding from the State, of any participation in elections, etc.), is also an infinite task, since the creation of new political truths will always shift the dividing line between Statist, hence historical, facts and the eternal consequences of an event. With this in mind, I will now conclude by turningto the contemporary inflections of the Idea of communism.12 In keeping with the current reassessment of the Idea of communism, as I mentioned, the word's function can no longer be that of an adjective, as in 'Communist Party', or 'communist regimes'. The Party-form, like that of the Socialist State, is no longer suitable for providing real support for the Idea. This problem moreover first found negative expression in two crucial events of the '60s and '70s of the last century: the Cultural Revolution in China and the amorphous entity called 'May '68' in France. Later, new political forms, all of which are of the order of politics without a party, were - and are still being tried OUt.13 Overall, however, the modern, so-called 'democratic' form of the bourgeois State, of which globalized capitalism is the cornerstone, can boast of having no rivals in the ideological field. For three decades now, the word 'communism' has been either totally forgotten or practically equated with criminal enterprises. That is why the subjective situation of politics has everywhere become so incoherent. Lacking the Idea, the popular masses's confusion is inescapable. Nevertheless, there are many signs suggesting that this reactionary period is coming to an end. The historical paradox is that, in a certain way, we are closer to problems investigated in the first half of the nineteenth century than we are to those we have inherited from the twentieth. Just as in around 1840, today we are faced with an utterly cynical capitalism, which is certain that it is the only possible option for a rational organization of society. Everywhere it is implied that the poor are to blame for their own plight, that Mricans are backward, and that the future belongs either to the 'civilized' bourgeoisies of the Western world or to those who, like the Japanese, choose to follow the same path. Today, just as back then, very extensive areas of extreme poverty can be found even in the rich countries. There are outrageous, widening inequalities between countries, as well as between social classes. The subjective, political gulf between Third World farmers, the unemployed and poor wage earners in our so-called 'developed' countries, on the one hand, and the 'Western' middle classes on the other, is absolutely unbridgeable and tainted with a sort of indifference bordering on hatred. More than ever, political power, as the current economic crisis with its one single slogan of 'rescue the banks' clearly proves, is merely an agent of capitalism. Revolutionaries are divided and only weakly organized, broad sectors of working-class youth have fallen prey to nihilistic despair, the vast majority of intellectuals are servile. In contrast to all this, as isolated as Marx and his friends were at the time when the retrospectively famous Manifesto of the Communist Party came out in 1847, there are nonetheless more and more of us involved in organizing new types of political processes among the poor and working masses and in trying to find every possible way to support the re-emergent forms of the communist Idea in reality. Just as at the beginning of the nineteenth century, the victory of the communist Idea is not at issue, as it would later be, far too dangerously and dogmatically, for a whole stretch of the twentieth century. What matters first and foremost is its existence and the terms in which it is formulated. In the first place, to provide a vigorous subjective existence to the communist hypothesis is the task those of us gathered here today are attempting to accomplish in our own way. And it I insist, a thrilling task. By combining intellectual constructs, which are always global and universal, with experiments of fragments of truths, which are local and singular, yet universally transmittable, we can give new life to the communist hypothesis, or rather to the Idea of communism, in individual consciousnesses. We can usher in the third era of this Idea's existence. We can, so we must.

Thank you debate daddy

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15 hours ago, ronniesportman said:

I know these authors are a little more Idpol based but I think that if you want a more nuanced Cap K this is the way to go

All critiques of capitalism are always already intertwined in identity politics about the proletariat vs the bougousie 

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