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Everything posted by ColinD

  1. What think of the new home page and user page?

    1. businessmonkey

      businessmonkey

      needs more monkeys

  2. ColinD

    Politics News Feeds

    I went ahead and disabled the forum feeds and created a page called "Politics News Feeds." It can be found in the menu bar under "Resources." Any preferences on keeping the forum? I'm tempted to purge it of posts and maintain it for people to share/discuss politics news.
  3. ColinD

    Politics News Feeds

    We currently have a forum of politics news feeds, seen here: https://www.policydb8.com/forums/forum/225-politics-news/. I'm considering changing this mainly because it clogs site activity feeds, however a benefit is that it stores news indefinitely. The alternative would be a page with numerous live updating politic rss feed widgets from a varying sources. It would not keep a long record of all of the news. Let us know what you think with a vote or comment other ideas!
  4. Thoughts? https://www.nfhs.org/2019-2020-five-policy-debate-topics-suggested/ Synopsis of Problem Areas and Resolutions for 2019-2020 PROBLEM AREA I: ARMS SALES Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially reduce Direct Commercial Sales and/or Foreign Military Sales of arms from the United States. In the movie Iron Man, upon his triumphant return to the United States, arms dealer Tony Stark reflects upon the world his products helped shape: “I saw young Americans killed by the very weapons I created to defend them and protect them. And I saw that I had become part of a system that is comfortable with zero-accountability…I had my eyes opened. I came to realize that I had more to offer this world than just making things that blow up. And that is why, effective immediately, I am shutting down the weapons manufacturing division of Stark Industries.” Just as Tony Stark faced his day of reckoning, the United States is on the verge of facing a similar fate. President Trump is actively increasing the number of arms contracts offered and authorized by the United States. One must ask whether arms sales make us safer and strengthen our economy, or create blowback which increases terrorism or fuels conflicts in a variety of regions across the globe. Direct Commercial Sales affirmatives would limit the number or type of sales by American companies to foreign militaries. These affirmatives could prohibit the sale of drone technology, reduce small arms sold to nations like Saudi Arabia which are used to perpetrate human rights abuses, or strengthen export controls to prevent future resale of our technology. Foreign Military Sales affirmatives would reduce sales by the Departments of State or Defense to foreign militaries. These affirmatives could prohibit sales of F-35s to Israel which are used for bombing raids, prevent Japanese acquisition of Tomahawk missiles which would provoke China or North Korea, or prevent sales to Qatar which may give US munitions to terrorist organizations. Affirmatives addressing either type of sales could net advantages such as: Terrorism, proliferation, human rights credibility, hegemony, and increasing stability in the world’s most volatile regions. Negative teams will have access to alliance-based disadvantages highlighting the need for arms sales to create commonly equipped militaries, defending arms sales as a credible deterrent to prevent conflicts, acknowledging the economic impact of reducing the role of one of the largest economic sectors, or arguing countries like Russia or China would fill in and negate solvency. The only constant element of President Trump’s foreign policy is to increase arms sold by the United States, which makes the literature base broad and accessible, we have not embraced the opportunity to debate arms sales since 1983, and the time to rekindle this debate is now. PROBLEM AREA II: INDIA Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its development and/or military assistance to the Republic of India. India has the second largest population in the world yet has never been the primary focus of a policy debate resolution. India is a country on the cusp of becoming a global power, but is held back by its growing population and regional competitors. India’s densely packed urban populations face environmental problems, and resource distribution challenges the nation. The rural areas struggle with poverty, famine, and lack of access to education, health care, and the internet. While gaining military strength, India faces many challenges: terrorist groups, sabre rattling with Pakistan, competition with China, and cybersecurity. Development and/or military assistance could ameliorate these problems by increasing poverty aid, sharing clean energy expertise, expanding access to health care services, engaging in joint military training exercises, or sharing counter-terrorism intelligence. Negative counterplan strategies could include alternative modes of financing and disadvantages to the topic mechanism (Dutch Disease, Rent-Seeking). Military assistance would provide support to India but also creates negative ground about encroaching on spheres of influence and the consequences of international military engagements. Prime Minister Modi seems willing to work with President Trump, but it is yet to be seen how America will approach the relationship. Affirmatives would be forced to clash with the current foreign policy ideology of “America First”, which magnifies links to disadvantages about political flip-flops. Additionally, India’s government must decide whether to deal with a controversial Trump administration ahead of their own important elections. Critical arguments about the efficacy of development assistance create important debates regarding America’s role in the world, and how we should approach international engagement. Military assistance creates debates over the United States military-industrial-complex that have been a historically rich area of investigation. PROBLEM AREA III: MIDDLE EAST Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its constructive engagement with one or more of the following: Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria. While the Middle East is comprised of a number of countries, it is important that we limit the scope to these three. Saudi Arabia, an ally in name, is participating in the destabilization of Yemen, has had a dubious record regarding terrorism within its borders, and a shameful record on women’s rights issues. But a strong relationship with Saudi Arabia may also be the key to peace in the Middle East. Iran seems to be inviting conflict by seeking to expand its sphere of influence: Engagement could bring stability to the region and further the US’s goals of helping Iranians, but affirmatives will have to accept working with a government that is openly hostile to US power. Syria is in the midst of a civil war that threatens great power conflict. Previous regimes have chosen to work with local opposition groups rather than Al Assad’s government and the current regime seems to have no clear policy regarding how it wants to engage with this critical nation. Affirmatives can argue that stabilizing Syria is key to stopping the refugee crisis, human rights abuses, and ISIS. While engaging these nations may solve major issues, there are plenty of detractors from working with these three nations. From Bashar Al Assaad's human rights violations, Iran's hegemonic encroachment in the Middle East and Saudi Arabia's tendency to overlook terrorism within its borders, these nations offer excellent case debate about whether to engage or shun. Possible affirmative cases include: protecting women’s rights in one or more of the countries, pursuing diplomatic solutions to conflicts, or attempting to engage economically. Negative can focus on the problems associated with the United States attempting to help countries in the Middle East. Negatives also have a wealth of process CPs, relations DAs, and kritikal arguments to challenge the standing of any affirmative. This topic would give novice debaters the ability to correct misconceptions about the region while also giving them the opportunity to learn the activity on an easily accessible topic. While we have debated these countries as impact scenarios on other resolutions, we haven’t approached this region as a topic area. PROBLEM AREA IV: NUCLEAR STRATEGY Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially change its nuclear weapons strategy. The debate over America’s nuclear weapons strategy is essential to our military and diplomatic relations throughout the world. This topic engages debaters on the timely question of: What should our nuclear weapons strategy be? President Trump expresses a strong preference for relying more heavily on the nuclear elements of our deterrent posture. His administration wastes no time in issuing a new Nuclear Posture Review that radically differs from his predecessors. Media coverage of Iran, North Korea, and other countries showcase the wide interests and fears in a changing nuclear climate. On the affirmative, debaters will find a variety of cases ranging from negotiating international nuclear arms control, declaring no first use, reducing the U.S. arsenal, reducing U.S. alert status, clarifying deterrence posture regarding non-nuclear attacks, clarifying U.S. deterrence/use posture in different regions such as Asia or the Middle East, or increasing U.S. commitment to nuclear treaties. “Change” is a word that has been absent from policy resolutions for over 20 years mostly because of the possibility of creating unlimited, bidirectional topics. The relative narrowness of the content area of this topic, focused on an established nuclear posture review, limits the affirmative to changing course from the existing strategy. On the negative, debaters will find a variety of strategies from which to engage the affirmative and will enjoy core topic arguments that cover all facets of the topic.Specific disadvantages like deterrence and allied proliferation will cover every affirmative regardless of their direction and create vibrant link debates based on the literature on both sides. Specific counterplans would include consultation, condition/quid pro quo, doing a smaller change than the affirmative, excluding components of the strategy change, creating exceptions to the change, actions unrelated to changing the existing nuclear strategy, and taking actions outside the normal means. Specific critical arguments surrounding international relations, the evolution of nuclear weapons (testing, exclusion, securitization, etc.) and other critical approaches will provide plenty of negative approaches. PROBLEM AREA V: TREATIES Resolved: The United States federal government should ratify or accede to, and implement, one or more of the following: Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, Trans-Pacific Partnership, United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. In June 2018, the United States withdrew from the United Nations Human Rights Council to join Eritrea, Iran, and North Korea as the only nations who no longer participate in any of its meetings. This action reduced the credibility of the United States as an arbiter of international law. Since 1995, the US has ratified only ten treaties. Ratification of one or more of the treaties in this topic is widely regarded as a prerequisite towards regaining its standing as a defender of international law. Affirmatives on the topic could advocate unconditional ratification of any of the listed treaties or could alternatively advocate ratification with reservations excepting individual provisions. Paris Agreement affirmatives will focus on how the United States can address climate change at the national level. Implementation of the Paris Agreement could include affirmatives which focus on renewable portfolio standards, carbon taxes, cap-and-trade systems or favorable frameworks to increase alternative energy development. Rome Statute affirmatives could focus on why the US should assist in choosing judges and prosecutors, how the ICC could limit drone strikes or other forms of unilateral military action, or how US adherence to the ICC will effectively fight human rights violations. Trans-Pacific Partnership affirmatives could focus on the necessity of the Asia-Pivot strategy, the benefits of free trade on agriculture and alliances, and the US economy. Finally, Law of the Sea affirmatives could focus on the benefits of freedom of navigation, security in the arctic, piracy, or conservation of our oceans. While there are only four treaties included in the topic, there are multiple ways to ratify (or accede to) and implement each one. Those options broaden what might seem a narrow topic. Affirmative cases could leverage the advantages specific to each treaty, and also hold critical and policy-based objections to American exceptionalism and unilateral action. A focused list of treaties allows negatives to develop a variety of strategies against each one to allow rigorous case debates. Counterplan options could include alternate actors and solvency mechanisms as well as reservations against particular provisions of the treaty. There is rich disadvantage ground in the areas of international relations, economic and political leadership, environmental impacts, and human rights. Critical positions arise from issues of American imperialism, exporting capitalist values, flaws in international law and securitization of the environment.
  5. ColinD

    Open Borders Cap Link

    This is a pretty great article that is highly specific on a) labor organization, b) business interests that promote open borders, and c) context with the trump admin. It's from the winter 2018 issue of American Affairs. https://americanaffairsjournal.org/2018/11/the-left-case-against-open-borders/
  6. ColinD

    Judge Intervention

    I'm willing to intervene and complete arguments based on the calibur of debate. If warrantless claims are the norm for that given debate, I'll complain about it in the post round but ultimately intervening is the only way to adjudicate the round without saying "no one said anything so presumption." Otherwise, and especially in a varsity debate, I would say no link. It's not a conceded argument if it doesn't meet the threshold of being an argument in the first place (claim-warrant-impact).
  7. ColinD

    Debate Sign Ups

    Sign up for Speech Doc Debates here. Find opponents, partners, judges if you want to debate. Or look for a debate to watch and flow. Make sure to agree on document length for speeches. See listed judge paradigms here:
  8. ColinD

    Anthony :3 (Aff) v chsdebater5 (Neg)

    I tried downloading a file in a different vdebate (that people clearly had been able to access previously) and I got the same error. Seems like a problem with attachment storage generally. I'll get on resolving this.
  9. ColinD

    Best Camp Base DA

    Sad!
  10. ColinD

    Most Strategic Counterplans

    Word filter. Some are for foul language, some are for our amusement. Up to you to decide on this one.
  11. ColinD

    Best Camp Base DA

    There's an argument to be made for the "conservative base," but particularly with the immigration topic it refers to Trump's base of supporters. Essentially, Trump tries to cater to his base as much as possible, willing to do whatever outrageous acts that he thinks will keep them fired up in support for him and in turn GOP politicians he backs. Their specific stump issue is immigration, the most recent example being his rhetoric and actions on immigration going into the midterms (things he says at his rallies, sending troops to the border to confront the migrant caravan, new public charge rule, etc.). So if he flip flops on immigrations/lets congress take progressive reforms on immigration, his base will backlash, causing him to overcorrect and take a dangerous action (striking Iran/North Korea/China as a diversionary conflict).
  12. ColinD

    Best Camp Base DA

    Split to a new thread to deter topic derailing
  13. ColinD

    Politics DA

    Split the best camp base da discussion to a new thread
  14. ColinD

    How do prefs work?

    Prefs are done on tabroom. Go to your account, click on the tournament you're registered for, and then you should see a list of judges. They're done for individual teams, not schools as a whole (different teams, different arguments, different judge interactions, etc). How prefs work vary. What's described above with glenbrooks is categories prefs. If you listen to the Gary Larson debatercast interview, he gives a good description of how they work at one point along with how other systems work. The basic theme is they try to find mutual categorization of judges between 2 teams. The common method of prefs done in college is mutual judging preference in which every judge is given an ordinal ranking, making them fit at a certain percentile in rankings. A certain bottom range is strike range (typically 80% and lower) and judges that fit within a certain percent range for two teams are assigned as their judge, with the goal being as mutual as possible. The general strategy with categories or mpj (which still is strategically organized in categories for the most part) is to order judges based on your style of debate. So if you're a policy debater, you should rank: - great policy judges - alright policy judges - clash judges/good k judges who fall in clash debates as well - bad policy judges - bad k judges - strikes There is flexibility in how that ordering works, but that's an example. Basic rules for doing prefs: - Don't pref questionable judges high just because they've liked you in the past. They can just as easily like other people more. - READ PARADIGMS. They are often written with a judge's take on what debate SHOULD be, which a) tells you how to pref them and b) improves how you look at debate. - Paradigms are not end-all. A lot of people LIE (to themselves) about what they will vote on or how they think about debate. Alternatively, they may not update based on how their thinking has evolved. So, always keep personal notes on judges in RFDs to have your own log of how these judges think, how competent they truly are, etc. - Look at their judging records and pay attention to what kinds of debates they judge and how often they judge elims (typically means they're prefer higher and/or coach teams that get into elim debates, hence why they're still available to judge). - Dont blow off your judge research. - Don't take prefs as an excuse to ideologically lock yourself into argumentative styles. 1) the best debaters are at least capable of going for args outside of their comfort zone and 2) getting the odd judging draw outside of your ideal judging range can screw you.
  15. ColinD

    Portable Skills

    Forthcoming is the best word. We've all been bogged down with irl work, but @RobGlass has stuff in the hopper
  16. ColinD

    What does good prep work look like?

    Starting this thread so people can input their opinions on best practices for prepping. What to do, time investment, etc.
  17. How to prepare can seem mystifying to a lot of newer debaters or those who have not had good prep practices hammered into their heads. As a high school debater I did not have much coaching support, so when I moved into college debate I was “enlightened.” It was easy to think “welp I’ve got files and they’re highlighted and I mostly know how to go for them,” but it is a much more programmatic process than just that. In today’s tech age putting a large number of resources in the hands of debaters across the board, debaters can invest so much more in preparedness than ever before. So start your prep early and be ready to slam your opponent’s after following this guide. Having organized virtual tubs sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s easy to, well, not do it. Relying on memory of where you have ‘x’ cards does not put you in a good spot when you’re in a crunch. Having well-organized files means you can quickly navigate through your documents to find appropriate arguments and answers for both pre-round prep and in-round prep. Organizing files also has a secondary effect of building a mental catalog of where you have cards. When *you* have placed files in particular folder, you’ll intuitively remember where they are for quick access. I have attached an example of what an organized virtual tub can look like, built off of how I organized my files as a debater: Example Virtual Tub.zip I’ll give a breakdown of how to use this filing structure. Here are the main folders: !-Aff !-Answers to Ks !-Impacts !-Neg !-Theory Previous Topics Speech Docs Why the exclamation points? I used exclamation points to keep some folders sorted above others. I didn’t want “Previous Topics” or “Speech Docs” to alphabetically mix into folders I may be using in debates. This can also be done with numbering (“1-“) or lettering (“A-“) if you want to order your folders more particularly. Aff Folder In your aff folder, you should have sub-folders for different affirmatives. Your H1B aff files should not intermingle with your Open Borders files, otherwise you risk confusing yourself with file organization. You could create a generic advantages folder since a lot of advantage ground is cross-applicable between various affs (as with any topic), but I lean toward having them integrated with specific affs and just copying cross-applicable cards to different files. This is especially important because varying internal links will (should) modify how you write a variety of blocks. In specific aff folders, you should have a 1ac’s folder and a 2ac’s folder. 1AC’s shouldn’t be in a master aff files. There’s an important reason for this: you shouldn’t always read the same 1ac. You should have a variety of versions, maybe with different internal link or impact cards cycled in or different advantages, different solvency mechanisms, etc. Having different versions of your 1ac allows you to change your aff based on predicted neg strategy, or to cut out some parts to let you read more impacts, or more solvency cards, etc. For 2ac’s, I recommend putting case extensions and case blocks in one file and then off-case frontlines and blocks in another. Why? Creating an overly large document is a baaaaaad idea. It’s harder to navigate because there’s more material to scroll through and it’s more likely to lag or crash your word processor, eating up precious prep time in a debate. Answers to Ks Folder Why doesn’t this belong in the aff folder? Ks are read on the aff and neg, you’ll end up using this folder on both sides of the debate. This is a fairly straightforward folder. The sub-folders are not necessarily for specific Ks, but are intended to be more blanketing into categories of specific Ks, then there are specific Ks. This is mostly an organizational preference on my part, but it does simplifying putting files with cross-applicable answers close to specific Ks (it makes logical sense to generic identity politics answers in the “Identity” folder along with a “Race Ks” sub-folder). Impacts Folder Again, a folder useful for both aff and neg. This should be an exhaustive compilation of all of your impact cards AND impact answers. Why not just impact answers? There’s 2 big reasons: 1) Impacts go both ways. Even if you perceive “Unilateralism Good” as the “impact,” that does not mean you will never debate a team that says “Multilateralism Good/Unilateralism Bad.” The same is true of Growth, Warming, etc. 2) When putting together new arguments, it’s easier to have already put your impact work in a central place to pull cards for your new DA or advantage rather than digging through an old DA or advantage. As you can see, there are a lot of general folders that can have specific sub-folders. For instance, “Econ” can have “Growth” and “Trade” sub-folders/files, or “Environment” can include “Biodiversity” or “Warming” or “Deforestation” sub-folders/files. Neg Folder This folder will be one of the most important to keep maintained, simply because there are a lot of potential negative arguments to read. This folder has 5 sub-folders: - Case Negs - CP - DA - K - T-FW-Procedurals “Case Negs” is categorized into “General Advantage Answers,” “General Solvency Answers,” “K Affs,” “Topic Areas.” You could create folders for specific affs rather than using “topic areas,” as that is more applicable for list topics. As I mentioned for the Aff folder, there are general advantages that will be cross-applicable between different affs. So it makes sense to create “General Advantage Answers” folder with specific advantage answer files that include topic-generic internal link/solvency answers and impact answers and then putting specific aff internal link answers in specific case neg files. This is similarly true of “General Solvency Answers.” For every topic there will be all-encompassing solvency arguments that apply to the whole topic like “Trump circumvention/non-enforcement.” The value in having general case answers separated from specific case negs is for debating new affirmatives that you do not have a specific case neg to. “Topic Areas” or “x Aff” folders are largely self-explanatory. There can be stylistic differences in whether or not you create a single master file for case negs or separate them into different files for advantages or solvency, though I lean toward the former. “K Affs” can in many ways be redundant with the “Answers to Ks” folder. However the function of this folder for case negs to specific affs different teams read as opposed to just generalized responses to the literature area a K aff uses. The CP folder is pretty straightforward. I prefer sub-categorizing CPs into different types (Advantage CPs, Agent CPs, Process CPs, PICs, Specific Aff CPs, etc), but that’s a matter of personal choice. From there I create different folders for different CPs. The DA folder is straightforward as well. Different folders for different DAs. Perhaps different folders for different classes of DAs (econ DAs, politics DAs, etc.) The reason I prefer creating different folders for individual DAs is to simplify placing update files in appropriate places when I don’t have the time to immediately compile files, same with CPs. The K folder as I used it mostly lacks sub-categories of Ks and mostly has folders for specific K arguments. That’s a matter of personal choice. The T-FW-Procedurals folder is straightforward. I preferred sub-folders for T, FW, and Procedurals mainly because I would have multiple documents for each (separate definitions and violations files for T, FW and updates for it, breaking procedurals into specific files for each one.”) Theory Folder I preferred putting all theory for both aff and neg in one general folder. This was mainly an effort to prevent losing theory files in the minutia of my aff or neg folders and because appropriately naming files overcame any possible confusion. It’s also useful to have a central place for theory so you don’t forget about or lose theory arguments you had put in a 2AC file or CP file. Previous Topics You should create sub-folders for different topics you debated on or have files from so you can archive your dropbox from that season. It is so valuable to keep all of your files because people (or you) will invariably borrow from previous topic work. Having answers to a former education topic aff that a team reads as an advantage CP keeps you from getting blindsided. This also creates a valuable resource for your newer squad members who did not debate on previous topics. They are the most vulnerable to being “backfile checked.” Speech Docs You should save speech docs from every single debate that you have been in. There are so many reasons why: 1) It helps you to do speech redoes. Having your opponent’s document to reference means you can give an even better redo and thus improve even more, especially in your evidence analysis skills. 2) Saving your speech docs also saves any blocks you wrote on the fly in a given debate. You can then integrate them into your aff file, DA file, CP file, case neg, etc. Why would you want to lose a 2nr CP solvency overview you wrote specifically for a Syrian Refugees aff that won you a debate? Save it and you save yourself future prep time. In my freshman year of college, my partner asked me to write him a heg impact overview during his 2ar prep. I wrote an impact overview that ended up being used YEARS later as it was continually modified for efficiency, specific impact comparison, assuming specific answers, and so on. We won a lot of debates was going for the heg advantage in the 2ar because of the re-use and refinement of that one impact overview that proliferated into a variety of different ones. 3) Adding to your files. Just like you should scour open evidence and the caselist for new cards, you should recut and use good evidence that was read against you. You should organize your speech docs by topic, by tournament, by round (with round number, side, and opposing team in the folder name), and then name speech docs appropriately for each speech. This sounds overly complicated, but it amounts to a 3-5 minute ritual to do at the end of every debate that has a hugely valuable payoff. One thing I hoped to illuminate with this article is that all the way down to how you organize your files, there is a certain strategy involved. It took me too long to come up with my own file organization (with some elements borrowed), the ideal goal of this article is enabling anyone reading this to organize their virtual tubs and kick off positive debate habits, whether they use this system or one inspired by similar thinking. Colin Dailey is an Assistant Debate Coach at George Mason University and Co-Owner of Policydb8.com.
  18. ColinD

    Cap Alternatives

    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.
  19. ColinD

    Cap Alternatives

    After that cap 2nr:
  20. ColinD

    Cap Alternatives

    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.
  21. Decent read. Something to put in the face of administrators or parents who "don't get it." https://gradadmissions.mit.edu/blog/policy-debate-vs-research
  22. ColinD

    Neolib and Dedev?

    imo I think they work together. I don't think it's a stretch to say that dedev resolves cap/neolib and there's definitely evidence that says it does. I like dedev being deployed in the block as opposed in the 1nc if they're being read together since it fulfills the same function as the "Cap DA" giving a status quo option to go for the k that isn't a linear DA. This is also a good point. Reading them together in the 1nc has a greater time trade off on you than it does your opponent when they can cross-apply uniqueness arguments or even a robust impact turn debate since all it takes to tie the growth good args to cap are "cap key to growth" cards in the 2ac/1ar.
  23. I was gonna offer to judge until I saw comic sans in that speech doc
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