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November 1, 2012 / compassioninpolitics

Answering Fredrick Nietzsche’s criticism of roleplaying

Here is the argument summarized (it may also appear in the link section of various Nietzsche files in various forms):

Before proceeding. If you decide to read this post in an effort to reflect on this argument, please do yourself a favor and check out the comments section. I’ve included about 22 total answers to the argument (its probably really 20 as some are repetitive) but hopefully you will find them as useful or more useful than the list below.

Also, you probably should add at least 2 pieces of evidence (those are noted on the frontline & the perm should probably be moved). Also, in the comments I’ve included some suggestions for possible future research and reflection.

There should also be theory arguments:
1. no textual alternative
2. PIK if they do that
3. dispositional PIKs
Although running theory may make you look a little less Nietzschian. Although you could argue that if 2ar doesn’t go for the theory….it was all just Nietzschian play.

One argument I didn’t include is state invevitable–our roleplaying is necessary to dissect and understand and reflect on their scripts.

As a side note–for someone that doesn’t like rationality or analytics or logic (and even language)…..Nietzsche sure attempts to traffic in them.

Role-playing causes passivity, tyranny and denies agency.

Antonio ‘95 (Robert, University of Kansas, Nietzsche’s Antisociology: Subjectified Culture and the End of History American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 101, No. 1 (Jul., 1995), pp. 1-43, JS)
The “problem of the actor,” Nietzsche said, “troubled me for the longest time.”’12 He considered “roles” as “external,” “surface,” or “foreground” phenomena and viewed close personal identification with them as symptomatic of estrangement. While modern theorists saw dif- ferentiated roles and professions as a matrix of autonomy and reflexivity, Nietzsche held that persons (especially male professionals) in specialized occupations overidentify with their positions and engage in gross fabrica- tions to obtain advancement. They look hesitantly to the opinion of oth- ers, asking themselves, “How ought I feel about this?” They are so thoroughly absorbed in simulating effective role players that they have trouble being anything but actors-“The role has actually become the character.” This highly subjectified social self or simulator suffers devas- tating inauthenticity. The powerful authority given the social greatly amplifies Socratic culture’s already self-indulgent “inwardness.” Integ- rity, decisiveness, spontaneity, and pleasure are undone by paralyzing overconcern about possible causes, meanings, and consequences of acts and unending internal dialogue about what others might think, expect, say, or do (Nietzsche 1983, pp. 83-86; 1986, pp. 39-40; 1974, pp. 302-4, 316-17). Nervous rotation of socially appropriate “masks” reduces persons to hypostatized “shadows,” “abstracts,” or simulacra. One adopts “many roles,” playing them “badly and superficially” in the fashion of a stiff “puppet play.” Nietzsche asked, “Are you genuine? Or only an actor? A representative or that which is represented? . . . [Or] no more than an imitation of an actor?” Simulation is so pervasive that it is hard to tell the copy from the genuine article; social selves “prefer the copies to the originals” (Nietzsche 1983, pp. 84-86; 1986, p. 136; 1974, pp. 232- 33, 259; 1969b, pp. 268, 300, 302; 1968a, pp. 26-27). Their inwardness and aleatory scripts foreclose genuine attachment to others. This type of actor cannot plan for the long term or participate in enduring net- works of interdependence; such a person is neither willing nor able to be a “stone” in the societal “edifice” (Nietzsche 1974, pp. 302-4; 1986a, pp. 93-94). Superficiality rules in the arid subjectivized landscape. Neitzsche (1974, p. 259) stated, “One thinks with a watch in one’s hand, even as one eats one’s midday meal while reading the latest news of the stock market; one lives as if one always ‘might miss out on something. ”Rather do anything than nothing’: this principle, too, is merely a string to throttle all culture. . . . Living in a constant chase after gain compels people to expend their spirit to the point of exhaustion in continual pretense and overreaching and anticipating others.” Pervasive leveling, improvising, and faking foster an inflated sense of ability and an oblivious attitude about the fortuitous circumstances that contribute to role attainment (e.g., class or ethnicity). The most medio- cre people believe they can fill any position, even cultural leadership. Nietzsche respected the self-mastery of genuine ascetic priests, like Socra- tes, and praised their ability to redirect ressentiment creatively and to render the “sick” harmless. But he deeply feared the new simulated versions. Lacking the “born physician’s” capacities, these impostors am- plify the worst inclinations of the herd; they are “violent, envious, ex- ploitative, scheming, fawning, cringing, arrogant, all according to cir- cumstances. ” Social selves are fodder for the “great man of the masses.” Nietzsche held that “the less one knows how to command, the more ur- gently one covets someone who commands, who commands severely- a god, prince, class, physician, father confessor, dogma, or party conscience. The deadly combination of desperate conforming and overreaching and untrammeled ressentiment paves the way for a new type of tyrant (Nietzsche 1986, pp. 137, 168; 1974, pp. 117-18, 213, 288-89, 303-4).

My ideas bout answers to this anti-roleplaying argument:

1. Grounded on totally false assumptions–the idea of one singular identity if false–and illusion….we are a multiplicity of selves. As such “roleplaying” is key being a human. The parent plays different roles with kid & spouse & boss & coworker. All different roles…all different roleplaying. Humans are always in the state of becoming….ergo….our identity is always changing–always in flux.

2. The neg. interpretation of authenticity and value would lock people into singular identities for all time.

3. And Nietzche was the father of perspectivalism–the idea that he wouldn’t want you to pay attention to multiple ways of looking at things–multiple perspectives….is simply farcical.

4. The type of roleplaying is different than what the aff does–its as different as acting on the stage and acting like you were really just going the speed limit–just because they are the same word doesn’t mean they are the same thing–the intents, goals, and being of both are totally different this undermines any hope of a link:
a. It assumes lying, versus
b. It assumes a static engagement versus a flexible and playful one
c. this is more temporary & goal focuses.

5. Roleplaying good. The I-Thou Relationship versus the I-It relationship. Impact is solving otherization & dehumanization (aka you solve for dignity). And this is the only kind of roleplaying that can access these impacts.

If there is something about of Chaos’ distinction that I missed in #5….obviously feel free to read that.

More on the I-Thou versus I-It…..Martin Buber: http://en.wikipedia….ki/Martin_Buber

Note: you don’t have to use Martin Bubers theory….you can just use empirical or historical examples about why roleplaying is good–or give examples about how it works.

One other caveat: There are multiple directions a team could take this argument in the block (state bad, roleplaying bad, Nietzshce’s critique of reason & value or other Nietzscheian critiques)

This seems borderline circular–he talks about how re-flexivity creates singularity:
“They look hesitantly to the opinion of oth-ers, asking themselves, “How ought I feel about this?” They are sothoroughly absorbed in simulating effective role players that they havetrouble being anything but actors-“The role has actually become thecharacter.” This highly subjectified social self or simulator suffers devas-tating inauthenticity.”

Although his notion here is a critique of rationalism (the ought)…….not the feeling part, which is what empathy & the roleplaying idea is about.

Yet here is thinks reflection is important:
Antonio ‘95 (Robert, University of Kansas, Nietzsche’s Antisociology: Subjectified Culture and the End of History American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 101, No. 1 (Jul., 1995), pp. 1-43, JS)

Perspectivism is “a complex form of specificity” converse to the preva-lent reification of abstract concepts. Nietzsche said, “One has to learnto
see…habituating the eye to repose, to patience, to letting things come to it, learning to defer judgement, to investigate and comprehend the individual case in all its aspects
. ..not to react immediately toa stimulus, but to have the restraining, stock-taking instincts in one’s control.. . .In an attitude of hostile calm one will allow the strange, the
novel of every kind to approach” (Nietzsche 1968a, p. 65). Engaging genuine difference requires a disciplined self-command, unknown to hasty, superficial simulators. Sovereign
individuals are perspectival be-ings, expressing rigor in observing, reflecting, and acting.
Their “will topower” derives as much from their refined capacity to create distance, withhold response, and grasp particulars as from their vital instincts.

* This evidence can be dangerous to read.

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7 Comments

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  1. compassioninpolitics / Nov 1 2012 6:25 pm

    Other stuff to think about:
    1. Identity
    2. Masks
    3. The search for absolute authenticity is a fools errand.
    4. We have choice, but there is no outside of influence & cause and effect.
    5. the idea of the Uber Mench or the Western Cowboy or radical individualist

    Nietzsche wants to cut out the social, but we are social beings.

  2. compassioninpolitics / Nov 1 2012 6:33 pm

    Who is the true you? Does your true self like the Broncos or the Chargers more?

    I would also point out that the last true Nietzschian died 20 years ago: Christopher McCandless after 120 days of trying to live this vision out (this gets back to the problems of radical individualism as espoused by Nietzshche). That sounds like a dead end philosophy to me.

    The association of Nietzshe with the radical right is not something to be overlooked lightly–its the problem at the heart of his philosophy.

    * Note: I don’t know if Christopher McCandless was actually a Nietzschian, but his radical individualism dovetails Nietzsche’s

  3. compassioninpolitics / Nov 1 2012 6:37 pm

    Also, they are excluding & criticizing your individuality & your play. Ultimately this speaks to the fundamental problem of Nietzschian social theory. Radical individualism beyond the bounds of negative rights bumps up against the bones, organs, and noses of other individuals (this is a reference to the idea in traditional liberal philosophy that my right to swing my arm ends at your nose).

  4. compassioninpolitics / Nov 1 2012 7:32 pm

    1. This argument is a joke. You don’t have any interpretation of what my authentic self is or what authenticity itself is. We are always influenced by outside forces–by cause and effect in cultural and social settings.

    2. Here’s the Pepsi challenge–They can’t define original or what to do to find some mythical outside….outside of other peoples language…other peoples ideas….and other peoples scripts (ie patterns of being and doing and patterns of life). There is zero alternative–they prove prove our argument in round. And they are a performative contradiction of what they criticize. <>

    3. Your destroy experimentation, individuality, and originality. We live in a re-mix culture. Re-mixes of old ideas create ones. Luther and the Bible and Ghandi and African American culture helped fuse who MLK was. He’s still an original & a visionary. They can’t tell us that we aren’t being original or that they are being more original–this is all coming from my head in one shape or another…..and I’m framing it and extending it and experimenting with it as I please. Ergo, I’m doing your alternative–and there is less than a bright line–so even if they attempt to describe it–we wouldn’t know what it was and what it wasn’t.

    4. Grounded on totally false assumptions–the idea of one singular identity if false–and illusion….we are a multiplicity of selves. As such “roleplaying” is key being a human. The parent plays different roles with kid & spouse & boss & coworker. All different roles…all different roleplaying. Humans are always in the state of becoming….ergo….our identity is always changing–always in flux.

    5. The self is social and relation–we are defined by relations and those cause and effects. Take away that and you totally erase identity. There is nothing left but bones and skin….or in philosophical terms…..a blank slate…..but in this case its dead. The neg. interpretation of authenticity and value would lock people into singular identities for all time–because we couldn’t change based on external forces as we pleased, in play & experimentation.

    6. We are roleplaying in terms of category–not specific one like Chris Christie or . Theres lots of flexibility and play to that.

    7. And roleplaying in the context of policy debate is good <>

    8. The type of roleplaying is different than what the aff does–its as different as acting on the stage and acting like you were really just going the speed limit–just because they are the same word doesn’t mean they are the same thing–the intents, goals, and being of both are totally different this undermines any hope of a link:
    a. It assumes lying, versus the play of roleplay.
    b. It assumes a static engagement versus a flexible and playful one (this is a huge distinction)
    c. this is more temporary & goal focuses.

    9. Radical indivdualisms like Nietzsche destroys radical individualism. Radical individualism beyond the bounds of negative rights bumps up against the bones, organs, and noses of other individuals (this is a reference to the idea in traditional liberal philosophy that my right to swing my arm ends at your nose).

    10. False division between art and techne. Art is a techne. Every great artist from Picasso to Michaelangeo to Ben Franklin to Steve Jobs in involved in a techne. Ergo, your alternative always results in techne–which coopts your ability to solve for the impacts.

    12. Science DA-The impact is extinction which turns your critique
    A. The prerequisite to your critique is thinking and survival.
    B. You can’t do either without the techne of science in health care to fight disease or improve products to make them better. This is fundamental to both history and science.

    12. Don’t let them get away with buzz words and surface explanations and extensions–so called experts take 300 pages to define authenticity and identity–and don’t come to resolutions. They have the burden of explanation and proof on this issue.

    13. And Nietzche was the father of perspectivalism–the idea that he wouldn’t want you to pay attention to multiple ways of looking at things–multiple perspectives….is simply farcical. You destroy the ability of debaters and even policy makers to exercise perspectivalism

    14. And roleplaying is good (ie roleplaying is performative)

    <>

    15. Perm (this should probably moved more toward the top):

    <>

  5. compassioninpolitics / Nov 1 2012 8:23 pm

    16. Where do you get off telling me how to live my personal life or what do to with it? Its pretty egoistic of them to tell you what authenticity is for you or what debate is for you. They are dictating a) a subject experience with no knowledge on the inside b) telling me and you that our individualities aren’t up to speed–thats the anti-thesis of radical individualism. They are a mere form of social control about how you should live your life. I don’t know whats good for other people….but I know whats in my head. Nietzsche and the other team aren’t in position to know how I live my life or how that effects me–because my brain is encased in a skull & skin–which they have ZERO access to. At best Nietzsche would say his own perspective and the other teams–is just one perspective.

    17. And to win the internal links to any of this they have to prove there is something of value–and do so with logic–presumably in cause-and-effect relationships. Nietzsche was critical of all of the above–which means they can’t solve for their critique or alternative. Most anything else is a denial of reality.

    18. TURN-Techical jobs & routine aren’t necessarily bad. Its an individual choice. And they help create an ecosystem in which other types of creative jobs are possible.

    19. TURN-Personality tests of today post date Nietzshce by probably 100 years. Some people like arts…some people like techne. People are different–this model locks everyone in the same box. I liberate them.

    20. Realizing the limits of reality (aka teche & science) key to progress

    21. You can be creative in the bounds. Most artist use color sets and the rules of design–pushing back on limit sets of those rules. Entrepreneurs and leaders tend to follow a similar pattern. TURN–Limited structure necessary to overall creativity & play. You don’t have to be an anarchist or have no habits or influences to be creative or original or authentic or worthwhile.

    22. The distinction between the sign and the signified in terms of language provides the flexibility for us to use and do one thing–while having a multitude of experience. (Also, perspectivalism says basically the same thing.–although I mostly made this argument above)

  6. commpassioninpolitics / Nov 5 2012 8:47 pm

    Killing and keeping a contract may be clear–but being authentic just isn’t–the other team thinks they can judge–all while not acknowleding their own lack of authenticity or influences. Such assertions are beyond manipulative–they are downright hypocritical. Also that means they can infinitely move the line.

    Roleplaying. They are roleplaying being a philosopher + speed + their version of what “good” debate looks like–based on 100s of K and policy debaters before them–without without knowing it–unconciously.

  7. compassioninpolitics / Nov 19 2012 2:46 am

    Also this:

    I think looking a little deeper into the psychology issue might be helpful. Moreover, the idea that there is identity outside of culture & consciousness–so cause and effect is always a part of who we are. We’re always already influenced by someone else. Steve Jobs was a genius, but he was influenced by the technologists, designers, entrepreneurs, and thinkers before him. Thats every genius ever–they all studied the greats–and were in some ways influenced by them.

    Nietzshche is trying to exclude the social from the individual–but we’re fundamentally social & relational individuals. Thats why love and friendship are fundamental to the human experience.

    Or using play of roleplaying as a way to internal link turn the argument. And any criticism of your roleplaying diminishes its radical individualism & yours. You’re destroying our perspective….our identity….our being. Thats contrary to the premise of openness and embracing difference.

    The distinction about static versus dynamic roleplaying is pretty huge.

    Roleplaying is the best way to:
    1. Destroy inauthentic scripts. Re-think and challenge existing scripts. To break up those ossified and calcified ideas.
    2. Create play
    3. Create perspectivalism in debate & about our views of reality.

    My guess is they will read nietzsche till their blue in the face….so obviously you want to be down for that debate.

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