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January 3, 2014 / compassioninpolitics

Answering threat construction, security, and other Ks of realism–realism inevitable, etc…

How do you get to the realism inevitable debate?

1) Hobbesian state of nature with no judging authority. Even without making the Hobbesian argument, hierarchy & organizations are inevitable–we would create them in a world without the state to organize and coordinate behavior.
2) Selfishness inevitable
3) Power/Hierarchy inevitable (similar to #1). You can also make the people are unequal–they will inevitable create hierarchies based on network, work, skill etc… (this particular line of argument doesn’t get you as far as you want to go). You probably have to say that inequality results in conflict (that seems like an assertion at this point).
4) State power struggle inevitable. Pretty easy argument to make based on the premises of realism. States act for survival. Those survival needs conflict, particularly with unequal resource distribution among nations as well as size differentials.
5) Their alternative can’t solve outside of the room–for other nations. *****
6) their own selfishness proves
7) humans are rational, but also irrational. They are rational, but emotional. They generally act for their survival. (plus, the whole hierarchy of needs by Maslow)

There is a long line of argument from the romantics (who you should probably be discussing in History and/or English your junior year)–which says that humans are naturally good and the state corrupts them (or often its society corrupts them). This is the line of argument many K authors may resort to.

Most Ks seem to get down to the issue of (this kinds of excludes Schmitt for the moment, because its a right-leaning K):
• power versus disorder.
• structure versus chaos.
Some forms of the coersion K sometimes get out of this dynamic a bit–because its roots are libertarian versus the far left where most Ks are from (ie Foucault is from France).

Some Ks end up being debates about what humans really are–their true nature–particularly international relations Ks. If you own:
1. the purpose of humanity
2. the nature of humanity
You pretty much control some pretty big discussions in the debate. You control the assumptions–ergo you undermine the very basis of their argument.

Consequently, if you can say “the assumptions of the critique result in X, Y, and Z.” I think you’ve potentially got a pretty decent argument. Although, I should be clear–one argument is about impact/utilitarian concerns…..and the other is perhaps at a more foundational and fundamental level.

As most debate coaches will tell you….many of the K authors actually advocate the permutation (aka the middle ground of sorts)–hence why you have teams attempting to read PIKs. That an the time tradeoff is terrible for the affirmative.

Any of the above….set up the transition war or transition violence story. Our weakness results in someone taking over–which turns the K–and the real kicker is that country would be worse (ie China or one of the axis of evil):
1) Power vaccum story. Lack of power…..signals people to fill in the gap.
2) Appeasement story. Draws on WWI.
3) We need a police force on the international stage–otherwise conflict.
4) Military/Weapons = deterrence. This is a huge debate in the international sphere. Note these are 2 types of deterrence. Once is nuclear detterence. The other is military deterrence via military forces. They can both arguably prove the argument that power is good–because it creates peace.
5) Under-estimating threats = bad

If you have the files from the military topic….the deterrence DA may help. It has some of these arguments in it.

Case impacts often act as a DA to the alternative. This is based on:
1) ideology (captialism or military/hegemony)
2) mechanism (hierarchical state structure good)–and we are they only way to access that
3) they say our reps are bad….these are evidence of why they are good.

There are multiple ways to roll with framework. Different negatives roll different ways with their Ks. The easiest to explain for most K debates is exclusion.
If they have an alternative…..I don’t understand what imagining a world where X was the case versus the imagining a world of the aff is all that different (except that the affirmative and the judge doesn’t have their hands on the levers of power–except in relation to the democratic vote at the polls, media, or talking to their Congressperson).

Most of taking a K out with framework–is mostly about the following 1 – 7 (i’ve included 8 & 9 as theory):
1. the value of policy debate versus philosophy debate
2. the value of roleplaying (international law card from Joyner)
3. the value of switch-side debate good
4. policing representations bad (Judith Butler talks about this). It kind of mirrors the debate over political correctness on college campuses. You may be able to spin some of those cards to be answers–particularly in debates where you have time to make these arguments (ie versus aff performance teams)
5. impact turns to representations ***
6. Our interpretation of debate is X. The team that wins is Y. (Have you seen one of these statements….this sets up the criteria of fairness. It defines the ballot/the judge and the role of debate.
7. You can also say: you can do your thing in our framework….you are just a non-unique disad or an alternative without an agent or a mechanism. This is a semi-middle ground argument. Plus, in conjunction with this argument I would make the case that case impacts have to be able to be leveraged versus the K for reason of fairness.
8. Scenario planning good. (not quite as specific as the others). Decent arg perhaps when you have the time on the negative.
9. I think you can also cross-apply the Rorty card to framework in the 1ar or 2ar.

Three other theory type arguments:
1. various forms of Ks are cheating.
2. dispositional piks/conditional pik = illegit/or just piks by themselves or piks with no mechanism or piks with no text. Saying their alt is a PIK in the block is functionally the same as 2ac re-planning or 2NC re-counterplanning. A K alternative text is never an exact replica of the aff plan text. Plus why would they do the aff–if we don’t have our hands on power????????
3. performative contradiction with multiple implications. mostly coopts their alternative. Its like if your friends or the government said “do X” and “don’t do X”–they loose all authority and credibility. Their walk and talk have to be consistent for genuine advocacy. Its ideal if you have an empirical example where movement leaders lost credibility because they were doing the opposite. Its like if a feminist leader is convicted of sexual harassment and rape. Thats not advocacy–thats a scandal–the opposite of advocacy.

The performative contradiction issue….does get to one issue….what does it mean to be advocate? what is the best kind of advocate? Do we want advocates who stick to their guns or are dynamic? And…what does it mean to be a dynamic advocate in the context of a debate round? This actually was an issue in the election of sorts. Flip-flopping in politics is a common accusation, as you know, which often hurts the credibility of the person who is the flip-flopper, hence the solvency takeout. Alternatively, we know that staying the course….but at the same time adapting to the trail… an important part of life. Its also an important part of politics. For instance, to do the work of the people–compromise on certain issues is sometimes important and even vital. Negs usually get around this by saying X was a test of the aff.

Macro politics–government change and top down change (which is arguably democratic)
Micro-politics–is people change and bottom up change (which is arguably more free)
This is arguably one reason why the perm never works–unless they are PIKing your advocacy.

I’m curious what teams would say if the 2ac said: our perm is your alt text to PIKs. Obviously you might have to make sure they are advocating it as a PIK….versus just an alt. Otherwise its a bit of a different statement. Theres no reason why they get that ground because they said it first.

Any yet more. To answer the Scotty P evidence question (the first two links on this page):

You might read this article on K uniqueness, which may be helpful when you are aff.…eed-uniqueness/

This is the K debate with turner from Emory thats probably worth checking out. Fast forward past the 1ac–its National Missile Defense. The only reason I would go back–is to see if it has an underview, which might be relevant to the K, but I don’t think it does–but I’m totally guessing.…4/demo-debates/


This is actually a 2NC from Scotty P on the K (it used to have a file there with the 2ac I believe)…-on-security-k/

This is a classic on the K. Its primarily helpful for going for Critiques of International Relations, but it may help for understanding it overall:…pful-resources/

The main distinction is the critical theory is not concerned with problem-solving….its mostly concerned with problematizing.

Note, my handling of critiques doesn’t talk about Nietzsche……and there are certainly multiple versions of that argument.


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