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May 9, 2017 / compassioninpolitics

Critique Answers to Nietzsche for the 2AC

The right wing and left wing framing of Nietzsche ultimately collapse on themselves.  Nietzsches critique is a fools errand–no solvency.  They just re-inscribe the status quo.

(Guy Eglat, lecturer in the liberal arts at the School of Arts in Chicago and author of book on the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche, Why Friedrich Nietzsche Is the Darling of the Far Left and the Far Right, Tablet Magazine, May 8, 2017, p. online) [Accessed: May 8, 2017]

The secret of Nietzsche’s appeal to people from opposite ends of the political spectrum is thus revealed: To the radical right, it is his rejection of equality and the democratic ideas that are based on it that is scintillating and rings true (besides his often and—as I have argued—misunderstood flirtations with the concept of race); to the left, it is his anti-essentialism with its emphasis on the plastic nature of identity that promises liberation from societal oppression. But, as it is typical in politics, the catch is that each side, to maintain its political ideology, has to reject the other’s Nietzscheanism: The radical right cannot easily accept the idea that identity, including racial identity, is dynamic and malleable, and the left, in order to promote its progressive agenda in the democratic public forum, cannot easily give up on the idea of the moral equality of all.

The Nietzschean challenge, however, lies in the incorporation and combination of both extremes within one mind or one system of ideas, and it is perhaps this that explains why a Nietzschean political philosophy remains, to this day, an unstable and unrealizable notion: For a political ideal to be realized in actuality and motivate people, some unifying clarion call has to be possible to gather large groups of people behind it. But if there are neither equals nor fixed and unchanging hierarchies, if everything is fluid and in the process of becoming, no such call can be made: there will be no one to make it and no one to hear and respond to it.

Source: http://www.tabletmag…sche-left-right

April 14, 2017 / compassioninpolitics

Hegemony is bad impacts

Here is a thread from Cross-x

Hegemony causes global war

Gabriel Kolko, historian of modern warfare, THE AGE OF WAR: THE UNITED STATES CONFRONTS THE WORLD, 2006, p. 173-6

At the beginning of the twenty-first century, only the United States has the will to maintain a global foreign policy and to intervene everywhere it believes necessary. Today and in the near future, the United States will make the decisions that will lead to war or peace, and the fate of much of the world is largely in its hands. It possesses the arms and a spectrum of military strategies all predicated on a triumphant activist role for itself. It believes that its economy can afford interventionism and that the American public will support whatever actions necessary to set the affairs of some country or region on the political path it deems essential. This grandiose ambition is bipartisan, and details notwithstanding, both parties have always shared a consensus on it. The obsession with power and the conviction that armies can produce the political outcome a nation’s leaders desire is by no means an exclusively American illusion. It is a notion that goes back many centuries and has produced the main wars of modern times. The rule of force has been with humankind a very long time, and the assumptions behind it have plagued its history for centuries. But unlike the leaders of most European nations or Japan, US leaders have not gained insight from the calamities that have so seared modern history. Folly is scarcely a US monopoly, but resistance to learning when grave errors have been committed is almost proportionate to the resources available to repeat them. The Germans learned their lesson after two defeats, the Japanese after World War II, and both nations found wars too ehausting and politically dangerous. The United States still believes that if firepower fails to master a situation, the solution is to use it more precisely and much more of it. In this regard it is exceptional—past failures have not made it any wiser. Wars are at least as likely today as any time over the past century.  Of great importance is the end of Soviet hegemony in Eastern Europe and Moscow’s restraining influence elsewhere. But the proliferation of nuclear technology and other means of mass destruction have also made large parts of the world far more dangerous. Deadly local wars with conventional weapons in Africa, the Balkans, Middle East, and elsewhere have multiplied since the 1960s. Europe, especially Germany, and Japan, are far stronger and more independent than at any time since 1945, and China’s rapidly expanding economy has given it a vastly more important role in Asia. Ideologically, communism’s demise means that the simplified bipolarism that Washington used to explain the world ceased after 1990 to have any value. With it, the alliances created nominally to resist communism have either been abolished or are a shadow of their original selves; they have no reason for existence. The crisis in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), essentially, reflects this diffusion of all forms of power and the diminution of US hegemony. Economically, the capitalist nations have resumed their rivalries, and they have become more intense with the growth of their economies and the decline in the dollar—which by 2004 was as weak as it has been in over fifty years. These states have a great deal in common ideologically, but concretely they are increasingly rivals. The virtual monopoly of nuclear weapons that existed about a quarter-century ago has ended with proliferation.?, Whether it is called a “multipolar” world, to use French president Jacques Chirac’s expression in November 2004, in which Europe, China, India, and even eventually South America follow their own interests, or something else, the direction is clear. There may or may not be “a fundamental restructuring of the global order,” as the chairman of the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA’s) National Intelligence Council presciently reflected in April 2003, but the conclusion was unavoidable “that we are facing a more fluid and complicated set of alignments than anything we have seen since the formation of the Atlantic alliance in 1949.”  Terrorism and the global economy have defied overwhelming US military power: “Our smart bombs aren’t that smart.”‘ Wars, whether civil or between states, remain the principal (but scarcely the only) challenge confronting humanity in the twenty-first century. Ecological disasters relentlessly affecting all dimensions of the environment are also insidious because of the unwillingness of the crucial nations—above all the United States—to adopt measures essential for reversing their damage. The challenges facing humanity have never been so complex and threatening, and the end of the Cold War, although one precondition of progress, is scarcely reason for complaceriby or optimism. The problems the world confronts far transcend the communist-capitalist tensions, many of which were mainly symptoms of the far greater intellectual, political, and economic problems that plagued the world before 1917—and still exist. Whatever the original intention, US interventions can lead to open-ended commitments in both duration and effort.  They may last a short time, and usually do, but unforeseen events can cause the United States to spend far more resources than it originally anticipated, causing it in the name of its credibility, or some other doctrine, to get into disastrous situations that in the end defeat the United States. Vietnam is the leading example of this tendency, but Iraq, however different in degree, is the same in kind. Should the United States confront even some of the forty or more nations that now have terrorist networks, then it will in one manner or another intervene everywhere, but especially in Africa and the Middle East. The consequences of such commitments will be unpredictable. The United States has more determined and probably more numerous enemies today than at any time, and many of those who hate it are ready and able to inflict destruction on its shores. Its interventions often triumphed in the purely military sense, which is all the Pentagon worries about, but in all too many cases they have been political failures and eventually led to greater US military and political involvement. Its virtually instinctive activist mentality has caused it to get into situations where it often had no interests, much less durable solutions to a nation’s problems, repeatedly creating disasters and enduring enmities. The United States has power without wisdom and cannot, despite its repeated experiences, recognize the limits of its ultrasophisticated military technology. The result has been folly and hatred, which is a recipe for disasters. September 11 confirmed that, and war has come to its shores. That the United States end its self-appointed global mission of regulating all problems, wherever, whenever, or however it wishes to do so, is an essential precondition of stemming, much less reversing, the accumulated deterioration of world affairs and wars. We should not ignore the countless ethical and other reasons it has no more right or capacity to do so than any state over the past century, whatever justifications they evoked. The problems, as the history of the past century shows, are much greater than the US role in the world: but at the present time its actions are decisive, and whether there is War or peace will be decided far more often in Washington than any other place. Ultimately, there will not be peace in the world unless all nations relinquish war as an instrument of policy, not only because of ethical or moral reasoning but because wars have become deadlier and more destructive of social institutions. A precondition of peace is for nations not to attempt to impose their visions on others, adjudicate their differences, and never to assume that their need for the economic or strategic resources of another country warrants interference of any sort in its internal affairs. But September 11 proved that after a half-century of interventions the United States has managed to provoke increasing hatred. It has failed abysmally to bring peace and security to the world. Its role as a rogue superpower and its promiscuous, cynical interventionism has been spectacularly unsuccessful, even on its own terms. It is squandering vast economic resources, and it has now endangered the physical security of Americans at home. To end the damage the United States causes abroad is also to fulfill the responsibilities that US politicians have to their own people. But there is not the slightest sign at this point that voters will call them to account, and neither the AMerican population nor its political leaders are likely to agree to Rich far-reaching changes in foreign policy. The issues are far too grave to wait for US attitudes and its political process to be transformed. The world will be safer to the extent that US alliances are dissolved and it is isolated, and that is happening for many reasons, ranging from the unilateralism, hubris, and preemptory style of the Bush administration to the fact that  since the demise of communism, the world’s political alignments have changed dramatically.  Communism and fascism were both outcomes of the fatal errors in the international order and affairs of states that World War I spawned. In part, the Soviet system’s disintegration was the result of the fact it was the aberrant consequence of a destructive and abnormal war, 11,);t at least as important was its leaders’ loss of confidence in socialism. And suicidal Muslims are, to a great extent, the outcome of a half-century of US interference in the Middle East and Islamic world, which radicalized so many young men and women ready to die for faith. Just as the wars of 1914-1918 and 1939-1945 created Bolsheviks, the repeated grave errors of the United States, however different the context or times, have produced their own abnormal, negative reactions. The twenty- first century has begun very badly because the United States continues with its aggressive policies. They are far more dangerous than those of the twentieth century. The destructive potential of weaponry has increased exponentially, and many more people and nations have access to it. What would once have been considered relatively minor foreign policy problems now have potentially far greater consequences. It all augurs very badly. The world has reached the most dangerous point in recent, or perhaps all of, history. There are threats of war and instability unlike anything that prevailed when a Soviet-led bloc existed.  Even if the United States abstains from interference and tailors its actions to fit this troubled reality, there will be serious problems throughout much of the world. Internecine civil conflicts will continue, as well as wars between nations armed with an increasing variety of much more destructive weapons available from outside powers, of which the United States remains, by far, the most important source. Many of these conflicts have independent roots, and both principles and experiences justify the United States staying out of them and leaving the world alone. Both the American people and those involved directly will be far better off without foreign interference, whatever nation attempts it.  US leaders are not creating peace or security at home or stability abroad. The reverse is the case: its interventions have been counterproductive, and its foreign policy is a disaster. Americans and those people who are the objects of successive administrations’ efforts would be far better off if the United States did nothing, closed its bases overseas and withdrew its fleets everywhere, and allowed the rest of world to find its own way. Communism is dead, and Europe and Japan are powerful and both can and will take care of their own interests. The United States must adapt to these facts. But if it continues as it has over the past half-century, attempting to satisfy its vainglorious but irrational ambition to run the world, then there will be even deeper crises and it will inflict wars and turmoil on many nations as well as on its own people. And it will fail yet again, for all states that have gone to war over the past centuries have not achieved the objectives for which they sacrificed so much blood, passion, and resources. They have only produced endless misery and upheavals of every kind.

March 31, 2017 / compassioninpolitics

I believe there are three key ways to give a 2NC on the Critique.

1. Give a separate overview with [K outweighs, turns case], [our impact first/prior question], [root cause], and a brief description of the K proper, then the framework debate, then K proper starting by extending the 1NC stuff.

2. Same as 1 but mix the 1NC extensions and link and impact and alt debate into the line-by-line. The only thing with this is that the 2AC might be a random mix of perms, theory, no-link, etc. so it’s hard to know when to do, for example, the link debate.

3. Put the 1NC extensions and link, impact, and alt right into the overview, then do framework, then straight-up line-by-line the 2AC referencing the overview.

These three ways are from a cross-ex thread which is available here.  I haven’t reflected on them to really chose which would be best in the context of a given judge.  However something I guess to reflect on.

I would, however suggest using a separate sheet of paper for the overview or if you are giving meta-answers via some kind of grouping.

The challenge with giving meta-answers is that I think the 2ar is likely to shift to where the answers aren’t (line by line or overview).  Hopefully most judges will pick up on this.

March 16, 2017 / compassioninpolitics

Answering the Human Rights K/Mutua

The West is the Best and Imperialism Good


You’re probably not going to link turn out of it.  You’re best option is:

1) Imperialism good

2) Theory/voting issues


A world without the West is net worse for minorities, tolerance, and freedom.


We should stand up for the values your aff stands for.


I think I would run something like Schmitt against the otherization claim.


These Ks are post-colonialism.


The net result of the K is tyranny.  It would allow WWII and human rights abuses to proliferate, which would be on balance worse for the overall concerns they are speaking of.


You can set this one up in cross ex….so we’re never justified in intervening?  Not even in the case of X, Y, or Z.  So Hitler…could…..A, B, and C and our hands would be tied.  (And this is net better for the concerns of international minorities).


Inaction in the face of oppression = complicity.  (or something along those lines)


Culture as a defense is just a ruse.  It allows ever form of abuse and dehumanization to occur.


You could make an additional argument about countries acceding to the UN convention of the rights of man.  You should double check to see if China has done it.


March 6, 2017 / compassioninpolitics

The 10 Biggest Critique on the Education Reform Topic for High School Debate 2017-2018

You want to say that the economic ideology of the status quo that the aff will continue will only entrench that ideology even further.


What ideology does our educational system perpetuate?  What is its worldview?  What is its paradigm?


I think the following 9 arguments will pretty much establish the core:

  1. Capitalism/Neoliberalism/Marxism
  2. Feminism
  3. Race-type arguments
  4. Foucault (and various off-shoots of this argument)
  5. Ecological arguments
  6. Heidegger
  7. Science and/or technology  (or more scientism, which is not actually science).
  8. Pedagogy of the oppressed/Paulo Friere
  9. Dis/ability

There will also be libertarian/coercion type arguments as well.


I suggest the Eric database will be incredibly helpful on both sides of this topic.  It doesn’t have as much of the policy literature, but its free and has lots of full text articles.


For instance, when I look at this entry:…gy&id=EJ1124663


Three subject areas strike me as pretty important to investigate:

  • Critical Theory
  • Neoliberalism
  • Hidden Curriculum

I would suggest “Critical pedagogy” is also a pretty huge search term, specifically in the education-specific literature.



There is a whole literature that critiques the nature of education, its model and its process.

February 14, 2017 / compassioninpolitics

Writing frontlines and strategizing about De-development

De-dev is pretty consistently:

1) Environmental/scarcity

2) War


If this position was created at camp this year, you might check out what those impacts (ie the shell)


BTW, the best way to answer this is to answer the environmental, scarcity question via multiple turns if possible.


And I’m not sure about other judges but specific scenario answered back by a generic turn with a good warrant–I don’t think i’m going to care about the specificity question as much.

February 3, 2017 / compassioninpolitics

Critical Reading Skills–How to Read an Academic Research Article

I think a couple years back I wrote an article on how to read a law review article as an academic or debater–this is a revisiting of a short portion of that insight:

• Why is this argument true?
• Whats the implication? Whats the impact? Who cares?
• Is it credible?
• Is it defensible in debate?
• How could I enhance this argument?
• How can I focus this argument? (signal/noise)
• What is the impact?
• How does this fit?

• Identify key moves in the field (history)
• Identify key theorists in the field
• Terms of art/Definition of terms/definition of acronyms

• Context (geographical, physical, institutional, cultural, and historical)
• Credibility
• Causal Chain (?)
• Impact (Paint a picture)

Systemtatically addressing these tools and perspectices can turn critical reading into a genuine skill that you apply throughout your schooling, your university experience, and ultimately in life.

Note: in relation to academic study, this doesn’t speak to the knowledge you need to understand statistics.

You can read through the original article here.