Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Applying Kritiks in Lincoln Douglas Debate - part 2


For more about Lincoln Douglas Debate including topic analyses, strategies, and links to evidence *click here*



This is the second of a two part series. (Click : Part 1)

More On the Link
In this particular case, we are planning to run a language kritik which means we want to criticize the selective language used in the Affirmative case and show how it leads to negative perceptions and yields impacts which arise, not from targeted killing as a foreign policy tool, but rather through the conditions constructed by the rhetoric used to justify the Affs case.  Therefore in order to create a "link" between the kritik and the Aff case, we must connect the kritik to some specific language or rhetoric employed by Aff.  This "link" between the Aff case and Neg kritik (or any Neg disadvantage) is essential for logical consistency.  If the Aff case speaks of securing the homeland, we use link cards which connect to the words "homeland" or "home" and if we can't find those direct links, we use links that are generically close enough the judge does not have to do a mental back flip to see the connection.  If the Aff case promotes a defense against terrorism, we use link cards which connect the language of fighting terrorism with security and the kritik.  If the Aff case presents a topic for which a reasonable link can not be found, it is best to forget the idea of running the kritik.  Nevertheless, even if the theme of the Aff case is moral justification based on a need for security, the securitization theme itself may provide enough of a link that a specific link is not necessary, as long as the judge can put two and two together.  But remember, if the judge fails at two plus two, it is your fault, not the judge's, since you have failed to convey a link and many judges are reluctant to mentally build your case for you.

As an example of a generic link based on "uttering" the word "security", I found the following card which can link the 1NC to Aff. (I did not "tag" the card):
Securitization and the Construction of Security. Mcdonald, Matt. European Journal of International Relations vol. 14 issue 4 December 2008. p. 563-587
For the Copenhagen School, issues become security issues (or more accurately threats) through language. It is language that positions specific actors or issues as existentially threatening to a particular political community, thus enabling (or indeed constituting, depending on interpretation) securitization. Indeed, rather than simply being one ‘site’ of security construction, Wæver (1995) located securitization itself in language theory, and particularly Austin’s articulation of the ‘speech act’. In this framework, language itself becomes security in the sense that particular forms of language — spoken or written in a particular context — constitute security. As Wæver argued (1995: 55), ‘the utterance itself is the act . . . by uttering “security”, a state representative moves a particular development into a specific area, and thereby claims a special right to use whatever means necessary to block it’. This reliance on language as the exclusive form of ‘securitizing move’ is problematic for two reasons. First, language is only one (albeit the most central) means through which meaning is communicated (Möller, 2007: 180).A range of authors in this context have suggested the need to take account of the role of images as potential forms of securitization. Second, an exclusive focus on language is problematic in the sense that it can exclude forms of bureaucratic practices or physical action that do not merely follow from securitizing ‘speech acts’ but are part of the process through which meanings of security are communicated and security itself constructed.

Or here is another untagged card which can serve as a link based on the generic rhetoric of fighting terrorism:
The Rhetoric of Security, YASEEN NOORANI, University of Arizona, Tucson, Source: CR: The New Centennial Review Date: April 1, 2005
It is important to recognize that the rhetoric of security with its war on terrorism is not a program for action, but a discourse that justifies actions. The United States is not bound to take any specific action implied by its rhetoric. But this rhetoric gives the United States the prerogative to take whatever actions it decides upon for whatever purpose as long as these actions come within the rhetoric’s purview. Judged by its own standards, the rhetoric of security is counterproductive. It increases fear while claiming that the goal is to eliminate fear. It increases insecurity by pronouncing ever broader areas of life to be in need of security. It increases political antagonism by justifying U.S. interests in a language of universalism. It increases enmity toward the United States by according the United States a special status over and above all other nations. The war against terror itself is a notional war that has no existence except as an umbrella term for various military and police actions. According to a report published by the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army, “the global war on terrorism as currently defined and waged is dangerously indiscriminate and ambitious” (Record 2003, 41). This assessment assumes that the actions comprehended under the rubric of the “war on terrorism” are designed to achieve a coherent military objective. The impossible “absolute security,” feared by the report’s author to be the “hopeless quest” of current policy (46), may be useless as a strategic objective, but it is eminently effective in organizing a rhetoric designed to justify an open-ended series of hegemonic actions.

Here is an untagged card which links to the terminology of "homeland". I like this card as opposed to some of the others included in the downloaded Security K file, because it speaks generally to the issue of morality without addressing the Aff advocacy.
The Rhetorical Possibilities of “Home” in Homeland Security, J. Patrick Dobel, Administration & Society, 42(5) 479–503, © 2010 SAGE Publications, DOI: 10.1177/0095399710377961, http://aas.sagepub.com 
The exclusive institutional emphasis on home as a physical place preinhabited by blood and placeholders generates a distorted moral and bureaucratic dynamic where the coercive defense of home supersedes other moral claims. Former Attorney General John Ashcroft made this clear by stating, “We will use all means necessary to defend our home.” The self-conscious erosion of international standards of prisoner treatment at Abu Ghraib and other detention centers, the intrusions into domains of privacy, or the backlash against immigrants reflects the overriding pressure of defense of home to erode vital moral commitments (Hirsh, Barry, & Klaidman, 2004; Schulz, 2003, chap. 2, 4). This exclusive emphasis welds home to physical location and delineates citizenship to resemble blood preferences for those living in the homeland. It also questions integrity of persons whose lives or ideas seem at odds with the ideology of physical security and border defense.

Putting it Together
Having acquired a series of links, properly tagged and highlighted, they should be inserted into the file, and the table of contents updated appropriately.  Policy debaters typically copy the cards to pages with their own header and footer so as to eliminate the camp identification (e.g. ENDI 2010) to reduce the possibility the opponent will pull her copy of the ENDI 2010 Security K file from her evidence and use it against you.  In addition, to the links, you should anticipate the kinds of counter-arguments Aff may present and find additional cards or write analytical answers and expand the 2NC portion of the file.  This is very important since you will be making more than one speech you need more to say to extend and defend your kritik.  Now, of course a lot of how to do this will arise from experience. There is really no wrong or right way to handle and organize your evidence and cards, as long as you can quickly pull out what you need, when you need it.

A Proposed Structure for the K
First I think it a good idea to establish the groundwork upon which the kritik is based. For this you can pull out the Framework cards and lay down the basis or simply read the 1NC cards placed at the beginning of the file.  This part of the kritik establishes the philosophical basis upon which you will assert a violation has been made by the Affirmative in their choice of the language of securitization.

Next it is appropriate to make the link and read the cards which, in effect, indicts the Aff case directly and clearly.

At this point (although it could have been done earlier) the impacts cards are read. You may choose one or several impacts depending on what you are prepared to defend and their relevance to the Aff case.

Now that you have effectively defined your criticism, cited Affs violation of it and expressed the negative fallout of the violation, it is necessary for you to direct the judge how to proceed and this is where the alternatives are presented.  This portion of the speech usually begins with a call to reject the Aff case entirely. The alternative, will show that by rejecting the discourse of the Aff it is then possible to proceed in a better way which results in elimination of the harms or other advantages.  Choose these cards carefully and if possible find your own.

What About Aff's Advocacy?
It should be pointed out, when running the kritik we do not address any of the traditional aspects of the Aff case.  We do not dispute definitions nor the V/VC structure and we do not directly attack their advocacy of (in this particular example) the moral permissiveness of targeted killing.  In fact, it is ill advised to look at the particular details of their case since you are claiming an apriori issue wrapped up in the language used to create their case. Therefore, we do not talk directly to the case nor the resolution.  We need to resolve the over-riding language issue first and that is why we are running the kritik in the first place.

Now I should point out, I advise against attacking the Aff case merely as a convenience due to time constraints.  If you can present the case with time remaining, or assuming you are speed reading, it is very legitimate to use other kinds of arguments to directly attack the Aff advocacy. In policy debate, the K is only one of an arsenal of tools in the Neg case, but policy is almost certainly spreed reading and has a 13 minute Neg block in which to drive home its case.  LD cases are not so lucky.

Kritiks vs Value Structure
Some coaches and LD specialists have commented that anything that can be run in a kritik can be run in a value/value criterion structure and in many cases they are probably right. While kritiks may be riding a crest of "new wave" popularity among LDers they are still, fundamentally a Neg, philosophical argument that a clever debater may be able to frame into a conventional case structure and make it work.  Doing so can create a pretty good argument in the example of the security kritik, but the importance of the K as an apriori issue becomes moot.  Taking this approach, now requires you to directly address the V/VC structure of the Aff case and leaves the burdens squarely in the realm of conventional LD debate.  Given that reality, perhaps the kritik framework is not so well suited if it is not possible to fully develop in the allowed speech time which must now allow for direct rebuttal of the Aff case.

Concluding Remarks
Unfortunately it is not possible to provide rich detail in the steps required to apply kritiks to LD debate.  A lot of the techniques will be discovered through effort and experience.  I would like to conclude with a few remarks.

1. Kritiks should not be used. But if you insist, they should not be used by or against novices.

2. Kritiks are a recipe for disaster if you do not thoroughly understand the K and what you are attempting to argue and if you are unprepared to go beyond the 1NC.

3. Know your judge. Find out if Ks and theory arguments are acceptable.  If not, don't even think about running one.

4. The use of kritiks are an art more than a science so there is no right or wrong way. Find something that works and refine it.

I hope this article serves more people than it confuses.


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