More Answers to Kevin

Chris Diamant cdiamant
Sun Apr 30 22:13:49 CDT 2000

On Sunday, April 30, 2000 10:01 PM, Asher Haig
[SMTP:ahaig at WARPED-REALITY.COM] wrote:
> on 4/30/00 6:01 PM, Jeff Parcher at parcherj at MINDSPRING.COM wrote:
> >> 2. the risk of
> >> excluding agents that don't make the list is high,
> >
> > what does a list of countries have to do with the agent?  want some
> > besides the U.S. government? fine. but that doesn't answer the limits
> > problems of no list.
> >
> Because agents = "African" agents that would be disregarded by a list in
> topic rather than an inclusive region. Various cultural groups might be
> included in a region (such as the Great Lakes) that would excluded from a
> list of countries (such as the nation-states that are members of the
> Lakes region)
I don't think this is the case. Under a resolution that lists countries, it
seems that if theres a particular culture/nation of peoples that cross
nation-state boundaries, then it would be legitimate for the affirmative to
act towards all of them. I'm assuming a topic with a list would look
something like "do x towards/to one or more of the following
nation-states....", meaning that, say, you could give assistance to a
cultural group in several different nations, acting through the government.
Additionally, i'm not exactly sure how non FG actors would be able to act
on a region or on another non govt body. It seems that if we were to do
something like having Planned Parenthood set up educational programs for X
ethnicity in whatever region, there would probably have to be some
government to government dealings beforehand. Perhaps i'm underestimating
the potential of advocated NGO to NGO action, and if so I'd like to see
some examples, but I don't think I am.

> >> 5. listing countries
> >> does not solve any of the ground problems,
> >
> > nice warrant there.  this is obviously not a strong claim.  why the
> > even have africa as an area then?  if listing has no limits benefits
> > the point of saying we are going to debate africa?
> >
> I think that point is that it doesn't serve to correct any ground issues
> that other forms of designation (ie region) would.
Probably, but that was in response to Kuswa's argument of list v. "Africa".
If we're talking about list of countries v. region, that difference
proabably isn't as great. A concern to me, however, comes from the response
Ben Osborne made earlier in the day regarding geography. When I asked what
countries fall into what region, the responses seemed to be all prefaced
with "the countries in the region are disputable, but they're
probably......". This seems problematic in that nation-states are generally
easily defined, whereas regions seems to be somewhat vague and could lead
to some  messy topicality debates that listed nation-states would avoid.

> >> and 6. a list of countries
> >> assumes that these statist entities can be compared to one another
> >> in the same ways--again defend your list.
> >
> > a country is something more than a state. is this not obvious?  isn't
> > why we put nation state before the list of countries last year.  seems
> > your beef is with that terminology - not the list per se.
> >
> I think the point is that countries/states (nation-states) that are in
> Africa don't really exist in the traditional sense that the United States
> does -- and even less so in the post-realist sense. Including a region in
> the topic allows an alternative conception of the topic in terms of
> nation-states or cultural/regional groups as agents. I'm not seeing where
> that explodes the ground. Particularly since the only difference in
> is the automatic kritik link to the topic with the list versus the
> kritik link for teams that act toward nation-states explicitly.
I'm not sure I understand this. If you're referring to the mutiple
cultural/regional groups that are all competing for power and influence, I
don't think we're really that much different. If this isn't what you're
referring to, i'd like clarification. I'll hold off on my response for now.

> >> Kamal,
> >> you have been interpellated by the resolutions you have debated into
> >> a certain type of subjectivity.  You are being trained (and training
> > yourself)
> >> to think about foreign policy and U.S. agency is certain ways.
> >
> > as you have too, kev. what's the point? unless you are making play for
> > better subjectivity ground (i.e. the truth that only you are privileged
> > see) we ought to just stick to the arguments.
> >
> That's exactly the point. A new(er) perspective on resolution-writing
> provides an opportunity to produce new subjectivities.
Yes, but we still have to address the workability issues. I don't think any
of us are in some way philosophically opposed to a "different perspective",
we just question how well it will work. Like jeff said, just because many
of us favor a list doesn't mean we're not listening, it just means we're
not agreeing.

> > seems like there might to be lots of ends. grouping all think tanks
> > this type of indict is beyond silly.  there are far more differences
> > similarities between say CSIS and the People's Development Forum.
> >
> Perhaps that is the point. The CSIS and the People's Development Forum
> only different when viewed in context of the nation-state. Other
> perspectives might reveal that the only difference between the two is
> they _claim_ to do, rather than their actual effects.
> >> In the meantime, Parcher and Kamal can feel content that they have
> >> the "racism is non-unique" arguments, but they are really resigning
> >> themselves to a much more complicit position.
> >
> > nice babble.  actually my argument was a serious indict of your
> > which was meant to show how when racism is defined in the general
> > that you used, all choices and thinking becomes implicitly racist.  it
> > the discussion by saying something uninteresting - action and choice is
> > exclusive - congratualtions.
> >
> Except that Kevin intends to use the claim to promote action whereas this
> claim is intended to end resistance to racism by using the same claim to
> that "We're all racist, so let's give up." The point is that we're all
> racist so we all have to fight everything we do that creates that racism.
I don't think that was the point. I believe it was more in reference to the
fact that at some point, there's exclusion. To say don't list countries,
debate all of africa b/c we don't want to exclude anybody could logically
be taken to the extreme of saying "the usfg (or whoever) should change
their foreign policy". Why bother excluding anyone? I think the argument
then becomes: we can't include everybody, so how can we best set up a topic
to debate about current problems that is broad enough to be educational and
narrow enough to be doable. It seems that a lot of people agree that Mexico
was too broad b/c the front side of the resolution was too broad (change
f.p.) My concern is including all of africa, or a somewhat fluidly defined
region, could make the backside of the rez too broad.

> > meanwhile, you dropped that you are complicit in the starvation of
> > children.  where does that leave us?
> With idiotic comparisons about who's more complicit -- it's a stupid
> comparison. The point is that everyone needs to STFU and evaluate ways
> we can stop pointing fingers.
I'll stay out of this.....

> >
> >> No list of countries
> >> and no USFG!
> >
> > USFG and a list of countries!!!!!
> US (no FG) and a Region!
A good resolution!


Chris Diamant

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with
sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use."

-- Galileo Galilei

"You can't make footprints in the sands of time sitting on your butt, and
who wants butt prints in the sands of time?"
-- Unknown

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