[eDebate] http://debate.uvm.edu/ellis1000.html - 'Critiques that destroy'
Kcmoattorney at cs.com
Mon Nov 19 11:04:25 CST 2001
All very interesting, but problematic in that if you accept the author's
premise about expanding the limits of allowing Negs to win on nihilistic K's
notwithstanding their inability to establish a link level of any sort, or
look at pragmatic impacts, wouldn't Neg always win, or at the least, debates
devolve into spirited, but irrelevant disussions of the theory?
It's kind of like the Chiefs showing up with baseball bats and mitts to play
the Seahawks next week because they find baseball more virtuous a sport, and
expect to be handed the win, notwithstanding the fact that everyone had
showed up under an agreement to play football.
If coaches and critics wanted to hear this kind of debate, maybe it wasn't
such a good idea to ditch the original non-policy CEDA of years past. This
would have presented an excellent oppurtunity for exposition of these ideas
without having to artifically bang a square peg into a round hole in order to
find an outlet for them. In my opinion, this format died a slow death and
schools ran to policy debate precisely because they didn't want this kind of
While it may be intellectually stimulating to the author to give Negs this
kind of free rein to alter the format, I see it as ridiculously skewing
ground away from center. Kritiks need to be checked by the existence of
alternatives. There have been plenty of nihilistic-type kritiks run with
counterplans this year, such as "abolish the federal government," "give the
land back," "abolish plenary power" etc. The 1-2 K/CP debate gives everyone
something tangible to argue and gives critics something to base a ballot on.
Besides, wouldn't the true nihilist not give a whit about the ballot?
Especially if the aim is to look "outside the box" at the activity and not
hypothetical competing policies? Wouldn't it further the kritik to be heard
on the issues, but lose constantly (high point losses, of course...) due to
the inherent flaws in the structure of debate as an activity? Actually,
isn't that the implicit assumption of the criticism, that the advocacy is
valuable for it's own sake even thought it won't change anything? Running
the argument, and then asking for the ballot (to further one's place in the
illegitimate debate hierarchy) is in my opinion disingenuous and defies the
We all showed up to play a certain game (policy debate). If people don't
like it, they should come up with a game that suits them better and play that
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