[eDebate] traditionalists, anarchists, and the rest of us

Michael Korcok mmk_savant
Sat Jun 2 14:51:04 CDT 2007

Tradition is generally a stupid reason to do something.  Of course there is *some* minimal worth to any tradition qua tradition - everything else held equal, practices don't survive unless they do some good.  But it seems to me that tradition has about as much weight as presumption... a heavy feather, a light breeze, or a stray thought has more mass.
So I wouldn't count myself a traditionalist.  
Too, the term "traditionalist" has creepy associations like Bill O'Reilly's Catholic Crusade against secular progressivism and the early 20th-Century French rejection of modernity and the enlightenment.  And any term that associates with both of those has got to be the work of morons or demons or both.
Anarchy is just a crappy idea.  That stupid set of concepts took 2 of my better teams out of elims in mid-90s CEDA.  We had great cards from anarchists so we ran with it.  But great cards do not a good idea make and so it was "game over" for my guys.  I hate anarchists almost as much as i despise communists.  Fuckers.  
Ok I don't really hate them, but they are not savvy and they are not suave.  And wearing a fancy hat, a swweeet eye patch, and a parrot on the shoulder while calling themselves pirates just makes them poser-anarchists... idiots dressed for a picture.  And REAL anarchists, not those Sears anarchists who protest at the G8 meetings or set cars on fire in Paris when Sarkozy wins, well, we call them terrorists and try to kill them before they blow something up.
So I wouldn't count myself an anarchist either.
In debate, tradition has been brutal.  It doesn't seem that way right now, but that is only because we are in the midst of it, living it.  
For example, the stock-issues paradigm ruled this activity for 40-some years without anything that looks like a serious challenge.  Now even I wasn't there in 1963, so maybe there was actually an active intellectual challenge to stock-issues, but if so, evidence of that hasn't survived.  And I think we all understand just how plainly foolish the stock-issues paradigm was.  Well not all of us... there are STILL pockets of stock-issues debate in corners of the under-developed debate world.  But hell, there are still backwards-ass hicks like Anne Coulter who think evolution is a conspiracy by scientists to undermine our faith in America and who believe the Universe was created 6,000 years ago by an omnipotent, omnibenevolent, omniscient Dad.
And when the entire game is teaching kids how to think, entrenched lousy ideas are game over.
So I like innovative theory and innovative practice.  Those are our only protection against more decades-long stupidities.  I even think there is worth in change for the sake of change - messing stuff up, throwing it all off-kilter, and confusing things gets people thinking in ways they might not otherwise do.
But the next step is the one that pays the bills.  Building functional alternatives and fashioning improvements over the way things are is not just an option.  Absent this step, the tradition just gets reinforced, having survived yet another spastic challenge that went nowhere.
So I would like, if they are willing, for those folks who think Topicality is bad to at least give us a glimpse of the alternative, the improvement, the better way to do things.  Give those of us who are conservative but rational, good boys in a bad boy body, bikers who have joined the country club, a reason to like you.
Michael Korcok
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