[eDebate] dictatorial pedagogy = anarchy (reply josh)

Kevin Sanchez let_the_american_empire_burn
Fri Jun 22 12:09:48 CDT 2007

-- josh -- http://www.ndtceda.com/pipermail/edebate/2007-June/071393.html : 
"Your - one person one vote - argument is actually closer in debate than the 
nation is (electoral college)."

i'm not of the opinion that americans live in a democracy, but at least we 
agree the democratic bar should be higher for collective whose needs are 
mostly administrative (e.g. you're not having to jail anybody, or wage war 
against invading hordes).

"For instance, everyone on my team gets a vote on how we use our vote etc."

that's nice of you, but it is still the benevolence of a potentially 
dictatorial pedagogue; if a king asks all his subjects how they'd vote on 
some policy before enacting it, he remains a king, because he's under no 
political obligation to follow the majority's wishes.

"A person who wants their own topic is NOT a minority fighting for their 
rights per se."

true, but we're not just arguing about whether the debate community adopts a 
specific resolution as opposed to another one: when do participants ever get 
to vote on the process by which topics are decided? not only when are they 
given a choice between a topic and no topic at all (guess, i'll let others 
exhaust themselves on that tired refrain), but more importantly as i see it, 
when are they able to decide the legitimacy of other means of meeting their 
responsibilities (such as fully disclosing your case to all potential 
opponents)?... because that's the minority i find myself in. it's not 
anarchy -- it's the search for more workable alternatives.

"I will still hazard that any person in the community, yes - even you, has 
more direct options to input into the actual topic MORE than in any other 
democratic process I have ever seen before."

even if concede this, it's non-responsive to the above argument, as any 
influence an individual has is effectively mediated through either a preset 
list of options (when they decide the resolution) or the predetermined 
outlook of a/the framer(s) (when they write topic papers or sit on the 
to be quite concrete, take scott's sarcastic comment 
(http://www.ndtceda.com/pipermail/edebate/2007-June/071391.html) :

"I love the examples given: Resolved: Genocide in __________ should be 
stopped. Great grounds for a debate. That makes for great debates."

the subtextual logic here is: it's never good for the debate community to 
agree to discuss on-going genocides. i'd imagine that most everyone on the 
topic committee would probably agree with that, since they see their role as 
fairly divying up possible ground between affirmative and negative sides. 
yet the end result is that debaters are going to largely ignore profound 
contemporary events that real policymakers have to confront, not to mention 
that the debate community cedes its potential role in contributing to the 
national dialogue and raising awareness about timely, urgent problems.

(in the post-script i included a brief argument for why 'ground' is a poor 
way to look at argument, but i consider the above paragraph more important 
and didn't want to dilute it.)

as for fairness... "Team X could still run ANY case on the actual topic and 
Team Y could still run ANY case on the actual topic and any ALTERNATIVE 
topic. Your argument assumes every team only has one affirmative option and 
also that every team has one case in perpetuity. This is clearly not true in 
theory or in practice."

yes, but for this example we're assuming it is -- team Y is committing to 
run this case and this case only for the entire year and is surrendering 
their option on all cases included in the actual topic. the whole point of 
the question is, is there a reason intrinsic to topicality that a judge 
should vote on it? -- and the disclosive letter effectively brackets 
non-starters like 'they get all the resolution plus their case', since all 
they're getting is their case... and of course, if they violated the terms 
of their quite public letter, you'd have a much better theory abuse argument 
to run against them than topicality.

p.s. "'ground' ... relies on not questioning the assumption that every 
problem in the literature is itself an isolatible (and 
should-be-predictable) point of view, that every line of thinking is 
actually a static position. think about how dumb the idea of a 'fair 
division of ground' really is - how does one weigh an 'arg' in advance? do 
you get 50 arguments and i get 50 arguments too? does it not matter if yours 
are more persausive? but how can you even qualify/quantify that without 
separating out every argument from every other and stopping it from moving? 
that's like taking a photograph and mistaking it for reality. and what it 
really does is what deleuze refers to as reducing 'the unequal into the 
divisible' (p225), *dividing* ground. the unequal nature of real arguemnts 
may be unfair, but it's always already that anyway, despite what the t-hacks 
say, and the presumption of fair division itself is unfair because it's 
false; even if it worked (which it doesn't), it only makes everyone equal, 
and cancels creative differences." : 

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