[eDebate] keenan, "k" and "policy," final comments

matthew farmer matthewfarm
Sun Apr 12 16:57:37 CDT 2009

good discussion, i think. i am not unsympathetic to the complaints about
alternatives. What can be done? Well, it's clear that most alt authors are
a) not advocating a simple rejection, b) even if they are, the solvency
claims that they make are typically not very compelling, and c) that it is
unclear what a simple rejection would constitute. The point I'm getting to
is that aff's can make inroads that they are frequently not. What would a
rejection of X entail? What if that was done on a broader scale (out of
round, by the gov, by a movement, by an individual)? What might be the
consequence of the gov rejecting cap? Disintegration of the stock market, a
trade war, a refusal to trade, socialism? What about a movement? A WTO
protest, creation of communes? Who does the alt? The judge? Why? Because it
is ethical? If that's the answer, and it's not a contingent solvency claim
proper, then it seems that even util good might be an answer? 'Reject the
aff' is a command (presumably implying the judge do the rejection) without
an agent of action. But whose to say the aff can't ask the question, 'what
if this was done by people that ACTUALLY have their hands on the levers of
power?' If it's true that the alt would be bad for 'real world' decision
makers, then why shouldn't it be bad for the judge? Why is it ethical for
the judge to reject the aff, but not say a congresswoman? My point is that
good cross-x + good link args = offense or at least more and better aff
answers. Protests/micropolitics bad, rejection = no movements (need to
communicate, not reject each other), ind ethics are depoliticized (distance
from state/power bad)... Might an aff be able to do some serious damage to a
'reject the aff' alt by arguing a) no slovo - that their author doesn't say
reject, or provides no vision for what that would entail politically, b) a
theory arg dealing with the lack of agent, and  c) diasds to the alt (it is
unethical politically). There may or may not be (what I suggested that did
not exist earlier) an enigmantic disjunction between the adjudication of k
alts and policy responses. However, l think Josh implied this, there's not a
lot that can be done about this. The goal of my posts here is to encourage
debaters and coaches to up their game when answering these args and refrain
from displacing responsibility (I'm not saying that Ermo is doing so, he's
clearly put a lot of thought and effort into this issue, but many have)
until they've really flushed out their options for dealing with these args.
Like most with most good debates, the answer is a little of column a and a
little of colum b. Judges as well as coaches and debaters have some work to
do. I'll be sure to take some time to think about how I adjudicate these
clashe debates a little more before next season (although, they're pretty
much all I think about because they're pretty much all I judge :)

I'm out-
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