Discourse Ks – Gonzaga Debate Institute 14


Turn – Trivializes Oppression



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Turn – Trivializes Oppression




Discourse doesn’t change the reality of oppression.


Zavarzadeh, Department of English at Syracuse, 1994

[Mas’ud, “The Stupidity that Consumption is Just as Productive as Production”, The Alternative Orange, V 4, Fall/Winter 1994, JSTOR, accessed 7-5-14, J.J.]



The unsurpassable objectivity which is not open to rhetorical interpretation and constitutes the decided foundation of critique is the “outside” that Man: calls the “Working Day” (Capital I , 340-416). (R-4 willfully misrecognizes my notion of Objectivity by confusing my discussion of identity politics and objectivity.) The working day is not what it seems: its reality, like the reality of all capitalist practices, is an alienated reality-there is a contradiction between its appearance and its essence. It “appears” as if the worker, during the working day, receives wages which are equal compensation for his labor. This mystification originates in the fact that the capitalist pays not for “labor” but for “labor power”: when labor power is put to use it produces more than it is paid for. The “working day” is the site of the unfolding of this fundamental contradiction: it is a divided day; divided into “necessary labor”-the part in which the worker produces value equivalent to his wages-and the “other,” the part of “surplus labor”-a part in which the worker works for free and produces “surplus value.” The second part of the working day is the source of profit and accumulation of capital. “Surplus labor” is the objective fact of capitalist relations of production: without “surplus labor” there will be no profit, and without profit there will be no accumulation of capital, and without accumulation of capital there will be no capitalism. The goal of bourgeois economics is to conceal this part of the working day, and it should therefore be no surprise that, as a protector of ruling class interests in the academy, R-2, with a studied casualness, places “surplus value” in the adjacency of “radical bible-studies” and quietly turns it into a rather boring matter of interest perhaps only to the dogmatic. To be more concise: “surplus labor” is that objective, unsurpassable “outside” that cannot be made up& of the economies of the “inside” without capitalism itself being transformed into socialism. Revolutionary critique is grounded in this truth-objectivity-since all social institutions and practices of capitalism are founded upon the objectivity of surplus labor. The role of a revolutionary pedagogy of critique is to produce class consciousness so as to assist in organizing people into a new vanguard party that aims at abolishing this FACT of the capitalist system and transforming capitalism into a communist society. As I have argued in my “Post-ality” [Transformation I], poststructuralist theory, through the concept of “representation,” makes all such facts an effect of interpretation and turns them into “undecidable” processes. The boom inludic theory and Rhetoric Studies in the bourgeois academy is caused by the service it renders the ruling class: it makes the OBJECTIVE reality of the extraction of surplus labor a subjective one-not a decided fact but a matter of “interpretation”. In doing so, it “deconstructs” (see the writings of such bourgeois readers as Gayatri Spivak, Cornell West, and Donna Haraway) the labor theory of value, displaces production with consumption, and resituates the citizen from the revolutionary cell to the ludic shopping mall of R-4. Now that I have indicated the objective grounds of “critique,” I want to go back to the erasure of critique by dialogue in the post-a1 left and examine the reasons why these nine texts locate my critique-at writings and pedagogy in the space of violence, Stalinism and demagoguery. Violence, in the port-al left, is a refusal to “talk”. ’‘To whom is Zavarzadeh speaking?” asks OR - 5, who regards my practices to be demagogical, and R-3, finds as a mark of violence in my texts that “The interlocutor really absent” from them. What is obscured in this representation of the non-dialogical is, of course, the violence of the dialogical. I leave aside here the violence with which these advocates of non-violent conversations attack me in their texts and cartoon. My concern is with the practices by which the left, through dialogue, naturalizes (and eroticizes) the violence that keeps capitalist democracy in power. What is violent? Subjecting people to the daily terrorism of layoffs in order to maintain high rates of profit for the owners of the means of production or redirecting this violence(which gives annual bonuses, in addition to multi-million dollar salaries, benefits and stock options, to the CEO’s of the very corporations that are laying off thousands of workers) against the ruling class in order to end class societies? What is violent? Keeping millions of people in poverty, hunger, starvation, homelessness, and deprived of basic health care, at a time when the forces of production have reached a level that can, in fact, provide for the needs of all people, or trying to over throw this system? What is violent? Placing in office, under the alibi of “free elections,” post-fascists (Italy) and allies of the ruling class (Major, Clinton, Kohl, Yeltsin) or struggling to end this farce? What is violent? Reinforcing these practices by “talking” about them in a “reasonable” fashion(i.e. within the rules of the game established by the ruling class for limited reform from “within”) or marking the violence of conversation and its complicity with the status quo, thereby breaking the frame that represents “dialogue” as participation-when in fact it is merely a formal strategy for legitimating the established order? Any society in which the labor of many is the source of wealth for the few-all class societies are societies of violence, and no amount of “talking” is going to change that objective fact.“Dialogue” and “conversation” are aimed at arriving at a consensus by which this violence is made more tolerable, justifiable and naturalized.

Toxic Dialogue Turn/Apology Good




Policing language is bad—it makes our dialogue toxic and turns effective strategies for change


Blankenship, Producer at Thought Catalog, 14

[Jessica, 2-11-14, Thought Catalog, “How Language Policing and Hyper-Sensitivity are Ruining Social Dialogue”, http://thoughtcatalog.com/jessica-blankenship/2014/02/how-language-policing-and-hyper-sensitivity-are-ruining-social-dialogue/, accessed 7-5-14, PAC
There’s really no refuting the need for people to be conscientious when discussing things. We should be as respectful and considerate as possible, especially when it comes to talking or writing about topics and issues that are emotionally charged for some people. Sensitivity and kindness are immensely important, and frequently underused components to a healthy dialogue. That said (you knew that was coming), the internet has become such a hotbed of calling each other out that it’s painfully difficult to talk about anything of importance at all. Has the policing of how we talk about issues replaced actually talking about them?

Criticizing what people publicly offer up – writing, speaking, social media, etc. – has always been a thing. Criticism and discussion are the desired, necessary results of someone putting forth an idea in the first place, or offering their commentary. It’s how a dialogue starts, and under that best circumstances, it’s the means by which greater understanding is reached and possibly new ideas are born. As civilized humans, this is some shit we like to do, and it’s theoretically awesome.

Here’s the problem: Circumstances lately are not the best. In fact, the overall environment for our collective social and cultural dialogue has become toxic almost to the point of paralysis. It’s getting to the point where everything – a new book, article, TV show, song, magazine pictorial, and on and on – is immediately examined, picked apart, and violently criticized for its many failures to be perfectly adherent to every shade of political correctness (which are innumerable and rapidly multiplying.) Our filters for seeing things as sexist, victim-blaming, racist, homophobic, transphobic, slut-shaming, rape culture (to name a paltry few) have become so finely tuned that, at this point, it’s possible to see these offensive qualities in just about anything. And, naturally, whichever filter corresponds to our personal identity or experience tends to be the one we see more readily, although that’s not exclusively the case.

Before I continue, I want to clarify: I think it is invaluable that we are calling attention to how these super important issues manifest themselves. The myriad ways in which damaging precedents pop up in every day life are the details where oppression actually happens. Bringing attention to them isn’t being over-analytical about insignificant details – it’s being appropriately analytical because the details are the foot soldiers of bullshit. I think it’s amazing that we are seeing these things more, and talking about them, and de-normalizing things that have heretofore been heinously interwoven into the common fabric of society. I see through these filters. I have these discussions. I feel outrage. I hope for better. I am in no way calling for a mitigation of these efforts. I am not telling us to “calm down” about this stuff. Don’t ever calm down about it.



Here’s what I’m calling for: For us to calm down with each other on a personal level when talking about sensitive issues. Because that’s where all of our potential for real progress is falling apart. We are policing each other to death, and forgetting that we are not (most of the time) each other’s enemies. And when we let someone’s flawed handling of an issue make them an enemy, we might be costing ourselves a potential ally.

Trolls DA




Policing language generates more jerks who try to hurt with words for fun: turns the K


Shackford, Reason 24/7 Associate Editor, 14

[Scott, 3-28-14, reason.com, “Policing Language Gives Ammunition to the Trolls”, http://reason.com/archives/2014/03/28/policing-language-gives-ammunition-to-th, accessed 7-5-14, PAC]

These calls to ban words, these references to all behaviors that make us feel bad as "bullying," and the very concept of "trigger warnings," an Internet/college phenomenon where the public is expected to warn adults in advance that they may talk about issues (like assault) where some may have personal, traumatic experiences, push the responsibility for individuals’ well-being onto the world around them. Not only is this unrealistic nonsense, it is an abnegation of one’s own ability to thrive and cope in a complex world. It is the opposite of evolution and maturation.

And it’s dangerous. That is what the trolls know. "Don’t say these terrible things that wound me psychologically," we say. "I’m going out of town for a week and keeping my door unlocked. Please don’t rob my house," is what the troll hears. Obviously, we want the people who matter in our lives—our family, friends, children, co-workers—to respect us and not use hurtful language against us. It’s perfectly reasonable to ask your significant other or your children not to call you or anybody else "bossy." But the world at large doesn’t care about your emotional state. They have their own problems to deal with. Don’t expect strangers to care what you think about the word "bossy" any more than they care what you think about the weather, the upcoming elections, or last night’s episode of Scandal. The strangers who do pay attention may well be jerks looking to use your publicly revealed vulnerabilities to screw with your head.

AT: Butler

Double bind: either our language frames our mindset, which subjugates even further, or our language frames the subject, which is solved through our mindset


Vasterling, Radboud University Nijmegen, Philosophy and Gender Studies, Associate Professor, 99

[Veronica, Summer 1999, “Butler’s Sophisticated Constructivism: A Critical Assessment”, Hypatia vol. 14, no. 3, pg 19 PAC]
Butler's deconstruction of the body as a natural given results in the claim that the body is always already linguistically constructed. Obviously, this claim evokes the charge of linguistic monism: doesn't the claim entail a sort of linguistic metaphysics of the body? What needs to be examined, however, is the exact import of this claim: is it an ontological or an epistemological claim? Does the claim entail that the body is ontologically coextensive with its linguistic constructions, in other words, that the body is nothing but a collection of linguistic constructions? Or does it imply that the body is only epistemologically accessible as a linguistically constructed body? Only the former, not the latter, would justify the charge of linguistic monism.

I examine two lines of argument that in Butler`s opinion undercut the charge of linguistic monism. The first one, concerning the notion of referentiability, can be construed as a general epistemological argument about language and its relation to reality. The second argument is more complex, beginning from the claim that language is the condition of the appearance of materiality. The import of this claim is ambiguous; it can be construed as either ontological or epistemological. Though l conclude that Butler succeeds in refuting the charge of linguistic monism. the way in which she solves this problem raises new questions. On the one hand, she ends up defending an epistemological position that is not only too restrictive but also, in my opinion, has negative consequences for a feminist and queer theory of the body. On the other hand, certain passages suggest another, more phenomenological approach that, though hardly elaborated, opens an interesting and more fruitful perspective on such a theory.


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