Best Card 3- Reps Focus Bad-updated

Neg reads reps K (generic), you need to answer it- blah blah blah.

In answering this, think about what the neg argument is- what are they trying to accomplish by making the debate about reps? Obviously the negative is trying to exclude certain parts of the aff so that they can’t win them as offense (like reasons the plan is good for instance) so in choosing the best card you want a card that will help you stop them from doing that. Arguments off the top of my head that the neg uses to do this are things like

-reps limit our consideration of alternatives

-reps highlight underlying thought structures that impact our ability to decide if the plan is desireable

-flawed reps make the plan unnecessary since there is no need for action

Update- Here is an example of the kind of card the negative might read for their reps focus argument

Dibyesh Anand   PhD (Bristol), MA (Hull), BA Honours (St Stephen’s College, Delhi)   Reader in International Relations Centre for the Study of Democracy, Westminster University, London, Geopolitical exotica: Tibet in western imagination p. 12-16 2007

WORLD POLITICS AS THE POLITICS OF IMAGINATION Social and cultural identities by their very nature have always been discursively constructed. What is new and peculiar to modernity is the desire and ability to construct a bounded identity based on a fixed and autonomous idea of self. This has been paralleled by the power of representations to construct identity and by highly unequal access to discursive and representational resources at a global level. Representational practices feed the dominant knowledge regimes and structures and shape the very identities they seek to represent. The best-known example of this is the ideational construct of Orientalism, which reflects the close connection between particular modes of cultural representations, anthropology, and European imperialism (see Said 1978). In the process it also creates the categories of “Oriental** and “Occidental” people. Representation and Critical IR Within IR, it is important to look at Western cultural representations of non-Western people. This is so for various reasons. Representations populate the world with specific subject positions within which concretized individuals arc then interpellated (sec Wcldcs T999). Identity claims of various non-Western communities thus operate within power relations put in place by the West. This does not deny non-Westerners their agency, for there is always space for resistance and accommodation. Rut it emphasizes differential access to the creation and molding of discursive (both material and nonmaterial) resources. It offers ways of challenging and denaturalizing modes of representation that abet domination by “making it acceptable and coherent within the dominant ethos that constructs domestic selves and exotic Others” (Shapiro 1988, 122-23). Recognition of the productive dimension of representation implies that the very basis of world politics—identity—is challenged. The recognition of the salience of Western representations of the non-West in world politics also questions the conventional view of international studies as a social “science” that has little to do with culture, morality, society, and the like. It underlines the importance of culture as a factor in molding, sustaining, and questioning political practices. It recognizes world politics as a process of cultural interactions in which the identities of actors (including their values and visions) arc not given prior to or apart from these interactions. Instead, they are shaped and constituted in the complexes of social practices that make up world politics. Rather than denying the importance of actors in enacting and reshaping the social practices in which they are embedded, it focuses our attention also on the social construction of actors. Thus, representation is an inherent and important aspect of global political life and therefore a critical and legitimate area of inquiry. “A whole range of analyses in IR have taken this [Said’s] idea up and mapped the different ways in which the West constructs the non-western world” (Diken and Laustsen 2.001, 768).This comment is surprising given that IR, including critical IR, with few exceptions (see Biswas 2001; Doty 1996b; Gustcrson 1999) has more or less ignored the questions raised by Orientalism critique. The question of representation has historically been excluded from the academic study of international relations and the “price that international relations scholarship pays for its inattention to the issue of representation is perpetuation of the dominant modes of making meaning and deferral of its responsibility and complicity in dominant representations” (Doty 1996b, 171). The focus on representation within critical IR has been mainly on the constitutive function of representation in generating and sustaining particular policy regimes {sec Dory 1996b) and on the identity politics of the representee For instance, Campbell argues that the inscription of otherness was linked to American foreign policy and the enframing of American identity: At one time or another, European and American discourse has inscribed women, the working class. Eastern Europeans, Jews, blacks, criminals, coloreds, mulattos, Africans, drug addicts, Arabs, the insane, Asians, the Orient, the Third World, terrorists, and others through tropes that have written their identity as inferior, often in terms of their being a mob or horde (sometimes passive and sometimes threatening) that is without culture, devoid of morals, infected with disease, lacking in industry, incapable of achievement, prone to be unruly, inspired by emotion, given to passion, indebted to tradition, or . . . whatever “we” are not. (iyy8b, 8y) In Weldes (1999) as well as Weldes et al. (1999), representation is analyzed as a central concept of international relations and foreign policy. As in Campbell, it is the foreign policy regime sustained by particular representational practices and the identity of the repre-senter (the United States) that is under investigation. Doty (1993, 1996a, 1996b) provides effective analysis of representation as foreign political practice. Similarly, Neumann studies the “use of ‘the Hast’ as the other” (1999; emphasis added) as a general practice in the identify formation of Europe; Klein examines NATO “as a set of {representational] practice by which the West has constituted itself as a political and cultural identity” (1990, 313); and Dalby (1988) analyzes how the Soviet Union was constructed as a dangerous Other in order to produce an ideological rationale for the U.S. national security state-In all these studies of Western representation of the Other, the focus is on either its rationalizing role in some foreign policy regime or on its productive effect on dominant identity discourses within the West. These works have not dealt with the poetics and politics of Western representations of the non-West from the vantage point of the latter. The focus has remained largely on a critique of Western practices, not on its productive and restrictive impact on the non-West. This is at best an incomplete step in the right direction. While recognizing the significance of representation of the Other for the representee we must identify and analyze the impact on the identity of the represented. Chapters 4-6 focus on the productive dimension of representations vis-a-vis the represented through the empirical study of the identity of Tibet and Tibetans. My emphasis is on the ways in which particular encounters between the West and the non-West have shaped the latter. Representations support not only particular politics of the representor toward the represented but, significantly, they construct the very identities of the actors involved, especially the Other. Representations are productively linked with identity discourses of all kinds. The conventional idea that representation draws upon a pregiven identity is turned on its head, for it is identity that is fashioned out of particularized representations. In the case of Exotica Tibet, then, representational discourses are not reflective of, but actually productive of, Tibetan identity. Within critical 1R, the paucity of serious consideration of the “how,” “why,” and “what impact” questions of Western representations of/on non-Wcstcrn communities shows that the task of provincializing the West has only just begun. Theorizing Representation Constructionist theories (Hall 1997b, 15-74) are best suited for a contextualized understanding of social and political concepts like representation and identity. They do not argue that the material world does not exist but that it acquires meaning only through the mediation of language and discursive systems. Though such a discursive approach characterizes the work of many scholars, no one has been more prominent than Foucault (1970, 1971, 1980, 1984, 1986) in shaping it. Foucault is concerned with the production of knowledge and meaning not through language but through discourse. Discursive practices have their own inclusionary and exclusionary aspects. Discursive practices are characterised by the delimitation of a field of objects, the definition of a legitimate perspective for the
agent of knowledge, and the fixing of norms for the elaboration of concepts and theories. Thus, each discursive practice implies a play of prescriptions that designate its exclusions and choices. (Foucault 19X6, 199) Foucault’s reformulation of discourse also calls for recognition of the explicit linkage between knowledge, truth, and power. Identification of the knowledge-power (pouvoir/savoir) nexus reveals the linkage of truth claims with systems of power: Truth isn’t outside power, or lacking of power: contrary to a myth whose history and functions would repay further study, truth isn’t the reward of free spirits, the child of protracted solitude, nor the privilege of those who have succeeded in liberating themselves. Truth is a thing of the world: it is produced only by virtue of multiple forms of constraint. {Foucault 1980, Z91) The recognition of the constructed character of truth facilitates a critical political positioning. Nothing is sacrosanct. However, this docs not undermine the impact of truth claims on the lives of people. All knowledge, once applied in the “real” world, has real effects and in that sense becomes true.1′ This Foucauldian identification and exploration of the link between power, knowledge, and truth is radical in its implication. It shifts the terrain of inquiry from the question “What is truth?” to the question How do discursive practices constitute truth claims?” In terms of representation, we may see the implication as a shift in the focus from some core reality beneath/behind representations to the modalities of their functioning. The question is no longer whether a representation is true or false but what discursive practices operate to render it true or false. It is not about how representations reflect some subjects but, more crucially, how subjectivity itself is constructed within discursive practices, how representational regimes are productive of subjectivity. Discourses then are “practices which form the objects of which they speak” (Foucault J972., 49). Adopting this approach to Tibetan identity, the pertinent question shifts from “How far do representations (both Western and self-) of Tibetans reflect their identity?” to “How do representational regimes affect the discursive production of Tibetanness?” This helps us look at Tibctanness as a politicized identification process, instead of some pregiven, essentialzed, fixed object.

Card A:

Tuathail, 96  (Gearoid, Department of Georgraphy at Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Political Geography, 15(6-7), p. 664, science direct)

While theoretical debates at academic conferences  are important to academics, the discourse and concerns of foreign-policy decision-  makers are quite different, so different that they constitute a distinctive problem-  solving, theory-averse, policy-making subculture. There is a danger that academics  assume that the discourses they engage are more significant in the practice of foreign  policy and the exercise of power than they really are. This is not, however, to  minimize the obvious importance of academia as a general institutional structure  among many that sustain certain epistemic communities in particular states.  In general, I do not disagree with Dalby’s fourth point about politics and discourse  except to note that his statement-‘Precisely because reality could be represented in  particular ways political decisions could be taken, troops and material moved and war  fought’-evades the important question of agency that I noted in my review essay. The  assumption that it is representations that make action possible is inadequate by itself.  Political, military and economic structures, institutions, discursive networks and  leadership are all crucial in explaining social action and should be theorized together  with representational practices. Both here and earlier, Dalby’s reasoning inclines  towards a form of idealism.  In response to Dalby’s fifth point (with its three subpoints), it is worth noting, first,  that his book is about the CPD, not the Reagan administration. He analyzes certain CPD  discourses, root the geographical reasoning practices of the Reagan administration nor  its public-policy reasoning on national security. Dalby’s book is narrowly textual; the  general contextuality of the Reagan administration is not dealt with. Second, let me  simply note that I find that the distinction between critical theorists and post-  structuralists is a little too rigidly and heroically drawn by Dalby and others. Third,  Dalby’s interpretation of the reconceptualization of national security in Moscow as  heavily influenced by dissident peace researchers in Europe is highly idealist, an  interpretation that ignores the structural and ideological crises facing the Soviet elite at  that time. Gorbachev’s reforms and his new security discourse were also strongly self-  interested, an ultimately futile attempt to save the Communist Party and a discredited  regime of power from disintegration.  The issues raised by Simon Dalby in his comment are important ones for all those  interested in the practice of critical geopolitics. While I agree with Dalby that questions  of discourse are extremely important ones for political geographers to engage, there is  a danger of fetishizing this concern with discourse so that we neglect the institutional  and the sociological, the materialist and the cultural, the political and the geographical  contexts within which particular discursive strategies become significant. Critical  geopolitics, in other words, should not be a prisoner of the sweeping ahistorical cant  that sometimes accompanies ‘poststructuralism nor convenient reading strategies like  the identity politics narrative; it needs to always be open to the patterned mess that is  human history.

Card B

Taft-Kaufman, 95  (Jill, professor, Department of Speech Communication And Dramatic Arts, at Central Michigan University, Southern Communication Journal, Spring, proquest)

The postmodern passwords of “polyvocality,” “Otherness,” and “difference,” unsupported by substantial analysis of the concrete contexts of subjects, creates a solipsistic quagmire. The political sympathies of the new cultural critics, with their ostensible concern for the lack of power experienced by marginalized people, aligns them with the political left. Yet, despite their adversarial posture and talk of opposition, their discourses on intertextuality and inter-referentiality isolate them from and ignore the conditions that have produced leftist politics–conflict, racism, poverty, and injustice. In short, as Clarke (1991) asserts, postmodern emphasis on new subjects conceals the old subjects, those who have limited access to good jobs, food, housing, health care, and transportation, as well as to the media that depict them. Merod (1987) decries this situation as one which leaves no vision, will, or commitment to activism. He notes that academic lip service to the oppositional is underscored by the absence of focused collective or politically active intellectual communities. Provoked by the academic manifestations of this problem Di Leonardo (1990) echoes Merod and laments: Has there ever been a historical era characterized by as little radical analysis or activism and as much radical-chic writing as ours? Maundering on about Otherness: phallocentrism or Eurocentric tropes has become a lazy academic substitute for actual engagement with the detailed histories and contemporary realities of Western racial minorities, white women, or any Third World population. (p. 530) Clarke’s assessment of the postmodern elevation of language to the “sine qua non” of critical discussion is an even stronger indictment against the trend. Clarke examines Lyotard’s (1984) The Postmodern Condition in which Lyotard maintains that virtually all social relations are linguistic, and, therefore, it is through the coercion that threatens speech that we enter the “realm of terror” and society falls apart. To this assertion, Clarke replies: I can think of few more striking indicators of the political and intellectual impoverishment of a view of society that can only recognize the discursive. If the worst terror we can envisage is the threat not to be allowed to speak, we are appallingly ignorant of terror in its elaborate contemporary forms. It may be the intellectual’s conception of terror (what else do we do but speak?), but its projection onto the rest of the world would be calamitous….(pp. 2-27)  The realm of the discursive is derived from the requisites for human life, which are in the physical world, rather than in a world of ideas or symbols.(4) Nutrition, shelter, and protection are basic human needs that require collective activity for their fulfillment. Postmodern emphasis on the discursive without an accompanying analysis of how the discursive emerges from material circumstances hides the complex task of envisioning and working towards concrete social goals (Merod, 1987). Although the material conditions that create the situation of marginality escape the purview of the postmodernist, the situation and its consequences are not overlooked by scholars from marginalized groups. Robinson (1990) for example, argues that “the justice that working people deserve is economic, not just textual” (p. 571). Lopez (1992) states that “the starting point for organizing the program content of education or political action must be the present existential, concrete situation” (p. 299). West (1988) asserts that borrowing French post-structuralist discourses about “Otherness” blinds us to realities of American difference going on in front of us (p. 170). Unlike postmodern “textual radicals” who Rabinow (1986) acknowledges are “fuzzy about power and the realities of socioeconomic constraints” (p. 255), most writers from marginalized groups are clear about how discourse interweaves with the concrete circumstances that create lived experience. People whose lives form the material for postmodern counter-hegemonic discourse do not share the optimism over the new recognition of their discursive subjectivities, because such an acknowledgment does not address sufficiently their collective historical and current struggles against racism, sexism, homophobia, and economic injustice. They do not appreciate being told they are living in a world in which there are no more real subjects. Ideas have consequences. Emphasizing the discursive self when a person is hungry and homeless represents both a cultural and humane failure. The need to look beyond texts to the perception and attainment of concrete social goals keeps writers from marginalized groups ever-mindful of the specifics of how power works through political agendas, institutions, agencies, and the budgets that fuel them.

Card C

Kocher ‘2K (Robert L, Author and Philosopher,

While it is not possible to establish many proofs in the verbal world, and it is simultaneously possible to make many uninhibited assertions or word equations in the verbal world, it should be considered that reality is more rigid and does not abide by the artificial flexibility and latitude of the verbal world. The world of words and the world of human experience are very imperfectly correlated. That is, saying something doesn’t make it true. A verbal statement in the world of words doesn’t mean it will occur as such in the world of consistent human experience I call reality. In the event verbal statements or assertions disagree with consistent human experience, what proof is there that the concoctions created in the world of words should take precedence or be assumed a greater truth than the world of human physical experience that I define as reality? In the event following a verbal assertion in the verbal world produces pain or catastrophe in the world of human physical reality or experience, which of the two can and should be changed? Is it wiser to live with the pain and catastrophe, or to change the arbitrary collection of words whose direction produced that pain and catastrophe? Which do you want to live with? What proven reason is there to assume that when doubtfulness that can be constructed in verbal equations conflicts with human physical experience, human physical experience should be considered doubtful? It becomes a matter of choice and pride in intellectual argument. My personal advice is that when verbal contortions lead to chronic confusion and difficulty, better you should stop the verbal contortions rather than continuing to expect the difficulty to change. Again, it’s a matter of choice. Does the outcome of the philosophical question of whether reality or proof exists decide whether we should plant crops or wear clothes in cold weather to protect us from freezing? Har! Are you crazy? How many committed deconstructionist philosophers walk about naked in subzero temperatures or don’t eat? Try creating and living in an alternative subjective reality where food is not needed and where you can sit naked on icebergs, and find out what happens. I emphatically encourage people to try it with the stipulation that they don’t do it around me, that they don’t force me to do it with them, or that they don’t come to me complaining about the consequences and demanding to conscript me into paying for the cost of treating frostbite or other consequences. (sounds like there is a parallel to irresponsibility and socialism somewhere in here, doesn’t it?). I encourage people to live subjective reality. I also ask them to go off far away from me to try it, where I won’t be bothered by them or the consequences. For those who haven’t guessed, this encouragement is a clever attempt to bait them into going off to some distant place where they will kill themselves off through the process of social Darwinism — because, let’s face it, a society of deconstructionists and counterculturalists filled with people debating what, if any, reality exists would have the productive functionality of a field of diseased rutabagas and would never survive the first frost. The attempt to convince people to create and move to such a society never works, however, because they are not as committed or sincere as they claim to be. Consequently, they stay here to work for left wing causes and promote left wing political candidates where there are people who live productive reality who can be fed upon while they continue their arguments. They ain’t going to practice what they profess, and they are smart enough not to leave the availability of people to victimize and steal from while they profess what they pretend to believe in.

Card D

Anna Kurtz and Christopher Oscarson, Members of National Council of Teachers of English Conference on College, Composition and Communication, 2003 (“BookTalk: Revising the Discourse of Hate,” ProQuest)

However, Butler also argues that the daily, repeated use of words owns a space for another, more empowering kind of performance. This alternative performance, Butler insists, can be “the occasion for something we might still call agency, the repetition of an original subordination for another purpose. one whose future is partially open” (p. 38). To think of words as having an “open” future is to recognize that their authority lies less in their historical than in their present uses; it is to acknowledge that people can revise the meaning of words even as we repeat them; it is to embrace the notion that the instability of words opens the possibility that we can use them to (reconstruct a more humane future for ourselves and others. Because words can be revised, Butler contends that it would be counterproductive simply to stop using terms that we would deem injurious or oppressive. For when we choose not to use offensive words under any circumstance, we preserve their existing meanings as well as their power to injure. If as teachers, for instance, we were simply to forbid the use of speech that is hurtful to LGBT students we would be effectively denying the fact that such language still exists. To ignore words in this way, Butler insists, won’t make them go away. Butler thus suggests that we actually use these words in thoughtful conversation in which we work through the injuries they cause (p. 1.02). Indeed, Butler insists that if we are to reclaim the power that oppressive speech robs from us, we must use, confront. and interrogate terms like “queer.” We must ask how such terms affect both the speaker and the subject, what the purpose of their use is, and how their meaning can be altered to empower those whom they name. Thus, as Butler helps us see, language is violence, but only if we allow it to be. She encourages us to believe that words can take on new meanings-ones which forbid stasis, challenge our habits, and open the possibility that teachers and students might be able Lo create spaces for learning in which everyone feels safe.

Card E

Jarvis, 00  (Darryl, lecturer in IR at the University of Sydney, International relations and the challenge of postmodernism, 2000, p. 189-

First, the project of subversive-deconstructive postmodernism can be seen as contrary to the discipline of International Relations as a social sci-ence designed not so much to generate knowledge as to disparage knowl-edge spawned through Enlightenment thinking and the precepts of rationality and science. At its most elemental, it is a project of disruption and an attack upon the “complacency” of knowledge generated in modernist quarters. Not that this is all bad. There is much good to come from a shakeup of the academy, from a reexamination of our ontological, episte-mological, and axiological foundations and from the types of practices that ensue from certain modes of conceptualization and analysis. Pointing out silences and omissions from the dominant discourse is always fruitful and necessary, but, arguably, also accomplished under theories and paradigms and from critical quarters that are not necessarily postrnodern and which do not seek to “undo” all knowledge simply on the basis of imperfection. Mod- ernist discourse is not unreflective, can make autonomous corrections, engage in revisionist history, identify injustices, crimes of exclusion, and extend representation to groups that were otherwise not previously repre-sented (think of liberalism or socialism for example!). This, after all, is why we understand modernity to be progressive and history a forward-moving narrative that is self-effusive. More importantly, given the self-defeating con-tradictions endemic to subversive-deconstructive postmodernism, especially its specious relativism, it requires no great mind to postulate that the use of modernist/rationalist/Enlightenment discourse will better make the case for a progressive politics of ever greater inclusion, representation, and jus-tice for all than will sloganistic calls for us to “think otherwise.” The sim-ple and myopic assumption that social change can be engineered through linguistic policing of politically incorrect words, concepts and opinions, is surely one of the more politically lame (idealist) suggestions to come from armchair theorists in the last fifty years. By the same token, the suggestion that we engage in revisionism of the sort that would “undo” modernist knowledge so that we might start again free of silences, oppressions, and inequalities also smacks of an intelligentsia so idealist as to be unconnected to the world in which they live. The critical skills of subversive postmod-ernists, constrained perhaps by the success of the West, of Western capi-talism, if not liberal democracy, as the legitimate form of representation, and having tried unsuccessfully through revolution and political uprising to dethrone it previously, have turned to the citadel of our communal identities and attacked not parliaments, nor forms of social-political-economic organization, but language, communication, and the basis of Enlightenment knowledge that otherwise enables us to live, work, and communicate as social beings. Clever though this is, it is not in the end compatible with the project of theory knowledge and takes us further away from an understanding of our world. Its greatest contribution is to cele-brate the loss of certainty, where, argues John O’Neill, “men (sic) are no longer sure of their ruling knowledge and are unable to mobilize sufficient legitimation for the master-narratives of truth and justice.” To suppose, however, that we should rejoice collectively at the prospects of a specious relativism and a multifarious perspectivism, and that absent any further constructive endeavor, the great questions and problems of our time will be answered or solved by this speaks of an intellectual poverty now famed perversely as the search for “thinking space.”26

Card F

Collins, professor of sociology at the University of Cinncinnati, 1997  (Patricia Hill, Fighting Words, p. 135-136)

In this sense, postmodern views of power that overemphasize hegemony and local politics provide a seductive mix of appearing to challenge oppression while secretly believing that such efforts are doomed.  Hegemonic power appears as ever expanding and invading.  It may even attempt to “annex” the counterdiscourses that have developed, oppositional discourses such as Afrocentrism, postmodernism, feminism, and Black feminist thought.  This is a very important insight.  However, there is a difference between being aware of the power of one’s enemy and arguing that such power is so pervasive that resistance will, at best, provide a brief respite and, at worst, prove ultimately futile.  This emphasis on power as being hegemonic and seemingly absolute, coupled with a belief in local resistance as the best that people can do, flies in the face of actual, historical successes.  African-Americans, women, poor people, and others have achieved results through social movements, revolts, revolutions, and other collective social action against government, corporate, and academic structures.  As James Scott queries, “What remains to be explained…is why theories of hegemony…have…retained an enourmous intellectual appeal to social scientists and historians” (1990, 86).  Perhaps for colonizers who refuse, individualized, local resistance is the best that they can envision.  Overemphasizing hegemony and stressing nihilism not only does not resist injustice but participates in its manufacture.  Views of power grounded exclusively in notions of hegemony and nihilism are not only pessimistic, they can be dangerous for members of historically marginalized groups.  Moreover, the emphasis on local versus structural institutions makes it difficult to examine major structures such as racism, sexism, and other structural forms of oppression.  Social theories that reduce heirarchical power relations to the level of representation, performance, or constructed phenomena not only emphasize the likelihood that resistance will fail in the face of a pervasive hegemonic presence, they also reinforce perceptions that local, individualized micropolitics constitutes the most effective terrain of struggle.  This emphasis on the local dovetails nicely with increasing emphasis on the “personal” as a source of power and with parallel attention to subjectivity.  If politics becomes reduced to the “personal,” decentering relations of ruling in academia and other bureaucratic structures seems increasingly unlikely.  As Rey Chow opines, “What these intellectuals are doing is robbing the terms of oppression of their critical and oppositional import, and thus depriving the oppressed of even the vocabulary of protest and rightful demand” (1993, 13).

5 thoughts on “Best Card 3- Reps Focus Bad-updated

  1. Scott Phillips

    David Kidner, Senior Lecturer- Psychology @ Nottingham Trent Univ. Nature and Psyche, 2001 p. 64-7
    One of the advantages claimed for a social constructionist viewpoint is that in its emphasis on “competing voices” in the “negotiation of reality,” it avoids the imposition of any single, monolithic vision, and so “celebrates the diversity” of postmodern life. And within a restricted arena, this is undoubtedly correct—a characteristic that has made it attractive to a few environmental philosophers. Unfortunately, as 1 have argued above, the terrain that an adequate environmental philosophy must cover needs to be much broader than the specific case of modern life that it critiques. Modernity is in many respects the problem to be addressed, not the context within which we seek a solution. Our imaginative reach must be one that can extend not merely to the diversity of currently existing opinions, but one that is also capable of comprehending the way these opinions are formed by a particular cultural and historical situation. This is a necessary initial step toward envisioning not only those discourses and conceptualizations that are inconceivable today, but also the ecocultural conditions within which these might become possible. Given the widespread destruction both of the natural world and of the cultural structures that are consistent with nature, the aims of an effective environmental philosophy should extend not merely to defending the ecological and subjective diversity that already exists within the modern world, but also to nurturing human awareness in order to maximize the ecological and conceptual diversity that can potentially be realized in the natural world when social conditions allow. In this respect the maintenance of conceptual diversity is closely linked with the vital work of environmental activists and others in maintaining genetic diversity and preserving endangered species; for if the psycho-cultural conditions that correspond to and resonate with a healthy ecological realm are absent, then those natural species that remain will one day be seen merely as relics of an bygone era rather than as vital ingredients of a healthy natural world. It is a commonplace insight that we need to preserve habitats as well as species; but nature is mindful as well as physical, and it is just as essential to preserve the psychical component of the natural world as its material manifestations. Not only must species be preserved, but also their meaning within a natural world that is psychologically as well as ecologically alive. It is these aspects of a potentially healthy ecocultural world that approaches based on language cannot incorporate. We have to look beyond current forms of language and their implications if our imagination is not to be held within the orbit of industrialism. Furthermore, and not coin-cidentally, since post-Renaissance language has become so markedly separated from the natural order/” it is increasingly difficult to articulate natural form through conventional language; and we need to incorporate and develop other ways of communicating such form. As usual, Gregory Bateson was ahead of his time in recognizing this, asking whether we can change our “understanding of something by dancing it.”™ In addition, the deconstructive bent of discursive approaches limits their capacity to challenge the structure of modern industrialism. Just as science has been reluctant to recognize the holistic qualities of nature, so we have been slow to appreciate that the power of industrialism and its resultant near-hegemony in the modern world is largely the result of its ability to integrate science, politics, and everyday social life within a structure that appears complete and self-sufficient. This structure cannot be challenged without reference to alternative structures. To celebrate choice and free play without also celebrating the frames of meaning within which they take place is simply to guarantee our assimilation to and absorption within industrialism, and so represents a philosophy of surrender. For example, “freedom” has little meaning in the absence of a framework of democratic laws which protect the vulnerable against the “freedom” of the powerful to exploit, intimidate, and mislead. Similarly, my freedom to explore an area of wilderness is negated if energy companies and off-road vehicle clubs also have the freedom to use the area as they see fit. Freedom is all too often interpreted as the absence of structure; and structure gives meaning and implies responsibilities and limitations. One of the most insidious aspects of the colonization of the world is industrialism’s silent but lethal elimination of structures that could challenge it. The widespread lack of appreciation within academia of the way in which postmodern approaches involving deconstruction promote this insidious conceptual assimilation to industrialism is an index of the urgent need to develop a psychocultural dimension to our environmental understanding. Finally, we should not ignore the possibility that an emphasis on language serves particular defensive functions for the social scientist. Noam Chomsky has noted that if “it’s too hard to deal with real problems,” some academics tend to “go off on wild goose chases that don’t matter… [or] get involved in academic cults that are very divorced from any reality and that provide a defense against dealing with the world as it actually is.”71 An emphasis on language can serve this sort of defensive function; for the study of discourse enables one to stand aside from issues and avoid any commitment to a cause or ideal, simply presenting all sides of a debate and pointing out the discursive strategies involved. As the physical world appears to fade into mere discourse, so it comes to seem less real than the language used to describe it; and environmental issues lose the dimensions of urgency and tragedy and become instead the proving grounds for ideas and attitudes. Rather than walking in what Aldo Leopold described as a “world of wounds,” the discursive theorist can study this world dispassionately, safely insulated from the emotional and ecological havoc that is taking place elsewhere. Like ex-perimentalism, this is a schizoid stance that exemplifies rather than challenges the characteristic social pathology of our time; and it is one that supports Melanie Klein’s thesis that the internal object world can serve as a psychotic substitute for an external “real” world that is either absent or unsatisfying.72 Ian Craib’s description of social constructionism as a “social psychosis”71 therefore seems entirely apt. But what object rela- tions theorists such as Klein fail to point out is the other side of this dialectic: that withdrawing from the external world and substituting an internal world of words or fantasies, because of the actions that follow from this state of affairs, makes the former even less satisfying and more psychologically distant, so contributing to the vicious spiral that severs the “human” from the “natural” and abandons nature to industrialism. Although I do not have the space here to offer a thorough critique of constructionism,74 1 have attempted to show how this approach reproduces many assumptions that are crucially implicated in environmental destruction. We see the denial of natural realities and the corresponding allegiance to an implicitly separate human realm. We see a covert consistency with industrialism. And we see how social constructionist methodology enables the practitioner to remain detached from the emotional realities associated with degradation of natural form. We will have to look elsewhere for an understanding of the human psyche that does justice to the interplay between social and natural spheres.

  2. SB

    Card A – Best. It on-point responds to the reps first arg. Reps don’t shape action entirely and reps focus doesn’t change shit, but policy does. Takes out alt solvency and their other cheating attempts.

    Card B – Not that good. Just says real things are real and reps focus forgets people are hungry.

    Card C is just funny but any reps focus args will obviously be better than this. This evidence just says saying something doesn’t make it true, which is kind of non-reponsive to the normal reps stuff like it influences the ways policymakers conceptualize and respond to problems.

    Card D is just specific to language and reappropriation—seems kinda useless in Russia threat con or environmental doomsday reps debate

    Card E – Pretty good no alt solvency, but card A makes the arg better.

    Card F is just a generic no alt solvency card. Card E and A make the arg better more specific to reps.

    Kinder is a good environment specific version of card A.

    I would go with card A. It’s short and coherently answers all of their BS.

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