A DA argues that the same type of things the affirmative has already said are important (number of deaths, economy, environment) are made worse by the plan.
A DA does not have to address the same value-system as the Affirmative. Your standard for what is a "kritik" is theoretically incoherent.What is a "kritik framework"?
A kritik's framework has nothing to do with what ethical standard you value. Here's an example of the "framework" section in a kritik (from a random backfile):
- First, Fiat is illusionary. Debate is merely a constructed activity to simulate the real world. At the end of the day, whichever team you vote for, no real policy action is going to be taken.
- Second, Discourse shapes reality. The rhetoric we use is a representation of our views on reality. The words we say shape the way we see the world around us, and influence those around us.
- Third, Critical Education should be preferred. Challenging the way we approach reality has long-lasting real-life implications, and should be preferred over a constructed activity that has no real impact.
The framework IS THAT THE KRITIK IS PRE-FIAT. It establishes an alternative method of evaluating the round - i.e. the Affirmative's implicit assumptions and mindset. The "framework" has nothing to do with comparing ethical systems - that's a different part of the argument.Do ethical frameworks define kritiks?
No. Clash over ethical values works exactly the same
for both DAs and kritiks.
Let's look at a straightforward DA first: "The AFF's plan (if passed) would violate freedom of speech, which would have X, Y, and Z impacts." The Affirmative gets up and says, "yes, but we fix the economy, which is more important." All of a sudden, there's a clash of values - the entire argument is about whether freedom of speech or the economy is more important. Does the DA suddenly stop being a DA and start being a kritik? No - you just have to prove that your valuesystem is better to win the DA.
turn around and run a completely different pre-fiat kritik that endorsing the Affirmative's value system is bad, but that's a different argument.
Now let's look at a straightforward kritik: "The AFF implicitly assumes that capitalism is good, which is an attitude we shouldn't endorse in the real world." The Affirmative gets up and says, "oh, we totally agree, capitalism is bad, you're just misinterpreting our plan." All of a sudden, there's no clash of values - the entire argument is about whether the Affirmative links or not. Does the kritik suddenly stop being a kritik and start being a DA? No - you just have to prove that they link to win the kritik.
Again, you could
turn around and run a completely different post-fiat DA that the Affirmative's plan (if passed) would appear
to encourage capitalism, but that's a different argument.
My point is that, in both cases, the nature of the ethical clash does not define the argument. It's just ethical clash. You can have ethical clash with DAs; you can have ethical clash with kritiks. It's not a defining characteristic.Is a kritik pre-fiat?
In doing so it inherently rejects the power and worth of fiat. Instead the kritik argues that ideas which will never be implemented are not as important as "real" ideas and impacts. Roger Solt (p.ii) defines a kritik as "an argument operating outside the framework of normal, comparative policy debate, attacking a (usually implicit) assumption of an opponent's analysis.".
Jennifer Davidson (Ethos article on kritiks) wrote:
In case of the Kritik, fiat is acknowledged as illusory, while words and actions and stances taken by debaters were "real" and had "real impacts" in the "real system." Instead of talking about impacts of plan, the focus of the Kritik revolves around the impacts of accepting or re-entrenching certain values or assumption, stated or implied. The debate is now about the debaters and what they think instead of the not-real game world of plan debate.
Kritiks can be used to combat Fiat by the Negative team, but don't always have to focus on plan language. Some kritik literature is focused on assumptions made by the other team, such as assumptions that may be viewed as racist, imperial, capitalist, or drastically offensive in nature. These argue that the affirmative's plan no longer matters in function, or idea, as it is structurally wrong, e.g. the plan may or may not do what the affirmative says, but it is structured in a racist way, and must be rejected.
The Kritik is ‘a priori’, which means it is an argument that must be adjudicated first before we can evaluate other issues in the round. Another characterization of this is the term ‘pre-fiat’... The reason for this ‘pre-fiat’ status is because the kritik often is evaluating issues that the entire government plan is based on or relies on. The warrant for the claim “Improving the economy is good” is that capitalism is good. If the kritik is challenging the assumption that capitalism is good, we cannot weigh or discuss whether or not improving the economy would be good until we resolve the debate about capitalism. Another reason that kritiks are ‘pre-fiat’ is that it is the only ‘real’ thing that happens in a debate round.What's a "post-fiat" kritik, then?
Post-fiat kritiks do exist, or at least, they're occasionally described. However, if you examine them closely, they're not what you're describing. "Post-fiat kritiks" take essentially two forms:
- Kritiks whose link concerns the outcome of the Aff plan, rather than the way they present it. The impact is still pre-fiat, however ("they're endorsing a bad solution.")
- Systemic, broad-scale solvency arguments based on the entire approach of the Aff plan. This is what Dr. Srader is describing above; many people disagree as to whether we should call these "kritiks" at all, but they are sometimes referred to as such.
What you're describing is a straight-up disadvantage. It's just a disadvantage that requires you to defend your ethical system to win the impact. That doesn't make it a kritik.TL;DR Kritiks inherently concern "real-world" outcomes instead of "plan-world" outcomes. Mindset arguments set in the "plan-world" aren't kritiks, they're just disadvantages that require you to defend your ethical system to win the impact.