Kritikal Affirmatives
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Author:  MSD [ Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Kritikal Affirmatives

The HSD wiki article for kritikal case has a decent summary and some examples. The main TP example given is Will Malson's anti-global warming case, which was used in a vdebate here (link).

The defining characteristic is that kritikal Affs don't have a fiat-based plan. It's all about expressing your abstract support for a philosophical position - if the case actually has the government do anything, it's not a kritikal Aff, it's just a regular case with philosophical harms. "We should reject utilitarianism" is a kritikal Aff. "The government should reject utilitarianism by doing X, Y, and Z" is not.

One potential response: kritikal Affs effectively throw out the resolution. The resolution asks, "should the government reform election law?" A kritikal Aff doesn't actually answer that question, because it doesn't talk about what the government should do - it talks about what we should do. So it doesn't prove the resolution true. (This arguably works under a pure plancentrism framework, where the resolution merely establishes the topic of discussion, but it's fundamentally incompatible with the rescentrism and parametrics frameworks.) You can make similar arguments about terms like "reform" and "policy", where present.

EDIT: Added a brief discussion of objections to the wiki article. Arguably, this goes with the territory - kritiks always argue that mindsets can win without the resolution, so if you accept kritik theory, it makes sense to accept kritikal affs.

Author:  DrSraderNCU [ Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Kritikal Affirmatives

This is the first kritikal affirmative that ever won a national championship. The topic that year was "Resolved, that the United States Federal Government should substantially increase federal control throughout Indian Country in one or more of the following areas: child welfare, criminal justice, employment, environmental protection, gaming, resource management, taxation." Because kritikal affirmatives didn't have the legitimacy that they do today, Fort Hays read the 1AC more slowly than they otherwise would've, and explained what they were doing in more detail than usually happens today. It might shed some light on how they work, especially if you listen to the CXs of both 1AC and 1NC.

Author:  DrSraderNCU [ Mon Oct 21, 2013 12:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Kritikal Affirmatives

They don't. If the judges accept their argument, in that very act the judges have cracked open their own assumptions about knowledge, proof, and argumentation, or at least the prevailing assumptions. Fiat isn't necessary; accepting an argument based on non-traditional, non-conventional, non-Western standards of proof is necessary.

Fort Hays said that was the first step toward dismantling the system that had driven Native Americans off their land and onto reservations, in the same way recognizing that an African-American was a human and not an animal was the first necessary step toward abolishing slavery. Five of nine judges agreed, and they won CEDA nationals.

Author:  LocutusofBorg [ Sun Oct 27, 2013 7:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Kritikal Affirmatives

Fort Hays read the 1AC more slowly than they otherwise would've...

Oh goodness. ;)

Yeah, that's pretty slow ;)

I know I've posted this video before, but it bears resharing. This is the first major kritikal aff run in NFA, at least in recent memory:

The K is the neg this round, but she ran the same thing on the aff. Res was Resolved: The USFG should significantly increase assistance for organic and/or sustainable agriculture in the United States.

She doesn't do it quite right, but it's a good example of a project K. Aff wins this round on the "no concession" argument he sets up in CX. Myra got 2nd at nats last year (and beat the aff in this round in quarters at nats) with a kritikal/policy hybrid version of the aff. I think a video of that is somewhere in the same Vimeo channel.

I'll be the first to admit that I have a massive debate crush on Spencer, but this is one of the most perfect 1AR and 2ARs I've ever seen.

Also, listen to the judge's critique. I'm not necessary suggesting not wearing pants at nats (especially in NCFCA), but he's right about project and performative affs. I gave the same advise to people running performative rap affs last weekend.

Author:  kingwill [ Tue Jan 14, 2014 8:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Kritikal Affirmatives

What is the theoretical justification for kritikal affirmatives that reject the resolution entirely? If I understand them correctly, the affirmative essentially gets up and says "we shouldn't debate this." Why is that affirmative ground?

Presented another way, suppose the negative says "yeah, you're right, this resolution is bad and we shouldn't debate it." If both teams agree that the resolution is immoral/stupid/whatever, then there is no longer a metric for choosing a winner, so who should the judge vote for, and why?

Author:  MSD [ Tue Jan 14, 2014 9:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Kritikal Affirmatives

ShaynePC wrote:
I thought Negatives usually ran Kritiks. Frankly, if the aff ran one then unless they convinced me in-round that I should still vote for them, I automatically go neg because the resolution has not been affirmed.

Offhand I can't see any convincing argument for why the aff should get the vote in that situation.
Kritiks don't affirm or deny the resolution, they completely bypass the resolution. The Negative doesn't win the kritik because it negates the resolution; they win the kritik because they convince the judge that it's a valid reason to vote down the Affirmative, just on principle. This works the same way for the Affirmative as it does for the Negative.

Classic example: the language kritik. The Negative argues that the Affirmative is using "bad words" (profanity, sexist pronouns, phrases that implicitly promote some flawed worldview, etc.) and that, therefore, the judge should vote them down on principle to avoid promoting this language. If they win the kritik, it doesn't even matter if the resolution was affirmed or not.

(I would tend to agree with you, though, since kritikal affs seem to break the basic assumption that Team Policy debate will concern, you know, policy. It makes sense for the Affirmative to win on a kritik in addition to their plan; but I think you can argue that not presenting a plan at all violates the implicit nature of the format.)

Author:  LocutusofBorg [ Tue Jan 14, 2014 10:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Kritikal Affirmatives

Also, a lot of kritikal affirmatives claim to uphold the res, just not in the traditional way. They claim they are a metaphor for the resolution; advocating the K is a metaphor for advocating the res.

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