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POVERTY REPS KRITIK BAUDL 2009

```POVERTY REPRESENTATIONS KRITIK INDEX```
```Poverty Representations Kritik Index```..................................................................................................1
1nc shell...............................................................................................................................................................2
1nc shell...............................................................................................................................................................4
1nc Shell...............................................................................................................................................................5
Link - poor` poverty`.......................................................................................................................................7
Link - Blaming the poor....................................................................................................................................8
Link - Blaming the poor..................................................................................................................................10
Link - Targeting the poor................................................................................................................................11
LINK-~POOR¨.................................................................................................................................................12
Link - ~Welfare¨..............................................................................................................................................13
links: welfare ....................................................................................................................................................14
Link: Solving Poverty-Affluence..................................................................................................................15
Link: Poverty-~The Poor¨ ...........................................................................................................................16
impacts: root of violence..................................................................................................................................17
Impact: Dehumanization.................................................................................................................................19
Impact: Exclusion/Alienation..........................................................................................................................20
Alternative extensions......................................................................................................................................21
Framework - Reps shape policy......................................................................................................................22
Framework: representations 1st....................................................................................................................23
AT: Permutation (1/2)......................................................................................................................................24
```AFF```........................................................................................................................................................26
Aff Framework.................................................................................................................................................27
Our interpretation of debate is that we should focus on the political results of the implementation of
government plans, not the words that debaters choose to use. As a judge, it is your job to decide
pragmatically if the consequences of the hypothetical policy option the affirmative presents are better
or worse than the status quo or a negative counterplan. This interpretation of debate is superior: .....27
A.Fairness - There are an infinite number of words the negative team can question, and it is impossible
for us to predict which phrase they will criticize next. Limiting the focus of debate to the question of
whether or not the outcome of the plan is good or bad is critical to a fair division of ground, since word
critiques make the entirety of our advocacy irrelevant. Fairness is the key internal link to education
since it determines from the get go what we can be prepared to debate. ..................................................27
B.Political Utility- simulating policy outcomes teaches us the not only the ins and outs of government
decision making, but builds the skills of cost benefit analysis, which is the lynchpin of any form of
political decision making. ...............................................................................................................................27
C.Education - policy debate encourages the most indepth form of education and teaches us to be
informed citizens. ............................................................................................................................................27
Aff: Discourse not shape reality......................................................................................................................28
Aff: Discourse not key......................................................................................................................................29
Aff: Poverty Turn.............................................................................................................................................30
Aff: Suffering Turn..........................................................................................................................................31
AFF: Progressivism Turn................................................................................................................................32
Aff: Redepolyment ...........................................................................................................................................33
aff: permutation solvency................................................................................................................................34
AFF: Policymaking Good-Change...............................................................................................................35
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POVERTY REPS KRITIK BAUDL 2009
1NC SHELL
POVERTY IS MORE THAN 1UST A WORD: IT IS PART OF A LARGER SYSTEM OF REPRESENTATION. THE
AFFIRMATIVE`S LABELING OF THOSE WITHOUT MUCH MONEY AS ~POOR¨ CARRIES HEAVY
CONNOTATIONS - WE HAVE ALL SORTS OF CULTURAL BELIEFS ABOUT WHAT IT MEANS TO BE POOR.
IT MAKES IT SEEM THAT THOSE WHO GET WELFARE ARE HELPLESS VICTIMS TO BE MANAGED BY
GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS.
Ruth Lister, member of The Department of Social Sciences and professor of Social Policy at Loughborough
University, “Poverty” pg 113 04
This should not be taken to imply that less valueladen discourses of poverty are necessarily unproblematic! "erbert #! $ans dra%s a distinction bet%een stigmati&ing
'labels( and descriptive terms )1**+, 1 -.! /lthough the 'p( %ords of 'poor( and 'poverty( fall into the latter category, their historical and
contemporary connotations means that they are not neutral terms )0ovak, -111.! They form part of 'a vocabulary of invidious
distinction(, %hich constructs 'the poor( as different or deviant )2at&, 1*3*, +.! The 'p( %ords are used by 'us( about
'them( and rarely by people in poverty themselves )Polako%! 1**45 6ordcn! 1**7.! Typically, the latter are not asked ho%
they %ant to be described )Silver, 1**7.! The terms 'poverty( and 'poor(, therefore, are fre8uently e9perienced as
stigmati&ing labels by their 'unasked, un%illing targets( )cans, 1**+, -1.!
Research %ith people %ith e9perience of poverty in the U2 elicited negative responses to the 'p( %ords from a
number of them, 'horrid( or 'horrible( %ords5 'stigma(5 'socially %orse(5 'puts you do%n( %ere among their reactions
):ercsford ct al!, 1***, 7;<+.! The ad=ective 'poor( is also tainted by its double meaning of inferior, as in 'poor 8uality( or 'deficient(! >ts use as an ad=ective can be
e9perienced as insulting and demeaning )6oPPP, -111.! ?oreover, it carries a definitional implication for identity that is inappropriate given that poverty is a
circumstance that a person e9periences rather than a personal 8uality )@arah, -1115 see also chapter 7.!
THE DIVISION BETWEEN THE POOR AND OURSELVES IS THE FIRST STEP TOWARD 1USTIFICATION FOR THE
INEQUALITIES OF OUR CURRENT SOCIETY. DIVIDING THE POOR INTO THEIR OWN GROUP ALLOWS
US TO BLAME THEM FOR THEIR OWN POVERTY AND IGNORE OUR RESPONSIBILITY.
ROSS 1991 (THOMAS, PROFESSOR OF LAW, UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH; ~THE RHETORIC OF POVERTY:
THEIR IMMORALITY, OUR HELPLESSNESS.¨ GEORGETOWN LAW 1OURNAL, 79 GEO. L.1. 1499)
The first rhetorical step, the creation of the abstraction the "poor," is an easily overlooked yet powerful part
of the rhetoric of poverty. We are so used to speaking of the poor as a distinct class that we overlook the
rhetorical significance of speaking this way. By focusing on the single variable of economic wealth and then
drawing a line on the wealth continuum, we create a class of people who are them, not us. Creating this
abstraction is, in one sense, merely a way of speaking. We do this because to speak of the world in sensible
ways we must resort to categories and abstractions. There are meaningful differences between the
circumstances of people below the poverty line and the circumstances of middle class people, and to ignore
these real differences can lead to injustice.
n2
Thus, to speak of the "poor" is a sensible way to [*1500] talk. In
the rhetorical context, however, it is also much more. The creation of the category of the "poor", also makes
possible the assertion of their moral weakness. To assert their moral weakness, "they" must exist as a
conceptually distinct group. There is a long history of speaking of the poor as morally weak, or even
degenerate.
n3
Thus, when we hear legal rhetoric about the poor, we often hear an underlying message of
deviance: we are normal, they are deviant. Our feelings about their deviance range [*1501] from empathy to
violent hatred. Still, even in the most benevolent view, they are not normal. Their deviance is a product of a
single aspect of their lives, their relative wealth position. All other aspects of their lives are either distorted by
the label of deviance or ignored. By creating this class of people, we are able at once to distinguish us from
them and to appropriate normalcy to our lives and circumstances.
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POVERTY REPS KRITIK BAUDL 2009
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POVERTY REPS KRITIK BAUDL 2009
1NC SHELL
THE RESULT OF THIS RHETORIC IS THE DEHUMANIZATION OF THE POOR. NOT ONLY DOES THE
AFFIRMATIVE`S RHETORIC MAKE THE POOR SEEM INFERIOR, BUT IT ACTUALLY LEGITIMATES THEIR
EXCLUSION.
Ruth Lister, member of The Department of Social Sciences and professor of Social Policy at Loughborough
University, “Poverty” pgs 102-103 -11;!
Processes of classification and categori&ation effected by governmental and legal institutions, the media and social Scientists, although analytically distinct from
stereotyping, can dra% on stereotypes and thereby reinforce them! These processes can have implications for ho% 'the poor( are treated by fello% citi&ens as %ell as by
po%erful classificatory institutions )Adelman, 1*BB.! /s %e shall see, the bifurcation of 'the poor( into 'deserving( and 'undeserving(! each %ith their associated
stereotypes, has had a profound impact on their treatment by the %elfare state and its antecedents! The label of 'undeserving( poor has been
negatively charged by the process of stigmati&ation, %hich, historically and today, has had implications for ho%
society sees 'the poor(, ho% they see themselves and ho% they are treated by %elfare institutions! Arving
$offman(s classic te9t referred to stigma as 'an attribute that is deeply discrediting( and to the belief that 'the
person %ith stigma is not 8uite human( )1*73, > 4, 1+.! >n this %ay, stigma contributes to the dehumani&ation involved in
Cthering )Cliver, -111.!
Cthering and associated processes such as stigmati&ation have various effects on 'us( and 'them( and the
relations bet%een the t%o! @ith regard to 'us(, Cthering helps to define the self and to affirm identity )Sibley, 1**+.! >n contrast, it divests 'them( of
'their social and cultural identities by diminishing them to their stereotyped characteristics( and by casting them
as silent ob=ects )Pickering, -111, B45 Cliver, -111.! >n doing so, it denies them their comple9 humanity and sub=ectivity!
Cthering operates as 'a strategy of symbolic e9clusion(, %hich makes it easier for people to blame the Cther for
their o%n and society(s problems )Pickering, -111,
;3.! The Cthering of 'the poor( also acts as a %arning to others5 poverty thereby represents a 'spectre a socially constituted ob=ect of
%holesome horror( )Dean %ith ?clrosc, 1 ***, ;3.! /s regards the relationship bet%een 'us( and 'them(, Cthering legitimates 'our( privilege
< rooted in superiority < and 'their( e9ploitation and oppression < rooted in inferiority < together %ith the
socioeconomic ine8ualities that underlie poverty )Riggins, 1**B5 Doung, 1***.! This underlines the %ays in %hich po%er relationships are
inscribed in the process of Cthering! >t suggests that Cthering may be most marked %here ine8uality is sharpest!
;
POVERTY REPS KRITIK BAUDL 2009
1NC SHELL
THUS, THE ALTERNATIVE: RE1ECT THE AFFIRMATIVE`S REPRESENTATIONS OF POVERTY AS AN ACT OF
CRITICAL REVALUATION. BEFORE MAKING EFFECTIVE WELFARE POLICY IS EVEN POSSIBLE, WE
MUST DEBUNK THE MYTHS THAT SURROUND POVERTY.
SANFORD F. SCHRAM , ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL SCIENCES AT MACALESTER COLLEGE, 1995
¡WORDS OF WELFARE: THE POVERTY OF SOCIAL SCIENCE AND THE SOCIAL SCIENCE OF POVERTY,
PG. 34-37]
The politics of renaming highlights the relationships of discourse to struc ture and ideology to po%er!
3B
The limits of euphemisms suggest that these
renamings often reinforce a broader, institutionali&ed, and structural con te9t that is supported through the daily actions of aligned groupings
e9er cising po%er to effect outcomes consistent %ith their interests! Det the po%er plays reinforcing prevailing structures also operate to encourage
selected interpretations of a %ide variety of acts of signification ! These structures help create a Esocial logicE that constrains interpretation of
even the most imaginative of renamings! @hereas the structural conditions that constrain policy discourse are themselves discursively
constituted, they in turn produce material constraints that limit notions of %hat is feasible and practi cal under the e9isting arrangements !
Therefore, displacing the selfsufficiency of the Ebread%innerE %ill not on its o%n make EdependentsE more %orthy! Aven if EbreadE itself is
sho%n in good part, if not the %hole loaf, to be symbolic, that %ill not by itself lead people to eat some other symbol! $aining leverage for
political change involves appreciating not =ust ho% material structures can be denaturali&ed! Political change comes %ith also appre ciating
ho% material practices serve to constrain seriously the e9tent to %hich discursive moves F%ill have any tractability in public settings! Cnly
%hen the po%er plays supporting such structural conditions are resisted can alternative discursive moves gain political salience! E /ction to
improve the lives of poor people involves instituting changes in institutional prac tices so that people %ill be motivated to think more
inclusively or be %illing to entertain the idea that it is rational for them as %ellmeaning, if not selfinterested, individuals to promote
the %ellbeing of marginal groups ! The e9isting institutional infrastructure currently %orks against such thinking! The United States today is
organi&ed by po%er blocs of aligned groupings around a postindustrial culture that has materialistic conse8uences!E This culture does much to
engender privati&ation, that is, the idea that most issues are best handled privately, through market e9changes! / central feature of this
culture is the idea of e9clusive consumption, by each on his or her o%n! Aven self%orth comes to be designated by %hat one consumes! Post
industrial consumerism is also associated %ith the deterritoriali&ation of the political economy in an increasingly integrated global system
of e9change! 0ational loyalties, citi&enship, and the civic bond in general are obliterated in this global political economy! The statecentered
discourse of re ciprocal rights and obligations evaporates in the face of pressures for everyone to e9tract value on his or her o%n from an
economic system that moves beyond the boundaries of the nationstate! The Third @orld e9ists %ithin the Girst @orld, the homeless %ith the
symbolic analysts, and in this brave ne% %orld )dis.order, the latter need not assume responsibility for the former! Deterritoriali&ation of the
political economy reduces the institutionali&ed pressure to think about ho% the state can ensure the allocation of value to all members of the
polity! @elfare recipients and others disadvan tageously situated to participate in the global economy are increasingly left to fend for
themselves! / rising influ9 of poor immigrants only intensi fies the confusion bet%een the impoverished among the citi&enry and the
nonciti&ens among the impoverished!E >n a global political economy %here state affiliation matters less than it did before, the poor citi&enry and
illegal immigrants are both disenfranchised!E / politics dedicated to the transformation of %elfare ought to recogni&e that changing the
Ekey%ordsE of poverty discourse, although important, is in and of itself insufficient to make political change happen!E Renamings get
interpreted %ithin prevailing structural conte9ts, such as the suburban consumer corporate culture of the latemodern United States! /lthough
multiple interpretations remain possible, the po%erful can use categories in a variety of %ays to reinforce prevailing conte9ts and thereby
discourage many possible alternative interpretations!
*;
>f such moves are to be effec tive, discursive politics must be part of displacing the po%er
plays that re inforce prevailing structures! Discursive revision %ill be most effective %hen it is framed in the conte9t of the specific needs of ongoing
social movements dedicated to achieving institutional change! This means that specific renamings %ill best serve political action to the e9tent that
they can mobili&e people and build coalitions that %ork to%ard revising dominant structural conte9ts that impart meanings, allocate value, and
fi9 identities! /s discursive moves in service of coalitional politics, renamings must necessarily be open, porous, and transitory, allo%ing for dif
ferent interpretations from various constituencies and deployed %ith humility about their implications for change!E Renamings that are
connected to a coalitional politics dedicated to structural change also recogni&e that a politics of transformation may start %ith but involve more
than renamings! #ohn Giske %rites, The point is that politics is social, not te9tual, and if a te9t is made political, its politici&ation is effected at its point
of entry into the social! This does not mean that all te9ts are e8ually political )even potentially., or that all politici&ed meanings are e8ually available
in any one of them! Politics is al%ays a process of struggle bet%een opposing forces, al%ays a matter of forging alliances and of defining and
redefining the opposition! >f the political potential of a te9t is to be mobili&ed, the te9t must reproduce among the discourses that comprise it a
struggle e8uivalent to that e9perienced socially by its readers! /nd =ust as po%er is not distributed e8ually in society, so potential meanings are not
distributed e8ually in te9ts!!!! @e must recogni&e, too, that any progressive meanings that are made are never e9perienced freely, but al%ays in
conflicting relationships %ith the forces of the po%erbloc that oppose them!E >nterrogation of ascendant categories is an important initial step in any
politics seeking to displace ho% po%erful actors deploy prevailing structures and create possibilities for making social relations more inclusive,
e8uitable, and =ust! Det isolated acts of renaming disconnected from attempts to con test those prevailing structures %ill prove insufficient!
>nserting ne% names in old stories %ill not make a difference politically! Auphemisms that seek to affirm %hat they describe in terms of
those prevailing structures %ill prove even more 8uestionable!
+
POVERTY REPS KRITIK BAUDL 2009
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POVERTY REPS KRITIK BAUDL 2009
LINK - POOR` POVERTY`
WORDS LIKE ~POOR PEOPLE, DESERVING, UNDESERVING POOR, CULTURE OF POVERTY, AND UNDERCLASS¨
ARE USED TO STIGMATIZE. THE AFFIRMATIVE`S USE OF THESE WORDS IS FORM OF VIOLENCE
AGAINST THOSE WHO THEY AIM TO HELP
2/TH 1*3* (MICHAEL B. PROFESSOR OF HISTORY AND DIRECTOR OF URBAN STUDIES PROGRAM AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA, THE UNDESERVING POOR, P. 10)
The preoccupation %ith classifying poor people persists! 6ontemporary politicians, moralists, and editorial %riters still fre
8uently refer to the deserving and the undeserving poor! Social scientists %ho prefer more neutral language refer to the culture of
poverty or the underclass! /ll these terms serve to isolate one group of poor people from the rest, and to stigmati&e them! The
undeserving poor, the culture of poverty, and the underclass are moral statuses identified by source of dependence, the behavior %ith
%hich it is associated, its transmission to children, and its crystalli&ation into cultural patterns! Ampirical evidence almost al%ays
challenges the assumptions underlying classifications of poor people! Aven in the late nineteenth century, countervailing data, not to
mention decades of administrative frustration, sho%ed their inade8uacy! Since the 1*71s, poverty research has provided an arsenal of
ammunition for critics of conventional classifications! Still, as even a casual reading of the popular press, occasional attention to
political rhetoric, or informal conversations about poverty reveal, empirical evidence has remarkably little effect on %hat people think!
Part of the reason is that conventional classifications of poor people serve such useful purposes! They offer a familiar and easy target
for displacing rage, frustration, and fear! They demonstrate the link bet%een virtue and success that legitimates capitalist political
economy! /nd by dividing poor people, they prevent their coalescing into a po%erful, unified, and threaten ing political force !
Stigmati&ed conditions and punitive treatment are po%erful incentives to %ork, %hatever the %ages and conditions!
THE AFF`S REPRESENTATIONS OF ~THE POOR¨ CREATE A DIVIDE BETWEEN US AND THE POOR. THIS
DIVISION DRAWS A LINE BETWEEN US AND THEM, CREATING ~THE POOR¨ AS SOMETHING OTHER,
DIFFERENT, AND MORALLY WRONG.

Ruth Lister, member of The Department of Social Sciences and professor of Social Policy at Loughborough
University, “Poverty” pgs 101-102 04!
The notion of 'the poor( as Cther is used here to signify the many %ays in %hich 'the poor are treated as
different from the rest of society! The capital 'C( denotes its symbolic 'eight! The notion of 'Cthering( conveys ho% this is not
all inherent state but an ongoing process animated by the 'nonpoor(! >t is a dualistic process of differentiation
and demarcation, by %hich the line is dra%n bet%een 'us( and 'them( < bet%een the more and the less po%erful
< and through %hich social distance is established and maintained ):ercsford and 6roft, 1**+5 Riggins, 1**B.! >t is not a neutral line, for it is imbued %ith
negative value =udgements that construct 'the poor( variously as a source of moral contamination, a threat, an
'undeserving( economic burden, an ob=ect of pity or even as an e9otic species! >t is a process that takes place at
different levels and in different fora, from everyday social relations through interaction %ith %elfare officials and professionals to research, the media, the legal system
and policymaking )Schram, 1**+.! Ialerie Polakov, for e9ample, describes ho%, in the US, schools, teacher training institutions and research institutes are all
'implicated in the framing of poor children as other, and in institutionali&ing the legitimacy of their otherness status( )1**4, 1+1, emphasis in original.!
B
POVERTY REPS KRITIK BAUDL 2009
LINK – BLAMING THE POOR
DOMINANT IMAGE OF POVERTY HAS ALWAYS BEEN CAUGHT UP IN A BLAME GAME` IN WHICH ~THE POOR¨
ARE MADE TO FEEL RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR OWN CONDITIONS AND THE ACTUAL CAUSES OF
POVERTY GO UNADDRESSED. DESPITE THEIR BEST WISHES, THE AFFIRMATIVE TEAM PARTICIPATES
IN THE PROCESS, IGNORING THE NEED TO ASK DEEPER QUESTIONS ABOUT THE NATURE OF
POVERTY.
1ONES & NOVAK 99( PROFESSOR OF SOCIAL POLICY AND WORK AT LIVERPOOL UNIVERSITY &TONY,
LECTURER IN SOCIAL POLICY AT LIVERPOOL, POVERTY, WELFARE, AND THE DISCIPLINARY STATE,
P3-5)
"olding the poor responsible for their poverty has been a constant ever since the %ord and the poor
themselves first appeared in the ?iddle /ges! :ut it has been tempered, and at times overridden, by dif ferent and competing
e9planations such as in=ustice, oppression, e9ploitation, misfortune or the inade8uacy of social support that have
offered alternative understandings and solutions! @ith the emergence of the concept of the poor as an FunderclassF over
the past decade the victimblaming ideology of poverty has returned %ith a vengeance! >n this ne% description or construction of the poor
there is little if any recognition of the devastating structural changes that have reshaped :ritish society over the past t%enty years, the failure of the labour market and the reemergence of mass and longterm unemployment,
the %ithdra%al of %elfare services, the %idening gap bet%een rich and poor, or the effects of prolonged poverty on individuals, families and communities! Cn the contrary, according to 6harles ?urray, a member of the
/merican Anterprise >nstitute, the right%ing US think tank %hose book Losing Ground has been credited %ith providing the Fblueprint for the Reagan administrationFs %ar on %elfareF )?c6rate and Smith 1**3, 7;.,
members of the FunderclassF are Fdefined by their behaviourF )?urray 1**1, 1.! >n the late 1*31s ?urray %as sponsored by the Sunday Times to spend a year in :ritain in order to study Fthe emerging :ritish underclassF! /s he
himself put it F> arrived in :ritain earlier this year, a visitor from a plague area come to see %hether the disease is spreadingF )?urray 1**1, 4.! "is conclusions predictably %ere that at the core of the poverty problem in
:ritain %ere a group of people identified by their abnormal and amoral values and their %ilful re=ection of the norms of the society around them, F:ritain has a gro%ing population of %orkingaged, healthy people %ho live in
a different %orld from other :ritons, %ho are raising their children to live in it, and %hose values are no% contaminating the life of entire neighbourhoodsF )?urray 1**1, ;.! This image of a
Fdifferent %orldF is a recurring theme in such depic tions of the poor, at the same time both alien and threatening !
>n 1*34 the metropolitan police commissioner spoke of '%hat many commentators refer to as Jthe underclassK L a class that is beneath the
%orking class( that %as to be found '%here unemployed youths L often black youths L congregateMthey e8uate
closely %ith the criminal rookeries of Dickensian London( )cited by 6ampbell 1**4, 113.! The dra%ing of the historical parallel is significant! /s =ohn ?acnicol has
argued, the concept of an intergenerational underclass displaying a high concentration of social problems L remaining
out%ith the boundaries of citi&enship, alienated from cultureal norms and stubbornly impervious to the normal incentives of the market, social %ork intervention or
state %elfare L has been reconstructed periodically over at least the past one hundred years, and %hile there have been important shifts of emphasis
bet%een each of these reconstructions, there have also been striking continuities! Underclass stereotypes have al%ays been a part of the
discourse on poverty in advanced industrial societie s! )manicol 1*3B, -*7.! @hile something of an historical constant, such stereotypes have difffered significantly over
time, both in their dominance over the e9planations and, importantly, in the e9tent to %hich they have seen the poor as capable of escaping their fate! >n the 1*71s and 1*B1s poverty5 despite its persistence, %as %idely seen as
something that, %ith prop e intervention, could be eradicated! :y the 1**1s poverty has become seen, %hen it is mentioned at all, as largely
inevitable, as the conse 8uence of the actions or failures on the part of poor people themselves
i
and something
%hich not even economic gro%th can solve! >n general such pessimistic and negative constructions of the poor have tended to be most prevalent
and Po%erful, and the vie% of their innate defects most rigid, at times of high levels of poverty and unemployment! So it %as in the 1341s and the 1331s, as %ell as in
the 1*41s and no% in the fourth great cyclical depression to afilict modern capitalism! This rela tionship bet%een the labour market and
dominant conceptions of poverty has al%ays been significant in shaping state policies and prac tices ! >t is %hen
the system is most under threat N %hen its claim to e8uality and fairness is most visibly denied by the distress
and unfair ness it manifestly creates that poor people have been sub=ect to the most criticism and attack ! >n this
process both the reality and the cons e8uences of poverty are denied, and the lives of the Poor both disparaged and
distorted! Thus according to David "unt, Amployment Secretary in the 6onservative government in 1**;, is often said that poverty and unemployment create crime! >n my e9perience the converse is true !!! Some of
the socalled cultures springing up in our country re=ect all decency and civilised values the cultures of the housebreaker, the hippy and the hoodlum! The bulk of thieving today of course has nothing to do %ith poverty! >t is
the result of %ickedness and greed! (Guardian -1 ?arch 1**;. /t the end of the t%entieth century %hen, particularly in :ritain and the US/, the market economy has once
again come to be celebrated as the most efficient, indeed the only possible, basis for economic and social life, it is
no accident that there has been a return to harsh and brutalising depictions of those %ho are its greatest victims!
@ith the collapse of communism, capitalism is triumphant, its ravages inflicted on a global scale! "olding the poor responsible for their o%n fate under mines the anger that poverty and ine8uality provoke %hile removing
blame from the system that is responsible! >nstead, the poor are seen as an e9pensive FburdenF on society, for %hom the Faverage ta9payerF supposedly has little sympathy, especially %hen depicted as %elfare FscroungersF,
homeless, criminals and drug addicts! /s David :lunkett, later to become Secretary of State for Aducation in 0e% LabourFs government, put it, Fthose committed to a ne% t%entyfirst century %elfare state have to cease
paternalistic and %ellmeaning indulgence of thuggery, noise, nuisance and antisocial behaviourF (Independent 28 Gebruary 1**4.! #ust as the provision of %elfare services is
seen as encouraging their dependency, so its removal is =ustified as both reduc ing the cost and halting the
supply of their numbers! The result is increasing distress and further poverty! :ut although, from the point of vie% of
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POVERTY REPS KRITIK BAUDL 2009
contemporary capitalism, the socalled FunderclassF are deemed to be surplus to current and future economic pro=ections,
in reality, as %e shall see, their demonisation fulfils an essential economic and social purpose!
*
POVERTY REPS KRITIK BAUDL 2009
LINK - BLAMING THE POOR
THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE POOR AS OTHER` THAN US STRIPS THEM OF THEIR HUMANITY AND PLACES A
STIGMA UPON THOSE IN POVERTY. THE ROOT CAUSE OF POVERTY IS THE DIVISION BETWEEN US`
AND THE POOR.
Ruth Lister, member of The Department of Social Sciences and professor of Social Policy at Loughborough
University, “Poverty” pgs 102-103 -11;!
Processes of classification and categori&ation effected by governmental and legal institutions, the media and social Scientists, although analytically distinct from
stereotyping, can dra% on stereotypes and thereby reinforce them! These processes can have implications for ho% 'the poor( are treated by fello% citi&ens as %ell as by
po%erful classificatory institutions )Adelman, 1*BB.! /s %e shall see, the bifurcation of 'the poor( into 'deserving( and 'undeserving(! each %ith their associated
stereotypes, has had a profound impact on their treatment by the %elfare state and its antecedents! The label of 'undeserving( poor has been
negatively charged by the process of stigmati&ation, %hich, historically and today, has had implications for ho%
society sees 'the poor(, ho% they see themselves and ho% they are treated by %elfare institutions! Arving
$offman(s classic te9t referred to stigma as 'an attribute that is deeply discrediting( and to the belief that 'the
person %ith stigma is not 8uite human( )1*73, > 4, 1+.! >n this %ay, stigma contributes to the dehumani&ation involved in
Cthering )Cliver, -111.!
Cthering and associated processes such as stigmati&ation have various effects on 'us( and 'them( and the
relations bet%een the t%o! @ith regard to 'us(, Cthering helps to define the self and to affirm identity )Sibley, 1**+.! >n contrast, it divests 'them( of
'their social and cultural identities by diminishing them to their stereotyped characteristics( and by casting them
as silent ob=ects )Pickering, -111, B45 Cliver, -111.! >n doing so, it denies them their comple9 humanity and sub=ectivity!
Cthering operates as 'a strategy of symbolic e9clusion(, %hich makes it easier for people to blame the Cther for
their o%n and society(s problems )Pickering, -111,
;3.! The Cthering of 'the poor( also acts as a %arning to others5 poverty thereby represents a 'spectre a socially constituted ob=ect of
%holesome horror( )Dean %ith ?clrosc, 1 ***, ;3.! /s regards the relationship bet%een 'us( and 'them(, Cthering legitimates 'our( privilege
< rooted in superiority < and 'their( e9ploitation and oppression < rooted in inferiority < together %ith the
socioeconomic ine8ualities that underlie poverty )Riggins, 1**B5 Doung, 1***.! This underlines the %ays in %hich po%er relationships are
inscribed in the process of Cthering! >t suggests that Cthering may be most marked %here ine8uality is sharpest!
11
POVERTY REPS KRITIK BAUDL 2009
LINK - TARGETING THE POOR
THE UNIQUE TARGETING OF THE POOR AS A GROUP TO BE HELPED THROUGH SOCIAL SERVICES IS A
VIOLENT ACT THAT SPLITS US` OFF FROM THEM.` THIS IS HOW WE BLAME THE POOR FOR THEIR
OWN CONDITION.
1acobs 01 ¡Michelle S. 1acobs , Winter, 2001, 44 How. L.1. 257, Full Legal Representation for the Poor:
The Clash Between Lawyer Values and Client Worthiness, lexis]
/ttitudes to%ard the poor and of poverty have been dominated for centuries by three main issues, )1. the categori&ation of the poor,
)-. the impact of poor relief on %ork motivation, labor supply and family life, and )4. the limits of social obligation! n-1 Aarly in the
nineteenth century, public officials attempted to distinguish the ablebodied OP-74Q poor from the impotent poor! n-- / fe% decades
later, the categories had transmuted into distinctions between the worthy and the unworthy, or the deserving and the
undeserving poor. n-4 @hen considering the labels used to describe the poor, the hostility to them is apparent and their assumed
deviance is built into the %ords themselves! n-; ?ost labels for the poor have been specific, although the people to %hich they are
given are sometimes thought so dangerous or fla%ed that people labeled %ith one %ord are accused of having other faults, until finally
the label is broadened into an umbrella encompassing more than one fault! n-+
It is questionable whether more than a small segment of society has ever been benevolent toward the poor, particularly when
the poor in question are viewed as being "undeserving" or "unworthy.E Cn the other hand the %orthy poor are treated %ith
compassion and respect! n-7 ?ichael 2at& believed the difference in treatment bet%een the %orthy and the un%orthy poor, in its full
spectrum could be seen in the publicFs reaction to homelessness! "e claimed, initially %hen the plight of the homeless became %idely
kno%n, it evoked a generous response from the public! Aarly e9amination of the homeless problem OP-7;Q reflected an appeal to the
Egift relationship!E n-B Discourse on the homeless stressed Etheir almost saintlike spirit,E and Edocility and gratitude,E rather than
anger and suspicion! n-3 The approach frustrated policy development as it frustrated long term solutions, looking to%ards
volunteerism to ameliorate homelessness rather than focusing on policy development against poverty on a broader scale! 0either %ere
poor people encouraged to take aggressive action on their o%n behalf! n-* Sociologists predicted that if homeless people began to be
vie%ed as becoming more aggressive, rather than docile and appreciative, they %ould sink into the ranks of the undeserving and the
public %ould be less tolerant of them! n41 This indeed happened as media began to portray homeless as violent people who
threatened public safety. Media portrayals of drug-addicted men were meant to create the image of the homeless as
threatening. n41 6urrently, the homeless are no longer seen as deserving poor!
The concept that there %as a group of poor that %ere EundeservingE became entrenched in Aurope and /merica in the 1311s! The
distinction bet%een the %orking poor )respectable. and the pauper re8uesting public assistance )morally discredited. spread %ith
industriali&ation and urbani&ation! n4- 6haracteristics of racial, genetic, and psychological inferiority %ere used to describe the poor
%ho conservatives believed could %ork but did not! n44 Poverty took on meanings that e9ceeded a description of economic conditions
of a segment of OP-7+Q society and became a description of the moral characteristics of individuals! n4;
Gor reasons of convenience, po%er, or moral =udgment, society selects from among a myriad of traits and then sorts people, ob=ects
and situations into categories, %hich %e then treat as real! n4+ /dherence to the mythology that the poor are undeserving continues as
a strong source of political rhetoric! The question that must be asked is why the public and politicians insist on holding on to
representations of the poor as morally deviant, despite evidence to the contrary ! >t has been suggested that the betteroff classes
perceive the poor to be threatening to their legitimacy! n47 The poor are perceived to threaten their safety, political influence,
economic security, and moral values! n4B This article concerns the last of these four, the perceived threat to moral values! This is the
stumbling block for many young la%yers!
?oral value threats are perceived dangers to %hat is believed to be culturally and morally proper! n43 Those %ho assiduously practice
mainstream values, sometimes on religious grounds, may feel personally attacked by behavior that threatens their moral values!
Threats to values can actually be seen as threats to safety! n4* :ut %hat does the general population kno% about the values of the
poorR Relevant social science data has been collected regarding the values of the poor, but our American mythology ignores the
data because it establishes that the poor have values similar to our own. The mythology depends on the assumption that most
behavior is caused by the holding and OP-77Q practicing of values, %ith good behavior resulting from good values and bad behavior
from bad values! n;1 The poor, then, are poor because they have bad values ! Aconomic, political, social, and other structural
comple9ities are not factored into %hether the poor have the ability to carry out mainstream values! n;1 There is no 8uestion that the
poor and the more affluent engage in many of the same behaviors that threaten moral value! The difference for the poor is that they
cannot mask their inability or un%illingness to practice mainstream behavior, %hereas the middle and upper classes can cloak such
behavior! n;- The inability of the poor to shield themselves from the ga&e of =udgmental middle and upper classes leaves them
vulnerable to devaluation by others!
11
POVERTY REPS KRITIK BAUDL 2009
L>02JPCCRK
T"A /GG MAKES POVERTY SEEM LIKE ISOLATED PHENOMENON, MERELY A MATTER OF SOME PEOPLE NOT HAVING
ENOUGH. THIS MASKS THE SOCIAL NATURE OF POVERTY -- IT IS BECAUSE OF THE INNACCESSIBILITY OF
AMERICAN CULTURE AND OUR PARTICIPATION IN A PRIVILEGED SOCIETY.
DAIAD *3 )DC0/LD, RA6A>IAD ">S DC6TCR/TA >0 SC6>CLC$D GRC? :CSTC0 U0>IARS>TD! "A >S /SS>ST/0T PRCGASSCR CG
SC6>CLC$D /T 0CRT" 6/RCL>0A ST/TA U0>IARS>TD! PCIARTD /0D SC6>/L @ALG/RA >0 T"A U0>TAD ST/TAS! P/$AS -
4.
@hen %e speak about the FpoorF %ho are %e speaking of? What images are called to mind, what life experiences are
implicated, and what social costs does the existence of a poor population imply for general imagery of a population
that has few material possessions, low income, often derived from an inability or reluctance to get a iob, and homes
in substandard even dangerous places. First, understanding the poor is necessary to build the foundations of
assistance. Poverty is understood as both a cause and result or a host of social ills such as teenage pregnancy,
crime, drug abuse and other types of socially undesirable behavior. These general social images suggest that
poverty is often conceptualized as both material deprivation and a lack of social integration. Material deprivation
is, of course, the dominant consequence of poverty for the individuals and families who are poor. The social
problems that transcend the poor population and involve the whole society are a consequence of the violence to the
self and family that material deprivation visits upon those who are poor, particularly those who are persistently
poor. From this perspective poverty is best understood as a social relationship between the poor and the
standards of living and behavior commonly expected in the larger society. The poor are stigmatized, socially
isolated and their sense of self-efficacy threatened (if not destroyed) by being unable to participate fully in a society
characterized by and which values highly affluence. I do not mean the affluence of the very rich but the simple
affluence of normal social participation. Having the money to spend on clothes for school, church and social
visiting is denied the poor. Travel to work, to the homes of friend and relatives, or to outings at the beach or lake
on a hot summer day are denied to those without the money to afford a car or mass transportation. It is no wonder
that we see large concentrations of the materially poor in cities with good mass transportation systems. Here at
least mass transportation reduces the cost of social participation and so acts to ameliorate the social experience of
material deprivation. If we want to understand poverty then it should be as a social condition, characterized by
isolation from participation in the culture. The poor are isolated primarily because their low level of material
resources, makes normal social activity difficult at best. In the United States money is the key to social
participation, people with little access to money spend everything they have on survival with little to spare for
visiting friends, relatives and churches, much less in long term investments in education, travel to distant work
places or the acquisition of stable job histories.
Social isolation does not imply, ho%ever, physical isolation from other people! The poor often %ork in paid =obs and form
communities of their o%n! It is not total isolation from others that creates this social notion of poverty but rather the
limited character of social participation
1-
POVERTY REPS KRITIK BAUDL 2009
LINK - ~WELFARE¨
THE AFFIRMATIVE`S DESCRIPTION OF SOCIAL SERVICES AS ~WELFARE¨ CONNOTES PERVERSE BEHAVIOR
ON THE PART OF RECIPIENTS. THIS CAUSES RESENTMENT ON BEHALF OF SOCIETY AND 1USTIFIES
UNEQUAL TREATMENT.
CAMMISA 98 (ANNE MARIE, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF GOVERNMENT AT SUFFOLK UNIVERSITY IN BOSTON,
FROM RHETORIC TO REFORM. INTRODUCTION: WHY IS WELFARE A DILEMMA? PAGE 7)
The %ord E%elfareE is a po%erful symbol! >t evokes images of people taking from the government %ithout contouring to society! >t
con=ures up feelings of resentment among %orking poor struggling to make ends meet %ithout taking %elfare and among middleclass
/mericans %ho feel that they bear the ta9 burden for those receiving benefits! >t comes %ith a stigma attached: that peo ple who accept
government poverty assistance are at best, misguided and at worst, lazy, conniving, and cheating. This stigma is real and intentional. In our society, which is
based on a capitalistic system, we want to encourage values of hard work and individualism. Nonetheless, welfare has been unfairly maligned ever since its
inception. The resentment among the general public is real, but some of the perceptions about welfare are not. This section addresses seven myths about
welfare, myths that have some basis in reality but that also contribute to the acrimony surrounding the debate about welfare. Most of the myths arose because
of problems in the AFDC program. This section will examine those myths in the context of AFDC; later chapters examine in depth how TANF changes the
AFDC program.
THE TERM WELFARE PROMOTES NEGATIVE STEREOTYPES ABOUT THE RECIPIENTS OF SOCIAL SERVICES,
1USTIFYING POLICY MEASURES THAT ONLY DEFLECT ATTENTION AWAY FROM THE TRUE CAUSES OF
POVERTY.
AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION, 2009, (MAKING 'WELFARE TO WORK' REALLY WORK,
HTTP://WWW.APA.ORG/PI/WPO/MYTHS.HTML)
Aven the term E%elfareE has been pe=orative, and distortions of facts about %elfare perpetuate myths about
public assistance and those %ho receive it! These negative myths and stereotypes reinforced the governmentFs
agenda in cutting %elfare spending to those recipients vie%ed as undeserving! Reform %ill continue to be
ineffective if those implementing it do not separate myth from fact!
Strategies for alleviating poverty and decisions about government spending continue to be closely linked to the
perceived causes of poverty, as %ell as the e9tent to %hich these causes are perceived to be modifiable
)Gurnham, 1*3-.! Poverty is seen as an individual problem or a social issue )such as education or crime. rather
than an economic issue )such as unemployment and the economy.)$allup, 1**-.! 6onse8uently, solutions are
geared to%ard fi9ing or punishing those individuals %ith the Eproblem!E Little attention is focused on societal
factors that may perpetuate under and unemployment, such as inade8uate education, transportation, child care,
and mental health problems!
14
POVERTY REPS KRITIK BAUDL 2009
LINKS: WELFARE
WELFARE DISCOURSE REINFORCES THE IDEA THAT POVERTY IS TREATABLE UNDER THE CURRENT SOCIAL
STRUCTURE. THIS LEGITIMIZES CURRENT APPROACHES AS THE ONLY ~REAL¨ WAY TO APPROACH A
PROBLEMS AND RENDERS THE POOR TO A SET OF NUMBERS TO LIMIT THEIR BENEFITS.
SANFORD F. SCHRAM , ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF POLI SCI AT MACALESTER COLLEGE, 1995 ¡WORDS OF
WELFARE: THE POVERTY OF SOCIAL SCIENCE AND THE SOCIAL SCIENCE OF POVERTY, PG. 124-
126]
The distinction bet%een symbolic and substantive dimensions of policy is itself some%hat artificial5 ho%ever, its usefulness
has been demonstrated in policy analysis for some time! ?urray AdelmanFs %ork on symbolic pol itics effectively underscores
the need to consider the symbolic roles most policies play!
4
AdelmanFs %ritings on %elfare reinforce the idea that %elfare is a
contested terrain that, to a large degree, serves symbolic purposes at the e9pense of substantive benefits! The provision of %elfare is
constituted in a language, a set of professionally and scientifically sanctified ob=ectives, and a constellation of bureaucratic
re8uirements all designed to reinforce the idea that poverty and %elfare dependency are chronic but treatable prob lems %ithin
the confines of e9isting policies!
;
The symbolic significance of %elfare lies in no small part in its role as a reminder that, although poverty and
dependency are problems, the state has them under control and can manage them! @elfare is part of the state, and state leaders have an
obvious interest in being able to talk about the nature of %elfare problems in %ays that are politically advantageous! State leaders
are interested in both the activation and the 8uiescence of relevant elite and mass publics, as they %ant their support for both
change and continuity in the programs State leaders, ho%ever, are also interested in reassuring the public that they have the
information, resources, and plans of action necessary to handle the problem! The symbolic role of %elfare policy , as %ith
other policies, is to specify the origin and responsibility of the policy problem so that specific individuals, institutions,
professional practices, and ideological perspectives are reinforced and authori&ed as ap propriate for acting on the problem!F @elfare
therefore serves symbolic pur poses by recreating the conditions of political legitimacy for a political order incapable of ensuring or
un%illing to ensure all of its members the oppor tunity to live life at some agreedupon level of subsistence on par %ith that of,
say, persons in other nations!F Deborah Stone emphasi&es ho% public policies al%ays unavoidably use narrative, rhetoric, metaphor, and other discursive
practices to suggest implied understandings of the problems they purport to attack!F 6onceptions of public problems are not given, nor do they predate policy
solutions! Public policy debate rarely, if ever, goes for%ard %ith everyone agreeing as to the e9istence and definition of a particular
problem! >nstead, policy so lutions are more likely to be the basis for discussion, %ith problems being defined in particular %ays
so as to =ustify treating them according to one or another policy approach! Rather than problem definition, it is more a process
of problem selection, or even of Estrategic representationE of pol icy problems!F >n this sense, policies create problems, each
policy creates its o%n understanding of the problem in a %ay that =ustifies a particular approach to attacking the problem ! The
discursive practices embedded in any particular policy %ork to prefigure our understandings of policy prob lems! The use of
symbols, metaphors, and other figurative practices pro motes the narrative implied by the policy! Symbols, metaphors, and so on
narrate a particular understanding of a problem and reinforce the idea that it is an accurate depiction! They Enaturali&eE that
depiction by making it seem to be the only ErealE %ay to understand the problem, and not =ust one of many %ays to understand
it!E / symbol, for instance, according to Stone, is anything that stands for something else! The symbolic practices implicit in any policy approach
sug gest that the problem under consideration should be understood as i it %ere !i"e something else5 once the parallel is established,
the problem can be treated that %ay, even if the analogy is tenuous at best! /ttempts to make our understandings of public
problems concrete in the form of 8uantified measurements are a form of discursive practice! Stone considers numbers the most
preferred form of metaphor %hen it comes to public policy mak ing, because numbers are often thought to be the antithesis of
symbols, in that they suggest a precise and accurate depiction of %hat is being e9am ined! :ut numbers are metaphoric, for all attempts to
8uantify imply a Edecision ruleE as to %hat %ill count as something! Such a criterion determines %hen ostensibly different things )e!g!, different =obs.
%ill be treated and therefore counted as the same thing, and %hen ostensibly similar things )e!g!, %orking inside or outside the home. %ill
be counted as different! 0umbers do not simply count up a pree9isting reality! >nstead, they metaphori cally and symbolically imply %hat does
or does not count as if it %ere like something else!E The discursive dimension of %elfare policy reinforces particular under standings
of the problems of poverty and dependency! This includes the numbers on %hich policy makers and analysts often rely to assess the
e9tent of these problems and measure the effectiveness of policies designed to at tack them! / pertinent e9ample is =ob training programs! :y
focusing largely on employment rates and earnings of program participants, %ithout consideration of labor market conditions, the numbers produced in some eval
uations of these programs reinforce the implied understanding that poverty is an individual problem best solved %hen the %elfaredependent person is counted as
failing to take %hat employment the =ob market has to offer or %hatever man the marriage market has made available! Cne ma=or conse 8uence of such a
perspective is that the symbolic significance of these num bers operates to limit the benefits provided to poor people!
1;
POVERTY REPS KRITIK BAUDL 2009
LINK: SOLVING POVERTY-AFFLUENCE
THE AFFIRMATIVE`S DESCRIPTION OF POVERTY ASSUMES THAT POOR PEOPLE CANNOT LIVE A GOOD LIFE
LIKE THE REST OF US. THIS REINFORCES NEGATIVE STEREOTYPES THAT BEING IN POVERTY AND
BEING IMPOVERISHED ARE THE SAME THING.
HOOKS , 6>TD 6CLLA$A CG 0A@ DCR2 PRCGASSCR, T"A0 D>ST>0$U>S"AD PRCGASSCR CG A0$L>S", 1**+L-11;5
:ARA/ 6CLLA$A, :ARA/, 2D, D>ST>0$U>S"AD PRCGASSCR>0RAS>DA06A, :A$>00>0$ -11;! 6C
GCU0DAR, "/?:C0A L>TAR/RD ?/$/H>0A! 2000 O:ALL, @"ARA @A ST/0D, 6L/SS ?/TTARS, P! 1-B
1-*Q
Cur nation is not striving to eliminate the conditions that create poverty! /nd %hile %e need strategies of
resistance that put in place structures that %ill enable everyone to have access to basic necessities, in the
meantime %e must %ork to resist the dehumani&ation of the poor! "ope must come not through unrealistic
fantasies of affluence but rather through learning %ays to cope %ith economic hardship thatE do not dehumani&e
the poor and make it impossible for them to change their lot %hen opportunities arise! There are poor people
d%elling in the affluent communities %here > live! They are usually %hite! ?ostly they try to hide their poverty<to blend in! ?any of
them are elderly and remain in the community because their housing is affordable through rent stabili&ation!
Some of them are young people, single parents, %ho have been lucky enough to find affordable small living
spaces in affluent neighborhoods %here they feel their children %ill have a better chance! These folks live happy
successful lives even though they are poor, =ust as some individuals in poor communities %ho lack material
resources live happy lives! :ut it is harder to be poor %hen affluence is the norm all around you!
Their %ay of life is the concrete e9perience that gives the lie to allFE the negative stereotypes and assumptions
about poverty that suggest that one can never be poor and have a happy life! They offer a vision of a good life
despite poverty akin to the one > sa% in my childhood! They survive by living simply<by relying at times on
the support and care of more privileged friends and comrades! They may %ork long hours but still not have
enough money to make ends meet! Det they do not despair! @ere they seduced by mainstream advertising to
desire and consume material ob=ects that are %ay beyond their means, they %ould soon destroy the peace of
their livesR @ere they to daily bombard their psyches %ith fantasies of a good life full of material affluence,
they %ould lose touch %ith reality<%ith the good to be found in the lives that they most intimately kno%! /nd this psychic estrangement %ould make
them unable to cope effectively %ith the realities of %hat any poor person must do to enhance their economic %ellbeing!
Poor people %ho see meaning and value only in affluence and %ealth can have no selfrespect! They cannot treasure the good that may e9ist in the %orld 'around them!
They live in fantasy and as a conse8uence are more vulnerable to acting out )overspending, stealing, buying something frivolous %hen they lack food.! /ll these
actions take a%ay their po%er and leave them feeling helpless!
$iven the reality that the %orldFs resources are s%iftly d%indling because of the %astefulness of affluent
cultures, the poor every%here %ho are content %ith living simply are best situated to offer a vision of hope to
everyone, for the day %ill come %hen %e %ill all have to live %ith less! >f people of privilege %ant to help the poor, they can do so
by living simply and sharing their resources! @e can demand of our government that it eliminate illegal drug industries in poor neighborhoods! >magine ho% many poor
communities %ould be transformed if individuals from these communities, %ith help from outsiders, %ere given fulltime =obs in the neighborhoods they lived in,
employment created in the interest of making safe, drugfree environments! That could be a ne% industry!
Cbviously, the culture of consumerism must be criti8ued and challenged if %e are to restore to the poor of this nation their right to live peaceful lives despite economic
hardship! The poor and the affluent alike must be %illing to surrender their attachment to material possessions, to
undergo a conversion e9perience that %ould allo% them to center their lives on nonmarket values! /ffluent folk
%ho %ant to share resources should be able to support a poor family for a year and %rite that off their ta9es! 0ot
only %ould this help to create a better %orld for us all )since none of our lifestyles are safe %hen predatory
violence becomes a norm., it %ould mean that %e embrace ane% the concept of interdependency and
accountability for the collectiveness of all citi&ens that is the foundation of any truly democratic and =ust
society!
1+
POVERTY REPS KRITIK BAUDL 2009
LINK: POVERTY-~THE POOR¨
THE AFFIRMATIVE REDUCES THE EXPERIENCES OF PEOPLE IN POVERTY TO A HOMOGENOUS CATEGORY -
THIS DISTANCE TREATS PEOPLE AS OB1ECTS TO BE STUDIED AND CONTROLLED .
RIMSTEAD , :!/! /T DCR2 U0>IARS>TD, ?!/! /T U! DA ?C0TRS/L, P"!D! /T U! DA ?C0TRS/L, 2001 ,
ORCT/00A, RA?0/0TS CG 0/T>C0 C0 PCIARTD 0/RR/T>IAS :D @C?A0, P$! 17Q
UUU/s a label itself, Fthe poorF can function as a fiction of separateness and homogeni&ation because, besides
signifying ob=ective difference from F the non poor,F it simultaneously invokes a long genealogy of discourses
on sub=ective difference and distance! >n reality, ho%ever, people often pass in and out of poverty in %ealthy
nations so that lumping Fthe poor F together in this fi9ed category is deceptively monolithic! 6ontemporary socio logical
studies often begin by insisting on heterogeneity and shifting membership among the poor and the homeless! /s the authors of a recent government study on %omen
and labour market poverty in 6anada have emphasi&ed, membership among the poor and the non poor shifts constantly, and the people moving through each category
are fundamentally the same at the outset despite profound differences in material circumstances and social status %hich poverty brings, the poor are not substantially
different from the nonpoor! ?any of the poor have fulltime employment and levels of educational attainment similar to the nonpoor! The poor are a diverse group
made up of the elderly, children, single mothers, husband%ife families, disabled people, and young men and %omen %ho find themselves poor from time to time as a
result of a variety of circumstances separation, divorce, unemployment, a disabling accident, or sickness! )$underson et al!, ;1. Similarly, in F"omelessness,F /le9
?urray emphasi&ed that the category of Fthe homelessF in 6anada consists of people %ho move in and out of the state of homelessness and that their profile shifts
according to region, period, and individual circumstances! /ccording to ?urray, recent research contests the romantici&ed notionF of the homeless as hoboes %ho
choose Skid Ro% over %ork and indicate s, instead, that %omen, children, and families are increasingly present in the numbers of the homeless, though less visible on
the street! Gurthermore, the ma=ority of homeless sing le men are not romantic %anderers given to idleness but have been found F to regard %ork favourably !!! usually
they moved to find %ork and %ould move else%here if %ork %ere availableF )4B.! ?urray also notes that many are trapped in poverty because the only %ork they have
access to is the e9ploitative day labour system into %hich government employment and %elfare agencies in 6anada regularly stream them )4B.! 6onse8uently, ?urray
calls for t%o radical correctives to the distorting popular images that separate and homogeni&e the homeless, first, the recognition of their connectedness to mainstream
society and to each other )through alternative notions of community., and second, the recognition of the diversity of people %ho lose their homes du e to variations in
regional, historical, and individual circumstances! So po%erful are the hegemonic images of the poor in 0orth /merica as
inherently different and inferior that contemporary sociological studies must continually break do%n these
monolithic, negative images that coloni&e the popular imaginary in order to pave the %ay for more factual
studies or more sophisticated social theories! $iven the po%er of social myth s to shape perceptions of the poor eve n against scientific
kno%ledge, it is all the more surprising that the humanities have not paid more attention to ho% these takenfor granted images are deployed as cultural values in
literature! :ehind the homogeni&ation of the poor and the homeless into a race apart lies the buried story of their true connectedness to dominant groups! Cne
learns from reading many stories of the poor and theories of poverty that most of us are at risk of poverty
because it is more situational and systemic to social relations in market society than inherent to a separate FraceF
of people! Social myth s that the poor are idle and inherently predisposed to poverty reassure the middle classes that only those %ho deserve to or let themselves
%ill fall from economic security! Suppressed narratives of middle and upperclass social guilt and social fear about poverty comprise the reverse side of the 6anadian V
/merican Dream of Fmaking itF and are thus defining forces in the national imaginary of a %ealthy nation!WWW
17
POVERTY REPS KRITIK BAUDL 2009
IMPACTS: ROOT OF VIOLENCE
RHETORIC OF POVERTY LEGITIMIZES CYCLES OF INEQUALITY AND REPRODUCES THE
POVERTY IT SEEKS TO ERADICATE.
#C0AS X 0CI/2 1***(CHRIS, PROFESSOR OF SOCIAL POLICY AND WORK AT LIVERPOOL UNIVERSITY
&TONY, LECTURER IN SOCIAL POLICY AT LIVERPOOL, POVERTY, WELFARE, AND THE
DISCIPLINARY STATE, P.100)
There is a dreadful historical continuity to the abuse of the poorest and their presentation as something 'other' and inferior. This should
be of no surprise given that such abuse is essential to the legitimation of persistent inequalities and the continued reproduction of
poverty, especially in rich societies. The form the abuse has taken has changed. over time, as have the legitimating explanations. But
no matter what intel lectual acrobatics have been deployed the central core of the explanation remains constant: society is not to blame.
Poverty and des titution are primarily problems of individuals and families - they were failures and defective , whether through biology
or socialisation, and in true Darwinian style they naturally drifted to the bottom of the social pile. Conversely, the rich were the cream,
the most able and capable, and similarly floated to their natural position at the top. Such arguments have historically been mobilised to
explain not only poverty and the treatment of the poor but virtually every major form of social differentiation and injustice. They have
been deployed forcefully to legitimate colonialism and the abuse of black people both in Britain and in its empire. They have been
similarly used against women to JUs tify their subordination in relation to men. They have been employed against people with physical
disabilities, against those with Iearmng difficulties, against gays and lesbians. Capitalist societies have an extra ordinary history of
taking differences between people and using and abusing them to maintain and sustain patterns of privilege and power.
DEFINING POVERTY IN TERMS OF MORALITY SERVES TO 1USTIFY PUNITIVE MEASURES AGAINST THE POOR
KATZ 1989 (MICHAEL B. PROFESSOR OF HISTORY AND DIRECTOR OF URBAN STUDIES PROGRAM AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA, THE UNDESERVING POOR, P14-15)
The redefinition of poverty as a moral condition accompanied the transition to capitalism and democracy in early nineteenthcentury
/merica! >t served to =ustify the meanspirited treatment of the poor, %hich in turn checked e9penses for poor relief and provided a
po%erful incentive to %ork! >n this %ay the moral definition of poverty helped ensure the supply of cheap labor in a market economy
increasingly based on unbound %age labor! The moral redefinition of poverty follo%ed also from the identi fication of market success
%ith divine favor and personal %orth . Aspecially in /merica, %here opportunity a%aited anyone %ith energy and talent, poverty
signaled personal failure! The ubi8uity of %ork and opportunity, of course, %ere myths, even in the early Republic! The transformation
in economic relations, the gro%th of cities, immigration, the seasonality of labor, fluctuations in consumer demand, periodic
depressions, lo% %ages, restricted opportunities for %omen, industrial accidents, high mortality, and the absence of any social
insurance, together these chiseled chronic poverty and dependence into /merican social life!
3
Persistent and increasing misery did not
soften the moral def inition of poverty! 0either did the evidence available through early surveys or the records of institutions and
administrative agencies, %hich sho%ed poverty and dependence as comple9 products of social and economic circumstances usually
beyond individual control!
*
>nstead, the definition hardened until nearly the end of the nineteenth century! /s a conse8uence, public
policy and private charity remained mean, punitive, and inade 8uate! Predispositions to%ard moral definitions of poverty found
support in the latest intellectual fashions, in the antebellum period, in Protestant theology5 after the 6ivil @ar, in the %ork of Dar%in
and early hereditarian theory5 and in the t%entieth cen tury, in eugenics! So deeply embedded in @estern culture had the distinction
bet%een the deserving and undeserving poor be come that even %riters on the Left invoked it automatically or translated it into their
o%n vocabulary! ?ar9ists %rote about the Elumpenproletariat,E and even the Progressive reformers %ho, starting in the 13*1s, re=ected
individual e9planations of poverty, unreflectively used the old distinctions! Robert "unter, a socialist, %hose %idely read book
Poverty )published in 1*1;. traced dependence to its structural sources, used the hoary distinction bet%een poor people and paupers
)EPaupers are not, as a rule, unhappy! They are not ashamed! ! ! ! They have passed over the line %hich separates poverty from
pauperismE.! "e asserted that Ethe poverty %hich punishes the vicious and the sinful is good and necessary! ! ! ! There is
un8uestionably a poverty %hich men deserve! ! ! !E
1B
POVERTY REPS KRITIK BAUDL 2009
IMPACT: PSYCHIC GENOCIDE
THESE NEGATIVE REPRESENTATIONS OF POVERTY AMOIUNT TO A KIND OF PSYCHIC GENOCIDE. THIS
VIOLENCE ERASES WHAT MAKES LIFE MEANINGFUL AND CREATES THE CONDITIONS FOR VIOLENCE
AND EXPLOITATION.
HOOKS , TD 6CLLA$A CG 0A@ DCR2, PRCGASSCR, T"A0 D>ST>0$U>S"AD PRCGASSCR CG A0$L>S", 1**+L-11;5
:ARA/ 6CLLA$A, :ARA/, 2D, D>ST>0$U>S"AD PRCGASSCR>0RAS>DA06A, :A$>00>0$ -11;! 6C
GCU0DAR, "/?:C0A L>TAR/RD ?/$/H>0A! 2000 O:ALL, @"ARA @A ST/0D, 6L/SS ?/TTARS, P! 1-*
141Q
The poor may be with us always ! Yet this does not mean that the poor cannot live well cannot find
contentment and fulfillment! 6learly %hen individuals lack food, !%ater, shelter, these immediate needs are
more pressing and should be met! :ut satisfying needs of the spirit are =ust as essential for survival as are
material needs! / poor person %ho has hope that their life %ill change, that they 'can live a good life despite
material hardship, %ill be a productive citi&en capable of %orking to create the condition %here poverty is no
longer the norm! Without a fundamental core belief that we are always, more than our material
possessions, we doom the poor to a life of meaningless struggle ! This is a form of psychic genocide ! To
honor the lives of the poor, %e need to resist such thinking! We need to challenge psychic assaults on the
poor with the same zeal deployed to resist material exploitation !
Solidarity %ith the poor is not the same as empathy! ?any people feel sorry for the poor or identify %ith their
suffering yet do nothing to alleviate it! /ll too often people of privilege engage in forms of spiritual materialism
%here they seek recognition of their goodness by helping the poor! /nd they proceed in the efforts %ithout
changing their contempt and hatred of poverty . Genuine solidarity with the poor is rooted in the recognition
that interdependency sustains the life of the planet. That includes the recognition that the fate of the poor
both locally and globally %ill to a grave e9tent determine the 8uality of life for those %ho are lucky enough to
have class privilege! Repudiating e9ploitation by %ord and deed is a gesture of solidarity %ith the poor!
/lL over the %orld, folks survive %ithout material plenty as long as their basic necessities are met! However,
when the poor and indigent are deprived of all emotional nurturance, they cannot lead meaningful lives
even if their minimal material needs are met. Iisionary thinkers and leaders %ho are poor must be at the
forefront of a massbased movement to restore to the poor their right to meaningful lives despite economic
hardship! Real life examples and testimony will serve as the primary examples that poverty need not mean
dehumanization. We need to bear witness ! Those of us %ho are affluent, in solidarity %ith the
underprivileged, bear %itness by sharing resources, by helping to develop strategies for selfactuali&ation that
strengthen the selfesteem of the poor! @e need concrete strategies and programs that address material needs in
daily life as %ell as needs of the spirit!
13
POVERTY REPS KRITIK BAUDL 2009
IMPACT: DEHUMANIZATION
THE CURRENT OUTLOOK ON THE POOR HAS CAUSED THE POOR TO BELIEVE THAT THEY ARE WORTHLESS-
THE FOCUS ON GETTING RICH AS THE STANDARD SOLUTION FOR SOCIAL ILLS PRECLUDES
ALTERNATIVE THINKING AND LEADS TO DEHUMANIZATION
HOOKS , 6>TD 6CLLA$A CG 0A@ DCR2 PRCGASSCR, T"A0 D>ST>0$U>S"AD PRCGASSCR CG A0$L>S", 1**+L-11;5
:ARA/ 6CLLA$A, :ARA/, 2D, D>ST>0$U>S"AD PRCGASSCR>0RAS>DA06A, :A$>00>0$ -11;! 6C
GCU0DAR, "/?:C0A L>TAR/RD ?/$/H>0A! 2000 O:ALL, @"ARA @A ST/0D, 6L/SS ?/TTARS, P! 1-7
1-BQY
0o%adays, a vast ma=ority of our nationFs poor believe that you are %hat you can buy! Since they can buy little
they see themselves as nothing! They have passively absorbed the assumption perpetuated by ruling class
groups that they cannot live lives of peace and dignity in the midst of poverty! :elieving this they feel no hope,
%hich is %hy folks %ith class privilege can label them nihilistic! Det this nihilism is a response to a lust for
affluence that can never be satisfied and that %as artificially created by consumer culture in the first place! >n
the introduction to Greedom of Simplicity, Richard Goster states, E6ontemporary culture is plagued by the
passion to possess! The unreasoned boast abounds that the good life is found in accumulation, that Fmore is
better!F >ndeed, %e often accept this notion %ithout 8uestion, %ith the result that the lust for affluence in
contemporary society has become psychotic, it has completely lost touch %ith reality!E 0ihilism is a direct
conse8uence of the helplessness and po%erlessness that unrelenting class e9ploitation and oppression produce
in a culture %here everyone, no matter their class, is sociali&ed to desire %ealth< to define their value, if not
the overall meaning of their lives by material status!
The result of this psychosis for the poor and underprivileged is despair! >n the case of the black poor, that
nihilism intensified because the combined forces of race and class e9ploitation and oppression make it highly
unlikely that they %ill be able to change their lives or ac8uire even the material ob=ects they believe %ould give
their lives meaning! >n the past fe% years, > have been stunned by the %ay in %hich unrealistic longing for
affluence blinds the folks > kno% and care about %ho are poor, so they do not see the resources they have and
might effectively use to enhance the 8uality of their lives! They are not unusual! !Gantasi&ing about a life of
affluence stymies many poor people! Underprivileged folks often imagine that the ac8uisition of a material
ob=ect %ill change the 8uality of their lives! /nd %hen it does not, they despair! >n my o%n family > have seen loved ones fi9ate
on a ne% car or a used car that is seen as a status ob=ect, pouring all their hardearned money into this ac8uisition %hile neglecting material concerns that, if addressed,
could help them change their lives in the long run!
1*
POVERTY REPS KRITIK BAUDL 2009
IMPACT: EXCLUSION/ALIENATION
THE POOR ARE NO LONGER PART OF THE ~REAL¨ PEOPLE BECAUSE THEY ARE FORCED TO LIVE IN
DESTITUTE CONDITIONS. THIS ALLOWS US TO ALIENATE THEM FROM THE REST OF SOCIETY
INSTEAD OF HELPING THEM
MUNGER , AD>TCR, PRCGASSCR CG L/@ /0D /D#U06T PRCGASSCR CG SC6>CLC$D /T T"A ST/TA U0>IARS>TD CG
0A@ DCR2 /T :UGG/LC, 2002
OGR/02, L/:CR>0$ :ALC@ T"A PCIARTD L>0A, P$!;Q
>n t%o insightful essays %ritten more than thirty years ago, Lee Rain%ater and "erbert $ans envision the kind of %riting and research that might disrupt the stereotypes
on %hich the public debate about poverty is centered! Rain%ater )1*B1, *11. proposes a psychological e9planation for these stereotypes, %e
are susceptible to them o%ing to the great social distance bet%een mainstream and EdisinheritedE members of
society!
The central e9istential fact of life for the lo%er class, the poor, the deprived, and the discriminatedagainst
ethnic groups, is that their members are not included in the collectivity that makes up the ErealE society of ErealE
people! ! ! ! Det, at the same time, their activities are sub=ect to surveillance and control by society in such a %ay
that they are not truly autonomous, not free to make a %ay of life of their o%n!
/s a conse8uence of our discomfort %ith our perceptions of the poor, O%eQ develop some understanding that Ee9plainsE the
fact that there are people among us %ho are not part of us! ! ! >n order to cope %ith the presence of individuals
%ho are not a regular part of a society, its members develop labels that signify the moral status of the deviant
and carry %ithin them a full etiology and diagnosis, and often a folk therapy! ! ! ! The social scientist inevitably
imports these folk understandings into his o%n %ork! They yield both understanding and misunderstanding for
him!
/ccording to Rain%ater, recognition that others live their lives under conditions %e regard as intolerable starts the
engine of stereotyping! @e choose to believe that the poor are different from us, either because they have
chosen poverty for reasons %e %ould re=ect )they prefer being poor to %orking or are happy being poor. or
because they are incapable of making choices that %ould improve their lot! The first assumption romantici&es
the poor and celebrates their resistance and creativity! The second assumption denies that the poor are like us
and marks them as sick, infantile, irresponsible, or depraved, arguing that theirs is an inferior citi&enship that
ought to be managed by others!
-1
POVERTY REPS KRITIK BAUDL 2009
ALTERNATIVE EXTENSIONS
THE ALTERNATIVE TURNS PRIVATE TROUBLES INTO PUBLIC ISSUES - THIS PROCESS IS TRANSFORMATIVE
AND OFFERS A METHOD TO LIBERATE OPPRESSED PEOPLES
RIMSTEAD , :!/! /T DCR2 U0>IARS>TD, ?!/! /T U! DA ?C0TRS/L, P"!D! /T U! DA ?C0TRS/L, 2001 ,
ORCT/00A, RA?0/0TS CG 0/T>C0 C0 PCIARTD 0/RR/T>IAS :D @C?A0, P$! -7B-73Q
UUUSocial critics have long stressed the importance of public dialogue in e9posing ho% poverty is lived in private,
especially by %omen and children, but is shaped by public policy and public images! Cne critic of the gap bet%een needs and
services in 6anada %rites, F/rticulation of need is important because it serves to legitimi&e these needs! >t helps us
ackno%ledge and recogni&e our needs as real and important! 6ollective discussion and recognition of need are
key steps in the process of translating Eprivate troubles E into Epublic issues ,E )Tor=man ;-.! /s a radical teacher, Paulo Greire
theori&ed the role of public dialogue in more radical terms as a catalyst to the liberation of the poor, a catalyst to
demystify both po%er and po%erlessness! GreireF s belief in the phenomenological po%er of public dialogue relies up on the link bet%een reflection
and action %hich, simplified, suggests that renaming the %orld from the stand point of the oppressed leads to social criti8ue,
empo%erment, and transformative action, FThus to speak a true %ord is to transform the %orld F! :ut Greire is careful to
insist on the communal aspect of transformative dialogue, cautioning that one cannot say a true %ord alone or or another but only
in %orking #it$ others to%ards cultural change! WWW
VOTE NEGATIVE TO RE1ECT THE MANAGEMENT APPROACH TO POVERTY IN ORDER TO CREATE A NEW
RELATIONSHIP WITH PEOPLE IN POVERTY. THIS METHOD IS MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE WITH POLICY-
MAKING METHODS AND CAN TRANSFORM THE WAY WE THINK ABOUT POVERTY.
SCHRAM , /SSC6>/TA PRCGASSCR CG PCL>T>6/L S6>A06A /T ?/6/LASTAR, 1995 )ST/0DGCRD, @CR2S CG
@ALG/RA P! TTT.
/rticulating alliances and building coalitions involve taking structures, even if they are discursively constituted,
seriously! / politically directed social science of poverty therefore necessarily interrogates prevailing discourse,
but treats it as structure firmly enmeshed in the reproduction of daily life of researchers and citi&ens alike! /nother
false dichotomy that finds its legitimation in a pragmatic orientation geared for achieving political efficacy, EdiscursiveVmaterial,E like its cousin EsymbolicVsubstantive,E
has its uses!
0ot so much re=ecting as deconstructing positivistic approaches to policy analysis, postmodern policy analysis
involves highlighting ho% policy analytic %ork is implicated in its o%n representations of reality Postmodern
policy analysis is therefore not so much EantipositivisticE as it is Epostpositivistic!E / postpositivistic orientation to policy
analysis re=ects the artifi cial distinctions that have plagued policy analysis, such as bet%een theo retical and empirical, ob=ective and sub=ective, interpretive and
scientific %ork! >t recogni&es that the Eassumptions %hich provide epistemological %arrant for empirical policy
analysis are highly contentiousE and that Eempirical policy analysis masks !!! the valuative dimensions of its
o%n technical discourse!E4; Grom this perspective, policy analysis is at best insufficient and at worst seriously
misleading if it fails to examine the presuppositional basis for what are taken to be "the facts" of any
policy! /s an alternative, postmodern analysis e9amines ho% policy is itself constitutive of the reality against %hich it is directed! Postmodern policy
analysis, therefore, may be defined as those approaches to e9amining policy that emphasi&e ho% the initiation,
contestation, adoption, implementation, and evaluation of any policy are shaped in good part by the discursive,
narrative, symbolic, and other socially constructed practices that structure our understanding of that policy, the
ostensible problems to be attacked, the methods of treatment, the criteria for success, and so on!
-1
POVERTY REPS KRITIK BAUDL 2009
FRAMEWORK - REPS SHAPE POLICY
THE WAY WE SPEAK ABOUT POVERTY DETERMINES THE POLICIES WE CONSTRUCT AND THE WAY THEY ARE
IMPLEMENTED. THE QUESTION OF REPRESENTATION IS CENTRAL QUESTION THAT PREDETERMINES
THE OUTCOME OF POLICY DECISIONS.
RUSSELL-MORRIS , $ACR$A ?/SC0 U0>IARS>TD, 2009 ):R>/00A, T"A LC$>6 CG @ALG/RA RAGCR?, /0
/0/LDS>S CG T"A RA/UT"CR>H/T>C0 CG T"A PARSC0/L RASPC0S>:>L>TD /0D @CR2 CPPCRTU0>TD
RA6C06>L>/T>C0 /6T CG 1**7.
Discourse and policy go hand in hand, and so both must change in order for ine8ualities and thus poverty to be
truly addressed! / change in poverty discourse must precede a change in antipoverty policy! 0e% social %elfare
policy should be based in a discourse that promotes an understanding that ine8uality and poverty are entangled!
The %elfare state must change fundamentally in order to address and to dismantle the sources of structural
ine8ualities, such as neoliberal capitalism and patriarchal gender relations, rather than the individual outcomes
of those ine8ualities! :oth Schram )1**+. and C(6onnor )-111. call for a need to vie% discourse and structure as connected! >n other %ords, %e must
focus on ho% policy and the language that is used to discuss and create that policy reinforce each other, and
only then can %e begin to move beyond such a limited discourse! C(6onnor argues that poverty researchers must
%ork independently of the State so that they Jgenerate a genuinely independent and critical body of
kno%ledge that aims to set rather than follow the agenda for policy debate¨ )-111,-*4.! >f poverty kno%ledge is
understood as part of larger cultural dynamics and their resulting economic, political, and social ine8ualities,
poverty as a social problem is Jdepauperi&edK and will be taken seriously as a problem with structural, not
behavioral, roots ! >nstitutions, and not only the individuallevel conse8uences of those institutions, %ould
come under scrutiny and %ould be targeted for change )C(6onnor -111.!
--
POVERTY REPS KRITIK BAUDL 2009
FRAMEWORK: REPRESENTATIONS 1
ST
QUESTIONS OF REPRESENTATION SHOULD BE THE FIRST AND MOST IMPORTANT ISSUES CONSIDERED IN
DEBATE-THE FRAMING OF A POLICY FORMS ITS MEANING AND VALUE
The Framework Institute 2005 )http,VV%%%!frame%orksinstitute!orgVstrategicanalysisVperspective!shtml.
Strategic frame analysis is an approach to communications research and practice that pays attention to the publicFs deeply held %orldvie%s and %idely held assumptions! This approach %as developed at the
Grame@orks >nstitute by a multidisciplinary team of people capable of studying those assumptions and testing
them to determine their impact on social policies! Recogni&ing that there is more than one way to tell a story ,
strategic frame analysis taps into decades of research on ho% people think and communicate! The result is an empiricallydriven
communications process that makes academic research understandable, interesting, and usable to help people solve
social problems! This interdisciplinary %ork is made possible by the fact that the concept of framing is found in the literatures of numerous
academic disciplines across the social, behavioral and cognitive sciences! Put simply, framing refers to the construct of
a communication < its language , visuals and messengers < and the way it signals to the listener or observer ho% to
interpret and classify ne% information! :y framing, %e mean ho% messages are encoded with meaning so that they can be
efficiently interpreted in relationship to e9isting beliefs or ideas! Frames trigger meaning ! The 8uestions %e ask, in
applying the concept of frames to the arena of social policy, are as follo%s, "o% does the public think about a particular social or political issueR
@hat is the public discourse on the issueR /nd ho% is this discourse influenced by the %ay media frames that
issueR "o% do these public and private frames affect public choicesR "o% can an issue be reframed to evoke a
different %ay of thinking, one that illuminates a broader range of alternative policy choicesR This approach is
strategic in that it not only deconstructs the dominant frames of reference that drive reasoning on public issues,
but it also identifies those alternative frames most likely to stimulate public reconsideration and enumerates their
elements )reframing.! @e use the term reframe to mean changing Ethe conte9t of the message e9changeE so that
different interpretations and probable outcomes become visible to the public )Dearing X Rogers, 1**;, *3.!
Strategic frame analysis offers policy advocates a %ay to %ork systematically through the challenges that are likely
to confront the introduction of ne% legislation or social policies, to anticipate attitudinal barriers to support, and to develop researchbased strategies to
overcome public misunderstanding! @hat >s 6ommunications and @hy Does >t ?atterR The domain of communications has not
changed markedly since 1*;3 %hen "arold Lass%ell formulated his famous e8uation, #$o says #$at to #$om
t$roug$ #$at %$anne! #it$ #$at ee%t& :ut %hat many social policy practitioners have overlooked in their 8uests
to formulate effective strategies for social change is that communications merits their attention because it is an
ine9tricable part of the agendasetting function in this country! 6ommunications plays a vital role in determining
%hich issues the public prioriti&es for policy resolution, %hich issues %ill move from the private realm to the
public, %hich issues %ill become pressure points for policymakers, and %hich issues %ill %in or lose in the
competition for scarce resources! 0o organi&ation can approach such tasks as issue advocacy, constituencybuilding, or promoting best practices %ithout taking into account the critical
role that mass media has to play in shaping the %ay /mericans think about social issues! /s @illiam $amson and his colleagues at the ?edia Research and /ction Pro=ect like to say, media is Ean arena
of contest in its o%n right, and part of a larger strategy of social change!E Cne source of our confusion over communications comes in not recogni&ing
that each ne% push for public understanding and acceptance happens against a backdrop of longterm media coverage, of
perceptions formed over time, of scripts %e have learned since childhood to help us make sense of our %orld, and
folk beliefs %e use to interpret ne% information! /s %e go about making sense of our %orld, mass media serves an important
function as the mediator of meaning < telling us %hat to think about ) agenda-setting . and ho% to think about it
)media effects. by organi&ing the information in such a %ay )framing. that it comes to us fully conflated %ith directives )cues.
about %ho is responsible for the social problem in the first place and %ho gets to fi9 it )responsibility.!
-4
POVERTY REPS KRITIK BAUDL 2009
AT: PERMUTATION (1/2)
THE PERMUTATION DOES THE SAME THING WHILE CHANGING THE LANGUAGE-THIS POLICY OF
RENAMING FAILS TO CREATE BROADER STRUCTURAL CHANGES AND ONLY REINFORCES THE
DISCOURSE OF POVERTY
SCHRAM , /SSC6>/TA PRCGASSCR CG PCL>T>6/L S6>A06A /T ?/6/LASTAR, 1995 )S/0GCRD, @CRDS CG
@ALG/RA, P -1-;.
The deconstruction of prevailing discursive structures helps politici&e the institutionali&ed practices that inhibit
alternative %ays of constructing social relations!+ >solated acts of renaming, ho%ever, are unlikely to help
promote political change if they are not tied to interrogations of the structures that serve as the interpretive
conte9t for making sense of ne% terms!7 This is especially the case %hen renamings take the form of euphemisms
designed to make %hat is described appear to be consonant %ith the e9isting order! >n other %ords, the problems of a
politics of renaming are not confined to the left, but are endemic to %hat amounts to a classic /merican practice
utili&ed across the political spectrum!B "omeless, %elfare, and family planning provide three e9amples of ho%
isolated instances of renaming fail in their efforts to make a politics out of saniti&ing language! Renaming can do much
to indicate respect and sympathy! >t may strategically recast concerns so that they can be articulated in %ays that are more appealing and less dismissive! Renaming the
ob=ects of political contestation may help promote the basis for articulating latent affinities among disparate political constituencies! The relentless march of renamings
can help denaturali&e and delegitimate ascendant categories and the constraints they place on political possibility! /t the moment of fissure, destabili&ing renamings
have the potential to encourage reconsideration of ho% biases embedded in names are tied to po%er relations!3 Det isolated acts of renaming do not guarantee that
audiences %ill be any more predisposed to treat things differently than they %ere before! The problem is not limited to the political reality that dominant groups possess
greater resources for influencing discourse! /scendant political economies, such as liberal postindustrial capitalism, %hether understood structurally or discursively,
operate as institutionali&ed systems of interpretation that can subvert the most earnest of renamings!* >t is =ust as dangerous to suggest that paid employment e9hausts
possibilities for achieving selfsufficiency as to suggest that political action can be meaningfully confined to isolated renamings!11 0either the %orkplace nor a name is
the definitive venue for effectuating self%orth or political intervention!E Strategies that accept the prevailing %ork ethos %ill continue to marginali&e those %ho cannot
%ork, and increasingly so in a postindustrial economy that does not re8uire nearly as large a %orkforce as its industrial predecessor! A9clusive preoccupation %ith
saniti&ing names overlooks the fact that names often do not matter to those %ho live out their lives according to the institutionali&ed narratives of the broader political
economy, %hether it is understood structurally or discursively, %hether it is monolithically hegemonic or reproduced through allied, if disparate, practices! @hat is
named is al%ays encoded in some publicly accessible and ascendent discourse!1- $etting the names right %ill not matter if the names are interpreted according to the
institutionali&ed insistences of organi&ed society!14 Cnly %hen those insistences are rela9ed does there emerge the possibility for
ne% names to restructure daily practices! Te9ts, as it no% has become notoriously apparent, can be read in many
%ays, and they are most often read according to ho% prevailing discursive structures provide an interpretive
conte9t for reading them!1; The meanings implied by ne% names of necessity overflo% their categori&ations, often to be reinterpreted in terms of available
systems of intelligibility )most often tied to e9isting institutions.! @hereas renaming can maneuver change %ithin the interstices of pervasive discursive structures,
renaming is limited in reciprocal fashion! Strategies of containment that seek to confine practice to saniti&ed categories appreciate the discursive character of social life,
but insufficiently and %rongheadedly! > do not mean to suggest that discourse is dependent on structure as much as that structures are hegemonic
discourses! The operative structures reproduced through a multitude of daily practices and reinforced by the
efforts of aligned groups may be nothing more than stabili&ed ascendent discourses!1+ Structure is the alibi for
discourse! We need to destabilize this prevailing interpretive context and the power plays that reinforce it,
rather than hope that isolated acts of linguistic sanitization will lead to political change! >nterrogating
structures as discourses can politici&e the terms used to fi9 meaning, produce value, and establish identity!
Denaturali&ing value as the product of nothing more than fi9ed interpretations can create ne% possibilities for
creating value in other less insistent and in=urious %ays! The discursivelyVstructurally reproduced reality of liberal capitalism as deployed by
po%er blocs of aligned groups serves to inform the e9istentially lived e9periences of citi&ens in the contemporary postindustrial order!17 The po%erful get to reproduce
a broader conte9t that %orks to reduce the dissonance bet%een ne% names and established practices! /s long as the prevailing discursive
structures of liberal capitalism create value from some practices, e9periences, and identities over others, no
matter ho% often ne% names are insisted upon, some people %ill continue to be seen as inferior simply because
they do not engage in the same practices as those %ho are currently dominant in positions of influence and
prestige! Therefore, as much as there is a need to reconsider the terms of debate, to interrogate the embedded biases
of discursive practices, and to resist living out the invidious distinctions that hegemonic categories impose,
there are real limits to %hat isolated instances of renaming can accomplish! Renaming points to the profoundly
political character of labels! Labels operate as sources of po%er that serve to frame identities and interests! They
(card continues.)
-;
POVERTY REPS KRITIK BAUDL 2009
AT: PERMUTATION (2/2)
(.card continues)
predispose actors to treat the sub=ects in 8uestion in certain %ays, %hether they are street people or social
policies! This increasingly common strategy, ho%ever, overlooks at least three ma=or pitfalls to the politics of renaming!1B Aach reflects a failure to appreciate
languageFs inability to say all that is meant by any act of signification! Girst, many renamings are part of a politics of euphemisms that
conspires to legitimate things in %ays consonant %ith hegemonic discourse! This is done by stressing %hat is
consistent and deemphasi&ing %hat is inconsistent %ith prevailing discourse! @hen %elfare advocates urge the
nation to invest in its most important economic resource, its children, they are seeking to recharacteri&e efforts
on behalf of poor families as critical for the countryFs international economic success in a %ay that is entirely
consonant %ith the economistic biases of the dominant order! They are also distracting the economicminded
from the social democratic politics that such policy changes represent!13 This is a slippery politics best pursued
%ith attention to ho% such renamings may reinforce entrenched institutional practices!E Det @alter Truett /ndersonFs
characteri&ation of %hat happened to the Ecultural revolutionE of the 1*71s has relevance here, Cne reason it is so hard to tell %hen true cultural revolutions have
occurred is that societies are terribly good at coopting their opponents5 something that starts out to destroy the prevailing social construction of reality ends up being a
part of it! 6ulture and counterculture overlap and merge in countless %ays! /nd the hostility to%ard established social constructions of reality that produced strikingly
ne% movements and behaviors in the early decades of this century, and peaked in the 1*71s, is no% a familiar part of the cultural scene! Destruction itself becomes
institutionali&ed!-E /ccording to #effrey $oldfarb, cynicism has lost its critical edge and has become the common denominator of the very society that cynical criticism
sought to debunk!-1 >f this is the case, politically crafted characteri&ations can easily get coopted by a cynical society that already anticipates the political character of
such selective renamings! The politics of renaming itself gets interpreted as a form of cynicism that uses renamings
in a disingenuous fashion in order to achieve political ends. >>>
-+
POVERTY REPS KRITIK BAUDL 2009
```AFF```
-7
POVERTY REPS KRITIK BAUDL 2009
AFF FRAMEWORK
Our interpretation of debate is that we should focus on the political results of the implementation of
government plans, not the words that debaters choose to use. As a judge, it is your job to decide
pragmatically if the consequences of the hypothetical policy option the affirmative presents are better
or worse than the status quo or a negative counterplan. This interpretation of debate is superior:
A. Fairness - There are an infinite number of words the negative team can question, and it is
impossible for us to predict which phrase they will criticize next. Limiting the focus of debate to
the question of whether or not the outcome of the plan is good or bad is critical to a fair division of
ground, since word critiques make the entirety of our advocacy irrelevant. Fairness is the key
internal link to education since it determines from the get go what we can be prepared to debate.
B. Political Utility- simulating policy outcomes teaches us the not only the ins and outs of
government decision making, but builds the skills of cost benefit analysis, which is the lynchpin of
any form of political decision making.
C. Education - policy debate encourages the most indepth form of education and teaches us to be
informed citizens.
1OYNER , PROFESSOR OF INTERNATIONAL LAW AT GEORGETOWN, 1999 ¡CHRISTOPHER C., ~TEACHING
INTERNATIONAL LAW,¨ 5 ILSA 1 INT'L & COMP L 377, L/N]
Use of the debate can be an effective pedagogical tool for education in the social sciences! Debates, like other roleplaying simulations, help
students understand different perspectives on a policy issue by adopting a perspective as their o%n! :ut, unlike other
simulation games, debates do not re8uire that a student participate directly in order to reali&e the benefit of the game! >nstead of developing policy alternatives and
e9periencing the conse8uences of different choices in a traditional roleplaying game, debates present the alternatives and conse8uences in a formal, rhetorical fashion
before a =udgmental audience! "aving the class audience serve as =ury helps each student develop a %ellthoughtout opinion on the issue by providing contrasting facts
and vie%s and enabling audience members to pose challenges to each debating team!
These debates ask undergraduate students to e9amine the international legal implications of various United States foreign policy
actions! Their chief tasks are to assess the aims of the policy in 8uestion, determine their relevance to United States national interests, ascertain %hat legal principles
are involved, and conclude ho% the United States policy in 8uestion s8uares %ith relevant principles of international la%! Debate 8uestions are
formulated as resolutions, along the lines of, EResolved, The United States should deny mostfavorednation status to 6hina on human rights grounds5E or
EResolved, The United States should resort to military force to ensure inspection of >ra8Fs possible nuclear, chemical and biological %eapons facilities5E or EResolved,
The United StatesF invasion of $renada in 1*34 %as a la%ful use of force5E or EResolved, The United States should kill Saddam "ussein!E >n addressing both
sides of these legal propositions, the student debaters must consult the vast literature of international la%, especially the nearly
111 professional la%schoolsponsored international la% =ournals no% being published in the United States! This literature furnishes an incredibly rich body of legal
analysis that often treats topics affecting United States foreign policy, as %ell as other more esoteric international legal sub=ects! /lthough most of these =ournals are
accessible in good la% schools, they are largely unkno%n to the political science community speciali&ing in international relations, much less to the average
undergraduate!
:y assessing the role of international la% in United States foreign policy making, students reali&e that United States actions do not al%ays measure up to international
legal e9pectations5 that at times, international legal strictures get compromised for the sake of perceived national interests, and that concepts and principles of
international la%, like domestic la%, can be interpreted and t%isted in order to =ustify United States policy in various international circumstances! >n this %ay, the debate
format gives students the benefits ascribed to simulations and other action learning techni8ues, in that it makes them become actively engaged %ith their sub=ects, and
not be mere passive consumers! Rather than spectators, students become legal advocates, observing, reacting to, and structuring political and legal perceptions to fit the
merits of their case!
The debate e9ercises carry several specific educational ob=ectives! Girst, students on each team must %ork together to refine a cogent
argument that compellingly asserts their legal position on a foreign policy issue confronting the United States! >n this %ay, they gain greater insight into
the real%orld legal dilemmas faced by policy makers! Second, as they %ork %ith other members of their team, they reali&e
the comple9ities of applying and implementing international la%, and the difficulty of bridging the gaps bet%een United States policy and
international legal principles, either by re%orking the former or creatively reinterpreting the latter! Ginally, research for the debates forces students to
become familiari&ed %ith contemporary issues on the United States foreign policy agenda and the role that international la% plays in
formulating and e9ecuting these policies! n3 The debate thus becomes an e9cellent vehicle for pushing students beyond stale
arguments over principles into the real %orld of policy analysis, political criti8ue, and legal defense!
-B
POVERTY REPS KRITIK BAUDL 2009
AFF: DISCOURSE NOT SHAPE REALITY
DISCOURSE DOESN`T SHAPE REALITY - REALITY IS MORE COMPLEX THAN THE WORDS WE USE
ROBERT KOCHER , AUTHOR AND PHILOSOPHER, 2005 ¡DISCOURSE ON REALITY AND SANITY,
HTTP://MEMBERS.MOUNTAIN.NET/THEANALYTICPAPERS/REALITY1.HTM]
@hile it is not possible to establish many proofs in the verbal %orld, and it is simultaneously possible to make many uninhibited assertions or %ord e8uations in the
verbal %orld, 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 %orld of %ords doesn't mean it will occur as such in the world of consistent human
e9perience > call reality! >n the event verbal statements or assertions disagree %ith consistent human e9perience, %hat proof is there that the concoctions created
in the %orld of %ords should take precedence or be assumed a greater truth than the %orld of human physical e9perience that > define as realityR >n the event
follo%ing a verbal assertion in the verbal %orld produces pain or catastrophe in the %orld of human physical reality or e9perience, %hich of the t%o can and should
be changedR >s it %iser to live %ith the pain and catastrophe, or to change the arbitrary collection of %ords %hose direction produced that pain and catastropheR
@hich do you %ant to live %ithR @hat proven reason is there to assume that %hen doubtfulness that can be constructed in verbal e8uations conflicts %ith human
physical e9perience, human physical e9perience should be considered doubtfulR >t becomes a matter of choice and pride in intellectual argument! ?y 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! /gain, itFs a matter of choice! Does the outcome of the philosophical 8uestion of
%hether reality or proof e9ists decide %hether %e should plant crops or %ear clothes in cold %eather to protect us from free&ingR "arZ /re you cra&yR "o% many
committed deconstructionist philosophers %alk about naked in sub&ero temperatures or donFt eatR Try creating and living in an alternative sub=ective reality %here
food is not needed and %here you can sit naked on icebergs, and find out %hat happens! > emphatically encourage people to try it %ith the stipulation that they donFt
do it around me, that they donFt force me to do it %ith them, or that they donFt come to me complaining about the conse8uences and demanding to conscript me into
paying for the cost of treating frostbite or other conse8uences! )sounds like there is a parallel to irresponsibility and socialism some%here in here, doesnFt itR.! >
encourage people to live sub=ective reality! > also ask them to go off far a%ay from me to try it, %here > %onFt be bothered by them or the conse8uences! Gor those
%ho havenFt guessed, this encouragement is a clever attempt to bait them into going off to some distant place %here they %ill kill themselves off through the
process of social Dar%inism < because, letFs 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 %orks, ho%ever, because they are not as committed or sincere as they
claim to be! 6onse8uently, they stay here to %ork for left %ing causes and promote left %ing political candidates %here there are people %ho live productive reality
%ho can be fed upon %hile they continue their arguments! They ainFt going to practice %hat they profess, and they are smart enough not to leave the availability of
people to victimi&e and steal from %hile they profess %hat they pretend to believe in!
DISCOURSE IS NOT KEY-DOESN`T CHANGE THE SYSTEMS OF OPPRESSION ~~
Poitevin, PhD 6and Sociol [U6Davis, 2001
)Rene Grancisco, EThe end of anticapitalism as %e kne% it, Reflections on post modem ?ar9ismE, The Socialist Revie%,
http,VVfindarticles!com#piarticlesVmi\8a4*+-Vis\-11111Vai\n3*41-.3 Grom Radical Democracy to Revolutionary Democracy.
Let me finish by addressing the Evision thingE in ?ar9ist theory, and by putting for%ard some minimal suggestions for ho% to
proceed! The problem %ith the Left in this country is not ?ar9Fs theori&ing of capital, it is the LeftFs profound poverty of vision!
Simply put, %e cannot think ERevolutionE anymore because %e cannot think E6apitalismE anymore! @hat passes for Eradical
democracyE no%adays is so timid and so %illing to declare and settle for 8uick victories that one has to %onder sometimes
%here e9actly it is that the radicalism in radical democracy lies! /nd to make matters %orse, %e are living in a period in %hich
the Left itself is the one in charge of convincing us that the ERevolutionE is not only politically unfeasible, but also
epistemologically impossible! To paraphrase ?ar9Fs famous eleventh thesis on Geuerbach, postmodem ?ar9ists have interpreted the %orld
for too long - the point is to change it! Do %e need reformR Cf course %e do, but to construct reform as a EsufficientE condition
for social change is to engage not in the politics of empo%erment but in the practice of a politics of surrender %ith delusions of
grandeur! Gurthermore, in a poststructuralist epistemological frame%ork in %hich structural and systemic e9planations are
forbidden, all %e are left %ith is a blurred capacity to prioriti&e %hat is to be done! >n short, in the postmodem ?ar9ist %orld, it is impossible
to structurally e9plain ho% the top 1 percent of the %orld population has more %ealth than the bottom *- percent! To do that %ould re8uire the admission that there is
something called capitalism %ith a logic to it! Recall that in the postmodem ?ar9ist %orld, the political importance of Eany relationship
!!! Ois determined byQ ho% %e %ish to think of the comple9 interactionE5 it is not based on institutional or systemic mechanisms
of ho% ine8uality gets generated and reproduced! /nd, given the postmodern ?ar9istsF insistence on defining capitalism from the getgo as having Eno
essential or coherent identity,E it is no surprise that such academics are totally irrelevant to real peopleFs struggles against globali&ation, the >?G, the @TC, and
0/GT/! >tFs the case of the chicken coming home to roost! >t is time to stop the politics of surrender and denial! >t is time to stop pretending that if %e
repeat things over and over again for long enough )this is called EperformativeE in postmodern parlance., things %ill eventually
change! The fact is that the Left has been getting crushed for 8uite some time no%! The fact is that it is going to take more than
a cadre of postmodern intellectuals and a ne% definition of capitalism to establish a =ust economic and political system! /nd
attempts to coopt and hi=ack ?ar9ism for some reformist agenda
-3
POVERTY REPS KRITIK BAUDL 2009
AFF: DISCOURSE NOT KEY
Discourse doesn`t change the reality of oppression.
ZAVARZADEH, DEPT ENGLISH @ SYRACUSE, 1994 (MAS`UD, ~THE STUPIDITY THAT CONSUMPTION IS 1UST
AS PRODUCTIVE AS PRODUCTION¨, THE ALTERNATIVE ORANGE, V 4, FALL/WINTER,
HTTP://WWW.ETEXT.OR~OLITICS/ALTEMATIVEORANGE/4/V4NL~CPP.HRML)
The unsurpassable ob=ectivity %hich is not open to rhetorical interpretation and constitutes the decided foundation of criti8ue is the
JoutsideK that ?an, calls the J@orking DayK )6apital I , 4;1;17.! )R; %illfully misrecogni&es my notion of Cb=ectivity by confusing my discussion of
identity politics and ob=ectivity!. The %orking day is not %hat it seems, its reality, like the reality of all capitalist practices, is an alienated
realitythere is a contradiction bet%een its appearance and its essence! >t JappearsK as if the %orker, during the %orking day, receives %ages %hich are
e8ual compensation for his labor! This mystification originates in the fact that the capitalist pays not for JlaborK but for Jlabor po%erK, %hen labor po%er is put to use it
produces more than it is paid for! The J%orking dayK is the site of the unfolding of this fundamental contradiction, it is a divided day5 divided into Jnecessary laborKthe
part in %hich the %orker produces value e8uivalent to his %agesand the Jother,K the part of Jsurplus laborKa part in %hich the %orker %orks for free and produces
Jsurplus value!K The second part of the %orking day is the source of profit and accumulation of capital! “Surplus laborK is the ob=ective fact of capitalist relations of
production, %ithout Jsurplus laborK there %ill be no profit, and %ithout profit there %ill be no accumulation of capital, and %ithout accumulation of capital there %ill be
no capitalism! The goal of bourgeois economics is to conceal this part of the %orking day, and it should therefore be no surprise that, as a protector of ruling class
interests in the academy, R-, %ith a studied casualness, places Jsurplus valueK in the ad=acency of Jradical biblestudiesK and 8uietly turns it into a rather boring matter
of interest perhaps only to the dogmatic! To be more concise, Jsurplus laborK is that ob=ective, unsurpassable JoutsideK that cannot be made upX of the economies of
the JinsideK %ithout capitalism itself being transformed into socialism! Revolutionary criti8ue is grounded in this truthob=ectivitysince all social institutions and
practices of capitalism are founded upon the ob=ectivity of surplus labor! The role of a revolutionary pedagogy of criti8ue is to produce class consciousness so as to
assist in organi&ing people into a ne% vanguard party that aims at abolishing this G/6T of the capitalist system and transforming capitalism into a communist society!
/s > have argued in my JPostalityK OTransformation I], poststructuralist theory, through the concept of Jrepresentation,K makes all such facts an
effect of interpretation and turns them into JundecidableK 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 C:#A6T>IA reality of the e9traction of surplus labor a
sub=ective onenot a decided fact but a matter of JinterpretationK! >n doing so, it JdeconstructsK )see the %ritings of such bourgeois readers as
$ayatri Spivak, 6ornell @est, and Donna "ara%ay. the labor theory of value, displaces production %ith consumption, and resituates the citi&en from the
revolutionary cell to the ludic shopping mall of R;! 0o% that > have indicated the ob=ective grounds of Jcriti8ue,K > %ant to go back to the erasure of criti8ue by
dialogue in the posta1 left and e9amine the reasons %hy these nine te9ts locate my criti8ueat %ritings and pedagogy in the space of violence, Stalinism and
demagoguery! Iiolence, in the portal left, is a refusal to JtalkK! ('To %hom is Havar&adeh speakingRK asks CR +, %ho regards my practices to be demagogical, and R
4, finds as a mark of violence in my te9ts that JThe interlocutor really absentK from them! @hat is obscured in this representation of the nondialogical is, of course, the
violence of the dialogical! > leave aside here the violence %ith %hich these advocates of nonviolent conversations attack me in their te9ts and cartoon. ?y concern
is %ith the practices by %hich the left, through dialogue, naturali&es )and erotici&es. the violence that keeps capitalist democracy in
po%er! @hat is violentR Sub=ecting people to the daily terrorism of layoffs in order to maintain high rates of profit for the o%ners of the means of production or
redirecting this violence)%hich gives annual bonuses, in addition to multimillion dollar salaries, benefits and stock options, to the 6AC(s of the very corporations that
are laying off thousands of %orkers. against the ruling class in order to end class societiesR @hat is violentR 2eeping millions of people in poverty,
hunger, starvation, homelessness, and deprived of basic health care, at a time %hen the forces of production have reached a level that
can, in fact, provide for the needs of all people, or trying to over thro% this systemR @hat is violentR Placing in office, under the alibi of Jfree
elections,K postfascists )>taly. and allies of the ruling class )?a=or, 6linton, 2ohl, Deltsin. or struggling to end this farceR @hat is violentR Reinforcing these practices
by JtalkingK about them in a JreasonableK fashion)i!e! %ithin the rules of the game established by the ruling class for limited reform from J%ithinK. or marking the
violence of conversation and its complicity %ith the status 8uo, thereby breaking the frame that represents JdialogueK as participation
%hen in fact it is merely a formal strategy for legitimating the established orderR /ny society in %hich the labor of many is the source
of %ealth for the fe%all class societies are societies of violence, and no amount of JtalkingK is going to change that ob=ective
fact!JDialogueK and JconversationK are aimed at arriving at a consensus by %hich this violence is made more tolerable, =ustifiable and
naturali&ed!
-*
POVERTY REPS KRITIK BAUDL 2009
AFF: POVERTY TURN
TURN: ENDING DISCOURSE ON ~POVERTY¨ WON`T CHANGE REALITIES - THE WEALTHY AND POLITICALLY
POWERFUL WILL CONTINUE TO IGNORE THE ISSUE UNTIL THE STRUGGLE AGAINST POVERTY IS
REINVESTED WITH A GRANDER MEANING.
HANSON , 1997 ¡F. ALLAN, PROFESSOR OF ANTHROPOLOGY ¡ THE U OF KANSAS, ~HOW POVERTY HAS
LOST ITS MEANING,¨ CATO 1OURNAL, 17.2, <
HTTP://WWW.CATO.ORG/PUBS/1OURNAL/C117N2/C117N2-5.PDF>, PGS. 18-19]
@e are suspended in the dis=uncture bet%een the ideas that social reality is a human creation and that human
beings, acting collectively, cannot control %hat happens in that reality! This impasse accounts for much in our
current condition, including %hy poverty has lost its meaning! Poverty is clearly something of our o%n doing,
but the nonpoor are no longer moved to take concerted action to alleviate it! This is not because they think the
solution is too difficult or e9pensive, but because they have lost confidence that any largescale plan %ill %ork!
They may, of course, lend assistance on a personal level, doing good in minute particulars! :ut the notion that
this can be part of a program %ith more cosmic meaning, a program that promises to eradicate poverty for once
and for all, founders on the apprehension that humans e9ercise very little control over the course of
development of the social reality they themselves have created!
0ot everyone, of course, is %illing to live %ith this uncomfortable and paraly&ing combination of ideas!
Religious faithful %ho seek to tailor themselves to a $odgiven reality persist, as do social reformers %ho seek
to tailor reality to a Utopian vision! :ut if the gro%ing indifference to poverty is any guide, it points to the
conclusion that these groups no longer represent ma=ority opinion or s%ay public policy, Those among the non
poor %ho are unmotivated to grapple %ith a problem for %hich they can discern no solution find it more
bearable simply not to think about it! This choice includes ordering %here they live, %here their children go to
school, %hat they read, and %hat they e9pose themselves to in such a %ay that poor people intrude minimally
upon their lives and consciousness!
/ctually, this strategy does entail a solution of sorts to the problem of poverty, and a remarkably clean and
cheap solution at that, to make poverty disappear by the simple e9pedient of not ackno%ledging it! This is an
especially compelling option if one adopts the stronger version of the proposition that social reality is a human
construct! That vie%, it %ill be recalled, holds that social reality is the product of artifice and simulation! Things
are as %e say they are, a Evirtual realityE e9tending %ell beyond our computer screens to encompass our entire
social lives! /s poverty theorist ?ichael 2at& )1*3*, B<3. has clearly recogni&ed, poverty is not so much the
e9istence of poor people as the prevailing discourse about them! >t follo%s that if the prevailing discourse about
poverty ceases, if people %ill =ust stop %orrying and thinking and talking about it, then poverty itself %ill come
to an end! Poor people, of course, %ill continue to e9ist! :ut they %ill no longer represent a social problem, =ust
as leprosy ceased to be a social problem although lepers continued to e9ist!
>f one chooses to take a less radical stance and insist that poverty has a reality of its o%n apart from %hat people
may think about it, the outcome is not fundamentally different! Aven if becoming indifferent to poverty does not
alter its basic reality, it obviously does alter %hat is done )or, more to the point, not done. about it! /merican
citi&ens of #apanese descent really %ere interned in concentration camps during @orld @ar >> but little %as
done about the outrage until public attention focused on the issue decades later! >n the same %ay, poverty may
be a grim reality, but the loss of a larger meaning for it, and the resulting indifference among an increasing
proportion of the nonpoor, is %hat, more than anything else, enables legislators to end %elfare as %e have
kno%n it!
41
POVERTY REPS KRITIK BAUDL 2009
AFF: SUFFERING TURN
REPRESENTATIONS OF SUFFERING SPUR ACTION - EMOTIONAL APPEAL IS THE BEST MOTIVATOR
ROZARIO , 2003 ¡KEVIN, ASSITANT PROFESSOR OF AMERICAN STUDIES, ~DELICIOUS HORRORS: MASS
CULTURE, THE RED CROSS, AND THE APPEAL OF MODERN AMERICAN HUMANITARIANISM,¨
AMERICAN QUARTERLY, 55.3]
>n8uiring into Ethe role of emotion in moral motivation,E the philosopher P!S! $reenspan submits that the
principal spur to charity in our o%n time is the guilt men and %omen e9perience %hen they respond
inappropriately to the misfortunes of others! >f people believe they should feel sadness or horror but instead feel
a strange titillation )%hich seems to be the modern fate., they begin to e9perience an Eemotional discomfortE
severe enough to become a Ecompulsive motivationE that drives them to perform the acts of virtue that they
hope %ill cleanse or e9piate their bad feelings! *4 $reenspanFs rhetoric of compulsion is unsettling! /fter all, a
good deal of humanitarian activity has very little to do %ith emotion, depending instead on habit or peer OAnd
Page ;;1Q pressure or even scrupulous moral deliberation! ?oreover, it is surely not the case that all modern
people do e9perience guilt or discomfort %hen amusing themselves %ith spectacles of suffering! 0evertheless,
the logic laid out here provides suggestive insights into the emotional %orld of earlyt%entieth century
humanitarians!
TURN: THE STATUS QUO WILL CONTINUE TO BLAME THE POOR FOR THEIR OWN CONDITION - WE NEED TO
REINVEST MEANING INTO POVERTY TO REINVIGORATE THE STRUGGLE AGAINST IT.
HANSON , 1997 ¡F. ALLAN, PROFESSOR OF ANTHROPOLOGY ¡ THE U OF KANSAS, ~HOW POVERTY HAS
LOST ITS MEANING,¨ CATO 1OURNAL, 17.2, <
HTTP://WWW.CATO.ORG/PUBS/1OURNAL/C117N2/C117N2-5.PDF>, PGS. 13-14]
The meanings associated %ith contemporary poverty are much reduced in comparison not only %ith rugged
individualism but %ith medieval piety and state %elfare as %ell! ?edieval poverty represented much that %as
honored at the time, a 6hristlike e9istence, pious renunciation of %orldly things, humble ac8uiescence in %hat
$od had ordained, and an opportunity to seek divine favor through almsgiving! >n the state %elfare paradigm,
poverty represented a challenge to the =ust and humane society that people %ere trying to build! The prospect of
eradicating it symboli&ed %hat could be achieved in a ?ar9ian Utopia or a #ohnsonian $reat Society if only
sufficient national %ill, e9pert planning and management, and community resources %ere devoted to the task!
The poverty of contemporary individualism has no meaning comparable to these! >n its depressing self poverty
denotes %ant, stagnation, and hopelessness! >ts larger connotations are even more sordid, drug addiction,
violence, and crime! Cf course the nonpoor %ould like to see all of these things come to an end! :ut that is no
longer anything more than an end in itself! >t is not linked to some shining image or transcendent crusade such
as advancing civili&ation, saving souls, or creating a truly e8ual and =ust society! The motivation to commitment
and selfsacrifice in the cause of ending poverty has gone slack, %ith the upshot that sufficient numbers of the
nonpoor no longer devote themselves to the task! Past failures seed their doubt that poverty can be eradicated,
and present values do not provide them %ith any great incentive for continuing to try!
41
POVERTY REPS KRITIK BAUDL 2009
AFF: PROGRESSIVISM TURN
EFFECTIVE POLITICS DEMANDS THAT ENGAGING THE STATE AND ACTUAL POLITICAL STRUGGLE BE
PRIORITIZED ABOVE EXAMINING LANGUAGE AND CHANGING MINDS.
HENRY GIROUX, CHAIR PROFESSORSHIP-EDUCATION AND CULTURAL STUDIES, PENN STATE, 06 ¡6
DIRTY DEMOCRACY AND STATE OF TERRORISM¨, COMPARATIVE STUDIES OF SOUTH ASIA, PG.
163-177]
/bstracted from the ideal of public commitment, the ne% authoritarianism represents a political and economic practice and form of militarism that loosen the
connections among substantive democracy, critical agency, and critical education! In opposition to the rising tide of authoritarianism, educators across the globe
must make a case for linking learning to progressive social change %hile struggling to plurali&e and critically engage the diverse sites %here public
pedagogy takes place! >n part, this suggests forming alliances that can make sure every sphere of social life is recogni&ed as an important site of the political, social, and
cultural struggle that is so crucial to any attempt to forge the kno%ledge, identifications, effective investments, and social relations that constitute political sub=ects and
social agents capable of energi&ing and spreading the basis for a substantive global democracy! Such circumstances require that pedagogy be embraced
as a moral and political practice, one that is directive and not dogmatic, an outgro%th of struggles designed to resist the increasing
depoliticization of political culture that is the hallmark of the current :ush revolution! Education is the terrain where consciousness is
shaped, needs are constructed, and the capacity for individual self-reflection and broad social change is nurtured and produced!
Education has assumed an unparalleled significance in shaping the language, values, and ideologies that legitimi&e the structures and
organi&ations that support the imperatives of global capitalism! Afforts to reduce it to a techni8ue or methodology set aside, education remains a crucial site for the
production and struggle over those pedagogical and political conditions that provide the possibilities for people to develop forms of agency that enable them
individually and collectively to intervene in the processes through %hich the material relations of po%er shape the meaning and practices of their everyday lives! @ithin
the current historical conte9t, struggles over po%er take on a symbolic and discursive as %ell as a material and institutional form! The struggle over education is about
more than the struggle over meaning and identity5 it is also about ho% meaning, kno%ledge, and values are produced, authori&ed, and made operational %ithin
economic and structural relations of po%er! Aducation is not at odds %ith politics5 it is an important and crucial element in any definition of the political and offers not
only the theoretical tools for a systematic criti8ue of authoritarianism but also a language of possibility for creating actual movements for democratic social change and
a ne% biopolitics that affirms life rather than death, shared responsibility rather than shared fears, and engaged citi&enship rather than the strippeddo%n values of
consumerism! At stake here is combining symbolic forms and processes conducive to democratization with broader social conte9ts and the
institutional formations of power itself. The key point here is to understand and engage educational and pedagogical practices from the
point of vie% of how they are bound up with larger relations of power. Educators, students, and parents need to be clearer about
how power works through and in te9ts, representations, and discourses, while at the same time recognizing that power cannot be
limited to the study of representations and discourses, even at the level of public policy. Changing consciousness is not the same as
altering the institutional basis of oppression; at the same time, institutional reform cannot take place without a change in
consciousness capable of recognizing not only injustice but also the very possibility for reform, the capacity to reinvent the
conditions OAnd Page 1B7Q and practices that make a more just future possible. >n addition, it is crucial to raise 8uestions about the relationship bet%een
pedagogy and civic culture, on the one hand, and %hat it takes for individuals and social groups to believe that they have any responsibility %hatsoever even to address
the realities of class, race, gender, and other specific forms of domination, on the other hand! Gor too long, the progressives have ignored that the strategic dimension of
politics is ine9tricably connected to 8uestions of critical education and pedagogy, to %hat it means to ackno%ledge that education is al%ays tangled up %ith po%er,
ideologies, values, and the ac8uisition of both particular forms of agency and specific visions of the future! The primacy of critical pedagogy to politics, social change,
and the radical imagination in such dark times is dramatically captured by the internationally reno%ned sociologist Hygmunt :auman! "e %rites, /dverse odds may be
over%helming, and yet a democratic )or, as 6ornelius 6astoriadis %ould say, an autonomous. society kno%s of no substitute for education and selfeducation as a
means to influence the turn of events that can be s8uared %ith its o%n nature, %hile that nature cannot be preserved for long %ithout Ecritical pedagogyE<an education
sharpening its critical edge, Emaking society feel guiltyE and Estirring things upE through stirring human consciences! The fates of freedom, of democracy that makes it
possible %hile being made possible by it, and of education that breeds dissatisfaction %ith the level of both freedom and democracy achieved thus far, are ine9tricably
connected and not to be detached from one another! Cne may vie% that intimate connection as another specimen of a vicious circle<but it is %ithin that circle that
human hopes and the chances of humanity are inscribed, and can be no%here else!+*
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POVERTY REPS KRITIK BAUDL 2009
AFF: REDEPOLYMENT
PREFER THE AFFIRMATIVE`S ATTEMPT TO FIND NEW MEANING IN OFFENSIVE LANGUAGE RATHER THAN
THE NEGATIVE`S ATTEMPT TO PROHIBIT IT COMPLETELY. ONLY PRESERVING THE POSSIBILITY OF
PRODUCTIVE USE OFFERS HUMANS AGENCY TO REMAKE THE MEANING OF IN1URIOUS SPEECH,
WHEREAS PROHIBITION POLICIES LIKE THE NEGATIVE`S FREEZE THE MEANING OF WORDS IN
HISTORY, ENSURING THAT THEY ARE ALWAYS ALREADY HARMFUL AND THAT WE HAVE NO
CONTROL OVER THEM AT ALL.
ANNA KURTZ AND CHRISTOPHER OSCARSON, NATIONAL COUNCIL OF TEACHERS OF ENGLISH
CONFERENCE ON COLLEGE COMPOSITION AND COMMUNICATION, 03 ("BOOKTALK: REVISING THE
DISCOURSE OF HATE." PROQUEST)
"o%ever! :utler also argues that the daily, repeated use of %ords opens a space for another, more empo%ering
kind of performance! This alternative performance! :utler insists, can be Ethe occasion for something %e might
still call agency, the repetition of an original subordination for another purpose, one %hose future is partially
open E )p! 43.! To think of %ords as having an EopenE future is to recogni&e that then authority lies less in then
historical than in their present uses, it is to ackno%ledge that people can revise the meaning of %ords even as %e
repeat them, it is to embrace the notion that the instability of %ords opens the possibility that %e can use them
to )ie.construct a more humane future for ourselves and others ! :ecause %ords can be revised! :utler contends that it
%ould be counterproductive simply to stop using terms that %e %ould deem in=urious or oppressive! Gor %hen
%e choose not to use offensive %ords under any circumstance, %e preserve then e9isting meanings as %ell as
their po%er to in=ure! >f as teachers, for instance, %e %ere simply to forbid the use of speech that is hurtful to L$:T students %e
%ould be effectively denying the fact that such language still e9ists! To ignore %ords in this %ay ! :utler insists, %onFt make
them go a%ay ! :utler thus suggests that %e actually use these %ords in thoughtful conversation in %hich %e %ork through the
Yin=uries they cause )p! 1!1-.! >ndeed! :utler insists that if %e are to reclaim the po%er that oppressive speech robs from
us! %e must use, confront, and interrogate terms like E8ueer!E
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POVERTY REPS KRITIK BAUDL 2009
AFF: PERMUTATION SOLVENCY
OUR REPRESENTATIONS OF POVERTY SHOULD NOT BE ABANDONED BUT COMBINED WITH DIFFERENT
FRAMEWORKS LIKE THE ALTERNATIVE. THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT MUST BE ACTIVELY INVOLVED
IN POVERTY DIALOGUE WITH ACTIVISTS AND RESEARCHERS IN ORDER TO CREATE MEANINGFUL
SOLUTIONS
SAUNDERS 05 (PETER, DIRECTOR OF THE SOCIAL POLICY RESEARCH CENTER AT THE UNIVERSITY OF
NEW SOUTH WALES SINCE 1987,THE POVERTY WARS, P. 81-82)
>n summary, the above discussion highlights the need to break through the sterile controversies currently surrounding the
measurement of poverty in %ays that provide ne% perspectives on the issue! 6redibility re8uires that poverty research is grounded in
the e9periences of the poor and that its =udgments are consistent %ith community norms and values! The three alternative
approaches discussed deprivation, capability and e9clusion present opportunities to do this by dra%ing on direct
evidence that describes the e9periences, attitudes and living conditions of the poor in the conte9t of others in society! @e
should not abandon an income approach but seek %ays of revitalising it by incorporating the insights provided by these
alternative frame%orks! ?ost importantly, poverty %ill only receive more attention as a policy issue if government plays
an active role in its formu lation and measurement! This %ill involve finding %ays of kickstarting a dialogue bet%een
government agencies and poverty researchers, advocates and activists about the role of policies designed to combat
poverty! @ithout such a dialogue, those %ith an interest in poverty %ill remain outside of the policy process and those
setting policy %ill fail to ackno%ledge and address a problem that is of ongoing and central impor tance! Talking about
these issues %ill also reveal %hat ne% forms of data are needed to better understand them! @e have much to learn from
recent e9perience in :ritain )and else%here. about ho% to start such a dialogue and the benefits that it can produce! @e need the
courage to move for%ard and the determination to succeed!
POLICYMAKING IS KEY - IT IS THE ONLY WAY TO ENGAGE IN A POLITICAL STRUGGLE TO HELP THE
OPPRESSED FIGHT AGAINST THE OPPRESSORS
SCHRAM 02 ( SANFORD F. TEACHER OF SOCIAL POLICY AND SOCIAL THEORY IN THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF SOCIAL WORK AND SOCIAL RESEARCH AT BRYN MAWR COLLEGE, PRAXIS FOR THE POOR, P.
122-123)
0o matter ho% ineffable social =ustice is in the dynamic model, once %e embrace this perspective on the relationship of social
science to social %elfare, %e can see ho% struggles for social =ustice have priority, ho% ongoing action provides the basis
for thought, ho% practice gives rise to theory, and ho% social science!should gro% out of the real problems that confront
those %orking for better social %elfare policies! Under these conditions of political contingency, emphasis is given to
trying to research and understand %hat is needed to be kno%n in order to better facilitate change as it is currently being
pursued! Research is not something that provides definitive ans%ers to %hat social %elfare policy ought to be like as much
as it becomes another useful device for leveraging political change! Under these conditions, researchers perform an
underlaborerFs role, but it is an underlaborer for those struggling to overcome the oppressions of the e9isting social order!
/nd research helps perform this role by providing politically contingent, historically conte9tuali&ed, socially bounded
kno%ledge that can help strengthen efforts for social change! This is still kno%ledge, not mere opinion5 but it is hardly
universal, timeless, ob=ective, and disinterested! >nstead, it is a situated, partial, and interested kno%ledge tied to political
struggle and efforts to change social conditions! Therefore, %hen %e accept the ineliminable reality of politics, %e must
start by deciding %hich side %e are on, by being involved in political struggle, by %orking to help the oppressed more
effectively confront oppression and to develop responses! This must be done recogni&ing that the process is inherently
political in still another sense of the term<that is, in the sense that the EsolutionsE are ones that oppressed people make
through their o%n participation in collaborative processes! >t is a political process, then, in this best sense of the term that
suggests there are no scientific or philosophical truths that can tell us %hat is the right thing to do in all instances! >nstead,
theory and research can help us fashion our o%n collective responses, taking into account the contingencies that %e
currently confront!
4;
POVERTY REPS KRITIK BAUDL 2009
AFF: POLICYMAKING GOOD-CHANGE
THEORETICAL MUSINGS OVER DISCOURSE DISTRACT US FROM THE MATERIAL REALITIES OF OPPRESSION.
POLICY ORIENTED DEBATES ARE KEY TO ESTABLISH SUBSTANCE BASED DISCUSSION WITH
RELEVANT AND RECOGNIZABLE ARGUMENTATION. THIS IS THE NECESSARY PREREQUISITE FOR
CHANGING OUR SOCIETY.
MCCLEAN , P"!D! P">LCSCP"D, T"A 0A@ S6"CCL GCR SC6>/L RASA/R6", 2001 OD/I>D A, JT"A 6ULTUR/L
LAGT /0D T"A L>?>TS CG SC6>/L "CPA,K /00U/L 6C0GARA06A CG T"A SC6>ATD GCR T"A
/DI/06A?A0T CG /?AR>6/0 P">LCSCP"D! -111 6C0GARA06AQ
There is a lot of philosophical prose on the general sub=ect of social =ustice! Some of this is 8uite good, and some of it is 8uite bad! @hat distinguishes the good from the
bad is not merely the level of erudition! Displays of high erudition are gratuitously reflected in much of the %riting by those, for e9ample, still clinging to ?ar9ian ontology and is often
=ust a useful smokescreen which shrouds a near total disconnect from empirical reality! This kind of
political %riting likes to make a lot of references to other obscure, =argonladen essays and tedious books
%ritten by other true believers the cro%d that takes the fusion of ?ar9ian and Greudian private fantasies
serious!y ! 0or is it the lack of scholarship that makes this prose bad! ?uch of it is %ell EsupportedE by footnotes referencing a lode of other %orks, some of
%hich are actually 8uite good! Rather, %hat makes this prose bad is its utter lack of relevance to e9tant and critical policy debates,
the passage of actual la%s, and the amendment of e9isting regulations that might actually do some good for
someone else! The %riters of this bad prose are too interested in our arrival at some social place %herein %e %ill finally emerge from our EinauthenticE state into something called Ereality!E ?ost of this stuff, of
course, comes from those steeped in the 6ontinental tradition )particularly post2ant.! @hile that tradition has much to offer and has helped shape my o%n
philosophical sensibilities, it is anything but useful %hen it comes to truly relevant philosophical analysis, and
no selfrespecting Pragmatist can really take seriously the strong poetry of formations like Eauthenticity
looming on the ever remote hori&ons of fetishi&ation!E @hat Pragmatists see instead is the hope that %e can fi9 some of the social ills that face us if %e treat policy and
reform as more important than Spirit and Utopia!
Like light rain released from pretty clouds too high in the atmosphere, the substance of this prose dissipates before it can reach the ground and be a
useful component in a discussion of medicare reform or ho% to better regulate a pharmaceutical industry that
bankrupts senior citi&ens and condemns to death ">I patients unfortunate enough to have been born in :urkina
Gaso and a regulatory regime that permits this! >t is often too drenched in abstractions and references to a
narro% and not so merry band of ot$er intellectuals )0iet&sche, :ataille, Goucault, Luk]cs, :en=amin. to be of
much use to those %ho are the supposed sub=ect matter of this preternatural social =ustice literature! Since > have no particular
allegiance to these other intellectuals, no particular impulse to carry their %ater or defend their reputations, > try and forget as much as > can about their %ritings in order to make space for some ne% approaches and fresh
thinking about that important 8uestion that al%ays faces us E@hat is to be doneRE > am, > think, lucky to have taken this decision before it had become too late!
Cne might argue %ith me that these other intellectuals are not looking to be taken seriously in the construction of solutions to spe%ii% sociopolitical problems! They are, after all, philosophers engaged in something called
philosophi&ing! They are, after all, =ust trying to be good culture critics! Cf course, that isnFt 8uite true, for they often %rite %ith specific reference to social issues and social =ustice in mind, even %hen they are fluttering about
in the ether of high theory )Luk]cs, for e9ample, %as a government officer, albeit a minister of culture, %hich to me says a lot., and social =ustice is not a Platonic form but parses into the specific 8uotidian acts of institutions
and individuals! Social =ustice is but the genus heading %hich may be described better %ith reference to its species
iterations the various conditions of cruelty and sadism %hich %e %ittingly or un%ittingly permit! >f %e %anted
to, %e %ou!d reconcile the grand general theories of these thinkers to specific bureaucracies or social problems
and so try to increase their relevance! @e %ou!d construct an account %hich acts as a bridge to relevant policy considerations! :ut such attempts, usually performed in the reams of
secondary literature generated by their devotees, usually make things even more bi&arre! >n any event, > donFt think %e o%e them that amount of effort! /fter all, if they %anted to be relevant they could have said so by %riting
in such a %ay that made it clear that relevance %as a high priority! Gor ?ar9ians in general, everything tends to get reduced to class! Gor Luk]cs everything tends to get reduced to Ereification!E :ut society and its social ills
are far too intricate to gloss in these %ays, and the engines that drive competing interests are much more easily e9plained %ith reference to animal drives and fears than by /bsolute Spirit! That is to say, they are not easi!y
e9plained at all!
Take "abermas, %hose %ritings are admittedly the most relevant of the group! > cannot find in "abermasFs lengthy narratives regarding communicative action, discourse ethics, democracy and ideal speech situations very
much more than > have found in the 'edera!ist Papers, or in PaineFs (ommon Sense) or in AmersonFs Se! *e!ian%e or (ir%!es! > simply donFt find the concept of uncoerced and fully informed communication bet%een peers in
a democratic polity all that difficult to understand, and > donFt much see the need to theori&e to death such a simple concept, particularly %here the only persons that are apt to take such narratives seriously are already sold, at
least in a general sense! Cf course, %hen you are trying to =ustify yourself in the face of the other members of your chosen club )in "abermasFs case, the Grankfurt School. the intricacy of your e9plication may have less to do
%ith simple concepts than it has to do %ith parrying for respectability in the eyes of your intellectual brethren! :ut > donFt see %hy the rest of us need to partake in an
insular debate that has little to do %ith anyone that is not very much interested in the %ork of early critical
theorists such as "orkheimer or /dorno, and %ho might see their insights as only modestly relevant at best! 0ot
many selfrespecting engaged political scientists in this country actually still take these thinkers seriously, if they ever did at all!
Cr %e might take Goucault %ho, at best, has provided us %ith %hat may reasonably be described as a very long and eccentric footnote to 0iet&sche )> have once been accused, by a Goucaltian true believer, of EgeldingE
Goucault %ith other similar remarks.! Goucault, %ho has provided the Left of the late 1*71s through the present %ith such notions as Egovernmentality,E ELimit,E Earcheology,E EdiscourseE Epo%erE and Eethics,E creating or
redefining their meanings, has made it overabundantly clear that all of our moralities and practices are the successors of previous ones %hich derive from certain configurations of savoir and %onnaisan%e arising from or
created by, respectively, the discourses of the various scientific schools! :ut > have not yet found in anything Goucault %rote or said ho% such observations may be translated into a political movement or hammered into a
political document or theory )let alone public policies. that can be =ustified or founded on more than an arbitrary aesthetic e9perimentalism! >n fact, Goucault %ould have shuddered if any one ever did, since he thought that
anything as grand as a movement %ent far beyond %hat he thought appropriate! This leads me to mildly rehabilitate "abermas, for at least he has been useful in e9posing GoucaultFs shortcomings in this regard, =ust as he has
been useful in e9posing the shortcomings of others enamored %ith the abstractions of various ?ar9ianGreudian social criti8ues!
4+
POVERTY REPS KRITIK BAUDL 2009
Det for some reason, at least partially e9plicated in Richard RortyFs +%$ieving ,ur (ountry, a book that > think is long overdue, leftist critics continue to cite and refer to the eccentric and often a priori ruminations of people
like those =ust mentioned, and a litany of others including Derrida, Deleu&e, Lyotard, #ameson, and Lacan, %ho are to me hugely more irrelevant than "abermas in t$eir narrative attempts to suggest po!i%y pres%riptions
47
POVERTY REPS KRITIK BAUDL 2009
AFF: POLICYMAKING GOOD- CHANGE
(.card continues)
)%hen they actually do suggest them. aimed at curing the ills of homelessness, poverty, market greed, national belligerence and racism! > %ould like to suggest that it is time for /merican social
critics %ho are enamored %ith this group, those %ho actually #ant to be relevant, to recogni&e that they have a
disease, and a disease regarding %hich > myself must remember to stay faithful to my o%n t%elve step program
of recovery! The disease is the need for elaborate theoretical EremediesE %rapped in neological and multi
syllabic =argon! These elaborate theoretical remedies are more Einteresting,E to be sure, than the pragmatically
settled 8uestions about %hat shape democracy should take in various conte9ts, or %hether private property
should be protected by the state, or regarding our basic human nature )described, if not defined )heaven forbidZ., in such statements as
E@e donFt like to starveE and E@e like to speak our minds %ithout fear of deathE and E@e like to keep our
children safe from povertyE.! /s Rorty puts it, E@hen one of todayFs academic leftists says that some topic has been Finade8uately theori&ed,F you can be pretty certain that he or she is going to drag
in either philosophy of language, or Lacanian psychoanalysis, or some neo?ar9ist version of economic determinism! ! ! ! These futile attempts to philosophi&e oneFs %ay
into political relevance are a symptom of %hat happens %hen a Left retreats from activism and adopts a
spectatorial approach to the problems of its %ountry! Disengagement from practice produces t$eoreti%a! $a!!u%inations E)italics
mine.!
)1.
Cr as #ohn De%ey put it in his T$e -eed or a *e%overy o P$i!osop$y, E> believe that philosophy in /merica %ill be lost bet%een che%ing a historical cud long since reduced to %oody fiber, or an apologetics for lost
causes, ! ! ! ! or a scholastic, schematic formalism, unless it can someho% bring to consciousness /mericaFs o%n needs and its o%n implicit principle of successful action!E
Those %ho suffer or have suffered from this disease Rorty refers to as the (u!tura! Left, %hich left is =u9taposed to the Po!iti%a! Left that Rorty prefers and prefers for good reason! /nother attribute of the 6ultural Left is that
its members fancy themselves pure culture critics %ho vie% the successes of /merica and the @est, rather than some of the barbarous methods for achieving those successes, as mostly evil, and %ho vie% anything like
national pride as e8ually evil even %hen that pride is tempered %ith the kno%ledge and admission of the nationFs shortcomings! >n other %ords, the 6ultural Left, in this country, too often dismiss /merican society as beyond
reform and redemption! /nd Rorty correctly argues that this is a disastrous conclusion, i!e! disastrous for the (u!tura! Let! > think it may also be disastrous for our social hopes, as > %ill e9plain!
Leftist /merican culture critics might put their considerable talents to better use if they bury some of their cynicism about /mericaFs social and political prospects and help forge public and political possi.i!ities in a spirit of
determination to, indeed, achieve o! country the country of #efferson and 2ing5 the country of #ohn De%ey and ?alcom T5 the country of Granklin Roosevelt and :ayard Rustin, and of the later $eorge @allace and the
later :arry $old%ater! To invoke the %ords of 2ing, and %ith reference to the +meri%an society, the time is al%ays ripe to sei&e the opportunity to help create the Ebeloved community,E one %oven %ith the thread of agape
into a conceptually single yet diverse tapestry that shoots for nothing less than a true intra/merican cosmopolitan ethos, one %herein both same se9 unions and faithbased initiatives %ill be able to be part of the same social
reality, one %herein business interests and the university are not seen as belonging to t%o separate gala9ies but as part of the same ans%er to the threat of social and ethical nihilism! @e %ho fancy
ourselves philosophers %ould do %ell to create from %ithin ourselves and from %ithin our ranks a ne% kind of
public intellectual %ho has both a hungry theoretical mind and %ho is yet capable of seeing the need to move
past high theory to other important 8uestions that are less beda&&ling and EinterestingE but more important to the
prospect of our flourishing 8uestions such as E"o% is it possible to develop a citi&enry that cherishes a certain $e/is, one %hich pri&es the character of the Samaritan on the road to
#ericho almost more than any otherRE or E"o% can %e s8uare the political dogma that undergirds the fantasy of a missile defense system %ith the need to treat /merica as but one member in a community of nations under a
Ela% of peoplesRE
The ne% public philosopher might seek to understand labor la% and military and trade theory and doctrine as
much as theories of surplus value5 the logic of international markets and trade agreements as much as criti8ues
of commodification, and the politics of comple9ity as much as the politics of po%er )all of %hich can still be done from our arm chairs!. This means going down deep
into the guts of our quotidian social institutions, into the grimy pragmatic details where intellectuals are
loathe to dwell but where the officers and bureaucrats of those institutions take difficult and often
unpleasant, imperfect decisions that affect other peoples' lives, and it means making honest attempts to
truly understand how those institutions a"ta##$ function in the a"ta# world before howling for their
overthrow commences! This might help keep us from being slapped down in debates by true policy pros
who actually know what they are talking about but who lack awareness of the dogmatic assumptions
from which they proceed, and who have not yet found a good reason to listen to jargon-riddled lectures
from philosophers and culture critics with their snobish disrespect for the so-called "managerial class."
4B