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Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Capitalism K Shell.................................................................................................................................................5
Capitalism K Shell.................................................................................................................................................6
Links General Poverty Solvency.........................................................................................................................9
Links -- Microenterprise......................................................................................................................................10
Links Work First...............................................................................................................................................11
Links International Public Health Assistance....................................................................................................12
Links -- Public Health Care.................................................................................................................................13
Links Desire/Endorsing....................................................................................................................................14
Links -- Armchair Activism.................................................................................................................................15
Links Moral Claims..........................................................................................................................................17
Links - Helping....................................................................................................................................................19
Links Moral Imperative....................................................................................................................................21
Links Moral Imperative....................................................................................................................................22
Links Human Rights.........................................................................................................................................23
Links Solving Hunger.......................................................................................................................................24
Links -- Levinas...................................................................................................................................................26
Links -- Levinas...................................................................................................................................................27
Links --Levinas....................................................................................................................................................28
Links -- Levinas...................................................................................................................................................29
Links Foucault..................................................................................................................................................30
Links -- Foucault..................................................................................................................................................31
Links -- Foucault..................................................................................................................................................32
Links -- Multiculturalism.....................................................................................................................................33
Links -- Multiculturalism.....................................................................................................................................34
Links -- Multicultaralism.....................................................................................................................................35
Links Animal Rights/Deep Ecology..................................................................................................................37
Links -- Fiat.........................................................................................................................................................38
Links -- Fiat.........................................................................................................................................................39
Links -- Sovereignty............................................................................................................................................40
Links -- Sovereignty............................................................................................................................................42
Links - Rationality...............................................................................................................................................43
Links Utopian Politics.......................................................................................................................................44
Links International Law....................................................................................................................................45
Links -- Democracy.............................................................................................................................................46
Links Military Strength.....................................................................................................................................47
Links State Power.............................................................................................................................................48
Links State Power.............................................................................................................................................49
Links State Power.............................................................................................................................................50
Links State Power.............................................................................................................................................51
Links -- Law........................................................................................................................................................52
Links -- Law........................................................................................................................................................53
Links Human Rights.........................................................................................................................................54
Links -- Democracy.............................................................................................................................................55
Links Development...........................................................................................................................................56
Links Development...........................................................................................................................................58
Links -- Development..........................................................................................................................................59
Links Development...........................................................................................................................................60
Development Link Outweighs Perm....................................................................................................................62
Links War/Realism............................................................................................................................................63
Links -- Ecology..................................................................................................................................................65
Links Techno Environmental Mangerialism.....................................................................................................67
Links Environment/Ecology.............................................................................................................................69
Links Environment/Ecology.............................................................................................................................74

Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Environment Link Outweighs Perm.....................................................................................................................76
Environment Link Outweighs Perm.....................................................................................................................77
Links Alternative Energy..................................................................................................................................78
Links Affirmative Does Good Things...............................................................................................................79
Link Demands on the State...............................................................................................................................80
Links Particular Struggles.................................................................................................................................81
Links Particular Struggles.................................................................................................................................82
Links Economic Collapse Arguments...............................................................................................................83
Answers To Link Turns........................................................................................................................................84
*** The Permutation Debate ***.........................................................................................................................85
Permutation Answers...........................................................................................................................................86
Permutation Answers...........................................................................................................................................87
Permutation Answers...........................................................................................................................................89
Permutation Answers...........................................................................................................................................90
Permutation Answers...........................................................................................................................................91
Permutation Answers...........................................................................................................................................93
Permutation Answers...........................................................................................................................................94
Permutation Answer.............................................................................................................................................95
Permutation Answers...........................................................................................................................................96
Permutation Answers...........................................................................................................................................97
Permutation Answers Environment Specific.....................................................................................................98
Permutation Answers...........................................................................................................................................99
Permutation Answers.........................................................................................................................................100
AT: Deconstruction Permutation........................................................................................................................101
*** Impact Debate ***......................................................................................................................................103
Impact-Zizek/Billions Dead...............................................................................................................................104
Impact - Extinction............................................................................................................................................105
Impact - Extinction............................................................................................................................................106
Impact -- War.....................................................................................................................................................107
Impact -- Dehumanization.................................................................................................................................109
Impact -- Dehumanization..................................................................................................................................111
Impact Capitalism Destroys the Environment.................................................................................................112
Impact Capitalism Destroys the Environment.................................................................................................113
Impact Capitalism Destroys the Environment.................................................................................................114
Impact Try or Die............................................................................................................................................115
Impact Economic Collapse Inevitable.............................................................................................................116
Impact Environmental Collapse......................................................................................................................117
Impact Environmental Collapse......................................................................................................................118
Impact -- Tyranny...............................................................................................................................................119
Impact -- Capitalism Causes Extinction.............................................................................................................120
Impact -- Capitalism Causes War.......................................................................................................................121
Impact -- Capitalism Causes Environmental Injustice......................................................................................122
Impact -- Growth Destroys The Environment....................................................................................................123
Impact -- Growth Destroys The Environment....................................................................................................124
Impact -- Capitalism Expands Biopower...........................................................................................................125
Impact -- Capitalism Threatens Tyranny............................................................................................................126
Impact -- Capitalism Threatens Tyranny............................................................................................................127
Impact -- Capitalism Causes Space Weaponization...........................................................................................128
Impact -- Capitalism Leads To Militarism.........................................................................................................129
Impact -- Capitalism Destroys The Environment...............................................................................................130
Impact -- Capitalism Destroys The Environment...............................................................................................131
Impact -- Capitalism Destroys The Environment...............................................................................................132
Impact -- Genocide............................................................................................................................................133

Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Impact Native American Genocide.................................................................................................................134
Impact No Value to Life..................................................................................................................................136
Development Bad Impact...................................................................................................................................137
AT: Capitalism Wont Lead to Extinction..........................................................................................................138
Answers To: Capitalism Reduces Poverty.....................................................................................................139
Answers To: Capitalism Reduces Poverty.....................................................................................................140
Answers To: Capitalism Reduces Poverty.....................................................................................................141
AT: Capitalism Good -- Space...........................................................................................................................142
*** Kritik Turns the Case ***...........................................................................................................................144
Kritik Turns the Case -- General........................................................................................................................145
Kritik Turns the Case -- General........................................................................................................................147
Turns Case -- Capitalism Causes Poverty And Hunger......................................................................................149
Turns Case -- Inequality.....................................................................................................................................150
Turns Case -- Inequality.....................................................................................................................................151
Turns Case -- Poverty........................................................................................................................................152
Turns Case -- Poverty........................................................................................................................................153
Turns Case Global Warming...........................................................................................................................154
Turns Case -- Womens Rights..........................................................................................................................155
Kritik Takes-Out Solvency -- Environment........................................................................................................156
Kritik Turns the Case Environment.................................................................................................................159
Kritik Takes-Out Solvency -- Terrorism.............................................................................................................161
*** Alternative Debate ***................................................................................................................................162
Alternative -- Reject Capitalism.........................................................................................................................163
Alternative -- Attack The Foundations Of Capitalism........................................................................................164
Alternative -- Individual Change Key...............................................................................................................165
Alternative -- Individual Change Key................................................................................................................166
Alternative -- Individual Change Key...............................................................................................................167
Alternative: Individual Change Key..................................................................................................................168
Alternative -- Individual Change Key................................................................................................................169
Alternative Criticism Solves Climate Change.................................................................................................170
*** Alternative Debate ***................................................................................................................................171
General Alternative Solvency............................................................................................................................172
General Alternative Solvency............................................................................................................................177
Alternative -- Now Key For Revolution.............................................................................................................178
Alterantive Role of the Analyst.......................................................................................................................179
Alternative Role of the Analyst Comes First....................................................................................................181
Alternative Role Of The Analyst Key To Policy.............................................................................................183
Alternative Role Of The Analyst: AT: No Alternative.................................................................................185
Alternative Encounter With Lack Solves........................................................................................................188
Alternative -- Disengage....................................................................................................................................189
Alternative -- Disengage....................................................................................................................................190
Alternative -- Reject...........................................................................................................................................191
Alternative -- Debate.........................................................................................................................................192
Alternative -- De-Develoopment........................................................................................................................193
Alternative -- De-Develoopment........................................................................................................................194
Alternative -- Environmental Value..................................................................................................................195
Alternative Withdraw From The System.........................................................................................................196
Alternative -- Scream.........................................................................................................................................197
Alternative -- Scream.........................................................................................................................................198
Alternative -- Simplicity...................................................................................................................................199
Alternative -- Debate Is Key..............................................................................................................................200
AT: No Alternative / Necessity (Analyst).......................................................................................................201
AT: Alternative Results in Violence...................................................................................................................202

Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

AT: Alternative Is Fascist...............................................................................................................................204
AT: Alternative Is Fascist...............................................................................................................................208
AT: Revolution Empirically Fails...................................................................................................................209
AT: Alternative Fails..........................................................................................................................................211
AT: Alternative Results in Violence...................................................................................................................212
AT: Alternative Results in Violence...................................................................................................................215
AT: Alternative Results in Violence...................................................................................................................217
AT: Zizek Is Conservative..................................................................................................................................218
AT: Transition Wars........................................................................................................................................219
*** Answers To Other Affirmative Arguments ***...........................................................................................223
AT: Must Act......................................................................................................................................................224
AT: Must Act......................................................................................................................................................225
AT: Kritik Is Apolitical.......................................................................................................................................226
AT: Krishna Coalitions....................................................................................................................................227
AT: Krishna Coalitions....................................................................................................................................228
AT: Metaphoric Condensation...........................................................................................................................229
AT: Taking State Power / Communism Bad...................................................................................................230
AT: Case Outweighs...........................................................................................................................................232
AT: Utilitarianism..............................................................................................................................................233
AT: Violent Transition........................................................................................................................................234
AT: Intersectionality...........................................................................................................................................235
AT: Plan Is Good................................................................................................................................................236
AT: Youve Won In The Past And No Revolution..............................................................................................237
*** Framework ***...........................................................................................................................................238
Framework Bad Interpassivity........................................................................................................................239
AT: Framework..................................................................................................................................................240
AT: Framework..................................................................................................................................................242
*** Capitalism Collapse Inevitable ***.............................................................................................................243
Collapse Of Capitalism Inevitable.....................................................................................................................244
Collapse of Capitalism Inevitable......................................................................................................................245
Collapse Of Capitalism Inevitable.....................................................................................................................246

Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Capitalism K Shell
A. Social services strengthen capitalism and eliminate resistance
Sarah Steinheimer, Berkeley Journal of Gender, Law & Justice, 2008, Welfare Reform and Sexual
Regulation by Anna Marie Smith., p. 226-7
As a political theorist, Smith dedicates three chapters of her book to an in-depth examination of social
and political theory and concludes Chapter Three with an outline of her own theory of sexual
regulation. Inspired by Michel Foucault, Smith draws most heavily on his theory of biopower -modern population control by the State n1 (p. 38). Smith also emphasizes the work of welfare
theorists Piven and Cloward, who argue the true function of the welfare State is not to provide
for poor families, but to stifle political unrest and to ensure an ample supply of low-wage
workers for capitalist interests (p.15).
B. Capitalism causes extinction
We cannot be certain whether such an innate instinct for freedom exists but as Chomsky has stated, "by denying the instinct
for freedom, we will only prove that humans are a lethal mutation, an evolutionary dead end: by nurturing it, if it is real, we
may find ways to deal with dreadful human tragedies and problems that are awesome in scale." These problems are so
grave that we are left, contrary to the option offered by Washington of "hegemony or survival", with two fundamental
choices; self-induced extinction or emancipation from the forces of social domination. Capitalism and indefinite human
survival are incompatible, not only for the reasons stated here.

Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Capitalism K Shell
C. Resistance is essential, the alternative is extinction
Zizek, 2008 (Slavoj, In Defense of Lost Causes, pp.420-425)
The underlying problem is: how are we to think the singular universality of the emancipatory subject as not
purely formal, that is, as objectively-materially determined, but without the working class as its substantial
base? The solution is a negative one: it is capitalism itself which offers a negative substantial determination, for
the global capitalist system is the substantial "base" which mediates and generates the excesses (slums,
ecological threats, and so on) that open up sites of resistance. It is easy to make fun of Fukuyama's notion of the
End of History, but the dominant ethos today is "Fukuyamaian": liberal-democratic capitalism is accepted as the
finally found formula of the best possible society, all that one can do is render it more just , tolerant, and so forth.
The only true question today is: do we endorse this "naturalization" of capitalism, or does contemporary global
capitalism contain antagonisms which are sufficiently strong to prevent its indefinite reproduction? Let us cite
four such antagonisms:

1. Ecology: in spite of the infinite adaptability of capitalism which, in the case of an acute ecological
catastrophe or crisis, can easily turn ecology into a new field of capitalist investment and competition,
the very nature of the risk involved fundamentally precludes a market solutionwhy? Capitalism only
works in precise social conditions: it implies trust in the objectivized/"reified" mechanism of the
market's "invisible hand" which, as a kind of Cunning of Reason, guarantees that the competition of
individual egotisms works for the common good. However, we are currently experiencing a radical
change. Up until now, historical Substancehistory as an objective process obeying certain laws
played out its role as the medium and foundation of all subjective interventions: whatever social and
political subjects did, it was mediated and ultimately dominated, overdetermined, by the historical
Substance. What looms on the horizon today is the unprecedented possibility that a subjective
intervention will intervene directly into the historical Substance, catastrophically disturbing its course
by triggering an ecological catastrophe, a fateful biogenetic mutation, a nuclear or similar military
social catastrophe, and so on. No longer can we rely on the safeguarding role of the limited scope of
our acts: it no longer holds that, whatever we do, history will carry on. For the first time in human
history, the act of a single socio-political agent can really alter and even interrupt the global historical
process, so that, ironically, it is only today that we can say that the historical process should effectively
be conceived "not only as Substance, but also as Subject." This is why, when confronted with singular
catastrophic prospects (say, a political group which intends to attack its enemy with nuclear or
biological weapons), we can no longer rely on the standard logic of the "Cunning of Reason" which,
precisely, presupposes the primacy of the historical Substance over acting subjects: we can no longer
adopt the stance of "let us call the bluff of the enemy who threatens us for he will thereby self-destruct"
the price for letting historical Reason do its work is too high since, in the meantime, we may all
perish together with the enemy. Recall a frightening detail from the Cuban missile crisis: only later did
we learn how close to nuclear war we were during a naval skirmish between an American destroyer
and a Soviet B59 submarine off Cuba on October 27, 1962. The destroyer dropped depth charges
near the submarine to try to force it to the surface, not knowing it had a nuclear-tipped torpedo. Vadim
Orlov, a member of the submarine crew, told the conference in Havana that the submarine had been
authorized to fire it if three officers agreed. The officers began a fierce shouting match over whether to

Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

sink the ship. Two of them said yes and the other said no. "A guy named Arkhipov saved the world,"
was the bitter comment of a historian on this incident.
2. The inadequacy of private property for so-called "intellectual property." The key antagonism of the new
(digital) industries is thus: how to maintain the form of (private) property, within which the logic of profit can be
maintained (see also the Napster problem, the free circulation of music)? And do the legal complications in
biogenetics not point in the same direction? A key element of the new international trade agreements is the
"protection of intellectual property": whenever, in a merger, a big First World company takes over a Third World
company, the first thing they do Is close down the research department. Phenomena emerge here which push the
notion of property towards extraordinary dialectical paradoxes: in India, the local communities suddenly
discover that medical practices and materials they have been using for centuries are now owned by American
companies, so they should be bought from the latter; with the biogenetic companies patenting genes, we are all
discovering that parts of ourselves, our genetic components, are already copyrighted, owned by others . . . The
crucial date in the history of cyberspace was February 3, 1976, the day when Bill Gates published his
(in)famous "Open Letter to Hobbyists," the assertion of private property in the software domain: "As the
majority of hobbyists must be aware, most of you steal your software. [. . .] Most directly, the thing you do is
theft." Bill Gates has built his entire empire and reputation on his extreme views about knowledge being treated
as if it were tangible property. This was a decisive signal which triggered the battle for the "enclosure" of the
common domain of software.
3. The socio-ethical implications of new techno-scientific development (especially in biogenetics)Fukuyama
himself was compelled to admit that biogenetic interventions into human nature are the most serious threat to his
vision of the End of History. What is false about today's discussion concerning the "ethical consequences of
biogenetics" (along with similar matters) is that it is rapidly turning into what Germans call Bliidautrkh-FAhik,
the ethics of the hyphen technology-ethics, environment-ethics, and so on. This ethics does have a role to
play, a role homologous to that of the "provisional ethic" Descartes mentions at the beginning of his Discourses
on Method: when we engage on a new path, full of dangers and shattering new Insights, we need to stick to old
established rules as a practical guide for our dally lives, although we are well aware that the new insights will
compel us to provide a fresh foundation for our entire ethical edifice (in Descartes's case, this new foundation
was provided by Kant, in his ethics of subjective autonomy). Today, we are in the same predicament:
"provisional ethics" cannot replace the need for a profound reflection regarding the emerging New. In short,
what gets lost here, in this hyphen-ethics, is simply ethics as such. The problem is not that universal ethics gets
dissolved into particular topics, but, quite the contrary, that particular scientific breakthroughs are directly
confronted with old humanist "values " (say, that biogenetics affects our sense of dignity and autonomy). This,
then, is the choice we confront today: either we choose the typically postmodern stance of reticence (let's not go
to the endlet's keep a proper distance towards the scientific Thing so that this Thing will not draw us into its
black hole, destroying all our moral and human notions), or we dare to "tarry with the negative Qad Verweilen
helm Negativen)," that is, we dare to fully assume the consequences of scientific modernity, with the wager that
"our Mind is a genome" will also function as an infinite judgment.
4. And, last but not least, new forms of apartheid, new walls and slums . On September 11, 2001, the Twin
Towers were hit; twelve years earlier, on November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall fell. November 9 announced the
"happy nineties," the Fukuyama dream that liberal democracy had won, that the search was over, that the advent
of a global, liberal world community was lurking just around the corner, that the obstacles to this ultraHollywoodesque happy ending were merely empirical and contingent (local pockets of resistance where the
leaders had not yet grasped that their time was over). In contrast, 9/11 is the key symbol of the end of the
Clintonite happy nineties, of the era in which new walls are emerging everywhere , between Israel and the West
Bank, around the European Union, along the USMexico border. So what if the new proletarian position is that

Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

of the inhabitants of slums in the new megalopolises? The explosive growth of slums over the last decades,
especially in the Third World mega-cities from Mexico City and other Latin American capitals through Africa
(Lagos, Chad) to India, China, the Philippines, and Indonesia, is perhaps the crucial geopolitical event of our
times. The case of Lagos, the biggest node in the shantytown corridor of 70 million people that stretches from
Abidjan to Ibadan, is exemplary here: according to the official sources themselves, about two-thirds of Lagos
State's total land mass of 3,577 square kilometers could be classified as shanties or slums; no one even knows
the size of its population officially it is 6 million, but most experts estimate it at 10 million. Since, sometime
very soon (or maybe, given the imprecision of the Third World censuses, it has already happened), the urban
population of the earth will outnumber the rural population, and since slum inhabitants will compose the
majority of the urban population, we are in no way dealing with a marginal phenomenon. We are thus witnessing
the fast growth of a population living outside state control, in conditions half outside the law, in terrible need of
the minimal forms of self-organization. Although this population is composed of marginalized laborers, sacked
civil servants and ex-peasants, they are not simply a redundant surplus: they are incorporated into the global
economy in numerous ways, many of them working as informal wage workers or self-employed entrepreneurs,
with no adequate health or social-security coverage. (The main source of their emergence is the inclusion of
Third World countries in the global economy, with cheap food imports from the First World countries ruining
local agriculture.) They are the true "symptom" of slogans such as "Development," "Modernization," and the
"World Market": not an unfortunate accident, but a necessary product of the innermost logic of global
capitalism.' No wonder that the hegemonic form of ideology in slums is Pentecostal Christianity, with its
mixture of charismatic miracles-and-spectacles oriented fundamentalism and of social programs such as
community kitchens and care of children and the old. While, of course, one should resist the easy temptation of
elevating and idealizing the slum-dwellers into a new revolutionary class, one should nonetheless, in Badiou's
terms, perceive slums as one of the few authentic "evental sites" in contemporary society the slum-dwellers
are literally a collection of those who are the "part of no-part," the "supernumerary" element of society, excluded
from the benefits of citizenship, the uprooted and dispossessed, those who really "have nothing to lose but their
chains." It is indeed surprising how many features of slum-dwellers fit the good old Marxist determination of the
proletarian revolutionary subject: they are "free" in the double meaning of the word even more than the classic
proletariat ("freed" from all substantial ties; dwelling in a free space, beyond the police regulations of the state);
they are a large collective, forcibly thrown together, "thrown" into a situation where they have to invent some
mode of being-together, and simultaneously deprived of any support in traditional ways of life, in inherited
religious or ethnic life-forms. Of course, there is a crucial difference between the slum-dwellers and the classical
Marxist working class: while the latter is defined in the precise terms of economic "exploitation" (the
appropriation of surplus-value generated by the situation of having to sell one's own labor-power as a
commodity on the market), the defining feature of the slum-dwellers is socio-political, it concerns their
(non-)Integration into the legal space of citizenship with (most of) its Incumbent rights to put it in somewhat
simplified terms, much more than a refugee, a slum-dweller is a homo sacer, the systemically generated "living
dead" of global capitalism. The slum-dweller is a kind of negative of the refugee: a refugee from his own
community, the figure that state power is not trying to control through concentrationwhere (to repeat the
unforgettable pun from Ernst Lubltch's To Be or Not to Be) those in power do the concentrating while the
refugees do the camping but pushed into a space beyond control; in contrast to the Foucauldian micropractices of discipline, with regard to slum-dwellers, state power renounces its right to exert full control and
discipline, finding it more appropriate to let them vegetate in the twilight zone.

Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Links General Poverty Solvency

Savings cause the poor to internalize capitalism
Jared Bernstein, (Dir., Living Standards Program, Economic Policy Institute), WELFARE, 2008, 148.
Some of the skepticism among liberals reflects worries about the individualistic political consciousness
embedded in this approach. And indeed, Richard Nadler of the American Shareholders Association, in an article
for the Cato Institute (which supports IDAs), predicts that new asset holders will "internalize their new role as
capitalists." There's also the legitimate concern that too much emphasis on incentivizing saving distracts us from
the structural causes of poverty.

Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Links -- Microenterprise
Empowerment rationale for microenterprises blames the poor
Nancy Jurik, (Prof., Social Justice Theory, Arizona State U.), WELFARE, 2008, 169-170.
My findings challenge proponent and media images that frame MDPs [as alternatives to state welfare and jobtraining programs. Over time, MDPs have found that it is difficult to serve poor and very-low-income clients
and still record sufficient program successes to stay in business. Proponent rhetoric about self-help and client
motivation also have often distracted from issues of structural disadvantage and reinforced images that poor and
low-income people are responsible for their failures.

Microenterprise success rhetoric reinforces notion that the market is the solution to all problems
Nancy Jurik, (Prof., Social Justice Theory, Arizona State U.), WELFARE, 2008, 170.
Given current trends toward a capital-investment welfare state, it is important to understand the contradictions
surrounding microenterprise development. Can MDPs really alleviate poverty in the new economy? If they
cannot, their claims to do so and associated efforts to use Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
dollars to fund MDP services only exacerbate and legitimate the state's failure to provide effective programming
for the poor. Without deeper analysis, MDP success rhetoric may simply reinforce the hegemony of the market
as a solution to all social problems. Understanding the embedded process of microenterprise development can
improve MDP practice and framing so as to encourage the recognition of other viable policy alternatives.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Links Work First

Work first is designed to create a pool of docile workers
Valerie Polakow, (Prof., Educational Psychology & Early Childhood, Eastern Michigan U.), WHO CARES
Frances Fox Piven argues that the Work First policies integral to welfare "reform" were part of a businesslegislative compact destined to create a pool of captive and disciplined low-wage women workers forced to
work at any job, no matter how bad the hours and how low the pay, in order to prevent their families from
falling into destitution. Under the guise of ending welfare dependency and promoting a "work ethic," poor single
mothers are thus reduced to little more than indentured servitude, robbed of the power to make choices in their
own and their children's best interests. Gwendolyn Mink characterizes the impact of welfare "reform" as
transferring "poor single mothers from the welfare state to a police state," as they are forced to "purchase their
families' short-term survival by sacrificing basic rights the rest of us take for granted."


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Links International Public Health Assistance

Concern for global public health grounded in capitalism historically
Lenore Manderson & Linda M. Whiteford, Professors University of Melbourne and University of South Florida, 2000,
Global Health Policy, Local Realities: the fallacy of the level playing field, eds. L. Whiteford & L. Manderson, p. 3
Global forces are not acultural or supracultural. They are, rather, historical artifacts that derive from Western domination;
they reflect Western values of rationality, competition, and progress, in which context there is an implicit assumption that
with modernization, local traditional institutions and structures will be replaced by Western systems and patterns. As B.
Geddes notes (1997), globalization is neither the result of industrialization nor market dominance alone, although our
evidence of globalization tends to have an economic take: consider the introduction of multi-country currency such as the
euro (without apparent irony in the choice of name of the currency), or continuous mergers of national and multinational
companies across continents as well as more proximate borders. The structural, fiscal, and strategic links between
industrial centers and peripheries highlight how economic globalization the production and distribution of goods, is tied
to issues of world governance. But this is accompanied with a cultural dominance, best illustrated, perhaps, by the
resistances that occur in contradiction to these apparent homogenizing trends: the development of local identities, the
reemerging importance of ethnicity, the demands for autonomy, self-government, and independence, or the civil wars in
Asia, Africa, and Europe, for example. At the same time, it behooves us to remember that globalization is merely an old
book in a new cover: imperialism and colonialism had the same purposes and encouraged the same eclecticism and
synchrony. Not surprisingly, the issues that we explore in this volume have a historic resonance. International health
policies, for example, date not from the most recent priorities of the World Bank, but from the efforts of nineteenth-century
colonial powers to control the spread of disease that would threaten their economic well-being. The use of wireless systems
nearly a century ago for epidemiological surveillance differs from optic fiber and internet communications today by virtue
of technical difference but not by virtue of intent.

Public health inextricably linked with globalization must take these connections into account
when formulating interventions
Alison Bashford, Medical History Professor University of Sydney, 2006, Medicine at the Border: disease, globalization,
and security, 1850 to the present, ed. Alison Bashford, p. 11
Globalization, disease and its management are related in several ways. First, the transboundary nature of microbes and
disease, has been, without question, augmented with the frequency of travel. Second, there has been considerable use of
supranational, fully global technologies and networks to track disease outbreak, as Weir and Mykhalovskiy discuss. Third,
the deep investment in the development idea of international health and world health, whereby the third world is
developed in line with the first world sanitary and health conditions as a way to secure disease-free regions, represents the
westernization dimension of globalization, for all its benefits in terms of morbidity and mortality. This latter aspect
recalls, of course, Zylbermans argument on civilization and sanitary pre-emption. For these reasons and more, historians of public health need
to further enter scholarly discussion on globalization. They need to complete the third side of a scholarly triangle. On one side, there is a considerable literature on globalization, disease and health in the
contemporary world. On a second, there is increasing scholarly interest in thinking about globalization historically, a recent extension of both imperial historiography and world historiography. But the

, while there is some

historical discussion which picks up the idea of globalization and disease (especially in world historiography) there is less
on the idea of supranational disease management, supranational public health, as it were. The histories of international
hygiene, international health, and world health are certainly an aspect of a strictly international history (that is a
history of international relations and internationalism,) but they are also important sites to examine the emergence of
ideas about the world in world health, or the globe in globalization.
connecting side of the triangle is underdeveloped: the historical study of disease and its management as part of the historical process of globalization. Again


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Links -- Public Health Care

New public health still locked into the motivation to support the capitalist system by creating
productive workers
Deborah Lupton, Social Sciences Lecturer- University Western Sydney, 1995, The Imperative of Health: public health and
the regulated body, p. 54
An attempt to draw a distinction between the old and the new public health is thus somewhat difficult to justify, as the
new public health continues to be characterized by some approaches that date back centuries as well as those that can be
more readily identified with contemporary concerns. Just as the early public health movement was mobilized by economic
concerns, the objective of health promotion in ensuring productive citizens still dominates public health discourse. The
bottom-line of the logic of all these preventive actions is not simply human happiness achieved through the minimization
of illness and pain, by preserving and redirecting the limited resources available for health care. For example, Ashton and
Seymour quote the goal of the World Health Organizations Health for All by the Year 2000 report issued in 1981, which
stated that the main social target of governments and WHO in the coming decades should be the attainment by all citizens
of the world by the year 2000 or a level of health that will permit them to lead a socially and economically productive life.

Public health program driven by state economic needs

Deborah Lupton, Social Sciences Lecturer- University Western Sydney, 1995, The Imperative of Health: public health and
the regulated body, p. 62
Like other caring professions associated with liberalism and the welfare state (for example, social work and health care
visiting), the ideologies and practices of health promotion are strongly underpinned by economic rationalities. Such
activities involve techniques of alignment, where governmental strategies try to link individual aspirations with collective
goals. This is particularly evident in health promotion. Health promotion is legitimized both by its idealistic search after
improved health for all and its promise of reducing the amount of resources spent by the state for medical treatment and the
loss of human power due to days spent off work because of illness.

Public health movement created to serve the needs of capitalism and divert attention from
halting industrialization
Deborah Lupton, Social Sciences Lecturer- University Western Sydney, 1995, The Imperative of Health: public health and
the regulated body, p. 28
The aim of Chadwick and his like-minded reformers was to rationalize the principles of government, to remove waste,
inefficiency and corruption in order to make the free market more effective and to maintain and improve national
prosperity. Jones describes this approach as health care as a form of wise housekeeping; it was argued that a little
expenditure to prevent ill-health would lead, eventually, to a greater saving of money. This argument promoted
widespread support for public health measures, particularly among the newly prosperous industrialists. There was no
suggestion that industrialization should be halted or scaled down; on the contrary it was argued by the reformers that
industrialization was beneficial in the long run in raising the standard of living for all.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Links Desire/Endorsing
The affs desire for you to endorse ____________ sabotages the very liberation they struggle for
this desire is already imposed upon them by the system they denounce, hence their
attempts to institute an equality between those they identify as subjugated and

Zizek, 2007
(Slavoj, How to Read Lacan, Ch 3 The Interpassive Subject)

Jenny Holzer's famous truism "Protect me from what I want" renders in a very precise way the fundamental
ambiguity of the hysterical position. It can either be read as an ironic reference to the standard male chauvinist
wisdom that a woman, when left to herself, gets caught in the self-destructive fury, so that she must be protected
from herself by the benevolent male domination: "Protect me from the excessive self-destructive desire in me
that I myself am not able to dominate." Or it can be read in a more radical way, as pointing towards the fact that
in today's patriarchal society, woman's desire is radically alienated, that she desires what men expect her to
desire, that she desires to be desired by men. In this case, "Protect me from what I want" means "What I want,
precisely when I seem to formulate my authentic innermost longing, is already imposed on me by the patriarchal
order that tells me what to desire, so the first condition of my liberation is that I break up the vicious cycle of my
alienated desire and learn to formulate my desire in an autonomous way." Was not this same ambiguity clearly
discernible in the way the Western liberal gaze related to the Balkan war in the early 1990s? In a first approach,
the Western intervention may seem to answer the implicit call of the Balkan nations "Protect us from what we
want!" - from our self-destructive passions that led to ethnic cleansing and gang rapes. What, however, if we
read the imagined Balkan call "Protect us from what we want!" in the opposed, second way? To accept fully this
inconsistency of our desire, to accept fully that it is desire itself which sabotages its own liberation, is Lacan's
bitter lesson.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Links -- Armchair Activism

The affirmatives call to solidarity with others is a self-serving mode of armchair activismtheir
demand allows them to feel like authentic radicals while all the real action is left to others,
an interpassivity where we learn to enjoy the others suffering
iek, Institute for Social Sciences at the University of Ljubljana, 1997 [Slavoj, The Plague of Fantasies, p.111113]
Against this background, one is tempted to supplement the fashionable notion of 'interactivity' with its shadowy and much more uncanny
supplement/double, the notion of Interpassivity'.28 That is to say: it is commonplace to emphasize how, with the new electronic media, the passive
consumption of a text or a work of art is over: I no longer merely stare at the screen, I increasingly interact with it, entering into a dialogic relationship
with it (from choosing the programs, through participating in debates in a Virtual Community, to directly determining the outcome of the plot in so-called
'interactive narratives'). Those who praise the democratic potential of the new media generally focus on precisely these features: on how cyberspace opens
up the possibility for the large majority of people to break out of the role of passive observer following the spectacle staged by others, and to participate
actively not only in the spectacle itself, but more and more in establishing the very rules of the spectacle. Is

not the other side of this

interactivity, however, interpassivity? Is not the necessary obverse of my interacting with the object instead of
just passively following the show the situation in which the object itself takes from me, deprives me of, my own
passive reaction of satisfaction (or mourning or laughter) , so that it is the object itself which enjoys the show
instead of me, relieving me of the superego duty to enjoy myself? Do we not witness interpassivity in a great number of todays
publicity spots or posters which, as it were, passively enjoy the product instead of us? (Coke cans containing the inscription Ooh! Ooh! What taste!
emulate the ideal customers reaction in advance.) Another

strange phenomenon brings us closer to the heart of the matter:

almost every VCR aficionado who compulsively records hundreds of movies (myself among them) is well aware that
the immediate effect of owning a VCR is that one watches fewer films than in the good old days of a simple TV
set without a VCR; one never has time for TV, so instead of losing a precious evening, one simply tapes the film and stores it for a future viewing
(for which, of course, there is almost never time). So although I do not actually watch films, the very awareness that the
films I love are stored in my video library gives me a profound satisfaction and, occasionally, enables me to simply relax and
enjoy the exquisite are of farciente as if the VCR is in a way watching them for me, in my place the VCR stands
here for the big Other, for the medium of symbolic registration . Is not the Western liberal academics
obsession with the suffering in Bosnia the outstanding recent example of interpassive suffering? One can
authentically suffer through reports on rapes and mass killings in Bosnia, while calmly pursuing ones
academic career . Another standard example of interpassivity is provided by the role of the madman within a
pathologically distorted intersubjective link (say, a family whose repressed traumas explode in the mental
breakdown of one of its members): when a group produces a madman, do they not shift on to him the obligation
passively to endure the suffering which belongs to all of them? Furthermore, is not the ultimate example of interpassivity the
absolute example (Hegel) itself: that of Christ, who took upon himself the (deserved) suffering of humanity? Christ redeemed us all not by acting for us,
but by assuming the burden of the ultimate passive experience. (The difference between activity and passivity, of course, is often blurred; weeping as an
act of public mourning is not simply passive, it is passivity transformed into an active ritualized symbolic practice.)

In the political domain, one of the recent outstanding examples of `interpassivity is the multiculturalist Leftist
intellectual's 'apprehension' about how even the Muslims, the great victims of the Yugoslav war, are now
renouncing the multi-ethnic pluralist vision of Bosnia and conceding to the fact that if the Serbs and Croats want
their clearly defined ethnic units, they too want an ethnic space of their own. This Leftist's 'regret' is
multiculturalist racism at its worst: as if the Bosnians were not literally pushed into creating their own ethnic
enclave by the way that the 'liberal' West has threatened them in the last five years . What interests us here,
however, is how the 'multi-ethnic Bosnia' is only the latest in the series of mythical figures of the Other through
which Western Leftist intellectuals have acted out their ideological fantasies: this intellectual is 'multi-ethnic'

Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

through Bosnians, breaks out of the Cartesian paradigm by admiring Native American wisdom, and so on just
as in past decades, when they were revolutionaries by admiring Cuba, or 'democratic socialists' by endorsing the
myth of Yugoslav 'self-management' Socialism as 'something special', a genuine democratic breakthrough .... In
all these cases, they have continued to lead their undisturbed upper-middle-class academic existence,
while doing their progressive duty through the Other. This paradox of interpassivity, of believing or enjoying
through the other, also opens up a new approach to aggressivity: aggressivity is provoked in a subject when
the other subject, through which the first subject believed or enjoyed , does something which disturbs the
functioning of this transference. Look, for example, at the attitude of some Western Leftist academics towards the
disintegration of Yugoslavia: since the fact that the people of ex-Yugoslavia rejected (`betrayed') Socialism
disturbed the belief of these academics that is, prevented them from persisting in their belief in 'authentic' selfmanagement Socialism through the Other which realizes it everyone who did not share their Yugo-nostalgic
attitude was dismissed as a proto-Fascist nationalist.'


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Links Moral Claims

The Affs claims of ethical/moral obligation are not based in some selfless, respect for life. They
are merely a self-serving protection of the power, safety and humanitarian righteousness
that these claims give to their plan. These roles rigidly enforces us as protectors and them
as weak , limiting out any alternative dialougues.
Campbell, professor at durham university, 2002 [David Violence, Justice, and Identity in the Bosnian Conflict
Sovereignty and Subjectivity]
Assorted victimhoods is the only universal ideology in the postcold war world according to Jean Baudrillard. An
extreme assessment, perhaps, but many of the current developments in international politics point in that direction. The "failed state as interna tional victim has become a preeminent security issue, establishing the limit case of concern when the power of
the global media is there to gaze upon the plight of its devastated peoples. Whether the site is Somalia, the former
Yugoslavia, (Rwanda) or Chechnya the sight is familiar-"generalities of bodiesdead, wounded, starving, diseased,
and homelessare pressed against the television screen as mass articles ." The effect can be strangely
comforting for the viewing population: "in their pervasive depersonalisation, this anonymous corporeality functions as
an allegory of the elephantine, 'archaic,' and violent histories of external and internal subalterns." Through a peculiar
trade, a pitiful eye is cast over the victims, consuming their image as a source for compassion . In return,
through a process of "cultural anaesthesia," which banishes "disconcerting, discordant, and anarchic sensory
presences and agents that undermine the normalising and often silent premises of everyday life," we are
reassured that the horrors evident over there are safely confined and our resultant superiority confirmed
This is the strange morality of pity that Friedrich Nietzsche warned against. In questioning morality so as establish the possibility for a revaluation of
values, Nietzsche paid particular attention to "unegoistic"

instincts such as pity. Nietzsche regarded the morality of pity as a danger

to all right-thinking persons, for it represented a constraint upon the sovereignty of the individual through the transmission of pain
from the victim to the observer. But Nietzsche argued the danger was greater than that, for he saw that some "good" persons sought
objects of pity as a means to increase their own position and contro1. The objects of pity would remain
victims regardless of the amount of attention directed their way, whereas the pitiers would markedly
increase their feeling of superiority. In few places has this productive complex of pity been more evident than the Bosnian conflict. The
international community has focused on the abnormality of the conflict through an oft-repeated parade of
pathetic images while finding it difficult to confront the normality of life lived in the context of violence. As
Slavoj zizek argues, what disturbs us most is not the sense that there is something perversely unique about Bosnia in general
and Sarajevo in particular, though most assessments attempt to make that case: The unbearable is not the difference. The unbearable is the fact
that in a sense there is no difference: there are no bloodthirsty "Balkanians " in Sarajevo, just normal citizens like us.
The moment we take full note of this fact, the frontier that separates "us" from "them" is exposed in all its
arbitrariness, and we are forced to renounce the safe distance of external observers. To maintain the distance,
therefore, we emphasize compassion for the victim. Zizek, like Baudrillard, believes something global has emerged:
"Sarajevo is but the special case of what is perhaps the key feature of the ideological constellation that characterises our
epoch of world-wide triumph of liberal democracy: the universalisation of the notion of victim." To say as
much is not to degrade the evident suffering or downplay the abundant horrors of the violence that has consumed the
Bosnian capital (among other areas) since early 1992. To the contrary, in order to come to terms with the violence, it is necessary to
highlight the function of compassion and what it conceals if we are to respond more effectively. In this context it might be said, as
zizek argues, that "our compassion, precisely in so far as it is 'sincere,' presupposes that in it, we perceive ourselves
in the form that we find likeable: the victim is presented so that we like to see ourselves in the position from

Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

which we stare at her." In our empathy toward Bosnian victims, we have, especially through the emphasis upon
humanitarian aid and intervention, thought of ourselves in a manner that we find congenialthe
humanitarians giving charity to the helpless This desirable sense of our self more often than not does little for
the other. Moreover, the victims, who are neither so weak nor easily indulged as we think, can plainly see this.
Indeed, the "justifiable contempt" held by many Sarajevans toward both their enemy and those Europeans who, with their
"hypocritical contrition . . . bronze their good conscience in the sun of solidarity," pierces the phantasm of the
pitiful victim and exposes the political deficit of compassion. For what our surfeit of concern conceals is the
"immobilising power of fascination . . . [which] thwarts our ability to act" and prevents a political
analysis of the conflict in Bosnia. The "ethics of compassion with the victim legitimises the avoidance, the
endless postponement, of the act. All 'humanitarian' activity of aiding victims, all food, clothes and medicine
for Bosnians, are there to obfuscate the urgency of the act." This is certainly the view of Rony Brauman, a former president of Medecins
sans Frontieres, who has charged the international community with hiding' behind compassion in-the face of genocide.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Links - Helping
The affs compassionate benevolence toward the other is a means of assuaging guilt. The plans
dispensation of charity only makes us all more comfortable and complacent in our
continual participation in the socio-economic processes that guarantee the third worlds
Zizek, Prof. of Sociology at Univ. Ljubljana, 2006. [Slavoj, Nobody Has to be Vile, London Review of Books,
Vol. 28 No. 7]
Liberal communists are pragmatic; they hate a doctrinaire approach. There is no exploited working class today,
only concrete problems to be solved: starvation in Africa, the plight of Muslim women, religious fundamentalist violence.
When there is a humanitarian crisis in Africa (liberal communists love a humanitarian crisis; it brings out the
best in them), instead of engaging in anti-imperialist rhetoric, we should get together and work out the best way
of solving the problem, engage people, governments and business in a common enterprise, start moving things
instead of relying on centralised state help, approach the crisis in a creative and unconventional way. Liberal
communists like to point out that the decision of some large international corporations to ignore apartheid rules within their companies was as important as
the direct political struggle against apartheid in South Africa. Abolishing segregation within the company, paying blacks and whites the same salary for the
same job etc: this was a perfect instance of the overlap between the struggle for political freedom and business interests, since the same companies can
now thrive in post-apartheid South Africa. Liberal communists love May 1968. What an explosion of youthful energy and creativity! How it shattered the
bureaucratic order! What an impetus it gave to economic and social life after the political illusions dropped away! Those who were old enough were
themselves protesting and fighting on the streets: now they have changed in order to change the world, to revolutionise our lives for real. Didnt Marx say
that all political upheavals were unimportant compared to the invention of the steam engine? And would Marx not have said today: what are all the

liberal communists are true citizens of the world

good people who worry. They worry about populist fundamentalism and irresponsible greedy capitalist corporations . They see the
deeper causes of todays problems: mass poverty and hopelessness breed fundamentalist terror. Their goal is not to earn money,
but to change the world (and, as a by-product, make even more money). Bill Gates is already the single greatest
benefactor in the history of humanity, displaying his love for his neighbours by giving hundreds of millions of
dollars for education, the fight against hunger and malaria etc. The catch is that before you can give all this
away you have to take it (or, as the liberal communists would put it, create it). In order to help people, the
justification goes, you must have the means to do so, and experience that is, recognition of the dismal failure of all
centralised statist and collectivist approaches teaches us that private enterprise is by far the most effective way. By
protests against global capitalism in comparison with the internet? Above all,

regulating their business, taxing them excessively, the state is undermining the official goal of its own activity (to make life better for the
majority, to help those in need). Liberal communists do not want to be mere profit-machines: they want their lives to have deeper meaning. They are
against old-fashioned religion and for spirituality, for non-confessional meditation (everybody knows that Buddhism foreshadows brain science, that the
power of meditation can be measured scientifically). Their motto is social responsibility and gratitude: they are the first to admit that society has been
incredibly good to them, allowing them to deploy their talents and amass wealth, so they feel that it is their duty to give something back to society and
help people. This beneficence is what makes business success worthwhile. This isnt an entirely new phenomenon. Remember Andrew Carnegie, who
employed a private army to suppress organised labour in his steelworks and then distributed large parts of his wealth for educational, cultural and
humanitarian causes, proving that, although a man of steel, he had a heart of gold? In the same way, todays liberal communists give away with one hand

There is a chocolate-flavoured laxative available on the shelves of US stores which is

publicised with the paradoxical injunction: Do you have constipation? Eat more of this chocolate! i.e. eat more of
something that itself causes constipation. The structure of the chocolate laxative can be discerned throughout
todays ideological landscape; it is what makes a figure like Soros so objectionable. He stands for ruthless
financial exploitation combined with its counter-agent, humanitarian worry about the catastrophic social
consequences of the unbridled market economy. Soross daily routine is a lie embodied: half of his working time
is devoted to financial speculation, the other half to humanitarian activities (financing cultural and democratic
activities in post-Communist countries, writing essays and books) which work against the effects of his own speculations.
what they grabbed with the other.

Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

The two faces of Bill Gates are exactly like the two faces of Soros: on the one hand, a cruel businessman, destroying or buying out
competitors, aiming at a virtual monopoly; on the other, the great philanthropist who makes a point of saying: What does it serve to have
computers if people do not have enough to eat? According

to liberal communist ethics, the ruthless pursuit of profit is

counteracted by charity: charity is part of the game, a humanitarian mask hiding the underlying economic
exploitation. Developed countries are constantly helping undeveloped ones (with aid, credits etc), and so
avoiding the key issue: their complicity in and responsibility for the miserable situation of the Third World. As
for the opposition between smart and non-smart, outsourcing is the key notion. You export the (necessary) dark side of production
disciplined, hierarchical labour, ecological pollution to non-smart Third World locations (or invisible ones in the First World). The
ultimate liberal communist dream is to export the entire working class to invisible Third World sweat shops.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Links Moral Imperative

The Affirmatives moral imperative constitutes a totalitarian paralysis and continuity of
conservative politics which replicate your case harms.
Stavrakakis, Prof Psychoanalysis @ U Essex, 03 [Yannis , parallax, 2003, vol. 9, no. 2, 5671 Re-Activating the
Democratic Revolution: The Politics of Transformation Beyond Reoccupation and Conformism]
This brings us to the whole discussion around the ethical turn in contemporary political philosophy. Even if one
concludes that radical democracy can be a viable and fruitful project for a politics of transformation, what about
the prioritization of ethics within recent radical democratic discourse? For example, at a fairly superficial level,
it seems as if Zizek questions the importance of ethics in this field, and thus would also seem to question the
deployment of the radical democratic attitude at the ethical level. Consider, for example, his outright
condemnation of the ethical turn in political philosophy: The return to ethics in todays political philosophy
shamefully exploits the horrors of Gulag or Holocaust as the ultimate bogey for blackmailing us into renouncing
all serious radical engagement.60 Surely, however, this cannot be a rejection of ethics in toto. Even if only
because Zizek himself has devoted a considerable part of his work elaborating the ethics of psychoanalysis in
the Lacanian tradition.61 It follows then that it must be a particular form of ethical discourse that constitutes his
target. The same is true of Alain Badious argument, to which we will now turn. Badious target is a particular
type of ethics, of ethical ideology, which uses a discourse of human rights and humanitarianism in order to
silence alternative thought and politics and legitimize the capitalist order. This is an ethics premised on the
principle that good is what intervenes visibly against an Evil that is identifiable a priori.62 What Badiou points
to here, is what appears as a strange inversion; here the Good is derived from the Evil and not the other way
round.63 The result of such an inversion is significant for the theory and politics of transformation: If the ethical
consensus is founded on the recognition of Evil, it follows that every effort to unite people around a positive
idea of the Good, let alone identify Man with projects of this kind, becomes in fact the real source of evil itself.
Such is the accusation so often repeated over the last fifteen years: every revolutionary project stigmatized as
utopian turns, we are told, into totalitarian nightmare. Every will to inscribe an idea of justice or equality
turns bad. Every collective will to the Good creates Evil [] In reality, the price paid by ethics is a stodgy
conservatism.64 This ethic, which is revealed as nothing but a mindless catechism, a miserable moralism,65 is
an ethics that can have no relation to a transformative political agenda. 66 This ethics is presented in Badious
argument as a distortion of a real ethic of truths, which attempts to restore the logical priority of Good over Evil.
Badious ethic of truths is an ethics related to the idea of the event, a category central for his whole
philosophical and political apparatus. To put it briefly, the event here refers to a real break which destabilizes a
given discursive articulation, a pre-existing order.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Links Moral Imperative

Ethics result in conservatism and the preservation of the status quo.
Jackson, Dept. of English, Wayne St. Univ, 2007. [Ken, The Great Temptation of Religion: Why Badiou has
been so important to iek IJZS Vol. 1 no. 2]
The reason our attention to ethics can be considered an ideology is two-fold. First, much of the academic world and, in particular, the
academic left does not recognize its attention to the other as ethics as such and, indeed, recoils from the notion that they are engaged
in primarily ethical pursuits. They are even more horrified when presented with the notion that this ethics, our ethics, is connected
somehow to religion. We are, in short, ethically interpellated subjects that can not see our own ideological constitution clearly. Second, as

ethics actually functions in a conservative fashion, preserving the

neoliberal status quo under the guise of challenging hierarchical power structures. As Badiou puts it, the price paid
by ethics is a stodgy conservatism. The ethical conception of man, besides the fact that its foundation is either
biological (images of victims) or Western (the self-satisfaction of the armed benefactor), prohibits every broad,
positive vision of possibilities.what ethics legitimates, is in fact the conservation by the socalled West of
what it possesses (2001: 24). We respect the other Badiou points out, but only inasmuch as that other conforms to
our vision: Respect for differences, of course? But on the condition that the different be parliamentarydemocratic, pro freemarket economics, in favour of freedom of opinion, feminism, the environment(2001:
24). For this reason Badiou shockingly proposes that the whole ethical predication based upon recognition of
the other should be purely and simply abandoned (2001: 25).
the remarks from iek quoted above suggest, our


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Links Human Rights

Human rights are only attainable when life is stripped of all contexts. Attempting to solve
human rights in a great socio-political context only legitimizes humanitarianism that
amounts to the implicit spread of neo-liberal ideology and the explicit military
Slavoj Zizek, No date given (Political philosopher and cultural critic) The Obscenity of Human Rights: Violence
as Symptom
From this specific insight, one should make the move to the general level and render problematic the very
depoliticized humanitarian politics of "Human Rights" as the ideology of military interventionism
serving specific economico-political purposes. As Wendy Brown develops apropos Michael Ignatieff, such
humanitarianism "presents itself as something of an antipolitics - a pure defense of the innocent and the
powerless against power, a pure defense of the individual against immense and potentially cruel or despotic
machineries of culture, state, war, ethnic conflict, tribalism, patriarchy, and other mobilizations or instantiations
of collective power against individuals." 3 However, the question is: "what kind of politicization /those who
intervene on behalf of human rights/ set in motion against the powers they oppose. Do they stand for a different
formulation of justice or do they stand in opposition to collective justice projects?" 4 Say, it is clear that the US
overthrowing of Saddam Hussein, legitimized in the terms of ending the suffering of the Iraqi people, not only
was motivated by other politico-economic interests (oil), but also relied on a determinate idea of the political
and economic conditions that should open up the perspective of freedom to the Iraqi people (Western liberal
democracy, guarantee of private property, the inclusion into the global market economy, etc.). The purely
humanitarian anti-political politics of merely preventing suffering thus effectively amounts to the implicit
prohibition of elaborating a positive collective project of socio-political transformation. And, at an even
more general level, one should problematize the very opposition between the universal (pre-political) Human
Rights which belong to every human being "as such," and specific political rights of a citizen, member of a
particular political community; in this sense, Balibar argues for the "reversal of the historical and theoretical
relationship between 'man' and 'citizen'" which proceeds by "explaining how man is made by citizenship and not
citizenship by man." 5 Balibar refers here to Hannah Arendt's insight apropos he XXth century phenomenon of
refugees: The conception of human rights based upon the assumed existence of a human being as such,
broke down at the very moment when those who professed to believe in it were for the first time
confronted with people who had indeed lost all other qualities and specific relationships - except that they
were still human. This line, of course, leads straight to Agamben's notion of homo sacer as a human being
reduced to "bare life": in a properly Hegelian paradoxical dialectics of universal and particular, it is precisely
when a human being is deprived of his particular socio-political identity which accounts for his determinate
citizenship, that he, in one and the same move, is no longer recognized and/or treated as human. In short, the
paradox is that one is deprived of human rights precisely when one is effectively, in one's social reality, reduced
to a human being "in general," without citizenship, profession, etc., that is to say, precisely when one
effectively becomes the ideal BEARER of "universal human rights" (which belong to me "independently of"
my profession, sex, citizenship, religion, ethnic identity...).


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Links Solving Hunger

Their response to images of suffering famine victims is a one that attempts to assuage our guilt at
enjoying in a world where others sufferingthis mechanism does not cope with the trauma
in the sitaution, but allows us to relocate our own fears and our own complicities onto
suffering others, producing victims that we need in order to enjoy our own lives
Edkins, Lecturer in Politics at the University of Wales, 2000 [Jenny, Whose Hunger? Concepts of Famine,
Practices of Aid p. 123-124]
Famine images, like the sexual images they parallel, embody the lack that must be concealed if the subject is to be
constituted. Hunger as desire is at the root of the constitution of subjectivity. Famine itself can be read as a symptom: a point of
overdetermination, of condensation of different strands of meaning. In that sense, there is a fantasy space reserved
for it. I looked at the relation of famine and scarcity to market economics in chapter 2. To explore this further, I look at Zizek's account of the role of
desire in late capitalism. For Zizek, late-capitalist liberal-democracy has an impasse at its heart centering around the
role of desire. In Lacan's work desire is not something that can be satisfied as such. As Zizek expresses it, "desire is
sustained by lack and therefore shuns its satisfaction, that is, the very thing for which it 'officially' strives."
Desire is sustained by the unattainability of its object and by the gap between its official motivation and its
actual function, which is to provide a way of accommodation with a primordial lack, a lack inherent in the human condition as such. In Lacan, an
empirical object fills out the role of the primordially lost Thing and becomes the object-cause of desire. Whereas
Freud might argue that the obstacles of convention that are put in place to prevent the attainment of the object of desirethe sexual object, for example
serve to heighten desire, in Lacan's account these obstacles are there precisely to avoid the possibility of the discovery that the object is unattainable as
such: "external

hindrances that thwart our access to the object are there precisely to create the illusion that without
them, the object would be directly accessiblewhat such hindrances thereby conceal is the inherent im possibility of attaining the object." In late capitalism, the immediate satisfaction of desire through
superabundance, permissiveness, and accessibility of objects threatens to suffocate desire . We are approaching a position
where for some of us the attainment of all possible empirical objects of desire is conceivable in practice. This will become even more so, Zizek claims,

Superabundance threatens desire by supplying the means for its satisfaction; the
function of the object-cause of desire is thwarted by this. Although officially de sire exists to be satisfied, in
Lacanian terms desire provides a means of transcending a primordial lack; it exists precisely because it has to be insatiable. By
providing an impossible object, the impossibility of fulfillment itself is sublimated. However, this superabundance
is not without its opposite: scarcity and deprivation. For Zizek, drawing on Hegel, universal abundance is impossible,
since in capitalism "abundance itself produces deprivation." Excess and lack are structurally interdependent
in a capitalist economy. The system produces both together. Some live in abundance and plenty while others live
in scarcity and deprivation. Superabundance goes hand in hand with its opposite. This does not mean that notions of desire
with the advent of so-called virtual reality.

are irrelevant in the context of a world where for large numbers of people the necessities of life itselffood, water, shelter, and freedom from violence
are hard to come by. On the contrary, Zizek's account of notions of desire as a concealment of an inherent lack and the need to sustain desire in conditions
of superabundance can help us to understand some of the paradoxes of responses to events such as famines and the sight of incredible suffering in these
and other disasters. The

object of "Ending Hunger" functions as just such an impossible or unattainable object-cause of

desire in the Lacanian sense. Here we have the irony of a desire sustained by the object of remov ing the very thing
deprivationthat is indissolubly linked with the superabundance that threatens desire. Rather than the question
of "Why, when there is such an abundance of food, do so many people starve?" the question becomes "Why,
when we are so well provided for with an abundance of everything we can possibly desire, do we desire
the one thing we cannot have, that is, a world without others who are deprived?" At least part of the answer, I
argue, can be found in the Lacanian account of desire. Not only do we desire the thing we cannot attain, but we

Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

put obstacles of convention in the way of attaining it. These obstacles are seen in arguments of
developmentalists that portray famine as complex: it needs further research, we have to act carefully and take into account the
feelings of those we want to help, and so on. Thus in famine we have an answer to Zizek's question: "So the big enigma is: how, through
what kind of limitation of access, will capitalism suc ceed in reintroducing lack and scarcity into this saturation?"
Lack and scarcity are reintroduced as someone else's lack and scarcityas hunger, the stranger that waits
outside some other door. For those of us who live in an excess of abundance, desire becomes the (impos sible)
desire for a world free from scarcity: a hunger for a world free from hunger.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Links -- Levinas
The levinasian abyssal other opens up the space for the reduction of the other to an absolute
enemy never to be understood
Zizek, 2008 (Slavoj, Violence, pp. 55-56) Christians usually praise themselves for overcoming the Jewish
exclusivist notion of the Chosen People and encompassing the entirety of humanity. The catch is that, in their
very insistence that they are the Chosen People with a privileged direct link to God, Jews accept the humanity of
the other people who celebrate their false gods, while Christian universalism tendentiously excludes nonbelievers from the very universality of humankind. So what about the opposite gesture-such as that made by the
French philosopher Emmanuel Levinas-of abandoning the claim to sameness that underlies universality, and
replacing it by a respect for otherness? There is, as Sloterdijk has pointed out, another obverse and much more
unsettling dimension to the Levinasian figure of the Neighbour as the imponderable Other who deserves our
unconditional respect 12 That is, the imponderable Other as enemy, the enemy who is the absolute Other and
no longer the "honourable enemy," but someone whose very reasoning is foreign to us, so that no authentic
encounter with him in battle is possible. Although Levinas did not have this dimension in mind, the radical
ambiguity, the traumatic character of the Neighbour makes it easy to understand how Levinas's notion of the
Other prepared the ground (opened up the space) for it in a way strictly homologous to the way that Kantian
ethics prepared the ground for the notion of diabolical evil. Horrible as it may sound, the Levinasian Other as
the abyss of otherness from which the ethical injunction emanates and the Nazi figure of the Jew as the lessthan-human Other-enemy originate from the same source.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Links -- Levinas
In order to have a non-totalizable relation to the other we must relate identity with the lack in
the other and not with the other per se.
Stavrakakis, department of government at the University of Essex, director of ideology and discourse analysis
program 1999 [Yannis, Lacan and the Political, p.139]
First, it is certain that this text shares with both Connolly and Critchley the aspiration to articulate an ethics of
.disharmony. in order to enhance the prospects of democracy. Our difference is that they both think that an ethics
founded on a recognition of Otherness and difference is enough. Connolly.s argumentation is developed along
the polarity identity/difference with the ethical sting being a recognition of Otherness. For Critchley also, what
seems to be at stake in deconstruction is the relation with .The Other.. although this Other is not understood in
exactly the same terms as the Lacanian Other (Critchley, 1992:197). Drawing on Levinasian ethics where the
ethical is related to the disruption of totalising politics, he contends that: .any attempt to bring closure to the
social is continually denied by the non-totalisable relation to the Other. (Critchley, 1992:238). Thus, the
possibility of democracy rests on the recognition of the Other: .The community remains an open community in
so far as it is based on the recognition of difference, of the difference of the Other. (Critchley, 1992:219).
Moreover, political responsibility in democracy has .its horizon in responsibility for the Other. (ibid.: 239). This
is also Touraine.s position: democracy entails the .recognition of the other. (Touraine, 1997:192). The problem
with such an analysis is that it presupposes the Other as a unified totality or, even if this is not always the case, it
seems to be offering a positive point of identification remaining thus within the limits of traditional ethical
strategies or, in any case, not undermining them in a radical way. What has to be highlighted is that it is
precisely this relation.the identification with the Other.that attempts to bring closure to the social. In order to
have a non-totalisable relation to the Other we must relate.identify.with the lack in the Other and not with the
Other per se. This is the radical innovation of Lacanian ethics. And this is what democracy needs today.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Links --Levinas
The affs ethical injunction domesticates the otherrather than preserving its proximity it
radically alienates it, ensuring its destruction
Zizek, 2007
(Slavoj, How to Read Lacan, Ch 4 From Che vuoi? to Fantasy)
There is, however, another meaning to "man's desire is Other's desire": the subject desires only insofar as it experiences the
Other itself as desiring, as the site of an unfathomable desire, as if an opaque desire is emanating from him or her. The other
not only addresses me with an enigmatic desire, it also confronts me with the fact that I myself do not know what I really
desire, with the enigma of my own desire. For Lacan, who follows Freud here, this abyssal dimension of another human
being - the abyss of the depth of another personality, its utter impenetrability - first found its full expression in Judaism with
its injunction to love your neighbor as yourself. For Freud as well as for Lacan, this injunction is deeply problematic, since
it obfuscates the fact that, beneath the neighbor as my mirror-image, the one who is like me, with whom I can empathize,
there always lurks the unfathomable abyss of radical Otherness, of someone about whom I ultimately do not know anything
- can I really rely on him? Who is he? How can I be sure that his words are not a mere pretence? In contrast to the New Age
attitude which ultimately reduces my neighbors to my mirror-images or to the means on the path of my self-realization (as
is the case in the Jungian psychology in which other persons around me are ultimately reduced to the externalizationsprojections of the disavowed aspects of my own personality), Judaism opens up a tradition in which an alien traumatic
kernel forever persists in my neighbor - the neighbor remains an inert, impenetrable, enigmatic presence that hystericizes
me. The core of this presence, of course, is the neighbor's desire, an enigma not only for us, but also for the neighbor
himself. For this reason, Lacan's Che vuoi? is not simply an inquiry into "What do you want?" but more an inquiry into
"What's bugging you? What is it in you that makes you so unbearable not only for us, but also for yourself, that you
yourself obviously do not master? The temptation to be resisted here is the ethical domestication of the neighbor - for
example, what Emmanuel Levinas did with his notion of the neighbor as the abyssal point from which the call of ethical
responsibility emanates. What Levinas obfuscates is the monstrosity of the neighbor, monstrosity on account of which
Lacan applies to the neighbor the term Thing (das Ding), used by Freud to designate the ultimate object of our desires in its
unbearable intensity and impenetrability. One should hear in this term all the connotations of horror fiction: the neighbor is
the (Evil) Thing which potentially lurks beneath every homely human face. Just think about Stephen King's The Shining, in
which the father, a modest failed writer, gradually turns into a killing beast who, with an evil grin, goes on to slaughter his
entire family. No wonder, then, that Judaism is also the religion of divine Law which regulates relations between people:
this Law is strictly correlative to the emergence of the neighbor as the inhuman Thing. That is to say, the ultimate function
of the Law is not to enable us not to forget the neighbor, to retain our proximity to the neighbor, but, on the contrary, to
keep the neighbor at a proper distance, to serve as a kind of protective wall against the monstrosity of the neighbor.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Links -- Levinas
The Affs pretended benevolence toward the thid world actually does the worst form of violence
to those who live there. Their suffering is instrumentalized, their lives depoliticized and
reduces to the docile recipients of our mercy.
Jackson, Dept. of English, Wayne St. Univ, 2007. [Ken, The Great Temptation of Religion: Why Badiou has
been so important to iek IJZS Vol. 1 no. 2]

If the be all and end all of political activity (and much academic study) is the respect of the other -- and some quick,
honest reflection on the ultimate aim of any number of academic work will reveal this characterization as accurate -- we are not in
position to discover truth. This emphasis on truth rather than ethics may sound reactionary, but only because the
term truth has become associated with a certain absolutist or essentialist perspective. As iek makes clear, for
example, our attention to ethics tends actually to depoliticize those we would be ethical towards, leaving them
only at the depoliticized mercy of some vagaries we call human rights: Todays new reign of ethics . . . relies
on a violent gesture of depoliticization, of denying the victimized other any political subjectization beyond our
mercy (2006: 341). Badiou includes in hiscritique of this ethical ideology all its socialized variants, things near and dear to the
academic heart: the doctrine of human rights, the victimary conception of Man, humanitarian interference, bio-ethics, shapeless
democratism, the ethics of differences, cultural relativism, moral exoticism, and so on (2001: 90). iek will come to say towards the

withdrawing from global capitalism also involves withdrawing from these sorts of
things, global capitalisms more palatable supplements.
end of The Parallax View that


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Links Foucault
Their idea of resistance is produced by the power relations they suppose to oppose. Only
overidentifying with the law, holding it to its public promise, can radically transform the
social order.
Slavoj Zizek, main man. The Rhetorics of Power. Diacritics 31.1 (2001) 91-104
In The Psychic Life of Power, Butler makes the same point apropos of Lacan himself: The [Lacanian]
imaginary [resistance] thwarts the efficacy of the symbolic law but cannot turn back upon the law,
demanding or effecting its reformulation. In this sense, psychic resistance thwarts the law in its effects, but
cannot redirect the law or its effects. Resistance is thus located in a domain that is virtually powerless to
alter the law that it opposes. Hence, psychic resistance presumes the continuation of the law in its anterior,
symbolic form and, in that sense, contributes to its status quo. In such a view, resistance appears doomed to
perpetual defeat. In contrast, Foucault formulates resistance as an effect of the very power that it is said to
oppose. [. . .] For Foucault, the symbolic produces the possibility of its own subversions, and these
subversions are unanticipated effects of symbolic interpellations. My response to this is triple. First, on the
level of exegesis, Foucault is much more ambivalent on this point: his thesis on the immanence of resistance
to power can also be read as asserting that every resistance is caught in advance in the game of the power it
opposes. Second, my notion of "inherent transgression," far from playing another variation on this theme
(resistance reproduces that to which it resists), makes the power edifice even more vulnerable: insofar as
power relies on its "inherent transgression," thensometimes, at leastoveridentifying with the explicit
power discourseignoring this inherent obscene underside and simply taking the power discourse at its
(public) word, acting as if it really means what it explicitly says (and promises)can be the most effective
way of disturbing its smooth functioning. Third, and most important: far from constraining the subject to a
resistance doomed to perpetual defeat, Lacan allows for a much more radical subjective intervention than
Butler: what the Lacanian notion of "act" aims at is not a mere displacement/ resignification of the
symbolic coordinates that confer on the subject his or her identity, but the radical transformation of the very
universal structuring "principle" of the existing symbolic order. Orto put it in more psychoanalytic terms
the Lacanian act, in its dimension of "traversing the fundamental fantasy" aims radically to disturb the
very "passionate attachment" that forms, for Butler, the ultimately ineluctable background of the process of


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Links -- Foucault
Their conception of fluid subjectivity and resistance are precisely what capitalism needs.
Slavoj Zizek. Hysteria and Cyberspace. (Interview) 2000
SZ: Of course there is also a political axis to this: My answer to some popularised version of Foucault or
Deleuze which praises this multiple perverse post-modern subject with its no longer fixed paternal authority,
which shifts between different self-images and reshapes itself all the time, is: Why is this supposed to be
subversive? I claim, and this got me into a lot of trouble with some feminists, I claim that, to put it into old
fashioned Marxist terms, the predominant structure of today's subjectivity in "Spaetkapitalismus" (Advanced
Capitalism) or whatever we want to call it, is perverse: The typical form of psychic economy of subjectivity
which is more and more predominant today, the so called narcissist personality, is a perverse structure. The
paternal authority is no longer the enemy today. So this idea of an explosion of multiple perversions just
describes what fits perfectly today's late-capitalist order...
... the flexible economy.
SZ: Yes, you can put it that way. No firm identity, shifting and multiple identities. This is how subjectivity
functions today. To cut a long story short, in this sense perversion is not subversive, and the first step towards
subversion is precisely to reintroduce this hysterical doubt. I think the present social relations can fully
acknowledge multiple identities. I think that today the ideal subject is bisexual: I play with men, I play with
women, anything goes and it's not subversive. And the strategy of imagining the nastiest perversion will not
create a situation which the system will not be able to sustain. I think it's politically wrong and I think it doesn't
work. When you have a look at the art system for example: Perverse transgressions are directly organized by the
establishment to keep the market functioning and alive


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Links -- Foucault
Their understanding of the subject as constituted by discourse privileges the symbolic and
effaces the real.
Sato, School of Educations Center for International Education, 2006 [Chizu, Subjectivity, Enjoyment, and
Development: Preliminary Thoughts on a New Approach to Postdevelopment Rethinking Marxism, Volume
18, Issue 2 April ]
Lacanian psychoanalysis makes it possible to see that the Foucauldian understanding of
the regime of power forces its critics to recognize subjects as 'multiple' rather than 'divided' and as articulated by
discourse (see Copjec 1994; Salecl 1998; iek 1999). For example, in work that examines the connections between political rationality
The framework provided by

within a particular development apparatus and microcredit as a governmental strategy, Rankin, drawing on Foucault's notion of
governmentality, claims that these connections reveal "markets themselves as a mechanism of governance that carefully regulates
individual behavior" (2001, 33).

While a politically potent intervention, what concerns me is that she and other
postdevelopment authors see individual behavior as regulated by discourse. A Lacanian psychoanalytic
approach would affirm this claim but would go on to argue that this approach is limited insofar as it can only
examine those phenomena that appear in the symbolic order of development. That is, the Foucauldian subject is
theorized as independent of what Lacan calls the real. Within Lacan it is impossible to represent the real in the
sociosymbolic field (1981). Laclau and Mouffe (1985) bring the real into socioideological analysis as antagonism
(iek 1989, 1990).4 The inability of postdevelopment critics to recognize the real/antagonism compels them to see
the subjectivities of development (for example, those of Third World women) as committed to those actions that sustain
the discourse of development and as unable to act in ways that expose the impossibility of that social order.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Links -- Multiculturalism
EQUALITY - their calls of equality under the democratic system are false democracy reinforces
the binaries that capitalism created by only including those who are of the social class to
participate the exclude have not vote in the democracy and are extorted
iek, Institute for Social Sciences at the University of Ljubljana, 2004
[Slavoj, Appendix I: canis a non canendo, iraq the borrowed kettle pg.86-87 ]
However, are things really that simple? First, direct democracy is not only still alive in many places, such as the
favelas , it is even being 'reinvented' and given a new boost by the rise the 'post industrial' digital culture (do not
the descriptions of the new `tribal' communities of computer-hackers often evoke the logic of conciliarly
democracy?). Secondly, the awareness that politics is a complex game in which a certain level of institutional
alienation is irreducible should not lead us to ignore the fact that there is still a line of separation which divides
those who are 'in' from those who are 'out', excluded from the space of the polis there are citizens, and then
there is the spectre of the excluded homo sacer haunting them all. In other words, even 'complex' contemporary
societies still rely on the basic divide between included and excluded. The fashionable notion of the 'multitude'
is insufficient precisely in so far as it cuts across this divide: there is a multitude within the system and a
multitude of those excluded, and simply to encompass them both within the scope of the same notion amounts to
the same obscenity as equating starvation with dieting. The excluded do not simply dwell in a psychotic nonstructured Outside: they have (and are forced into) their own self-organization (or, rather, they are forced into
organizing themselves) and one of the names (and practices) of this self-or organization was precisely
'conciliary democracy)

Capitalism needs multiculturalism allowing different lifestyles to develop is key to globalized

Zizek, Slovene sociologist, philosopher, and cultural critic, 2008 slovaj, IJS Vol 2.0 (2008),"If God doesnt
exist, everything is prohibited, page 3, 2008
What is the conclusion then? Theres no conflict between multiculturalism and global capitalism? Or to say it in

Stalins language, which you like

so much multiculturalism is an objective ally of capitalism . Thats absolutely clear. Todays capitalism develops thanks
to differences, not due to the homogenization of society based on some cultural and patriarchal model. In order
to constantly be reborn, to meet expectations of consumer society and keep up with the dynamics of market,
capitalism cant do without multiculturalism. The latter is not only an objective ally, but also the main ideology of a
globalized capitalism. My friends, leftists, have completely missed that fact. Its all about creating a world in which every, even
the most specific, lifestyle can fully develop.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Links -- Multiculturalism
Their mode of multicultural tolerance is intimately related to violence against the intolerant
Jodi Dean, Prof. of Political Theory @ Hobart and William Smith College, 2005. Zizek Against Democracy. )
A second argument Zizek employs against multiculturalism concerns the way that multicultural tolerance is part
of the same matrix as racist violence. On the one hand, multicultural respect for the other is way of asserting
the superiority of the multiculturalist.i The multiculturalist adopts an emptied out, disembodied perspective
toward an embodied, ethnic other. The ethnic other makes the universal position of the multiculturalist
possible. Not only does this attitude disavow the particularity of the multiculturalists own position, but it also
repeats the key gesture of global corporate capital: the big corporations will eat up, colonize, exploit, and
commodify anything. They arent biased. They are empty machines following the logic of Capital. On the other
hand, tolerance towards the other passes imperceptibly into a destructive hatred of all (fundamentalist)
Others who do not fit into our idea of tolerancein short, against all actual Others.ii The idea is that the liberal
democrat, or multiculturalist, is against hatred and harassment. Tolerance, then, is tolerance for another who also
doesnt hate or harass, that is, tolerance for an other who is not really so other at all.iii To this extent, the
multicultural position blurs into a kind of racism such that respect is premised on agreement and identity. The
other with deep fundamental beliefs, who is invested in a set of unquestionable convictions, whose enjoyment is
utterly incomprehensible to me, is not the other of multiculturalism. For Zizek, then, todays tolerant liberal
multiculturalism is an experience of the Other deprived of its Otherness (the idealized Other who dances
fascinating dances and has an ecologically sound holistic approach to reality, while practices like wife-beating
remain out of sight . . .).iv Just as in Eastern Europe after the fall of communism, so todays reflexive
multicultural tolerance has as its opposite, and thus remains caught in the matrix of, a hard kernel of
fundamentalism, of irrational, excessive, enjoyment. The concrete realization of rational inclusion and tolerance
coincides with contingent, irrational, violence.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Links -- Multicultaralism
Todays globalized world is populated by suffering victims, and that is just the way that ideology
likes it. The over-abundance of tolerance for those who suffer abjectly and meekly ask for
our help is the flip-side four our intolerance to those who challenge our vision of a peaceful
world with a home depot on every corner and a woman empowered in every village in the
Third World.
iek, Institute for Social Sciences at the University of Ljubljana, 2001 [Slavoj, The One Measure of True
Love Is: You Can Insult the Other, Interview by Sabine Reul and Thomas Deichman, Spiked, 15 November,]
what is sold to us today as freedom is something from which this more radical dimension of
freedom and democracy has been removed - in other words, the belief that basic decisions about social development are
discussed or brought about involving as many as possible, a majorit y. In this sense, we do not have an actual experience of freedom today. Our
freedoms are increasingly reduced to the freedom to choose your lifestyle. Question: Has 11 September thrown new light on your diagnosis of
Slavoj Zizek: I do claim that

what is happening to the world? SZ: One of the endlessly repeated phrases we heard in recent weeks is that nothing will be the same after 11 September. I wonder if there really is such a substantial change.
Certainly, there is change at the level of perception or publicity, but I don't think we can yet speak of some fundamental break. Existing attitudes and fears were confirmed, and what the media were telling us
about terrorism has now really happened. In my work, I place strong emphasis on what is usually referred to as the virtualisation or digitalisation of our environment. We know that 60 percent of the people
on this Earth have not even made a phone call in their life. But still, 30 percent of us live in a digitalised universe that is artificially constructed, manipulated and no longer some natural or traditional one.

At all levels of our life we seem to live more and more with the thing deprived of its substance. You get beer
without alcohol, meat without fat, coffee without caffeine...and even virtual sex without sex. Virtual reality to me is the climax of
this process: you now get reality without reality...or a totally regulated reality. But there is another side to this. Throughout the entire twentieth century, I see a counter-tendency,
for which my good philosopher friend Alain Badiou invented a nice name: 'La passion du rel', the passion of the real. That is to say, precisely because the
universe in which we live is somehow a universe of dead conventions and artificiality, the only authentic real
experience must be some extremely violent, shattering experience. And this we experience as a sense that now
we are back in real life. Q: Do you think that is what we are seeing now? SZ: I think this may be what defined the twentieth century, which really began with the First World War. We all
remember the war reports by Ernst J?nger, in which he praises this eye-to-eye combat experience as the authentic one. Or at the level of sex, the archetypal film of the twentieth century would be Nagisa

There must be
extreme violence for that encounter to be authentic. Another emblematic figure in this sense to me is the so-called 'cutter'- a widespread pathological phenomenon
Oshima's Ai No Corrida where the idea again is that you become truly radical, and go to the end in a sexual encounter, when you practically torture each other to death.

in the USA. There are two million of them, mostly women, but also men, who cut themselves with razors. Why? It has nothing to do with masochism or suicide. It's simply that they don't feel real as persons
and the idea is: it's only through this pain and when you feel warm blood that you feel reconnected again. So I think that this tension is the background against which one should appreciate the effect of the
act. Q: Does that relate to your observations about the demise of subjectivity in The Ticklish Subject? You say the problem is what you call 'foreclosure'- that the real or the articulation of the subject is
foreclosed by the way society has evolved in recent years. SZ: The starting point of my book on the subject is that almost all philosophical orientations today, even if they strongly oppose each other, agree
on some kind of basic anti-subjectivist stance. For example, Jurgen Habermas and Jacques Derrida would both agree that the Cartesian subject had to be deconstructed, or, in the case of Habermas, embedded
in a larger inter-subjective dialectics. Cognitivists, Hegelians - everybody is in agreement here. I am tempted to say that we must return to the subject - though not a purely rational Cartesian one. My idea is
that the subject is inherently political, in the sense that 'subject', to me, denotes a piece of freedom - where you are no longer rooted in some firm substance, you are in an open situation. Today we can no
longer simply apply old rules. We are engaged in paradoxes, which offer no immediate way out. In this sense, subjectivity is political. Q: But this kind of political subjectivity seems to have disappeared. In

When I say we live in a post-political world, I refer to a wrong ideological impression. We don't really
live in such a world, but the existing universe presents itself as post-political in the sense that there is some
kind of a basic social pact that elementary social decisions are no longer discussed as political decisions.
They are turned into simple decisions of gesture and of administration. And the remaining conflicts are
mostly conflicts about different cultures. We have the present form of global capitalism plus some kind of tolerant democracy as the ultimate form of that idea. And,
your books you speak of a post-political world. SZ:

paradoxically, only very few are ready to question this world. Q: So, what's wrong with that? SZ: This post-political world still seems to retain the tension between what we usually refer to as tolerant
liberalism versus multiculturalism. But for me - though I never liked Friedrich Nietzsche - if there is a definition that really fits, it is Nietzsche's old opposition between active and passive nihilism. Active
nihilism, in the sense of wanting nothing itself, is this active self-destruction which would be precisely the passion of the real - the idea that, in order to live fully and authentically, you must engage in selfdestruction. On the other hand, there is passive nihilism, what Nietzsche called 'The last man' - just living a stupid, self-satisfied life without great passions. The problem with a post-political universe is that
we have these two sides which are engaged in kind of mortal dialectics. My idea is that, to break out of this vicious cycle, subjectivity must be reinvented. Q: You also say that the elites in our Western world
are losing their nerve. They want to throw out all old concepts like humanism or subjectivity. Against that, you say it is important to look at what there is in the old that may be worth retaining. SZ: Of
course, I am not against the new. I am, indeed, almost tempted to repeat Virginia Woolf. I think it was in 1914 when she said it was as though eternal human nature had changed. To be a man no longer means
the same thing. One should not, for example, underestimate the inter-subjective social impact of cyberspace. What we are witnessing today is a radical redefinition of what it means to be a human being.
Take strange phenomena, like what we see on the internet. There are so-called 'cam' websites where people expose to an anonymous public their innermost secrets down to the most vulgar level. You have
websites today - even I, with all my decadent tastes, was shocked to learn this - where people put a video-camera in their toilets, so you can observe them defecating. This a totally new constellation. It is not
private, but also it is also not public. It is not the old exhibitionist gesture. Be that as it may, something radical is happening. Now, a number of new terms are proposed to us to describe that. The one most
commonly used is paradigm shift, denoting that we live in an epoch of shifting paradigm. So New Age people tell us that we no longer have a Cartesian, mechanistic individualism, but a new universal mind.
In sociology, the theorists of second modernity say similar things. And psychoanalytical theorists tell us that we no longer have the Oedipus complex, but live in an era of universalised perversion. My point


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

is not that we should stick to the old. But these answers are wrong and do not really register the break that is taking place. If we measure what is happening now by the standard of the old, we can grasp the
abyss of the new that is emerging. Here I would refer to Blaise Pascal. Pascal's problem was also confrontation with modernity and modern science. His difficulty was that he wanted to remain an old,
orthodox Christian in this new, modern age. It is interesting that his results were much more radical and interesting for us today than the results of superficial English liberal philosophers, who simply
accepted modernity. You see the same thing in cinema history, if we look at the impact of sound. Okay, 'what's the problem?', you might say. By adding the sound to the image we simply get a more realistic
rendering of reality. But that is not at all true. Interestingly enough, the movie directors who were most sensitive to what the introduction of sound really meant were generally conservatives, those who
looked at it with scepticism, like Charlie Chaplin (up to a point), and Fritz Lang. Fritz Lang's Das Testament des Dr Mabuse, in a wonderful way, rendered this spectral ghost-like dimension of the voice,
realising that voice never simply belongs to the body. This is just another example of how a conservative, as if he were afraid of the new medium, has a much better grasp of its uncanny radical potentials.
The same applies today. Some people simply say: 'What's the problem? Let's throw ourselves into the digital world, into the internet, or whatever....' They really miss what is going on here. Q: So why do
people want to declare a new epoch every five minutes? SZ: It is precisely a desperate attempt to avoid the trauma of the new. It is a deeply conservative gesture. The true conservatives today are the people
of new paradigms. They try desperately to avoid confronting what is really changing. Let me return to my example. In Charlie Chaplain's film The Great Dictator, he satirises Hitler as Hinkel. The voice is
perceived as something obscene. There is a wonderful scene where Hinkel gives a big speech and speaks totally meaningless, obscene words. Only from time to time you recognise some everyday vulgar
German word like 'Wienerschnitzel' or 'Kartoffelstrudel'. And this was an ingenious insight; how voice is like a kind of a spectral ghost. All this became apparent to those conservatives who were sensitive
for the break of the new. In fact, all big breaks were done in such a way. Nietzsche was in this sense a conservative, and, indeed, I am ready to claim that Marx was a conservative in this sense, too. Marx
always emphasised that we can learn more from intelligent conservatives than from simple liberals. Today, more than ever, we should stick to this attitude. When you are surprised and shocked, you don't
simply accept it. You should not say: 'Okay, fine, let's play digital games.' We should not forget the ability to be properly surprised. I think, the most dangerous thing today is just to flow with things. Q: Then
let's return to some of the things that have been surprising us. In a recent article, you made the point that the terrorists mirror our civilisation. They are not out there, but mirror our own Western world. Can
you elaborate on that some more? SZ: This, of course, is my answer to this popular thesis by Samuel P Huntington and others that there is a so-called clash of civilisations. I don't buy this thesis, for a

Today's racism is precisely this racism of cultural difference . It no longer says: 'I am more than you.'
It says: 'I want my culture, you can have yours. ' Today, every right-winger says just that. These people can be very postmodern. They acknowledge that there is no
number of reasons.

natural tradition, that every culture is artificially constructed. In France, for example, you have a neo-fascist right that refers to the deconstructionists, saying: 'Yes, the lesson of deconstructionism against
universalism is that there are only particular identities. So, if blacks can have their culture, why should we not have ours? ' We should also consider the first reaction of the American 'moral majority',
specifically Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, to the 11 September attacks. Pat Robertson is a bit eccentric, but Jerry Falwell is a mainstream figure, who endorsed Reagan and is part of the mainstream, not an
eccentric freak. Now, their reaction was the same as the Arabs', though he did retract a couple of days later. Falwell said the World Trade Centre bombings were a sign that God no longer protects the USA,

According to the FBI, there are now at least two million so-called
radical right-wingers in the USA. Some are quite violent, killing abortion doctors, not to mention the Oklahoma
City bombing. To me, this shows that the same anti-liberal, violent attitude also grows in our own civilisation. I
see that as proof that this terrorism is an aspect of our time. We cannot link it to a particular civilisation. Regarding
because the USA had chosen a path of evil, homosexuality and promiscuity.

Islam, we should look at history. In fact, I think it is very interesting in this regard to look at ex-Yugoslavia. Why was Sarajevo and Bosnia the place of violent conflict? Because it was ethnically the most
mixed republic of ex-Yugoslavia. Why? Because it was Muslim-dominated, and historically they were definitely the most tolerant. We Slovenes, on the other hand, and the Croats, both Catholics, threw them
out several hundred years ago. This proves that there is nothing inherently intolerant about Islam. We must rather ask why this terrorist aspect of Islam arises now. The tension between tolerance and

Take another example: on CNN we saw President Bush present a letter of a sevenyear-old girl whose father is a pilot and now around Afghanistan. In the letter she said that she loves her father,
but if her country needs his death, she is ready to give her father for her country. President Bush described this
as American patriotism. Now, do a simple mental experiment - imagine the same event with an Afghan girl
saying that. We would immediately say: 'What cynicism, what fundamentalism, what manipulation of small
children.' So there is already something in our perception. But what shocks us in others we ourselves also do in a
way. Q: So multiculturalism and fundamentalism could be two sides of the same coin? SZ: There is nothing to be said against tolerance.
But when you buy this multiculturalist tolerance, you buy many other things with it. Isn't it symptomatic that
multiculturalism exploded at the very historic moment when the last traces of working-class politics disappeared
from political space? For many former leftists, this multiculturalism is a kind of ersatz working-class politics. We don't even know whether the working class still
exists, so let's talk about exploitation of others. There may be nothing wrong with that as such. But there is a danger that issues of
economic exploitation are converted into problems of cultural tolerance . And then you have only to make one step further, that of Julia Kristeva in
fundamentalist violence is within a civilisation.

her essay 'Etrangers nous mmes', and say we cannot tolerate others because we cannot tolerate otherness in ourselves. Here we have a pure pseudo-psychoanalytic cultural reductionism. Isn't it sad and
tragic that the only relatively strong - not fringe - political movement that still directly addresses the working class is made up of right-wing populists? They are the only ones. Jean-Marie Le Pen in France,
for example. I was shocked when I saw him three years ago at a congress of the Front National. He brought a black Frenchman, an Algerian and a Jew on the podium, embraced them and said: 'They are no
less French than I am. Only the international cosmopolitan companies who neglect French patriotic interests are my enemy.' So the price is that only right-wingers still talk about economic exploitation. The

multiculturalist tolerance is that it is often hypocritical in the sense that the other whom
they tolerate is already a reduced other. The other is okay in so far as this other is only a question of food,
of culture, of dances. What about clitoridectomy? What about my friends who say: 'We must respect Hindus.' Okay, but what about one of the old Hindu customs
which, as we know, is that when a husband dies, the wife is burned. Now, do we respect that? Problems arise here. An even more important problem is that this
notion of tolerance effectively masks its opposite: intolerance. It is a recurring theme in all my books that,
from this liberal perspective, the basic perception of another human being is always as something that
may in some way hurt you. Q: Are you referring to what we call victim culture? SZ: The discourse of victimisation is almost the
predominant discourse today. You can be a victim of the environment, of smoking, of sexual harassment. I find this reduction of the subject to a
victim sad. In what sense? There is an extremely narcissistic notion of personality here. And , indeed, an intolerant
one, insofar as what it means is that we can no longer tolerate violent encounters with others - and these
encounters are always violent.
second thing I find wrong with this


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Links Animal Rights/Deep Ecology

Claims that animals should be treated equally avoid the real problem it substitutes a virtual
reality leaving the unethical attitude intact like meatless patties
Zizek 2007 (Slavoj, How to Read Lacan, Ch 3 The Interpassive Subject)
Lacan shares with Nietzsche and Freud the idea that justice as equality is founded on envy: the envy of the other
who has what we do not have, and who enjoys it. The demand for justice is ultimately the demand that the
excessive enjoyment of the other should be curtailed, so that everyone's access to enjoyment will be equal. The
necessary outcome of this demand, of course, is ascetism: since it is not possible to impose equal enjoyment,
what one can impose is the equally shared prohibition. However, one should not forget that today, in our
allegedly permissive society, this ascetism assumes precisely the form of its opposite, of the generalized
injunction "Enjoy!". We are all under the spell of this injunction, with the outcome that our enjoyment is more
hindered than ever - recall the yuppie who combines Narcissistic Self-Fulfillment with utter ascetic discipline of
jogging and eating health food. This, perhaps, is what Nietzsche had in mind with his notion of the Last Man - it
is only today that we can really discern the contours of the Last Man, in the guise of the predominant hedonistic
ascetism. In today's market, we find a whole series of products deprived of their malignant property: coffee
without caffeine, cream without fat, beer without alcohol... and the list goes on. What about virtual sex as sex
without sex, the Colin Powell doctrine of warfare with no casualties (on our side, of course) as warfare without
warfare, the contemporary redefinition of politics as the art of expert administration as politics without politics,
up to today's tolerant liberal multiculturalism as an experience of Other deprived of its Otherness (the idealized
Other who dances fascinating dances and has an ecologically sound holistic approach to reality, while features
like wife beating remain out of sight)? Virtual reality simply generalizes this procedure of offering a product
deprived of its substance: it provides reality itself deprived of its substance, of the resisting hard kernel of the
Real - in the same way decaffeinated coffee smells and tastes like real coffee without being the real one, Virtual
Reality is experienced as reality without being one. Everything is permitted, you can enjoy everything - on
condition that it is deprived of the substance which makes it dangerous.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Links -- Fiat
The affs presumption of a free willing, fiating individual is a fantasy which covers over the
operations of the drives which hold the subject together. Enjoyment is the fuel that powers
the Self.
Jodi Dean. Enjoyment as a Category of Political Thought.Annual Meeting of American Political Science
Association, September, 2005 2005. Do not cite
without permission
Thinking enjoyment in terms of fixity enables us to distinguish Zizeks account of subjectivity from other
versions prominent in political theory. First, his subject is clearly not the same as the liberal subject in so far as
there is no notion of consciously free and rational will. Rather, the Zizekian subject is an emptiness held in place
by enjoyment. Second, for Zizek the subject is not properly understood in terms of the concept of subjectposition or the individual as it is constructed within the terms of a given hegemonic formation (as a
woman/mother, black/minority, etc). And, third, the subject is not the illusory container of a potentially infinite
plasticity or capacity for creative self-fashioning. Instead, of either a subject position or an opportunity for recreation, the subject is lack (in the structure, the other) marked by the limit point or nugget of an impossible
Although this idea of the subject of lack might appear at first glance rather bizarre and
unhelpful, it nonetheless affiliates well with notions congenial to thinkers convinced by critiques of a specific
reading of the enlightenment subject such as those offered by Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud and extended in
Foucauldian, feminist, and post-Nietzschean thought. Zizeks account of the subject shares with these views the
rejection of a primary will, rationality, wholeness, and transparency. Similarly, it acknowledges the role of the
unconscious, the body, and language, bringing these three elements together in its account of enjoyment as it
limits and ruptures language and provides the object that is the very condition of the subject. As it emphases the
object conditioning the subject, moreover, Zizeks discussion of enjoyment as a political factor draws our
attention to a certain fixity on the part of the subject. Far from the malleable self-creating subject championed by
consumer capital, the Zizekian subject finds itself in a place not of its choosing, attached to fantasies of which it
remains unaware that nevertheless structure its relation to enjoyment thereby fastening it to the existing
framework of domination.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Links -- Fiat
The aff claims it is ethical for the government to ______________. Pretending this debate rounds
outcome influences the government disables the affs ethical impetus, relegating it to an
empty gesture to be rejected.
Zizek, 2007 (Slavoj, How to Read Lacan, Ch 2 Empty Gestures and Performatives)
This brings us to the dense passage with which we opened this chapter: in it, Lacan proposes no less
than an account of the genesis of the big Other. "Danaoi" is the term used by Homer to designate the
Greeks who were laying siege to Troy; their gift was the famous wooden horse which, after it was
received by the Trojans, allowed the Greeks to penetrate and destroy Troy. For Lacan, language is such
a dangerous gift: it offers itself to our use free of charge, but once we accept it, it colonizes us. The
symbolic order emerges from a gift, an offering, which neutralizes its content in order to declare itself
as a gift: when a gift is offered, what matters is not its content but the link between the giver and the
receiver established when the other accepts the gift. Lacan even engages here in a bit of speculation
about animal ethology: the sea swallows who pass a caught fish from beak to beak (as if to make it
clear that the link established in this way is more important than who will finally keep and eat the fish),
effectively engage in a kind of symbolic communication. Everyone who is in love knows this: a
present to the beloved, if it is to symbolize my love, should be useless, superfluous in its very
abundance - only as such, with its use-value suspended, can it symbolize my love. Human
communication is characterized by an irreducible reflexivity: every act of communication
simultaneously symbolizes the fact of communication. Roman Jakobson called this fundamental
mystery of the properly human symbolic order "phatic communication": human speech never merely
transmits a message, it always also self-reflectively asserts the basic symbolic pact between the
communicating subjects. The most elementary level of symbolic exchange is a so-called "empty
gesture," an offer made or meant to be rejected. Brecht gave a poignant expression to this feature in his
play Jasager. in which the young boy is asked to accord freely with what will in any case be his fate (to
be thrown into the valley); as his teacher explains it to him, it is customary to ask the victim if he
agrees with his fate, but it is also customary for the victim to say yes. Belonging to a society involves
a paradoxical point at which each of us is ordered to embrace freely, as the result of our choice, what is
anyway imposed on us (we all must love our country or our parents). This paradox of willing
(choosing freely) what is in any case necessary, of pretending (maintaining the appearance) that there
is a free choice although effectively there isn't one, is strictly codependent with the notion of an empty
symbolic gesture, a gesture - an offer - which is meant to be rejected.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Links -- Sovereignty
State sovereignty serves as a universal lens through which to view the world and conduct
political life it constitutes a fantasy attempting to avoid confronting uncertainty, even to
the point of violent imposition.
Edkins, professor at Aberystwyth 2002 [Jenny The Subject of the Political Sovereignty and Subjectivity]
We have shown that the subject is of necessity incomplete, or impossi ble. It is always in process; it never fully
comes to presence but is structured around a lack. This lack arises, first, from the gap between the real and the
imaginary in the mirror phase and then from the gap between the imaginary and the symbolic, or social, during
interpellation. Like the subject, the symbolic, or social, order is similarly constituted around a lack, one that in
this case appears as a constitutive antagonism.11 This antagonism appears in a variety of guises in different
social orders, but it is always there and cannot be removed. A society without antagonism cannot exist: social
reality can never be complete or whole. However, for life to go on the lack must be concealed and the
concealment hidden. This is accomplished by the production of social reality. In order for what we call social
reality to be constituted, meaning has to be imposed. This is achieved through the "master signifier," a signifier
that stands in the place of the constitutive lack or antagonism at the heart of the social order. Without such a
signifier, the social order cannot constitute itself; the sliding of meaning cannot be arrested. This signifier is the
embodiment of lack; it enables us to account for the gap between result and intention. The act of imposing
meaning, halting the movement of free-floating signifiers, is an authoritative act, "a non-founded founding act of
violence" that recalls the violence of the founding decision in the work of Jacques Derrida.12 At this moment,
the symbolic order comes into being, the decision is taken, and the law is founded. The violence that is implicated in this process then disappears: in the history of what happened, what was brought into being with this
foundational act is narrated as always already inevitable. Once the decision has been taken, the moment of deci sion disappears, though not entirely without trace. We are now in a position to suggest how sovereignty and
subjectivity implicate each other. As we have seen, subjectivity can only exist, or rather, be constituted, in
relation to a particular social or symbolic order. The social order itself is brought into existence, supposed or
posited, in relation to a particular signifier, which covers the hole or lack in the-social or sym bolic order and
provides a nodal point around which meaning is articulated. In modernity, one of the signifiers that performs this
function is sovereignty. The concept of sovereignty is central to discourse and the International. It informs
conventional notions of what power might be: the relationship between sovereign and subject within the
absolutist kingdom, or the sovereignty of a government over the lives of its citizens in the modern nation state.
Sovereignty also plays a foundational role in discussions of international autonomy: the sovereign state is a
bounded unit in the international system. This centrality testifies to its place as the master signifier around which
a particular symbolic order is constituted "Sovereignty" as a master signifier is not free and autonomous here
but stands implicated and embroiled in questions of "subjectivity." The authori ty of the master signifier derives
only from its position in the social orderwhich itself derives only from the subjection of the subjects that
evoke it. It is an impostor, in a sense: any signifier that found itself at the place of con stitutive lack in the
structure would dodivine providence, the invisible hand of the market, the objective logic of history, or the
Jewish conspiracy, for example. Sovereignty performs this task for the social reality that is taken to be modern
politics. It conceals antagonism in a particular way and implicates particular subjectivities. For example, it
produces politics as subjection and sovereignty as absolute. Within the legal authority it establishes, violence is
concealed. That same violence is banished to the nonsoviereign realm of the international. The subjectivities it


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

invokes (or rather, that invoke it) are the irresponsible camp followers of power insofar as they naturalize a
particular social order. Their actions respond to what they suppose are the desires of authority.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Links -- Sovereignty
Meaningful ethical or political action is impossible as long as the master-signifier of sovereignty
remains unchallenged.
Edkins, professor at Aberystwyth 2002 [Jenny The Subject of the Political Sovereignty and Subjectivity]
A symbolic order centered on sovereignty is not the only (im)possible solution; we could imagine other social
realities. However, once sovereignty is in place, an ethical-political challenge in the name of an alternative
becomes illegitimate. This difficulty arises because sovereignty as a master signifier conceals its status as will
have been, constituting the social order as always already. As such, sovereign as a political referent persists and
endures almost as if it were an inevitable and unavoidable _part of politics. Indeed, it functions to define politics
in a particular way such that sovereignty is the oily referent by which one can understand the political. We will
question this by asking whether another politics is possible, one that does not invoke sovereignty or an
alternative master signifier. Arguably, without a master signifier either the social order nor the subject are
possible. If this is accepted, emancipation as such becomes impossible. Liberation is always to come.
Revolution is a joyous but impossible moment, a singularity outside time, where repressive authority has been
overthrown and a new order has yet to be reimposed. There was such a moment during the revolutions at the end
of the cold war in Europe, with "rebels waving the national flag with the red star, the communist symbol, cut
out, so that instead of the symbol standing for the organizing principle of national life, there was nothing but a
hole in its centre." Zizek raises the prospect of "tarrying with the negative," although the logic of his Lacanian
position would repudiate that possibility. Derrida, in a parallel attempt to find a way of being outside the
dichotomized violence of logocentrism, suggests an endless process of decisioning. Both of these would be a
way of engaging with the political and returning to an ethicsin Derrida's case an ethics of responsibility, and
for Zizek an ethics of the real. Examining how an ethics of the real might operate leads to some interesting
conclusions about the role of sovereignty in preempting such a move. As a master signifier, sovereignty has
precisely the task of preventing the emergence of an ethics of the real. The imposition of meaning, which is what
the master signifier accomplishes, forecloses ethi cal possibility,)


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Links - Rationality
Modern claims of reason are the feeble attempts to control language, action and thought, to create them as
universely manageable, grounded and understandable. But within this quest the picture of the rational,
conscious, autonomous individual has vanished. In its place, is a form of subjectivity that is bound up with
the social or symbolic order.
Edkins, professor at Aberystwyth 2002 [Jenny The Subject of the Political Sovereignty and Subjectivity]

Toward the end of this part of Chapter 1, before we outline the contribution subsequent chapters will make, we
pursue the entanglement of sovereignty and subjectivity further and pose the question of whether there is an
alternative to sovereignty. Does the political as such necessarily involve sovereignty as a nodal point, or can
other signifiers take its place, leading to alternative structures of authority? More radically, perhaps, is it
possible to talk of politics without the fixity such an authorizing concept imposes? We conclude by arguing that
it is only without a "sovereign" that a rethinking of the political is possible. The Cartesian subject was produced
in response to a sense of loss and a search for certainty amid the confusion of a newly decentered postCopernican world. The resolution of doubt for Rene Descartes was to be found in rational, conscious thought.
Since then, as Richard Ashley reminds us, "modem discourse has invoked the heroic figure of reasoning man
who is himself the origin of language, the maker of history, and the source of meaning in the world. . . .
Reasoning man . . . is the modern sovereign."3 The challenge to this notion of sovereign subjectivity has
occurred through a series of decenterings that have successively loosened its anchorages in language, action, and
thought. The first decentering contested the concept of language as no more than a medium for the expression of
thought. Ferdinand de Saussure contended that rather than linguistic signs being produced by the allocation of
names to preexisting objects, the association of signifier and signified that they embodied produced objects at
the same time as naming them.4 Language constituted the world in particular ways. More significantly for the
present discussion, since signifier and signified were arbitrary, meaning arose only from the linguistic system as
a whole, and words acquired their value through associations. Language as system, however, preexists, and
hence is beyond the control of, the speaker. In addition, words spoken are not determined in their meaning, since
meaning arises from associations that vary with the context and the listener.5 In an important sense, then, we do
not speak language; language speaks us. The sense that language was out of control, and that thoughts could not
be "expressed" as such, was only the first challenge. The next was to thought itself, with the notion of the
unconscious.6 If it was necessary to posit the existence of a realm of thinking that was not only unconscious
(and hence inaccessible) but that operated in an entirely different manner from that of consciousness, then the
picture of reason as central to subjectivity was shattered. The status of thought as originary was also contested
by the view that social being precedes and to an extent at least determines consciousness.? The whole edifice of
philosophy and political thought was argued to be no more than a superstructure resting on the foundations of an
economic base defined by its mode of production. Political ideas and aspi rations were seen as reflecting and
constrained by, rather than leading to, economic and social change. The subject was not in charge of history but
subjected to (and by) historical processes. After these several decenterings, what is left? The picture of the ratio nal, conscious, autonomous individual has vanished. In its place, what we have is a subjectivity that is bound up
with the social or symbolic order. The constitution of the subject and the social order seem to implicate each
other. This leads to the picture of the poststructuralist subject as not only a decentered subject but an incomplete,
impossible subject that only ever will have been. How does this relate to our contention that subjectivity and
sovereignty depend upon and contain each other and that this is a fiercely political relationship? Before we can
address this question, we need to elaborate how the impossible, split subjectivities we describe are constituted,

Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

thus giving an account of how the social order is posited and how sovereignty as a nodal point is crucial in this


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Links Utopian Politics

The affirmatives views of a perfect world are unreachable and will only lead to more
conservative regressive politics
iek, Institute for Social Sciences at the University of Ljubljana, 2004 [Slavoj, Appendix I: canis a non
canendo, iraq the borrowed kettle pg.124-125 ]
The first thing to do here is to specify what we mean by utopia: in its essence, utopia has nothing to do with
imagining an impossible ideal society; what characterizes utopia is literally the construction of a u-topic space, a
social space outside the existing parameters, the parameters of what appears to be 'possible' in the existing social
universe. The 'utopian' gesture is the gesture which changes the co-ordinates of the possible. That was the kernel
of the Leninist 'utopia' which rose from the ashes of the catastrophe of 1914, in his settling of accounts with
Second International orthodoxy: the radical imperative to smash the bourgeois state, which meant the state as
such, and to invent a new communal social form without a standing army, police or bureaucracy, in which all
could take part in the administration of social affairs. For Lenin, this was no theoretical project for some stant
future in October 1917, he claimed: 'we can at once set in motion a state apparatus constituted of ten if not
twenty million people'.34 This urge of the moment is the true utopia. What one should stick with is the madness
(in the strict Kierkegaardian sense) of this Lenininst utopia and, if anything, Stalinism stands for a return to
realistic 'common sense'. It is impossible to overestimate the explosive potential of The State and Revolution
in this book, 'the vocabulary and grammar of the Western tra dition of politics was abruptly dispensed with'.
What this means is, again, that utopia has nothing to do with idle dreaming about ideal society in total
abstraction from real life: 'utopia! is a matter-of-innermost urgency something we are pushed into as a matter of
survival, when it is no longer possible to go on within the parameters of the 'possible'. This utopia has to be
opposed both to the standard notion of political utopias, books containing projects which were basically not
even intended to be realized (from its first supreme, case, Plato's Republic, up to Thomas More's Utopia and not to be forgotten - De Sade's Philosophy in the Boudoir) and to what is usually referred to as the utopian
practice of capitalism itself: commodities evoking utopian pleasures, the libidinal economy that relies on the
dynamic of continuously generating new transgressive desires and practices, right up to necrophilia (think of
the- recent proposals to make corpses available to those who need them for their satisfaction).


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Links International Law

International law is the foundation of capitalism
Antonio Cassese, judge, former president of the International Tribunal, International Law in a Divided World,
1986, p. 107 (HARVOC2651)
Another significant consideration is that law played an important role in the birth of capitalism (which in turn
was decisive in the formation of strongly centralized national States). The economic system evolving in the
fourteenth and fifteenth centuries was based on free enterprise and free competition. One of the social
mechanisms necessary for the new system was a body of predictable and ascertainable standards of behavior
allowing each economic factor to maintain a set of relatively safe expectations as to the conduct of other social
actors (including the State, authorities, in case of transgression). Thus law became one of the devices permitting
economic activities and consolidating and protecting the fruits of such action. It soon appeared to be one of the
major agencies of social relations, and no one raised the question as to whether it was necessary or not.

Global controls support capitalism

Michael Hardt, Literature Professor, Antonio Negri, former political science professor, U Paris, 2000 (EMPIRE, (PDOCSS2328)
In the passage of sovereignty toward the plane of immanence, the collapse of boundaries has taken place both
within each national context and on a global scale. The withering of civil society and the general crisis of the
disciplinary institutions coincide with the decline of nation-states as boundaries that mark and organize the
divisions in global rule. The establishment of a global society of control that smooths over the striae of national
boundaries goes hand in hand with the realization of the world market and the real subsumption of global
society under capital.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Links -- Democracy
Modern democracies are designed to facilitate the expansion of the corporation
Richard Moore, Political Scientist, 1996 (THE FATEFUL DANCE OF CAPITALISM AND DEMOCRACY, (PDOCSS2312)
Thus modern "democracies" have served as the vehicles supporting the growth of capitalism. Controlled via
propaganda and corruption, the nation state has been harnessed to expand investment opportunities, while the
corporation has evolved to exploit those opportunities.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Links Military Strength

The military supports the expansion of free market capitalism
Richard Moore, Political Scientist, 1996 (THE FATEFUL DANCE OF CAPITALISM AND DEMOCRACY, (PDOCSS2313)
The actual purpose of the U.S. military has been to act as the police force to expand and protect the extent of the
free-investment world, and to insure that all the little "free" nations remain hospitable to corporate investments.
That most of these nations are not democratic is of no consequence to the elite, except that it makes the world
easier to manage.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Links State Power

Neo-liberal capitalism depends on the state
Although neo-liberalism as an ideology opposes state intervention, the practical implementation of these
policies always depended on the state - or at least bargaining between the world's most powerful states. This is
why its implementation through international trade and business meetings has been far from smooth. The
Financial Times can still worry that something as apparently trivial as the row between Europe and the US over
banana imports "could be escalating transatlantic retaliation that would bring the already enfeebled WTO to its
knees". There are similarly intractable disputes over what preparations the IMF should make for intervention in
any further international financial crisis like that which hit Asia in 1997. The "theorists" of neo-liberalism do not
themselves have any easy answers to these conflicts. For although their creed preaches non-intervention by the
state, it has been an ideology reflecting the needs of the state-industrial complexes of the US, the European
powers and Japan in their collisions with each other and the world's smaller states.

The state improves the profitability of capitalism

This sometimes involved privatization and a complete "retreat of the state" from the provision of certain
services. But often the same goals were pursued by other means: imposing cash limits on government
departments, cutting the budgets of local authorities or educational institutions while increasing the amount they
had to do, introducing "internal" market mechanisms in state-run structures (such as Britain's NHS and schools
system). In these cases the state did not "retreat". It did, however, aim to improve the profitability of the
capitalists operating within its territories by increasing the pressure on the mass of people.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Links State Power

The state promotes global capitalism
E. Dana Neacsu, Attorney, New York City; former Assistant Corporate Counsel, New York City Law
Department; Judge, 2000 (JOURNAL OF LAW & POLICY, v. 8, pp. 445-6) (PDOCSS2317)
As only one, but a crucial example of the unique and irreplaceable role played by the state, it has successfully
promoted the interests of American corporations abroad under the rubric of global well-being, and of creating,
legitimating, and enforcing a tax structure that cannot and does not benefit anyone but the rich n and the
corporate interest. The state may well have been joined by the corporation at the apex of the pyramid but,
despite Kennedy's argument, it clearly remains an indispensable partner in the social penthouse it shares with
corporate America.

The state protects corporate interests

E. Dana Neacsu, Attorney, New York City; former Assistant Corporate Counsel, New York City Law
Department; Judge, 2000 (JOURNAL OF LAW & POLICY, v. 8, pp. 450-2) (PDOCSS2318)
Domestically, the state also operates as a protector of the corporate interest. Through a regressive tax structure,
the state threatens equality of opportunity. Basic elements of social justice, such as public schools and health
care, are further jeopardized by threats to cut education funds and an already limited Medicare system of
national health care. Kennedy's elimination of the state as a, or possibly the, major element in the social pyramid
(or diamond) ignores the strategy of privatization and self-abnegation by which the lower portions of the
pyramid are barred from access to fundamental human needs such as health care. It is surely significant that the
state, through the Clinton administration, promoted the private sector, while de-emphasizing the role of the state,
in the provision of health care. When the effort to provide a national health insurance system failed, the state
essentially was admitting that health care is a private, not a public, good - that is, that private insurance was the
only solution - which seemingly legitimized the failure to obtain any kind of national health plan. It is surely not
the same to claim that the state is unimportant as it is to observe that the state itself claims that it is unimportant.
While many health care theorists compare health care to other basic state responsibilities, such as primary and
secondary education, and view them "as fundamentally important in securing equality of opportunity," the state
is nevertheless engaged in disavowing its responsibilities for both health and public education.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Links State Power

The state is not a benevolent manager of capitalism
Yet this identification with the state as a benevolent agency for managing capitalism rested on a very
shortsighted notion of what that state is. It is based around "armed bodies of men" whose job is killing. The era
of state direction of industry was not one of benign treatment of the people. It was the phase in which the
abiding image of the life of the worker was that of the appendage to the machine presented in Charlie Chaplin's
Modern Times or Diego Rivera's Detroit murals. The phase included the Nazi regime in Germany and the
ultimate horror of the Holocaust, the starvation of some four million people in British-ruled Bengal in the early
1940s, the French colonial wars in Indochina and Algeria, and the US war against Vietnam. It also included the
horrors associated with Stalinist forced industrialization in the former USSR. It was the period in which Latin
America tended to be dominated by military dictatorships, like that which ran Brazil in the late 1960s, and in
which the "Great Leap Forward" attempted instant industrialization in China in 1958-1960, leading to many
millions of deaths from starvation.

The state protects corporate interests

E. Dana Neacsu, Attorney, New York City; former Assistant Corporate Counsel, New York City Law
Department; Judge, 2000 (JOURNAL OF LAW & POLICY, v. 8, pp. 450-2) (PDOCSS2641)
Domestically, the state also operates as a protector of the corporate interest. Through a regressive tax structure,
n134 the state threatens equality of opportunity. Basic elements of social justice, such as public schools and
health care, are further jeopardized by threats to cut education funds and an already limited Medicare system of
national health care. Kennedy's elimination of the state as a, or possibly the, major element in the social pyramid
(or diamond) ignores the strategy of privatization and self-abnegation by which the lower portions of the
pyramid are barred from access to fundamental human needs such as health care. It is surely significant that the
state, through the Clinton administration, promoted the private sector, while de-emphasizing the role of the state,
in the provision of health care. When the effort to provide a national health insurance system failed, the state
essentially was admitting that health care is a private, not a public, good - that is, that private insurance was the
only solution - which seemingly legitimized the failure to obtain any kind of national health plan. It is surely not
the same to claim that the state is unimportant as it is to observe that the state itself claims that it is unimportant.
While many health care theorists compare health care to other basic state responsibilities, such as primary and
secondary education, and view them "as fundamentally important in securing equality of opportunity," the state
is nevertheless engaged in disavowing its responsibilities for both health and public education.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Links State Power

The state promotes global capitalism
E. Dana Neacsu, Attorney, New York City; former Assistant Corporate Counsel, New York City Law
Department; Judge, 2000 (JOURNAL OF LAW & POLICY, v. 8, pp. 445-6) (PDOCSS2653)
As only one, but a crucial example of the unique and irreplaceable role played by the state, it has successfully
promoted the interests of American corporations abroad n118 under the rubric of global well-being, and of
creating, legitimating, and enforcing a tax structure that cannot and does not benefit anyone but the rich and the
corporate interest. The state may well have been joined by the corporation at the apex of the pyramid but,
despite Kennedy's argument, it clearly remains an indispensable partner in the social penthouse it shares with
corporate America.

The state promotes global capitalism

E. Dana Neacsu, Attorney, New York City; former Assistant Corporate Counsel, New York City Law
Department; Judge, 2000 (JOURNAL OF LAW & POLICY, v. 8, pp. 445-6) (PDOCSS2864)
As only one, but a crucial example of the unique and irreplaceable role played by the state, it has successfully
promoted the interests of American corporations abroad n118 under the rubric of global well-being, and of
creating, legitimating, and enforcing a tax structure that cannot and does not benefit anyone but the rich and the
corporate interest. The state may well have been joined by the corporation at the apex of the pyramid but,
despite Kennedy's argument, it clearly remains an indispensable partner in the social penthouse it shares with
corporate America.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Links -- Law
Judges apply our reified capitalistic roles
Henry Schegel, Professor of Law, State University of New York at Buffalo, 2001 (CARDOZO LAW REVIEW,
1067) (PDOCSS2323)
A judge like all other humans in the capitalist system, is "passivised within a role, fulfilling ... "the judicial
function.'" In acting out this function, the judge begins with "a sense of the whole culture ... that he passivizes
into the movement of a quasi-object, such that each discrete situation of facts reveals itself to his mind against
the background of the total "factual' context from which the law has emerged." In other words, the judge
apprehends the completely reified social structure characteristic of capitalism, denying the made, changeable
contingency of social relations. This reified structure is understood as the normal movement of the social field,
both in the sense of "normal" as "regular," and in the sense of "normatively compelling." In this latter sense, the
reified structure embodies the "presupposed norm" that the judge thereafter will be called on to "apply."

The legal system relies on cost-benefit analysis that protects the market
Robin West, Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center, 2001 (FORDHAM LAW REVIEW, April,
SOCIETY, p. 1919) (PDOCSS2324)
The cost of health is balanced against lost profits, the value of future life is measured against present dollars, the
cost of suffering against the cost of prevention, the monetary benefits of speech against the cost of permitting it,
the cost of sexual harassment against the benefits of non-intervention. This cost-benefit analysis has widely
recognized and well-known pitfalls: it relies on real or shadow market values that are themselves reflective of
little but the forces of profit; it ferociously solidifies and legitimates the status quo by ignoring the effects of
given distributions on felt entitlements; it discriminates between us by valuing our lives differently on the basis
of our projected or actual incomes; it creates a wealth-based mentality that measures all, including goodness,
truth and justice, by reference to profit. But for all of its problems - for all of its well-known absurdities - costbenefit analysis now dominates legal analysis.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Links -- Law
Legal training supports globalization
Robin West, Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center, 2000 (QUINNAPAC LAW REVIEW, Is the
Rule of Law Cosmopolitan?, p. 22) (PDOCSS2325)
Second, and more importantly, a large number of working lawyers - in fact, the vast majority of the elite of the
profession - already think and act as cosmopolitan citizens of the world, in either the economic or ethical sense,
and already view that worldly identity as fully integrated with their legal identity. Private international lawyers
employed by transnational corporations or trade organizations, as well as public human rights lawyers employed
by human rights organizations, nations, governments, or individuals, circle the globe, dressed in their American
Express cards, as they quite explicitly seek to create a world without borders, united by legal ties of either
commerce or of a universal regard for human rights.

Supporting libertarianism supports globalization

Robin West, Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center, 2000 (QUINNAPAC LAW REVIEW, Is the
Rule of Law Cosmopolitan? pp. 284-5) (PDOCSS2327)
The second objection to an egalitarian conception of legal justice is that it inevitably dissolves into a libertarian
one, and that coupling that conception with cosmopolitanism will accordingly do little but pave the way for
global capitalism. If we identify the heart of legal justice as an ethical mandate to accord an equal moral regard
to all, and then identify the grounds of that mandate as the nature we all share, but then cling to the belief that
what we share, essentially, is nothing but our capacity for creating value through choice - a belief seemingly
held by both the libertarian right and the relativistic postmodern left - and we then urge a cosmopolitan ethic that
respects that universalism, we will have done little but fuel an economic globalism that runs roughshod over
both particularistic tradition and universal human need.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Links Human Rights

Promoting universally shared human rights promotes capitalism
Robin West, Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center, 2000 (QUINNAPAC LAW REVIEW, : Is
the Rule of Law Cosmopolitan? , p. 259) (PDOCSS2326)
This traditional account of the rule of precedent, of legal justice and the rule of law, is not simply noncosmopolitan; it is anti-cosmopolitan. The very point of precedent, and of law, so understood, is to forge a
cultural or national identity separate and distinct from undifferentiated humanity; it is to create and maintain
bonds of civic obligation distinctively grounded in particularistic tradition rather than in universal essence. We
treat likes alike - masters like masters, servants like servants, one promise backed by consideration like another
promise backed by consideration - because by doing so we create, affirm and differentiate particular and shared
identities, and by doing so, we create, affirm and differentiate our culture from all others. We do all of this, in
part, through law. Law should be valued, then, not only and not primarily because it handily insures order,
safety, a less brutal, longer, and possibly freer life for all, but precisely because it wards off the danger of a
creeping cosmopolitan universalism - a universalism that threatens our national identity, and hence our human
and cultural identity, profoundly. To generalize the point: if the virtue expressed by the rule of law is our respect
for universally shared human traits, which is then identified exclusively with our capacity for willful choice,
then the cosmopolitanism that the rule of law so understood implies, will be one which runs rough shod not only
over particular cultural traditions, but also over legal regimes, either domestic or international, responsive to and
protective of other needs or traits or aspirations of the species. In short order, it will be a cosmopolitanism that
respects and serves the interests of commerce, capital and markets, and one that is neglectful of or hostile to not
only particular cultural traditions, but non-commercial universal needs and aspirations as well.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Links -- Democracy
Democracy is an ideological trap meant to ensure the smooth functioning of Capital.
Jodi Dean, Prof. of Political Theory @ Hobart and William Smith College, 2005. Zizek Against Democracy. )
In this article, I take up Slavoj Zizeks critical interrogation of democracy. I specify and defend Zizeks position
as an alternative left politics, indeed, as that position most attuned to the loss of the political today. Whereas
liberal and pragmatic approaches to politics and political theory accept the diminishment of political aspirations
as realistic accommodation to the complexities of late capitalist societies as well as preferable to the dangers of
totalitarianism accompanying Marxist and revolutionary theories, Zizeks psychoanalytic philosophy confronts
directly the trap involved in acquiescence to a diminished political field, that is to say, to a political field
constituted through the exclusion of the economy: within the ideological matrix of liberal democracy, any move
against nationalism, fundamentalist, or ethnic violence ends up reinforcing Capital and guaranteeing
democracys failure. Arguing that formal democracy is irrevocably and necessarily stained by a particular
content that conditions and limits its universalizability, he challenges his readers to relinquish our attachment to
democracy: if we know that the procedures and institutions of constitutional democracies privilege the wealthy
and exclude the poor, if we know that efforts toward inclusion remain tied to national boundaries, thereby
disenfranchising yet again those impacted by certain national decisions and policies, and if we know that the
expansion and intensification of networked communications that was supposed to enhance democratic
participation serves primarily to integrate and consolidate communicative capitalism, why do we present our
political hopes as aspirations to democracy, rather than something else? Why in the face of democracys obvious
inability to represent justice in the social field that has emerged in the incompatibility between the globalized
economy and welfare states to displace the political, do critical left political and cultural theorists continue to
emphasize a set of arrangements that can be filled in, substantialized, by fundamentalisms, nationalisms,
populisms, and conservatisms diametrically opposed to progressive visions of social and economic equality?
The answer is that democracy is the form our attachment to Capital takes. Faithful to democracy, we eschew the
demanding task of politicizing the economy and envisioning a different political order.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Links Development
The aff participates in a fantasy of harmony wherein underdeveloped countries are brought up
to speed with the Western self. This fantasy encounters perpetual resistance in the form of
new Third World obstacles for the US to solve. What results is an endless relationship of
domination and dependence wherein the Third World is presented as symbolically
deficient, subordinate to the West.
Sato, School of Educations Center for International Education, 2006 [Chizu, Subjectivity, Enjoyment, and
Development: Preliminary Thoughts on a New Approach to Postdevelopment Rethinking Marxism, Volume
18, Issue 2 April ]
Within Lacanian psychoanalysis, Development (with a capital D) can be thought of as one of a sequence of social
fantasies born after World War II whose effect has been to guarantee social harmony in the sociosymbolic field These
fantasies have naturalized longstanding though continually shifting imperialist class struggles . In modern society,
Development is promoted through the creation of a certain symbolic authority (ego ideal) with which both 'the
Developed' and 'the Underdeveloped' can identify. While changes in context have shaped the manifestation of this fantasmatic scenario, the Developed
have always had the mandate to identify and develop all the Underdeveloped through Western capitalist
development. The Underdeveloped, for their part, are forced by the Law of Development to accept their subordinate
symbolic position For the Developed, the relationship between the Developed and the Underdeveloped appears
to be noncontradictory. Let us look at a well-known example from a psychoanalytic perspective. In 1949, U.S. President Harry Truman said that the
Underdeveloped were, among other things, "victims of disease" (quoted in Escobar 1995, 3). In this speech he articulated fully the identity of the
Underdeveloped and made the excessive demand that they should develop themselves by engaging in "greater [Capitalist] commodity production" (3). He further stated that,
ultimately, it was the gift of "modern scientific and technical knowledge that would bring development to the
Underdeveloped" (3). This speech exposes the self-identified Developed as constituted within and dependent on
the Law of Development. The Developed exist only in relation to the Underdeveloped, and both can be found
only within the fantasy of Development. Looking at this self-congratulatory picture from the other side, two short statements made by India's first postindependence prime
minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, are telling. The very thing that India lacked, the modern West possessed and possessed to excess. It had a dynamic outlook Because it was dynamic, it was progressive and full of
life India, as well as China, must learn from the West for the modern West has much to teach, and the spirit of the age is represented by the West. (quoted in Bergeron

2004, 16)We are trying to catch up,


as far as we can, with the Industrial Revolution that occurred long ago in Western countries. (quoted in Chakrabarti and Cullenberg
, 2)This bondage was to be resolved by pursuing 'greater
production' through the West-directed 'Industrial Revolution'. In other words, he accepted his (or India's) place in the symbolic order as the non-Modern, the non-Industrialized, thus 'the Underdeveloped' in

the Underdeveloped is also, albeit differently, bound to the Law

and the self-identified Developed appears fully to govern the Underdeveloped. A psychoanalytic reading tells us that this
seemingly noncontradictory social bond between the Developed and the Underdeveloped is a semblance. That is, the
perception the Developed has of this social bond is made possible by the repression of an absolutely necessary
unconscious fantasy. Speaking from an already historically power-laden position, the self-identified Developed
(i.e., Truman) fantasized that his demands would be fulfilled by the Underdeveloped. In this scenario, the Developed can be
read as experiencing the absolute enjoyment that derives from solidifying his identity as a master by turning the
Underdeveloped into a passive object. Yet, the truth is that this master is marked by the lack (the unconscious).9 Within
psychoanalytic theory, the lack is instituted at the moment an individual enters the sociosymbolic field. At that time the individual undergoes
symbolic castration that forever denies the possibility of absolute enjoyment. Once within the symbolic order, his speech acts appear wholly to be
determined by the conscious; however, at the level of the unconscious, he is neurotically and desperately trying
to cover over this necessary internal lack in order to maintain his place as the master in the symbolic order. This
unconscious attempt to cover over the lack provides the template for the consistent failure of the Developed's
enunciation. That is, his demand always produces at least one excess or surplus that the Underdeveloped fail to
embody in responding to his demand. This is why it is the self-identified Developed who continually produces
need of 'capitalist development' facilitated by the West/the Developed. In this scenario,


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

new theories and technologies to compensate for, or to paper over, the gap created by the surplus in this social
bond. Or, to put it differently, his consistent failure can be read as the unconscious resistance of the seemingly
self-identified Developed to fully conform to the Law of Development . In either case, despite the conscious
appearances to the contrary, the Developed is a passive object that provides enjoyment to the Other, the
symbolic order of development. The constant attempts of the Developed to cover over the antagonisms within
his fantasy provide its conditions of existence. Thus, both the excessive demands of and the constant creation of new theories and technologies by the Developed
should be read as symptoms of this social bond. It is perhaps more obvious that the Underdeveloped is also turned into a passive object of the Other's
enjoyment. The Underdeveloped, in the same scenario as discussed above, is repressed in relation to the self-identified Developed
who speaks from an already historically power-laden position. The knowledge and desires external to those
specified by Development are irrelevant to the self-identified Developed and are inadmissible in the
consciousness of the self-identified Developed. This repression of the Underdeveloped is the price they have to
pay in order to enter the symbolic order of development . The Underdeveloped represses her own knowledge and
desire - in other words, gives up the enjoyment experienced before entering the symbolic order of development
in order to derive the enjoyment available within the fantasy of Development. The fantasy might, for example, be that if the Underdeveloped
fully responds to the demands of the Developed, she will gain the freedom identified as hers by the Law of Development. Or reading differently, the surplus produced through the social bond can be read as
the Underdeveloped, albeit unconsciously, enjoying the freedom found in resisting fully conformity with the Law of Development.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Links Development
The aff promises a shiny new era of development policy but is really just more of the same. The
Third World is not empowered by the plan but further subjugated to the imperial desires
of the West. The 1AC fascination with the Other is really only a projection of the anxieties
that attend our own identities. Failure to confront this libidinal attachment to seeing
ourselves in the Other guarantees that the affirmative only repeats the terms of
imperialism and domination.
Kapoor, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies, 2005 [Ilan, Participatory Development, Complicity,
and Desire. Third World Quarterly Vol. 26 Iss. 8 Novermber]
At a time when imperialism looks naked and pervasive, when 'freedom' and 'democracy' are all but forced on people (eg in Iraq), any
North-to-South exchange appears particularly suspicious. Thus, thanks at least in part to the growing influence of the Western-dominated
Bretton Woods institutions, the field of international development struggles harder and harder to escape its reputation as a Trojan horse.
And now, so does one of its newest offspring - participatory development (pd) - and this in spite of the latter's 'noble' goals. pd ostensibly
implies discarding mainstream development's neocolonial tendencies, Western-centric values and centralised decision-making processes.
It stands instead for a more inclusive and 'bottom-up' politics, which takes two dominant institutional forms: 1) Participatory Rural
Appraisal (pra), which aims at promoting local community 'empowerment'; and 2) country 'ownership' of development programmes,
where the state and/or international development agency seeks civil society involvement for policy development and agenda setting. 1 In
one form or the other, pd has become development's new orthodoxy, so much so that you would be hard-pressed to find any ngo, donor
agency or development institution that has not integrated it into programming. But of late PD has faced notable scrutiny and criticism.
Critics point out that, far from being inclusive and bottom-up, it reconfigures power and value systems which may end up being
exclusionary, if not tyrannical (Mosse, 1994; Cooke & Kothari, 2001; Kapoor, 2002a). It is shown to be gender-biased, frequently
ignoring and reinforcing patriarchal structures (Parpart, 2000). And it seen as a 'liberal populist' approach to development that fails to
address either class inequalities or the negative impacts of macro-socioeconomic structures (Mohan & Stokke, 2000). I would like, in this
article, to include and extend the above criticisms by carrying out a postcolonial and psychoanalytic reading of pd. Postcolonialism helps
point out that our discursive constructions of the Third World say more about us than the Third World; while psychoanalysis helps
uncover the desires we invest in the Other. Thus, to the question, 'why do neo-imperial and inegalitarian relationships pervade pd?', I
want to answer, 'because even as it promotes the Other's empowerment, it hinges crucially on our complicity and desire'; and 'because
disavowing such complicity and desire is a technology of power'. In other words, I want to argue that complicity and desire are written
into pd, making it prone to an exclusionary, Western-centric and inegalitarian politics. I write 'our' in an effort at self-implication: it seems
to me that, whether we are critics or advocates of pd, we are implicated in it. As development workers and researchers, as intellectuals
and academics, we may make (at least a part of) our careers off it. As Westerners, some of our sociocultural values and practices may
inform pd (as we shall see below). As members of Western(ised) elites participating in the global capitalist economy, we may be direct or
indirect contributors (as taxpayers, consumers, voters) to those national or transnational institutions that 'invest' in pd. True, there are
different degrees of contamination here; but my point is that not owning up to the range of these complicities ensures the reproduction of
inequality and empire.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Links -- Development
The affs fetishization of the Other and attempt to mold them in our image is a story about the
Western self. This strange economy of desire results in homogenizing development policies,
i.e. The plan, and demands violent outburst against threatening others to sustain itself.
Tuathail, Department of Geography, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 2004. [Gearoid,
Critical Geopolitics and Development Theory: Intensifying the Dialogue. Transactions of the Institute of
British Geographers, New Series, Vol. 19, No. 2]
Slater's argument can be read as primitively Lacanian. A more explicit consideration of Lacan's themes sharpens Slater's points. First, the
'geopolitical Imagination' can be read in terms of the Lacanian Imaginary, the identificatory process by which a subiect locates itself in
the world and separates inside from outside, subject from object, and self from other (Grosz 1990. 35). But this locating and affixing of
identity is truly imaginary, for the subject (in this case 'the West') is never unified and stable but fragmented and schizoid. Lacan stresses
the alienated nature of subjectivity, the gap between self-comprehension and the real. Secondly, Lacan's mirror stage highlights the
significance of the specular image in the process of identity. The imaginary ego-image is the organizing site of perspective on the world.
Western discourses on development and the Third World, therefore, can be understood not as discourse about the 'reality' of the Third
World, but as another means by which the West represents its own ideal of itself to itself. The West supposedly has civilization (which is
'protected' by periodic barbaric wars against its designated Others), democracy (built on cash, media manipulation and the gerrymander)
and market capitalism (which is organized gangsterism in Japan, Brazil, Italy and other places) whereas the Third World does not.
Western speculations on development, in Lacanian terms, are specularizations, discourses which positively image rather than describe the
world. For Lacan, the language of visualization ('we envisage', 'Western vision of development', 'IMF monitoring', etc.) and panoptic
survey is never neutral but a motivated projection of demand and desire. Thirdly, Lacan's account of desire as a fundamental lack which
impels subjects to search out a series of substitute objects may account for the persistent felt need to wage wars against defiant male
leaders (Castro, Qaddafi, Noriega, Hussein) in the Third World. Desire, for Lacan, is insatiable and not reducible to any symbolic logic.
This point would seem extremely relevant to explanations (insofar as 'we' can ever have any) of the persistent economic war against
Cuba, the airstrikes against Libya, the Panama invasion and the Gulf War.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Links Development
The Affs deferral to seemingly objective measures of advancement only evidences the extent to
which they have been thoroughly entrenched in the symbolic universe of Development.
This deferral stems from a libidinal enjoyment of the freedoms associated with
participation in the social consensus. Unfortunately, this same enjoyment tirelessly
frustrates itself, the letter always fails to arrive at its destination. Consequently, the
irrational attachment that the aff maintains to fixing the Third World endlessly
circulates, justifying ever new and ever more invasive development policies.
Sato, School of Educations Center for International Education, 2006 [Chizu, Subjectivity, Enjoyment, and
Development: Preliminary Thoughts on a New Approach to Postdevelopment Rethinking Marxism, Volume
18, Issue 2 April ]
flocks(students,experts,nongovernmentalorganization(NGO)officers,'beneficiaries'). Butwhydoesanindividual,whowindsupserving
developmentexperttoperformthosetasksthattheauthoritativetextssaywillincreaseGNP. Bypositioninghimselfastheneutralinstrument,



experienceasaresultofherattemptstocoveroverherlackwithparticularobjects,suchasgettinganAonanexam.Inthisexample, interpellationis



Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)



Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Development Link Outweighs Perm

The permutation continues to participate in a fantasy of empowering the Other via the plan.
This damns the alternative. A criticism of the ideology of development cannot take place
from within that ideology itself, which already situates the aff vis--vis the Other in a way
that sustains status quo power configurations.
Kapoor, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies, 2005 [Ilan, Participatory Development, Complicity,
and Desire. Third World Quarterly Vol. 26 Iss. 8 Novermber]





Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Links War/Realism
The voyueristic ways in which we experience war in debate are the exemplification of our desire
to find the single biggest impact card. This individual desrie is in a direct relationship with
what our leaders decide is best for the nation state. This national desire is manifested in our
need to be dominat of international relations. Their impact story is not external to journey
to achieve perfection just like hyping up and warranting down the biggest impact card is
not external to our mulitple invasions of Iraq and their failures on a libidnal level.
Shapiro, critical international relations theorist and a professor of Political Science at the University of Hawaii.
1993. [Michael j. That obscure object of violence: Logistic and Desire in the Gulf War The political subject of
violence p.126-130]
the objects of desire are substitutable signs related to the subject's self-constitution and
coherence. They are thus never destined to provide the self with satisfaction. Accordingly, during the recent Gulf War,
discursively engendered understandings and desires found distant objects of attention, not only for those
involved in combat however technologically mediated that involvement was but also for the viewing public, who watched the war on
television and experienced the destruction of people and things at another technological level of remove. The highly mediated
Within a Lacanian frame,

relationship, in which linguistic, and weapons technologies intervened, rendered the relationship between viewing and fighting subjects complex, for the
targets of violence were rarely available to anyone's direct vision and were hardly ever available for direct contact. There was very little actual touching. It
was indeed telling when one airforce pilot praised his sighting devices and weapons by remarking of his recently vanquished enemy, 'we could reach out
and touch him, but he could not touch us' (a bit of discursive flotsam left over from AT&T's advertisement) one service remote touching of 'someone' was

objects of violence in the Gulf War were obscure and remote, both in that they were
removed from sight and other human senses and that they emerged as appropriate targets through a tortuous
signifying chain. More generally, they were remote in terms of the meanings they had for their attackers and the
attackers' legitimating and logistical supporters. To place the implications for how hostile actions can be understood in such a peculiar, modern condition, it is
involved. In most senses, then, the

appropriate to turn to Luis Bunuel's film Cet Obscur Objet du Desir (This/That Obscure Object of Desire), which contains not only a structure and dynamic that fits the array of subjects acting, in as well as
following, the story of the Gulf War but also is implicitly structured within a Lacanian frame that fits the approach to interpreting the Gulf War to follow. This/that obscure object of desir At the
level of its primary narration, Bunuel's film is the story of a failed seduction, told in flashbacks by the middle-aged Mathieu Fabert to his (accidental?) travelling companions, sharing a compartment in a

Ambiguities abound from the

outset, not the least of which is the absence of a designation in the title that a woman is the object in question, which adds to the this/that (close or remote)
train to Paris. At a more abstract level, the film is governed by a Lacanian view of the opacity or deeply encoded non-comportment between desire and its objects.

ambiguity of the Cet in the French title.

Moreover, as is shown (but necessarily evident to all viewers of the film) Conchita, whom Fabert names as the object of his amorous quest, is two
different women (she is represented by two different actresses), and this is seemingly never apparent to Fabert or his listeners in the train compartment. Apart from the various mediations between the various
desiring subjects and objects in the film, however (Fabert's audience in his train compartment are straining with attention to the narrative), as viewers, we also have desires, and they remain unconsummated
as the narrative and images frustrate our attempt to attain completion, to grasp a coherent episode unless we work to help make it coherent. Despite the seeming confidence with which Fabert delivers his
story, what one sees, especially the dualistic Conchita and other enigmatic images and events, deprive us of confidence that we have a story we can understand. Ultimately, the imposition of meaning (by the
viewers among others) on the ambiguous and arbitrary aspects of Fabert's story are organised within the frame of a Lacanian view of the functioning of desire. Bunuel leaves many hints that Lacan hovers in
the background, and most significant for thepurposes at hand, the lessons of the film transfer to the US actions in the Gulf for it developed narrative of the derealisation of the targets of violence developed

Lacanian desire operates through a series of substitutions, there is a compatibility between the
functioning of desire and logistical abstraction as they work together to locate targets of violence in modern
warfare, despite how recalcitrant those targets may actually be to the meaning frames that direct the enemyperceiving gaze. The operation of desire in a war works on the basis of a different process from that of an individual's search for erotic
completion. It is connected to a national-level rather than individual-level work on the production of a coherent
self. As has already been suggested in the analysis of Clausewitz's duplicitous discourse, what is represented as a quest for
accomplishing political and military objectives obfuscates a more fundamental, ontological quest, the
attempt for the national subject at completion through the display of courage and the lack of inhibition
against using force in a violent confrontation with an enemy . For a deeper appreciation of how desire complements the


historically emerging, logistical narrative in which the enemy/object has been derealised, it is necessary to recognise that within the Lacanian view,

desire is formed at the time when the subject first enters the realm of the symbolic. Residing as an infant in the domain of

Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

the subject's entry into the symbolic is a dual alienation. First,
it is a separation from the maternal source of satisfaction and, second, through becoming a named beings withal language, it is a
loss of control over meaning and the bonds of affect; it amounts to a subjugation to the law of the signifier. The
compensation for this alienation is of course the ability to participate in the domain of the symbolic, but it is also
the birth of desire, which, given the unlawfulness of achieving the satisfactions longed for but lost, takes the form of a
series of substitutions. It is the always-obscuring acts, based on the ways in which the subject is divided from
itself, that impose significance on the objects of desire, and within the Lacanian model, these impositions follow the
twists and turns of linguistic, figural mechanisms. More specifically, Lacan notes in one place, 'desire is metonymy, however
funny people may find the idea'.' The metonymical structure of desire is displayed unambiguously in Bunuel's film when Conchita gets in bed
the imaginary, where there is no recognition of oneself as separate from others,

with Fabert in a chastity-protecting undergarment tied tightly with little knots that he cannot undo. As he weeps in frustration, she names the various parts

During the Gulf War,

Bush and many television commentators seemed caught in a similar signifying structure. What eluded final
consummation in their case was not someone's maidenhead. It was Saddam Hussein's destruction. All the parts associated with him
were possessed. Kuwait was freed, his army was routed, his 'weapons of mass destruction' largely eliminated. But
as long as Saddam remained the ruling leader of Iraq, the 'victory in the desert' seemed empty. The narrative was
left uncompleted. But perhaps 'Saddam Hussein' (the 'Hitler', the 'Arab fanatic', the 'ruthless dictator') needs to survive.
Without him, there would remain no arch-enemy. Without Saddam Hussein, perhaps the US would not be .able to
justify remaining so armed and alert. Indeed, this is precisely what Fabert says in response to his cousin, the arbiter/judge who asks why he
doesn't just marry Conchita. Fabert says, Si je'epousais, je serais desarme.' (If Saddam had been destroyed or removed, no sense of
fulfilment would have lasted because the conditions of possibility for producing desire would re-emerge. For
example, of late in the United States there is a national debate over towards whom the reduced nuclear
weapons arsenal ought to be aimed. National desire is searching for new dangerous objects). At this moment, at
of her that he already possesses and expresses puzzlement that he is so resolute in his quest for the one part denied him.

least, Fabert seems to understand much of what is driving his narrative, but there is also much evidence that the more fundamental part, remains obscure,

This is because the object of

desire for Fabert (Mathieu for one Conchita and Mateo for another), like the enemy/object of violence for the United States, is in
part a product of a damaged subjectivity in search of reestablishing a coherence as an effective and virile
male entity. In the case of the United States, the damaged collective subjectivity (often called the 'Vietnam
syndrome') is a result of a lost and muddled war in the recent past. In the case of Fabert his manly subjectivity is similarly
for his story continually turns the incredible - e.g. encountering Conchita almost everywhere - into the credible.

uncertain. First, his wife of many years is recently deceased and he has had no substitute prior to his pursuit of Conchita. Second, he is a law-abiding,
obviously well-established and well-off citizen and, in his pursuit of Conchita uses his spending power rather than his male strength (until the very end
when driven to the limit with frustration). Meanwhile, all around him, he witnesses a series of acts of violence, car bombings, political assassinations, etc.,
apparently carried out by terrorist groups. At one point we overhear a radio report claiming that the bombings, which are randomly dispersed in his
narrative, are attributed to coalitions of political groups that form the acronyms, PRIQUE and RUT. The virile young terrorists, with which one version of

the collective
subjectivity of the US prior to the Gulf War (the Vietnam syndrome) and its leader's potence (the 'wimp factor')
had been affronted by the violence of others not restricted by law-abiding inhibitions. Hence the increasingly
frenzied complaints from the White House against terrorists (similar complaints issue from Fabert about the terrorist acts
around him). Thus the comparisontwo levels of incomplete and increasingly provoked subjectivity in need of an episode of
completion. But perhaps, major similarity that suggests the Gulf War is the similarity in the dynamics governing the meanings of the objects of attention. In Fabert's narrative, Conchita appears as
Conchita seems to be associated, serve as an affront to Fabert, who cannnot show his potence (cannot use his prick). Similarly,

both lack (as an elusive object ofdesire) and excess (she appears everywhere Fabert goes). At one point, Fabert's servant likens women to a sac d'excrement. Rather than simply a sexist disparagement, this
can be read as reference to the object of desire's excess, of all that is imposed on it by a restless, driven subjectivity. Conchita flees Fabert's employ as a servant after his initial advances, and then he
encounters her as a restaurant coatcheck person, as part of a youthful gang in Switzerland, as a flamenco dancer in Seville. She is excessive, inexplicably appearing everywhere. With each encounter, she
seems to promise herself to Fabert and then does something extraordinary to frustrate him. Similarly, as the Gulf War progressed, Saddam's resistance capability was easily overcome, but the superiority in
the air and the decisive land battle left Saddam where he was, a defiant leader of an Iraqi nation that was badly bruised but had never been completely possessed, never made to totally capitulate. What
substitutes for a final and telling violence in the Gulf War, is a fitful and ambiguous attempt to force the object, Saddam, to comply with the law (the United Nations resolution). Within a Lacanian frame
and, accordingly, in Bunuel's film, the relationship between the law and desire is complex. The law cannot still the operation of desire in the direction of seeking consummation may -even provoke it. In a
telling episode, Fabert attempts to use the law, his cousin the judge, to send the object of desire away. His cousin uses his influence to have the police exile Conchita and her mother, sending them back to
Spain. As the decree is read, we learn that Conchita is a name related to her official/legal name which is Concepcion, and that her mother's name is Encarnacion, deepening our suspicion that their existence
and significance is largely a function of the work of the subject, Fabert, and his desire-driven imagination. Fabert decides to take an arbitrary trip to forget his frustration, but after he chooses Singapore by
pointing to a map while blindfolded, he ends up travelling to Seville, where Conchita is. The arbitrary is always controlled at some level by desire. It is not wholly clear what the signifying elements are that
turn Singapore (etymologically, 'Lion city') into Seville (etymologically, merely 'city'). Perhaps it is that the lion represents virility and reminds Fabert of his quest to consummate it. What energes most
significantly is the need for a woman to complete the self for Fabert (in the way that the US needed an enemy and Bush needed to get tough for self-completion), and here again the law does not quiet desire;
it seems only to inflame it.


the love or violent object is arbitrary inasmuch as it does not summon on the basis of

Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

what is intrinsic to it. It acquires its force from the signifying practices that erupt out of a subjectivity
pursuing it, a subjectivity that lacks a reflective rapport with itself.

Links -- Ecology
And, ecology is the new opium of the massesthe attempt to integrate energy into a more
efficient, individually governed market is the fantasy of capitalisms smooth functioning.
The solution to the global energy commodity crisis becomes newer, better commodities,
while the rush toward global annihilation continues unabated
iek, Senior Researcher at the Institute for Social Studies (Ljubljana), 11/26/2007 [Slavoj, Censorship Today:
Violence, or Ecology as a New Opium for the Masses,]
Marco Cicala, a Leftist Italian journalist, told me about his recent weird experience: when, in an article, he once used the word "capitalism," the editor
asked him if the use of this term is really necessary - could he not replace it by a synonymous one, like "economy"? What better proof of the total triumph
of capitalism than the virtual disappearance of the very term in the last 2 or 3 decades? No

one, with the exception of a few allegedly archaic Marxists,

refers to capitalism any longer. The term was simply struck from the vocabulary of politicians, trade unionists,
writers and journalists - even of social scientists... But what about the upsurge of the anti-globalization
movement in the last years? Does it not clearly contradict this diagnostic? No: a close look quickly shows how this
movement also succumbs to "the temptation to transform a critique of capitalism itself (centered on economic
mechanisms, forms of work organization, and profit extraction) into a critique of 'imperialism'." In this way, when one talks about
"globalization and its agents," the enemy is externalized (usually in the form of vulgar anti-Americanism). From this
perspective, where the main task today is to fight "the American empire," any ally is good if it is anti-American ,
and so the unbridled Chinese "Communist" capitalism, violent Islamic anti-modernists, as well as the obscene Lukashenko regime in Belarus may appear
as progressive anti-globalist comrades-in-arms... What

we have here is thus another version of the ill-famed notion of

"alternate modernity" : instead of the critique of capitalism as such, of confronting its basic mechanism, we
get the critique of the imperialist "excess," with the (silent) notion of mobilizing capitalist mechanisms
within another, more "progressive," frame. So what is the problem here? It is easy to make fun of Fukuyama's notion of the End of
History, but the majority today is "Fukuyamaian": liberal-democratic capitalism is accepted as the finally-found
formula of the best possible society, all one can do is to render it more just, tolerant, etc. The only true question
today is: do we endorse this "naturalization" of capitalism, or does today's global capitalism contain strong enough antagonisms
which will prevent its indefinite reproduction? There are three (or, rather, four) such antagonisms

1. Ecology:In spite of the infinite adaptability of capitalism which, in the case of an acute ecological catastrophe or

crisis, can easily turn ecology into a new field of capitalist investment and competition, the very nature of the risk involved fundamentally precludes a market solution - why? Capitalism only works in precise social conditions: it implies the trust into the objectivized/"reified" mechanism of the market's
"invisible hand" which, as a kind of Cunning of Reason, guarantees that the competition of individual egotisms works for the common good. However, we are in the midst of a radical change. Till now, historical Substance played its role as the medium and foundation of all subjective interventions: whatever
social and political subjects did, it was mediated and ultimately dominated, overdetermined, by the historical Substance. What looms on the horizon today is the unheard-of possibility that a subjective intervention will intervene directly into the historical Substance, catastrophically disturbing its run by way of
triggering an ecological catastrophe, a fateful biogenetic mutation, a nuclear or similar military-social catastrophe, etc. No longer can we rely on the safeguarding role of the limited scope of our acts: it no longer holds that, whatever we do, history will go on. For the first time in human history, the act of a
single socio-political agent effectively can alter and even interrupt the global historical process, so that, ironically, it is only today that we can say that the historical process should effectively be conceived "not only as Substance, but also as Subject." This is why, when confronted with singular catastrophic
prospects (say, a political group which intends to attack its enemy with nuclear or biological weapons), we no longer can rely on the standard logic of the "Cunning of Reason" which, precisely, presupposes the primacy of the historical Substance over acting subjects: we no longer can adopt the stance of "let
the enemy who threatens us deploy its potentials and thereby self-destruct himself" - the price for letting the historical Reason do its work is too high since, in the meantime, we may all perish together with the enemy. Recall a frightening detail from the Cuban missile crisis: only later did we learn how close to
nuclear war we were during a naval skirmish between an American destroyer and a Soviet B-59 submarine off Cuba on October 27 1962. The destroyer dropped depth charges near the submarine to try to force it to surface, not knowing it had a nuclear-tipped torpedo. Vadim Orlov, a member of the submarine
crew, told the conference in Havana that the submarine was authorized to fire it if three officers agreed. The officers began a fierce, shouting debate over whether to sink the ship. Two of them said yes and the other said no. "A guy named Arkhipov saved the world," was a bitter comment of a historian on this
accident 2. Private Property: The inappropriateness of private property for the so-called "intellectual property." The key antagonism of the so-called new (digital) industries is thus: how to maintain the form of (private) property, within which only the logic of profit can be maintained (see also the Napster
problem, the free circulation of music)? And do the legal complications in biogenetics not point in the same direction? Phenomena are emerging here which bring the notion of property to weird paradoxes: in India, local communities can suddenly discover that medical practices and materials they are using for
centuries are now owned by American companies, so they should be bought from them; with the biogenetic companies patentizing genes, we are all discovering that parts of ourselves, our genetic components, are already copyrighted, owned by others... The crucial date in the history of cyberspace is February
3 1976, the day when Bill Gates published his (in)famous "Open Letter to Hobbysts," the assertion of private property in the software domain: "As the majority of hobbysts must be aware, most of you steal your software. /.../ Most directly, the thing you do is theft." Bill Gates has built his entire empire and
reputation on his extreme views about knowledge being treated as if it were tangible property. This was a decisive signal which triggered the battle for the "enclosure" of the common domain of software. 3. New Techno-Scientific Developments: The socio-ethical implications of new techno-scientific
developments (especially in bio-genetics) - Fukuyama himself was compelled to admit that the biogenetic interventions into human nature are the most serious threat to his vision of the End of History. With the latest biogenetic developments, we are entering a new phase in which it is simply nature itself
which melts into air: the main consequence of the scientific breakthroughs in biogenetics is the end of nature. Once we know the rules of its construction, natural organisms are transformed into objects amenable to manipulation. Nature, human and inhuman, is thus "desubstantialized," deprived of its
impenetrable density, of what Heidegger called "earth." This compels us to give a new twist to Freud's title Unbehagen in der Kultur - discontent, uneasiness, in culture. With the latest developments, the discontent shifts from culture to nature itself: nature is no longer "natural," the reliable "dense" background
of our lives; it now appears as a fragile mechanism which, at any point, can explode in a catastrophic direction. 4. New Forms of Apartheid: Last but not least, new forms of apartheid, new Walls and slums. On September 11th, 2001, the Twin Towers were hit; twelve years earlier, on November 9th, 1989, the
Berlin Wall fell. November 9th announced the "happy '90s," the Francis Fukuyama dream of the "end of history," the belief that liberal democracy had, in principle, won, that the search is over, that the advent of a global, liberal world community lurks just around the corner, that the obstacles to this ultraHollywood happy ending are merely empirical and contingent (local pockets of resistance where the leaders did not yet grasp that their time is over). In contrast to it, 9/11 is the main symbol of the forthcoming era in which new walls are emerging everywhere, between Israel and the West Bank, around the
European Union, on the U.S.-Mexico border. So what if the new proletarian position is that of the inhabitants of slums in the new megalopolises? The explosive growth of slums in the last decades, especially in the Third World megalopolises from Mexico City and other Latin American capitals through
Africa (Lagos, Chad) to India, China, Philippines and Indonesia, is perhaps the crucial geopolitical event of our times. It is effectively surprising how many features of slum dwellers fit the good old Marxist determination of the proletarian revolutionary subject: they are "free" in the double meaning of the
word even more than the classic proletariat ("freed" from all substantial ties; dwelling in a free space, outside the police regulations of the state); they are a large collective, forcibly thrown together, "thrown" into a situation where they have to invent some mode of being-together, and simultaneously deprived
of any support in traditional ways of life, in inherited religious or ethnic life-forms. While today's society is often characterized as the society of total control, slums are the territories within a state boundaries from which the state (partially, at least) withdrew its control, territories which function as white spots,
blanks, in the official map of a state territory. Although they are de facto included into a state by the links of black economy, organized crime, religious groups, etc., the state control is nonetheless suspended there, they are domains outside the rule of law. In the map of Berlin from the times of the now defunct
GDR, the are of West Berlin was left blank, a weird hole in the detailed structure of the big city; when Christa Wolf, the well-known East German half-dissident writer, took her small daughter to the East Berlin's high TV tower, from which one had a nice view over the prohibited West Berlin, the small girl
shouted gladly: "Look, mother, it is not white over there, there are houses with people like here!" - as if discovering a prohibited slum Zone... This is why the "de-structured" masses, poor and deprived of everything, situated in a non-proletarized urban environment, constitute one of the principal horizons of
the politics to come. If the principal task of the emancipatory politics of the XIXth century was to break the monopoly of the bourgeois liberals by way of politicizing the working class, and if the task of the XXth century was to politically awaken the immense rural population of Asia and Africa, the principal
task of the XXIth century is to politicize - organize and discipline - the "de-structured masses" of slum-dwellers. Hugo Chavez's biggest achievement is the politicization (inclusion into the political life, social mobilization) of slum dwellers; in other countries, they mostly persist in apolitical inertia. It was this

How do these four

antagonisms relate to each other? There is a qualitative difference between the gap that separates the Excluded from the Included and the other three
political mobilization of the slum dwellers which saved him against the US-sponsored coup: to the surprise of everyone, Chavez included, slum dwellers massively descended to the affluent city center, tipping the balance of power to his advantage.

antagonisms, which designate three

domains of what Hardt and Negri call "commons," the shared substance of our social
being whose privatization is a violent act which should also be resisted with violent means, if necessary :

Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

the commons of culture, the immediately socialized forms of "cognitive" capital, primarily language, our
means of communication and education (if Bill Gates were to be allowed monopoly, we would have reached the absurd situation in which a
private individual would have literally owned the software texture our basic network of communication), but also the shared infrastructure
of public transport, electricity, post, etc.; the commons of external nature threatened by pollution and
exploitation (from oil to forests and natural habitat itself); the commons of internal nature (the biogenetic inheritance of humanity).
What all these struggles share is the awareness of the destructive potentials, up to the self-annihilation of
humanity itself, if the capitalist logic of enclosing these commons is allowed a free run. It is this reference
to "commons" which justifies the resuscitation of the notion of Communism - or, to quote Alain Badiou: The
communist hypothesis remains the good one, I do not see any other. If we have to abandon this hypothesis, then it is no longer worth doing anything at all
in the field of collective action. Without the horizon of communism, without this Idea, there is nothing in the historical and political becoming of any
interest to a philosopher. Let everyone bother about his own affairs, and let us stop talking about it. In this case, the rat-man is right, as is, by the way, the
case with some ex-communists who are either avid of their rents or who lost courage. However,

to hold on to the Idea, to the existence

of this hypothesis, does not mean that we should retain its first form of presentation which was centered on
property and State. In fact, what is imposed on us as a task, even as a philosophical obligation, is to help a new
mode of existence of the hypothesis to deploy itself. So where do we stand today with regard to communism?
The first step is to admit that the solution is not to limit the market and private property by direct interventions
of the State and state ownership. The domain of State itself is also in its own way "private" : private in the precise
Kantian sense of the "private use of Reason" in State administrative and ideological apparatuses: The public use of one's reason must always be free,
and it alone can bring about enlightenment among men. The private use of one's reason, on the other hand, may often be very narrowly restricted without
particularly hindering the progress of enlightenment. By public use of one's reason I understand the use which a person makes of it as a scholar before the
reading public. Private use I call that which one may make of it in a particular civil post or office which is entrusted to him. What one should add here,
moving beyond Kant, is that there is a privileged social group which, on account of its lacking a determinate place in the "private" order of social
hierarchy, directly stands for universality: it

is only the reference to those Excluded, to those who dwell in the blanks of the
State space, that enables true universality. There is nothing more "private" than a State community which
perceives the Excluded as a threat and worries how to keep the Excluded at a proper distance. In other words, in the
series of the four antagonisms, the one between the Included and the Excluded is the crucial one, the point of
reference for the others; without it, all others lose their subversive edge: ecology turns into a "problem of
sustainable development," intellectual property into a "complex legal challenge," biogenetics into an "ethical"
issue. One can sincerely fight for ecology, defend a broader notion of intellectual property, oppose the copyrighting of genes, while not
questioning the antagonism between the Included and the Excluded - even more, one can even formulate some
of these struggles in the terms of the Included threatened by the polluting Excluded. In this way, we get no true
universality, only "private" concerns in the Kantian sense of the term. Corporations like Whole Foods and Starbucks
continue to enjoy favor among liberals even though they both engage in anti-union activities; the trick is that
they sell products that contain the claim of being politically progressive acts in and of themselves . One
buys coffee made with beans bought at above fair-market value, one drives a hybrid vehicle, one buys from
companies that provide good benefits for their customers (according to the corporation's own standards), etc. Political
action and consumption become fully merged. In short, without the antagonism between the Included and the Excluded, we may well
find ourselves in a world in which Bill Gates is the greatest humanitarian fighting against poverty and diseases, and Rupert Murdoch the greatest
environmentalist mobilizing hundreds of millions through his media empire When politics is reduced to the "private" domain, it takes the form of the
politics of FEAR - fear of losing one's particular identity, of being overwhelmed. Today's

predominant mode of politics is postpolitical bio-politics - an awesome example of theoretical jargon which, however, can easily be unpacked: "post-political" is a politics
which claims to leave behind old ideological struggles and, instead, focus on expert management and
administration, while "bio-politics" designates the regulation of the security and welfare of human lives as its
primal goal. It is clear how these two dimensions overlap: once one renounces big ideological causes, what remains is only
the efficient administration of life... almost only that. That is to say, with the depoliticized, socially objective,
expert administration and coordination of interests as the zero-level of politics, the only way to introduce
passion into this field, to actively mobilize people, is through fear, a basic constituent of today's subjectivity. The
affirmatives premonitions of ecological Armageddon construct a fantasy of a natural world out of balance. This
paranoic projection is only narcissism. The aff is sure that they must do something to save the world. In the

Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

meantime, they veil the radical complexity and chaotic processes of the external environment behind a faade of
harmonious unity waiting to be realized. These fantasy formations have the deleterious consequence of making
environmental politics seem a matter of grandiose political strategies, further distancing us from real changes in
the socio-political fabric of society.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Links Techno Environmental Mangerialism

The affirmative is typical of a techno-managerial approach to the environment. This approach
occludes an appreciation for natures multiplicity by objectifying and reducing many
natures to a unified and manipulable Nature. The result is a foreclosure of political
contestation and the submission of all of natural and social life to bureaucratic regimes of
management and control.
Swyngedouw, Dept of Geography, School of Environment and Development, Manchester University, 2006.
[Eirk, Impossible Sustainability and the Post-Political Condition, Forthcoming in: David Gibbs and Rob
Krueger (Eds.) Sustainable Development,]
Environmentalists (whether activists or scientists) invariably invoke the global physical processes that threaten our existence,
and insist on the need to re-engineer nature, so that it can return to a sustainable path. Armed with their charts,
formulas, models, numbers, and grant applications, to which activists usually add the inevitable pictures of scorched land, factories or cars emitting carbon fumes,
dying animals and plants, suffering humans, apocalyptic rhetoric, and calls for subsidies and financial support, scientists, activists, and all manner of assorted other
human and non-human actants enter the domain of the social, the public, and, most importantly, the political.
Thus natures enter the political. A particular and symbolically enshrined nature enters the parliament of
politics, but does so in a duplicitous manner. It is a treacherously deceitful Nature that enters politics, one that is
packaged, numbered, calculated, coded, modelled, represented by those who claim to possess, know,
understand, speak for the real Nature. In other words, what enters the domain of politics is the coded and symbolised
versions of nature mobilised by scientists, activists, industrialists and the like. This is particularly evident in examples such as the debate over
GMOs, global climate change, BSE, biodiversity loss, and other equally pressing issues. Invariably, the acting of Nature -- as scripted by the bearers of
natures knowledge enters the political machinery as coded language that also already posits its political and
social solution and does not tolerate, in the name of Nature, dissent other than that framed by its own
formulations. It is in this sense of course that the argument about climate change is exclusively formulated in terms of believers and non-believers, as a quasi-religious faith, but the weapons of the
struggle in this case are matters of fact like data, models, and physico-chemical analysis. And the solutions to the question of sustainability are already pre-figured by the way in which nature is made to
speak. Creeping increases in long term global temperatures, which will cause untold suffering and damage, are caused by CO 2 output. Hence, the solution to future climate ills resides in cutting back on CO 2
emissions. Notwithstanding the validity of the role of CO2 in co-constituting the process of climate change, the problematic of the future calamities the world faces is posited primarily in terms of the
physical acting of one of natures components, CO 2 as is its solution found in bringing CO2 within our symbolic (socio-economic) order, futilely attempted with the Kyoto agreement or other neo-liberal
market-based mechanisms. Questioning the politics of climate change in itself is already seen as an act of treachery, as an unlawful activity, banned by Nature itself.

Although there may

be no Nature, there certainly is a politics of nature or a politics of the environment. The collages of apparently contradictory and
overlapping vignettes of the environmental conditions outlined above share one common threat that many of us, Bush and Blair, my son and Greenpeace, Oxfam and the World Bank, agree on. The world is
in environmental trouble. And we need to act politically now. Both the 2004 Tsunami and New Orleanss Katrina brought the politicisation of Nature home with a vengeance. Although the Tsunami had everything to do with the earths geodetic acting out and with the powerless
of South East Asia drowning in its consequences and absolutely nothing with climate change or other environmentally degrading practices, the Tsunami calamity was and continues to be staged as a socio-environmental catastrophe, another assertion of the urgent need to revert to more sustainable socioenvironmental practices. New Orleans socio-environmental disaster was of a different kind. While there may be a connection between the number and intensity of hurricanes and climate change, that of course does account neither for the dramatic destructions of poor peoples lives in the city nor for the
plainly blatant racist spectacles that were fed into the media on a daily basis in the aftermath of the hurricanes rampage through the city. The imaginary staged in the aftermath of the socio-environmental catastrophe of New Orleans singled out disempowered African Americans twice, first as victims, then as
criminals. Even the New York Times conceded that 80% of the reported crimes taking place in unruly and disintegrating New Orleans in the aftermath of the hurricanes devastations were based on rumour and innuendo. A perverse example of how liberal humanitarian concern is saturated with racialised
coding and moral disgust with the poorest and most excluded parts of society. Of course, after the poor were hurricaned out of New Orleans, the wrecked city is rapidly turning into a fairy-tale playground for urban developers and city boosters who will make sure, this time around, that New Orleans will be

the barrage of apocalyptic warnings of the pending

catastrophes wrecked by climate change and the need to take urgent remedial action to engineer a retro-fitted balanced
climate are perfect examples of the tactics and configurations associated with the present post-political
condition, primarily in the US and Europe. Indeed, a politics of sustainability, predicated upon a radically conservative and
reactionary view of a singular and ontologically stable and harmonious Nature is necessarily one that
eradicates or evacuates the political from debates over what to do with natures. The key political question is
one that centres on the question of what kind of natures we which to inhabit, what kinds of natures we which to
preserve, to make, or, if need be, to wipe off the surface of the planet (like the HIV virus, for example), and on how to get there.
The fantasy of sustainability imagines the possibility of an originally fundamentally harmonious Nature, one
rebuilt in their image of a sustainable capitalist city: green, white, rich, conservative, and neo-liberal (Davis, 2006).

The popular response to Katrina,


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that is now out-of-synch but, which, if properly managed, we can and have to return to by means of a series of
technological, managerial, and organisational fixes. As suggested above, many, from different social, cultural, and philosophical positionalities, agree with this
dictum. Disagreement is allowed, but only with respect to the choice of technologies, the mix of organisational
fixes, the detail of the managerial adjustments, and the urgency of their timing and implementation. Natures
apocalyptic future, if unheeded, symbolises and nurtures the solidification of the post-political condition. And the
excavation and critical assessment of

this post-political condition nurtured and embodied by most of current Western socio-environmental politics is what we shall

turn to next.


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Links Environment/Ecology
The faith in a natural order that will always try to maintain homeostasis is a screen to distract us
from fighting capitalism
Zizek, 2008 (Slavoj, In Defense of Lost Causes, pp.433-442)
This terror whose contours Hegel outlined in his description of the servant's subjective experience of
encountering the threat of death should serve us as the background against which one should read Marx and
Engels's famous description of the capitalist dynamic in the Communist Manifesto:
Constant revolutionizing of production, uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions, everlasting
uncertainty and agitation distinguish the bourgeois epoch from all earlier ones. All fixed, fast-frozen relations,
with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions are swept away, all new-formed ones become
antiquated before they can ossify. All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last
compelled to face with sober senses his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind. [. . .] In place of
the old local and national seclusion and self-sufficiency, we have inter course in every direction, universal
inter-dependence of nations. And as in material, so also in intellectual production. The intellectual creations of
individual nations become common property. National one-sidedness and narrow-mindedness become more and
more im possible, and from the numerous national and local literatures, there arises a world literature. Is this
not, more than ever, our reality today? Ericsson phones are no longer Swedish, Toyota cars are manufactured 60
percent in the USA, Hollywood culture pervades the remotest parts of the globe . . . Furthermore, does the same
not go also for all forms of ethnic and sexual identity? Should we not supplement Marx's description in this
sense, adding that also sexual "one-sidedness and narrow-mindedness become more and more impossible," that
concerning sexual practices, it also true that "all that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned," so that
capitalism tends to replace standard normative heterosexuality with a proliferation of unstable shifting identities
and/or orientations? And today, with the latest biogenetic developments, we are entering a new phase in which it
is simply nature itself which melts into air: the main consequence of the scientific breakthroughs in biogenetics
is the end of nature. Once we know the rules of its construction, natural organisms are transformed into objects
amenable to manipulation. Nature, human and inhuman, is thus "desubstantialized," deprived of its impenetrable
density, of what Heidegger called "earth." This compels us to give a new twist to Freud's title Unbehagen in der
Kultur discontent, uneasiness, in culture. With the latest developments, the discontent shifts from culture to
nature itself: nature is no longer "natural," the reliable "dense" background of our lives; it now appears as a
fragile mechanism which, at any point, can explode in a catastrophic manner. Biogenetics, with its reduction of
the human psyche itself to an object of technological manipulation, is therefore effectively a kind of empirical
instantiation of what Heidegger perceived as the "danger" inherent in modern technology. Crucial here is the
interdependence of man and nature: by reducing man to just another natural object whose properties can be
manipulated, what we lose is not (only) humanity but nature Itself. In this sense, Francis Fukuyama is right:
humanity relies on some notion of "human nature" as what we have inherited, as something that has simply been
given to us, the impenetrable dimension in/of ourselves into which we are born/thrown. The paradox is thus that
that there is man only insofar as there is impenetrable inhuman nature (Heidegger's "earth"): with the prospect of
biogenetic interventions opened up by the access to the genome, the species freely changes/redefines Itself, its
own coordinates; this prospect effectively emancipates humankind from the constraints of a finite species, from
its enslavement to "selfish genes." This emancipation, however, comes at a price: With interventions into man's

Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

genetic inheritance, the domination over nature reverts into an act of taking-control-over-oneself, which
changes our generic-ethical self-understanding and can disturb the necessary conditions for an autonomous way
of life and universalistic understanding of morals. How, then, should we react to this threat? Habermas's logic
is here: since the results of science pose a threat to our (predominant notion of) autonomy and freedom, one
should curtail science. The price we pay for this solution is the fetishistic split between science and ethics"I
know very well what science claims, but, nonetheless, in order to retain (the appearance of) my autonomy, I
choose to ignore it and act as if I don't know it." This prevents us from confronting the true question: how do
these new conditions compel us to transform and reinvent the very notions of freedom, autonomy, and ethical
responsibility? Science and technology today no longer aim only at understanding and reproducing natural
processes, but at generating new forms of life that will surprise us; the goal is no longer just to dominate nature
(the way it is), but to generate something new, greater, stronger than ordinary nature, including ourselves
exemplary here is the obsession with artificial intelligence, which aims at producing a brain more powerful than
the human brain. The dream that sustains the scientific-technological endeavor is to trigger a process with no
return, a process that would exponentially reproduce itself and go on and on autonomously. The notion of
"second nature" is therefore today more pertinent than ever, in both its main meanings. First, literally, as the
artificially generated new nature: monsters of nature, deformed cows and trees, ora more positive dream
genetically manipulated organisms, "enhanced" in the manner that suits us. Then, "second nature" in the more
standard sense of the autonomization of the results of our own activity: the way our acts elude us in their
consequences, the way they generate a monster with a life of its own. It is this horror at the unforeseen results of
our own acts that causes shock and awe, not the power of nature over which we have no control; it is the horror
that religion tries to domesticate. What is new today is the short-circuit between thes two senses of "second
nature": "second nature" in the sense of objective Fate, of autonomized social process, is generating "second
nature" in the sense of artificially created nature, of natural monsters, namely, the process which threatens to run
out of control is no longer just the social process of economic and political development, but new forms of
natural processes themselves, from unpredictable nuclear catastrophes to global warming and the unimaginable
consequences of biogenetic manipulation. Can one even imagine what would be the unprecedented result of
nanotechnological experiments: new life-forms reproducing themselves out of control in a cancer-like way, for
example?^' Here is a standard description of this fear: Within fifty to a hundred years, a new class of organisms
is Ukely to emerge. These organisms will be artificial in the sense that they will originally be designed by
humans, tiowever, they will reproduce, and will "evolve" into something other than their original form; they
will be "alive" under any reasonable definition of the word. [. . .] [T]he pace of evolutionary change will be
extremely rapid. [. . .] The impact on humanity and the biosphere could be enormous, larger than the industrial
revolution, nuclear weapons, or environmental pollution. This fear also has its clear libidinal dimension: it is
the fear of the asexual reproduction of Life, the fear of an "undead" life that is indestructible, constantly
expanding, reproducing itself through self-division. And, as always in the history of the last two millennia, the
greatest master of exploiting this fear is the Catholic Church. Its predominant strategy today is that of trying to
contain the scientific real within the confines of meaning it is as an answer to the scientific real (materialized
in biogenetic threats) that religion is finding its new raison d'etre: Far from being effaced by science, religion,
and even the syndicate of religions, in the process of formation, is progressing every day. Lacan said that
ecumenism was for the poor of spirit. There is a marvelous agreement on these questions between the secular
and all the religious authorities, in which they tell themselves they should agree somewhere in order to make
echoes equally marvelous, even saying that finally the secular is a religion like the others. We see this because it
is revealed in effect that the discourse of science has partly connected with the death drive. Religion is planted in
the position of unconditional defense of the living, of life in mankind, as guardian of life, making life an
absolute. And that extends to the protection of human nature. [. . .] This is [. . .] what gives a future to religion
through meaning, namely by erecting barriersto cloning, to the exploitation of human cells and to Inscribe

Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

science in a tempered progress. We see a marvelous effort, a new youthful vigor of religion in its effort to flood
the real with meaning.^^ The Church's message of hope thus relies on a preexisting fear: it evokes and
formulates the fear to which it then offers a solution of hope and faith.^-^ The Life that it promises in its defense
of the "culture of life" is not a positive life, but a reactive life, a defense against death. We are dealing here with
the latest version of the fear first formulated in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. The dilemma faced by many
interpreters of Frankenstein concerns the obvious parallel between Victor and God, on the one side, and the
monster and Adam, on the other: in both cases, we are dealing with a single parent creating a male progeny in a
non-sexual way; in both cases, this is followed by the creation of a bride, a female partner. This parallel is
clearly indicated in the novel's epigraph, Adam's complaint to God:
Did I request thee. Maker, from my clay
To mould Me man? Did I solicit thee
From darkness to promote me?
(Paradise Lost, X, 743-5)
It is easy to note the problematic nature of this parallel: If Victor is associated with God, how can he also be the
Promethean rebel against God (recall the novel's subtitle: ". . . or The Modern Prometheus")? The answer seems
to be a simple one, spelled out by Shelley herself: Victor's sin is precisely that of presumption, ol "acting like
God," engaging in an act of creation (of human life, the crown of the divine creation) which is and should
remain the exclusive prerogative of God; if man tries to imitate God and do something for which he lacks
qualifications, the result can only be monstrous . . . There is, however, also a different (Chestertonian) reading:
there is no problem here, Victor is "like God" precisely when he commits the ultimate criminal transgression and
confronts the horror of its consequences, since God is also the greatest Rebelagainst himself, ultimately. The
King of the universe is the supreme criminal Anarchist. Like Victor, in creating man, God committed the
supreme crime of aiming too high of creating a creature "in his own image," new spiritual life, precisely like
today's scientists who dream of creating an artificially intelligent living being; no wonder that his own creature
escaped his control and turned against him. So what if the death of Christ (of himself) is the price God has to
pay for his crime? It is precisely within the domain of ecology that one can draw the line that separates the
politics of emancipatory terror from the politics of fear at its purest. By far the predominant version of ecology
is the ecology of fear, fear of a catastrophe human-made or naturalthat may deeply perturb, destroy even,
human civilization, fear that pushes us to plan measures to protect our safety. This fear and pessimism are as a
rule fake, as pointed out by Hans-Georg Gadamer: "The pessimist is disingenuous because he is trying to trick
himself with his own grumbling. Precisely while acting the pessimist, he secretly hopes that everything will not
turn out as bad as he fears." Does the same tension between the enunciated and the position of enunciation not
characterize today's ecological pessimism; the more those who predict a catastrophe insist on it, the more they
secretly hope the catastrophe will not occur? The first thing that strikes the eye apropos this fear is the way it
remains conditioned by ideological trends. Two decades ago, everyone, especially in Europe, was talking about
Wadterben, the dying of the forests; the topic was present on the covers of all popular weeklies now it has
almost disappeared. Although concerns about global warming explode from time to time and are gaining more
and more scientific credibility, ecology as an organized socio-political movement has to a large degree
disappeared. Furthermore, ecology often lends itself to ideological mystifications; as a pretext for New Age
obscurantisms (praising pre-modern "paradigms," and so forth), or for neo-colonialism (First World complaints
that the fast development of Third World countries like Brazil or China threatens us all "by destroying the
Amazon rainforests, the Brazilians are killing the lungs of our Earth"), or as an honorable cause for "liberal
communists" (buy green, recycle . . . as if taking ecology into account justifies capitalist exploitation). This

Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

ecology of fear has every chance of developing into the predominant form of ideology of global capitalism, a
new opium for the masses replacing declining religion; it takes over the old religion's fundamental function, that
of having an unquestionable authority which can impose limits. The lesson this ecology is constantly hammering
away at is our finitude: we are not Cartesian subjects extracted from reality, we are finite beings embedded in a
biosphere which vastly transcends our horizon. In our exploitation of natural resources, we are borrowing from
the future, so we should start treating our Earth with respect, as something that is ultimately Sacred, something
that should not be totally unveiled, that should and will forever remain a Mystery, a power we should trust, not
dominate. While we cannot gain full mastery over our biosphere, it is unfortunately in our power to derail it, to
disturb its balance so that it will run amok, wiping us away in the process. This is why, although ecologists are
all the time demanding that we radically change our way of life, underlying this demand is its opposite, a deep
distrust of change, of development, of progress: every radical change can have the unintended consequence of
triggering a catastrophe. It is this distrust which makes ecology the ideal candidate for the hegemonic ideology,
since it echoes the anti-totalitarian post-political distrust of large collective acts. One of the most effective
fictional versions of this distrust is Stephen Fry's Making History, about a scientist traumatized by Hitler and the
Nazi crimes who, in the 1950s, discovers a way to cross the time barrier and intervene in the past in a limited
way. He decides to change the chemical composition of the stream from which the village of Hitler's parents was
getting water, so that it renders women infertile; the experiment succeeds and Hitler is not born. However, when
we switch into the alternate reality, the scientist discovers with horror what he has caused: instead of Hitler, a
more intelligent upper-class high-ranking officer led the Nazis to victory, the Nazis win the war and kill many
more Jews than perished in the Holocaust, even obliterating the memory of their act. The scientist spends the
rest of his life trying to intervene again in the past in order to undo the results of his first intervention and to
return us to the good old world with Hitler . . . Such distrust was given a new impetus by biogenetics, which is
on the verge of a crucial breakthrough. Up until now, geneticists were confined to tinkering and tweaking what
nature has already producedtaking a gene from a bacterium, say, and inserting it into the chromosome of corn
or pigs. What we're talking about is producing life that is wholly new not in any way a genetic descendant of
the primordial Mother Cell. The initial members of each newly created breed will have no ancestors at all. The
genome itself of the organism will be artificially put together: first, individual biological building blocks are to
be fabricated; then, they are to be combined in an entirely new synthetic self-replicating organism. Scientists
designate this new life-form as "Life 2.0," and what is so unsettling about it is that "natural" life itself becomes
thereby "Life 1.0" it retroactively loses its spontaneous-natural character, becoming one in the series of
synthetic projects. This is what the "end of nature" means: synthetic life is not just supplementing natural life, it
turns natural life itself into a (confused, imperfect) species of synthetic life. The prospects are, of course,
breathtaking: from microorganisms which detect cancer cells and eliminate them, to whole "factories" which
transform solar energy into usable fuel, however, the main limitation of this endeavor is no less obvious: the
DNA of existing natural organisms is "a mess of overlapping segments and junk that has no purpose scientists
can fathom," so when geneticists tinker with this mess, they cannot ever be sure not only of the outcome, but
also of how, exactly, this outcome was generatedthe logical conclusion is thus to try to "build new biological
systems; systems that are easier to understand because we made them that way." However, this project will work
only if we fully accept the thesis that "at least 90 percent of the human genome is 'junk DNA' that has no clear
function." (The main function envisaged by scientists is that the junk serves as a guarantee against the danger of
copying mistakes, a kind of back-up copy.) Only in this case we can expect a project of getting rid of the
repetitious "junk" and generating the organism only from its "pure" genetic formula to work. What if, however,
the "junk" does play a crucial role, unknown to us because we are unable to grasp all the higher-level
complexity of the interaction of genes which can only account for how, out of a limited (finite) set of elements,
an "infinite" (self-relating) organic structure arises as an "emergent property"? Those who are opposed most
ferociously to this prospect are religious leaders and environmentalists for both, there is something of a

Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

transgression, of entering a prohibited domain, in this idea of creating a new form of life from scratch, from the
zero-point. And this brings us back to the notion of ecology as the new opium of the masses; the underlying
message is again a deeply conservative one any change can only be a change for the worse: Behind much of
the resistance to the notion of synthetic life is the intuition that nature (or God) created the best of possible
worlds. Charles Darwin believed that the myriad designs of nature's creations are perfectly honed to do whatever
they are meant to do ^be it animals that see, hear, sing, swim or fly, or plants that feed on the sun's rays,
exuding bright floral colours to attract pollinators.' This reference to Darwin is deeply misleading: the ultimate
lesson of Darwinism is the exact opposite, namely that nature tinkers and improvises, with great losses and
catastrophes accompanying every limited success is the fact that 90 percent of the human genome is "junk
DNA" with no clear function not the ultimate proof? Consequently, the first lesson to be drawn is the one
repeatedly made by Stephen Jay Gould: the utter contingency of our existence. There is no Evolution:
catastrophes, broken equilibria, are part of natural history; at numerous points in the past, life could have taken a
turn in an entirely different direction. The main source of our energy (oil) is the result of a past cataclysm of
unimaginable dimensions. Along these lines, "terror" means accepting the fact of the utter groundlessness of our
existence: there is no firm foundation, place of retreat, on which one can safely count. It means fully accepting
that "nature does not exist," in other words, fully consummating the gap that separates the life-world notion of
nature and the scientific notion of natural reality: "nature" ijua the domain of balanced reproduction, of organic
deployment into which humanity' intervenes with its hubris, brutally throwing its circular motion off the rails, is
man's fantasy; nature is already in itself "second nature," its balance is always secondary, an attempt to bring
into existence a "habit" that would restore some order after catastrophic interruptions.' The lesson to be fully
endorsed is thus that of an environmental scientist who comes to the conclusion that, while one cannot be sure
what the ultimate result of humanity's interventions in the geosphere will be, one thing is sure: if humanity were
to abruptly stop its immense industrial activity and let nature on Earth take its balanced course, the result would
be a total breakdown, an unimaginable catastrophe. "Nature" on Earth is already so "adapted" to human
interventions, human "pollution " is already so completely included in the shaky and fragile balance of "natural "
reproduction on Earth, that its cessation would cause a catastrophic imbalance. This is what it means to say that
humanity has nowhere to retreat to; not only is there no "big Other" (self-contained symbolic order as the
ultimate guarantee of Meaning); there is also no Nature qua balanced order of self-reproduction whose
homeostasis is disturbed, nudged off course, by unbalanced human interventions. Not only is the big Other
"barred," but Nature too is barred. One should thus become aware not only of the limitation of the ideology of
progress, but also of the limitation of the Benjaminian notion of the revolution as applying the emergency brake
on the runaway train of progress: it is too late for that too.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Links Environment/Ecology
Trying to protect nature destroys it science is an ideology, must cut all ties to the big other
Zizek, 2008 (Slavoj, In Defense of Lost Causes, pp.442-447)
In his Reflections at the Edge of Askja, Pall Skulason reports how he was affected by Askja, a volcanic lake and
valley in the middle of Iceland, surrounded by snow-covered mountains: Askja is the symbol of objective
reality, independent of all thought, belief and expression, independent of human existence. It is a unique natural
system, within which mountains, lakes and sky converge in a volcanic crater. Askja, in short, symbolizes the
earth itself; it is the earth as it was, is, and will be, tor as long as this planet continues to orbit in space,
whatever we do and whether or not we are here on this earth. [. . .] Coming to Askja is like coming to the earth
itself for the first time; finding one's earthly grounding. Gilles Deleuze often played with the motif of how, in
becoming post-human, we should learn to practice "a perception as it was before men (or after) [. . .] released
from their human coordinates";^^ Skulason seems to be describing just such an experience, the experience of
subtracting oneself from the immediate immersion into the surrounding world of objects which are "ready-athand," moments of our engaged relationship with realityor is he? Let us take a closer look at what kind of
experience he is rendering: the world suddenly strikes us in such a way that reality presents itself as a seamless
whole. The question that then arises concerns the world itself and the reality that it orders into a totality. Is the
world really a unified totality? Isn't reality just an infinitely variegated manifold of particular phenomena? One
should be Hegelian here: what if this very experience of reality as a seamless Whole is a violent imposition of
ours, something we "project onto it" (to use this old inappropriate term) in order to avoid directly confronting
the totally meaningless "infinitely variegated manifold of particular phenomena" (what Alain Badiou calls the
primordial multiplicity of Being)? Should we not apply here the fundamental lesson of Kant's transcendental
idealism: the world as a Whole is not a Thing-in-itself it is merely a regulative Idea of our mind, something our
mind imposes on the raw multitude of sensations in order to be able to experience it as a well-ordered
meaningful Whole? The paradox is that the very In-itself of Nature as a Whole independent of us is the result of
our (subjective) "synthetic activity" do Skulason's own words, if we read them closely (i.e., literally), not
already point in this direction? "Askja is used in this text as the symbol of a unique and important experience of
the world and its inhabitants. There are numerous other symbols which men use to talk about the things that
matter most." So, exactly as is the case with the Kantian Sublime, the unfathomable presence of raw Nature-initself is reduced to a material pretext (replacable with others) for "a unique and important experience," Why is
this experience necessary? To live, to be able to exist, the mind must connect itself with some kind of order. It
must apprehend reality as an independent whole [. . .] and must bind itself in a stable fashion to certain features
of what we call reality. It cannot blind itself to the ordinary world of everyday experience, except by taking it on
faith that reality forms an objective whole, a whole which exists independently of the mind. The mind lives, and
we live, in a relationship of faith with reality itself. This relationship is likewise one of confidence in a detached
reality, a reality which is different and other than the mind. We live and exist in this relationship of confidence,
which is always by its nature uncertain and insecure. [. . .] [T]he relationship of confidence [. . .] is originally,
and truly, always a relationship with reality as a natural totality: as Nature. One should note here the refined
analysis of the tension between the inhabitable and the uninhabitable: in order to inhabit a small part of reality
that appears within our horizon of meaning, we have to presuppose that Realily-in-itself, "different and other
than the mind," which sustains our world is part of reality as an ordered and seamless Whole. In short, we have
to have faith and confidence in Reality: nature-in-itself is not merely a meaningless composite of multiples, it is
Nature. What, however, if this relationship of faith in Nature, in the primordial harmony between mind and
reality, is the most elementary form of idealism, of reliance on the big Other? What if the true materialist

Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

position starts (and, in a way, ends) with the acceptance of the In-itself as a meaningless chaotic manifold? One
is tempted here to turn again to Iceland's unique natural landscape: the magnificent misty-green coastal plain in
the south, scattered with large rocks covered with wet green-brown moss, cannot but appear as nature run amok,
full of pathological cancerous protuberanceswhat if this is much closer to "nature-in-itself" than the sublime
images of seamless Wholes? Indeed, what we need is an ecology without nature: the ultimate obstacle to
protecting nature is the very notion of nature we rely on.' The true source of our problems is not "the most
significant event to affect Western culture during recent centuries," namely the "breakdown of the relationship
between man and nature,"'^'^ the retreat of the relationship of trust. On the contrary: this very "relationship of
faith with reality itself" is the main obstacle that prevents us from confronting the ecological crisis at its most
radical. That is to say, with regard to the prospects of an ecological catastrophe, it is too easy to attribute our
disbelief in it to the impregnation of our minds by scientific Ideology, which leads us to dismiss the sane
concerns of our common reason, namely, the gut sense which tells us that something is fundamentally wrong
with the scientific-technological attitude. The problem is much deeper. It resides in the unreliability of our
common sense itself which, habituated as it is to our ordinary life-world, finds it difficult to really accept that
the flow of everyday reality can be perturbed. Our attitude here is that of the fetishistic split: "I know very well
(that global warming is a threat to the entire humanity), but nonetheless . . . (I cannot really believe it). It is
enough to see the natural world to which my mind is connected: green grass and trees, the sighing of the breeze,
the rising of the sun . . . can one really imagine that all this will be disturbed? You talk about the ozone hole
but no matter how much I look into the sky, I don't see it all I see is the sky, blue or grey!" The problem is
thus that we can rely neither on the scientific mind nor on our common sensethey both mutually reinforce
each other's blindness. The scientific mind advocates a cold objective appraisal of dangers and risks involved
where no such appraisal is really possible, while common sense finds it hard to accept that a catastrophe can
really occur. The difficult ethical task is thus to "un-learn" the most basic coordinates of our immersion into our
life-world: what usually served as the recourse to Wisdom (basic trust in the background coordinates of our
world) is now the source of danger. We should really "grow up" and learn to cut this ultimate umbilical cord to
our life-sphere. The problem with the science-and-technology attitude is not its detachment from our life-world,
but the abstract character of this detachment which compels the science-and-technology attitude to combine
itself with the worst elements of our life-world immersion. Scientists perceive themselves as rational, able to
appraise potential risks objectively; for them, the only unpredictable-irrational elements are the panic reactions
of the uneducated masses; with ordinary people, a small and controllable risk can spread and trigger global
panic, since they project onto the situation their disavowed fears and fantasies. What scientists are unable to
perceive is the "irrational," inadequate, nature of their own "cold and distanced" appraisal. Contemporary
science serves two properly ideological needs, "for hope and censorship," which were traditionally taken care of
by religion: science alone has the power to silence heretics. Today it is the only institution that can claim
authority. Like the Church in the past, it has the power to destroy, or marginalize, independent thinkers. [. . .]
From the standpoint of anyone who values freedom of thought, this may be unfortunate, but it is undoubtedly
the chief source of science's appeal. For us, science is a refuge from uncertainties, promising and in some
measure delivering-the miracle of freedom from thought, while churches have become sanctuaries for doubt.
Indeed, as Nietzsche put it more than a century ago: "Oh, how much is today hidden by science! Oh, how much
it is expected to hide!'"^' However, we are not talking here about science as such, so the idea of science
sustaining "freedom from thought" is not a variation on Heidegger's notion that "science doesn't think." We are
talking about the way science functions as a social force, as an ideological institution: at this level, its function is
to provide certainty, to be a point of reference on which one can rely, and to provide hope (new technological
inventions will help us against diseases, and so on). In this dimension, science is in Lacanian terms
university discourse at its purest, S2 (knowledge) whose "truth" is S1 (Master-Slgnifier, power).

Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Environment Link Outweighs Perm

Their mode of managerialism results in the worst form of environmental politics. It focuses on
the effect rather than the cause and externalizes real political contestation over the socioeconomic conditions which affect the globe.
Swyngedouw, Dept of Geography, School of Environment and Development, Manchester University, 2006.
[Eirk, Impossible Sustainability and the Post-Political Condition, Forthcoming in: David Gibbs and Rob
Krueger (Eds.) Sustainable Development,]
In the domain of the environment, climate change, biodiversity preservation, sustainable socio-technical
environmental entanglements and the like exemplify the emergence of this new post-political configuration:
they are an unexpected and unplanned by-product of modernization, they affect the way we do things, and, in
turn, a new politics emerges to deal with them. This liberal cosmpolitical inclusive politics suggested by Beck and
his fellow-travellers as a radical answer to unbridled and unchecked neo-liberal capitalist globalisation, of course, is
predicated upon three assumptions:
a) The social and ecological problems caused by modernity/capitalism are external side-effects; they
are not an inherent and integral part of the de-territorialised and re-territorialised relations of global
neo-liberal capitalism. That is why we speak of the excluded or the poor, and not about social power
relations that produce wealth and poverty, or empowerment and disempowerment. A strictly
populist politics emerges here; one that elevates the interest of the people, nature, or the
environment to the level of the universal rather than aspiring to universalise the claims of particular
natures, environments, or social groups or classes. These side-effects are posited as global,
universal, and threatening: they are a total threat, of apocalyptic nightmarish proportions. The
enemy or the target of concern is thereby of course continuously externalised. The enemy is
always vague, ambiguous, and ultimately vacant, empty and unnamed (CO2, gene pools, desertification, etc).
They can be managed through a consensual dialogical politics. Demands become depoliticised or
rather radical politics is not about demands but about things.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Environment Link Outweighs Perm

Nope gotta reject the natural balance bullshit entirely.
Zizek 91 [Slavoj, Looking Awry 37-38]
The basic weakness of the usual ecological response is thus its obsessive libidinal economy: we must do all in
order that the equilibrium of the natural circuit will be maintained, in order that some horrifying turbulence will
not derail the established regularity of nature's ways. To rid ourselves of this predominant obsessive economy,
we must take a further step and renounce the very idea of a "natural balance" supposedly upset by the
intervention of [hu]man as "nature sick unto death." Homologous to the Lacanian proposition "Woman does not exist," we
should perhaps assert that Nature does not exist: it does not exist as a periodic, balanced circuit, thrown off its
track by [hu]man's inadvertence. The very notion of [hu]man as an "excess" with respect to nature's balanced
circuit has finally to be abandoned. The image of nature as a balanced circuit is nothing but a retroactive
projection of [hu]man. Herein lies the lesson of recent theories of chaos: "nature" is already, in itself, turbulent, imbalanced;
its "rule" is not a well-balanced oscillation around some constant point of attraction, but a chaotic dispersion
within the limits of what the theory of chaos calls the "strange attractor," a regularity directing chaos itself.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Links Alternative Energy

Alternative energy does not question the working of capitalism the magic bullet isnt coming
Fred Magdoff, 2008 (Monthly Review, The Political Economy and Ecology of Biofuels



Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Links Affirmative Does Good Things

The aff sustains dominant ideology its transgression is part of ideologys management of
inevitable failures. In this manner, the aff upholds ideologys dominant status despite other
challenges to it.
Zizek, 2008 (Slavoj, In Defense of Lost Causes, p.29)
Ulysses' strategy here is profoundly ambiguous. In a first approach, he merely restates his argumentation about
the necessity of "degrees" (ordered social hierarchy), and portrays time as the corrosive force which undermines
old true valuesan arch-conservative motif. However, on a closer reading, it becomes clear that Ulysses gives
to his argumentation a singular cynical twist: how are we to fight against time, to keep old values alive? Not by
directly sticking to them, but by supplementing them with the obscene realpolitik of cruel manipulation, of
cheating, of playing one hero against the other. It is only this dirty underside, this hidden disharmony, that can
sustain harmony (Ulysses plays with Achilles' envy, he refers to emulationthe very attitudes that work to
destabilize the hierarchical order, since they signal that one is not satisfied by one's subordinate place within the
social body). Secret manipulation of envythat is, the violation of the very rules and values Ulysses celebrates
in his first speechis needed to counteract the effects of time and sustain the hierarchical order of "degrees."
This would be Ulysses' version of Hamlet's famous "The time is out of joint; O cursed spite, / That ever I was
born to set it right! "the only way to "set it right" is to counteract the transgression of Old Order with its
inherent transgression, with crime secretly committed to serve the Order. The price we pay for this is that the
Order which thus survives is a mockery of itself, a blasphemous imitation of Order. This is why ideology is not
simply an operation of closure, drawing the line between what is included and what is excluded/prohibited, but
the ongoing regulation of non-closure. In the case of marriage, ideology not only prohibits extramarital affairs;
its crucial operation is to regulate such inevitable transgressions (say, the proverbial Catholic priest's advice to a
promiscuous husband; if you really have needs that your wife cannot satisfy, visit a prostitute discreetly,
fornicate and then repent, as long as you do not divorce). In this way, an ideology always admits the failure of
closure, and then goes on to regulate the permeability of the exchange with its outside. Today, however, in our
"postmodern" world, this dialectic of the Law and its inherent transgression is given an additional twist:
transgression is more and more directly enjoined by the Law itself.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Link Demands on the State

The affirmatives strategy of placing radical demands on the state is flawed because either the
demand is met, and the structure itself is legitimized and made to look good, or the demand
is impossible and there is no agency, and everything remains the same.
Zizek, professor of sociology at the institute at ljubjana university, 2003 [Slavoj, The Puppet and the Dwarf,
page 43-44]
In the strict Lacanian sense of the term, one should thus posit that "happiness" relies on the subject's inability or
unreadiness fully to confront the consequences of its desire: the price of happiness is that the subject remains
stuck in the inconsistency of its desire. In our daily lives, we (pretend to) desire things that we do not really
desire, so that, ultimately, the worst thing that can happen is for us to get what we "officially" desire . Happiness is
thus inherently hypocritical: it is the happiness of dreaming about'things we do not really want. When today's Left bombards the capitalist
system with demands that it obviously cannot fulfill (Full employment! Retain the welfare state! Full rights for immigrants !), it is
basically playing a game of hysterical provocation, of addressing the Master with a de mand that will be
impossible for him to meet, and will thus expose his impotence. The problem with this strategy, however, is not
only that the system cannot meet these demands, but that those who voice them do not really want them to be
satisfied. When, for example, "radical" academics demand full rights for immigrants and the opening of borders to them, are they aware that the direct
implementation of this demand would, for obvious reasons, inundate the developed Western countries with millions of newcomers, thus provoking a
violent racist working-class backlash that would then endanger the privileged position of these very academics? Of course they are, but they

count on

the fact that their demand will not be met in this way, they can hypocritically retain their clear radical
conscience while continuing to enjoy their privileged position. In 1994, when a new wave of emigration to the United States was in
the making, Fidel Castro warned the USA that if they did not stop encouraging Cubans to emigrate, Cuba would no longer prevent them -from doing so
and the Cuban authorities actually carried out this threat a couple of days later, embarrassing the United States with thousands of unwanted newcomers. Is
this not like the proverbial woman who snaps back at the man making macho advances to her: "Shut up, or you'll have to do what you're boasting about!"
In both cases, the

gesture is that of calling the other's bluff, counting on the fact that what the other really fears is
that one will fully meet his or her demand. And would not the same gesture also throw our radical academics
into a panic? Here the old '68 motto "Soyons ralistes, demandons l'impossible!" acquires a new cynical-sinister meaning which, perhaps, reveals its
truth: "Let's be realistic: we, the academic Left, want to ap pear critical, while fully enjoying the privileges the
system offers us. So let's bombard the system with impossible demands: we all know that such demands won't
be met, so we can be sure that nothing will actually change, and we'll maintain our privileged status quo!" If you
accuse a big corporation of particular financial crimes, you expose yourself to risks that can go even as far as murder attempts; if you ask the same
corporation to finance a research project on the link between global capitalism and the emergence of hybrid postcolonial identities, you stand a good
chance of getting hundreds of thousands of dollars.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Links Particular Struggles

The affirmatives focus on a single issue of capitalisms negativity sucks up critical energies
better spent on the total eradication of capitalism
Herod, lecturer University of Mass Boston, 2004 (James, Getting Free 4th ed. Online,
We cannot destroy capitalism with single-issue campaigns. Yet the great bulk of the energies of radicals is spent
on these campaigns. There are dozens of them: campaigns to preserve the forests, keep rent control, stop whaling, stop animal experiments, defend
abortion rights, stop toxic dumping, stop the killing of baby seals, stop nuclear testing, stop smoking, stop pornography, stop drug testing, stop drugs, stop
the war on drugs, stop police brutality, stop union busting, stop red-lining, stop the death penalty, stop racism, stop sexism, stop child abuse, stop the reemerging slave trade, stop the bombing of Yugoslavia, stop the logging of redwoods, stop the spread of advertising, stop the patenting of genes, stop the
trapping and killing of animals for furs, stop irradiated meat, stop genetically modified foods, stop human cloning, stop the death squads in Colombia, stop
the World Bank and the World Trade Organization, stop the extermination of species, stop corporations from buying politicians, stop high stakes
educational testing, stop the bovine growth hormone from being used on milk cows, stop micro radio from being banned, stop global warming, stop the
militarization of space, stop the killing of the oceans, and on and on. What

we are doing is spending our lives trying to fix up a

system which generates evils far faster than we can ever eradicate them. Although some of these campaigns use
direct action (e.g., spikes in the trees to stop the chain saws or Greenpeace boats in front of the whaling ships to block the harpoons), for the most part the campaigns
are directed at passing legislation in Congress to correct the problem. Unfortunately, reforms that are won in one
decade, after endless agitation, can be easily wiped off the books the following decade, after the protesters have
gone home, or after a new administration comes to power. These struggles all have value and are needed. Could anyone think that
the campaigns against global warming, or to free Leonard Peltier, or to aid the East Timorese ought to be abandoned? Single issue campaigns
keep us aware of what's wrong, and sometimes even win. But in and of themselves, they cannot destroy
capitalism, and thus cannot really fix things. It is utopian to believe that we can reform capitalism. Most of these
evils can only be eradicated for good if we destroy capitalism itself and create a new civilization. We cannot
afford to aim for anything less. Our very survival is at stake. There is one single-issue campaign I can
wholehearted endorse: the total and permanent eradication of capitalism.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Links Particular Struggles

Liberal-capitalist democracy re-naturalizes personal attributes, desires, traumas and
idiosyncrasies. All big issues are now translated into natural or personal politics. These
naturalized issues are the form of struggle which best suits global capitalism.
ZiZek, 2005, July 15 [Against Human Rights New Left Review] Pgs. 115-131
But we might also examine the ways in which the fundamentalist essentialization of contingent traits is itself a
feature of liberal-capitalist democracy. It is fashionable to complain that private life is threatened or even
disappearing, in face of the medias ability to expose ones most intimate personal details to the public. True, on
condition that we turn things around: what is effectively disappearing here is public life itself, the public sphere
proper, in which one operates as a symbolic agent who cannot be reduced to a private individual, to a bundle of
personal attributes, desires, traumas and idiosyncrasies. The risk society commonplace according to which the
contemporary individual experiences himself as thoroughly denaturalized, regarding even his most natural
traits, from ethnic identity to sexual preference, as being chosen, historically contingent, learnedis thus profoundly deceiving. What
we are witnessing today is the opposite process: an unprecedented re-naturalization. All big public issues are
now translated into attitudes towards the regulation of natural or personal idiosyncrasies. This explains why,
at a more general level, pseudo-naturalized ethnoreligious conflicts are the form of struggle which best
suits global capitalism. In the age of post-politics, when politics proper is progressively replaced by expert social administration, the sole
remaining legitimate sources of conflict are cultural (religious) or natural (ethnic) tensions. And evaluation is precisely the regulation of
social promotion that fits with this re-naturalization. Perhaps the time has come to reassert, as the truth of evaluation, the perverted
logic to which Marx refers ironically in his description of commodity fetishism, quoting Dogberrys advice to Seacoal at the end of Capitals Chapter 1:
To be

a well-favoured man is the gift of fortune; but to write and read comes by nature. To be a computer
expert or a successful manager is a gift of nature today, but lovely lips or eyes are a fact of culture.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Links Economic Collapse Arguments

Their economic collapse Impact is a mask that naturalizes capitalism, by justifying capitalist
policies even under the guise of liberalism
iek, Lacanian psychoanalyst par excellance, 1997 [Slavoj, Multiculturalism, Or, the Cultural Logic of
Multinational Capitalism, New Left Review #224, p. 34-35]
The Logic of Capital
So, back to the recent Labour victory, one can see how it not only involved a hegemonic reappropriation of a
series of motifs which were usually inscribed into the Conservative fieldfamily values, law and order,
individual responsibility; the Labour ideological offensive also separated these motifs from the obscene
phantasmatic subtext which sustained them in the Conservative fieldin which toughness on crime and
individual responsibility subtly referred to brutal egotism, to the disdain for victims, and other basic instincts.
The problem, however, is that the New Labour strategy involved its own message between the lines: we fully
accept the logic of Capital, we will not mess about with it. Today, financial crisis is a permanent state of things
the reference to which legitimizes the demands to cut social spending, health care, support of culture and
scientific research, in short, the dismantling of the welfare state. Is, however, this permanent crisis really an
objective feature of our socio-economic life? Is it not rather one of the effects of the shift of balance in the class
struggle towards Capital, resulting from the growing role of new technologies as well as from the direct
internationalization of Capital and the co-dependent diminished role of the Nation-State which was further able
to impose certain minimal requirements and limitations to exploitation? In other words, the crisis is an
objective fact if and only if one accepts in advance as an unquestionable premise the inherent logic of Capital
as more and more left-wing or liberal parties have done. We are thus witnessing the uncanny spectacle of
social-democratic parties which came to power with the between-the-lines message to Capital we will do the
necessary job for you in an even more efficient and painless way than the conservatives. The problem, of
course, is that, in todays global socio-political circumstances, it is practically impossible effectively to call into
question the logic of Capital: even a modest social-democratic attempt to redistribute wealth beyond the limit
acceptable to the Capital effectively leads to economic crisis, inflation, a fall in revenues and so on .
Nevertheless, one should always bear in mind how the connection between cause (rising social expenditure)
and effect (economic crisis) is not a direct objective causal one: it is always-already embedded in a situation of
social antagonism and struggle. The fact that, if one does not obey the limits set by Capital, a crisis really
follows, in no way proves that the necessity of these limits is an objective necessity of economic life. It should
rather be conceived as a proof of the privileged position Capital holds in the economic and political struggle, as
in the situation where a stronger partner threatens that if you do X, you will be punished by Y, and then, upon
your doing X, Y effectively ensues.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Answers To Link Turns

Other instruments of capitalism will ensure the plan cant solve
John Bellamy Foster, Professor of Sociology at the University of Oregon , MONTHLY REVIEW, January 2003,
p. (DRGOC/E278)
If the Rio summit was transformed from within into a vehicle that mainly served the interests of capital,
processes were going on outside Rio that further weakened any attempts at global environmental reform. Even
while the Rio summit was taking place, the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade
(GATT) negotiations was proceeding. With the establishment of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995,
the leading capitalist states had created an international structure to promote neoliberal free market principles
while making environmental reforms in individual countries much more difficult. Globalization of capitalism
was to supplant local control, countries were to be encouraged to exploit their natural resources to the fullest,
public goods were to be opened up to relentless privatization, and environmental regulations were to be geared
to the lowest common denominator in order to not interfere with free trade. The WTO was meant to mark the
total triumph of capitalism, limiting environment and development policies in the third world to those acceptable
to the ruling interests of the wealthy capitalist states.

The state is not responsible for a positive expansion of capitalism in the 1950s
It is true that for a 30-year period after the Second World War the system was able to experience considerable
economic expansion, and that during these years some of the world's people were able to force their rulers to
concede improvements in living standards. Even then, however, the motor for expansion was not the
benevolence or rationality of rulers. Rather it was a Cold War driven worldwide level of arms expenditure
unprecedented in peacetime. At the high point of the Cold War in the early 1950s something like one fifth of the
wealth produced in the world's wealthiest country, the US, went directly or indirectly to the military budget, and
possibly twice that proportion in its poorer military competitor, the USSR.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

*** The Permutation Debate ***


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Permutation Answers
The aff is a reformist gesture that domesticates the kritik
Zizek, 2008 (Slavoj, In Defense of Lost Causes, pp. 106-107)
Thus all the dangers that lurk in democracy can be understood as grounded in these constitutive inconsistencies
of the democratic project, as ways of dealing with these inconsistencies, but with the price that, in trying to get
rid of the imperfections of democracy, of its non-democratic ingredients, we inadvertently lose democracy Itself
recall simply how the populist appeal to a direct expression of the people's General Will, bypassing all
particular interests and petty conflicts, ends up stifling democratic life itself. In a Hegelian mode, one is thus
tempted to classify Brown's version as the extreme aggravation of the "democratic paradox" to the point of
direct self-inconsistency. What, then, would be the (re)solution of this opposition between "thesis " (Lacan as a
theorist of democracy) and "antithesis" (Lacan as its internal critic)? We suggest that it is the risky but necessary
gesture of rendering problematic the very notion of "democracy, " of moving elsewhere of having the
courage to elaborate a positive Iweable project "beyond democracy." Is Brown not all too un-Nletzschean in her
reduction of "Nietzsche" to a provocative correction of democracy which, through his exaggeration, renders
visible the inconsistencies and weaknesses of the democratic project? When she proclaims Nietzsche's implicit
(and also explicit) anti-democratic project "unliveable," does she not thereby all too glibly pass over the fact that
there were very real political projects which directly referred to Nietzsche, up to and including Nazism, and that
Nietzsche himself constantly referred to actual political events around him say, the "slave rebellion" of the
Paris Commune that he found so shattering?' Brown thus accomplishes a domestication of Nietzsche, the
transformation of his theory into an exercise in "inherent transgression": provocations which are not really
"meant seriously," but aim, through their "provocative" character, to awaken us from our democratic-dogmatic
slumber and thus contribute to the revitalization of democracy itself . . . This is how the establishment likes its
"subversive" theorists: harmless gadflies who sting us and thus awaken us to the inconsistencies and
imperfection of our democratic enterprise God forbid that they might take the project seriously and try to live
it . .

The perm simply reframes the alternative to match the affthis leaves the main problem
Khanna, Professor of English and Literature at Duke, 2003
(Ranjana, Frames, Contexts, Community, Justice, diacritics, Volume 33, No. 2, Summer)

Culler also writes of negative framing: the police frame-up, or manufacturing evi- dence. The frame-up
compromises the legal system, leading to wrongful accusation and condemnation of an innocent. The
compromise is negatively viewed because the ac- cused may subsequently be condemned on wrongful
grounds. Here, the theft is of the legal framework, and the frame itself (whether it protects or not) has become
the thing of value. On the occasions when the frame-up is discovered (usually through some supplementary
information that exceeds the frame-up), legal structures are validated and sanctified. There is little provision for
assessing the frame itselfthe claims it makes , and its ability to adapt to damage caused by the supplement
challenging of its norms. The discovery of a frame-up leads to a liberal responseto save the frame even if
those it apparently protects are not protected by it. But this would always leave the supplement outside of the
frame. And the frame would remain unresponsive to its own corruptibility and exclusionary framework.

Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Permutation Answers
Perm fails must accept the entirety of the Marxist impulse we cannot reject the ugly parts
and conditionally support revolutionaries if they act with good manners
Zizek, 2008 (Slavoj, In Defense of Lost Causes, pp.175-177)
In modern history, the politics of revolutionary terror casts its shadow over the epoch which spans from
Robespierre to Mao, or, more generally, the disintegration of the Communist bloc in 1990 its last installment
was the Maoist Cultural Revolution. Obviously, the socio-historical context had changed radically between the
French Revolution and the Cultural Revolutionto put it in Platonist terms, what unites the two is precisely and
only the same "eternal" idea of revolutionary Justice. In the case of Mao, the question is even whether one can
legitimately count him as a Marxist, since the social base of the Maoist revolution was not the working class.
One of the most devious traps which lurk for Marxist theorists is the search for the moment of the Fall, when
things took the wrong turning in the history of Marxism: was it already the late Engels with his more positivistevolutionary understanding of historical materialism? Was it the revisionism and the orthodoxy of the Second
International? Was it Lenin?^^ Or was it Marx himself in his late work, after he had abandoned his youthful
humanism (as some "humanist Marxists" claimed decades ago)? This entire trope has to be rejected: there is no
opposition here, the Fall is to be inscribed in the very origins. (To put it even more pointedly, such a search for
the intruder who infected the original model and set in motion its degeneration cannot but reproduce the logic of
anti-Semitism.) What this means is that, even ifor, rather, especially ifone submits the Marxist past to
ruthless critique, one has first to acknowledge it as "one's own, " taking full responsibility for it, not to
comfortably reject the "bad" side of things by attributing it to a foreign element (the "bad" Engels who was too
stupid to understand Marx's dialectics, the "bad" Lenin who did not grasp the core of Marx's theory, the "bad"
Stalin who spoilt the noble plans of the "good" Lenin, and so on). The first thing we must do is to fully endorse
the displacement in the history of Marxism concentrated in two great passages (or, rather, violent cuts): the
passage from Marx to Lenin, as well as the passage from Lenin to Mao. In each case, there is a displacement of
the original constellation: from the most advanced country (as Marx expected) to a relatively backward country
the revolution "took place in the wrong country"; from workers to (poor) peasants as the main revolutionary
agent. In the same way as Christ needed Paul's "betrayal" in order for Christianity to emerge as a universal
Church (recall that, amongst the twelve apostles, Paul occupies the place of Judas the traitor, replacing him!),
Marx needed Lenin's "betrayal" in order to enact the first Marxist revolution: it is an inner necessity of the
"original" teaching to submit to and survive this "betrayal"; to survive this violent act of being torn out of one's
original context and thrown into a foreign landscape where it has to reinvent itselfonly in this way is
universality born. So, apropos the second violent transposition, that of Mao, it is too easy either to condemn his
reinvention of Marxism as theoretically "inadequate," as a regression with regard to Marx's standards (it is easy
to show that peasants lack substanceless proletarian subjectivity), but it is equally too facile to blur the violence
of the cut and to accept Mao's reformulation as a logical continuation or "application" of Marxism (relying, as is
usually the case, on the simple metaphoric expansion of class struggle: "today's predominant class struggle is no
longer between capitalists and proletariat in each country, it has shifted to the Third versus the First World,
bourgeois versus proletarian nations"). The achievement of Mao is here tremendous: his name stands for the
political mobilization of the hundreds of millions of anonymous Third World layers whose labor provides the
invisible "substance," the background, of historical developmentthe mobilization of all those whom even such
a poet of "otherness " as Levinas dismissed as the "yellow peril", as we see in what is arguably his weirdest
text, "The Russo-Chinese Debate and the Dialectic" (1960), a comment on the SovietChinese conflict: The

Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

yellow peril! It is not racial, it is spiritual. It does not involve inferior values; it involves a radical strangeness, a
stranger to the weight of its past, from where there does not filter any familiar voice or inflection, a lunar or
Martian past. Does this not recall Heidegger's insistence, throughout the 1930s, that the main task of Western
thought today was to defend the Greek breakthrough, the founding gesture of the "West," the overcoming of the
pre-philosophical, mythical, "Asiatic" universe, to struggle against the renewed "Asiatic" threatthe greatest
adversary of the West was "the mythical in general and the Asiatic in particular"? It is this Asiatic "radical
strangeness" which is mobilized, politicized, by Mao Zedong's Communist movement. In his Phenomenology of
Spirit, Hegel introduces his notorious notion of womankind as "the everlasting irony of the community":
womankind "changes by intrigue the universal end of the government into a private end, transforms its universal
activity into a work of some particular individual, and perverts the universal property of the state into a
possession and ornament for the family. "^^ In contrast to male ambition, a woman wants power in order to
promote her own narrow family interests or, even worse, her personal caprice, incapable as she is of perceiving
the universal dimension of state politics. How are we not to recall F.W.J. Schelling's claim that "the same
principle carries and holds us in its ineffectiveness which would consume and destroy us in its
effectiveness"?'*'^ A power which, when it is kept in its proper place, can be benign and pacifying, turns into its
radical opposite, into the most destructive fury, the moment it intervenes at a higher level, the level which is not
its own: the tame femininity which, within the closed circle of family life, is the power of protective love, turns
into obscene frenzy when displayed at the level of public and state affairs . . . In short, it is acceptable for a
woman to protest against public state power on behalf of the rights of the family and kinship; but woe to a
society in which women endeavor directly to influence decisions concerning the affairs of state, manipulating
their weak male partners, effectively emasculating them . . . Is there not something similar in the terror aroused
by the prospect of the awakening of the anonymous Asian masses? They are fine if they protest at their fate and
allow us to help them (through large-scale humanitarian activity), but not when they "empower" themselves, to
the horror of sympathetic liberals, always ready to support the revolt of the poor and dispossessed, so long as it
is done with good manners . . .


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Permutation Answers
The aff ushers in neoliberal governance as the normal way of ordering society this move
disposes things such that market norms dictate struggles and social actualization, shutting
down alternatives to capitalism.
Massimo De Angelis 7 Lecturer, University of East London The Beginning of History 88-9
This double function can be described, in general terms, using Foucault's term `governmentality'. This is an art of
government that, unlike `enclosures', is not based on decree but on management, although this, as we shall see, is also
predicated on the iron fist of the state. With governmentality, the question is 'not of imposing law on men but of disposing
things: 9 that is of employing tactics rather than laws, or even of using laws themselves as tactics to arrange things in such
a way that, through a certain number of means, such-and-such ends may be achieved' (Foucault 2002: 211). We cannot here
discuss this category in detail, as Foucault's work on this issue is dense with historical details and insights. 10 For our purposes here, governmentality is
the management of networks of social relations on the front line of conflicting value practices." This management does not come from a transcendental
authority that is external to the network itself, such as in the problematic of the Machiavellian prince. Rather, the problem and solution of authority is all
internal to the network, and it is for this reason that it deploys tactics rather than laws: tactics and strategies aimed at creating a context in which the nodes
interact without escaping the value practices of capita1. Social stability compatible with the priorities and flows necessary for accumulation is one of the
rationales of capitalist governmentality. Examples of these practices are post-war Keynesianism and the current discourses of neoliberal governance. A
classic example of this `governmentality' is the productivity deals that were at the heart of the Keynesian era. These where the result of a long institutional
process grounded on the crisis and struggles of the 1930s, the worldwide revolutionary ferments following the Russian Revolution, and became the kernel
not only of Keynesian policies, but also the hidden parametric assumptions of post-Second World War Keynesian models. Here the state did not implement
laws establishing prices and wages (when it tried this in emergency situations it usually failed), but promoted guidelines and an institutional context in
which unions and capital would negotiate within an overall framework. In other words, 'social stability' in the case of Keynesianism was seen as the output

While I refer the reader to the

literature for a discussion of Keynesianism,12 in what follows I want to deal with the modern form of governmentality:
neoliberal governance. Neoliberal governance What today is called 'governance' is the name given to the neoliberal
strategies of governmentality. As in the case of the Keynesian form, governance too emerges out of a crisis that increasingly
presents itself as a problem of 'social stability' , a crisis that actualises the predisposition towards the rupture of
accumulation, towards the interruption, slowing down, or refusal to maintain and increase the speed of flows which are
necessary for the expansion of capital within the M-C-M' cycle. Neoliberal governance emerges as an attempt to manage
clashing value practices in line with the requirements of capitalist priorities in an increasingly integrated world.
Neoliberal governance is a central element of the neoliberal discourse in a particular phase of it, when neoliberalism and
capital in general face particularly stringent problems of accumulation, growing social conflict and a crisis of reproduction.
Governance sets itself the task of tackling these problems for capital by attempting to relay the disciplinary role of the
market through the establishment of a 'continuity of powers' based on normalised market values as truly common values
across the social body. Governance thus seeks to embed these values in the many ways in which the vast array of social and
environmental problems are addressed. It thus promotes active participation of society in the reproduction of life and of our
species on the basis of this market normalisation. It depends on participation on the basis of the shared values and discourse
of the market. According to this logic, every problem raised by struggles can be addressed on condition that the mode of its
addressing is through the market: for example, the environmental catastrophe can be dealt with by marketing pollution
rights and the human catastrophe of poverty can be dealt with by microcredit and export promotion.
of a production process that had `government' as its 'facilitator' and class struggle as its enforcer on the global scene.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Permutation Answers
The perm operates in the democratic framework which dooms it to fail because of the binary
created by democracy
iek, Institute for Social Sciences at the University of Ljubljana, 2004 [Slavoj, Appendix I: canis a non
canendo, iraq the borrowed kettle pg.112-113 ]
(This passage is worth quoting in extenso, since it presents, in a clear and concise way, the whole line of
reasoning that we should question everything is here, right up to the simplistic parallel b
D. etween
Nazism and Communism a la Ernst Nolte. The first thing that strikes us is the binary logic on which
Stavrakakis relies: on the one hand, in one big arch, premodern millenarian utopias, Communism and Nazism,
which all imply the localization of the origin of Evil in a particular social agent (Jews, kulaks . . .) once we
have eliminated these 'thieves of (our) enjoyment', social harmony and transparency will be restored; on the
other hand, the 'democratic invention', with its notion of the empty place of power, non-transparency and the
irreducible contingency of social life, and so on. Furthermore, in so far as the utopia of a harmonious society is a
kind of fantasy, which conceals the structural 'lack in the Other' (irreducible social antagonism), and in so far as
the aim of psychoanalytic treatment is to traverse the fantasy that is to say, to make the analysis and accept
the nonexistence of the big Other is the radical democratic politics whose premises is that 'society doesn't
exist' (Laclau) not eo ipso a post-fantasmatic politics? There is a whole series of problems with this line of
reasoning. First, in its rapid rejection of utopia, it leaves out of the picture the main utopia of today, which is the
utopia of capitalism itself it is Francis Fukuyama who is our true utopian. Second, it fails to distinguish
between, on the one hand, the contingency and impenetrability of social life, and, on the other, the democratic
logic of the empty place of power, With no agent who is 'natu rally' entitled to it. It is easy to see how these two
phenomena are independent of each other: if anything, a functioning democracy presupposes a basic stability
and reliability of social life. Third, such a simplified binary opposition also ignores the distinction between the
traditional functioning of power grounded in a `naturalized' authority (king) and the millenarian radical utopia
which strives to accomplish a radical rupture. Is not Stavrakakis's dismissal of millenarian radicalism all too
precipitate, overlooking the tremendous emancipatory potential of millenarian radicals, of their explosion of
revolutionary negativity? The very least we should do here is to complicate the picture by introducing two
couples of opposites: first the opposition full/empty place of power, then the opposition difference/ antagonism
as the fundamental structuring principle (to use Laclau's own terms). While the traditional hierarchical power
presupposes a 'natural' bearer of power, it asserts difference (hierarchical social order) as the basic structural
principle of social life, in contrast to millenarian 'fundamentalism', which asserts antagonism. On the other
hand, democracy combines the assertion of contingency (the empty place of power) with difference: while it
admits the irreducible character of social antagonisms, its goal is to transpose antagonisms into a regulated
agonistic competition. So what about the fourth option: the combination of contingency and antagonism? In
other words, what about the prospect of a radical social transformation which would not involve the well-worn
scarecrow 'complete fullness and transparency of the social'? Why should every project of a radical social
revolution automatically fall into the trap of aiming at the impossible dream of 'total transparency'? )


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Permutation Answers
This makes the aff ethically indistinct from, and politically more dangerous than, even the most
base conservatisms. The may marginally contribute to the remediation of some of the
violence symptomatic of global power relations, but they do so while fundamentally
reinforcing the very structures which maintain them.
Zizek, Prof. of Sociology at Univ. Ljubljana, 2006. [Slavoj, Nobody Has to be Vile, London Review of Books,
Vol. 28 No. 7]
We should have no illusions: liberal communists are the enemy of every true progressive struggle today. All
other enemies religious fundamentalists, terrorists, corrupt and inefficient state bureaucracies depend on contingent local
circumstances. Precisely because they want to resolve all these secondary malfunctions of the global system,
liberal communists are the direct embodiment of what is wrong with the system. It may be necessary to enter into
tactical alliances with liberal communists in order to fight racism, sexism and religious obscurantism, but its important to remember

Balibar, in La Crainte des masses (1997), distinguishes the two opposite but
complementary modes of excessive violence in todays capitalism: the objective (structural) violence that is
inherent in the social conditions of global capitalism (the automatic creation of excluded and dispensable individuals, from
the homeless to the unemployed), and the subjective violence of newly emerging ethnic and/or religious (in short: racist)
fundamentalisms. They may fight subjective violence, but liberal communists are the agents of the structural
violence that creates the conditions for explosions of subjective violence. The same Soros who gives millions to
fund education has ruined the lives of thousands thanks to his financial speculations and in doing so created the
conditions for the rise of the intolerance he denounces.
exactly what they are up to. Etienne

The movement is already there, what we need to unite it is to universalize the struggle;
cooperation within the exsting system only legitimizes it and stops the revolution
Zizek, 2002 (Slavoj, Senior Researcher at the Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut in Essen [among other things],
A Plea for Leninist Intolerance, Cultural Inquiry, Winter, Proquest)



























Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)






Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Permutation Answers
Negotiation coopts our ability to radically restructure society-we must dogmatically stick to the
revolution or it will be diluted and rearticulated back into capitalist structures


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Permutation Answers
We cannot combine things we must clearly stake out positions
iek, Senior Researcher at the Institute for Social Studies (Ljubljana), 2004 [Slavoj,
Conversations with iek, p. 45]
On the one hand, I do consider myself an extreme Stalinist philosopher. That is to say, its clear where I stand.
I dont believe in combining things. I hate this approach of taking a little but from Lacan, a little but from
Foucault, a little bit from Derrida. No, I dont believe in this; I believe in clear cut positions. I think that the
most arrogant position is this apparent, multidisciplinary modesty of what I am saying is not unconditional, it is
just a hypothesis, and so on. It is really the most arrogant position. I think that the only way to be honest and to
expose yourself to criticism is to state clearly and dogmatically where you are. You must take the risk and have a


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Permutation Answer
Reject the permutation any degree of acceptance of the big other or social structures
intelligibility colonizes the entirety of the affs gesture. The big other manages the affs
interaction with others to reproduce an inherently unethical configuration
Zizek, 2007
(Slavoj, How to Read Lacan, Ch 2 Empty Gestures and Performatives)
There are, however, many features of the "big Other" which get lost in this simplified notion. For Lacan, the reality of
human beings is constituted by three mutually entangled levels: the Symbolic, the Imaginary, and the Real. This triad can
be nicely illustrated by the game of chess. The rules one has to follow in order to play it are its symbolic dimension: from
the purely formal symbolic standpoint, "knight" is defined only by the moves this figure can make. This level is clearly
different from the imaginary one, namely the way different pieces are shaped and characterized by their names (king,
queen, knight), and it is easy to envision a game with the same rules, but with a different imaginary, in which this figure
would be called "messenger" or "runner" or whatever. Finally, real is the entire complex set of contingent circumstances
which affect the course of the game: the intelligence of the players, the unpredictable intrusions that may disconcert one of
the players or directly cut the game short The big Other operates at a symbolic level. What, then, is this symbolic order
composed of? When we speak (or listen, for hat matter), we never merely interact with others; our speech activity is
grounded on our accepting of and relying on a complex network of rules and other kinds of presuppositions. First, there are
the grammatical rules I have to master blindly and spontaneously: if I were to bear in mind all the time these rules, my
speech would come to a halt. Then there is the background of participating in the same life-world which enables me and my
partner in conversation to understand each other. The rules that I follow are marked by a deep split: there are rules (and
meanings) that I follow blindly, out of custom, but of which, upon reflection, I can become at least partially aware (such as
common grammatical rules), and there are rules that I follow, meanings that haunt me, unbeknownst to me (such as
unconscious prohibitions). Then there are rules and meanings I am aware of, but have to act on the outside as if I am not
aware of them - dirty or obscene innuendos which one passes over in silence in order to maintain the proper appearances.
This symbolic space acts like a standard against which I can measure myself. This is why the big Other can be personified
or reified in a single agent: "God" who watches over me from beyond and over all real individuals or the Cause which
addresses me (Freedom, Communism, Nation) and for which I am ready to give my life. While talking, I am never merely a
"small other" (individual) interacting with other "small others," the big Other always has to be there.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Permutation Answers
The permutation taints the kritk the gestures we symbolize meaning with coproduce the
symbolic rules that limit us
Zizek, 2007
(Slavoj, How to Read Lacan, Ch 2 Empty Gestures and Performatives)
We can see now how, far from conceiving the Symbolic which rules human perception and interaction as a kind of
transcendental a priori (a formal network, given in advance, which limits the scope of human practice), Lacan is interested
precisely in how the gestures of symbolization are entwined with and embedded in the process of collective practice. What
Lacan elaborates as the "twofold moment" of the symbolic function reaches far beyond the standard theory of the
performative dimension of speech as it was developed in the tradition from J.L. Austin to John Searle: The symbolic
function presents itself as a twofold movement in the subject: man makes his own action into an object, but only to return
its foundational place to it in due time. In this equivocation, operating at every instant, lies the whole progress of a function
in which action and knowledge alternate. The historical example evoked by Lacan to clarify this "twofold movement" is
indicative in its hidden references: in phase one, a man who works at the level of production in our society considers
himself to belong to the ranks of the proletariat; in phase two, in the name of belonging to it, he joins in a general strike.
Lacan's (implicit) reference here is to Georg Lukacs' History and Class Consciousness, a classic Marxist work from 1923
whose widely acclaimed French translation was published in the mid-1950s. For Lukacs, consciousness is opposed to mere
knowledge of an object: knowledge is external to the known object, while consciousness is in itself 'practical', an act which
changes its very object. (Once a worker "considers himself to belong to the ranks of the proletariat," this changes his very
reality: he acts differently.) One does something, one counts oneself as (declares oneself) the one who did it, and, on the
base of this declaration, one does something new - the proper moment of subjective transformation occurs at the moment of
declaration, not at the moment of act. This reflexive moment of declaration means that every utterance not only transmits
some content, but, simultaneously, renders how the subject relates to this content. Even the most down-to-earth objects and
activities always contain such a declarative dimension, which constitutes the ideology of everyday life. One should never
forget that utility functions as a reflective notion: it always involves the assertion of utility as meaning. A man who lives in
a large city and owns a land-rover (for which he obviously has no use), doesn't simply lead a no-nonsense, down-to-earth
life; rather, he owns such a car in order to signal that he leads his life under the sign of a no-nonsense, down-to-earth
attitude. To wear stone-washed jeans is to signal a certain attitude to life.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Permutation Answers
Detachment DAThe permuation is just another distancing strategy that promotes a false
reconciliation with the trauma of our desires and our complicity in suffering
Edkins, Lecturer in Politics at the University of Wales, 2000 [Jenny, Whose Hunger? Concepts of Famine,
Practices of Aid p. 120]
If facing images of distant hunger is an experience of the traumatic real, what follows, in the response that we make, is the reconstitution of subjectivity and community through a reinstatement of what we call social reality/social fantasy. For
Zizek, social fantasy is to be seen as an escape from the traumatic real, a way of concealing antagonism and the
impossibility of the social order. It produces the master signifier and masks the "nothing" behind the curtain.
Critics point to the role of the ideological in Live Aid. The discourse of charitable response to disaster, the narrative of the West
as rescuer, performs the ideological role of concealing the "true" causes of famine and suffering that lie in the
dominance of the West and its exploitation of Africa. For these critics, famine has deep causes, for example, in the effects of
colonization and structural inequalities, and the Live Aid narrative is ideological in that it provides a way of avoiding the need
to confront these truths. This view of famine as a disaster with a scientific causewhether the science in question is Marxist
economics or natural scienceleads to a detachment from disaster relief in favor of a search for further knowledge ,
which alone can provide a reason to act. It contrasts with the humanitarian approach that calls for action without
knowledge to save lives in the immediate future without waiting for a political analysis. This approach is validated
by a different detachment or objectivity, one that in its own way equally repudiates involvement and empathy
with suffering. It is based on a strict separation of humanitarian and political actions, on an assumption of
neutrality, and on a valuation that holds the preser vation of human life to be above and distinct from any


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Permutation Answers Environment Specific

The permutation fails green capitalism wont work
John Kay, retired Professor of Management at Oxford, AN EXCHANGE ON A SOCIALIST APPROACH TO
As was suggested above, while rejecting attempts to turn back the productive forces, we do not harbor any
illusions as to the possibility of a green or environmentally friendly capitalism, as suggested by such figures
as US Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader. Even the most environmentally-conscious employer
enters a network of economic relations that are beyond his or her control. The capitalist system, by its very
nature, subordinates human and social needs, including the maintenance of a healthy environment, to the drive
for ever-greater amounts of personal wealth. Under constant pressure from big investors, only those corporations
that cut production costs the most and maximize profits can survive. Given these conditions, the environment
can be considered in only the most superficial manner.

The permutation fails green capitalism wont work

Jerry White, former socialist presidential candidate, EXTOLLING THE POLITICS OF EXPEDIENCY: AN
Pragmatism, opportunism, eclecticism are held up as positive goods. In McLarty's words: I think what is going
on right now is that the Green Party is getting stronger, and it is getting stronger through Nader's campaign...We
are doing a lot of things without a very clear theory behind it. I think just the emergence of a strong third party
throws politics into a chaos, in which we are not sure how things are going to sort out. Such an unprincipled
and eclectic approach to politics is characteristic of the social layers upon which the Greens are based. The
middle layers of society exercise no real independence from the two main classesthe working class and the
capitalist classand swing, sometimes wildly, between the two. A party based upon such variegated and
heterogeneous elements of the population is incapable of a consistent and scientific approach to politics. The
Greens may ignore the class struggle, but the class struggle does not ignore them. The right-wing evolution of
the German Greens demonstrates the bankruptcy of such petty-bourgeois politics. In the fire of war and class
conflict, the German Greens dutifully defended the interests of their ruling class. If given the chance, their
American counterparts would do likewise.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Permutation Answers
The link between capitalism and the nation-state ensures the failure of socialism
John Kay, retired Professor of Management at Oxford, AN EXCHANGE ON A SOCIALIST APPROACH TO
Capitalism further precludes the ability to address the environment in that it remains tied to a system of
competing nation-states. Environmental problems are inherently global in nature and must be addressed on a
global scale. Only by cooperatively mobilizing the world's scientific, technological and economic resources can
such an immense challenge be confronted. The international agreements that have been reached, such as the
Kyoto agreement on global warming, are generally of an extremely weak character, and even these have
floundered on the rocks of national competition. The problems created by the development of production under
capitalism can be solved only through the rational and international control of production, i.e., the conscious
direction of the dynamic interaction between man and the rest of the natural world.

The plan and critique are mutually exclusive

World Congress of the Fourth International, ECOLOGY AND SOCIALISM, 2003, p. (DRGOC/E304)
Although it cannot escape the laws of nature, in various ways the mode of capitalist production comes into
fundamental contradiction with nature and the natural evolution process. For capital, only the quantitative aspect
is decisive, determining the relation between labour time and money in the framework of the law of value;
qualitative and global relations cannot be taken into consideration. Capitalist production is based on carrying out
cyclical processes in the shortest possible time to get a return on capital invested. Thus, it must impose a rhythm
and framework on natural processes that is foreign to them. The exploitation of natural resources cannot take the
time needed for their formation or their renewal into account. The spread of commodity production cannot
respect pre-existing modes of social organisation. Occupying the space needed for a smooth production process,
energy supply and distribution must go ahead without taking the natural environment, fauna and flora into
account. It is not capitalisms lack of wisdom that brings about environmental destruction, but the very logic
underlying the system. This is why the social democrats calls for qualitative growth are stymied by capitals
logic: qualitative growth and the law of value are mutually exclusive.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Permutation Answers
Changing the capitalist system is key, minor alterations lack effectiveness
David Korten, President of the People-Centered Development Forum, ETHIX MAGAZINE, September-October
2002, p. (DRGOC/E305)
Gill: So you are not blaming these problems on individual evil capitalists but on an organizational structure and
a system of relationships? Korten: My focus is on the economy as an organizational system that is structured to
reward the worst in us. There are certainly some extraordinarily dishonest and greedy people who use this
system. But most in the corporate system are ordinary decent people, many of them with deep spiritual and
ethical values. They are caught in a system that gives them very little scope to behave in any way other than
what the system demands.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

AT: Deconstruction Permutation

The affs commitment to undecidability undermines any serious political commitment erecting
an inevitable and antagonistic barrier of identity between self and other. Real politics
requires making risky decisions, and standing firmly behind them. These decisions are
capable, though, of making new relationships possible. Their version of postmodern
uncertainty prevents decision, which is key to accessing this form of politics.
Rens Van Munster, 2004 Department of International Politics, University of Wales. The Desecuritisation of
Illegal Migration: The Case for a European Belonging without Community. Marie Curie Working Papers, No 7
There is one crucial problem with the deconstructivist position, however. For while deconstructivism embraces the
objective of desecuritisation, its theoretical maxim that identity is always constituted in the dialectics between
two opposing terms which function as each others negation hampers them in reaching this goal. For if one
accepts, if only tacitly, that identity is always constituted through an antagonistic relationship with the other, it
becomes unclear how one can envisage desecuritised ways of mediating belonging between self and other (cf.
Fierke, 2001; Hansen, 1997). Ole Wver observes in this context that [m]any [poststructuralist] authors including Campbell balance between, on the
one hand, (formally) saying that identity does not demand an Other, does not demand antagonism, only difference(s) that can be non-antagonistic and, on
the other, actually assuming that identity is always based on an antagonistic relationship to an other, is always constituted as an absolute difference
(Wver, 1996: 122; cf. Fierke, 2001: 119). Indeed,

the theoretical maxim that identity always requires a constitutive outside

logically entails that only the particular contents of a specific friend/enemy figuration can be questioned, but
never the antagonistic logic itself (see also Norval, 2000). If identity presupposes otherness, then every positive
articulation of identity will automatically lead to the institutionalisation of a new, yet equally absolute,
difference. Thus although deconstructivists are right to stress the principle openness of all articulations of
belonging, they have so far not adequately theorised the reverse move from deconstruction to the decision as an
ethical act. But without a theory of how to break free from the us/them dichotomy, there is nothing to guarantee
that the deconstruction of a security story will contribute to political forms of identification that are less exclusive
towards the other (Wyn Jones, 1999; Wver, 2000). Thus while it is no doubt true that the deconstruction of security stories is
a necessary precondition for desecuritisation and the repoliticising of belonging, it does not in itself provide a
guarantee against totalising discourses of closure. Hence Derridas claim that deconstruction is, in itself, a
positive response to an alterity which necessarily calls, summons or motivates it (cited in Campbell, 1998a: 182) makes
little sense as long as it is not supplemented theoretically with an account of how to bridge the gap between
openness on the one hand and closure on the other. For without such a theory, deconstructivism risks getting
caught on the abstract level of meta-politics in which its philosophical preferences for opening up and
transgression are translated as something equally desirable on the less abstract level of politics (see also Wver,
2000: 283). Which is why Moran rightly objects that deconstruction runs the risk of appearing either as a critical
Puritanism or as a series of empty, if largely unobjectionable platitudes (Moran, 2002: 125). Hence the
deconstructive emphasis on the importance of ontological openness/ undecidability as the necessary
precondition for every closure/decision needs itself to be supplemented with a theory of the decision if it is not
appear either as substanceless cant or a new moral absolutism (Moran, 2002: 129). For if without the radical
structural undecidability that the deconstructive intervention brings about, many strata of social relations appear
as essentially linked by necessary logics, Laclau correctly observes that deconstruction in turn requires
hegemony, that is, a theory of the decision taken in an undecidable terrain: without a theory of decision, that
distance between structural undecidability and actuality would remain untheorised (Laclau, 1996: 59-60). In a
similar critique, Critchley who agrees with Laclau that deconstruction is a necessary move against closure and

Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

for politics has pointed out that making politics possible is not the same as providing a politics. For him,
the gap between undecidability and actuality points to the limits of deconstructivism as a political strategy:
Decisions have to be taken. But how? And in virtue of what? How does one make a decision in an undecidable
terrain? (Critchley, 1992: 199 Prozorov, too, comes to similar conclusions. For him, the idea that any decision presupposes
contingency and undecidability is not just lamenting the obvious; it is also problematic from an ethical point
of view. For if it is true that every decision requires undecidability, all decisions are responsible and hence
ethical in Derridean terms. Yet, since all decisions effect a closure of the radical openness , they are all equally
irresponsible and hence unethical. Thus, while it was argued that security is undesirable because it performs its ordering function in an
exclusionary way that closes off for alternative ways of deciding on belonging, it is at the same time also ethical because, like any other decision, it
passages through the moment of undecidability. As a result,

deconstructivism remains frustratingly caught above the abyss of

undecidability in the desire to refrain from the closure that every decision inaugurates (Prozorov, 2004: 13). What is
needed, therefore, is not only a deconstructivist position that highlights the impossibility of a decision, but also a
theory that can affirm the decision as an ethical act in a radically undecidable terrain. To put this differently, in
focusing upon the substance of the decision, a deconstructivist stance risks ignoring the ethicality of deciding
as such. Thus to move beyond deconstructivism, it is necessary not focus too narrowly on the impossible attempt to establish the
fact of ethicality of decision, but on affirming the decision itself as an ethical act, whose authenticity is conditioned by
going through both the traversal of undecidability and its closure. The ethical injunction concerns not the
substance of the decision, but the responsibility for the decision as an act (Prozorov, 2004: 13). In contrast to
deconstructivist thought which explicitly separates the ethical (the unconditional injunction of undecidability) from the
domain of politics (the domain of practical interventions which always fail to live up to this ethical injunction), the move towards
desecuritisation as an act requires that we accept the inherently political character of every ethical


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

*** Impact Debate ***


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Impact-Zizek/Billions Dead
Global Capitalism asserts itself in terrible forms, having billions of nameless victims with out
value to life.
Zizek and Daly, Professor at the University of Ljublijana and general badass; Zizeks homeboy and
senior Lecturer in Politics in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at University College,
Northampton, 2004 (Slavoj, Conversations with Zizek Polity Press, 14-16)
requires some care and subtlety. For far too long, Marxism has been bedeviled by an almost fetishistic



socialexclusionremainsmystifiedandnameless (viz.thepatronizingreferencetothedevelopingworld).And
is readily sustained by postmodern forms of consumerism and lifestyle. Against this Zizek argues for a new
require a hegemonicparticular embodiment in order to have any meaning), what is novel about Zizeks


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Impact - Extinction
Capitalism guarantees nuclear and ecological extinction
Mandel, No Date, economist and politcal theorist and longstanding leader of the Fourth International (accessed
2 July 2008) [Ernest The End of History? World Revolution Today International Viewpoint Part 6 _article&id_article=295]
The unity of the process of world revolution is related to the growing internationalization of the productive forces and of capital-exemplified in the
emergence of the transnational corporation as the typical late capitalist firm predominant in the world market-which leads unavoidably to a growing
internationalization of the class struggle. Hard material reality will teach the international working class that retreating toward purely national defensive
strategies (exemplified by protectionism) leaves all the advantages to capital and increasingly paralyzes even the defence of a given standard of living and

The only efficient answer to an internationalization of capitals strength and maneuvers is

international coordination, solidarity and organization of the working class. During the last decades, the
objective need for world revolution as a unity of the three world sectors of revolution has received a
new and frightening dimension through the growth of the destructive potential of contemporary
technological and economic trends, resulting from the survival of capitalism beyond the period of its
historical legitimacy. The accumulation of huge arsenals of nuclear and chemical weapons; the
extension of nuclear power; the destruction of tropical forests; the pollution of air and water the world
over; the destruction of the ozone layer; the desertification of large tracts of Africa; the growing famine
in the Third World: all these trends threaten disasters which put a question mark on the physical
survival of human-kind. None of these disasters can be stopped or prevented at national or even
continental level. They all call for solutions on a worldwide scale. The consciousness about the global
nature of humanitys crisis and the need for global solutions, largely overlapping nation-states, has
been rapidly growing.
of political rights.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Impact - Extinction
Capitalist dynamics lead to global extinction
Cook, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Windsor, 2006 [Deborah, Staying Alive: Adorno and
Habermas on Self-Preservation under Late Capitalism, Rethinking Marxism, 18(3):433-447, electronic]
Adorno and Habermas obviously disagree about the character of self-preservation under late capitalism. Where Habermas
believes that survival imperatives are now harnessed to communicative and functionalist reason, Adorno claims that selfpreservation has not yet come under rational control because reason itself is blindly impelled by this drive. Against
Habermas one could certainly argue that, even if self-preservation is rational in his procedural sense of that term, it remains
destructive and self-destructive insofar as we do not consciously attempt to satisfy the goal of preserving the species as a
whole. Self-preservation is now the exclusive prerogative of the owners of the means of production in Western countries
who, in their relentless and self-interested pursuit of profit and power, continue to threaten the material survival of
everyone. In fact, given the obvious damage that continues to be inflicted on the environment, the wars that have been
fought and continue to be waged in the name of self-preservation, and the famine, disease, poverty, and malnutrition that
destroy the lives of most human beings on the planet, I would argue that Habermas's view of what is required for selfpreservation to be rational is seriously flawed and must therefore be rejected. On the one hand, even if citizens in the West
were to steer the economy toward normative ends, they could agree to act destructively and self-destructively and remain
rational on Habermas's procedural definition of rationality. On the other hand, it is difficult to see how the surrender of selfpreservation to blind economic forces that currently threaten everyone's survival can plausibly be described as rational. To
give the last word to Adorno: our lives, which are really no more than a means to the end of self-preservation, have
nonetheless become bewitched and fetishized as an end. Our current predicament consists in an antinomy: the
individual is debased and liquidated while simultaneously being thrown back on the fact that he no longer has anything but
this atomized self which lives our life (Adorno 2001, 110). Consequently, Adorno argues, the concept of ends, to which
reason rises for the sake of consistent self-preservation, ought to be emancipated from the idol in the mirror. Selfpreservation, which currently confuses means with ends, obscures the fact that an end would be whatever differs from the
subject, which is a means (1973, 349). If we were to make conscious to ourse lves the ways in which our behavior has
unconsciously been driven by survival imperatives, and win the energy of self-preservation for more substantive ends,
reason would be emancipated from its instinctual fetters and self-preservation would finally become rational. Again, the
goal of self-preservation is the preservation of humanity as a whole: to be rational in the more emphatic sense of that term,
individuals need to direct their efforts toward the preservation of the species on which their own lives depend. To preserve
the species, society must ultimately be transformed: the preservation of the species will only find its end in a reasonable
organization of society. Adorno adds that a society is rationally organized solely to the extent that it preserves its
societalized subjects according to their unfettered potentialities. If self-preservation were ever to become more fully
rational, humanity would gain the potential for that self-reflection that could finally transcend the self-preservation to
which it was reduced by being restricted simply to a means (Adorno 1998d, 2723).


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Impact -- War
The economics of capitalism make war a necessity
Carchedi, University of Amsterdam, 2006 [Guglielmo, The Fallacies of Keynesian Policies, Rethinking
Marxism, 18(1):63-81, electronic]
The other option is given by the state-commissioned production of weapons: military Keynesianism. This is,
like the production of public works, production of (surplus) value. All the results reached in the previous section
concerning the unlikelihood of public works starting an upturn apply here, too, and will not be repeated.25 But
there are specific advantages and disadvantages (for Capital). Concerning the latter, the production of weapons
is even less likely to restore profitability than public works because it is usually very technologically advanced,
with a higher value composition than the rest of the economy. Also, unlike public works, weapons are
nonreproductive goods. Their production hampers the physical reproduction of the economy. And finally,
weapons are commodities that, in times of peace, are mostly not used. The labor that has gone into them (value)
is thus wasted. This, too, hampers the physical reproduction of the economy. But there are advantages as well.
First, if weapons are exported, the producers of weapons appropriate international value from other, foreign
capitalists due to the former's higher value composition (unequal exchange).26 Second, science- and
technology-based military innovations are the basic driving force in, and directly support, the development of
civilian science and technology. Since World War II, practically all the major innovations in the civilian sphere
have been first generated by military research and development. This gives the technological leaders a
competitive advantage that makes possible the appropriation of international surplus value. Third, the use of
public works can become part of the goods considered to be necessary for the reproduction of labor power and
thus can lead to an increase in real wages. This danger is avoided if resources are channeled into the military
industry. And finally, military might is a necessary condition for imperialist policies, thus for value appropriation
from weaker countries. Once imperialism is introduced into the analysis, the positive effects on the ARP
attributed to civilian Keynesianism in the imperialist countries can be seen to be in fact, at least partially, the
result of the appropriation of surplus value from the world working class, via foreign capitals, thanks also to
military Keynesianism. Disregard of this fundamental point gives Keynesian policies much more credit than
they deserve. There is thus no contraposition between civilian and military Keynesianism. The former is partly
made possible by the appropriation of international value inherent in the latter. If neither civilian nor military
Keynesian policies can jump-start the economy, the alternative is war. The use of weapons in time of war is a
specific, powerful method of destruction of excess capital in its commodity form, of value that cannot be
realized in times of peace. Their main contribution to an upturn is not through employment and the extra
production of surplus value (which are modest because of their high value composition) but through the
destruction of surplus capital: the more commodity capital is destroyed (both as weapons and as the other
commodities that are destroyed by those weapons), the more commodity capital can be subsequently created. At
the same time, this expanded reproduction is spurred by the higher rates of exploitation, and thus of profit,
induced by wars. Wars make possible the cancellation of the debt contracted with Labor (e.g., inflation destroys
the value of money and thus of state bonds) and the extraction of extra surplus value (the laborers, either forced
or instigated by patriotism, accept lower wages, higher intensity of labor, longer working days, etc.). Wars thus
create the conditions for an economic upturn. Capitalism needs weapons and thus wars. If capitalism needs
wars, wars need enemies. The imperialist nations display great ingenuity in finding, or creating, new enemies.
Before the fall of the USSR, the pretext for the arms industry was International Communism. After the Fall,

Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

International Communism has been replaced by Arab Fundamentalism and International Terrorism. As the wars
against Afghanistan and Iraq show, the substitution is now complete. The attacks of September 11, 2001, were a
golden opportunity for the arms industry and U.S. imperialism. This shows that political and ideological factors
are of paramount importance for the modes and timing of the conflagration, but they themselves are determined
by economic factors. The notion that wars are caused by extraeconomic factors is simply wrong. The Western
world has exported (created) countless wars in many dominated countries and has engaged in military
Keynesian policies for the above-mentioned reasons.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Impact -- Dehumanization
The drive to acquire material goods and money have lead to environmental crisis and shows no
respect for the natural world, dehumanizes individuals is at the root of many of the worlds
problems and makes world peace impossible to attain
Varma, Associate Professor and Regents Lecturer, School of Public Administration
University of New Mexico,2003 (Roli, Sage productions, E.F. Schumacher: Changing the Paradigm of
Bigger Is Better,, accesed 7/10/08, page 116).
Materialism holds that the world is by its very nature material; the world consists of particles of matter; each of them has its
own existence. These particles interact with each other and in their totality form the world. Matter is objective reality
existing outside and independent of the mind; anything mental or spiritual is a product of material processes. Materialism is
based on the scientific investigations of natural phenomena and thus seeks explanations in terms of factors that can be
verified. It views each human being as a social atom with certain inherent properties and attributes. In the industrial system
of production, materialism has been reduced to the ideology of market. The market is seen both as the natural condition of
mankind and irresistible; it gives the people what they want. The production and consumption of material goods and the
acquisition of money are the main goals of the market. It is believed that the generation of wealth will result in satisfaction
with nonmaterial goods such as justice, harmony, happiness, beauty, and health. Against materialism, Schumacher believed
in idealism, which views spiritual as prior to the material. For him, there was a higher, more real, and nonmaterial world
beyond the material world. He believed that the problem of industrial production resulting in the environmental crisis
stemmed from misplaced values. Unlike religious teachings, materialism shows no self control or respect with the natural
world. Schumacher(1977) made a distinction between convergent and divergent problems (p. 121). Convergent
problems relate to the nonliving aspect of the world; in contrast, divergent problems relate to the human issues. With
convergent problems, scientific investigations tend to find solutions; the answers tend to converge. However, with divergent
problems, scientific investigations lead to opposite solutions; the answers tend to diverge. Schumacher believed that
materialism treats all problems as convergent and thus dehumanizes individuals. He therefore suggested a return to
religious truth. In his words, the modern experiment to live without religion has failed (p. 139). Schumacher thought of
the materialist philosophy of overproduction and overconsumption as a root of many problems facing the modern world.
For instance, the practice of mechanized agriculture and factor farming adds to the pollution of land and water. Similarly,
increasing wealth of people depends on making continuous demands on limited world resources. Schumacher (1973)
questioned measuring a mans standard of living by assuming that a man who consumes more is better off than a man
who consumes less (p. 54). He believed that material prosperity could not lead to world peace because it is attainable
only by cultivating such drives of human nature as greed and envy (p. 30). According to him, man must never lose his
sense of the marvellousness of the world around and inside him (Schumacher, 1974, p. 31). He therefore promoted
reduction of needs to promote peace and permanence (Schumacher, 1973, p. 31).

Capitalism leads to dehumanization, because people become things.

Carolan, he is Associate Professor of Sociology, Colorado State University, 2005
(Michael S., The Conspicuous Body: Capitalism, Consumerism, Class, and Consumption, p. 8384)
Veblens social commentary occurred at the height of the Gilded Age (late nineteenth/early-twentieth centuries); a period
that was witness to the construction of The Breakers, the monopolistic and ruthless practices of the famous (and infamous)
Robber Barons, and the early stages of mass media and advertising. We are this eras children. We too wish to surround
ourselves with nice things; to display who we are by what we possess. Yet we have recently entered a new epoch of


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

conspicuous consumption. We are no longer content with merely surrounding ourselves with nice things. Instead,
weincreasingly strive to become the nice thing itselfto literally embody conspicuous consumption. In this new era
of conspicuous consumption, it is not enough to control the material world around usto control resources, people,
and capital. Now, we strive to also control that most intimate, yet most complex and mysterious, of entities: the body


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Impact -- Dehumanization
In capitalism, human life is value below that of capital itself.
John Holloway, Sociologist and Philosopher, 2005, Change the World Without Taking Power, p.164
negation. Mostautonomisttheory,however,presentsthemovementofstruggleasapositivemovement.Thereversal
ofthepolarityundertakenbyautonomisttheory transfersthepositivefromthesideofcapitaltothesideofthe
struggle against capital. In orthodox Marxist theory, capital

is the positivesubject

ofcapitalistdevelopment. In
itisnotexplodedorevenchallenged.Thisiswrong. Subjectivityin


negative, the
movement against the denial of

subjectivity. A truly radical reversal of the polarity involves not just

transferring subjectivity from capital to the working class but also understanding that subjectivity as
negativeinsteadofpositive,asthenegativesubjectivityoftheantiworkinganticlass. Inthebeginningisthe
scream, not because the scream exhausts itself in negativity, but because the only way in which we can
constructrelationsofdignityisthroughthenegationofthoserelationswhichdenydignity. Ourmovement,
then,isinthefirst placeanegativemovement,amovementagainstidentity.Itiswe whodecompose,wearethe

butessentialtoitsexistence), tocontainanddenyour

negativity. Wearethesourceofmovement,wearethe
unitestheZapatistauprising in Chiapas or the Movement of theLandless (MST) in Brazil with the struggle of

Growth in the economy cheapens human existence.

Derek Wall, PHD in The Politics of Earth First! UK, 2005, Babylon and Beyond. p. 71






Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Impact Capitalism Destroys the Environment

The social system in which we live is Capitalism, which has been historically responsible for
environmental damage and takes the cake for continued environmental damage today
First of all, it is a simple and unavoidable fact that capitalism is the actual social system in which we live, and that our
primary way of designating and understanding that system is to see it as capitalist. For a very long time now, social
scientists from different disciplines and from across the political spectrum have agreed on this and have shared a basic
understanding of how the system works. In progressive circles, of course, people continue to debate about whether they
should name the system or not, because sometimes it seems too radical or too grandiose to claim that capitalism itself is
to blame for the problems we face. In contrast, the establishment shows no such reluctance to name capitalism. Fortune
magazine and Business Week explicitly praise the virtues of capitalism all the time. Whatever approach one adopts,
however, there is still very little doubt about what our social system actually is. With respect to industrialism, we need to
remember that capitalism was destructive of the environment on a global scale long before the Industrial Revolutionso
the problem cant simply be attributed to the presence of industrial production methods. Modernity is a category that is so
over-arching that it is sometimes difficult to know precisely what it means. Whatever it is, and we could certainly discuss
this topic for a long time, it isnt a useful way of describing a social system. It might provide a way of describing a certain
pattern of historical development characteristic of the social system we have today, but it doesnt really point us to anything
concrete. If modernity itself were somehow to blame for environmental degradation, then the problem could be expected to
exist only in modern societies. I think that this is too simplistic a conclusion to draw. My own view is that the ecological
problem has existed for millennia, but that to understand it in any particular historical period we have to look concretely at
the historical systems that are in place. I think that capitalism has been enormously destructive of the environment, but it is
by no means the only social system that has been this way. Soviet-style systems were destructive of the environment in
somewhat different ways for somewhat different reasons. Feudal and other tributary societies of earlier millennia were also
enormously destructive of the environment. That said, the unprecedented magnitude of todays global ecological crisis
shows us that capitalism really takes the cake. When you start looking concretely at the forces that are generating this crisis,
it becomes clear that they are inseparable from the basic dynamics of the global capitalist system itself. Today, as much as
ever, capitalism demands constant and rapid economic growth. Historically, it has generally been assumed that capitalist
economies could be expected to enjoy an overall rate of growth of about 3 percent a year. At this rate, the world economy
would increase sixteen times in a century, 250 times in two centuries, and 4000 times in three centuries. This is just an
arithmetical game in a way, but it shows us that a system as expansive as the one we have is inevitably going to cause
problems in the context of a limited biosphere. Indeed, the global economic system is increasingly beginning to rival the
biogeochemical processes of the planet itself in terms of scale. Obviously, this situation casts doubt upon the viability and
effectiveness of environmental approaches which simply take the imperative of capitalist growth for granted.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Impact Capitalism Destroys the Environment

Capitalism seeks maximum use of resources as opposed to optimum use, which is typically less
than the maximum use which often leads to soil erosion, water pollution, loss of wildlife habitat
and fugitive dust emissions
Rogers, Qualifications, 2000 (Wyatt M., Millennium Capitalism: Convergence of Economic, Energy, and
Environmental Forces, page 183).
Capitalism has a proclivity for maximizing utilization of its resources. Indeed, this is one of the tenets of the economic
system, that is, to seek maximum efficiency and use of available economic resources, natural or otherwise. However,
maximum use is not always optimum use. To a large extent, the rate of resource utilization is determined by the price of the
(184) final product. Higher prices usually result in higher production rates. This is particularly true in the extractive
industries. Optimum resource extraction is usually at less than the maximum rate, since it takes into account the value of
resource conservation as well as future costs of reclamation. In many cases, overproduction has led to haphazard
development and undue disruption of land surfaces, resulting in soil erosion, water pollution, loss of wildlife habitat, and
fugitive dust emissions, not to mention adverse health effects to workers and offsite populations and sometimes undesirable
socioeconomic problems in nearby communities. In capitalism, the private sector owns much of the environmental
resources and has direct control concerning their use. A corporation may purchase land to build a business or factory. It then
"owns" the land and facilities as well as any water or mineral resources under that land, unless of course mineral or water
rights are retained by others. A mining company may decide to lease lands owned by others and to pay production royalties
to the landowner. In either event, the corporation has the opportunity to utilize natural resources in efforts to produce a
profit. The corporation also bears certain legal and moral responsibilities for any consequences of its activities that may
harm the environment, employees, or neighbors.

Capitalism leads to Environmental Destruction

Olivier, Philosopher for the Centre for Advanced Studies, 2005
(Bert, Nature, Capitalism, and the Future of Humankind, p.126)

atlengththatitis capitalismasawayoflifewhichisthe'culprit'whenitcomestothedestructionofthe


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Impact Capitalism Destroys the Environment

Capitalism makes environmental destruction inevitable
Olivier, Philosopher for the Centre for Advanced Studies, 2005
(Bert, Nature, Capitalism, and the Future of Humankind, p.130)
Kovelfocusesonacrucialaspectofcapitalfosteringcapitalismasastateofbeingbyinvadinglife worlds,whenhere
marks(2002:52)thatitintroduces...asenseofdissatisfactionorlack21sothatitcantrulybesaidthat happinessis
forbidden under capitalism, being replaced by sensation and craving.22 The craving, need less to say, is for
commodities that temporarily satisfy the needs themselves systematically cultivated by the vast machinery of
aspectsofsocial lifeare analogoustotheinterrelatednessofnatural ecosystems,suchashistory,communityor

Human capitalist system always affects the environment.

Olivier, Philosopher for the Centre for Advanced Studies, 2005
(Bert, Nature, Capitalism, and the Future of Humankind, p. 132)
Ihavereferred tocapital'simpactonhumanecosystemstoshowthatthiscannotbeseparatedfromitsimpacton
ecosystems. Witness,inthisregard,thewidelypubliciseddestructionoftherainforestsinSouthAmericathrough
104)conceptionofnature,andoflife itselfasbeingultimatelyinscrutableiscompatiblewithKant's(invoked


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Impact Try or Die

Even if they win some scenario, the violence of capitalism is worse. Expansionist capitalism
threatens human survival. Its try or die!
Joel Kovel, 2002 (The Enemy of Nature: The end of capitalism or the end of the world, p. 5)
As the world, or to be more exact, the Western, industrial world, has leapt into a prosperity unimaginable to
prior generations, it has prepared for itself a calamity far more unimaginable still. The present world system in
effect has had three decades to limit its growth, and it has failed so abjectly that even the idea of limiting growth
has been banished from official discourse. Further, it has been proved decisively that the internal logic of the
present system translates growth so conceived means the destruction of the natural foundation of civilization.
If the world were a living organism, then any sensible observer would conclude that the growth is a cancer that,
if not somehow treated, means the destruction of human society and even raises the question of the extinction of
our species. A simple extrapolation tells us as musch, once we learn that the growth is uncontrollable. The
details are important and interesting, but less so that the chief conclusion that irresistible growth, and the
evident fact that this growth destabilizes and breaks down the natural ground necessary for human existence,
means, in the plainest terms, that we are doomed under the present social order, and that we had better change it
as soon as possible if we are to survive.

Capitalism and human survival are incompatible

We cannot be certain whether such an innate instinct for freedom exists but as Chomsky has stated, "by denying
the instinct for freedom, we will only prove that humans are a lethal mutation, an evolutionary dead end: by
nurturing it, if it is real, we may find ways to deal with dreadful human tragedies and problems that are
awesome in scale." These problems are so grave that we are left, contrary to the option offered by Washington of
"hegemony or survival", with two fundamental choices; self-induced extinction or emancipation from the forces
of social domination. Capitalism and indefinite human survival are incompatible, not only for the reasons stated


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Impact Economic Collapse Inevitable

The current economy is based on a financial system which is susceptible to systemic failure from
a few hits to the market as well as high oil costs and rising inflation. The current system
demands unlimited resources and growth on a finite planet, dooming it to failure.
Costello, Communications and Energy Consultant, April 15, 2008 [Joe, Wall Street and Washington Are
Failing Spectacularly -- Where Do We Go?]
Neoliberal solutions seem
bankrupt against a rising number of economic concerns, some interestingly enough increasingly resembling the
stagflation problem of inflation and slow growth of the 1970s. The greatest of these concerns is a slowing economy
brought about by several things, but what might prove most critical in the short run, is a global financial system
teetering on the brink of chaos. After three decades of dismantling the financial regulations of the New Deal and
simultaneously expanding exponentially, the financial system seems to have become dangerously detached from
the hard economy. With first the tech bubble and now the real estate bubble, the financial system resembles
something not seen for decades -- a systemic bust -- a situation many of the New Deal regulations sought to not
again allow. The damage these bubbles cause are once again being revealed. The answer of the Neoliberals to this point, simply, more of
the same. We have to remember, a robust financial system is one of the key components of Neoliberalism and its blind
faith in monetary policy. The bubbles of the past decade are a direct result of monetary policy conducted by the Federal Reserve under the leadership of Alan
<Now however, just as in the late 1970s when New Deal economics seemed incapable of solving contemporary problems,

Greenspan combined with a regulatory laissez-faire attitude toward the private financial system. As the financial system worsens and Fed action increasingly seems ineffective,

Two other problems have returned from the 1970s, the

first is historic high oil prices coupled with growing inflationary pressures on many basic commodities . These are two
the words of Fed chief Eccles from the 1930s are bought to mind, "One cannot push on a string."

trends that have completely reversed in the last several years from what was occurring in the previous two decades, and begin to reestablish trends that were common for most of
the 20th century. The Financial Times reports on Barclay's Equities annual report on stocks and bonds, " Over

history, the great enemy of investors has

been inflation. Equities have done little more than offer a hedge against it. From 1899 to 1985, U.K. equities' real return, compared
with U.K. retail prices, was negative. Stocks often failed to keep up with inflation. By 2007, the real return on U.K. equities since 1899 was 109 per cent, all of which had in
effect been achieved in the past two decades." And the report adds, "Now, Barclays says, this is coming to an end. Taking a four-year rolling average,

inflation on both

sides of the Atlantic has risen by more than 1 per cent during the current expansion

-- the first time this has happened since

inflation was tamed in the early 1980s." This is quite a quandary for the adherents of Neoliberalism. One great difference between Keynesian and Neoliberal economics was in
the rewards system. Keynesian economics with an emphasis on more equitable distribution of wealth concentrated on benefits in the real economy, such as higher wages,
benefits and public infrastructure. While Neoliberals, unconcerned for the most part with any notions of wealth equality, concentrated almost entirely on financial rewards, thus
the constant need for financial growth and the removing of taxes from gains on capital. This has had a tremendous impact on the American economy as the New York Times
reported recently, "Profits from the financial sector now account for 31 percent of total United States corporate earnings -- up from 20 percent in 1990 and 8 percent back in

Now, the No. 1 enemy of finance is inflation, so as inflation begins to rear its ugly head, the ability for
Neoliberalism to provide its benefits, which are at best inequitable, becomes increasingly problematic . For in the

school of Neoliberalism, low interest rates are imperative to financial benefits, but low interest rates are impossible in inflationary times. It seems Neoliberalism has run into
intrinsic problems just as the New Deal economics did in 1970s. However, we may very well be at a point of fundamental questions neither the New Deal or Neoliberalism care

in the end, New Deal and Neoliberal political economy are simply two sides of the same coin. They are a
political and cultural school of thought that seeks one end, economic growth . Both ultimately depend on growth
in the creation of jobs, growth in the production of goods and growth in consumption each year. They are a
school of thought that depends on infinite resources from what every year becomes increasingly clear to the
collective mind of humanity is a very finite planet . It is this fundamental contradiction that will increasingly move into the center of all debate on
political economy and a question for which neither New Deal or Neoliberal economics has any answers. This contradiction has appeared most recently
in the rise in the price of oil, which is the life's blood of any economy we have deemed modern for the past
century. Global production of crude oil has basically plateaued, while demand has continued to rise . At the same time,
to ask. For

the rising standard of living across the globe has given pressure to prices in other commodities. Bloomberg reports:


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Impact Environmental Collapse

Capitalism overdetermines the conditions for ecological destruction the drive to cut corners
makes crisis inevitable.
Kovel, Prof. of Social Studies @ Bard, 2007 [Joel, The Enemy of Nature, p. 34-5]
The efficient cause here, then, would have to comprise not just the particular greed of this corporation, but the
system imposing upon it the never-ending pressure to cut costs - or, from the other side - to make profits. Carbide says it was in India to
make pesticides. But it makes pesticides in order to make money. Being a quintessential capitalist corporation of the modern type, Union Carbide has to make money - and has
to keep making it faster and faster - in order to survive in the world configured by its master, capital. An "accident" is merely the statistically unpredictable end of a chain of

accidents are continuous with a range of less spectacular but equivalently disruptive
destabilizations. Where a sufficient number of "cost-cuttings-in-the-name-of profit" occur, there is an accident
waiting to happen. At times, this may be facilitated or triggered by human error - possibly itself a product of the same complex (an under-trained, demoralized,
alienated staff, for example). However, the "human factor" fades as an independent cause to the extent people are shaped and
distorted by the profit complex. If we take Carbide's own explanation to be true for present purposes, as phony as it actually is: suppose it was more than mere
circumstances. Therefore,

error that destroyed the plant, but a saboteur who maliciously set the gas loose that night. What shaped him, then? Was it inscrutable evil or the product of a chain of

Was he one of the workers who had been "disciplined" for refusing to cut
corners, or fired for going on strike, or was he simply brutalized by a concatenation of causal factors descending
upon him from a hellish human ecology? Was he psychotic - and if so, was this some kind of genetic programming, or did it, too, descend from the mass of alienations
determinants within the force field of profit-seeking?

that comprised his life world, alienations in whose composition the dominant social system will be found to occupy a place at the end of every line? It is not that other factors are
missing from the network of causal processes that summate to cause an accident, or, beyond that, the ecological crisis itself. To the contrary, they must be present, inasmuch as

complex events are overdetermined.

But they are present as scattered individualities, while through and around them, a great force field shapes and

The more globally and in terms of the whole we regard these things, the
less we think in terms of individual blame or look for the "accidents" that disrupt what is otherwise to be
construed as a rational process. Now we inquire whether the process is rational in the first place, and whether or
not in this light, "accidents are waiting to happen." We also come to ask the larger question of whether the
normal and non-accidental functioning of the system is in itself ecodestructive - in which case it is the system that continually
combines them into the effective events that move the world.

generates insults to ecologies of one kind or another and has to be transformed. An attention limited to the particular contours of the individual event loses track of that larger
pattern, of the merits of pesticides themselves, and more generally, the "Green Revolution" of which they comprise an essential part,8 along with the never-ending ordeal to
which the nations of the South, like India, are subjected in the world system.>

Capitalism destroys ecosystems.

Kovel, Prof. of Social Studies @ Bard, 2007 [Joel, The Enemy of Nature, p.69-70]
The culture of advanced capital aims to turn society into addicts of commodity consumption, a condition "good
for business," and correspondingly bad for ecosystems. The evil is twofold, with reckless consumption leading
to pollution and waste, while the addiction to commodities builds a society unable to comprehend, much less
resist, the ecological crisis. Once time is bound in capitalist production, the subtle attunement to natural rhythms
necessary for an ecocentric sensibility becomes thwarted. This allows the suicidal insanity of ever-expanding
accumulation to appear as natural. People with mentalities warped by the casino complex are simply not going to
think in terms of limits and balances, or of the mutual recognition of all beings. This helps account for the chorus of hosannas from presumably intelligent
authorities at the nightmarish prospect of a doubling of economic product in the next twenty years.>


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Impact Environmental Collapse

Capitalism is the primary cause of environmental destruction it creates the environment as a
mere object of manipulation and makes ecological politics impossible.
Kovel, Prof. of Social Studies @ Bard, 2007 [Joel, The Enemy of Nature, p. 53]
Note a twofold alteration. The

commodities so introduced, say, the SUVs, are both ecodestructive and profitable; and the people
who use and desire them are, because of their changed needs, themselves changed in an "anti-ecological"
direction, that is, they see capitalist life as ordained by nature, and become complicit in the ecological crisis and
unable to take action against it. In human ecology, "nature" is first of all a word signifying many things and relationships. Nature is what is past and there
before us, it surrounds us, immense, dumb, and uncaring, an awesome or debased Other, infinitely malleable. Capital - nature's actual enemy - plays upon
these meanings with virtuosic skill. Its ideologues tell us that capitalism is true to human nature, ignoring how people are
indoctrinated to play their assigned roles in accumulation. At the same time, nature is to be completely overcome, consumed as
resources, endlessly reworked even in its finest structures, like nanotubes and the DNA awaiting the sorcerers'
biotechnology. Bodies are cyborgs, bionic, continuously remade. Everything is to be torn up so that accumulation can proceed. Hence capital's relentlessly forwardlooking attitude, and its iron lock on the logic of modernity.>


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Impact -- Tyranny
Capitalism is compatible with tyranny
Benjamin BaIber, Professor of Political Science, Rutgers, JIHAD VS. MCWORLD, 1996, p.14-15
This stealth rhetoric that assumes capitalist interests are not only compatible With but actively advance
democratic ideals, translated into policy, is difficult to reconcile With the international realities of the last fifty
years. Market economies have shown a remarkable adaptability and have flourished in many tyrannical states
from Chile to South Korea, from Panama to Singapore. Indeed, the state With one of the world's least
democratic governments-the People's Republic of China-possesses one of the world's fastest-growing market
economies. "Communist" Vietnam is not far behind, and was opened to American trade recently; presumably on
the strength of the belief that markets ultimately defeat ideology;24 Capitalism requires consumers With access
to markets and a stable political climate in order to succeed: such conditions mayor may not be fostered by
democracy, which can be disorderly and even anarchic, especially in its early stages, and which often pursues
public goods costly to or at odds With private-market imperatives--enviromentalism or full employment for
example. On the level of the individual, capitalism seeks consumers susceptible to the shaping of their needs and
the manipulation of their wants while democracy needs citizens autonomous in their thoughts and independent
in their deliberative judgments. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wishes to "tame savage capitalism," but capitalism
wishes to tame anarchic democracy and appears to have little problem tolerating tyranny as long as it secures
Benjamin BaIber, Professor of Political Science, Rutgers, JIHAD VS. MCWORLD, 1996, p.14-15
This stealth rhetoric that assumes capitalist interests are not only compatible With but actively advance
democratic ideals, translated into policy, is difficult to reconcile With the international realities of the last fifty
years. Market economies have shown a remarkable adaptability and have flourished in many tyrannical states
from Chile to South Korea, from Panama to Singapore. Indeed, the state With one of the world's least
democratic governments-the People's Republic of China-possesses one of the world's fastest-growing market
economies. "Communist" Vietnam is not far behind, and was opened to American trade recently; presumably on
the strength of the belief that markets ultimately defeat ideology;24 Capitalism requires consumers With access
to markets and a stable political climate in order to succeed: such conditions mayor may not be fostered by
democracy, which can be disorderly and even anarchic, especially in its early stages, and which often pursues
public goods costly to or at odds With private-market imperatives--enviromentalism or full employment for
example. On the level of the individual, capitalism seeks consumers susceptible to the shaping of their needs and
the manipulation of their wants while democracy needs citizens autonomous in their thoughts and independent
in their deliberative judgments.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Impact -- Capitalism Causes Extinction

Capitalism risks extinction
MELBOURNE INDYMEDIA, May 13, 2003, p. (DRGOC/E244)
We cannot be certain whether such an innate instinct for freedom exists but as Chomsky has stated, "by denying
the instinct for freedom, we will only prove that humans are a lethal mutation, an evolutionary dead end: by
nurturing it, if it is real, we may find ways to deal with dreadful human tragedies and problems that are
awesome in scale." These problems are so grave that we are left, contrary to the option offered by Washington of
"hegemony or survival", with two fundamental choices; self-induced extinction or emancipation from the forces
of social domination. Capitalism and indefinite human survival are incompatible, not only for the reasons stated

Capitalism is responsible for spills and leaks; low cost approaches ignore structural weakness of
maritime traffic
World Congress of the Fourth International, ECOLOGY AND SOCIALISM, 2003, p. (DRGOC/E256)
The state of the oceans is rapidly deteriorating. The increase in world-wide maritime traffic is to blame, all the
more so since the ruinous condition of many vessels is causing significant leakage. The systematic search for the
lowest possible cost by multinationals in the petroleum industry is directly responsible for catastrophes such as
Exxon Valdez and Erika. To the visible pollution of black tides - 70 tankers sank in 1996 - we must add the
astronomical quantity of petroleum seeping from underwater drilling operations and outgassing of ships. The sea
is also used to dispose of toxic, chemical and radioactive waste.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Impact -- Capitalism Causes War

Expansion of capitalism produces internal turmoil and upheaval
William Finnegan, journalist and author, HARPERS MAGAZINE, May 2003, p. online. (DRGOC/E265)
But it is simplistic, even misleading, to talk about whole nations as winners or losers under the current
globalization regime, since there are, in every country, significant groups of both winners and losers. In China,
with its remarkable growth rate and burgeoning middle class, tens of millions of people have been left
unemployed and destitute in the upheavals caused by the arrival of capitalism, while millions more find
themselves working seven days a week in dangerous, abysmally paid factory jobs. In dozens of countries, a
dominant ethnic minority is reaping most, if not all, of the gains of economic integration while working-class
and peasant majorities absorb the shocks and bitter downsides of trade liberalization. Even in the U.S., the
foremost proponent of free trade and presumably its great beneficiary, there are those millions of good jobs that
disappeared with globalization, leaving their former holders working non-union at Wal-Mart. There is a strong
argument that the U.S. may be trading itself into oblivion, for it seems that we began, in 1976, running a trade
deficit, leading to an international debt that has since ballooned to $2.4 trillion, or roughly 24 percent of GDP.
Our major trading partners have yet to call in these debts, but the national balance sheet looks worse every year.
With the economy threatening to slip into Japan-style deflation, life as a debtor nation could become quite
unpleasant. In that event, globalization, certainly in this corporate-driven form, may start looking like a bad idea
to more and more Americans.

Capitalist imperialism is protected by the military

John Bellamy Foster , editor, of Monthly Review. He is the author of Marx's Ecology: Materialism and Nature
and The Vulnerable Planet, and co-editor of Hungry for Profit: The Agribusiness Threat to Farmers, Food, and
the Environment,, 2002 (MONTHLY REVIEW, June,
The "strongest power" at present remains the United States, which has managed to maintain a global hegemonic
imperialism since 1945. This hegemony has been under challenge from other leading capitalist countries since
the 1970s. The United States has sought to maintain its preeminent position at every opportunity-through an
expansion of its role as the leading military power, and by wielding its economic and financial might.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Impact -- Capitalism Causes Environmental Injustice

Val Plumwood, Department of General Philosophy at the University of Sydney, October, 19 97*
Remoteness principles are consistently, blatantly and almost maximally violated by the dominant global order,
but this is perhaps as much due to its political and other forms of organisation as it is to its global scale. Since
laissez-faire market forms permit extreme levels of consequential, communicative and epistemic remoteness,
and crusading neoliberalism is increasingly successful in maximising the social areas where this kind of market
is used for decision-making, global neoliberalism may be close to maximising ecological remoteness. The
present form of the global market economy creates very high levels of dissociation between consumption acts
and production acts and their ecological consequences, actually encouraging remoteness as a form of
comparative advantage, and so scores at a very high level on ecological irrationality. But social inequality is
perhaps just as much of a factor here as geography. Inequality, whether inside the nation or out of it, is a major
sponsor of remoteness, especially where it creates systematic opportunities and motivations to shift ecological
ills onto others rather than to prevent their generation in the first place. Inequality combines with geographical
remoteness to generate excellent conditions for epistemic remoteness, creating major barriers to knowledge and
offering massive opportunities for redistributing ecoharms onto others in ways that elude the knowledge and
responsibility of consumers and producers along with concern for ecological consequences. Under conditions
which allow both remoteness and rational egoism to flourish, such actions even emerge as mandatory for the
rational self-maximiser, since the logic of the global market treats the least priveleged as the most expendable,
defining them as having "the least to lose" in terms of the low value of their health, land and assets, and, by
implication, of their lives.. This logic helps ensure that the least priveleged are likely to feel the first and worst
impacts of environmental degradation, as in the case of much global deforestation, pollution, waste dumping in
poor and coloured communities, and environmentally hazardous working and living conditions for the poor. As
it comes increasingly to dominate over other spheres, the global market systematically violates complex
equality, enabling "one good or one set of goods [to be] dominant and determinative of value in all the spheres
of distribution", (Walzer 1983), facilitating the positive feedback patterns adding ecological ills to social ills
which are the mark of ecojustice violations. The next section draws out some implications of dominant forms of
globalisation for an ecologically irrational distributive politics which permits those most influential in decision
systems high levels of remoteness from ecological consequences and gives them a corresponding capacity to
distribute ecoharms onto others.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Impact -- Growth Destroys The Environment

Growth spurs repression, conflict, and environmental destruction
William Finnegan, journalist and author, HARPERS MAGAZINE, May 2003, p. online. (DRGOC/E266)
But even economic growth, which is regarded nearly universally as an overall social good, is not necessarily so.
There is growth so unequal that it heightens social conflict and increases repression. There is growth so
environmentally destructive that it detracts, in sum, from a community's quality of life. (Trade itself carries vast,
and rarely calculated, environmental consequences, with pollution-spreading ships, trucks, and planes rushing
goods around the globe.) Then there is the destruction of communities themselves, as nations frantically reshape
their economies around exports and specialization--the mass production of those goods that may afford them
comparative advantage in the global marketplace. Finally, there is the peculiar way that growth, or gross
domestic product, is calculated, which is as a value-free measure of total economic output, one that does not
distinguish between costs and benefits. Thus resource extraction is a plus, while resource depletion does not
register. Strip-mining, clear-cutting, overfishing, pumping an aquifer (or an oil reserve) dry--these ravages and
permanent losses do not figure in the growth equation. Neither is income distribution a factor, meaning that most
people may be getting poorer in a context of economic "growth." Medical bills and legal bills all count as
growth, leading to an absurdist universe in which, as policy analysts Ted Halstead and Clifford Cobb put it, "the
nation's economic hero is a terminal cancer patient who has just gone through a bitterly contested divorce."

Growth spurs repression, conflict, and environmental destruction

David Korten, President of the People-Centered Development Forum, BEYOND THE GLOBAL SUICIDE
ECONOMY, June 22, 2002, p. (DRGOC/E267)
The neoliberal ideology of the G8 maintains that economic growth generates the economic resources needed to
end poverty and protect the environment a claim that is both theoretically and empirically flawed. From 1950
to 2000, total world economic output in inflation adjusted dollars increased more than 6.5 times. Output per
person increased by more than 2.7 times. During this period of extraordinary economic growth. The rich have
prospered and their lifestyles have become ever more extravagant. But the poor still live in desperate
deprivation. And environmental systems are collapsing all around us. Historical experience tells us that
economic growth serves primarily to increase the economic power and consumption of the rich. Any credible
effort to end poverty must focus not on growth, but on increasing the economic and political power and
consumption of the poor.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Impact -- Growth Destroys The Environment

Capitalism is destryong the environment, will lead to extinction
The capitalist system treats this planet, living creatures, plants, and minerals as coldly as it treats human beings-as nothing more than a means to accumulate wealth. Daily, hourly and on a mass scale, important parts of the
natural world are being recklessly wasted, poisoned and destroyed. After the rapid intensification of capitalism's
operations over this last century, the accumulated damage to the environment now threatens fundamental
ecological systems. It is no exaggeration to say that the blind and relentless operations of capitalist production
are threatening to upset crucial chemical and biological balances upon which life itself--both human and other
species--depends. This must stop, and we don't have a minute to spare.

Capitalism the key cause of deforestation

The destruction of rainforests has several causes--all rooted in the workings of the capitalist system. Clearing is a result of
the plundering of timber resources. Trade in forest products has climbed from $29 billion in 1961 to $139 billion in 1998.
The Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA) and the WTO seek to expand the sale of forest products by making it
easier to sell them across borders without tariffs and by undermining environmental laws protecting forests as "barriers to
free trade." The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) required that Mexico do away with restrictions on
foreign ownership of property and the rights of the Mexican people to communal land ownership. These changes allowed
15 U.S. wood product companies to open operations in Mexico, including in areas where some of North America's largest
remaining intact forests are located. In the late 1990s Brazil reportedly suspended important environmental laws to allow
more cutting of rainforest in the Amazon to generate money to pay off debts to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The
expansion of imperialist agribusiness and the accompanying impoverishment of third world people has also had a profound
impact on the forests. Capitalist agribusiness clears the forests directly--for cash crops and grazing lands. And, at the same
time, the capitalist impoverishment of many urban and rural workers has driven many into the forests of third world
countries, like Brazil, where they seek to survive by clearing the trees and farming in rainforest soil, which is often poor for
crops. Within the U.S., the new Bush administration is accelerating the capitalist exploitation of remaining woodlands. Dale
Bosworth, the new chief of the Forest Service, recently said he intends to significantly increase logging in the national
forests. Bosworth and Vice President Cheney have said there's a need to change or get rid of the "roadless area" protection
policy. This policy protects 58 million acres of unspoiled National Forest land from logging, mining and drilling--which is
already allowed on most National Forest land in the U.S.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Impact -- Capitalism Expands Biopower

Global capitalism is an expansion of disciplinary power
Sam Gindin, holds the Packer Chair in Social Science, Department of Political Science at York University in
Toronto. He was, for many years, Director of Research and Assistant to the President of the Canadian Auto
Workers, 2002 (MONTHLY REVIEW, May-June,
The intensification of globalization fit perfectly with neo-liberalism. The changes in the degree of globalization
in the seventies, and even more so after the eighties, had roots in longer term developments and especially in the
U.S. response to new challenges from Europe, Japan, and third world rebellions. But it was also a logical
extension of neo-liberalism. Globalization provided, on behalf of capital, an additional disciplining pressure on
domestic populations and institutions that was faceless, placeless, and bloodlessly unsympathetic.

Capitalism supports biopower

Michael Hardt, Literature Professor, Antonio Negri, former political science professor, U Paris, 2000 (EMPIRE, (PDOCSS2297)
The danger of the discourse of general intellect is that it risks remaining entirely on the plane of thought, as if
the new powers of labor were only intellectual and not also corporeal (Section 3.4). As we saw earlier, new
forces and new positions of affective laborcharacterize labor power as much as intellectual labor does. Biopower
names these productive capacities of life that are equally intellectual and corporeal. The powers of production
are in fact today entirely biopolitical; in other words, they run throughout and constitute directly not only
production but also the entire realm of reproduction. Biopower becomes an agent of production when the entire
context of reproduction is subsumed under capitalist rule, that is, when reproduction and the vital relationships
that constitute it themselves become directly productive. Biopower is another name for the real subsumption of
society under capital, and both are synonymous with the globalized productive order. Production fills the
surfaces of Empire; it is a machine that is full of life, an intelligent life that by expressing itself in production
and reproduction as well as in circulation (of labor, affects, and languages) stamps society with a new collective
meaning and recognizes virtue and civilization in cooperation.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Impact -- Capitalism Threatens Tyranny

Capitalism is antithetical to democracy
Paul Street, Vice President for Research and Planning at the Chicago Urban League, Z MAGAZINE, February,
2000, p. (DRGOC/E262)
One does not have to be a Marxist or other variety of radical to acknowledge basic differences and fundamental
conflicts between these falsely conflated phenomena. Listen, for example, to liberal economist Lester Thurow
who writes that "democracy and capitalism have very different beliefs about the proper distribution of power.
One believes in a completely equal distribution of political power, 'one man [sic] one vote,' while the other
believes that it is the duty of the economically fit to drive the unfit out of business and into extinction. 'Survival
of the fittest' and inequalities in purchasing power are what capitalist efficiency is all about. Individual profit
comes first and firms become efficient to be rich. To put it in its starkest form, capitalism is perfectly compatible
with slavery. Democracy is not."

Capitalism is antithetical to democracy

Greg Grandin, Professor of History at NYU, NATION, March 10, 2003, p. online. (DRGOC/E263)
The contradiction between democracy and capitalism has been charted many times before. In 1944, for instance,
Karl Polanyi argued in The Great Transformation that the central political conflict of capitalism was between
ideologues pushing utopian visions of unfettered markets to the brink of catastrophe and social movements
demanding more government intervention, regulation and redistribution. Today, those countervailing forces lack
sufficient traction to counterthrust and, if World on Fire is any indication, little theoretical reinforcement from
their would-be intellectual allies. In the midst of an economic crisis caused by intense speculation and
unparalleled accumulation, we reward the rich with tax breaks and punish the poor with social service cutbacks.
After a decade of dislocation caused by privatization and financial liberalization, we have a foreign policy
insisting on more of the same.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Impact -- Capitalism Threatens Tyranny

Capitalism endorses dictatorships
Paul Street, Vice President for Research and Planning at the Chicago Urban League, Z MAGAZINE, February,
2000, p. (DRGOC/E264)
According to a recent study by the New Economy Information Service (NEIS)-a labor-connected think tank that
gauges the impact of globalization-American corporate capital particularly likes to float into global territory
controlled by dictatorships. By cross-checking U.S. government and World Bank statistics on world trade and
investment with Freedom House's comparative ranking of world nation states as "free," "partly free," and "not
free," the NEIS recently discovered that 72 percent of U.S. manufacturing investment in "developing" (Third
World) countries goes to "unfree" nations. At the same time, U.S. imports from "unfree" states have risen from
less than half to nearly two-thirds of U.S. imports from the "developing" world since the end of the Cold War,
even while the number of Third World nations meeting Freedom House's criteria for "free" status has also
grown. It should be remembered, of course, that much of what passes for import trade with the "developing"
world is in fact the shifting of product assets from Third World to U.S. branches of American-based
multinational corporations.

Capitalism is antithetical to democracy

Paul Street, Vice President for Research and Planning at the Chicago Urban League, Z MAGAZINE, February,
2000, p. (DRGOC/E262)
One does not have to be a Marxist or other variety of radical to acknowledge basic differences and fundamental
conflicts between these falsely conflated phenomena. Listen, for example, to liberal economist Lester Thurow
who writes that "democracy and capitalism have very different beliefs about the proper distribution of power.
One believes in a completely equal distribution of political power, 'one man [sic] one vote,' while the other
believes that it is the duty of the economically fit to drive the unfit out of business and into extinction. 'Survival
of the fittest' and inequalities in purchasing power are what capitalist efficiency is all about. Individual profit
comes first and firms become efficient to be rich. To put it in its starkest form, capitalism is perfectly compatible
with slavery. Democracy is not."


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Impact -- Capitalism Causes Space Weaponization

Capitalism ensures space weaponization and nuclear war
MELBOURNE INDYMEDIA, May 13, 2003, p. (DRGOC/E269)
One may well ask what has all this to do with state capitalism? Consider the thinking behind the militarisation of
space, outlined for us by Space Command; historically military forces have evolved to protect national interests
and investments both military and economic. During the rise of sea commerce, nations built navies to protect
and enhance their commercial interests. During the westward expansion of the continental United States,
military outposts and the cavalry emerged to protect our wagon trains, settlements and roads. The document
goes on, the emergence of space power follows both of these models. Moreover, the globalization of the
world economy will continue, with a widening between haves and have nots. The demands of unilateral
strategic superiority, long standing US policy known as "escalation" or "full spectrum" dominance, compel
Washington to pursue space control". This means that, according to a report written under the chairmanship of
Donald Rumsfeld, "in the coming period the US will conduct operations to, from, in and through space" which
includes "power projection in, from and through space". Toward this end, Washington has resisted efforts in the
UN to create an arms control regime for space. As a result there will inevitably arise an arms race in space. The
importance of this simply cannot be over-emphasised. Throughout the nuclear age there have been a number of
close calls, due to both human and technical error, that almost lead to a full scale nuclear exchange between
Washington and Moscow. These glitches in command and control systems were ultimately benign because both
sides had early warning satellites placed in specialised orbits which could be relied upon to provide real time
imagery of nuclear missile launch sites. However the militarisation of space now means that these satellites will
become open game; the benign environment in space will disappear if the militarisation of space continues.
Thus if the US were to "conduct operations to, from in and through space" it will do see remotely. Technical
failure may result in the system attacking Russian early warning satellites. Without question this would be
perceived by the Russian's as the first shot in a US nuclear first strike.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Impact -- Capitalism Leads To Militarism

Western consumption is critical to american militarism
David Korten, President of the People-Centered Development Forum, BEYOND THE GLOBAL SUICIDE
ECONOMY, June 22, 2002, p. (DRGOC/E270)
So what does this mean for international relationships, in particular between high and low income countries?
The wealthy nations of the North are living far beyond their own means especially my country, the United
States. We maintain extravagantly wasteful levels of consumption by expropriating the resources of other
peoples and countries. It requires maintaining a vast and hugely expensive military establishment which is
the real reason George W. is engaging in a U.S. military buildup in the absence of any identifiable enemy.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Impact -- Capitalism Destroys The Environment

Capitalism is key to species loss
Species extinction results from pollution and the destruction of wildlife habitat from over-development/urban
sprawl, logging, road and dam building, livestock grazing, and other development projects. For example: Eighty
percent of the native fish species in the western U.S. are either extinct, endangered or threatened. For thousands
of years awe-inspiring runs of salmon flooded Northwest rivers--reproducing the salmon population and feeding
the Native Peoples. Now these runs are becoming a thing of the past. 103 salmon stocks in the Northwest have
already been made extinct through logging, road building, pollution and capitalist over-fishing. On a global
scale, the destruction of remaining rainforests will have a profound and historic effect on the biodiversity of the
planet. These rainforests are home to 50 percent of the world's species. Biodiversity is valuable in many ways:
Because the destruction of many species tears holes in the fabric of ecological systems, because less diversified
ecosystems are far more susceptible to diseases, and because the complex evolution of species have produced
chemicals and life forms that may be extremely valuable to human beings in ways we have not yet even
explored (as medicines and other renewable resources). Capitalist agriculture has increasingly turned to the
more and more widespread planting of a few strains of food crops (so-called monoculture in grains, coffees,
potatoes, rubber, vegetables)--crowding out the natural diversity of these plants, and leaving behind a system of
capitalist agriculture that is vulnerable to plagues and dependent on chemical pesticides.

Faith in neoclassical economics keeps us blinkd to real environmental solutions

Carl N. McDaniel, Professor of biology at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and David Borton, president of
Sustainable Energy Systems, BIOSCIENCE, October 2002, p. online. (DRGOC/E275)
Simply put, our fundamental, cultural faith in neoclassical economics and the resulting failure to question its
undergirding assumptions produce myopia, a kind of fanaticism in which we believe and trust global capitalism,
"free" markets, and technological progress to perpetuate the pattern of material wealth they have only recently
delivered to some of us. Because 20th-century economic analyses and policies have not seriously considered
physical or biological constraints, these constraints are considered irrelevant. The uncomfortable truth, however,
is that "the rules governing the dynamics of ecosystems, within which all human activity takes place, are
ultimately a function of biological laws, not a function of human-created economic systems. The neoclassical
economic market system now operating globally lacks the capacity to preserve biodiversity and will not provide
for human well-being in the long term. Unless we abandon the present economically centered (econocentric)
worldview and embrace an ecologically centered (ecocentric) worldview, we believe that it is unlikely that lifesupport functions will be preserved (or that they will be replaced by technological fixes) to the extent required
for the persistence of global civilization.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Impact -- Capitalism Destroys The Environment

Faith in neoclassical economics keeps us blind to real environmental solutions
John Bellamy Foster, Professor of Sociology at the University of Oregon , MONTHLY REVIEW, January 2003,
p. (DRGOC/E276)
A quick look at global trends in relation to the environment and development shows how disastrous this period
of unfettered global capitalism over the last ten years has proven to be. Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere
are at their highest in the last 420,000 years. CO 2 emissions (excluding other greenhouse gases) increased 9
percent globally between 1990 and 2000 and in the United States by double that rate. The fourteen warmest
years recorded since measurements began in 1866 have all been since 1980, with the decade of the 1990s the
hottest on record. Global consumption of water is doubling every twenty years, much faster than population
growth. By the mid-1990s about 40 percent of world population in some eighty countries were suffering from
serious water shortages. The United Nations has projected that by 2025 two-thirds of the world population may
be suffering from water stress. Water tables are falling under large expanses of agricultural land in China, India,
and the United States due to the overpumping of ground water for irrigation. The overall species extinction rate
is now at least a thousand times (and maybe as much as ten thousand times) faster than the normal or
background rate of extinction. Habitat destruction, particularly of tropical forests, threatens as many as half of
the world s species over the course of this century. Coral reefs, second only to forests in biological wealth, are
being degraded at an alarming rate. Over a quarter of coral reefs have now been lost, up from 10 percent in
1992, and the share to be lost is expected to rise to 40 percent by 2010.Genetically modified crops pose once
again the issue of the sorcerer s apprentice, as agribusiness continues to alter the bases of life and our food
supply in ways radically at variance with evolutionary processes. Commercial technologies are altering the
genetic and chemical composition of what we eat, with very little consideration of consequences beyond
questions of profitability.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Impact -- Capitalism Destroys The Environment

Lack of corporate accountability is the heart of environmental problems
David Korten, President of the People-Centered Development Forum, ETHIX MAGAZINE, September-October
2002, p. (DRGOC/E291)
My analysis makes a direct link between the publicly traded, limited liability corporation, which is the
institutional centerpiece of the global economy, and the accelerating destruction of the life support system of the
planet, the social fabric of society, and the legitimacy of our institutions. Irrespective of where to lay blame for
how we got here, we face the question of how are we going to get out of this. This brings me back then to how
we are organized to make decisions. The publicly traded, limited liability corporation is an organizational
technology that creates concentrations of economic and political power greater than that of most states for the
exclusive financial benefit of shareholders who have no idea what the corporation is doing in their name and
bear no liability for the consequences. That power is organized to an extraordinary degree under one individual,
the corporate CEO, who has, particularly under the US system, the power to virtually hire and fire at will, to
open and close plants, to move them around the world, to add and drop product lines, etc. There is virtually no
recourse from any of the individuals or communities that are affected. We say the CEO is accountable to
shareholders, but it's really to the global share markets, which have evolved into a system of financial
speculation that ruthlessly strips away human sensibility from investment decision making. Most shares are held
not by individuals, but by mutual, insurance, retirement, or trust funds managed by professional money
managers who are evaluated solely on returns to the portfolios they manage. This financial system is now
running out of control beyond any kind of human regulation, with one exclusive purpose: to achieve the
maximum instant speculative financial gain. So we organize our power this way and then we say, Gee, why do
we have all these social and environmental problems and why isnt someone fixing them?


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Impact -- Genocide
Capitalism reduces all relations to an economic level necessitating genocide and ruthless
destruction of all those who stand in the way of profit.
Kovel, Prof. of Social Studies @ Bard, 2007 [Joel, The Enemy of Nature, p. 151-3]
<On the reformability of capitalism

dominated labor.

The monster that now bestrides the world was born of the conjugation of value and

From the former arose the quantification of reality, and, with this, the loss of the differentiated recognition essential for

from the latter emerged a kind of selfhood that could swim in these icy waters. From this
standpoint one might call capitalism a "regime of the Ego," meaning that under its auspices a kind of estranged
self emerges as the mode of capital's reproduction. This self is not merely prideful - the ordinary connotation of "egotistical" - though
under capitalism it certainly exhibits hubris; more fully, it is the ensemble of those relations that embody the domination of
nature from one side, and, from the other, ensure the reproduction of capital. This Ego is the latest version of the
purified male principle, emerging millennia after the initial crime and reflecting the absorption and rationalization of gender
domination into profitability and self-maximization (allowing suitable "power-women" to join the dance). It is a pure culture of
splitting and non-recognition: it recognizes neither itself, nor the otherness of nature, nor the nature of others. In terms of
the preceding discussion, it is the elevation of the merely individual and isolated mind-as-ego into a reigning
principle. Capital produces egoic relations, which reproduce capital. The isolated selves of the capitalist order can choose to
ecosystemic integrity;

become personifications of capital, or may have the role thrust upon them. In either case, they embark upon a pattern of non-recognition mandated by the

the almighty dollar interposes itself between all elements of experience: all things in the world, all other
persons, and between the self and its world. Hence nothing really exists except in and through monetization.
This setup provides an ideal culture medium for the bacillus of competition and ruthless self-maximization.
Because money is all that "counts," a peculiar heartlessness characterizes capitalists, a tough-minded and cold
abstraction that will sacrifice species, whole continents (viz Africa) or inconvenient subsets of the population
(viz black urban males) who add too little to the great march of surplus value, or may be seen as standing in its
way, or simply are suitable objects of demonization to distract the masses. The presence of value screens out
genuine fellow-feeling or compassion, replacing it with the calculus of profit-expansion. Never has a holocaust
been carried out so impersonally. When the Nazis killed their victims, the crimes were accompanied by a racist
drumbeat; for global capital, the losses are regrettable necessities or collateral damage.
fact that


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Impact Native American Genocide

Capitalism makes environmental damage to Indian country inevitable corporations dump toxic
waste, threatening extinction.
Brook, PHD in Socialogy from UC Davis, January, 1998 [Daniel, Environmental Genocide, American Journal
of Economics and Sociology, , 57.1, Jstor]
GENOCIDE AGAINST NATIVE AMERICANS continues in modern times with modern techniques. In the past, buffalo
were slaughtered or corn crops were burned, thereby threatening local native populations; now the Earth itself is being strangled,
thereby threatening all life. The government and large corporations have created toxic, lethal threats to human
health. Yet, because "Native Americans live at the lowest socioeconomic level in the U.S." (Glass, n.d., 3), they are most
at risk for toxic exposure. All poor people and people of color are disadvantaged, although " [flor Indians, these dis- advantages

are multiplied by dependence on food supplies closely tied to the land and in which [toxic] materials . .. have been shown to accumulate" (ibid.). This essay will discuss the genocide of Native Americans

Although this type of genocide is not (usually) the result of a systematic plan
with malicious intent to exterminate Native Americans, it is the consequence of activities that are often carried
out on and near the reservations with reckless disregard for the lives of Native Americans .1 One very significant toxic threat to
Native Americans comes from Governmental and commercial hazardous waste sitings. Because of the severe poverty and extraordinary vulnerability of
Native American tribes, their lands have been targeted by the U.S. government and the large corporations as
permanent areas for much of the poisonous industrial by-products of the dominant society. "Hoping to take
advantage of the devastating chronic unemployment, pervasive poverty and sovereign status of Indian Nations",
according to Bradley Angel, writing for the international environmental organization Green- peace, " the waste disposal industry and the U.S. government
have embarked on an all-out effort to site incinerators, landfills, nuclear waste storage facilities and similar
polluting industries on Tribal land" (Angel 1991, 1). In fact, so enthusiastic is the United States government to dump its most dangerous waste from "the nation's 110
commercial nuclear power plants" (ibid., 16) on the nation's "565 federally recognized tribes" (Aug 1993, 9) that it "has solicited every Indian Tribe, offering
millions of dollars if the tribe would host a nuclear waste facility " (Angel 1991, 15; emphasis added). Given the fact that Native
Americans tend to be so materially poor, the money offered by the government or the corporations for this "toxic
trade" is often more akin to bribery or blackmail than to payment for services rendered .2 In this way, the Mescalero Apache tribe in
through environmental spoliation and native resistance to it.

1991, for example, became the first tribe (or state) to file an application for a U.S. Energy Department grant "to study the feasibility of building a temporary [sic] stor- age facility for 15,000 metric tons of
highly radioactive spent fuel" (Ak- wesasne Notes 1992, 11). Other Indian tribes, including the Sac, Fox, Ya- kima, Choctaw, Lower Brule Sioux, Eastern Shawnee, Ponca, Caddo, and the Skull Valley Band
of Goshute, have since applied for the $100,000 exploratory grants as well (Angel 1991, 16-17). Indeed, since so many reservations are without major sources of outside revenue, it is not surprising that

Native Americans, like all other victimized ethnic groups, are

not passive populations in the face of destruction from imperialism and paternalism. Rather, they are active
agents in the making of their own history. Nearly a century and a half ago, the radical philosopher and political economist Karl Marx realized that
people "make their own history, but they do not make it just as they please; they do not make it under circumstances
chosen by themselves, but under circumstances directly found, given and transmitted from the past " (Marx 1978, 595).
Therefore, "[t]ribal governments considering or planning waste facilities", asserts Margaret Crow of California Indian Legal Services, "do so for a number of reasons" (Crow 1994, 598). First, lacking
exploitable subterranean natural resources, some tribal governments have sought to employ the land itself as a
resource in an attempt to fetch a financial return. Second, since many reservations are rural and remote, other
lucrative business opportunities are rarely, if ever, available to them. Third, some reservations are sparsely
populated and therefore have surplus land for business activities. And fourth, by establishing waste facilities
some tribes would be able to resolve their reservations' own waste disposal problems while simultaneously
raising much-needed revenue. As a result, "[a] small number of tribes across the country are actively pursuing commercial hazardous and solid waste facilities"; however, "[t]he risk
some tribes have considered proposals to host toxic waste repositories on their reservations.

and benefit analysis performed by most tribes has led to decisions not to engage in commercial waste management" (ibid.). Indeed, Crow reports that by "the end of 1992, there were no commercial waste
facilities operating on any Indian reservations" (ibid.), although the example of the Campo Band of Mission Indians provides an interesting and illuminating exception to the trend. The Campo Band
undertook a "proactive approach to siting a com- mercial solid waste landfill and recycling facility near San Diego, California. The Band informed and educated the native community, developed an
environmental regulatory infrastructure, solicited companies, required that the applicant company pay for the Band's financial advisors, lawyers, and solid waste industry consultants, and ultimately
negotiated a favorable contract" (Haner 1994, 106). Even these extraordinary measures, however, are not enough to protect the tribal land and indigenous people from toxic exposure. Unfortunately, it is a


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

sad but true fact that "virtually every landfill leaks, and every incinerator emits hundreds of toxic chemicals into the air, land and water" (Angel 1991, 3). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
concedes that "[e]ven if the . . . protective systems work according to plan, the landfills will eventually leak poisons into the environment" (ibid.). Therefore, even if these toxic waste sites are safe for the

. Native people (and others) will

eventually pay the costs of these toxic pollutants with their lives, "costs to which [corporate] executives are
conveniently immune" (Parker 1983, 59). In this way, private corporations are able to externalize their costs onto the commons,
thereby subsidizing their earnings at the expense of health, safety, and the environment . >
present genera- tion-a rather dubious proposition at best-they will pose an increasingly greater health and safety risk for all future generations


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Impact No Value to Life

No value to life in a capitalist framework, prosperity and security are antithetical to true
Zizek, Slovene sociologist, philosopher, and cultural critic, 2008 Slavoj, IJS Vol 2.0 (2008),"If God doesnt
exist, everything is prohibited, page 2 , 2008
aiming for pleasure and you point that we shouldnt permit ourselves too
much. You describe a modern society in Hegels words as a spiritualized community of animals. We use our reason only to
articulate our private interests, to manipulate others to serve our pleasures. This is the world which lacks any spiritual substance, in which
people behave like intelligent animals . We tend to think that our world is a world of human rights , while in fact its a
place of struggle for human animals rights We need to ask ourselves a question: What is freedom? Answering this question,
Im totally on Badious side, but also on the side of Christianity or Kantism. I dont think freedom has something to do
with spontaneity. I think that on a spontaneous level we are slaves, we only want delight and pleasure. I dont drink,
I dont smoke and as the only representative of my generation to have never even touched drugs. I only allow myself to have Coke Light. I think
that freedom is something you need to conquer and that this liberation hurts . That is why I have a huge problem with the
dominant ethics of today, which is based on self-realization You need to stay true to yourself . Whereas, if you want to stay true to yourself,
you need to reproduce the whole shit thats inside of you . There are things in us that are disgusting. Im an old leftist. On the
psychological level, however, I have a conservative and pessimistic vision of a man theres something terrible in all of us and we have
to destroy it at all cost.
Thats why youre so distrustful of, so common today,

Capitalism introduces a sense of lack that kills value to life.

Kovel, Prof. of Social Studies @ Bard, 2007 [Joel, The Enemy of Nature, p. 52-3]
The penetration of life-worlds The capitalist world is a colossal apparatus of production, distribution, and sales, perfused with commodities. The average
Wal-Mart stocks 100,000 separate items (with 600,000 available through its website) and as a drive through America bitterly confirms, Wai-Marts - some
2,500 as of early 2000, with 100 million shoppers a week - spring up everywhere along the roadsides like gigantic toadstools, destroying the integrity of
towns and feeding on their decay.1 By 2006, this creature was spreading across the globe, and plans were announced for building some 300 Wai-Marts in

As capital penetrates society, and as a condition for capital to

penetrate society, the entire structure of life is altered. Each creature inhabits a "life-world," that portion of the
universe which is dwelt-in, or experienced.2 The life-world is, so to speak, what an ecosystem looks like from the standpoint of individual
beings within it. The use-values that represent the utility of commodities are inserted into life-worlds, the point of
insertion being registered subjectively as a want or desire, and objectively as a set of needs. As capital penetrates
life-worlds, it alters them in ways that foster its accumulation, chiefly by introducing a sense of dissatisfaction
or lack - so that it can truly be said that happiness is forbidden under capitalism, being replaced by sensation and
craving. In this way, children develop such a craving for caffeine-laced, sugar-loaded, or artificially sweetened soft drinks that it may be said that they
China. There is much more to this than the peddling of mere objects.

positively need them (in that their behavior disintegrates without such intake); or grownups develop a similar need for giant sports-utility vehicles, or find
gas-driven leaf-blowers indispensable for the conduct of life; or are shaped to take life passively from the TV screen, or see the shopping malls and their
endless parking lots as the "natural" setting of society.>


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Development Bad Impact

The impact is that the aff only further entrenches the socio-economic power configurations that
pervade status quo North-South relations. The Third World is not benefited by the plan
but further subjugated to even more benevolent United States hegemony. They become a
pawn is the affirmatives self-aggrandizing gesture which ultimately only adds support to a
global imperialism, turning and outweighing the case.
Kapoor, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies, 2005 [Ilan, Participatory Development, Complicity,
and Desire. Third World Quarterly Vol. 26 Iss. 8 Novermber]













Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)




Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

AT: Capitalism Wont Lead to Extinction


Derrida 94, director of studies at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, 1994 [Jacques, Specters of
Marx, p. 84-86]
Let us return now to the immediate vicinity of the subject of our conference. My subtitle, "the New International," refers to
a profound transformation, projected over a long term, of international law, of its concepts, and its field of intervention. Just
as the concept of human rights has slowly been determined over the course of centuries through many socio-political
upheavals (whether it be a matter of the right to work or economic rights, of the rights of women and children, and so
forth), likewise international law should extend and diversify its field to include, if at least it is to be consistent with the
idea of democracy and of human rights it proclaims, the worldwide economic and social field, beyond the sovereignty of
States and of the phantom-States we mentioned a moment ago. Despite appearances, what we are saying here is not simply
anti-statist: in given and limited conditions, the super-State, which might be an international institution, may always be able
to limit the appropriations and the violence of certain private socio-economic forces. But without necessarily subscribing to
the whole Marxist discourse (which, moreover, is complex, evolving, heterogeneous) on the State and its appropriation by a
dominant class, on the distinction between State power and State apparatus, on the end of the political, on "the end of
politics," or on the withering away of the State, and, on the other hand, without suspecting the juridical idea in itself, one
may still find inspiration in the Marxist "spirit" to criticize the presumed autonomy of the juridical and to denounce
endlessly the de facto take-over of international authorities by powerful Nation-States, by concentrations of technoscientific capital, symbolic capital, and financial capital, of State capital and private capital. A "new international" is being
sought through these crises of international law ; it already denounces the limits of a discourse on human rights that will
remain inadequate, sometimes hypocritical and in any case formalistic and inconsistent with itself as long as the law of the
market, the "foreign debt," the inequality of techno-scientific, military, and economic development maintain an effective
inequality as monstrous as that which prevails today, to a greater extent than ever in the history of humanity. For it must be
cried out, at a time when some have the audacity to neo-evangelize in the name of the ideal of a liberal democracy that has
finally realized itself as the ideal of human history: never have violence, inequality, exclusion, famine, and thus economic
oppression affected as many human beings in the history of the earth and of humanity. Instead of singing the advent of the
ideal of liberal democracy and of the capitalist market in the euphoria of the end of history, instead of celebrating the "end
of ideologies" and the end of the great emancipatory discourses, let us never neglect this obvious macroscopic fact, made
up of innumerable singular sites of suffering: no degree of progress allows one to ignore that never before, in absolute
figures, never have so many men, women, and children been subjugated, starved, or exterminated on the earth . (And
provisionally, but with regret, we must leave aside here the nevertheless indissociable question of what is becoming of socalled "animal" life, the life and existence of "animals" in this history-This-question-has always been a serious one, but it
will become massively unavoidable.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Answers To: Capitalism Reduces Poverty

Enhancing markets does not reduce poverty
The critics of neo-liberalism and globalization have exposed hole after hole in these doctrines. They have shown
that embracing markets does not usually lead to any improvement in Third World countries. For two decades
most of the peoples of Africa and Latin America have seen their conditions deteriorate, not improve. The turning
over of vast tracts of land to the production of a single crop ("monoculture") for multinationals does not raise
revenues (since world prices are driven down as the same crops are produced in the same way in several other
countries). The revenues that are earned are eaten up by interest payments on loans, and ecological degradation
all too often follows.

Empirically, global capitalism has not reduced poverty

Sam Gindin, holds the Packer Chair in Social Science, Department of Political Science at York University in
Toronto. He was, for many years, Director of Research and Assistant to the President of the Canadian Auto
Workers, 2002 (MONTHLY REVIEW, May-June,
The discouraging state of the present tends, however, to a wishful enhancement of the past. That "golden age" of
capitalism, in fact, fell far short of any ideal of social justice: internal poverty persisted; the gap between the first
world and the third, in spite of decolonization, widened; it was hardly a "golden age" for women or for U.S.
blacks; workers still sold their labor and potentials to others, gaining the power to consume but not actively to
shape their community; and corporate rule was not reduced but reinforced. The youth rebellions of the 1960s,
we should remember, went beyond opposition to the war in Vietnam and reacted against the empty materialism
of the times and-in the case of young factory workers-reacted against the contrast between their civil rights in
society and the authoritarianism of their workplaces.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Answers To: Capitalism Reduces Poverty

The benefits of capitalism do not trickle-down
Sam Gindin, holds the Packer Chair in Social Science, Department of Political Science at York University in
Toronto. He was, for many years, Director of Research and Assistant to the President of the Canadian Auto
Workers, 2002 (MONTHLY REVIEW, May-June,
This sham argument ignores, first, that where growth has come, it has come not with a general improvement in
social justice but with costs in terms of internal democracy, human rights, and equality. In the mid-fifties, a Latin
American general, when asked about economic development in his country, responded with words that still
capture so much of the present reality in third world so-called success stories like Brazil and Mexico: "The
economy is doing great, but the people in it aren't."

Success stories turn into failures

Sam Gindin, holds the Packer Chair in Social Science, Department of Political Science at York University in
Toronto. He was, for many years, Director of Research and Assistant to the President of the Canadian Auto
Workers, 2002 (MONTHLY REVIEW, May-June,
Second, the few success stories, like those in South East Asia, have proved to be fragile, and in any case have
been rooted in particular circumstances that can't be duplicated. The most prominent example, South Korea, did
not achieve what it did because its policies were so clever-though they were relevant-but because of its special
importance to the United States during the Cold War. This meant that, like Europe before (and unlike the third
world more generally) it received a form of Marshall Aid (military spending during the Korean and Vietnam
wars) and was also given free access to the U.S. market even as it protected its own markets.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Answers To: Capitalism Reduces Poverty

There will only be winners if there are losers
Sam Gindin, holds the Packer Chair in Social Science, Department of Political Science at York University in
Toronto. He was, for many years, Director of Research and Assistant to the President of the Canadian Auto
Workers, 2002 (MONTHLY REVIEW, May-June,
Third, as long as the successful development model is focused on poor countries competing to export to the
West, universal development is a contradiction in terms. Some "winners" might indeed emerge, but only by
condemning other countries to being losers (not to mention the losers within their own countries). The third
world can only move towards overall development if there is a focus on mobilizing and developing their human
and natural resources to address internal needs. They do not have to cut themselves off from trade and
investment, though they must insist on tightly regulating them to strengthen their internal development.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

AT: Capitalism Good -- Space

Capitalism threatens human survival. It is the root of nuclear war, environmental destruction,
and north-south conflict. The expansionist capitalism of the affirmative will push the US to
militarize space and make hair trigger accidental launch and global nuclear war an
increased probability.
Marko, 2003 (Indymedia UK, Anarchism and Human Survival: Russell's Problem, 5-14,
the real
threats to human survival, threats which are self induced. Much speculation and movie making is devoted toward
such survival threatening events as asteroid strikes and mantle head plumes. What is totally ignored is the threat to human
survival posed by our own institutions. We can notch another one for the propaganda model; it is to be expected that our pathological
Bertrand Russell throughout his long career as a public intellectual and political activist had reason to reflect on the follies of humanity and

institutions would not dwell on their inherent pathology. We can expect nothing less of the corporate media. I shall argue that we face what I refer to as
"Russell's problem": are Homo sapiens an intelligent maladaptive organism doomed to self extinction? There exists good reason to suppose that a
maladaptive, intelligent, organism would indeed cause its own extinction simply because of the destructive potential of intelligence. This is one of the
farces of many science fiction stories, such as Star Trek, which posit the existence of hideous innately war like but highly intelligent species. This is not a
productive mix; surely any advanced species, in order to reach such heights as inter-galactic travel, would need to be a species that places a premium on
cooperation and solidarity. An avaricious intelligent species would only over time succeed in destroying itself and much of the ecological basis for the

There exist three threats to survival namely nuclear war,

ecological change and north-south conflict. All three I would argue can be traced to a single source that being
the pathological nature of state capitalism. What is frightening is that eventual self induced extinction is a
rational consequence of our system of world order much like the destruction of the system of world order prior to 1914 was a rational
support of life long before it would be able to traverse wormholes.

consequence of its internal nature. I shall focus in this essay on nuclear war, the most immediate threat. In doing so we will come to appreciate the nexus

Currently we are witnessing a major expansion in the US global

military system. One facet of this expansion is the globalisation of US nuclear war planning known as "adaptive
planning". The idea here is that the US would be able to execute a nuclear strike against any target on Earth at
very short notice. For strategic planners the world's population is what they refer to as a "target rich environment". The Clinton era commander of
between this threat, globalisation and north-south conflict.

US nuclear forces, Admiral Mies, stated that nuclear ballistic missile submarines would be able to "move undetected to any launch point" threatening "any

What lies at the heart of such a policy is the desire to maintain global strategic superiority what is
known as "full spectrum dominance" previously referred to as "escalation dominance". Full spectrum dominance means
spot on Earth".

that the US would be able to wage and win any type of war ranging from a small scale contingency to general nuclear war. Strategic nuclear superiority is
to be used to threaten other states so that they toe the party line. The Bush administration's Nuclear Posture Review stipulated that nuclear weapons are
needed in case of "surprising military developments" not necessarily limited to chemical or biological weapons. The Clinton administration was more
explicit stating in its 2001 Pentagon report to Congress that US nuclear forces are to "hedge against defeat of conventional forces in defense of vital
interests". The passage makes clear that this statement is not limited to chemical or biological weapons. We have just seen in Iraq what is meant by the
phrase "defense of vital interests". Washington is asserting that if any nation were to have the temerity to successfully defend itself against US invasion,
armed with conventional weapons only, then instant annihilation awaits. "What we say goes" or you go is the message being conveyed. Hitler no doubt
would have had a similar conception of "deterrence". It should be stressed that this is a message offered to the whole world after all it is now a target rich
environment. During the cold war the US twice contemplated using nuclear weapons in such a fashion both in Vietnam, the first at Dien Bien Phu and
during Nixon administration planning for "operation duck hook". In both cases the main impediments to US action were the notion that nuclear weapons
were not politically "useable" in such a context and because of the Soviet deterrent. The Soviet deterrent is no more and the US currently is hotly pursuing
the development of nuclear weapons that its designers believe will be "useable" what the Clinton administration referred to as low yield earth penetrating

Such strategic reforms are meant to

make nuclear war a more viable policy option, on the basis that lower yields will not immediately kill as many
innocent people as higher yield weapons. This is known as the lowering of the threshold of nuclear war. The
nuclear weapons and what the Bush administration refers to as the Rapid Nuclear Earth Penetrator.

development of the RNEP draws us closer to the prospect of nuclear war, including accidental nuclear war, because lower yields will lower the barrier
between conventional and nuclear war. There

will exist no real escalatory firewall between these two forms of warfare
which means that in any conventional crisis involving nuclear powers, there will exist a strong incentive to
strike first. A relationship very similar to the interaction between the mobilisation schedules of the great powers prior to 1914. There exist strong

Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

parallels between US nuclear planning and the German Imperial Staffs Schlieffen plan.
Lowering the threshold of nuclear war will also enhance pressures for global nuclear proliferation. If the US is making its arsenal more useable by
working towards achieving a first strike capability, then others such as Russia and China must react in order to ensure the viability of their deterrents.
Moreover, the potential third world targets of US attack would also have greater incentive to ensure that they also have a nuclear deterrent.
It is also understood that the development of these nuclear weapons may require the resumption of nuclear testing, a key reason for the Administration's
lack of readiness to abide by the CTBT treaty, which is meant to ban nuclear testing. The CTBT is a key feature of contemporary global nuclear non
proliferation regimes for the US signed the CTBT in order to extend the nuclear non proliferation treaty (NPT) indefinitely. Abandoning the CTBT treaty,
in order to develop a new generation of more "useable" nuclear weapons that will lower the threshold of nuclear war, will place the NPT regime under
further strain and greatly increase the chances of further nuclear proliferation. There exists a "deadly connection" between global weapons of mass

One may well ask what has all this to do with state capitalism? Consider the
thinking behind the militarisation of space, outlined for us by Space Command; historically military forces have evolved
to protect national interests and investments both military and economic. During the rise of sea commerce, nations built
navies to protect and enhance their commercial interests. During the westward expansion of the continental United States,
military outposts and the cavalry emerged to protect our wagon trains, settlements and roads. The document
goes on, the emergence of space power follows both of these models. Moreover, the globalization of the
world economy will continue, with a widening between haves and have nots. The demands of unilateral
strategic superiority, long standing US policy known as "escalation" or "full spectrum" dominance, compel
Washington to pursue space control". This means that, according to a report written under the chairmanship of Donald Rumsfeld, "in the
destruction proliferation and US foreign policy.

coming period the US will conduct operations to, from, in and through space" which includes "power projection in, from and through space". Toward this

As a result there will inevitably arise an arms

race in space. The importance of this simply cannot be over-emphasised. Throughout the nuclear age there have
been a number of close calls, due to both human and technical error, that almost lead to a full scale nuclear
exchange between Washington and Moscow. These glitches in command and control systems were ultimately benign because both sides
end, Washington has resisted efforts in the UN to create an arms control regime for space.

had early warning satellites placed in specialised orbits which could be relied upon to provide real time imagery of nuclear missile launch sites.

However the militarisation of space now means that these satellites will become open game; the benign
environment in space will disappear if the militarisation of space continues. Thus if the US were to "conduct operations to,
from in and through space" it will do see remotely. Technical failure may result in the system attacking Russian early warning
satellites. Without question this would be perceived by the Russian's as the first shot in a US nuclear first strike.
Consider for instance a curious event that occurred in 1995. A NASA research rocket, part of a study of the northern lights, was fired over Norway. The
rocket was perceived by the Russian early warning system as the spear of a US first strike. The Russian system then began a countdown to full scale
nuclear response; it takes only a single rocket to achieve this effect because it was no doubt perceived by Russian planners that this
single rocket was meant to disable their command and control system as a result of electromagnetic pulse effects. To prevent the loss of all nuclear forces
in a subsequent follow on strike the Russian's would need to launch a full scale response as soon as possible. Because the US itself has a hair trigger
launch on warning posture a Russian attack would be followed by a full scale US attack; the US has a number of "reserve options" in its war plans, thus
such an accidental launch could trigger a global chain of nuclear release around the globe. Calamity was averted in 1995 because Russia's early warning
satellites would have demonstrated that there was no launch of US nuclear forces. If these satellites were to be taken out then this ultimate guarantee
disappears; the Russian ground based radar system has a number of key holes that prevent it from warning of an attack through two key corridors, one
from the Atlantic the other from the Pacific. In the future if an event such as 1995 were to occur in space the Russians no longer would have the level of
comfort provided by its space based assets.

The militarisation of space greatly increases the chances of a full scale

accidental nuclear war.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

*** Kritik Turns the Case ***


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Kritik Turns the Case -- General

The Aff ignores the key antagonism of included/excluded, all their reforms expand capital, the
alternative is to take the heroic action of resistance, which inspires others
Zizek, 2008 (Slavoj, In Defense of Lost Causes, pp.429-433)
From fear to trembling A further qualification should be added here: the solution is not to limit the market and
private property by direct interventions of the state and state ownership. The domain of the state itself is also in
its own way "private": private in the precise Kantian sense of the "private use of Reason" in state administrative
and ideological apparatuses: The public use of one's reason must always be free, and it alone can bring about
enlightenment among men. The private use of one's reason, on the other hand, may often be very narrowly
restricted without particularly hindering the progress of enlightenment. By public use of one's reason I
understand the use which a person makes of it as a scholar before the reading public. Private use I call that
which one may make of it in a particular civil post or office which is entrusted to him. What one should add
here, moving beyond Kant, is that there is a privileged social group which, on account of its lack of a
determinate place in the "private" order of the social hierarchy, in other words, as a "part of no-part" of the
social body, directly stands for universality: it is only the reference to those Excluded, to those who dwell in the
blanks of the space of the state, that enables true universality. There is nothing more "private" than a state
community which perceives the Excluded as a threat and worries how to keep the Excluded at a proper distance.
In other words, as we have already seen, in the series of the four antagonisms, the one between the Included and
the Excluded is the crucial one, the point of reference for the others; without it, all others lose their subversive
edge: ecology turns into a "problem of sustainable development," intellectual property into a "complex legal
challenge," biogenetics into an "ethical" issue. One can sincerely fight for ecology, defend a broader notion of
intellectual property, oppose the copyrighting of genes, while not questioning the antagonism between the
Included and the Excludedwhat is more, one can even formulate some of these struggles in terms of the
Included threatened by the polluting Excluded. In this way, we get no true universality, only "private" concerns
in the Kantian sense of the term. Corporations such as Whole Foods and Starbucks continue to enjoy favor
among liberals even though they both engage in anti-union activities; the trick is that they sell products that
claim to be politically progressive acts in and of themselves. One buys coffee made with beans bought from the
growers at fair prices, one drives a hybrid vehicle, one buys from companies that provide good benefits for their
employees (according to the corporation's own standards), and so on. Political action and consumption become
fully merged. In short, without the antagonism between the Included and the Excluded, we may well find
ourselves in a world in which Bill Gates is the greatest humanitarian fighting against poverty and diseases, and
Rupert Murdoch the greatest environmentalist mobilizing hundreds of millions through his media empire. And,
one should be clear at this point, the political expression of this radical antagonism, the way the pressure of the
Excluded is experienced within the established political space, always has a flavor of terror. The lesson is thus
the one rendered long ago by Athena towards the end of Aeschylus's Euinenides: As for terror, don't banish it
completely from the city. What mortal man is truly righteous without being afraid? Those who sense the fear
revere vi'hat's right. With citizens hke these your country and your city will be safe, stronger than anything
possessed by men. How are we to read these famous lines? Do they really point towards the manipulation of the
politics of fear we know today?" The first obstacle to such a reading is the obvious fact that Athena does not
evoke the fear of an external enemy whose threat justifies the disciplined unity and possible "defensive
measures" of the city-state: the fear is here the fear of divine Justice itself, of its blinding authority; from the

Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

perspective of modern subjectivity (which is our perspective here), the object of this fear is the abyss of
subjectivity itself, its terrifying power of self-relating negativity; it is the terrifying encounter of this traumatic
core that Heidegger had in mind when he claimed that terror {Schrecken) was necessary if "modern man" was to
be awakened from his metaphysico-technological slumber into a new beginning; we must principally concern
ourselves with preparing for man the very basis and dimension upon which and within which something like a
mystery of his Deuteln could once again be encountered. We should not be at all surprised if the contemporary
man in the street feels disturbed or perhaps sometimes dazed and clutches all the more stubbornly at his idols
when confronted with this challenge and with the effort required to approach this mystery. It would be a
mistake to expect anything else. We must first call for someone capable of instilling terror into our Dasein
again. Heidegger thus opposes wonder as the basic disposition of the first (Greek) beginning to terror as the
basic disposition of the second new beginning: "In wonder, the basic disposition of the first beginning, beings
first come to stand in their form. Terror, the basic disposition of the other beginning, reveals behind all progress
and all domination over beings a dark emptiness of irrelevance." (The thing to note here is that Heidegger uses
the word "terror" and not "anxiety.") Hegel said something similar in his analysis of the master and servant
(bondage), when he emphasized that, since the bondsman is also a self-consciousness, the master is taken to be
the essential reality for the state of bondage; hence, for it, the truth is the independent consciousness existing for
itself, although this truth is not taken yet as inherent in bondage itself Still, it does in fact contain within itself
this truth of pure negativity and self-existence, because it has experienced this reality' within it. For this
consciousness was not in peril and fear for this element or that, nor for this or that moment of time, it was afraid
for its entire being; it felt the fear of death, the sovereign master. It has been in that experience melted to its
inmost soul, has trembled throughout its every fibre, and all that was fixed and steadfast has quaked within it.
This complete perturbation of its entire substance, this absolute dissolution of all its stability into fluent
continuity, is, however, the simple, ultimate nature of self-consciousness, absolute negativity, pure self-referrent
existence, which consequently is involved in this type of consciousness. This moment of pure self-existence is
moreover a fact for it; for in the master it finds this as its object. Further, this bondsman's conscious ness is not
only this total dissolution in a general way; in serving and toiling the bondsman actually carries this out. By
serving he cancels in every particular aspect his dependence on and attachment to natural existence, and by his
work removes this existence away.''


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Kritik Turns the Case -- General

Political unrest is an epiphenomenon of control over the means of production. We must refer to
the sphere of economy to understand these problems. The quotidian habits the aff is afraid
to shed make them quiescent, they are not revolutionaries.
Zizek, 2008 (Slavoj, In Defense of Lost Causes, pp.171-175)
Another "inhuman" dimension of the couple VirtueTerror promoted by Robespierre is the rejection of habit
(in the sense of the agency of realistic compromises). Every legal order (or every order of explicit normativity)
has to rely on a complex "reflexive" network of informal rules which tells us how we are to relate to the explicit
norms, how we are to apply them: to what extent we are to take them literally, how and when are we allowed,
solicited even, to disregard them, and so onand this is the domain of habit. To know the habits of a society is
to know the metarules of how to apply Ltd explicit normr. when to use them or not use them; when to violate
them; when not to choose what is offered; when we are effectively obliged to do something, but have to pretend
that we are doing it as a free choice (as in the case of potlatch). Let us refer to the polite offer-meant-to-berefused: it is a "habit" to refuse such an offer, and anyone who accepts such an offer commits a vulgar blunder.
The same goes for many political situations in which a choice is given on condition that we make the right
choice: we are solemnly reminded that we can say nobut we are expected to reject this offer and
enthusiastically say yes. With many sexual prohibitions, the situation is the opposite: the explicit "no"
effectively functions as the implicit injunction "do it, but in a discreet way!". Measured against this background,
revolutionary-egalitarian figures from Robespierre to John Brown are (potentially, at least) figured without
habits: they refuse to take into account the habits that qualify the functioning of a universal rule. Such is the
natural dominion of habit that we regard the most arbitrary conventions, sometimes indeed the most defective
institutions, as absolute measures of truth or falsehood, justice or Injustice. It does not even occur to us that most
are inevitably still connected with the prejudices on which despotism fed us. We have been so long stooped
under its yoke that we have some difficulty in raising ourselves to the eternal principles of reason; anything that
refers to the sacred source of all law seems to us to take on an illegal character, and the very order of nature
seems to us a disorder. The majestic movements of a great people, the sublime fervours of virtue often appear to
our timid eyes as something like an erupting volcano or the overthrow of political society; and it is certainly not
the least of the troubles bothering us, this contradiction between the weakness of our morals, the depravity of
our minds, and the purity of principle and energy of character demanded by the free government to which we
have dared aspire.^" To break the yoke of habit means: if all men are equal, than all men are to be effectively
treated as equal; if blacks are also human, they should be immediately treated as such. Let us recall the early
stages of the struggle against slavery in the US, which, even prior to the Civil War, culminated in the armed
conflict between the gradualism of compassionate liberals and the unique figure of John Brown: African
Americans were caricatures of people, they were characterized as buffoons and minstrels, they were the buttend of jokes in American society. And even the abolitionists, as antislaveiy as they were, the majority of them
did not see African Americans as equals. The majority of them, and this was something that African Americans
complained about all the time, were willing to work for the end of slavery in the South but they were not
willing to work to end discrimination in the North. [. . .] John Brown wasn't like that. For him, practicing
egalitarianism was a first step toward ending slavery. And African Americans who came in contact with him
knew this immediately. He made it very clear that he saw no difference, and he didn't make this clear by sajnng
it, he made it clear by what he did. For this reason, John Brown is a key political figure in the history of the US:
in his fervently Christian "radical abolitionism," he came closest to introducing the Jacobin logic into the

Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

American political landscape: John Brown considered himself a complete egalitarian. And it was very
important for him to practice egalitarianism on every level. [. . .] He made it very clear that he saw no
difference, and he didn't make this clear by saying it, he made it clear by what he did.'^^ Even today, long after
slavery has been abolished, Brown is the polarizing figure in American collective memory; those whites who
support Brown are all the more precious among them, surprisingly, Henry David Thoreau, the great opponent
of violence: against the standard dismissal of Brown as bloodthirsty^ foolish, and insane, Thoreau painted a
portrait of a peerless man whose embracement of a cause was unparalleled; he even goes as far as to liken
Brown's execution (he states that he regards Brown as dead before his actual death) to Christ. Thoreau vents his
rage at the scores of those who voiced their scorn for John Brown: they could not understand Brown due to their
concrete stances and "dead" existences; they are not truly alive, only a handful of men can be said to have lived.
It is, however, this very consistent egalitarianism which also constitutes the limitation of Jacobin politics. Recall
Marx's fundamental insight about the "bourgeois" limitation of the logic of equality: capitalist inequalities
("exploitation") are not the "unprincipled violations of the principle of equality," but are absolutely inherent to
the logic of equality, they are the paradoxical result of its consistent realization. What we have in mind here is
not only the wearisome old motif of how market exchange presupposes formally/legally equal subjects who
meet and interact in the market; the crucial moment of Marx's critique of "bourgeois" socialists is that capitalist
exploitation does not involve any kind of "unequal" exchange between the worker and the capitalistthis
exchange is fully equal and "just, " ideally (in principle), the worker gets paid the full value of the commodity he
is selling (his labor-power). Of course, radical bourgeois revolutionaries are aware of this limitation; however,
the way they try to counteract it is through a direct "terroristic" imposition of more and more de facto equality
(equal salaries, equal access to health services . . .), which can only be imposed through new forms of formal
inequality (different sorts of preferential treatments for the underprivileged). In short, the axiom of "equality"
means either not enough (it remains the abstract form of actual inequality) or too much (enforce "terroristic"
equality)it is a formalistic notion in a strict dialectical sense, that is, its limitation is precisely that its form is
not concrete enough, but a mere neutral container of some content that eludes this form. The problem here is not
terror as such our task today is precisely to reinvent emancipatory terror. The problem lies elsewhere;
egalitarian political "extremism" or "excessive radicalism" should always be read as a phenomenon of
ideologico-politlcal displacement: as an index of its opposite, of a limitation, of a refusal effectively to "go to
the end." What was the Jacobins' recourse to radical "terror" if not a kind of hysterical acting-out bearing
witness to their inability to disturb the very fundamentals of economic order (private property, etc.)? And does
the same not go even for the so-called "excesses" of political correctness? Do they also not display the retreat
from disturbing the effective (economic and other) causes of racism and sexism? Perhaps, then, the time has
come to render problematic the standard topos, shared by practically all "postmodern" leftists, according to
which political "totalitarianism" somehow results from the predominance of material production and technology
over intersubjective communication and/or symbolic practice, as if the root of political terror resides in the fact
that the "principle" of instrumental reason, of the technological exploitation of nature, is extended also to
society, so that people are treated as raw stuff to be transformed into New Men. What if it is the exact opposite
which holds? What if political "terror" signals precisely that the sphere of (material) production is denied its
autonomy and subordinated to political logic? Is it not that all political "terror," from the Jacobins to the Maoist
Cultural Revolution, presupposes the foreclosure of production proper, its reduction to the terrain of the political
struggle? In other words, what such a postmodern perspective effectively amounts to is nothing less than the
abandonment of Marx's key Insight into how the political struggle is a spectacle which, in order to be
deciphered, has to be referred to the sphere of the economy ("if Marxism had any analytical value for political
theory, was it not in the insistence that the problem of freedom was contained in the social relations implicitly
declared 'unpolitical' that is, naturalizedin liberal discourse?")

Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Turns Case -- Capitalism Causes Poverty And Hunger

Capitalism increases the rich poor gap
John Bellamy Foster, Professor of Sociology at the University of Oregon , MONTHLY REVIEW, January 2003,
p. p. (DRGOC/E282)
. It was the promise of development in the periphery of the capitalist world economy that was invariably used as
the justification for watering down and effectively eliminating meaningful global environmental change. As
conceived by the centers of world capital, development could only be sustained by pursuing the neoliberal
agenda of opening up whole countries and every single sphere of economic activity to market forces. Far from
developing the global South, this strategy, however, only served to deepen the economic stagnation or decline of
most third world countries and to reinforce a growing gap between rich and poor countries along with
accelerated destruction of the environment. Still, insofar as it served the economic interests of the rich countries,
it was treated by the dominant powers as an unmitigated success.

Capitalism increases the rich poor gap

NEW SCIENTIST, July 6, 2002, p. online. (DRGOC/E283)
But to succeed, ownership of the environment is fundamental, says Richard Sandor, chairman of a leading
US-based environment financial products company. And critics fear this is just the beginning of problems for the
poor. Natasha Landell-Mills of the London-based International Institute for Environment and Development
warns that the rules of trading will, in practice, often be skewed to suit the most powerful interests. Hundreds of
millions of poor people live in forests that provide many of their daily needs, without having formal ownership.
If the process of privatisation excluded them, they would undoubtedly be worse off.

Famine isn't caused by a lack of food - it is caused by structural economic factors

Richard Hobbins, Political Scientist, Plattsburgh, 2000 (THE GLOBAL PROBLEMS READER, (PDOCSS2284)
We often hear about the world running out of enough food to feed our growing population. For various reasons,
however, that is not likely. The overwhelming evidence is that people are not hungry because of a lack of food;
they are hungry because they don't have the money to pay for it. The following readings address the issue of the
world food supply.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Turns Case -- Inequality

Economic growth breeds class inequalitydevelopment is currently geared towards only the
Dr Trainer, is an academic in the Department of Social Work, Social Policy and Sociology, University of New
South Wales and the author of numerous books on the environment and population issues. (5.11.06). (Ted, THE
The most serious fault built into our economy is not to do with its reliance on market forces, nor indeed the fact
that it is a capitalist economy. It is the commitment to growth, i.e., to having the volume of production and
consumption increase steadily all the time. The taken-for-granted assumption is that economic growth is the key
to improving everything, because it means that the wealth produced increases all the time, and this is taken to
mean that living standards are rising. When conventional economists talk about growth as increasing wealth
they gloss over the fact that much of the increased output is luxurious and wasteful production for richer
people. For example most housing produced is far more expensive than is necessary and much of it is
outrageously luxurious, while cheap housing for the many low income people is not produced at all. There is
little merit in increasing the production of wealth that mostly benefits people on reasonable or high incomes. As
has been explained, it is an economy in which there is rapidly increasing income and wealth for richer people
while the needs of most people on earth are ignored and their resources and labour are used to further enrich the
rich. There is also much evidence that the quality of life deteriorates as the economy grows. What is the point
of increasing the wealth produced if this makes little or no difference to those in most need, and if the more
wealth/GDP there is the worse the quality of life becomes?!


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Turns Case -- Inequality

The market system encourages inequality.
Dr Trainer, is an academic in the Department of Social Work, Social Policy and Sociology, University of New
South Wales and the author of numerous books on the environment and population issues. May 29, 2003 (Ted,



Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Turns Case -- Poverty

Commodification of labor hurts the employment forcethe law of value makes workers
imminently disposable.
Dr Trainer, is an academic in the Department of Social Work, Social Policy and Sociology, University of New
South Wales and the author of numerous books on the environment and population issues. May 29, 2003 (Ted,



Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Turns Case -- Poverty

Commodification creates poverty through cheap labor usage
Commodificationcreatesemploymentbuttheprocessisgendered.Itisbecoming evidentthatthereisnoequalisationof
consumption.Aninabilitytoachievetherequiredconsumptionlevelmeansrelativepoverty. Commodificationisalso
blockedfortheformerandheavilyfocussedtowardsthelatter,pettycommodificationproliferates. Thecreditandexchange


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Turns Case Global Warming

Capitalism leads to environmental destruction via Global Warming.
Wall, PHD in The Politics of Earth First! UK, 2005
(Derek, Babylon and Beyond. P. 68)



aredisrupted.Toproduce more goods, more energy has to be produced which leads to


consumerdurablesasofdurableconsumers.And in order to achieve this, consumers must be manipulated into the
smoothest possible cycle of acquisition and disposal, into a uniform, superficial understanding of personal and social
requirements. Consumption becomes an end in itself. Even when the market reaches saturation, the process doesn't
stop; for the only way to beat a glut is to turn everybody into gluttons. (Porritt 1984: 47)


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Turns Case -- Womens Rights

Capitalism oppresses women.
Wall, PHD in The Politics of Earth First! UK, 2005
(Derek, Babylon and Beyond. P. 5)






Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Kritik Takes-Out Solvency -- Environment

The threat to the environment is a confluence of factors that cannot be solved individuallythe
structural logic of capitalism means that only a revolution can solve inevitable extinction
Foster, Professor of Sociology at Oregon, 2007 [John Bellamy, Monthly Review, February,]
In the Oh shit era, the debate, McKibben says, is over. There is no longer any doubt that global warming represents a crisis of earth-shaking proportions. Yet, it is absolutely essential to understand that this is
only one part of what we call the environmental crisis. The global ecological threat as a whole is made up of a large number of interrelated crises and problems that are confronting us simultaneously. In my

Overpopulation, destruction of the ozone

layer, global warming, extinction of species, loss of genetic diversity, acid rain, nuclear contamination, tropical
deforestation, the elimination of climax forests, wetland destruction, soil erosion, desertification, floods, famine,
the despoliation of lakes, streams, and rivers, the drawing down and contamination of ground water, the
pollution of coastal waters and estuaries, the destruction of coral reefs, oil spills, overfishing, expanding
landfills, toxic wastes, the poisonous effects of insecticides and herbicides, exposure to hazards on the job, urban
congestion, and the depletion of nonrenewable resources .11 The point is that not just global warming but many of these
other problems as well can each be seen as constituting a global ecological crisis. Today every major ecosystem
on the earth is in decline. Issues of environmental justice are becoming more prominent and pressing everywhere we turn. Underlying this is the fact that the
class/imperial war that defines capitalism as a world system, and that governs its system of accumulation, is a
juggernaut that knows no limits. In this deadly conflict the natural world is seen as a mere instrument of world
social domination. Hence, capital by its very logic imposes what is in effect a scorched earth strategy. The
planetary ecological crisis is increasingly all-encompassing, a product of the destructive uncontrollability of a
rapidly globalizing capitalist economy, which knows no law other than its own drive to exponential expansion.
1994 book, The Vulnerable Planet, I started out with a brief litany of some of these, to which others might now be added:

Transcending Business as Usual Most climate scientists, including Lovelock and Hansen, follow the IPCC in basing their main projections of global warming on a socioecnomic scenario described as

The dire trends indicated are predicated on our fundamental economic and technological
developments and our basic relation to nature remaining the same . The question we need to ask then is what actually is business as usual? What can be
changed and how fast? With time running out the implication is that it is necessary to alter business as usual in radical ways in order to stave off or lessen catastrophe. Yet, the dominant
solutionsthose associated with the dominant ideology, i.e., the ideology of the dominant classemphasize
minimal changes in business as usual that will somehow get us off the hook. After being directed to the growing
planetary threats of global warming and species extinction we are told that the answer is better gas mileage and
better emissions standards, the introduction of hydrogen-powered cars, the capture and sequestration of carbon dioxide emitted in the atmosphere, improved
conservation, and voluntary cutbacks in consumption. Environmental political scientists specialize in the
construction of new environmental policy regimes, embodying state and market regulations. Environmental
economists talk of tradable pollution permits and the incorporation of all environmental factors into the market to ensure their efficient use. Some environmental
sociologists (my own field) speak of ecological modernization: a whole panoply of green taxes, green regulations, and new green technologies, even the greening of
capitalism itself. Futurists describe a new technological world in which the weight of nations on the earth is miraculously lifted as a result of digital dematerialization
of the economy. In all of these views, however, there is one constant: the fundamental character of business as usual is
hardly changed at all. Indeed, what all such analyses intentionally avoid is the fact that business as usual in our
society in any fundamental sense means the capitalist economyan economy run on the logic of profit and
accumulation. Moreover, there is little acknowledgement or even appreciation of the fact that the Hobbesian war of all against all that
characterizes capitalism requires for its fulfillment a universal war on nature . In this sense new technology
cannot solve the problem since it is inevitably used to further the class war and to increase the scale of the
economy, and thus the degradation of the environment. Whenever production dies down or social resistance
imposes barriers on the expansion of capital the answer is always to find new ways to exploit/degrade nature
more intensively. To quote Pontecorvos Burn!, that is the logic of profit....One builds to make money and to go on making it or to make more sometimes it is necessary to destroy. Ironically,
business as usual.

this destructive relation of capitalism to the environment was probably understood better in the nineteenth centuryat a time when social analysts were acutely aware of the issue of revolutionary changes
taking place in the mode of production and how this was transforming the human relation to nature. As a result, environmental sociologists of the more radical stamp in the United States, where the
contradiction between economy and ecology nowadays is especially acute, draw heavily on three interrelated ideas derived from Marx and the critique of capitalist political economy dating back to the


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

the treadmill of production,
describes capitalism as an unstoppable, accelerating treadmill that constantly increases the scale of the
throughput of energy and raw materials as part of its quest for profit and accumulation, thereby pressing on the
earths absorptive capacity. Accumulate, Accumulate! Marx wrote, that is Moses and the prophets! for
capital.12 The second of these notions, the second contradiction of capitalism, is the idea that capitalism, in addition to its
primary economic contradiction stemming from class inequalities in production and distribution, also
undermines the human and natural conditions (i.e, environmental conditions) of production on which its
economic advancement ultimately rests . For example, by systematically removing forests we lay the grounds for
increasing scarcities in this areathe more so to the extent that globalization makes this contradiction universal.
This heightens the overall cost of economic development and creates an economic crisis for capitalism based on
supply-side constraints on production.13 The third notion, the metabolic rift, suggests that the logic of capital
accumulation inexorably creates a rift in the metabolism between society and nature, severing basic processes of
natural reproduction. This raises the issue of the ecological sustainabilitynot simply in relation to the scale of the economy, but also even more importantly in the form and intensity of the
nineteenth century: (1) the treadmill of production, (2) the second contradiction of capitalism, and (3) the metabolic rift. The first of these,

interaction between nature and society under capitalism.14 I shall concentrate on the third of these notions, the metabolic rift, since this is the most complex of these three socio-ecological concepts, and the
one that has been the focus of my own research in this area, particularly in my book Marxs Ecology. Marx was greatly influenced by the work of the leading agricultural chemist of his time, Justus von

industrialized agriculture, as present in its most

was a robbery system, depleting the soil. Food and fiber were transported hundreds
even in some cases thousandsof miles from the country to the city. This meant that essential soil nutrients,
such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, were transported as well. Rather than being returned to the soil
these essential nutrients ended up polluting the cities , for example, in the degradation of the Thames in London. The natural conditions for
the reproduction of the soil were thus destroyed. To compensate for the resulting decline in soil fertility the British raided the Napoleonic battlefields and the
Liebig. Liebig had developed an analysis of the ecological contradictions of industrialized capitalist agriculture. He argued that such
developed form in England in the nineteenth century,

catacombs of Europe for bones with which to fertilize the soil of the English countryside. They also resorted to the importation of guano on a vast scale from the islands off the coast of Peru, followed by the
importation of Chilean nitrates (after the War of the Pacific in which Chile seized parts of Peru and Bolivia rich in guano and nitrates). The United States sent out ships throughout the oceans searching for
guano, and ended up seizing ninety-four islands, rocks, and keys between the passage of the 1856 Guano Islands Act and 1903, sixty-six of which were officially recognized as U.S. appurtenances and nine
of which remain U.S. possessions today.15 This reflected a great crisis of capitalist agriculture in the nineteenth century that was only solved in part with the development of synthetic fertilizer nitrogen early
in the twentieth centuryand which led eventually to the overuse of fertilizer nitrogen, itself a major environmental problem. In reflecting on this crisis of capitalist agriculture, Marx adopted the concept of
metabolism, which had been introduced by nineteenth-century biologists and chemists, including Liebig, and applied it to socio-ecological relations.

processes between organisms and their environment.

All life is based on metabolic

Organisms carry out an exchange of energy and matter with their environment, which are integrated with

Marx explicitly defined the labor process as the

metabolic interaction between man and nature. In terms of the ecological problem he spoke of an irreparable
rift in the interdependent process of social metabolism, whereby the conditions for the necessary reproduction
of the soil were continually severed, breaking the metabolic cycle. Capitalist production, he wrote, therefore
only develops the techniques and the degree of combination of the social process of production by
simultaneously undermining the original sources of all wealththe soil and the worker. Marx saw this rift not
simply in national terms but as related to imperialism as well. England, he wrote, has indirectly exported the
soil of Ireland, without even allowing its cultivators the means for replacing the constituents of the exhausted soil. This principle of metabolic rift obviously has a very wide application and has
their own internal life processes. It is not a stretch to think of the nest of a bird as part of the birds metabolic process.

in fact been applied by environmental sociologists in recent years to problems such as global warming and the ecological degradation of the worlds oceans.16 What is seldom recognized, however, is that

Marx went immediately from a conception of the metabolic rift to the necessity of metabolic restoration, arguing
that by destroying the circumstances surrounding that metabolism, which originated in a merely natural and
spontaneous fashion, it [capitalist production] compels its systematic restoration as a regulative law of social
reproduction. The reality of the metabolic rift pointed to the necessity of the restoration of nature, through
sustainable production. It is this dialectical understanding of the socio-ecological problem that led Marx to what is perhaps the most radical conception of socio-ecological sustainability
ever developed. Thus he wrote in Capital: From the standpoint of a higher socio-economic formation, the private property of
individuals in the earth will appear just as absurd as the private property of one man in other men. Even an
entire society, a nation, or all simultaneously existing societies taken together, are not owners of the earth. They
are simply its possessors, its beneficiaries, and have to bequeath it in an improved state to succeeding
generations, as boni patres familias [good heads of the household]. For Marx, in other words, the present relation of human beings to the
earth under private accumulation could be compared to slavery. Just as private property of one man in other
men is no longer deemed acceptable, so private ownership of the earth/nature by human beings (even whole
countries) must be transcended. The human relation to nature must be regulated so to guarantee its existence in an improved state to succeeding generations. His reference to the

Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

notion of good heads of the household hearkened back to the ancient Greek notion of household or oikos from which we get both economy (from oikonomia, or household management) and ecology
(from oikologia or household study). Marx pointed to the necessity of a more radical, sustainable relation of human beings to production in accord with what we would now view as ecological rather than
merely economic notions. Freedom, in this sphere, the realm of natural necessity, he insisted, can consist only in this, that socialized man, the associated producers, govern the human metabolism with

The destructive uncontrollability of

capitalism, emanating from its dual character as a system of class/imperial exploitation and of enslaver/destroyer
of the earth itself, was thus well understood by Marx . With regard to the film, Burn!, we saw how the exploitation of human beings was tied to the destruction of
the earth. Relations of domination changed but the answer remained the same: to burn the island as a means of winning the class/imperial war. Today a few hundred people taken
together own more wealth than the income of billions of the worlds population. To maintain this system of
global inequality a global system of repression has been developed and is constantly put in motion. And along
with it vast new systems of destructive exploitation of the earth, such as modern agribusiness, have evolved. Social
nature in a rational way, bringing it under their collective control...accomplishing it with the least expenditure of energy.17

Revolution and Metabolic Restoration Pontecorvos film Burn! about revolution in the Caribbean reaches its climax in the year 1848, a revolutionary year in real-world history. In 1848 Marx famously
observed in his speech on free trade: You believe perhaps, gentlemen, that the production of coffee and sugar is the natural destiny of the West Indies. Two centuries ago, nature, which does not trouble

Much of what we take as natural is the product of capitalism.

Indeed, we are brought up believing that capitalist market relations are more natural, more incontrovertible, than
anything within nature. It is this way of thinking that we have to break with if we are to restore our relation to
the earth: if we are to invert the metabolic rift. The only answer to the ecology of destruction of capitalism is
to revolutionize our productive relations in ways that allow for a metabolic restoration. But this will require a
break with capitalisms own system of socio-metabolic reproduction, i.e. the logic of profit .19 What such a
revolutionary break with todays business as usual offers is of course no guarantee but the mere possibility of
social and ecological transformation through the creation of a sustainable, egalitarian (and socialist) society.
Lovelocks revenge of Gaiawhat Frederick Engels, in the nineteenth century called the revenge of nature , now writ large on a planetary scale will not be
automatically overcome simply through a rupture with the logic of the existing system. 20 Yet, such a rupture
remains the necessary first step in any rational attempt to save and advance human civilization. Burn is no longer
herself about commerce, had planted neither sugar cane nor coffee trees there.18

an island; it stands for the entire world, which is heating up before our eyes. At the end of Pontecorvos film Jos Dolores is killed, but his revolutionary spirit lives on. The strategy of destroying nature to

Today Latin America is reawakening to the revolutionary spirit of Bolivar and

Chea spirit that has never perished. But we now knowwhat was seldom understood beforethat a revolutionary transformation of
society must also be a revolutionary restoration of our metabolic relation to nature: equality and sustainability
must coevolve if either is to emerge triumphant. And if we are to survive.
enslave humanity, we are led to believe, will not work forever.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Kritik Turns the Case Environment

The affirmatives attempt to solve the environmental crisis within the terms of neo-liberal
capitalism is a treatment of the symptom with the condition that causes it. Modern sociopolitical arrangements are themselves the cause of the ecodisaster, only an alternative
which radically alters these can avert catastrophe.
Swyngedouw, Dept of Geography, School of Environment and Development, Manchester University, 2006.
[Eirk, Impossible Sustainability and the Post-Political Condition, Forthcoming in: David Gibbs and Rob
Krueger (Eds.) Sustainable Development,]
This post-political frame is of course politically correlative to the theoretical argument, advanced most coherently by
sociologists like Ulrich Beck or Anthony Giddens. They argue that adversarial politics organised around collective
identities that were shaped by the internal relations of class-based capitalism are replaced by an increasingly individualised,
fragmented, reflexive series of social conditions. For Beck, for example, simple modernization ultimately situates the
motor of social change in categories of instrumental rationality (reflection), reflexive modernization conceptualizes the
motive power of social change in categories of the side-effect (reflexivity). Things at first unseen and unreflected, but externalized, add up to
structural rupture that separates industrial from new modernities in the present and the future (Beck 1997: 38). From this perspective, the distinction between danger

transition from
danger to risk can be related to the process of the weakening of the state. In risk society what is missing is an authority
that can symbolise what goes wrong. Risk is, in other words, the danger that cannot be symbolised (Diken and Laustsen
(2004: 11; see also iek 1999b: 322-347); that what has no name. Politicisation, then, is to make things enter the
parliament of politics (see Latour, 2004), but the post-democratic condition does so in a consensual conversation in tune
with the post-political evacuation of real antagonism. The environmental apocalypse in the making puts the state on the spot
(cfr. BSE, avian flue, climate change), yet exposes the impotence of the state to solve or divert the risk, and undermines
the citizens sense of security guaranteed by the state. It is these side-effects identified by Ulrich Beck (such as, for
example, the accumulation of CO2) that are becoming the key arenas around which political configuration and action
crystallise, and of course, (global) environmental problems are the classic example of such effects, unwittingly produced by
modernization itself, but now requiring second reflexive modernization to deal with. The old left/right collective politics
that were allegedly generated from within the social relations that constituted modernity are no longer, if they ever were,
valid or performative. This, of course, also means that the traditional theatres of politics (state, parliament, parties, etc)
are not any longer the exclusive terrain of the political: the political constellation of industrial society is becoming
unpolitical, while what was unpolitical in industrialism is becoming politicals (Beck, 1994: 18). It is exactly the sideeffects (the risks) of modernising globalisation that need management, that require politicization. A new form of politics
(what Rancire, iek, and Mouffe exactly define as post-politics) thus arises, what Beck calls sub-politics:
(characteristic of pre-modern and modern societies) and risk (the central aspect of late modern risk society) refers to technological change. However, the

Sub-politics is distinguished from politics in that (a) agents outside the political or corporatist system are allowed also to appear on the stage of social design (this group
includes professional and occupational groups, the technical intelligentsia in companies, research institutions and management, skilled workers, citizens initiatives, the public
sphere and so on), and (b) not only social and collective agents but individuals as well compete with the latter and each other for the emerging power to shape politics (Beck,
1994: 22). Chantal Mouffe (2005: 40-41) summarizes Becks prophetic vision of a new democracy as follows: In

a risk society, which has become

aware of the possibility of an ecological crisis, a series of issues which were previously considered of a private
character, such as those concerning the lifestyle and diet, have left the realm of the intimate and the private and
have become politicized. The relation of the individual to nature is typical of this transformation since it is now
inescapably interconnected with a multiplicity of global forces from which it is impossible to escape. Moreover,
technological progress and scientific development in the field of medicine and genetic engineering are now
forcing people to make decisions in the field of body politics hitherto unimaginable. . What is needed is the
creation of forums where a consensus could be built between the experts, the politicians, the industrialists and
citizens on ways of establishing possible forms of co-operation among them. This would require the
transformation of expert systems into democratic public spheres. This post-political constitution, which we have

Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

new forms of autocratic governance-beyond-the-state (Swyngedouw 2005), reconfigures the act of
governing to a stakeholder based arrangement of governance in which the traditional state forms (national, regional,
or local government) partakes together with experts, NGOs, and other responsible partners (see Crouch, 2004).
Not only is the political arena evacuated from radical dissent, critique, and fundamental conflict, but the
parameters of democratic governing itself are being shifted, announcing new forms of governmentality, in which
traditional disciplinary society is transfigured into a society of control through disembedded networks (like the Kyoto
elsewhere defined as

Protocol; the Dublin Statement, the Rio Summit, etc.). These new global forms of governance are expressive of the post-political configuration (Mouffe, 2005: 103):
Governance entails an explicit reference to mechanisms or organized and coordinated activities appropriate to the solution of some specific problems. Unlike government,
governance refers to policies rather than politics because it is not a binding decision-making structure. Its recipients are not the people as collective political subject, but the
population that can be affected by global issues such as the environment, migration, or the use of natural resources (Urbinati, 2003: 80).


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Kritik Takes-Out Solvency -- Terrorism

Terrorism is inevitable under capitalismthe expansion imperative makes hegemonic force
necessary, which causes terrorist backlash
Boggs, Professor of Social Science at National University, 2002 [Carl, Democracy and Nature 8.2]
11 September 2001, destined to strongly influence world politics well into the 21st century, can be understood as
part of a larger dialectic linking US militarism and what has become global terrorism. This destructive cycle is
likely to deepen as elements of American superpower hegemonyeconomic, political, cultural and military become more
consolidated, and as the USA continues to pursue its unprecedented and ill-defined war against terrorism. The
goal of US ruling elites is to make the world increasingly accessible to capital investment, free trade and
corporate domination while simultaneously closing off viable alternatives to the neoliberal New World
Order. Here terrorism in its different manifestations amounts to both a striking back at US empirewhat
might be seen as an especially virulent form of blowback and the unintended relegitimation of this empire as
it helps to bolster the war economy and security state. One of the debilitating consequences of the militarism
terrorism cycle is a further closing off of political discourse in the US in the midst of a resurgent national chauvinism, ideological
conformism and militarised culture. [BOGGS CONTINUES As the war against terrorism continues, therefore, the
arrogance of US superpower unilateralism is destined to aggravate the existing Hobbesian global state of nature
in which violence, chaos, fear and despair rule as daily features of social life around the world, particularly in
the great mega-cities emanating from globalisation. Such a fragile state of nature means that ethical principles
no longer apply, that political and legal methods of solving the spread of both militarism and terrorism will be checkmated in an
atmosphere of mounting conflict, disorder and mutual blowback. Under these circumstances, globalisation could readily turn
into a nightmarish reality of worldwide civic crisis, social polarisation and local wars where progressive
outcomesassuming lack of a countervailing power to empirewill be more and more difficult to imagine.
The terrorist attacks of


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

*** Alternative Debate ***


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Alternative -- Reject Capitalism

Movements fail only a rejection of capitalism solves
World Congress of the Fourth International, ECOLOGY AND SOCIALISM, 2003, p. (DRGOC/E288)
Contrary to the prevailing currents in the workers movement, which have tended to ignore or downplay
environmental issues, ecological movements and Green parties can be credited with putting these decisive
questions on the agenda. However, the solutions they put forth are often ultimately false ones, as they overlook
the inherent link between environmental destruction and the profit logic of capitalism. To seriously deal with
ecological dangers, we must break out of the framework created by the profit motive, within the perspective of a
democratically planned socialist society.

Movements fail only a rejection of capitalism solves

David Korten, President of the People-Centered Development Forum, BEYOND THE GLOBAL SUICIDE
ECONOMY, June 22, 2002, p. (DRGOC/E289)
The first step is to get clear that transformational change is not going to come from within the institutions of the
suicide economy. The suicide economy is what organizational consultant Margaret Wheatley calls an emergent
system. No one planned it. Those responsible for corporate interests grew it into being in their day-to-day effort
to increase profits and market share. Step-by-step over a period spanning hundreds of years they reshaped the
politics, the legal system, and the culture of humanity to create the interlocking system of interests, laws, and
mutual obligations that make the suicide economy virtually impossible to transform from within. Those who
promote serious reforms with the suicide economy are almost invariably marginalized or expelled. To change an
emergent system that no longer serves you must displace it by growing a more powerful emergent system.
According to Wheatley: This means that the work of change is to start over, to organize new local efforts,
connect them to each other, and know that their values and practices can emerge as something even stronger.
The key to transformational change is to create cultural, economic, political, and even spiritual spaces in which
to explore new ways of being with one another toward the emergence of new cultures and institutions. This is
why the existence of millions of living enterprises is so important. Presently most exist at the fringes of and
dependent on the institutions of the suicide economy. The possibility remains, however, for them to gradually
walk away from the institutions of the suicide economy and begin to growing webs of relationships among
themselves to bring into being newly emerging living economies. The greater the number of members and links
in the web the greater the life energy that participating enterprises may potentially attract and recycle within the
living economy, thus increasing the strength and viability of both the web and its individual members.
Community members can be encouraged to give preference to local living enterprises in their shopping choices,
and eventually in their employment and investment choices.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Alternative -- Attack The Foundations Of Capitalism

The foundation s of capitalism must be attacked
World Congress of the Fourth International, ECOLOGY AND SOCIALISM, 2003, p. (DRGOC/E290)
Anyone wishing to protect the ecological balance must attack the vary basis of capitalism. Capitalism cares
nothing about pollution, exploiting resources with the single objective of short-term gain even if this threatens
the very existence of tropical forests, a treasure house of animal and plant species, or marine life.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Alternative -- Individual Change Key

Government-led initiatives fail, real change is up to individuals
Doug Pemberton, oceans author, DIVER MAGAZINE, September 1996, p. (DRGOC/E295)
Discussion inevitably led to governments, their responsibilities and what they are doing about the problems in
the marine environment. Fishing is a multi-billion dollar a year industry worldwide and forms the economic
base for many smaller countries, but it is also an activity that has its roots embedded deep in national pride,
culture and tradition. When governments become involved with trying to solve the problems associated with
harvesting marine resources, laws are created that interfere with traditions and the result is turmoil. At present
there are some 30 federal, provincial, municipal and aboriginal agencies set up to deal with ocean issues along
Canada's coasts. The resulting bureaucracy, in many cases, leads to fragmentation, duplication and a lack of
coordination in decision making.

Local action is needed to challenge global capitalism

Brian Martin, Sociologist, 2001 (NONVIOLENCE VERSUS CAPITALISM, (PDOCSS2283)
As corporate globalization proceeds, the need for globalization of opposition increases, but this inevitably
involves action in local situations. Campaigns against the MAI and against corporate control over life forms are
two examples of campaigns that can be described as both global and local. Trade agreements and patents on life
forms have global implications and the proponents of these initiatives plan on a global scale. Therefore
opponents need to operate globally as well. This includes targeting international forums, coordinating actions in
different parts of the world and trying to meld together participants from a range of countries and constituencies.
To achieve this, a local dimension is vital. The impacts of corporate globalization are felt most acutely in local
communities, and it is in such communities that global campaigns must be built. Without local participation and
initiative, campaigners operating at the level of international meetings and media can easily lose touch with
grassroots concerns and become more susceptible to cooption.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Alternative -- Individual Change Key

Anti-capitalist movements can be the locus points to bring together diverse struggles
The starting point of any account of the new anti-capitalism has to be the Seattle demonstration. There is no
need to describe here the demonstration. This has been done well already in this journal and elsewhere. Suffice
to say that Seattle was the result of the coming together of a whole number of previously disparate groups of
people. Each began to understand that gatherings like that of the World Trade Organisation represented a threat
to the things in which they believed. Luis Hernandez Navarro, a journalist on the radical Mexican daily La
Jornada, describes those present: "Ecologists, farmers from the First World, unionists, gay rights activists, NGOs
supporting development, feminists, punks, human rights activists, representatives of indigenous peoples, the
young and not so young, people from the United States, Canada, Europe, Latin America and Asia". What united
them, he says, was rejection of "the slogan `All power to the transnational corporations!' present on the free
trade agenda".

Local action will challenge imperialism

Charlie Post, Charlie Post teaches sociology in New York City, is active in rank and file organizing in the
American Federation of Teachers and is a member of Solidarity, a US socialist organization.,2002 (REVIEW OF
In this world, all those who are subject to the vicissitudes of capitalist production and reproduction-whether they
labor collectively in workplaces under the command of capital or are excluded from social production through
unemployment, forced migration and the like-are equally part of a new revolutionary subject. According to
Hardt and Negri 'the multitude has internalized the lack of place and fixed time; it is mobile and flexible, and it
conceives the future only as a totality of possibilities that branch out in every direction.' (p. 380) Almost any act
of 'negativity' - the refusal to work, migration from one part of the world to another, confrontations with the
police, strike action - are equally powerful forms of resistance because 'the construction of Empire, and the
globalization of economic and cultural relationships, means that the virtual center of Empire can be attacked
from any point.' (p. 59)


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Alternative -- Individual Change Key

Local struggles are key to solvency
Louis Proyect, 2001 (HARDT AND NEGRI'S EMPIRE,
Although their prose, as is universally the case, hovers ethereally above real people and real events, it is not too
hard to figure out what they are referring to. They obviously have in mind struggles involving the Mayan people
of Chiapas or, before them, the Mayans of Guatemala who looked to Rigoberta Menchu for inspiration and
guidance. Don't Hardt and Negri have a point? Isn't it self-defeating to rally people around 'primordial' texts like
the Popul Vuh, the Mayan sacred text that figures heavily in "I, Rigoberta Menchu." Wouldn't such people be
better off assimilating themselves as rapidly as possible into a global network of political and social relations on
the basis of what they have in common, rather than what distinguishes them? In reality, local struggles have
exactly that dynamic. A study of Menchu's career would verify that. Starting out as a simple Mayan peasant with
a desire to defend local communal lands against the onslaughts of agri-business and the Guatemalan army and
death squads, she transformed herself into a global figure connected to indigenous movements everywhere as
well as somebody committed to progressive social transformation. Sadly, what Hardt and Negri miss entirely is
how socialist consciousness is formed. It is not on the basis of abstract socialist propaganda but rather the
dialectical interaction between experiences based on local struggles, either at the plant-gate or the rural farming
village, and ideas transmitted to fighters by Marxist activists, the "vanguard" in Lenin's terms. The construction
of such a vanguard remains as urgent a task as it was in Lenin's days, a period not unlike our own which faced
thinkers not unlike Hardt and Negri.

Hardt and negri underestimate new, local social movements

Ronald Muck, 2000 (REVIEW OF EMPIRE, (PDOCSS2305)
Even so, I found the analysis of the new global working class somewhat disappointing and dated, seemingly
based on Negri's famous 1970s theorizing of the "mass worker" typical of the Fordist/Taylorist epoch and
characterized by their refusal of work. The new Post Fordist "social worker" seems rather under-theorized and
there is very little concrete in formation on the changing nature of work world-wide. The issue of labor
struggles' "incommunicability" is a serious and interesting one though. The conclusion reached -- that these
struggles "blocked from travelling horizontally in the form of a cycle, are forced instead to leap vertically and
touch immediately on the global level" (p. 55) -- is suggestive if somewhat underdeveloped. The social
movement of labor -- with other "new" social movements -- must be a key actor in the democratic movement to
central globalization.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Alternative: Individual Change Key

Local struggles are critically important
Particular struggles against particular effects of the system are of immense importance. They can delay the
advance of the capitalist juggernaut, occasionally even halt it in its tracks. They can make life a little more
bearable for at least some of those who toil within the system. But their real importance is in adding to the
momentum of the wider movement against the system, of encouraging people everywhere under its embrace to
fight against it.

Seattle is a model
For many activists at Seattle the way forward was still seen as one of putting pressure on existing governments.
So William Greider puts a lot of emphasis on legal reforms to make multinationals more accountable, and argues
for "reform legislation, both at state and national level".

There is the possibility of international solidarity against capitalism

JOHN BELLAMY FOSTER most recent books include Marx's Ecology: Materialism and Nature (2000) and
Ecology Against Capitalism (2002), both are available from Monthly Review Press, 2002 (MONTHLY
REVIEW, September, (PDOCSS2308)
Yet, this is no longer either the nineteenth or the twentieth century. The old methods of oppression are no longer
as effective. The great danger to the present constellation of power is that there is a growing material basis on
which to ground movements of international solidarity, and that this will strike global capital at its weakest
point-its tendency to generate a world proletariat.

Activists should side-step the state

The clear difficulty of convincing governments leads many activists to talk in terms of side-stepping the state
and the multinationals by "going local". Susan George tells how: Myriad activities are taking place at a local
level as people fight here a toxic waste dump, there an intrusive, unnecessary highway, elsewhere a plant
closing. Some of these initiatives can be linked, for example, through the promising Sustainable and Self Reliant
Communities Movement.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Alternative -- Individual Change Key

Most production still takes place locally
Charlie Post, Charlie Post teaches sociology in New York City, is active in rank and file organizing in the
American Federation of Teachers and is a member of Solidarity, a US socialist organization.,2002 (REVIEW OF
Given the continued dominance of industrial investment, even the largest transnational corporations are not
'foot-loose and fancy free' - moving from place to place in search of the lowest labor costs. The global capitalist
economy is not a 'smooth' - evenly developed - space. The vast majority of global production and consumption
still takes place within the boundaries of the advanced capitalist nation states. Consider the following statistics:
The 'third world' produces approximately 20% of global output (mostly clothing, shoes, and common consumer
goods - not complex consumer appliances, industrial machinery and technology). 80% of global manufacturing
output is still produced in the US, Western Europe and Japan. Foreign direct investment constitutes only 5% of
total world investment - 95% of total capitalist investment takes place in the boundaries of the industrialized
countries. Of the 5% of total global investment that is foreign direct investment, 72% flows from one
industrialized country to another. Only 2% of total global investment flows from the 'north' to the 'south' of the
world economy. 75% of foreign direct investment, especially the investment in Africa, Asia and Latin America
takes the form of buying existing plant and equipment - the form of mergers and acquisitions of existing
privately owned companies, or the purchase of recently privatized public enterprises (telecommunications, oil,
etc.) Only 25% of foreign direct investment takes the form of building new plants overseas.

Protests have worked in ecuador

The first half of 2000 has seen the temporary overthrow of the Ecuadorian government by a surge of protests
from workers and indigenous peoples, general strikes in Argentina, South Africa and Nigeria, huge landless
protests in Brazil, riots over fare rises in Guatemala, a public sector strike in Norway and the threat of one in
Germany. These have been as much a reaction to the dynamics of global capitalism as were the street protests in
London, Seattle, Washington and elsewhere.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Alternative Criticism Solves Climate Change

Criticizing capitalism necessary to solve climate change
Larry Lohman, Corner House Research, 2006, Carbon Trading: A Critical Conversion on Climate Change,
Privatisation, and Power,
Many people of strong environmentalist convictions and democratic spirit genuinely believe that if the earths carboncycling capacity is to be respected and preserved, it is inevitable that it be treated as a commodity. Given the logic of
capitalism, says Peter Barnes, one thoughtful US environmentalist and egalitarian, treating carboncycling capacity as a
scarce resource and an asset to be marketed is the best way to save it. Not, Barnes hastens to add, that the sky has no
value other than its exchange value . If anything we know can be called sacred, the sky is such a thing . It has
incalculable intrinsic value. Yet, at the same time, he argues: [W]e need to communicate with markets because markets
determine how resources are used. All our preachings and sermons will be for naught if we dont inscribe them on tablets
that markets can understand [The market] is a great system for managing scarcity If you ask a market to determine
price of a thing someone owns, it will do so quickly and efficiently. Transactions will then follow [The price] is not the
equivalent of the intrinsic value, nor an editorial comment on it. Its merely a proxy, a useful numerical substitute. And its a
much better proxy than the one markets currently use namely, zero . To achieve the ends of Chief Seattle, we must use
the means of Dow Chemical. The world has come to that, and its sad. But selling the sky is not an end in itself. Its a
means for achieving a higher end the preservation of our planet.461 This chapter has provided concrete materials to help
show that this appealing argument which today is encountered in politics, in international development, in the UN, in
think tanks, in the academy and in environmentalist circles is both invalid and unsound. That is, it has helped show both
that its conclusion does not follow from its premises, and that the premises themselves are mistaken. The argument is
invalid because even if the premise that the logic of capitalism necessitates or encourages pollution markets were true, it
would not follow that carbon trading is a sensible regime for addressing global warming. By the same token, while it is true
that some markets do partly determine how some resources are used in some circumstances, and that having a zero price
does result in the lessons unlearned 199 inadequate valuation of some resources in certain limited contexts, it doesnt follow
that a trading system of the type currently being set up is capable of improving the scarcity management of the earths
carbon dump in a way that could foster a liveable climate. Price is not a useful numerical substitute, in any context, either
for the intrinsic value of carbon-cycling capacity (whatever that might be) or its survival value. To suggest that it could be
reveals fundamental misunderstandings of climate, scientifi c as well as social, economic and political. The purported
carbon commodity is diff erent from established commodities such as wheat or silver. For governments to take it upon
themselves to make it an economically scarce good is not encouraging, but rather hampering, practices that could increase
the chances of a liveable climate in the future. The price assigned by carbon markets in the course of managing that
scarcity, accordingly, and the resulting incentives and transactions, are moving the world away from that goal rather than
toward it. This is particularly so in view of the facts that the market management of this scarcity involves providing
extensive property rights to corporations, is biased mainly toward short-term cost reductions for industry, and involves a
commodity that is an incoherent amalgam consisting both of emissions and of credits generated by carbon projects. The
argument is also unsound in that its premises are false. In truth, markets do not, in most circumstances around the world,
determine how resources are used, in any sense in which markets can be distinguished from, or do not depend on,
commons regimes, state agencies and other social organisations that dont revolve around the price mechanism. To put this
another way, it is empirically false that no market price entails less responsible stewardship than a positive price. Only if,
per impossibile, commodifi cation somehow became all-pervasive, and the price mechanism the sole and all-powerful
coordinating mechanism for all transactions involving land, water, life and so forth, could this assertion even become
possible to evaluate. Carbon trading, in addition, is no more congenial to anything that might be called the logic of
capitalism than a multitude of other types of regulation, taxation, planning and stewardship that private corporations
themselves have always depended on and in this case, given the increasingly obvious contradictions of carbon trading,
may wind up preferring. As in so many areas of contemporary social life, a vague ideology of market eff ectiveness and
market inevitability is concealing a regressive, confused, contested and environmentally dangerous political and technical
project. The ideology and the project both badly need to be opened to wider public criticism.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

*** Alternative Debate ***


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

General Alternative Solvency

Voting negative is the radical act which creates the possibility of the future.
Zizek, 2008 (Slavoj, In Defense of Lost Causes, pp.452-461)
What is to be done? What triggers this terror is the awareness of how we are in the midst of a radical change.
Although individual acts can, in a direct short-circuit of levels, affect the "higher"-level social constellation, the
way they affect it is unpredictable. The constellation is properly frustrating: although we (individual or
collective agents) know that it all depends on us, we cannot ever predict the consequences of our acts we are
not impotent, but, quite the contrary, omnipotent, without being able to determine the scope of our powers. The
gap between causes and effects is irreducible, and there is no "big Other" to guarantee the harmony between the
levels, to guarantee that the overall outcome of our interactions will be satisfactory. The deadlock is here deeper
than it may appear (as has been repeatedly developed by Dupuy^'): the problem is that the big Other continues
to function, in the guise of "second nature," of the minimally "reified" social system which is perceived as an Initself. Each individual perceives the market as an objective system confronting her, although there is no
"objective" market, just the interaction of the multitude of individuals ^ so that, although each individual
knows this very well, the specter of the "objective" market is this same individual's fact-of-experience,
determining her beliefs and acts. Not only the market, but our entire social life is determined by such reified
mechanisms. Scientists and technologists who keep scientific-technological progress alive with their incessant
activity, nonetheless experience this Progress as an objective constraint that determines and runs their lives: this
constraint is perceived as "systemic," no one is personally responsible for it, everyone just feels the need to
adapt themselves to it. And the same goes for capitalism as such: no one is responsible, all are caught in the
objectivized urge to compete and profit, to keep the circulation of capital flowing. Prosopopoeia is usually
perceived as a mystification to which naive consciousness is prone, that is, as something to be "demystified." At
the beginning of Monteverdi's Orfeo, the goddess of music introduces herself with the words "lo sono la
musica . . ." is this not something which soon afterwards, when "psychological" subjects had invaded the
stage, became unthinkable, or, rather, unrepresentable? It is therefore all the more surprising to see "objective"
social scientists practicing the "primitive " art of prosopopoeiaDupuy underlines how sociologists interpret
electoral results; say, when the government retains its majority, but only barely so, the result is read as "the
voters prolonged their trust into the government, but with a warning that it should do its work better," as if the
electoral result was the outcome of the decision of a single meta-Subject ("the voters") who wanted to deliver a
"message" to those in power. And although Hegel is often dismissed as the very model of idealist prosopopoeia
(the Spirit talks through us, finite mortals, or, in the inversion of the "materialist critique" of Hegel, we, mortal
humans, project/transpose the results of our activity into autonomous Spirit . . .), Hegel's notion of "objective
Spirit" precisely undermined such prosopopoeian mystification: "objective Spirit" is not a meta-subject who
runs history. It is crucial not to confuse Hegel's "objective spirit" with the Diltheyan notion of a life-form, a
concrete historical world, as the "objectivized spirit," the product of a people, its collective genius. The moment
we do this, we miss the point of Hegel's "objective spirit," which is precisely that it is spirit in its objective form,
experienced by Individuals as an external imposition, a constraint eventhere is no collective or spiritual superSubject that would be the author of "objective spirit," whose "objecti- vlzation" this spirit would be. There is, for
Hegel, no collective Subject, no Subject-Spirit beyond and above individual humans. Therein resides the
paradox of "objective spirit ": it is independent of individuals, encountered by them as given, preexisting them,
as the presupposition of their activity, yet it is nonetheless spirit, that is, something that exists only insofar as
individuals relate their activity to it, only as their (pre)-supposition. So what is the problem today? The problem
is that, although our (sometimes even Individual) acts can have catastrophic (ecological and so forth)

Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

consequences, we continue to perceive such consequences as anonymous/systemic, as something for which we
are not responsible, for which there is no clear agent. More preciselyand here we are back to the logic of the
madman who knows that he is not a grain of corn, but is worried that the chickens have not realized this fact
we know we are responsible, but the chicken (the big Other) has not caught on. Or, insofar as knowledge is the
function of the I, and belief the function of the Other, we know the real state of affairs very well, but we do not
believe it the big Other prevents us from believing in it, from assuming this knowledge and responsibility:
"Contrary to what the promoters of the principle of precaution think, the cause of our non-action is not scientific
uncertainty. We know it, but we cannot make ourselves believe in what we know."" Take global warming, as
already noted: with all the data regarding its nature, the problem is not the uncertainty about facts (as those who
caution us against panic claim), but our inability to believe that it can really happen: look through the window,
the green grass and blue sky are still there , life carries on, nature follows its rhythm . . . And therein resides the
horror of the Chernobyl accident: when one visits the site, with the exception of the sarcophagus, things look
exactly the same as before, life seems to have deserted the site, leaving everything the way it was, and
nonetheless we are aware that something is terribly wrong. The change is not at the level of the visible reality
itself; it is more fundamental, it affects the very texture of reality. No wonder that there are some lone farmers
around the Chernobyl site who continue to lead their lives as before they simply ignore all the
incomprehensible talk about radiation. This situation confronts us with the deadlock of the contemporary
"choice society" in its most radical form. In the standard situation of the forced choice I am free to choose on
condition that I make the right choice, so that the only thing left for me to do is the empty gesture of pretending
to accomplish freely what is in any case Imposed on me. Here, on the contrary, the choice really is free and is,
for this very reason, experienced as even more frustrating: we find ourselves constantly in the position of having
to decide about matters that will fundamentally affect our lives, but without a proper foundation in knowledge:
we have been thrown into a time in which everything is provisional. New technologies alter our lives daily. The
traditions of the past cannot be retrieved. At the same time we have little idea of what the future will bring. We
are forced to live as if we were free^ It is thus not enough to vary the standard motif of the Marxist critique:
"although we allegedly live in a society of choices, the choices effectively left to us are trivial, and their
proliferation masks the absence of true choices, choices that would affect the basic features of our lives . . ."
While this is true, the problem is rather that we are forced to choose without having at our disposal the
knowledge that would permit an informed choice. Here, perhaps, Dupuy is too quick when he attributes our
disbelief in catastrophe to the impregnation of our minds by scientific ideology, which leads us to dismiss the
sane concerns of our common sense, namely, the gut sense which tells us that something is fundamentally amiss
with the scientistic attitude. The problem, as we have underlined, is much deeper, it resides in the unreliability of
our common sense itself which, habituated as it is to our ordinary life-world, balks at accepting that the flow of
everyday reality can be upset. The problem is thus that we can rely neither on the scientific mind nor on our
common sensethey both reciprocally strengthen the myopia of the other. The scientific mind advocates a cold
objective appraisal of dangers and risks involved where no such appraisal is actually possible, while common
sense cannot accept that a catastrophe can really occur . Dupuy refers to the theory of complex systems which
accounts for the two opposite features of such systems: their robust and stable character and their extreme
vulnerability. These systems can accommodate themselves to great disturbances, integrate them and find a new
balance and stabilityup to a certain threshold (a "tipping point"), beyond which a small disturbance can cause
a total disaster and lead to the establishment of a totally different order. For many centuries, humanity did not
have to worry about the impact on the environment of its productive activity nature was able to accommodate
itself to deforestation, to the use of coal and oil, and so on. However, one cannot be sure whether today we are
not approaching a tipping pointone really cannot be sure, since the point at which certainty would be possible
is when it is already too late. We touch here the paradoxical nerve of morality christened "moral luck" by
Bernard Williams.^*' Williams evokes the case of a painter ironically named "Gauguin" who left his wife and

Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

children and moved to Tahiti in order to fully develop his artistic genius^was he morally justified in doing this
or not? Williams's answer is that we can only answer this question in retrospect, after we learn the final outcome
of his risky decision: did he develop into an artistic genius or not? As Dupuy has pointed out, we encounter the
same dilemma apropos the urgency of doing something about the contemporary threat of various ecological
catastrophes: either we take this threat seriously and decide today to do things which, if the catastrophe does not
occur, will appear ridiculous, or we do nothing and lose everything in the case of a catastrophe, the worst choice
being that of a middle position, taking a limited number of measuresin which case, we fail whatever should
happen (that is to say, there is no middle ground when it comes to an ecological catastrophe: either It will occur
or it won't). In such a situation, the talk about anticipation, precaution, and risk control tends to become
meaningless, since we are dealing with what, in the terms of Rumsfeldian epistemology, one should call the
"unknown unknowns": we not only do not know where the tipping point is, we do not even know exactly what
we do not know. The most unsettling aspect of the ecological crisis concerns the so-called "knowledge in the
real " which can run amok; when the winter is too warm, plants and animals misread the hot weather in February
as the signal that spring has already begun and start to behave accordingly, thus not only rendering themselves
vulnerable to late onslaughts of cold weather, but also perturbing the entire rhythm of natural reproduction. In
May 2007, it was reported that a mysterious disease, which is wiping out America's bees, could have a
devastating effect on the country's food supply: about one-third of the human diet comes from insect-pollinated
plants, and the bee is responsible for 80 percent of that pollination; even cattle, which feed on alfalfa, depend on
bees. While not all scientists foresee a food crisis, noting that large-scale bee deaths have happened before, this
one seems particularly baffling and alarming. This is how one should imagine a possible catastrophe: a smalllevel interruption with devastating global consequences. One can learn even more from Rumsfeldian
epistemologythe expression, of course, refers to the well-known incident in March 2003, when Donald
Rumsfeld engaged in a little amateur philosophizing about the relationship between the known and the
unknown: "There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns.
That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are
things we don't know we don't know." What he forgot to add was the crucial fourth term: "unknown knowns, "
things we do not know that we know^which is precisely the Freudian unconscious, the "knowledge which
does not know Itself," as Lacan used to say. If Rumsfeld thought that the main dangers in the confrontation with
Iraq were the "unknown unknowns," the threats from Saddam the nature of which we did not even suspect, what
we should reply is that the main dangers are, on the contrary, the "unknown knowns, " the disavowed beliefs and
suppositions we are not even aware of adhering to ourselves. In the case of ecology, these disavowed beliefs and
suppositions are the ones which prevent us from really believing in the possibility of a disaster , and they
combine with the "unknown unknowns." The situation is like that of the blind spot in our visual field: we do not
see the gap, the picture appears continuous. Our blindness to the results of "systemic evil" is perhaps most
clearly perceptible apropos debates about Communist crimes: there, responsibility is easy to allocate, we are
dealing with subjective evil, with agents who committed them, and we can even identify the ideological sources
(totalitarian Ideology, the Commimiit Manifesto, Rousseau . . .). When one draws attention to the millions who
died as the result of capitalist globalization, from the tragedy of Mexico in the sixteenth century through the
Belgian Congo holocaust a century ago, responsibility is denied: this just happened as the result of an
"objective" process, nobody planned and executed it, there was no Capitalist Manifesto . . . (Ayn Rand came
closest to writing it). And therein also resides the limitation of the "ethical committees" which pop up
everywhere to counteract the dangers of unbridled scientific-technological development: with all their good
intentions, ethical considerations, and so forth, they ignore the more basic "systemic" violence. The fact that the
Belgian king Leopold who presided over the Congolese genocide was a great humanitarian, proclaimed a saint
by the pope, cannot be dismissed as a mere case of ideological hypocrisy and cynicism: one can argue that,
subjectively, he probably really was a sincere humanitarian, even modestly counteracting the catastrophic

Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

consequences of the vast economic project of ruthless exploitation of the natural resources of Congo over which
he presided (Congo was his personal fiefdom!) the ultimate irony is that most of the profits from this
endeavor were directed for the benefit of the Belgian people , for public works, museums, and so on. In the early
seventeenth century, after the establishment of the shogun regime, Japan made a unique collective decision to
isolate itself from foreign culture and to pursue its own path of a contained life of balanced reproduction,
focused on cultural refinement, avoiding any tendencies towards wild expansion. Was the ensuing period which
lasted till the middle of the nineteenth century really just an isolationist dream from which Japan was cruelly
awakened by Commodore Perry on the American warship? What if the dream is that we can go on indefinitely
in our expansionism? What if we all need to repeat, mutatis mutandis, the Japanese decision, and collectively
decide to intervene in our pseudo-natural development, to change its direction? The tragedy is that the very idea
of such a collective decision is discredited today. Apropos the disintegration of state socialism two decades ago,
one should not forget that, at approximately the same time, the ideology of the Western social-democratic
welfare state was also dealt a crucial blow, it also ceased to function as the imaginary able to arouse a collective
passionate commitment. The notion that "the time of the welfare state has past" is today a piece of commonly
accepted wisdom. What these two defeated Ideologies shared is the notion that humanity as a collective subject
has the capacity to somehow limit impersonal and anonymous socio-historical development, to steer it in a
desired direction. Today, such a notion is quickly dismissed as "ideological" and/or "totalitarian": the social
process is once again perceived as dominated by an anonymous Fate beyond social control. The rise of global
capitalism is presented to us as such a Fate, against which one cannot fight one either adapts oneself to it, or
one falls out of step with history and is crushed. The only thing one can do is to make global capitalism as
human as possible, to fight for "global capitalism with a human face" (this is what, ultimately, the Third Way is^
or, rather, wasabout). The sound barrier will have to be broken here, the risk will have to be taken to
endorse once more large collective decisions. If we are effectively to reconceptualize the notion of revolution in
the Benjaminian sense of stopping the "train of history" which runs towards a catastrophe, it is not enough just
to submit the standard notion of historical progress to critical analysis; one should also focus on the limitation of
the ordinary "historical" notion of time: at each moment of time, there are multiple possibilities waiting to be
realized; once one of them actualizes itself, others are canceled . The supreme case of such an agent of historical
time is the Leibnizean God who created the best possible of worlds: before creation. He had in his mind the
entire panoply of possible worlds, and His decision consisted in choosing the best one among these options.
Here, the possibility precedes choice: the choice is a choice among possibilities. What is unthinkable within this
horizon of linear historical evolution is the notion of a choice /act which retroactively opens up its own
possibility: the idea that the emergence of something radically New retroactively changes the past of course,
not the actual past (we are not in science fiction), but the past possibilities, or, to put it in more formal terms, the
value of the modal propositions about the past. Dupuy's point is that, if we are to confront properly the threat of
a (cosmic or environmental) disaster, we need to break out of this "historical" notion of temporality: we have to
introduce a new notion of time. Dupuy calls this time the "time of a project," of a closed circuit between the past
and the future: the future is causally produced by our acts in the past, while the way we act is determined by our
anticipation of the future and our reaction to this anticipation. This, then, is how Dupuy proposes to confront the
forthcoming catastrophe: we should first perceive it as our fate , as unavoidable, and then, projecting ourself into
it, adopting its standpoint, we should retroactively insert into its past (the past of the future) counterfactual
possibilities ("If we had done this and that, the catastrophe we are m now would not have occurred ! ") upon
which we then act today.^^ Therein resides Dupuy's paradoxical formula: we have to accept that, at the level of
possibilities, our future is doomed, that the catastrophe will take place, it is our destiny^ and, then, against the
background of this acceptance, we should mobilize ourselves to perform the act which will change destiny itself
and thereby insert a new possibility into the past. For Badiou, the time of the fidelity to an event is the futur
antrieur: overtaking oneself towards the future, one acts now as if the future one wants to bring about is already

Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

here. The same circular strategy of the futur antrieur is also the only truly effective one in the face of a calamity
(say, of an ecological disaster): instead of saying "the future is still open, we still have the time to act and
prevent the worst," one should accept the catastrophe as inevitable, and then act to retroactively undo what is
already "written in the stars" as our destiny. And is not a supreme case of the reversal of positive into negative
destiny the shift from classical historical materialism into the attitude of Adorno's and Horkheimer's "dialectic of
Enlightenment"? While traditional Marxism enjoined us to engage and act in order to bring about the necessity
(of communism), Adorno and Horkheimer projected themselves into the final catastrophic outcome perceived as
fixed (the advent of the "administered society" of total manipulation and the end of subjectivity) in order to
stimulate us to act against this outcome in our present. And, ironically, does the same not hold for the very
defeat of Communism in 1990? It is easy, from today's perspective, to mock the "pessimists," from the Right to
the Left, from Solzhenitsyn to Castoriadis, who deplored the blindness and compromises of the democratic
West, its lack of ethico-political strength and courage in dealing with the Communist threat, and who predicted
that the Cold War had already been lost by the West, that the Communist bloc had already won, that the collapse
of the West was imminentbut it is precisely their attitude which was the most effective in bringing about the
collapse of Communism. In Dupuy's terms, their very "pessimistic" prediction at the level of possibilities, of
linear historical evolution, mobilized them to counteract it. We should thus ruthlessly abandon the prejudice that
the linear time of evolution is "on our side," that History is "working for us" in the guise of the famous mole
digging under the earth, doing the work of the Cunning of Reason. But how, then, are we to counter the threat of
ecological catastrophe? It is here that we should return to the four moments of what Badiou calls the "eternal
Idea" of revolutionary-egalitarian Justice. What is demanded is:
1. Strict egalitarian justice (all people should pay the same price in eventual renunciations, namely, one should
impose the same worldwide norms of per capita energy consumption, carbon dioxide emissions, and so on; the
developed nations should not be allowed to poison the environment at the present rate, blaming the developing
Third World countries, from Brazil to China, for ruining our shared environment with their rapid development);
2. terror (ruthless punishment of all who violate the imposed protective measures, Inclusive of severe limitations
on liberal "freedoms," technological control of prospective law-breakers);
3. voluntarism (the only way to confront the threat of ecological catastrophe is by means of large-scale
collective decisions which run counter to the "spontaneous" immanent logic of capitalist development);
4. and, last but not least, all this combined with trust in the people (the wager that a large majority of the people
supports these severe measures, sees them as its own, and is ready to participate in their enforcement). One
should not be afraid to assert, as a combination of terror and trust in the people, the reactivation of one of the
figures of all egalitarian-revolutionary terrors, the "Informer" who denounces the culprits to the authorities. (In
the case of the Enron scandal, Time magazine rightly celebrated the Insiders who tipped off the financial
authorities as true public heroes.) Does, then, the ecological challenge not offer a unique chance to reinvent the
"eternal Idea" of egalitarian terror?


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

General Alternative Solvency

Only an abrupt change can Shift life to new pathways away from the risk of extinction which is
being driven by capitalism
Clark and York, Clark is a sociology doctoral student at the University of Oregon and York is an assistant
professor of sociology at the University of Oregon, 2005
Brett and Richard, Sage productions, Dialectical Materialism and Nature: An Alternative to Economism and
Deep Ecology,, accessed 7/11/08, page 332 ).
The dialectical materialist perspective recognizes that the world is one of constant change but not one where anything goes.
Constraints and possibilities remain in the structural conditions of the world. Abrupt, punctuated change can radically shift
life to new pathways or the environment to conditions that present serious challenges to existing life. It is of utmost
importance that nature is understood in terms of itself. Human society is dependent upon the environment and must interact
with it to continually reproduce itself. This interaction involves the transformation of the world. The dialectical materialist
approach highlights how history involves change. But all change and any change is not good. The interaction between
humans and the environment is an enduring struggle to live within a finite world, under emerging conditions. There are
social interactions that threaten to push the polyhedron of the global environment toward states of radical change that
threaten the world we know with global mass extinction. The previous five mass extinctions are not fully understood as far
as what the causes were, but the mass extinction taking place today is being driven by Homo sapiens (Hooper et al., 2005;
Leakey & Lewin, 1996) via an economic system that operates at the global level (Broswimmer, 2002; Eldredge, 1995,
1991). The constant expansion of the capitalist system has pushed environmental degradation to the planetary level, as
habitat destruction decimates the living conditions of species and as ecosystems are radically transformed (Broswimmer,
2002). Human civilization, under capitalism, is engaged in a process of destroying the future, as we suck our sustenance
from the rest of nature in away never before seen in theworld, reducing its bounty as ours grows (Leakey & Lewin, 1996,
p. 233)


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Alternative -- Now Key For Revolution

Now is the key time for the revolution capitalism is a vampire that regenerates must strike it
Joshua Holland is an AlterNet staff writer, 9-22, 8, Why Our Economic System is on the Verge of Collapse,
With the Bush administration pumping more than a trillion dollars into the private sector, Jim Bunning, the
junior senator from Kentucky, lamented that the "free market for all intents and purposes is dead in America."
As more mainstream economists talk about the possibility of sliding into a full-blown depression, we may well
be in the grip of a kind of economic "Grotian Moment." The term, named for the 17th century Dutch legal
philosopher Hugo Grotius, describes an event that has such a great impact that it results in fundamental changes
to the prevailing system. Slavoj Zizek wrote that "One of the clearest lessons of the last few decades is that
capitalism is indestructible. Marx compared it to a vampire, and one of the salient points of comparison now
appears to be that vampires always rise up again after being stabbed to death." That's true; for a generation,
we've been constrained from even discussing the fundamental structures of the prevailing system -- its excesses
and shortfalls. This may be a moment in which we can do so, and should. If we are at such a juncture, then we as
a society have a serious question to answer: Will we bail out the speculator class so that it can regroup and move
on to the next bubble, precipitating the next crisis of capitalism, or will we address the underlying problems of
underdevelopment and overproduction in a way that's adequately sustainable in an era of serious environmental


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Alterantive Role of the Analyst

The alternative is to adopt the role of the analystInstead of asking what the negative should do instead, you should
limit your decision to what the affirmative should do differently. Voting negative is not a matter of saying
yes or no to the affirmatives plan, but a matter of analyzing the psychological investment that the
affirmative has in the politics of the status quo, and their attendent structures of exclusion and
depoliticization. Only by analyzing these structures do we clear the way for authentic political acts that can
trans form the entire ideological system
iek, Senior Researcher at the Institute for Social Science (University of Ljubljana), 2000 [Slavoj, Contingency,
Hegemony, Universality, p. 124-127]
Now I can also answer the obvious counter-argument to this Lacanian notion of the act: if we define an act solely by the fact that its sudden emergence surprises/transforms its agent itself and,

Did Hitler not do the impossible', changing

the entire field of what was considered `acceptable' in the liberal democratic universe? Did not a respectable middle-class petit
simultaneously, that it retroactively changes its conditions of (im)possibility, is not Nazism, then, an act par excellence?

bourgeois who, as a guard in a concentration camp, tortured Jews, also, accomplish what was considered impossible, in his previous decent existence and acknowledge his passionate attachment to

It is here that the notion of traversing the fantasy, and - on a different level - of transforming the
constellation that generates social symptoms becomes crucial. An authentic act disturbs the underlying fantasy,
attacking it from the point of `social symptom' (let us recall that Lacan attributed the invention of the notion of symptom to Marx!). The so-called
`Nazi revolution', with its disavowal/displacement of the fundamental social antagonism ('class struggle' that divides the social
edifice from within) - with its projection/externalization of the cause of social antagonisms into the figure of the Jew, and the consequent
reassertion of the corporatist notion of society as an organic Whole - clearly avoids confrontation with social.
antagonism; the Nazi revolution is the exemplary case of a pseudo-change, of a frenetic activity in the course
of which many things did change something was going on al1 the time - so that, precisely, something.- that
which really matters - would not change; so that things would fundamentally 'remain the same' In short, an
authentic act is not simply external with regard to the hegemonic symbolic field disturbed by it: an act is an act
only with regard to some symbolic field, as intervention into it. That is to say: a symbolic field is always and by definition in itself 'decentred', structured
sadistic torture?

around a central void/impossibility (a personal life-narrative, say, is a bricolage of ultimately failed attempts to come to terms with some trauma; a social edifice is an ultimately failed attempt to

an act disturbs the symbolic field into which it intervenes not out of nowhere, but
precisely from the standpoint of this inherent impossibility, stumbling block, which is its hidden, disavowed
structuring principle. In contrast to this authentic act which intervenes in the constitutive void, point of failure or what Alain Badiou has called the 'symptomal torsion of a given constellation - the inauthentic act legitimizes
itself through reference to the point of substantial fullness of a given contellation (on the political terrain: Race, True Religion, Nation...):
it aims precisely at obliterating the last traces of the 'symptomal torsion' which disturbs the balance of that
constellation. One palpable political consequence of this notion of the act that has to intervene at the `symptomal torsion' of the structure (and also a proof that our position does not involve
displace/obfuscate its constitutive antagonism); and

`economic essentialism') is that in each concrete constellation there is one touchv nodal point of contention which decides where one 'truly stands'. For example, in the recent struggle of the so-called
`democratic opposition' in Serbia against the Milosevic regime, the truly touchy topic is the stance towards the Albanian majority in Kosovo: the great majority of the `democratic opposition' unconditionally
endorse Milosevics anti-Albanian nationalist agenda, even accusing him of making compromises with the West and `betraying' Serb national interests in Kosovo. In the course of the student demonstrations
against Milosevic's Socialist Party falsification of the election results in the winter of 1996, the Western media which closely followed events, and praised the revived democratic spirit in Serbia, rarely
mentioned the fact that one of the demonstrators' regular slogans against the special police was `Instead of kicking us, go to Kosovo and kick out the Albanians!'. So - and this is my point - it is theoretically
as well as politically wrong to claim that, in today's Serbia, 'anti-Albanian nationalism' is simply one among the `floating signifiers' that can be appropriated either by Milosevic's power bloc or by the
opposition: the moment one endorses it, no matter how much one 'reinscribes it into the democratic chain of equivalences', one already accepts the terrain as defined by Milosevic, one - as it were - is already
`playing his game'. In today's Serbia, the absolute sine qua non of an authentic political act would thus be to reject absolutely the ideologico-political topos of the Albanian threat in Kosovo.

Psychoanalysis is aware of a whole series of `false acts': psychotic-paranoiac violent passage a l'acte, hysterical
acting out, obsessional self-hindering, perverse self-instrumentalization all these acts are not simply wrong
according to some external standards, they are immanently wrong since they can be properly grasped only as
reactions to some disavowed trauma that they displace , repress, and so on. What we are tempted to say is that the Nazi
anti-Semitic violence was `false' in the same way: all the shattering impact of this large-scale frenetic activity
was fundamentally `misdirected', it was a kind of gigantic passage a l'acte betraying an inability to confront the real kernel of the
trauma (the social antagonism) . So what we are claiming is that anti-Semitic violence, say, is not only `factually wrong' (Jews are `not really like that', exploiting us and organizing a
universal plot) and/or morally wrong (unacceptable in terms of elementary standards of decency, etc.), but also `untrue in the sense of an inauthenticity which is simultaneously epistemological and ethical,
just as an obsessional who reacts to his

[sic] disavowed sexual fixations by engaging in compulsive defence rituals acts in an inauthentic way. Lacan claimed that even if the

Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

patient's wife is really sleeping around with other men, the patient's jealousy is still to be treated as a
pathological condition; in a homologous way, even if rich Jews `really' exploited German workers, seduced their
daughters, dominated the popular press, and so on, anti-Semitism is still an emphatically `untrue', pathological
ideological condition - why? What makes it pathological is the disavowed subjective libidinal investment in the
figure of the Jew the way social antagonism is displaced-obliterated by being 'projected' into the figure of the
Jew. So - back to the obvious counter-argument to the Lacanian notion of the act: this second feature (for a gesture to count as an act, it must
'traverse the fantasy') is not simply a further, additional criterion, to be added to the first ('doing the impossible',
retroactively rewriting its own conditions): if this second criterion is not fulfilled, the first is not really met either
- that is to say; we are not actually `doing the impossible', traversing the fantasy towards the Real.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Alternative Role of the Analyst Comes First

The role of the cultural analyst is not to provide new meanings, but to expose the pathological
nature of the affirmatives investmentsthis is a necessary prerequisite for any type of
public deliberation
Mootz, Visiting Professor of Law at Pennsylvania State University, 2000 [Francis J., II, Psychotherapeutic
Practice as a Model for Postmodern Legal Theory, Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities, Summer, 12 Yale
J.L. & Human. 299]
Habermas does not pretend that his theoretical reconstruction of the idealizations subtending communicative reason can spell out in advance what the content of rational communication will be. Nevertheless,
he does make the strong claim that rationality is defined by universal stages of development, closely tracking Lawrence Kohlberg's claim that there is an invariant pattern in the development of the capacity
for moral judgment. 70 Kohlberg underwrites Habermas's insistence that we must distinguish the claim that there is a universal capacity for rational moral judgment from the admission that moral philosophy
"does not have privileged [*323] access to particular moral truths." 71 In light of this distinction,

critical theory cannot dictate the elements of the "good

life" that pertain within a particular social setting but can only describe the conditions under which the social actors may together agree on these elements in a rational manner. 72 In this respect,
Habermas follows Freud's insight that a theoretical reconstruction points the way not to resolutions of particular problems facing
the patient, but rather to an understanding of the conditions under which an individual obtains the autonomy to
handle life's demands in a rational manner . The theoretically-guided role of the analyst (critical theorist) is not to
tell the patient (society) how to live her life (organize itself), but instead to work from universal idealizations
to identify and eradicate distortions that prevent the patient (society) from exercising her autonomy to
make rational, rather than pathological, life choices. Although Habermas does not expressly invoke his psychoanalytic model of critical theory in support of
his philosophy of communicative reason, he returns to the model to explain the crucial difference between the simple manipulation of dialogue by one communication partner and
the unconscious, mutual deception that occurs in systematically distorted communication . 73 Similarly, Habermas
reiterates his critique of Gadamer's philosophical hermeneutics for its inability to underwrite a critical perspective on received traditions, arguing that a hermeneutical exegesis cannot be rational under
conditions of systematically distorted communication. 74 It seems clear that the theory of communicative [*324] rationality plays the role in Habermas's critical theory that Freud's theories of ego
development and neuroses played in his psychoanalytic practice. The theory of communicative rationality invests the seemingly artful and individual practice of social critique with the authority of
theoretical knowledge, even if Habermas's proceduralist approach remains quite subdued when compared with Freud's claims. Admittedly, Habermas's revised approach implicitly concedes much to the force
of Gadamer's critique. Even after his sharp criticism of Freud's theoretical overreaching, Habermas's psychoanalytic model accorded a unique role to critical theory in unmasking the distorting effects of
social organization. In contrast, Habermas's theory of communicative action looks within the practical experience of dialogue to locate the quasi-transcendental, regulative ideal that grounds the critical
enterprise. The critical impulse becomes one of clarification and extension in Habermas's recent writings, since the critical standards upon which he draws are always already instantiated in intersubjective
practices and, in fact, have served as the foundation of the modernist expansion of rationality. 75 Critical theory works from within rationality, one might say, to identify social deformations against the
internal standards of rationality itself. 76 Despite Habermas's reversion to the priority of practice, Paul Fairfield has correctly argued that

Habermas remains enmeshed in

precisely the problems that he diagnosed in Freud's metapsycholog y. By adopting Kohlberg's developmental stages of moral reasoning,
Habermas participates in the "myth of the expert, the social critic "in the know' whose standpoint within the
"conversation that we are' is to be awarded a position of privilege. " 77 Fairfield persuasively [*325] demonstrates that Habermas's initial
attention to the dialogic encounter of psychoanalytic practice remains overshadowed by his desire to establish a
properly theoretical role for the social analyst, "whose self-appointed task is not to persuade but to "diagnose,'
not to submit interpretations to one's interlocutors but to "enlighten' and "explain,' not to listen to the claims of
others but to "score' their judgments" on a developmental scale. 78 The critic does not seek mutual understanding, but instead first discovers universal
criteria in the very use of language. The critic lays claim to expert knowledge about the existence of systematically distorted communication that must be eradicated before
ordinary conversation among citizens may proceed in a rationally justified manner. Habermas recently has extended the discourse principle of his moral philosophy to the pragmatic arena of law and politics,
thereby providing a striking contextual example of his approach to critical theory that clearly reveals the continuing tensions in his psychoanalytic model. Habermas argues that the conflict between the
empirical features of legal institutions and the normative requirement that lawmaking processes be legitimate imposes a heavy burden on legal systems. He regards the historical development of the modern
constitutional state as a series of attempts to bear this burden successfully. 79 Criticizing a wide range of philosophers who have suppressed either the factual or normative aspects of legality, Habermas
insists that the task of political theory is to synthesize the sociology of legal power and the philosophy of legal legitimacy. By grounding legal rationality in the universal discourse principle that is
presupposed by communicative action, Habermas argues that he is uncovering universal critical standards, albeit standards that regulate only the procedures of employing social reason. Unlike the classical
form of practical reason, communicative reason is not an immediate source of prescriptions. It has a normative content only insofar as the communicatively acting individuals must commit themselves to
pragmatic presuppositions of a counterfactual sort. That is, they must undertake certain idealizations... [and] are thus subject to the "must" of a weak transcendental necessity, but this does not mean they
already encounter the prescriptive "must" of a rule of action...Communicative reason thus makes an orientation to validity [*326] claims possible, but it does not itself supply any substantive orientation for
managing practical tasks - it is neither informative nor immediately practical. [Nevertheless] the concept of communicative reason... offers a guide for reconstructing the network of discourses that, aimed at
forming opinions and preparing decisions, provides the matrix from which democratic authority emerges. [This reconstruction would provide] a critical standard, against which actual practices - the opaque
and perplexing reality of the constitutional state - could be evaluated. 8 Habermas's conception of critique clearly accords with the psychoanalytic model that he developed thirty years earlier. He begins with
theoretical insights into the universal characteristics of reason and works toward concrete claims about the shape of reason in modern constitutional democracies as a standard for judging current practices.
Yet he does not presume that his theory can deliver the correct answers to specific political questions. He is content to leave the substance of social policy-making to democratic resolution, but only after the
procedural requirements of rationality that the philosopher identifies have been institutionally realized. 8 The irony in Habermas's approach is clear. The philosopher delivers theoretical knowledge about the
general features of the democratic constitutional state without need for conferences with his fellow citizens. Recognizing the tension between facts and norms in modern society is a matter of historical
reconstruction and the elucidation of the principles of communicative rationality. The philosopher's power is limited, however, to a rather thin conception of rationality, with the "good life" to be defined and
pursued only in the actual coordination of life plans by the members of society. Nevertheless, these actual communicative exchanges are adjudged rational only by virtue of a philosophical inquiry into
procedural prerequisites by the expert critic who stands outside these exchanges in his role as critic. While far more subtle and less hubristic than Freud's metapsychology, Habermas's philosophy of
communicative rationality plays the same role as a regulative theoretical truth. In his [*327] recent work, then, Habermas has attempted to make good on his earlier intuition that the "structural model which


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Freud introduced as the categorical framework of metapsychology is... reducible to a theory of deviations in communicative competence." 82 I have argued that Habermas's most recent work continues to
reflect his thesis that psychoanalytic critique is an appropriate model of critical social theory. Far from embracing a crude conception of psychoanalytic theory, Habermas's criticism of Freud's selfmisunderstanding is persuasive and devastating. Nevertheless, he connects the legitimacy of critical theory to a strong, even if thin, conception of the power of theory. The social theorist is never engaged in

Only after clearing the ground for rational

discourse does the philosopher resume his place in social dialogue with others . Like a good psychoanalyst, the
social critic cannot take seriously (at face value) the communicative exchanges within society until he has
assured himself that the theoretically-ascertained prerequisites of rational communication are satisfied.
conversation with others in his role as social theorist, but rather is engaged in a theoretical project of reconstruction.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Alternative Role Of The Analyst Key To Policy

What is true of the Lacanian analysis is true of the policy analystwe must first understand
philosophical underpinnings of the affirmative before any alternatives are possible. The
role of the analyst is to critique the affirmative, not to propose new solutions
Hajer & Wagenaar, Professor of Political Science at the Universiteit van Amsterdam, 2003 [Maarten &
Hendrik, Editors Introduction, Deliberative Policy Analysis: Understanding Governance in the Network
%22the+role+of+the+analyst+is+not%22&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=10&gl=us, p. 32-33]
The third section, Methods and Foundations of Deliberative Policy Analysis, contains three papers addressing
the philosophical assumptions and professional implications of a post- empiricist, deliberative policy analysis.
Their common theme is that one cannot understand the practical failings of traditional policy professionalism,
nor formulate a viable alternative, without a firm grasp of the philosophical underpinnings of both approaches.
Fischers contribution is a case in point. He begins his paper with the familiar observation that traditional policy
science has failed to live up to its ambition: to contribute to an understanding, let alone amelioration, of the kind
of wicked problems that confronts modern society. He argues that the cause of this failure resides in the
misconceived epistemological and methodological nature of traditional policy science. Locked inside a positivist
image of science, traditional policy analysis, he argues, has failed to understand the socially constructed,
pragmatically driven nature of scientific knowledge production, a point that is picked up and extended by
Gottweis in his chapter. The facts and concepts of policy analysis, both authors argue, are inscribed upon the
social and natural world through practices of scientific representation. Our grasp of the objects of policy
analysis, these authors conclude, rests on contextually situated, normatively-driven, practical reasoning. As
Yanow puts it succinctly in her chapter, the understanding of public policy requires local knowledge the very
mundane, but still expert understanding of, and practical reasoning about, local conditions derived from lived
experience. Policy objects, as these authors argue, are essentially contested. The representation of an issue
(unemployment, global warming, genetic engineering, airport noise) is the issue. The object of post-empiricist
policy analysis (as Fischer calls it) is therefore not only fundamentally dispersed (No longer self-evidently
located in the halls of government, but instead spread out over the communities of citizens, administrators, and
executive agencies. As Gottweis calls it, governing is the resultant of a regime of practices.), but also recast
(Policy analysis is, above all, concerned with the communicative, deliberative nature of political activity.). All
three authors in this section, sketch the implications of these insights for the object and role of policy analysis.
The objects of analysis, far from being unproblematic entities in the political landscape, are seen as the outcome
of complex, socially patterned, processes of articulation by, and contestation between, shifting groups of actors.
Policy analysis is in this sense fundamentally interpretative and reflexive. Yanow draws out what an
interpretative approach implies for the role of the analyst. She demonstrates that interpretative analysis is just as
systematic and methodical as traditional methods (interpretative is not impressionistic, as she formulates it),
and discusses at length the various methods that are available to the interpretative analyst. Gottweis explores the
reflexive implications of post-empiricist policy analysis. Instead of assuming governability and policy making,
the complex appreciations and political judgments that constitute it must itself be posed as a problem. Second,
as both Fischer and Yanow explain, in the essentially discursive and fragmented field of policymaking, the role
of the analyst is not to suggest effective or efficient solutions that bring political discussions to an end.

Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Instead his role should be to facilitate the citizens and clients capacity for democratic deliberation and
collective learning: about value and preferences, about assumptions of self and others, about mutual
dependencies and power differentials, about opportunities and constraints, about the desirability of solutions and
outcomes, in sum, about what it means to be an engaged citizen. In this way, these three authors, in conjunction
with the other contributors to this book, give new meaning to Harold Lasswells ideal of a policy science of


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Alternative Role Of The Analyst: AT: No Alternative

The affirmatives demand for an alternative is simply an attempt to sidestep the problems of the
1ACinstead of confronting the libidinal investments presented by the affirmative, they
demand that others provide the answer for them. This allows them to displace their
problems onto a new objectthe negativewhile embracing their own subjugation to the
will of others such as the negative
Ragland, Professor of English and Literary Theory at The University of Missouri, 1985 [Ellie, Who is
Transferring What to Whom? Paper presented at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst at the conference
On the Transference, http://www.]
I am aware that the question in the title of this paper may seem naive to some and purely rhetorical to others. But Lacan posed it in the Discourse of Roma in 1953, the year from which he dates his official
teaching. Whoever revives this question in 1985 or 1998 in North America may well suppose the answer to be obvious. Surely it is the analysand who is transferring his or her child-to-adult feelings towards
the analyst. Or is it the patient transferring her or his hopes, ego ideals, love and suffering onto the idealized doctor? Whatever is being transferred, the neo-Freudian standard of transference in North

the analyst is supposed to know the answers to

what will help the patient. Should the analyst reciprocate any feeling towards the patient, he or she is guilty of a
countertransference and this indicates he or she should be analyzed anew . Lacan's critique here addresses only ego psychology and makes no
American clinical practice makes the patient the source of the transference and the analyst its object. Furthermore,

account of the 'uses' of the counter-transference in object-relations theories and praxes. That is not to say that Lacan did not develop a thorough-going rethinking of the concept of the object as understood in
object-relations theories and practices. He did so in the correspondence he maintained with Donald Winnicott with whom he had a friendship of many years. Indeed, they exchanged some 70 to 100 letters,
as well as visits for lectures. Although Lacan discussed object-relations theories and the uses made of various concepts of 'the object' in the counter-transference throughout his work-a thinking that is
incipient in his discussions with Winnicott-, it is elaborated in the greatest depth in his two major Seminars on 'the object': Le seminair, livre IV: La relation d'objet (On the object relation [1956-1957]) and
in Le seminair, livre XIII: L'objet de la psychanalyse (On the object of psychoanalysis [1966-1967]). However, the focus of my article here is on Lacan's view of the practice of ego psychology, not his

The Lacanian analyst , on the other hand, places himself or herself in the difficult
position of encouraging a "negative" transference in order that an analysand become acquainted with his or
her own unconscious structure, and name her or his own Desire. Lacan's model goes in the opposite direction of the ego-psychology paradigm.
American neo-Freudians use the reality of transference love to help the patient make over his ego based on the
doctor's supposedly healthy, reality ego. A Lacanian model would argue that transference love blocks
unconscious truth and leaves the analysand the slave of the Other's Desire. The Lacanian analyst, therefore, presumes to inscribe
himself or herself in the action of the transference with the goal of helping the analysand to see her own ego as an object, enslaved to the Desire and language of the Other. For the
analysand's suffering does, indeed, come from living in a state of unconscious subjugation and alienation .
But as long as the analyst literally takes a patient's transference --positive or negative--to be aimed at her and believe
she or he is supposed to respond to the hysteric's demand for love, the obsessional's search for answers, or serve
as a stand-in for better parents, the analysand will remain imprisoned. Lacan's campaign against ego psychology manifests itself throughout
his thought. He naturally opposed the idea that there is a whole self that serves as an agent of strength, synthesis, mastery ,
integration, and adaptation to realistic norms. Lacan perceived partisan analysts pushing analysands toward an ideal of health
which merely defined group norms. In his early essays, indeed, he accused the psychoanalytic establishment of having rendered Freud's revolutionary discoveries banal. By
theories concerning 'the object' or object-relations theories and practices. 1

prizing technique above the meaning of the unconscious, such analysts believed that Freud's rules themselves provided direct access to truth. But since these rules had evolved into a ceremonial formalism,
any questioning of the neo-Freudian canon amounted to heresy. Lacan alleges that Freud's miraculous structures have, therefore, been reduced to the nonconceptual, nonintellectual conformism of social
suggestion and psychological superstition (Sheridan, Ecrits, p. 39). Lacan's particular aversion to psychoanalytic practice in the United States can be partly attributed to cultural differences in intellectual
formation. Whereas pragmatism and empiricism have long reigned supreme in Anglo-American investigation, the French academy has given primacy to theoretical conceptualization from at least the time of
Descartes. It is not Lacan's concern to thrash out the relative merits of induction or deduction. Nor can Lacan's epistemology be reduced to a deductive methodology. But while his "empirical" data are not
those of quanitifiable studies, they are certainly "scientific": those of Jacques Monod's biological theories on perception; mathematical symbolism; ethnological realities; animal behavior; the Real of psychic
pain. In a sense, the criticism that Lacan has aimed at the American establishment should be more correctly aimed at nineteenth-century Austria, where psychoanalysis was born, or at England whither it fled
during World War II. Freud himself contributed to the image of the analyst as an objective, scientific observer who regarded the patient's behavior as an object of study outside the analyst. One might even
call Freud's "scientism" an Anglo-Austrian neopositivism in the wake of Darwinian evolutionary materialism. Freud, like his daughter Anna after him, increasingly stressed the defensive, synthesizing, and
adaptive functions of the ego. Lacan has not, however, attacked Freud's implicit Darwinianism so much as the general Anglo-American belief in the possibility of an objectifiable reality ego. Lacan has
unflaggingly insisted that the human subject is neither unified nor unifiable. But because Lacan delimits consciousness and makes consciousness and language themselves defenses against unconscious
meaning, he is not generally understood by ego psychologists who place defenses in the ego itself. The Lacanian subject (je/moi) is not unified in consciousness. The ego or moi, however, is intrinsically
unified-except in dreams, psychosis, and other unraveling manifestations-and projects itself into consciousness as the principle of individuality. But because it emanates from the unconscious and yet must
continually verify itself through the very means of its occultation-consciousness and language-the moi cannot "see" itself as it really is. This is quite a different theory from the popular misconception that the

The idea that the ego is whole has led psychoanalysts to analyze what they call
"unconscious defenses" in terms of the conscious ego's typical patterns. Partisan analysts then apply their own
conceptions of health in an attempt to remodel the patient's defenses. Lacan calls this a surface approach,
Lacanian "subject" is in a state of permanent fragmentation.

Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

which muddles psychic truth and reality and allows the unwary analyst to take her or his own
unquestioned postulates to be objective viewpoints. The analysand becomes a victim of the analyst's illusions
and is unaware that Freud's discovery did not situate truth or reality in the analyst or in technique, but placed "truth" itself in
question. Lacan described a typical neo-Freudian concept of cure as the analyst's imposition of her or his own Desires and symptoms on the analysand, thereby infusing him with "reality" and
making him more capable of tolerating frustration. Such a procedure is meant to "strengthen" a weak ego. What really occurs, from a Lacanian standpoint, is a deepening of the patient's alienation from the
truth of his or her being. The moi has already been alienated in the Other(A) and in language. Subjugating an analysand to the analyst's ideals merely pushes the moi farther in the direction that has already
led to the subjugation to the Other(A). Current Anglo-American psychoanalytic theory has focused much attention on the analysis of a patient's resistance (Widerstand) as well as on transference. Resistance
has a negative connotation in standard analytic speech, while transference offers the positive affective means by which to overcome resistance through the "false" love that the patient feels for the doctor. The
failure of an analysand to attain a new level of behavior or understanding is labeled resistance. The analyst then aims to liquidate the defenses that cause resistance. But Lacan's elevation of the subject of the
unconscious over consciousness sheds new light on the phenomenon of resistance. It is the insistence of an unconscious discourse, which prefers to repeat itself in language and behavior (rather than to know
itself), that must be called resistance. So seen, resistance becomes an Imaginary function of the moi. Resistance is not a function of conscious ego defenses, therefore, but a revelation of the fact that moi
(being) is different from je (speaking) (Seminair XI, pp. 148, 246). Resistance, like transference, is "invisible" proof of an unconscious topology in being. Resistance is not simple passivity or a matter of
grandiosity or a dogmatic adhesion to the known. Rather, it takes on a cosmic meaning: that of maintaining a sense of "self" unity over and above the fragmentary and alien nature of the moi. In other words,
resistance is not iust a pathological clinging to neurosis (inertia), but the human incapacity to recognize the gaps between being, wanting and speaking (je), and with it the primary Other(A) meanings which
condition secondary meaning in a syncopated logic from the past. Je speech provides a mechanism for either rendering or avoiding the moi discourse of identificatory truth. The basis of any Lacanian
transference is the analysand's imputing a "subject" to unconscious or repressed knowledge, and mistaking the source or meaning of such knowledge. Surprisingly, Lacan declares elsewhere that resistance
comes from the analyst, not from the analysand. The patient's symptoms--metaphors of unconscious truth--speak loud and clear and insist at the surface of life in language, but also above and beyond
consciousness and discourse. Analysts are resisting when they do not understand the symptom or when they believe "interpretation" means pointing out to the analysand that he or she really desires some
sexual object. For Lacan, the efficacious action of an analysis occurs when the analysand is brought to the point of naming the Desire which insists beyond his or her awareness. The difficulty confronting the
analyst is that the "something" to be recognized does not already exist somewhere, as an entity just waiting to bc coopted. By naming Desire, the subject creates it--gives it conscious form--a new presence in
the world (Seminair II, p. 267). Once named, the Desire can be analyzed. Structurally speaking, it always reveals the "lack" in the Other(A) as it relates to Castration and the Law of the Name-of-the-Father.
Lacan claims that contemporary psychoanalysts fail to understand resistance because they view the patient as a kind of object under observation. This two-body, object-relations analysis takes its model from
bastard forms of phenomenology and basks in that mirage of consciousness that believes an ego can be a simple object for the other as subject. Such an assumption also leads to the claim that one ego can
substitute itself for another through transference (Seminair XI, p. 119). The healthy part of the patient's ego is supposed to identify with--or conform to--the analyst's ego in order to achieve "cure" by
adapting to reality (Sheridan, Ecrits, pp. 9, 135). The end-point of the analysis--its positive resolution--requires that the patient's ego be identified with the analyst's. In reality, the patient is encouraged to bid
masochistically for approval from a master (Sheridan, Ecrits, p. 135). Lacan wonders humorously if a desk might not be an ideal patient? For never having had an ego, it would not resist the substitution of
someone else's ego for its own (Sheridan, Ecrits, pp. 135-36). The only object genuinely accessible to the analyst is not a hidden "self" which can be archeologically unearthed, but the link between doctor

Instead of using this link to "understand" the patient, Lacanian

analysts must resist their own subjective interpretations of the analysand. The analyst's Desire, indeed, should be
to obtain absolute difference: the very opposite of Imaginary identification (Seminair XI, p. 276). The role of the analyst
is not to "understand" the patient, then, but to surprise the liberty which resides in nonsense; to see how the analysand debates with his or her jouissance; to
ascertain to what primitive discourse effects the analysand is subjected. The analyst should restitute what is signified
or implied in a discourse and banish the Other's jouissance symbolized by the analysand's own body; and,
finally, decide not to decide if the "case" should so dictate. One goal of the neo-Freudian school is to try and frustrate the analysand in order to expose the
and patient qua ego in its automatic intersubjectivity (Sheridan, Ecrits, p. 45).

emotions that hide behind the intellect. For Lacan, frustration forms but the tip of the analytic iceberg, and he is intrigued by the metaphysical plight that makes frustration such a telling response. Analysts
know how to induce it, he says, and how to link it to anxiety, aggression, and regression, but they cannot explain its source except as an empirical description of a function. Lacan's explanation of frustration
has placed psychoanalysis in the category of the Ur-human science and undermined the illusion that the world is divided into normal and pathological people. Frustration initially arises from the dialectical
presence of the moi versus the Other(A) and the je's efforts to deny or convey such "knowledge," although the conflict is always replayed via others. For this reason, Lacan does not see how analysis can
proceed toward truth unless aggressiveness is first aimed at the analyst (qua other), so that it can be returned to its source in the Other(A). Aggressiveness, therefore, is the first knot in the analytic drama.
The Lacanian analyst uses the transference phenomenon as a way to get the patient to talk about the analyst, so that the moi can be seen in projection and eventually relocated within the Other's Desire on the
Imaginary axis wherein varied unconscious components of the Ideal ego are reflected in relations with, and choices of, ego ideals (others). Lacan never disagreed with Freud's basic discoveries regarding the
unconscious. For example, he fully concurred that without transference there could be no psychoanalysis. Certain psychoanalysts have misconstrued Lacan's innovations here. For example, Francois
Roustang misinterprets Lacan's statements regarding the liquidation of a transference in analysis (Seminair XI, p. 267). Roustang's interpretation confuses the idea of liquidating transference with Lacan's
play on the concept of the sujet suppos savoir. Lacan argued that the analyst should aim to maintain a rather continuous transference with the goal of liquidating the analysand's Imaginary projections; that is
the narcissistic bond that elevate moi fantasies over any knowledge of the Real of unconscious truth. By enabling the analysand to see that the transference with the analyst was based on fiction and illusion,
Lacan hoped to teach that the Real transference was the intrasubjective exchange between the analysand's own moi and Other(A) and the je and the Other(A). What is to be liquidated or vaporized, then, is
not transference as a phenomenon, nor the unconscious, but the presupposition of a unified relationship bctween analyst and analysand. By clinging to an Imaginary identification with the analyst, the
analysand remains blocked by the other from hearing the knowledge contained in the Other(A). When the analyst's actual personhood begins to be grasped because moi fantasies are broken up, a paradox
occurs. The subject is no longer subject to illusion, but for that moment has assumed knowledge of his or her unconscious, has assumed subjectivity. By revealing various pitfalls in transference, not the least
of which is the analyst's satisfaction at being recognized, Lacan demonstrated how transference could be used to lead both analyst and analysand beyond narcissistic fixations, aiming the analysand toward
knowledge of his or her Desire, and away from the personhood of the analyst. Identification with the analyst can never be a final goal, then, since any life is an ever-moving, endlessly unfolding Desire and
Law epic (Seminair XI, p. 133). The analysis forms one fixed moment in the dialectical writing of the analysand's potential life story. In this way psychoanalysis is an apprenticeship in freedom won
through locating the roots of the moi and je in an-Other's Desire (Seminair XI, pp. 108-09). The end of analysis has been described as death's death, which is paid for with a de-being but offers the freedom

the standard neo-Freudian transference (Ubertrgung) goes in the opposite direction and
works by the law of misrecognition (mconnaissance). In such a situation analysands think they are talking directly
to the analyst about them- "selves" and solving problems once and for all. In fact, they are merely
rephrasing the identity question to yet one more substitute other. Insofar as people take their perceptions
to be objective and true, most analysands miss the circular subjectivity of their seemingly linear quest. In
to live (Schneiderman, Returning, pp. 166-67). But

reality, both patient and doctor constitute each other subjectively-objectively, each according to the permanent narcissistic (moi) modes that make up their individuality (Sheridan, Ecrits, p. 225ff.). In
Seminar Eleven Lacan taught that--through transference--the analysand "acts" out of the reality of the unconscious (p. 158). In the countertransference, the analyst returns the sum of the prejudices, passions,

The analyst, then, is

above all a human being, Lacan has said, in constant flux. However much a patient may not wish to recognize
that flux, and however much the analyst may succeed by his steadfastness in creating the illusion of fixity, the
facts are otherwise. The analyst is not a fixed point more than any other person. In standard neo-Freudian practice the patient's transference is considered a neurosis or distortion, yet also a
path along which to reeducate the patient. The analyst, on the other hand, is not supposed to experience countertransference (unless his or
her own neuroses remain unresolved). Lacan condemns this static picture of the analyst/analysand interaction as much as he
embarrassments, even insufficient information which characterize the analyst at a given moment in the dialectical process (Wilden, Language of the Self, pp. xi-xii).


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

condemns the illusion of an objective therapist and a fantasy-logged patient. Partisan analysts take their own
perceptions as the measure of the real and true, even to the point of confusing conscious intuition with an
unconscious empathy or "listening" (


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Alternative Encounter With Lack Solves

It is the brutal realization of our dislocation from meaning, The true encounter with the
impossibility of fullness and with the bleakness the human condition; that constitutes
rather than forecloses ethical and meaningful possibility,
Edkins, professor at Aberystwyth 2002 [Jenny The Subject of the Political Sovereignty and Subjectivity]
If, by "a crack in the ontological edifice of the universe," Zizek is invoking a fissure that arises because of the
impossibility of defining a total context, then ethics enters into the equation because it "designates fidelity to this
crack." In other words, it designates a fidelity to difference; that is to say, it opens up the possibility of the
"nonmasterable dissemination" of meaning. If a "nonmasterable dissemination" is one in which there are always
possibilities for the relocation of signs in different contexts and in which, therefore, meanings are not selfidentical and ontologically "full," then ethics is about not denying this However, there is a drawback. Within
logocentrism, language is what it is, language, only insofar as it can then master and analyze polysemia. With no
remainder. A nonmasterable dissemination is not even a polysemia, it belongs to what is outside language. . . .
Each time that polysemia is irreducible, when no unity of meaning is even promised to it, one is outside
language. And consequently, outside humanity. In other words, to return to the notion of the master signifier, a
nonmasterable dissemination is one that has no authority, no master signifier to halt the sliding of signifier over
signified, where polysemia is irreducible. Not only do words have many meanings, but the number of meanings
is not finite. What Derrida is saying, then, is that without a master signifier we can have no language, no
symbolic order. The implication might be that in that case, no human subject as such is possible either. The
politico-ethical implications of the notion of fidelity to the dislocation of signs may be the impossibility of what
we call social reality. Without reality or social fantasy as a support, we are left to face the traumatic real. Ethics,
then, is also to be found in the constitution of the subject in the face of trauma. This is "an ethics grounded in
reference to the traumatic Real which resists symbolization the Real which is experienced in the encounter with
the abyss of the Others desire." It is through this encounter that the subject is formed, as we have seen: the
subject is constituted as subject within the symbolic only in a concealment of the traumatic real through social
fantasy. Le ethical possibility for zizek lies in maintaining a grasp of this as fantasy, or in other words, accepting
the impossibility of ontological fullness (as we have called it), the impossibility of symbolizing all aspects of a
context and therefore of meaning This leads back to the master signifier or, in our case, sovereignty, and to what
Zizek sees as the role of the critical intellectual in maintaining a distance from the master signifier, making its
constituted nature visible and challenging claims to naturalness. This is an ethics of fidelity to "the Real which is
expressed in the encounter with the abyss of the Other's desire." This encounter is an encounter with the
impossibility of fullness and with the bleakness of la condition humaine. It is fidelity to this, then, that we are
arguing constitutes rather than forecloses ethical possibility,)


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Alternative -- Disengage
The true ethical act is to disengage with an unethical social structure to refuse to become the
big others instrument object
Zizek, 2007 (Slavoj, How to Read Lacan, Ch 8 The Perverse Subject of Politics)
Perhaps, the proper way to conclude this book is to mention the case of Sophia Karpai, the head of the
cardiographic unit of the Kremlin Hospital in the late 1940s. Her act, the opposite of the perverse
elevation of oneself into an instrument of the big Other, deserves to be called a proper ethical act in the
Lacanian sense. Her misfortune was that it was her job to take twice the electrocardiogram of Andrei
Zhdanov, on July 25 1948 and on July 31, days before Zhdanov's death because of a heart failure. The
first EKG, taken after Zhdanov displayed some heart troubles, was inconclusive (heart attack could be
neither confirmed nor excluded), while the second one surprisingly showed a much better picture (the
intraventricular blockage disappeared, a clear indication that there was no heart attack). In 1951, she
was arrested with the charge that, in conspiracy with other doctors treating Zhdanov, she falsified the
data, erasing the clear indications that a heart attack did occur, depriving Zhdanov of the special care
needed by a victim of heart attack. After harsh treatment, including continuous brutal beating, all other
accused doctors confessed. "Sophia Karpai, whom her boss Vinogradov had described as nothing more
than 'a typical person of the street with the morals of the petty bourgeoisie,' was kept in a refrigerated
cell without sleep to compel a confession. She did not confess." [10] The impact and significance of
her perseverance cannot be overestimated: her signature would have dotted the i on the prosecutor's
case on the "doctor's plot," immediately setting in motion the mechanism that, once rolling, would lead
to the death of hundreds of thousands, maybe even to a new European war (according to Stalin's plan,
the "doctor's plot" should have demonstrated that the Western intelligence agencies tried to murder the
top Soviet leaders, and thus served as an excuse to attack Western Europe). She persisted just long
enough for Stalin to enter his final coma, after which the entire case was immediately dismissed. Her
simple heroism was crucial in the series of details which, like grains of sand in the gears of the huge
machine that had been set in motion, prevented another catastrophe in Soviet society and politics
generally, and saved the lives of thousands, if not millions, of innocent people. This simple persistence
against all odds is ultimately the stuff ethics is made of - or, as Samuel Beckett puts it in the last words
of the absolute masterpiece of 20th Century literature, The Unnameable, a saga of the drive that
perseveres in the guise of an undead partial object: "in the silence you don't know, you must go on, I
can't go on, I'll go on.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Alternative -- Disengage
The aff acts to avoid the underlying tension. The alternative is an ominous passivity that clears
the grounds for a true act to change our coordinates
Zizek 2007 (Slavoj, How to Read Lacan, Ch 3 The Interpassive Subject)
This interpassivity is the opposite of Hegel's notion of List der Vernunft (cunning of Reason), where I
am active through the other: I can remain passive, sitting comfortably in the background, while the
Other does it for me. Instead of hitting the metal with a hammer, the machine can do it for me, instead
of turning the mill myself, water can do it: I achieve my goal by way of interposing between me and
the object on which I work another natural object. The same can happen at the interpersonal level: instead of
directly attacking my enemy, I instigate a fight between him and another person, so that I can comfortably observe the two
of them destroying each other. (This is how, for Hegel, the absolute Idea reigns throughout history. It remains outside of the
conflict, letting human passions do the work for it in their mutual struggles. The historical necessity of the passage from
republic to empire in the ancient Rome realized itself by using as its instrument Julius Caesar's passions and ambitions.) In

the case of interpassivity, on the contrary, I am passive through the other: I concede to the other the
passive aspect (enjoying) of my experience, while I can remain actively engaged (I can continue to
work in the evening, while the VCR passively enjoys for me; I can make financial arrangements for the
deceased's fortune while the weepers mourn for me). This brings us to the notion of false activity:
people not only act in order to change something, they can also act in order to prevent something from
happening, so that nothing will change. Therein resides the typical strategy of the obsessional neurotic:
he is frantically active in order to prevent the real thing from happening. Say, in a group situation in
which some tension threatens to explode, the obsessional talks all the time in order to prevent the
awkward moment of silence which would compel the participants to openly confront the underlying
tension. In psychoanalytic treatment, obsessional neurotics talk constantly, overflowing the analyst
with anecdotes, dreams, insights: their incessant activity is sustained by the underlying fear that, if they
stop talking for a moment, the analyst will ask them the question that truly matters - in other words,
they talk in order to keep the analyst immobile. Even in much of today's progressive politics, the
danger is not passivity, but pseudo-activity, the urge to be active and to participate. People intervene all
the time, attempting to "do something," academics participate in meaningless debates; the truly
difficult thing is to step back and to withdraw from it. Those in power often prefer even a critical
participation to silence - just to engage us in a dialogue, to make it sure that our ominous passivity is
broken. Against such an interpassive mode in which we are active all the time to make sure that
nothing will really change, the first truly critical step is to withdraw into passivity and to refuse to
participate. This first step clears the ground for a true activity, for an act that will effectively change the
coordinates of the constellation.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Alternative -- Reject
Rejecting the 1ac exposes their neuroses as virtual fantasies that are true only because of their
misguided beliefs
Zizek, 2007 (Slavoj, How to Read Lacan, Ch 2 Empty Gestures and Performatives)
In spite of all its grounding power, the big Other is fragile, insubstantial, properly virtual, in the sense
that its status is that of a subjective presupposition. It exists only insofar as subjects act as if it exists.
Its status is similar to that of an ideological cause like Communism or Nation: it is the substance of the
individuals who recognize themselves in it, the ground of their entire existence, the point of reference
which provides the ultimate horizon of meaning to their lives, something for which these individuals
are ready to give their lives, yet the only thing that really exists are these individuals and their activity,
so this substance is actual only insofar as individuals believe in it and act accordingly. It is because of
the virtual character of the big Other that, as Lacan put it at the very end of his "Seminar on the
Purloined Letter," a letter always arrives at its destination. One can even say that the only letter which
fully and effectively arrives at its destination is the unsent letter - its true addressee are not flesh-andblood others, but the big Other itself: The preservation of the unsent letter is its arresting feature.
Neither the writing nor the sending is remarkable (we often make drafts of letters and discard them),
but the gesture of keeping the message when we have no intention of sending it. By saving the letter,
we are in some sense 'sending' it after all. We are not relinquishing our idea or dismissing it as foolish
or unworthy (as we do when we tear up a letter); on the contrary, we are giving it an extra vote of
confidence. We are, in effect, saying that our idea is too precious to be entrusted to the gaze of the
actual addressee, who may not grasp its worth, so we 'send' it to his equivalent in fantasy, on whom we
can absolutely count for an understanding and appreciative reading. Is it not exactly the same with the
symptom in the Freudian sense of the term? According to Freud, when I develop a symptom, I produce
a ciphered message about my innermost secrets, my unconscious desires and traumas. The symptom's
addressee is not another real human being: before an analyst deciphers my symptom, there is no one
who can read its message. Who, then, is the symptom's addressee? The only remaining candidate is the
virtual big Other. This virtual character of the big Other means that the symbolic order is not a kind of
spiritual substance existing independently of individuals, but something that is sustained by their
continuous activity.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Alternative -- Debate
Our debate is an example of our kritik alternative the point is to set the audience to work by
offering problematics. This makes us mutually exclusive with the 1acthe only choice is to
work through the affs flawed interpretations of reality to arrive at a decision
Zizek, 2007 (Slavoj, How to Read Lacan, Ch 1 Introduction)
If one disregards occasional short texts (introductions and afterwords, transcribed improvised interventions and
interviews, etc.), Lacans oeuvre clearly falls into two groups: seminars (conducted every week during the
school-year from 1953 till Lacans death, in front of an ever larger public) and 'crits (written theoretical texts).
The paradox pointed out by Jean-Claude Milner is that, in contrast to the usual way of opposing the secret oral
teaching to the printed publications for the common people, Lacans ecrits are elitist, readable only to an inner
circle, while his seminars are destined for the large public and, as such, much more accessible. It is as if Lacan
first directly develops a certain theoretical line in a straightforward way, with all oscillations and blind alleys,
and then goes on to condense the result in precise, but compressed ciphers. In fact, Lacans seminars and ecrits
relate like analysands and analysts speech in the treatment. In seminars, Lacan acts as analysand, he freely
associates, improvises, jumps, addressing his public, which is thus put into the role of a kind of collective
analyst. In comparison, his writings are more condensed, formulaic, and they throw at the reader unreadable
ambiguous propositions which often appear like oracles, challenging the reader to start working on them, to
translate them into clear theses and provide examples and logical demonstrations of them. In contrast to the
usual academic procedure, where the author formulates a thesis and then tries to sustain it through arguments,
Lacan not only more often than not leaves this work to the reader the reader has often even to discern what,
exactly, is Lacans actual thesis among the multitude of conflicting formulations or the ambiguity of a single
oracle-like formulation. In this precise sense, Lacans crits are like an analysts interventions whose aim is not
to provide the analysand with a ready-made opinion or statement, but to set the analysand to work.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Alternative -- De-Develoopment
De-development is the only way to counter the Marxist vision everyone upholds.
Ted Trainer 2000 (DEMOCRACY & NATURE: The International Journal of INCLUSIVE DEMOCRACY, ) JULY

Option of de-development is the only one and best available action.
Ted Trainer 2000 (DEMOCRACY & NATURE: The International Journal of INCLUSIVE DEMOCRACY, ) JULY

The love to the de-development option is the best; crucial to start moving towards it.
Ted Trainer 2000 (DEMOCRACY & NATURE: The International Journal of INCLUSIVE DEMOCRACY, ) JULY



Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Alternative -- De-Develoopment
The concept of de-development is more real than we realize.
Ted Trainer 2000 (DEMOCRACY & NATURE: The International Journal of INCLUSIVE DEMOCRACY, ) JULY



Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Alternative -- Environmental Value

Before the system can be changed, destructive trends in the economic and political system must
be stopped.
Speth, Dean of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, 2008
(James Gustave, The Bridge at the Edge of the World, p. 6)


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Alternative Withdraw From The System

Refusal to work with a capitalist society is an effective form of resistance.
Holloway, Sociologist and Philosopher, 2005
(John, Change the World Without Taking Power, p.24)

drinking,exceptinbeinglazy':LafarguebeginshisclassicThe Right to be Lazy withthisquotation(1999,p.3),



Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Alternative -- Scream
Our alternative is to reject capitalism by screaming out against it because we have a moral
obligation to scream against things we feel negative.
Holloway, Sociologist and Philosopher, 2005
(John, Change the World Without Taking Power, p.3)





Doing things in the society that is not against the injustice condones the injustice.
Holloway, Sociologist and Philosopher, 2005
(John, Change the World Without Taking Power, p.23)
The scream implies doing. 'In the beginning was the deed', says Goethe's Faust.? But before the deed comes the doing.
In the beginning was the doing. But in an oppressive society, doing is not an innocent, positive doing: it is
impregnated with negativity, both because it Is negated, frustrated doing, and because it negates the negation of itself.
Before the doing comes the scream. It is not materialism that comes first, but negativity.8

Screaming against injustices self negates

Holloway, Sociologist and Philosopher, 2005
(John, Change the World Without Taking Power, p.22)
hopeisnot ahopeforsalvationintheformofdivineintervention.Itisanactive

things,ascreamofactiverefusal,ascream that pointstodoing.Thescreamthatdoesnotpointto doing,the
screamthatturnsinuponitself,thatremainsaneternal screamofdespairor,muchmorecommon,anendless
cynical grumble,isascreamwhichbetraysitself:itlosesitsnegativeforce andgoesintoanendlessloopofself



Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Alternative -- Scream
Screaming helps us understand the root of the problem.
Holloway, Sociologist and Philosopher, 2005
(John, Change the World Without Taking Power, p.39)
In order to explain our Insistence on the binary nature of the antagonism of power (or, in more traditional terms, our
insistence on a class analysis), it is necessary to retrace our steps. The starting- point of the argument here is not the urge
to understand society or to explain how it works. Our starting-point is much sharper: the scream, the drive to
change society radically. It is from that perspective that we ask how society works. That starting-point led us to place
the question of doing in the centre of our discussion, and this in turn led us to the antagonism between doing and done.

Screaming against capitalism ends dehumanization

Holloway, Sociologist and Philosopher, 2005
(John, Change the World Without Taking Power, p.154)

refusalwhichnegatesthenegationofh umanity,arefusalfilled,therefore,withtheprojectofthe


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Alternative -- Simplicity
Alternative: Switch to low emission Small scale society
Varma, Associate Professor and Regents Lecturer, School of Public Administration
University of New Mexico, 2003 (Roli, Sage productions, E.F. Schumacher: Changing the Paradigm of Bigger
Is Better,, accessed 7/10/08, page 119).
Schumachers most important claim, that smallscale technology could be the foundation of new society, needs a critical
examination. He understood smallscale technology in dichotomous fashion. He saw social, economic, and political
problems in a society as being associated with modern large-scale technology; the implementation of alternative
small-scale technology was seen as a panacea for all such problems. Some of the characteristics that distinguished
alternative from modern technology were small scale versus large scale, inexpensive versus expensive, ecologically sound
versus ecologically unsound, small energy input versus large energy input, low pollution rate versus high pollution rate,
nonviolent to nature versus violent to nature, decentralist versus centralist, simple versus complex, labor intensive versus
capital intensive, compatible with human needs versus incompatible with human needs, reversible use of materials versus
nonreversible use of materials, and so forth (Dickson, 1975, pp. 103-104). In the 1970s and 1980s, such a mystifying role of
alternative small-scale technology had turned into a theology. People had become devotees of small-scale technology,
believing that somehow the evil and social ills in their society would be destroyed with its implementation. Broadly, there
are two dominant meanings for alternative small-scale technology, one for industrial countries and the other for the less
developed countries. In industrial countries, alternative small-scale technology is understood as one that does not
degrade the environment, whereas in the less developed countries, it is understood as one that provides employment
to ordinary people.

The government and corporate sector cannot fix the harms Individual must consume less in
their lifestyles.
Rhena Howard, 2002 (The McGill Tribune, Environmental apocalypse: time to overhaul the system, 9/17,
While many environmentalists suggest that the solution involves heavier taxation for oil companies, Roulet
points out that "the reason why oil is produced is because you and I consume it." The onus does not fall on the
government and the corporate sector alone; individuals need to re-evaluate their ecological footprint, defined as
amount of land, water and energy that is required to sustain each individual's lifestyle. "Every human being on
the surface of the earth should be forced to do this. Because what most people would find, in Canada, is that if
all six billion people on the surface of the earth live the way that we do as individuals, we would require
somewhere between five and ten planets. We don't have five to ten planets, we have one; we've got Earth,"
affirms Roulet.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Alternative -- Debate Is Key

Dominant elite capitalist ideologies function by persuasion. We can use the debate as a site of
struggle because the critic can reverse capitalism by finding it unpersuasive
Peter Wire Rose, 2006 (Arethusa, Divorcing Ideology from Marxism and Marxism from Ideology, p. 102)
ideology functions by persuasion rather than force. Antonio Gramsci worked out this aspect in
terms of an opposition between "hegemony" and "domination"the dual process by which a dominant group seeks, first, to
persuade those subject to its will of the inevitability and, where possible, the justice of their subjugation, and
secondly, to enforce the dominant group's discipline (Hoare and Smith 1971.12). Louis Althusser elaborated Gramsci's
In addition to being relational,

concept by distinguishing the "ideological state apparatuses" (such institutions as the media, the schools, churches) from the "repressive

Because ideological apparatuses function by persuasion,

they are inherently sites of struggle (1971.147, cf. 185). Althusser's more original contribution to the theory of persuasion in
state apparatuses" (the police, army, and courts) (1971.12786).

ideological struggle is his notion of "interpellation" (1971.17077), from the Latin interpellare, to "hail" or "accost" someone. Ideological

politicians hail their audience as "my fellow Americans," priests

address their audience as "fellow Catholics," while evangelicals address "true believers" or "born-again believers." To the extent that
these audiences acquiesce in these interpellations, they internalize the ideological positions associated with the
apparatuses offer individuals a loaded version of their identities:



Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

AT: No Alternative / Necessity (Analyst)

Masking your actions under the rubric of making objective reality more tolerable is exactly what
allows us to commit atrocities in the name of maintaining the status quo
iek, Senior Researcher at The Institute for Sociology in Ljubljana, 2001 [Slavoj, Did Somebody Say
Totalitarianism?, p. 112-113]
The standard motto of ethical rigour is 'There is no excuse for not accomplishing one's duty!'; although Kant's
'Du kannst, denn du sollst! [You can, because you must!]' seems to offer a new version of this motto, he
implicitly complements it with its much more uncanny inversion: 'There is no excuse for accomplishing one's
duty!'73 The reference to duty as the excuse for doing our duty should be rejected as hypocritical; suffice it
to recall the proverbial example of a severe sadistic teacher who subjects his pupils to merciless discipline and
torture. Of course, his excuse to himself (and to others) is: 'I myself find it hard to exert such pressure on the
poor kids, but what can I do it's my duty!' The more pertinent example is precisely that of a Stalinist
Communist who loves humankind, but none the less performs horrible purges and executions; his heart is
breaking while he is doing it, but he cant help it, its his Duty towards the Progress of Humanity . What
we encounter here is the properly perverse attitude of adopt-ing the position of the pure instrument of the big
Others Will: its not my responsibility, it's not I who am actually doing it, I am merely an instrument of a higher
Historical Necessity. The obscene jouissance of this situation is generated by the fact that I conceive of
myself as exculpated for what I am doing: isn't it nice to be able to inflict pain on others in the full
awareness that Im not responsible for it, that I am merely an agent of the Other's Will? . . . This is what
Kantian ethics prohibits. This position of the sadistic pervert provides the answer to the answer to the question:
How can the subject be guilty when he merely realizes an objective externally imposed necessity? By
subjectively assuming this objective necessity by deriving enjoyment from what is imposed on him. So,
at its most radical, Kantain ethics is not sadistic, but precisely what prohibits assuming the position of a
Sadeian executioner. What, then, does this tell us about the respective status of coldness in Kant and in Sade?
The conclusion to be drawn is not that Sade sticks to cruel coldness, while Kant somehow has to allow for
human compassion, but quite the opposite: it is only the Kantian subject that is in fact thoroughly cold
(apa-thetic), while the sadist is not 'cold' enough, his apathy is a fake, a lure concealing his too-passionate
engagement on behalf of the Other's jouissance, And, of course, the same goes for the passage from Lenin to
Stalin: the revolutionary political counterpoint to Lacan's Kant avec Sade is undoubtedly Lenin avec Stalin it
is only with Stalin that the Leninist revolutionary subject turns into the perverse object-instrument of the big'
Other's jouissance.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

AT: Alternative Results in Violence

The inevitable result of the coming revolt will be a suicidal revolution that bathes the world in
rivers of blood
Deleuze and Guattari 87 A Thousand Plateaus p. 230-231
We cannot say that one of these three lines is bad and another good, by nature and necessarily. The study of the dangers of each line is the object of
pragmatics or schizoanalysis, to the extent that it undertakes not to represent, interpret, or symbolize, but only to make maps and draw lines, marking their
mixtures as well as their distinctions. According to Nietzsche's Zarathustra and Castaneda's Indian Don Juan, there

are three or even four dangers:

first, Fear, then Clarity, then Power, and finally the great Disgust, the longing to kill and to die, the Passion for abolition.28 We can
guess what fear is. We are always afraid of losing. Our security, the great molar organization that sustains us, the arborescences we cling to, the
binary machines that give us a well-defined status, the resonances we enter into, the system of overcoding that dominates uswe desire all that. "The
values, morals, fatherlands, religions and private certitudes our vanity and self-complacency generously grant us are so many abodes the world furnishes
for those who think on that account that they stand and rest amid stable things; they know nothing of the enormous rout they are heading f o r . . . in flight
from flight." We flee

from flight, rigidify our segments, give ourselves over to binary logic; the harder they have been to us on one segment, the
harder we will be on another; we reterritorialize on anything available; the only segmentarity we know is molar, at the level of the large-scale
aggregates we belong to, as well as at the level of the little groups we get into, as well as at the level of what goes on in our most intimate and private
recesses. Everything is involved: modes of perception, kinds of actions, ways of moving, life-styles, semiotic regimes. A man comes home and says, "Is
the grub ready?", and the wife answers, "What a scowl! Are you in a bad mood?": two rigid segments in confrontation. The more rigid the segmentarity,
the more reassuring it is for us. That is what fear is, and how it makes us retreat into the first line. The second danger, Clarity, seems less obvious. Clarity,
in effect, concerns the molecular. Once again, everything is involved, even perception, even the semiotic regime, but this time on the second line.
Castaneda illustrates, for example, the existence of a molecular perception to which drugs give us access (but so many things can be drugs): we attain a
visual and sonorous microperception revealing spaces and voids, like holes in the molar structure. That is precisely what clarity is: the distinctions that
appear in what used to seem full, the holes in what used to be compact; and conversely, where just before we saw end points of clear-cut segments, now
there are indistinct fringes, encroachments, overlappings, migrations, acts of segmentation that no longer coincide with the rigid segmentarity. Everything
now appears supple, with holes in fullness, nebulas in forms, and flutter in lines. Everything

has the clarity of the microscope. We think we

have understood everything, and draw conclusions. We are the new knights; we even have a mission . A microphysics of
the migrant has replaced the macrogeometry of the sedentary. But this suppleness and clarity do not only present dangers, they are themselves a danger.
First, supple segmentarity runs the risk of reproducing in miniature the affections, the affectations, of the rigid: the family is replaced by a community,
conjugality by a regime of exchange and migration; worse, micro-Oedipuses crop up, microfascisms lay down the law, the mother feels obliged to titillate
her child, the father becomes a mommy. A dark light that falls from no star and emanates such sadness: this shifting segmentarity derives directly from the
most rigid, for which it is indirect compensation. The more molar the aggregates become, the more molecular become their elements and the relations
between their elements: molecular man for molar humanity. One deterritorializes, massifies, but only in order to knot and annul the mass movements and
movements of deterritorialization, to invent all kinds of marginal reterritorializations even worse than the others. But above all, supple segmentarity brings
dangers of its own that do not merely reproduce in small scale the dangers of molar segmentarity, which do not derive from them or compensate for them.
As we have seen, microfascisms

have a specificity of their own that can crystallize into a macro fascism, but may also float
along the supple line on their own account and suffuse every little cell. A multitude of black holes may very well not become centralized,
and acts instead as viruses adapting to the most varied situations, sinking voids in molecular perceptions and semiotics. Interactions without resonance.
Instead of the great paranoid fear, we

are trapped in a thousand little monomanias, self-evident truths, and clarities that gush
from every black hole and no longer form a system, but are only rumble and buzz, blinding lights giving any and everybody the mission of
self-appointed judge, dispenser of justice, policeman, neighborhood SS man. We have overcome fear, we have sailed from the shores of security, only to
enter a system that is no less concentricized, no less organized: the system of petty insecurities that leads everyone to their own black hole in which to turn
dangerous, possessing a clarity on their situation, role, and mission even more disturbing than the certitudes of the first line. Power (Pouvoir) is the third
danger, because it is on both lines simultane ously. It stretches from the rigid segments with their overcoding and resonance to the fine segmentations with
their diffusion and interactions, and back again. Every man of power jumps from one line to the other, alternating between a petty and a lofty style, the
rogue's style and the grandiloquent style, drugstore demagoguery and the imperialism of the high-ranking government man. But this whole chain and web

The man of power

will always want to stop the lines of flight, and to this end to trap and stabilize the mutation machine in the overcoding machine. But he can do
of power is immersed in a world of mutant flows that eludes them. It is precisely its impotence that makes power so dangerous.

so only by creating a void, in other words, by first stabilizing the overcoding machine itself by containing it within the local assemblage charged with
effectuating it, in short, by giving the assemblage the dimensions of the machine. This

is what takes place in the artificial conditions of

totalitarianism or the "closed vessel." But there is a fourth danger as well, and this is the one that interests us most, because it concerns the lines
of flight themselves. We may well have presented these lines as a sort of mutation or creation drawn not only in the imagination but also in the very fabric
of social reality; we may well have attributed to them the movement of the arrow and the speed of an absolutebut it would be oversimplifying to believe
that the only risk they fear and confront is allowing themselves to be recaptured in the end, letting themselves be sealed in, tied up, reknotted,


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

reterritorialized. They themselves emanate a strange despair, like an odor of death and immolation, a state of war from which one returns broken: they
have their own dangers distinct from the ones previously discussed. This is exactly what led Fitzgerald to say: "I had a feeling that I was standing at
twilight on a deserted range, with an empty rifle in my hands and the targets down. No problem setsimply a silence with only the sound of my own
breathing. . . . My self-immolation was something sodden-dark."30 Why is the line of flight a war one risks coming back from defeated, destroyed, after
having destroyed everything one could? This, precisely, is the

fourth danger: the line of flight crossing the wall, getting out of the black
with other lines and each time augmenting its valence, turning to destruction, abolition pure
and simple, the passion of abolition. Like Kleist's line of flight, and the strange war he wages; like suicide, double suicide, a way out that
turns the line of flight into a line of death. We are not invoking any kind of death drive. There are no internal drives in desire, only
assemblages. Desire is always assembled; it is what the assemblage determines it to be. The assemblage that draws lines of flight is on the same
level as they are, and is of the war machine type. Mutations spring from this machine, which in no way has war as its object, but rather the
holes, but instead of connecting

emission of quanta of deterritorialization, the passage of mutant flows (in this sense, every creation is brought about by a war machine). There are many
reasons to believe that the war machine is of a different origin, is a different assemblage, than the State apparatus. It is of nomadic origin and is directed
against the State apparatus. One of the fundamental problems of the State is to appropriate this war machine that is foreign to it and make it a piece in its
apparatus, in the form of a stable military institution; and the State has always encountered major difficulties in this. It

is precisely when the war

machine has reached the point that it has no other object but war, it is when it substitutes destruction for mutation, that it
frees the most catastrophic charge. Mutation is in no way a transformation of war; on the contrary, war is like the fall or failure of mutation, the
only object left for the war machine after it has lost its power to change. War, it must be said, is only the abominable residue of the war machine, either
after it has allowed itself to be appropriated by the State apparatus, or even worse, has constructed itself a State apparatus capable only of destruction.
When this happens, the war machine no longer draws mutant lines of flight, but a pure, cold line of abolition. (Later, we will propose a theory of the
complex relation between the war machine and war.)31 This brings us back to the paradox of fascism, and the way in which fascism differs from
totalitarianism. For totalitarianism is a State affair: it essentially concerns the relation between the State as a localized assemblage and the abstract machine
of overcoding it effectuates. Even in the case of a military dictatorship, it is a State army, not a war machine, that takes power and elevates the State to the
totalitarian stage. Totalitarianism is quintessentially conservative. Fascism, on the other hand, involves a war machine. When

fascism builds itself a

totalitarian State, it is not in the sense of a State army taking power, but of a war machine taking over the State. A bizarre
remark by Virilio puts us on the trail: in fascism, the State is far less totalitarian than it is suicidal. There is in fascism a realized nihilism. Unlike the
totalitarian State, which does its utmost to seal all possible lines of flight ,

fascism is constructed on an intense line of flight, which it

transforms into a line of pure destruction and abolition. It is curious that from the very beginning the Nazis announced to Germany
what they were bringing: at once wedding bells and death, including their own death, and the death of the Germans. They thought they would
perish but that their undertaking would be resumed, all across Europe, all over the world, throughout the solar system. And
the people cheered, not because they did not understand, but because they wanted that death through the death of other s. Like
a will to wager everything you have every hand, to stake your own death against the death of others, and measure everything by "deleometers." Klaus
Mann's novel,

Mephisto, gives samplings of entirely ordinary Nazi speeches and conversations: "Heroism was something that was
beloved Fiihrer is dragging us toward
the shades of darkness and everlasting nothingness. How can we poets, we who have a special affinity for darkness and
lower depths, not admire him? . . . Fires blazing on the horizon; rivers of blood in all the streets ; and the frenzied
dancing of the survivors, of those who are still spared, around the bodies of the dead!"32 Suicide is presented not as a
punishment but as the crowning glory of the death of others. One can always say that it is just a matter of foggy talk and ideology,
being ruled out of our lives. . . . In reality, we are not marching forward, we are reeling, staggering. Our

nothing but ideology. But that is not true. The insufficiency of economic and political definitions of fascism does not simply imply a need to tack on
vague, so-called ideological determinations. We prefer to follow Faye's inquiry into the precise formation of Nazi statements, which are just as much in
evidence in politics and economics as in the most absurd of conversations. They always contain the "stupid and repugnant" cry, Long live death!, even at
the economic level, where the arms expansion replaces growth in consumption and where investment veers from the means of production toward the
means of pure destruction. Paul Virilio's analysis strikes us as entirely correct in defining fascism not by the notion of the totalitarian State but by the
notion of the suicidal State: so-called

total war seems less a State undertaking than an undertaking of a war machine that
appropriates the State and channels into it a flow of absolute war whose only possible outcome is the suicide of the State
itself. "The triggering of a hitherto unknown material process, one that is limitless and aimless. . . . Once triggered, its
mechanism cannot stop at peace, for the indirect strategy effectively places the dominant powers outside the usual
categories of space and time. . . . It was in the horror of daily life and its environment that Hitler finally found his surest
means of governing, the legitimation of his policies and military strategy; and it lasted right up to the end, for the ruins and
horrors and crimes and chaos of total war, far from discharging the repulsive nature of its power, normally only increase its scope. Telegram 71
is the normal outcome: If the war is lost, may the nation perish. Here, Hitler decides to join forces with his enemies in order to complete the destruction of
his own people, by obliterating the last remaining resources of its life-support system, civil reserves of every kind (potable water, fuel, provisions, etc.)."


was this reversion of the line of flight into a line of destruction that already animated the molecular focuses of fascism,
and made them interact in a war machine instead of resonating in a State apparatus. A war machine that no longer had
anything but war as its object and would rather annihilate its own servants than stop the destruction. All the dangers of the
other lines pale by comparison.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

AT: Alternative Is Fascist

No its not its the sad truth we have to defend virtue with violence this is not a license to kill,
it is true revolutionary logic
Zizek, 2008 (Slavoj, In Defense of Lost Causes, pp.157-164)
Nowhere is the dictum "every history is a history of the present" more true than in the case of the French
Revolution: its historiographical reception has always closely mirrored the twists and turns of political struggles.
The identifying mark of all kinds of conservatives is its flat rejection: the French Revolution was a catastrophe
from the very beginning, the product of the godless modern mind, it is to be Interpreted as God's punishment for
humanity's wicked ways, so its traces should be effaced as thoroughly as possible. The typical liberal attitude is
a differentiated one: its formula is "1789 without 1793." In short, what the sensitive liberals want is a
decaffeinated revolution, or a revolution which does not smell of a revolution. Francois Furet and others thus try
to deprive the French Revolution of its status as the founding event of modern democracy, relegating it to a
historical anomaly: there was a historical necessity to assert the modern principles of personal freedom and so
forth, but, as the English example demonstrates, the same could have been much more efficiently achieved in a
more peaceful way . . . Radicals are, on the contrary, possessed by what Alain Badiou calls the "passion of the
Real": if you say A equality, human rights, and freedomyou should not shirk from its consequences and
gather the courage to say the terror needed to really defend and assert the A. And the same goes for the
memory of May 1968. Days before the second round of the presidential elections in May 2007, Nicolas Sarkozy
formulated the exorcism of the ghost of May 68 as the true choice facing the electorate: "In this election, we
should learn whether the inheritance of May 68 is to be perpetuated, or whether it should be liquidated once and
for all. I want to turn the page of May 68." While one should defend the memory of 68, one should also bear in
mind that the content of this memory is the stake of an ideological struggleas Daniel Bensaid and Alain
Krivine pointed out recently: "There is their May and ours." The predominant liberal discourse appropriated the
May 68 events as the beginning of the end of the traditional Left, as the explosion of youthful energy and
creativity, as France's "belated entrance into hedonist modernity." For the Left, on the contrary, May 68 was the
unique moment of a general strike which paralyzed France and evoked the specter of the disintegration of state
power, the moment of unification of the students' contestation with the workers' protests, part of the larger
movement which encompassed student movements in the US, Germany, and Italy. However, it is all too easy to
say that today's Left should simply continue along this path. Something, some kind of historical rupture,
effectively took place in 1990: everyone, the contemporary "radical Left" included, is somehow ashamed of the
Jacobin legacy of revolutionary terror with its state-centralized character, so that the current doxa is that the
Left, if it is to regain political efficacy, should thoroughly reinvent itself, finally abandoning the so-called
"Jacobin paradigm." In our postmodern era of "emergent properties," chaotic interaction of multiple
subjectivities, of free interaction instead of centralized hierarchy, of a multitude of opinions instead of one Truth,
the Jacobin dictatorship is fundamentally "not to our taste" (the term "taste" should be given all its historical
weight, as a word capturing a basic ideological disposition). Can one imagine anything more foreign to our
universe of the freedom of opinions, of market competition, of nomadic pluralist interaction, and so on and so
forth, than Robespierre's politics of Truth (with a capital T, of course), whose proclaimed goal is "to return the
destiny of liberty into the hands of the truth"? Such a Truth can only be enforced in a terrorist manner: If the

Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

mainspring of popular government in peacetime is virtue, amid revolution it is at the same time virtue and
terror: virtue, without which terror is fatal; terror, without which virtue is impotent. Terror is nothing but
prompt, severe, inflexible justice; it is therefore an emanation of virtue. It is less a special principle than a
consequence of the general principle of democracy applied to our country's most pressing needs. This line of
argumentation reaches its climax in the paradoxical identification of the opposites: revolutionary terror
"sublates" the opposition between punishment and clemencyjust and severe punishment of the enemies is the
highest form of clemency, so that rigor and charity coincide in terror: To punish the oppressors of humanity is
clemency; to pardon them is barbarity. The rigor of tyrants has only rigor for a principle; the rigor of the
republican government comes from charity. Do we still have ears for such a revolutionary "coincidence of the
opposites" of punishment and charity, of terror and freedom? The popular image of Robespierre is that of a
kind of inverted Elephant Man: while the latter had a terribly deformed body hiding a gentle and intelligent soul,
Robespierre was a kind and polite person hiding ice-cold cruel determination as signaled by his green eyes. As
such, Robespierre serves perfectly today's anti-totalitarian liberals who no longer need to portray him as a cruel
monster with a sneering evil smile, as was the case for nineteenth-century reactionaries: everyone is ready to
recognize his moral integrity and full devotion to the revolutionary cause, since his very purity is the problem,
the source of all trouble, as is indicated by the title of the latest biography of Robespierre, Ruth Scurr's Fatal
Purity. And, so that no one misses the point, Antonia Fraser, in her review, draws "a chilling lesson for us
today": Robespierre was personally honest and sincere, but "[t]he bloodlettings brought about by this sincere'
man surely warn us that belief in your own righteousness to the exclusion of all else can be as dangerous as the
more cynical motivation of a deliberate tyrant." Happy are we who live under cynical public-opinion
manipulators, not under the sincere Muslim fundamentalists ready to fully engage themselves in their projects . .
. what better proof of the ethico-political misery of our epoch whose ultimate mobilizing motif is the mistrust of
virtue! What, then, should those who remain faithful to the legacy of the radical Lef do with all this? Two things,
at the very least. First, the terrorist past has to be accepted as ours, even or precisely because it is critically
rejected. The only alternative to the hall-hearted defensive position of feeling guilty faced with our liberal or
rightist critics is: we have to do the critical job better than our opponents. This, however, is not the entire story:
one should also not allow our opponents to determine the terms and topic of the struggle. What this means is
that ruthless self-criticism should go hand in hand with a fearless admission of what, to paraphrase Marx's
judgment on Hegel's dialectics, one is tempted to call the "rational kernel" of the Jacobin Terror: Materialist
dialectics assumes, without particular joy, that, till now, no political subject was able to arrive at the eternity of
the truth it was deploying without moments of terror. For, as Saint-Just asked: "What do those who want neither
Virtue nor Terror want?" His answer is well known: they want corruption another name for the subject's
defeat.'" Or, as Saint-Just put it succinctly elsewhere: "That which produces the general good is always terrible."
These words should not be interpreted as a warning against the temptation to violently impose the general good
on a society, but, on the contrary, as a bitter truth to be fully endorsed. The further crucial point to bear in mind
is that, for Robespierre, revolutionary terror is the very opposite of war: Robespierre was a pacifist, not out of
hypocrisy or humanitarian sensitivity, but because he was well aware that war between nations as a rule serves
as the means to obfuscate revolutionary struggle within each nation. Robespierre's speech "On War" is of special
importance today: it shows him as a true peace-lover who ruthlessly denounces the patriotic call to war, even if
the war is formulated as the defense of the revolution, for it is the attempt of those who want "revolution without
revolution" to divert the radicalization of the revolutionary process. His stance is thus the exact opposite of those
who need war to militarize social life and take dictatorial control over it. Which is why Robespierre also
denounced the temptation to export revolution to other countries, forcefully "liberating" them: The French are
not afflicted with a mania for rendering any nation happy and free against its will. All the kings could have
vegetated or died unpunished on their blood-spattered thrones, if they had been able to respect the French
people's independence. Jacobin revolutionary terror is sometimes (half) justified as the "founding crime" of the

Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

bourgeois universe of law and order, in which citizens are allowed to pursue their interests in peace, but one
should reject this claim on two accounts. Not only is it factually wrong (many conservatives were quite right to
point out that one can achieve bourgeois law and order without terrorist excesses, as was the case in Great
Britain although there is Cromwell to remember . . .); much more important, the revolutionary Terror of 1792
94 was not a case of what Walter Benjamin and others call state-founding violence, but a case of "divine
violence."'" Interpreters of Benjamin wonder what "divine violence" could effectively meanis it yet another
leftist dream of a "pure" event which never really takes place? One should recall here Friedrich Engels's
reference to the Paris Commune as an example of the dictatorship of the proletariat: Of late, the SocialDemocratic philistine has once more been filled with wholesome terror at the words: Dictatorship of the
Proletariat. Well and good, gentlemen, do you want to know what this dictatorship looks like? Look at the Paris
Commune. That was the Dictatorship of the Proletariat. One should repeat this, mutatis mutandi, apropos
divine violence: "Well and good, gentlemen critical theorists, do you want to know what this divine violence
looks like? Look at the revolutionary Terror of 1792-94. That was Divine Violence." (And the series can
continue: the Red Terror of 1919 . . .) That is to say, one should fearlessly identify divine violence with
positively existing historical phenomena, thus avoiding all obscurantist mystification. When those outside the
structured social field strike "blindly," demanding and enacting immediate justice/vengeance, this is "divine
violence" recall, a decade or so ago, the panic in Rio de Janeiro when crowds descended from the favelas into
the wealthy part of the city and started looting and burning supermarketswas "divine violence" . . . Like
biblical locusts, divine punishment for men's sinful ways, it strikes from out of nowhere, a means without an end
or, as Robespierre put it in his speech in which he demanded the execution of Louis XVI: Peoples do not
judge in the same way as courts of law; they do not hand down sentences, they throw thunderbolts; they do not
condemn kings, they drop them back into the void; and this justice is worth just as much as that of the courts.
The "dictatorship of the proletariat" is thus another name for Benjaminian "divine violence" which is outside the
law, a violence exerted as brutal revenge/justice but why "divine"? "Divine" points towards the dimension of
the "inhuman"; one should thus posit a double equation: divine violence = inhuman terror = dictatorship of the
proletariat. Benjaminian "divine violence" should be conceived as divine in the precise sense of the old Latin
motto vox populi, vox dei: not in the perverse sense of "we are doing it as mere instruments of the People's
Will," but as the heroic assumption of the solitude of a sovereign decision. It is a decision (to kill, to risk or lose
one's own life) made in absolute solitude, with no cover from the big Other. If it is extra-moral, it is not
"immoral," it does not give the agent the license just to kill with some kind of angelic innocence. The motto of
divine violence is fiat iutitia, pereat mundiuf: it is through justice, the point of non-distinction between justice
and vengeance, that the "people" (the anonymous part of no-part) imposes its terror and makes other parts pay
the price Judgment Day for the long history of oppression, exploitation, sufferingor, as Robespierre
himself put it in a poignant manner: What do you want, you who would like truth to be powerless on the lips
of representatives of the French people? Truth undoubtedly has its power, it has its anger, its own despotism; it
has touching accents and terrible ones, that resound with force in pure hearts as in guilty consciences, and that
untruth can no more imitate than Salome can imitate the thunderbolts of heaven; but accuse nature of it, accuse
the people, which wants it and loves it. And this is what Robespierre is targeting in his famous accusation to the
moderates that what they really want is a "revolution without a revolution": they want a revolution deprived of
the excess in which democracy and terror coincide, a revolution respecting social rules, subordinated to
preexisting norms, a revolution in which violence is deprived of the "divine" dimension and thus reduced to a
strategic intervention serving precise and limited goals: Citizens, did you want a revolution without a
revolution? What is this spirit of persecution that has come to revise, so to speak, the one that broke our
chains? But what sure judgement can one make of the effects that can follow these great commotions? Who can
mark, after the event, the exact point at which the waves of popular insurrection should break? At that price,
what people could ever have shaken off the yoke of despotism? For while it is true that a great nation cannot

Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

rise in a simultaneous movement, and that tyranny can only be hit by the portion of citizens that is closest to it,
how would these ever dare to attack it if, after the victory, delegates from remote parts could hold them
responsible for the duration or violence of the political torment that had saved the homeland? They ought to be
regarded as justified by tacit proxy for the whole of society. The French, friends of liberty, meeting in Paris last
August, acted in that role, in the name of all the departments. They should either be approved or repudiated
entirely. To make them criminally responsible for a few apparent or real disorders, inseparable from so great a
shock, would be to punish them for their devotion. This authentic revolutionary logic can be discerned already
at the level of rhetorical figures, where Robespierre likes to turn around the standard procedure of first evoking
an apparently "realistic" position and then displaying its illusory nature: he often starts with presenting a
position or description of a situation as an absurd exaggeration, a fiction, and then goes on to remind us that
what, in a first approach, cannot but appear as a fiction, is actually truth itself: "But what am I saying? What I
have just presented as an absurd hypothesis is actually a very certain reality. " It is this radical revolutionary
stance which also enables Robespierre to denounce the "humanitarian" concern with victims of revolutionary
"divine violence": "A sensibility that wails almost exclusively over the enemies of liberty seems suspect to me.
Stop shaking the tyrant's bloody robe in my face, or I will believe that you wish to put Rome in chains."'


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

AT: Alternative Is Fascist

Discipline is not fascist fascism is just a particular articulation of discipline. Conflating the two
blocks conceptual analysis.
Zizek, 2008 (Slavoj, In Defense of Lost Causes, pp.138-39)
Another popular topic of this kind of analysis, closer to Riefenstahl, is the allegedly "proto-fascist" character of
the mass choreography displaying disciplined movements of thousands of bodies (parades, mass performances
in the stadia, and so on); if one finds the same phenomenon also in socialism, one immediately draws the
conclusion about a "deeper solidarity" between the two "totalitarianisms." Such a procedure, the very prototype
of ideological liberalism, misses the point: not only are such mass performances not inherently fascist; they are
not even "neutral," waiting to be appropriated by Left or Right it was Nazism that stole them and appropriated
them from the workers' movement, their original creator. None of the "proto-fascist" elements is per se fascist,
what makes them "fascist" is only their specific articulationor, to put it in Stephen Jay Gould's terms, all these
elements are "ex-apted" by fascism. In other words, there is no "fascism avant la lettre, " because it is the letter
itself (the nomination) which makes out of the bundle of elements fascism proper. Along the same lines, one
should radically reject the notion that discipline (from self-control to body training) is a "proto-fascist" feature
the very predicate "proto-fascist" should be abandoned: it is the exemplary case of a pseudo-concept whose
function is to block conceptual analysis. When we say that the organized spectacle of thousands of bodies (or,
say, the admiration of sports which demand intense efforts and self-control such as mountain-climbing) is
"proto-fascist," we say strictly nothing, we just express a vague association which masks our ignorance. So
when, three decades ago, Kung Fu films were popular (Bruce Lee and so forth), was it not obvious that we were
dealing with a genuine working-class ideology of youngsters whose only means of success was the disciplined
training of their only possession, their bodies? Spontaneity and the "let it all hang out" attitude of indulging in
excessive freedoms belong to those who can afford itthose who have nothing have only their discipline. The
"bad " form of corporeal discipline, if there is one, is not collective training, but, rather, jogging and bodybuilding as part of the New Age myth of the realization of the self's inner potential no wonder that the
obsession with one's body is an almost obligatory part of the passage of ex-leftist radicals into the "maturity" of
pragmatic politics: from Jane Fonda to Joschka Fischer, the "period of latency" between the two phases was
marked by the focus on one's own body.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

AT: Revolution Empirically Fails

These debates miss the point they all rely on a linear-historical notion of time. We must accept
the possibility of an act creating its contingent possibility to overcome capitalism.
Zizek, 2008 (Slavoj, In Defense of Lost Causes, pp.178-181)
As is well known by those who still remember their Marxism, the ambiguous central point of its theoretical
structure concerns its premise that capitalism itself creates the conditions for its transcendence through
proletarian revolutionhow are we to read this? Is it to be read in a linear evolutionary way: revolution should
take place when capitalism fully develops all its potential and exhausts all its possibilities, the mythical point at
which it confronts its central antagonism ("contradiction") at its purest, in its naked form? And is it enough to
add the "subjective" aspect and to emphasize that the working class should not just sit and wait for the "ripe
moment," but "educate" itself through long struggle? As is also well known, Lenin's theory of the "weakest link
in the chain" is a kind of compromise solution: although it accepts that the first revolution can take place, not in
the most developed country, but in a country in which the antagonisms of capitalist development are most
aggravated, even if it is less developed (Russia, which combined concentrated modern capitalist-industrial
islands with agrarian backwardness and pre-democratic authoritarian government), it still perceived the October
Revolution as a risky breakthrough which could only succeed if it was soon accompanied by a large-scale
Western European revolution (all eyes were focused on Germany in this respect). The radical abandonment of
this model occurred only with Mao, for whom the proletarian revolution should take place in the less developed
part of the world, among the wide masses of the Third World's impoverished peasants, workers, and even the
"patriotic bourgeoisie," who are exposed to the aftershocks of capitalist globalization, organizing their rage and
despair. In a total reversal (perversion even) of Marx's model, the class struggle is thus reformulated as the
struggle between First World "bourgeois nations" and Third World "proletarian nations." The paradox here is
properly dialectical, perhaps in the ultimate application of Mao's teaching on contradictions: its very
underdevelopment (and thus "unripeness" for the revolution) makes a country "ripe" for the revolution. Since,
however, such "unripe" economic conditions do not allow the construction of properly post-capitalist socialism,
the necessary correlate is the assertion of the "primacy of politics over economics": the victorious revolutionary
subject does not act as an instrument of economic necessity, liberating its potential whose further development is
thwarted by capitalist contradictions; it is, rather, a voluntarist agent which acts against "spontaneous" economic
necessity, imposing its vision on reality through revolutionary terror. One should bear in mind here the
fundamental lesson of Hegelian 'concrete universality": universal necessity is not a teleological force which,
operative from the outset, pulls the strings and runs the process, guaranteeing its happy outcome; on the
contrary, this universal necessity IS always retroactive, it emerges out of the radical contingency of the process
and signals the moment of the contingency's se\i-Aufhebung. One should thus say that, once the (contingent)
passage from Leninism to Maoism took place, it cannot but appear as "necessary," that is, one can (re)construct
the "inner necessity" of Maoism as the next "stage" of the development of Marxism. In order to grasp this
reversal of contingency into necessity, one should leave behind the standard linear historical time structured as
the realization of possibilities (at the temporal moment X, there are multiple possible directions history can take,
and what actually takes place is the realization of one of the possibilities): what this linear time is unable to
grasp is the paradox of a contingent actual emergency which retroactively creates its own possibility: only when
the thing takes place can we "see" how it was possible. The rather tiresome debate about the origins of Maoism
(or Stalinism) oscillates around three main options: (I) the "hard" anti-Communists and the "hard" partisans of
Stalinism claim that there is a direct immanent logic which leads from Marx to Lenin and from Lenin to Stalin
(and then from Stalin to Mao); (2) the "soft" critics claim that the Stalinist (or, prior to it, Leninist) turn is one of

Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

the historical possibilities present in Aiarx's theoretical structure it could have turned out otherwise, but the
Stalinist catastrophe is nonetheless inscribed as an option into the original theory itself; (3) finally, the defenders
of the purity of the "original teaching of Marx" dismiss Stalinism (or indeed Leninism) as a simple distortion,
betrayal, insisting on the radical break between the two: Lenin and/or Stalin simply "kidnapped" Marx's theory
and used it for purposes totally at odds with Marx. One should reject all three versions as based on the same
underlying linear-historicist notion of temporality, and opt for the fourth version, beyond the false question "to
what extent was Marx responsible for the Stalinist catastrophe?": Marx is entirely responsible, but retroactively,
that is, the same holds for Stalin as for Kafka in Borges's famous formulation: they both created their own
predecessors. Third is the movement of "concrete universality," this radical "transubstantiation" through which
the original theory has to reinvent itself in a new context: only by way of surviving this transplantation can it
emerge as effectively universal. And, of course, the point is not that we are dealing here with the pseudoHegelian process of "alienation" and "dis-alienation," of how the original theory is "alienated" and then has to
incorporate the foreign context, reappropriate it, subordinate it to itself: what such a pseudo-Hegelian notion
misses is the way this violent transplantation into a new context radically affects the original theory itself, so
that, when this theory "returns to itself in its otherness" (reinvents itself in the foreign context), its very
substance changes and yet this shift is not just the reaction to an external shock, it remains an inherent
transformation of the game theory of the overcoming of capitalism. This is how capitalism is a "concrete
universality": it is not the question of isolating what all the particular forms of capitalism have in common, their
shared universal features, but of grasping this matrix as a positive force in itself, as something which all actual
particular forms try to counteract, the destructive effects of which they strive to contain.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

AT: Alternative Fails

Take the risk of the alternative even in the face of their skepticism Radical politics requires
taking real risks, while their political tiptoeing guarantees the eternal reproduction of the
status quo.
Jodi Dean, Prof. of Political Theory @ Hobart and William Smith College, 2005. Zizek Against Democracy. )
For Zizek, the only way to break out of this stultifying deadlock is through a radical political act.v As Zizek
conceives it, the act is a radical, uncertain gesture that breaks through the symbolic order. From the standpoint of
this order, then, and like the very foundation of the order itself, the act is shattering, unethicaland this is the
point, to break through the boundaries of the situation, to change its basic contours. In this way, the act is nondemocratic; it is not democratically legitimized in advance. Rather, it is a There are no guarantees of
success. Only retroactively, in light of what follows, can there be any sense of the act. Zizek writes: an act is
always a specific intervention within a socio-symbolic context; the same gesture can be an act or a ridiculous
empty posture, depending on this context.vii Rather than a radical step toward freedom, the Boston Tea Party
could well have been a pathetic act of vandalism by men in unfortunate costumes. Likewise the Los Angeles
riots could have been the moment when the structures of class and race were radically transformed rather than
merely the moment when rage combusted into violence and looting. Zizek emphasizes two features of the
political act. First, it is external to the subject. The act is not something that the subject figures out and decides
to do having rationally considered a number of different options. On the contrary, insofar as the act is an
intrusion of the Real, the act is precisely something which unexpectedly just occurs.viii An act is not
intentional; it is something that the subject had to do, that it could not do otherwise, that just happened. Second,
the genuinely political act intervenes from the position of the social symptom; it is not simply some sort of
transformation of the subject. Zizek explains: an authentic act is not simply external with regard to the
hegemonic field disturbed by it: an act is an act only with regard to some symbolic field, as an intervention into
it.ix To transform in this field, rather than remain trapped within it, an act has to intervene from the standpoint
of its hidden structuring principle, of its inherent exception. For example, the political strategy of the
Democratic Leadership Council in the United States has for all intents and purposes been to race the
Republicans to the right. Clinton Democrats, then, emphasized wefare reform (turning it into workfare and
capping lifetime receipt of benefits at five years) as they tried to appeal to what they perceived to be average or
middle class Americans. Lost in this strategy are the poor: the exclusion of the poor was necessary for the
restructuring of the Democratic party. The poor, then, would constitute the symptom of the Democratic Party
and an act would intervene from this position


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

AT: Alternative Results in Violence

Extinction created by capitalism is inherently violent; violence is justificed in response
Zizek, 2008 (Slavoj, Violence, pp.64-67)
There is the elementary matrix of the Hegelian dialectical process here: the external opposition (between law
and its criminal transgression) is transformed into the opposition, internal to the transgression itself, between
particular transgressions and the absolute transgression which appears as its opposite, as the universal law. And
mutatis mutandis, the same goes for violence: when we perceive something as an act of violence, we measure it
by a presupposed standard of what the "normal" non-violent situation is-and the highest form of violence is the
imposition of this standard with reference to which some events appear as "violent." This is why language itself,
the very medium of non-violence, of mutual recognition, involves unconditional violence. In other words, it is
language itself which pushes our desire beyond proper limits, transforming it into a "desire that contains the
infinite," elevating it into an absolute striving that cannot ever be satisfied. What Lacan calls objet petit a is
precisely this ethereal "undead" object, the surplus object that causes desire in its excessive and derailing aspect.
One cannot get rid of this excess: it is consubstantial with human desire as such. So, to paraphrase Weil, in
modernity, "limited desires in harmony with the world" are the ultimate source of our opportunist anti-ethical
stance, they sustain the inertia of egotism and pleasure-seeking, while our contact with the good is sustained by
"desires that contain the infinite," that strive for the absolute. This gives rise to an irreducible ambiguity: the
source of the good is a power that shatters the coordinates of our finite existence, a destructive power that, from
the standpoint of our limited stable life-form, cannot but appear as evil. The same goes for the relationship
between mortality and immortality. According to the traditional ideological commonplace, immortality is linked
to the good and mortality to evil: what makes us good is the awareness of immortality (of God, of our soul, of
the sublime ethical striving . . . ), while the root of evil is the resignation to our mortality (we shall all die, so it
doesn't really matter, just grab what you can, indulge your darkest whims . . . ). What, however, if one turns this
commonplace round and wages the hypothesis that the primordial immortality is that of evil: evil is something
which threatens to return for ever, a spectral dimension which magically survives its physical annihilation and
continues to haunt us. This is why the victory of good over evil is the ability to die , to regain the innocence of
nature, to find peace in getting rid of the obscene infinity of evil. Recall the classical scene from old horror
movies: when a man who was possessed by some evil forcethis possession being signalled by a freakish
disfiguration of the bodyis delivered from the undead spectre that colonised him, he regains the serene beauty
of his everyday form and dies in peace. This is why Christ has to diepagan gods who cannot die are
embodiments of obscene evil. Good versus evil is not spirit versus nature: the primordial evil is spirit itself with
its violent derailment of nature. The conclusion to be drawn from this is that the properly human good, the good
elevated above the natural good, the infinite spiritual good, is ultimately the mask of evil. So, perhaps, the fact
that reason and race have the same root in Latin (ratio) tells us something: language, not primitive egotistic
interest, is the first and greatest divider, it is because of language that we and our neighbours (can) "live in
different worlds" even when we live on the same street. What this means is that verbal violence is not a
secondary distortion, but the ultimate resort of every specifically human violence. Take the example of antiSemitic pogroms, which can stand in for all racist violence. What the perpetrators of pogroms find intolerable
and rage-provoking, what they react to, is not the immediate reality of Jews, but the image/figure of the "Jew"
which circulates and has been constructed in their tradition. The catch, of course, is that one single individual
cannot distinguish in any simple way between real Jews and their anti-Semitic image: this image overdetermines
the way I experience real Jews themselves, and furthermore it affects the way Jews experience themselves. What
makes a real Jew that an anti-Semite encounters on the street "intolerable," what the anti-Semite tries to destroy

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when he attacks the Jew, the true target of his fury, is this fantasmatic dimension. The same principle applies to
every political protest: when workers protest their exploitation, they do not protest a simple reality, but an
experience of their real predicament made meaningful through language. Reality in itself, in its stupid existence,
is never intolerable: it is language, its symbolisation, which makes it such . So precisely when we are dealing
with the scene of a furious crowd, attacking and burning buildings and cars, lynching people, etc., we should
never forget the placards they are carrying and the words which sustain and justify their acts. It was Heidegger
who elaborated this feature at the formal-ontological level when , in his reading of "essence or Wesen" as a verb
("essencing"), he provided a de-essentialised notion of essence. Traditionally, "essence" refers to a stable core
that guarantees the identity of a thing. For Heidegger, "essence" is something that depends on the historical
context, on the epochal disclosure of being that occurs in and through language. He calls this the "house of
being." His expression "Wesen der Sprache" does not mean "the essence of language," but the "essencing," the
making of essences, that is the work of language: language bringing things into their essence, language "moving
us" so that things matter to us in a particular kind of way, so that paths are made within which we can move
among entities, and so that entities can bear on each other as the entities they are . . . We share an originary
language when the world is articulated in the same style for us, when we "listen to language," when we "let it
say its saying to us."24 Let's unravel this a little. For a medieval Christian, the "essence" of gold resides in its
incorruptibility and divine sheen which make it a "divine" metal. For us, it is either a flexible resource to be used
for industrial purposes or a material appropriate for aesthetic purposes. Another example: the castrato voice was
once the very voice of angels prior to the Fall; for us today, it is a monstrous creation. This change in our
sensitivity is sustained by language; it hinges on the shift in our symbolic universe. A fundamental violence
exists in this "essencing" ability of language: our world is given a partial twist, it loses its balanced innocence,
one partial colour gives the tone of the whole. The operation designated by the political thinker Ernesto Laclau
as that of hegemony is inherent to language. So when, in his reading of the famous chorus from Antigone on the
"uncanny! ,demonic" character of man in the Introduction to Metaphysics, Heidegger deploys the notion of
"ontological" violence that pertains to every founding gesture of the new communal world of a people,
accomplished by poets, thinkers, and statesmen, one should always bear in mind that this "uncanny/demonic"
dimension is ultimately that of language itself: Violence is usually seen in terms of the domain in which
concurring compromise and mutual assistance set the standard for Dasein, and accordingly all violence is
necessarily deemed only a disturbance and an offence ... The violent one, the creative one who sets forth into the
unsaid, who breaks into the unthought, who compels what has never happened and makes appear what is
unseen-this violent one stands at all times in daring ... Therefore the violence-doer knows no kindness and
conciliation (in the ordinary sense), no appeasement and mollification by success or prestige and by their
confirmation ... For such a one, disaster is the deepest and broadest Yes to the Overwhelming ... Essential decision, when it is carried out and when it resists the constantly pressing ensnarement in the everyday and the
customary, has to use violence. This act of violence, this de-cided setting out upon the way to the Being of
beings, moves humanity out of the hominess of what is most directly nearby and what is usual.25 As such, the
Creator is "hupsipolis apolis" (Antigone, line 37o): he stands outside and above polis and its ethos; he is
unbound by any rules of "morality" (which are only a degenerative form of ethos); only as such can he ground a
new form of ethos, of communal being in a polis . Of course, what reverberates here is the topic of an "illegal"
violence that founds the rule of the law itself.' Heidegger hastens to add how the first victim of this violence is
the Creator himself, who has to be erased with the advent of the new order that he grounded. This erasure can
take different forms. The first is physical destruction-from Moses and Julius Caesar onwards, we know that a
founding figure has to be killed. But there is also the relapse into madness, as in the case of great poets, from
HOlderlin to Ezra Pound, who were blinded by the very force of their poetic vision. Interestingly, the point in
Antigone where the chorus bewails man as the most "demonic" of all creatures, as a being of excess, a being
who violates all proper measures, comes immediately after it is revealed that someone has defied Creon's order

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and performed the funeral ritual on Polyneices body.27 It is this act which is perceived as a "demonic" excessive
act, not Creon's prohibition. Antigone is far from being the place-holder of moderation, of respect for proper
limits, against Creon's sacrilegious hubris; quite the contrary, the true violence is hers. What accounts for the
chilling character of the quoted passage is that Heidegger does not merely provide a new variation on his
standard rhetorical figure of inversion ("the essence of violence has nothing to do with ontic violence, suffering,
war, destruction, etc.; the essence of violence resides in the violent character of the very imposition/founding of
the new mode of the Essence-disclosure of communal Being-itself"); implicitly, but clearly, Heidegger reads this
essential violence as something that grounds-or at least opens up the space for-the explosions of ontic or
physical violence itself. Consequently, we should not immunise ourselves against the effects of the violence
Heidegger is talking about by classifying it as "merely" ontological: although it is violent as such, imposing a
certain disclosure of world, this world constellation also involves social relations of authority. In his
interpretation of Heraclitus fragment 53 ("Conflict [polemos] is the father of all things and king of all. Some he
shows to be gods and others men; some he makes slaves and others free"), Heidegger-in contrast to those who
accuse him of omitting to consider the "cruel" aspects of the ancient Greek life (slavery, etc.)-openly draws
attention to how "rank and dominance" are directly grounded in a disclosure of being, thereby providing a direct
ontological grounding to social relations of domination: If people today from time to time are going to busy
themselves rather too eagerly with the polis of the Greeks, they should not suppress this side of it; otherwise the
concept of the polis easily becomes innocuous and sentimental. What is higher in rank is what is stronger. Thus
Being, logos, as the gathered harmony, is not easily available for every man at the same price, but is concealed,
as opposed to that harmony which is always mere equalizing, the elimination of tension, leveling." There is thus
a direct link between the ontological violence and the texture of social violence (of sustaining relations of
enforced domination) that pertains to language. In her America Day by Day (1948), Simone de Beauvoir noted:
"many racists, ignoring the rigors of science, insist on declaring that even if the psychological reasons haven't
been established, the fact is that blacks are inferior. You only have to travel through America to be convinced of
it." Her point about racism has been too easily misunderstood. In a recent commentary, for example, Stella Sandford
claims that "nothing justifies Beauvoir's ... acceptance of the 'fact' of this inferiority": With her existentialist philosophical framework, we
might rather have expected Beauvoir to talk about the interpretation of existing physiological differences in terms of inferiority and
superiority . . . or to point out the mistake involved in the use of the value judgements "inferior" and "superior" to name alleged
properties of human beings, as if to "confirm a given fact."3 It is clear what bothers Sandford here. She is aware that Beauvoir's claim
about the factual inferiority of blacks aims at something more than the simple social fact that, in the American South of (not only) that
time, blacks were treated as inferior by the white majority and, in a way, they effectively were inferior. But her critical solution, propelled
by the care to avoid racist claims on the factual inferiority of blacks, is to relativise their inferiority into a matter of interpretation and
judgment by white racists, and distance it from a question of their very being. But what this softening distinction misses is the truly
trenchant dimension of racism:

the "being" of blacks (as of whites or anyone else) is a socio-symbolic being. When
they are treated by whites as inferior, this does indeed make them inferior at the level of their socio-symbolic
identity. In other words, the white racist ideology exerts a performative efficiency. It is not merely an
interpretation of what blacks are, but an interpretation that determines the very being and social existence of the
interpreted subjects.
We can now locate precisely what makes Sandford and other critics of Beauvoir resist her formulation that blacks actually were inferior: this resistance is itself ideological. At the base of this ideology is the fear that, if one concedes this point, we will

have lost the inner freedom, autonomy, and dignity of the human individual. Which is why such critics insist that blacks are not inferior but merely "inferiorised" by the violence imposed on them by white racist discourse. That is, they are affected by an imposition which does not affect them in the very core of
their being, and consequently which they can (and do) resist as free autonomous agents through their acts, dreams, and projects.

This brings us back to the starting point of this chapter, the abyss of the Neighbour. Though it may appear that
there is a contradiction between the way discourse constitutes the very core of the subject's identity and the
notion of this core as an unfathomable abyss beyond the "wall of language," there is a simple solution to this
apparent paradox. The "wall of language" which forever separates me from the abyss of another subject is
simultaneously that which opens up and sustains this abyssthe very obstacle that separates me from the
Beyond is what creates its mirage.


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AT: Alternative Results in Violence

Only a truly violent act without the assurance of the big other can refound the current order
Zizek, 2008 (Slavoj, In Defense of Lost Causes, pp.150-153)
Even the "class struggle" is already there in Heraclitus, in the guise of the struggle which "makes slaves on the
one hand, the free on the other" . . . According to some sources, one of Heidegger's visitors in the last years of
World War II was surprised to see on desk some books on Marxist philosophy; he replied that, since the Soviet
Union was going to win the war, he was getting ready to play his role in a new society . . . Apocryphal or not,
we can see the inner logic of this anecdote, which resides in the unexpected reverberation between the highest
and the lowest, the terse poetic beauty and precision of Heraclitus's ancient wisdom, and the simple brutality of
Stalin's dialectical-materialist "world-view." The other key Greek passage on violence to which Heidegger
repeatedly returns is the famous Chorus from Antigone on the "uncanny/demonic" character of man . In his
reading of this chorus in the Introduction to Metaphysics, Heidegger deploys the notion of "ontological"
violence that pertains to every founding gesture of the new communal World of a people, accomplished by
poets, thinkers, and statesmen: Violence is usually seen in terms of the domain in which concurring
compromise and mutual assistance set the standard for Dasein, and accordingly all violence is necessarily
deemed only a disturbance and an offense. [. . .] The violent one, the creative one who sets forth into the
unsaid, who breaks into the unthought, who compels what has never happened and makes appear what is
unseen^this violent one stands at all times in daring. [. . .] Therefore the violence-doer knows no kindness
and conciliation (in the ordinary sense), no appeasement and mollification by success or prestige and by their
confirmation. [. . .] For such a one, disaster is the deepest and broadest Yes to the Overwhelming. [. . .]
Essential de-cision, when it is carried out and when it resists the constantly pressing ensnarement in the
everyday and the customary, has to use violence. This act of violence, this de cided setting out upon the way to
the Being of beings, moves humanity out of the hominess of what is most directly nearby and what is usual. As
such, the Creator is "hupsipolis apolis" {Antigone, line 370): he stands outside and above polis and its ethos, he
is unbound by any rules of "morality" (which are only a degenerative form ethos); only as such can he ground a
new form of ethos, of communal Being in a polis . . .of course, what reverberates here is the topic of an
"illegal" violence that founds the rule of the law itself, deployed at the same time in different forms by Walter
Benjamin and Carl Schmitt.^^ What accounts for the chilling character of these passages is that, here, Heidegger
does not merely provide a new variation on his standard rhetorical figure of inversion ("The essence of violence
has nothing to do with ontic violence, suffering, war, destruction, etc.; the essence of violence resides in the
violent character of the very imposition/founding of the new mode of the Essencedisclosure of communal
Beingitself"); here, Heidegger (implicitly, but clearly) reads this essential violence as something that grounds
or, at least, opens up the space forthe explosions of ontic violence themselves . . . Liberal critics of
Heidegger like to dwell on these views, emphasizing how, in suspending even minimal moral criteria, Heidegger
legitimizes the most brutal "ontic" violence of the statesman-creator, and thus paves the way for his own Nazi
engagement and support for Hitler as such a statesman-creator who, standing outside and above the communal
space of the moribund Weimar Republic, fearlessly shattered its coordinates and thus violently grounded a new
communal Being, that of the Germany reawakened in the National Socialist revolution . . . However, what one is
tempted to add here is that, in the case of Nazism (and fascism in general), the constellation of violence is rather
the opposite: crazy, tasteless even, as it may sound, the problem with Hitler was that he was not violent enough,
that his violence was not "essential" enough. Nazism was not radical enough, it did not dare to disturb the basic
structure of the modern capitalist social space (which is why it had to focus on destroying an invented external

Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

enemy, Jews). This is why one should oppose the fascination with Hitler which claims that, of course, he was an
evil man, responsible for the death of millions but that he definitely had courage, that he pursued what he
wanted with an iron will . . . The point is that this is not only ethically repulsive, but simply wrong: no. Hitler
did ru)t "have the courage" to really change things; he did not really act, all his actions were fundamentally
restions, that is, he acted so that nothing would really change, he staged a great spectacle of Revolution so that
the capitalist order could survive. If one really wants to come up with an act which was truly daring, for which
one truly had to "have the courage" to try the impossible, but which was simultaneously a horrific act, an act
which caused suffering beyond comprehension, one could nominate Stalin's forced collectivization at the end of
1920s in the Soviet Union^but even here, the same reproach holds: the paradox of the 1928 "Stalinist
revolution" was rather that, in all its brutal radicality, it not radical enough in effectively transforming the social
substance. Its brutal destructiveness has to be read as an impotent passage l'acte. Far from simply standing for
a total forcing of the unnamable Real on behalf of the Truth, Stalinist "totalitarianism" rather designates the
attitude of absolutely ruthless "pragmatism," of manipulating and sacrificing all "principles" on behalf of
maintaining power. From this perspective, the irony of Hitler was that his grand gestures of despising bourgeois
self-complacency and so on were ultimately in the service of enabling this complacency to continue: far from
effectively disturbing the much disparaged "decadent" bourgeois order, far from awakening the Germans from
immersion in its degeneracy, Nazism was a dream which enabled them to continue wallowing in it and to
postpone an awakening Germany really awakened only in the defeat of 1945. The worry that Badiou's notion
of "courage" (which one needs in order to practice the fidelity to the Event) raises in liberal minds is: but how
are we to distinguish "good " (properly evental) courage from "bad" courage say, were the Nazis who
defended Berlin m the winter of 1944^5 or the Muslim terrorists who blow themselves up when they perform
suicidal attacks also not truly courageous? One should nonetheless insist that there is no "bad courage": bad
courage is always a form of cowardice. The "courage" of the Nazis was sustained by their cowardice concerning
attacking the key feature of their society, the capitalist relations of production; the "courage" of the terrorists
relies on the "big Other" whose instruments they perceive themselves to be. The true courage of an act is always
the courage to accept the inexistence of the big Other, that is, to attack the existing order at the point of its
symptomal knot. Back once more to Heidegger: what this means is that Hitler's violence, even at its most
terrifying (the murder of millions of Jews), was all too "ontic," that is, it too was an impotent passage a l'acte
that revealed the inability of the Nazi movement to be really "apolu," to question-confrontshatter the basic
coordinates of bourgeois communal being. And what if Heidegger's own Nazi engagement is also to be read as a
passage l'acte: a violent outburst that bears witness to Heidegger's inability to resolve the theoretical deadlock
he found himself in? The question of how Heidegger's Nazi commitment relates to his philosophy should thus
be recast: it is no longer a question of adequatio (correspondence) between Heidegger's thought and his political
acts, but of an inherent theoretical deadlock (which, in itself, has nothing to do with Nazism), and the violent
passage as the only way of escaping it. This is how one should also reframe the old dilemma. Which was in the
beginning the Word or the Act? Logically, it all began with the Word; the Act that followed was a flailing
outburst that bore witness to the deadlock of the Word. And the same goes for the Act par excellence, the divine
act of Creation: it also signals the impasse of God's ratiocinations. In short, here too, the negative aspect of
ontological proof holds: the fact that God created the world does not display His omnipotence and excess of
goodness, but rather His debilitating limitations.


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AT: Alternative Results in Violence

Must accept the nullity of what we have to lose in the face of capital we have to understand
what we treasure was always already lost
Zizek, 2008
(Slavoj, In Defense of Lost Causes, pp.433)
Ecology against nature
Do we not, today, once again need such a shattering experience of negativity? That is to say, what if the true
choice today were between fear and terror? The expression "fear and trembling" assumes the identity of the two
terms, as if they point towards the two aspects of the same phenomenon what if, however, one has to
introduce a gap between the two, so that trembling (being-terrorized) is, at its most radical, the only true
opposition to fear? In other words, one can break out of this fear not through a desperate search for safety, but,
on the contrary, by pushing on to the end, by accepting the nullity of that which we are afraid to lose. Isaac
Asimov said somewhere that there are two possibilities: either we are alone in the universe, there is nobody out
there watching us, or there is somebody out there and both possibilities are equally unbearable. So, from the
fear of losing our anchorage in the big Other, we should pass to the terror of there being no big Other. The old
formula "there is nothing to fear but fear itself" acquires thus a new and unexpected meaning: the fact that there
is nothing to fear is the most terrifying fact imaginable. Terror is this "self-related" or "self-negated" fear: it is
what fear changes into once we accept that there is no way back, that what we are afraid to lose, what is
threatened by what we are afraid of (nature, the life-world, the symbolic substance of our community . . .) has
always-already been lost.


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AT: Zizek Is Conservative

Slavoj Zizek could not be any farther from conservatism.
Jodi Dean, Prof. of Political Theory @ Hobart and William Smith College, No Date. Zizek Against Democracy. )
I approach this theme by way of what might appear as a detour: the political right in the United States .

Given Zizeks emphasis on

exclusion, violence and violence, not to mention his critique of multiculturalism and general skepticism toward democracy , one
might think that the Republican party demonstrates precisely that political will Zizek admires Not
surprisingly, this superficial description is too quick and too, well, superficial. Zizeks point is not that any
political position that comes from conviction is objectively correct or true. Rather, he argues that Truth is
radically subjective. Truth, or fidelity to the Truth-Event (he takes this language from Badiou) propels political engagement.
The wrongness of Bush (or racism, or capitalism) is not an ontological given; it is a political claim. Adhering to
a notion of universal partisan truth, Zizek asserts unequivocally the need to exclude right wing populists and
extremists, the need to reject them out of hand rather than to debate with them, hear them out, look for opportunities to
compromise. From the position of this partisan truth it is clearly the case that Bushs politics are profoundly
inauthentic, post-political, and anti-universal. Bushs politics (like Nazism) are inauthentic because they rely
on the fantasy of a social Whole. Rather than beginning from a universality posited from the point of exclusion,
from the antagonism rupturing society, as does Zizek, right wing politics attempts to restore a ruptured society to
its original unity. In fact, in direct opposition to Zizeks emphasis on those outcast from the social order, Bushs
politics (like, unfortunately, nearly all mainstream party politics in the U.S.) are rooted in the most privileged
members of society. Any endorsement of the obscene underpinnings of the lawand who can forget Bushs horrifying
grin as he insinuated that the U.S. had tortured people arrested as terrorists in his televised speeches before the attack in Iraq is done
to support the given order, to deny its inconsistency. This is why Bushs politics are actually post-political: they
are designed to make sure that nothing changes, that corporations remain powerful, say, or that nothing threatens
the interests of oil and energy companies. Although motivated from a fidelity to the event of his conversion,
Bushs politics dont politicizethey do the opposite. Not only did the early months of his presidency
emphasize bipartisanship and consensus (and emphasis that became an assumption as politics was foreclosed after September
11th) but the primary institutions of his rule are the Army and the Churchexamples of the disavowal of the
proper political dimension. The American religious right is powerful today because of the way it links together
irreconcilable opposites: a rejection of government and an increase in state power, an endorsement of the market
and the imaginary resolution of its antagonisms in religion, an emphasis on the global, on a world-wide war against terror and
a rejection of global governing bodies. The Left has accepted this matrix when what it should do is explode it. It
follows, then, that Bushs politics, for all their faith-based rhetoric, are global rather than universal. This contrast
is crucial to Zizek, who emphasizes that the universal is opposed to globalism: the universal shines through
the symptomatic displaced element which belongs to the Whole without being properly its part. x Bush wants to
destroy the displaced element.


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AT: Transition Wars

This is irrelevent. Recall that capitalism causes extinction.
Second, the true revolutionary subject is the living dead someone who considers themselves
already dead. Their only task is to destroy capitalism. In the face of this argument, signing
the ballot negative is a heroic act that conditions the possibiliy of a free choice only those
with nothing to lose can act.
Zizek, 2008 (Slavoj, In Defense of Lost Causes, pp.164-171)
Averting the inhuman
Critical analysis and the acceptance of the historical legacy of the Jacobins overlap in the real question to be
raised: does the (often deplorable) actuality of revolutionary terror compel us to reject the very idea of Terror, or
is there a way to repeat it in today's different historical constellation, to redeem its virtual content from its
actualization? We claim here that it can and should be done, and the most concise formula of repeating the event
designated by the name "Robespierre" is to pass from (Robespierre's) humanist terror to anti-humanist (or,
rather, inhuman) terror. In his Le Sicle, Alain Badiou detects a sign of the political regression that occurred
towards the end of the twentieth century in the shift from "humanism and terror" to "humanism or terror."^** In
1946, Maurice Merleau-Ponty wrote Humanism and Terror, his defense of Soviet Communism as involving a
kind of Pascalean wager that announces the trope which Bernard Williams later called "moral luck": the present
terror will be retroactively justified if the society that emerges from it is truly human; today, such a conjunction
of terror and humanism is properly unthinkable, the predominant liberal view replaces "and" with "or": either
humanism or terror . . . More precisely, there are four variations on this motif: humanism and terror, humanism
or terror, each either in a "positive" or in a "negative" sense. "Humanism and terror" in a positive sense is what
Merleau-Ponty elaborated: it sustains Stalinism (the forceful "terrorist" engendering of the New Man), and
is already clearly discernible in the French Revolution, in the guise of Robespierre's conjunction of virtue and
terror. This conjunction can be negated in two ways. It can involve the choice "humanism or terror," that is, the
liberal-humanist project in all its versions, from dissident anti-Stalinist humanism up to and including today's
neo-Habermasians (such as Luc Ferry and Alain Renaut in France) and other defenders of human rights against
(totalitarian, fundamentalist) terror. Or it can retain the conjunction "humanism and terror," but in a negative
mode: all those philosophical and ideological orientations, from Heidegger and conservative Christians to
partisans of Oriental spirituality and deep ecology, who perceive terror as the truththe ultimate consequence
of the humanist project itself, of its hubris. There is, however, a fourth variation, usually left aside: the choice
"humanism or terror," but with terror, not humanism, as a positive term. This is a radical position which is
difficult to sustain, but, perhaps, our only hope: it does not amount to the obscene madness of openly pursuing a
"terrorist and inhuman politics," but something much more difficult to think through. In contemporary "postdeconstructionist" thought (if one risks this ridiculous designation which cannot but sound like its own parody),
the term "inhuman" has gained new weight, especially through the work of Agamben and Badiou. The best way
to approach it is via Freud's reluctance to endorse the injunction "Love thy neighbor!the temptation to be
resisted here is the ethical prettification of the neighbor that we have already noted in the work of Emmanuel
Levinas. In a properly dialectical paradox, what Levinas, with all his celebration of Otherness, fails to take into
account is not some underlying Sameness of all humans but radically "inhuman" Otherness itself: the Otherness
of a human being reduced to inhumanity, the Otherness exemplified by the terrifying figure of the Muslemann,
the "living dead" in the concentration camps. At a different level, the same goes for Stalinist Communism. In the

Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

standard Stalinist narrative, even the concentration camps were a locus of the fight against fascism where
imprisoned Communists were organizing networks of heroic resistancein such a universe, of course, there is
no place for the limit-experience of the Muslemann, of the living dead deprived of the capacity for human
engagement no wonder that Stalinist Communists were so eager to "normalize" the camps into just another
site ol the anti-fascist struggle, dismissing the Muslemannen as simply those who were too weak to endure the
struggle. It is against this background that one can understand why Lacan speaks of the inhuman core of the
neighbor. Back in the 1960s, the era of structuralism, Louis Althusser launched the notorious formula of
"theoretical anti-humanism," allowing, demanding even, that it be supplemented by practical humanism. In our
practice, we should act as humanists, respecting the others, treating them as free persons with full dignity,
creators of their world, however, in theory, we should equally always bear in mind that humanism is an
ideology, the way we spontaneously experience our predicament, and that true knowledge of humans and their
history should treat individuals not as autonomous subjects, but as elements in a structure which follows its own
laws. In contrast to Althusser, Lacan accomplishes the passage from theoretical to practical anti-humanism, that
is, to an ethics that goes beyond the dimension of what Nietzsche called the "human, all too human," and
confronts the inhuman core of humanity. This does not only mean an ethics which no longer denies, but
fearlessly takes into account the latent monstrosity of being-human, the diabolical dimension which exploded in
phenomena usually covered by the concept-name "Auschwitz" an ethics that would be still possible after
Auschwitz, to paraphrase Adorno. This inhuman dimension is for Lacan, at the same time, the ultimate bedrock
of ethics. In philosophical terms, this "inhuman" dimension can be defined as that of a subject subtracted from
all forms of human "individuality" or "personality" (which is why, in contemporary popular culture, one of the
exemplary figures of the pure subject is a non-human alien, cyborgwho displays more fidelity to the task,
more dignity and freedom them its human counterparts, from the Rutger-Hauer android in Blade Runner to the
Schwarzenegger-figure in Terminator). It is against the background of this topic of the sovereign acceptance of
death that one should reread the rhetorical turn often referred to as the proof of Robespierre's "totalitarian"
manipulation of his audience. This turn took place in the midst of Robespierre's speech in the National Assembly
on II Germinal Year II (March 31, 1794); the previous night, Danton, Camille Desmoulins, and some others had
been arrested, so many members of the Assembly were understandably afraid that their turn would also come.
Robespierre directly addresses the moment as pivotal:
"Citizens, the moment has come to speak the truth." He then goes on to evoke the fear floating in the room: One
wants [on veut] to make you fear abuses of power, of the national power you have exercised [. . .] One wants to
make us fear that the people will fall victim to the Committees [. . .] One fears that the prisoners are being
oppressed [. . . ]. The opposition is here between the impersonal "one" (the instigators of fear are not
personified) and the collective thus put under pressure,which almost imperceptibly shifts from the plural secondperson "you" (vous) to the first-person "us" (Robespierre gallantly Includes himself into the collective).
However, the final formulation introduces an ominous twist: it is no longer that "one wants to make you/us
fear," but that "one fears," which means that the enemy stirring up fear is no longer outside "you/us," members
of the Assembly, it is here, amongst us, amongst the "you" addressed by Robespierre, corroding our unity from
within. At this precise moment, Robespierre, in a true master stroke, assumes full subjectivizationwaiting a
little bit for the ominous effect of his words to be felt, he then continued in the first person singular: I say that
anyone who trembles at this moment is guilty; for innocence never fears public scrutiny. What can be more
"totalitarian" than this closed loop of "your very fear of being guilty makes you guilty"a weird superegotwisted version of the well-known motto "the only thing to fear is fear itself"? One should nonetheless move
beyond the facile dismissal of Robespierre's rhetorical strategy as the strategy of "terrorist culpabilizatlon" and
discern its moment of truth: there are no innocent bystanders in the crucial moments of revolutionary decision,
because, in such moments, innocence itself exempting oneself from the decision, going on as if the struggle I

Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

am witnessing does not really concern meis the highest treason. That is to say, the fear of being accused of
treason is my treason, because, even if 1 "did not do anything against the revolution," this fear itself, the fact that
it emerged in me, demonstrates that my subjective position is external to the revolution, that I experience the
"revolution" as an external force threatening me. But what happens subsequently in this unique speech is even
more revealing: Robespierre directly addresses the touchy question that has to arise in the mind of his public
how can he himself be sure that he will not be the next in line to be accused? He is not the master exempted
from the collective, the "I" outside "we"after all, he was once very close to Danton, a powerful figure now
under arrest, so what if, tomorrow, his proximity to Danton will be used against him? In short, how can
Robespierre be sure that the process he unleashed will not swallow him? It is here that his position achieves
sublime greatness he fully accepts that the danger that now threatens Danton will tomorrow threaten him.
The reason that he is so serene, that he is not afraid of this fate, is not that Danton was a traitor, while he,
Robespierre, is pure, a direct embodiment of the people's Will; it is that he, Robespierre, is not afraid to die
his eventual death will be a mere accident which counts for nothing: What does danger matter to me? My life
belongs to the Fatherland; my heart is free from fear; and if 1 were to die, I would do so without reproach and
without ignominy.'^'* Consequently, insofar as the shift from "we" to "I" can effectively be determined as the
moment when the democratic mask falls off and when Robespierre openly asserts himself as a Master (up to this
point, we follow Lefort's analysis), the very term "Master" has to be given here its full Hegelian weight: the
Master is the figure of sovereignty, the one who is not afraid to die, who is ready to risk everything. In other
words, the ultimate meaning of Robespierre's first-person singular ("I") is: I am not afraid to die. What
authorizes him is simply this, not any kind of direct access to the big Other, that is, he does not claim that he has
direct access to the people's Will which speaks through him. It is against this background that one should recall
Mao Zedong's message to the hundreds of millions of downtrodden, a simple and touching message of courage
do not be afraid of the Big Powers: "Bigness is nothing to be afraid of. The big will be overthrown by the
small. The small will become big." The same message of courage sustains also Mao's (in)famous stance towards
the prospect of a new atomic world war: We stand firmly for peace and against war. But if the imperialists insist
on unleashing another war, we should not be afraid of it. Our attitude on this question is the same as our attitude
towards any disturbance: first, we are against it; second, we are not afraid of it. The First World War was
followed by the birth of the Soviet Union with a population of 200 million. The Second World War was
followed by the emergence of the socialist camp with a combined population of 900 million. If the imperialists
insist on launching a third world war, it is certain that several hundred million more will turn to socialism, and
then there will not be much room left on earth for the imperialists [. . .J"^^ It is all too easy to dismiss these
lines as the empty posturing of a leader ready to sacrifice millions for his political goals (the extension ad
absurdum of Mao's ruthless decision to starve tens of millions to death in the late 1950s)the flipside of this
dismissive attitude is the basic message: "we should not be afraid." Is this not the only correct attitude apropos
war: "first, we are against it; second, we are not afraid of it"? (The logic of Mao's argument is very precise here:
his "although we are against war, we are not afraid of it" inverts the "imperialists' " true attitude, which is
"although we are for war, we are afraid of it" imperialists are Nietzschean slaves, they need wars, but are
afraid to lose their possessions to which they are attached, while the proletarians are the true aristocratic Masters
who do not want war (they do not need it), but are not afraid of it, because they have nothing to lose . . .) Mao's
argument goes on to its terrifying conclusion: The United States cannot annihilate the Chinese nation with its
small stack of atom bombs. Even if the US atom bombs were so powerful that, when dropped on China, they
would make a hole right through the earth, or even blow it up, that would hardly mean anything to the universe
as a whole, though it might be a major event for the solar system. There is obviously an "inhuman madness" in
this argument: is the fact that the destruction of planet Earth "would hardly mean anything to the universe as a
whole" not rather poor solace for the extinction of humanity? The argument only works if, in a Kantian way, one
presupposes a pure transcendental subject unaffected by this catastrophe a subject which, although non224

Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

existent in reality, is operative as a virtual point of reference. Recall Husserl's dark dream, from his Cartesian
Meditations, of how the transcendental cogito would remain unaffected by a plague that would annihilate all
humanity: it is easy, apropos this example, to score cheap points about the self-destructive background of
transcendental subjectivity, and about how Husserl misses the paradox of what Foucault, in his Les Mots et les
choses, called the "transcendental-empirical doublet," of the link that forever attaches the transcendental ego to
the empirical ego, so that the annihilation of the latter by definition leads to the disappearance of the first.
However, what if, fully recognizing this dependence as a fact (and nothing more than this a bald fact of
being), one nonetheless insists on the truth of its negation, the truth of the assertion of the independence of the
subject with regard to the empirical individuals qua living beings? Che Guevara approached the same line of
thought when, in the midst of the unbearable tension of the Cuban missile crisis, he advocated a fearless
approach of risking the new world war which would involve (at the very least) the total annihilation of the
Cuban people he praised the heroic readiness of the Cuban people to risk its own disappearance. Again, there
is definitely something terrifying about this attitude however, this terror is nothing less than the condition of
freedom. This is how Yamamoto Jocho, a Zen priest, described the proper attitude of a warrior: "every day
without fail he should consider himself as dead. There is a saying of the elders that goes, 'Step from under the
eaves and you're a dead man. Leave the gate and the enemy is waiting.' This is not a matter of being careful. It is
to consider oneself as dead beforehand."^^ This is why, according to Hillls Loiy, many Japanese soldiers in
World War II performed their own funerals before leaving for the battlefield: Many of the soldiers in the present
war are so determined to die on the battlefield that they conduct their own public funerals before leaving for
the front. This holds no element of the ridiculous to the Japanese. Rather, it is admired as the spirit of the true
samurai who enters the battle with no thought of return. This preemptive self-exclusion from the domain of the
living, of course, turns the soldier into a properly sublime figure. Instead of dismissing this feature as part of
fascistic militarism, one should assert it as also constitutive of a radical revolutionary position, which, as
Seneca put it long ago in his Oedipus, demands of the subject to "search for a way to wander without mixing
with the dead, and yet removed from the living." When, in the flashback scene from Bryan Singer's The Usual
Suspects, the mysterious Keyser Soeze returns home and finds his wife and small daughter held at gunpoint by
the members of a rival mob, he shoots his wife and daughter dead, and then declares that he will pursue the
members of the rival gang mercilessly, tracking down their parents, families, and friends, in order to kill them all
. . . In a situation of a forced choice, the Soeze-subject makes the crazy, impossible choice of, in a way, striking
at himself, at what is most precious to him, and this act, far from amounting to a case of impotent aggression
turned towards oneself, rather changes the coordinates of the situation in which the subject found himself: by
way of cutting himself loose from the precious object through whose possession the enemy kept him in check,
the subject gains the space for a free act. The price of this freedom is, of course, terrible: the only way for the
subject to neutralize the guilt of sacrificing his most precious object(s) is to turn himself into a king of the
"living dead," to renounce all personal idiosyncrasies and pleasures and to dedicate his entire life to destroying
all those who forced him to perform the sacrificial act. Such an "inhuman" position of absolute freedom (in my
loneliness, I am free to do whatever I want, nobody has any hold over me) coinciding with absolute subjection
to a Task (the only purpose of my life is to enact vengeance) is what, perhaps, characterizes the revolutionary
subject at its innermost.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

*** Answers To Other Affirmative Arguments ***


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

AT: Must Act

The compulsion to act and intolerance of anything but frantic participation is symptomatic of a
form of politcal activiy that is doomed to do nothing but perpetuate the status quo and
prevent the emergence of any genuinely new politics.
iek, Institute for Social Sciences at the University of Ljubljana, 2004 [Slavoj, Appendix I: canis a non
canendo, iraq the borrowed kettle pg.71-2 ]
one should ask the obvious
difficult question: what, in fact, was the alternative? If today's 'post-politics' is opportunistic pragmatism with
no principles, then the predominant leftist reaction to it can be aptly characterized as 'principled opportunism':
one simply sticks to old formulae (defence of the welfare state, and so on) and calls them 'principles', dispensing
with the detailed analysis of how the situation has changed and thus retaining one's position of Beautiful
Soul. The inherent stupidity of the 'principled' Left is clearly discernible in its standard criticism of any
analysis which proposes a more complex picture of the situation, renouncing any simple prescriptions on how to
act: 'there is no clear political stance involved in your theory' and this from people with no stance but their 'principled
opportunism'. Against such a stance, one should have the courage to affirm that , in a situation like today's, the only way
really to remain open to a revolutionary opportunity is to renounce facile calls to direct action, which
necessarily involve us in an activity where things change so that the totality remains the same. Today's
predicament is that, if we succumb to the urge of directly 'doing something' (engaging in the anti-globalist struggle, helping the poor .
. .), we will certainly and undoubtedly contribute to the reproduction of the existing order . The only way to
lay the foundations for a true, radical change is to withdraw from the compulsion to act, to 'do nothing' thus
opening up the space for a different kind of activity.
The stance of simply condemning the postmodern Left for its accommodation, however, is also false, since


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

AT: Must Act

Working within existing ideological coordinates guarantees the perpetuation of status quo power
Slavoj Zizek, Elvis of cultural theory. Repeating Lenin. 2001.
One is therefore tempted to turn around Marx's thesis 11: the first task today is precisely NOT to succumb to the
temptation to act, to directly intervene and change things (which then inevitably ends in a cul de sac of
debilitating impossibility: "what can one do against the global capital?"), but to question the hegemonic
ideological coordinates. If, today, one follows a direct call to act, this act will not be performed in an empty
space - it will be an act WITHIN the hegemonic ideological coordinates: those who "really want to do
something to help people" get involved in (undoubtedly honorable) exploits like Medecins sans frontiere,
Greenpeace, feminist and anti-racist campaigns, which are all not only tolerated, but even supported by the
media, even if they seemingly enter the economic territory (say, denouncing and boycotting companies which do
not respect ecological conditions or which use child labor) - they are tolerated and supported as long as they do
not get too close to a certain limit. This kind of activity provides the perfect example of interpassivity 2: of doing
things not to achieve something, but to PREVENT from something really happening, really changing. All the
frenetic humanitarian, politically correct, etc., activity fits the formula of "Let's go on changing something all
the time so that, globally, things will remain the same!"

You should refuse this fear mongering which is only a tactic of the system.
Slavoj Zizek, Repeating Lenin. 2001.
It is true that, today, it is the radical populist Right which is usually breaking the (still) predominant liberaldemocratic consensus, gradually rendering acceptable the hitherto excluded topics (the partial justification of
Fascism, the need to constrain abstract citizenship on behalf of ethnic identity, etc.). However, the hegemonic
liberal democracy is using this fact to blackmail the Left radicals: "we shouldn't play with fire: against the new
Rightist onslaught, one should more than ever insist on the democratic consensus - any criticism of it willingly
or unwillingly helps the new Right!" This is the key line of separation: one should reject this blackmail, taking
the risk of disturbing the liberal consensus, up to questioning the very notion of democracy.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

AT: Kritik Is Apolitical

Psychoanalysis authorizes radical political acts which fundamentally transform the symbolic
order. This creates responsibility and provides the conditions for Real politics.
Glyn Daly. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. University College Northampton. Slavoj Zizek: Risking the
Impossible. 2004
the miracle is that which coincides with trauma
in the sense that it involves a fundamental moment of symbolic disintegration (2001b: 86). This is the mark of the act: a basic
rupture in the weave of reality that opens up new possibilities and creates the space for a reconfiguration of
reality itself. Like the miracle, the act is ultimately unsustainable - it cannot be reduced to, or incorporated directly within, the symbolic order. Yet it is
through the act that we touch (and are touched by) the Real in such a way that the bonds of our symbolic universe are
broken and that an alternative construction is enabled; reality is transformed in a Real sense . The Real is not simply a force of
negation against which we are helpless. In contrast to standard criticisms, what psychoanalysis demonstrates is that we are not
victims of either unconscious motives or an infrastructural logic of the Real. If reality is a constitutive distortion
then the ultimate lesson of psychoanalysis is that we are responsible for its reproduction. Miracles can and do
happen. We are capable of Real acts that give reality a new texture and direction; acts that reflect this gap in the order of Being, this abyss
of freedom. If Freud - in his theory of the unconscious - affirms an essential autonomization of the signifier, then what Zizek emphasises is an essential autonomization of the
act: a basic capacity to break out of existing structures/cycles of signification . Far from being constrained by the notion of impossibility,
Zizek's perspective is sustained and energised by the ontological potential for achieving the "impossible" through Real intervention. In this sense, Zizek's conception of the Real may be said
to constitute both an inherent limit and an inherent opening/beginning: the radically negative dimension that is
the condition of creatio ex nihilo and the political itself.
Zizek's thought is concerned crucially to reactivate the dimension of the miraculous in political endeavour. For Zizek


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

AT: Krishna Coalitions

Their notion of consensus prevents politicization of systematic violence.
Jodi Dean, Prof. of Political Theory @ Hobart and William Smith College, 2005. Zizek Against Democracy. )

precludes politicization.

Finally, Zizeks third argument against

is that it
Zizek uses the example of the animated film series about dinosaurs, The Land
Before Time, produced by Steven Spielberg.xi The clearest articulation of the hegemonic liberal multiculturalist ideology, The Land Before Time iterates the basic message that everyone is different and all
should learn to live with these differencesbig and small, strong and weak, carnivore and herbivore. In the films, the dinosaurs sing songs about how one shouldnt really worry about being eaten because

what does really mean to

say that it takes all kinds? Does that mean nice and brutal, poor and rich, victims and torturers? xii The vision
of a plurality of horizontal differences precludes the notion of a vertical antagonism that cuts through the social
body. Some are more powerful. Some do want to killand denying this in an acceptance of differences prevents
the politicization of this inequality. To say that in our difference we are really all alike, underneath it all, prevents
us from calling into question and emphasizing specific differences as elements in larger, systematic patterns of
underneath those big teeth are real fears and anxieties that everyone shares. But this image of cooperative dinosaurs is a profoundly false picture. As Zizek asks,


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

AT: Krishna Coalitions

Turn: appeal to coalitions shuts down radical left politics and supports rightist populism, causing
their harms
iek, Senior Researcher at the Institute for Social Science (University of Ljubljana), 2000 [Slavoj, Why we
all love to hate Haider, New Left Review, March-April,]
Plain to see, in fact, is the structural role of the populist Right in the legitimation of current liberal-democratic
hegemony. For what this RightBuchanan, Le Pen, Haidersupplies is the negative common denominator of
the entire established political spectrum. These are the excluded ones who, by this very exclusion (their unacceptability
for governmental office), furnish the proof of the benevolence of the official system. Their existence displaces the focus
of political strugglewhose true object is the stifling of any radical alternative from the Leftto the solidarity
of the entire democratic bloc against the Rightist danger. The Neue Mitte manipulates the Rightist scare the
better to hegemonize the democratic field, i.e. to define the terrain and discipline its real adversary, the radical Left. Therein resides
the ultimate rationale of the Third Way: that is, a social democracy purged of its minimal subversive sting,
extinguishing even the faintest memory of anti-capitalism and class struggle. The result is what one would
expect. The populist Right moves to occupy the terrain evacuated by the Left, as the only serious political
force that still employs an anti-capitalist rhetori cif thickly coated with a nationalist/racist/religious veneer (international corporations are
betraying the decent working people of our nation). At the congress of the Front National a couple of years ago, Jean-Marie Le Pen brought on stage an Algerian, an African
and a Jew, embraced them all and told his audience: They are no less French than I amit is the representatives of big multinational capital, ignoring their duty to France, who
are the true danger to our identity! In New York, Pat Buchanan and Black activist Leonora Fulani can proclaim a common hostility to unrestricted free trade, and both (pretend
to) speak on behalf of the legendary desaparecidos of our time, the proverbially vanished proletariat. While multicultural tolerance becomes the motto of the new and privileged

The consensual form

of politics in our time is a bi-polar system that offers the appearance of a choice where essentially there is none,
since today poles converge on a single economic stancethe tight fiscal policy that Clinton and Blair declare
to be the key tenet of the modern Left, that sustains economic growth, that allows us to improve social security,
education and health. In this uniform spectrum, political differences are more and more reduced to merely
cultural attitudes: multicultural/sexual (etc.) openness versus traditional/natural (etc.) family values. This choicebetween Social Democrat or Christian
Democrat in Germany, Democrat or Republican in the States recalls nothing so much as the predicament of someone who wants an artificial sweetener in an
symbolic classes, the far Right seeks to address and to mobilize whatever remains of the mainstream working class in our Western societies.

American cafeteria, where the omnipresent alternatives are Nutra-Sweet Equal and High&Low, small bags of red and blue, and most consumers have a habitual preference
(avoid the red ones, they contain cancerous substances, or vice versa) whose ridiculous persistence merely highlights the meaninglessness of the options themselves. Does the
same not go for late-night talk shows, where freedom of channels comes down to a choice

between Jay Leno and David Letterman? Or for the soda drinks: Coke
or Pepsi? It is a well-known fact that the Close the Door button in most elevators is a totally inoperative placebo,
placed there just to give people the impression they are somehow contributing to the speed of the elevator journey
whereas in fact, when we push this button, the door closes in exactly the same time as when we simply pressed the floor button. This extreme case of fake participation is an
appropriate metaphor for the role accorded citizens in our postmodern political process. Postmoderns, of course, will calmly reply that antagonisms are radical only so long as
society is stillanachronisticallyperceived as a totality. After all, did not Adorno admit that contradiction is difference under the aspect of identity? So today, as society loses
any identity, no antagonism can any longer cut through the social body. Postmodern politics thus logically accepts the claim that the working-class has disappeared and its
corollary, the growing irrelevance of class antagonisms tout court. As its proponents like to put it, class antagonisms should not be essentialized into an ultimate point of
hermeneutic reference to whose expression all other antagonisms can be reduced. Today we witness a thriving of new multiple political subjectivities (class, ethnic, gay,
ecological, feminist, religious), alliances between whom are the outcome of open, thoroughly contingent struggles for hegemony. However, as thinkers as different as Alain
Badiou and Fredric Jameson have pointed out, todays multiculturalist celebration of the diversity of lifestyles and thriving of differences relies on an underlying Onethat is, a
radical obliteration of Difference, of the antagonistic gap. (The

same, of course, goes for the standard postmodern critique of sexual

difference as a binary opposition to be deconstructed: there are not two sexes but a multitude of sexes and
sexual identities. The truth of these multiple sexes is Unisex, the erasing of Difference in a boringly repetitive,
perverse Sameness that is the container of this multitude.) In all these cases, the moment we introduce the thriving multitude what we
effectively assert is its exact opposite, an underlying all-pervasive Samenessa non-antagonistic society in which there is room for all manner of cultural communities,
lifestyles, religions, sexual orientations. The

reply of a materialist theory is to show that this very One already relies on certain
exclusions: the common field in which plural identities sport is from the start sustained by an invisible
antagonistic split.

Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

AT: Metaphoric Condensation

Your demand cannot metaphorically condense if we win a link. Appeals to identity struggle
preclude a universal dimension and contribute to a sugar-coated apartheid.
iek, senior researcher department of philosophy university of ljubljana, 11/16/99 [slavoj,]
what I'm radically opposed to is this, at least a
certain version of so-called identity politics which goes into the direction of a) only we-the we you can then replace some
ethnic minorities, some sexual orientation, whatever only we can really speak for ourselves. I think this is a
modern form of barbarism. I think it's complete catastrophe. We should absolutely speak to universality. The
other aspect of this same attitude, of this same paradox for me is that I categorically reject this would be the practical lesson
any assertion of particular political subjectivities which legitimize their specific claims on some of their specific
properties, like, for example, at least if not herself, certain followers of Luce Irigaray. When you justify your demands in some of your specific
properties, I claim that the moment you accept this game of identity politics where the point is to assert your
specific identity, you are in a way lost. You are playing the game of apartheid. And paradoxical as it may sound,
I claim that I tend to be surprised again and again to what extent so-called progressives today play the game of a
renewed version of apartheid.
SZ: I think I can give you at least one hint, which is the following one. Again, maybe this will make me some enemies, but


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

AT: Taking State Power / Communism Bad

Slum-dwellers are the next fronteir of politics we must organize and mobilize them. Chavez is a
good example
Zizek, 2008 (Slavoj, In Defense of Lost Causes, pp.425-427)
What one finds in the "really-existing slums" is, of course, a mixture of improvised modes of social life, from
criminal gangs and religious "fundamentalist" groups held together by a charismatic leader up to and including
seeds of new forms of "socialist" solidarity. The slum-dwellers are the counter-class to the other newly emerging
class, the so- called "symbolic class" (managers, journalists, and PR people, academics, artists, and so on) which
is also uprooted and perceives itself as directly universal (a New York academic has more in common with a
Slovene academic than with blacks in Harlem half a mile from his campus). Is this the new axis of class
struggle, or is the "symbolic class" inherently split, so that one can make the emancipatory wager on a coalition
between the slum-dwellers and the "progressive" part of the symbolic class? We should be looking for signs of
the new forms of social awareness that will emerge from the slum collectives: they will be the germs of the
future. Peter Hallward was right to point out that the poetics of "resistance," of deterritorialized nomadic
mobility, of creating lignes de fuite, of never being where one is expected to dwell, is not enough; the time has
come to start creating what one is tempted to call liberated territories, the well-defined and delineated social
spaces in which the reign of the System is suspended: a religious or artistic community, a political organization,
and other forms of "a place of one's own. " This is what makes slums so interesting: their territorial character.
While contemporary society is often characterized as the society of total control, slums are the territories within
a state's frontiers from which the state has (partially, at least) withdrawn its control, territories which function as
white spots, blanks, in the official map of a state territory. Although they are de facto included in a state by the
links to the black economy, organized crime, religious groups, and so forth, the state's control is nonetheless
suspended, they are domains outside the rule of law. In the map of Berlin that one could buy in the now defunct
GDR, the area of West Berlin was left blank, a weird hole in the detailed structure of the big city; when Christa
Wolf, the well-known Kast German half-dissident writer, took her small daughter to East Berlin's TV tower,
from which one had a nice view over prohibited West Berlin, the small girl shouted happily: "Look, mother, it is
not white over there, there are houses with people like here!" as if discovering a hidden slum zone . . . This is
why the "destructured " masses, poor and deprived of everything, situated in a non-proletarlanized urban
environment, constitute one of the principal horizons of the politics to come. These masses, therefore, are an
important factor in the phenomenon of globalization. A genuine form of globalization, today, would be found in
the organization of these masses on a worldwide scale, if possiblewhose conditions of existence are
essentially the same. Whoever lives in the banlieues of Bamako or Shanghai is not essentially different from
someone who lives in the banlieue of Paris or the ghettos of Chicago. Indeed, if the principal task of the
emancipatory politics of the nineteenth century was to break the monopoly of the bourgeois liberals by
politicizing the working class, and if the task of the twentieth century was to politically awaken the immense
rural populations of Asia and Africa, the principal task of the twenty-first century is to politicize organize and
disciplinethe "de-structured masses" of slum-dwellers. Hugo Chavez's greatest achievement in the first years
of his rule was precisely the politicization (inclusion into political life, social mobilization) of slum-dwellers; in
other countries, they mostly persist in apolitical inertia. It was this political mobilization of the slum-dwellers
which saved him from a US-sponsored coup: to the surprise of everyone, Chavez included, the slum-dwellers
descended en masse to the affluent city center, tipping the balance of power to his advantage. The course on
which Chavez embarked from 2006 is the exact opposite of the postmodern Left's mantra regarding deterritorialization, rejection of statist politics, and so on: far from "resisting state power," he grabbed power (first

Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

by an attempted coup, then democratically), ruthlessly using the state apparatuses and interventions to promote
his goals; furthermore, he is militarizing the favelas, organizing the training of armed units. And, the ultimate
taboo: now that he is feeling the economic effects of the "resistance " to his rule by capital (temporary shortages
of some goods in the state-subsidized supermarkets), he has announced the constitution of his own political
party! Even some of his allies are skeptical about this move: does it signal a return to the politics of the partystate? However, one should fully endorse this risky choice: the task is to make this party function not like the
usual (populist or liberal-parliamentary) party, but as a focus for the political mobilization of new forms of
politics (like the grassroots communal committees). So what should we say to someone like Chavez? "No, do
not grab state power, just subtract yourself, leave the laws of the (state) situation in place"? Chavez is often
dismissed as a clownish comedian but would such a subtraction not really reduce him to a new version of
Subcomandante Marcos of the Zapatista movement in Mexico, to whom many leftists now rightly refer as
"Subcomediante Marcos"? Today, it is the big capitalists, from Bill Gates to the ecological polluters, who
"resist" the state.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

AT: Case Outweighs

Take the risk of their impact. Some things are worth dying for.
Zizek, Prof. of Sociology, University of L 2003 (Slavoj, The Puppet and the Dwarf)
Insofar as "death" and "life" designate for Saint Paul two existential subjective positions, not "objective" facts, we are
fully justified in raising the old Pauline question: who is really alive today'?' What if we are "really alive" only if
and when we engage ourselves with an excessive intensity which puts us beyond "mere life"? What if, when we
focus on mere survival even if it is qualified as "having a good time," what we ultimately lose is life itself? What
if the Palestinian suicide bomber on the point of blowing himself (and others) up is, in an emphatic sense, "more
alive" than the American soldier engaged in a war in front of a computer screen hundreds of miles away from
the enemy, or a New York yuppie jogging along the Hudson river in order to keep his body in shape? Or, in terms of the psychoanalytic clinic, what if
a hysteric is truly alive in her permanent, excessive, provoking questioning of her existence, while an obsessional is the very model of choosing a "life in
death"? That is to say,

is not the ultimate aim of his compulsive rituals to prevent the "thing" from happening- this
"thing" being the excess of life itself? Is not the catastrophe he fears the fact that, finally something will really
happen to him? Or, in terms of the revolutionary process, what if the difference that separates Lenin's era from Stalinism is, again, the difference
between life and death? There is an apparently marginal feature which clearly illustrates this point: the basic attitude of a Stalinist Communist is that of
following the correct Party line against "Rightist" or "Leftist" deviation-in short, to steer a safe middle course; for authentic Leninism, in clear contrast,
there is ultimately only one deviation, the Centrist one-that of "playing it safe," of opportunistically avoiding the risk of clearly and excessively "taking
sides." There was no "deeper historical necessity," for example, in the sudden shift of Soviet policy from "War Communism" to the "New Economic
Policy" in 1921it was just a desperate strategic zigzag between the Leftist and the Rightist line, or, as Lenin himself put it in 1922, the Bolsheviks made
"all the possible mistakes." This excessive "taking sides," this permanent imbalance of zigzag, is ultimately (the revolutionary political) life itself-for a
Leninist, the ultimate name of the counterrevolutionary Right is "Center" itself, the fear of introducing a radical unbalance into the social edifice. It is a
properly Nietzschean paradox that the

greatest loser in this apparent assertion of Life against all transcendent Causes is
actual life itself What makes life "worth living" is the very excess of life: the awareness that there is something
for which we are ready to risk our life (we may call this excess 'freedom," honor,' dignity, autonomy, etc.).
Only when we are ready to take this risk are we really alive. So when Holderlin wrote: To live is to defend a form," this form is not
simply a Lebensform, but the form of the excess-of-life, the way this excess violently inscribes itself into the life-texture. Chesterton makes this point
apropos of the paradox of courage: A soldier

surrounded by enemies, if he is to cut his way out, needs to combine a strong

desire for living with a strange carelessness about dying. He must not merely cling to life, for then he will be a
coward, and will not escape. He must not merely wait for death, for then he will be a suicide, and will not
escape. He must seek his life in a spirit of furious indifference to it; he must desire life like water and yet drink
death like wine.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

AT: Utilitarianism
The greatest happiness for the greatest number of people is not possible in a capitalist
Istvan Mszros, 1995 (Beyond Capital, Marginal Utility and neo-classical Economics,
A great deal has been written about the so-called naturalistic fallacy concerning pleasure and the desirable
in utilitarian discourse. However, the real fallacy of utilitarian philosophy fully embraced in one form or
another by the representatives of marginal utility theory is to talk about the greatest happiness of the greatest
number in capitalist society. For the suggestion that anything even remotely approaching the greatest happiness
of the greatest number of human beings can be achieved under the rule of capital, without even examining let
alone radically changing the established power relations, constitutes a monumental vacuous assumption,
whatever the subjective intentions of the major utilitarian philosophers behind it. Marginal utility theory, instead
of acting in this respect as a corrective to Bentham and Mill, makes everything worse by asserting not only that
it is possible to maximise every individuals utility within the established framework of production and
distribution, but also that the desired maximisation is actually being accomplished in the normal processes of
self-equilibrating capitalist economy. People who deny the reality of such a happy state of affairs are dismissed
even by the enlightened paternalist Alfred Marshall by saying that they nearly always divert energies from
sober work for the public good, and are thus mischievous in the long run.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

AT: Violent Transition

Violence comes from the oppressor, not the oppressed.
Paulo Freire, 1921 (Pedagogy of the Oppressed, p. 55-56)
Violence is initiated by those who oppress, who exploit, who fail to recognize others as persons not by those
who are oppressed, exploited, and unrecognized. It is not the unloved who initiate disaffection, but those who
cannot love because they love only themselves. It is not the helpless, subject to terror, who initiate terror; but the
violent, who with their power create the concrete situation which begets the rejects of life. It is not the
tyrannized who initiate despotism, but the tyrants, it is not the despised who initiate hatred, but those who
despise. It is not those whose humanity is denies them who negate humankind, but those who denied that
humanity (thus negating their own as well). Force is used not by those who have become weak under the
preponderance of the strong, but the strong who have emasculated them. For the oppressors, however, it is
always the oppressed (whom they obviously never call the oppressed but depending on whether they are
fellow countrymen or not those people or the blind and envious masses or savages or natives or
subversives) who are disaffected, who are violent, barbaric, wicked, or ferocious when they react to
the violence of the oppressors.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

AT: Intersectionality
Intersectional identities will be consumed without a universal critique of capital
Stacey Alaimo, 2000 (MELUS, Multiculturalism and Epistemic Rupture: The Vanishing Acts of Guillermo
Gomez-Pena and Alfredo Vea Jr., 6/22,
Multicultural soundbites do nothing to promote cross-cultural understanding; instead, they offer up easy-todigest tidbits for consumption. As bell hooks argues, "the commodification of difference promotes paradigms of
consumption wherein whatever difference the Other inhabits is eradicated, via exchange, by a consumer
cannibalism that not only displaces the Other but denies the significance of that Other's history through a
process of decontextualization' ("Eating the Other" 31). Decontextualization whitewashes bloody histories and
current systemic inequities in order to offer up a banquet of cultures that can be blithely consumed. As an angry
white woman in John Sayles's Lonestar retorts during a heated debate about whose version of history should be taught in the schools, "If
you're talking food and music I have no problem with that, but if you're talking about who did what to whom" forget it. Indeed, a
"utopian discourse of sameness," Guillermo Gomez-Pena argues, helps us to forget: "if we merely hold hands and dance the mambo
together, we can effectively abolish ideology, sexual and cultural politics, and class differences" ("The Border" 57). The mambo dream
induces historical amnesia and diverts our attention from systemic oppression by substituting cultural inclusion for social change. As E.
San Juan, Jr. argues, "multiculturalism may be conceived as the latest reincarnation of the assimilationist drive to pacify unruly subaltern

Intersectional identities intermesh with consumer capitalism. The Anglo is still at the center of
knowledge trying to know other peoples
Stacey Alaimo, 2000 (MELUS, Multiculturalism and Epistemic Rupture: The Vanishing Acts of Guillermo
Gomez-Pena and Alfredo Vea Jr., 6/22,
While there have been many thoughtful and incisive critiques of the politics of multiculturalism, little attention has been paid to the

Multiculturalism has so readily become a paradigm of mastery and

consumption not only because of its obvious ties to global systems of consumer capitalism, but also because as a
curricular framework it intermeshes with a dominant epistemological paradigm that seeks to distance, order, and
control its "objects" of knowledge. Despite its celebration of "other cultures," the hegemonic form of
multiculturalism places an Anglo consciousness at the center as the knower and marginalizes other peoples and
cultures as static objects of knowledge. The consciousness of the knower remains unmarked and thus transcendentally confident
epistemological framework that undergirds it.

about the clarity its perspective affords. This paradigm both insists that Students need to learn more about "other cultures" and
encourages them to feel that they can readily master--if, indeed, they haven't already--what Native Americans believe or what "Asians"
are like. "Culture" so readily substitutes for and masks the workings of race, class, and gender, as E. San Juan Jr. argues, partly because
"culture" fits so neatly into epistemologies that erase the positionality of the knower. Whereas the far-reaching, criss-crossing matrix of
race, class, gender, and sexuality enmeshes, positions, even constitutes all its subjects, the paradigm of knowledge as mastery over a
delimited object or distant "field" allows one to "learn" about some other circumscribed "culture" without any ramifications for one's own
subject position.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

AT: Plan Is Good

The plan should not be the focus. We must deal with the entire system of capitalism
David Korten, President of the People-Centered Development Forum, 2002 (ETHIX MAGAZINE,



Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

AT: Youve Won In The Past And No Revolution

Repeated ballots key to the revolutions success only way for the revolution to succeed
Zizek, 2004 (Slavoj, Organs without Bodies: On Deleuze and Consequences, 2004, pg 12)
Deleuze's basic reproach to conservative critics who denounce the miserable and even terrifying actual results of
a revolutionary upheaval is that they remain blind to the dimension of becoming: It is fashionable these days to
condemn the horrors of revolution. It's nothing new; English Romanticism is permeated by reflections on
Cromwell very similar to present-day reflections on Stalin. They say revolutions turn out badly. But they're
constantly confusing two different things, the way revolutions turn out historically and people's revolutionary
becoming. These relate to two different sets of people. Men's only hope lies in a revolutionary becoming: the
only way of casting off their shame or responding to what is intolerable. Becoming is thus strictly correlative to
the concept of REPETITION: far from being opposed to the emergence of the New, the proper Deleuzian
paradox is that something truly New can only emerge through repetition. What repetition repeats is not the way
the past "effectively was" but the virtuality inherent to the past and betrayed by its past actualization. In this
precise sense, the emergence of the New changes the past itself, that is, it retroactively changes not the actual
past--we are not in science fiction--but the balance between actuality and virtuality in the past. Recall the old
example provided by Walter Benjamin: the October Revolution repeated the French Revolution, redeeming its
failure, unearthing and repeating the same impulse. Already for Kierkegaard, repetition is "inverted memory," a
movement forward, the production of the New and not the reproduction of the Old. "There is nothing new under
the sun" is the strongest contrast to the movement of repetition. So, it is not only that repetition is (one of the
modes of) the emergence of the New--the New can ONLY emerge through repetition. The key to this paradox is,
of course, what Deleuze designates as the difference between the Virtual and the Actual (and which--why not?-one can also determine as the difference between Spirit and Letter).


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

*** Framework ***


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Framework Bad Interpassivity

Seeing debate as a world where we can help shape policy and pretend to be good productive
citizens precludes a focus on the product of our discourse, and insteads forces a focus on
the procedurals of politics. The logic of their framework only ends up undermining itself,
reducing politics to a banal focus on the political process instead of the actuality of politics
inside spaces like debate.
Van Oenen, professor of ethics, legal philosophy and social philosophy at the Department of Philosophy of
Erasmus University, Rotterdam. 2006 [Gijs A Machine That Would Go of Itself: Interpassivity and Its Impact
on Political Life Theory and Event]
The most important force driving the development towards interactive policy or politics, the third 'mode' in my series, is that of emancipation.


emancipation movement started in the sixties as a protest against traditional forms of authority in both the public and the
private sphere. Many (although not all) of the old structures of authority indeed gave way to new ones that were more
conscious of, and responsive to, the diverse composition of the citizenry, taking note of the needs and preferences of women
and minority groups. Citizens were to be 'treated as equals.' But just as importantly, citizens were no longer satisfied with the passive 'being treated';
they started to demand an active part in government and in policy making. At first, this demand was fuelled to a relatively
large extent by the quasi-anarchist, activist progressivism of the protest movements of the sixties and seventies; later on,
however, the attitude of critical resistance to authority became ever more translated into a liberal selfconception as citizen. That is to say, the critical involvement with government became less focused on collective
deliberation concerning the common good than on the facilitation of individual preferences and conceptions of the good. As a
consequence of these developments, policy as a mode of governance became interactive. Interactivity was both the problem and the
solution to the twofold development sketched above: the attempt of government to intervene in social life under conditions of 'equal treatment' of all
citizens on the one hand, and the desire of citizens to actively interfere in government to pursue and safeguard their own interests on the other hand. These
developments effected a drastic change in the structure of political authority: government and policy-making became 'horizontal'. This
metaphor signifies of course that the hierarchical relation between government and citizens is being replaced by one of 'equal standing' conjunctive

The 'locus' of involvement with

politics shifts from the 'product', or social praxis that it aims to realize, towards the earlier phases of preparation,
consultation and policy-formation. This shift implicit in the growth of 'interactivity' serves the interests of both parties
instead of subjunctive, we might say. But it also symbolizes how the 'interest' in politics itself is changing.

involved in political life. In the official rhetoric, interactivity strengthens the involvement of citizens in politics, by committing them not only to the results
of the political process but also to that process itself. In this way they become 'co-producers of policy', dedicated citizens so to speak. In turn, government
is able to 'fine tune' its policies and in general stay in close contact with its citizens, enabling it to reach its objectives in a more precise and secure way.
More realistically, citizens become interactive because they see this as a better option to safeguard their (partial) interests than the traditional options of party membership or voting behavior. They feel that
interactivity will let their voice more forcefully be heard. Or even more straightforwardly, their attitude towards politics in general is one of 'what is in it for me?' In such a self-centered view,. politics
appears primarily as an institution that may facilitate one's own plans and preferences, rather than as a process of collective will formation furthering socially desirable practices Government, in turn, sees
interactivity as an effective way of 'polling' views and interests, which are usually better accommodated in an early stage of policy formation than in later stages, that may involve troublesome renegotiations,

the official view or 'ideology' underwriting interactivity denies that a shift in political interest is
taking place. It suggests that the interest of both citizens and government in what politics 'produces' some form of
collective good is enhanced and supplemented by an increased interest in the process of policy formation.
Against this 'win-win' view, I want to suggest that the increase in involvement in the political process, the sphere of
policy formation, goes along with a loss of involvement in the 'product' of the process . The point here is not merely
that people lack sufficient time or means to be involved in both process and result. Rather it seems that people nowadays feel more attached
to the process than to its eventual product. Being actively involved in the process has acquired a sense and
meaning of its own, that may compete with, or actually override, the interest in what the process aimed to
realize. In other words, what the process now mainly realizes , its main 'product', is involvement with itself.
or protracted litigation.

But more importantly,


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

AT: Framework
Their framework will not increase educaiton nor usher in some angel perfect role playing arena.
The only thing garunteed by their framework is a steady depolitization of the debate sphere
and the removal of all productive criticism within debate.
Van Oenen, professor of ethics, legal philosophy and social philosophy at the Department of Philosophy of
Erasmus University, Rotterdam. 2006 [Gijs A Machine That Would Go of Itself: Interpassivity and Its Impact
on Political Life Theory and Event]
Slavoj Zizek once explained the difference between Verstand and Vernunft in Hegel by saying that Vernunft is the state in which we realize that Verstand
suffices. Vernunft is Verstand minus the illusion that there is something beyond it. Interactivity and interpassivity, the third and the fourth mode of the political process we are
studying, are related to each other in much the same way. Interpassivity constitutes a radicalization of interactivity, in the following sense: it expresses the view, or rather the

The loss of the product of politics, or rather the loss of the sense that this product is
what matters primarily, characterizes the condition of political interpassivity. The main interest, or perhaps we
should say obsession, lies with the process, not with its eventual product. We may also recall here Jean Baudrillard's account of 'the end
of production'. Baudrillard argues that 'there is no longer any production' and, consequently, we cannot be liberated, or
regain authenticity, through revolution (that is to say, through the socialization of the means of production). Especially relevant here is his
analysis of the relation of 'the sign' to reality, represented as a four-stage sequence. From being a 'reflection of a basic reality', the sign
evolves into a 'mask' of this reality, and later into a mask of the absence of a basic reality; finally, the sign no
longer bears a relation to any reality whatsoever. Baudrillard's four stages may well be viewed as the (postmodernist) philosophical
habitus, that interactivity in fact suffices.

equivalent of the stages of politics I have distinguished. Of course, the difference between the philosophical and the political case I discuss is that in the

We do not consciously
realize that we have lost our interest to move beyond the state of policy-making, preparation and planning. But
neither does it seem correct to say that we believe, even more resolutely than before, that we are strongly interested in politics. Somehow we suspect
that our continuous 'access' to politics does not provide us with what we want or need, but we feel powerless to
change our condition, or even uninterested in doing so. In other words, we feel ambiguous. On the one hand, we
indulge in unwarranted optimism concerning the possible benefits of a hyper-interactive political process.
The political system tries to enhance its legitimacy by promising to be in ever-closer contact with its citizens.
The fine-tuning of the political process by interactive means promises an unprecedented capacity to
accommodate the plural and diverging demands of individuals and groups. The unrealistic nature of these promises is
of course itself a source of disappointment. In an attempt to win back our flagging interest, politics redoubles its promises,
only to fail again to deliver on them, etc. But this sustained failure does not yet sufficiently explain the sense of discontentment with politics that
constitutes the other pole of our ambiguous state. Politics fails us, or we fail politics, in a deeper sense. This deeper sense, of course,
is that we do not really care anymore about what politics actually delivers. We do not 'really' believe that politics
may deliver everything it promises, but neither do we 'really' feel interested in whatever it is that politics does
produce. Our 'monitoring' of the product of politics constitutes the obverse of politics' monitoring of our
behavior. Like people who converse in a room while a television set is turned on although no one is
watching, we witness everything that politics delivers, without really noticing. Apparently, both television ignorers and citizens
latter, the 'detachment' from the end-product is not necessarily reflective either at the individual or at the collective level.

assume that somehow someone else does, or might, take notice. In that sense, we have here a case of 'the illusions of others' as analyzed by Robert Pfaller: an illusion owned or claimed by no one, yet shared
by everyone. Certainly we do not 'confess' ourselves to be political beings, in Aristotle's sense, nowadays. Citizenship in the traditional sense of being committed to the formulation and realization of
collective goals increasingly constitutes a threatened spieces. Nevertheless, as noticed, we do feel an intense connection to the political process and we do expect it to 'deliver'. We do not know why we still
believe in politics, yet we do.

We do, because in some sense we realize that we would be lost without it. On the other hand, we strongly feel that we have

Chronic interactivity has not brought us closer to politics. To the contrary, it has fostered an
instrumental attitude. Rather than being engaged in politics, nowadays we perceive it as an object for use. This
attitude has in fact been encouraged by currently fashionable approaches to (the art of) government, particularly that of
'outgrown' it.

outsourcing. Just as in the industrial sphere, in government many activities and branches have been outsourced, in the eighties and nineties. It was claimed that such activities
could just as well, or better, be performed by external organizations. Regardless of the merit of these claims, the trend of outsourcement has damaged government by


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

undermining its credibility and authority. Citizens concluded that perhaps there is nothing that government does especially well, compared to market actors. And worse, there is
nothing that essentially needs to be done by the state, and by the state alone. It seems that, under the right conditions, any government function could be outsourced. Thus there
is nothing intrinsically political worth committing to. And in reverse, nothing worth committing to is intrinsically political. Although it is perhaps true that almost all government
activities can be outsourced, even up to warfare, the attempt to undertake such a large-scale outsourcing undermines the authority of all government. In fact here we have the 'negative' of the claim that
government can actually make good on all its promises: either in the sense of itself being able to deliver every 'product' that citizens interactively put on the agenda, or in the sense of being able to perfectly
monitor and control all the outsourced activities that now take care of the actual delivery. Both claims entail that government can, and should, be made fully 'transparent'. Every process, every function needs
to be assessed, evaluated, and accounted for. Yet, somehow we realize that this cannot really be true. We need both less and more from government. We need less, because 'transparency' is a fantasy, an
empty place that can (and should) never be filled. And we need more, something that is hard to grasp yet essential for the authority of government. We need to believe in government, and this belief is exactly
what gets lost when we outsource politics, or ask for transparency. Government or politics is necessarily more than the sum of its parts. Government is also the shared illusion of government, so to speak
the mutual suspension of disbelief in its possibility.

Thus the shared illusion of government exists, but it is no longer claimed by anyone. Moreover, this

Thus this process

increasingly acquires the character of a fetish. We are very much attached to it, although we do not really care
about its possible real effects. Or again, the process has itself become the product.
uncomfortable sense of politics is associated not with the products or results of politics, but primarily with the political process.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

AT: Framework
Continual appeals to fiat and policy making are the ultimate justification for domination. We
have an obligation as students and intellectuals to discuss the hidden assumptions behind
power structures.
iek, senior researcher department of philosophy university of ljubljana, 2/9/2005 [slavoj, the guardian, p. l/n]
From my communist youth, I still remember the formula, endlessly repeated in official
proclamations to mark the "unity of all progressive forces": "workers, peasants and
honest intellectuals" - as if intellectuals are, by their very nature, suspicious, all too freefloating, lacking a solid social and professional identity, so that they can only be
accepted at the price of a special qualification. This distrust is alive and well today, in our
post-ideological societies. The lines are clearly drawn. On the "honest" side, there are the
no-nonsense experts, sociologists, economists, psychologists, trying to cope with the
real-life problems engendered by our "risk society", aware that old ideological solutions
are useless. Beyond, there are the "prattling classes", academics and journalists with no
solid professional education, usually working in humanities with some vague French
postmodern leanings, specialists in everything, prone to verbal radicalism, in love with
paradoxical formulations that flatly contradict the obvious. When faced with fundamental
liberal-democratic tenets, they display a breathtaking talent to unearth hidden traps of
domination. When faced with an attack on these tenets, they display a no less
breathtaking ability to discover emancipatory potential in it. This cliche is not without
truth - recall the numerous fiascos of the 20th-century radical intellectuals, perhaps best
encapsulated by the French poet Paul Eluard's refusal to demonstrate support for the
victims of Stalinist show trials: "I spend enough time defending the innocent who
proclaim their innocence, to have any time left to defend the guilty who proclaim their
guilt." But hysterical over-reaction against"free-floating" intellectual renders such a
critique suspicious: distrust of intellectuals is ultimately distrust of philosophy itself. In
March 2003, Donald Rumsfeld engaged in a little bit of amateur philosophising: "There
are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns.
That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown
unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know." What he forgot to add was
the crucial fourth term: the "unknown knowns", things we don't know that we know which is precisely the Freudian unconscious. If Rumsfeld thought that the main dangers in
the confrontation with Iraq were the "unknown unknowns", the threats from Saddam we
did not even suspect, the Abu Ghraib scandal shows where the main dangers actually are
in the "unknown knowns", the disavowed beliefs, suppositions and obscene practices we
pretend not to know about, even though they form the background of our public values.
To unearth these "unknown knowns" is the task of an intellectual.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

*** Capitalism Collapse Inevitable ***


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Collapse Of Capitalism Inevitable

Collapse is inevitablemultiple systemic factors means growths time in the sun is rapidly
running out.
Ted Trainer DEMOCRACY & NATURE: The International Journal of INCLUSIVE DEMOCRACY vol.6,
no.2, (July 2000)
However there are reasons for thinking that it is likely to be an historically very short period in the sun followed
by a fairly sudden shift to a long era of chaotic and terminal breakdown. The main cause of the time of troubles
is likely to be the chronic and insoluble oil crisis that will probably set in not long after the peaking in world
supply in the period 2005-2010. Also contributing will be increasing costs of production due to accelerating
ecological problems especially affecting food supply, water shortages and associated conflicts, deterioration
within the Third World which will raise the costs of resource extraction, and greater general global insecurity
and conflict which will impose increased military and other costs of maintaining order and access. Meanwhile
the inequality and poverty caused by globalisation will be removing more people from the ranks of potential
consumers. We must add the effect of ever-accumulating debt worldwide, recently increasing at three times the
rate of increase of GDP.

The collapse of the current capitalist system is inevitable because of centralized economies
Abid Ullah Jan, July 13, 2008 (Dictator Watch, The Inevitable Doom of the Colonial, Capitalist World Order, July
15, )
On the home front, close to 50% of American households own stock. The economies of the imperial centers will definitely
fail to maintain their vigor when stockholders in the imperial centers do not remain broadly distributed; when speculations
do not continue to lay claim to the wealth of the periphery; when profits decrease due to lower profits from the increased
import costs and stock prices fall substantially as the money stops fleeing back to the security of America and Europe,
being invested in those markets; and when those stockholders stop spending a substantial share of their decreased wealth.
[viii] In short, if profits fall and stock and home prices fall that created money (created by borrowing against those
increased values) would evaporate and the economy will collapse. With the collapse of the economic order, all corporations
will cease to function. Means of transportation will suffer badly. This will affect transportation of agricultural products and
resources to the imperial center from the periphery of an empire which presently functions as a huge plantation
system. Unimaginable suffering for masses all over the world will accompany true liberation from a colonialism,
mercantilism and neo-mercantilism (now transposed into corporate imperialism) which has dispossessed hundreds of
millions of people from their land. The current owners are just the new plantation managers producing for the mother


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Collapse of Capitalism Inevitable

The fall of capitalism is inevitable with current trade practices
Jack Random, Pacific Free Press Columnist, October 21, 2007 (Pacific Free Press, Inevitable Decline of the World
Economy, July 15, )
The fundamental purpose behind every globalization trade agreement has nothing to do with market access; it has
everything to do with labor exploitation. The collapse of labor within our borders is not an unfortunate byproduct of a
global economy; it is the intended and negotiated outcome. As globalization has advanced, corporate profits have reached
pornographic levels but the days of unaccountable profiteering have an inevitable end. The corporate beast cannot
overcome its nature. It will not only bite the hand that feeds it, it will consume it down to the bone. Labor is the fuel of the
global economy and labor will have its revenge. Like Enron before the fall, the American economy is an elaborate shared
illusion sustained by the common interests of our corporate masters and debt holders. In the event no one noticed, while we
were building a military machine that will be obsolete within a decade, beneficiary nations like China, India and Japan have
paid for our excesses. They are unlikely to call the debt as long as they continue to benefit but we have sacrificed all
leverage in nations partnered with China, including Burma, North Korea, Sudan and Iran. We can blow up as many nations
as we like, at the end of the tunnel the Chinese own us. The day will come when millions of workers take to the streets in
China and India, demanding living wages, decent working standards and basic health care. Our response will be tepid and
restrained as the governments of those nations strike back with unrestrained violent oppression. The secret will be
revealed: America has long abandoned the working class and the rights of labor. Yet labor will have its revenge. The
behemoth behind the immigration crisis, the loss of health care and retirement benefits, the absence of decent jobs at decent
wages is a betrayal of the fundamental rights of labor even in the so called enlightened nations. Labor will have its day
because its place in the economic equation is essential. Exploitation labor is no more sustainable in other nations than it is
here. The longer the rights of labor are suppressed internationally, the greater the upheaval in response. Ironically, the
only development that can save the prosperity of illusion from exploding in worldwide chaos is the assertion of the
universal rights of labor before that inevitability arrives. No one can predict the precise moment of historic change but we
can predict the logical consequences of a course of action. If we continue to pretend that a vibrant, prosperous economy is
possible without a healthy, prospering working class, the consequences are as catastrophic as the permanent occupation of a
Middle Eastern nation.


Planet Debate 2009 Capitalism K (Poverty Version)

Collapse Of Capitalism Inevitable