Black Knights 2006 2AC block to Normativity

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1) TURN-- SCHLAG’S FEAR OF NORMATIVE LEAGL THOUGHT IS A PARANOID REACTION THAT OVER-EXAGGERATES BUREAUCRACY, SUSTAINS THE STATUS QUO ORDER, AND ASSUMES A METAPHYSICAL AND ROMANTICIST VICTIM THAT LINKS
MORE TO HIS OWN CRITIQUE

(DAVID GRAY, PROFESSOR OF LAW, BENJAMIN N. CARDOZO SCHOOL OF LAW, “REVIEW ESSAY: DUELLISM IN MODERN AMERICAN JURISPRUDENCE,” COLUMBIA LAW REVIEW)
CARLSON IN `99 Schlag presents a dark vision of what he calls "the bureaucracy," which crushes us and controls us. It operates on "a
field of pain and death." 259 It deprives us of choice, speech, 260 and custom. 261 As bureaucracy cannot abide great minds, legal education must suppress greatness through mind numbing repetition. 262 In fact, legal thought is the bureaucracy and cannot be distinguished from it. 263 If legal thought tried to buck the bureaucracy, the bureaucracy would instantly crush it. 264 Schlag observes that judges have taken "oaths that require subordination of truth, understanding, and insight, to the preservation of certain bureaucratic governmental institutions and certain sacred texts." 265 Legal scholarship and lawyers generally 266 are the craven tools of bureaucracy, and those who practice law or scholarship simply serve to justify and strengthen the bureaucracy. "If there were no discipline of American law, the liberal state would have to invent it." 267 "Legal thinkers in effect serve as a kind of P.R. firm for the bureaucratic state." 268

Legal scholarship has sold out to the

bureaucracy: . As long as the discipline shows obeisance to the authoritative legal forms, it enjoys the backing of the state... Disciplinary knowledge of law can be true not because it is true, but because the state makes it true. 269
Insofar as the expressions of the state in the form of [statutes, etc.] can be expected to endure, so can the discipline that so helpfully organizes, rationalizes, and represents these expressions as intelligent knowledge Scholarship produces a false "conflation between what [academics] celebrate as 'law' and the ugly bureaucratic noise that grinds daily in the [*1946] [ ] courts...." 270 Scholarship "becomes the mode of discourse by which bureaucratic institutions and practices re-present themselves as subject to the rational ethical-moral control of autonomous individuals." 271 "The United States Supreme Court and its academic groupies in the law schools have succeeded in doing what many, only a few decades ago, would have thought impossible. They have succeeded in making Kafka look naive." 272

. Schlag's bureaucracy must be seen as a "paranoid construction according to which our universe is the work of art of unknown creators." 273 In Schlag's view, the bureaucracy is in control of law and language and uses it exclusively for its own purposes. The bureaucracy is therefore the Other of the Other, "a hidden subject who pulls the strings of the great Other (the symbolic order)." 274 The bureaucracy, in short, is the superego (i.e., absolute knowledge of the ego), 275 but rendered visible and projected outward. The superego, the ego's stern master, condemns the ego and condemns what it does. Schlag has transferred this function to the bureaucracy.
Lacanian theory allows us to interpret the meaning of this anti-Masonic vision precisely

. It is an attempt at healing what the illness is - the conflation of the domains of the symbolic, imaginary, and real. 277 This conflation is what Lacan calls "psychosis." Whereas the "normal" subject is split between the three domains, the psychotic is not. He is unable to keep the domains separate. 278 The symbolic domain of language begins to lose place to the real domain. The psychotic raves incoherently, and things begin to talk to [*1947] him directly. 279 The psychotic, "immersed in jouissance," 280 loses desire itself.
As is customary, 276 by describing Schlag's vision as a paranoid construction, I do not mean to suggest that Professor Schlag is mentally ill or unable to function. Paranoid construction is not in fact the illness

Paranoia is a strategy the subject adopts to ward off breakdown. The paranoid vision holds together the symbolic order itself and thereby prevents the subject from slipping into the psychotic state in which "the concrete 'I' loses its absolute power over the entire system of its determinations." 281 This of course means - and here is the deep irony of paraonia - that bureaucracy is the very savior of romantic metaphysics. If the romantic program were ever fulfilled - if the bureaucracy were to fold up shop and let the natural side of the subject have its way - subjectivity would soon be enveloped, smothered, and killed in the night of psychosis. 282
Paranoid ambivalence toward bureaucracy (or whatever other fantasy may be substituted for it) is very commonly observed. Most recently, conservatives "organized their enjoyment" by opposing communism. 283 By confronting and resisting an all-encompassing, sinister power, the subject confirms his existence as that which sees and resists the power. 284 As long as communism existed, conservatism could be perceived. When communism disappeared, conservatives felt "anxiety" 285 - a lack of purpose. Although they publicly opposed communism, they secretly regretted its disappearance. Within a short time, a new enemy was found to organize conservative jouissance - the cultural left. (On the left, a similar story could be told about the organizing function of racism and sexism, which, of course, have not yet disappeared.) These humble examples show that the romantic yearning for wholeness is always the opposite of [*1948] what it appears to be. 286 We paranoids need our enemies to organize our enjoyment.

287 As Schlag has perceived, the symbolic order of law is artificial. It only exists because we insist it does. We all fear that the house of cards may come crashing down. Paradoxically, it is this very "anxiety" that shores up the symbolic. The normal person knows he must keep insisting that the symbolic order exists precisely because the person knows it is a fiction. 288
Paranoid construction is, in the end, a philosophical interpretation, even in the clinical cases.

The paranoid, however, assigns this role to the bureaucracy (and thereby absolves himself from the responsibility). Thus, paranoid delusion allows for the maintenance of a "cynical" distance between the paranoid subject and the realm of mad psychosis. 289 In truth, cynicism toward bureaucracy shows nothing but the unconfronted depth to which the cynic is actually committed to what ought to be abolished.

Logic: Not as prevalent as you wish it were

Black Knights 2006 2AC block to Normativity

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2) Perm—do plan and all non-competitive portions of the alternative. This solves best because normativity can never be escaped completely and this allows us to still operate in the best ethical framework

3) Perm solvency:

4) Reject the Negative because the is no alternative—normativity is part of being human and is inescapable

Logic: Not as prevalent as you wish it were

Black Knights 2006 2AC block to Normativity

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5) YOU CAN’T JUST REJECT LEGAL THOUGHT – LEGAL THOUGHT IS HOW WE MAKE SENSE OF SYMBOLS IN THE WORLD, AND IT IS THE VERY MEDIUM FOR LAUNCHING CRITIQUES LIKE SCHLAG’S CARLSON IN `99 (DAVID GRAY, PROFESSOR OF LAW, BENJAMIN N. CARDOZO SCHOOL OF LAW, “REVIEW ESSAY: DUELLISM IN MODERN AMERICAN JURISPRUDENCE,” COLUMBIA LAW REVIEW)
Professor Schlag terminates one of his books with this memorable passage, in which he suggests that the entire project of legal scholarship be abandoned: The genres of legal thought associated with legal process and Warren Court normativity are intellectually exhausted... ... Some legal thinkers are rendered quite anxious in the present moment. "What comes next?" they want to know. "What will be next?" they wonder. "What admirable vision of law will next capture the legal imagination?" Maybe nothing. Maybe what comes next is that we stop treating "law" as something to celebrate, expand, and worship. Maybe, we learn to lay down the law. 312 Should normative legal scholarship be abolished, as Professor Schlag suggests? Some of Professor Schlag's points about legal scholarship are undoubtedly well taken. But it doesn't follow that it should or even could be abolished. In truth, whether he admits it or not, Professor Schlag himself does legal scholarship. He does not follow his own advice about not doing it. Nor could he. If legal scholarship stands for participation in the realm of the symbolic, then legal scholarship - i.e., culture - is the very medium that perpetuates selfconsciousness. Schlag is very hard on law professors who give advice to judges. He mocks their work as mere "pretendlaw," 313 mere journalism. 314 "One need only pick up a judicial opinion, a state statute, a federal regulation, or a law review article to experience an overwhelming sense of dread and ennui." 315 Meanwhile, judges are not even paying attention to legal scholarship 316 - which, experience teaches, is disappointingly true.

Logic: Not as prevalent as you wish it were

Black Knights 2006 2AC block to Normativity

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6) TURN: SCHLAG’S OVER-ARCHING AND INCREDIBLY PESSIMISTIC VIEW OF LAW IS BASED IN HIS PRIVILEGED AND LUXURIOUS RELATIONSHIP TO LAW – HIS CYNICISM IS DISPASSIONATE AND COLD CONAGHAN IN `03 (JOANNE, PROFESSOR, KENT LAW SCHOOL, UNIVERSITY OF KENT, “SYMPOSIUM: BEYOND RIGHT AND REASON: PIERRE SCHLAG, THE CRITIQUE OF NORMATIVITY, AND THE ENCHANTMENT OF REASON: SCHLAG IN WONDERLAND” MIAMI LAW REVIEW, APRIL)
Insofar as Schlag's concern is with developing strategies of resistance to these mind-numbing effects, I am with him all the way. Nor do I see this as a solely pedagogic issue, although Schlag's work has strong pedagogic promise. What Schlag does is open up a space for new understandings of what "doing law" can entail. His focus on the delusions that afflict those who deploy conventional legal methods does more than affect their discreditation. In his sharp delineation of the intellectual structure and internal dynamics of traditional legal arguments, Schlag exorcizes reason and frees the legal self from the prison of her own alienation; or, at least, he contributes to conditions in which we might come to believe this to be possible. It is a pity, then, to see that even he has blind spots. It is disheartening to recognize--just at the very point where liberation from "small thinking" 126 and "shallow forms of thought" 127 seems possible--that he is still, to some extent, imprisoned. It is impossible not to want to save him from his gloomy pronouncements about the inescapability 128 and dreariness 129 of it all. At the same time, one cannot suppress the lurking suspicion that his all-pervading scepticism derives from the luxury of occupying a position where he [*571] does not have to believe--passionately and unremittingly--in the possibility that we can shape the world to better ends. In the end, it comes down to this. Representations are always approximations and we each simultaneously instigate and operate under conditions of constraint. These are the important insights. They should not remain obscured behind blustering invocations of the rational autonomous subject; nor should they be dismissed as trite or inconsequential. 130 In tracking the delusions and excesses of American legal scholars, Schlag makes these insights harder to ignore. Yet, he remains unwilling to look closely at what precisely they entail. After all, there is constraint, and then there is constraint. There are representations, and there are representations. Standpoint methodology highlights the gap between the representations of the dominant and the lives and experiences of the oppressed; it helps us distinguish the recognition that discourse generally is accompanied by constraint from the specification of the particular constraints that characterize the lives of oppressed and marginalized people. Without standpoint, there is a real risk, as Schlag's book demonstrates, that these differences simply will not surface. Effaced from discourse--radical or otherwise-they are simultaneously effaced from our consciousness. The Enchantment of Reason is a powerful book with concrete political implications, but its standpoint (unsurprisingly) reflects the situation of its author. It is the standpoint of someone who is bemused by the prodigious invocation of an idea which is either not what it purports to be or which, pushed to its limits, is without substance. It is not the standpoint of an "outsider/within" the academy. That does not mean it is without value to feminists, critical race scholars, and others with "outsider" status. On the contrary, in collapsing reason into its "traditional enemies," Schlag's book constitutes a compelling indictment of the intellectual status quo in American law, exposing its tendentiousness, folly, and fragility.

Logic: Not as prevalent as you wish it were

Black Knights 2006 2AC block to Normativity

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7) Performative contradiction: SCHLAG’S PORTRAYAL OF “REASON” IS AMBIGUOUS AND OVER-EXAGGERATED, AND HE USES ‘REASON’ AS MUCH AS THOSE HE CRITICIZES CONAGHAN IN `03 (JOANNE, PROFESSOR, KENT LAW SCHOOL, UNIVERSITY OF KENT, “SYMPOSIUM: BEYOND RIGHT AND REASON: PIERRE SCHLAG, THE CRITIQUE OF NORMATIVITY, AND THE ENCHANTMENT OF REASON: SCHLAG IN WONDERLAND” MIAMI LAW REVIEW, APRIL)
It is perhaps an obvious question to ask but ... enchanted by what precisely? In Schlag's case, the answer is far less apparent than one might expect. It should be stressed at the outset that this is not--nor does it purport to be--an abstract philosophical discourse on reason. 27 Reason for Schlag's purposes is bound by the confines of the legal academy; it is what passes for reason among American legal scholars that concerns him. Interestingly, at no point does he define what he means by reason. This is probably a wise move. Given the variety of views--even within law--on what counts as reason, attempts to define it are invariably tricky, eliciting pronouncements that are either hopelessly vague or internally contradictory. 28 Acts of definition also raise the risk of side tracking debate with considerable amounts of intellectual effort exhausted by interminable disputes of definition and scope. Anyway, Schlag's pointed avoidance of any definitional exercise necessarily flows from the arguments he is making. Once reason is defined, mapped, plotted, and located, it becomes not reason exactly, but whatever it is that is defined, mapped, plotted, and located. "Reason," for these purposes, becomes no more than a construction of the logic of the disciplinary frame within which the scholar/topographer is working. Schlag is not going to fall into that trap. Nevertheless, Schlag's refusal to delineate with any precision the object of his critique is not a risk-free strategy. One difficulty arising is that reason remains deliciously ephemeral throughout, assuming a [*550] dream-like, shadowy quality that at times heightens its allure and triggers a desire to capture and contain it. This is of course a reflection of Schlag's own ambivalence towards reason, signalled in particular by his use of the word "enchantment" 29 to denote our (his?) affinity to it. Schlag's portrayal of reason is that of a siren, a femme fatale, who simultaneously entices and deceives. And, while he urges us endlessly to recognize her pathological tendencies, we remain suspicious that he is still in her thrall. More importantly, however, the nebulous quality of Schlag's invocations of reason is misleading and belies the prescriptive content of the notion(s) he deploys. Reason, for Schlag's purposes, is bounded in ways he does not openly acknowledge. Woven within the fabric of his critique is a particular perspective from which reason's purposes are derived and its shortcomings identified and assessed.

Logic: Not as prevalent as you wish it were