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Aff AT: Ks Supplement

This is a small collection of cards assembled by the Fifelski/Foley/Rubaie/Stidham/Vitolo-Haddad.

Education Dialogue Good
Dialogical Scenario planning and wind tunneling is good for educators --- imagining
future worlds challenges bias, spurs creativity, answers value questions
By Daniel W. Rasmus 9/29/16 (Active National Educator’s Workshop, The Front End of Innovation
rewarded U.C. President's Undergraduate Fellowship, some degree in writing. “Scenario planning and
the future of education”

In 2006, Microsoft developed a vision for the future of education that reflects the impact technology can have on policy and practice. In this
article, Daniel W. Rasmus describes how Microsoft used its Future of Work scenarios to explore possible scenarios for learning in the future.
Microsoft used a scenario-planning process to explore education through the lens of work, examining educators, learners, and administrators in
the context of creating, synthesizing, absorbing, sharing, and managing information. This approach provided a unique perspective through
which to view the application of commercially available software to solve the challenges of learning while concomitantly generating ideas that
might not have arisen from a strictly pedagogical perspective.

If education is to contribute to the sustainability of global economies, its institutions will face the same pressure to adapt as the governments,
businesses, and communities it serves. Educators will need to face uncertainty in order to embrace the future . In
doing so, they will need to create a context for what is known, or thought to be known, as well as a means to explore a wide range of
possibilities for what cannot be known. Scenario
planning, a strategic process of exploring uncertainty, is a
technique designed to challenge assumptions, identify contingencies, anticipate game-changing
events, spur creativity, and, most importantly, identify actionable implications that make plans more robust
and resilient. If employed as intended, scenario planning can help educators develop innovative responses to
strategic imperatives and current and future challenges. The strategic principles that emerge from the
scenario-planning process are meant not to be exhaustive but to point toward policy implications for an
uncertain future. Scenarios help frame aspirations and create a context for contingencies. Much as today’s
technical architectures for learning are driven by an extrapolation of global networkenabled social behavior, education can benefit from policy
that creates fluid institutions not ones where the strategy is constantly in flux but ones where policy is adaptive.

In 2004, the business division of Microsoft created a set of scenarios that describe alternative possibilities for the future of work on a rolling ten-
year horizon. The scenarios have been applied for a range of purposes, including the development of a vision that anticipates future business
situations through the lens of potential social, economic, political, technological, and environmental developments. The scenarios The People-
Ready Business Scenario planning and the future of education 2 have also been applied to education and learning as a form of work, creating a
unique perspective on how technology may help shape tomorrow’s educational experience. This article presents the processes that led to the
Microsoft vision for education, and it suggests how educational leaders may use such processes to elaborate a range of distinctive futures for
their own institutional needs. The scenario-planning process Scenario
planning is not a deterministic process but an
intuitive one based on consensus. Although individuals can reason toward conclusions from within
scenario logics, it is not always possible to establish clear causal effects . However, since the process is not
meant to provide singular, iron-clad predictions, any debate about the scenarios provided below would
be secondary to their main purpose in illustrating how the process works. By allowing educators to anticipate
possible future influences on education, scenario planning can help them become more resilient in the face
of change.

Scenario planning begins with uncertainties about the question at hand, in this case, “What will work look like at the
end of the next decade?” Explicit agreement on a set of uncertainties can defuse bias and disarm
personal agendas, taking particular concepts off the table as ultimately indeterminate. This process reveals a kind of waveparticle duality
in concepts of the future, focusing attention on the fluid, wave-like nature of a concept and away from its more deterministic particle form. In
crafting an initial response to the key question, a team from the Microsoft Business Division consulted with company representatives from the
Office and Windows development teams; with representatives from our education, public sector, facilities, and product planning departments;
and with outside experts to develop a list of uncertainties that were critical to the future of work. The original list of uncertainties ran to well
over 100 items; after extensive discussion among team members, each member selected their 3 most critical and important uncertainties,
which narrowed the final list to fewer than 20 (Exhibit 1 included at end of document). This culling process, common to scenario-planning
exercises, sets consensus priorities and develops crucial buy-in for the team that will eventually use these critical uncertainties as elements of,
or even characters in, the scenario narratives.

The next step in scenario planning involves identifying extreme possibilities for the various uncertainties and
then combining these possibilities in various ways to identify the combinations that allow for the richest
and most diverse narratives. For instance, education may develop into a driving force for innovation with a
leading role in society or it may be marginalized , seen as largely irrelevant, and left to survive on subsistence budgets. If we
overlay those dimensions with the less central uncertainty about where and how people will store personal data, we may end up with
scenarios describing a strong, bleeding-edge education system in which people keep their data on keychains and, at the other extreme,
a weak, struggling education system where people store their data on the Internet. The framework that arises from this pairing is
obviously limited; it does not support expansive narratives, nor is it inclusive enough to capture the range of possibilities for other forces. This
does not invalidate these uncertainties as important forces, but it disqualifies that pairing as a candidate for the primary strategic drivers that
shape the narrative.

In the context of the Microsoft focus on the future of work, we needed to identify uncertainty combinations that would create challenging
contexts for the evolution of the workplace. The team settled on the tensions around globalization and organizing principles for the world. The
extremes in this construct revolved around acceptance or rejection of a network-centric orientation versus the continuance of hierarchical
structures. This pairing created a powerful story framework upon which a set of four vivid scenarios could be constructed (Exhibit 2 included at
the end of this document). In creating these scenarios, Microsoft deliberately avoided the identification of precise certainties. The primary
motivation for the future of work scenarios was identifying gaps between currently available software and future workplace requirements. With
this as a strategic imperative, the definition of predetermined elements, like the McREL (2005) conclusion that “Technology will enable
customized learning to occur any time, any place” (4), would have artificially constrained the process — limiting possibilities for scenarios such
as Frontier Friction, for example, which imagines a future in which a terrorist act aimed at technology (and specifically at electronic
representations of money) precipitates a widespread rejection of technology. Forcing a technology company to imagine
such a future
does precisely what a scenario should do: Challenge prevailing assumptions that can, if allowed to
persist through the process, inhibit the range of other possibilities. The result of such inhibition can be seen in Miller’s
(2003) examination of tertiary education for the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, where the graphic clearly illustrates
the choice of constraints among conceivable futures (8). Rather than inhibit the range of possible futures, Microsoft chose to let the
uncertainties play out against the widest range of interactions; in this way, emergent implications of an uncertainty are more likely to emerge
from the interplay of narrative elements, much in the spirit of Schwartz’s (1991) assertion that “Scenario creation is not a reductionist process; it
is an art, as is story-telling” (108).

The resulting scenarios have been shared with a wide range of Microsoft customers, including public sector agencies, elected officials, and
business leaders. In some cases these conversations have led to deeper insights about Microsoft and it’s thinking; in others, they have helped
organizations reflect on their own strategic imperatives and even seeded new scenario-planning processes within customer or partner
organizations. They have also offered a framework for understanding possible outcomes for the Microsoft Office Information Worker Board of
the Future, a program in which young people, age 17-24, are brought together to help Microsoft better

The People-Ready Business Scenario planning and the future of education 4 understand attitudes about work among the Millennial generation
and examine the popular conceptions and misconceptions about this generation (Rasmus 2004, 24). The Board of the Future used the scenarios
to play out the implications of survey results and test their predictions about the future of work. Seeing education as work

The Microsoft education vision emerges from its understanding of education and learning as a kind of work; the specifics of that vision are the
result of a process called wind tunneling, an intellectual exercise for testing fitness and developing the implications of an idea within the logic of
the scenario. Education is an uncertainty in the future of work, but the fitness of educational decisions may be tested in the context of the
various scenarios. When strategic considerations are played out against the four scenarios for the future of work, several possible futures
emerge for education, each with its own character (Figure 1). Figure 1

Definition: Wind tunnelling Wind tunneling can be thought of as an intellectual exercise for testing the fitness of
an idea or concept, much as a wind tunnel tests the fitness of an airplane or automobile design. In a wind tunneling exercise,
a concept, product, process, or even a persona is placed into a future scenario and the team assigned to
develop that scenario visualizes how it would be represented, if at all, in that particular future. In the
strategic dialogue that generates scenarios, wind tunneling offers a process by which elements of a system can be
played against possible futures to reveal the different ways in which those elements might influence,
and be influenced by, other factors in the scenario. The process forces the organization to challenge assumptions
and fosters creativity in imagining scenarios.
The People-Ready Business Scenario planning and the future of education 5 In Proud Tower, for instance, a world where corporate interests
dominate and corporations subsume much of the role now played by government, education is closely aligned with corporate objectives. In this
scenario, education must ensure that workers can contribute appropriate levels of value to corporations. Curriculum is targeted toward the
requirements of local organizations as those are the most likely employers for graduates. Although travel is not restricted, economic forces
motivate people to remain associated with their local employment environment. Colleges and universities are seen not as separate institutions
but as part of a continuum of learning and preparation that extends through employment. Students who excel and demonstrate the motivation
for higher education receive that education with the expectation that they will later return the corporation’s investment. Early identification of
aptitude is seen as a competitive advantage as measures can be taken early in a child’s education to motivate him or her toward local corporate
loyalty, avoiding the costs of losing talent to external recruiting.

It is not, however, Proud Tower that drives the Microsoft vision of education as work. Rather, our vision more closely reflects the results of
Freelance Planet, a world of expectations that closely mirror current developments in the emergent, networkcentric workplace. In this future,
companies divest their non-core competencies until they are holding companies with only brand, money, and partner relationships to manage
directly. Partner relationship skills determine an organization’s ability to attract and retain talent, not just through pay but by creating interesting
work experiences and environments so workers want to associate with them. Schools in Freelance Planet are dynamic institutions created and
funded by affiliations of parents, communities, educators, employers, and regional governments. Their function is to provide students with a
wide range of skills to make them competitive in a global labor market, to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation, and to provide an outlet
for creative expression. Learning occurs both independently and in collaborative peer groups, and most of it occurs online.

One way to create even more illustrative futures is to populate the potential futures with people who live and work within the logic of the
scenario. Although generic individuals can serve as representatives of a future, the best outcomes result from the creation of role-based
characters. Roles
provide a context for deriving more specific implications within industries and a more dramatic
way to drive home the differentiators between various futures . The planning process benefits from populating futures
because participants relate to the potential lives of the characters, often resulting in deeper strategic exploration. In the context of the Microsoft
process, the roles also act as a means of expanding insights about the personal impact of technology within the industries and institutions that
form its customer base. In constructing its vision for the future of education, Microsoft asked students from Eton College to identify
characteristics of students who lived in the futures identified in the scenario-planning process; the Future of Work team created narratives
based on these characteristics and informed by the logics of the various futures (Exhibit 3,

Wind tunnelling (cont.) In the case of the Microsoft education vision, several areas of technology as well as social and economic forces were
wind tunnelled against various aspects of education. Where would learners get information in Proud Tower, and how would that be different in
Continental Drift? Who would employ teachers in each of the scenarios? Where would education funding come from? What organization would
create curricula? When the various aspects of education had been wind tunnelled, the team developed a perspective on how those elements
would fit together. A view of education emerged as the constraints placed on the various elements by the scenario influenced the development
of the particular attributes of education in each scenario. Continental
Drift, as a world of nationalist and regional bias,
has a strong, centralized, government-controlled education system with nationalistic overtones. In
Freelance Planet, the tone and character of education is personal; learning results from the interaction
of learners within a complex ecosystem where questions often end in debate rather than an answer.

The People-Ready Business Scenario planning and the future of education 6 included at the end of this document). These narratives
vividly illustrate the distinctions between futures in terms of culture, attitude, and values. Finally, and most
importantly, while educational institutions may formulate a vision based on a scenario they judge to be most
plausible or desirable, they also need to consider the development of strategies that are sufficiently
resilient, flexible, or adaptable to address more than one possible scenario . The wind tunneling process described
above can serve as a foundation for this form of decision making as well insofar as it allows planners to discern the extent to which a single
strategic decision may have beneficial outcomes across multiple scenarios. As a further result of this process, Microsoft has identified ten
strategic implications for the future of education (Exhibit 4 included at the end of this document).

Conclusion As an instrument of strategic planning, scenario planning can be a way of maintaining competitive
differentiation not only for corporations but also for public-sector entities such as educational institutions. For those
charged with creating meaningful education policy and practice, it is important to create plans that are
resilient and that drive curricula that prepare students for any future they may encounter . As valuable as
scenarios are to corporations and to public institutions, it is perhaps this last point that makes them indispensable to education: Educators
are preparing students for a future that neither teachers nor students can foresee with certainty . The range
of possible futures facing today’s youth and the necessities of global competition obligate education policy makers to exercise peripheral vision
at its most acute level to create programs that stretch administrators, educators, students, institutions, and communities to anticipate a range of
outcomes rather than settling for easily measured outputs.

In promoting such foresight, scenarios allow educational institutions to consider larger questions when
formulating policy decisions. For most educators today, goals are established by the political organizations, public or private, that own
the learning environments. The leaders of these organizations and the strategic plans they develop are usually driven by the perceived need for
short-term measures of achievement: standardized test scores, funding, external recognition, and reelection, among others. However, strategic
plans, as Michael Porter often points out, are not visions (Hammonds 2001), and when short-term policy decisions are divorced from any
broader vision, their value is compromised. In this context, scenarios can expand the scope of strategic planning by challenging the assumptions
that drive such shortsighted objectives.
Scenarios can guide an exploration of values questions — What is the
ultimate measure of success in education? — and promote thinking about the social and political goals of education — Is the
goal of education to produce citizens prepared and motivated to engage in the political process? To
equip workers with the skills to contribute to the private or public sector? To guide people toward The
People-Ready Business Scenario planning and the future of education 7 lifelong learning? Educators who use scenarios have not only a
means of creating plans that confer competitive advantage but also a vital vehicle for refining their overall mission.

Scenarios can help educators and policy makers develop creative responses to challenges , unveil new
opportunities, and avoid the myopia of simple trend watching. They can also be used to educate constituencies about the work of
policy makers, offering engaging illustrations of the long-term implications of change. One of the biggest benefits of scenario
planning comes from the strategic dialogue generated during their creation, which moves planning from questions
of tactics and strategy to a more comprehensive vision of institutional values and purpose. Exhibit 1: Critical uncertainties for the future of work
The Future of Work team collaborated with various stakeholders to create a list of critical uncertainties and suggested polarities (table 1).The
categories that make up this list entail a number of questions, including the following: Does globalization continue unfettered, or do ideological,
economic, or political forces drive toward a return to regionalization? Do people get to retire, or do they continue to work in order to retain a
work identity or to fund a lifestyle, including healthcare? While demographics are more determinate in the ten-year horizon, this question
becomes more uncertain at longer timeframes.

Will decision making be ideological or pragmatic? This question may have a large impact on workforce and immigration
policy, in that an ideological framework may shut certain classes of workers out of the economy or create less fluid immigration policy than
local, regional, or national interests may dictate if examined in a rational, pragmatic way. Will the organization structure of the world be
hierarchical or networked? Perhaps more pointedly, will the world recognize the networked aspects of work and create management practices,
representations, and technology that explicitly manage through networks rather than hierarchies? The People-Ready Business Scenario planning
and the future of education 8 Polarity A Critical uncertainties Polarity B <table omitted>
AT: Cybernetics
Data Good (Desegregation)

Federal data collection is key for accountability --- it stops racist schools from getting
away and lying about their data
Esack and merlin 16 (Steve Esack, Michelle Merlin, contact reporters for the morning call 11-19-2016,
"Racism rears its ugly head in Lehigh Valley schools," themorningcall,

Southern Lehigh Principal Christine Siegfried had enough. Since the start of the school year, she and her
staff had been dealing with students yelling racial slurs, drawing swastikas and giving Nazi salutes. On Nov. 2
she acted, holding an assembly for students and then writing a letter to parents about what was going on in the suburban, predominantly white school. A week later, parents in the

neighboring Saucon Valley School District accused their school board and administrators of not doing
enough to stop racist taunts and gestures in their high school. MAP: Minority enrollment in Pennsylvania school districts The Lehigh
Valley incidents blended into a chorus of complaints emanating from schools in recent weeks, prompting
many to point fingers at an ugly presidential campaign that had Republican Donald Trump threatening to
ban Muslims and build a wall to keep back Mexicans, and Democrat Hillary Clinton branding Trump's followers "deplorables."
On Friday, three Lehigh Valley college presidents signed a nationwide higher education petition urging President-elect Trump to condemn the hate "in light of your pledge to be 'president for all
Americans.'" Last Sunday during an interview on CBS' "60 Minutes," Trump told any supporters harassing minorities to "stop it." That brief comment was not enough, said Peter Lawler, a
government professor at Berry College in Rome, Ga. Trump, Clinton, President Barack Obama and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, a former Democratic presidential candidate, need to jointly address
the country over the violence, he said. "They've got to go on TV and say, no more bullying in schools. But I don't think it's going to happen," Lawler said. While media reports of racial

Lehigh Valley schools deal with

intimidation have caught fire since Trump was elected president Nov. 8, it's difficult to determine if racial strife is rising in schools.

dozens of racial and ethnic incidents annually , state and federal statistics show. But incident reports are spotty, and whatever
discipline is meted out tends to remain confidential. Before and after the election, Qyshira Rivers, a 17-year-old black senior at Saucon Valley

High School, has felt targeted at school, and her father was among several Saucon Valley parents who took up the issue of racial bullying with the school board
last week.

"After Trump became elected, that's when it got worse, and even before the whole Trump thing they were coming at us on social media," Qyshira said. Her father, Al Rivers, said racist incidents
have been going on for a long time in the district, and he believes they get swept under the rug. He said he was motivated to go to the board meeting after a slew of incidents over the last two
years, including a black student's getting mocked for eating chicken, a student's being called a racial epithet on the bus and a now former teacher's using the N-word. Trump's behavior probably
influences students' decisions, Rivers said, although he's not ready to attribute any of the listed incidents to the president-elect. Saucon Valley Superintendent Monica McHale-Small said Friday
that any use of the N-word would trigger a response from administrators. She said that while students or parents may not think the district is doing anything, reports are taken seriously. The
district, however, can't discuss any disciplinary action because of privacy reasons. She confirmed there was an incident involving a teacher, but said she couldn't discuss personnel issues. "In
cases of reported name-calling, typically both [the] administrator and the counselor are involved and they take the opportunity to educate the offender and attempt to develop empathy and

understanding," McHale-Small said. Across the state and nation, the Anti-Defamation League has been tracking and responding to
bias incidents in schools for many years, said Jeremy Bannett, the nonprofit's assistant regional director in Philadelphia. Most of those incidents have received little or
no national media attention, until recently. "While we are unable to determine if there has been an increase in the actual number of bias-motivated incidents in schools since the 2016 election,

we have certainly received a higher-than-usual number of reports of incidents , and we have observed
amplified attention to the issue from public figures and the media," Bannett said. Among the reports that have been widely publicized:

• On Nov. 10, white students carrying a Trump sign at a York County technical school were caught on
video screaming "white power."

• On Nov. 12, a University of Oklahoma student was suspended for sending "lynching" texts to black
students at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. And Thursday, Penn professors signed a
petition asking Trump, an alumnus along with his daughter, to denounce the online messages.

• On Nov. 12, a black Villanova University student reported she was confronted in a SEPTA tunnel on
campus by white men, who knocked her to the ground and yelled "Trump."
• On Tuesday, Saucon Valley parents of minority students complained at a school board meeting about
insults hurled at their children and demanded action. School officials then said the incidents had been
ongoing since before Election Day.

• On Wednesday, a Maryland high school student wearing Trump's signature "Make America Great
Again" hat was beaten up and hospitalized, the Washington Post reported.

• On Thursday, white students in Texas chanted "build that wall" to Hispanic students from a district
along the Mexican border. The chants, along with Trump signs, came during a volleyball match.
Last week, after the incident in York, Gov. Tom Wolf's administration issued guidelines to schools dealing with post-election racial problems. "What has occurred at York County School of
Technology and other schools across Pennsylvania is overt racism, and my administration will do everything it can to end it and prevent it from happening in the future," said Wolf, a York
County native. Following shout of 'white power' at York County school, Gov. Wolf moves to stop racism The numbers

Pennsylvania school districts are required by state and federal law to self-report crime, violence and bullying incidents. The reports list incidents of racial or
ethnic intimidation, and show racial incidents to be less than 1 percent of all incidents.
The state and federal governments code incidents differently, so numbers do not match.

Ten of the Lehigh Valley's 17 districts reported no racial and ethnic incidents in the 2013-14, 2014-15 and
2015-16 school years, state Department of Education records show. The seven other districts reported 32 incidents in two of those
years and 14 in one.

It's a different story at the U.S. Education Department's Civil Rights Data Collection, where eight Lehigh
Valley school districts filed 54 complaints from student reports of bullying based on race, color or
national origin in 2013-14, the most recent year for data. Unlike the state numbers, the federal records
are broken down by race. It shows all races were victims and perpetrators. Records show 52 students were disciplined.
Several Valley districts that reported no racial problems to the state in 2013-14 told the federal government otherwise.

Data show that Saucon Valley hasn't reported any incidents of racial or ethnic bullying or intimidation to
state or federal officials in the past five years.
McHale-Small said middle and high school administrators assured her all reported incidents are investigated and dealt with. The administrators consider the definition of bullying when coding
infractions as "any unwanted aggressive behavior(s) by another youth or group of youths who are not siblings or current dating partners that involves an observed or perceived power
imbalance and is repeated multiple times or is highly likely to be repeated." Racist behavior in Saucon Valley schools decried Southern Lehigh, which, like Saucon Valley, has a non-white
enrollment of about 13 percent, reported eight such incidents in the past five years. Siegfried, the Southern Lehigh High School principal, and Superintendent Kathleen Evison, did not return
calls or emails for comment last week. But during the Monday school board meeting, Evison denounced the reported behavior as "completely unacceptable" and detailed a plan that includes
seeking help from the U.S. Department of Justice, Anti-Defamation League, state Human Relations Commission and Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium, an education equal rights advocacy group.

Gregory Singleton, a black Southern Lehigh parent with a student in the high school, said he felt motivated to go to the school board meeting after the district sent a note home
about racist and anti-Semitic incidents. He said his daughter, a 2014 Southern Lehigh graduate, wasn't surprised to hear reports of racist slurs at the

school, and had been called a monkey and chocolate when she was there.
Now, he said, the political climate and Trump have made people more comfortable making racist comments, and displaying Confederate flags in a yard along the Saucon Rail Trail. "I think it has
emboldened or validated whatever biases they may have already had to be more verbal about it," Singleton said. Lehigh Valley college presidents among those who signed open letter to Trump
on Friday Behind the numbers A racial backlash also unfolded after the election of America's first black president in 2008. At the time, police documented alleged crimes, from vandalism and
vague threats to at least one physical attack. Insults and taunts were delivered by adults, college students and even children. Bethlehem Area was embroiled in an unrelated racial controversy
that year after a white Liberty High School student tied a cord into a noose and reportedly left it for a black student in the band room. As a result, the district held a community forum and
instituted the No Place for Hate program, which incorporates classroom lessons on anti-bullying, diversity and equity. In October 2014, Northampton Area School District made news when
students on the high school boys soccer team reportedly shouted "Ebola!" at a West African player on Nazareth Area High School's team. Last week, Superintendent Joseph Kovalchik said the
soccer incident pushed the district to implement No Place for Hate. Racial incidents happen periodically at schools, regardless of whether there's an election, he said. "School districts are a
microcosm of society and issues that are out there in society obviously come into the school district," Kovalchik said. Southern Lehigh parents decry racist slurs, bullying; district outlines plans
to combat bias David Zimmerman agrees. He's a parent and president of the Allentown School Board. Zimmerman's son — a white student in a district whose white enrollment is about 11
percent — was taunted in 2014 by boys who called him "pink." The boys were prosecuted because of the racial overtones, Zimmerman said. Racist acts are rare in Allentown schools, he said,
but "I tend to think there's heightened sensitivity to it given the political environment." While the racism genie is out of the bottle, parents and teachers shouldn't hide from it, said Rosa A.
Eberly, an English and communications professor who studies rhetoric at Penn State University. They should seize the opportunity for an object lesson. "The best thing parents can do," Eberly
said, "is to tell children how to talk productively to others who are different from them, and schools can have a role in that." The state Department of Education uses the Pennsylvania Crimes
code to define instances of racial/ethnic intimidation in schools. the state codes are similar to federal definitions used by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights. Racial/Ethnic
Intimidation: Malicious intent toward another’s person or property based on race, color, religion or national origin is a hate crime. Ethnic intimidation: A person commits the offense of ethnic
intimidation if, with malicious intention toward the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender or gender identity of
another individual or group of individuals, he/she commits an offense under any other provision of this article or under Chapter 33 (relating to arson, criminal mischief and other property
destruction) exclusive of section 3307 (relating to institutional vandalism) or under section 3503 (relating to criminal trespass) with respect to such individual or his or her property or with
respect to one or more members of such group or to their property.
Education data is key ---shines light on disparity
Joy Resmovits 14, (Senior Education Reporter 3-21-2014, "American Schools Are STILL Racist,
Government Report Finds," HuffPost,

Public school students of color get more punishment and less access to veteran teachers than their white
peers, according to surveys released Friday by the U.S. Education Department that include data from
every U.S. school district.

Black students are suspended or expelled at triple the rate of their white peers , according to the U.S.
Education Department’s 2011-2012 Civil Rights Data Collection, a survey conducted every two years. Five percent
of white students were suspended annually, compared with 16 percent of black students, according to
the report. Black girls were suspended at a rate of 12 percent — far greater than girls of other ethnicities and most
categories of boys.

At the same time, minority students have less access to experienced teachers. Most minority students and English language learners are stuck in
schools with the most new teachers. Seven percent of black students attend schools where as many as 20 percent of teachers fail to meet
license and certification requirements. And one in four school districts pay teachers in less-diverse high schools $5,000 more than teachers in
schools with higher black and Latino student enrollment.

Such discrimination lowers academic performance for minority students and puts them at greater risk of dropping out of school, according to
previous research. The new research also shows the shortcomings of decades of legal and political moves to ensure equal rights to education.
The Supreme Court’s landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education ruling banned school segregation and affirmed the right to quality education
for all children. The 1964 Civil Rights Act guaranteed equal access to education.

“This data
collection shines a clear, unbiased light on places that are delivering on the promise of an equal
education for every child and places where the largest gaps remain,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in a
statement. “In all, it is clear that the United States has a great distance to go to meet our goal of providing opportunities for every student to

Duncan and Attorney General Eric Holder plan to announce the survey results on Friday. The information, part of an ongoing survey by the
Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights, highlights longstanding inequities in how schools leave minority students and students with
disabilities at a disadvantage. For the first time since 2000, the new version of the survey includes results from all 16,500 American school
districts, representing 49 million students.

“Unfortunately, too many children don’t have equitable access to experienced and fully licensed teacher s, as
has again been proven by the data in this report,” said Dennis Van Roekel, president of the National Education Association, the nation’s largest
teachers union. “This is a problem that can and must be addressed.”

Daria Hall, K-12 policy director at the Education Trust, an advocacy group, also called for action. “The report shines a new light on something
that research and experience have long told us — that students of color get less than their fair share of access to the in-school factors that
matter for achievement,” she said. “Students of color get less access to high level courses. Black students in particular get less instructional time
because they’re far more likely to receive out of school suspensions or expulsions. And students of color get less access to teachers who’ve had
at least a year on the job and who have at least basic certification. Of course, it’s not enough to just shine a light on the problem. We have to fix

Though 16 percent of America’s public school students are black, they represent 27 percent of students referred by schools to law enforcement,
and 31 percent of students arrested for an offense committed in school, according to the survey.

Students with disabilities make up one-fourth of students referred to law enforcement or arrested, although they represent 13 percent of the
student population. Students with disabilities are twice as likely to be suspended out of school than peers, with 13 percent of such students
being sent home for misbehaving. One of four boy students of color who have disabilities and one in five girl students of color who have
disabilities were suspended. Students of color include all non-white ethnic groups except Latino and Asian-American.

These numbers will likely add pressure to dismantle the so-called school-to-prison pipeline, which feeds troubled students into the justice
system. The push to ease discipline sometimes causes tension with schools’ efforts to beef up security after school mass shootings, like the one
in Newtown, Conn. Last week, a set of reports 26 academics pointed to a few local studies that found that disparate discipline outcomes did not
happen as a result of certain ethnic groups acting out more than others.
According to the new data, disparities begin as early as preschool. Black students make up 18 percent of
preschool enrollment, but they comprise 48 percent of preschool students receiving more than one
suspension out of school. White students, representing 43 percent of preschool students, only receive 26 percent of out-of-school
suspensions more than once.
Data Good (Extinction)
Informatics and cybernetics mitigate existential risks such as climate change
Branch ’10 - Ph.D., Educational Research and Policy Analysis, North Carolina State University (Benjamin
D.; “Educational Leadership’s Literacy Needs for Informatics and Cybernetics Agenda”;
At the heart of many forms of societal change is leadership that is aware of the necessary change that may best suit emerging technological
paradigms. However, the
informatics and cybernetics agenda is one that may be unknown in policy on the
federal and many state levels towards educational K-12 value. Specifically, Executive Order 12906, a federal mandate
known as the Coordinating Geographical Data Acquisition and Access: The National Spatial Data Infrastructure, by the federal government in
1994 has interested educators in exploring their possible roles in spatial thinking, broadly defined as the use of space to define, formulate and
solve problems (Branch, 2009). As such, literacy
towards informatics and cybernetics may be needed to stimulate
such pipeline considerations by next generation educational leadership (NGEL). Thus, educational
leaderships literacy towards informatics and cybernetics may need to be an intentional interdisciplinary
collaboration of change where issues of climate change and a green economy are injected into a K-12
data experience which could possibly address the NCLB (2001) mandate and to increase mandated
geosciences outcomes. Such state compliance to Executive Order 12906 is coordinated by the National States Geographic Information
Council (Branch, 2009). Moreover, educational leadership is directed to ensure such data driven activity occurs within its infrastructure, because
in most cases a state‟s department of education has to compliance like all other state agencies as a state seeks compliance with the federal
Executive Order 12906.
This work may serve as a brick in the new educational foundations of NGEL. Such proclaims that leadership must have pragmatic solutions and
refrain from political rhetoric. NGEL should address, represent and bridge pragmatic solutions to long standing educational issues left behind
due to a lack of effective interaction between communities, school leadership, such policy makers and the scientific community. Lastly, this work
may imply that informal and formal community informatics and citizen science programs may be the plausible venues to address Science,
Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) outcomes. In addition, this paper focuses on Earth Science and space informatics as K-12 literacy
need because it linked as outcome of the STEM outcome as defined by the United States Department of Education. Thus, the terms
informatics and cybernetics are assumed to be linked to Earth Science and space concepts . For example, as the
[1] National Academy of Sciences (2006) defined spatial thinking as an likely medium of scientific communication for all levels of education, the
stakeholders in control may develop a new age literacy and involvement towards [2] Executive Order 12906, state mandates, the societal needs
of climate change and a green economy. At the root of such effectiveness is what infrastructure and what type of investment in such
infrastructures will cost effectively benefit society. As
school districts are hit with budget crises, informatics and
cybernetics have to re- define themselves into cost effective and pragmatic community based
frameworks that support an interdisciplinary ontology of communication across disciplines as referenced
in [3] knowledge representation in the semantic web for Earth and environmental terminology (SWEET).
Such may be a defining collaborative skill development towards a global citizen mindset. Such a definition
should be considered a NGEL literacy for the global citizen of tomorrow which is illustrated in this conceptual framework in Figure 1. Figure 1 [3]
SWEET 2.0 In the [3] SWEET implementation, math may be the root of relating the value of informatics or cybernetics across disciplines. Hence,
data processes along with Earth Science investigations may need a synergistic value and intentional support by NGEL to sustain K-12
implementation and assessment. The foresight of education leadership should have the ability to always define or anticipate the next generation
of pedagogical need of its impending data and infrastructure requirements. For
example, if grid or cloud computing becomes
an cost effective norm in society, then perhaps education should consider a bee hive approach to
societal needs where the entire society must input a more equitable role in the brainpower of its citizens
to address future climate change and green economy needs. Simply, if informatics and cybernetics are
critical to climate change response, then data driven practices along with computational Earth Science
training must be a common occurrence. Hence, educational networks must transfer more knowledge in future generations. For
example, National Aeronautical and Space Administration‟s (NASA) Cryosphere and Dynamic Earth public outreach materials suggest a 3-foot
sea level rise by 2100 A. D. that may affect millions of persons in the world. If the potency of effective educational leadership does not have
spatial thinking, informatics and cybernetics development on its radar, then how can it steer future generation towards a state of self
determination in the face of a complex world where Earth Science data computation is a valuable commodity? Therefore, society
may be
challenged with a spatial thinking literacy as well as an informatics and cybernetic literacy. Clearly, “the spatial
thinking experience of data collection, data verification, and data analysis is not on the radar of educational leadership” [4] (Branch, 2009). As
such, informatics literacy and cybernetics literacy may too be nonevolved within the educational K-12 community. This paper suggests that
applicable policy exists for spatial literacy to be embraced and supported from [2] 1994 Executive Order 12906. Such is the basis for literacy
towards informatics and cybernetics to take root in the K-12 experience after projected based spatial thinking or Earth Science base experienced
reach the K-12 standard course of study. This work argues that after school experiences are not enough to prepare the next generation of global
citizens to deal with the green economy or climate change implications. The [5] 2009 White House “Educate to Innovate” campaign by the
Obama administration should address the K-12 standard course of study on the state level and supported by the US Department of Education
because of [2] Executive Order 12906. Furthermore, since past Presidential Initiatives such as Bush administration‟s 2005 support of geospatial
technology in the K-12 and college community should not be ignored. The states and the federal government laws applicable to [2] Executive
Order 12906 should provide rationale for educational leadership and NGEL to ensure spatial literacy applied to the K-16 standard course of
study. Literacy
towards informatics and cybernetics by educational leadership may be a secondary
response to [2] Executive Order 12906. NGEL should utilize the practice of community informatics, a
collection of community remote sensing, community geographical information systems and
environmental study, where cost effective Earth Science could be implemented by partnership between
educators and the community. Here, a literacy of climate change is justified in the terms and practices
of informal to formal Earth Science data collection, analysis and presentation with cost effective Earth Science tools of GIS, remote
sensing or Earth Science investigation. Successful implementations may even become applicable solution to economically stricken school
districts. Moreover, a possible benefit to government agencies could be stimulation in STEM disciplines outcome in a cost effective manner if
collaboration between academic institutions, the community and scientific agencies desire such synergy. Moreover, implications to
Earth Science and Space informatics pipeline, climate change, interdisciplinary research and
collaboration; accreditation change, and grant funding issues should be well versed by educational
leadership to address the data driven needs and skills of next generation considerations of global
citizens. NGEL has a morale obligation to create the next global competitive citizens with literacy in spatial tools, Earth Science data
processes, climate change debate and logistics of a global economy
Data Good (Education)

Education data directly improves the quality of education –

Bidwell, 2013 (Allie Bidwell, Staff Writer, 11-19-2013, "More States Are Collecting and Using Student
Data to Improve Education," US News & World Report,

More now than ever, states are expanding the ways they use student data to inform how they make
changes to and improve their education systems, according to a report released Tuesday from the Data
Quality Campaign. The Washington-based nonprofit measures states by a list of 10 benchmarks that
show how effectively they use different data measures, such as linking K-12 and higher education data
and creating progress reports with student-level data for teachers, students and parents. The group
found that in 2013, Arkansas and Delaware were the first two states to meet all 10 benchmarks. The
report says states aren't collecting any more data than they have for the last 10 years, but they're
changing the way they use the data to inform teaching and decisions. By expanding the ways they use
what data they collect, schools and teachers can better identify which students might be at risk of
dropping out of school, for example, or what groups of students might need more help in a particular
subject area, and adjust their teaching accordingly. Additionally, parents in many states can tap into
online portals to monitor how their students are doing in school, a change from the once- or twice-a-
year report cards parents have received in the past. "What we've really seen this year, as one of the
biggest changes, is focusing on getting the appropriate access of the right data to the right people at the
right time, with the end goal of improving student achievements," said Aimee Rogstad Guidera, founder
and executive director of DQC, in a call with reporters Monday. "Data is only useful, and is only valued by
people, if it's actually meeting their needs." The report also found that despite recent financial struggles
related to education funding, most states (41) are providing funding to maintain their data systems, and
almost all (46) are creating public reports on school systems and certain groups of students. "What really
continues to surprise us is that in just a few short years, these systems really just came online by and
large … in the last five or six years," says Paige Kowalski, the DQC's director of state policy and advocacy.
Linking such data helps educators, principals, and parents understand where students go after high
school, and how well they do once they get to college, Kowalski says. In 2011, only 38 states linked K-12
and postsecondary data, compared with 44 in 2013. "If you went back four years ago, we were still trying
to help people understand why you would link your K-12 and higher (education) data," Kowalski says.
"Don't your principals want to know – where are their kids going and are they successful when they get
there? Or are you giving them a 4.0 and then they go take remedial math in college?" Still, some states
have a long way to go. States such as Alabama, Nebraska, Oklahoma and South Dakota, for example,
have achieved no more than three of the DQC's action items, while the average number of actions
achieved in 2013 was 6.6. Additionally, some say states need to further expand how they share teacher
performance data. Currently, just 17 states share that data with in-state teacher preparation programs,
but only six make that available to the public, according to the National Council on Teacher Quality. "We
hope other states follow the lead of these six, since seeing thee link between teacher prep programs and
graduates' success in the classroom is as valuable for prospective teachers and hiring school districts as it
is to teacher prep programs," the NCTQ said in a statement. And although most states (44) have linked K-
12 and postsecondary data, most cannot determine if their students have been "adequately prepared for
the workforce," the report says, because only 19 have linked their K-12 and workforce data, an increase
from the 11 that did so in 2009. This may be due to, in part, the fact that parents still often express
concerns about privacy issues when collecting and using student data. In the report, the authors write
that state policymakers need to step up to strengthen policies that protect the privacy of education data.
The authors recommend clarifying to people what data are collected, for what purposes, and who has
access to which pieces of data, as well as establishing governance structures that oversee data
collection, sharing and storage. So far, 43 states have developed governance structures to guide their
data collection and use. "Safeguarding student privacy and using data effectively to improve teaching
and learning are not mutually exclusive actions – in fact, this safeguarding is an essential effort as we
build a culture that values, trusts, and uses data to help our children thrive," the report says. But
Kowalski says there's no sign that states will backtrack on their commitment to fund such data systems.
"One thing I've noticed to be consistent over the years is that when people get data, they want more,"
Kowalski says. "And so now that it's really getting into the hands of teachers and parents, they're starting
to see the value, and it's increasing demand." Many states are now producing reports from more
granular data to help teachers monitor how their students are doing. Teachers in 35 states, for example,
have access to data such as attendance and course-taking history, compared to 28 states in 2011. And
the number of states with early warning reports, which are designed to identify students at risk of
dropping out, more than doubled from 12 in 2009 to 31 in 2013. Kowalski says more and more, states
are hearing from teachers that this kind of data is as important a resource to improve student
achievement as the textbooks they use, or having efficient Internet access because it helps them move
toward more personalized learning. "It means understanding each child, where they've been, what they
want to do, and then how do you help them today," Kowalski says. "And to do that, to understand where
they've been, you need the information. So that's what states are trying to do with these systems."

Education data collection allows for expansion of student learning in developing

Atnic and Read, 1/26(Tamar Manuelyan Atinc, Global economy and development, center for
universal education, and Lindsay Read, center for universal education, 1-26-2017, "6 lessons for using
data to improve student learning in developing countries," Brookings,

In recent years, transparency and social accountability reforms have gained traction in global education
circles, building from a broader development agenda that encourages participatory processes and local
empowerment. The general idea is that the availability of information at the school level can empower
parents and communities to hold providers and governments accountable for delivering quality learning
for all children. Interventions in this vein have varied from media campaigns in Uganda to an open data
platform in the Philippines, citizen report cards in Pakistan, community monitoring in Niger, and school
scorecards in India. In a new report, we explore the underlying assumptions behind such information-
based initiatives and assess the burgeoning evidence base for whether and how providing information to
parents and schools in low- and middle-income countries can lead to improvements in service delivery
and ultimately student learning. To do so, we draw from large-scale conceptual frameworks in the social
accountability, open data, and governance fields; case study research from Moldova, Australia, Pakistan,
and the Philippines; as well as a growing evidence base of impact evaluations. From our research, six key
lessons have emerged: Information is not enough. We echo much of the existing literature in finding that
information alone is rarely sufficient to motivate parents to act or impel response from service providers.
Instead, data must be made actionable by, for instance, using it to inform the joint-creation of school
improvement plans between parents and school administrators, or offered in tandem with direct
complaint hotlines for communities. What information is captured and how it is shared matters.
Information needs to be user-centered to empower its audience to make meaning and act on it. This
highlights the importance of selecting not only the appropriate indicators—whether on inputs or outputs
—but also the most appropriate format. It matters that information reflects official standards or is placed
in relation to similar contexts (for example, schools in the same neighborhood or serving the same kinds
of students). Our research suggests that parents are more likely to act on information about school
infrastructure and other inputs, whereas teachers and school principals find value in indicators about
student learning. The use of “infomediaries” is vital. In cases where the ability of citizens to understand,
process, and act on published information is constrained, intermediaries—for example, the media, civil
society organizations, and researchers—can strengthen capabilities by translating and communicating
information so it is more actionable for end users. These infomediaries can also play a vital role in
articulating demand for data, working with governments to supply open data and engage in the reform
process, and even in collecting and disseminating data on their own. Dissemination tools are as
important as the source data. New technologies—social media platforms, text messaging, cloud services,
tablets, mobile apps, and web interfaces—generate a lot of excitement. But this should not imply that
more traditional means of communication are no longer useful, especially when faced with stark digital
divides. A key first step in the design of information-based initiatives is testing the vehicle for its
appropriateness for intended users. Pathways to change may be nonlinear. Often, transparency efforts
are assumed to radically alter existing accountability relationships and processes. However, our research
suggests that so-called “home runs”—interventions that unleash a dramatic increase in accountability—
are rare. These insights stress the importance of working with the grain of embedded accountability
relationships and with a deep understanding of complex political dimensions. Location matters.
Transparency reforms must take into consideration the location(s) of decisionmaking and availability of
resources, particularly in relation to local bureaucracies. Localized efforts must be integrated vertically,
so that there is two-way communication between local actors and information and central resources and
authority, rather than an approach where “scaling” prioritizes replication over integration. The overall
lesson here is not, of course, to suggest that putting information into the public realm is not valuable,
but rather for practitioners, government officials, and donors that support transparency and social
accountability efforts in education systems to realize that not all information is created equal. “Fit” must
be taken into consideration to take full advantage of the opportunities that public information can
generate. And, as highlighted in our last blog, reformers should be mindful that even successful
interventions are limited in their ability to generate systemwide impacts on education and learning.

School data allows for teachers to teach their students better

Stoelinga, 2016 (Sara Ray Stoelinga, Director of the University of Chicago Urban Education Institute,
Octber 17, 2016, “ We’ve Got to Look at More Than Just Test Scores When We Rate Schools,” University
of Chicago Impact,

There is a window to reframe accountability as states can now think in new and flexible ways. The
passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) has opened new conversations about what matters in
education, placing considerable power in the hands of state and district education leaders to define
school quality and student progress. ESSA requires states to develop accountability systems based on
four indicators—standardized test results, English language-learner proficiency, graduation rates (or, for
elementary and middle schools, another academic measure), plus one nonacademic measure that
captures “school quality or student success.” ESSA gives us the opportunity to move beyond the use of
multiple-choice bubbles and standardized test scores alone. There is a chance to deliver something
teachers, parents, students, and the public have been clamoring for: a more nuanced conversation about
student progress and school quality. This means a constructive form of accountability that measures the
conditions that help children succeed, the non-academic factors essential to student growth, and the
elements necessary to promote school-wide progress. The opportunity also comes with a key challenge:
How will we know if these emerging indicators are reliable, valid and actionable? WHAT WE CAN LEARN
FROM SCHOOLS Fortunately, we can learn from real schools using effective indicators to drive school
improvement. Cities and states at the vanguard of rethinking accountability and measuring nonacademic
factors illuminate a productive and thoughtful path forward, drawing upon an impressive research base
and proven results. One source of research that illuminated the non-academic measures that matter
most for school quality and student success began in Chicago in the late 1980s. It was a time when the
decentralization of Chicago Public Schools opened the door to diverse approaches to governance and
organization. Some schools flourished under the local control approach and demonstrated dramatic
improvement, while others—those that served the most disadvantaged students—stagnated. The
Consortium on School Research at the University of Chicago’s Urban Education Institute wanted to know
why and, more precisely, under what conditions, schools improve. 5 FACTORS THAT CAN LEAD TO
SCHOOL SUCCESS Decades of rigorous research revealed five nonacademic factors predictive of school
success: effective leaders, collaborative teachers, involved families, a supportive environment and
ambitious instruction. Researchers also found that schools strong on at least three of these five
“essential supports” were 10 times more likely to show substantial gains in student learning than schools
weak on three or more essential supports. In collaboration with the Consortium, UChicago Impact, the
Urban Education Institute’s innovation arm, developed the 5Essentials system, which is composed of
surveys, reports, and training supports that states, districts, and schools can use to track progress on the
nonacademic factors proven to drive school success. The 5Essentials survey provides insights into how a
school operates: Are there effective leaders implementing a clear and strategic vision for school success?
Are there collaborative teachers, working together to improve the school and receiving strong
professional development? Are leaders, teachers, and staff building strong relationships with families
and the community? Is the environment supportive, safe, and orderly? Does the instruction engage
students and hold them to high expectations? Having rigorous evidence to answer these questions can
provide powerful insights, define targeted strategies for improvement, and drive systematic school
improvement. In a Near South Side elementary school in Chicago, in the 2012-13 5Essentials report, the
school emerged as “weak” or “very weak” on 30 of the 35 school climate measures. The principal was
stunned and disappointed. At the same time, the report gave him a roadmap toward improvement. He
created teacher focus groups, changed his priorities for professional development, and took a more
hands-on approach to building personal relationships with his teachers. The next year, the school
improved on 26 of the measures. Another principal at a middle school in Chicago’s western suburbs who
saw lackluster performance on measures of trust made a concerted effort to change the culture and
climate in her school, because, as she said, “If students know you care about them, it makes everything
else a little easier.” Similar stories abound. Over the past few years, nearly 6,000 schools across 14 states
have used the 5Essentials survey to systematically measure nonacademic factors that decades of
research have shown matter most for school improvement and student success. THE RESULTS ARE
PROMISING The results have been promising: A study of statewide implementation of the 5Essentials
across Illinois—a state that encompasses districts of diverse size and composition—found that strength
on the five essential supports is positively related to higher test scores and larger gains over time in math
and reading, positive changes in attendance rates, and improved graduation rates. Rural and suburban,
affluent and impoverished, high-achieving and struggling—regardless of context, schools need reliable
data that guide and measure improvement. The essentials for school success—the indicators that truly
“support a student’s opportunity to learn”— must sit side by side with academic indicators. It does not
mean eliminating measurement of academic attainment and growth; it means coupling those with
rigorous, reliable and valid indicators of school organization and other nonacademic factors. It’s clear
from the experiences of Illinois and more than a dozen other states that such nonacademic indicators
are key to moving the needle. Regardless of which nonacademic factors states choose, ESSA’s framework
for accountability provides an opportunity to embrace a broader definition of student and school
success. With willpower, commitment, and focus, we can design and implement effective systems that
make accountability constructive—and even transformative. We owe it to schools, teachers, and
students to ensure that we do.

Designated educational programs that rely on data collection allow for enhanced
literary teaching skills – results led to higher literacy rates in schools that adopted this
(University of Chicago Impact, non-for-profit organization dedicated to improving teacher, learning and
leadership through evidence-based research, “At Disney II in Chicago, STEP ‘revolutionized’ How
Educators Teach Literacy,” University of Chicago Urban Education Institute, Aug 3, 2015,

Disney II magnet school in Chicago built its instructional program and practices in literacy around the
STEP™ assessment, and the benefits quickly became apparent to educators there – and even more
important, to students. STEP created a common language among teachers, parents, and students to talk
about teaching and learning in literacy. The assessment and teacher training program helped set clear
expectations for what all students should be able to know and do at each grade level. Today, teachers
say they couldn’t imagine teaching without STEP, according to Disney II Principal Bogdana Chkombova.
“The use of STEP data guides our instruction and revolutionized the way our teachers think about
teaching.” Determining each student’s specific reading level is an important but tricky endeavor,
particularly because it can easily vary throughout the school year. The STEP assessment provides
teachers with the specific information they need to help each child progress. STEP divides literacy
achievement into 12 steps, beginning with concepts about print and letter identification. As children
progress, they begin answering comprehension questions and retell stories. Within each “step,” are
smaller step levels, A, B, and C. Unlike other reading assessment tools, STEP gives teachers fine-grained
information so they can tailor reading instruction to each student. STEP also looks at a broader range of
reading skills than most diagnostic tools. Beyond simply measuring word recognition, reading speed, and
accuracy, STEP also evaluates comprehension and critical thinking.
Cybernetics Fails
The model of cybernetics is flawed
Adams ’97 – Professor of Family Relations and Human Development at the University of Guelph
(Gerald R.; July 1997; “Identity: A Brief Critique of a Cybernetic Model” inside “Journal of Adolescent
Research, Vol. 12 No. 3”; Sage Publications, Inc.; pg. 359-361)//TS

However, what kind of person is being described within this model ? Can we observe the dynamic features of this
framework, or must we infer their existence from indirect evidence that is indicative of the psychody- namic perspectives? Is the theory
adequate enough to warrant widespread consideration? To begin, identity from a control theory perspective is based on a
mechanistic model that infers that the individual is an information-based organism that includes a system for control of biological, cognitive, or
psycho- mechanical processes. Control, within a cybernetic model, implies steering, guiding, or govemoring . In
Kerpelman et al. (1997), what
is governed is a desirable internal standard or self-definition. More explicitly,
when some standard external or internal to the self is interpreted through a comparative cognitive
process to be incongruent with a self-perception, an error or disturbance results that leads to behaviors
that restore the system to the original self-definition or move it to a new standard or modified self-
perception. Hence, I would suggest, from this cybernetic model, identity is a self-definition that is maintained by
an active organism defending itself from intrusions that would threaten its state of comfort with the
current level of operation. It appears the system will resist, at least initially, threats that challenge the current state (real self)
from that of the ideal state (standard). Identity, then, is a stable self-perception associated with a balance between self-perception and a
standard through a comparator process. If I am not wrongheaded in my understanding of Kerpelman et al., then I conclude that identity is
defined as the real self in comparison to the ideal self. To some, this is old theory wrapped in a new wardrobe. To others, it is likely to be an
evolving enlightenment. I wish to assume it is both! Accepting the argument that an identity control system that constantly monitors the
congruence between inputs and internal standards and is acti- vated to formal action only when discrepancies occur, Kerpelman et al. (1997)
most appropriately examine several of the possible “triggers” of the identity machine. They discuss such aspects as starting values, identity
standards, and discrepancies in the mechanism of identity. They draw upon self-verification processes to depict the dynamics of identity
formation. Further, they show in their own and others’ research how experimental social psychological methodologies can be applied to study
such processes. All of these features are important strengths of their cybernetic model that offer considerable advancements to the study of
identity. However, there
are some shortcomings. There is no convincing description of how the original,
internal values or self-definitions are created that appear consistent with a mechanistic cybernetic model
of identity. How does the system get preprogrammed? Who places the initial settings into the identity
machine? What is to be controlled if the machine is not already complete with information worthy of
control? If the machine acquires original self-definitions from introjections, identification, or through re-
flected appraisals, why are psychodynamic or symbolic interactionism theories not just as adequate to
explain identity formation and development? Likewise, are not introjections or identification process
passive rather than active cognitive self-regulatory processes? Do passive mechanisms reflect an active
self-regulating system? It would appear, at first glance, that the authors are mixing their assumptions and have
created inconsistency in their logic. We, unfortunately, are left with the same issue of unobservable
processes in a cybernetic model that parallel a psychodynamic perspective. This leaves the scientist with making
inferences about a hypothetical process associated with error disturbances, inconsistency, and the like.
Perhaps, this is inevitable when one is studying identity formation given its psychological component. However, the cybernetic model does allow
for the study of observable “trigger” mechanisms through experimental social psychology techniques. This allows the scientist to study verbal
and motoric behaviors that occur due to experiences with conditions that stimulate discrepancies, error distur- bances, or incongruity. This is
clearly a step toward more research on the social behavioral features of identity formation-an infrequent form of investiga- tion among identity
status paradigm focused social scientists. Should we take this theoretical effort seriously and engage in further consideration of its usefulness? I
think so. Obviously, this already has been undertaken through commentaries and a rejoinder. However, I think the importance of this and similar
articles reaches beyond the obvious content to that of what is the nature of self and how should we define and study it. This fundamental
question must be asked and answered before any theory of identity can be adequately assessed for its usefulness. Unfortunately, I believe this is
inadequately done in the Kerpelman et al. (1997) article and that certain logical errors limit the usefulness of its content. This is not to imply
that a mechanistic model to the study of identity is not useful. It certainly has its strengths. However, a cybernetic machine must begin with an
internal setting that evolves from somewhere. Also, given the self-regulation of the system, the machine must acquire the setting (self-
definition) through some process that is consistent with the nature of the machine itself. I
remain unconvinced that this portion of the
cybernetic model of control theory is adequate for a clear and logical understanding of identity
Capitalism, Not Tech

They confuse the cause of political acceleration—it’s the result of capitalist control,
not technology. Democracy is no longer viable because elitism has been fused with
corporate control to form a political-industrial complex
Hassan, 12 – PhD in Culture and Communications studies (Robert, “Time, Neoliberal Power, and the Advent of Marx’s ‘‘Common Ruin’’ Thesis”,
Alternatives: Global, Local, Political 37(4) 287-299, Sage Pub)

The emergence of neoliberalism corresponds with Rosa’s ‘‘late modernity.’’ Social life accelerates at a much
faster rate because more is packed into the life span of the individual . It is important torecognize that
this occurs because of changes in the technological base of capitalist economy. Of course, major
technological change has always had the effect of transforming the temporal rhythmsof economy and
society. From the inception of the industrial revolution, clock time was imported into its logic to regularize and make plannable, capitalist production. Capitalist
competition, in turn,ensured that these processes also accelerated.21 The time of the clock, however, is stable and unchanging, and
gave a regularized rhythm to the base of economy and society. The advent of the network society, however, has created what has been

termed ‘‘network time,’’ a computer-drivenand open-ended rate of acceleration within which people as
network users become deeply implicated. 22 The effect is that in our own time, stability (such as it was) has become much less
tenable in social life; a center that would hold (more or less) as a fulcrum around which social life could
benarrated as a project begins to shake free of its moorings; and a society (and state) that saw planningand
regulation and the projection of a political future for its citizens as its central raison d’eˆtrebegins to turn
toward market forces for meaning and inspiration. This broad social transition to a network time that displaces the dominant logic of the clock
was described by Zygmunt Baumanas a ‘‘liquid modernity,’’ a simmering and bubbling cauldron of activity
where the ‘‘long effort to accelerate the speed of movement has . . . reached its ‘natural limit’’’ in the
age of computing.23 A generalized social acceleration has meant a breaching of the natural limit of the speed
ofdemocracy too. Modern politics has its own temporality, its own rhythms and sequences that evolved in the context of the culture and
society within which it came into being in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.24 This was shaped (at least in its classically derived form) through face-to-

facecommunication and through political debate and dialogue—and like the rest of industrializing
society, was given predictability and regularity by the clock. These rhythms developed at a pace and at a speed that people and institutions
could more or less cope with and could more or less function effectively in. It was a temporal process that laid the basis for the speed of

democracy and the speed ofmodernity. As Sheldon Wolin phrased it Political time . . . requires an element of leisure,
not in the sense of a leisure class . . . but in the sense of aleisurely pace. This is owing to the needs of political action to be preceded by
deliberation and deliberation . . . takes time because it occurs in a setting of competing or conflicting but

legitimateconsiderations.25 Jean Chesneaux has warned about the desynchronization between the political process and information networks, arguing that there
exists now an ‘‘uneasy dialogue between speed and democracy’’ ina neoliberal context where
acceleration has become one of the ‘‘paramount values’’ of our age.26 However, such writings have been scattered and their effect
on a better understanding of the role of time in society and in its political processes—as Douglass North acutely recognized—has been limited. In more systematic mode, William Scheuerman

classical liberal democracy

analyzes the effects of acceleration upon the political process in his book Liberal Democracy and the Social Acceleration of Time. He argues that

was born in the eighteenth century with an innately modern temporality . In the United States he observes, through
the ‘‘separation of powers’’ into judiciary, executive, and legislature, liberal democracy was directed simultaneously toward the three

timeorientations of past,present and future. What this means in practice is that in its focus on precedent for the justification of their actions, the judiciary is
past focused; through its ability to act quickly, the executive is oriented toward the present; and in its function as the planner and forecaster of social needs the legislature is oriented, primarily,

This deep-seated embedding of temporality within a modern teleology was augmented

toward the future.27

throughliberal democracy’s entrenchment in the enlightenment communication networksof the eighteenth century
and beyond—in the print-based communication networks that Robert Darnton called the ‘‘great epistolary exchange’’ that created the ‘‘republic of letters.’’28 This network of
informationexchange—communication networks that, as Regis Debray observed, ‘‘enable thought to have
socialexistence’’—fueled liberal democracy with its ideas as well as its communicative rhythmicities .29 Most
important of all, through the powerful symbioses between liberal democracy and a rising capitalistindustrialism,

this teleology and these rhythms were given a structural coherence and coordinativelogic though the
clock that served to mathematically entime early modern societies, creating what E. P. Thompson famously described as the ‘‘new
universe of disciplined time’’30 and what Paul Glennie and Nigel Thrift saw as a modern ‘‘mode of time consciousness .’’31 All this amounted

to an unprecedentedly powerful temporal drive. What was in effect a systematic‘‘machine time’’

allowed liberal democracy to conquer all before it in terms of its functioning asthe political annex of
modernity and capital. Indeed, as Scheuerman puts it, over the eighteenth and ninetienth centuries: ‘‘The modern [liberal democratic] nation-state triumphed over an array
of competing modes of political organization (empires, loose networks of city-states) in part because of its superior manipulation of speed.’’32 Scheuerman’s book is a valuable one, but its
systematicity on the subject of time falls short of a theory of time that would explain why there was an ‘‘acceleration’’ of social and political time. In an earlier essay, as in his book, Scheuerman

politicalscience ground, and so we get a straight historical narrative that takes us up to the stage of 1980sglobalization
chooses safe

when, ‘‘Ours [becomes] an increasingly high-speed society.’’33 But there is no attempt to make sense of why this might be happening.
Shortly, I will give insight into the ‘‘why’’ question—as well as supply a solid theoretical basis to underpin
a very important effect to which Scheuerman points. It was observed earlier that contemporary social acceleration might be explained by
locating theprocess in the changes in the technological and political bases of capitalism and achieves
thisthrough the interaction of computing and neoliberalism especially. We need to develop this point some more. The
networking of capitalism (the flow of capital and of power) has transformed it as a mode of production. Until the late 1960s at least,
the post war Fordist and dirigist structuring of society brought rising living standards to millions of western workers and took liberal (social) democracy to new heights of power and

34 Across the west, a rational and plannablemode of production fused with welfarist-

interventionist and bureaucratically minded political institutionsto create what has been described as a
‘‘total way of life,’’ with the nation-state a primaryactor.35 But growing affluence and complacency masked a mode of production that was
increasingly beset by crises. At the global level, corporate profits began to stagnate or fall by the early 1970s, and the ‘‘managed economy’’ approach by governments, organized labor, and big
business was not working as well as it did in an earlier context of easy profitability.36 Businesses were increasingly feeling—real or imagined—the suffocation of worker power and government

in the context of growing economic crisis, ideas began to emerge (or reemerge) that would stress
restriction. However,

the need for capital to be free to move to wherever necessary in order to seek acceptable returns . In her
book The Shock Doctrine, Naomi Klein captures well the ideological determination through which Hayekian philosophy and Chicago School economics combined

to create the neoliberal force thatwas oriented to resuscitate the ‘‘flame of a pure version of capitalism’’
which burns with such damaging phosphorescence today.37 As we also saw, information technology was central to making neoliberal globalization possible. As competition became more fierce

in the context of the 1970s crisis, speed, efficiency and theelimination of the human factor (through
automation) were powerful incentives for the adoption bycapitalists of computer-based ‘‘solutions’’
across almost every industry and every sector—a ‘‘revolution’’ that began in the Anglophone economies, but spread over the 1980s and 90s
to become thepoliticoeconomic hegemon that approaches a total way of life today. The network society
and the speeding up of social life have been the unintended consequences of the restructuring of Fordism. Digital
networks have become the new base structuring of economy, society and, now, polity . It is a base, however, that is
inherently unstable and inherently oriented toward the open-ended acceleration of its flows, with the limit
constrained only by technological capability. Economic competitionensures that in the guise of
innovation, network flows and the new power that they convey areunable to concentrate and
consolidate—they must move ever faster.The political process is the largely unrecognized casualty of this unintended consequence.
Bourgeoisand socialist democracy is temporal and is inherently limited in how much its processes maybe
accelerated. Modern democracy, nevertheless, was a ‘‘vital mode of [the] experience of space
andtime.’’38 The communicative networks that gave expression to the foundational ideas of bourgeois and socialist democracy were borne through the culture of print. The
human element of face-to-face debatingin parliaments in chambers in committees and in the enacting of real-world
political effect, joinedwith the fixity of print in time and space to give a forward momentum and broad
rhythmicity and stabilityto the processes of bourgeois and socialist democracy, and for these to act upon
the world andhelp build the structures and institutions of modernity. Of course, these real-world and real-
bodyprocesses still occur in the political process; and print culture and clock time still contribute to the temporality of modern democracy. But in
this ‘‘slow-lane’’ politics, the languishing realm of local politics,legislative assemblies, and regional and
state governances, the power to shape society through democraticmeans is increasingly atrophied and
weakened by speed through networks. This is where Scheuerman makes his most important point on the functioning of the liberal democratic process: . . .
high-speed society places a premium on high-speed political institutions: the widely endorsed
conceptionof the unitary executive as an ‘‘energetic’’ entity best capable of acting with dispatch means
thatsocial acceleration promotes executive-centered government and the proliferation of executive
discretion, while weakening broad-based representative legislatures as well as traditional models of
constitutionalismand the rule of law.39 Power concentrates—tenuously vis-a`-vis the logic of the market—within cabinet rooms and among a few select political
insiders. However, as Scheuerman reiterated in his 2004 book, this concentrationof power can even be justified by the

elites themselves in the neoliberal moment because ‘‘[the executive’s] capacity for dispatch and efficiency offer
the only serious alternative to further politicalor economic decay.’’40 But this is a relative and diminishing
power that is oriented toward connectingwith the needs of globalizing capital, and it justifies its
undemocratic nature as a kind ofNietzschean amor fati, or the necessity to ‘‘love your fate’’ because there is no choice .
AT: Deschooling
Alt Fails (General)
Deschooling fails – lack of self-motivation deems creative exploratory learning
Voke ’09 – Professor of Philosophy at Georgetown University (Heather; January 15 th, 2009; “A Critique
of Ivan Illych’s Deschooling Society”;

The fundamental mistake in Illych’s proposed solution of employing “edu-credit cards” and online intellectual match-
making to facilitate the learning process is the presumption of innate intellectual curiosity that it relies on
for the creation of a well-learned (if not “well-educated”) society. In his writing on the phenomenology of school, the
author himself states that educational resources are allocated to “those citizens who have outgrown the
extraordinary learning capacity of the first four years and have not yet arrived at the height of their self-
motivated learning will.” Thus in the absence of self-motivation for learning, Illych’s forms of creative
exploratory learning cannot be effective. Even specialized skill centers will be insufficient substitutes for
schools if adolescents prefer to play video games rather than acquire a set of skills that will allow them
to be contributing members of society. Additionally, it is often the case that people discover interests in
areas that they might not have found attractive on their own. Without the variety offered by most public
schools, a kid interested in public school might never have dreamed of becoming an astrophysicist or
even taking a physics course. The author also presumes that traditional teaching methods and the creative
exploratory learning that he proposes are mutually exclusive. In fact, independent study programs are often done in
conjunction with, but not in complete substitution for typical teacher-led instruction within the public
school system. Aside from such programs, the casual learning that Illych asserts is more available to the middle-class where children are
exposed to conversation and books in the home, can and does occur alongside traditional schooling regardless of socio-economic background.
Even if a family cannot afford to vacation across the globe, education is recognized internationally as a fundamental tool
necessary for success and concerned parents, especially in metropolitan US cities, can usually find extra-curricular programs to
keep children out of the streets. Mentoring programs such as the Big Brothers program and 100 Black Men for
example, can give poorer children access to the type of learning outside of the classroom that they might
not get at home. Thus, a combination of traditional schooling and casual learning would be a more effective proposition before an
individual reaches adulthood, at which point Illych’s intellectual matching, which already exists through sites like, could help
promote life-long learning. Increased
participation in mentoring programs and skills classes outside of the
school setting at no cost to the government is needed, not the omission of schools altogether. Since such
programs are organized by the communities themselves, they also resolve Illych’s objection that an equal
public school system is “economically absurd .” Illych’s proposal that altering the First Amendment to make
obligatory schooling illegal would protect the citizens from participating in a “ritual obligation” by force is truly absurd. This is
one of Illych’s many ideas, including his paralleling of the public school system and the Spanish Inquisition that seems to criticize the
status quo just for the sake of being counter-culture. He states “the modern state has assumed the duty of enforcing the
judgment of its educator through well-meant truant officers and job requirements, much as did the Spanish kingdoms that enforced the
judgments of their theologians through the conquistadores and inquisition. The fact that this so-called ritual obligation is preferred for most of
humanity puts it into a category altogether different than the Inquisition. Schools
have existed since the time of Ancient
Greece and will continue to exist not because citizens have been brain-washed and indoctrinated to
think schools are necessary by governments, but because parents across the world realize that they are
often not equipped to teach their own children the skills that will make them competitive in the job
market. Neither are the children qualified to teach themselves, and in fact need government support to
facilitate the learning process. The methods of teaching Illych suggests are good supplemental resources but ultimately the deep-
seated resistance to deschooling society is merited.
Alt Fails (Neolib)

Deschooling is counterproductive--- can’t address more important components of the

neoliberal system
HERBERT GINTIS 72 (PhD from Harvard in economics. “Towards a Political Economy of Education: A
Radical Critique of Ivan Illich 's Deschooling Society” Harvard education publishing group. Accessed via
ArticlesPlus. February 1972)//masw

HERBERT GINTIS Harvard University The author critiques Ivan Illich's Deschooling Society, arguing that, despite his
forthright vision of the liberating potential of educational technology, Illich fails to understand fully how
the existing educational system serves the capitalist economy. Gintis evaluates and rejects the book's
major thesis that the present character of schooling stems from the economy's need to shape consumer demands and expectations.
Instead, he offers a production orientation which maintains that the repressive and unequal aspects of schooling derive from the need to supply
a labor force compatible with the social relations of capitalist production. Gintis concludes that meaningful strategies for educational change
must explicitly embrace a concomitant transformation of the mechanisms of power and privilege in the economic sphere. Ivan
Illich's De-
Schooling Society, despite its bare 115 pages, embraces the world. Its ostensible focus on education
moves him inexorably and logically through the panoply of human concerns in advanced industrial
society—a society plainly in progressive disintegration and decay . With Yeats we may feel that "things fall apart/ The
center cannot hold," but Illich's task is no less than to discover and analyze that "center." His endeavor affords the social scientist the unique and
rare privilege to put in order the historical movements which characterize our age and define the prospects for a revolutionary future. Such is
the subject of this essay. This little book would have been unthinkable ten years ago. In it, Ivan Illich confronts the full spectrum of the modern
crisis in values by rejecting the basic tenets of progressive liberalism. He dismisses what he calls the Myth of Consumption as a cruel and illusory
ideology foisted upon the populace by a manipulative bureaucratic system. He treats welfare and service institutions as part of the problem, not
as part of the solution. He rejects the belief that education constitutes the "great equalizer" and the path to personal liberation. Schools, say
Illich, simply must be eliminated. Illich does more than merely criticize; he conceptualizes constructive technological alternatives to repressive
education. Moreover, he sees the present age as "revolutionary" because the existing social relations of economic and political life, including the
dominant institutional structure of schooling, have become impediments to the development of liberating, socially productive technologies.
Here Illich is relevant indeed, for the tension between technological possibility and social reality pervades all advanced industrial societies today.
Despite our technological power, communities and environment continue to deteriorate, poverty and inequality persist, work remains
alienating, and men and women are not liberated for selffulfilling activity. Illich's response is a forthright vision of participatory, decentralized,
and liberating learning technologies, and a radically altered vision of social relations in education.

Yet, while his description of modern society is sufficiently critical, his analysis is simplistic and his
program, consequently, is a diversion from the immensely complex and demanding political,
organizational, intellectual, and personal demands of revolutionary reconstruction in the coming
decades. It is crucial that educators and students who have been attracted to him—for his message does correspond to their
personal frustration and disillusionment—move beyond him. The first part of this essay presents Illich's analysis of the economically
advanced society—the basis for his analysis of schools. Whereas Illich locates the source of the social problems and
value crises of modern societies in their need to reproduce alienated patterns of consumption, I argue that these patterns are
merely manifestations of the deeper workings of the economic system. The second part of the essay attempts to
show that Illich's over-emphasis on consumption leads him to a very partial understanding of the functions
of the educational system and the contradictions presently besetting it, and hence to ineffective educational
alternatives and untenable political strategies for the implementation of desirable educational technologies. Finally, I argue that a radical theory
of educational reform becomes viable only by envisioning liberating and equal education as serving and being served by a radically altered nexus
of social relations in production. Schools may lead or lag in this process of social transformation, but structural changes in the educational
process can be socially relevant only when they speak to potentials for liberation and equality in our day-to-day labors. In the final analysis
"de-schooling" is irrelevant because we cannot "de-factory," "de-office," or "de-family," save perhaps at
the still unenvisioned end of a long process of social reconstruction. The Social Context of Modern Schooling:
Institutionalized Values and Commodity Fetishism Educational reformers commonly err by treating the system of schools as if it existed in a
social vacuum. Illich does not make this mistake. Rather, he views the internal irrationalities of modern education as reflections of the larger
society. The key to understanding the problems of advanced industrial economies, he argues, lies in the character of its consumption activities
and the ideology which supports them. The schools in turn are exemplary models of bureaucracies geared toward the indoctrination of docile
and manipulable consumers. Guiding modern social life and interpersonal behavior, says Illich, is a destructive system of "institutionalized
values" which determine how one perceives one's needs and defines instruments for their satisfaction. The process which creates institutional
values insures that all individual needs—physical, psychological, social, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual—are transformed into demands for
goods and services. In contrast to the "psychological impotence" which results from institutionalized values, Illich envisages the
"psychic health" which emerges from self-realization —both personal and social. Guided by institutionalized values, one's
well-being lies not in what one does but in what one has—the status of one's job and the level of material consumption. For the active person,
goods are merely means to or instruments in the performance of activities; for the passive consumer, however, goods are ends in themselves,
and activity is merely the means toward sustaining or displaying a desired level of consumption. Thu s institutionalized values manifest
themselves psychologically in a rigorous fetishism—in this case, of commodities and public services. Illich's vision rests in the negation of
commodity fetishism1 : I believe that a desirable future depends on our deliberately . . . engendering a life style which will enable us to be
spontaneous, independent, yet related to each other, rather than maintaining a life style which only allows us to make and unmake, produce
and consume. (De-Schooling Society, hereafter DS, p. 52) Commodity fetishism is institutionalized in two senses. First, the "delivery systems" in
modern industrial economies (i.e., the suppliers of goods and services) are huge, bureaucratic institutions which treat individuals as mere
receptors for their products. Goods are supplied by hierarchical and impersonal corporate enterprises, while services are provided by welfare
bureaucracies which enjoy ".. . a professional, political and financial monopoly over the social imagination, setting standards of what is valuable
and what is feasible. .. . A whole society is initiated into the Myth of Unending Consumption of services" (DS, p. 44). Second, commodity
fetishism is institutionalized in the sense that the values of passive consumerism are induced and reinforced by the same "delivery systems"
whose ministrations are substitutes for self-initiated activities. . . . manipulative institutions . . . are either socially or psychologically 'addictive.'
Social addiction .. . consists in the tendency to prescribe increased treatment if smaller quantities have not yielded the desired results.
Psychological addiction . . . results when consumers become hooked on the need for more and more of the process or product. (DS, p. 55) These
delivery systems moreover "both invite compulsively repetitive use and frustrate alternative ways of achieving similar results." For example,
General Motors and Ford . . . produce means of transportation, but they also, and more importantly, manipulate public taste in such a way that
the need for transportation is expressed as a demand for private cars rather than public buses. They sell the desire to control a machine, to race
at high speeds in luxurious comfort, while also offering the fantasy at the end of the road. (DS, p. 57) 1 Illich himself docs not use the term
"commodity fetishism." I shall do so, however, as it is more felicitous than "institutionalized values" in many contexts. 73 This analysis of
addictive manipulation in private production is, of course, welldeveloped in the literature. 2 Illich's contribution is to extend it to the sphere of
service and welfare bureaucracies: Finally, teachers, doctors, and social workers realize that their distinct professional ministrations have one
aspect—at least—in common. They create further demands for the institutional treatments they provide, faster than they can provide service
institutions. (DS, p. 112) T h e well-socialized naturally react to these failures simply by increasing the power and jurisdiction of welfare
institutions. Illich's reaction, of course, is precisely the contrary.

The Political Response to Institutionalized Values As the basis for his educational proposals, Illich's overall framework bears close attention.
Since commodity fetishism is basically a psychological stance, it must first be attacked on an individual
rather than political level. For Illich, each individual is responsible for his/her own demystification. Th e institutionalization of values
occurs not through external coercion, but through psychic manipulation, so its rejection is an apolitical act of individual will. Th e movement for
social change thus becomes a cultural one of raising consciousness. But even on this level, political action in the form of negating
psychic manipulation is crucial. Goods and services as well as welfare bureaucracies must be prohibited from disseminating fetishistic values.
Indeed, this is the basis for a political program of de-schooling. Th e educational system, as a coercive source of institutionalized values, must be
denied its preferred status. Presumably, this "politics of negation" would extend to advertising and all other types of psychic manipulation. Since
the concrete social manifestation of commodity fetishism is a grossly inflated level of production and consumption, the second step in Illich's
political program is the substitution of leisure for work. Work is evil for Illich—unrewarding by its very nature—and not to be granted the status
of "activity": . . . 'making and acting' are different, so different, in fact, that one never includes the 2 Sec for instance: Herbert Gintis,
"Commodity Fetishism and Irrational Production," (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Institute for Economic Research, 1970); "Consumer Behavior and
the Concept of Sovereignty," American Economic Review, forthcoming; "A Radical Analysis of Welfare Economics and Individual Development,"
Quarterly Journal of Economics, forthcoming; John K. Galbraith, The New Industrial State (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1963); Herbert Marcuse,
One Dimensional Man (Boston: Beacon Press, 1964). 74 A Radical Critique of Ivan Illich HERBERT GINTIS other. . . . Modern technology has
increased the ability of man to relinquish the 'making' of things to machines, and his potential time for 'acting' has increased. . . .
Unemployment is the sad idleness of a man who, contrary to Aristotle, believes that making things, or working, is virtuous and that idleness is
bad. (DS, p. 62) Again, Mich's shift in the work-leisure choice is basically apolitical and will follow naturally from the abolition of value
indoctrination. People work so hard and long because they are taught to believe the fruits of their activities—consumption—are intrinsically
worthy. Elimination of the "hard-sell pitch" of bureaucratic institutions will allow individuals to discover within themselves the falsity of the
doctrine. T h e third stage in Mich's political program envisages the necessity of concrete change in social "delivery systems." Manipulative
institutions must be dismantled, to be replaced by organizational forms which allow for the free development of individuals. Illich calls such
institutions "convivial," and associates them with leftist political orientation. The regulation of convivial institutions sets limits to their use; as
one moves from the convivial to the manipulative end of the spectrum, the rules progressively call for unwilling consumption or participation....
Toward, but not at, the left on the institutional spectrum, we can locate enterprises which compete with others in their own field, but have not
begun notably to engage in advertising. Here we find hand laundries, small bakeries, hairdressers, and—to speak of professionals—some
lawyers and music teachers. . . . They acquire clients through their personal touch and the comparative quality of their services. (DS, p. 55-6) In
short, Mich's Good Society is based on small scale entrepreneurial (as opposed to corporate) capitalism, with perfectly competitive markets in
goods and services. T h e role of the state in this society is the prevention of manipulative advertising, the development of left-convivial
technologies compatible with self-initiating small-group welfare institutions (education, health and medical services, crime prevention and
rehabilitation, community development, etc.) and the provisioning of the social infrastructure (e.g., public transportation). Mich's proposal for
"learning webs" in education is only a particular application of this vision of left-convivial technologies.

Alt fails --- neoliberal manipulation mostly happens outside of schools

HERBERT GINTIS 72 (PhD from Harvard in economics. “Towards a Political Economy of Education: A
Radical Critique of Ivan Illich 's Deschooling Society” Harvard education publishing group. Accessed via
ArticlesPlus. February 1972)//masw

Assessing Illich's Politics: An Overview Mich's model of consumption-manipulation is crucial at every

stage of his political argument. But it is substantially incorrect. In the following three sections I shall
criticize three basic thrusts of his analysis.

First, Illich
locates the source of social decay in the autonomous, manipulative behavior of corporate
bureaucracies. I shall argue, in contrast, that the source must be sought in the normal operation of the basic
economic institutions of capitalism (markets in factors of production, private control of resources and
technology, etc.),3 which consistently sacrifice the healthy development of community, work,
environment, education, and social equality to the accumulation of capital and the growth of marketable
goods and services. Moreover, given that individuals must participate in economic activity, these social outcomes are quite insensitive to
the preferences or values of individuals, and are certainly in no sense a reflection of the autonomous wills of manipulating bureaucrats or
gullible consumers. Hence merely
ending "manipulation" while maintaining basic economic institutions will
affect the rate of social decay only minimally.

Second, Illich locates the source of consumer consciousness in the manipulative socialization of individuals
by agencies controlled by corporate and welfare bureaucracies . This "institutionalized consciousness" induces
indivduals to choose outcomes not in conformity with their "real" needs . I shall argue, in contrast, that a causal
analysis can never take socialization agencies as basic explanatory variables in assessing the overall behavior of the
social system.4 In particular, consumer consciousness is generated through the day-to-day activities and
observations of individuals in capitalist society . The sales pitches of manipulative institutions, rather than generating the
values of commodity fetishism, merely capitalize upon and reinforce a set of values derived from and reconfirmed by daily personal experience
in the social system. In fact, while consumer behavior may seem irrational and fetishistic, it is a reasonable accommodation to the options for
meaningful social outlets in the context of capitalist institutions. Hence the
abolition of addictive propaganda cannot
"liberate" the individual to "free choice" of personal goals. Such choice is still conditioned by the pattern of social
processes which have historically rendered him or her amenable to "institutionalized values." In fact , the likely outcome of de-
manipulation of values would be no significant alteration of values at all.

3 Throughout this paper, I restrict my analysis to capitalist as opposed to other

economic systems of advanced industrial societies (e.g.,
state-socialism of the Soviet Union type). As Illich suggests, the outcomes are much the same, but the mechanisms are in
fact quite different. The private-administrative economic power of a capitalist elite is mirrored by the public-administrative political
power of a bureaucratic elite in state-socialist countries, and both are used to reproduce a similar complex of social relations of production and
a structurally equivalent system of class relations. The capitalist variety is emphasized here because of its special relevance in the American
context. 4 Gintis, "Consumer Behavior and the Concept of Sovereignty." 76 A Radical Critique of Ivan Illich HERBERT GINTIS Moreover, the
ideology of commodity fetishism not only reflects the day-to-day operations of the economic system, it is
also functionally necessary to motivate men/women to accept and participate in the system of alienated
production, to peddle their (potentially) creative activities to the highest bidder through the market in labor, to accept the destruction of
their communities, and to bear allegiance to an economic system whose market institutions and patterns of
control of work and community systematically subordinate all social goals to the criteria of profit and marketable product. Thus the
weakening of institutionalized values would in itself lead logically either to unproductive and
undirected social chaos (witness the present state of counter-culture movements in the United States) or to a rejection of the social
relations of capitalist production along with commodity fetishism.

Third, Illich
argues that the goal of social change is to transform institutions according to the criterion of
"non-addictiveness," or "left-conviviality." However, since manipulation and addictiveness are not the
sources of social decay, their elimination offers no cure. Certainly the implementation of left-convivial forms in welfare and
service agencies—however desirable in itself—will not counter the effects of capitalist development on social life. More important, Illich's
criterion explicitly accepts those basic economic institutions which structure decision-making power, lead to the growth of corporate and
welfare bureaucracies, and lie at the root of social decay. Thus Illich's criterion must be replaced by one of democratic, participatory, and
rationally decentralized control over social outcomes in factory, office, community, schools, and media. The remainder of this essay will
elucidate the alternative analysis and political strategy as focused on the particular case of the educational system. Economic Institutions and
Social Development In line with Illich's suggestion, we may equate individual welfare with the pattern of day-to-day activities the individual
enters into, together with the personal capacities—physical, cognitive, affective, spiritual, and aesthetic—he or she has developed toward their
execution and appreciation. Most individual activity is not purely personal, but is based on social interaction and requires a social setting
conducive to developing the relevant capacities for performance. That is, activities take place within socially structured domains, characterized
by legitimate and socially acceptable roles available to the individual in social relations. The most 77 important of these activity contexts are
work, community, and natural environment. The character of individual participation in these contexts—the defining roles one accepts as
worker and community member and the way one relates to one's environment—is a basic determinant of well-being and individual
development. These activity contexts, as I shall show, are structured in turn by the way people structure their productive relations. The study of
activity contexts in capitalist society must begin with an understanding of the basic economic institutions which regulate their historical
development. Themost important of these institutions are: 1) private ownership of factors of production
(land, labor, and capital), according to which the owner has full control over their disposition and development; 2) a market in
labor, according to which a) the worker is divorced, by and large , from ownership of non-human factors of production
(land and capital), b) the worker relinquishes control over the disposition of his labor during the stipulated workday by exchanging it for money,
and c) the price of a particular type of labor (skilled or unskilled, white-collar or bluecollar, physical, mental, managerial, or technical) is
determined essentially by supply and demand;
3) a market in land, according to which the price of each parcel of
land is determined by supply and demand , and the use of such parcels is individually determined by the highest bidder; 4)
income determination on the basis of the market-dictated returns to owned factors of production; 5) markets in essential
commodities—food, shelter, social insurance, medical care; and 6) control of the productive process by owners of
capital or their managerial representatives .5 Because essential goods, services, and activity contexts are marketed, income is a
prerequisite to social existence. Because factors of production are privately owned and market-determined factor returns are the legitimate
source of income, and because most workers possess little more than their own labor services, they are required to provide these services to
the economic system. Thus control over the developing of work roles and of the social technology of production passes into the hands of the
representatives of capital.
Perm – Combo Good
Perm solves – combining traditional teaching methods with creative exploratory learning
creates a more effective method of learning
Voke ’09 – Professor of Philosophy at Georgetown University (Heather; January 15 th, 2009; “A Critique
of Ivan Illych’s Deschooling Society”;

The fundamental mistake in Illych’s proposed solution of employing “edu-credit cards” and online intellectual match-
making to facilitate the learning process is the presumption of innate intellectual curiosity that it relies on for
the creation of a well-learned (if not “well-educated”) society. In his writing on the phenomenology of school, the author
himself states that educational resources are allocated to “those citizens who have outgrown the extraordinary learning capacity of the first four
years and have not yet arrived at the height of their self-motivated learning will.” Thus in
the absence of self-motivation for
learning, Illych’s forms of creative exploratory learning cannot be effective . Even specialized skill centers will be
insufficient substitutes for schools if adolescents prefer to play video games rather than acquire a set of skills that will allow them to be
contributing members of society. Additionally, it is often the case that people discover interests in areas that they might not have found
attractive on their own. Without the variety offered by most public schools, a kid interested in public school
might never have dreamed of becoming an astrophysicist or even taking a physics course. The author
also presumes that traditional teaching methods and the creative exploratory learning that he proposes
are mutually exclusive. In fact, independent study programs are often done in conjunction with, but not in
complete substitution for typical teacher-led instruction within the public school system . Aside from such
programs, the casual learning that Illych asserts is more available to the middle-class where children are
exposed to conversation and books in the home, can and does occur alongside traditional schooling
regardless of socio-economic background. Even if a family cannot afford to vacation across the globe, education is
recognized internationally as a fundamental tool necessary for success and concerned parents, especially in
metropolitan US cities, can usually find extra-curricular programs to keep children out of the streets. Mentoring programs such as
the Big Brothers program and 100 Black Men for example, can give poorer children access to the type of
learning outside of the classroom that they might not get at home . Thus, a combination of traditional
schooling and casual learning would be a more effective proposition before an individual reaches
adulthood, at which point Illych’s intellectual matching, which already exists through sites like, could help promote
life-long learning. Increased participation in mentoring programs and skills classes outside of the school
setting at no cost to the government is needed, not the omission of schools altogether. Since such
programs are organized by the communities themselves, they also resolve Illych’s objection that an equal
public school system is “economically absurd.” Illych’s proposal that altering the First Amendment to make obligatory
schooling illegal would protect the citizens from participating in a “ritual obligation” by force is truly absurd. This is one of Illych’s many ideas,
including his paralleling of the public school system and the Spanish Inquisition that seems to criticize the status quo just for the sake of being
counter-culture. He states “the modern state has assumed the duty of enforcing the judgment of its educator through well-meant truant officers
and job requirements, much as did the Spanish kingdoms that enforced the judgments of their theologians through the conquistadores and
inquisition. The fact that this so-called ritual obligation is preferred for most of humanity puts it into a category altogether different than the
Inquisition. Schools have existed since the time of Ancient Greece and will continue to exist not because citizens have been brain-washed and
indoctrinated to think schools are necessary by governments, but because parents
across the world realize that they are
often not equipped to teach their own children the skills that will make them competitive in the job
market. Neither are the children qualified to teach themselves, and in fact need government support to
facilitate the learning process. The methods of teaching Illych suggests are good supplemental resources
but ultimately the deep-seated resistance to deschooling society is merited.
The permutation solves best---traditional methods can be combined with creative ones
Voke 2009 (Heather. Senior Scholar, Georgetown University. Professor at Georgetown, has a 4.3 rate my
professor rating. “A Critique of Ivan Illych’s Deschooling Society”
deschooling-society/ January 15)//masw
A Critique of Ivan Illych’s essay Deschooling Society

In Ivan Illych’s article Deschooling Society he asserts that, “all over the world school has had an anti-educational
effect on society” and as such should be abolished altogether and replaced by “educational webs which heighten the opportunity for
each on to transform each moment of his living into one of learning, sharing, and caring.” His radical position not only makes some
fundamentally flawed assumptions about human nature , but also overlooks alternative approaches to
educating children that are much more realistic than completely restructuring long-established
educational institutions.
On the one hand, many of Illych’s criticism’s of the public school system are valid. I agree that government spending has often catered
disproportionately to relatively richer children, and obbligatory public schooling has in turn polarized society to an extent. Likewise, I believe
richer children have had the added advantage of increased exposure to so-called casual learning. I’ll also agree that modern american society is
highly-institutionalized, which allows many of the poor to rely on the system while the more affluent can be assured job promotion because our
system often allocates rules based on years of instructional teaching (which the rich tend to have more of) rather than actual learning.

The fundamental mistake in Illych’s proposed solution of employing “edu-credit cards” and online intellectual match-
making to facilitate the learning process is the presumption of innate intellectual curiosity that it relies on for the creation of a
well-learned (if not “well-educated”) society. In his writing on the phenomenology of school, the author himself states that educational
resources are allocated to “those citizens who have outgrown the extraordinary learning capacity of the first four years and have not yet arrived
at the height of their self-motivated learning will.” Thus in the absence of self-motivation for learning, Illych’s
forms of creative
exploratory learning cannot be effective. Even specialized skill centers will be insufficient substitutes for
schools if adolescents prefer to play video games rather than acquire a set of skills that will allow them
to be contributing members of society. Additionally, it is often the case that people discover interests in areas that
they might not have found attractive on their own. Without the variety offered by most public schools, a
kid interested in public school might never have dreamed of becoming an astrophysicist or even taking a physics

The author also presumes that traditional teaching methods and the creative exploratory learning that
he proposes are mutually exclusive. In fact, independent study programs are often done in conjunction
with, but not in complete substitution for typical teacher-led instruction within the public school system. Aside from
such programs, the casual learning that Illych asserts is more available to the middle-class where children are exposed to conversation and
books in the home, can and does occur alongside traditional schooling regardless of socio-economic background. Even if a family cannot afford
to vacation across the globe, education is recognized internationally as a fundamental tool necessary for success
and concerned parents, especially in metropolitan US cities, can usually find extra-curricular programs to keep children out of the streets.
Mentoring programs such as the Big Brothers program and 100 Black Men for example, can give poorer children access to the type of learning
outside of the classroom that they might not get at home. Thus, a combination of traditional schooling and casual
learning would be a more effective proposition before an individual reaches adulthood, at which point Illych’s intellectual
matching, which already exists through sites like, could help promote life-long learning. Increased participation in
mentoring programs and skills classes outside of the school setting at no cost to the government is
needed, not the omission of schools altogether. Since such programs are organized by the communities themselves, they also resolve Illych’s
objection that an equal public school system is “economically absurd.”

Illych’s proposal that altering the First Amendment to make obligatory schooling illegal would protect the citizens from participating in a “ritual
obligation” by force is truly absurd. This is one of Illych’s many ideas, including his paralleling of the public school system and the Spanish
Inquisition that seems to criticize the status quo just for the sake of being counter-culture. He states “the modern state has assumed the duty of
enforcing the judgment of its educator through well-meant truant officers and job requirements, much as did the Spanish kingdoms that
enforced the judgments of their theologians through the conquistadores and inquisition. The fact that this so-called ritual obligation is preferred
for most of humanity puts it into a category altogether different than the Inquisition. Schools
have existed since the time of
Ancient Greece and will continue to exist not because citizens have been brain-washed and
indoctrinated to think schools are necessary by governments, but because parents across the world
realize that they are often not equipped to teach their own children the skills that will make them competitive in the
job market. Neither are the children qualified to teach themselves, and in fact need government support to facilitate the learning process. The
methods of teaching Illych suggests are good supplemental resources but ultimately the deep-seated resistance to deschooling society is

Deschoolers votes for the perm --- legislation is key, and technology isn’t always bad
The new observer 12 (7-5-2017, "Review of Ivan Illich’s seminal Deschooling Society » The New
Introduction Ivan Illich, who died in 2002, wrote this ground-breaking book in 1971. In the modern world at large I suspect his message has not been heeded at all – at least not on any visible,
national level scale. In the UK at the moment far from de-schooling we are seeing an extraordinary increase in the schooling of society. The absurdities of what Illich would call credentialed
education were recently highlighted by a story in the press about a Youth Programme in Bury giving youngsters a certificate from the awarding body AQQ for catching a bus. 1 Worse; the

lifelong learning movement is using language which sounds vaguely radical . But, for them, taking learning our of the classroom
and extending it throughout life is accompanied by the same thinking about credentials which Illich identifies as one of the ‘evils’ of institutionalised education. Lifelong learning means
certificates for doing ordinary things; it is an extension of the curriculum into ordinary life rather than a recognition that real, critical or skills learning takes place throughout life in unstructured

ways never approved by officials. The ‘learning’ accredited by the lifelong learning movement is the infantilising of people by accrediting ordinary experiences rather than learning.

possible reason for the lack of implementation of Illich’s ideas is that he sees an involvement by
government in bringing about a new way of learning. He talks about this in Chapter 6 of the book, ‘Learning Webs’. In other places he also
promotes the idea of learning vouchers given by the state to people to spend on any kind of education they see fit . He suggests that government will need

to legislate to ensure that employment practices cease to favour those with officially approved
certificates and test solely on actual competence regardless of how it was gained. He presents a coherent programme; but it
just seems unlikely to this reviewer that government will ever be persuaded to enact the necessary legislation. This is a deeply thought-out work. Illich is concerned with human relationships at
a fundamental level. He sees schooling, the mass, compulsory, public schools as providing an induction into a way of life which is consumerist, packaged, institutionalised and impoverished. He
claims it is patently false to claim that most learning is the result of teaching. On the contrary the teacher in a modern school is in fact acting in three roles; as custodian of societies’ rituals, as
therapist and as preacher. Illich proposes instead a learning society, where skills training is widely available and divested of the ritualistic elements of schooling, and where citizens freely
associate to develop a critical education, perhaps guided by ‘masters’. Illich sees in modern schools a false myth of salvation. He points to the fact that however much money is poured into
public schooling it always requires more and the outputs do not increase. It is chasing the myth of unlimited progress. He sees educational credentials as an element in this; one gets credentials
to enter on the next level but credentials don’t measure competence so much as attendance at a school. What follows is a brief summary of the argument of the book. Chapter 1 Why we must
disestablish school As already mentioned Illich sees schools as one case of modern institutions which persuade people to exchange their real lives for packaged substitutes. School education is
taken for learning, social services for community spirit and hospitals for health. Education and health are seen as the result of the consumption of certain treatments. Modern poverty is defined
by technocrats in terms of lacking these ‘essential’ services. This is a modern form of colonisation. The poor are in fact further disenfranchised by schooling as they benefit from it proportionally
less than the rich. Schooling in developing nations is used to create new elites with a consumerist mentality. Illich sees in these institutions which we see as benign signs of disempowerment. In
education he focuses on credentials and the way that education is a about packages designed by technocrats being delivered to ‘consumer-pupils’. Thus are children trained in consumerism.
Further, by taking resources and goodwill mass public schooling stifles efforts that might otherwise be made in the community. (In the 1870s when education became compulsory in Britain
working class schools which were self-funded by parents died off). In a theme which is recurrent throughout the book Illich asserts that pedagogical alienation in society is worse than the
alienation of labour (as analysed by Marx). Schools condition people to be consumers of packages produced by other people and to accept ideas of endless progress. The dream conjured up by
schooling is one which makes “futile promises of salvation to the poor of the technological age”. Illich thinks deschooling central to the adjustment to bring society to a more humane level. He
suspects Marxists and others who promote the cause of social change but see no problem with schooling. For Illich the mentality of schooling goes to the heart of the impoverished lives we
lead. Chp 2 Phenomenology of school In this chapter Illich attempts a phenomenology of what school is. He points to the fact that childhood is a relatively recent construct in the West. It is
possible he takes this point slightly too far; even ages which did not cultivate ‘childhood’ to the absurd extent that our society does recognized perhaps a distinct time characterised more by
play and having greater needs to be cared for. But, essentially, this is a valid point; comparison with contemporary unschooled societies shows young people much more integrated and involved
in daily life and work, not boxed away into schools. That is; the construct of ‘childhood’ is necessary to justify age-specific obligatory schooling. As Illich says “Only by segregating human beings
in the category of childhood could we ever get them to submit to the authority of the schoolteacher”. He also analyses the multiple and total roles of the teacher in this enclosed institution.
The teacher has three roles; custodian, therapist and preacher. School is about much more than learning. It has many roles; creche, socialisation, keeping young people out of the workforce,
training in the acceptance of the values of consumerism and obedience and so on. Because the teacher acts as in loco parentis for everyone he acts as a conduit by which all come to feel
themselves children of the same state. Illich notes the irony that schools are allegedly a preparation for participation in a democracy but are run in ways which apply rules and sanctions to
children which would not be acceptable to adults. He writes: “The claim that a liberal society can be founded on the modern school is paradoxical. the safeguards of individual freedom are all
cancelled in the dealings of a teacher with his pupil”. We would note in passing that this is a trend exacerbated under the present New Labour regime in the UK where measures have been a
passed recently which include i) teachers can discipline students for misbehaviour even outside of school, ii) teachers can manhandle children who are ‘disruptive’ and iii) detentions can be
imposed on a Sunday. All of these measures could indeed only be possible once people Illich also sees in schools a new world religion offering hope, a false hope, to the poor that their children
might make it. In persuading the poor that this hope lies in consuming the products of educational technocrats this false promise robs them of their self-respect. In a wry comment he notes
that the Church at least promised salvation at the hour of death; schooling makes people hope that their grandchildren will make it. It becomes the dream of the poor that education will lift
them out of poverty; but it is a dream. The poor find new forms of discrimination in education which benefits the children of the middle-classes proportionally more. When developing
countries develop educational infrastructure it is about elites and new models of consumption including consumption of those other institutions of dependency which Illich identifies such as
hospitals and social services. Chp 3 Ritualization of progress Illich sees education as being about the consumption of packages, (produced by others at great cost). The distributor-teacher
delivers the packages designed by technocrats to the consumer-pupils. Thus are children taught to be consumers. Illich contrasts the model of passive consumption here and the kind of society
it is a training for with one where repair and reuse of tools and equipment by self-sufficient individuals would be the norm. Illich’s criticism of school is a criticism of the consumerist mentality
of modern societies; a model which the developing nations are trying to force on developing nations. In this view a country is ‘developed’ according to indices of how many hospitals and
schools it has. Illich, who worked in South America, is sensitive to how indigenous peasant culture characterised by self-sufficiency is undermined by modern processes based around the
consumption of services, which train people to be clients. In terms of school Illich criticises the system which offers a packaged education and awards credentials for the successful consumption
of the packages. The packages are continually being re-written and adjusted but the problems they are supposed to address remain. This is much more than simply a racket to produce more
textbooks and exam syllabuses; this is a commercial activity mirroring the marketing processes of the persuasion industry. Children are the (obligatory) recipients of these marketing efforts.
They are a captive audience who consume these packages produced (after ‘research’) by technocrats. It is the same myth as drives our mad pursuit of unlimited economic growth; paradise is to
be won by never-ending consumption – of what is produced by others. Only what is measured can be credentialed and so imagination is not valued. Being subject to this process leads to
people developing a ‘futile omnipotence’. This reviewer re-calls meeting a young graduate from Oxbridge who had not yet entered the workplace and in a discussion about the reviewer’s job in
a small publishing firm (I had taken him round)Â it was apparent that the young graduate felt he would be entering the workplace at the level of an editor at least. In reality then he had
believed the myth that ‘educational success’ has much meaning in the outside world. In truth with no experience and no industry competence training he would at best have been able to get
an internship in publishing. Learning always contains a hook to the next layer; in the end there is a disconnect between schooling and reality. ‘Educational success’ does not mean more has
been learned; though in a society which (over-)values learning credentials it can become necessary. Thus people feel they have little choice but to obtain credentials. As the teacher is the
custodian of society’s rituals so schools as institutions are the locus for the promotion of societies’ myths. Schools legitimise hierarchy, progress and consumption. Illich is especially concerned
with this in developing nations where he sees a wrong direction being taken as these countries adopt the consumerist model of the west/north. Education is the means by which these societies
get sucked into the consumerist way of doing things. (As an example we would adduce that it is no accident that having invaded Afghanistan one of the primary concerns of the West now is to
build schools; we are training up an elite to be consumers and purveyors of the treatment model of human services). The majority will pay for schooling through tax but only an elite will truly
benefit; schooling paid for by tax is regressive. Schools promote the myths of this society especially those concerned with the never-ending pursuit of progress. He writes: “commitment to
unlimited quantitative increase vitiates the possibility of organic development”. More schooling leads to rising expectations but schooling will not lift the poor out of poverty; rather it will
deprive them of their self-respect. We have already mentioned how Illich sees pedagogical alienation as more profound than the alienation of labour. In terms of schools’ role in promoting
consumption and the idea of consumption Illich comments that Marx did not think much about cost of creating demand,( indeed this does not form a significant part of his analysis) but in
modern capitalised nations the creation of demand is huge business, with schools at the forefront. If students are included with staff then schools are the biggest employer in developed
nations. For Illich schools pre-alienate; “school makes alienation preparatory to life thus depriving education of reality and work of creativity”. Schools teach the need to be taught. Illich writes:
“Once this lesson is learned, people lose their incentive to grow in independence; they no longer find relatedness attractive, and close themselves off to the surprises which life offers when it is
not predetermined by institutional definition”. At its most basic schools operate according to the notion that “knowledge is a valuable commodity which under certain circumstances may be
forced into the consumer”. Schools are addicted to the notion that it is possible to manipulate other people for their own good. (We see in this links to the most recent form of schooling; the
schooling of people’s emotions by self-appointed experts, in the therapy industry and the disturbing development of these kinds of direct emotional training as part of the curriculum.) [2] For
Illich, then, schools offer something other than learning. He sees them as institutions which by requiring full-time compulsory attendance in ritualised programmes based around awarding
credentials to those who can consume educational packages and endure it for the longest. It is thus a training in “disciplined consumption”. And this early alienation is more serious than labour
alienation. A radical programme of deschooling would “..endanger the survival not only of the economic order built on the co-production of goods and demands, but equally of the political
order built on the nation-state into which students are delivered by the school”. Chp 4 Institutional spectrum In this chapter Illich proposes a model for evaluating institutions. He contrasts
‘convivial’ institutions at one end of a spectrum with manipulative ones at the other. In line with the theme which occurs throughout the book that his criticism of schooling is more to the point
than some traditional Marxist challenges to contemporary society Illich points out that many on the left support institutions on the ‘right’ of his scale i.e. manipulative ones. As examples of
convivial institutions he gives; the subway and public markets. We would add that eBay seems a good example of a convivial institution. eBay illustrates Illich’s point well, that in convivial
institutions there are rules but they are not aimed at producing an effect in people; they are there to promote accessibility – to keep the game going. Illich sees right-wing, or manipulative,
institutions like schools as being engaged in fostering compulsively repetitive use while frustrating other ways of achieving the same end. For example; a medical science in the West often treats
mental problems by repeat prescriptions of drugs which inhibit other approaches e.g. diet, exercise. Psychotherapy which sometimes makes a point of not using drugs also offers a repetitive
treatment which breeds dependency. Schools encourage repeat consumption of the educational packages (which always hook into the next one) and by taking up all a young person’s time and
by associating learning with being subject to power turn young people off learning. Having turned young people off learning schools then consume vast resources trying to ‘teach’ the resilient,
while claiming that resistance to learning is ‘normal’ in children, when in fact the opposite is the case. The examples here are the present writer’s. Ilich urges a redeployment of technology in
support of convivial institutions and away from the large corporations which he sees as manipulative in their manufacture of demand. Schools also manufacture demand. It would be interesting
to see more of how Illich envisages technology being used by convivial institutions. Some clues are given in his talking about a culture which promotes re-use and repair of tools. An example
perhaps would be modern cars with their sealed engines designed to be repaired by shops with access to diagnostic tools supplied by the manufacturer contrasted to simple cars with standard
parts. If such never existed they certainly could. The contrast is between a culture which promotes people as passive consumers of technological solutions provided by large, distant,
corporations, (for which school is a training), and a culture which permits people to be active in finding solutions for their own problems. Chapter 5 Irrational consistencies A key theme in this
work is the criticism of the idea that learning is the result of teaching. In Illich’s analysis education as a funnel for educational packages. Illich opposes this with an idea of ‘learning webs’ which
are about “the autonomous assembly of resources under the personal control of each learner”. In Chapter 6 he sketches some ideas of how these distributed convivial institutions might work.
In this chapter Illich criticises some of the ideologies of schooling which he sees in apparently radical initiatives such as the free-school movement (of which Summerhill is the best known
example in the UK) and the lifelong learning movement. He points out that free-schools still ultimately support the idea of schooling as the (not a, the) way of inducing children into society.
Education has always an authoritarian and free-association elements in it as part of this induction of children into a schooled society. The free school movement is simply focusing on the free
association element in this. Both are ultimately concerned with children taking their place in the National Economy. There are several prescient observations in this chapter. For example on
lifelong learning Illich writes: “All educators are ready to conspire to push out the walls of the classroom, with the goal of transforming the entire culture into a school”. This is of course now
very obviously the goal of the lifelong learning movement in the UK, criticised for “treating adults like children” by the sociologist Professor Furedi in his book “Where have all the Intellectuals
gone”. 2 (Of course, Illich would like to see a deconstruction of ‘childhood’ so that young people are no longer treated ‘like children’ either). Illich also identified, and this is a theme throughout
the book, how the packages delivered by teachers in schools are designed by technocrats. He writes “For the technocrat the value of an environment increases as more contacts between each
man and his millieu can be programmed”. The recent use of surveillance technology in schools in the UK is a case in point. Systems such as ‘cashless catering’ , finger-print library registration
systems and electronic registrations systems which are proliferating in UK schools, actively promoted by the government agency BECTA, very specifically reduce spontaneous human interaction
in schools. It is clear reading their advice to schools that this is why BECTA encourages schools to adopt them. 3 This is a nasty use of technology in support of what Illich would see as
manipulative intuitions. Illich sees manipulative institutions as being those where “some men may set, specify, and evaluate the personal goals of others”. It is very clear that Illich means it
when he calls for the deschooling of society. There is nothing in this analysis which would favour it being deployed in support of some call for a utopian school. The analysis is critical of
schooling through and through, including attempts at reform which leave untouched the basic idea of school. He also, as we have seen, argues that his call for deschooling is a more primary call
than Marxist calls for social change, which do not call into question the idea of school, because without deschooling the alienation which he is averse to and which schools are the training
ground for will continue to exist. Chapter 6 Learning Webs Illich’s practical vision for learning in a de-schooled society is built around what he calls ‘learning webs’. Illich envisages 3 types of
learning exchange; between a skills teacher and a student, between people themselves engaging in critical discourse, and between a ‘master’ (a master practitioner) and a student. This latter
kind of relationship, which can occur in intellectual disciplines or the arts but also in crafts or skills such as mountain climbing is stifled in a schooled society where non accredited learning is
looked at askance. Illich also considers the de-institutionalisation of resources. He proposes that resources already available in society be made available for learning. For example a shop could
allow interested people to attempt repairs on broken office equipment as a learning exercise. He suggests that such a network of educational resources could be financed either directly by
community expenditure (in effect say part of a local authority budget) or by a system of vouchers which could be spent on free-market providers of this kind of facility. The present writer would
add that this is a very effective learning mechanism; the present writer has found, while working as an IT teacher, that lessons built around taking apart and fixing old computer equipment
changed up several gears in terms of engagement of the students. In such lessons the formal teacher-pupil relations, with all the tensions those entail, evaporated. Students engaged and
actually acquired practical skills through practice – which is the way people learn. There is no reason, of course, why ‘theory’ has to be taught separately. llich is not, as we have noticed an anti-
authoritarian free-schooler. He notes that rigorous drill instruction can be a very effective way of learning a new skill; such as leaning how to speak a new language. But, for Illich, drill
instruction is an exchange free of the hidden curriculum of schooling, which overlays straightforward acquisition of skills and engagement with critical studies with so much more; we have
looked at the role of the teacher as preacher, therapist and custodian of society’s rituals. Whether he is talking about skills exchanges or educational resources Illich envisages non hierarchical
networks. The professionals in Illich’s vision are the facilitators of these exchanges not the distributors of approved knowledge packages in the school system. He envisages two type of
professional educators; those who operate the resource centres and facilitate skills exchanges and those who guide others in how to use these systems and networks. The ‘masters’ we have
mentioned above he does not see as professional educators but rather as people so accomplished in their own disciplines that they have a natural right to teach it. Illich advocates as one
possible means to facilitate these exchanges economically the idea of vouchers which people could spend as they chose. He also allows for some element of direct social expenditure. Illich’s
programme is practical and thought out. He proposes new institutions of a convivial nature to replace the manipulative ones of the current schooling system. In these new institutions there is
no discontinuity between ‘school’ and the world; (though this is most definitely not ‘lifelong learning’ which seeks to extend schooling throughout adult life). There is no ritual of induction of
the next generation into the myths of society through a class of teacher-preachers. Illich is interested in learning as a human activity carried out for obvious purposes – to gain the benefits that
learning the new skill brings for example – not as an excuse for control and manipulation. Because it is a programme thought through at the social level it does involve social planning. Illich’s
programme is in this sense a reformist one. He calls for policy changes at the social level which means legislative changes at a local and national level. The legislation he calls for would permit
the kinds of free association which he seeks; such as voucher schemes which enable people to select their own education or legislation to outlaw discrimination in favour of educational
credentials. That is, he envisages legislation along the lines of the rules he describes in convivial institutions, rules which facilitate access and participation, rather than rules which manipulate
people into doing what other’s want. Chapter 7 Rebirth of Epimethean Man Illich contrasts a world which pre-dated classical Greece, a world of hope, with the world of classical Greece wherein
man learned to build and fit into institutions which delivered predictable results, a world of managed expectations. Promethean man typifies expectation and control through institutions, the
male and rational Greece of cities and paideia (education). Prometheus’ brother Epimetheus whose name originally, according to Illich means hindsight was interpreted to mean dull in classical
Greece. So, for Illich Prometheus is the man of institutions and Epimetheus was dismissed. But the myth developed and the daughter of Epimetheus and Pandora made a new earth with the
son of Prometheus. Illich traces in the evolution of these Greek myths a changing relationship with rationality and the earth. In this new relationship he seems a model for a new synthesis
which allows technology but which also does so in a balanced way which also allows human beings relating with each other and the earth. He argues that we have come full-circle. Primitive
man was in awe of the forces of nature which he felt as having an awful necessity of their own. After the emergence of institutions mankind discovered his ability to engineer his social world.
For a time the worlds of hope (in the face of inexorable fate) and expectations – that we can manage our destinies through institutions – kept each other in balance. However; “Surreptitiously,
reliance on institutional process has replaced dependence on personal goodwill” and now “A child on the streets of New York never touches anything which has not been scientifically
developed, engineered, planned and sold to someone”. Our faith in institutions is such that we think that there is no problem which cannot be solved by an institution. (The tendency of UK
governments to create endless ‘quangos’ at huge public expense which seem to achieve very little is a case in point). Our belief in social engineering through institutions is such that “The
contemporary ideal is a pan-hygienic world; a world in which all contacts between men, and between men and their world, are the result of foresight and manipulation”. Our faith in progress is
such that if we can produce something we feel we must. So; the demand if manufactured to follow what can be produced. This produces the ‘rising expectations’ ; each met expectation simply
exposes more. Illich regards this faith in institutions and ever-rising production to meet manufactured demands and modern man’s trap, into which both capitalism and the Soviet (he was
writing before glasnost) have fallen. And, in both, “School has become the planned process which tools man for a planned world, the principal tool to trap man in man’s trap”. Illich also points
out that the commitment to ever rising production has not in fact led to an abolition of poverty simply through the creation of an abundance. Even the minimum packages which modern taste
requires are now expensive. The theme that demand is manufactured and that school is the first agency in this is recurrent throughout the book. Illich links the progressive hierarchy of schools
where every level is a pointless in itself but a hook to the next level (think 80s video games) with a wider social faith in progress and ever increasing product and demand; an economic
nightmare with profound ecological consequences. Modern man thinks that man needs institutions to survive. He forgets that he needs nature and other individuals. However, Illich sees an
emergent minority who are critical of the institutionalised cultures he is describing and who are willing to place hope above expectations, who love people more than products and who ‘”love
the earth on which we can meet each other”. Conclusions This is a profound and far-reaching criticism of the heartlessness of modern life. The implications of Illich’s call for deschooling are
totally subversive of modern society. It is a call for a profound revolution in how we think and how we live our lives. This is probably why his plans for new learning webs are unlikely to be
legislated for by any government still wedded to the ideals of progress, institutions and manipulation of men for their own good. We would question whether the necessary reforms will ever
come from government; even in a democracy government represents an accumulation of power. Elected politicians seem to find more in common with the existing economic and cultural elites
(who believe in progress and institutional control) than with the people. The recent record of New Labour in Britain shows how profoundly undemocratic a democratically elected government

can be.Illich does not adopt an anti-scientific or anti-technologist viewpoint, though he treads close to sounding anti-scientific at
times.There is a possible danger that his conclusions with their emphasis on the ecological devastation caused by our commitment to ever increasing
production could lead to him being seen as anti-scientific . It is a fine balance between acknowledging that it is time to end the dream of scientific progress
leading to the fulfilment of human demands – because this has got out of hand and has long since moved in the worlds of manufactured demand – and sounding like an emotional champion of

his vision of the world includes a decentralised use of technology in convivial

the harm that all science can do. It is clear that

rather than manipulative institutions. Iliich is not an anarcho-primitivist. On science itself he has less to
Perm – Reform Good

Deschooling is impossible to the point of complicity---arduous reformist strategies are

the only option
HERBERT GINTIS 72 (PhD from Harvard in economics. “Towards a Political Economy of Education: A
Radical Critique of Ivan Illich 's Deschooling Society” Harvard education publishing group. Accessed via
ArticlesPlus. February 1972)//masw

The immediate strategies of a movement for educational reform , then, are political: a) understanding the
concrete contradictions in economic life and the way they are reflected in the educational system; b)
fighting to insure that consciousness of these contradictions persists by thwarting attempts of ruling
elites to attenuate them by co-optation; and c) using the persistence of contradictions in society at large to
expand the political base and power of a revolutionary movement, that is, a movement for educational reform must
understand the social conditions of its emergence and development in the concrete conditions of social life. Unless we achieve such an
understanding and use it as the basis of political action, a functional reorientation will occur vis-a-vis the present crisis in education, as it did in
earlier critical moments in the history of American education.

In the present period, the relevant contradiction involves: a) Blacks moved from rural independent agriculture and seasonal farm wage-labor to
the urban-industrial wage-labor system; b) middle-class youth with values attuned to economic participation as entrepreneurs, elite white-collar
and professional and technical labor, faced with the elimination of entrepreneurship, the corporatization of production, and the
proletarianization of white-collar work28; and c) women, the major sufferers of ascriptive discrimination in production (including household
production) in an era where capitalist relations of production are increasingly legitimized by their sole reliance on achievement (non-ascriptive)
norms.29 This inventory is partial, incomplete, and insufficiently analyzed. But only on a basis of its completion can a successful educational
strategy be forged. In the realm of contradictions, the correspondence principle must yet provide the method 28 Bowles, "Contradictions de
L'enseignement Superieure," and Gintis, "Contre-Culture et Militantisme Politique" and "New Working Class and Revolutionary Youth." 29 For a
general discussion of these issues, see Edwards, Reich, and Weisskopf, ed., The Capitalist System. of analysis and action. We must assess political
strategies in education on the basis of the single—but distressingly complex—question: will they lead to the transitional society?

de-schooling will inevitably lead to a situation of social chaos, but probably not to a
I have already argued that
serious mass movement toward constructive social change. In this case the correspondence principle simply fails to
hold, producing at best a temporary (in case the ruling elites can find an alternative mode of worker socialization) or ultimately fatal (in case
they cannot) breakdown in the social fabric. But only if we posit some essential pre-social human nature on which individuals draw when
normal paths of individual development are abolished, might this lead in itself to liberating alternatives.

But the argument over the sufficiency of de-schooling is nearly irrelevant . For schools are so important to the
reproduction of capitalist society that they are unlikely to crumble under any but the most massive political onslaughts. "Each of us," says Illich,
"is personally responsible for his or her own de-schooling, and only we have the power to do it." This is not true. Schooling is legally obligatory,
and is the major means of access to welfare-relevant activity contexts. Th e political consciousness behind a frontal attack on institutionalized
education would necessarily spill over to attacks on other major institutions. "Th e risks of a revolt against school," says Illich, . . . are
unforeseeable, but they are not as horrible as those of a revolution starting in any other major institution. School is not yet organized for self-
protection as effectively as a nation-state, or even a large corporation. Liberation from the grip of schools could be bloodless. (DS, p. 49) This is
no more than whistling in the dark.

The only presently viable political strategy in education—and the precise negation of Illich's recommendations
—is what Rudi Deutchke terms "the long march through the institutions," involving localized struggles
for what Andre Gorz calls "non-reformist reforms," i.e., reforms which effectively strengthen the power of teachers vis-a-vis
administrators, and of students vis-a-vis teachers. Still, although schools neither can nor should be eliminated, the social
relations of education can be altered through genuine struggle. Moreover, the experience of both struggle
and control prepares the student for a future of political activity in factory and office.

In other words, the correct immediate political goal is the nurturing of individuals both liberated (i.e., demanding
control over their lives and outlets for their creative activities and relationships) and politically aware of the true nature of
their misalignment with the larger society. There may indeed be a bloodless solution to the problem of
revolution, but certainly none more simple than this. Conclusion Illich recognizes that the problems of advanced industrial
societies are institutional, and that their solutions lie deep in the social core. Therefore, he consciously rejects a partial or affirmative analysis
which would accept society's dominant ideological forms and direct its innovative contributions toward marginal changes in assumptions and
boundary conditions. Instead, he employs a methodology of total critique and negation, and his successes, such as
they are, stem from that choice. Ultimately, however, his
analysis is incomplete.
Dialectical analysis begins with society as is (thesis), entertains its negation (antithesis), and overcomes both in a radical reconceptualization
(synthesis). Negation is a form of demystification—a drawing away from the immediately given by viewing it as a "negative totality." But
negation is not without presuppositions, is not itself a form of liberation. It cannot "wipe clean the slate"
of ideological representation of the world or one's objective position in it . The son/daughter who acts on
the negation of parental and societal values is not free—he/she is merely the constrained negative
image of that which he/she rejects (e.g., the negation of work, consumption order, and rationality is not
liberation but negative un-freedom). The negation of male dominance is not women's liberation but the (negative) affirmation of
"female masculinity." Women's liberation in dialectical terms can be conceived of as the overcoming (synthesis) of male dominance (thesis) and
female masculinity (antithesis) in a new totality which rejects/embodies both. It is this act of overcoming (synthesis, consciousness) which is the
critical and liberating aspect of dialectical thought. Action
lies not in the act of negation (antithesis, demystification) but in
the act of overcoming (synthesis/consciousness). The strengths of Illich's analysis lie in his consistent and pervasive methodology of
negation. The essential elements in the liberal conceptions of the Good Life— consumption and education, the welfare state and corporate
manipulation—are demystified and laid bare in the light of critical, negative thought. Illich's
failures can be consistently traced
to his refusal to pass beyond negations-—beyond a total rejection of the appearances of life in advanced
industrial societies—to a higher synthesis. While Illich should not be criticized for failing to achieve such a synthesis, nevertheless
he must be taken seriously to task for mystifying the nature of his own contribution and refusing to step
—however tentatively—beyond it. Work is alienating—Illich rejects work; consumption is unfulfilling—Illich rejects consumption;
institutions are manipulative—Illich places "nonaddictiveness" at the center of his conception of human institutions; production is bureaucratic
—Illich glorifies the entrepreneurial and small-scale enterprise; schools are dehumanizing— Illich rejects schools; political life is oppressive and
ideologically totalitarian— Illich rejects politics in favor of individual liberation. Only in one sphere does he go beyond negation, and this defines
his major contribution. While technology is in fact dehumanizing (thesis), he does not reject technology (antithesis). Rather he goes beyond
technology and its negation towards a schema of liberating technological forms in education. The
cost of his failure to pass
beyond negation in the sphere of social relations in general, curiously enough, is an implicit affirmation
of the deepest characteristics of the existing orde r.30
In rejecting work, Illich affirms that it necessarily is alienating—reinforcing a fundamental pessimism on which the acceptance of capitalism is
based; in rejecting consumption, he affirms either that it is inherently unfulfilling (the Protestant ethic), or would be fulfilling if unmanipulated;
in rejecting manipulative and bureaucratic "delivery systems," he affirms the laissez-faire capitalist model and its core institutions; in rejecting
schools, Illich embraces a commodityfetishist cafeteria-smorgasbord ideal in education; and in rejecting political action, he affirms a utilitarian
individualistic conception of humanity. In all cases, Illich's
analysis fails to pass beyond the given (in both its positive
and negative totalities), and hence affirms it.
AT: Illich

Illich’s alt fails --- gets coopted, and a lack of vision

The new observer 12 (7-5-2017, "Review of Ivan Illich’s seminal Deschooling Society » The New
It is transparently obvious that more and more education (which necessarily creates a pyramid structure) does not solve social ills. Increasingly
while downplaying traditional authority the new left-wing elites are turning to more and more authoritarian measures. For example one ‘left-
wing’ member of the IPPR (Institute for Public Policy Research) said recently “Actually what works is structure, discipline, uniform and
hierarchy”. The point here is ‘what works’ . This is not a concern for human relating but a concern for how to get the most social
conformity and economic productivity out of people. It is precisely this obsession with profit (or economic growth for its own sake) and
efficiency which leads to the kind of school system which Illich urges us to abandon. The
only criticism of Illich’s thought I would
offer is that it may be somewhat politically naive to look to governments to legislate for the alternative vision he proposes. The
experience in the UK at any rate is that the left-wing and ‘progressive’ parties have become interlinked ,
completely, with the elites of the over-production systems which are linked themselves with the depersonalising institutions
which Illich criticises. New Labour, in particular, would be a case in point of how ‘left-wing’ parties can adopt the right-wing, manipulative
institutions which seek to control peoples’ behaviours. In terms of legislation in the UK that would leave the Green party. The Green party may
yet come into its own and become a significant force in British parliamentary politics with a coherent programme but at the moment it seems to
be very fringe. One problem the left has always had is that while
100 people may be united in their objection to
capitalism they may also have 100 divergent view on what to replace it with and even when they agree
about that may disagree about the means. For this reason we would suggest that the best use of Illich’s work on deschooling
society is not so much as a handbook for political reformers but as a handbook for those who are looking to find ways to build authentic human
lives under the shadow of the current manifestation of the Urstat. Deschooling Society was published in 1971 by Calder and Boyers Ltd

Alt fails --- the deconstruction of manipulative socialization is the same commodity
fetishism illich critiques
HERBERT GINTIS 72 (PhD from Harvard in economics. “Towards a Political Economy of Education: A
Radical Critique of Ivan Illich 's Deschooling Society” Harvard education publishing group. Accessed via
ArticlesPlus. February 1972)//masw
In conclusion, it is clear that the motivational basis of consumer behavior derives from the everyday observation and experience of individuals,
and consumer values are not "aberrations" induced by manipulative socialization. Certainly there
is no reason to believe that
individuals would consume or work much less were manipulative socialization removed. Insofar as
such socialization is required to stabilize commodity fetishist values, its elimination might lead to the
overthrow of capitalist institutions—but that of course is quite outside Illich's scheme. The Limitations of Left-
Convivial Technologies Since lllich views the "psychological impotence" of the individual in his/her "addictedness" to the ministrations of
corporate and state bureaucracies as the basic problem of contemporary society, he defines the desirable "left-convivial" institutions by the
criterion of "non-addictiveness." Applied to commodities or welfare services, this criterion is perhaps sufficient. But applied to major contexts of
social activities, it is inappropriate. It is not possible for individuals to treat their work, their communities, and their environment in a simply
instrumental manner. For better or worse, these social spheres, by regulating the individual's social activity, became a major determinant of his/
her psychic development, and in an important sense define who he/she is. Indeed, the solution to the classical "problem of order" in society10
is solved only by the individual's becoming "addicted" to his/her social forms by participating through them.11 In remaking society, individuals
do more than expand their freedom of choice—they change who they are, their self-definition, in the process. The criticism of alienated social
spheres is not simply that they deprive individuals of necessary 10 Talcott Parsons, The Structure of Social Action (New York: Free Press, 1939).
11 Karl Marx, The Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844 (Moscow: Foreign Language Publishing House, 1959) and Karl Marx and
Friedrich Engels, The Germany Ideology (New York: International Publishers, 1947).

82 A Radical Critique of Ivan lllich HERBERT GINTIS instruments of activity, but that in so doing they tend to produce in all of us something less
than we intend to be. The irony of Illich's analysis is that by erecting "addictiveness vs. instrumentality" as the
central welfare criterion, he himself assumes a commodity fetishist mentality . In essence, he posits the
individual outside of society and using social forms as instruments in his/her preexisting ends. For
instance, lllich does not speak of work as "addictive," because in fact individuals treat work first as a
"disutility" and second as an instrument toward other ends (consumption ). The alienation of work poses no threat to
the "sovereignty" of the worker because he is not addicted to it. By definition, then, capitalist work, communities, and
environments are "nonaddictive" and left-convivial. Illich's consideration of the capitalist enterprise as
"right-manipulative" only with respect to the consumer is a perfect example of this "reification" of the
social world. In contrast, I would argue that work is necessarily addictive in the larger sense of determining who a man/woman
is as a human being.

*commodity fetishism is the perception of the social relationships involved in production, not as
relationships among people, but as economic relationships among the money and commodities
exchanged in market trade.
AT: Nietzsche
May 5
Change and survival are key to avoid passivity and ressentiment
May 5 [Todd, Professor of Philosophy at Clemson University, September 2005, “To change the world, to
celebrate life,” Philosophy & Social Criticism, Vol. 31, No. 5-6]

For those among us who seek in philosophy a way to grapple with our lives rather than to solve logical
puzzles; for those whose reading and whose writing are not merely appropriate steps toward academic
advancement but a struggle to see ourselves and our world in a fresher, clearer light; for those who find
nourishment among impassioned ideas and go hungry among empty truths: there is a struggle that is
often waged within us. It is a struggle that will be familiar to anyone who has heard in Foucault’s
sentences the stammering of a fellow human being struggling to speak in words worth hearing. Why else
would we read Foucault? We seek to conceive what is wrong in the world, to grasp it in a way that offers
us the possibility for change. We know that there is much that is, to use Foucault’s word, ‘intolerable’.
There is much that binds us to social and political arrangements that are oppressive, domineering,
patronizing, and exploitative. We would like to understand why this is and how it happens, in order that
we may prevent its continuance. In short, we want our theories to be tools for changing the world, for
offering it a new face, or at least a new expression. There is struggle in this, struggle against ideas and
ways of thinking that present themselves to us as inescapable. We know this struggle from Foucault’s
writings. It is not clear that he ever wrote about anything else. But this is not the struggle I want to
address here. For there is, on the other hand, another search and another goal. They lie not so much in
the revisioning of this world as in the embrace of it. There is much to be celebrated in the lives we lead,
or in those led by others, or in the unfolding of the world as it is, a world resonant with the rhythms of
our voices and our movements. We would like to understand this, too, to grasp in thought the elusive
beauty of our world. There is, after all, no other world, except, as Nietzsche taught, for those who would
have created another one with which to denigrate our own. In short, we would like our thought to
celebrate our lives. To change the world and to celebrate life. This, as the theologian Harvey Cox saw, is
the struggle within us.1 It is a struggle in which one cannot choose sides; or better, a struggle in which
one must choose both sides. The abandonment of one for the sake of the other can lead only to disaster
or callousness. Forsaking the celebration of life for the sake of changing the world is the path of the sad
revolutionary. In his preface to Anti-Oedipus, Foucault writes that one does not have to be sad in order
to be revolutionary. The matter is more urgent than that, however. One cannot be both sad and
revolutionary. Lacking a sense of the wondrous that is already here, among us, one who is bent upon
changing the world can only become solemn or bitter. He or she is focused only on the future; the
present is what is to be overcome. The vision of what is not but must come to be overwhelms all else,
and the point of change itself becomes lost. The history of the left in the 20th century offers numerous
examples of this, and the disaster that attends to it should be evident to all of us by now. The alternative
is surely not to shift one’s allegiance to the pure celebration of life, although there are many who have
chosen this path. It is at best blindness not to see the misery that envelops so many of our fellow
humans, to say nothing of what happens to sentient nonhuman creatures. The attempt to jettison world-
changing for an uncritical assent to the world as it is requires a self-deception that I assume would be
anathema for those of us who have studied Foucault. Indeed, it is anathema for all of us who awaken
each day to an America whose expansive boldness is matched only by an equally expansive disregard for
those we place in harm’s way. This is the struggle, then. The one between the desire for life-celebration
and the desire for world-changing. The struggle between reveling in the contingent and fragile joys that
constitute our world and wresting it from its intolerability. I am sure it is a struggle that is not foreign to
anyone who is reading this. I am sure as well that the stakes for choosing one side over another that I
have recalled here are obvious to everyone. The question then becomes one of how to choose both
sides at once.
Extinction > Ontology

Death outweighs – the subject precedes considerations of ontology

Paterson, 03 – Department of Philosophy, Providence College, Rhode Island (Craig, “A Life Not Worth
Living?”, Studies in Christian Ethics,

Contrary to those accounts, I would argue that it is death per se that is really the objective evil for us, not
because it deprives us of a prospective future of overall good judged better than the alter- native of non-
being. It cannot be about harm to a former person who has ceased to exist, for no person actually suffers
from the sub-sequent non-participation. Rather, death in itself is an evil to us because it ontologically
destroys the current existent subject — it is the ultimate in metaphysical lightening strikes.80 The evil of
death is truly an ontological evil borne by the person who already exists, independently of calculations
about better or worse possible lives. Such an evil need not be consciously experienced in order to be an
evil for the kind of being a human person is. Death is an evil because of the change in kind it brings
about, a change that is destructive of the type of entity that we essentially are. Anything, whether
caused naturally or caused by human intervention (intentional or unintentional) that drastically
interferes in the process of maintaining the person in existence is an objective evil for the person. What
is crucially at stake here, and is dialectically supportive of the self-evidency of the basic good of human
life, is that death is a radical interference with the current life process of the kind of being that we are. In
consequence, death itself can be credibly thought of as a ‘primitive evil’ for all persons, regardless of the
extent to which they are currently or prospectively capable of participating in a full array of the goods of
life.81 In conclusion, concerning willed human actions, it is justifiable to state that any intentional
rejection of human life itself cannot therefore be warranted since it is an expression of an ultimate
disvalue for the subject, namely, the destruction of the present person; a radical ontological good that
we cannot begin to weigh objectively against the travails of life in a rational manner. To deal with the
sources of disvalue (pain, suffering, etc.) we should not seek to irrationally destroy the person, the very
source and condition of all human possibility.82
Util Good
Util is key
Nussbaum 94
Martha Nussbaum (born Martha Craven on May 6, 1947) is an American philosopher with a particular
interest in ancient Greek and Roman philosophy, political philosophy and ethics.

Nussbaum is currently Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of
Chicago, a chair that includes appointments in the Philosophy Department, the Law School, and the
Divinity School. She also holds Associate appointments in Classics and Political Science, is a member of
the Committee on Southern Asian Studies, and a Board Member of the Human Rights Program. She
previously taught at Harvard and Brown where she held the rank of university professor.Nietzsche,
Genealogy, Morality, By Richard

We now turn to the heart of the matter, the role of "external goods" in the good human life. And here
we encounter a rather large surprise. There is no philosopher in the modern Western tradition who is
more emphatic than Nietzsche is about the central importance of the body, and about the fact that we
are bodily creatures. Again and again he charges Christian and Platonist moralities with making a false
separation between our spiritual and our physical nature; against them, he insists that we are physical
through and through. The surprise is that, having said so much and with such urgency, he really is very
loathe to draw the conclusion that is naturally suggested by his position: that human beings need
worldly goods in order to function. In all of Nietzsche's rather abstract and romantic praise of solitude
and asceticism, we find no grasp of the simple truth that a hungry person cannot think well; that a
person who lacks shelter, basic health care, and the basic necessities of life, is not likely to become a
great philosopher or artist, no matter what her innate equipment. The solitude Nietzsche describes is
comfortable bourgeois solitude, whatever its pains and loneli- ness. Who are his ascetic philosophers?
"Heraclitus, Plato. Descartes, Spi- noza, Leibniz, Kant, Schopenhauer"—none a poor person, none a
person who had to perform menial labor in order to survive. And because Nietzsche does not grasp the
simple fact that if our abilities are physical abilities they have physical necessary conditions, he does
not understand what the democratic and socialist movements of his day were all about. The pro-pity
tradition, from Homer on, understood that one functions badly if one is hungry, that one thinks badly
if one has to labor all day in work that does not involve the fully human use of one's faculties. I have
suggested that such thoughts were made by Rousseau the basis for the modern development of
democratic-socialist thinking. Since Nietzsche does not get the basic idea, he docs not see what socialism
is trying to do. Since he probably never saw or knew an acutely hungry person, or a person performing
hard physical labor, he never asked how human self-command is affected by such forms of life. And thus
he can proceed as if it does not matter how people live front day to day, how they get their food. Who
provides basic welfare support for Zarathustra? What are the "higher men" doing all the day long? The
reader docs not know and the author does not seem to care. Now Nietzsche himself obviously was not a
happy man. He was lonely, in bad health, scorned by many of his contemporaries. And yet, there still is a
distinction to be drawn between the sort of vulnerability that Nietzsche's life contained and the sort we
find if we examine the lives of truly impov- erished and hungry people. We might say. simplifying things a
bit, that there are two sorts of vulnerability: what we might call bourgeois vulnerabil- ity—for example,
the pains of solitude, loneliness, bad reputation, some ill health, pains that are painful enough but still
compatible with thinking and doing philosophy—and what we might call basic vulnerability, which is a
deprivation of resources so central to human functioning that thought and character are themselves
impaired or not developed. Nietzsche, focuv ing on the first son of vulnerability, holds that it is not so
bad; it may even be good for the philosopher.*® The second sort. I claim, he simply ne- glects—believing,
apparently, that even a beggar can be a Stoic hero, if only socialism does not inspire him with
AT: Agonism—Top

Nietzche’s agonism will always cede the political because it is designed to never
engage an institution.
Ince No Date (Murat, Gazi University, Government Administration in Turkey, “A Critique of Agonistic
Politics” Michael Stefanko)
'the instant of decision is madness” Kierkegaard What is Agonistic Politics? Modern agonistic politics1 is a late modern political movement of thought which derives from the constitutive and regulatory feature of power and conflict
in-between (political) human relations -in a word it grounds on agon- and which persistently lays great stress on the possibility of a democratic co-existence in spite of this power and conflict factuality. With its insistent emphasis on
democracy, this movement of thought has offered an influential solution to the modern democratic/political legitimacy crisis by cultivating the hope that it is possible to set up a new or newly thematized delicate balance between
universal and particular, identity and difference, unity and multitude or ever between reason and freedom.2 Moving on a thought heritage essentially composed of Friedrich Nietzsche, Hannah Arendt, Michel Foucault and Antonio
Gramsci3 , modern agonistic politics has been deeply influenced by main doubt masters including aforesaid figures and particularly Jacques Derrida and Ludwig Wittgenstein. It is possible to underline five primary aspects
characterizing modern agonistic politics: Firstly, agonistic politics rejects all of the “essentialist” approaches that have predominated the conception of 2 modern history and knowledge for so long. Rejection of essentialism and
adoption of contingency is the core characteristic of agonism. And closely associated with this, agonists attribute a central significance to the notion of “political” as an expression of perpetual reconstructive nature of social domain
and so as an expression of impossibility of social essence. Secondly, agonists conceive the identity and difference as constructive moments and against the dogmatic vision of identity they hinge on the irrevocability of “difference” as
a “constitutive outside”.4 Thirdly, agonists assert that the antagonistic power relations founding the social are irreversible and they believe that these relations which are in Laclau and Mouffe’s particular terms defined as hegemonic
relations can be transformed.5 Fourthly, agonists have a positive perspective aspiring to transform the social antagonisms to an ambitious and enthusiastic “agonistic confrontation”. Fifthly and finally, agonists has a radical
conception of democracy perceiving democracy not as an “institutional formation” or “governmental regime” to emerge once and for all, but rather a political process the paradoxes of which can never be removed. It is possible to
paraphrase agonistic political theory’s vital contribution to modern political thought in two aspects: The creative political insight suggested by the eventual undecidability of paradoxical relation/eternal dialogue between identity
and difference and the emancipation praxis suggested by the everlasting articulation network (the conception of hegemonic struggle and impossibility of society) triggered by irreducible pluralism of subject configurations. These
two critical aspects coherently raised by agonists have deeply influenced modern political thought and owing to the radicalism of agonistic criticism, a new and vivid rhetoric came into prominence in modern political theory where
the “political” instead of “politics”6 and the “emancipation” instead of “freedom” became main point of discussion. Agonistic politics is before all, a defence of “political” against “politics”. For agonists the political is an expression of
impossibility of an eventual “essence” in social domain and eventual “seamlessness” of the society composed of ineradicable antagonisms. The society has no any sutured pattern because the social itself does not have any essence.
The overlooking of the political comes with the reduction of the social into factitious “essences” and the loss of agonistic vividness. In fact the rejection of the political never hinders its fierce return. As an expression of the rejection
of the political the falsity of the essentialism is hidden in the phrase that this 3 essentialism attributes a factitious “identicalness” or “completeness” to the contingency7 and seamlessness which are deeply embedded within the
individual and social identity. Since the Ancient Greece one of the justifications of critical and cautious approach to the democracy has been based on this claim: democratic freedom breeds anarchy and destructs the political

Modern agonism has developed an approach grasping these “anarchy” and “destruction” theses

stated for the sake of criticism/fear of democracy as a , so to say, positive and founding aspects of
democracy. In other words, for agonists “anarchy” refers rather to an emancipation gesture and yet
“destruction” refers rather to the principle of displacement/deconstruction . Viewed from this perspective, politics and democracy are not a
form of governance but are a form of subjection and the illusory consensus setting the social is nothing more than a fugitive and contingent moment which is predestined to be “destructed” by a new hegemonic articulation or
conflict network. In an agonistic democracy the setting priority of the political in fact refers to this assertion; the institutive/legal moment and the emancipation moment are by no means identical and including democracy there is
no any political framework or form of relation to guarantee this identicalness. In Laclau and Mouffe’s understanding, the radical characteristic of democracy rests on its radical impossibility (Laclau and Mouffe 2001:149-193; Laclau

Modern agonism contradictorily positions itself on the left but in fact it is an expression of radical

left political movement’s drastic transformation in the direction of adopting liberal values. And yet, firm
commitment to liberal democracy is the main characterizing feature of modern agonism. Just as in the
case of deliberative democracy model, in agonistic democracy model the Schmittian dilemma regarding
the incompatibility of liberalism (freedom and pluralism) and democracy (equality) has been heavily
tackled with and within this framework a positive perspective has been developed aspiring to balance
liberalism and democracy without abandoning any of them and through maintaining the tensions
between them. 8 In fact the main concern to oppose the approaches aiming for reducing democracy into
institutive procedures or ethical essentialism surpassing the social praxis is what essentially lies behind
the need/goal of counterbalancing liberal and democratic rationales. 4 Agonists have a deep concern
about certain topics as such that the modern democracies are not sheer democracy, t hat the
bureaucratic system has captured the political domain, that the bureaucratic system has transformed
citizens into passive receivers of political decisions and that by formulating a de facto
juridical/administrative understanding of politics liberal theory has contributed much to this
unfavourable situation. According to them, the liberal theory’s juridical/administrative (instrumental)
understanding of politics is an attempt to minimize -if not to eradicate- the conflict and dispute which
constitute vital elements of a robust democratic politics. Nevertheless, in the final analysis, this attempt
refers to elimination of politics. Reviving democracy as a political phenomenon is the most significant
contribution of modern agonistic politics to reverse this process. Tracing Foucault 9 who was to speak of
the constant struggle (agonism) between power relations and the intransitivity of freedom, agonists
have tried to conceive of the relationship between power and freedom from a realistic and
comprehensive aspect. Accordingly, power and freedom are constitutive moments and in plain terms neither freedom can be defined as non-existence of power and nor power can be defined as non-
). As there is no any antagonistic relation between power and freedom, it is misleading
existence of freedom (Laclau 1996:51

to envisage a free society fully cleared off power relations . Therefore, the main challenge with the democratic politics is not how to eliminate the power itself but
how to build power configurations -in other words “agonistic confrontations”- which are more compatible with democratic values (Mouffe 2000:17-21). Modern agonistic thought is in fact a critique of modernism closely associated
with founding, constructive/positive values of modernism. But as this positive reference is overshadowed by agonistic/radical critical attitude which has, on almost all occasions, a strong tendency to underline the antagonisms
(dissents), this point remains somehow ambiguous. Agonism, in one respect, refers to (as though hardly noticed) a synthesizing study of liberalism and socialism as founding counterparts. However, as for the modern agonism in
question, one can hardly dismiss the argument that there exists a bizarre contradiction or incompatibility between the critical socialist perspective (perhaps it is more wise to describe this as “Left Nietzschetianism”) inherited from
the recent past and the firm commitment to liberal democratic values. The irony with the agonistic thought’s canon setting criticism 5 essentially stems from the postulation that agonists have totally adopted postmodern/post-
structuralist critical elements that had been reduced into regulative context of modern reason and they have attempted to configure these critical elements into positive values/norms of modernism which were believed to have
already disappeared. Viewed from this perspective, modern agonism is rather a critique of modern critique (in specific it is the critique of the attempts to save the modern reason). Just like the positive context emerging in the

moment of “sublation” of “self-sublation in Hegelian dialectics, as a critique of modern critique, agonistic critique has already articulated with the modern geist as a positive moment. {The essay continues

Problem one of five with agonism

Ince No Date (Murat, Gazi University, Government Administration in Turkey, “A Critique of Agonistic
Politics” Michael Stefanko)

with their
Five Critical Aspects In this study, main critical points regarding modern agonistic politics have been brought into discussion under five problematiques. Firstly,

attempts to eliminate the violence from the agonistic geist, agonists are philosophically led to dwell on a
conflicting and untenable standpoint. 10 The conception of violence-free agon is the most questionable
and fragile aspect of agonistic politics because there exists a philosophical/theoretical contradiction
between “the principal defence of agon” and “the elimination of violence ”. Agonists, on the one hand, attribute a core founding
meaning to power and conflict relations, but on the other hand , in order to eliminate the violent forms/contents that these relations

may involve they refer to a reasoning which is essentially in conflict with their original onto-politic
assumptions (original philosophical premises). However, if power and conflict are onto-politic facts, the attempt to differentiate or distinguish agon and
violence can be argued not on onto-politic level but on onto-ethical level. So regarding this point, agonistic politics poses an ambiguity in-between -ontological, political and ethical- levels. As

an inevitable result of this ambiguity, the agonistic conception where the violence is categorically
dismissed cannot stay away from contradiction in itself . If it is not thoroughly a matter of defending a tamed agon, it is a logical requirement to
prefer one of the following two options for the sake of eliminating this ambiguity: either it must be clearly stated that an exceptional fact excluding the onto-political understanding is in
question here or it must be acknowledged that exclusion of violence can only be argued on political-ethical level but not on ontological level. However it is hard to conclude that agonists have a
clear preference on this issue. In 6 fact agonistic thought has an additional ambiguity particularly with regard to the second choice, yet the general ambiguity on ethical stance leaves out the
problem whether the agonistic struggle (or the democratic hegemony struggle) has a political/ethical meaning/context. On this point agonists confine themselves only to referring either to an

immanent materialism as in the case of W. Connolly or to the meta-ethical language of hegemony as in the case of Laclau and Mouffe . {The essay continues at]

Problem two of five with agonism: they ignore commonalities that exist among people
to be able to create a true agon. Solvency deficit.
Ince No Date (Murat, Gazi University, Government Administration in Turkey, “A Critique of Agonistic
Politics” Michael Stefanko)

Another aspect leading agonistic politics to a dilemma is related to the matter of reason and harmony . On
which principle or set of principles will a theory arguing that the society is composed of ineradicable antagonisms and stressing that the struggles, the asymmetries and the inequalities triggered by the phenomenon of power are
everlasting be able to base its own conception of order which is exclusive of any ideal of absolute harmony? Evidently the general name for this principle or set of principles is “agon” in agonistic politics. However, how those already

Although agonists assume a radical skepticism

in conflict with each other will come to an agreement on the grounds or norms of this conflict is a material problematique.

about consensus they are well aware of the fact that the liberal democracy that they advocate must be
based on a particular consensus over a number of basic institutions or values. In fact the consensus is indispensable, but the
accompaniment of consensus with disagreement is unavoidable and inevitable. What agonists, in this respect, do explicitly and poignantly reject is

the idea of reason-based consensus a typical example of which can be seen in deliberative democracy. The
criticism of pure reason-based enlightenist attitude which is to eliminate emotions and passions is what lies essentially behind the agonistic sharp criticism of the idea of rationalist consensus. Agonistic political theory has played a
quite significant role in the criticism of enlightenist/liberal ideology that has a goal to set up human-human and human-nature relations on pure/rationalist principles and that also has an aspiration to build a
homogeneous/harmonious political community under the guidance of these pure/rationalist principles. Agonistic political theory’s critical contribution is particularly vital with regard to the revelation of antagonistic nature of
allegedly independent, harmonious and conflict-free social norms and relations introduced in the fictions of neo-liberal politics and society -such as political liberalism- as manifestations of late period enlightenist/liberal ideology. By
elaborating on the potential risks and drawbacks implicated in the fiction of reason- 7 based consensus, theorists of agonistic politics have focused our attention on the investigation of any chance of co-existence in a pluralistic
political society where the differences are getting ever deeper. Owing to the strong agonistic criticism of dominant liberal paradigm, it became fully evident that both the liberal paradigm is - quite contrary to what was suggested-
heavily associated with ontological assumptions and the political liberalism is not as independent, harmonious and tolerant as supposed or expected to be. However, in spite of all these mentioned merits agonistic political theory’s
the agonistic attitude assuming the idea of rational consensus simply
relationship with reason and so with consensus is still problematical. Before all,

as a cover for power is quite generalizing and reductive. Agonists almost tend to -as what Habermas
once expressed for the postmoderns- remove the baby (the idea of consensus based on common reason
etc.) along with the dirty bathing water (instrumental reason, technocracy, elimination of the passions
etc). Nonetheless, as it is impossible to set up a democratic political/social system without referring to
principles and norms associated with creation of a minimal common reason (suggesting the opposite implies being sceptical about
democracy but agonists do not extend their arguments to that point because according to them liberal democracy is the main heritage to care for), it is urgent to generate a modus vivendi to establish the harmony and community
which are vital for the sustainability of political/social life. By sharply declaring that this modus vivendi cannot be established on the basis of rationalist consensus, agonists, in a sense, tend to weaken the basis of their own
political/social theory which remains heavily indebted

to rationalization process.

Problem three of five with agonism: agonism is exclusionary

*this card is also a link to neolib*

Ince No Date (Murat, Gazi University, Government Administration in Turkey, “A Critique of Agonistic
Politics” Michael Stefanko)

The third problem with agonistic politics is related to the identity or status of the agonistic “other” . Agonists have
a conception of democracy which reflects a particular synthesis of the notion of Derridian “constitutive outside” and Wittgensteinian “game” leitmotiv. Democracy is a game of which rules

are constantly due to change with the interpretations of “different” players/participants and there is no
any fixed “constitutive outside” in this game . In this playful democracy conception, it is particularly emphasized that there exists an irresolvable paradox between identity and
difference and every description of identity definitely includes a description of other (enemy or adversary) that is to be excluded or negated. This postulation brings to mind the question of who/what the “constitutive outside” of an

It seems that this “agonistic

8 agonistic democratic order/identity will be. As agonism already postulates a description of identity, it must have a definite excluded or negated “other” as well.

other” is reflected by those who, in the simplest term, reject agonism or those who are in the position of
“enemy” or “adversary” in relation to any possible agonistic democracy . Agonists have an ambivalent attitude towards this agonistic other. On
one hand, it is asserted that those who do not adopt the rules of the democratic game are already part of the democratic game, on the other hand, it is suggested that those who do not adopt the rules of the game should be

The first
excluded from the game as seen in the example of Mouffe arguing that those who question the fundamental institutions of democratic society cannot be regarded as legitimate adversaries (Mouffe 2005:120).

attitude falls into an ambiguous definition of game by its effort to equate the radicalism emerging out of
the non-adoption of agonistic rules of game with any sort of agonistic form or activity (like disagreement,
struggle or challenge) within the rules of the game. The most significant drawback with this sort of understanding which is to, by itself, undermine the conception of
game is that it reduces the (antagonistic) radicalism emerging in the challenge of the rules into routine
and common manifestations of agon. 11 Even worse, this understanding may well function as a highly
effective instrument in the legitimization of a neo-liberal democratic order where all of the
manifestations of radicalism are purely eliminated . The second attitude suggesting that those who do not adopt the rules of the game should be excluded from the game is
certainly more consistent in itself when compared to first one. However this attitude also drives its supporters to another theoretical stalemate. If, just like in any game, those who do not adopt the rules of the game are to be
excluded from the game, calling this game as agonistic democracy or not will not make much sense. However, the non-existence of any fixed “constitutive outside” is one of the most important aspects to define the agonism.

Problem four of five with agonism: Solvency defecit, agonism is ahistorical meaning it
has no empirical ability to solve.
Ince No Date (Murat, Gazi University, Government Administration in Turkey, “A Critique of Agonistic
Politics” Michael Stefanko)
The fourth critical point regarding agonistic politics is associated with the matter of historicism. One of the most important results of agonism to have a liberal discourse far from the legacy of
radical left politics (particularly far from the revolutionist background) is that historical critique and analysis being the critical instruments to challenge the past have been eliminated from the

to answer all metaphysical questions, agonists,

agonistic rhetoric. Driven by the concern to distance themselves from the truth philosophies that claim 9

in the guidance of the principle of contingency, have attempted to develop a political theory which
meticulously keeps away from any sort of historicity and historical analysis and lays its hopes on “the
emergence of new forces” in the future. Thus, the liberal context of the futureoriented emancipatory hope dominated over the context of the
marxist/revolutionist challenge of past. Briefly stated, the philosophical thought-space of agonistic credo is located in the history-less contingency -timelessness- “between the past and future”.
There is no doubt that what lies behind the agonists’ pussyfooting attitude towards historicist philosophy and analysis is the concern to avoid any sort of determination or conditioning which
may imply subordination of the emancipation process to a fixed framework. Thus in accordance with this attitude, a determined critical posture has been advanced both against liberalism’s
progressive philosophy of history and historical dialectic materialism’s deterministic conception of history. Again within this scope, as in the case of enligtenist liberalism, establishing a
suprahistoricist and contingent relation with the “universal” has been offered with a view to highlight the plurality of subject configurations and affirm the emergence of new forces. Viewed
from this perspective which is dependent more on “irreversible flow and pace of time” than Benjaminist understanding of “history as the redemption of the past”; history as the knowledge of
the past is nothing more than a grave of metanarratives that is to suppress the progress of subjectivity and freedom. And just like the agonistic empty universal waiting for to be represented by

Being an articulative discourse of modern

the fugitive/partial, the historical is nothing but a monadologic empty sign waiting for to be filled by the new forces.

conjuncture is the price agonistic political theory pays for its own “historylessness”. If agonistic politics is
to position itself anywhere beyond this point, it has to come to terms with the “historicism” more
explicitly. However, modern agonistic politics conceives this challenge either an extension of radical
historicism just like in dialectical materialism or an extension of transcendental historical pattern as seen
in Hegel, and on behalf of overcoming this dualism it prefers merely setting up a contingent, playful and
ambiguous relation with the “historical”. This ambiguous approach to history, reaches one of its most
explicit expressions in Laclau and Mouffe’s conception of hegemonic politics. Because 10 Laclau and
Mouffe’s hegemony theory as a post-marxist model is before all the theory of this historical ambiguity
upon which the promise of emancipation is based.

Problem five of five with agonism

Ince No Date (Murat, Gazi University, Government Administration in Turkey, “A Critique of Agonistic
Politics” Michael Stefanko)

The fifth and last critical point regarding agonistic politics is associated with the notions of resentment
and undecidability. 12 Though there is no any natural or essential relationship between them, these two notions constitute pivotal quilting points (so to say “point de capiton”) of modern agonistic politics. As
is known, posing a discourse to articulate political theory and psychoanalysis is one of the outstanding characteristics of agonistic politics. Agonistic theory has been significantly influenced by psychoanalytic theoretical background
extending from Freud to Lacan. Admittedly, it cannot be argued that agonistic political theory has a definite understanding of human nature. Yet agonistic politics before all is not a theory of human-self/nature but it is a theory of

it can be argued that agonistic politics still reveals a vague anthropological

political agents and relations thereof. Nevertheless,

perspective. According to this perspective, the man as a resentment-holder existence moving under the
corporate impacts of his reason and sensations is a political/contingent subjectivity who is steadily in
search of power and seeking for to take his social/political decisions on the basis of an essentially
undecidable ground. It can be observed that the two notions “resentment and undecidability” are to emerge as key concepts with regard to the agonistic spirit (psyche). However agonists, who are to insist
on the ineradicability of power and conflict in the political arena, hardly raised any arguments regarding the origins or onto-genetics of this power and conflict. Therefore the sophisticated agonistic relation between resentment,
undecidability and power keeps remaining uncertain on a large scale. But it might not be a mistake to roughly infer that a mechanism as fallows is in process with regard to the agonistic spirit (psyche): “The resentment as a

There exists a significant parallelism

repressed sensation of wrath, roaming in the corridors of mind and free from the actuality of ego” steadily drives the self to the pursuit of power.

between the irreversibility of power in the social relations and the irreversibility of resentment in the
human nature. Therefore, owing to this irreversibility of resentment and power it is inevitable that a
“schism” or “conflict” is to emerge both on the level of individual self and on the level of in-between
(political) human relations. This “schism” or “conflict” constitutes the base of authentic undecidability as
AT: Suffering Good
Life is a prerequisite to deploying pain positively
Amien Kacou 8 WHY EVEN MIND? On The A Priori Value Of “Life”, Cosmos and History: The Journal of
Natural and Social Philosophy, Vol 4, No 1-2 (2008)

Furthermore, that manner of finding things good that is in pleasure can certainly not exist in any world
without consciousness (i.e., without “life,” as we now understand the word)—slight analogies put aside.
In fact, we can begin to develop a more sophisticated definition of the concept of “pleasure,” in the
broadest possible sense of the word, as follows: it is the common psychological element in all
psychological experience of goodness (be it in joy, admiration, or whatever else). In this sense, pleasure
can always be pictured to “mediate” all awareness or perception or judgment of goodness: there is
pleasure in all consciousness of things good; pleasure is the common element of all conscious
satisfaction. In short, it is simply the very experience of liking things, or the liking of experience, in
general. In this sense, pleasure is, not only uniquely characteristic of life but also, the core expression of
goodness in life—the most general sign or phenomenon for favorable conscious valuation, in other
words. This does not mean that “good” is absolutely synonymous with “pleasant”—what we value may
well go beyond pleasure. (The fact that we value things needs not be reduced to the experience of liking
things.) However, what we value beyond pleasure remains a matter of speculation or theory. Moreover,
we note that a variety of things that may seem otherwise unrelated are correlated with pleasure—some
more strongly than others. In other words, there are many things the experience of which we like . For
example: the admiration of others; sex; or rock-paper-scissors. But, again, what they are is irrelevant in
an inquiry on a priori value—what gives us pleasure is a matter for empirical investigation.

Thus, we can see now that, in general, something primitively valuable is attainable in living—that is, pleasure
itself. And it seems equally clear that we have a priori logical reason to pay attention to the world in any
world where pleasure exists. Moreover, we can now also articulate a foundation for a security interest in
our life: since the good of pleasure can be found in living ( to the extent pleasure remains attainable),[17] and only in
living, therefore, a priori, life ought to be continuously (and indefinitely) pursued at least for the sake of
preserving the possibility of finding that good .However, this platitude about the value that can be found in life turns out to be, at this
point, insufficient for our purposes. It seems to amount to very little more than recognizing that our subjective desire for life in and of itself shows that life has

some objective value. For what difference is there between saying, “living is unique in benefiting
something I value (namely, my pleasure); therefore, I should desire to go on living,” and saying, “I have a
unique desire to go on living; therefore I should have a desire to go on living, ” whereas the latter proposition
immediately seems senseless? In other words, “life gives me pleasure,” says little more than, “I like life.” Thus, we seem to have arrived at the

conclusion that the fact that we already have some ( subjective) desire for life shows life to have some
(objective) value. But, if that is the most we can say, then it seems our enterprise of justification was quite superficial, and the subjective/objective
distinction was useless—for all we have really done is highlight the correspondence between value and desire. Perhaps, our inquiry should be a bit more complex.
AT: Suffering Inevitable

Suffering isn’t inevitable – and the AFF turns it

Eagen 4—Jennifer “Philisophical interests” September 9
Suffering is the theme of two of my published papers, which both examine the question of how
philosophy should respond to suffering. Suffering is a mode of living one's body that usually takes into
account the ontic features that impact the body. Social and political events are often the cause of
suffering, even if the event is painted as natural (example, famine, cancer whose causes are usually
greater than just natural). Suffering is often where the body and the social-liguistic order that Foucault
talks about meet. Many of the examples that Foucault talks about are examples of suffering, even
though he dispassionately displays it without showing the effects of the individual consciousness. Maybe
Foucault with a touch more phenomenology is what I'm after. Also, many of the cases of oppression and
human rights violations that I deal with in my teaching are examples of suffering to greater or lesser
degrees. One challenge that I face as I continue to try to define suffering is how to give an account of
suffering and what constitutes suffering. Will the criteria be subjective or objective? Is suffering relative
(say between the West and the developing world)? Can we legitimately compare the suffering of
different individuals or groups? All good questions. I could argue along with Adorno that suffering is not
natural nor is it a permanent feature of the human condition , but is primarily caused by social and
political events and conditions. However, I might want to argue something like there are some seemingly
permanent features of this social-political landscape that cause everyone to suffer, but to different
degrees (e.g., gender). I'm looking forward to exploring this further.
AT: Anti-Blackness (Vaccines))
Anti-Vaxxers = Marginalization
Anti-Vaxx parents target marginalized communities and take advantage of them for
their white™ agenda – Somali measles crisis in Minnesota proves
Sun 17 -- Columbia University - Graduate School of Journalism [Anti-vaccine activists spark a state’s
worst measles outbreak in decades,
9dec-764dc781686f_story.html?utm_term=.6d4c02a42ba8, May 5, 2017] MP

The young mother started getting advice early on from friends in the close-knit Somali immigrant
community here. Don’t let your children get the vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella — it causes
autism, they said. Suaado Salah listened. And this spring, her 3-year-old boy and 18-month-old girl contracted
measles in Minnesota’s largest outbreak of the highly infectious and potentially deadly disease in
nearly three decades. Her daughter, who had a rash, high fever and cough, was hospitalized for four nights and needed intravenous fluids and oxygen.
“I thought: ‘I’m in America. I thought I’m in a safe place and my kids will never get sick in that disease, ’
” said Salah, 26, who has lived in Minnesota for more than a decade. Growing up in Somalia, she’d had

measles as a child. A sister died of the disease at age 3. Salah no longer believes that the MMR vaccine triggers autism, a discredited
theory that spread rapidly through the local Somali community, fanned by meetings organized by anti-vaccine groups. The activists repeatedly

invited Andrew Wakefield, the founder of the modern anti-vaccine movement, to talk to worried
parents. Immunization rates plummeted, and last month the first cases of measles appeared. Soon there
was a full-blown outbreak, one of the starkest consequences of an intensifying anti-vaccine movement in
the United States and around the world that has gained traction in part by targeting specific
communities. “It’s remarkable to come in and talk to a population that’s vulnerable and marginalized
and who doesn’t necessarily have the capacity for advocacy for themselves, and to take advantage of
that,” said Siman Nuurali, a Somali American clinician who coordinates the care of medically complex
patients at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota . “It’s abhorrent.” Although extensive research has
disproved any relationship between vaccines and autism, the fear has become entrenched in the
community. “I don’t know if we will be able to dig out on our own,” Nuurali said. Anti-vaccine activists defend their
position and their role, saying they merely provided information to parents. “The Somalis had decided themselves that they were

particularly concerned,” Wakefield said last week. “I was responding to that.” He maintained that he
bears no fault for what is happening within the community. “I don’t feel responsible at all,” he said.
MMR vaccination rates among U.S.-born children of Somali descent used to be higher than among other
children in Minnesota. But the rates plummeted from 92 percent in 2004 to 42 percent in 2014, state health department data shows, well below the
threshold of 92 to 94 percent needed to protect a community against measles. Wakefield, a British activist who now lives in Texas, visited Minneapolis at least three
times in 2010 and 2011 to meet privately with Somali parents of autistic children, according to local anti-vaccine activists. Wakefield’s prominence stems from a 1998
study he authored that claimed to show a link between the vaccine and autism. The study was later identified as fraudulent and was retracted by the medical journal
that published it, and his medical license was revoked. The current outbreak was identified in early April. As of Friday, there
were 44 cases, all but two occurring in people who were not vaccinated and all but one in children 10 or
younger. Nearly all have been from the Somali American community in Hennepin County. A fourth of the
patients have been hospitalized. Because of the dangerously low vaccination rates and the disease’s
extreme infectiousness, more cases are expected in the weeks ahead . Measles, which remains endemic in many parts of the
world, was eliminated in the United States at the start of this century. It reappeared several years ago as more people — many

wealthier, more educated and white — began refusing to vaccinate their children or delaying those
shots. The ramifications already have been significant. A 2014-2015 measles outbreak infected 147
people in seven states and spread to Mexico and Canada. In California, high school students were sent
home because of infected classmates. One patient who was unknowingly infectious visited a hospital and exposed dozens of pregnant women
and babies, including those in the neonatal intensive care unit. Another
adult patient was hospitalized and on a breathing
machine for three weeks. Federal guidelines typically recommend that children get the first vaccine dose
at 12 to 15 months of age and the second when they are 4 to 6 years old. The combination is 97 percent
effective in preventing the viral disease, which can cause pneumonia, brain swelling, deafness and, in
rare instances, death. State health officials are now recommending doses for babies as young as 6
months if there is concern for ongoing measles exposure . Minnesota’s Somali community is the largest in
the country. The roots of the outbreak there date to 2008, when parents raised concerns that their
children were disproportionately affected by autism spectrum disorder. A limited survey by the state
health department the following year found an unexpectedly high number of Somali children in a
preschool autism program. But a University of Minnesota study found that Somali children were about as likely as white children to be identified with
autism, although they were more likely to have intellectual disabilities. Around that time, health-care providers began receiving reports of parents refusing the MMR
vaccine. As parents sought to learn more about the disorder, they came across websites of anti- vaccine groups. And activists from those groups started showing up
at community health meetings and distributing pamphlets, recalled Lynn Bahta, a longtime state health department nurse who has worked with Somali nurses to
counter MMR vaccine resistance within the community. At one 2011 gathering featuring Wakefield, Bahta recalled, an armed guard barred her, other public health
officials and reporters from attending. Fear of autism runs so deep in the Somali community that parents whose children have recently come down with measles
insist that measles is preferable to risking autism. One father, who did not want his family identified to protect its privacy, sat helplessly by his daughter’s bed at
Children’s Minnesota hospital last week as she struggled to breathe during coughing fits. Nurse Lydia Fulton administers the vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella
to a young patient at a clinic in Minneapolis. A triage center has been set up there as a major measles outbreak continues. (Courtney Perry for The Washington Post)
The 23-month-old was on an IV for fluids and had repeatedly pulled out the oxygen tube in her nose. Her older brother, almost 4, endured a milder bout. Neither
had received the MMR vaccine. The
children now have antibodies to protect against measles, but they still need the
vaccine to prevent mumps and rubella. Their father, who is 33 and studying mechanical engineering
while working as a mechanic, wants to wait. His worry: autism. A colleague has a son “who is mute.” “I
would hold off until she’s 3 . . . or until she fluently starts talking,” he said. His wife no longer harbors
doubts, however. As soon as both children are well, she said, “they are going to get the shot. ” The pervasive
mistrust was evident Sunday night during a meeting, sponsored by several anti-vaccine groups, that drew a mostly Somali crowd of 90 to a Somali-owned restaurant
here. Patti Carroll, a member of the Vaccine Safety Council of Minnesota, described its goal as giving parents more information, including about their right to refuse
to vaccinate. People have been “bullied big-time” by doctors and public health officials, she said. The
presentation by anti-vaccine activist Mark Blaxill drew cheers and applause. Blaxill, a Boston
businessman whose adult daughter has autism, played down the threat of measles and played up local
autism rates. “When you hear people from the state public health department saying there is no risk,
that [vaccines] are safe, this is the sort of thing that should cause you to be skeptical,” Blaxill said. Two
pediatricians in the audience stepped up to a microphone to denounce the claims. “I am very concerned,
especially in the midst of a measles outbreak, to have folks come into a community impacted by this
disease and start talking about links between MMR and autism,” said Andrew Kiragu, interim chief of
pediatrics at Hennepin Medical Center in Minneapolis. “This is a travesty.” He and the other doctors
were interrupted by boos and yelling. “For God’s sake, I want to know if vaccines are safe!” Sahra Osman
shouted. She has a nearly adult son who received an autism diagnosis when he was 3. “My people are suffering! We’re not ignorant. I

read a lot. I know a lot. I educate myself. . . . You don’t know what you are talking about.” Tahlil Wehlie
comforts his son, Luqman, who is recovering from measles. His 18-month-old daughter also became ill and was hospitalized.

(Courtney Perry for The Washington Post) While scores of studies from around the world have shown
conclusively that vaccines do not cause autism, that is often not a satisfactory answer for Somali
American parents. They say that if science can explain that vaccines do not cause autism, science should
be able to say what does. But researchers don’t really know. A growing body of evidence suggests that brain differences associated
with autism may be found early in infancy — well before children receive most vaccines. Other studies have found that alterations in

brain-cell development related to autism may occur before birth. There are some genetic risk factors for
autism, and advanced parental age has been associated with the condition. Meanwhile, the ongoing
spread of the anti-vaccine message is making it harder to control the burgeoning number of measles
cases. The groups continue advising parents, “in the middle of their crisis,” on how to opt out of
vaccines, said pediatric nurse practitioner Patsy Stinchfield, an infection-control expert leading the
outbreak response at Children’s Minnesota . That message is “exactly the opposite of what clinicians and public health officials are urging,
which is to get vaccinated as soon as possible.” Staffers at her hospital have been working round-the-clock to vaccinate hundreds of people who may have been
exposed; an MMR dose given within 72 hours of exposure can prevent measles. When their two sick children are well, Suaado Salah and her husband, Tahlil Wehlie,
plan to talk to friends and acquaintances to spread the word that the anti-vaccine groups are wrong and that all youngsters should get immunized. “ Because

when the kids get sick, it’s going to affect everybody. It’s not going to affect only the family who have the
sick kid,” she said. “They make sick for everybody. That’s when you wake up and say, ‘Okay, what
happened?’ ” But she understands the apprehension that fed the outbreak. With a parent whose child
has autism, she said, “it’s something that you’re looking for an answer for how it happened and what
happened to your kid.” Salah shares pasta with Luqman as his 5-year-old brother looks on. Luqman had
not been immunized for measles, because of his mother’s fear that the vaccine causes autism. (Courtney
Perry for The Washington Post)
Anti-Vaxxers = Racist
The rising anti-vaxx movement is rooted in racism – justifies media and popular blame
onto communities of color
Shih 15 -- Associate Professor at University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire [David,, Whiteness
and the Anti-Vaccination Movement, Sunday, February 1, 2015] MP

Last week,Larry Wilmore addressed the anti-vaccination controversy on his new and well-regarded Comedy
Central vehicle, The Nightly Show. Predictably, he lampooned famous "anti-vaxxers" such as Jenny
McCarthy and her now-discredited guru Andrew Wakefiel d. Perhaps the most effective part of the segment was Melinda Gates talking
about how attitudes toward vaccines are a cultural and economic phenomenon. "We take vaccines so for
granted in the United States," Gates began. "Women in the developing world know the power of these.
They will walk ten kilometers in the heat with their child and line up to get a vaccine because they have
seen death." Wilmore, who is black, followed by implying that the fear of vaccines is a "first world problem." I was expecting Wilmore, whose race the
entertainment media have made an emblem of The Nightly Show, to drill down a bit further and at least crack a joke about the color of this first world problem. But he didn't and, at least for now, the criticism of

the anti-vaccination movement remains squarely within the discourse of social class. In this blog entry I would like to suggest
that there is a strong racial element to the anti-vaccination movement . With each new story on the measles, I am left to wonder, "Why
aren't people talking about the outbreak as having something, maybe a lot, to do with race? " People of
color have been long associated with disease and public health pandemics . In the United States alone, the history of
racialization cannot be separated from the discourse of non-white bodily or mental illness . Although the experiences of
immigrants from Asia and Eastern and Southern Europe are vital to this story, I would like to focus on one group in particular, black Americans, and

the influential story told about them by a single man, Frederick L. Hoffman . Hoffman was an actuary for
the Prudential Life Insurance Company when he published Race Traits and Tendencies of the American
Negro (1896). The 330-page document argued that black people should not be insured because they
were a greater risk for mortality compared to other racial groups. Their lower life expectancies were
directly related, Hoffman explained, to inferior, inherited racial traits which promised their eventual
extinction as a people. Flawed as it was and critiqued by no less than W.E.B. DuBois in its day, Hoffman's
diagnosis was widely adopted by the insurance industry and went on to shape public debate over the
"Negro question," according to Megan Wolff. It indicted blackness itself as the pathology,
uncompromisingly predicting that no course of social uplift could alter the ultimate fate of the race. Race Traits
stoked white fears of a black infirmity that threatened with contagion and miscegenation, social ills that were one and the same. By 1915, influenced by the burgeoning eugenics movement, twenty-eight states had passed anti-

miscegenation laws; published a year later, Madison Grant's The Passing of the Great Race (1916) marked the age indelibly enough to find mention in The Great Gatsby. Blackness was, quite simply, a public health problem.

the years following, the dominant notion of racial identity transitioned from one determined by
genetics to one determined by culture. As eugenics lost its scientific authority, new discourses picked
up its mantle to explain why black people were still at the bottom of the social ladder . Conservative
voices increasingly portrayed black culture as pathological, focusing on high rates of public assistance,
illegal drug use, out-of-wedlock births, and more . As readers of this blog might expect, my method to answer the question of
racial disparities in these metrics would be to investigate the impacts of institutionalized white
supremacy rather than those of a mythical monolithic black culture. But what about another kind of drug use, vaccinations? To what
extent are attitudes toward vaccinations racialized, and what is their relationship to institutionalized
white supremacy? The controversy over vaccinations can teach us a lot about the nature of whiteness .
Researching this entry, I contacted Dr. Jason Glanz, an epidemiologist at Kaiser Permanente Colorado's Institute for Health Research. Glanz has been researching vaccine usage for years, and he provided me with a number of studies

A Mixed Methods Study of Parental Vaccine

breaking down the demographics of vaccine usage across multiple characteristics, including race. Glanz's own 2013 study, "

Decision Making and Parent-Provider Trust," for which he is the principal investigator, arrived at these
findings, relevant to our question: Parents who had either refused or delayed vaccines for their children
were more likely to be white than parents who accepted vaccines for their children (P = .0003).
Parents who delayed vaccines had the highest proportion of households earning $70,000 or more per
year (71%), followed by parents who accepted vaccines (61%) and parents who refused vaccines (51%)
(P = .002). (484) A 2011 study, published in Pediatrics: Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, reported that "In bivariate analyses, levels of use of any
type of alternative vaccination schedule were significantly lower among black parents than among
nonblack parents and were significantly higher among children who did not have a regular health care
provider" (851). I have not been able to locate a vaccination study whose research question plumbs the significance of race. However, these recent findings provoked me to
ask why whiteness and high social status are significant factors in underimmunization or delayed
immunization. One of the reasons why we are not talking about the anti-vaccination movement as white
is because we talk about geography and social class instead. These demographic characteristics often
stand in as proxies for race, which is more controverisal . A 2015 study of vaccine usage, also published in Pediatrics, surveyed Northern California communities and
came to the conclusion that "Underimmunization and vaccine refusal cluster geographically," and that "individual-level

underimmunization was higher in neighborhoods with more families in poverty, as well as those with
more graduate degrees" (285, 287). Geographic space in this country has always been racialized, the legacy of the FHA and redlining, urban renewal and white flight, sundown towns, and more .
Words and terms such as "suburbia," "inner-city," and "gentrified neighborhood" tend to signify the skin
color of the imagined inhabitants of those areas more than the areas themselves. The demographics of
geographic space cannot be solely a function of social class, even and especially today when de facto
practices of racial segregation may be even more effective than the de jure discrimination allowed before
the 1968 Fair Housing Act. However, racialized space by itself does not fully explain what, exactly,
whiteness has to do with refusing to vaccinate your children. The anti-vaccination movement is a good
model to illustrate an important critical race theory concept known as "whiteness as property." In her 1993 Harvard
Law Review article "Whiteness as Property," Cheryl Harris explains that beyond a skin color, beyond even a race, whiteness in the United States is a form of property whose "use" is protected under the law. Property need not be

Property is nothing but the basis of expectation ," according to Bentham, "consist[ing] in an established
tangible, explains Harris. "

expectation, in the persuasion of being able to draw such and such advantage from the thing possessed."
[. . .] In a society structured on racial subordination, white privilege became an expectation and, to apply
Margaret Radin's concept, whiteness became the quintessential property for personhood. [. . .] When the law recognizes,
either implicitly or explicitly, the settled expectations of whites built on the privileges and benefits produced by white supremacy, it acknowledges and reinforces a property interest in whiteness that reproduces Black subordination.
(1729-1731) An analogy may help here. A medical or law degree is not tangible property, but it is property (just ask anyone who has one and has been part of a nasty divorce settlement). It is property because it is the basis for
expectations in life that the law recognizes (e.g., the kinds of jobs you can have). Harris argues that whiteness, like one of these degrees, is a property interest, and its acknowledgement as such by the law--explicitly until 1968--is

what makes whiteness so powerful. Whiteness, too, has a lot to do with the kind of job you can expect to have and claim. A long, racist history attends these "settled
expectations," whose present nature cannot escape the influence of centuries of legal, institutionalized
white supremacy. Following Harris, I argue that the expectations of white people with regard to immunizations are upheld
by the law and by those who administer enforcement policy. What, then, are these expectations and these laws? Even in just the past
half-century, we can find ample evidence of the law honoring the preferences of middle-class white
parents when it comes to the interests of their children vis-à-vis education policy. Take the example of Milliken v. Bradley, a 1974
Supreme Court case that ruled that desegregation busing could apply only to those school districts whose segregation practices could be proven as deliberate . Like busing policy, immunization

policy also regulates which students can go to school and where. The ease with which parents receive
immunization exemptions, particularly in certain states, represents the satisfaction of their settled
expectations of how state and local authorities should treat their children . Historically, parents of color--
black parents in particular--have had far less success advocating for their interests when it comes to the
treatment of their school-aged children. Their battles for an integrated learning experience, teasingly promised by Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, were thwarted by Milliken v.
Bradley, which facilitated "white flight" to suburban districts exempted from integrating inner-city schools . Parents of color have had minimal success eliminating

bias from the informal and formal curricular tracking of their children, which begins as early as
kindergarten. And what is the relationship between racism and Louisiana's policy that those on public
assistance may not claim a philosophic exemption? Or between racism and the fact that the state with
the highest child vaccination rate--because it allows almost no exemptions for immunization, not even
those of a religious nature--is Mississippi? Some communities in California have exemption rates 700-800 times that of Mississippi. Gary Baum, the writer of this 2014 article for The
Hollywood Reporter, claims that in this regard, affluent communities around L.A. are "on par with South Sudan." Westside L.A. parents, many of them employed in the entertainment industry, file "personal belief exemptions" (PBEs)
at levels wildly disproportionate to that of L.A. County as a whole. According to Baum, The number of PBEs being filed is scary. The region stretching from Malibu south to Marina del Rey and inland as far as La Cienega Boulevard
(and including Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Brentwood, West Hollywood and Beverly Hills) averaged a 9.1 percent PBE level among preschoolers for the 2013-14 school year--a 26 percent jump from two years earlier. By
comparison, L.A. County at large measured 2.2 percent in that period. Lax California state requirements for PBEs and accommodating school administrators, Baum suggests, have combined to create extremely dangerous levels of
underimmunization at some schools. Baum quotes a director of a school with a 30 percent PBE level who explains that "It's about respecting the parents. [. . .] I am personally concerned--my grandchildren are immunized--but that
is not the issue. The issue is honoring the parents' belief." By respecting alternate immunization schedules, even some doctors accede to parents' "entitled" consumer mentality because they are paid in cash, says Dr. Nina Shapiro,

director of pediatric otolaryngology at UCLA's Geffen School of Medicine. There is a distinct Libertarian strain in the anti-vaccination movement.
(Measles should be a regular topic for primary-season debates.) More than its uncooked link to autism,
the CDC-recommended immunization schedule is unpopular with some parents because its prescriptive
nature runs counter to a way of life that they see as different from and even superior to that of the vast
majority of Americans. We can understand this position by examining attitudes toward "herd immunity ."
Herd immunity is a widely-accepted public health theory that holds that the innoculation of a critical
mass of the members of a community can protect those who have not developed an immunity to the
disease. Anti-vaccination parents depend on herd immunity to protect their children but see
themselves apart from the herd mentality. Baum interviewed Dr. Mark Largent, a historian of science, technology, and medicine at Michigan State University, on the relationship
between privilege and herd immunity. Largent observes that herd immunity isn't a convincing argument in modern societies like the Westside. " For [these people], what you’re saying

is that the public good is more important than their child's well-being," he says. "I don't think parents
give a shit. It doesn't work for them. It's such a big, amorphous claim." Given how the decision to
vaccinate has entered the discourse of rights, developing signs of becoming a partisan political issue, it's
conceivable that vaccinations may soon be criticized as a kind of unjust tax. I admit that I am neither a
scientist nor a public health professional. Like my other blog entries, this one merely proposes that
institutional racism shapes our relationships with one another in crucial but often unseen ways. To what
extent is the anti-authoritarian and Whole Foods way of life within these mostly-white L.A. enclaves
enabled and normalized by residential and educational segregation, access to employment in the
lucrative film industry, and the very real option of full-timing it as an engaged and well-read parent ? It is
important to note that the most visible opponents of the anti-vaccination movement are also white. Outraged by the ignorant irresponsibility of "anti-vaxxers,"

these "anti-anti-vaxxers" are also responding to their settled expectations of freedom from disease not
being upheld by the state (surely a racialized expectation given the state of our health care system),
leading them to demand new laws, stricter regulations for PBEs, and official censure for non-complying
physicians. Blackness has long been perceived as a public health threat, as the recent hysteria over
Ebola has demonstrated. I believe that whiteness--not white people in and of themselves, to be clear--
as defined by Harris, the settled expectations of white privilege as protected by law, is contributing to
a new public health threat. A productive way to understand whiteness as property is to try to think of ways that black Americans' settled expectations for life, liberty, and happiness are not codified
in the law. Whose expectations are served by policies such as "broken windows" and "stop-and-frisk"? Or by the Bloomington city attorney bringing charges against Mall of America protesters? If the measles

and whooping cough outbreaks get massive media attention partly because of their potential impact on
white communities (compared to the Ebola virus before it crossed the Atlantic), then we might also
investigate whiteness as part of the cause, a call to research that I hope this blog will sound. Whiteness as property is only one way
to imagine the intersection of race with class when considering how power animates public health
emergencies such as the measles outbreak. Back to the subject of taxes, whiteness as property can also
help with the analysis of other social crises, including the fiscal fallout of California's Proposition 13, a
landmark 1978 referendum that, among other things, froze personal and commercial property taxes at
1975 levels until the property is sold or rebuilt. Critics of the law have claimed that it is "responsible for causing a fiscal and social disaster" in California since its passage.
Others have called out the institutional racism of the law, which allows long-time, established owners of valuable homes and businesses, most of them white, to pay less than their fair share in taxes. These

Californians of an older era, residents before recent immigration changed the complexion of the state,
might be considered part of another herd. While the owner of a new Santa Monica home is taxed
between five and ten dollars per square foot, one venerable California institution that hasn't ever
changed hands pays about a nickel per square foot. The institution? Disneyland.
Alt Right DA
Alt Right vs Foucault—Top
Postmodernism ultimately fails – Foucault’s critiques of science lead to existential crises and gets co-
opted by the right – leads to Trump
Pluckrose 3/27 --- MA in Early Modern Studies (Queen Mary U), BA in English Literature (U East London) (Helen, “HOW FRENCH

Postmodernism presents a threat not only to liberal democracy but to modernity itself. That may sound like a
bold or even hyperbolic claim, but the reality is that the cluster of ideas and values at the root of postmodernism have broken the bounds of
academia and gained great cultural power in western society. The irrational and identitarian “symptoms” of postmodernism are easily
recognizable and much criticized, but the ethos underlying them is not well understood. This is partly because
postmodernists rarely explain themselves clearly and partly because of the inherent contradictions and
inconsistencies of a way of thought which denies a stable reality or reliable knowledge to exist. However,
there are consistent ideas at the root of postmodernism and understanding them is essential if we intend to counter them. They underlie
the problems we see today in Social Justice Activism, undermine the credibility of the Left and threaten
to return us to an irrational and tribal “pre-modern” culture. Postmodernism, most simply, is an artistic and philosophical
movement which began in France in the 1960s and produced bewildering art and even more bewildering “theory.” It drew on avant-garde and
surrealist art and earlier philosophical ideas, particularly those of Nietzsche and Heidegger, for its anti-realism and rejection of the concept of
the unified and coherent individual. It reacted against the liberal humanism of the modernist artistic and
intellectual movements, which its proponents saw as naïvely universalizing a western, middle-class and
male experience. It rejected philosophy which valued ethics, reason and clarity with the same
accusation. Structuralism, a movement which (often over-confidently) attempted to analyze human culture and psychology according to
consistent structures of relationships, came under attack. Marxism, with its understanding of society through class and
economic structures was regarded as equally rigid and simplistic . Above all, postmodernists attacked
science and its goal of attaining objective knowledge about a reality which exists independently of
human perceptions which they saw as merely another form of constructed ideology dominated by
bourgeois, western assumptions. Decidedly left-wing, postmodernism had both a nihilistic and a revolutionary
ethos which resonated with a post-war, post-empire zeitgeist in the West. As postmodernism continued to develop and diversify, its initially
stronger nihilistic deconstructive phase became secondary (but still fundamental) to its revolutionary “identity politics” phase. It has been a
matter of contention whether postmodernism is a reaction against modernity. The modern era is the period of history which saw Renaissance
Humanism, the Enlightenment, the Scientific Revolution and the development of liberal values and human rights; the period when Western
societies gradually came to value reason and science over faith and superstition as routes to knowledge, and developed a concept of the person
as an individual member of the human race deserving of rights and freedoms rather than as part of various collectives subject to rigid
hierarchical roles in society. The Encyclopaedia Britannica says postmodernism “is largely a reaction against the philosophical assumptions and
values of the modern period of Western (specifically European) history” whilst the Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy denies this and says
“Rather, its differences lie within modernity itself, and postmodernism is a continuation of modern thinking in another mode.” I’d suggest the
difference lies in whether we see modernity in terms of what was produced or what was destroyed. If we see the essence of modernity as the
development of science and reason as well as humanism and universal liberalism, postmodernists are opposed to it. If we see modernity as the
tearing down of structures of power including feudalism, the Church, patriarchy, and Empire, postmodernists are attempting to continue it, but
their targets are now science, reason, humanism and liberalism. Consequently, the roots of postmodernism are inherently political and
revolutionary, albeit in a destructive or, as they would term it, deconstructive way. The term “postmodern” was coined by Jean-François Lyotard
in his 1979 book, The Postmodern Condition. He defined the postmodern condition as “an incredulity towards metanarratives.” A metanarrative
is a wide-ranging and cohesive explanation for large phenomena. Religions and other totalizing ideologies are metanarratives in their attempts
to explain the meaning of life or all of society’s ills. Lyotard advocated replacing these with “mininarratives” to get at smaller and more personal
“truths.” He addressed Christianity and Marxism in this way but also science. In his view, “there is a strict interlinkage between the kind of
language called science and the kind called ethics and politics” (p8). By tying science and the knowledge it produces to government and power
he rejects its claim to objectivity. Lyotard describes this incredulous postmodern condition as a general one, and argues that from the end of the
19th century, “an internal erosion of the legitimacy principle of knowledge” began to cause a change in the status of knowledge (p39). By the
1960s, the resulting “doubt” and “demoralization” of scientists had made “an impact on the central problem of legitimization” (p8). No number
of scientists telling him they are not demoralized nor any more doubtful than befits the practitioners of a method whose results are always
provisional and whose hypotheses are never “proven” could sway him from this. We see in Lyotard an explicit epistemic relativity (belief in
personal or culturally specific truths or facts) and the advocacy of privileging “lived experience” over empirical evidence. We see too the
promotion of a version of pluralism which privileges the views of minority groups over the general consensus of scientists or liberal democratic
ethics which are presented as authoritarian and dogmatic. This is consistent in postmodern thought. 19860415_Lyotard_8263_35.jpg Jean-
François Lyotard Michel Foucault’s work is also centered on language and relativism although he applied this to
history and culture. He called this approach “archeology” because he saw himself as “uncovering” aspects of historical culture through
recorded discourses (speech which promotes or assumes a particular view). For Foucault, discourses control what can be
“known” and in different periods and places, different systems of institutional power control discourses.
Therefore, knowledge is a direct product of power. “In any given culture and at any given moment, there
is always only one ‘episteme’ that defines the conditions of possibility of all knowledge, whether
expressed in theory or silently invested in a practice.”[1] Furthermore, people themselves were culturally constructed.
“The individual, with his identity and characteristics, is the product of a relation of power exercised over bodies, multiplicities, movements,
desires, forces.”[2] He leaves almost no room for individual agency or autonomy. As Christopher Butler says, Foucault
“relies on beliefs
about the inherent evil of the individual’s class position, or professional position, seen as ‘discourse’,
regardless of the morality of his or her individual conduct .”[3] He presents medieval feudalism and
modern liberal democracy as equally oppressive, and advocates criticizing and attacking institutions to
unmask the “political violence that has always exercised itself obscurely through them.” [4] We see in
Foucault the most extreme expression of cultural relativity read through structures of power in which
shared humanity and individuality are almost entirely absent. Instead, people are constructed by their
position in relation to dominant cultural ideas either as oppressors or oppressed. Judith Butler drew on Foucault
for her foundational role in queer theory focusing on the culturally constructed nature of gender, as did Edward Said in his similar role in post-
colonialism and “Orientalism” and Kimberlé Crenshaw in her development of “intersectionality” and advocacy of identity politics. We see too
the equation of language with violence and coercion and the equation of reason and universal liberalism with oppression. It was Jacques
Derrida who introduced the concept of “deconstruction,” and he too argued for cultural constructivism and cultural and personal relativity. He
focused even more explicitly on language. Derrida’s best-known pronouncement “There is no outside-text” relates to his rejection of the idea
that words refer to anything straightforwardly. Rather, “there are only contexts without any center of absolute anchoring.” [5] Therefore
the author of a text is not the authority on its meaning . The reader or listener makes their own equally valid meaning and
every text “engenders infinitely new contexts in an absolutely nonsaturable fashion.” Derrida coined the term différance which he derived from
the verb “differer” which means both “to defer” and “to differ.” This was to indicate that not only is meaning never final but it is constructed by
differences, specifically by oppositions. The word “young” only makes sense in its relationship with the word “old” and he argued, following
Saussure, that meaning is constructed by the conflict of these elemental oppositions which, to him, always form a positive and negative. “Man”
is positive and ‘woman’ negative. “Occident” is positive and “Orient” negative. He insisted that “We are not dealing with the peaceful co-
existence of a vis-a-vis, but rather with a violent hierarchy. One of the two terms governs the other (axiologically, logically, etc.), or has the upper
hand. To deconstruct the opposition, first of all, is to overturn the hierarchy at a given moment.”[6] Deconstruction, therefore, involves inverting
these perceived hierarchies, making “woman” and “Orient” positive and “man” and “Occident” negative. This is to be done ironically to reveal
the culturally constructed and arbitrary nature of these perceived oppositions in unequal conflict. We see in Derrida further relativity, both
cultural and epistemic, and further justification for identity politics. There is an explicit denial that differences can be other than oppositional
and therefore a rejection of Enlightenment liberalism’s values of overcoming differences and focusing on universal human rights and individual
freedom and empowerment. We see here the basis of “ironic misandry” and the mantra “reverse racism isn’t real” and the idea that identity
dictates what can be understood. We see too a rejection of the need for clarity in speech and argument and to understand the other’s point of
view and avoid minterpretation. The intention of the speaker is irrelevant. What matters is the impact of speech. This, along with Foucauldian
ideas, underlies the current belief in the deeply damaging nature of “microaggressions” and misuse of terminology related to gender, race or
sexuality. 5 ‫دريدا‬.jpg Jacques Derrida Lyotard,
Foucault, and Derrida are just three of the “founding fathers” of
postmodernism but their ideas share common themes with other influential “theorists” and were taken
up by later postmodernists who applied them to an increasingly diverse range of disciplines within the
social sciences and humanities. We’ve seen that this includes an intense sensitivity to language on the level
of the word and a feeling that what the speaker means is less important than how it is received, no
matter how radical the interpretatio n. Shared humanity and individuality are essentially illusions and people are propagators or
victims of discourses depending on their social position; a position which is dependent on identity far more than their individual engagement
with society. Morality is culturally relative, as is reality itself. Empirical evidence is suspect and so are any culturally dominant ideas including
science, reason, and universal liberalism. These are Enlightenment values which are naïve, totalizing and oppressive, and there is a moral
necessity to smash them. Far more important is the lived experience, narratives and beliefs of “marginalized” groups all of which are equally
“true” but must now be privileged over Enlightenment values to reverse an oppressive, unjust and entirely arbitrary social construction of
reality, morality and knowledge. The
desire to “smash” the status quo, challenge widely held values and
institutions and champion the marginalized is absolutely liberal in ethos. Opposing it is resolutely
conservative. This is the historical reality, but we are at a unique point in history where the status quo is fairly consistently liberal, with a
liberalism that upholds the values of freedom, equal rights and opportunities for everyone regardless of gender, race and sexuality. The
result is confusion in which life-long liberals wishing to conserve this kind of liberal status quo find
themselves considered conservative and those wishing to avoid conservatism at all costs find themselves
defending irrationalism and illiberalism. Whilst the first postmodernists mostly challenged discourse with
discourse, the activists motivated by their ideas are becoming more authoritarian and following those
ideas to their logical conclusion. Freedom of speech is under threat because speech is now dangerous. So dangerous that people
considering themselves liberal can now justify responding to it with violence. The need to argue a case persuasively using
reasoned argument is now often replaced with references to identity and pure rage. Despite all the
evidence that racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia and xenophobia are at an all-time low in
Western societies, Leftist academics and SocJus activists display a fatalistic pessimism , enabled by postmodern
interpretative “reading” practices which valorize confirmation bias. The authoritarian power of the postmodern academics and activists seems
to be invisible to them whilst being apparent to everyone else. As Andrew Sullivan says of intersectionality: “It posits a classic orthodoxy through
which all of human experience is explained — and through which all speech must be filtered. … Like the Puritanism once familiar in New
England, intersectionality controls language and the very terms of discourse.” [7] Postmodernism
has become a Lyotardian
metanarrative, a Foucauldian system of discursive power, and a Derridean oppressive hierarchy. The logical
problem of self-referentiality has been pointed out to postmodernists by philosophers fairly constantly but it is one they have yet to address
convincingly. As Christopher Butler points out, “the plausibility of Lyotard’s claim for the decline of metanarratives in the late 20th century
ultimately depends upon an appeal to the cultural condition of an intellectual minority.” In other words, Lyotard’s claim comes directly from the
discourses surrounding him in his bourgeois academic bubble and is, in fact, a metanarrative towards which he is not remotely incredulous.
Equally, Foucault’s argument that knowledge is historically contingent must itself be historically contingent,
and one wonders why Derrida bothered to explain the infinite malleability of texts at such length if I
could read his entire body of work and claim it to be a story about bunny rabbits with the same degree
of authority. This is, of course, not the only criticism commonly made of postmodernism. The most glaring problem of
epistemic cultural relativity has been addressed by philosophers and scientists. The philosopher, David Detmer, in
Challenging Postmodernism, says “Consider this example, provided by Erazim Kohak, ‘When I try, unsuccessfully, to squeeze a tennis ball into a
wine bottle, I need not try several wine bottles and several tennis balls before, using Mill’s canons of induction, I arrive inductively at the
hypothesis that tennis balls do not fit into wine bottles’… We are now in a position to turn the tables on [postmodernist claims of cultural
relativity] and ask, ‘If I judge that tennis balls do not fit into wine bottles, can you show precisely how it is that my gender, historical and spatial
location, class, ethnicity, etc., undermine the objectivity of this judgement?” [8] However, he has not found postmodernists committed to
explaining their reasoning and describes a bewildering conversation with postmodern philosopher, Laurie Calhoun, “When I had occasion to ask
her whether or not it was a fact that giraffes are taller than ants, she replied that it was not a fact, but rather an article of religious faith in our
culture.” Physicists Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont address the same problem from the perspective of science in Fashionable Nonsense:
Postmodern Intellectuals’ Abuse of Science: “Who could now seriously deny the ‘grand narrative’ of evolution, except someone in the grip of a
far less plausible master narrative such as Creationism? And who would wish to deny the truth of basic physics? The answer was, ‘some
postmodernists.’” and “There is something very odd indeed in the belief that in looking, say, for causal laws or a unified theory, or in asking
whether atoms really do obey the laws of quantum mechanics, the activities of scientists are somehow inherently ‘bourgeois’ or ‘Eurocentric’ or
‘masculinist’, or even ‘militarist.'” How much of a threat is postmodernism to science? There are certainly some external
attacks. In the recent protests against a talk given by Charles Murray at Middlebury, the protesters chanted, as one, “Science has
always been used to legitimize racism, sexism, classism, transphobia, ableism, and homophobia, all
veiled as rational and fact, and supported by the government and state. In this world today, there is little
that is true ‘fact.'”[9] When the organizers of the March for Science tweeted: “colonization, racism,
immigration, native rights, sexism, ableism, queer-, trans-, intersex-phobia, & econ justice are scientific
issues,”[10] many scientists immediately criticized this politicization of science and derailment of the
focus on preservation of science to intersectional ideology. In South Africa, the #ScienceMustFall and
#DecolonizeScience progressive student movement announced that science was only one way of
knowing that people had been taught to accept. They suggested witchcraft as one alternative. [11] Screen
Shot 2017-03-27 at 9.57.46 AM.png Photo by Drew Hayes Despite this, science as a methodology is not going anywhere.
It cannot be “adapted” to include epistemic relativity and “alternative ways of knowing.” It can, however,
lose public confidence and thereby, state funding, and this is a threat not to be underestimated. Also, at a
time in which world rulers doubt climate change, parents believe false claims that vaccines cause
autism and people turn to homeopaths and naturopaths for solutions to serious medical conditions, it
is dangerous to the degree of an existential threat to further damage people’s confidence in the
empirical sciences. The social sciences and humanities, however, are in danger of changing out of all
recognition. Some disciplines within the social sciences already have. Cultural anthropology, sociology, cultural studies
and gender studies, for example, have succumbed almost entirely not only to moral relativity but
epistemic relativity. English (literature) too, in my experience, is teaching a thoroughly postmodern orthodoxy. Philosophy, as we have
seen, is divided. So is history. Empirical historians are often criticized by the postmodernists among us for claiming to know what really
happened in the past. Christopher Butler recalls Diane Purkiss’ accusation that Keith Thomas was enabling a myth that grounded men’s
historical identity in “the powerlessness and speechlessness of women” when he provided evidence that accused witches were usually
powerless beggar women. Presumably, he should have claimed, against the evidence, that they were wealthy women or better still, men. As
Butler says, “It seems as though Thomas’s empirical claims here have simply run foul of Purkiss’s rival organizing principle for historical narrative
– that it should be used to support contemporary notions of female empowerment” (p36) I
encountered the same problem when
trying to write about race and gender at the turn of the seventeenth century . I’d argued that Shakespeare’s
audience’s would not have found Desdemona’s attraction to Black Othello, who was Christian and a soldier for Venice, so difficult to understand
because prejudice against skin color did not become prevalent until a little later in the seventeenth century when the Atlantic Slave Trade gained
steam, and that religious and national differences were far more profound before that. I was told this was problematic by an eminent professor
and asked how Black communities in contemporary America would feel about my claim. If today’s African Americans felt badly about it, it was
implied, it either could not have been true in the seventeenth century or it is morally wrong to mention it. As Christopher Butler says,
“Postmodernist thought sees the culture as containing a number of perpetually competing stories, whose effectiveness depends not so much on
an appeal to an independent standard of judgement, as upon their appeal to the communities in which they circulate.” I fear for the future of
the humanities. The
dangers of postmodernism are not limited to pockets of society which center around
academia and Social Justice, however. Relativist ideas, sensitivity to language and focus on identity over
humanity or individuality have gained dominance in wider society. It is much easier to say what you feel than rigorously
examine the evidence. The freedom to “interpret” reality according to one’s own values feeds into the very human tendency towards
confirmation bias and motivated reasoning. It has become commonplace to note that the
far-Right is now using identity politics
and epistemic relativism in a very similar way to the postmodern-Left. Of course, elements of the far-Right
have always been divisive on the grounds of race, gender and sexuality and prone to irrational and anti-
science views but postmodernism has produced a culture more widely receptive to this . Kenan Malik describes
this shift, “When I suggested earlier that the idea of ‘alternative facts’ draws upon ‘a set of concepts that in
recent decades have been used by radicals’, I was not suggesting that Kellyanne Conway, or Steve
Bannon, still less Donald Trump, have been reading up on Foucault or Baudrillard … It is rather that
sections of academia and of the left have in recent decades helped create a culture in which relativized
views of facts and knowledge seem untroubling, and hence made it easier for the reactionary right not
just to re-appropriate but also to promote reactionary ideas .”[12] This “set of concepts” threaten to take us back to a time
before the Enlightenment, when “reason” was regarded as not only inferior to faith but as a sin. James K. A. Smith, Reformed theologian and
professor of philosophy, has been quick to see the advantages for Christianity and regards postmodernism as “a fresh wind of the Spirit sent to
revitalize the dry bones of the church” (p18). In Who’s Afraid of Postmodernism?: Taking Derrida, Lyotard, and Foucault to Church, he says, “A
thoughtful engagement with postmodernism will encourage us to look backward. We will see that much that goes under the banner of
postmodern philosophy has one eye on ancient and medieval sources and constitutes a significant recovery of premodern ways of knowing,
being, and doing.” (p25) and “Postmodernism can be a catalyst for the church to reclaim its faith not as a system of truth dictated by a neutral
reason but rather as a story that requires ‘eyes to see and ears to hear’ (p125) We on the Left should be very afraid of what “our side” has
produced. Of course, not every problem in society today is the fault of postmodern thinking, and it is not helpful to suggest that it is. The
of populism and nationalism in the US and across Europe are also due to a strong existing far-Right and
the fear of Islamism produced by the refugee crisis . Taking a rigidly “anti-SJW” stance and blaming everything on this element
of the Left is itself rife with motivated reasoning and confirmation bias. The Left is not responsible for the far-Right or the
religious-Right or secular nationalism, but it is responsible for not engaging with reasonable concerns
reasonably and thereby making itself harder for reasonable people to support. It is responsible for its
own fragmentation, purity demands and divisiveness which make even the far-Right appear
comparatively coherent and cohesive. In order to regain credibility, the Left needs to recover a strong, coherent
and reasonable liberalism. To do this, we need to out-discourse the postmodern-Left. We need to meet their
oppositions, divisions and hierarchies with universal principles of freedom, equality and justice. There must be a consistency of liberal principles
in opposition to all attempts to evaluate or limit people by race, gender or sexuality. We must address concerns about immigration, globalism
and authoritarian identity politics currently empowering the far- Right rather than calling people who express them “racist,” “sexist” or
“homophobic” and accusing them of wanting to commit verbal violence. We can do this whilst continuing to oppose authoritarian factions of
the Right who genuinely are racist, sexist and homophobic, but can now hide behind a façade of reasonable opposition to the postmodern-Left.
Our current crisis is not one of Left versus Right but of consistency, reason, humility and universal
liberalism versus inconsistency, irrationalism, zealous certainty and tribal authoritarianism. The future of
freedom, equality and justice looks equally bleak whether the postmodern Left or the post-truth Right wins this current war. Those of us
who value liberal democracy and the fruits of the Enlightenment and Scientific Revolution and modernity
itself must provide a better option.
Alt Right vs Nietzsche —Top
Advocacy for Nietzsche comes at the worst possible time, the Alt Right will take your
advocacy and run with it. Just because you advocate for the good parts of Nietzsche
does not mean you are absolved of the effects of Nietzsche.
*this card makes two very strong arguments. The left, when advocating Nietzsche, will always leave out his belief in the
superiority of a few. Conversely, the right will always use his anti-egalitarian beliefs to dominate with his philosophy. This card
can be used to bolster framework. There are also good anti-blackness links in this card.*

Elgat 17 (Guy Elgat teaches philosophy at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His forthcoming book is Nietzsche's
Psychology of Ressentiment, “Why Friedrich Nietzsche Is the Darling of the Far Left and the Far Right” May 8, 2017 • 12:00 AM Michael Stefanko)

In our new political landscape, radicals on all sides find something to like in the German philosopher Tablet

with the rise

Culture News WHY FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE IS THE DARLING OF THE FAR LEFT AND THE FAR RIGHT In our new political landscape, radicals on all sides find something to like in the German philosopher Nietzsche is back. Not that he was ever really gone, but

of Trumpism and the reinvigorated resurgence of white supremacy under the banner of the alt-right,
whose leader takes intellectual inspiration from Nietzsche, the need to engage with his ideas has
become urgent again . Ever since his gradual rise to fame in the final years of his life, years that he spent in an almost complete vegetative state under the care of his mother and sister following his mental collapse in 1889, Nietzsche’s domineering
influence has been felt at almost every level of Western culture in the 20th century. Thus, he has inspired art and artists, from Thomas Mann and Robert Musil to Rilke and Hermann Hesse, from Strauss’ Thus Spoke Zarathustra and Mahler’s Third Symphony to contemporary Hungarian
director Béla Tarr’s The Turin Horse; he has influenced philosophy, from Martin Heidegger and the early thinkers of the Frankfurt School (Adorno and Horkheimer) and existentialism, to the radical French postmodern philosophers of the second half of the 20th century (Foucault, Deleuze,
Derrida); and, though to a considerably lesser degree, after being rehabilitated by Princeton University’s Walter Kaufmann in the 1950s, Nietzsche has also gained some repute in American philosophical academia. But besides his extensive and deep impact on higher culture, Nietzsche also

Thus, not only did Nietzsche

served as a source of powerful inspiration for a variety of political movements, and it is with respect to this influence that the mentioning of his name tends to send mental alarm bells nervously jingling.

influence Italian fascism through the transformative effect he had on Mussolini, he also, to a large extent
through the nefarious machinations of his sister, who was determined to ingratiate herself with Hitler
and distort and thus harness her brother’s philosophy to the party’s cause , became a favorite amongst the Nazis and consequently a common name amongst
white supremacists. Nietzsche thus acquired, unsurprisingly, notoriety and a highly problematic and ambiguous presence in political discourse and theory. It is precisely this stain on Nietzsche’s legacy that philosopher and scholar Walter Kaufmann sought to remove, by arguing, in his now-
classic Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Anti-Christ from 1950, that Nietzsche’s philosophy was antithetical to everything commonly associated with fascist or Nazi ideology. He thus carefully combed Nietzsche’s published writings and notes and, on the one hand, amassed textual
evidence that shows Nietzsche’s objections to and even revulsion at nationalism and anti-Semitism of any kind, and, on the other hand, placed quotations that from a later point of view smack of racist ideology back in their original context, thus showing their true meaning and exorcising
their repugnant nature. To a great extent, Kaufmann’s defense of Nietzsche was a success: He managed, as pointed out, to clean Nietzsche’s reputation so as to make the study of his ideas philosophically respectable again and, not less important and related, provided a plethora of textual
counterweight to the notion that Nietzsche could have been an ideological friend of National Socialism. Thus, as against potential allegations of German nationalism and racism, Kaufmann quotes Nietzsche claiming that he is not “ ‘German’ enough, in the sense in which the word ‘German’
is constantly being used nowadays, to advocate nationalism and race hatred.” For that, Nietzsche adds in that same section, he is “too open-minded” and “too well-informed.” While undoubtedly a laudable effort, Kaufmann’s Nietzsche struck many as a defanged version of the original,
and, crucially, appeared to come at the price of that very intellectual honesty Nietzsche himself so highly valued in that it strove to explain away, sometimes by defying plausibility, the most palpably obnoxious statements in Nietzsche’s corpus, of which there is no scarcity. To take just one
example: After comparing in his Twilight of the Idols (1888) two methods for “improving” mankind—the Christian method that employs morality to tame the animal in man, and the model found in the Book of Manu, which attempts to breed a particular race or type by “anything but
harmless means”—Nietzsche moves to identify the latter with “Aryan humanity” and unfavorably contrasts it with Christian morality, which is the “anti-Aryan religion par excellence.” And while it is true, as Kaufmann points out, that Nietzsche was not unequivocally in favor of “the Aryan”
or the priestly nature of the Book of Manu, and while in Nietzsche’s times the Aryan was not specifically identified with the people of Germany but also with Indo-Iranian peoples (which explains the association in Nietzsche’s mind between Manu, the Hindu lawgiver, and the Aryan),

Nietzsche nevertheless sides with the more violent method of breeding, as when he expresses in Ecce
Homo his “tremendous hope” that there will arise “a new faction in favour of life that takes on the
greatest task of all, that of breeding humanity to higher levels (which includes the ruthless extermination
of everything degenerate and parasitical ).” It is perhaps not accidental that in his translation of this work, the German word for higher breeding, Höherzüchtung, is absent and instead, Kaufmann gives us the phrase “to
raise humanity higher.” Similarly, the German word for extermination or annihilation, Vernichtung, is replaced with the more palatable “destruction.” Perhaps more important still, the anodyne version of Nietzsche that Kaufmann produced exhibited a failure to take sufficiently seriously the

I want
incontrovertible fact that Nietzsche was found extremely appealing to totalitarian, fascist and racist sentiments. But besides his ambiguous references to “the Aryan,” his claims about “race,” and his sometimes-derogatory claims about the Jews, to which I return below,

to suggest that there is also a different, deeper element of Nietzsche’s philosophy that is most appealing
to people of a racist or a fascist bent of thinking—an idea, an intimation of which could be felt, I believe,
in the quotation just given; the idea, namely, that human beings are not morally equal. *** Nietzsche’s attack on the idea of equality and
its political manifestations in democratic ideology was relentless. Throughout his corpus, Nietzsche can be found attacking, again and again, the notion of “human dignity,” the idea that all human beings enjoy equal rights (“a symptom of a disease”), and the basic idea and value of the
moral equality of all. He took the latter to be a vestige of the Christian idea of “the equality of all souls before God” and held that every fight for equality is symptomatic of weakness, degeneracy, and a hateful thirst for revenge upon the ruling elites, motivated by what he called

To quote one striking instance in Twilight of the Idols

ressentiment. What I hate [in : apropos the political achievements of the French Revolution, Nietzsche exclaims:

the Revolution] is … the so-called ‘truths’ that give the Revolution its lasting effectiveness, attracting
everything flat and mediocre. The doctrine of equality! … But no poison is more poisonous than this:
because it seems as if justice itself is preaching here, while in fact it is the end of justice. The close connection between the
rejection of human equality and the ideals of democracy on the one hand and racist and fascist ideologies on the other should be apparent. In this context, we can recall Mussolini’s 1932 words in La Dottrina del Fascismo that “Fascism denies that numbers, as such, can direct human
society. It denies that numbers can govern by means of periodical consultations: It asserts the unavoidable fruitful and beneficent inequality of men who cannot be leveled by any such mechanical and extrinsic device as universal suffrage.” But from the fact that Nietzsche rejected the
moral equality of persons, it does not follow that he embraced some natural and determined hierarchy of races—an idea that is obviously dear to the heart of any racist. To appreciate better Nietzsche’s views here, one needs to address Nietzsche’s understanding of the concept of race—a
defunct scientific concept that Nietzsche, being a child of the 19th century, used quite frequently. Nietzsche, however, never presented in his writings a clearly defined account of the concept of race. What can be ascertained with some measure of certainty is, first, that for Nietzsche the
concept never meant a narrowly construed biological category; for Nietzsche, it is not merely one’s genes or one’s skin color that define one’s race, but also, and crucially, the historical and cultural experiences of the people one belongs to—experiences that shape one’s psychology and are
transmitted in a Lamarckian fashion from one generation to the next. In this sense, as the Nietzsche scholar Yirmiyahu Yovel points out, race for Nietzsche means something closer to “people,” as when he talks about the Englishmen (in Beyond Good and Evil) as “not a philosophical race.”
Second, and related, because “race” encompasses certain historically and culturally determined properties, no race is fixed once and for all; rather, every race is open to the influence of the vicissitudes of history—influences that shape its character and transform its qualities. In other
words, there is no German essence or Jewish essence—there is no racial essence. An illustration of this view can be found in Nietzsche’s treatment of the Jewish people. As Yovel shows in his important study, Dark Riddle: Hegel, Nietzsche, and the Jews, Nietzsche distinguishes among three
historical phases and thus three characterizations of the Jewish race. In the first stage, the time of the kings depicted in the Old Testament, the people of Israel, Nietzsche says, “had a correct, which is to say natural, relation to all things. Its Yahweh expressed a consciousness of power,
Israel’s joy in itself and hope for itself … [its] self-affirmation.” Here Nietzsche’s description matches his characterization, given elsewhere, of the noble or aristocratic spirit: the spirit that overflows with power, gratitude, and self-assurance. In the priestly period of the Second Temple,
however, things change dramatically: It is in this context that one can find Nietzsche’s most inflammatory and derogatory language. In this time period, Nietzsche holds, when the Jews were “faced with the question of being or nonbeing, they showed an absolutely uncanny awareness and
chose being at any price: This price was the radical falsification of all nature. … This is precisely why the Jews are the most disastrous people in world history: They have left such a falsified humanity in their wake that even today Christians can think of themselves as anti-Jewish without
understanding that they are the ultimate conclusion of Judaism. … For the type of person who wields power inside Judaism and Christianity, a priestly type … has a life-interest in making humanity sick.” But notice that even here, at his most virulent, Nietzsche’s criticism is not of the Jewish
race as such, but of the priestly nature: a psychological type realized not only by the Jews but one that can also be found among Christians. Indeed, it is Nietzsche’s greatest accusation of the Jews of the Second Temple that they gave rise to Christianity, which Nietzsche condemns as “the
greatest corruption conceivable … the one great curse … one immortal blot on humanity.” Finally, in Nietzsche’s description of the diaspora Jews of 19th-century Europe, the picture radically changes again. Here, in contrast to the “anti-Semite screamers” who “it might be useful and fair to
expel … from the country,” Nietzsche expresses admiration for the Jews as “the strongest, toughest, and purest race now living in Europe,” which is why Nietzsche holds that the Jews’ wish “to be absorbed and assimilated by Europe … should be noted well and accommodated.” A further
instance of Nietzsche’s culturally determined view of race could be gleaned from his sparse remarks about Africans. Thus, in his On the Genealogy of Morals, in the context of a discussion about the role of pain and cruelty in civilization, Nietzsche makes the claim that perhaps in the distant
past “pain did not hurt as much as it did now,” and immediately adds that “at least that is the conclusion that a doctor may arrive at who has treated Negroes (taken as representatives of prehistoric man).” While almost certainly false, this extremely distasteful claim should nevertheless
not be read as a claim about some inherent trait that people belonging to the black “race” share. Rather, here again, Nietzsche is making a case for the effects of culture and civilization on our mental lives; on our sense, sensibility, and sensitivity. He thus continues to add in parenthesis
that “the curve of human capacity for pain seems, in fact, to take an extraordinary and almost sudden drop as soon as one has passed the upper 10 thousand or 10 million of the top stratum of culture.” Furthermore, it is important to notice that the lack of capacity to endure pain, ascribed
to the upper echelons of European society, is taken as a sign of weakness and infirmity, not as a mark of superiority with respect to the primitive “Negro.” It is precisely because of this inability to endure suffering, Nietzsche holds, that modern, cultured Europeans find appealing
philosophical doctrines such as Schopenhauer’s that adduce suffering as “the principal argument against existence” and thus say no to life—pessimistic views that Nietzsche consistently objected to throughout his career. A closely related point to this culturally- and historically-determined
view of race is that Nietzsche did not advocate racial segregation. Rather, he tended to think that the mixing of races/cultures could potentially—though definitely not invariably—give rise to great individuals of the likes of Alcibiades, Caesar, and Leonardo da Vinci, provided that one is
sufficiently endowed with self-control so as to tame and productively fuse the various “irreconcilable drives” that one inherits from such mixing. In fact, Nietzsche considered himself to be “mixed racially,” which is precisely why, he explains, he does not feel “tempted to participate in the
mendacious racial self-admiration and racial indecency that parades in Germany today.” With respect to the pernicious idea of racial purity, Nietzsche has this to say in his Daybreak: “There are probably no pure races but only races that have become pure, even these being extremely rare.”
Admittedly, this still manifests adherence to the value of racial purity and is, to that extent, not as transgressive as it might sound, as Robert Bernasconi has pointed out in a recent article on the topic. Nevertheless, careful attention to Nietzsche’s conceptualization is called for here, for
purity in his sense is to be understood not in a biological or even a cultural sense and is certainly not attained as a result of racial segregation or exclusion. Rather, the concept of a pure race refers to a people that has managed to form itself out of its interactions with other peoples and
cultures so as to bring a form of organic unity to the whole that it has inherited. Here the Greeks exemplify for Nietzsche this idea of purity attained as the result of a process of “adaptations, absorptions, and secretions” of foreign—namely, “Semitic, Babylonian, Lydian, and Egyptian”—
influences. In other words, a pure race, in Nietzsche’s terminology, is a Caesar writ-large, and is not a natural kind but the result of the incorporation of what has come to be called “the other.” And it is precisely Nietzsche’s view that our identities are contingent on this and other ways upon
the historical conditions in which we find ourselves that has been especially appealing to thinkers on the left. Here the emphasis is put on what can be regarded as Nietzsche’s anti-essentialism; on the view, namely, that although our past greatly defines who we are, our values, our
psychological abilities and even our feelings and emotions are not set in stone and fixed forever by our nature or our nurture, but are an accidental result of the interplay of various forces or powers, and are, as such, in principle contestable, reversible, open to revaluation and
reinterpretation. If one is powerful enough, Nietzsche suggests, one can, like the lion depicted in his Thus Spoke Zarathustra, overthrow, at least to some extent, one’s tradition and its various thou shalts, create one’s own values, and thus become an autonomous free spirit, liberated from
the shackles that have hitherto controlled one’s fate. It is not hard to see how such views could serve as inspiration for the existentialists of the beginning of the 20th century, who held, as Sartre famously put it, that “our existence precedes our essence“ and that we should, therefore,
fashion our own identities by becoming the artists of our own life. It is equally easy to see how both Foucault and Derrida, the so-called French postmodernists from the second half of that century, found in Nietzsche a kindred spirit. Thus Foucault was greatly taken by Nietzsche’s emphasis
on the historical nature of human existence and on how central notions of how we think about and relate to ourselves and others—notions such as sanity and madness, sexuality, normality and abnormality—are constructed by various social institutions at different times and under
different conditions. He was also arguably influenced by Nietzsche’s emphasis on power as a central explanatory concept by means of which we can conceptualize the working of the various institutional elements that in any given historical context produce the practices and theories that
shape our self-understandings (though Nietzsche was more focused on the psychology, rather than the sociology, of power). Derrida, on the other hand, found in Nietzsche philosophical arsenal that enabled him, for example, to destabilize long-standing and seemingly fixed hierarchical
oppositions that informed Western thought, such as presence/absence, speech/writing, interiority/exteriority, and pure/impure, and thus influenced later theoreticians in their attempts to deconstruct race and gender identities and expose their fluidity and nonbinary nature. From this
perspective, we can appreciate how Nietzsche’s ideas, through the filters of a number of intellectuals and philosophers, have significantly contributed to and inspired the thinking on the left and fed into some of the values and beliefs of radical leftist politics. The secret of Nietzsche’s appeal

To the radical right, it is his rejection of equality and the democratic ideas that
to people from opposite ends of the political spectrum is thus revealed:

are based on it that is scintillating and rings true ); to the left, it is his (besides his often and—as I have argued—misunderstood flirtations with the concept of race

anti-essentialism with its emphasis on the plastic nature of identity that promises liberation from societal
oppression The radical right cannot easily accept the idea
. But, as it is typical in politics, the catch is that each side, to maintain its political ideology, has to reject the other’s Nietzscheanism:

that identity, including racial identity, is dynamic and malleable, and the left, in order to promote its
progressive agenda in the democratic public forum, cannot easily give up on the idea of the moral
equality of all. The Nietzschean challenge, however, lies in the incorporation and combination of both
extremes within one mind or one system of ideas, and it is perhaps this that explains why a
Nietzschean political philosophy remains, to this day, an unstable and unrealizable notion: For a political ideal to be realized

But if there are neither equals nor fixed and unchanging

in actuality and motivate people, some unifying clarion call has to be possible to gather large groups of people behind it.

hierarchies, if everything is fluid and in the process of becoming, no such call can be made: there will
be no one to make it and no one to hear and respond to it.
AT: Alt Spills Up
The alt-right loves Nietzsche, and its only until they realize that he doesn’t have
directions for a Nietzschen State do they inject racism into his philosophy.
Harkinson 16 (Josh is a staff reporter at Mother Jones. For more of his stories “Meet the White
Nationalist Trying To Ride The Trump Train to Lasting Power” OCT. 27, 2016 10:00 AM
Michael Stefanko)

Alt-right architect Richard Spencer aims to make racism cool again. Editor’s note: Several weeks after this story published in October, Spencer gave a triumphant speech at
a conference in Washington describing America as a “white country” and proclaiming, “Hail Trump, hail our people, hail victory!” He was met with cheers and Nazi salutes. Read more in our investigation of how the white nationalist movement capitalized on the Trump campaign. Richard
Spencer uses chopsticks to deftly pluck slivers of togarashi-crusted ahi from a rectangular plate. He is sitting in the Continental-style lounge of the Firebrand Hotel, near his home in the upscale resort town of Whitefish, Montana, discussing a subject not typically broached in polite
company. “Race is something between a breed and an actual species,” he says, likening the differences between whites and people of color to those between golden retrievers and basset hounds. “It’s that powerful.” We are well into our third round of Arrogant Frog, a merlot that Spencer
chose because its name reminds him of Pepe, the cartoon frog commandeered as a mascot by the “alt-right” movement that has been thrust from the shadows by Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. Spencer says Pepe could also be seen as the reincarnation of an ancient Egyptian frog
deity, Kek: “He is basically using the alt-right to unleash chaos and change the world,” he says, looking slightly annoyed when I crack a smile. “You might say, ‘Wow,’ but this is literally how religions arise.” If Pepe is the alt-right’s god, then Spencer is its self-styled prophet. A 38-year-old Duke
Ph.D. dropout who sometimes resides in a Bavarian-style mansion at the edge of a ski slope, he has for years been quite literally shouting into the wilderness, proclaiming to anyone who will listen that the alt-right, whose name he coined in 2008, is the only political movement that really
gives a damn about white Americans. In Spencer’s view, if you aren’t a white American, that’s fine—but you should leave. An articulate and well-dressed former football player with prom-king good looks and a “fashy” (as in fascism) haircut—long on top, buzzed on the sides—Spencer has
managed to seize on an extraordinary presidential election to give overt racism a new veneer of radical chic. In some ways he resembles an older generation of “academic racists”—or “racialists,” as he prefers to put it—who’ve long sought to professionalize a movement associated with
Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan. What sets him apart is his rock star status among a certain fringe that delights in making racist comments pseudonymously on the internet. They idolize Spencer for embracing life as a public heretic and appearing to lend an air of respectability to white
nationalist views. You could call him the alt-right’s outlaw version of William F. Buckley, if Buckley had been down with millennials and into shitlords and dank memes. Related: Meet the Horde of Neo-Nazis, Klansmen, and Other Extremist Leaders Endorsing Donald Trump Spencer
subscribes zealously to the idea that America’s white population is endangered, thanks to multiculturalism and lax immigration policies that have gone unchallenged by mainstream conservatives—or, as Spencer and the alt-righters call them, “cuckservatives.” He envisions a future for the
United States along the lines of “a renewed Roman Empire,” a dictatorship where the main criteria for citizenship would be whiteness. “You cannot view another white person as your enemy,” he says. When asked who would qualify as white, Spencer’s reasoning quickly turns arcane, if not
tortured—he invokes a mix of race, culture, and geography—but the answer definitely does not include blacks, Asians, Muslims, Jews, and most Hispanics. Spencer knows that a white ethnostate is at most a distant dream, but his more immediate desire is to shift the bounds of accepted
political discourse. He hopes America’s nonwhites can be made to agree that returning to the lands of their ancestors would be best for everyone: “It’s like presenting to an African that this hasn’t worked out,” he says. “We haven’t made each other happier. We are going to have to take
part in this paradigmatic shift together.” Spencer and his dinner companions started riffing on the hijacking scene from the movie Captain Phillips: “Look at me! Look at me! I the GOP now!…I conservatism now!… I establishment now!” For years, Spencer’s “identitarian” movement barely
flickered in the dark corners of the internet on sites such as Reddit and 4chan. But Trump’s ascendancy was like kerosene dumped on a brushfire. From day one, the Republican insurgent sounded themes dear to the alt-right—his official campaign launch in the lobby of Trump Tower in June
2015, when he vowed to crack down on Mexican criminals and “rapists,” was simply the first clarion call. Ever since, Trump’s tacit embrace of the alt-right’s favorite media outlets and shrillest online voices has emboldened the movement beyond Spencer’s wildest dreams. (When Trump
retweeted the user @WhiteGenocideTM this past January, Spencer responded, “Wow. Just wow.“) Regardless of the election outcome, Spencer believes the alt-right’s views will continue to seep into mainstream American politics, in the form of a renewed focus on deporting
undocumented immigrants and perhaps even the establishment of a Congressional White Caucus. In August, Hillary Clinton declared in a speech that “the emerging racist ideology known as the alt-right” had through Trump “effectively taken over the Republican Party.” Watching that
speech from a hotel room while on vacation in Tokyo, Spencer could hardly believe his good fortune. Suddenly his inbox was flooded with interview requests from national political reporters; in a hasty Skype call with Michelle Goldberg of Slate—a Jew, he figured, but “it’s hard not to be” in
the media—he confidently asserted that he’d “made it.” How Trump Took Hate Groups Mainstream During our conversation over dinner, Spencer further recalled how he capitalized on his newfound fame. Back in the states soon after the Clinton speech, he found himself arguing over the
phone with a representative from the National Press Club. He’d paid to hold a media event there on September 9, but the Press Club backed out citing security concerns, and then admitted, Spencer claims, that he made its employees uncomfortable. (The National Press Club declined to
comment.) He arranged instead for reporters to meet at the entrance of the Old Ebbitt Grill, where an emissary in a charcoal suit and brown tie would direct them to an undisclosed location. “The alt-right is in a way conservatives who don’t have anything to conserve anymore,” Spencer
told the crowd of mostly DC reporters, now assembled in a nearby hotel lounge. Lamenting the decay and degeneracy of modern America, he decried as “total hokum nonsense” the idea that America’s Founding Fathers thought all races were created equal. “Race is real, race matters, and
race is the foundation of identity,” he said, flanked by a vaguely Star Wars-looking alt-right logo of his own creation. We talked to experts about what terms to use for which group of racists “I think if Trump wins we could really legitimately say that he was associated directly with us, with
the ‘R[acist]’ word, all sorts of things. People will have to recognize us.” Later that evening, Spencer and a who’s who of white nationalists met for dinner at the low-lit Tabard Inn, a classic Dupont Circle watering hole. The group included Jared Taylor, who runs the website American
Renaissance and has been dubbed a “coat-and-tie racist” by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and Peter Brimelow, the white-haired founder of the anti-immigration website VDare. Amid the many rounds of toasts, someone recalled a scene from the movie Captain Phillips in which a
Somali pirate wielding an assault rifle barges onto the bridge of Tom Hanks’ cargo ship. “Look at me! Look at me!” says the wild-eyed pirate. “I’m the captain now!” Spencer and his companions started riffing: “Look at me! Look at me! I the GOP now!…I conservatism now!…I establishment
now!” With his blandly named National Policy Institute, Spencer aspires to the stature of today’s Heritage Foundation or Cato Institute. But his is not the only vision competing for the mantle of the alt-right; he believes the movement is being pulled in a more moderate direction—if you
can call it that—by Trump campaign CEO Stephen Bannon, formerly the executive chairman of Breitbart News, and Breitbart writer Milo Yiannopoulos. Spencer says the Breitbart faction wants to jettison overt racial ideas and instead defend “Western values” and fight “political
correctness.” He dubs them “alt-light.” Spencer in his Whitefish office. (Photo: Axel Öberg) Nevertheless, Spencer feels he is on his way. “I think if Trump wins we could really legitimately say that he was associated directly with us, with the ‘R[acist]’ word, all sorts of things,” Spencer says.
“People will have to recognize us.” (The Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment.) Even with a Trump victory looking increasingly remote, Spencer sees a bright future: “I think white identity politics is inevitable. You can’t become a minority and not understand yourself
as in jeopardy in some way,” he says. “Conservatism is going to be dead in my lifetime and the question is, who is going to define the right after that? I want to do that.” Growing up in a wealthy part of Dallas in the 1990s, Richard Bertrand Spencer attended St. Mark’s School of Texas, an
elite, all-boys prep school long associated with blue-blooded conservatism. (I was also a student there around the same time.) George W. Bush lived in the same neighborhood and sent his daughters to St. Mark’s sister school, Hockaday. Spencer’s father, an ophthalmologist, did not care
much about politics but voted Republican out of habit. Spencer played varsity football and baseball and hung out with the popular crowd. Richard Spencer’s high school yearbook photo Every Thursday after school, Spencer, his mom, and his sister would order pizza from Domino’s and
watch Family Ties and The Cosby Show. Spencer was friends with the only African American student in his class, John Lewis, and once invited him for a sleepover. Lewis says he never thought of Spencer as racist, but another classmate who asked not to be identified recalls Spencer making
“a bunch of conservative, racially laced comments” that were objectionable even in high school. Spencer says he has no memory of this and attributes the recollection to “backward projection,” noting that he did not think much about race back then. After graduating high school in 1997,

The writings of Friedrich

Spencer went to the University of Virginia, where he double-majored in music and English and became deeply involved in avant-garde theater, trying out and discarding various radical ideologies like costume changes.

Nietzsche made a lasting impression; Spencer found his critiques of equality and democracy darkly
compelling. He identified with the German philosopher’s unapologetically elitist embrace of “great men”
such as Napoleon Bonaparte and the composer Richard Wagner. Yet Spencer found little in Nietzsche
about the organization of the state ; it was only after entering the humanities master’s program at the University of Chicago that he discovered Jared Taylor, a self-proclaimed “race realist” who argues that blacks and Hispanics are
a genetic drag on Western society. Spencer told me that a top Trump adviser once helped him with fundraising and promotion for an on-campus event featuring an influential white nationalist speaker. Years later, Spencer would through his Radix Journal help spread a metaphor used to
explain the jarring experience of waking up to a different worldview. In the 1999 movie The Matrix, the character Morpheus (who is black, incidentally) offers Keanu Reeves a choice between taking a blue pill—”the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to
believe”—or a red pill, which shows “how deep the rabbit hole goes.” In the alt-right’s telling, the so-called “normies” swallow the blue pill, digesting the fiction of racial equality, while those who get “red pilled” are stripped of the virtual-reality cloak that blinds them, waking up to the

[the article continues at

shattering realization that liberalism is just a mirage designed to obscure the hard, ugly truths of a world programmed by genetics. “You’re destroyed by it,” Spencer says, “and put back together again.”]
AT: Not Our Nietzsche
The alt-right will co-opt any Nietzsche related advocacy because that’s how it got
Wood 17 (Graeme Wood is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and the author of The Way of the Strangers:
Encounters With the Islamic State. “His Kampf”
Michael Stefanko)
Richard Spencer is a troll and an icon for white supremacists. He was also my high-school classmate. Philip Montgomery GRAEME WOOD JUNE 2017 ISSUE POLITICS Share Tweet … TEXT SIZE Subscribe to The Atlantic’s Politics &
Policy Daily, a roundup of ideas and events in American politics. Email SIGN UP On december 17, 2007, the libertarian magazine Reason held a Christmas bash—a “Very Special, Very Secular Christmas Party”—at its office in
Washington, D.C. The guest of honor, the late Atlantic book critic Christopher Hitchens, tugged liberally on his drink and gave a speech about how the holiday season was oppressive (“like living in fucking North Korea”). Then near
the height of his powers as an anti-theist pamphleteer, Hitchens led the crowd in a tuneless rendition of Tom Lehrer’s “A Christmas Carol,” before slipping away and leaving the guests to the open bar and the mistletoe. Among those
guests was a figure from my past. I had not seen Richard Spencer in more than 10 years. He was not yet known as our generation’s most prominent white supremacist. I remembered him as my eighth-grade-chemistry lab partner
and high-school classmate. We spotted each other and walked closer, circling uncertainly for a few seconds, before he spoke my name and confirmed that a wormhole had indeed opened from late-1990s North Dallas. Spencer must
have sensed my surprise (I would have sooner expected to see our gym teacher at a Washington magazine party). He told me he had blossomed intellectually since high school. Then he asked me what I thought of Hitchens’s
fulminations against God. I had no interesting opinion on the subject. But Spencer did. Was Hitchens’s critique of Christianity, he said, not as wan and naive as Christianity itself? Christianity had bound together the civilizations of
Europe, and now Hitchens wanted to replace it with—well, what exactly? American neoliberal internationalism? Why should anyone care if Christianity was irrational and illiberal, when rationality and liberalism had never been its
purpose? Hitchens had missed the point. Spencer longed for something as robust and binding as Christianity had once been in the West. Spencer wasn’t exactly defending Christianity; he said that he, like Hitchens, was an atheist.
But he longed for something as robust and binding as Christianity had once been in the West, before churches surrendered their power to folk-singing liberals and televangelists. I think Spencer knew he had me at a loss, because he

I was flummoxed by his argument, a more thoughtful Nietzschean critique than I

curled out a smile and let his point hang in the air.

was prepared to take on—and by the unnerving fact that the kid who’d once cribbed my chemistry notes
now had something to say. Spencer invited me to join a discussion group he was organizing, the Robert Taft Club. I was wary when he evaded my questions about the politics of his club. He seemed
reluctant to reveal too much, too soon. I made a point to lose his business card (he was the literary editor of The American Conservative, it said) and forget about him, as I had 10 years before. For most of the 25 years we have
known each other, my attitude toward Spencer was indifference. He arrived at St. Mark’s School of Texas, our Dallas all-male prep school, in eighth grade. We shared a home-room adviser and both took Latin, which he pronounced,
with a verbal tic that persists today, as if the middle consonant were a d, as in the name Aladdin. Spencer passed his classes but didn’t excel. He played baseball and football, but you wouldn’t have gone to games to see him play. I
remember little to admire and little to despise—other than, perhaps, the featureless mediocrity he represented to my ambitious teenage self. When I graduated, in 1997, having won admission to the Ivy League and achieved escape
velocity from the Dallas suburbs, it was the mediocrity of Richard Spencer that I was insufferably proud to have left behind. But after the Christmas party, my indifference slowly gave way to a surreal curiosity, on its way to loathing. I
monitored his activities, distantly. Spencer’s writing kept appearing, advancing ever more extreme opinions in ever more obscure journals. In 2008, he began popularizing the term alt-right. On Facebook, he posted images of himself
with John Derbyshire—a polymathic, often charming writer who was fired from National Review in 2012 for racism—and Richard Lynn, an English psychologist who has argued that East Asians are slightly smarter than whites, who
are in turn much smarter than blacks. Spencer hosted Ron Paul, then not yet widely known to have published antiblack screeds in the 1980s and ’90s, at his discussion club. In 2011, he moved from Washington to Whitefish,
Montana, where his mother owns a vacation home and a commercial building. (She is the heiress to cotton farms in Louisiana, and his father is a respected Dallas ophthalmologist.) There he edited and published a new online
magazine, Alternative Right, and soon took over the National Policy Institute. Founded in 2005 by William Regnery II, of the conservative Regnery publishing family, NPI is a white-identity think tank with little money and virtually no
staff. During the next five years, Spencer merged its mission with his own. It remained essentially a one-man operation—the Whitefish house owned by Spencer’s mother is listed in official filings as NPI’s principal office, and its 2015
IRS filing shows that Spencer drew just $13,275 in salary and was the only paid employee. Still, under Spencer’s direction, NPI put on two conferences and published two books that year. Alternative Right showed signs of erudition.
It was not the product of the same Spencer I had known in high school, who’d managed to misquote Shakespeare (“A poor player who struts and frets his hour upon the stage, then heard no more”) and misspell the name of a
SportsCenter anchor (“Craige Killborne”) on his yearbook page. The magazine’s racism and sexism were expressed with good grammar and a coherent view of the world. That view, now well known as the platform of the alt-right,
can be summarized as white European cultural and racial supremacy, with a deep contempt for democracy. An active comment section revealed the site’s id: Many of the commenters’ profile photos featured the double-rune
insignia of the SS. FROM OUR JUNE 2017 ISSUE Try 2 FREE issues of The Atlantic SUBSCRIBE When Donald Trump began adopting alt-right themes during his presidential campaign, Spencer threw him his support. On August 25,
2016, in a scripted campaign speech, Hillary Clinton said that the Trump campaign didn’t represent “Republicanism as we have known it.” Controlling his campaign, she said, was “an emerging racist ideology known as the alt-right.”
With one major-party presidential nominee using his nomenclature, and the other accused of supporting his ideas, Spencer got famous, and he moved into an apartment in Northern Virginia. (He continues to live part-time in
Whitefish.) A number of mortified St. Mark’s alumni conspired to speak out against him. Eight from our class of 69, myself among them, wrote an anti-Spencer statement on a crowdsourced fund-raising website, supporting
resettlement of refugees in Dallas—a cause we chose because we knew it would irritate him. By December, after videographers from The Atlantic filmed Spencer receiving Nazi salutes and saying “Hail Trump! Hail our people! Hail
victory!,” the school community had kicked in more than $60,000. (The school itself denounced the ideas espoused by Spencer—now its most prominent alumnus since Owen Wilson and his brother Luke—though it didn’t name
him outright.) Spencer mocked us on his blog, saying that the “Brooks Brothers Brigade” had turned on one of its own. He scoffed at our having chosen refugees—nonwhite and non-Christian—as the recipients of our largesse. We
had reacted, he wrote, by deciding “to commit civilizational suicide even harder than before … If this episode doesn’t express the end stage of wasp decline, I don’t know what does.” His fans concurred. “I suppose from a Darwinian
point of view we have to accept that most Whites are no longer fit for survival,” reads the post’s second-most-popular comment. “We need a Western Purge, a Noah’s Ark moment where the traitors came [sic] be thrown to the
niggers to be raped and murdered.” Video: Rebranding White Nationalism An Atlantic original documentary goes inside Spencer’s ethnocentric worldview to understand his plans for the so-called alt-right. When i asked spencer to
meet me in January, before Trump’s inauguration, he showed better manners than his fans. (He denies that he advocates violence.) The front door of his apartment in Alexandria, just outside Washington, is not clearly marked, and
even though he had given me the address, I wouldn’t have found it had a bespectacled young man not intercepted me outside, while I was rummaging around trash cans looking for a house number. “Can I help you?” he asked. He
had brown hair and a geeky affect. I wasn’t sure how to reveal to a stranger that I had come to meet Richard Spencer. “I am supposed to meet someone,” I said, so vaguely that I must have sounded like I was en route to a drug deal
or an orgy. “Do you have edgy political beliefs?” he asked, looking at me askance. (Yet another bland code word: edgy, discussion club, policy institute, even alt-right itself.) “No,” I said, “but I’m here to meet someone who does.” He
motioned me upstairs, to a newly renovated yuppie apartment where a television news crew was striking its equipment. The reporter, an Asian woman, stood in the corner and did not introduce herself, uneasy, perhaps, at the
thought of exchanging pleasantries with a Spencer associate now that the cameras were off and she wasn’t professionally required to do so. Spencer walked over, carrying a freshly pressed espresso, and said hello. He dresses nattily
and today wore a patterned shirt, a wool vest, and a sport coat. He looked like the scion of a Montana banking family, dressed up and ready to film a commercial in a log cabin, assuring local ranchers that their deposits would be
safe with him. Only the Reich-evoking fascist-chic (“fashy”) haircut would have been out of place. Once the crew was gone, he and the young man I’d met outside (a “minion,” he called himself) ate lunch with me at a nearby Thai
restaurant. The meal was interrupted once, by a young black woman who asked whether he was Richard Spencer, the famous racist. “Yes?,” Spencer said, cowering half-playfully. She declared that he “doesn’t look as mean in
person” before walking off. (Because so many of his critics liken him to a Nazi, Spencer often gets this sort of compliment, for the simple courtesy of not mauling Jews or screaming in German in public.) Spencer asked me to leave his
minion’s identity out of the story—“I have a ‘normie’ [conventional] job,” the minion explained, “and I don’t want to get punished for this”—but otherwise kept the conversation on the record. Spencer began by complimenting my
reporting for this magazine on the Islamic State. “Your articles on isis have been popular on the alt-right,” he told me. I winced: Anti-Muslim bigots liked that I had described isis as an Islamic movement, linked to traditions within
Islam. “Is that because you hate Muslims?,” I asked. “No,” he said. “Because isis is an identity movement. Because they have ideas, and because you wrote about their ideas. Also, they are a grassroots movement. They’ve built
themselves up fast, from nothing.” I told him I was a leader of the Brooks Brothers Brigade and had contributed to our class’s effort to disown him. “It was hurtful,” he admitted, to find himself officially reviled by our school’s

community. “They should be proud to have a graduate who is changing the world.” He said that singling him out among alumni, for nothing more than political thoughtcrime, was unfair. A bookshelf in Spencer’s office.

counts the German scholars Friedrich Nietzsche and Carl Schmitt—both skeptics of democracy—among
his most important intellectual influences. (Philip Montgomery) He proposed other alumni who deserved condemnation. “I met a St. Mark’s guy who had been a bundler [fund-
raiser] for George W. Bush,” Spencer told me. Spencer said that he’d sensed condescension from the man, and had chewed his tongue raw to keep from upbraiding him. “You led to the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans, and
millions in Iraq! Who are you to talk?” In his view, the Bush administration had manipulated the country into war. “Spreading democracy” and “freedom” are, Spencer said, false ideals, distracting Americans from what really matters
—namely, a consciousness of their identity as whites with a shared Christian heritage. Spencer fantasized about the reversal of fortune that might come if the fund-raiser’s enemies should gain more power. “If the alt-right triumphs,
we’re going to probably throw you in jail. We’ll hold you guys accountable.” Other targets among the alumni community included Kurt Eichenwald, class of 1979, a Newsweek journalist who had written critically about Trump and
the alt-right during the 2016 campaign. Eichenwald suffers from epilepsy, and in December, a Twitter user calling himself @jew_goldstein tweeted a strobe-light gif to him that triggered a series of seizures, leading to temporary
partial paralysis on his left side. Spencer blanked on Eichenwald’s name, and both he and the minion laughed as they tried to recall it. “What is that guy’s name? The one whom we almost killed?” “No, no,” the minion corrected him,
with the precision of in-house counsel. “We did not send that.” Spencer revised his statement. “We collectively almost killed him. Some alt-right shitlord”—alt-right-speak for “online activist”—“sent him a meme.” Two months later,
@jew_goldstein was revealed as John Rivello, 29, of Maryland, and charged with cyberstalking and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. According to the federal criminal complaint, Rivello wrote, in private messages, “I hope
this sends him into a seizure” and “Let’s see if he dies.” Spencer retweeted an appeal to crowdfund Rivello’s defense “against lying #fakenews Kurt Kikenwald.” (Eichenwald is Episcopalian.) Spencer worried about political
correctness at our alma mater today. “What if there’s some kid at St. Mark’s who is an alt-right shitlord, who has an anonymous Twitter account, posting videos, following me, retweeting me?” he asked. “What’s going to happen to
him if he gets discovered?” He looked troubled. “If you had been overtly racist, the way you are now, back when we were students,” I told him, “I’m sure you’d have been expelled or sent to the school psychologist.” He said I might
be right. In december, the hipster-Marxist magazine Jacobin published an online essay, “The Elite Roots of Richard Spencer’s Racism,” that sought to understand his white supremacy. “He represents a common and longstanding (if
overlooked) phenomenon: the well-educated and financially comfortable bigot,” the author, Michael Phillips, wrote. “His blend of racism and elitism represents only an extreme version of a worldview that has long prevailed among
the affluent in Spencer’s hometown.” Phillips knows Dallas, but he has Spencer exactly wrong. Still, for purposes of comparison, it’s helpful to describe a worldview that flourished when Spencer and I were growing up there.
Sometimes called “good-ol’-boy conservatism,” it reached its apotheosis in the candidacy of Clayton Williams for governor in 1990. Williams, now 85, campaigned with a cowboy hat seemingly stitched to his skull. An oil-and-gas
mogul, he stood for backslapping redneck values—limited government, satisfaction with the social status quo of 1957 or so, and Texas pride. Williams’s campaign tanked in part because he joked openly, in front of reporters, that
rainy weather is like rape—sometimes you just have to “relax and enjoy it.” (How tender were our sensibilities then, that an election could turn on such a quip.) Many good ol’ boys were racist. But they knew that it was distasteful
to talk about race too much, and they knew that the correct answer, when asked about it in public, was to deny that it mattered or that it should matter. Williams lost the election to Ann Richards but won the straw poll in my sixth-
grade class at St. Mark’s. At lunch, Spencer and I tried to think back to the distant land of 1990s Dallas, for memories of our shared education on race. Our class was mostly white, with a few Asians and Hispanics and a lone black
student. I was one of a very small number of students of mixed race (half-Asian, half-white, in my case). Our school had hired multicultural facilitators to lead workshops on prejudice, we recalled, so at some official level we had
been taught the racial dogma of ’90s liberalism. I wondered whether Spencer had reacted rebelliously, becoming racist out of irritation at the clichés of the era. But he remembered these sessions less clearly than I did and seemed,
if anything, less annoyed by their memory than I was. (I had found the facilitators condescending.) Spencer was, however, also less sensitive to the actual racism common at St. Mark’s and other elite institutions in Dallas back then.
He could not recall in any detail the occasional prejudice, racial lampooning, or social segregation that students of color remember vividly. In 11th grade, a history teacher performed an outrageous Mickey Rooney–esque pantomime
of the Japanese, to teach us about Pearl Harbor. After a black alumnus, the brother of our black classmate, was randomly murdered while home from Morehouse College, the campus did not convulse with mourning, as it surely
would have for a white student. Instead, the reaction was muted, as if the community was unsure what grief about a black student should look like. “I just don’t remember that much from that period of my life,” Spencer told me
while we ate. Of the two of us, Spencer had been closer to John Lewis, our only black classmate. According to Lewis, he and Spencer had been friends. Now Lewis, a businessman in California, is estranged from St. Mark’s because of
the school’s slowness to ostracize Spencer from the alumni community. “My upbringing did not really inform who I am,” Spencer said with a shrug. Then he reconsidered. “I think in a lot of ways I reacted against Dallas. It’s a class-
and money-conscious place—whoever has the biggest car or the biggest house or the biggest fake boobs,” he told me. “There’s no actual community or high culture or sense of greatness, outside of having a McMansion.” He
emphasized culture in a way that evoked a full-bodied, Germanic sense of Kultur. In fact, Spencer has joked that he would like to be the Kulturminister of a white “ethno-state.” He imagines himself having a heroic role in the grand
cycle of history. “I want to live dangerously,” he said. “Most people aspire to mediocrity, and that’s fine. Not everyone can be controversial. Not everyone can be recognized by a random person in a restaurant.” In the fall of 1997, he
struck out from Dallas to find his cultural fortunes at Colgate University, in upstate New York. His time there produced even more profound amnesia, and he doesn’t say much about it, except that he starred in a production of Oscar
Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest. It is not a play especially beloved in Texas bro culture, and classmates who saw Spencer in that period report that he took on a Wildean air, dressing foppishly and affecting accents. (On
Facebook last year, one of the card-carrying bros of our class called Spencer “Homo Himmler,” although he quickly apologized for the derogatory use of homo. Spencer denies the “stupid rumor,” widely whispered among our
classmates, that he is gay. He is married to a Russian Canadian woman, Nina Kouprianova, who lives with their toddler daughter in Montana.) That Spencer may have experimented with his identity as a young man is hardly

surprising or incriminating—he was, after all, still in his teens, and entitled to try on personae.He lasted just one academic year at Colgate before
transferring to the University of Virginia, where he majored in music history and English. He developed
intellectually after a swift kick in the cortex from Richard Wagner and, ultimately, Friedrich Nietzsche, the
19th-century German philosopher whose skepticism of democracy and egalitarianism later made him
beloved by the Nazis. “You could say I was red-pilled by Nietzsche,” Spencer told me. To “red-pill,” in alt-
right slang, is to enter a vertiginous spiral of awakening and reassessment. The term comes from The Matrix, in which Keanu Reeves’s
character discovers, after swallowing a red pill, that his universe is counterfeit, his fellow humans are enslaved to false dreams, and he himself is destined to free them. The false dreams from which

Spencer found himself freed were the dreams of the good ol’ boy, who goes to church on Sunday and
does things as his granddaddy did before him. Spencer started off with Nietzsche’s On the Genealogy of
Morals, a systematic dismantling of the moral and religious truths of European civilization. Nietzsche saw
Christianity as a slave religion, a consolation to the weak. Spencer says that the general effect, an
inversion of his moral universe, was “shattering.” A whiteboard Spencer uses to plan his YouTube videos, which he records in his apartment (Philip Montgomery) The
influence of Nietzsche may explain why Spencer’s conservatism is not, in good-ol’-boy fashion, merely an
attempt to revive a bygone way of life. “Some people in the alt-right are kind of like, ‘Women go back to
the kitchen, gays go back in the closet’—like everything was great in the ’50s. I don’t believe that at all.”
The concerns of conservative Christians don’t interest him. He doesn’t mind gay marriage, and he favors
legal access to abortion—partly to reduce the number of blacks and Hispanics. “Smart people are not
using abortion as birth control … It is the unintelligent and blacks and Hispanics who use abortion as
birth control,” he said recently on’s YouTube channel. “This can be something that can be a
great boon for our people, our race.” Spencer graduated from UVA in 2001, then proceeded to the University of Chicago for a master’s degree in humanities. He said he studied there
with the philosopher Robert Pippin, who “influenced me a great deal.” “It was there I started questioning the fundamental nature of democracy,” Spencer said. (Pippin doesn’t remember him. “I regard his rhetoric and activities as
loathsome and despicable,” Pippin wrote to me. “I revere the founding principles of liberal democracy, and want no association with the man.”) At a party during his year at Chicago, he confessed his political leanings to the Marxist
philosopher Gopal Balakrishnan, then a professor at the school. Spencer recalls that Balakrishnan gave a professional diagnosis on the spot: “You’re a fascist.” Americans dismayed by their country’s direction have sought exile and
renewal in Europe many times: Think of John Reed’s migration to Bolshevik Russia in 1917, or Ezra Pound’s flight from America’s “botched civilization” to Mussolini’s Italy. In the early 2000s, Europe far surpassed America in right-
wing innovation, and when Spencer arrived in Germany in 2002, he landed on a continent pregnant with multiple nationalist, anti-immigrant groups: Vlaams Belang in Belgium, the National Front in France, Jörg Haider’s parties in
Austria. He spent parts of the next few years studying German on the banks of the Chiemsee, a lake southeast of Munich; working as a gofer at the Bavarian State Opera; and reading widely in German literature and history. Among
the German ideas he adopted was a concept of race different from the one he and I had been taught in our multicultural workshops in the ’90s. In the modern era, American discussion of race has limited itself, by convention, to a
few canonical categories: black, white, Asian, American Indian, Hispanic. “Race isn’t just color,” Spencer told an audience in December. “Color is, in a way, a minor aspect of race.” For Spencer, race is more akin to the German
Volksgeist, literally “the spirit of a people.” Volksgeist is associated, historically, with Johann Gottfried von Herder (1744–1803), and Germans became enchanted with it during the 19th century. Some would say the Second World
War was the culmination of German devotion to their own Volksgeist. Herder’s followers proposed that each people has an essence that distinguishes it from others. Germans are not French; French are not Zulus; Zulus are not
Koreans. The idea was adopted by the black American scholar W. E. B. Du Bois (1868–1963), who traveled to Germany at the same age as Spencer and drank his philosophy of race from the same Teutonic fountains: The history of
the world is the history, not of individuals, but of groups, not of nations, but of races, and he who ignores or seeks to override the race idea in human history ignores and overrides the central thought of all history. What, then, is a
race? It is a vast family of human beings, generally of common blood and language, always of common history, traditions and impulses, who are both voluntarily and involuntarily striving together for the accomplishment of certain
more or less vividly conceived ideals of life. Spencer told me the Volksgeist he advocated was that of white Christendom, a group with indistinct geographical borders, but roughly including European peoples, from Iberia to the
Caucasus, who were Christian as of a few hundred years ago. I proposed that this understanding of “white European culture” seemed arbitrary. It ignored the divisions that European identity movements found crucial. He suggested
that any concept of identity could be knocked down if overanalyzed, and overanalysis would only lead to inaction. “I could just sit here masturbating in my own filth,” he said, probably rhetorically. The importance of identity
creation for Spencer cannot be overstated. It is why every black-on-white rape must be portrayed as the ravishing of all white womanhood, and every Syrian orphan who moves into an American city as the general of a colonizing
army. I asked whether I, as someone who is half-Chinese but had a classical Western education, would fit within his group, and he hedged, impishly. “I’m a generous guy,” he told me. “If you truly identify with our people, I would not
have any problem with that.” But there were genetic deal breakers. “A full-blooded African, no matter how wonderful he might be—I’m not sure that would really work.” The other German forerunner Spencer claims is Carl Schmitt
(1888–1985), who was, for a time, the court political philosopher of the Third Reich. Schmitt’s work has enjoyed a renaissance recently, and even liberals have found it useful, in part as a worthy oppositional philosophy that has
forced them to improve their own. Spencer is hardly Schmitt’s heir. But his reading of Schmitt is fair and reasonably nuanced. “There’s this notion of parliament as an ‘endless debate,’ ” Spencer explained over lunch. Liberalism
accepts that disagreement is part of the political process, and that people who disagree profoundly can live together. But eventually, Schmitt argued, the parliamentary debate does end, and someone gets his way while someone
else does not. The state’s job is to provide not the coffeehouse for the debate, but the threat of a beating to compel the loser to accept the result. “Politics is inherently brutal,” Spencer told me. “It’s nonconsensual by its very
nature. The state is crystallized violence.” To this already dangerous political philosophy Schmitt eventually added a further provocation. Given that debate, procedure, and politics all end in the same place—crystallized violence—
what or whom should the violence serve? The answer, he said, is some group of close affinity. And the groups with the most full-bodied affinity, a common mythology and experience, are races. “The idea of the ethnic identity will
pervade and dominate all our public law,” Schmitt wrote in 1933, and he was just getting started. Within a few years, he was defending the nearly complete annihilation of law and politics as the Führer’s prerogative as champion of
the German race. In times of emergency, Schmitt argued, the leader can declare the law null (he called this a “state of exception”) and use force at will to serve the state. The upshot of this philosophy is, in Spencer’s interpretation,
to devalue the homespun truths that have united America’s political parties for decades. Good ol’ boys, neoconservatives, and liberals all honor democracy, freedom, markets, human rights, and various other abstractions. To
Spencer, these are idols, and their twilight is upon us. “Obviously, german national socialism is not something that has any direct relationship with what I’m doing right now,” Spencer told me. That was horseshit, but I let him
continue. Nazis were violent, he said, and “that is not something that I would have anything to do with. I’ve never advocated that or ever glorified that. I am a dissident intellectual. I am not in charge of the police force or the Army.
I’m not ordering the roundup of anyone and throwing them into camps.” There is the small matter of his aesthetic, starting with the famous fashy haircut. One might, with exceptional charity, attribute the haircut to a trollish desire
to get his enemies worked up. But hair aside, his appropriation of Nazi tropes is relentless. In his notorious speech that ended in a roomful of fascist salutes, for instance, he referred to the mainstream media as the “Lügenpresse”
(“lying press”), a Nazi-era smear against anti-Hitler media, even if Spencer flubbed the pronunciation. Spencer sees American values as something not to restore, but to replace. His “Hail Trump” speech describes a diseased country.
More to the point, Spencer’s ideas themselves are Nazi to the core, and he knows it, even if many of his followers do not. Hitler, too, viewed politics as a struggle and disdained those who imagined it instead as cooperative. For his
own race he envisioned a special destiny, like that of an apex predator, expanding its territory until it occupied the land nature intended for it. Here is Spencer, in that same “Hail Trump” speech, on the destiny of whites: To be white
is to be a striver, a crusader, an explorer and a conqueror. We build, we produce, we go upward … For us, it is conquer or die. This is a unique burden for the white man, that our fate is entirely in our hands. And it is appropriate
because within us, within the very blood in our veins as children of the sun, lies the potential for greatness. That is the great struggle we are called to. We are not meant to live in shame and weakness and disgrace. We were not
meant to beg for moral validation from some of the most despicable creatures to ever populate the planet. We were meant to overcome—overcome all of it. Because that is natural and normal for us. Because for us, as Europeans,
it is only normal again when we are great again. Thwarting the competition among races, Hitler proposed in Mein Kampf, was a cavalcade of abstractions: justice, human rights, democracy, communism, capitalism. Spencer mocks
these same abstractions as shibboleths of the modern age. Members of the mainstream right, he said in a December 2016 speech, “talk about global capitalism, and free markets, and the Constitution, and vague Christian values of
some sort. But they never ask that question of Who are we? They never ask that question of identity.” His “Hail Trump” speech describes the concepts that are now designated “problematic” and associated with whiteness—power,
strength, beauty, agency, accomplishment. Whites do and other groups don’t … We don’t exploit other groups. We don’t gain anything from their presence. They need us, and not the other way around. These are among the most
orthodox Nazi statements ever uttered by an American public figure. Spencer wears a permanent naughty grin, as if he is getting away with something. In a sense, he is: There are vanishingly few true Nazis in this country, and few
people believe everything Spencer believes. And yet he has become a beacon to those resentful of the direction of American society and of their own lives. That grin is the grin of a man who cannot believe his luck at being a fascist
just at fascism’s moment of American ascent. The American right has had extreme fringes for some time, operating on low radio frequencies and languishing in obscurity. Perhaps the best known of these was the John Birch Society,
founded in 1958 as a dying wheeze of McCarthyism. But the Birchers existed to vanquish communism. Individual members were racist, but the society’s leaders tolerated blacks and Jews willing to rail against the Reds. (George
Schuyler, a former official of the NAACP, was a member.) The Birchers were twisted patriots, and in their patriotism they resemble mainstream conservatives (think Clayton Williams, but also George W. Bush) much more closely than
they resemble Spencer. Spencer emerges from a darker tradition, one that sees American values as something not to restore, but to replace. His “Hail Trump” speech, even more than Trump’s “American carnage” inaugural address,
described a diseased America, its culture mired in “filth” and its cities “rotted.” He nodded to the Founding Fathers and the disapproval they would cast on modern America—but only to note that their ideals clash with present-day
liberalism, and not to suggest that their ideals are his own. No census of the alt-right exists. The movement, such as it is, may have come together and found public expression in part because of the internet, where its followers can
amass and reinforce one another’s pathologies. But clearly a few of its claims have acquired special salience, all at once. The world may be no more complicated now than it was in the past, but exposure to more aspects of it has
proved disorienting to many Americans. Far-off wars and economies determine, or seem to determine, the fates of more and more people. Government has grown so complicated and abstract that people have come to doubt its
abstractions altogether, and swap them for the comforting, visceral truths of power and identity. Meanwhile, religion has faded. Hitchens would have said that’s for the best. But at the Christmas party, Spencer was right about
religion’s power. It exerted a binding force and sense of purpose on its followers, and in its absence, the alt-right is delighted to supply values and idols all its own. RELATED STORY The American Climbing the Ranks of ISIS It is
impossible to hear Spencer or Trump speak about the “filth” and “carnage” of America without sensing that many of their followers consider the whole American project discredited. Spencer’s is only one philosophy offering itself as
an alternative. As we talked, I was frequently reminded of John Georgelas, the 33-year-old Dallasite who is now the Islamic State’s highest-ranking American. (I profiled Georgelas in the March 2017 issue of this magazine.) Both men
are the only sons of wealthy north-Dallas physicians. They both bloomed late, intellectually and politically, and overcompensated by immersing themselves in books and ideas with gusto uncommon among their bourgeois
demographic. Both admired Ron Paul, and both saw their home country as a broken land—and themselves as its savior. They are also both young. Trump’s supporters skew old, but the alt-right’s warriors are Spencer’s age (he is 39)
or younger. Millennials are rapidly untethering themselves from American values that until recently have been described as bedrock. The political scientists Yascha Mounk and Roberto Stefan Foa have noted that belief in the
essential importance of living in a democracy has dropped off dramatically among the young, and support for “Army rule” has increased to one in six Americans. A generation ago it was one in 16. Perhaps some of this disregard for
the cornerstones of modern Western government can be written off as (very late) adolescent posturing. Spencer himself is aware of the hipness gap that yawns between the alt-right and liberalism, to the former’s advantage. The
young are suckers for rebellion, and Spencer’s is a rebel movement. Some will age out of rebellion, but others will, like malevolent Peter Pans, refuse to grow out of the fascism of their youth. Spencer expects many of his critics to
fall in line once victory comes. “People are herdlike,” he told me. “There’s a story about a Bolshevik agitator who was always getting harassed and beaten up by a policeman in Moscow. Ten years later, the Bolshevik was in power,
and the same man came into his office and literally clicked his heels: ‘Onwards with the revolution, sir!’ ” At a Trump victory party on election night, Spencer was spotted hooting and running about giddily. In a single evening, his
timeline skipped a decade ahead. (Philip Montgomery) The ambition is evident but the path to victory unclear. Spencer’s revolutionaries seem, at present, to consist largely of anonymous online activists. The alt-right has masterfully
inflated itself by fielding zombie armies of Twitter accounts—just like isis does—and trolling journalists and others capable of amplifying its collective voice. The closest connection between Spencer and the White House is Stephen
Miller, a senior policy adviser to President Trump. In an interview with The Daily Beast, Spencer called himself a “mentor” to Miller. He told me that the two of them worked and socialized with each other as members of Duke
University’s conservative union, while Miller was an undergraduate and Spencer a graduate student in intellectual history. (After receiving his master’s from the University of Chicago, Spencer studied for a doctorate at Duke, though
he never earned his degree.) But Miller denies any close association between them, and he told The Washington Post that he “condemn[s]” Spencer’s “rancid ideology.” As Spencer himself notes, Donald Trump is not a creature of
the alt-right or, one suspects, of any other coherent political philosophy. He is, Spencer has said, “compromised by the perversions that define this decadent society” (so much for Spencer’s ever getting a plum ambassadorship), and
he doesn’t really mind blacks and Jews, when having them around suits his purposes. I suspect that any high-ranking official in the Trump administration would be fired if discovered collaborating with Richard Spencer. (Then again,
Sebastian Gorka, a deputy assistant to Trump for national security, has allegedly associated with a far-right Hungarian group known for its Nazi ties—Gorka denies this—and he retains his office.) Some statements by Steve Bannon,
Trump’s chief strategist and the former chief executive of his presidential campaign, harmonize with Spencer’s core claims. In 2015, when discussing the alleged overrepresentation of Asians among executives in Silicon Valley,
Bannon told a guest on the satellite-radio show Breitbart News Daily that “a country is more than an economy. We’re a civic society.” The obvious question—why wouldn’t Asians be a part of American civic society?—has an answer
that Spencer is ready to provide. The guest on the podcast, who did not dissent from Bannon’s comment, was Donald Trump. Before the election, Spencer wrote on Twitter: “Forget the polls. We have a candidate for President who’s
demystifying ‘racism’ and the financial power structure.” “No matter what happens,” he continued, “I will be profoundly grateful to Donald Trump for the rest of my life.” At a Trump victory party in Washington on election night,
Spencer was spotted hooting and running about giddily. He had hoped that Trump’s candidacy would be a small step toward the mainstreaming of his ideas. In a single evening, his timeline skipped a decade ahead. The long-term
goal, Spencer says, is the establishment of a “post-American” white “ethno-state,” through a slow process of awakening ethnic pride and instituting government policies that reflect a new white race consciousness. Spencer has been
casing out a role for himself as a human alarm clock in this process of awakening. He told me that he wanted to be the alt-right’s William F. Buckley Jr.—an intellectual entrepreneur who patrols the ideas behind the politics, swinging
the nightstick when someone from his movement gets out of line. Buckley emerged, at an age younger than Spencer is now, as a cultural icon, the founder and editor of mid-20th-century America’s most unsubmissive journal of
ideas, National Review, and later the host of its most highbrow television show, Firing Line. Buckley had a flair for theater. He injected his ideas into the public consciousness both openly and insidiously, by announcing them loudly,
and by making roguish and heretical asides in otherwise sleepy moments of debate. The poison (or antidote, depending on your view) entered the bloodstream with only the slightest prick felt—but felt it was, and many a viewer
came to love and hate Buckley for the thrill of intellectual disorientation. Spencer lacks this suave touch, but he tries to work a lowbrow form of the same magic, through the obnoxious, needling harassment that he and his shitlords
call trolling. I went back to see Spencer a few days after he got slugged. He had upgraded his security. He insisted that we order lunch‚ rather than going out in public. “There is a value to shock,” Spencer told me. “You can open
someone’s mind with something shocking: ‘I’ve never thought of that before!’ ‘I can’t believe he actually said that!’ There is something to be said for not just retreating into a bourgeois, boring version of my ideas.” Here is the kernel
of truth in Spencer’s justification of his “Hail Trump” salutes as ironic, or performative. The salutes provoked sputtering rage from right-thinking people, and between sputters the enraged dropped their intellectual guard. It is hard
to be enraged and analytical all at once, and many chose rage. But rage confers no defense against ideas. “Take the term ethno-state. I don’t want to sound like I’m bragging, but ethno-state has now been used in mainstream
sources!” (This article is one of them.) “That term would never be used before. They’re not necessarily original ideas to me, but they’ve never been brought to the mainstream in this way.” On inauguration day, Spencer gave an
interview to an Australian television station near Franklin Square in Washington, D.C., and was asked to explain his movement’s mascot, a homely cartoon frog. “It’s Pepe,” he said. “It’s become kind of a symb—” and then a masked
assailant clocked him on the ear, hard enough to send him reeling off camera. Spencer’s many, many haters shared the video, gloating, and even mainstream outlets glamorized the assault by distributing remixes of the footage. I do
not recall seeing Buckley assaulted on camera, although I’m sure many viewers would have enjoyed the spectacle; Norman Mailer and Gore Vidal would gladly have contended in a semifinal for the privilege of coldcocking him. I
went back to see Spencer again a few days later. He had upgraded his security. The nebbishy sentinel who had caught me out by the trash cans had been replaced by another man, halfway between bodyguard and babysitter, who
accompanied Spencer when he left his apartment. A new dead bolt secured the door, and a Bowie knife rested on a windowsill. There was a pistol in the kitchen. Spencer was hit twice, once under the left eye and once on the right
ear. The eye sported a shiner, and the ear was crusted with blood. Spencer said his eardrum had ruptured. “It kind of feels like when you’re flying in a plane and your ears pop,” he said. “It basically feels like that all the time.” He
insisted that we order our Thai food in this time. “You saw that I got spotted even the last time we were out,” he said, referring to the black woman at lunch. “I don’t know how people will react now.” “Am I just going to be harassed
for the rest of my life? Living in Whitefish is quite difficult,” he said, due to protests. “I thought there would be a little bit of anonymity” in Alexandria. Now he could not walk around without fear. He said he was going to change his
haircut—I’d remarked that it made him stand out—but insisted that fashion was the reason. “I think the fascist haircut has peaked. Aesthetically, I think it can definitely be improved on. Maybe I’ll try a Tom Cruise, from Mission:
Impossible IV.” He sounded vulnerable, for the first time since he’d said the St. Mark’s campaign had wounded him. “I have a right as a citizen to walk the streets and not be attacked, and I have the right to be protected,” he
complained. Detritus on Spencer’s floor, including a file folder labeled “Loyalty and Betrayal,” a newspaper published by the Greek neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn, and handwritten notes describing an encounter with police (Philip
Montgomery) Spencer was obviously right when he said he should not be assaulted. But we both could taste the irony in the situation. If he hadn’t caught himself, he might have started talking about his “human right” not to be
brutalized with impunity. Instead he recovered, and used the irony to his advantage. “The fact that they are excusing violence against Richard Spencer inherently means that they believe that there’s a state of exception, where we
can use violence,” he said. “I think they’re actually kind of right.” “War is politics by other means and politics is war by other means,” he said. “We don’t all want the same thing. And that’s why I think there is a kind of state of war
going on.” As one who knew Spencer when we were both hapless, overprivileged adolescents, sharing a desire to transcend our origins, what interests me the most about him is his self-reinvention, the intellectual costume changes
(foppish actor, grad-school blowhard, opera-director manqué, and now architect of a white utopian dream of world-historical consequence) spanning three decades. After all, it is said that one of the great advantages of America is
that its daughters and sons can escape the strictures of the world in which they were raised, be unlike their forefathers. Spencer has certainly done that. Much about his most recent and significant transformation reminds me of a
1957 Norman Mailer essay, “The White Negro,” that tried to explain trends in white culture during an age that was, in some ways, as disorienting as our own. Living in the shadow of nuclear annihilation, and having freshly returned
from war, whites found their own culture anemic and soporific. They craved danger—and they found it by imitating blacks, who knew danger without craving it, and whose culture, language, and daily life were smelling salts for their
own. Mailer described the sensation: “No Negro can saunter down a street with any real certainty that violence will not visit him on his walk … [He knows] in the cells of his existence that life [is] war, nothing but war.” Spencer, too,
is a pale imitator. He wanted danger, or thought he did, and now he has it. Spencer must have known that the life he was choosing would get him hated and taunted. But he seemed at most half-aware that it would get him slugged
in the face, and completely unaware that it might get him killed. Fifty years ago, George Lincoln Rockwell, the urbane leader of the American Nazi Party, was shot dead in the parking lot of a laundromat, just seven miles from where
Spencer lives now. There must be an intellectual thrill in knowing that people might care enough to want to kill you. Spencer seemed unsure whether the thrill would remain worth the risk. It is difficult to conceive of a path to
repentance for Spencer. There is enough in his philosophy that is challenging to the modern American condition, and enough about the modern American condition that is challenging to itself, that he isn’t likely to be convinced of
his error. His revolutionary movement is unlikely to succeed. But it is, I fear, authentic and durable. The shame of its indecency is felt only by those who share the country with Spencer, not by the man himself.
AT: We Reject the Alt-Right
Doesn’t matter if you endorse the Alt Right, they’ll endorse you. The authoritarian
right turns the aff because they kill freedom and education.
Galupo 17 (Scott is a freelance writer living in Virginia. In addition to The Week, he blogs for U.S. News
and reviews live music for The Washington Post. He was formerly a senior contributor to the American
Conservative and staff writer for The Washington Times, “The troubling rise of Bad Nietzsche” May 22,
2017, Michael Stefanko)

Bad Nietzsche is back. And he's being co-opted by the alt-right. You can see it in a personal, highly compelling profile of Richard Spencer,
the now-famous white nationalist who was a former high-school classmate of The Atlantic's Graeme Wood, who traces Spencer's descent into disrepute

to an encounter with Nietzsche. "He developed intellectually after a swift kick in the cortex from Richard Wagner and, ultimately, Friedrich Nietzsche,
the 19th-century German philosopher whose skepticism of democracy and egalitarianism later made
him beloved by the Nazis," Wood writes. "You could say I was red-pilled by Nietzsche," Spencer told me. To "red-pill," in alt-right slang, is to
enter a vertiginous spiral of awakening and reassessment. … The false dreams from which Spencer found himself freed were the dreams of the
good ol' boy, who goes to church on Sunday and does things as his granddaddy did before him. Spencer started off with Nietzsche's On the

Genealogy of Morals, a systematic dismantling of the moral and religious truths of European civilization .
Nietzsche saw Christianity as a slave religion, a consolation to the weak. Spencer says that the general effect, an inversion of his moral universe, was "shattering." [The Atlantic] Despite all the
media attention he garners, Spencer remains a marginal figure. Still, this is extraordinary. And it makes me wonder what the late Allan Bloom would think. Bloom was a University of Chicago-
based professor of philosophy and classical literature whose book The Closing of the American Mind was a publishing phenomenon in the late 1980s. Subtitled How Higher Education Has Failed
Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today's Students, the book was an unlikely bestseller about how the Western elite was trashing its civilizational inheritance and trying to build a new
edifice on the sands of relativism and egalitarianism. It featured a forward by Bloom's friend, the Nobel Prize-winning novelist Saul Bellow, who had attracted a fair bit of ignominy for having
asked, allegedly tauntingly, why Zulus and Papuans hadn't produced great literature (a remark to which he offered extenuating context here). The Closing of the American Mind makes for
interesting reading today. The thrust of its complaint about elites and relativism has only intensified. But some of it does not hold up well at all. Take its snarkily written chapter with the
heading "The Nietzscheanization of the Left or Vice Versa," for example. In it, Bloom argued that the left had largely abandoned the discredited economic doctrines of Marx and, in their place,
adopted a stylized anti-bourgeois Nietzsche. Nietzsche and his "will to power" over flabby liberal values no longer sustainable by reason or myth were still casting a revolutionary spell, Bloom

asserted, but it was no longer over adherents of German and Italian fascism, discredited (to say the least) as those movements were by the horrors of World War II.

thought was now being transmitted through European leftists such as Georg Lukacs, Alexandre Kojeve,
Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Jean-Paul Sartre, who had jettisoned Marx's "embarrassing economic
determinism" and created a new "mutant" crossbreed of Nietzsche and Marx: The mature Marx had almost nothing to say
about art, music, literature, or education, or about what the life of man would be when the yoke of oppression was lifted. His early "humanistic" writings were looked by some for the
inspiration lacking in the later ones, but they turned out to be thin and derivative stuff. Since the Nietzscheans spoke so marvelously well about all these things, why not just appropriate what
they said? So they took over "the last man," whom they identified with the Marx's bourgeois, and "the superman," whom they identified with the victorious proletarian after the revolution.
[The Closing of the American Mind] Without crawling further into the weeds, suffice it to say that, in 2017, the philosophical picture that Bloom painted in 1987 has been inverted. In the post-

crash, post-Picketty era of global inequality, the Marxist-minded left is very much interested in those discarded economic doctrines. Andthe far right, as evidenced by
Spencer and his ilk, is very much interested in Nietzsche as he was originally understood by 20th-century
fascists. Today's alt-right warriors take their Nietzsche neat. Politics is a zero-sum game, Spencer told
Wood; its end product is not derived from consensus or compromise. There is a winner and a loser: "It's nonconsensual by its very
nature. The state is crystallized violence." That is a scary thought. And I've no doubt that this is not at all what Bloom meant when he
urged his students to be "open to closedness" — that is, to be open to the notion that some of life's big questions about existence and morality might have definitive answers. Bad

Nietzsche is back. And Allan Bloom would be appalled.

Misc Aff Cards
State = P Good
State still exists in the world of the alt -the belief that the government can only do
wrong only feeds the privatization of social life
Eisenstein, 98 –(Zillah R.- Professor and Chair of the Politics at Ithaca College, “Global Obscenities:
Patriarchy, Capitalism, and the Lure of Cyberfantasy,” New York : New York University Press, c1998,

A full democratization of public life means envisioning the needs of all people—especially girls and
women across the color divide—while displacing the logic of consumer capital. This demands an assault
against the racialized patriarchal discourses and practices of global capital and its privatized notion of the
transnational state. New ways of thinking and imagining are needed to reclaim the idea of publicness .
How does one establish trust and concerns across time and space? According to Anthony Giddens, this will require a
"transformation of intimacy." After all, the nuclear plant disaster at Chernobyl demonstrated just how small the globe is. Women from across
the globe meeting in Beijing began to draw these new lines: of a public of women and girls across and through different cultures and values
speaking against global poverty, sexual violence, and discrimination of all kinds. This new notion of citizenship does not use the borders of
nation/family, public/private, or government/economy. As
long as we are able to creatively imagine a community at
odds with capital's use of racialized patriarchy, the very idea of publicness can be used as a start to discipline
transnational capital. This process of `imagining' requires an assault on mediated, antigovernment
imaginaries. The rhetoric of privatization—that government can do no right—distorts the possibilities
available for creating democratic publics by assuming that all government, not just bad government, is
the problem.