1. Justifies intrinsicness answers to the case.

-- If the counterplan can be tested with hypothetical alternatives that are un-evidenced to determine whether the counterplan is "truly" or "intrinsically" competitive you should hold the affirmative advantage to the same standard.

-- If we prove that the advantage isn't intrinsic we win the debate; the affirmative has shifted the focus of the debate from a comparison of plans to a search for the truth about the plan; the counterplan is thus irrelevant and the only question is whether the plan is intrinsically good. If we prove it has no intrinsic advantage we win.

2. Multiple permutations are bad.

-- It will always be unfair if one side has to read evidence to refute hypothetical possibilities the other side has merely to suggest.

-- Time contraints make it hard enough for us to make clean comparisons of the plan and counterplan in the final rebuttal speeches; if we have to compare the counterplan to multiple perms it will be impossible to sort this out cleanly. They are making a mess of the debate and asking us to clean it up; that is unfair and you should hold them responsible.

-- They are a moving target; we aren't saying that the plan is a moving target but that the perms are. If we hit one they just shift to another and the fact that they listed them all from the outset makes them no less abusive.

-- Impossible to answer; multiple perms can go in different directions and we have to read contradictory evidence to answer them.

3. Time-ordered perms are bad.

-- Infinite regression; you could always do one plan 2 seconds before another. It is impossible for us to get a net benefit off those 2 seconds. Also, they could do the plan so far in the future after the counterplan that we could never win a brink to a net benefit.

-- Doesn't test competition; competition asks whether 2 plans can co-exist, not whether it is possible to time-order them.

4. Offset perms are bad.

-- Don't test competition; competition asks whether the counterplan is better than the plan plus the counterplan, it doesn't compare the counterplan to the plan plus the counterplan plus something else.

-- Destroys all our ground; they could always do something to solve for the impact of our disad if they aren't limited by evidence. We will never win a net benefit if they can do this.

5. Aff. action must get an advantage.

-- The perm includes no advantage from the aff.

-- We win if the counterplan alone is better than the plan plus the counterplan. If their perm contains no advantage stemming from the plan action all they have proven is that the counterplan is no better than the counterplan, which we all knew to begin with.

-- It proves that the advantge is not intrinsic to the case; if we win that perms justify uniqueness this perm proves the advantage isn't unique to the plan and we win.

-- It's an impossible perm to beat; they have proven how the plan and the counterplan can be combined to make the plan irrelevant to the advantage. If they make the plan irrelevant we can never win a net benefit. Keep in mind that the plan and counterplan as written compete and it is only the artifical re- working of the plan that gets rid of the net benefit. The easy check is that the perm has to include some reason for doing the plan.

6. Perms need evidence.

-- You'd never vote for a plan with no solvency evidence if they only asserted they solve; don't accept their assertions that they solve over our evidence that proves the net benefit.

(Other arguments you should always make but you need to find the explanations for):

7. The counterplan is better than the perm

8. The perm is not real world; we have no way finding evidence on something like this.




-- Literally, they have seized our plan. This destroys our ground more than our being non-topical would ever destroy their ground; they could at least find cards on a non-topical plan but we could never refute what we've already advocated. If you'd vote on T you should vote on this.


-- They can run a disad that is linked off the agent; there is no reason to allow them to steal our plan to figure out whether the agent is good or not.


-- At the start of the debate they had the option of clashing with any portion of the plan or advantage. They have altered the debate so we can only clash over one issue.


-- They will say that plan-inclusive counterplans are necessary to test the agent. We argue that you can't evaluate the agent apart from the individual action. How are we supposed to prove that the agent is good without being able to uniqely claim advantages from the actions that agent takes?

-- This also proves that the counterplan is an UNFAIR test of the agent. They get to claim all the generic problems with the agent action but we can't claim any advantages from specific actions. You need to test the plan by asking whether the advantages of the ACTION outweight the disadvantages of the AGENT.


-- The policy question is whether the advantages of the specific action outweight the disads to the agent. You can't make that comparison unless we can claim uniquely the advantage to the action.


-- Single actions can have multiple parts; throwing a ball is a single action but involves moving the feet, shoulder, elbow, and wrist. Any single part of the action that is bad should be addressed separately.

-- The counterplan has separate parts. The part that uses an alternative agent is competitive, the part that takes the identical policy action is not.

-- The impact is that the extra-competitive parts of the counterplan are exclusively affirmative ground; we get to claim the case advantage and they don't.


-- You'd never vote for a plan without solvency evidence; don't vote for the counterplan unless they have some. If they don't have specific solvency cards then we get to claim the case advantage and they don't.


-- If they can define the only part of the plan that we get to debate they will always find something smaller to exclude. We'll be debating comma placement, handwriting, funding sources, and intent.

-- It is a crucial limit, like substantially. If the action is large we should be able to clash even if it isn't topical in other respects, but if the plan gets too small we can never clash because there isn't enough of a change to find cards on.

-- Bright line test: Let us claim our advantage exclusively so we can weight them against the net benefit. This will limit out irrelevant changes and focus on substantive issues.


-- You have to determine whether plan-inclusive counterplans are THEORETICALLY legitimate; if they aren't than any particular manifestation in this round is irrelevant. Saying that the negative counterplan isn't abusive while conceding that plan- inclusive counterplanse in general are abusive is like revoking all civil rights for African-Americans, arresting only Snoop- Doggy-Dog, and then claiming that the potential to enslave all other African-Americans is irrelevant.

(Essentially, they are saying its OK to revoke all civil rights for blacks, we are saying it would be bad, they are saying that it would be OK if we just arressted Snoop.)



1. Contradicts the reasons that T is a voter. The say that T is a voter because of __________________________.

-- The counterplan is in our ground

-- The counterplan violates the social contract

-- If it is unfair for us to be non-topical it is unfair for them to be topical

-- Traditionally T is a voter

-- T divides ground more than competition does

2. It is an ADDITIONAL check on the division of ground.

-- We have to meet all words in the topic because each provides a unique limit. Meeting one word and not others doesn't make us topical. Similarly, meeting the division of ground that competition provides doesn't mean that they've met the limits that topicality provides; topicality is a unique limit on the way ground should be divided.




A. The number of assumptions is infinite; we can't be expected to have cards to "prove" all of them.

B. It is unfair in a debate context; they only have to question the assumption, we have to "prove" it. In an adversarial context that skews the burdens of the debate.

C. Impossible to resolve within a debate context. The critique raises questions of value which can't be determined by comparing evidence or alternatives and may never be fully resolved. We also don't have enough time to discuss this and other issues.

D. Can only debate explicit claims. Their claim that assumptions that the plan is really oppressive despite its explicit claims to the contrary is not different from us claiming that, despite the explicit arguments by the negative, they really meant that the plan turns the disads. If you allow adversaries to identify the assumptions of their opponents debate degenerates into us imputing the worst motives on each other.

E. They assume that we assume that if we assume that __________ is bad, then what you assume is bad and what you assume we assume is good.



(insert explanation here)

If the assumption is so important that it is instant death if you make it, challenging that assumption should be enough of an advantage to vote for regardless of the other issues in the debate.

3. THEY DON’T JUSTIFY THEIR ASSUMPTIONS; each of the following is a reason to vote against them:

A. Their other arguments violate their own critique.


(insert explanation here)

The implication is that if we meet their critique and their arguments don't you vote for us and reject all their other arguments.

B. They presume philosophical discourse is better than policy discourse. This silences advocates of specific actions and incremental reforms and should be rejected.

C. Subjecting all other arguments to the moral screen of ______ precludes consideration of other philosophies. We can't consider utilitarianism or humanism or realism if the negative critique is the a priori consideration.

D. Their language is oppressive. They aren’t attempting to communicate with us and launch a discussion; they are trying to use obtuse language we can’t understand and trick us out of a ballot. We should be reflective about our language use and try to engage one another, not just read a lot of really big words that are designed to befuddle not explain. At a bare minimum, don’t vote for an argument they haven’t explained to you.

4. NO LINK AND NO THRESHOLD: None of their evidence establishes the difference between a critique of the system and something that merely entrenches the system.

5. WE DO JUSTIFY OUR ASSUMPTIONS. Our solvency evidence does prove our only real claim, that the plan action would produce desirable effects. We can't prove anything in a debate context without reading cards on it; if we have read cards they prove our assumptions and if they object to the cards we read they have an unfair standard.

6. DEBATE DEMANDS AN ALTERNATIVE; their evidence assumes arguments made in academic articles and books, not real policy decision or debate rounds. You can't "do nothing" in this round -- you have to vote for or against a policy resolution. Rejection of the aff. means acceptance of the status quo, which none of their authors assume.

7. FIAT SHOULD EXIST; it is good for the activity for 2 reasons;

A. educationally; if we assume that the impacts will happen we learn more about the entire policy process. Their DA links prove this.

B. Citizen activism; in a democracy it is important to learn about the process to prepare ourselves for citizenship; this is better than debates about rhetoric.

8. PARADIGMS HAVE NO IMPACT. Bad paradigms can produce good ideas; the example is Pythagoras who was theoretically defunct about his ontology but the Pythagorean theorem still works. If paradigms have no impact you just weigh the case advantage against the linear reification; the aff. wins that debate.

9. THEIR EVIDENCE IS MEANINGLESS. Something isn’t true just because a philosopher says that it is; they are marginalizing reasoned discourse if they claim their evidence is better than our analysis. Make them answer our objections, not just read more incoherent cards.



1. Non-Unique. The paradigm will exist with or without the plan. Voting against the affirmative doesn't reject the paradigm; thus this can only be a solvency argument.

2. Not an absolute solvency argument. Their authors assume the solvency for grand issues like poverty, human relations, and so on. The authors don't assume that we can't get the case advantage and no evidence says that we can't.

3. No rationale for the impact. Why should we be punished because ______________________ thinks our assumptions are bad? Our contention is that only explicit arguments can be debated out. If the implicit assumption is so bad they should be able to show a substantive manifestation of the thought that is a reason the plan is disadvantageous or unworkable. Otherwise we can't debate it and you can't compare our specific solvency evidence with their generic complaint about our mode of thinking.

4. Advocating change within a system is not the same as endorsing a system. Complete rejection is unnecessary.

5. Impossible to weigh. What if we meet the critique in some ways and not others? At what point is an argument a true critique of the system and at what point is it a reification of the system? It is their burden to prove the threshold and if they can't you don't consider the argument.

6. Not an "a priori" issue. It's not a jurisdictional issue nor does their one-sentence explanation that "fiat is illusionary" provide a reason why our theoretical advocacy of the plan is not as justified as their defense of X. Our argument is you should consider both the policy and theory arguments together and they need to prove why the theory arguments weigh more.

7. No evidence says that you should ignore consequences. In fact, you have to pay attention to consequences; there is no way to evaluate the worth of a paradigm without a discussion of its consequences.

8. Evidentiary crush. We are reading specific solvency about why the plan eliminates the harms; they are reading generic philosophy that says "plans can't solve things." You'd never vote for generic "plans can't solve" evidence over specific solvency evidence; that's all the neg. has going here.


International FIAT is Bad

1. Skews Ground toward the Negative: The Negative gets every one of the 160 countries in the world, while the Affirmative is limited to just the United States. The Reciprocal nature of FIAT is crushed.

2. Skews the Correct focus of the judge: The judge should act as a US Policy-maker, the correct scope of this review should be acting as if the judge was a member of a US policy-making body. Such a member cannot merely assume the actions of other governments, nor should the judge. The Negative must have at least some theory as to whom the judge should be that is defensible, otherwise the Counterplan should be rejected. It's impossible to decide what should be done absent knowing who is making the decision.

3. Slippery Slope to Object FIAT: International FIAT justifies allowing the object country to FIAT the plan, i.e. Israel will decide not to fight Syria. This makes every advantage irrelevant and makes debate devoid of meaning.

4. Must Read Specific Solvency Evidence for the Counterplan: We can't just assume that other governments possess all the technical and financial structures through which to do our plan--the Negative has a burden to read specific solvency evidence saying the other country can do the plan.

5. Disads are the best test to test the US as an actor: We are prepared to defend the actions are plan takes--read a Disad and we answer it. We can answer the disads that assume what other countries are doing, that doesn't mean we should be prepared for what other countries might do to make the plan's advantages magically disappear.

6. Predicitability does not create theoretical legitimacy: The fact that cards exist that one country gives "aid" to the topic countries does not mean that debate should recognize the legitimacy of a Counterplan to take the action. Plenty of evidence exists that Israel shouldn't attack Syria--that Counterplan is not justified against a Syria/Israel War.


Object Country FIAT is an Utter Crime

  1. Destroys all advantage ground--period: Once we devolve FIAT to include the object of the action--all advantages can be counterplanned out. Remember--the troops in Jordan could be FIATed to stop border incidents, perceptions of individual ambassadors could be FIATed away, all wars could be solved. All 1AC advantages are useless: Affirmatives lose, all the time--period.
  2. "Net Benefits" is an insufficient check: The Negative gets to define all the ground in the debate. No longer is anything the 1AC said relevant as a comparative reference point to weigh against the Disad. The Negative eliminates the 1AC as a speech in 10 seconds or less and expects the Affirmative to just beat their D/As--which they choose from an array of options.

3. This position justifies intrinsicness arguments: Their position is that the Affirmative must prove that their advantages can be accrued only by implementation of the Affirmative plan. The reciprocal burden is that the Negative must prove that the disadvantages can only be accrued by the Affirmative plan--the way to do that--intrinsicness answers.

4. Affirmatives Win a lot now is a non-argument:

a) It's not true: 7 of 8 of the debates at the 1995 NDT were won by the Negative.

b) Debate assumes procedural equity, not substantive equity: Theory debates are about creating fair rules for a game, not necessarily fair results. Our argument is that their rule violates Reciprocity in FIAT and potentially kills all advantage ground, skewing the process of debate against the Affirmative.

5. This FIAT is Utopian: The Affirmative Inherency evidence proves the Counterplan is unlikely to be implemented or to succeed--debate is now a ridiculous fantasy world where teams that cut good advantages are doomed to lose--you should reject this notion of FIAT, you should make them go cut some Negative cards.

6. They need some solvency evidence: Our solvency burden is met by the 1AC, their reciprocal burden is to read evidence from someone advocating the Counterplan.



1. Unfair -- the number of assumptions is infinite; it is unreasonable for us to prove every assumption if they only have to question them.

2. If/Then is false -- it is their creation and is supported by no reasoning and certainly no author.

3. Contradicts; saying that __________ reasoning is bad and then engaging in it is like saying prolif is bad and then counterplanning to cause prolif; we should be able to grant both and win.

4. No solvency impact; our solvency evidence does prove our only assumption, that the plan gains the case advantage.

5. Rejection insufficient; In a debate context rejection of the affirmative embraces the status quo. Make them prove how that avoids the critique.

6. No threshold -- No evidence delineates what entrenches the system and what is a critique of the system.

7. Turn: Case challenges the assumption because ______________________.

8. Non-unique; the paradigm will exist with or without the plan.

9. No evidence says that you should ignore the consequences of the plan; you can only evaluate the worth of a paradigm by observing its practical consequences. The case advantage justifies the paradigm.

10. Turn: Hypocrisy. Only they have engaged in rhetoric they know is bad; we have consistently maintained that concrete reforms are critiques of status quo abuses.


13. Impossible burden; the number of assumptions is infinite and we can't be expected to "prove" all of them.

14. Impossible to resolve; value and moral questions can't be "proven," "disproven," or justified. Policy questions can be resolved with evidence but value questions can't.

15. Only debate explicit claims. Clash requires that you refute the explicit claims; debating what they call "assumptions" means that you allow the negative to define what our argument means. Only we should be able to do that.

16. Make them justify the assumption that we should debate assumptions.

17. Fiat should exist; it enables a discussion of policy alternatives which is educationally valuable and also enlightens us about the action choices instead of simply the rhetoric.

18. Paradigms have no impact. Good paradigms can produce bad ideas and bad paradigms can produce good ideas. Wagner was a Nazi but wrote good music; Paul deMann had a great theory but was a Nazi.



1. NECESSARY TO TEST THE PLAN; the affirmative must be prepared to defend all planks.

2. FUNCTIONALLY, THIS WOULD DESTROY ALL COUNTERPLAN GROUND. I defy them to name 2 counterplans in the last 5 years that didn’t capture part of the plan.


A. Affirmative choice; if you don’t want to defend it don’t put it in your plan.

B. We have to find a net benefit, so the literature limits our options and makes it predictable

4. NO NET EXPANSION OF NEGATIVE GROUND; they have to defend all parts of the plan against turns and solvency arguments anyway.

5. EXCLUSIONARY COUNTERPLANS ARE ESPECIALLY LEGITIMATE ON TOPICS WHERE YOU HAVE COUNTRY SELECTION CHOICE. Because you have the option of choosing which countries to include in the plan, you should be prepared for it. Exclusionary counterplans are the necessary check.

6. NECESSARY TO TEST INFINITE REGRESSION OF PLAN SPIKES; if they are randomly adding mandates not necessary to solvency to expand their ground they should be punished for it. Exclusionary counterplans are the necessary check.

7. ALL COUNTERPLANS ARE EXCLUSIONARY COUNTERPLANS; if its true we can’t leave parts of your plan out in the counterplan, our only alternative is to run all of your plan plus something which would be non competitive. Disallowing exclusionary counterplans functionally disallows all counterplans.

8. IF WE CAN’T INCLUDE ANY PART OF THE PLAN, it would mean we couldn’t run any agentary counterplans, do anything diplomatic, do the same agent taking a different action, or even act in the same countries. This is bad:

A. IT MAKES PLAN VAGUENESS A VOTING ISSUE, because we couldn’t determine the plan inclusiveness to run a strategy.

B. IF IT’S TRUE THAT THE COUNTERPLAN CAN’T INCLUDE ANY PART OF THE PLAN, then the plan shouldn’t be allowed to include any part of the status quo because that is our ground. Stealing ground is a voter.

9. COUNTERPLAN AND DISAD GROUND TRADE OFF; Our counterplanning means there are parts of the plan we can’t run disads to, so there is no net expansion of negative ground.

10. EXCLUSIONARY COUNTERPLANS INCREASE DEPTH, which is more educational. We debate in more detail the specifics of the plan and its particular ramifications.

11. NOT INFINITELY REGRESSIVE; we need evidence on our net benefit which checks abuse.

12. REAL WORLD; if a bill is passed which is basically good policymakers can eliminate the disadvantageous parts of the plan and vote it into effect.

13. PREDICTABILITY CHECKS AFF RESEARCH BURDENS. Surely they knew they would have to defend their agent and means of implementation.

14. NECESSARY TO COUNTERACT AFFIRMATIVE WIN RATES; Because aff picks the case area they will choose one with no negative evidence. Counterplans are the only check.

15. THE NET BENEFIT BY ITSELF OUTWEIGHS THE CASE, even if we don’t capture it with the counterplan.

16. SNYECDOTAL PARAMETRICS; The plan becomes the totality of affirmative ground and you accept or reject it as a whole. Everything else becomes negative ground.

17. WOULD YOU LIKE SOME CHEESE WITH YOUR WHINE? You picked your country, agent, and means of implementation, you should defend it.



  1. NO LITERATURE ON THEM. Nobody advocates different actors doing different things simultaneously. When they say they have links that only proves that they can prove the different parts of the counterplan separately, not that any literature advocates the counterplan in toto. The impact is that it can’t be researched and isn’t advocated in the real world and should thus not be a strategic option for the negative.
  2. DESTROYS THE DECISION CACULUS. No agent ever gets to consider what they should do and also gets to fiat what other actors will do at the same time. A debate judge should only ask what one agent at a time should do.
  3. UNFAIR. We only get to use one agent; they are using several. Every agent they fiat through reduces our disad ground against the counterplan. If they use China and Canada, for example, we can’t run a China disad against Canadian action because they have fiated away our link.
  4. INFINITE REGRESS. If they can fiat multiple agents they can fiat away wars or even environmental destruction.
  5. HUGE SOLVENCY DEFICIT. They have to prove that the joint action can work. Every time they don’t have a specific solvency card for the counterplan action and the case advantage it is a reason that the plan solves better than the counterplan. This is also an impact to the "no literature" argument above.
  6. PUTS UNIQUE TIME CONSTRAINTS ON DEBATE. It is hard enough to compare two agents, let alone three. The comparisons become exponentially more complex, and because of the bizarre uniqueness interactions it isn’t just like topicality or a disad which can stand alone.



  1. THEY ARE JUST CONDITIONAL COUNTERPLANS WITH ANOTHER NAME; if we invest our time disproving their argument without using a turn they can just walk away from it and still claim to advocate the status quo. This still makes them a moving target, skews 2AC time allocation, and means that their advocacy is constantly shifting.
  2. DISPOSITIONALITY DOESN’T ACCOUNT FOR STRAIGHT TURNS; if we turn the net benefit that just proves it isn’t competitive. Their description is they don’t have to defend the counterplan if we prove it not competitive. How else can you disprove a net benefit other than turning it? The whole point of the counterplan is the eliminate uniqueness as a question.
  3. PUT UNIQUE TIME CONSTRAINTS ON UNIQUENESS QUESTIONS. We have to compare the net benefit against both the counterplan and the status quo. They can kick the counterplan after we have decided not to make our uniqueness arguments, which means that the time abuse has already occurred. This would not happen if they had to unequivocally revoke a defense of the status quo.
  4. THEY DON’T EVEN DEFINE WHAT DISPOSITIONALITY MEANS; they just mutter the word and then act like it gets them out of any bizarre grant-out later in the debate. At a minimum, they have to explain what their theory of counterplans means. If they don’t do so in the block they should be stuck with the counterplan the entire debate. We shouldn’t have to use our CX time to allow them to explain what their counterplan does – that is something they have to put in a speech. We have relevant questions to ask.
  5. JUSTIFIES INTRINSICNESS AND EXCLUSIONARY PERMUTATIONS; if they don’t have to revoke the status quo we shouldn’t have to defend the entirety of the plan. Also, in a world where what they advocate constantly shifts there is no reason we can’t change what we want to advocate as well, so adding to the plan isn’t a problem.



  1. IT MEANS THAT IF WE STRAIGHT TURN THEIR COUNTERPLAN THEY CAN DROP IT WITHOUT PENALTY; that makes it distinctly unlike any other argument. This is bad.
  1. It skews time allocation; we can’t predict in any way what they’ll go for so we can’t make strategic choices about where to spend our time.
  2. It destroys argumentative responsibility; they aren’t accountable for the arguments they make if they can walk away from them at any time for any reason.
  3. They become a moving target; we have no idea what we need to refute until the 2NR. At a minimum, you should give huge presumption to the plan just because you know what we are defending the entire debate.
  4. The impact is that they should lose; the harm to us has already occurred because we have to make these arguments to pre-empt their abuse. They shouldn’t get to advocate the counterplan now and for the reasons above they shouldn’t get to defend the status quo.
  1. IT IS WORSE THAN US BEING NON-TOPICAL; if we ran a non-topical plan but stuck to it at least they could research it and we could clash with it. If they can be conditional then even if we read cards to turn the counterplan they can just walk away from it. If you think it’s bad to be non-topical it is much worse to be conditional.
  2. THEY DON’T TEST ANYTHING; you don’t test anything if we can’t claim the advantages from the plan. Keep in mind that turns are the same as the advantages. They also allow contradictory arguments, which means nothing is ever tested because you can never pick which set of evidence is the best. And even if you think that you need to test the plan, you have to test it against something else – if what you test it against is constantly shifting you can never get a fair test. Remember, without conditionality they still get to test the plan, they just have to live with the consequences of us proving the plan is a good idea.



1. DEBATE CAN’T BE LIMITED TO QUESTIONS OF FACT; we debate questions of policy. The negative stance would limit all discussion to simple questions of what has already happened.

2. THEIR EVIDENCE IS INAPPLICABLE; it’s talking about problems with particular systems of symbolic logic. None of it really addresses our claims about why we should debate Vietnam.

3. OUR ARGUMENTS ABOUT OUR FRAMEWORK TAKE THIS OUT; They can’t win on this argument without answering our reasons why historical debate is good.

4. NO ALTERNATIVE; If we win that historical debate is good they have to identify what sort of debate would be acceptable from a historical perspective.

5. NO IMPACT; These are just case takeouts that allege reasons why our evidence can’t support the claims that it makes. Evaluate this the same way you would any other generic harms take out; it might mitigate the case risk some, but the bulk of the case evidence overwhelms it.



1. The affirmative view of fiat

A. THE NEGATIVE CAN’T DICTATE WHAT WE MEAN BY FIAT. Debate is dynamic; you can’t rely on past debates to assume what it is and the negative can’t tell us what we think it means. The following is our defense of fiat, and they must critique that rather than any other interpretation.

B. WHAT FIAT IS. We will define fiat as the ability to imagine than our plan is enacted and explore what the world might be like if the status quo were changed. It is unimportant whether that change actually happens; fiat is an intellectual tool to explore alternatives to the status quo.

C. WHAT FIAT IS NOT. WE ALL KNOW THAT THE PLAN IS NEVER ENACTED. We as debaters can’t enact and we aren’t really in congress. We never pretended that the plan really was enacted. We all agree that fiat is essentially fictive.

D. THE IMPLICATION: The plan does not really exist; it is only a critique of the status quo. It provides a hypothetical alternative to what really exists. It is a test of the current policy. It is offered for intellectual endorsement as a better policy system that the status quo. However, the crucial difference between this and traditional views of fiat are twofold:

1. THE FOCUS OF THE DEBATE IS THE STATUS QUO, NOT THE PLAN. The plan is fictive, the status quo is not. Our responsibility is to challenge and disprove the status quo, the negative must defend it. They may abdicate it and defend a counterplan if they wish. However, if we both refute the status quo you vote affirmative. The reason to vote affirmative is that you endorse the plan as an effective critique of status quo policy.

2. QUESTIONS OF HOW THE PLAN IS DONE ARE IRRELEVANT. The plan is only a critique of current policy. Questions that demand that we specify how it is enacted and that it work through current frameworks presume that it is actually enacted, which it is not. If the plan in its final state offers a better policy than the status quo, you should intellectually endorse the plan as more desireable law than the status quo law. You need not endorse a flawed system of current government to make that determination, and any attempt by the negative to make us defend the entire current system of governance is simply an attempt to stick us with a flawed definition of fiat.



1. BOTH SIDES IN A DEBATE ARE ADVOCATES. We must stake out reasoned positions and defend them. They should be consistent. They need more than a reason not to vote affirmative; they need a reasoned system that they are willing to defend. This is a better view of debate.

A. THEY PRESUME WE ARE TRUTH SEEKERS. That is a bad analogy. Everything run in debate comes in the context of a competitive activity and is done for strategic in addition to other reasons. And keep in mind that they have appointed themselves the testers; so they act like we have to provide truth and they only have to prove we don’t have truth, which is pretty one-sided.

B. A BETTER ANALOGY IS THAT WE ARE COMPETITORS IN AN INTELLECTUAL GAME. In a competition, each competitor should have equal footing rather than one side having to defend everything and the other side being allowed to test at any level.

C. THE WORD "NEGATIVE" MERELY INDICATES WHAT SIDE OF THE TOPIC THAT THEY ARE ON. It means they are anti-resolution but also pro-status quo. It doesn’t simply mean that they have to negate something, any more than us being affirmative means that we have to affirm everything. What has to be affirmed and what has to be negated all comes in the context of positions staked out in the round; it isn’t a free for all.

D. THEIR VIEW IS UNFAIR. This isn’t a debate whine. They are saying that we have to defend the plan, the resolution, the entire system of government, and all manifestations of contemporary debate. They only have to question it at one level. The test of any debate theory is whether it fairly divides ground, and this idea about abstract negation doesn’t do that.

E. THEY HAVE NO WARRANT. They just say that somehow because the pairings said they were negative they don’t have to defend a policy system anymore. Our view is that we are contestants who should be on equal footing and defend competing systems. Make them tell you what you are voting for if you are negative. By the way, the phrase "you are voting for the idea that the plan is bad" doesn’t count.

F. THEY MAKE A TERRIBLE TEST. Who decided that they get to be the tester and we have to be the tested? Their demand that we be absolutely correct at policy, jurisdictional, and philosophical levels while they don’t have to defend anything as better sets up a damned one-sided test of our ideas. Our only request is that their ideas be subject to the same test as ours.

2. THEY PRESUME THAT THE NEGATIVE ONLY TESTS THE PLAN. That is wrong. The negative must also defend the status quo. The plan is fictive and only a test of the status quo.

3. UNFAIR; if we have to defend a system and they simply have to test it in as many ways as they can think of that aren’t necessarily consistent we can’t ever win. The ground that each side has to defend becomes horrendously skewed with the affirmative having to defend a lot more than the negative.




A. We can’t find links since there is no literature that discusses what would have happened had a plan that never got enacted was enacted. Nobody writes about that. The only literature available to us is that which was on the wrong side of history.

B. We can’t find brinks. Obviously, if they are going backwards in time we can’t realistically prove that we were on the brink in 1947.

C. We can’t find impacts. Duh. They would all be empirically denied or, since they never happened, nobody would write about them.

2. THEY INFINITELY EXPAND RESEARCH BURDENS. The only natural limit on the topic is that we discuss current issues in southeast asia. If we have to discuss the relevant issues not just in 1997, but every year since 1961 the research burden would be huge. Every year that gets added to the topic doubles the amount of research we have to be on top of. Scott Deathrage doesn’t sleep as it is; adding this burden would kill him.

3. THE QUESTIONS ARE STALE. We debate about the future because nobody really knows what will happen yet, so we amass the best evidence we can to make speculations. If we debate about the past we already know most of the relevant outcomes, so the debate is flat and less interesting.

4. SKEWS GROUND SELECTION. In a competitive context like debate it means that the literature selection becomes unbearably one-sided because we lose the ability to contest the likelihood that the impacts will happen and the extent of the impacts; those are no longer areas for speculation but are historical facts. For example, we couldn’t read foreign policy literature from the period because they’ll just say it was wrong as a question of historical fact. What else are we supposed to research?

5. THEY CAN’T BE TOPICAL; Security assistance was invented in the 1961 foreign assistance act. Anything before that can’t be topical.

6. THE TOPIC IS STILL A POLICY TOPIC; it is not a question of fact. Policy questions are deliberative and must be discussed in the future tense. Otherwise, we become bad historians. Remember, the affirmative is discussed in the historical rather than the policy literature.


WWWebster Dictionary, 1997 (

Main Entry: shall

Pronunciation: sh&l, 'shal

Function: verb

Inflected Form(s): past should /sh&d, 'shud/; pres sing & pl shall

Etymology: Middle English shal (1st & 3d sing. present indic.), from Old English sceal; akin to Old High German scal

(1st & 3d singular present indicative) ought to, must, Lithuanian skola debt

Date: before 12th century

verbal auxiliary

1 archaic a : will have to : MUST b : will be able to : CAN

2 a -- used to express a command or exhortation <you shall go> b -- used in laws, regulations, or directives to express what is mandatory <it shall be unlawful to carry firearms>

3 a -- used to express what is inevitable or seems likely to happen in the future <we shall have to be ready> <we shall see> b -- used to express simple futurity <when shall we expect you>

4 -- used to express determination <they shall not pass>

intransitive senses, archaic : will go <he to England shall along with you -- Shakespeare>

8. THEY LEGITIMATE FORWARD TIME TRAVEL; if the resolution is not time bound, there is no reason the affirmatives are limited to past action. The plans could be enacted in the distant future after which there are no negative arguments.



1. ANY OTHER STANDARD IS ARBITRARY. If they don’t do the plan immediately they could always move it to some point in the distant future that we could never find a brink for. The impact is that they should do the plan now.

2. THE RESOLUTION IS IN THE PRESENT TENSE. This proves that they have to do the plan now and that future action is negative ground.

3. REAL WORLD ANALOGIES PROVE. A common argument in congress against a bill is that other priorities mean that we need to delay the implementation of a given bill. Because these arguments are never friendly amendments it proves that delay is a reason to reject a policy action.

4. NORMAL MEANS ARE IRRELEVANT. Normal means describes how a plan can get implemented, not when. Fiat is by definition a non-normal act – it is making congress do something that they wouldn’t normally do.

5. DEBATE PRECEDENT PROVES. All the brinks on all the political arguments are updated for each tournament; the brink from October is no longer relevant. This proves that we always presume that the plan would be enacted the weekend it is voted for, not in the future.

6. NECESSARY FOR TOPICALITY. They have to prove the plan is an increase; we can only do than by comparing it to security assistance levels RIGHT NOW. If they don’t increase security assistance until the future, they might be too small an increase to be substantial if status quo levels of assistance change. This means that they become probabilitistically topical, which is a voting issue.



1. IT WAS THEIR ASSUMPTION; of course they didn’t claim to be perfectly objective, but the assumption of their evidence is that their is a truth about the philosophical value of our case and a falsehood in our claims; this is exactly the sort of claim that Rorty is critiquing. Remember, our 1AC didn’t explicitly claim to be embodying _________________ either; this evidence is exactly as relevant to their critique as their critique is to our case.

2. TAKES OUT THE RATIONALE FOR THEIR IMPACT; if there is no ultimate truth or falsehood to philosophy there is no reason we must be rejected on philosophical grounds – there is no philosophical progress.

3. IT IS AN INDICTMENT OF THE NEGATIVE RHEOTRIC; it is an evidenced answer that disproves their claim that re-thinking is possible or desirable. It proves that the project of questioning assumptions is itself inherently flawed and privileging of the questioner. This is true even if it isn’t the explicit project of the negative, and the only way to avoid it is to reject the rhetoric with an affirmative ballot.

4. WE MADE NO CLAIM TO TRUTH; we only said that in the messy world of real policy one action was comparatively better than the status quo. Only the negative has made a claim to philosophical truth.

5. THIS EVIDENCE PROVES THAT THERE ARE MANY WAYS TO REJECT FAULTY ASSUMPTIONS; you don’t have to engage in philosophical critique to do it. This proves that even if they win the critique that’s not a reason to reject the aff, taking out their impact entirely.



1. PROVES THAT THEY DON’T TAKE A STEP BACK AND THAT RE-THINKING IS A LIE; this is evidence that disproves the claim that engaging in a philosophical consideration of the affirmative will result in a better world – it can only obscure and discount the real experiences of women. Remember, there is nothing about the critique that avoids this answer – it is a straight-up evidence clash that disproves their claim. This evidence is better than theirs because it occurs at a broader level, and thinks about re-thinking with the negative evidence simply assumes will occur.

2. PLAN IS ONLY A NEGATION OF THE STATUS QUO; we don’t pretend fiat is any more real than they do, we simply choose to engage our rhetoric is a way that critiques concrete material practices than broad philosophy.



1. FIAT IS ONLY AN ENABLING CONCEPT that allows us to discuss how policies should be changed; nobody here is pretending that actually happens except the negative. The only question is whether critiques of thought should be pointed at policies or philosophies.

2. THIS IS A CRITIQUE OF THEIR RHETORIC; it shows that the project of using philosophy to trump policy discussions is fundamentally flawed. This evidence indicts the deepest negative assumption.

3. DISPROVES RE-THINKING; even at an in-round level, this evidence proves that philosophy can’t ever be relevant to a particular issue. They might re-think something but it won’t ever be relevant to whether or not policies should be done.

4. FIAT BEING AN ILLUSION GETS THEM NOTHING; they have to show why their philosophical arguments are relevant to our critique of the status quo actions. This evidence proves that it isn’t. Remember:
A. AN AFFIRMATIVE BALLOT is a rejection of flawed and oppressive status quo actions; voting for us affirms the idea that policy changes that are oppressive should be rejected. It is also an affirmation of policy-level discourse, which all our evidence proves is better than philosophical discourse.

B. THEY HAVEN’T "WON" THAT POLICY DISCUSSIONS ARE BAD; they have read some cards that indict the idea but ALL of the 2A evidence disproves the claim. Until they prove their evidence is right and ours is wrong we simply have an evidence clash.

C. NO WARRANT FOR THE CLAIM THAT VOTING NEGATIVE IS RE-THINKING. Voting negative just means not accepting our argument claims, nobody really re-thinks anything. That means that re-thinking is as much an illusion for them as fiat is an illusion for us. Why is it that not accepting the affirmative arguments can produce a philosophical step forward? All it really means is that you have refused to take the issue of women and development seriously in favor of some philosophical premise. This is precisely the act that all the 2A evidence indicts.




  1. RESEARCH LIMITS. If there isn't a single author who advocates the specific policy action there isn't a definable body of literature on the case. It makes research for either side impossible.
  2. IN-ROUND CLARITY. Without a single real-world advocate that commits the affirmative to a set course of action they are free to fill the plan with extraneous things that kill our counterplan and disad ground.
  3. EVIDENCE INTEGRITY. If the plan can just be a combination of what the affirmative thinks should be done we lose any distinction between who is a negative and who is an affirmative author, and debate becomes a contest of quotes stripped of context to support things the authors never would support. Because so much of debate revolves around what the authors really mean, how they conclude, and what exactly they are talking about, it is crucial that there be a center point to evaluate what an affirmative and negative argument is.


  1. HORIZONTAL ACTION IS AN APPROACH, NOT A SPECIFIC POLICY CHANGE. We defy them to read a single piece of evidence that isolates any specific policy change Burns advocates. It does not exist. What they are trying to do is like reading cards from the Republican platform claiming their orientation is good for the country and then fiating "conservatism." To clarify: Burns does NOT advocate a specific policy action.
  2. BURNS DOESN'T DEFEND CONGRESSIONAL ACTION. Make them read a single card that uses the word congress. We'll bet they can't.


  1. THEY LOSE. They don't have a plan advocate, and that destroys ground in a way that being non-topical never could. All the standards on the A point are violated.
  2. NO FIAT. You can't fiat an "approach," only a plan action. Fiating a horizontal approach is like fiating postmodernism or feminism. It can't be done. The aff loses because they are trying to fiat a mindset.
  3. DESTROYS ALL OUR GROUND. If they can fiat an approach, any specific action we try to link to they can claim they don't do or isn't really a part of what they're fiating. For example, if we run state action bad they'll claim that isn't what they do. The whole point behind having a plan is to make them specify what they do so we can clash, and if they get to fiat something this vague we can't ever win a link.