There is a much-recycled and certainly apocryphal tale told of



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Only we access offense---arguments like framework don’t injure people, but policies do


The idea that a particular style of argument causes personal injury results in censorship

Amanda Anderson 6, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Humanities and English at Brown University, Spring 2006, “Reply to My Critic(s),” Criticism, Vol. 48, No. 2, p. 281-290


Probyns piece is a mixture of affective fallacy, argument by authority, and bald ad hominem. There's a pattern here: precisely the tendency to personalize argument and to foreground what Wendy Brown has called "states of injury." Probyn says, for example, that she "felt ostracized by the books content and style." Ostracized? Argument here is seen as directly harming persons, and this is precisely the state of affairs to which I object. Argument is not injurious to persons. Policies are injurious to persons and institutionalized practices can alienate and exclude. But argument itself is not directly harmful; once one says it is, one is very close to a logic of censorship. The most productive thing to do in an open academic culture (and in societies that aspire to freedom and democracy) when you encounter a book or an argument that you disagree with is to produce a response or a book that states your disagreement. But to assert that the book itself directly harms you is tantamount to saying that you do not believe in argument or in the free exchange of ideas, that your claim to injury somehow damns your opponent's ideas. When Probyn isn't symptomatic, she's just downright sloppy. One could work to build up the substance of points that she throws out the car window as she screeches on to her next destination, but life is short, and those with considered objections to liberalism and proceduralism would not be particularly well served by the exercise. As far as I can tell, Probyn thinks my discussion of universalism is of limited relevance (though far more appealing when put, by others, in more comfortingly equivocating terms), but she's certain my critique of appeals to identity is simply not able to accommodate the importance of identity in social and political life. As I make clear throughout the book, and particularly in my discussion of the headscarf debate in France, identity is likely to be at the center of key arguments about life in plural democracies; my point is not that identity is not relevant, but simply that it should not be used to trump or stifle argument. In closing, I'd like to speak briefly to the question of proceduralism's relevance to democratic vitality. One important way of extending the proceduralist arguments put forth by Habeimas is to work on how institutions and practices might better promote participation in democratic life. The apathy and nonparticipation plaguing democratic institutions in the United States is a serious problem, and can be separated from the more romantic theoretical investments in a refusal to accept the terms of what counts as argument, or in assertions of inassimilable difference. With respect to the latter, which is often glorified precisely as the moment when politics or democracy is truly occurring, I would say, on the contrary democracy is not happening then-rather, the limits or deficiencies of an actually existing democracy are making themselves felt. Acknowledging struggle, conflict, and exclusion is vital to democracy, but insisting that exclusion is not so much a persistent challenge for modern liberal democracies but rather inherent to the modern liberal-democratic political form as such seems to me precisely to remain stalled in a romantic critique of Enlightenment. It all comes down to a question of whether one wants to work with the ideals of democracy or see them as essentially normative in a negative sense: this has been the legacy of a certain critique of Enlightenment, and it is astonishingly persistent in the left quarters in the academy. One hears it clearly when Robbins makes confident reference to liberalisms tendency to ignore "the founding acts of violence on which a social order is based." One encounters it in the current vogue for the work of Giorgio Agamben and Carl Schmitt. Saying that a state of exception defines modernity or is internal to the law itself may help to sharpen your diagnoses of certain historical conditions, but if absolutized as it is in these accounts, it gives you nothing but a negative diagnostic and a compensatory flight to a realm entirely other-the kind of mystical, Utopian impulse that flees from these conditions rather than confronts and fights them on terms that derive from the settled-if constantly evolving-normative basis of democratic modernity. If one is outraged by the flagrant disregard of democratic procedures in the current U.S. political regime, then one needs to be able to coherently say why democratic procedures matter, what principles underwrite them, and what historical movements and institutions have helped us to secure and support them. Argument as a critical practice and as a key component of democratic institutions and public debate has a vital role to play in such a task.

Rules and process key


Paroske 11 - Assistant professor of communication, Department of Communication and Visual Arts, University of Michigan ( Argumentation and Federal Rulemaking. Controversia; Fall2011, Vol. 7 Issue 2, p34-53, 20p ebsco)shaw

The process of democratic governance is more than a means to an end. Often, how we deliberate a policy is as important or even more important to the outcome of the debate than the underlying issue itself. Recent history is rife with examples of laws that rose and fell on the mechanics of voting in the legislative body or the parliamentary vehicles in which the legislation was offered. There is a normative element to deliberation in a democracy, and failure to vet an issue sufficiently is often seen as grounds for rejecting the legislation itself (Paroske, 2009). For example, it is routine for legislators of a minority party in Congress to denounce a pending bill because there were not enough hearings on the issue, or that a sufficient number or kind of amendments was not allowed, or even that the time devoted to debate on the floor was insufficient. These questions of process in legislation dominate headlines. Less studied, but perhaps even more interesting, are questions of process in a regulatory framework. Given its complexity, rulemaking is especially prone to process- oriented questions. Far more than legislation, rules must navigate a number of prescribed argumentative hurdles on their way to adoption. This raises the stakes for following proper procedure both logically and practically, as violating protocols makes it likely the rule will be rejected. In addition, the authority of agencies in the federal government is nebulous. Agency power to make rules is delegated by Congress, but there is little consensus on the degree of latitude that those designees hold. Since rulemakers lack constitu- tional warrants for coercing citizen behavior, they are highly susceptible to criticism of their authority and jurisdiction. Asked to act both independently and under the watch of the constitutional branches, rulemakers must pay careful attention to process.



Demand turns the aff – it ostracizes subjects and reinforces the status quo institutions that they are critiquing. our alt solves this- demands can work but analyzing the economy of enjoyment must come first


Lundberg 12 - assistant professor of Rhetoric and Cultural Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Chris received his PhD from Northwestern University’s program in Rhetoric and Public (Chris, Lacan in public, 2012, ebsco)shaw
Ego- function of the Rhetoric of Protest,” Richard Gregg noted ¶ that when viewed as a rhetorical transaction, the “ego-function” of protest ¶ often works at cross-purposes with the political goals that motivate protest.23¶ Gregg’s analysis is pegged to an understanding of freud aligned with ego ¶ psychology. As a result, Gregg’s insight comes at the cost of an account of the ¶ productive political effects of political struggle premised on collective identifications, primarily by presuming such identifications are self-serving and ¶ therefore antithetical to a democratic politics. Still, there is something seductive about the claim that protest often makes a fetish of oppositional stagings ¶ of collective political sentiment and therefore tactically privileges antago nism at the expense of strategic goals. for Lacan, this paradox of radical politics stems from the nature of the demand as a mode of address. That the demanding subject might achieve satisfaction in the tactical performance rather ¶ than strategic satisfaction of its demands comprises the danger of radical political demands and therefore of the forms of populist politics that see the demand as the privileged mode for political agency.¶ Engaging Ernesto Laclau’s work on popular demands, i focus on the imagined politics of address, specifically by arguing that the demand often constrains political subjects by alienating them from their desire, promoting a ¶ dependency on the intransigence of the political institutions that demands ¶ reform. This analysis extends the treatment of enjoyment in chapter 5 by applying it to two exemplars of demand as a political practice drawn from antiglobalization activism. i treat the political effects of these demands by posing them against Lacan’s framing of the relationship between demands and ¶ enjoyment. finally, i turn to the politics of demand as an everyday political ¶ practice. This analysis does not imply an argument for abandoning demands ¶ as a political strategy. in the Lacanian vocabulary “demand” is central to processes of signification generally. This is also not an argument for consigning ¶ radical political demands to futility. To the contrary, evaluating the relationship between enjoyment, demand, and desire is a prerequisite for a form of ¶ radical politics that takes the collective political potential of desire seriously

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