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1NC vs Wake

Ferguson’12 [Roderick, Professor of African American and Gender and Women's Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago, The Reorder of Things: The University and Its Pedagogies of Minority Difference, p. 25-29]

In addition to being archivable elements for a transforming U.S. nationstate, social movements in the post-World War II era were also crucial “documents” for that archiving apparatus known as contemporary global capitalism. In his classic essay “The Local and the Global,” Stuart Hall locates the social movements that Omi, Winant, and Edgar discuss within the emergence of a new trajectory for global capitalism. Specifically, Hall points to the ways in which the emergence of various social movements around race and feminism were part of the same historic moment in which global capital set its sights on local difference. Global capital’s turn toward local difference was simultaneous with an epistemic turn toward vernacular cultures as well. According to Hall, the emergence of contemporary globalization was simultaneous with the emergence of anticolonial, black liberation, and feminist movements, the time when “the unspoken discovered that they had a history that they could speak, that they had languages other than the languages of the master.”19 For Hall, liberatory movements were both political and epistemological formations that attempted to simultaneously disinter and reconstruct subjugated histories around race, gender, and nation. Unearthing and reinventing those histories was also not unrelated or coincidental to global capital’s interest in local cultures and differences. As the grip of the nation-state began to weaken because of the capitalist crisis and the internationalization of the economy, the Western nation-state also suffered—as Hall implies—because of the social and epistemic crises brought about by movements led to a large degree by students. Ironically, though, as those social movements advanced and reconceptualized local culture and difference, bringing national culture to crisis, capital turned toward local culture and difference in the very moments that national identity was being revised. Contemporary globalization attempted to feed on those local histories and languages, producing flexible regimes of accumulation “founded on segmented markets, on lifestyle and identity.”20 Hence, one of the ways in which capital mediated its split from a now weakened and damaged nation-state was to work with and through the very local, vernacular, and subjugated histories and differences that helped to bring the nation-state to crisis in the first place. The beginnings of contemporary global capital represented the simultaneous management of difference and the international as well. In the context of the United States and the relative collapse of a national culture that portrayed itself as homogeneous, we can also see the ways in which the American nation-state used local differences to mediate the upheavals brought about by the student movements. For instance, in Michael Omi and Howard Winant’s Racial Formations in the United States, the authors define the racial state in the moments after the various antiracist movements in terms of the state’s institutionalization of certain parts of those movements, arguing that the “The racial state, in its turn, has been historically constructed by racial movements; it consists of agencies and programs which are the institutionalized responses to racial movements of the past.”21 The racial state for Omi and Winant is not simply the entity on which political demands are made. It is also that political formation that receives its identity and contours from having archived the social movements. Building on the idea that the racial state is the conglomerate of institutionalized responses to the sixties and seventies social movements, Omi and Winant go on to argue that state institutions within the United States responded to political pressures of antiracist movements by, in part, adopting policies of absorption.22 About absorption, they state: “Absorption reflects the realization that many demands are greater threats to the racial order before they are accepted than after they have been adopted in suitably moderate form.”23 What Omi and Winant refer to as “absorption” we might understand as the gestures and routines of archival power. Indeed, in its absorptive capacities, the state becomes a subarchive that “documents” past struggles and thus achieves power through control of that broad assemblage of “documents” known as “the student movements.” To speak through and with local culture and difference and to absorb them, state and capital needed the assistance of the academy. In point of fact, the academy was positioned prominently in this moment because of its historic task of representing national culture. In the moment of the sixties— because of the student movements around race and gender—the U.S. academy would take on the imperative of American literature. Put plainly, it would attempt to resolve the contradictions that govern and constitute the U.S. nation-state. In the moment of the multinational firm’s emergence and capital’s explicit engagement in local culture and difference, the academy would become the handbook on the absorption and representation of those differences, the manual for state and capital’s unprecedented deliberation. As such, the U.S. academy would become the model of archontic power —using and assimilating texts to engage the problematic of “e pluribus unum.” In doing so, U.S. higher education would become the capitol of archival power, training state and economy in its methods of representation and regulation. Rather than the academy losing importance because of the attack on national culture, the American academy and things academic would become the place where enfeebled institutions might make sense of difference, its fortunes, and its disruptions.24 Things academic would provide a new opportunity for power, one that would allow power to foster an entirely new relation between academy, capital, and state. This new relation would revolve around the very question promoted by the U.S. student movements, the question of minority difference—how to understand it, how to negotiate it, how to promote it, and how to regulate it. This question would inspire power to run a new archival errand. Put differently, we might say that the link between the epistemological pressures brought about by social movements of the sixties and seventies and the rise of global capital’s interest in local differences lies in the academy. The entrance of local cultures and differences into epistemological representation would also inspire and inform their entrance into law and commodification—into state and capital’s arenas of representation. While this was the moment in which state and capital suffered a devastating rupture, this was also the period in which those entities began to enjoy a new form of communicability with the academy. Through a reinvented discourse of difference, power would inspire a new form of relationality between state, capital, and academy. The academy—transformed by insurgent modes of differences—would begin to educate state and capital into a new type of awareness. The U.S. student movements would inspire power to focus its maneuvers around the keywords of revolutionary upheavals—”minority autonomy,” “self-determination,” and “freedom.” In doing so, power would attempt to find ways to make the articulation of difference consistent with power’s guidance rather than antagonistic to it. In their discussion of the minority movements of the sixties, Omi and Winant argue: “In response to political pressure, state institutions adopt policies of absorption and insulation. Absorption reflects the realization that many demands are greater threats to the racial order before they are accepted than after they have been adopted in suitably moderate form.”25 We might read their theorization of the minority movements of the sixties as an example of the “economistic resource of an archive which capitalizes everything, even that which ruins it or radically contests its power.”26 In the sixties and thereafter, the archival propensities of power reached out to new horizons, attempting to archive the presumably unarchivable components of antiracism, feminism, and so on. In doing so, power would attempt to invest the radical aims of antiracist and feminist movements of the sixties and seventies with another logic, capitalizing those movements and their ensigns, cataloging them in the very institutions that those movements were contesting. In sum, relations of power would try to make those movements and their demands into its reason for being.

The 1AC’s investment in a minoritarian protest within the academic confines of debate is nothing more than the re-instantiation of power. The state, capital, and the academy itself hegemonically invests in the representation of unrest in order to pacify resistance and re-weaponize protest against the possibility for revolutionary subjectivity – turning case.



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