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The Cap K

The “Cap K” is a critique of capitalism. As defined by Merriam Webster, “a way of organizing an economy so that the things that are used to make and transport products (such as land, oil, factories, ships, etc.) are owned by individual people and companies rather than by the government.” 1 This K would typically argue that x is deeply tied to capitalism and its legitimacy. Unfortunately, the system of capitalism is dedicated to maximizing the wellbeing of the elite and casting aside the working class. One of the strengths of the Cap K is its historical analysis. This is a K that works really well against other Ks—and is often a go to strategy for debaters engaging in K vs. K debates. That’s because the legacy of capitalism has been heavily tied to the disposability or exploitation of particular groups. Many disregard people with disabilities because they believe they cannot be productive workers. Many argue that slavery was started because capitalism encouraged maximizing profit, and what better way to do so than through free labor, and what better way to replicate this system than through generational slavery. It can also be used against traditional policy arguments because many of those positions will heavily rely on capitalist institutions to carry out the affirmative (such as governments, corporations, etc.). Once the debater is able to establish that capitalism is the root cause of all misfortune in our world, establishing the link that your opponent is promoting or protecting capitalism seals the deal.

Here’s an example of what the focal points of a debate involving the Afropess K on the negative could look like:

(Reminder: Link, impact, and alternative will be labeled in the examples with the following colors: link, impact, alternative.)

    1. Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its funding and/or regulation of elementary and/or secondary education in the United States.
    2. K’s Main Argument: The focus on funding shows the strong connection between education systems and capitalist institutions in the United States. Substantial increasing of funding allows for governments to maintain a strong hold on the population while disrupting the potential for radical change and criticism in classrooms. We should focus on continuous opposition to the state in the fight against capitalism.
    3. Potential Affirmative Response: Students need funding in order to learn and criticize in the way the K cares about. Additionally, lack of access disproportionately harms low income students. These disparities will only make the effects of capitalism worse.

¹ “Capitalism.” The Merriam-Webster.Com Dictionary, www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/capitalism. Accessed 28 Feb. 2022.