Our mission is growing debate, with a focus on programs facing budget cuts. Debate is a community of thinkers who are interested in solving the world’s problems; Debate’s emphasis on research skills and public speaking grooms debaters into scholars who can communicate the needs of their community, research and study problems, and the confidence to follow through with their commitments regardless of how rocky the road may seem at times. The involvement of critical literature in debate is essential to promoting an equitable future, one where fascism is uprooted just as quickly as it takes hold of peoples’ desires. We believe in debate because it forces complex and critical thinking, debate concentrates great thinkers in one space for hours at a time to deliberate. We want to increase the financial support that is given to folks continuing the critical tradition of debate, and above all we believe in the ability of debate to change overtime according to the needs of its debaters.
It is important to note here; criticality does not automatically mean the resolution does not matter. However, given the impetus of critical debate, resolutional affirmatives should also work towards decolonial methods. The state is very much a real thing, and it seems that we have no idea where the cord is that we can sever to un-attach us from colonial modes of thinking. This has become strikingly apparent in the collegiate community that has only become more striated since the crowns were united in 2013. Debates, with a resolutional and a critical team, are nearly always the same. Policy affs read their advantage that impacts out to global warming, and then read a 6-minute shell about why debating the resolution is good and key to proper policy-making. When sides are reversed, the Aff is read and the negative reads their 6-minute shell about why debating the resolution is good, along with a kritik that everyone knows will not be in the 2nr. We want to see this change. Resolutional teams should have strong insights into the intricacies of gendered, racial, and classist violence as they occur on an institutional level. Instead of entrenching themselves in policy-making good cards from 2000, they should bring forth strong reasoned, pragmatic change that if occurred, would change the political landscape of our racist, sexist, and colonialist society. It is obvious that this system is not working- capitalism must be thrown away, and socialism is just a mask to create a utopia for the creative class; rendering the outcasts and marginalized still invisible. Debate is a great place to struggle against capitalism while still enjoying the thrill of competition that pressures people to think at greater capacities than they ever thought possible before entering their first tournament.
It is the goal of Exodus Files to promote an online community of people who want to learn about the capitalist-colonialist structures around us and find ways to cope with and destroy these modes of being. It is useless to argue with us about how “capitalism is the only way to accommodate for this many people on the Earth. There is no other way to feed this many people and provide them shelter etc…” because these arguments will fall on ignoring ears. A system which forces >15000 people a day to die due to starvation obviously is not working and the discussion ends there; no matter how well the people are being “fed”. This is why Exodus’ first objective is to facilitate education; our blog will be full of not only debate technique, tips, and strategies, but also discussions about authors and the books they have written. It is important to understand the processes of power that surround us so that we can build effective change-making strategies and collectives; and debate is a proving ground of ideas, the perfect place to argue, come to conclusions, and then set out to argue again.
Please, have discussions on our posts. Our posts are the jumping off point for a plethora of conversations and exploring/investigating new ways of thinking, which is necessary to stop our current trajectory towards global catastrophe caused by extraction of resources, wealth, and subjectivity from a planet and people that are living in death.
The debate that we are growing is a debate centered around equity, redistribution, and radicals. Radicals defined as those who wish that our government, at the very least, would be capable of following its own laws, respecting the autonomy of everyone (especially people who are not white), and refusing hierarchal organizations which seek to extract labor for their own material, and immaterial, well-being at the expense of their employees.
This is our mission- but what is our process to fulfill it?
First, we send 10% of our gross profits to Urban Debate Leagues. This provides students with the resources they need to debate (not just computers, paper, printers, highlighters, flashdrives, those really nice pens; but also hiring coaches, judges, and van drivers). At this moment we have a strong connection with Debate Kansas City, but welcome other UDLs to hit us up. We also want to be helping rural debate, underfunded programs and structural violence exist everywhere and it would be wrong of us to only focus on urban areas.
Second, we stream debates. The conversations that occur in the NDT and CEDA are some of the most nuanced discussions of theory, policy, and practicality that exist in the debate world. We want to bring those competitions to you, if the best of the best writes their blocks this way, maybe you should too.
Third, we provide great compensation to our argument writers, content producers, and streamers. A large problem in collegiate debate is a lack of jobs that encourage people to use the skills they are honing in debate; and most other debate argument companies pay their writers by the page. Not only does this create a vampiric environment for the talents of debaters (they are incentivized to cut more, lower quality evidence instead of creating a quality file with great research that can be used the moment of purchase.) Our employees are paid by commission and salary. We believe that with a little bit of time, a lot of hard work, and getting the community we are growing behind our back, we can create viable and meaningful jobs for debaters while they are receiving their education.
Finally, we provide a PRN (as-needed) voucher system for students, coaches, parents who wish to purchase our files but do not have the funds. Our files are set at a price that will allow our producers to receive a fair compensation for their work. After all, any given file will require 35-50 total hours of work until it is completed. We understand, however, that our prices could cause stress on already bourgeoning budget shortfalls. If you are in a situation where you wish to pay for a file but cannot, please send us a message (facebook and email work best at the moment) and tell us your situation. We will gladly cover the cost for you. The activity of debate has been divided by wealth since the inauguration of the NDT with the forced exclusion of black programs from the activity. People have been standing up and fighting against this exclusion, Exodus Files is a new collective ready to pick up where others have left off and start fighting for changes in the world.
Although we may seem like we are just another debate company attempting to grow a profit off this activity, we are not. We are a collective of people growing the activity of debate so that others may enjoy the benefits that we enjoyed. Debate teaches people, above all else, how to fight for themselves and helps people find issues that they want to be fighting for. Whether your own mission for debate is to be the best, find yourself, have a good time, or immerse yourself in critical theory Exodus Files is here to help you achieve your goals.