A Practical Handbook For Deconstruction

The point of the guide is to provide an onslaught of material efficiently packaged. Each one of these modules can be expanded out into multiple essays, but they’re sufficient for now. Apply liberally. Some of them are more serious than others. Some are just plain ridiculous—don’t begrudge me my fun.

I expect not to be called out on my failure to pass the Ideological Turing Test on some of the modules, mostly because (1) I understand I didn’t pass, and (2) the purpose of not passing is because deconstruction on multiple levels is possible, given that your opponent hasn’t even passed their own ITT. If critiques shoot too far into the epistemic distance, they’ll be noteworthy, but pointless, and so not really noteworthy at all.

In other words, you can’t deconstruct on a ‘perfectly accurate level’ if they can’t comprehend what it is you’re deconstructing because they don’t fully comprehend their own ideology.

The seek admission portion is a sort of Socratic attempt to bait your interlocutor into making the wrong move. For a lot of the modules, I’ve found that progressives will try and adopt the taxi cab fallacy—that is, waving away the initial premise when they realize it takes them somewhere unpleasant. Our version, I suppose, would be finding out the cab intends to take us directly through Anacostia. Slowly. With the windows down.

I’ll probably update this as I think of more. Of course, suggestions are welcome. Feel free to contribute in the comment box.


-Seek admission: Men are more violent than women on average, and this is because of testosterone.

Point out: Blacks have more testosterone than whites

Conclusion: Blacks on average are more violent than whites


-Seek admission: Marriage has always been heterosexual

Point out: Homosexuals trying to participate in the institution of marriage

Conclusion: This is cultural appropriation, and it is problematic


-Seek admission: Blacks have a higher crime rate than whites

Point out: No one denies this. Pre-empt their objections by saying higher black crime rates could be explained by exclusion, alienation, poverty, bad circumstances, etc.

Conclusion: Since blacks are always referred to as subjects, rather than objects, they have less agency than whites, and are thus inferior. Inferiority is an added bonus if you’re feeling adventurous


-Seek admission: Only individuals know what’s best for themselves

Point out: Individuals always choose the state—if they didn’t, and really didn’t like the state as such, the state would suffer collapse

Conclusion: That only individuals know what’s best for themselves is not always true, or the state is good for individuals


-Seek admission: Only individuals know what’s best for themselves

Point out: Necessarily, all post facto valuations cannot be equal to or higher than ex ante valuations

Conclusion: That only individuals know what’s best for themselves is not always true


-Seek admission: Men and women are basically the same

Point out: But if women were in power things are supposed to be way different—that’s the point of equal representation, after all

Conclusion: Ergo, men are different than women in very important ways, or equal representation in government is redundant


-Seek admission: Prohibiting women from working is oppression

Point out: Women are now free because they can work and pursue careers

Conclusion: Arbeit macht frei


-Seek admission: Women can fully join STEM fields, and geeks desperately want more women in their programs

Point out: Women do not join STEM fields

Conclusion: Women are weaker and much more susceptible to social criticism than men (which is what’s cited as keeping women out of STEM), or women do not prefer STEM work


-Seek admission: Men are oppressors

Point out: Women are equal to men

Conclusion: Women are oppressors


-Seek admission: Men’s opinions on rape and pregnancy will be legitimate when men can become pregnant

Point out: Women on average are not and cannot become funny (or X, Y, and Z)

Conclusion: Women’s opinions on humor are illegitimate


-Seek admission: Rape should be stopped

Point out: Only men can stop rape

Conclusion: Women aren’t good at getting things done


-Seek admission: Violence against women is never okay

Point out: But we should also recruit them into the armed forces and send them into combat because of equality

Conclusion: Therefore, violence against women is sometimes okay


-Seek admission: Government is a monopoly on violence

Point out: Monopolies reduce supply and increase prices

Conclusion: Government will result in less violence, whereas a free market in violence would increase supply and lower prices


-Seem admission: Genetics determines height, eye color, predisposition to diseases, and predisposition to mental illnesses (gosh, this might be a lot to ask for)

Point out: Why think genetics is only implicated below the shoulders?

Conclusion: Genetics determines intelligence


-Seek admission: ‘Prohibition never works’

Point out: Prohibiting nuclear reactors in residentially zoned areas is 100% effective

Conclusion: Whether prohibition works is determined on a case-by-case basis, since not all goods are fungible


-Seek admission: Animals can be bred for different attributes. That’s how we have different dog breeds, for example

Point out: Humans are animals

Conclusion: Humans can be bred for different attributes


-Seek admission: Sexuality, like homosexuality, is inborn, and so it’s okay

Point out: Pedophilia is sexuality

Conclusion: Pedophilia is inborn, and so it’s okay


-Seek admission: We’re totally inclusive, tolerant, and don’t discriminate against anyone

Point out: Inclusivism excludes exclusivism

Conclusion: Inclusivism excludes exclusivism and so is exclusivist by degree


-Seek admission: Just because you got knocked out by Mike Tyson doesn’t mean you know anything about boxing, or should be giving advice about it

Point out: You got knocked out by my dick

Conclusion: Don’t take advice from women about how to attract other women


-Seek admission: Opulence is wrong and is only befitting of Catholics

Point out: Mega churches are more opulent than Parishes

Conclusion: Protestants are worse than Catholics


-Seek admission: High suicide rate among homosexuals

Point out: Other groups with far worse persecution and societal receipt of hatred don’t have high suicide rates

Conclusion: Homosexuals really are weak and mentally fragile


-Seek admission: Africans aren’t really at fault for committing violence because of externally imposed borders

Point out: After World War I, Germany was divvied up by externally imposed borders

Conclusion: Nazis aren’t really at fault for committing violence because of the Treaty of Versailles


-Seek admission: Borders are arbitrary and meaningless because borders are not natural kinds

Point out: Property rights are not natural kinds

Conclusion: Property rights are arbitrary and meaningless


-Seek admission: Gender is totally fluid

Point out: You cannot go from homosexual to heterosexual

Conclusion: Either gender is not fluid, or you can go from homosexual to heterosexual


-Seek admission: Spontaneous orders are sticky, and so to try and get rid of them is counterproductive and often harmful, as it is a top-down imposition of an artificial order

Point out: Privilege is a spontaneous order

Conclusion: Privilege is sticky, and so to try and get rid of it is counterproductive and often harmful


-Seek admission: Gentrification is really bad because it disrupts culture

Point out: Third world immigration disrupts culture

Conclusion: Third world immigration is really bad


-Seek admission: Women do all the work in sweatshops. This must mean that men are lazy. Female power!

Point out: Sweatshop firms seek to hire docile and submissive workers, in order to maximize profit

Conclusion: Women are more docile and submissive than men


-Seek admission: For feminists, the scenario which most reliably produces convergent gender roles is the preferable scenario

Point out: Societies which have high poverty and low standards of living have the most convergent gender roles

Conclusion: Feminists want a society of high poverty and low standards of living


-Seek admission: Cochlear implants will over time result in the elimination of the deaf community

Point out: The purposeful elimination of a community is genocide

Conclusion: Sometimes genocide is good


-Seek admission: We cannot effectively constrain the state. To think so is utopian

Point out: Abolishing the state is harder than constraining the state

Conclusion: Abolishing the state is more utopian than constraining the state


-Seek admission: It would be unacceptable for women to only have one kind of lipstick to choose from

Point out: Communism reduces the vast variety of personal accessories

Conclusion: Women should oppose communism


-Seek admission: There’s no such thing as the common good

Point out: Arguing against rent-seeking and cronyism presupposes that some legislation—or lack of legislation—is for the public benefit, and some is just for the benefit of one particular company at the expense of everyone else

Conclusion: There is such a thing as the common good


-Seek admission: It is democratically legitimate for competing interests to try and raise awareness and influence the political process

Point out: The Kochs are competing interests

Conclusion: The Kochs are democratically legitimate


-Seek admission: Disrespecting or telling Native Americans not to perform their own traditions is racist and wrong

Point out: The Native Americans have cannibalistic traditions, and of course, they kill and eat meat

Conclusion: It is okay to in principle disrespect some traditions, or disrespecting or telling Native Americans not to eat humans or kill and eat meat is racist and wrong


-Seek admission: If you’re investment is at risk, you’re more likely to invest less and less often

Point out: Cohabitation without marriage comparatively puts investment at risk, and with less investment, relationships are not as happy

Conclusion: Cohabitation results in relationships that are not as happy


-Seek admission: Gays are a persecuted minority with little power

Point out: Gays are one of the highest income demographics on the planet

Conclusion: Someone is fucking lying


-Seek admission: Education alone is what makes social institutions and power dynamics remain

Point out: The patriarchy is virtually universal in almost every society

Conclusion: Women virtually universally are bad at educating people


-Seek admission: Banks lending to minorities is predatory lending.

Point out: Banks not lending to minorities is redlining and racist.

Conclusion: Banks can never not be racist. And if you can’t not be racist, then you don’t have a moral obligation to do the impossible.


-Seek admission: Jews do not control Hollywood

Point out: Jews can make sure an actor like Mel Gibson never works in Hollywood again

Conclusion: Someone is fucking lying


-Seek admission: Stereotype threat is true

Point out: This means the performance of women and minorities on tests and outcomes is completely contingent on a white man even being in the room

Conclusion:Either women and minorities innately perform poorly on tests, or women and minorities have less agency than white men, since they are always acted upon, rather than actors, and they are innately incapable of taking control of their own situation


-Seek admission: Feminism as we know it arose out of western culture

Point out: Immigration will gradually eliminate western culture

Conclusion: Immigration will gradually eliminate feminism


-Seek admission: The death of millions in concentration camps is a refutation of Nazism

Point out: Millions have died from unnecessary bombings from liberal regimes

Conclusion: Liberalism is a refuted ideology


-Seek admission: Cultural diversity is a great thing

Point out: Culture doesn’t exist, you xenophobe

Conclusion: Cultural diversity is not a great thing because for something to be a great thing, it has to exist


User-submitted modules:

-Seek admission: People who oppose gay marriage are dumb.

Point out: More blacks than whites oppose gay marriage.

Conclusion: More blacks than whites are dumb.

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  1. Halfway through and all I can think is “I CANT WAIT TO USE THESE”

    Thanks. Oh my god. The Men/Women “basically the same” one is absolutely killer

    1. Right. I like to use them in my own case, as well. Instead of going on some circuitous route which will fall on deaf ears, anyway, I might as well bring up these pre-formulated modules and make them look ridiculous in front of everyone quickly and easily.

  2. That was amazing. Thanks.

  3. An Athlete Dying Young August 26, 2014 at 8:45 pm

    First, the list is good by and large, and I enjoyed reading it, especially: Arbeit macht frei, mad lulz. However, given that these are intended to win/humiliate (by whatever means), I think this list should be pinned somewhere and refined. I have often thought that most conservatives could use a playbook to deal with the usual liberal crap. The important thing is to reduce them to “but, but, but” as fast as possible. If their ability to chain together nonsense exceeds your ability to present counterarguments through whatever means, you will lose because they and most observers are hardly qualified to judge a debate. Going in, the average conservative is at a disadvantage insofar as they posses a sense of shame and intellectual integrity that vastly exceeds their opponent. For that reason, I want to present a two hypothetical scenarios:

    Shrill Progressive: Genetics determines height, eye color, predisposition to diseases, and predisposition to mental illnesses (gosh, this might be a lot to ask for)

    You: Why think genetics is only implicated below the shoulders?

    You: Genetics determines intelligence

    Shrill Progressive: XYZ anthropologist says otherwise. (Read reviews of Wade’s latest book in liberal outlets)


    Shrill Feminist: Violence against women is never okay

    You: But we should also recruit them into the armed forces and send them into combat because of equality

    You: Therefore, violence against women is sometimes okay

    Shrill Feminist: B.S. If women were in charge, there would be no wars.

    Again, though, I think this is very useful so long as one understands its uses and limitations. Even in its current form, this is a very useful resource.

  4. Mattering Matter August 27, 2014 at 8:27 am

    1. People who oppose gay marriage are dumb.

    2. More blacks than whites oppose gay marriage.

    3. More blacks than whites are dumb.

  5. You already know what I think of this, Hadley. Superb, and these examples have been a long time coming.

    I hope for many more in the future!

  6. This so much fun to read but man do you ever have to be creative and brilliant to write this, wow!

  7. SanguineEmpiricist August 31, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    Violence and IQ are highly interrelated, from what I last recall violence peaks around 90 and virtually dissapears past a certain threshold that seems to be easily achievable with minor organizatinal effort. All attempts to discuss violence have no place without reference to this basic fact. Violence as known as typical day to day crime.

    This is why serial killers who are intelligent and the Unabomber were considered so dangerous, because violence among the ultra intelligent is highly unusual. The references to testosterone while seemingly relevant are beside the point from what I understand.

  8. I think this is great, and comprehensive in its reach, its extremely well thought out. But my only criticism would be that it lacks the detail for the average neo-reactionary college student to use. They may not be the audience, but thats where the rubber hits the road – so to speak. It would be good if we had a way to edit these, or copy and paste variations. Not to change the meaning of them, because they are very good alone, rather to expand them and make more verbose the arguments. Well done.

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