Il n’y a pas de hors-texte, a Frog once croaked — “there is nothing outside the text.” And thus was born Deconstruction, some of the barmiest fashionable nonsense ever preached in a university. But Derrida was sort of onto something, you know? There’s a grain of truth in every Leftist lie, and in this case, it’s this: Language really does “encode” its users’ assumptions.
Consider, for instance, the dreaded “infodump” in science fiction. It’s one of the most openly mocked tropes in the genre, and for good reason — nothing kicks you out of a story faster than hearing two Starfleet engineers explaining to each other how the Freem Drive works. “As you know, Bob, we need to load the dilithium crystals into the plasma chamber while engaging the vortex coupler, which by the way was invented in 2157, when Captain Cosmos and his intrepid ship Intrepid blasted into the Blogzog Galaxy…”
Nobody talks like this. Even if you’re a mechanic (and even if you know the science behind it), you’re never going to explain to anyone all the complexities of getting the gunk off spark plugs; you just say “your car’s fixed.” Behind — “encoded” — in the word “car” is a whole bunch of stuff you memorized for a test back in high school and have since completely forgotten: F=MA, combustion, etc. Ditto “fixed” — it might as well be a Freem Drive to most of us, but we at least understand that there are a lot of complex physical operations going on, backed with hard science that we could look up if we needed.
Look at it that way, and Deconstruction is a valuable way of literary, and especially historical, analysis — you can learn a lot about a culture by unpacking the assumptions in their language. Look at it another way, though, and in about three steps you’ve arrived at the Left’s typical shit-flinging nihilism: As you know, Bob, there’s no way to tell what’s really in someone’s head when he uses a word. When I say “tree,” I see an elm in my mind’s eye. You see an oak, Susie sees a birch, John sees a palm tree, etc. And even if I specify “elm tree,” you’re not going to see the same elm tree, are you? Hence even the most specific communication is only ever approximate.
Hence language can’t describe Reality, and here again, if you look at it one way you get Plato (that’s what that Forms stuff was about); look at it another way, and nobody really knows anything (the Left picked the latter, obviously). Which entails that the meaning of words is really just conventional, and since conventions are imposed by Society…. wait for it…. wait for it… the meaning of words is Just a Social Construction ™. And since Society is made up of people, once you eliminate all the badthinkers each word will mean only what we choose it to mean.
The problem for the Left is: you can never eliminate all the badthinkers, and because you can’t, they — the Left — are completely intellectually defenseless. Maybe buried somewhere in his famously impenetrable prose is Derrida’s explanation for how his revelation is the One True Thing in a Deconstructed world, but your average Lefty surely doesn’t have one. We internet better than they do, so we can take their precious words away from them and make them ours. And when they’re left spluttering “wow just wow I can’t even,” laugh at them for wasting the price of a decent house on five years’ worth of “education.”