Several of the critical voices currently enjoying ascendancy in continental philosophy today stake their positions on a declared dissatisfaction with ‘deconstruction’ or ‘poststructuralism,’ associated with an ethics-of-the-other position that is taken to be responsible for a certain blockage of emancipatory possibility in the political field. To the extent that it is seen as preoccupied with the worst events of the European twentieth century, such a ‘deconstructive’ approach is frequently characterised as regressive, bound by the repetition of trauma, and given to a sense of redemptive entitlement. This essay questions the basis of this characterisation, and unpacks its key ramifications, not least for the ‘political’ positions founded on such a critique.