Aside from arguments - things that I experience to be life-draining and soul-destroying are things that are bad - always turn-out to be bad things sooner or later.
Of course many things like The European Union are abstractions and mainly experienced via the mass media - but even such things do impinge upon us concretely, from time to time.
So the EU has impinged on me in the way that other people use the EU in arguments and instructions; experiences with colleagues who have been involved in dealings with the organisation such as applying for 'research' grants and engaging in projects and producing reports.
And once I visited Strasbourg and went on a river boat trip that included passing near to the EU parliament building, which I experienced as very obviously a concrete embodiment of the iron hand of arrogant and destructive bureaucracy - deliberately designed to overawe and crush dissent into despair.
But it is experiences like these which enable us to evaluate the abstract and remote institutions - the experience of filling-in a form, or dealing with an official, reading publicity material... things like that.
When you feel your life force being sucked-out-from-you, when you feel your soul being confined and crushed... then you know that you are dealing with something that is bad - overall and in effect.