Through and Out of Politics

The most important and definitive thing the occupant of the center does is select the successor who will be most likely to select the successor who will be most likely… This may sound like a very “formal” and “selfish” way of thinking about governing but the exact opposite is the case—the entire field of centered ordinality must be continually surveyed, all institutions must be created and maintained so as to produce suitable candidates and make those candidates known to people, responsibilities must be conferred across all distributory channels and priorities set so as to produce the dispositions needed to provide a sufficient number and range of candidates, Selecting the successor in perpetuity is intrinsically bound up with the center as the site of distribution, in which is remains continuous with its originary ritual function. As with all of my hypotheses (I know that I repeat this often) this is not just prospective and normative but descriptive—everyone with the slightest authority is always already doing this, even under conditions inimical to such projections of authority, which means it is often done dishonestly, without unawareness or, in the best of cases, by modeling one’s occupation of the center in such a way as to constrain future occupants. Everyone can feel on some level that all their work would be in vain if the wrong successor was to take over—trying to make your work indelible is an attempt to select your successor.

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