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In order to maintain them in their proper existence, their essential acts must be repeatedly performed by new generations of actors and activators, the inaugural events of these institutions must be repeatedly celebrated and memorialized, the precedents of their traditions must be repeatedly reviewed and revised in active application to new settings. “Political institutions, no matter how well or how badly designed, depend for continued existence upon acting men; their conservation is achieved by the same means that brought them into being.

608a), that is, an imitation of models of excellence. But it would no longer have anything to do with the dramas staged in the democratic theater. Permit me to quote from the Laws. At a key point in the dialogue, the elderly citizen of Athens, most probably Plato himself, asks whether or not the ordinary tragic poets could be allowed to bring their poetry into the best City. The answer is: Best of strangers, we ourselves are poets who have to the best of our ability created a tragedy that is the most beautiful and the best; at any rate, our whole political regime is constructed as the imitation of the most beautiful and best way of life, which we at least assert to be really [ontôs einai] the truest tragedy.

1 (1991): 557–77, esp. 570f. 12. Martin Heidegger, Einführung in die Metaphysik (Tübingen: Niemeyer, 1957), 28. English translation by Gregory Fried and Richart Polt, Introduction to Metaphysics (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000), 40. 13. Ibid. 152/213. 14. Lacoue-Labarthe 1980, 172, 178. Citing from the last essay, “Transcendence Ends in Politics,” 267–300. 15. Martin Heidegger, Nietzsche I (Pfullingen: Neske, 1961), 194. English translation by David Farrell Krell, Nietzsche, vol, 1, The Will to Power as Art (San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1979), 166.

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