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Sylvia Wynter discusses Eurocentric thought as a closed cognitive order. In this article, Mijke van der Drift interrogates this cognitive closure as a style of thought that is intertwined with institutions. By inverting the attention Foucault gives to the subjects under scrutiny, van der Drift shows that the focus on those that maintain the institution, the managerial class, reveals how power and knowledge configure this contraction of perception. Van der Drift argues that institutions are central to this process because it offers alignment of purpose and understanding by means of rights and discipline. Consequently, this alignment leads to an indifference to other ways of worlding that Philomena Essed and Isabel Hoving describe as “smug ignorance.” Van der Drift argues that this finds root in the institution, rather than being a harmful side effect that needs to be addressed. To contrast institutional alignment, the author sketches a pluralist ethics that offers an alternative mode of relationality and collective organization.