Forgiving Foucault and Defining Neoliberalism

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“Economics is therefore not the analysis of processes; it is the analysis of an activity. So it is no longer the analysis of the historical logic of processes; it is the analysis of internal rationality, the strategic programming of individuals’ activity” (Foucault, M. The Birth of Biopolitics: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1978-1979)

Late in 2014 an interview was conducted at Jacobin entitled “Can We Criticize Foucault?”, wherein sociologist Daniel Zamora posits that the late French philosopher – and subsequently rather a sacred cow in plenty of leftist circles – had in the last years of his life reconciled his own perspectives, to a previously unacknowledged degree, with the project of neoliberalism. The interview itself was related to the impending English translation of Critiquer Foucault: Les années 1980 et la tentation néolibérale, a collection of essays on the topic. Considering that the interview was necessarily a…

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