How Is It Possible to See Ordoliberalism From a Foucauldian Perspective?

The interpretation of ordoliberalism occupies an important place in Foucault’s thinking and shows the direction in which his reflexivity shifted in the second half of the last century. In order to shed light on why the French thinker turned to ordoliberalism, it is necessary to consider: a) the special place of political economy in the history of modernity; b) the weaknesses of “liberal naturalism”; c) the “political economy” of truth and the market bias of truth; d) the dynamics of the variability of reason in terms of governmentality. Foucault places ordoliberalism on a high shelf because he sees it as providing specific operational answers to the questions that preoccupied him, such as those that pointed to the “dual” aspect of modernity (“the West”) – modernity’s capacity to simultaneously “individualize” and “totalize”. Moreover, the ordoliberal form of governmentality with its economic emphasis puts the market in the context of the “politics of truth”. At the same time, Foucault’s procedure, which both responds to the violent West German political situation and follows the internal logic of his thought, is problematic. For what are the implications of praising ordoliberalism’s “creation of truth” for the interpretation of power and violence? What are the consequences of the praise of ordoliberal economic power in relation to violence and neoliberalism?

Released: Replika 129, 125–146.