Barbarian in the City Walls. Schumpeter’s ‘Entrepreneur’ as the Subject of a Historico-political Discourse

  • Georgy Vanunts
Keywords: Wendy Brown, Ulrich Bröckling, Michel Foucault, Joseph A.Schumpeter , Werner Sombart, Friedrich v.Wieser, Austrian school of economics, German Historical school, neoliberalism, conservative turn, neoliberal mutation, neoliberal subject, entrepreneurial self, historico-political discourse, juridic-political discourse, barbarian, savage, spontaneous order, homo oeconomicus, catallactics, freedom, coercion

Abstract

A common narrative about the recent reactionary turn in electoral democracies around the world highlights a fundamental lack in the heart of neoliberal rationality — a lack of political/ social in the version of critical theorists and a lack of morals/ traditions in the version of conservative critics. What if this lack is complemented by an excess, an antinomic element, that overdetermines this shift to the right? Following the mainstream version of neoliberal subject — an entrepreneurial self — this study reaches into the genealogy of the ‘entrepreneur’ concept in the theory of Joseph A.Schumpeter, tracing its roots to the conservative dichotomies of Werner Sombart and Friedrich von Wieser. By placing the ‘entrepreneur’ in the framework of Foucault’s theory of two discourses, I draw out the complex relationship between Schumpeterian concept and its analogues in the mainstream neoliberal theory. An outcome of this analysis is the hypotesis of polidiscoursivity: a problem of ‘barbarian subject’ at the gates (or within the city walls) of the Austrian school’s (neo)liberal utopia.

Author Biography

Georgy Vanunts

Research Fellow
Center of Contemporary Political Studies Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration,
Vernadsky prospekt, 82, bulding 2, 119606 Moscow
E-mail: g.vanunts@gmail.com

References

Akbaba, Sertan. (2018). “Re-Narrating Europe in the Face of Populism: An Analysis of the Anti-Immigration Discourse of Populist Party Leaders”. Insight Turkey vol. 20.3: 199–218.
Backhaus, Jürgen. (2003). Joseph Alois Schumpeter: Entrepreneurship, Style and Vision. New York: Springer.
Bell, Daniel (1976). The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism. New York: Basic Books.
Brökling, Urich (2016). The Entrepreneurial Self. Fabricating a New Type of Subject. London: Sage.
Brown, Wendy (2019). In the Ruins of Neoliberalism: The Rise of Antidemocratic Politics in the West. New York: Columbia University Press.
Brown, Wendy (2003). “Neo-Liberalism and the End of Liberal Democracy”. Theory & Event vol. 7.1: 37-59.
Callison, William, Zachary Manfredi (2020). Mutant Neoliberalism: Market Rule and Political Rupture. New York: Fordham University Press.
Сhristiaens, Tim (2019). “The entrepreneur of the self beyond Foucault’s neoliberal homo oeconomicus”. European Journal of Social Theory vol. 23.4: 493–511.
Crouch, Colin (2011). The Strange Non-death of Neo-liberalism. New Jersey: Wiley. Davies, William (2014). The Limits of Neoliberalism: Authority, Sovereignty and the Logic of Competition. London: Sage.
De Vecchi, Nicolo (1996). Entrepreneurs, Institutions and Economic Change. The Economic Thought of J. A. Schumpeter. Sydney: Sydney University Press
Ferreira, Manuel Portugal, Nuno Rosa Reis, Claudia Frias Pinto (2017). “C.S.F. Schum- peter’s (1934) Influence on Entrepreneurship (and Management) Research”. Revista de Empreendedorismo e Gestão de Pequenas Empresas vol. 6.1: 4-39 Foucault, Michel (2003). “Society Must Be Defended”: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1975-1976. London: Picador.
Foucault, Michel (2008). The Birth of Biopolitics. London: Pallgrave MacMillan.
Fraser, Nancy (2020). The Old is Dying and the New Cannot Be Born: From Progressive Neoliberalism to Trump and Beyond. London: Verso.
Fuchs Christian (2018). Digital Demagogue: Authoritarian Capitalism in the Age of Trump and Twitter. London: Pluto Press.
Inglot, Tomasz, Dorottya Szikra (2012). “Reforming Post-Communist Welfare States”. Problems of Post-Communism vol. 59: 27-49.
Harvey, David (2007). A Brief History of Neoliberalism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Kellner, Douglas (2018). “Donald Trump as Authoritarian Populist: A Frommian Analysis”. Critical Theory and Authoritarian Populism vol. 9: 71–82.
Koolman, Gary (1971). “Say’s Conception of the Role of the Entrepreneur”. Economica vol. 38.151: 269–286.
Kristol, Irving (1978). Two Cheers for Capitalism. New York: Basic Books.
Lapied, André, Sophie Swaton (2013). “L’entrepreneur schumpétérien est-il surhumain?”. Cahiers D’économie Politique vol. 65: 183-202.
Marshall, Alfred (1920). Principles of Economics. London: Macmillan and Co. McCraw, Thomas Kincaid (2007). Prophet of Innovation: Joseph Schumpeter and Creative Destruction. Cambrigde: Harvard University Press.
McGuigan, Jim (2016). Neoliberal Culture. London: Palgrave MacMillan.
McNay, Lois (2009). “Self as Enterprise: Dilemmas of Control and Resistance in Foucault’s The Birth of Biopolitics” Theory, Culture & Society vol. 26.6: 55–77.
Medearis, John (2009). Joseph A. Schumpeter. New York: Continuum.
Michaelides, Panayotis, John Milios (2009). “Joseph Schumpeter and the German Historical School”. Cambridge Journal of Economics vol. 33.3: 495–516.
Mirowski, Philip, Dieter Plehwe (2009). The Road from Mont Pelerin: The Making of the Neoliberal Thought Collective. Cambrigde: Harvard University Press.
O’Malley Pat (2000). “Uncertain Subjects: Risks, Liberalism and Contract”. Economy and Society vol. 29: 460–484.
Oleynikov, Andrey. (2011). “Aristokratiya kak oznachayushcheye” [Aristocracy as Signifier]. In Intellektualniy yazyk epokhi. Istoriya idey, istoriya slov [The Intellectual Language of an Era. The History of Ideas, the History of Words]. Moscow: Novoye Obozreniye.
Peck, Jamie (2010). “Zombie Neoliberalism and the Ambidextrous State”. Theoretical Criminology vol.14.1: 104 –10.
Plehwe, Diete, Quinn Slobodian, Philip Mirowski (2020). Nine Lives of Neoliberalism. London: Verso.
Reinert, Hugo, Eric Reinert (2006). “Creative Destruction in Economics: Nietzsche, Sombart, Schumpeter”. In Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), eds. Jürgen Backhaus, Wolfgang Drechsler, 55-87. New York: Springer.
Rose, Nikolas (1992). “Governing the Enterprising Self”. In The Values of the Enterprise Culture Eds. Paul Morris, Paul Heelas, 150-168. London: Routledge.
Scharff, Christina (2016). “The Psychic Life of Neoliberalism: Mapping the Contours of Entrepreneurial Subjectivity”. Theory, Culture & Society. Vol. 33.6: 107–122.
Schumpeter, Joseph (1976). Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy. London: Routledge.
Schumpeter, Joseph (1908). Das Wesen und der Hauptinhalt der theoretischen Nationalökonomie. Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot.
Schumpeter, Joseph (1987). History of Economic Analysis. London: Routledge.
Schumpeter, Joseph (1974). Imperialism & Social Classes. New York: Meridian Books/New American Library.
Schumpeter, Joseph (1997). Ten Great Economists. London: Routledge.
Schumpeter, Joseph (1987). Theorie der wirtschaftlichen Entwicklung. Leipzig: Duncker und Humblot.
Schumpeter, Joseph (1934). Theory of Economic Development. Cambrigde: Harvard University Press.
Shionoya, Yuichi (1997). Schumpeter and the Idea of Social Science. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Sombart, Werner (1913). Der Bourgeois. München: Duncker & Humblot.
Sombart, Werner (1913). The Jews and Modern Capitalism. London: T. F. Unwin. Sombart, Werner (1922). Luxury and capitalism. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan
Press.
Sombart, Werner (2017). Economic Life in the Modern Age. London: Routledge. Swarts, Jonathan (2013). Constructing Neoliberalism: Economic Transformation in Anglo-American Democracies. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Taymans, Adrien (1950). “Tarde and Schumpeter: A similar vision”. The Quarterly Journal of Economics vol. 64.4: 611-622.
Tyagarajan Meenakshi (1959). “The Development of the Theory of Entrepreneurship”. Indian Economic Review vol. 4.4: 135-150.
Weber, Max (2001). The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. London: Routledge.
Wieser, Friedrich von (1983). The Law of Power. Lincoln: Univeristy of Nebraska Press.
Zolo, Danilo (1992). Democracy and Complexity: A Realist Approach. Philadelphia: Pennsylvania State University Press.
Published
2021-01-20
How to Cite
VanuntsG. (2021). Barbarian in the City Walls. Schumpeter’s ‘Entrepreneur’ as the Subject of a Historico-political Discourse. Stasis, 10(2). Retrieved from http://stasisjournal.net/index.php/journal/article/view/175