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


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


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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