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On The American Paradox Of Laissez Faire And Mass Incarceration, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2012

On The American Paradox Of Laissez Faire And Mass Incarceration, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

In The Illusion of Free Markets (Harvard 2011), Professor Bernard Harcourt analyzes the evolution of a distinctly American paradox: in the country that has done the most to promote the idea of a hands-off government, we run the single largest prison complex in the entire world. Harcourt traces this paradox back to the eighteenth century and demonstrates how the presumption of government incompetence in economic affairs has been coupled with that of government legitimacy in the realm of policing and punishing. Harcourt shows how these linked presumptions have fueled the expansion of the carceral sphere in the nineteenth and twentieth ...


Fantasies And Illusions: On Liberty, Order, And Free Market, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2012

Fantasies And Illusions: On Liberty, Order, And Free Market, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

Critical thinkers have used various terms to describe the collective imaginary that has real effects on individuals, society, and politics. Freud used the term “einer Illusion” to characterize religious belief in his work, The Future of an Illusion, though many others in the psychoanalytic tradition would turn to the notion of fantasy. Marx sometimes used the term illusion and he notoriously deployed the optical illusion and the phantasmagoria in his famous discussion of commodity fetishism. (And Marx, of course, is the father of Ideologiekritic). Foucault at times used the language of fantasy and phantasms, in an early period deployed the ...


"Becker On Ewald On Foucault On Becker": American Neoliberalism And Michel Foucault's 1979 Birth Of Biopolitics Lectures, Gary S. Becker, Francois Ewald, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2012

"Becker On Ewald On Foucault On Becker": American Neoliberalism And Michel Foucault's 1979 Birth Of Biopolitics Lectures, Gary S. Becker, Francois Ewald, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

In a series of lectures delivered in 1979 at the Collège de France under the title The Birth of Biopolitics, Michel Foucault conducted a close reading of Gary Becker’s writings on human capital and on crime and punishment, within the context of an elaboration and critique of American neoliberalism. Foucault was assisted at the time, at the Collège de France, by François Ewald. Since then, there has been ongoing debate over Foucault’s views about neoliberalism. In this historic meeting at the University of Chicago between Professors Becker and Ewald, Professor Ewald presents a framework to understand Foucault’s ...