Foucault Studies 20:180-198 (2015)

Deborah Cook
University of Windsor
The paper begins with a broad description of Adorno’s and Foucault's relations to Marx. Its focus then narrows to describe the relation between the economy and the state in their work, and in particular, whether Adorno adopted Friedrich Pollock’s state capitalist thesis which asserts that state power now outflanks the market economy. The next section deals with exchange relations and power relations, and Foucault’s discussion of neo-liberalism in The Birth of Biopolitics comes to the fore. After questioning Foucault’s claim that neo-liberalism effectively abandons exchange, I conclude that, while Adorno may well be right about the primacy of exchange relations, his analysis must be supplemented with an analysis of power because he recognizes that power superseded exchange in Nazi Germany and believes that the West still faces a resurgence of that horror. In fact, it was this very threat that impelled Foucault to devote much of his work to an analysis of power.
Keywords power relations   exchange relations   economy   state   neo-liberalism
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DOI 10.22439/fs.v0i0.4936
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