1 The attack on and self-defense of society are Polanyian themes (Karl Polanyi, The Great
Transformation [New York: Rinehart, 1944]) that are enjoying a revival in contemporary
critiques of neoliberalism. (For one of many fine examples of this work see Maurice Glasman,
Unnecessary Su√ering [London: Verso, 1996]; see also the late political speeches and writings of
Pierre Bourdieu collected in Acts of Resistance: Against the Tyranny of the Market, trans.
Richard Nice [New York: New Press, 1998]). These are not my themes. Although this study
takes considerable theoretical inspiration from Polanyi and more generally from the tradition
of grand sociology from Marx through Mauss, it maintains a historicist distance from many of
that tradition’s central categories, including ‘‘society’’ itself. Such skepticism is the hallmark of
‘‘governmentality’’ studies (see The Foucault E√ect: Studies in Governmentality [Chicago: Uni-
versity of Chicago Press, 1991] and previous and subsequent work by its contributors and
others). This is not, however, itself such a study, in that I merely investigate a specific govern-
mental rationality.
2Anthony, Earl of Shaftesbury, An Inquiry concerning Virtue, or Merit, in Shaftesbury, Charac-
teristicks of Men, Manners, Opinions, Times, ed. Philip Ayres (Oxford: Clarendon, 1999), vol. I,
p. 247 (II.ii.1).
3 Jeremy Bentham, A Table of the Springs of Action (‘‘Explanations’’), in Bentham, Deontology
Together with A Table of the Springs of Action and The Article On Utilitarianism, ed. Amnon
Goldworth (Oxford: Clarendon, 1983), p. 90.
4 James Coleman, Foundations of Social Theory (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1990), p.
5 ‘‘Shaftesbury and Bentham’’ is misleading. With the exception of Bentham, this is not an
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