Regierungsmentalität und Policey

Technologien der Glückseligkeit im Zeitalter der Vernunft


  • Wolfgang Neurath



The models of political analysis can be divided into two registers: On the one hand we find the search for the political conditions and the possibility of a general order in society (social synthesis); on the other hand there are questions such as, how is it possible to govern a population? (gouvernementalite). This article introduces the policy and politics of »the police« (German: Policey) in the age of reason and hence treats the discursive forms of government in the 18th century. This art of governing consists in the sum of all processes that should result in the improvement in the state of »society« as a whole. These processes concern themselves with a reasonable distribution of »social« places and a considered organization of »social« forces. These technologies emerge in the 17 century and find their benefit and legitimacy in the commonwealth of the community and the well-being of every person. This theory of commonwealth (eudaimonia) is, so to speak, the specific form of rationality and the internal reason of all sciences that concern the Policey in the age of enlightenment. Each governing person must employ the knowledge, procedures and techniques of the Policey in a very characteristic way. To develop their abilities to the highest degree, the »people and things « governed must be constituted and described in their specific qualities.  The works of Johann Beckmann (1739-1811) pose the question of the orga- nization of craft and trade (German: Handwerkskunst. English: The Art of Craft and Trade) and constitute a Tableau of Technologies, which takes its place in the framework of all sciences that are related to the state and the government. This Ta- bleau appears significantly as a History ofArt (German: Kunstgeschichte). Thus the article emphasizes how the discourse of governmentality ties together the Tableau o f T echnology and the industrial education of people.





Neurath, W. (2000). Regierungsmentalität und Policey: Technologien der Glückseligkeit im Zeitalter der Vernunft. Österreichische Zeitschrift für Geschichtswissenschaften, 11(4), 11–33.