This article considers neoliberalism in light of the political and intellectual challenge to which it was originally a reaction. What began as a productive way of thinking about the relationship between legitimate political order and exceptionality has become, in today’s ordinary discourse, simply a term of abuse. The themes of the original neoliberals are still relevant: how to maintain an open and dynamic but civilized world in the face of increased nationalism, authoritarianism, and radical popular mobilization by rigorously enforcing competition, taming credit cycles, making general rules the principle of policy, and limiting the politicization of economic decisions.