HARTUNG-BERGMAN FOUNDATION SEMINAR
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The Belle Époque of Inequalities:
The State, Taxes, and the Fear of Socialism
Editorial Director: Laurence Bertrand Dorléac
Editorial Staff: Carole Gautier and Cécile Pichon-Bonin
Translator: David Ames Curtis
In his much-discussed major book, published just this year (Les Batailles de l’impôt. Consentement et résistances de 1789 à nos jours), Nicolas Delalande reconsiders the question of whether political democracy and universal suffrage must necessarily lead to State intervention in favor of a greater equality of conditions as he reexamines this still-current debate, which first took form in the late nineteenth century, back when the French Third Republic and democratic institutions were becoming established within the context of the “first phase of globalization.” His paper allows us to grasp better the extent to which the discussion today is rooted in a long-term history of different diagnoses and differing ambitions for society. Delalande also raises the issue of the representational image that is given of society as well as that of the employment of the tools that, starting during that period, would serve to put society into figures and to map it. Finally, he reminds us of the major role caricature plays in the fierce debates surrounding taxation.