Die Normalisierung von Ein­kommen­steuern. Eine Analyse der Ein­führung der Reichs­ein­kommen­steuer 1919/1920

In Zeitschrift für Diskursforschung 3.1, 5–28.


The power of the modern state becomes manifest particularly in its capability to produce subjectivities of citizen. One obvious but little researched means of state subjectivation is taxation. We examine lhis power of taxation by looking at the introduction of relatively high federal income taxes (Reichseinkommensteuer) in the Weimar Republic 1919/1920. In two regards, we focus on the question of normalization: Firstly, we explore how the normality of a general and comparatively high income tax was established. Secondly, we ask how the environment into which the tax was introduced was affecled by normalization effects. In order to scrutinize these questions we study the draft law of the new income tax and the debate about this draft in the German National Assembly in December 1919. The analysis builds on the concepts of veridictive, disciplinary and securitizing power borrowed from Foucaultian power analytics.