Marx and Engels in Neue Rheinische Zeitung July 1848

The Government of Action

Source: MECW Volume 7, p. 194;
Written: by Marx on July 7, 1848;
First published: in the Neue Rheinische Zeitung No. 39, July 9, 1848.

Cologne, July 7. We have a new ministerial crisis. The Camphausen Ministry fell, the Hansemann Ministry faltered. The Government of Action had a life-span of a week in spite of all the little household remedies, cosmetics, press trials, arrests, in spite of the arrogant impudence with which the bureaucracy once again reared its document-dusty head, hatching petty, brutal plots of vengeance for its dethronement. The “ Government of Action”, composed entirely of mediocrities, was at the start of the Agreement Assembly’s most recent session still so deluded as to believe in its own imperturbability.

By the end of the session it was completely routed. This momentous session convinced Prime Minister von Auerswald that he should tender his resignation; nor did Minister von Schreckenstein want any longer to remain as Hansemann’s train-bearer and thus the entire Ministry yesterday betook themselves to the King at Sanssouci. What was decided there we shall learn tomorrow.

Our Berlin # correspondent writes in a postscript:

“Just now the rumour is spreading that Vincke, Pinder and Mevissen have been urgently sent for to help in the formation of a new Ministry.”

If this rumour is confirmed we shall finally have come from the Government of mediation through the Government of Action to the Government of the counter-revolution. At last! The very brief life-span of this ministerial counter-revolution would suffice to show to the people in full life-size these dwarfs who raise their diminutive heads at the slightest stirring of reaction.