Marx in Neue Rheinische Zeitung November 1848

The City Council

Source: MECW Volume 8, p. 45;
Written: by Marx on November 20, 1848;
First published: in the Neue Rheinische Zeitung No. 148, November 21, 1848.

Cologne, November 20. The Cologne Municipal Council has sent a petition to Berlin in which it urgently begs the King’ to dismiss the Ministry in order to save the monarchy.

The Cologne City Council, or Herr Dumont and Co., addresses itself to the King at a time when the entire Rhine Province is turning away from the King in order to turn towards the Constituent Assembly. Herr Dumont, or the City Council, wants to save the King, whereas the Rhine Province is thinking only of saving itself. As if the salvation of the King had any connection with the salvation of the Rhine Province! At a moment when the kings and emperors are trying to save themselves by means of martial law and bombardments, the City Council wants to save the King. Who has authorised the City Council to save the King and issue a petition which is a most servile product of Cologne good-for-nothings? Judging from previous relations between the King and the Cologne City Council, the latter is begging for nothing more than to be kicked.

If the City Council had paid more attention to the decision of the Berlin deputies’ than to the King’s autocratic will and his salvation, it would long ago have ordered the Cologne city gates to be manned in order to prevent the levying of taxes and to emphasise the Will of the Chamber. The Cologne City Council, therefore, must be dismissed without delay. All judicial and tax authorities that do not exert the utmost energy to hinder the levying of taxes must be treated as guilty of high treason.

If the city of Cologne does not dismiss its City Council and at once send two new deputies to Berlin in place of the two who ran away [Haugh and Wittgenstein] it deserves — the knout.