Marx in Neue Rheinische Zeitung November 1848

On the Proclamation of the Brandenburg-Manteuffel Ministry about Tax Refusal

Source: MECW Volume 8, p. 47;
Written: by Marx on November 21, 1848;
First published: in the Neue Rheinische Zeitung No. 149, November 22, 1848.

Cologne, November 21. The Brandenburg-Manteuffel Ministry has issued an order to all royal administrative authorities to employ forcible measures to collect taxes.

The Brandenburg-Manteuffel Ministry, whose position is illegal, recommends coercion against the recalcitrant and mildness towards the propertyless.

It thus establishes two categories of non-payers: those who refuse to pay in order to comply with the will of the National Assembly, and those who do not pay because they are unable to pay. The intention of the Ministry is only too clear. It wants to divide the democrats; it wants to make the peasants and workers count themselves as non-payers owing to lack of means to pay, in order to split them from those not paying out of regard for legality, and thereby deprive the latter of the support of the former. But this plan will fail; the people realises that it is responsible for solidarity in the refusal to pay taxes, just as previously it was responsible for solidarity in payment of them.

The struggle will be decided between the force that pays and the force that is paid.