The Concordia of Turin

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Cologne, July 23. We have recently mentioned the newspaper L'Alba which appears in Florence and which has held out its fraternal hand to us across the Alps. It was to be expected that another journal, La Concordia in Turin, a newspaper of opposite colours, should declare itself in an opposite, though by no means hostile, manner. In a former issue La Concordia expressed the opinion that the Neue Rheinische Zeitung backs any group as long as it is “oppressed”. The paper was led to this not very sensible invention by our judgment of the events in Prague and our sympathy for the democratic forces ‘ against the reactionary Windischgrätz and Co. Perhaps the Turin journal has become more enlightened in the meantime about the so-called Czech movement.

Lately, however, La Concordia felt induced to devote a more or less doctrinaire article to the Nuova Gazzetta Renana. It has read in our newspaper the programme for the Workers’ Congress[1] which is to be convened in Berlin and the eight points which are to be discussed by the workers are disturbing it to a significant degree.

After faithfully translating the whole, it begins a sort of criticism with the following words:

“There is much that is true and just in these proposals, but the Concordia would betray its mission if it did not raise its voice against the errors of the socialists.”

We on our part protest against the “error” of the Concordia which consists in mistaking the programme issued by the respective commission for the Workers’ Congress, and which we merely reported, for our own. We are nevertheless ready to enter upon a discussion on political economy with the Concordia as soon as its programme offers something more than a few well-known philanthropic phrases and picked-up free trade dogmas.

  1. ↑ The Workers’ Congress met in Berlin between August 23 and September 3, 1848, on the initiative of several workers’ organisations. At this Congress, many workers’ associations united into the Workers’ Fraternity. The programme of the Congress was drawn up under the influence of Stephan Born and set the workers the task of implementing narrow craft-union demands, thereby diverting them from the revolutionary struggle. A number of its points bore the stamp of Louis Blanc’s and Proudhon’s utopian ideas. The editors of the Neue Rheinische Zeitung did not approve of the general stand taken by Born, but they refrained from criticising his views in the press, bearing in mind the progressive nature of the endeavour to unite workers’ associations. The programme of the Workers’ Congress was published in the Neue Rheinische Zeitung (No. 31, July 1, 1848) as a report from Berlin without editorial comment