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The Procrastinator’s Manifesto

From Tariq Ali’s forthcoming The Idea of Communism:

The Central Committee instructed Marx to produce a manifesto. A few months later, the document was still not forthcoming and a slightly tetchy triumvirate – consisting of Citizens Karl Schapper, Heinrich Bauer and Joseph Moll – despatched a warning note to the author on behalf of the Committee:

‘The Central Committee [in London] hereby directs the District Committee of Brussels to notify Citizen Marx that if the Manifesto of the Communist Party, which he consented, at the last Congress, to draw up, does not reach London before Tuesday February 1 [1848], further measures will be taken against him. In case Citizen Marx does not write the Manifesto, the Central Committee requests the immediate return of the documents that were turned over to him by the Congress.’

It could – almost – be from any editor to any writer.

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