Bulletin of the
Marxist Policy Committee
The Marxist Policy Committee was a splinter group of Marxists which criticized ultra-leftists. The group was based in Chicago by a man known as Beckett, who demanded that his criticism in the Bulletin of the Marxist Policy Committee be published to all members of The Appeal, presumably a pro-Trotskyist group. Max Schachtman, one of the leading American Trotskyist theorists, mocked the MPC, criticizing it as an "Oehlerite stooge group" as well as its propensity to switch sides. The MPC was short-lived and soon joined the Oehlerite group.
The Bulletin of the Marxist Policy Committee material consists of a mix of a few newsletters and a few independent reports. The newsletters come from October 1937 through January 1938, while the reports are undated. The ideological orientation of the group is, as the title suggests, communist, claiming to represent true Marxism against the ultra-leftism of Trotsky. From the reporting, they seem to have arisen as a dissident group from a paper known as the Appeal, which refused to advertise their ideas. Originally, the purpose was to disperse the views of the MPC to a larger audience in preparation for the upcoming convention.
The group was poorly funded from the beginning, forcing their spokesmen to hitchhike around to their speaking locations. Important goals included the establishment of a revolutionary Fourth International. The group also denounces accommodation with reformism, which is declared an agency of the bourgeoisie. However, rather than taking up an unconditional support of the Soviet Union, the group says that it is a worker's state, but is in the grip of bureaucracy. In this, the Marxist Policy Committee prefigures later arguments made by libertarian socialists. Overall, the main thrust of the arguments are not directed at the bourgeois system, but rather at opposing ideologies of the left, such as the positions of Communists, such as Cannon and Schachtman.
The common complaints of the MPC with the rest of the Socialist movement were those who leaned towards "Trotsky-Cannon" positions, such as Schachtman. The issues are addressed to Appeal subscribers, who they wished to win over to their position.
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For a Revolutionary Party
This undated article focuses on the depredations of imperialist Japan against China and predicts that the ongoing imperial struggle will result in the unleashing of class warfare. The American support of the Chinese is explained as protection, so that American capitalists can continue to exploit the Chinese masses. The article denounces the Soviet support for the "democratic" nations against the fascist states, because they should have aligned themselves with the interests of the international proletariat. Trotsky, Cannon, Shachtman, and the Appeal "misleadership" are declared to be renegades, due to their support of Chinese nationalism.
This loose page offers insight into the mind of the MPC. For the editor, the MPC are revolutionists and the recent split only serves to prove this. The Socialist Party is anathema to true revolutionaries and only reformists or centrists could be loyal to the "party of betrayal." The MPC, therefore, welcomes the split.
This report was originally 17 pages long, but is missing pages 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6. The Appeal leadership is deceiving itself by attempting to align with social democratic forces, while the MPC is sticking to the Leninist position that such opportunist movements cannot be reformed. The difference between affiliation with centrist and reformist organizations is discussed. Pseudo-left positions are assailed, as are those who support Trotsky and social democratic reformism by entering socialist parties, thereby betraying the working class. The ultra-leftist support for the Republicans and the Popular Front in Spain is a betrayal of the working class to the bourgeois camps. Other internecine squabbles are recorded, involving the Cannonites, the Davis Group, and Altman. The MPC is opposed to walking out of the Appeal, however, and seeks to remain in the organization.
The CIVIL WAR in SPAIN and the SPUSA
This article discusses the Spanish Civil War and details the capitulation of the POUM and the CNT to the bourgeoisie. The ouster of the Caballero government and the introduction of the Negrin regime indicate the degree of bourgeois control. The report criticizes the Socialist Party, USA for supporting the People's Front in Spain, because it is held to be beholden to capitalist interests. The flip-flopping of the Appeal's position on the POUM in Spain is documented. The conclusion of the MPC is that no truly Marxist party exists and Spain and that one must be built.
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