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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Updated 12/13/05