"loons" in the RCP

Chris Burford cburford at gn.apc.org
Tue Apr 25 07:18:13 MDT 1995

On Sun, 23 Apr 1995 23:31:00 -0800
Rakesh posted
Subject: loons in the RCP


The  RCP has provided a  valuable service (other than Larry
Everest's very helpful book on the Bhopal explosion): the
republication a series of British Communist Party pamphlets from
  The 1933 pamphlets are collected in Political Economy: Marxist
Study Courses (Chicago: Banner Press, 1976).

I read this a long time ago and remember feeling undernourished.

I like Rakesh's incredible industry in sharing sources on this
list. I would agree this is an extremely interesting text for
academic study. The Marx Memorial Library in Clerkenwell Green,
London, may be able to identify the original authors.

It was written at the height of the class against class line just
before Hitler's accession to power. The references to other
theories are extensive. The treatment of them is brutal.

I do not recall being aware that the RCP had been behind the
republication but the 1976 introduction says the opportunist
groups of the thirties "certainly have their contemporary
counterparts in the US today."

The title of this thread about "loons" in the RCP is therefore
totally inappropriate. This political position is a crucial
communist one of great power and authority. It almost led to the
annihilation of the Chinese Revolution (but for the escape of the
rural insurrectionists in the long march) and it played a key
role in the triumph of Nazism in Germany and the many tragedies
that followed and we are this year commemorating. We marxists
have a contribution to make to the ceremonies of mourning and

The passage at the end of this book presenting even Grossmann as
putting a social fascist line with a left face (any comments
Rakesh?) are violently dogmatic and prepare the mind set that
ends in the ice-pick sinking through Trotsky's cranium (Ralph
ought to read these passages before repeating his conviction that
fancy and action are happily always separate).

But to take the handling in this book of a milder example. I
quote it because

 a) it illustrates for me in dipping into the
book again, how unilluminating it is about key ideas, and

b) that the only purpose was to create a uniform theoretical
position. (At the end of most chapters there are a series of
"control" questions).


It is no accident that reformism, which has taken upon itself the
task of putting forward the immediate demands of the capitalist
regime, and of supporting it, has always consciously shrunk from
the Marxist theory of value.


Social Democrats strive to remove all contradictions out of
value, in order to have a free path for their denial of the
expoitation character of capitalism, and a theoretical basis for
their convenient method of renaming capitalism as socialism.

>From misrepresentation, revision and rejection of the Marxian
theory of value, up to supplying theoretical arguments for the
robbery of the working class by finance-capital - that is the
theoretical path of Social Fascism."

One suggestion Rakesh: I find your posts valuable.
If you permitted youself to say one or two points you like or
dislike in the texts you draw to our attention, I would find them
even more valuable. Far from imposing your own opinion I would
find it easier to orientate myself.


Chris Burford, London

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