The Communist (CPOC Faction). Vol. 1 No. 1. July 19, 1919. Inaugural issue.

The expelled Marxists of the Michigan State Socialist Party in the vanguard with an early call for a new Communist Party. This is also the origins of the Proletarian Party of America. Led by John Keracher, H.W. Wicks and Dennis Batt with their allies call for a new Communist Party in July, 1919 before the Socialist Part convention that August. They would unite that September with the Language Federations and the National Left Wing Council (Ruthernberg, Fraina, et al) to form the (old) Communist Party of America. Told to place their ‘Proletarian University’ under party control, the Michigan group, with supporters in Buffalo and Rochester, split early in 1920. The first split in the Communist Party. A founding convention in Detroit on June 27, 1920 formed the Proletarian Party.

The Communist (CPOC Faction). Vol. 1 No. 1. July 19, 1919. Inaugural issue.

Contents: Call for a National Convention For the Purpose of Organizing the Communist Party of America, Bulletins, On the Party Horizon by Alexander Stoklitsky, Editorials, Communiques, Adolph Germer the Truth Seeker by John Keracber, The Iron Heel In the Land of the Free.

This ‘The Communist’ was published in Chicago by the Communist Party National Organization Committee starting in July 1919 by the made up largely of Michigan and Illinois activists and was edited by Socialist Party of Michigan activist Dennis E. Batt and Harry Wicks. Many of those associated with this trend would become the Proletarian Party established on June 27, 1920 and disagreed with the vast majority of the pro-Bolshevik US socialists of the time by rejecting the possibility of an imminent US revolution. They became the first ‘split’ in the movement when they were expelled from the Communist Party of America in 1920. Emulating the Bolsheviks who in 1918 changed the name of their party to the Communist Party, there were up to a dozen papers in the US named ‘The Communist’ in the splintered landscape of the US Left between 1919 and 1923. All them claimed adherence to the new Third International and sought that body’s endorsement. They were often published at the same time and in the same format, making it somewhat confusing to untangle their relationships.

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