By Petr Sedov, Russian Supporter of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 26 March 2019, www.thecommunists.net
We have received the sad news about the untimely death of Sergei Biets, the 50 year old leader of the Russian Trotskyist organization “Revolutionary Workers Party” (RWP). Despite suffering from cancer he worked hard for the revolutionary cause as long as possible. The RCIT sends its deepest condolences to his family, friends and comrades.
Comrade Biets was one of the longest standing Trotskyists in Russia who started his activities already in the 1980s. As a charismatic leader he played a decisive role in winning many young activists for Trotskyism and working class struggle. He built the RWP as an active and widely known organization of a few hundred members which is without doubt an achievement in a country with such difficult political conditions like Russia.
We don’t want to hide our significant political differences with the RWP and comrade Biets as its central leader. The RWP’s politics has been marked over the years with strong elements of eclecticism and opportunism. This has been demonstrated by their inability to draw consistent revolutionary conclusions from recognizing the imperialist character of Russia like taking a defeatist position or advocating critical support for national liberation struggles, etc. (1) Another example for this is their opportunist electoral tactics supporting the Stalinist populist-chauvinist KPRF of Gennady Zyuganov. Likewise the RWP and comrade Biets followed the national-centered model of focusing building a national organization first before committing to build an international – a conception which is alien to the internationalist character of Trotskyism. (2) Moreover, such an approach was combined with a systematic exaggerating of membership in order to attract people to a supposedly large “party”.
However, all these criticisms do not remove our respect for the dedication which comrade Biets has demonstrated throughout his life for the cause of the working class struggle. The RCIT calls all revolutionary activists inside and outside the RWP to unite in fighting for the construction of a revolutionary party in Russia and international. Without such a party, there will be no socialist future!
(1) For the RCIT’s analysis of Russia as an imperialist power we refer readers to the numerous documents published on the special sub-page on our website: https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/china-russia-as-imperialist-powers/. In particular we want to draw attention to our recently published book by Michael Pröbsting: Anti-Imperialism in the Age of Great Power Rivalry. The Factors behind the Accelerating Rivalry between the U.S., China, Russia, EU and Japan. A Critique of the Left’s Analysis and an Outline of the Marxist Perspective, January 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/anti-imperialism-in-the-age-of-great-power-rivalry/. On Russia’s oppression of the Chechen people see: RCIT: Solidarity with the Liberation Struggle of the Chechen People! Open Letter to the Oppressed Chechen People, February 2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/solidarity-with-the-liberation-struggle-of-the-chechen-people/; On Russia’s imperialist intervention in Syria see the numerous documents of the RCIT on the special sub-page on our website: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/collection-of-articles-on-the-syrian-revolution/
(2) See on this e.g. the RCIT’s essay: Our Next Steps. A Proposal for Building a New Revolutionary International. A contribution to a highly important debate among Marxists, 11 February 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/next-steps-in-building-the-international/