The following is an interview with Sergey Biyec, leader of the Revolutionary Workers’ Party (RRP), which announced at the end of August its exit from the United Communist Party (OKP). OKP was a party, which was founded as a result of the exit of low and middle-scale bureaucrats from the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF) with many other founding elements stemming from a row of groups near to the ‘left wing’ of the KPRF. The latest split in the party of the ‘wide left’, which was trying to unite clubs and groups of various orientations, is happening in the background of another ‘quiet’ split in the lesser known and even further marginalized organisation – the Russian Socialist Movement (RSD).
The Workers’ Platform which previously represented a faction in RSD, has also held its own conference at the end of August, thereby having technically constituted a new independent political group. However, unlike the RRP, the Workers’ Platform broke away from RSD without making noise and causing external debates.
The Workers’ Platform has adopted a marvelous document, ‘For the Working Class and its Party’. Any reader who is informed about this situation will first raise a legitimate question: isn’t this document a fruit of the fantasy of one or a few theoreticians that have been given the go by the activists of the Workers’ Platform to publish documents under the group’s name in the same way as earlier, the same activists have been putting their signature on RSD’s revisionist documents?
We asked the activists of the Worker’s Platform to let us interview them. Now, however, for the readers’ judgement, we offer a short interview with Sergey Biyec about the split inside of the United Communist Party (OKP).
Sergey Nikolayevich, going directly to the hot topic, the break-away from the OKP had been planned in advance or did the Revolutionary Workers’ Party (RRP) really hallucinate about carrying out work together with right-wingers such as Zommer?
We did not regard Zommer and others as hopelessly right-wing. At the beginning of the process of unification, they announced quite left-wing positions and only later on have they shown themselves as lost cause opportunists. For this reason, initially we were emanating from the prospects of turning OKP into a real revolutionary party. Life has brought its own corrections to this.
At the moment of exclusion from KPRF, the so-called neo-Trotskyites began to try to prove their loyalty to Marxism and Bolshevik tradition in every way possible and only later, as the party was starting to stand on its own feet, the typical for them social-treachery took over.
Anatoliy Baranov, one of the leaders and organisers of OKP, maintains that RRP is not something to be taken seriously. What remains with OKP? What does RRP leave with? What are, in your opinion, the prospects of the two parties that used to be one?
It’s hard for me to say who is serious – who is not. OKP no longer exists. What remains of it is no longer capable of action, yet RRP will continue the work.
The Revolutionary Workers’ Party counts to unite in its ranks a large segment of politically-active workers. And I don’t see any reasons why we will not be able to succeed.
How did the regions react to the split? Is this the type of situation in which the activist core of the party ‘hid away from the world’, while ambitious leaders go different ways and blame one another for the split?
The situation is most likely the reverse of that. The regions took a position for an immediate split and insisted on it while the ‘ambitious leaders’ were still trying to make a compromise. A plurality of real, functioning regional groups of OKP left with us to become part of RRP.
Moreover, a large number of OKP’s contacts, who did not wish to join a party, in which a substantial role was played by the right wing, resolutely joined RRP. On these grounds we can assume that numerically RRP, in a short period, will exceed the maximum number of members of OKP.
What was the main basis for the explosion? You knew from the very beginning who you were dealing with.
We were going from the premise that our partners would show ideological honesty during the founding process of OKP. One can never know in advance, how one person or another will develop, how his position will change in changing circumstances.
Currently, RRP has visibly increased its work in Moscow and Moscow region. What do you plan for the near future? What are the prospects of MPRA at the Salyut factory?
We had never ceased our work. Our work was carried out during the whole timespan of OKP’s existence. It’s difficult to talk about any specific plans. Our work consists of campaigning, propaganda and the participation in the ongoing struggle of tens of labour collectives. It may be worth to consider as plans our own organizational work as we are in the process of structuring the party to increase the work effectiveness of every individual activist. We have to connect the uncoordinated performances of workers from diverse enterprises through a single organizational foundation, so that the voice of the working class would be better heard, so that its struggle would be more effective and workers’ rights better defended.
MPRA at the Saljut factory is still a very small union. No more than 300 members out of 10 000 in the labour collective. We will continue struggle for the unity of the majority of workers at the factory.
Do RRP activists participate in social movements, for example, in the Torfyanka park resistance to the plans of the Russian Orthodox Church?
Yes, we participated. Our comrades went regularly to the event and participated in the night patrol. I was there only once, but, in any case, there was always someone there. Of course, we consider it a ‘side topic’ for us, but we try, when possible, to be present everywhere, where people are fighting for just needs.
With what parties and groups do you now intend to strengthen cooperation? Does a new unification seem possible in the near future, but this time with comrades, whose views and approaches would be more relatable?
We don’t espouse any specific preferences. We collaborate with all of those, who participate in the workers’ movement. Currently, we don’t have any unification plans. They arise as we work given the situation.
The most important question, which interests many, will RRP, in the future, continue to take part in projects such as OKP? Many comrades label such a political line as adventurist.
In the present moment we consider RRP as a self-sufficient party and are not planning any projects like OKP. However, it would not be wise to give a vow which covers the future.
Mentioning those who talk about adventurism, I would like to remark that the Revolution is considered an adventure by many. But revolutions happen sooner or later, so that ‘sane people’ would not ponder them.
Thank you for the interview, I wish many successes to you and your party!
Translated from: http://levoradikal.ru/archives/14979
Originally published on 16.09.2015 on levoradikal.ru .