MIA: Encyclopedia of Marxism: Glossary of People


Secchia, Pietro


Secchia, Pietro (1903-1973)

Longtime leader of the PCI (Italian Communist Party). After having already been active on the extreme Left, Secchia joined the PCI in 1921 and became a member of the Central Committee in 1928. Arrested by the fascists in 1931, he remained in prison until 1943, when he was liberated by the partisans. Commissar General of the communist Garibaldini partisans, he was a fervent supporter of the revolutionary, armed struggle line. After the war, when he assumed various positions within the PCI, including Vice-secretary, Deputy in the Constituent Assembly and Senator, he also maintained around himself a group of ex-partisans who – despite the party line – kept their arms in case of a right-wing coup. Secchia was somewhat marginalized in the PCI after 1954, not only for political reasons but as a result of the theft of the party’s secret funds by one of Secchia’s closest collaborators. His final decade was spent dedicated to the support of liberation struggles throughout the world, as well doing as important work as a historian of the PCI and the Resistance. Both during his lifetime and since his death Secchia has been a symbol of Communism in its most uncompromising, revolutionary form, best exemplified by the title of a posthumous biography: “The Man Who Dreamed the Armed Struggle.”

See Pietro Secchia Archive.

Leon Sedov


Sedov, Leon (1906-1938)

Trotsky's son; lived separately from his parents after 1917 in order not to be seen as privileged; participated in work of Left Opposition in 1923; accompanied his parents to exile, leaving his own family behind; murdered by Stalinist agent while in hospital in Paris.


Trotsky, Natalia Sedova (1882-1962)

Natalia Sedova

Russian Revolutionary. Born in Ukraine, studied in Geneva while young. Met Leon Trotsky in Paris in 1902 and they later married. Worked with Lenin and Trotsky on the Bolshevik newspaper Iskra. The Trotskys had two sons together, Lev Sedov and Sergei Sedov. As adults, both sons were killed by Stalinists because of their relation to L.D. Trotsky.

Lived in exile with L.D. Trotsky beginning in 1929, following their expulsion from the USSR. Remained in Mexico for some time following L.D. Trotsky's murder, but traveled to France on multiple occasions, ultimately settling there until her time of death.

Made an unsuccessful appeal for Trotsky's rehabilitation to Nikita Khruschev in following the advent of “de-Stalinization” in the USSR. Publicly split with the Fourth International in 1951. Adamantly maintained her defense of internationalism and her repudiation of Stalinism and fascism until her death in 1962.

Further Reading: Natalia Sedova Trotsky Internet Archive.


Sedgwick, Peter (1934-1983)

Originally a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain Sedgwick joined the Socialist Review Group (later the International Socialists, now the Socialist Workers Party) in the late 1950s. He became a leading theorist of the group, a Marxist with pronounced democratic libertarian leanings. He translated and edited several works by Victor Serge, who had a strong influence on his politics. He left the IS when it changed its name to the Socialist Workers Party (1977) but remained a committed man of the left.

See Peter Sedgwick Archive.


Sedov, Sergei (1908-1937)

Sergei Sedov

Son of L.D. Trotsky and Natalia Sedova Trotsky. Had no formal political involvement in Soviet politics and worked as an engineer. Elected to remain in the USSR following the exile of his parents in 1928. At the height of Stalin's efforts to eliminate all descendants of L.D. Trotsky, Sedov was arrested in 1935 on false allegations that he attempted a mass poisoning of factory workers at the Krasnoyarsk Engineering Works factory. He was imprisoned and eventually sent to Siberia where he remained until his death during a prison uprising in 1937. Sedov's older brother, Lev Sedov, was also murdered by Stalinists.


Seitz, Karl (1869-1950)

Social Democrat, was mayor of Vienna and governor of the province of Vienna until the Austrian social democracy was crushed by the Dollfuss regime in 1934.


Semashko, Nikolai (1874-1949)

Old Bolshevik who became People's Commissar of Public Health in 1923.


Selvarajatnan, Govindaswami (1924-1995)

Educated Presidency College, Madras. Student leader, All-India Student Federation in Madras. Member, Madras Congress Committee. Joined Bolshevik Leninist Party of India during war. Delegate, All-India Students’ Congress, 1945. Member of the strike committee, Madras Labour Union strike of 1947. Delegate to Bolshevik Leninist Party of India conferences, 1947 and 1948. Entered SP with BLPI, 1948. Joined SP (Loyalists), 1952. Moved to UK. Author: The Meaning of the Simla Surrender (1945).

Compiled by Charles Wesley Ervin


Sembat, Marcel (1862-1922)

Before the First World War he was one of the most renowned parliamentarians of the French Socialist Party. A talented publicist and orator. In 1904 he emerged as one of the leaders of the unified Socialist Party. Sembat paid great attention to the trade union movement and labour legislation. With the start of the war he became a social-patriot. From 1914 to 1918 he joined the government as Minister of Labour. In the French Socialist Party of the early post war years he stood on the right flank.


Sen, Indra Datta (? - 1996)

Party pseudonyms: Guha, D. Gupta, D. Dutt, Suresh.

Born Faridpur District (Bengal). Educated Calcutta University. Joined Students’ Radical Party in Calcutta in late ‘thirties. Founding member, Revolutionary Socialist League of Bengal, 1940. Put under house arrest, 1941. Founding leader, Bolshevik Leninist Party of India, 1942. Delegate to BLPI conference 1944. Worked in BLPI groups in Calcutta, Bombay, Madras, 1942-48. Central Committee, BLPI, 1944-48. Editor, New Spark, 1947. Executive Committee, Workers United Front, 1947. Attended BLPI conferences, 1947 and 1948. General Secretary, BLPI. Delegate to Special Convention of BLPI, October 1948. Entered SP with BLPI, 1948. Joint editor, Janata, 1948-50. Member, SP Foreign Affairs Sub-Committee. Delegate to SP Convention, 1950. Editorial Board, Socialist Appeal . Joined SP (Loyalists), 1952. Joined SP (Lohia), 1956. Staff journalist, Hindusthan Standard . Author: Jai Prakash and the Road to Socialism (1947), The Road to Peace (1951) and Communist Policy Today (1952). Helped publish other Trotskyist publications in ‘sixties and ‘seventies. Went blind in his final years.

Compiled by Charles Wesley Ervin


Sen, Robin (1923-1995)

Born Senhati (District Khulna, now Bangladesh), son of Nalini Mohan Sen. Participated in student movement, 1940-43. Dismissed from Royal Indian Air Force for political activities, 1946. Joined Bolshevik Leninist Party of India in Calcutta. Worked with Bolshevik Leninist Party of India in Raniganj to organize pottery workers, coal miners, and oil mill workers, 1948. Captured the Bengal Kagaz Kal Mazdoor Union (paper mill workers) in Raniganj. Imprisoned several times for political and trade union activity; detained in 1963-64 and 1964-65. Joined CPI (Marxist) in the ‘sixties. Member, West Bengal State Committee of CPI(M). Member, Working Committee, West Bengal State Committee of Center of Indian Trade Unions (CITU). Member, General Council, CITU. Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha), from Asansol (West Bengal) Constituency, representing CPI(M), 1971-77 and 1977-79. Contested the seat unsuccessfully in 1980. Author: Panca adhyaya (1988) and Sekala ekala (1991).

Compiled by Charles Wesley Ervin


Senanayake, Reginald S. Vincent (1898– 1946)

Nickname: Reggie

Born Colombo, Ceylon. Married Daisy Maria Florence Mendis (1903-99), 1925. Participated with her in Youth League, 1934-35. Founding member Lanka Sama Samaja Party, 1935. Treasurer, LSSP, 1935-39. Escaped to India, 1942. Member of Bolshevik Leninist Party of India, Bombay and Madras, 1942-43. Arrested in Madras, July 1943, and sent back to Ceylon.

Compiled by Charles Wesley Ervin


Serebryakov, Leonid Petrovich (1890-1937)

An Old Bolshevik, member of the Central Committee of the Bolshevik Party in 1917, active in the underground, close to Stalin, after the Revolution a leading member of the organizational bureau along with Krestinsky and Preobrazhensky, and on the Political Burueau from 1921, until removed by Stalin in 1922, served with Stalin on the Military Council of the Southern Front during the Civil War, Commissar for Agriculture, deputy to Felix Dzerzhinsky, and close to Voroshilov, and Kaganovich, became a supporter of the Left Opposition in 1923, and executed after the Third Moscow Trial in January 1937 in which he was acccused of sabotage. Rehabilitated during the late 1980s.


Victor Serge

Serge, Victor (1890-1947)

French anarchist of Russian emigre parents, won over to Marxism during WWI. Imprisoned during War, then deported to the USSR, where he became Assistant Secretary of the Comintern under Zinoviev. Criticised the repression of socialist and anarchist opponents of the Bolsheviks during the Civil War. Although sympathetic to the Kronshtadt rebels, he supported the Bolsheviks. Joined the Left Opposition, and was the last member of the Left Opposition able to maintain public criticism of Stalin inside the USSR, until he was imprisoned in 1933. Owing to an international campaign in his support, he was released and allowed to leave the USSR in 1936. Was with the Fourth International for a short time after this, but developed differences, and left it in 1937.

See Victor Serge Archive.

Sergeyev, Artem


Sergeyev, Artem F (d. 1921)

One of several thousand refugees who fled Russia after the crushing of the 1905 Revolution and settled in Australia. When Artem arrived in Brisbane in 1911, he brought the Russian emigré community decisively under Bolshevik influence; he established the Russian Workers' Association and published several Bolshevik papers including Izvestia. He was a member of the Australian Socialist Party and was active in the local trade union movement.

In May 1917 he returned to Russia and became a member of the Central Committee of the Bolshevik Party shortly after. After the Revolution he was a member of the Central Executive Committee and a Commissar. He was also a member of the Executive Committee of the Communist International. He died in a train crash in 1921.



Educated Madras University. Joined Congress in Madras and worked as a clerk in the Labour Section of the Congress Committee. Recruited to Trotskyism by Subbraman, a Bolshevik Leninist Party of India student leader. Joined Bolshevik Leninist Party of India. Became full-time worker for Madras Labour Union. Member of the strike committee, Madras Labour Union strike of 1947. Delegate, BLPI conference, 1948. Later went to Dindigul (Dindigul District, Tamil Nadu) for employment and left politics.

Compiled by Charles Wesley Ervin


Seve, Lucien (1926-)

Was a teacher of philosophy at a lycée from 1949 till 1970. He joined the French Communist Party in 1950, and was a member of the Central Committee from 1961 until 1994.

In 1969 he published Marxism and Theory of the Personality, and was director of Editiones sociale 1970-1982. From 1983-2000, Seve was a member of the French National Consultative Committee on Ethics.

See Lucien Seve Archive.


Sexton, James (1856-1938)

Lived in St. Helen's from an early age; went to sea in 1869. Became General Secretary of the National Union of Dock Labourers in 1890; National Supervisor of the docks section of the Transport and General Workers Union, 1922-28. A member of the Parliamentary Committee of the Trades Union Congress for most of the period 1900-23 and President of the 1905 TUC. MP for St. Helen's 1918-31. Strongly chauvinistic during the First World War. Knighted in 1931.