Loony Trots on Mars


12:27 pm - November 6th 2009

by Conor Foley    


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My mis-reading of the headline of Dave’s piece yesterday brought back some wonderful memories of the maddest moments of the ultra-left. These days, of course, they just write silly manifestos about reforming international law, call for random invasions of foreign countries, attack human rights organisations or give support to reactionary, homophobic, misogynist, antisemites.

But back in the old days Trots had a far grander perspective.

J. Posadas (1912–1981) (occasionally referred to as Juan Posadas), was the pseudonym of Homero Rómulo Cristalli Frasnelli, an Argentine Trotskyist whose personal vision is usually described as Posadism. Posadas became the leader of the Latin America Bureau of the Fourth International and, under his guidance, the movement gained some influence in the region, particularly among Cuban railway workers, Bolivian tin miners and agricultural workers in Brazil.

When the Fourth International split in 1953, Posadas and his followers sided with Michel Pablo and the International Secretariat of the Fourth International. By 1959, however, he and his followers were quarrelling with the leadership of the ISFI accusing them of lacking confidence in the possibility of revolution. They also differed over the issue of nuclear war with Posadas taking the view that “War–Revolution” would “settle the hash of Stalinism and Capitalism” and that nuclear war was inevitable and desirable as a socialist society would rise from the ashes. Posadas and his international followers, who were concentrated in Latin America, split from the ISFI in 1962 prior to its rectification of the 1953 split with the International Committee of the Fourth International.

Posadas wrote that “Nuclear war [equals] revolutionary war. It will damage humanity but it will not – it cannot – destroy the level of consciousness reached by it… Humanity will pass quickly through a nuclear war into a new human society – Socialism.” J. Posadas’ enthusiasm for nuclear war and “worker’s bombs” escalated in the 1970s with the Posadist movement issuing demands that the Soviet Union and People’s Republic of China begin a “preventative war” against the United States in order to finish off capitalism.

Beginning in 1968, Posadas also became known for his theories concerning UFOs. He believed that the existence of UFOs demonstrated the existence of socialism on other planets and that only a socialist society could produce the technology needed for interplanetary travel. Moreover, he argued that as the occupants of UFOs (who were either socialists from other planets or socialists from a future earth travelling back in time) were advanced communists they should be urged to help lead the terrestrial socialist revolution. The obsession of the Posadist movement with UFOs has led others to quip that while Trotsky argued against the theory of socialism in one country, Posadas argued against “socialism on one planet”.

Posadas speculated that the reason UFOs do not stay very long is because “Capitalism doesn’t interest the UFO pilots, which is why they do not return. Similarly, the Soviet bureaucracy (doesn’t interest them) as they don’t have perspective.” His work ends by pleading that ““We must call upon beings from other planets when they come to intervene, to collaborate with the inhabitants of the Earth to overcome misery. We must launch a call on them to use their resources to help us.”

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About the author
Conor Foley is a regular contributor and humanitarian aid worker who has worked for a variety of organisations including Liberty, Amnesty International and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. He currently lives and works in Brazil and is a research fellow at the Human Rights Law Centre at the University of Nottingham. His books include Combating Torture: a manual for judges and prosecutors and A Guide to Property Law in Afghanistan. Also at: Guardian CIF
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Story Filed Under: Blog ,Foreign affairs ,Humour

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Reader comments


I’m confused. If your name was the (frankly awesome) Homero Rómulo Cristalli Frasnelli, why would you need a pseudonym?

“Humanity will pass quickly through a nuclear war into a new human society – Socialism.”

The man was a genius,.

It’s well known that the people of the Socialist Republic of Arcturus make occasional visits to Earth to buy cheep Levis and listen to David Hasslehoff.

I can’t actually remember all the words from which the article gets its title (although I wrote them), but here is the tune

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vUVJsfG3eA

‘and though you hate this song, you’ll be humming it for weeks’

oi Connor,

I’m reading your article and laughing my head off. I had a professor at uni who was a Posadist Trotskyist. He never talked about UFOs, but he had some cranky ideas about almost everything. People often wondered whether he was waiting for the Martians to come to Earth to impose interplanetary socialism. Thanks for bringing it back to memory, it made for a grate laugh.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
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  2. Martin Coxall

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  3. Neil Robertson

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  5. Liberal Conspiracy

    :: Loony Trots on Mars http://bit.ly/15nhuR

  6. Martin Coxall

    “Humanity will pass quickly through a nuclear war into a new human society – Socialism.” http://is.gd/4ONz1

  7. Neil Robertson

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  8. maximal is me

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  9. worldufos

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  10. worldufos

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  11. andrew

    Liberal Conspiracy » Loony Trots on Mars: About the author: Conor Foley is a regular contributor to Liberal Con.. http://bit.ly/1wgHxj





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