Skip to comments.Trots in Space
Posted on 02/11/2004 1:43:45 PM PST by quidnunc
We think of UFO cults, typically, as being naïve, fancy-dress Californian affairs, scary religious Doomsday sects, or even neo-Nazi groups convinced that flying saucers operate from a secret Antarctic base. But there was one UFO cult at the opposite end of the political spectrum: a Trotskyite UFO cult.
They called themselves the Posadists after their founder Juan R Posadas and, like many UFO cults, they bore a fierce loyalty to their dear master.1 They believed that close encounters were evidence of superior socialist civilisations from Earths future. Their bizarre belief in flying saucers was not channelled to them by some tackily-named space entity but theoretically informed by Marx and Trotsky, and was for them a logical extension of Marxist dialectical materialism. Posadas wrote: We will travel to planets millions of light years away under a Socialist society.
Their founder was a leading light of Latin American Trotskyism, one of a select group running the Fourth International (see Posadism for Beginners side bar) after Leon Trotskys death. Alongside their esoteric texts on flying saucers, the process of matter and energy, science, the revolutionary class struggle and the Socialist future of humanity, 2 they also preached more orthodox Marxism and strove tirelessly to bring about world revolution. Posadist Fourth International affiliates worked to organise trade unions, often operating clandestinely under dictatorships. Some comrades even lost their lives in the struggle.
To be fair, the Posadist Fourth International did not start out as a UFO cult. Trotsky went into exile in Mexico in 1938 and worked closely with Latin American Marxists to set up the International. These contacts included Argentinas Partido de la Revolución Socialista, which was affiliated to the Fourth International from 1941. Among its activists was Comrade Juan R Posadas.
Details of Posadas life outside the Party are now hard to come by. If he had a family, he kept quiet about it. Being a top Trotskyite was a life-threatening occupation at the time, so it was wise to be a bit coy about personal details. Pseudonyms were common in Posadas circles, and the Posadist Fourth International gave the venue of their congresses as Europe. The Posadists were understandably camera-shy too. We know that Juan Posadas was born Homero Cristalli in Argentina in 1912, and that he was of Italian origin. A labourer, a shoemaker and a professional footballer for La Plata Estudientes at various points of his life, he organised a shoemakers and leather workers union in Cordoba, Argentina, in the 1930s. 3
At some time in the 1930s, he stood as a Partido Socialista Obrero candidate in the elections for Buenos Aires Province, capitalising on his fame as a footballer 4 and quickly gained a reputation for long-winded discourse. The Argentinian Trotskyite Librorio Justo recalled attending a 1940s meeting in which Posadas tried to win over Justos faction with a sustained attack on him, lasting for several hours. 5
Posadas gathered Latin American affiliates to the Fourth International under the Montevideo-based Latin American Bureau. These Latin American Trotskyite parties had some clout among trade unions, especially Cuban railway workers, Bolivian tin miners and agricultural workers in Brazil. Latin American Posadist parties were accepted as part of the mainstream Trotskyite Fourth International until its Third World Congress its final congress as a united body in 1951. With splits already forming, Posadas was part of a commission attempting, without success, to reunite the Internationals quarrelling factions.
(Excerpt) Read more at forteantimes.com ...
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