Argentinean activist Juan (more usually known as J.) Posadas was one of the foremost Trotskyites of the 20th century. His followers preached a fundamentalist communism known as Posadism which was so far out on the fringe that they were expelled from post-revolutionary Cuba for being just a little too far left.
We should probably be thankful that Posadists didn’t gain more ground during the Cold War. They believed, among other things, that nuclear war was both desirable and inevitable, and that a worker’s paradise would emerge from the ashes – even if it meant the annihilation of half the human race.
In his later years Posadas was also obsessed with the idea of propelling communism beyond Earth’s bounds by means of space travel. For him, Trotsky’s main point of contention with Lenin – that revolution should occur globally rather than at the national level – didn’t go far enough. Why stop at Earth? Posadas further believed that UFOs proved the existence of socialism on other planets, but that they generally shunned contact with humans because “capitalism doesn’t interest them”.
Reclusive, a little camera-shy, Posadas engaged with the world mainly through his writings, and he was a tireless essayist until his death in 1981. And while his cosmic communism is his most memorable quality, he didn’t need to look skywards to let his freak flag fly. Posadas regularly seized upon the most unlikely world events as potential triggers for the collapse of capitalism, and reading through a list of his writings is like playing a hard-left version of Bullshit Bingo. But in their breadth, extent and relentless polemicising, they together form an ecstatic poetry embracing a range of moods:
- Paranoid: The Assassination of Kennedy by the Pentagon
- Emphatic: The US Proletariat Is Not Backward!
- Mildly disturbing: Relations with Children and the Unity of Humankind
- Optimistic: On the Impossibility of a New Hitler
- Pessimistic: On the inevitability of the war
- Opportunistic: The Collective Murder in Guyana – Expression of the Insanity of Imperialism in this Stage of History
- Gnomic: The Contribution of Chaplin to the Class Struggle of the Proletariat
What were his writings actually like, you ask? Who cares? Why not make your own. If you’re emailing a friend and want a subject line which stands out from the normal “Hey”, “Hi” or “What’s up?”, why not pick from these pearls to pep up your mail (even more fun if said friend is at the CIA and you want to test their spam filter):
- The Role of the Anti-Imperialist Revolutionary Soldiers, the Role of the Trotskyists, the Program and the Tasks During and After the Nuclear War
- Vietnam, Unifying Centre of the World Revolution and the Role of the IV International in the Unequal and Combined Process of the Revolution
- On the British and Dutch Masses
- On Socialism in One Country/Revolution Shall Prevail Over Bureaucracy
- On the Suicide of a Prague Student
- The Defeat of the Bourgeois Leadership of the Labor Party, the Abstention of the Proletarian Vanguard and the Perspective of Great Struggles Immediately
- The Expulsion of Tillon and Garaudy from the French Communist Party
- The Assassination of Palestinians by Imperialism and Israel in Munich and the Need for the Guerrilla Movement to adopt the Program for the World Socialist Revolution
- ‘Gauchism’, ‘Putschism’, the Class Struggle, and the World Socialist Revolution