Photo via Flickr user Vladimir Pustovit
This article originally appeared on VICE Greece.
For generations, communists have been dreaming of a revolution that would destroy capitalism and establish a paradise where the downtrodden workers of the world will finally get their fair share of the money they make for their bosses. That paradise has been unrealized—but maybe that's because aliens haven't shown up to show us the way.
That's what the Posadists believe, at any rate. The organization is named after their founder Juan Posadas, an Argentine Trotskyist who in the 1960s developed an ideology based on the idea that socialists should be using UFOs as political allies.
Posadas, whose real name was Homero Rómulo Cristalli Frasnelli, postulated that a communist movement established under the guidance of alien comrades was a prerequisite for revolution on Earth. He might be one of the more peculiar political theorists that ever lived, but in Argentina his theory was, at least once upon a time, relatively widespread.
To find out more about this obscure movement, I got in touch with the Greek branch of the Posadists, but their response was that they prefer not to talk to the media. So I called up Guillermo Almeyra, who is a professor in the Department of Political Science at the Sorbonne and the former leader of the Trotskyist party in Argentina. He agreed to answer some questions I had regarding Posadism.
VICE: Could you briefly fill me in on the history of Posadism?
Guillermo Almeyra: In 1946, the Trotskyist party—to which the Posadists belonged before they formed their own organization—was the most influential in Argentina. In the beginning of the 1950s, a group formed within that party who seemed to be supporting and trying to impose strange and non-Marxist ideas. Michalis Raptis, a Greek born in Alexandria known by the alias Pablo, left the Party after he was jailed for supporting the Algerian Revolution, and the Posadists followed him to the International Secretariat of the Fourth International (ISFI) in 1953.
In 1959, Posadas got to arguing with the ISFI too, this time over nuclear war—he claimed it was the only way to destroy capitalism. Finally, in 1962, the Posadists completely split with the ISFI and formed [their own] Fourth International.
_Guillermo Almeyra. Photo courtesy of Guillermo Almeyra_
Did you follow them?
I was a member and one of the leaders of the Trotskyist party. Since 1962, I have resisted Posadism and distanced myself from the movement.
Do Posadists really believe in aliens?
The logic goes as follows: Since there are billions of galaxies with billions of planets in them, there is bound to be [intelligent life] elsewhere. These alien people are communists and want to communicate with more advanced communists—the Posadists.
And how will they bring about socialism?
According to this theory, it is only under socialist conditions that the technology for interplanetary travel can be developed. So the emergence of signs of alien life is connected to the existence of socialism on a different planet. The aliens will plan the revolution on Earth based on their experiences of communism in their planet. This is the absurdity that some of us resisted—some less educated individuals accepted it.
What is the new society that Posadists are fighting for going to look like?
Their vision is actually orthodox: The revolution will destroy the bourgeois state and replace it with a state that will be founded according to the decisions of its workers. The media will be rehabilitated, the economy will be well organized, and exports or trade between countries will be monopolized by the state, as was done in the Soviet Union.
How many Posadists exist in Argentina and the rest of the world at the moment?
I don’t know how many Posadists there are in Argentina, because they are not active. In the past, there used to be a large Posadist following in Argentina. In Europe, the Posadists only appeared after 1968, but the UFOs ideas didn’t develop that much. The Europeans are educated enough not to accept such theories.