Spacemen Will Bring Us Socialism From the Stars

Don't fear the reaper.At the end of the year we seem to be getting even more endtimes fervor than usual, between the fizzled Mayan apocalypse and the not-yet-fizzled fiscal cliff, which is basically the Mayan apocalypse for policy nerds. As a final farewell to the doom-filled year of 2012 and in anticipation of all the new millennial strangeness awaiting us in 2013, I give you the most Criswellian Marxist text of the 1960s, J. Posadas' pamphlet "Flying saucers, the process of matter and energy, science, the revolutionary and working-class struggle and the socialist future of mankind," which someone has kindly translated and posted at marxists.org.

Some excerpts:

Many people have already seen UFOs. General MacArthur, that Yankee murderer, said with regard to the disappearance of a plane that had struck a strange object: "perhaps we -- together with the Soviets -- will have to make war against an enemy arriving from outside Earth". But conciliation of this type has its limits. Capitalism has no interest in UFOs and, as such, makes no research into them. It has no interest in occupying itself with these matters because they cannot reap profits, nor are they useful to capitalism. But people see in UFOs the possibility of advancement and progress. This thus accelerates the fall of the bourgeoisie, shown in all its uselessness....

You think capitalist anarchy could have produced those canals? That's a five-year plan, my friend. Martian years, that is.[C]apitalism tries...to spread the impression that this is fantasy, so people will not think that there are superior forms of relations and that capitalism is incapable of reaching this level. The workers' state will act in a different way, because it has an objective interest in developing socialism. But at all events, the facts are coming to light in spite of the smokescreens, because there have already been many testimonies. The capitalist ruling circles, the chemists, the military, are hiding the facts....

The essential task is to suppress poverty, hunger, unemployment and war, to give everyone the means to live in dignity and to lay the bases for human fraternity. To this end, we must suppress the capitalist system, as well as the bureaucracy of the workers’ states and Communist Parties who do not want to seize power....We must appeal to the beings on other planets, when they come here, to intervene and collaborate with Earth's inhabitants in suppressing poverty.

That just scratches the surface of the essay, which also claims that elephants live 260 years and that time is merely "a notion picked up by a society divided into classes." Enjoy the whole thing.

Long live Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Aelita!Wikipedia, the first infallible source to emerge since the Koran, informs us that Posadas was an Argentine Trotskyist (and, for a time, a well-known soccer player) who in the early '60s argued that the socialist millenium would emerge from a nuclear war. ("Atomic war is inevitable. It will destroy half of humanity: it is going to destroy immense human riches. It is very possible. The atomic war is going to provoke a true inferno on Earth. But it will not impede Communism.") The article also says that the Posadists played a minor role in the Cuban revolution, and that late in life Posadas embraced "esoteric ideas that bordered on the New Age with writings about communicating with dolphins and humans giving birth under water."

The entry sounds like it was written by Ken MacLeod on mushrooms, and I'd be tempted to blame the thing on a Wikipedia prankster if the same details didn't also appear in the Fortean Times feature "Trots in Space." If anything, the latter piece makes the man's views on nuclear war sound even more enthusiastic: "Posadas predicted that atomic war was 'the supreme opportunity for the forces of the world revolution,' which would come swiftly. 'After the destruction commences, the masses are going to emerge in all countries -- in a short time, in a few hours.'...As time wore on, Posadist nuclear war doctrine became more impatient, demanding of the Soviets and Chinese that they hurry up and annihilate capitalism with a pre-emptive first strike right now." If the extraterrestrials won't invade, we'll just have to do the job ourselves.

[Via jamie k.]

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  • Caleb Turberville||

    Didn't Roddenberry predict a post-apocalyptic, Trotskyist space government?

  • Gladstone||

    Yes and goddamn anyone who ignores that vision except when it suits certain Trekkies. Like how dare Trek not feature everyone agreeing on everything since in Roddenberry's future there are no disagreements.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    For much of Trek history, there was only interstellar governmental disagreements. Heck, even the Vulcans didn't much mind that Federation vessels were named using English lettering.

  • Gladstone||

    Roddenberry opposed individual disagreement. Like the Enterprise crew can't disagree on anything.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    McCoy had that anti-Vulcan bigotry, but Roddenberry made a smart decision by casting a Southerner in the role. It made it all "topical" and stuff.

  • Gladstone||

    That was TOS which showed people getting paid and still owned stuff. Early TNG was Roddenberry's vision (at least his 80's vision) in full force.

  • Doctor Whom||

    Yes, and my liberal Facebook friends cite it as an example of the superiority of socialism over libertarianism. Never mind that if your ideology works only in a post-scarcity science-fiction universe, that's pretty damning of your ideology.

  • Trespassers W||

    You can always cite Atlas Shrugged in response. And then they pull out the Culture novels. And then you pull out the Probability Broach series. Ultimately, whoever ends up with the biggest stack of fiction on their side wins the argument, I guess?

  • Michael||

    Or you could just bring up the Fermi paradox in the rare event you may find yourself arguing with a progressive that actually takes note of trivialities like "evidence" or "lack thereof".

  • Virginian||

    There's a decent book called Eagle Against the Stars I read semi-recently. It's interesting because the aliens are essentially anarchocapitalists, with the one minarchist alien polity considered to be slightly backward and silly. They of course think our massive governments to be barbaric,

    Very refreshing to read a book where the super advanced alien species considers statism to be the silly outmoded model, not freedom.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Ye gods.

  • robc||

    Its pronounced spa-che-men

  • $park¥||

    That sounds like something you'd order in an Italian restaurant.

  • ||

    Jack Donaghy: Couldn't you just inject something right into his heart?
    Dr. Leo Spaceman: I'd love to, but we have no way of knowing where the heart is. See, every human is different.

  • $park¥||

    From the handful of episodes I've seen, that show is very hit or miss.

  • ||

    I love 30 Rock. The only episode I would call a "miss" is the post-election one. Otherwise, very consistently funny and not at all hit or miss.

  • $park¥||

    Just my sense of humor I guess. Seems like they're either hysterical from beginning to end or just meh. I don't think I've seen one yet that was meh with a couple funny bits thrown in.

  • ||

    Other than her being a liberal, I don't know that I've ever identified with a character more than I identify with Liz Lemon. In many ways, I'm just like her.

  • nicole||

    At least you know that if you choke to death with no one to find you in your apartment, at some point H&R commenters will begin to wonder where you are and send out bat signals.

  • ||

    For someone who likes the comedy abomination that is 30 Rock? I think not. SNL performers should be shot on sight. Everything they do is like the death of comedy. They're as funny as a heart attack.

  • flye||

    Full disclosure: most of my experience is putting babies IN women.

  • ||

    You seem nervous. I could give you something for that. Ah, but you know what? I'm not supposed to have sex with my patients.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Now this is surgery, so don't eat anything before you come in... because I'll have a big breakfast waiting for you.

  • $park¥||

    I don't think dolphins are dumb enough to want to talk to humans. Unless it's just to give them new orders.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    A race of beings wouldn't spend resources venturing into space until they had solved all other problems on their world. Thus, it is logical to conclude that space aliens visiting Earth would come from a post-scarcity environment and have no need of markets. They would also have evolved beyond sexual politics as their space genitalia would have dropped off aeons ago from non-use, having become addicted to mechanical anal probing. They have much to teach us.

  • fish_remote||

    I concur regarding the anal probing! But you're wrong when you say that, "they wouldn't spend valuable resources venturing into space until they had solved all other problems on their world."

    They're here now and the infiltration is already underway.

    This little snippet was revealed...unintentionally I'm sure by someone very close to....sssshhhh.....the goverment.

    New York Times columnist David Brooks made an astonishing observation about President Obama on NBC's Meet the Press Sunday.

    "Sometimes he governs like a visitor from a morally superior civilization" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

  • Doctor Whom||

    New York Times columnist David Brooks

    Always a safe place to stop reading.

  • newshutz||

    New York Times columnist

    Always a good place to stop reading

  • Killazontherun||

    So long as you have your monkey brain, and not the superior brain of the ant, you will continue to want what others have even if its just a minor variation from what you yourself possess.

  • Killazontherun||

    There Ain't No Such Thing As a Free Lunch, Until There Is?

    Funny, Heinlein was already writing about how the calculation problem rendered the idea of the post scarcity utopia moot back in the 60's.

  • jdcllns||

    Mars needs women!

  • Almanian.||

    Mars needs moms. Specifically, YOUR mom.

  • Gladstone||

    Should reason and the Rockwellians be praising Posadas as a libertarian hero? I mean he was obviously an opponent of American imperialism and of U.S. backed Argentinians fascists. Is it any less ridiculous than Vidal, Hitchens, McGovern and Cockburn being called libertarian heroes?

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Even Vidal never sounded as shroomed up as Posadas sounds.

  • Killazontherun||

    We don't need another hero.

    Reminds me, the first time I saw Tina Turner was in 1978, on Johnny Carson's New Year's Eve show, and she was mostly naked. Damn nice memory.

  • Trespassers W||

    I'm confused. Who is praising Posadas as a libertarian hero? Jesse isn't. Someone else at Reason? Someone at LRC?

  • Gladstone||

    Typo. I was refering though to how reason and LRC seem to think anyone who opposes US foreign policy is automatically some sort of libertarian. Posadas by calling for nuclear war was obviously an opponent of US foreign policy.

  • GILMORE||

    I was refering though to how reason and LRC seem to think anyone who opposes US foreign policy is automatically some sort of libertarian

    WTF?

    They're making fun of a Communist who thought nuclear war (or Space Invaders!) would be *a good thing*.

    I do not know what magazine you've been reading.

  • Gladstone||

    Oops I mean "shouldn't."

  • Marty Feldman's Eyes||

    The spacemen already brought their revolution. And I'm pretty sure it has more to do with drugs than socialism.

  • Dr. Kenneth Noisewater||

    Gene Ray called, he wants his 4 corner time cube back.

  • sasob||

    ..to give everyone the means to live in dignity and to lay the bases for human fraternity.

    Ah, yes. Dignity - that simple, noble pride that comes with being a slave of the State and/or the Masses. Phtt!

  • sasob||

    We must appeal to the beings on other planets, when they come here, to intervene and collaborate with Earth's inhabitants in suppressing poverty.

    Yup. Scratch a socialist and you'll find a thief or an uppity beggar with his hand out every time.

  • JeremyR||

    That's really not surprising if you know anything about UFOs. The usual contactee stuff is utopian and almost always socialist/fascist.

  • Jesse Walker||

    What's great about this is that it converges from the other direction. The author did not (as far as I know) claim to be a contactee. He started with utopian politics and worked his way into Space Brothers millennialist territory.

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