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.
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….
[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.
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.]