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(Left) saucer fans… July 4, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Thanks to Joe Mooney for sending a link to this… a great Christmas present, or Summer read…

Advocating nuclear war, attempting communication with dolphins and taking an interest in the paranormal and UFOs, there is perhaps no greater (or stranger) cautionary tale for the Left than that of Posadism.

Named after the Argentine Trotskyist J. Posadas, the movement’s journey through the fractious and sectarian world of mid-20th century revolutionary socialism was unique. Although at times significant, Posadas’ movement was ultimately a failure. As it disintegrated, it increasingly grew to resemble a bizarre cult, detached from the working class it sought to liberate. The renewed interest in Posadism today – especially for its more outlandish fixations – speaks to both a cynicism towards the past and nostalgia for the earnest belief that a better world is possible.

Drawing on considerable archival research, and numerous interviews with ex- and current Posadists, I Want to Believe tells the fascinating story of this most unusual socialist movement and considers why it continues to capture the imaginations of leftists today.


1. FergusD - July 4, 2020

Well I had to buy it. I was on a Vietnam War demo in 1972, London, lined up with the International Socialists (SWP as they are now), IMG in front (of course, tons of red flags), and various Trotskyist groups behind. Seemed impressive numbers then, well I suppose they were, members and supporters 10-20,000 probably. About 5 people walked down the side of the march. Somebody shouted “It’s the Posadists” and all eyes turned… indeed it was them and I got a newspaper later. A prized possession for many years. Sublime to the ridiculous, an elderly CPer, when I declined to buy a copy of the Morning Star, muttered “Trotskyist Fascist”, 1930s all over again. He was wrong obviously, on both counts, as IS wasn’t really Trotskyist. I parted company with IS, as did others, on that point.

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WorldbyStorm - July 4, 2020

That’s great FergusD. Got to say it’s hearing this sort of stuff about demos etc that brings this to life. The Sparticists a decade later when I first encountered them seem a little less exotic by comparison (though CPI-ML, hmmm… always fascinated by their approach and they did seem oddly exotic in Dublin in the 80s).


tafkaGW - July 8, 2020

Sparts still at every demo here in Berlin. I guess it is sort of their home turf. 🙂

Never seen a Posadist in the flesh or plumage. Are they in an of the spotters books?


2. Dr. Nightdub - July 5, 2020

You had my full attention at “communicating with dolphins.”

Feel seriously let down thereafter.

This is why we can’t have socialism.

Liked by 1 person

3. Mike P - July 6, 2020

Posadist International split, still exists in Latin America. No section in the anglosphere any more i believe. I too have a pamphlet and newspapwr crom the English section. I think the latter dissolved in to the Labor party

Fergus is the book any good, hardcore train spotting or more general stuff we already know?


entdinglichung - July 6, 2020

bumped into one of them at May Day 2009 and 2010 in London, they were praising Ahmadinejad in one of their leaflets back then


FergusD - July 6, 2020

What I have read so far is good. Sympathetic really, at least to their zeal for socialist revolution, Posadas’ commitment to his class, he was a worker, and in the early days of Posadas’ political activism, some effect. Learning something about Peronism and is appeal to the working class as well. A.so about early Soviet enthusiasm for space travel. Did you know that Korolev, rage father of the Soviet space program, survived the Kolyma gulag, sent there by Stalin.

Only on page 79 though.

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FergusD - July 6, 2020

Sorry about the typos!

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WorldbyStorm - July 6, 2020

I did know that re Korolev, insanely badly treated by Stalin – re Peronism- interesting isn’t it? A strange hybrid.


alanmyler - July 8, 2020

Fergus, if you’re interested in Korolev I really recommend this book, Red Moon Rising:

Liked by 1 person

4. FergusD - July 8, 2020

Read more of the book. Into Posadas’ split with the IS of the FI. Now he does seem deranged, authoritarian and miles away from Trotsky’s views. There are some clues in the book as to how this happened but it isn’t altogether explored.

There is always the essential problem of how do ‘revolutionaries’ behave in a non-revolutionary period. The post-war capitalist ‘boom’ was very problematical in that way. One answer is to imagine that the revolution is just around the corner (the U.K. SLL/WRP?) or will be carried out, not by the working class which are seen as a lost cause, but by students, third world peasants, marginalised minorities (Pabloism I suppose, and Posadism, especially third worldism) and of course aliens (Posadism)!!!

The alternative can be to drift into reformism or just give up. Whatever, then you are totally unprepared when things hot up!

I am thinking of the Trotskyist movement here because the CPs abandoned Marxism a long time ago 😒

BTW the book mentions that the Cuban CP denounced Castro’s movement as petit bourgeois nationalists (correct I think) but I didn’t realise the CP of. U an was in/advocated a Popular Front with Batista!


Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - July 8, 2020

FergusD, you’re clearly enjoying the book, would you mind bundling up your comments into a review that we could post up? Just they’re really helpful and certain whetting my appetite to read it.

That’s a key point, perhaps the key point, how do those who want revolution/total societal transformation act in a non-revolutionary period?


WorldbyStorm - July 8, 2020

Yeah, that’s very true re the Cuban CP. Castro in a sense initiated a reverse takeover of it (perhaps like some in OSF envisaged matters might go in Ireland in the early 1970s).


WorldbyStorm - July 8, 2020

Speaking of Cuba, I’ve mixed views on Castro and the course of the revolution, to put it mildly, but where he started out was interesting.


5. FergusD - July 8, 2020

WBS, Ok, I’ll have a crack at a review. I must read up on Cuba as well, although there seems less enthusiasm for the Cuban model outside Cuba these days

Liked by 1 person

6. Joe - July 8, 2020

“I didn’t realise the CP of. U an was in/advocated a Popular Front with Batista!”

That seems to have been a phenomenon in various places. Where there was an old stuck-in-a-comfortable-rut CP faced with a new revolutionary movement and the old CP, rather than getting on board the revolution, preferred to stick with the status quo.
I read similar about the emergence of the New People’s Army in the Phillipines in the seventies and eighties. And wasn’t the Nicaraguan CP part of a broad front (including right-wing) against the Sandinistas in the first phase of Sandinista rule?


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