Thursday, March 11, 2004

more from the pre-history of the institute of ideas
Ken MaCleod points B&T in the direction of the Fortean Times’ account of the Work of Manuel Posada, sometime leading figure in the Trotskyist 4th International, fulltime advocate of revolutionary solidarity between earthbound Marxists and extraterrestrials:

Just as Trotsky rejected “socialism in one country”, so Posada rejected socialism on one planet. Posada’s Les Soucoupes Volantes (Flying Saucers) opens in the baffling, tortured, long-winded style that became his hallmark: “A new ray has been discovered in the Soviet Union which is infinitely more rapid than light… This energy must have a property and strength infinitely superior to what we know.”

Flying Saucers ends with a call to our extraterrestrial comrades: “We must call upon beings from other planets when they come to intervene, to collaborate with the inhabitants of the Earth to overcome misery. We must launch a call on them to use their resources to help us.”

From what I can glean, the Posadists were using sound logic from a demented perspective. Marxism is the highest stage of development of mankind. Extraterrestrials are obviously at a higher stage of development than earthbound humans. Extraterrestrials must therefore be Marxists.

This wasn’t the only quirk to the Posadists. They were also advocates of revolutionary thermonuclear warfare.

Posadist “atomic war” theory emerged at the first congress of the fully independent Fourth International (Posadist), held shortly after its definitive split with all other versions of the International in 1962. At this meeting – appropriately titled “Extraordinary Congress” – Posadas announced: “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.”

Ah, the workers’ bomb. Now where had I heard that before? From a correspondent at Gauche:

Anti-nuclear meetings were routinely packed with RCT members who would denounce CND and call for the invention and immediate use of what was referred to as "the worker's bomb" which would wipe out in one stroke the entire world's bourgeoisie.

As not enough of the world knows, the RCT became the RCP, which in turn became Spiked, and the Insitute of Ideas, sleek purveyors of the corporate libertarian line and good friends with those fine extropians at tech central station, many of whom themselves seek validation of their political views away from planet earth.

Farce repeats itself, ever more farcically. Strange how stuff that looks plainly mad when issues in rough print by a fringe leftist group becomes influential conjecture when a change of political line enables access to decent funding. Stranger still if all the Posadist libertarians get themselves into space only to stumble on to a plenary session of the Union of Soviet Socialist Planets.