I Want to Believe
Posadism, UFOs and Apocalypse Communism
Aliens, nuclear war and talking dolphins; this book is a study of the weird and wonderful world of the Posadists
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.
A.M. Gittlitz is a journalist and social critic based in Brooklyn, New York. He has contributed to The New Inquiry, The New York Times, The Outline, Baffler, Real Life, Salon, and Vice.
'Under the grim pressures of 20th century history, and now climate change, Gittlitz shows how explosions of black political humour also contain utopian hopes very necessary to keep alive. As an advocate of Partially Automated Adequate Socialism I can only agree, and applaud this fine addition to leftist history' - Kim Stanley Robinson, award-winning author of the Mars Trilogy
'This book has it all: Trotskyist drama, South American revolutions and aliens from inner and outer space. What's not to like?' - McKenzie Wark, author of 'Capital Is Dead: Is This Something Worse?'
'A provocative and clear-eyed account of communist lunacy, its costs, and why we might need it anyway' - Malcolm Harris, author of 'Kids These Days: Human Capital and the Making of Millennials'
'While Posadism is often treated as a political curiosity, quickly set aside, Gittlitz skillfully paints J. Posadas and his followers in all their depth and complexity: paranoid, idealistic, cultish, fractious, bizarre, proud, far-reaching dreamers. In their bizarre, sometimes revolutionary own ways, they fought for a more just world, one that could finally join the ranks of a far more advanced fraternity awaiting them in the galaxy' - Anna Merlan, author of 'Republic of Lies: American Conspiracy Theorists and Their Surprising Rise to Power'
'An absolute treat. As well as a brilliantly researched biography of Posadas, and a very witty one, it does far more than lampoon him. Rather, it uses his story (and its legendarisation in meme culture) to provide really valuable reflection on revolutionary hope, cults, and the role of irony and despair in the millennial-left milieu.' - David Broder, author of 'First They Took Rome: How the Populist Right Conquered Italy'
Part I: The Tragic Century
1. Commentaries about the Infancy of Comrade Posadas
2. Revolutionary Youth or Patriotic Youth?
3. The Death Agony of Capitalism
4. The Origins of Posadism
5. Where are we Going?
Part II: The Posadist Fourth International
6. The Flying International
7. The Role of Anti-Imperialist and Revolutionary Militants, the Role of Trotskyists, the Program, and Tasks During and After the Atomic War
8. The Macabre Farce of the Supposed Death of Guevara
9. Flying Saucers, the Process of Matter and Energy, Science, the Revolutionary and Working-Class Struggle and the Socialist Future of Mankind
10. The Accident
13. What Exists Cannot Be True
14. Arrival to the House of Comrade Homerita
Part III: Neo-Posadism
14. Historical Sincerity
15. Why do the Extraterrestrials Not Make Public Contact?
16. UFOs TO THE PEOPLE
17. On the function of the Joke and Irony in History
Hardcover ISBN: 9780745340760
eBook ISBN: 9781786806208
Read on any device