The Artist as Communist Alien(2010)

Juan Posadas was an Argentinean Trotskyite footballer who wrote passionately on the subject of communist aliens in the 1940’s and 1950’s. Having taken the Marxist analysis that more technologically advanced societies are more socially advanced, intelligent life forms capable of reaching earth in his view, must therefore, be communist. It is of course hard to imagine Speilberg’s E.T. emanating from a society organised on his planet by trickle down economics, a survival of the fittest economic system and repeated mantra’s of downsizing and outsourcing and the like.[1] However, and sadly for Posadas, the aliens never came. His hope was that our shallow, greed obsessed, corrupt economic system of capitalism would be shown up for what it was by these noble outsiders, highlighting our folly, showing us the true way. But don’t despair: we still have plenty of outsiders looking in from a place not necessarily from the ‘inside’ of society, highlighting our despair, pin pointing weak points, and most importantly, asking probing, critical questions to us all. We usually refer to a small, certain branch of these types as artists. From the outside looking in, the artist makes his point and then disappears off… back to the world of unemployment they go.

[1] If E.T. is indeed a communist, then Predator in contrast, is an alien specific to late capitalist development ( for example, a disregard for lesser species, a love of bizarre wrist activated accessories, a survival of the fittest obsession, a love of killing south American Marxists etc) Not only this but Predator still seems to have not fully disregarded the baggage of his early modernist passage; like the Victorian aristocrat who kills tigers, elephants or other exotic creatures purely for display as an aesthetic spectacle, he seems stuck in a time that E.T has moved on from.

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