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The Smurfs as Marxist Propoganda?

By ajkohn in Media
Wed Jul 18, 2001 at 09:09:04 AM EST
Tags: Humour (all tags)
Humour

Late one college night after sharing a couple pitchers of beer, a friend of mine told me straight-faced that the Smurfs - those lovable blue nice looking troll types - were actually communists. The Smurfs were thinly veiled communist propoganda!

No way I slurred, swiging down more beer. However, over the course of the next half-hour I was convinced, at least somewhat so in my inebriated condition.


8 years later (I'm dating myself here) you can now type 'smurfs and communism' into any search engine and find articles galore on the topic. The wonders of the Internet!

So, here's the long and the short of it. The Smurfs live in a communal village where everyone is equal, shares equally, but is lorded over by the all knowing, benevolent Papa Smurf (AKA Karl Marx if you believe this.) They call each other Brainy Smurf, Papa Smurf, Clumsy Smurf etc., much like the Comrade moniker. They all live in the same mushroom houses, wear the same clothing, and they have no real money! It's a true collective out in the woods, where they fight Gargomel, who is drawn like a stooped over evil Jerry Lewis.

Gargomel represents capitalism at it's worst, greedy, self-aggrandizing and arrogant. Azreal, the befuddled orange cat who did Gargomel's bidding was a bit of a mystery, perhaps representing the slave laborer of the capitalist society.

Throw into the mix that the creator, Peyo, is an admitted communist and it does start to smell a bit fishy.

What about Smurfette you ask? Well, I won't go into it, but many sites have long discourses on what she represents. Whether she was also sharing equally with the commune or, as some of these sites claim, the Smurf village was actually a homo-utopia. *shrug* I just don't know!

So my question to my friend at the end of this all was, 'So what's up with the Snorks then?'

You remember the Snorks don't you?

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Poll
Were the Smurfs actually Communists?
o Heck yes. 51%
o Come on, not a chance. It's a cartoon people! 13%
o I just don't know. 1%
o There's actually stuff on the web about this? Get a life. 33%

Votes: 161
Results | Other Polls

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o Also by ajkohn


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The Smurfs as Marxist Propoganda? | 44 comments (37 topical, 7 editorial, 0 hidden)
So what! (3.27 / 11) (#1)
by Jive Billy on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 08:53:16 PM EST

Did you enjoy the show when you were a kid?

If you were like me, you got up early Saturday mornings to watch the show. Some adults may have watched and saw communist propaganda -- myself, and probably every single other child that watched, saw the adventures of some cartoon fairy creatures that live in mushrooms.



Exactly! (none / 0) (#44)
by Lizard on Wed Sep 05, 2001 at 10:58:36 PM EST

I sure did get up every morning to watch that cartoon. I loved it. The animation was good, the story held my attention and it was on every Saturday. What more could I want.

Looking back on it, they probably did push some ideas that are pretty communist. On the other hand, everything that would get called "Smurfy" could also be called "Christian" or "kindly". As a matter of fact pretty much everyone but Ayn Rand tends to believe in the Golden Rule and helping your neighbor and that's what the Smurf's emphasised. Come to think of it, most everything that anyone tried to teach me for the first 12 years or so of my life was pretty communist and I still managed to turn out a selfish bastard, so I don't think that it could have corrupted me too badly.
________________________
Just Because I Can!
[ Parent ]

Marx? (3.66 / 9) (#4)
by fluffy grue on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 09:05:05 PM EST

Actually, I've always thought Papa Smurf looked more like Fidel Castro.
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]

The Smurfs (2.00 / 8) (#5)
by jd on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 09:07:28 PM EST

Were created by a Jewish Rabbi, and their society reflects Jewish religious belief.

If the Communists chose to steal Jewish Intellectual Property, then I suggest that someone should tell the German lawyers who sent the KIllustrator maintainer letters that -should- qualify as "demands with menaces".

Are you sure it wasn't a... (3.83 / 6) (#7)
by SIGFPE on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 09:47:45 PM EST

...Muslim Rabbi?
SIGFPE
[ Parent ]
No no no... (3.25 / 4) (#18)
by dgwatson on Wed Jul 18, 2001 at 10:30:30 AM EST

You're both wrong. It was actually a *Buddhist* Rabbi.

[ Parent ]
Rabbi (3.00 / 1) (#24)
by TheLer on Wed Jul 18, 2001 at 08:52:41 PM EST

Rabbi is Yiddish for teacher. I suppose no Muslims or Buddhists have teachers, eh SIGFPE and dgwatson?

[ Parent ]
And don't forget... (3.66 / 6) (#6)
by LukeyBoy on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 09:39:42 PM EST

SMURF == Small Man Under A Red Flag.

Just my two cents.

I always preferred... (4.25 / 4) (#9)
by Captain_Tenille on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 11:27:45 PM EST

Socialist Men Under a Red Father, myself.
----
/* You are not expected to understand this. */

Man Vs. Nature: The Road to Victory!
[ Parent ]

Red? (2.00 / 2) (#25)
by Bomb Regardless on Thu Jul 19, 2001 at 12:28:28 AM EST

Even Papa Smurf was blue!
--
[I]f you get your environmental 'doomsday' statistics from a beach towel, you deserve to be wrong. —  chopper
[ Parent ]
His suit was red. [NT] (4.00 / 2) (#29)
by beergut on Thu Jul 19, 2001 at 03:28:30 PM EST


i don't see any nanorobots or jet engines or laser holography or orbiting death satellites.
i just see some orangutan throwing code-feces at a computer screen.

-- indubitable
[ Parent ]

Never mind the communism... (3.28 / 14) (#8)
by Jin Wicked on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 11:24:05 PM EST

What about the fact that they all live inside brightly coloured mushrooms and only have one community female?


This post was probably not written by the real Jin Wicked. Please see user "butter pie" for Jin's actual posts.


Nah .... (4.25 / 12) (#12)
by aphrael on Wed Jul 18, 2001 at 01:53:30 AM EST

the smurfs were drawn loosely from a northwest german fairy tale involving Schluempfen, little blue men who lived under mushrooms. They predate communism; it reflects more the 19th-century-romantic image of the idyllic rural past, before industrialization wreaked its evil changes upon the land. They're no more communist than snow white's seven dwarves.

Seven Dwarfs (3.00 / 5) (#13)
by John Milton on Wed Jul 18, 2001 at 04:27:08 AM EST

As I recall, the seven dwarfs were based on underage miners. At the time the story was made up, children were used as labor in mines. The lack of nutrients stunted their growth. So I guess that's capitalism for you.


"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton


[ Parent ]
Anti-oxymoron (3.80 / 5) (#17)
by billybob2001 on Wed Jul 18, 2001 at 08:00:21 AM EST

underage minors

That figures

Oh, wait, you said underage miners

My bad

[ Parent ]

Hey! (1.00 / 1) (#23)
by sigwinch on Wed Jul 18, 2001 at 07:56:45 PM EST

I was gonna say that! Good thing I scrolled down before I clicked reply...

--
I don't want the world, I just want your half.
[ Parent ]

Possibly (4.00 / 3) (#20)
by aphrael on Wed Jul 18, 2001 at 11:42:08 AM EST

although i doubt it; the disney movie is based on the fairy tale 'Schneeweissen und Rosenrot' which apperared in the fairy tales collected by the Brothers Grimm in 1819. The Brothers Grimm had gone around Germany collecting folk tales from the German villages, etc, and placing them in one book; the implication is that this tale had been around for quite a while when they put it into their book.

[ Parent ]
So you're actually saying ... (4.00 / 6) (#15)
by loaf on Wed Jul 18, 2001 at 07:45:47 AM EST

... that communists are Smurfs?

That's much more likely to get the popular vote!



[ Parent ]
MUD Dwellers (3.00 / 5) (#19)
by Trollspotter on Wed Jul 18, 2001 at 11:30:31 AM EST

I was under the impression that they were just characters in a MUD. There is a television show attached to these things?

i know its offtopic, but... (none / 0) (#35)
by KaizerWill on Thu Jul 26, 2001 at 12:30:05 AM EST

... i cant help wondering. What mud have you been playing? I know that Aardwolf (Aardwolf.org) has smurfs to kill.
What other muds out there house hoards of those lovable but helpless blue critters, just asking to be slaughtered?




You were there for that...
[ Parent ]
Stock Area... (none / 0) (#37)
by dice on Thu Jul 26, 2001 at 01:13:07 PM EST

Smurf Village is a stock area in ROM muds, at least.
I think it's stock in Diku, but wouldn't want to say for sure.


[ Parent ]
communal village life (4.46 / 15) (#21)
by guinsu on Wed Jul 18, 2001 at 12:06:49 PM EST

I always assumed that the Smurfs were simply living the lifestyle that existed in many small villages for thousands of years throughout Africa, North America, Australia, etc... To call it Communist with a capital 'C' is a bit misleading. When you've got a primitive village of 20-100 people living a communistic (with a lower case 'c') lifestyle with a chief to make big decisions is pretty much one of the earliest forms of society that existed on this planet. To try to associate that with Marx/Lenin is really pushing it and just seems to show some serious Red paranoia.

The $20,000 Zig (3.20 / 5) (#22)
by DrEvil on Wed Jul 18, 2001 at 07:49:19 PM EST

What are Gargamel saying when he taking all Smurf village?
All your Smurf are belong to Smurf

Seriously though, if Peyo is a communist then his beliefs about life will be portrayed in his work even if it wasn't intentional. I wish that I could only remember the Smurfs, I used to watch it as a youngster, but that's all I remember about it.

The thing that stands out more than this (as others have mentioned) is the mushrooms. I guess it just follows in the tradition of all the other drug induced cartoons of the era (Scooby-Doo, etc.)

So they were communist... (4.77 / 9) (#26)
by locke baron on Thu Jul 19, 2001 at 06:15:42 AM EST

what is this, Communists are Always Bad, M'kay?

Jeez. */me shakes head.*

<rant intensity=80%> Did it ever occur to anyone that while the Smurfs may well have been communists, that might not be a bad thing? The fact that a cartoon depicted a communist society does *NOT* make it part of a 'dastardly Red plot' to force communism on our new generation.

And the bit about Gargamel representing capitalism is reading a bit too much into it. The Smurfs were communist, but that doesn't mean that the entire show was a metaphor for the 'happy USSR' versus the 'Big Bad US of A' or any such thing.

Yikes. Are we all so programmed that we can't even envision a communist society that's not evil and out to kill capitalism? C'mon! Even if most of the USians are (Disclaimer: I'm a USian...), I'm sure that people from other countries must be at least a little more rational... Any slightly less biased inputs here? </rant>

Micro$oft uses Quake clannies to wage war on Iraq! - explodingheadboy
The model (1.71 / 7) (#27)
by Nitesurfer on Thu Jul 19, 2001 at 12:53:37 PM EST

You may think that the MODEL is good but did you ever visit Europe before the Berlin Wall or the IRON Curtain fell. Any society that has to train guns not out to protect itself, but inward to keep people from leaving has a serious problem. The world is a better place because Reagan/Bush made it that way. The communist government could not continue to rape its citizens personal freedoms, while doing into debt to keep its strong army and enforce the oppression.

Do you unerstand the concept of brainwashing??? You present something favorable and build from there until they believe exactly what you do. For example, using the bible David Koresh was able to reinforcement his ideologies by quoting from excerpts all over the bible. He used a source everyone believes and fused it to his interpretations. Was he right or wrong? That is a whole other thread for discussion. Did he have an impact on the Clinton administration? Definitely.

There have been other powerful figures that have done the same. Those who ignore the past are doomed repeat it.


David Byrd

CEO --- Twenty First Century Technologies, Inc.
Home of the Nite-Surfer Illuminated Keyboard

[ Parent ]
Models and lies (4.50 / 4) (#30)
by psychonaut on Thu Jul 19, 2001 at 05:12:02 PM EST

You may think that the MODEL is good but did you ever visit Europe before the Berlin Wall or the IRON Curtain fell.

Just because something is called communism doesn't mean that it is communism. It's not really fair to judge an entirely ideology based on a few countries who claimed to implement it yet obviously showed no intention whatsoever of aspiring to its ideals. Need I remind you that there are several totalitarian states who claim to be democratic? North Korea, a.k.a. the Democratic Republic of Korea, springs to mind. By your logic, we should be decrying democracy as a terrible social model.

Down with democracy! It doesn't work! North Korea proves it!!



[ Parent ]
Aaarrrggghhh!!! (3.50 / 4) (#31)
by locke baron on Fri Jul 20, 2001 at 02:03:13 AM EST

Foo! And quux and barf!

This is exactly the kind of thing that I was ranting about!
Ok, first off, IANAC (communist). Now that that is clear, on with the rant. I was not stating, nor intending to imply that communism is a good thing. And I am familiar with the concept of brainwashing. Indeed, if you'd take off that stupid-looking Cynic's Hat and re-read my comment, you'd notice that I was not suggesting that communism is good. Rather, I was suggesting that the Smurfs were not a Red plot to brainwash USian children. Use a little freaking critical thinking next time.

Micro$oft uses Quake clannies to wage war on Iraq! - explodingheadboy
[ Parent ]
What makes communist governments special in this? (4.00 / 4) (#33)
by Ceebs on Fri Jul 20, 2001 at 10:41:15 AM EST

Any society that has to train guns not out to protect itself, but inward to keep people from leaving has a serious problem

If you want a counter example how about Vietnam or Chile. there you had people being shot because they hadn't voted the right way(or weren't about to) Or any modern democratic cities riots, for example LA where people were suppressed by troops becuse they objected to being beaten up by the police.

The world is a better place because Reagan/Bush made it that way

This needs a bit of justification rather than just swivel eyed foam at the mouth rant. A lot more praise for the collapse of the cold war can be laid at the feet of Gorbachev who at least had the bottle to back down his Military/industrial complex

[ Parent ]
Brainwash ? (4.25 / 4) (#36)
by CaptainZapp on Thu Jul 26, 2001 at 10:21:45 AM EST

Do you unerstand the concept of brainwashing???

Yeah, I think so. Isn't that, when they have attractions in Disneys Epcot Center, like AT&T's Spaceship Earth, where they tell 6 year old kiddies, about the fantastic new, interconnected, shiny, happy world of tomorrow. Thanks to AT&T. Or do you mean Exxons "History of Energy run", where kiddies are educated, that there's enough oil around for everybody, to drive around in 60's Cadillac Fleetwoods, while they mock serious subjects like energy preservation or pollution ?

Sure sounds like brainwashing to me.

[ Parent ]

Closed minded people.... (4.66 / 6) (#28)
by L0n3 P3n1 on Thu Jul 19, 2001 at 02:42:38 PM EST

From the way people talk around here, it sounds as if few have actually read "The Communist Manifesto," by Karl Marx, the father of Communism. If you actually read Marx's dissertation with the understanding of the conditions of that period, you would probably agree that the proposal was quite sensible at the time.

During that period of history, the working-class joe had absolutely no rights, and small children were working in factories for next to nothing. Communism was a plan to end all of that. Also, in that time period, there was no "middle class" only the super rich and the extremely poor. Communism also proposed to end the class system by abolishing "private" property. In theory, if there is no privately owned property, there would be little room for greed.

I fully acknowledge that this plan could not work in today's world, and it could never coincide with our present ideas of freedom and success... but, as I repeatedly mentioned, times were different back then. For the working-man in those days, being successful was merely surviving anothing day in the sweat shops.

So, to sum up my rant: The "Communist Manifesto" was a suggested altruistic and logical solution to a few of the horrible conditions of that day and time.

But, if I had a chance to live as a Smurf in the Smurf village, I would surely decline the offer. Having to share Smurfette with all of those other Smurfs would just be too weird!

Middle class (3.50 / 2) (#34)
by davidduncanscott on Fri Jul 20, 2001 at 10:08:38 PM EST

Also, in that time period, there was no "middle class" only the super rich and the extremely poor.
Karl Marx lived from 1818 to 1883, not in the Dark Ages. Maybe you missed it, but there was a flourishing middle class in the States and in many parts of Europe. Shopkeepers, farmers, clerks, Abraham Lincoln...it wasn't all serfs and the nobility.

For that matter, Marx himself was neither landed gentry nor exploited mill worker, and didn't do very well explaining his own existence.

[ Parent ]

Middle Class (3.00 / 1) (#43)
by jolly st nick on Mon Aug 13, 2001 at 01:36:24 PM EST

The middle class, as understood by the political and economic theorists of Marx's time, were the bourgeoisie (business owners), the upper class being the nobility and the lower classes being the peasantry and propertyless tradesmen. Thus the middle class in the Marxist sense existed even in the dark ages, but was not very influential. The middle classes were the very ones Marx felt were eventually headed towards the ash-heap of history after a brief period of riding high, in the way the nobility of his time were clearly on the decline after their own era.

In some ways, his prediction of the historical inevitability of their decline has actually come to pass, but not to the degree and certainly not in the way he expected. The power of the wealthy bourgeousie has, in relative terms, declined. The Bill Gates of the world wield great power both as individuals and as a class, but very little to what a J. P. Morgan, an Andrew Carnegie or even a Henry Ford wielded. They cannot get the government to call out the army on their behalf, nor field an armed security force of their own to take action against union agitators. What we now call the "middle classes" -- the petit bourgeousie and affluent workers, are arguably as influential en masse as the new "upper classes". There have been incidents of bloody conflict in this transition (e.g. Carnegie vs. the steelworkers, Ford's internal goon squad of the 1930s), but by in large the center of power has shifted far more bloodlessly than he might have imagined.

Our "middle classes" would be a very puzzling phenomenon to Marx: (1) People of middling wealth who have to work, yet have leisure time and the ability to accrue modest capital of their own; (2) that this group standing between the wealthy and the destititute should form the bulk of the people and (3) that this class of affluent working people should more or less coexist peacefully with the captains of industry.



[ Parent ]

Commie Smurfs (4.66 / 3) (#38)
by a20vertigo on Thu Jul 26, 2001 at 01:57:16 PM EST

Heck yes, the smurfs are communists. But that's just the point - they were communists, not fascists/totalitarians... At the time, the Smurfs was a safe way for some of the good points of communism to be taught to children without turning them into the Stalin Youth. Communism as a concept is a very good idea, but in practice doesn't work... But someone (aka, the writers) figured that if some communist values made their way into American culture, then we can put the Red back in red, white and blue. (I think that the smurfs are all three...)

Ashes to ashes, fun to funky - we know Major Tom's a junkie, strung out in heavens high feeling so lonely...

Smurfs are Smurfs. Communists are...Red, not blue (4.33 / 3) (#39)
by beynos on Fri Jul 27, 2001 at 02:52:51 AM EST

Look, when someone shows me that Karl Marx lived in a mushroom and knew about the "black arts" as Papa Smurf did, maybe I'll believe this story. I don't think the show's idea was to show the good concepts of communism. Looking back to my childhood, the Smurfs taught me that all sorts of different people can work together to achieve something. It also taught me that every type of person has their stong points and their weak points in their personalities. Look, Hefty Smurf was a dumb bastard... But who would you rather have around when you have a flat tire? Brainy or Hefty? I'd rather have Hefty around, because I could tell him what to do and he would do it... Brainy would only make me do it, as he would have a better idea on how the tire should be changed.

It gets much worse (3.00 / 2) (#40)
by gbd on Mon Jul 30, 2001 at 12:59:06 AM EST

Read, and be enlightened:

The United States daycare industry is run by Communists.

TV shows like Survivor are a Communist plot.

We can only be victorious if we are vigilant.

--
Gunter glieben glauchen globen.

Top Ten Reasons Why the Smurfs Are Communists!! (3.00 / 4) (#41)
by sexyblonde on Tue Jul 31, 2001 at 11:48:47 PM EST

10.) The Smurfs live in a hidden mushroom village. The village is so hidden that everyone who finds it, forgets its location immediately!

9.) Smurfs have designated jobs according to their assignment from Papa Smurf. (Brainy Smurf, Farmer Smurf, etc.)

8.) There is almost no free thought in Smurf Village, aside from that of Brainy Smurf who is the designated inventor. Not all smurfs have names, all others are just smurf. This unit-like title is repressing freedom and the fact that they all look exactly the same makes the little blue guys even more uniform. They all live in remarkably similar mushroom quarters with decorations limited to pictures of mushrooms and Papa Smurf.

7.) The fact that there is only one female expresses the obvious repression of women.

6.) In Smurf Village it seems there is one small exception to everything. All smurfs are cheerful except Grouchy Smurf, None of the Smurfs are artistic except Painter Smurf. In every trade there is a single smurf that excels. This serves as a model for communism because every smurf does his part in the cycle to complete the circuit. The village runs extremely smoothly except for a single conflict in every episode.

5.) There is no religion in smurf villiage, but all smurfs have morals and good values aquired through lessons learned from other smurf's mistakes.

4.) Gargamel and his trusty cat Azriel are the smurfs eternal enemies. They are life size, yet the smurfs stand only three apples high. This signifies that the enemy is much larger but still cannot defeat Papa Smurf's miniature magic.

3.) The Smurfs do not have a currency because "The Man" (papa smurf) has it worked out that everyone is taken care of and receives an equal share.

2.) If one Smurf is missing, ALL the smurfs leave their homes to go find that one smurf!

1.) And finally . . . The dictator is of course Papa Smurf, who has a red hat and most importantly incredible magical powers. Plus he looks an awful lot like Karl Marx ;)

This has been already answered! (4.50 / 2) (#42)
by statusbar on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 06:16:43 PM EST


go to:

http://www.wherearethetoonsnow.com/

And click on 'Smurfs' on the right hand side.

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Militia
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The Smurfs as Marxist Propoganda? | 44 comments (37 topical, 7 editorial, 0 hidden)
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