No: 1


Autumn 2001
QUARTERLY  MAGAZINE  OF  THE  COMMUNIST  YOUTH  OF  AUSTRALIA


"Papa smurf is a communist!" debunking popular myths

by Jimmy Haines
I recently made the disturbing discovery that the World Wide Web, has been flooded with sites suggesting distinct similarities between communism and the fictitious cartoon society of the Smurfs (and I don't make any bones about being behind the times as far as these websites are concerned).

Whilst some of these sites emitted some positivity and could be regarded as affectionate satire one site, in particular, infuriated me with its blatant lies and crude anti-Socialist idolatry. This website was titled Papa Smurf is a Communist and subtitled Vive le capitalism.

Firstly the author suggests that the cartoon television program Smurfs "was a creation of the Russian Government in order to indoctrinate the youngest members of western society with communist beliefs, thus destroying their resistance to the imminent Russian invasion".

The USSR never invaded nor had the intent on invading the USA, other than urging the American proletariat to overthrow their bourgeois oppressors. But the reverse cannot be said as an array of western powers, including the USA, savagely invaded the newly born Socialist state in Russia almost immediately after the success of the October 1917 Revolution, in a futile attempt to destroy what the working class of the Soviet Union had been struggling towards for years.

The author then prescribes to the popular myth that "of course in reality communism does not work because people are generally greedy and need to have something to strive for. That is why capitalism works".

Those who subscribe to the myth that greed forms the basis of a productive society, and that the collapse of the Soviet Union is "proof" of that theory show their ignorance about communism and true reasons behind the disintegration of the USSR.

Greed is only a symptom of capitalism. When Marx, Engels, and Lenin developed their theories they took into account all human instincts and ideals. Socialism is immeasurably more productive than capitalism both in theory and practice.

They are also ignorant to the real problems that foreshadowed the collapse of the Soviet Union as opposed to the fictitious reasons promulgated by the western media. Among these problems was primarily the massive arms-race that the USSR were forced into by western powers, particularly the USA. This arms race was sustainable and even proved highly profitable for the capitalist economy, but under a Marxist system this was difficult to sustain and crippling to the economy.

Another major reason was the heavy economic encroachment created by the exponential growth of corporate globalisation in the 'seventies and 'eighties. The crippling defence budget and economic pressures created by globalisation were used by Mikhail Gorbachev as an excuse to step away from the Soviet planned economy and sell out his country to capitalism and the foreign corporate powers.

It was the failure of the leaders to respond adequately to these and other pressures, and not the failure of socialism, that lead to the disintegration of the USSR.

After his trite "greed is good" effort to repudiate communism, the author of the webpage then sinks to the gutter and expounds crude lies of an intolerant and racist society. It says that the Smurf named Vanity was portrayed negatively because he was impliedly homosexual. "Homosexuality would not be tolerated in this society", says the author.

At the creation of the Socialist state in Russia, homosexuals were not only tolerated, but faced unprecedented personal freedom. The USSR was the first modern state to decriminalise homosexuality at a time when homosexual activity was illegal in most other industrial states. At that time, laws curtailing the rights and freedoms of women were also repealed.

The Soviet Union knew that all these laws were relics of the Czarist era penal code designed to appease the Church, and had no relevance in a modern society.

Intolerance of homosexuals, where it did exist in socialist states, was in absolutely in no way directed by communist ideology. It was rather the product of continuing traditional religious or cultural bias that already existed in those societies.

The author then continues his attack, describing the cartoon's villain Gargamel as bearing Jewish physical resemblance. According to the author "under the communist regime the Jewish people were persecuted for (as well as other things) their love of money".

This is a downright lie. The Jewish population enjoyed unprecedented freedom at a time when anti-Semitism was a popular notion. Before the revolution, Jews were targeted for expulsion and extermination in pogroms in Russia, as they had been throughout Europe for centuries.

With the inception of the Soviet Union the Jewish population faced a new era of emancipation, not only in the attitudes of the Supreme Soviet but also in fraternal relations with the rest of the Soviet nationalities.

This is illustrated in Sergei Eisenstein's classic film "Battleship Potemkin", set during the 1905 revolution. In one scene during a workers' uprising, a lone bourgeois anti-Semite, sensing the hostility to capitalist despotism loudly suggests "lets Kill the Jews!" He did not receive the reception he expected, and is turned upon by the proletarians in a pitch of revolutionary fervour.

Soviet liberalism was again demonstrated when Josef Stalin set up an autonomous Jewish province in the USSR, to protect their cultural and linguistic identity, and offering them statehood for the first time in modern history. But few Jews felt the need to settle there as their persecution amongst the Soviet people was consistently seldom. Fears for their persecution, which had been traditional throughout Europe and imperial Russia were unfounded.

When socialist-proletarian unity triumphed over nationalist- imperialist forces of Nazism in the Second World War, the USSR liberated countless concentration camps where thousands of Jews and homosexuals were being systematically murdered. This Soviet war effort saved the remaining Jewish and Homosexual population within Nazi-occupied Europe form total annihilation. The Soviet and East European governments then held to account the Nazi collaborators for their participation in this genocidal holocaust.

The western media also neglect to mention that, along with many other communist revolutionaries, Karl Marx and Frederich Engels were of Jewish descent. The western media justify their claims that the USSR was anti-Semitic because of Soviet support of the progressive Nasser Egyptian government during the Arab-Israeli war in 1967.

Papa Smurf is a Communist in its attempt to portray the communist system as anti-Semitic and homophobic, is part of an ongoing attempt by the west to cast communism as repackaged Nazism.

This wider propaganda war is also contributed to by crude reactionary documentary series such as Russia's War Blood upon the Snow and War of the Century, which try to draw similarities between Nazism and so called "Stalinism". Then there even more blatant reactionary ridden bias documentaries which feebly condemn the entire system such as Red Chapters.

Such television programs play on the fact that both regimes are run under dictatorship, but ignore the fact they are opposite in nature. Whilst Nazism is run by a most reactionary and repressive dictatorship of capital, the Soviet system is the rule of the working class.

The depiction of communism as "undemocratic" is inaccurate: when looking at the basic structure of the Soviet Union, the non- exploitive socialist democracy at every level of government is far more just and socially upstanding than bourgeois parliamentary democracy.

This propaganda war is nothing new however, it has been waged since the Second World War in comical, animated, and action "entertainment", personified by Maxwell Smart, GI Joe and James Bond.

Anyone in search of the truth in these matters should resist the myths perpetuated by the western propaganda machine and ultra- left forces. Do not just take blind heed of the popular and highly publicised sources. Look further to objective sources such as the documentary "Ten days that shook the world".

More appropriately if one wished to educate oneself on the true ideology behind the Soviet Union and communism, look no further than the bookshop located at the CPA headquarters at Surry Hills in Sydney.

Also check out the links section for communist parties and publications all over the world which offer information and analysis on current and historical events.

They aim to tell the truth that has been distorted by the western media with the aid of bourgeois capital.

Back to index page