• Joe Pace

Favorite Fictional Characters, #61: Papa Smurf

Smurfs of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your mushrooms!

Let's face it, we all know Smurf Village is a Communist enclave. It's not even a Democratic Socialist society, with elements of regulated capitalism (yes, they are different things, for those of you not following along). No, the Smurfs are Communists. From each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs. They are a joyful, benighted proletariat, so defined by their roles in the strictly regimented community that their names often refer to their functions.

Astride this Marxist mushroom paradise like a tiny Red colossus is Papa Smurf. He is father and leader, a Lilliputian Lenin, a miniature Mao. His authority, both legal and moral, is absolute and without question. He employs his spectacled Trotsky to keep an eye on his "children". All the while he lives in comparable ease, thriving off the labors of the working Smurfs, secure in his permanence.

Papa wears it well. His red garments, his white beard, mark him as a different kind of Smurf, older, wiser, less carefree. He is the night watchman of their little blue souls, and protects them against the depredations of the greedy capitalist pig Gargamel, who seeks only to line his own pockets. He is the hero of the motherland. He is Papa Smurf.

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