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The political economy of Smurfs and other conspiracies*

August 9, 2011

With Wall Street in a state of high anxiety, and President Obama’s approval rating sinking, have the French staged a cultural coup d’etat over the red, white, and blue? The definitive answer: Mais ous.

Just look at how Rise of the Planet of the Apes and The Smurfs are dominating summer box office.

Apes was inspired by the late French novelist Pierre Boulle, whose Monkey Planet kicked off the Planet of the Apes film franchise.

The Smurfs were created by a Belgian cartoonist, and Belgium, as we know, snuggles right up against France. They even put mayonnaise on their Freedom fries.

What unsuspecting Americans fail to realize is that the little blue folks have a decidely European political slant. As the Washington Times reported:

Google the phrase “Smurfs communist,” and you’ll find dozens of essays, blog posts and message-board discussions devoted to a more sinister proposition: The little blue men as surreptitious socialists, mini-Manchurian candidates, propagating subversive ideology beneath a veneer of harmless entertainment.

Three years ago, California resident Evan Topham posted a YouTube video titled “The Communist Smurfs?” The clip since has attracted more than 200,000 views, about 58,000 more than Newt Gingrich’s 2012 presidential-bid announcement.

Are Mr. Topham and company — gulp — on to something?

In a textbook communist society, all citizens are equal. They labor for the common good. Money is unnecessary. Individual liberty takes a back seat to the needs of the collective. There is no God but the state.

Now, consider life in the Smurfs’ village: Residents live in identical mushroom houses. Everyone dresses alike. They sing the same group song, over and over. They have no apparent deity.

It’s enough to make you wonder what would have happened had the French-looking John Kerry had become president back in 2004.

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*If you haven’t guessed this is a satire.

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