Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Is Sonic the Hedgehog a Socialist?

I should preface this post by mentioning that this theory has probably been postulated before and that I doubt I am the first person who has considered the following issue. Nevertheless, it is so pertinent and profound such that I would be remiss if I did not attempt to discuss it with the loyal readers of this blog.

Reprinted from comiclist.com


Have you ever played any of the Sonic the Hedgehog games on Sega Genesis? After playing, have you ever had urges to take over your country's economy and redistribute the wealth among the proletariat class? In fact, you might have fallen victim to another cog in the propaganda machine.

It's hard not to have at least some familiarity with the character of Sonic. After all, he was one of the most iconic protagonists in video game history. He was for Sega what Mario was for Nintendo. The basic idea was that this little hedgehog, equipped with magic sneakers that caused him to run super fast, ran from landscape to landscape chasing after an evil, mad scientist. And following the video game came multiple television series and comic books.

Seems pretty simple and wholesome, doesn't it? I mean, what possible harm could this wise-cracking, cute little mammal have on society? And yet, there are nuances to Sonic the Hedgehog that one does not quite comprehend until he or she has reached a certain point in maturity. It takes years of education, experience, and hopefully, an education in the social sciences to discern the true multi-layered meaning behind the Sonic franchise.

To the unsuspecting masses, Sonic the Hedgehog delivered one critical, yet extremely subtle messages: capitalism is evil, while socialism is the means to prosperity.

To see this, simply consider the basic plot of the video game. Dr. Robotnik, an unequivocally evil villain, set out to control the means of production in Sonic Land and expand his profit-making, wold-dominating enterprises. He began stealing animals from the wilderness (i.e. "Green Hill Zone" or "Emerald Hill Zone"), shoving them into a contraption that turned them into robots, and then exploiting them as cheap labor in his various factories and oil refineries. They served as mindless automatons with long hours, no breaks, and likely no health benefits, while Dr. Robotnik flew around in his egg ship, amassing gold rings (the standard currency in Sonic Land). He would then use his vast amount of wealth to build more factories and extract more oil from foreign lands, which he seemingly only used to design booby traps, killer robots, and laser beams to keep away any potential do-gooders.

Most importantly, however, like any industrialist fat-cat, Dr. Robotnik also had a master plan to collect 8 chaos emeralds in order to fuel a giant and unimaginably powerful space station, known as the "Death Egg," to take over the world.

Enter Sonic the Hedgehog: a calm, witty punk-rocker with blue, spiked-up hair and red converse shoes. Sonic single-handedly took up the mission to pursue Dr. Robotnik through his multiple establishments and shut them down one by one by means of jump flips, super speed, and occasional invincibility.

At first, he merely freed his friends from their robotic captivity, stole Dr. Robotnik's gold rings, and redistributed them to the masses in a Robin Hood-like fashion. Yet, Sonic's ultimate goal was to establish and sustain an egalitarian society free from the clutches of bourgeois oppression. As such, his methods grew more extreme and unorthodox as time went on. In Sonic Spinball, for instance, Sonic's no longer cared for freeing animals; rather, he endeavored to actually physically destroy Robotnik's factories (and space station).

Not convinced that Dr. Robotnik actually represented the wealthy industrialist? Consider the names of the zones in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Shortly after leaving Emerald Hill Zone, Sonic travels through Chemical Plant Zone, Aquatic Ruin Zone (an allusion to Robotnik's harmful effect on the ocean wildlife), Casino Zone (Robotnik was also in the gambling racket) and Metropolis Zone (one of Robotnik's major factories). The tragedy is by the time Sonic reaches Oil Ocean Zone, Robotnik's influence had become so disastrous that his oil refinery suffered a major spill, massively polluting the local environment and destroying the animals. Talk about your negative externalities!

However, Sonic finally defeated a robotic version of himself, symbolizing no less than the working man's ultimate victory over the ruling class and its robot warriors.

So, there you have it. Sonic the Hedgehog is a socialist hero. Indeed, this might come as a tremendous shock to you. It might be difficult to reconcile what you thought Sonic represented with what he actually stands for. Yet, regardless of your political beliefs, your economic preferences, or your views on class warfare, there is another lesson, perhaps even more important, that we can glean from our years of following Sonic's adventures. He taught us to stand up for what we believe in, regardless of societal pressures.

And to avoid spikes.

50 comments:

Bryan Sharp said...

Maybe their innately non-capitalist nature explains why most Sonic games sell so poorly.

Jason Byrd said...

Conversely, couldn't Sonic also be considered a democratic revolutionary (a Jeffersonian and not a Marxist)? Robotnik wasn't peacefully hiring woodland creatures to be turned into robots in a competitive marketplace, he was conquering and enslaving. Politically speaking, Robotnik would not be the "ruling class" but a dictator, and the woodland creatures were being taxed at a 100% rate without a say in their representation. Capitalism implies competition as well, and Robotnik can be seen as a monopoly in this regard - hardly capitalistic. In this sense, Sonic only seeks representation by the masses, not necessarily redistribution. There is no implication that the woodland creatures would distribute the rings evenly amongst themselves. Of course, this is also an idealized world in which none of the woodland creatures have to EAT one another...

Anonymous said...

You can find some support of this idea in Zebrahead - His World. http://www.kovideo.net/lyrics/z/Zebrahead/His-World-Sonic-Theme.html
Like where it says:
"In this world (his world!)
Where one is all"
It's a fairly recent song, so it probably is influenced by that idea, but I think it's a official song.

ShadowBanker said...

Bryan - Did they sell poorly? I thought they were popular sellers. Better than "Altered Beast" anyway.

Jason - Good point! Especially about Robotnik essentially kidnapping these creatures and forcing them to work against their will. Although, I don't see why you think Robotnik has a monopoly over this stuff. Just because the factories that are being bashed by Sonic are his doesn't mean there aren't others. His kidnapping of the woodland creatures could be his way of driving out competitors, but there is nothing to say they aren't there, right?

Pwn said...

Did you say /eight/ chaos emeralds? >:|

ShadowBanker said...

Pwn - Woops, I meant 7 (for Sonic 2). I think I was confusing it with 8 hits to beat Dr. Robotnik.

Thanks!

Greg said...

This is going to be incredibly nerdy sounding, but I'm pretty sure the name "Aquatic Ruin" referred to how the level's design contained ruins from an old civilization which were surrounded by a lot of water, not the fact that Robotnik was ruining aquatic habitats. And doesn't Oil Ocean Zone come before Metropolis Zone, not after?

Michael said...

Yes. The order of the zones is

Emerald Hill
Chemical Plant
Aquatic Ruin
Casino Night
Hill Top
Oil Ocean
Metropolis
Sky Chase
Wing Fortress
Death Egg

And yes, Aquatic Ruin was the flooded ruins of an ancient civilization. And most people speculate that Oil Ocean was already flooded with oil prior to Robotnik's entry.

a.u. said...

Very impressed. The views you expressed here are quite feasible, your observation is very remarkable. I am a huge fan of the Sonic series that I neglected to see the truth behind the propaganda. Haha. Joking aside, I have to commend your analogy of woodland creatures to the proletariat. It's very spot on. The woodland creatures being forcibly turned to mindless slaves could be akin to the forced labor, in the sense that the proletariat have no other choice but to work in the factories, experienced by the lower class resulting in a somewhat mundane lifestyle. Curious though, why did they pick Sonic's color as blue instead of red? Isn't it that red is the widely recognized color of communism? Just wanted to get your thoughts on the matter, just in case the thought ever crossed your mind.

Ardiggo said...

Yeah, it is kind of like Christianity's role in this world. Everyone so strongly believes in it, giving up who they really are on the inside to pretend to be someone they are not. But that comes at an even greater shock because it's "burried deep within a person's soul" as the CHURCH would tell you. But let's face it, Christianity has been in the brainwashing business for two thousand years. They've perfected brainwashing to a level where no one seems to sense even the smallest hint of the presence of brainwashing (which is the best kind of brainwashing- when no one knows they are being brainwashed.) But if you begin to pick it slowly apart on your own (which the CHURCH tells you not to do) you begin to see the layers of poetic black lies hidden deep within the folds of their stark white robes.
You see words like "holy", "chaste", "benevolent", "charity" are words that strike a certain chord within your mind. A chord that gets you to want to become "better", but WHO has made all these words and defined what they mean (about 2000 years ago mind you). It's so embedded in our society we don't even realize what we are saying.
Even now, some of you "strong believers" (a great feeling comes to you when you hear that title applied to you, doesn't it? That's the CHURCH that has told you being a believer is a 'good' thing. Especially a 'strong' one, ooh, that does sound glorious, doesn't it? That's the reaction the CHURCH wants you to have.) Even some of you "strong believers" are going to have a knee-jerk reaction to feel "disgusted", but WHO implanted that repulsion into you, the CHURCH. You are going to "want" to fight back your "honor"(as defined by the CHURCH). And you'll feel good about it, just as the CHURCH is going to feel good about you doing so. You are following their program completely.
The CHURCH uses every tactic to get you to follow them. Whether it be playing on the string for people who want to good, they show you "rich blessings" will come to you... after this life. And for those who are not into the whole "I will be holy, virtuous and true" goal, they throw condemnations to make you fear the consequences... that won't come in this life... unless it sort of happens by sheer luck, then they'll blame that upon you. Take a look around people, wake up! Open your eyes to the world we have here. You don't need a CHURCH to control your actions, if you want to do good, do it for you, not for a status in CHURCH, not for your neighbors' opinion, not because you "fear God" or not because you want a reward from God, just do it because you have the desire by yourself. Don't vote in political issues because of what the CHURCH might say, because that is one of their biggest desires, to control the sway of votes. Do what YOU deem is right, not what THEY deem as "correct". Being a "strong believer" is NOT a good thing, what it really means is that you are just a machine, a pawn wound deep with their programming, doing everything THEY tell you because you (ahem) "know" it is "right". Break free, become your own person, reach back and find that individualism you had as a young child. I'm not telling you to become evil, I'm telling you to become your own free person.

somariman1 said...

I strongly disagree with this theory. It should honestly be the other way around. Robotnik's goal was to turn the animals of Mobius (or South Island, if you're Japanese or obsessive) into mindless drones that are all exactly the same. Sounds a lot like communism and fascism to me. Also, doesn't 'Robotnik' sound very Soviet to you? Sonic, meanwhile, is a liberator, freeing the animals to live their own lives however they wish. To me, Robotnik represents the Soviet Union, and Sonic represents America.

Michael said...

The argument here is that Sonic the Hedgehog is a socialist, not a Soviet or an American.

Controversially, the United States does promote socialist activities, like public education.

Tails said...

I´ve never seen before Robotnik "collecting" rings. I didn´t see Sonic sharing rings with anyone, he collected them just for himself. I think the exact opposite, Robotnik ( a very sovietic name, isn´t it?) is a communist and Sonic is destroying people´s jobs, Sonic is a capitalist.
And by the way, you are really bored..aren´t you?

Anonymous said...

If you think Sonic the Hedgehog is socialist propaganda, you will most certainly have a field trip with the Swedish comic series Bamse – Världens starkaste björn. It was, to put it mildly, altruistic during it's inception in the 70's. It is still published and have new issues every month.

ShadowBanker said...

somariman1 - You seem to be making an implicit assumption that people on communist regimes are "mindless drones" that need to be liberated from the perils of their system. I'm not advocating for the system, but this seems a bit biased to me. What if the "liberation" comes in the form of liberating the animals from the perils of spending their days working for coins that they don't keep? Also you conflate communism and fascism, which is a big no no.

Tails - Sonic absolutely shares rings as soon as he frees the animals. What happens to the rings that you've collected at the end of every single stage? Do they stay with you at the beginning of each stage? They don't. The reason is that at the end of every stage, you jump on the spring that frees the animals from captivity and then your ring count goes back to 0. The implication is you're giving it to them.

Kenali dan Kunjungi Objek Wisata di Pandeglang said...

Kenali dan Kunjungi Objek Wisata di Pandeglang
Keyword Kenali Pandeglang
Mohon dukungannya yach....?!
Semangat..semangat..!!
Agar terjalin tali silaturrahmi di antara kita.
Pandeglang telah hilang Kenali Si Dunia Aneh
Mari bersama DesigN and TechnologY dalam kontes Kenali dan Kunjungi Objek Wisata di Pandeglangh

Video Game Schwag said...

Very interesting theory! I'm also more inclined to see Robotnik as a dictator though. Now i want to go back & play the game with a political eye...

mryan1992 said...

I'm sorry, but are you people stupid? It is actually Robotnik who is the socialist. Socialism is about forcing people to give up their land. Capitalism is about having the freedom to give to the needy because you can. So do the math here, Sonic equals free, Eggman equals force against freedom. This is exactly why the next four years are going to suck, because you're letting the government baby you because you're too lazy to be responsible for yourselves.

Anonymous said...

Well actually robotnik was FORCING them into labor, making a dictatorship fueled by slavery. capitalism would mean that the animals HAD to get into the badnik suits "just to make a living", when in fact they werent, they were forced into robotic suits and made to work through mind control.

Anonymous said...

Great website thats compares the two rivals Sonic vs Mario. Who will win the fight

Generic Cialis said...

From all this post, from everything you wrote the only things that truly matter are the 2 final lines. You are way to concentrated in yourself, or too brainwashed to even realize what yoy are saying.

viagra generic said...

Socialist Of, belonging to, or constituting a socialist party or political group.
thanks of matt powell

Green Parks said...

Hello.. Firstly I would like to send greetings to all readers. After this, I recognize the content so interesting about this article. For me personally I liked all the information. I would like to know of cases like this more often. In my personal experience I might mention a book called Green Parks Costa Rica in this book that I mentioned have very interesting topics, and also you have much to do with the main theme of this article.

buy generic viagra said...

I think your article is interesting,really I enjoyed to be reading it.

shokz guide download said...

wow great i have read many articles about this topic and everytime i learn something new i dont think it will ever stop always new info , Thanks for all of your hard work!

Forzest said...

I think you’ve made some truly interesting points. Not too many people would actually think about this the way you just did. I’m really impressed that there’s so much about this subject that’s been uncovered and you did it so well, with so much class. Good one you, man! Really great stuff

Penis Enlargement Pills said...

I am thoroughly convinced in this said post. I am currently searching for ways in which I could enhance my knowledge in this said topic you have posted here. It does help me a lot knowing that you have shared this information here freely. I love the way the people here interact and shared their opinions too. I would love to track your future posts pertaining to the said topic we are able to read.

Elina✿ said...

Cool!
like The Smurfs. They're clearly communists.

Cheap generic Viagra Online said...

its awesome article post............

linkwheel said...

There are definitely a lot of details like that to take into consideration. That may be a great point to deliver up. I supply the ideas above as normal inspiration however clearly there are questions just like the one you deliver up where an important thing can be working in trustworthy good faith. I don?t know if greatest practices have emerged around issues like that, but I am sure that your job is clearly identified as a fair game. Anyway, in my language, there are usually not much good source like this.

sim so dep said...

Your article is write very well, I like it very much ~ I wish you have a wonderful day!Thank you.

link wheel said...

Fully perceive what your stance in this matter. Though I would disagree on among the finer details, I feel you probably did an superior job explaining it. Positive beats having to analysis it on my own. Thanks. Anyway, in my language, there aren't a lot good source like this.

quality backlinks said...

Thanks for the smart critique. Me & my neighbour had been getting ready to do a little analysis about that. We got a superb e book on that matter from our local library and most books where not as influensive as your information. I'm very glad to see such data which I used to be searching for an extended time.This made very glad! Anyway, in my language, there will not be a lot good source like this.

Penis Enlargement Pills said...

The article is worth while reading, I like it very much and which you shared the info in this post is very useful. Thanks for sharing a wonderful post.

bp claims process said...

Completely bp claims process understand what your bp claims process stance on this matter. bp claims process Although I'd disagree on a number of the finer details, I bp claims process think you probably did an awesome job explaining it. Certain beats bp claims process having to analysis it on my own. Thanks. Anyway, bp claims process in my language, there aren't much good source like this.

hydroponics said...

I dont know about all the bumbo jumbo politics but sonic and his pals entertian my 8 year old son on a night so what politics thier into its ok by me.

grow tent said...

Robotnik is a bad man and needs to stopped at all costs sonic is a childhood hero of mine its great fun.

Invertir en oro said...

Hello, i think that this post is the best that i have read.

sim so dep said...

Jason - Good point! Especially about Robotnik essentially kidnapping these creatures and forcing them to work against their will. Although, I don't see why you think Robotnik has a monopoly over this stuff. Just because the factories that are being bashed by Sonic are his doesn't mean there aren't others. His kidnapping of the woodland creatures could be his way of driving out competitors, but there is nothing to say they aren't there, right?

viagra generic said...

Wow, nice post,there are many person searching about that now they will find enough resources by your post.Thank you for sharing to us.Please one more post about that..

com123 said...

Bryan - Did they sell poorly? I thought they were popular sellers. Better than "Altered Beast" anyway.

Jason - Good point! Especially about Robotnik essentially kidnapping these creatures and forcing them to work against their will. Although, I don't see why you think Robotic has a monopoly over this stuff. Just because the factories that are being bashed by Sonic are his doesn't mean there aren't others. His kidnapping of the woodland creatures could be his way of driving out competitors, but there is nothing to say they aren't there, right?
Abilene Roofing Contractor

Absolom said...

Really useful data, much thanks for your article.
here

neil said...

It is a shame that sonic the game never came anywhere near taking over the world and maybe robotniks view on things is the way forward i mean lets face it, it is only communists who country are not in financial ruin

Anonymous said...

Sonic is more like an anarchist and robotnik an industrial emperor like those at the industrial revolution.

female viagra said...

Thank you! I didn't know they picked up on it until I saw your comment.

Hydroponics shop said...

Used to love playing Sonic back in the Megadrive days. Never thought of him as a Socialist I must admit!

Anonymous said...

goose jackets on sale online sale Denmark Canada, UK,
goose trillium parka jackets online sale Denmark Canada, UK,
Canada goose freestyle vest online sale Denmark Canada, UK,
Canada Goose Chilliwack Bomber sale online sale Denmark Canada, UK,
Canada Goose Mens Citadel jackets online sale Denmark Canada, UK,
cheap Goose Expedition Parka coats online sale Denmark Canada, UK,
canada goose snow mantra parka online sale Denmark Canada, UK,
Canada Goose Yorkville Parka Jackets online sale Denmark Canada, UK,
womens Goose Chilliwack Parka online sale Denmark Canada, UK,
womens Goose Expedition Parka online sale Denmark Canada, UK,
womens Goose Kensington Parka Jackets online sale Denmark Canada, UK,
womens Goose Montebello Parka jackets online sale Denmark Canada, UK,
Canada Goose Womens Solaris Parka online sale Denmark Canada, UK.

Grow Tents said...

Interesting perspective, never thought of characters in computer games as socialists!

cialis uk said...

Thanks for sharing such an interesting post with us. You have made some valuable points which are very useful for all readers

Anonymous said...

Nike air force shoes shoes for sale.
air force 1 cheap online sale!
air force 1 livestrong online sale!
cheap air force 1 low online sale!
womens air force 1 online sale!