We all know of him.
Some of us have mental shrines of his yellow porous face, as we recall him being a significant figure of our childhood.
Then there are others of us, who could care less about him, frankly annoyed of his existence because of the nonstop air time he would get in our households.
I used to be the first one.
That fun-loving sea sponge with his quirky friends and wild antics had a special place in my heart.
His bubbly laughter lifted spirits and his optimism was almost inspirational.
Spongebob Squarepants, a cartoon character qualifying for legendary status is now being referenced as a communist. Some are even calling him “Comrade Squarepants.”
Naturally, as a true communist, an African Internationalist, I had to investigate these claims. It was shocking to me to hear people characterizing Spongebob as such, not because it was impossible, but because it didn’t seem likely. I had never picked up on any communist subtleties watching the show before.
In my research, I did see the communist character within the show itself, in particular with other members of the show, but in my discovery I realized an important yet controversial fact: Spongebob is no champion of the workers, but more a detriment to the struggle for workers achieving power.
In fact, when it comes to the accurate representation of workers under capitalism, it’s Squidward Tentacles who closely resembles this.
Of course Squidward is the unlikeable character of the show. He is portrayed in a negative light, talentless, boring, rude, and without friends other than Spongebob.
We develop a disdain for Squidward, who apparently hates Spongebob, hates his job working at a fast food restaurant, to which he’s been working for well over two decades, and who is just trying to get recognized for his talents in music and art – and even that he is portrayed being horrible at.
And simply because he doesn’t appear to be in the mood to deal with the vibrant sea sponge, he becomes an unfavored figure in the cartoon series.
Spongebob is a self-serving individualist
It’s a hard pill to swallow, sure, but the facts are right before us.
Not only did Spongebob nearly doom their home, Bikini Bottom, on multiple occasions with his anarchist shenanigans, but he is clearly a foot-shuffling, buck-dancing, shucking and jiving opportunist who is content with (and even enthusiastic about) being worked to the bone for meager wages.
Spongebob wakes up at the crack of dawn and is seen in practically every episode with his work uniform on, a spatula in his hand, bouncing down the street with a wide gapped-tooth grin talking about, “I’m ready!”
This eagerness and urgency to get to work, to serve the interests of the ruling class, in this case represented by Eugene Krabs, owner and founder of the Krusty Krab restaurant, is in complete opposition to the fierce anti-capitalist struggles we see waged throughout the world today.
Yet he is heralded by many now as a spokesperson for workers everywhere. This is absurd!
It was Squidward Tentacles, in season two, episode 40, titled: “Squid on Strike”, that aired in 2001, who organized the masses, including Spongebob, to go on strike against Eugene Krabs, who had attempted to cut their already minimal pay and charge them for doing things like breathing on the job.
In this episode, Spongebob, who was ignorant to the meaning of strike, was devastated finding out he was no longer able to work for the ruling class!
Squidward had to persuade him through political education to stick it through to the end; he even helped Spongebob with demonstration chants such as “Krusty Krabs is unfair! Mr. Krabs is in there! Standing at the concession, plotting his oppression!” to which Spongebob is credited for to this day, with the help of anti-communist historical revisionism.
Comrade Tentacles was never recognized for his courageous leadership in organizing this powerful worker’s strike. Instead his work was overshadowed by the charismatic personality of Spongebob Squarepants.
As the victory of the strike appeared on the horizon, with Eugene Krabs officially ready to make a concession to the demands of the workers, Spongebob sabotaged it all by engaging in anarchist individualism, taking it upon himself without bringing it to leadership, to vandalize the Krusty Krab establishment in the dead of night. This caused for Eugene to not only take back his offer, but required both Squidward and Spongebob to work twice as hard without pay to restore the damages.
We must not fall for the anti-communist propaganda
It is no surprise that one of the most loveable cartoon characters on the planet is actually anti-communist in actions.
The main character and protagonist, as portrayed by the ruling class is Spongebob, and we should all be familiar with the ruling class tactic to put forward the antagonist of the workers as the victor or the “good guy”.
It is no coincidence that Squidward, the closest voice resembling that of the working class proletariat, is portrayed as a character meant for resentment.
There are no workers under capitalism who express such enthusiasm to advance the capitalist project unless they are an enemy to the proletariat.
Or their name is Spongebob Squarepants. In this case, it’s both.
One thing we know, however, is that this show doesn’t represent the struggle that we are confronted with out here in the real world.
That the struggle is not a workers vs. bosses issue, which is a common argument of the white left, but one of the colonizer vs. the colonized; the seizing of power by the African working class for control of our stolen labor and resources.
What is not portrayed with Spongebob or Squidward, is the colonial question, to which the class question is found. We know that without the colonization of African people, there would be no class question, and without the existence of the colonized African there would be no “white worker”.
Or fictitious working marine animals for that matter.
Smash the bourgeoisie!
Down with capitalism!
Communism will prevail!