The above picture is a 1931 Russian propaganda poster that reads We Smite the Lazy Workers and can still be found in a collection in the Russian State Library in Moscow. Westerners might laugh at the notion of hard-work being a snare to any political system, but Russians always saw life (including manual labor) as communal, not individual, even before communism.
Archbishop Fulton Sheen warned hundreds of times that Russia’s communism might come to the United States. But what many American Catholics may forget is that Sheen was a Russophile, a great lover of Russia. AB. Fulton Sheen frequently pointed out that Russia’s ancient desire for community and Holy Russia‘s rejection of individualism were precisely the virtues manipulated by the enemy of human nature to establish communism there.
Indeed, brainwashing propaganda is always needed entice a population to move towards a corrupt political system. Such propaganda must be based on the nation’s assets and liabilities as a people. Russia had to be conquered by communism by tapping her desire for national unity and hard work. Hence, Russia produced dozens of posters tapping communal life and communal destiny like the above, “We smite the lazy workers.”
So if propaganda reveals a nation’s personality, it is interesting that the above vaccination poster from Baltimore in 2021 shows what Americans value: “fun BBQs outside,” “friends” who share all the same values (vaccinations), health, popularity and as any 6th grader who may have helped his government parents make the above poster would tell you: the absolute best!
People thought Archbishop Fulton Sheen was crazy for constantly preaching that communism could come to the United States. He preached frequently against economic communism because he knew it would destroy the heart and soul of this country. Little did he know that 40 years after his death an odd version of health communism would arrive in the USA.
Considering this, Russians were not so laughable for rejecting individualism and embracing hard work for the sake of their country. Yes, Russia was clearly wrong to establish economic communism and it took 50-100 million lives. But perhaps history will look back worse on us Americans for injecting health communism into our people for the sake of popularity, health, pleasure, human-respect, group-think and a perpetual desire to be the party-bound adolescent—or as the Baltimore poster says—the absolute best!