Animal Farm is an allegorical novella by George Orwell published in England on 17 August 1945.
According to Orwell, the book reflects events leading up to and during the Stalin era before World War II. Orwell, a democratic socialist, was a critic of Joseph Stalin and hostile to Moscow-directed Stalinism, especially after his experiences with the NKVD, and what he saw of the results of the influence of Communist policy (“ceaseless arrests, censored newspapers, prowling hordes of armed police” – “Communism is now a counter-revolutionary force”), during the Spanish Civil War. In a letter to Yvonne Davet, Orwell described Animal Farm as his novel “contre Stalin”.[pullquote align=”right”]All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”[/pullquote]
The novel addresses not only the corruption of the revolution by its leaders but also how wickedness, indifference, ignorance, greed and myopia corrupt the revolution. While this novel portrays corrupt leadership as the flaw in revolution (and not the act of revolution itself), it also shows how potential ignorance and indifference to problems within a revolution could allow horrors to happen if a smooth transition to a people’s government is not achieved.
The original commandments were:
- Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
- Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
- No animal shall wear clothes.
- No animal shall sleep in a bed.
- No animal shall drink alcohol.
- No animal shall kill any other animal.
- All animals are equal.
Later, Napoleon and his pigs are corrupted by the absolute power they hold over the farm. To maintain their popularity with the other animals, Squealer secretly paints additions to some commandments to benefit the pigs while keeping them free of accusations of law-breaking (such as “No animal shall drink alcohol” having “to excess” appended to it and “No animal shall sleep in a bed” with “with sheets” added to it).
The changed commandments are as follows, with the changes bolded:
- No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets.
- No animal shall drink alcohol to excess.
- No animal shall kill any other animal without cause.
Eventually the laws are replaced with “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others“, and “Four legs good, two legs better!” as the pigs become more human.
This story is literally playing out in real life in Belize.
- Politicians, like the Pigs taking the people for fools over and over again.
- Politicians using the Police like the Dogs to do their dirty work.
- Politicians using the Govt for their own personal benefits and gains.
- Each party has their “Squeeler” mouthpiece.
- Snowball “Scapegoats” are a common thing. Politicians point fingers at everything and everyone but themselves.
Snowball attempts to teach the animals reading and writing; food is plentiful, and the farm runs smoothly. The pigs elevate themselves to positions of leadership and set aside special food items, ostensibly for their personal health.
This reminds me of the early struggles as Belize moves to nationhood.
Napoleon abuses his powers, making life harder for the animals; the pigs impose more control while reserving privileges for themselves.
Sounds exactly like what happened once politics really took foot in Belize and has been happening for some decades now.
Share your thoughts…