Animal Farm


Recently, I was reminded of an old song some of us sang as children, it went something like,
“I went to the animal fair,
The birds and the beast were there.
You ought to have seen the monk,
He jumped on the elephant’s trunk.
The elephant sneezed, and fell on his knees,
And what became of the monk, the monk, the monk.

That got me to thinking. I went back and read “Animal Farm” by George Orwell. I am not sure, but I think this book, although published in August 1945 in the form of an allegory, the book reflects events leading up to and during the Stalin era before World War II.

In it, Old Major, an old boar on the Manor Farm, calls the animals of the farm together for a meeting, where he calls the humans to tyrants and parasites and develops a revolutionary philosophy. Old Major dies three days later and two young pigs, Snowball and Napoleon assume command and turn his dream into a philosophy. The animals revolt and drive off the farmer Mr. Jones and rename it “Animal Farm.”

They develop what they call, the Seven Commandments of Animalism with most important being, “All animals are equal.” They paint them on the side of the barn. All the animals work although the two pigs are the brains behind everything and only “manage” things. The workhorse, Boxer, does more than others and adopts the maxim — “I will work harder.”

Snowball attempts to teach the animals reading and writing but most the others only grasp varying degrees of knowledge, some hardly anything at all. The pigs elevate themselves to positions of leadership and set aside special foods for themselves and justify it to the less bright animals who believe their logic. Napoleon takes some puppies from the farm dogs and hides them away, training his own little army. The farmer attempts to retake the farm and is defeated by the animals at the “Battle of the Cowshed.” Napoleon and Snowball struggle for leadership.

Snowball wants to build a windmill, Napoleon opposes it. During a speech by Snowball s in favor of the windmill, Napoleon has his now fully grown dogs chase Snowball away. In Snowball’s absence, Napoleon declares himself leader and makes changes. Meetings will no longer be held and instead a committee of pigs will run the farm.

Using a young pig named Squealer as a mouthpiece, Napoleon announces that Snowball stole the idea for the windmill from him. The animals work harder with the promise of easier lives with the windmill. After a storm, the animals find the windmill destroyed. Napoleon and Squealer convince the animals that Snowball did it. Once Snowball becomes a scapegoat, Napoleon begins purging the farm, killing animals he accuses of consorting with Snowball. Although he is troubled by what is happening and doesn’t remember facts the way Squealer tells them, Boxer takes up a second maxim: “Napoleon is always right.”

Napoleon abuses his powers, making life harder for the animals; the pigs impose more control while reserving privileges for themselves. The pigs rewrite history, make Snowball a villain and glorify Napoleon. Squealer justifies every statement Napoleon makes, altering the seven commandments to fit their own wishes. Their original anthem, taught them by Old Major “Beasts of England” is banned as inappropriate, and is replaced by an anthem glorifying Napoleon, who appears to be adopting the lifestyle of a man. The animals, though cold, starving, and overworked, remain convinced through psychological conditioning that they are better off than they were when ruled by Mr. Jones. Squealer abuses the animals’ poor memories and makes up facts to show how their lives have improved.

Another farmer Mr. Frederick, swindles Napoleon by buying old wood with forged money, and then attacks the farm, using blasting powder to blow up the restored windmill. Though the animals win the battle, they do so at great cost, as many, including Boxer, are wounded. Boxer continues working harder and harder, until he collapses while working on the windmill. Napoleon sends for a van to take Boxer to the veterinarian, explaining that better care can be given there. Benjamin the donkey, whose reading skills are slightly better than the other animals, notices that the van belongs to a horse slaughterer and attempts an unsuccessful rescue. Squealer reports that the van was purchased by the hospital and the writing from the previous owner had not been repainted. He recounts a tale of Boxer’s death in the hands of the best medical care. In reality, the pigs sent Boxer to his death in exchange for money to buy more whisky.

Years pass, and the pigs learn to walk upright, carry whips and wear clothes. The Seven Commandments are reduced to a single phrase: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” During a dinner party with the humans, Napoleon announces an alliance with the humans, against the laboring classes of both worlds. He abolishes practices and traditions related to the Revolution, and reverts the name of the farm to “Manor Farm”.

During a poker match with the humans, an argument breaks out between Napoleon and Mr. Pilkington when they both play the Ace of Spades and the animals realize that the faces of the pigs look like the faces of humans and no one can tell the difference between them.

After seeing and hearing Mr. Obama, in a TV interview say that the reason why people of this country are against the health care takeover is because, “HE HASN’T EXPLANDED OUR CORE VALUES TO US WELL ENOUGH! Can you believe the arrogance of this man? He hasn’t explained OUR values to US! After seeing Pelosi and Reid and their complete disregard of what the voters want, it is plain to see by everyone that they feel the same way towards us that Obama does.
And then to top it off, this week I saw Bill Maher and Jeanine Garafalo say that we are too stupid to understand the issues and that we basically need progressive POS’s like them to tell us what to do.

This is real problem we are up against with this administration and with the people that follow him and believe in what he does. That belief is that, you and I are stupid, that they are the intellectuals that they understand things correctly and that they will tell us how we are to live and what we are to think. It isn’t that they just disagree with us, it is that they hate and despise us for being alive.

Please take a few hours and reread Animal Farm, it is a small book and wont take long but you will see how people like them want to rule the country. Basic everyday Democrats aside, because I think most are just people with a different view than ours, Don’t let anyone tell you different, although written in a different place and time, Animal Farm is what Mr. Obama and his quislings want for you and me.


1 Comment

  1. This was sent to me by my friend Karl, Always great insight.

    Hi Bruce,

    You probably cringe every time you send out a commentary, thinking “Oh, crap. I know I’m going to hear from Karl on this one.” Not wanting to let you down, here’s my take on your remarks.

    Your synopsis of Animal Farm is very well done and right on the mark. In many ways, Orwell simply adopted F.A. Hayek’s more straightforward Road to Serfdom published more than a year earlier and turned it into an allegorical novel. C.S. Lewis’s That Hideous Strength slightly pre-dates both with a similar central theme about the dangers and evils of central planning, collectivism and consolidation of power in the hands of a charismatic leader or cabal.

    All were written to address the very real fear that the central planning quasi-dictatorships and collectivism that arose in response to the global economic depression of the 1930’s might very easily be sold to post-war societies as the most effective and efficient means of government going forward. The conventional wisdom of the times was that those socialist forms of government were responsible for pulling them out of their dire economic straits, especially in Britain where all of these authors lived at the time. And they had very good reason to fear such a development since before the war was even concluded, the British deposed Churchill in 1945 in favor of a far more radical socialist, Clement Attlee. Attlee’s new government immediately began the widespread nationalization of British industry, all utilities, and instituted universal health care for all.

    However, even though Lewis, Hayek and Orwell’s warnings are just as valid today as in the 1940’s, I don’t believe that Obama is consciously seeking to become another Napoleon (the pig).

    I know that I’m in the minority among fellow libertarians and conservatives (and I could easily be dead wrong), but I actually think that Obama is a very intelligent man and—contrary to the prevailing conservative conventional wisdom and derision—is really a very skilled extemporaneous speaker. If you doubt that, I challenge you to watch his recent press conference with the Republican House Caucus.

    Personally, I believe that Obama is a classic product of a jilted, divorced, self-centered, completely wacko mother; no father at home for most of his life; and a bi-racial kid constantly surrounded by nothing but radical leftist “mentors” and family friends.

    I’d really love to see a complete and thorough psychological work-up on the guy.

    I honestly think that he’s a severely psychologically-scarred product of his childhood who is constantly striving for appeasement, just as many children raised in similar environments tend to be. I believe that he has very few core principles or values that he firmly believes in, and that he’s really more of an empty vessel that takes on the flavor of whatever cocktail those surrounding him choose to pour in.

    In Obama’s defense, I have to somewhat agree with his contention that he and other Dems haven’t explained the health care plan well enough. But I would put far greater emphasis on the fact that no one—Obama, Reid, Pelosi, McConnell, Boehner, Pence, NO ONE—has explained the underlying PROBLEM well enough or at all truthfully.

    Beck came as close as any public figure in recent memory that I’ve seen in explaining it on his show Friday. He still didn’t go nearly far enough in explaining the solution, but at least he finally got around to pointing out the 800-pound gorilla in the room that everybody else just ignores. As I posited in my “Goodbye Tea Party” letter-to-the-editor attachment to this email, Americans of all political persuasion seem to be suffering from acute, malignant cognitive dissonance. And we’re all like the spoiled brat character Veruca Salt from the Willie Wonka movie…

    …or like the pre-Thanksgiving Tiger Woods who admitted today that he felt “entitled” to take advantage of all the “benefits” he had earned by all his hard work.

    Truthfully, we’re no more entitled to demand Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid or civil service/military pensions than we are entitled to sneak into our grandkids’ bedrooms at night and rob their piggy banks and anything else of theirs that they cherish. It’s morally wrong, reprehensible, and unconscionably selfish of anyone to claim that “I paid for it, I earned it, the government stole it from me, and I’ll be damned if I’m not going to demand every last penny of it; my kids and grandkids be damned.”

    That’s what needs to be explained. That’s what people have got to understand and accept. And that’s the “change” we need.

    Will it be easy? Hell, no.

    Is it fair? Hell, no.

    Should every friggin’ politician from FDR through Scott Brown that has lied to us about entitlements be tarred-and-feathered and ridden out of town on a flaming rail? Hell, yes. And there’s a special rail should be reserved for Alan Greenspan and his 1983 Social Security Commission that supposedly “solved” the problem. What a lying, pompous, bleepin’ idiot.

    Take a look at the op-ed I wrote in 1995 for the Dallas Morning News (attached pdf) and tell me one damn thing that has changed since then (other than the writer has a lot less hair).

    OK. Sorry for the profanity, but I think maybe I vented most of my anger.

    So what am I trying to say? I guess it’s just this…I firmly believe that we are at a crucial decision point in the life of our country. Liberals want to take us toward a European-style collectivist society. Conservatives (at least the politicians calling themselves conservatives) want to beat liberals over the head but don’t have the guts to tell their constituents the truth. Rather than actually solving the problem, they’d prefer to just push hot-button social issues, castigate libs, regain power, pass a bunch of tax cuts, and not do one damn thing about entitlements—just continue kicking the can down the road until the road ends or the can explodes in their faces.

    What’s needed is exactly what the Tea Party supposedly stands for: a return to originalist constitutional principles. But returning to those principles means no more Medicare. No more Social Security. No more Medicaid. No more federal student loans. A massive termination of federal employees. A dramatically revamped (or completely eliminated) military and civil service retirement program. Everybody’s ox gets gored.

    And a huge majority of the populace will scream bloody murder and protest like hell.

    But neither they nor I have any right whatsoever to claim that one penny of federal benefits, entitlements or pensions is “owed” to me, no more than I could legitimately claim that the taxes I paid over my lifetime entitle me to my pro-rata share of a piece of Yellowstone Park, the USS Carl Vinson, or the Washington Monument. We were lied to and we KNEW we were lied to. You might as well bitch and moan that you invested all your life savings in Enron or WorldCom and that you’re owed every penny of it back with interest. There’s no money to pay your claim and the only way you’ll ever get anything close to what lying, thieving politicians on both sides of the aisle promised you is by stealing from your kids.

    And that’s what Obama and every other damn politician with any vestige of conscience still remaining should be “explaining” to the citizens of the united States.

    And no, “united States” with a lower-case “u” is not a typo.

    So do we need to fear that Obama is wickedly aspiring to become the next Napoleon the pig? I really don’t think so.

    Do we need to be ever vigilant against such a possibility? Of course we do. Always.

    But IMHO, the thing we need to fear most is a selfish majority of citizens permanently afflicted with an intractable entitlement mentality like Veruca or Tiger.

    They (we) are the real Animal Farm and The Road to Serfdom.


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