animal farm: all animals are equal but some are more equal…

Is tyranny the fate of our society in collective? An eternal recurrence of Jasmine springs? Like Sisyphus reaching the summit, the earth with all its Gaddafi’s can never be pitched into the abyss; it rolls down the mountain ensuring the birth of new tyrants. Is there any escape from this fate, this cycle of revolution and tyranny? Not to disparage the validity and meaningfulness of the struggle for change, or broader projects for social transformation.George Orwell, in Animal Farm operated from a deeply pessimistic  premise of how every revolt, based on faith based visions of utopia,  are bound to end up in greater oppression instead of the promised  liberation … "No matter how many times they overthrow a tyrant, there will always be a new tyrant who will rise from their ranks. Revolutions spring in our breasts the hope for a new future and every time, after the war has been won, blood has been shed, sacrifices have been made, this optimism is crushed by a new tyrant, rising like a phoenix in a new avatar, necessitating another revolution." Read More:  image: Farm, the anti-Stalinist satire in which George Orwell said he had for the first time managed to fuse artistic and political purpose had great difficulty finding a publisher. The ambiguity was in part because Soviets were ostensibly on the allies side, and their defense of Stalingrad was a turning point.Others rejected to the use of pigs as a symbol for Bolsheviks.  T.S. Eliot turned it down for Faber, but on the debatable critical ground that Orwell had failed to bring off the satire.

---Several publishers duly rejected the work, but not because it was banal. The little squib was an attack on Britain’s wartime ally, the Soviet Union, and thus likely to be political dynamite. The book appeared in August 1945, as Animal Farm. Frederic Warburg published it in the teeth of opposition from his sales manager, who couldn’t bring himself to believe that Russia was not a socialist state, and from his wife, acutely aware of the immense suffering of the Russian people since the Nazi invasion in 1941. She threatened to leave Warburg (‘Don’t think I won’t!’) if he accepted it. Yet it was a decision he never regretted. A first edition of 4,500 copies sold out within a few days, and by 1973, when he wrote his memoirs, the book had sold around nine million copies. ---Read More: image:

Yet T. S. Eliot’s letter of rejection on behalf of one of the publishers showed that this was not the only problem which the book raised.But what did Eliot know. His mythological Wasteland, intellectualized poetry and fantasy, a champagne socialist for navel gazers that correlated so little with the harsher realities of death and suffering.It was a forced and fake numbness. As Donald Kuspit said:… intellectualized fantasy, one might say, a sort of nightmare of stultifying decadence preached from the high pulpit of poetry as a moral lesson -Eliot almost always has a preacher’s punitive air; his ritualistic poems tend to read as sermons for the masses, promising to raise them up by telling them how low they have sunk, and thus how futile their existence is, how full of self-loathing and suffering it ought to be-  …while Eliot metaphysicalizes death, as though it was not the brutal, factual, inescapably physical event it is. For Eliot death is an enigmatic idea rather than an everyday reality, a theme worthy of speculative poetry and philosophical discussion,… Eliot compromises death by thinking about it, as though thinking would soften its blow, ….   Eliot’s complaint was as follows:

The effect is simply one of negation. It ought to excite some sympathy with what the author wants, as well as sympathy with his objections to something; and the positive point of view, which I take to be generally Trotskyite, is not convincing. Eliot also said that Orwell had not been able to confirm any of the standard western attitudes toward the Soviet Union. Now, Eliot was surely mistaken in thinking that the positive point of view in this book was Trotskyite. If the positive point of view had been Trotskyite, Snowball would have been portrayed as a tragic hero. But Snowball is not the tragic hero in this book. The misunderstanding in this respect arises largely from the supposition that Animal Farm is wholly an attack on the Soviet Union. Of course, Orwell did attack the Soviet Union in this book, and he did so fiercely though wittily. Yet Orwell’s purpose in this book is more general. Orwell was interested in tracing the inevitable stages of any revolution, and so be shaped his fable accordingly. Read More: a

---Orwell wrote Animal Farm to truly make a difference. He wanted people to realize that there is a better way, and he wanted people to recognize the follies of the past. Robert Lee claims, “Though it resembles the Russian Revolution and the rise of Stalin, it is more meaningfully an anatomy of all political revolutions, where the revolutionary ideals of justice, equality, and fraternity shatter in the event” (Lee 109). Orwell not only wanted Russia to learn from the story, but he wanted all people to understand political revolutions. Orwell strived to explain how power corrupts well intention revolutionaries---Read More: image:

In the United States, Animal farm encountered initial misunderstanding that has dogged it ever since. Dial Press wrote Orwell that Animal Farm would not do for the American market because “it is impossible to sell animal stories in the USA.” A year later, after Harcourt, Brace had accepted it, Dial wrote back and said someone had made a horrible mistake.

Hannah Arendt: The most radical revolutionary will become a conservative the day after the revolution….Revolutionaries do not make revolutions. The revolutionaries are those who know when power is lying in the street and then they can pick it up.

"In every new society, some persons will rise above their fellows and assume the available positions of authority. When their power and privileges have been consolidated, they will fight to keep them. The only surviving sign of the revolution will then be its rhetoric and its history (which is now altered to suit the convenience and the purposes of the leaders). Equality and justice will then fade away, and the State becomes supreme." Read More: image:

Orwell wrote Animal Farm in the form of a fable partly because he wanted to give a permanent mythic life to the pattern of historical events and because he wanted to emphasize that he was dealing not with chance events but with typical ones. He was interested in depicting a paradigmatic social revolution. The pattern which emerges from this book is meant to apply not only to the Russian Revolution but also to the Spanish Civil War and to the French Revolution. (It is significant that the main character has been given the name of Napoleon). Orwell wishes to convey to us that revolutions always go through several predictable stages. A revolution begins with great idealistic fervour and popular support. It is energized by golden expectations of justice and equality. The period immediately following a successful revolution is the stage of Paradise. There is a general sense of triumphant achievement. There is a general feeling that an idealistic vision has been translated into an actual reality. The spirit of brotherhood, fellow-feeling, and equality is everywhere apparent. Old laws and institutions are abolished and replaced by a general concern for the common good. The State has, for the time being, lost its importance. But slowly the feeling of freedom gives way to the sense of necessity, and to bondage. Improvised organization is replaced by rigid institutions. Equality gives way to special privileges for certain people. The next stage is the emergence of a new class of persons who, because of their superior skill and their lust for power, assume command and re-create the class-structure. The power of this new class of persons is first universally accepted, but gradually this power has to be asserted against any possible resistance or opposition, and it is asserted by means of threats and terror. As more time passes, the past is forgotten or is deliberately removed from the minds and memories of the people. The new leadership takes on all the characteristics of the old, pre-revolutionary, leadership, while the people at large return to a state of servitude. Read More: a

Eugene Delacroix. ---Deleuze's basic reproach to conservative critics who denounce the miserable and even terrifying actual results of a revolutionary upheaval is that they remain blind to the dimension of becoming: It is fashionable these days to condemn the horrors of revolution. It's nothing new; English Romanticism is permeated by reflections on Cromwell very similar to present-day reflections on Stalin. They say revolutions turn out badly. But they're constantly confusing two different things, the way revolutions turn out historically and people's revolutionary becomin

hese relate to two different sets of people. Men's only hope lies in a revolutionary becoming: the only way of casting off their shame or responding to what is intolerable.---Read More: image:


Related Posts

This entry was posted in Feature Article, Ideas/Opinion, Literature/poetry/spoken word, Miscellaneous and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>