Animal Farm parodied; Orwell estate is not amused

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Tue Nov 26 13:48:36 MST 2002

Paul Flewers wrote:
> Unfortunately, I've sold all the copies of my pamphlet on Orwell, but it
> should be going up on Bob Pitt's website before too long. In the meantime,
> here's the chapter on Animal Farm (sans footnotes).

Comrades can read Animal Farm online at: I took a fresh look at it,
probably for the first time since 1959 when I read it in high school, in
order to answer some concerns on pen-l. In chapter one, you will
discover that farm life under human (ie., bourgeois) rule is rather
benign based on paragraph 3 in chapter one:

"At one end of the big barn, on a sort of raised platform, Major was
already ensconced on his bed of straw, under a lantern which hung from a
beam. He was twelve years old and had lately grown rather stout, but he
was still a majestic-looking pig, with a wise and benevolent appearance
in spite of the fact that his tushes had never been cut. Before long the
other animals began to arrive and make themselves comfortable after
their different fashions. First came the three dogs, Bluebell, Jessie,
and Pincher, and then the pigs, who settled down in the straw
immediately in front of the platform. The hens perched themselves on the
window-sills, the pigeons fluttered up to the rafters, the sheep and
cows lay down behind the pigs and began to chew the cud."

So who would want to bust up this peaceable kingdom? Nobody else but the
white boar Major, who delivers a rabble-rousing "commie" speech filled
with one wrong note after another, including this howler:

"I have little more to say. I merely repeat, remember always your duty
of enmity towards Man and all his ways. Whatever goes upon two legs is
an enemy. Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend. And
remember also that in fighting against Man, we must not come to resemble
him. Even when you have conquered him, do not adopt his vices. No animal
must ever live in a house, or sleep in a bed, or wear clothes, or drink
alcohol, or smoke tobacco, or touch money, or engage in trade. All the
habits of Man are evil. And, above all, no animal must ever tyrannise
over his own kind. Weak or strong, clever or simple, we are all
brothers. No animal must ever kill any other animal. All animals are equal."

8 years later, when working in Harlem among the most miserably
oppressed, and watching B-52's night after night raining terror on
Vietnamese villagers, I finally convinced myself after careful reading
of works like "Socialism on Trial" that Marxists sounded nothing like
this. I had already become convinced that there was no peaceful kingdom
under capitalism.


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