Communists: Views on Animal Farm by George Orwell?


#1

Animal Farm is used as part of the English Language curriculum in many schools around the world, with coursework being based around slating communism.

Have you read the book? What do you have to say about Orwell’s satire of communism/Stalinism, and the decision in schools to teach this as righteous?


#2

I think it was an unfair representation of Communism. Thats all I’ll say because I have not read the book


#3

Seems like a good criticism of totalitarian Marxist Leninism which is socialism rather than full blown communist.


#4

[QUOTE=“Lawand, post: 119726, member: 1072”]I think it was an unfair representation of Communism. Thats all I’ll say because I have not read the book[/QUOTE]
Says the socialist


#5

I have not read the book but I have heard of it before and I haven’t gone to deep into the representation of characters to understand it.


#6

It is a great piece of work, however - I think 1984 is painfully more accurate and meaningful to today’s society.


#7

It is a great piece of work, however - I think 1984 is both more accurate and meaningful for today’s society.


#8

I think that it’s good and is an important warning to people about greed and it encourages people to think for themselves, much of his work is very valuable. However, I disagree that 1984 was exclusively focused on communism; yes, it was focused on the USSR, but Orwell was an anarchist so it was also a warning about the state


#9

It’s a great advert for anarchism.


#10

[B]To get it out of the way, Orwell was a communist/socialist (at least when he wrote this).[/B]

To deal with the book from an educational perspective: I loved the book and it’s an important book in our literary heritage. I also did it for my lit exam and my lessons were most definitely not about slating communism at all and our teacher didn’t treat the book as ‘righteous’. The purpose of studying this book is that there is a lot of stuff to write about e.g. allegory, the different themes, context etc. It’s a great book for teaching students analysis.

To deal with the book from a more political perspective: most people think this book (along with 1984) is a critique of communism when it isn’t. It’s a critique of the USSR and it’s totalitarian, genocidal dictator Josef Stalin (Napoleon in the novella). Orwell was unusual at the time of its writing as he was one of the few English communists/socialist who criticised the USSR and his book was an outlet for those criticisms. If you read the book, communism (animalism in the book) isn’t portrayed negatively. If anything, it is the saviour of all the animals on the farm from their cruel master. Napoleon, however, exploits the animals so he can live a life of luxury. So the book is about greed more than anything, with some ignorance and naivety thrown in.


#11

[QUOTE=“Lawand, post: 119726, member: 1072”]I think it was an unfair representation of Communism. Thats all I’ll say because I have not read the book[/QUOTE]
Representation of communism? No, the book is a satirical allegory of Soviet totalitarianism.


#12

[QUOTE=“Lawand, post: 119726, member: 1072”]I think it was an unfair representation of Communism. Thats all I’ll say because I have not read the book[/QUOTE]

I’d honestly suggest that you read it, and you’ll see it’s more about totalitarianism than communism. If you’re an avid reader, it should only take a few hours .


#13

Let’s get this straight right of the bat, George Orwell is an amazing author. Animal Farm and 1984 are some of the greatest political works I can think of. Personally I think it is an accurate representation of what communism will always end up as as I do not see communism as a sustainable social structure.


#14

[QUOTE=“FutureShaker, post: 119797, member: 2375”]Let’s get this straight right of the bat, George Orwell is an amazing author. Animal Farm and 1984 are some of the greatest political works I can think of. Personally I think it is an accurate representation of what communism will always end up as as I do not see communism as a sustainable social structure.[/QUOTE]

Communism isn’t in affect in either of the books.


#15

[QUOTE=“Billy_Troy, post: 119811, member: 248”]Communism isn’t in affect in either of the books.[/QUOTE]
Well I was specifically talking about Animal Farm, 1984 I believe depicts a more totalitarian police state.


#16

It’s satire of Stalinism, not communism.


#17

[QUOTE=“LibSoc, post: 119770, member: 2574”]It’s a great advert for anarchism.[/QUOTE]

Unfortunately is has been a little hijacked by liberals.


#18

[QUOTE=“FutureShaker, post: 119813, member: 2375”]Well I was specifically talking about Animal Farm, 1984 I believe depicts a more totalitarian police state.[/QUOTE]

OK, communism is not in effect in Animal Farm. The book shows that politicians who manipulate their people are bad, and that Stalin deviated from what communism is really about.
Why do you think communism will always end up like the USSR/China/Cuba/Cambodia etc. (that list almost convinced me :stuck_out_tongue: )?


#19

[QUOTE=“Billy_Troy, post: 119832, member: 248”]OK, communism is not in effect in Animal Farm. The book shows that politicians who manipulate their people are bad, and that Stalin deviated from what communism is really about.
Why do you think communism will always end up like the USSR/China/Cuba/Cambodia etc. (that list almost convinced me :stuck_out_tongue: )?[/QUOTE]
Because I believe people are inherently or at least conditioned to be capitalist and reject communist ideals of collectivism etc. Even if you can train the younger generation to support communism you would have to suppress the older generations so that they don’t contaminate the younger generation with their capitalistic ideals. The only way to remedy that is by having a Cambodian like massacre getting rid of that older generation,a purge of sorts. I am not convinced that people are will be willing to give up their way of living and support a communist state. In my opinion, as horrible as it was the Khmer Rouge came closest to ever achieving the desired communist state. And that is why I think Animal Farm represents what communism will always end up as, a totalitarian state desperately grabbing a pieces to stay together.


#20

[QUOTE=“FutureShaker, post: 119866, member: 2375”]Because I believe people are inherently or at least conditioned to be capitalist and reject communist ideals of collectivism etc. Even if you can train the younger generation to support communism you would have to suppress the older generations so that they don’t contaminate the younger generation with their capitalistic ideals. The only way to remedy that is by having a Cambodian like massacre getting rid of that older generation,a purge of sorts. I am not convinced that people are will be willing to give up their way of living and support a communist state. In my opinion, as horrible as it was the Khmer Rouge came closest to ever achieving the desired communist state. And that is why I think Animal Farm represents what communism will always end up as, a totalitarian state desperately grabbing a pieces to stay together.[/QUOTE]

I’d agree with you that people are conditioned to almost fear communism, especially older people in the West (it’s probably the younger people who favour capitalism in old communist countries).

I think the main problems with all the previous attempts at initiating communist nations are a) the nation wasn’t socially or technologically ready, b) it wasn’t democratic, and c) other countries (read: the US) wouldn’t support them (read: invade them). We need some big changes for communism to work.