Critique Of Communism In Animal Farm By George Orwell

1284 words - 5 pages

Karl Marx’s perfect society described in his Communist Manifesto is in direct conflict with the implementation of Soviet Communism, which was scathingly criticized by George Orwell’s book Animal Farm. Karl Marx believed that in order to form a just and equal society, the working class, called the proletariat, would have to overthrow those who owned the means of production, who were known as the bourgeoisie. This was to be known as the Proletariat Revolution where the oppressed laborers in capitalist societies, such as England, would unite under a common cause to overthrow the oppressive bourgeoisie, and establish a communist society. This would be a society where all were equal, each performing to his ability, and each receiving according to his needs. A dictatorship would be necessary at first to get the ball rolling, but would eventually voluntarily give up power, as it would no longer be needed. However, this was never destined to be. The rise of the Soviet Union was a testament to this, brilliantly depicted and condemned by George Orwell.

Marx ended the Communist Manifesto with the fighting words “WORKING MEN OF ALL COUNTRIES, UNITE!” (Marxism, 44). This was to be the inspiration for the proletariat to band together and realize that they were being oppressed by the bourgeoisie. After they realize this, they would rebel, in which a revolution would take place where the proletariat would be victorious over the bourgeoisie. Old Major, the eldest pig in Animal Farm was the animal recreation of Karl Marx. He professed, “Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy. Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend” (Orwell, 31). In this case, man is the bourgeoisie and the animals are the proletariat. Both Karl Marx and Old Major incited an overthrow of their respective oppressors. By the time of the revolution, Old Major was dead, much like Karl Marx was dead during the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia. Fortunately for them, they never got to see their systems go amiss, as they did on Animal Farm and in the Soviet Union.

In Animal Farm, and in the Soviet Union, both regimes after the revolution stuck pretty closely with the ideals of Communism (Animalism as it was called to the inhabitants of Animal Farm). Unfortunately, things quickly collapsed. In the beginning, the animals worked together and they lived a life they had never before lived. None of the animals went to the slaughterhouse, and each got adequate amounts of food. Napoleon and Snowball represented the Soviet Union’s Lenin and Trotsky, respectively. Napoleon was “leader” of the revolution, but was still a comrade like all the other animals. Snowball was enthusiastic about Animalism and stuck to the ideals. After a while, Napoleon had a change of heart, and did not seem to like Snowball’s enthusiasm. He was convicted of being a traitor and driven off the farm by Napoleon’s guard dogs. This is the same thing that happened to Trotsky in the Soviet Union. After Stalin came to power,...

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