Orwell’s piece is relevant, in comparison to current happenings in the world.
Although written in parallelism to the Russian government at that time, there are lessons that apply universally. The story compares to the story of the developing world. Most of the developing world faced colonialism, an era that oppressed the people. The people decided to rise against the colonial powers and drove them out of their nations. The people were enthusiastic that better days were on the way.
The countries rebelled against the colonial era and its systems. This situation compares to the animal revolution in Orwell’s story. The colonial era is parallel to the leadership of Mr. Jones as Orwell illustrates.
According to Haynes, on gaining independence, most of the countries drafted a constitution for themselves, one that allows them the democracy and freedom they so wanted (12). The exit of the colonialists did not change situations in most of the countries. The leaders in power do not respect the constitution. The people are free but there is no democracy. The liberation they wanted remains, but a dream.
This situation compares perfectly to the one in the animal farm, the animals defined rules for themselves, but the rules did not change their situation. Oppression remained the order of the day.As seen in most of the developing nations, the people who took up the leadership from the colonial leaders, turned out to be dictators. They dictate their fellow fellow citizens in a system claimed to be democratic. Driven by the greed for more power, they manipulate the constitution and policies for their own benefit. They exploit the citizens and the situation only gets worse. These leaders reflect the pigs Orwell described in his story. The pigs assumed power after the revolution, but the greed for more power, drove them to manipulate the rules of animalism, to favor them.
According to the United Nations Publications, the developing world has distinct social classes. There is a big difference between the rich and the poor (17-35). The rich amass wealth for themselves, whereas the poor live far below the poverty line. The poor lack access to basic needs. According to Gordon, the poor live in extreme poverty, hunger, lack of basic health care but claim to be living in a democratic nation (10). Orwell portrays this exact case in his story. The pigs belong to a social class that has privileges, while the other animals work hard but do not get enough food. The pigs fatten, when the other animals live in hunger.
The rich class in the developing world has access to a quality life, quality education, and security. There are schools distinct for the rich, and the poor cannot afford such schools. The rich have uptight security while the other citizens live in areas where insecurity is dominant. The poor live in sub-standard residences while the rich live in the most affluent estates. Orwell paints this picture in his story when he exposes how the pig leader, Napoleon, gets security for himself and the pigs generally live a comfortable life compared to the other animals.Nobody stands to challenge some of the leaders in the developing world and goes unpunished. The leaders do away with any individual, reported to have a varying opinion.
These leaders will do anything, to ensure they dictate the people with no opposition from any individual. According to Meredith, a clear example from Africa is the era of Mugabe in Zimbabwe (17). Mugabe wants no rivalry in the race for presidency. He dictates the people and all those opposing him face harassment. The animals presenting any opposition to Napoleon were executed and his rival Snowball driven away. Just as Napoleon does not want to cooperate with Snowball for joint leadership, leaders in the developing world put their self-interest first. These leaders do not support forums that suggest power sharing. Establishing coalition governments in the developing world is very tasking.
The use of propaganda is a common tactic among leaders in the developing world. The citizens have access to fabricated ideas, and not the absolute truth on matters. The public only gets to hear what the leaders want them to hear. Leaders have the media in their control and therefore manipulate it for their selfish gain.
The ignorance of the citizens who do not understand the constitution is the advantage of the selfish leaders. These citizens are not perfectly aware of the provisions in the constitution and even if manipulation or altering of these occurs, the change will go unnoticed. This is the exact case in the farm, because some animals cannot read, and therefore, Muriel the literate goat read for them. Squealer represents the media that has no freedom but only reports fabricated stories from those in power. It is saddening that the citizens do not scrutinize the information they receive and even if they do, they are condemned to silence.
Civil servants in the developing world earn very little. The governments do not listen to their grievances even when aired. They work so hard to make the nation move economically, but the benefits remain with the rich. Civil servants have poor housing and have nothing to show for their labor. Although Orwell’s story rates back to 1945, it portrays a similar situation.
The animals worked so hard but food rations kept reducing.Developing world is struggling to keep in pace with the global economy, but these struggles always fail terribly. According to Shah, the political system is very corrupt and there are increased levels of inflation (04). The citizens suffer the consequences of mistakes committed by the political leaders. Most of the people do not have enough to live on; they cannot afford the three meals in a day because they live on a purchasing capacity of less than a dollar a day. These are the devastating effects of corrupt governments as Orwell portrays in his animal satire.The political systems in the developing world hinder free and fair elections. Some individuals ensure that no matter what happens they win the elections.
The citizens do not understand their voter rights and the leaders manipulate them. They live on empty promises from the politicians. They dream of democracy, that they will never achieve. Political aspirants rig votes, and the same old leaders want to remain in power even when they are underperforming. Orwell brings this out clearly when he illustrates the elections that Napoleon won unrivalled.
The animals were getting the worst from him, but they reelected him and always sang praises to him.According to Burnell and Randall, some citizens in the third world countries have lost the faith and the hope in facing tomorrow (6). They do not believe that change will be real any day. This is the case in most of the countries, where poor leadership is the order of the day.
The citizens have resolved to stop voting because no matter the system that is in power, oppression in all aspects continues. Only individuals of the different positions change, but the leadership system persists. The citizens face disillusionment in their own nations.
They desperately need change but have lost faith that change will ever exist. The same disillusionment about the future happened in the animal farm in chapter ten. One of the old animals expressed his opinion that disappointment, oppression, and hunger were aspects about life that were not subject to change. Given his old age, Benjamin must have faced the worst of oppression from human leadership and from Napoleon. He did not have faith that anything would change for the better.According to Green, trade agreements in the third world favor the rich, who have personal interests to promote their businesses (504). These agreements do not prioritize the needs of the citizens.
Most of the people producing crops exported to other countries, receive very little for their produce. They incur losses most of the time because farm additives are expensive. They suffer all these when the rich live in luxury. Orwell painted a picture of such a society in his story. Napoleon sold the farm produce for his own interests; to get access to the luxurious things the pigs used. The animals worked excessively, in cold weather and even on Sundays but they did not enjoy the fruits of their hard work.
This is the irony in the developing countries. Those who work, earn little, whereas the rich amass wealth for themselves.The church sometimes serves to give people false hope, as Orwell brings it out. The church comforts the oppressed citizens in developed countries, encouraging them to endure current hardships in pursue for a paradise in future. When the church does not support the political system in place, the political leaders neglect it. Some churches have resulted to politics to ensure their survival. Moses represents the church in Orwell’s story.Orwell’s story fits perfectly in the contemporary story of the developing world.
According to Smith, the citizens of these nations desire change desperately but the leaders always disappoint (1-6). Political leaders put their personal interest first and not the needs of the citizens. Corruption is rampant in the third world. Transparency and accountability are a dream.
Amendments to the existing law only benefit the politicians and their close associates. The politicians earn large sums of money and their salary is tax-free. The citizens on the contrary pay taxes to the last coin. Orwell’s story brings out the effects of selfish leadership. Those in power misuse it for their own benefit. He illustrates how social classes result in society. It also portrays how those in power may control the media. In turn, the media then neglects its responsibility of telling the public the truth, and turns to spreading the fabricated lies of the scandalous politicians.
Orwell wanted to expose the evils of poor leadership and using animal characters, he brought it out well.