Animalism (Animal Farm)

Animalism (Animal Farm)

Animalism is a fictional economic or political ideology in George Orwell's novel "Animal Farm". Animalism is an allegorical mirror of the Soviet Union, particularly between the 1910s and the 1940s, as well as the evolution of the view of the Russian revolutionaries and government of how to practice it.

Old Major's Animalism

At the beginning of the book, Animalism is invented by the highly respected pig Old Major, who represents an amalgamated Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin, but only in his teachings of Animalism to the animals. At this point, Animalism represents Marxism. Unlike Marx, Old Major's ideals are not yet a school of thought when he presents them; they are collective guidelines and rules, the centrepiece of which becomes the Seven Commandments (post-revolution), which outlines the rules for an Animalist society. His ideas are comparable to anarcho-communism. Also central in Old Major's ideas is the establishment of his hypothetical society on his farm (and possibly others) following a revolution against the humans who run it. After the revolution, animals must never adopt any of the humans' vices or practices. This is based on Marx's ideal that communist states must never adopt the practices of their previous capitalist society, and that communism is intended to be a complete replacement. The two are really similar and can relate to communism and have the same perspective and view as the other.

nowball's Animalism

As the Bolsheviks did with Marxism, the pigs Snowball (Trotsky), Napoleon (Stalin) and Squealer (Propaganda) adapt Old Major's ideas into an actual philosophy, which they formally name Animalism. This mirrors the evolution of Marxism to Leninism. A few days after Old Major dies, the starved animals revolt against the farmer Jones (mirroring the Russian Revolution), and Animalism is installed on the farm. Soon after, Snowball and Napoleon begin a struggle for power and direction of Animal Farm, centering around their conflicting opinions about a possible windmill (Trotsky's suggested Five Year Plan). Snowball argues it will increase productivity when completed, whereas Napoleon argues that the animals will run out of food during its construction. At this point, Animalism is more or less split into two interpretations, the two of which are supported by Snowball and his supporters or Napoleon and his supporters. This mirrors the conflict between believers in Trotskyist Communism or Stalinist Communism. Soon after, Napoleon exiles Snowball and his Animalism is unanimously adopted. Napoleon then convinces the animals that the windmill is not just a good idea but had been his idea all along, which represents Stalin claiming the Five Year Plan to be his idea, as well as Stalin's adoption of Trotskyist theories, which he later claimed were parts of Stalinism.

Napoleon's Animalism

Soon after, Napoleon and Squealer begin indulging in the vices of humans (drinking alcohol, sleeping in beds, trading). Squealer is employed to alter the Seven Commandments to account for his humanization, which represents the Soviet government's tweaking of communist theory to make it more of a reformation of capitalism than a replacement. As the deals with the humans like Frederick and Pilkington increase, all of Old Major's theories of Animalism are changed and then abandoned one by one. The only one of the Seven Commandments, original Marxism, that remains in practice is the idea that "all animals are equal" (classlessness), but even this is negated by the revising of the line to " all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others". By the end of the novel, Animalism, with all of its communist ideals, is effectively abolished. The pigs have become so indistinguishable from humans that the animals can no longer tell the pigs from men, the "Communists" from the "Capitalists".

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