Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Thank you, Mr. Orwell

60 years ago today, George Orwell published his phenomenal anti-communist satire, Animal Farm. I think I have read this book 6 times, at a minimum. My favorite quotes tend to change with each read, but here is one favorite highlighted passage from my ragged, salt-stained copy:

[Squealer speaking] Do not imagine, comrades, that leadership is a pleasure. On the contrary, it is a deep and heavy responsibility. No one believes more firmly than Comrade Napoleon that all animals are equal. He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be?

Sound familiar? Although Orwell was, fundamentally, a socialist, he also understood that socialism necessarily requires the creation of a leviathan-state, complete with a bureacratic-network capable of enforcing Marxist-principles. More importantly, he realized that the creation of such a state will ultimately result in the loss of liberty and equal misery for all. That is, except for the pigs. Great metaphor, George.


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