Over the summer (we had one at some point apparently in the UK) I have been reading a lot of stuff written by George Orwell chronologically. I am nearing the end of ‘Animal Farm’, and I am stunned to see how similar the world of today looks like the novel. Here is a sample:
‘Somehow it seemed as though the farm had grown richer without making the animals themselves any richer – except, of course, for the pigs and the dogs. Perhaps this was partly because there were so many dogs. It was not that these creatures did not work, after their fashion. There was, as Squealer was never tired of explaining, endless work in the supervision and organisation of the farm. Much of this work was of a kind that the other animals were too ignorant to understand. For example, Squealer told them that the pigs had to expend enormous labours every day upon mysterious things called “files,” “reports,” “minutes,” and “memoranda”. These were large sheets of paper which had to be closely covered with writing, and as soon as they were so covered, they were burnt in the furnace. This was of the highest importance for the welfare of the farm, Squealer sais. But still, neither pigs nor dogs produced any food by their own labour; and there were very many of them, and their appetites were always good.
As for the others, their life, so far as they knew, was as it always had been. They were generally hungry, they slept on straw, they drank from the pool, they laboured in the fields; in winter they were troubled by the cold, and in summer by flies. Sometimes the older ones among them racked the dim memories and tried to determine whether in the early days of the Rebellion, when Jones’s expulsion was still recent, things had been better or worse than now. They could not remember. There was nothing with which they could compare their present lives: they had nothing to go upon except Squealer’s lists of figures, which invariably demonstrated that everything was getting better and better. The animals found the problem insoluble; in any case, they had little time for speculating on such things now. Only old Benjamin professed to remember every detail of his long life and to know that things never had been, nor ever could be much better or much worse – hunger, hardship, and disappointment being, so he said, the unalterable law of life.”
If you haven’t read the book, please do. Austerity and class system clearly to be seen…. and especially the misuse of influence and power to the cost of the regular person….