Animal Farm in Our Society | Teen Ink

Animal Farm in Our Society

August 27, 2010
By Incendiary SILVER, NY, New York
Incendiary SILVER, NY, New York
6 articles 0 photos 7 comments

Animal instincts make us human because of the reason that suppresses them, the shame that allows them to be veiled under the desire to remain human. Natural temptations overwhelm this cultured desire, temptations so great that even the most human of Homo sapiens have plunged into their trap. Temptations that infuse the human’s mind and with a wolfish thirst drink human reason, with each sip gulping down more. As skillfully as molders, they transform the human race into something the humans themselves cannot recognize—a monster to humanity, a victim of nature—a helpless marionette stranded on a string above tumultuous waves, a hostage to the current. This “transformation” is in constant development, and it finds its sail on the path of self-interest without the anchor of shame. It allows favoritism, nepotism, and ultimate corruption—natural states! Individuals are guilty of at least one of them, either practically or theoretically, all governed by a common lure of power. Scholastic Magazine’s depiction of a pig from John Orwell’s satirical novella Animal Farm represents the inequality among the individuals in politics, social life, and educational institutions, along with the temptation of power that allows it to occur in society.
When individuals gain power over other individuals, the exciting effect observed is especially lucid in politics. Once infused with temptation, these individuals cease to stand for the interests of the people they represent; their favor shifts to their own ambitions. Their dedication to reason is replaced by a quest for personal gain. Sounds like corruption?! It looks like corruption, too, and the individuals susceptible to it stand on the same ground void of morality as the “pig in the suit”. As for the pig, “equality” is as empty of a sound to them as “justice”, one that they will change continuously to suit their own conditions. One day, equality may extend to one group of the people, and the next day to another (honestly, it’s all about whichever will bring more profit!). Take politics in history; Hamiltonian era, for instance, featured the political favoritism of the aristocracy because government strived for the investment of the wealthy in the federal bank. Similarly, Napoleon favored the dogs and the pigs, gave them the best rations, because the dogs were essential for his safety and the pigs, such as Squealer, were crucial for his omnipotence. When executives elect the politicians to their cabinet, don’t they choose ones that will most likely support their policies, under a similar presumption? Equality is there where it is most profitable, and that, regrettably, is the fundamental principle behind the leadership of society. Immorality does not end here, though, as official figures use scapegoats to avoid becoming the culprits… is this ethical? Does not this lay a heavy burden on their conscience? Perhaps their animal instincts have molded their mindset enough for it to be too late to turn back.
It’s not only the politicians who are vulnerable to nature. Let’s take personal profit on the level of public institutions! Nepotism; found in school communities, educational systems, business firms and corporate hierarchies, filming studios and theater, it seems to be the code of our existence. Is it not nepotism and corruption that governs the acceptance process of colleges? Applicants for freshman class are not evaluated by the same scale because some are separately considered based on their alumni parents, distinguished race, or a solely monetary advantage over other applicants. Although applicants with no monetary or hereditary advantage may be more competent, there is no equality in opportunity; colleges will continue accepting undergraduates based on nepotism and bribery. Bias is inevitable, no matter how crude.
The same bias applies to the hiring of employees in government run business firms; heads of corporations will aid their relatives or friends along the employee ladder even though other candidates might be better suited for the job. Likewise, Napoleon favored his own children over practically every other animal for personal aspirations. Filming and recording companies revolve around nepotism, as well as corruption, by choosing individuals according to relation and or simply financial input. In society, there is almost never a fair chance; it is always tainted by a degree of elitism…
As for society in the most social sense; hunger for power is prevalent here as well. It is in relationships; giving too much in a relationships undermines the importance of getting, causing a lopsided mutuality. One individual gains supremacy over another, due to the latter’s submissive altruism and the gluttonous egotism that develops in the former. The egotism becomes a routine for both individuals, and establishes the course of their relationship. Indulgence, no matter what kind, develops into a habit; as it did for Napoleon, who evolved to have no shame in his radical elitism…to the point where it turned “human”; or, on the contemporary scale—inhuman. As Napoleon illustrated in his dependence on ALL of the working animals, people become reliant on those indulging them. The same inclination for preference is observed in a coddled child; the child no longer has any sense of gratitude as it shamelessly demands more and more from exhausted parents. Is this not parallel to Napoleon’s selfish outburst at the hens that refused to sacrifice their eggs? Do not people pampered with profligacy turn savage on obstacles to the continuity of this now mundane luxury? Napoleon, in his blind ambition, cannot appreciate the strength, health sacrificed by the animals for their farm…as Stalin could not appreciate the industrial greatness the laborers have achieved with their sweat and blood for the honor of their nation…as the child cannot appreciate the strenuous hours his parents must work long into the night for his expensive wishes.
Wishes of influence preside over wishes of reason; society functions to the advantage of the elitist, the chairman, the proprietor, the business owner. The Owner. The executive, the official, the CEO, the Board. Individuals, groups, legislatures—those with POWER—will continue to aspire for their own profit; as do all individuals. The difference is in advantage; original advantage. Advantage that self-interest will seek and exploit mercilessly, treading over justice if necessary, setting no boundaries to shamelessness and corruption, both moral and sensual. Although this principle might direct society, individuals are NOT helpless before it. They DO have an advantage— every single one of them—they have an everlasting power of thought that will elevate them above the waves of injustice onto their own ground, where NEW opportunities can be created, based on an individual’s competency and competency only. When such desire for an honest purpose prevails over the temptation of self-profit, human society will reach a new zenith… but for now, society has to decipher the false from the true of the Seven Commandments.

“Justice and power must be brought together, so that whatever is just may be powerful, and whatever is powerful may be just,” once said the great French mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal. No matter how appealing to the frank at heart, this kind of power is unfeasible for now... but something to work at.

The author's comments:
My reflection on modern society after having read Orwell's timeless masterpiece, and having been struck by the notion that "ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL, BUT SOME ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS".

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