I am always struck by how George Orwell’s story about an animal uprising and revolution on a small farm is insightful into government and political intrigue across time and space.
The book was first published in 1946, and from my perspective it metaphorically tells the story of the Soviet’s October Revolution in 1917 and the development of the USSR.
However, I think that bits and pieces of the story can be picked and placed in nearly any government situation.
Take for example President Obama (would you expect me to link an allegorical satire about a totalitarian state to anyone else?).
As a Senator and later as a candidate, Barack Obama, as well as other Democrats, made it clear that the NSA spy program and more generally the Patriot Act were horrible violations against human privacy rights.
In 2005, Senator Obama co-sponsored a bill that would ban the collection of phone records just as has recently been done under his Presidency.
Furthermore, in 2007 Obama declared in a speech at the Woodrow Wilson International Center (funny how Wilson was a totalitarian racist, but that’s beside the point) that we will have “[n]o more national security letters to spy on citizens who are not suspected of a crime. No more tracking citizens who do nothing more than protest a misguided war. No more ignoring the law when it is inconvenient. That is not who we are.”
He further said that “[w]e will again set an example for the world that the law is not subject to the whims of stubborn rulers, and that justice is not arbitrary.”
Now, in 2013, after reauthorizing the warrantless wiretap provision of the Patriot Act in 2011, Obama confidently states that this program is acceptable because it is not only overseen by Congress, but also by the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) Count.
Well, that puts me at ease, how about you?
I guess we are all supposed to forget that human beings are an imperfect race and while we live in a nation that has a long history of standing up for human rights, especially the right to privacy, at their core, those in power in Washington DC are no different than the Stasi leaders in power in East Germany who routinely listened in on every conversation of nearly every citizen.
To bring this back to Orwell’s story about pigs, we can directly relate Obama to the pigs at Animal Farm. Obama, like Snowball and Napoleon, easily took over the presidency in 2008 on a stance of Hope and Change. They made claims that they would throw away the shackles of the previous administration and will forever change the way government works by “fundamentally transforming” it.
But just as the pigs in Orwell’s tale found out, Obama learned that not all was bad from the previous occupiers, and the charge of the position comes not only with great responsibility but also with great frills.
In Orwell’s allegory the pigs get so caught up in overseeing the farm that they decide to take full power and full privilege of the position. They move into the farmhouse that was once banned from any animal living inside. They eat and drink more than the other animals, and they even take to standing on two legs. The pigs wear clothes like humans, and eventually, as the other animals look on through a window, they cannot be distinguished from the humans with which they collude.
So too is the Obama administration.
They have fully become the pigs who once refused to be like the humans, but who now see that it’s good to be the king.
Not only is it good to be the king, but it is even better to be the king without accountability.
The Obama Administration is loved by the media and is protected by them. His claims are reported as gospel, just as the pigs of the farm would read aloud the Seven Commandments of Animalism.
And no matter how many times the Commandments were changed or deleted, the only ones who could read (the pigs) made certain that the others followed and obeyed the commandments.
After years of misguided reporting of the Commandments, the pigs finally reduced them all to one command. This command stated that “all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
The questions then we have to ask are these: Are all Americans equal, but some Americans more equal than others? Do the pigs currently occupying the seats of government get to play by a different set of rules than was established under the Constitution? Do they get to dictate to the rest of us one way of living all the while being above the law and Constitution?
It may seem that we are headed that way, just as the Politburo of the Soviet Union was allowed to live contrary to the commands of Marxism and Leninism perhaps Obama and officials in the government get to live different to our set of rules.