Since the demise of feudalism and appearance
of capitalism many known thinkers studied the state of power in the political
structure of society and argued the fact that power should be
limited to a specific class. Karl Marx (1818-1883), one of the ideologists of
the 19th century, and his fellow thinker Friedrich Engels (1820-1895),
in their The German Ideology (1845-1846) (Abrams 204), claimed to categorize
the socio-political and cultural phases of all human societies of all time to
seven stages including “tribal hordes, Neolithic kinship societies, oriental
despotism, ancient slaveholding societies, feudalism, capitalism, and
communism” (Cain et al. 13). They foreshadowed that the human societies were
inevitably going to the last phase, “Communism”, the phase that the working
class eventually overcomes the upper class and share the power and sources
equally between all members of the society. Their ideology was the starting
point for later critics to examine the matter more carefully which they labeled
“Marxism”, “Communism” or “Marxist Criticism”.
targets the gap between the working class, the proletariat, and the dominant
upper class known as the bourgeoisie who possess the means of production and
therefore control the political, economic and social decisions of the society.
According to Marxists, in an ideal communist society the economical sources and
also the means of production are taken as “public property” and there is no
upper class to rule the society. In fact, the social classes are removed in a
Marxist society. Communists use the term “false consciousness” to refer to the
illusion that keeps the working class members from noticing the reality of
their own repressed working-class life. This allusion, according to Marx, is
established by the upper class to take control of the proletariat. This
pressure leverage is demonstrated through education, religion, politics, and so
on and so forth (Cain et al. 14).
Animal Farm is one of the distinguished works of literature that
suitably portrays the communist ideology. In his work, Orwell tries to show the
outcome of moving to the last stage. Animal Farm creates an image in which
a group of animals on a farm takes control of the productions of the farm. But
after a while one of the leaders of their newly established communist society
(Snowball) is consumed by the power that is derived from taking control of the
means of production and declares himself as a “bourgeoisie”. Orwell vividly
declares that a communist society is so vulnerable to corruption. And moving
toward this ideological society does not ensure achieving an ideal communist
society that Marx tried to idealize.
Communism is a
kind of social and economic reformation ideology that seeks to share the
production means and resources between all members of the society. A great
example of Communist reformation can be seen in Orwell’s Animal Farm.
This paper tries to clarify the aims and obstacles of putting Communism in
practice by considering Orwell’s work as an example of a revolutionary Marxist
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