“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal.”
In George Orwell’s classic “Animal Farm” published in 1945, he explores the ideas of collectivism after animals on Mr. Jones’ farm revolt, expel him and rename the farm, “Animal Farm”. On the farm the Pigs gain power and lord over the rest of the “worker animals”.
That to me sums up America today. The ruling elites lord over us. If they want to ban light bulbs they do that. If they want to bail out their Wall Street buddies they do that. If they want to dump billions into the Unions and individual state governments they do that. If they want to eat $100 a pound steak at fancy parties, they do that. If they want to fly in private jets while excoriating others who do so, they do that. If they want to lead us down the road to serfdom, they are well on their way to doing that.
George Orwell was a Democratic Socialist. He detested Communism and the brutal tyranny of the Stalinist Regime. But he failed to link his own brand of collectivism, Democratic Socialism, to leading down the same path.
Whether it’s called Socialism, Fascism, or Communism, it makes no difference. The ideologies at their heart are the same, they are all a form of Collectivism. They are based on the destruction of the individual and the elevation of the State.
In all forms of collectivism a small ruling elite, even in the much vaunted Democratic Socialism, is invested with the power of the State. They are the one’s living in luxury and doling out favors to their friends while the rest of the “workers” toil for the happiness of others. Collectivism is a total repudiation of the concept of Natural Rights. All rights within Collective are the ones granted by the State.
Even though Orwell missed the fact that Socialism and Communism are the same, it in no way diminishes ”Animal Farm’s” simple and startling condemnation of the ideology of collectivism. Orwell in “1984″ and in “Animal Farm” paints a picture of Collectivism taken to its logical end.
There are many “roads to serfdom” that lead the to total acquiescence to the State. In America today we are slowly being nudged by our “pigs” (a.k.a. politicians) into the role of the animals in “Animal Farm”. The slow “revolution” is unfolding before our eyes. Property rights are vanishing, individual choice is being limited everyday, and the concept of the individual as sovereign over himself is laughed at by those in power and forgotten by the majority of individuals.
How different are we from the animals in “Animal Farm” ? Are we all equal before the law? Are we who love Liberty exist off of tax payer dollars? Are we who love Liberty told what is “okay” to put into our bodies? Are we who love Liberty commanded to “spread the wealth” in order to subsidize others? Are we who love Liberty told how to run our businesses? Are we who love Liberty commanded to look to the State for security and sustenance? Are we who love Liberty commanded to live contrary to how we would choose to live?
That last question to me defines tyranny. The substitution of my will, my choice, for the will and choice of another man. Whether that man is granted the authority through Democratic Voting or through Democratic Violent Revolution makes no difference.
If anyone wants to give all their Life, Liberty and Property to the State there is nothing stopping them today. But they refuse to do that. Why should they reject voluntarily this “worker’s paradise” when they want to forcibly make me acquiesce to it? The “pigs” need the other animals to buy into the system before they can rule it.
I don’t want to live “on the farm” ruled by pigs. My take is that as long as any form of the State exists there will always be “pigs” in power and they will be insatiable in their hunger for more and more power.
I advocate for a Stateless Society or Free Market Society in which all voluntary transactions are devoid of external coercion. It is a society in which, as Leonard Read wrote, “anything peaceful” goes. Defense, courts, and police functions would be handled by private outfits.
For example why couldn’t a private alarm company instead of being linked to the public police department be linked to a private security company? There is no reason why that could not happen.
I advocate for maximum individual liberty and until that day when the State no longer exists we need to push for the most limited, least intrusive, least funded government possible. Or we will end up trapped living “on the farm” forever ruled by “pigs”.
And that’s my take.
Check out the newest version. The foreword by Anne Patchett is worth buying this edition even if you have an old copy from high school.