Keeping the grass roots growing!!
Animal Farm and Barack Obama
by David E. Bloch
George Orwell wrote Animal Farm in 1946 while living in England. The book is an allegory of the Communist Revolution in Russia and its aftermath – Stalin’s Communist Soviet Union. The main characters in Orwell’s Animal Farm are: Napoleon = Stalin, Snowball = Trotsky, Farmer Jones = Czar Nicolas II, Boxer = The Working Class (proletariat) and the pigs = the government ruling class. In the following article I compare Orwell’s allegory to what is actually happening in the United States today. I propose the following representations: Napoleon = Barack Obama, Snowball = George Bush/Republican Party, Farmer Jones = Capitalism/ western culture in general (as viewed by its opponents) and the pigs = The Obama Administration. I offer the following 15 comparisons between George Orwell’s Animal Farm and Barack Obama:
Blame it on your predecessor: Napoleon always blames Snowball for any misfortune that befalls Animal Farm, whether it is by natural causes such as storms and lightening, or by his own bad decisions and mismanagement. He does this even though Snowball no longer resides on the farm; Napoleon expelled him! When the stone windmill which the animals were building collapses during a thunder storm, due to thin walls, Napoleon declares: “’Comrades,’ he said quietly, ‘do you know who is responsible for this? Do you know the enemy who has come in the night and overthrown our windmill? SNOWBALL!’ He suddenly roared in a voice of thunder. ‘Comrades here and now I pronounce the death sentence upon Snowball.’” Similarly, Obama, who has been in office three and a half years, blames his predecessor, George Bush, for the current bad conditions including the lingering economic recession, high unemployment, two failed $800 billion “stimulus” programs, an expanding budget deficit, and of course the addition of $5 trillion to the national debt. Napoleon and Obama each have their scapegoats and each accepts no responsibility for the persistent malaise under their leadership.
Slogans to deceive, manipulate, and control: Napoleon and his ruling class pigs recognized that the other farm animals were not as intelligent as they were. So, in order to control them the pigs developed slogans for the other animals to repeat and blindly obey, rather than to attempt the rigorous process of thinking and reasoning. For example, the pigs developed the slogan: “Four legs good, two legs bad.” Boxer, the workhorse, develops two slogans on his own: “Napoleon is always right,” and “I must work harder.” If Napoleon explains something that is complicated or in obvious contradiction to known facts, any confusion by the other animals is quickly eliminated by remembering a slogan: “Napoleon is always right.” Obama uses slogans for precisely the same tactical purposes of deception, manipulation and control. “Yes we Can . . .” has no real meaning other than for Obama to persuade his followers to not think or reason, but simply to obey and to follow whatever he deems should be done. “Yes we can . . .” Obama just has to fill in the blank with whatever he wants his followers to do. Recently, Obama came up with another slogan: “We can’t wait,” which he adopted to circumvent the Congress, who is challenging him on his agenda. The U.S. Constitution provides for divided government, or separation of powers, so that any one party or branch of government cannot tyrannically impose its will upon the other. Gridlock is the expected and desired result when one branch of government or party seeks to be tyrannical over the other branch. However, Obama does not want to engage in a public argument of his tyrannical methods so he simply deceives the public with a slogan to follow him and to abandon critical thinking and reasoning as to what is behind his agenda that Congress does not agree with. The always cajoling Obama is really saying, “We Can’t Wait for Congress to act so I must disregard the Constitution, act on my own, and force my will upon all others.” “Hope and Change,” “Collective Salvation,” and “We have come too far to go back,” are just a few of the slogans Obama provides his followers as substitutes for critical independent thinking. Sometimes however, Obama’s slogan meisters are so busy generating slogans that occasionally a bit of truth is actually disguised in the acronym of the slogan. For example, Obama recently announced his new 2012 campaign slogan: “Winning the Future” (WTF). The bit of truth in WTF is: “What the F …”
False promises of health care - ObamaCare: Napoleon promised all farm animals generous retirement benefits including medical care. When Boxer became ill from overwork and old age, Napoleon promised the other farm animals that Boxer would receive the best medical care available without regard to cost. Of course, what actually happened to Boxer was horrifically opposite to what was promised. Afterwards, Napoleon claimed that Boxer “received expensive medicines for which Napoleon had paid without a thought as to the cost.” This was a lie. Obama gave us ObamaCare. At first Obama said his health care program would “reduce the budget deficit by $500 billion over 10 years by eliminating waste and redundancy in the health care system.” However, it was quickly revealed that this $500 billion “savings” actually came from reductions in Medicare and not savings from waste in the health care system. Obama then said that his health plan would pay for itself and is “deficit neutral.” One year after enactment, the government’s own Office of Management and Budget estimated the cost to taxpayers for ObamaCare will be $900 billion. At the end of two years, the current cost is now estimated at $1.8 trillion and rising. Unpleasant surprises concerning what is actually written in the ObamaCare law are constantly being revealed. ObamaCare is a lie. Is there any doubt that our fate will be similar to Boxer’s fate?
Broken Promises: Napoleon made many promises and broke them all. For example, Napoleon promised the farm animals that their barn and stalls would be lighted and heated as soon as the windmill was completed and the electrical generating equipment was installed. In addition to doing their regular work, of course, the farm animals were required to work overtime and on weekends to complete the windmill. The stone windmill structure was built with considerable expenditures of animal labor, but the electrical equipment was never purchased nor installed. Obama also makes false promises. Obama promises “energy independence.” His foray into “green” renewable energy including solar panels and wind turbines (windmills) is based on bad economics, bad science, and bad environmental studies (wind turbines kill thousands of birds and bats). Obama’s “green energy” program is a bust and he has wasted millions of dollars, capital, that was provided by taxpayers’ labors. Obama promised a five day grace period for public review of all laws before enactment, elimination of lobbyists influence in government, and full transparency in his administration. Obama promised that the unemployment rate under his economic plan would not go above 8.0%. Of course in his three and a half years in office the unemployment rate has always been above 8.0%, reaching 10.0% at one point. Obama has broken all of these promises. Napoleon and Obama made promises that they knew they would never keep nor would they ever be held accountable.
Broken Oaths: After expelling Farmer Jones, the animals set forth “an unalterable law by which all the animals on Animal Farm must live for ever after,” known as The Seven Commandments. By the end of the book, Napoleon had not only broken every one of the seven commandments, but had also rewritten every commandment to suit his purposes which of course were exactly opposite to the original commandments. Obama is attempting to do exactly the same thing with the U.S. Constitution. Obama has disrespected and indeed has discarded the U. S. Constitution calling it an old out-of-date document of “negative rights.” Obama violated his oath of office to uphold the Constitution with his ObamaCare mandate, his abuse of government recess appointments, his appointment of stealth czars, his refusal to enforce voter ID and immigration laws, his biased application of law enforcement by his department of justice, and his issuance of many “executive orders” designed to bypass Congress and thereby violate the Constitution. The list of abuses against the Constitution by Obama is unending. Instead of protecting citizen’s property rights and their right to pursue happiness guaranteed under the Constitution, Obama wants to take (steal/confiscate) the wealth from some citizens and give it to others of his own choosing. Obama, of course has a slogan for this: “Spread the Wealth.”
Two class system and privileges for the ruling class: Immediately after Farmer Jones was expelled from the farm there emerged two classes of animals on Animal Farm: the Ruling Class (pigs) and the Ruled Class (all other animals). “The pigs did not actually work, but directed and supervised the others. With their superior knowledge it was natural that they should assume the leadership.” The pigs promptly secured the harness room which was separate from the barn, as their headquarters. Then the cows were milked and the milk set aside. However, the pigs declared that the milk, as well as the apples from the orchard, would be brought to the harness room for the exclusive use by the pigs. The pigs stated, “It is for your sake that we drink that milk and eat those apples. Do you know what would happen if we pigs failed in our duty, Jones would come back, surely there is no one among you who want to see Jones come back? – The importance of keeping the pigs in good health was all too obvious.” And the pig population expanded relative to the other farm animals. Obama also functions as if there are two classes of citizens – the ruling class and the ruled class. Obama demonizes the wealthy in order to reduce or eliminate their power and push them into the ruled class. Despite high unemployment in the ruled class, Obama increases the size of government, the non-producing ruling class. New government bureaucracies (ObamaCare) are built and old bureaucracies are expanded all across the country. Indeed, for members of the ruling class, their wages, and their benefits, including health care and retirement, are more generous and absolutely guaranteed compared to members of the ruled class. Obama has taken over, nationalized, student loans from previous private financial enterprises. However, for those students who are joining the ruling class (careers in government), their student loans are “forgiven” by Obama. And like the milk and apples, Obama will decide who gets student loans which most assuredly will be based on his biases and prejudices as to who he wants to succeed and who he does not want to succeed.
Security for the Ruling Class - Intimidation for the Ruled Class: All tyrants must be protected from the masses. This security also extends to providing a means to ensure that the tyrant’s will is carried out as ordered. Napoleon recognized this fact early, and one of his first acts was to confiscate a litter of puppies produced by the farm dogs. Napoleon raised and trained these dogs privately. One day Napoleon decided to eliminate his troublesome rival Snowball: “Napoleon stood up uttered high-pitched whimper of a kind no one had ever heard him utter before. At this there was a terrible baying sound outside and nine enormous dogs wearing brass-studded collars came bounding into the barn. They dashed straight for Snowball, who only sprang from his place just in time to escape their snapping jaws.” In another instance, it was announced that there would be no more debates about how the farm was managed under the leadership of Napoleon: “Four young porkers in the front row uttered shrill squeals of disapproval, and all four of them sprang to their feet and began speaking at once. But suddenly the dogs sitting round Napoleon let out deep, menacing growls, and the pigs fell silent and sat down again. Then the sheep broke out into a tremendous bleating of ‘Four legs good, two legs bad!’ which went on for nearly a quarter of an hour and put an end to any chance of discussion.” Obama of course has the Secret Service to protect him and he recently signed a law, HR347, whereby the Secret Service may, upon its own volition, declare a NO free speech/protest zone around protected government officials including him. Violation of this law is a felony punishable by incarceration in prison. Of course, this law is in direct violation of the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, but Obama simply does not recognize the U.S. Constitution as an authority limiting his power. However, even the Secret Service security force is not comprehensive enough for Obama’s ultimate purposes. In ObamaCare, Obama has provided for the government to hire between 4,000 - 19,000 new IRS agents to ensure full compliance with his mandate. Although this is menacing enough on its own, of course, these IRS agents could be used for any purpose Obama desires. Indeed, the IRS has conducted several investigations of Tea Party organizations that oppose Obama.
Warning about returning to the past: Despite deteriorating conditions on the farm: “Meanwhile life was hard. The winter was as cold as the last one had been, and food was even shorter. Once again all rations were reduced, except those of the pigs and dogs,” Napoleon repeatedly admonishes the farm animals to continue to follow his leadership because he warned, “You don’t want Farmer Jones to comeback, do you?” Despite deteriorating conditions in the United States including high gasoline prices, high unemployment, and high home foreclosures, Obama also admonishes citizens to continue to follow his leadership: “You don’t want to go back to the Bush Administration and the Republicans do you?” Obama’s new slogan to keep following him into the abyss is: “Forward.”
Useful Idiots: Napoleon strategized that he needed a subgroup of absolutely loyal subjects within the ruled class farm animals that he could depend on to silence decent or protests within their own ranks. He fittingly selected the sheep as this subgroup and thoroughly indoctrinated them: “The sheep were the greatest devotees… and if anyone complained … the sheep were sure to silence him with a tremendous bleating of “Four legs good, two legs bad!” Obama certainly has his absolutely loyal subject devotees. First, there are the ideologues – those who are motivated purely by their convictions of fancy, advocating an absurd un-free socialist based demented “utopia.” Although these types are not actually part of the ruling class, they do consider themselves an “intellectual elite” guiding force (just like Snowball); and in that way they attach themselves to the ruling class. Ultimately, of course, they will suffer the same fate as Snowball. Secondly, there are the thugs. Among these types are the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and ACORN, two disreputable and intimidating subgroups within the ruled class but absolutely loyal to Obama and his ruling class. A new emerging subgroup is the Occupy Wall Street protesters. Obama has openly expressed his empathy for them and their frustrations despite being the cause their frustrations by giving billions of dollars in bailout money to the Wall Street bankers. To Obama, they are a possible opportunity to exploit to increase his power base.
Lying about the economy: Napoleon always claimed that production exceeded plans and that life was better under his leadership despite reducing the farm animal’s rations: “Once again all rations were reduced, except those of the pigs and dogs. In any case he had no difficulty in proving to the other animals that they were not in reality short of food whatever the appearances might be. For the time being, certainly it had been found necessary to make a readjustment of rations (never a reduction). Reading out the figures in a shrill rapid voice, he proved to them in detail that they had more oats, more hay, more turnip that they had had in Jones’ day, that they worked shorter hours, that their drinking water was of better quality, that they lived longer, that they had more straw in their stalls and suffered less from fleas. The animals believed every word of it. They knew that life nowadays was hard and bare, that they were often hungry and often cold, and that they were usually working when they were not asleep. But doubtless it had been worse in the old days.” Obama in recent TV ads points to a list of figures stating that oil production in the country is at an all- time high. Yet, gasoline prices have doubled in just the past three years. Obama states that unemployment is only 8.2% and the economy is improving claiming that he has either, “created or saved” millions of jobs for Americans. Despite continuing layoffs in private industry, there are no layoffs in government; indeed, the non-producing government ruling class are hiring more people and giving its members salary increases. Obama also claims that without him things would be much worse. Except for Obama’s devoted sheep, does anyone really believe any of the “figures” Obama states, and I’m including his own administration? In fact are Obama’s figures, like Napoleon’s figures, mostly if not entirely all lies?
Not accepting responsibility for failures: Napoleon squandered a valuable resource on the farm – a pile of timber wood. Napoleon negotiated the sale of the valuable timber to a neighboring farmer. However, the farmer deceived Napoleon by paying for the timber with forged notes that were worthless. Obama was deceived by corporation executives at three major “green energy” companies who received Obama bailout money: Evergreen Solar, Solyndra, and SpectraWatt. Obama gave these companies millions of taxpayer bailout dollars and all three filed for bankruptcy within a year after receiving the money. All of the money is lost. Of course, all of the corporate executives knew at the time that their businesses were failures when they accepted the money. Obama also gave taxpayer bailout money to other corporations in order to provide jobs. Jobs were indeed created, but the jobs were created outside of the U.S.! Millions of Obama bailout money given to financial institutions to “save” them actually went to paying bonuses to the very executives responsible for the institutions failures! Obama was duped just like Napoleon. Obama has never admitted to any of his failures or his squandering of the country’s resources. Incredibly, Obama continues to advocate for statism, or strong government involvement in the nation’s industries!
The enemy is now our friend: The first commandment of Animal Farm’s “unalterable law by which all the animals on Animal Farm must live for ever after” states: “Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.” Yet, at the end of the book, Napoleon is walking on two legs and having a party with neighboring farmers in the farm house which was once occupied by Farmer Jones and was supposed to be turned into a museum, until Napoleon made it his residence. Obama, in April 2012 declared the war on terror was over and invited the Palestinian Authority to a party in his residence, the White House. This Palestinian Authority represents known violent Islamic terrorist organizations such as Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. Also, in defiance of a law passed by Congress in 1980 and enforced by every president since, until now, Obama gave the Palestinian Authority $192 million taxpayer dollars, which undoubtedly will be used to finance their terrorist activities against the United States!
False claims of heroism: Shortly after Farmer Jones was forced off his farm, he returned with his hired help to attempt to reclaim his property. Snowball anticipated this and prepared for such a possibility and bravely led the successful defense of the farm and permanent expulsion of Farmer Jones. This was known as the Battle of the Cowshed. Napoleon was nowhere to be seen before, during, and after the battle. However, after expelling Snowball from the farm, Napoleon decided to rewrite history. He stated that secret papers were discovered proving that Snowball was actually a traitor. Napoleon went on to explain that he, Napoleon, was the real hero who bravely fought and defeated Farmer Jones. Also, upon his declaration, Napoleon stripped Snowball of his previously awarded “Animal Hero First Class” military medal and instead awarded the medal to himself! In April 2012, Obama decided to rewrite history too. Obama declared that it was he, Obama, who acted bravely and heroically in bringing about the demise of terrorist Bin Laden. However, the real facts are that the plans to find and destroy Bin Laden were in place and worked on by many military personnel long before Obama was even involved. Of course, just like Napoleon, Obama was nowhere to be seen when the actual action against Bin Laden took place. The only difference between Napoleon and Obama is that Obama has not awarded himself a military hero’s medal – yet.
Cult of Personality: As time proceeds in Animal Farm, a cult of personality for Napoleon is created and developed. “Napoleon was now never spoken of simply as ‘Napoleon.’ He was always referred to in formal style as ‘our Leader, Comrade Napoleon,’ and the pigs liked to invent for him such titles as Father of All Animals, Terror of Mankind, Protector of the Sheepfold, Ducklings’ Friend, and the like. Squealer would talk with the tears rolling down his cheeks of Napoleon’s wisdom, the goodness of his heart, and the deep love he bore to all animals wherever, even and especially the unhappy animals who still lived in ignorance and slavery on other farms. It had become usual to give Napoleon the credit for every successful achievement and every stroke of good fortune. You would often hear one hen remark to another, ‘Under the guidance of our Leader, Comrade Napoleon I have laid five eggs in six days.’ A poem was written in Napoleon’s honor which he approved and, ‘caused it to be inscribed on the wall of the big barn, at the opposite end from the Seven Commandments.’ It was surmounted by a portrait of Napoleon in profile, executed by Squealer in white paint.” Obama has his cult of personality too. Obama has oftentimes been referred to as a “Rock Star” and a “Messiah.” Obama’s image has appeared on many things enclosed within a halo including the May 2012 cover of Newsweek magazine. Recently, Obama’s image illegally appeared on the American flag, replacing the 50 stars, a rather shocking and perhaps prophetic statement. Shortly after taking office, Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, for having accomplished nothing! The “main stream media” never criticizes the “Chosen One” but rather always fawns over him. TV news/personality, media talking head Chris Mathews, devotedly gushed that thinking of Obama sends “a thrill up my leg.”
Equality: The farm animals founded their new farm on equality for all farm animals. Written into the animal’s The Seven Commandments were laws that forbid any animal to act like or adopt human behaviors or customs: “No Animal shall wear clothes, No animal shall sleep in a bed, No animal shall drink alcohol, No animal shall kill any other animal.” However, by the end of the book, Napoleon and his pig ruling class broke all of the commandments. Napoleon, killed other “traitorous” animals, lived in farmer Jones’ farmhouse, dressed in his clothes, slept in his bed, drank his alcohol, and had parties with other human farmers. The other animals lived in a cold barn, worked long hours, and their food was rationed. Obama, who also claims to be a promoter of equality, is actually acting precisely like Napoleon. In December 2011 Obama signed a defense authorization bill with an “Indefinite Detention” clause which gives the military powers to arrest and indefinitely detain, without bringing charges, a “terrorist” suspect in the United States even if the “suspect” is a U.S. Citizen! This law probably violates the 4th, 5th, and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. After signing this freedom killing legislation, Obama promised that he would never-ever actually use its powers against U.S. citizens. Of course, Obama’s promise does not extend to any of his successors. Barack and his wife Michelle work so hard for the people that they need rest and relaxation and lots of it. Michelle has taken more than a dozen vacations in the past year. She took an entourage of friends and relatives to Spain at a cost of $468,000 to taxpayers. Michelle refused to wait just one day for her husband before flying to Hawaii for a Christmas vacation thus causing the Obamas to use two very expensive government planes. Obama spends many hours playing golf and basketball as well as attending $40,000/plate dinners partying with wealthy campaign donors such as Hollywood actor George Clooney. Meanwhile, the economy is in recession, many thousands are defaulting on their home mortgages, and there are more people on government free food stamps programs than at any time in our nation’s history! Napoleon demonized human farmers, yet adopted their ways and partied with them. Obama demonizes the rich (who don’t “pay their fair share”), yet he adopts their ways and parties with them. Are not Napoleon’s existence and Obama’s existence hypocritical lies?
At the book’s end, Napoleon completely eliminates the animal’s original “constitution” of The Seven Commandments. This happens one ominous day when the animal’s constitution, which was painted on the barn wall, simply disappears. In its place just one commandment is written: “ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL – BUT SOME ANIMALS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS.” Obama has not officially eliminated the Constitution, but he has made significant “progress” towards that end. And while Obama portrays himself as a champion of equality for all, he has adopted the same mantra as Napoleon, which is that the ruling class (government) is “more equal” than the ruled class.
My Comments: George Orwell offers several important themes in Animal Farm. One theme concerns the powers to think and reason. If one abandons these powers, he/she is doomed. If one sacrifices his/her powers of critical thinking and reasoning in exchange for blind obedience to slogans, promises, ideology, and dogma, one is doomed. To be free one must strenuously exercise one’s powers of reason to think through slogans, promises, and any form of ideology or propaganda. A second theme concerns lies. If one accepts being lied to, then he/she is also doomed. Acceptance of a lie, even a small lie, emboldens the liar to tell more lies – bigger lies. The more lies that are told by the liar and accepted by the one being lied to, forces each into a type of existence where neither can recognize the truth anymore; each lives in a world of lies and absurdity! A third theme concerns written constitutions and laws. Written constitutions and laws are only as good as the persons who are interpreting and enforcing them. If the persons in power, the ruling class and especially presidents and judges, decide to interpret the Constitution, and laws enacted under the Constitution, exactly opposite to the plain meaning of the words in the Constitution or laws, and the citizens allow them to get away with it, then all are living in a lawless state of existence, dependent on the whims of tyrants.
George Orwell gave us Animal Farm – 20th Century Russian style. We in the United States are right now living Animal Farm II – 21st Century American style. This November there will be a presidential election. Will we descend further, perhaps permanently into an Animal Farm II existence, or will we do some critical thinking and reasoning and throw out the Tyrant and his freedom stealing Socialist/Marxist/Communist thieves? I will be doing the latter. What will you be doing?