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Fact: George Orwell’s classic book Animal Farm was first published in America on this day in 1946. Described as one of the influential books of all time it was made into a film in 1954 and again in 1999.
Have you read the book or seen the film? What message did you take from the story? Share your thoughts here. 

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    • BC says:

      06:10am | 26/08/09

      Quite possibly one of the books that has defined my love of history. Studied in Highschool for the first time it was a quick and decisive introduction to the failed social experiment of communism.

      This coupled with political interets from the book and cartoon regarding the political spectrum has ultimately shown the importance of taking an interest in Australian politics and that of the world.

      The most eye opening aspect of Animal Farm is the truth that, when it comes to political spectrum, Fascism to communism, its not a line with those two extremes at ether end, but a circle where they are effectively (And as History has shown us ) the same thing. 

      I am struggling to find another book that has had such a profound influence at least on my life.

    • Rationalist says:

      06:34am | 26/08/09

      I took that socialism never works. Which is true.

    • pc says:

      08:40am | 26/08/09

      I love it when people confuse works of fiction with history. Sure Animal Farm is an allegory of the Russian Revolution but that hardly means that Orwell considered it a comprehensive critique or history of socialism, after all he did fight for the Republicans (with the socialists) during the Spanish Civil War. As for 1984 it was a terrifying dystopian vision of what ENGSOC, English Socialism could be like but it didnt happen.  And Rationalist, you know how you saw the movie Zombie Strippers, yeah, that doesnt mean they are real.

    • Eric says:

      08:57am | 26/08/09

      Orwell met lots of Communists in Spain. He knows what he’s talking about when he critiques Communism.

      The pattern repeats itself with every socialist revolution. The old elites are thrown out, new elites take their place, then the mass murder and exploitation begins. All these regimes end in misery and poverty—with the possible exception of China, which has replaced broken Marxist economics with a brutal but functional form of capitalism.

      Meet the new boss - same as the old boss! Or, in many cases, even worse ...

    • pc says:

      09:14am | 26/08/09

      Yes Eric, Orwell knows what he’s talking about but you don’t. We could fit every revolution into your “pattern…with every socialist revolution.” The French,  English, both bourgeois revolutions. I also notice that rather than referring to any of the non fiction by Orwell, a lot of which is very critical of communism, you instead choose to regale us with your own derivative and cliched history of socialism instead. Why? Now dont just google Orwell Eric, try the library instead.

    • iansand says:

      11:58am | 26/08/09

      The reason Animal Farm only applies to socialist revolutions is that right wing revolutions have no pretences.  They are naked grabs for power from the very beginning.

    • Nathan says:

      12:02pm | 26/08/09

      Rumours of a NSW leadership spill happening today. Who will be drawn out of the raffle today to become Premier for the next 6 months?

    • pc says:

      12:32pm | 26/08/09

      I’m not so sure that right wing revolutions have no pretences iansand, the right wing military coups of latin america were certainly about naked power and just as brutal as anything in the peoples democracies but there was always the propaganda of anti communism, christianity and xenophobic nationalism to dress it up. Orwell was very interested in the idea of objective truth disappearing from the world and I think the comments of BC and the Rationalist highlight this concern with the fictionalisation of history.

    • Jasper says:

      12:34pm | 26/08/09

      “They are naked grabs for power from the very beginning”

      I’m sure most Italian Fascists of the 20’s, Pinochet and countless other right-wing revolutionaries & coup leaders throughout the 20th century would bitterly disagree with you. Heck, even the NAZI party was populated by virulent anti-communists who believed that they were fighting to stop Germany from going down the road to ruin.

      Not to mention Australia’s most prominent fascist, Francis de Groot

      And this is common thread of all right-wing political commentary, after all it has resurfaced with a vengeance in the US now that they have a “socialist” president. And I do believe that Roosevelt was labelled as a red by certain elements during the New Deal.

      We like to think that the extreme left is full of starry-eyed idealists and the right full of power-hungry pragmatists but the truth is just not that black-and-white.

      And to PC above, strictly speaking Orwell fought with the anarchist brigades in Spain and it was the treatment of them by Stalin’s Bolsheviks that informed his criticism of the Stalinist regime. He was a lone voice in the English left when it came to criticising Stalin’s Russia but that doesn’t stop him from being left wing.

    • pc says:

      03:49pm | 26/08/09

      Dont have anything to argue with there Jasper and strictly speaking neither do you. While Orwells concern for the disappearence of objective truth is certainly touched upon in “Looking Back on the Spanish War” it probably features more prominently in “Writers and Leviathan”.  And Orwell criticised the communists because they werent socialists as you say. So?


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