Do you think it is fair that those who are more educated or more skilled like the pigs in Animal Farm have more influence in decision making?
This is where I think that Orwell was truly ahead of his time. He provides a paradigm where there is little in way of clear and distinct answers. Rather, he suggests that the real challenge is for individuals to recognize where the qualities of good leadership exist and do what is needed to prevent its abuses. On one hand, certainly, it makes sense that those with the greatest amount of education are able to make the decisions that impact the welfare of the farm animals. The pigs' rationale is fairly compelling in that it would make sense that the most intelligent of the animals, the ones who know how to read and write, would be the ones to make the decisions that could safeguard the future of the farm. In addition to this, it would be counterproductive to have animals who lack intelligence making decisions that would drive the farm into the ground. Yet, where Orwell is ahead of his time is in his assertion that the individuals who are the most educated might not be the most well equipped to lead if they do not have the public's interest at heart. Where Orwell felt that the pigs failed was not in their education level, but in their lack of commitment towards the public good and more along the lines of substantiating their own power. For Orwell, this is where the pigs' unfairness lies. Education and knowledge are important, but Orwell sees them as only being able to fit into the larger configuration of how one utilizes such end. Napoleon and Squealer, in particular, are not really concerned with using their education towards making life better for the animals, but rather for constructing a base for their own power to never dissipate. It is here where their unfairness lies and in this, there is a distinct indictment offered by Orwell that political leaders must challenge their talents and attributes towards the public good and be held accountable for doing so.
I would just like to point out that when there is a revolution like the one in Russia there is a tendency for better educated, more skilled, and more ambitious and enterprising people to get out of the country if they can. This happened noticeably in Castro's Cuban revolution. Middle-class people, including doctors and other professionals, fled to the United States. It is as if there is a law of nature that makes superior people unwilling to be leveled down to the bottom. The Berlin Wall was certainly not built to keep people out but to keep people in. Many East Germans wanted to risk their lives to get to West Germany where there was freedom and opportunity. Especially freedom. A classless society may sound good on paper, but natural social classes seem to be the reality--as is being demonstrated now in Russia and China. Here in America most of us pretend to be oh so democratic--but we know it isn't so.