How does Animalism represent Communism in the novel Animal Farm by George Orwell?

Animalism represents Communism in the novel Animal Farm by George Orwell by showing us its many unsavory aspects. Animalism, like Communism, is an ideology that incites violent revolution among the oppressed. It also promotes a stultifying conformity and consolidates itself through violence and repression.

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Animalism can be seen as a satire on the ideology of Soviet Communism. The similarities between the two are not very hard to spot. Animalism is a collectivist creed that promotes the solidarity of the poor and the downtrodden against a common enemy. In the case of Communism, this means the bourgeoisie; with Animalism, it's the drunken farmer Mr. Jones.

Animalism aims to instill the long-suffering farm animals with a sense of pride in their identity. There are clear parallels here with Communism, which accords the proletariat a world-historical role in abolishing capitalism. Both ideologies hold out a positive, inspiring vision, a future in which hunger, want, and repression are a thing of the past.

Yet Animalism, like the Communist ideology it so ably satirizes, ultimately leads to chronic shortages, economic failure, and brutal repression. Though Old Major's ideas were supposed to lead the animals to the Promised Land, in the hands—or rather, trotters—of Napoleon and his gang of pigs, they've brought immense suffering and bloodshed to the farm.

Napoleon, like the Soviet dictator Stalin on whom he's based, has brought out the authoritarian implications of the reigning ideology and established himself as a dictator, ruthlessly destroying anyone who gets in his way. Under his despotic regime, everyone is expected to do as they're told: to act the same way and to think the same way. And woe betide anyone who dares to step out of line.

As well as being repressive, Animalism is also chronically inefficient, just like Communism. There are constant shortages on the farm, and yet Napoleon still insists on selling food to local towns and farms. In turn, this leads to starvation, an allusion to the appalling man-made famines that Stalin inflicted upon the Soviet Union during his industrialization drive in the early 1930s.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on June 17, 2020
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Orwell did indeed want to comment on Communism with his allegorical fable Animal Farm. The society that the animals set up is analogous to the beginnings of the Russian Revolution. The ideas that everybody should share equally in the wealth created by their collective labor is at the heart of Marx's ideology.

But Orwell had more than that in mind. Marxism was already well known by the time he was writing Animal Farm in the 1930's. Nobody needed to have communism explained to them at that time. Orwell's goal was to show how the pursuit of an ideal can be derailed by power-hungry individuals. The way we see it happen to animalism is similar to the way it happened with communism. 

With this in mind, he invented the character of Snowball to correlate with the historical personage of Leon Trotsky. Like Trotsky, Snowball remained idealistic and more committed to the welfare of the common people, until he was run off by Napoleon (Stalin in real life).

The Battle of Cowshed also represents the military struggle Russia faced in the early days of its communist revolution. 

Orwell then attempts to foreshadow the demise of communism, as Animal Farm falls apart under the weight of Napoleon's corruption, he offers the idea that communism will do the same thing. 

Did it really happen that way? Well, sort of. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics did break apart in the 80's and 90's, and Russia did attempt to throw off communism and become a capitalist country. However, they had quite a difficult time of it, and we have seen Vladimir Putin exert more centralized authority in the last several decades. So Orwell was partly right, which is pretty good considering how long ago he wrote it. 

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In its original form, expounded by Old Major, Animalism celebrates equality among all animals with no class distinctions between, say, pigs and horses. This loosely corresponds to Marx’s vision of the collapse of class distinction between the owner of capital and the proletariat. With Animalism, animals will no longer work for humans, and all animals will be equal; with communism, workers will no longer work for capitalists, and all workers will be equal.  And in both cases, the workers will own the means and the products of production, with the state / farm providing for them in old age or sickness.  Of course, Orwell criticizes this idea, arguing in the novel that it does not work because of the propensity in humans for power.

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