In Animal Farm, how does Snowball's scapegoat status benefit Napoleon and the pigs?

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Making Snowball into a scapegoat is very handy for Napoleon and the pigs because from then on, every time something goes wrong on the farm they can blame it on him. It doesn't even matter that Snowball's no longer around; Squealer can make up some ridiculous story about Snowball sneaking...

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Making Snowball into a scapegoat is very handy for Napoleon and the pigs because from then on, every time something goes wrong on the farm they can blame it on him. It doesn't even matter that Snowball's no longer around; Squealer can make up some ridiculous story about Snowball sneaking back to the farm at night and committing acts of sabotage like wrecking the windmill.

So long as Snowball's still alive, Napoleon's determined to place him at the center of a gigantic counter-revolutionary conspiracy in which the banished pig is working in cahoots with Mr. Jones to overthrow the Animalist regime and restore human control to the farm. It's all a total lie, of course, but it's a very convenient lie for Napoleon and his gang. It allows them to get away with their numerous failings and not have to take responsibility for them.

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Although Napoleon intended to kill Snowball outright, Snowball's escape turns out to be a great thing for his propaganda mission. With Snowball gone, Napoleon can use him as a bogyman, forever trying to sabotage Napoleon's "altruistic" deeds. The fear of Snowball's mischief is so strong that it overpowers common sense:

Whenever anything went wrong it became usual to attribute it to Snowball. If a window was broken or a drain was blocked up, someone was certain to say that Snowball had come in the night and done it, and when the key of the store-shed was lost, the whole farm was convinced that Snowball had thrown it down the well. Curiously enough, they went on believing this even after the mislaid key was found under a sack of meal.
(Orwell, Animal Farm, msxnet.org)

This all works to Napoleon's advantage, not least because he then uses his dogs to execute animals forced to confess their "collaboration" with Snowball. From that point on, Napoleon is able to use fear of being thought a traitor to control the animals; he can blame every setback -- many of which are due to the failures of his own ideas -- on Snowball, and not only can Snowball not defend himself from the allegations, none of the animals dares to contradict Napoleon for fear of being killed.

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