The old donkey has experienced much in his life, but because little has really changed for him, Benjamin is cynical, knowing that "the more things change, the more they remain the same," as the old adage goes. Of course, his attitude proves to be prophetic. However, had Benjamin become more involved, he might have been able to effect real change. According to critics,
Benjamin represents the cynical intellectual who refuses to get involved in politics and so fails to affect meaningful change.
As mentioned in post #2, his attitude resembles that of the author, George Orwell.
Mollie is even more myopic, considering only her personal comfort and desires. Her desire for material things blinds her to the dangers to freedom's essential importance.