Animalism is the system of principles the animals build their new government around once they kick the humans off Animal Farm.
Once the humans leave Manor Farm and it becomes Animal Farm, the pigs take the system of ideas that Old Major dreamed and preached and turn it into a simplified system of political principles called Animalsim. These are further reduced into the Seven Commandments, which dictate how animals will live. These commandments include such tidbits as, “1. Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy” and “2. Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend,” and end in “7. All animals are equal” (Ch. 2). They include prohibitions against killing other animals, sleeping in a bed, and wearing clothes.
The pigs simplify animalism for the sheep, whom they consider stupid, into the idea “Four Legs Good, Two Legs Bad.” The pigs soon begin to take advantage of the fact that they are in charge, and even change the writing on the barn wall that has the commandments written. The animals think that they misremember the commandments, until they see Squealer fall off a ladder with a paint can.
Curiously enough, Clover had not remembered that the Fourth Commandment mentioned sheets; but as it was there on the wall, it must have done so. (Ch. 6)
The principles of Animalism represent the ideal of an animal-run life, where no animal is ever hungry, and the animals look out for one another. It is a perfect, existence, where no one is hurting them or taking advantage of them. In the end, the pigs continue abusing their power until they are no different than the human masters they replaced. The principles of Animalism have been corrupted beyond recognition. The ones who took advantage of them were some of their own.
Animalism, in the book Animal Farm, refers to the rules/commandments or ideas set by Napoleon and Snowball for the animals on the farm. The ideas came from Old Major (the late leader).
The seven commandments that were set were
- Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
- Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
- No animal shall wear clothes.
- No animal shall sleep in a bed.
- No animal shall drink alcohol.
- No animal shall kill any other animal.
- All animals are equal.
Later in the book, Napoleon (who represented Stalin) changed some of the amendments so that he and the other pigs could break the rules and not be caught. The "government" created by these pigs was an allegory for communism.