What point is Orwell making about the role of communication in Soviet society with the ultimate change in the 7 commandments?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that Orwell is making the fundamental argument that communication and information can become tools of those in the position of power to consolidate their power.  Squealer becomes the critical figure in this understanding.  As Napoleon increases his hold on political authority on the farm, the rewriting of both commandments and historical narrative is a means by which he can solidify his control over the animals and ensure that his authority is legitimized.  Squealer's role as the state sponsored media is essential in this process.  Both Napoleon and Squealer understand that the ability to "spin" or manipulate public perception in their favor enables them to do more than if they allowed the animals to think for themselves.  Orwell is suggesting that individuals have to look beyond government platitudes and information and fully understand what those in the position of power hope to gain in the attempt to gain control.  In this light, communication is seen as a political element, something that directly relates to power and those who have it.  It is at this point where communication becomes synonymous with propaganda.

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