Old Major is generally understood to represent not so much an idea in Russian history as a particular figure (actually, a German). In Chapter One of the novel, Major has just had a dream and wants to share it with all the other animals. As such, he is a sort of philosopher, certainly the originator of the idea which eventually becomes Animalism in the novel. As such, he is analogous with Karl Marx, the German philosopher who first came up with the concept of Communism, an idea which he wrote down in a manifesto. This manifesto represented an idealized society; the Bolsheviks, under Lenin, then utilized this as the basis for their own form of Communism. Where Marx's ideas were theoretical, however, Bolshevik attempts to implement them into a real-world society proved that they could never be as idealized as had been hoped, and this is seen too in the novel when the animals attempt to put Old Major's dream of equality into practice.