Discuss what type of political system was developed when the pigs were given privileges over the other animals, such as when they were told that they must stand aside when they met them on the path?

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

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I think that the elitist system that emerges into full view by Chapter 9 would represent an oligarchy.  This type of political system is one in which "form of power structure in which power effectively rests with a small number of people."  I think that the pigs and their "muscle" as the dogs represent this small number of animals that end up controlling life on the farm.  It is at this point in the narrative where the attempts at Animalism's equality might be advocated in speech, but is not embodied in practice.  Similar to Napoleon's declaration of a republic, this attempt is only in speech and in the most surface of manners.  The realistic display of power is one in which the pigs hold the power, and all other animals are subservient to this.  This political system ends up benefiting the pigs and disenfranchising the other animals.  The oligarchy that is established in the later chapters of the novel help to bring out Orwell's fundamental point about political rule.  At some level, if left unchecked and unmonitored, all political forces tend to gravitate towards oligarchial rule because it benefits their own sense of power.  Oligarchies, such as the system developed by the pigs, end up benefiting the few at the cost of the many, consolidating power and control.  It is this system that the pigs establish, an oligarchical one in which the other animals are definitely subservient.

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