“When we’re afraid, we lose all sense of analysis and reflection. Our fear paralyzes us. Besides, fear has always been the driving force behind all dictators’ repression." -Marjane Satrapi.
Everyone dreams of a Utopian society, a place where everything is perfect. Of course, as history would have it, this glory is short lived. When we are faced with the harsh reality, many of us are dispirited to try harder because of fear, so we try and live with misconceptions because they save us pain and allow us to enjoy pleasure instead. We must therefore accept it without protest when we find ourselves losing control. This occurs when a tyranny is established and the average human being is classified as less superior than others.
When there is totalitarianism established in society, we see the common man living under the control of an authority. This is the case in George Orwell’s satire ‘Animal Farm’, where by the pigs; the smartest animals on the farm decide to take control. At the start all animals are meant be treated equally and share work. However things don’t go as planned. Once the pigs have the taste of power, the temptation to exploit the less intelligent animals is obvious. The pigs establish an authority by using propaganda. The speech of Old Major is shortened into seven commandments to make the other animals understand. By doing this, the original meaning of the speech is lost. The seven commandments are similar to the 10 commandments in Christianity. The commandments are like a path/guide to life. It stands as an unchangeable law. And the animals are must live according to it. Here it is visible how the rest of the animals are stripped off their freedom of thought and the pigs are imposing ideas into their minds which they are forced to follow. This idea is also evident in real life. In North Korea, the nation mostly described as the ‘world’s largest prison camp’ is governed by the man Kim Jong Un who uses fear to control the citizens. It is believed that anyone who goes against him is put into of one two prison camps in the country and tortured to death. This shows how many will be afraid to even speak a word as they are frightened for their life, which means Kim Jong Un is able to do whatever he likes. When desperate commoners are willing to sacrifice anything for a better life and the leader takes advantage, this is when a powerful dictatorship is formed.
When people are oppressed, rather than becoming involved and speaking their opinion, they become apathetic and that is when they find themselves being dominated. The leaders of the country who the citizens believed said that everyone will be equal, however when this dream is short lived, many see themselves looking for the easier way out; living in illusions. Benjamin, the wise old donkey in the allegory ‘Animal Farm’ is an example of this. He is someone who thinks for himself, whereas the illiterate animals needed the pigs to guide them. When the idea a windmill is brought up, it is only Benjamin ‘who does not side’, he refuses to believe the fact that the lives of people will improve and says that life would go on badly as it always has. it is only when his best friend Boxer is killed that spurs him into action to no avail, after which Benjamin becomes more cynical than ever. The educated people of Russia can be described as having the same characters of Benjamin in real life. These sceptical people are very much aware during the times of revolution and its aftermath about what is going on, but they do nothing about it. They can see how the basic rules of their society are changing in Russia and but they do not involve themselves in any way that would threaten their security. Sometimes even when many are able to comprehend the fact that things around them are not what they are supposed to be, they never stand up to correct them, and it is one of the ways which many are manipulated to have no control.
The taste of power stimulates the leader to think that they are more superior to others and that is when there is an establishment of class hierarchy where people are ranked, the everyday commoner is classed right at the bottom of the hierarchy and they are forced to live under the rules of the leader. Napoleon in ‘Animal Farm’, establishes a hierarchy shortly after the introduction of the seven commandments. It can be seen how the commandments such as ‘all animals are equal’ are broken. The pigs are at the top as they are the cleverest in the farm. The class hierarchy is seen when they did not all sit together at the assembly as they had done in the past. Napoleon with Squealer and another pig named Minimus sat on the front of the raised platform, with the nine dogs forming a semicircle round them. A different reality of animals is recognized. It shows how lower class animals are unable to realise soon enough what is occurring and when they finally do there’s no real thing that can be done anymore since it is too late. Just like the animals, people of North Korea are going through more or less the same thing. Most North Koreans cannot leave their country, and because none of them can contest the political system. Only people classified as politically loyal can hope to obtain responsible positions in North Korean society. People classified as members of the wavering class are unlikely to be considered for membership in the Korean Workers Party. People who fall into the hostile class are discriminated against in terms of employment, food, housing, medical care, and place of residence. This clearly represents the class system in that country. Through the setup of a hierarchy, many leaders are able to manipulate the citizens.
Many people in the world have always imagined what it would be like to live in a world where everyone is equal. However, they are shortly brought back to the biting reality. The repeating pattern in history is visible; there is always one who is desperate for the feeling of power. This is the start of inequality. Many commoners are manipulated and easily taken advantage of. Through the discovery of this, most of the people give up and that is when they find themselves under the control of others and living a place where they have no say in.
“The whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.” 1 John 5:19
St. Rosemary Educational Institution. "Essay: Corruption and Totalitarianism in Animal Farm." http://schoolworkhelper.net/. St. Rosemary Educational Institution, Last Update: 2017. Web. Retrieved on: Saturday 25th February 2017. http://schoolworkhelper.net/essay-corruption-and-totalitarianism-in-animal-farm/.