Wednesday, December 14, 2011
animal farm circa 2011
My daughter was writing an essay on Animal Farm, George Orwell’s 1945 classic.
While I have probably not read this book in over 30 years, I did recall the last line, which probably ranks among the top-ending lines of all time: "The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which."
While this allegory applied to Russia and Marxism, I could not help but think how this scenario is playing out in America in 2011.
Last year, we saw a grassroots movement rise from the right—the Tea Party—against an overreaching, bloated federal government. This year, a similar grassroots movement rose from the left—Occupy Wall Street—protesting the greed and selfish principles of big-money corporations.
Yet in an era where Congressional seats are almost always won by the person who has the most money, there is a fine line between Washington bureaucrats and corporate CEOs. An average senate campaigns costs $4.3 million – with some costing ten times as much or more – and the vast majority of these funds are sourced in response to business agenda. Citizen’s United gives companies the right to make strategic business investments in the votes of congressmen. And lest we forget that many if not most of those we send to Congress are one-percenters themselves.
Perhaps if Orwell wrote his book today, the ending would read: “The Tea Partiers and Occupiers looked from government to corporation, and from corporation to government, and from government to corporation again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”