MSNBC host: No, seriously, “Animal Farm” is about corporate plutocracy, sort of

posted at 9:01 pm on May 6, 2014 by Allahpundit

Via Twitchy and Mediaite, which has a transcript in case the thought of sitting through even three minutes of this on video is too much. Last week she claimed that “Animal Farm” was about fatcat capitalist vampires keeping the working man down; this week she acknowledges that it’s technically about communism, but now that the commies are all gone, the book can safely be repurposed for other leftish ends. Because if there’s one thing George Orwell stood for, it’s distorting the plain meaning of words to advance your collectivist political agenda.

He wrote another book in which that theme figured prominently, in fact. “1984,” about the horrors of libertarianism.

At its heart, Animal Farm is about tyranny and the likelihood of those in power to abuse that power. It’s clear that tendency is not only found in the Soviet communist experience. In fact, if you read Animal Farm today, it seems to warn not of some now non-existent communist threat but of the power concentrated in the hands of the wealthy elites and corporations…

As new research shows that we already live a sort of oligarchy that the preferences of the masses literally do not matter and that the only thing that counts is the needs and desires of the elites, Animal Farm is a useful cautionary tale warning of the corruption of concentrated power, no matter in whose hands that power rests.

No, it’s really not, and if it were it wouldn’t be remembered. “Concentrated power is dangerous” is so prosaic an “insight” that it barely qualifies as one. The special insight of “Animal Farm” is that utopian left-wing solutions to concentrated power can and will produce even more dangerous concentrations. In the name of “progress” and “equality,” the utopians end up building a system more oppressive than the one it replaced. That this book is being used on this network to obscure that point rather than illuminate it is itself Orwellianism 101. Coming soon to MSNBC: A disquisition on how “Fahrenheit 451” reminds us that some speech is dangerous and should probably be banned as hate crimes.

And now that we’re done with that, I’m going to send you over to Twitter to spend some time with “Krystal Ball’s Book Club.” Exit quotation from C.J. Ciaramella: “Animal Farm might be the worst analogy for the problems of late capitalism. A better example might be that our system has produced someone with the critical reading skills of a potato, and then allowed her to rise to the position of a national TV news host, mostly by virtue of her membership in the entrenched political class.”


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