Upon Animal Farm’s first publication in 1945, it quickly became a success and is now regarded as one of the best allegories of Soviet totalitarianism ever written. All of its characters provided a representation of Soviet Russia’s political figures, with its main character, Napoleon, illustrating Joseph Stalin and a corrupt totalitarian rule. The book parodies Stalin’s rise to power and his eventual total control of nearly every aspect of personal and private behavior. Animal Farm’s message does not strictly coincide to the events of the 1930’s, however. In Animal Farm, three specific tactics of propaganda arise which are visible today. These propaganda devices are fear, deceit, and isolationism. Specifically I use the example of Iran and its president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, as a means of reflecting Animal Farm’s timeless ideas. Although it was written almost seven decades ago, it’s message still remains true and apparent. Animal Farm’s examples of propaganda have a timeless appeal which can be demonstrated even in today’s modern day society.
Fear is an effective tool of propaganda which Napoleon uses to his advantage. He instills fear through his dogs and public killings in which any opposers of his revolution are murdered. Napoleon uses this fear in order to sway public opinion and further his ideas. Similarly, Iran uses fear in order to maintain power just as Napoleon did. Since the 1950’s, organizations similar to the Secret Police of Germany have existed within Iran in order combat any dissident movements and instill fear among the public. It began with the Savak, established in 1957. Savak was an Organization of Intelligence and National Security who were deemed responsible for the death of thousands within Iran. The Savak monitored any challengers to their regime, often times arresting, torturing, and killing them. The Savak maintained order through fear of death or torture. After the Iranian revolution of 1979, however, the Savak was shut down and was later replaced by the Ministry of Intelligence known as Savama. Though the organization changed, it’s apparent that their methods of political oppression did not. Stories still arise today of torture and killings by the Savama against opposition. “For 17 years after Shia Muslim clerics led the revolt that overthrew Iran's U.S.-backed monarchy, the formal intelligence services and shadowy militias that help enforce the mullahs' rule assassinated Iranian dissidents in Europe, Asia and the United States. Various counts by human rights groups and Iranian opposition movements put the known total anywhere from 60 to 100.” (Newsday) Iran’s fear tactics through the Savak and Savama parallel closely to those done in Animal Farm. Both eliminate opposition by force in order reduce dissidence and maintain their own political ideals.
Napoleon uses deceit as a way of propaganda often in Animal Farm. He constantly uses Snowball as a scapegoat, wrongfully blaming him for many of the mishaps at Animal Farm. In the same way, Ahmadinejad uses deceit in order to continue support within Iran. In Animal Farm, Napoleon blames Snowball for all of the farm’s mishaps to build hatred for the castaway. Many of his own actions were blamed on Snowball in order to further his own political movement. Ahmadinejad has done the same with actions taken by the Hezbollah. Hezbollah is an Islamic political and parliamentary organization within Iran. In the past, however, it has been linked to terror attacks within Iran which were subsequently blamed on Palestine. Ahmadinejad uses these attacks to raise public hatred against Palestine and further his own militaristic and political goals. The Hezbollah was also responsible for Israeli attacks as well. In 2006 a group of Hezbollah
Further examples of Napoleon’s propaganda tactics exist in information control and isolation. Napoleon works to control the ideas and beliefs in Animal Farm by eliminating any opposition...