The Corruptive Nature of Power
(as explored in George Orwell’s Animal Farm) “Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely.” -Lord Acton The nature of man is to want power, and when man achieves power he wants more. Even the best intentions, such as those of the newly formed Animal Farm, can be corrupted by the basic human instinct of greed. In the beginning of Animal Farm, after the evil Farmer Jones is overthrown, the animals are filled with visions of a land where all animals are equal and work together in harmony to create a better world (the basic principle of Communism). This seems like a good idea on paper, but sadly things began to go south. From the very beginning, the pigs at once assume a role of leadership. In the first harvest on the new Animal Farm, the pigs naturally take on a leadership role because of their superior intellect. All the other animals do not see a problem with this. So even though one of the commandments of Animalism is that all animals are equal, the pigs are already set up as superior and soon they are acquiring more power. Despite their power, things do not escalate until the idea of the windmill is proposed by Snowball. We see a power struggle ensue between Napoleon and Snowball. Both pigs are accustomed to power and are reluctant to have anyone be more powerful than them. Napoleon, not wanting to lose power, removes the opposition and swiftly asserts his dominance. The additional taste of power that followed quickly destroyed any lingering good-will that he may have had. The other pigs shortly realized the benefits of being the dominant animal on the farm, and helped Napoleon with the subjugation of the “lower animals.” From then on, the running of Animal Farm becomes about making the lives of the pigs and dogs easier, cloaked by the warped sense that...
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