Carl Marx’s famous philosophy of communism initially inspired a nation, but collapsed when power was accessible. Napoleon and Stalin shared a deep desire for power, which led to a collapse of their nations. After Old Major’s (Marx’s) death, a gradual deterioration of communism began with the greed for power by Napoleon (Stalin), the blind obedience by all animals (Russians), and the self-serving persuasive techniques used by Squealer (Lenin).
According to Lord Acton who was a member of the liberal party- “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Napoleon was eager for power and therefore used cruelty and treachery. He and the other pigs began to claim privileges for themselves, and use the dogs to purge those who question his authority. Snowball was driven from the farm since he posed a threat to Napoleons leadership. “By the time Snowball was finished his speech and votes were casted, Napoleon looked over at Snowball and uttered a high- pitched voice…nine dogs came bounding into the barn and dashed for Snowball.” Napoleon also murdered several of his own animals to demonstration his power. For example, the hens were threatened to give up their eggs to sell for other food; but they refused and therefore were starved to death until they finally agreed. Napoleon also ordered the dogs to kill the animals if they expressed their differing opinions. “When they finished their confessions, the dogs promptly tore their throats out…” As Napoleon looses sight of his obligations to the farm, he becomes a dictator instead of a leader. Stalin also "purged" the Soviet government by torturing those he considered enemies until they admitted to crimes they hadn't committed. He then had them killed.
As an unknown author states- “The greatest crimes in the world are not committed by people breaking the rules but by people following the rules.” In Animal Farm all the animals followed the commands by Napoleon. Napoleon was able to do so, due to the lack of the animals’ own intelligence and their ability to fully understand how the farm was being run. At the beginning of the book the sheep, continually chanted “…Four legs good, two legs bad. “And towards the end, they chanted “four legs good, two legs even better.” They were forced to chant this by Napoleon to end any argument or problem. The dogs were also forced/ trained to become personal security dogs for Napoleon. “Napoleon uttered a high pitched voice and nine dogs came rushing out to his side…” This proves the blind obedience by the dogs for Napoleons orders. Another example of blind obedience was by Boxer- a hard working and loyal horse. One of the mottos he lived by after the revolution was “Napoleon is always right.” Although sometimes Boxer didn’t understand what Napoleon was doing, he always stood by his word and supported him.
Squealer uses an array of propaganda techniques to persuade the animals into believing the pigs’ untruthful actions were best for the farm. For example, Squealer lied about the milk and apples the pigs stole from the other animals. “We pigs are brain-workers… Day and night, we are watching over your welfare. It is for your sake that we drink that milk and eat those apples. Do you know what would happen if we pigs failed? Jones would come back!” Squealer used the propaganda techniques of fear and plain folks to persuade the animals to believe stealing the milk and apples were best for the farm. He also lied about Boxer’s death and told the other animals that Boxer went to the hospital, but was instead, taken in a knackers’ truck. “…The van had previously been property of the knackers and had been bought by the veterinary surgeon who had not yet painted the old name out.” This brief explanation by Squealer caused all the animals to believe Boxer had died peacefully in the hospital. Squealer represents Lenin’s Propaganda department that fabricated lies to please and deceive people for Napoleon’s (Stalin’s) benefit. Initially, people were forced to believe the government’s lies and were killed if they expressed differing opinions. They were also easy to deceive because people did not want to think for themselves. They needed a leader who could think for them and therefore was one of the reasons communism failed.
In conclusion, communism became unsuccessful starting with: the greed for power by Napoleon, the blind obedience by the sheep and the various propaganda techniques used Squealer to persuade the public. Communism rules out human nature (greed, revenge, rewards) and therefore will never be achieved in a country. In Animal Farm and Russia, the system of communism became popular on the basis of a better future, and the leaders advocating new order became popular; but it was not possible for them to deliver all that they promised and therefore it became necessary to use force to maintain their position.