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Marxist Approach of Animal Farm

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jonathon smith

on 18 December 2014

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Transcript of Marxist Approach of Animal Farm

"History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce."-
Karl Marx
Something to Think About
Table of Contents
Marxist Criticism Outline
Novel Summary
Analysis - Class Structure
- Political Structure
- Socialism
Conclusion/Key Questions



Marxism Definition
The doctrines of Karl Marx and his associate Friedrich Engels on economics, politics, and society. They include the notion of economic determinism — that political and social structures are determined by the economic conditions of people.
Marxist Approach of Animal Farm
Thesis
Maximillian Arndt Perris
"Marxism" is essentially Marx's analysis of the complex and developing relations between the Bourgeois and the proletariat.
A manuscript written by Marx published in 1941.

The ruling class must keep the workers subjected to their authority, yet are dependent upon their labor for wealth.
Labor is reproduced through wages.
Alienation results when humans become dominated by the force of their own creation (money, religion, etc.).
Was a man of thought
Obtained his Ph.D in philosophy, and later became a free-lance writer
Influenced by Ideals of Romanticism where Marx developed a concern for individuals and collective struggles.
Human history is man made and therefore humans must realize happiness in this life.
Marx realized, through Engels, the concrete conditions and misery of the working class. This helped him realize all of history was a class struggle.
Every class struggle is a political struggle, therefore there is a connection of politics and the economy.
Society is divided into two major classes:

Proletariat
– The working class (creators of the means of production)
Bourgeoisie
– The owners of capital.
Karl Marx
Hegel thought that objectivity is a product of the mind’s activity. Humans fall into “bondage” of the laws and events that we create. Marx developed ideas of reification through this concept.
Marx used Hegel’s notions to construct ideas that society is a construct of human’s and can therefore be shaped and reshaped by humans.
Feuerbach furthered Marx’s ideas on religion by stating that God is merely a human projection, and that humans place God above themselves. This acts as an alienation process for humans.
Marx was influenced by Kant’s philosophy that antagonism between men was the ultimate driving force in history. Conflict is inevitable.



George Orwell's
Animal Farm
is a perfect representation of a Marxist view of society, and parallels are intentionally made according with Karl Marx's ideals and philosophies.
Class Structure
In Marxism, Marxian class theory states that an individual’s position within a class hierarchy is determined by their role in the production process, and argues that political and ideological consciousness is determined by class position.
Marxian Class Theory in
Animal Farm
In Marxist socio-political thought, the dictatorship of the proletariat refers to a state in which the proletariat have control of political power. In Marxist theory, the dictatorship of the proletariat is what exists between capitalism and communism. It is a democratic state characterized by the existence of organs of class rule, where the whole of the public authority is elected. It is the defeat of the bourgeois state, but not yet of the capitalist mode of production. (This is a Marxist's ideal form of government)
In
Animal Farm
there are strong instances of class rule and separation, and a Marxist would compare the separation to the government of today and feel it is unequal.
Marxian Class Theory in
Animal Farm
Cont.
A Marxist would say that
Animal Farm
is a unequal dictatorship classified under the Bourgeoisie-Proletariat split
The pigs in the novel are the bourgeoisie because they are the ruling class and own capital
All the other animals would be the proletariat because they work towards the pigs' benefit
In the novel each side is exaggerated and portrays extremes within each side of the capitalist spectrum

Political Structure
Karl Marx's ideas about the state can be divided into three subject areas: pre-capitalist states, states in the capitalist (i.e. present) era, and the state (or absence of one) in post-capitalist society.
Animal Farm
starts off as a Capitalist state, where the bourgeoisie of the farmer controls the animals and their product
“Man is the only creature that consumes without producing. He does not give milk, he does not lay eggs, he is too weak to pull the plough, he cannot run fast enough to catch rabbits. Yet he is lord of all the animals. He sets them to work, he gives back to them the bare minimum that will prevent them from starving, and the rest he keeps for himself.” (4)
Animal Farm
then changes into a post-capitalist state.
After the revolution the animals own the farm and create a set of equal laws
Although post capitalist states are described as anarchist and radical, in
Animal Farm
, it is efficient and more equal
The farm then, progressively grows back into a capitalist state, with the pigs as leaders
Political Structure Cont.
Socialism in
Animal Farm
GRUNDRISSE
Socialism is a social and economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production and co-operative management of the economy.
'For the people' aspect

Work Cited
Socialism at DMOZ
"Socialism: Utopian and Scientific" by Friedrich Engels
"Why Socialism?" by Albert Einstein
"The Soul of Man under Socialism" by Oscar Wilde
Dahrendorf, Ralf. Class and Class Conflict in Industrial Society. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1959.
David McLellan, ed., "Capital." The Marx-Engels Reader, 1977. Oxford University Press: Great Britain.
Kingston, Paul W. The Classless Society. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2000.
Marx & Engels. The Communist Manifesto. New York: Penguin group, 1998.
Parkin, F. Marx’s Theory of History: A Bourgeois Critique. New York: Columbia University Press, 1979.
Youth for International Socialism- NewYouth.com


Socialism in
Animal Farm
Cont.
Conclusion
George Orwell's
Animal Farm
is a representation of a Marxist view of society. The Marxist views on class structure, government and socialism all reveal
Animal Farm'
s

intentional parallels to Karl Marx's ideals and philosophies.
Marx would classify the middle of the story as his description of socialist, pigs with the animals
Would not be socialist at beginning or end with corrupt leaders
Can society ever break the loop of historic repetition, and if so, will society be corrupt?
Full transcript