The Authoritarian Regime and Animal Farm Essay

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Analyzing Animal Farm

An authoritarian regime is defined as a form of government controlled by one individual or a small group of people who are able to wield control over the state (Authoritarian Regimes, n.d.)—i.e., over the “bundle of specialized political institutions serving as the primary authority over a particular territory and the people who live there” (Origins and Transformations of the State, n.d.). The authoritarian regime may have present a constitution—a set of rules or laws—to the people, but the regime is not held accountable to the same rules or laws and is not responsible for adhering to the constitution to the public. This situation describes perfectly the case in George Orwell’s Animal Farm, and it also reflects the real world cases of the Soviet State in Russia, the Communist state in China, and the Democratic-on-the-Outside-but-Authoritarian-on-the-Inside government of the U.S.). This paper will analyze Orwell’s Animal Farm according to the concepts of origins and transformations of the state, democratic regimes, authoritarian regimes, and political violence.

In Animal Farm, the pigs assume power over the other animals on the farm once the farmer Mr. Jones is chased out of the farm following an organized uprising of the farm animals. Snowball and Napoleon serve as a duo in leading the ideological development of the farm via the principles of Animalism—the most important law of which is that “all animals are equal” (Orwell). Though Snowball helps to defeat the counter-attack by Mr. Jones, he is used as a scapegoat by Napoleon to enable the latter to assume complete power over the farm—Napoleon does not believe in equality and wants rather to assume total control.

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In the end, he becomes like Mr. Jones, living in the house, walking on two legs, and drinking (all of which are against the rules for the other animals).

Animal Farm reflects the state of affairs in Soviet Russia, where Lenin and Trotsky were the initial duo to lead the origins and transformation of Tsarist Russia into the Soviet State. Just like in the book, Lenin and Trotsky had to lead an overthrow of the legitimate ruler—the Tsar Nicholas II in Russia—and set about putting forward new Communist principles for governing society. And just like in the book, Snowball (Trotsky) was chased out of the government by his political equal (Lenin) Napoleon, who assumed power. Stalin eventually took over once Lenin died and ruled with absolute authoritarian power. Stalin used violent methods to gain political control—i.e., coercion—by unleashing the Cheka (the secret police) on the bourgeoisie: they were beaten, murdered, and imprisoned in the gulag; they lost access to influential roles in the state; and people were used as informants.

In China, the situation was a little different in terms of origins: the country had already….....

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Authoritarian Regimes. (n.d.). Pdf.

Origins and Transformations of the State. (n.d.). Pdf.

Orwell, G. (n.d.). Animal Farm.

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