Pursuit for Power
Power! Power? I want it! You probably want it,
most people around the world desire it. Power is what makes
people work. Before I can start talking about
the role power has in human nature I must define it. Mastery, authority and hegemony are expression that reflects power. They have the same meaning they are
synonyms. Omnipotence, I believe, is the most closely equivalent to power. Who doesn't like a bit of power? To have authority over someone is one of the
best feelings you have, people seek this, they want power at any cost.
As far as there was humans there was power. Since the beginning of the world's history there is a desperate attempt to have power. Government! The living
proof of this greed is any form of Government. There has always been some sort of a government and in every government there is some sort of hierarchy.
Hence; there has always been one man with more power then the other. Brutus and his followers plot to murder Caesar is evidence that humans will do any
thing to move up this hierarchy. Why do people work hard? To get a better job, to go a step further in their profession and get more power. Armament race,
space race, etc. These are desperate attempt to show power over other countries.
George Orwell seeks to show this human desire. In Animal Farm, Orwell's fable, Napoleon, Snowball, Jones, Pilkington long for this nectar of gods. They
constantly want to take advantage over each other they want edict over each other. Total power is most likely to occur in a dictatorship. In Animal Farm
Orwell shows us that communism is a dictatorship, therefore the possibility of a tyrant, or absolute ruler, is very probable and real.
This longing for power is already evident in the first chapter. What is freedom? Freedom is when you have power over your self. The animals want this. "The
work of teaching and organising fell naturally upon the pigs, who were generally recognised as being the cleverest of animals." Already the pigs have more
power over the other animals. The animals believe the pigs are more intelligent so they think that the Pigs should teach and organise. Organise? Isn't organising
a sort of ruling. Yes, the pigs are ruling even before the revolution. They have power over the animals even before the revolution.
After the revolution the pigs start to rule. They give orders, they do not do the manual work they supervise. They have the power to give orders, the power to
only supervise while the rest do the manual work.
Power corrupts! This is and will always be true until human nature is swept off the face of the earth. The boars get the apples and milk. "Our sole object in
taking these thing is to preserve our health." Snowball manages to "...turn black into white..." and make the robbing sound euphemistic. The animals don't see
the truth and are cheated. Squealer uses his ability to "...turn black into white..." for the pigs own good. He is abusing his power.
The more you get the more you want. A simple but true statement. Napoleon has power, but he still want's more of it. "But it was noticed that these two
[Napoleon and Snowball] were never in agreement..." Napoleon and Snowball don't want to share their power between themselves. They want total power.
They disagree with each other, they fight against each other to show off their power. They compete against themselves.
The counter-revolution led by Jones shows us that people don't give up their power so easily. They will fight until the end to preserve it. Napoleon and
Snowball again disagree with each other in the windmill affair. Napoleon uses "...four legs good, two legs bad..." to sabotage Snowball. He hires the sheep to
constantly interrupt Snowball.
The most evident show off desire for power is when Napoleon uses the Dogs to chase Snowball of the farm. Napoleon isn't ready to share his power. Brutus,
Stalin and many other famous leaders just weren't ready to share their power. They need and yearn for the power for themselves. "...and when he falleth, he
falleth like Lucifer, never to ascend again..." Napoleon fights to the end of the book to blame everything on Snowball. With this not only does he have a
scapegoat but he also eliminates any chance of loosing power. Snowball was the only one that could challenge Napoleon's power, by blaming everything that
goes wrong on Snowball, Napoleon makes Snowball's reputation one of an evil and mean pig. This way the animals would hate Snowball and Napoleons
power will be left unchallenged.
Total power leads to abuse. Napoleon starts to abuse of the animals. "Napoleon read out the orders for the week in a gruff soldierly style..." Gruff? Isn't all the
animals supposedly equal? The rules of animalism are already started to be broken. This is a consequence of having only one leader, a unrestricted leader.
Democracy is already deteriorating. "Napoleon...Squealer...and Minimus...sat on the front of the raised platform.... The rest of the animals sat facing them on
the main body of the barn." The animals aren't equal anymore. Napoleon is supreme, his above them. Napoleon has acquired power, autocracy, and now
nobody can affront him.
With this power he is able to make Squealer convince people to work more with lies. "This work was strictly voluntary, but any animal who absented himself
from it would have his rations reduced by half." Voluntary? No, not at all. Napoleon is cheating the animals in to work more for him. This happens because
there is nobody to lock horns with him.
With propaganda Napoleon manages to take even more power over the animals. Napoleon then decides to sell the hens eggs. The hens did revolt against
Napoleons decision but power changes people, it is like a drug it makes you want more of it every time you get some. Nobody can change Napoleons ideals.
Napoleon ordered "...the hens rations to be stopped." Napoleon does not care for anybody but him. This is an unfortunate result of power. Maybe the only
opposition left to Napoleon is Boxer. He is big, stronger then all of dogs and is starting to think. Napoleon then makes the dogs attack Boxer. He knows it is a
gamble and therefore orders only three dogs to attack and in a moment of chaos. "...for a few moments they appeared to go quite mad...three of them flung
themselves upon Boxer." It does not work.
Power leads to lust. Napoleon drinks and produces alcohol. Napoleon alters the commandments to fit him best. Napoleon is constantly using propaganda to
keep him in power. Minimus' songs, manipulation of words are all propaganda to put Napoleon in a good spot. The parades are not "spontaneous" as it is
called this is all a propaganda trick. Power leads the pig to get privileges and luxury. The one candidate election is another trick to hive Napoleon more power.
Napoleon says he disagrees with religion but he lets the raven spread religious ideas because Napoleon knows that if the animals think that: if they work hard in
this life they will get a good "life" after death, the "sugar candy mountain" or heaven, the animals will work hard. Napoleon uses all the money for the dogs and
pigs. The animals have no privileges.
Power will always lead to corruption, abuse and manipulation. It is human nature. It has and will always exists. The more you get power the more you want it.