Paradigm Series: George Orwell's "Animal Farm" Gives an Example

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Friday June 28, by Jerome F. Keating Ph.D.

When George Orwell wrote "Animal Farm" he was thinking of Josef Stalin and the developments in Russia post the 1917 revolution. He was making political commentary, but he was also illustrating an aspect of paradigms. Paradigms depict how reality is viewed; they illustrate a system of beliefs based more on the visual actions than on the words used. Thus when the animals made their revolution, they did not realize that it was hardly a revolution, instead they were simply exchanging one dictator for another, still following a cult of personality and ironically aiding the reign of terror directed against them by that personality.

Sound familiar to some Taiwanese as they look at how their past history and the history of that land on the other side of the Taiwan Strait played out. "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."

Orwell, knew that a paradigm by whatever name it is given, remains the same paradigm. You judge governments by their actions and not their words, especially when the actions and words are diametrically opposed. You can call people comrades but the way that you treat them is what tells the tale. In the end, the other animals could not really tell the difference between the pigs as the so-called "leaders" of the revolution and the previous farmers that had been overthrown.