Animal farms in global politics
Today, June 25, is the birthday of the English writer and journalist Eric Arthur Blair, better known as George Orwell. Known everywhere and chiefly for his books Nineteen-Eighty-Four and Animal Farm, Orwell in fact was a prolific writer of novels, documentary books, pamphlets and poems. A democratic socialist by conviction, he was also a strong opponent of totalitarianism, and this latter pre-occupation – worked out in the two works referred to above – has immortalised him in the term ‘Orwellian’.
Those who may believe that Orwell’s work is of historical interest but no longer addresses issues of current significance should think again. Orwellian conditions exist in many countries, and with the capacity that now exists for technology to be used to extend state controls and intrusions no country can be declared with confidence to be immune.
It is entirely desirable that every new generation should read Orwell’s work.