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In a time of universal deceit - George Orwell
In a time of universal deceit - George Orwell

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On August 17th, 1945, an unusual book hit the printing presses for the first time. Animal Farm – A Fairy Story seemed at first to be nothing more than a charming anthropomorphic tale of animals learning to run their own farm. In fact, the slim book was an allegorical retelling of the 1917 Russian Revolution and the terrifying rise of Josef Stalin. Wisely, American publishers suggested dropping ‘a fairy story’ from the title.

The author, George Orwell, was an avowed socialist. But unlike many western leftists, Orwell had personal experience dealing with communist officials in Spain, and was wary of unlimited state power. A writer by trade, he saw how the ruling party manipulated language to control the people, and also to mislead leftist intellectuals in the west. In his story, pigs rose to power by rewriting the Animal Farm commandments when it suited them, and training the sheep to chant the correct things. Animals were discouraged from thinking for themselves, and told to accept the ‘truth’ as it was stated by their leader.

Whether the book actually convinced any western leftist to view communist propaganda with a cynical eye is not known, but it certainly frightened the Soviets enough to ban its presence in the eastern bloc. This writer, at least, read it in sixth grade and was scared away from statism for life. Celebrate Orwell’s remarkable perspicacity and brilliant storytelling with this bumper sticker.