A New “Animal Farm” Targets Capitalism


andyActor Andy Serkis is set to direct an upcoming movie adaptation of George Orwell’s classic novel Animal Farm. But there will be a slight deviation from the story’s original focus: rather than serve as a cautionary tale about Communist totalitarianism, this updated version will address Hollywood’s predictable, go-to embodiment of evil, the Darth Vader of our time: corporate greed.

Orwell’s brilliant allegory Animal Farm was written during World War II as a satire on Soviet Communism (and very nearly wasn’t published, critical as it was of our Russian ally). It has since been adapted to film twice, a British animated version in the mid-1950s, in which the ending was altered to be more upbeat for its young audience, and a “live-action” take in 1999 featuring talking animals with the voices of an all-star cast including Kelsey Grammer, Ian Holm, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Patrick Stewart.

Serkis, known primarily for his role as Golem in the epic Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, and as the ape Caesar in the Planet of the Apes reboots, announced that his version would address the political aspects of the novella, but not as overtly as the previous films: “First and foremost, we are not making a film about Communism and Stalinism because if Orwell was writing the story today, he would be talking about other relevant topics like globalization and corporate greed,” he explained.

Well, first and foremost, Serkis is not making a film about Communism because if he were, the project probably wouldn’t get a green light from the studio. Hollywood eschews making films about Communism’s ugly reality, and prefers to focus instead on ones about anti-Communist “paranoia,” about the witch hunts led by such easily-demonized caricatures as Joseph McCarthy against courageous Hollywood martyrs like devoted Stalinist Dalton Trumbo. George Clooney’s Good Night and Good Luck is a prominent recent example.

If Hollywood features Communists at all, it tends to paint them as beautiful idealists like Warren Beatty in Reds. The result is that Hollywood is leaving untouched a wealth of powerful true dramas that could be mined from the history of cruel and oppressive Soviet Communism, because at heart the wealthy capitalists of Hollywood (such as Howard Zinn fanboy Matt Damon, whose recently released Elysium is a blatant class warfare propaganda) lament the collapse of that utopian vision. But they have kept it alive by rebranding it as progressivism – and Hollywood is not about to make a movie critical of the progressive dream.

(A notable exception is last year’s TV series The Americans, about a husband-and-wife team of Soviet agents undercover in Reagan-era Washington D.C. I have written here about how that show, at least in its first season, showed American society positively, depicted the FBI as unequivocal good guys, and betrayed not a hint of sympathy for the protagonists’ ideology. That may change in the upcoming new season – and if so, I will report on that – but for now, The Americans is a lonely rarity among Hollywood’s output in its willingness to paint Communists as ruthless, subversive ideologues, and America as a land of freedom and prosperity.)

As for Serkis’ assertion that today the iconoclastic Orwell would be writing about globalization and corporate greed: I think it more likely that Orwell would still be writing about the issues that preoccupied him then, because those issues are still as relevant as ever: the conflict between liberty and oppression and the critical role of language in that clash (his essay “Politics and the English Language”  is a must-read). “Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936,” Orwell wrote ten years later, “has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic socialism, as I understand it.” Socialist though he was, rather than take to the streets with the violent Occupy Wall Street movement, he might be taking up his pen against the abuses of government surveillance, the left’s alliance with the creeping totalitarianism of Islamic theocracy, and the oppression inherent in the left’s shrewd manipulation of political language, such as its relentless push for submission to speech codes and its intolerance of politically incorrect expression.

Serkis promises that in his new Animal Farm, he will be investigating “the world of the overarching ego that corrupts the innocence of the potential utopia that the animals create.” I have no idea what his political inclinations are, but this statement – that ego-driven capitalist excess corrupts and derails the “potential utopia” that the animals would otherwise naturally create for themselves – is a pretty clear hint. The utopian vision of a socially “just,” neatly organized society cleansed of messy human nature is leftist to the core.

“We’re making a family film,” said Serkis. Of course, because progressives are nothing if not proselytizers for their political religion, and they know how critical it is to preach their gospel to the youth. Hence all the family-friendly, anti-corporate, animated environmentalist propaganda films in recent years like Wall-E, Happy Feet, and The Lorax. Serkis’ Animal Farm seems destined to be burdened by a similar sort of heavy-handed agitprop.

“So, if you like the archetypes,” continues Serkis, “all the characters are exactly the same and will represent the same as the book. It’s just that we’re not pinning them down to specific political targets, i.e. Napoleonism, Stalinism, Trotskyism, et cetera.” But what is Animal Farm without a political target? In fact, it’s likely the target here will be capitalism itself.

Capitalism is messy, no doubt about it, and that drives progressives wild because it resists their efforts to conform it to their ends. They are reduced to trying to equate it with greed, but in fact greed is a human characteristic, not solely a capitalist one; after all, the people in power in Communist societies live like kings while everyone else stands in bread lines. At least capitalism offers mechanisms for self-correction.

It’s not that corporate greed can’t be the subject of an entertaining movie – look at Oliver Stone’s Wall Street, for example – but to hijack Animal Farm’s anti-Communist message and twist it into “a modern commentary of the perils of corporate greed” makes this film a tragedy.

Mark Tapson, a Hollywood-based writer and screenwriter, is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He focuses on the politics of popular culture.

Freedom Center pamphlets now available on Kindle: Click here.

  • UCSPanther

    This “adaptation” will be probably be the answer to the question “What if the Soviet propagandists took Animal Farm and rewrote it to suit their agenda?”

  • Anamah

    In deed the most horrific sample of evil corporation is this Progressive lobby of crony corporation in power…

    Is a net of injustice corruption and unlawful government, under the make up of free market and capitalism.
    But we all know that is fake, pour la galerie… pour Hollywood critics .

  • guest

    I read some of articles linked. Dalton Trumbos’ “Johny got his Gun” is a hackneyed piece of work. It just does not ring true. Whatever the year people have always tried to rehabilitate their fellow man to the bet of their ability. In the past that has been with cosmetics and prosthetics. Now we are using cybernetics and are on our way for tissue, organ and limb regrowth. War is evil? It could be.both sides could be wrong. But it does not follow that if there is a war both sides are evil. It might be that one side is good. It is evil not to fight back against your oppressor, when you have the legal or military means.

    But what do you expect from a solely college educated, fraternity brother who worked in Hollywood?

    • BagLady

      Just think. If we didn’t spend $trillions every year on destruction, we would be “on our way” towards far more advanced trivia than prosthetics which, hopefully, can now be churned out using a plastic printer. The quality of life has always played second fiddle to aggression and, in a parallel world, we might all be living in systems where political corruption was unheard of and scientific advances weren’t quite so dependent on the trickle-down from the ‘defence’ budget.

      As the population continues to rise at an alarming rate, it defies logic that people are getting larger — also at an alarming rate. By the laws of nature, they should be getting smaller so as to take up less space.

      • Drakken

        Every advancement made by man has been through war you dolt. 3rd world IQ on display.

      • B__2

        The aggessive nature of humankind is no more than nature itself. Every living thing competes for resources with other living things and other of its kind. It is only man’s intelligence that has moderated this at the same time as permitting some to devise even more efficient ways of killing their rivals as well as gathering resources for themselves. The communists wrongly believe that capitalism causes this aggression and believe that a communist system will allow all to live in harmony with an equal distribution of resources for all. Every communist system every put into place shows that the aggression still remains and that those in charge are at least as selfish and aggresive as the worst capitalists they decry.

        BagLady is pushing forward a Lysenkoist notion that evolution should follow the politically correct idea that all humans should evolve to be smaller over time to make room for the billion of extra mouths in the world. Just Because.

        Wars have promoted the fastest advances in technology since they bring into sharp focus the truth of nature: compete or die. Without a goal, without people willing to forgo current luxuries for future survival, progress is possible but slow. BagLady seems more enamored by the prospect of a peaceful harmonious future with 24 hour a day Kardashian and Jersey Shore channels on cable.

        • BagLady

          Sorry, I didn’t understand the last sentence. What is a Kardashian?

          As far as wars promoting the fastest advances in technology, I pointed out the fact that this was because war has always attracted most of the budget (one way or another) and therefore innovations will naturally come from their huge bank of researchers. I suggested that, had the budget been allocated differently, far more productive inventions would have been achieved by 2014. Happy New Year.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            Trotsky agreed with you.

      • Fritz

        How is the population continuing to rise at an alarming rate? In most developed countries the only population growth is through immigration. The rate of growth in the rest of the world is in decline and in the case of China it is leveling off. in fact in China they are in a very real danger of having their workforce fall into collapse because of the one child policy, too many old workers retiring and not enough young ones to take their place. Africa, by any objective measure, is underpopulated. Birth rates are collapsing in the Muslim world. You are spouting Malthusian “Population Bomber” drivel straight from the mouth of Maurice Strong which is based in ideology more then reason. .

        • BagLady

          Our population figures are out of synch with the 21st century. Look at unemployment figures. Look at starvation levels. Look at photos of the streets of London. As for old people burgeoning the system with their demands, this is a very popular argument put forward by governments all over the world who have all for decades happily helped themselves to the workers’ saving funds and now the workers have retired, ‘they’ complain at having to ‘support’ these useless members of society.

          Your suggestion that the Chinese one child policy is causing a shortage of workers is a bit off the mark. Their worry is more to do with the ‘coupling’ problem. Men will have to shop abroad for a wife and the Chinese genes will become watered down. There are still plenty of workers to fill the positions.

          I am aware that the current political unrest in so many countries is causing a tidal surge towards more placid places but we still need to reduce the world population if we are to consider a percentage being redundant, having been replaced by computers and the devastation done to Mother Earth by feeding the surplus.

      • objectivefactsmatter

        Spending money on defense is not spending money on destruction. It’s spending money on freedom that enables free trade and the lifestyle you take for granted.

  • cacslewisfan

    What an outrage. Hollywood is absolutely sickening. May they all get exactly what they deserve.

  • http://www.clarespark.com/ Clare Spark

    It was predictable that social democrats would rewrite Orwell’s works. See http://clarespark.com/2012/10/15/orwell-power-and-the-totalitarian-state/. “Orwell, power, and the ‘totalitarian’ state. Orwell was taken up by the very social democrats he lampooned in Nineteen Eighty Four.

  • John Magne Trane

    “Serkis, known primarily for his role as Golem” Gollum. There were no living clay figures in J.R.R.Tolkien’s masterpieces.

    • JohnDonohue

      ??
      Serkis does play Golem. He acts out the part in motion-capture gear, then CGI is engaged to transform “him” into Golem.

      • just the facts

        Uh, John, you miss the point. THE Golem was a mythological being in Jewish folklore. GOLLUM is the Tolkien creature in the movies, not Golem.

        • JohnDonohue

          I see. Well, I put the ?? because it seemed odd.

  • Geoffrey_Britain

    Winston Churchill had a few things to say about this issue;

    “Some see private enterprise as a predatory target to be shot, others as a cow to be milked, but few are those who see it as a sturdy horse pulling the wagon.”

    “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the
    inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.”

    “We contend that for a nation to tax itself into prosperity is like a man
    standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.”

    • BagLady

      The “private enterprises” he spoke of were the small, entrepreneurial businesses that supported the economy in those times. Small businesses have been squeezed out by corporations/banks with a complicit government, regardless of country. It’s all part of the New World Order plan which cares not a jot about ‘left’ and ‘right’. ‘They’ are playing us like puppets; swinging us side to side while they get on with the ‘adjustments’.

      • Fritz

        You tin foil hat kooks are really starting to annoy me. How would you know what the great Winston meant by capitalism and free enterprise? You likely have never read Churchill’s works or any other of the great conservative thinkers and doers. No instead you speak in sweeping terms about a “New World Order” delivered from the Illumitati, CFR, and Skull and Bones, probably recited verbatim from some crap newsletter. You are a bunch of hick ignoramuses.
        In case you did not understand what you speak of, when you have government acting in concert with corporations and banks, that is called corporatism, “crony capitalism”, or by it’s older and better understood term FASCISM. It is a socialist economic system, not a free enterprise or free market system, and it is very much LEFT WING. I don’t know who gave gave you four thumbs up because what you pedal is little more then Occupy Wall Street gibberish.

        • BagLady

          When you have David on the one side and Goliath on the other the ‘free’ goes out of market systems. ‘Jack boots’ are part of Goliath’s uniform.

          I got four thumbs up? Gosh. Things are looking up. Cheers to those sensible people and Happy New Year.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “When you have David on the one side and Goliath on the other the ‘free’ goes out of market systems. ‘Jack boots’ are part of Goliath’s uniform.”

            1) David won because he was smaller and smarter, or you could say that God brought him victory but that doesn’t apply to this conversation. But still, David did win.

            2) Comparing ongoing enterprise to zero-sum battle outcomes is deceptive. In business, David and Goliath can both win by each serving their market segments.

          • Ivor O’Connor

            David cheated. Never understood why anybody thought highly of him. It’s like bringing a knife into a wrestling match and pulling it out from a hidden compartment and killing your opponent. Then saying “God brought him victory” or the only thing that matters is David won makes me wonder about objectivity. I end up thinking never talk bad about anybodies religion because they will justify anything as long as they “win”.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            You think Goliath was unarmed?

            “Then saying “God brought him victory” or the only thing that matters is David won makes me wonder about objectivity.”

            That’s what David believed.

        • BagLady

          Well, easily angered Fritz, as I see it, you are speaking of extremes of left and right. The point where they meet in our cyclical world and become indistinguishable from each other in their policies.

        • BagLady

          “a socialist policy is abhorrent to the British ideas of freedom. Socialism is inseparably interwoven with totalitarianism and the object worship of the state. It will prescribe for every one where they are to work, what they are to work at, where they may go and what they may say. Socialism is an attack on the right to breathe freely. No socialist system can be established without a political police. They would have to fall back on some form of Gestapo, no doubt very humanely directed in
          the first instance.” [Churchill]

          My problem with your laissez faire model of capitalism is the increasing emphasis placed on profits and consumerism, which may be great for the producers but ruinous for the country and its people in the long term. Hence the regular economic ‘depressions’.

          I see bankers have had a lovely New Year with record bonuses following the socialist bailout.

      • objectivefactsmatter

        You’re a conspiracy nut.

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  • MightySword

    Corporate greed doesn’t exist, it’s a fabricated term based on the low expectations of others. Use Walmart as an example, remove Walmart out of any small city and watch the workers scramble to make a living. They make money for their stockholders and to open new stores which provide new jobs. They could pay more, provide health insurance and a retirement, but greed is more in the hearts of the people who dream of hitting it big. Playing lotto is greedy if you ask me.

    • BagLady

      and how was the job market before Walmart? Were there not hundreds of small stores selling the same products? How about the hypermarkets? How many butchers and bakers lost their businesses when these guys moved into town? Gas stations fold like ninepins when they take over. Why would you want a corporation owning all the coffee shops, paying minimum wage and sending the profits offshore?

      • Chris Behme

        And think how many horse and buggy manufacturers went bankrupt due to the invention of the automobile.
        Those jobs could have been saved, if only the car had been banned!

        • just the facts

          And we should have banned airplanes to save the railroads.

          • Chris Behme

            If we banned light bulbs we’d all be liberals today
            - completely in the dark.

          • BagLady

            Did Walmart invent the sweater? Did Starbucks invent the coffee bean? Your comparisons are not relevant and why saving railroads requires the banning of airplanes is beyond me. Hardly an ‘exclusive or’ situation.

          • just the facts

            Almost any analogy or metaphor is beyond you. They’re much more relevant than a non argument about who invented the sweater or coffee beans. Talking about things not being relevant. Your arguments make no sense. Airplanes and the automobile (roads) destroyed passenger travel by train in this country just as trucking (roads) reduced shipping by trains to a shadow of its former self. No one forces anyone to shop at Wal-Mart or buy $5 latte’s, or whatever they cost. I don’t frequent either Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart may be the single largest grocery chain in the nation but it is surrounded by numerous regional players who are successful in their own market. Starbucks didn’t didn’t run anyone out of business. It invented a new category of beverage service. Go grocery shopping in a town like Ls Vegas, NM and tell me which has the better selection, Wal-Mart or the locally owned grocery store. Look at any city with sizable ethnic populations and you’ll find grocery stores catering to their market in a way Wal-Mart can’t and doing quite well. Selection in the mom and pop shop was limited and prices high.

          • BagLady

            Oh per-lease. The advance guard of Starbucks seeks out a corner spot in an area frequented and well supplied with coffee shops. They go out of their way to destroy the competition.

            Did Thailand, with its Mom n Pop store culture supporting millions, really need Tesco to open up around 10,000 stores throughout the country within a couple of years? They have laid waste to competing trade within striking distance.

            Not everything ‘modern’ is an advancement.

          • http://www.teaparty.org/about-us/ Nixys

            Starbucks became popular because they personalize coffee more than other shops, and because they have quality control. You always know what to expect with Starbucks. Sometimes I don’t want to go to Joe Schmoe’s Coffee Bar and waste a little less money only to find out if it was hit or miss today.

            Starbucks is a really bad example because, frankly, there are no other coffee chains that come close to providing the options and level of customization that Starbucks does, while keeping the standardization and efficiency.

            Starbucks deserves its success. Hatred of it seems like irrational envy and hatred of success itself to me.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “Oh per-lease. The advance guard of Starbucks seeks out a corner spot in an area frequented and well supplied with coffee shops.”

            The Starbucks shock troops should not be allowed to use weapons when looking for real estate to develop. I agree. Except in self-defense of course.

          • BagLady

            The arrival of Starbucks and the many other giants of retail on the high street pushed rents beyond the reach of private enterprise. In my home town, the last privately owned store shut down last year, unable to pay the exorbitant rents.

            You use prices as an argument for corporations to monopolise the market but don’t forget; you only get what you pay for. That is why the Brits found themselves eating horsemeat instead of beef in 2013. It also accounts for the practise of injecting water and g-d knows what else into chickens to increase their weight and tenderness. Where I live it is still cheaper to support the open market than the supermarkets. Granted, I have to ‘tenderize’ my beef for a few days before cooking it, and the greens are likely to have been nibbled by the voracious wildlife before they go on sale but that’s no problem.

      • just the facts

        “Why would you want a corporation owning all the coffee shops, paying minimum wage and sending the profits offshore?” Funny I thought Wal-Mart was based in Arkansas. My town still has plenty of bakers, no butchers though. Butchers went out of business when the corner grocery died and that was before Wal-Mart.

        • Thomas Mrak

          Plenty of businesses large and small compete against Wal-mart. You just can’t compete with Wal-mart’s buy so much at wholesale, you can set the price strategy very easily.

          While many people want cheap, not everyone wants cheap.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “For everything Wal-mart does well, there are many things it does poorly.”

            Poorly or not at all. They leave plenty of niches wide open for local retailers to exploit. And those niches are usually far more profitable because those products are not part of huge marketing campaigns with numerous retailers trying to compete based on cost.

        • BagLady

          Who do you reckon sells the best meat, the supermarket or your trusty old butcher who served his apprenticeship as a teenager and knows everything there is to know about his trade?

          • http://www.teaparty.org/about-us/ Nixys

            The supermarket sells it cheaper. Liberals blathering on about “organic” and “personal” and “corner mom and pop” sometimes fail to realize how utterly hoity-toity, quaint, and irrelevant they sound. If Richie R. Bored McHousewife wants to fret and flutter about the perfection of her beef and wine, let her frequent the trusty old butcher. Molly Working McMiddle just wants to feed her kids and save some money to put them through college. Let her shop at Walmart and shut up.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            There are merchants to serve each. That’s the beauty of the free market.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            Very often the small and medium sized grocers simply lease out space to the local butcher that once had his own freestanding shop. Some times it works out better for everyone that way.

            Not only that but I can recall having a pharmacist in a small town move in to a local grocer that outsold Walmart by 2 to 1 at least, and this pharmacist was leasing space and provided service to all of his previous customers from that new space. Everyone was happier that way.

            And the produce in that store is as good or better than Whole Foods. Gonna complain about them next?

            BTW the local butchers were put out of business more often by health freaks (I might be a health fanatic but I’m not a freak about it) than by any competitors. Red meats became difficult to sell at a profit for many butchers.

            What can the communists do about that? No problem, right? The butcher shows up where the planners tell him or he stays home and collects a check. Or they’ll do what Stalin and other real-world communist leaders did.

      • Fritz

        Hundreds of small stores, such as K-Mart or Woolco? Contrary to leftest drivel you continue to spout it’s obvious how you really have no idea how a discount department store works. Discount department stores like Walmart, Target, and their lone gone predecessors, work on the principle of selling mass merchandise goods, things that they can buy and sell in large quantities, fast.
        Well there are thousands of other goods and services that neither Walmart nor Target will deal with, building supplies and auto parts are just two categories. If you want to buy a washer, dryer, stove, or a fridge, you can’t get those there either. If you need a new car or truck, or even a used car or truck, sorry they don’t have them. You can’t get a dining room set nor mattresses in a Walmart either. If you see a restaurant in a Walmart the chances are that it a McDonalds, they do not sell anything other then what McDonalds sells, you can’t get pasta or Chinese cousine there, you have to go elsewhere.
        In any event if a small independent store is foolish enough to carry the same merchandise that Walmart or Target has to sell they really have no-one but themselves to blame. I’m sure at one time there were similar baseless arguements made about a Woolworths or a Kresske’s store coming to town, or how the new Safeway was going to put Bob the Baker out of business, but life went on somehow. Now Woolworths is gone, so is Kresske’s, and most of the K-marts, and a dozen other discount chains, for probably a 1000 different reasons, it’s part of free enterprise. Eventually Walmart will join them.

        • just the facts

          Or as you stated, Woolworth’s or Kresske’s.

        • objectivefactsmatter

          And these big box stores generate a lot of traffic that local retailers can exploit if they’re competent. Obviously you don’t want to be selling primarily staple items in a neighborhood with a Walmart. But when you find the niches that Walmart misses, you can actually make more money.

          The reason is that a lone grocer normally depends on traffic generating products that have low margin or even negative margin. Walmart takes over that role and sells all of that stuff while bringing the customer very close to you. You’ve just got to create compelling value on those niches that Walmart can’t deal with. Hobby items, things that require short response times in buying and distributing and so forth. Those items have much higher profit potential. Walmart has made many (asymmetric) “competitors” rich. In fact just about any item that has some local appeal, based on fashion, color or any other attribute can’t be handled easily by regional and national buyers at the big box stores. These sad stories that you hear come from unions and from losers who simply don’t have the competence to stay in business.

          Having a local Walmart works out for all competent people with business skills.

          Should have paid attention in school or got a good job where they care about developing people.

          We are each responsible for our own choices and the aggregate results.

        • BagLady

          I was using Wal-Mart as an example of the genre rather than a specific target. Yes, life goes on and we must get used to the loss of our city centres and the sterility of the few mass supply stores. Hopefully, since life goes in circles, we shall resurrect a little quality and style into our communities and entrepreneurs will once again stand a chance of success.

      • objectivefactsmatter

        “and how was the job market before Walmart?”

        Different. A little.

        “Were there not hundreds of small stores selling the same products?”

        Yes, and doing it less efficiently.

        “How about the hypermarkets? How many butchers and bakers lost their businesses when these guys moved into town?”

        The ideal community is comprised of members that each maximize their productivity. It’s not when we look at a static view and count people “at work.” Having said that, it’s not clear whether total employment is up or down due to Walmart, but it’s probably up. Anything that increases productivity that also scales up is also likely to employ more people than less productive enterprises.

        “Gas stations fold like ninepins when they take over.”

        What? Retail gasoline has been hit hard by international oil markets and not much else. They have narrower margins and fewer opportunities to add to sales by working on today’s cars.

        “Why would you want a corporation owning all the coffee shops…”

        I want my coffee the way that I want it. As long as laws are not broken or they don’t do something outrageous to piss me off (incorporating does not piss me off) then I will buy my coffee there.

        “…paying minimum wage…”

        Please save it.

        “…and sending the profits offshore?”

        What? Are you for or against international trade? Are you xenophobic? What we should not do is trade with nations that exploit their workers to our disadvantage. But few people complain about China. But you and I probably would not agree on what the definition of immoral exploitation is.

    • BagLady

      Remove Wal-Mart and the workers will definitely scramble to fill the gaping hole. Entrepreneurs will spring up all over the place. Market stalls might even make a comeback.

      • objectivefactsmatter

        “Remove Wal-Mart and the workers will definitely scramble to fill the gaping hole. Entrepreneurs will spring up all over the place. Market stalls might even make a comeback.”

        Sure, in a free market. Just try to convince those new entrepreneurs that the Walmart-removing tyrants won’t later punish their success. A really excellent liar might be able to pull it off by putting in solar energy malls or something like that.

        Sounds like a great plan. A central plan.

  • Douglas Mayfield

    A good article. I quibble with your use of the phrase ‘Hollywood capitalists’ since just because our mixed economy bestows a lot of money on an actor, director, producer, does not mean that they have the faintest understanding of what capitalism actually means. Trashing capitalism by parroting the catchphrases of the Left is a favorite pursuit of just about everybody in Hollywood. I doubt any of them would survive for long under the system the authoritarian Left has in mind for us.

    • BagLady

      The fundamental meaning of capitalism has been trashed. It is all to do with added value and nothing whatsoever to do with the hangers on. How are your farmers doing — and I don’t mean Monsanto? Your factories? Your small businesses? These are the essential elements necessary for a capitalist society to function. The alternative is to have the reins in the hands of the few and an huge pool of cheap labour at their disposal. These lowly workers will, by the grace of the Bilderbergs, be communists.

      • objectivefactsmatter

        You seem confused.

        • BagLady

          Confused? You didn’t answer my question. How are farmers doing? They are committing suicide at an alarming rate in India, thanks to the introduction of Monsanto’s seeds. They don’t need to own the land so long as they own the farmer and his crop, in perpetuity. Is that how you see capitalism? Surely this is communism for the masses with oligarchs at the helm.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            It’s difficult to have a coherent conversation with you.

            “They are committing suicide at an alarming rate in India, thanks to the introduction of Monsanto’s seeds. They don’t need to own the land so long as they own the farmer and his crop, in perpetuity.”

            That’s not quite how it works.

            “Is that how you see capitalism?”

            That is evidently how you see capitalism.

            “Surely this is communism for the masses with oligarchs at the helm.”

            By “communism” do you mean “oppression?”

          • BagLady

            It is how it works with Monsanto. Farmers sign a contract that ties the farm to their products in perpetuity. Even when the farmers sells or dies, the deeds must specify the use of Monsanto products. Once they get into debt trying to survive this ‘suckering’, many throw in the towel and kill themselves. Don’t argue with me over this. There is so much evidence out there to prove my point.

            If you struggle to follow my logic, it may be because we exist in parallel universes, where my definition of ‘capitalism’ is far removed from your neo-liberal ‘free’ market view.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            This sounds like another “imput” conversation.

            “If you struggle to follow my logic, it may be because we exist in parallel universes, where my definition of ‘capitalism’ is far removed from your neo-liberal ‘free’ market view.”

            I’m not struggling with your logic. You are.

          • BagLady

            I struggle with the western need to categorise everything down to its molecular structure. I have been unimpeded by the last few decades, choosing to move rapidly from one place to another and never allowing myself to become indoctrinated by local politics. If our views differ on how best to progress, then so be it. However, I would reiterate my argument that the definition of ‘capitalism’ has been ‘contaminated’ by the right wing heavy handed abuse of their financial power.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “However, I would reiterate my argument that the definition of ‘capitalism’ has been ‘contaminated’ by the right wing heavy handed abuse of their financial power.”

            The definition has not been changed. The things you see and complain about are blamed by you on the right because you’re a dupe and you’ve accepted the leftist-communist critique about “capitalism” without understanding that the left is far more biased and delusional than anyone on the right.

            In any case, if you don’t want to drill down and look at the facts you’ll be stuck with your feelings-based critiques that are actually counter-productive to solving anything.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “I struggle with the western need to categorise everything down to its molecular structure.”

            Someone has to do it or it’s very unlikely this conversation would be taking place.

            “I have been unimpeded by the last few decades, choosing to move rapidly from one place to another and never allowing myself to become indoctrinated by local politics. If our views differ on how best to progress, then so be it.”

            As long as you don’t expect your views to be of any use, that’s fine.

          • objectivefactsmatter
  • BagLady

    As the man said, Communism is dead in the water and Orwell would have moved on to more pertinent issues. Perhaps we should do the same. I look forward to the movie.

    • Drakken

      So it is each according to his need huh ? Silly commi’s like you really don’t understand what makes humanity tick do you?

      • B__2

        I think BagLady is trying to convince us “Communism” is dead – because it has proved to be a complete failure. Instead we have “Enviromentalism”, espousing the same old goal: ‘From each according to his ability, to each according to his need”. Again, those with (environmental) compassion will rule over us greedy capitalists and take our ‘ill-gotten gains’ to provide to those who have less than us.

        BagLady seeks to distract us from the lessons of Animal Farm by telling us to ‘move on’ as if there is nothing to be learnt from this book, and ask us to celebrate a dilution of the book’s warnings.

        George Orwell’s other famous book, 1984, was also meant to be a warning, not a how-to-do-it book.

    • just the facts

      That’s hllarious. Certainly the communism of Mao and Stalin is gone but the tendrils of socialism, its kissing cousin, wind through every institution of our nation. Nothing could be more pertinent than to continue to warn of the dangers of collectivism and redistributionism. After all, it was our present president who stated we needed to redistribute wealth. AS in any socialist enterprise, we’ll all be equal but some will be more equal than others and that will be enshrined in law.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      Communism it itself discredited, but the promises and delusions remain. So in effect people argue for the same ends on a daily basis in the name of “progress.”

      It’s a trap that you too have fallen for.

      “We’re animals and therefore it’s natural to look in dustbins.”

    • American1969

      Communism isn’t dead. It’s alive and well and calling itself “Progressivism”, but it’s always the same thing: Totalitarianism. An elite, Ruling Class, and the rest of the Serfs.
      Today’s Left wants to bring back the glory days of the Sixties to finish what they started and create their beautiful, socially-engineered utopia. Whether the rest of us want to go along with it doesn’t matter.

  • Matt Dickinson

    Too bad Hitler didn’t defeat the Communists, eh?

  • Distantsmoke

    I believe in the benefits of a true free market system. But I have come to accept that there are people in every society who simply refuse to work to support themselves. They always find a way to force others to support them. The problem is that this insistence that some one else do the work becomes mission creep. Where once it might have been 1% of a society over time it becomes 2% then 5% then eventually 50% or more.
    Right now in America between 30% and 40% of Americans between 15 and 65 do not work. This means they are being supported by the members of society who do work. That’s a pretty large drag on productivity. At what point do we say, if we ever do say, enough is enough? No more than x% of the population will be supported by the rest of us?

    • BagLady

      You seem to be suggesting we, as a race, are becoming lazier. Perhaps you are right. I can’t think of an animal that, given the choice, wouldn’t rather move to urban areas and feed of the easy pickings in dustbins than go out every night in search of prey.

      However, have you not considered the possibility that the increasing rate of unemployment has more to do with the shrinking job market than laziness?

      • Distantsmoke

        I did not mean to imply we as a race are getting lazier. What I was trying to say is that there is, in every society, a percentage of people who prefer to leech off the more productive members. There are poor people who only need a hand, but there are poor people who given the choice between a hand and a perpetual handout, will choose the perpetual handout. At what point do we as a society accept this truth? And what do we do about it?

        • Ivor O’Connor

          I agree there is a huge section of the American population that just wants to leech and is leeching. Since the end of WWII America has by luck found itself in a situation where it has not had to work and compete. On the other end people willing to work have nothing but disdain for this huge swath of leeches and will treat anybody who is not wealthy and owns their own company as a leech. This has brought America down to having worse conditions than any of the other industrialized nations in most every category. This problem needs to be fixed but probably will have to run its course. America is destined to become a slum for a few decades.

      • objectivefactsmatter

        “You seem to be suggesting we, as a race, are becoming lazier. Perhaps you are right. I can’t think of an animal that, given the choice, wouldn’t rather move to urban areas and feed of the easy pickings in dustbins than go out every night in search of prey.”

        And if they’re taught that we’re mere animals, that’s how they’ll behave.

        “However, have you not considered the possibility that the increasing rate of unemployment has more to do with the shrinking job market than laziness?”

        Yes it’s not.

        • BagLady

          I have never suggested otherwise. It has been evident for many decades that the inevitable shrinking job market would benefit no-one but the oligarchs. It wasn’t so long ago that we spoke of 3 day weeks for everyone because of the wonderful effect of removing the ‘labour’ from labour. The speeding up and, ergo, extra profits from using robots and high tech computer systems could have been more equitably shared. We should all be laughing, but we’re not. What did result was a mass redundancy program with the ‘board’ picking up the extra profits. If you look at the current graphs of wealth distribution it is easy to spot the huge spike in $billionaires in countries (Russia) where neo-liberalism took charge.

  • DaCoachK

    If a true update of Orwell were in the offing, the Obama would be Napoleon.

  • jamesmace

    How can this be an Animal Farm with the farmer Mr Jones when Orwell wrote this character based on Gareth Jones, the reporter killed by Stalin for uncovering the genocide famine in Ukraine.

    http://www.garethjones.org/soviet_articles/orwell_holodomor.htm

    • Patriot077

      I might be the only one here who didn’t know that Animal Farm had to do with the Ukrainian Holodomor. The link you sent was exceptional and I will now have to re-read the book as it has been many years since I did so.
      Thank you for this; the Holodomor has always haunted me.

      • jamesmace

        The best part is that Orwell left us more secrets to discover.
        Animal Farm is a blueprint of communist genocide and exploitation from Trotsky thru Stalin.

        • Patriot077

          I would appreciate links or books you recommend about Orwell. Neither of these books were part of my education and my acquaintance was when my son studied them in high school. You know the reader guides did Not reflect anything but the most obvious connections to totalitarianism.

          • jamesmace

            Nothing published will beat what is on the internet. I think all his published works are online. Google Orwell forums.

          • Patriot077

            Thanks!

  • Nabuquduriuzhur

    “Globalization” is another word for international socialism.

    • BagLady

      A 1% of fascists must surely depend on the 90% being of a socialist nature. Sheeple, by their very nature, must be communists. N’est pas?

      • objectivefactsmatter

        “Sheeple, by their very nature, must be communists.”

        Stupid ignorant people, like children who haven’t yet been taught how to accomplish anything, are naturally attracted to communism. Is that what you meant?

        Better to teach children how to contribute to society than to learn how to articulate demands.

        • BagLady

          Well no. I didn’t mean they would be attracted by it but have no choice if they are to survive in a dog-eat-dog, free market world. India may be a democracy but poor families operate on a more communistic system, pooling their resources (controlled by the matriarch). In the absence of any State assistance, the family and caste are the only protection against starvation.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      When used by those that oppose “capitalism,” it is usually part of a critique of free market capitalism as part of building the arguments for international socialism and communism to “solve” the problems.

      • BagLady

        Perhaps you should back up your argument with a bit of proof of how the free market has benefited society so far.

        • objectivefactsmatter

          We know that people enjoy it, otherwise they would reject it. If you want people to have choices, it’s good.

          If you don’t mind one way or another if people have choices, then you won’t care.

          And my “argument” does not depend on anyone valuing free markets. What I said was that “globalization” is used by critics who would like to see international trade either go away, or be regulated by international socialist or communist sovereignty. OTOH it seems like a lot of them have nothing in mind but whining. They haven’t the slightest clue about how things get created or executed. Things they depend on and expect to happen by magic.

  • AG

    When the show the “Americans” first started advertising, I feared it would glorify Soviet spying and Communism. I thought Zer Dark Thirty would tout Obama getting bin Laden. So I will suspend judgement until I see it. For all we know, with challenges outlined in this article, perhaps the director is forced to say these things just to get the movie made.

  • rubber stamp

    Progs distort history, books. What’s next? Superman will look like Pajama Boy?

  • john

    On August 04, 2013, Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, addressed the Duma, (Russian Parliament), and gave a speech about the tensions with minorities in Russia :

    “In Russia live like Russians. Any minority, from anywhere, if it wants to live in Russia , to work and eat in Russia , should speak Russian, and should respect the Russian laws. If they prefer Sharia Law, and live the life of Muslim’s then we advise them to go to those places where that’s the state law. Russia does not need Muslim minorities. Minorities need Russia , and we will not grant them special privileges, or try to change our laws to fit their desires, no matter how loud they yell ‘discrimination’. We will not tolerate disrespect of our Russian culture. We had better learn from the suicides of America , England , Holland and France , if we are to survive as a nation. The Muslims are taking over those countries and they will not take over Russia . The Russian customs and traditions are not compatible with the lack of culture or the primitive ways of Sharia Law and Muslims. When this honorable legislative body thinks of creating new laws, it should have in mind the Russian national interest first, observing that the Muslims Minorities Are Not Russians.

    The politicians in the Duma gave Putin a five minute standing ovation.

  • popseal

    How any millions does this hypocrite hope to gain with claptrap about the evil of capitalism? Greed is greed regardless of the economic system it’s found it. “Thou shall not steal” is the first principle of economics declaring we have a right to ethically gained success.

  • Lucia Sorrente

    Count in Terry Gilliam, too (author of Brazil, mind you!), with his “Zero Theorem”… what a blow! :((

  • Hugh Janus

    Leave it to Communists to make Golom their Minister of Book Burning.