Our Animal Farm
Our Animal Farm By Victor Davis Hanson for American Greatness
The Left’s 1960s dream is America’s 2021 nightmare.
George Orwell published Animal Farm in August 1945, in the closing weeks of the Pacific War. Even then, most naïve supporters of the wartime Soviet-British-American alliance were no longer in denial about the contours of Moscow’s impending postwar communist aggression.
The short, allegorical novel’s human-like farm animals replay the transition of supposedly 1917 revolutionary Bolsheviks into cynical 1930s Stalinists. Thereby, they remind us that leftist totalitarianism inevitably becomes far worse than the supposed parasitical capitalists they once toppled.
Orwell saw that the desire for power stamps out all ideological pretenses. It creates an untouchable ruling clique central to all totalitarian movements. Beware, he warns, of the powerful who claim to help the helpless.
Something so far less violent, but no less bizarre and disturbing, now characterizes the American New New Left. It is completing its final Animal Farm metamorphosis as it finishes its long march through our cultural, economic, and social institutions. Leftists may talk of revolutionary transformation, but their agenda is to help friends, punish enemies, and to keep and expand power.
First, remember the 1960s and 1970s agendas of the once impotent, young, and supposedly idealistic leftist revolutionaries.
We were lectured 60 years ago that “free speech” preserves were needed on university campuses to be immune from all reactionary administrative censorship. Transparency and “truth” were the revolution’s brands.
The First Amendment was said by them to be sacred, even as the “free speech movement” transitioned to the “filthy speech movement.” Leftists sued to mainstream nudity in film. They wanted easy access to pornography. They mainstreamed crude profanity. The supposed right-wingers were repressed. They were the “control freaks” who sought to stop the further “liberation” of the common culture.
In those days, the ACLU still defined the right of free expression as protecting the odious, whether the unhinged Nazis, the pathetic old-Left Communists, or nihilistic Weather Underground terrorists.