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MSNBC’s Krystal Ball: Animal Farm Is about the Excesses of Capitalism



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You might think George Orwell’s Animal Farm is an allegory for the dangers of Communism — wasn’t it penned by a famous critic of that system? MSNBC knows better.

This afternoon, host Krystal Ball was discussing French economist Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century, suggesting Piketty has received “the full Cold War treatment” from conservatives, calling out National Review Online for labeling his book soft Marxism.”

She tried correcting the “august and ostensibly economically literate Wall Street Journalfor telling Piketty to read Animal Farm.

“‘Animal Farm’? Hmm. Isn’t that Orwell’s political parable of farm animals where a bunch of pigs hog up all the economic resources, tell the other animals they need all the food because they’re the makers and then scare up the prospect of a phony bogeyman every time their greed is challenged? Sounds familiar,” Ball said. 

A quick recap of Animal Farm: Farm animals overthrow their farmer and declare “All animals are equal.” A group of pigs use equality politics to convince the more fruitful animals to work for the common good, so the pigs can revel in their riches. By story’s end, the pigs transformed into humans, and changed the farm’s charter to read: “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.”

The book was banned in the Soviet Union for decades and is considered a close allegory for the history of Russian Communism.



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