MSNBC’s Ball: But Animal Farm Actually Is about Capitalism, Guys

by Andrew Johnson

Krystal Ball is sticking by her claim from last week that George Orwell’s Animal Farm is a cautionary tale of the perils of capitalism. Closing out The Cycle on Tuesday, the MSNBC host said her critics that claim she ignored that the book is clearly an allegory of the oppression of the Soviet Union “fixate” too much on that element “and miss the real profundity of the story.”

“If you read Animal Farm today, it seems to warn not of now some nonexistent Communist threat, but of the power concentrated in the hands of the wealthy elites and corporations,” Ball said. She argued that Orwell is warning about not just the threat of tyranny through Communism, but about other forms of tyranny as well, namely capitalism.

Throughout her defense, she cast the lead pigs Napoleon and Snowball (who represent Joseph Stalin and Leon Trotsky) as “Mitt Romney-style makers,” portrayed their propagandist Squealer as “a Frank Luntz- or Karl Rove-type,” and said the pigs “believe in trickledown.”

“Conservatives would do well to realize tyranny can come from dictators, from an overreaching government, or from corporations and wealthy individuals who run our country for their own benefit,” Ball said in closing. “My Animal Farm comment confused them because, like Orwell’s farm animals, conservatives have been blinded by the self-serving nonsense served up by today’s pigs.”

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