Actually, it’s kind of hard to pin down what Krystal Ball thinks George Orwell’s novella Animal Farm is an indictment of.
But in a deliciously Orwellian turn, she seems to be interpreting it as a dig against (implicitly right-wing) fatcats, as she defines them: i.e., anyone who doesn’t whip out an “I hate Reagan” card on demand.
Ball doesn’t follow a clear enough train of thought in her brief editorial excursion (video below) to be parsed logically. She’s just stringing impressions together: high tax rates good, low tax rates bad; conservative reader-commenters are late for their appointment with the gas chamber; Reagan was bizarre and sad-face-worthy; “Cold War” is apparently the new dog whistle.
I expect a purple dinosaur to appear on the screen any minute.
But instead, Ball goes Barney one better and presents the most solipsistic literary exegesis I’ve ever heard. Orwell may have thought he was symbolizing the evils and temptations of Soviet collectivism in Animal Farm. At least three generations of Americans, reading Animal Farm in school, have been told that that’s what he was doing. I just checked online, and sure enough, if you look up stuff about Animal Farm, you’ll find explanations of Orwell’s disillusionment with Soviet socialism, and analyses of how Animal Farm sends up totalitarianism.
But as far as Ms. Ball is concerned, the deal with Animal Farm is that it’s an allegory against whatever she’s against. Which would be those low tax rates (two legs – bad!), that Reagan, those conservative comments sections (brrr, shudder), and so forth.
Well. The whole other-awareness thing – like, when you have to follow someone else’s train of thought – is really overrated anyway. Why not just assume that everyone you were taught to recognize in a vaguely positive way – as in, “Orwell wrote totally classic books and he was, you know, good on freedom” – saw things the way you do?
War is peace, dude.