Once upon a time on a farm, animals revolted against the unfair treatment they suffered at the hands of humans. They shouted in the fields: "Man serves the interests of no creature except himself. And among us animals let there be perfect unity, perfect comradeship in the struggle. All men are enemies. All animals are comrades." And so, a new order formed - initially with good intent - and all the animals, even the illiterate ones, agreed to abide by its newly written commandments:
Then one terrible day, a disease sickened some of the animals, threatening their utopian life - a viral attack that plunged the farm into counter-revolution. It was the pigs..the pigs sought to lead the new society, corrupting into a powerful, self-serving party!
And so it came to pass that the once fair and bright future of Animal Farm dissolved into one of despair and pessimism, as the realization that although all animals were equal,some animals were more equal than others, and that the more things changed, the more they stayed the same.
Children would enjoy this Aesopian tale for the entertaining notion of animals with human characteristics such a speech and walking on two legs. For the adult reader, apart from Orwell's strong views on Socialism, this fable represents dystopia for man: that even in his desire for an ideal egalitarian way of life, he will undoubtedly return to a power hungry, hierarchical system - one that neither beast nor man can escape.
Animal Farm was published in 1945 and interpreted as George Orwell's political satire against Stalinism in the USSR; its subtitle A Fairy Story pointed to the "Soviet myth" that the West popularly believed to be Stalin's socialism, which Orwell sought to debunk as more accurately Stalin's totalitarian dictatorship. Orwell's parody of Socialist ideals corrupted by the Soviet regime showed that revolution could often lead to the substitution of one tyranny for another.
The best of ideals corrupt when divorced from humanity.