Michael Eriksson
A Swede in Germany
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Animal Farm, Nineteen Eighty-Four

Concurrently with my readings on feminism, I also re-read Animal Farmw—with a very different perspective than the last time (early teens?). While this book was originally written as a critique of communism, as practiced in e.g. the Soviet Union, it is also a remarkably good description of many problems with feminism.


Generally, it is incredibly insightful with regard to e.g. human nature, how idealistic movements can be corrupted, how the same type of people tend to be found at the top everywhere, and the dangers of too relativistic morals (“Thou shalt not kill—except when it is convenient.”).

The case against communism is more or less incidental—what went wrong in eastern Europe was not something inherent in communism, although communist societies may have been more vulnerable, but just human nature.

Subsequently, I re-read Nineteen Eighty-Fourw and found that similar statements applied—to the point that they form a more natural union than the Old and New Testaments do.

The similarities with feminism do not only include the methods of propaganda, fact doctoring, “crimestop”, “blackwhite”, and “newspeak”, but also specific attitudes, e.g. towards sex (in the case of at least some feminists, consider “goodsex” and “sexcrime”). The way dissenters are handled is also similar, but with the critical difference that punishments cannot typically be imposed over the justice system, but must go over defamation, vigilantism, reverse nepotism, ... Certainly, political correctness is near to impossible without engaging in “doublethink”. (See also list of newspeak wordsw).


Interestingly, when most people use terms like “Big Brother” or “Nineteen Eighty-Four”, they almost invariably refer to surveillance and lack of privacy. This, however, is just minor part of the problems in the book, and not the most frightening (although it may have been a prerequisite for many others). Attempts at thought-control, the arbitrary justice system, the machinery that rolls over anyone who tries to stand up to it, the way politicians (in a wide sense) bend the truth to create room for opportunistic campaigning, ..., are eventually the greater problems—and the more frightening as they are at least partially implemented in today’s society, with only a minority of the population being aware of it.

That this mis-focus on surveillance is propagated by media (at least in Sweden), who also are one of the main instruments in imposing the thought control, is somewhat disturbing. Then again, this is likely a matter of incompetence rather than anything else—the average journalist is about as qualified to write for the papers as the average teenager is.