Animal Farm and Crypto-Politics

I really like this term “crypto-politics” which Moira Weigel used in her excellent article in a recent edition of The Guardian on the history of the phrase “political correctness” and “how the right invented a phantom enemy” (although it wasn’t entirely phantom in my experience).  I commented upon that briefly in a recent post.

George Orwell’s Animal Farm is an excellent example of crypto-politics that very much resembles what is going on today in terms of “elite bashing”. In Animal Farm, the exploited animals rise up against the master in the name of liberation and egalitarianism, led by the swine, after which the swine (the “vanguard”) assume the role of the elite declaring “some pigs are more equal than others” and so assume the mantle of an elite themselves.

Trumpism and the alt-right, inasmuch as they also practice “crypto-politics” in this sense (or “the mask of sanity”) very much resembles Orwell’s Animal Farm populism and is very much implicated in “post-rational” and “post-truth” society in that sense, particularly as Trump’s billionaire cabinet looks to be one of rule by the rich, who have managed to stage a coup in the name of “Main Street” and the “Little Guy” and against the establishment and the elites.

Not enough people read Orwell, and not enough people read Animal Farm as a cautionary tale about being bamboozled and played for chumps through crypto-politics.




10 responses to “Animal Farm and Crypto-Politics”

  1. Scott Preston says :

    How “fake news” and disinformation (pretense and dissembling inclusive) is becoming a global problem:

    But, all that was very typical too of the waning of the middle ages — also part of contemporary nihilism.

  2. mikemackd says :

    You are right, not enough read it as a cautionary tale; but it would seem that more than enough read it as a manual.

  3. InfiniteWarrior says :

    There is an appetite for the unknown amongst those who hate the known,” suggests Raphaël Glucksmann, a young philosopher and political commentator in Paris. “The American election results will help them to make the jump; if the Americans did it, they say, why shouldn’t we? —>

    How ominous is that?

    • Scott Preston says :

      Very ominous. Both neo-liberal globalisation and the nativist reaction (authoritarian populism) are the tweedle-dee and tweedle-dum of our splintering and fragmentation. What they have in common is that they both lack any sense of solidarity with life as a whole, which is the only “universality” worthy of the name.

      So, I consider both to be negative manifestations of the present, and not representative at all of the future we need to have and to make. They will end up being mutually annihilate, like the meeting of matter and anti-matter.

      Not a path we should take ourselves.

      • InfiniteWarrior says :

        Defenseless under the night
        Our world in stupor lies;
        Yet, dotted everywhere,
        Ironic points of light
        Flash out wherever the Just
        Exchange their messages:
        May I, composed like them
        Of Eros and of dust,
        Beleaguered by the same
        Negation and despair,
        Show an affirming flame.

        ~ W. H. Auden

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