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.