Sunday, 5 January 2014

Some animals are more equal than others.

In an almost callous and servile way, I have become a confrere of the Orwellian prophecies. More often than not, dystopias are what we witness and not utopias , but Orwell scores in terms of the precision with which he predicted the moribund state we find ourselves in today. Orwellian and Machiavellian tactics and styles of leadership may seem atrocious but as the saying goes, a nation always gets the leaders it deserves, no more no less. You get a virtuoso of an administrator, you're good to go. You get an infidel demagogue, well, you voted him in power yourself. Public memory is not only short, we also possess an almost indelible and inveterate desire to stay naive and credulous. Too easy to careen us by emotional exhibits and get us by your side. We're born to burn the midnight oil and still question the veracity of our own contribution everyday. We are born stoics, meted with the right treatment from the iniquitous totalitarian regimes we chose to have for ourselves. All of it never seemed too obvious but maybe Orwell found portends in his dreams and always manifested these traits in some of his characters. I'll focus on Boxer from Animal Farm, or Manor Farm as Napoleon renamed it after using chicanery to get along with the humans and helping humans besiege the farm again.

Boxer was a stout horse with a burly built. Animal Farm always mentioned him as a devout follower of the repugnant Napoleon, for whom Boxer possessed enormous reverence and gratitude. "I will work harder" and "Napoleon is always right" became almost quintessential to Boxer's response after someone presaged a rebuttal or someone signaled a revolt. Boxer was used as an allegorical equivalent of what Orwell envisaged as the modern suave man. The man will go any and every extent to please the bosses, always wary of the consequences of doing so, but the man will rarely question the prudence of what he is being asked to do. The man, as I'd like to refer, has become a myrmidon of an anonymous entity whose only job is dispatching orders. And the man's only job is to carry out the orders with full faith and conation. The only perk the man perceives is the vaunting he can do regarding the faithful execution of the tasks he performed. However even at the slightest augur of someone starting an altercation as to what they did was actually supposed to be done, the man turns bellicose and adopts the cynical approach.

In his quest, the man is often assisted by his consociation which primarily comprises of other sycophants and men belonging to the following clan. The group further kindles the man's total subservience towards the rule by asserting in him the faith that what he is doing is right. The herd of sheep did that in Animal Farm by enchanting the ever changing Napoleon's dictum in bewildering unison. When retribution is in rarity and when you have someone as persuasive as an entire cohort of followers, you're bound to turn blind to that slightest of sub-conscience which for once stymied you and allowed you to question your action. However, with things punctiliously carved out to quash every possible rebellion and with you having the demonaic consequences ingrained within your mind, you choose not to question any maxim. With time, you become and inherent part of a rather peculiar congregation. You actually lose track of any other ideas than to work for your lords. You lose all the reminisce of that glorious history which once you were occupied with. The only rationale of your life is now to please your lord by working faithfully and as seamlessly as possible. Your lord and the ambit of his rule become the only purview in which you could think and hence your work becomes the only pleasure you have in your quiver.

 Although the modern culture is ripe with individuals exhibiting the above set of traits, collectively we all are a part of a society that is nowhere near what we call ideal. We are obviously plagued by a host of problems teeming our daily lives, but germane to the discussion is the fact that we acknowledge iniquity and yet not rescind an action that furthers its impact. We all have rather been institutionalized to such an extent that we are even not able to detect the presence of elements that jeopardize our own interests. We act at the behest of the social forces which were surreptitiously emblazoned in such a way that we completely surrender ourselves to their supposed might. We exist as a symbiosis and yet we continue to not only exhibit apathy and indolence to the cause of our brethren but also to those of ourselves. Sooner or later, inequality becomes our only reality and the only one we consider ourselves adept to live in. In fact we become so attuned to it that a blitzkrieg promising to bring an end to the malaise, is also not looked upon with a lot of trust. What else to expect when the perpetrators of the battle more often than not turn out to be the progeny of the next sect of aristocrats who would rule us. As the Squealer proclaimed it correctly, "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others".