Some animals are more equal than others

“A ruling class has got to have a strict morality, a quasi-religious belief in itself, a mystique,” George Orwell wrote on one of his favorite topics: the mystique of leadership.

OrwellThe import of this passage, and the many others that Orwell wrote on this topic, is that leadership is built on a series of façades that are maintained by leader and follower alike.  These qualities, if maintained well enough over a course of years, can provide a leader qualities that will allow them to vacate accusations of hypocrisy without having to go through the peasantry chores of answering for them.  Most people are not born leaders, so they must begin their career attempting to learn the characteristics of this mystique, then once they learn them, they attempt to foster the illusion that they have them, and it must then be very carefully maintained by placating to the beliefs of the followers over time.  Once the façade is built, then maintained over the course of years, the leader is then afforded the ability to abuse them by their followers.  It’s called the leadership mystique.

Self-described champion of the middle class, Vice-President Joe Biden was recently afforded a Parisian throne befitting a king, in the form of a $585,000.50 a night stay at a hotel.  The rate of this particular stay was based on a “non-negotiable” contract awarded to the Hotel International Paris Le Grand that the American taxpayer was then forced to eat in a “non-negotiable” manner.  Taxpayers were also forced to eat this “middle class protector’s” non-negotiable $480,000 hotel tab in London earlier this year.  In addition to dropping $1 million on these hotel stays over the course of these two separate nights in Europe, “the leader” also spent $321,665 on his limousine travels around Paris during this most recent trip.{1}

These costs were described by the State Department as: “in line with high-level travel across multiple administrations.”  Democrat loyalists love this answer, as it falls under the “everybody does it” umbrella that they use for so many of their favored causes.  The aspect of the story that gets non-loyalists all worked up is that high-level Democrats, like Biden, portray themselves as humble protectors of middle class families.  Democrats, like Biden, provide testimonies of their humble, Scranton beginnings to relate to struggling middle class families throughout their campaign tours, but Republicans do that too of course.  Where Democrat candidates attempt to separate themselves on the campaign trail, is through revealing the excesses that their Republican opponents engaged in while in office.  Democrats portray themselves as working class joes that are simply fortunate enough to have us consider them for office, and once in office—says their implied rhetoric based on comparative analysis of the out-of-control Republican—they won’t forget where they came from.  Once in office, they vow, they will act as responsible as any mom and dad across America dealing with their own budgets.  They get their constituents worked into a lather over the revelations of Republican excess to blatantly suggest that their Republican opponent is “out of touch” with the American people.  After succeeding with this platform, Democrats usually engage in the very excesses they condemned their Republicans opponents of in the course of the campaign.  If these excesses happen to reach a point where they’re reported on, the Democrat’s people will tell the American people that these reported excesses are no more excessive than the previous office holder’s.  Very few of their loyalists will then come out and say, “But you told us you were going to be different!”  They don’t say this, because they know that these leaders are different, they’re “our” leaders now.  It’s the leadership mystique.

On the 2008 presidential campaign trail, Joe Biden brought up the trials and tribulations involved in living in the middle class conditions of his home town of Scranton, Pennsylvania.  He labeled himself a man of the people, his people, the struggling, middle class people.  To elucidate this fact, Biden told Sarah Palin, that: “All you have to do (to understand the plight of my people) is to go down Union Street with me in Wilmington and go to Katie’s restaurant…” The illustrative part of this comment is that this particular restaurant had closed down about twenty years prior to the statement, and it wasn’t even on Union Street.  The point is that Democrats like Biden and Pelosi achieve their positions by trying to relate to people they haven’t been in touch with for a generation, and this point is elucidated when they proceed to violate the implicit tenets of humility in their travels.  This doesn’t appear to matter to their followers, however, because Pelosi and Biden are “their” leaders now.  It’s the leadership mystique.

“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others,” Orwell wrote to inadvertently portend the modern Democrat philosophy that all things be applied equally among all people, until those people prove friendly to the Democrats.  Obama and Biden took to the streets with the dictum that all corporations pay more than the now highest corporate tax in the world, but they said nothing when a Democrat-friendly corporation General Electric (GE) paid no federal corporate taxes in 2010.{2}  Biden topped Obama in his calls for a higher federal income tax rate on individuals, when he called those that didn’t want to pay more unpatriotic.  Yet, Biden has never commented on the relative patriotism of administration acolyte Warren Buffet’s attempts to beat back the IRS’s attempts to recover $1 Billion in back taxes. {3} When it was revealed that then Speaker Nancy Pelosi spent $101,000 in travel expenses over the course of two years, found that while it was factually correct that Pelosi spent this amount on “in-flight expenses” for her congressional delegations, it was in line with her predecessor Dennis Hastert’s.{4} That’s great, but when Ms. Pelosi ran the 2006 campaign to take back Congress, one of the charges she made regarded Hastert’s excesses as Speaker, and she proclaimed herself an agent of change in this regard.  “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others,” especially when those animals achieve a quasi-religious belief in themselves.

As for Vice-President Joe Biden’s travel expenses, one has to be fair and provide something of a laundry list of the costs that include accommodations made for the military, communications, secret service staff, and other support professionals.  “Security experts are also required to travel in advance of the president or vice president. Safety and security are not negotiable,” a State Department official informed ABC News.” {5} 

The travel expenses of Biden and Pelosi are but anecdotal evidence of a principle that intellectuals of the right point to when they suggest that Democrat politicians live by the “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others,” credo.  Due to the fact that this point about Democrat leaders comes from the right, however, most Democrat followers are likely to dismiss this point as one coming from the right than they are to make any attempt to defeat it.  They are not accustomed to defeating an argument in this manner, as much as they are demonizing the individual as one that comes from the right.  If an argument comes forth against one of their leaders, they are more apt to ask “Where did you hear that?” than they are to mount a defense for it.

This argument appears to have been as prevalent in the old Soviet Union as it is in America today, as most Ukrainian loyalists were likely to dismiss arguments of the right when those commentators detailed the excesses, hypocrisies, and criminalities of Josef Stalin.  Even though these Ukrainian socialists were often victims of Stalin, and they may have disagreed with the manner in which things were done during his regime, Stalin still had a mighty leadership mystique that allowed for great latitude among his loyalists.  Any points made against Stalin, from intellectuals of the right, were presumably met with raised hackles and defense strategies that presumably fell under the “Everybody does it” umbrella.  It wasn’t until one of their own came out against Stalin, as Orwell did in the allegorical milieu Animal Farm, that “Ukrainians were profoundly affected by such scenes as those of animals singing ‘Beasts of England’ on the hill…They very vividly reacted to the ‘absolute’ values of the book.”  One could say that Orwell simply spoke the language better than any intellectual of the right could, that the loyalists recognized their mentality better in Orwell’s narrative, and that they could tell Orwell was a leftist complaining about the manner in which one of “their own” leaders acted, but it’s undeniable that Orwell finally reached these people in a manner no one had previously.  He was acting as a whistleblower, before the left claimed the act of whistleblowing as indigenous to the left.

The Ukrainians undoubtedly knew their reality under Stalin long before Orwell had written a single word of Animal Farm, but until Orwell spelled that reality out for them in a like-minded, non-confrontational, fanciful, and indirect manner that led them to believe that they had discerned from the text for themselves, they couldn’t see through Stalin’s leadership mystique well enough to know how responsible he was for their reality.  Americans, however, weren’t as easily convinced, as they continued to believe that Animal Farm was but a theoretical argument that had to be defeated in the form of book burnings.  So, America had her military round up every copy of the book that they could find and hand them to Russia’s Red Army, so that they could be added atop the pile to allow the alliance between the pigs and the farmers to continue. {6}

One has to wonder if the vision of modern-day Americans is so clouded with their leaders’ mystiques that they can’t see them as anything but “more than equal” individuals allowed “more than equal” privileges, as long as those leaders continue to satisfy their proletariat, single-issue wishes, and one has to wonder if there is going to be a modern day Orwell, speaking their language, that permits them to see clearly again.





{5} {6} Hitchens, Christopher.  Arguably Essays: New York: Harper, 2011.


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