Thursday, April 14, 2016

Democratic Socialism & Animal Farm

This is the cartoon created in 1954 based on George Orwell's "Animal Farm". George Orwell was a Democratic Socialist, just like us in People's Power Party. In this book, it describes our truly "centrist" stance between communism and ultra-capitalism.

We may be against the excesses and abuses of the capitalist system but we also disapprove the hypocrisy and tyranny of the communist system. While we embrace Democracy as part of the system of balancing the powers and interests of all vested group of people when we depend on a regulated market mechanism largely based on pseudo capitalist fundamentals, we also recognise that such system needs to be mitigated with socialist means.

I am a born rebel and a Democratic Socialist. Let me tell you why.

Since young, the time I have spent with my late father in reading the Chinese newspapers (which were still quite critical of the power that be), inhaling his second hand smoke while doing so, has cultivated me into a person with strong sense of social justice, public spirit and public service minded. He would criticise the injustice that PAP government has done while commenting on what should and should not be done.

But the only time when I really realized my "political tendency" was after my PSLE exams. While waiting for the results, my dear English Teacher (she was a rebel as well, I guess), let our class watched the cartoon of the infamous "Animal Farm". This was the first time I was totally absorbed into a cartoon with lots of political-social ideas running through my mind while I was watching it.

Unlike many of my classmates, this was not just any other cartoon but a thought provoking one. Of course, coming from a "Donkey Primary School" (that's what my English Teacher used to say), we did not have the opportunity to read the original work of George Orwell before the screening of this cartoon.

This was my very first "Political Initiation" into Democratic Socialism (well, more on the Socialism part I guess). The story line of this cartoon resonated so well with my inner self and it made so much sense to a 12 year old boy that I spent almost a week pondering over the possible political messages embedded within.

I don't think my English Teacher had any intention to put up any attempt of "political indoctrination" nor did she want to groom any potential future politicians but she had unknowingly created a Democratic Socialist out of this screening. I have lived all my life up till now, as truthful as I can to my belief of Democratic Socialism.

If I would have the chance to recreate a cartoon based on George Orwell's "Animal Farm" again, I would definitely want to replace the ruling class of PIGS with White Monkeys which would always use their Middle Fingers to rule the rest, especially using these fingers against those who dare to rebel or speak up against them.

That would make the whole cartoon more relevant to us in modern days.

Goh Meng Seng

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