Now and again one of the 'talking heads' of the mainstream media makes an error so egregious, so outrageously stupid, as to cause thinking minds to boggle. Such an error was perpetrated by MSNBC's Krystal Ball this week, and consequently she receives today's award.
Speaking of Marxist economist Thomas Piketty and reviews of his latest book by conservatives, she said:
Piketty has predictably gotten the full Cold War treatment. The National Review calls his book soft Marxism. Lord only knows what they are saying at less responsible outlets, or the comments section.
Even the aghast and ostensibly economically literate The Wall Street Journal tells him to read Animal Farm. Animal Farm, hmm. Isn't that Orwell's political parable of farm animals where a bunch of pigs hog up all the economic resources, tell the animals they need the food because they're the makers and then scare up a prospect of a phony boogie man every time their greed is challenged? Sounds familiar. Hey conservatives, it's time to stop the childish Cole War name-calling and deal with facts. Either that or be relegated to the kids and the crazy uncle table at holiday dinners.
There's more at the link.
I have news for Ms. Ball. George Orwell made it crystal-clear that his book was a satire about Communism and the Russian Revolution.
Orwell himself wrote in 1946, "Of course I intended it primarily as a satire on the Russian revolution..[and] that kind of revolution (violent conspiratorial revolution, led by unconsciously power hungry people) can only lead to a change of masters [-] revolutions only effect a radical improvement when the masses are alert." In a preface for a 1947 Ukrainian edition, he stated, "... for the past ten years I have been convinced that the destruction of the Soviet myth was essential if we wanted a revival of the socialist movement. On my return from Spain [in 1937] I thought of exposing the Soviet myth in a story that could be easily understood by almost anyone and which could be easily translated into other languages."
Animal Farm wasn't (and isn't) about capitalism at all - quite the opposite, in fact. And since Mr. Piketty's book (and his economic philosophy) are fundamentally Marxist in orientation, Animal Farm is an entirely valid allegory to apply to their analysis. For Ms. Ball to instead cite Animal Farm as an allegory of capitalism demonstrates an intellectual shallowness of mind-boggling proportions.
(Of course, she's at MSNBC, working alongside such intellectual giants as Al Sharpton. That explains a great deal, right there . . . the network might qualify for its own Doofus award on the basis of its selection of contributors and commentators!)