Leadership: Risks of Corruption
By Ashraf Ahmed
Leadership at its core is all about power and influence. Leaders use their power to get things done. The problem is when personalized power dominates and the leader benefits to the detriment of society; corruption occurs. Reciprocally, “absolute power corrupts absolutely”. The novel Animal Farm describes how a society’s ideologies can be forced and twisted by individuals in positions of power, socially and politically.
Napoleon’s rise to power and discovery of new goods let the greed within him unleash. Progressively throughout the book, Animal Farm’s principle of animalism transforms into a totalitarian regime with “Comrade Napoleon” at its head. Each event has a twisting return to the tyranny and fascism at the start of the book. The only real change is that of the leaders. Even though Napoleon thoroughly believes that animals are equal at first, he realizes his power can be used at an advantage. The windmill becomes the means with which he controls all the animals. The windmill is used in such a way that it distracts the animals from their decreased rations, among other things. He barely socializes with the rest of the animals, he eats with dinner sets, and he even sleeps in separate quarters! His “cult to personality”, the deliberate fixation of individual dedication and loyalty on the all-powerful leader, is used in such a way that no one doubts him anymore. For example, Minimus expresses his feelings for Napoleon by writing a poem which, runs as the following:
“Friend of fatherless!
Fountain of happiness!
Lord of the swill-bucket! Oh, how my soul is on
Fire when I gaze at thy
Calm and commanding eye,
Like the sun in the sky,
From this poem, we can conclude that Minimus is loyal to Napoleon and tries to convince all the animals on the farm that he is a true hero. He also tries to make Napoleon look good by saying optimistic things about him. That cult to personality affects things...