When I told Georgie (my husband) that I'm reading his namesake's George Orwell's Animal Farm, he said that it is no longer relevant today, maybe it was 30 years ago but not today. I don't usually disagree with him but this time I really have to.
To me this book is as relevant today as it was when it was written.
Animal Farm is seen as an allegory of the totalitarian and corrupted Stalinist regime. Even thought Orwell later denied this, there is no doubt that Comrade Napoleon is Comrade Stalin. If we look at it only as an anti Stalinist manifesto then yes it is outdated and only relevant for one place on the planet: North Korea.
While reading though, I came to realise that it does not take a lot of effort to apply the book's societal structure, where "all animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others" to the largely unregulated, profit oriented global financial system controlled by a tribe of Investment Bankers and CEOs, closely guarded by a pack of Rating Houses and blindly followed by a flock of governments.
Maybe I'm affected by the financial troubles plaguing countries across the south of Europe. Or maybe I'm just overwhelmingly angry about the inability of the rest of the animals, both in the book and in reality, to perceive the severity of their exploitation and mockery by their rulers.
To me, Animal Farm is a fable and as Aesop's Fables, its relevance is eternal, as long as the system remains the same and the horses choose to remain simple and obedient.