Animal Farm #2

When, if ever, is use of force or manipulation justified? What are the long-term benefits and detriments of these actions?

The justification of manipulation has many layers. In essence, manipulation is morally incorrect, however, the personal benefits appeal greatly to a leader. When a leader manipulates the members of a rebellion, they often assume a Hobbes-like point of view. Thomas Hobbes was a philosopher that believed that every person needed strict rules and a dictating leader to stay in line, or else they would destroy themselves. This mindset can drive leaders to lie, control, and manipulate their people. In Animal Farm, Napolean, the pig leader, or more accurately, dictator, uses constant manipulation for his personal benefit and ease. He keeps everyone in line by constantly feeding them lies and generating fear. The animals “lives [are] hard and […] not all of their hopes¬† [are being] fulfilled,” but still, Napolean manipulates them into following him (p. 39). However, the downsides to manipulation are equally influential. Aside from the obvious fact that manipulation and force of followers is not ethical, the aftermath of manipulation must be assessed. If the people or followers discover the lies and manipulation being told to them, an uprising could occur and destruction will follow. The leader will find themself in an even bigger mess. For example, Hitler manipulated the people into following his ideals and beliefs. In the end, an uprising occurred and it ended in his destruction and many deaths. Overall, if looking through an ethical perspective, manipulation is hardly ever justified- but it is effective in making followers stay in line. At times, manipulation may be needed to control chaos, but it is up to personal discretion to evaluate the situation.

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