The “Animal Farm” Principle

POWER CHANGES PEOPLE

In his classic satirical allegory ANIMAL FARM — the author — George Orwell exemplifies the tendency of people to abuse power.

Whenever a person gets power — his attitude changes dramatically.

I have seen this metamorphosis in a person’s attitude and behaviour happening in the Navy and Defence Services.

(the same is visible in Politics, Civil Services etc. and even in the Corporate Sector).

When an officer gets promoted to high rank — the first thing that happens is that power goes to his head.

His ego bloats — and he changes his way of thinking.

He starts behaving differently.

He starts displaying all the trappings of power — figuratively and literally.

(an example is the obsession to display “stars” and rank symbols all over — like displaying vehicle star plates on lecterns, boats, horse buggy, golf caps etc).

He starts doing exactly the same “unethical” and “unofficerlike” things — the same things that he had criticised as a junior officer — when he saw his seniors do it.

And — to justify his conduct — he starts uttering platitudes like:

“Now that I have the view from the “Top” — things look “Different” — and now — I must behave like a “Leader”…”

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“MORAL METAMORPHOSIS” ON PROMOTION TO HIGH RANK

This “moral metamorphosis” happened to one of my course-mates.

As a junior officer he was most vociferous in his criticism of the conduct of some of the senior officers.

“Bloody freeloaders…” he would exclaim, “the buggers want everything free. They want everything ‘on-the-house’ and don’t want to pay for anything. Just look at the way they blatantly misuse transport and manpower…!”

But when he was promoted to a senior rank — he started behaving in exactly the same way — taking full undue advantages of his rank.

Maybe the “moral metamorphosis” owing to high rank had now made him see things differently…!!!

After all — Rank Has Its Privileges (RHIP)…!!!

Once — a veteran political leader was asked why his party had changed so much from the values it once represented.

The Political Leader explained why his party had changed:

“It is all because of power. Earlier — we were in the opposition. Now — we are in power. Once you have tasted power — everything changes.”

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It is true:

“Power Corrupts…”

and

“Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely…”

The moral of the story of Animal Farm is that because of this innate corrupt nature of most human beings to misuse power for their own benefit — whatever the form of governance — democracy, monarchy, socialism, communism, or dictatorship — nothing much changes for the impoverished and hapless Aam Aadmi — or “common man” — since the human-power relationship makes all systems “feudal” in nature.

On a lighter note — the Naval Yarn I am going to narrate below illustrates this dictum.

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ONE “MOGUL” REPLACES ANOTHER “MOGUL” “Animal Farm” Syndrome

Spoof By Vikram Karve

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ONE MOGUL REPLACES ANOTHER MOGUL

Disclaimer:

The word MOGUL is also spelled MOGHUL or MUGHAL.

In this story — the word MOGUL is used in a metaphorical sense.

In the context of this story — the word MOGUL (or MOGHUL or MUGHAL) means a powerful person — a person who rules or commands.

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“MOGULS” IN UNIFORM — an apocryphal story by Vikram Karve

This happened long back — around 45 years ago in the 1970s — in the early days of my Naval career.

I was a bright young Navy Officer serving on a front-line warship.

It was the farewell party of our boss — the Captain of our ship.

Everyone was happy to see him go ashore on transfer at the end of his tenure.

He had been a terrible boss — a ruthless taskmaster — quite a tyrant — and — he had made our life hell.

A strict authoritarian disciplinarian — he wielded total power and commanded the ship like a martinet — ruling us like an absolute monarch.

As far as he was concerned — it was “his” ship.

He boasted that there were just two categories of people on-board “his” ship:

1. HE

(the Supreme Lord and Master)

and

2. WE

(the rest of the crew — which included everyone else — starting from the second-in-command XO — right down the junior-most sailor)

This Feudal Style Tyrant Captain exemplified the “Navy Dictum” immortalized by Captain Queeg in the classic Navy Novel — THE CAINE MUTINY — written by Herman Wouk:

Captain Queen had famously told his officers and sailors:

“…there are Four ways of doing things on this Ship:

1. The RIGHT WAY

2. The WRONG WAY

3. The NAVY WAY

4. My WAY

On MY SHIP — we do things MY WAY…”

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Our Captain believed in Captain Queen’s dictum.

Our Captain had made it very clear that — he wanted things done “his way”.

We had nicknamed him: “MOGUL”

At his farewell party in the Ship’s Wardroom — Scotch Whisky was flowing freely — and everyone was thoroughly enjoying the party.

Everyone was downing peg after peg of the choicest whisky.

Every Officer was happy to bid farewell and say goodbye to the “Mogul”.

The officers were celebrating in anticipation of the forthcoming “Freedom” from “Mogul Tyranny”.

For me — it was an evening of mixed emotions — since it was my farewell party as well — because — as luck would have it — by sheer coincidence — I too was going away on transfer to another front-line warship.

So — this was the farewell party for two officers — the Captain (“Mogul”) — and — Yours Truly (Me).

As it is customary to “look after” the farewell guest very well — my shipmates had plied me with plenty of whisky — peg after peg — “down the hatch” — and by the time I was called upon to deliver my farewell speech — I was in high spirits and feeling very “nice”.

As I told you once before — there is a saying in the Navy:

Officers never get Drunk — they only feel “Nice”.

And — I was feeling awfully “nice”.

Being the junior — I was called to deliver my farewell speech first.

In a farewell speech — you are free to say whatever you wish — and — no offence is taken.

I was feeling awfully “nice” — due to the enormous amount of whisky I had imbibed.

At first — I said the customary platitudes — I thanked my shipmates — I talked about the good times we had together in the wardroom and on the ship.

But as I spoke — my inhibitions started peeling off — and I started speaking out my mind freely.

Then — in a spurt of audaciousness and recklessness — thanks to the “Dutch Courage” — fuelled by the huge amount of alcohol flowing in my veins — I started gesticulating towards the Captain — and — I blurted out my farewell speech:

“Tonight — I am feeling privileged — that along with me — it is the farewell party of our beloved Captain — who we affectionately call “MOGUL”.

I know all of you are happy to see off this “Mogul”.

Yes — all of you are happy that he is going away.

But — remember one thing:

ONE MOGUL REPLACES ANOTHER MOGUL.

So — don’t be too happy that this “Mogul” is going away.

It may well turn out — that the new incoming “Mogul” — he may be worse than this outgoing “Mogul” — whose days on this ship are over.

And — God Forbid — if the new “Mogul” is a worse tyrant than this one — then you will reminisce and remember the “good old days” you had under this “Mogul”…”

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After uttering these words — I narrated the story of one my favourite books — ANIMAL FARM (an allegorical novel by George Orwell).

In this story — there is a rebellion — an uprising by all the animals who unite and rise in revolt against the tyrant human beings who own the Animal Farm.

The humans are overthrown by the animals — who achieve “freedom” from human tyranny.

But soon — the pigs — who led the uprising — gradually assume control — and start taking over power.

The pigs replace the humans as the rulers — yes — the pigs become the new “rulers”.

Eventually the pigs become worse tyrants than the humans — and the pigs make life hell for all the other animals.

So — despite change in leadership — nothing changes for the common animals.

I have seen plenty of examples of the “Animal Farm Syndrome” in the Navy and Defence Services.

Don’t you see this “Animal Farm Syndrome” everywhere — in all organisations — in the Civil Services — in the Corporate Sector — even in Academia — in Government Organisations — and particularly — in “democratic” organisations like Political Parties too.

One “Mogul” replaces another “Mogul” — but — nothing changes for the common man.

In fact — in most cases:

When “Leaders” change — things may get worse for the “Followers”.

(Just like it happened in the novel “Animal Farm”…)

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Hey — Dear Reader — I have digressed — so — let me get on with my story

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NEW “MOGUL” RAJ

Let me recap my farewell speech for “Mogul” — our tyrant Captain:

“Tonight — I am feeling privileged — that along with me — it is the farewell party of our beloved Captain — who we affectionately call “MOGUL”.

I know all of you are happy to see off this “Mogul” — all of you are happy that he is going away.

But — remember one thing:

ONE MOGUL REPLACES ANOTHER MOGUL

So — don’t be too happy that this “Mogul” is going away.

It may well turn out that the new incoming “Mogul” may be worse than this outgoing “Mogul” — whose days on this ship are over.

And — God Forbid — if the new “Mogul” is a worse tyrant than this one — then you will reminisce and remember the “good old days” you had under this “Mogul”…”

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A few months later — I ran into one of my ex-shipmates.

He told me that my prediction had come true.

My ex-shipmate laughed and said to me:

“You were right — One “Mogul” replaces another “Mogul” — but — the “Mogul Empire” continues forever…”

He told me that things had happened exactly like I had predicted.

Life on-board the ship had indeed become terrible under the new Captain.

And — just like I had said in my farewell speech — in the evenings — all officers sat in the wardroom — drowning their sorrows in alcohol — and — reminiscing about the “Good Old Days” in the earlier “Mogul Empire”.

My ex-shipmate said to me:

“The earlier “Mogul” was a “bullshitter” — but at least — he was an honest bloke.

On the other hand — this new “Mogul” is not only a terrible “bullshitter” — but he is a crafty, cunning, corrupt man — a slimy character — and a bloody “freeloader” too — and he has made our life really miserable…”

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MORAL OF THE STORY

THE “MOGUL” PRINCIPLE (The “Animal Farm” Syndrome)

Look around you and you will see that this “Mogul” theory is true in real life too.

Don’t you see the “Animal Farm” Syndrome everywhere — in politics, at work, in society — where — One “Mogul” replaces another “Mogul”…?

Leaders come and go — elections happen — governments change — regimes come and go — sometimes democracy becomes dictatorship — and sometimes — dictatorship becomes democracy — and — socialism metamorphoses into globalization, liberalization and crony capitalism.

All sorts of things happen — but for you and me — for the “Aam Aadmi” — the “common man” — nothing much changes — and our life remains just the same.

In fact — in most cases — things may even get worse than before.

Of course — there are exceptions — yes — there are a few genuine leaders who really make a difference — but nowadays — such examples are few and far between.

By and large — the “Mogul Principle” prevails.

So — before you rejoice too much on hearing the news that your tyrant Boss is going to go away — or — you are delighted that you have a new Leader to rule over you — remember THE MOGUL PRINCIPLE:

“ONE “MOGUL” MAY REPLACE ANOTHER MOGUL — BUT — THE “MOGUL” EMPIRE (Mughal Raj) CONTINUES FOREVER…”

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I have seen this happening in the Navy.

One “Mogul” goes away.

Another “Mogul” comes in his place.

And — instead of improving things — every new “Mogul” adds his own “Killjoy” contribution — and makes life even more painful and miserable than before.

I am sure this “Mogul Principle” prevails in all the Defence Services — the Civil Services — in Politics — and indeed — in all Organisations.

We especially observe this phenomenon in politics too.

So — look around and observe — in your workplace — in politics — and in the world outside.

Do you see “Animal Farms” around you…?

Isn’t the “Animal Farm Syndrome” prevalent everywhere — in politics, in civilian bureaucracy, in the military, in corporates, sometimes even in personal life…?

Don’t you see one “Mogul” replacing another “Mogul” — and nothing much changes for you…?

Instead of improving things — doesn’t every “Mogul” add his own “killjoy contribution” to making life more painful…?

Of course — there are exceptions to the rule — but for most of the time — the “Mogul Empire” (Mughal Raj) perpetuates.

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Dear Reader:

Do you see The “Mogul” Principle around you…?

Tell us your views on the “Animal Farm Syndrome”.

And — please share your experiences of “Moguls” you have seen in your organisation and in your life.

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VIKRAM KARVE

Copyright © Vikram Karve

1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve

2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Disclaimer:

  1. This story is a fictional spoof, satire, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
  2. All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:

No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.

Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)

Link to my source blog posts in my various Blogs: http://karvediat.blogspot.com/2012/03/one-mughal-replaces-another-mughal.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/05/humor-in-uniform-one-mogul-replaces.html and https://karve.wordpress.com/2020/12/27/humor-the-animal-farm-syndrome/ etc etc etc.

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

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A creative person with a zest for life, alumnus IIT Delhi, Lawrence School Lovedale, Vikram Karve is a retired Navy Officer turned full time Writer and Blogger

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Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, alumnus IIT Delhi, Lawrence School Lovedale, Vikram Karve is a retired Navy Officer turned full time Writer and Blogger