Is Lord of the Flies really about Anarchism, or is it about Fascism?

EJD develops an interesting question in this entry: is Lord of the Flies, a novel generally used to argue for childism and against Anarchism, not really a story about fascism?

The leadership of Jack, the unelected charismatic boy quickly becoming a despot, leads to poor initial consequences. The boys miss a chance to be rescues because Jack and his friends have taken the elite role of hunting and tending the fire, but neglect their duties.

Meanwhile, the little ones (an allegory for the little man?) begin to become increasingly afraid of an unproven danger. Jack, like any despotic leader, uses this ‘fear of the other’ to gain control. In a way similar to how nationalists use the threat of foreigners, religious fundamentalists use the threat of heathens, or Statists in general use the threat of ‘lawlessness’, Jack exploits the threat of the Beast to gain control and establish himself as master of the group. This is how the Stalinists gained control of the Russian Revolution (fear of the Capitalists), how the conservative faction of the political structure justified repression of leftist thought in the US (fear of the Stalinists), how certain religious fundamentalists gain control of populations in the developing world (fear of the US), and how the US justifies crackdown on civil rights (fear of the Jihadists). The fear of the other is a building block to any successful putsch for greater control, and Jack played it as expertly as Hitler playing the resentment, fear of Communism, anti-Semitism of the post-Versailles German populace to aid his rise to power.

3 thoughts on “Is Lord of the Flies really about Anarchism, or is it about Fascism?

    • Francois Tremblay September 7, 2017 at 14:50 Reply

      In the sense that both are about debunking a shallow reading of a morality tale/morality experiment and putting them in more concrete terms?

  1. sellmaeth September 8, 2017 at 15:11 Reply

    I always thought it was about how little boys who have grown up in a patriarchy will replicate those same patriarchal power structures if left to their own devices.

    Using it to justify childism doesn’t make much sense. “Adult men should do this very same thing the boys in LotF do, but at a larger scale, so that boys cannot do it”?

    Admittedly I haven’t read the book, as it is a sausage fest and unlike The Hobbit doesn’t sound much fun to read, but that’s about the gist of what I read about it.

    I’m sure it is not about anarchism. One of the boys is in charge, isn’t he? So that’s no anarchy, there’s a hierarchy.

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