Animals and Capitalism

Animals and capitalism represent each other well. Animals is a concept album created by Pink Floyd with a message similar to George Orwell's Animal Farm. It offers an ideology heavily favoring anti-capitalism  with a metaphorical representations of different layers of the capitalistic pyramid. 

Animals was released in 1977. The situation in Britain was, at the time, a dismal one. The country was being crippled by unemployment and inflation. The rich were getting richer and the poor were getting poorer. The culprit of this tragedy was the broken system known as capitalism.

Pink Floyd unleashed their storm of capitalistic faults with five different tracks:

Pigs on the Wing (Part 1)


Pigs (Three Different Ones)


Pigs on the Wing (Part 2)

Each of these tracks offers criticism of the social class it alludes to. 

The distinct message of anti-capitalism was not only written in song, but also displayed hidden on the cover. there are three different areas which potentially hold meaning. Pink Floyd opted not to use a cover designed by Hipgnosis, their long time collaborators. Instead the cover was designed by Roger Waters, the bands bassist. Several photographs were taken and eventually superimposed to create the cover.

The first image is a cloud that appears in the shape of a hand. Flying in front of this cloud is a pig. In the album, pigs are the gluttonous elite who sit atop the capitalistic pyramid. One can assume the hand represents the universal symbol for stop. Thus, stop capitalism.

The second image lies within the the first. It can be made out as one of two things. First, a simple smiling face. Second, a gas mask.

If it were a smiley face, it would be reasonable to assume due to the subject matter the songs that it represents more than an emoticon. A guess is that it alluding to Wal-Mart whose brand has been closely associated with the problems of capitalism.

The second interpretation, the gas mask, holds an expectedly sinister connotation. It most likely alludes to the inevitable fact that wars increasing in cost of human life will be waged in the name of capitalism.  The unquenchable thirst for more will drive humanity to a nuclear conflict.

Again, this image is within the hand, meaning it must be stopped.

The third image is slightly more mysterious and open to a wider range of interpretation. It appears to be an eye floating almost exactly in the middle of the image. A single eye in popular culture is commonly thought of as an  illuminati symbol representing the "masters of society" seated upon the highest level of the pyramid of capitalism.

If that is indeed the reason for an eye shaped cloud to be floating in the image it would fit well with the theme of the album. Pink Floyd revealed (somewhat) the identity of the pigs with a simple eye shaped cloud floating above a factory.

This is not an article commanding you to do anything. This is merely a facet of deeper understanding. You are more than welcome to reject everything I have said, so long as you have truly thought it through. The most valuable treasure in the world is not a currency, it is knowledge.

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