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For all the book's subtlety, Dahl could've just had Mr. Fox bang his shoe on the table at an Animal Nations Assembly.
on October 14, 2015
Fantastic Mr. Fox is a short socialist antimorality play -- well-written agitprop in which a petty thief steals from innocent providers of debt and equity capital to farms, then attempts to justify his theft by blaming the behavior and maligning the character of the farms' CEOs. When Mr. Fox's friend Badger has misgivings about the ethics of Mr. Fox's looting, Mr. Fox justifies it by creating a false dilemma and answering it with a strange Orwellian linguistic construct that theft is a kind of violence that is actually peace. In a Fidelista-style "History Will Absolve Me" moment, Mr. Fox seizes power over the animal community, forcing them to live thereafter in a commune, passively dependent upon a thieving Leviathan (himself) for cradle-to-grave "security". Published in the wake of the Communist takeover of Cuba, Fantastic Mr. Fox is a well-written, child-level glimpse into the heady days of late post-WWII collectivist optimism, when socialists had forgotten that their political philosophy requires coercion to implement, and before twentieth-century communism's death toll had been tallied. Parents should be forewarned that, as with Joe Camel's packaging of smoking, Mr. Fox's packaging of socialism seems specifically intended to innure future generations to the ethical issues associated with its movement: This book is designed to trigger, in post-hypnotic fashion, Proustian memories of childhood joy for Mr. Fox's success whenever revenge-motivated theft against social classes is perpetrated by governments. Your kids will adore this book, and will emerge from it singing the punchy limerick that skewers the CEOs. You will feel a vague sense of unease, and may worry if your kids, once thus trained in "social justice" will someday turn you in for the thoughtcrime of looking favorably upon ownership of property.