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Benjamin is one of the animals who reflect Orwell's views. He has seen history repeat itself under many guises. He isn't excited about the revolution because he has lived so long. He understands animal nature (really human nature) and sees that it is innately flawed. He seems to know that an animal utopian society can't exist because stronger animals will always covet power at the expense of weaker animals.
Benjamin is a direct representation of history itself. "Donkeys live a long time. None of you has ever seen a dead donkey," directly implies the vast expanse of human history as well as its continuity as long as there is humanity and governance. History, is unemotional and detatched. It also records in memory the rebellions, advances in technology, changes in govermental forms, and the eventual failure of any supposed utopian society to ever alleviate the burdens of the general populace.