Monday, November 9, 2009

Harry Potter: Libertarian Manifesto

I'm reading the Harry Potter series to my son, Fang. The farther we get, the more convinced I am that J. K. Rowling is a libertarian.

Here are my reasons:

1) Any wizard or witch can ride on a broom. That's pretty freaking cool right there. No control or regulations whatsoever on your own personal, high speed aircraft. No helmet law, either.

2) One of the few collective institutions is the wizard school, Hogwarts, where everyone is taught how to turn people into newts, create dangerous and exciting potions or poisons, see the future to cheat on the stock market, and beat the lie detector when they get busted for insider trading. I made the last two up, but you get the idea.

3) Everyone gets a wand. If you've got a wand and you know the spells, you can disarm, torture, maim or even kill. The only thing stopping you is your own conscience, or the fear that the other wizards might fling you into Azkaban, the wizard jail, which brings me to ....

4) The wizard government sucks. With very few exceptions, government committees in the wizard world are ignorant, cruel, clumsy and corrupt. And the head of state, the "Minister for Magic" is wimpy political expediency personified, bending or ignoring rules to suit himself. What kind of government keeps Dementors on staff, and turns them loose without a referendum?

5) Spoiler Alert. When the bad guys are finally stopped for good at the end of the fourth book, its not the Ministry  -- its the wizard militia who finally pulls it off.

6) Harry's world is a very dangerous place. People fall off their brooms, break their legs, fly magicked up cars into trees at high speeds, grow cat fur on their faces by mistake, have all the bones in their arms turned to jelly, fight dragons, etc. And nobody gets upset and starts a Wand Control movement, or insists on caging all the dragons or restricting potions classes to the politically reliable. They just roll with it.

I'm sure there are more. Post them in the comments, or disagree entirely if you find that more pleasing.


Lissa said...

Re #5 -- did you mean at the end of the seventh book?

Atom Smasher said...

I never thought of it that way before, but Meatey old bean, I think you're onto something there.

MeatAxe said...

Thanks, Atom

@Lissa -- Yeah, maybe. I dunno. My recollection of the 7th book is pretty hazy right now as I read it when it came out.

Now that you mention it, maybe I didn't finish it.

In any case, I have some memories from the series of Harry and this crew of wizards, aurors and some Hogwarts students operating informally as a kind of anti-Voldemort squad.

That sounds a lot like a militia of the people to me.

Congrats again on your LTC.

Brigid said...

I want a broom with a HUD though.

r4i said...

I like this article but..
last night i went to the midnight premiere of harry potter and the half blood prince! I was honestly so disappointed! was it just me or did it seem very choppy and for some reason didn't feel like it was a harry potter movie. Don't get me wrong some of the parts in it were either really funny or somewhat scary but i really was not satisfied. I don't know, what did you think?? Am i wrong? Give me your opinions..

MeatAxe said...

Haven't seen it yet. sorry.

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