Politics of Harry Potter - Anti-government Interpretation

Anti-government Interpretation

Some political commentators have seen J. K. Rowling's portrayal of the bureaucratised Ministry of Magic and the oppressive measures taken by the Ministry in the later books (like making attendance at Hogwarts School compulsory and the "registration of Mudbloods" with the Ministry) as an allegory criticising the state.

The People's Weekly World, the newspaper of the Communist Party USA, claims the books draw you "into the politics of the wizarding world—the 'Educational Decrees' from the toad-like Ministry of Magic representative, the high-level connections of 'war criminals' from the last rise of Voldemort, the predjudice against 'mudbloods' and 'half-breeds.'" They suggest connections "to the world we live in, to the similarities and differences between the Fudge administration and the Bush administration".

Philosopher Jean-Claude Milner claimed "Harry Potter is a war machine against the Thatcherite-Blairist world and the 'American Way of Life'" in France's Libération.

University of Tennessee law professor Benjamin Barton discusses libertarian aspects of Harry Potter in his paper Harry Potter and the Half-Crazed Bureaucracy, published in the Michigan Law Review. Barton says, "Rowling's scathing portrait of government is surprisingly strident and effective. This is partly because her critique works on so many levels: the functions of government, the structure of government, and the bureaucrats who run the show. All three elements work together to depict a Ministry of Magic run by self-interested bureaucrats bent on increasing and protecting their power, often to the detriment of the public at large. In other words, Rowling creates a public-interest scholar's dream—or nightmare—government."

Rowling describes the beloved wizard Dumbledore as Machiavellian and says "I wanted you to question Dumbledore. It is right to question him, because he was treating people like puppets, and he was asking Harry to do a job that most men twice his age wouldn't have been able to do."

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