December 15, 2013

“REMEMBER WHO THE REAL ENEMY IS:” There’s a popular feeling in the air that America has become decadent. Contrasting Harry Potter to the Hunger Games shows what a difference a decade can make.

Of course, you must read my colleague Ben Barton’s piece on the libertarian roots of Harry Potter. “Rowling’s scathing portrait of government is surprisingly strident and effective. . . . Her critique is also particularly effective because, despite how awful Rowling’s Ministry of Magic looks and acts, it bears such a tremendous resemblance to current Anglo-American government. Rowling’s negative picture of government is thus both subtle and extraordinarily piercing. Taken in the context of the Harry Potter novels and the personalities of the bureaucrats involved, each of the above acts of government misconduct seems perfectly natural and familiar to the reader. The critique works because the reader identifies her own government with Rowling’s Ministry of Magic. . . . Rowling may do more for libertarianism than anyone since John Stuart Mill.”