Friday, July 27, 2007

Harry Potter: How bureaucracy enables tyranny

Hermione gave a shaky laugh ... "What's Voldemort planning for Hogwarts?" she asked Lupin.

"Attendance is now compulsory for every young witch and wizard," he replied. "That was announced yesterday. It's a change, because it was never obligatory before. Of course, nearly every witch and wizard in Britain has been educated at Hogwarts, but their parents had the right to teach them at home or send them abroad if they preferred. This way, Voldemort will have the whole Wizarding population under his eye from a young age."

~ Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, p. 210
In his essay "Harry Potter and the Half-Crazed Bureaucracy," law professor Benjamin Barton examines what the Harry Potter series has to say about government and bureaucracy. (After reading the abstract, scroll down to the bottom to download Barton's 21-page .pdf essay.)

Barton got me thinking about the power of ideas, especially among young people. Witness the popularity of Ron Paul's freedom message among the 18-25 year-old crowd — many of whom grew up reading Harry Potter.

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