Libertarian review of 'Phoenix'

  August 21, 2003 at 1:20 AM ET
  James     MuggleNet (via Libertarian Party)

Eryk Boston provides particularly fortified statementsopens in new window to her argument that "this is one of the most anti-government books I've read since Atlas Shruggedopens in new window."

I'm not the first person to point out that the Harry Potter books have a libertarian flavor. The wizarding world in the series has a private banking system and no apparent zoning laws. Wizards have the right to carry a wand -- more dangerous than any firearm -- at all times for the express purpose of self-defense. The schools are largely independent (until this book). Dumbeldore, the most powerful wizard alive, actively avoids a position in government. Independent action is celebrated. Notably absent is any mention of a system of taxation.

There is a formal government, but its purpose has been primarily to hide the wizarding world from muggles (i.e. you) and to control abuse of magic that could harm others. Until now, the high-ranking government ministers in the tales have generally been either pompous jerks or bumbling fools. With the exception of the time when the Minister of Magic knowingly put an innocent man in prison as a public-relations stunt, the authorities have almost been comic relief.

This editor would like to note that, even if you disagree with the message of this article, you should continue reading it at the link included above. It's quite well-written.

Browse Related Stories