Sunday, December 23, 2007

J.K. Rowling And Government

(Spoilers follow, but if you haven't already read all of the Harry Potter books, then I don't see how I can possibly be held responsible! Run to the bookstore or library, now! Go on, git!)

Many of you, like me, positively cheered the first time you read Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, when bureaucrat Professor Umbridge wielded her Ministry power to the detriment of the wellbeing of the students of Hogwarts. And then you jumped up and down like crazy when Umbridge was taken down. Because the way in which Umbridge rose to power and the types of Educational Decrees she forced upon the school are an obvious parallel to the presumptions of educational bureaucrats in our modern Muggle society. I think it's wonderfully written and I'm so happy that my children will be able to read about a very abstract idea--the improper role of government in the lives of private citizens--that is beautifully illustrated for them to concretize into their own little brains.

Someone else thinks so, too. From the TIME article about Ms. Rowling's "Person" of the Year Runner Up status:

University of Tennessee law professor Benjamin Barton published "Harry Potter and the Half-Crazed Bureaucracy," in the Michigan Law Review, which examined Rowling's view of the legitimacy of government. His conclusion? "Rowling may do more for libertarianism than anyone since John Stuart Mill."
I thought that was interesting, Rowling's ideas showing up in a Law Review.

No comments: