1. Hi there, Guest

    Only registered users can really experience what DLP has to offer. Many forums are only accessible if you have an account. Why don't you register?
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Introducing for your Perusing Pleasure

    New Thread Thursday
    +
    Shit Post Sunday

    READ ME
    Dismiss Notice

If Harry Potter Was Made Now

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Agent, Jan 3, 2020.

  1. Silirt

    Silirt Death Eater DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2018
    Messages:
    930
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Georgia
    Reading the thread explains the thread.
     
  2. Othalan

    Othalan Auror

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    Messages:
    628
    Gender:
    Male
    Yeah, I read the thread, and while that snippet of your post seems to acknowledge my point before I made it, the rest of your post reinforces the erroneous equation of a tool with potential for abuse with a weapon.

    We don't ban cars because of how they could be misused to kill, nor do we ban machine tools that could be used to invent new weapons (closest spell-creation analog I could come up with). We don't ban baseball bats, even though they can be, and often are used as weapons. We don't ban or seriously restrict these things because they are so goddamn useful for things other than violence, and because without some of them, our society just doesn't function as well.

    Can you imagine how dysfunctional a society would be if only cops or the military could own/use the tools to change a tire? Or own the tire itself for that matter?

    That's not to mention the cultural resistance there would be to harsh wand restrictions. If you think the American gun control debate is ugly, just imagine what it would be like if the thing they were trying to ban was what quite literally defined your entire culture, heritage and way of life.
     
  3. fire

    fire Unspeakable

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Messages:
    705
    The series' fundamental moral concern is egalitarianism and discrimination - with the blood purity issue being analogous to the issue of racism. Combined with the Anglosphere's social and political context from 2016 to 2020 (i.e. the time period in which a hypothetically younger Rowling would be writing the series), and Rowling's own anti-Trump leanings, I find it inevitable that Voldemort and his blood purity movement will more closely reflect (and implicitly criticize) the right-wing racial nationalism currently ascendant globally, rather than just being a vague, unsatisfying parallel of ye olde Nazism.

    It's not certain what shape this reflection will take, but some interesting ideas might be:

    (1) To have Voldemort be less a shadowy terrorist figure, but a charismatic politician who openly feeds on - and through his rhetoric, deepens - antipathy against the muggle-born.

    I mean, canonically, after Voldemort came into his kingdom, the Muggle-Born Registration Commission involved the absurd lie that muggle-borns were stealing the jobs/benefits/magic of "real" wizards and witches; so why not bring this forward, and make this an explicit political flashpoint even before Voldemort's takeover? Earlier in the series, this could be something that most people would ridicule as a shit-for-brains conspiracy theory, but with Voldemort pushing this nonsense as truth, we could have many people believing it by the time book 6 or 7 rolls about.

    At the same time, it would make sense for this political Voldemort to be pushing other hateful ideas, such as how the Ministry of Magic favours muggle-borns but oppresses ordinary, salt-of-the-earth wizards and witches - and how the flood of muggle-borns benefits the liberal/Dumbledorean/blood-traitor party in the Wizengamot and unfairly robs right-born wizards of political influence in their own country. Hell, to make the analogy less than subtle, make Kingsley a muggle-born and make him the incumbent Minister for Magic. And after Kingsley leaves office, have You-Know-Who come in on a tide of anti-Kingsley anti-muggleborn sentiment, and have him introduce a Muslim ban/muggleborn registration law as his first act, while also arresting and detaining migrant/muggleborn children. [EDIT: I type this as a hypothetical, only to realize that it already happens in canon - see Deathly Hallows, Chapter 11, the conversation with Lupin].

    And I guess it's a pretty low-hanging fruit to have Voldemort complain about muggle-borns stealing jobs. Not sure this will be a particularly salient thing for school children, but I suppose it's something that can be shown via the Weasley financial situation - perhaps Arthur gets laid off and replaced by a muggle-born, and a more conservative member of the family (Percy?) blames this on muggle-borns in general.

    (2) Have Voldemort lie. A lot.

    I remember reading Hannah Arendt as a kid, and I didn't understand why she kept going on and on and on about how totalitarian leaders lie so much yet their supporters never turn on them. This quote, in particular, stands out:

    In an ever-changing, incomprehensible world the masses had reached the point where they would, at the same time, believe everything and nothing, think that everything was possible and that nothing was true. [...] one could make people believe the most fantastic statements one day, and trust that if the next day they were given irrefutable proof of their falsehood, they would take refuge in cynicism; instead of deserting the leaders who had lied to them, they would protest that they had known all along that the statement was a lie and would admire the leaders for their superior tactical cleverness.

    This is something that should be a constant source of frustration for Harry/Ron/Hermione whenever they argue with the likes of Draco throughout the book - for Hermione especially, who is so invested in logic and reason, and who on a psychological level probably doesn't get why people like Crabbe and Goyle don't seem to change their opinion of Voldemort even though the man can publicly say one thing today and the opposite tomorrow. There is nothing to be debated, because this is not a debate; as Hermione will come to realize over the course of the story, this is not an intellectual contest of ideas, but a raw conflict over power and who gets to wield it (and against whom).

    Indeed, the Voldemort/Death Eater ideology can be summed up in the man's own immortal words: "There is no good and evil, there is only power and those too weak to seek it." They don't care that muggle-borns deserve respect or that people like Dumbledore are right; for what is right against might?

    (3) In line with the more politicized story, it would make sense for there to be a closer examination of how the old, powerful pureblood families like the Malfoys, Blacks, Greengrasses etc support Voldemort out of political expediency.

    It seems to me likely that people like Lucius Malfoy - whatever their personal antipathy towards Muggleborns - think that Voldemort's claims are ludicrous and that the man himself is a demagogic buffon unworthy of respect (he's a dirty half-blood to boot!!!). However, they want to use Voldemort's charisma and mass following to beat Dumbledore and his party, and think they can control Voldemort's worst excesses when he becomes Minister. They think they can ride the tiger, in other words, and we all know how that always turns out, both in the 1930s and now.

    Part of Draco's storyline and character development, I think, should be realizing just how monumental a fuckup his father committed. He thus helps Harry and team - not necessarily because he's a good guy who now believes muggle-borns are equal to real, right-born wizards; but rather, because he knows things have gone to far. This also preserves realism in the ending - when Voldemort is defeated, everything isn't going to be sunshine and rainbows, for the more ordinary kind of evil (or problem, if evil is too strong a word) still exists, and anti-Voldemort pure-bloods like Draco will still be around fighting the bad fight against muggleborn equality.

    I actually wrote a one-shot fic, To Thunderous Applause (WbA link), that explores some of the ideas above; but I also loved Sesc's A Beautiful World (FF.Net link), which really did a fantastic job at portraying the politics and at showing the world as seen through the eyes of a Voldemort supporter.
     
  4. Sauce Bauss

    Sauce Bauss Minister of Magic DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2008
    Messages:
    1,331
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Texas
    He killed himself while trying to kill his enemy by accident. When it comes to dying to destroy the great Satan of your age, Harry is the true Jihadist.
     
  5. Gaius

    Gaius Second Year

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2018
    Messages:
    70
    this is a very thoughtful response, fire.

    do you, and others, think that Harry would enter the wizarding world on the eve of its slide into rightwing politics? is Fudge, e.g., a neoliberal candidate, who then will get ousted by Voldemort? or is Fudge, because of his support from people like Lucius Malfoy, already sympathetic to the nationalist position? i'm just curious about what the political situation would be like when Harry enters the wizarding world and how that would affect the story, in addition to the political story you've outlined above.

    what kind of reception does a Hermione or Justin get at Hogwarts for example? or what kinds of hoops do they have to jump through to go to Hogwarts? or this worsens after Voldemort regains a body/recovers political power? perhaps after GoF or HBP.

    it would be, i think, more complex and interesting if folks like Malfoy support this position because it bolsters their own strength and we see more antipathy from higher-ups about "the Muggleborn question," but perhaps people who are convinced by the lies and propaganda take the prejudice seriously. perhaps Crabbe and Goyle take the propaganda seriously, bc. not super smart, but Malfoy would know not to yell "Mudblood" in CoS.

    i think the wizarding war in Britain becomes more analogous to politics too with Dumbledore a bastion of post-WWII liberalism and Voldemort a far swing to the right instead of Voldemort being a Hitler-ish figure as he is in the books.

    i'm wondering, too, how the books end. how do you kill an idea? if V. is vanquished magically by Harry, the political machine may be Hydra-like enough to offer another authoritian who can take V.'s place. perhaps by then Death Eaters (as the Malfoys in DH) are disillusioned enough to step away, or the freedom fighters imprison enough and set up their own temporary govt.
     
  6. DrSarcasm

    DrSarcasm Unspeakable

    Joined:
    May 16, 2010
    Messages:
    780
    Gender:
    Male
    The longer this thread goes on, the more I come to the conclusion that if the series had been written today, it wouldn't be a timeless and charming fantasy YA series.
     
  7. Jeram

    Jeram Elder of Zion DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Messages:
    1,715
    It HP was written today, it'd be impossible to comprehend in any serious way, because just like how we can't imagine a world without Superman or Batman as fictional characters (not really), HP is baked into our pop culture with over two decades. We can guess in a matter of context free analysis how a JKR analogue might approach an HP context in the modern world assuming there was no HP book series already and the influences it had, but it's more than guesswork, it's complete fabrication. Which is fine, I think it's an amusing thought experiment, but by no means can we realistically think of how it "really might be".

    E.g., I liked that idea of Voldemort as a Trump analogue conceptually, it's a clever angle on JKR's philosophy, but it's so unsubtle that it would be hard to imagine it coming to anything important, and certainly it would be a wholly different story than HP was -- the simplest answer, anyway, is the diversity stuff already mentioned. Neville would probably be gay, and maybe Draco would be trans just to confuse matters.
     
  8. wordhammer

    wordhammer Supreme Mugwump DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    Messages:
    1,726
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    In the wood room, somewhere flat
    Snape would be (openly) Jewish.
     
  9. Quiddity

    Quiddity Order Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2014
    Messages:
    894
    Location:
    New Zealand
    This is what I think most of this thread gets wrong. Sure, Rowling is anti-Trump. Sure, maybe she'd be more politically active today then in the 90s. But this wouldn't drive her work - instead, it would infuse and influence it.

    As much as I like @fire's picture of a modern Voldemort, it's more likely to be subtle things. Like the way Blair (presumably) influences Fudge - instead of a buffoon peddling lies, you'd have a buffoon peddling anti-muggle sentiment. And this wouldn't be front and centre, it would be in the background.
     
  10. jitenshasan

    jitenshasan Squib

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2019
    Messages:
    14
    I liked Harry Potter much more when it wasn't taking itself seriously (in the beginning of the serie).

    I want to read a book about magic and, maybe, hypothesise about how magic shapes a society; not a commentary of real world politics, political correctness and quotas for diversity. You can have plenty of that IRL.

    I'm fine with having elements of it in the background because I suppose that human nature is the same, magic or not, but a magical world which is the same as the real world only with magic sprinkled on top would be... as boring and depressing as real life.

    The magical world should at least be depressing in a different way :)
     
  11. Silirt

    Silirt Death Eater DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2018
    Messages:
    930
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Georgia
    The thread asks us to come up with what the series would look like if written today, basing our theories on what is currently available. While I don't equate weapons with things that could theoretically be used as weapons, that's what the laws of the UK prevent people from carrying. The pic I posted earlier shows the police unambiguously defining a bicycle wheel as a weapon; I genuinely don't understand how you're directing this erroneous equation at me when I'm just stating the British policy on weapons sweeps.
    Consider the current status on illegal knives. https://www.gov.uk/buying-carrying-knives I can think of all sorts of uses for knives apart from killing people, but I can't think of any time the local boy scouts were stabbing each other to death with knives that definitely would have been banned in the UK, where even kitchen knives are banned for minors. As for tire irons, there would be a popular opposition to banning them if they just walked the bill into Parliament without running propaganda ads for years in advance, which is why you can expect to see 'big boys turn the bolts by hand' on every wall in the underground as the laws move to restrict them to licensed mechanics.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    The wizarding world of the nineties allowed everyone to carry wands, including children, and I predict that this would change over the course of the next two decades. They had restrictions on dark magic, which would expand to restrictions on combat magic, which would be verified by warding the wands before being sold, which would be made effective by making unregistered wands unlawful. Students would be using practice wands that would only work inside classrooms at Hogwarts, and few of them would even bother to buy wands after graduation. We had a thread on how the adult population rarely uses magic and consequently can't perform it well; I wouldn't be surprised if they lost track of their wands and decided it wasn't worth a week of lunch out to replace them. Substantially fewer, if any, adults would bother after the restrictions ramped up, more often than not because they might lose the whole investment if they were confiscated.
    I'm close to a hundred percent certain a total wand ban out of nowhere would face opposition; the trick is to do it slowly and quietly so the populace doesn't notice it until it's too late. Wands make it easier to go about household tasks, but as they're slowly being restricted, alternatives like elves become more commonplace. Wands represent culture and heritage, but not only does the Ministry not care about that, it's too easy for them to just move some terms around so that culture is about Quidditch and only Death Eaters care about heritage. They have complete control over the press and can print outright lies without any consequence at all, so it can't be that hard, especially since wands are significantly more phallic than guns; the propaganda ads practically write themselves.
     
  12. Sorrows

    Sorrows Queen of the Flamingos Moderator DLP Gold Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2008
    Messages:
    2,824
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Edinburgh
    That's pretty despotic.

    People in the UK can carry knifes over 3 inches if they have a lawful reason to do so. The ban is not total, it is for the person in possession of such an instrument to prove on the balance of probabilities that he/she had good reason for its possession. Someone going fishing for example has a genuine reason to carry a knife. Someone going to the supermarket does not.

    Considering the wants endless utility in day to day life they are more analogous to offensive weapons, which in the UK is objects made, adapted or intended to cause harm. You can carry a baseball bat all you like, but you can't carry it with the intention to bash someone's brain in.

    A wizards use wands day to day, they have a myriad of lawful reasons to carry them. For the most part they are not used to cause harm. When they do I imagine that is covered by the ministry's criminal code.
     
  13. Quiddity

    Quiddity Order Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2014
    Messages:
    894
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Every so often I come across a comment that seems to come at something from left field, and then I realise they're probably replying to someone I Ignore.

    10/10 would recommend! Great for the blood pressure.
     
Loading...