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The Death Eaters Have a Point....

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Sorrows, Jan 23, 2020.

  1. Sorrows

    Sorrows Queen of the Flamingos Moderator DLP Gold Supporter

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    I was having this discussion with @Blorcyn a while back: How to make the Death Eaters and their movement a bit more nuanced?

    The canon Death Eaters are a fairly one dimensional rip-off of the Nazis. They have no redeeming features or understandable grievences. Anyone who bought into their ideology did so for purely nationalistic, blood purist or elitist reasons etc.

    However behind most real popularist ideological movements, the (often quite understandable) push and pull factors that sway a population to that way of thinking can be maped out.

    The Nazis rose to power amid hyperinflation, instability, mass unemployment etc. The far right gained promenance in Europe under the pressure of very visible mass migration in the aftermath of the financial crash that saw countries destabilise and social services buckle.

    People personally can make group identity a core part of their self-esteem, particularly if they have to hide it as the wizards do every time they have to go outside their small areas. You could easially see wizard raised people growing up resenting the constructions placed on them.

    So, how could the canon movement be tweaked to have some sort of compelling argument?

    An idea we came up with at the time was instead of making the Death Eaters analogous to the far right, pull a few right leaning talking points.

    It's hard to argue that the muggles are fucking up the planet, nor that open use of magic couldn't go a long way to repairing it. Why should muggles get to rule 90% of the world when they pollute the shit out of it and kill off all the non magic animals not hidden from them by us....

    Etc etc

    So my question, how would you make the Death Eaters, their movement and their successful revolution more nuanced?
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2020
  2. Iztiak

    Iztiak Prisoner

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    Well, they would have to not be genocidal terrorists.

    People don’t tend to focus on your more legitimate opinions when your modus operandi is racially motivated mass murder.
     
  3. Sorrows

    Sorrows Queen of the Flamingos Moderator DLP Gold Supporter

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    Of course they do. How else do you think these sorts of parties get into power? It's not because their entire voter base supports genocide/terrorism/ethnic cleansing right off the bat.

    They do it by proving answers (or scapegoats) to legitimate grievences or addressing real problems in ordinary peoples lives.
     
  4. Silirt

    Silirt Death Eater DLP Supporter

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    I wrote a short story on this called 'Rookwood on Blood Purism' in which a handful of Death Eaters are participating in an indoctrination plan probably larger in scope than what the perspective character observes. To summarize the points-
    >muggles in massive numbers are a threat to wizardkind; Secrecy was created to protect wizards
    >this is the reason magical families are keeping their numbers down, with it being common for many families to have only one child
    >there is no 'muggle-born'; magic is a trait passed from parent to child, therefore they refuse to use the term
    >the 'muggle-borns' are either war orphans rehomed by the traitorous elements in the Ministry to suit their narrative, adopted in some way, or the products of adultery
    >squibs have something like a developmental disorder
    >they object to 'muggle-borns' learning at Hogwarts because their loyalties will ultimately lie with their adoptive families
    >each one is a security risk with a brain packed full of valuable secrets
    >Albus Dumbledore is a common link between the 'traitorous elements' in the Ministry
    >they're not exactly sure what his plans are, but if he worked with Grindelwald once, they might well be world-altering
    >siding with Voldemort is a necessary arrangement in the short term; there are plans in the works to destroy his horcruxes as evidenced by a random minion like Crabbe learning Fiendfyre
    >once most of their enemies are dead, they kill Voldemort and everyone loyal to him specifically (Bellatrix, Pettigrew, Greyback, etc.)
     
  5. Iztiak

    Iztiak Prisoner

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    *They’d have to not literally be walking around mass murderin’ in public prior to taking power. Can’t be voted in if you’re wanted dead or alive.
     
  6. Paradise

    Paradise Paraplegic Dice DLP Supporter

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    Well first, the Death Eaters at their core are a extremist group based around what is essential racism.

    Lets change that, instead they are now nationalists. Their core message stays the same, improving the wizarding world, making life better for wizards, encouraging the wizard culture.

    Muggleborns are the enemy because they contribute to culture death of the wizards. They are born and raised in an entirely different culture, and they come to the wizard one and see what they think are issues. They attempt to fix it by using muggle logic and inventions. This contributes to the death of wizard culture. This is some what comparable to the Prime Directive. By interfering with the development of wizarding society they destroy wizarding culture and replace it with their own.

    Death Eaters are not nessecairly rejecting the advancement of culture but rather the help of the muggleborns, because while it improves their lives, and their quality of life. It erodes their beliefs, and their way of life.

    So now you have an actual issue.

    Death Eaters are now being changed, its not just the army of the purebloods who attack diagon alley or hogwarts. They are now the elite group akin to say a racist batfamily. They only show up at night, never during the day. They use illusionairy magic to make themselves bigger, the stick to shadows, and the darkness. They wear heavy hooded black robes and the white skull masks.

    So basically all Death Eaters are conservative purebloods but not all conservative purebloods are death eaters. Death Eaters are more picky about recruitment, and more picky about targeting.

    Muggleborns replace the wizarding culture by trying to introduce muggle culture, inventions, ideals, and ideas. The Purebloods have noticed the erosion of their own culture over time as it is slowly replaced by Muggle Culture, and fear that if left unchecked they will lose all that makes them Wizards and Witches. These fears are capitalized on by Tom Riddle who fans the fire into nationalism, and radicalizes young purebloods who want to fight against this culture death. Not all of them are obsessed with blood either, just the few elite death eaters. Its more about retaining their culture. This also allows for Tokenism, which is pretty common in real life nationalism. And it also makes it so half-bloods can be more widely accepted by purebloods. Those who embrace the culture are rejoiced and those who don't are shunned.
     
  7. Gaius

    Gaius Second Year

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    I think MiraMirth's On the Way to Greatness has an interesting perspective on the Death Eater and pureblood rationale for government control. There are essentially different party allegiances, Death Eaters and conservative purebloods have different desires at stake, which include desire to practice and de-regulate Dark Arts, not just murdering Muggleborns. Dumbledore and his sphere of influence jams previous nepotistic structures for hiring in the Ministry as well as create more and more regulation that stifles long-time families. This sounds libertarian to me (they want Dark Arts and less govt., etc.) not as fascist, but I think it makes their position less obviously evil. In OtWtG this is complicated by the blood purity issue, so the political arguments become muddied. This is why it's so interesting Harry has to go to the Restricted Section to find a non-Ministry-approved history of the war with Voldemort. He finds himself empathetic to the pureblood view about practicing Dark Arts, fewer regulations, but he himself is caught in a quagmire bc. of Voldemort's issues with him and he can't seem obviously elitist/racist if he wants to keep allies who oppose V.

    It would be interesting to see a fic with an eco-vigilante/-terrorist plotline. Wizards could blow things up or transfigure them into non-hazardous objects/buildings (e.g. Muggle government buildings, oil rigs), cast large amounts of obvious magic to break the Statute of Secrecy, and organize their own power over Muggles with a show of force.

    I think this would make the DE/pureblood agenda a little more interesting, too. Why do they band together behind Voldemort when sb. like Lucius Malfoy has great power over the MInistry (as has been noted already)? If you want a more extreme govt. with the police state, propaganda machine that jails Muggleborns, puts Death Eaters in power over more liberal wizards, etc., it makes sense to join forces with Voldemort. And for someone smart like Rookwood (I imagine he's smart bc. Unspeakable) it makes sense to have V. become the figurehead since you can then publicly topple him and his role in politics afterwards while maintaining most of the DE power structure (akin to the lies of the Ministry of Truth in 1984: We've saved you from V., so we're not V.).
     
  8. Silirt

    Silirt Death Eater DLP Supporter

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    The short version is that they'd rather have him with them than against them for the time being. He presents three main advantages:
    >might be able to kill Dumbledore in a straight fight
    >inspires useful idiots to join their numbers
    >confuses their enemies
    When enough of those advantages disappear, they're not going to let him continue to risk their children, lives, and fortunes.
     
  9. Gengar

    Gengar Polymagus ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    I'd stay away from the eco-terrorism/climate change route, it's a premise that has way too many holes. I'm reminded of the Aquaman movie. You're upset with the humans polluting the oceans so you... vomit all their trash back at them...? Why not just do that from the beginning and be done with it? etc etc.

    The culture death one is way more realistic and sympathetic. Shit, I get triggered when fourteen year olds write fanfiction and have their Hermione on a soapbox preaching to the wizarding world. I can't imagine how irritating that/she would be in real life. Multiply that over decades of muggleborns doing that shit and I might just consider joining an illuminati death cult too.
     
  10. Lindsey

    Lindsey Headmaster DLP Supporter

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    Look at Anti-Immigration rhetoric if you want your answer.

    Muggleborns are the Mexicans of the United States, Chinese of Canada, Poles of the UK, Turkish of Germany, etc, etc.

    Here are these humans from a completely different culture, viewpoints, life and suddenly they want to come here? Then they complain that xyz isn't the same as back home. We give them free education, help them succeed and they end up splitting in our face with our gifts. They are stealing our jobs, our women and our livelihood!

    Don't forget that Voldemort's first rise to power was in the 60s and 70s, which was a HUGE period of change for Muggles. Not only did Wizards just watch two World Wars that Muggles created, they saw how barbarian they can become in war. Even though Wizards could protect themselves from bombs, I'm sure no Wizard liked them. If that wasn't enough, the 40s-80s had the biggest population boom in human history. Suddenly, there was just MORE of them. A lot more. Maybe there used to only be 3 Muggleborns in a decade, now there were 3-5 a year.

    Oh, and now Muggles actually had machines and plastic to create items. Just like small woodcrafters and clothes makers went out of business in the West, many wizarding jobs could have disappeared too. All it would take is one savvy Muggleborn who realized how much money they could make if they took mass-produced goods and sold them at a fraction of the price to Wizards. Why spend dozens of Gallons on a custom carved table with the latest charms, when you can buy a cheap muggle table for two sickles and charm it a bit until it falls apart?

    This is the direction I am going in my fic anyway. Click the spoiler button if you want to see some dialogue that relates to what I just said.
    "Is that why you are here?" He demanded. "Because you don't believe Muggleborns deserve equal rights?"

    "That’s not what I said!" She shrieked. "Why is it that they get to go to Hogwarts while I can't? My family has lost everything because of Muggles. My father had to shut down his business because he could not make money since cheap Muggle products have been flooding the market these last few decades. Haven't you wondered why Hogwarts has relatively few Half-Bloods, even though they make up the majority of the Wizarding World?"

    To be honest, he hadn't. It was not like he went around asking about blood statuses.

    "It is the Half-Bloods and poorer Purebloods that get screwed, time and time again! We don't have the old money or power, like the Old Blood but we also don't get help as the Muggleborns do at every corner. We are the ones left behind: the Half-Bloods."

    "That’s the reason you support Voldemort —," He missed her flinch. “— because life isn't fair?"

    "You don't understand," Her voice, once shrill and loud, came out as a mere whisper she sank down in her seat, her anger spent. "My family spent most of their money trying to get me and my younger brother into Hogwarts. We were doing alright when I was a baby, but things started to change. Items in the Muggle world became cheaper, something about shipping and something called plas-stick —"

    "Plastic," Harry corrected.

    "Right. Plastic. Muggleborns realized their opportunities and started buying a large number of muggle products and modifying them. Why bother buying hand-spelled furniture that will last a lifetime when you could spend a few knuts for a modified muggle version? It ruined my father's business. After my second year, he could no longer afford the fees. I was pulled out and sent to a small local school, that was woefully sub-par." She paused for a moment, twirling a strand of hair with her fingers. "They teach you spells and basic things, but they do not teach you magic." The corners of her lips tilted upwards, and her eyes lit up. "They teach you to pass your O.W.L.S and nothing more. Many days you will not even cast a single spell or make a potion as there is no infirmary in case something goes wrong."
     
  11. valrie

    valrie Second Year

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    A couple of fanfics I've read also make the culture and traditional rituals truly magical. (Example: Taure's Victoria Potter)

    It could be that part of this culture is disgusting to Muggleborn's and that they look down on it or even try to get rid of it with government help.

    Being forced to give up your traditions or hide them would be a valid reason for a rebellion even if the Death Eaters way is obviously the wrong one.

    I know that a lot of edgy Lord!Harry, Dark!Harry and Grey!Harry do this is in a really clumsy and annoying way but there are good examples.
     
  12. Aekiel

    Aekiel Angle of Mispeling ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    See, I wouldn't get rid of Voldemort's genocidal tendencies, I'd just make him one of the only members of that club that thinks that way and is just stringing the purebloods along with talk of Pureblood Pride and the likes so that he can actually go for it. The Death Eaters can have a point, but I think Voldemort works better as the foil to the ideals of racism/nationalism being capable of holding themselves in check.

    I'd go with Voldemort, the Lestranges, Dolohov and later Barty Crouch Jr. as being his inner circle during the First War. They're the ones who are closest to him and agree with his plans for genocide. The rest have either been taken in by the propaganda (Malfoy, Rookwood, Crabbe & Goyle, etc.), have their own selfish desires that they're using the Death Eaters for (Fenrir Greyback, Mulciber, Snape), or are in it because they've got nowhere else to go or got too far in to back out without risking their lives (Pettigrew & Karkaroff).

    They'd use these various factions to appeal to a wider audience in the Wizarding community, so the Pureblood supremacists would head out to the rest of the elites and spread their influence there. They're the ones who give a civilised veneer to the whole operation, who aren't really used beyond their wealth (unless they're stupid or true believers).

    The likes of Greyback and Mulciber would go to their respective communities to try and draw in people who think like they do. The ones who don't fall into these brackets are probably not that high up in the pecking order and are used as semi-disposable agents for doing specific jobs, much like how organised crime gangs will bring vulnerable/young people under their wing to perform crimes for them, and to take the fall if need be.

    Actually, I'd go ahead and make more direct comparisons with organised crime in the story. Equate them to the Mafia, where they straddle the social hierarchy in a way that is attractive to the lower classes, but getting in with the inner circle requires passing tests (which is where the muggle baiting comes in) and showing commitment to the cause. True believers ascend higher than the rest, and getting into the upper echelons means having direct access to some very powerful people amongst the Pureblood elite. Turning the inner circle into more of a social club would make them much more attractive to your average down on his luck pureblood. Tack on a bit of a Dionysian Mysteries type thing with dark magic where they indoctrinate new members into using it under the guise of it being traditional, with the muggleborns being to blame for it being outlawed. Push the propaganda, get them doing things that are illegal a little bit at a time until there's too much evidence for them to back out.

    That way you can keep the same ideology but make it less obvious to the peons who are newly joining up. They're thinking they're joining the Freemasons when really they're joining Scientology. Then once they get far enough in it's too risky for them to back out, whether they want to or not.

    Seeing Voldemort himself would be a rarity. He'd make a showing for the new members, make them think he cares, impress them with casual displays of magic they're not even capable of. Make it into a cult of personality around him. Set it up so that those who impress him get rewarded, either with magic, money, favours or moving up the ranks. Each step up means Voldemort turns up personally. There's a celebration party and maybe some of the higher ups invite the newbie for a bit of 'fun' after it's quietened down but the newbie is still quite drunk. Part of this 'ritual' has involved Voldemort teaching the newbie the Dark Mark. Then they go out and burn a muggleborn's business down, or curse one in an alley, or leave threatening messages about someone's children.

    It's all fine, they say. They deserved it. The business put some good purebloods out of work. This muggleborn is dating a pureblood and we can't have mixed children polluting the genepool, not ones born from muggles who stole magic from a pureblood (what do you think Squibs are?). That father is lying to the Wizengamot to put a good mate of ours in Azkaban (you met him at the party, remember?). They can't be trusted to tell the truth so we have to make them.

    Then it's the day after and any regrets they have are swallowed up by their new friends congratulating them on a job well done, but just so you know we've got pictures of you at the scene of the crime. Once you get to the upper echelons you're either a true believer or so far in it that you can't see the surface any more and you're just going along with things to make sure you don't end up as a snack for the Dementors.

    Then Voldemort takes power and suddenly he's in charge and the genocidal tendencies come out, but you're neck deep in this fucked up social group and they'll just kill you if you try to back out.
     
  13. Agayek

    Agayek Master of Death DLP Supporter

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    Honestly? The biggest way to make the Death Eaters have an understandable and viable point is to simply reduce the divide between Muggle and Wizard.

    Like, the Statute of Secrecy is 100% straight up the only thing an anti-Muggle movement needs to win recruits. It just need to be portrayed as something that actually impacts the average wizard in their daily lives. People chafe at pretending to be something they're not, and doubly so when they're forced to do it. It builds resentment and dissatisfaction, which would in turn breed radicals who would push back against the restrictions. And what better way to cast off the shackles of oppression than by simply removing the cause of the restrictions in the first place?

    The simplest way to do this would be to better integrate the magicals into muggle society. Think something closer to Dresden Files than canon Harry Potter; there's a thriving community of magicals, but it's a subset of wider society, not an entirely distinct society of its own. You'd have pubs and stores and the like run by and for witches and wizards, but most magicals live and work in muggle society, not all that different from everyone else. Muggle society would know of stuff like Hogwarts, but they'd know it only as a super-exclusive private boarding school, etc.

    And then you'd have the Ministry of Magic lurking in the background and imposing penalties and restrictions on what wizards and witches can do with their magic while in the muggle world. You'd see things like "casting tickets", like speeding tickets but for casting magic at the wrong time and place, and all sorts of annoyances and restrictions on behavior between magicals and muggles.

    That's really all you need for the Death Eaters and Voldemort's anti-muggle politics to be entirely viable, and even appealing, to a large swathe of the population.
     
  14. Arthellion

    Arthellion Lord of the Banned ~ Prestige ~

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