[made rebloggable by request]
all the ways.
no, literally, all the ways.
Okay, this is the…super extra sparknotes version of my dissertation on Harry Potter and the ways its worldbuilding is just asking to be shaken to pieces. It’s called:
~*Ten Ways To Irreparably Fuck Up a Civilization: A Harry Potter Rant*~
1.) Put the major base of your economic power—such as a national bank—in the hands of a class you are busy oppressing. Because goblins definitely have forgotten centuries of warfare and specicide anti-goblin sentiment and will totally treat your ancestral gold with the fairness and even-handedness it deserves. Ditto with house elves and your children.
2.) Don’t try to understand or theorize about how your power works. Do not inquire as to how a particular measure—spell, hex, or charm—works. Do not try to test its effects. If a spell builds a house, do not attempt to test the durability of the roof—the roof will have come into existence with the necessary durability for roofs. Do not ask why a perfectly ordinary Latinate word and a stick of wood conjures the Platonic Form of a roof. Have no engineers or philosophers. Make sure no one thinks the phrase “hypothesis.” Make sure no one tests theirs.
3.) Make sure the schooling that you do offer is, essentially, a technical school. Make no attempt to teach students how to write, read, do maths, or think critically, even though those skills may be required. Those who do not arrive with such skills must learn them independently, because helping students with learning disabilities or those who come from difficult home lives is for chumps. Also, make sure to sow the seeds of deep social divides that will persist through your population’s adult life.
…there is no alternative.
4.) Don’t have any institutionalized pre-schooling or post-secondary education. Because everyone worth educating has access to tutors, or parents who have the time, energy, and ability to teach. Do not have institutions for further learning, because there is nothing more to learn. Do no try to understand how your power works.
5.) Allow the government to be the single biggest employer. Small businesses may be tolerated, but private chains, corporations, or conglomerates should not be allowed to operate independently. Make sure that your population gets its news from the government. Dissenting voices that cannot be rendered unemployed can be narratively shamed.
6.) …and then have that government rife with corruption and barely representative. The people in power now should be descendant from the people in power then. They should love their own kind. Trial by jury is unnecessary. Elections are unheard of. Influence talks, and money covers a multitude of sins. Nothing says forgiveness like a bag of galleons and an invitation to the Malfoys’.
7.) Don’t innovate. Your mores should be Victorian and your aesthetic Medieval. “Technology” is a broom, a radio, and an hourglass.
8.) Don’t have any contact beyond the incidental with the civilization literally occupying the same space as yours. Particularly if there is significant crossover in population. In fact, make sure those individuals who emigrate from that civilization cannot return, cannot discuss their new country with friends and family, or use their new-found knowledge to help those friends and family. God forbid they try and help that civilization in turn.
Reduce interest in their world to a laughable hobby. You are the only civilization for them now.
9.) Ensure that all those who do not fall within specific parameters are labeled Other and de facto exiled from your civilization. Particularly squibs and werewolves and other species. An accident of birth implies someone isn’t at fault.
10.) Expect people to quietly stand by. Some of them will. Most of them will. But sooner or later you’ll piss one off, and all the ones who have been afraid to speak out will nod, will join in, and the whole affair will come tumbling down around your ears as that one troublemaker screams to the heavens for justice and knowledge and innovation and truth and light and then my dears
your civilization is well and truly fucked
Yeah the wizarding wolrd used to make me dream but rereading it now that I’m older, I realize it pretty much sucks. It’s a deeply oppressive society that still lives in the Middle-Ages, they rely on magic to the point that if they were to lose their power, they would just not know how to function, they see Muggles as dumb even though Muggles came up with technology and sciences that allow them to make a lot of solid progress. The wizarding education system sucks and the wizarding world is so self-centered, they just keep to their own microcosm and avoid contacts with Muggles and there isn’t that much contact with others countries except for the Triwizard tornament and the World Cup. Long story short, Muggles ain’t that bad after all.