[WARNING: The following post contains COMMUNISM. To those unfamiliar with the theories of Marx, this will make little sense.]
I have some thoroughly useless questions about Marxist theory and what it has to do with the wizarding world!
Marx divided up history into different economic phases, from first to last: primitive communism/tribalism, slave society, feudalism, capitalism, the dictatorship of the proletariat (transitional), and lastly communism. Though traditional Marxism stresses the need for each stage to follow the others in sequence, later communists had their own interpretations. For instance, Mao Zedong determined that China was still in the feudal stage (China still being agrarian and lacking a large urban proletariat) but decided to skip the capitalist phase altogether and proceed straight to communism (or at least a mangled, self-destructing attempt at it).
Now, here are some questions about the wizarding world and Marx's historical dialectic:
What stage of history would the wizarding world of Britain, as seen in the Harry Potter books, be in? How would wizarding Marxists classify their own society?
If magical Britain is NOT deemed as being in the capitalist phase, do you think wizarding Marxists would want to develop capitalism to create the perfect conditions for communist revolution, or would they just want to bypass it?
Now for the joyous topic of CLASS STRUGGLE!
To Marx, there are essentially just two kinds of people: the exploiter and the exploited. If you work more than is necessary to support yourself, than you are exploited. If you work less than is necessary to support yourself, than you are a dirty capitalist exploiter. The basic goal of Marxism is to eliminate exploitation, and therefore ensure that everyone receives as much as their labour is worth.
But who is "exploited"? For Marx, the most prominent of the exploited peoples are the industrial working classes. Being urban proletarians and not farmers, these people have to work for someone else to survive, and are thus utterly dependent on their capitalist employer/exploiter in a sort of "wage slavery" relationship. Therefore, the urban industrial proletariat is the foundation of the Revolution according to Marx, since they are the most exploited class and in the most practical position to force change in a class struggle against capitalists.
Now for some questions:
Are there any people/beings/classes in the Harry Potter series whose economic situation resembles that of the classical Marxist industrial proletariat? What/who would a wizarding Marxist determine to be the foundation of a Revolution?
What about House Elves? Do you think wizarding Marxists would consider them the vehicle of revolutionary socioeconomic change, or do you think wizarding Marxists would rather rely on human support?
From a Marxist perspective, how would you describe the economic situation of goblins? How exploited (or not) are they?
And now for a random question:
Could you see Hermione Granger as a Marxist? Are there other Harry Potter characters who exhibit Marxian tendencies?
Those are just the questions I have for now. ĦHasta la victoria siempre!
Го Пролетариат, Баби!
Tim the Enchanter