Harry Potter -- left-wing hero of the intellectual aristocracy against the materialist middle classes? Well, yes, according to the French daily Liberation...
[French philosopher Jean-Claude Milner] identified a reaction to the free-market revolution instigated in
by Margaret Thatcher's governments. Britain
"Reading it, one has the feeling that J.K. Rowling feels, like many cultivated English people, that there was a real, catastrophic Thatcherite revolution [I’m going to add Reaganomics here for us Americans], and that the only chance for culture now is to survive as an occult science," he wrote.
Milner identified the "Muggles" -- inhabitants of the ordinary, non-magical world -- as the uncultured bourgeoisie who did well materially out of the Thatcher years and later under Tony Blair.
"In the world described by J.K. Rowling, there are the Muggles, who represent the Thatchero-Blairite middle class (going from the lower middle class to the upper middle class), and then the others: the people, cultivated people and the penniless aristocracy, people whom you would expect to find in public schools or at Cambridge," he said.
Milner said the disinterested world of culture upheld by Harry Potter and his friends at the elite
represented a form of opposition to the values of the profit-seeking market economy. Hogwarts Academy
"As such, Harry Potter is a war machine against the Thatcherite-Blairist world and the '
American Wayof Life'."
Ouch! I was all excited to hear that Harry Potter was one of us, a left-leaning intellectual, but come on British people! “Cultivated penniless aristocracy,” really? You look down on the Muggles for not being born to privilege? For being Middle-Class? Even I can’t be that snobby. We hate the Thatcher-Reagan political era too, but being born an aristocrat rather than working hard for what you have is not a virtue that we share.