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Weekend Frivolity: Post-Conflict Potter

- August 14, 2011

In case anyone missed this “guide to post-conflict reconstruction following the death of Voldemort”:http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/08/11/post_conflict_potter?page=full, it is definitely worth a read. Some choice excerpts:

_On Transitional Justice_

Thousands of Death Eaters fought with or provided material support to Voldemort, including prominent members of key magical institutions. It will be impossible to move forward unless we come to terms with the abuses they committed and meet legitimate demands for redress. In the magical world, after all, the ghosts of the past can literally haunt future generations….. Members of Voldemort’s inner circle and others guilty of the worst crimes — the unforgivable curses of killing (“Avada Kedavra”), torture (“Crucio”), and mind control (“Imperio”) — should be prosecuted before a court of law. We should reject calls by Order of the Phoenix hard-liners like Joe Lieberbottom, John “Mad Eye” McCain, and Lindsey Gramger to instead detain them without charge as “unlawful enemy spell-casters” for as long as the “war” against dark magic continues (though all three men deserve our thanks for their early warnings about the Dark Lord’s return).

A more difficult dilemma arises with respect to the thousands of other wizards and witches who aided the Dark Lord’s cause in less obvious ways. We cannot sweep their complicity under an invisibility cloak. At the same time, it would be impractical and unwise to prosecute all of them. For every wizard who willingly committed crimes for the Death Eaters, another was blackmailed, threatened, or coerced while under the Imperius Curse. Some actively participated in hostilities against other wizards and Muggles; others merely provided financing or shelter. A campaign to punish everyone would get out of hand, creating a climate of suspicion and score-settling in which innocents are snared. The last thing the wizarding world needs is a witch hunt.

_On Transitional Governance_

Members of the anti-Voldemort Order of the Phoenix will presumably form the core of a transitional governing authority, which would then organize elections for a permanent government. As democratic forces in Muggle Egypt and Libya have recently discovered, the legitimacy of post-revolutionary but pre-election transitional governments can be tenuous. This problem could be minimized in the magical world by having the Hogwarts Sorting Hat assign ministerial positions in the transitional authority.

_On Media Reform_

Another urgent priority should be media diversification. A single wizarding newspaper — the Daily Prophet — cannot maintain its independence and hold government officials accountable when it has no competition (especially given the rumor, first published in the tabloid the Quibbler, that the Prophet may soon be bought by dark wizard Rupert Murdoch). New media should also be promoted in the magical world. Right now, for example, wizards and witches stay in touch by sending letters of any length by the slow, reliable method of owl post. A new system could be developed employing faster, lighter sparrows, which could distribute shorter messages — say under 140 characters — to larger numbers of people.

For more, see “the full article here”:http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/08/11/post_conflict_potter?page=full.

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