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WMG / Harry Potter Government

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Harry Potter Wild Mass Guesses relating to the wizarding world and its government. Please add new entries at the bottom.

The Ministry of Magic is a dictatorship
There are no elections - new ministers are picked from the Ministry elite. The mainstream media (The Daily Prophet and the Wizarding Wireless Network) pretty much say whatever the Ministry says. People are arrested and held without trial (see Stan Shunpike).
  • Good theory. However, in ''Deathly Hallows"", durind the Potterwatch scene; Lee tells Kingsly he has his vote for Minister.
    • Which, if not a joke, would make Wizarding Britain more directly democratic than the U.K., in which the Prime Minister is appointed by the monarch from within the dominant party in the (elected) House of Commons.

Wizarding Britain is North Korea for Wizards.

The Statute of Secrecy is the work of exactly 1 wizard (or possibly witch)
The Statute was imposed by a single wizard who used False Memory Charm to mind control other wizards into believing the necessity of secrecy and of mind controlling others to believe the necessity etc, by completely rewriting their personalities.This sets off an exponential cascade, and explains why, say Qing Dynasty and Tokugawa Shogunate wizards would bother with what foreign wizards wanted. For clarity: 1 wizard becomes say, 10 then 100 then 1000 etc. up to "All wizards who didn't realize what was happening and hid"

In defense of the incompetence and unethical nature of the Ministry of Magic
  • So, the series does not portray the Ministry in a good light and leads one to realize how fucked up and corrupt the wizardings world is. However in it's defense, let's not forget that about 10 years ago Voldemort's coup-de-tat effectively destroyed the Ministry. What we are seeing is not the Ministry of Magic and the Wizarding World as it has been for thousands of years but more of a post-apocalyptic, or more like, post-mad max Wizarding World that is still in the throes of recovery from Voldemort's facist rule. The Courts were corrupt because the old courts had been eradicated and replaced by Voldemort's fascist courts, when he was overthrown they had to throw together a policing and court system to try and incarcerate all the Death Eater's still running around AND maintain the masquerade. That thrown together court system is still the foundation for the modern wizarding world court system which as we saw is easily corrupted, because it was formed to be a swift justice machine. The Daily Prophet is the obvious political media tool of the government because under voldemort ALL media was suppressed, not just suppressed utterly destroyed. After Voldemort's overthrow the Ministry wanted to get the media built again and created, or re-started the Prophet. The Ministry seems to be interfering in Hogwarts because the Ministry has had to rebuild the curriculum and the entire educational system away from one designed to produce oppressed fascists. What we see in the time frame of the Harry Poter universe is what has happened when what were once emergency recovery governmental systems that were right for the time are now becoming corrupted government systems. Even so it is still caught in the throes of conspiracy fueled paranoia, a paranoia fueled by the fact that the worst case scenario did in fact happen. The Death Eaters were a conspiracy, and they were overthrown or at least resisted by the Order of the Phoenix which was itself a secret society and probably the subject of several pro-voldemort conspiracy theories, "No, I swear to you, Dumbeldore's forming a secret army to overthrow the government", was probably once scoffed at by some Death Eaters as paranoid nonsense once and we see how that turned out. "I think Tom Riddle may be the Heir Slytherin" was probably scoffed at as well. So the adults in this world have reason to still be paranoid, and routinely engaged in shady behind the scenes movements seeking to exert control over the government while trying to pretend that all is well in an effort to make it be so.
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  • Basically what we're looking at is not a weak and corrupt government per se, but rather a government that has been severely, nearly fatally damaged and is still recovering.
  • And it still retains some medieval ethics in their as well, which maybe were falling out of vogue but re-gained a foothold during the rise of Voldemort. Things such as using children in blood sports like Quidditch or the Tri Wizard Tournament, which is why this was the first year you had to be 17 to enter, openly having house elf slaves, etc.
  • And as we see a significant portion of the Ministry and of the wealthy were and really still are Death Eaters. Even though they can't use their facist tactics anymore they are still now members of the legitimate government, and can still use legal means to uphold their underlying agenda of racism and facism.
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  • And though still allowing house elf slavery shows some despicable practices still allowed in the wizarding community, but the rest of their near outright oppression of other species such as dementors, centaurs, giants, dragon preserves, etc is necessary to maintain the masquerade. But in the hands of Voldemort this necessary evil of the masquerade was united with out right oppression and racism, and that legacy is still with them.

The Ministry of Magic is purposely keeping the Wizarding World ignorant of how the muggle world really is to prevent conquest-happy wizards from becoming unstoppable threats and to keep them under their rule.
Supposedly, the Wizarding World is purposely kept separate from the Muggle World to prevent the latter from decimating the former in a war and (presumably) prevent the latter from exploiting the former as a cure-all resource. While this may be true, there's also the added, underlying threat of what would happen if a wizard or witch suddenly came into possession and full knowledge of Muggle weapons and technology.

They say that against a wizard with a Killing Curse, a Muggle with a shotgun would win every time; imagine if said shotgun was enchanted and wielded by a deranged wizard. With the magic world completely inept in the ways of the non-magical folk, it ensures that they can't combine the best of both worlds and create an unstoppable weapon of mass destruction or invincible army to conquer both worlds. Plus, if wizards knew the ins and outs of Muggle society, technology, culture, etc., it's likely they'll pull an "Amish in the City" and abandon the old traditions for a more technomantic life, thus throwing the Ministry's carefully balanced iron grip on Wizarding society into jeopardy. Alternatively...

  • There's no way a muggle with a gun would beat a wizard with a wand. A quick Expelliarmus would disarm him sraight away. Or if you don't feel like disarming him, which would be easy as hell, you could send a stunning spell or Perificus Totalus to knock him down. Or blast the gun out of his hands with Reducto. Or you could transfigure it into a rubber chicken. There must be some sort of spell that blocks physical objects, the shield charm for example. All relatively simple spells. Seriously, the muggle wouldn't stand a chance.
    • Compare the length of time it takes to finish pronouncing a five-syllable pseudo-Latin word to the time it takes to pull a trigger. Also consider that wands only work at pistol range, and firearms can work at sniper rifle range. And this is all before we get into grenades, bombs, artillery...
      • Wandless magic. Once Calling Your Attacks is out, all bets are off. Also, the Weasley's "weapons-grade jokes": conventional smokescreen vs. pitch-black Peruvian Darkness Powder; hypnotism vs. extra-stregnth Daydream Charms; complicated disguise makeup vs. a hat that instantly makes your head invisible. In terms of pre-packaged magic, wizards are at an advantage... after a pair of joke-loving teenagers put some thought into it. That no one thought to create some sort of "magic-bullet-proof vest" before probably falls into the WMG below.
      • Although most of those items are joke items, actual wizard combat powers doesn't seem to involve anything more powerful. Human (Muggle) science and technology is adaptive. Magic stagnates to the point that simple logic problems are considered drastic security measures.
      • Yeah, but at the same time the premise here isn't a muggle with a Gun. It's a wizard. With an enchanted gun. If a muggle with a gun is at a slight disadvantage (At best), a crazed wizard with a gun will have a significant advantage. If, some how, said wizard managed to avoid falling into the 'All important wizards are certifably insane' aspect of the Potterverse setting, well, Wizards are screwed.
      • Speaking of wandless magic, uncontrolled wandless "accidental magic" seems to protect young wizards from mundane accidents (Neville bouncing like a rubber ball when dropped out a window, etc.). Perhaps this isn't restricted to the young. If Hagrid thought it ludicrous that a car crash could have killed Lily and James Potter, the same might hold true for a bullet or a bomb.
      • If that's the case, then why do people banish things at eachother in duels?
      • Shield charms work to protect against moderate magic, not physical impact. Furthermore, wizards have and have used swords. If a SWORD could work on a wizard, there is no reason to assume a gun wouldn't.
      • Only on magical creatures, and it was a highly magical goblin-made sword.
      • When Ron comes back in book 7, Harry uses a shield charm to keep Hermione from attacking him. If it works on humans, why wouldn't it work on bullets?
      • Because humans dont break the speed of sound? The most likely conclusion is that a strong enough shield charm would stop a bullet from a highpowered gun. And that enough bullets would break the shield, just like Magic does in the books.
      • A shield charm can save you from falling hundreds of feet. Bullets don't actually have all that much energy; they are merely pointed, thus exert a lot of pressure.
      • Isn't it mentioned somewhere that the threat of uncontrolled magic is virtually zero once a wizard's been fully trained? Neville, Harry et al. had no idea how to use their powers, hence all the involuntary magic. Once they know how to use it, the threat goes down.
  • The same badass fanfic as last entry posited that the Ministry purposely censored all wizarding knowledge of technological process, starting sometime between World War I and the rise of Grindelwald. Effectively, this boils down to bitches don't know 'bout my atom bomb in later chapters. the person writing these the author of that fic?
  • It's worth noting, in all this Fan Wank, that there's something not taken into account, and that's that, while a Wizard might be more than a match for a muggle with a gun, a muggle with a highpowered sniper rifle firing on a wizard who doesn't know he's even around is probably going to come out on top. Even if a shield charm stopped every bullet ever, and you could get it up before someone could shoot, you're not going to be able to stop a bullet from someone you don't even know exists.
    • This also goes the other way around; the Muggle with the high-powered sniper rifle is equally defenseless against a wizard who's scouted the area (magic would probably help a lot in finding a hidden sniper if you think it's a good precaution to check) and sneaks up behind him. This actually works against the WMG, however; all the wizards who would want to counquer the muggle world don't have this sense, they're too busy feeling superior to think about doing anything about the muggle with a gun than stand in front of him. The kind of wizard that's of the right mind to learn how the muggle world ticks and make this situation work for him would have no interest in doing so.
      • According to the epilogue, there is a Supersensory Charm.
      • Magic in Harry Potter actually has a hard time detecting non-magical objects. But this discussion is Completely Missing the Point: There are about 10000 muggles for one wizard and those are definitely not the odds the Wizarding World wants to face. A wizard with a wand will not win over 10000 muggles with guns. A HP wizard is definitely not strong enough for that, so they defer to secrecy.
      • Mind you, all wizards can use magic, when all muggles are not soldiers...
      • It is equally ludicrous to suggest that all wizards both could and would use either lethal magics, or other spells combat-effectively:
        • Outside of duelling clubs and secret DADA lessons, even the ability to cast Shield Charms and Stunning Hexes is far from universal - remember in Book 7 the Ministry ordering 300 Shield Hats from Weasley's Wizard Wheezes, and how they were "still getting massive orders" note ? I'd compare it to much like how in RL, attendance of self-defence training is far from universal...
        • As such, I imagine well below 50% of the wizarding population would be willing to actively seek out opportunities to fight, the rest would... hide and try to avoid being found/drawing attention to themselves? You know, like they did in their houses during Voldemort's reign, and how they still currently do from the Muggles under the Statute of Secrecy, with massive obscuration and mind-affecting (e.g. Muggle-repelling) charms?
        • Therefore, wizarding behaviour is quite realistically plausible within known facets of human nature, even without conspiracies from the top. Most humans simply aren't personally interested in war (or at least, all the nasty practical things that would come with), and would prefer peace (or at least, comfortable safe(r) lives) - even when they have personal hatreds.
        • Extending on this logic, in a bit of a sidetrack just for the fun of it - in a way, the Death Eaters' cloaks and masks were probably also a large part of their success, just as much as the Dark Mark, as they allowed members to act on their prejudices and hatreds without facing personal consequences and retribution (much like the KKK, perhaps, although I don't claim much historical knowledge - or like a nastier and more serious version of the G.I.F.T.).
      • Also, remember Moody's Foe-Glass? It seems actually quite simple to detect threats and enemies. It never says that the glass only detects wizards, and why would it? And this kind of magic surely can exist in spell form, or at least in more portable form.
    • A related idea: A wizard builds his wand into a shotgun, thus enchanting every shot fired with a spell. An Avada Kedavra blast would mean that every little piece of buckshot carries an instant-death curse. This would be bad.
      • Yep. But it would be much harder for him to cast lots of other stuff. Even the darkest wizard wouldn't deprive himself of a shield charm.
  • I'm imagining an shotgun that fires bullets enchanted with different spells. A shotgun shell that fires fiendfyre, a shotgun shell that fires the killing curse, or reducto. That's be awesome, someone should make that movie!

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