Forwarded from Anthony (Harry Potter)

Henry C.K. Liu hliu at
Sun Jan 28 14:41:03 MST 2001

Louis Proyect wrote:

> Hi Lou:
> Just a few words about Harry Potter, French Structuralism, Stalinism, the
> rise of capitalism in Great Britain, and Scottish nationalism.
> I think the article you posted has a lot to say, even though it is second
> hand, a review of a review, the original author appears to be an idiot.
> Harry Potter is not much of a sexist, does believe in Meritocracy, and may
> represent the rising petty bourgeoisie against the landed classes.
> So what?
> Should we stop reading literature about the rising petty bourgeoisie - say
> Stendahl's "The Red and the Black", or anything Mark Twain wrote?
> The French Marxist tradition is for the most part sterile, and a disservice
> to humanity. The original reviewer's ability to see common threads of
> British social mythology in a children's book is nice - not a complete
> idiot in other words. But why shouldn't children read the book?
> Children are intelligent, more free from adult stupidity, and draw their
> own conclusions.
> I think Harry Potter does show light on some interesting aspects of global
> capitalist culture, but the French reviewer hasn't gotten to them.
> For example, the fact the British social mythology now has powerful
> resonance around the world is very indicative of how widely and deeply the
> ideas and culture of the ascendant petty bourgeoisie have replaced those of
> the older landed classes. Knights in shining armour are out, in other
> words. Huck Finn, Harry Potter, and Hermione Granger are in.
> The same thing can be said of other cultural phenoms of the last thirty
> years - Luke Skywalker, et. al.
> Children's heros will change to rebels and revolutionaries, when we have
> some real rebel and revolutionary heros in our lifetimes to inspire them,
> and the next wave of fiction.
> Anthony
> Louis Proyect
> Marxism mailing list:

Better for the young to be introduced to petty bourgeour values so that they
can rebel against them in adulthood.  The American establishment sends its
young to Harvard to get the liberal bug out so that they can rebel in adulthood
and return to conservatism.  Beware of younr liberals like Ronald Reagan. There
is nothing wrong with meritocracy.  Waht is wrong is how werits are measured.

Henry C.K. Liu

More information about the Marxism mailing list