And Hilarity Ensued: Ayn Rand's Objectivism, Meet Harry Potter

"Malfoy bought the whole team brand-new Nimbus Cleansweeps!" Ron said, like a poor person. "That's not fair!"


Harry Potter images
Wikimedia Commons

In an exceptional post titled "Ayn Rand's Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," Toast author Mallory Ortberg produced a mashup of the Randian philosophy of Atlas Shrugged and the wizarding world of the first Harry Potter novel.

The results, called "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Objectivism" in accompanying art, were undeniably hilarious:

"You're a wizard, Harry," Hagrid said. "And you're coming to Hogwarts."

"What's Hogwarts?" Harry asked.

"It's wizard school."

"It's not a public school, is it?"

"No, it's privately run."

"Good. Then I accept. Children are not the property of the state; everyone who wishes to do so has the right to offer educational goods or services at a fair market rate. Let us leave at once."

Ortberg casts Harry as the all-knowing John Galt-esque Objectivist hero, while Ron plays the part of the whiny, socialist-inclined naysayer:

"Malfoy bought the whole team brand-new Nimbus Cleansweeps!" Ron said, like a poor person. "That's not fair!"

"Everything that is possible is fair," Harry reminded him gently. "If he is able to purchase better equipment, that is his right as an individual. How is Draco's superior purchasing ability qualitatively different from my superior Snitch-catching ability?"

"I guess it isn't," Ron said crossly.

Harry laughed, cool and remote, like if a mountain were to laugh. "Someday you'll understand, Ron."

Best of all: Harry doesn't care to linger over sentimental images of his deceased parents—a stance that is confusing to Ron but not to devotees of Rand:

"But they gave birth to y–"

"I made myself, Ron," Harry said firmly.

Read the full thing here.

If Ortberg intends to write more on the subject, allow me to suggest appropriate titles for the rest of the series:

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secret Energy Projects

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Altruism

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Man's Triumph Over Nature

Harry Potter and the Order of the Profit-Motivated CEOs

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Bureaucrat

Harry Potter and the Deathly Public Works Project

Hat Tip: David Brin