By Ashley Mazerolle, Marketing –
I immersed myself in the magical world of Harry Potter, and I was struck by the uncanny parallels between the fictional Ministry of Magic and the real-world government of Russia, particularly under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin. In this twin study of corruption, the similarities are both eerie and concerning.
In J.K. Rowling’s wizarding universe, the Ministry of Magic, controlled by the villainous Voldemort, mirrors Putin’s governing style in Russia. Both employ a control model of governance, suppressing dissent and eliminating threats to their power. The Ministry uses a state-controlled press to spread propaganda, manipulating its ignorant employees and followers. Similarly, in Russia, corruption is rampant, devouring a staggering 44 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Russian journalist Andrei Malgin sheds light on the grim reality: anti-corruption activists, doctors, and teachers are more likely to face criminal charges than government officials. A striking example is Alexei Navalny, an anti-corruption watchdog targeted by the government. Investigators delve into his past business history to discredit him and fabricate corruption charges, exposing a system on which Putin relies heavily.
Malgin points out Putin’s main principle: “loyalty in exchange for corruption.” This echoes Lord Voldemort’s ideology, demanding unwavering loyalty while turning a blind eye to the nefarious activities of followers. Those who aren’t loyal often face false accusations or mysteriously disappear.
While Harry Potter’s world concludes with a happy ending, the future for Russia seems darker. The pervasive corruption, with its web of bribes and deceit across all levels of leadership, poses a formidable challenge. Even Kremlin Chief of Staff Sergei Ivanov admits, “The worst corruption is not among officials,” dodging questions about high-level government corruption.
Despite claims that corruption is concentrated outside politics, it offers no excuse for Putin and his followers. As the Russian landscape becomes increasingly entangled in fraudulent payments and deceit, the twin study of corruption paints a disconcerting picture for the nation’s future.
Photo by: Sarah Trummer