11 July 2017

South Africa: The Left Deplores Young Adult Fiction for Its Anti-Government Messages

analysis

I recently came across an article which rails against recent young adult (YA) fiction for promoting "a tacit right-wing libertarianism". It might be a few years old, but it's so full of contradictions and misconceptions, it was too good to pass up.

"YA dystopias teach children to submit to the free market, not fight authority," read the strangely self-contradictory headline in The Guardian. "The Hunger Games, The Giver and Divergent all depict rebellions against the state, and promote a tacit right-wing libertarianism," continued the 2014 article by Ewan Morrison, a Glaswegian author of fiction who also writes about fiction.

The piece only recently came to my attention, but it was too good not to critique. In advance, let's consider the possibility that Morrison was trying to write a parody of the progressive left. If so, it is an excellent demonstration of Poe's Law: without knowing the author's intent, no parody is ever so obviously exaggerated that it cannot be mistaken for the real thing.

That said, the arguments surely do sound like familiar left-wing fare. It starts with two misconceptions. The first is that one "submits" to free markets as if they were governmental authority, and that libertarianism is not...

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