The Politics of Middle-earth

signs of various politcal ideologiesHave you ever wondered what politics and Middle-earth have in common?

More precisely, what would modern politics in America look like if we transported them to Middle-earth?

What political leanings would each race exhibit? After all, men only account for a moderate percentage of Middle-earth’s population. Where would dwarves, elves, and hobbits fall in their beliefs and practices?

Come on, haven’t you ever wondered, or am I on the only nutty LOTR geek around?

Taking tongue out of cheek and moving on…

This question came to me the other day, and I realized that apart from mankind, the major races of Middle-earth—elves, dwarves, and hobbits—each exhibit traits that are remarkably similar to our current parties.

I’m going to keep this simple and not include sub-groups and smaller political parties. For this examination, it’s democrats, republicans, and libertarians.

Here now is a presentation of politics, Middle-earth style.

The Democrat Elves

With their love for the environment and insistence on protecting it, the elves represent the democrats of Middle-earth. They’re environmentally astute, and everything they do is for the good of the world they love.

Shunning the modern trends of heavy industry and urbanization—that obvious pollute and damage the fair land—they create homes that are seamlessly integrated with the natural environment and leave the smallest possible carbon footprint.

They have a distinct distrust of the other races, thinking that allowing them enough freedom will ultimately bring the lands to ruin. As the foremost race, they alone maintain the intellect to properly rule.

Their snobbish attitude and disregard for anyone who disagrees with them contributes to an overall mark of arrogance. It’s impossible for them to be wrong about anything and woe to the unfortunate individual who questions their authority.

After all, they’re only doing what’s best for everyone.

The Republican Dwarves

At their core, dwarves are capitalists and function as Middle-earth’s republicans. They want to accumulate as much gold as they can and will take their axes to anyone who tries to confiscate their hard-earned savings.

Their potent dislike of elves and pointy-eared policies strengthens their republican tendencies, though, in times of dire need they have been known to put aside their loathing and work toward a common goal.

Believing every dwarf has the right to their own small business—aka mining operation—without interference, they endorse a global free-market policy. First come, first serve. Levelling large amounts of taxation on profits is unlawful and will likely lead to them starting a conflict.

Dwarves are hotheaded that way.

The Libertarian Hobbits

Eschewing both major races of Middle-earth, the hobbits seek to live their lives as they please, unfettered by the restrictions of others. As libertarians, they believe that less centralized control—ahem, Rohan and Gondor—is better for the wellbeing of all citizens.

Though smaller in number than elves or dwarves, they cling to their idealized lifestyle in the Shire and refuse to be swallowed by the beasts of political regimes surrounding them. This has put them on the fringe of regular society but they don’t care.

Hobbits have a deep sense of independence. Willing to do anything to defend their freedom, they see anyone trying to impose a different way of life on them as pesky annoyances to send packing.

Which group is most like its political party? How do you think each group would function in our political system? I would love to hear your thoughts.


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