An Essay on Blood Purism

It seems that most players have a difficult time getting into the mindset of pure-blood supremacists — or what we have come to call "blood purists," or simply purists. We, as players, can look at the wizarding world, and clearly see that being a half-blood or Muggle-born does not make for a lesser wizard in the least. The evidence is clear.

But the evidence is not clear to the eyes of our characters. There is no gauge within the IC universe by which to compare the magical power of this wizard or that wizard. Of course, individual characters are allowed their opinions, but it should come as no surprise when an anti-Muggle pure-blood has an opposing opinion. "But what about Dumbledore?" we might ask. He's a half-blood, and one of the most famously powerful wizards in the world. The formidable Charms professor at Hogwarts is a Muggle-born, as is the head of the Department of Mysteries. Surely, this stands as testament to how ridiculous the purist attitude is.

Well, it does, and it doesn't. To understand how purists can dismiss these pieces of evidence, we have to examine the purist philosophy. What is it they actually oppose?

In truth, very few purists espouse the notion that Muggle blood makes for a weaker wizard. It's a losing battle, and most of them know it. Those that cling to the idea often argue that wizardkind as a whole has become weaker due to the taint of Muggle blood. But whether a purist believes this or not, all of them tend to get behind one central, unifying sentiment:

Sharing magic with Muggles is dangerous.

From there, the arguments become a flood.

  • Breeding with Muggles leads to Muggles learning about wizards.
  • When Muggles know about wizards, they start to attack us out of fear. That's why we have the Statute of Secrecy.
  • When Muggles are our family members, attitudes toward secrecy soften, and we become vulnerable.
  • A wizard with Muggle blood identifies with Muggles. The more half-bloods and Muggle-born wizards there are, the more it will erode wizarding culture and threaten the wizarding world.

That's just a taste, and it doesn't even begin to get into the theories about Muggles being a lesser species that is holding wizardkind back from even greater power with their dirty blood. In the eyes of many a blood purist, mingling blood with a Muggle is no different than bedding down with an ape.

Naturally, there can be other reasons behind these beliefs as well. Chief among them is fear, and it comes in many forms.

  • Fear of magical blood being diluted so much that it eventually disappears entirely.
  • Fear that Muggles will prove just as capable, or even better, at wielding magic, making the old bloodlines obsolete.
  • Fear of the unknown. What will happen if we don't preserve our traditions? Change is a scary thing, especially for people that invest so much of their identity in their bloodlines.

Of course, most blood purists would never admit to this fear, and it may very well not be the motivation for many of them. But culturally speaking, fear drives the purist ideals more than anything else, and that is a nearly insurmountable obstacle.

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