Anyway, the real villain of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was the government and no one can convince me otherwise. MACUSA:
- fails to notice the
Director of Magical Security and head of Magical Law Enforcement has been replaced by an international magical terrorist for several weeks at least, even though he is in constant contact with the highest ranking MACUSA officials, including President Picquery, even though he’s probably only using Polyjuice potion to achieve this, therefore having to be constantly doing out of character things, like drinking hourly from a hip flask while working, probably, and sentencing people to death without trials
- fails to do anything, at least on screen, or exhibit any care that their Direct of Magical Security and head of Magical Law Enforcement is probably being Barty Crouched somewhere, with hair ripped out of his head and imperiused so that he can be imitated effectively, since for a replacement scheme to work, he needs to be alive, á la Goblet of Fire
- stripped a competent auror of her position because she defended a magical child from abuse. They don’t know Credence is an obscurial, but he apparently stands out instantly as being from magical lineage, i.e. seeming to be a squib, meaning he isn’t a muggle/no-maj and therefore even with their effed up no-maj relation laws they could and should be protecting him and giving him a place in society. Also, Mary Lou Barebone is abusing all the children she’s adopted, and MACUSA knows and instead of helping, you know, protecting god damn orphan children, they demoted the one witch with any god damn integrity.
- are actually protecting the Second Salemers, i.e. the people calling for witches to be burned at the stake again, which kind of threatens the statute of secrecy doesn’t it? Since people as high ranking as a presidential candidate’s brother believe them and their voices are being heard. But no, since an auror attempted to stop the abuse of a child, they are allowing these no-maj’s (and non-no-maj’s, since both Credence and Modesty at least seem to have some powers) threaten the international statute of secrecy. This at the same time as protecting the statute with stupid, small things like beast extermination and not allowing no-majs and wizards/witches to be friends or lovers, which is horrific. As other people have pointed out, what does this mean for no-maj/muggle born witches and wizards? Nonsense. But PIcquery is fine for wizards and witches to get drunk during prohibition, sure.
- President Picquery refuses to listen to a competent ex-auror, who appears in front of her with a culprit already in custody, she does not even allow an explanation. Picquery later gets angry at Porpentina for not telling her what had happened sooner, when TIna appears in front of her with the same man and the same (looking) case. Yes, because that’s logical. Picquery is just in general a terrible leader and a terrible human being, which I’ve talked about before.
- In a room with every magical world leader, none of them are willing to look at the evidence, or listen to the professional in the field, and admit that it is possible that magical children might be being abused to the point of becoming obscurials, even though, in at least America, they can’t keeps tabs on every magical child because they have no way to check on no-maj-born kids because of their effed up laws, and they refuse to help the no-maj-born kids they do know about, i.e. the Second Salemers. All these government leaders are so determined to not be wrong/scapegoat a beast that they put countless people’s lives in danger, including those of children. “There hasn’t been an obscurial in centuries.” “I literally saw one three months ago what the hell are you talking about!?”
- actually behave worse than the darkest wizard who ever lived, at that point in history. They’re at least as bad as him, if in different ways. Graves/Grindelwald listens to people when they obviously have information, no matter their position. Is Grindelwald a monster? Heck yes, he manipulates and abuses a child (I’m counting Credence as a child, ok, he’s probably in his late teens, but considering he doesn’t seem to be able to escape his mother, even legally, I’d put him at 17, i.e. not an adult), he has killed and attacked countless people, he’s partially responsible for Ariana Dumbledore’s death, he wants to use an abused and tormented child for his own gain, he sentences Newt and Tina to death, he’s a horrible person and I’m not on his side, but neither am I on the side of MACUSA. Grindelwald doesn’t strike me as another Voldemort, i.e. pure evil, he seems more he like he knows exactly how to manipulate the discontent and downtrodden, and he wouldn’t gain this support for “the greater good” if the government weren’t failing so many wizards and witches already.
- has a torture death chamber that they can apparently send people to without trial, which is just as bad as Azkaban. I don’t even need to go into why this is so horrible. Even if you support the death penalty (which I sure as hell don’t), you can’t support the chamber of showing you your worst and best memories as you slowly sink into a burning acidic fiery death pool. That’s inhuman.
- also, despite a magizoologist, a competent ex-auror and ministry employee, and the Director of Magical Security and head of Magical Law Enforcement telling them not to do it, and showing that they knew how to help Credence, MACUSA still executed a child on President Picquery’s orders, and there are no repercussions for that. This is not even a mercy killing, because Credence has already proved that when treated with compassion, he is skilled enough to survive and prosper, even as an obscurial. (Is it possible he survived? Considering what Hayes has said and that little whisp at the end, yes, but that doesn’t change the fact that MACUSA tried to kill him.)
- they were also entirely willing to let Newt try his Thunderbird Swooping Evil venom plan, even though Newt has only theorized about this, and never actually attempted it, and they have no idea what the side effects could be. To save themselves, they released an untested substance into New York’s water supply, and the water cycle in general, with no idea of how it would work. What memories will actually be lost? Will it be effective? What adverse effects might there be? How will wizards be immune, when it’s in the water supply? This was a bad plan, and MACUSA risked a lot letting it go forward.
- Picquery at the end is just a bad leader. “We owe you everything- gtfo.” “We owe you a debt- obliviate your friend who had a massive hand in saving our necks and many, many lives.” “I just said it was ok to kill a child- do what I say.” She is a very, very bad leader, who canonically cares more about letting wizards drink than she does about the lives of no-majs, no-maj born and squib kids, children suffering abuse, her
Director of Magical Security and head of Magical Law Enforcement
probably being locked in a box somewhere, the truth, and whether someone can be saved or not. She is just another Fudge, but ten times worse.
TL;DR: MACUSA, President Picquery and global magical goverments as a whole are portrayed as villains in this film, and it’s very easy to imagine how Grindelwald found support when the international situation is so critical; Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a few steps away from advocating the murder of the bourgeoisie and I entirely support this reading.