So a thing I see people talk about a lot is how Dumbledore seems to care far more about his masterminding than Harry’s personal happiness, how his motives are always slightly murky and how pretty much every Harry Potter book is a series of reckless child endangerment courtesy of principle wizardbeard. I mean he left the kid, unattended, with the <i>Dursley’s</i> for crying out loud. He knew Harry was living in a closet because he addressed a fucking letter to that specific closet.
I’ve also seen people talk about how Harry’s reactions to authority throughout the books, and the reason that he gets so much done with just his friends or more or less by himself, is because he was abused for so long by the Dursley’s. Deprived of food, kept in a closet, watching someone no more deserving get ten times the love Harry was denied every day. Harry knew that no matter what came, he could not rely on adults to back him up, or authorities of any kind.
Maybe this was Dumbledore’s plan.
Harry Potter was thrust into a world where he was going to have to fight authority and what was considered normal to win. Dumbledore had him raised as if he were a muggle child so he would never not question magic. Harry is always surprised by new things and he always asks questions, where everyone else only sees the way things are. This gives him the unique perspective necessary to look at things and ask if the way things are is the way they should be. You’ll note that the wizard habit of self-deception when it’s convenient not to prod further is what cost Hagrid his wand, what let Tom Riddle learn about Horcruxes, what sent Sirius Black to jail.
Dumbledore created the ultimate weapon against corrupt institutions, of which magical england has plenty, so that when Gilderoy Lockhart says he’s going to take on the curse of Slytherin Harry and his friends already have their own plan ready to go. So that when Dolores Umbridge walks into town Harry forms his own army.
Dumbledore knew that in order to truly defeat Voldemort, Harry would first have to face a thousand adults and tell them they were wrong, and so, knowing exactly what he was doing, he leaves a baby on the doorstep of a couple of parents he is certain will abuse the shit out of him.
It’s a brilliant plan, but he’s an asshole for thinking of it.