Quote of the Day – Fine Arts and Capitalism edition
Or perhaps it could be called the wages of the liberal cant (Camille Paglia):
Capitalism has its weaknesses. But it is capitalism that ended the stranglehold of the hereditary aristocracies, raised the standard of living for most of the world and enabled the emancipation of women. The routine defamation of capitalism by armchair leftists in academe and the mainstream media has cut young artists and thinkers off from the authentic cultural energies of our time.
Thus we live in a strange and contradictory culture, where the most talented college students are ideologically indoctrinated with contempt for the economic system that made their freedom, comforts and privileges possible. In the realm of arts and letters, religion is dismissed as reactionary and unhip. The spiritual language even of major abstract artists like Piet Mondrian, Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko is ignored or suppressed.
Thus young artists have been betrayed and stunted by their elders before their careers have even begun. Is it any wonder that our fine arts have become a wasteland?
I’ve truly never understood how one does what is routinely done by those who denounce Capitalism – live on and enjoy it’s benefits while calling for its destruction. I don’t see how anyone who would describe themselves as intelligent could live with the contradiction.
Unless, of course, they have a completely twisted and warped understanding of what Capitalism is. And, frankly, that’s precisely from what most of them suffer. They’re spoon fed this ignorant pap without opposition. They get the one side. They have Capitalism defined and characterized as something it’s not and leave believing that definition to be true.
Obviously that mischaracterization would fall mostly within liberal academic pursuits I’m guessing (because they’re unlikely to be pursuing business or economic courses in those pursuits, and thus would never be exposed to what Capitalism is really). So Paglia’s point makes sense. These students are indeed “indoctrinated”. I don’t know how else you describe “teaching” with no balance, with no valid opposing view presented, as anything but indoctrination.
Of course, she describes the result of such a twisted orthodoxy. Art which must conform to the orthodoxy and, as a result, is mostly rejected by the vast majority of the real world. It has gone from being “edgy” and “out there” or a “comment on our culture/society/whatever” to being another example of the same old thing – bashing what others hold sacred or dear. They can’t imagine why others don’t like it or want it.
Of course, when it doesn’t sell, well, that’s Capitalism’s fault.
And why shouldn’t these enlightened few demand subsidies for their “art?” After all, we have no taste and certainly don’t have the intelligence to discern what is or isn’t profound. We owe them such support.
Capitalism? Well that stands in the way, doesn’t it? It requires they produce something of value to others, not just of value to themselves, doesn’t it.
Down with Capitalism.