Free Markets, Free People

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.

Twitter: @McQandO
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20 Responses to Quote of the Day – Fine Arts and Capitalism edition

  • 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 understand it completely. It’s magical thinking.

    Or at least semi-magical. They seem to believe that we have reached a point where technology (which is pretty much magic to them) can supply the basic needs of life, irrespective of the economic system in which it is used.

    After all, it’s been that way all their life. They have never lived in circumstances where they might starve, or be shot for their beliefs, or be conscripted into an army to fight for a totalitarian dictator. They have never been forced to have any connection to that kind of reality.

    They can be completely wrong about their entire philosophy of the world, and there are no consequences for their error. Since there is no feedback for those personal mistakes, they have no mechanism to ever realize they are wrong.

    In fact, they can play that system and gain status and a soft living while being wildly wrong about almost everything they believe, as long as they don’t challenge the prejudices of the rest of their social class. We’ve been lectured for years by a political “scientist” of that bent. The only times he was ever confronted with reality or consequences, he fled in panic, seeking a place where reality cannot intrude. Yet he considers himself to be wiser and with more perspective than those of us who challenge reality and observe its consequences constantly in our professions and daily lives.

    Such people are too canalized to ever grasp the consequences that are to come. They are so convinced of the beauty and truth of their leftist faith that they cannot challenge it in any way. When the horrific consequences finally come, they will go to their grave blaming those who tried to tell them what fools they were and tried to save the system from their idiocies.

    They will be like this old coot, convinced unto his death at 95 that Marxism was a wonderful system with some mildly regrettable side effects. The beauty of their imaginary magic is too much for them to give up; they lack the psychic strength to face reality. 

  • For several centuries artists had to seek the patronage of a very few wealthy people.  To keep that patronage, they produced conforming art that appealed to the patron’s taste.
    As markets developed, art was slowly democratized as more and more people could afford art.  And artists were provided an expanding universe of what they could express.  Instead of a few patrons, they enjoyed millions of patrons.
    And now, we are moving backwards.  The Barons of DC are the new aristocrats who patronize the conforming artist, and the conforming artists are happy to sell out rather than face the risks of the market.

  • The Leftists’ enjoyment of capitalism always makes me think of this city: Austin, TX.  Could there be a better place to be a Leftist?  Since you live in the great State of Texas, you get to enjoy the bounty that liberty and low regulation provide, while simultaneously railing against the evils of capitalism!  What a great place!

  • My sure fire, 100% guaranteed way to to cause an “artiste’s” head to explode: say that Norman Rockwell is the greatest American artist.

    • (Snuff) You mean that vulgar illustrator…?
      Actually, I consider Rockwell…like Capra in the movies…one of America’s great artists in that generation.  If you include the ability to convey human themes to other humans.  If not, well…I am just a rube.

      • “If not, well…I am just a rube.”
        You probably like Fredrick Remington too, you……racist!
        Piss Christ was much more thoughtful, and difficult.  Finding just the right glass took weeks, to say nothing of the liquids imbibed.

  • If you will recall, it was important we pass Obamacare so ‘artiests’ could quit their jobs to pursue their art and still get health care.   It was also important we pass it to find out what was in it.

  • Camille is a leftist and I disagree with her quite often, but I will give her this: At least I feel like we are both looking at the same world. She sees it from a different perspective and comes to different conclusions, but such is her right. So much of leftism has just disappeared entirely from reality, and in the end, it’s people like Camille who must feel that pain the most strongly. We must all live with the consequences of so many in power being so disconnected from reality, but at least I don’t have to live with the idea that these are the people who are nominally on “my side” and whose ability to impact the world in favor of their ideologically is going to vaporize over the next decade precisely because of the avoidable consequences of their choice to disconnect from reality and call it virtue.

  • If you believe that you have a right to food, housing, clothing, health care and a job, regardless of where these things come from, or the ability of the person wanting them, then you’d probably see capitalism as a failure.  It is simply an ideology devoid of reality.

  • For their dopie shills on the MSM, the Democrats’ word of the month is sustainability.
    Redistribution of wealth + sustainability = Collectivism
    Obama/MSNBC slogan, Lean Forward, is an extension of Mao’s 1958 “Great Leap Forward” plan.
    Make no mistake about it: Obama and his slimy shills, the liars at MSNBC are hardcore Communists.
    Like Jews, Negroes are too dense, too shallow, too stupid and too intransigent to contemplate a workable compromise between Capitalism and Communism, and so, in their befuddlement, they will always turn to Communism, IMHO. The writer suspects that it is genetic, not hereditary.
    Just a thought.

  • …, and, oh yeah, too immoral, too.

  • 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.
    – Childlike believers in Utopia.
    – Rebels without a clue.
    – People looking for a handout
    – People who believe everyone in the above list are useful idiots for their advancement, but don’t realize they are on the useful idiot list, too.
    – People who take advantage of the 4 types of useful idiots above to rise to power.

  • What we need is a Swiss style reform where government cannot borrow money unless the economy is growing. This provides the incentive to people who wish to spend more to grow the economy to do so. You want more arts funding? Sure, just make sure we growing the economy and its all possible.

    • That would be an improvement. I would rather the government had NO power to manipulate the money supply or borrow. (outside a very high hurdle in times of war like a 3/4 majority of both houses)

  • Most people outgrow the idea of Santa Claus by the time they’re five or six.
    Most. Not all.
    For the vast majority it just changes form.

  • CAPITALISM IS NOT REALLY A SYSTEM. It’s just what people do when you DON’T FUCK WITH THEM !