“You see, there are still faint glimmers of civilization left in this barbaric slaughterhouse that was once known as humanity. Indeed, that’s what we provide in our own modest, humble, insignificant… oh, fuck it.” – M. Gustave
In times of austerity or when the public are feeling the ‘pinch’, making the case for public spending in non-essential areas is hard; particularly for the libertarian minded individual.
Puritanical libertarians would argue that most governmental spending is heresy and goes against the whole idea of libertarianism; and that on the scale of tolerable government intervention, art and culture is at the very bottom.
While I agree that small government should be encouraged and is advantageous, I find myself being tremendously forgiving when I hear about government funded or subsidised programmes within the realms of art and culture.
While in my heart I am strongly against government or regulatory interference in markets, I believe that art & cultural funding, as well as foreign aid spending, is a necessary tool in furthering the values and principles of liberty.
So much of Western Art and Literature is based on the theme of Christian values, circling around the virtues of good and evil, self-sacrifice, forgiveness and the struggle to embody what is good and true. It is rich in depth, visceral emotion and created via mediums that require awe inspiring talent or craftsmanship.
The Art & Culture of Western society has the intention to stimulate or feed an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, truth and define the complex nuances of beauty and love. Yet today large swathes of popular or modern culture, is just a horrendous bukkake nightmare, where we feed ourselves, and our children, on a diet of empty reality and ‘talent’ shows; where vulgarity and faux-provocation is made substitute for a genuine search for truth and righteousness within a fallen world.
Within our exquisite history of culture and art, we have fostered a civilisation that strives to enhance our lives on every level, and seeks to reminds us, in the great Judeo-Christian tradition, that freedom, free will, heroism and self-betterment is desired, just, and objectively beautiful.
These are the values our culture was built upon, these are the masterpieces people from far and wide come to visit and venerate. The loss or devaluing of our heritage will only serve to degrade our free society. Once we lose a sense of who we are and what our society is built upon, is the moment that authoritarian cultural Marxists and backward ideologues win.
Therefore, I strongly believe that sharing our cultural norms and values, art, and literature is so important as a part of our defence strategy against the dark and misguided intentions of groups or societies hell bent on implementing their authoritarian, and deeply non-Libertarian rule over the lives of individuals across the globe.
Indeed, in a time where the enemies of The West are ploughing money into the propagation of their cultural heritage, artistic history and value system, it is imperative that the western powers match this push and counteract the power of these regressive nations.
For example, Turkey is having somewhat of a cultural or neo-Ottoman revolution where hard-line Islamism, Martyrdom and the curtailing of free speech or academic independence is the new cultural normal. Coupling this reality with the fact that the presence of Turkey on the financial and geo-political stage is on the rise, should concern all of those who are advocates of liberty, freedom and justice; which are mainstays of modern liberal democracies.
Western civilisation arguably promotes libertarian values more than any other cultural value system in existence – so in a time where dark authoritarian powers like Turkey, Russia and Iran are emboldening their own cultural supremacy, why aren’t we?
Western society is almost unarguably in a state of decline. Our cultures are being diluted or suffocated by political correctness; and with the unfettered mass migration policies of many European nations, we are experiencing the transplantation of dark and deeply regressive cultural practices from abroad.
A prime example of this is Sharia Courts that see women sent back to live with their rapists and abusers, while children are snatched from the arms of their Mothers. Similarly, FGM and honour violence goes ignored for fear of being culturally insensitive.
Back in 2015 when ISIS had taken the ancient city of Palmyra, a UNESCO world heritage site, the people who preserved the precious artefacts of our shared past, gave their lives defending and protecting all that was good about that place of multi-civilizational heritage. On their refusal to give up the location of all the ancient artefacts, ISIS commanders beheaded curator, 81-year-old Khaled al-Asaad, in a Roman amphitheatre with a sword. They hung his body from a traffic light with his severed head at his feet, glasses still on his face.
This is the barbaric culture and ideology we are accepting to flourish on our soil. We are allowing countless former ISIS fighters to return ‘home’, allowing them to spread their backward culture and twisted ideology with others.
Leftism is also exacerbating and accelerating the decline of western culture and civilisation. Leftists purge literature, textbooks and speakers who teach our rich cultural heritage and political ideals; which plays into the hands of our enemies who wish to see the achievements and foundations of our culture and civilisation eradicated or weakened to embolden their own.
We must reclaim a pride and understanding of our arts and culture, a culture that has defined and influenced what freedom, liberty and justice mean. So many young people have never visited a Museum or an Art Gallery, nor are they taught about the meaning and importance of such gems. No wonder all that is good, free and desirable in our culture is creaking at the seams.
Of course, as with any form of governmental spending the system isn’t always perfect. Yes, there may be examples of waste, like commissioning terrible ‘by committee’ art to be put up in government buildings or hospitals; but the alternative is to face the loss of so much of our heritage.
Certainly, the focus needs to be on school involvement in our cultural history, so the next generation know the value and positive impact our heritage has had on the world. If our aim is to bring the positive aspects of western thought and civilisation to the world, we must raise a generation of individuals who understand its importance, beauty and underlying principles. If not, we are doomed to see the fall of Western Civilisation in our lifetimes and witness a slip into an ISIS/ Nazi mentality of book burning and the destruction of our shared history. If nothing changes and we don’t seek to fund, propagate and protect our arts and cultures we will kneel to the value system of the Hard Left or extremist Islamism; who both share a hatred of Capitalism, free speech, free thought and deed.
Contrary to Libertarian belief, there truly is justification for the funding of art and culture, that justification is the very survival of Libertarian principles and the assurance of freedom and justice for all.