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Art is Not Just For Liberals

Art is Not Just For Liberals

Libertarian Country |

It's no state secret that the art world is dominated by liberals.

The television and film industry, theatre, symphony halls, the music industry and the 5 major publishing houses are predominately run by socialists, leftists, liberals, and left-leaning individuals. And, of course, the world of modern art.

So what?

In itself, the fact that the artistic community is mostly liberal isn't a big deal. That's just the way things are. In scale, liberals are generally more artistically inclined than conservatives.

The problem arises when liberals assume they have the authority to decide who gets to be an artist and who doesn't.

Many old-school conservatives scoff at art. It's not their thing, and they want nothing to do with it. But some conservatives and libertarians enjoy composing music, writing fiction, creating art and exploring their creative imaginations.

Often, conservatives and libertarians are directly or indirectly discouraged or barred from blossoming in the artistic world. It's a challenge for them to navigate through the barrage of gatekeepers who don't want them in "their space."

Conservative actors have claimed Hollywood blacklisted them for announcing their conservativism or religious faith.

And it's not just Hollywood.

Musicians have been dropped simply because their label discovered the band's conservative beliefs. Literary agents have tossed brilliant manuscripts in the trash because the writer was a Trump supporter. Art galleries have closed their doors to artists who speak out against modern feminism and socialism.

And? That's their choice, right?

Yes, we libertarians believe in freedom of association, but we also believe in the freedom to offer criticism. True, it is their choice, but the mindset is flawed and it contradicts the fundamental concept of what art is.

Macroscopically, art is a rich tapestry that requires many toiling hands, and tribalism like this rips a hole in the cloth.

I won't say all liberals reject conservatives--because I know some cool liberal artists who understand that art is about free expression and that censorship and hindering creativity is pure and utter fascism--but many do.

Some liberals have developed the idea that art is culturally synonymous with liberalism and will often ostracize libertarians or conservatives who believe in gun rights, free market capitalism and/or traditional American values.

Fortunately, free speech is still a principle that many liberals in "the industry" adhere to, but the older, more sensible liberals are being replaced by radical and progressive leftists that see conservatism and libertarian ideals as a threat to the marginalized people they claim to defend.

In the eyes of some liberals and progressives, your libertarianism or run-of-the-mill conservatism is no different than militant alt-right extremism. They don't see the average middle-class American conservative as any different than a Neo-Nazi skinhead.

The new, "woke" generation of liberals and progressives will outspokenly or covertly do whatever they can to keep conservatives out of the creative space of the artistic world.

Of course, this is not a new phenomenon. We've seen this in the art world before.

In the early 20th Century avant-garde movement of surrealism, from where we get the likes of master artist Salvador Dali, subversive artists (some of which applied for membership of the French Communist Party) sought to politicize the apolitical and utilize the artform as a tool for social revolution.

Art was already--and will always be--a tool for social revolution, but many successors of the surrealist movement viewed surrealism and Marxism as synonymous because they both stemmed from "misery and the human condition."

I won't bore you with a lengthy history of modern art here (although, I was very tempted to.) I'll summarize by saying that the enmeshment of politics with art movements created cliques and elitism that still permeate the culture and space today.

While yesteryear's artists might've viewed classical and religious art as symbols of autocracy and the aristocracy, today's artists might view conservativism, libertarianism and traditional values as a threat to art itself.

But they're wrong. The only threat against art is trying to destroy it before it's created. Censorship is an abomination unto the core values of artistic free expression--and criticism here must be offered.

There should never be a fight or struggle over who gets to claim art as their own. A person's political affiliation, beliefs or values should never disqualify them as artists or keep them from expressing themselves artistically.

If liberal orthodoxy has its way, the logical outcome will inevitably be breakaway movements and division. As we already see today, conservatives have created and will continue to create their own movie studios, streaming services, publishing houses, museums, art galleries etc.

From a free-market perspective, there isn't anything inherently wrong with that, but it's disappointing. It's a shame that so much censorship and ostracizing have led to a world that will require a conservative counterpart for every liberal institution.

It would be more reasonable for the smug liberal isolationist to relearn how to view the world through the lens of free expression and appreciate creativity for its artistic value rather than rejecting it on the basis that the creator holds different political opinions and beliefs from their own.

Art, even if political, transcends conventional human constructs and paradigms. Once it's created, it exists as its own entity, its own life force. No matter who created it, or for whatever purpose they created it, art is perceived differently by every onlooker. Art is intangible, supernatural and beyond our grasp and control, and that's where its beauty comes from.

Art is not just for liberals; it's for everyone.

 

If you enjoyed this article, you may also like, '27 George Carlin Quotes for Freethinkers and Rebels.'

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