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Embrace your inner liberal!

Ann Althouse, middle-aged conservative law prof by day, teenaged rock and roller by night, blogging in between to try to reconcile those two sides of herself, and somehow always managing to discover that to be a conservative is to be a teenaged rock and roller, says that all great artists, from rock and rollers to painters, are conservatives.

To be a great artist is inherently right wing. A great artist like Dylan or Picasso may have some superficial, naive, lefty things to say, but underneath, where it counts, there is a strong individual, taking responsibility for his place in the world and focusing on that.

(Scroll down when you go to her post; she makes that assertion in her comment section.)

Someone must have given Althouse a copy of The Fountainhead at a too impressionable age.

Great artists in her mind, apparently, are all Howard Roarks, tall, manly, strong-willed, independent, healthy-minded, violent, anti-social proto-fascists, not a Mozart, a Van Gogh, a Henry James, a George Eliot, or a Miles Davis among them, nor a reality-based version of Picasso or Bob Dylan neither.

And apparently she has extrapolated from this Randian fantasy the notion that the American Right is made up of an army of Howard Roarks and isn’t the club of Babbitts and Elmer Gantrys it appears to be to the rest of us.

Nevermind that an army of Roarks is an oxymoron, that in fact the world would be better off if all Right Wingers were Howard Roarks because they would not have anything to do with one another on principle and there’d be no organized political movement mucking up the governing of the country right now.

Althouse isn’t really thinking like a conservative, or a Randian, here.  She’s thinking like a third-rate literary critic.  She has decided that great artists like Dylan and Picasso don’t know their own minds, that she knows them better than they know themselves, and it turns out they happen to think just like Ann Althouse.

We’ve all met people like this.  People who can’t appreciate a work of art except as a mirror.  Heck, we’re all guilty of this sometimes, usually, though, when we’re 20.

It’s not peculiarly conservative of Althouse to believe that because she likes a work of art or an artist that work or that artist must reflect her own beliefs, virtues, ideals, prejudices, and vanities.

(Didn’t G.K. Chesterson try to make the case that Dickens was a closet Catholic?  Was Chesterson a conservative?  That’s not a rhetorical question.  I’m asking for my own information.)

It’s immature to think that an artist or work that she likes, and which therefore is an image of herself, cannot also reflect things she doesn’t like about herself.

If she likes a song by Bob Dylan, but that song seems to express some “naive,” “superficial” lefty politics, then that message can’t possibly really be there, because Ann Althouse wouldn’t like anything lefty.

This would be like me deciding that Dostoevsky wasn’t an anti-semite because I like Crime and Punishment.

As I said, this isn’t peculiarly conservative of Althouse.  But what is, is her assumption that certain virtues---being a strong individual, taking responsibility for one’s own place in the world---are not simply conservative, but exclusively conservative.

Liberals don’t have ‘em.

The idea that Liberals are anti-virtue---anti-family, anti-religion, anti-American, godless!---has come more to the fore since the Right Wing Fundamentalists joined the party, but it has been a driving force of the American Right for a long time, a long time.  In fact, that’s how the Republicans attracted the Christian Right.

To be conservative is to be good and to be for what is good.

Conservative would-be culture vultures like Althouse, Jonah Goldberg, and John Podhoretz tie their minds into knots---and paint themselves into corners---because of this assumption.

If you can only like and admire what is good---what is conservative---you are forced to find political meanings that aren’t there, ignore political meanings that are there, and, when you can’t do either you, like or dislike movies, books, songs, paintings, comic books, TV shows, and cereal boxes because of and exclusively for their political meanings.

In this way, Cinderella Man becomes the best movie of 2005.

(The hero, boxer Jimmy Braddock, climbs back into the ring to keep his traditional, nuclear family together and uses his winnings to pay back the dole money he got from the New Deal, because real men don’t need no government handouts.  Get it?)

This kind of ideological self-straight-jacketing is perfectly demonstrated in the National Review’s list of the top 50 conservative rock songs, as Amanda showed here the other day---Jon Swift takes it a step further, hilariously.

Many things in life are not political, or at least not primarily so, and should not be politicized.  One’s own taste in art and music, for instance.

And an individual’s public political actions have never, ever been proof of that individual’s personal virtue.

It’s just plain foolish to say that because a people are liberals, or conservatives, they can’t be good persons (or great artists).  Virtues aren’t gifted upon us by ideological angels.

For the sake of argument, though, let’s say that some beliefs, ideals, virtues even, are inherently conservative.  Conservative in that they support and enforce the status quo and legitimize established and traditional authorities.

A conservative might put it that conservative values support and enforce a stable society, but liberals can reply that if that’s the definition of conservative than liberalism is more truly conservative than the corporate capitalistic ethos of the American Right.  Another time, another post, and at my place, because my time here at Michael’s is drawing to a close.

Althouse’s definition of great artists as Howard Roarks makes them very much not conservatives.  Howard Roarks are not stablizing influences on society, nor do they go in much for legitimizing traditional authorities.

But let’s say that to believe certain things and practice certain virtues is to be conservative.

I can be conservative.  I can believe that a two-parent family is best for raising children, I can believe in God and go to church, I can admire policemen and support the troops, I can be against abortion---seriously; not just in that I wish nobody would have to have one, but in that I think it’s wrong (but!)---I can coach little league and be a Cub Scout den leader, I can believe and do all these things (and I really do and have), I can be in many ways very conservative, and still not vote like one because of other things I think and believe that are more important to me, or which I think are more important for the country, and because I don’t think conservatives are any good at governing, which is to say that they can’t bring about a stable and safe society.  Ask New Orleans.  Ask Badgad.

And in that way, as conservative as I am, I’m a liberal.

Doesn’t stop me from admiring some businessmen and women whose politics I know are to the right of Barry Goldwater’s.  Doesn’t stop me from admiring some conservative politicians.  And it sure doesn’t prevent me from liking the work of some artists.

I love John Wayne movies.

Well, except for The Green Berets.  But that was plain awful.

I also think Charlton Heston’s a lot better actor than he gets credit for being.  Sue me.

What I’m saying to you, all my many conservative readers, is suppose you are basically pro-choice, socially libertarian to the point of thinking that heck, a little premarital sex is no big deal, even if it’s two men doing it and especially if it’s two women, and you can think the drug laws are ridiculously draconian, and you can be a conservationist if not an out and out environmentalist, and you you can oppose preventive wars, and think that while God is to be found in the details He’s not necessarily found in church and shouldn’t be found in science text books, and you can believe in the redistribution of wealth (just not that the government should be the redistributor), and be essentially egalitarian and want people to smile on their brother, everybody to get together, and try to love one another right now---you can think, believe, and even work for all that, you can be in many, significant and sincere ways liberal, and still not vote Democratic or consider yourself a liberal, because you think there are more important things for yourself and the country.

As it happens this is one of things that’s the matter with Kansas.

I have been in churches that have had wonderful social outreach programs, whose congregations are alive with real charity, that do all kinds of “liberal” good, and yet are firmly in the category of Right Wing Fundamentalist.

It’s possible to be conservative and liberal.

So embrace your inner liberal!  You’ll be happier.

You won’t have to reconcile your artistic tastes with your political opinions.

You can admire Dylan and Picasso for who and what they are, not for what you wish they were.

And you won’t have to watch Cinderella Man anymore.

Yesterday at my place I tried to do my bit to reclaim at least one song from the Conservative Top 50, Wouldn’t It Be Nice?

Posted by on 05/31 at 07:35 AM
  1. You seem to have an unclosed italics tag at the end of your post.

    Posted by Chris Clarke  on  05/31  at  10:31 AM
  2. "If she likes a song by Bob Dylan, but that song seems to express some “naive,” “superficial” lefty politics, then that message can’t possibly really be there, because Ann Althouse wouldn’t like anything lefty.”

    It’s a classic example of a question-begging definition.  When you make a claim and the world seems to falsify the claim, reinterpret the evidence so that it can only support you.  Sure, you’ve now changed the original empirical (and false) claim into a pointless tautology, but you’ve at least saved the appearance of being right.  And that’s what’s important.

    Posted by SteveG  on  05/31  at  10:33 AM
  3. In re your query: well gee, I’ve never read Chesterton (and I’m not ashamed to admit it!).  I did manage to find this reference:

    “For Chesterton, Dickens was a Catholic malgré lui, not in his stated religious view, which (as shown by his Life of Our Lord written in the late 1840s) was nerveless latitudinarianism, but in his implied ontology.”

    That was Christopher Howse reviewing Ian Ker’s “The Catholic Revival in English Literature 1845-1961” in which Ker discusses Chesterton’s “Dickens.”

    Whew - that’s why I don’t go much for that “classic” academic type of shit - too hard to remember who was (figuratively) screwing or (figuratively) fucking whom.  Not to mention all the damn foreign phrases which no normal person knows the meaning of.  And French no less - you can’t get any more foreign than that!

    In re your post, I find myself largely in agreement with your top-level pigeonholing of Althouse as someone who read the brilliant (no foreign phrases, no academic crap) “The Fountainhead” at too impressionable an age.  But I want to quibble with your claim
    “[...] what is[conservative], is her
    assumption that certain virtues---being
    a strong individual, taking responsibility
    for one’s own place in the world---are not
    simply conservative, but exclusively
    conservative.”

    My quibble is this - only in the bizarre mentation produced by her barely functional neurons does conservatism have anything to do with being a strong individual or taking responsibility for one’s own place in the world.  Sure, millions of lemmings (about 29% of the US at last count) believe that as well but they are equally mistaken.  It’s a religious dogma with them even though they claim not to be superstitious.

    So the quibble, not to be minacious, is that similar to the like the usual analytical eclat (oops - is that a foreign, even FRENCH word?) of Jeff Goldstein, your commendable analysis starts with a false premise. 

    Other than that, it’s got a good beat and it’s easy to dance to - 86.

    PS
    send your spelling flames directly to me please - I get such a thrill out of them

    Posted by  on  05/31  at  11:05 AM
  4. You’re spot on, Lance. This is the problem I have with the so-called culture wars.

    Culture is supposed to be a mirror? Of you? And everything else alien to you is to be discarded or perhaps even branded EVIL?

    Not exactly realistic or workable. Especially in the US where all those people and their ideas that are different from you are just another market segment with yet more “culture” created for and marketed to them - stuff that you’re bound to run up against eventually.

    Posted by Kevin Wolf  on  05/31  at  11:08 AM
  5. I also think Charlton Heston’s a lot better actor than he gets credit for being.

    He didn’t get credit for his Oscar worthy contribution to Farenheit 9/11. He did get outed for Alzheimer’s for his last big role.

    And Michael Moore doesn’t get credit for coaxing a pro bono contribution from the Oscar-winning official spokesman for the NRA.

    Posted by black dog barking  on  05/31  at  11:09 AM
  6. Charlton Heston’s line reading of “Soylent Green is people!” will go down in history. And his body control in the crucifix posture at the end of Omega Man must be seen to be believed.

    Posted by John Protevi  on  05/31  at  11:46 AM
  7. First, Althouse didn’t use the word “conservative”, she used the word “right wing”, which is actually more accurate, since the American version of “conservative” (which is actually a vulgarized form of liberalism hijacked from the liberals of nineteenth-century England)has been almost entirely artistically barren.

    Second, true conservatism (effectively, royalism after the French Revolution) was not particularly enamoured of Howard Roarkian “great individuals”.  The Right Wing as opposed to the conservatives was (Nietzsche’s Superman, etc.). Conservatives prefered either the nameless artist/craftsman/collective of medieval art, or the highly constrained non-individualistic neo-classical art of the Academics.

    Third, as Bourdieu notes, this vision of the arist as culture hero was itself largely created by the changed economics and institutional environment of the nineteenth century versus the eigthteenth(mass markets vs. elite markets, anonymized consumers vs. patrons, and so on) rather than by the Gods visiting Picasso.

    Posted by burritoboy  on  05/31  at  01:09 PM
  8. To the extent that the words mean anything at this point, the problem is that conservatives aren’t conservative.

    We’ve actually lost most of our political vocabulary at this point, I think.  “Mainstream” is conservative.  “Liberal” is an epithet, like “Communist” and “Fascist”.  Perhaps this is part of the reason political discourse has degraded to the point it has-- there are no longer descriptive words to use.

    Posted by Bill Altreuter  on  05/31  at  01:35 PM
  9. Re #8: I propose “securitarian-authoritarian-corporatist” or SAC for the current Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld orientation.

    Posted by John Protevi  on  05/31  at  01:52 PM
  10. Re #9:  I generally prefer either neo-Jim Crow South or neo-caudillismo, though these are not perfect either.

    Posted by burritoboy  on  05/31  at  02:07 PM
  11. What’s wrong with a simple, traditional, “Christoveneerocorpothoritarianism”?

    Posted by Chris Clarke  on  05/31  at  02:12 PM
  12. There was a long discussion about this at Volokh a while ago, where Althouse repeatedly refined her position to make it increasingly absurd.  As I paraphrased it, she ended up arguing:

    1. Being disengaged from politics is inherently right-wing
    2. Great art must be disengaged from politics
    :. 3. Great artists are inherently right-wing

    (Her words: “[T]he great artist needs to separate himself from politics and certainly to get it out of his art. I’m saying there’s something right wing about doing that.")

    The only interesting question here is which is more absurd, 1 (as getting out of politics is not generally associated with a political wing) or 2 (especially when claimed by a person whose examples of great artists are the creators of Guernica and Masters of War).

    Posted by Blar  on  05/31  at  02:44 PM
  13. Well, another interesting question is when did the opinion, held by many, that the artist is anti-political or apolitical come from? As Phillip Mirowski or Yunay Yoval (in economics) or John McCumber (in philosophy) would argue for their fields, is this opinion particularly American, and does it come particularly from the political environment of the immediate post-WWII period?

    Posted by burritoboy  on  05/31  at  03:24 PM
  14. Great artists in her mind, apparently, are all Howard Roarks

    But are the all also rapists like Roark?

    Posted by Dustin  on  05/31  at  03:53 PM
  15. I still think Althouse had a point.

    But to get it, you have to think of what someone who is identified as liberal at a liberal university tends to think, which has approximately no connection with what, say, Amanda thinks.  The thinking pattern I associate with “liberals” in that sense is one that says, basically, individuals don’t much matter.  History shouldn’t be studied as “the great deeds of great men.” What matters is classes, ethnic groups, genders, power structures, etc, etc.  I think Picasso is a good counter-example to that specific kind of liberalism.

    Posted by  on  05/31  at  04:02 PM
  16. I think it’s clear that the convenience of a universal dychotomy trumps all other concerns. That it makes some kind of sense, is really a secondary concern.

    Posted by Central Content Publisher  on  05/31  at  04:30 PM
  17. The problam with that definition, SamChevre (and it’s also the problem with the definition of “liberal” implicit in Althouse’s formulation) is that it doesn’t really correspond to what the vast majority of folks defining themselves as “liberal” actually think.

    What it DOES correspond to is Republican party propaganda. But that was never intended to correspond to reality, and doesn’t.

    This statement: “her assumption that certain virtues---being a strong individual, taking responsibility for one’s own place in the world---are not simply conservative, but exclusively conservative” is a pretty succinct description of the content of the propaganda. But, in reality, 96% of the self-styled liberals you could locate would describe themselves in this manner, and live in this manner. The difference between liberals and conservatives in this respect is that conservatives believe the next sentence is “Screw anyone incapable of this, no matter what the reason for their incapacity”. Liberals believe “Those incapable of living this way should be treated with compassion and given assistance so they can eventually attain this goal”.

    Posted by  on  05/31  at  04:45 PM
  18. Gee, I am just a tad confused.  Were it not for the rich and powerful doyens whose patronage provided the environment for many of those so-called great artists, would we have all those paintings, statuary, busts, etc.??? I think not, and those were extraordinarily political decisions, as are nearly all of those that fund and provide art for the citizens (museums, public exhibitions and displays, mural projects, and so forth).  But then i am clearly far from the right in so many directions.  Maybe Althouse would like to take money out of the entire reasoning; at least then one could begin to remove the political? 

    And the captch word reminds me that it is all just a state of “mind.” And I am still giggling about Christoveneer--as if that might be representative art as viewed by those that see Virgin Mary’s in rust stains or lichen.

    Posted by  on  05/31  at  04:50 PM
  19. My father was a painter. All of his friends were artists. I was an art major (undergrad and grad). I used to work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and MoMA.

    My father was also way, way left of center. As am I. Most of my colleagues were lefties. All of my artsy friends are lefties.

    I can assure you, from personal experience, creating art is not fundamentally “conservative.” It’s about self expression, which often flies in the face of political conservatism. Just ask the artists who have had their art banned by right wingers (anyone remember Robert Mapplethorpe? Or the guy at the Brooklyn Museum who had the audacity to use elephant dung in a painting of the Virgin Mary? That made Rudy positively apoplectic; he threatened to cut off the museum’s funding because of it.)

    And if I see one more stupid, juvenile statement from Ayn Rand used to justify any political movement, I’m going to puke ... in raw umbre.

    Posted by  on  05/31  at  05:14 PM
  20. Someone must have given Althouse a copy of The Fountainhead at a too impressionable age.

    There’s a street in Oakland not too far from me named “Cheney”. The neighborhood is nice enough, but just the name on that street sign always gives me a shiver. I only noticed just last week that at one point it intersects with a street called “Rand”. Double-shiver. That’s one extremely right wing corner.

    What’s wrong with a simple, traditional, “Christoveneerocorpothoritarianism”?

    Works for me.

    Captcha: “money”. (These captcha words are getting a little spooky!)

    Posted by  on  05/31  at  07:00 PM
  21. "I can assure you, from personal experience, creating art is not fundamentally “conservative.” It’s about self expression, which often flies in the face of political conservatism.”

    It’s only fairly recently that art is envisioned the way you describe.  Art, could be, and sometimes has been, conservative - focused on imitating the traditions of past art, for example. Conservative regimes of the past (the Papacy, the Spanish Monarchy during the Golden Age and many others)have had distinguished records as art patrons (though the art they patronized was not always conservative).

    However, Althouse doesn’t really admire that type of art.  She’s admiring Picasso - the distinct model for shocking-the-bougies type modern art, which the conservatives (royalists mostly) of the time literally hated. However, the radical right of the time DID like the artist-as-culture-hero narrative - the radical right hated the bourgies as milquetoast Last Men. The radical right didn’t like Picasso, of course, but they did like many other modern artists (and many modern artists were on the radical right before WWII).

    Althouse’s problem is that American “conservatism” rejects monarchy, but she doesn’t really want to admit that she has one of two choices: 1. recognize that American “conservatism” is a vulgarized and distorted form of liberalism or 2. that the route she’s actually on leads back to the radical right.

    Posted by burritoboy  on  05/31  at  07:19 PM
  22. Chesterton was a distributist--a very far thing from a typical American conservative (or what burritoboy rightly calls vulgarized Manchesterian liberalism).

    Posted by  on  05/31  at  08:25 PM
  23. As you note, art and politics can surely diverge. They can also go together, as we make clear both at Mainstay Press and at yet another offspring blog of J. Swift: A Practical Policy.

    Posted by Tony Christini  on  05/31  at  11:32 PM
  24. Chesterton was a Catholic with a nostalgic belief in a sort of lost age of medieval order.  He was anti-capitalist, anti-socialist, and anti-Semitic, seeing both capitalism and socialism as Jewish inventions that disrupted traditional social relationships.  At the same time he was no fascist and the Nazis disgusted him.  He died in 1936.  He would have hated Ayn Rand and would have viewed Rand’s Objectivism as a Jewish philosophy.

    Posted by  on  05/31  at  11:53 PM
  25. Some of the Nazis may have been fond of entartete Kunst, and certainly put on the most successful show of twentieth century art of the time, but they did strip their museums of such work.

    The Soviets likewise had little tolerance for artistic exuberance; Shostakovich was threatened by a negative review in Pravda of his opera “Lady Macbeth” entitled “Music or Muddle?” and lived for years after in fear of imprisonment.

    Posted by  on  06/01  at  03:46 AM
  26. This was a very interesting post.  I’ve never understood the need to find continuous validation for one’s private political beliefs in the public culture at large.  It indicates a fundamental insecurity.  (Pecking for “comforting little zeitgeist pellets”, as Roy at alicublog once called it, I believe.) And of course, the notion that “a strong individual taking responsibility for his place in the world” is somehow inherently conservative is ridiculous.  But a certain subset of conservatives have invested a lot in perpetuating that particular myth.

    Posted by  on  06/01  at  11:08 AM
  27. As an over-glib summary of Chesterton’s politics, he was socially conservative but economically leftish. He and Shaw used to have public debates on whether there was any difference between their political philosophies, with Chesterton taking the position that there was—both advocated massive wealth redistribution and land reform, but Chesterton thought that industry ownership should be given directly to the workers rather than the government.

    He was an opponent of the Boer War and jingoism in general. In later life he became crankishly anti-Semitic, and he was apt to excuse conditions in Catholic countries he would have condemned in England.

    Posted by  on  06/01  at  12:36 PM
  28. Oh yeah—I haven’t read the Dickens book, but Chesterton wrote it in 1906 and didn’t convert to Catholicism until 1922.

    Posted by  on  06/01  at  12:44 PM
  29. Chesterton was more Libertarian than anything else, with all the problems of reality-basedness than anything else. (The technical term is “Anarcho-Syndicalist”, FYI.) Even his social conservativism was far more liberal than any of the neopuritan Wingnut Carnival today - he was a journalist and a bohemian with all kinds of artist friends (including Yeats) and thus far more tolerant of the proto-60s wildness of the Gilded Age, even if he thought it kind of silly. That, combined with a prudent skepticism of all systems and human inventions as magic bullets for poverty and tyranny and unhappiness, initially, gave way to an infatuation with Mussolini.

    The problem is, that people who romanticize Humanity and want a free utopia, get disillusioned with The People and burn out and tend to turn into Authoritarians. This happens on the Left and the Right, and they meet in the middle creating Straussian oligarchies as we have now, with the Horowitz types and the Nugent types all piling onto the same sinking ship.

    That happened to GKC, as well: compare/contrast the temptation to the Dark Side in “The Ball & The Cross,” extremes of both right and left being rejected for a balance between a “perfect” orderly society and total Bakhuninist destruction, both in the name of justice, with that aforementioned late-in-life infatuation with Mussolini. Granted, he died before getting to see the full fruits of it, but other people weren’t deceived by the trappings of salt-of-the-earth populism at the time.

    Posted by bellatrys  on  06/01  at  03:36 PM
  30. Charlton Heston was really good in that Michael Moore movie.

    Posted by  on  06/01  at  03:43 PM
  31. It’s only fairly recently that art is envisioned the way you describe.  Art, could be, and sometimes has been, conservative - focused on imitating the traditions of past art, for example. Conservative regimes of the past (the Papacy, the Spanish Monarchy during the Golden Age and many others)have had distinguished records as art patrons (though the art they patronized was not always conservative).

    I’m well aware of the history of art patronage. That was not my point.

    I was simply attacking the assumption that, because an artist usually works alone, he is by default a Randian hero and therefore a “conservative.” Confusing individuality and autonomy with conservatism, or for that matter, confusing group-think with liberalism, is silly and childish. And dangerous. And historically inaccurate.

    Just because someone becomes the media “darling” of this or that political movement does not imply anything whatsoever about his own political leanings. If Althouse actually spent time looking at and thinking about “Guernica” rather than indulging in her romantic fantasies about artists, she would see that Picasso was obviously anti-war.

    Posted by  on  06/01  at  04:32 PM
  32. "I was simply attacking the assumption that, because an artist usually works alone”

    Again, we need to recognize that the individual autonomous artist is a very new concept. 

    1.  Many artists did not work individually, but in various groupings and combinations and collaborations. The nineteenth century often changed the focus of arts to forms that could be handled by one single artist, whereas previous conceptions of those arts could often only be handled by multiple artists working together.

    2. At many times in the past, the artist was not concieved of as autonomous.  Many works of art were tailored to the needs of the individual patrons, the individual location where the work was installed, the particular ideology of the patron and so on.  Often, the patron would indicate that the work was to be “in the manner of [x]” x being a noted artist or work or style.

    But your comments about Althouse’fantasies about the artist-as-culture-hero are exactly on target.

    Posted by burritoboy  on  06/01  at  04:57 PM
  33. "Some of the Nazis may have been fond of entartete Kunst, and certainly put on the most successful show of twentieth century art of the time, but they did strip their museums of such work.

    The Soviets likewise had little tolerance for artistic exuberance; Shostakovich was threatened by a negative review in Pravda of his opera “Lady Macbeth” entitled “Music or Muddle?” and lived for years after in fear of imprisonment.”

    Obviously, most modern ideological authoritarian states (Right or Left) are not great places to do challenging work and make an easy living.

    It is surprising now to many people that many artists before WWII were in the various formulations of the Radical Right.  That conversely doesn’t mean the Nazis liked their work.  But they were quite common, especially in Central Europe, but plenty of other places as well (Celine, Emil Nolde, many of the Symbolists, O’Connor and many others).

    Posted by burritoboy  on  06/01  at  05:18 PM
  34. bad Jim: The Soviets likewise had little tolerance for artistic exuberance[.]

    Au contraire.

    The CP/USSR was very keen on artistic exuberance. It had issues with artists when they weren’t exuberant enough, and/or when they got exuberant over the wrong things.

    Posted by  on  06/03  at  07:13 AM

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