Letter to the Editor

Pull the plug on the National Endowment for the Arts

Friday, January 27, 2017

Dear Editor,

In 1850, French economist, Claude-Frederick Bastiat, noted that socialists confuse government with society -- thinking that, unless the state subsidizes the effort, society is incompetent to support any worthy endeavor. This ideology distills down to: Why prove the value of your work to society when you can have the state force society to pay your imposed value? Thus we suffer the predatory parasitical nature of socialism. This is the crux of the argument against the continued public funding for the Arts and Humanities, including Public television and radio.

While the progressive novice has not the intellectual acuity to discern the duties of the state from the responsibilities of the society, the degenerate socialist has not the moral integrity to care. Being fundamentally lazy, the novice is easily persuaded to follow men of depraved minds, who despise the fundamental Catholic precept that social problems should be dealt with at the most immediate level consistent with their solution. This "subsidiarity" is not found in the progressive lexicon because they find the concept of decentralization repugnant; firstly, for reason that its principle works to limit the invasive coercive power of the state; secondly, because it inclines men to their potential in God's creation; and, thirdly because self-sufficient, morally upright individuals do not willingly submit to servitude.

The flawed rationale of progressive liberal thought confuses government and society, contending that unless government mandates the citizenry to fund an endeavor the society will be deprived of some potential benefit. But, as William Bennet once remarked, "liberalism is the tyranny of good intentions." Its logic is better described as bovine scatology, but even as progressives use a plethora of high-sounding ideals to beguile the naive into their web of deceit, the singular goal is always to advance the depravity of socialism. In this the arts are intended not to raise man's conscience to noble aspirations, but to debase his understanding, compelling him to abandon his intellect and satiate his irrational appetites. But if the works of socialism held any real value they would not require government coercion to sell them.

If a thing has value, people will happily pay to obtain or propagate it -- if not, they won't. Government coercion to purchase a product does not give that product value -- it only conceals the reality that the thing compelled is worthless. This brings us to the point that progressive minds would rather not concede: IF their vaunted god of the "arts and humanities" be of such great value, then why must we be forced against our will to subsidize its continued existence?

The truth is that art, as progressives define it, has been converted to a parasitic transformational tool, by which cultural misfits and social predators force Americans to pay for that which they loathe. If the creative endeavors typically funded by the National endowment for the Arts (NEA) were of true value, then Americans would willingly invest in them. That government instead plunders our wealth so to regularly support revolting crap, such as was Andres Serrano's 1987 photo exhibit 'Piss Christ' and Robert Mapplethorpe's 1989 exhibit of homoeroticism -- both funded by the NEA, only proves taxpayer-subsidized art worthless.

Left to its own, in the free market, the obscene garbage typically funded by the NEA would fail spectacularly. If this were not so, then progressives would not now be having a cow over President Trump's proposed defunding of the money-sucking leftist boondoggle that is the NEA.

The same free market truth holds for public television and radio -- another leftist contrivance that would implode if the American citizenry were not held at gunpoint to support its existence. And in the age of the Internet why do we need public television or radio? If its content is exceptional, then commercialize the enterprise and let those who subscribe to its programming pay the fare. Don't steal from my wallet just because the thing is not sufficiently self-sustaining.

As Bastiat recognized -- if government power extends further, into philanthropic endeavors, government becomes so limitless that it can grow endlessly. When an idea or creation has real value in the marketplace, taxpayer funding is unnecessary. People will pay for what they deem worthy.

That the liberal intelligentsia demands taxpayers fund their works is proof that they know their creations cannot compete in the free market, and they can only succeed when funding is guaranteed through state coercion of the citizenry.

Thus we get not art, but rather predatory, parasitic government, promulgating progressive poison as art.

Bruce Desautels

Stratton, Neb.

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  • I hope you have sent this writing to your representatives. The clarity and beauty of your argument is astounding.

    Thank you.

    -- Posted by JohnGalt1968 on Sun, Jan 29, 2017, at 3:14 PM
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