Art

Should Government Fund the Arts? Nick Gillespie in Economist Debate…

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Over at The Economist, I'm involved in a debate about tax-funded art. The conversation is interesting and varied; please go check it out.

Here's a snippet from my contribution:

There's at least a third reason to stop state funding of the arts, and it's the one I take most seriously as a literary scholar and writer. In the 17th century, a great religious dissenter, Roger Williams (educated at Cambridge, exiled from the Massachusetts Bay Colony), wrote the first case for total separation of church and state in the English language. Forced worship, said Williams, "stinks in God's nostrils" as an affront to individual liberty and autonomy; worse still, it subjugated theology to politics.

Something similar holds true with painting, music, writing, video and all other forms of creative expression. Forced funding of the arts—in whatever trivial amounts and indirect ways—implicates citizens in culture they might openly despise or blissfully ignore. And such mandatory tithing effectively turns creators and institutions lucky enough to win momentary favour from bureaucrats into either well-trained dogs or witting instruments of the powerful and well-connected. Independence works quite well for churches and the press. It works even more wonderfully in the arts.

Whole thing, including links to all contributions, here.

Related: Reason TV's "3 Reasons Not to Fund the Arts with Taxes"

NEXT: Attention Turns To Ryan, And His Budget Plan

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  1. Giving hipster chicks with sagging tits money to choreograph nude performance art is way down in the noise of what things the government should or should not fund.

    1. Absolutely, but it’s a good starting point to convince people that there are things which the government shouldn’t involve itself in.

    2. Giving hipster chicks with sagging tits

      You are an idiot.

      She is an idiot as well….an idiot in the body of a goddess.

      1. I did not view the video. So I was not referencing any person in that video. I was speaking generically of the people that seem to fall out of universities these days.

        1. HOT BOOBS must be defended!!!

          I take no responsibility for any collateral damage incurred from my just cause.

          1. Titty fucking is highly overrated.

            Welcome to my new catchphrase.

            1. You make it sound like tittyfucking doesn’t precede or follow blowjobs, vaginal sex, and basically every other kind of sex act that exists.

              Except for maybe spacedocking. Which is huge bonus points for tittyfucking.

              1. And you make it sound like titty fucking isn’t a pacing killer. It is, and she is merely feigning respect for you after indulging your tactile impulses. Squeeze them and suck them and bite them, but know those fatty deposits are not going to help your dick do its job.

                1. You know what the problem is here? I had a girlfriend with awesome D cups that loved having my cock between her tits. She initiated the tittyfucking, not me.

                  Now I’m prejudiced. I won’t sit back and watch tittyfucking get slandered.

                  1. I had a girlfriend with awesome D cups that who loved having my cock between her tits

                    If you’re going to attempt to induce jealousy, please do it the proper way.

                    1. Perhaps he just didn’t consider her human. Ever think of that, grammar boy?

                  2. For the woman whose huge knockers are her point of pride, having them tittyfucked verges on Onanism. Curious. Did she have trouble cumming? Women who can’t loose themselves can’t have orgasms either.

                    I had a girlfriend with D’s, as well. They were hell on her spine and I supported her decision to get a reduction.

                    1. Women who can’t loose themselves can’t have orgasms either.

                      Er, have trouble with orgasms.

                      If you ever run into that problem, you have to either get all zen with them, or introduce the element of fear to improve their performance.

                    2. Really more of the opposite. She just liked to fuck a lot of different ways. Sex with her was always great.

                      Like I said earlier, I will defend tittyfucking for what it is – usually an accompaniment to blowjobs and sex.

                    3. That’s good. Sometimes its no more complicated then that with women. Count your fortunes.

                2. Squeeze them and suck them and bite them, but know those fatty deposits are not going to help your dick do its job.

                  You are insane if you think HOT BOOBS do not help every job a dick can do.

                  You are further insane in thinking that men only use BOOBS for titty fucks.

                  HOT BOOBS are the handle bars of every joy ride!!!

  2. Should Government Fund the Arts?

    No.

    By the way, where in the Constitution does government get the authority to fund the arts in the first place?

    1. From the parts about general welfare and pursuit of happiness!

      1. Ah, thanks. I had just assumed it was from the “Fuck you, that’s why” part.

      2. Art can be sold, therefore it’s commerce, even if it’s not sold. Like Wickard v. Fullburn.

        Or something.

    2. If you ignore the second half of the IP part, I guess it’s there.

      1. Here it is:
        The Congress shall have Power To… promote… Progress… and… Art

        1. That must be the “Fuck you, we have the power” amendment.

  3. Forced funding of the arts?in whatever trivial amounts and indirect ways?implicates citizens in culture they might openly despise or blissfully ignore.

    You uncultured swine. Artists who paint murals with their own fecal material and piss are totally something that everyone should be forced to contribute support.

    1. To be fair, disparaging the quality of the funded art undermines the point.

      1. Unfortunately, the comment refers to actual ‘art’ projects which all taxpayers fund through threat of force or imprisonment.

      2. No, Nick’s point is that just like compulsory religious participation is immoral as it violates conscience, so does government using taxpayer money to fund bizarre avant-garde art violate the same principle.

        Remember Piss Christ? How about Robbert Mapplethorpe’s photography? I’m not goint to disparage the artists, only the idea that they need to be funded by taxpayer money.

  4. Why do you hate cowboy poetry?!

    /Reid

  5. Certainly the arts are small change, but I personally don’t care how much of a difference in the budget, elimination of a program will make, if it shouldn’t be funded, it shouldn’t be funded. The arts most certainly fall into that catagory.

    If a person wants to perform opera, find a way to make a living doing it on the open market, or relegate it to a hobby, and get a real job.

  6. Cutting art funding only shows that you are not serious about cutting government.

    Epic libertarian and Reason writer Ira Stoll told me so.

  7. Nobody should ever have to pay for my pleasure (or pain) under threat of imprisonment. Sorry to all the idiots out there that think “culture” is a worthy thing to confiscate tax dollars to support, but it is quite possibly the last thing our government should be stealing our tax dollars to pay for.

    1. Minneapolis (or maybe Minnesota) passed a law giving Tens of millions of dollars for the outdoors, meaning parks, beaches, bike trails, etc., but the art leeches said that because art can be done outside, they should get some of that money. It amounted to millions and millions and millions.

      Fuck ’em, I say.

      1. And fuck the other people that wanted the rest of the money. If people want parks and beaches, they can buy land and build the damn things themselves.

        The budget of the Dept of Interior alone is $20B annually. Eliminating it along with the NEA’s would be a nice start.

        1. Well I agree with you totally. I was just pointing out how leechy they are.

    2. So, you hate art. Philistine.

      1. so true, JW. As a matter of fact, I would fully support having a national bonfire where every piece of taxpayer-funded art be destroyed.

        I call dibs on the beer concession.

        1. The trouble is, that is the mindset of your average leftist when you say that art should be privately funded. Taxes are just things that exist that flow everywhere that pays for stuff, not wealth that’s forcibly extracted form the populace. The disconnect is something to marvel at.

          To echo kinnath above, and not disagreeing that the state should be as far out of art as possible, starting with defunding the arts just starts a holy war with leftists, that they’ll never give up on and will only brand you as a anti-intellectual troglodyte.

          They will never understand the *why* and thus, never surrender.

          1. My brother has an MFA. Although I love him dearly, it’s pretty clear that he couldn’t make a living flipping burgers or sweeping floors.

            So I tend to view funding of the arts as part of the safety net like aid to families with dependent children. At least these welfare queens don’t spend their lives stuffing food in their faces while watching Dr Phil every afternoon.

            1. The fucking squirrels deleted “standard libertarian arguments against the welfare state incorporated by reference”.

            2. The trouble is, is that it doesn’t end with mere funding. Now, since they’re an artist not making much money and can’t afford health insurance (and refuse to get a day job… suffering artist, you know) they now have to have free health care, so they can create without that worry.

              Seriously, I’ve already heard this argument.

  8. “VOTE FART”? That kind of potty mouth 133t speak may pass for art these days, but I don’t want to pay for it.

  9. Liberals only support government funding of the arts because they think only they should and will ever have any control over such funding. Let’s give Rick Santorum a lifetime appointment as head of the NEA and that should end any liberal support for government funding of the arts.

    1. No, John, that will just be the start of the next Great War. They won’t get rid of the NEA, just endlessly battle to retake control of it or to subvert it.

      For the statist, nothing given can ever be taken back or reduced. Ever.

      1. I was being flippant. But the point is neither side gives a shit about the arts They just want to steal money and use it to stick it to other side.

        1. It’s a fringe issue, but it frames the debate.

          If you aren’t for taxpayer-funded arts, then you’re one of those caveman republicans who shouldn’t be taken seriously. All serious people love the arts.

          But your example also illustrates the issue. They can’t imagine the NEA being anything other than a impartial gubmint organ that serves their petty needs, but it’s not political at all. They’re the fish who don’t know they’re in water. It’s just there. Appointing a uncultured dunce like Santorum is what would be the political act in their eyes.

          Oh, the salty tears that would generate would be delicious.

    2. Liberals only support government funding of the arts because they think only they should and will ever have any control over such funding. Let’s give Rick Santorum a lifetime appointment as head of the NEA and that should end any liberal support for government funding of the arts because 99.99% of artists are Liberals.

      I say this as someone who spent years working in the art world.

      1. Certainly the government funding encourages that. Not only is it difficult to be “anti-government” when said government is paying you money but it allows government to force out opposition by denying them funding and such.

      2. Truth to this. I keep tapped into the arts world and thoughtless statism and progressive leanings are a requirement to be accepted in “the circle” so to speak.

  10. And how much government funded art is relevant or interesting to the public? Art which is made totally devoid of any concerns for ever selling in the market is rarely anything but vanity bullshit.

    1. It’s just another jobs program.

    2. I have seen one (and only one) publicly funded art work, which shouldn’t have been publicly funded. It’s on the light rail platform by Minnehaha Park. You pull the handle on this box and it plays movie shorts, all about two minutes long all relating to living in Minneapolis. Some are funny as hell and others are though provoking. But again, it would have been just as good if the Target company funded it and put it in front of their office tower on Nicollet. It would get a lot more views that way too.

      1. have seen one (and only one) publicly funded art work, which shouldn’t have been publicly funded, that was relevant or interesting to the public.

        Left that part out.

    3. If it were relevant or interesting to the public, it wouldn’t need public funding, now, would it? It’s to expose the public to ideas that they wouldn’t otherwise readily consume that we need public funding of the arts.

      /statist mindset

      1. Maybe the poor should have access to art too.

        1. Maybe you’ve never been poor, but I can assure you that spending time looking at art is not high on the priorities of a poor person.

          1. spending time looking at art is not high on the priorities of a poor person.

            Pretty sure 80% of American poor own a flat screen TV.

          2. Which is why I think we should subsidize access to basic needs first, then as a robustly civilized society we can also support the arts.

        2. Everyone already has access to huge amounts of non-government funded art that can be experienced at no cost.

          1. Not if the socons have their way with the internet.

            You were talking about porn, right?

        3. What *don’t* you want subsidized, Tony?

          Wait… never mind. That’s a short list.

          1. People should be free to collectively pay for whatever they want. Why do you want to restrict people’s democratic freedom to almost nothing?

            1. Wow, you are a sockpuppet. Sometimes I think you’re legit, then you say something so obviously, blatantly stupid, that you have to be a parody of progressive thought.

              I mean, really, take “gays and straights have equal marriage rights — they’re equally free to marry someone of the opposite sex”, and multiply the stupid of that by 2.741, and that’s how stupid what you said was. Impressive.

  11. If you think the government should be taking people’s money and spending on chosen artists, you are beyond all hope from a libertarian’s perspective.

    There is no limit to what you think the government should buying, supporting, and controlling. You may not realize but you are advocating 100% command and control of the entire spectrum of human behavior by your government.

    1. Ever hear Ken Burns talk? It just chaps his ass that he has to make documentaries people actually want to watch. In Burns’ view the government owes film makers like him a living. The public good demands it. It is vomit inducing.

    2. Unless, of course, you possess a brain capable of making intelligent choices in life.

      1. So how is government funding art associated with making intelligent choices in life ?

        1. I’m responding the the binary thinking that if you support government funding the arts, you must support “100% command and control of the entire spectrum of human behavior by your government.” Why is this so? Libertarians support some government spending on certain things, so does that mean they, too, cannot escape being authoritarian strawmen?

          I won’t defend or denounce government spending on the arts, but it’s certainly defensible. It can be considered a social good like any other, something the capitalist market doesn’t provide enough of. Artists have traditionally always had patrons, and good or great art has rarely been commercial in the way a sofa or a slab of beef is.

          1. No, Tony, the reason that califernian said what he said is that if you cannot gin up the ability to figure out why government should be involved in art, then it’s doubtful you can’t be talked into government involvement anywhere else.

            Art is the very, very last thing that government should be involved in. If you believe it should be involved in that, then you can be convinced that government should be involved in anything.

          2. I repeat what does art funding have to do with making intelligent choices in life, that long winded piece of dung does not answer that.

            You clearly know zero about the art market, because if you did, then you would know that the demand for good art is there, without any government push. More importantly if you knew anything about art, then you would know that a pampered artist and great art don’t go together want to prove me wrong, show me a great artist who did not struggle in life.

            1. Ask Nick if Ann Romney paints.

            2. I probably agree with your second point. Give a struggling artist a million dollars and he will probably stop giving as much a shit about making art, good or otherwise. That counts for making lots of money in the market too. Aren’t you making my point?

              I said I wouldn’t defend government patronage of the arts, only that it is defensible. I do think that we could probably do with one fewer military aircraft and thus have arts funding in perpetuity.

              The point is that you can defend government spending on one thing and not necessarily be forced into accepting government spending on everything. Art is more trivial than national defense or healthcare, yes, but it’s not necessarily totally trivial, and is arguably a vital social resource.

              1. Name one thing in life that government should not be involved.

                Just one.

                Is it food? Obviously not. Medicine? No. Sports? No. Art? No.

                What is it, Tony? Where’s the line?

                1. Sports. There’s one. Tell it to all those Red-state governors, not me.

                  On the one hand, government is necessarily involved in most everything because most everything happens in a governed environment. But I don’t think that’s what you’re getting at.

                  I think government should keep its nose out of anyone’s personal business as long as that personal business has no negative affects on other people. Libertarians and liberals agree on this. Libertarians just woefully underestimate the ways in which action affects other people–or they outright deny facts in order to maintain their position (“pollution isn’t real!”).

                  If we’re talking about economic activity, leaving aside the caveat I began with, that government is necessarily involved in every transaction because it sets up the laws under which transactions take place in a fair and efficient way not to mention prints and gives value to money, it shouldn’t be involved in activity that is not of interest to the people at large whose government it is. If you’re selling a product and not harming anyone in the process I don’t see why government involvement shouldn’t be minimal. But I do think the people can, via their government, act as a buyer in the market, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

                  1. You named nothing. Absolutely nothing.

                    Amazing.

                    If you’re selling a product and not harming anyone in the process I don’t see why government involvement shouldn’t be minimal.

                    Just breathtaking.

                    1. I named sports!

                      I don’t agree with the premise that government can be totally uninvolved in something, for the reasons I explained. How about you name some economic transaction you want government to be totally free from influencing or potentially influencing.

                    2. “I named sports! Whine! Snivel! Bitch!”

                    3. All of them.

      2. The only intersection between the set of people that think it’s a good idea for the state to fund art and the set of people capable of making intelligent choices in life are the statist elite who recognize how it benefits them at the expense of society.

      3. Not really be because if you had a brain you wouldn’t advocate government sponsored art.

    3. If offends me far greater that the government steals money from me to throw pot heads into a steel cage.

    4. I think one of the more important political talking points libertarians need to promote is the question “Where should government NOT be involved?” You can quickly cull out the hopeless and the useless when the hem and haw and say “it’s complicated” and blah blah.

  12. Not exactly on topic, but I think everyone here should read this.

    One of the best critiques of the likes of Paul Ryan, Ayn Rand, and the cult of self-worship I’ve ever read.

    1. I feel bad for you, Tony. The apathy must really be settled into your bones.

    2. cult of self-worship

      Society is better off when people hate themselves.

      Jesus Tony I don’t even have to read the link to demonstrate your idiocy.

      1. Oh look, more binary thinking. I wonder what could possibly be the mental defect at the heart of your guys’ bullshit.

        1. *yawn* Oh boy you aren’t even trying anymore.

          I think it’s time someone got a replacement for Old Yeller here.

            1. Typical leftist anti-individualism. You never disappoint, Tony.

      2. Be careful, Corning. My suspicion is that is EXACTLY what the likes of Tony want.

    3. I can see why you would like that.
      It is, like your soul, completely devoid of anything honest or truthful.

      1. All I saw was a total string of blather.

        1. One long appeal to emotion. Nothing honest or truthful, just a string of burning straw men and ad hominems.
          Kinda like, well, I dunno…

          1. One long appeal to emotion.

            Yup.

            1. Unlike Ayn Rand, who said she was appealing to reason, and thus she was.

              1. The colorless green ideas sleep furiously, Tony.

                1. Your poor, entombed little mind. Must I spell everything out? AYN RAND WAS NOTHING BUT A BIG LONG-WINDED APPEAL TO EMOTION. The particular emotion known as adolescent egotism.

                  1. “Do not hide behind such superficialities as whether you should or should not give a dime to a beggar. This is not the issue. The issue is whether you do or do not have the right to exist without giving him that dime.”

                    1. And what serious person in the history of the planet has ever said you have to give a dime to a beggar or die?

                    2. And what serious person in the history of the planet has ever said you have to give a dime to a beggar or die?

                      You do. Every day.

                    3. I don’t even believe serial killers should be put to death by the state, so you’re obviously exaggerating. Ayn Rand would never exaggerate in order to appeal to emotion, would she?

                  2. The particular emotion known as adolescent egotism.

                    Not an emotion, but whatever, keep going…

      2. And you figured that out without possibly having spent the time reading it. Impressive.

        1. I skimmed the first page. It was enough.

        2. I spent the time reading it. It is in no way complicated, and it isn’t as if it bothers with facts or footnotes to check or slog through.

          It’s one long piece of conjecturing psychologizing mixed with complete and total misrepresentation of Ayn Rand.

          Look at my “shocked face” that TNR wrote it and you loved it. I am stunned. No really.

    4. Paul Ryan, Ayn Rand, and the cult of self-worship

      I feel misled. Based on what you wrote, I expected the article to be about Ryan, Rand and Obama.

      1. My favorite part where they talked about how, upon getting the Fountainhead published, she told her fans that “they could look back and tell their children that this was the moment that we cut off care to the moocher and the looter; this was the moment when the rise of socialism began to slow and the economy began to heal”

        Narcissist much, Ayn? lol

    5. Ayn Rand – Socially liberal, anti-war pro-gay rights, atheist….

      I can see why you hate her so much Tony.

      1. Tony and the Movement Gays have elevated the politics of the Welfare State above and beyond any of their own personal concerns. It’s ironic that Tony always talks about how Republicans vote against their own economic interests when gays do the exact same thing without realizing it.

        1. It is amazing isn’t it? Gays are on average better educated, have a higher income and are more likely to own a small business than the rest of the country. Economically they should be libertarian as hell.

          1. The Republican Party is partly to blame for this, but on the whole, gays have been sold a bad package-deal and for someone reason they don’t return it to the shitty store that sold it to them.

            1. The Dems don’t have to be full blown communist either. The Democrats were perfectly willing to tell black voters to pound sand on gay marriage. The gays have a lot of money and do a lot of things for the Democratic Party. They could get the Democratic Party to be at least a little sane on economic issues, especially in big cities. But they don’t even try because they have allowed themselves to be totally co-opted by Leftists, who ironically would sell them out in a heart beat.

              1. There is no “leftist” party in this country with any political power. The Democratic party policies of the past few decades are rightwing policies. Even Obamacare.

                I’ll concede that calling everything they do full-blown communism, even if the things they do originated with the Heritage Foundation, has been an exceedingly successful strategy.

                1. There is no “leftist” party in this country with any political power. The Democratic party policies of the past few decades are rightwing policies. Even Obamacare.

                  So all of those labels of self-described Democrats (e.g. Progressive, Socialist, Liberal) are all just lies, eh?

                  I’ll inform the Party.

                  1. There are plenty of very progressive people in this country. They just don’t have a lot of representation in government. That’s mostly thanks to the poisonous influence of corporate money on politics that free market peddlers decided was called free speech.

                    1. That’s mostly thanks to the poisonous influence of corporate money on politics that free market peddlers decided was called free speech.

                      This is fucking comedy gold.

                      Are you like the manatee scriptwriters for Family Guy, except your colored balls have meaningless liberal talking points on them?

                      I bet you are.

                      “Alright folks we have a problem here:

                      Democrats keep losing/ Not Enough Progressives in Politics / Gun Violence

                      and today we’re going to blame it on:

                      Obstructionist Republicans / Citizens United / Republican Economic Policies / Libertarians”

                    2. It is my long-studied and carefully considered opinion that Republicans are mostly at fault for everything that’s wrong in this country, yes.

                    3. Never blame your own, eh, Tony? Who’s a goooooboy??

                    4. Would you support replacing elections (at least for, say, the House) with random selection among eligible voters? Assume that each single seat is replaced with a delegation of several representatives in case one is totally mentally defective.

                      It’s my pet cause. And it would solve your issue: the progressive rank and file would be represented in government in roughly equal proportion to their true prevalence among the electorate. Plus, no campaigns means no campaign speech or finance.

          2. All types of “better educated” people tend to be liberals. Non-college educated white guys are fast becoming the last demographic of the economic rightwing. The people most easily duped into it, I guess.

            Of the wealthy, only a handful of eccentrics are libertarians, though I admit plenty of CEOs support the Republican party, but plenty of CEOs are idiots in life except about how to maximize their take–something Republicans continually promise them while stroking their ego.

            I’m a liberal because I’m self-interested. I happen to think a more redistributive society is better for me, and not because I don’t make my own money and intend to be a sponge, but because it’s better for everyone, poor and rich alike.

            1. I’m a liberal because I’m self-interested. I happen to think a more redistributive society is better for me, and not because I don’t make my own money and intend to be a sponge, but because it’s better for everyone, poor and rich alike.

              That is doublespeak gobbledygook and you know it.

              1. No I actually believe that I advocate for a better society, just like you do. My ideas are informed by the factual history of societies, yours by the mad rants of a middling bullshit artist.

                1. My ideas are informed by the factual history of societies, yours by the mad rants of a middling bullshit artist.

                  Oh, my son. This is so sad to see.

                  “Reality based community”? Really? Is it 2004 again?

            2. All types of “better educated” people tend to be liberals.

              Welp, you’re the one who scare quoted better educated there, so I guess you pre-refuted yourself.

        2. Tony and the Movement Gays have elevated the politics of the Welfare State above and beyond any of their own personal concerns.

          Of course I have elevated movement gays above and beyond my own personal concerns.

          I don’t even know any gay people. For all intents and purposes their plight has zero effect on my life. Yet from my principles I recognize their rights and speak my voice and vote accordingly.

          Tony’s inability to see that libertarianism is a principled humane political ideology, even if he disagrees with its promised results, is sickening me.

          1. It’s principled and it’s an ideology, but it’s not humane. It’s promised results are just that–promises. No attempt at providing the slightest shred of evidence for them is ever made or countenanced.

      2. Hitler loved animals.

        1. It’s official: Tony has gotten so lethargic that he Godwinned the thread.

    6. You again?
      The last time I saw you here you were arguing that the notion of liberty should be abandoned altogether because individuals are not as free to make their own choices as they think they are. We should just give up, have the total state and obey, or some such horse shit.

      I wont even bother to read your shit anymore.

      1. Free is a relative term. As limited beings on a finite planet, we are certainly almost totally unfree, compared to an ideal of absolute freedom. I, unlike libertarians, believe in maximizing the availability of individual freedom, however scarce it may be in the grand scheme of things.

        To libertarians freedom is just a code word for tax breaks for billionaires.

        1. Heh, see, I didnt even read what you wrote. I just noticed you replied and typed here so I can say Tony, go fuck yourself you authority worshiping bootlicker.

        2. Re: Tony,

          Free is a relative term.

          All terms are relative. You’re not saying anything.

          As limited beings on a finite planet, we are certainly almost totally unfree

          You’re confusing freedom with power.

          To libertarians freedom is just a code word for tax breaks for billionaires.

          You’re confusing your lack of wits with wits. You’re not being witty, or accurate. Freedom is the ability to act with no undue restrictions from others, and for others to act with no undue restrictions from you.

          Tax breaks just means thieving less. That’s all. And YES, Tony: Taxation is still thievery, no matter how much you want to rationalize it. You don’t want to believe you have been a schmuck all these years for falling for sweet-talking politicians, but there’s no hiding it: YOU ARE A SCHMUCK!

          1. Old Mexican, I always read you, and it is usually time well spent. Please dont repeat fuckwit’s talking points, I am trying to avoid it’s blather.

          2. Freedom is the ability to act with no undue restrictions from others, and for others to act with no undue restrictions from you.

            I agree. Pity you believe that taxation in a democratic society is immoral, thus we have to deny the vast bulk of humanity any meaningful freedom to act.

            1. Re: Tony,

              Pity you believe that taxation in a democratic society is immoral,

              It’s immoral regardless of what society you think this is. Thievery is still wrong.

              thus we have to deny the vast bulk of humanity any meaningful freedom to act.

              Non sequitur. Government =/= civilization.

        3. Tony is getting high on his own supply of bullshit again.

  13. Evidence from the 1980s shows that when public investment in culture shrank, so did the appetite for artistic risk.

    Ill defined claim is ill defined.

    1. I’d say that statement is probably true, the same way that appetite for investment risk shrinks when the government doesn’t foot the bill for losses.

      1. What the fuck is artistic risk?

        How is submerging a crucifix in urine any more risky then paining portraits of crying clowns?

        Hell if you want to talk about risk i do not see the public sector artists drawing images of Mohammad.

        Unlike government art that shit can get you killed.

        Of course when some idiot says Artistic risk he is not talking about that….

        In fact he is not talking about anything because the words mean nothing in any meaningful way.

        Artistic risk is just bullshit speak like synergy or bourgeoisie.

    2. And bullshit, as anybody familiar with the art of the 80s could tell you.

    3. I don’t think that dishonest use of euphemism constitutes “ill-defined”.

      Let’s try an honest version:
      Evidence from Opinions about the 1980s shows claim that when public government investment in payment for culture shitty art shrank, so did the appetite for artistic risk desire to make shitty art instead of getting a job.

  14. There is no better barometer to see how leftwards the Economist readership has swung (along with the magazine itself actually) than the outcome of this debate. I have no doubt the pro government art debate will win most votes.

  15. Like I said earlier, I will defend tittyfucking for what it is – usually an accompaniment to blowjobs and sex.

    It injects variety, and variety is good.

    Nuff said.

    1. When I have a crawfish boil I dont eat the corn on the cob or the potatoes until all of the crawfish is gone. I mean, the crawfish is better and far more expensive.
      Why eat the mediocre stuff when the good stuff is right there?

      That may be a bad anology, as you cannot have sex after a crawfish boil. Your hands are soaked in red pepper and you cant rub your eyes, pick your nose, or put your hands on other delicate places for at least a day.

      1. We call them ‘crayfish’ Up North.

  16. As a matter of fact, I would fully support having a national bonfire where every piece of taxpayer-funded art be destroyed.

    I would support an auction where it was all sold, and the money given back to the taxpayers it was stolen from.

  17. How about you name some economic transaction you want government to be totally free from influencing or potentially influencing.

    I don’t want that gang of thugs involved in any aspect of my life whatsoever. Anything they do, I can purchase from private contractors, who will do it better and cheaper.

    1. Without government the only entities you’d be dealing with are gangs of thugs. Most of you want government to protect you from fraud or force… that’s what I was getting at.

      1. Re: Tony,

        Without government the only entities you’d be dealing with are gangs of thugs.

        With government, the only entities you’d be dealing with are gangs of thugs…

        1. Yeah real thuggish.

          The rich get their loot by buying politicians, no thuggery needed, and this seems to completely escape you as you obsess over the scraps clawed for by workers’ unions.

  18. Should Government steal from productive people to Fund the Arts give the loot to palm-extending artists?

    More accurate. And the answer is: No.

  19. Re: Tony,

    All types of “better educated” people tend to be liberals.

    Very educated =/= well educated.

    Non-college educated white guys

    Race card alert!

    Of the wealthy, only a handful of eccentrics are libertarians,

    Because the rest are fascists. Just like your president. Isn’t that a remarkable coincidence?

    I’m a liberal because I’m self-interested.

    That ain’t the reason. It’s because you’re lazy.

    I happen to think a more redistributive society is better for me,

    See? I was right.

  20. Nearly all of my artiste friends are simply apathetic or politically ignorant.

  21. Nick Gillepsie’s argument is a winner if there ever was one.

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