Arts and state funding Watch

Milady de Winter
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 10 years ago
#1
This is an article from the Telegraph about the apparently detrimental role of state funding (as it stands) in promoting and supporting the arts. Having skim-read it once, I feel that by and large I agree with the sentiment (this is something I've been leaning towards for a while now).

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/m.../02/do0201.xml

Playing Devil's advocate, anyway - what do others think about arts funding?

N.B. This isn't meant to be a discussion about "oh, it's the Telegraph, what do you expect?" Of course that paper has a particular bias - so do all papers. :p:
0
reply
Bastiat
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#2
Report 10 years ago
#2
(Original post by Milady de Winter)
This is an article from the Telegraph about the apparently detrimental role of state funding (as it stands) in promoting and supporting the arts. Having skim-read it once, I feel that by and large I agree with the sentiment (this is something I've been leaning towards for a while now).

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/m.../02/do0201.xml

Playing Devil's advocate, anyway - what do others think about arts funding?
"Arts funding" should be objected to because it stands for the proposition that an individual can be legitimately have his income stolen in order to reduce the costs to other individuals of a luxury. Regardless of the merits of a particular piece of art, it is indefensible to claim that the state should employ the threats of violence which back up its demand for taxation for a purpose so trivial as individual enjoyment of art.

Simon Heffer, on the other hand, has heretofore shown little objection to subsidising his own cultural preferences at cost to the taxpayer. See here and here;
"A rich cultural life is the mark of a true civilisation. Were Radio 3 not to exist, we should all be vastly the poorer. At a time when our schools are failing, and cultural education is hardly on the timetable, a publicly funded organisation that brings sweetness and light into our homes is more vital than ever."
0
reply
Roobagnall
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#3
Report 10 years ago
#3
i think if you want funding you either need to cut off your hand and send it to the arts council OR rob the local post office. best way to gain funding off the govenment
0
reply
mfm89
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#4
Report 10 years ago
#4
(Original post by Bastiat)
"Arts funding" should be objected to because it stands for the proposition that an individual can be legitimately have his income stolen in order to reduce the costs to other individuals of a luxury. Regardless of the merits of a particular piece of art, it is indefensible to claim that the state should employ the threats of violence which back up its demand for taxation for a purpose so trivial as individual enjoyment of art.

Simon Heffer, on the other hand, has heretofore shown little objection to subsidising his own cultural preferences at cost to the taxpayer. See here and here;
"A rich cultural life is the mark of a true civilisation. Were Radio 3 not to exist, we should all be vastly the poorer. At a time when our schools are failing, and cultural education is hardly on the timetable, a publicly funded organisation that brings sweetness and light into our homes is more vital than ever."

Not really commenting, but Bastiat, you've got quite a one track mind, no? I think in every post of yours i've read you've gone on about tax as theft and threats of violence.
0
reply
ch0c0h01ic
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#5
Report 10 years ago
#5
Art is by and large something that should be shared and enjoyed. If you create something that is so deviant that nobody takes and interest and nobody invests, you are ultimately following your own interests for your own gains, an egotistical pursuit which is not in the interests of greater public interest and enjoyment of art. In that sense art is selective and self supporting. Those that do create something of interest and/or enjoyment are going to encourage funding and investment into such an area, upholding art as a whole. Providing government funding is simply going to encourage people to pursue their own interests, causing art to suffer.
0
reply
ChemistBoy
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#6
Report 10 years ago
#6
I've heard exactly the same kind of argument about scientific research, interestingly enough. I'm afraid I can't see what the alternative is to keep funding levels up, when state-funding of such things was reduced under thatcher there was a disproportionately low philathropic response by the less-taxed rich resulting in a massively negative blow to the arts and to intellectual activities. The problem is not neccesarily one of state-funding, but of oppressive administration. Taking parallels from research funding (where I am, admittedly far more knowledgeable on the larger scale) the main problems arise from political interference and ignoring doctrines of independence such as the Haldane principle.

Clearly philanthropy should be encouraged, but I just don't feel that it is enough of our cultural past for it to ever 'step up to the breach' - also philathropy and other 'private-sector' giving is never no strings attached either.

Sadly there is always an agenda with funding and there always will be, at least, in a democracy, we can exert some control over state-funding.
0
reply
Bastiat
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#7
Report 10 years ago
#7
(Original post by mfm89)
Not really commenting, but Bastiat, you've got quite a one track mind, no? I think in every post of yours i've read you've gone on about tax as theft and threats of violence.
That's a fair description of my general appraoch. It strikes me that everytime one recommends a particular public policy, it ought to be examined not in some pseudo-scientific 'measurement' of costs and benefits which rests on the entirely illusory belief that we can compare "happiness" between two people, but as to whether it infringes on individual rights. The argument here is not "what is good art?" but "should you have to subsidise what I (or anybody else) say is good art?" That's fundamentally a question of rights - that is, when violence can be legitimately used in pursuit of an end.

Peripherally, I might add, I think that Simon Heffer's cultural preferences are quite sound, especially on the Wagnerian front, and so it would be easy for me, for instance, to call for public subsidy so that Radio 3 can play the Ring in one go (as it did last year) "for the public good."
0
reply
mfm89
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#8
Report 10 years ago
#8
(Original post by Bastiat)
That's a fair description of my general appraoch. It strikes me that everytime one recommends a particular public policy, it ought to be examined not in some pseudo-scientific 'measurement' of costs and benefits which rests on the entirely illusory belief that we can compare "happiness" between two people, but as to whether it infringes on individual rights. The argument here is not "what is good art?" but "should you have to subsidise what I (or anybody else) say is good art?" That's fundamentally a question of rights - that is, when violence can be legitimately used in pursuit of an end.

Peripherally, I might add, I think that Simon Heffer's cultural preferences are quite sound, especially on the Wagnerian front, and so it would be easy for me, for instance, to call for public subsidy so that Radio 3 can play the Ring in one go (as it did last year) "for the public good."
....yes
Thats another thing, not being much of a political philosopher myself, I rarely know half the words you use. But I catch your drift.
0
reply
Collingwood
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#9
Report 10 years ago
#9
Subsidising unprofitable art makes about as much sense as subsidising speed boats or holidays in the Bahamas.
0
reply
34253
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#10
Report 10 years ago
#10
I don't really understand how they can use our money to maintain these artists then charge us to go and see their work or to listen to their music? Art (painting in particular) has always been about living like a peasant that can't make ends meet, because it's a profession that just doesn't pay out for the vast majority of people who are alive.
0
reply
made_of_fail
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#11
Report 10 years ago
#11
(Original post by Collingwood)
Subsidising unprofitable art makes about as much sense as subsidising speed boats or holidays in the Bahamas.
You Libertarians are just nuts.
0
reply
ChemistBoy
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#12
Report 10 years ago
#12
(Original post by Collingwood)
Subsidising unprofitable art makes about as much sense as subsidising speed boats or holidays in the Bahamas.
What about subsidising unprofitable science?
0
reply
Bastiat
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#13
Report 10 years ago
#13
(Original post by ChemistBoy)
What about subsidising unprofitable science?
The state shouldn't do that, either. If a scientist wants to investigate some esoteric phenomenon, or to complete a proof of some intricate theorem, he cannot call upon somebody who does not value his work to pay for it. There is no more reason for us to subsidise a scientist than a barber; if either wishes to forgo profitable work for the chance to do something they enjoy, they must accept the concomittant loss of income.
0
reply
Collingwood
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#14
Report 10 years ago
#14
(Original post by ChemistBoy)
What about subsidising unprofitable science?
A lot of science is profitable. But, if you're referring to particle accelerators and the like, I don't think they should be state funded. I am very interested in what they have to say about the universe (incalculably more interested than I am in modern art), and I would donate money to fund their construction by a voluntary programme, but it's wrong to take peoples' incomes away from them just because you or I think it is more valuable than what they would spend it on themselves.
0
reply
ChemistBoy
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#15
Report 10 years ago
#15
(Original post by Collingwood)
A lot of science is profitable.
Not directly. The vast majority of scientific research is funded at a loss.

But, if you're referring to particle accelerators and the like, I don't think they should be state funded. I am very interested in what they have to say about the universe (incalculably more interested than I am in modern art), and I would donate money to fund their construction by a voluntary programme, but it's wrong to take peoples' incomes away from them just because you or I think it is more valuable than what they would spend it on themselves.
The problem is that your belief that fundamental science can be funded by philanthropy relies on the idea that individuals are well-informed and make entirely rational choices - a completely unrealisitic model of society, no more realisable than a true communism. What happens if no-one funds fundamental scientific research by choice? Are you willing to just say 'c'est la vie'? Also, by closing down funding to immediate public interest do we further prejudice our scientific enquiry moving further away from the ideal of disinterested observation and not towards it?
0
reply
Collingwood
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#16
Report 10 years ago
#16
(Original post by ChemistBoy)
Not directly. The vast majority of scientific research is funded at a loss.
The vast majority of scientific research is actually funded by company R&D. This isn't loss making, unless you calculate profit/loss over only a single year or a few months, which the majority of major investors do not.

The problem is that your belief that fundamental science can be funded by philanthropy
No, you misunderstand. I said I personally would fund it through philanthropy, not that I justify not funding it by government because it would be funded through philanthropy. If it is unfunded and so doesn't happen at all, I have no problem with that being the case, though I might personally lose out as someone interested in theoretical physics.
0
reply
Demoskratos7
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#17
Report 10 years ago
#17
Of course there should be state funding for the arts. It's as important as health funding or defence funding. However there should be a politically independent body or council to decide who or what gets the funding and how its distributed. The government have recently made the appalling decision to syphon off funding in the area of medieval history and spend it instead on the Olympic Games. Utterly ridiculous.
0
reply
Prince Rhyus
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#18
Report 10 years ago
#18
I would like to see more carrots and sticks used to direct more private money into the arts, sciences and technology, thus reducing the dependency on the state. Something along the lines of for people being paid over £1million per year, they'd pay a 50% tax on earnings over the £1m threshold unless they donate half the amount they'd otherwise pay in tax on those earnings to a registered charity. It doesn't matter which, so long as it's registered with the Charity Commission. That way, more money is raised for the arts and anyone who ends up paying the tax is either too stupid, lazy or tight to donate. It also gives people the choice about which good causes they want to support - and give them a strong incentive to keep tabs on them in terms of corporate governance. Some business disciplines in voluntary organisations can be a good thing.
0
reply
Collingwood
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#19
Report 10 years ago
#19
That's no different to assigning regular tax money, except that the added weight of bureaucracy will reduce the proportion of money reaching the supposedly worthy cause, and it becomes significantly easier to defraud.
0
reply
ChemistBoy
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#20
Report 10 years ago
#20
(Original post by Collingwood)
The vast majority of scientific research is actually funded by company R&D. This isn't loss making, unless you calculate profit/loss over only a single year or a few months, which the majority of major investors do not.
Under what measure? I've been to dozens of talks all around the country and europe on research funding and I've never seen any figures that even remotely demonstrate what you are suggesting. Even in the states government funding is larger than private funding and has been since the second world war. We live in a time when many major multinationals are actually scaling down R&D spending (just look at IBM's closure or many of its research facilities) - hardly a ringing endorsement for business to take up the slack. It seems that libertarian hopes are rested on returning or turning countries back into pre-war america with the legacy of Edison and Tesla, the great entrepreneur-scientists, I can't see how that is possibly realistic.

No, you misunderstand. I said I personally would fund it through philanthropy, not that I justify not funding it by government because it would be funded through philanthropy. If it is unfunded and so doesn't happen at all, I have no problem with that being the case, though I might personally lose out as someone interested in theoretical physics.

So you are happy with research avenues not being funding because they do not fit into a 5-year business plan or a particular philathropic cause? Surely history has told us that we can't predict the fruits of all researches into our world. J. J. Thompson is a classic example of this as his discovery of the electron was considered nothing more than a curio at the time but is now of vital importance to our economy. Take particle physics, for example, this area of research takes millions, even billions, of dollars to run and seemingly to answer rather intangible questions about the universe, but out of this research has dropped, unpredictably, many things that benefit society at large such as more effective cancer treatments (and that is directly from particle physics, most people are suprised when they are told that most major western hospitals have at least one particle accelerator in their basement). I can't justify not provide an environment where disinterested scientific research can be undertaken to lower taxes.
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Have you registered to vote?

Yes! (141)
38.42%
No - but I will (21)
5.72%
No - I don't want to (26)
7.08%
No - I can't vote (<18, not in UK, etc) (179)
48.77%

Watched Threads

View All