In the early days of World War II,
when Hitler was dividing up Poland, he told the two Generals he appointed
that he would ask no questions about their methods. It is a common enough
euphemism in politics and the exercise of power to this day. When questions
are asked about methods they unearth the fact that power acts covertly
to conceal its part in the ruthless consequences of its design.
In this issue, Marshall Anderson's
Another Story of Art Development is not presented as a salacious expose--more
rather an example of the norm. That there will be conflicting opinions
of his account is unavoidable since the statements of the parties involved
themselves--officialdom--are at odds with each other.
Our interview with the Glasgow Media
Group--we would hope--will be read carefully and encourage a reconsideration
of the theories which have led to such betrayals of common sense and progressive
politics. The 'cultural compliance' referred to in the article is the culpable
failure to address the enforcement of anachronistic right-wing politics,
through an adherence to a view of culture which is based on intellectual
meaninglessness. This compliance carries with it a failure to question
the free market--despite the effects it is having on our society. Masses
of people are unemployed--deemed to have no use in life--because the market
has dictated so, and that this ideology cannot be challenged.
In the arts, and many other sectors
of society, the involvement of a mass of people is touted as a worthy criterion
by funding bodies, except when it comes to decision making. Consultation
is considered something to be put into the hands of professional consultants
at public expense; public consultation is the joke of organising a meeting
to tell the public what they are getting. Decisions are taken before public
consultation, during it or by ignoring it. This taxation without representation
is wide open for factions to follow a line of interest. The private will
incline towards partiality; the general will incline towards impartiality.
Talk of independence abounds while the centralisation of the arts and culture
Our open discussion on artists'
initiatives will hopefully encourage debate on the collusion of private
business and public development agencies in deciding what is 'culturally'
relevant in Dublin and Belfast. Aware only of the corporate facade of such
schemes in Ireland, the Scottish Arts Council--blatantly evading its own
responsibility in decision making and monitoring--asks in its visionary
'Scottish Arts in the 21st Century' document:
"Does the subsidy system diminish
entrepreneurial spirit of artists and arts organisations? Are there ways
of supporting the Arts in which this could be avoided or which entrepreneurial
spirit could be stimulated?"
Who wrote this--Baroness Thatcher?*
Is their vision of the future that art becomes an adjunct to a corporate
logo. Will this even maintain their own position? Can we show entrepreneurial
spirit in questioning their methods or are we all to be herded into the
ghetto which will be constructed for us?
*No, Ruth Wishart.