"art's...inherent political progressivity."?

Charles Brown CharlesB at SPAMCNCL.ci.detroit.mi.us
Thu Nov 2 13:49:54 MST 2000


This might sound stupid, but the goddamn history channel had copies of something
Hitler painted. I used to think when they said Hitler was a painter, they meant
housepainter, but they mean artist type painter. I hate to say it, but I think maybe
Mein Kampf is supposed to be a work of ,well, you know.

Chris B."Clumsy, muddily representational, hackneyed views of clumped
architecture, generally, non?"

Charles B:The problem was that he was a poor artist ?
You are right this is a crude, sort of feeling , an intuition I have. So, I am
contradicting myself, in that I am being a romantic,  having a dream, an anxiety.
Perhaps this is a self-criticism, a confession to my comrades, that I have always
associated art and artists, including romantic poets , and artistic romanticists , and
other artists as tending to revolutionary or with the left, rebels tending to help the
left some,  or apolitical, whatever. But when I read those articles about Heidegger
and Nietzsche. And then think about the German Romantic philosophical tradition
deriving from Schelling, doesn't this aesthetic beget practitioners ? And is
reactionary romanticism confined to Germany ? Wasn't Mussolini Romantic in Rome ?

The articles have Nietzsche writing with great relief and happiness at the defeat of
the Paris Commune. He is like an antithesis of Marx. He hates the working class with
great artistic flair.


Then I think about Ronald Reagan and John Wilkes Booth. Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot were
not just anyother artists.


The postmodernist trends are up to their ears in Heidegger and Nietzsche. I knew H and
N were reactionaries, but the whole picture of the direct derivation of Nazism from H
and D is like watching the hatching of the Aliens. ( alienated into monsters by
imperialism, after Finkelstein's analysis in his book on Existentialism and literature
directly discussing Nietzsche and Heidegger).

))))))))


But, CB, what do you mean about "art's sort of intuitive (ha ha) claim
to inherent political progressivity." ?  I assume you refer to Western
"Fine Art"?  As to the term "progressivity" it has had a couple of
different and antagonistic implications politically.

(((((((

Chas. B: I out and out admit that I think of artists tending to be with us on the left
or socalled apolitical.  But that's nonsense, naivete on my part. Anyway, I have never
thought it through and considered active and effective reactionary artistic trends,
including , the most reactionary.

But this is stupid of me. The ruling ideas of any age are the ideas of its ruling
classes. And we have to fight to win proletarian art, etc. , etc.we have won many of
those struggles


>>> chris_brady at earthling.net 11/02/00 02:12PM >>>
"Hitler was an artist, afterall."
Hhmmnnn... have you ever seen examples of his ouevre?
Clumsy, muddily representational, hackneyed views of clumped
architecture, generally, non?
After all, Old Adolph is history's archetypal "artiste manque"--the
failed artist.  Sullen in rejection, he took his doltish aesthetic
weltanshauug off the canvas and tried to force it upon the world.  (I
thought this in art school before I ever heard of Walter Benjamin, so it
must be fairly obvious to this enlightened group.).

But, CB, what do you mean about "art's sort of intuitive (ha ha) claim
to inherent political progressivity." ?  I assume you refer to Western
"Fine Art"?  As to the term "progressivity" it has had a couple of
different and antagonistic implications politically.  I submit that
Western "Fine Art" displays probably the best example of progressivity
to be found anywhere if we accept the notions of linear progression and
the logical progress of Western "Fine Art" from the Renaissance through
the various styles and movements to conclude with Conceptualism, with a
ghostly "Fine Art" Post-Modernism remaining as the reworked residue of
shattered icons haunting aesthetes and Fine Art hucksters with wistful
dreams of former glory.

YFTR,
CB (Chris Brady)









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