Capitalism and art
October 31, 2006, 7:09 am
Filed under: uncategorized

One of the books I’ve read recently for school has this to say:

“. . . as American culture remains openly and pervasively religious, its devotion to the Gross National Product is clear; witness the relentless spread of consumer goods; the obsession with self-image, wealth, and comfort; and especially the use of things sacred – sexuality, beauty, and language – to promote sales.  Indeed, the blessings of an Infinite God and the infinitely expanding availability of nice things are considered proofs of one another in American culture.  The artist-as-prophet cannot help but prophesy.  But it does no good.  The astonishing ability of capitalism’s market strategies to defuse, aestheticize, and then enlist even the most critical extremes of avant-garde or prophetic critiques into the market’s ambitions has become clear by now.  Both the avant-garde and the prophet are passe.”

I’ve hung out recently with college students of a socialist persuasion, which has helped me break out of taking capitalism for granted.  It isn’t so obvious all the time just how pervasively we (especially in the church of North America) have been sucked into a market mindset.

The Kingdom of God operates on a different economy, though, and I find myself hungry to find ways to re-order my life around it.


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