No future for you: cultural institutions can't afford to play along with pointy-headed bosses



Well put. Even aside from your point that thinking about it, much less doing it, as though this is just another commodity amounts to a dangerous category error; it’s worth remembering that ‘privatizations’ of either state held or (mostly in older cases) ‘commonly’ held assets tend to go badly.

It’s hard to say nice things about the Soviet style of government, for instance; but that just made it all the more insulting when the resources and infrastructure (built at considerable public expense, and often at truly horrific human cost) were sold off for peanuts on the dollar to the assorted oligarchs who then predictably snuffed whatever nascent democracy might have been in the cards and went for an oligarchy financed by the same poor bastards who had to live under it.

Much before that, England’s “Enclosure movement”, and the destruction of ‘the commons’, in its traditional incarnation, was a very, very, messy business.

Even if you are dealing with something that, in principle, is just fine to chop up and sell off; history tells us that you have to be damned careful about it, and that the people in charge of doing the job tend not to be up to the task. When dealing with things that shouldn’t be treated that way, your odds don’t exactly get better.

Why leave our public treasures, outside of private vaults, where the rabble can get at them?

What’s that? Who caused the destabilised conditions that would lead to the trashing effects of a mob?

Certainly not the market.


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