ars libertatis

* 5 April 1934

Even those who would hesitate to classify the arts as holy often feel that they form a kind of sanctified enclave from which certain contaminating influences should be excluded - notably money and sex.


That true art should banish thoughts of sexual arousal, as well as of commerce, has been a rule ever since our ideas about art started to be formulated in the 18th century. Currently the Internet is most commonly used as a supplier of pornographic images, which must mean that they are the most sought-after art objects in our world. However, we strictly exclude them from the category of true art, and, in the case of child pornography, criminalize them. We have revived the practice of sending people to prison for looking at the wrong kind of pictures, which had fallen into abeyance since the iconoclastic frenzies of the Protestant reformation, when you could be imprisoned, or even done to death, for possessing pictures of Christ or the Virgin Mary.

What Good Are The Arts?

Communism is the rule in Sir Thomas More’s austerely regimented 16th-century utopia, where all houses and cities are built to the same pattern, and everyone wears identical clothes and works the same hours. It is also the principle behind Charles Fourier’s post-French-Revolution utopia of complete sensual freedom, where even the old and deformed are entitled to have their sexual needs regularly satisfied by willing and obliging ‘sexual athletes’, male and female.

What Good Are The Arts?