Art for the Sake of Liberty

A history teacher of mine once described culture as “the lens through which we see the world.”

A lens colors and alters how we see the world.  It can reveal to us previously hidden facets of reality, as microscopes do, or it can show us false vistas and unreal colors, as a pair of rose tinted glasses might.

And how we see the world defines how we act in it.  If I see the world as a dark, brooding place bereft of the hope for happiness I will act differently than if I see it as light, airy, and full of rainbows.

However, this is only one side of the lens metaphor.  Lenses are also created; they are not born fully formed, springing into existence like some optometric Athena.  Real lenses are made with a constant application of heat, pressure, and friction.  So too with our cultural lenses, which are constantly formed and reshaped by the pressures and inspirations of voices and ideas in our wider society.

From the movies and TV we watch, to the books we read and the music we listen to, our worldviews are reinforced, challenged or changed.  These works of art and culture, then, are intensely important.  They have the capacity to influence everything we do, from where we live to what we eat and how we vote.

This blog is dedicated to influencing that culture, in however small a way, towards one accepting of political, individual, and economic liberty.

For freedom and individual rights to flourish, they must be planted in a fertile soil of healthy respect and understanding for what they can accomplish.  This soil in a society is the culture, and no culture which does not cherish freedom and the power of the individual to achieve will ever allow either to thrive.

Over the coming months this blog will explore those matters of culture, providing commentary and reviews on existing works and current events.  It will also offer original works of art and literature which are grounded in the ideals and politics of liberty.

This blog does not mean to get into the arguments for and against free markets, small government and individual liberty.  Those are for the economists and political theorists, and they’ve done an admirable job showing why such things are necessary to human progress and flourishing.  Instead, this blog will deal with the emotional side of the argument, tapping directly into the inherent rightness of liberty.

We hope you enjoy it, and we welcome your contribution to the lens we look through.

Aducknamedjoe

"I need no warrant for being, and no word of sanction upon my being. I am the warrant and the sanction."

You may also like...

5 Responses

  1. libertarian jerry says:

    In 1958, on a rainy Saturday afternoon, I watched on TV “The Fountainhead.” That movie and especially Rourke’s courtroom speech changed my 15 year old life forever. The fact that I modeled my World Outlook on the speech of a fictional character gives credence to the philosophy of Ayn Rand,who used her fictional characters as a vehicle to express her world views. This is how Art,for good or evil can influence people for life. For me, it influenced me to the point of being a life long defender and fighter for Liberty. Thank you Ayn Rand.

  2. Aducknamedjoe says:

    Yes, Rand has had a huge influence on people in the liberty movement. A 1988 Liberty Magazine survey actually found her writings the most likely to have started someone on the road to free markets and individual rights.

    The problem is that, even with the incredible persuading power of stories and fiction so clearly displayed, few modern supporters of liberty seem to want to write any fiction or create any art of their own.

    If Rand could influence so many people with a couple novels, how many more people could be influenced and persuaded by dozens of similarly themed works of art?

  1. October 16, 2011

    […] at AGL we argue ceaselessly for the importance of popular culture in spreading the idea of liberty and individual rights.  J. […]

  2. November 4, 2011

    […] have to go where the people are. The vast majority of people do not participate in politics or engage in meaningful academic […]

  3. December 8, 2011

    […] 2010John Stossel on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show, talking about the Atlas Shrugged movieLearn out more about Ars Gratia Libertatis. Join the forum discussion on this blogpost.About Geoffrey Allan […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *