Kritike Tekhne (“Art of Judgement”)

The Greek conception of art critique was used to judge tools. For the greeks, a cup was art, a chair, a table, not some abstract blue blob frivolously splashed onto a blank white canvas. In this sense art always served some pragmatic, real-world end. A cup was to serve as a vessel for a beverage, a chair for sitting, a table for eating meals, etc. What end, then, does modern art serve? The answer is almost certainly political, as are all answers of questions regarding modernity. 

For when a people forget God, they become self obsessed, oddly enough much like the ancient Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians. Their Gods were directly involved and implicated in their political affairs. For the ancients, though, it was the Gods working through men towards political ends. The Romans had government buildings that were built as shrines to certain Gods. Christianity saved us from such a fate, from being trapped in the political, from being trapped in the farcical decisions of human beings. 

For it is the devil that dwells in politics, not God. And with the founding of America came the decision that European man had danced with the devil long enough. That is our fate, and our fate alone. Lest, of course, the Japanese, Indians, or some other non-Christian nation decides to take up the cross as their salvation. Until that day comes, Europa and her American cousin were, and still are, uniquely destined to step away from the devil and continue on fending him off. 

Our nation has failed, though. We have allowed the devil to once again tempt us into that all too human waltz of politics. And by stepping back onto this dastardly stage, we have risked re-politicizing everything. Our art, for example, is not Tekhne in the ancient Greek sense, insofar as it is not practical in any way. But at the heart of the matter, and only in a technical way, Modern art is Tekhne because it is the darkest, most devilish brand of propaganda.  

Modern art serves the end of destroying meaning. A painting, for example, can indeed be art. However if it serves the purpose of destroying the old conceptions of art, it is both a practice in nihilistic irony and serving as a meaningless means to a Marxist political end. This is not a “conspiracy theory” as neoliberalism has promulgated through popular culture. This is a concrete matter of history. The communist artists were specifically trained to honor the revolution; this alone was their task. To deviate was to serve something higher than communism; this was unacceptable. This is to elevate to man’s highest conception of the good a manifestation of the state as God. 

From this, we can observe that to look at what a people wish to serve, look at their Tekhne. Our obsession with brands, in our fashion as well as our “theatre”(via television and movies) shows that our God has become something like the economy or capitalism. We even refer to the “will” of the free market, or perhaps more often “the free market decides” as if it is a conscious being rather than a result of man’s divine free will. The economy does not decide, we do. We are holy and divine, not the economy. Therefore it is God deciding through us. This critical mistake has resulted in our worship of gods, and our liturgy has turned to consuming in any way possible( media, entertainment, shopping, etc.) 

The funny thing is, in this sense the radical left is right. Capitalism must end, but what they wish to put in its place is just as godless. Their sense that something is wrong is fundamentally correct, but their solution is just more state sanctioned liturgy. 

The fundamental mistake in this line of thinking is this: in believing the marxist principle that man can becoming a godless being of a strictly material existence, the progressives are actually serving the capitalist ends they purport to despise. They have become pawns in the game they wish to end. Now, some progressives wouldn’t care to hear this Truth. They are ugly, talentless people who are drawn to Marxism because they are as angry and vengeful as Marx himself was. 

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