19th century scholar Jacob Burckhard

The Arts vs Stephen Harper; Stephen Harper vs the Arts

White Rock B.C. - Tuesday, September 30, 2008 - by: Brian Marlatt

The state as a work of art was a central theme of Jacob Burckhardt's "The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy."

The seminal role of cultural and arts funding was well understood in the Quattrocento; so was the responsibility of republics and principalities for doing so.

It is instructive that Burckhardt's title word Kulture translated into Civilization in English. But our Machiavellian prime minister sees something else. So, for his edification, let us consider, selectively, some of the chapters' headings:

  • The Opponents of Tyranny,
  • The Italian State and the Individual,
  • The Perfecting of the Individual,
  • The Modern Idea of Fame,
  • Modern Wit and Satire,
  • Humanism in the 14th Century,
  • The Universities and Schools,
  • Journeys of the Italians,
  • Natural Science,
  • The Discovery of Natural Beauty,
  • The Equalization of Classes,
  • The Outer Refinement of Life,
  • The Perfect Man of Society,
  • The Position of Women,
  • Morality,
  • Religion in Daily Life,
  • Religion and the Spirit of the Renaissance,
  • The Disintegration of Belief.

Burkhardt was Swiss. He wrote in the 19th century: "horse and buggy days" as Harper would call it, the turn of modernity, as he would not understand it. The good news is that of his party, and of Harper himself particularly, we can say in all piety and relief "This too shall pass."


Brian Marlatt

PC Party (Progressive Canadian) Candidate in South Surrey-White Rock-Cloverdale
Campaign Office: 13072-16th Ave. Surrey, BC


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