Contribution of Arts in the Uplift of Society

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The meaning of "art" has changed since the industrial revolution and a clarification has to come if we should be able to handle the problem from our own angle. First of all, the esotery of art must disappear; its limitation to specialists; the mysticism around it; the looking out for geniuses only. It is good to believe that in the future art may be explained in intellectual terms with greater clarity than it is possible today. Psychoanalysis already shows the mechanics of dreams, the role of the unconscious. The hope is justified that the mechanics of creative work and its sources will be unveiled one day as well. This may be the preliminary step to understanding its necessary community function and also its vital importance for the individual. He must be activized by doing instead of being merely a receptive participant. Our mass-produced civilization, the tiresome work at the conveyor belts, the cheap narcotics given in records, books, papers, magazines, cinema, radio and, of course, the disappearance of leisure killed folk art. The artist who already started to become a specialist in the craftsman-guilds of the middle ages took over every aspect of its functions. Specialization was forced upon us through hundreds of ungoverned happening and their mostly unforeseen effects; through hastened decisions in accepting and developing the machine as the only means of production; through a first unexpected but later forced gigantic growth of population, profit motives, etc., all claimed today as providential or "economic" necessities. For the time being, very few people know that the present form of specialization is a terrible weapon against us, against human nature. I am not speaking against the machine or the machine age. The machine is a splendid invention and will form the new basis for a more developed human society. But after the glorious technomania of the twenties, we know today that man cannot master the machine until he has leanred to master himself. But...
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