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Why Progressives Hate Beauty

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The dark design behind a Cambridge museum overhaul.

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When you observe renowned landscape artist John Constable’s bucolic painting “Hampstead Heath” above, what feelings does it inspire? Calm? Nostalgia? Spiritual uplift? A surge of white supremacist pride and jingoistic fervor?

For some reason – my guess is a toxic mix of colonialist guilt, multiculturalist self-loathing, and pressure from neo-Marxist donors and administrators determined to “deconstruct” Western civilization – England’s Fitzwilliam Museum, owned by the University of Cambridge, recently overhauled its collections with new signage warning sensitive visitors that landscape paintings of the British countryside can evoke dark “nationalist feelings.”

Paintings at the Fitzwilliam have been reshuffled into new categories that are deemed more “inclusive and representative.” The names alone of these new categories – Men Looking at Women, Identity, Migration and Movement, and Nature – reek of a politically woke perspective.

Signage for the Nature gallery, for example, which includes landscape paintings by such notable English and French artists as Constable, Gainsborough, Renoir, and Cézanne, states,

Landscape paintings were also always entangled with national identity. The countryside was seen as a direct link to the past, and therefore a true reflection of the essence of a nation. Paintings showing rolling English hills or lush French fields reinforced loyalty and pride towards a homeland. The darker side of evoking this nationalist feeling is the implication that only those with a historical tie to the land have a right to belong.

Translation: lovely European landscapes = white supremacy. This is the conclusion of a report recently submitted to Parliament by the charity umbrella group Wildlife and Countryside Link which denounces the British countryside as a “racist colonial” white space. You read that right.

The report claims that “racist colonial legacies” have created a rural Britain “dominated by white people.” For those of you not keeping up with the latest targets on the Social Justice Warrior hit list: anything in which white people predominate must be racist, and that includes the landscape, especially if it is beautiful and makes whites feel a bond with their homeland. Ergo, paintings of said landscapes are also racist. And they inspire an unhealthy patriotism, which threatens the globalist worldview of open-borders elites.

The report complains that Britain’s green spaces were influenced by “white British cultural values” which somehow prevent people of other ethnic backgrounds from enjoying the outdoors. It adds that “the assertion of white, Western values and knowledge” comes “at the expense of other values and knowledges” – the multiculturalist suggestion being that voodoo and shamanism are just as valid “knowledges” as Western rationalism and the scientific method. The report further argues that pictures of “rolling English hills” can stir feelings of – gasp! – “pride towards a homeland.” One wonders whether the authors of the report would equally condemn the pride inspired in Zimbabweans or Peruvians by pictures of the African veldt or Andean peaks.

 

full story at https://www.frontpagemag.com/why-progressives-hate-beauty/

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