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Right today the spotlights are on the protest against the cuts of the Italian government to the culture. In all Italy initiatives have risen to defend the survival of museums, theaters, libraries, archaeological sites and more: Closed museums, artworks cloaked by veils, public parades, but even extra openings or half-priced tickets. For further information: http://www.federculture.it/
The culture and the Art have an important role (or fundamental, in my opinion) in the development of the people and the society. The artistic expression serves to communicate to the others the intellectual existence of the individual; and in knowing how to compare one each other, in knowing other people's culture, the progress toward the formation of a harmonious, balanced and tolerant society evolves.
The culture and the Art are natural necessities, and if they are repressed we start a path toward the dark of the mind, toward fear and hate.
Insofar this protest is surely a due action; surely it becomes that if we look at the dreadful vortex of money destined otherwise to pay debts to some private banks, to weapons and war, to exorbitant salaries for a castle of marionettes-politicians and to all that world interested right in the exploitation of the citizens' life.
The Art, and above all the culture, are not purely material things: one can't eat them; they are the metaphysical component of the being and therefore they come after the bodily survival, they are reserved for when one has already eaten. Insofar I understand that they have never been able to sustain themselves autonomously, they are aleatory, materially they don't produce physical comfort (although they are often indispensable to find it exactly for who is looking for it).
But I also feel that this way of living thanks to the money lavished by the established system is a somehow opportunistic attitude, and not really to the height of the social goal of which the culture and the Art could be or would want to be the paladins.
As I said, the cultural evolution, driven by the artistic expression, should bring to a better society; and which better society, even though utopian for many ones, if not the one where there is equilibrium, love, tolerance, shared comfort and equality? Think well about it: do you think that this world is just and honest? Do you think that money and the trading of everything, human life included, is the path to follow? I think no... let's say that we all would like to live in a better world, where one helps each other, where nobody would have to ask or to steal to survive, or to ask for help and protection to the power in order to keep on writing poetries, or to act in a theater, or to expose his own Art.
Look: this is the utopian scenery where the Art and the culture have reached their purpose, and in which, if there would ever be the need of it, they should only worry about holding its equilibrium.
But, what do the world of the culture and the Art is it doing to reach what the true artists and great intellectuals crave for? The culture's world often bows in front of the laws of the society corrupted by the marketing and the money-god, where the blind profit dominates in detriment of ideals.
My suggestion? Protesting to obtain from the system one's own slice of cake could be a due action, but only if used to undertake the emancipation from this system. Perhaps it would be the right moment to take brave decisions and to speak, to compare one each other, to understand how to get rid of this slavery, how to win the subjection to the system built on the profit.