Responses to My Post on Conservatives and Art

What yesterday’s post did. (Photo by Leaflet, from Wikipedia)

My blog post yesterday about why conservatives shun the arts sparked a wide-ranging discussion, with Brian Niemeier, Daytime Renegade, Yakov Merkin, Jeffro Johnson, and many others chiming in. All of them disagreed with me, and the common theme of all their objections is that conservatives have been very prolific in the arts in the past, but do not engage in it now because the Left controls all the major outlets for it.

First, there is much to be said about the blackballing effect. Pros in comics are relentlessly hostile to people on the Right. Voicing any right-wing opinion in Hollywood is a fast track to unemployment. Book publishing is almost uniformly liberal, and speculative fiction publishing even moreso. Any up-and-coming conservative artist would simply turn away from it all since he would be actively opposed by everyone in those industries.

But why did it get this way? Why did conservatives abandon the arts?

I think my statements on practicality have that covered.

Due to this practical mindset, conservatives as a group came to view art as unimportant. Look at where moneyed conservatives spend their dough: on football teams, for sports feel more physical and more real, with objective measures of success. On think tanks, because writing policy essays is more “important” than silly stories about spaceships and ray guns. On election campaigns, because conservatives want their people in the offices of our government, primed and ready to enact policy right away. On their businesses, because businesses either grow or die. All of these appeal to the practical mind, and they don’t have the stress level of dealing with unsupportive colleagues in a field that seems useless.

There’s also the conservative tendency to follow rules. Since the Left set the rules, the conservatives did as they always did and followed those rules, even if they were unfair. They figured that the Left played dirty, but that modeling their rule-following behavior would change the Left’s mind. Needless to say, no such thing occurred (as an aside, note how SJWs in partcular frame opposition to their views — as either a breach of etiquette or an act of bigotry.)

While individual conservatives, whether past or present, have done quite well in the arts, there aren’t very many of them today, but I think that it’s because of both blackballing and the practical mindset, not just the blackballing. That being said, the few conservatives I know of who are in the arts tend to write commercially, which suits a practical mindset just fine.

For art as a whole to be healthy, it needs a variety of voices. The Right simply cannot abandon this as somehow not worth their time. Fortunately, the internet has loosened things up somewhat, so blackballing — while still effective — isn’t an absolute deal-breaker anymore. It just requires more entrepreneurial spirit and pulling up by bootstraps, that’s all.

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12 Responses to Responses to My Post on Conservatives and Art

  1. Pat D. says:

    The right needs to learn how to market itself to non-pragmatic people, of which I am one. I dislike the left – have ever since I knew it was a thing – but I often get a “Huh? Aren’t people like you supposed to be liberal?” impression from the right.

  2. Yakov Merkin says:

    I actually agreed with you on the practicality issue. It has definitely played a role in Conservatives choosing not to go into the arts. (I may not have phrased things optimally, as I wrote my post at a fairly late hour, :p

    • Rawle Nyanzi says:

      I did note that both practicality and blackballing keep conservatives out of the arts. Nonetheless, blackballing was the common theme in most responses I received.

      • Roffles Lowell says:

        Worth mentioning too, the fragility of almost every major entertainment industry. None of these SJW infested industries are particularly successful right now. They arent dominating the game, theyre dominating the last men standing, if you will.
        Take it industry by industry:
        Comics walk the razor’s edge, book publishing has been bad for decades, tv scrambles for viewers, the movie industry is stuck in an overspending loop and seeing steadily diminishing returns….

        What I’m saying is if anyone can innovate a new way to bring saleable entertainment to the masses it will
        A. Save the entertainment industry as we know it, and
        B. Open the door for diversity of opinion (i.e. conservatives, centrists, and the religious)

        It’s simple in theory! The trick is how the hell to do it.

  3. Pat D. says:

    Something I haven’t seen mentioned yet is that during the 80s and 90s some conservatives were highly suspicious of entertainment, sometimes to No Fun Allowed lengths. Progs have since replaced them as the No Fun Allowed faction though.

  4. Conservatives usually know where the money is and how to maximize it with their own talents/passions. That has meant the conservative artists sell their work in conservative gallery markets and you don’t see their work unless you run in that circle. Illustration and comics don’t pay as well in general while being more demanding. Those few that make good money in illustration are superstars supported by left leaning publishers that send them continuous work. So even now conservative artists are out there, but you won’t see them because no one in the mainstream is putting them in front of your eyeballs.

  5. It’s more than just media blackouts though. Think about the market. An artist can sell 1 original painting for several thousand dollars to an individual while selling many prints for hundreds of dollars to other individuals of the same original painting. You market is huge and lucrative. The other option is beating out every other artist in the field for a job with 5 publishers where they get full rights to your original work. For that to be lucrative you have to have a string of jobs while dependent on the whims of a few. You don’t have much leverage on price in the second scenario. When you are selling to an individual instead of a business is that abandonment? When you are making a good living doing what you love and building name recognition in your market, is that abandonment? They are black balled in one market but thriving in another.

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