Furthest Right

The Ring, Frodo!

A journalist with integrity should publish information which benefits the public even if this would damage his career or access to sources. Likewise, if a politician with integrity existed that politician would push policies which are good for the entire nation even if they are bad for that politican’s personal finances, popularity, power etc. An artist with integrity is, likewise, unconcerned with financial benefits, stardom or sex and is instead guided by… by what, exactly? Certainly not by bringing the greatest possible benefit to the broadest possible section of the public. True artists are not supposed to be interested in the public. The artist is supposed to satisfy only himself. But he is only allowed to satisfy himself in ways which don’t produce art which the wrong kind of people would enjoy. Satisfying himself by producing art which is liked by the right people (elite critics and other members of big-city arts-and-culture social circles) is fine, though.

Artistic Integrity As an Evil Mutant by Martin Regnen

Too true. Viz:

Let us suppose that the just and unjust have two rings, like that of Gyges in the well-known story, which make them invisible, and then no difference will appear in them, for every one will do evil if he can. And he who abstains will be regarded by the world as a fool for his pains. Men may praise him in public out of fear for themselves, but they will laugh at him in their hearts (Cp. Gorgias.)

‘And now let us frame an ideal of the just and unjust. Imagine the unjust man to be master of his craft, seldom making mistakes and easily correcting them; having gifts of money, speech, strength–the greatest villain bearing the highest character: and at his side let us place the just in his nobleness and simplicity–being, not seeming–without name or reward–clothed in his justice only–the best of men who is thought to be the worst, and let him die as he has lived. I might add (but I would rather put the rest into the mouth of the panegyrists of injustice–they will tell you) that the just man will be scourged, racked, bound, will have his eyes put out, and will at last be crucified (literally impaled)–and all this because he ought to have preferred seeming to being. How different is the case of the unjust who clings to appearance as the true reality! His high character makes him a ruler; he can marry where he likes, trade where he likes, help his friends and hurt his enemies; having got rich by dishonesty he can worship the gods better, and will therefore be more loved by them than the just.’

The Republic by Plato

That’s morality and politics, in a nutshell.


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