Every Wednesday evening I co-host a philosophy discussion group in the apartment above my store. If anyone wants to partake, feel free to contact me if you want more info. Anyway, the topic yesterday was whether artist have a responsibility to create morally uplifing art. The politically mixed group was largely in agreement that, while it might be nice to produce morally uplifting art, it should in no way be promoted by government. Examples of Nazi propaganda art were enough to convince us all that government should not play this role.
Anyway, being the provocateur that I am, I noted that many of us happily send our children to government schools and that we accept that one role of schools is to produce good citizens. Why do we recoil at a government role in art for the purpose of producing morally uplifting art but we accept or even embrace the role of government schools to "morally uplift" our children to become good citizens? If anything, a government role in the arts is less dangerous insofar as the audience includes grown adults less susceptible to propaganda while young children are largely defenseless against propoganda.