By Jörn Weingärtner
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Additional resources for The Arts as a Weapon of War: Britain and the Shaping of National Morale in World War II (Tauris Academic Studies)
As indicated above, Forster had depicted a sort of golden – albeit philistine and snobbish – age of patronage which had irretrievably terminated. '150 Still, although the situation is not as rosy as it used to be for the arts, and the state already takes on responsibilities which had been left to the individual before, public funding does not seem to be a viable solution to encourage the arts. He offers two lines of argument for why the state is a most unfit patron of the arts. Firstly, he sustains his argument by a fictional dialogue between a representative of the government, Mr.
S. Eliot, he did not write and publish his political ideas before the end of the war. 190 Priestley was almost omnipresent on the cultural scene in London as novelist, playwright and one of the BBC's most popular broadcasters. 191 If nothing else, his commitment on the CEMA panel shows that Priestley was more open to the idea of state funding than the previous authors and less fearful of the repercussions of state aid when compared to the advantages than the previous authors. Priestley sketched a picture of a socialist society in which the arts are to flourish under certain conditions.
Still, Arnold put some stress on 'turning a stream of fresh and free thought upon our stock notions and habits, which we now follow staunchly and mechanically'142. The Arnoldian aspect of perpetual perfection and improvement of human faculties, of which the enumerated artefacts and their enjoyment are a means, not an end in themselves, is lost in Forster who put stress on the aspect of conservation of acknowledged masterpieces of former times. This focus leads him to the second aspect of this chapter, the funding and promotion of arts.