We all know that the life of art is perhaps more than ever before determined not just by the encounter between the artist and the art public but also by the interplay between the art work and the social, economic, and political matrix in which art is inspired, funded, produced, and experienced. As modern life becomes more complex and at the same time more centralized, the process by which art exists increasingly becomes the object of rational analysis and calculation. This manifestation of what the French call planification—the institutionalizing of the making of goals and projections—goes by the name of cultural policy, a phrase whose inevitable associations with the Third Reich of Hitler and Goebbels seem to have done little to render moot.

Though it is perhaps unfair to prejudice a discussion of cultural policy by reference to the monstrous regime of Nazism, even in this...


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