Oppressors Accuse Their Victims of Oppression by Fred Ross

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Oppressors Accuse Their Victims of Oppression

by Fred Ross

"I would prefer there were no art, and no great paintings anywhere in the world, than that the freedoms and liberties that we hold so dear would be lost."

ARC Chairman, Fred Ross


Here are some who have misquoted me, or, worse, libeled ARC's philosophy and goals by claiming that we seek to repress artistic freedom. I would prefer there were no art, and no great paintings anywhere in the world, than that the freedoms and liberties that we hold so dear would be lost. Ironically it is modernism and modernists that have for nearly a century suppressed traditional realists from the freedom to express themselves artistically. It is Realism which has been virtually banned in most of the fine art departments in colleges and universities throughout the western world.

While museums display realist art of the past centuries, living realists are blackballed and shunned and ignored nearly everywhere, while countless numbers of "gimmick-of-the-week" charlatans are given endless space for their "installations" or "conceptual" constructs, regardless how lacking they are in skills, meaning, poetry or grace.

It is the oldest technique in the book for oppressors to accuse their victims of oppressing them. We don't think most Modern and Post-Modern works rise to the definition of "art," much the less good art or great art. But we don't believe anyone should be banned from making it or exhibiting it, or even calling it art if that’s what they believe, or even if they don't believe it and are saying they do for cynical and mercenary reasons. It is a dear and cherished right that they exercise in our free society regardless how hideous or pathetic their work may be.

But we have equally the right to say that it's not art at all without being told that we are trying to limit their freedom of expression. Saying that we are doing that is really just a tactic they use to intimidate and suppress those with whom they don't agree while they are actually doing what they accuse of the realists. If they can make people who don't like their work fear being labeled as right wing extremists or "oppressors" then they have effectively silenced their opposition, in the name of freedom of expression. But for four generations, Modernist ideologues have controlled all the major museums in the free world and most of the minor ones. They control nearly every college and university art department, and their puppets and clones rule journalistic art criticism with total control. They receive all government funding, and their propaganda missives are called text books in secondary schools and college.

Even our nursery school children are discouraged from drawing realistically, even though that’s what virtually every child attracted to art wants to do. They are tolerated only in the earliest years, before being bullied and mocked for wasting their time on real objects which they are told "any one can do". Their teacher's discomfort is usually assuaged by taking away their pencils and giving them colored felt, buttons, macaroni glue and magazines, and told to make a collage.

An understanding of how all this works is what must be recognized and diligently taught to our college bound youth. While speech codes and political correctness have increasingly silenced opposition for the past 20 years, such that some students and professors have been disciplined, made to go for sensitivity training, or kicked right out of school. Modernist intimidation of Realism dates back to the middle of the 20th century or before. But political free speech is so important, so at the heart of what America stands for, so integral to our entire way of life, that this danger was spotted much more rapidly, as organizations such as Campus Watch and Fire (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) have successfully rescued ill-used faculty and students who dared to voice unpopular views. In the last few years, their legal actions have gratefully rolled back speech codes and suppression of thought on campuses from Boston to San Francisco. Lacking the same societal imperative, the Modernist oppressors have enjoyed the ability to suppress Classical Realist art far too long without being exposed for their morally corrupt and destructive behavior.

With the power of the internet, and the power of the human soul to recognize beauty and poetry and the true meaning of freedom of expression, the Art Renewal Center has in less than 4 years exposed the truth about Modernism, identified the few oases of great traditional training, quadrupled the number of students and approved centers of training, and originated a human network, and codified, preserved, and perpetuated the ideas, institutions, and organizational framework that will safeguard these resources for future generations. As the suppression lifts, they won’t need to become oppressors themselves in the process. So long as most of humanity is permitted to compare and decide for themselves, Truth and Beauty, the twin sisters of the human soul projected through cyberspace into millions of homes, are certain to prevail.


Brian Yoder's Comments

It hardly needs to be said (and it has been said many times before), but nobody here has ever claimed that the state should prevent people from producing any kind of utter garbage and calling it art. I know Fred has mentioned this quite forcefully in an article on the website, but I should echo it as well. Even the most depraved and stupid modernist has every right in the world to produce the most reprehensible garbage in the world, and the state has no business attempting to make him stop. That however doesn't mean that I can't criticize his work and (rightly) claim that it is worthless and not worth the time it took to make. Just because I say it's rotten doesn't mean that I want to see the state stand in the way of its creation.

Co-Founder of ARC, ARC Webmaster for several years, Host of the Art Renewal Audio podcast, Founder of the GoodArt discussion group that brought the original ARC founders and board of advisors together. Brian is a tireless advocate for skill, quality, technique, meaning, and innovation in art and has been writing and speaking on the subject for many years. He is the moderator of the Pasadena Socrates Café, a live philosophy discussion group and the Ideas that Shaped History live discussion group both of which meet in his home town of Pasadena, California (for more information on these search for them on Meetup.com).

He studied Computer Science and Mathematics at Central Michigan University, and is currently the Chief Software Architect at Moffatt and Nichol. He has previously held senior technical positions at Peter Norton Computing/Symantec, US Networx, EarthLink, uWink, OpenSoft, Scalable Network Technologies, CyberDefender, and Brian Yoder Consulting, where he has worked on virus and malware detection, networking, gaming, animation, printing, simulation, mathematical, and military security projects.

Founder and Chairman of the Art Renewal Center, Ross is the leading authority on William Bouguereau and co author of the recently published Catalogue Raisonné William Bouguereau: His Life and Works.

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