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The conceit with which certain persons --platonic philosophers if you will-- attribute fashionable designs wholly to nations should need no introduction.

It's not a quote but, I admit, my reflection on commentary by Edward Said in Culture and Imperialism. I took some time to recall a source ...

Colonization of the mind proceeds from patria potestas. A randomly selected excerpt pertinent to judgements of beauty ascribed by design or not to "art" and withheld from "handicraft"...

Thanks to the work of Gauri Viswanathan, the system of British education in India, whose ideology derives from Macaulay and Bentinck, is seen to permeate with ideas about unequal races and cultures that were transmitted in the classroom; they were part of the curriculum and a pedagogy whose purpose, according to Charles Trevelyan, an apologist, was

in a Platonic sense, to awaken the colonial subjects to a memory of their innate character, corrupted as it had become ... through the feudalistic character of Oriental society. In this universalizing narrative [modernity], rescripted from a scenario furnished earlier by missionaries, the British government was refashioned as the ideal republic to which Indians must naturally aspire as a spontaneous expression of self, a state in which the British rulers won a figurative place as Platonic Guardians

...which is art's inferior, being a primitive and homely yet no less articulate "expression of self."

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Mon Jun 15th, 2009 at 12:23:04 PM EST
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