The Ugly Truth

This piece at Taki’s Magazine is among the most thorough and concise that Dalrymple has written on art and architecture and the modern embrace of ugliness. He argues that it flows from a concern about inequality:

So long as there is squalor in the world, those obsessed with social justice feel obliged not only to live in it themselves, at least for a time—an elementary matter of solidarity with those less fortunate than themselves—but also to spread it evenly. Beauty has ever been associated with inequality, much of that inequality illegitimate even from the point of view of the most reactionary of inegalitarians, indeed the product of the most blatant or brutal exploitation or despoliation.

…that the desire for ugliness is not really sincere:

This world [of universal ugliness] will never come about, however, for the desire for it is neither universal nor lasting nor wholly sincere. It is curious how many pop stars, for example, having made their fortunes, retire in their private lives to the physical surroundings of country gentlemen.

…and that it paradoxically serves to increase inequality.

For as it destroys beauty and elegance, so beauty and elegance become ever more rarefied and available to a smaller and smaller elite…

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