Dalrymple’s explanation of the reason for the ugliness of modern art and architecture in this new piece at Taki’s Magazine has me nodding in agreement. I think he nails it.
Since beauty is often and so obviously the product of unjust societies, not only in Europe but everywhere else, we are afraid of it. Beauty is tainted by injustice; and since nowadays we value justice, fairness and equality above all things, and make them the touchstone of value, beauty makes us uneasy. This does not mean that aesthetes should call for unjust regimes: that would be an error of logic. Because beauty is produced in conditions of injustice, it does not mean that conditions of injustice produce beauty. Modern autocracies are aesthetically at least as disastrous as social democracy, indeed usually more so, but they have all the drawbacks, to put it mildly, of autocracies. Our main artistic task is to preserve remnants.