Museum stunts are the technocrats’ tools
The recent spate of attacks on art works in museums in the UK by eco-activists has exposed the nexus of “social justice” and technocracy in British museums. The current organised spate of events are opposing the use of oil. They offer no technological solutions, merely seek to impose a Gaia-worshipping austerity. Protestors sprayed slogans in paint on the floors and walls, glued their hands to frames and even papered over The Haywain by John Constable.
All of these activities damage works to some degree and sooner or later one of these stunts will go wrong and a painting will be seriously damaged. The application of paper with adhesive to a painting surface is particularly bad. Canvases are flexible and so any lateral pressure – especially when concentrated, such as via the pressure of a finger or hand – causes the dry brittle paint surface on this flexible support to crack, flake and detach. Varnish provides insufficient protection. This stunt most certainly caused damage. Aerosol sprays produce specks of paint which drift, to attach and dry wherever they land. They are very difficult to clean off because they are so small they can get into the craquelure, the craze of fine cracks that oil paint develops with age. These are effectively unremovable.
These actions are partly motivated through spite. There is a pervading impression that famous paintings were made as the playthings of the rich and now are adulated by the complacent middle-class and elderly who have so failed to prevent the climate crisis. These attackers will have absorbed (directly or indirectly) John Berger’s critiques of painting (in his 1972 book and television series Ways of Seeing), which disdained paintings of landscapes as embodiments of privilege. Much animus towards traditional culture is class-motivated spite, though not usually from the working class, but from the envious middle class. It is those embittered graduates (without property or hope of owning property) who drift into activism, projecting their personal failures upon an “unjust” society. These eco-warriors and white saviours take up arms more to undercut a gnawing sense of inadequacy, disappointment and resentment than to do anything specific. Not least, the psychology of the art vandal, which I analysed in my book Iconoclasm, contains rage against perfection of great beauty and art.
The question has to be asked about how protestors are getting rolls of paper and aerosol sprays into major museums that now have airport style security. Certainly, the last time I entered the National Gallery, which houses The Haywain, my possessions had to be scrutinised by security staff. Another question is, how did the protestors (and their attendant photographers) have time to do these acts? Another question is, why where they not tackled by staff or onlookers. One cannot help assuming that both staff and onlookers know that the institution and the justice system favours the attackers. Intervene physically and it is you, the defender of the artefact, who will be prosecuted for assault. When such iconoclastic events occur, police and security staff are now tactically stood down or told to back off for “reasons of the safety of the public” to protect the attackers from harm. That is because the police officers (at least, the majority of the commanders) support the causes of the attackers are enablers of iconoclasm, not upholders of the law. This understanding is common to the general public, who understand that they will be punished if they intervene. Therefore, one can understand, if not condone, the inaction of shocked bystanders.
The National Gallery has not made a public statement about the Haywain attack. This is often the case, when museums wish not to publicise vandalism. However, one cannot imagine such a reserved approach applying had slogans been anti-immigrant or anti-Semitic. This is in part due to the capture of museums by the progressive ideology. A further cause will be explained in a following article. It is difficult to imagine the founders of museums and art galleries – that cadre of savants and historians devoted to the care and research of objects – accepting the arguments of “social justice”. The parasitisation of museums – ranging from inane sanctioned irreverent interventions to the political points put into wall labels and issuing of statements in support of social causes – has invited unsanctioned interventions barely distinguishable from those that include the humiliation of artefacts by Cornelia Parker and Hew Locke.
If museums were serious about curtailing this activity, cameras that filmed the event should have been confiscated and the data wiped. Search and seizure of personal material? Yes. So what? Obviously, with live streaming, such actions might only be partially successful at best. But even this symbolic action is necessary if these events are not to escalate. If these attacks had not reached mass and social media, they would have stopped. If the organisation, which has damaged public property, trespassed, endangered public safety and is clearly a funded and organised group intent on intimidation to advance a political agenda, is not declared a terrorist organisation, we can conclude the sympathy for the group reaches the highest level. As, indeed, it does.
Almost every major museum, and every local authority, makes a statement on “climate impact” to demonstrate their fealty to ostensible ideology of the elite. It is mandated by certain funding organisations and needed to attract investment via Environmental and Social Governance. ESG is means of diverting government and corporate funds into social activism and used to enforce common elite aims, such as globalisation, eco-activism, secularism and destruction of tradition. It also allows bodies to put money into political parties and movements under the claim of community action or meeting diversity commitments. ESG facilitates corporations to fund eco-activist movements, associated with the current protestors. Some of the money spent on aerosols which were used to deface museum floors came from large corporations.
One aim of eco-activists is to establish a system of personal rationing (of carbon dioxide, meat consumption, travel miles, etc.), which could only be done through a social-credit system. This would allow technocrats ever greater access to personal data, such as activity, location, communications, interaction with people and organisations – information maps of every individual’s activities and affiliations. It would be, in effect, eco-theocracy – one that would not apply to the rulers, who would be able to buy indulgences as in days of yore. Not that the elite actually believe climate emergency is real. They simply see it as an issue that plays on the altruism, scientism, materialism and the credentialism that sways the masses but which absolutely dominates the thought of the non-governing elite class which staffs all major organisations.
Eco-theocracy is the end state. But before then, we will have the next wave – feminists assaulting nude paintings, vegans attacking still-lifes including meat, Islamists attacking paintings of harems (or just igniting suicide vests) – all of these will come if there is not only a Protection of Cultural Heritage Act but also a willingness of museum staff (from security attendant up to board of trustees) to co-operate with the justice system, which needs to be committed to enforcing this new laws and museum bylaws. The social culture of museums is progressive, it is wedded to “climate action” and is wholly sympathetic to the cause of these protestors.
Eco-protestors are saying exactly what the West’s leading political figures are. They provide the vanguard for globalist technocrats who wish to impose eco-serfdom and population reduction. Far from being brave rebels, they are utter conformists, protected by the law, doing the will of the elite class. Art attackers are foot soldiers of the elite. Once you remember how they are initiated, justified and funded by technocrats, you will see them for who they are.
This article relates to my forthcoming book Artivism: The Battle for Museums in the Era of Postmodernism, published 2 August. Preview the book here.