Redistribution Of (Cultural) Wealth

I’m not a Marxist. I don’t know Marx and his followers’ work well enough to be able to say whether Marxism makes any more sense than the Cult Of The Invisible Hand. But trawling the web for articles on aesthetics I found this Trotskyite essay on the value of culture that starts from a debate on the virtues of Oscar Wilde:

Giving Wilde to the workers is an example of redistribution of wealth. In this instance it is cultural wealth rather than monetary wealth. I suppose peer-to-peer networks are a degenerate form of redistribution of cultural wealth, but by individuals, not the state.

“Remix Culture” as the official culture of Creative Commons, seems to be about ownership of the means of production, not redistribution of wealth. Is it better to mash up an Eminem song or to read a chapter of Don Quixote? Free Culture would say Mr. Mathers. High Culture would say the Knight of The Sorrowful Face.

Both have a point. Grab Don Quixote from Project Gutenberg then do that mash-up. Redistribute the cultural wealth of millennia, and seize the means of production for the future.

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