An Introduction by Lorenzo Cherin

 

   

“”Wretch,” rejoined Nicholas fiercely, “Touch him at your peril! I will not stand by, and see it done. My blood is up, and I have the strength of ten such men as you.”

                                           Nicholas Defends Smike                                                                                                      From Nicholas Nickleby                                                                                                          By Charles Dickens                                                                                                               Author, liberal, reformer

 

 

                         

                                       

                                            

                        

          

                                                                       

 

 

      

           

                                 A Welcome To The Website       

 

Welcome to The Liberal Arts Cause. Please scroll and browse the opening  page and read this introduction, and importantly, the Statement of Purpose, further on, at the conclusion of this page. Whether, as actor, impressionist, or writer, cartoonist, and motivator, activist, in the many ways I do, and the ways many do, I seek to contribute.  I have started this site, as a home for freedom of thought and freedom of expression. It combines the personal with the professional, the political with the poetical.

 

 

The great Liberal  philosopher and member of parliament, John Stuart Mill, referred to “the art of living.” As with so much in his writings and indeed his own life, he showed us ways and gave us pointers, to a good life, not least through his Harm Principle, that we should live and let live, at liberty, unless we do harm. This is what here, we have in mind, in developing Liberalism with this site. 

 

 

The great poet and exile, Ovid, urged us “not to be cruel.” This was the essence of the effect of art to him, in a sense. The connection with the philosophy of Mill, and the similarity of this sentiment, to the Harm Principle, might not be a coincidence, as Mill was very influenced by the arts, poetry, and the classics. The liberal arts, which Ovid so contributed to and encouraged, and Mill so appreciated and needed, are important. As influence and inspiration, they form a backdrop to, and  are at the heart of, the Liberalism, we are celebrating here too.  

 

 

This  site does not have one view, of the word, often distorted, which is liberal. It does not mean “bleeding heart,” nor “neo-liberal.” It is for a liberal attitude and a movement, that is more subtle and has more strength, than a “knee jerk !” 

 

 

It shall go beyond multiculturalism, and way beyond moral and cultural relativism, with a sensibility that is humane and a sense of humour! If traditionally, philosophy, is amongst the liberal arts and humanities, the necessity, practically, to develop Liberal ideas as an art form, should be humanity’s decree!

 

 

In particular, this site avoids, something which might be found elsewhere, sometimes, for example, as a feature of certain student campuses across the Atlantic, and in politics itself. I refer to the tendency, even amongst those who profess liberalism, to illiberal intolerance of other opinions, calling things offensive, when what is the case, is merely a difference of opinion, or a different  way of explaining it, not to one’s liking! Safety first, can make sense, but the desire for safe spaces, ought not to lead to a bunker mentality. Obvious insults and name calling, are not liberal, and must not be accepted, but are not the same thing as disagreement or criticism. In the well meaning  desire to avoid the cesspit that the internet can become, there is a danger of sites having, a form of social media, cleansing !  To not want to attend a School for Scandal, is understandable, but this does not mean we should turn  into a Sunday school at best, a correction school at worst! But the political forum that has been referred to as the  bully pulpit, in it’s modern form here online and on this site, shall be no place for bullying! I often find party politics, off-putting, whichever way we look at this, though, be assured, I shall not be a party to putting people off politics. This is a site that encourages others to input, and if that is so, it is for liberal, social interaction, but that is not libertarian, self indulgence!

 

This site is mainstream, and as radical as it could, or sometimes, might be, it is, appropriately for an online venture, a moderating influence, in it’s political preferences, rather than it’s technological tendencies!  in a  political and technological  terrain, that is, it has to be said, increasingly, extreme and chaotic, moderating here shall only be to dispel and defeat extremism and not to avoid chaos! Although it is a noble desire to avoid it, there are ways and means whereby it is best  avoided!

 

The site mainly encourages the enhancement of the art of politics, as well as the development of the politics of the arts, and as a result, the betterment of both. It continues work begun and ongoing, both online and elsewhere, by me, and takes it forward, and takes with it, with me, and any who join me here, those who inspire, or who are, inspired…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Honour Roll…

 

 

 

  John Stuart Mill                                        

        Philosopher, Liberal mp                                         

                                                                        

     

       

 

                                                      

 

                                                                                      

 

                                           

“Scope for all sorts of mental culture… room for improving the art of living.”       

                                                       John Stuart Mill

 

 

Ovid

     Poet, Roman exile

 

 

 

“A faithful study of the liberal arts… humanises character and permits it not to be cruel.”           

                                                                  Ovid             

 

                                                     

 

 

                                                                                          

 

                              

      Cultivating  Liberty

 

 

                                      

                                                                                

                                                         

                                                                                                                                                                                         

                                                   

                                              

                                                                              

                                                                                                                            

     Liberating Artistry           

 

 

 

                                                               

 

 

 

 

     

 

 

               ” I smell of nothing but scrubbed liberty and polished independence!”

                                                                         Cyrano de Bergerac

                                                                  

                        

                               

 

 

           

                           Lady Chatterley’s Lover, the novel, was banned                                     

 

 

                                                                         

 

                                   The Cradle Will Rock, the production, was stopped

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                 Actress Helen Gahagan Douglas had her run for Senate thwarted by                     smears from Nixon and his associates!

               

 

 

   Don Quixote                                    John F. Kennedy   

     Symbol of idealism                         Democrat U.S. President                                                    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Giuseppe Verdi                                  Domenico Modugno   

       Composer, liberal patriot, mp       Singer-songwriter, activist, mp                                                                             

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Panoramic view of the Roman theatre in Palmyra, Syria, the scene, more recently, of destruction and carnage by ISIS.

 

 

 

 

 

  Harriet Beecher Stowe                           Josiah Wedgewood Designed Pendant

        Author and Abolitionist                        Anti-slavery Symbol

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baroness  Floella Benjamin                              Joan Baez   

     Performer, liberal politician                            Singer, human rights activist                                      

        

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  “Among the liberal arts…let us begin with the  art that liberates us.”

                                                                     Michel De Montaigne

                                                                                           philosopher

 

 

“I read Shakespeare and the bible, and I can shoot dice. That’s what I call a liberal education!”

                                                                                Tallulah Bankhead

                                                                                                      actress

 

 

  “The word liberal has always been associated with the arts…any   political creed must be sensitive to its effect on civilisation.”

 

                                                                                         Jo Grimond

                                                                                                 politician

 

                                                                       

     “At a time when politics deals in distortions and half-truths…truth is to be found in the liberal arts.”

 

                                                                                              Joyce Carol Oates

                                                                                                                      writer

                                                                   

                                                

 

                                                                                                                                                                                 

                                                                                                                         

 

 

 

                             

                                         theliberalartscause.com       

                                                                                                                                                       

                         lorenzocherin@theliberalartscause.com                                                                

                                                                       

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

                      

The symbol of The Liberal Arts Cause chosen,  is the Statue of Liberty.

 

 

 

             

                                                                                                                                                        

 

   The Statue of Liberty is uniquely symbolic of liberty, yet also, of artistry, with it’s remarkable design and sculpture, by Frederic Bartholdi, and creation with his colleagues.                                                                                                                                                                                                      

                                                                                      

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It also has, as part of it, another great work that expresses liberty and reveals artistry, the poem, The New Colossus, featured on the plinth of it, was written by the wonderful poet and progressive activist, Emma Lazarus.

 

 

                                                                                     

                      

 

 

 

Sir Peter Ustinov                                Audrey Hepburn                                    

    Actor, UNICEF Ambassador            Actress, UNICEF Ambassador              

      

 

                                                                        

     

                                                                                          

Leonard Bernstein                          Ida Lupino

  Composer, conductor, activist     Actress, director, producer                   

             

               

                                                       

 

                        

Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte and Charlton Heston, the civil rights march on Washington

                                                                                                                        

                     

 

                                                       

President Barack Obama hugs Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, actor, director, and ambassador, diplomat, Sir  Sidney Poitier, during the award ceremony in the East Room of the White House, August 12, 2009.

              

                                                                              

Vaclav Havel, playwright, dissident, later President of the Czech Republic. In 1990 he received the Prize For Freedom from Liberal International.

 

 

The Saudi Arabian Liberal writer, Raif Badawi, is in jail, sentenced to ten years and a thousand lashes, for creating a Liberal blog website! He too, was honoured with the Liberal International Prize for Freedom recently.

 

 

          THIS IS THE LIBERAL ARTS CAUSE

                             A Statement of  Purpose         

                                                                                                                                                        

                                                                                                   

         

“We live today in dangerous times, but was it not ever thus ? Did the citizens of the ancient civilisations in antiquity, not sit side by side the most uncivilised behaviour. And did they not make art? Were the DeMedicis of Florence not contemporaries of the Borgias of Rome? Did the Renaissance not precede the Inquisition? Was the first Elizabethan era not threatened by the Armada? Surely the Age of Enlightenment, was the name for something that had somehow always been there, and in a sense never would. Yes we live in dangerous times, yet wonder if it was ever thus.

 

But now, more than ever, we can speak our mind, and now, more than ever,we must. A few can shatter buildings, where people once, went innocently going about their business. Or they can vandalise buildings, where people  once, were  innovatively showing us their brilliance. But they cannot destroy an idea, if an idea is worth believing in! We will always remember 9/11, and Palmyra is part of our world.  An idea can become an ideal, and an ideal can be made real. What is imagined in the human mind, and made with human hands, must be maintained, and more. It is through our creativity, we can try to create a better world.

 

To create, is to cultivate. The artist is an amateur, the arts are much loved. The artist is a professional, the arts can be hard work. The artist is a dreamer, the arts help us  dream. The artist is a thinker, the arts make us think.The artist is a student, the arts are worth studying . The artist is a teacher, the arts teach us so much. The artist is an actor, singer, dancer. The artist is a writer and a painter. And the arts, in each act, are a song and dance, a writing of wrongs and a putting the world to rights, or a painting of a picture,  of what might be. Within, all artists could be free radicals, without each artist, there would be a monoculture.

 

We need the arts, for a better  quality of life. While the  needs of the artist, are for a greater equality of living standard! Our goal in art and  life must be fulfilment of potential. Too often in the specific field of the arts, the contrast is falsely assumed, or wrongly made, between public art and private achievement,  subsidy and success, the obscure, and the ostentatious. So it is in politics, one way or the other, win or lose, left or right. But the truth is often in between and beyond. This is a metaphor for much in our discourse and debate. It can serve us when seeking to advance ideas. Why must the answer to that which we do not like, automatically be the opposite of it? Why does it have to be either or, why can’t it be neither, but something altogether different?

 

 In order to achieve this, we must change the political culture, and do so, on the political stage. If politics is the art of the possible, then a political artist can help make things possible. Here is the context of a cause and a setting for it’s significance. Where classical liberal, can relate to the classic arts, and social liberal can relate to their social value. Here classical liberalism and social liberalism combine with cultural liberalism. And the art of liberalism needs to be cultivated.

 

This is the Liberal Arts Cause. It is a cultural prospectus, for liberal democracy. It is a rallying cry, for realising freedom. It is the reasonable hope, that we be responsible with it. It is cultivating liberty, and liberating artistry. It is articulating a cultural liberalism, as a Liberal revivalism.

 

Give an honourable mention, to the best of human intentions, enrol in the Liberal Arts Cause and extend the honour roll!” 

       

                                                                                       By 

 

                                                                            Lorenzo  Cherin                                                                                           

                                                                     The Liberal Arts Cause

                                               

                                        

 This site welcomes debate or discussion, comments and contributions. You can get in touch at the email above.

The category Mill’s Turn, is for Liberty, and thus can be a useful forum for ideas, the category Ovid’s Kind, is for Artistry, and therefore can be an individual platform for the arts.

Please feel free to read and engage with postings, which are listed under the headings earlier on this page, at the side bar, see Categories, click  Mill’s Turn and Ovid’s Kind, easily accessed, where a younger  Orson Welles, is pointing! This brings you to the various postings.

 

 

And so now that brings us to a more mature Orson…

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

                                              …thanks…cheers!