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kulturkampf putsch?
June 27, 2011 1:27 PM   Subscribe

Dutch state secretary for culture Halbe Zijlstra published a letter stating that €200 million would be cut from the arts and culture budget, starting as early as 1 January 2013.

It should be a cause of concern for everyone that a minority cabinet with the feeble support of a parliamentary majority of only one seat would take such draconian and drastic measures without paying any heed to the other half, which has only one seat less than the ruling coalition. Zijlstra shamelessly admits that the proposals have no basis in fact, and display a total lack of sympathy for the field.

Various people and organizations have published open letters about the matter.

The actual memorandum can be found here (in dutch).
posted by palbo (11 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
The poor formatting of the article makes it unclear whether Bruce Sterling wrote the asterisked comments, but whoever wrote them, they're preposterously hyperbolic.

*Things are heating up in Holland after this bold right-wing kulturkampf putsch,
Really? Those are pretty strong words.

This looks fair to become Europe’s version of Ai WeiWei.
Noted without comment.
posted by atrazine at 1:51 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


For reference: the cuts amount to 20% of the previous budget.

Other budgetary things that are being changed at the moment are cuts to peace keeping missions and the defence budget in general, and an increase in the age at which you can take early retirement.
posted by atrazine at 1:58 PM on June 27, 2011


I'm pretty sure that the asterisked comments aren't Sterling's. His typical asides and interjections are usually in triple parens. I think he's just quoting this ridiculously hyperbolic response to a (not even that extreme) budget cut.
posted by chimaera at 2:02 PM on June 27, 2011


My beloved Radio Netherlands Worldwide is in grave danger.
posted by JanetLand at 2:09 PM on June 27, 2011


How is this being received overall, is there any poll data?

Given they are raising the retirement age by two years a certain cut in arts funding seems inevitable. Through most of the open letters I was picturing Sir Humphrey reading them aloud to Jim Hacker.
posted by pseudonick at 2:38 PM on June 27, 2011


Here in Amsterdam and The Hague, there have been protests on various scales. The Rijkskademie, the 141 years-old art institution that once hosted Piet Mondriaan and Willem de Koonig, is now facing extinction. The residents responded thusly.
posted by beshtya at 3:00 PM on June 27, 2011


So very, very sad. And why haven't *any* of these governments, starting with ours, nationalized every goddamn bank in sight and taken the massive assets from their incomprehensible greed - the greed that triggered these crises - and given it back to the people they stole it from.

So, continuing fallout from incomprehensible greed of the financial sector and political corruption continues, on the backs of the people.
posted by Vibrissae at 3:11 PM on June 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Arts funding isn't just spent on weed and prostitutes. Yes, even Dutch arts funding. Artists spend the money they receive on local products. The funding goes straight back into the economy, giving money to all kinds of craftsfolk and local businesses. Economically it's something of a no-brainer.

Besides that it's good for society. Art and literature enrich culture, and without financial support there's gonna be less of it. It provides quality-of-life benefits and helps a society to think about itself in a constructive way.

Lastly, art and literature are good in and of themselves. They're the highest expression of humanity we know. Aside from charity and good works, they're the best thing about our species.
posted by Kattullus at 3:25 PM on June 27, 2011


Why don't they just tax U2 appropriately?
posted by wilful at 6:40 PM on June 27, 2011


Bah! Holland rocks. Except for this. At least sign the petition.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:05 PM on June 27, 2011


So very, very sad. And why haven't *any* of these governments, starting with ours, nationalized every goddamn bank in sight and taken the massive assets from their incomprehensible greed - the greed that triggered these crises - and given it back to the people they stole it from.

ABN Amro did get more or less nationalised.
Also, U2 wouldn't have their royalty trust here if it wasn't for the tax treatment those receive under Dutch tax law.

Artists spend the money they receive on local products. The funding goes straight back into the economy, giving money to all kinds of craftsfolk and local businesses. Economically it's something of a no-brainer.

That's totally true, but funding for road construction, public sector salaries, transfer payments, etc. also goes straight back into the economy. In a country like the US with a huge native defence industry, military spending goes right back into the economy as well, so you could use this same argument to justify the American defence budget.
posted by atrazine at 11:27 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


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