We all know it is happening, but do we really understand why? This is a response to something that transpired on another thread and I felt it deserved it's own topic for discussion. It was about Friedrich Nietzsche's prediction about art and our society. Nietzsche’s view of art is thoughtful and important to his ideas and values. And like everything Nietzsche, it’s hard to summarize without butchering his ideas. So before I get into this, I want to point out that Nietzsche is amoral, which is not to be confused with being a misanthropic nihilist or an immoralist. He has a positive, life-affirming drive to living and art is very close to the center. To understand how Nietzsche predicted art to degrade with society, I have to define what he believed art to be. People mirror themselves onto the world, reflecting the beauty that resides within upon it. To this effect Nietzsche has two ‘esthetical’ truths, “Nothing is beautiful, except for man alone, all aesthetics rests upon this naïveté.” And “Nothing is ugly, except the degenerating man.” He adds to the second, “His feeling of power, his courage, his pride - all fall with the ugly and rise with the beautiful.” To Nietzsche there is a physiological state of being which engenders artistic production. He describes it as a rapture or frenzy. He even compares it to being drunk. "In this state one enriches everything out of one's own fullness: whatever one sees, whatever wills is seen swelled, taut, strong, overloaded with strength. A man in this state transforms things until they mirror his power - until they are reflections of his perfection. This having to transform into perfection is - art." So hopefully, now you understand a little better what art means to this philosopher and how important it is to him. He believes in "The will to power" And the ultimate and unavoidable goal of becoming the ubermeinch. Art is THE tool for transcending nature, not imitating it. Creating art is the highest product of existence which humans are capable of experiencing. Now remember that Nietzsche is amoral. His observations of the 'track' that society finds itself on disgust him. "The purely aesthetic interpretation and justification of the world I was propounding…[sic]…placed them at the opposite role from the Christian doctrine, a doctrine entirely moral in purport, using absolute standards: God's absolute truth for example, which relegates all art to the realm of falsehood and in doing so condemns it." He explains that art is really societies best hope, "Art as the single superior counterforce against all will to negation of life, art as the anti-Christian, anti-Buddhist, anti-Nihilist par excellence." Mankind is turning a blind eye towards the terrible nature of humanity. We run from reality and expect that ignoring it will result in its positive change. The only way to rise above nature is through art/expression/enlightenment/realization They are essentially the same. different sides of the same coin. To summarize this summary, we have not yet accepted the truth about ourselves, and because of that we live a lie echoed as truth and accepted by most. This distortion creates and ever-growing gap between our assumption and reality. This gap degrades art as a form because we are unable to resolve the conflict through our expression and devalues its ‘reflective' properties. If art isn't being used for the better, it will inevitably decay for the worst. To end this OP I’ll quote this great philosopher one more time. “Once again we may see the artistic buoyancy and creative joy as a luminous cloud shape reflected upon the dark surface of a lake of sorrow.” EXTRAS: For a much more in depth and detailed explanation, click HERE.