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  1. Modern Art and Shenanigans The phenomenon of the super-high price of modern art entangled with money laundering. No doubts in my mind. I'm not against modern art per se. I resonate with some of it and I have given good reasons here on OL. But a lot of it is pure trash. And that makes it perfect for money laundering. I mean, if the paintings get damaged, what loss is that to humanity? But I never figured that this money laundering process happened--or at least received a huge boost--due to the US government, specifically the CIA. Talk about a boneheaded story. But it happened. It goes something like this. In the fight against communism, some genius or other (like a Rockefeller or two and their clique) came to the conclusion that communist countries used naturalist art depicting real things and people. So what better way to show the people in communist countries what freedom looks like? At least in art? And with one fell swoop, the concept of freedom got exchanged for chaos and a huge money laundering operation began. The US government started sponsoring modern art events to show off American freedom. The more unintelligible and child-like the art, the better. I'm not making this up. And of course, the whole thing backfired. When taxpayers found out what they were paying for, boy did they get pissed. Then the CIA came in and saved (funded) the modern art operation for its own nefarious purposes. Laura Southern gives an outline of this mess in about 3 minutes. See 6:25 to 9:18 in the video below. (btw - That entire video is well worth watching if you are interested in PSYOPS and propaganda. It covers vampires and gay bombs--literal bombs--and condoms thrown from airplanes and stuff. ) The source she used for the modern art and CIA part came from a site called JSTOR Daily, which I had never heard of. But it is now on my primary daily look list for news and intellectual stimulation about current events. They are fact-based with credible sources and out-of-the-box thinking. I came to that conclusion after perusing the site for about 5 minutes, at which time I fell in love with it. Here's the article Laura used: Was Modern Art Really a CIA Psy-Op? The number of MoMA-CIA crossovers is highly suspicious, to say the least. Was Modern Art Really a CIA Psy-Op? - JSTOR Daily DAILY.JSTOR.ORG The number of MoMA-CIA crossovers is highly suspicious, to say the least. I want to quote some things from this article, but it is so rich, I'm having a hard time trying to decide on what to leave out. There's no goddam fluff. Talk about a piece of history and historical figures I never imagined existed in this form. Besides, I'm going to be busy running down all those links and sources. Here is the best way I can characterize how this felt for me for a reader in O-Land. Remember those meetings of artists Ellsworth Toohey used to foster in The Fountainhead? Remember that each of the participants talked absolute garbage about art (and philosophy) while never doubting their power to make it happen? That's exactly what reading this article felt like to me. Except the power part did not come from cultural institutions and traditions, but from gobs of moolah and the USA government over decades. Note that the article is not about money laundering, but the art world has always been good for shenanigans, probably going back centuries. I remember reading a bio of Armand Hammer years ago. His Hammer Galleries were gigantic money laundering schemes for the communist government in Russia. Oh, he used real impressionist paintings and so forth, but he got his start selling Romanoff art treasures without telling where he got them. Isn't that so, comrade?... The way modern art has taken on this role is like the size difference between a whale and a guppy. We can thank Uncle Sam's cold war warriors, then the CIA. for all the enthusiasm. And this raises an interesting O-Land question for me. Rand showed clearly the influence of philosophy on civilization. But the sheer amount of money and power involved in fixing the modern art movement as a cultural staple in America shows that the money/power context can be just as important as the philosophy. Michael
  2. Why can't I ever think up something cool like this?