The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism - 4

The topic is the utility of the rich or the leisure class. I had never actually thought of this, but it seems like common sense.
“One of the problems encountered by socialist societies is the drabness of social realism [by which he means the condition of socialist societies]. To counter this threat, the British socialist Anthony Crosland imaged a new socialism of
more open-air cafes, brighter and gayer streets at night, later closing hours for public houses, more local repertory theaters, better and more hospitable hoteliers and restaurateurs, brighter and cleaner eating houses, more riverside cafes, more pleasure-gardens on the Battersea model, more murals and pictures in public places, better designs for furniture and pottery and women’s clothes, statues in the centre of new housing estates, better-designed street lamps and telephone kiosks, and so on ad infinitum…
In a brilliant review of Crosland’s work, Colin Welch notes that this “enlivening prospect: Paris rather than Moscow, more Toulouse-Lautrec than socialist realism,” depends in practice upon private means and private tastes to ensure ‘the survival, ambience and prosperity of many of these charming amenities. That riverside restaurant which we can afford to go to once and a while, on special occasions, is in fact kept going by those who can afford to eat out there often and well: no rich, alas, no restaurant.’ Crosland’s neglect of such facts of life ‘may in part explain the fearful contrast between the enlivening prospects he offers and the shabby, decaying slum, the haunted house, in which we have been condemned… by his egalitarian fervor to live.’(pg. 212-213)”
I don't think this is a tremendously powerful argument or anything, but very funny and useful to keep in mind.

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