But the new barbarian is no uncouth
Desert-dweller; he does not emerge
From fir forests; factories bred him;
Corporate companies, college towns
Mothered his mind, and many journals
Backed his beliefs.
—W. H. Auden, in The Age of Anxiety
The life of art in this country has clearly entered upon an entirely new phase of its history in this last decade of the twentieth century. For a large part of this terrible century, the gravest assaults on art and its institutions have been mounted by totalitarian regimes in the course of their efforts to impose an absolute and remorseless control over every aspect of life and thought. Now, for the first time in the history of modern democracy, we are witnessing a similar assault on the art and culture of a free society from within the ranks of its own intelligentsia and its official cultural bureaucracy. The effects of this incipiently totalitarian incursion into the life of art are proving to be all the more insidious, moreover, for being made in the name of democracy itself.