Table of Contents1. Art: A Gift From the Divine
a. Art in Communist Countries b. Communist Elements Behind the Avant-Garde Movement c. The Inversion of Traditional Aesthetics: The Ugly as Art d. The Perversion of Literature4. Reviving True Art
1. Art: A Gift From the DivineOver the many years of human civilization, man has contemplated what constitutes true beauty. People of faith know that all the wonders of the world come from the divine. Profound art is an attempt to emulate and display the beauty of heaven in the human world. Inspiration comes from the divine, and artists can become outstanding figures in their fields if they receive divine blessings and wisdom.
During the Renaissance, great artists plumbed their ingenuity and deep faith to create works in praise of God. Artists in the mid-Renaissance period, including Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael, grasped techniques that far exceeded those of their predecessors and their peers, as if by miracle. Their masterpieces — including paintings, statues, and architecture — became timeless classics.
For centuries, these works of art set a noble example for humanity. By appreciating this art, not only can the artists of later generations learn pure artistic technique, but members of the public can truly feel and see the presence of the divine. When these works, the techniques that created them, and the spirit that infused the artists are all preserved, human society is able to maintain a connection with the divine. Then, even as humanity goes through its periods of decadence and decline, there will be hope for a return to tradition and a path to salvation.
The same principles prevail in the sphere of music. As the saying (reportedly from a German opera house) goes: “Bach gave us God’s word. Mozart gave us God’s laughter. Beethoven gave us God’s fire. God gave us music that we might pray without words.” For his entire life, Johann Sebastian Bach considered devotion to God and the praise and worship of God to be the highest principles in the creation of his music. On all of his important musical scores, the letters SDG can be seen — an abbreviation of “Soli Deo gloria,” meaning “glory to God alone.”
The highest level an artist can reach is to perceive heavenly phenomena by means of divine revelation and depict it in a tangible medium. The great paintings and statues, and the most sublime scores in the early, baroque, and classical canon, were all created by religious believers and represent the pinnacle of artistic work attained by man.
The three most important elements in artistic creation are representation, creation, and communication. All artistic creations contain a theme, that is, the message the artist seeks to communicate, regardless of the form the work takes — whether it be a poem, painting, statue, photograph, novel, play, dance, or film. The artist delivers the theme to the hearts of the reader, listener, or viewer. This process is the communication — the transmission of the artist’s mind to the recipient.
To achieve the goal of communication, artists must possess a superb ability to imitate and represent, with the object of imitation being the world of gods or of man, or even the underworld. Artistic creation is a process of refining the deeper or more essential elements of an object of representation. It requires artists to strengthen their own ability to communicate and to touch people’s hearts. If the artist possesses righteous faith and is a person of high moral character, the divine will endow him with the inspiration to create. Such works will be pure, benevolent, and divine — beneficial to both the artist and society.
On the other hand, when the artist abandons moral standards, negative elements hijack the creative process, with evil forces exerting influence and using the artist to depict hideous creations and grotesqueries from the underworld. Works of this kind harm their author and the wider society.
2. Art’s Immense Influence on HumanityGreat works of art transmit heritage, disseminate knowledge and wisdom, and fortify character. They hold exalted positions in the great civilizations of the West and the East.
The ancient Greek mathematician and philosopher Pythagoras believed that the secret of music was in its imitation of the harmony of the heavenly bodies, which itself reflects the harmony of the universe.
Confucius taught that humanity should learn from the Western Zhou Dynasty (1045 – 771 B.C.), a kingdom whose rulers emphasized the importance of proper rites, and thus brought order to the country without the need for harsh laws or coercion. He said: “[The Zhou Dynasty] surveyed the two dynasties that went before; its ways are refined and elegant. I follow Zhou.”  He admired how the legendary Chinese rulers governed with ritual and music: “The Sage-Emperor Shun invented a five-stringed musical instrument, which he called qin, sang to its tune about the gentle summer breeze from the south, and lo and behold, his empire ran smoothly [under the influence of his music].”  These examples illustrate the edifying effects of pure, upright music.
During the reign of Louis XIV, the French royal court displayed great elegance through dance and art. Dance contains not only technique, but also social etiquette and norms. Louis XIV inspired Europe through the art and culture of his court, which were emulated by other courts and the population at large in Europe.
Not only was Frederick the Great of Prussia an outstanding king, but he was also an accomplished musician, composer, and flautist. He ordered the construction of the Berlin opera house, personally supervised the opera, and opened it to a wider set of social classes. To this day, opera remains an important part of German culture. These few examples make clear the long-lasting influence that orthodox art can exert on society.
Upright art conforms to natural law, imitates divine wisdom, and brings with it special energy and effects. It benefits people by feeding both the senses and the soul. The greatest artists work not only on the physical, technical level, but also, more importantly, on the spiritual level, in their communion with the theme of the work. Such artists sometimes express a sense of experiencing a higher force beyond this physical world. The effect is similar to that of singing an ode to God — a solemn and divine experience that transcends human language. Behind true art lies the accumulated wisdom of a people, their creativity, and their inspiration. There are often profound meanings that go far beyond what is seen on the surface. Some works transmit a special kind of spiritual energy. All of this has an effect on viewers at a deeper level. The effect is singular and irreplaceable by any other means.
A superb artist can influence the morality of society by instilling values into people’s hearts through poignant stories and images. Even people without deep learning or education can gain insight, inspiration, and moral lessons from traditional art. In traditional Western societies, consider how many learned right from wrong, good from evil, through the medium of folk tales such as “Hansel and Gretel” and “Snow White.”
In China, many generations learned from the four great novels (Water Margin, Journey to the West, Romance of the Three Kingdoms, and Dream of the Red Chamber) and from the traditional arts of storytelling and drama. Such works allow people to feel divine greatness and make them yearn to assimilate to heavenly principles.
Art can have a tremendous impact — both positive and negative — on human morality, thought, and behavior.
“The Mozart effect,” for instance, has attracted worldwide attention, with the scientific community conducting a number of studies on the positive influence of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s music on people and animals. In 2016, a more in-depth study of the Mozart effect found that the composer’s music can boost human cognitive function and behavior. Surprisingly, playing Mozart’s music in reverse has the opposite effect. Austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg’s modern atonal music has an effect similar to that of playing Mozart backwards, which demonstrates its negative qualities. 
Compared with atonal music, rock ‘n’ roll can have an even greater negative impact. One researcher compiled data from two similar cities and found that the city in which more rock songs were broadcast via radio and television saw 50 percent more cases of pregnancy out of wedlock, dropouts, youth deaths, crimes, and so on.  Some rock music even glorifies suicide. One commentator, referring to a song by a famous rock star who faced several lawsuits from parents of young listeners, wrote, “Its dark rhythms and depressing lyrics certainly can be taken as an encouragement for suicide, and it is an irrefutable fact that young people have snuffed out their lives while listening to it repeatedly.”  It is not uncommon for teens who commit suicide to do as described in rock lyrics, and numerous rock musicians have themselves descended into depression and drug abuse, or taken their own lives.
3. Communism’s Sabotage and Abuse of ArtSince art has such a tremendous effect on society, it’s not surprising that communism uses art to achieve its aim of socially engineering humans and leading them toward destruction.
a. Art in Communist CountriesCommunist parties know the power of art and they turn all art forms into tools for advancing their brainwashing. Many people have ridiculed the Chinese Communist Party for having singers and actors become military generals. They wonder how civilians who have never been trained in arms or warfare could be qualified to be generals. The CCP believes that these people are just as important as trained military personnel in promoting and upholding the communist cult — or perhaps even more crucial. In this sense, its military ranks conform perfectly with Party principles. As Mao Zedong said, “We must also have a cultural army, which is absolutely indispensable for uniting our own ranks and defeating the enemy.” 
Artistic performances in communist countries are designed to have people forget the miseries they suffer under communist rule and to cultivate their loyalty to the communist party through art. This propaganda effect — called “thought work” — cannot be achieved by mere martial power.
One can compare the CCP’s grand opening ceremony at the Beijing Olympics, which was put on at enormous cost to the taxpayer, to North Korea’s large-scale song and dance festival Arirang and the former Soviet Union’s ballet troupes. All served the needs of the party.
b. Communist Elements Behind the Avant-Garde MovementFor centuries, classical art has been passed down from generation to generation. This tradition continued until the twentieth century, when it came to an abrupt end. The transmission and inheritance of art were disrupted by a radical avant-garde movement and began to quickly degenerate. As artist Robert Florczak said: “The profound, the inspiring, and the beautiful were replaced by the new, the different, and the ugly. ... Standards declined until there were no standards. All that was left was personal expression.”  Humanity thus lost its universal sense of the aesthetic.
The source of this battery of new artistic movements is closely connected to ideological trends influenced by communism. Many of these artists were either avowed communists or para-communists of one kind or another, or they were subject to the sway of these ideologies.
Georg Lukács, the Hungarian cultural commissioner of the Communist International and founder of Western Marxism, created the Frankfurt School. One of its tasks was to establish a “new cultural form” by abandoning traditional culture. This new cultural form set about excluding art that sought to represent the divine. As Herbert Marcuse, a German socialist and a representative of the Frankfurt School, wrote: “Art both protests these [existing social] relations, and at the same time transcends them. Thereby art subverts the dominant consciousness, the ordinary experience.”  That is, Marxists enlist art in the revolt against the divine and the subversion of morality. Views of this sort dominate the direction of modern art.
Gustave Courbet, the founder of the French realist school, was a participant in the Paris Commune. He was elected as a committee member of the Commune and the chairman of the radical Federation of Artists. Courbet devoted himself to transforming the old system and establishing new artistic directions. He ordered the Federation to demolish the intricate neoclassical Vendôme Column (which was later rebuilt). Courbet denied that human beings were created by God, and he was determined to use art to express the worldview of the proletariat, as well as materialism. He is known for saying, “I have never seen either angels or goddesses, so I am not interested in painting them.” 
Courbet believed that reforming the arts was really waging a revolution. In the name of painting what he called “reality,” he replaced beauty with ugliness. His nude paintings, for instance, focused in particular on depicting the female genitalia — a supposedly revolutionary act — as a way of rebelling, transgressing against tradition, and somehow further inciting communist activism. The thinking and life of Courbet illustrate the close link between the communist ideology of revolution and modern art.
Under the influence of modernist thought, the revolutionary fervor of artists from the late nineteenth century brought about a series of movements in the art world. Unlike traditional schools of artistic expression, these were avant-garde movements that explicitly sought to break tradition. The term “avant-garde” was first used by socialist scholars to describe artistic movements that matched their own political aspirations.
In the late nineteenth century, these influences brought about impressionism. Since then, modern artists have abandoned the demands of traditional oil painting, including precision, proportion, structure, perspective, and transitions between light and shade. Neoimpressionism (pointillism) and postimpressionism then emerged, centering their works on the exploration of the personal feelings of the artist. Representative figures in this school include Georges-Pierre Seurat and Vincent van Gogh, both of whom were inclined toward socialism. Van Gogh abused alcohol and suffered mental illness later in life, and his paintings appeared to reflect the world that people experience while on drugs.
Works of art contain the messages their creators wanted to convey. Artists during the peak of the Renaissance conveyed compassion and beauty to their audiences. Compare this to contemporary artists, who exude negative and dark messages. Modern artists abandon their own thoughts and allow themselves to come under the control of low-level and ghostly entities. They themselves are often incoherent and confused, and their works are similar — dark, negative, hazy, gray, depressed, decadent, and disordered.
After impressionism came expressionism and fauvism, followed by Pablo Picasso’s cubism. In 1944, Picasso joined the French Communist Party. In his letter Why I Became a Communist, he wrote: “My joining the Communist Party is a logical step in my life, my work and gives them their meaning. ... In my own ways I have always said what I considered most true, most just and best and, therefore, most beautiful. But during the oppression and the insurrection, I felt that that was not enough, that I had to fight not only with painting but with my whole being.” 
Picasso encouraged a break with the classical methods of painting. For him, everything was a piece of dough to be picked up and shaped as he pleased. The eerier his works became, the happier he appeared to be. The process of creating monstrous images is the process of destroying an image, to the point where no one can understand it. Even Georges Braque, the modern artist who co-founded cubism with Picasso, on viewing Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, was “horrified by its ugliness and intensity.” Picasso had been “drinking turpentine and spitting fire,” acting more like a carnival performer than an artist, he said. 
Marcel Duchamp, an early member of the dada art movement, also sought to subvert and rebel against tradition with his display and use of readymade objects. He repurposed found or factory-made items and turned them into so-called art installations. Duchamp, who was called the father of conceptual art, advocated the idea that anything could be called art. The dadaist movement is itself a communistic project, as evidenced by the manifesto of the Berlin dadaists, who called for an “international revolutionary union of all creative and intellectual men and women on the basis of radical Communism,” as well as “the immediate expropriation of property (socialization) and the communal feeding of all” and “the erection of cities of light, and gardens which will belong to society as a whole and prepare man for a state of freedom.” 
Dadaism’s criticism of tradition evolved into surrealism in France, as represented by the communist André Breton, who advocated revolution. He was against the supposed suppression brought by reason, culture, and society — a view typical of the modern artists in Europe at the time.
The artistic movements that extended these principles include abstractism, minimalism, pop art, and postmodernism. Abstractism is about the emotional expression of rebellion, disorder, emptiness, and escapism. The ugly trampling of moral values is evident in these “-isms” in the arts today. At their most outrageous, these artists create works that openly desecrate religious figures like Jesus Christ.
c. The Inversion of Traditional Aesthetics: The Ugly as ArtThe numerous schools of modern art that have appeared and developed share several things in common: They invert conventional aesthetics; they take ugliness as beauty; and they aim to shock, even to the point of being as ghastly as the artist’s imagination allows.
Those who support modernism have taken to the trend like ducks to water, but painters truly proficient in the technical skill of painting have a tough time. Painters and sculptors who adhere strictly to tradition, who master their craft through painstaking practice, have been squeezed out of the art world. John William Godward, the English Victorian neoclassicist painter associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, felt that he was being edged out of relevance as his style of realistic classical painting fell out of favor with the rise of Picasso’s modernist works. In 1922, he committed suicide and was said to have written in his suicide note, “The world is not big enough for myself and a Picasso.” 
Similar methods were adopted to ruin music. Authentic music conforms with musical theory and order. Musical tuning and the keys and modes it produces are all derived from harmonious natural patterns. The universe created by the divine is harmonious. Humans are able to appreciate and participate in the harmony of the universe, and thus create beauty, since humans are also created by the divine.
Modern atonal music rejects ideas like tonality, chords, and melody, and lacks order in its structure. It is a revolt against divinely imparted classical music, and it violates the harmony in the universe, which is why many audiences find it unpleasant. Modernist musicians argue, based on their warped theories of aesthetics, that audience members must train their ears to get used to such music so that they can enjoy it.
Schoenberg, one of the founders of modern music, introduced his “twelve-tone system,” a fundamentally atonal structure that marked the creation of anti-classical musical technique. Schoenberg’s music was considered the negation of all German musical culture up to then — a betrayal of taste, feeling, tradition, and all aesthetic principles. His music was called “cocaine” by Germans at the time: “To perform Schoenberg means the same as to open a cocaine bar for the people. Cocaine is poison. Schoenberg’s music is cocaine.”  One later music critic assessed his work thusly: “It is a measure of the immensity of the man’s achievement that, fifty years after his death, he can still empty any hall on earth.” 
After destroying tradition with modern music, avant-garde art used rock ‘n’ roll to supplant the role of classical music in people’s lives. Sidney Finkelstein, the leading music theorist of the Communist Party USA, openly declared that the boundaries between classical and popular music should be eliminated. At around the same time, strongly rhythmic rock music was gaining an increasing foothold in the United States, as classical and traditional music were squeezed out and marginalized.
The characteristics of rock ‘n’ roll include inharmonious sounds, unstructured melodies, strong rhythmic beats, and emotional conflict — quite similar to the communist idea of struggle. According to the Records of the Grand Historian by China’s foremost ancient historian, Sima Qian, only when sound conforms to morality can it be called music. Typically, the lives and compositions of rock ‘n’ roll musicians are centered around sex, violence, and drugs.
Rock ‘n’ roll, along with other modern sounds such as rap and hip-hop, continued to gain popularity in the United States. Rappers flaunt their rebellion against tradition and society with their casual use of drugs, obscene language, and unruly, violent behavior. As the morality of society as a whole declines, such “art forms,” previously regarded as the product of subcultures, have made their way into the wider society and are even sought-after by mainstream performance venues.
So far, we have focused mainly on the current circumstances in the worlds of art and music. In fact, the entire artistic world has been greatly impacted, and the influence of the modern art movement can be seen in the deviation from traditional ideas, methods, and skills in areas like architecture, dance, decoration, design, photography, film, and more. For example, the founder of modern dance, Isadora Duncan, was openly bisexual and an atheist. She objected to ballet, calling it ugly and unnatural. In 1921, she and 150 children with barely any dance training performed her work “Internationale,” set to the communist anthem, in Moscow for Communist Party elites, including Vladimir Lenin. 
As for why these deviations exist and become trendy, or even mainstream, it is closely related to communism’s corruption of divinely inspired traditional arts. On the surface, of course, this is not apparent, and the situation seems to be the result of a form of self-deception that has been widely accepted — the notion that if there’s a theory behind it, then it’s art.
If people look closely at the differences between avant-garde and traditional art, they will find that the artists of the Renaissance not only used art to praise God, but also presented beauty in an uplifting manner that engendered feelings of truth and goodness in the human heart. In doing so, their art helped maintain the morality of society.
d. The Perversion of LiteratureLiterature is a special art form. It uses language to pass on the wisdom that the divine has bestowed upon humankind, as well as to record the formative experiences of humankind. The two great epics of ancient Greece, The Iliad and The Odyssey, both portray the complex series of events surrounding the Trojan War, vividly depicting a historical epic of gods and men. The virtues of courage, generosity, wisdom, justice, and temperance that were praised in the epics became an important source of values for the Greek world and all of Western civilization.
Due to the great influence literature has, evil elements use it to control people, concocting and promoting written works that impart the ideology of communism, slander traditional culture, destroy people’s morality, and spread pessimism and an attitude of passivity and meaninglessness toward life. Literature has become one of the key tools communism uses to control the world.
Using Literature to Destroy TraditionA major step in the destruction of humanity has been to slander the traditional civilizations that the divine bestowed on mankind. Communist elements use intellectuals with modern thoughts to create and promote works that distort traditional culture.
Defending Hideous Portrayals as ‘Reality’Today, intellectuals and artists use literature and the arts to portray things or scenes that are ugly, strange, and terrifying, using the excuse that they are merely showing things as they really are.
Traditional art conveys harmony, grace, clarity, restraint, propriety, balance, universality, and ideals, which require selection and choice. In the view of modern artists, such works cannot be considered authentic. This view, however, comes from a misunderstanding of the origin and function of art. Art originates from everyday life, but it should transcend everyday life so that it may both delight and instruct. Because of this, during the creative process, artists must select, refine, and process what to portray.
Corrupting Moral ValuesPretexts such as “expressing one’s true self” and giving free rein to one’s “stream of consciousness” have led people to abandon traditional moral standards and indulge in the demonic side of human nature.
French communist and poet André Breton defined surrealism as “psychic automatism in its pure state, by which one proposes to express — verbally, by means of the written word, or in any other manner — the actual functioning of thought. Dictated by thought, in the absence of any control exercised by reason, exempt from any aesthetic or moral concern.” 
“Stream of consciousness” writing and surrealist “automatic writing” are closely related. Influenced by Sigmund Freud’s psychopathology, some writers in the West started to experiment with stream-of-consciousness writing from the beginning of the twentieth century. Such writings usually have simple storylines and focus on the inner and private thought processes of insignificant characters (anti-heroes) through narratives composed of meandering thoughts.
Unleashing Man’s Dark Side as ‘Criticism’ and ‘Protest’Writers and artists in the Western free world, under the influence of anti-traditionalist sentiment, consider all laws, regulations, and moral codes to be restrictive and suppressive. They see problems with modern society and the weaknesses of human nature, but instead of dealing with them rationally, they promote extreme individualism via criticism and protest, indulging in their personal desires.
They use degenerate means to express so-called resistance, while strengthening the dark side of their nature, indulging in hatred, laziness, desire, lust, aggression, and the pursuit of fame. A lack of moral self-restraint won’t solve any social issues; it can only worsen them.
During the counterculture movement of the 1960s, American poet Allen Ginsberg became the representative of the Beat Generation and is still venerated today by those who wish to rebel against society. His poem “Howl” depicts extreme lifestyles and mental states, including alcoholism, sexual promiscuity, drugs, sodomy, self-mutilation, prostitution, streaking, violent assault, theft, vagabonding, and madness.
Spreading PornographyFrom the beginning of the twentieth century, explicit sexual content began to appear in literary works, some of which were filled with such content yet were still praised as classics. Many commentators and scholars abandoned their social responsibilities and praised such pornographic works as real, artistic masterpieces. Much of traditional morality is based on proper relations between the sexes and self-restraint. Breaking such restrictions — however noble-sounding the justification — undermines and destroys morality.
Dehumanizing PeopleOver the past several decades, as the culture became more and more confused, a great deal of genre fiction surfaced, including thrillers and works of horror and fantasy. Through such works, low-level elements can control people’s minds and bodies, resulting in the dehumanization of human beings.
A three-foot block of ice does not result from only one day of coldness, as a saying goes. It takes a long period of time, and the involvement of many fields, for literature to degrade so far that it becomes a tool for evil. Romanticism widened literature’s coverage of people’s private and inner lives, and some ugly and bizarre phenomena — including extreme and insane human mental states — were presented for public consumption. Several British Romantic poets were collectively dubbed “the Satanic School” because of the immoral content of their poems.
Realism uses the excuse of presenting reality to express the degenerate side of human nature. Thus, certain works emphasize warped thoughts and immoral conduct. One critic called realism “romanticism going on all fours.”  The philosophy of naturalism, as promoted by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, attributed the decline in human morality to the social environment and family genetics, thus removing the individual’s moral responsibility. Aestheticism calls for “art for art’s sake,” claiming that art is meant to simply provide sensory stimuli and carries no moral imperative.
In fact, all art has subtle, profound, and long-lasting effects on the moral compass. To deny the moral responsibility of art is to open the door for immorality to creep in. While some contemporary authors have generated high-quality works, what many others have produced is simply dreck. The negative elements are obviously the result of declining moral standards, and they effectively paved the road for communist ideology to destroy mankind via literature.
4. Reviving True ArtThe power of art is enormous. Good art can rectify the human heart, elevate morality, harmonize yin and yang, and even enable humans to connect with heaven, earth, and divine beings.
In the past century, the specter of communism took advantage of man’s demon nature and malice, prompting the creation of an enormous variety of so-called “art.” People were led to revolt against and blaspheme the divine, oppose tradition, and overturn morality. This had the ultimate effect of turning large parts of society demonic, to a degree that would have been deeply shocking to anyone living in a previous era.
Compared to the beauty of traditional arts, modern works are extremely ugly. Humanity's aesthetic standards have been destroyed. The avant-garde has become mainstream and commands vast sums of money, while traditional, upright arts have been denigrated.
Arts have been manipulated into a vehicle for people to indulge in their desires and vent their demon nature. The boundary between beauty and ugliness, grace and vulgarity, goodness and evil, has been blurred or even erased. Grotesquerie, chaos, and darkness have taken the place of universal values. Human society is filled with demonic messages, and human beings are being steered along a path of decadence and destruction.
Only by elevating morality and returning to faith and tradition will humankind be able to see another renaissance in the arts. Only then will we all see the beauty, nobility, and splendor of what art can be and is meant to be.
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