Well worth watching this entire documentary. It’s “Why Beauty Matters” featuring Roger Scruton. BBC2 broadcasted it in 2009.
His perspective, passed down from Plato, is that beauty is a divine revaluation from the higher realm. This also contains a discussion of the horror of modern architecture, and how it compares with more traditional forms. Those things that are beautiful attract people, and ugly things repel them, and attract vandals. In the same way, ugly people attract degradation to themselves, and the beautiful draw respect and care to themselves.
Modern art is a ‘cult of ugliness,’ and it has in part encouraged bad manners, alienation, and self-absorption. As buildings and objects have been reduced to their utility-function, people come to see one another as items to be used.
The speaker makes a persuasive case that what you read and listen to matters; that aesthetics has profound impacts on everything else in society.
In Scruton’s view, beauty is a remedy for the chaos and suffering which is our fate to endure as mortals. Progressives prefer to pop a Paxil™ and to surround themselves in ugliness.
As an aside, venerating modern art is a crucial test for all high status progressives. One of the reasons why advertising has supplanted ‘high’ art is because, despite its degraded and fantasy-exciting nature, it still tends to hew to basic aesthetic standards and employs competent creative craftsmen. When a successful business person wants to solidify his status within the progressive system of politics, aesthetics, and belief, he buys modern art for either himself or for his company, often at great expense.
Sacrificing $86 million for a meaningless Rothko canvas is an un-fakeable way that you believe in the anti-sacred values of the progressive world view. It shows that you believe in raising ugliness up high, denigrating beauty.