The relationship between art and politics has always been fraught. During the French Revolution, the German poet and philosopher Friedrich Schiller observed that “utility is the great idol of the time,” and he proposed that art, with its ability to expand the mind, could be a route to meaningful freedom. Later critics seized on the idea’s lurking elitism. The revolution eventually led to Napoleon, and from the fallout, which included the formation of a middle class with a taste for uncomplicated art and the money to pay for it, rose the bohemian movement in favor of “art for art’s sake” — and against the demand for meaning or morality in culture.
…wever, Sartre does not reason the claim to the conclusion that Dostoevsky shows through Smerdyakov. Sartre thinks that, if God does not exist, people become forlorn, because they are without excuse in deciding their existence. But, instead of choosing evil, a person without God will realize his responsibility and, understanding that he acts on behalf of all mankind, do what he perceives as good.
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