On the arts as blunt instruments

Alan Jacobs, considering a John Adams letter on the usefulness of the arts:

Everyone in power, or aspiring to power, in this country seems to be studying Politics and War, though they will sometimes cover that study with a flimsy disguise.

On the so-called Left we see surveillance moralism (and often enough the sexualization of children and early teens) masquerading as science.

On the so-called Right? It’s wrathful trolling masquerading as political philosophy.

None of these folks, God bless their earnest if shriveled hearts, have any room inside for the arts. Everything has to serve their political purposes, and works of art are rarely sufficiently blunt instruments.