WOID XVI-13. Museum Watch

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing: better no knowledge at all according to the bureaucrats at the Institut du Monde Arabe. Not that they need much knowledge themselves, since their recent move to restrict access to the Institute's library has all the earmarks of a directive from the GlobIntern, the secret central planning committee for World-Wide Globalist Domination.

From its architecturally impressive headquarters at the edge of Old Paris, the Institute of the Arab World has been a major force in the development of intellectual exchange between the Arab world and Europe through exhibitions, conferences and resources made available to scholars and just-plain citizens alike. Now, its board of directors has decided to split apart the library. One half, the "kiddies" section, will be free, and patronizing. The other, for so-called "serious" scholars, will charge admission. In either case, the Library will reduce and perhaps eliminate the acquisition of books in Arabic. It's a move similar to those made at the Centre Pompidou, among others: just another way museums in America and abroad are systematically redefining their educational mission. The purpose is no longer to help the public towards greater knowledge but to reinforce ignorance and obedience. You can tell, because the "kiddies" library at the Institut du Monde Arabe will be mostly restricted to literature and culture. Under liberalism the word "liberal arts" meant those disciplines worthy of a free citizen. Under neo-liberalism it's the exact opposite: "liberal arts" are the toys left to slaves.

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- Paul Werner
[Paul Werner is the author of "Museum, Inc.: Inside the Global Art World."]