Thanks to ro1 for the following article, published by The Journal of the American Enterprise Institute:
### http://www.american.com Sat, 19 Dec 2009
The High Cost of Ignoring Beauty
By Roger Scruton
Architecture clearly illustrates the social, environmental, economic, and aesthetic costs of ignoring beauty. We are being torn out of ourselves by the loud gestures of people who want to seize our attention but give nothing in return.
In Britain, the state, in the form either of local or central government, will tell you whether you can or cannot build on land that you own. And if it permits you to build, it will stipulate not only the purposes for which you may use the building, but also how it should look, and what materials should be used to construct it. Americans are used to building regulations that enforce utilitarian standards: insulation, smoke alarms, electrical safety, the size and situation of bathrooms, and so on. But they are not used to being told what aesthetic principles to follow, or what the neighbourhood requires of materials and architectural details. I suspect that many Americans would regard such stipulations as a radical violation of property rights, and further evidence of the state’s illegitimate expansion.
Roger Scruton is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. He is a writer, philosopher, and public commentator, and has written widely on aesthetics, as well as political and cultural issues.
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr