Today is the day the “March of Civilization” reaches The Hague. The Hague, for those of you who do not know, is the residency of the Dutch Parliament. Today the budget cuts on culture as proposed by our government will be discussed. And “the cultural world” has organized the “March of Civilization” to protest against the cuts. Democracy at work. Government proposes cuts. Parliament discusses. Members from various societal backgrounds protest. Government decides, or dissolves itself if it has lost support in parliament. People in many places in the world would love to be able to participate in such processes.
I have double feelings concerning this “March”. I do feel that a budget cut of about 20 percent (200 m€ from a budget of 900) on culture is overdone; I would prefer it if cuts were more evenly spread over the various sectors of our society. Culture seems to be a too easy target for the current government; and feelings of revenge and even of outright hate against the world of culture seem to possess some of the key players in the debate.
On the other hand: