Unlike the discipline of economics, and indeed unlike money – a lately-come tool we invented to facilitate trading at a distance — art is very old. The anthropologists and neurologists are now telling us how old – it’s as old as humanity. It isn’t a frill – something human societies can choose to indulge or to discard. Art isn’t only what we do, it’s what we are. Our musical and dancing and linguistic abilities appear to be built in to every single one of us, in every society on earth. So it’s not a case of whether or not we’ll have art: it’s a case of what sort of art we will have. Good, or bad? Old, or new? Our own, or somebody else’s? Whatever the choices, any theory of humanity that fails to take account of human art fails indeed.
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