Governments should invest as much in the arts as they do in the military.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the recommendation and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, describe specific circumstances in which adopting the recommendation would or would not be advantageous and explain how these examples shape your position.
The recommendation is that Governments should invest as much in art as they do in military. I partially disagree with this recommendation. It is true that governments should invest sufficient amounts in art, but making it comparable to the military spending of the country would be unwise in this current era where terrorism is widespread and prevalent across boundaries of countries. In a chimerical situation wherein all countries have completely and wholly abandoned war, and there are zero terrorist groups and organisations then Governments may even not need to have a significant military budget, and could consider investing in art more than their military spending. But with the situation that is prevalent today it would be imprudent for the governments to completely adopt this recommendation.
It is important to analyse the role that the military places in every country. The military is responsible for defending the sovereignty of the country and its citizens in case of wartimes. In case of natural disasters the military is pressed into relief operations. For example: During the Tsunami wave in 2004 in Chennai,India. The military conducted relief operations over weeks to ensure that people are able to come back to their normal lives. They persevered along with numerous other organisations to ensure that no epidemics break out and people are taken care of. Further to this the military takes care of various other responsibilities that are fundamental to the well being of a nation and all its inhabitants. Given that the military is responsible of such fundamental duties, that are required by the nation. It is only wise that the Government which is responsible for the governance of the nation, aptly fund the military and ensure that the military personnel are not left wanting for anything.
Also most of the countries today have non-coterminous boundaries, with difficult conditions at various borders of the country. If the military doesn’t have a strong presence at each of the borders, the country is susceptible to attacks which may harm the citizens and artists inhabiting the country. For example: India’s border with China at Tawang is at altitudes of over 15000ft above sea level. At such conditions it is extremely difficult for the military personnel. With low amounts of oxygen in the air, extreme temperatures and poor connectivity to major nearby towns. They have to navigate through rough conditions for basic necessities. In such conditions it is necessary for the government to set up small self sustainable military camps at the border locations to ensure that the military is able to defend the border. In order to do so, the government needs to spend significant amounts of money for the military.
It is also important to realise that the costs of weapons, artillery etc. that are required by the military is significantly much more than that of the goods that are required for most art forms. In such cases a country can do without spending too much on art, but without investing in the latest military technologies, a country would be ill-prepared when it faces an attack from opponents who posses much superior weapons. For example: In 19th century India, there were numerous Kingdoms that were coming up and the Mughal empire known for its erstwhile military superiority was continuously losing the areas under its kingdom. The then Mughal leader Bahadur Shah Zafar hadn’t made adequate investments in upgrading their military capabilities and the people faced grave atrocities after their lands were captured. This is a classic example as to why it is important to continually invest in upgrading the military capabilities of the country.
It may argued that the arts and culture of a country are a primary identity of the country and it is important to make investments to preserve and enrich the arts, cultures and traditions of the country. I completely agree with this, but the spending required for fields as diverse as Military and Arts is not comparable. And underfunding the military to preserve the arts would be imprudent, because if the military is not equipped to defend the country in case of attacks, the very art and culture forms that the government sought to preserve are threatened to be expunged by enemy forces in wartime. This would lead to both loss of territory and a loss of arts and culture. So it is necessary to take a balanced approach to providing adequate funding to the military that is fundamental to the existence of every country.