Some of you may be aware that Quadrant will not receive any government funding for the first time in its 60 year existence (it applied for $60,000 this year). To say that Quadrant is less than impressed is an understatement.
There is little doubt that the Australia Council’s funding decision regarding Quadrant is the product of yet another institution taken over by the left. However, it’s also absurd and hypocritical that a conservative leaning enterprise such as Quadrant would complain about the level of government funding it receives and request donations. The fact that it has been using its government funding to subsidise its literary content (e.g. poetry, book reviews) doesn’t help either.
Quadrant’s own Roger Franklin seems to recognise this:
REASONABLE people can disagree about the role of government and taxpayers in funding the arts. Your more hard-line libertarians will tell you that underwriting ballets and operas and novels — or micro-circulation leftist journals, for that matter — is well beyond the purview of any government. Others might argue that the dissemination of culture is a good and worthy thing — just so long, that is, as the culture being disseminated is itself good and worthy.
Aside from the fact that I’m clearly a hard-line libertarian, I am also declining Quadrant’s
handoutdonation request on the basis that there is a far better way for me to spend my money: subscribing*.
Simply put, Quadrant is a fantastic publication which has some of the finest and most intelligent articles you’ll read anywhere. It is a product well worth paying the price asked for.
For $59 a year, you will receive full online access to Quadrant’s content. Alternatively, for $84 a year, they will also deliver a paper copy of their monthly which you can walk into a restroom of your choice each morning if so inclined. In Gillardonomics and Swanspeak, it’s barely a cup of coffee a month. In normal talk, it’s great value for a highly-regarded product:
In the realm of ideas there has been no better publication in Australia over the last fifty years than Quadrant magazine.
— Former Prime Minister John Howard
(*) If you’re already a Quadrant subscriber and wish to donate extra, then that’s your own business.