are you privy to the charitable work ( or lack thereof ) of the all "the rich" to make those judgments? also, it's pretty fucking arrogant to appoint yourself the one who decides how someone else should spend their money.
so joe billionaire has to eradicate world hunger, disease, and poverty before we can start thinking about preserving heritage?
i'm with you on the bullshit lobbying though..
Yeah, rich people think it's cool that homeless people die of exposure while they spend billions of dollars rebuilding a thousand year old relic, but I'M the arrogant one? Okay, sure.
And, BTW, not only do the rich spend proportionately less of their income on charity than middle class individuals, but charity has proven to be an ineffective vehicle for social change. What really betters people's lives is having more money in their pockets to spend as they need, not waiting for other people to give them what they think they need. I'd be much more impressed by the wealthy paying a living wage than I would be them dropping a bunch of money on charity.
As for eradicating disease, no, that's impossible. Hunger and poverty? Absolutely. There's no reason anyone should starve in this day and age. And it would be one thing if it just wasn't feasibly possible. Notre Dame proves it's possible. When rich people want something a billion dollars just materializes out of nowhere. Where was all the charitable giving after Grenfell Tower? Where was the billion dollars dropping out of the sky? Oh yeah, I forgot, that building wasn't "culture", it was only people's home. I'm only left to conclude that they don't want to end poverty and hunger. Since they don't care about what I care about, I don't care about what they care about. **** their moldy old church, and **** them.
I think we have radically different takes on the value of culture. You seem to view it as some privilege of the wealthy, and to embrace culture is to thumb your nose at the rest of "poor" society. That art, literature, etc. is a luxury that is otherwise meaningless in the greater picture. I wholeheartedly disagree. For many people, culture gives their lives identity, inspiration, and purpose. A reason to live other than simply existing.
Also, I don't know why you view culture as simply the play thing of the wealthy. The earliest hunter-gatherer tribes devoted large amounts of time and effort to spiritualism. Look at the aboriginals in Australia for example. They have tons of sacred sites dotted throughout the country. Would you not mind if the government there simply bulldozed those sites to make more affordable housing and farmland available?
Maybe to you, Notre Dame cathedral is just a bunch of rocks and wood. The Mona Lisa may just be a bunch of paint on a canvas. Shakespeare a bunch of ink on paper. But to others, these examples of culture hold far deeper meaning and enjoyment. Who are you to say what should be important to each person? You say people are irreplaceable - but they aren't. Individuals are irreplaceable, but people are replaced all the time. Everyone that lived during the time Notre Dame was built is dead, but yet, the cathedral remains. A testament to the history and culture of those times. I think certain landmarks give us a sense of peace and security due to their permanence in an ever changing world. I'm sure that many people, especially the french, take great pride in that site as it represents their history, their culture, and to some of them, their spirituality. Besides, it's not like France doesn't have fairly robust social systems to help the people. I don't know why you believe that it's all or nothing. Do you not spend money on entertainment despite the fact that their are people out their starving?
And who decides what is culture and what isn't? Oh right, the wealthy. Who decided which buildings got to be built or paintings painted in the first place? The wealthy. Who decided which artists starved and which were able to eke out a living? The wealthy. Who decides which paintings get to be preserved in museums and which are left to decay? The wealthy. You're hopelessly naïve if you think that "culture" isn't a creation of the elites. How about next year you try getting into the Met gala by telling them how much you love culture and how it gives your life meaning?
And how arrogant are you to say people don't have a purpose in life if they're simply existing? I've got news for you, but that's what the vast majority of people throughout history do. They go about their lives, they find enjoyment and love, they work, they die, that's life. They don't need some thousand year old building to give their life meaning. Millions of people lived before Notre Dame was ever built, millions more have never heard of or seen Notre Dame, and their lives are just as vivid and meaningful as anyone else's. "Culture" doesn't give their lives meaning, they do. They're not dependent on any work of art or any organization to imbue their lives with meaning, and the fact that you think they are just makes my argument for me.
You're hitting on exactly the problem. You think that some building standing for a long time or some painting being preserved for a long time is a way to cheat death, to gain immortality, it's not. Everything fades to dust, everything. Your precious rocks and paint, steel and iron, and people. One day, one way or another, Notre Dame is going to be as gone as the people who built it. One day there won't be anyone left to remember Notre Dame or what it stood for. There's no such thing as permanence, and your obsession with objects of "culture" is just your way of fooling yourself into thinking there is. And hey, I would have zero problems with that if we focused on taking care of people before we focused on taking care of inanimate objects, but we don't. On the contrary, I think the elite in our society spend more time and effort preserving objects than they do helping people, which is why I have no problem seeing their "culture" burn.