"Art World" does not mean Aesthetics. But scholars and critics have tended to confuse the two terms. "Art World" refers to a narrow area of existence that is dominated by the highly competitive market for what we call art. This fans out into all manner of products which also purport to be art. Aesthetics is a term that embraces everything we create and produce. Aesthetics is what we do. It is performance and creation.

The captivity of aesthetics is a feature of our inherited binary culture. It is thus related to other inheritances like violence and conflict, power and greed.

Life is seen as dog eat dog. In actuality, life is a triadic process which contains reality, ethics, and aesthetics. The reality is the source of all signs. Ethics is the index of our values. And aesthetics represents our expressions and actions.

Insofar as life s a conscious process, we act and express on the basis of our evaluation of reality.

For example

Today the New York Times reviews a novel that highlights the aesthetic outcome of abuse and violence among Palestinian women. On another day we might have a similar look at aesthetic outcomes elsewhere in a different group of victims. The point is to see and understand that aesthetics is a real world consequence. When someone radiates pain and hurt, regardless of any beauties that might be derived from such an image, we are face to face with the ugly consequences of human evil.

Do yourself the favor of opening this review because in addition to the text there is a graphic that is pertinent. The review by Joumana Haddad opens with this terse truth, "We are a people of dirty secrets hiding beneath a veil of fake morality." She is speaking universally.

Ugliness is everything that encompasses hurt and pain everywhere with no exception. None are clean. We are all involved.

The limits of a Trumpian world

A binary understanding that sees only friends and enemies will never understand this universal point regarding aesthetics. But I can offer a stellar example of the failure of efforts to force people to accept even what is good for them.

Mao. Mao tried to foment a massive cultural revolution in China and ended up facing dismal failure. It is the same failure we have experienced in efforts to force democracy at the point of a gun.

It is the sad reality of propaganda put out by the NRA which is both untrue and ugly in the most accurate sense of that term. Donald Trump still hangs in doing binary things and beguiling his base. But we have things to learn about ourselves, and that may be the hidden benefit of the current American agony.