Aesthetics and Business

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As you may already know, some business people advocate the view that businesses owe moral obligations to society, since the government and the church are no longer able to fill certain roles in the society. In the past it was considered a duty for aristocracy and wealthy individuals to contribute to aesthetics of the city, its public arts, architecture, etc. Please take a look on at Paris and Milan (we stay away from religious centers like Rome), and explore the cities’ public architecture. If you have the time and the willingness to watch Midnight in Paris, the first five minutes showcase the extraordinary architecture of the city. Both cities are the world centers of fashion and design. What they came to be are largely due to the conscious efforts by their ruling class and wealthy merchants over the centuries. Note that when the foundation stone was laid for the cathedral of Milan in the late 1300s, everyone knew that it was going to take centuries to build it. Do you believe that in our wealthy state, business people have a moral duty to donate their efforts and wealth to the arts, architecture, etc? Note also that the only reason the US has a National Gallery of Art, is due to the single effort of one wealthy industrialist, who donated his enormous collection of Old World art, convinced other wealthy art collectors to do the same, and helped build the building for the gallery in Washington DC.