International Business

Ethics and Cultural Policy in a Global Economy by Sarah Owen-Vandersluis (auth.)

By Sarah Owen-Vandersluis (auth.)

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To a certain extent, this has always been the case. Nonetheless, Griffiths perceives that these threats are now superseding traditional military threats. The result is that conceptions of national defence must be rethought. In so doing, the defence of sovereignty must have as a key element the defence of a national cultural life. As Griffiths writes, ‘defence of sovereignty comes down to our ability to nourish the processes that hold us together as a people with purposes and a destiny of our own.

This latter argument, however, depends on a strong connection being drawn between cultural products and the preservation of certain traditions and values. This link will be addressed in greater detail in Chapter 4. 33 He argues against the assumption that cultural goods are public goods on the grounds that there is both excludability and rival consumption in the cultural goods markets. However, he also points out that the private consumption of cultural goods produces public externalities. 34 Such public benefit could accrue in an economic form, such as positive national income and employment effects, or it could be purely social.

Finally, government intervention has ensured a net shift of income from the most prosperous regions and provinces to the most needy. All of these actions, it is argued, are seen as justifiable interventions by government into the private sphere and the values which underlie them are seen as reflections of a distinct Canadian political culture. Moreover, all of these actions contribute to the maintenance of the Canadian federation. In this sense, the promotion of 32 Ethics and Cultural Policy in a Global Economy culture is crucial to national unity, where the nation is understood to be the sum of all the Canadian provinces and territories.

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