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By Sarah Owen-Vandersluis (auth.)

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As this section will continue to show, however, one’s starting assumptions have important implications for the limits of the possible in the theories which they support. The following section will address the relationship between individualism and liberal freedom. Subjectivism Second, there is the assumption that individual preferences are given. Economists would not deny that different individuals may have different motivations, including moral ones, for making certain choices. However, in order to accommodate ethical motivations, welfare economics must characterise them as having been the self-interested choice of the individual.

Secondly, culture can contribute to a sense of national unity if cultural products are understood as a means to promote a common or even singular vision of Canadian identity. In this understanding, the community is accepted as the state, but there is also an attempt to create a coterminous sense of nationhood. Taken to its extreme, this vision of cultural politics would imply the direction and/or censorship of all cultural activity, so that only an acceptable vision of the nation or community would be available.

A version of this argument also appears as the ‘option demand’ claim, namely that cultural activities should be supported so that they are available for consumption by existing consumers at a later date. Globerman dismisses all of these arguments in relation to the performing arts, on the grounds that the art of performing is not likely to disappear with the bankruptcy of a few performing companies. 32 However, this argument may not be so persuasive in the context of other cultural goods, particularly if it is deemed important that a certain culture remain a ‘lived’ culture.

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