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Oh, that’s democracy

When I say that I am afraid that Culture is going to suffer from a flattening, a repetition, a staleness, a lack of dignity and distinction, the first thing that everybody will say is, “Oh, that is democracy” . . . when you walk down the street and see the whole of one side of a great house, so to speak, occupied with an enormous poster on which is written in large letters, “Keep that schoolgirl complexion,” that exactly fulfills my definition of vulgarity. It is vulgar because the man [who created it] is not a poor peasant unacquainted with grace and elegance, and he is not an over-civilized eighteenth-century artist dwelling too much upon grace and elegance. He is a person capable of drawing and recognizing the power of those light and pleasant human sentiments, and then of handling them as if they were so much mud, of treating them as nobody would treat such an idea. . . . To put it shortly, the evil I am trying to warn you of is not excessive democracy, it is not excessive ugliness, it is not excessive anarchy. It might be stated thus: It is standardization by a low standard.