We must not be deceived by superficial phenomena and local successes. Picasso's shows still draw crowds, and T. S. Eliot is taught in the universities; the dealers in modernist art are still in business, and the publishers still publish some "difficult" poetry. But the avant-garde itself, already sensing the danger, is becoming more and more timid every day that passes. Academicism and commercialism are appearing in the strangest places. This can mean only one thing: that the avant-garde is becoming unsure of the audience it depends on -- the rich and the cultivated.
An important consequence of giving highest priority to the metaphor of Moral Strength is that it rules out any explanations in terms of social forces or social class. If it is always possible to muster the discipline to just say no to drugs or sex and to support yourself in this land of opportunity, then failure to do so is laziness and social class and social forces cannot explain your poverty or your drug habit or your illegitimate children. And if you lack such disciple, then by the metaphor of Moral Strength, you are immoral and deserve any punishment you get.