The arts have even found defeat in universities and art schools that now call themselves schools or art and design. The tag on is more than that; it is an insurance policy for survival. Business minded parents of students will be attracted to the school because of the word “design” as will funding and grants. If the schools were left to the arts merely, they would close or be subject to a small faithful and focused group of students and a faculty less concerned with the house in the suburbs and retirement. While these schools would create a small counter culture of knowers and intelligentsia, fewer (if that is possible) would understand the work produced by graduates than viewers and readers do today. That audience would have been what Yeats called a “toy Noah’s Ark,” a make believe culture.
As it is, commercial art and poetry by commercial creative writers embedded in capitalism’s ideology, hold more sway, are more effective and dominate the everyday life of Western / global culture. If language grows thin as it is adopted by foreign tongues in foreign lands, poetry in English is cheese cloth, open to the simplest verse as slogan. Add to thin language due to little shared culture, a lack of liberal arts as common ground that would make up at least topics important enough to the culture that ongoing discussion could ensue. Due to specialization early in education, especially among the lower classes, the West is in possession of a thin language and little in the way of common ground. The ground that is available to all is rationality to the point of scientism, the belief that scientific metaphors may be applied to every problem and aspect of life, so that the humanities become what Guyatri Spivak calls “disc jockeys for an advanced technology.”