The great majority of intellectuals—particularly in the arts—are in a desperate plight. The fault lies, however, not with their character, pride, or inaccessibility. Journalists, novelists, and literati are for the most part ready for every compromise. It’s just that they do not realize it. And this is the reason for their failures. Because they do not know, or want to know, that they are venal, they do not understand that they should separate out those aspects of their opinions, experiences, modes of behavior that might be of interest to the market. Instead they make it a point of honor to be wholly themselves on every issue. Because they want to be sold, so to speak, only “in one piece,” they are as unsalable as a calf that the butcher will sell only to the housewife only as an undivided whole.
Walter Benjamin, “Venal but Unusable” fragment published April 1934
Guilty as charged.