Ordinary language is all right.
One could divide humanity into two classes:
those who master a metaphor, and those who hold by a formula.
Those with a bent for both are too few, they do not comprise a class.
'Of course. Money, money. Money is all, and the rest, without money, is nothing. And that is why, instead of stuffing his head with fine maxims that he would have to forget or else beg for bread, when I possess a louis, which isn't often, I take up my stand in front of him. I take the coin out of my pocket. I show it him with admiration. I roll my eyes to heaven. I kiss the louis in front of him. And to make him appreciate still more the importance of the sacred coin, I stammer out the names and point out with my finger all the things you can acquire with it—a child's frock, a nice bonnet, a lovely biscuit. Then I put the coin back into my pocket. I strut about proudly, lift my waistcoat and tap my fob pocket. In this way I make him understand that the state of self-confidence he sees me in comes from the coin in there.'
The rich get richer.
'Here in America there is no difference between a man and his economic fate. A man is made by his assets, income, position, and prospects. The economic mask coincides completely with a man's inner character. Everyone is worth what he earns and earns what he is worth. He learns what he is through the vicissitudes of his economic existence. He knows nothing else. The materialistic critique of society once objected against idealism that existence determined consciousness and not vice versa, and that the truth about society did not lie in its idealistic conception of itself but in its economy; contemporary men have rejected such idealism. They judge themselves by their own market value and learn what they are from what happens to them in the capitalistic economy. Their fate, however sad it may be, is not something outside them; they recognize its validity. A dying man in China might say, in a lowered voice:
Fortune did not smile upon me in this world.
Where am I going now? Up into the mountains
to seek peace for my lonely heart.
I am a failure, the American says—and that is that.'