The stakes are nothing less than that. Is American literature the voices of the people, the land, the streets? Or is it that imposed from on high by bureaucrats in institutions and academies?
The mandarins of lit, as represented with the Miller Hall group, see literature as the society sees approved art-- of, by, and for the upper classes and maintained in exclusive museums which do nothing so much as point out the art's separation from the social world.
The stakes for underground writers are very high. We're fighting for our history-- to retain traces of our words and ideas. We're fighting against a society that would wipe us and our words out; that would extinguish every shred of memory of outsider writers. Only the approved kind will stand, according to the wishes of some. Ginsberg, a stray outsider who made noise is being embraced and absorbed by Insiders as a way to defang what he stood for; to smooth the disruption of the Beats against status quo culture and leave no ripples in the literary pond.
Mark Doty speaks in the current American Poetry Review about Ginsberg's dissent against "spirit-crushing monolithic Moloch." Re-read the Moloch passages of "Howl." Moloch today is a thousand times stronger than it was in Ginsberg's time. The corporations are a thousand times more intrusive and omnipresent. They own rebellion itself!-- which has become merely a commodity; they own the t-shirts and the hipster poses of the slave captives of consumerist culture.
The literary world today is a thousand times more conformist than it was in Ginsberg's day, when he put the words to "Howl" onto a page. There are a thousand more things now to Howl about.