Culture has not disappeared, I agree with Aeneas’ Quest, but it just has ‘less visibility’ than mass-entertainment, or, perhaps, the problem is heavier? Can we say it’s a coincidence that the Western culture is the only one in human history that produced atheism and made of God a ‘private’ concern if not a caprice or a disease, a matter to be left at any rate separate from a people’s common or public or social life?
Culture has not disappeared, but it remains in the separate world of the artists and poets who live and create in spite of their society’s interests, or who condemn their societies, or being themselves a society’s greatest expression of the lack of meaning, of emptiness, alienation…
It is not a coincidence again that only in the West is a poem or a movie, etc, considered important to the degree that it is pessimist, grave, dark, difficult, etc. The social collapse of the metaphysical center, the collapse of faith in us, will destroy our lives whether we have great artists, even great saints, or not.
It was the clergy’s duty to be the good seed and help the whole of society come closer to a person’s faith. In the West, Papacy was not able to do this, since it confused help with tyranny and faith with ideology, ending in the Protestant transfer of authority from the Pope to each individual as such, so that the West became a place full of Popes and empty of faith.