Politics, the late Andrew Breitbart remarked, is downstream of culture. In other words, the nature of a society’s culture influences the nature of its politics. So if you care about politics—those communal arrangements that, in Aristotle’s summary, conduce to the good for man—you will also care about culture.

What should we think about the state of our culture? Should we be happy about the state of those institutions that we have entrusted to preserve and transmit the cultural aspirations of our society?

Human beings are creatures who exist in perpetual tension between what they are and what they would be. Which means that the answer to that second question will always be No. The imperfection, the longing, that is a ...