A high culture is the self-consciousness of a society. It contains the works of art, literature, scholarship and philosophy that establish a shared frame of reference among educated people.

High culture is a precarious achievement, and endures only if it is underpinned by a sense of tradition, and by a broad endorsement of the surrounding social norms. When those things evaporate, as inevitably happens, high culture is superseded by a culture of fakes.

Faking depends on a measure of complicity between the perpetrator and the victim, who
together conspire to believe what they don't believe and to feel what they are incapable of feeling. There are fake beliefs, fake opinions, fake kinds of expertise.

There is also fake emotion, which come about when people debase the forms and the language in which true feeling can take root, so that they are no longer fully aware of the difference between the true and the false.