The official culture has always been somewhat second-rate, at best. So the biggest names, the most powerful, the most famous- at any given time generally turn-out to be mediocre in the longer term.
However, we are now in a situation when the biggest names, the most powerful and famous rulers, intellectuals, artists and the like are not even mediocre - they fail to rise to the level of mediocre: they are sub-mediocre - they are incapable, not even adequate.
This is what I see in the domains I know: religion, science, medicine, poetry... pretty much everywhere in public life. It seems to be the usual pattern.
Some examples of modern sub-mediocrity: the political leaders of the Western nations, the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury, the leading figures of mainstream 'science' such as medical research and climate research, the leaders of major universities - such as the President of Harvard, the doctors who hold senior administrative positions, and 'major' writers such as the Poet Laureate.
This is not just a matter of people being qualitatively worse than before; these are people who lack basic competence, who cannot do their core jobs.
Admittedly, they are not even trying to do their core jobs - but redefining their proper role into political correctness (as when the US Military or NATO's prime mission was redefined as Diversity) - but the fact is that these modern leadership elite personnel could not do their jobs even if they wanted to - they are simply inadequate people.
This astonishing ubiquity of sub-mediocrity cannot be accidental; therefore it is interesting and significant.
Chosen and enforced universal sub-mediocrity is further evidence (if that were needed) that modernity is not just lacking in survival instinct; but is actively and will-fully suicidal.
This, for me, is evidence that the ruling elite is not fundamentally ideological, nor self-interested, nor even short-termist - but is demonically-driven, almost-purely negative, essentially nihilistic in its wholesale destructiveness of whatever is true, beautiful and virtuous.