We should be alarmed by the bankruptcy of our imagination in the economic and political spheres.
No area of human existence is nowadays so devoid of alternatives as the political/economical one. If we conjure up visions, it is through the marvels of technology, where we somehow resolve all our issues —a green, fair, sublime world of plenty. But for the inventions of such a technology and science, a society needs to be invented that is itself capable of inventing such a technology and science. But the reality is that we are stuck in the small-minded negotiations of postponing the upcoming climate catastrophe for a few years, and with luck, a decade.
To exercise our imagination in the political and economical spheres does not mean turning away from reality. Rather, it means accepting the necessities put forward by a reality that is on a direct path to self-destruction. Accepting these realities, these structural and empirical grains or atoms, imagination announces how its currency was always these hard fragments of the real. The work of the imagination is not the fabrication of such substances, but the ideal play they are put to. An un-numbered dot-to-dot.
But this is seemingly all any structure ever is, so why can we speak of a lack of imagination in this or that structure, when they are seemingly wholly sustained through this creative work of the intellect? These days many seem to solve this by questioning those atoms themselves, stupidly imagining up this or that fragment (flat earth!), as though this would or could or should solve or change anything. No. The difference is one wholly of motion among these existent fragments, these realities we must accept— a form of Brownian motion that twists and bends the structures that link them, grain to grain. So, the question then becomes not one of new structures, but of re-invigorating the facts, heating the medium, until imagination is pressed to begin, again.