It is the best kind of hell because it is invisible. On the surface, it appears to be a land of plenty. Underneath, none of that plenty can help us resist its emptiness.
In Dante’s Inferno, each type of wrongdoer received a customized level of hell. In each case, the punishment was based on life serving back their excesses as tortures.
However, all levels of hell had a theme, which was frustration. To be able to indulge in all the powers and excesses of the material world, and yet be powerless against that which you really need to conquer.
People in the modern time do not know themselves much at all. At first it appears that this is because they are constantly distracted with garbage, and this is true.
However, they are distracted by choice, in order to avoid looking too deeply into the parts of themselves they feel they cannot control.
The ego, and the social functions of a human being — these are really mirrors of one another — they feel they can control these. But depth of emotion, insight into the nature of the world? That terrifies them.
As a result, being in hell is a mystery to them. They can’t recognize a difference. The result is neurosis: their body sends signals to run, escape and hide, but the “rational” part of their brain thinks in money, products, and freedoms.
If we look past the world of strictly what is tangible and start thinking of life as an experience, we can see how modern society has made itself hell:
- No values. There is no overall sense of quality or moral good, other than ideological objectives, which distill down to different forms of radical altruistic egalitarianism.
- Quantity over quality. So that all must participate, we reduce the rare and exceptional, and replace it with learning by rote, success by participation, value by conformity and other non-quality assessments.
- Ugly. We call our design utilitarian, but what makes more sense is to call it administrative. It is not there to make life better. It is there to minimize complaints by being so average that none can complain without appearing to be putting on airs.
- Individualistic. Each person by the nature of being equal now needs to prove themselves. They compete on needless tasks, become egomaniacs for no purpose, and attire and adorn themselves with “unique” combinations of hobbies, clothing and personal drama in order to make themselves seem important.
- Conformist. The price of individualism is conformity; if anyone in a crowd is not an individualist, all individualists are threatened, because that non-individualist might invoke some principle of reality larger than the individual. All chase the same trends, memes, crazes, manias, and images. What they see in movies, they buy.
- Anti-exceptionalism. Utilitarian society is designed to accommodate the broadest swath of average, not the exceptional. As a result, it takes from the exceptional and redistributes to the average as a means of hobbling the exceptional so that everyone else feels satisfied at their own level of performance. It’s a peanut gallery, lynch mob, hive-mind and circular reasoning apparatus that exists only to justify itself.
- Idiots rule. To support egalitarianism and also a hierarchy of popularity and income, societies generate tests to find the “best.” Since these are egalitarian, they are not based on actual ability. The result is lots of zampolit style people who master details and know the right political dogma, but cannot adapt to new stimulus and thus are terrible leaders.
There are many more. This article however exists as an introduction to the hell we have made of modern society, and its goal is to suggest alternate possibilities rather than debunk directly any one failing.
In other words, we have finite time. We are wasting it on the mediocre so that everyone can be included. Why not get rid of the excess and parasitic inclusiveness, and instead do something beautiful an good?