Brief Thoughts on Late Modern Man

We are obsessed with finding habitable planets because we have begun to intuit that our modern progress has trapped us forever with one another here on Earth, which is to say we have explored ourselves beyond all hope of any new nook or cranny to dream of. We have nowhere left to go on this planet to escape from the oppressiveness of our fellow men.

We need to believe in aliens from other dimensions or galaxies because we have debunked and demystified ourselves out of any reason to live. We need something to fear, to make life feel meaningful again; or alternatively some incommensurable power we might imagine will save us from all our tedious, meaningless certainties. We need to believe there is something unknown — fundamentally unknown, rather than merely awaiting a few final details to tidy up the textbooks.

To enslave mankind: Isolate people from one another, which is to say make community association undesirable, preferably even causing neighbors and strangers alike to view each other as contaminants to be avoided, against whom one must be shielded, from whom one must be “distanced” at all times — until isolation soon becomes a deep emotional habit, and fear of other men’s breath as much of a truism as our modern fear of “getting too much sun.” When life becomes a continuous search for private shelter and darkness, a well-appointed cage will be our ideal, and the bright open air of freedom a distasteful memory.

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