Modern elite culture, especially the mass media, pays remarkable lip service to the importance of 'imagination' - considering that the reality of life for these people is operating in an ever more constrained, impersonal and interlinked bureaucracy - where all decisions are by committees and voting.
Committees are notably absent from the world of myth! As is bureaucratic supervision and regulation.
This mainstream media promotion of 'imagination' is therefore hard to understand if imagination is considered in Tolkien's terms of mythic subcreation; of a world that has the feel of primary reality: a secondary world that feels real because it resonates with the primary world and mobilizes the same emotions.
In fact, modern culture's concept of imagination is almost the opposite of Tolkien's subcreation and of spontaneous myth.
Myth is valued because it feels realer than the real; and thereby refreshes contact with the real.
It is a world in which the transcendental goods - truth, beauty, and virtue - are seen in primary colours.
Truth is truer, beauty more beautiful and virtue is uncompromising.
And myth is constrained - it has a sense of inevitability about it, a sense of order, purpose, meaning.
In particular, myth is animistic - the characters in myths inhabit a reality where the human is in relationship not just with other humans, but with the world, where the world is sentient.
But modern imagination - as propagated in the mass media - is thin, flat, unbounded.
The modern imagination is not a world that answers the question 'why' but instead a world that continually propounds the question 'why not'.
Modern imagination is in fact a tool of transcendental inversion; it is the depiction of a world in which the transcendental goods are reversed.
Modern imagination therefore constitutes a hijacking and channeling of the individual imagination to drive it outside of ('beyond') traditional, mythical, religious bounds.
While traditional myth creates a subworld that begins with the essential and spontaneously human and allows its untrammeled expansion; modern imagination does the opposite: creates a subworld that subverts the essentially humane and weakens the spontaneous by depicting transgressive novelties.
And that is why the modern politically correct world pushes what it terms 'imagination'.
While the traditional concept of myth is reactionary, aiming to recover lost meaning and purpose; the modern concept of imagination is exactly the opposite, being a revolutionary means to the end of weakening the mythical.
So, to modern culture, imaginative products are shock troops of political correctness, softening-up the enemy (the traditional mythical relation between individual consciousness and the external world); and doing so not by eliciting the imagination of its audience, but instead by coercively depicting the previously-unthought-because-spontaneously-unthinkable or resisted-because-bad/ repulsive/ dishonest.
Hence the value modern imagination places upon depiction of unbounded transgression and inversion; indeed 'depiction of unbounded transgression and inversion' is precisely what modern mainstream culture means by imagination.
Modern imagination does not, like subcreative myth, return us to the primary world refreshed and invigorated such that traditional good of bread and wine are restored to their original freshness; but returns us to the primary world jaded with the normal, and craving novelty.
Bureaucratic 'incentives' replace spontaneous meaning' and aims and objectives' replace innate purpose; because when spontaneous order is deliberately destroyed in the human mind, then real life (both primary reality and secondary alike) is drained of meaning and purpose.
And bureaucracy steps-in as the unrivalled source of order.
And this is the link between the relentless promotion of transgressive 'imagination', and the relentless growth of bureaucracy.
Imagination and bureaucracy are merely two sides of the politically correct coin: anti-human revolutionary imagination demolishes opposition to anti-human revolutionary bureaucracy.