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The first part of the book argues that, far from approaching a common good life for all living things, the planet retreats from itself as the commodity form colonizes more and more of it. This condition is the opposite of the true, the just, the good, or the beautiful: It is anaesthetic. The last two chapters set out to find a path to climb out of this slough of despond. Chapter 3 historicizes the construction of the contemporary condition in successive historical process identified here as environmentalization (of nature, technology, and data). It proposes that economic, political, and social responses to these conditions are doomed to inadequacy, and that even under the conditions of fractured communication available to us, aesthetic politics is the only possible response, claiming for media a critical role in redeeming the divorce of human from natural. The anaesthetic of contemporary life derives, it argues, from the ongoing project of colonization, a history of enclosures converting not only land but skill and knowledge into environments and economic externalities. It argues that human populations are in the first instance defined by their alienation from nature. The density of our media at once connects us to the degradation of the planet and disconnects us, as the political and economic subjects overseeing nature, from nature as the object of that exercise of exploitation and power in the process of environmentalization

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