Suspended Animation: Radical Ecology, Sovereign Powers, and Saving the (Natural) World

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					Suspended Animation: Radical Ecology,
Sovereign Powers, and Saving
the (Natural) World
    ■ Mick Smith, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario




Saving the (Natural) World

The idea of saving the (natural) world has about it an air of ridiculous naivety.
Indeed it openly invites ridicule. First, it seems unrealistically grandiose in
the scope of its ambition. How could one hope to save a whole world or to
keep all of nature safe? Second, it appears too close to the patronizing and
dangerous religiosity of those who want to save “America” or our souls for
Jesus and free-enterprise (a somewhat strange combination), whether or not
we want to be so saved. Does the natural w
				
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Description: So we must recognize that what Agamben so hopefully describes as the "Coming Community" will never actually become a worldly possibility unless and until politics is reenvisaged ecologically. This is why radical ecology offers such a vital political challenge, and why it is ultimately founded upon the possibility of an environmental ethics, that is, in our abilities to express concerns for those nonhuman (as well as human) others whose existence "takes place" all about us. And again this cannot be legislated for or guaranteed by sovereign powers, even (especially) in terms of some abstract interspecific egalitarianism, but will only emerge though a transformative politics that recognizes the constitutive (not constitutional) world-forming powers of different forms of life, their infinite ecological potentials.60 However naively, this requires that we become alive to the world's possibilities through recognizing that it is, after all, alive-to-us.
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