>>129931>less alienated life>cabin in the woods
That's the thing, tho. If alienation in the legalistic sense has any meaning it's tied to one's society, the freedoms and opportunities it offers, the obligations in return it demands. Going off the grid isn't liberating, it's escapism. If we take alienation in the anthropological sense (with Feuerbach and young Marx) it's either a transhistoric fact of human existence (there's no return for us to pre-social, pre-language animal existence) or a series of infinite regressions (as someone already said above, if human nature allows x and y, it is part of human nature) or worse, a series of dubious normative statements (how it should be).
I've read anprim accounts where they said that civilization and work are the prime examples of alienation. While the former is known to everyone, in the latter case they argued that while, say, crafting a bow in the jungle, you externalizing your hunger onto an object, which is an act of depravity instead of creativity... The mature Marx, on the other hand, explicitly says that only under communism can work become "life's prime want" (Gotha, I.) and he dropped using his Species-being (openly borrowed from Feuerbach) altogether.
Which leaves us with these options: "alienation" as a legal fact, which is necessarily tied to societies with complex division of labor and hence a state - but this is purely descriptive and not normative, so I don't see its usefulness. Or we take Althusser's route who says that outside the economic fact of extraction of surplus value the term is completely meaningless. Or, following in his footsteps, we could instead drop the term altogether, and ask people to kindly tell us what the fuck they mean, when they say shit like "the alienation late stage capitalist advertisements impose upon us".
I found the latter route to be the most constructive, because it brings out how the term became a mere buzzword permeating leftish culture, and proper knowledge could be gained if we wanted to make true statements about, in our example, the effects of advertisement on us.