The need for cranks

I meant to flag this interesting article from the New Republic last week: “The Usefulness of Cranks: Nature as a standpoint for social criticism.” It’s about, among other things, the tensions between forms of environmentalism that value nature for its own sake and the progressivist and humanist assumptions of liberalism. Mainstream environmentalism (as represented by various activist and pressure groups, policy wonks, etc.) can have a very technocratic, managerial flavor, but this doesn’t necessarily sit easily next to the nature mysticism and eco-centrism of some of the most profound environmental thinkers. An essay worth reading and pondering.

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