CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition

This article discusses the originality of the environmentalist utopia based on the analysis of a book published by Henri Mendras in 1979 entitled Voyage au pays de l’utopie rustique (Voyage in the Land of Rustic Utopia). The aim in this book is to think out the concrete reconciliation of nature and culture, in the footpaths of William Morris and Alexander Chayanov. The book describes revitalised country-sides that are home to a quality of life that acts as a critique of the quantification of both capitalism and communism. Utopia is no longer conceived as a reign of Reason but rather as a reprise of a dialectic between tradition and qualitatively defined notion of progress. Mendras innovates in this sense as he conceives a utopia that subverts capitalist modernity (wealth growth, heightened life span, individualism) through a pedagogical revolution in order to become a society in which relationships between humans as well as between humans and nature are that which ensure fulfilment.

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