Democracy & Nature, Vol. 7, No. 3
Rationalism and Irrationalism in the Environmental Movement – The Case of Earth First!
Abstract: The article explores rational and irrational trends in the environmental movement. In this vein, environmentalism is divided between anthropocentric and ecocentric trends. While the former is considered as rational, in that in employs a series of reflective means to serve the interests of the participants, or to defend the rights of those who suffer the consequence of environmental degradation, the latter is irrational in two ways. First, as an ideology, it asserts the superiority of intuition and nature over reason and humanity. Second, as a social movement it defends nature not as a means to improve human condition, but for nature’s own sake. To the extent that social activists abide to ecocentrism, they deliberately exclude themselves from social praxis withdrawing into a ‘heroic’, yet futile struggle.