The paradoxes of modernity
Agricultural productivism and its critics (Bretagne, 1990–2010)By Cyril Lemieux
Unexpectedly, during the last thirty years in Brittany, France, the criticism of agricultural productivism has led, with regard to intensive pig farming, to reinforcing the industrialist ideal and to developing more capitalist farms. To explain such a paradox first requires us to reconstruct the dynamics that led, at the local level, to turning the environmental damage caused by this farming system into the public problem that it was not initially considered to be. But this step is not enough. This article argues that it should be complemented with an analysis in terms of conflict of modernities and of modernization processes. The use of both of these notions, provided that they are given a proper sociological meaning, makes it possible to fight against oversight by researchers of the role played in social life by ideals and utopias, on the one hand, and on the other hand, of the movement impelled by the long-term evolutions whose dynamics generate contradictions and paradoxes in the present.