The ethnologist finds something almost comic in the endless complaint invented by critique: “Since we accede to known things by way of a path, this means that these things are inaccessible and unknowable in themselves.” She would like to answer back: “But what are you complaining about, since you have access to them?” “Yes,” they keep on whining, “but that means that we don’t grasp them ‘in themselves’; we don’t see them as they would be ‘without us.’” “Well, but since you want to approach them, if you want them to be as they are ‘without you,’ then why not simply stop trying to reach them?” More whining; “Because then we’d have no hope of knowing them.” An exasperated sigh from the ethnologist: “It’s almost as though you were congratulating yourselves that there is a path to Mont Aiguille, but then complaining that it has allowed you to climb up there . . . ” Critique behaves like blasé tourists who would like to reach the most virgin territories without difficulty, but only if they don’t come across any other tourists.

Bruno Latour