The Slow Burning Fuse

an atheisitic anarchistic scorcher

Literature for Rebels (part 3)

Kropotkin’s Mutual Aid


Kropotkin’s Mutual Aid is usually, and rightly, called his masterpiece.  It is often called an anarchist classic. This is not entirely accurate. Yes, it is a classic and it was written by an anarchist, indeed the leading anarchist thinker of the time. However, it is not a book about anarchism. It is, first and foremost, a work of popular science, a “best-selling work,” which made co-operation “well known in lay society” while ensuring it would “be discussed among biologists in the following decades.”  It was aimed at rebutting the misuse of evolutionary theory to justify the status quo, but its synthesis of zoological, anthropological, historical and sociological data achieved far more and, consequently, its influence is great.


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One comment on “Literature for Rebels (part 3)

  1. acephalist
    August 23, 2012

    I’ve always felt Kropotkin made a solid argument for mutual aid being an important factor in evolution. Its unfortunate that not many people paid attention to it. Recently Greg Graffin argued in his book anarchy evolution that randomness played as big a part in evolution as competition or cooperation. I tend to suspect he is correct. 🙂

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This entry was posted on August 23, 2012 by in anarchy, book, literature, politics and tagged , , , , , .
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