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Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution

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Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution

By  Peter Kropotkin , Introduction by  David Priestland , Notes by  David Priestland
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A pioneering treatise on embracing cooperation and reciprocity to usher in a greener and more inclusive world, from the major anarchist thinker

A Penguin Classic


Welcome to the anarchist history of the world. In this lively, provocative work, Peter Kropotkin argues that "mutual aid" is a natural instinct in all of us, animal and human. Cooperation, reciprocity, support: these, for Kropotkin, are the overlooked foundations of our history. From the earliest days of evolution through to artisanal guilds, indigenous nomads, and even the Royal National Lifeboat Association, it is a pragmatic, mutually beneficial bond to our fellow humans that has allowed us to survive. In this, Kropotkin challenges all the major orthodoxies of his age, from individualism and social Darwinism to Marxist theories of the savior state. Instead, these essays insist that a better life for all of us--and our planet--begins when we reject competition, and embrace the local, the mutual, and the collective.

Peter Kropotkin (1842-1921) came from a major aristocratic Russian family but turned his back on it to embrace a life of imprisonment and exile in pursuit of his beliefs. His major works are The Conquest of Bread and Mutual Aid. His funeral was marked by the last permitted gathering of anarchists in the USSR.

David Priestland (introducer) is a British historian. He teaches modern history at the University of Oxford and is Fellow of St Edmund Hall. Priestland's research focuses on the history of the Soviet Union and the development of communism and neoliberalism. He is an occasional political and cultural commentator for The Guardian and New Statesman.

ISBN: 9780241355336

ISBN-10: 9780241355336

Publisher: Penguin Classics

Publication Date: 07/09/2024 - 12:00am

On Sale: 07/09/2024 - 12:00am

Pages: 320

Language: English

Categories

History / Social History

History / Indigenous Peoples of the Americas

History / Civilization