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Mutual Aid - Peter Kropotkin - Ch. 1 - Mutual Aid Among Animals

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This is a reading of Kropotkin's scientific study of cooperation and mutual aid in humans and (non-human) animals, originally published in book form in 1902.

Reader's note: Kropotkin, writing over a century ago, was promoting a non-romantic yet respectful and appreciative account of peoples outside of "civilization". The terms "savage" and "barbarian" are unfortunately part of the still-dominant bigotry and eurocentrism that European states inflicted on the rest of the world through racist colonialism and enslavement. Kropotkin is writing against racist Social Darwinists who see the communal peoples that Kropotkin is writing about as sub-human, primitive etc. Kropotkin is also opposing the overly-rosy myth of the Noble Savage perpetuated by Rousseau (and arguably today by many green anarchists/primitivists). He is certainly not using these terms in the degrading sense which they are used today. He does make 1 or 2 explicitly racist comments that certain races are inferior to europeans as a result of differences in food and geography. However, this is a judgement made in passing and his basic thesis is that the human race is one whole and we have all developed the same deep tendencies and instincts for cooperation. He often stops his analysis by explaining that to continue to name examples would be unnecessary because humans at that certain level of cooperative development all created the same sort of institutions.

--The citations and footnotes that were mainly citations were omitted from the reading. Mutual Aid contains numerous references and citations which can be found with the rest of the book here - https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/petr-kropotkin-mutual-aid-a-factor-of-evolution

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