Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution

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'Don't compete! - competition is always injurious to the species, and you have plenty of resources to avoid it!'

Welcome to the anarchist history of the world. In this series of lively, provocative essays, 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 over-looked 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 cheerfully challenges all the major orthodoxies of his age, from individualism and social Darwinism to Marxist theories of the saviour 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.

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Penguin Books Ltd
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