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Mutual Aid for a More Just World

Meeting human needs through solidarity and reciprocity.

First Published at Cultured

Image by Lisic via Shutterstock

How are needs met in a fair and just society? We recognize today that many needs go unmet, resulting from a system designed to extract wealth from the many to benefit the few rather than meet human needs. A belief persists today that we exist in silos and only the strongest survive.

The idea of “Survival of the Fittest”, a popular, early interpretation of Charles Darwin’s work, perpetuated that mindset. While Darwin spent years studying the natural world and sailing the world on the HMS Beagle, he wasn’t the only one to expound on this theory.

Pëtr Kropotkin, the father of Russian anarchism, later noticed something else during his time in Siberia. In the forthcoming days, we discuss his observations of mutual aid in the natural world. Next, we distinguish mutual aid from charity, and then we top it all off with numerous examples like the Black Panthers, the Amish, and Little Free Libraries.

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