Pyotr Alexeyevich Kropotkin was originally an evolutionary biologist, writing shortly after Charles Darwin, who pointed to collaboration rather than competition as the underlying driver of (human) evolution, development and survival. This paper questions why ‘Social Darwinism’ has entered the language when ‘Social Kropotkinism’ has not. We position Social Kropotkinism – based on mutual support and community cooperation as opposed to Darwinian survival of the fittest – as having value as a new societal organising principle that can help to ensure social justice and equitable distribution of increasingly scarce resources in the post-pandemic, climate emergency world. We chart the re-emergence of Kropotkin’s ideas of mutualism against the current literature on the evolution of human cooperation, showing how the blossoming of community-level mutual aid during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has exposed and filled many cracks in UK Government provision of welfare and social care, is the inevitable end-result of the empathy and predisposition for cooperation that has underpinned the development of complex societies and civilisation.
|Number of pages
|Academic Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies
|Published - 5 Nov 2022