notes/quotes (from 166 page kindle) via anarchist library [https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/petr-kropotkin-mutual-aid-a-factor-of-evolution]:
intro (kent bromley 1902)
the importance of the mutual aid factor ‘if its generality could only be demo’d’ – goethe (then upon hearing of orphaned wren fledglings fed by not robin redbreasts) ‘if it be true that this feeding of a stranger goes thru all nature as something having the character of a general law.. then many an enigma would be solved’..
but excellent though each of these works is, the leave ample room for work in which mutual aid would be considered.. not only as an argument in favour of a pre human origin of moral instincts.. but also as a law of nature and a factor of evolution
or rather.. just simply.. our not yet scrambled ness
it is not love to my neighbour.. whom i often do not know at all.. which induces me to seize a pail of water to rush towards his house when i see it on fire; it is a far wider, even though more vague feeling or instinct of human solidarity and sociability which moves me.. it is not love.. not even sympathy..
that’s describing love as whales.. just as (and also because of) we have no idea what legit free people are like .. we have no idea of legit/unconditional love..
pearson unconditional law.. huge
this is why we haven’t yet seen global equity.. we haven’t yet let go enough to see legit us (via unconditional love)
love, sympathy and self sacrifice certainly play an immense part in the progressive development of our moral feelings but it is not love and not even sympathy upon which society is based in mankind.. it is the conscience.. be it only at the stage of an instinct.. of human solidarity.. it is the unconscious recognition of the force that is borrowed by each man from the practice of mutual aid.. of the close dependency of every..
1 – mutual aid among animals
while he (darwin) himself was chiefly using the term in its narrow sense for his own special purpose.. he warned his followers against committing the error (which he seems once to have committed himself) of overrating its narrow meaning.. in descent of man gave powerful pages to illustrate wide sense.. he intimated that in such cases.. fittest not physically strongest nor cunningest.. but those who learn to combine so as mutually to support each other, strong and weak alike.. for welfare of community..
darwin’s remarks as to the alleged inconveniences of maintaining the ‘weak in mind and body’ in our civilized societies.. as if thousands of weak bodied and infirm poets, scientists, inventors and reformers, together w other thousands of so called fools and weak minded enthusiasts were not the most precious weapons used by humanity in its struggle for existence by intellectual and moral arms..
yeah.. oi to the fittest ness.. but also to the war/defense/intellect ness..
kessler: ‘.. all organic beings have two essential needs: that of nutrition and that of propagating the species..’
not essence essentials..
in fact.. white tailed eagle one of bravest/best hunters.. is a gregarious bird altogether.. and brehm says that when kept in captivity it very soon contracts an attachment to its keepers
w kindred species the cranes contract real friendship; and in captivity there is not bird, save the also sociable and highly intelligent parrot, which enters into such real friendship a man.. ‘it sees in man not a master but a friend and endeavors to manifest it’.. brehm concludes..
and whole admiration is about ie: defense in war.. where’s the thurman interconnectedness law ness et al..
as seen from the above, the war of each against all is not the law of nature
– last p.. oi
2 – mutual aid among animals (cont)
marmots and bees.. have maintained their fighting instincts, and these instincts reappear in captivity.. but in their big associations.. in the face of free nature.. the unsociable instincts have no opportunity to develop and the general result is peace and harmony.. t
rat park ness et al
audubon could not but admire ‘their peaceful communities which require only being left in peace to enjoy happiness’
hares.. passionate players becoming so intoxicated by their play that a hare has been known to take an approaching fox for a playmate.. as to the rabbit, it lives in societies and its fam life is entirely built upon the image of the old patriarchal fam.. young kept in absolute obedience to father/grandfather.. and here we have the ie of two very closely allied species which cannot bear each other.. not because they live upon nearly the same food.. as like cases are too often explained.. but most probably because the passionate, eminently individualistic hare cannot make friends w that placid, quiet, and submissive creature, the rabbit.. their tempers are too widely diff not to be an obstacle to friendship..
w most rodents the individual has its own dwelling, which it can retire to when it prefers being left alone; but the dwellings are laid out in villages and cities so as to guarantee to all inhabitants the benefits and joys of social life.. t
the fittest are thus the most sociable animals, and sociability appears as the chief factor of evolution, both directly, by securing the well being of the species while diminishing the waste of energy and indirectly by favouring the growth if intelligence..
in reality .. the chief argument in favour of a keen competition for the means of existence continually going on w/in every animal species is.. to use professor geddes’ expression.. the ‘arithmetical argument’ borrowed from malthus.. but this argument does not prove it at all..
‘don’t compete.. competition is always injurious to the species and you have plenty of resources to avoid it‘.. that is the tendency of nature.. not always realized in full.. but always present.. that is the watchword which coms to us from the bush, the forest, the river, the ocean.. ‘therefore combine.. practise mutual aid.. that is the surest means for giving to each and to all the greatest safety.. the best guarantee of existence and progress, bodily, intellectual and moral’.. that is what nature teaches us.. and that is what all those animals which have attained the highest position in there respective classes have done.. that is also what man.. the most primitive man.. has been doing; and that is why man has reached the position upon which we stand now..
3 – mutual aid among savages
that want of knowledge.. rather than the natural bad inclination of man, brought humanity to all the horrors of its early historical life
so that our knowledge of the bushmen, being chiefly borrowed from those same people who exterminated them is necessarily limited..
affluence w/o abundance et al
kolben: ‘they are certainly the most friendly/liberal/benevolent people to one another that ever appeared on the earth’.. he wrote a sentence which has continually appeared since in the description of savages.. when first meeting w primitive races the europeans usually make a caricature of their life; but when an intelligent man has stayed among them for a longer time.. he generally describes them as the ‘kindest’ or the ‘gentlest’ race on the earth
west european mean of science.. when coming across these facts (of demo of mutual aid et al).. are absolutely unable to stand them; they can not reconcile them w high development of tribal morality and prefer to cast a doubt upon the exactitude of absolutely reliable observers instead of trying to explain the parallel existence of the two sets of facts: a high tribal morality together w the abandonment of the parents and infanticide..but.. too.. savage would not understand them.. but if our scientist had lived amidst a half starving tribe which does not possess among them all one man’s food for so much a s a few days to come.. he probably might have understood their motives.. so also the savage.. if he had stayed among us.. *and received our ed.. may be.. would understand our european indifference towards our neighbours..
i know you ness .. and *oi
however.. at no period of man’s life were wars the normal state of existence
4 – mutual aid among barbarians
however.. *as soon as we come to a higher stage of civilization, and refer to history which already has something to say about that stage.. we are bewildered by the struggles and conflicts which it reveals.. the old bonds seem entirely to be broken.. tribes fighting.. chaotic contest of hostile forces.. mankind divided into castes.. and .. w this history of mankind in his hands.. **the pessimist philosopher triumphantly concludes that warfare and oppression are the very essence of human nature.. that the warlike and predatory instincts of man can only be restrained w/in certain limits by a strong authority which enforces peace and thus gives an opp to the few and nobler ones to prepare a better life for humanity in times to come
even in our own time.. the cumbersome records which we prep.. in our press, law courts, govt offices.. even in our fiction and poetry.. suffer from the same one sidedness.. they hand down to posterity the most minute descriptions of every war/battle/skirmish/contest/violence/suffering.. but hardly bear any trace of countless acts of mutual support and devotion which everyone of us knows from his own experiences.. they hardly take notice of what makes the very essence of our daily life.. no wonder then if the records of the past were so imperfect..
it was a natural growth, and an absolute uniformity in its structure was therefore not possible
the village community was not only a union for guaranteeing to each one his fair share in the common lands, but also a union for common culture, for mutual support in all possible forms.. for protection from violence.. and for a further development of knowledge, national bonds and moral conceptions.. and every change in the judicial, military, ed, or econ manners had to be decided at the folkmotes of the village, the tribe, or the confederations..
in reality, man is iso far from the warlike being he is supposed to be.. that when the barbarians had once settled they so rapidly lost the very habits of warfare.. they preferred peaceful toil to war, the very peacefulness of man being the cause of the specialization of the warrior’s trade, which specialization resulted later on in serfdom and in all the wars of the ‘states period’ of human history
selling and buying cannot take place w/in the community, and the rule is so severe.. when rich hire labourer.. must be taken from another clan
every stranger who enters a kabyle village has right to housing in winter and his horses can always graze on communal lands for 24 hrs.. but in case of need he can reckon upon an almost unlimited support.. neither aid nor protection from without needed in kabyles’ territory
the free international association of individual tastes and ideas, which w consider as one of the best feature of our won life, has thus its origin in barbarian antiquity
5 – mutual aid in the medieval city
on knowing results (of free ing selves et al) but little on means by which they were achieved.. the medieval city was born..
but not free ie: elections/war/walls.. et al
the wonderful movement of peace.. trying to extend to the nobles the peace they had established w/in their town walls..
oi.. modeling sea world in name of freedom
on guilds being form of union giving liberty/enlightenment
lists kinds of and expansion of kinds of guilds..
it (guild ness) answered to a deeply inrooted want of human nature; and it embodied all the attributes which the state appropriated later on for its B and police and much more than that.. it was an association for mutual support in all circumstance and accidents of life.. it was an org for maintaining justice..
there is a deep need.. but that answer not deep enough to address it
‘the commune is an oath of mutual aid’.. – guilbert de nogent
on little towns as models
commune not simply part of state.. was state in itself.. it had the right of war and peace..
to guarantee liberty, self admin and peace was the chief aim of the medieval city.. (prior p.. w its own militia)
6 – mutual aid in medieval city (cont)
medieval cities were not org’d upon some preconceived plan in obedience to the will of an outside legislator.. each was a natural growth in full sense of word.. no two identical.. and yet.. find wonderful resemblance
actually not natural.. so resemblance is that of being in sea world
on the other hand.. the immensity of progress realized in all arts under the medieval guild system is the best proof that the system was no hindrance to individual initiative.. for.. it had.. its own military force.. its own general assemblies.. armed w its own arms.. (or its own guns.. lovingly decorated by the guild)
in a word.. federations between small units/guilds/cities.. constituted the very essence of life and though during that period.. an immense attempt at securing mutual aid and support on a grand scale.. by means of the principles of federation and association carried on thru all manifestations of human life and to all possible degrees.. this attempt was attended w success to a very great extent..
not all possible degrees.. because not legit free enough ie: ‘who won only partial relief from their burdens’ (102)
but why did these centres of civilization.. which attempt to answer to deeply seated needs of human nature.. and were so full of life.. not live further on?
the fundamental idea of the medieval city was grand.. but it was not wide enough..
so too.. mutual aid not wide/deep enough to get at root
the greatest and most fatal error of most cities was to base their wealth upon commerce and industry.. to the neglect of agri
rather.. to ‘base’ at all.. any form of m\a\p
they began to find no authority too extensive, no killing by degrees too cruel.. once it was ‘for public safety’
oi.. only to protect you ness.. safety addiction et al
7 – mutual aid amongst ourselves
in barbarian society to assist a fight between two men.. and not prevent it from taking a fatal issue.. meant to be oneself treated as a murderer; but under the theory of the all protecting state the bystander need not intrude: it is the policeman’s business to interfere or not.. and while in a savage land.. it would be scandalous to eat w/o having loudly called out thrice whether there is not somebody wanting to share the food.. all that a respectable citizen has to do now is to pay the poor tax and to let the starving starve..
the very religion of ht pulpit is a religion of individualism.. slightly mitigated by more or less charitable relations to one’s neighbours, chiefly on sundays
even now .. very little can be done in a village community w/o the huge state machinery.. being set in motion.. ie: when a peasant intends to pay in money his share in repair of communal road.. instead of himself breaking the necessary amount of stones.. no fewer than 12 diff functionaries of the state must give their approval and an aggregate of 52 diff acts must be performed by them.. and exchanged between them.. before the peasant is permitted to pay that money to the communal council..
fuller too much law et al
in short.. so speak of the natural death of the village communities in virtue of econ law is as grim a joke as to speak of the natural death of soldiers slaughtered on the battlefield.. the fact is simply this: the village communities had lived for over a thousand yrs and where and when the peasants were not ruined by wars and exaction *they steadily improved their methods of culture..
*only improved sea world.. not legit because..
the last blow to communal ownership in mid 18th cent
where all householders continue to take part in the deliberation of their elected communal councils.. the communal sprit is especially alive
but the nucleus of mutual support institutions, habits and customs remains alive w the millions; it keeps them together; and they prefer to cling to their custom s, beliefs and traditions rather that to accept the teachings of a war of each against all.. which are offered to them under the title of science.. but are not science at all
8 – mutual aid amongst ourselves (cont)
there is the gist of human psychology.. unless men are maddened in the battlefield, they ‘cannot stand it’ to hear appeal for help and not respond to them.. the sophisms of the brain cannot resist the mutual aid feeling.. *because this feeling has been nurtured by thousands of years of human social life and hundreds of thousands of years of pre human life in societies
man is a result of both his inherited instincts and his ed..
oi to ed ness.. to any form of m\a\p
and so to the lay writers.. their attention is chiefly directed towards on sort of heroism.. the heroism which promotes the idea of the state.. therefore they admire the roman hero or the soldier in the battle.. while they pass by the fisherman’s heroism.. hardly paying attention to it..
any heroism.. ugh.. but yeah.. esp.. hero of soldier ness.. 61 oi.. khan filling the gaps law et al
as to the countless ed societies which only now begin to break down the states’ and the church’s monopoly in ed.. they are sure to become before long the leading power in that branch.. the the ‘froebel unions’ we already owe the kindergarten system.. and to a number of formal and informal ed associations we owe the high standard of women’s ed..
oi.. supposed to’s of school/work et al.. kindergarten whales..
some training.. good or bad.. let them decide it for themselves.. is required in a lady of the richer classes to render her able to pass by a shivering and hungry child in the street w/o noticing it.. but the mothers of the poorer classes have not that training.. they cannot stand the slight of a hunger child; they must feed it and so they do..
did not science teach that since serfdom has been abolished.. no one need be poor unless for his own vices?
in short.. neither the crushing powers of the centralized state nor the teachings of mutual hatred and pitiless struggle which came, adorned w the attributes of science, from obliging philosophers and sociologists, could weed out the feeling of human solidarity, deeply lodged in means’ understanding and hearts, *because it has been nurtured by all our preceding evolution..
9 – conclusion
james watt spent 20 yrs or more of his life in order to render his invention serviceable.. because he could not find in the last century what he would have readily found in medieval florence or brugge..
man appealed to be guided not merely by love.. but by perception of his oneness w each human being