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Peter Kropotkin’s Just Community

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on the ideas of the Russian anarchist, Peter Kropotkin, whose influence upon American Anarchism was considerable. At the center of Kropotkin's theory is the much discussed concept of mutual aid. Its origins lie in nature, and humankind's past life in ages when one can much closer to the animals. While Kropotkin accepted the role of natural selection in the animal world, he was opposed to what he thought was the evolutionary extremism of T.H. Huxley and other biologists. Underlying Kropotkin's theory is a conjecture about human nature. Kropotkin's philosophical anarchism can also be seen in his interpretation of scientific endeavor. Particularly, he wished to emphasize the way in which the value of creativity had been misrepresented in conventional thought. To begin to rectify the experience of ordinary workers under capitalism, Kropotkin attempts to sketch out the groundwork for a new society.

Keywords: American anarchism; capitalism; mutual aid; Peter Kropotkin



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