CROW, Scott. Mutual Aid in Times of Crisis: Ecological, Economic, and Political

On the ground, doing what is needed

This essay is a cursory introduction to the long anarchist histories of mutual aid, specifically in the context of responding to disasters or crisis, so that we, as contemporary anarchists, may see ourselves as building on these traditions.
Readers are encouraged to research these sketches for themselves, to explore the rich depths of shared responsibilities that we have within our milieus. Cooperation or mutual aid among various human and non-human animals has been documented over the last 100 years in many disciplines including anthropology, social theory, politics, and evolutionary biology.
Despite living under economic and cultural systems that reward sociopathic behavior such as self-interest and narcissism ( your average Fortune 500 CEO and politicians are examples), that are continually reinforced by the media, culture industry and economists, voluntary cooperation for mutual benefit still appears at every turn in many forms.
People do care for each other and willingly work together for their mutual betterment in a variety of ways. For anarchists, Peter Kropotkin’s seminal Mutual Aid, published in 1902, became the starting point for naming collective endeavors and giving them a social and political reference.