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  Petr Kropotkin

Books written: Mutual Aid

Petr Kropotkin (1842-1921) was a Russian political philosopher, generally classed as a anarchist.

He was forced into exile and lived in England from 1886-1917. In 1917, after the revolution, he returned to Russia, but was disillusioned by its nature.

His most famous work is Mutual Aid (1902)which is largely an attack on people of his day who tried to use Darwin's theories to justify liberalism and capitalism.

It was the idea of people such as Herbert Spencer misused Darwin's ideas on the survival of the fittest to support the exploitation inherent in capitalism.

Kropotkin, using many practical examples, shows that the most successful species were the ones in which the individuals co-operated. He points out that Darwin's idea on the survival of the fittest refers to species and not individuals.

He goes on the show how humans are most successful when they co-operate. Co-operation, as Kropotkin knew, is the basis for more mature states of human evolution.


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