PREFACE TO THE 1914 EDITION When the present war began, involving nearly all Europe in a terrible struggle, and this struggle assumed, in those parts of Belgium and France which were invaded by the Germans, a never yet known character of wholesale destruction of life among the non-combatants and pillage of the means of subsistence of the civil population, "struggle for existence" became a favourite explanation with those who tried to find an excuse for these horrors.
In a work of stunning and well-reasoned scholarship, a famous anarchist posits that the most effective human and animal communities are essentially cooperative, rather than competitive. Essential to the understanding of human evolution as well as social organization, this book offers a powerful counterpoint to the tenets of Social Darwinism.
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In this cornerstone of modern liberal social theory, Peter Kropotkin states that the most effective human and animal communities are essentially cooperative, rather than competitive. Kropotkin based this classic on his observations of natural phenomena and history, forming a work of stunning and well-reasoned scholarship. Essential to the understanding of human evolution as well as social organization, it offers a powerful counterpoint to the tenets of Social Darwinism. It also cites persuasive evidence of human nature's innate compatibility with anarchist society. "Kropotkin's basic argument is correct," noted evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould. "Struggle does occur in many modes, and some lead to cooperation among members of a species as the best pathway to advantage for individuals… (more)