mutual aid

Finding the Thread that Binds Us

From Crimethinc

Three Mutual Aid Networks in New York City.

This is the first installment in a series exploring mutual aid projects across the globe.
With politicians such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez calling for the people to engage in mutual aid in order to survive the COVID-19 crisis, those not previously familiar with the term might never guess it was coined by an anarchist scientist who advocated against central government.

The heuristic capacity of Anarchy

From Anarquia.Info, translated by Anarchist News
by Gustavo Rodriguez

Jack Halberstam, a renown queer theorist, committed to the "anti-social project" and active contrasexual militant, begins his book The Queer Art of Failure[1], with an irreverent and fun excerpt, taken from the 20th episode of the 1st season of SpongeBob, which invites us to reflect...

Anarchist Responses to a Pandemic:

Anarchist Responses to a Pandemic: The COVID-19 Crisis as a Case Study in Mutual Aid

From Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal by Nathan Jun & Mark Lance

The COVID-19 Crisis as a Case Study in Mutual Aid

ABSTRACT: When central authority fails in socially crucial tasks, mutual aid, solidarity, and grassroots organization frequently arise as people take up slack on the basis of informal networks and civil society organizations. We can learn something important about the possibility of horizontal organization by studying such experiments. In this paper we focus on the rationality, care, and effectiveness of grassroots measures to respond to the pandemic and show how they illustrate core elements of anarchist thought. We do not argue for the correctness of any version of anarchist politics, nor claim that the bulk of this grassroots work was done with anarchist ideas explicitly in mind. Nonetheless, the current pandemic, like many social crises before it, serves as a sort experiment in political implementation.

Machinery of charity or revolutionary solidarity?

From Act for Freedom Now!

Mutual aid support networks, neighborhood networks, volunteers (or wage earners), food banks, the entire vast apparatus that emerged in a few weeks to contain the disastrous economic and social consequences that the pandemic has caused, have captured the attention of many, be it due to altruism, or due to pure and simple necessity. And it is normal, given that as in any crisis that the capitalist system goes through, the most serious consequences are suffered to a greater extent by those who prior to the crisis were already fucked, that is, the poor, in Madrid or in Sevastopol. Capitalists follow a simple logic: socialize losses, when they exist, and hoard profits, always. It is a logic that goes across a society divided between exploited and exploiters, between governed and governors.

'The way we get through this is together': the rise of mutual aid under coronavirus

'The way we get through this is together': the rise of mutual aid under coronavirus

From The Guardian UK by Rebecca Solnit, Thu 14 May 2020 01.00 EDT

Amid this unfolding disaster, we have seen countless acts of kindness and solidarity. It’s this spirit of generosity that will help guide us out of this crisis and into a better future.

Five quick thoughts on the limits of Covid-19 mutual aid groups & how they might be overcome

Most of the ‘aid’ offered by Covid-19 mutual aid groups is not antagonistic to the logic of capital – it’s just shopping on behalf of other people. Indeed, whether such activity even deserves the name ‘mutual aid’ is, in my opinion, an open (if boring) question. After all: capital still has hold of what we need to survive, and we are still paying for it with the pittance they haven’t (yet) stolen from us, even if someone else hands over the money to the merchant.

Against Social Distancing: A Critique of the Ideology of Isolation

plague flagellants

As of now, multiple states and cities have been put into what amounts to near-complete lockdown. Most of the East Coast of the U.S. has prohibited mass gatherings of people and forced restaurants to stop serving people in the building. Some states have even started to enforce curfews and travel restrictions.

At this point, the speculation is not when this will abide, but how much worse it is going to get.

Coronavirus and Mutual Aid- Nowadays we are living in a common History

from Void Network

We are facing a pernicious virus which terrifies the world. To comfort our anxiety, we say to ourselves, that if we take precautions, we will survive. In the meantime, we try to reduce the hours we watch television. In fact, watching the news has become an essential activity to get through the day. Our traumas from the fake news, and our lack of trust in the media, have been replaced by a deeper wound, that of the constant briefing on a pandemic affecting us all.

Anarchy Bang: Introducing Episode Nine - Anarchist Principles

From Anarchy Bang

This week we will try to have an conversation about anarchist principles. In a forgotten past anarchist principles were how anarchists didn't participate in infighting. We were in solidarity with each other. We helped a comrade out (with our marginal resources) because we believed that it was through mutual aid that we were stronger than those who did not have the Beautiful Idea. And because it all mattered we associated with each other freely (including in love). How has this past sensibility informed anarchist practice today and how have things changed? Do we still maintain the old principles or has the anarchist space gotten too large and only local team principles apply? Has media (especially so-called social media) made things better or worse?

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