Dictionary of Arguments

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Author Item Summary Meta data
Brocker I 22
Cooperation/Kropotkin: instead of competition, cooperation is of central importance to Kropotkin for the actual coexistence of both humans and animals. He proves this by a wealth of empirical evidence, as far as they were available at his time, e.g. from the life of the bees and ants. Thesis: Mutual help is the rule in the animal kingdom (1) ((s) See also K. Lorenz thesis on behavior).
Brocker I 23
The formation of social forms in wolves served him as an example of his assertion that social life in the animal world is not an exception, but the rule. (2)
As a maxim, Kropotkin derived from this. "Don't fight! - Arguing and competition is always harmful to the species, and you have ample means to avoid it!" (3)
Cooperation among humans: here Kropotkin brings examples from Africa and the Middle Ages ((s) which from today's point of view seem strongly idealized and stereotypical). (4)
Middle Ages/Kropotkin: e.g. own jurisdiction and organisational self-government - each on a decentralised basis. Special appreciation was given to the professional associations of the guilds, which were also a model example of mutual help due to the obligation to provide assistance in emergency situations.


1. Pjotr Alexejewitsch Kropotkin, Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution, London 1902. Dt.: Peter Kropotkin, Gegenseitige Hilfe in der Tier- und Menschenwelt. Mit einem Nachwort neu herausgegeben von Henning Ritter, Frankfurt/M./Berlin/Wien 1975, S. 29f.
2. Ebenda S. 64.
3. Ebenda S. 83
4. Vgl. ebenda S 176f.


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Kropot I
Peter Kropotkin
Gegenseitige Hilfe in der Tier- und Menschenwelt Frankfurt/Berlin/Wien 1975

Brocker I
Manfred Brocker
Geschichte des politischen Denkens. Das 20. Jahrhundert Frankfurt/M. 2018


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2019-03-18
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