Mutual Aid and Technology in the Time of Covid

Anarchist Studies - ISSN 2633-8270
Volume 31 Number 2 (2023)

Mutual Aid and Technology in the Time of Covid
Claudia Firth pages 34-52
DOI: 10.3898/AS.31.2.02


The pandemic afforded us a tiny glimpse of our interconnectedness to each other and to the planetary ecosystem. This article explores the mutual aid groups that emerged during the Covid-19 pandemic and the technologies that facilitated their proliferation in relation to Kropotkin’s ideas. Although Covid Mutual Aid Groups (CMAGs) themselves have mostly disappeared as the acute crisis of the pandemic has faded, it is still unclear what, if anything, the political implications of this emergence of mutual aid might be, or if it might contribute to any kind of paradigm shift. This article examines the intersections between organisation and media in relation to the CMAGs, and, focusing on the UK context, reviews the original concept of mutual aid as conceived by Kropotkin, his ideas on technology, and his vision of a future of plenty for all. Borrowing from Cultural Studies, it maps some of the complexities of struggles of power and difference to trace what might be vying to emerge. It argues that a new common sense centred around ‘social Kropotkinism’ could be a way to develop what has been left of the CMAG’s activities.

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To cite this article
Claudia Firth (2023) Mutual Aid and Technology in the Time of Covid, Anarchist Studies, 31(2), 34-52.

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