Local measures for desperate times

 

Regarding your Dec. 7 feature “Good Neighbors,” I’ve never understood why Peter Kropotkin’s book Mutual Aid has been buried for over a century in favor of a “survival of the fittest” mentality. The scholars mentioned in this story would do well to look it over if they aren’t familiar with it. The American West is all about a shared commons and altruism on the local level, confronted by forces of greed that may be local (like Cliven Bundy or real estate developers) but more often than not are from outside the region, such as mining and agribusiness. Now that things are getting a bit desperate, we’ll have to think and act more local and long-term to keep the American West viable in the long run.


Bryan T. Burke
Eloy, Arizona