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Mutual Aid

A Factor of Evolution

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Author: Peter Kropotkin
Published: 1902
Language: English
Wordcount: 94,327 / 287 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 13.3
LoC Category: B
Downloads: 2,390
mnybks.net#: 4179
Excerpt

cticable for ruminants, and destroy them by the thousand--these were the conditions under which I saw animal life struggling in Northern Asia. They made me realize at an early date the overwhelming importance in Nature of what Darwin described as "the natural checks to over-multiplication," in comparison to the struggle between individuals of the same species for the means of subsistence, which may go on here and there, to some limited extent, but never attains the importance of the former. Paucity of life, under-population--not over-population--being the distinctive feature of that immense part of the globe which we name Northern Asia, I conceived since then serious doubts--which subsequent study has only confirmed-- as to the reality of that fearful competition for food and life within each species, which was an article of faith with most Darwinists, and, consequently, as to the dominant part which this sort of competition was supposed to play in the evolution of new species.

On the other hand, where

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