There is a lot to be said for the sudden upsurge in Mutual Aid groups up and down the country due to Covid-19. From the ways in which many of those groups are laced with individualism and charity, to the ways in which conversations around deserving and undeserving poor have occasionally materialised, not to mention regular incursions of casual white supremacy and classism. These aren’t the things I want to focus upon right now, though they will shimmer in the background throughout.
Despite the criticisms, I think the emergence of these Mutual Aid groups is a positive. It speaks to the fact that despite a decade or twenty of propaganda by the owning and ruling class, a large number of us maintain a level of recognition that we aren’t just individuals, that we our entanglements with one another matter, and that we are both reliant on each other and responsible for one another. Not only does that recognition exist, but we are able in different ways to act upon it. I had never doubted this was the case amongst the communities and neighbourhoods I am from, where poverty is high, and social bonds are thicker, but in what is undoubtedly a social health crisis, and an economic crisis, it appears that in communities where security are the norm, this recognition and the impulse to act on it are coming to the fore. As the state tries to point fingers and encourage us to brand our friends and neighbours as selfish people, many are getting down to the work of looking after our communties.
[Read more from The Class Work Project]