Mutual aid versus volunteerism: Autonomous PPE production in the Covid-19 pandemic crisis

Lachowicz, Katya and Donaghey, Jim. 2021. Mutual aid versus volunteerism: Autonomous PPE production in the Covid-19 pandemic crisis. Capital & Class, ISSN 0309-8168 [Article] (In Press)

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Abstract or Description

The Covid-19 pandemic crisis has confirmed neoliberal capitalism’s inability to meet critical social needs. In the United Kingdom, mutual aid initiatives based on ‘solidarity not charity’ blossomed in a context of state incompetence and private sector negligence – including Scrub Hub, a network of groups that autonomously produced personal protective equipment and provided it directly to health workers. Using a convergence of autonomist and anarchist perspectives, this article examines Scrub Hub as an example of emergent autonomous political economies and considers the challenges of resisting co-optation into volunteerist hierarchies and suppression by the neoliberal state.

Item Type:

Article

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.1177/03098168211057686

Keywords:

anarchism, autonomism, co-optation, Covid-19, infrastructures of resistance, mutual aid, neoliberalism, Scrub Hub, social factory, suppression, United Kingdom, voluntarism, volunteerism

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Anthropology
Politics

Dates:

DateEvent
10 August 2021Accepted
21 November 2021Published Online

Item ID:

31167

Date Deposited:

11 Jan 2022 15:03

Last Modified:

11 Jan 2022 15:03

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.

URI:

https://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/31167

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