Kropotkin’s Mutual Aid - what does he mean by “stem”?


Steve Rothman
 

A question!

In Chapter 4 Kropotkin refers to “stems.” From context, I think he means something like families or tribes, or maybe it’s kind of like a stem of a family tree of people? He uses the term frequently and I just don’t get it.

Any ideas?

Here’s the first usage, from the first page of Chapter 4:

“However, as soon as we come to a higher stage of civilization, and refer to history which already has something to say about that stage, we are bewildered by the struggles and conflicts which it reveals. The old bonds seem entirely to be broken. Stems are seen to fight against stems, tribes against tribes, individuals against individuals; and out of this chaotic contest of hostile forces, mankind issues divided into castes, enslaved to despots, separated into States always ready to wage war against each other.”

The term is used many times, in similar contexts in Ch.4, but not previously in the book.

I’ve checked a few dictionaries with no help. Makes me wonder if it’s a translation or typesetting problem. I’m reading a free digital copy so maybe I’m getting what I paid for <smile>. 

Grateful for any clues! -Steve

On Jan 6, 2021, at 1:11 PM, Bruce Kaplan via groups.io <blklan71@...> wrote:

Greeting Philosophers!

Happy New Year! Hope all are staying warm, safe, healthy and sane.

Much thanks to those who joined us on the evening of December 30 to discuss William James's Pragmatism.

Our next meeting will be on the evening of Wednesday January 27 from 7-9pm. I am proposing we discuss Kropotkin's essay "Mutual Aid". Mutual Aid has become a timely hot topic during the pandemic even after then recent surprising renewed interest and popularity among evolutionary biologists.

This essay is available online for free in many locations. Please let me know if you have any issues finding it.
I will be sending along a Zoom link for the session closer to the date of our meeting.
Happy reading!

Best,
Bruce


Isabel Cunha-Vasconcelos
 

Hi Steve,

Stem stands for branch of a family.

Cheers,

Isabel

On Jan 17, 2021, at 11:59 AM, Steve Rothman via groups.io <smr=mac.com@groups.io> wrote:

Stems


Hom Sack
 

I think you are right that "stem" means family in this context:

 

"Stems are seen to fight against stems, tribes against tribes, individuals against individuals; ..."

 

In a broader sense, from "stem group":

 

stem group - Wiktionary (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/stem_group)

(phylogenetics) A paraphyletic group consisting of an ancestor and all its descendants, excluding the living representatives of a collection of species.

 

Crown group - Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crown_group#Stem_groups)

 

From: giphilosophy@groups.io [mailto:giphilosophy@groups.io] On Behalf Of Steve Rothman via groups.io
Sent: Monday, January 11, 2021 7:41 PM
To: giphilosophy@groups.io
Subject: [giphilosophy] Kropotkin’s Mutual Aid - what does he mean by “stem”?

 

A question!

In Chapter 4 Kropotkin refers to “stems.” From context, I think he means something like families or tribes, or maybe it’s kind of like a stem of a family tree of people? He uses the term frequently and I just don’t get it.

 

Any ideas?

 

Here’s the first usage, from the first page of Chapter 4:

 

“However, as soon as we come to a higher stage of civilization, and refer to history which already has something to say about that stage, we are bewildered by the struggles and conflicts which it reveals. The old bonds seem entirely to be broken. Stems are seen to fight against stems, tribes against tribes, individuals against individuals; and out of this chaotic contest of hostile forces, mankind issues divided into castes, enslaved to despots, separated into States always ready to wage war against each other.”

 

The term is used many times, in similar contexts in Ch.4, but not previously in the book.

 

I’ve checked a few dictionaries with no help. Makes me wonder if it’s a translation or typesetting problem. I’m reading a free digital copy so maybe I’m getting what I paid for <smile>. 

 

Grateful for any clues! -Steve



On Jan 6, 2021, at 1:11 PM, Bruce Kaplan via groups.io <blklan71@...> wrote:

Greeting Philosophers!

Happy New Year! Hope all are staying warm, safe, healthy and sane.

Much thanks to those who joined us on the evening of December 30 to discuss William James's Pragmatism.

Our next meeting will be on the evening of Wednesday January 27 from 7-9pm. I am proposing we discuss Kropotkin's essay "Mutual Aid". Mutual Aid has become a timely hot topic during the pandemic even after then recent surprising renewed interest and popularity among evolutionary biologists.

This essay is available online for free in many locations. Please let me know if you have any issues finding it.
I will be sending along a Zoom link for the session closer to the date of our meeting.
Happy reading!

Best,
Bruce


Virus-free. www.avg.com


Steve Rothman
 

Thanks Hom and Isabel!

Makes sense, I just have never run across the word used that way before.

-Steve

On Jan 17, 2021, at 3:01 PM, Hom Sack <hom.sack@...> wrote:



I think you are right that "stem" means family in this context:

 

"Stems are seen to fight against stems, tribes against tribes, individuals against individuals; ..."

 

In a broader sense, from "stem group":

 

stem group - Wiktionary (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/stem_group)

(phylogenetics) A paraphyletic group consisting of an ancestor and all its descendants, excluding the living representatives of a collection of species.

 

Crown group - Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crown_group#Stem_groups)

 

From: giphilosophy@groups.io [mailto:giphilosophy@groups.io] On Behalf Of Steve Rothman via groups.io
Sent: Monday, January 11, 2021 7:41 PM
To: giphilosophy@groups.io
Subject: [giphilosophy] Kropotkin’s Mutual Aid - what does he mean by “stem”?

 

A question!

In Chapter 4 Kropotkin refers to “stems.” From context, I think he means something like families or tribes, or maybe it’s kind of like a stem of a family tree of people? He uses the term frequently and I just don’t get it.

 

Any ideas?

 

Here’s the first usage, from the first page of Chapter 4:

 

“However, as soon as we come to a higher stage of civilization, and refer to history which already has something to say about that stage, we are bewildered by the struggles and conflicts which it reveals. The old bonds seem entirely to be broken. Stems are seen to fight against stems, tribes against tribes, individuals against individuals; and out of this chaotic contest of hostile forces, mankind issues divided into castes, enslaved to despots, separated into States always ready to wage war against each other.”

 

The term is used many times, in similar contexts in Ch.4, but not previously in the book.

 

I’ve checked a few dictionaries with no help. Makes me wonder if it’s a translation or typesetting problem. I’m reading a free digital copy so maybe I’m getting what I paid for <smile>. 

 

Grateful for any clues! -Steve



On Jan 6, 2021, at 1:11 PM, Bruce Kaplan via groups.io <blklan71@...> wrote:

Greeting Philosophers!

Happy New Year! Hope all are staying warm, safe, healthy and sane.

Much thanks to those who joined us on the evening of December 30 to discuss William James's Pragmatism.

Our next meeting will be on the evening of Wednesday January 27 from 7-9pm. I am proposing we discuss Kropotkin's essay "Mutual Aid". Mutual Aid has become a timely hot topic during the pandemic even after then recent surprising renewed interest and popularity among evolutionary biologists.

This essay is available online for free in many locations. Please let me know if you have any issues finding it.
I will be sending along a Zoom link for the session closer to the date of our meeting.
Happy reading!

Best,
Bruce


Virus-free. www.avg.com