In 1864 after reading Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species”, British philosopher Herbert Spencer originated the term “Survival of the fittest” and used Darwin’s theory of Natural Selection to order human organization, giving birth to Social Darwinism. Applying Social Darwinism to the workings of society allowed for the development of market capitalism, resulting in putting the needs of the individual before those of the common. The results are remarkable and include, amongst many, the stress on the natural world through the cycle of extraction and consumption, a weakening of community and an erosion of morality.
In 1902, after 30 years of exploring Siberia and political exile, Russian scientist and explorer Piotr Kropotkin wrote “On Mutual Aid”, asserting that cooperation, not competition, is the critical factor in the evolution of a species and should be adopted as a model for creating a just and equitable world.
In 1996 Lynne and I founded Kroka on the conjuncture of American Democracy, Russian idealism, and years of remote expedition experience. At Kroka, we believe that cooperative work within a community in partnership with nature and the development of one’s moral compass are essential components of social transformation. For 28 years, we’ve been implementing an educational model which engages every student’s thinking, feeling, and will in learning and in work, where cooperation, altruistic action, and ecological practices are modeled on every level of the organization, beginning with daily morning chores at 6:30AM!
This is a critical year for Kroka: after 28 years, Lynne and I will be moving on, passing the organization to the next generation of dedicated and visionary leaders. Your support of this year’s annual fund is essential for a successful transition year!
Lynne and Misha, Co-founders