“Letter on a Plague Year” as one of the first readings was one wherein I learned of a modern form of mutual aid organized through institutions like social media. Although I mostly only focused on the ways communities worked together to fight adversity, I have now come to appreciate the change that can be enacted through mutual aid. Whether it be the Zainichi Koreans who set up communities through institutions like the Chongryon and Mindan, or the Okinawans who came together to resist the helipads or Fujiki Hayato who protected the culture through storytelling, and so on, mutual aid is a powerful tool that is incredibly important when it comes to marginalized societies that must depend on one another not just for benefit, but for survival.
Rereading Joe Moore’s piece on production control, I find the employees of the Yomiuri Shimbun particularly interesting and important — in such a difficult time with the postwar economy, they all had to work together and continue operations of the newspaper (and take control, cutting the owner out). Although it’s not too similar with what’s been going on with the COVID pandemic, I find such solidarity fascinating and admirable. Much of this class has been particularly depressing; the triple disaster, the imperialism, the racism, sexism, and exclusion. Yet to see mutual aid as a method of fighting back against all of these is important and can most certainly be used in the modern day — and as such, recognizing resistance and solidarity is important and meaningful.