Autonomous PPE production in the Covid-19 pandemic crisis | Article

Lachowicz, K., Donaghey, J. (2021) Mutual aid versus volunteerism: Autonomous PPE production in the Covid-19 pandemic crisis, Capital & Class, 2021


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.

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