An incisive treatise on solidarity, the centuries-old idea that bridges care for the individual with care for the collective -- and why we can't survive without it.
Solidarity is often invoked, but it is rarely analyzed and poorly understood. Here, two leading activists and thinkers survey the past, present, and future of the concept across borders of nation, identity, and class to ask: how can we build solidarity in an era of staggering inequality, polarization, violence, and ecological catastrophe? Offering a lively and lucid history of the idea -- from Ancient Rome through the first European and American socialists and labor organizers, to twenty-first century social movements like Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter -- Hunt-Hendrix and Taylor trace the philosophical debates and political struggles that have shaped the modern world.
Looking forward, they argue that a clear understanding of how solidarity is built and sustained, and an awareness of how it has been suppressed, is essential to warding off the many crises of our present: right-wing backlash, irreversible climate damage, and widespread alienation, loneliness, and despair. Hunt-Hendrix and Taylor insist that solidarity is both a principle and a practice, one that must be cultivated and institutionalized, so that care for the common good becomes the central aim of politics and social life.
About the Author
Leah Hunt-Hendrix is a political organizer and writer. She has co-founded numerous organizations including Solidaire, a network of progressive donors that supports social movements, in 2012. In 2017, she co-founded Way to Win Action Fund, Way to Rise, and Way to Lead PAC—entities that resource progressive electoral strategies. Her writing has been featured in The Nation, Huffington Post, The New Republic, The Guardian, and Politico. She holds a PhD in Religion, Ethics, and Politics from Princeton University.
Astra Taylor is a filmmaker, writer, and political organizer. She is the director of three acclaimed philosophical documentaries, What Is Democracy?, Examined Life, and Zizek!, and author of multiple books including, most recently, Remake the World: Essays, Reflections, Rebellions and Democracy May Not Exist. But We–ll Miss It When It’s Gone. She was named a “New Civil Rights Leader” by the LA Times, and co-founded the Debt Collective, a union that fights for debt abolition and public goods.