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“As you’ve probably heard, UN scientists recently warned that we have eleven years to avert climate disaster. We face a civilizational crisis that can only be solved by unprecedented action on an unprecedented scale. To avert this crisis, we must begin to see our fates as linked and make good on that insight. The culture of the atomized individual has brought us to the brink. Our obsession with wealth and power has turned out to be the path to destruction, of our habitat and ourselves. If we want to find a way forward, we must adopt a fundamentally different vision of human enterprise and shared endeavor.
Fortunately, one such model is hiding in plain sight, a framework that must play a central role if we are going to equitably address the biggest existential threat we have ever faced. It dates all the way back to ancient Rome, but in contemporary political discourse, it doesn’t surface all that much beyond certain left-leaning activist circles where people often end their emails with the sign off “in solidarity.” The idea of solidarity describes the ways in which we are bound together and how we can act, in concert, to change our circumstances.
Not that it’s all that easy to spot and harness the idea of solidarity in the wild. Indeed, our culture is currently awash in semblances of solidarity that, even when well-intentioned or laudable, fall short of the real thing. Consider common appeals to allyship and altruism; such locutions convey a sort of optional quality, a moralistic tone, and unreliable trendiness. They are invitations to be a good and generous person, rather than the necessary expressions of our interdependence. They’re thus woefully unequal to the task of sparking concerted mass action on the scale we now urgently need.”
JJ Editor's Picks
"Blackface. I’ve been writing about, and researching – and opposing – racism for more than thirty years. And make no mistake: blackface isn’t funny. It’s racist. Ask Megyn Kelly. A year ago, the former Fox News star was filming a segment about..."
"Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s “selfie line” may be a “political phenomenon,” according to CNN, but it’s also a misnomer, twice over: The photos that supporters end up with aren’t technically selfies—campaign aides snap them—and no one waits in a line..."
"In the archives of the Wildlife Conservation Society in New York, there is an old postcard from the city aquarium of a large sea turtle with four boys straddling its back. The turtle lies flattened upon a pathway in front of a fence. At the feet..."
"As we celebrated my granddaughter’s third birthday this summer, I made the following rough calculation: I’d trekked from my home in New Jersey to her Brooklyn apartment roughly 150 times to provide once-a-week day care, plus other times as needed."
"That seems to be the emerging bipartisan consensus. “On the evidence we have, the meritocratic ideal ends up being just as undemocratic as the old emphasis on inheritance and tradition,” writes New York Times columnist Ross Douthat. “Our..."
"It was the 2019 Pet Sematary that finally broke me. Was this really necessary? I seethed in a theater earlier this year, at a loss for why anyone would green light a self-serious update to a 30-year-old so-bad-it's-good movie. "Update," even, was.."
"Tuesday was election day in Israel. But no winner has yet been declared. As of this writing, it appears that the parties committed to supporting Benjamin Netanyahu for prime minister will not win a majority in Knesset. At the same time, the..."
"The last time Netflix asked me “Are you still watching?” I had to think really hard about it. Was I still watching? Or at least enough to make my $16-a-month payment worth it? The subscription economy can be a wonderful thing. We don’t have to..."