November 15, 2019

Solidarity Will Save the Planet

“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.”

Read more

JJ Editor's Picks

"Venice's misfortunes never seem to stop. The popular tourist destination has been hit by the worst flooding in 50 years this week, resulting in damage worth hundreds of millions of euros. Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said a state of..."

"Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) must be feeling pretty good this week, if by "good" one means "proven right in an allegation anyone of good conscience must always hope will be proven wrong." Omar caught flak earlier this year for calling White House..."

"It was when I found myself perched on our rooftop at dawn in my pajamas, coating the asphalt shingles with Mongolian Hot Oil, that I first wondered whether I had lost perspective. The woodpeckers had forced my hand. Every morning that June, one..."

"Forty-nine years after she died of a heroin overdose at age 27, rock’s doomed diva is on the road again. “A Night With Janis Joplin,” a musical homage to the psychedelic era and its favorite blues singer, returned to its Bay Area roots in mid..."

"The Democratic candidates for President are promising a smorgasbord of new taxes, but why wait until 2021? Last week Maryland Senator Chris Van Hollen and Virginia Congressman Don Beyer unveiled the Millionaires Surtax Act, a plan to soak the..."

"The streaming wars were already heated, but a new combatant is entering the arena: the Walt Disney Company. Mickey Mouse may be a friendly corporate icon. But the new Disney Plus streaming service could have a decidedly unfriendly impact..."

"Netanyahu’s last resort in a bid to avoid facing a courtroom would be requesting a pardon from President Reuven Rivlin, pending the recommendation of the attorney general. A knowledgeable source close to the senior echelons of the state...."

"There’s a TikTok that’s just a boy saying, “I may be ugly, but at least I’m also … dumb and annoying.” Then he dances while Ariana Grande’s “Successful” plays. It’s extremely funny, and a little bit sad, and I think about it every day. Kids on..."