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The idea of solidarity is sometimes thought of as an exclusively political value indicating adherence to, or support of a cause and its advocates and defenders particularly where these are in dispute with others. So it might be said by one group of workers that they are striking ‘in solidarity’ with another, or of one ethnic or religious group that they are protesting ‘in solidarity’ with brothers and sisters elsewhere. There is, however, a broader notion of solidarity relevant to ethics which is that of standing alongside ones fellow human beings. This is associated with the idea of a common humanity or universal brotherhood, and it provides abasis for action to promote the good of others as well as one’s own, or to provide aid, or shelter from the storms of life to those in need, This is expressed in Christian notions such as charity as love of others for the sake of love of God. It features in some versions of the principles of Catholic Social Teaching and is recurrent theme in Papal encyclicals on social matters.
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— Back to Search Go to Page Go Pages 1 .. 202 Front matter unlocked itemList of Contributors unlocked itemSolidarity: Unity or Diversity? unlocked itemChapter 1. Solidarity Beyond Europe? Chapter 2. Justice as Solidarity: Between Statism and Cosmopolitanism Chapter 3. Moral Imagination and the Art of Solidarity Chapter 4. Human Solidarity in Need and Fulfilment: A Vision of Political Friendship Chapter 5. What Are They Doing Here? – Jews in the Global Apartment House Chapter 6. Muslim Ethics in an Era of Globalism: Reconciliation in an Age of Empire Chapter 7. Morality and Social Solidarity from the Perspective of Chinese Philosophy Chapter 8. Is Universal Solidarity Possible? Chapter 9. Towards a Global Ethics of Non-violence Chapter 10. Global Justice, Value Pluralism and Narrative Solidarity Back matter Index Scruton, Roger. "Solidarity: Unity or Diversity?." Solidarity Beyond Borders: Ethics in a Globalising World. Ed. Janusz Salamon. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2015. ix–xiv. Bloomsbury Collections. Web. 27 Apr. 2023. <>. Retrieved from Bloomsbury Collections, www.bloomsburycollections.com Copyright Janusz Salamon and contributors 2015. All rights reserved. Further reproduction or distribution is prohibited without prior permission in writing from the publishers. Solidarity Beyond Borders Ethics in a Globalising World Janusz Salamon (ed) Bloomsbury Academic 2015 Preview Only The full text of this chapter is available as a preview. Access to the full text of the entire book is only available to members of institutions that have purchased access. If you belong to such an institution, please log in or read more about How to Order. Back To Top Prev Off On Next Hit Highlighting S M L Favourite Cite Citation Optionsx APA APA MLA Chicago Scruton, R. (2015). Solidarity: Unity or Diversity?. In J. Salamon (Ed.). Solidarity Beyond Borders: Ethics in a Globalising World (pp. ix–xiv). London: Bloomsbury Academic. Retrieved April 27, 2023, from http://www.bloomsburycollections.com/solidarity-beyond-borders-ethics-in-a-globalising-world/solidarity-unity-or-diversity Scruton, Roger. "Solidarity: Unity or Diversity?." Solidarity Beyond Borders: Ethics in a Globalising World. Ed. Janusz Salamon. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2015. ix–xiv. Bloomsbury Collections. Web. 27 Apr. 2023. <http://www.bloomsburycollections.com/solidarity-beyond-borders-ethics-in-a-globalising-world/solidarity-unity-or-diversity>. Scruton, Roger. "Solidarity: Unity or Diversity?." In Solidarity Beyond Borders: Ethics in a Globalising World, edited by Janusz Salamon, ix–xiv. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2015. Accessed April 27, 2023. http://www.bloomsburycollections.com/solidarity-beyond-borders-ethics-in-a-globalising-world/solidarity-unity-or-diversity. Export RIS File Print Email Emailx Solidarity Beyond Borders What is the source of social cohesion, and how is cohesion achieved? Old ideas of social unity are now being replaced by an officially prescribed ‘diversity’ that makes little room for the experiences and emotions that have in the past held societies together. And the invocation of ‘solidarity’ is in part a response to this. It seems to express a condition of mutual commitment, without all the divisive loyalties among competitive groups. The term entered sociology with Durkheim, who saw the cohesion of human societies as founded on an unspoken sense of shared interests, common dangers and the need to stay together as a group. Peter Kropotkin’s philosophy of ‘mutual aid’ made use of a similar idea, and gave it an evolutionary significance that is being revived today in theories of ‘group selection’. On this understanding solidarity is the force that binds human beings together as a ‘we’, makes them... To email*Your name*Your email*Comment Please tick the box below* resetsend Share Sharex Search 382 views Page Range ix–xiv ixSolidarity: Unity or Diversity? Roger Scruton What is the source of social cohesion, and how is cohesion achieved? Old ideas of social unity are now being replaced by an officially prescribed ‘diversity’ that makes little room for the experiences and emotions that have in the past held societies together. And the invocation of ‘solidarity’ is in part a response to this. It seems to express a condition of mutual commitment, without all the divisive loyalties among competitive groups. The term entered sociology with Durkheim, who saw the cohesion of human societies as founded on an unspoken sense of shared interests, common dangers and the need to stay together as a group. Peter Kropotkin’s philosophy of ‘mutual aid’ made use of a similar idea, and gave it an evolutionary significance that is being revived today in theories of ‘group selection’. On this understanding solidarity is the force that binds human beings together as a ‘we’, makes them alert to each other’s hopes and fears, and summons an immediate outrush of sympathy towards the one who is hurt or in need and also (though this is less often emphasised) a spontaneous desire to join forces with the successful. But a spectre haunted the world of Durkheim, the spectre of communism, busily recruiting people, ideas and theories to its comprehensive purpose. The term ‘solidarity’ entered the discourse of international socialism attached to the Marxist theory of the ‘class struggle’. It was the ‘solidarity of the working class’ that was to call upon our sympathies, not the solidarity of the bourgeoisie, or that of the nation-state, the church, the school or the ‘little platoon’. The promise of solidarity became an exclusive thing, tied to a political goal, and authorising the violent ‘struggle’ against all those who did not belong to it. This newspeak took up residence in the sociological language of postwar Britain, and in the Soviet propaganda machine of which British sociology was, in many ways, an offshoot. Solidarity was what we – the workers and the intellectuals – had; they – the bourgeoisie, the capitalists and the Americans – merely had deals. They lived by markets, whereas we lived by that warm, selfless bond that united the professor of sociology with the miner, the social worker with the immigrant and the editor of the New Left Review with the man who spent his holiday in a caravan. For ordinary English conservatives ‘solidarity’ became a threatening word. We could declare our ‘solidarity’ with the miners in their ‘struggle’ against Mrs Thatcher, xbut not with our country in its attempt to re-take the Falkland Islands from the Argentine Generals. It was, of course, a stroke of genius on the part of the Polish anti-communist movement (a) to declare itself as a trade union, and (b) to name itself ‘Solidarity’. For half a century the communists had built their claims to legitimacy on the idea of the ‘solidarity’ between the ‘vanguard party’ and the ‘working class’. And here was the working class, joined in a trade union, and declaring its ‘solidarity’ against the ‘vanguard party’! What were those well-meaning people, who had censored, imprisoned, tortured and where necessary ‘liquidated’ the surviving members of the ‘bourgeoisie’, to do when faced with this quite unexpected turn of events? They could try thinking of these shipyard workers and bus-drivers as ‘bourgeoisie’; but it did not really work. And they could express their ‘solidarity’ with the international workers’ movement, at its well-oiled meetings in Moscow; but they knew that the world was scorning them, and that it was only here and there, in British sociology departments, for example, that they were taken seriously. Well, we are all familiar with that bit of modern history. But where does it leave the concept of solidarity? When I first visited Poland and Czechoslovakia in 1979 I did not understand very much about how people lived under communism. But the feeling of communism came to me immediately like a slap in the face. I saw faces that did not smile except sarcastically, that did not look at you except suspiciously, that did not speak except in whispers. And in everything I felt the touch of a mysterious aggression. It was as though there were an omnipresent but secret enemy, and no one knew when or from where its blows would come. The communist world, as I encountered it, was haunted by fear. You would catch sight of it in the eyes that looked at you across a restaurant, in a tram, on a train – is that person watching me, following me? You would start awake in the night because the phone was ringing in your hotel bedroom, and be greeted by silence when you picked it up. In the street people hurried past each other, avoiding eye contact. In restaurants they whispered or murmured, or just sat in silence. At night, when the streets were deserted, you often heard the footsteps behind you, which stopped and started when you did. In the middle of a conversation you would realise that the other person was avoiding your questions or concealing the truth. And hanging in every plate-glass window, strung across the façades of buildings and displayed in red letters on the rooftops were the official slogans. ‘Forward with the Soviet People’, ‘Fight for Peace’, ‘Forward with Socialism for a Peaceful Future’, etc. Newspaper stories were more elaborate versions of the same nonsensical slogans. As Václav Havel wrote in his famous essay, ‘The Power of the Powerless’, people had learnt to ‘live within the lie’, since there was no safety outside it, and a manageable fear within. It is hard to convey that fear now, or the daily humiliations that it imposed. But at the time of my first visit to Poland Pope John Paul II had just been elected, and there was everywhere a sense that the time of truth had come. Within a few months Poland experienced the first stirrings of the Solidarity movement, and there was a sense – tentative as yet – that truth can burst through the veil of lies, however violently the lies are imposed. Lies can endure for a long time: but they require an ever-increasing xiforce to maintain them. And eventually that force will be weakened from within by its own habit of lying to itself. The threat to its monopoly of power, the Party announced, had nothing to do with the Pope, or with popular feeling, or with the fact that the Polish people enjoyed other and more important sources of solidarity than the communists had provided them. The threat was brought about by ‘agents of imperialism’: the people were the dupes of external forces, briefly distracted from their underlying devotion to their Vanguard Party. And so it remained until 1989, as lie upon lie was heaped on the original one, and the truth was all but forgotten. In the Europe created by the new political class there is a kind of silence about communism – a refusal to discuss what it meant or to acknowledge the very great guilt of our political and intellectual elite in giving strength to it. We British are by no means innocent. The same lies that were spread in red letters on the buildings of Eastern Europe until 1989 were repeated by our leftist intellectuals and politicians – of course, in more ‘academic’ and scholarly versions. And most of those people would like to draw a veil over the past, and to downplay the very real crimes of which they were the accomplices. If you do not believe me I would recommend a reading of Eric Hobsbawm’s history of the twentieth century, The Age of Extremes. Hobsbawm was a lifelong member of the Communist Party, darling of the intellectual left in Britain, who was rewarded for his unswerving loyalty to the Soviet Union by being appointed a Companion of Honour, when Tony Blair was Prime Minister. His history books are standard texts in our schools, and if our children know anything about the twentieth century at all it is because they have picked up some fragments of information from Hobsbawm. So it is interesting to discover that, in The Age of Extremes, published in 1994, five years after the communist collapse, Hobsbawm summarises the Bolshevik Revolution in the same Marxist Newspeak that was taught to the Poles and the Czechs in their ‘official’ histories. He writes that Lenin acted on behalf of ‘the masses’, in the face of ruthless opposition from the ‘bourgeoisie’: ‘Contrary to the Cold War mythology, which saw Lenin essentially as an organizer of coups, the only real asset he and the Bolsheviks had was the ability to recognize what the masses wanted … (p. 61)’, and ‘if a revolutionary party did not seize power when the moment and the masses called for it, how did it differ from a non-revolutionary one?’ (p. 63) Hobsbawm brushes away the question of who the ‘masses’ were, and whether they really called for the violence that the Party was about to impose on them. He quotes Lenin’s own sinister Newspeak with approval: ‘Who – he said so often enough – could imagine that the victory of socialism “can come about … except by the complete destruction of the Russian and European bourgeoisie?”.’ And without pausing to consider what that ‘complete destruction’ amounted to, Hobsbawm dismisses all objections to Lenin’s methods as though no question had ever been raised about them: Who could afford to consider the possible long-term consequences for the revolution of decisions which had to be taken now, or else there would be an xiiend to the revolution and no further consequences to consider? One by one the necessary steps were taken … (p. 64) Whatever the Bolsheviks did was achieved by ‘the necessarily ruthless and disciplined army of human emancipation’ (p. 72), and on those grounds Hobsbawm is able to pass over all that Lenin actually did on his way to the ‘complete destruction’ of the bourgeoisie. And what a strange form this ‘emancipation’ took! Because Marxist history does not bother with things like law and judicial process, Hobsbawm sees no need to mention Lenin’s decree of 21 November 1917, which abrogated the courts, the bar and the legal profession, and left the people without the only protection that they had ever had from arbitrary intimidation and arrest. After all, it is only the bourgeoisie, who were in any case on their way to ‘complete destruction’, who would have recourse to law courts. Lenin’s founding of the Cheka, precursor of the KGB, and his empowering it to use all the terrorist methods required in order to express the will of the ‘masses’ against that of mere people, is of course not mentioned. Nor is the famine of 1921, the first of three man-made famines in early Soviet history, used by Lenin in order to impose the will of the ‘masses’ on those recalcitrant Ukrainian peasants who had yet to accept that description of themselves. Reading those pages of The Age of Extremes I found myself astonished that the book had not been dismissed as a scandal of the same order as David Irving’s whitewash of the Holocaust. But I was forced to acknowledge that the lies that had been briefly dispelled during the 1980s, when the real solidarity of the Polish people was visible to the world, have an awkward habit of returning. Those lies make people and their history so much easier to understand. They divide the world into ‘good’ and ‘evil’ forces, and dress up the good in a warm and sentimental language that justifies the resentment of the underdog and the exultant self-opinion of his intellectual champion. And this, I think, is what is so dangerous in the concept of solidarity: it can lend itself as easily to the expression of resentment as to the propagation of love. And it can provide a mask for the kind of belligerence that comes to the surface in revolutionary moments, and which enables hatred of ‘the bourgeoisie’, the ‘capitalists’, the ‘ruling class’ to disguise itself as love for ‘the working class’ or ‘the people’. But we must surely acknowledge that there is a radical difference between true solidarity, in which people join together for their common good, from solidarity shaped by aggression towards the ‘enemy within’. So let us look back at what the Polish workers actually meant when they adopted that label. The first thing to understand is that, although Solidarity described itself as a trade union, it was in fact a social movement, which included people of all professions and all walks of life. If it was also the voice of the ‘working class’ that was in part because, under communism, no other class was permitted to exist. To be more precise, it was the voice of a nation, which was rediscovering in itself the pre-political ties that bound it together: the Catholic Faith, the Polish language, the history and culture of a much violated ‘homeland’. It was affirming this national identity against a Party that had been imposed upon it by a foreign power. And the true solidarity that it expressed was the old-fashioned solidarity that we connect with the idea of the nation. It was not xiiithat sentimental bond between the proletariat and the intellectual which was the stuff of Soviet propaganda, and which could exist only by a constantly renewed suspicion of the ‘bourgeois’, ‘imperialist’ or even ‘Zionist’ conspirator who must be rooted out and liquidated. My experience of communism persuaded me that solidarity maintained in being by the fiction of an ‘enemy’ is not a unifying but a dividing force. The eerie sensation that hit me when I got off the plane in Warsaw in 1979, and which was amplified a hundredfold as I queued for a ticket at the grim concrete railway station amid silent crowds watched over by armed policemen, was of a society that had been entirely atomised by suspicion and fear. And this impression was confirmed time and again over the next ten years, as I came to know what life is like under the unblinking gaze of the communist panopticon. Nobody could be trusted, anybody might be reporting on you, and all the normal ways of associating peacefully – churches, clubs, discussion groups, musical evenings, dances, parties – were either controlled by the party or banned. And this had been brought about in the name of solidarity: a unity of the workers and the intellectuals in the face of the ‘imperialist’ threat. What the Poles themselves were seeking was another kind of unity, a creative rather than a destructive unity, a togetherness that enabled them to say ‘we’ and mean it. They found this in their faith and their sentiments of nationhood. These were, for most of them, objects of sincere affection, things on which they depended and which they could trust. Through them the spirit of cooperation once again entered their devastated world. People began to care about each other – to help those in need and to pool their resources for the common good. This was perhaps one of the most fascinating aspects of the changes that came about during the 1980s. The communists had closed down all the ‘little platoons’ of civil society, and made charity illegal – that, apparently, is what their kind of ‘solidarity’ required. But, in the new and awakening Poland, people began again to give to local causes, to raise money in secret for those in need, to organise private discussion groups and to join in pilgrimages and retreats. It was this reawakening of civil society that the communists most feared, and it should be seen for what it was – a rebirth of national sentiment. Underlying the Solidarity movement was the sense that ‘we’ are together in this world, not as members of the working class, not as communists, not even as Catholics, but as Poles. This positive solidarity is of enduring interest to us today. For we are witness to the fact that it is absent from large areas of our world. Iraqis do not feel about their country, its past and its people, what the Poles in the 1980s felt about theirs. At this moment there are people going from house to house in towns like Tikrit and Mosul, asking whether the inmates are Sunni or Shi’a, Muslim or Christian, and shooting those who give the wrong reply. Membership, in those places, is not defined in national or historical terms, but in terms of faith. And the evidence is that, when this happens, solidarity dwindles or disappears, as it did under communism. Solidarity switches from the positive sentiment, which causes each person to take the interests of his neighbour to heart, to the negative sentiment, which is fear of a common enemy. And soon the fear becomes ubiquitous, and all trust dissolves. Now that the spectre of communism has vanished, therefore, we have another spectre to deal with, which is radical Islam, and in particular the kind of Sunni Islam xivthat puts ‘submission’ at the heart of the social order. In the nation states of Europe social unity is not imposed from above, nor is it generated by submission. It arises through free transactions, through give and take, and through the recognition of the right of individuals to have separate interests, separate beliefs and separate ways of life. It is my view that this ‘free solidarity’ is possible only when people relate to each other in something like the way the Poles related to each other, in those interesting days of their reawakening. Although the Catholic faith had a large part to play in the regeneration of trust between them, it was their assumption of a shared national identity that enabled them to create a civil society in which Atheists, Protestants and Jews were also included. The great question that European societies have wrestled with since the Enlightenment is how far, and with what strength, can this new form of solidarity extend. Can it become a universal sentiment, which makes no distinction between ‘us’ and ‘them’? But how could it abandon that distinction, without losing the sentiment of ‘we’? This is the question that the Poles now have, in a European Union that offers them the chance to flee their country forever. What room is there, in these new circumstances, for a form of solidarity based not in fear but in love? Or is solidarity finally to disappear, in a society founded on self-interest alone? Those, surely, are the great political questions of our time. And one proof of their importance is the eagerness with which the new political class avoids them. In the chapters that follow the issue of solidarity is approached from many angles and in many contexts. But an important question emerges from the discussions, which is that of the universal versus the particular. The universalist philosophy of communism, which recognised no borders, no privileged national identities, no traditional loyalties or ‘little platoons’, proved to be the most divisive and atomising force in recent history. The universal ummah of the Sunni Muslims, when made into the premise of politics and attached to a belief system that recognises no national boundaries, no dissent from orthodox doctrine, and no merely secular law, is also proving divisive in just the same way. On the other hand, the particular loyalty that defines the Western democracies – loyalty to a nation confined within legally recognised boundaries and ruled by a secular law that makes no distinctions on grounds of race, sex or religion – seems to have a remarkable ability to maintain social coherence and enduring peace among those who share it. When we look to solidarity as a universal motive, and as the solution to the great conflicts that threaten us, are we looking in the wrong place? Ought we to be looking for the small, the local, the committed and the neighbourly, rather than the global, the inclusive and the ‘non-discriminatory’? But in that case, what should be our attitude to those who fall outside the reach of our particular group – those to whom the ‘we’ does not extend? Can we not reach out to them nevertheless, from the premise of our shared humanity? Just what does that premise demand of us? The question is as urgent now as it was when Christ told the parable of the Good Samaritan. And the worst possible answer to it is that which seems to be currently most favoured, namely that the duty of care that we owe to others falls not on us but on the state.
— Video Recording of "Work and Well-Being in 21st Century America: Promoting Productive & Purposeful Communities" webinar co-sponsored by the Human Flourishing Program at Harvard University and the Abigail Adams Institute, held on September 17, 2021. Link to the event: https://hfh.fas.harvard.edu/work-and-well-being-in-21st-Century-America
— ⭐️ Donate $5 to help keep these videos FREE for everyone! Pay it forward for the next viewer: https://go.thomisticinstitute.org/donate-youtube-a101 Common good of a human society is a duplex ordo, a two-fold order. If you don’t get both, you’re going to make a mess of things. For human beings, social union—the intrinsic common good—is what Aristotle and Aquinas call the form of order. It’s real, but it’s a social form and not a substantial form. And of course the extrinsic common good which is the end or the goal, maybe ends even in some cases, of the social form. This lecture was given to the Dominican House of Studies on February 26, 2021 as part of the second installment of the annual Thomistic Circles series: What is the Common Good? ABOUT THOMISTIC CIRCLES: Our Thomistic Circles Conferences at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C. bring together prominent professors (principally in theology and philosophy), graduate students, seminarians, and Dominican brothers to provide a forum for examining contemporary questions from the perspective of classical Catholic theology, and to encourage the renewal of theology and philosophy in the Thomistic tradition. These conferences are distinctive not only because of their academic quality, but also because they take place in the context of a vibrant Dominican studium and religious community. As befits the Dominican tradition, the serious study of theology and philosophy is integrated with the contemplation of the mysteries of the faith. Thomistic Circles have been held under the auspices of the faculty at the Dominican House of Studies (founded in Washington, D.C. in 1905) for most of its history. ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Russell Hittinger is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the University of St. Louis. He was the Warren Chair of Catholic Studies and Research Professor of Law at the University of Tulsa from 1996-2019. Russell has been a member of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas since 2001 and was appointed an ordinarius in the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences in 2009 by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. He has taught at Fordham University and at the Catholic University of America, as well as at many other universities as a visiting professor, including Providence College and Princeton. Along with a plethora of articles, he has written The First Grace: Rediscovering Natural Law in a Post-Christian Age and A Critique of the New Natural Law Theory. ————————— Subscribe to our YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/c/TheThomisticInstitute Stay connected on social media: Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/ThomisticInstitute Instagram — https://www.instagram.com/thomisticinstitute/ Twitter — https://twitter.com/ThomisticInst Visit us at: https://thomisticinstitute.org/
— In this short course Dr. Hittinger examines the underlying nature and purpose of just societies. He sets out the three main societies of marriage, polity, and church to explain that through their unity of order humans can become truly good. Filmed in 2007.
— In this short course Dr. Hittinger examines the underlying nature and purpose of just societies. He sets out the three main societies of marriage, polity, and church to explain that through their unity of order humans can become truly good. Filmed in 2007
— For more on this event, visit: https://bit.ly/3lrWf5C For more on the Berkley Center, visit: https://berkleycenter.georgetown.edu March 10, 2021 | Pope Francis’ 2020 encyclical Fratelli Tutti (On Fraternity and Social Friendship) sets out the spirit and principle of solidarity—our ineradicable human bonds to one another—as the basis for Catholic social teaching and the underpinning of truly humane economics, politics, and culture. Francis’ insights are powerfully consonant with the insights of a number of the Anglophone world’s most original and influential public intellectuals. This virtual conversation invited three such figures—philosopher Michael J. Sandel, novelist and essayist Marilynne Robinson, and essayist and novelist Pankaj Mishra—to speak to the themes of Fratelli Tutti in terms they have developed in their own work. Georgetown President John J. DeGioia introduced the conversation. Paul Elie, author and Berkley Center senior fellow, moderated.
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