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Speak out on behalf of the voiceless, and for the rights of all who are vulnerable. Speak out in order to judge with righteousness and to defend the needy and the poor. ~ Proverbs 31:8-10
While there is a lower class, I am in it; and while there is a criminal element, I am of it; and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free. ~ Eugene V. Debs
He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me? ~ Jeremiah

Solidarity is unity (as of a group or class) that produces or is based on community of interests, objectives, and standards


  • Solidarity does not assume that our struggles are the same struggles, or that our pain is the same pain, or that our hope is for the same future. Solidarity involves commitment, and work, as well as the recognition that even if we do not have the same feelings, or the same lives, or the same bodies, we do live on common ground.
  • As ambassadors of Jesus Christ, Christians have no choice but to join the movement of liberation on the side of the poor, fighting against the structures of injustice. Faith in Jesus Christ, therefore, is not only an affirmation that we utter in Sunday worship and at other church gatherings. Faith is a commitment, a deeply felt experience of being called by the Spirit of Christ to bear witness to God's coming liberation by fighting for the freedom of the poor now.
    • James H. Cone, Speaking the Truth: Ecumenism, Liberation, and Black Theology (1986), p. v
  • No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee. Neither can we call this a begging of misery, or a borrowing of misery, as though we were not miserable enough of ourselves, but must fetch in more from the next house, in taking upon us the misery of our neighbours. Truly it were an excusable covetousness if we did, for affliction is a treasure, and scarce any man hath enough of it. No man hath affliction enough that is not matured and ripened by and made fit for God by that affliction. If a man carry treasure in bullion, or in a wedge of gold, and have none coined into current money, his treasure will not defray him as he travels. Tribulation is treasure in the nature of it, but it is not current money in the use of it, except we get nearer and nearer our home, heaven, by it. Another man may be sick too, and sick to death, and this affliction may lie in his bowels, as gold in a mine, and be of no use to him; but this bell, that tells me of his affliction, digs out and applies that gold to me: if by this consideration of another's danger I take mine own into contemplation, and so secure myself, by making my recourse to my God, who is our only security.
  • This solidarity can grow only in inverse ratio to personality.... Solidarity which comes from likenesses is at its maximum when the collective conscience completely envelops our whole conscience and coincides in all points with it.... when this solidarity exercises its force, our personality vanishes, as our definition permits us to say, for we are no longer ourselves, but the collective life.
    • Émile Durkheim, The Division of Labor in Society (1947), as translated by George Simpson
  • Unlike solidarity, which is horizontal and takes place between equals, charity is top-down, humiliating those who receive it and never challenging the implicit power relations.
    • Eduardo Galeano, in Upside Down: A Primer for the Looking Glass World (2000), p. 312
  • Solidarity always operates in tension with logics of domination.
    • Rubén A. Gaztambide-Fernández, "Decolonization and the pedagogy of solidarity," Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education and Society, Vol. 1, No. 1, 2012, p. 47
  • Thus, a group's solidarity is a function of two independent factors: first, the extensiveness of its corporate obligations, and, second, the degree to which individual members actually comply with these obligations. Together, these provide the defining elements of solidarity. The greater the average proportion of each member's private resources contributed to collective ends, the greater the solidarity of the group.
  • “Does it make you a king
to have more and more cedar?
Did not your father have food and drink?
He did what was right and just,
so all went well with him.
He defended the cause of the poor and needy,
and so all went well.
Is that not what it means to know me?”
declares the Lord.
  • how does any sane person react after a while to fear, guilt? Is this a way to build a movement?...Only recognition of a common goal, the possibilities and I want to say-the joys of solidarity will inspire women who don't feel guilty to join another struggle as their own...Solidarity requires the bonding together of a people engaged in common struggle. But solidarity also means standing alongside another struggle, not because you feel guilty but because you recognize it as your own; it means using what you have on behalf of the struggle.
    • Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz To Be a Radical Jew in the Late 20th Century in The Tribe of Dina: A Jewish Women's Anthology (1986)
  • Karl Heinzen ... transforms the distinction between classes into the “distinction between the size of purses” and class contradictions into “craft-bickering”. The size of one’s purse is a purely quantitative distinction whereby any two individuals of the same class may be incited against one another at will.
    • Karl Marx, Moralising Criticism and Critical Morality (1847)
  • Solidarity is not a matter of altruism. Solidarity comes from the inability to tolerate the affront to our own integrity of passive or active collaboration in the oppression of others, and from the deep recognition of our most expansive self-interest. From the recognition that, like it or not, our liberation is bound up with that of every other being on the planet, and that politically, spiritually, in our heart of hearts we know anything else is unaffordable.
  • Because I am of the people, I understand the people,
    I am sorrowful with their sorrow, I am hungry with their desire;
    My heart is heavy with the grief of mothers,
    My eyes have been wet with the tears of children.
  • Jesus’ “mysterious” affection for the sinners, which is closely related to his ever-ready militancy against the scribes and pharisees, against every kind of social respectability ... contains a kind of awareness that the great transformation of life, the radical change in outlook he demands of man (in Christian parlance it is called “rebirth”) is more accessible to the sinner than to the “just.” ... When the noblest men are in the company of the “good”—even of the truly “good,” not only of the pharisees—they are often overcome by a sudden impetuous yearning to go to the sinners, to suffer and struggle at their side and to share their grievous, gloomy lives. This is truly no temptation by the pleasures of sin, nor a demoniacal love for its “sweetness,” nor the attraction of the forbidden or the lure of novel experiences. It is an outburst of tempestuous love and tempestuous compassion for all men who are felt as one, indeed for the universe as a whole; a love which makes it seem frightful that only some should be “good,” while the others are “bad” and reprobate. In such moments, love and a deep sense of solidarity are repelled by the thought that we alone should be “good,” together with some others. This fills us with a kind of loathing for those who can accept this privilege, and we have an urge to move away from them.
    • Max Scheler, Ressentiment, L. Coser, trans. (1961), pp. 100-101
  • Speak out on behalf of the voiceless, and for the rights of all who are vulnerable.
Speak out in order to judge with righteousness and to defend the needy and the poor.

See also

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