From Book Club to Insurgent Citizens

About Solidarity Hall

Since 2013, the year we founded Solidarity Hall, we find the world has changed. And not in ways we can safely ignore.

When we began, a group of us writers came up with what we felt was a special recipe for a group blog. Based mostly on our own enthusiasms, we wanted to combine localism, various forms of radical Christianity, agrarianism (particularly in the Wendell Berry version), new urbanism, and a nascent movement called the New Economy. We didn’t worry too much about whether or how exactly these ingredients worked together.

Nor did we display much sense of urgency about our self-appointed cultural mission here. For the first few years, Solidarity Hall felt like a genial book club with a rather unworried sense of the hour and nothing too troubling on the horizon. (Here’s our interview with Current Affairs’ Pete Davis in which we describe the history of and influences on Solidarity Hall.)

In the gathering storm, we intend to seek the adjacent possible, our shadow future. We see it prefigured in the work of the P2P FoundationThe Next System ProjectRoar magazineCurrent Affairs, Strong Towns, and elsewhere. We think it has something to do with cities and the rise of municipalism, for example.

Today, by comparison, it’s as though the only question is exactly where the sociopolitical levees will break in the next Katrina-like shock, promising this time to be national in scale.

Thus it’s time for us to seek out fellow travelers wishing to go both wider (toward the global justice movement, for example) and deeper (in terms of our engagement with the great wisdom traditions of the world). We could call this combination Utopia plus Eden — or indeed the Pluriverse.