Solidarity pp 29-37 | Cite as

The Concept and Possibilities of Solidarity

  • Ulrich Steinvorth
Part of the Philosophical Studies in Contemporary Culture book series (PSCC, volume 5)


Liberty, equality, and fraternity have been the watchwords of the French Revolution. In fact it has been historiography that selected out of the wider set of political paroles the triad that was to become famous (cf. Ploetz, 1988a, pp. 26ff.; Ploetz, 1988b, pp. 214ff.). The concept of solidarity was among the ideals to which the revolutionaries appealed, but whatever its original meaning, it started a new career as a political parole in the middle of the 19th century (Wildt, 1998, p. 203f and pp. 205). It tended to dislodge the parole of fraternity in the revolutionary triad. Today programs and platforms of political parties and associations often appeal to liberty, equality and solidarity, and though it is difficult to define what exactly the authors mean by “solidarity”, there is a general understanding that it is used for paying at least a verbal tribute to a non-individualistic, non-competitive, and non-exclusive ideal of behavior.


Welfare State Equal Access Underdeveloped Country Social Division Radical Solidarity 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ulrich Steinvorth
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of HamburgGermany

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