Solidarism and the Struggle Against Environmental Racism


  • Avery Kolers



Margaret Kohn has argued that fin-de-siècle French Solidarists such as Alfred Fouillée developed a “third way” between capitalism and socialism which still provides a powerful justification for “welfare state” institutions and public-goods provision. But how does Solidarism respond to the demands for environmental justice, and against environmental racism, which have emerged in the past 50 years, mostly in Women of Color-led social movements. Distinguishing three elements of environmental justice, and also pinpointing the logic of expendability at the core of environmental racism, the current article shows that Solidarism has more resources than liberal egalitarianism to challenge environmental injustice, but that, in the white supremacist state, environmental racism in particular poses an especially difficult challenge. After discussing the Solidarists’ divergent responses to feminism and Social Darwinism, the paper shows that, provided Solidarists are also in solidarity with social movements of the oppressed, their doctrine can aid the struggle for equal status.