Charles Heckscher on Transient Solidarities

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Recorded on 16 January 2014 in Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House.


"Solidarity has not died, despite laments about the loss of community and the wide decline of mass actions; it can be mobilised in new ways through developing networks of plural transient relations. Charles Heckscher is the director of the Center for Workplace Transformation at Rutgers University." (

Points from slides

(5:55) Solidarity = Relations + Ideology (moral appeal)

(34:10) Orchestrating the new relations

  1. Purpose: Image of a shared desirable future
  2. Platform: Tools; Data; Connections
  3. Process: Celebrating successes; Enforcing norms; Focusing campaigns
Relations Ideology Collective action
Craft Traditional, self-governing communities Way of life: utopian decentralized community Continuous, decentralized ... Sustained self-protective organization, Millenialism
Industrial The factory: mass, oppositional Extension of Rights; Confrontation / Manichaean opposition Centralized episodic, oppositional uprisings, simple focus
Collaborative Networked "friending" (Cohesive small world) Openness, diversity, understanding Orchestrated "projects", swarms

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