Fraternité

Nowadays, the Left is profoundly uninterested in fraternité, the red division on the French tricolour. It sounds too freemasonic and gendered, perhaps. Back in the late 19th century, fraternity was however arguably more important for socialists then liberté and egalité. To switch from “fraternity” to “solidarity” – like in this Red and Anarchist SkinHead image – is not without its semantic complications. “Solidarity” is to help people you have no special feelings for just because you know what it means to have human needs. “Fraternity” is on the other hand a cultural project aiming to make people feel affinity towards each other, i.e. it transforms co-humans into brothers and sisters. 

RASH 1.jpgThe three down-pointing arrows in the image are the old anti-Nazi/Eiserne Front sign, created by the social democrat Sergei Chakhotins/Tschachotin, author of “Dreipfeil gegen Hakenkreuz” (1933). Here surrounded by a Fred Perry-ish laurel-wreath, evoking cool hooliganism.

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