Saturday, September 25, 2010

Solidarity Forever

My friend Jon recently sent me a gift which included this lovely card I thought I would share here. It's a reproduction of a greeting card designed for the UK Labour Party by Walter Crane, and dates back to the very early 20th or late 19th century. With an allegorical angel named Freedom standing by, people -- well, men, anyway -- of all races dance around the globe inscribed "Solidarity of Labour." The workers are labelled as Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and America, and the further sentiments of "Equality" and "Fraternity" are inscribed on the red banner winding through the piece. Given the often questionable consciousness of the early labor movement regarding colonialism and racism, it's a remarkably progressive statement of solidarity, even if women are somewhat sidelined in this allegorical vision. It's quite a jolly illustation, pre-dating socialist realism but embracing a sort of egalitarian spiritual vision of utopia. Thanks, Jon. Inspiring!


  1. You're welcome. I've hung on to that card for more than 20 years. I decided that you were the appropriate recipient. I found a whole box of them in a remainder bin. I sent some out as Christmas cards one year.

    Don't forget that Crane, Morris and company drew as much inspiration from William Blake as they did from Marx. They were not politicians. They were lovers of freedom and humanity.

  2. Jon I'm even more honored to receive it after 20 years!

    I need to get into William Blake...