Dirk Hermann is a South African labour executive and head of Solidarity, an Afrikaans trade union that operates in South Africa and dates back to 1902.
However, Solidarity is a bit different to other trade unions.
In other words, it is a large web of like-minded individuals, groups, businesses and other organisations sharing common goals.
Sort of like the Hanseatic League, which was a powerful economic and trading alliance that existed during the late medieval and early modern periods in Europe. It originated in the 12th century and grew to become a network of cities and towns located primarily in Northern Europe.
Solidarity has a set of foundational values linking together its network of work, including Christianity, free markets, preserving Afrikaner heritage and self reliance.
Originating from Dutch settlers who arrived at the Cape Colony in the 17th century, Afrikaners developed their own language, Afrikaans, and forged a unique cultural identity over time. Their history includes the Great Trek, where they ventured into the interior of South Africa to establish independent republics. They faced conflicts with the British Empire, leading to the annexation of their republics and the eventual implementation of apartheid.
The town of Orania is a great example of what Solidarity represents.
Orania is located in the Northern Cape province, along the Orange River, and kind of in the middle of the country, away from pretty much everything. It has a couple thousand residents and is known for its Afrikaner culture and self-governance.
In summary, Solidarity is an excellent organisation.
Dirk joined me for a conversation about it.