Organic solidarity is the idea that as a society advances in complexity and industrialization, the interdependence among people greatly increases. When jobs become more specialized, people necessarily have to depend on each other’s expertise more and more. The idea first came out in a book by Emile Durkheim in The Division of Labor in Society way back in 1893.
Imagine making a pencil yourself. Seriously, it is incredibly difficult to do. As the great economics essay, I, Pencil said:
“PENCIL: Actually, millions of human beings have had a hand in my creation, no one of whom even knows more than a very few of the others. There isn’t a single person in all these millions, including the president of the pencil company, who contributes more than a tiny, infinitesimal bit of know-how.”
The idea is there are so many tiny aspects to a pencil coming from experts and factories all over the world, that no one person can truly make a modern-day pencil all by themselves. This is an example of organic solidarity.