home | philosophers

Simone Weil

Wikipedia as "one of the first to identify a new form of oppression not anticipated by Marx, where élite bureaucrats could make life just as miserable for ordinary people as did the most exploitative capitalists."

She was opposed to rival political parties contending for power, complaining public servants should be loyal to the public rather than a political party. This is similar to China's one-party politics except that she identified herself as an anarchist. And as an anarchist she would not have supported the idea that China's Communist Party provides the nation and its revolution with cohesion and unity of purpose. An article in the Washington Post, July 18, 2019, describes her as having (in 1943) diagnosed America's current malaise: political parties as aggravators of divisions in society (but hardly the class analysis of Marxist thought.)

Weill was active in the resistance movement against Germany's occupation of France. She was active in rescuing Jews. She changed from an agnostic to spiritualism associated with Christianity and ruined her health by not eating. The leader of the French resistance, Charles de Gaulle, believed she was insane. She acquired a reputation as a philosopher and was praised by Camus, who, in 1951, wrote that she was "the only great spirit of our times."

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy writes:

Her persistent desire for truth and justice led her to both elite academies and factory floors, political praxis and spiritual solitude. At different times she was an activist, a pacifist, a militant, a mystic, and an exile; but throughout, in her inquiry into reality and orientation to the good, she remained a philosopher. Her oeuvre [work] features deliberate contradiction yet demonstrates remarkable clarity.


to the top | home

Copyright © 2019 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.