Oppression and Liberty

Oppression and Liberty

Oppression and Liberty

Oppression and Liberty

Synopsis

The remarkable French thinker Simone Weil is one of the leading intellectual and spiritual figures of the twentieth century. A legendary essayist, political philosopher and member of the French resistance, her literary output belied her tragically short life. Most of her work was published posthumously, to widespread acclaim. Always concerned with the nature of individual freedom, Weil explores in Oppression and Liberty its political and social implications. Analyzing the causes of oppression, its mechanisms and forms, she questions revolutionary responses and presents a prophetic view of a way forward. If, as she noted elsewhere, 'the future is made of the same stuff as the present', then there will always be a need to continue to listen to Simone Weil.

Excerpt

I would not give a farthing for
the mortal whom empty hopes can
set afire.

Sophocles. Ajax, 477-8

The long-foreseen moment has arrived when capitalism is on the point of seeing its development arrested by impassable barriers. in whatever way we interpret the phenomenon of accumulation, it is clear that capitalism stands essentially for economic expansion and that capitalist expansion has now nearly reached the point where it will be halted by the actual limits of the earth's surface. and yet never have there been fewer premonitory signs of the advent of socialism. We are in a period of transition; but a transition towards what? No one has the slightest idea. All the more striking, therefore, the carefree security with which we settle down in this transition period as though it were a definite stage, so much so that considerations concerning the crisis of the system have almost everywhere become commonplaces. Certainly, we

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