On The Anti-Totalitarianism of Simone Weil

Wen Stephenson at The Baffler:

It’s hard if not impossible to imagine a figure of Weil’s stature in the intellectual and political culture of today’s left, the only region of the political spectrum where she might possibly fit. And not just because of her religiosity, which would of course instantly ghettoize her. It’s also because she’s so hard to pin down with any neat, easy label—or rather, because the labels are too many and apparently conflicting. (She’d be eaten alive on Twitter from all sides—or, worse, simply shunned and ignored.) “An anarchist who espoused conservative ideals,” Zaretsky writes in his opening pages, “a pacifist who fought in the Spanish Civil War, a saint who refused baptism, a mystic who was a labor militant, a French Jew who was buried in the Catholic section of an English cemetery, a teacher who dismissed the importance of solving a problem, the most willful of individuals who advocated the extinction of the self: here are but a few of the paradoxes Weil embodied.”

more here.