Ethical Practice

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Frieda Ekotto | Radical Solidarity in Simone Weil’s Work

In his brilliant book, Simone Weil’s Political Philosophy: Field Notes from the Margins (2023), Benjamin Davis reads Simone Weil as an important political philosopher. Weil was one of the first thinkers of European descent to call into question her own country’s colonial practices. Clearly, many intellectuals have done the same, however, they do not acknowledge that Weil was the first to do so. For interrogating her culture and society on those anti-colonial grounds, many dismissed her as crazy. Many also dismissed her by focusing on her strange practices of eating and dressing. Ben shows that, if we focus on reading Weil, for the depth of her thinking—that is, if we read Weil as a political philosopher—then we can get a sense of the insights that she offers us. Those insights include: (1) a concern that Western societies have raised their nations to the level of Gods as objects of worship; (2) a method that involves living with workers and those marginalized and exiled if we are truly to understand the modern categories we live under, such as citizen, democracy, fascism, revolution, and exile; and (3) an adamant belief that philosophy should be understood as a way of life, as something that we practice in how we dress, eat, write, speak, and treat one another. [Continue reading here…]