Simone Weil — philosopher, trade union militant, factory worker — developed a penetrating critique of Marxism and a powerful political philosophy which serves an alternative both to liberalism and to Marxism. In A Truer Liberty, originally published in 1989, Blum and Seidler show how Simone Weil’s philosophy sought to place political action on a firmly moral basis. The dignity of the manual worker became the standard for political institutions and movements. Weil criticized Marxism for its confidence in progress and revolution and its attendant illusory belief that history is on the side of the proletariat.
Blum and Seidler relate Weil’s work to influential trends in political philosophy today, from analytic Marxism to central traditions within liberal thought. The authors stress the importance of Weil’s work for understanding liberation theology, Catholic radicalism, and, more generally, social movements against oppression which are closely tied to religion and spirituality.
Table of Contents
1. Simone Weil’s life and Early Politics 2. Simone Weil on Marxism: Work relations, production and progress 3. Simone Weil on Marxism: Revolution and Materialism 4. Liberty 5. Oppression 6. Work 7. Power 8. Morality, Truth and Politics
'A Truer Liberty makes two welcome contributions to Weil studies: it presents the most thorough analysis to date of Weil’s affinities with and divergences from Marxism, and—more importantly—it succeeds in bringing Weil to life as a political theorist whose writings provide some bracing alternatives to the ideological forces that dominate twentieth-century thought ... Blum and Seidler not only inaugurate a new direction in Weil studies; they also show us why her political theorizing deserves serious and more respectful attention than it has hitherto received.' - The Review of Politics