Monday, March 13, 2017

Readings: How We Need to View our "Problem" with Refugees & Immigrants

In an essay* written in London in the last months of her too-brief life, Simone Weil presents very concisely in the following brief paragraph why "obligation" must be understood to belong to a higher order than "rights," despite the obsession with the latter that has dominated such Western thought as has come down to us from the Roman Empire: 

"Whoever has his attention and love turned in fact towards that reality outside the world** recognizes at the same time that he is bound, in both public and private life, by the unique and perpetual obligation, according to his responsibilities and to the extent of his power, to alleviate all those privations of the soul and the body capable of destroying or mutilating the earthly life of a human being whoever he may be." [italics added]

*Ercits de Londres et dernieres lettres
**i.e.,  "absolute Goodness" or "God"