Monday, April 4, 2016

Simone Weil on Equality and Respect

The ideal social/work environment all of us desire:

Equality is a vital need of the human soul. It consists in a recognition, at once public, general, effective and genuinely expressed in institutions and customs, that the same amount of respect and consideration is due to every human being because this respect is due to the human being as such and is not a matter of degree....
In wartime, if an army is filled with the right spirit, a soldier is proud and happy to be under fire instead of at headquarters; a general is proud and happy to think that the successful outcome of the battle depends on his fore-thought; and at the same time the soldier admires the general and the general the soldier.
Such a balance constitutes an equality. There would be equality in social conditions if this balance could be found therein. It would mean honouring each human condition with those marks of respect which are proper to it, and are not just a hollow pretense. Simone Weil, THE NEEDS OF THE SOUL, An Anthology p 99, 101.

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