On the Abolition of All Political Parties
by Simone Weil, a new translation from the French and with an introduction by Simon Leys, with a biographical essay by Czeslaw Milosz
An NYRB Classics Original
Simone Weil—philosopher, activist, mystic—is one of the most uncompromising of modern spiritual masters. In “On the Abolition of All Political Parties” she challenges the foundation of the modern liberal political order, making an argument that has particular resonance today, when the apathy and anger of the people and the self-serving partisanship of the political class present a threat to democracies all over the world. Dissecting the dynamic of power and propaganda caused by party spirit, the increasing disregard for truth in favor of opinion, and the consequent corruption of education, journalism, and art, Weil forcefully makes the case that a true politics can only begin where party spirit ends.
This volume also includes an admiring portrait of Weil by the great poet Czeslaw Milosz and an essay about Weil’s friendship with Albert Camus by the translator Simon Leys.
At a time when the distrust and disenchantment Americans feel with politics runs deeper than the Mariana Trench, Weil's essay 'On the Abolition of All Political Parties' would no doubt be a best seller.
—Robert Zaretsky, The New York Times
What makes [Weil's] thought so special, so bracing and so strange, is its combination of philosophical rigour and spiritual compass.
Weil's writing is both quite strictly rational and eccentrically spiritual. Her words all but radiate moral and intellectual conviction.
—Australian Book Review
It makes for fascinating, and unsettling, election-year reading.